7.01.2015 Daily Links

A Thought for the Day


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

The clemency that we might expect from our climate will always be both miracle and chimera, inasmuch as both luck, with its variegations of beneficence and tribulation, and long term or short term cycles that dictate either equable or horrific conditions, will always be present: thus, the notion that we can control the sun and the moon and all the other celestial bodies that impact weather and temperature and such, all of which have their more or less massive impacts on the day’s light and air, is not only nonsensical but also inevitably reactionary, since it distracts or makes more difficult our examination of things that we can control, like our social relations with each other, that are the only real locus or focus of input about ‘climate issues’ where human intervention can amount to more than ‘a tinker’s damn,’ so to say. 

Quote of the Day
           “You intimate that the happiness to be enjoyed in a future state will depend upon, and be a reward for, our belief in certain doctrines which you believe to constitute the essence of true religion.  You must think, therefore, that belief is voluntary and also that it is meritorious. …Can you really change your opinion and belief, for the hope of reward or the fear of punishment?  Will you not say, ‘As the matter stands I can’t change my belief.  You must give me proofs that I am wrong or show that the evidence I have heard is false, and then I may change my belief’?  It may be that you do get more and do change your belief.  But this change is not voluntary on your part.   It depends upon the force of evidence upon your individual mind, and the evidence remaining the same and your mental faculties remaining unimpaired–you cannot believe otherwise any more than you can fly.
Belief, then is not voluntary.  How, then, can it be meritorious?  When a jury try a case, all hear the same evidence, but nine say ‘Guilty’ and three ‘Not guilty,’ according to the honest belief of each.  Are either of these more worthy of reward on that account than the others?  Certainly you will say No!  But suppose beforehand they all know or suspect that those who say ‘Not guilty’ will be punished and the rest rewarded: what is likely to be the result? Why, perhaps six will say ‘Guilty’ honestly believing it, and glad they can with a clear conscience escape punishment; three will say ‘Not guilty’ boldly, and rather bear the punishment than be false or dishonest; the other three, fearful of being convinced against their will, will carefully stop their ears while the witnesses for the defence are being examined, and delude themselves with the idea they give an honest verdict because they have heard only one side of the evidence.  If any out of the dozen deserve punishment, you will surely agree with me it is these.  Belief or disbelief is therefore not meritorious, and when founded on an unfair balance of evidence is blameable.
Now to apply the principles to my own case.  In my early youth I heard, as ninety-nine-hundredths of the world do, only the evidence on one side, and became impressed with a veneration for religion which has left some traces even to this day.  I have since heard and read much on both sides, and pondered much upon the matter in all its bearings. I spent, as you know, a year and a half in a clergyman’s family and heard almost every Tuesday the very best, most earnest and most impressive preacher it has ever been my fortune to meet with, but it produced no effect whatever on my mind.  I have since wandered among men of many races and many religions.  I have studied man and nature in all its aspects, and I have sought after truth. In my solitude I have pondered much on the incomprehensible subjects of space, eternity, life and death.  I think I have fairly heard and fairly weighed the evidence on both sides, and I remain an utter disbeliever in almost all that you consider the most sacred truths.”  Alfred Wallace to his brother on evolution and Christianity
This Day in History


By Christopher J. Fynn (Own work)
By Christopher J. Fynn (Own work)

Today is Childrens Day in Pakistan, Doctors Day in India, and, in China, Communist Party Founding Day; in one of the last gasp of Ostrogothic power against Byzantium, King Totila fell to the troops of Narses at the Battle of Taginae fourteen hundred sixty-three years ago, in some of Europe’s earliest conflicts that conjoined class and ethnicity and imperial infighting; five years shy of five and a half centuries subsequently, in 1097, Christian forces under the command of Bohemond of Taranto defeated Islamic fighters in the first crusade who were defending current-day Turkish Anatolia; four hundred ninety two years prior to the present pass, Catholic enforcers murdered the first two Lutheran martyrs in Brussels by burning them at the stake;  forty six years henceforth, in 1569,  the Polish kingdom and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania cemented a union that for a time would rule over Eastern Europe and the Baltic; three hundred seventy-two years ahead of today,  during the initial stages of the English Civil war, theologians and parliamentarians met to grapple with the restructuring of English religious life; three years to the day, later on, in 1646, a male child was born who would go on to invent the calculus and become a renown philosopher, Gottfied Wilhelm Leibnitz; twelve

 Encel Sanchez flickr
Encel Sanchez flickr

decades thereafter, in 1766, further religious controversy unfolded across the English Channel in France when an unfortunate failure to salute a priest resulted in a grotesque torture and execution and subsequent beheading with a copy of Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary nailed to his torso; two centuries and eleven years prior to today, a baby girl came along in the usual way who would manifest the unusual quality, for her time and class, of being an advocate for women’s rights, voice, and sexuality, who went by the name George Sand; seventeen decades before the here and now, indigenous tribes of Quinault and Quileute in recently ceded land gave up all claim to most of their territory to the United States; three years hence, in 1858, across the North American continent and the Atlantic Ocean, Alfred Wallace and Charles Darwin made a joint presentation about their evolutionary findings to the Linnean Society in London; half a decade closer to today, in 1863, the Netherlands declared an end to slavery in its colonial territory of Suriname; six years beyond that exact moment, in 1869, a baby boy came into the world whose fate was to be the master prose stylist William Strunk, Jr.; five years later in 1874, the

“S&g1” by User:Kosmopolitat –

first commercially viable typewriter, a Sholes and Glidden  model, began to sell; five years more proximate to the present day, in 1879,  fundamentalist religious believer Charles Taz Russell published the first edition of a Watchtower tract; six years later, in 1885, in an early battle over fishery resources, the United States terminated its reciprocity agreement with Canada in that regard; eleven years hence, in 1896, the iconic anti-slavery author and activist Harriet Beecher Stowe exited this realm; a hundred twelve years back, the first Tour de France bicycle race took off across the Gallic land; eight years further down the temporal road, in 1911, Germany’s dispatch of one of its new battleships to Morrocco sparked a crisis that foretold world war’s upcoming; a year closer to today’s light and air, in 1912, a male infant took his first breath who would mature as the activist and environmental gadfly, David Brower; five years later on, in 1917, Toronto’s Osmond family brought a new boy into the world who would mature as the thinker, psychiatrist, and synthesizer of LSD-25 Humphry Osmond; four years later on, in 1921, partially in direct response to the carnage of the just finished World War, the Communist Party of China began operations;  three hundred sixty five days after that conjunction, in 1922, halfway around the world in the United States, a massive railroad strike demonstrated the worldwide presence of profound class conflict;three years later, in 1925, the well-known Impressionist composer Erik Satie died; nine years further down the road, in 1934, a male infant was born who would become the Cold War ‘progressive’ screenwriter and filmmaker Sidney Pollack; a year even closer to now, in 1935, North across the Canadian border, royal Canadian mounted police and other gendarmes ambushed and attacked strikers on an On-To-Ottawa march demanding relief from depressed conditions; two decades in the future from that point, in 1955, a baby girl entered the world who would become the popular mystery writer Lisa Scottoline; three years henceforth, in 1958, Canadian television broadcasters linked all national stations via microwave; five years later, in 1963,  in a somewhat similar vein, the United States inaugurated the use of zip codes for the delivery of mail; another

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

half decade further on, in 1968, the Central Intelligence Agency established its plans of assassination and subterfuge in Vietnam, the Phoenix program; still four years later, in 1972, in England, the first Gay Pride parade took place in London; thirty-two years ahead of this moment in time, the iconic designer and thinker and theorist of society and built environment, Buckminster Fuller, took his final breath; three hundred sixty-six days beyond that passage, in a perfect development for the year ‘1984’, in a further fetishization of ‘decency’, the Motion Picture Association of America introduced the PG-13 rating; seven years to the day beyond that juncture, in 1991, the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact formally disbanded, amid promises that its members would not soon be joining NATO, which of course turned out to be a complete falsehood; eight years closer to our day, in 1999, Scotland for the first time in centuries had its own legislative body, a parliament in Edinburgh as opposed to a regional office in London; three years further along time’s road, in 2002, the International Criminal Court came into existence to establish jurisdiction to try individuals for crimes against humanity; three hundred sixty-five days subsequently, in 2003, as many as 500,000 people or more protested in Hong Kong against the imposition of anti-sedition regulations; four more years subsequently, in 2007, England joined those nations prohibiting tobacco consumption in public. From Wikipedia Day in History

book hor2

belief OR opinion "complete certainty" OR "absolute certainty" OR "total certainty" error OR falsity OR disingenuous OR mistake harm OR damage OR disaster radical OR marxist OR marxism = 131,000 Links.

book hor



http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/arrests-documents-israeli             From Mondoweis, a typically incisive and factual and deeply contextualized review of the United Nations’ recent report about last Summer’s imperialistic depredations in all of Palestine, not just Gaza, both the U.N. document and MW‘s assessment requisite reading for citizens and scrappy scribes interested in understanding and factuality as much as their own opinions and positions on things: “The UN report omits critical context for the Israeli military operation in the West Bank: as a number of journalists pointed out, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the security services likely knew the boys were dead long before their bodies were discovered.  And while Israel claimed Hamas carried out the kidnapping, evidence points in the direction that a rogue Hamas cell took it upon themselves to kidnap and kill the boys without direction from the militant group’s leadership.  But Netanyahu and the army kept mum in order to exploit the situation and strike a blow at Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza and has somewhat of a presence in the West Bank.

The kidnapping, and Israel’s response to it, is where the UN report starts in its section on the West Bank and Jerusalem.  The UN documents how Israel arrested and detained hundreds of children.  There was also a significant increase in the number of administrative detainees, or those imprisoned without charge or trial.  ‘The commission reviewed information suggesting that cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment was used extensively during interrogations,’ the UN report states. News outlets and UN and human rights reports have detailed the specific tactics Israel uses on detainees: sleep deprivation; the use of the ‘shabach’ position, where a detainee’s legs and arms are bound to a chair in a stress position; exposure to extreme temperatures; and physical abuse like hitting and slapping.

In a statement, Palestinian prisoner rights group Addameer said that they welcome ‘the United Nations report on the 2014 Summer war which devastated Gaza, which may be a step towards accountability in war crimes against its people, and the unlawful arrest and detention of Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza.’  But the statement added that the UN report ‘fails to consider the legal implications of lack of provision of fair trial standards and arbitrary arrest as crimes of war.'”



student writing arm


Submissions Wonderful West Virginia accepts articles from experienced freelance writers on a variety of topics, including state history, wildlife and nature, cultural heritage, special places and attractions, and interesting people. Feature articles are approximately 1,500 words in length. Payment is $150 per article upon publication. We prefer to receive a story proposal with a query, but we also assign topics to writers. Stories are often accepted a year or more in advance of publication. Once a story is assigned, a style guide will be provided for freelancers. Please note: we do not publish poetry in Wonderful West Virginia.

OMI Our Mission 
Omi International Arts Center is a not-for-profit arts organization with residency programs for international visual artists, writers, translators, musicians, and dancers. Omi seeks to foster an environment of creative exploration and exchange, professional opportunity and exposure, and a stylistically and culturally diverse community for creative artists from around the world. Through our programs and resulting public events – including our Residency Programs, The Fields Sculpture Park, Architecture Omi, and Education Omi – Omi contributes to a vibrant arts culture locally, regionally, and internationally.

 Viator Travel Blog Accepting Article Pitches – Pays up to $150/article Viator, a TripAdvisor Company, is seeking freelance writers to contribute content to the Viator Travel Blog at http://travelblog.viator.com. The blog features useful discussions of travel in general and timely trends happening in the world, whereas the main website helps travelers research, plan and book excursions and activities based on their interests and destinations. 

Story magazine Needs Prose/Poetry for Issue 4 – Pays up to $200/story Semi-annual literary magazine STORY has opened submissions for a new themed issue, this one called “Un/Natural World” (Issue 4). Led by student Editor Travis Kurowski, the editorial team welcomes narratives that explore climate change, including the natural and developed worlds here on Earth. Climate change belongs to the most important issues of our time. How do we tell stories of it? How do its stories educate us?

Read more at: 
Copyright © WritingCareer.com – used with permission

pascal maramis - flickr
pascal maramis – flickr



Assistant Editor Opening in Gwinnett County (Snellville)

I am Lamar Tyler co-founder of BMWK and Tyler New Media. My wife Ronnie and I are looking for an assistant editor to become a key piece of the internal team in our Snellville, GA office. Basically you’ll be the person we go to, to get things done for our award-winning website BlackandMarriedWithKids.com! compensation: Salary commensurate with experience.

Technical Writer – Great Opportunity! (Atlanta)

compensation: DOE

We are looking for a Technical Writer to join our team in Atlanta, GA!Responsibilities
• Producing and maintaining technical documentation in a variety of formats for a specific product area.
• Working independently and with subject matter experts (SMEs) to gather information, identify target audiences, and to determine the best ways to organize information
• Publishing documents on schedule
• Working with style guidelines, managing graphics, and communicating complicated material to a wide range of audiences
• Producing documentation in multiple genres, including short instructional videos


Freelance British Style Editor (Champaign)

compensation: Varies
contract job

Currently seeking experienced freelance editors of British-English for book-length manuscripts.
Editors will be responsible for copyediting a variety of fiction and nonfiction manuscripts at the mechanical and substantive level.




social media - jmarketing - flickr
social media – jmarketing – flickr

Contradictory Message From Big Tech

A Pando article that discusses the two-faced and contradictory nature of large tech’s approach to social issues, such as the recent gay marriage victory: “The message could not be clearer: Google and Facebook stand side-by-side with the LGBT community, and they are happy to spend unlimited social media capital to make that point.

Unfortunately, when it comes to their actual capital, the message is considerably less clear.

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.”

Labor Center Advocates for Workers

A UCLA Labor Center brief and attached report documenting the great strides that the labor movement has achieved in revitalising itself through partnerships with worker advocating organizations: “Today, 16 worker centers, 16 central labor councils and one state federation involved in 16 local affiliations are active throughout the country. These partnerships have led to significant accomplishments in local policy campaigns against wage theft and other forms of exploitation against workers, strong solidarity support for organizing efforts to win a union or address conditions in the workplace, and ongoing local joint initiatives that couple collaboration and innovation.”

books french-Balzac University Faculty Speak Truth

An AlterNet posting that discusses a recent report by faculty members of a prestigious university that exposes the Dickensian reality of higher education today, a report that has much to offer to all those organizing around student issues: “Four hundred faculty members at New York University, one of the nation’s most expensive schools, recently released a report on how their own place of employment, legally a nonprofit institution, has become a predatory business, hardly any different in ethical practice or economic procedure than a sleazy storefront payday loan operator. Its title succinctly summarizes the new intellectual discipline deans and regents have learned to master: “The Art of The Gouge.””


NYTThe Business of Journalism

A Media Briefing post that looks at a successful, business-wise, media outfit, as an example of why suddenly it’s not enough just to be a journalist or editor, but one must be aware of how the finances occur in the running of the media outlet: “Too few journalists care about media business models. Every week a senior journalist or editor tells me: it’s not my job to care, I trust our commercial teams, I just want to get on and do my words. The business of media, it seems, is none of their business.

These developments in ways both big and small have a rippling effect on the jobs of every editorial staffer. If you don’t understand them, you may find the rug suddenly pulled from under you. If you do understand them, you have an opportunity to help shape them and nurture them so that the business remains aligned with values you support.”


Media Matters and Social Progress

A Benton brief checklist that outlines the elements of success witnessed in recent fights over internet accessibility, and that can be replicated in other social fights: “Over the past few months we’ve been thinking about everything we learned in the fights over the fate of the Internet. Many of these lessons will be useful to other movements confronting deep-pocketed foes  —  and overwhelming odds. Here are our biggest takeaways



"Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant" by Photorush - Own work.
“Sequoyah Nuclear Power Plant” by Photorush – Own work.

Nukes in UK

A Fierce Energy posting that views the headway that nuclear energy is making in Britain: “The United Kingdom is working to expand their energy footprint, and is looking to nuclear. Minister of State Andrea Leadsom’s spoke to the Nuclear Industry Association conference about how nuclear can help increase the clean energy in the country. Leadsom explained that the country is working to not only maintain reliable energy, but also to keep costs low.”


Sexuality and Culture

A Counter Punch posting that analyses a study in which human sexuality – including homosexuality – is understood and placed in an appropriate context: “On Friday, June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling made the wise decision to make gay marriage legal throughout the country… finally! In his majority opinion statement Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said “that marriage is a “keystone of our social order,” … adding that the plaintiffs in the case were seeking “equal dignity in the eyes of the law” (Liptak). The ruling addressed what has been a long and grueling fight for justice with prevailing discriminatory views that have adversely affected millions in America. It has significantly affirmed the humanity and legal rights of the gay community. In this article I will refer to sexuality in America overall and the older gay male community.”