Around the globe on this date conscious citizens mark the passage of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, while India celebrates its National Sports Day, and Ukraine commemorates its colliers with National Miners Day, and, for something completely different, Catholics note the beheading of John the Baptist with a Saint’s Day on his behalf; in the islands of Japan, thirteen hundred eight years ago,inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun first minted copper coins;seventy-nine decades thereafter, in 1498, thousands of miles to the South and West, Vasco da Gama elected to end his stay in Calicut in order to return to his homeland in Portugal; MORE HERE
A Thought for the Day
The allure of knowledge, especially of comprehensive comprehension so to speak, can effect an almost addictive pull on a nerdy sort, a kind of Faustian bargain perhaps: still, even as the appeal of total awareness remains undeniable, to achieve such a state would be both thrilling and chilling, as if one would simultaneously become the Great White Shark as it struck its prey and the hapless Tuna as it felt its killer’s teeth.
Quote of the Day
“Two Mexican cousins are killed by Los Angeles police in a case of mistaken identity. A prominent journalist is cautioned by two LAPD officers about his coverage of the shootings. A short time later, the journalist meets with staffers of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and tells them he is being followed. He gives his Rolodex of news sources to a colleague and clears his desk. Days later, at the age of 42, he is dead. Killed by a 10-inch-long tear-gas projectile fired by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy. MORE HERE
elections OR voting "direct participation" OR "real participation" OR "daily participation" OR "true participation" OR "participatory democracy" versus ballot "public relations" wealth OR "ruling class" OR investors OR "big business" OR multinationals OR "multinational corporations" "class conflict" OR "class war" OR "class consciousness" = 3,030 Citations.
TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, & AWARENESS VIDEO
ASTOUNDING REVELATIONS ABOUT MILITARISM FROM DONALD DUCK!!
One of the unheralded and utterly unexpected marvels of insight and awareness that show up now and again as one trolls along, waiting for nibbles about how the world works and what might manifest understanding of all the complexity and paradox, in the event a Disney cartoon that Walt and the company created in league with Federal propaganda authorities circa 1942, a few minutes of astonishing rendering and color with the indelible message that the purpose of taxation would remain the underwriting and overall financing of the warmaking capacity that has defined the modern state as a way out of the Great Depression
Quiet Lightning is accepting all forms of writing for two special upcoming shows in the Bay Area.
Big Bend National Park’s artist residency program, offered by the National Parks Arts Foundation, is designed specifically for veterans of the U.S. Armed Services.
The Turnip Truck(s) is seeking work that grapples with the complexities of understanding the animal world for their next issue.
Colorado – Paonia
Job Description: WANTED: ASSOCIATE EDITORDream job for a writer in the American West. High Country News, an award-winning, nonprofit newsmagazine, seeks a new senior member for its editorial team. The associate editor works as a frontline writer for major stories for the magazine, as well as contributing to the overall editorial strategy. The associate editor also undertakes major collaborative projects with editorial team, files for the website, and fulfills other duties as assigned. This is a telecommutable position, so long as the candidate lives in any state west of the 100th Meridian, excluding Hawaii. Candidates should expect to travel on assignment, make one to two trips to magazine headquarters in Paonia, Colorado, per year, and be plugged into the office virtually throughout the year.
The Review-Journal is investing heavily in its newsroom. News organizations everywhere are cutting back, but we’re hiring. We’re committed to building a regional journalism powerhouse, attracting top-notch talent and helping journalists grow.
A Pacific Standard posting that highlights the findings of a report by a asdf group of educators that seeks to show whether the educational program actually does benefit students and society at large or whether it fails the mark: ” Children who participated in the program exhibited higher test scores at the end of pre-K and were described as “being better prepared for kindergarten work, as having better behaviors related to learning in the classroom and as having more positive peer relations,” the study found. But those effects disappeared entirely by the end of kindergarten; by second grade, the children who had participated in the pre-K program were actually performing worse in school and were rated by teachers as less well-prepared for school, possessing poorer work skills, and harboring more negative feelings toward school.”
A spoof Onion post that highlights some of the expectations of writing: ““I know how much Candy Land means to people, so I’d better deliver a satisfying and faithful retelling of the heroes’ journey through the Peppermint Forest and Gumdrop Mountains. If I don’t nail iconic characters like Gramma Nutt and Gloppy, I don’t even want to think of how disappointed and angry fans will be.” Wilder added that beyond meeting fans’ high standards, he also had to craft a compelling ending that would build excitement for the three planned sequels.”
A Stockman Corner piece that looks at the financial ramifications of the student loan-based economy: “The default figure understates the true amount of distress. The Education Department counts a borrower as being in default only once she has gone 361 days without a payment, and the Obama administration doesn’t make public the number of borrowers who are defaulting on federal student loans made by other lenders in a since-discontinued bank-based program.”
A Global Research Centre posting that analyses the terrible consequences of the conflicts rife in the Middle East, in particular Turkey’s role as laying groundwork for future war: “In mid-July, President Erdogan pointed his finger at the CIA, accusing US intelligence of having supported a failed coup directed against his government. Turkish officials pointed to a deterioration of US-Turkey relations following Washington’s refusal to extradite Fethullah Gülen, the alleged architect of the failed coup.”
Around the globe on this date conscious citizens mark the passage of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, while India celebrates its National Sports Day, and Ukraine commemorates its colliers with National Miners Day, and, for something completely different, Catholics note the beheading of John the Baptist with a Saint’s Day on his behalf; in the islands of Japan, thirteen hundred eight years ago,inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun first minted copper coins;seventy-nine decades thereafter, in 1498, thousands of miles to the South and West, Vasco da Gama elected to end his stay in Calicut in order to return to his homeland in Portugal; twenty-three years subsequently, in 1521, Ottoman expansion into the Balkans continued with the capture of what is now the city of Belgrade, Serbia; half a decade more on the path to the now, in 1526, Ottoman troops under the leadership of Suleiman the Magnificent decimated Jagiellonian defenders of Hungary and Bohemia, killing their kind in the process of victory at the Battle of Mohacs; seven years toward today, in 1533, a definitely divergent sort of imperial conquest unfolded as conquistador Francisco Pissarro murdered the last Incan Emperor; eight years past that juncture, in 1541, another Ottoman conquest transpired with the capture of the Hungarian Kingdom capital of Buda; ninety-one years later, in 1632, a little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as an ‘Enlightened’ thinker and champion of social contract, John Locke; a century and a quarter and a single year further along time’s arc, in 1758, English strategists of conquest and genocide came up with the concept of ‘concentrating’ those from whom they stole, in relation to Native Americans in what is now Indian Mills, New Jersey; eleven years down the pike from that, in 1769, Edmond Hoyle died, demonstrating that a life of learning and teaching games and other things was good for nearly a century of active existence; two
hundred thirty years back, poor farmers and working people of the new United States called out the elites who had led the Revolution for their hypocrisy when they rose up against excessive taxes and other predatory ruling class behaviors in Shay’s Rebellion, primarily in Western Massachusetts and New England; twenty-three years onward from that, in 1809, one of New England’s ‘finer families’ brought forth a male infant who would mature as the medical doctor and thinker and writer Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.; sixteen years henceforth, in 1825,across the wide Atlantic, Portugal acknowledged reality and recognized Brazil’s erstwhile independence; half a dozen years toward today, in 1831, to the North in England, the brilliant, self-taught scientist Michael Faraday first demonstrated conclusively the existence of electromagnetic induction; eleven years afterward, in 1842, halfway round the world, in one of England’s imperial adventures, the British and the Chinese signed the Treaty of Nanking that formally brought to a close the First Opium War, which elevated the principle of free trade to force the acceptance of unlimited sales of narcotics by the British to the Chinese; exactly two decades further along, in 1862, the male infant cried out whom fate had selected to grow up as the poet and thinker and writer Maurice Maeterlinck, who would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature; nine years yet later on, in 1871, back round the world in East Asia, Japanese emperor Meiji adopted Western administrative practices and eliminated the Chinese Han system that had prevailed in Japan theretofore; twenty-seven additional years on time’s forward journey, in 1898, investors formed the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; just short of a decade nearer to now, in 1907, seventy –five intrepid construction workers died when a poorly designed bridge over the Quebec section of the St. Lawrence seaway collapsed catastrophically; three years subsequent to that, in 1910, back round the globe in East Asia again, Japan formalized its already announced annexation of Korea with an exchange of treaty instruments between Tokyo and Seoul; three hundred sixty-five days along the temporal arc from that, in 1911, seven thousand miles or so East in Northeastern California, a final initial North American contact occurs between an indigenous people and the European Americans when a bloke who called himself Ishi came out of the woods and introduced himself; a half decade past that conjunction, in 1916, the United States marked a different sort of conquering ethos in passing the grotesquely-named Philippine Autonomy Act; half a dozen years onward from that, in 1922, in an altogether different sort of extractive endeavor, WEAF
radio in New York City broadcast the first ever new media advertisement; twenty-one years hence, in 1943, Danish anti-fascists and allied collaborators scuttled the entire fleet of Denmark’s Navy to preclude its falling into the hands of the Germans; a year yet later on, in 1944, well over 50,000 Slovak fighters turned against their Nazi overseers and made war on the Germans; an additional three hundred sixty-five days round and round the solar system’s solar center, in 1945, Harry Truman deployed the Navy against striking oil workers, mimicking Nazi tactics against unions; four years still nearer to the here and now, in 1949, in what any brainless idiot could have predicted had to be the result of the United States attempt to monopolize nuclear weapons, the Soviets exploded their first atomic weapon, which was never a secret and was always only a matter of engineering and resources; an additional year along time’s path, in 1950, in a related development in East Asia, British troops arrived to help U.S. soldiers resist communist North Koreans’ incursion into the Southern half of the peninsula, while back in North America an erstwhile cultural impresario, in the employ of the CIA, advanced the claim that the hatred of East Europeans for Soviets justified U.S. distortions and interventions simultaneously; eight years after that, in 1958, only twelve years after its initiation, the United States Air Force opened its officer training school, the United States Air Force Academy, and in a likely wholly unrelated development, a baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the estimable lyricist and redoubtable rocker Michael Jackson; half that period in the direction of the here and now, in 1962, acclaimed poet Robert Frost departed the United States for a ‘goodwill’ tour of the Soviet Union;another four years into the future from that juncture, in 1966, the philosopher of radical Islam and reactionary resistance to ‘Western Modernism’, Sayyid Qutb, faced an Egyptian firing squad for his part in plotting Abdul Nasser’s assassination, while roughly 7,000 miles to the West, the Beatles played their final concert at
Candlestick Park in San Francisco; one thousand four hundred and thirty-one days beyond those occurrences, in 1970, police depredations against community in East Los Angeles during the Chicano Moratorium on the War killed several people, including prominent journalist Ruben Salazar, injuring hundreds of others and establishing the impunity of the American police state; precisely twenty-one years even closer to the current context, in 1991, an honest businessman in Italy paid with his life for the integrity of refusing organized criminals’ ‘protection’ demands, and, to the North and East in the disarticulating Soviet Union, the legislature stripped the Communist Party of most of its special privileges and powers; an added half a decade toward today, in 1996, roughly 8,000 miles to the West in the Bay Area of San Francisco, a group of workers in the erotic arena formed a Service Employees international Union local and gained substantial material benefits and general empowerment from their prior condition as mere employees; seven hundred thirty days still later, in 1998, Northwest Airline pilots gave up on making concessions to profiteering owners and went on a strike for higher pay; another two years more proximate to the present pass, in 2000, organized workers in Minnesota established the first online labor news service in the United States, workdayminnesota.org;five more years along the temporal arc, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s landfall effected catastrophe in and around New Orleans, killing over 1,000 people and decimating local economies and infrastructure and illustrating the collapse of Federal support in the case of such disasters; two years onward from that devastation, in 2007, an entirely different sort of potential disaster unfolded when an Air Force heavy bomber flew from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast with multiple hydrogen bombs aboard that no one had documented according to Standard Operating Procedure; four years in even greater proximity to today’s dawning light, in 2011, an icon of the Blues, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, sang his swan song as he approached the century mark; three hundred sixty-six days thereafter, in 2012, close to 50 Chinese colliers died or turned up missing after a horrific accident – safety’s loss being capital’s gain –in the Xiaojiawan coal mine, located at Panzhihua in Sichuan Province, China, a single year prior to our own day and time, the progenitor of pop psychology and self help, Wayne Dyer, died.
“Two Mexican cousins are killed by Los Angeles police in a case of mistaken identity. A prominent journalist is cautioned by two LAPD officers about his coverage of the shootings. A short time later, the journalist meets with staffers of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and tells them he is being followed. He gives his Rolodex of news sources to a colleague and clears his desk. Days later, at the age of 42, he is dead. Killed by a 10-inch-long tear-gas projectile fired by a Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy.
Is this the plot for a crime thriller? It could be. But it is just part of the tragic mystery surrounding Ruben Salazar. The Los Angeles Times columnist and KMEX news director was killed 40 years ago Sunday under very disturbing circumstances. Law enforcement officials had a chance to resolve the matter at that time but dropped the ball. A new generation of law enforcement officials now has a chance to come clean by releasing all records relating to the case. For the sake of history and transparency, they must not fumble this opportunity.
I first heard of Ruben Salazar in early 1970 when a friend mailed me a few of his columns. I was in the Army in Japan at the time. I was impressed by Salazar’s insight as he explored the often-misportrayed Chicano movement and issues involving education and justice. Salazar was the first Mexican American columnist for a major U.S. newspaper, following his career as Times reporter and foreign correspondent. For me, a young Mexican American during an era with few minorities in the news media, he became an inspiration. I vowed to go to Los Angeles and meet him.
On Aug. 29, 1970, I ended my military service at Oakland Army Base and looked forward to a job interview at The Times. Little did I know that on that same Saturday afternoon, Salazar would be killed. Though I never got to meet him, I have continued to celebrate his journalistic work and ponder his death.
A basic question haunts me, just as it disturbs Salazar’s children and many others. Was the fatal shooting of Salazar just a horrible accident that occurred under riot conditions nearby? That was law enforcement’s verdict. Or was Salazar assassinated to silence his reporting and the work of his KMEX news staff? That is what some Mexican Americans who were politically active at the time believe.
I don’t know the answer to that enduring mystery. Even the release of all relevant official documents may not provide a definitive answer, but such action will show that today’s officials have nothing to hide about a 40-year-old case.
In February of this year, Thomas A. Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, filed a California Public Records Act request to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on behalf of filmmaker Phillip Rodriguez and himself. In March, the Los Angeles Times also made a request for the Salazar files. In early August, Baca balked at releasing the eight boxes of department materials. But after some friendly persuasion from Supervisor Gloria Molina, Baca has now given the records to the Sheriff Department’s Office of Independent Review. The staff, led by Michael Gennaco, will prepare a report on the contents of the Salazar files.
That’s a good start. But for the sake of historical record, all of the Sheriff’s records relevant to Salazar’s death should be made public. Beyond that, any relevant files from the District Attorney’s office, the LAPD and federal Justice Department agencies should also be made public.
‘Let the chips fall where they may,’ Molina said in an interview. ‘We have a very different Sheriff today. For those who are nervous about what would come out, I think they will have to grin and bear it because that was the reality of the day.’
Lisa Salazar Johnson, the oldest of Ruben’s three children, said: ‘I am urging Sheriff Baca to release those files because there are so many questions. I want to know why I had to live without a father.’
Salazar died on a day that began with a large, peaceful march in East Los Angeles in protest against the Vietnam War and the disproportionate number of Mexican Americans being drafted and dying on the battlefield. The protest drew an estimated 25,000 Mexican Americans from across the Southwest, including young people who have since become leaders in politics, education and other fields.
After the marchers reached Laguna Park, a small group caused trouble at a nearby liquor store. When deputies responded, they were pelted by rocks and bottles. Things got chaotic. Tear gas was fired at the main crowd of demonstrators, which included elderly parents and young children. In a grainy scene recorded on film, a young woman flings a stone toward the authorities and gets clubbed by a deputy in the back of the head. Protest organizers later said that police had looked for any pretext to break up the event. Almost everyone went home, disappointed that they did not have a chance to express their disapproval of the war.
‘All of us had lost friends in the war,’ said Molina, then an East L.A. College student, who had left Laguna Park before the trouble erupted. ‘I was as angry as anyone about that war.’
Some young demonstrators responded violently, looting and burning businesses along Whittier Boulevard in L.A.’s worst disturbance since the 1965 Watts riots. Law enforcement moved in with strength. Before it was over, property damages would exceed $1 million, and dozens would be injured or arrested. Three people would die.
Salazar had been covering the day’s events for KMEX. A colleague, Guillermo Restrepo, later said that Salazar suspected they were being followed that afternoon. They went to a dingy bar to take a break and have a beer. Its location, 22 blocks from Laguna Park, seemed far removed from the rioting at the time. Sheriff’s deputies, however, suddenly appeared outside the Silver Dollar bar, located on Whittier Boulevard in unincorporated East L.A. The deputies went there, they later said, because a man told them of two men inside the bar with guns. Deputy Thomas H. Wilson fired twice into the establishment. But he used an unusual weapon: a torpedo-shaped tear-gas projectile that was designed to pierce wooden doors and to expel barricaded suspects. Yet, the Silver Dollar’s door was open, with only a small curtain hanging from the top. Salazar, the Sheriff’s Department said, was hit in the temple by a shell and died. The department, then led by Sheriff Peter Pitchess, insisted that it was just an unfortunate accident.
In the months before, then-LAPD chief Ed Davis had complained vigorously to the Times’ leadership about Salazar’s columns. Two police officers had talked to Salazar about KMEX reports about the fatal police shootings of the two unarmed Sanchez cousins, both Mexican nationals. The officers, Salazar wrote in his column, ‘warned me about the ‘impact’ the interviews would have on the police department’s image. Besides, they said, this kind of information could be dangerous in the minds of barrio people.’
All these events unfolded during J. Edgar Hoover’s reign at the FBI and Richard Nixon’s residence in the White House. It was a period when law enforcement across the nation took particularly harsh action against antiwar protesters and initiated surveillance of what they called revolutionary or subversive elements. Those circumstances have fed conspiracy theories, but by themselves, they are inconclusive.
One thing is clear: Salazar was no revolutionary, but he believed that his role as a journalist involved exposing cases of discrimination and injustice. He also gave credit to law enforcement when credit was due.
Los Angeles public officials had a chance to resolve questions about Salazar’s death. But instead, a rarely used proceeding was ordered – a coroner’s inquest. The hearings made for good theater – they were broadcast live on L.A. television – but they were a farce. Much of the questioning tried to link protest organizers to leftist causes. Wilson testified that he wanted to get the tear gas quickly into the bar because of the armed men believed inside and that he had aimed for the ceiling. After 16 days of hearings, four members of the inquest jury concluded that Salazar had ‘died at the hands of another.’ Three others found the death to be an accident. The murky findings frustrated those seeking clarity about the case.
A week after those hearings, District Atty. Evelle Younger washed his hands of the case, saying he would not prosecute Wilson. Younger was running for state attorney general and it seems clear to me that he did not want to go against ‘law and order.’ Younger, who died in 1989, rejected those allegations when they were first raised. At the same time, U.S. Justice Department officials failed to pursue any federal charges. To some activists, law enforcement’s collective non-action smelled of a cover-up, but Mexican Americans carried little political clout in 1970. Unlike today, there were no Latinos on the L.A. City Council or county Board of Supervisors. Nationally, Mexican Americans were dismissed as a small regional minority and were not a force.
Some time later, Los Angeles County paid Salazar’s widow and three children $700,000 to settle a lawsuit.
Officials in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Washington now have the chance to set the record straight by releasing unredacted copies of local, state and federal law enforcement records. Some FBI records previous released under FOIA requests have had large sections blacked out ‘for national security reasons.’
‘I don’t want to believe that Ruben was targeted,’ Molina said, ‘but I do know that law enforcement followed a pathway that was very anti-Chicano.’
Molina said the records dealing with the Sheriff Department’s handling of the events at Laguna Park should be disclosed too. ‘It was a terrible time,’ she said. ‘The full information needs to come out for those events to be appropriately portrayed.’
For too long, what happened at Laguna Park and the Salazar case have been considered only of local interest. Rodriguez, whose documentaries have aired on PBS, believes the case is significant nationally, just as it has been important to resolve cases involving civil rights abuses in the South during the 1960s.
Rodriguez, a visiting fellow at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, is making a film on Salazar. ‘I have no preconceived ideas about what led to Salazar’s death,’ he said, ‘but I do know how profoundly painful this episode has been for many people. It’s time to give scholars and journalists access to those files.’
campaign, including the electoral contest near Miami that pits a Sanders backer in a likely losing bid to unseat Debbie Wasserman Schultz from here Congressional office, and a review of the new ‘Our Revolution’ development that Senator Bernie spoke about on Wednesday night, a manifestation of a new non-profit that has all manner of problems already, as both the New York Times and The Guardian report in breaking news accounts that explore staff resignations, accusations of ‘dark money’s’ dancing in and out of the deal, and much more, all of which ought to fascinate, if not completely enlighten, scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens alike.
This Day in History
Today in the United States, in an acknowledgment that should be year round, is Women’s Equality Day; a decisive early consolidation of Turkish overturning of Byzantine rule occurred nine hundred forty-five years ago at the Battle of Manzikurt; two centuries and thirty-two years later, in 1303,the dictatorial rule of Alauddin Khilji over the subcontinent advanced with the capture of Chittorgarh from Hindu forces; in a momentous moment in military history forty-three years thereafter, in 1346, English military advances, in the form of the longbow, won out at the Battle of Crecy in the Hundred Years War;five hundred eighteen years prior to the present pass,-1498Michelangelo received his commission to carve the Pieta; MORE HERE
A Thought for the Day
While the basis for outrage erupts ubiquitously, and a few fierce citizens manage to express themselves about such developments, mainly those with a mandate and a microphone choose to communicate with fury and invective, or sarcasm and cynicism, without even the semblance of the capacity calmly to assemble pertinent facts and to articulate reasonably about them, so that nonsense and vomitus now more or less define Gringo discourse, especially in various mediated realms, an overall reality that is all the worse because the people themselves are not participating, or even speaking about these matters for the most part: one can only wonder at what point the predominance of such willful ignorance and loud loutishness on the one hand, and passive, sheepish cowering on the other hand, will lead to the ineluctable collapse of a people that has, purposely and purposefully, either indulged angry stupidity instead of seeking disciplined and measured contemplation or, almost as evil, permitted the civic dialog’s participants to devolve almost exclusively to those who acted in such self destructive and absolutely antisocial fashion.
Quote of the Day
Were one asked to characterize the life of religion in the broadest and most general terms possible, one might say that it consists of the belief that there is an unseen order, and that our supreme good lies in harmoniously adjusting ourselves thereto. This belief and this adjustment are the religious attitude in the soul. I wish during this hour to call your attention to some of the psychological peculiarities of such an attitude as this, of belief in an object which we cannot see. All our attitudes, moral, practical, or emotional, as well as religious, are due to the ‘objects’ of our consciousness, the things which we believe to exist, whether really or ideally, along with ourselves. Such objects may be present to our senses, or they may be present only to our thought. In either case they elicit from us a reaction; and the reaction due to things of thought is notoriously in many cases as strong as that due to sensible presences. It may be even stronger. The memory of an insult may make us angrier than the insult did when we received it. We are frequently more ashamed of our blunders afterwards than we were at the moment of making them; and in general our whole higher prudential and moral life is based on the fact that material sensations actually present may have a weaker influence on our action than ideas of remoter facts. MORE HERE
"web access" OR "access to the internet" necessity OR requisite OR "centrally important" OR "sine qua non" "digital divide" OR inequality OR "lack of access" "net neutrality" OR "free and easy access" history OR origins analysis OR deconstruction marxist OR radical = 66,400 Interactions.
TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, & AWARENESS VIDEO
FOR GOOD OR ILL, THE WEB, A RIGHT & A DUTY
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/audio/2016/aug/18/internet-access-now-a-human-right-part-4-chips-with-everything-tech-podcast – The fourth in a four part podcast series from The Guardian, in which part one examined the U.N. General Assembly Resolution that has declared the Internet a human right, part two portrayed how a former Warsaw Pact nation has become a virtual powerhouse, part three delineated threats to Net Neutrality and untrammeled access, and this portion itself delved the future, especially in relation to poorer nations, former colonies, and outposts of empire–altogether an extremely important couple of hours for scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens to invest, albeit they would want to ‘consider the source,’ and recognize that inevitably one of the world’s premier media conglomerates would have a certain slant, evince a certain ideological perspective, or otherwise cast matters in a certain light from which one would want to maintain a certain ‘critical distance’ as one took in what was on display.
Vela publishes nonfiction written by women. We are particularly interested in narrative nonfiction, essays with a research and/or reporting component, and literary journalism with a unique, compelling voice. We do publish personal essays and are suckers for powerful personal narratives, but we prefer stories that move beyond the personal realm to consider larger questions and issues. Our feature stories typically run from 3,000 to 6,000 words, although we are open to longer work. Vela also publishes a series of columns for which we accept short-form submissions: Placed, Body of Work, Outlines, Milestones, and The Writing Life.
The Capital Times (captimes.com), a progressive, digital-first media enterprise in Madison, Wisconsin, seeks a team-oriented journalist who is smart, curious and optimistic to cover our growing and changing city.
The ideal candidate should be flexible and interested in topics connected to city living, such as development, transportation and neighborhoods. We’re looking for a reporter who can develop enterprise stories, interesting profiles, news analysis pieces and multimedia projects.
A 21st Century Wire critique by an insightful commentator that views the recent film, horrific in its mediocrity, means for our culture at large: “This film is one of the few instances I can think of where the overt propaganda is actually more interesting to spot than the film itself. WillSmiff plays a “hitman” baby-daddy whose only concern is scoring 2 million dollars to buy his daughter’s attention. Yes, all those noble baby-daddies are really just striving for ghetto release so they can become responsible parents. Next, a hot chick plays a psychiatrist babe-turned skank who, after falling in love with the joke that is “The Joker,” morphs into the average American skank, graffiti’ed to the hilt with thug-style sleaze. In this sense, Harley Quinn makes sense as a representation of the mental illness that plagues the young western female, as evidenced in their body-defacing obsessions and self-mutilation.”
A Book Riot list of 100 books all who care about nature and our natural parks should read: “These limitations aside, America’s national parks inspire awe and more than a little writing. This list includes children’s books, fiction, nonfiction, some poetry, and coloring books! It’s heavy on nonfiction, memoir, and biography but also has books from romance and mystery series. I included only one book per author and did not include any guidebooks, though. There are well over 400 sites in the National Park System (spanning 84 million acres in all 50 states and some territories)! We could easily do a round up of just guidebooks to the National Parks.”
An IJ Net article that gives journalists advice on how best to proceed when doing stories about the refugee crisis: “How does a reporter ask people reeling from horror, shock and fear to recount their ordeal? Is there a best way to approach those who have survived traumatic violence? What is the logic for intruding on private pain?”
A World Socialist Web Site post that documents more carnage and abuse coming from the police, culminating in another death: “A graphic video published Thursday on the non-profit news site ProPublica shows multiple Los Angeles Police Department officers, including an African American, at least one Latino, and an Asian female, murdering Vachel Howard, a 56-year-old black man in jail for driving under the influence.
Howard supported himself restoring old cars and working with his father’s lawn service. He was highly involved with his seven grandchildren.”
An Aeon look at drug addiction that puts the lie to the longstanding and perenially disproven and disempowering War on Drugs paradigm: “The fascinating statistic here is that in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, only 11.6 per cent of those with substance-use disorders received treatment. Yet at least two-thirds of users who become addicted manage to quit or significantly reduce their consumption without formal help.
This suggests that it might be time to look beyond the traditional recovery paradigm and turn to the natural phenomenon of ageing out, or maturing, and what empowers it, for most.”
Were one asked to characterize the life of religion in the broadest and most general terms possible, one might say that it consists of the belief that there is an unseen order, and that our supreme good lies in harmoniously adjusting ourselves thereto. This belief and this adjustment are the religious attitude in the soul. I wish during this hour to call your attention to some of the psychological peculiarities of such an attitude as this, of belief in an object which we cannot see. All our attitudes, moral, practical, or emotional, as well as religious, are due to the ‘objects’ of our consciousness, the things which we believe to exist, whether really or ideally, along with ourselves. Such objects may be present to our senses, or they may be present only to our thought. In either case they elicit from us a reaction; and the reaction due to things of thought is notoriously in many cases as strong as that due to sensible presences. It may be even stronger. The memory of an insult may make us angrier than the insult did when we received it. We are frequently more ashamed of our blunders afterwards than we were at the moment of making them; and in general our whole higher prudential and moral life is based on the fact that material sensations actually present may have a weaker influence on our action than ideas of remoter facts.
The more concrete objects of most men’s religion, the deities whom they worship, are known to them only in idea. It has been vouchsafed, for example, to very few Christian believers to have had a sensible vision of their Saviour; though enough appearances of this sort are on record, by way of miraculous exception, to merit our attention later. The whole force of the Christian religion, therefore, so far as belief in the divine personages determines the prevalent attitude of the believer, is in general exerted by the instrumentality of pure ideas, of which nothing in the individual’s past experience directly serves as a model.
But in addition to these ideas of the more concrete religious objects, religion is full of abstract objects which prove to have an equal power. God’s attributes as such, his holiness, his justice, his mercy, his absoluteness, his infinity, his omniscience, his tri-unity, the various mysteries of the redemptive process, the operation of the sacraments, etc., have proved fertile wells of inspiring meditation for Christian believers. We shall see later that the absence of definite sensible images is positively insisted on by the mystical authorities in all religions as the sine qua non of a successful orison, or contemplation of the higher divine truths. Such contemplations are expected (and abundantly verify the expectation, as we shall also see) to influence the believer’s subsequent attitude very powerfully for good.
Immanuel Kant held a curious doctrine about such objects of belief as God, the design of creation, the soul, its freedom, and the life hereafter. These things, he said, are properly not objects of knowledge at all. Our conceptions always require a sense-content to work with, and as the words ‘soul,’ ‘God,’ ‘immortality,’ cover no distinctive sense-content whatever, it follows that theoretically speaking they are words devoid of any significance. Yet strangely enough they have a definite meaning for our practice. We can act as if there were a God; feel as if we were free; consider Nature as if she were full of special designs; lay plans as if we were to be immortal; and we find then that these words do make a genuine difference in our moral life. Our faith that these unintelligible objects actually exist proves thus to be a full equivalent in praktischer Hinsicht, as Kant calls it, or from the point of view of our action, for a knowledge of what they might be, in case we were permitted positively to conceive them. So we have the strange phenomenon, as Kant assures us, of a mind believing with all its strength in the real presence of a set of things of no one of which it can form any notion whatsoever.
My object in thus recalling Kant’s doctrine to your mind is not to express any opinion as to the accuracy of this particularly uncouth part of his philosophy, but only to illustrate the characteristic of human nature which we are considering, by an example so classical in its exaggeration. The sentiment of reality can indeed attach itself so strongly to our object of belief that our whole life is polarized through and through, so to speak, by its sense of the existence of the thing believed in, and yet that thing, for purpose of definite description, can hardly be said to be present to our mind at all. It is as if a bar of iron, without touch or sight, with no representative faculty whatever, might nevertheless be strongly endowed with an inner capacity for magnetic feeling; and as if, through the various arousals of its magnetism by magnets coming and going in its neighborhood, it might be consciously determined to different attitudes and tendencies. Such a bar of iron could never give you an outward description of the agencies that had the power of stirring it so strongly; yet of their presence, and of their significance for its life, it would be intensely aware through every fibre of its being.
It is not only the Ideas of pure Reason, as Kant styled them, that have this power of making us vitally feel presences that we are impotent articulately to describe. All sorts of higher abstractions bring with them the same kind of impalpable appeal. Remember those passages from Emerson which I read at my last lecture. The whole universe of concrete objects, as we know them, swims, not only for such a transcendentalist writer, but for all of us, in a wider and higher universe of abstract ideas, that lend it its significance. As time, space, and the ether soak through all things, so (we feel) do abstract and essential goodness, beauty, strength, significance, justice, soak through all things good, strong, significant, and just.
Such ideas, and others equally abstract, form the background for all our facts, the fountain-head of all the possibilities we conceive of. They give its ‘nature,’ as we call it, to every special thing. Everything we know is ‘what’ it is by sharing in the nature of one of these abstractions. We can never look directly at them, for they are bodiless and featureless and footless, but we grasp all other things by their means, and in handling the real world we should be stricken with helplessness in just so far forth as we might lose these mental objects, these adjectives and adverbs and predicates and heads of classification and conception.
This absolute determinability of our mind by abstractions [pg 057] is one of the cardinal facts in our human constitution. Polarizing and magnetizing us as they do, we turn towards them and from them, we seek them, hold them, hate them, bless them, just as if they were so many concrete beings. And beings they are, beings as real in the realm which they inhabit as the changing things of sense are in the realm of space.
Plato gave so brilliant and impressive a defense of this common human feeling, that the doctrine of the reality of abstract objects has been known as the platonic theory of ideas ever since. Abstract Beauty, for example, is for Plato a perfectly definite individual being, of which the intellect is aware as of something additional to all the perishing beauties of the earth. ‘The true order of going,’ he says, in the often quoted passage in his ‘Banquet,’ ‘is to use the beauties of earth as steps along which one mounts upwards for the sake of that other Beauty, going from one to two, and from two to all fair forms, and from fair forms to fair actions, and from fair actions to fair notions, until from fair notions he arrives at the notion of absolute Beauty, and at last knows what the essence of Beauty is.’ In our last lecture we had a glimpse of the way in which a platonizing writer like Emerson may treat the abstract divineness of things, the moral structure of the universe, as a fact worthy of worship. In those various churches without a God which today are spreading through the world under the name of ethical societies, we have a similar worship of the abstract divine, the moral law believed in as an ultimate object.
‘Science’ in many minds is genuinely taking the place of a religion. Where this is so, the scientist treats the ‘Laws of Nature’ as objective facts to be revered. A brilliant school of interpretation of Greek mythology would have it that in their origin the Greek gods were only half-metaphoric personifications of those great spheres of abstract law and order into which the natural world falls apart—the sky-sphere, the ocean-sphere, the earth-sphere, and the like; just as even now we may speak of the smile of the morning, the kiss of the breeze, or the bite of the cold, without really meaning that these phenomena of nature actually wear a human face.
As regards the origin of the Greek gods, we need not at present seek an opinion. But the whole array of our instances leads to a conclusion something like this: It is as if there were in the human consciousness a sense of reality, a feeling of objective presence, a perception of what we may call ‘something there,’ more deep and more general than any of the special and particular ‘senses’ by which the current psychology supposes existent realities to be originally revealed. If this were so, we might suppose the senses to waken our attitudes and conduct as they so habitually do, by first exciting this sense of reality; but anything else, any idea, for example, that might similarly excite it, would have that same prerogative of appearing real which objects of sense normally possess. So far as religious conceptions were able to touch this reality-feeling, they would be believed in in spite of criticism, even though they might be so vague and remote as to be almost unimaginable, even though they might be such non-entities in point of whatness, as Kant makes the objects of his moral theology to be.
The most curious proofs of the existence of such an undifferentiated sense of reality as this are found in experiences of hallucination. It often happens that an hallucination is imperfectly developed: the person affected will feel a ‘presen’e” in the room, definitely localized, facing in one particular way, real in the most emphatic sense of the word, often coming suddenly, and as suddenly gone; and yet neither seen, heard, touched, nor cognized in any of the usual ‘sensible’ ways. Let me give you an example of this, before I pass to the objects with whose presence religion is more peculiarly concerned.
An intimate friend of mine, one of the keenest intellects I know, has had several experiences of this sort. He writes as follows in response to my inquiries:—
‘I have several times within the past few years felt the so-called ‘consciousness of a presence.’ The experiences which I have in mind are clearly distinguishable from another kind of experience which I have had very frequently, and which I fancy many persons would also call the ‘consciousness of a presence.’ But the difference for me between the two sets of experience is as great as the difference between feeling a slight warmth originating I know not where, and standing in the midst of a conflagration with all the ordinary senses alert.’
‘It was about September, 1884, when I had the first experience. On the previous night I had had, after getting into bed at my rooms in College, a vivid tactile hallucination of being grasped by the arm, which made me get up and search the room for an intruder; but the sense of presence properly so called came on the next night. After I had got into bed and blown out the candle, I lay awake awhile thinking on the previous night’s experience, when suddenly I felt something come into the room and stay close to my bed. It remained only a minute or two. I did not recognize it by any ordinary sense, and yet there was a horribly unpleasant ‘sensation’ connected with it. It stirred something more at the roots of my being than any ordinary perception. The feeling had something of the quality of a very large tearing vital pain spreading chiefly over the chest, but within the organism—and yet the feeling was not pain so much as abhorrence. At all events, something was present with me, and I knew its presence far more surely than I have ever known the presence of any fleshly living creature. I was conscious of its departure as of its coming: an almost instantaneously swift going through the door, and the ‘horrible sensation’ disappeared.’
‘On the third night when I retired my mind was absorbed in some lectures which I was preparing, and I was still absorbed in these when I became aware of the actual presence (though not of the coming) of the thing that was there the night before, and of the ‘horrible sensation.’ I then mentally concentrated all my effort to charge this ‘thing,’ if it was evil, to depart, if it was not evil, to tell me who or what it was, and if it could not explain itself, to go, and that I would compel it to go. It went as on the previous night, and my body quickly recovered its normal state.’
‘On two other occasions in my life I have had precisely the same ‘horrible sensation.’ Once it lasted a full quarter of an hour. In all three instances the certainty that there in outward space there stood something was indescribably stronger than the ordinary certainty of companionship when we are in the close presence of ordinary living people. The something seemed close to me, and intensely more real than any ordinary perception. Although I felt it to be like unto myself, so to speak, or finite, small, and distressful, as it were, I didn’t recognize it as any individual being or person.’
Of course such an experience as this does not connect itself with the religious sphere. Yet it may upon occasion do so; and the same correspondent informs me that at more than one other conjuncture he had the sense of presence developed with equal intensity and abruptness, only then it was filled with a quality of joy.
‘There was not a mere consciousness of something there, but fused in the central happiness of it, a startling awareness of some ineffable good. Not vague either, not like the emotional effect of some poem, or scene, or blossom, of music, but the sure knowledge of the close presence of a sort of mighty person, and after it went, the memory persisted as the one perception of reality. Everything else might be a dream, but not that.’
My friend, as it oddly happens, does not interpret these latter experiences theistically, as signifying the presence of God. But it would clearly not have been unnatural to interpret them as a revelation of the deity’s existence. When we reach the subject of mysticism, we shall have much more to say upon this head.
Lest the oddity of these phenomena should disconcert you, I will venture to read you a couple of similar narratives, much shorter, merely to show that we are dealing with a well-marked natural kind of fact. In the first case, which I take from the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, the sense of presence developed in a few moments into a distinctly visualized hallucination,—but I leave that part of the story out.
‘I had read,’ the narrator says, ‘some twenty minutes or so, was thoroughly absorbed in the book, my mind was perfectly quiet, and for the time being my friends were quite forgotten, when suddenly without a moment’s warning my whole being seemed roused to the highest state of tension or aliveness, and I was aware, with an intenseness not easily imagined by those who had never experienced it, that another being or presence was not only in the room, but quite close to me. I put my book down, and although my excitement was great, I felt quite collected, and not conscious of any sense of fear. Without changing my position, and looking straight at the fire, I knew somehow that my friend A. H. was standing at my left elbow, but so far behind me as to be hidden by the armchair in which I was leaning back. Moving my eyes round slightly without otherwise changing my position, the lower portion of one leg became visible, and I instantly recognized the gray-blue material of trousers he often wore, but the stuff appeared semi-transparent, reminding me of tobacco smoke in consistency,’—and hereupon the visual hallucination came.
Another informant writes:—
‘Quite early in the night I was awakened…. I felt as if I had been aroused intentionally, and at first thought some one was breaking into the house…. I then turned on my side to go to sleep again, and immediately felt a consciousness of a presence in the room, and singular to state, it was not the consciousness of a live person, but of a spiritual presence. This may provoke a smile, but I can only tell you the facts as they occurred to me. I do not know how to better describe my sensations than by simply stating that I felt a consciousness of a spiritual presence…. I felt also at the same time a strong feeling of superstitious dread, as if something strange and fearful were about to happen.’
Professor Flournoy of Geneva gives me the following testimony of a friend of his, a lady, who has the gift of automatic or involuntary writing:—
‘Whenever I practice automatic writing, what makes me feel that it is not due to a subconscious self is the feeling I always have of a foreign presence, external to my body. It is sometimes so definitely characterized that I could point to its exact position. This impression of presence is impossible to describe. It varies in intensity and clearness according to the personality from whom the writing professes to come. If it is some one whom I love, I feel it immediately, before any writing has come. My heart seems to recognize it.’
In an earlier book of mine I have cited at full length a curious case of presence felt by a blind man. The presence was that of the figure of a gray-bearded man dressed in a pepper and salt suit, squeezing himself under the crack of the door and moving across the floor of the room towards a sofa. The blind subject of this quasi-hallucination is an exceptionally intelligent reporter. He is entirely without internal visual imagery and cannot represent light or colors to himself, and is positive that his other senses, hearing, etc., were not involved in this false perception. It seems to have been an abstract conception rather, with the feelings of reality and spatial outwardness directly attached to it—in other words, a fully objectified and exteriorized idea.
Such cases, taken along with others which would be too tedious for quotation, seem sufficiently to prove the existence in our mental machinery of a sense of present reality more diffused and general than that which our special senses yield. For the psychologists the tracing of the organic seat of such a feeling would form a pretty problem—nothing could be more natural than to connect it with the muscular sense, with the feeling that our muscles were innervating themselves for action. Whatsoever thus innervated our activity, or ‘made our flesh creep,’—our senses are what do so oftenest,—might then appear real and present, even though it were but an abstract idea. But with such vague conjectures we have no concern at present, for our interest lies with the faculty rather than with its organic seat.
Like all positive affections of consciousness, the sense of reality has its negative counterpart in the shape of a feeling of unreality by which persons may be haunted, and of which one sometimes hears complaint:—‘When I reflect on the fact that I have made my appearance by accident upon a globe itself whirled through space as the sport of the catastrophes of the heavens,’ says Madame Ackermann; ‘when I see myself surrounded by beings as ephemeral and incomprehensible as I am myself, and all excitedly pursuing pure chimeras, I experience a strange feeling of being in a dream. It seems to me as if I have loved and suffered and that erelong I shall die, in a dream. My last word will be, ‘I have been dreaming.’’
In another lecture we shall see how in morbid melancholy this sense of the unreality of things may become a carking pain, and even lead to suicide.
We may now lay it down as certain that in the distinctively religious sphere of experience, many persons (how many we cannot tell) possess the objects of their belief, not in the form of mere conceptions which their intellect accepts as true, but rather in the form of quasi-sensible realities directly apprehended. As his sense of the real presence of these objects fluctuates, so the believer alternates between warmth and coldness in his faith. Other examples will bring this home to one better than abstract description, so I proceed immediately to cite some. The first example is a negative one, deploring the loss of the sense in question. I have extracted it from an account given me by a scientific man of my acquaintance, of his religious life. It seems to me to show clearly that the feeling of reality may be something more like a sensation than an intellectual operation properly so-called.
‘Between twenty and thirty I gradually became more and more agnostic and irreligious, yet I cannot say that I ever lost that ‘indefinite consciousness’ which Herbert Spencer describes so well, of an Absolute Reality behind phenomena. For me this Reality was not the pure Unknowable of Spencer’s philosophy, for although I had ceased my childish prayers to God, and never prayed to It in a formal manner, yet my more recent experience shows me to have been in a relation to It which practically was the same thing as prayer. Whenever I had any trouble, especially when I had conflict with other people, either domestically or in the way of business, or when I was depressed in spirits or anxious about affairs, I now recognize that I used to fall back for support upon this curious relation I felt myself to be in to this fundamental cosmical It. It was on my side, or I was on Its side, however you please to term it, in the particular trouble, and it always strengthened me and seemed to give me endless vitality to feel its underlying and supporting presence. In fact, it was an unfailing fountain of living justice, truth, and strength, to which I instinctively turned at times of weakness, and it always brought me out.’
‘I know now that it was a personal relation I was in to it, because of late years the power of communicating with it has left me, and I am conscious of a perfectly definite loss. I used never to fail to find it when I turned to it. Then came a set of years when sometimes I found it, and then again I would be wholly unable to make connection with it. I remember many occasions on which at night in bed, I would be unable to get to sleep on account of worry. I turned this way and that in the darkness, and groped mentally for the familiar sense of that higher mind of my mind which had always seemed to be close at hand as it were, closing the passage, and yielding support, but there was no electric current.’
‘A blank was there instead of It: I couldn’t find anything. Now, at the age of nearly fifty, my power of getting into connection with it has entirely left me; and I have to confess that a great help has gone out of my life. Life has become curiously dead and indifferent; and I can now see that my old experience was probably exactly the same thing as the prayers of the orthodox, only I did not call them by that name. What I have spoken of as ‘It’ was practically not Spencer’s Unknowable, but just my own instinctive and individual God, whom I relied upon for higher sympathy, but whom somehow I have lost.’
Nothing is more common in the pages of religious biography than the way in which seasons of lively and of difficult faith are described as alternating. Probably every religious person has the recollection of particular crises in which a directer vision of the truth, a direct perception, perhaps, of a living God’s existence, swept in and overwhelmed the languor of the more ordinary belief. In James Russell Lowell’s correspondence there is a brief memorandum of an experience of this kind:— ‘I had a revelation last Friday evening. I was at Mary’s, and happening to say something of the presence of spirits (of whom, I said, I was often dimly aware), Mr. Putnam entered into an argument with me on spiritual matters. As I was speaking, the whole system rose up before me like a vague destiny looming from the Abyss. I never before so clearly felt the Spirit of God in me and around me. The whole room seemed to me full of God. The air seemed to waver to and fro with the presence of Something I knew not what. I spoke with the calmness and clearness of a prophet. I cannot tell you what this revelation was. I have not yet studied it enough. But I shall perfect it one day, and then you shall hear it and acknowledge its grandeur.’
Here is a longer and more developed experience from a manuscript communication by a clergyman,—I take it from Starbuck’s manuscript collection:—‘I remember the night, and almost the very spot on the hilltop, where my soul opened out, as it were, into the Infinite, and there was a rushing together of the two worlds, the inner and the outer. It was deep calling unto deep,—the deep that my own struggle had opened up within being answered by the unfathomable deep without, reaching beyond the stars. I stood alone with Him who had made me, and all the beauty of the world, and love, and sorrow, and even temptation. I did not seek Him, but felt the perfect unison of my spirit with His. The ordinary sense of things around me faded. For the moment nothing but an ineffable joy and exaltation remained. It is impossible fully to describe the experience. It was like the effect of some great orchestra when all the separate notes have melted into one swelling harmony that leaves the listener conscious of nothing save that his soul is being wafted upwards, and almost bursting with its own emotion. The perfect stillness of the night was thrilled by a more solemn silence. The darkness held a presence that was all the more felt because it was not seen. I could not any more have doubted that He was there than that I was. Indeed, I felt myself to be, if possible, the less real of the two.’
‘My highest faith in God and truest idea of him were then born in me. I have stood upon the Mount of Vision since, and felt the Eternal round about me. But never since has there come quite the same stirring of the heart. Then, if ever, I believe, I stood face to face with God, and was born anew of his spirit. There was, as I recall it, no sudden change of thought or of belief, except that my early crude conception had, as it were, burst into flower. There was no destruction of the old, but a rapid, wonderful unfolding. Since that time no discussion that I have heard of the proofs of God’s existence has been able to shake my faith. Having once felt the presence of God’s spirit, I have never lost it again for long. My most assuring evidence of his existence is deeply rooted in that hour of vision, in the memory of that supreme experience, and in the conviction, gained from reading and reflection, that something the same has come to all who have found God. I am aware that it may justly be called mystical. I am not enough acquainted with philosophy to defend it from that or any other charge. I feel that in writing of it I have overlaid it with words rather than put it clearly to your thought. But, such as it is, I have described it as carefully as I now am able to do.’
Here is another document, even more definite in character, which, the writer being a Swiss, I translate from the French original. ‘I was in perfect health: we were on our sixth day of tramping, and in good training. We had come the day before from Sixt to Trient by Buet. I felt neither fatigue, hunger, nor thirst, and my state of mind was equally healthy. I had had at Forlaz good news from home; I was subject to no anxiety, either near or remote, for we had a good guide, and there was not a shadow of uncertainty about the road we should follow. I can best describe the condition in which I was by calling it a state of equilibrium. When all at once I experienced a feeling of being raised above myself, I felt the presence of God—I tell of the thing just as I was conscious of it—as if his goodness and his power were penetrating me altogether. The throb of emotion was so violent that I could barely tell the boys to pass on and not wait for me.’
‘I then sat down on a stone, unable to stand any longer, and my eyes overflowed with tears. I thanked God that in the course of my life he had taught me to know him, that he sustained my life and took pity both on the insignificant creature and on the sinner that I was. I begged him ardently that my life might be consecrated to the doing of his will. I felt his reply, which was that I should do his will from day to day, in humility and poverty, leaving him, the Almighty God, to be judge of whether I should some time be called to bear witness more conspicuously.’
‘Then, slowly, the ecstasy left my heart; that is, I felt that God had withdrawn the communion which he had granted, and I was able to walk on, but very slowly, so strongly was I still possessed by the interior emotion. Besides, I had wept uninterruptedly for several minutes, my eyes were swollen, and I did not wish my companions to see me. The state of ecstasy may have lasted four or five minutes, although it seemed at the time to last much longer.’
‘My comrades waited for me ten minutes at the cross of Barine, but I took about twenty-five or thirty minutes to join them, for as well as I can remember, they said that I had kept them back for about half an hour. The impression had been so profound that in climbing slowly the slope I asked myself if it were possible that Moses on Sinai could have had a more intimate communication with God. I think it well to add that in this ecstasy of mine God had neither form, color, odor, nor taste; moreover, that the feeling of his presence was accompanied with no determinate localization. It was rather as if my personality had been transformed by the presence of a spiritual spirit. But the more I seek words to express this intimate intercourse, the more I feel the impossibility of describing the thing by any of our usual images. At bottom the expression most apt to render what I felt is this: God was present, though invisible; he fell under no one of my senses, yet my consciousness perceived him.’
The adjective ‘mystical’ is technically applied, most often, to states that are of brief duration. Of course such hours of rapture as the last two persons describe are mystical experiences, of which in a later lecture I shall have much to say. Meanwhile here is the abridged record of another mystical or semi-mystical experience, in a mind evidently framed by nature for ardent piety. I owe it to Starbuck’s collection. The lady who gives the account is the daughter of a man well known in his time as a writer against Christianity. The suddenness of her conversion shows well how native the sense of God’s presence must be to certain minds. She relates that she was brought up in entire ignorance of Christian doctrine, but, when in Germany, after being talked to by Christian friends, she read the Bible and prayed, and finally the plan of salvation flashed upon her like a stream of light.
‘To this day,’ she writes, ‘I cannot understand dallying with religion and the commands of God. The very instant I heard my Father’s cry calling unto me, my heart bounded in recognition. I ran, I stretched forth my arms, I cried aloud, ‘Here, here I am, my Father.’ Oh, happy child, what should I do? ‘Love me,’ answered my God. ‘I do, I do,’ I cried passionately. ‘Come unto me,’ called my Father. ‘I will,’my heart panted. Did I stop to ask a single question? Not one. It never occurred to me to ask whether I was good enough, or to hesitate over my unfitness, or to find out what I thought of his church, or … to wait until I should be satisfied. Satisfied! I was satisfied. Had I not found my God and my Father? Did he not love me? Had he not called me? Was there not a Church into which I might enter?…
Since then I have had direct answers to prayer—so significant as to be almost like talking with God and hearing his answer. The idea of God’s reality has never left me for one moment.’
Here is still another case, the writer being a man aged twenty-seven, in which the experience, probably almost as characteristic, is less vividly described:—‘I have on a number of occasions felt that I had enjoyed a period of intimate communion with the divine. These meetings came unasked and unexpected, and seemed to consist merely in the temporary obliteration of the conventionalities which usually surround and cover my life….’
‘Once it was when from the summit of a high mountain I looked over a gashed and corrugated landscape extending to a long convex of ocean that ascended to the horizon, and again from the same point when I could see nothing beneath me but a boundless expanse of white cloud, on the blown surface of which a few high peaks, including the one I was on, seemed plunging about as if they were dragging their anchors. What I felt on these occasions was a temporary loss of my own identity, accompanied by an illumination which revealed to me a deeper significance than I had been wont to attach to life. It is in this that I find my justification for saying that I have enjoyed communication with God. Of course the absence of such a being as this would be chaos. I cannot conceive of life without its presence.’
Of the more habitual and so to speak chronic sense of God’s presence the following sample from Professor Starbuck’s manuscript collection may serve to give an idea. It is from a man aged forty-nine,—probably thousands of unpretending Christians would write an almost identical account. ‘God is more real to me than any thought or thing or person. I feel his presence positively, and the more as I live in closer harmony with his laws as written in my body and mind. I feel him in the sunshine or rain; and awe mingled with a delicious restfulness most nearly describes my feelings. I talk to him as to a companion in prayer and praise, and our communion is delightful. He answers me again and again, often in words so clearly spoken that it seems my outer ear must have carried the tone, but generally in strong mental impressions.
Usually a text of Scripture, unfolding some new view of him and his love for me, and care for my safety. I could give hundreds of instances, in school matters, social problems, financial difficulties, etc. That he is mine and I am his never leaves me, it is an abiding joy. Without it life would be a blank, a desert, a shoreless, trackless waste.’
I subjoin some more examples from writers of different ages and sexes. They are also from Professor Starbuck’s collection, and their number might be greatly multiplied. The first is from a man twenty-seven years old:—‘God is quite real to me. I talk to him and often get answers. Thoughts sudden and distinct from any I have been entertaining come to my mind after asking God for his direction.’
‘Something over a year ago I was for some weeks in the direst perplexity. When the trouble first appeared before me I was dazed, but before long (two or three hours) I could hear distinctly a passage of Scripture: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ Every time my thoughts turned to the trouble I could hear this quotation. I don’t think I ever doubted the existence of God, or had him drop out of my consciousness. God has frequently stepped into my affairs very perceptibly, and I feel that he directs many little details all the time. But on two or three occasions he has ordered ways for me very contrary to my ambitions and plans.’
Another statement (none the less valuable psychologically for being so decidedly childish) is that of a boy of seventeen:—‘Sometimes as I go to church, I sit down, join in the service, and before I go out I feel as if God was with me, right side of me, singing and reading the Psalms with me…. And then again I feel as if I could sit beside him, and put my arms around him, kiss him, etc. When I am taking Holy Communion at the altar, I try to get with him and generally feel his presence.’
I let a few other cases follow at random:—‘God surrounds me like the physical atmosphere. He is closer to me than my own breath. In him literally I live and move and have my being.’—
‘There are times when I seem to stand, in his very presence, to talk with him. Answers to prayer have come, sometimes direct and overwhelming in their revelation of his presence and powers. There are times when God seems far off, but this is always my own fault.’—
‘I have the sense of a presence, strong, and at the same time soothing, which hovers over me. Sometimes it seems to enwrap me with sustaining arms.’
Such is the human ontological imagination, and such is the convincingness of what it brings to birth. Unpicturable beings are realized, and realized with an intensity almost like that of an hallucination. They determine our vital attitude as decisively as the vital attitude of lovers is determined by the habitual sense, by which each is haunted, of the other being in the world. A lover has notoriously this sense of the continuous being of his idol, even when his attention is addressed to other matters and he no longer represents her features. He cannot forget her; she uninterruptedly affects him through and through.
I spoke of the convincingness of these feelings of reality, and I must dwell a moment longer on that point. They are as convincing to those who have them as any direct sensible experiences can be, and they are, as a rule, much more convincing than results established by mere logic ever are. One may indeed be entirely without them; probably more than one of you here present is without them in any marked degree; but if you do have them, and have them at all strongly, the probability is that you cannot help regarding them as genuine perceptions of truth, as revelations of a kind of reality which no adverse argument, however unanswerable by you in words, can expel from your belief.
The opinion opposed to mysticism in philosophy is sometimes spoken of as rationalism. Rationalism insists that all our beliefs ought ultimately to find for themselves articulate grounds. Such grounds, for rationalism, must consist of four things: (1) definitely statable abstract principles; (2) definite facts of sensation; (3) definite hypotheses based on such facts; and (4) definite inferences logically drawn. Vague impressions of something indefinable have no place in the rationalistic system, which on its positive side is surely a splendid intellectual tendency, for not only are all our philosophies fruits of it, but physical science (amongst other good things) is its result.
Nevertheless, if we look on man’s whole mental life as it exists, on the life of men that lies in them apart from their learning and science, and that they inwardly and privately follow, we have to confess that the part of it of which rationalism can give an account is relatively superficial. It is the part that has the prestige undoubtedly, for it has the loquacity, it can challenge you for proofs, and chop logic, and put you down with words. But it will fail to convince or convert you all the same, if your dumb intuitions are opposed to its conclusions. If you have intuitions at all, they come from a deeper level of your nature than the loquacious level which rationalism inhabits. Your whole subconscious life, your impulses, your faiths, your needs, your divinations, have prepared the premises, of which your consciousness now feels the weight of the result; and something in you absolutely knows that that result must be truer than any logic-chopping rationalistic talk, however clever, that may contradict it.
This inferiority of the rationalistic level in founding belief is just as manifest when rationalism argues for religion as when it argues against it. That vast literature of proofs of God’s existence drawn from the order of nature, which a century ago seemed so overwhelmingly convincing, to-day does little more than gather dust in libraries, for the simple reason that our generation has ceased to believe in the kind of God it argued for. Whatever sort of a being God may be, we know to-day that he is nevermore that mere external inventor of ‘contrivances’ intended to make manifest his ‘glory’ in which our great-grandfathers took such satisfaction, though just how we know this we cannot possibly make clear by words either to others or to ourselves. I defy any of you here fully to account for your persuasion that if a God exist he must be a more cosmic and tragic personage than that Being.
The truth is that in the metaphysical and religious sphere, articulate reasons are cogent for us only when our inarticulate feelings of reality have already been impressed in favor of the same conclusion. Then, indeed, our intuitions and our reason work together, and great world-ruling systems, like that of the Buddhist or of the Catholic philosophy, may grow up. Our impulsive belief is here always what sets up the original body of truth, and our articulately verbalized philosophy is but its showy translation into formulas. The unreasoned and immediate assurance is the deep thing in us, the reasoned argument is but a surface exhibition. Instinct leads, intelligence does but follow. If a person feels the presence of a living God after the fashion shown by my quotations, your critical arguments, be they never so superior, will vainly set themselves to change his faith.
Please observe, however, that I do not yet say that it is better that the subconscious and non-rational should thus hold primacy in the religious realm. I confine myself to simply pointing out that they do so hold it as a matter of fact.
So much for our sense of the reality of the religious objects. Let me now say a brief word more about the attitudes they characteristically awaken.
We have already agreed that they are solemn; and we have seen reason to think that the most distinctive of them is the sort of joy which may result in extreme cases from absolute self-surrender. The sense of the kind of object to which the surrender is made has much to do with determining the precise complexion of the joy; and the whole phenomenon is more complex than any simple formula allows. In the literature of the subject, sadness and gladness have each been emphasized in turn. The ancient saying that the first maker of the Gods was fear receives voluminous corroboration from every age of religious history; but none the less does religious history show the part which joy has evermore tended to play.
Sometimes the joy has been primary; sometimes secondary, being the gladness of deliverance from the fear. This latter state of things, being the more complex, is also the more complete; and as we proceed, I think we shall have abundant reason for refusing to leave out either the sadness or the gladness, if we look at religion with the breadth of view which it demands. Stated in the completest possible terms, a man’s religion involves both moods of contraction and moods of expansion of his being. But the quantitative mixture and order of these moods vary so much from one age of the world, from one system of thought, and from one individual to another, that you may insist either on the dread and the submission, or on the peace and the freedom as the essence of the matter, and still remain materially within the limits of the truth. The constitutionally sombre and the constitutionally sanguine onlooker are bound to emphasize opposite aspects of what lies before their eyes.
The constitutionally sombre religious person makes even of his religious peace a very sober thing. Danger still hovers in the air about it. Flexion and contraction are not wholly checked. It were sparrowlike and childish after our deliverance to explode into twittering laughter and caper-cutting, and utterly to forget the imminent hawk on bough. Lie low, rather, lie low; for you are in the hands of a living God.
In the Book of Job, for example, the impotence of man and the omnipotence of God is the exclusive burden of its author’s mind. ‘It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do?—deeper than hell; what canst thou know?’ There is an astringent relish about the truth of this conviction which some men can feel, and which for them is as near an approach as can be made to the feeling of religious joy.
‘In Job,’ says that coldly truthful writer, the author of Mark Rutherford, ‘God reminds us that man is not the measure of his creation. The world is immense, constructed on no plan or theory which the intellect of man can grasp. It is transcendent everywhere. This is the burden of every verse, and is the secret, if there be one, of the poem. Sufficient or insufficient, there is nothing more…. God is great, we know not his ways. He takes from us all we have, but yet if we possess our souls in patience, we may pass the valley of the shadow, and come out in sunlight again. We may or we may not!… What more have we to say now than God said from the whirlwind over two thousand five hundred years ago?’
If we turn to the sanguine onlooker, on the other hand, we find that deliverance is felt as incomplete unless the burden be altogether overcome and the danger forgotten. Such onlookers give us definitions that seem to the sombre minds of whom we have just been speaking to leave out all the solemnity that makes religious peace so different from merely animal joys.
In the opinion of some writers an attitude might be called religious, though no touch were left in it of sacrifice or submission, no tendency to flexion, no bowing of the head. Any ‘habitual and regulated admiration,’ says Professor J. R. Seeley, ‘is worthy to be called a religion;’ and accordingly he thinks that our Music, our Science, and our so-called ‘Civilization,’ as these things are now organized and admiringly believed in, form the more genuine religions of our time.
Certainly the unhesitating and unreasoning way in which we feel that we must inflict our civilization upon ‘lower’ races, by means of Hotchkiss guns, etc., reminds one of nothing so much as of the early spirit of Islam spreading its religion by the sword.
In my last lecture I quoted to you the ultra-radical opinion of Mr. Havelock Ellis, that laughter of any sort may be considered a religious exercise, for it bears witness to the soul’s emancipation. I quoted this opinion in order to deny its adequacy. But we must now settle our scores more carefully with this whole optimistic way of thinking. It is far too complex to be decided off-hand. I propose accordingly that we make of religious optimism the theme of the next two lectures.” William James; The Varieties of Religious Experience, Lecture Three–“The Reality of the Unseen:” http://www.gutenberg.org/files/621/621-h/621-h.html#toc7.
Today in the United States, in an acknowledgment that should be year round, is Women’s Equality Day; a decisive early consolidation of Turkish overturning of Byzantine rule occurred nine hundred forty-five years ago at the Battle of Manzikurt; two centuries and thirty-two years later, in 1303, the dictatorial rule of Alauddin Khilji over the subcontinent advanced with the capture of Chittorgarh from Hindu forces; in a momentous moment in military history forty-three years thereafter, in 1346, English military advances, in the form of the longbow, won out at the Battle of Crecy in the Hundred Years War; five hundred eighteen years prior to the present pass,-1498 Michelangelo received his commission to carve the Pieta; two hundred seventy-three years ahead of now, the baby boy came into the world in France who would discover chemical marvels as Antoine Lavoisier; two hundred forty-eight years back, James Cook embarked in the Endeavor to explore the world for England; twenty-one years hence, in 1789, France’s revolutionary National Constituent Assembly issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen; across the Atlantic seven hundred thirty days after that, in 1791, American John Fitch received a patent for a steamboat design; two hundred two years ago, infighting between two factions of rebel forces erupted in the Battle of Las Tres Acequias in Chile; seven years past that point, in 1821, Argentina opened the University of Buenos Aires to students; one hundred forty-three years back, the infant who grew up to invent the audion tube and lay the foundation for amplified audio was born and named Lee de Forest; a hundred thirty-six years prior to this day, a French male infant came along who would mature as the risqué savant, Guillaume Apollinaire; three years further down the pike, in 1883, the eruption of the volcano of Krakatoa begun its final, paroxysmal stage; another two years beyond that juncture, in 1885, the baby boy first opened his eyes on his way to becoming the celebrated French author and poet, Jules Romains; nineteen years nearer to now, in 1904, an English infant boy first shouted out, en route to a life as the iconoclastic writer, Christopher Isherwood; another six years along time’s arc, in 1910, the renowned thinker William James, philosopher and psychologist, left the world behind; four years later, in 1914, a Belgian baby gave his initial cry who would mature as the Argentinean novelist and critic, Julio Cortazar, and halfway across the world in Europe, the German colony of Togoland surrendered to French and British forces; three years short of a century behind us, in an act of murdering impunity, fascist police forces gunned down the United Mine Worker organizer Fannie Sellins during a Pennsylvania coal strike, alongside organizer Joseph Starzeleski; one year more beyond that conjunction, in 1920, women first officially could vote in the United States, as the Nineteenth Amendment came into force; three hundred sixty-five years still further down time’s path, in 1921, the infant destined to become American journalist and author Benjamin C Bradlee was born; twelve months even further onward time’s arc, in 1922, in an act of picking up the pieces of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish army launched what has come to be known as the “Great Offensive;” three years henceforth, in 1925, the boy baby who became award winning Ukrainian-Russian director and screenwriter Pyotr Todorovsky was born; five years on the dot after that, in 1930, the actor and screenwriter Lon Chaney made his final exit; two years onward, in 1932, the Comptroller of the Currency announced a temporary halt on foreclosures of first mortgages in an attempt to alleviate the suffering experienced during the Great Depression; seventy-six years back, Chad became the first French colony to join the Allies under the administration of a first Black colonial governor; seventy-four years before this moment, Germans were rounding up Jews in what is now Western Ukraine to execute if they were young or sick and to send to death camps otherwise; seven years afterward, in 1949, a male child was born who would astonish audiences as the song-writer and performer Leon Redbone; eight year closer to today’s light and air, in 1957, in what some may consider one of the many management decisions that led to the crippling of the American auto industry over the following decades, Ford Motor Co. produced its first Edsel; forty-six years back, a Women’s Strike for Equality took place under the leadership of feminist Betty Friedan; seven years afterward, in 1977, the author who gave the world Curious George made his final bow; another eight years onward, in 1984, Roger Baldwin, trade-unionist and cofounder of the American Civil Liberties Union, drew a final breath; three years subsequent to that loss, in 1987, Quebec’s legislature approved a resolution that declared French the province’s primary language; two years hence, in 1989, popular novelist and fictional biographer Irving Stone lived out his final scene; a decade more from that point on, in 1999, Russia began the Second Chechen War; fourteen years before the here and now, one in a series of Earth Summit’s—addressing issues of sustainability and environmental crisis and more—took place in Johannesburg, South Africa; a mere year further on, in 2003, over one thousand drivers in Oahu, Hawaii began what would become a five-week strike; seven years ago, U.S. journalist Dominick Dunne died; and one year ago, two U.S. Journalists died at the hands of a disgruntled ex-coworker, and so did the celebrated activist Amelia Boynton Robinson, who went on to her further reward after many decades of social justice work.
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/51-of-54-Brazilian-Senators-Say-They-Will-Vote-to-Oust-Rousseff-20160824-0009.html – In a demonstration that ‘all the news that’s fit to print’ is bullshit at best, and that monopoly media just don’t pay much attention to the world beyond the fantasies of their owners, or their masters in government, an announcement and briefing from TeleSur that the Brazilian Senate, an almost wholly owned subsidiary of imperial predators and CIA handlers, is planning overwhelmingly to throw President Dilma Roussef out on her ear even though her ‘crime’ is, and has been for decades, budgetary standard operating procedure in the world’s fourth largest country, its sixth most populous country, and its ninth most productive country, not to mention the most recent site of the Summer Olympics, an elevation of fraud and chicanery and treachery–all in the service of banksters and spies–that ought to concern stalwart citizens and scrappy scribes around the globe.
This Day in History
Today, Paris and a significant swath of the rest of the world commemorate French citizens’ and allied soldiers’ liberation of the city from the Nazis; in Italy,one thousand, nine hundred and thirty-nine years back,Roman historian Pliny-the-elder died; four hundred seventy-three years behind us, the first Europeans, bearing firearma, arrived in Japan; four hundred seven years prior to the present pass, Galileo Galilei demonstrated his telescope for the first time to legislators in Venice;twenty-one years afterward, in 1630, around the world in what is now Sri Lanka, Portuguese forces experienced a setback in colonization plans with a defeat at the hands of fighters from the Kingdom of Kandy; MORE HERE
A Thought for the Day
Just as the notion of the ‘self-made-man,’ or woman of course, must appear nonsensical till we conceive, birth, and rear ourselves—sort of an amoebic theory of human evolution and existence—so too must ideas of ‘personal responsibility’—as if one’s capacity to ‘make oneself’ applies in this one special circumstance of avoiding blameworthiness—remain generally fatuous, at best a crazy construct, at least until collective engagement and mutual accountability become the norm.
Quote of the Day
“This book is the result of an in depth study of human male sexual behavior. It is divided into three parts. Part one describes the history and methodology of the study, part two looks at the factors affecting sexual outlet, and part three delves into the sources of sexual outlets. The book includes many detailed charts and graphs depicting the findings of the study. MORE HERE
subsistence OR "basic nutrition" OR "bread and butter" OR "essential food" agriculture OR farming "arable land" OR "fertile land" fertilizer OR pesticide versus OR "compared to" OR "contrasted with" OR "comparison and contrast" "organic methods" OR "organic agriculture" analysis OR description history OR origins = 7,580 Hits.
SPOOKS & BANKSTERS & WARMONGERS NOW OWN MEDIATED REALITY
http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-overclass.html – A question that an inquisitive observer might pose, to wit, ‘how in hell do the same individuals and groups continue to control the world, not to mention passing this capacity on to their heirs and designated agents?’ here in the form of an essay by the brilliant former military intelligence operative turned informal whistleblower and antagonist of the “overclass” about which he writes in this interlude, in so doing laying out ‘all the usual suspects’ for hegemony, one of which has certainly remained control, ownership, and manipulation of media, a perspective that the redoubtable and intrepid Cryptome.org investigators present in greater detail in the second installment of their Origins of the Intelligence Establishmentseries, a must read for those who want to understand the context in which foreign relations, political economy, and the military industrial complex all develop, which is to say environs of disinformation, misinformation, manipulation, public relations, propaganda, and repeated and never-ending inculcation in trivia and bullshit and superficiality–Ron Paul was right when he noted, “In the empire of lies, to tell the truth is a revolutionary act”– a deeper and more nuanced interpretation of the substance of which appears in a sixteen year old article fromMonthly Reviewthat delves the cultural agendas of the agents of Langley in the Cold War, itineraries and machinations that were in use then, by the way, that are, incontrovertibly, still going on in myriad ways;
TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, & AWARENESS VIDEO
A PAIR OF AEON OFFERINGS, ONE ‘OBJECTIVE,’ THE OTHER ‘SUBJECTIVE’
On the one hand one of those almost geeky briefings about scale that chills and thrills as it plumbs the parameters of certain bedrock sorts of human knowledge of the material universe, from the proton to the outer boundaries of the dimly perceptible universe, a trip that is a guaranteed roller coaster ride to imaginative sorts, and, on the other hand, a twenty minute trek into a woman’s having the grit and wit and the Zen to sit with herself and insist that she would by age thirty, if no other matrimonial ceremony presented itself, by God and with gumption “marry herself” and mark the day as a necessary and powerful solidification of her relationship with her own psyche and inner life.
TODAY’S URBAN PARENTThe purpose of the magazine is to:
Provide and distribute information to parents and families about various issues that have an impact upon their child’s educational, social, emotional, and physical development. To empower parents with the skills and information so they are able to support their child’s educational, physical, social, and emotional development. To inspire families to live up to their potential which will have a positive and lasting impact on their community.
The Robert Bosch Foundation and Cultural Vistas invite US professionals to apply for the 2017-2018 Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program. Bosch Fellows act as consultants in their field of expertise at leading public or private institutions in Germany. In addition, Bosch Fellows participate in professional seminars, where they travel to meet and exchange ideas with key figures across Germany and Europe. Fellows are from the fields of public policy and administration, foreign and security policy, urban and regional planning, business, journalism and communications, law, or cultural and arts management (ex. museum, theater, orchestra).
A Common Dreams article that looks at the folks who dare be optimistic about a future in which the people truly take back the reigns of government from all the sold-out losers who have ruined it: “But what we’ve seen in this election — and in the elections of 2008 and 2012 – is that Americans are catching onto the game. They are working harder and losing ground. They suffered through the Great Recession, and have witnessed the wars without end and without victory. They’ve seen their kids graduate from college and come back home burdened by debt. Poor people of color are in many cities more segregated and in worse condition than they were in the Jim Crow South. They are casting about for a change.
Trump is too much the buffoon, too unstable, too risible and too bigoted to be the agent of that change. But unless the establishment cuts a much better deal with the bulk of Americans, we’ll keep on moving.”
An IJ Net post that helps writers find way to improve the speed and efficiency of writing: “From the captions we use to contextualize our photos, the scripts behind our videos, the interview questions we ask and the way we frame our stories, the market value of good writing has not diminished (if anything, in a landscape flooded with hastily strung-together words, the ability to construct a sterling sentence has skyrocketed).”
A Washington Post look at the evergreen subject matter of sex, pornography, and the objectivization of women as endemic to the internet: “The World Wide Web turned 25 this month. For most of the years since it came online, its destiny and evolution have been inextricably intertwined with nude photos. The sexualized female body has, from the beginning, been the catalyst for attempts to regulate what’s on the Web, ultimately shaping what the Internet looks like today.”
A Beyond Chron look at the historical dimensions of a recent labor wage raise triumph in California: “Governor Jerry Brown recently signed legislation boosting California’s minimum wage from $10 to $15 an hour — a 50 percent increase that made the state’s minimum wage the highest in the nation. The hike will be phased in over six years, then automatically adjusted annually to offset rising costs of living.”
An Atlantic post that analyzes the dire state of the poor through the lens of a program, legacy of the Clinton years, that did little to solve the crisis: “Ronald Regan brought the image of the infamous—albeit mythical—welfare queen into the national consciousness. Bill Clinton probably owes his first term in office to his promise to “end welfare as we know it,” and possibly his second to signing the reform into law. Both politicians railed against AFDC’s so-called “perverse disincentives.” TANF offered states a lot of flexibility to innovate, to allow a flowering of new ideas to help the poor. But that’s not what the country got. Instead it got a new kind of welfare queens: states. States, not people, are using TANF to close the holes in their budgets. It is states, not people, who are falling prey to the “perverse disincentives” of welfare.”