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This Day in History
This date marks Europe’s celebration of all its many languages, and, in the United States, today is Johnny Appleseed Day; in the realm of Rome, Julius Caesar, two thousand sixty-two years ago, fulfilled a vow that he made at the battle of Pharsalus and dedicated a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix; six hundred forty-five years ahead of the present moment, the ‘clash of civilizatons’ between Islam and Christianity continued as the Serbian-Turkish Wars continued with the Battle of Maritsa in which the Ottomans were establishing their dominance over the Balkans; one hundred twenty-two years subsequently, in 1493, um, an imperious Catholic Pope issued a bull, Dudum Siquidem, that further asserted arrogant worldwide imprimatur for Catholic monarchs such as those in Spain and Portugal; four hundred thirty-six years back, Sir Francis Drake led his intrepid pirate crew in the completion of their circumnavigation of the planet; MORE HERE
A Thought for the Day
Because those who do not resist their depredations become accomplices in the crimes of capital and empire, most citizens of the United States and many citizens of other realms fear retribution for their sins, whether these transgressions are ones of omission or commission, which explains why ‘terror’ and ‘terrorism’ remain persuasive motivators despite the way that their erstwhile ‘victims’ only respond to such conditioning because they in fact see and feel that those whom we call ‘terrorists’ have arisen from our own actions’ having terrorized these hapless ‘perpetrators’ in the first place.
the great problems of space, time and motion. The in
quiries it is concerned with are very old. Men have been
forming ideas concerning space and time since times im
memorial, and curiously enough, have been writing and
fighting about these things with the greatest interest, even
fanaticism. This has been a strange strife, indeed, having
little to do with economic necessities ; it has always dealt
with abstract things, far removed from our daily life and
with no direct influence upon our daily activities. Why
do we need to know whether the sun revolves around the
earth or vice versa? What business of ours is it, anyway?
Can this knowledge be of any use to us? MORE HERE from first chapter of Reichenback, From Copernicus to Einstein
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A fun submission opp: “We are currently open for submissions! This submissions window will close on September 30, 2016.
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The editors read submissions for the Writer’s Chronicle from February 1 through September 30 of each year. Submissions for the Writer’s Notebook and the Career Advice section are read throughout the year.
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A Nonsite look at an absolutely critical Black scholar’s analysis of police violence & ‘race’, in a world that does not like to look at the deeper issues at work in that regard: “Some readers will know that I’ve contended that, despite its proponents’ assertions, antiracism is not a different sort of egalitarian alternative to a class politics but is a class politics itself: the politics of a strain of the professional-managerial class whose worldview and material interests are rooted within a political economy of race and ascriptive identity-group relations.
For now, however, I want simply to draw attention to how insistence on reducing discussion of killings of civilians by police to a matter of racism clouds understanding of and possibilities for effective response to the deep sources of the phenomenon.”
A Brain Pickings offering that will benefit writers and other creatives at some point or another: “For writers, there can be a particularly disorienting disconnect between knowing this correlation intellectually and being petrified by facing the blank page. Much of that psychoemotional paralysis comes from our pathological perfectionism, the antidote to which Jennifer Egan captured perfectly in her advice on writing: “You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly… Accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well.””
A Common Dreams article that looks at the role of the media in perpetuating pageants devoid of true political depth and relevance: “The expected size of the viewing audience is receiving media attention, with some projecting “Super Bowl-esque number potentials.”
But what some analysts say viewers can expect to see during the 90 minutes is exactly the sort of substance-devoid event the League of Women Voters, which once administered the debates, warned of.
In fact, writes Richard Eskow, what viewers will see likely won’t be an “issues-driven debate” at all but rather a “pageant.” He says it’s being marketed as “entertainment spectacle.” But that “would be tragic—for the democratic process, and for the country.””
A Fortuna’s Corner piece that shows how close we are to inevitable conflict with North Korea, a sobering eventuality that seems closer every day as the small nation flexes its nuclear power, and that could have dire consequences: “A North Korea with the ability to threaten the US homeland might conclude it had little to fear from the US military, a judgement that could lead it to launch a conventional, non-nuclear attack on South Korea. Even if such a war ended in North Korea’s defeat, it would be extraordinarily costly by any measure. That said, North Korea would not have to start a war for its nuclear and missile advances to have real impact. If South Korea or Japan ever concluded that North Korea was in a position to deter American involvement in a war on the Peninsula, they would lose confidence in US security assurances, raising the possibility that they would develop nuclear weapons of their own. Such decisions would alarm China and set the stage for a regional crisis or even conflict in a part of the world with the greatest concentration of people, wealth, and military might.”
A Tikkun reposting and recontextualization of a very useful and relevant-to-today analysis into today’s war-like state as a function of the sociopolitical realities that exist in our political state: “In an article I sent out earlier this morning from Tom Engelhardt I read and shook my head at the ways that the Obama administration has moved from its original promise to seek a world without nukes to planning a trillion dollar modernizaiton of our nuclear arsenal and just thought, “oh well, that’s just another part of Obama’s consistent abandonment of the ideals he promised, so why should I be shocked?” But actually, as Giroux helped me see, Obama’s capitulation is not just to the pressuress of the militariy-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about in 1960 (and he had no hint of how huge that would become), but rather a part of a larger tendency in which the militarists have succeeded in bringing military consciousness to increasingly large segments of our population, manifested in what in my book The Left Hand of God I called “the Right hand of God”–that is, the penetration into mass consciousness of the idea that homeland security, and indeed our very survival as individuals, can only be achieved through a strategy of domination of others.”