6.30.2015 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day

All too frequently, a complainant about life’s conundrums

 

Vincent van Gogh - The State Lottery Office
Vincent van Gogh – The State Lottery Office

immediately focuses on how to fix a vile situation, bypassing blithely what in the world has happened to bring about the sinister imbroglio in the first place, a tendency that, practically speaking, guarantees that the solutions that a reformer proffers will have no greater chance of addressing the underlying issues than picking numbers for a lottery ticket, because only through a deeply critical and philosophically and theoretically rigorous description of a situation can anyone hope to have decent prospects of reformulating and improving its evolving expression. 

Quote of the Day
“Into this wild-beast tangle these men had been born without their consent, they had taken part in it because they could not help it; that they were in jail was no disgrace to them, for the game had never been fair, the dice were loaded.  They were swindlers and thieves of pennies and dimes, and they had been trapped and put out of the way by the swindlers and thieves of millions of dollars. …If we are the greatest nation the sun ever shone upon, it would seem to be mainly because we have been able to goad our wage-earners to this pitch of frenzy.”  Upton Sinclair: The Jungle
This Day in History

 

In Rome sixteen hundred sixty-five years back, one usurper unseated and defeated and killed another, as the Constaninian Nepotianus lost out to Magnentius; four hundred and thirteen years after that point, more or less, in 763, the Byzantine successors to Eastern imperial Rome crushed a Bulgarian rebellion in the Battle of Anchialus; seven hundred and fifty-seven years subsequently, in 1520,  across the Atlantic in what would become Mexico, Hernan Cortez and his gang of opportunistic thugs fought their way out of Tenochtitlan to plot further plunder of the socially oppressive Aztec empire; two hundred five years before the here and now, the U.S. Congress first organized the Michigan territory;  fifty-five years henceforth, In 1860,  across the Atlantic in England, a thoroughgoing formal debate first took place about the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace At Oxford; four years later, back across the white ocean, in 1864, in Washington, Abraham Lincoln granted perpetual dominion to California over the use and touring of Yosemite Valley; a hundred and twenty-three hears ago, in Pittsburgh, one of the most important and militant strikes began at the Homestead Steel Works; thirteen years hence, in 1905,  Albert Einstein published his 366px-Einstein_1921_by_F_Schmutzer_-_restorationpaper On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, in which he first advanced the notion of a special theory of relativity; three hundred and sixty five days after that, in 1906, back in the United States, Congress responded to the powerful documentary effort of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle by passing the Pure Food and Drug Act; sixteen years subsequently, in 1922,the United States ended one of its numerous imperial sprees of violence in Latin America with its agreement to withdraw from its current intervention in the Dominican Republic; five years exactly after that conjunction, in 1927, a baby boy was born who would grow up as noted screenwriter and critic James Goldman; seven years later to the day, in 1934, Adolf Hitler revealed the true nature of Nazi dictatorship in the so-called ‘Night of the Long Knives’, in which the Gestapo liquidated with extreme prejudice all other political elements of German politics; seven hundred and thirty days further along the temporal arc, in 1936, Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie unsuccessfully appealed to the League of Nations for assistance in fighting off the Italian fascist invasion; thirty years beyond that juncture, in 1966,  women in the United States created the somewhat radical feminist organization the National Organization for Women; half a decade after that point in time, in 1971, Ohio’s ratification caused the 26th Amendment to take effect and lower the

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

voting age to 18; in the aftermath of the United States ejection from active combat in Vietnam, three years henceforth, in 1974, legendary scientist of the Atomic age and promulgator of industrial and technological supremacy, Vannevar Bush, died; three years later, in 1977, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization broke apart; seven years beyond that moment in time, in 1984, noted author and critic Lilian Hellman breathed her last;two years still closer to the here and now, in 1986,  the U.S. Supreme Court held at the end of its term that laws prohibiting sexual relations between consenting adults of the same gender were acceptable, a recently overturned ruling; a quarter century before our current day, East and West Germany unified socially and economically for the first time since 1945; seven years hence, in 1997,  England gave up the rule of Hing Kong that it had stolen from the Chinese in the First Opium War; four years further on, in 2001, iconic country crooner, Chet Atkins, breathed the final stanza of the ballad of his life. From Wikipedia Day in History

book hor2

SEARCH OF THE DAY
"american exceptionalism" neurosis OR "false consciousness" OR error OR psychopathology ubiquity OR ubiquitous OR prevalence = 30,000 Results.

book hor

TOP OF THE FOLD

PROPAGANDA, MANURE, & CAPITAL’S ‘DEFENSE’ OF LGBT ‘RIGHTS

https://pando.com/2015/06/29/major-tech-firms-celebrate-gay-marriage-continue-fund-anti-lgbt-politicians/8c23e4ecf760e2855134e63269d7e63655dd2985/      From the newly ‘reader-supported’ and soon-to-be paywalled Pando Digest, a typically incisive and thorough investigation and documentation of the two-faced, self-serving, and self-righteous ‘celebration’ of the recent Supreme Court permission of gay marriage by monopoly-sector corporate behemoths, in this case–Pando’s bailiwick–in particular big tech enterprises: “While publicly telegraphing their support of gay marriage, the fact is several tech giants, including Facebook and Google, have made political donations or offered material support to politicians and political groups that have worked to jeopardize and threaten the rights of gay Americans.

The salad days of corporate expenditures toward political movements in America really began in 2010 after the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEClifted many of the restrictions on campaign spending by companies.  It’s worth pointing out that three of the justices who voted for Citizens United voted against legalizing same sex marriage.  Because, according to Antonin Scalia, the Constitution protects a billionaire’s right to buy an election, but it does not protect a person’s right to marry whomever they like.

Then in 2014, the decision in McCutcheon v. FEC struck down limits on how much cash individuals could contribute to parties and campaign committees.  Given executive paychecks have reached unprecedented heights in America, this meant millions of dollars more flowing from CEOs to the political causes they support.

As companies and CEOs have gotten richer, and as the courts have made it easier than ever to give to committees that support candidates, donations from tech companies also shifted rightward.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2010 Google’s political action committee or PAC gave $189,500 to Democratic Congressional campaigns and $153,500 to Republicans.  By 2012, that ratio had evened out, with $430,500 to Democrats, and $445,000 to Republicans, and in 2014 Google gave $515,200 to Democrats and $521,800 to Republicans.

This trend follows for a number of major tech firms including Facebook and eBay.  And these more-or-less evenly bipartisan cash hauls run counter to the narrative that tech firms are liberal hippie utopians — and, for that matter, the narrative that Silicon Valley has gone full conservative-libertarian.

Is there anything inherently wrong with giving to a few more Republicans than Democrats?  In most cases, of course not.  But the move toward the right does matter to the extent that, like so many issues in today’s political landscape in America, marriage equality is intensely partisan: Of the 54 Republicans in the Senate, only 4 support same sex marriage (Susan Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Rob Portman of Ohio).  Republican marriage equality supporters made up an even smaller minority in the House, at 10 of out of 247.  (For the record, zero Democratic senators and four Democratic House representatives oppose same sex marriage).”

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

student writing arm

OPPS/SUBS/CONTESTS

18th STREET RESIDENCY 
Program hosts artists from across the United States and from around the world. There are three, rotating, live/work artist studios at the center where artists are in residence from 1 to 3 months (sometimes longer). This program hosts artists of all disciplines and occasionally invites art curators, writers and musicians. Location Santa Monica, CA

360 XOCHI QUETZAL 
Location Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico. Our aim is to support artists, writers and musicians who would benefit from having uninterrupted time to devote to their creativity. By providing free housing and a generous food allowance, we hope that our residents can make artistic progress without the stress and distractions of daily life. Has a winter and a summer residency. Sign up for the newsletter to keep up with the opening deadlines.

 

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr

JOBS

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: MILITARY FAMILIES 
We are looking for true stories of no more than 1200 words from soldiers who defend and protect our country — both active and retired — and from their families: spouses, children, parents and other relatives. If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and you will retain the right to resell it. Deadline November 30, 2015

POWER FOR LIVING 
This weekly take-home paper for adults is filled with inspiring articles about famous and ordinary Christians whose insights demonstrate following Christ. Featuring reports on unique ministries, world missions, spiritual trends, and issues that affect families. Includes stories that are written by or about well-known authors on key faith concepts, social concerns, prayer, and much more. Well-suited as a church bulletin insert or in any doctor’s waiting room. Power for Living is currently OPEN to feature article and short
poetry submissions. We are not currently accepting unsolicited submissions for: Into the Word, Church in the World, Patches of Grace, or devotionals. We accept submissions year round, but please not the following cut-off dates for quarterly issues. Power for Living pays up to $375 for lead articles between 1,400-1,600 words and $125 for stories between 750-1,000. Power for Living pays $50 per poem up to 20 lines.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

 

“B vitamin supplement tablets” by Ragesoss

Health or Fraud?

An AlterNet posting that looks at the nitty-gritty of health supplements, and navegates the murky waters of overstated health claims and lack of federal approval, which is a very important article to view for all those for whom alternative health is a mainstay of their life and work: “Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said DNA tests his office commissioned for herbal supplements, including Gingko biloba, St. John’s wort, ginseng, echinacea and saw palmetto, found none of the labeled substances in nearly 80 percent of the products, which were sold by GNC, Target, Walmart and Walgreen’s. He said many of the products contained contaminants not listed on the label, including rice, beans, wheat and even a houseplant, which he said posed a potential allergy or drug interaction risk.

Schneiderman’s action has raised questions about whether DNA testing was the right tool to investigate herbal supplement quality. Even some of those who support further regulation of the industry question whether that type of test alone was enough to justify the attorney general’s conclusions.”

Powerless Socialist Thinking in West

FromCounterCurrents, a briefing, deeply felt, and incisively argued, about the inanity and inconsequentiality of much that passes for progressive consciousness or reformist thinking in ‘the West,’ where an obsession with various non sequiturs and fetishes characterizes most self-proclaimed ‘leftists’ and other ‘progressives,’ who as a result have little insight into issues that touch on Israel and Palestine and other important conflicts worldwide: “While socialist movements in the south, from Asia, to Africa, to the Middle East to South America took real risks to bring about social equality and political paradigm shifts, many in the West offered ‘solidarity’, yet largely reserved for themselves almost a total hegemony over the socialist political discourse.

They dominated and perfected the language, and dictated the platforms from which ideas – loaded with the right terminology, but vacant of any practical meaning and removed from real-life situations – are imparted.”

WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS

typewriter3Post Doctorate Blues

A Chronicle Vitae article that discusses the common uncertainty and recent influx of free time can create a condition of anxiety, aimlessness, or worse: “Having worked so hard for so long on one thing, our identity inevitably begins to revolve around it. And it can be hard for those outside of academia to understand the extent to which our personal sense of self can be wrapped up in the dissertation and the relevant professional context. Thus, finishing – even in the case of a “to be continued” saga of future revisions and an uncertain job market – can be experienced as a profound loss of professional and personal purpose.

If you’re feeling disoriented, bereft, and stuck, know that it’s exceedingly common. And it will pass (or you will need to find a good therapist), as you sort out your future work trajectory– and perhaps consider exciting new options you might not have been open to before.”

GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES

 

Jon Sullivan - public domain
Jon Sullivan – public domain

Media Compromised by Money

A Global Research article that discusses the many ways that mainstream media is compromised by larger moneyed interests: “Former chief political commentator of the Telegraph, Peter Oborne, resigned from the newspaper because it would not publish articles on HSBC for fear of losing advertising revenues. The bank is well-known for its money-laundering for Mexican drug cartels as well as its involvement in tax evasion schemes.

When it comes to powerful lobbies’ influence on media content, the Zionist lobby is very well known for accusing journalists and editors of anti-Semitism and imposing its own propaganda. Even so-called progressive newspapers such as The Guardian are subject to Zionist propaganda.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

Desk - Bright Meadow Flickr
Desk – Bright Meadow Flickr

Greek Crisis as Model for Geek Crisis

A Media Post  article that contextualizes to a frightening degree the similarities between the recent failure of the Greek economy and the entire bloated construct of the tech sector: “We are told we are in a golden age of content and a golden age of ingenuity and a golden age of utility. But we are not. Because, as all those bedraggled 49ers learned the hard way, almost nobody has located the gold.

The definition of a bubble market, I suppose, is the steady increase in price absent appreciation in intrinsic value. The psychology of a bubble is the faith that it will never burst. Like the faith in Greece’s ability to remain solvent, it is tragically misplaced.

Beware of geeks bearing decks. They will get inside your walls and destroy you.”

GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS

 

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

Gun Laws and Bigotry

A Global Research posting that views the recent massacres from the point of view of current broken bigotry and the destroys “Arguments about guns in the United States resemble forays into intense religious debate.  They are doctrinal issues (the “right” to bear arms; the entitlement to protection) that chatter through the various lobbies.  There are purely quibbling legal issues (what regulations are appropriate in terms of controlling access to guns).  There are the broader ethical issues (should people even have guns as a principle to begin with?)

Those left behind in such debates tend to be the silent corpses, littered collateral damage in a rights culture that hyperventilates with each urban massacre.   Fascinatingly, none of these mass killings ever qualifies as a terrorist onslaught, even if inflicted by a person with a dog-breakfast ideology.”