A Thought for the Day
A powerful—and some would say irrefutable—argument exists for insisting on the Golden Rule as a guideline for all prospective human engagement, so much so that any New Ten Commandments or any such other prescription for ethically and efficiently guiding our species must place this ‘do unto others’ thinking atop its listing of requisite behaviors and beliefs; nevertheless, both retrospectively and in the aspect of the here and now today, such ineluctable moral magnificence is not only absent, but also positively abrogated by day-to-day relationships and engagements, which inevitably means that these precepts themselves will necessitate brutal responses to vicious and bloody murderers who expect impunity—in Apartheid South Africa, for example, one could watch the police butcher one’s parents and state without reservation that if one were behaving in similar fashion toward the parents of the White rulers, one would hope and pray that they would respond in kind to protect their elders, thereby mandating taking up the burden of the assassin against one’s oppressors in any such case as an act of necessary kindness toward their inhumanity.
This Day in History
Canada today marks National Aboriginal Day, while around the globe people commemorate World Hydrography Day, International Yoga Day, World Humanist Day, and, on a more whimsical note, International Go-Skateboarding Day; in the far-Eastern Mediterranean where much of the power of imperial Rome had assumed Byzantine forms fourteen hundred eighty-four years ago, a war fleet embarked from Constantinople, soon to visit Greece and Sicily, ultimately destined to attack the Vandals in what is now Libya and Algeria; seven hundred ten years in advance of today, Kulug Khan ascended the Mongol throne as he also celebrated his coronation as the Yuan’s imperial chief; twelve decades forward from that conjunction, in 1527, the philosopher of power and perfidy, Nicola Machiavelli, spent his final day on Earth; a half century and five years later, in 1582, the most potent Japanese potentate of the Sengoku period face the unpleasant task of killing himself under the threatening oversight of his own general, Akechi Mitsuhide; MORE HERE
Doc of the Day
4. John Simkin, 1997.
Numero Uno—“War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag. MORE HERE
journalism OR "mass media" OR broadcasting OR "monopoly media" OR "corporate media" cia OR "central intelligence agency" subversion OR manipulation OR "contract agents" or plants OR infiltration influence OR hegemony OR oversight OR payment OR payroll = 1,410,000 Hits.
Interesting People Places Things of Note
An interesting essay from an always-worthwhile correspondent, who contextualizes various housing crises: “Our society runs on a simple ethic: nothing can be allowed to happen if someone important doesn’t get rich doing it. Having the government build housing isn’t nearly as profitable as building hi rises for Chinese ex-pats who pay millions per apartment and then, half the time, don’t even live there.
Is profit more important than people? Are property rights more important than whether people are sleeping outside?”
General Media & ‘Intellectual Property’ Issues
A Poynter post that discusses ways that a media conglomerate is seeking to remain relevant and powerful: “If you are a reporter at one of McClatchy’s 31 papers, you will have this meeting sometime in the next year, or you may have already:
You will be asked to join one of your editors and a member of corporate’s roving “reinvention team.” There will be talk of digital best practices, but the heart of the exercise is a look at how well a collection of your recent stories performed online. Which ones were hits? Which ones bombed?
The team will advise you to spend more time on the kinds of stories digital audiences are looking for in local journalism, especially high-impact enterprise stories. And drop the dull stuff. Lots of boring stories don’t do much for the reader or the company’s bottom line.
So far it’s working, said Tim Grieve, vice president of news for McClatchy, who’s five months into a new program to pick up the pace of digital transformation.”
A WSWS look at the new directions from the erstwhile Sanders presidential bid that seeks to maintain something resembling forward momentum: “These forces are politically motivated by the fear that the crisis of the Democratic Party, particularly its loss of support in the working class, will prevent it from carrying out its traditional role of diverting and dissipating social opposition and subordinating the working class to bourgeois politics. Frightened by the explosive growth of anger against the entire political establishment and increasing interest in socialism among working people and particularly youth, they are seeking to give this party of Wall Street and the CIA a political facelift.”
General Past & Present Issues
A New York Review of Books post that looks at the mysteries of consciousness: “For any materialist vision of consciousness, the crucial stumbling block is the question of free will. A modern, enlightened person tends to feel that he or she has rejected a mystical, immaterial conception of the eternal soul in exchange for a strictly scientific understanding of consciousness and selfhood—as something created by the billions of neurons in our brains with their trillions of synapses and complex chemical and electrical processes. But the fact of our being entirely material, hence subject to the laws of cause and effect, introduces the concern that our lives might be altogether determined. Is it possible that our experience of decision-making—the impression we have of making choices, indeed of having choices to make, sometimes hard ones—is entirely illusory? Is it possible that a chain of physical events in our bodies and brains must cause us to act in the way we do, whatever our experience of the process may be?”