8.21.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

After it cascaded through raucous rapids and over wild water’s precipitous falling, a standard wooden oar floated into my life, evoking a message for me as, with wonder, I pondered its weathered, simple oaken beauty: Life’s One Certain Journey Requires Not a Single Stroke to Effect Everyone’s Eventual Reunion With the Cosmic Womb—All the More Reason to Praise Be for the Means, Along With the Patient Persistence & Steady Strength to Employ Them, to Paddle Through Interesting & Meaningful Passages, & All the More Reason to Pray for the Wisdom & Courage to Row Toward Useful & Generous, & Thus Potentially Happy & Powerful, Channels in Which to Wend a Way.

  Quote of the Day  
But now with the living conditions deteriorating, and with the sure knowledge that we are slated for destruction, we have been transformed into an implacable army of liberation. George Jackson

 This Day in History  

turkey istanbulSix hundred eighty-six years back, Serbian internecine rivalry ended with the ascendancy of Dusan Stefan, ‘the Great,’ who led to the most extensive Serb influence and territory in Byzantine and Ottoman lands; just a year less than three and a half centuries subsequently, in 1680, not quite half a world Westward in Hispanic-conquered North America, Pueblo Indians wrested control of Santa Fe from the Spanish in the Pueblo Revolt; MORE HERE

 nine decades beyond that, in 1770, again half the globe further West and South, James Cook led ships to Australia where he claimed what was to become New South Wales for England; still farther West, eight years hence, in 1778, British imperial interests besieged and conquered France’s primary holdings in the Subcontinent, at indiaPondichery, an opportunistic retaliation for France’s support for the incipient United States’ rebellion against England; one hundred eighty-six years prior to the present pass, Nat Turner led slaves and free Blacks in an uprising in Virginia that cemented various repressive measures, such as proscription of any education for Blacks; twenty-seven years later, in 1858, Abraham Lincoln and Steven Douglas squared off in what we now call the Lincoln-Douglas debates; a half decade of additional spins around the solar center, in 1863, guerrilla raiders from the Confederacy destroyed Lawrence, Kansas; not quite a decade after that mayhem, in 1872, across the Atlantic in England, a baby boy took a first breath who would astound viewers and readers as the magical artist and author Aubrey Beardsley; sixteen years later, in 1888, William S. Burroughs patented the first workable adding machine; nine years onward in space time, in 1897, a key point in industrial and social history took place with the opening by Ransom Olds of the auto production facility that would soon begin churning out the first mass-produced automobiles in the United States; four years henceforth, in 1901, a social democratic institution came into being for a brief time—it fell to pieces as the ‘workers of the world’ disunited in World War One—as the International Secretariat of National Trade Union Centres, in order to allow unionists of different countries to stand together instead of slaughtering each other in warfare; a decade afterward, in 1911, conspirators stole Mona Lisa from the Louvre with the hope of selling it to Italians; nine years beyond that conjunction, in 1920, Daphne and A. A. Milne bore a son into the world who, as Christopher Robin, became the template for some of the most popular children’s writing in existence, the Winnie the Pooh series; eighty-five years ago, the baby boy who grew up to become actor, thinker, screenwriter, and filmmaker Melvin van Peebles came into the world; five years further on, in 1937, the male child uttered his first cry en route to a life as the novelist and critic Robert Stone; a year even closer to today, in 1938, the boy child was born whom fate would endow with the singing and writing legerdemain of Kenny Rogers; yet another five years subsequent to that, in 1943, another male infant entered our midst, destined to grow as journalist and popular philosopher Jonathan Schell, and Danish Nobel Literature Laureate Henrik Pontoppidan died; another year onward, in 1944, a key step to the founding of the United Nations occurred at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference near Washington, D.C., attended by Soviet, English, American, and Nationalist Chinese representatives; three hundred sixty-five days past that conjunction, in 1945, across the North American continent in Los Alamos, New Mexico, a plutonium ‘trigger’ for a nuclear weapon underwent an accident, nearly becoming super-critical and setting off a miniature a-bomb, but only fatally irradiating a top nuclear physicist instead, who separated the about-to-explode pieces of plutonium by hand; twelve years further along time’s arc, in 1957, the Soviet Union tested the first Intercontinental-Ballistic-Missile; four years after that juncture, in 1961, Motown released Please Mr. Postman, which would become the label’s first number one hit; another decade nearer to now, in 1971, Black Panther leader George Jackson died in a hail of police gunfire; eleven years after that, in 1982, the first soldiers of a multinational force landed in Lebanon to oversee the withdrawal of palestine israelthe Palestine Liberation Organization from the nation; four years still closer to the current point in time, in 1986, a volcanic lake in Cameroon released tons of carbon dioxide from its depths, causing the deaths of nearly two thousand people from asphyxiation; a half decade beyond that grotesque occurrence, in 1991,in another bizarre and monstrous case, the coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev collapsed; the very next year, in 1992, seven thousand miles West in Idaho, the Ruby Ridge debacle began to unfold; fourteen years in the future from that tragic juncture, in 2006, Israel’s writer Yizhar Smilansky lived out his final story; three years ahead of today, the acclaimed and beloved and multitalented folksinger and student of Celtic culture, Jean Redpath, lived out her final saga.

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