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Contains Daily links from Feb 17, 2014, through July 11, 2014. Forcurrent Daily links please visit here

7/11/2014

Quote of the Day

“‘Trends’ (from Twitter) provides an algorithmic gloss of our aggregate social data practices that can always be read/misread as censorship.  If #occupywallstreet is not trending, that could mean any of the following: (a) it is being deliberately censored (b) it is actually less popular than one might think (c) it is very popular but consistently so, not a spike (d) it is popular and spiking, but not in a way the algorithm is designed to measure (e) it is popular and spiking, but not as much as some pop culture phenomena that has crowded it off the list (f) it is popular and important, but not as popular as the pop culture phenomena that have been strategically gamed onto the list (g) it has not Trended because it has not Trended, thereby not enjoying the amplification Trends itself offers.  However, we are unable to know for certain.  Not only are the criteria opaque and the archive proprietary, we also have no benchmark against which to compare the results.”  Tarleton Gillespie: “Can an Algorithm Be Wrong?” http://limn.it/can-an-algorithm-be-wrong/.

This Day in History

Six hundred nine years ago, Ming Dynasty sailor Zheng He set sail to explore the world; two hundred seventy-four years back, ‘Little Russia,’ AKA Ukraine, expelled most Jews; two hundred twenty-five years ago, the events leading to the sacking of the Bastille unfolded with the dismissal of France’s finance minister; two hundred eight years before the present, Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel, fatally wounding him; one hundred twenty-five years back, Tijuana, Mexico incorporated; one hundred nineteen years prior to the here-and-now, the Lumierre Brothers first demonstrated moving pictures; a hundred eight years ago, the murder took place on which Theodore Dreiser based An American Tragedy; ninety-three years back, the Soviet Red Army established the Peoples Republic of Mongolia; seventy-one years prior to this point in time, Ukrainian Nazis massacred Poles and others in Galicia; fifty-four years ago, To Kill a Mockingbird was first available; fifty-two years back, the first trans-Atlantic satellite television broadcast happened; forty-three years ago, President Salvador Allende nationalized Chile’s copper mines, leading to coup plots aplenty, the culmination of which was his murder and the ‘disappearance’ of tens of thousands of Chileans by CIA-financed and organized killers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_11.

RECENT BLOG-POSTS

Daily Links transferring to blog format soon

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

07/10/2014 – 5:40pm

The United Auto Workers today announced the formation of a Local 42 union to provide representation for auto workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga. No workers will be required to join.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://hyperlocalsurvey.wordpress.com/  A portal to a detailed and enlightening report from England about the status of ‘hyperlocal news outlets’ there and the issues, problems, and prospects of such work.
  • http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/fixgov/posts/  A Brookings Institution blog about a new report on ‘news literacy’ and the hopes that it holds out for democratic media and grassroots reportage: “If professionals are less and less able to vet information, perhaps consumers can do it themselves.  Perhaps, in any case, they’ll have to, because no one else will.  The idea of news literacy is to equip young people, in college or even high school, with more of the skills that used to be the domain of professionals. “Every student in America should acquire the critical thinking skills of a journalist,” Klurfeld and Schneider write (their emphasis).”
  • http://www.immigrationpolicy.org  An American Immigration Policy portal to its report,No Childhood Here, about the driving political, social, and economic forces in young peoples’ migration from Central America.
  • http://s2.epi.org/files/2014/ib381-update-overtime-pay-rules.pdf  An Economic Policy Institute Issue Brief about overtime pay and the often avoided and frequently inadequate rules supposedly present to protect wage earners from exploitative overwork.
  • http://limn.it/can-an-algorithm-be-wrong/  A Tarleton Gillespie article about algorithms, censorship, knowledge, and a whole lot more.
WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS
  • http://www.pbs.org/ A six-question interview in PBS’s Media Shift about the shape and possibilities of a better journalism-data interface, with Tow Center’s Alex Howard: “This is not a fresh or novel idea.  Journalists have been looking for data about these things as part of their stories for many decades.  Data journalism is not a novel idea to investigative reporters who have been diving into statistics to try to give readers context and understanding.”
  • http://www.politico.com/blogs   A Politico announcement about the Guardian’splan to expand its U.S. presence with the opening of an office in the Bay Area.
  • http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/258092/new-york-times-to-add-digital-deputy-editors/  A Poynter Media Wire briefing about a report originated with Capital New York about a Times’ memo that announces a plan to add digital editors to every major news desk in the paper of record’s organization: “‘We are adding a deputy-level editor to each of the major news desks whose responsibility will be to ensure our coverage shines everywhere we publish,’ the memo reads.”
  • http://www.brookings.edu/~/media   A Brookings Institution Report about the need for a contextualization in the nature of “news literacy,” similar to “media literacy” among other ‘cultural literacy’ profferals: “The greatest communications revolution in more than 500 years had made (merely ‘training journalists’) impossible, spawning a daily, digital tsunami that threatened to drown the population in a flood of information and disinformation.
  • In response, (a Stonybrook SUNY professor arrived via Newsday) and his colleagues had created the nation’s first course in News Literacy, a course aimed at educating the next generation of news consumers on how to make reliable news and information choices.”
  • http://libraries.pewinternet.org/files/legacy-pdf/PIP_Libraries%20in%20communities.pdf  A Pew Research Center report on the importance of public libraries to American communities, in terms of social capital, access to information and tools, and much more, all of critical import to writers.
  • http://online.wsj.com/articles/  Wall Street Journal’sbreaking news assessment of Amazon’s recent offer to pay writers 100% of the e-book sales take till its dispute with Hachette runs its course.
  • https://www.publicknowledge.org/   A plausibly crucial briefing fromPublic Knowledge about different groups’ and individuals’ protests against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, especially the possible impacts of its copyright provisions on access to information, fair use, and more.
  • http://benton.org/node/193675?utm_campaign=Newsletters&utm_  A Benton.org summary of aBroadcasting and Cable report about Writers Guild East’s strong, unequivocal statement against any incursions on the sanctity of net neutrality.
  • http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/rieder/2014/07/09/the-danger-of-false-balance-in-journalism/12402887/  A USA Today column that takes a milquetoast liberal, albeit still useful, stand against “false balance” in journalism.
  • http://www.journalism.org/2014/07/10/americas-shifting-statehouse-press/  A Pew Research Journalism Project report on the status of State government reportage, with both statistical and anecdotal evidence aplenty, and general conclusions that suggest the critical role that grassroots reporters might play in a landscape of cutbacks and lack of contextualization of local politics.
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/08  A shishkebab of a story from Pando Digest’s Paul Carr–tasty and too much to imagine consuming in a single gulp–about former Gawker editor John Cook’s failed Freedom of Information Act request to obtain library checkout records of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, in the context of Cook’s current leadership of Pierre Omidyar’s Intercept, which just recently killed another story at the U.S. Government’s request.
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/08   A brilliant, if iconoclastic,Pando Digest deconstruction of the poetry and self-aggrandized media stardom of James Franco, who spits on the poor and the marginal as he celebrates himself and his puerile poetics.
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/08/  A powerful Pando Digest analysis of the Amazon-Hachette dispute, with the monopolist’s offer of money to drive a wedge between writers and their publishers–not that would always be a bad thing, but what a story: “As the President of the Author’s guild (stated), (i)f Amazon wants to have a constructive conversation about this, we’re ready to have one at any time.  But this seems like a short-term solution that encourages authors to take sides against their publishers.  It doesn’t get authors out of the middle of this – we’re still in the middle.  Our books are at the center of this struggle.”

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • https://d3mlfyygrfdi2i.cloudfront.net/KickstarterCommenttoFCC.pdf  A copy of Kickstarter’s founders comments to the Federal Communications Commission about the “paid prioritization” or ‘fast-lane’ proposals about to become the SOP if monopoly capital and its administrative servants have their way, with effects between ugly and devastating: “Our ability to provide an excellent product and service to the creators of those 65,000 ideas is what we devote all of our work to.  This proposed system would incentivize entrepreneurs to divert resources away from their customers and staff so that they could make paid deals with Internet Service Providers.  Trading healthy competition for deep pockets is a terrible way to create an innovative, competitive economy.”
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation   A guest blog at Library of Congress from National Public Radio’s librarian, about the challenges of meeting news cycles and reporting requirements while still managing to facilitate or at least permit cultural preservation and information archives.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/10/opinion   The Times’ Op-Doc, by the producer-director of the documentary, The Internet’s Own Boy, about the dangers to citizens and democracy in the hypothetically upcoming shifts in network neutrality protocols.
  • https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1375982935/elementary-my-dear-holmes  One of ten substantial Kickstarter campaigns that were suspended before they could collect, via Tech Republic.
  • http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/08/nearly-half-the-thiel-fellows-plan-on-returning-to-school/?ncid=tcdaily  A report from Tech Crunch about the Thiel Fellowship Program, Peter Thiel’s “attempt to disrupt higher education” that may end up being a well-paid sabbatical for privileged youngsters to spend in a Bay Area warehouse.
  • http://www.theawl.com/2014/07/the-potato-salad-kickstarter-is-the-science-fiction-villain-we-deserve  A twisted little disquisition from The Awlabout a Kickstarter campaign for “just making potato salad” that has raised almost $40,000 and is still going strong: “Potato salad satisfies these and all other doomed attempts to systematize humor, which might be the only way to understand it: It is humor-shaped and perfectly optimized.  If it was ever whimsical it isn’t anymore—there is too much money, too much potential, tied up with this salad.  But this foundation of whimsy has created circumstances in which more capital is equated withmore humor, which is too horrible an idea to even joke about: It is a transcendence that is out of our control, a villain, an invader, an awakening of The Old Ones, a Dire Event, or at least a Portent.  What’s funnier than $37,115 for potato salad?  $47,115 for potato salad, ha ha.  What’s funnier than $47,115?  $100,000.  With every new dollar it feels more urgent to a viewer that he attach his name and his dollars to the thing, which is now obscured entirely by noise—a fee for ensuring that you’re in on the joke.”
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp  A Brian FungWaPo media blog about the ‘outside hires’ who will be doing the background and spade work on the Comcast-Time Warner and other upcoming merger deals.
  • http://benton.org/node/193219?   A Benton.org summary of a Wall Street Journal essay from FaceBook founder Mark Zuckerberg, a paean to connectivity and possibility.
  • http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/7/5876817/nsa-michael-s-rogers  A fascinating profile from The Verge, thanks to Benton.org, of new National Security Administration chief, Admiral Michael Rogers.
  • http://benton.org/node/193221?utm_campaign=Newsletters&utm_source=sendgrid&utm_medium=email  A second Benton.org summary of a July 8 Wall Street Journal opinion essay, this time by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, a nice sidekick for Mr. Zuckerberg.
  • http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-08/silicon-valley-s-talent-grab-spawns-high-school-interns.html  A Bloomberg News assessment of Silicon Valley’s ‘Summer-Intern-Talent-Acquisition-Bazaar,’ currently in full swing.
  • http://www.techpolicydaily.com/technology/us-court-case-may-shed-light-icanns-legal-status/  A Tech Policy Daily piece from American Enterprise Institute that aptly and coherently frames a significant amount of current conflicts and tension surrounding media, communications, property, and their multifaceted intersections, including those in relation to developments in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers: “Our legal system likes to divide the world into categories.  Some things are property and some are not.  Property has distinct owners.  Some brands are trademarked and some are not.  Most legal precedent is about drawing demarcation lines and inventing new categories to cover new circumstances.  The Internet has upended many traditional categories, and the courts have been busy categorizing and conceptualizing the new circumstances caused by modern communications technology.  By a strange and convoluted process, a pending legal case about payments to terror victims may end up clarifying several open questions about Internet law.”
  • http://www.tarletongillespie.org/essays/  In the vein of ‘learn epistemology or die,’ a research report from Tarleton Gillespie on algorithms and their assumptions: “These algorithms, which I’ll call public relevance algorithms, are–by the very same mathematical procedures–producing and certifying knowledge.  The algorithmic assessment of information, then, represents a particular knowledge logic, one built on specific presumptions about what knowledge is and how one should identify its most relevant components.  That we are now turning to algorithms to identify what we need to know is as momentous as having relied on credentialed experts, the scientific method, common sense, or the word of God.”
  • http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/09/yelp-google-anti-trust/?ncid=tcdaily  An important contextualization from Tech Crunch of Yelp’s attempts to prove to journalists, courts, and administrators that Google is just cheating to promote its own products and services at the expense of competitors’ access to free and open searching and such.
RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/211930-judge-strikes-down-florida-congressional-lines  The Hill reports that Florida’s GOP redistricting has violated the State’s statutes against gerrymandering, invalidating two new Congressional Districts on the eve of elections.
  • http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/07/09/   One of those blessedly simple pieces of reporting, this time from Think Progress, that warm the hearts of liberals and fire the persistence of radicals and activists, in this case about the F-35 fighter project, which at just $400 billion so far, should come in by the program’s end with enough outlay to have bought every homeless person in the U.S. a $600,000 home: “(T)he Joint Strike Fighter program has been a mess almost since its inception, with massive cost overruns leading to its current acquisition price-tag of $398.6 billion — an increase of $7.4 billion since last year.  That breaks down to costing about $49 billion per year since work began in 2006 and the project is seven years behind schedule.  Over its life-cycle, estimated at about 55 years, operating and maintaining the F-35 fleet will cost the U.S. a little over $1 trillion.  By contrast, the entirety of the Manhattan Project — which created the nuclear bomb from scratch — cost about $55 billionin today’s dollars.”
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/  A Times business news-analysis about the devastating bottom-line impacts on U.S. firms such as Brinks, Proctor & Gamble, transportation outfits, and more that have resulted from Venezuela’s recent currency devaluations.
  • http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43626.pdf  A Congressional Research Service Report, funded by taxpayers but only available thanks to Federation of American Scientists, that assesses the legislative, economic, and political aspects of the current struggle to extend the charter of the Export-Import Bank and raise its debt ceiling to $140 billion, actions that ‘radical Republicans’ and some others are questioning and ‘country-club political economy.’
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/08/bnpu-j08.html  A World Socialist Website news analysis about the record $9 billion fine levied against French Bank PNB Paribas, which Vladmir Putin recently alleged resulted from U.S. desire to punish French finance and industry for their temerity in honoring contracts to deliver warships to the Russians even after recent events in Ukraine, a contextualization with which WSWS basically agrees.
  • http://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R43628.pdf  Yet another Congressional Research Service Report, courtesy of Federation of American Scientists, about the factors underlying migration of young people from Central America.
  • http://thehill.com/policy/international/211807-us-german-spying-row-getting-worse  A breaking news assessment from The Hill that contends that the conflicts between Germany and the U.S. over a recently arrested spy in Berlin are worsening.
  • http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-peace-conference/1.601984  An essay from Ha’aretz that briskly and yet despairingly puts the present pass in Palestine in richly developed recent historical perspective–that of a robbery victim receiving the notice yet again that he needs to mediate while the robber spends the plunder that he gained: “How is it possible that while my friend and hero Yasser Arafat, and indeed much of the Arab and Muslim world, long ago accepted the basic framework of a two-state solution, the occupation is far more entrenched today than when the Oslo Accords were signed some 20 years ago on the White House lawn?  A main cause of the failure of so many well-intentioned peace initiatives, including the latest round of talks, is the very reason the man in my story never got his money back: The ‘honest brokers’ all too often agree with our occupiers that the destructive spread of settlements is on ‘disputed,’ not occupied, land; and that we and the Israelis must ‘work out’ our differences across a table.  With the negotiation rules thus rigged, justice will forever remain elusive.”
  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/09/pushing-ukraine-to-the-brink/  ACounterpunch news analysis of the petro-politics that are driving at least some of what is happening in Ukraine: “Just as the War in Afghanistan was largely fought to facilitate the transfer of natural gas from Turkmenistan to the Arabian Sea, so too, Washington engineered the bloody coup in Kiev to cut off energy supplies from Russia to Europe to facilitate the US pivot to Asia.”

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18  A remarkable opinion essay from theTimes Sunday Review that assesses the state of current research, which shows multiple cognitive and neurological advantages to bilingualism that were misunderstood for most of the twentieth century: “But this interference, researchers are finding out, isn’t so much a handicap as a blessing in disguise.  It forces the brain to resolve internal conflict, giving the mind a workout that strengthens its cognitive muscles.”
  • http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/09/  A report from EcoWatch about litigation against the State of California for its continued approval of Neonicotinoid pesticides which demonstrably threaten the survival of bee colonies: “State officials have approved pesticides time and time again, despite mounting scientific research and real-world evidence that neonicotinoids pose harm to bees,’ said Paul Towers, organizing and media director for Pesticide Action Network.  ‘With no action in sight, we must take the state to court to protect bees, beekeepers and our food system.'”
  • www.smh.com.au/world/  One of those Steven King moments, when the premise of human evisceration seems to hang on good luck, reported from Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald about a mislabeled and haphazardly stored vial of smallpox virus discovered just outside of D.C.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/virtual-economys-phantom-job-gains-are-based-on-statistical-fraud-and-more-fraud-is-in-the-works/5390330  AGlobal Research analysis about the statistical distortion and continuing chicanery underlying U.S. reports of decent job-creation performance and more: “Since 1994 there has been no official measure than includes discouraged people who have not looked for a job for more than a year.  Including all discouraged workers produces an unemployment rate that currently stands at 23.1%, almost four times the rate that the financial press reports.  What you can take away from this is the opposite of what the presstitute media would have you believe.  The measured rate of unemployment can decline simply because large numbers of the unemployed become discouraged workers, cease looking for work, and cease to be counted … .The decline in the employment-population ratio from 63% prior to the 2008 downturn to 59% today reflects the growth in discouraged workers.”
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/  A Times health news analysis that contextualizes Department of Defense contracts for forty million dollars to conduct research that involves direct recording of the brain’s activity, using sufferers of severe epilepsy and Parkinson’s as research subjects, the possible implications of which are at once fascinating and horrifying, uplifting and threatening: “The technique has provided the clearest picture yet of how neural circuits function, and raised hopes of new therapies for depression and anxiety as well as cognitive problems.  But experts also worry about the possible side effects of directly tampering with memory.”
  • http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php  A multidisciplinary monograph from National Academies Press about the state and implications of current research that examines the networking of humans and computers in complex projects.
  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/07/blackwaters-death-machine/  A mandatory article from Counterpunch, about the imperial imprimatur of the here and now generally, and specifically focusing in the role of private mercenary firms such as Blackwater in the whole fray: “By (Obama’s) multitasking, I mean proving oneself at being adept in the service of ruling groups and the needs and objectives of the political economy, from establishing beachheads for business (commercial-financial penetration) to presenting a counterrevolutionary front onto the world on behalf of the security of US and global capitalism, wrapped in the protective shell of military omnipotence. This entails awareness of multiple pressure points, either to be worked with or destroyed, a geopolitical landscape itself forever in motion, so that, if not Russia, then China, if not China, then Iraq and Afghanistan, etc., etc., which is entirely befitting one who presides over US-defined processes of industrial and trade expansion within a world system unwilling to accept, because of its increasingly multipolar structure, American supervision.
  • http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43626.pdf  A Congressional Research Service Report, available thanks to Federation of American Scientists, that contextualizes the historical, legislative, and judicial aspects of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which a decision from the Supreme Court’s term in 2013 partially invalidated.
  • http://truth-out.org/news/item/24697-are-economic-growth-and-social-justice-incompatible  A must-read item from TruthOut, a contextualization of the compatibility of ‘economic growth’ and social justice, from a forum early this year at the London School of Economics: “Economic growth is one of the most powerful and pervasive ideas of our time.  We’re told that it’s essential to improving our well-being and to reducing poverty.  It’s always cast as a win-win situation: it has the status of an absolute truth.  It’s never questioned.  But it doesn’t take much thought to realize that we have a model of economic growth that is in fact profoundly destructive.”
  • http://www.govexec.com/management/2014/07/  A brief from GovExec about the Federal attrition rate, having lost 40,000 more jobs in 2013 than it gained.

7/10/2014

Quote of the Day

“Of course, even the more combative arguments in the American media invariably take place within a political and ideological straitjacket. The question of questions, capitalism, can never be raised.” David Walsh; International Committee of the Fourth International: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/04/warr-j04.html.

This Day in History

Two hundred thirty-six years ago, France declared war on England and entered the American Revolution; two hundred eight years ago, the first Sepoy uprising against the British East India Company happened; one hundred ninety-three years back, Florida became part of the United States; one hundred eighty-two years ago, Andrew Jackson vetoed approval of the charter of the Second Bank of the United States; one hundred forty-three years prior to the present, Marcelle Proust came into the world; eighty-nine years back, the Scopes ‘Monkey-Trial’ began in Dayton, Tennessee; sixty-seven years before the here-and-now, British Governor General Clement Atlee recommended a first appointment of a local administrator in Pakistan; fifty-two years ago, Telstar launched the first communications satellite; forty-eight years back, the Chicago Freedom Movement began, under leadership of Martin Luther King and others; forty-one years back, Pakistan recognized Bangla Desh, the former East Pakistan; twenty-nine years before this point in time, French agents sank Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior in Aukland harbor, New Zealand, murdering Fernando Pereira; twenty-two years ago, Panamanian leader and CIA employee Manuel Noriega receives a forty year prison sentence for doing what he was paid to do, run drugs; seventeen years back, English scientists demonstrated, through analysis of Neanderthal skeletal DNA, that plus-or-minus 100,000 years ago, an ‘African Eve’ was a grandmother to everyone now alive on Earth.

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

A strategic planning process is underway at the National level of our union: kudos to Fernando from Oregon and all those who took part in the initial meeting, about all of which more will be forthcoming.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://thinkprogress.org/economy/ A lovely article from Think Progress about the first actual person living in poverty to speak at any of GOP Representative Paul Ryan’s five hearings on poverty, a child-care worker and mother of three who is a participant in the Witness-to-Poverty Program: “‘It was a long time coming, but I’m glad it’s finally here,’ Gaines-Turner told ThinkProgress about her testimony on Wednesday. ‘I’m finally getting the opportunity to speak up for so many Americans that are going through life struggles that obviously the committee doesn’t know anything about. I would hope that if they knew, they wouldn’t keep constantly trying to cut the programs in the safety net.'”
  • http://gurstein.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/facebook-does-mind-control/ A blog from a ‘community-information activist’ about FaceBook’s machinations in regard to manipulating emotions: “The issue is thus not the fairly minor incursion against research ethics that Facebook has been caught doing, but rather what it tells us about what Facebook could and very likely is doing on a day-to-day basis—managing and manipulating information flows, giving priority to some messages and messengers and rendering others more or less invisible; and all behind a more or less invisible cloak with the suggestion that all is `free` and `open` and one is able to be in more or less direct and unimpeded contact with one`s `friends`.”
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/07/ A Library of Congress Folk Life blog about initiatives along the Pacific coast to institute community archiving and like engagement strategies: “Attendees presented and spoke to one another about a wide range of topics, including archival repatriation, curatorial re-mixing, and archive/community partnerships. In contrast to what was at the time a looming Federal Shutdown, the Symposium was characterized by a spirit of collegiality and open communication.”
  • http://www.southernstudies.org/2014/07 A Facing South blog that examines a recent rally at the Mississippi Nissan plant where workers will soon vote on joining the UAW, a move that the company has been fiercely resisting: “Nissan has strongly resisted efforts to allow a union in its Southern plants although its workers are organized in other countries. Workers in Canton have complained of cutbacks in health care benefits, arbitrary changes in work hours, increased use of temporary workers, and anti-union harassment.”
  • http://www.savingcommunityjournalism.com/ A portal to a writer’s amazing website about her book, published through University of North Carolina Press, which sets the lofty goal of contextualizing the salvation of community journalism in an age of profiteers and imperialists, a single example of the utility of all of which would be this: http://www.savingcommunityjournalism.com/learning-more/blogs-and-sites/.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2014/jul/07/hyperlocal-media-digital-media A Guardian article about a report from England that examined 184 ‘Hyperlocal’ news operations and found them decidedly engaged, committed, and diligent in supplying citizens with data and reportage about their communities and polities: “‘a significant minority have also carried out local watchdog investigative journalism.'”
  • http://gigaom.com/2014/07/07/ Another essential briefing from GigaOm, this time about journalist-crowdfunding site Beacon Reader, which has installed a new feature to allow writers to collaborate in reporting about particular issues, divvying up the proceeds–often matched as in the case of a recent initiative to better the coverage about climate change that is predictably lacking in nuance and complexity from corporate media.
  • http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/258244/globe-and-mail-union-reaches-deal/ A brief from Poynter.org about Toronto’s Globe-&-Mail contract negotiations, in which union and management negotiators apparently avoided a strike thirty minutes ahead of the deadline.
  • http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/regret-the-error A report-and-analysis from Poynter.org about Amnesty International’s announcement that the organization has created a new confirmation and corroboration process, based on its long experience with confronting these issues in its regular rounds: “That’s why, it’s no surprise, Amnesty International today launched a new website and tool to help human rights researchers and others with the process of video verification. The site is Citizen Evidence Lab, which offers step-by-step guidance on how to verify user-generated video, as well as other resources. The tool is the YouTube Data Viewer.”
  • http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/102798/Breaking-News.aspx A two-year old analysis from Harvard’s Nieman Reports, arguably of critical import for writers, and their organizations’ strategizing growth.
  • http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/257923/seattle-times-columnist-handwrites-everything-for-2-days/ A Poynter.org ‘thought-game’ exercise, as a journalist reports on handwriting everything that she produced during a forty-eight hour period, reaching out to readers en route: “Another facet of the project involved reader engagement. Guzman invited her audience to reflect on their own writing habits in a survey. Three-quarters of the 71 respondents said they were writing more than ever, with 27 percent estimating their average writing load tripled since 2004. Although the majority said they were more prolific than ever, many expressed frustration with the shallowness of their prose.”
  • http://ajr.org/2014/07/07/journalism-enrollments-fall/ An American Journalism Review report and analysis on the trend toward lower enrollment in academic journalism programs, with a rich and nuanced contextualization of this trend in relation to media generally, and the intertwined issues of reportage and democratic citizenship.
  • http://jimromenesko.com/2014/07/09/a-1976-chicago-daily-news-article-foresees-electronic-newspapers/ A Jim Romenesko blog brief about a 1976 article that predicted a future of electronic journalism.
  • http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/07/qa-tarleton-gillespie-says-algorithms-may-be-new-but-editorial-calculations-arent/ A Nieman Journalism Lab overview of algorithms and interview with Tarleton Gillespie, an authority and longstanding commentator on such issues in relation to media, journalism, and more.
  • http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/07/ An update and news announcement from TechCrunch about Inbox, an upstart e-mail and applications company founded at MIT by Dropbox alums and seeing a combative future: “In addition, jabs the company’s website, ‘Inbox is an email company. Google is an advertising company. This product is our focus, and will not be ‘discontinued’ unexpectedly.’ Burn!”
  • http://www.knightfoundation.org/blogs/knightblog/ A Knight Foundation blog about the Future of News Initiative at MIT’s Media Lab: “The news industry desperately needs new storytelling techniques, new research apps for industrious reporters and new streams of revenue. Now is the time to start turning that wish list into concrete tools.”

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • http://thehill.com/policy/technology/211719-momentum-builds-to-limit-patent-threats A news-analysis from The Hill that contextualizes the legislative developments in relation to some of the complexities and conflicts surrounding patents: “A bill ‘targeting abusive demand letters is urgently needed and will address one of the most pressing problems that currently exists in connection with patent enforcement practices,’ the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform said.”
  • http://thehill.com/policy/technology/211751-white-house-ready-to-drop-patent-pick-after-backlash A breaking-news assessment from The Hill about the apparent decision by President Obama not to nominate Phil Johnson, Senior Vice President at the Johnson-&-Johnson pharmaceutical firm, because of significant backlash from Republicans and Democrats alike: “Reform advocates feared that installing Johnson as head of the PTO would amount to the administration tempering its support for the comprehensive patent bill, which is likely to be revived in the next Congress.”
  • http://www.govexec.com/state-local/2014/07/ultimate-open-government-unlocking-laws/87997/?oref=state_and_local_nl An absolutely critical article fromGovExec about the intersection of law and access, focusing on the likes of Lexis’ and Westlaw’s failure to permit citizens to look up their own laws, a holdover from outdated systems and then some: “They were all probably really cool back in 1994, but then they stopped working on them,’ said Waldo Jaquith, the director of the U.S. Open Data Institute and developer behind two Virginia-focused websites, Richmond Sunlight, which tracks bills and information related to the state’s General Assembly, and Virginia Decoded, which hosts an unofficial but highly functional version of Virginia’s code.”
  • http://www.npr.org/2014/07/07/329420338/cbs-lost-appetite-for-government-watchdog-stories-attkisson-says A report from National Public Radio that gives access to a radio feature and partial transcript about CBS’s backing off of its commitment to ‘watchdog journalism:’ “When the investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson left CBS this year, she did not do so quietly. She contends the network refused to run stories that might damage President Obama.”
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2014/07/07/buzzfeed-is-officially-a-case-study-in-media-industry-disruption/ An important media-contextualization from Forbes Magazine that examines the ‘disruption-is-good’ trope that now connects Harvard Business School, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, and much of this post-modern moment in mediation, which the cognoscenti are often comparing to the auto-industry revolution that accompanied the rise of Honda, Toyota, et al.: “Peretti isn’t the first to draw the parallel. In fact, Christensen(the originator of the disruption meme)himself made it in a 2012 essay for Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism, lumping together Buzzfeed with the Huffington Post, which Peretti also co-founded.”
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/08/high-j08.html A posting that might easily find a home elsewhere on this aggregation, here because this World Socialist Website review-essay about the German novel of World War One, Higher Command, at least ten years in the public domain in its English translation, is–like so much that is of central importance to human consciousness and survival–not freely available digitally, something about which a union of progressive writers might conceivably consider doing something: “After the German army is virtually overrun by the Allies, Reisiger deserts. He tells his superiors that the war was the greatest of all crimes and that he no longer wants to be part of it. On account of this, he is put into an asylum.”
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/60137647/internet-fast-lanes-exact-toll-on-creativity.html A New Zealand Stuff opinion essay by a co-founder of Kickstarter, who made an impassioned appeal at the London Sundance Festival to maintain a no-fast-lane Internet: “One thing we didn’t have to worry about: access to the internet. We didn’t have to negotiate a deal with a cable company or other internet service provider (ISP). We didn’t have to hire lawyers to appeal to the Federal Communications Commission when we were offered an unfair price. We didn’t have to worry about whether our site’s content would be slower than a competitor that had some kind of exclusive ‘fast lane’ deal. Such roadblocks … might have shut us down before we got started. But that’s the world that start-ups will be born into if the FCC moves forward with its proposed rules allowing paid prioritisation – a system where internet carriers can charge for access to a ‘fast lane.'”
  • https://www.theinformation.com/YouTube-Growth-Lags-Forecasts-as-Competition-Mounts A brief from The Information that, for $39/month(https://www.theinformation.com/subscribe?article_id=294)one can garner completely, which indicates that YouTube’s revenue stream is sagging as competition mounts.
  • http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1235709 A chilling Ars Technica Soapbox thread about the documentary film, Blackfish, the release and wide viewing of which has apparently led to big losses at seaworld, where the orcas that the film examine occasionally reside and occasionally eat their trainers, providing insights into mediation, corporations, commodities, and life on Earth.
  • http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/08/darpa-social-networks-research-twitter-influence-studies A Guardian assessment of a Defense Advance Research Projects Agency study that sought insights into social networking so as to influence Occupy and other ‘threatening’ grassroots outbursts.
  • http://www.knightfoundation.org/blogs/knightblog/2014/6/24 An upper-level Knight Foundation blog about the organization’s expanding its commitment to an open Internet, right up to the CEO: “‘As a longtime advocate of our First Amendment, I believe we have a right to speak because we are citizens, not because we are given permission to speak. I believe we should do everything possible to ensure that the right to speak, the right of expression on Internet, is just that, a right, not a license subject to approval,’ he said.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/ A Timesopinion analysis of the situation behind Corinthian Colleges’ collapse, affecting 72,000 students whose primary fiscal instrument for attending was debt and 12,000 employees all of whom needed a union, apparently: “According to federal officials, the company refused to turn over data that would have allowed it to determine how well students were succeeding and actually admitted to falsifying job placement and or grade and attendance records at various locations.”
  • http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/211700-democrats-unveil-bill-to-reverse-hobby-lobby-ruling A brief from The Hill about just-introduced Senate legislation, from Barbara Boxer of California among others, to overturn the Hobby-Lobby decision, which as far as such approaches permit, would serve to reassert the rights of women to health care and control over their reproductive lives: “‘The five Republican-appointed men on the Supreme Court decided in the Hobby Lobby case that the employer, the boss, has total power to deny critical medical care to their employees and they turn the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on its head,’ (Boxer) said. ‘This is an outrage.'”
  • http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2014/07/ A blog from Education Week about what is essentially a photo-opportunity but which contextualizes top-down versus bottom-up policy making, in this case dealing with four teachers who sat down with the President and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to answer an inquiry from the White House about what education policy needs to be doing now.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/10/us/ A Times breaking news piece about the ten year sentence given to Ray Nagin for his role in a scheme of bribes, kickbacks, and gifts, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: “Mr. Nagin had come into office in 2002 as a reformer from the business world and a foe of cronyism. But the city grew frustrated with his stewardship, particularly in his second term when the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina stalled and Mr. Nagin seemed unengaged.”
  • http://observers.france24.com/content/ A brief fromFrance24 that deconstructs the rumor, backed up by photoshopping and sloppy or fraudulent reportage, that Islamic State in Iraq & Syria had begun to issue passports.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/08/indi-j08.html A report-analysis from World Socialist Website about the just-elected Bharatiya Janata Party majority in India, where media acquisition and general deal making in favor of the financial elite and big business is now likely to be untrammeled: “(T)he new government has signaled that it intends to gut any and all labor, environmental and social legislation that impedes corporate profit making, while lavishing subsidies, tax cuts and other largesse on big business.”
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/08/world/europe/ A Times news-analysis of the apparently hopeless situation of Eastern Ukrainian separatists in the aftermath of Moscow’s seeming abandonment of their cause in favor of a negotiated settlement that promises pro-Russian governors in Easter Ukraine states.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lklRk_Xit_A YouTube’s profferal of an RT Truthseeker report, including assessments of ‘nuclear first strikes,’ International Monetary Fund ‘kneebreakers’ against Ukraine’s people, and much more.
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39019.htm An Information Clearinghouse interview with an American photographer in East Ukraine that indicates that massive slaughter is worsening.
  • http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/58150394-68/waste-lab-litter-wallace.html.csp A Salt Lake Tribune scoop, via GreenWorld, that the Waste Isolation Pilot Project erred and violated protocols in regard to high-level radioactive waste that then erupted, nearly catastrophically, and leaked this Spring: “(L)ab officials told the New Mexico Environment Department that their internal probe of the handling of the toxic waste from decades of nuclear bomb building has uncovered several violations of its Hazardous Waste Facility Permit. The lab says it failed to follow proper procedures in making the switch from inorganic to organic litter and in its lack of follow up on waste that tests showed to be highly acidic.”

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

  • http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school- An important blog from Education Week, about the blind spot that so many U.S. students have in relation to essential personal finance skills: rates-of-saving, taxation, and many more, let alone more complex macro-economic matters of political economy and power.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/opinion/if- A Times opinion-briefing that notes the U.S.’s blind fortune in dodging bullets in regard to the worldwide growth of drug-resistant tuberculosis: “The problem is that responsibility for tuberculosis control is divided among 2,684 state, local and tribal health departments. That infrastructure is politically and legally fragmented, underfunded and disproportionately strained in many poor communities.”
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/08/ A Times assessment in its Upshot column of the present wacky and inherently volatile political economic context: “Welcome to the Everything Boom — and, quite possibly, the Everything Bubble. Around the world, nearly every asset class is expensive by historical standards. Stocks and bonds; emerging markets and advanced economies; urban office towers and Iowa farmland; you name it, and it is trading at prices that are high by historical standards relative to fundamentals. The inverse of that is relatively low returns for investors.”
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39024.htm Information Clearinghouse’s posting of Noam Chomsky’s recent deconstruction of empire, in which he counsels against accepting war crimes and the murderous impetus of empire: “Aggression is ‘the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.’ And alongside these words should be the admonition of the chief prosecutor for the United States(at Nuremburg), Robert Jackson: ‘The record on which we judge these defendants is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well.’…Those at the wrong end of the club(wielded by imperialists) have few illusions. Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of a Pan-Arab website, observes that ‘the main factor responsible for the current chaos [in Iraq] is the U.S./Western occupation and the Arab backing for it. Any other claim is misleading and aims to divert attention [away] from this truth.'”
  • http://immigrationimpact.com/2014/07/01/new-report-helps-explain-why-central-american-children-are-leaving-their-home-countries/ An American Immigration Council portal to a new report about the reality behind youth immigration upsurges recently: “In essence, the report highlights the intricate ways in which violence, extreme poverty, and the desire to reunite with family members, help shape these kids’ decision to migrate. According to the report, “crime, gang threats, or violence appear to be the strongest determinants for children’s decision to emigrate. – See more at: http://immigrationimpact.”
  • http://www.labornotes.org/2014/06/inspiration-look-history-public-worker-strikes A Labor Notes contextualization of the attack on public sector unions and the working class generally, suggesting that we recall the upheaval in the public sector that arose fifty years ago, with the number one lesson: “Strikes Worked. Entering the 1960s, public employee unions were weak, engaging in ‘collective begging’ rather than ‘collective bargaining.’ But then public workers rose up in one of the great upsurges in U.S. labor history.”
  • http://www.vqronline.org/reporting-articles/2014/06/losing-sparta A VQR long-form essay analysis that exposes the lies and hideous hypocrisy behind the current establishment contextualization of productivity’s leading to a manufacturer’s resurgence here, which the vicious closure of a plant in Sparta, Tennessee, overseen by ‘steely-eyed’ IBEW collaborators who espouse the same gospel as current UAW leadership, so clearly disproves: “During the current recovery, productivity growth hasn’t even resulted in increased hiring; rather, it has occurred in concert with massive layoffs and record long-​term unemployment. ‘U.S. employers cut jobs pitilessly’ during the recession, noted a typical story from the Associated Press. ‘Yet after shrinking payrolls, many companies found they could produce just as much with fewer workers.’ The result has been a recovery marked by increased productivity and record corporate profits, but with catastrophically low employment growth. Yet economists and pundits continue to chew over our ‘jobless recovery’ as if it were an anomaly.”
  • http://andrewgavinmarshall.com/2014/07/05/world-of-resistance-report-davos-class-jittery-amid-growing-warnings-of-global-unrest/ An Andrew Gavin Marshall World of Resistance report, part three, which points out the global power broker fear of social upheaval and the hideous social prospects that underlie this potential, short of truly revolutionary change: “According to the World Bank, more than 25% of the world’s youth, or some 300 million people, ‘have no productive work.’ On top of this, ‘an unprecedented demographic ‘youth bulge’ is bringing more than 120 million new young people on to the job market each year, mostly in the developing world.’ This fact ‘threatens to halt economic progress, creating a vicious cycle of less economic activity and more unemployment,’ which ‘raises the risk of social unrest by creating a disaffected ‘lost generation’ who are vulnerable to being sucked into criminal or extremist movements.'”
  • http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/yellen20140702a.pdf Janet Yellen’s speech at an International Monetary Fund meeting a week ago, in which she struggle to articulate a way to navigate bubbles without ending up in freefall deflation and catastrophic social meltdown.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/04/yell-j04.html A World Socialist Website analysis of the Yellen speech and what it portends, including revealing exchanges between Christine Lagarde of the IMF after the speaking was over: “‘You’ve beautifully demonstrated the efforts that have been undertaken …in terms of the universe that you have under your jurisdiction,’ Lagarde told Yellen. “But this universe… has generated … parallel universes.” The response of the financial markets to regulation had been to create a shadow banking system… . ‘What can be done about them in order to make sure that there is no creation of significant risk threats out there which are not covered by macro prudential tools?’ …Yellen’s reply was highly revealing. ‘I think you’re pointing to something that is an enormous challenge… .And we simply have to expect that when we draw regulatory boundaries and supervise intensely within them, that there is a prospect that activities will move outside those boundaries and we won’t be able to detect them.'”
  • http://truth-out.org/news/item/24692-the-future-is-now-zapatista-memories-of-the-future A TruthOut gem that lays a foundation for something akin to hope, by looking at Zapatista work in Mexico: “There is however, an often overlooked movement that emerged from the (post) colonial situation in Mexico and through a beautiful merger of theory and practice, has created a lived present reality and a clear vision of the future outside of the disposability of neoliberal logic.”
  • http://www.techpolicydaily.com/technology/ An important, if totally bourgeois, political economic analysis from Tech Policy Daily of a dualist breakdown of the marketplace into competitive ‘rent-seeking’ by feisty entrepreneurs, on the one hand, and established plutocrats, on the other.

7/09/2014

Quote of the Day

“Not very long ago the President of the country [William McKinley], in the attitude of mock heroics, asked who would haul down the flag.  I will tell him.  Triumphant Socialism will haul down that flag and every other that symbolizes capitalist class rule and wage slavery.  I am a patriot, but in the sense that I love all countries.” Eugene Debs, July 4, 1901–http://www.marxists.org/history/usa/parties/spusa/1901/0704-debs-missionofsoc.pdf.

This Day in History

Six hundred twenty-eight years back, Switzerland defeated Austrian forces and lay the basis for its independence; two hundred thirty-eight years ago, George Washington orders the Declaration of Independence read to troops in New York; two hundred twenty-five years ago, French Revolutionaries lay the groundwork for the first French Constitution; two hundred twenty-one years prior to this moment, Canada outlawed the slave trade and the importation of slaves; two hundred seventeen years back, the conservative political philosopher Edmund Burke dies; one hundred ninety-eight years ago, Argentina declared independence from Spain; one hundred forty-six years ago, the U.S. ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, hypothetically ‘guaranteeing’ equal protection of the laws of the nation in any jurisdiction; one hundred eighteen years back, William Jennings Bryan delivered his “Cross of Gold” speech, advocating currency reform and more; one hundred fourteen years ago, Chinese authorities in the Boxer Rebellion order the execution of forty-five Christian missionaries; fifty nine years prior to the here-and-now, Bertrand Russell releases a letter that he and Albert Einstein signed, calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons, laying the basis for the PugWash movement and more; twenty-eight years ago, New Zealand legalized consensual homosexual relations; ten years ago, investigative journalist Paul Klebnikov, working in Moscow for Forbes was assassinated in a yet-to-be-completely solved contract killing.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • Chimborazo Publishing, Technical Publishing – We have an immediate opening for a computer scientist for telecommuting work. The work consists of creating ancillary materials for undergraduate textbooks in computing, with an emphasis on networking. 
  • The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts Re-Opens for Submissions – See more at: http://writingcareer.com/call-for-fiction-submissions#sthash.UfdUMr9K.dpuf

    Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/call-for-fiction-submissions
    Copyright © WritingCareer.com – used with permission
  • Kentucky Living magazine Invites Feature Articles from Freelance Writers – See more at: http://writingcareer.com/call-for-nonfiction-submissions#sthash.Qq1wfBfx.dpuf

    Read more at: http://writingcareer.com/call-for-nonfiction-submissions
    Copyright © WritingCareer.com – used with permission

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://community-wealth.org/jacksonville  An ‘Action Plan’ for North Jacksonville, Florida, interesting if only as a chance to insist on ‘put up or shut up’ engagement from the likes of NWU members.
  • http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/gdp-and-the-public-sector  A blog from the Center for Economic & Policy Research that focuses on the intersection between government action and economic activity, roughly half of which details the way the patents and copyrights promote economic output: “GDP is telling us the value of goods and services the economy produced.   It is not telling us whether the pollution that results is killing us, whether it all went to produce weapons and prisons, or whether Bill Gates and his kids pocket it all.  We need other measures to evaluate such things, and we have them, but they are not GDP.”
  • http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/   An announcement of a meeting both large and significant in Atlanta to push back against ‘Fast Lanes’ on the Internet, which ought to have NWU as an endorser but doesn’t.
  • http://www.washingtonsblog.com/  l  Another cutting edge post fromWashington’s Blog, summarizing and giving authoritative background and overview about the National Security Administration’s treating citizens as ‘extremist’ who want to protect their identities, often using such techniques as TOR, which were U.S. government initiatives in the first place.
  • http://afgj.org/statement-of-solidarity-with-people-of-cajamarca-peru-free-goyo  A combination of report and manifesto, from the Alliance for Global Justice–a little bit people’s thinktank, a whole lot of organizing, about the ‘preventive’ incarceration of the Peruvian equivalent of a U.S. Governor because he was instrumental in helping grassroots organizations to protest and put off a gold mine project in their region: “The Conga mine is a collaboration between the Denver-based Newmont Mining Corporation, Buenaventura (Peru) and the International Monetary Fund.  Newmont holds a 51.35% controlling interest.”

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • http://www.marketwatch.com/story  A Market Watch report about Disney’s start-up support program, Disney Accelerator, which provides capacity building and up to $120,000 to selected companies, the first crop of which is on display here: “‘With Disney Accelerator we are now bringing the creativity and imagination of Disney to early stage startups in a way we have never done before,’ said Kevin A. Mayer, executive vice president, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, The Walt Disney Company.  ‘We are thrilled by the response we’ve received and the high caliber of applicants to the program and we look forward to sharing our knowledge with this excellent group of creative entrepreneurs and really making a difference with these startup companies.”
  • http://sarahmarshall.io/post/90941979203/a-guide-to-advanced-newsgathering-using-tweetdeck  A blog from Wall Street Journal’s social media editor that serves as an introductory overview into the use of ‘Tweetdeck’ as an “advanced news-gathering tool.”
  • http://www.theguardian.com/world/201   A Guardian news report on Egyptian President al-Sisi’s view that the journalists sentenced to seven-to-ten years prison for the crime of journalism “should never have been tried,” though what the North African leader might do to rectify this ‘error’ is not altogether clear.
  • http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2014/07   A report from Public Broadcasting System’s Media Shift about the rise of data journalism and how the need for attendant skills will soon impact many working writers.
  • http://newamerica.org/node/115924  A set of briefs about the newest crop of New American Foundation ‘Fellows,’ among whom prospective union members might lurk and on whom future applicants from a union of writers might model their efforts.
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com A WaPo media blog in which almost 400 successful writers and authors took WaPo’s owner, Jeff Bezos to task for the operational chicanery toward authors and publishers in evidence in his ‘day job,’ owning Amazon.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/07/   A Times media-business column that explores research by Participant Media and some seriously heavy-hitter funders about what exactly in media gets people in motion: “For the last year Participant, an activist entertainment company that delivers movies with a message, has been quietly working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Knight Foundation and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism to answer a question vexing those who would use media to change the world.”
  • http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/253529/where-are-conservative-novelists-mark-goldblatt  A ‘knowing-what-one’s-opponent-is-thinking’ piece fromNational Review, seeking to explain why so few ‘conservative’ novelists are publishing.
  • http://dougreside.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/digital-curation-rbm-article2.pdf  A pre-publication copy of “File Not Found: Rarity in the Age of Digital Plenty,” via Library of Congress’ digital preservation stalwarts, with many an idea both to fire writers’ imaginations and to suggest models for creation and distribution of text in these days of modern times.
  • http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/20  A Times Bits-Blog, about forecasts that project the future of the web as a dark combination of repression and monopoly: “Pew’s Internet Project, in collaboration with Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center, surveyed 1,400 high-profile technology thinkers.  Collectively, the experts posited new government crackdowns on online freedoms, greater surveillance and less trust online, and the squelching of individual creativity through control by big companies.”
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38996.htm  An Information Clearinghhouse must-read, about the generally sleazy and occasionally censorious nature of Huffington Post, particularly when the issue is critical to understand if humanity is to survive: “the episode is so horribly symptomatic of a certain kind of moral cowardice in the so-called liberal media, particularly with regard to Israel-Palestine, that it deserves a little exposure.”
  • http://digiday.com/publishers/hearst-gets-one-fourth-traffic-facebook/  A DigiDay briefing about how Hearst Magazines, following the ‘manipulating emotions’ rubric with which FaceBook has been tampering, has been publishing pieces with “emotional heft” so as to increase traffic from social media, a strategy that seems to be working: ” Facebook is now the publisher’s No. 1 referral source, driving 25 percent of traffic, up from 4 percent a year ago, beating out even Google.”
  • http://www.infoworld.com/t/net-neutrality/latest-cyber-security-bill-riddled-net-neutrality-loopholes-245510  An InfoWorld brief that outlines broadly the loopholes and lack of protection built into the Senate’s Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, to wit: “(I)t’s worded vaguely enough that it could be used by ISPs to sidestep Net neutrality provisions in the name of public safety.”

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • Surveillance by government and corporations is a human rights violation.
  • Communities can collect, maintain and analyze their own data for their own protections.
  • Privacy is a human right and transparency is a government responsibility.”
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/04/test-j04.html  A World Socialist Website review-essay about the important new documentary film, Listen–straight from the ‘horse’s mouth’–about the impact of high-stakes testing and like protocols on student consciousness and learning

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

  • http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Economy/   An AFL-CIO blog about data-analysis that shows, on the surface of things, that minimum-wage increases may correlate with faster job growth, but to a careful watcher also screams caution about such conclusions.
  • thehill.com/news-by-subject/healthcare/211521-democrats-plot-legislative-offensive-on-high-courts-birth-control  A ‘politics-as-usual’ report from The Hill that nonetheless concerns a real attempt to accomplish something positive in the aftermath of the Hobby-Lobby decision nightmare.
  • smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/bad-news-about-rising-sea-levels-as-quickening-antarctic-winds-lead-to-faster-ice-melt A report from Sydney Morning Herald about just-released research conclusions that suggest that increased Westerly winds make the idea that ten-plus feet of rising sea water in two hundred years may be optimistic.
  • wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/07/cali-j07.html  A World Socialist Website article about a beating administered to a 72-year-old great grandmother by a California Highway Patrol officer, savagery openly promulgated by current police protocols and defended by established authorities while most media ‘look the other way’ ASAP or try to justify the use of force: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qgweSOiXJ0.
  • nytimes.com/2014/07/07/world/europe/germans-demand-us- The Times update on the just-announced arrest of a German accused of spying for the U.S., which is inducing unprecedented critique from sources high in the German government, up to and including Chancellor Angela Merkel, currently visiting China.
  • ecowatch.com/2014/06/19/elon-musk-solar-panel An EcoWatch brief about former PayPal bigwig Elon Musk’s leadership of Solar World, which is planning one of Earth’s largest solar panel production facilities right now.
  • nytimes.com/2014/07/06/us/  A Times breaking news report about a North Carolina lawsuit in which students argue–joining litigants from among immigrant, poor, and other communities–that present State voter I.D. laws are on their face discriminatory.
  • reason.com/archives/2014/07/07/when-kids-show-up-at-our-borders  Reasonably reasonable reasoning from Reason, about the common humanity and complicated social backgrounds of the youngsters crossing to the U.S. from Mexico, who are now the ultimate political football on the domestic front.
  • truth-out.org/news/item/24757-more-than-rumors-drive-central-american-youths-toward-us  A reposting of an L.A. Times analysis on TruthOut that cuts the hype and addresses the crap that passes for debate and commentary about immigration, now focused on the plight of minors and even young children in transit: “(F)undamental reasons fueling migration have remained unchanged for decades: family unification, hometown violence, inescapable poverty and lack of opportunity.”
  • safeenergy.org/2014/07/03/vogtle-costschedule-issues/  A GreenWorld report and analysis about nuclear power plant construction in the U.S., focusing on the two reactors that the Southern Company is building near Augusta, Georgia, which have encountered quality control and logistical difficulties–asalways, one might note–that threaten both the safety and any fatuous fantasy of cost-effectiveness on the part of the facilities.
  • counterpunch.org/2014/07/02/parliamentary-paralysis-in-iraq/  A Counterpunch analysis by Alexander Cockburn about the new Iraqi parliament and the horrific prospects facing the Levantine peoples as the U.S.’s apparent plan to carve up the region proceeds apace: “‘The parties are all corrupt and all they want to do is steal,’ said Abu Ali, a Trade Ministry employee, about the new parliament.  ‘Some of them get their orders from Saudi Arabia or Iran.  The Iraqi people can go to hell for all they care.'”

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

 

  • http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28089987  A science blog from BBC that examines the ‘Standard Model’ of particle physics in relation to the Large Hadron Collider’s return to action in Switzerland and the continued search for more data about the recently confirmed Higgs-Boson and other possible quirks and quarks of nature, all of which is somehow extremely relevant to living in the fracking, fractured world of ours.
  • bos.sagepub.com/content/70/4/94.full.pdf+html  A Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists research analysis that indicates that nuclear weapon modernization, a plus-or-minus fifty billion dollars per year line in the U.S. budget, fundamentally undermines and could destroy both the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and the concept of nonproliferation itself.
  • http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24794-truthout-interviews-bill-ayers-on-the-erosion-of-teacher-tenure  A contextualizing interview from education activist, union supporter, and TruthOut contributor Bill Ayers about the issues and essences of teacher tenure, workers rights, and the impacts of Vergera v. California.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health   A New Zealand Stuff briefing about research that will further advance a 1984 agenda under the guise of therapeutic modalities: “A person’s susceptibility to developing depression, anxiety and alcohol and drug addiction could all be just a DNA test away.”
  • http://prospect.org/article/shifting-tactics-moral-monday-movement-launches-new-freedom-summer  An update from American Prospect about North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement’s announcing a ‘New Freedom Summer’ initiative to amp up voter registration in advance of the Fall elections.
  • https://plus.google.com/events/c4svj8pvqkkjthk24vjkja4qneo  A Library of Congress, et al., Google+ Hangout about the hundredth anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre in the coal fields of Colorado, the action focusing on primary sources useful in understanding this mayhem against workers who want o join unions.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/ A contextualization of Africa’s place in the current map of empire, with lower rates of foreign direct investment, reflexive engagement with the capital-&-finance are king model, and various attempts to facilitate citizen leadership toward a future by and for Africans.
  • propublica.org/article/ghosts-of-greenwood? A lengthy, evocative, and provocative Pro Publica reflection–part memoir, part analysis, part creative non-fiction photographic essay–about Freedom Summer in Mississippi fifty years ago and the meaning of the State to Black families who fled the feudal yoke for wages and the North.
  • dissentmagazine.org/article/full-employment-and-the-path-to-shared-prosperity  An essay from Dissent that offers an ‘Economic Policy 101’ corrective to hideous idiocy about employment and jobs creation: “Levels of unemployment are not the gift or curse of the gods; they are the result of conscious economic policy.  The decision to tolerate high rates of unemployment is a choice.  It is one that has enormous implications not just for the millions of people who are needlessly unemployed or underemployed but also for tens of millions of workers in the bottom half of the wage distribution whose bar-gaining power is undermined by high unemployment.”
  • http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24745-more-mccarthyism-aimed-against-academic-freedom-and-dissent  A mandatory article from TruthOut, about a growing climate of repression and conformity–which the piece likens to McCarthyism–in relation to any critique of Israel or Israeli policy as antisemitic hatefulness–as documented by the National Lawyer’s Guild: “They concoct demonstrably false narratives about specific campus events involving criticism of Israeli government policies, describing them as if they targeted, even violently so, Jewish students.  They then paint an overall picture of campuses in which Jewish students are under constant attack in a pervasively hostile environment – in direct contradiction of actual surveys of those students, who overwhelmingly report the opposite.”
  • http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/videos   A Forbidden Knowledge TV portal to a documentary about the Federal Reserve and the fundamentals of a political economic understanding of the world, about which most citizens are–at best–profoundly ill-informed: “Such a profound state of ignorance could not come about naturally.  From the time we are children, we are curious about the world and eager to learn about the way it works.  And what could lead to a better understanding of the way the world works than a knowledge of money, its creation and destruction?”
  • nacla.org/article/us-re-militarization-central-america-and-mexico  A North American Congress on Latin America contextualization of the way that U.S. imperial policy has remilitarized our engagement with Mexico and Central America, under the guise of drug interdiction but with a much more sinister and pedestrian agenda of hegemony and profit maximization.
  • http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24698-predatory-capitalism-and-the-systems-denial-in-the-face-of-truth  A crossposting of a Transform! analysis byTruthOut that brutally and empirically demarcates the predatory mayhem that has predominated in Europe after 2008 and that will continue to do so: “In short, all the bailed-out eurozone countries are sinking under the weight of debt while unemployment spreads like the plague – the result of the “voodoo” economics that the witch doctors of the EU and the International Monetary Fund cooked up in order to formulate the so-called “rescue” plans.  However, according to national government and EU propaganda, everything in the periphery is working in compliance with the strategic plan for helping those countries exit the crisis. “

7/08/2014

Quote of the Day

“It’s easier for Brazil to win the World Cup with a team of crybabies with no tactical nous than having US Secretary of State John Kerry and his State Department ciphers understand that the Syrian ‘opposition’ is controlled by jihadis. But then again, they do know – and that perfectly fits into the Empire of Chaos’s not so hidden Global War on Terror (GWOT) agenda of an ever-expanding proxy war in both Syria and Iraq fueled by terror financing.” Pepe Escobar:http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/04/arab-spring-jihad-summer/.

This Day in History

Five hundred seventeen years ago, Vasco de Gama set sail for India for the first such voyage in the modern era; one hundred ninety-two years back, Percy Bythe Shelley died; one hundred seventy-five years back, John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil Company, was born; one hundred sixty-one years before the here-and-now, Matthew Perry arrived in Japan to ‘request’ trade relations and enforce an ‘Open Door;’ one hundred thirty-nine years ago, White Supremacists murdered five Black Republicans in Hamburg, South Carolina; one hundred twenty-five years back, the Wall Street Journal‘s first issue came out; seventy-eight years ago, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan signed a peace and mutual development treaty in the Saadabad palace in Tehran; forty-seven years ago, the Chrysler wildcat strike broke out in Detroit.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://www.earth-policy.org/indicators/C47/solar_power_2014  An Earth Policy Institute Report about the 2013 record-breaking installation of 38,000 megawatts of photovoltaic solar electric capacity, over one quarter of the installed total worldwide, enough to power all the homes in Germany and more.
  • http://www.truth-out.org/news/item An as-it-happened (almost) audio and transcript of Denis Kucinich’s talk at the Swedish Almedalen Peace Conference, a ‘From-All-Sides’ gathering at the University of Uppsala, moderated by Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now!
  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/07/can-grass-ro A Naked Capitalism recapitulation of a Bill Moyers interview with NWU member Jim Hightower, in which the estimable former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture indicates that signs of a movement are afoot, to the extent that adjunct professors and fast-food workers can unite-to-fight, as it were: “It suggests that people are beginning to get together and see their common interests. So here are some of the, here are the highest educated poverty workers in America with the lowest educated poverty workers and seeing that they’re in the same boat now. And that realization is a powerful political potential.
  • http://listenthefilm.net/  An incredibly important film, about the reality of ‘higher education’ from a regular student’s perspective, of absolutely central importance to a union of writers that wants to grow.
  • http://cironline.org/  The Center for Investigative Reporting’s primary portal.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/60134941/google-and-tax-is-the-oecd-feeling-lucky.html  An opinion-analysis piece from New Zealand’s Stuff, which orients readers to the fact that Google pays less than 2.5% tax on its outside-the-U.S. income, a fact that the author modestly critiques as he suggests ways to bring matters more into balance.
  • http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205404054_text  A just-passed law from Brazil, courtesy of Library of Congress’ Global Legal Monitor, that requires each school–public and private–in Brazil to show a minimum of two hours per month of Brazilian-produced films.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article/first-came-the-artists-then-came-the-hackers A Tech Republic report-and-analysis of the start-up tech scene in London, more social democratic, more grassrootsy in its orientation than anything close to Silicon Valley, a process fueled first by artists and then by hackers, to which big business has now adhered with enthusiasm.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/from-angry-birds-to-nokia-castaways-finlands Another Tech Republic startup-scene analysis, this time dealing with Finland, where the social democratic ethos–the government is taking the place of Venture Capital–is ubiquitous: “Often startup scenes spring up organically, as hard-up small businesses gather in cheap-rent areas not a million miles away from local universities, acting as a centre of gravity that pulls in more and more similar startups.  Later, governments wake up to what’s going on and may make some token effort to promote it, hitching their marketing wagon to a growth story that got moving without their intervention.  Later still, the VCs catch wind of what’s going on, bringing with them the desired funds.  In Finland, they did things differently.”
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/business/international A Times article about Google’s reinstatement of deleted Guardian materials only days after their redaction on the basis of the EU ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ ruling.
  • http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/03/foundation-the-squarespace-ideation-narrative  A Foundation Interview from Google Ventures, viaTech Crunch, with SquareSpace founder and CEO, Anthony Casalena.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/04/warr-j04.html  A truly amazing World Socialist Website analysis of MSNBC’s June 19 interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren, in which the testy media host deconstructed the Senator’s faux populism in no uncertain terms: “‘I’m afraid, five years from now, we’ll be having the same conversation with you.  And you are a fine senator, but it isn’t happening.  It just isn’t. … Why don’t you call the president right now and say, ‘Why don’t you do something really big on infrastructure’? It will grab the public imagination. He’s not doing it.'”
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/02/my-big-break-how-the-tech-legends-of-silicon-valley  A first installment of a month-long series in Pando Digest that gets down-to-earth and politically and economically real about how start-ups have succeeded, in a series that illustrates some of the political economy of contemporary media reportage, in that Braintree’s Ignition Program is sponsoring the series.
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/03/google-wants-us-to AnotherPando Digest assessment of Google’s processing of the ‘right-to-be-forgotten:’ “The real question is, do we need, and should we accept, a all-powerful monopoly like Google with such a stranglehold over what we know, and what we think we know?”
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/games/60132860/review-valiant-hearts-the-great-war.html  An amazing review, from New Zealand’s Stuff, of the World War One video game and historical-and-sociological teaching tool, “Valiant Heart,” which ought to be on every union member’s wish list, if nothing else.
  • http://techcrunch.com/   A Tech Crunch piece about the KickStarter campaign for App: the Human Story, a documentary project that aims to contextualize this aspect of virtuality for viewers.
  • http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-facebook-prison-experiment-1404342903  A ‘methinks he doth protest too much’ moment from Wall Street Journal, which advises whiners upset over FaceBook’s recent experimentation with news feed based mood manipulation just to ‘get the hell off of FaceBook.’
  • http://benton.org/node/191754?  A Benton.org summary, from Baltimore Sun, of Baltimore’s ‘faster, better, cheaper’ wi-fi contextualization, supposedly soon-to-come.
  • http://benton.org/node/191755?  A Benton.org briefing about a Huntsville Timesarticle that details the requirements for municipal broadband service in Alabama, a set of hoops that only the intrepid will be able to jump through and achieve the envied status of nearby Chattanooga.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/04/arab-spring-jihad-summer/  A Counterpunch assessment by Pepe Escobar of the hideous and highly hip new-caliphate-on-the-block, Islamic State, so much more global and less nuanced and, wittingly or no, the exact intention of the U.S. imperial leadership: “It’s easier for Brazil to win the World Cup with a team of crybabies with no tactical nous than having US Secretary of State John Kerry and his State Department ciphers understand that the Syrian ‘opposition’ is controlled by jihadis.  But then again, they do know – and that perfectly fits into the Empire of Chaos’s not so hidden Global War on Terror (GWOT) agenda of an ever-expanding proxy war in both Syria and Iraq fueled by terror financing.”
  • https://portside.org/2014-07-06/political-parties-left-right-and-purely-satirical  A political contextualization from Portside of the results of the recent European Parliamentary elections, in which both so-called ‘right-wing’ and ‘left-wing’ groups registered gains, along with protest organizations and utterly lunatic groups.
  • http://www.france24.com/en/20140705 A breaking-news report from France24 about the Ukrainian military’s retaking the city of Slaviansk from rebel forces that had held it since April.
  • http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205404058_text  A Library of Congress Global Legal Monitor update that indicates that the Pan American Health Organization and the Organization of American States have signed a joint agreement to move every nation in the hemisphere–which supposedly ought to include the United States of America–toward universal health coverage–like the folks in Cuba have!
  • http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/07/09   A news-analysis from Education Week about the Vergaradecision, the deleterious impact of which on unions and teachers’ rights has been part of an international outcry about the case.
  • http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/05/mayday-campaign-finance-reform/?ncid=tcdaily  A Tech Crunch news analysis about mayday.us and its achievement of its five million dollar grassroots-funding goal, matched by wealthy techies and added to the two million bucks raised earlier this year to yield twelve million dollars to elect five politicians who will spearhead an effort to ‘get money out of politics,’ an ironic goal given everything in the report.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/05/bcte-j05.html  A news analysis from World Socialist Website about the ongoing 41,000-teacher walkout in British Columbia, where the union has been scaling back its demands and the government has been increasing its obduracy in meeting teacher and union priorities, which center around a demand for increasing the public education budget in the province.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05  A Times breaking-news report about Germany’s arrest of a man accused of spying for and passing documents to a ‘foreign power,’ i.e., the U.S., which led to Germany’s summoning the American ambassador and demanding a “swift clarification” of the matter.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/04/ukra-j04.html  A World Socialist Website political analysis of the foreign ministers’ meeting in Berlin of representatives from Germany, France, Russia, and Ukraine, putatively aimed at coming up with a permanent ceasefire, a process that WSWS notes is full of contradictions between imperial agendas and boots-on-the-ground, a crucial article that ends with a statement from the erstwhile conciliatory Vladmir Putin: “’We will not sacrifice our vital interests just to be allowed to sit nearby at G8/G20.’”

An Information Clearinghhouse news analysis about the mayhem currently afflicting Libya, where the Western flank of unfolding upheaval is unfolding in a devolutionary debacle, in which the culpability of Western–and especially United States–duplicity is the primary focus: “Truth be told, Barak Obama is a political dunce.  Soon after Obama became the first Black president of the United States, Hugo Chavez presented him with a copy of Eduardo Galeano’s excellent work, Open Veins of Latin America.  Obama should have read it.”

  • http://prospect.org/article/supreme-court-rules-disadvantaged-workers-should-be-disadvantaged-some-more  A more-or-less ‘middle-of-the-road’ lament from American Prospect about the Harris v. Quinn decision as a further disadvantaging of “already disadvantaged workers,” along with the viability of their organizational leaders, unions such as ours.
  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/03/supreme-courts-latest-anti-union-decision/  A Counterpunch contextualization of Harris v. Quinn: “There is now a predatory anti-union movement loose upon the land, one that is going around telling working folks that they deserve a free ride.  These anti-union fiends are telling workers who voluntarily hired into union shops (because of the superior wages, benefits and working conditions) that they don’t have to pay their fair share—that they don’t have to pay dues to the very union who fought to get them these superior wages and benefits.”
  • http://mondediplo.com/2014/07/05ukraine  A Le Monde Diplomatique contextualization that Ukraine’s government, when forced to ‘pay the IMF piper,’ will quite likely face insuperable difficulties which will make the current conflict seem comparatively easy to address.

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

  • http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/  A Sydney Morning Herald report that might apply to most former British colonies, with the possible exception of Canada, indicating that a handful of individuals and families control or own more wealth than the combined holdings of millions of others among the poorest twenty per cent of the populace.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/10233243/Classrooms-flooded-with-devices  An essential opinion essay from New Zealand’s Stuff, that contextualizes the ins and outs, problems and prospects, pros and cons, and so forth of the the likely inevitable inclusion of schools in technological ‘modernization’ and more: “‘Any idiot can use Twitter, but forming and articulating a cogent argument in any medium . . . requires good thinking, writing and communication skills’ – and you don’t need technology to acquire those.”
  • http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/07/03/   A Times“Room For Debate” forum about redrawing the world map that, conveniently, doesn’t mention the globalized reality of one state, under finance, with liberty and justice for money.
  • http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=131953&WT.mc_id=USNSF_1  A National Science Foundation Discoveries blog about the work of researchers in articulating the symbiosis between bees and bacteria in the insects’ guts.
  • http://www.opednews.com/articles/ A historically nuanced and satirically incisive assessment of Citizens United logic and the upcoming vote in the Senate to overturn it, by NWU member Jim Hightower.
  • http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/   A harsh, but hard-to-refute argument that homeopathy is equivalent to ‘quackery,’ a necessary discussion in this age of aging populations and–at least here–millions of uninsured folks in the need of relief, who might turn to less-than-compelling ‘therapies’ in the absence of decent health care.
  • http://domore.gapinc.com/  A slick and–no doubt–at least slightly disingenuous multimedia interactive site that lobbies for higher minimum wages, most of the worst of which are in retail, all at the behest of Gap, Inc.
  • http://ecowatch.com/2014/07/01  An analytical essay from EcoWatch about the massive threat to human survival inherent in continued application of pesticides that particularly impact pollinators: “What will it take to get governments and industry to put people—and pollinators—before profits?  Around the world, concerned individuals and organizations are calling on decision-makers to get serious about this threat.  At writing, more than 27,000 have signed a David Suzuki Foundation action alert asking federal and provincial governments to ban the use and sale of neonics.”
  • http://ecowatch.com/2014/02/07/epa-approves-another-pesticide-toxic-bees/  An additional EcoWatch report, from five months ago, about the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent and continuing permissiveness in relation to highly toxic to bees bug-killers that remain the darlings of corporate agriculture.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/law/2014/07/150th-anniversary-of-yo-semite-valley-land-grant/  A Library-of-Congress law blog about the 150th anniversary of the grant of land that formed Yo-Semite National Park, replete with insight and context about land use, wilderness, and more.
  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/07/  A thorough-going analysis from Naked Capitalism, in a crossposting from Philip Pilkington, about the ‘Scholastic’ reform now ‘gaining traction’ in economics, which could bode ill both for reality orientation and future economic policy: “(T)he movement for reform in the economics curriculum is getting traction.  If you think this doesn’t matter to ordinary citizens, think twice.  Economists are the only social scientists that have a seat at the policy table, and the ones that have any clout have serious academic chops.  Yet as many know, the economics curriculum is narrow, or to use the term of opprobrium popular in Europe, autistic.”
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/05/syra-j05.html  A splendid contextualization from World Socialist Website about the small but quickly burgeoning phenomena of public school systems’ dedicating one or more schools in their districts to turning out students whose likely fate will be serving in the military, the Department of Homeland Security, or similar militarized sectors of the polity.
  • http://www.marxists.org/history/usa/parties/spusa/1901/0704-debs-missionofsoc.pdf  A lovely little July fourth commemoration from The Marxist Archives of Eugene Debs’ July fourth, 1901 speech in which he assailed nationalism and championed socialism and the working class.
  • http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/videos   A profferal fromForbidden Knowledge TV, of a Russell Means hour-and-a-half presentation comparing contemporary working Americans to the indigenous inhabitants of the continent during the period of colonization and national expansion.
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/04   A detailed look at the surface of seven years of Bitcoin’s existence, at least partially contextualized by Pando Digest.
  • http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/videos/police-state   A brief video from Forbidden Knowledge TV, that covers the crashing of over 400 drones into homes and farms and elsewhere since the technology’s inception, with the next year or so the slated initiation of the actual drone-age domestically.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/  A report from Global Research about agribusiness’ targeting of Britain as a wedge for genetically modified seeds to gain access to European markets, not likely a winning bet for any sector other than finance and industrial agriculture: “‘RoundUp Ready GM crops are the crops which could be grown in England perhaps as early as next year.  Blanket spraying of these crops with weedkiller would lead to massive loss of habitat for birds and butterflies and a plague of superweeds for farmers.  The costs of segregating GM and non-GM would push up food prices for everyone, and non-GM farmers would lose out financially if their conventional or organic crops become contaminated.'”

7/07/2014

Quote of the Day

“We are the most militant and organized group of workers the world has ever seen.”  Slogan of the early International Longshoreman’s and Warehouseman’s Union, which grew out of the maritime strike and general strike on the West Coast in 1934; http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/02/the-strike-that-shook-san-francisco-and-rocked-the-pacific-coast/.

This Day in History

Five hundred fifty-eight years ago, in a post-mortem retrial, the court found Joan-of-Arc–and her ashes–innocent of heresy; four hundred eighty years back, the first exchanges occurred between Europeans and peoples indigenous to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in current day New Brunswick; two hundred forty-four years ago, a decisive victory for Russia took place in the 1768-1774 Russo-Turkish War, in which a smaller force of Russians defeated Tatar-Crimean cavalry and Ottoman infantry; one hundred eighty years prior to the present moment, four days of rioting against Abolitionists began in New York City; one hundred sixty-eight years ago, victories by U.S. forces in the Mexican War began the annexation of California; one hundred fifty-one years back, the first draft law of the Civil War took effect, offering ‘exemptions’ for three hundred dollars; eighty years ago, in the aftermath of the July fifth carnage that West Coast shippers and industrialists had unleashed against striking dock workers, members of unions continued to resist; sixty-one years ago, Ernesto Guevera, Che, set out on his two-continent tour that solidified his revolutionary consciousness; thirty-one years ago, Samantha Smith, a middle-school peace activist, flew to the Soviet Union at the invitation of Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov, two years prior to her death in a plane crash on a break from filming a series about her adventures for ABC TV.

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

06/27/2014 – 11:15am

By: Brigid O’Farrell, Bay Area Chapter

On Monday, June 23, the White House convened a summit in Washington, DC, to start an important conversation about issues affecting working families:  accessing good jobs, raising the minimum wage, creating flexible schedules, securing paid family leave, providing quality affordable child care. Labor was in the house.  I was honored to join over 250 union members and women from worker organizations.  First we met on Sunday at the AFL-CIO building where sisters and brothers shared their stories.


JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://www.yesmagazine.org/   A briefing from Yes! about Longhouse Media, an organization committed to grassroots empowerment among Native Americans through storytelling and media work: “‘Our stories define us.  Indigenous people have the right to share their own experiences through their own lens.'”
  • \https://bigpicturereport.files.wordpress.com   A graphical depiction about militarism particularly apropos in the lee of Independence Day celebrations.
  • http://www.energyjustice.net/content/ten-commandments-movement-solidarity  An interesting post on the Energy Justice Network, important if only as a basis for discussion and critique of what ‘Solidarity’ actually means: “After a decade of grassroots advocacy, my personal belief is that the greatest obstacle to positive change in the world isn’t corporations, the government, or the 1%, but lack of movement solidarity.”
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/  A very short brief from Tech Republic about YouTube’s third founder, Jawed Karim, who opposed linking to Google and uploaded the service’s first video.
  • http://www.aflcio.org/Blog  A call-to-action from AFL-CIO to support the United States Postal Service and prevent its outsourcing to non-union Staples.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • http://pando.com/2014/07/02/  A Pando Digest report that deconstructs Amazon’s position on its recent dust-ups with publishers and booksellers: “It makes sense for Amazon to portray its actions … as benefiting consumers.   That’s been its rallying cry for the last few years, and it has helped the company escape criticism in the past.  But in reality, Amazon is the only one benefiting from these negotiations.  That’s true for its attempts to negotiate with Hachette and for its desire to print books when publishers are unable to meet demand…”
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2014/07/   A digital preservation blog from Library of Congress, in which a National Endowment for Humanities staffer and an entrepreneur provide background and analysis for assessing and facilitation digital cultural preservation work: “What elements contribute to a successful research and development project in digital cultural heritage that results in the adoption of standards and practices?”
  • http://www.opensecrets.org  A valuable update from Open Secrets about an ‘Anomaly Tracker’ for use in spotting shady or at least unusual patterns of political spending, in this case identifying committees that spend fifty per cent or more of their funds on a single vendor or cause.
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2014/07/03/win-the-narrative/  A WaPo blog that profiles Charles C. Johnson, crowdfunding aficionado and reactionary journalistic maverick who offers an object lesson in “win(ning) the narrative” on the road to successful ‘branding’ and such, even as his brand of ‘populism’ smacks of rightwing lunacy at different junctures.
  • http://www.standupforspeech.com/  A ‘Libertarian’ site that raises absolutely crucial free-speech issues that offer a chance for a union of writers to network in nontraditional ways, as well as presenting models for struggle for such groups as ours to use and benefit from.
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28130581  A BBC contextualization of the “right-to-be-forgotten” and what it could imply for journalism and commentary, with all sorts of unexpected twists and turns in the bureaucratic unfolding of this case: “So there is an argument that in removing the blog, Google is confirming the fears of many in the industry that the “right to be forgotten” will be abused to curb freedom of expression and to suppress legitimate journalism that is in the public interest.”
  • http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/02/eu-right-to-be-forgotten-guardian-google  A Guardian news-analysis about the “right to be forgotten” and its subtle and sinister attacks on public knowledge: “As for Google itself, it’s clearly a reluctant participant in what effectively amounts to censorship.  Whether for commercial or free speech reasons (or both), it’s informing sites when their content is blocked – perhaps in the hope that they will write about it.  It’s taking requests literally: only the exact pages requested for removal vanish and only when you search for them by the specified name.”
  • http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/07/fold-wants-to-keep-you-from-tumbling-down-link-rabbit-holes/  A Nieman Journalism Lab report about the general role of context-control software for readers and writers, with a particular look at FOLD, a new project from the MIT Media Lab, a must-read analysis.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • http://pando.com/2014/07/02  A Pando Digest project that poses, both tongue-in-cheek and semi-seriously twenty-five questions that anonymous ‘start-up’ mavens are ‘too embarassed to ask.’
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/02/ A fascinating examination, from Pando Digest, of the political economy of venture-capital-fueled price wars in different sectors of the borderland where virtual production meets physical work–as in Lyft v. Uber and in the mobile-food-delivery business, all of which seems like Valhalla but will soon implode, according to the articles’ analysis: “In the meantime, though, consumers are getting a Pets.com free-bags-of-dog-food style golden era of unsustainable discounts and free offers.  Soak it up, everyone, because it won’t last.”
  • http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news   A brief from The Hill in the form of a short obituary for Richard Mellon Scaife, a billionaire trust-fund sort who owned newspapers and gave funds and support to innumerable conservative causes, in so doing providing an overview of the political economy of media-and-reaction: “Since the Reagan presidency, Scaife spread his estimated $1.4 billion fortune around to groups pushing conservative ideals.”
  • http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/02/isp-gchq-mass-surveillance-privacy-court-claim  A Guardian news-analysis article about seven Internet service providers from six nations that are filing formal complaints with the Investigatory Powers Tribunal against the British equivalent of the National Security Administration, GCHQ, which has apparently been breaking into networks and monitoring transmissions around the globe.
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/   A WaPo article that shows that regular, pedestrian users vastly outnumber foreign communicators among the accounts that the National Security Administration has been monitoring.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article  ATech Republic briefing about new technology that still sounds more like science fiction that reality, BrainWriter, but which nonetheless occupied the booth at a London tech event between Google Glass and Oculus Rift.
  • http://pando.com/2014/07/02  A ‘You-Can’t-Make-This-S**t-Up’ report from Pando Digest that deals with reDesign founder Rocky Agrawal, who has a bone to pick with both PD and his former employer, PayPal, from which PD has reported his firing, full of loops and caverns that reveal the social and economic mayhem of the current political economy of ‘virtuality’ and such: “Given it’s a sent email, not a received one, there doesn’t seem much reason for it to be open full screen in the photo unless Agrawal intends it to be seen.  Then again, the image also includes Agrawal’s Amex card, in which the card number, expiration and security code is plainly visible.  That’s just plain dumb. (I’ve cropped that out of the image below for obvious reasons.)”
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/07/conversation-with-kirk-sullivan/  A Library of Congress intern interview with a successful software engineer turned ethnomusicology Ph.d. candidate, which raises key points about life-satisfaction and life-course often apt to writers of various stripes.
  • http://www.fastcodesign.com/3032463/what-is-google  A Fast Company report on Google’s Material Design Initiative, which the author believes will morph into something that could provide a new and comprehensively unifying architecture to much that happens in peoples’ lives, in which Googel will show up (a)s a series of services that have become our digital infrastructure.  And in the very near future, Google will exist, not as something you need to understand as ‘Chrome’ or ‘Android,’ but as a conduit of information that’s on just the right screen at just the right time.”
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/01/swar-j01.html  A review-essay from World Socialist Website about The Internet’s Own Boy, the documentary about ‘hacktivist’ Aaron Swartz, whose recent suicide rocked those who follow and have a stake in free speech and copyright and related issues of intellectual property and governmental responses thereto.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/02/   A Counterpunch assessment of the firing of James Kilgore from University of Illinois/Champagne-Urbana because of his past association, including hard time in prison, with the Symbionese Liberation Army, which the author uses to contextualize the ills that are now ubiquitous in ‘higher education:’ “1. The perversion of higher education, as seen in administrators’ transformation into politicians, rather than educational professionals; 2. The basic problem of a lack of workers’ rights, especially for contingent faculty; 3. The travesty of attaching worker’s occupational value to political factors, rather than qualifications and quality of performance; and 4. The problem of top-down control of decisions in higher education.”
  • http://www.wired.com/2014/06/global-antibiotics-action/#more-1149571  A disturbing, even terrifying, briefing from Wired about the underreported and unaddressed risks of antibiotic resistant organisms, all of which flows from pharmaceutical power and practice at all levels of society, meaning that only an international effort has any hope of forestalling devastation: “We must change how antibiotics are used and adopt proactive strategies, similar to those used to save endangered species.  Preservation of the efficacy of antibiotics and to stabilization of antibiotic-susceptible bacterial ecosystems should be global goals.”
  • http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/  A sobering look, from Slate, at how the recent Hobby Lobby decision has already become vastly worse through a last-minute decision about a Wheaton College case, in which the ‘promise’ of the case’s holding of merely enabling ‘less-restrictive alternatives’ to mandatory contraception coverage was not enough for fascistic attacks on women’s reproductive rights: “Having explicitly promised that Hobby Lobby would go no further than Hobby Lobby, the court went back on its word, then skipped town for the summer.”
  • http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/03/us-china-usa-idUSKBN0F807E20140703  A Reuters briefing about China’s imploring the U.S. to seek ‘objectivity’ in its assessments of China in advance of an upcoming important confabulation, hoping to ‘plant flowers instead of harvesting thorns.’
  • http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/211345-rand-pauls-2016-evolution  An update from The Hill on Rand Paul’s recent spate of op-eds, in which he has painted himself as more ‘Presidential,’ i.e., willing to countenance the primary accoutrements of imperial imprimatur, especially in relation to Israel and other key elements of U.S. foreign policy.
  • http://russlandantirep.blogsport.de/english/  A fascinating portal, from Germany, about recent upheaval in Russia against ‘independent’ non-governmental organizations, which, in the aftermath of the ‘Maidan revolution’ in Ukraine–organized by U.S. and billionaire funded non-profits–Russia has been labeling as “foreign agents,” which makes their work and fundraising difficult or downright impossible.
  • www.france24.com/en/breaking/  A France24breaking news report about Germany’s recent passage of a national minimum wage equivalent to plus-or-minus thirteen dollars per hour.
  • thinkprogress.org/health/2014/07/03/3456254   A Think Progress article about a recent direct action in front of an Illinois Hobby Lobby outlet, where United Church of Christ and Unitarian Universalist preachers, and Planned Parenthood folks handed out condoms to protest the Supreme Court’s recent decision.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/   A Global Research Report overview, evidence-based and outside the scope of almost everything that U.S. and European corporate media report, about the present case of U.S. backing of Al Qaeda, in the Islamic State in Iraq & Syria: “While the US State Department is accusing several countries of ‘harboring terrorists’, America is the Number One ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism’: The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) –which operates in both Syria and Iraq– is covertly supported and financed by the US and its allies including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  Moreover, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s Sunni caliphate project coincides with a longstanding US agenda to carve up both Iraq and Syria into separate territories: A Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, a Republic of Kurdistan, among others.”
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/  A few days’ old report from New Zealand’s Stuff that Russia and Ukraine were committing to conducting ongoing dialog aimed at extending the ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine, a possibility that seems both promising and far-fetched.

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/02/the-strike-that-shook-san-francisco-and-rocked-the-pacific-coast/  A powerful and provocative presentation fromCounterpunch about the Maritime Strike that became a general strike in Western port cities in 1934, with tons of notes-of-interest for contemporary workers–about solidarity, the conflation of the business and the State, the role of radicals and reds and such, and loads more besides.
  • http://thehill.com/policy/defense/211283-security-fears-loom-over-cia-report  A report from The Hill about a soon-to-be-released Congressional report on ‘enhanced’ interrogation techniques during the Bush administration which Democrats contend documents “shocking brutality” against prisoners, all of which has led to nervousness about how and when to release these findings so as to reduce ‘blowback’ from Arab lands.
  • https://portside.org/2014-07-05/how-troublesome-inheritance-gets-human-genetics-wrong  A critically important, somewhat technical crossposting at Portside of an analysis of Nicholas Wade’s recent monograph, Genes, Race, & Human History a recent example in a long line of racialist biological studies that essentially end up arguing that ‘colored people’ earn less, study less, and so forth because of their ‘racial profiles,’ a point against which the authors here stringently and persuasively argue: “(W)e knew long before (other authors’) work that height and skin pigmentation vary between populations, and that they are heritable.  There is no comparable baseline of data for social and behavioral traits.  The most recent, rigorous study of a such a trait—how many years of education people complete, a numerical proxy for cognitive and social performance—found that only a miniscule proportion of variation was explainable by specific genetic markers. Its authors argued that their results call into question a lot of prior work with much less powerful datasets, which can be misled by exactly the kind of subtle population genetic differences we see in humans.”
  • http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/03/july-4th-militarist-bunkum-encore-request/  A debunking of patriotic fervor by Paul Craig Roberts, generally oriented but with a clear contemporary point: “85 to 90 percent of war’s casualties are non-combatant civilians.  That is the conclusion reached by a nine-person research team in the June 2014 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.  The deaths of soldiers who are fighting the war are a small part of the human and economic cost.  Clearly, wars do not protect the lives of civilians.  The notion that soldiers are dying for us is false.  Non-combatants are the main victims of war.”
  • http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1109359583686-115/Gleijeses.Cuba,+Moscow,+Africa.2006%5B2%5D.pdf  A combination of military, diplomatic, and modern world history, focused on Cuba’s outsized role in support of revolutionary movements in Africa and Latin America: “From 1959 onward, Castro deªed and humiliated the United States.  In the 1960s, fears of a ‘second Cuba’ in Latin America haunted U.S. leaders and gave rise to the Alliance for Progress.  From the late 1970s through the late 1980s, the Cuban government supported those who fought to bring revolutionary change to Central America.  But Castro’s vistas extended well beyond the Western hemisphere.  The dispatch of 36,000 Cuban soldiers to Angola from November 1975 to April 1976 stunned the world and ushered in a period of large-scale operations, including 12,000 Cuban soldiers in Ethiopia in early 1978; Cuban military missions in Congo Brazzaville, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and Benin; and, above all, the continuing presence in Angola that peaked in 1988 with 52,000 soldiers.  Cuba’s military presence in Africa was accompanied by a massive program of technical assistance.  Tens of thousands of Cuban experts, mainly in health care, education, and construction, worked” throughout Africa.
  • http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2014/06/sister-of-fidel-former-spy-and-loyal-hillary-supporter/  A welcome-to-nuance-land blog from Open Secrets about Juanita Castro Ruz, whose recent memoirs revealed that the Castro brothers’ sister worked as a CIA operative before she left Havana for Florida in 1964, and whose current political orientation is to organize support for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential bid.
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38978.htm  One of those top-ten-of-the-year stories, from Information Clearinghouse, crossposted from the Defense of Freedom Foundation, about recent Chilean Court findings that the Central Intelligence Agency materially participated in the killing of two U.S. citizens by the Chilean government in the early days of the Pinochet dictatorship’s U.S.-supported project in mass murder and the defense of empire.
  • http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24689-workers-resist-scofflaw-employers-in-wage-theft-capital-of-the-us  A news analysis from TruthOut that portrays the U.S. as the ‘wage-theft-capitol of the planet Earth:’ “Over two-thirds of workers experienced wage theft each week in major US cities. Employers alter timecards, violate break periods, fail to pay overtime rates or simply fail to pay their employees at all. It’s bad enough that wages for the bottom 99% of workers have stagnated since the Great Recession, but then to add the indignity of robbing them as well?  In fact, wage theft is so prevalent that it’s one of the worst crime sprees in recent memory. For comparison, in 2012, total wage theft in the United States far exceeded the total amount stolen in all bank, gas station and convenience store robberies.

7/03/2014

Quote of the Day

“You know how dynamic and unpredictable international developments may sometimes be. They seem to be pressed together and unfortunately are not all of a positive nature. The potential for conflict is growing in the world, old contradictions are growing ever more acute and new ones are being provoked. We come across such developments, often unexpectedly, and we observe with regret that international law is not working, the most basic norms of decency are not complied with and the principle of all-permissiveness is gaining the upper hand.”  Vladmir Putin: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38962.htm.

This Day in History

Four hundred six years back, Quebec City was founded; two hundred fifty-seven years ago, Norway’s oldest, still-operational newspaper, Andresseavisen, began publication; one hundred sixty-six years ago, slaves rebelled and gained their freedom in the Danish West Indies; one hundred fifty-four years back, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was born; one hundred thirty-one years ago, Franz Kafka was born; one hundred twenty-eight years prior to the here-and-now, theNew York Tribune eliminated hand-set type with its introduction of a linotype machine; one hundred six years ago, Joel Chandler Harris died in Atlanta; thirty five years ago, Jimmy Carter secretly authorized support for opponents to the Soviet-led government of Afghanistan, such as Osama Bin Laden.

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Next Wednesday will be the first NWU organizing vision, strategy, and planning committee meeting: stay tuned.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/  A Rolling Stone briefing about a National Geographic documentary series concerning the 1990’s, a portion of which examines the murder of Tupac Shakur.
  • http://www.nsf.gov/discoveries/disc_summ.jsp?cntn_id=131916&WT.mc_id=USNSF_1  A National Science Foundation Discoveries blog that notes that by year’s end, mobile devices will outnumber humans and account for plus-or-minus fifteen per cent of global residential electricity usage, a fact that a new device, reported by the article, will ameliorate somewhat, providing recharging of batteries from walking-generated electricity.
  • http://www.good.is/video/what-happens-to-creativity-in-a-connected-world? An interesting piece of fluff from The Daily Good, about a presentation concerning creativity in a wired world at SF Design Week in the California Bay Area.
  • http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php? National Academies Press publication that contextualizes science and technology policy as a key ‘enterprise’ of the U.S. economy.
  • http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/07   A Nieman Journalism Labbriefing about the Internet Archive’s project in Philadelphia to make every aspect of election 2014 searchable before election day rolls around.
  • http://www.fastcompany.com/3032523/  A report and overview from Fast Company about Facebook’s collaboration with academics to test the impact of negative versus positive information streams, the latest ‘ethics’ brouhaha: “emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks.” In other words: Positive status updates beget positive usage, etc.
  • http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/06/30/google-rainbow-push/11775067/  A USA Today announcement about Jesse Jackson’s new patronage partner, Google, and how together Rainbow PUSH and Google will increase minority hires in Silicon Valley.
  • http://pando.com/2014/06/30/  A fascinating look inside a Venture Capital Seed Fund, from Pando Daily, that details operational protocols and selection among companies that focus on data-optimization and deployment in their operations.
  • http://pando.com/2014/06/28/  Pando Digest’s perspective on the FaceBook experiments.
  • http://www.techpolicydaily.com/communications/comes-net-neutrality-nordic-model-best-approach/  A Tech Policy Daily blog from American Enterprise Institute that argues convincingly that following a Norwegian and general Nordic model of net-neutrality would have optimum results.
  • http://benton.org/node/191632?  A Benton.org summary of a Revere Digital report on the FCC’s defense of its education wi-fi initiatives, which teachers and their unions complain are too paltry to make much difference and quite likely to be hijacked by wealthier districts.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38962.htm  Another Information Clearinghouse must-read, via Paul Craig Roberts, of Vladmir Putin’s remarks to Russia’s ambassadors on Tuesday, in which he analyzed the world situation generally and the deteriorating conditions in Ukraine specifically as an element of that general devolution.
  • http://truth-out.org/news/item/  A TruthOut reporter’s interview with Dispatches from the Underclass that notes the hypocritical, selective, and ahistorical reportage that have characterized corporate, ‘Western’ media, which has ignored fundamental reality along multiple fronts: “Sectarianism was deliberately woven into the fabric of Iraq by the United States following the invasion. ‘The Iraqi Governing Council set up on under the Coalition Provisional Authority was set up strictly along sectarian lines and that started happening in the first month of the occupation,’ explained Jamail.”
  • http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205404052_text  A Law Library of Congress posting about a Memorandum of Understanding between Oman and Sri Lanka, about treatment of the Asian island country’s plus-or-minus 25,000 ‘guest-workers’ in the Gulf nation.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/  A report from New Zealand’s Stuffabout Japan’s overturning its prohibition on foreign involvement of its troops, which has countries like China and Korea worried.
  • http://observers.france24.com/   A scary breaking-news report from France24 about the arrest of hundreds of African refugees in Israel who faced arrest and harassment when they started to ‘walk to Egypt’ to ‘escape Israel.’
  • http://www.france24.com/en 4892029583 France24’s briefing about the reinitiation of hostilities in Ukraine by the Washington-backed government there, with attacks on Eastern Ukraine strongholds of opposition.
  • http://www.france24.com/   France24’s article about Nicolas Sarkozy’s response to his facing criminal investigations for fraud.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/03/us  A breaking-news article from the Times about South Carolina’s longest-serving, ‘get-tough’ sheriff, who allegedly released a big contributor’s restaurant workers on the sly.

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

7/02/2014

Quote of the Day

“I must stay on the court in order to prevent the Bolsheviki from getting control.”  William Howard Taft(on why he had to spend his dotage staying put on the Supreme Court): https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/06/waiting-for-scotus/.

This Day in History

Today at 1:00 marks the midpoint of the year; three hundred thirty-five years ago an expedition led by a Frenchman named Du Luth showed the headwaters of the Mississippi to Europeans; three hundred sixteen years back, an Englishman, Thomas Savery, filed the first patent for a steam engine; two hundred thirty-eight years prior to the present moment, the Continental Congress severed ties with Great Britain; two hundred thirty-seven years ago, Vermont became the first territory in what became the United States to ban slavery; one hundred ninety-two years back, Denmark Vesey and thirty-four convicted co-conspirators hanged in South Carolina for their roles in a slave uprising; one hundred seventy-five years before the hear-and-now, slaves seized control of the slave ship, Amistad; a hundred sixty-one years back, the Crimean War began; one hundred seventeen years ago, Marconi patented radio transmission and reception; fifty-three years back, Ernest Hemingway died, at age sixty-one; fifty-two years ago, the first WalMart opened; fifty years ago, Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act; forty-eight years back, the French conducted their first nuclear weapons test in the Pacific; thirty-eight years ago, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam came into being as what remained of South Vietnam fell to communist forces; twenty-eight years ago, two protesters against CIA-coup-installed President-of-Chile Augusto Pinochet were, according to the woman who miraculously survived, doused in gasoline and set afire.

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS


By: Brigid O’Farrell, Bay Area Chapter

On Monday, June 23, the White House convened a summit in Washington, DC, to start an important conversation about issues affecting working families:  accessing good jobs, raising the minimum wage, creating flexible schedules, securing paid family leave, providing quality affordable child care. Labor was in the house.  I was honored to join over 250 union members and women from worker organizations.  First we met on Sunday at the AFL-CIO building where sisters and brothers shared their stories.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • http://www.la2050.org/challenge/  A ‘citizens’ grant process’ for Los Angeles that ought to be part of the present model everywhere.
  • http://www.capitalnewyork.com/jobs Jobs source
  • Environmental Communications Professional (Bethesda MD)– The Hatcher Group seeks to hire a communications professional to join its outstanding environmental team to manage outreach campaigns and promote smart policies on climate change, clean air and water, renewable energy, and community sustainability.
  • Summer Program Instructor – Based out of downtown Gloucester, Massachusetts, Kestrel Educational Adventures is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that inspires wonder, understanding and connection to the natural world through playful, outdoor scientific inquiry.
  • Communications Director – Center for Environmental Health Oakland, CA We are looking for a superstar Communications Director to join our close-knit team of deeply committed people’s health champions.
  • Arthur Morgan School Burnsville, NC This full time position spends roughly half of their time as a houseparent and the other half teaching and working with students in our school setting.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

 

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • http://www.usatoday.com   A USA Today article that updates the work of digital-journalism aficionado Jim Brady, whose previous forays all ended on a down note, but who is starting his own operation now in Philadelphia: “‘It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,’ Brady says.  ‘I want to do something the way I want to do it, at the pace I want to do it with the people I want.  I want to be my own boss.  You may not like him, but at least you know his weaknesses.'”
  • http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/  An important briefing from Rolling Stone about what’s about to come down the pike in the form of YouTube’s new ‘streaming video’ service, not a pretty picture for anyone other than the major labels: “Indie labels are furious about this, because, due to a ‘negative most-favored-nation clause,’ all labels must accept the same terms, and lower-revenue indies can’t possibly afford to pay millions in advances.  Some haveaccused the big companies involved in the negotiations of transforming the online-content marketplace into a shady deal where the biggest companies get the best rates.”
  • http://www.pewresearch.org/  A Pew Research briefing that indicates that U.S. readers and viewers have some interest in following what’s happening in Iraq and a declining commitment to following the World Cup.
  • http://benton.org/node/   A Benton.org summary of a Broadcast and Cablereport about activist group Rootstrikers, which is orchestrating a campaign to require both full disclosure of where political ads originate and full public access to the data online.
  • http://techcrunch.com/2014/06/30 A small-scale merger from the cutting edge confluence of social media, news, and video, from TechCrunch.
  • http://www.techpolicydaily.com/internet/french-wine-internet-protect-integrity-icann/  An essential read, straightforwardly contextualized, from TechPolicyDaily, about both the recent Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers meeting in London and the process of divesting the U.S. Commerce Department of oversight in regard to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.
  • http://www.ntia.doc.gov/press-release/2014   A National Telecommunications and Information Administration press release about new ‘business and nonprofit’ appointees to its Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, a dry but inherently critical topic for writers and their organizations to ponder.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/ A Sidebar politics report from theTimes that talks about the social media libel-and-violent-speech case coming up next term: “But the final weeks of the court’s current term left a different impression.  In major decisions on software patentssmartphones and Internet streaming, the justices seemed savvy.”
  • recode.net/2014/06/30/why-the-aereo-shutdown-will-be-a-disaster-for-broadcast-tv/  A cutting edge report from Re/Code, thanks to Benton.org, that puts the Aereo killshot by the Supreme Court into perspective as another body blow to the TV plutocrats who celebrated the decision.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/now-see-hear/2014/07/heeeeeeeeeeeeres-johnny/  A ‘You can’t make this s**t up’ moment from Library of Congress that combines the history of popular culture, history of media production, digital preservation, copyright, and public access to media in one fell swoop.
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/article   A Tech Republic examination of the conflation of ‘Silicon Valley’ with PayPal alum, what locals label “The PayPal Mafia — a term that’s used with affection and awe in Silicon Valley (that) (f)ormer PayPal CEO Peter Thiel estimates … to be around 220 people. …That group of 220 people went on to create seven distinct ‘unicorn’ companies.  Unicorns are companies with a valuation of more than $1 billion.  Two of those seven companies were valued at north of $10 billion.  (They included Tesla Motors, Linked-in, and YouTube) For comparison’s sake, the Google employee equivalent number would be around 20,000 or 30,000.  … Thiel estimates that only one to three unicorn companies have been produced, with none close to a $10 billion valuation.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

  • http://www.reuters.com   Reuters and Salon articles from last December, about a grotesque continuing phenomenon, the hiring of distressed workers at low wages to perform clean-up tasks at Fukushima.
  • http://www.smh.com.au/world/  A telling brief from Sydney Morning Herald, about coming strengthening of military ties between Australia and India.
  • http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news   A harsh but plausible contextualization from Moscow Times that asserts that a killing of a Russian journalist by Ukraine military forces was a set-up orchestrated by rebel forces, while admitting that the contrary conclusion–that Ukrainian fighters reneged on their agreement–is also possible.
  • http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205404047_text  A Law Library of Congress briefing about a recently adopted European Union directive to ease citizen and small-business capacity to file antitrust lawsuits.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/iraqi-hydrocarbon-prize-of-u-s-invasion-in-danger/5388977  A Global Research analytical essay that contextualizes what’s transpiring now in Iraq as at least in part the fulfillment of planned ‘denationalization of Iraqi hydrocarbon assets:’ “Muttitt, author of Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq, wrote a few months before al-Maliki assumed his first premiership that American and British governments made sure the candidates for prime minister knew what their first priority had to be: To pass a law legalizing the return of the foreign multinationals.  This would be the vital biggest prize of the U.S. 2003 invasion.  Al-Maliki is the right man to secure a pro-privatization government in Baghdad.  Thomas L. Friedman described him in the New York Times on this June 4 as ‘our guy,’ ‘an American-installed autocrat,’ and a ‘big gift’ the U.S. occupation ‘left behind in Iraq.'”
  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com   A frightening update from Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism about what Ukraine’s signature on a European Union agreement will mean: plunder and devastation, particularly in East Ukraine.
  • https://runbenrun.nationbuilder.com/donation?recruiter_id=645220  A pitch to nominate Ben Carson, more reliably ‘conservative’ than John McCain or Jeb Bush, for President, that everyone who believes in identity politics ought to consider carefully.
  • http://ecowatch.com/2014/06/30/  An EcoWatch breaking news brief about the Unitarian Universalist Church’s divestment of all carbon-stocks from its portfolio.
  • http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/06/30/Democrat-Pastor-Accuses-Thad-Cochran-Campaign-Of-Vote-For-Pay-Scheme  A Breitbart News article about allegations from Mississippi that Senator Thad Cochran’s campaign offered fifteen bucks a pop for Black and Democratic voters who punched in the right vote, an offer on which the campaign then reneged, the story’s presence notwithstanding this: “The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics says, ‘Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.’  Johnson defended paying for the story in an email, saying,’“Why wouldn’t I pay for an awesome story?'”
  • http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/best-lines-hobby-lobby-decision  Mother Jones’ abstracting the ‘eight best lines’ from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s dissent in the Hobby Lobby case.
  • http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/cedarburg-man-wins-back-money-seized-from-rv-years-ago-in-nebraska-b99300603z1-265118961.html  A report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, thanks to Crime Reports, that tells of a vanishingly rare victory for a citizen whose cash the police seized after a minor drug infraction.

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

7/01/2014

Quote of the Day

“Comcast, Verizon and other telecom giants are the new Lairds of the Highlands, the Marie Antoinettes, the Robber Barons of the 1890s. The Commons are no longer large tracks of land or public grazing grounds or local self-governance – those have already been stolen. The Commons under assault is the internet.”  Rivera Sun: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24628-fcc-internet-proposal-the-contemporary-pillage-of-the-commons.

This Day in History

One hundred forty-eight years ago, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace both had papers on evolution read to the London Linnean Society; a hundred forty-two years back, the Russian National Library first came into existence; one hundred forty-one years prior to the here-and-now, the battle of Gettysburg began; one hundred forty-four years back, the United States first formed a Department of Justice; one hundred forty years ago, the first commercially successful typewriter came to market; one hundred thirty-three years back, the first international telephone call–between New Brunswick and Maine–took place; one hundred twenty-four years ago, the cable making telegraphy between Bermuda and Canada possible was completed; ninety three years ago, the Chinese Communist Party formed; forty-seven years back, the European Community began, out of a merger of the Common Market, the European Iron and Steel Community, and the European Atomic Energy Agency; one hundred forty-six years ago, the Phoenix program–a precursor to the Patriot Act for which Vietnam served as laboratory, came into being; thirty-one years ago, Buckminster Fuller died.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • Chandler, AZ – We’re looking for Entry to Intermediate level Technical Writers. compensation: $22-$25 per hr, experience driven
  • Reporter, Southern Utah – St. George News | STGnews.com, the leader in bringing comprehensive and interactive news central and relevant to the communities of Southern Utah, is seeking full-time qualified news reporters to join our core team in Washington and Iron counties.
  • Flagstaff, AZ – Position: Luxury Travel Writing Assistant
    Company: Touch the Southwest Tours
    Hours: Part-Time, Work From Home
    Compensation: Depends On Experience
  • Las Vegas, NV – Las Vegas company looking for a high-energy Technical Writer with present day skills. compensation: $36-$41/hour

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • http://pando.com/2014/06/26/  A Pando Digest examination of a recent move by social media upstart Buffer to increase the role of popular fluff in reportage: “The application is called Daily, and it’s the worst thing to happen to social media since Klout decided to reward people for becoming over-sharing online attention whores.”
  • http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/night-news-challenge-funds-collaborative-research-and-verification-platforms/s2/a557211/  An English report about aGuardian project, Swarmize, to allow collaborative and multiuser development of and access to ‘data-oriented journalism,’ on the one hand, and a platform called CheckDesk that would permit journalists to assess the authenticity and reliability of social media reports in breaking-news situations, both of which have received substantial funding from the Knight Foundation in its recent Internet innovation round of grants.
  • http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/videos/art/nature-of-language-by-jose-parlahunt-library-raleigh-nc.html  A short video, full of insight and provocative of inquiry and contemplation, about the nature of language.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcHRaxN-u5U  A banned-book-in-open-societies video about five books ‘institutionally censored’ in the U.S., with New York University media analyst Mark Crispin Miller, and what these methods for diminishing impact tell people about U.S. history–the upshot of all of which is a a reissuing of out-of-print volumes in a “Forbidden Bookshelf” whose titles were “done in” by establishment ‘management’ protocols.
  • http://webarchive.loc.gov/lcwa0033/*/http://www.fair.org/  A Library of Congress portal to archived web pages of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting for 2009-2011.
  • http://pando.com/2014/06/30/   A Pando Digest report about the takeover of the Southland “Fireside Chat” by ‘suits’ and big money, effectively freezing out any real opportunity for regular folk to learn or meet or greet, let alone pitch and pray.

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24628-fcc-internet-proposal-the-contemporary-pillage-of-the-commons  A TruthOut essay that contextualizes the current ‘net-neutrality’ debate as another ‘assault on the commons’ by plutocrats, an old story that is not always easy to tell or digest: “Truth is hard to swallow, lengthy, complicated, and often more sordid than the tidy ‘I built the Empire State Building.’  The whole of the populace supports the efforts and achievements of the society, but all too often, the lauding of individual success glosses over the theft of common efforts, resources and knowledge that underlies the immense power and profit of the few.”
  • http://benton.org/node/190140?utm_campaign=Newsletters&utm_source=sendgrid&utm_medium=email  A Benton.org summary of a Times article about the predatory pricing of phone services that serve prison inmates.
  • http://www.zdnet.com/after-the-aereo-decision-the-future-of-internet-tv-7000031034/  A report from ZDNet about Aereo’s seeking to remain relevant despite the U.S. Supreme Court: “‘The spectrum that the broadcasters use to transmit over the air programming belongs to the American public and we believe you should have a right to access that live programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud.’  Therefore, (said Aereo’s CTO)despite this ‘massive setback to consumers…our journey is far from done.'”
  • http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jun/29/time-inc-scott-havens-digital-linkedin  A Guardian report about Time’s big dreams, despite a rocky launch as it separated from Time-Warner, to create future-of-journalism developments to rival FaceBook and other major ‘social-media’ operators.
  • http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2014/06/dhs-fouo/  A Steven Aftergood blog at Federation of American Scientists about the Department of Homeland Security’s ubiquitous deployment of “for official use only” on documents that arguably ought to be public, according to the House of Representatives Report on the funding bill for the agency’s 2015 budget.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/technology/ Times analysis of a FaceBook program to ‘target’ 500,000 members with fluctuations in the positive and negative feeds that they received, studying their emotional responses.
  • http://projects.propublica.org/nsa-grid/?utm_source=et&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailynewsletter  A Pro Publica interactive chart that gathers in one place most or even all of the National Security Administration’s known spying operations.
  • http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/07/the-end-of-the-internet/372301/?_ga=1.30241853.367249403.1392395553  A frightening and crucial report from Atlantic about potential balkanization of the Internet, a “Splinternet” Google’s Eric Schmidt calls it, for political economic and sociopolitical reasons that bear watching, analyzing, following, and reporting on: “Merkel’s exploration of a closed, pan-European cloud-computing network is simply the latest example of what the analyst Daniel Castro of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation calls ‘data nationalism,’ a phenomenon gathering momentum whereby countries require that certain types of information be stored on servers within a state’s physical borders.  The nations that have already implemented a patchwork of data-localization requirements range from Australia, France, South Korea, and India to Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Vietnam, according to Anupam Chander and Uyen P. Le, two legal scholars at the University of California at Davis.  ‘Anxieties over surveillance … are justifying governmental measures that break apart the World Wide Web,’ they wrote in a recent white paper. As a result, ‘the era of a global Internet may be passing.’”
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38959.htm  An International Clearinghouse report that indicates that only Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have some of their data spared from view by the National Security Administration, with every other nation and a host of international agencies at NSA mercy.
  • http://pando.com/2014/06/30/  An update from Pando Digest about the lawsuit against Google, which the Supreme Court refused to dismiss, that concerned the company’s use of its ‘street-view’ vehicles to vacuum up all the data coordinates where they operated, in defiance of many laws, a program that Google tried hard to hide and deny when caught.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

  • http://www.thenation.com/blog/180425/seeking-justice-or-least-truth-comfort-women  A joint blog from Nation Magazine and Foreign Policy in Focus that reports on recent activism to gain recognition of the harms suffered by Korean women kidnapped by the Japanese into sex-slavery seventy-odd years ago.
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38951.htm  A crossposting from Information Clearinghouse of a populist essay about Smedley Butler, whose leadership of the Marine Corps and subsequent publication of War Is a Racket did not stop George W. Bush’s uncle and others from likely trying to recruit Butler to lead a coup against FDR.
  • http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.601243#  A Ha’aretz opinion essay that suggests that some Israelis are observing a ‘washing-their-hands-of-Israel’ tendency among publics around the world.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/29/upshot/why-world-war-i-matters-to-todays-economy.html  An Upshot column from the Times that precisely because it is merely ‘liberal’ and heavily establishment-oriented bears listening to in its multiple warnings about the ‘lessons’ of World War One: “More fundamentally, the conflict showed how fragile a liberal world order can be. The world, circa 1913, looked pretty great. The industrial revolution was raising living standards across Europe, democracy gradually becoming entrenched in more countries, and nations had become deeply intertwined by trade and financial interconnections.”
  • http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/06/if-militarism-continues-humankind-is-doomed/  A Dissident Voice essay that contextualizes the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic-Complex as central to the world’s problems, despite ‘MIMAC’s’ undying popularity among corporate plutocrats and the rich generally.
  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/06/  For those who still garner their monetary beliefs Econ 101, and who are a tad timid to delve into Marx and like thinkers, a refreshing refresher from L. Randall Wray, whose Modern Monetary Theory has been taking economics to school for many years: “For the past four thousand years (‘at least’, as John Maynard Keynes put it—see note at bottom), our monetary system has been a ‘state money system’.  To simplify, that is one in which the state chooses the money of account, imposes obligations denominated in that money unit, and issues a currency accepted in payment of those obligations.  While a variety of types of obligations have been imposed (tribute, tithes, fines, and fees), today taxes are the most important monetary obligations payable to the state in its own currency.”
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/27/ Another Times retrospective on World War One that examines the watershed years of 1914-18 and their implications for the here-and-now.
  • http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?   A National Academies Press volume about the disproportionate and growing prevalence of substance abuse among members of the military.
  • http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?  A National Academies Press monograph that delves the ‘readjustment needs’ of soldiers and their families after those deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan return.
  • http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?   An Assessment of Programs research report from National Academies Press that examines programmatic attempts to alleviate or prevent psychological distress after return of soldiers from war zones.
  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/06/ A wide ranging and deeply reported piece from Naked Capitalism that argues that present obsession with balanced budgets and removing currency-removal from the hands of banks will both lead to financial implosion and will prove impossible.
  • http://fortune.com/2014/06/02/fortune-500-future/  A fascinating Fortune column, if only ‘considering the source,’ about the growing disposability and subpar capacity of humans vis-a-vis machines, in the workplace and elsewhere.
  • https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/06/waiting-for-scotus/  A lovely contextualization from Jacobin about the problems with most ‘liberal’ conceptions of the Supreme Court, dealing in history and analysis that considers political economy, ideology, and social control all at once.

6/30/2014

Quote of the Day

“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that expensive, overpriced education perpetuates class and racial divisions and forbids social mobility. It’s punitive and it’s disgusting.”  Ruth Fowler, Wales-born screenwriter and working class champion: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24612-education-undressed-dan-falcone-interviews-author-ruth-fowler.

This Day in History

Four hundred ninety-six years ago, Hernan Cortes and his comrades-in-plunder were busily fighting their way our of what is now Mexico City; two hundred nine years prior to today, Congress organized Michigan into a territory; one hundred fifty-four years back, the first evolution forum and debate took place at Oxford; one hundred thirty-two years back, James Garfield’s assassin died on the gallows; one hundred twenty-two years before the hear and now, the Homestead Strike began in Pennsylvania; eighty years ago, the “night of the long knives” marked the evolution of Naziism by the murder of its more populist adherents; forty-six years ago, Pope Paul issued The Credo of the People of God, a liberation theology explanation and modification; forty-three years ago, with Ohio’s ratification, the twenty-sixth amendment lowered the voting age to eighteen; twenty-eight years back, the Supreme Court saw fit to permit outlawing consensual homosexuality; twenty four years before the current moment, Germany reunited.

 JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS


ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

http://unseenfilms.blogspot.com/2010/11/blood-and-oil-middle-east-in-world-war.html  A brilliant and moving review essay about a documentary that deconstructs the initiation of World War One.http://consortiumnews.com/2014/06/25/iraqs-depleted-uranium-threat/  A Consortium News analysis that examines the flurry of reports concerning the lasting toxicity of Depleted Uranium in Iraq, a horrific eventuality that agencies of the aggressors made clear would persist in its noisome effects.http://ecowatch.com/2014/06/25/satirical-video-go-green/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=864b63c33d-Top_News_6_28_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-864b63c33d-85925037  A provocative review-essay from EcoWatch about the socially and politically incisive satire, The Greenest Man in America, that helps to show the need for a deeper movement than what many ‘environmentalists’ are willing to countenance, bringing into the mix Richmond California’s convening an “Our Power Campaign” on important dates, August 6-9: “’Our Power is not your traditional environmental campaign, and this is not your traditional environmental video,’ said Healey.  ‘This is about innovative organizing, multi-racial unity and a little ridiculous humor on behalf of one tiny cause: saving our communities and the planet.’”

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/06/27/3451317/labor-groups-outside-union-model/?elq=~~eloqua..type–emailfield..syntax–recipientid~~&elqCampaignId=~~eloqua..type–campaign..campaignid–0..fieldname–id~~  An important contextualization from Think Progress that deconstructs the problems and prospects of National Labor Relations Act ‘excluded’ categories of workers–like freelancers–and how their organization is one basis for a reconstituted labor movement.

www.ueunion.org/political-action/2014/ue-officers-oppose-refighting-the-iraq-war  An United Electrical Workers Union blog that unconditionally opposes ‘refighting’ the Iraq war, with a nod to its twelve year old opposition to Operation Iraqi Liberation, er, Freedom.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS\

 

6/27/2014

Quote of the Day

“The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their “vital interests” are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death; these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the “sanctity” of human life, or the conscience of civilized world.”

– James Baldwin  http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/23/the-human-rights-crisis-in-iraq/

This Day in History

A mere four hundred fifty-eight years ago, thirteen Protestants med their end in London, burned at the stake for their beliefs; two hundred fifty-four years back, Cherokee warriors defeated the British forces in the Battle of Echoes during the Anglo-Cherokee War; one hundred seventy years back, Mormon founder Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered in Missouri; one hundred forty-five years ago, Emma Goldman came into the world; one hundred nine years ago, sailors began the Battleship Potemkin uprising in Russia; one hundred seven years back, Elizabeth Cabot Aggasiz, co-founder of Radcliffe college, died; sixty-two years prior to the present, Guatemala issued a decree, under Jabobo Arbenz’s leadership, to redistribute land, which led to a CIA orchestrated coup and decades of mass murder; sixty years ago, the first nuclear power station opened in the Soviet Union, near Moscow;

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • Technical Writer (Denver) – BCM Global has a great contract opportunity for a Technical Writer with one of our clients located in Denver Colorado (close to downtown Denver). 
    The duration of the contract is 6 months with the possibility of extending.
  • Financial News Journalist (Detroit) – Seeking a super ambitious, experienced real-time Financial News Journalist to work full time in our Detroit based office. 
  • Detroit – Seeking screen writers w/ ear for dialogue from the 60s Detroit scene
  • Editing & Reporting Position (Delaware, OH) The Delaware Gazette, a six-day daily newspaper in Delaware County, Ohio, has a reporting and editing opening.
  • Copywriter/Content Manager (Bellevue, WA) 24 Seven is looking for a Copywriter to help produce engaging content that inspires consumers to read and engage with our clients “destination focused” website and collateral.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • https://medium.com/   A eyewitness retrospective in Medium, by an Al Jazeera cameraman who spent seven months in an Egyptian prison for the crime of journalism: “I stayed because I believe in my job: to transmit the truth to people who are not there, and perhaps even to protect people from the even-worse violence that happens when no one is watching.”
  • http://gigaom.com/   GigaOm’s take on the Times’decision to halve the number of its blogs, looked at from all sides, with tons of ideas useful to those interested in manifesting such things: “When it’s done properly, as Lede writer Robert Mackey often did, it’s a combination of original reporting, curation and aggregation, synthesis and analysis, and an individual voice or tone — and all of that done quickly, and in most cases briefly.”
  • http://www.fastcompany.com/  A report from Fast Company that both examines the news cooperative, popular in Europe and Mexico, as a model for writers and KickStarter as a possible source of grassroots ‘venture capital.’
  • http://www.fastcompany.com/  An extremely important article from USA Today about Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication’s shouldering of real journalistic enterprise–like a PBS outlet for Phoenix–for its students not only to learn the ropes but the operate the craft that sails forth from the ropes’ operation.
  • http://www.niemanlab.org/2014/06/the-newsonomics-of-european-crowds-funding-new-news/  A report from Nieman Journalism Lab about two gigantic ‘crowd-funded’ journalism projects in Europe, De Correspondent in Holland and Krautreporter in Germany.
  • http://dealbook.nytimes.com/   A TimesDealbook column about Barnes and Noble’s severing of its Nook unit in the context of poor profits and declining sales of the signature e-book reader.
  • http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2014/01/fbis-wnc/  A Federation of American Scientists blog by Steven Aftergood about CIA’s elimination of public access to its foreign research and journalism summaries.
  • http://www.cnbc.com/id/101777959  A CNBC case study of one ‘devastating’ instance, from Central Oregon, of Google algorithmic changes.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • http://www.journalism.co.uk/  An almost comprehensive look at the interactive and other design features of the Wall Street Journal’s WWI commemoration project, from the United Kingdom’s Journalism.co.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/60122140/   A report from New Zealand’s Stuff about the ‘Occupy Google’ protests that resulted in ten arrests yesterday.
  • http://benton.org/node/189589?  Kevin Taglang’s extensive digest of perspectives on the Wednesday Supreme Court Aereo opinion.
  • http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/music-changes-the-way-you-think/  A Scientific American briefing that demonstrates the work on the frontiers of music-and-psychology, where thinkers are beginning to learn precisely how to create mood and motivation with sound.
  • https://www.publicknowledge.org/news-blog/ A portal from Public Knowledge that links to testimony before Congress about proposed music industry licensing and copyright reforms, to a study of such reforms and comments about that work, and more.
  • http://benton.org/node/189683?  A summary from Benton.org of a report from The Hill which illustrates the way the Aereo ruling has influenced the big-business agenda in copyright as it applies to the push to ‘reform’ radio rules for playing music.
  • http://recode.net/2014/06/25/the-tv-industrial-complex-stays-put-for-now/  An analysis from Revere Digital’s Re/Code that contends that the ‘TV Industrial Complex’ will further fail to serve public interest and consumer demand in the lee of Wednesday’s Aereo ruling.
  • http://twiplomacy.com/blog/twiplomacy-study-2014/  A TwiPlomacy blog that presents its “TwiPlomacy 2014 Study” of the Twitter habits of leaders and more.
  • http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news  Rolling Stone’s review of the Korean likely blockbuster, Snowpiercer, by Jooh-ho Bong, a stylized tale of class conflict and environmental ‘good intentions’ gone horribly awry.
  • http://www.cjr.org/cover_story/  Columbia Journalism Review’s assessment of Jeff Bezos’ remake of Washington Post as a ‘king-of-the-hill’ move.
  • http://pando.com/2014/06/25/  Pando Digest’s article about the Supreme Court’s burying Aereo, ‘the most ridiculous start-up ever conceived.’
  • http://www.livestream.com/  A livestream video from the recent Knight Foundation/MIT conference on media and education and research, this session dealing with “Science, Sensing, and Mapping.”
  • http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43585.pdf  A background and policy report on the National Science Foundation from Congressional Research Service, a publicly funded knowledge source that doesn’t make its publications readily available except through the efforts of such organizations as Federation of American Scientists.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

Today, as 100 years ago, acting in the name of the free market and democracy, a handful of imperial powers invades countries, blocks trade, imposes prices on the rest of the world, chokes national economies, plots against progressive governments and resorts to espionage against the inhabitants of this planet.”

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

6/26/2014

Quote of the Day

(W)e are at a critical moment in history for public education {and just about everything else concerning workers} in this country. If we don’t fight, we’re going to lose everything.” Barbara Madeloni, newly elected Massachusetts Teachers Association President; http://edushyster.com/?p=5132.

This Day in History

Six hundred five years ago, the Catholic Church underwent a double schism that led to three different popes’ having followers; two hundred seventy-four years back, Spanish, free Black, and Native American allies defeated British forces near St. Augustine in the War of Jenkins’ Ear; one hundred twenty-eight years ago, Henri Moisson isolated elemental Fluorine, laying the basis thereby for the nuclear fuel cycle, modern toothpaste, and a significant swath of psychopharmacology, among other things; ninety-seven years ago, initial U.S. combat attachments first arrive to fight in France during World War One; sixty six years prior to our ‘wired’ age, a Bell Labs scientist filed the first patent for a bipolar junction transistor, taking a step in our direction; fifty-three years back, five months prior to his assassination, JFK delivered his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech; forty years ago, the first use of a Universal Product Code occurred, on a pack of chewing gum; thirty-nine years ago, two FBI agents and an American Indian Movement leader died in a shootout at Pine Ridge, South Dakota, one result of which was the still-disputed conviction of Leonard Peltier for the murders; seventeen years ago, the Supreme Court found that the Communications Decency Act violated the First Amendment.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS


ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://edushyster.com/?p=5132   An interview with a union leader who is ready to fight, from a blogger who has long seen the necessity of a wider and stronger struggle for workers’ rights and power, one snippet of which ought to make folks take a look: “One of the narratives about my victory is that I accessed anger at the rank-and-file level.  That’s true, but I also tried to hold up a more positive vision for re-engaging the world.  We’re not helpless.  We’re not hopeless.  We can work together to change things.  We can do something.  That said, I think we are at a critical moment in history for public education in this country. If we don’t fight, we’re going to lose everything.”
  • http://truth-out.org/news/item/24550-data-storms-and-the-tyranny-of-manufactured-forgetting  Another TruthOut masterpiece from Henry Giroux in which the author develops a far reaching argument about historical memory and working class disempowerment: loss of history and like developments “extend from the idiocy of celebrity and popular culture and the dumbing down of American schools to the transformation of the mainstream media into a deadly mix of propaganda, violence and entertainment.  The latter is particularly crucial as the collapse of journalistic standards that could inform the onslaught of information finds its counterpart in an unrelenting rise of political and civic illiteracy.”
  • http://www.thecrimereport.org/viewpoints/2014-06-judicial-blindness-convicted-but-innocent  A blog from The Crime Report about an instance of exoneration by the Post Conviction Innocence Clinic of New York University, which helped reverse a wrongful convictions and incarceration of Tyrone Hicks, who nevertheless continues to show up on ‘sex-offender’ registries.
WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

6/25/2014

Quote of the Day

Terrorism, directly or sponsored, has long been America’s weapon of mass destruction – its weapon of choice.”  Soraya Sepapour-Ulrich:http://www.globalresearch.ca/terror-in-iraq-roots-and-motivation/5388084.

This Day in History

Three hundred fifty-eight years ago, British forces withstood attempts by Spanish fighters to retake the island of Jamaica; one hundred thirty-eight years back, General Custer and his forces all died at Little Big Horn; one hundred four years prior to today, Congress passed the Mann Act, which outlawed interstate prostitution rings and similar enterprises; one hundred one years ago, a reunion of Civil War veterans, the “Great Reunion” occurs; seventy-one years back, residents of the Jewish ghetto, Czestochowa, began their uprising against the Nazis; sixty-seven years ago, Diary of a Young Girl entered the marketplace; fifty four years heretofore, two National Security Administration cryptographers defected to the Soviet Union; forty-seven years ago, the first live global TV satellite broadcast occurs, of Our World.

 


NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

www.classism.org/review-sixteen-tons-wars-20s-30s  Another review of Hardball Press’s Sixteen Tons, by union writer Kevin Corley.


JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS


ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

http://ocpe.gmu.edu/programs/intl_security/cbrn-science.php  A George Mason University short course in a couple weeks about the science and policy underlying chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weaponry.http://www.alternet.org/books/militarizing-education-how-government-recruits-minority-students-so-spies-look-their-targets?akid=11954.279476.1oHzh0&rd=1&src=newsletter1006456&t=3  A gem from Alternet, an excerpt from The Imperial University: Academic Repression & Scholarly Dissent, that concerns programs called “Intelligence Community Centers of Academic Excellence” that essentially act as nodes of agents, often minority students, on campus.

http://ellenbrown.com/2014/06/20/buying-up-the-planet-out-of-control-central-banks-on-a-corporate-buying-spree/  A Web-of-Debt blog about the rationale and impacts of recent central bank purchases of stakes in ‘private’ companies.
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WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • http://www.crainscleveland.com  A case study fromCrain’s Cleveland Business about Ohio student newspaper changes and cutbacks and the implications for and connections with journalism generally.
  • http://www.poynter.org   A reasonable and measured defense of the “Oxford comma,” which ought to be the only rational response in the first place.
  • http://www.capitalnewyork.com  A centrally important report aboutGawker’s comment moderation system, Kinja, and what it portends and why it’s critical to consider, holding essentially that “open, crowd-sourced approach to journalism in which (ideally) commenters are as important as the bylines that appear on Gawker Media’s eight publications. And Denton believes it’s the future of media—or his media, at least.”
  • http://www.smh.com.au A report from Sydney Morning Herald about Australian journalist Peter Greste’s seven year sentence in Egypt.
  • http://www.mediabistro.com   A gateway from Media Bistroto an update from TVNewser about Al Jazeera America television’s plan to do a special program on the recent Egyptian conviction of its operatives and what that indicates about press freedom in the current context.
  • http://www.knightfoundation.org  A Tim Berners-Lee blog from the Knight Foundation about the author’s World Wide Web Consortium and one agenda for the Web’s ‘achieving its full potential.’
  • http://www.nytimes.com Times article about the verdicts against Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt rich in irony and more: “Less than 24 hours after Mr. Kerry’s visit(to Egypt, in which he sought to restart military aid and a ‘special relationship’), a judge on Monday convicted three journalists from Al Jazeera’s English-language network of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast false reports.”

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

 

6/24/2014

Quote of the Day

“An edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”  Martin Luther King: https://portside.org/2014-06-22/repealing-tax-cuts-makes-moral-budget-possible-north-carolina.

This Day in History

Five hundred seventeen years ago, John Cabot made the first landfall in North America since the Vikings, in present-day Newfoundland; two hundred twenty-one years back, France adopted its first Republican constitution; ninety-eight years ago, Mary Pickford became the first ‘million-dollar star;’ Roth v. the United States holds that obscenity is due no first amendment protection.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • Book publisher is seeking several experienced freelancers to write short non-fiction books (approximately 8,000 to 10,000 words) for young adults.
  • Investigative Writer (DC) – Private party seeking an investigative journalist (print) to assist in the creation of a compelling document that details possible acts against the public s’ interest by a government agency against a private party in Washington, DC.
  • Williamsburg Yorktown Daily (VA), an online-only local news daily powered by our two radio stations 92.3FM The Tide and 107.9 BACHfm, is looking for a sports reporter to take over an established beat in Virginia’s Historic Triangle.
  • Great Falls Tribune Media (MT)  seeks an innovative Digital Content Editor who knows how to engage and grow digital audiences. 
  • http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0620/DOC-327779A1.pdf  A tentative agenda for the FCC’s July 11 open meeting.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from dailymaverick.co.za   “There is a deep and growing anger in the world. The ferment bursts onto our TV screens daily. They explode the myth that we have a “good story” to tell. From the Marikana massacre in South Africa to the Rana Square tragedy in Bangladesh, from the murder of trade unionists in Guatemala to the Soma mine disaster in Turkey, there is no “good story” to talk about. In fact, people feel abandoned by their governments. With few exceptions, world leaders and international institutions are pursuing an economic agenda that has created greater inequality and devastating unemployment, undermining democracies everywhere and bringing the planet to the environmental precipice.”
  • from turcopolier.typepad.com  A former U.S. military communications specialists’ perspective that a below-the-radar unleashing of former top military brass on the media, in order to push the U.S. corporate and imperial agendas abroad, is happening again, in similar fashion as such subterfuge transpired under Donald Rumsfeld.
  • from portside.org  A Portside portal to William J. Barber’s plea for a North Carolina budget that makes a moral State possible.
  • http://thehill.com   A Pundit Blog from The Hill that prescribes unionization as a key aspect of an economy that works both better and more equitably.
WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS
  • from nap.edu  For anyone who writes about or might want to scribble about science, a crucial monograph from National Academies Press, the summary of a recent colloquium, about the ‘science of science communication.’
  • http://arstechnica.com   AnArs Technica briefing about the just-announced Computer World decision to adopt a ‘digital-only’ format.
  • pando.com  APando Digest brief that illustrates how relatively paltry are the successes of ‘crowdfunding’ journalistic freelancers’ efforts vis a vis comic books, a more popular media campaign: “The message for journalists, then, is clear: if you want to use crowdfunding to support your work, you’d better learn to draw.”
  • http://www.aljazeera.com  Al Jazeera’s reportage about the conviction of three of its journalists in Egypt, and three more in absentia, for what it contends are absurd charges that they were fomenting terrorism.
  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com  Another contextualization from Naked Capitalism that is absolutely critical to consider, both by freelancers and a union that intends to serve their interests, concerning how Google algorithm changes negatively impact traffic at sites likeNC, the smaller operation almost always the target in one way or another.
  • http://pando.com   A Pando Digest article about Patreon, which appears to have “the metrics” to show that it is offering writers and other creatives a chance to make real money, as opposed to what they confront from sites like YouTube or–gag–Huffington Post.
  • http://pando.com  A pro Byliner Publications article from Pando Digest that acts as a counterbalance to the Times ‘best seller in the digital world’ horror story op-ed from last week, interesting and useful in its own right and as a way of thinking more deeply about ‘making a living’ as a writer.
  • http://www.knightfoundation.org   A report from the Knight Foundation of its funding of nineteen projects to strengthen news on the web.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663577.pdf  An ‘executive summary’ from the Government Accountability Office of a report that it just released on profound problems with current Department of Agriculture funding of rural users’ Internet-access improvements.
  • http://www.rollingstone.com  A Rolling Stone profile and analysis of Bavarian neo-nazi “hipsters” and how they are presenting themselves and imagining their political influence’s growth.
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/60111875/isps-and-me–the-cutoff-point.html  An editorial from New Zealand’s Stuff that argues in favor of the Internet-as-a-human-right with the author’s nightmare experiences and conclusions as the context: “The free market kind of sucks at delivering decent internet, as they have no incentive to keep connections ‘neutral’ or deliver a low-cost competitive product when they are the only shop in your town, but I digress.”
  • http://www.nap.edu   An absolutely essential read from National Academies Press, about the “greatest engineering achievement ever,” worth trillions of dollars, the national and international electrical grids that literally undergird modern existence.
  • http://www.nap.edu  Another National Academies Press study, which in this case deals with the way that mathematics underpins practically all aspects of innovation, which is particularly true in the computer sciences and media.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/21/pers-j21.html  A World Socialist Website report and analysis of New York’s Metropolitan Opera’s decision to censor its broadcast of an opera about the Palestine Liberation Organization’s hijacking of the cruise ship, Achille Lauro, and subsequent murder of Leon Klinghoffer, the Met’s decision essentially a case of caving in to Rupert-Murdoch-led forces of reaction and obfuscation about how the world works and what the events of our lives mean.
  • http://pando.com Pando Digestorientation to the recent ‘disruptiveness’ trope that is all the rage now in certain cognoscenti circles.
  • http://thehill.com/policy/technology/210138-nsa-critics-hail-votes-as-game-changer  A briefing from The Hill that assesses two Amendments from the House of Representatives, to the 2015 Defense Authorization Act, as a change in the tide in attempts to rein in the NSA’s spying programs.
  • http://thehill.com/policy/finance/210120-media-mega-mergers-under-the-microscope  A report from The Hill about scheduled appearances before House and Senate committees of ATT and DirectTV executives today, who supposedly will face intense scrutiny over the proposed merger of the two firms.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from thehill.com/policy/defense/210264-iraq-gives-us-military-advisers-immunity  A note from The Hill about the Iraqi government’s providing immunity to the ‘non-intervening’ three hundred special forces soldiers now bound for the Levant, as well as agreeing to begin formation of a new government, both of which the Obama administration demanded prior to committing any forces to the region.
  • from stuff.co.nz  A follow-up report from New Zealand’s Stuff about the aftermath of the government’s banning synthetic cannabis there, essentially that demand has remained high or even spiked and that the mechanisms for outlawing the fake stuff are by no means clear or workable.
  • http://www.counterpunch.org A Counterpunch column that characterizes “Iraq and the Persistence of American Hegemony” as a clear case of “Imperial Looting.”
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-ukraine-genocide-and-its-cheerleaders/5387825  A Global Research Report that contextualizes the Ukraine imbroglio as an out-and-out fascist genocide from which the ‘international media circus’ has deflected attention to “another American foreign policy disaster,” this time in Iraq.
  • http://www.compareyourcountry.org/chart?cr=oecd&cr1=oecd&lg=en&project=inequality&page=2  An interactive chart, from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that allows for any two-country comparison among thirty-four studies nations, including all of Europe, the U.S., and Israel.
  • http://therealnews.com  A Real News Network audio report about the U.S.’s current pass of ‘riding the jihadist tiger’ that it has unleashed.
  • http://pando.com  A War Nerd column from Pando Digest that provides detailed–and in recent terms, extremely richly contextualized–analysis of the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria, which it describes as ‘too extreme for Al Qaeda,’ despite its roots in U.S. training and intelligence.
  • http://www.nytimes.com A fascinating report from the Times, albeit predictably intent on finding Russia’s fingers behind the trends that it sees, about dissension in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church about political moves to align more closely with Europe, based on retrogressive social thinking as well as common sense suspicions of the ‘liberal agenda’ as such.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca   A skeptical report from Global Research about the recently much-touted ‘cooperation’ between the U.S. and Iran in combating Islamic State in Iraq & Syria victories that have upended Iraq and the region generally.
  • http://www.nytimes.com   A Times briefing about the U.S.’s soon-to-occur reestablishment of military aid and ‘most-favored-nation’ relations with Egypt, even as it jails journalists and prepares for mass executions.

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/ A detailed and damning WaPo Politics Blog that examines a particular instance of local governments’ amping up marijuana enforcement–providing ample political economic rationale for such a move–even as the pendulum seems clearly to be swinging toward legalization or decriminalization of pot.
  • http://truth-out.org  A news-analysis fromTruthOut about the first 9/11, the CIA-orchestrated overthrow of Salvador Allende, in particular focusing on a growing movement by Chile, and Chileans living in Australia, to deport former DINA administrator–and indicted torturer/murderer–Adriana Rivas, whom Australia so far has declined to turn over to the Chilean government despite evidence such as this, about a venue with which Rivas had a close association: “testimony about the torture and extermination center, describing it as ‘the only place where no one got out alive.'”
  • http://www.nap.edu  A National Academies Press volume about the need to reform and reformulate juvenile justice in order to achieve anything akin to either justice or workable results in relation to ‘crime’ among youth.
  • http://www.nap.edu  National Academies Press portal to a monograph the analysis of which is of arguably paramount importance in human survival, a contextualization and analysis of Plutonium.
  • http://www.nap.edu  One more National Academies Press portal, this time to an analysis and deconstruction of the story of Algebra, through historical and conceptual assessments that let readers see how things work in this realm.
  • http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror  A Commonwealth Fund Report that assesses the standing of the U.S.–at or near the bottom on all indices–in terms of its health care system in comparison with how other ‘industrialized countries’ operate.
  • https://portside.org/2014-06-22/us-created-child-migrant-crisis  A Portside report and analysis of the upheaval at the border and beyond in relation to young minor children who are ‘illegal immigrants,’ a ‘crisis’ entirely resulting from U.S. policies and approaches to matters at hand.
  • http://pando.com  A Pando Digest article about the profits and hidden political and social agendas that underlie the huge official prioritization of charter schools.
  • http://truth-out.org/news/item/24478-tackling-debtors-prisons-reflecting-on-the-death-of-eileen-dinino  A TruthOut report and analysis that begins with a recent death of a ‘criminal’ whose transgression was inability to pay fines that acted as taxes on impoverishment–such as fines for children’s school absences and various ‘added’ surcharges–and continues with an analysis of the entire prison-industrial-complex as a further method for extracting blood from the already bled-dry.

6/23/2014

Quote of the Day

“(G)ood cannot really flourish in the midst of evil; … freedom and all the things that go to make up a truly satisfying and worthwhile life, must sometimes be purchased very dearly.  Be comforted then that we were serene and understood with the deepest kind of understanding, that civilization had not as yet progressed to the point where life did not have to be lost for the sake of life; and that we were comforted in the sure knowledge that others would carry on after us.”  Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, to their children as they faced execution: http://www.rfc.org/lastletter.

This Day in History

 

Seven hundred and thirty four years ago, an early ‘victory’ in the ‘reconquest’ of Spain by Christians occurred; seven hundred years back, the first war for Scottish Independence took place; four hundred three years ago, mutinous crew members set Henry Hudson, his son, and seven others adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay, the end of Hudson’s fourth voyage and of the explorer himself; three hundred thirty-one years prior to the present moment, William Penn signed a treaty of friendship with indigenous peoples in Pennsylvania; two hundred fifty-seven years ago, a British force only five per cent the size of its Indian opponents defeated them at Plassey, a benchmark battle in the early establishment of British imperial interest in the subcontinent; two hundred twenty years back, Catherine the Great granted Jews the right to settle in Kiev; one hundred sixty-six years ago, the June Days Uprising began in Paris; one hundred fifty-four years ago, the U.S. Government Printing Office opened; one hundred and forty-six years back, the first patent on the typewriter issued; exactly a century heretofore, Pancho Villa’s forces in the Mexican Revolution defeated an army led by Victoriano Huerta at Zacatecas; eighty-eight years ago, the first SAT test took place; sixty-seven years before the present moment, the Senate followed the House of Representatives in overriding Harry Truman’s veto of the Taft-Hartley Act; forty-five years ago, with IBM’s decision to package and sell software separately from its computing machines, the modern software industry began; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_23

 

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

sue.katz@yahoo.com will be accepting brief reports for the newest newsletter through June 27.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

 

  • http://www.theguardian.com/  A horrifying Guardian on-the-scene report of the verdict against three journalists, sentencing them to seven to ten years in prison for aiding and abetting terrorism in the complete absence of credible concrete evidence to support that charge.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov  A Library of Congress interview about key current matters-digital with the head of acquisitions-and-cataloging for U.S. serials, who has been in the thick of digital formatting and preservation work at LOC.
  • http://www.nytimes.com  A Times media report about Carmen Barcells’–La Mama Grande of Hispanic literature–decision to partner with New York’s mega-agent Andrew Wylie, important both for its telling insights about the trade of writing and its revelations about Hispanic literature and culture.
  • http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/user_generated_content_litigat.php  A Columbia Journalism Review briefing about a recent U.S. Appeals Court decision, from an Ohio case, that reversed a District Court’s permitting a ruling and damage award in favor of a defamed cheerleader and reaffirmed the idea that online publishers bear little or no responsibility for submissions by users, writers, and so forth.
  • http://www.cjr.org   Intelligence Community Directive 119, a little more than a couple months old, thanks to Federation of American Scientists, the upshot of which is the prohibition of almost any contact between journalists or other reporters and anyone even remotely connected with intelligence activities.
  • http://www.nytimes.com Times report about the Hachette-Amazon dispute that both summarizes incisively the issues and developments in the situation and examines what independent booksellers have been doing on the margins, so to speak.
  • http://www.fastcompany.com/3032075/geolocated-news-is-going-to-change-the-news-business  A report and analysis from Fast Company that digests information about media-apps that permit geolocated news passalongs, developments in which might have a huge impact on the way that news works.

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • http://www.sciencemag.org  An explication of the thinking that Thomas Piketty brought to Capital in the 21st Century, by the author and a collaborator, in Science, that examines the divergent experiences of Europe and the U.S. and what the implications of this differentiation are.
  • http://www.theguardian.com  A lengthy and critical profile of Robert David Steele, from the Guardian, that contends that this “founder” of the Open-Source Intelligence movement holds the key to a less invasive and more democratic future in his campaign-of-a-lifetime to bring his vision to pass.
  • http://www.rollingstone.com  A retrospective about Do the Right Thing, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the film’s release, and an interview with Spike Lee about the impetus to create the film, its meaning, and so forth.
  • http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2014/06/18/julian-assange-hopes-new-information-filed-in-swedish-courts-next-week-will-remove-arrest-warrant/  AFireDogLake report about potential United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights intervention in the Julian Assange case, with a focus as well on actions by Assange’s legal team in Sweden to quash the Scandinavian country’s honoring of the U.S. warrant for Assange’s arrest and seizure by Washington.
  • http://pando.com   A Pando Digest briefing about Google’s working with former military personnel to operationalize a network of hundreds of balloon-drones, circling the globe at 60,000 feet, in order to bring us all benefits and light, but about which Google is unwilling to comment.
  • http://arstechnica.com  An Ars Technica report and analysis about the judge’s doubts concerning the proposed ‘poachers’ settlement in the case brought against Apple, Google, et al. by technical employees whose incomes and possibilities had suffered as a result of a combination in restraint of trade entered into by their employees.
  • http://arstechnica.com  AnArs Technica briefing about a high-level dispute among search engine providers Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, on the one side, and the largest German publishers, on the other side, the latter of whom want 11 per cent of the search-engine’s income that results from listing and excerpting their materials.
  • http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40616.pdf  A Congressional Research Service Report on access to broadband and net-neutrality, only readily accessible to citizens thanks to Federation of American Scientists’ efforts.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

  • http://thehill.com   A News Blog from The Hill, providing an ‘establishment’ background that is nonetheless information-filled about the runoff elections in Colombia, in which the U.S.-backed candidate defeated a ‘Tea-Party-like’ challenger.
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38862.htm  Another important analysis crossposted to Information Clearinghhouse, which notes the dropoff in coverage of the Ukraine while insisting that paying attention there is more critical than ever, arguing that, “while the great US spin and distraction machine is focused elsewhere, Russia is already preparing for the next steps.”
  • http://truth-out.org  A report from TruthOut about Wikeleaks’ and Julian Assange’s last Thursday release of a secret draft of the TISA Trade In Services Agreement that unions and other advocates of democracy and social equality have uniformly opposed.
  • http://thehill.com  A policy briefing from The Hill about National Park Services’ decision to ban drones from all parks in the system.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca   A legalistic and yet bracing examination of the current tragic carnage in Iraq, from Global Research, that contends that–whatever other actions and approaches might also be salutory–a return to something like the rule of law is essential if we are to save ourselves.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/19/saud-j19.html  A World Socialist Website report about Saudi Arabia foreign minister comments warning of a wide-in-scope Mideast civil war with “unpredictable consequences.”
  • http://dealbook.nytimes.com A Dealbook report from the Times that examines recent apparent breakthroughs in Detroit’s bankruptcy proceedings, which show current workers’ willingness to make concessions and former workers’ keeping between three-quarters and a hundred per cent of their heretofore contested benefits.
  • http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38885.htm  An Information Clearinghouse crossposting of an Australian report about Vladmir Putin’s extension of support to Iraqi President Maliki.
  • http://www.smh.com.au   An irreverent look by the Sydney Morning Herald at a new trend, Naked Yoga.
  • http://thinkprogress.org   A good example of fatuous thinking and analysis, from Think Progress, that nonetheless has points to make about criminal injustice and the nature of contemporary culture.
  • http://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL30957.pdf  A Congressional Research Service Report about the current situation in Iraq, only available due to the diligence and bird-doggedness of Federation of American Scientists.
  • http://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R43158.pdf  A Congressional Research Service Report that summarizes in sixteen pages the issues and standing of the Trans Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership protocols.

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

 

  • http://www.smh.com.au   A lovely little report from Sydney Morning Herald, about a government-backed Australian investigation–biased toward ‘Western medicine’ but evidence-based and fairly ‘objective–of the prospects and problems surrounding “complimentary medicines” and herbal supplements to treat mental dysfunction.
  • http://www.nytimes.com   A Times article that examines multiple Wisconsin County District Attorneys’ allegations of illegal campaign tactics and illicit financial activities among cohorts and employees of Scott Walker, about which the U.S. Justice Department has ongoing litigation.
  • http://phys.org/news/2014-06-game-thrones-scenario-neandertal-ancestors.html  An Other-Sciences Archeology report from Physics that hypothesizes competitive and lethal scenarios among human and closely related Neanderthal ancestors some 430,000 years ago in Southern Europe.
  • http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com l  An hour long examination of predictive programming and a “microchipping agenda,” which indicates that “Life in this particular dog-eat-dog system can be stressful.  We’ve been trained by behavioral experts to live our lives as expendable cogs, upholding a cruel and vindictive machine, all for the benefit of a dominant minority of ruthless, elitist criminals, at or near the top of the pyramid.”
  • http://www.equalvoiceforfamilies.org/l-a-skid-row-residents-the-heart-of-hope/  A report and set of profiles from Los Angeles about those who are active in humanizing and struggling for the benefit of homeless people in the nation’s largest urban area: “’I’m a soldier in the war on poverty,’ the two-year resident of Skid Row declares.  ‘I love the people – most of ‘em, at least….Down here it can be hard. But sometimes it can be beautiful, too, because people are beautiful, no matter how down and out they may be.’”
  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/19/labor-needs-to-launch-a-counter-offensive/ A short Counterpunch essay that argues pointedly of the need to fight the contextualization of unions and labor-organizing that is currently rife, starting with an anecdote about a young street-hustler’s encounter with three unionists: “This kid liked us more when he thought we were a bunch of middle-aged alcoholics instead of union members.  If this represents the younger generation’s opinion of organized labor, Big Business has got nothing to worry about.”
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/19/char-j19.html  A brief report and analysis from World Socialist Website about recent developments that evidence corruption and venality among Charter Schools and those who advocate for them, focusing on a report from Ohio of malfeasance-related closures and a Securities-&-Exchange Commission indictment against a huge Chicago operation that supposedly defrauded investors in a $37.5 million bond offering.
  • http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/u-s-compares-income-inequality-poverty/  Both a sobering report of the U.S.’s bottom-of-the-heap standing in terms of poverty and inequality, in a recent OECD analysis, and a whimsical PBS look at the comparisons with Portugal and Germany, two U.S. World Cup opponents that are part of the list of thirty-four countries.
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2014/06/20/when-drones-fall-from-the-sky/?wpisrc=al_excl  A WaPo exclusive report and summary of plus-or-minus four hundred cases of U.S. military drone crashes since 2000.
  • http://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL30957.pdf  A Congressional Research Service Report about a quarter century’s arms sales to Taiwan, available thanks to Federation of American Scientists.

6/20/2014

Quote of the Day

“Politically popular speech has always been protected: even the Jews were free to say ‘Heil Hitler.'” – Isaac Asimov, International Clearinghouse

This Day in History

800 years ago, the University of Oxford received a royal charter; three hundred eighty-three years ago, Algerian pirates sacked the Irish village of Baltimore; two hundred twenty-five years before the here-and-now, members of the Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath, which swore to continue their revolutionary process in France until a Constitution was present; a hundred seventy-four years back, Samuel Morse received a patent for the telegraph; seventy-one years back, the so-called Detroit Race Riots erupted, lasting for three days and killing thirty-four people; sixty-six years ago, the Toast of the Town premiered, soon to become The Ed Sullivan Show; thirty five years ago, a soldier of Anastasio Somoza’s Nicaraguan National Guard shot an ABC reporter, Bill Stewart, dead in an incident that numbered the days of this ‘friend’ of the U.S. establishment;  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_20

 

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  •  Wikimotive (New Hampshire) Wikimotive, a cutting-edge internet marketing company in the automotive industry, is looking to hire a full-time writer for its in-house content team in Rindge, New Hampshire.
  • Ratner Companies (VA) – We are currently looking for an Internal Communications Specialist to work in our Corporate office located in Vienna, VA.
  • Communications Expert (NJ) – The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) seeks to hire a Communications Director to oversee the ACLU-NJ’s external communications and to sustain and grow the organization’s visibility across the state.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com A blog about the Lordstown strike of 1972 and the status of the United Auto Workers then and how it relates to UAW problems and prospects now.
  • from ecowatch.com   Part Four of EcoWatch’s examination of Sustainia100, this piece a look at making information technology and education sustainable.
  • from techrepublic.com  Advice from Tech Republic on how to hold a ‘Hackathon’ that is meaningful and powerful.
  • from enstituteu.com/  A definitely trust-fund driven model nonetheless fascinating about an ‘apprenticeship’ program that delays or even bypasses college in favor of a jumping-immediately-into-the-market-and-the-fray approach.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from washingtonpost.com WaPo media article about a teaming-up of that paper, the Times, and Mozilla to come up with a best-practices method for moderating comments and reader engagement, funded by a nearly $4 million grant from the Knight foundation.
  • from blogs.loc.gov/now-see-hear/2014/06/audio-archaeology/  A Library of Congress report on its ongoing project to make available a public audio periodical archive of public domain magazines and such that deal with sound and music.
  • from nytimes.com  A chilling cautionary tale of a brilliant nonfiction writer’s crashing and burning while being a ‘Digital Best Seller!’ all of which is of profound import both to scribes as individuals and to their organizations.
  • from documentcloud.org  A download of the FBI’s manual of Internet neologisms and acronyms.
  • from gallup.com  A Gallup report released yesterday, indicating that citizen confidence in TV, print, and Internet media are at or near historic lows, central to writers’ contemplation of their jobs as well as to the strategic orientation of a union of writers.
  • from counterpunch.org/2014/06/19/an-open-letter-to-glenn-greenwald/  A Counterpunch ‘open letter’ to Glenn Greenwald, the upshot of which is a potent critique of Greenwald and his position on the basis of what solutions to a repressive and corrupt polity are: ”society should (not) have to rely on hi-tech billionaires to support our interests in the halls of Washington.  Corporate pressure is not the solution.  Corporate pressure is the problem.”
  • from niemanlab.org  A ‘damning-with-faint-praise’ acknowledgement fromNieman Journalism Lab that print publication remains critical and will continue so for the foreseeable future, albeit primarily as a support for digitizing.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from forbiddenknowledgetv.com  A brief video from Forbidden Knowledge TV of a Government Accountability Project attorney reading a statement from Edward Snowden to the European Parliament: “If a Public Is Prevented From Knowing How They Are Governed, the Necessary Result Is That They’re No Longer Self-Governing.”
  • from blogs.loc.gov A “Folklife Today” blog from Library of Congress that further details LOC’s digital preservation initiatives, from collecting spam scam e-mails to taking web-crawling snapshots of important sites, and a ton more.
  • from rollingstone.com  A report on an oral history of the Crosby-Stills-Nash-Young 1974 “doom tour” that gets at the sex and drugs and rock-and-roll and sociopolitical aspects of the phenomena at play.
  • from stuff.co.nz  A briefing from New Zealand’s Stuff about the FBI’s 83-page glossary, necessary for efficient spying and other oversight, of Internet slang.
  • from thehill.com A brief from The Hill about Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, in which the Supreme Court held that patenting abstract ideas by embodying them in code could not always convey a patent, a finding that in some small measure begins a conversation and process for considering the phenomena of “patent trolls.”
  • from thehill.com A news-analysis from The Hill, which reports on Democratic members of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communication’s accusations against the subcommittee chair that he is acting so as to cede total control of reviewing big mergers to the Justice Committee.
  • from pando.com A report from Pando Digest about language and complexity problems in current e-mail encryption options, which the author seeks both to describe and to suggest possible approaches–dealing with more easily comprehensible language, in the main–to solving.
  • from transition.fcc.gov   A Federal Communication Commissioners speech about the “incredible vitality” of today’s video marketplace and the need to conform policy to that ‘vitality.’
  • from benton.org/node/188244  A Benton.org summary of a Broadcasting & Cable opinion piece about the coalition in support of the Senate’s strengthening of the Internet Freedom Act’s provisions against bulk-collection of data by intelligence agencies and others.
  • from theguardian.com Guardian essay that contextualizes privacy as something akin to an impossible dream in the current context.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from independent.co.uk An article from England’s Independent that reports on the outgoing Secretary-General of NATO’s allegations that Russia has infiltrated and is orchestrating grassroots anti-fracking organizing, as well as noting the outraged incredulity of environmentalists about such charges.
  • from loc.gov  A report from Library of Congress’ law librarians about legislation from Brazil that mandates that a minimum of 20% of executive branch positions there will require Black hires.
  • http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2014/06/senators-want-proper-count-intelligence-contractors/86713/?oref=govexec_today_nl  An article fromGovernment Executive that reports extensively on recent Senate hearings into the practices and extent of the U.S.’s seventeen intelligence agencies in relation to subcontractor work.
  • from forbiddenknowledgetv.com   A Forbidden Knowledge TV video of an enthusiastic Obama-’08 supporter’s ‘burning her T-shirt’ and taking the President sternly to task.
  • from snl.com/InteractiveX/Article.aspx?cdid=A-28415465-11822  A report about a particular instance of ‘revolving door’ practices, in which President Obama’s 2011-13 Presidential Adviser on Energy & Climate joined the board–for 6,000 shares of stock and $180,000 per annum–of a major Liquid Natural Gas exporter.
  • from counterpunch.org/2014/06/18/a-voice-from-kassab/  An interview from Counterpunch with an American woman who has lived in Syria with her husband and California born kids for twenty years, who says honest and clear things about the ‘rebels,’ who destroyed her family’s home, and the situation that she encountered before this ‘rebellion,’ a summary of her “before views” here: “My kids had free education, and really a good education system in both Arabic and English, mandatory.  My kids went to University for FREE, which is the right of all Syria students, as long as the grades are kept up.  We had free medical, hospital, surgeries, etc.  Medicines were so cheap, because Syria was a large manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, with export to over 32 countries.   Free education and Free medical.  What more do you want?”

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

  • from aflcio.org  A bracing, and critically important, look from AFL-CIO at the Vision 2025 Plan for reformulating the Social Security Administration, which to say the least appears problematic and a little frightening.
  • from nsf.gov   A National Science Foundation newsletter that ought to interest most writers and will fascinate at least a few, Science, Engineering, & Education for Sustainability.
  • from blogs.loc.gov  A politics and business blog from Library of Congress that concerns a Kentucky governor, William Goebbel, sometimes called “The First New Dealer,” whom an assassin killed four days after he assumed office for an administration that he promised would be radical in posing and answering a question on his headstone, “The question is; are the corporations the masters or servants of the people?
  • from wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/18/pris-j18.html  A report from World Socialist Website that analyzes the trend of incarcerating mentally ill people, to the extent that recent assessments place the numbers in prison and jail at larger by a factor of ten than the populations in treatment facilities.
  • from propublica.org  A Pro Publica report that details physical abuse as a growing problem in public schools, detailing restraint and punishment to make the blood boil, eliciting a comparison between schools and prisons that might be more apt than most citizens would like.
  • from sustainia.me/resources/publications/3rd_sustainia100_2014.pdf  The entire contents of the third Sustainia100 report on sustainable solutions, an analysis and investigation of how to bring about sustainable practices among the folks who share the planet.
  • from rfc.org/lastletter  Julius and Ethel Rosenberg’s last letter to their children as their execution on June 19, 1953, approached.
  • from edweek.org  An Teacher-blog from Education Week that reports on Iredell-Statesville North Carolina’s adoption of “Personalized Learning” standards, a new hot-phrase in corporate education circles.
  • from magazine.good.is/articles/learning-by-doing  A summary from the Daily Good of a program that pairs college age high school graduates with mentors in such a way as to amplify the potential of collegiate type learning at the same time that it bypasses, at least initially, formal classroom settings and such.
  • from oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Thorium-Energy-Savior-or-Red-Herring.html  An Energy Intelligence Report about the ‘promise-of-Thorium’ as a dangerous distraction that will not offer a sound alternative to carbon as humanity moves forward.
  • from pando.com  Part of Pando Digest’s continuing examination of the impacts of local political corruption, focusing in this section on Tennessee, ranked as low as fiftieth among those who survey such things, where Pando and others recently gathered for the Southland Conference.

6/19/2014

Quote of the Day

“Did (being created equal) mean, my friends, that someone would come into this world without having had an opportunity, of course, to have hit one lick of work, should be born with more than it and all of its children and children’s children could ever dispose of, but that another one would have to be born into a life of starvation?
Is that right of life(from the Declaration of Independence), my friends, when the young children of this country are being reared into a sphere which is more owned by 12 men than it is by 120,000,000 people?”  http://www.hueylong.com/programs/share-our-wealth-speech.php

This Day in History

Seven hundred forty-six years back, France’s King Louis IX promulgated the practice of fining Jews found in public without an identifying yellow badge; four hundred twenty-eight years prior to today, the survivors of the failed English colony on Roanoke Island decamped; one hundred forty-nine years ago, near Galveston, Texas, the first celebration of the end of slavery took place that became the holiday Juneteenth; eighty years ago, the Federal Communications Commission came into existence, subsuming the Federal Radio Commission; sixty-one years back, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg died in New York’s electric chair; fifty years ago, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law after an 83 day filibuster ended; forty-three years ago, the Patent Cooperation treaty came into force with 18 signatories in Washington, a process that now engages all but a handful of countries around the globe: http://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_19.

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

The National Executive Committee has announced a dues increase that the United Auto Workers strike fund necessitates, and the hope among union officers is to add an additional tally onto that to decrease the size of the NWU operating deficit and make funds available for organizing, etc.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • from nsf.gov A National Science Foundation lecture and demonstration scheduled for June 30, by Harvard’s Education Department’s Chris Dede, on “Immersive, Ubiquitous, Collaborative Learning” models and techniques.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING


WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from thehill.com   A report from The Hill about Congressmen Zoe Lofgren of California and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, who plan a bipartisan push to amend the 2015 Defense Appropriations Act to disallow DOD or NSA ‘backdoor’ access to e-mails and other web activities of users.
  • http://thehill.com/policy/technology/209730-house-email-privacy-bill-hits-magic-number  Another posting from The Hill, again concerning a bipartisan bill, this time the E-Mail Privacy Act which would allow warrantless access to any account, a measure that now has a majority of members of the House of Representatives as co-sponsors.
  • http://www.wired.com/2014/06/beyond-the-turing-test/?mbid=nl_wired_06172014  A Wired Science column that deconstructs the recent Turing Test breakthrough as less than overwhelming and talks insightfully about what actual ‘artificial intelligence’ would require, revealing in passing that CAPTCHA stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers & Humans Apart.”
  • from nap.edu   A National Academies Press volume about the intersection of cybersecurity and public policy.
  • from data.fcc.gov   The FCC’s 2014 Measuring Broadband America report on the performance of fixed broadband, thanks to Benton.org.
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/06/18/how-the-nsa-may-have-used-games-to-encourage-digital-snooping/  A WaPo look, following analyses from Der Spiegel and the Guardian, at the National Security Administration’s use of a Skillz game system to encourage its analysts’ snooping behavior and capacity.
  • http://benton.org/node/187991  A summary of a Google briefing in which the firm notes its longstanding support for an updated and improved Electronic Communications Privacy Act, what Benton.org calls “A Significant Step in Digital Due Process.”
  • http://www.pcworld.com/article/2364920/europes-top-court-to-review-personal-data-exchange-between-eu-and-us.html  A PC World examination of the Irish top court’s referral of a case against its inaction in regard to Facebook NSA cooperation to the European Union high court.
  • http://www.propublica.org/article/its-complicated-facebooks-history-of-tracking-you  A report from Pro Publica that FaceBook acknowledges plans to use its ‘Like-Button Tracking Capacity’ to sell information about users online behavior.
  • http://boingboing.net/2014/06/17/possible-hidden-latin-warning.html  A Boing Boing contextualization of encryption-software-provider TrueCrypt’s relations with the National Security Administration, which some say led to the company’s withdrawing its product and possibly leaving an encrypted note warning users of NSA incursions, in “bad Latin,” so as to be deniable.
  • from nytimes.com   An Economic Scene column from the Times that reports on the development by ATT and Udacity of a ‘nano-degree,’ a twelve month, $200 per month program that teaches people to qualify for entry-level data analysis positions, for $2,400 accomplishing what one might spend tens of thousands of dollars or more doing at a four year university.
  • from pando.com  A Pando Digest report about ‘surprising Chattanooga’s’ again showing technological and digital legerdemain, in this case by creating the nation’s first “3-D printing startup accelerator.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

6/18/2014

Quote of the Day

         “(People) have come to realize, as many of us have, that it is extremely dangerous to exercise the constitutional right of free speech in a country fighting to make democracy safe in the world.
I realize that, in speaking to you this afternoon, there are certain limitations placed upon the right of free speech. I must be exceedingly careful, prudent, as to what I say, and even more careful and prudent as to how I say it. I may not be able to say all I think; but I am not going to say anything that I do not think. I would rather a thousand times be a free soul in jail than to be a sycophant and coward in the streets. They may put those boys in jail—and some of the rest of us in jail—but they can not put the Socialist movement in jail. Those prison bars separate their bodies from ours, but their souls are here this afternoon. They are simply paying the penalty that all men have paid in all the ages of history for standing erect, and for seeking to pave the way to better conditions for mankind.”  Eugene Debs, the antiwar speech in Canton, Ohio that led to his imprisonment: https://www.marxists.org/archive/debs/works/1918/canton.htm.

This Day in History

A hundred ninety-nine years back, Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo was unfolding; fifteen years later, the French Republic first invaded Algeria; a hundred fifty-six years ago, Charles’ Darwin’s receipt of Alfred Russell Wallace’s paper on evolution, which agrees with his theories, induces the publication of Origin of Species and more; one hundred forty-one years prior to the here and now, Susan Anthony received a hundred dollar fine for seeking to vote in the prior year’s Presidential election; sixty-six years ago, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the full U.N. six months later; thirty years ago, a pitched battle occurred between roughly five thousand British police and a similar number of striking mineworkers.

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Paul MacArthur

The first e-book webinar will cover a number of issues, including:

•       Ebooks and erights: definitions and explanations; brief history
•       Overview of copyright and e-rights.
•       Scenarios (where you might find yourself with respect to ebook publication for existing contracts/publications)
•       Current publisher practices, royalty rates, etc.
•       Understanding ebook terms in existing contracts; ebook amendments; royalty statements
•       Determining ebook publication status (i.e., publisher reports)
•       Negotiating E-Book terms, amendments.
•       What to do when there is infringement; discussion of dues increase


JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • from mediabistro.com  A mid-to-upper level job in the marketing realm, with relocation package and many other perquisites, thanks to Media Bistro.
  • from ecowatch.com  A no-brainer for writers with green thumbs who are also quick on the draw and have a network of non-profits or community organizations with whom they might collaborate, a chance to get seed money, literally, for community gardens.
  • from nsf.gov   An National Science Foundation ‘Dear Colleague Letter’ for opportunities in the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative.
  • from mediabistro.com   Another Media Bistro opportunity, with a telecommute policy no less, for a dental and health content creator for a company in Leesburg, Virginia.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from magic-maths-money.blogspot.com  An intriguing little Magic, Maths, & Money blog in which the author seeks to deconstruct some of the historical and intellectual aspects of interest and usury, using quite technical statistical parameters, without, however, grappling with many of the political economic and social matters at play in these realms.
  • from nsf.gov A National Science Foundation blog about the sources of knowledge and understanding in the active participation in creative development of the material reality that underlies all scientific discovery.
  • from thehill.com An announcement from The Hill, that Blue Green Alliance(labor and environmentalists in tandem)founder David Foster is joining the Department of Energy as a senior adviser on industrial and economic policy.
  • from forbiddenknowledgetv.com Another gem from Forbidden Knowledge TV, all over the map politically–this is anti-union Libertarian Ron Paul from 2002–but providing key documentation of prescience and ideas that would otherwise disappear from any hope of collective memory.
  • from aflcio.org   An AFL-CIO blog announcement about the upcoming Working Families Summit in D.C. next Monday, which makes the obvious, but never too-often-repeated, point that only collectively can working people create better lives for themselves.
  • from facebook.com   A link from a North Carolina State University professor to a fight against a Portugese dam of one of that country’s remaining wild rivers.

 

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from niemanlab.org  A blog from Nieman Journalism Lab that reports on the growing prevalence of ‘sponsored content’ as a revenue generating strategy for non-profit and community media operations, a phenomenon of vast import for freelancers, especially of a critical or ‘progressive’ bent.
  • from reuters.com   A briefing from Reuters that announces Egypt’s promise to rule on three journalists’ rights who have remained in jail for five months for doing their jobs, facing possible charges of “aiding terrorists.”
  • sfrom niemanlab.org A briefing from Nieman Journalism Lab about the Knight Foundation’s $2 million support for the Local News Lab, an attempt to create “sustainable news ecosystems” in New Jersey.
  • from washingtonpost.com WaPo opinion piece that contextualizes the battle between Amazon and publishing giant Hachette in terms of how the equities of this brouhaha affect the common people, and the common writer.
  • from nieman.harvard.edu   The current issue of Nieman Reports, full of such articles as “Rewriting J-School: Can Educators Connect the Classroom to the Newsroom” and more articles and information for scribes of all stripes.
  • from niemanlab.org A briefing from Nieman Journalism Lab about the use of comics and graphic illustration to make narrative nonfiction more impactful, popular, and empowering generally.
  • from edweek.org A report from Education Week about publicly funded ‘writing centers’ that offer advice, tutoring, and other opportunities to public school students after the school day has ended.
  • from niemanlab.org WorldCrunch-founder Jeff Israely’s continuing column inNieman Journalism Lab about how media and citizens can successfully practice journalism in the current moment.

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from benton.org   A Benton.org summary of the recent conjunction of European Union and Republic of Korea media an telecommunications forces to push for faster and broader Internet access.
  • from smh.com.au A fascinating item from Sydney Morning Herald about the discovery, beneath the surface of Picasso’s “Blue Room,” of a portrait of a bearded fellow bedecked with several rings.
  • from benton.org  A Benton.org announcement about the Senate’s processing of the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which hopes to extend prohibitions against State and local taxation of web-based commerce.
  • from nextgov.com A key look by Next-Gov at the way that political economy drives even the most arcane technological options and practices, in this instance focusing on Netflix’s “returning 404 errors” to all developers henceforth who had been working on Application Programming Interfaces to bring Netflix content to the wider web.
  • from rollingstone.com  A Rolling Stone assessment of the country’s first ‘rock festival,’ in Marin County, California two years before Woodstock, which the magazine terms “deeply stoned” from the get-go.
  • from news.vice.com  A Vice News report about swatting, in which tech-savvy folks–probably mainly youngsters–report ‘crimes’ that don’t exist but which bring the entire force of police militarization, SWAT teams resplendent, into play.
  • from rosenbach.org A contextualization from the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia of James Joyce’s Ulysses.
  • from thehill.com An essay and analysis from The Hill about the present pass in regard to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ hiatus and what will follow in its stead: “What is clear is that the transition provides both the opportunity for, and the necessity of, undertaking a fundamental reevaluation of ICANN’s accountability mechanisms.”
  • from nytimes.com  A Timesreport and analysis of recent advances in robotics and the attendant fears of the potential arrival of killer droids, a la, Fahrenheit 451 and the newest sorts of drone strikes.
  • from privacyinternational.org  Privacy International’s release of the British Intelligence Service’s defense of its decision to practice wholesale monitoring of the World Wide Web, even when the correspondence and contacts are between English citizens in the United Kingdom.
  • from pando.com  A Pando Digest article about Code.org’s response to its recent privacy critics.

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from informationclearinghouse.info  A Paul Craig Roberts assessment of the fatuous declarations of victory in such conflicts as Iraq, palpably tragic in the context of the mayhem currently unfolding in our ‘experiment in democracy gone awry.’
  • from wsws.org  A World Socialist Website report about the neofascist operatives, backed by the U.S., at work in the recent attack on Russia’s embassy in Kiev.
  • from thehill.com  Days after making all Tesla Electric Vehicle patents part of the public Domain, Elon Musk’s concerns and their revelations of a billion-dollar solar acquisition to pad the ownership of Solar City.
  • from sandiegofreepress.org  An opinion analysis from San Diego Free Press by a UCSD professor whose most recent novel is about IWW activism in San Diego a century ago, the upshot of the editorial a strong critique of the Vergaradecision’s evisceration of teacher tenure.
  • from jadaliyya.com Absolutely critical reporting from the Iraqi grassroots that contextualizes the events now unfolding in that neck of the woods: “Popular demands have morphed into a tool for reactionary forces to divide up the political pie, from the terrorists of al-Qa’ida, the Baath Party, and tribal leaders to the Shi’a religious leadership that has called for open warfare and the Kurdish nationalist forces that have achieved military and political gains. This all comes at a moment when Iraq has clearly become divided according to the wills of dominant political forces, whereas the will of the Iraqi people remains ignored.”
  • from links.org.au  Another grassroots piece, cross posted at International Journal of Socialist Renewal, from the Ukrainian website Liva(Left), assessing the underpinning of crisis and conflict-among-rulers behind recent events in Ukraine.
  • from govexec.com   A Congressionally-mandated report from Department of Defense about its TRICARE veterans-health-benefits appeals process, thanks to GovExec.
  • from opednews.com  An Op-Ed News report about the response to the downing of Ukraine’s troop transport jet earlier this week, in which Victoria Nuland’s go-to-guy made the following proto-fascist announcement: “They lost their lives because they defended men and women, children and the elderly who found themselves in a situation facing a threat to be killed by invaders and sponsored by subhumans,” he said. “First, we will commemorate the heroes by wiping out those who killed them and then by cleaning our land from the evil.”
  • from rollingstone.com   A breaking-news analysis from Rolling Stone, about the all-too ‘alive-and-kicking’ U.S. policy of using drone strikes, three of which in the past period of time have killed twenty-two people in Southwest Asia venues.
  • from wsws.org  A World Socialist Website contextualization of the just-opened September 11 Museum.
  • from pando.com   Another ‘attack’ on BitCoin, analyzed by Pando Digest.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info  Cindy Sheehan’s assessment, in Information Clearinghouse of “the imperial meatwagon” and its continuing imprimatur.

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

 

  • from smh.com.au A commentary from Sydney Morning Herald well worth pondering even as it presents a very ‘psychological’ view of material reality.
  • from ipsnews.net  A nuanced and richly empirical report from Inter Press Service that argues that Germany has become the world’s first “modern renewable energy economy,” with massive implications for a sustainable world and modeling by those who want economic and social democracy instead of toxic wastes and nuclear weapons.
  • from nsf.gov  A National Science Foundation blog that examines the “Maker Movement,” a citizen technology, engineering, and design initiative that seeks to democratize and broaden the reach of engineering and science.
  • from loc.gov A literature/politics/life/teaching blog from Library of Congress that examines the links between Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the ‘Compromise-of-1850’ endorsement of the Fugitive Slave Act.
  • from brennancenter.org   A new blog from the Brennan Center that uses data and economic analysis to examine the political economy of criminal justice, in this initial offering providing a focus on women’s experience: “1 in 108 American adults – are behind bars – the highest ratio in the world. The incarceration rate in prisons has increased over 245 percent since 1980. This phenomenon has been documented recently by the National Research CouncilThe Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, and The New York Times. But even in this fevered carceral climate, the experience of women stands out.”
  • from nap.edu  A National Academies Press monograph about how the Affordable Care Act has impacted resources and programs.
  • from nap.edu Another NAP volume, dealing with the health impacts of low level ionizing radiation–for which no ‘safe level’ exists–of “inevitable” interest and use since further ‘events’ like Fukushima are accidents waiting to happen.
  • from counterpunch.org Part Three of a series from Counterpunch that illustrates the ‘climate crisis’ in historical and political-economic terms: “In this series, I examine how the capitalist system has brought us to climate disaster, and why it cannot get us out of it.
  • from counterpunch.org   Subtitled “The Brutal Logic of a Self-Seeking Empire,” a Counterpunch look from a widely published academic at Middle-East policies and their likely intended consequences of mayhem and meltdown.
  • from thehill.com  An assessment from The Hill of the brutal terms of present competition among Pentagon contractors for military-industrial-complex money.
  • from forbiddenknowledgetv.com A video from Forbidden Knowledge TV that provides an overview of what has transpired as a result of the now three year old Fukushima disaster.

6/17/2014

Quote of the Day
“It is the minorities who have made the history of this world. It is the few who have had the courage to take their places at the front; who have been true enough to themselves to speak the truth that was in them; who have dared oppose the established order of things; who have espoused the cause of the suffering, struggling poor; who have upheld without regard to personal consequences the cause of freedom and righteousness. It is they, the heroic, self-sacrificing few who have made the history of the race and who have paved the way from barbarism to civilization. The many prefer to remain upon the popular side.” Eugene Debs, in the speech that landed him in Federal prison; https://www.marxists.org/archive/debs/works/1918/canton.htm.

This Day in HIstory

Four hundred thirty-five years ago, Francis Drake made the first Anglo claim for what has become California; three hundred forty-one years back, French explorers reached the mouth of the Mississippi, which they subsequently charted for the first time; two hundred twenty five years ago, the Third Estate declared itself the French National Assembly, consolidating revolutionary rule there; a hundred thirty eight years prior to today, Sioux and Cheyenne fighters under the leadership of Crazy Horse, beat back U.S. forces in the Montana Territory’s Rosebud Creek; one hundred thirteen years ago, the College Board introduced the granddaddy of today’s SAT; seventy years ago, Iceland separated from Denmark to become an independent state; forty-three years back, Richard Nixon announced the beginning of the War-on-Drugs, which of course continues to this day; twenty-three years ago, the South African Parliament repealed the Population Registration Act, which for nearly a century had provided the legal basis for apartheid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_17.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • The Hermiston Herald (Oregon) is seeking a general assignment reporter for our twice-weekly community newspaper in Northeast Oregon.
  • The Steamboat Pilot & Today (CO), an award-winning daily newspaper serving a world-class mountain resort community in Northwest Colorado, needs an aggressive, intelligent, hard-hitting reporter.
  • Marietta Daily Journal (Canton, GA) REPORTERA 5-day-per-week suburban Atlanta newspaper is looking for an experienced and energized reporter to cover a wide spectrum of news, from features and general assignment to local government and business.
  • MLive Media Group (Ann Arbor, MI) The Reporter will report and produce news stories for various platforms, and act as a statewide expert and discussion leader on high-value topics, meeting audience demand for immediacy, depth and engagement.
  • Wyoming Newspapers Inc. Beautiful, scenic Pinedale, Wyo., is in need of an energetic reporter looking to take on a myriad of issues.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

 

  • from community-wealth.org/  A link to Community Wealth that looks at worker-owned cooperatives, a model that might conceivably apply to the possibilities open to struggling writers.
  • from epi.org/files   An Economic Policy Institute report that contends that Raising America’s Pay is the number one policy issue with which we must grapple.
  • from ecowatch.com  An EcoWatch investigative report that invites a union of progressive writers to pay attention to such matters as exploding thyroid problems among Japanese kids near Fukushima, in the process forming information networks with writers not in the union but who are ‘on board’ on many matters near and dear to unionists.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from pando.com  An analytical essay from Pando Digest that puts the ‘decline of newspapers’ in perspective and shows that income and profits beckon for real pages if the owners support ‘long-form journalism.’
  • from fastcolabs.com/   A Fast Company in-depth look at the same issue, which indicates that any media outlet that intends to produce paper needs to think long form, and that lengthier and more analytical and opinionated pieces generally are what ‘consumers’ of media are craving.
  • from blogs.nytimes.com  A Times Bits Blog about Tableau Software’s data-presentation software and how presenters and thinkers and other writers can illustrate their arguments most effectively with new layering software that Tableau has brought to market.
  • from loc.gov A ‘know-one’s history’ moment from the Library of Congress, which interviews an expert on the formulation and usage of PDF’s, obviously an invaluable tool for writers in the present pass.
  • from nakedcapitalism.com   A crossposting at Naked Capitalism by a State Department whistleblower that views the present unfolding of our polity as a ‘post-constitutional moment,’ in which the First Amendment will be less and less operative, obviously an argument critical for writers with any critique in them to understand and consider deeply.
  • from benton.org/node/187450 A Benton.org summary of a key piece of the political economy of media, to wit that digital media now outweighs national TV advertising and will soon surpass all television.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • from nytimes.com  A Times Sunday Magazine column that seeks to provide a historical perspective to the innovation that once typified companies like Xerox and IBM and which programs like Google-X want to bring to life again.
  • from thehill.com   An analytical brief from The Hill about recent FCC and Federal Trade Commission examination of the business of data-collection-and-dissemination, which the present FTC head warns may be antithetical to consumer control and democracy both.
  • from thehill.com   A guest blog by the head of the Consumer Electronics Association, posted in The Hill, that argues cogently that having unlicensed portions of the electromagnetic spectrum extant can have large socioeconomic benefits.
  • from jbhorrigan.weebly.com   A White Paper by a technology consultant and pen for hire that wants to recontextualize the ‘digital divide’ as a ‘lack of digital readiness,’ with interesting and provocative policy implications and more.\
  • from tiaonline.org   The Telecommunications Industry Association’s recent responses to a House of Representatives White Paper on competition in media and communications.
  • from arstechnica.com  An Ars Technica briefing about a recent, high-priced, ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ incident in which a motorcyclist’s evasion of apprehension ended when he couldn’t resist uploading video of his escape.
  • from globalresearch.ca   An analysis from Global Research of the ins and outs of contemporary propaganda machines in the form of corporate press and broadcast services and such, and what the implications of such developments are for citizenship, democracy, activism, and more.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

  • from moonofalabama.org Moon of Alabama’s careful deconstruction of the improbable speculation and ignorance that arguably have passed for factual reportage from Western corporate media sources, such as France24 and theTimes, both of which have alleged that tanks among the ordnance of the East Ukraine rebels likely had a Russian provenance, without digging much further.
  • from ecowatch.com   An EcoWatch report of Warren Buffet’s announcement a few days ago that he intends to double his investment in renewable energy, counter to the general trend among financial and political elites to go all out for nuclear as the only way to replace carbon.
  • from thehill.com A briefing from The Hill about a bill from Congressman Matt Cartwright, which calls for $30 million in seed grants for cutting edge research on prosthetics and orthotics to support the close to 2,000 veterans with limbs lost in recent wars.
  • from nytimes.com An amazing Times Science blog about the company–housed in an old air-force-base MacDonalds converted to serving as a tech campus–that has seemingly resuscitated a thirty-six year old satellite and made the possibility of both retrieving and redirecting it real and likely.
  • from rt.com  An RT assessment that examines the work of Stephen Cohen as a way of pondering the apparent ‘mistakes’ of what the empire has been up to with Russia, in which such tidbits as this appear: “I have heard – whether it’s true or not I don’t know – that President Obama has declined to meet privately with Henry Kissinger, who sees Putin twice a year. Kissinger probably knows Putin better than any American statesmen alive today.
  • from thehill.com   A blog from The Hill that assails EPA’s recent carbon standards as disingenuous at best.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info/article38819.htm  An International Clearinghouse crossposting of a Times editorial written by Chelsea Manning, in which the soldier serving the thirty five year sentence writes, “As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan.”
  • from mobile.bloomberg.com  A Bloomberg News report on recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation of deaths at Amazon warehouses, a scratching-the-surface take on worker health and safety in the ‘new economy’ generally.
  • from smh.com.au   A Sydney Morning Herald look at the attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev, where a Ukrainian minister called Vladmir Putin a dickhead, much to the delight of local rioters and the chagrin of Russians and others.

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

 

  • from nakedcapitalism.com  A very long essay from Naked Capitalism that seeks to come to grips with some of the underlying issues and questions in regard to money, in terms of history and cultural analysis more than political economy, that at the very least, as Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism points out, lays a basis for discussion and contemplation.
  • from smh.com.au Sydney Morning Herald report about a NASA-funded study that found that extroverts would be hard to take in making treks to Mars and elsewhere in the nearby star space that we occupy.
  • from dailykos.com  One of those signature moments from DailyKos that anyone paying attention ought to notice, deconstructing and exploring the implications of a Guardian investigative report which shows the extent and tactical reality of Pentagon plans to target dissidents, citizens, and anyone else who doesn’t ‘sit down and shut up’ as instructed.
  • from nacla.org  A North American Congress on Latin America review essay of the just-released CD, Border Songs, which culturally delves the political and social issues replete in matters of immigration and labor and more.
  • from truth-out.or   An op-ed cross-posted to TruthOut that shows the origins of wealth and the policy choices that make their distribution unequal and inequitable.
  • from monthlyreview.org  A historical and analytical essay from Monthly Review that assesses the background and current prospects of ‘popular movements toward socialism.’
  • from nytimes.com An “Upshot” column from the Times that argues that the “lack of major wars” of late is one of our sources of economic woe.
  • from counterpunch.org  A Counterpunch  analysis of how empire and the ordnance of oppression, the bullets of repression, have reenforced and followed each other as the legacy of U.S. ‘interests’ in Latin America.
  • from truth-out.org   A news analysis from TruthOut of the growing bandwagon of Southern States seeking to find a way to countenance marijuana law reform without backing down from any of the premises of either the War-on-Drugs or the pharmacological-industrial-complex’s control of much of culture.
  • from edweek.org   An essay in Education Week, part of a current-context series financed by a Lumina Foundation grant, in which the superintended for the Charlotte/Mecklenberg County, North Carolina school system argues that the primary task facing schools is the problem of engaging students in their own learning, a process that bypasses debates over common core and the like and raises matters of substance about the actual purposes of public education.
  • from pieria.co.uk   A plain-English article on a technical subject, hysteresis effects, which are the problems confronted by long-term unemployed people and the difficulties that afflict societies in which such ‘cyclical’ problems become fixed, and structural, from a UK thinktank that brings together academicians, entrepreneurs, and so forth.
  • from theatlantic.com An Atlantic essay that powerfully develops the idea that cash is something that no fiat can take away, despite corporate and financier fantasies otherwise.

Charles E. Cobb, a former field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and a visiting professor of Africana Studies at Brown University, explores what he sees as one of the movement’s forgotten contradictions: Guns made it possible.  An American Prospect review essay of This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed, which examines armed backing for the nonviolence of U.S. civil rights activism: “Charles E. Cobb, a former field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and a visiting professor of Africana Studies at Brown University, explores what he sees as one of the movement’s forgotten contradictions: Guns made it possible.”

6/16/2014

Quote of the Day

“When falsehood can look so like the truth, who can assure themselves of certain happiness? …  With how many things are we on the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries.”https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/4836639-frankenstein

This Day in History

One hundred ninety eight years ago, Mary Shelley received the challenge to come up with a scary story that resulted in Frankenstein; a hundred seventy eight years ago, the London Workingmen’s Association first met, the predecessor to the Chartist movement; a hundred fifty six years ago, Abraham Lincoln, like Barack Obama a Senate candidate from Illinois, delivers his ‘House Divided’ speech; a hundred seventeen years ago, the United States annexed Hawaii; a hundred eleven years ago, Ford Motor Company incorporated; a hundred three years back, the Recording-Tabulating-Computing Company incorporates, soon to become International Business Machines; eighty-one years ago, the National Industrial Recovery Act passed, subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court; thirty-eight years ago, the uprising in Soweto began that numbered the days of Apartheid; one year later, Software Development Laboratories incorporated, to become the Oracle Corporation shortly thereafter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_16http://www.historyorb.com/events/june/16.

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n5krOMmWrw  A hat tip to New York Chapter Chair Tim Sheard, whose Hardball Press connection has elicited the publication of the novel, Sixteen Tons, which provides a narrative presentation of class oppression in the coal fields a century ago, as well as telling an affecting yarn about working class life then and now.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • A link to Democracy For America’s upcoming online organizers’ skills classes.
  • Coffey Communications (Walla Walla, WA) We are seeking a copy editor who will be responsible for copyediting and proofreading health publications for the hospital and health plan industries; following established editorial guidelines; and ensuring that all published material meets standards for style, grammar, punctuation, spelling, typography, clarity, structure, accuracy and appropriateness.
  • North Jersey Media Group (NJ) seeks an associate editor for(201),amagazine covering influential people, style, estates, home decor, dining and charitable events in Bergen County, as well as other titles
  • North Platte Telegraph (Nebraska) – Copy Editor/Reporter – This is a full time position for a copy editor/reporter with solid AP style and page design skills.Knowledge of Indesign and Photoshop preferred
  • The Bryan-College Station Eagle (TX), a small daily newspaper with award-winning photography, news coverage and digital offerings is looking for a copy editor to help put it all together

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from prometheusradio.org   A Prometheus Radio Project briefing on station KOCZ, a low power FM non commercial experiment in Opelousas, Louisiana.
  • from vfpnationalconvention.org/  An announcement of the upcoming Veterans for Peace Conference in Asheville, North Carolina, where networks of indisputable interest to a union of writers will be presenting their ideas and proposals and so on.
  • from arstechnica.com  An Ars Technica soapbox forum about islands in the East China Sea that could be a flashpoint for worldwide conflagration.
  • from nextgov.com  An extension-of-time from NextGov to make nominations for its BOLD awards that honor innovation in government technology.
  • from aflcio.org A connection to AFL-CIO’s Young Workers Programs and how they can benefit labor in general, and, conceivably, a union of writers in particular.
  • from sunlightfoundation.com  An insightful report from the Sunlight Foundation that reflects research and investigation that shows the ‘heavy hitters’ of intellectual property’s favoring the Trans Pacific Partnership four or more years before most of the rest of the public had even heard of the proposed policy.
WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS
  • from yesmagazine.org  An article from Yes! Magazine about a low power FM radio station in Louisiana, a phenomenon common throughout the At-Large Chapter that could merit key focus from union writers.
  • from globalresearch.ca   A Global Research Report that introduces and contextualizes the present Ethiopian government’s oppression and detention of journalists and students and their citizen supporters.
  • from yesmagazine.org  For a progressive union of writers, a centrally important strategic article from Yes! Magazine about the ‘return of hometown, truly local news media: “Just as a lack of fresh, nutritious food can be harmful to personal health, so, too, can a lack of fresh, relevant news be harmful to civic health.”
  • from ala.org  A report from a couple of American Library Association committees that indicates that the Children Internet Protection Act has acted as an excuse to cut kids off from intellectual freedom, citizen empowerment, political education, and more, all in the name of ‘securing’ them from porn as such.
  • from politico.com  A Politico briefing about the breadth of backing for a ‘Reporters Shield Law’ in the wake of the Supreme Court’s refusal of ceriorari in James Risens’ reportorial privilege case.
  • from theguardian.com   A Guardian profile of an Ivy Leaguer’s reinvention of himself after an Eliot Sptizer prosecution sent him reeling, the recontextualization in the form of a strategy for world domination in e-journalism.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • from thehill.com  An analysis from The Hill of the possible benefits to monopoly technology enterprise and its creature, venture capital, in the event that Kevin McCarthy becomes House of Representatives majority leader.
  • from teslamotors.com  Founder of PayPal Elon Musk’s blog announcing that all of the Tesla Electric Vehicle Company’s patents would henceforth be ‘open-source,’ a defense of such an approach the social necessity of the information and implications that underlie the property as such.
  • from thehill.com  A media briefing from The Hill that introduces readers to the FCC’s recent decision to probe “peering deals” between web providers like Comcast and high traffic websites like Netflix.
  • from stuff.co.nz/  A report and update from New Zealand’s Stuff about cybersecurity firm Cloudflare’s Gallileo program, which offers free cybersecurity protection to political websites that attackers target because of the sites’ beliefs and efforts.
  • from benton.org A summary from Benton.org about San Francisco’s profferal of encrypted wi-fi, a first in the U.S.
  • from arstechnica.com A report from Ars Technica about Pensacola, Florida’s cancellation of its Summer reading program rather than permit its students to read the novel Boing Boing, a text that the author and publisher provided for free but which concerns the motivations, context, and accomplishments of a youthful hacker.
  • from eff.org  Electronic Frontier Foundation’s take on the basic rationale for net neutrality for small operators, in addition to whatever benefits its big backers reap from something like the present regime.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from france24.com   An initial brief from France24 of the accusation that out-of-circulation Soviet-era Russian tanks have entered the fray in East Ukraine.
  • from neweconomicperspectives.org  A New Economic Perspectives blog that both analyzes the overall tragedy of the commons in terms of logistical nightmares and collapsing infrastructure–focusing on Norfolk, Virginia–and contextualizes all of this in terms of the current brohaha surrounding Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, the upshot the author’s call for readers to “realize that Piketty’s calculations are, in fact, a mirror image of reality: the “wealth” he measures and spells out in graph after graph is NOT a measure of what is available to pay citizens to do the work necessary to build and sustain their social civilization; it is, instead, a measure of the real goods and services the citizens have already created using the real resources (materials, labor and technology) that have been available to them.”
  • from truth-out.org   A review-essay from TruthOut that introduces readers to the documentary about gangs, License to Operate, and then contextualizes the historical and social origins of gangs as such.
  • from ecowatch.com A report from Ecowatch about indicia from the past period of times that child mortality, infant mortality, and more are on the rise in areas around or ‘downwind’ from Fukushima.
  • from nature.com  A report and analysis from Nature about the Spanish Podemos party’s recent European Parliament victories, only months after the group’s formation, focusing in particular on the assumption of the political mantle by Pablo Enchenique, a researcher in chemical physics with absolutely no background in politics and a disfiguring disability in the form of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
  • from ecowatch.com A briefing from Ecowatch about Ohio GOP governor John Kavitch’s assault on State support for renewable energy, the first time that such a nuclear and carbon industry program has received official imprimatur.
  • from france24.com  France24’s breaking news brief on allegations that rebel forces have downed a government plane in Ukraine’s civil uprising.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info   A report and analysis from Information Clearinghouse that demonstrates the political economic underpinnings of weapons and training in Iraq at the moment, where U.S. is once again playing both sides against the middle, much to the delight of the arms industry and related enterprises.
  • from blogs.edweek.org   A briefing from Education Weekabout promised improvements and reforms of Native American education that the Obama administration have recently announced.
  • from portside.org  A powerful, evidence-and-practice based argument fromPortside in favor of ‘Common Core’ math standards and calling for a distinction between ‘putting standardized tests in proper perspective’ and adoption of criteria of excellence in public education.
  • from nytimes.com  A “Room for Debate” exchange from the Times about teacher tenure generally, of possibly critical import in light of the recent Superior Court decision in California outlawing the practice.
  • from thehill.com  A brief from The Hill about the debacle in Iraq, which the correspondent terms a sort of “worst case scenario” perfect storm.
  • from nytimes.com A news and analysis item from theTimes that compares the present prospects of indebted students to the struggles of highly leverage and “upside down” homeowners as the subprime blues crisis unfolded last decade.
  • from america.aljazeera.com  An on-the-ground report from Al Jazeera America about the apparent resolve of Eastern Ukraine’s dissidents, many of whom are separatists, and all of whom reject as imperialist and fascist the current regime in Kiev.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info An Information Clearinghouse opinion-and-analysis of the Saudi Arabian investment in and likely orchestration of much of the present pass of mayhem and carnage in Iraq, as a ploy against Iran.

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

 

  • from fas.org  A report from Federation of American Scientists about the retribution fears of established U.S. authorities in regard to nuclear weapons.
  • from global.oup.com  An Oxford University Press precis of its collection of essays on the Tower of Babel story, apropos in regard to much of what a union of writers might hope to accomplish.
  • from nytimes.com An ‘interactive media’ portal from the Times that offers a possible model for conceptualizing and contextualizing immigration and labor and human rights all at once.
  • from balancedandbarefoot.com An evidence based–as opposed to pharmacologically premised–analysis of children’s fidgeting, which those interested in science and humanity might use to condemn out of hand the ADHD label as currently deployed.
  • from wtfcorporations.com Making Contact program about Genetically Modified Organisms and monopoly corporate agriculture, with many of the links to pesticides and other matters presented in tandem.
  • from truth-out.org  An “Economic Update” podcast from Richard Wolff, made available thanks to TruthOut, the upshot of which is that the problems of capitalism in the current moment are deepening and worsening as a result of underlying contradictions at the heart of our system.
  • from globalresearch.ca  A portal to Michel Chossudovsky’s recent monograph,The Globalization of Poverty & the New World Order, with the material here providing an abstract and links to excerpts of the volume.
  • from truth-out.org  A report and analysis from TruthOut covering the recent New Economy Coalition’s “Common Bound” conference in Boston, one of many current efforts to kickstart solidarity economics, all of which the author sees as necessitating something akin to a ‘revolutionary vision.’
  • from portside.org An essay from Portside that traces outbursts of worker-empowerment action such as Seattle’s minimum wage victory to the Occupy movement.
  • from commondreams.org An essential reminder from Common Dreams that the 1930’s fight against fascism, including in the voluntary uprising against the early Franco regime in Spain, stood at the center of much that was new and ‘refreshing’ about the ‘New Deal,’ which in the here and now has gone the way of all the old rotten bargains that preceded it.

6/13/2014

Quote of the Day

There should be at least one leak like the Pentagon Papers every year.


Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/daniel_ellsberg.html#2kOb1fgX8xy18WVo.99

This Day in History

Providing context to how the world works, the following items are interesting: 1,701 years ago, Emperor Constantine issued a proclamation declaring religious freedom throughout the Roman Empire; 741 years ago, at the cusp of European expansion, England and Portugal entered an alliance that still survives, as the longest lasting such liaison currently in force; 589 years ago, Martin Luther married to break his priestly celibacy ban.  More recently, and with more direct impact on current affairs, these items might be noteworthy: eighty years ago, Germany launched eleven V-1 “Flying Bombs” against England, four of which hit their targets; forty eight years ago, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Miranda v. Arizona, which required a now-much-attenuated “reading of rights’ to suspected criminals; seventeen years ago, a jury sentenced Timothy McVeigh to death; twelve years ago, a U.S. armored vehicle crushed two fourteen year old Korean girls to death and set off months of protests; two years ago, bombs set off around Iraq killed nearly a hundred people and wounded several hundred more
 
NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS
JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS
  • from on24.com  Over the heads of most union member, most likely–certainly over this humble correspondent’s head–an Association for Computing Machinery free webinar on cybersecurity based on a recent National Research Council report on the same issue.
  • from nsf.gov  A National Science Foundation “Dear Colleague Letter” announcing funding opportunities in ‘Sustainable Chemistry, Engineering, and Materials,’ meaning that grant-writers will be necessary, of course.
  • from mediabistro.com An awesome job opportunity for a Spanish-as-first-language NWU member with an interest in news, broadcasting, and such.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from nrdc.org  A portal to the National Resources Defense Council’s presentation of a recent letter to the FCC to investigate false advertising in relation to recently issued Federal carbon standards.
  • from arstechnica.com  Another Ars Technica Soapbox forum, a few months old, on “Austerity Versus Growth,” arguably as timely as ever before to consider by unionized writers.
  • from savingcommunityjournalism.com/  A portal that could provide almost countless chances for intersection, collaboration, and more, a brainchild of Penelope Muse Abernathy.
  • from localnetchoice.org/connections/ An awesome opportunity for writers to engage about an issue–locally controlled community operated web access–of critical importance to writers and citizens.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from niemanlab.org  A Nieman Journalism Labassessment of, among other things, the potential of What’sApp and other such devices to act as ‘publishing platforms’ for news agencies and more.
  • from blogs.nytimes.com A smorgasbord from the Times Learning Network, for all those writers who tutor and teach to make ends meet, of Language Arts and other pertinent lessons from the past four years!
  • from rtdna.org The Radio Television Digital News Association’s list of 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award recipients.
  • from arstechnica.com  An Ars Technica forum on the Second Circuit’s Court of Appeals decision to reject the Authors Guild(and NWU Amicus)suit against libraries for book-scanning as copyright infringement.
  • from niemanlab.org  An arguably critical brief for a union of writers, about Christian Science Monitor’s website redesign, which for reasons of viability and even survival is focusing on engaging visitors and readers in dialog about action based on its reports and other texts.
  • from niemanlab.org Nieman Journalism Lab’s Q-&-A with Penelope Muse Abernathy about how smaller media outlets such as community newspapers can successfully manage the ‘digital transition.’
  • from fcc.gov A blog from FCC chairman Tom Wheeler about a recent visit to Chattanooga, where he championed the city’s locally operated Wi-Fi initiatives and supported its expansion despite corporate and State attempts to stifle the program.
  • from learning.blogs.nytimes.com Another Times cornucopia–for teachers, tutors, and the writers who do such things–of an aggregate several years’ worth of hundreds of writing and discussion prompts apropos secondary and early post-secondary students.
  • from theguardian.com Guardian report on the paper’s collaboration with KickStarter to highlight journalism projects.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from medium.com  A hilarious note from Medium about an ‘extremely rare’ Kasey Kasem recording, laced with expletives, that plus-or-minus three quarters of a million people have listened to on YouTube.
  • from ecowatch.com  A briefing from EcoWatch about an open letter to the FCC from environmental groups that complains of “false advertising” in relation to spots aired recently about the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently issued ‘carbon standards.’
  • from mediabistro.com  Media Bistro’s landing-on-her-feet tale of Jill Abramson’s appointment to teach at Harvard, after she received the sack at the Times.
  • from pando.com Pando Digest briefing about a phenomenon that Al Gore mentioned in his Southland interview, that ‘Silicon Valley’ is essentially–a la NSA–a ‘stalker economy.’
  • from benton.org  A Benton.org summary of an Internet-of-Things/Smart America press release from the White House foreshadowing an upcoming Smart America Expo in D.C.
  • from benton.org Another Benton.org summary of a Times article about FCC plans to goose Wi-Fi’s presence in high schools.
  • from voxeu.org   A Vox essay-analysis of the problems and prospects of achieving ‘net neutrality,’ generally establishment-SOP oriented but useful as contextualization and more.
  • from truth-out.org  A briefing from TruthOut about recent key Supreme Court decisions that impact the intersections of media, technology, law, and social policy.
  • from theatlantic.com   An Atlantic article and analysis that contends, even so late in the game as this, that a people-oriented and brilliantly efficient Internet is still possible.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

  • from nytimes.com The Times obituary for Ruby Dee, longstanding civil rights activist and performing arts star, who died yesterday at 91.
  • from csmonitor.com   A lengthy and detailedChristian Science Monitor report on the maelstrom now unfolding in Iraq, which has made a mockery of U.S. pretensions of ‘nation building,’ ‘stabilization,’ and so forth.
  • from personalliberty.com  A ‘right-wing’ Personal Liberty news report on the impact of the Islamic State in Iraq & Syria victories in Iraq around Mosul on U.S. contractors and non-governmental organizations in the area, to wit, they’re fleeing like rats from a sinking ship.
  • from stuff.co.nz  A peek inside the current political economic paradigm from New Zealand’s Stuff, looking at recent criminal indictments against strippers for drugging clients, running up huge credit card tabs, and then threatening to ‘go public’ with their naughtiness if the ‘johns’ disputed the fees.
  • from ft.com  A Financial Timesbriefing about the International Monetary Fund’s recent assessment that many of the world’s housing markets are again in dire straits.
  •  from bloomberg.com  A Bloomberg Wire Service analysis of recent World Bank decisions to cut forecasts for 2014 growth.
  • from fas.org  A ‘what-goes-around-comes-around’ Federation of American Scientists briefing about Hezbollah’s increasing recent use of drones in its conflict with Israel.
  • from kickstarter.com   The KickStarter portal to the recently completed documentary film, “License to Operate” about the social foundations and political economy of gangs in communities like East Los Angeles.
  • from nytimes.com   A Times report-&-analysis of insurgent victories in Iraq, seen as being beneficial to many people there who more fear the Iraqi government than they do the uprising against it.

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

  • from nakedcapitalism.com  A Wolf Richter piece from Naked Capitalism, thoroughly contextualized by Yves Smith, that presents in readily comprehensible English the current contradictions and dynamics of Federal Reserve policies in relation to money and finance.
  • from macroblog.typepad.com A ‘MacroBlog’ from the Atlanta Federal Reserve, subtitled, “The Difficulty of Finding Full Time Work,” which analyzes in detail this conclusion: “Finding a job is one thing, but finding a satisfactory job is another. Since the end of the recession, the number of unemployed has declined, thanks in part to a gradually improving rate of job finding. But the job-finding rate is still relatively low, and the ability of an unemployed job seeker who wants to work full-time to actually find full-time work remains a significant challenge.”
  • from govexec.com Government Executive summary of a recent audit that, despite Edward Snowden and others, much of ‘background checking’ by the contractors charged with these tasks is more or less pro forma.
  • from fpif.org  A Foreign Policy in Focus analytical essay about Libya’s devolution as an imperial “cautionary tale.”
  • from nakedcapitalism.com  A long, complex, and eye-opening presentation by Corente’s Lambert Strether, cross-posted to Naked Capitalism, that deconstructs the “neoliberal long con” of privatizing public universities as an important front in the current political economy of education generally.
  • from truth-out.org  A Truthout examination of the policies, problems, and prospects of Venezuela as a source of insight and models for alternatives to “Austerity Capitalism.”
  • from counterpunch.org CounterPunch examination of the attacks on union, including assessments of public pensions that show a “basis in fact” for some criticisms.
  • from truth-out.org  A dauntingly pertinent op-ed from TruthOut, which poses the diametrically opposed choices of fighting like starving dogs for scraps or cooperating to transform the political and social spheres.
  • from counterpunch.org  A Counterpunch report and analysis on recent remarks of Daniel Ellsberg, that the U.S. came close to turning Vietnam into the world’s second nuclear war.
  • from post-gazette.com APittsburgh Post Gazette historical article about the one-hundred year old Westinghouse walkout in Pittsburgh, by a former union shop steward and history professor.

6/12/2014

Quote of the Day

“Not long after our wedding, we were awakened in the middle of the night in our own bedroom by deputy sheriffs and actually arrested for the “crime” of marrying the wrong kind of person.”  Mildred Loving, statement on the fortieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning their conviction and sentence, on June 12, 1967.

This Day in History

In 1963, a KKK assassin, Byron de la Beckwith, murdered civil rights organizer Medgar Evars; exactly one year later, Nelson Mandela received a life sentence for his organizing work in South Africa, and three years after that, in an amazing case, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Loving v. Virginia outlawed all prohibitions of so-called ‘interracial marriage.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_12


JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • Social Media Strategist (Alaska) – Our company is looking to add a social media strategist to our team to help our current and future customers all over Alaska who need help in that area to not have to worry about it anymore.
  • Grant Writer, Part Time Position (Bellevue, WA) – The Grant Writer is responsible for writing and submitting grants to foundations, corporate charitable giving programs and other grant-making organizations to raise funds for LifeWire. LifeWire’s mission is to end domestic violence by changing individual, institutional and societal beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate it.
  • QB Academic Instructor (North Dakota) – Function as an Academic Instructor in a classroom setting, providing instruction in skills necessary to master academic competencies. Provides instruction, administers tests and evaluates progress in reading, writing, social studies, science and mathematics understanding and proficiency. Provide remedial materials and instruction when required.
  • Paid Media Project Manager (Traverse City, MI) – You’re a copywriter who also understands how to analyze data. Not only can you write effective pay-per-click headlines and ad copy, you can use the data from industry-leading analytics technology to determine how well an ad is doing–and make adjustments to headlines, promotions or targeting strategies when necessary. Plus, you’re comfortable consulting with decision-makers of national companies.
  • Social Media/Web Coordinator (Maine) – Social Media / Web Coordinator needed for our growing restaurant company, El Rayo Taqueria. 
  • EVENT – from publicknowledge.org An announcement from Public Knowledge about a meeting today in D.C. at which P.K., the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others will talk of implications of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and more, focusing on empowering consumers to have full access to their own devices–from cell phones to e-readers and books.
  • EVENT – from aei.org A half-day event, still accepting ‘walk-in registration,’ organized by the American Enterprise Institute, on the future of cybersecurity in the wake of Snowden, a place in which being a ‘fly on the wall’ would be dandy.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from loc.gov/digitalpreservation A Library of Congress portal that presents information about an upcoming digital preservation panel and other future happenings.
  • from loebner.net  A portal that gives us access to Alan Turing’s still-amazing paper, “Computing Machinery & Intelligence,” which appeared in the 59th volume–1950–of the journal, Mind.
  • from youtube.com  An interview with Philip Seymour Hoffman about happiness, film, consciousness, and more, an animated smorgasbord.
  • from journalism.org/  A link to the Pew Foundation’s Journalism Initiative, of basic import to a union of freelancers.

 

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from articles.baltimoresun.com An opinion essay and analysis from the Baltimore Sun that puts the current intersecting crises of journalism and mass media into interesting and arguably important perspective—

“American journalism needs to discover new ways to bring regular people into the conversation. I’m not talking about more cheap social media tricks that ask people whether they agree with a court decision or what they plan to do over the long weekend. I’m referring to ongoing efforts to bring real people’s stories — with their conflicts of interest, their messiness, their refusal to be categorized in partisan terms — directly to the public.

The loss of thousands of journalism jobs in recent years has made journalists even more self-obsessed. This concern about the survival of their careers and their outlets is understandable but counterproductive. Journalists don’t look very useful when Americans constantly see them talking among themselves about themselves.

Journalists, look beyond the next website redesign, the new business model. Think about being not just democracy’s watchdog but an active participant in its making.”

  • http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/news/newsletter/201406.pdf  Library of Congress’ Digital Preservation Newsletter, the contents of which will become more and more central to writers’ capacities to maintain control of, access to, and general maintenance of their own work in this digital age.
  • from pando.com  A Pando Digest report from Southland that helps to package the way that media and connectivity, on which writers’ lives and livelihoods hang, exacerbates inequality.
  • from thomhartmann.com  Thom Hartmann’s briefing regarding the James Risen case and the amendment to the Commerce and other Federal Departments’ appropriation bill that contains Representative Alan Grayson’s shield law amendment noted in yesterday’s Daily Links.
  • from niemanlab.org  A Nieman Journalism Lab report about Slack, a chat application that has become very popular among corporate media newsrooms and, who knows? might prove useful to more humble networks of writers.

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • from fas.org  The U.S. Army’s Central Command Classification-&-Security Guide, which, Steve Aftergood posits, may countermand aspects of Executive Orders and other guidance from the government about classification, cyber-security, and more.
  • from counterpunch.org   A cheeky and pointedly sardonic Counterpunch report and analysis of the fraudulence of much of contemporary mediation and what those interested in media, working in media, and so on might think and consider acting upon in this regard.
  • from fas.org  The Information Security Oversight Office’s delayed response to Marine Colonel James Weirick’s lawsuit over the classification of certain images and videos several years ago.
  • from fas.org James Weirick’s ‘whistleblower’s’ complaint against classifying certain videos and images that deal with the desecration of bodies by U.S. combatants and more, all of which transpired in what Weirick alleges was a top-down interference with the SOP course of military justice.
  • from gigaom.com   A GigaOm assessment that contextualizes how consumers, and writers, ought to be thinking about broadband and cable regulation and usage issues.
  • from patriotprivacy.com/videois/  A more-or-less Tea Partyish sales pitch for a personal cybersecurity guide that is fascinating both for its content and for its similarity to what many ‘leftists’ are saying about such issues.
  • from youtube.com/watch?v=GXIu4MzXI5I  A portal to Al Gore’s comments at the Southland Media Conference in his home state’s capital of Nashville, in which he called for a ‘Digital Magna Carta’ and a nuanced view of Edward Snowden that recognized his work as more that of a patriot than a traitor.
  • from mashable.com  A historical and analytical essay from Mashable that focuses on the “Eugene Goostman” computer program’s passing the so-called Turing Test, and the degree and way in which such a threshold matters.
  • from smh.com.au   A briefing from Sydney Morning Herald of what an algorithm determined in regard to Wikipedia producers and users, that Karl Linnaeus was more ‘important’ that Jesus, Hitler, or Aristotle.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from thehill.com   An announcement from The Hill of a ten million dollar seed-grant program, from Department of Energy, for the development of electric-grid-reliability software, a minor but important piece of the present-day political economic puzzle of particular interest to anyone dependent on virtual relationships at work or play.
  • from nakedcapitalism.com  A cross-posting at Naked Capitalism of a “lapsed blogger’s”–and current freelancer’s–analysis of ‘student loan week’ among National Democrats, which the author assesses as primarily irrelevant, partially fraudulent, and, in relation to Elizabeth Warren’s bill, “not designed to pass”–instead, “the goal ought to be to make student loans irrelevant.  Low- or no-cost public options for higher education helped create the middle class during the Great Compression, and with the pool of money used for existing student aid initiatives, i.e. tax breaks and grants, you could pay the tuition of every student enrolled in a public university.”
  • from thecrimereport.org  A preview from The Crime Reportof a conference today that kicks off a National Academies of Science/National Research Council led effort to reformulate how agencies collect crime data, an issue of possibly massive import in a society that has the highest incarceration rate in history and shows plenty of signs of wanting to put more people under the thumb of prisons in one way or another.
  • from atlantaprogressivenews.com An investigative report from Atlanta Progressive News which details some of the developments at the Savannah River Site near Augusta, Georgia, where both national and international high-level radioactive waste is finding a ‘permanent home’ near one of the most significant earthquake faults in the Eastern U.S.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info/article38760.htm  A gem from Information Clearinghouse that demonstrates that current Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was in the first decade of this century a formal or informal agent of the U.S. State Department, which the author suggests is the ultimate dream in relation to prime real estate like Ukraine, to have an ‘insider’ of ours in charge of everything.
  • from nytimes.com  A Times breaking-news report of a California Superior Court’s decision in favor of a billionaire-backed lawsuit that eviscerates teacher tenure and other union-won rights of organized educators.
  • from theguardian.com  A Guardian commentary and analysis about a recent French ‘citizens’ report on public debt’ that recommends basically reneging on most of it, the implications of which are huge: “(I)f it were shown that public debts were somehow illegitimate, that citizens had a right to demand a moratorium – and even the cancellation of part of these debts – the political implications would be huge.  It is hard to think of an event that would transform social life as profoundly and rapidly as the emancipation of societies from the constraints of debt.”
  • from thecrimereport.org  A summary and update, from The Crime Report, of a conference last week that brought together public health advocates and criminologists who agreed on one thing: the ‘criminal justice’ system in this country desperately needs “a cure” that the application of public health and other analytical principles might help to foster.

 

GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

  • from nsf.gov/discoveries  Part Fifteen in National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Network’s series of reports, which deals with the impacts of agricultural and other uses of fertilizer on greenhouse gases and, quite likely, global warming–the report notes that “Agriculture accounts for 8 to 14 percent of all greenhouse gas production globally.”
  • from smh.com.au   A Sydney Morning Herald analysis of a National Security Archive declassified report of the ‘Goldsboro incident’ in North Carolina in 1961, in which a hydrogen bomb nearly detonated in a mid-air breakup of a B-52 carrying two such weapons.
  • from stuff.co.nz A report from New Zealand’s Stuff about present-day struggles by Chile’s indigenous Mapuche people to regain access to and control of their ancestral land and resources, all in the context of huge battles over resources, ranging from minerals to water.
  • from wsj.com  A lengthy and provocative report, passed along by Wall Street Journal, from the Council of State Governments Justice Center, which among other things details the vicious policies that end up placing tens of thousands or more young people each year behind bars or otherwise in the thrall of the criminal justice system, which all parties concerned agree is a bad result that is nonetheless getting more pronounced.
  • from nap.edu  A National Academies Press monograph that distills and summarizes the technological spectrum of national security, of immense import in political economy, social relations, and more.
  • from loc.gov   A portal to a Library of Congress comparative report that examines the way that fourteen nations, other than the U.S., finance construction and upkeep of road infrastructures.
  • from globalresearch.ca A piece from Global Research’s archives that questions provocatively the notion that World War Two was a ‘good war,’ starting with the bombing of Dresden and including many other cases of barbarity and hypocrisy on the part of the victors–by Dr. Jacques Pauewels, who is the author of The Myth of the Good War: the U.S. in World War Two.
  • from labornotes.org  A review-essay from Labor Notes that examines a recent scholarly report that poses the provocative question, “Do Poor Kids Deserve Lower Quality Education Than Rich Kids?”

6/11/2014

Quote of the Day

If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.” Ernesto Guevara

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS
  • Creative Director for Web Design – 3D printing Rock Hill SC – Designing and developing website content, consolidating existing web properties effectively and keeping marketing goals and deadlines in mind
  • Writer/Editorial Assistant, Princeton NJ – The main responsibility for this employee would be as a news writer for PAW’s campus-news section, called On The Campus. This person would cover campus news by conducting interviews in person and on the telephone; reporting on lectures, student activities, meetings, and other events; developing ideas for short articles, and writing briefs.
  • Bauman Rare Books, Las Vegas, NV – We seek an articulate, well-read, energetic individual for a long-term, full-time bookseller position at our Las Vegas gallery. 
  • Greater Cleveland Media Development (OH) – VP Media Operations. Mission: Promote the increase of media production in Northeast Ohio using effective strategies for attraction and workforce development including building an artistic infrastructure through film.
  • Darmouth College, NH – Dartmouth College seeks an experienced and versatile communications professional to help conceive and implement communications strategies and develop content in various media that advance the strategic goals of the Alumni Relations and Development programs.
  • Consumer Reports (Yonkers, NY) – Consumer Reports is looking for a seasoned editorial pro to join our Health and Food Consumer Focus Area. 
ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING
  • from inthepublicinterest.org  A liberal think tank’s excellent move to create a “scholar’s network” in which many NWU members might take part and from which most NWU members might benefit.
  • from politicalresearch.org One of many recent investigations from Political Research Associates with which savvy writers who want to grow a union should be familiar, in this case an analysis of the background and undergirding of the generalized attack against organizing initiatives among currently unorganized and low-paid workers.
  • from arstechnica.com Another new Soapbox thread fromArs Technica, this time concerning a member’s desire to refute the idea that policies of austerity are economically credible.
  • from epic.org  A link to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a principal party in the successful attempt, after six years, to declassify George W. Bush’s security directive on cyberspace, a battle for which the Obama administration has done almost all the fighting in attempting to keep the data from public eyes.
WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS
  • from bbc.com  A report fromBBC about the National Union of Journalists’ decision to ballot its members as a possible prelude to a strike or other action, regarding the one per cent pay hike offered by the corporation and the union’s demand to lower what it sees as bloated manger-and-senior-executive salaries and bonuses, along with attacking other ‘inefficiencies.’
  • from gpo.gov   An example of what a union of writers that included many researchers, reporters, and community activists might monitor carefully in a systematic way, the Government Printing Office’sDaily Digest of Congressional activity, in this case for the House of Representatives.
  • from jotformpro.com   An arguably crucial petition for all who consider themselves ‘progressive’ writers to sign, dealing with the proposed sell-off of at least four Pacifica Radio ‘flagship stations,’ including WBAI in New York and KPFT in Houston.
  • from fas.org ACongressional Record excerpt passed along by Steven Aftergood ofSecrecy News, providing Representative Alan Grayson’s statement about his recently passed amendment to multi-department appropriations legislation, which provides for an at least fairly robust ‘Shield Law’ for journalists–pertinently noting, “For purposes of this amendment, the definition of a ‘reporter’ includes: any person, natural person, or entity who releases, reports on, or provides information of a classified or unclassified nature to a public audience or on the internet, does so on a regular basis, and receives compensation for doing so. The term ‘reporter’ is a description of a profession.”

“For purposes of this amendment, the definition of a ‘journalist’ includes: any person, natural person, or entity who releases, reports on, or provides information of a classified or unclassified nature to a public audience or on the internet, and does so on a regular or an irregular basis. The term ‘journalism’ describes an act, not a profession(emphasis added). A person, entity, or natural person is a journalist so long as he or she is engaged in the act of journalism. An act of journalism involves the collection, analysis, description, dissemination, and/or publication of information,”

  • from benton.org  A Benton.org portal to an Associated Press report about the potential for the Supreme Court to consider clarifying and specifying under what circumstances virtual speech becomes criminal or otherwise actionable.
  • from online.wsj.com   A Wall Street Journal report about Al Jazeera’s settled lawsuit with ATT, which originated after Al Jazeera purchased Current TV and expected its offerings to continue as part of ATT’s cable package, which ATT refused, the upshot being that the entire matter is now under seal–and unavailable–when these issues are arguably of critical import to working writers and citizens both.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • from fas.org The most recent Information Security Oversight Office’s annual report–covering 2013–which shows a significant decline in classification requests for a second year running–hat tips to Steven Aftergood and Federation of American Scientists for this material, which would otherwise be unavailable.
  • from fas.org The “lightly redacted” version of President Bush’s National Presidential Security Directive #54, after a five year battle with Federation of American Scientists and others, concerning issues of ‘security in cyberspace.’
  • from fas.org The complete text, from the Federal Register of President Obama’s 2009-10 Executive Order that at least on the surface called for more openness and less secrecy–again thanks to FAS and Steven Aftergood.
  • from brookings.edu  A Brookings Institution report about a trend that it calls the emergence of “innovation districts,” a central component of having even a ghost of a chance for viable capitalism, which in turn absolutely necessitates more oversight, government intervention, and other aspects of social democracy.
  • from gigaom.com   A report from GigaOm that argues that any ‘era of big data’ must also be an epoch of open data that contains necessary contextualization to make it comprehensible and useful.
  • from benton.or  An essay analysis of the 1996 Telecommunication Act’s requirement of biennial review of ‘media regulation’–what the author calls a “consolation prize” to Fox News, which wanted much regulation just scotched altogether–the upshot of which, even after biennial became quadrennial, has been massive litigation against and expense to and inefficiency in the FCC’s operations.
  • from benton.org Benton.org summary of aGigaOm deconstruction of the function and purpose of the so-called ‘Internet-of-Things,’ which is basically to create more data that can help sell people stuff or otherwise exploit their proclivities and needs.


RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

  • from thinkprogress.org A somehow both lovely and ravishing report fromThink Progress about a Waffle-House waitress whom her employer forced to return a thousand dollar ‘angel’ tip that a customer had put on a credit card, the notion of such huge gratuities a growing trend in a world riven by class viciousness.
  • from france24.com  A report from France24 about the negotiations to come to terms about Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and nuclear ambitions generally, an issue of paramount importance in terms of the political economy of empire, the political economy of energy, and the political economy of war.
  • from portside.org  An important piece of reportage, cross-posted by the author to Portside, that explicates what so far is virtually invisible in corporate media outlets, i.e., that ‘leftist’ European parties gained much more and did vastly better in recent European Union elections than did ‘right-wing,’ anti-immigrant, and neofascist parties.
  • from forbiddenknowledgetv.com  A frightening video, unvetted but with what appears at first glance to be government data to back it up, that indicates that throughout the U.S. levels of radiation in the neighborhood of ten to fifteen times background levels, or even higher, facts, seemingly, that absolutely ‘no one from corporate media is reporting,’ as the video notes–all of which stems from data presented by the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center, http://netc.com/, which is not a bunch of whack-jobs, at least on the surface.
  • from thehill.com  A briefing from The Hill’s public transportation blog about DOT’s approval of the first commercial drone overflights, to monitor pipelines and other petrochemical assets and needs.
  • from loc.gov   A Library of Congress Global Legal Monitor briefing about Italy’s highest court’s recent decision that accepted the decriminalization of ‘soft drugs’ more or less across the board throughout Italy.
  • from wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/10/cuba-j10.html  An analysis of a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce visit to Cuba, which World Socialist Website  conextualizes as an assessment both of the Cuban revolution generally and of the current situation in particular.


GENERAL PRESENT AND PAST ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS

 

  • from inthepublicinterest.org  An In the Public Interest Scholar’s Network report that concludes that massive economic costs, externalized from the price tag, accompany municipal and other government’s outsourcing services and duties.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info   A ninety minute lecture from Noam Chomsky, thanks to Information Clearinghouse, about the apt question of whether humanity will survive the current pass, dominated by imperial threats of mass collective suicide, policies that practically guarantee ecocidal frenzy, and so  forth.
  • from ipsnews.net A general report and analysis from Inter Press Service that provides an overview of inequality on the current scene, rich in graphics, data, and citations.
  • from loc.gov  A Library of Congress Research Report that examines the centrally important matter of genetically modified organisms, comparing different national legislative responses and public opinion in different countries, among other things.
  • from propublica.org  A podcast from Pro Publica that contains an interview with a longstanding investigative journalist whose beat is Wall Street, about what whistleblowers against ‘the one per cent’ can expect–in general, getting sacked metaphorically, at best.
  • http://sos-bees.org/  A Greenpeace-supported portal that ought to be at the top of the list for any human being whose death wish is not his or her number one priority, about pesticides-as-threats to bees, on which all plant and animal life very likely depends.
  • http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/lobbyist-profiles/208733-solitary-hard-labor  A report from The Hill that, incredibly, presents ‘insider’ views that the National Labor Relations Board is operating in a pro-labor-union fashion, which if nothing else contextualizes how hideous the present pass is for those who believe in organized labor.

6/10/2014

Quote of the Day

“Simply by making noises with our mouths(or marks on different media), we can reliably cause precise new combinations of ideas to arise in each other’s minds.  The ability comes so naturally that we are apt to forget what a miracle it is.”  Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

The twenty-five percent dues increase is on. A dues increase, pursuant to a decision at the recent UAW convention, is forthcoming.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • Technical Writer/Editor (Marietta, GA) – Perform technical edit/audit on aircraft component operational/maintenance technical documentation (e.g. manuals, service bulletins, supplements) that have been created or revised. Email for salary requirements.
  • The Star Press (Muncie, IN) This is an incredible time to be part of the media and digital landscape. Digital platforms are taking the lead and The Star Press is looking for a full-time digital producer to help us engage our audience on our mobile, tablet, desktop and social media platforms.
  • Aransas Pass Progress (Texas) – The Aransas Pass Progress and Ingleside Index, twin weekly newspapers on the Texas coast near Corpus Christi, is seeking a full-time reporter to cover a wide range of sports, meetings and events, write stories, and take pictures.
  • Home Improvement Copy Writer (anywhere) – TrustedPros a is site dedicated to helping consumers find trusted and reliable service professionals and information for their home improvement projects. We need someone to help build our library of articles with unique, non-cookie-cutter content. Submit cents-per-word requirements with application.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from eff.org A call from Electronic Frontier Foundation for debate and action to protect the Internet, which can’t be a bad thing at least to consider among a union of progressive writers, even if all sorts of complicating factors are present.
  • from eenews.net  Another ‘establishment’ linkage that nonetheless proffers tons of data and hard-to-find otherwise information and analysis about energy and environment issues, in articles largely written on a ‘for hire’ basis or as freelancers.
  • from labornotes.org   A Labor Notes profile of four union staffers who present ideas about how to work within unions but continue to stand for organizational democracy and against bureaucracy and the presumption of the corporate-union alliance and so forth.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from nytimes.com  A Times news analysis that details instances of non-compete clauses’ use against freelancers, a clear and present danger to writers, editors, and other ‘intellectuals,’ as well as to regular wage earners in diverse fields.
  • from stuff.co.nz  A report from New Zealand’s Stuff that documents and analyzes well-funded and corporate-organized trolling against activists of all stripes, an assessment of arguably critical import to progressive writers.
  • from niemanlab.org Nieman Journalism Lab summary and briefing about the issues underlying Time Magazine’s recent ‘independence’ from the corporate behemoth that bears its name, an anxiety-laden launching of the liberated periodical in a context that freelance writers know all too well–getting people to pay for words is a tough business.
  • from medium.com  A report and brief from Medium of its relaunch of the investigative and research virtual periodical Matter, which will focus on science and culture and policy, in terms of both process and content an important event for freelancers to monitor.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from tuff.co.nz  An article from New Zealand’s Stuff  that puts faith in the capacity of consumer choices to permit some semblance of privacy despite all manner of back doors and so forth.
  • from nytimes.com Times event review of DigiFestNYC, in which YouTube superstars and similar hoi-polloi of the twenty-first century appeared on three stages for 12,500 paying fans.
  • from jacobinmag.com A scathing essay from Jabobin about the hideous viciousness that “bad science” and monopoly patent control bring to the present–and perhaps the inherent–operation of today’s capitalist system.
  • from independent.co.uk  A report from England’s Independent about the first-ever case of a computer’s passing a very liberal version–thirty per cent success was adequate–of the “Turing Test,” the proposition imagined by math-whiz Alan Turing in which a machine successfully duped people–in answering their questions–into believing that it was a human respondent.
  • from stuff.co.nz  A posting from New Zealand’s Stuff that shows the reach and corporate backing for the “Reset-the-Net” campaign, to which Edward Snowden has also recently given his nod.
  • from niemanlab.org Nieman Journalism Lab’s whimsical and yet chillingly serious look at how to ‘think like a media agency’ in plotting a minimum quarter-million-dollar advertising campaign, using an app that crunches the necessary numbers and sets the grotesquely 1%-oriented parameters.
  • from pando.com Pando Daily Digestsummary and briefing about the U.S. State Department’s recent announcement of funding to help fight snooping of the sort practiced by the National Security Agency, a ‘catch-22’ Orwellian scenario that requires a more thorough deconstruction despite the fact that one must start somewhere

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from thehill.com  A summary from The Hill that discusses Elizabeth Warren’s bill to permit old student loan holders to refinance at lower rates offered now and the President’s support for the act after his initial reluctance to be a backer, in the end nothing showing up her that moves past the most tepid sorts of reform.
  • from toomuchonline.org  A Too Much review essay that offers kudos to Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Centurybut insists that the arguments of an earlier volume, by a pair of epidemiologists, is also critical to consider because it–Spirit Level–Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better–points out the social background and relational aspects of the political and economic problems that Piketty examines.
  • from mondediplo.com An essay from Le Monde Diplomatique that examines Thomas Piketty’s monograph as well, but in the context of a comparison with Karl Merx’s work, especially Capital, a context that permits both deeper philosophical and political issues to emerge that would normally be the case, making the somewhat obvious point in passing that “Marxism was virtually frozen out of the US academy and evicted from political discourse, an exclusion that continues today.”
  • from yesmagazine.org Yes! Magazine investigative report that shows both the fascistic criminalization of poverty in the South, in the service of ‘privatized probation services,’ and the spate of instances in which local judges have overturned these profiteers’ right to jail poor people for not paying all manner of fees and fines and so forth.
  • from thesouthlawn.wordpress.com  The newest post from Southlawn that argues cogently against even considering Birmingham’s bid for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

 

  • from mattstoller.tumblr.com A Tumblr post from Matt Stoller that essentially debunks the notion that liberalism has a place to stand anymore, arguing among other things that “(t)he identity politics of the Democratic Party has been utterly inverted, turned into mechanism to crush unionism and economic justice.”
  • from understandingsociety.blogspot.frAn Understanding Society blog that offers a review essay of a monograph that examines the political-economic critique of ‘free-market fundamentalism’ advance by Karl Polanyi, pertinent to writers who are struggling to make ends meet as well as others.
  • from counterpunch.org  A Counterpunch presentation of a News Junkie Post essay that posits post-9/11 U.S. society as a close match to the dystopia imagined in Orwell’s 1984.
  • from jaredbernsteinblog.com A Jared Bernstein blog that offers a ‘policy wonk’s’ contextualization of why capital kicks labor’s ass, in which the author argues that the way the practice of economics “interacts with wealth and power today to support capital and hamstring labor” is a significant part of the overall problem.
  • from truth-out.org  A Truthout interview with Henry Giroux that focuses on nascent fascism and what ‘leftists’ can do about such matters.
  • from inthesetimes.com  An In These Times investigative analysis that examines the way that ‘recruiting companies’ simultaneously attack the jobs of local–at least occasionally unionized teachers–while also massively exploiting ‘recruits’ from countries such as the Philippines.
  • from washingtonpost.com  A lengthy report and analysis of the Gates Foundation’s funding of the almost overnight adoption of “common core standards,” and thinking, throughout administrative and policy levels in the U.S., which, the article notes at the very end, has at the very least “subtly muffled dissent.”

6/09/2014

Quote of the Day

“It is always at her own risk an peril that Utopia transforms herself into an insurrection, and from philosophic protest becomes an armed protest… .(A)lmost always she is too soon. Then she resigns herself, and stoically accepts, instead of triumph, catastrophe. …(nevertheless), (s)he is indomitable against hindrance, and gentle towards ingratitude.” Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • B2B Publishing, Book Publishing, Graphic Design/Art Direction, Internet/Online/New Media, Magazine Publishing, Social Media
  • A Science and Technology Policy conference from the Gordon Research Center for which expense and stipend funding is conceivably available for those who want to present papers and workshops.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • A quarter century public intellectual whose reports on educational idiocy, juvenile injustice, and youth oppression generally ought to be required reading for any writer interested in schools, learning, justice, et al.
  • An Ars Technica open “Soapbox” forum that is just getting started and inquires whether a truly ‘transparent’ ‘intelligence agency’ might be possible.
  • A provocative analysis from Dissident Voice, “a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice,” that suggests that if what the people of the world want–including its writers, of course–is a mass collective suicide in the form of World War Three, then they are doing all the right things.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • A report from the Digital Media Law Project that investigates who gains access to press passes, under what circumstances the right is denied, and so on.
  • A background assessment of Alain de Botton’s recent suggestion that disconnecting from Twitter would improve mental health, that New Zealand’s Stuff proffers as a top article for the day.
  • A thorough and comment-rich posting from GigaOm about a recent hearing in NYC about the issue of downstream sales of digital intellectual property.
  • A Benton.org summary of a GigaOm posting that analyzes the Amazon-Hachette dispute and finds, unsurprisingly, that some people back Amazon.
  • A brief from The Hill about Corporation for Public Broadcasting warnings that community access to public television is already under attack and that the FCC is getting ready to reduce further at least some oversight that promotes such access.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • A report from Sydney Morning Herald, about the tendency for athletic kids to receive plus-or-minus four hours per week of junk food advertising from their ‘generous sponsors,’ such as McDonalds, that likely promotes the opposite of what their sports endeavors would seek to develop.
  • A White Paper from the establishment thinktank Solar Winds on the ‘standard-operating-procedure’ in regard to cybersecurity.
  • A TruthOut op-ed in which the author argues that socialist relations for the hyper-rich are destroying chances for straightforward social democracy for the rest of society, describing the present pass as “an era in which the commons, our public spaces and institutions, are being fought over by private enterprise and multinational corporations.”
  • A Times news analysis that indicates that “Internet giants” are actually resisting government intrusion into their servers for purposes of monitoring things–citizens, terrorists, and more.
  • A film-review and essay from Salon of Obvious Child, a French movie with what the author terms is a ‘fairy-tale revolutionary’ message, that women can have wild sex, abortions, and excellent lives all at the same time.
  • Stuff’s report on a New Zealand case that certifies that text messages constitute legal publications by themselves and, if ‘objectionable’ in the sense of predation, can lead to prison.
  • A report from ‘down under’ that indicates that USPS is not alone among postal services in trouble.
  • A report from The Hill that suggests that the evisceration of National Security Agency ‘reform’ in the House of Representatives is turning into a ‘real debate’ about change in the Senate.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • An Op-Ed News article about Ukraine’s recent loss of control of its Easternmost borders with Russia that reports a Russian speaker’s and longtime academic’s reading of recent little-reported facts, on the one hand, and includes his correspondence with publications that refuse even to consider his articles, on the other hand.
  • A briefing from GovExec.com on the ‘reduction-in-force’ that is characterizing Federal hiring and jobs stability generally.
  • A bracing look, from EcoWatch, of a student’s experiences while traveling in Japan that appear suspiciously similar to radiation poisoning, about which thousands and thousands of Japanese are also complaining but which the government not only does not investigate but also makes illegal to talk about.
  • Another gem from Radley Balko at WaPo, which demonstrates the noisome propaganda practices of the anti-pot ‘police forces’ of the country, in this case in regard to a nearly passed-out-drunk driver whose collision with a police roadblock media outlets in Colorado had characterized as a pot-induced accident.
  • Counterpunch’s report about recent U.S. economic statistics, how unreliable, decontextualized, and distorted they are and what those who want good data might do together to counter such trends.
  • New Zealand Stuff’s news brief about various German intelligence-agency stations that function as Internet monitoring and spy stations, only recently acknowledge and now even sign-posted.
  • A World Socialist Website report about the closure of Detroit’s award winning school for pregnant teens, a casualty of cutback and crisis and social meltdown in Motown.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • A Salon report–hat tap to Steering Committee member Sandra Campbell–on the political economy and history of rising tuition, crushing indebtedness, and other dysfunctionality of contemporary higher education.
  • A crucially important report from Counterpunch about a key U.S. export and policy priority, i.e., increasing criminalization generally and incarceration rates specifically.
  • An Inter Press Service News Agency report from Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire, whose ‘common vision’ remains the outright “abolition of militarism.”
  • A Rolling Stone overview of the continuing ‘controversies’ about birth control that specifies loci of prevailing opposition to women’s and couple’s rights in this regard.
  • An absolutely fascinating background and bibliography from Library of Congress on the nitty-gritty functioning of social class, in the form of the roughly twenty-five per cent of plus-or-minus one quarter of early twentieth century English peerage weddings that involved American heiresses.
  • A Slate retrospective that clarifies that pro-segregation activism was primarily at the root of the formation of what we now term ‘the religious right.’
  • A History News Network blog by a SUNY Albany emeritus history professor whose satirical novel, What’s Going on at UAardvaark also deals with the topic of his essay, which is the hideous malformations and policy snafus of contemporary higher education.
  • An overview from the publisher of To Win a Nuclear War: the Pentagon’s Secret War Plans that include first strike options against Russia.
  • An op-ed from Al Jazeera in which the author argues that citizens in the aftermath of the start of the Great Depression struggled less than folks do today, in the aftermath of ‘business as usual,’ version 5.0.

6/06/2014

Quote of the Day

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed.  Everything else is public relations.”  George Orwell;http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/newsflash_fukushima_is_still_a_disaster_20140603/.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • from attendee.gotowebinar.com A registration portal for an Institute for Policy Studies webinar, “Getting to a Peace Economy,” scheduled for next Friday noon to one.
  • Seattle, WA – The Marguerite Casey Foundation is seeking a Reporter who will be responsible for developing a wide variety of written materials for external dissemination. Primary duties include writing and editing news stories for and the promotion of the Equal Voice online newspaper.
  • Bryan, OH – The Bryan Times has an opening for an experienced Reporter who is passionate about community journalism.  Duties include politics, feature writing, local government, digital media, copy editing and page layout and design.
  • Fargo, ND – Seeking a higher education reporter
    Are you a news reporter who wants your work to regularly grace Page One? Are you a dogged pursuer of truth, no matter where it takes you? If you answered yes to these questions, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead wants to meet you.
  • Johannesburg, Other – AFKInsider, a website that deals with news in Africa, seeks freelance sports writers to cover both National and Club soccer in Africa and African professional soccer players across European teams in England, Spain, Germany, Belgium, France and Italy. Compensation is $50 to $150 per story.
  • Corvallis, OR – The department of Extension and Experiment Station Communications (EESC) invites applications for a Public Service Communications Specialist (Writer). This is a full-time, fixed-term Professional Faculty position. This position is renewable beyond June 30, 2015 based upon available funding. Salary is commensurate with education and experience.
  • The Daily Inter Lake, based in Kalispell, Montana, has an immediate opening for a cops and courts reporter. .

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://exposefacts.org/  Launched on Wednesday, a website and organization backed by the likes of Daniel Ellsberg and Barbara Ehrenreich that seeks to create a support network and context of encouragement for whistleblowers, rabblerousers, journalists, and others of those who would reveal and investigate how the world really works.
  • from deutsch29.wordpress.com  Mercedes Schneider’s EduBlog, which in this installment eviscerates the recently touted notion that the New Orleans Recovery School District, which is basically 100% charter schools, is any sort of success, one of hundreds of critically important articles here for educators, thinkers, and writers with a bent toward education and thought.

 

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from thehill.com  An opportunity that is not a job, from The Hill, which, even if the publication would refuse most progressive voices, represents a model to which an aspiring union of aspiring communicators ought to consider implementing and following.
  • from accuracy.org  A press release from the Institute for Policy Accuracy, of its newly opened project to protect and encourage whistleblowers, a key portal for writers who want to report or comment on the hidden aspects of contemporary society, which is to say most of contemporary society.
  • from niemanlab.org  A briefing fromNieman Journalism Lab about the policies behind press passes, the subject of a recent comprehensive report, whose author is the subject of this article’s second half, and interview with Jeff Hermes.
  • from niemanlab.org Nieman Journalism Lab’s analysis of Times’ Upshot data about the recession, which focuses on the impacts in media businesses, where, for instance, publishing has experienced a half-a-million worker set of job losses.
  • from benton.org Kevin Taglang’s and Benton.org’ssummary of a Columbia Journalism Review report on the Digital Media Law Project’s report on credentialling, sourced below as well, which finds that plus-or-minus twenty per cent of writers have their requests for a press pass refused at one point or another.

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from multichannel.com  A brief about a recent instance, fromMultichannel, of ‘revolving door’ politics, in this case a former FCC Commissioner’s appointment to Mastercard’s thirteen member board.
  • from rollingstone.com  A Rolling Stone brief, linked to a longer story, about pop-icon Justin Bieber’s creation of a white-supremacist, bigoted, and violent video when he was fourteen, which has shown up online so that he can “own up to it,” or not.
  • from pando.com  Pando Daily’s announcement that its prediction of Pierre Omidyar’s inside track to cash and prizes in India’s new government was correct, with the upshot’s being the E-Bayification of the subcontinent and more.
  • from techdirt.com  Another look, this time form Tech Dirt, at the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s case against the NSA and Department of Justice, in part because these agencies of our ‘democratic’ government destroyed evidence and lied to the court about that and more.
  • from pando.com  Pando Daily’s report about telecommunications and media companies’ efforts to end FCC oversight of their handling of customer data, the resale of which to third parties is a ten billion-dollar-a-year business that is growing.
  • from fas.org  Another possibility for knowledge and action thanks to the efforts of Steven Aftergood and the Federation of American Scientists, that presents a report from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board about the NSA’s data collection nets, which the PCLOB describes in significant part as likely illegal.
  • from msnbc.com  An op-ed by Steven Aftergood and Congressman Rush Holt that argues cogently that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, charged with overseeing CIA, NSA, et al., needs ‘oversight’ by the citizenry.
  • from nakedcapitalism.com A critically important profferal from Naked Capitalism that examines in detail how such newsmakers as Wall Street Journal and New York Times systematically and knowingly mislead and befuddle people about such political-economic matters a slow growth, job loss, and so on and so forth.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from thehill.com  An analytical pundit’s blog about IMF largesse to the Ukraine, fromThe Hill, that highlights the gross inequity and likely hypocrisy that guide International Monetary Fund practice–“when there is a political willingness among the IMF’s major shareholders, there is no real limit as to how much money the IMF can loan a country”–a situation that hypothetically might seem ripe for ‘reform’ according to the author.
  • from smh.com.au  A very helpful “plain English” explanation from Sydney Morning Herald of the European Central Bank’s recent announcement of ‘negative interest rates,’ covering the phrase’s meaning itself and useful conextualization of related concepts and policies.
  • from nytimes.com TheTimes report on a lawsuit that attacks long-term solitary confinement–which is ubiquitous in prisons–as a warehousing and inmate-control strategy.
  • from washingtonpost.com  WaPo’s printing of William Barber’s syndicated column from Religion News Service about the Moral Monday leader’s decision to march with McDonald’s workers to the corporation’s headquarters in Chicago to protest low wages, where 101 of them ended up going to jail rather than dispersing, one instance of what Barber calls a skirmish in the Third Reconstruction, a fight for rights and benefits by workers.
  • from consortiumnews.com   Consortium News’ perspectives on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, a thorough and insightful and provocative explication of the book and the brouhaha surrounding it.
  • from france24.com A report from France24 about Bowe Bergdahl’s Idaho hometown’s calling off the welcome home rally organizers there had scheduled for what they described as a ‘bookish and athletic loner’ who is now at the center of another hypocrisy-laden shitstorm.
  • from rt.com RT’s compilations of intelligence and insight courtesy of Vladmir Putin, from a press conference with French journalists in Normandy on the seventieth anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
  • from rollingstone.com  A warning from Rolling Stone that the present imbroglio over Bowe Bergdahl is replete with distortion, misinformation, and outright falsehood, howsurprising.

 

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from thehill.com A report and analysis from a special correspondent with The Hill which provides insights about how established groups and interests in East Asia worry about the capacity of the U.S. to fill its imperial boots, as it were, and protect the property and domain of upper-crust allies.
  • from usw.org  An analysis from United Steelworkers President, Leo Gerard, of the underpinnings and issues surrounding corporate pay structures that grossly inflate CEO compensation while relentlessly denigrating and driving down the wages of regular employees.
  • from arstechnica.com  Ars Technica’s lively open forum on marijuana legalization, a chink in the armor of the War on Drugs, a step in the right direction perhaps, etc.
  • from truth-out.org A review-essay fromTruthout of Jose Vilson’s monograph, This Is Not a Test: a New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, which thoroughly deconstructs and critiques common core and other ‘standards’ not popular in ‘data-driven education,’ an upshot of which is noteworthy: “when students in North Carolina invited business and industry professionals to take released high-stakes tests, most of the adults failed.”
  • from deutsch29.wordpress.com   Mercedes Schneider’s plug for her book, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education, which, as the title suggests names names and analyzes their connections in demonstrating the systemic and systematic character of the policy of crushing schools.
  • from ilo.org  An International Labor Organization report, World Social Protection…2014-15, which indicates in its global analysis that nearly three of four humans on the planet now lack adequate social protection networks, practices, policies, etc.
  • from nytimes.com  A presentation from the Times’upshot interactive service of 255 charts that depict the ‘great recession’s’ impacts.
  • from prwatch.org/node/12498  A report from PR Watch, “Who Is Behind the National Right to Work Committee and Its Anti-Union Crusade?” that turns up ‘the usual suspects’–the Koch brothers, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and so forth–again demonstrating the systemic and systematic attack on workers at the core of the, get it? system under which we operate.

6/05/14

Quote of the Day

“On any given day, nearly 7 million adult Americans are under the supervision of the nation’s criminal justice systems: in prison, on probation, or on parole.(1) That is more than 2 percent of the entire population and nearly 3 percent of the adult population.”  Salvatore Babones; http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24090-sixteen-for-16-number-11-an-end-to-the-prison-state.


JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • Journal Inquirer – Aggressive suburban daily needs a creative and nimble assistant editor for its Living section. Manchester, CT
  • Winnemucca Publishing is looking for a cops & courts reporter for The Humboldt Sun newspaper in Winnemucca, Nevada.
  • McElvy Media, LLC., a community media company in Houston, Texas, needs an energetic editor who believes content is still king. The company owns one weekly newspaper, The Leader, in the Houston market and will begin management of another in June
  • EVENT: from rollingstone.com For long-term calendar aficionados, a briefing from Rolling Stone about plans for a fiftieth anniversary celebration of Woodstock in 2019.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from thomas.loc.gov  Senator Bill Nelson’s resolution, honoring the union and civil rights work and legacy–which is trulyhuge–of A. Phillip Randolph, who was a native of Senator Nelson’s Flordia, where a certain writer’s union has more than a handful of members, an aspect of all of which is that this Resolution has languished in the Judiciary Committee for almost nine months without action.
  • from arstechnica.com/civis/index.php  An arguably essential portal for any writer interested in matters technological, at least in the vein of Computer Science and such, although as in any collection of nerds, at least a significant leaning in the direction of ‘scientism’ is often evident.
  • from eji.org/  A link to Bryan Stevenson’s attempt to put criminal justice reform on the front burner in this land of the unfree and home of the shackled that we have become.

 

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

 

  • from copyright.gov Federal Register announcement of a Roundtable Discussion three weeks hence on how auditing of cable and TV operators will take place under the terms of the Satellite Television Extension & Localism Act, to which the Library of Congress is inviting copyright holders and “other interested parties” to participate.
  • from rollingstone.com  A Rolling Stone report about a PEN awards ceremony that honored Kris Kristoferson and Randy Newman for the courage and beauty of their lyrics, T-Bone Burnett’s presentation to Kristoferson noting the origins of all written communication in musical communication.
  • from mobile.reuters.com  A freelance writer’s absolutely terrifying experience in losing access  or any capacity to resuscitate his Yahoo e-mail account after the company’s “sole discretion” assertion of ‘violation of the terms of service.”
  • from politico.com Politico blog about BBC’s further evisceration of its journalism by cutting more or less six per cent of its remaining reporting newsroom staff, which process the union for the writers has threatened to raise holy hell in resisting.
  • from towcenter.org  A Tow Center for Digital Journalism report, Amateur Footage: a Global Study of User Generated Content, with 153 pages of data and analysis full of complex implications for writers, freelancers, etc.

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from newyorker.com  A “Trigger Warnings” opinion analysis from New Yorker in which the author contends that desires for ‘safety’ and ‘security’ are at odds with some of the fundamental purposes of literature and other creative expression.
  • from arstechnica.com  An Ars Technica discussion forum on digital preservation, which the Library of Congress has also identified as a key media issue for our digitized and digitizing age.
  • from wsws.org A lyrical, heartrending, and brilliant film review and essay from World Socialist Website about a recent Romanian film, So Bright Is the View, which details the hideous social conditions of formerly socialist and corrupt states that have devolved into corrupt and predatory gangster-capitalist gulags from which escape to the U.S. or Israel is a rapidly deteriorating fantasy.
  • from smh.com.au   An at once laughable and pathetic briefing from Sydney Morning Herald about the U.S. Secret Service’s attempt to develop a “sarcasm detector” for its monitoring of social media.
  • http://benton.org/node/185528  A Benton.org summary of an Ars Technica report on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s longstanding Freedom of Information Act Suit that has sought access to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decisions and documents that have heretofore generally remained under seal.
  • from thehill.com A report from The Hill of plans by union activists to protest at T-Mobile’s shareholder meeting about violations of rights-to-organize among the company’s U.S. work force.
  • from theguardian.com  A hilarious and sobering report from The Guardian about comedian John Oliver’s directive to viewers and followers to avail themselves of the FCC’s 120-day open comment period to let the bureaucrats know peoples’ feelings about what the performer called “Cable Company fuckery.”

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from thecrimereport.org An update and continued linking from Crime Report about the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ damning report about the ‘criminal injustice system,’ Collateral Damage.
  • from xinhuanet.com  An interesting ‘collateral’ read from a nation with a significantly lower rate of incarceration and indictment than the U.S., China, which here presents its most recent ‘human rights white-paper.’
  • from theguardian.com  Another police-state posting, this time from The Guardian, from whence arguably the best ‘standard-journalistic’ work is originating about New Mexico’s growing protest against police violence.
  • from truthdig.com  Harvey Wasserman’s–whose Killing Our Own became a key organizing document for energy reformers, anti-nuclear activists, et al.–detailing of the continued disastrous consequences of Fukushima, which are being overwhelminglyunderreported, misreported, and ignored by corporate media outlets.
  • from smh.com.au  Another bellwether report from Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald, about the current political economy of mortgages, essentially demonstrating that those who don’t need ‘better deals’ get them while everyone else scrambles just to survive.
  • from thehill.com A report from The Hill about the Bergdahl transfer and the sure-to-go viral Taliban video of the Sergeant’s release.

 

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from arstechnica.com  A lengthy and topical Ars Technica thread on police corruption and abuse of power.
  • from rollingstone.com A report and analysis from Rolling Stone of a little-reported aspect of February’s trillion-dollar farm bill, an amendment that makes ‘industrial’ hemp a legal crop for the first time in sixty years.
  • from truth-out.org  An essential read from Truthout in which sociologist Salvatore Babones discusses sixteen topics of critical import for progressives in relation to the elections in 2016, in this case the hideous criminalization of life by the imperial highnesses in charge of everything.
  • from thecrimereport.org  A powerful briefing from the Crime Report about Veterans Treatment Courts, which help keep vets out prison pipelines for service-related tendencies to drink and get stoned a lot.
  • from eji.org/node/614  A TED-talk from Bryan Stevenson about “the power of identity” in relation to criminal justice reform.
  • from commondreams.org A Common Dreams summary and analysis of State-supported worker cooperative initiatives in Vermont, where Bernie Sanders is playing a key role and the Green Mountain State’s half-a-million citizens are providing more citizenship lessons for America at large and NWU’s At-Large Chapter.
  • from nsf.gov/  A National Science Foundation briefing about the ‘new superstars’ of brain science, glial cells, which apparently play important roles in early development, learning, and memory, rather than merely supporting the brain’s 100 billion neurons, only 15%, plus or minus, of the cells present in the cranial cavity.

6/04/14

Quote of the Day

With the people, for the people, by the people. I crack up when I hear it; I say, with the handful, for the handful, by the handful, cause that’s what really happens.”  Fannie Lou Hamer; http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/f/fannie_lou_hamer.html.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

With all the joke writing jobs out there, we make an effort to dig through the morass to find the ones that actually pay something approaching a reasonable wage, and that appear legit. So saying, some clever huckster might couch their pseudo job in terms that fool us, but, overall, we strive for quality leads.

  • Orange County, NY – Freelance Writer for Linked In Profiles
  • Nevada – Blogger; a Las Vegas-based internet marketing company in need of freelance writers who can write 300-600 word blog posts and landing pages for our our national and international clients. $5 per 100 words – not brilliant rates, but better than most
  • Academy Chemistry Proofreader – Project consists of papers accepted for publication and require high-quality proofreading for language and grammar. Rates to be discussed

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from globalresearch.ca  Another thorough and provocative analysis fromGlobal Research, in this case a powerful indictment of U.S. imperialism by a West Point graduate, former Army officer, and full time contemporary scribe.
  • from truth-out.org Truthout’s “radical cartoonist” Sarah Rosenblatt’s take on ‘astroturfing,’ fake grassroots organizing to support, from the ‘bottom up,’ evil, stupid, but highly profitable policies and activities.
  • from labornotes.org A “putting the movement back in the labor movement” post fromLabor Notes, about the current resurgence of radical priests dedicated to working class empowerment, enlightenment, and organizing.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from nytimes.com An update on the Amazon-Hachette battle, important not because either ‘side’ in this imbroglio is on the freelancer’s side, or the working class scribe’s team, but because the entire brouhaha is critical for writers to understand if they want to design coherent strategies for improving their pass.
  • from engagingnewsproject.org A new report from University of Texas’ Engaging News Project, which demonstrates persuasively, perhaps dispositively, that readers want and need reporting that suggests solutions, innovations, approaches to problems, not anything resembling a ‘just the facts, ma’am’ style.
  • from nytimes.com The Times own take on the Supreme Court’s refusal to grant certiorari in James Risen’s case that opposed a government subpoena to him to testify about a confidential source, a summons that Risen continues to resist, come what may.
  • from newyorker.com  A meditation from New Yorker about reading, books, and the things that writers can or will do to promote what they do, try to salvage cultural connections, and a whole lot more.
  • from brookings.edu An examination of the “Pandora’s Box” that might open up if a “first-sales” copyright doctrine–basically that a buyer can lend or give away a purchased text or other recording–were to extend to the digital sphere, interesting both for its arguments and for the huge swath of background material that it does not mention.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from niemanlab.org An assessment fromNieman Journalism Lab of the woes at The American Prospect, where despite immense success the resources to continue work are not obvious, a dilemma that a union of writers ought to consider deeply and enthusiastically.
  • from dissentmagazine.org An analysis, critique, and initial conversation from Dissent about digital media’s denigration of work and what working peoples’ options are when confronting this ‘virtual’ drudgery at low-to-no pay.
  • from benton.org   Benton.org’s briefing about next week’s Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing, “Media in the 21st Century.”
  • from arstechnica.com An Ars Technica report on a Texas District Court lawsuit by Dow Jones that seeks to unseal plus or minus a hundred sealed orders permitting government requests for digital monitoring of citizens, a set of materials that the outgoing U.S. magistrate in question sought to unseal on his own before a District Court Judge overrode his decision.
  • from publicknowledge.org  A letter, courtesy of Public Knowledge, that warns of adverse consequences should the United States fail to assist in inaugurating international domain-name and general Internet governance, something that the National Telecommunications Information Administration has been implementing but that the so-called DOTCOM Act would prohibit, the letter’s signatories’ including PK, ACLU, the Center for Democracy & Technology, and several others.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from aip.org An assessment of the House Subcommittee of Research & Technology’s recent Report on its new bill, the ‘Frontiers of Innovation & Research…Act of 2014,’ by an extremely interesting group, the American Institute for Physics, which is a treasure trove for writers in all sorts of ways.
  • from stuff.co.nz A report from New Zealand’s Stuffthat examines the no-brainer news that when governments make a policy of prohibiting peoples’ alteration-of-consciousness regimens, the folks find ‘legal’ alternatives, in this case according to the reporters, really bad alternatives.
  • from nytimes.com  A Times news update about Tuesday’s Eastern-Ukraine separatist attack on Luhansk’s largest border station on the boundary with Russia.
  • from govexec.com A deconstruction, by a union official, of the popular ‘establishment’ idea that unions are significantly to blame in the crisis in the Veterans Affairs Department, an assertion that the article countermands by pointing to the empirical fact that union members have been blowing the whistle about poor service and facing harassment as a result for years and years.
  • from safeenergy.org A cautionary note from Green World that the EPA’s carbon-reduction standards amount to a huge subsidy for aging, possibly unsafe nuclear power plants, as well as legitimation of so-called ‘next-generation’ reactors.
  • from nsf.gov The National Science Foundation’s just-released Open Government Plan 3.0, covering everything from meetings to Freedom of Information Act requests and plenty more.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from theagitator.com An analysis from WaPo’s Radley Balko, from his blog, that skewers the inefficiency and poor logic–some would say criminal fraudulence–of the ‘War on Drugs’ while noting its continuing attraction to GOP legislators, not to mention the slew of Dems who also back such hideously vicious policy.
  • from rhrealitycheck.org  A commemoration from RHReality Check of Fannie Hamer’s work, both during Mississippi’s ‘Freedom Summer,’ and generally, focusing on Hamer’s support for women’s reproductive rights, access to health care, and the way that such issues formed core components of any successful organizing strategy.
  • from iea.org  A recent International Energy Agency Special Report, on investment trends and needs in the next twenty years, projecting a necessity for $2.5 trillion per annum outlay, unsurprisingly a substantial chunk of that nuclear.
  • from thehill.com A ‘Fortune-200’ higher education agenda from The HIll, important to note if only because it represents the ‘establishment’ view of how to resolve such matters as student-loan crises, job crises, higher education crises, and so forth.
  • from portside.org Portside Labor’s portal to a Le Monde Diplomatique analysis of the turn to social democracy in Latin America, where, outside of Colombia viable ‘right-wing’ parties are few and far between and “business is learning” to live with socialists in charge.
  • from counterpunch.org Counterpunch examination that analyzes contemporary capitalism as in some ways akin to the defense of the ancien regime by feudal despots.
  • from smh.com.au  A Sydney Morning Herald analysis of job prospects of college graduates that has grim resonance for American matriculators.

6/03/14

Quote of the Day

“In all that is said by the theoretic objection (generally made against social upheaval), only the effect is in question; we seek for the cause.”  Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

 NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

At-Large Steering Committee is this Sunday. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • Development Manager Job posted by: Feminist Women’s Health Center, Atlanta GA The Development Manager reports to the Executive Director. This position is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive fundraising development plan, 

  • Communications Associate Job posted by: Asian Americans for Community Involvement – San Jose, California Job Summary: Under the direction of the Director of Development, the Communications Associate is responsible for assisting with the agency’s marketing, fundraising, and outreach activities. The Communications Associate plays a lead role in shaping and disseminating AACI’s external and internal communications.

  • Manager, Communications Job posted by: Physician Assistant Education Association The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), the national trade association of institutions and individuals involved in physician assistant (PA) education, seeks an experienced, motivated person to join our growing communications team and help advance the Association’s work to support our members.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from dailykos.com  An ‘ugly’ look at what the really rich really think, from the estimable Democratic Party stalwarts at DailyKos, where our union needs an ongoing presence and an emulating attitude perhaps.
  • from counterpunch.org  A likely wrong-headed and reactionary analysis from Counterpunch that is nonetheless absolutely central–as a first step, a hub of a hoped-for wheel–to conceptualizing and then envisioning what to do about our present pass, with all its ecocidal death wishes resplendent.
  • from commondreams.org  Further evidence, from Common Dreams, as if what we needed was further evidence that the only way to build a union is through a community engagement and broad-based social strategy, in this case with revitalized teachers’ struggles that provide the empirical background.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from blogs.nytimes.com   TheTimes “Bits Blog,” in the form of a briefing about the Amazon-Hachette dogfight and an interview with Malcolm Gladwell, arguably Hachette’s list-member who is closest to a non-fiction superstar.
  • from counterpunch.org  What a treat! for whichCounterpunch deserves the support of every writer who wants to see the world through lenses not necessarily apropos to the standard-operating-procedure of the good old U.S.A.
  • from rootsaction.org Further analysis, as if what we needed was more middle-of-the-road analysis, that the state of journalism is in such peril that the state of democracy must also be teetering on the edge, in which an examination of the case of James Risen, high-handedly dismissed and ignored by the Supreme Court yesterday, is the benchmark for reportage.
  • from salon.com Salon analysis that ought to be a ‘word to the wise’ to all writers, especially those trying to build a progressive union among freelancers and other benighted communities of scribes, who need more trouble with gaining access like we need another hole in our heads.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • from house.gov The most recent R&D bill from the Research & Technology Subcommittee of the Science, Space, & Technology Committee of the House of Representatives, a key portal for examining what established powers intend to happen in the coming period in relation to science, technology, and education policy and development.
  • from rollingstone.com To anyone who suggests that filmmaking needn’t be political, a profile inRolling Stone of Jesse Eisenberg, a method actor who is thoughtful enough to imbue all sorts of misfits and miscreants with verve and cognition aplenty.
  • from theguardian.com Daniel Ellsberg’s take–from a “Pentagon Papers perspective”–of Edward Snowden, American ‘justice,’ and law-breaking in a period when the State is above the law.
  • from thehill.com A gratifying examination, from The Hill, of a brewing dust-up between the insurance industry and pharmaceuticals, indication perhaps that things are tough enough that the hyper-rich take their woes out on each other as well as finding ways ever-more-cleverly to fleece working people.
  • from rt.com  Deleted materials from the Edward Snowden interview, about coming to grips with responsibility and truth in regard to 9/11/2001, thanks to RT.
  • from portside.org Portside assessment of the work and import of Ralph Fasanella, whose mediation of working class life in painting is among the cultural keystones of the previous century.
  • from benton.org Benton.org briefing about Prometheus Radio Project’s most recent lawsuit against the FCC, which challenges the Agency’s ownership rule review process, in particular the limitations on Joint Sales Agreements.
  • from multichannel.com  An industry outlet’s report on Associated Press’ and others’ protests of French media and government, which are attempting to charge admission to cover D-Day on the ground for 70th anniversary coverage.
  • from medium.com A ‘follow-the-money’ analysis from Medium that deconstructs the flacking taking place in Representative Bob Lotta’s anti-net-neutrality bill, just introduced into Congress.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from vineyardsaker.blogspot.com very interesting blog that examines the current context in Ukraine in well-considered and persuasive strategic terms.
  • from washingtonpost.com An empirically rich piece of reportage by George Will, whose neocon home at WaPo is quite comfy, a set of arguments about the race between Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis for a key swing in achieving a Senate majority, a set of opinions that ‘progressives’ had better learn how to counter if they don’t want the ‘right wing’ of the ReDemoPubliCratiCan Party to occupy the seats of power across the board.
  • from thehill.com News-analysis from The Hill, indicating that the President’s considering “cracking down” on for profit collegiate skullduggery and profiteering has run into storms of opposition, both from those who cry ‘too little, too late,’ and those who defend profiteering as a matter of principle.
  • from nytimes.com  A news analysis from theTimes, perhaps more than a wee bit slanted, of the campaign period for the September referendum over Scottish independence, which began yesterday in a race still too close to call, with gargantuan issues about NATO, Anglo-American partnership, and a whole lot more–can anyone say ‘Trident?’
  • from salon.com Salon interview with genius economic anthropologist David Graeber, who explicates current political economic conundrums such as the tendency for really useful, helpful labor to receive little or no compensation, and a lot more besides.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from atimes.com  Another case of ace-reporting by Asia Times’ Pepe Escobar, in this case contextualizing the St. Petersburg Economic Forum as the ‘Russian answer to Davos,” where Vladmir Putin’s keynote address “brought down the house,” which consisted of ‘everybody who was anybody’ outside of U.S. financial circles.
  • from nytimes.com  A nauseatingly real Timesop-ed piece about the ‘friends’ that the United States is cultivating in Afghanistan, echoing Malalai Joya’s Woman Among the Warlords and Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner simultaneously.
  • from nakedcapitalism.com An absolutely critical piece of analysis provided by Naked Capitalism, in which L. Randall Wray of New Economic Perspectivesshows what taxes are, how they work, and what a democratic(with a small ‘D’)response to these insights might be.
  • from nature.com  Further damning indictments of the entire Nuclear Fuel Cycle, as if further damning indictments were what we needed, from Nature Magazine, about the likelihood of over 350 canisters at New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Project’s having a proclivity to rupturing, explosion, or other potential precursors to catastrophic leakage.
  • from truth-out.org Truthoutarticle that analyzes in detail the trend toward social disposability, in which large swaths of humanity receive the label of ‘waste’ or ‘excess’ and thus merit a concentration camp mentality in their ongoing ‘management.’
  • from portside.org Portside portal to a Chicago Reporterinvestigative analysis which demonstrates an overwhelming bias toward ‘gentrifiable’ distressed properties, thereby letting struggling neighborhoods sink further into despond.

6/02/14

 

Quote of the Day

“What counter-insurgency really comes down to is the protection of the capitalists back in America, their property and their privileges. US national security, as preached by US leaders, is the security of the capitalist class in the US, not the security of the rest of the people.” – Philip Agee, from Counterpunch

 

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

Supreme Court refuses to hear reporter’s case; shield law essential – If you are interested in helping NWU fight for a reporter’s shield bill, please email nwu@nwu.org and let us know.


JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • from loc.gov  A lecture at Library of Congress’ Kluge Center a couple weeks away, concerning the intersection of astrobiology and theology in the light of recent discoveries of potentially habitable worlds far away in stellar space.
  • from nacdl.org/restoration/roadmapreport/  Another soon-to-occur Library of Congress event, in which documentary filmmaker Michael Ford’s collection of photos and music and memorabilia from Mississippi in the 1960’s and ’70’s is on display and central to an afternoon’s presentation.
  • from journalismnext.com   A Topeka, Kansas opportunity for a “multi-skilled” reporter who can manage posting of online content and more.
  • from journalismnext.com An Atlantic Media opening for either D.C. or New York for a producer/coordinator of new news ventures.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from demos.org  A Demos–“An Equal Say & An Equal Chance For All”–Blog breakdown of fundamental inequities in our ‘educational system’ that all-too-often go completely unexamined.
  • from nacdl.org  A National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers report about the “Collateral Damage” of treating ‘criminals’ as eternal pariahs, foregoing any semblance of redemption or restoration of rights, and so on.
  • from newunionism.wordpress.com A blog-and-union-movement connection that announces the Global Union Database Project, as well as imagining a future in which Solidarity-Forever actually worked as a political program.

 

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from wsws.org  An absolutely essential read from World Socialist Website about a recent hard-hitting German television satire that its targets have succeeded in censoring apparently, critical to any writer who might occasionally have ideas, research, or reporting that goes against established institutions’ agendas or priorities.
  • from wsws.org An interview from Lynne Parramore, of the Campaign for America’s Future, with UMass economist Gerald Friedman, about the ‘gig-economy’ trap that has ensnared tens of millions of freelancers, many of them of course writers who struggle every day to make their way in this vaunted new world of ‘creativity’ and ‘flexibility.’
  • from cjr.org/realtalk/hashtag_journalism.php  A deconstruction, from Columbia Journalism Review, of “hashtag activism” and what it promises and decidedly does not promise for contemporary journalism.
  • from arstechnica.com  An Ars Technica report on this year’s House-of-Representatives research-&-development bill, which is “less awful” after amendments but still “guts research in the social sciences.”
  • from youtube.com A seven hour YouTube extravaganza from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism’s first conference on the role of ‘big-data’ in news reporting and more.
  • from jimromenesko.com A Jim Romensko blog that asserts that “big data” algorithms are “bullshit,” and much much more.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from pando.com A provocative Pando Digest analysis about sexism in tech, what it is, where it comes from, and what it implies, all of which we must understand correctly if we’re interested in addressing it.
  • from mediabistro.com Media Bistro’s report of its acquisition, for a mere eight million dollars, by Prometheus Global Media.
  • from acommunitytv.org An American Community Television press release that details allegations of Comcast’s war on Public, Educational, and Government TV, something apparently at odds with the oligopoly’s contention that it has the public’s best interests at heart.
  • from benton.org  A Benton.org briefing of an Ars Technica report that demonstrates “critical weaknesses” in frequently deployed law-enforcement surveillance software.
  • from npr.org National Public Radio blog on Trinidad-&-Tobago’s recent announcement of its intention to make a transition in the oil rich islands to a ‘knowledge economy’ based on lifelong learning and Massive Open Online Courses and more.
  • from pando.com  A really fascinating portal from Pando Digest about Chile’s recent decision not to permit free access to Wikipedia and Facebook, so as not to privilege certain bytes over others.

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from nytimes.com Times assessment of the increasing imprimatur of Stanford amid the ‘brand-recognition’ collegiate elite, an eclipsing of Harvard that may be a long lasting phenomenon.
  • from supportcubancivilsociety.org/  An ‘Open Letter’ to the President, joined by all manner of ‘establishment’ forces, calling for an end to the fifty-odd year embargo against Cuba, for the crime of freeing itself from thugs and imperialists.
  • from rt.com An RT report on Chilean activist-artist Francisco Tapia’s–AKA Papas Fritas–pilfering and setting alight five hundred million dollars worth of debt papers from student loans, claiming that this ended the students’ obligation to pay, despite the police’s having seized the ashes and indicated that continued servitude was the SOP.
  • from globalresearch.ca  An examination from Global Research of the recent ‘new populism’ conference headlined by Elizabeth Warren that notes the worthy general directives of the effort, the unshakeable ties to the National Democratic Party, and the lack of any political specificity or detailed democratic strategy actually to gain the ‘general directives.’
  • from therealnews.com  A Real News Network examination of Thomas Piketty’s ideas, including an interview with the French Author about his monograph, Capital in the 21st Century.
  • from accessnorthga.com   Another hideous piece about police violence, this time life-threatening burns to a toddler in North Georgia, when a “distraction device”–a flash grenade–detonated and burned a two year old almost to death during a military-style drug raid.
  • from ueunion.org  A blog from a union, United Electrical Workers, that believes that issue-driven blogs on the organization website are critical in helping and building the union, in this case about the situation in Ukraine.

 

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from debtandsociety.org  An important report from Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor & Employment’s Center for Culture, Organizations, & Politics, dealing with indebtedness, particularly by students, as a hideous drag on both economic sustainability and social equity.
  • from truth-out.org  An audio overview from Truthout and Richard Wolff that centers on capitalism’s vaunted ‘efficiency’ and other myths of the present moment.
  • from forbiddenknowledgetv.com PJTV report, via Forbidden Knowledge TV that focuses on one hideous case from Texas’ Rio Grande Valley that illustrates the twin proclivities of militarizing the police and treating citizens like criminals.
  • from portside.org  A report about the recent National Forum on Police Crimes in Chicago, at which Angela Davis and others warned of increases in already execrable levels of militarized police, mass incarceration, and attack on civilians and citizens.
  • from triplecrisis.com  A fascinating essay-analysis from Triple Crisis: Global Perspectives on Finance, Environment, & Development, that compares the political economy of marijuana with the ‘playing fields’ in pharmaceuticals, food, finance, and tobacco.
  • from vcnv.org/force-protection-alpha-in-effect  A Portside passalong, from Voices for Creative Nonviolence, reporting on the unified field of governmental drone warfare programs, from the CIA to the Air Force and beyond.

5/30/14

Quote of the Day

“The press is the hired agent of a monied system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where their interests are involved.”  – Henry B. Adams  International Clearinghouse


JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • from researchgate.net Another ‘high-standards’ gig from Research Gate’s files, again in the U.K., this time in Scotland.
  • from nsf.gov An NSF “Dear Colleague” solicitation to help get funding for science and engineering to the ‘grassroots.’
  • from loc.gov  A coming Kluge Lecture at the Library of Congress on the conceptualization and actuality of wilderness.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from ncpolicywatch.com  A North Carolina Policy Watch report and analysis that suggests that a “sleeping giant” has awoken as a result of reactionary politicians’ overreaching and that the Moral Monday movement is going places long term.
  • from monbiot.com A brilliant blogger’s take on the opportunities inherent in the current operating system and its inability to continue to operate.
  • from opednews.com A comprehensive and insightful report and analysis from OpEd News about the long standing ‘conspiracy’ to label anything anti-establishment as “conspiracy theories.”
  • from blogs.loc.gov Library of Congress’ Catbird Blog on Maya Angelou.

 

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from rollingstone.com A Beastie Boys’ lawsuit against a vendor’s unauthorized usage of its material in a marketing video, reported by Rolling Stone, that makes a strong case for strong basic copyright protection.
  • rom washingtonpost.com  A news analysis piece from WaPo that makes the point that women in journalism are struggling to rise, or even to stay, everywhere one looks.
  • from benton.org  A Benton.org summary of what looks like an essential Fortune Magazine report and analysis of what the coming look-and-feel of work on the web will be, which is to say abysmal for most users other than premium, ‘fast-laners,’ meaning that most freelancers will get the shaft once more.
  • from broadcastingcable.com A Broadcasting & Cable briefing about Eric Holder’s promise not to jail journalists for “doing their jobs…while he is on the watch,” as it were.
  • from pando.com  A Pando Digest report and analysis of Twitter’s likely adoption of a Facebook-style “news-feed” algorithm for determining the ‘best’ tweets, suggesting that writers with an interest in substance need a different approach from what will be available on current popular ‘social media’ platforms.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from fas.org Another hat tip to Steven Aftergood, without whom this Congressional Research Service Report, an annotated bibliography of ‘credible’ reports on cybersecurity, would have been unavailable.
  • from stuff.co.nz   An op-ed from New Zealand’s Stuff that details a reality TV show as a way of swearing off the form and supporting it through reviews such as this one.
  • from popsci.com A Popular Science blog that terms belief in coming artificial intelligence singularities a “faith-based” belief system among many would be scientific holy-rollers.
  • from washingtonpost.com Brian Fung’s WaPo blog, analyzing the whys and wherefores of media merger mania and why it will likely increase before it slows down.
  • from multichannel.com A media industry report and analysis that shows that those who give up their pay-TV subscriptions are overwhelmingly at least somewhat happy with the decision and that over a third are “so happy that they never intend to return.”
  • from niemanlab.org A Nieman Journalism Lab report of a recent Quartz survey that suggests that media movers-and-shakers keep themselves posted through e-mail list-servs and similar sources of information.

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from thinkprogress.org Think Progress’ important contribution to commemoration of Maya Angelou, discussing things most folks don’t know about her, such as that she was an avid supporter of Malcolm X and a strong backer of Fidel Castro.
  • from truth-out.org A rave to Truthout for this excerpt from Thomas Picketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, needless to say a must-read.
  • from counterpunch.org  An ‘expletive-deleted’ radical feminist critique of the media response to the Santa Barbara mass shooting, which, interestingly enough, doesn’t mention SSRI’s, which is an evidence-based contributor to almost all such events.
  • from jacobinmag.com An obituary, from Jacobin, arguably as important as those for Maya Angelou, commemorating the life and work of Black revolutionary radical and organizer General Gordon Baker.
  • from mondediplo.com A Le Monde Diplomatique examination of a Japanese island community that has successfully resisted construction of a nuclear power plant for thirty-odd years.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info Information Clearinghouse’s cross posting of an RT news analysis of President Obama’s West Point speech, the upshot of which is growing imperialism and force from the U.S. unless democracy replaces the current form of Dickens’ ‘lords of the exchequers of loaves-and-fishes.’
  • rom stuff.co.nz  New Zealand’s Stuff’s report on Edward Snowden’s NBC interview, focusing on Snowden’s denial of a relationship or other quid-pro-quo with Russia.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

 

  • from thehill.com  A technical defense of a technical economic policy, focusing on current-account-deficit numbers as evidence of currency manipulation, all of which has immense impacts on foreign policy, macroeconomics, and more that ought to interest most writers.
  • from fas.org Another passalong from Federation of American Scientists and Steven Aftergood, the most recent House Select Committee on Intelligence Report, that contains not a single line of self-criticism, doesn’t mention Edward Snowden except elliptically, and basically maintains that amping up ‘security’ is the only way to conduct ‘intelligence operations’ in a ‘democracy.’
  • from globalresearch.ca A Global Research presentation of a nuts-and-bolts ‘manifesto’ calling for a new Non-Aligned Movement, sort of a reprise of the Bandung Conference for the twenty-first century.
  • from hnn.us  A History News Network article that offers beyond-a-reasonable-doubt data about the U.S.’s orchestrating the assassination of a President and the mass murder that followed in Chile on 9/11/1973.
  • from thenation.com A blog from Michelle Chen in The Nation that makes the point that the debt-crisis involves not only student loans but also colleges themselves, which are financing, on barely-affordable terms at best, mega-projects that have little or nothing to do with educating undergraduates and graduates.
  • from zinnedproject.org A ‘This-Day-in-History’ moment from the Zinn Education Project, focusing on the three days of murder and mayhem in Tulsa Oklahoma in 1921 directed against Black residents of the city.
  • from truth-out.org A Truthout investigative report that details the stifling of World Health Organization capacity to protect public health due to its fealty to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the mandate of which is the promotion of nuclear power options.

5/29/14

Quote of the Day

“The hour has arrived where we liberate ourselves completely. I feel a wave of uprising and rebellion all around Latin America and a growing courage to stop our subjugation at the hands of the North American empire.”  Evo Morales, http://thinkexist.com/quotes/evo_morales/

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • from facebook.com/events/299862250171652/  A live interview and discussion, from Library of Congress, with Pat Schroeder, twenty-four year Congressman from Colorado and twelve-plus year titular head of the Association of American Publishers, the latter position of particular note to a union of writers that desires populist copyright reform and such.
  • from researchgate.net An interesting opportunity, albeit one that demands high standards indeed of applicants.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from leounion.org  An outreach to scribes from American Federation of Teachers’ Lecturers’ Employee Organization at the University of Michigan.
  • from portside.org A Chris Hedges piece that Portside passes along from TruthDig that in both text and subtext ought to be required reading–quiz on the morrow–among progressive writers. 

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from.loc.gov/law Like a mini-clinic in legal research, a posting from Library of Congress that could interest many writers of non-fiction.
  • from care2.com  A Care2 briefing and analysis of the general attacks on journalists worldwide that focuses on a likely-upcoming U.S. ‘Shield Law,’ which might better have the title of the “Let’s Further Screw Freelancers Statute.”
  • from edsurge.com/n/an-edtech-bill-of-rights  A report from EdSurge that might be at the top of writers’ reading lists, about how innovation, education, and technology might yield an educational-technology “bill of rights.”
  • from pando.com  A Pando Digest news analysis of NBC’s Brian Williams’ interview with Edward Snowden, a compelling deconstruction of truth-seeking and its dangers, both to practitioners and powers-that-be.
  • from nytimes.com Times Technology piece, news and analysis, of the implications–especially for writers–of Amazon’s and Hachette’s dispute, which the article sees as likely to devolve into ‘trench warfare.’

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from villagevoice.com An investigative ‘weighing-in’ from Village Voiceof the burying of Tom Cruise, whose anti-pharmaceutical-modality certainly wasn’t likely to win fans among the financial powers-that-be nor among their lapdogs in the cognoscenti.
  • from pando.com  Another installment from Pando Digest that makes crystal clear that, in the age of corporate-imperial conjunction, “digital security is an oxymoron” much in the vein of ‘legal ethics’ or ‘just war.’
  • from nytimes.com  TheTimes’ op-ed pages and Julia Baird’s mixture of feminism, graffiti, and liberation.
  • from thehill.com   An analysis from an upper echelon corporate booster, whose assessment in The Hill is that Tom Wheeler is not undermining nor enforcing ‘net-neutrality’ but finding a so-called ‘third way’ that the author and other establishment allies have been advocating for decades.
  • from transition.fcc.gov/ Remarks from FCC Chief-of-Staff Ruth Milkman at the Progressive Policy Institute recently that represent both a history lesson and a policy-reality-orientation to those who ponder such matters as net-neutrality, democratic governance of technology, and much more.
  • from benton.org Benton.org briefing about a Computer Worldreport concerning an upcoming White House-led push to bring the movement for “an Internet of Things” to the ‘front burner’ in a “Smart America” initiative.

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from washingtonpost.com Further indicia, from WaPo’s Radley Balko, of the positive impact that journalistic willingness to look beneath the surface can have, in this case the freeing of an innocent North Carolina prisoner.
  • from stuff.co.nz A news update from New Zealand’s Stuff about the present pass in Eastern Ukraine.
  • from wsws.org World Socialist Website report and analysis of Colombia’s just-past election cycle, in which “none-of-the-above” won a resounding two thirds of the populace’s support, overarching the appearance of support for Alvaro Uribe proteges and Plan Colombia aficionados.
  • from .washingtonpost.com A sign that beauty, and hope, are in the eyes of the beholder, a report from WaPo’s David Ignatius about a Brussels forum that included former leaders of both Israeli and Saudi ‘intelligence’ services.
  • from accessatlanta.com  A Maya Angelou obituary from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  •  from truthoutdocs.cloudaccess.net A compilation, courtesy of Truthout, of the amended complaint and other documents in the civil suit of the estate and family of Mary Han, a lawyer who “committed suicide” in Albuquerque in a fashion oh-so-convenient to the police-state authorities there, who were proceeding in their brutal and corrupt way to attack citizens and enrich themselves, according to Han’s now snuffed-out perspective.
  • from indiadivine.org  A deep-background look, from a Hindu spirituality source, of the Hindu and Buddhist origins of modern Islamic Afghanistan.
  • from counterpunch.org Counterpunch deconstruction of Plan Colombia that shows in passing the fatuous foolishness of characterizing the program as essentially about cocaine interdiction and focuses on its effects on extinguishing–physically and culturally–Colombia’s indigenous communities.
  • from thecrimereport.org   A summary from The Crime Report of Innocence Project and other efforts to “keep prosecutors honest,” which shouldn’t, hypothetically, require such diligence.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info   An assessment from Information Clearinghouse of Depaul University students’ recent petition to divest university investments from any companies that profit from Israeli militarism or discrimination.
  • from france24.com  A news brief from France24 that ought to give all proponents of ‘wars-on-drugs’ or anything similar pause in their fervor.
  • from thehill.com The HIll’s highly ‘establishment-oriented’ take on the release of macroeconomic materials that might serve to ameliorate ‘Picketty fever.’
  • from politico.com Politico briefing about the way that Finnish educational policy, in which unions and government join forces–with virtually not high-techology interfaces mandated–to create an educational system that makes the U.S. young look like kindergarten dropouts.

5/28/14

Quote of the Day

“As much as earlier U.S. societies were driven by commerce and profit-seeking, they also tolerated non-profit and non commercial institutions and values.  In today’s hypercommercialized society, on the other hand, the commercial values of maximum profit and sales ballyhoo uber alles have overwhelmed the vestiges of public service in the media.”  Robert McChesney, Rich Media, Poor Democracy

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

from nwu.org  The 2014 Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, April 8 -10, which celebrated passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, featured the voices of veterans of the civil rights struggle, including former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, Georgia Congressman John Lewis and former President Jimmy Carter, to political recipients of the Act’s passage like former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. The LBJ Library has posted photos and videos from each day of the event.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

  • http://www.freelancejobopenings.com/job/freelance-web-writer-san-francisco-ca-f9e7b63bbf/?d=1&source=rss_page These are two short jobs and shouldn’t take a lot of time for the chosen freelance writer.Based in San Francisco; well paid
  • http://www.freelancejobopenings.com/job/technical-editor-remote-contractual-houston-tx-worldwide-cactus-communications-inc-23361b22a4/?d=1&source=detail_nav Technical editor, Cactus Communications in Houston, TX
  • Canadian magazine Prairies North (est. 1998) has posted a call for freelance writers to pitch articles for features and departments. Up to $1,100 per article. Lionel Hughes, editor. MacKenzie Hamon, Associate Editor, mackenzie@prairiesnorth.com Deadline for Winter issue: August 18 -http://www.prairiesnorth.com/blog-for-us/faqs/guidelines-for-freelance-writers-and-photographers/

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from beyondnuclear.org A report from Beyond Nuckear about the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s granting a years-long hiatus before American reactors must implement any “lessons learned” from Fukushima. 

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from pando.com  A Pando update about Amazon’s apparent attempts to destroy the publisher, Hachette, possibly because of negative press from the outfit about Amazon itself, raising all sorts of gruesome issues for writers.
  • from nytimes.com  Another instance of Amazon’s monopolistic clout, this time in Germany, with expected deleterious impacts on authors’ rights and incomes even as the erstwhile targets are the old-line publishing firms with which Amazon is doing business.
  • from recode.net  Revere Digital’s briefing about the formal agreement to settle the suit against Apple and three other Silicon Valley stalwarts for $325 million, more or less, which–after attorneys fees–would amount to a few thousand dollars each, on average, for 64,000 legal ‘class’ members, a situation full of implications for writers, both directly and indirectly.
  • from newyorker.com New Yorker’s summary of the meaning of Jill Abramson’s sacking, arguably of note for all writers.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from pando.com  A look at the mysterious disappearance from Secret.com’s files of bashing comments against a Tech Crunch editor, which thePando reporter on tap here attributes to a certain ‘untouchability.’
  • from washingtonpost.com  A media foundation’s WaPo response to the European Court of Justice’s recent “right to be forgotten” decision, a well-reasoned article which nonetheless begs or sidesteps interrogatories about what a real virtual democracy might look like.
  • from benton.org/node/184677  A through description of the basic issues at play over what Net Neutrality and Open Internet matters mean, from Benton.org’s Kevin Taglang.
  • from telecompetitor.com   A briefing from a telecommunications industry publication about Lincoln, Nebraska’s new city-sponsored wi-fi network, presently much more modest than what is happening in Appalachia’s Chattanooga, but in the long term equally ambitious.
  • from plosone.org Plos One academic media analysis of journalistic tendencies on Twitter to focus on ‘elite’ tweeters during crises and other breaking news imbroglios.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from justice.gov A Department of Justice letter and report concerning Albuquerque, New Mexico’s pattern of abusive use of deadly force by police
  • from washingtonpost.com Welcoming readers to the ‘new-age’ of government finance-by-fines and the concomitant jailing of those unable to pay, an analysis from WaPo’s Radley Balko
  • from rt.com An RT breaking news report about the fighting around the Donetsk Easter Ukraine region airport, contextualizing what could end up a slide toward civil war and wider conflict.
  • from pando.com Pando Digest’s investigative examination of Omidyar Network’s India head at his ‘second job,’ insuring the election of ultranationalist Hindu leader Narendra Modi.
  • from globalresearch.ca  A Global Research Reportsassessment of last weekend’s elections in Ukraine, which it terms “farcical” in their preparation of further grounds for war in “scary times” of the dominance of neofascists and the “most murderous empire in history.”
  • from thehill.com  John Kerry’s response, from The Hill, to such arguments, albeit without presenting any details or analysis, that the “large turnout” signals Ukraine’s rejection of Russian interloping and so on.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from nytimes.com Times news-analysis of one aspect of the political economy of criminalizing the movement of people, which is the use of slave-labor–“a dollar a day or less”–both to ‘provide’ for detention centers and to perform other necessary tasks for the Prison Industrial Complex.
  • from globalresearch.ca  A Global Research Reports analysis of the Gates Foundation and of the necessity of imperial relationships to support the acquisition and maintenance of plutocratic fortunes.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info/article38616.htm  An Information Clearinghouse investigation of recent electoral victories of a “new power bloc,” consisting of billionaires, technocrats, and fascist mercenaries, who intend to defend and impose the worst sort of neoliberal New World Order at key junctures such as India, Turkey, Ukraine, and elsewhere.
  • from pando.com Pando report and analysis of recent signs of a ‘bull-market’ in Bitcoin, albeit without any contextualization that a union or writers ought to undertake, about the historical, political-economic, and social meaning of this phenomenon.
  • from nytimes.com  ATimes assessment from Tennessee about alliances between conservatives and liberals in opposing imposition of a testing-rubric that puts standardized exams at the ‘core’ of what primary and secondary education are about.
  • from wsws.org/  A World Socialist Website Perspective-Piece about the Financial Times’ recent attacks on Thomas Picketty’s book, Capital in the 21st Century, a WSWS analysis that acknowledges its profound differences with Picketty while utterly eviscerating FT’ssmall-minded and disingenuous critique.

5/27/14

Quote of the Day

“(L)abour cannot be a law without being a right.”  Victor Hugo–Les Miserables


JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

https://www.stage32.com/happy-writers/contests/1  An instance of profiteering perhaps, but a contest nonetheless, if nothing else a chance to ponder how NWU as an organization might proffer such opportunities in a less costly fashion.


ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://www.justiceonline.org/ The portal to the organization that has taken the lead in exposing governmental misdeeds against ‘Occupy’ protests, and in litigating some of the cases that it has uncovered.
  • from ituc-csi.org   An International Trade Union Confederation Survey that ranks the U.S. among the worst violators of workers’ rights, significantly worse than the Russian Federation, for example, and hideously behind most of Europe.
  • from acobinmag.com  A detailing of how union democracy at the grassroots is the only method for building a powerful labor union presence in society at large.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from wsws.org   Interview materials from scholars and media historians about the continuing importance of Orson Welles, whose emergence–from his organizing a theater extravaganza at the age of nineteen–eighty years ago this material documents.
  • from publicknowledge.org Public Knowledgebriefing about the Authors Alliance and its four-pronged stance on a copyright reform process that works for writers, which the NWU has been playing a role in furthering as well, both on its own and with the Authors Alliance as such.
  • from blogs.nytimes.com The ‘paper-of-record’s’ news perspective on the growth of journalistic and other media operations in India, where aninternational union of writers already has members.
  • from nytimes.com Times report about Evan Williams’ latest foray into mediated virtuality, after leaving Twitter’s CEO post a few years back, this time involving a blogging platform with intuitive and helpful tools for writers to use.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from nytimes.com Times briefing about just-announced additional Hewlett-Packard layoffs, bringing the expected toll of lost jobs to as many as 50,000 positions worldwide, out of just under 320,000 total employees, a sign of a media marketplace that is–to say the least–still suffering dislocation.
  • from publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com Times self-critique from the paper’s estimable “Public Editor,” which roundly criticizes the paper-of-record’s reportage on the recent FCC vote.
  • from slate.com A detailed an arguably essential Slate assessment of the waning of Metafilter, a crucially important throughport for intelligence online, possibly as a result of algorithmic changes in Google’s searches.
  • from pando.com Pando briefing about U.S. hypocrisy in its attack on China’s hacking policies.
  • from france24.com France24’s survey of this year’s Cannes Film Festival awards, an interesting look at an important juncture in our mediated world.
  • from thehill.com  For those who fantasize that people can lobby their way to equity and justice, a report from The Hill about the anticipated dogfight this Summer in the Senate over another ‘liberal’ try for real NSA reform.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from nytimes.com Times news analysis of Louisiana’s addition to abortion restrictions in Dixie, which represents an arguably key component of repression in the so-called ‘New South.’
  • from truth-out.org  A horrifying examination of police brutality and corruption in Albuquerque–where police shoot more people than in NYC–by Truthout, an indictment that tragically and systematically applies to many other communities as well.
  • from smh.com.au Sydney Morning Herald op-ed that could provide a useful template to the reportage and opinions offered by hidebound U.S. media cousins.
  • from counterpunch.org Counterpunch report by human rights lawyer and Steelworkers official Daniel Kovalik about the hideous reporting standards of U.S. media, which ignore the vast majority of criminal activity carried out by the Colombian government against its own people, often at the behest of Plan Colombia and other aspects of the South American Nation’s close alliance with Washington and its corporate imperial backers.
  • from counterpunch.org  Another Counterpunch gem, this time detailing the plausible or definite correlations between petrodollar imperialism and the present pass in Ukraine.
  • from rt.com RT’s blog report about Julian Assange’s and Wikileaks’ fulfillment of their promise to name the fifth nation in which NSA is practicing essentially total surveillance, unsurprisingly Afghanistan.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from portside.org Portside passalong of a Thom Hartmann “Daily Take,” arguing powerfully that the present mechanisms for financing higher education are socially destructive and idiotic at best.
  • from nakedcapitalism.com  An assessment from Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism that U.S. foreign policy basically consists of the financial perquisites and prerogatives of major banks and other such institutional representatives of capital, much to ‘our’ detriment as a national aggregate of actual people.
  • from nytimes.com A collection of documents from the Times‘ FOIA requests about various governmental spying programs against the so-called ‘Occupy Movement.’
  • from thehill.com A detailed report from The HIll that examines a “second crack” by the IRS at modifying rules that apply to 501(c)4 organizations, the first attempt at which had yielded a firestorm of critique, primarily from so-called ‘right-wing’ groups.
  • from reuters.com  A Reuters report that details the continued expansive use of drone murder despite recent appearances of requiring “near certainty” before any use of potentially lethal force.
  • from washingtonpost.com A favorable and pretty gripping WaPo review of a pretty gripping book about the Koch brothers by Mother Jonesreporter Daniel Schulman.
  • from globalresearch.ca  Key contextualization fromGlobal Research concerning the imperial imprimatur present in Monsanto’s and others’ sowing biotech ‘cures’ that are vastly worse than the ‘disease.’
  • from prospect.org Prospect’s take, liberal and limited though it is, on the historical context of ignoring or gentling reactionary and proto-fascist protest while preparing dungeons for ‘liberals.’
  • from counterpunch.org An in-depth historical essay about the conflation of fascist tendencies in the neoliberal concepts of ‘democracy’ and ‘terrorism,’ brilliant and wide-ranging.
  • from ourfuture.org/blog  A report from the Campaign for America’s Future about the so-called rise of “new populism,” essentially as a result of concentrated wealth and power.

5/23/14

Quote of the Day

“Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which are closed against him must be battered down.”  Woodrow Wilson: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/22/tyrannys-toolkit/.
ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

http://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/05/turkey-in-the-straw/  A Library of Congress blog that shows the racist Ameircan background of an erstwhile innocent folksong, with roots in Celtic and English harmonies from hundreds of years ago, just one case of how the American Folklife Center can be of immense value to writers and producers.WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from globalresearch.ca   Another absolutely necessary analysis, from Global Research Reports, for writers who have anything to say about politics, essentially deconstructing the “conspiracy theorist” label which from its inception following the critique of the Warren Commission was an orchestrated attempt to smear and discredit independent and critical media analysis.
  • from cjr.org   An examination from Columbia Journalism Review of the impacts of Office of the Director of National Intelligence initiatives against reportage, to wit, covering ‘Intelligence’ with a capital-I has gotten to be almost impossible except as a parrot.
  • from techrepublic.com   A Tech Republic essay about the capacity to question and theorize and share that are at the heart of humanity and its languages, at the heart–supposedly–of the Internet, and at the heart of what writing is all about.
  • from pando.com  A Pando Digest report that examines Facebook executives’ rants against journalism and the journalists’ and media company’s rants against Facebook, without getting too deeply into the dangerous territory of actually useful media history.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • from smh.com.au   A Sydney Morning Herald look at one result of the gigantic budget cuts coming to Australia, the likely gutting of ‘secondary TV stations’ and streaming such content online as well as cutting further into news operations.
  • from digitopoly.org An SOP assessment fromDigitopoly about why ‘net neutrality’ will likely be impossible to have, leaving aside, of course, the fact that the entire Internet was a public property until eighteen years ago.
  • from benton.org  A Benton.org summary brief of a press release from the House of Representatives Commerce Committee, defending the so-called DOTCOM Act that seeks to keep Congressional oversight as part of the current political-economy-of-information mix, with the bill tacked on as an amendment to the Defense Reauthorization Act of 2015.
  • from washingtonpost.com/  A WaPo blog that names names in posing the question about who is backing the scuttling of legislation aimed at curbing so-called ‘Patent Trolls.’
  • from transition.fcc.gov/ The FCC’s recent announcement of its AM radio closed-auction results, which was that the average bid price for the ten stations was just under $60,000.
  • from niemanlab.org/ A Nieman Journalism Lab analysis of the digital opportunities and ‘leadership’ attendant on what’s going to happen at the Times digital portal.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from informationclearinghouse.info/   A video courtesy of Information Clearinghouse that shows two police officers gun down an unarmed man who was trying to back away from them and refusing to lie down.
  • http://www.nytimes.com  The Times briefing of the Russia-China 30-year gas deal, described as a “game-changer” generally ascribed to the Ukraine sanctions and similar bullying.
  • from washingtonsblog.com In relation to Authorization to Use Military Force, essentially no longer necessary till Congress changes its 9/11 mind, a report from Washington’s Blog that indicates that DOD responses to Senate questioning about precisely who the enemy is that we’re fighting in Southwest Asia was a simple, “Sorry, but that’s classified.”
  • from thehill.com   A report from The HIll about the coming scheduled cutting of a pilot program that helps Traumatic Brain Injury veterans stay in assisted living facilities.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info/   An International Clearinghouse summary and analysis of The Intercept’sconfirmation that the Drug Enforcement Administration was working with the National Security Administration in its ‘intelligence’ activities, which underlay the eviction of DEA from Venezuela and Bolivia a decade ago.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from truth-out.org  An absolutely essential news analysis from Truthout that deconstructs the imposition of mass incarceration throughout the Western Hemisphere as a result of U.S.-mandated drug-sentencing laws that beholden states–those that wanted economic or military aid, for example, or trade benefits–for the most part adopted across the board.
  • from andrewgavinmarshall.com A historical assessment by a blogger prominent in the so-called ‘Occupy Movement’ that examines the International Monetary Conference from its founding by the American Bankers Association in 1954 to its policies that may well have played a large causative role in the financial meltdown of the 1980’s Latin American–and other–debt crises.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info An International Clearinghouse news/analysis of the Authorization of the Use of Military Force resolution, which followed close on the heels of 9/11/2001 and continues its sway nearly thirteen years later–whatever invasion or other incursion that ‘fights terror’ requires nothing from Congress, so that the concentration of imperial power is essentially untrammeled, something that Senator Harry Reid even finds questionable at this juncture.
  • from blogs.loc.gov  A guest-blog from Library of Congress about the Japanese legislation that followed in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that, among other things, caused the meltdown at Fukushima.
  • from nytimes.com  A Timesop-ed that ought to be an instance of ‘sponsored journalism,’ since the upshot is the backing of plus-or-minus ten percent of teenagers’ receiving ‘treatment’ for and ‘validation of’ their “depressive disorders,” which a lot of times will lead to prescribed SSRI’s and so forth.
  • from counterpunch.org  A Counterpunch essay and report that demonstrates how a false and hypocritical cult of objectivity is devastating both education as a process and students’ capacities to reason and understand anything, ‘objectively’ or otherwise.

5/22/14

Quote of the Day


“Comrade Wolf knows who to eat, and he eats without listening to anyone.”  Vladmir Putin–http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/21/showdown-in-ukraine/

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

Kirkus Media is looking for experienced book reviewers to review for Kirkus Indie, the book review magazine’s section dedicated to self-published authors. Reviews are in the same format and held to…
Pays: competitive rates

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from journalism.org Pew Research’s Journalism Project’s State of the News Media 2014, needless to say a must read among unionized writers.
WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS
  • from benton.org  Benton.org’s briefing of a must-read report fromGigaOm about a deal between e-books provider Smashwords and library provider Overdrive that will make e-books more likely to ‘hit the shelves,’ so to speak.
  • from niemanlab.org  A Nieman Journalism Lab briefing about implications of the Times’recent strategy piece about the future of journalism, especially in relation to ‘tagging’ and other forms of metadata construction and deployment.
  • from news.vice.com A Vice News report, viaPando Digest, of the dust-up between Wikileaks and First Look Media, the latter of which followed DOD directives and didn’t publish the ‘fifth country’ to which the NSA listens to 100% of the calls, with the upshot that Assange and Wiki promise to name the nation today.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from thehill.com  The ever popular “watering down” of reform, in this case in relation to controlling NSA snooping, which has caused ‘privacy advocates’ to jump ship on the legislation for which they’d been lobbying for months.
  • from money.cnn.com  A briefing about Chattanooga’s “alternative model for connecting people to the Internet,” a publicly owned city-wide service that offers ten times faster than average speeds for under sixty bucks per month and a hundred times average connection speeds for just over seventy dollars a month.
  • from.fas.org  Another hat tip to Steven Aftergood, whose intercession is the only consistent mechanism for making these taxpayer-funded publications available to taxpayers, for this volume, which deconstructs the current moment in U.S. international propaganda efforts, particularly in broadcasting.
  • from smh.com.au   A Sydney Morning Herald report and analysis of recent changes in Higher Education funding and access in Australia, which critics liken to outright “class warfare.”
  • from niemanlab.org   A briefing about U.S. corporate outlets’ recent obsession with expanding their presence in India.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from nakedcapitalism.com  A “los hechos hablan por si solos” moment here, when the Vice President’s son becomes a member of Ukraine’s biggest gas supplier’s board of directors, through a company co-founded by Secretary of State John Kerry’s trust fund stepson–curiouser and curiouser indeed.
  • from thehill.com  The Hill’s report on Sandinista Nicaragua’s hiring of one of the ‘giants of K Street’ to lobby for extending the poor nation’s Textile Tariff Preferential Levels.
  • from aflcio.org  An AFL-CIO blog about renewed Moral Monday protests in North Carolina, to protest legislation that bans citizen-protesters from speaking inside the State’s legislative buildings.
  • from youtube.com  In a ‘know-your-enemy’ moment, the thirty minutes of Jeb Bush’s recent Manhattan Institute address.
  • from fas.org  The Army’s update, thanks to Steven Aftergood, of its “most popular field manual ever,” the 2006Counterinsurgency, which is essentially U.S. imperial–and to some extent–domestic doctrine writ small, so to speak.
  • from truth-out.org  A report from Truthout about the U.S. continuing secret arms sales to an Egyptian regime that is preparing to execute hundreds, perhaps thousands, or more of its citizens for the crime of protesting.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from theatlantic.com An Atlantic Magazine analysis of the young people whom NWU–and every other ‘progressive’ group–would like to engage, recruit, etc.
  • from testosteronepit.com   The social and economic distress, cataclysm really, resulting from financing higher education through loans instead of taxes, courtesy of Testosterone Pit’s Wolf Richter.
  • from globalresearch.ca  A Global Research Reports monograph that contends that a hidden agenda of genetic modifications of seeds and such is a level of control of food supply that effectively puts those who want to eat at the mercy of monopoly agribusiness giants.
  • from nap.edu   National Academy Press’ most recent monograph, which combines an analysis of urbanization and sustainability.
  • from counterpunch.org  An amazing Counterpunch Think Piece, subtitled “Neoliberalism’s Assault on Democracy,” especially among the young, and that starts with a quotation from Frederic Jameson: “To imagine the end of the world (is easier) than to imagine the end of capitalism.”
  • from fas.org  A final thanks to Steven Aftergood, who has helped to make this report on U.S. H-bomb programs available to a public that ought to find such matters provocative reading.

5/21/14

Quote of the Day
“Para Todos todo, para nosotros, nada”(Everything for everyone and nothing for ourselves)-Zapatista slogan, Manu Chao song lyrics.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

Curriculum Writer (work from home) https://rew31.ultipro.com/PLA1009/JobBoard/JobDetails.aspx?__ID=*D67E20A4849767D1&__jbsrc=D276F302-A1D8-4A30-A7D1-6C3E0702C4C6 
Edmentum Hiring is seeking a Curriculum Writer, ELA. The ideal candidate will be creative and resourceful and must be able to collaborate effectively within a team-oriented environment. 
Pays: TBD 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from comehomeamerica.wordpress.com  A blog from Come Home America, an anti-militarist site that links to various obituaries for ‘New Left’ historian Gabriel Kolko, whose work in various areas remains influential or even critical in understanding the underpinnings of contemporary issues.
  • from mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.com   A ‘Modern Monetary Theory’ blog that ought to be a no-brainer connection for a progressive union of writers, this time concerning a Thom Hartmann program discussing the current embodiment of a “war on workers’ in the ‘home of the free and the land of the brave.’

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from benton.org  A Benton.org summary of a Voxanalysis of the recent ‘New York Times innovation report,’ which Vox terms “brilliant” albeit in the context of neither the paper or other journalistic outlets’ being likely to ‘implement its findings.’
  • from smh.com.au  For writers who have any interest in using Wikileaks materials, an update from half-a-world away, the Sydney Morning Herald, that the U.S. investigation and prosecution of Julian Assange remains a live proposition.
  • from pando.com  Pando Digest’s how-to and how-not-to guide to creating, avoiding, managing, manipulating, and so on, media shitstorms, focusing in particular on the recent imbroglio over Los Angeles Clippers’ ownder Donald Sterling.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from transition.fcc.gov   The hundred pages of the FCC’s take on what the Internet should be, moving forward, which on the surface says many good things but which at its root indicates the real direction of power in such matters, from the ‘players’ in the ‘marketplace’ to the regulators.
  • from theverge.com   A down-to-earth and no doubt limited explanation of the ATT/DirectTV merger that nonetheless provides a practical and real-world-now overview of some important issues.
  • from wired.com Wired Magazine’s weighing-in on the real deal in Net Neutrality, which is to say the jig was up some time ago, and critics and supporters of the FCC alike are missing key points of what’s really happening, which is to say that net neutrality is dead unless people organize to overturn this already established fact.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info  An hour-long video featuring Glenn Greenwald and Noam Chomsky in a discussion of Greenwald’s just released No Place to Hide.
  • from npr.org  A National Public Radio blog about the network’s recent choices further to reduce staff, especially among news-gatherers and special assignment editors, etc., while also eliminating the weekly show, “Tell Me More.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from nytimes.com Times report and analysis of the present pass of Selma, Alabama, which may seek redemption from ‘repurposing’ and Air Force Base as a Kuwaiti pilot training school.
  • from siu.co.th  Another piece about the situation in Thailand, which outlines ‘best-case’ and ‘worst-case’ scenarios, which may easily lead to another horrific result in Asia.
  • from counterpunch.org Another Counterpunch analysis of contemporary Venezuela from Chris Gilbert, who teaches there, indicating that the key factors in whether Nicolas Maduro’s government remains viable concern issues of developing a popular form for “building socialism,” which the majority in Venezuela probably want but which is hard to manage in terms of the actual factions of the Chavistas and other forces with ‘stakes’ in the present process.
  • from au.news.yahoo.com Yahoo7 feature about a promised Venezuelan United Nations complaint against the United States over what the Maduro government calls a U.S. orchestrated campaign of protest and upheaval designed to unseat an elected government.
  • from politico.com A Politico analysis of Michelle Nunn’s Democratic campaign for Senate in Georgia, where her father was a Democratic ‘lifer’ as well as ‘right-to-worker’ and more.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

 

  • from ft.com  A Financial Times argument for ‘just enough’ reform to forestall enraged mobs’ tearing down all the edifices of bourgeois rule.
  • from ips-dc.org  An Institute for Policy Studies report that demonstrates causative correlation between all that is worse in higher-education–massive CEO salaries, loads of adjunct faculty, etc.–and levels of student indebtedness, to which the first comment responded by asking “How did we let this happen?” leading to this: “We didn’t organize.  Public campuses should have unions.  Private institutions can have chapters of the AAUP that if large and loud enough can exert considerable influence though they cannot collectively bargain until the infamous Yeshiva decision is overturned.  It is very simple.  If you want faculty influence on university governance, you must have lively faculty participation in university governance.”
  • from ineteconomics.org  A critique of Thomas Picketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, basically econometric and Keynsian in its approach, interesting if only in showing the sorts of positions possible without holding up any sort of profoundly reformist, let alone revolutionary, standard.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info  A Felicity Arbuthnot article from Information Clearinghouse, informative and with plenty of depth and background, about the present pass in Syria in a context of U.S. imperial policy in Southwest Asia and the so-called ‘Middle East.’
  • from washingtonpost.com  Another report, from WaPo in this case, about the ‘absurd viciousness’ of the so-called War-on-Drugs that doesn’t satisfactorily examine why such monstrous results are in fact the SOP of contemporary policies.
  • from truth-out.org/opinion/item/23803-we-must-end-the-madness-of-nuclear-weapons  A general plea for human survival from Truthoutand archbishop Desmond Tutu, an assessment that has plenty of verve and emotional punch while lacking a credible frame of reference for why ‘mass collective suicide’ remains the official policy of the world’s leading powers–and only “superpower”–three quarters of a century after the Manhattan Project.

5/20/14

Quote of the Day


 “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

May 25 is the deadline for the National NWU newsletter, courtesy of Sue Katz at sue.katz@yahoo.com

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, UPCOMING EVENTS & CONTESTS

Clarksville, TN – Technical writer, (Ft. Campbell, KY) Seeking experienced technical writer to work on administrative, doctrinal, training, and procedural military manuals. Full-time compensation

Huntsville, AL – Technical writing. Direct-hire position with our client, not a consultant need. MUST HAVE SAP EXPERIENCE. Compensation DOE

 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

http://www.niemanlab.org/fuego/  An interesting approach to using social media as a thermometer of interest, from Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, which has the apt term Fuego as it looks at the last hour’s Twieets from those interested in contemporary media issues.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from pando.com An assessment of a ‘progressive’ non-profit, Pro Publica,whose now CEO and once editor takes home a much larger salary than the total online donations that the agency takes in.
  • from nytimes.com   A Times report and analysis of the French paper Liberation‘s journalists’ battle to maintain their print edition and the general commitment to independent news and analysis in the context of media empires ceded to the values of bean counters, who act in ‘shareholder interest.’
  • from niemanlab.org   A very thorough summary and report on the erstwhile ‘secret’ “Times innovation report” by the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, a detailed look at what the assessment calls “one of the key documents of this media age.”
  • from loc.gov  A lovely Library of Congress blog of interest to writers who want to understand how their productive efforts have evolved as a result of recent technological developments.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from pando.com  A peek, from Pando Digest’s daily summary, of Marcy Wheeler’s abbreviated tenure at The Intercept, possibly because of Wheeler’s correct inferences about what was happening in Ukraine, which may have undercut the editorial policies of her boss, Pierre Omidyar, who has in some fashion participated in an supported the NGO-driven new SOP on Russia’s border.
  • from transition.fcc.gov   The Federal Communications Commission Report on Cable TV price increases, which shows that both recently and over the past two decades, these costs have significantly exceeded background inflation rates.
  • from thehill.coThe HIll’s report on the fifty billion dollar merger of AT&T and DirectTV, yet another consolidating move in a media environment already at best oligopolistic.
  • from publicknowledge.org A deconstruction, by Public Knowledge, of how a ‘two-tier Internet’ would actually work, which adds up to the ‘slow lane’s’ becoming a morass of everybody but the rich and powerful, with access only slowly to a fraction of what the well-heeled will get.
  • from benton.org   A Benton.org abstract of a Voxreport that concludes that the Internet already operates on several unequal levels, where speed and cost and access diverge.
  • from pando.com   A Pando Digest summary of The Intercept’s current decision to honor Department of Defense and NSA censorship requests, which has caused an uproar at Wikileaks and elsewhere.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from informationclearinghouse.info/article27888.htm  A three year old investigation that provides key background data on the current instigator of ‘reform’ in Libya, Khalifa Hiftar, who prior to the uprising against Muammar Khadafi lived in Northern Virginia for twenty years.
  • from rt.com  RT’s “CrossTalk” program that is a bracing take on what is transpiring in Ukraine, amid the “bullhorn of propaganda” that host Peter Lavelle notes is emanating from ‘Western Media.’
  • from nytimes.com  A Times analytical article of the Justice Department’s indictment of five members of China’s Peoples Liberation Army ‘hacker unit,’ who have all successfully invaded various corporate networks of U.S. companies.
  • from pando.com Pando Digest’s estimate of the meaning of ‘Silicon Valley’s’ giants’ all snubbing the Frontline documentary “The United States of Secrets,” a key investigation into the NSA and more that no one at the top of the ‘new-economy food chain’ wants to validate.
  • from bbc.com/news/world-asia-27480845  The BBC’s summary and analysis of how the Thais are doing martial law, the latest meltdown on the current scene.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info/article38546.htm  Chris Hedges’ take, via Information Clearinghouse, of the upshot of the police state tactics in Cecily McMillan’s trial.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from nytimes.com  A lengthy and grassrootsy Times news-analysis of the present pass at the border between Mexico and the United States, which focuses on Laredo in Texas and Nuevo Laredo in Mexico.
  • from washingtonpost.com WaPo news-analysis of the longstanding argument that one aspect, at least, of the Charter School movement is the legitimation of segregation and inequality, the upshot of which is three recent Federal lawsuits against the practice of closing public schools in favor of new Charter operations.
  • from nakedcapitalism.com Naked Capitalism post by economic historian Michael Perelman, whose examination of the origins of ‘military Keynsianism’ in WWI ought to be required citizen reading.
  • from armscontrol.org   An analysis from Arms Control Today about, inter alia, the lion’s share of the Department of Energy’s plus-or-minus fifty billion dollars a year that goes to nuclear weapons, keeping the arms up-to-date and providing overall ‘modernization’ of forces deployed, which might very well undermine any prayer that a nonproliferation agenda can survive.
  • from truth-out.org/news/item/23756-post-occupied  An essential examination by Truthout’s Sarah Jaffe of the aftermath of the so-called “Occupy Movement,” which contextualizes attempts to create a people-power-uprising in the contemporary arena.

5/19/14

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://truth-out.org   A Truthout briefing and interview with National Guestworker Alliance director Sakit Soni about the necessity of and prospects for organizing workers in the South.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

 

  • from pando.com   A month-old Pando Digest item that analyzes ‘explainer’ news sites, which might easily suggest vast opportunities for a progressive union of writers.
  • from my.firedoglake.com  A background summary, a few months old, from FireDogLake about shenanigans at First Look Media that relate to the fatuous fantasy of ‘objectivity’ from plutocrats and schemers who end up being the default employers of almost all ‘working writers.’
  • from nytimes.com  A wake-up call from the Times to writers about the increasingly politicized arena of reading in school, with high-visibility calls for “trigger warnings” that would possibly allow students to opt out of reading anything even vaguely ‘controversial.’
  • from prospect.org  A Prospect interview with NYU’s Mitchell Stevens, about his book, Beyond News: the Future of Journalism, must reading for any freelancer interested in publishing paid news and commentary.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • from ashvegas.com   A recent examination, from Western North Carolina, of how attenuated are much-touted grassroots media options such as Asheville’s WCBM low-power FM license, which is seeking to crowd-fund its ability even to open its doors.
  • from pando.com  A Pando Digest piece about Samsung’s turn to pharmaceuticals to continue its stock’s upward surge, an unintentional but fascinating overview of the way that the practice and ideology of ‘intellectual property’ actually work.
  • from france24.com   A Cannes Film Festival update from France 24 about “Welcome to New York,” a hard-hitting look at sexual depredations in the financial elite–based on the Strauss-Kahn imbroglio–with subtexts about film-fest orgies and anti-Israel storylines.
  • from pando.com  A Pando Digest report of a lively protest at Google’s annual shareholder meeting, which was seeking both transparency and changed behavior in relation to such actions as funding the American Legislative Exchange Council, the American Chamber of Commerce, and more.
  • from blogs.nytimes.com  A Times “Bits Blog” that frames the recent developments from the FCC about ‘net neutrality’ as “trying to please everybody,” with predictable results.
  • from wsws.org A review of Tuneyards’ “Nikki Nak” album, from World Socialist Website, that introduces readers to Merrill Garbus’ complex and socially radical songs and ideas.
  • from arstechnica.com  A briefing from Ars Technica that drolly announces the ‘shocking’ news that cable rates have outstripped the rate of inflation by several times, with the likely merger of Comcast and Time-Warner slated for more of the same and then some.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from smh.com.au  A Sydney Morning Herald briefing about a former Malaysian Prime Minister’s insistence that both Boeing and the CIA are hiding crucial data about MH370, the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, in the process blaming the company and the Malaysian government hypocritically, to say the least.
  • from smh.com.au  A look at protest, Australian style, where students are up-in-arms about planned budget cuts to higher education that will lead to significant fee and loan-cost increases.
  • froom rawstory.com   A Raw Story report about China’s decision to move some of its nationals out of Vietnam in the wake of intense anti-Chinese riots there recently.
  • from moonofalabama.org   A blogger’s ‘recommended reading’ of recent titles about the Ukraine situation.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from allvoices.com  An All Voices summary of a CDC researcher’s findings, using Georgia data, that approximately ten thousand two-to-three year olds–almost exclusively through Medicaid–are now receiving methamphetamine derivative ‘medications’ for their ‘ADHD,’ a practice criticized while over ten per cent of all youngsters nationwide now have such a diagnosis.
  • from thehill.com  The HIll’s presentation of Hillary Clinton’s advice to business in regard to inequality, i.e., to be nicer and less concerned about profits, whether an LOL moment or sound policy advice a matter for citizens to ponder.
  • from nakedcapitalism.com   An analysis from L. Randall Wray, of New Economic Perspectives and Naked Capitalism, about the function and background of taxes according to “Modern Monetary Theory,” an examination well worth the well-rounded writer’s assessment.
  • from washingtonpost.com   A WaPo report on Eric Holder’s commencement address at Morgan State University, which developed the Democrats’ take on discrimination, i.e., that ‘subtle’ methods to impede equality of opportunity had replaced outright bigotry.
  • from counterpunch.org  A Ralph Nader article–he of the not-entirely-tongue-in-cheek Only the Super Rich Can Save Us–in Counterpunch, that calls for a “real tea party” in 2016.
  • from princeton.edu An academic study, foreshadowing upcoming journal entries, about the understated and massive impact of the wealthiest sectors of society on politics, at the same time that “mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

5/16/14

Quote of the Day


Intuition is only the sum of many small but specific things the brain hasn’t managed to put a name to yet.'”  Jo Nesbo character, Detective Harry Hole

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS, UPCOMING EVENTS

  • from loc.gov   Library of Congress’ overall introduction to its upcoming commemorations of the Civil Rights Movement, beginning on Monday with a day of activities, followed by a book talk on Tuesday about This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, & CONTESTS

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • from appalshop.org/about/  A portal that introduces Appalshop a grassroots media funding, production, and networking source that focuses on Appalachia and the South and finding ways to document and involve folks from the bottom up in film and other mediation projects.
  • from commonbound.org   A pitch from the New Economy Coalition to raise one hundred $100 scholarships for the upcoming “Common Bound” conference on building a ‘solidarity economy.’

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from org2.salsalabs.com   The portal to purchase one of Truthout’s“progressive picks” for May, an analysis of the neoliberal decimation of higher education as part of a planned process of social deterioration and managing inequality in a certain way.
  • from techdirt.com   For any freelancers or other scribes who write about ‘offshore’ developments, a report from TechDirt that confirms Department of Justice contentions that Fourth Amendment protections do not apply to any communications between U.S. citizens and foreigners.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • from fas.org  The Army’s quarterly Military Intelligence bulletin, with articles about the next five years of drone deployment, the need for division intelligence officers to understand the ‘white and green,’ i.e., civilian and governmental, parts of battlefields as well as the ‘red,’ the enemy as such.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info  An Information Clearinghouse report on the 2004 New York Times decision to kill coverage of the National Security Administration’s total surveillance agenda, which did not come publicly to light as a result until Edward Snowden ‘bit the bullet’ and exposed the entire situation.
  • from pando.com Pando Daily “interactive feature” that details how corporate media’s coverage of drugs combines non-sequitur and nonsense in following a ‘medicated’ ‘War-on-Drugs’ agenda.
  • from pando.com  A lengthy and insightful Pando Daily examination of recent Congressional efforts to rein in the hideous costs of college textbooks, essentially bringing forward socialized methods for providing students with materials, since the current copyright system delivers penury and inequality on all fronts.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from nytimes.com  A news analysis of Vietnam’s response to China’s drilling for oil in ‘neutral’ waters, recalling some of the underlying resources at issue in Indochina lo this half century past.
  • from nsf.gov  A National Science Foundation “Discoveries” briefing, which details how “artificial neural networks” are making substantial advances in flexibility and ‘learning,’ in attempts to model and test hypotheses for comprehending actual brain function, with innumerable possible real world impacts.
  • from washingtonpost.com WaPo “liberal perspective” article, “The Maximum Freedom of the Rich to Influence Elections,” well worth a read despite its recognition that actually doing something to change this SOP will not occur any time in the foreseeable future, despite calls for constitutional amendments and more.
  • from blackagendareport.com   A portal to Black Agenda Report’s weekly radio programming, which this week focuses on the recent “Jackson Rising” conference in support of a Solidarity Economy along the lines envisioned by the late Jackson Mayor, Chukwe Lumumba.
  • from rt.com/news   An RT briefing, thanks to Information Clearinghouse that reports Donetsk militia ultimatums to Ukrainian military units to withdraw or face expulsion by force.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

 

  • from fas.org   A Congressional Research Service Report on Afghan drug trafficking, available thanks to the diligent efforts of Steven Aftergood and the Federation of American Scientists, a report that shows the present picture, in which Afghanistan produces the vast majority of the world’s opium poppy crop, but fails to show the historical development, i.e., that the country’s production was once a small fraction of the world’s total, prior to U.S. support for the nation’s ‘freedom.’
  • from journalism.nyu.edu   A couple-months-old announcement of a gathering to celebrate the publication of Busted: a Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love, the book version of Pullitzer Prize winning investigative reporting about scandalous corruption among ‘War-on-Drug’ ‘warriors.’
  • from truth-out.org   A lovely Truthout exercise, although it ‘belabors the obvious’ to an extent in showing that high tax rates, equality, social compassion and trust, and other elements of social democracy are what make nations happy, not in theory but in fact.
  • from www.jeffreybperry.net  A page dedicated to the summary and deconstruction of Theodore Allen’s two volume historical classic, The Invention of the White Race, in essence a ripping to pieces of the various foundations of White supremacy in such a fashion as permits the reader a richer understanding of what’s behind such ideological developments and political systems.

5/15/14

Quote of the Day

“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.”  John Adams  http://www.john-adams-heritage.com/quotes/

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, & CONTESTS

I am looking for a writer to put together an educational product for the real estate business. I have a list of topics and a lot of information on how I would like it to look but need help putting… 
Pays: $15-20.00 per hour 

RP Funding, Inc is looking for experienced, part-time, contract writers. Daily hours may vary, approximately 20-30 hours per month. Writer can work remotely and is not required to be in the… 
Pays: $2K-3K/month 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

    • http://otherwords.org/about/  An Institute for Policy Studies portal that is a double opportunity for writers–providing timely research and analysis and a chance to publish one’s own work.
    • https://www.techdirt.com/register.php  A good chance to be part of a community that would support all that is good about a union of writers, at the same time that it might provide recruits to our cause.
    • http://www.ivaw.org/about/founding-ivaw  A group consisting of many thousands of veterans who are both writers or thinkers and opponents of imperialist war, who attend media-justice and media-strategy conferences in the South.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from blogs.nytimes.com The Times‘ “Bit Blog,” which summarizes the tasks facing Creative Commons’ new Executive Director, essentially public communication about how to organize the project into a lean machine to support both creators and producers in the Creative Common approach to I.P. issues.
  • from washingtonsblog.com  A lengthy “WashingtonBlog” analysis that contextualizes the use of labels to justify repression, examining Glenn Greenwald’s recent mongraph, No Place to Hide in the process as well as other sources, all of which ought to be a wake-up call to citizens who see themselves as writers, producers, etc.
  • from techdirt.com  An absolutely essential analysis of the ‘programmatic idiocy’ inherent in insistence on ever-shorter digests and other ways of eviscerating necessary content and controversy from reportage.
  • from wetmachine.com Another critically important blogging platform, here updating writers about the process of FCC “Open Meetings,” as in today’s giveaway to monopoly capital amid business-as-usual pretenses of openness.

 

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

 

  • from pando.com   A review of a new search tool that, in the ‘marketplace’ conceptualization of matters, will likely not survive despite having many neat and useful features.
  • from thehill.com   A confirmation from The Hill that the FCC is following the corporate agenda, so far without even a bow to encamped ‘protesters,’ other than breast-beating promises not to slow things down for regular folks.
  • from thehill.com   “The Congress Blog’s” take on an upsurge of calls for patent reform, in which the double standard–if it hurts business profits, it’s bad, but if it helps corporate profits, it’s good–vis a vis patents and copyrights is clearly visible.
  • from i2coalition.com   An assessment of the “DOTCOM Act” which seeks to have the U.S. hold onto assigning Internet coordinates, by the Internet Infrastructure Coalition, a group that styles itself as ” A global voice for the people and companies building the nuts and bolts of the Internet,” not mentioning in this op-ed the fact that twenty years ago all of these functions were publicly owned and operated.
  • from benton.org   A Benton.org summary of a report on planned Time Warner and Comcast “dynamic ad insertion” to insure that people cannot finesse watching the real reason that most television exists.
  • from theguardian.com Guardian opinion piece the title of which states its case succinctly, “The Official U.S. Position on the NSA Is Still Unlimited Eavesdropping Power.”

 

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from nces.ed.gov   An ‘infographic’ from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, from the National Center for Educational Statistics in the Department of Education, which shows that 26% of twelfth graders nationally are ‘proficient’ in Math, with 38% ‘proficient’ in reading, with the four Southern ‘volunteer sample’ jurisdictions the lowest in each category.
  • from villagevoice.com The Village Voice verdict on the Cecily McMillan verdict, essentially assessing that citizens now face serious prison time for getting assaulted and beaten up by police forces.
  • from france24.com An update from France24 that details growing rage among Turkish workers against the State and its business backers in the aftermath of the deaths of nearly 300 miners in the worst such disaster in the country’s history–sympathy strikes, riots, and more typical ‘protests’ are all burgeoning.
  • from blogs.nytimes.com Times  “Bits Blog” about Eric Schmidt’s–CEO of Google–appointment to the three person team created to ‘advice New York State about technology-use in schools,’ a position from which the leader of the world’s biggest web company can advance his own firm’s interests.

 

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

 

  • from washingtonpost.com   Charles Lane’s WaPo column, arguing that Thomas Picketty’s Capital in the 21st Century has much more in common with Henry George’s Poverty & Progress, published 135 years ago, than it does with Karl Marx’s Capital, roughly 146 years old.
  • from thehill.com  The Hill’s analysis of the Democrats “student loan push” to make itself more attractive in November–essentially doing nothing except adjusting the interest rate on exploitative and vicious student loan methods.
  • from nakedcapitalism.com An as usual lengthy and as usual essential analysis fromNaked Capitalism of the hidden and crucially important power dynamics in markets that make much thinking about their ‘freedom’ fatuous and self-serving nonsense.
  • from newyorkfed.org  The New York Federal Reserve’s most recent quarterly Household Credit & Debt Report, one of those regular items that bears watching in all cases.
  • from firedoglake.com FireDogLake meta-analysis that launches itself from the ACLU’s recent report, “Community Police Armed With Weapons and Tactics of War,” a sobering look at what it calls the “United Police State of America.”

5/14/14

   Quote of the Day

“Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen, or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?” – Kurt Vonnegut A hat tip to Information Clearinghouse…

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, & CONTESTS

We are looking for a researcher to write about the upcoming elections for U.S. Senate seats in a way that is unbiased and well-researched. You will research the policy and political positions of… 
Pays: $15/hr 

Medical book publisher seeks self-motivated individuals for freelance copyediting. English or Journalism degree, 2+ years medical editing experience, knowledge of AMA style essential; APA… 
Pays: $4/page 

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • FROM facebook.com/events/  A Making Contact event, in which David Barsamian will make a presentation about “Media, Capitalism, & the Environment.”
  • from rootsaction.org   A brief and an opportunity to sign on to insisting that a comprehensive ‘Shield Law’ is a sine qua non of media democracy, in relation to the threats to incarcerate Times regular James Risen if he fails to reveal a confidential source.
  • from facebook.com/americanfolklifecenter  A Library of Congress social media portal for anyone interested in grassroots reportage, storytelling, local history, and more.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from pando.com  A Pando Daily briefing about a Times announcement at a recent advertising confab, which indicated that the ‘paper of record’s’ “sponsored content,” i.e., advertising, is doing as well as, or even better than, its editorial material and general reportage, what theGuardian calls “selling the soul” of journalism and otherwise reflects business as usual here in America.
  • from centerformediajustice.org  A Center for Media Justice report that details the ways in which contemporary corporate mediation fails youth, meaning that this sector of society desperately needs to find ways to ‘speak for itself,’ a process in which a conscious and conscientious union of writers just might play a useful role.
  • from wsws.org  A World Socialist Website commemoration of and retrospective on Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a “giant” of world literature.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from mozilla.org A PDF version of Mozilla’s recent court filing that seeks FCC action in keeping a more or less ‘level playing field’ online by treating some virtual media activity as in the nature of utilities and hence subject to greater regulation.
  • from vox.com   A Vox analysis of the ‘fix’ that will almost certainly rule much of the Internet in coming years, since a people’s movement to stop it is not emerging, despite all of the brouhaha over camping out at the FCC, etc.
  • from benton.org/   A Benton.org summary of an L.A. Times piece that demonstrates that plus-or-minus twenty-five per cent of each hour of broadcast and cable television comes down to advertising messages.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from pando.com   A Mark Ames analysis from Pando Daily that without ever straying toward anything like a ‘leftist’ or ‘imperialist’ analysis, shows without equivocation that much of the entire framework for gaining anything like knowledge about the world is horrifically skewed in the United States, as is universally the case among corporate media in regard to Ukraine.
  • from nytimes.com A Timesop-ed apropos to Thomas Picketty’s book, Capital in the 21st Century, which advocates a stiff wealth tax as the only method for containing or reversing inequality, a position that the author’s current book tour is airing out here on the Tea Party’s home turf.
  • from dissenter.firedoglake.com  A FireDogLakesummary of an Amnesty International survey about torture, that found that a third or more of citizens in 21 countries–including the U.S.–believe that their own governments would torture them were they taken into custody.
  • from thehill.com   A report from The Hill, which details how a judicial nomination of the Obama administration, for Georgia’s District Court, is in deep trouble as a result of Democrats’ questioning the nominees decisions in regard to abortion, gay rights, and civil liberties.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

 

  • from mcclatchydc.com  A McClatchy News Service brief about a recent United Nations report that notes the United States’ and two other countries’ being the only nations that don’t provide maternity benefits to new mothers.
  • http://kmgarcia2000.blogspot.com/  Karen Garcia’s latest installment at Sardonicky, “Ruling Class Racketeers,” which deconstructs the underpinnings of ‘ObamaCare’s’ racket in a lengthy and well-researched article.
  • from nsf.gov/discoveries A National Science Foundation blog about environmental scientists who are engaging with students and the public through junior and community colleges in order to “ignite students’ passion for science.”
  • thinkprogress.org/climate  A Think Progress report that details Germany’s massive investment in renewable energy, which resulted in a record 75% of its electricity consumption’s emanating from wind, solar, etc. on a recent day.
  • http://otherwords.org/happy-times-in-hedge-fund-america/  An Institute for Policy Studies “Other Words” analysis that shows that while median-income Americans are barely getting by, “Hedge Fund America” is making out like one big bandit.
  • http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/206042-drone-lobby-takes-flight-on-k-street  An assessment from The Hill of recent ‘explosive growth’ in lobbying expenditures regarding drone flights inside U.S. borders, the upshot being that this tendency is more or less a foregone conclusion.

5/13/2014

Quote of the Day

“In their hearts, they turned to each other’s hearts for refuge, in the troubled years that came before the deluge.”  Jackson Browne

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

The NWU Chapter Chairs conference call put the decision about a dues increase on hold and formed a committee for considering strategic discussions to help ‘grow the union.’
JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, & CONTESTS
ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING
http://www.uccmediajustice.org/  A link to one of the primary denominational leaders in struggles for equity and justice in media, many, many, many of whom might be perfectly willing to join with us as we join with them.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from prospect.org –  A report from Prospect Magazine that skewers ‘liberal’ media outlets for, on average, only employing 10% minority staffers in a nation that is over 40% Black and Hispanic.
  • from pando.com –  A legal exchange regarding litigation and threatened litigation, against Pando Daily, instructive to writers who might occasionally stumble on sensitive material that established forces would prefer remain unpublished.
  • from wired.com –  A bizarre and practically ‘mental’ look at a cult classic, Mystery Science Theater 3000, from Wired Magazine, and styled as ‘oral history,’ great fodder for writers who want to push the envelope, so to say.
  • from care2.com – A Care2 report that assesses the way that information sources in social media are inherently suspect now that corporate sources have “caught on” and now pay folks to ‘hang out and spread the word,’ as it were.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from broadcastingcable.com –  Que sorpresa, an announcement that the National Cable & Telecommunications Association thinks that treating Bill Clinton’s ‘gift’ of the Internet as a utility, the so-called Title II debate, would be a mistake that would hurt ‘free enterprise’ that has never existed, etc.
  • from benton.org – Benton.org’s briefing about Free Press’s plans to amp up grassroots pressure for treating web-barons as utilities, again the Title-II debate in its mundane glory.
  • from fastcolabs.com – A Fast Lane report, and interview with Mozilla’s CEO, about FireFox’s recent petition for a ‘third way’ approach to the net neutrality debate, one that accedes to treatment of aspects of web service delivery as utilities.
  • from knightfoundation.org –  A Knight Foundation blog about one of its initiatives, in Chicago, to join arts and ‘built-environment’ issues so that local communities can engage in rejuvenating themselves.
  • from nap.edu –  At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy, a National Academies Press publication that makes the establishment’s case for a robust presence of the State in surveillance, secrecy, and so forth, all in four color graphics.
  • from pando.com –  A ‘clear-and-present-danger’ piece from Pando Digest that dispositively demonstrates the ties between National Intelligence and Silicon Valley, specifically examining Google and NSA ties.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from globalresearch.ca –  A typically thorough and grounded-in-reality Global Research report on the present prospects and hideous viciousness in Ukraine just now, all in typical ‘regime-change’ imperial ‘Nuland-speak,’ from the U.S. establishment POV.
  • from counterpunch.org –  An admirably analyzed and argued assessment of the current situation in Egypt, where the hyper-elites there serve both to keep their places at the public trough and to do as their corporate masters say otherwise, all composed by a union delegate, from the Machinists, to the San Francisco Labor Council.
  • from truth-out.org –  Another Truthout must-read, which offers an ‘assignment’ to readers to contemplate the charts and prose and analysis proffered that prove the gross overspending by the U.S. military-industrial-complex, and then “pass the information on” to others.
  • from informationclearinghouse.info – An Information Clearinghouse article that comes close to arguing–while presenting verifiable documentation and analysis, the the dollar-denominated world trade system is under a powerful challenge from a ‘De-Dollarizing’ Russia that in part is responding to recent sanctions and such.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from techrepublic.com – A very brief briefing, albeit with some links, about technology’s impact on innovative farming, food-production, and food-distribution options, with a look at a ‘net-zero’ underground farm in London.
  • from washingtonpost.com –  A typically arrogant dismissal, by WaPo, of any questioning of the multiple cults of expertise that purport to tell people what’s best for them, a noisome point-of-view that is nonetheless critical to understand and deconstruct if a People’s Science Initiative, which–hint, hint–ought to connect with a People’s Cultural Initiative led by a certain union of writers, is ever to come to pass.
  • from counterpunch.org – A Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler presentation in Couterpunch that exposes a fake sale of $121 billion worth of Treasury Bills that must have served a ‘propping-up-the-empire’ purpose, according to the authors, a plan that worked this time but which may not work much longer.
  • from nap.edu –  A recent National Academies Press Release, concerning the “Causes and Consequences of Mass Incarceration” here in the land of the free and the home of the brave that provides a benchmark concerning the established explanation for things, as well as providing plenty of data to parse and ponder.
  • from nap.edu – Another National Academies Press monograph, Chronic Multisymptom Illness in Gulf War Vets, serving as a solid empirical foundation of the morbidity and mortality that these soldiers continue to display in horrifyingly more extensive ways than other veterans of other conflcts.

5/12/2014

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS
A mandatory dues increase is likely coming, as the United Auto Workers raises a ‘strike fund’ for likely confrontations in the near future; as well, National Officers of the NWU propose additional surcharges to raise badly needed operating funds for our purposes, a matter about which members ought to be in communication with their leaders and each other.
ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING
  • http://mag-net.org/  A project of the Center for Media Justice, the Media Action Grassroots Network, offering a multi-tiered, multidimensional take on organizing for local and working class media power, which just recently held a Southern Strategy Session at Tennessee’s Highlander Center and holds a National Strategy Conference in Oakland this Summer.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from blogs.loc.gov –  A Library of Congress blog about the centennial celebration of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, a venerable group to which the NWU is in one sense a bracing alternative and in another sense with which the NWU is a collegial ally of one sort or other.
  • from good.is –  A loopy but somehow sweet MIT process for which applications are now open, the upshot of which would be astounding opportunities for freelancers to produce interesting work.
  • from cjr.org – The latest indicia that ‘what is good for investors is lousy for writers and media workers’ analysis, from the Columbia Journalism Review, reviewing trends in newspaper mergers-and-acquisitions with an eye to past bankruptcies, layoffs, etc.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from care2.com – An arguably frightening briefing about the modeling of a “national strategy for trusted identities in cyberspace,” brought to us by Uncle Sam, which would require a single, government-watched password in order to conduct any business at all online.
  • from truthdig.com – A visionary Chris Hedges piece that might serve as a ‘required reading’ think-piece for all and sundry interested in building a large and powerful National Writers Union.
  • from truth-out.org – An amazing Truthout profile of Noam Chomsky, which ties the capacity for human survival to the capacity for ‘public intellectuals’ to find a ‘place to stand’ and do their essential work, all of which ought to be absolutely critical to those who hope to build a large and powerful union of writers.
  • from broadcastlawblog.com –  A recent blog that details the final death knell for the Fairness Doctrine, in the form of the overturning of the Zapple requirement that any endorsement of one candidate by a broadcasting outlet required a chance for rejoinder from the other side.
  • from nytimes.com – A research analysis of Network Neutrality issues in the form of an extended profile of Tim Wu, the Columbia University Law Professor who first coined the term over a decade ago.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from pando.com – An important Pando Daily interview with Sebastian Thrun, the founder of Udacity and originator of Massive Online Open Course work, who has recently disavowed the MOOC potential, at least as currently constituted.
  • from blogs.fas.org – A wonderful Federation of American Scientists Strategic Security Blog, evenhanded and pragmatic, which emphasizes the massive, perhaps ecocidal destruction that might follow this conflict’s ‘boiling over,’ as it were.
  • from economictimes.indiatimes.com –  A report about the $324 million class action settlement in the conspiracy lawsuit against Google, et al., in which one of the four named plaintiffs has unequivocally rejected the deal that his lawyers negotiated, noting, “As an analogy, if a shoplifter is caught on video stealing a $400 iPad from the Apple Store, would a fair and just resolution be for the shoplifter to pay Apple $40, keep the iPad, and walk away with no record or admission of wrongdoing? Of course not.”
  • from nakedcapitalism.com – An examination by Yves Smith, of Naked Capitalism, of Rhode Island legislation that would prioritize State contracts with those companies that paid their highest paid executives at most 32 times the wages of the lowest paid workers.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from fas.org – A Congressional Research Service report, only available because of Steven Aftergood’s heroic stewardship, which deals with the planned Central America Regional Security Initiative, an attempt by imperial forces within the U.S. Government to extend “Plan Colombia” and other fascistic efforts of the ‘War on Drugs’ to Central America, where several regimes contrary to U.S. wishes are now in charge.
  • from fastcoexist.com –  A middle-of-the-road and insightful look at the so-called ‘Millennial Generation’s’ economic woes–fifty per cent labor force participation, no-to-low income, etc–and what some options for leveraging better results might be, none of which are yet “Joining the National Writers Union.”
  • from washingtonpost.com – A Washington Post science report about widespread resistance to antibiotics, primarily as a result of the use of such pharmaceuticals in agriculture, about which the Food and Drug Administration calls for ‘voluntary’ reductions in use by agribusiness companies.

Recent Key Interesting Links

Links over the past few weeks that we do an interlude

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://truth-out.org –  An article that offers utterly key union strategies in education organizing, which could easily apply to every hope and dream of the NWU–in sum, this: “teachers are beginning to win some battles—by winning over hearts and minds in the communities they serve.”
  • from thesouthlawn – A critical labor networking link from a blogsite from which, given resources and a strategic focus, we might recruit half-a-dozen network-leader-members, in which Professor Ragsdale’s work foments teach-ins and historical understanding as absolutely essential elements of organizing.
  • http://www.wcl.american.edu – An American University portal to the Collaboration on Government Secrecy, which is a non-partisan attempt to facilitate more openness in regard to government information since, otherwise, democracy is a farce and a charade.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • from forbes.com – An assessment of a new bill, introduced by Senator Tom Coburn, which would end any Federal purchase of National Technical Information Service reports that were freely available online, which leads to many interesting implications and inferences about research, government support for distributing scientific and technical data, and more.
  • from loc.gov – A Library of Congress Portal that announces the annual–since 2010 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction–which folks can submit nominations for here:.
  •  fromnytimes.com – A Times briefing about Wattpad, a serialized fiction service that in some ways is already revolutionizing the production of fiction.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • from nytimes.com – Another nuanced and really brilliant Times piece, this time deconstructing the nature of street art in contemporary Athens, with elements of rebellious critique, official cooptation, and the possibilities of public art in public spaces all making an appearance.
  • from washingtonpost.com –  Another sublime skewering by Erik Wemple, this time of a fatuous Huff-Po ‘host’ who can’t accept critique from an Asian-American activist of Steven Colbert.
  • from blogs.fas.org/secrecy/2014/01/fbis-wnc/  A lovely ‘secrecy blog’ from Steven Aftergood, which announces the cutoff of journalistic access to CIA translations of foreign news, which had been available for forty years prior to now.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • from france24.com – One of many recent looks at Thomas Picketty’s book tour, from France, promoting his recent magnum opus on the structural, cyclical, and political economic foundations of inequality.
  • from stuff.co.nz – A recent report from New Zealand, in which Stuff notes that the country’s largest teacher’s union has timed a massive ‘march on Parliament’ to coincide with a benchmark international education conference that New Zealand was hosting.
  • from constantcontact.com/register/ –  A three-weeks-past one day conference that called for “Faith Leaders and the Dialogue on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear War” to come together in Washington.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • from informationclearinghouse.info – An examination of the last seventy years of enmity toward Russia, beginning with the atomic bombing of Japan, which most credible evidence and analysis ascribes to a ‘shot across the bow’ against the USSR, prior to the Cold War’s formal declaration.
  • from nytimes.com –   A lengthy and arguably brilliant analysis by the Times about McDowell County West Virgina, where the poverty rate is over 40%, over half the County income stems from disability or SSI payments, one-third of the workers participate in the labor force, and things are approximately as socially hideous as they were when the ‘War on Poverty’ targeted McDowell fifty years ago; a place where one bright spot is an American Federation of Teachers and local initiative to build opportunity into a system which has thus far treated working people as so much waste product.
  • from gwu.edu –  The first of two recent links about the overthrow of the elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq in Iran in 1953–here’s the other: http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1952-54v10–both of which chillingly demonstrate the sort of arrogance and imperial imprimatur that cavalierly and with impunity foments murder and mayhem in order to accomplish ‘regime change,’ which many analysts now contend is occurring in updated form in recent events in relation to the Ukraine.
  • from nytimes.com –  Duh!  A Times “Room For Debate” sequence about the resurgence of Marxist thinking, in which Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith plays a part.

3/21/2014

Quote of the Day

“There is hardly any other sphere in which prejudice and superstition of the most horrific kind have been retained so long as in that of women, and just as it must have been an inexpressable relief for humanity when it shook off the burden of religious prejudice and superstition, I think it will be truly glorious when women become real people and have the whole world open before them.”
Isak Dinesen, Letters from Africa

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://www.openthebooks.com/  An Illinois NGO insisting that access to records about government finances is critical, especially in an age of ubiquitous corporate theft–a thousand pardons, ‘handouts’ of public funds in the name of tax write-offs and so on.
  • https://www.resetthenet.org/  A work-in-progress that has to be worth watching

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • http://www.beaconreader.com/pay-me-please  An offshoot of beacon.com, that has a well-conceived presentation of complaints against media about non-payment, which, in passing, also proffers ‘paying markets.’
  • http://www.wired.com/underwire/2014/02/fanfic-and-publishers/  An “Underwire” lead article from Wired that examines ‘Fan Fiction’ in some depth, as well as introducing Big Bang Publishing, which intends to mine authors from the fan fiction ranks.
  • A ‘sadly-&-unfortunately’ post from Pando Daily that explains away rising income inequality as the result of higher-paid employees making out like bandits while the majority falls behind, suggesting that such an explanation means that the wage-system is fair, overall, for the likes of union writers and freelancers, except, ‘sadly-&-unfortunately,’…
  •   A Wired blog that indicates that those who use e-readers read more, read more deeply, and are more open to out-of-the-loop materials–good news for those, like This Humble Correspondent, who now have their e-book-stores up and running.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  •   A summary of a workshop, The Arc of an Academic Research Career, a monograph that fits in to recent links about higher education and the diminution of support and resources for those who are pursuing academic goals and objectives.
  • http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com – A lengthy musing by a proponent of ’emergent middle classes,’ and hence an opponent of This Humble Correspondent, the reflections of Turkish Nobelist Orhan Pamuk, a brilliant writer and thinker, about small and personalized museums, including his own “Museum of Innocence.”
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYgu0uLp84k  A YouTube presentation, “Art and the Working Class,” that discusses the meaning and threat of plans to liquidate Detroit Institute of Art holdings as a way of further subsidizing those who own everything.
  • A Sydney Morning Herald ‘defense’ of its lack of coverage of what it acknowledge was a much better organized and vastly better attended series of marches against Conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott that the ‘Carbon-Tax’ Abott-attended ‘protests’ that it covered quite thoroughly a while back, a ‘defense’ that proves the case of the prosecution against the so-called ‘MainStream’ for profit, corporate media

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • http://www.wsws.org – Ah, humanity!  A post that the head of Russia’s U.N. mission should share with the world, about the ‘friends’ and ‘freedom fighters’ with whom our ‘leaders’ are associating us–were a word to the wise sufficient, we’d be set after reading this.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vFhXpfEfQg  A YouTube video of Ron Paul at Berkeley from the most anti-Libertarian Humble Correspondent on the planet, because, whatever his politics, Senator Paul deserves his hearings.
  • http://www.nytimes.com – An article from ‘the paper of record’ that shows not that Fukushima was a blow against the standard operating procedure, but that Fukushima is the standard operating procedure.
  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/20/the-rise-of-fascism-in-the-west/  A ‘paying attention’ opportunity that may be one of our last such, from CounterPunch, about the contextualization of monopoly finance capital as inherently fascist, which is great if that’s what the majority want but may bring extinction nevertheless.
  • http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com – A report about Tuesday’s arrest of 39 protesters in the Georgia capitol who were witnessing against a failure to extend Medicare, as a part of the nascent, burgeoning Moral Monday movement.
  • http://www.freep.com –  A Detroit Free-Press report and analysis of a program in Michigan to experiment with free community and four-year college tuition in return for 2% and 4%, respectively, of income for five years for every year of free schooling.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  •  A dial-tone from the wake-up call line, this report from The Hill, about frustrated unions that are fed up with Democratic Party waffling and B.S., including the delays on the Keystone Pipeline, which means that tough measures indeed are necessary from a bunch of corporate hacks whose only capacity for toughness is taxing the poor and giving to the rich.
  • http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2014/03/cancer-stage-reaganomics  A blog by Thom Hartmann that analogized student indebtedness to a “Cancer State of Reaganomics” that we must excise to survive.
  • http://truth-out.org/  A report from TruthOut, via Alternet and OpenTheBooks.org, that demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of ‘welfare’ payments benefit those who already own everything.
  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/20/the-u-s-s-terrorism-double-standard/  An article by another CounterPunch genius, arguing that only in ‘opposite world’ is Cuba terrorizing and victimizing the United States, meaning that an end to vicious and criminal policy ought to transpire tout suite.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/  An inspired argument from Global Research that shows the correspondence in methods between Ukraine’s recent coup and ‘Plan Colombia,’ with the upshot being that violence and war become inevitable as any hope of democracy recedes.
  • http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42853.pdf  A Congressional Research Service Report, only available here through the heroic efforts of the Federation of American Scientists, that shows that a nuclear future is the power-approach that our corporate masters intend to promulgate.

3/20/2014

Quote of the Day

“The history of white people has led them to a fearful baffling place where they have begun to lose touch with reality – to lose touch, that is, with themselves… They do not know how this came about; they do not dare examine how this came about.”

– James Baldwin

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  •   An announcement in regard to a New Economy Coalition convening in Boston in June, a peoples congress for transformed socioeconomic relationships, for which scholarships are available to those at the grassroots.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • http://pando.com/  A Pando piece that briefs readers on an almost unbelievable ‘trend,’ the seeking of engagement rather than ‘clicks.’
  • http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/events.html  A calendar of upcoming Library of Congress Hispanic literary events, including next Tuesday’s gathering with Mexican poet and author Carmen Boullosa.
  • http://www.loc.gov/folklife/events/botkin-lectures.html?#coffeehouse  An upcoming Library of Congress afternoon seminar, Friday April 11, that ought to be near and dear to many writers, about what coffeehouses mean to culture and counterculture and such.
  • http://www.tvnewscheck.com A briefing and analysis about a recent poll of 1,400 citizens about their relationships with news and information, from TVNewsCheck, that indicates the vast majority still want to pay attention to current events and a majority hope that news organizations exist to provide them with their diet of data.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/30026279/cloaking-app-for-the-antisocial  A review of an application from New Zealand’s Stuff that plugs the potential of anti-social social media, an avoidance capacity as it were.
  • http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2014/03/a-regional-ndsa/  A guest posting on the Library of Congress blog by a Library Sciences professor from Wayne State that explores the possibility of extending digital-preservation meetings in the direction of the grassroots
  • http://www.techrepublic.com/ TechRepublic’s response to Berner-Lee’s call for an Internet Bill of Rights, which the ‘neutral’ TR calls an impossibility.
  • http://www.newyorker.com/  An “Isn’t that interesting” moment, thanks to New Yorker, about Paul de Man’s National Socialist past–he of the gestation of ‘literary theory’ and more, all fascinating aspects of the contemporary literary scene–including the publication of his entire Nazi ouevre.
  • http://arstechnica.com/ A powerful pulse from Edward Snowden, at the Vancouver TED gathering, from somewhere in Russia and via Ars Technica, that encouraged quick encryption by all and sundry and an attentive ear for yet more revelations to come–“Who I am really doesn’t matter at all. … What really matters is the kind of Internet we want, the kind of relationship with society… I wouldn’t use words like hero or traitor. I’m an American and a citizen.”

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/  A Forbidden Knowledge TV profferal of a video’s offering the advice, sobering and real, from Dmitri Orlov to the citizens and government of the United States.
  • http://www.reuters.com/  A briefing from Reuters, thanks to GreenWorld and Michael Mariotte both, about South Carolina’s recent lawsuit against the Department of Energy’s decision to mothball a mixed-oxide nuclear fuel site adjacent to the Savannah River Site, never mind the $25 billion expenditure required for the cost-overrun completion and the nuclear weapons transmogrification that is also unavoidable.
  • http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/venezuelas-future/  A richly contextualized, soberminded, and deeply provocative set of insights into how to think about Venezuela’s pass, our part in it, what it means, and why we should care, from the founder of Z-Magazine.
  • http://www.independent.ie/ An article from The Independent, thanks to [Nuke-Net], that discusses the implications of Ukrainian events for Chernobyl oversight as well as for the region’s nuclear hopes and irradiated dreams.
  • http://thehill.com In a miraculous scenario, a possible coup for Democratic Party HQ, in the form of paying attention to this brief from The Hill about the Chamber of Commerce drive to fend off any redress of working class grievances with imbalances in the National Labor Relations Board’s policies and procedures in regard to union elections, communications among workers, and more.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • http://www.counterpunch.org  A piece that should call forth a Swift of a Carroll for its full, sweet release of ironic drollery, proffered by CounterPunch, detailing a CodePink protest of the justifying-homicide new head of Homeland Security and a follow-up meeting with him at HHS HQ.
  • http://otherwords.org/  A guest posting on the “In OtherWords” blog at the Institute for Policy Studies, which looks at the criminal and ludicrous–at least if evaluated by international law and community empowerment norms–embargo of Cuba, which the author says, at 55, is old enough to leave.
  • http://www.truth-out.org   A TruthOut review/expose that eviscerates the neoliberal, perhaps protofascist model currently all the rage in higher education, in terms of its destruction of critical thinking, in terms of its elimination of the space and security to reflect honest, and in terms of its aligning of universities with the worst of militarism, infotainment, and more.
  • http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024683806  A wonderful contextualization, from Democratic Underground, of the ongoing attempts to demonize Iran in such a fashion as to justify incursions, invasions, dirty tricks, and other ways of terming murder and plunder in the service of empire.
  • http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18626  A plausibly critical monograph from National Academies Press, about the import and role of engineering talent in relation to national–or perhaps we might elect to say social–economic viability.
  • http://thehill.com  A dispiriting report from The Hill, if one believes in the Democratipublican wing of the national political apparatus, or another opportunity for “I told you so” from others, about the likelihood that insurance premiums are likely to double in the next year or so on the Affordable Care Act(ha ha!)exchange.

3/19/2014

Quote of the Day

“In the long run men inevitably become the victims of their wealth.  They adapt their lives and habits to their money, not their money to their lives.  It preoccupies their thoughts, creates artificial needs, and draws a curtain between them and the world.” – See more at:   Herbert Croly

RECENT BLOG-POSTS

New blog entry

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, & CONTESTS

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://democracycollaborative.org/  The real deal, another recent initiative in which Gar Alperowitz is playing a leading role, an effort that could provide the basis for participatory democracy, economic equality, and social justice.
  • http://fivethirtyeight.com/ – Really practical data from statistician Nate Silver, how to pick a ‘March Madness’ bracket, from the site that proposes to bring real data back to journalism.
  • http://original.antiwar.com – From the ‘other side of the aisle,’ a social libertarian’s anti-military-industrial-complex take on U.S. foreign policy.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/ –  A report about the record breaking KickStarter campaign, raising five million bucks for a film version of Veronica Mars, from New Zealand’s Stuff news, a report moreover that details pitfalls in the plutocratic media marketplace about which writers should be aware–‘a word to the wise is sufficient.’
  • http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com –  A light-hearted look, by a Times contributor, at the possibility that a ‘mild speech impediment’ might jump-start literary capacity.
  • http://mathbabe.org – Math-Babe’s announcement that she’ll be running a Summer program at the Columbia Journalism School for writers who want to integrate quantitative capacity into their work.
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com –  Another detailed and amazing tale from Eric Wemple at WaPo, this time about the firing of Jason Welch by the L.A. Times for having sex with a source, the paper says, but quite likely at least as much because the target of Welch’s most recent investigation, Occidental College, was carrying out a vendetta against the reporter.
  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com – A Naked Capitalism briefing about the organization’s California Open Records Act lawsuit against the California State pension system, which gave ‘complete’ access to some academics in England but doesn’t want to share with ‘radicals.’

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/ – A semi-funny and fully spooky take, quite open and above-board about the writer’s own experiences–all tongue-in-cheek, of course–from WaPo, about an alliance between FaceBook and the National Security Administration as ‘good for advertisers and good for spooks, too!’
  • http://thehill.com/ – The “Hillicon Valley” blog’s report on a letter to Congress from former investigative staff of the legendary Church Committee–which among its revelations about assassination, agents provocateurs, and purchasing journalists managed also to examine surveillance in general–calling for a deep and challenging investigation into National Security Administration practices.
  • http://benton.org –  A Benton.org brief note of a industry magazine’s survey that shows TV still ranks significantly ahead of the web and other sources for news.
  • http://www.adweek.com –  An AdWeek briefing about the phenomenon of ‘branded entertainment,’ which essentially promises that the trend will increase, that the complete subsuming of culture by marketing is part of the plan of our corporate masters.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • http://www.nytimes.com/ –  Roger Cohen’s editorial, arguably the first sane voice from the Times in regard to the Ukraine, warning starkly that the path to world war lays before us in all sorts of events over which control is at best optimistic hope and at worst foolish fantasy.
  • http://www.france24.com – A briefing from France 24, about a Greenpeace action against nuclear energy in Europe, in which activists hung a banner reading “Stop Risking Europe” from France’s oldest atomic power station.
  • http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/ – A report from Nick Cunningham, cross-posted at Naked Capitalism, about some of the carboniferous political economic issues in play in regard to Crimea, which seems to hold some key ‘cards’ in the games of petro-poker which underlie so much of modern existence.
  • http://www.nytimes.com/ – A staunch stand for justice in Georgia, in which thirty nine citizens, mainly older, went to jail to insure that their voices were heard over the propaganda and crap that spews forth from most media about Southern exceptionalism and the oppression of people taken for granted in refusing Medicaid expansion and other ways.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/19/safr-m19.html  A report and analysis from World Socialist Website about last week’s protests and school strikes in South Africa, which police and ANC operatives have greeted with violence.
  • http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Corporate-Greed/K-E-Double-L!-O-Double-Greed  An AFL-CIO blog update on the lockout of food-processing workers in Memphis by a corporate entity that wants to replace full-time, decent benefits jobs with temporary and part-time employees with no benefits and lower wages.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • http://blogs.loc.gov/ – A retrospective look at what many would call homicide instead of ‘tragedy,’ by the Library of Congress, which offers a set of “primary sources” here, in similar fashion as deaths of workers on the job everywhere are often preventable but for the rights of property to pursue profit above all other considerations.
  • http://thehill.com/blogs/ – A brief, from The Hill, about the political economy of budget cuts at the very highest levels of capital acquisition, in this case the cuts across the world–and in particular in Italy–of planned Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets.
  • http://www.theatlantic.com/ –  A rational assessment about the War on Drugs–that it is a matter of prohibition and the official establishment of ‘Black Markets,’ how interesting!–from the venerable Atlantic.
  • http://www.counterpunch.org –  A research report by John Pilger, in CounterPunch, comparing the coup in Australia in 1975 to the ‘soft-power’ destruction of democracy in Ukraine.
  • http://www.pnas.org –  A scary report from Wired, scary to anyone who likes having enough to eat anyhow, about idiotic mismanagement of corporate farming profiteers that has engendered a genetically-modified corn toxin-resistant corn-borer–can anyone say ‘bet against corn in the futures market?’
  • http://www.brookings.edu/~ A March Brookings Institution Report that demonstrates the catastrophe of “plummeting labor market fortunes” of teens and young adults.

3/18/2014

Quote of the Day

“Technology is like the opposite of sex.  Even when it’s great, it’s terrible.”

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://inequality.org/  A liberal-to-radical portal to writing, thinking, analysis, and facts about the killing tide of inequality that is swamping contemporary existence.
  • http://www.themillions.com –  A two year old review about Chinua Achebe’s There Was a Country, his first not-poetic text concerning the slaughter in Biafra, from The Millions, a site dedicated to literary critique online.
  • http://www.pluralistcommonwealth.org/  A new project, spearheaded by Gar Alperowitz, whose groundbreaking research in Atomic Diplomacy provides a foundation for understanding nuclear weapons, and whose decades-long promotion of deeply empirical and creatively analytical methods for understanding political economy have boosted community empowerment and democracy.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • http://www.washingtonpost.com –  Another killer blog from Eric Wemple at WaPo, who this round reports on a recent Associated Press investigation of the Obama Administration’s year-over-year citation of ‘National Security’ rationale for refusing Freedom of Information Act requests–more than double 2009, up over fifty per cent since last year–ironic or worse in light of the commitment to ‘transparency’ from the Democrats.
  • http://www.fas.org – Another piece of the FOIA puzzle, in this instance the District Court’s decision in Scudder v. CIA, denying summary judgment motions of both parties and moving the litigation toward trial, to determine whether disallowing PDF files to requesters of data will continue to be standard operating procedure.
  • http://wbai-now-and-then.blogspot.com/  A multilayered look, in what some might describe as a key writers’ market, at Summer Reese’s firing at Pacifica and how she is electing not to ‘go gentle into that good night,’ as well as contextualizing the forces arrayed against her and in her favor, and providing documentation for the entire conflict.
  • http://www.csmonitor.com  What could conceivably serve as a democratic web manifesto, a lengthy report and analysis from Christian Science Monitor about the paths that are possible for the future evolution of the Internet, a profiteering plunderocracy modeled on cable TV or something similar, or a publicly owned utility that has as its central function the provision of excellent and fast and varied service to all.
  • http://www.salon.com –  A powerful blast from Thomas Frank, in Salon’s Sunday mailing, that establishes in depth and without doubt that Barack Obama’s and the national Democratic Party’s agendas have nothing to do with fighting inequality and everything to do with propagandizing ‘increased opportunity,’ an absolutely key distinction to a union of writers that is trying to attract members and imagine strategies for its current adherents actually to make ends meet.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • http://thehill.com – A report from The Hill that makes two things clear–first, Senator Diane Feinstein’s more or less enthusiastic support of surveillance, and two, her desire to have kept this current conflict cloistered.
  • http://ingvihrannar.com –  An Icelandic elementary teacher’s well-reasoned and impassioned plea for revolutionary changes in schools–“We need to change them into something else.”
  • http://www.stuff.co.nz – A pretty fascinating report, from New Zealand’s Stuff, originally available on Mashable, about Chris Dancy, who is promoting the notion of the Innernet, instead of the Internet, a marketer’s dream if nothing else.
  • http://www.nytimes.com –  A lengthy and detailed, and just fascinating, report by the Times that examines the potential role–critical to various aspects of our mediated world–of smaller and cheaper satellites that the major media and telecommunications companies do not now control.
  • http://gigaom.com – A lengthy assessment from GigaOm that argues, in sharp contrast to such authorities as Pando investor and general genius, Marc Andreeson, that anonymous social sites online can serve important and useful functions.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/  A lengthy video about nuclear wastes that warns of catastrophe in a further expansion of nukes, by the all-over-the-map gadfly in charge of Forbidden Knowledge TV.
  • http://www.counterpunch.org –  An account by a professor who teaches in Venezuela, for CounterPunch, examining the imperial pretensions of the United States and showing that feeling ‘sorry’ for poor Venezuelans is at best counterproductive to making improvements there and, especially, in our own country.
  • http://www.globalresearch.ca –  A brief, and somewhat whimsical in a grotesque sort of way, look at imperial utility and its corresponding launching of operations on the cusp of Spring.
  • http://dealbook.nytimes.com/ A look, in the Times “Dealbook,” at the way that ‘hunger for yields’ has sent hundreds of billions in investments and loans to Russia, which, though it presents loads of paradoxes, the paper’s editors indicate mean that the best ways to sanction Russia are to create worse investment scenarios for these businesses, which should gradually draw down their support of former Soviet infrastructure, business, and so forth.
  • http://truth-out.org/ An analysis that shows what is at stake in the case before the National Labor Relations Board, either something akin to a slight balancing of the playing field or an out-and-out permission by plutocrats to buy union elections as well as political contests per se.
  • http://www.nola.com – An assessment, providing both current detail and background context, from the Times-Picayune, of former Governor and Federal prisoner Edwin Edward’s announcement of his upcoming bid for Congress in Southern Louisiana.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • http://www.nytimes.com A report from the Times that establishes that a gulf separates the life expectations and life-expectancies of people in poor places, compared to people in wealthy places, over a decade’s difference between women in two counties that the article examines, almost twenty years separation between the men in the two locales.
  • http://thehill.com  A blog from The Hill by two members of the Palestinian Policy Network who argue that the U.S. “Framework Agreement” for moving Israeli-Palestinian talks forward is so deeply flawed that it guarantees failure, once again, in this process.
  • http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/17/chiv-m17.html  A report about the dispatch to Ukraine of Times correspondent C.J. Chivers, by the World Socialist Website, that details damningly the ‘paper-of-record’s’ longstanding close collaboration with the intelligence apparatuses of U.S. empire, for the benefit of which Mr. Chivers may well be accepting another far-flung outpost.
  • http://www.mediapost.com  Oh my!  An apparent plug for a ‘stimulant-like’ substance, marketed as a ‘cure’ for ‘Shift-Work-Disorder,’ another name for overwork and undersleep in the stretch-out labor market prevalent now, especially in hospitals.
  • http://truth-out.org  A TruthOut briefing on the fallacies and inadequacies of a determined media focus on ‘generational warfare, when instead a rational investigation of policies that permit large-scale tax evasion and other attacks on funding Social Security would come to the fore.

3/17/2014

Quote of the Day

If the reader discovers any reasoning in conflict with his own, let him not resort to abusive epithets in order to disprove what is said in these pages; rather . . . show wherein the error exists, that others may profit thereby.

Terence V. Powderly, Grand Master Workman, Noble Order of the Knights of Labor, 1889.

RECENT BLOG-POSTS

Extras Blog

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, & CONTESTS

A possible lead for writers with backgrounds in proposal-writing, team building, and data and accounting skill sets, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  •   A health evaluation Independent Research Institute at the University of Washington that does work that in other places national agencies do, seeking to back “sound measurement and accountable science” in order to “accelerate global health progress.”
  •  A NYC radio station WBAI blog that contains a brilliant, yet frightening, satire about the Pacifica National Board decision to sack executive director Summer Reese, the entire chaotic mess no doubt explicable, given investigative resources, but on the surface merely another case of pointless infighting.
  •   A national agency of France that practices a rational approach to funding local cultural activity and providing some semblance of social security for creative workers that–who knows??–might be a good network node for an union of writers seeking a way to move forward in the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave,’ where writers and artists have to have ‘day jobs.’

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  •   A Times report and brief analysis of the upheaval in the Pacifica Radio Network, which pioneered listener supported radio and has quite often supplied sinecures or temporary perches for writers like This Humble Correspondent.
  • Naked Capitalism –  Imagining the unimaginable possibility of popularity, a fascinating set of revelations–naked of all pretense, clothed in no gibberish or jargon–about the ins and outs of comment moderation.
  • http://otherwords.org/striking-public-university-uic-adjuncts/  A brief about a recent faculty walkout at the University of Illinois at Chicago, noting that professors these days–all writers, by the way!!–are over the three-quarters adjunct faculty with few or now benefits and all that ought to excite a concerted effort to form self-organized means of protection, better known as unions.
  • http://www.journalism.org/files/2014/03/SocialSearchandDirect_PathwaystoDigitalNews.pdf  A Pew Research Center report that could help writers, reporters, researchers, and their unions to find ways better to engage the various publics with which we are all trying to connect.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • loc.gov – A lovely and nuanced look from the Library of Congress at the origins of the world wide web twenty five years ago.
  • thehill.com – A “Hillicon Valley” blog that reports a key development upcoming in regard to Internet governance, i.e., that one year and six months hence both the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration will have one less job to do–overseeing the Internet–and either the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will have ceased existence or they will be under an international command–in all events, an interesting development to watch our for.
  • nakedcapitalism –  Whoa!  An incredible public airing of issues touching on copyright, consultancy, and media models in the digital age, and a bit more besides.
  • http://classicalvoiceamerica.org –  A blog about ‘issues in classical music’ that applies to writers, especially in this post, which concerns the recent ‘solidarity walkout’ by the Paris Opera two weeks ago in favor of intermittents du spectacle, the organization of freelance creators and performers who might provide a model for intelligent writers, especially in the benighted United States, mentioned in This Humble Correspondent’s most recent essay post on this site.
  •   An article at Slate from a few months back that notes the apparently routine practice at FaceBook to monitor what folks don’t post, which ‘self-censorship’ conceivably is for sale to advertisers, government agencies, etc.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  •   A report from The Hill, a spooky briefing about spooks who are being unfriendly toward their ‘friends’ in Congress on whom they’ve been spying, after the Senate decided to investigate “Bush administration advanced interrogation techniques(emphasis added).”
  • http://truth-out.org – In the face of a plethora of horse manure about restricted military spending, a welcome TruthOut brief that details the actual year-to-year more than four per cent rise in total military-related outlays from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2015.
  • A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation brief that takes a much rosier view about Friday’s accident, involving four dropped containers of Uranium Hexaflouride, a byproduct of nuke fuel enrichment that must be safeguarded for a quarter million years or so, en route to Jackson, South Carolina now, one would suppose for the requisite 250,000 year oversight.
  • http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/14/putins-demonizers/  Another brilliant in-depth analysis from CounterPunch, which examines Vladmir Putin as the devil du jour, and how this is philosophically pusillanimous and historically fatuous, albeit perhaps understandable in terms of imperialist agendas that could lead to worldwide destruction.
  • http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/2014-3-12-dkt-1–pls–complaint-rra-foia_19503.pdf  A complaint filed Wednesday by the Center for Food Safety, with the defendant the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the filing’s requesting declaratory and injunctive relief’s stemming from alleged coverup at USDA of genetically modified organism’s dangers while fostering their expanded deployment in the food chain.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  •   A detailed Times report and analysis of the privatization of science funding, with the U.S.’s crowing about plunking down $100M for brain-science research while Microsoft’s Paul Allen had just funded an institute in Seattle in that realm at five times the price, and similar empirical data and some conceptual and contextual elements as well.
  •   A report from last Summer, published by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, that examines U.S. standings and policies and issues in relation to other nations and its own standards and goals.
  • http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ggqcew.pdf  A Bureau of Labor Statistics press release from last year, apparently just recently publicized, detailing the growth in “green goods and services” employment in 2011, the most recent year for which BLS data is available online.
  • http://scalar.usc.edu – A data rich, nuanced, and historically based briefing about the growing inequality that could easily end the polity’s fabric irretrievably if not reversed.
  • http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/22501-shame-shame-shame  A graphic artist’s powerful outrage, forwarded by TruthOut, at the hideously stupid and vicious attacks on women and their rights, something that attacks every creative right in the cosmos, not just the reproductive rights of women.

3/15/2014

Quote of the Day

We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years.   It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years.

David Rockefeller, a “disputed” attribution–

RECENT BLOG-POSTS

Final La Follette

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, & CONTESTS

  • jobs.problogger –  A remote position that pays by the project, purportedly plus-or-minus $30/hour, for subject matter experts in programming, writing/language, design, finance, or engineering.
  • nsf.gov –  A National Science Foundation ‘Dear Colleague Letter’ that alerts readers to funding opportunities in understanding youth violence.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • loc.gov –  A Library of Congress Portal that focuses on Civil Rights programming that the Library is sponsoring in the coming period, including one that intersects with the Veterans History Project.
  • popularresistance –  Organizing, learning, teaching, strategizing, a link that suggests a grassroots upsurge may be a dandy notion.
  • redemmas –  A gathering tomorrow in Baltimore, a four hour ‘Teach-in” about the School of America’s Watch activities that center around a get-together, attended by thousands, at Georgia’s Fort Benning every November.
  • uswa1010.org –  In relation to This Humble Correspondent’s most recent blogs, about the La Follette Subcommittee on Civil Liberties, a tough bunch of allies in the labor movement.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • bookbaby –  An erstwhile “free download” link to a social-networking-for-writers guide that follows the “in ten minutes a day” model, the whole thing from “New York City Midnight,” princes of monetization, meaning caveat emptor baby!
  • renewableenergy –  A come-on from Renewable Energy World to sponsor a webcast and build a brand that, by the by, suggests a potentially powerful model for writers, or writers unions, to use in self-promotion and outreach and such.
  • techrepublic –  A plausibly useful how-to from Tech Republic that relates to crafting quick presentations that have some zip, using i-Pads or, possibly, similar platforms.
  • truth-out.org –  A message to writers, from TruthOut, that demands critical reflection and analysis on the part of any scribes who want to be a part of the solution instead of complaining about the problem.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • villagevoice –  An absolutely fascinating Village Voice profile of Brock Berrigan, who fulfills the virtual-world promise of a production studio’s capacity in every domicile.
  • fas.org – A mandatory  Air Force Instruction about cyber-security, ‘command-and-control’ issues in the events of war, relating in particular to the managing of Internet and other electronic means of communication.
  • thehill.com –  The Hill’s “Hillicon Valley” OVERNIGHT blog, leading with an examination of the Senate’s plans to reform patent litigation and following up with much more of the FCC, GOP, and consumer rights and woes and so forth.
  • blogs.nytimes – A Times briefing about FaceBook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s denunciation of predatory practices on the part of the National Security Administration, which elicited a comment from a White House spokesperson and a conversation with the President.
  •   An Academic.edu profferal of a Kazakhstan-student’s investigation of the deletorious impacts of Social-Networking dependency on student performance, an interesting an entertaining ‘duh!’ moment.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • blogs.loc.gov –  A report about Crimean history, from an area specialist at Library of Congress, that manifests an emotional tone that is equable and yet conveys such a command of historical fact and nuance as to compel reading, irresistible even if one has no particular interest in the current context.
  • counterpunch –  CIA sponsored murder and mayhem notwithstanding, on the original 9/11, a CounterPunch briefing that shows the prospects for social democracy in Chile, led by students–now there’s a strategy…
  • nsba.org –  An “Issue Brief” by the National School Boards Association, about the ongoing Congressional debates concerning passage of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act, most recently contextualized in 2002 as the “No/(Every) Child Left Behind Act.”
  • nytimes.com – The Times’ update on the Obama administrations fierce embrace of the Bush and Clinton and Bush and Reagan doctrine that the U.S. military and intelligence actions abroad need not answer to any standards or strictures of international law.
  • http://www.hardballpress.com/sixteen-tons.html  Hardball Press’ newest profferal of working class literature, Sixteen Tons, dealing the real drama of miners’ lives in Appalachian coal fields a hundred years ago.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • A Crime Report briefing about the subtle and not-so-subtle drawbacks of ideological attacks on government-in-general, in relation to such vomitus’ negative impacts on any functional oversight process.
  • truth-out –  A CounterPunch analysis that views a teaching and learning upsurge among unionized and unorganized workers as a key to human survival, exactly in line with This Humble Correspondent’s ideas and blogs and such.
  • ecowatch – An article from EcoWatch that gathers together the reflections of such stalwarts of reform as Noam Chomsky and Ralph Nader, concerning the meaning and unforgettable lessons of Fukushima that we are nevertheless forgetting.
  •   A fascinating tale from The Hill, about the apparent looming collapse of a “lobbying powerhouse,” from which one can deduce many avenues for uncovering the ‘story-behind-the-story.’
  • An important passalong from Naked Capitalism, about the political economy of Higher Education now, at the very ‘top of the food chain’ even, which mandates sacking-the-tenured if they do not rake in the Federal Grants.

3/13/2014

Quote of the Day

“Today the business once transacted by individuals in every community is in the control of corporations, and many of the men who once conducted an independent business are gathered into the organization, and all personal identity, and all individualities lost. Each man has become a mere cog in one of the wheels of a complicated mechanism. It is the business of the corporations to get money. It exacts but one thing of its employees: Obedience to orders. It cares not about their relations to the community, the church, society, or the family. It wants full hours and faithful service, and when they die, wear out or are discharged, it quickly replaces them with new material.

The corporation is a machine for making money, but it reduces men to the insignificance of mere numerical figures, as certainly as the private ranks of the regular army.”

Bob La Follette, 1897

 

RECENT BLOG-POSTS
La Follette: part one

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, & CONTESTS

  • amtrak –  What a country!  An application to ride free, with one’s own ‘sleeping car,’ for two-to-five days or more on Amtrak, the only caveat that one must be a writer who can hand over a manuscript upon arrival.
  • journalismjobs.com –  A PJ Media job, through JournalismJobs.com, for which the salary is not obvious but in the process of which one might get to do interesting political reporting.
  • jobvite –  A specialty content and branding job, for which the writer works remotely for a few months and then must relocate to Phoenix if he or she fits the bill, as it were.
  • freelancejobopenings – Another conveyance from JournalismJobs.com, a posting that seems to require working from Atlanta and seems to focus on inspirational, young adult, and contemporary science fiction, with multiple positions open.
ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING
  • library.gsu.edu – One of the great resources for understanding labor history, this one the Southern Labor Archives at Georgia State University.
  • nadcl.org –  A National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers–anti-capital-punishment, pro human-rights, and more–series of videos and briefs about how to cover criminal justice in an honorable and progressive fashion.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • copyright.gov –  Library of Congress’ announcement of opening the comment period–through April 14th–for the submission of written suggestions, arguments, etc., about orphan works and mass digitization.
  • washingtonpost –  A WaPo writer’s blog, about writing on trains and Amtrak’s new ‘residency,’ noted just above.
  • benton.org –  A Benton.org abstract of a NextGov report about the House of Representative bill that calls for an easier, and online, Freedom of Information Act request process, which ‘key Senators’ also support–a good topic to examine, remembering about devils and details.
  • pewinternet.org – Pew Research Center’s Digital Life in 2025, which foresees a less obtrusive but “more deeply embedded” web impact on people’s lives a decade from now.
  • mediapost.com – A Media Post briefing about Unidos’ planned expansion of its operations in Southern California Spanish-language newspaper production, one of the few ‘growth areas’ for journalism just now.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • rollingstone.com – A Rolling Stone report about Neil Young’s instant success with his $800,000 KickStarter campaign, relevant conceivably even to writers who lack the merest approximation of the superstar’s network and contacts.
  • counterpunch.org –  Another lovely recontextualization from CounterPunch, this time turning decidedly on their heads any and all attempts to lionize Diane Feinstein–she for whom Edward Snowden is treasonous–for her outing of the CIA’s Senatorial duplicity.
  • smh.com.au –  An L.A. Times report picked up by the Sydney Morning Herald that advances an Orwellian conclusion about emotional contagion on FaceBook: “We should be doing everything we can to measure the effects of social networks and to learn how to magnify them so that we can create an epidemic of wellbeing.”
  • pando.com – A detailed and nicely contextualized report from Pando Daily about Tim Berners-Lee’s calling for an online, or Internet users’, Bill of Rights.
  • thehill.com – Dire predictions from The Hill’s “Hillicon Valley” blog, an even-money bet, more or less, that the STELA act’s extension will fail amid dog-fights among corporate sector ‘stakeholders’ in megalopoly media.
  • arstechnica.com –  An Ars Technica article about ‘Red-State’ Tennessee’s legislature’s four bills seeking to reduce or remove the Volunteer jurisdiction’s disallowing–along with 19 other States–municipal broadband.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • nytimes.com –  A New Hampshire Psychology professor’s Times editorial responding to recent “opt-out” chances for students in relation to such tests as the soon-to-be-revised SAT and more.
  • stuff.co.nz –  A report from a New Zealand daily about an all too typical fraudulent death sentence, in which prosecutorial misconduct and inexperienced pro bono criminal counsel sent a man to death row in Louisiana for a quarter century, though he had nothing to do with the underlying crime.
  • counterpunch.org – Another masterful analysis from CounterPunch, in which the falsehood, hypocrisy, and imperial imprimatur of contemporary Congressional politics–this time in relation to Venezuela–are on grotesque display.
  • epi.org – An Economic Policy Institute analysis of the just released Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Opening & Labor Turnover Survey, which indicates the dept of structural unemployment on the surface of things that guarantees the impossibility of anything akin to full employment in the current context
  • salon.com – A carefully modulated Salon piece about the fiasco that could annihilate humanity, better known as the Ukraine crisis, that deconstructs the United States position–and thus that of its media establishment, without throwing much light on why these sorts of things keep happening, though the lead to another Salon report, about the historical predilection toward fascism, is nice.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • counterpunch.org –  Another report, this one from Counterpunch, about the fraud and abuse that typify student loans and the system of financing college that they represent.
  • peteseeger.net – Pete Seeger’s courageous and good-natured appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he repeatedly refused to answer questions, which led to his conviction on ten counts of Contempt-of-Congress, and sentencing to ten concurrent one-year terms in prison. fifteen years later overturned on appeal.
  • alternet.org –  An Alternet report about the coming push to increase, even to universalize, random drug testing among students and workers.
  • radioproject.org –  “Race, Class, & Policy,” the subtitle that says it all in relation to a Making Contact program on “Regulating Motherhood.”
  • nytimes.com –  A Times op-ed interesting if only because of its richly empirical assessment of matters of color and class, with a clear-eyed focus on the South.
  • youtube.com – A TED-Talks presentation from Bill Black about how banks’ owners rob and pillage in fraudulent fashion, “control fraud,” under the auspices of “crony capitalism, American style.”
  • nakedcapitalism.com –  A stark Naked Capitalism warning to Pollyannish advocates of BitCoin, in relation to the new-kid-on-the-block’s adherence to Uniform Commercial Code Section Nine.

3/12/2014

Quote of the Day

“I’ve never see a gathering of trade-unionists large enough to be called a meeting that is small enough to exclude a spy.”

more re. labour spies

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, & CONTESTS

  • radioproject –  An opportunity to apply to Making Contact’s ‘Community Radio Fellowship’ program, possibly of interest to union writers–hint, hint.
  • facebook –  A chance to receive a daily jobs listing via FaceBook from the folks at Freelance Writing Jobs.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

 

  • http://www.hathitrust.org/htrc –   A way to get at materials that are otherwise hard for journalists, researchers, and writers to find at all without access to a research library.
  • zinnedproject –  A project to support peoples history from the Zinn Education Project, offering materials for secondary and post-secondary students and their teachers.
  • http://historymatters.gmu.edu/ –  A truly magnificent, almost comprehensive portal to materials and other sites concerning American history, co-created by George Mason University’s Center for History & New Media and the American Social History Project of City University of New York’s Graduate Center.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

 

  • ncac.org –  A hat tip to Heather Gray, of Radio Free Georgia, for this link to a stand against Kennesaw State University’s censorship of an exhibit that the University had accepted as a gift but which entailed a reference to an article defending lynching, which the University apparently felt was too controversial, or too real about White attitudes toward such violence, for its donors’ tastes.
  • blogs.loc.gov –  A Library of Congress blog about a recent ‘designathon,’ not a ‘hackathon,’ meant to address issues of preservation of digital journalist data sets and products and such.
  • nytimes –  A Times ‘Room for Debate’ section that is uncannily applicable to a union of writers and creative sorts.
  • Library of Congress’ upcoming Poetry & Literature schedule.

GENERAL MEDIA & ‘INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY’ ISSUES

  • Another powerful piece by Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism that nicely deconstructs the fantasy of pharmaceuticals pricing and patent protection.
  • A Business Insider examination of Stephen Wolfram’s upcoming release of a natural programming language powerful enough to solve all sorts of problems and yet accessible to programming beginners–controversial because outside the realms of copyright protection and oriented toward a ‘commons’ approach.
  • nytimes –  A Times blog about Tim Berners-Lee’s reflections about working on the initiation of a World Wide Web a quarter century ago.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

 

  • safeenergy.org –  A brief about United States Enrichment Corporation’s bankruptcy request for “life support” to allow it to continue its operations of producing enriched Uranium, which the judge in the matter basically termed a ‘hopeless case.’
  • A Pando Daily take on recent ‘revelations’ of hacked Excel spreadsheets that purportedly show that Mt. Gox’s missing or stolen 750,000 BitCoins actually remain in the possession of principals of the enterprise.
  • Meanwhile, from Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith, an article that definitively demonstrates what BitCoin is not–a currency that can thereby evade multiple tax consequences as a result–but doesn’t say precisely what BitCoin is, an assignment that This Humble Correspondent will tackle in the next week or so.
  • washingtonpost.com –  Breaking news from WaPo, about Senator Diane Feinstein’s public accusations of CIA snooping after attempts to resolve the agency’s hacking Senatorial computers ‘discretely and privately’ failed.
  • fair.org – A Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting piece that ties up the fantasies of corporate ‘Western’ media concerning Ukraine with a series of inextricable knots–disingenuousness, falsehood, and obvious bias detectable almost everywhere, and here debunked.
  • A TruthOut analysis of the ‘same-old same-old’ in relation to bushwhacking unions by various means, as the recent “Blazing a Union Trail Through the Thickets of Time” post about the La Follette hearings made clear historically.

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

 

  • Another Pro Publica report about temp-work, this one detailing the hideous and lethal results of this economic model, in which morbidity and mortality on the job often approach double the already inflated rate of death and injury that is a legacy of American ‘know how’ to get the most profits.
  • An AFL-CIO blog that clearly articulates the dissimulation and hypocrisy of those who oppose raising the minimum wage.
  • A Federation of American Scientists Public Interest Report that calls for a grassroots approach to making nuclear non-proliferation–and human survival–possible, though it leaves out the dual necessity of involving citizens in the structure of the entire operation, on the one hand, and the necessity of insisting that the U.S. also rid itself of thousands of weapons of mass annihilation, on the other hand.
  • loc.gov –  A ‘Primary Sources’ portal from Library of Congress to background materials about Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibited discrimination in hiring based on color, creed, and so forth.
  • alternet –  A permitted reprinting from Alternet of a chapter from a student loan activist’s book that both calls for civil disobedience around this issue and is in line with This Humble Correspondent’s writing on the issue last week.
  • nap.edu –  One of the most recent National Academies set of releases, the 2012 Agent Orange & Veterans update, which remains–along with Depleted Uranium exposures–one of the twentieth century’s most hideous attacks on G.I. infantry by their own government.
  • http://www.radioproject.org/2014/03/motherhood-by-choice-not-chance/  A Making Contact radio program that fiercely defends women’s reproductive rights in a wonderfully contextualized feature program.
  • asam.org –  A lengthy detailing of a frightening proposal to expand, even universalize, random drug testing, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

3/11/2014

Quote of the Day

“You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month.”  Susan Davis’ paraphrasing a CIA operative– Katherine the Great

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

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youtube3  A few songs—-from Barbara Danes, hat tip to Steering Committee member Steve Benton

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, & CONTESTS

  • mediabistro –  For someone seeking “very competitive” wages and a really big move–as in trans-pacific–a job possibility.
  • Oberlin – many positions, from faculty to admin, are available at Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS & NETWORKING

  • http://www.freedomarchives.org/Links.html  An examination of the repressive past, in such efforts as COINTELPRO, that any writer might notice and examine, especially a union writer.
  • A Southern Poverty Law Center report, about the “woefully inadequate” State programs and plans to teach the story and meaning of the Civil Rights Movement, in which Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia received marks of “A” or “A-” and twenty States flunked outright.
  • fas.org –  An incisive, if chilling, retrospective review of “Dr. Strangelove,” a film that the author’s call a ‘must-see,’ especially after decades in which ‘life has imitated art’–in general another big plug for the Federation of American Scientists, which published this piece in the most recent FAS Public Interest Report.

WRITERS’ ISSUES & EVENTS

  • blogs.nytimes –  A Times assessment of Twitter founder Evan William’s new site, Medium, which both pays and doesn’t and who knows what else.
  • A Pando Daily examination of a library’s attempt to cut costs of textbooks by circumventing the copyright cabal and ‘instantly publishing’ materials for participating colleges and professors.
  • cnet.com –  A report about a Skype presentation, from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, in which Julian Assange evaluates the current moment in relation to the National Security Agency, web ‘communities’ and their reaction to it, and so forth–arguably of key importance to groups of writers who sometimes appear to lack much strategic sense themselves.
  • mediabistro.com –  A come-on from Media Bistro, asking for significant cashola for what NWU members will soon get for free from At-Large.
  • A wild tale from Pando Daily about a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $600,000 instead of its $250,000 goal, only to ‘stumble’ in delivering its popular prototype portal to Instagram and such.

GENERAL MEDIA ISSUES

  • nytimes –  An article in which the Times sees a victory for regulation of monopoly in Mexico, but a deeper look may uncover multiple other agendas.
  • After Pando Daily outed a PBS pension program’s receipt of a ‘gift’ of $3.5 million from a politically reactionary billionaire, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting called for more ‘transparency,’ another Pando installment in the nature of that clarity, to wit, the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour has long been a majority-owned property of Liberty Media, another reactionary billionaire operation–John Malone this time–about which PBS and CPB are increasingly chary about sharing details.
  • nytimes.com –  A Times Media Decoder briefing about an upcoming inquest concerning three ‘erotic’ channels’ compliance with the requirement that 35% of all programming be Canadian in origin.
  • http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/cancon/mandate.htm#can  For those who might have an interest, the portal to the Canadian Broadcasting Commission’s overall statutory and regulatory framework, including its awesomely reasonable mandate of Canadian content, or Can-Con.
  • rollingstone –  Rolling Stone’s report about Edward Snowden’s Skype appearance at SXSW in Austin, with both background information and an account of Snowden’s presentation and Q & A session.
  • newyorker –  A New Yorker review-essay that looks at Frank Capra’s, John Ford’s, John Huston’s and others’ experience as A-List Hollywood figures inside the Department of War in the 1940’s, seeking to document reality, inspire victory, fight the chance that National Socialism’s “Triumph of the Will” might triumph, and more.

RECENT HAPPENINGS

  • chavezcode –  A moving and beautiful tribute to Hugo Chavez that, because of its heart and the honesty of its reportage, is irrefutable, whatever pretentious propaganda might be available to argue otherwise.
  • Another Counterpunch gem, begging citizens here to pay a little attention, look beyond the smug surface of things, and ponder what in the world is happening on Russia’s borders that could, as easily as not, annihilate the human condition on planet Earth–a clue, Vladimir Putin is not the villain here.
  • WaPo’s observations about the trends of the surface of the Military Industrial Complex, which look like fatuous optimism when viewed through the paper’s at-best neoliberal lens but seem like a perfect exemplar of the socioeconomic impetus–nearly irresistible now–to replace labor with machines–and the largest and most aggregated technology at that.
  • Thom Hartmann’s reflections on Michelle Bachelet’s inauguration in Chile today, which he sees as an historic event that both validates the work of CIA-assassinate Chilean President Salvador Allende and represents a turning point: “Chileans have, to put it in terms Americans understand, rejected Reaganomics.  And it’s time for us here in the U.S. to do the same.”

GENERAL CURRENT & PAST ISSUES

  • truth-out – Another incisive profferal from David Sirota, this time on Truth-Out, about a recent “Good Jobs First” report–which This Humble Correspondent linked to for readers a week or so ago–that shows the truth of the old saw that we have socialization of profits and profiteering and privatization of misery and disempowerment.
  • A Pro Publica report that compares temporary work, an inevitable attribute of both minimum wage and sub-minimum wage ‘WorkFare,’ to the “Harvest of Shame” conditions of sharecroppers and agricultural workers in the past–and now, too, of course, an aspect of working class experience that has remained constant.
  • fao.org –  A recent United Nations summary of a major meeting concerning food security in Asia that ought, since “the farmer is the one who feeds us all,” be of interest to flesh-and-blood writers in this “International Year of the Family Farm.”
  • opednews –  Rob Kall’s take–from Op-Ed News–on the way that developments in Catholicism confirm his estimate that, even though we may not see or believe it, a ‘bottom-up’ revolution is giving birth to a new age.
  • A TruthOut reprint of a New Politics analysis that sees, in the combination of scientific ecology and Marxian political economy, ways of thinking that can impede or even stop humanity’s “going over the cliff.”
  • NBC News’ revelations about, in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami that destroyed Fukushima’s fission reactors, U.S. nuclear bureaucrats’ and industrialists’ hiding their concerns about similar plants under similar circumstances closer to home.

3/10/2014

Quote of the Day

“You can never use the conditional mood in politics.  I will stick to that rule.” Vladmir Putin

RECENT BLOG-POSTS

A post about the Tinker Case, and the ramifications for 1st amendment rights, on nwu blog here.

NWU NATIONAL & AT-LARGE ANNOUNCEMENTS

The United Auto Workers Constitutional Convention, June 2-5 in Detroit, needs delegates from the National Writers Union.  Two of the nominations could come from At-Large, if an appropriate formal nomination–self-nominees are acceptable–of no more than 300 words were to reach Sarah Forth–elections@nwu.org–by 5:00 P.M., Sunday, March 16.

JOB & GRANT PROSPECTS, & CONTESTS

  • mediabistro –  A writer/researcher whose job will be to produce White Papers and reports for corp