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"The Internet has proved remarkably resistant to state governance. Its use can certainly be shaped by expensive government initiatives such as China’s Great Firewall or the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)."—Scott Malcomson, author of SPLINTERNET, writes in Foreign Affairs

November 15, 2019
The Real Fight for the Future of 5G
With 5G it is possible to do enormous amounts of computing at very high speeds and without having to connect the input device—a cell phone, say, or a self-driving car—to a wire of any kind. But those high speeds are possible only if the rest of the system (signal towers, base stations, distributed servers, and the megascale centers that house the data and do a great deal of computing themselves) is physically near enough to these input devices. Having your phone, car, or pacemaker in constant contact with vast computational power in the so-called cloud sounds amazingly untethered and extraterritorial. Yet in its physicality and focus on location, the emerging system is more grounded than the Internet ever was.

Read the full piece here.

"The VA and its oversight organizations have failed to provide safe pathways for those who want to protect our veterans by exposing corruption when they see it” —Tim Schwartz, author of A PUBLIC SERVICE, writes in Medium

November 14, 2019
Whistleblowers Protect Veterans
Reporting violations to the OAWP is not safe. Even anonymous hotlines might not truly be anonymous, because your voice certainly isn’t anonymous. Instead, find a partner outside the VA to work with, whether a journalist, lawyer, or someone at a public advocacy organization. Many out there have experience working with whistleblowers and can help you formulate the safest plan.

Read the full piece here.

"Thinking is an obstacle for my writing. "—an interview with Cuong Lu, author of THE BUDDHA IN JAIL, published inThe Dewdrop

November 14, 2019
Author Q&A – Cuong Lu
How do you write? I am in deep concentration when I write. In that state of mind, I don’t think. Thinking is an obstacle for my writing. You can say that I meditate when I write. For me, meditation and writing are exactly the same. I write very fast. When it is done, I know: it is done. Writing always gives me a happy feeling. A feeling of being connected with myself and with life.

Read the full interview here.

"In the last seven years or so, resilience has become a programming imperative for large philanthropies, including the Hogg Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and many others. Resilience has also become a theory to explain the good — from countries that adapt well to climate change to what allows some to survive addiction."—Alissa Quart, author of THOUGHTS ON PRAYERS, writes in The Boston Globe

November 14, 2019
Rethinking ‘resilience’ and ‘grit’
Christine “Cissy” White is an advocate for survivors of trauma and is one herself. The 52-year-old lives in Weymouth, Mass., earning her living as a community facilitator for an organization that provides a social media hub and other forms of support to people who have struggled as she did. Helping others in this way is also her personal passion: she experienced many setbacks. White’s mother was just a teen when White was born and throughout much of her childhood, her mother was the sole provider — her mother’s first husband was violent, homeless, and absent. Growing up poor, she would hide the tape and paper clips that held her broken glasses together behind her bangs. She said she was “not hungry” when she was out with friends and starving but couldn’t afford food, and she used paper towels instead of tampons when she was a teenager because she couldn’t afford them, either.

Read the full article here.

"I thought about your teaching ‘doing nothing,’ and I did nothing. I sat and watched my anger disappear.” —an excerpt ofTHE BUDDHA IN JAIL by Cuong Lu published in The Dewdrop

November 8, 2019
Practicing Behind Bars
Cuong Lu’s book, The Buddha in Jail, is a collection of 52 stories and vignettes from his experiences working as a prison chaplain. The stories are meant to broaden our perspectives, not just about others but also about ourselves, and they get to the root of human goodness. This excerpt, the 18th story in the book, is about anger and not reacting to it. Here, Cuong Lu – who is a student of Thich Nhat Hanh – tells the story of a person he worked with who was able to sit with his rage and not react, eventually solving the problem he had in a peaceful manner. An inspiring read.

Read the full excerpt here.

Matt Taibbi discusses HATE INC. with Mitch Jeseich on KPFA's Letters and Politics

November 5, 2019
Mitch Jeseich interviews Matt Taibbi
A conversation about U.S. Foreign Policy and The Trump Impeachment Inquiry with Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi. He is the author of the book Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another.

Listen to the show here.

"Thoughts on violence and death and life in this Hell World."—Luke O'Neil, author of Welcome To Hell World, interviewed on This is Hell!

November 5, 2019
An interview with Luke O'Neil
"This desire for a false sense of normalcy that drives so much of the media and so much of DC. You hear a lot about the day after 9/11 when we all 'came together' and I think a lot of these fu - sorry - a lot of these idiots actually long for that while ignoring all of the chaos and destruction and murder that came out of the feeling of us all being together. It's a very dangerous thing when America is all on the same page."

Listen to the the full intereview here.

"Matt Taibbi's must-read new book describes how the media stokes fake conflicts to prevent consideration of real issues."—HATE INC. reviewed in Naked Capitalism

November 5, 2019
Manufacturing Fear and Loathing, Maximizing Corporate Profits!
Matt Taibbi’s Hate Inc. is the most insightful and revelatory book about American politics to appear since the publication of Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal almost four full years ago, near the beginning of the last presidential election cycle. While Frank’s topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi’s is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class. In fact, I would strongly recommend that the reader spend some time with Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal! (2016) as he or she takes up Taibbi’s book. And to really do the book the justice it deserves, I would even more vehemently recommend that the reader immerse him- or herself in Taibbi’s favorite book and vade-mecum, Manufacturing Consent (which I found to be a grueling experience: a relentless cataloging of the official lies that hide the brutality of American foreign policy) and, in order to properly appreciate the brilliance of Taibbi’s chapter 7, “How the Media Stole from Pro Wrestling,” visit some locale in Flyover Country and see some pro wrestling in person (which I found to be unexpectedly uplifting — more on this soon enough).

Read the full review here.

"Thatcher had a battle plan for her economic revolution – now the left needs one too"--Christine Berry, author of PEOPLE GET READY, writes in Open Democracy

November 1, 2019
The Ridley Plan was a masterclass in strategising for transformative economic change. What would a left equivalent look like today?
In 1977, Tory backbencher Nicholas Ridley presented Margaret Thatcher with a report unglamorously titled 'Final Report of the Nationalised Industries Policy Group' – later to become known as the ‘Ridley Plan’. Ridley, the son of a wealthy family whose coal and steel interests had been nationalised under the Attlee government, was implacably opposed to public ownership. And beneath its innocuous title, the Ridley Plan amounted to an astonishingly ruthless and hard-headed battle plan for privatisation – one which was to guide the Thatcherites’ assault on the nationalised industries, and whose repercussions are still with us today. The Ridley Plan prefigures almost all of the key moments in the long neoliberal assault on public ownership, from the open war against the miners to the privatisation “by stealth” (Ridley’s own words) of the NHS. It suggests that Thatcher pick her battles, provoking confrontations in “non-vulnerable industry, where we can win” such as the railways and the civil service, while taking steps to create the conditions for eventual victory against the more powerful trade unions. It outlines a plan to prepare the ground for privatisation by introducing market measures in the running of nationalised industries (such as changes of leadership, targets for return on capital, and new incentives for managers), and fragmenting the public sector into independent units that could later be sold off.

Read the full essay here.

Matt Taibbi discusses HATE INC. with Chip Franklin on KGO-AM

November 1, 2019
October 31, 2019: The media, impeachment, and 2020 w/Matt Taibbi
Chip talks with Rolling Stone Contributing Editor and National Magazine Award winner Matt Taibbi his new book, Hate Inc. is available now.

Listen to the show here.

Matt Taibbi discusses HATE INC. with Kris Welch on KPFA's Talkies

November 1, 2019
Reins on Big Tech? Matt Taibbi!
European efforts to protect users from Big Tech could work here too. German activists share. PLUS: Rolling Stone writer/editor Matt Taibbi on impeachment, Russiagate, “the deep state”, and media. Hosted by Kris Welch.

Listen to the show here.

"O’Neil’s writing is full of indictments of people in power...Despite the brutal rhetorical approach, O’Neil’s writing is both humane and full of humans."—a reading by Luke O'Neil, author of WELCOME TO HELL WORLD, featured in Hyperallergic

November 1, 2019
Author Luke O’Neil will read passages from his brutal new book Welcome to Hell World, a text that starkly explores grim current events in the United States.
If you don’t know Luke O’Neil’s words, prepare to be freshly bummed out by the state of daily political life in the United States. O’Neil writes long, meandering essays analyzing and critiquing timely topics like healthcare, fascism, and the corrosive effect of Fox News in his newsletter, Welcome to Hell World: Dispatches From the New American Dystopia, which he recently turned into a book of the same name, now available from OR Books. He will be reading passages from the nearly 600-page tome for the PageTurners reading series this coming week in Downtown Brooklyn. O’Neil’s writing is full of indictments of people in power, and by way of disclosure, I was proud to overlap with him at Esquire a few years back. In his newsletter and in his book, O’Neil treats current events as a sort of literary post-apocalypse. Sample essay titles include “I would want to drink their blood” (about the deaths of children in Iraq) and “Give us the money or we’ll kill your son” (an interview with a young man who from El Salvador who fled MS-13). Despite the brutal rhetorical approach, O’Neil’s writing is both humane and full of humans — real people whose lives are torn apart by bad policy. And ultimately his words help us see the grim realities around us a little more clearly. The reading is free, but seating is limited, so get there early. When: Monday, November 4, 7-9 pm Where: DeKalb Market Hall (445 Albee Square W, Downtown Brooklyn)

Read the full event posting here.

"How To Recover The Meaning Of Words We Use Again And Again"--Alissa Quart, author of THOUGHTS ON PRAYERS, WBUR's Here and Now

November 1, 2019
Thoughts And Prayers' Author On How To Recover The Meaning Of Words We Use Again And Again
Here & Now's Lisa Mullins speaks with Alissa Quart (@lisquart), author of poetry book "Thoughts and Prayers" about how to recover the true meaning of words that we use again and again in the news and in our culture.

Read the full radio show here.

"While Manzotti and Parks provide plenty of food-for-thought in Dialogues on Consciousness, their discussion is not saturated in existential angst and ennui the way it is for Shawn and Gregory. It’s more of a straight-up cerebral set of conversations about the mind."--DIALOGUES OF CONSCIOUSNESS reviewed in Counterpunch

November 1, 2019
Consciousness: Just Two Guys Talking
Consciousness comes in all kinds of flavors — political, ecological, historical, psychological, etc. Even an awareness of unconsciousness can be a kind of consciousness, such as when we refer to, say, the archetypal realm of the Collective Unconscious, which is a kind of consciousness of gene-level symbolism. In fact, a good place for understanding what consciousness is may start with what it isn’t — unconsciousness. I guess it depends on what your definition of isn’t isn’t. A few years ago I was in a coma for a week. I was an Isn’t — and yet I was. (Kinda like that catchy Donovan song.) While the functions of my biology were artificially maintained by machines, my brain activity had flat-lined. My consciousness slowly returned, and I came out of a void, without emotions, doing my best imitation of Lazarus. What did I bring back with me — Light at the end of questioning tunnels? Myopic insight into the realms of the beyond? Nothing. I brought back nothing. A week had been cut from my life, no memories, no resonances, no nothing. If that was death, then there is no Inferno, Purgatorio, or Beatrice. However, I regained full “consciousness,” as far as I am aware. So, consciousness requires you to be awake and aware, and then you go from there. The world opens up before you and you read it, experience it, with your agenda, your style, your orientation, within the context of the circumstances that govern your milieu. Consciousness. How would you approach the question? Well, I tried taking the online Jung Typology Type test — that proved to be uncannily accurate, in some respects. Of course, this doesn’t answer the question of what consciousness is, but it does provide some insight into what filters you might use in your approach, and puts you in the starting “subjective” position to relate to the “objective” world. The ol’ In/Out of experience.

Read the full review here.

"I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening."--Craig Murray, contributor to IN DEFENSE OF JULIAN ASSANGE, presents a harrowing report of Assange's extradition trial in Truthdig

October 29, 2019
The Annihilation of Julian Assange
I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening. Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated aging. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

Read the full piece here.

Editor of IN DEFENSE OF JULIAN ASSANGE, Margaret Kunstler, and contributor, Craig Murray, discuss Julian Assange's trial on KPFA'S FLASHPOINTS

October 29, 2019
Julian Assange: Countdown to Freedom, Continues
Today on Flashpoints: We continue with our multi-year series, Julian Assange; Countdown to Freedom, with Randy Credico, of Live on The Fly. Today we are joined by former British Ambassador, Craig Murray. Later we speak with civil rights attorney, author, Margaret Ratner Kunstler, about her book, In Defense of Julian Assange.

Listen to the show here.

"Should we be surprised about a link between the highest levels of our political world and our most acclaimed poetry? I don’t think so — and I think we should get ready for more of it, because it’s coming and we need it, desperately. "--an op-ed by Alissa Quart, author of THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS, in The New York Times

October 23, 2019
We Need More Poetry in Politics
Camonghne Felix became the director of surrogates and strategic communications for Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign in June. She is also the author of “Build Yourself a Boat,” a debut collection of poetry that was recently included on the long list for a National Book Award. Ms. Felix’s writings describe sexual assault, firsthand experience of abortion, and police violence, including poems about the trial of George Zimmerman, the man who shot Trayvon Martin.

Read the full op-ed here.

"The poetry of the EHRP portfolios reflects contemporary poets’ burgeoning engagement with the genre of documentary poetics."--Alissa Quart and The Economic Hardship Project profiled in Poets & Writers

October 22, 2019
Where Poetry Meets Journalism
For nearly two weeks in 2018, poet Doug Van Gundy and photographer Matt Eich interviewed residents of Webster County, West Virginia. They talked with gravediggers and teachers and diner cooks. They had coffee with an ex-military man who sold sawmill equipment; they visited the county clerk’s office, filled with boxes of election materials; they watched an elementary school Christmas play and concert. All along the way they asked those they met: What is it like to live here? What do you wish others knew about your life? With permission Van Gundy would record each conversation or take notes, and Eich would make photographs.

Read the full profile here.

"You cannot trust what you read or hear in the news—and I don’t mean in the “fake news” sense, which is a term that has come to mean anything insufficiently obeisant to our current president."—an extract of Welcome to Hell World by Luke O'Neil in The Observer

October 22, 2019
An extract from Luke O'Neil's WELCOME TO HELL WORLD
The lie is what is known as objectivity and balance, a standard of journalism that insists no matter how obviously and comically vile one party in any given event may be, it is nonetheless necessary to consider things from their perspective as well, in order to triangulate some amorphous center of fairness. None of this is news to you, obviously, you’re not stupid. But here we are, still doing this shit, day after day. Maybe we don’t have to be like this? That was the idea behind my newsletter Welcome to Hell World, which started about a year ago, and then, much to my surprise, actually became kind of a modest sized thing, and was recently published as a book. As exhausting as it can be reading the traditionally neutered news model—that we all constantly complain about online now—it’s even worse having to write it. After a lot of years of in the freelance media trenches, I didn’t want to do that anymore.

Read the full extract here.

Matt Taibbi discusses HATE INC. with Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola on Unauthorized Disclosure

October 22, 2019
Interview With Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone Reporter And Author Of HATE INC.
For this week's episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola interviewed Matt Taibbi, a Rolling Stone reporter and author of the recently released book, Hate Inc: Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another. Taibbi is also a host of the new hit podcast from Rolling Stone called "Useful Idiots." He co-hosts the show with Katie Halper, and it often has more listeners (per week) than "Pod Save America." He starts by describing some of his experience in journalism and what led him to write this insightful and enjoyable polemic about the media. Taibbi agrees that cable news is terribly grating on our nerves, and he talks about why that's the case. He also describes how the media sells us an identity. Later in the show, we discuss what happens when media elites decide someone is or should be viewed as a pariah (like Tulsi Gabbard). We speculate on how Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren might do against President Donald Trump. And Taibbi shares his opinion on the media's lack of solidarity with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is the first journalist to be charged with violating the Espionage Act.

Listen to the show here.