Saturday, September 23, 2006

I just watched three episodes of Being Bobby Brown. I definitely need to relearn how to turn the television off. Further commenting though, there is definitely a noticeable trend with many girls from "good" families...they always seem to be attracted to thugs.

Friday, September 22, 2006

when charles left he took my Gilberto and Getz...I need to get a new CD.

Burying the Empire of the Eagle

Chavez' Comments -
Strategy Or Ravings?
From The Progressive
By Greg Palast
"I've known Hugo Chavez for years, let me tell you that man knows a diablo when he sees one." -- Greg Palast

You'd think George Bush would get down on his knees and kiss Hugo Chavez's behind. Not only has Chavez delivered cheap oil to the Bronx and other poor communities in the United States. And not only did he offer to bring aid to the victims of Katrina. In my interview with the president of Venezuela on March 28, he made Bush the following astonishing offer: Chavez would drop the price of oil to $50 a barrel, "not too high, a fair price," he said -- a third less than the $75 a barrel for oil recently posted on the spot market. That would bring down the price at the pump by about a buck, from $3 to $2 a gallon.

But our President has basically told Chavez to take his cheaper oil and stick it up his pipeline. Before I explain why Bush has done so, let me explain why Chavez has the power to pull it off -- and the method in the seeming madness of his "take-my-oil-please!" deal.

Venezuela, Chavez told me, has more oil than Saudi Arabia. A nutty boast? Not by a long shot. In fact, his surprising claim comes from a most surprising source: the U.S. Department of Energy. In an internal report, the DOE estimates that Venezuela has five times the Saudis' reserves. However, most of Venezuela's mega-horde of crude is in the More...form of "extra-heavy" oil -- liquid asphalt -- which is ghastly expensive to pull up and refine. Oil has to sell above $30 a barrel to make the investment in extra-heavy oil worthwhile. A big dip in oil's price -- and, after all, oil cost only $18 a barrel six years ago -- would bankrupt heavy-oil investors. Hence Chavez's offer: Drop the price to $50 -- and keep it there. That would guarantee Venezuela's investment in heavy oil.

But the ascendance of Venezuela within OPEC necessarily means the decline of the power of the House of Saud. And the Bush family wouldn't like that one bit. It comes down to "petro-dollars." When George W. ferried then-Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah of Saudi Arabia around the Crawford ranch in a golf cart it wasn't because America needs Arabian oil. The Saudis will always sell us their petroleum. What Bush needs is Saudi petro-dollars. Saudi Arabia has, over the past three decades, kindly recycled the cash sucked from the wallets of American SUV owners and sent much of the loot right back to New York to buy U.S. Treasury bills and other U.S. assets.

The Gulf potentates understand that in return for lending the U.S. Treasury the cash to fund George Bush's $2 trillion rise in the nation's debt, they receive protection in return. They lend us petro-dollars, we lend them the 82nd Airborne.

Chavez would put an end to all that. He'll sell us oil relatively cheaply -- but intends to keep the petro-dollars in Latin America. Recently, Chavez withdrew $20 billion from the U.S. Federal Reserve and, at the same time, lent or committed a like sum to Argentina, Ecuador, and other Latin American nations.

Chavez, notes The Wall Street Journal, has become a "tropical IMF." And indeed, as the Venezuelan president told me, he wants to abolish the Washington-based International Monetary Fund, with its brutal free-market diktats, and replace it with an "International Humanitarian Fund," an IHF, or more accurately, an International Hugo Fund. In addition, Chavez wants OPEC to officially recognize Venezuela as the cartel's reserve leader, which neither the Saudis nor Bush will take kindly to.

Politically, Venezuela is torn in two. Chavez's "Bolivarian Revolution," a close replica of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal-a progressive income tax, public works, social security, cheap electricity -- makes him wildly popular with the poor. And most Venezuelans are poor. His critics, a four-centuries' old white elite, unused to sharing oil wealth, portray him as a Castro-hugging anti-Christ.

Chavez's government, which used to brush off these critics, has turned aggressive on them. I challenged Chavez several times over charges brought against Sumate, his main opposition group. The two founders of the nongovernmental organization, which led the recall campaign against Chavez, face eight years in prison for taking money from the Bush Administration and the International Republican [Party] Institute. No nation permits foreign funding of political campaigns, but the charges (no one is in jail) seem like a heavy hammer to use on the minor infractions of these pathetic gadflies.

Bush's reaction to Chavez has been a mix of hostility and provocation. Washington supported the coup attempt against Chavez in 2002, and Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld have repeatedly denounced him. The revised National Security Strategy of the United States of America, released in March, says, "In Venezuela, a demagogue awash in oil money is undermining democracy and seeking to destabilize the region."

So when the Reverend Pat Robertson, a Bush ally, told his faithful in August 2005 that Chavez has to go, it was not unreasonable to assume that he was articulating an Administration wish. "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him," Robertson said, "I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war . . . and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

There are only two ways to defeat the rise of Chavez as the New Abdullah of the Americas. First, the unattractive option: Cut the price of oil below $30 a barrel. That would make Chavez's crude worthless. Or, option two: Kill him.

Q: Your opponents are saying that you are beginning a slow-motion dictatorship. Is that what we are seeing?

Hugo Chavez: They have been saying that for a long time. When they're short of ideas, any excuse will do as a vehicle for lies. That is totally false. I would like to invite the citizens of Great Britain and the citizens of the U.S. and the citizens of the world to come here and walk freely through the streets of Venezuela, to talk to anyone they want, to watch television, to read the papers. We are building a true democracy, with human rights for everyone, social rights, education, health care, pensions, social security, and jobs.

Q: Some of your opponents are being charged with the crime of taking money from George Bush. Will you send them to jail?

Chavez: It's not up to me to decide that. We have the institutions that do that. These people have admitted they have received money from the government of the United States. It's up to the prosecutors to decide what to do, but the truth is that we can't allow the U.S. to finance the destabilization of our country. What would happen if we financed somebody in the U.S. to destabilize the government of George Bush? They would go to prison, certainly.

Q: How do you respond to Bush's charge that you are destabilizing the region and interfering in the elections of other Latin American countries?

Chavez: Mr. Bush is an illegitimate President. In Florida, his brother Jeb deleted many black voters from the electoral registers. So this President is the result of a fraud. Not only that, he is also currently applying a dictatorship in the U.S. People can be put in jail without being charged. They tap phones without court orders. They check what books people take out of public libraries. They arrested Cindy Sheehan because of a T-shirt she was wearing demanding the return of the troops from Iraq. They abuse blacks and Latinos. And if we are going to talk about meddling in other countries, then the U.S. is the champion of meddling in other people's affairs. They invaded Guatemala, they overthrew Salvador Allende, invaded Panama and the Dominican Republic. They were involved in the coup d'etat in Argentina thirty years ago.

Q: Is the U.S. interfering in your elections here?

Chavez: They have interfered for 200 years. They have tried to prevent us from winning the elections, they supported the coup d'etat, they gave millions of dollars to the coup plotters, they supported the media, newspapers, outlaw movements, military intervention, and espionage. But here the empire is finished, and I believe that before the end of this century, it will be finished in the rest of the world. We will see the burial of the empire of the eagle.

Q: You don't interfere in the elections of other nations in Latin America?

Chavez: Absolutely not. I concern myself with Venezuela. However, what's going on now is that some rightwing movements are transforming me into a pawn in the domestic politics of their countries, by making statements that are groundless. About candidates like Morales [of Bolivia], for example. They said I financed the candidacy of President Lula [of Brazil], which is totally false. They said I financed the candidacy of Kirchner [of Argentina], which is totally false. In Mexico, recently, the rightwing party has used my image for its own profit. What's happened is that in Latin America there is a turn to the left. Latin Americans have gotten tired of the Washington consensus -- a neoliberalism that has aggravated misery and poverty.

Q: You have spent millions of dollars of your nation's oil wealth throughout Latin America. Are you really helping these other nations or are you simply buying political support for your regime?

Chavez: We are brothers and sisters. That's one of the reasons for the wrath of the empire. You know that Venezuela has the biggest oil reserves in the world. And the biggest gas reserves in this hemisphere, the eighth in the world. Up until seven years ago, Venezuela was a U.S. oil colony. All of our oil was going up to the north, and the gas was being used by the U.S. and not by us. Now we are diversifying. Our oil is helping the poor. We are selling to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, some Central American countries, Uruguay, Argentina.

Q: And the Bronx?

Chavez: In the Bronx it is a donation. In all the cases I just mentioned before, it is trade. However, it's not free trade, just fair commerce. We also have an international humanitarian fund as a result of oil revenues.

Q: Why did George Bush turn down your help for New Orleans after the hurricane?

Chavez: You should ask him, but from the very beginning of the terrible disaster of Katrina, our people in the U.S., like the president of CITGO, went to New Orleans to rescue people. We were in close contact by phone with Jesse Jackson. We hired buses. We got food and water. We tried to protect them; they are our brothers and sisters. Doesn't matter if they are African, Asian, Cuban, whatever.

Q: Are you replacing the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as "Daddy Big Bucks"?

Chavez: I do wish that the IMF and the World Bank would disappear soon.

Q: And it would be the Bank of Hugo?

Chavez: No. The International Humanitarian Bank. We are just creating an alternative way to conduct financial exchange. It is based on cooperation. For example, we send oil to Uruguay for their refinery and they are paying us with cows.

Q: Milk for oil.

Chavez: That's right. Milk for oil. The Argentineans also pay us with cows. And they give us medical equipment to combat cancer. It's a transfer of technology. We also exchange oil for software technology. Uruguay is one of the biggest producers of software. We are breaking with the neoliberal model. We do not believe in free trade. We believe in fair trade and exchange, not competition but cooperation. I'm not giving away oil for free. Just using oil, first to benefit our people, to relieve poverty. For a hundred years we have been one of the largest oil-producing countries in the world but with a 60 percent poverty rate and now we are canceling the historical debt.

Q: Speaking of the free market, you've demanded back taxes from U.S. oil companies. You have eliminated contracts for North American, British, and European oil companies. Are you trying to slice out the British and American oil companies from Venezuela?

Chavez: No, we don't want them to go, and I don't think they want to leave the country, either. We need each other. It's simply that we have recovered our oil sovereignty. They didn't pay taxes. They didn't pay royalties. They didn't give an account of their actions to the government. They had more land than had previously been established in the contracts. They didn't comply with the agreed technology exchange. They polluted the environment and didn't pay anything towards the cleanup. They now have to comply with the law.

Q: You've said that you imagine the price of oil rising to $100 dollars per barrel. Are you going to use your new oil wealth to squeeze the planet?

Chavez: No, no. We have no intention of squeezing anyone. Now, we have been squeezed and very hard. Five hundred years of squeezing us and stifling us, the people of the South. I do believe that demand is increasing and supply is dropping and the large reservoirs are running out. But it's not our fault. In the future, there must be an agreement between the large consumers and the large producers.

Q: What happens when the oil money runs out, what happens when the price of oil falls as it always does? Will the
Bolivarian revolution of Hugo Chavez simply collapse because there's no money to pay for the big free ride?

Chavez: I don't think it will collapse, in the unlikely case of oil running out today. The revolution will survive. It does not rely solely on oil for its survival. There is a national will, there is a national idea, a national project. However, we are today implementing a strategic program called the Oil Sowing Plan: using oil wealth so Venezuela can become an agricultural country, a tourist destination, an industrialized country with a diversified economy. We are investing billions of dollars in the infrastructure: power generators using thermal energy, a large railway, roads, highways, new towns, new universities, new schools, recuperating land, building tractors, and giving loans to farmers. One day we won't have any more oil, but that will be in the twenty-second century. Venezuela has oil for another 200 years.

Q: But the revolution can come to an end if there's another coup and it succeeds. Do you believe Bush is still trying to overthrow your government?

Chavez: He would like to, but what you want is one thing, and what you cannot really obtain is another.

Watch my recent exclusive BBC interview with President Chavez
Read the article here
Also watch my LinkTV Chavez Special "Finding Bolivar's Heir"
"Finding Bolivar's Heir" (Large File)
"Finding Bolivar's Heir" (Small File)

Greg Palast is the author of the just-released New York Times bestseller, "ARMED MADHOUSE: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War" from which this is adapted. Go to
Jesse Jackson is truly our ambassador to the world(that is we, Afro-Americans).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Report on a Cornel West Lecture

Dr. Cornel West Lays It Out in the Cultural Capital of Black America
by Tom Stephens
On Wednesday, September 14, Dr. Cornel West spoke to an overflow crowd at the Detroit Public Library. The Sacramento, California-born author of "Race Matters" (1993), the new "Democracy Matters," and a popular CD of "danceable education" entitled "Sketches of My Culture," Dr. West declared himself glad to be in "the cultural capital of Black America."

Throughout Dr. West’s talk/performance, he made repeated references to African American cultural giants: Detroit’s Stevie Wonder ("the fusion of southern Black culture with industry"), John Coltrane, Sly Stone, Marvin Gaye, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison. The effect was not unlike listening to a great jazz recording, as the tempo, rhythm and melodies shift chaotically to express thematic ideas. All his cultural references related directly to the key political and sociological topics of the talk, especially the "democratic tradition" he seeks to reinvigorate against all odds. It all came out in a fierce, down-to-earth, and uniquely personal rush of spoken words and eloquent gestures.

You could hear and feel the heated audience response as Dr. West began by stating that we were meeting in "one of the bleakest moments in the history of this nation." He called out a national culture of supposed efficiency, opportunity and prosperity, and contrasted that myth with the images of death, suffering and abandonment during the previous weeks in the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina.

"It’s not a big move from the stinking hold of the slave ship,” declared West, “To the stinking hell of the Superdome." His thesis focused on a call to "democratic awakening to come to terms with the underside of America." Expressing amazement at the amazement of Americans who "discovered" poverty in the images of the poorest abandoned hurricane victims, Dr. West said "There are human beings here. It’s not just ‘PC chit chat’ to talk about them."

He framed his argument within Bush’s axiom: "You’re on your own." Dr. West called this a modern version of Social Darwinism; "survival of the slickest." He contrasted this dominant perspective with that of the 20,000 people in the New Orleans Superdome; "decent people enduring that hell who somehow insured that hundreds didn’t die," while helicopters picked up doctors and nurses and left patients to die in the city’s public hospital. The bottom line: "You folks don’t count. Fight our wars. Clean our kitchens. Make our cars. But in a crisis you are an exilic people. Refugees." It’s true on the South side of Chicago, in South Central LA, Detroit, Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant. The people of these communities are exiles. "By the waters of Babylon," indeed.

For West, to live the ideal democratic tradition is the ability to fly, in spite of the "death of US democracy, corporate greed, complacency, and young folks’ disregard for the democratic tradition." This democratic tradition emerged from African American life in slavery. Though "the Union won the war,” West explained, “racism won the peace," The experience of "Jim Crow terrorism" demonstrates that "Terrorism is not alien to the United States. Ask Native Americans and Filipinos about Manifest Destiny, America civilizing Brown People." Suddenly on 9/11 "The whole US realized what it was like to be Black in America for 400 years: N***erization of the whole country."

Dr. West segued from racial and economic injustice to the dominant gangster hypocrisy of the political system. Examples of such hypocrisy include Donald Rumsfeld and Ronald Reagan’s support for Saddam Hussein, and the CIA’s support for Osama bin Laden. More recently, US-supported death squads overthrew the democratically elected President of Haiti, and the US government supported a failed violent coup against the democratically elected president of Venezuela. In light of the recent tragedies for the poorest people in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, it is hypocrisy that there were no references to poverty in the last presidential election, between the "coldhearted GOP and the spineless Democrats." The consequences of this hypocrisy can’t really be over-stated. "Afraid to tell the truth, leadership gets ever weaker, and there are no examples of greatness for youth. Youth see only success, never greatness … Young people are looking for political courage," of the kind displayed in previous eras by Detroit’s Ken Cockrel and the League of Revolutionary Workers, by Marcus Garvey, A. Philip Randolph, Ella Baker, and Detroit’s Grace Lee Boggs (who was present in the auditorium). This essential kind of courage requires us to "think critically, hope, and go against the grain."

In the wake of the fiasco response to Hurricane Katrina, rapper Kanye West famously declared "George Bush doesn’t care about Black people." He merely stated the obvious, but the dominant white supremacist corporate patriarchal system treated it as a controversy.

The people in Detroit were picking up on the real deal from Dr. Cornel West. We heard a potentially history-making and world-shaking message of democratic reality. As Cornel West’s peer in social criticism, Noam Chomsky, has often ended his talks and articles, the rest is up to us
I love the show Girlfriends. I have watched a few episodes. DIana Ross's daughter is a good actress. I love the girl from Beauty Shop.

God Bless Hugo Chavez

And tell the Democrats to go to hell.
I am so in love with Bulgarian Lovers!
I am surrounded by capitalists..ugh.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hooray for Hugo!!

Chavez called Bush the devil on the floor of the U.N.! Kudos for him!

If They Come To Shoot You

By Alice Walker in Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth

If they come to shoot you
and because you lived in
where so many
you know
they might:
ask them first
to let you find
your hidden
Che Guevara

Place it just
at eye level
& if you cannot
find it
even after
your house
those eyes
bright & steady
the calm of them
on that last morning
in a poor
in Bolivia

His death offered
as a birthday
to a young man
so young & ignorant
that he took careful, prideful aim.

Meanwhile, El Che,
the schoolteacher
who gave him
his last supper
stood at ease
on his wounded leg
though he
had beld
through the long night

His imperturbable idea was to come back
after his escape
& build her
a proper school.(Perhaps it was this audacity that caused them,later, to cut off his hands.)
With what compassion
he must have gazed
at his young

An assassin
brutish &
for just such
a purpose
as this.

Someone so mulelike
we can almost hear
the whining
of imcomprehension
thirty years
that fateful morning
as all
the campesinos
in this neighborhood
don't even
jeer at him
but simply

their sun-withered

I too

pray for you
young, poor,ignorant

You have been sent by someone
who also
does not

& that is what
we can
to do
for them
when they come
for us.
Today I saw some BLack students tabling in the Stewart Center with a sign on their table that said something about "Gearing Towards Success." It saddens me the mindset of the majority of the people of color on this campus. I am reminded of Cornel West's statement that we have failed to teach our children that it is better to be great than it is to be successful.
I love Fidel Castro. I watched the documentary Fidel which was great. Alice Walker and Angela Davis were in it!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

On Cornel West

People enter into academia for one of two reasons-- to explore and create
intellectual dialogue or to assimilate into the power structure. The great
thoughts that are found coming from the words of people like bell hooks and
Cornel West, who represent the intellectual academe and the celebrity of
academia,help to shape at least part of the dialogue that can be found on the
national and international scene. These individuals have sharpened their voices
in order to render messages to the masses that are meant to help bring about
profound and fundamental change in humanity and the way in which the world
operates. These figures use the stepping stool of the academy to buffer their
entrance into the realm of public influence.When Cornel West is called a public
intellectual, this means that his scholarship is geared towards enriching
humanity and making better the conditions under which people are forced to
exist.In that light, people such as bell hooks and Cornel West serve as the
conscience of the nation,constantly reminding them of their humanity and their
responsibilities to it.

On the Pope

The pope can go to hell.
My grandmother, at 86, is as robust as a woman in her 20s.
Today I am in a melancholy/nostalgic/bordering on sad mood. I am very much thinking about how life changes..and how things that were once familiar look terribly different. How things change over time. My cousin Voncile has been sick for a few months now, diagnosed with brain cancer that has swollen her brain and leaves her incapacitated and with varied ability to speak. My mother says that she has burns on her skin and blotches from treatments, she is bald, and she doesnt look the same at all. I am glad I didn't go to chicago. I don't know if I could have seen her in that condition. Also running in my mind, I am a very blessed little boy. I have been taken care of and sheltered my entire life.

Monday, September 18, 2006

My Favorite Contemporary Singers

My favorite contemporary sings would have to be, in this order,

Erykah Badu
Jill Scott
and Mary J. Blige.
Contemporary meaning 90's on.

I Love Barbra--My Mantra

Don't tell me not to live,
Just sit and putter,
Life's candy and the sun's
A ball of butter.
Don't bring around a cloud
To rain on my parade.
Don't tell me not to fly--
I've simply got to.
If someone takes a spill,
It's me and not you.
Who told you you're allowed
To rain on my parade!
I'll march my band out,
I'll beat my drum,
And if I'm fanned out,
Your turn at bat, sir.
At least I didn't fake it.
Hat, sir, I guess I didn't make it!
But whether I'm the rose
Of sheer perfection,
Or freckle on the nose
Of life's complexion,
The cinder or the shiny apple of its eye,
I gotta fly once,
I gotta try once,
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, love is juicy,
Juicy, and you see
I gotta have my bite, sir!
Get ready for me, love,
'Cause I'm a "comer,"
I simply gotta march,
My heart's a drummer.
Don't bring around a cloud
To rain on my parade!

I'm gonna live and live now,
Get what I want--I know how,
One roll for the whole shebang,
One throw, that bell will go clang,
Eye on the target--and wham--
One shot, one gun shot, and bam--
Hey, Mister Arnstein, here I am!
I'll march my band out,
I will beat my drum,
And if I'm fanned out,
Your turn at bat, sir,
At least I didn't fake it.
Hat, sir, I guess I didn't make it.
Get ready for me, love,
'Cause I'm a "comer,"
I simply gotta march,
My heart's a drummer.
Nobody, no, nobody
Is gonna rain on my parade!
I would so love to do a comparative analysis of Laura Bush and Ms. Millie from The Color Purple. LB: "And we're going to send a book to all of the children in Africa--and their going to be printed here in the United States!" Classic, classic.