A Thought for the Day
How one can transform impossibility, when in fact it is necessity itself, into the likeliest possibility imaginable is, on the one hand, no easier that imagining how to change the course of a moving train while one is riding in it toward an approaching precipice, and, on the other hand as simple as foretelling the birth of some magical child from the loins of two strangers who have the temerity, despite all evidence to the contrary, to love each other in such beneficence and hope that they know that an infant of destiny will spring forth from their conjunction.
Quote of the Day
But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money!” George Carlin
This Day in History
Today in El Salvador is Teacher Day, and in Croatia, Anti-Fascist Resistance Day; in a battle, in some ways redolent of contemporary struggle, to determine control of what is now Gaza and parts of Palestine, two thousand two hundred thirty-two years ago, a fourth Egyptian Ptolemy led forces that routed Greek fighters under the aegis of a third, so-called ‘Great,’ Antiochus; not quite half a century afterward, in 168 BCE, Roman troops won the day over the armies of Macedonian King Perseus at the battle of Pydna, thereby at once ending the Third Macedonian War and extending Roman hegemony into the Southern Balkans;half a decade less than seventeen centuries subsequently, in 1527 CE, a Romance-language remnant of Roman imperial imprimatur, Portugal, faced the wrath of indogenous Indomesians, and fled what these people now celebrate as the founding of Jakarta; five years shy of a single century after that point, in 1622,slightly further East and North in Asia, Portugal and Holland battled over control of Macau, the result of which was an extension of Portuguese colonial hegemony; eleven years later, in 1633, Galileo Galilei preferred to keep his head and therefore recanted his accurate representation of the sun’s central place in the solar system, and instead affirmed the erroneous Christian dogma that the earth was at the center of the solar system; a hundred and ninety years prior to the present pass, Britain’s Parliament passed legislation that abolished all feudal relationships in British North America; fourteen years hence, in 1839, angry Cherokee clan members assassinated three of their erstwhile leaders who had signed the New Echota Treaty, which justified the infamous Trail of Tears dislocation; one hundred forty five years before the here and now, in an ironic twist on the travesties of decency and responsibility that took place during Reconstruction, Congress created the Department of Justice; a hundred twenty-eight years ahead of today’s light, an old English aristocratic family ushered in a boy baby who would grow up as the biological thinker and sire of literary genius, Julian Huxley; eleven years after that conjunction, in 1898, American imperial muscle flexed in the initiation of the invasion of Cuba, not to liberate the people there but to change their masters, and across the Atlantic a baby boy was born who went on to write of the horrific carnage of war as Erich Maria Remarque; two dozen years later, in 1922, in the united States homeland an attempt to oppress striking miners with impunity in Illinois ended in carnage, with the death of nineteen strikebreakers and three union miners at the Herrin mine near Carbondale; fourteen years after, in 1936, a male infant uttered his first cry en route to crooning and scribbling success as the songwriter and performer, Kris Kristofferson; three quarters of a century back, France kowtowed to fascist rule with an armistice that established ‘Vichy’ rule in parts of the Southeast; one short year later exactly, in 1941, Germany revealed a fundamental purpose of the Nazi experiment with the invasion of Soviet Russia in Operation Barbarossa;another three hundred sixty five days down the pike, in 1942, on the other side of the Atlantic, in North America, the United States bowed to proto-fascist ‘patriotism’ with the Congressional enactment of a requisite Pledge of Allegiance; seven hundred thirty-one days beyond that point in time, in 1944, President Roosevelt ushered in the modern intersection between ‘veterans’ and education with his signing of the so-called G.I. Bill, a ‘readjustment act’ the radical intent of which Congress gutted assiduously; two more years subsequently, in 1946, a Cuban male infant entered our midst whose destiny was to write and sing and produce music as Eliades Ochoa; exactly a year henceforth, a baby girl gulped a first breath who would eventually make a mark as the prolific writer of science fiction and consciousness, Octavia Butler; sixty-two years back, the baby girl was born who would mature as the radical rocker, Cyndi Lauper; seven years further along, in 1960, the female infant came into the world who grew up as environmental and radical lawyer, Erin Brockovich; nine years thereafter, in 1969,half a continent away in Cleveland, the Cuyahoga River caught fire, and the Clean Water Act and the Environmental Protection Agency were partial results of this grim parody of nature’s wonders; twenty-one years even closer to today, in 1990, the closing of Checkpoint Charlie signaled the tearing down of the ‘Iron Curtain’ between the former East Germany and its Marshall Funded Western counterpart; six years ago, iconic critic and gut-wrenchingly hilarious thinker George Carlin took his final breath. From WIkipedia Day in History
SEARCH OF THE DAY "willful ignorance" "equivalent to" OR "same as" OR "equal to" insanity OR stupidity prevalence OR ubiquity OR commonplace OR omnipresent = 11,000 Hits.
TOP OF THE FOLD
A BALLISTIC BULLSHIT CORPORATE ‘FAST TRACK’ TO DOOM\
From the genius people’s banker at the Web of Debt Blog, via Global Research, another likely futile plea for sanity and even a modicum of decency and democracy in relation to the corporate coup d’ etat that is now all but a foregone conclusion in relation to new trade treaties, if not this go-round then soon enough in predatory finance capital’s relentless acquisition to own everything in existence for all of eternity despite the fact that even that will not be nearly enough: “Fast-track authority is being sought in the Senate this week for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), along with the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and any other such trade agreements coming down the pike in the next six years. The terms of the TPP and the TiSA are so secret that drafts of the negotiations are to remain classified for four years or five years, respectively, after the deals have been passed into law. How can laws be enforced against people and governments who are not allowed to know what was negotiated?
The TPP, TiSA and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (or TTIP, which covers Europe) will collectively encompass three-fourths of the world’s GDP; and they ultimately seek to encompass nearly 90 percent of GDP. Despite this enormous global impact, fast-track authority would allow the President to sign the deals before their terms have been made public, and send implementing legislation to Congress that cannot be amended or filibustered and is not subject to the constitutional requirement of a two-thirds treaty vote.
While the deals are being negotiated, lawmakers can see their terms only under the strictest secrecy, and they can be subjected to criminal prosecution for revealing those terms. What we know of them comes only through WikiLeaks. The agreements are being treated as if they were a matter of grave national security, yet they are not about troop movements or military strategy. Something else is obviously going on.
The bizarre, unconstitutional, blatantly illegal nature of this enforced secrecy was highlighted in a May 15th article by Jon Rappoport, titled ‘What Law Says the Text of the TPP Must Remain Secret?’ He wrote:
‘It seems like a case of mass hypnosis. . . .
Members of Congress are scuttling around like weasels, claiming they can’t disclose what’s in this far-reaching, 12-nation trade treaty.
They can go into a sealed room and read a draft, but they can’t copy pages, and they can’t tell the public what they just read.
If there is a US law forbidding disclosure, name the law.
Can you recall anything in the Constitution that establishes secret treaties?
Is there a prior treaty that states the text of all treaties can be hidden from the people?’
To Congressmen who say they cannot reveal what is in a treaty that will adversely affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people, Rappoport says:
‘Wrong. You’re lying. You can reveal secret text. In fact, it’s your duty. Otherwise, you’re guilty of cooperating in a RICO criminal conspiracy.'”
JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS
Drop Forge & Tool’s emphasis is on collaborative process and new work development. We prioritize applications for residencies with two or more artists working together. Individual artists are also welcome to apply, although we may ask if you are willing to share the residency space with others. Residencies are available for any length of time, from just a few days to a month. The residency fee is $300 per week to cover direct costs. That said, we have a lot of needs here at DF&T so please contact us if you do not have the funds to cover the fee. In lieu of a fee, you might teach a class, help us with our social networking and marketing materials, or help us to beautify our spaces. We are open year-round (except December), and are currently taking applications for Summer 2015, Fall 2015, and Winter 2016 sessions. Location Hudson, NY,
Little Fiction|Big Truths, a publisher of fiction and nonfiction material, has issued a call for submissions to solicit stories for a forthcoming Technology anthology about our digital lives. This anthology will contain short nonfiction stories, between 1000 and 2500 words, exploring how technology has transformed and become an extension of our lives.
Ricepaper, a quarterly Canadian literary magazine published since 1994, has issued a special call to receive submissions for the Fall 2015 issue. The theme for this issue is “roots”–stories that explore Canada as a country with roots that cross the Pacific ocean and across Canadian provinces and territories.
‘Deserts of Fire’ Anthology Needs Speculative Fiction Stories Skyhorse Publishing (est. 2006) is seeking submissions for an upcoming anthology titled Deserts of Fire, a speculative fiction anthology to be published under the company’s Night Shade Books imprint. The stories in Deserts of Fire will take place in or during the Iraq War … Deadline: 06/01/2015 Pay: up to $200/story
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ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING
A Counter Punch review of Orwell’s work and that of other dystopian thinkers who might have found the current moment even more fearsome than they imagined: “In spite of his vivid imagination, “Orwell never could have imagined that the National Security Agency (NSA) would amass metadata on billions of our phone calls and 200 million of our text messages every day. Orwell could not have foreseen that our government would read the content of our emails, file transfers, and live chats from the social media we use.” Edward Snowden and other critics are correct about the dangers of the state’s infringement of privacy rights, but their analysis should be taken further by linking the issue of citizen surveillance with the rise of “networked societies,” global flows of power, and the emergence of a totalitarian ethos that defies even state-based control. For Orwell, domination was state imposed and bore the heavy hand of unremitting repression and a smothering language that eviscerated any appearance of dissent, erased historical memory, and turned the truth into its opposite. For Orwell, individual freedom was at risk under the heavy hand of state terrorism.”
A TeleSur brief that discusses the pontiff’s true involvement with the people, pointing to the committment expressed in his historic encyclical: “Delegations from over 34 countries have confirmed that they will join Pope Francis at the second World Meeting of Social Movements in Bolivia next month, organizers confirmed this week. Pope Francis gained popularity with social movements this week, after he released his historic encyclical in which he called for “decisive action” on climate change, stopping short of calling it a moral duty.”
An In These Times documentary review that discusses a film that exposes to viewers, almost for the first time, the ghastly struggles of the migrant workers who place the food we all eat on the table: ““This is a tremendously wealthy food system,” Holt-Gimenez says. “Six trillion dollars a year. It’s just very poorly distributed.” It is the nature of the food system, he says, to render workers like Ana invisible. “When you pick up an apple, you don’t see the labor in that apple . . . You walk down the grocery aisle, think about all this phantom labor embodied in all those products. We don’t see it.”
“Invisible Hands” begins to make that phantom labor visible.”
WRITERS' ISSUES & EVENTS & TOOLS
A Wired piece that calls facebook to task for its overreaching new ‘security’ attempt: “I am one of many casualties of Facebook’s recently rejiggered “authentic name” policy, wherein anonymous users can report a name as fake and trigger a verification process. Part of the motivation is stopping the proliferation of celebrity imposter accounts and profiles made for pets. But it’s also allowed Facebook to shutter the accounts of real people, based on “authenticity.” What does “authentic” mean, though? It’s both confusing and contextual, because identity itself is confusing and contextual.”
A tongue-in-cheek Counter Currents posting that discusses the one thing that allows a worst-person-in-the-world writer to achieve literary fame: “For Charles Bukowski, the description above not only added to his “mystique” but was virtually indistinguishable from his art. More than two decades after his death, he remains a revered and widely-read literary legend — known as much for his lifestyle choices as his poetry.
So, to those who wonder: How does one become one of those cool, edgy, infamous, underground writers like Buk?”
GENERAL MEDIA & 'INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY' ISSUES
A Fortune posting that discusses innovative news, media, and social engagement ventures: “The News Lab at Google, run by former YouTube executive Olivia Ma, launched three interesting projects on Thursday, all of which are focused to some extent on crowd-sourced or networked journalism. The first, known as YouTube Newswire, is a joint venture between the video platform and Storyful, the News Corp.-owned service that specializes in verifying content that comes from social media.”
An Information Clearing House article that draws an interesting parallel between the action of violent hate-crime perpetrators and the larger sociopathic murder instinct prevalent in the imperial militaristic mindset that has defined global policy for decades, if not longer: “Mass murders have increased fourteenfold in the United States since the 1960s, sociologist Peter Turchin wrote two and a half years ago, after the Sandy Hook killings. In his essay, called “Canaries in a Coal Mine,” Turchin made a disturbing comparison: Mass murderers kill the same way soldiers do, without personal hatred for their victims but to right some large social wrong. He called it the “principle of social substitutability” — substituting a particular group of people for a general wrong.
“On the battlefield,” Turchin wrote, “you are supposed to try to kill a person whom you’ve never met before. You are not trying to kill this particular person, you are shooting because he is wearing the enemy uniform. . . . Enemy soldiers are socially substitutable.”
GENERAL PAST & PRESENT ISSUES & DEVELOPMENTS
A Library of Congress posting that commemorates a longstanding American institution: “Based on Robert Baden-Powell’s international scouting movement, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was a remarkable institution that expanded rapidly following its introduction into America in 1910. Primary goals of the American movement were to help boys develop the skills, the knowledge, and the “character” required to better serve themselves and their country. The BSA constructed an impressive national program that answered every community’s call for service. One of the organization’s` major success stories, however, was the amazing number of fathers who volunteered to participate. Read more about it!
The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.”