December 1, 2014 | Posted in:Uncategorized

Chapter Twenty-Five


Costa Rican FrogGoodness knows, the words keep coming.  The aches and pains are also prevalent, unfortunately, to the extent that Jimbo wonders if he’ll live much longer, though he certainly enjoys creating ideas and loving his love, who is the marvelous manifestation of the magically real and hotly sweet all at once.

Dreams of negotiated settlements about just about everything in life typified the night’s inner life.  One eventuality in particular was weird.  Jimbo was, as would usually happen with all but true professionals, winning a version of Scrabble that he was playing.  Then, a rule shift occurred that permitted the playing of a tile on an entire move that multiplied the score of each letter, as well as of the entire amount, so that a single stroke might net hundreds or even a thousand points or more..

We’ve opened ourselves to “Hunger Games” mythos.  The process entails sucking down twenty minutes of advertising vomitus generally, and then opening the eyeballs to the worst sort of mediated pukosity.  This so discomfits Alicia that she almost elicits a nine-eleven call from the usher and management, since she snuck her ass to watch a little of the Simpsons or something till the actual film began in our sphere.

Her job was to watch the ads, damn it!  Jimbo bought more Latin books.  Thanksgiving is coming.  The stove still sucks.  The pump is wheezing.  Who knows?



A Thought for the Day

Both the point and the pardox of consciousness will forever and always remain the ever untenable and generally thankless task of seeking to fill wisdom’s cup to the very brim.
Quote of the Day

“Well-informed men know that the great controlling interests have secured most of the other sources and engines of Power.  They own or control most of the newspapers, most of the magazines, most of the pulpits, all of the politicians, and most of the public men.  We are asked to believe that the do not own or control the Associated Press, by far the most desirable and potent of these engines.  We are asked to believe that the character and wording of the dispatches upon which depends so much public opinion is never influenced in behalf of the controlling interests.  We are asked to believe that Interests that have absorbed all other such agencies for their benefit have overlooked this, the most useful and valuable of all.  We are even asked to believe that, although the Associated Press is a mutual concern, owned by the newspapers, and although these newspapers that own it are in turn owned by the Controlling Interests, the Controlling Interests do not own, control, or influence the Associated Press, which goes its immaculate way, furnishing impartial and unbiased news to the partial and biased journals that own it.  That is to say that when you buy a house you do not buy its foundations.”  Charles Edward Russell, Pearson’s Magazine, as quoted in Upton Sinclair’s journalistic expose, The Brass Check:

Pensive ParakeetThis Day in History

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women; a Christian leader, and leper, eight hundred thirty-seven years ago, joined Alsatian knights to defend Christian control of Jerusalem, which succeeded in slaughtering a much larger Muslim army; five hundred twenty-three years before the present, the siege of the final Islamic stronghold on the Iberian Peninsula, at Grenada, began; two hundred fifty-six years back, British troops captured Fort Duquesne, which formed the basis for the establishment of Fort Pitt, and later Pittsburgh; two hundred nineteen years ago, the partition of Poland proceeded to such a point that the last independent King of Poland abdicated and accepted exile in Russia; a baby girl came into the world a hundred sixty-eight years ago, destined to grow up as prohibitionist and general hell-raiser Carrie Nation; a century and a half back, Confederate agents started a score or more of fires in an attempt to set New York City ablaze and put the town to the torch; a decade later, after the panic of 1873 had caused profound dislocation in rural and agricultural areas, the Greenback Party formed in 1874, offering a program of fiat money to dispossessed and struggling farmers and small business people; two years further on, the U.S. Cavalry, to avenge the massacre at Little Big Horn, undertook a predawn attack on a Cheyenne village near the source of the Powder River, razing the community and killing most of its inhabitants, largely women and children; ninety-nine years before the here and now, Albert Einstein presented his field calculations in support of the General Theory of Relativity at the Prussian Academy of Sciences; Japan and Germany seventy-eight years ago signed a pact to aid the other in the event of any attack on either nation by the Soviet Union; Bosnia and Hezegovina seventy-one years ago initiated a drive for Statehood based on their opposition to fascist Germany; four years subsequently, in 1947, the blacklisting started of the so-called “Hollywood Ten” for its affiliations with communists and so forth, and, half a world away, New Zealand became an independent country in the British Commonwealth of Nations; five years hence, in 1952, Agatha Christy’s play, The Mousetrap opened, eventually to become the longest continuously presented play in history; fifty-four years back, three sisters who were organizing against Dominican Republic Strongman Trujillo died from assassins’ bullets, their martyrdom the basis thirty-nine years later, in 1999, for the establishment of an international commemoration against violence against women, and at the same time the baby boy of the man who was about to become President was born, as John Kennedy, Jr. growing to prominence as a journalist and publisher; forty-six years ago, the prolific socialist author and social justice advocate and journalist Upton Sinclair breathed his last; a Japanese author, Yukio Mishima, and a compatriot killed themselves two years later, in 1970, in a ritual suicide after their attempt to overthrow their country’s government failed; twenty-eight years prior to the present pass, Attorney General Edwin Meese announced that profits from selling illegal weapons to Iran had funded the provision of illegal aid to so-called Contra rebels who were terrorist opponents of Nicaragua’s legitimate government; Czechoslovakia six years later, in 1992, split into two States, Slovakia and the Czech Republic;


book hor2

“shield law” OR “shield laws” necessity OR “sine qua non” journalism OR reporting knowledge democracy history analysis = 30,200 Hits.


REVIEWING RISEN’S PAY ANY PRICE    A review essay from World Socialist Website of James Risen’s new volume about the thuggish corruption and profiteering that predominate in politics now, along with an examination of the writer’s role in opposing that, arguably an absolute necessity for any context that is democratic to continue: “To make an example of those who dare to expose government crimes, the Obama administration has subpoenaed Risen and is threatening to imprison him.  In a case set to go to court in January, the government is seeking to force Risen to turn over confidential source material as part of an Espionage Act prosecution of CIA leaker Jeffrey Sterling.  Risen has said he will accept a multi-year jail term rather then hand over First Amendment-protected material to the government.  At the conclusion of his book, Risen writes: ‘Pay Any Price is my answer to how best to challenge the government’s draconian efforts to crack down on aggressive investigative reporting and suppress the truth in the name of ceaseless war.  My answer is to keep writing, because I believe that if journalists ever stop uncovering abuses of power, and ever stop publishing stories about those abuses, we will lose our democracy.’  Pay Any Price focuses on the connection between government crimes and a parasitic corporate-financial layer that has amassed huge sums of money by facilitating them.  Risen refers to the ‘war on terror’ as a ‘bipartisan enterprise’ and argues that it is driven largely by war profiteers.”





A CHANCE TO WORK FOR NIEMAN LAB    A job-opening in Boston, at Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab, a plum for the right scribe: “This job will join our little Harvard newsroom (currently made up of three reporters and me) to report on journalism innovation — innovation in how news gets reported, produced, distributed, discovered, consumed, and paid for — with a particular focus on how mobile is changing the news.  If you enjoy the sort of stories you read here and would like a chance to report, write (and maybe edit) them full time, you might be a good candidate.”

SOUTH CAROLINA ARTS GRANTS    Grants for Palmetto State producers of culture, with letters of intent due December 15: “To encourage and enable the creation of new artist-driven, arts-based business ventures that will provide career satisfaction and sustainability for South Carolina artists.  South Carolina artists (individuals and collaboratives) may apply for up to $5,000 in order to launch a new venture or significantly alter an existing venture.”

CURATORIAL OPENINGS    An opportunity to participate as an employee with a site that provides curation services: “NationSwell seeks editorial curators to aggregate stories.  All candidates must have strong research skills, an eye for the newsworthy, strong knowledge of social media, and the ability to work quickly while paying close attention to details.  We are looking for curators who can comb the web and write at least 3 snappy posts a day for our audience of service-minded millennials.  Each post should share a news item that doesn’t get enough attention in the media and fits our mission of finding and showcase innovators and innovations that are moving America forward.  Candidates should be self-motivated to pitch, write, and aggregate the kinds of stories they would want to share with their friends.”


POWERS BEHIND THE SCENES       A story of a super-agent–clients who include Stephen Pinker and Jared Diamond bear mention–and his views on life, science, publication, communication, and more: “‘The great questions of the world concern scientific news,’ says Brockman.  ‘We are at the beginning of a revolution.  And what we hear from the mainstream is: ‘Please make it go away.’

And there you are—this is how it goes with John Brockman who doesn’t like to waste time in the midst of the contradictions of the present.  ‘Come, let’s start,’ he says in a good mood and puts a recording device on his desk.  ‘I’m turning it on, you don’t mind?  He is charming, without hiding his own interests.  He is proud of his life, his intelligence, without that he would have to apologize for it.   He is a key figure of the late 20th and early 21st century, the éminence grise and major source of inspiration for the globally dominant culture, which he himself named as the ‘third culture.’  It is not Brockman, but his authors, who are well-known: Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Daniel C. Dennett, Jared Diamond, Daniel Kahneman.  Physicists, neuroscientists, geneticists, evolutionary biologists, fixed stars of the science age, superstars of nonfiction bestseller lists, the reason for Brockman’s financial success and good mood. …’I’ve been their agent for decades.  It’s a wonderful life: I’m doing what I love to do, I read smart books and get well-paid for it.'”


COPYRIGHT HISTORY VIA TOLKIEN    Another gem from Library of Congress that, by telling of a youngster’s love of Tolkien, illustrates much that ought to be mandatory for scrappy scribes to learn about the historical background of copyright legislation and practice: “The tale of copyright law in the 1950s is a tangled one and illustrates some of the complexities in the U.S. copyright system.  Some of the issues in play for determining the copyright status of The Lord of the Rings in 1965, would involve a review of the U.S. 1891 copyright law (26 Stat. 1106) and a subsequent Presidential Proclamation which extended copyright benefits to citizens of certain nations; the 1909 U.S. copyright law (35 Stat. 1075); and a consideration as to who had manufactured copies of the works in the United States; and the possible effect of the Universal Copyright Convention on the 1909 U.S. copyright law.”


CHECKING LINKS    A portal to a few handy tools, nothing fancy, but apparently bona fide link-safety software that scrappy scribes might find useful.


TEXAS ABOUT TO MURDER ANOTHER INNOCENT MAN    From the folks at First Look, a posting about the upcoming execution of a man who is probably innocent of the crime for which he may very well die, a blithe acceptance of State-sanctioned homicide that indicts the ‘criminal justice’ system of much of this country as an oxymoronic exercise is bigotry and terror: “Eleven years before he raped and threatened to kill Lear, Fennell’s own fiancee, 19-year-old Stacy Stites, was found brutally murdered along a country road in Bastrop, Texas.  That crime eventually sent a man to death row.  His name is Rodney Reed—and he is scheduled to die in January.  Lear, like many people who have followed the case in Texas —believe that Reed is innocent.  And they believe that the real killer is Jimmy Fennell.  Connie Lear is not alone in coming forward now that an execution date has been set.  Nearly a dozen people related to Stites, many of whom have had doubts about the case for years, are breaking their own silence, calling for Reed’s life to be spared.  One is Stites’ cousin, Judy Mitchell, who is convinced Fennell is the real killer.  ‘I just know he did [it],’ she told The Intercept.  ‘We’ve got to do something to stop this execution.'”


MONEY, HISTORY, & THE ISLAMIC STATE    A just fascinating article from Quartz that, though its brevity makes for a certain surface sheen that one wants deepened, examines the context of the Islamic State in Iraq & Syria’s recently announced plans to issue a currency: “The Islamic dinar appeared in 696 A.D., when the Arab world was at peak imperial strength.  The Umayyad empire—based in Damascus—stretched from the Iberian peninsula to the Indus river in south Asia.  That swath of territory was the culmination of decades of warfare, which consolidated not only political power but also vast stores of loot.  In his magisterial work Debt: The First 5,000 Years, monetary anthropologist David Graeber wrote: ‘Over the course of the wars of expansion, for example, enormous quantities of gold and silver were indeed looted from palaces, temples and monasteries and stamped into coinage, allowing the Caliphate to produce gold dinars and silver dirhams of remarkable purity.’  The Umayyads didn’t invent monetary policy based on looting.  It had always been the basis of ancient wartime finance.   (After all, the origin of the word ‘dinar’ is derived from the denarius, used by the Romans.)  Some think that the world’s first coins, created in the seventh century BC, were merely an attempt to efficiently pay mercenary warriors.  In fact, some theorists argue that the origins of market economics and money—and more specifically coined money—are inextricably tied to the violence and trauma of early warfare, which undermined the communal relationships that allowed systems of borrowing and repaying to prevail in peacetime.”



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