8.14.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

Inasmuch as the entire notion of individual accomplishment primarily states a fatuous and incomplete story—every giant achievement, and most minor miracles in addition, rely on relationships and teams and all the cooperative marvels of Homo Sapiens’ erstwhile solo capabilities—one must wonder at the persistent insistence that actors on life’s many stages have ‘done it their way,’ ‘pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps,’ and otherwise exemplified a fantasy of self-making that is not only impossible but also silly and disrespectful; at least, such idiosyncratic ideation must appear nonsensical and weird until one recognizes the societal interests that such thinking serves, to wit how the ruling classes today have made an art form, which they call advertising and public relations, out of promulgating alienation that manifests with particular ferocity in the divided and conquered dream lives of alienated working class folks whose own lives would improve from lionizing and promoting cooperation rather than lone -wolf fame and fortune.

  Quote of the Day  
I love life. I love my friends. I love to eat. Too many things, I love. I am very much an anti-historical character. I am attracted to happy people. Happy people with very grave problems. Lina Wertmuller

 This Day in History  

scotland europe castleToday, Pakistan commemorates the classic British divide-and-conquer coup of ‘creating’ the modern Pakistani state; in Scotland’s fair fields and craggy firths nine hundred seventy-seven years ago, the historical Macbeth killed his cousin, Duncan, in the battle to become the Scottish King; three hundred seventy-five years subsequently, in 1415, Portuguese fighters won an important victory over Marinid forces at the Battle of Ceuta, close to the end of the consolidation of Christian control of Iberia and much of North Africa; four hundred twenty-five years before the here and now, Korean naval forces routed the Japanese navy in the Battle of Hansan Island; two hundred ninety-seven years prior to the present pass, Pawnee and Otoe fighters annihilated a Spanish exploratory company near present-day Columbus, Nebraska; exactly sixty-four years more on time’s march, in 1784, Russian traders first began settling in what is now Alaska; one hundred eighty-six years ahead of now, the original Vigilante X, a supporter of John Brown who eventually went to war against gangsters who ruled the roost in Montana, came squalling into the world; a mere nine years hence, in 1840, the baby boy uttered a first cry en route to a life as Richard Krafft-Ebing, iconic psychologist and student of the human psyche;

Coeehajo, Chief, 1837, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Coeehajo, Chief, 1837, Smithsonian American Art Museum

two years hence, in 1842, the Second Seminole War ended in Florida, soon followed by the ‘resettlement’ of Seminole peoples to Oklahoma; a quarter century thereafter, in 1867, the boy child was born who grew up to become Nobel-laureate author and playwright John Galsworthy; twenty-one years later, in 1888, a press conference in London heard one of the first music ‘recordings’ in history on Thomas Edison’s phonograph; another dozen years nearer to now, in 1900, the imperialist Eight-Nation Alliance of Europe and the United States took over Beijing and ended the Boxer Rebellion; twelve more years along time’s arc, in 1912, in one of many such cases, U.S. Marines invaded Nicaragua to support the U.S.-and-corporate-backed government there; four years hence, in 1916, Romania entered World War One on the ally side with its declaration of war against Austria-Hungary; ninety-two years back, the child who developed into author and humorist Russell Baker was born; three hundred sixty-five days beyond that emergence, in 1926, the female infant came into the world who grew up to become acclaimed filmmaker Lina Wertmueller; nine years afterward, in 1935, the Social Security Act became law; a half-dozen years following that moment in time, in 1941, four months prior to U.S. entry into World War Two, the Atlantic Charter received FDR’s and Winston Churchill’s signature at their meeting in Canada—a document that established the parameters of the post-war world to a remarkable degree, and the baby male entered the world in standard fashion whose fate was to sing and write as rocker David Crosby; four years subsequent to that point, in 1945, the Communist Viet Minh inaugurated the action that would defeat first the French and then the Americans in vietnam lake water natureVietnamese conflicts, and the male baby who became acclaimed comedian, performer, and thinker Steve Martin burst upon the scene; two more years to the day later still, in 1947, Pakistan separated from its imperially-dominated conjunction with India and became independent, joining the Commonwealth of Nations; just shy of a decade beyond that sundering and conjoining, in 1956, the iconic storyteller Iris Murdoch married her longtime companion, John Bayley, at the Oxford Register Office; sixty-six years back, corporate publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst drew his final breath; four years beyond that conjunction, in 1965, American playwright and theoretician of dramatic engagement Clifford Odets had his final curtain; another year afterward, in 1966, German author Berthold Brecht died; another year closer to current light and air, in 1967, the United Kingdom outlawed so-called ‘pirate radio’ broadcasts from off its coasts; a half decade past that in spacetime, in 1972, former Attorney General of the United States Ramsey Clark returned from his tour of the undeclared war in Southeast Asia to report that a McGovern victory in November would guarantee release of U.S. Prisoners; three years even closer to today, in 1975, the longest running film in history, Rocky Horror Picture Show, opened in Los Angeles; five years onward along the temporal path, in 1980, Polish Solidarity strikers led by Lech Walensa walked off the job in Gdansk, Poland; four years still more proximate to present hours, in 1984, English author J.B. Priestley lived his final scene; two decades later, in 2004, Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz, a Polish American writer, breathed his last; four years ago, the government of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt began firing on protesters, eventually killing hundreds and restoring its U.S.-backed control that led to the jailing of journalists and such.

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 Interesting People Places Things of Note 

Hypothesizing New Organizing Drives

A Waging Nonviolence post that provides great info for those seeking to organize: “For the past year I’ve been book touring to over 60 cities and towns across the United States and have been asked repeatedly for a direct action manual that addresses challenges we face now. The requests come from people concerned about a variety of issues. While each situation is in some ways unique, organizers in multiple movements face some similar problems in both organization and action.

What follows is a different manual from the one we put out over 50 years ago. Then, movements operated in a robust empire that was used to winning its wars. The government was fairly stable and held great legitimacy in the eyes of the majority.”

 General Media & ‘Intellectual Property’ Issues 

Techdirt Litigation Overview

A Neaman Lab look at ongoing legal and freedom of speech battles in the digital world: “TechDirt is being sued for $15 million by the infamous self-proclaimed “inventor of email” Shiva Ayyadurai, who is represented by lawyer Charles Harder.

In the midst of its ongoing legal battle, the site has announced an effort to bolster its own reporting around freedom of speech issues online. The effort is supported through a partnership with the Freedom of the Press Foundation as well as other groups ranging from the Charles Koch Foundation to Craigslist founder Craig Newmark’s CraigConnects to WordPress parent Automattic. Together, the financial support for TechDirt exceeds $250,000. (As Axios pointed out this morning, from quite an “eclectic” group of supporters. Koch Industries, by the way, has sponsored Axios newsletters.)”

 Recent Events 

Attacking Assange & Wikileaks

A Consortium News look at possible motivations and consequences of scapegoating Assange: “Helping government authorities discredit Julian Assange and destroy WikiLeaks, mainstream media outlets twisted a recent interview to make Assange look like a Donald Trump backer, write Randy Credico and Dennis J Bernstein.”

 General Past & Present Issues 

Deconstructing Mideast ‘Controversy’s’ Political Economy

A Jaddaliyya post that looks at some of the historical underpinnings of current problems:  “Laron argues that Egypt and Israel – as part of a global dirigisme moment – attempted industrialization using import-substitution (ISI) or export-oriented (EOI) models. Foreign aid supported these processes. But in Egypt, the United States saw its “aid” failing to bridle Egyptian radical nationalism. Meanwhile the Soviet Union too moved to trade over aid. Both states armored allies or clients. Amidst domestic unrest or unease “civilian supervision over the military in contiguous countries weakens. As a result, the regional situation becomes enflamed and ignitable….The victory of hawkish generals in one country strengthens the hand of hawkish generals in other countries.” Instability builds, and breeds instability. War results.”