Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thirteenth Radical Progressive Carnival

A long delayed thirteenth edition of the Radical Progressive Carnival is now being posted. I don't think I need to give much explanation for its tardiness. I think everyone can afford a bit of wiggle room at present. I hope the selections here are thought-provoking and engaging. Firstly, we have two very engaging essays from GrrlScientist. The first is a very thoughtful analysis of poverty and definitions of poverty in the United States. This essay yields some very astute assessments and observations of realities concerning American culture and the American economy. The second is a look at how Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale almost made a leap from fiction to reality under the Bush administration with their draconian policies on women's access to proper healthcare and information.

David Gross over at The Picket Line offers up an account of how one gay man has begun using tax resistance as a form of protest against the government's refusal to recognize his marriage. Derreck over at I Will Not Die, offers a very astute
Guide for Increasing Your Creativity. It is definitely worth a read.

Joseph Orosco over at Engage: Conversation and Philosophy draws a very compelling link between Les Black and his observations of Western Civilization and the current phenomenon of high percentages of work death incidents among Latino workers in the United States.

Proper Australia offers an analysis of the Capital Gains Tax. I really barely undertand what Capital Gains Tax is (tax on wealth right?), but I think some may find this useful.

Feminist Review offers up a great review of Susan Faludi's book,
The Terror Dream and offers some frank discussion concerning the failure of the United States, in terms of it's cultural response and the response of the U.S. Government after 9/11.

In light of Roland Burris' recent dark episode over his ties with Rod Blagojevich, Phil For Humanity's call that vacant senate seats should be filled by the
recently unemployed seems quite a plausible and valid idea.

Praveen Puri over at Tao of Simplicity offers the lesson of the
cracked pot, a great parable that everyone can learn from.

Mad Kane, who always delivers, offers an Alpha-Political Farewell to Bush and Cheney. Finally, on a much more fabulous note(meaning, not dealing with Bush and Cheney), Erika at Visiting Spanish Speaking Countries offers up a guide on
What To Eat In Spain. Spain is definitely on my to go list. I hope I can make use of this list soon! I hope all enjoy this edition of the Radical Progressive Carnival!

Keiysha Cole- I Remember

If U Leave

Mary J Blige and Musiq Soulchild

You think I'm so full of it, full of it
But I think I'm just fed up, baby
You think I can be so arrogant, arrogant
But I'm just tryna keep my head up, baby
You think I procrastinate baby
But I think I'm taking my time
You think you need to leave
But I think I disagree but

If you believe you'll do best without me
I'll let it go girl, it's over
But before we say goodbye
Let's give it a try
If you leave, then baby I'll leave
I'll let it go girl, it's over
But I have no doubt
We can work it out yeah

I think you're so full of it, full of it
You just don't know when to let up baby
I think you're so arrogant, arrogant
But you think you're so much better baby
That I think it aint dealt before me to judge you by your flaws and that's why
No I could criticize, but I put that aside
To focus on you and I

But if you believe you'll do best without me
Then I'll let it go boy, it's over
But before we say goodbye
Let's give it a try
If you leave, then baby I'll leave
I'll let it go boy, it's over
But I have no doubt
We can work it out yeah

Now if you wanna go, baby
Then I'll let you go
And even though I'm tryna hold on
I can't if you don't

No, now if you leave me, you're gonna miss me
and I'm not saying that I'll be here waiting
Since we here right now (instead of just walking out)
Let's work to reach the point that I know we can be...

But if you believe, you'll do best without me
Then I'll let it go
It's over (it's over)
But before we say goodbye
Let's give it a try
If you leave, then baby I'll leave
I'll let it go girl, it's over
I have no doubt that we can work it out

If you believe, you'll do best without me
I'll let it go girl, it's over
Before we say goodbye
Let's give it a try
If you leave, then baby I'll leave...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Correa and Chavez

God bless Ecuador and Venezuela and long live the Bolivaran movement and all progressive struggle!

Interview With Scott Simmons, candidate for Mayor of Montgomery, AL

I initially came out for Michael Bridell in the municipal campaign for the city of Montgomery. Fifty-four years after the Montgomery Bus Boycott,I believe it is time for Montgomery to have a Black mayor.I also believe that the city should have a mayor who is dedicated to rebuilding the West-side of the city and creating some kind of economic justice for all of the citizens who have historically been left out in Montgomery. I believe Michael Bridell could be a catalyst for this kind of change. However, a friend of mine is a supporter of Scott Simmons, a business owner and strongly believes in his vision for the city of Montgomery. This friend of mine urged me to consider Mr. Simmons and arranged for me to dialogue with him. Mr. Simmons appears to be a very agreeable person with a great vision and a sincere interest in uplifting the city of Montgomery. After our initial discussion, he agreed to be interviewed for Juliusspeaks. This is what transpired.

Q: What is your agenda for the city of Montgomery?

Simmons: As mayor of Montgomery, I will be able to appoint judges. I want to find alternatives to incarceration for many of those convicted of minor offenses who now crowd Montgomery jails. Many of these people could benefit from rehabilitation, community service projects, and other alternatives to jail time. I also want to start a program called Second Chances. Through this program, we will help former felons to find work and assist in bringing down crime rates in the city of Montgomery. I also want to bring about some equity in the city's development.There has been $271 million spent on developing downtown Montgomery. North and West Montgomery have been completely left out. On day one, I plan to clean up Fairview Avenue. Also, I admire the Obama administration and want to work with the administration to bring about an economic recovery in Montgomery.

Q:What are your plans for economic development in West Montgomery?

Simmons: Well, as a business owner, I am already invested in the west side of Montgomery. I bought and established an apartment complex called Lofts at Cottage Hill. I took a dilapidated building complex and turned it into an inviting community for people from all economic backgrounds and walks of life. Further, as mayor I want to see a rebirth of the west side of Montgomery. I want to build an interpretive center at St. Jude like the one that is being brought to Alabama State University. That will attract tourism and tourism dollars. Tourism will be the next vehicle to move Montgomery towards a stronger economy. I also want to establish a police substation at Montgomery Mall and install a 6% sales tax in the city. This will encourage businesses in that area and draw tax dollars into the city.

Q:The road to bring back effective public transportation to the city of Montgomery has been long. What will you do as mayor to make public transportation more even more efficient and accessible to the public?

Simmons:Public transportation is a major issue. What I would like to do is make the buses free for all passengers in the city of Montgomery. Major cities like Nashville do this by allowing for advertising on the sides of buses which offset the costs of passengers. I believe this will further help stimulate the economy as well as make the buses more accessible to the public.

Send The New York Post to Its Grave

With the death of newspapers, let this one die-very quickly. The cartoon they made of President Obama is utterly offensive.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Queen of the Casino

The casino ha been abuzz all morning. Even on off-days there were fifty to a hundred regulars who came in needing to get their fixt. It was Thanksgiving and naturally the casino was packed, but the hotel was full as well and the staff had to push their way through touching bodies to serve drinks, clean, and work security detail. There was quiet pandemonium now, too, as the crazy, self-titled First Lady of the casino had announced that one lucky member of the female sex would be picked, including staff members, and anointed Queen of the Casino. The person chosen would recieve a crown, one night's stay in the most exclusive suite in the hotel, four and a half million dollars in cash in a black douffle bag, and a limousine to escort them to the bank to deposit the money.

The wife of the owner, Mme First Lady loved to show off her yacht and spend small fortunes on antique jewelry. She could now be seen standing in the huge window of her eighth floor penthouse, looking out over the patrons and staff who moved about like ants in a tunnel, waving her arms in a crazed, joyous fashion as a waiter served her martinis by the pitcher. Her husband was a clean mobster. Known to be peaceful and moral in his underworld kingdom, she had to beg him until he finally agreed for her to buy her yacht when they reached three hundred million dollars in liquid assets. With glee, she began spending most of her time reclining in her yacht drinking champagne and sailing around Capri or the Darndanelles. She could now be seen descending down the winding stairs from her penthouse, crown in hand, to the hall with the elevator that would take her down to the main floor. She swept in and in moments she appeared in the main part of the casino, holding the crown high into the air at the ready to place it on someone's head. George Lavin, a regular, called his wife, who always bickered at him for wasting money at the casino, and told her to throw on her clothes and make her way down to the casino now-nearly yelling over the cell phone at her.

Mme.First Lady weaved and bobbed through the crowd humming a wild,sporadic sing-song chant as she went. She passed several people feigning to place it on their head. She was possessed and turned the corner by the blackjack table and weaved her way towards the door to the kitchens. She was no longer the crazy lady who was married to the owner-she was now a demi-god who held a crown and could bless any one of them. Stella Movedos, the manager of the cleaning staff, quickly pulled out her compact and fixed her face in the mirror in the bathroom by the kitchen as every member of the staff poured ito the kitchen area in anticipation. She had three kids at home, a car payment, and a mortgage. She was destined to win. Marcos had just been turned away after he auditioned to model for Yves Saint Laurent...maybe he could persuade Mme. First Lady... He could retire without ever really working.... George Lavin and his wife complained loudly that she was going to give it to an employee so she could take it right back....

Meanwhile, Mme. First Lady walked into the kitchen and headed straight for a corner niche, stepping right before a crouched down 5'7, 27 year-old Latino with raven blakc curls that fell beautifully down her back. Magdalene Modena had just started working at the casino as a maid three weeks before having just crossed over from Mexico. She came over on foot and when she arrived found sponsorship through her sister who stayed at home with her three kids while her husband worked as a machinist. She had helped her get this job. She had worked at the casino before she had her last child. Magdalena had three sisters and a brother back in Mexico all under 19 and her parents were both sick. Mme. First Lady hovered over her and she flet the crown lightly touch down on her head. She could barely comprehend what was happening, but the tears began to fall. 4.5 million dollars! What could she do with 4.5 million dollars? She had intended to send money back to Mexico out of every check, but now she could retire to Mexico legally...She envisioned a sleeck limousine, her mother and father and siblings awed at the sight of her dressed like a million dollars, arriving home in a stretch limo... She thought estatically of staying in that magnificent suite at the top of the hotel...sipping champagne... As she opened her eyes, her world full of hope and excitement, the crazy lady who owned the place having just set the crown down on her head, she could feel the heat from her coworker's eyes upon her, seething....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Poem: The 1980s II

My aunt Johnnie's
peppermint green caddilac
was peppermint green and
matched the outfit she
wore to the classics every stylish
that was the 80s for you....
cracks in the concrete on the
side of the house...hopscotch and
games we could think of
to pass the time...
getting hit in the head or
cracked hard against my skin by jump ropes
spinning like crazy for Double Dutch...
jump in and don't get hit...
Double Dutch on a Chicago side street
jacks against the side of the house...
doing the electric slide across the green
carpet to attract the current...
lets play teacher...mother may I...
whoopin' mama in the living room and basement
in our house across the street
sleep good next to the front windows
on the floor when the storm comes
huddled together under blankets...
crack of thunder against a midnight sky
living proof of life-everlasting....

Lets Watch and Observe the 2010 U.S. Census

We have known for a long time that the US Census has plenty of kinks, although I personally wasn't aware of the intense political contentions surrounding the census until recently. Dr. King spoke about in his speech "A Knock at Midnight" how the census taker missed Black people and other people of color when counting the census because they "didn't count those that ran with the census taker came thinking that it was a bill-collector." Now, I am not sure what the Republicans want to do in terms of messing with the census to work for the advantage of white folks (and that,my darlings, is simply what it is) but we are going to watch and be damned if they try anything, because we will be on their asses.