9.15.2017 Daily Links

  A Thought for the Day   

Communication in the realm of the universal hegemony of financial and commodity capitalism counts as merely another extension of the domination of misleading and self-serving protocols at the behest of profit, a process of many centuriesof development as ‘freedom of the press’ has long redounded to those who owned them, a dynamic moreover in the American context that commentators have assessed for at least a hundred years—one can peruse the posthumous annals of Mark Twain and Upton Sinclair’s The Brass Check, for example—and that more recent analysts have expounded with ever greater detail and irrefutable specificity—one can read anything by Robert McChesney or Noam Chomsky, for instance—the upshot of all of which is that the ‘common people’s’ thriving, or even survival, depend, without a single solitary doubt, on becoming media literate in a way that recognizes the bourgeois source of practically speaking all so-called fake news since at least the Napoleonic Wars, when the Warburgs and the Rothschilds made vast fortunes by conveying, or at least encouraging belief in, the scoop that Wellington had lost at Waterloo.

  Quote of the Day  
“If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursèd lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!”    Claude McKay

 This Day in History  

history book glasses education learnToday is Knowledge Day in Azerbaijan, and around the world, people celebrate World Lymphoma Awareness Day, an International Day of Democracy, and, so as not to forget monopoly money’s scandals and crises, Free Money Day: one thousand twenty-three years ago, Fatamid forces emerged victorious at the battle of Orontes over Byzantine imperial legions; four hundred and one years prior to the present pass, Europe’s first truly public school—free and non-aristocratic—opened in Frascati, Italy; two hundred twenty-eight years before the here and now, the Department of Foreign Affairs came into existence, the forerunner of the U.S. State Department, and the baby-boy destined to become James Fennimore Cooper was born a day beyond his date of exiting the world sixty-two years hence; MORE HERE

a quarter century later, in 1804 seven thousand miles Northeastward, Napoleon’s forces, apparently victorious, consolidated their hold in Moscow; the five nations of Central America—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua seventeen years henceforth, in 1821, jointly declared their independence from Spain; aboard the H.M.S. Beagle, Charles Darwin a hundred eighty-two years back first reached the Galapagos Islands; ten years afterward, in 1845, thousands of miles Northeast in Pennsylvania, women garment workers engaged in a vicious strike in which male workers in other factories rose both to support their groundbreaking uprising and to protect them from company thugs; one hundred forty-four years in advance of today, France paid completed indemnity payments to Germany, and the last Prussian troops returned home from the Franco-Prussian war; sixteen years after that point, in 1889, a Jamaican baby boy came along who would rise as the acclaimed poet and thinker, Claude McKay, and further North in the U.S. a male child drew breath who would mature as the humorist and critic and performer, Robert Benchley; a single year later, in 1890, the female infant who blossomed into the prolific writer Agatha Christie was born; Japan defeated China in the First Sino-Japanese War’s Battle of Pyongyang seven hundred thirty days subsequently, in 1894, and the male infant who developed into renowned director and thinker Jean Renoir came into the world; twenty-two years later, in 1916, at the Battle of the Somme, combatants deployed tanks for the first time in warfare; ten years beyond that juncture, in 1926, German Nobel Literary Laureate and philosopher Rudolf Eucken died; the Nuremberg Laws took effect nine years henceforth, in 1935, in Germany, depriving Jews of rights of citizenship, at the same time that Nazi Germany unveiled its new flag, replete with a swastika; three years precisely after that point, in 1938 across the Atlantic in North Carolina, Thomas Wolfe ‘went home again’ when he died at only thirty-eight years old; seven years afterward again, in 1944, at the Octagon Conference in Quebec, FDR and Winston Churchill met to discuss Anglo-American strategy in relation to forthcoming victory in Europe; two years hence, in 1946, the boy infant who grew up to become writer and director Oliver Stone was born; U.S. amphibious forces four years nearer to now and half a world away, in 1950, went ashore at Inchon on the Korean Peninsula, threatening the annihilation of outflanked North Koreans; the United Nations in Northeast Africa two years further along time’s path, in 1952, ceded Eritrea to Ethiopia; the Dontetsk coal miner who had risen to become the premier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Nikita Khrushchev, seven years still closer to the current context, in 1959, became the first Soviet leader to visit the United States; three years hence, in 1962, the Soviet ship Poltava’s steaming for Cuba with missile components put the planet on the verge of Armageddon when the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis ensued; four young girls died in a bombing at a Black church in Birmingham just three hundred sixty-five days beyond that, in 1963, a terrorist act in which FBI informants played a role; Lyndon Johnson, in the aftermath of the slaughter at the University of Texas clock-tower, the first prescription-drug-fueled mass killing in the U.S., three years later on, in 1966, called for gun control; four years subsequently, in diego rivera work labor art1970, United Auto Workers employees at General Motors started a lengthy strike to protest speed-up on the assembly line and other measures to extract more value from every hour of workers’ days; another year after that moment in time, in 1971, the first Greenpeace anti-nuclear protest ship set sail; two years further along, in 1973,five thousand miles South, following days of brutal torture, the CIA financed-and-advised military murderers who had overthrown democracy in Chile murdered people’s poet and iconic folksinger Victor Jara; eight years yet more proximate to the present, in 1981, the Senate confirmed Sandra Day O’Connor as the first woman Supreme Court Justice, and the John Bull operated under its own steam a hundred fifty years to the day after its first run in New Jersey; half a dozen years subsequent to that conjunction, in 1987, in a move that would serve Russian and America today, the Soviets and the Americans signed a treaty to establish centers to help them avoid nuclear war; two years later, in 1989, novelist and thinker Robert Penn Warren ended his days; in the heady days just prior to what we will soon enough be calling DotCom-One, nineteen years back, World Com and MCI celebrated their just-completed merger; eleven years ago, Italian journalist Oriana Fallacci died; two years afterward, in 2008, Lehman Brothers closed its doors in bankruptcy, the largest such filing by a company in history.

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 Interesting People Places Things of Note 

Identity Politics Snafus

A New Republic double take on what constituted identity politics and what it has become today: “The Combahee River Collective was assembled to define a radical vision for black women’s freedom—and thus, as they believed, all people’s freedom. They did this through an antisexist, antiracist, socialist political strategy. It remains to be seen whether the Democratic Party is prepared to fully embrace this strategy, but liberals undermine it by coopting its revolutionary language, which only dilutes the impact of actual identity politics and its ability to challenge systems of power. Lilla seems to think Democrats are at fault for embracing identity politics, but the true crime is that it has been taken out of the revolutionary hands to which it belongs.”

 Writers Tools Issues 

Writing Grants

A Freedom With WRiting resource that offers many opportunities: “28 Writing Grants & Fellowships (Cash Awards Up to $80,000+)”

 Recent Events 

Moon of Alabama’s Junta Analysis

A look at the current political reality of power in the U.S.: “With the firing of the renegade Flynn and various other Trump advisors, the Junta has already removed all independent voices in the White House. It is now  attaching more control wires to its “salesperson” marionette:  … Trump has a weakness for the military since he attended a New York military academy during his youth.  But he does not like to be controlled. I expect him to revolt one day. He will then find that it is too late and that he is actually powerless.”

 General Past & Present Issues 

Spinoza’s Current Relevance

An Aeon glance at the utility of the at-one-time radical and rational call of a mathematician and philosopher: “What is remarkable is how popular this heretic remains nearly three and a half centuries after his death, and not just among scholars. Spinoza’s contemporaries, René Descartes and Gottfried Leibniz, made enormously important and influential contributions to the rise of modern philosophy and science, but you won’t find many committed Cartesians or Leibnizians around today. The Spinozists, however, walk among us. They are non-academic devotees who form Spinoza societies and study groups, who gather to read him in public libraries and in synagogues and Jewish community centres. Hundreds of people, of various political and religious persuasions, will turn out for a day of lectures on Spinoza, whether or not they have ever read him. There have been novels, poems, sculptures, paintings, even plays and operas devoted to Spinoza. This is all a very good thing”