8.29.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

To envision life as an opportunity for a calling comes easily to most people these days, when the surpluses and options of commodity capitalism produce so much stuff that even regular working folk can imagine that they needn’t attend merely to matters of income’s exceeding outgo and can indulge their dreams, at least so long as these fantasies don’t entail any fundamental challenge to the status quo, altogether a dynamic at once sublime in its permissiveness toward truly personalizing one’s own universe and ridiculous in the at best bizarre presumption that anything other than deeply revolutionary persistence can salvage even a small piece of civilized existence from the insistent cataclysm and growing threat of utter holocaust that continued rule by the bourgeoisie, who happily promote all and sundry ‘callings’ of less than fundamental impact, guarantees in the next period of time, a span that might easily be one of days and that can hardly last more than a few decades, or half a century, in the most optimistic plutocratic forecasts.

  Quote of the Day  
Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.
If we really want to be full and generous in spirit, we have no choice but to trust at some level.
I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on.  Rita Dove

 This Day in History  

Around the globe on this date conscious citizens mark the passage of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, while India celebrates its National Sports Day, and Ukraine commemorates its colliers with National Miners Day, and, for something completely different, Catholics note the beheading of John the Baptist with a Saint’s Day on his behalf; in the islands of Japan, thirteen hundred nine years ago, inhabitants of the Land of the Rising Sun first minted copper coins; seventy-nine decades thereafter, in 1498, thousands of miles to the South and West, Vasco da Gama elected to end his stay in Calicut in order to return to his homeland in Portugal; MORE HERE

 twenty-three years subsequently, in 1521, Ottoman expansion into the Balkans continued with the capture of what is now the city of Belgrade, Serbia; half a decade more on the path to the now, in 1526, Ottoman troops under the leadership of Suleiman the Magnificent decimated Jagiellonian defenders of Hungary and Bohemia, killing their kind in the process of victory at the Battle of Mohacs; seven years closer to today, in 1533, a definitely divergent sort of imperial conquest unfolded as conquistador Francisco Pissarro murdered the last Incan Emperor; eight years past that juncture, in 1541, another Ottoman conquest transpired with the capture of the Hungarian Kingdom capital of Buda; ninety-one years later, in 1632, a little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as an ‘Enlightened’ thinker and champion of social contract, John Locke; a century and a quarter and a single year further along time’s arc, in 1758, English strategists of conquest and genocide came up with the concept of ‘concentrating’ those from whom they stole, in relation to Native Americans in what is now Indian Mills, New Jersey; eleven years down the pike from that, in 1769, Edmond Hoyle died, demonstrating that a life of learning and teaching games and other things was good for nearly a century of active existence; two hundred thirty-one years back, poor farmers and working people of the new United States called out the elites who had led the Revolution for their hypocrisy when they rose up against excessive taxes and other predatory ruling class behaviors in Shay’s Rebellion, primarily in Western Massachusetts and New England; twenty-three years onward from that, in 1809, one of New England’s ‘finer families’ brought forth a male infant who would mature as the medical doctor and thinker and writer Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.; sixteen years henceforth, in 1825, across the wide Atlantic, Portugal acknowledged reality and recognized Brazil’s erstwhile independence; half a dozen years toward today, in 1831, to the North in England, the brilliant, self-taught scientist Michael Faraday first demonstrated conclusively the existence of electromagnetic induction; eleven years afterward, in 1842, halfway round the world, in one of England’s imperial adventures, the British and the Chinese signed the Treaty of Nanking that formally brought to a close the First Opium War, which elevated the principle of free trade to force the acceptance of unlimited sales of narcotics by the British to the Chinese; exactly two decades further along, in 1862, the male infant cried out whom fate had selected to grow up as the poet and thinker and writer Maurice Maeterlinck, who would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature; nine years yet later on, in 1871, back round the world in East Asia, Japanese emperor Meiji adopted Western administrative practices and eliminated the Chinese Han system that had prevailed in Japan theretofore; twenty-seven additional years on time’s forward journey, in 1898, investors formed the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; just short of a decade nearer to now, in 1907, seventy –five intrepid construction workers died when a poorly designed bridge over the Quebec section of the St. Lawrence seaway collapsed catastrophically; three years subsequent to that, in 1910, back round the globe in East Asia again, Japan formalized its already announced annexation of Korea with an exchange of treaty instruments between Tokyo and Seoul; three hundred sixty-five days along the temporal arc from that, in 1911, seven thousand miles or so East in Northeastern California, a final initial North American contact occurs between an indigenous people and the European Americans when a bloke who called himself Ishi came out of the woods and introduced himself; exactly two years henceforth, in 1913, a little baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the iconic and prolific writer and storyteller, Robertson Davies; a trio of years past that conjunction, in 1916, the United States marked a different sort of conquering ethos in passing the grotesquely-named Philippine Autonomy Act; a single circuit more round the sun onward in time and space, in 1917,feminist suffragists picketed Woodrow Wilson’s erstwhile ‘liberal’ White House to call for immediate establishment of universal suffrage; half a decade onward from that, in 1922, in an altogether different sort of

radio3extractive endeavor, WEAF radio in New York City broadcast the first ever new media advertisement; seventy-six years prior to the present pass, German Nazis in Ukraine, along with their local fascist allies, began the systematic murder of some several tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews, thereby setting the stage for events that led like a crow flies to the Maidan ‘uprisings’ more recently; two years hence, in 1943, Danish anti-fascists and allied collaborators scuttled the entire fleet of Denmark’s Navy to preclude its falling into the hands of the Germans; a year yet later on, in 1944, well over 50,000 Slovak fighters turned against their Nazi overseers and made war on the Germans; an additional three hundred sixty-five days round and round the solar system’s solar center, in 1945, Harry Truman deployed the Navy against striking oil workers, mimicking Nazi tactics against unions; four years still nearer to the here and now, in 1949, in what any brainless idiot could have predicted had to be the result of the United States attempt to monopolize nuclear weapons, the Soviets exploded their first atomic weapon, which was never a secret and was always only a matter of engineering and resources; an additional year along time’s path, in 1950, in a related development in East Asia, British troops arrived to help U.S. soldiers resist communist North Koreans’ incursion into the Southern half of the peninsula, while back in North America an erstwhile cultural impresario, in the employ of the CIA, advanced the claim that the hatred of East Europeans for Soviets justified U.S. distortions and interventions simultaneously; a typical transit’s three hundred sixty-five days yet later on, in 1951, a girl child entered our midst who would grow up as the poet and multi-jurisdictional Poet Laureate, Rita Dove; seven years after that, in 1958, only twelve years after its initiation, the United States Air Force opened its officer training school, the United States Air Force Academy, and in a likely wholly unrelated development, a baby boy opened his eyes who would rise as the estimable lyricist and redoubtable rocker Michael Jackson; half that period in the direction of the here and now, in 1962, acclaimed poet Robert Frost departed the United States for a ‘goodwill’ tour of the Soviet Union; another four years into the future from that juncture, in 1966, the philosopher of radical Islam and reactionary resistance to ‘Western Modernism’, Sayyid Qutb, faced an Egyptian firing squad for his part in plotting Abdul Nasser’s assassination, while roughly 7,000 miles to the West, the Beatles played their final concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco; two years farther along, in 1968, upheaval among protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago resulted in a ‘fracturing’ of what had been the SOP ‘Cold-War consensus’ that both wings of the ReDemoPubliCratiCan Party would support aggressive, imperialist chauvinism as a fallback ‘foreign policy’ position; another seven hundred thirty days beyond those occurrences, in 1970, police depredations against community in East Los Angeles during the Chicano Moratorium on the War killed several people, including prominent journalist Ruben Salazar, injuring hundreds of others and establishing the impunity of the American police state; precisely twenty-one years even closer to the current context, in 1991, an honest businessman in Italy paid with his life for the integrity of refusing organized criminals’ ‘protection’ demands, and, to the North and East in the disarticulating Soviet Union, the legislature stripped the Communist Party of most of its special privileges and powers; an added half a decade toward today, in 1996, roughly 8,000 miles to the West in the Bay Area of San Francisco, a group of workers in the erotic arena formed a Service Employees international Union local and gained substantial material benefits and general empowerment from their prior condition as mere employees; seven hundred thirty days still later, in 1998, Northwest Airline pilots gave up on making concessions to profiteering owners and went on a strike for higher pay; another two years more proximate to the present pass, in 2000, organized workers in Minnesota established the first online labor news service in the United States, workdayminnesota.orgfive more years along the temporal arc, in 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s landfall effected catastrophe in and around New Orleans, killing over 1,000 people and decimating local economies and infrastructure and illustrating the collapse of Federal support in the case of such disasters; two years onward from that devastation, in 2007, an entirely different sort of potential disaster unfolded when an Air Force heavy bomber flew from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast with multiple hydrogen bombs aboard that no one had documented according to Standard Operating Procedure; four years in even greater proximity to today’s dawning light, in 2011, an icon of the Blues, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, sang his swan song as he approached the century mark; three hundred sixty-six days thereafter, in 2012, close to 50 Chinese colliers died or turned up missing after a horrific accident – safety’s loss being capital’s gain –in the Xiaojiawan coal mine, located at Panzhihua in Sichuan Province, China, a single year prior to our own day and time, the progenitor of pop psychology and self help, Wayne Dyer, died.

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 Writers Tools Issues 

A Teaching Reading Disquisition

A look at the art of teaching how to read: “State the questions another way: Do open societies really work better than closed ones? Is a more open and civilized world really safer and better for Americans? If we think yes, then what is the best way to prove that point?”

 

 Recent Events 

Atlantic Examines Systemic Crises

A generally SOP look into how the world is falling apart and what might bring it together again: “State the questions another way: Do open societies really work better than closed ones? Is a more open and civilized world really safer and better for Americans? If we think yes, then what is the best way to prove that point?”

 General Past & Present Issues 

CIA Anti-Soviet War Plans

Historical context into US Russia relationships: “Recently declassified documents from the archive of the Central Intelligence Agency detail financial and material support given by the United States to groups of armed guerrillas in Soviet Latvia in the 1950s. The documents, initially marked ‘Top Secret’ but now declassified, show that the CIA was aware and supported the activities of an anti-Soviet guerrilla army known as ‘the Forest Brothers’. Known also as ‘the Forest Brethren’, the group was formed in the Baltic States in 1944, as the Soviet Red Army established Soviet control over the previously German-occupied states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Soviet Union had previously occupied and annexed the three Baltic countries, in a failed attempt to pre-empt Germany’s eastward military expansion. Groups like the Forest Brothers consisted of the most militant members of anti-Soviet groups in the Baltic States, many of whom were ideologically opposed to Soviet Communism.”