Carolyn Kizer, Pulitzer-Winning Poet, Dies at 89

NYT – Carolyn Kizer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose verse, overtly political and bitingly satirical, came, as she fondly put it, with “a sting in the tail,” died on Thursday in Sonoma, Calif. She was 89. The cause was complications of dementia.Ms. Kizer’s first collection, “The Ungrateful Garden,” published in 1961, left little doubt that to her, the poetical was the political. In a poem from the volume, “The Death of a Public Servant,” about McCarthyism, she wrote:

This is a day when good men die from windows,
Leap from a sill of one of the world’s eyes
Into the blind and deaf-and-dumb of time …
Dead friends, who were the servants of this world!
Once there was a place for gentle heroes.
Now they are madmen who, scuttling down corridors,
Eluding guards, climb lavatory walls
And squeeze through air-vents to their liberation.

more at the link

Crypto wars redux: why the FBI’s desire to unlock your private life must be resisted

In 1995, the US government tried – and failed – to categorise encryption as a weapon. Today, the same lines are being drawn and the same tactics repeated as the FBI wants to do the same. Here’s why they are wrong, and why they must fail again.

The Guardian, By Cory Doctorow, October 9

Eric Holder, the outgoing US attorney general, has joined the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in calling for the security of all computer systems to be fatally weakened. This isn’t a new project – the idea has been around since the early 1990s, when the NSA classed all strong cryptography as a “munition” and regulated civilian use of it to ensure that they had the keys to unlock any technological countermeasures you put around your data.
Continue reading Crypto wars redux: why the FBI’s desire to unlock your private life must be resisted

Count your fingers, the ongoing media $$circus cranks up again…

1. Twitter News Head Vivian Schiller Out in Media Unit Consolidation
Vivian Schiller, the high-profile NBC and NPR exec whom Twitter hired to run its news unit, is leaving the company. Adam Sharp will now be in charge of both news and government at the social messaging company, as part of a larger consolidation by its new head Katie Jacobs Stanton. Sharp previously ran the government unit.
The tweets on the shuffle are at the link.

Government and news, why not merge them?

2. The New York Times’ App Plan Isn’t Working So It’s Laying Off Staff
The New York Times is looking to cut about 100 newsroom jobs, or close to eight percent of its news staff, the Times reported this morning. Part of the reason for the cutbacks: The paper’s new subscription strategy, based on the idea of multiple apps, isn’t working.
The  memo, from publisher Arthur(Sulzberger) and CEO Mark (Thompson) is at the link.

The old subscription strategy, based on one app for people who subscribe to the Times for that reason, however,is still working…

Wednesday morning’s lunar eclipse…

(Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

more at : Vox

More Ian Welsh: “Why the Economy is Bad for Most People and Getting Worse”

From Ian’s October 6 blog entry : This is the second collation of articles on why our world is what it is, and how we can change it. Some of these articles are old, as I don’t write as much as I used to about economics because the decision points for avoiding a completely lousy economy our now past. The last decision points were passed when Barack Obama announced his economics team and refused to try and get rid of or bypass Bernanke to enforce decent policy on the Federal Reserve.

more at the link

American War Cries

** Reader Supported News **

Hysteric POTUS Channels Bushist War Shtick before UN


The U.S. without a war is like an apple pie without apples

A Nobel Peace Prize recipient is among the loudest voices for war nowadays. Better, this Nobel Peace prize recipient has unchecked power to wage war and uses it willfully in a variety of nations. Perhaps best, this prize-winning peace president has set out to a plan to make a desert and call it peace, for which a grateful power structure might well give him yet another prize.
Continue reading American War Cries

A men-only UN conference on gender equality? If only it was a joke

(The Guardian) How do you feel about the fact that Iceland is holding a conference on gender equality, feminism and sexual violence – without a single female invitee? “It will be the first time at the United Nations that we bring together only men leaders to discuss gender equality,” Iceland’s foreign minister, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, announced to the UN last week.

Oceans Getting Hotter Than Anybody Realized

Climate Central, By John Upton, October 5

The RV Kaharoa motored out of Wellington, New Zealand on Saturday, loaded with more than 100 scientific instruments, each eventually destined for a watery grave. Crewmembers will spend the next two months dropping the 50-pound devices, called Argo floats, into the seas between New Zealand and Mauritius, off the coast of Madagascar. There, the instruments will sink and drift, then measure temperature, salinity and pressure as they resurface to beam the data to a satellite. The battery-powered floats will repeat that process every 10 days — until they conk out, after four years or more, and become ocean junk.

Under an international program begun in 2000, and that started producing useful global data in 2005, the world’s warming and acidifying seas have been invisibly filled with thousands of these bobbing instruments. They are gathering and transmitting data that’s providing scientists with the clearest-ever pictures of the hitherto-unfathomed extent of ocean warming. About 90 percent of global warming is ending up not on land, but in the oceans.
Continue reading Oceans Getting Hotter Than Anybody Realized

War of the Gods

Back in 2006, I was reading a web site that had posted a news-link to a story about the slaughter of a dozen Muslim adherents in Africa by a group of Christians. The slaughter was alleged to be reprisal for an earlier massacre of Christians by Muslims. The poster of the article decried the hypocrisy of religious war and the bloodthirsty righteousness proclaimed on all sides.  The poster was also hard on the Bush Administration for stirring anti-Islam sentiment by our adventures in the Middle East and rallying the Religious Right in this country.

This blog provoked a lot of comment. Africa was just beginning to rise in the headline hierarchy, an Islamic Domino about to fall sensationally onto the front page. Iraq was still the dominant topic. It wasn’t going well and comparisons with Vietnam were being drawn–quagmire, getting in the middle of a civil war. The Bush Administration had not yet trial-ballooned The Surge. It would become a reality about eighteen months later. On the other hand, Bush announced the formation of Africa Command to “defend US strategic interests” in February 2007 a short few months after this post.  This news story leapt to attention of the media during this interval as if on cue.
Continue reading War of the Gods

Ian Welsh: “The Role of Character and Ideology in Prosperity”

From Ian’s October 2 blog entry: I will be starting a new series on technology and its effect on society. Before I do so I want to take readers through some of my previous writing on ideology and character, and how they help form the societies we live in. Taking the time to read these articles (a short book’s worth), should vastly improve your understanding of the world and the articles to come. It should be worth your time even if you read the articles when they were published, as at the time they lacked both context and commentary, and were not collated to be read together so that the connections were obvious.

more at the link

Air strikes against Isis are not working, say Syrian Kurds

Guardian – Almost two weeks after the Pentagon extended its aerial campaign from Iraq to neighbouring Syria in an attempt to take on Isis militants in their desert strongholds, Kurdish fighters said the bombing campaign was having little impact in driving them back.

Isis units have edged to within two kilometres of the centre of Kobani, according to Kurds fighting a rearguard action inside the city. “Air strikes alone are really not enough to defeat Isis in Kobani,” said Idris Nassan, a senior spokesman for the Kurdish fighters desperately trying to defend the important strategic redoubt from the advancing militants. ..“Each time a jet approaches, they leave their open positions, they scatter and hide. What we really need is ground support. We need heavy weapons and ammunition in order to fend them off and defeat them.”

In Washington, military hawks continue to argue for an escalation of the war in Syria and Iraq with the deployment of US ground troops – a move that Barack Obama has repeatedly ruled out. “The strategy of aerial bombardment is not going to work to destroy Isil [Isis],” the South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham told CNN… He argued that training the inexperienced fighters of the Free Syrian Army in Saudi Arabia was “militarily unsound” and “will lead to their slaughter”.

The silence is deafening: calling out musicians

Original here.

During the lead-up to Dubya’s war in Iraq, I found myself allied with strange bedfellows, so to speak: Democrats and the like, who opposed obvious lies and deceptions foisted upon the American public to lead us into war.

Among more vocal opponents were musicians whose work I gobbled up with glee.

Continue reading The silence is deafening: calling out musicians

Weekend Jukebox: The Universe – with or without us

Part or whole,  end or beginning, slice or dice it.
Only connect… !

Saturday Update -
I see that in trying to get in “the whole wide world”, I have violated the law of “list” threads:

the narrower the topic, the easier it is to think of music about it. I have made this way too general to get a footing : How about “music about something permanent or passing”? It doesn’t have to be optimistic or end-of-days. Post any music going through your head to share.

Otherwise, the silence as Don Henry Ford Jr. says in his post above, is deafening.

Still, there is always next week.

1. Sister Rosetta Thorpe: Didn’t it Rain?

2. Paul Simon: Late In the Evening

3. Talking Heads:  Wild Wild Life

4. Beatles: Golden Slumbers abrupt ending
an early session audio

Friday Catblogging

Other cats, fiendish devilish and whatever!

“It’s Been a Good Run…”

h/t Tina The third and final year of Moyers & Company comes to an end on January 2 and I am writing to assure you that this time it’s the real deal. You may recall that we had originally raised the funds in 2011 for a two-year series but when I announced last fall that the end was near, thousands of you wrote imploring us to reconsider. My long-time funders came forward with a renewed commitment to a third year of support. How could I say no?

But as the end of the third year approaches it’s time finally to sign off.