7.27.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

Human societies, without any exceptions whatsoever, have consecrated certain plants as portals to important epiphanies, as gateways to successful manifestations of thriving and survival; in such universal environs of multiple ecstatic highs, of course, a ‘war on drugs,’ at a minimum, seems anomalous and false, simultaneously as official instances of playing both ends against the middle—both demonizing and promoting substances, for instance, from pot to peyote—introduces elements of complexity and uncertainty into these issues that one downplays, or worse, ignores at one’s immediate and most mortal peril, inasmuch as the contradictions and conniptions that prohibition of contraband inevitably entails ultimately will affect one and all in ways at once daunting and dangerous, in the end at times even lethal, the upshot of all of which must be a fractious relationship indeed with oneself and one’s inherent inclination to imbibe, to shift one’s point of view, truly to alter, one’s consciousness and awareness of self and All-That-Is.

  Quote of the Day  
We shall overcome,
We shall overcome,
We shall overcome, some day.
Oh, deep in my heart,
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day.
WE SHALL OVERCOME Words and Music by Zilphia Hart., Frank Hamilton, Guy Carawan
And Pete Seeger

 This Day in History  

Today in Finland is National Sleepyhead Day and in Vietnam National Martyrs and Wounded Soldiers Day; in Scotland more or less nine hundred sixty-two years ago, the historical King Macbeth died in battle against English Lord Siward near the Firth of Forth; thirteen and a half decades subsequently, in 1189, fighters of the Third Crusade arrived in Serbia to negotiate their attacks on ‘the Holy Lands;’ thirteen years henceforth, in 1202, nearly one thousand miles Southeast, the then powerful kingdom of Georgia defeated Sultanate incursion at the battle of Basian; at the very end of the same century, in 1299, the nascent Ottoman imperial victory at Nicomedia marked what most scholars consider to be the beginning of Ottoman rule; three more years further along, in 1302, other Ottoman forces confirmed their preeminence with a victory over the Byzantine armies at Bapheus, opening up the conquest of Turkey;  MORE HERE

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 Interesting People Places Things of Note 

Contextualizing the Panthers

An AAIHS post that looks at the conception of a party through the work of a fearless academic:  “Although I received my formal training as a historian from Columbia University’s History Department, I credit Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College for schooling me on Black grassroots organizations. In the 1990s, Medgar boasted a predominantly working-class student body and was as much an educational institution as a Black political hub. Located across the street from Ebbets Field, a towering affordable housing complex, and just minutes from where I grew up in East Flatbush, Medgar stood a world away from what Columbia represented—Manhattan’s largest landowner with homelessness, literally and figuratively, at its gates. In 1995, I started volunteering at the Center for Women’s Development while I began the dissertation research that anchored The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland.”

 Writers Tools Issues 

Distraction’s Three-Century Ride

An Aeon article of interest to all those who strive to focus and concentrate and create product on a regular basis: “The rise of the internet and the widespread availability of digital technology has surrounded us with endless sources of distraction: texts, emails and Instagrams from friends, streaming music and videos, ever-changing stock quotes, news and more news. To get our work done, we could try to turn off the digital stream, but that’s difficult to do when we’re plagued by FOMO, the modern fear of missing out. Some people think that our willpower is so weak because our brains have been damaged by digital noise. But blaming technology for the rise in inattention is misplaced. History shows that the disquiet is fuelled not by the next new thing but by the threat this thing – whatever it might be – poses to the moral authority of the day.”


 Recent Events 

Denuding Nuclear Ban’s Newsworthiness

A Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists post that examines the current landscape around disarmament: “Readers of the Washington Post who looked in the Saturday, July 8 print edition for international news would have found the following stories…

That was apparently all the international news worth noting. Except perhaps for this one-paragraph story, the last in the “News Digest,” buried at the bottom right corner of page nine: “More than 120 countries approved the first-ever treaty to ban nuclear weapons Friday at a UN meeting boycotted by all nuclear-armed nations. Elayne Whyte Gomez, president of the UN conference that has been negotiating the legally binding treaty, announced the results of the ‘historic’ vote: 122 nations in favor, the Netherlands opposed and Singapore abstaining.”

 General Past & Present Issues 

Predicting Falling Empires

A Popular Resistance look at the fall of an empire soon to come, and possible consequences: “The Pentagon recently released a report, “At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World,” which details its concerns about losing access to resources and “resistance to authority” both at home and around the world as governments lose legitimacy. Faced with these changes, the United States could embrace them, become a cooperative member of the world, transition to a lower-waste lower-energy sustainable existence and draw back the military to use those resources to meet domestic needs.

Sadly, that is not what the Pentagon has in mind. There is a saying, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The US is the biggest empire in the world; therefore, the Pentagon’s solutions are “more surveillance, more propaganda (‘strategic manipulation of perceptions’) and more military expansionism.””