Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gay Pride in Cuba

Cuban Government Backs Calls to Combat Homophobia

By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ, Associated Press Writer
Associated Press
May 17, 2008


Cuba's gay community celebrated unprecedented openness
- and high-ranking political alliances - with a
government-backed campaign against homophobia on

The meeting at a convention center in Havana's Vedado
district may have been the largest gathering of openly
gay activists ever on the communist-run island.
President Raul Castro's daughter Mariela, who has
promoted the rights of sexual minorities, presided.

"This is a very important moment for us, the men and
women of Cuba, because for the first time we can gather
in this way and speak profoundly and with scientific
basis about these topics," said Castro, director of
Cuba's Center for Sexual Education.

Mariela Castro joined government leaders and hundreds
of activists at the one-day conference for the
International Day Against Homophobia that featured
shows, lectures, panel discussions and book
presentations. A station also offered blood-tests for
sexually transmitted diseases.

Cuban state television gave prime-time play Friday to
the U.S. film "Brokeback Mountain," which tells the
story of two cowboys who conceal their homosexual

Prejudice against homosexuals remains deeply rooted in
Cuban society, but the government has steadily moved
away from the Puritanism of the 1960s and 1970s, when
homosexuals hid their sexuality for fear of being
ridiculed, fired from work or even imprisoned.

Now Cuba's parliament is studying proposals to legalize
same-sex unions and give gay couples the benefits that
people in traditional marriages enjoy.

Parliament head Ricardo Alarcon said the government
needs to do more to promote gay rights, but said many
Cubans still need to be convinced.

Things "are advancing, but must continue advancing, and
I think we should do that in a coherent, appropriate
and precise way because these are topics that have been
taboo and continue to be for many," Alarcon told

Some at the conference spoke of streaming out into the
streets for a spontaneous gay-pride parade, but others
urged caution.

The gay rights movement should be careful not to
"flood" Cuban society with a message that many are not
ready to hear, physician and gay activist Alberto Roque

And Mariela Castro said gay activists should opt for
more subtle ways to chip away at deep-seated homophobic

Defending equal rights for Cubans, of all sexual
orientations, is a key principal of the Cuban
revolution led by her uncle Fidel Castro, who overthrew
dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, she said.

"The freedom of sexual choice and gender identity (are)
exercises in equality and social justice," she said.


Portside aims to provide material of interest
to people on the left that will help them to
interpret the world and to change it.

Ben Jealous Elected to Head NAACP

I am encouraged. Especially so, since he is favored by Julian Bond--a man with real integrity. I definitely want to see what Mr. Jealous does during his tenure with the NAACP.
God keep Edward Kennedy.


When I was a teenager, wjenever I would visit my Uncle Lawrence's house, he would always send me home with a big box full of the most wonderful books.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Free Your Mind-En Vogue

Free Your Mind

En Vogue

I wear tight clothing and high heel shoes it doesnt make me a prostitute
I like rap music wear hip-hop clothes
That doesnt mean that Im sellin dope
Oh my please forgive me for having
Straight hair
It doesnt mean theres another blood in
My heirs
I might date another race or color
Doesnt mean I dont like my strong
Black brothers

Chorus:free your mind and the rest will follow, be colorblind, dont be so shallow(before you read me you gotta learn how to see me)

So Im a sista
Buy things with cash
That really doesnt mean that all my
Credit is bad,
So why dispute me and waste my time,
Because you think that the price is too
High for me
I cant look without being watched
You rang my buy before I made up my,
Oh now attitude why even bother
I cant change your mind you cant
Change my color

Repeat chorus two times

Gay Marriage in California

I want to issue a word of caution to all of those rejoicing over California's repeal of its gay marriage ban: everyone that smiles at you isn't your friend. Conservatives are probably sitting on that court and did that to have a base issue to drive republicans to the polls in November. This country is soooo much bullshit.
Tony Parker is soo hot.
God bless the Palestinian people.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

George Bush

For those who didn't know it, George Bush is an idiot.

The Ten Books That Have Influenced Me The Most(Updated)

In no particular order**

Assata Shakur: The Autobiography

I read this book in college. I remember we were on a tournament and staying in a hotel. My friend Wanda had given me this and Elaine Brown's book. I cried after having read them both. This book is a powerful accounting by Twentieth-Century escaped slave, Assata Shakur of the events that led up to her being handcuffed to her hospital bed and placed under arrest while unconscious, her body ridden with bullets, for the death of a New Jersey police officer in an attempt to intimidate and destory the BLA and the Black Panther Party on the part of the FBI and other agencies. In the book, she also offers up details of her life from her childhood and early college years up until the point of her escape from prison and eventual exile in Cuba. Assata is a brilliant poet and she incorporates some of her poetry into the book. I think everyone should read this book.

Angela Davis:The Autobiography

It must have been my freshman or sophomore year of college when I read this book. I have always been in awe of Angela Davis and I completely devoured the book. It was quite profound. Very carefully constructed by Angela, the book sheds light on her life up to the point of her involvement with the Soledad Brothers movement and her friendships with George and Jonathan Jackson. From her early years in Birmingham, Alabama, her foundation in activism from her parents, who were involved with the Scottsboro Trial,to her time in New York at The Little Red School and her graduate study at the Sorbonne and the University of Frankfort, the book builds up to the point of her accepting a teaching position in the University of California system and the unfolding of events that led to her going underground, the worldwide FBI hunt that ensued, and the eventual trial that held the attention of the world.

A Taste of Power- Elaine Brown’s Autobiography

Elaine Brown was very much unknown to me before I read this book my sophomore or junior year of college. This book, along with the others on this list, added something to my makeup and to my understanding and grasp of the world as I understand it today. Elaine Brown truly is an inspiration. In this book, Elaine details the events in her life that led her to join the Black Panther Party and which eventually catapulted her into the position of Chairwoman of the Party. The book is eye-opening in that she gives a first hand account of the deeply rooted misogyny that was present in the Black Power Movement and even more widely on the left as a whole in the 1960s. She gives a vivid account of the threat on her life placed by Eldridge Cleaver as well as the abuses she experienced at the hands of Huey P. Newton and other men within the party. She gives a terrifying account of a brutal beating she received at the hands of a party member and discusses beatings that were delved out to other party members as well.

A frank and honest account of the accomplishments and shortcomings of the Black Panther Party, this book is a wonderful accounting of her life from her early days in Philadelphia to her rise to lead one of the most progressive, revolutionary organizations in modern history.

Possessing the Secret of Joy—Alice Walker

My favorite book. Enough said.

Giovanni’s Room- James Baldwin

I first read Giovanni's Room at the end of my junior year of college. It was the first book I had ever read that explored the issue of homosexuality, especially sexual relations between men( I may have read Zami before Giovanni's Room). I adore and very much love Jimmy Baldwin and this book definitely imprinted itself upon my consciousness. James Baldwin is a God.

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name- Audre Lorde

I read this book in the same period in which I read Giovanni's room. Audre Lorde is a Goddess/Mother of the earth. This book completely shook my foundation to the core and made me much more completely whole. Delivering what she calls an autobiomythography, Audre Lorde embraces her self, her queerness, and in the process queers the entire world with the love that she gives through this book. Accounting for her life from her early childhood in New York City, the daughter of immigrants to her coming into her womanhood as a lesbian, as a woman of color, this book is perhaps the most valuable piece of queer/othered fiction ever written. One thing that stuck out to me from this book is her frankness in describing the lesbian scene of the 1950s and 60s and the amount of racism and lack of solidarity that existed (and still exists) among gays and lesbians. Audre Lorde is, as I said, a Goddess/Mother and her voice will always be treasured.

The Glory and the Dream- William Manchester

I read this book the summer after my sophomore year of High School for the A.P. American History course I took my junior year. It was quite profound and really made history a living entity for me, perhaps for the first time, with its vivid depictions of the depression, the Vietnam War,and American culture of the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. Some of the things that stuck out to me from this book were Curious Yellow (which I eventually found and saw: what a film) and the trial of Richard Whitney for fraud on the stock exchange. I really appreciated the montage pages which were included at the end of every chapter, which were pages that listed some of the vernacular of the particular era and were mini-shots of the culture of the time--with movie posters, political slogans, and other cultural regalia.

The Souls of Black Folk—W.E.B. DuBois

I got this book from my Uncle Lawrence's House when I was either thirteen or fourteen. DuBois was the first person I had ever read that profoundly shaped and influenced my intellect. Not only did Dubois' discussion of Afro-Americans make a profound impact on my psyche, but his exploration and study of peoples around the globe- from the Jews to the Japanese, really served as a stimulus in me and encouraged my own explorations of ethnicity.

My early intellectual pursuits led me to studying the Swedes in Minnesota and the settlements of Jews in the South, and really peaked my interests in the ethnic makeup of urban areas. From my keen interest io various peoples as a small child growing up in Chicago with access to different cultures, Dubois opened a new door into my world. Along with this, perhaps of more importance, Dubois led me to consider the concept of identity and how people and communities identify themselves.

I Wonder as I Wander by Langston Hughes

I recieved this book from my Uncle Donald when I was about thirteen or fourteen. Langston's account of his travels and his descriptions of people and places all over the world from China to Cuba to the USSR had a profound effect on me.I am a natural traveler and I loved his descriptions of the Chinese and watermelons floating down the Mekong River and Russian peasants in Tashkent sipping from a communal bowl of tea.....

Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America by Lerone Bennett Jr.

I also recieved this book from my Uncle Lawrence's house. Whenever I would visit him, he would send me off with a big box of books from his library. This was one of them. It is a great history text that really gives a vivid and accurate accounting of African civilizations before Europeans appeared as conquerors( before that they were there as either slaves or as equals: European monarchs sent their children to the Universities at Timbuktu and Songhay to be educated; they intermarried with African nobility. It was only the invention of the gun that gave the Europeans the chutzpah to try and conquer another civilization). As I read this book when I was about 12 or 13 or 14, I dare not do much detailing. It is a beautiful hardcover book and is an invaluable collection to anyone's library.

Also worthy of mention:

Sex and Race series by J.A. Rogers

Gore Vidal pt.4

Gore Vidal pt.3

Thanks to Ekhart Tolle's A New Earth, I know what peace is and I know the importance of peace.

Gore Vidal pt.2

Gore Vidal On Democracy Now

School Recruiting Could Violate International Protocol

By Jim Lobe IPS-Inter Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 13 (IPS) - Pressed by the demands of
the "global war on terrorism", the United States is
violating an international protocol that forbids the
recruitment of children under the age of 18 for
military service, according to a new report released
Tuesday by a major civil rights group that charged that
recruitment practices target children as young as 11
years old.

The 46-page report, "Soldiers of Misfortune", which was
prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
for submission to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of
the Child, also found that the U.S. military
disproportionately targets poor and minority public
school students.

Military recruiters, according to the report, use
"exaggerated promises of financial rewards for
enlistment, [which] undermines the voluntariness of
their enlistment." In some cases documented by the
report, recruiters used coercion, deception, and even
sexual abuse in order to gain recruits. Perpetrators of
such practices are only very rarely punished, the
report found.

"The United States military's procedures for recruiting
students plainly violate internationally accepted
standards and fail to protect youth from abusive and
aggressive recruitment tactics," said Jennifer Turner
of the ACLU Human Rights Project.

The increased aggressiveness of military recruiters is
due in major part, according to the report, to the
increased pressure to meet enlistment quotas caused by
ongoing U.S. military operations in Iraq and
Afghanistan to which nearly 200,000 soldiers and
marines are currently deployed.

The pressure created by current military commitments
has not only translated into enhanced recruitment
efforts among children under 18. The armed forces have
also lowered their standards for minimum-intelligence
tests, made it easier to enlist individuals with
criminal records, and increased re-enlistment bonuses
for soldiers who might otherwise be tempted to leave
the service.

The report, which also detailed Washington's failure to
protect foreign child soldiers being held by U.S.
forces at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and
elsewhere around the world as part of its submission to
the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, assesses
Washington's compliance with the Optional Protocol on
the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

The Protocol, which is attached to the Convention on
the Rights of the Child, is designed to protect the
rights of children under 18 who may be recruited by the
military and deployed to war.

Among other provisions, the Protocol sets an absolute
minimum age for recruitment of 16 and requires that all
recruitment activities directed at children under 18 be
carried out with the consent of the child's parents or
guardian, that any such recruitment be genuinely
volunteer, and the military fully inform the child of
the duties involved in military service and require
reliable proof of age before enlistment.

While the United States is one of only two countries --
the other being Somalia -- to have never ratified the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, the U.S. Senate
ratified the Protocol in 2002, making it binding under
U.S., as well as international, law. Unlike most other
industrialised countries that set their minimum
recruitment age at 18, the Senate decided on 17 as the
absolute minimum for the United States.

According to the ACLU report, however, the U.S. armed
services "regularly target children under 17 for
military recruitment, heavily recruiting on high school
campuses, in school lunchrooms, and in classes."

The army's own Recruiting Programme Handbook, for
example, instructs its more than 10,600 recruiters to
approach high school students as early as possible, and
explicitly before their senior year, which, for most
students, starts at age 17. "Remember, first to
contact, first to contract...that doesn't just mean
seniors or grads...," according to an excerpt quoted in
the report. "If you wait until they're seniors, it's
probably too late."

Once recruiters are inside their assigned high schools,
the Army's Recruiting Command instructs them to
"effectively penetrate the school market" and "(b)e so
helpful and so much a part of the school scene that you
are in constant demand", with the goal of "school
ownership that can only lead to a greater number of
Army enlistments." That includes volunteering to serve
as coaches for high school sports teams, involvement
with the local Boy Scouts, attending as many all school
functions and assemblies, and even "eating lunch in the
school cafeteria several times each month".

The report documents a number of specific cases, mostly
in New York and California -- the two most populous
states with the largest number of minority high school
students -- in which recruiters clearly followed these
instructions. In a survey of nearly 1,000 children,
aged 14 to 17, enrolled in New York City high schools,
the ACLU New York affiliate found that more than one
five respondents -- equally distributed among the
different grades -- reported the use of class time by
military recruiters, and 35 percent said military
recruiters had access to multiple locations in their
schools where they could meet students.

The report also noted that the Pentagon's central
recruitment database systematically collected
information on 16-year-olds and, in some cases even 15-
year-olds, including their name, home address and
telephones, email addresses, grade point averages,
height and weight information, and racial and ethnic
data obtained from a variety of public and private
sources. The explicit purpose of the database is to
assist the military in its "direct marketing recruiting
efforts". As the result of a 2006 ACLU lawsuit, the
Pentagon agreed to stop collecting data about students
younger than 16.

But recruitment efforts even dip below 15-year-olds,
according to the report, which found that the
Pentagon's Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC),
which operate at more than 3,000 junior high schools,
middle schools, and high schools across the country,
target children as young as 14 for recruitment. The
report cited recent studies that found that enrollment
in some JROTC programmes was involuntary.

JROTC "cadets", of whom there were nearly 300,000 in
2005, receive military uniforms and conduct military
drills and marches, handle real and wooden rifles, and
learn military history, according to the report, which
noted that the programme is explicitly designed to
"enhance recruiting efforts". African American and
Latin students make up 54 percent of JROTC programmes.

JROTC also oversees the Middle School Cadet Corps
(MSCC), in which children ages 11 to 14 can
participate, according to the report. Florida, Texas,
and Chicago schools offer military-run after-school
MSCC programmes in which children take part in drills
with wooden rifles and military chants, learn first-
aid, civics, military history and, in some cases, wear
uniforms to school for inspection once a week.

The Army also uses an online video game, called
"America's Army", to attract potential recruits as
young as 13, train them to use weapons, and engage in
virtual combat and other military missions. Launched in
2002, the video game had attracted 7.5 million
registered users by September 2006.

"Military recruitment tools aimed at youth under 18,
including Pentagon-produced video games, military
training, corps, and databases of students' personal
information, have no place in America's schools," said
"What do those of us who aren't tall, flawlessly sculpted adolescents do? Answer: Console ourselves with how relative beauty can be... Thank heavens for the arousing qualities of zest, intelligence, wit, curiosity, sweetness, passion, talent and grace." -- Diane Ackerman
Those in the know say that the Bush administration is looking for war with Iran.
I had a magnificent breakfast last night. I took some left over mixed vegetables from dinner and a piece of grilled chicken, shredded it and made an omelet. I then made cheese toast. It was fabulous!

Gore Vidal On Democracy Now

I soo Love Gore Vidal! He is such an incredibly magnificent man and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him on television last night. What an incredible presence.Thanks to Amy Goodman for that interview!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Edwards Endorses Obama!

Yea!!! Hillary, it is time to drop out. NOW!

Poem No. CXI

Listening to Jazz
Is like
living alongside Hannah & her sisters
there goes
red woolly scarf
blowing flailingly
as she dances across the skating rink
with her lover
young, svelte, and athletic.
There they go riding down the street wearing grey
London fog in street taxis
There goes my lover
and Jewish
Professor of English
excellent at dinner parties and
magnificent in bed
Here I am at MoMa
Crying as my novel pitch
Starts to sell
Let the spirit lead me
free and carefree
chainsmoking pot cigarettes
and dancing as the perfect meaning
sets into our lives:
stay loose
love freely
and live for today.

Something I Agree With From Ruben Navarette

By Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) -- In claiming victory in West Virginia last night, Hillary Clinton reiterated her last best argument as to why she should be the Democratic nominee: because only she can win in November.

Ruben Navarrette Jr.: Hillary Clinton sounds less like George Washington and more like George Wallace.

Don't confuse that with what Clinton said in a debate just a few weeks ago about how she was confident that either she or her opponent could win in November.

How's that for chutzpah? She's arguing that the same person who couldn't win enough states in the spring against Barack Obama can win enough states in the fall against John McCain.

At least in West Virginia, Clinton chose her words more carefully than she did last week when she blurted out to USA Today that "Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again" and how whites who had not completed college were supporting her.

Clinton sounded less like George Washington and more like George Wallace. Imagine a presidential primary where, after more than 16 months, almost two dozen debates, hundreds of speeches, millions of dollars, and countless chicken dinners, the rationale for electing someone boils down to this: Vote for me. I'm white. I can win because other whites will vote for me.

Why, this could be the new affirmative action. Whatever happened to merit?

Clinton's message in West Virginia was smoother. "I'm winning Catholic voters and Hispanic voters," she told supporters, "and blue-collar workers and seniors, the kind of people that Sen. McCain will be fighting for in the general election."
Don't Miss

* Martin: Dems need more than working-class whites
* Glenn Beck: Obama's odd timing on Wright
* Commentary: 10 ugly things about the immigration debate
* In Depth: Commentaries

Meanwhile, some white Americans are turning themselves inside out to come up with excuses for why they're not supporting Obama. It seems like just yesterday that these folks were arguing there is no racism in the immigration debate, and now they're insisting there is no racism in the presidential election.

Some want to know why it isn't racist when 70 percent of African-Americans vote for Obama but it is when 70 percent of whites vote against him.

The answer has to do with history. Over the decades, black Americans have had plenty of opportunities to vote for white people for president. And they have done so. But this is the first time that white Americans have a chance to vote for an African-American with a shot at the presidency. And what are they doing?

Many are responding quite well. Obama won the votes of many, to borrow a phrase, "hardworking white Americans," in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming. But, elsewhere, as Obama said in a recent interview, people may need to get their head around the concept of an African-American even seeking the presidency, let alone winning it.

That's understandable. There are places in this country where white Americans are still raised to think of black Americans as inferior. And then comes someone like Obama who has performed off the charts -- from Harvard Law School to the U.S. Senate and now, possibly, on to the White House. It's going to take some time to get used to all that, especially for people who never thought they thought they'd see the day that an African-American would be elected president.

But understand this: They had better hurry up. That day may soon be here.

Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a member of the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune and a nationally syndicated columnist. Read his column here.

Til The Morning


We 'bout to take y'all way back, to love

Morning, can you touch me, can you help me?
Morning, to the sweet stuff, let me heat up

Make me loose my mind, loose freq of time
But I gotta work
You keep sending messages you wantin me
But instant messages don't be as ??
If you wanna get me, put your energy
You should in the real not on the phone

I'm sensing it when you come close
Boy come on cause I'm getting mown
I love it when you do that soul
Turn it up that turns me on

Morning, can you touch me, can you help me?
Morning, to the sweet stuff, let me heat up

Make me loose my mind, loose freq of time
But I gotta work
I can see you know most wrepped up in the sheets
You got me going crazy screeming more
If you want to get me, like you want me to be
Than you gotta stop me for dancing on the floor

I'm sensing it when you come close
Boy come on cause I'm getting mown
I love it when you do that soul
Turn it up that turns, me on

Morning, can you touch me, can you help me?
Morning, to the sweet stuff, let me heat up

Make me loose my mind, loose freq of time
But I gotta work

Morning, can you touch me, can you help me?

Okay, we gonna take you to the rooftop, c'mon!

Touch me, hold me.. kiss me, closely.. teach me, show me.. enjoy me!
Touch me, hold me.. kiss me, closely.. teach me, show me.. enjoy me!

Now did you like it?
How did you feel?
Was it good to ya?
Can you give a little more?

Now relax now baby
Let me ease your mind
Let me get it together
And I'll regret it till ??

I'm sensing it when you come close
Boy come on cause I'm getting mown
I love it when you do that soul
Turn it up that turns, me on

Morning, can you touch me, can you help me?
Morning, to the sweet stuff, let me heat up

Make me loose my mind, loose freq of time
But I gotta work

Morning, can you touch me, can you help me?

Touch me, hold me.. kiss me, closely.. teach me, show me.. enjoy me!
Touch me, hold me.. kiss me, closely.. teach me, show me.. enjoy me!
Touch me, hold me.. kiss me, closely.. teach me, show me.. enjoy me!
Touch me, hold me.. kiss me, closely.. teach me, show me.. enjoy me!
Why is no one in the Clinton campaign telling Hillary to check her racist language and insinuations?
We must do something about these police shootings. End patriarchy and stop these people.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Paul Robeson Sings the Soviet National Anthem

Report From Craigslist Poster

The United States military’s brutal offensive in Sadr City continued this week, with overnight raids killing dozens of people, including many civilians. The US offensive against the impoverished Baghdad neighborhood of 2 million people is entering its second month.

The direct target of US operations in Sadr City is the Mahdi Army militia led by Moqtada al-Sadr. Sadr’s followers are drawn from the largely working class Shiite population in Sadr City. He also has substantial support in southern Iraq, including Basra. The recent wave of violence in Iraq was triggered last month, when the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki launched an offensive, backed by the US, against Sadr’s forces in Basra.

According to media reports, the US military killed at least 11 people in Sadr City on Thursday night, and wounded another 74. “Criminals” have replaced “terrorists” as the label affixed by the US military to those it has slaughtered, but many are ordinary civilians. According to a report by Agence France-Presse (AFP), a Sadr City medic “said the dead included four old men, two women and a child” and that women and children were among the wounded.

The US military is employing helicopters armed with Hellfire rocket missiles to terrorize the population of Sadr City and target anyone it claims may be preparing rockets or roadside bombs.

According to figures tabulated by AFP from reports by the Iraqi government and the US military, at least 383 people have been killed in Sadr City over the past month. This figure, however, substantially underestimates the real death toll, since it is based only on official reports.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has reported that the main market in Sadr City has been severely damaged in the fighting, exacerbating food and water shortages. Several hospitals have also run out of supplies while attempting to treat the wounded.

Concurrent with the siege on Sadr City, Bush administration and military officials are also escalating their threats against Iran. On Friday, a ship contracted by the US military fired warning shots at what it said were Iranian boats in the Persian Gulf. Iranian officials denied that any of its vessels were involved.

Referring to the claim that the boats were Iranian, a military official said, “We don’t have complete confirmation of that, but we suspect it.” The incident mirrors an earlier one in January involving US Navy ships near the Strait of Hormuz. The military claimed then that two Iranian boats headed towards its ships, threatening to blow themselves up. These claims were later debunked, but the incident was used to ratchet up pressure on Iran.

Earlier this month, a US coastal patrol ship fired a flare at an Iranian boat, and in December the USS Whidbey Island fired warning shots at another Iranian vessel.

The administration has also claimed that Iran is behind most of the attacks on US forces in Iraq, creating the pretext for some form of possible military action. On Friday, Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, claimed at a press conference that the US had acquired evidence of weapons in Iraq that had been recently manufactured in Iran.

An article published in the Wall Street Journal on Friday reported, “Officials in Washington and Baghdad said the purported Iranian mortars, rockets and explosives had date stamps indicating they were manufactured in the past two months. The US plans to launch a public campaign over the alleged weapons caches in coming days. A pair of senior commanders said a presentation was tentatively planned for Monday.”

“I believe recent events, especially the Basra operation, have revealed just how much and just how far Iran is reaching into Iraq to foment instability,” Mullen declared. “Their support to criminal groups in the form of munitions and training, as well as other assistance they are providing and the attacks they are encouraging continues to kill coalition and Iraqi personnel.”

The head of a military that has carried out a five-year occupation of Iraq, killing over 1 million people and turning 4 million into refugees, denounced Iran for continuing to “meddle” in the country.

Mullen said that the US was not planning a military operation in the immediate future, and that any such action would pose problems for the strained US military. He said, however, “It would be a mistake to think we are out of combat capacity.” He added, “We have military options. That kind of planning activity has been going on for a long time. I think it will go on for some time into the future.”

Mullen’s press conference is only the latest in a series of provocative statements and actions directed against Iran. On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, “What the Iranians are doing is killing American servicemen and women inside Iraq.” This month, Gates said for the first time that he thinks Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad knew about the alleged arms transfers.

Bush announced this week that he would nominate General David Petraeus to fill the position of head of US Central Command, which oversees US military operations throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Petraeus is currently the top commander in Iraq and is overseeing the US offensive in Sadr City.

If confirmed by the Democratic-controlled Congress—a virtual certainty—Petraeus will replace Admiral William Fallon, who announced his resignation last month after coming into conflict with the Bush administration over military policy, including in relation to Iran. An Esquire magazine article published shortly before Fallon resigned stated that the admiral was the main obstacle to war against Iran.

Petraeus, on the other hand, has associated himself with the hard-line policy against Iran promoted within the administration. In congressional testimony earlier this month, Petraeus said that he believed Iran was responsible for killing hundreds of American soldiers.

Petraeus also helped develop the theory of “special groups” operating in Iraq—a term invented to designate rogue factions within Sadr’s militia who are supposedly taking orders from the Iranian government. In his Congressional testimony, Petraeus said that the “special groups” “pose the greatest long-term threat to the viability of a democratic Iraq.”

The theory of the “special groups” has been developed to justify the contradictory character of US policy in Iraq. Of the major Shiite organizations, the Sadr militia is the most distant from Iran, or at least from the principal organs of the Iranian government and military. Sadr is traditionally associated with Iraqi nationalism rather than Shiite sectarianism.

In fact, Iran has supported the operations of the Iraqi government and US military in Basra. The Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki told a press conference this week, “Weapons should be only in the hands of the Iraqi army,” supporting the disarmament of the Sadr militia.

The Iranian government is more closely tied with the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), which is itself closely integrated into the Maliki government and the Iraqi military.

The US is carrying out an offensive against Sadr’s militia not because of ties with Iran, but because of its base among the more impoverished sections of the Shiite working class, which is deeply opposed to the US occupation and the selling off of the country’s oil. Following the operations in Basra, the Iraqi government has moved quickly to open up the region’s oil and gas resources for exploitation by international companies.

At the same time, the US is seeking to undermine Iran as part of its overreaching plan to control the energy resources of the entire region. For these reasons, American imperialism finds itself in the position of supporting Iranian-backed political factions in Iraq even as it beats the drums for war against Iran.

For his part, Sadr is caught between an increasingly restive popular base, furious over the offensive launched by the Iraqi government and the US military, and his own desire to reach some form of accommodation with this same Iraqi government and the US occupation. Earlier this week, Sadr threatened “open war” against the US, but he has since backtracked. On Friday, Sadr asked his followers to continue to observe a ceasefire.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Some website just told me in a past life I was Teddy Roosevelt. I almost swallowed my tongue. Couldn't I be Eleanor? Now, I would love that!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


John Legend

Let's go to the park
I wanna kiss you underneath the stars
Maybe we'll go too far
We just don't care,
We just don't care,
We just don't care.

You know I love you when you're loving me
Sometimes it's better when it's publicly
I'm not ashamed, I don't care who sees
Us hugging & kissing our love exhibition all

We'll rendezvous out on the fire escape
I'd like to set off an alarm today
The love emergency don't make me wait
Just follow I'll lead you
I urgently need you

Let's go to the park
I wanna kiss you underneath the stars
Maybe we'll go too far
We just don't care
We just don't care
We just don't

Let's make love, let's go somewhere they might discover us
Let's get lost in lust
We just don't care,
We just don't care,
We just don't care.

I see you closing down the restaurant
Let's sneak and do it when your boss is gone
Everybody's leaving we'll have some fun
Or maybe it's wrong but you're turning me on.
Ooh, we'll take a visit to your Mama's house
Creep to the bedroom while your Mama's out
Maybe she'll hear it when we scream and shout
And we'll keep it rocking until she comes knocking

Let's go to the park
I wanna kiss you underneath the stars
Maybe we'll go too far
We just don't care,
We just don't care,
We just don't...

Let's make love,
Let's go somewhere they might discover us.
Let's get lost in lust
We just don't care,
We just don't care,
We just don't care.

If we keep up on this fooling around
We'll be the talk of the town
I'll tell the world I'm in love any time
Let's open up the blinds 'cause we really don't mind

Ooh I don't care about the propriety
Let's break the rules and ignore society
Maybe our neighbors like to spy, it's true
So what if they watch when we do what we do

Oh, let's go to the park
I wanna kiss you underneath the stars
Maybe we'll go too far
We just don't care,
We just don't care,
We just don't...

Let's make love, let's go somewhere they might discover us...
Europeans though that the sun revolved around the earth. Its interesting that man has to learn as well that life is centered on the breath and not in the brain. I am learning.

Come To Me in Peace


That was love
That was then
That was us, miracles
I changed you
You changed me
This is how these things go
I was broke
And you were scared
But you stayed by my side, yea

I was yours
You were mine
It seemed we'd last forever, oh yea
I'd be the one you need
You would be the one I marry
And I'm just trying to invite my way back in your heart
And I'm telling you to...

Come to me
I'll restore freedom
I'll carve away the worries in your heart

Your heart is missed
I'm a mess, what happened to second chance
This is now, this is how easy things can get out of hand
We were cold, and we were slow then, now we end faster than light, than light

And I'm not ashamed cause my love ain't changed
I'm prepared to beg you back the whole way
Bring me your arms, I'll bring mine too
And we will heal, mend, me and you, telling you...

Come to me
I'll restore freedom
I'll carve away the worries in your heart
I'm telling you to...

Come to me
I'll restore freedom
I'll carve away the worries in your heart
And I'm here to make peace, peace, peace
I'm here to make peace, peace, peace
I'm here to make peace, peace, peace
I'm here to make peace, between u and I

Through my doors, and take my hand
Replace our love beyond this land
This is just too much to give away
I love you baby, so why don't you stay

Let the air of your voice dry my tears
Let "I love you", fall on my ears
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you
I want you to just...

Come to me
I'll restore freedom
I'll carve away your worries in your heart
And I'll be here to make peace
I'm here to make peace peace peace
I'm here to make peace peace peace
I'm here to make peace peace peace between you and I

Wanna make peace with you peace baby
I don't wanna fight, I just wanna do everything right
Show me how to make peace with you
I do wanna make peace with you

Work In Progress


Look in my eyes.
Tell me what you see
Do you see perfection in me?
To you, do I look complete?
Now take one more look pass my celebrity.
That's where you'll find the real me.
To you, do I still look complete?

I got every material thing I could ever need. (Hmmm)
I got the love from my fans that adore me. (Yeah)
And I'm grateful. (And I thank you so very much)
But my love for myself is lacking a little bit. (Just a little bit)
I can admit that I'm working on me. (Hmmm)
Staying faithful. (Staying faithful and what I'm tryna say is...)

Just like you sometimes I get down. (Just like you, I get down)
Sometimes I just wanna cry. (I just wanna cry)
Sometimes I get depressed.
And just like me, tryna be complete. (And just like me, tryna be complete, ohh)
Just understand we're all just a work in progress.

[Verse 2:]
Life can be difficult.
No one promised that it would be...
(No one promised it would be sunshine all the time)
Sunshine all the time, easy.
Some pain is guaranteed.
But it ain't impossible.
You can find the joy, you see.
Took me a while but I did finally.
Open your eyes and you will see I'm just like you.

Just like you sometimes I get down. (Get down, ohh)
Sometimes I just wanna cry. (Just wanna cry)
Sometimes I get depressed. (So depressed)
And just like me, tryna be complete. (Just like me, tryna be complete)
Just understand we're all just a work in progress. (We're all just, ohh)

Anybody knowing what it is to struggle. (Ohhh)
Never ever running in the face of trouble. (Oh yeah)
Say "I'm with you". (I'm with you)
"I feel you". (I feel you)
"I'm with you".
Just like you... (Sometimes I fall but I feel your pain. We're all the same)
(We're all the same, ohhh I am just like you)

Just like you sometimes I get down.
Sometimes I just wanna cry.
Sometimes I get depressed. (So depressed)
And just like me, tryna be complete. (Oh just like, just like me) (Tryna be complete)
Just understand we're all just a work in progress. (Just understand we're all a work in progress)

Just like you sometimes I get down. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, ohhh)
Sometimes I just wanna cry.
Sometimes I get depressed. (Can you hear me, can you feel me?)
And just like me, tryna be complete. (I am, I am, I'm just like you)
Just understand we're all just a work in progress. (A work in progress)