A Thought for the Day
Anything old enough ends up dried out and full of holes; still, through desiccation, rot, and collapse, measures of strength and beauty and meaning miraculously remain, or, en Español, Cualquier cosa lo suficientemente vieja, termina seca y lleno de hoyos: sin embargo, por medio de la desicacion y el deteriorio y el colapso, cierte medida de fortaleza y belleza y significado milagrosamente prevalecen.
Quote of the Day
This Day in History
Today in Taiwan commemorates the suppression of Opium, on a day when a century and a half ago, England was seeking to maximize ‘free trade’ in all commodities in the Opium Wars; in Rome sixteen hundred sixty-five years back, suffering the fate of all empires, an imperial usurpation took place when a thug by the name of Nepotianus and his gladiator goons took over the whole Roman show for a brief stint; three hundred sixty-three years subsequently, in 713, in another typical eventuality of imperial cretins, powers behind the throne of Phillippicus of Byzantium had him blinded and exiled so that a ‘leader’ more to their liking could take the helm; eight and three-quarters centuries prior to the present pass, the unlucky lover and famous philosopher, Peter Abelard, faced a guilty verdict for heresy that led to his silencing as a thinker in perpetuity and the burning of his books; just a year shy of four centuries henceforth, in 1539, Hernando de Soto claimed Florida for Spain; sixty-nine years thereafter, twelve hundred miles North in Quebec, in 1608, French explorer Samuel de Champlain finished his third tour of New France; thirteen years afterward, in 1621, the Dutch West India Company incorporated so as to profit from slavery and sugar and rum and the ‘primitive accumulation’ possibilities of early capitalism; thirty-seven years after that point, back in Europe in 1657, the groundbreaking English doctor, William Harvey, took a final breath; a hundred seventy-six years ahead of
now, a political potentate in what was then Humen, China, seized well in excess of a million kilos of British Opium and set it afire to destroy it, thereby providing the English with the excuse to start the so-called ‘First Opium War’ that began the final plunder of imperial China; one hundred fifty-three years back, a huge crowd in Sheffield, England rose up in riots against rumored body-snatching from Wardsend Cemetery; thirteen decades before the here-and-now, the final battle against indigenous people on Canadian territory took place when Cree leader Big Bear eluded the Mounted Police; four years hence, in 1889, also in Canada, workers for corporate interests completed the Canadian Pacific Railways’ girding of North America, and the first U.S. ‘long-distance’ transmission of electricity occurred in Portland, Oregon, using hydropower in the event; ninety-nine years ago, President Wilson signed the National Defense Act, expanding the National Guard by almost five hundred million soldiers; eight years later to the day, in 1924, the still young writer and social critic, Franz Kafka, died; seven years after that precise point in time, in 1931, a baby boy was born who would become accomplished philosopher John Lange, who would also created copious science fiction worlds for legions of followers as John Norman; four years closer to the current moment, in 1935, unemployed Canadian workers by the thousands boarded empty box cars to ride to the nation’s capitol and protest unemployment; three hundred sixty-six days beyond that conjunction, back in the U.S. in 1936, a baby Texan boy came into the world who, as Larry McMurtry, would create Lonesome Dove and other iconic literature of ‘the West;’ four years after to the day, in 1940, across the Atlantic in Germany, Nazi leader Franz Rademacher proposes to avoid Hitler’s ‘final solution’ by shipping Jewish concentration camp victims to Madagascar, something that early British Zionists had also suggested; three years further along time’s path, in 1943, back on the West Coast of North America, the so-called Zoot-Suit Riots began in Southern California, in which largely White Marines and Naval personnel savagely attacked and sometimes murdered Mexican, Black, and Native Americans with many of whom the Zoot Suit was in fashion; a year afterward on the East Coast, in 1944, a baby girl entered our midst who would mature as feminist pioneer and editor, Mary Thom; fifty-six years ahead of this dawn, Britain deigned to permit Singapore self-rule without altering its colonial status at all; four years subsequently, in 1963, five hundred miles North in Vietnam, Army of the Republic of South Vietnam soldiers attacked and brutalized protesting Buddhists, initiating a crisis in the U.S. backed territory as it slid toward total war; altogether around the world one years later, in 1964, Finnish Nobel Literature Laureate Frans Sillenpää breathed his last; four years more proximate to the present day, in 1968, the SCUM Manifesto’s promoter and author, Valerie Solanas, shot Andy Warhol three times, an attempt to kill the artist that she hoped would publicize her critique of patriarchy, male chauvinism, and men generally; just a year shy of a decade thereafter, in 1977, iconic Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini’s life had its final frame; seven years later still, in 1984, on the other side of the world in India, Operation Blue Star unfolded, in which Hindu authorities orchestrated attacks on the Sikh hold site, the ‘Golden Temple,’ that ultimately caused five thousand or more deaths; two years back precisely, the trial of whistleblower Chelsea Manning began, and Southern thinker Will Campbell spent his final day alive. From Wikipedia Day in History
SEARCH OF THE DAY "sharing economy" sustainability "corporate social responsibility" impossible OR unattainable OR fatuous OR fantasy without "social democracy" OR socialism OR "social equality" OR "grassroots power" OR "real democracy" OR "democratic empowerment" = 6,920 Hits.
TOP OF THE FOLD
RATIONALITY & REDEMOPUBLICRATICANS–FROM WALKER TO SANDERS
As for Israel, Bernie has been a hawkish advocate that would never halt the $3 billion the U.S. government sends to the country every year. Last summer he backed Israel’s murderous bombing of Gaza. He’s even had some nasty words about Palestine’s right to resist. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that several former members of Bernie’s staff have also been employed by AIPAC, including Israel apologists David Sirota and Joel Barkin. His is a disgusting record. Want to change in the U.S.’s meddling in the Middle East? Bernie isn’t your guy.
If the Senator’s support for ongoing war and the occupation of Palestine don’t make you squeamish, then you may as well stop reading. I doubt you’ll grasp the importance of challenging empire by refusing to cast a vote for a party that pumps fuel into the war machine’s tank. Such an effort requires a willingness to step out on the Democrats, especially at the national level, where they have waged war on workers at home and employed a blood-thirsty foreign policy abroad.”
JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS
Fairy Tale Review is thrilled to announce our second annual contest, with awards for poetry and prose—Brian Evenson will serve as our judge for prose, and Joyelle McSweeney will judge poetry. The selected winners of the prose and poetry contests will each receive $1,000, and all submissions will also be considered for publication in The Ochre Issue, which will be released in 2016. Reading fee: $10. Submit online or via post to Fairy Tale Review, c/o Kate Bernheimer, Department of English, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ 85721.
“Joust”: this year’s writing contest begins June 27, 2015 at noon PST and lasts exactly 24 hours.
At the start, you will be emailed a first and last sentence. Your story must bridge the two in under 1,000 words and under 24 hours. The best story wins.
All competitors must register in advance. Registration closes 11:59pm PST on June 26.
There is no fee for entry. The first-place prize is $300 and we will publish the story. Only the first-place winner wins a prize.
Minnesota’s Midway Journal is calling for poetry, short stories, and nonfiction for their Monstrosities of the Midway literary contest. The winner gets $1000 and publication. Dorianne Laux is the judge.
The City of Santa Ana, California is calling for local artists and art organizations of all mediums, including visual, performing, musical, film, and literary mediums, to apply for their Investing in the Artist grants. Grants will range from $5k to $10k.
Authors can submit an English-language book to Kindle Scout and be considered for a Kindle publishing contract in 45 days or less.
Submissions are accepted in romance, mystery and thriller,
sf/fantasy, literature and fiction. Books are chosen via a reader
review and voting system. If accepted, the author will receive an
advance of $1500 and 50% ebook royalties.
Amazon/Kindle acquires worldwide publishing rights for eBook and
audio formats in all languages. Authors retain all other rights,
including print rights. The contract is for five years, renewable.
If a book does not earn $25,000 in royalties in five years, or in
any five-year renewal period, the author can choose to cease
publication with Kindle. In addition, any rights that remain
unused, or all rights for a book that earns less than $500 in the
preceding 12 months, will revert to the author on request.
For details, visit https://kindlescout.amazon.
THIS OLD HOUSE
Did you renovate your house and do most of the work yourself? If so, we’d like to hear about your project. Please send copies of before and after photos, a floor plan (we cannot return any materials), and a brief description of the work you did. Pays $250. For full features to include how-to and more technical pieces, pays $1/word for up to 2,500 words.
An internationally acclaimed literary journal that publishes engaging, surprising, eclectic, and challenging writing and art by Canadian and international writers and artists. Deadline May 31, 2015. Pays $50 per page to a maximum of $250, plus two copies of the issue in which their work appears.
Managing Editor Writer’s Digest Magazine – Cincinnatti OH Oversee the production schedules for 12 issues per year, ensure smooth workflow between editorial and design, track progress of all editorial content of every issue, enforce schedule at weekly staff meetings, work with production to storyboard issues. etc.
Looking for children’s humor writer to write two books of jokes, riddles, and trivia for Minecraft players. Must be familiar with the Minecraft universe and have a strong understanding of what middle-grade kids find funny.
This is a work-for-hire, flat fee contract job.
Writing at Dear Doctor
Our ideal candidate is a person experienced in scientific writing with a performance history of high-level media publications. Responsibilities include identifying and communicating about dentistry through website material, social media, multimedia, pitches, press releases and printed marketing materials.
ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING
An invitation to a July event that promises lots of insights, energy, and chances to connect with likeminded folks: “Free Minds, Free People is a national conference that brings together teachers, young people, researchers, parents and community-based activists/educators from across the country to build a movement to develop and promote education as a tool for liberation. We seek to develop ways of teaching and learning both in and out of school that help us to build a more just society. The conference is a space in which these groups can learn from and teach each other, sharing knowledge, experience and strategies.
The first conference took place in Chicago in 2007, the second in Houston in 2009, the third in Providence in 2011, and the last was back in Chicago in 2013. We are looking forward to heading to the West Coast to Oakland in 2015.”
A longstanding gathering of folks interested in social justice and building a new tomorrow through various techniques and venues, this event takes place in two venues and offers a chance for interested folk to propose their own workshops: “This years US Social Forum is dedicated to the idea that we need more than just skill shares, panels and discussions. We need to dedicate ourselves to strategic thinking, political organization and collective awareness. We are happy to be hosted in Philadelphia and San Jose, along with a host of other People’s Movement Assemblies across the South from Jackson to SC and more to be announced. On that note, we are looking for creative concepts and innovative thinkers. We are looking for organizations, individuals and collectives from all over the country with a vision for what the world might be, and strategies on how to get there.”
A Global Voices Online article that highlights the plight of journalists who suffer abuse under those who do not want justice and truth to rise to the surface: “Thousands of Pakistani journalists working for BOL have been demonstrating in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore on a daily basis, but coverage of their protests by other media has been scant. Their demands are simple: to stop violations of their rights and allow them to launch the much-hyped and controversial BOL television channel.
Pressure on BOL began on May 18, 2015, when a story broke on the front page of the New York Times titled, ‘Fake Diplomas, Real Cash: Pakistani Company Axact Reaps Millions.’“
A Counterpunch posting that shares with interested readers an interview with a Ukrainian who has allied himself with the cause of justice in the Ukraine: “I served in Odessa way back during military conscription, and then I served in the police in Donetsk and Sumy. 
I did not share the so-called values that Maidan proclaimed. It was an aggressive movement of fascist youngsters, proclaiming a Nazi ideology at the state level. Such slogans as “Ukraine is for Ukrainians”, “Glory to the nation – death for enemies” and so on I cannot view as anything but a Nazi ideology.”
A Tele Sur article that highlights the struggles educators are having facing down a negative educational reform bill that caters to market interests and threatens to gut a reasonable educational system in the name of profits: “Thousands of teachers took to the streets Monday to protest an educational bill currently going through congress, launching an indefinite strike called Sunday by the union Teachers’ College. Jaime Gajardo, president of the union, said teachers would hold meetings various times a day during their indefinite strike to explain the movement to the community. Teachers are demanding changes to key aspects of the bill. They are opposed to the implementation of certification exams and are demanding better salaries and working conditions. ”
An exciting Truth Out article that discusses new and extreme measures taken by everyone’s favourite whistle blowing site to show the public information regarding a shady multinational deal that the government strives to keep secret: “Despite the Senate vote approving a measure to give President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, opposition to the deal continues to mount ahead of this month’s House vote. Critics, including a number of Democratic lawmakers, oppose the TPP, saying it will fuel inequality, kill jobs, and undermine health, environmental and financial regulations. The negotiations have been secret, and the public has never seen most of the deal’s text. Well, this morning the whistleblowing group WikiLeaks launched a campaign to change that. The group is seeking to raise $100,000 to offer what they describe as a bounty for the leaking of the unseen chapters of the TPP. We speak to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.”
From Chief Organizer blog, one of hundreds of recent mentions of Sanders campaign, highly favourable for the most part, that presents his candidacy as a real change for workers, something that workers themselves need to think deeply about: “There was a “gee-whiz” report from Iowa that Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, running for President as a Democrat, was drawing huge crowds in this early primary state, out pacing all other candidates from either party. He saw 700 in Davenport, one of the larger cities in Iowa. He drew 300 to a rally in a small town with a total population of about 250 people. The message of the story was encapsulated in a report of an Iowa Democratic Party official calling the Clinton campaign and telling them they needed to get their candidate on the ground as fast as possible”
WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS
Trello is like a project-based version of
Pinterest for collaborators that allows scrappy scribes to add checklists, due date reminders, attachments up to 10MB , and any other number of admin and organizational tools. Free and paid subscriptions available:“You can make as many boards as you want on a free Trello account and add as many collaborators as you like. …. Trello is available as a web-based app, or you can
download their iOS app, Android app, Kindle app, or Windows 8
tablet app to use on your mobile device (download instructions can
be found at: https://trello.com/platforms).
A Journalism.co.uk post that shares many useful research tools for scrappy scribes who rely in large measure on what social media can provide: “Tools have always come from the need to carry out a specific task more effectively. It’s one of the main differences between human beings and the rest of the animal kingdom. We may still be slaves to the same old evolutionary urges but we sure know how to eat noodles in style.
In journalism, an abstract tool for uncovering the most interesting and insightful information about society, we can generally boil the workflow down to four stages: finding, reporting, producing and distributing stories.
So with that in mind, here are a range of tools which will – hopefully – help you carry out your journalism tasks more effectively.”
Some dour though apt advice from an Awl columnist to a confused and frightened youngster who is frightened about pursuing a vocation in journalism: “I don’t in general have a lot of regrets, because regrets are for losers, but I do wish that I’d accumulated a more sophisticated sense of privilege early on. I would have learned so much more about the world! Some young people are taught that the world is there for the taking. It is our job to teach that to every young person, not just the ones who went to private schools and private colleges. Entry level jobs in sales, business, real estate and even some levels of finance have little barrier to entry, it turns out, even though this is where the 1% hide all their children. The fields are only packed with muttonheads and pearl-clutchers from Trinity-Pawling and Loomis Chaffee because they are told how to get there. The rest of us just need to be informed. The point being, you can take a thousand paths to performing journalism, and being literate in the ways of the world is actually a much better path than being literate in journalism. Journalism is easy to learn. The world is much harder.”
GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES
A Global Investigative Journalism article that analyses the pitfalls of believing witnesses and other principals in breaking news items, citing the recent Rolling Stone rape debacle, an event which led to much soul searching amongst reporters and editors alike: “The Coll review has itself attracted edifying commentary about the pitfalls of narrative journalism and the shaming by “activists” of those who correctly pointed out the story’s glaring holes. Amidst the condemnation of Rolling Stone, there is a sense that this is a learning moment for the profession as a whole. While some of the faults of the piece flow from Erdely’s unique and perhaps even malicious failings as the author, other errors are common to many in the profession. The error that has attracted the least commentary so far is the idea that Jackie’s credibility was legitimately enhanced because her detailed story stayed consistent over its retellings to the journalist and because of her “confident” demeanor during these narrations. Many a reporter has fallen into these two holes before.”
A Route Fifty posting that highlights progress made in providing technology and opportunities for all citizens: “As a former educator and community advocate, I know firsthand how important it can be for communities to tackle the digital divide and provide Internet access to those who may not otherwise have it. That’s why I lead Next Century Cities, a city-to-city collaborative of nearly 90 communities across the country whose leaders seek to ensure that all of their residents have access to fast, affordable and reliable Internet. The communities that make up Next Century Cities have incredible, diverse approaches to ensuring access to high-quality Internet from municipally-owned networks to public-private partnerships.”
A Hill piece that highlights some of the many failings of the so-called ‘sharing economy’, especially as it is used to attempt to profit off desperate workers: “A crop of tech startups, including Uber and Lyft, that employ armies of contractors instead of direct employees is drawing scrutiny from Washington, where lawmakers and other officials are raising concerns about the way “sharing companies” are regulated.
Critics from across the political spectrum — from liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to a Republican member of the National Labor Relations Board — are signaling it may be time to overhaul regulations for companies that avoid paying benefits by classifying their workers as contractors.”
A CounterPunch piece that discusses the atrocious acts ocurring in Yemen at the current moment, as Saudi Arabia’s new empire-backed shenanigans lay waste to a potentially thriving region: “The Saudis and their coalition partners—and this includes the US military which is providing intelligence and logistical support—have, in the space of eleven weeks, erased fifty years of progress in Yemen. Airstrikes have destroyed roads, bridges, universities, museums, historical sites, factories, and hundreds of homes and even entire villages. Yet, despite the destruction, many Yemenis are determined not to let their country become another Iraq, Syria, Libya, or Afghanistan, all of which have been on the receiving end of the disastrous interventionist foreign policies of the US and Saudi Arabia.
“Talking is the only way out of this quagmire,” explains a former Yemeni MP. “No one group in Yemen has the power to defeat the other. We have two choices: to go on fighting for the next decade and give the world another Syria, or talk. Our history favors the latter. But I don’t think our Saudi friends have any interest in letting us solve our own problems.”
GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS
A CityLab article that discusses moves towards erecting structures meant to house those who can ill afford the hyperinflated prices for basic dwellings, met with opposition from those who never have to consider these problems for themselves if luck and privilege stay on their side: “In a zoning meeting about the development, some people said their children had been bullied when they lived in rental developments and didn’t want that to happen again. Others said there would be too much traffic if the development was built. Still others worried that they would no longer be able to go into their backyards in their underwear. A young boy complained that the residents of the affordable-housing complex would run over the turtles that sometimes appeared in the neighborhood. Another resident complained that he used the property—which was private—to pick blueberries or race ATVs, and the development would put an end to all of that.
“Some of the things that were said were on the hateful side,” Gagliardi said. “It happens often, it’s the Not In My Backyard Syndrome.””
An AFL CIO video post that addresses questions and answers on how to make education truly a useful tool for everyone: “In the latest video in his “Ideas to Save the Economy” series, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich gives numerous suggestions on how to fix the problems our education system faces, something that would benefit people across the economic spectrum.”