Saturday, January 28, 2006

There was a girl who was a friend of mine at Huntingdon, Mary Jo, who wrote a poem entitled, "Genuflection." Lord have mercy.
This is an interesting article from Inversion magazine concerning Laura Nyro, Angela Davis, and Anita Brookner.
"The first condition of freedom is the open act of resitance...In that act of resistance, the rudiments of freedom are already present."- Quote from Angela Davis
Britain is considering legalizing prostitution. Kudos for Britain!
A most urgent matter has arisen in Haiti. Father Gerard Jean Juste has been detained by the Haitian government in what basically can be defined as a political kidnapping and has been sitting in jail since December of this past year. He is in poor health, suffering from Leukemia, and is in need of medical attention which he may not be recieving in prison. The Haitian government needs to be pressured to release him. You can read about this story here
Two Octobers ago, I had the great fortune to sit in on Susan's Fatness Studies symposium, which I believe was the first of its kind. It dealt with exactly the kind of capitalistic, consumer-culture,Eurocentric values which are to be found in the "Behaving Fatly" article in the Exponent.
S.K. pointed out me today a terribly unprogressive,inhumane, and consumeristic column in today's exponent that expounded that fat people were going to die. She is planning to respond to this...I am waiting to see what she has to say.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I just finished rereading Cornel West's article on Malcolm X and Black Rage. I think one thing that I definitely have embraced is the concept of cultural hybridity. Malcolm was a beautiful man and a god.
I was just thinking about a tea that my Aunt Carolyn's sister(Uncle Archie's wife), Aunt Bea, gave when I was a little boy. It has always stayed in my memory as a very grand,beautiful experience. She prepared a beautiful luncheon and had a very nice and comfortable home. I will always remember that affair.
In a Gallup Poll taken just recently, fifty-eight percent of the public consider George Bush's second term a failure and fifty-three percent believe he misled the public on the war. Bush defends himself by talking up a "thriving economy." Haha haha!! I dont know whether to laugh or tell that man to go to hell(again).

Cindy Sheehan in Venezuela

January 26, 2006

Cindy Sheehan, Mother Courage

I share my pain with all the mothers who are victims of the empire

PEDRO DE LA HOZ, Special Correspondent

CARACAS-- "There is no difference between my pain and that of an Iraqi
mother or another that has lost a son or daughter to hunger, misery or
lack of medical care in the impoverished and plundered countries. I
share my pain with all the mothers who are victims of the empire's

Cindy Sheehan is like a burning flame. Months ago she became a real
Mother Courage to the world. It is impressive how this pale, blond and
gentle woman --never before involved in public affairs-- has been had
able to systematically denounce her government's war against Iraq, where
her son Casey died.

Currently in Caracas, Sheehan is one of the most prominent participants
at the World Social Forum. With the help of Joel Suarez of the Martin
Luther King Center in Havana, Granma conducted a brief interview with her.

It stands out that Cindy uses the word "empire" to refer to the US
government. "Empires --she explains-- have always existed; unfortunately
we have perfected this insane concept of pursuing world hegemony at any

What began as an example of one person's pain has become not only a
symbol but also a way of confronting the foundations of the system
itself. Cindy describes it this way:

"For me, peace and justice have to go together. I hope the occupation of
Iraq ends as soon as possible, but that is not enough. We need a
philosophy of peace to prevail in the world, that there be no more
military ventures. However, for this to take place there must be a more
just world where wealth is equally distributed and where human dignity
is respected; a world in which the human being is really human and
overcomes racial and religious prejudices."

"I know --she clarified-- that those are lofty goals, but I won't give
them up. It is the way I can honor my dead son."

I asked Sheehan to comment on the situation at the US Guantanamo Naval
Base, a 21st century concentration camp.

"It is shameful that such a thing could exist at this time in history.
Not even the most minimal human rights are respected there. We have also
learned with horror that these practices are not only conducted in that
territory that the United States occupies without the consent of the
Cuban people. I was shocked by the news that soldiers from my country
have concealed torture camps in other countries allied to the empire."

A Brazilian colleague joined in the conversation introducing an
interesting twist by asking Sheehan her opinion of Condoleezza Rice and
Hillary Clinton, asking if they had shown solidarity with the losses
faced by US mothers.

"I don't think those women have maternal instincts, not even true human
instincts. I call them 'women' in quotation marks. Rice is convinced
that the war in Iraq is correct and should be waged in all its intensity
against the growing resistance movement. Clinton wants to solve the
problem by sending more troops, exposing both us and Iraqi mothers to
death. Both women are totally removed from the feelings of the majority
of US mothers."

Why is Cindy here in Caracas at the World Social Forum?

"It's the kind of event where many ideas are exchanged and the best are
promoted. I believe that talking about our movement, of the struggle we
are fighting, is of great value in the ears of the young people."

Cindy pauses and then continues:

"In the end, it's about no more mothers losing their sons to the whims
of a ruler."
I want to teach a class that I would call, The History of Politics since the Rise of the Catholic Church. I think that would be a terribly intriguing course.
I am sitting back and watching with great interest as Hamas takes control in Palestine.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

There is a quite alarming discussion being had on the Afro-American studies listerv concerning the high numbers of Afro-American women who are dying from terminal illnesses(such as cancer,lupus, diabetes) at a frightening rate. Someone did a count and the number of black women in academia that were lost in the past decade alone is quite alarming. Indeed, here are links to obituaries for just a few of them.

Joann Grant

Claudia Tate

Barbara Christian

June Jordan

To Be Young, Gifted, and Black

Composed and Sung by Nina Simone

To be young, gifted and black,
Oh what a lovely precious dream
To be young, gifted and black,
Open your heart to what I mean

In the whole world you know
There are billion boys and girls
Who are young, gifted and black,
And that's a fact!

Young, gifted and black
We must begin to tell our young
There's a world waiting for you
This is a quest that's just begun

When you feel really low
Yeah, there's a great truth you should know
When you're young, gifted and black
Your soul's intact

Young, gifted and black
How I long to know the truth
There are times when I look back
And I am haunted by my youth

Oh but my joy of today
Is that we can all be proud to say
To be young, gifted and black
Is where it's at
I am definitely going to have fun this semester.
Two reports from separate government agencies state that the U.S. military is overextended into what they term a "thin green line." Donald Rumsfeld says no.Someone is lying and I think it is Donald Rumsfeld.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Mary J. Blige is a great singer.
I must say that Lafayette does have two wonderful representatives in the Indiana Legislature. Sheila Klinker and Joe Micon are not only great legislators, they are great people and magnificent humanitiarians.
Sympathies go out to Sean Penn and family as his brother, Christopher Penn, was found dead today.
I heard on NPR today that Ghana is going to start granting Afro-Americans and other Blacks from around the diaspora citizenship, such as the state of Israel does with Diasporic Jews. I believe this is what Israel should be doing, working with the nations on the African continent and helping to make progress there, not standing as favored ward to the United States.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Little Red Shoes

I find this song by Lorette Lynn quite profound.

I was 11 months old
I was just starting to walk
And Daddy always kept a big stick behind the door just in case
Somebody was to come in that was drunk on moonshine,
You know, and Daddy had to do something about it
Anyway, this woman, we called her old Aunt Boyd,
She come in and she was telling
Mommy about her, uh, husband, she thinks is going out with this woman in
So she reared back with that big stick showing
Mommy how she was going to hit this woman in the head with it
And when she went back with it, she hit me in the head
And Mommy said I cried for 5 days
And she said I, that fifth night,
I had a great big knot that show up right in the middle of my forehead
And, you know, the only thing I remember,
I don’t remember no pain, but I just remember Mommy
And Daddy carrying me in this old quilt that Mommy had made out of overhalls
The knots kept getting bigger and bigger so she took me to the doctor
And that stuff called mesitor, something like that
Mommy said it made both ears flat to my face and I ain’t got very big ears
And told Mommy that I would, that I was going to die
And that happened like four times so I didn’t walk till I was almost 5
It was… It was kind of a mess…

Oh I forgot about the shoes,
Well shoot, I hadn’t… I’d never had a pair of shoes
And Mommy had went…
Took me to the hospital, you know, to see what that was…
If they couldn’t do something
But they wouldn’t keep me because Mommy and Daddy didn’t have no money
They just tell ‘em to take me home and let me die, you know,
Because there wasn’t nothing they could do about
That kind of disease, I guess
And, um, Mommy told Daddy,
Says “Ted, you take her down the street, you carry her down the street…” and said,
“…let me try this store here,” and Mommy went in and told them the story that I was dying,
That she had to carry me twelve miles to town
And twelve miles back and that I had no shoes
That place, I think it was Murphy’s 5 and 10 and they’re still there in Paintsville, Kentucky
And I think that they told Mommy that they wasn’t in business to give shoes away
Mommy told Daddy, says, “Carry Loretta on down a little farther,”
Said, “and let me stop in another store…”
And Mommy went right back to the same store
When the guy’s back was turned she stole these little red shoes
And I remember on the big’old bridge that went across the river
It went way up high and was…
I’ve always been scared of that bridge that took me across the big Sandy River
Mommy pulled them out from under that yellow jacket that she was wearing
And she was putting them red shoes on me
And I thought them was the prettiest things I ever saw in my life
And Daddy started crying
And I wondered why
And he said, “Clerie, we’re not going to make it home,”
And Mommy put the shoes on me
And Daddy took off running and run all the way ahead t’Butcher Holler with me
And Mommy never had a chance to carry me any farther
And that’s almost twelve miles that Daddy run with me
But Daddy knew that the cops was going to get us
He left Mommy standing and he took off in a dead run
I remember him running but I didn’t know what for

And I remember asking Mommy,
“Mommy, why is Daddy running?”
I remember her hollering,
“To put your little red shoes away, honey, when you get home.”
Can you believe that?
So I wrote a song called “Put My Little Red Shoes Away,”
You know, they’re my little red shoes and I don’t want
‘em to get… to be dirty…
Nina Simone, Barbra Streisand, and Angela Davis are my triumviratae. They are the Gods who rule over me. Secondly tiered is sister Alice (Walker). Im sure there are some others.

Come Ye

By Nina Simone

This song by Nina Simone is explosive when hearing her perform it. I just recently listened to this on a compilation album of her work and I had to pause after hearing it. It definitely takes one aback.

Come ye ye who would have peace
Hear me what I say now
I say come ye ye who would have peace
It's time to learn how to pray

I say come ye ye who have no fear
What tomorrow brings child
Start praying for a better world
Or peace and all good things

I say come ye ye who still have hope
That we can still survive now
Let's work together as we should
And fight to stay alive

I say come ye ye who would have love
It's time to take a stand
Don't mind abuse it must be paid
For the love of your fellow man

I say come ye come ye
Who would have hope
Who would have hope
Who would have hope
Who would have hope

Mona Lisa Smile

I so appreciate this movie.
I am quite intrigued by the Nigerian rebels who are fighting to get the foriegn oil barons out of their country. I hope they have success in ridding themselves of imperialism.
I heard something absolutely horrendous and alarming today. The military has begun to prepare for a host of executions. Most of the people that are going to be put to death are Black. Not only is this aspect of this story alarming, but also under the new rules concerning executions set forth by the military, they are not required to carry out these executions in the United States, but can carry them out in any number of places outside of the United States including Guatanamo Bay.
Daimler-Chrysler has announced today that it will be cutting its white collar jobs by a fifth, totaling about 6,000 jobs. Oh this economy is going to hell is it not?

Kudos to Chile!

Hooray for Michelle Bachelet for becoming Chile's first female president!
I read this excellent article, The Nonprofit and the Autonomous Grassroots,in Leftturn about how nonprofit status is ruining activism, especially organizations dedicated to activism....basically, it is another way that the government can keep tabs on and try and nullify activism and progressive movement. It is definitely worth paying attention to.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Kwame Appiah was always somewhere slightly off key.
Someone did manage, however, to floor Bush with questions about Brokeback Mountain.

Bush Needs to Be Castrated...and Kansas is, Of Course, Bullshit Land

Today, George Bush delivered an address at Kansas State University in which he is attempting to defend his spying program. Someone should take his penis now. I don't give a shit how many white folks he stands in front of and tries to make it legitimate or ok. This man needs to go to hell and sure enough he will, in a Nina Simone woven handbasket.
Ford just announced 30,000 job cuts and the closure of factories throughout the United States. This will definitely be absolutely devastating to the areas where these plants are to be closed. Sadly, listening to NPR this evening, I have noticed they are trying to downplay and sugarcoat this horrendous thing with words like "restructuring" and announcing that even though Ford is closing these plants that they still plan to sell lincolns;-)Oh me oh my, what a fool I am not for these people. There needs to be a return of integrity, backbone, and gumption to this world.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Kudos to Bolivia for its first indigenous president and a new leftist government!
Sharon's party tonight was great. She is a fabo hostess and her house is beautiful. I also appreciate the indiana countryside.