Thursday, August 31, 2006

Starting in September the E-Notes will feature a new Sunday format. Keep an eye out for the E-Mag. It will consists of "guest" bloggers letting you know what they are doing.
Died: Naguib Mahfouz, 94. The first Arab writer awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
Here are a few of his titles:

THE THIEF AND THE DOGS
THE BEGINNING AND THE END
WEDDING SONG
THE BEGGAR
RESPECTED SIR
AUTUMN QUAIL
THE SEARCH
THE TIME AND THE PLACE AND OTHER STORIES
MIDAQ ALLEY

THE CAIRO TRILOGY:
PALACE WALK
PALACE OF DESIRE
SUGAR STREET

Mahfouz books are published by Doubleday and Anchor Books.
Have you read your "three Shakespeares" today?
DON'T MISS!
DON'T MISS!

Please join us at a fundraiser for Street Scenes: Projects for DC - a new series of public art interventions - and help get its first installation, Art not Ads, rolling onto the streets of Washington, DC. Art not Ads will feature mobile billboards that will drive around the Washington area displaying poetry, painting and videos.

The public art interventions are curated by Nora Halpern, E. Ethelbert Miller and Wellmoed Laanstra and organized by Lisa Kolker and Derya Samadi.

Saturday, September 9th, 2006
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
G Fine art
1515 14th Street, NW 2nd Floor
RSVP (202) 462-1601

Suggested donation is $50.00

The ART NOT ADS ARTISTS will feature the work of the following individuals:

Colby Caldwell
Kathryn Cornelius
Brandon Morse
Jose Ruiz
Maggie Michael
Kim Schoenstadt
Ian Withmore
E. Ethelbert Miller
Lucille Clifton
Reetika Vazirani
June Jordan
Sherman Alexie
Joy Harjo
Many thanks to Ginger G for helping my mom yesterday. Friendship is forever.
Ichiro watch:
Not a good August. Can he still be the AL batting champ? He is 30 pts behind the league leader.
A hot September could do it. Ichiro is at .320. I would place the winner this year at .345 or .350. Let's see what happens. Ichiro would have to begin to raise his average to about .330 by Sunday. If his average drops to about .310 by this weekend, then he won't make it. Nothing but numbers baby.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Someone just wants to show their BuTTS? So the Rev. C.O.Butts III (that's a lot of butt) is protesting the CBS Survivor decision to divide teams of contestants by race in the new season.
Why? What's the problem? I'm certain the "real" world will survive.
IPS in the news:

Check out a sampling of the clippings this morning on the new IPS-UFE Executive Excess report MAJOR AP story on Defense CEOs seems to be in 35 outlets for starters. See the full report at www.faireconomy.org Associated Press Story Defense contractor CEOs' pay doubles http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/1310AP_Defense_CEO_Pay.html Lead Alternet stories by Sarah Anderson and Chuck Collins BLATANTLY BOASTING WAR PROFITEERS Sarah Anderson, AlterNet Profiteering execs don't usually brag about their windfalls from the 'war on terror' -- unless they're talking to potential investors. http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/40962/ TIME TO REIN IN THE PUMP PROFITEERS Chuck Collins, Eric Benjamin, AlterNet Ordinary people may believe that unprecedented global strife is a bad thing. The barons of Big Oil beg to differ. http://www.alternet.org/story/40986/ Soldiers Die, CEOs Prosper Derrick Jackson Boston Globe http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/08/ 30/soldiers_die_ceos_prosper/?p1=MEWell_Pos4 David Rated Top-Paid Defense CEO UTC Chief's 2002-05 Compensation Highest In Industry, Liberal Think Tanks Say In `Executive Excess' Report By ERIC GERSHON http://www.courant.com/business/hc-davidmoney0830.artaug30,0,3831167.stor y?coll=hc-headlines-business San Antonio Express News Valero chief's $95 million topped oil pay in '05 http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA083006.01A.greeheyCEOp ay.30edf95.html Oil and defense CEOs' pay up with war, prices-study Reuters wire service http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.aspx?view=CN&storyID=2006- 08-30T040058Z_01_N29460091_RTRIDST_0_ECONOMY-CEOS.XML&rpc=66&type=qcna
THURSDAY, AUGUST 31 ( at 11 am on WAMU 88.5 FM)
Edward P. Jones will be promoting All Aunt Hagar's ChildrenWAMU-FM/DIANE REHM SHOW

...and you thought it was going to be Richard Wright or Ralph Ellison. Don't you feel silly? It's Edward P. Jones (the Tiger Woods of Literature).
Baltimore Book Festival coming up. September 29- October 1, 2006.
Mount Vernon Place
www.BaltimoreBookFestival.com
Good news:

Cuban Author Nancy Morejon Wins Literary AwardSTRUGA, Macedonia (SE).-Cuban author Nancy Morejon was given here the2006 International Gold Crown Prize, one of the most important awardsgranted poets worldwide.Previous winners include Robert Rozdestvenski (Russia) Pablo Neruda(Chile), Italians Eugenio Montale and Edoardo Sanguinetti, LeopoldSedar (Senagal), Yannis Ritsos (Greece) Seamos Heany (Ireland) andAllen Ginsberg (US).Morejon also holds the Cuban National Literary Award. Her most wellknown books are Ricardo trajo su flauta y otros argumentos (1967),Octubre Imprescindible (1982), Cuaderno de Granada (1984) and Elogioy paisaje (1997).Since 1963, the city of Struga has been the venue of the PoetryNights Festival where thousands of poetry lovers gather. Morejon waspresented her award at this year's event.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I've been waiting for something in the cultural world to get excited about. Miles sent this to me today. Maybe this is it:
www.MySpace.com/BronxBiannual



Bronx Biannual is the most important literary journal in hiphop America. Consider Bronx Biannual an urban Paris Review, or McSweeney's Quarterly Concern from a hiphop standpoint. The journal will publish new writing--fiction, essays, reportage, interviews, poems--twice a year. The intention is to publish both celebrated and unsung writers on a variety of subjects germane to the black aesthetic. Urbane urban literature: bourgeois yet boulevard.

Bronx Biannual will be fluid like water. No guiding manifesto per se, no set format. Issues might be published as graphic novels, or with two sheets of metal bound like a spiral notebook and shrink-wrapped in a Mylar sleeve, or with a concept in mind of what the Factory might've come up with had Andy Warhol put out a literary journal. Like XXL magazine edited by Rhodes Scholars at Oxford or Vanity Fair edited in the South Bronx at the Point.The premiere edition includes new short stories by Greg Tate, Donnell Alexander, and Michael A. Gonzales; an essay on the nature of Christ by KRS-One; a comparison/contrast essay on television's Girlfriends and Sex and the City by Ferentz Lafargue; Caille Millner assaying the Korean black hair-care market; and poetic short fiction from muMs.The journal's unifying aesthetic is summed up in its tagline: Bronx Biannual--the Journal of Urbane Urban Literature. Once upon a time, hiphop culture was a gritty, inner-city, youth-only movement. But the hiphop generation has come of age and is now the driving force in today's worldwide pop culture. The fervor sweeping hiphop encompasses more than just rap music. So Bronx broadens the charter to include everything the music touches, embraces, or informs: politics, movies, television, journalism, sports, crime, groupies, pimps, drugs, and all the other forms of hiphop America's social behavior, pathological and otherwise. Bronx is a new urban literary journalism including strong fiction, some humor, and a combination of literary, artistic, theatrical, political, and cultural matters. The Bronx spawned the hiphop zeitgeist; Bronx Biannual will birth the modern urbane urban lit.


Miles Marshall Lewis is author of Scars of the Soul Are Why Kids Wear Bandages When They Don't Have Bruises, a memoir of growing up in the Bronx amidst the emergence of hip-hop culture. Lewis's writing has appeared in The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Blender, Spin, The Believer, and many other publications. He is the founder and editor of Bronx Biannual and lives in Paris, France, with his partner and baby boy.Introduction:What does Bronx Biannual have to do with the Bronx? Well, what does The Paris Review have to do with Paris? The New Yorker wasn't exclusively concerned with the five boroughs of its namesake the last time I looked either. The hiphop aesthetic birthed in the early 1970s created a whole new vantage point for blacks (or urban folk, for our melanin-challenged brethren) at this particular time in history. This zeitgeist, embraced the world over, comes from my hometown of the Bronx. Hence Bronx Biannual. Even if you're anti-hiphop your stance is reactionary; it's the elephant in the room.

Whether we consider the hiphop outlook to consist of emceeing, deejaying, bombing, B-boying, and knowledge of self, or street entrepreneurialism, bling, promotion, and marketing, hiphop informs the cultural expression of everyone from my generation and quite possibly always will. One of those cultural expressions is literature. Hiphop hasn't seen a literary journal; Callaloo seems like antiquated Ebony to a readership raised on XXL. Zadie Smith is one of the writers playing an indirect role in the inception of our biannual. When her debut White Teeth won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and many other accolades with references to Lauryn Hill and the Beastie Boys in her prose, we took it as one for the home team. The new canonical lit (and White Teeth does indeed grace many an Ivy League syllabus) freely references hiphop culture. When Tom Wolfe pored over rap magazines researching Freaknik for A Man in Full--later even writing lyrics for a fictional MC in his followup novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons--it became even plainer that the space was clearing for an urbane urban outlet for fiction and essays. What will this lit look like? Well, were about to find out. Expect hyperrealism, magic realism, pulp fiction, and graphic novelization; postmodernism, street lit, investigative reporting, and humor. I was employed by a few urban music magazines during the nineties whose highbrow pretensions were always slowly weeded out by publishers believing intelligent discourse among people of color either doesn't exist or isnt profitable. Our compulsion behind Bronx Biannual is to refute this idea, to serve readers turned off by the dumbing down of mags they once looked forward to as vanguards of urban publishing. This shout goes out to the lovers of Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Chester Himes, Amiri Baraka, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Octavia Butler, Jean Toomer, Khalil Gibran, Salman Rushdie, Ben Okri, Patrick Chamoiseau, Frantz Fanon, Aime Cesaire, Chinua Achebe, Samuel R. Delaney, Ishmael Reed, Ntozake Shange, Gordon Parks, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, Richard Pryor, August Wilson, Haki Madhubuti, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sonia Sanchez, Kalamu ya Salaam, Aesop, Clark Kent, and Lois Lane.

The year I left Harlem for France I became an author, and living in Paris naturally brought to mind for me other authors who had similar experiences before I was even born. Paris is a legendary life school of sorts for writers and pretty much always has been: Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce lived here post-World War I even before Wright, Baldwin, or Himes; not to mention Beats like Allen Ginsburg and William Burroughs. Adventure stories for boys, our own version of girls Cinderella story, frequently involve a pretender becoming the hero he impersonates. My generation is typically obsessed with this, understandably, as we've inherited a postmodern era. This is why Lenny Kravitz is the quintessential black rock star of our age. Or take neo-soul music as another example. Record companies have been known to label singers like Alicia Keys and D'Angelo as neo-soul in a nod to the seventies soul singers like Roberta Flack and Marvin Gaye whom they resemble. Erykah Badu has been called the hiphop Billie Holiday, Sean Combs the hiphop Sinatra. Beyonce is the new Janet, The Boondocks evolved into the hiphop Doonesbury after a stint as the hiphop Calvin & Hobbes, and so on. As if originality in the postmodern age is impossible, the greatest statements and artists are in the past, and doing a modern-age spin on the classics is the only real option these days. The implicit fear is that the heroes of old arent ever coming back, which means were going to have to be the heroes. And those are some big fucking shoes to fill. This seems in its way a spot-on explanation for the creation of Bronx Biannual.

The hiphop aesthetic is largely about the recycling, the sampling. Fire!!--the self-described quarterly devoted to younger Negro artists--published one issue in 1926, featuring Harlem Renaissance luminaries like Countee Cullen. At twenty-two, Aime Cesaire cofounded L'Etudiant Noir, a literary review that first coined the phrase negritude to name the French literary and political movement of the 1930s, and later launched another lit journal called Tropiques from Martinique at twenty-eight. For five years in the seventies Ishmael Reed spearheaded Yardbird Reader, editing multicultural poetry, drama, and interviews. Why should hiphop do any less? We are not eager to put brackets around modern black literature through our biannual or claim any singular raison d'etre from it all. We just want to publish some dope stories.


Miles Marshall Lewis Paris, France April 2006
I finished reading Kinloch's biography of June Jordan last night. I'm reading at a nice rate right now. Making notes of things I can use in future lectures. Colin Channer's anthology IRON BALLOONS came in the mail last night. A collection of short fiction from Jamaica's Calabash Writer's Workshop. I'll read the first 40 pages later this morning.

I've been looking at old video tapes of Baraka, Margaret Walker, et al. A number of things I'll use in my Mason course. Boy it was funny looking at my face on some of these old goldies. Geez.
I think I look younger. Must be the picture of Dorian Gray?

I received a nice gift from Julia in Indy. Thanks J. You're the best! OK...time to run. I don't want to miss the bus.
Very Important:

The Katrina Files, an archive of reports on the hurricane and the aftermath, is now available at C3 Online, the website of the UCLA-based Center for Communications and Community. The archive includes links to print, video and audio content in the following categories: • Coverage Critiques • Community and Independent Media • Community Activism • Research • Journalism and Research Archives. The site also has a "Submission" section for those who want to offer additional content. You can find the site at www.uclaccc.ucla.edu. Please take a look.George WhiteCenter for Communications and Community4250 Public Policy Building on the UCLA CampusLos Angeles, CA 90095-1484http://uclaccc.ucla.edu

Monday, August 28, 2006

Som Facts:
Minnesota is home to the largest Somali population in the US. Estimates range from 25,000 to 60,000. Many are refugees and immigrants in need of literacy skills. The Somali language has only existed in written form since 1972.
Donald Hall will give his first public reading since his appointment as poet laureate on September 19th at ProshanskyAuditorium at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street in Manhattan. The program is sponsored by the Academy of American Poets.
More movies are coming out that focus on Africa. Coming soon is CATCH A FIRE. The trailer I viewed yesterday was well done. Forrest Whitaker looks good in an upcoming film that examines the life of Idi Amin. Get your DVD player out.
Free Paul Salopek!
Foreign correspondent for The Chicago Tribune on trial in Sudan.
What separates autobiography from life are the things we are afraid to write about.
Why give the Mayor of New Orleans 60 minutes when he already had a year? His responses were so lame (yesterday) that I lost the color on my television set while he was talking. His comments about Ground Zero was another silly remark. How many does it take before you discover you've elected a donkey.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Tiger Note:

Woods, however, said the only competition he cared about was himself."It's always yourself," he said. "You're always trying to better what you've done in the past - always. Hopefully, that's good enough to beat the rest of the guys."
An afternoon in Silver Spring. My son and I saw Idewild. This movie has good energy. A visual beauty. The kind of girl when you're young you never get to date. She's always across the room with an older guy. Idewild pays tribute to the past. Cab would flash his hair and smile because of this flick. The movement back and forth from black and white to color at the beginning is well done. The dancing floor romps show the influence of guys who love Bruce Lee and kung-fu movies. Idewild is a wonderful movie with a grade school plot. No need for a BA if you can avoid BS. I love seeing black people looking this good. The film gets an amen for all the actors who found work. Many names in this cast. T. Howard has his flow going in this movie too. This film might just get a nomination or two for something...
Back to Jones and the Yardley review. I did notice this line:

"But Jones doesn't write protest fiction or racially charged fiction."

I guess this takes one back to Wright and Baldwin. But let's ask the question - What's wrong with protest fiction in the 21st Century? I look around and all I see are wars, terrorism, and hatred. There is much to protest. What is a poet suppose to write about in Beirut? How can a woman not protest if she feels threaten by a veil? I live in Washington and often feel the need to "join" a protest. Oh- What's wrong with racially charged fiction? Didn't folks fall in love with the movie Crash?
I call him the Tiger Woods of the literary world. Edward P. Jones's ALL AUNT HAGAR'S CHILDREN is out from Amistad ($25.95). This is what Jonathan Yardley has to say in today's Book World:

"Now there can be no doubt about it: Edward P. Jones belongs in the first rank of American letters. With the publication of ALL AUNT HAGAR'S CHILDREN, his third book and second collection of short stories, Jones has established himself as one of the most important writers of his own generation- he is 55 years old- and of the present day. "
I try to read things by John McWhorter but it's like eating McDonald's. This guy writes like it's just a deadline and a paycheck. He should stop writing about race for the next 2 years. Why should he keep giving himself a headache. His work "sounds" like reception conversations. Does he ever want to be in a room with other African Americans? See his piece "In Defense of Andrew Young" in the Washington Post (Outlook Section). Don't forget to read the comics too.
Quote of the Day:
" A lot of the kids have the mentality that if you kill my dog, I'll kill your cat."
- Bertha Young (Washington Post -8/27/06

Saturday, August 26, 2006

In the old days letters were sent south. But today Ginger G called from Harlem and we talked about the Renaissance and laughed about Zora's people.
I spent the day reading and relaxing. I read Richard Ford's story in The New Yorker - "How Was It To Be Dead?
I also looked at video tapes for my class...searching around in my basement. Calling out to Indy and talking with sweet Lady J.
I'll now turn to reading a book about Edvard Munch ( a gift from Bendik while we were in Norway).
Oh - was that Sir Brady teaching the Redskins a lesson in football? Geez...he could have been playing touch and toss with his kids in a backyard. The Redskins have that one game over .500 look. The team is not going to the Superbowl or Playoffs. Look for these guys to be 1 or 2 serious injuries away from whining.
A Call for Submissions—Deadline October 15, 2006

Howard University’s English Department presents The Amistad--an online literary journal that is currently seeking poems, short stories, critical essays, book reviews that delve beneath the surface in examining where we are in the 21st century.

We are looking for poems that go beyond clichĂ©s, we’d like to capture what is on the mind’s of writers about our collective human condition, including but not limited to war, terrorism, religion, freedom, privacy, health issues (AIDS, Cancer, etc) sexuality, popular culture, and the state of black love and/or family. Your writings may respond to the following questions: What is up and coming in black literature? What and who is on the margins? What has yet to be discussed? How can we talk about the old with a fresh voice? With this issue—we are trying to define and understand where we are, and where we ought to go next with our writing; and perhaps, most important, what do the current literary trends suggest about the future of Literature produced by African Americans?

You may send your submissions and/or queries to submitamistadhu@aol.com
Everybody has a camera...
Seems like everyone has a gun.

PRESS RELEASE: The provocative new documentary 'The Unmasking of New Orleans' includes exclusive, never-before-seen coverage and reports revealing the true nature of events in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina. Chicago, IL (PRWEB) August 22, 2006 -- On the eve of the one-year anniversary of what is the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, the provocative new documentary The Unmasking of New Orleans, produced byFinal Call Incorporated (FCI) Broadcasting was released. The ongoing struggle of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina is being swept away from the minds of the public as swiftly as the floodwaters washed away properties and lives when the levees breached. Is there truth to the numerous reports of rapes and murders? Who is going to tell the story of the heroic acts of the young men and women portrayed as senseless looters by the mainstream media? It is important to obtain the truth.The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan commissioned a crew from TheFinal Call newspaper to travel to New Orleans and film this documentary about the conditions and concerns that our people face since Hurricane Katrina, which the world must not be allowed to ignore, as we near the one-year anniversary of what is the worst natural disaster in U.S.history.

Included in the documentary are insightful perspectives from NewOrleans Councilman Oliver Thomas, Author Michael Eric Dyson, community activist 'Mama D' as well as the nameless and faceless residents whose stories have not been told in this way before. Bonus footage includes a visual tour of the Lower Ninth Ward featuring a conversation between Minister Farrakhan and New Orleans residents.To view a trailer for 'The Unmasking of New Orleans' go to http://www.finalcall.com/katrina.
Jazz and Poetry next Tuesday (29th) at Grace Church in Georgetown. 7:30 PM
Featuring Marshall Keys, alto sax
Herman Burney on bass and poets: Brandon Johnson, Grace Cavalieri and Brian Gilmore.
If you need more information in order to better understand the Middle East conflict look at the work of Lara Deeb. She is a cultural anthropologist and assistant professor of Women's Studies at the University of California-Irvine. Check online for her work on Hizballah.
An excerpt of her work can be found in the latest issue of Muslim Journal (September 1st).
The symbolism behind names never seems to go away. So the next major hurricane is Ernesto.
Can we link this to the other changes in the region? The movement to the left in Bolivia, Hugo on the march in Venezuela, elections in Mexico, Danny O back in Nicaragua...and now Ernesto on the horizon. Ernesto as in Che Guevara? A storm disguised as a revolution, resulting in changes in government? Something to watch. Che returning first on t-shirts, now something we can't run from. You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows (Dylan).
Action Jackson:

Today, the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. landed in Syria on a Middle East Humanitarian Mission, and issued the following statement:

"We are an ecumenical group in the United States that has been invited to visit the Middle East by religious leaders of that region. We have responded positively to their request, and look forward to meeting with Middle East religious leaders, civic leaders and others. Upon considering their request, we communicated with officials from governments of Syria, Israel and Lebanon. We felt certain that President Assad - given the relationship between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah – could make a contribution toward helping to relieve some of the tensions and appeal to people throughout the region to see the advantage of releasing captives.

Our humanitarian mission has the following purposes:

1) We seek the solidification and expansion of the cease-fire and the introduction of a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon;

2) We will address the humanitarian crisis in Lebanon and Israel brought on the by the recent war;

3) We appeal to all sides to see the advantage of releasing prisoners as a gesture to show the value of taking the quest for security to the next level.

We have had dialogue with the Ambassador from Syria, the chargĂ© d’affaires of Lebanon, and the Israeli Ambassador who are facilitating our meetings with representatives from the region."

Members of the Delgation include Rev. Major Jemison, St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Progressive Faith Foundation, Father Raymond Helmick, Theology Department of Boston College, Rev. Grainger Browing, Ebenezer AME Church, Dr. Nazir Khaja, Nina Rawls, and several journalists.

Rainbow/PUSH Staff members on the delegation include James Gomez, Director of International Affairs, Butch Wing, National Political Coordinator, and Shelley Davis, Special Assistant to Rev. Jackson.

The Humanitarian Mission delegation will meet with President Assad in Syria, and religious, civic and political leaders in Syria, Lebanon and Israel this week.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Quote of the Day:

"Some guys change their wives every few years and their music remains the same."
- Trumpeter Maynard Ferguson

Ferguson died on August 23rd. He was 78.
Check this rating for the new film Idewild:
121 minutes
Is rated R for cartoonish violence, hoochie-mama nudity, sexuality and a whole lotta cussin.

Where is my hoochie-mama? Must we bring back Prohibition?
So Russell Simmons is pushing the Republican Michael Steele for the US Senate (Maryland). This is another example of Hip Hop being an umbrella for funny artwork on a wall. It's the dangerous new wave of looking at consumers as voters. So I buy your stuff - should I vote for your brand too? I don't think so. Many Black entertainers and businessmen push education and getting ahead without any ideology. It seems simple trying to make the system work. Individual success stories will never solve the root problems of poverty (and other issues). How do we deal with income inequality? How many of us would have more money if we had better health care? Does everyone have a "right" to home ownership? What do you think should be the role of government in your life? These are the type of questions one needs to ask Russell Simmons.
It looks like Mauer will take the AL batting title. Ichiro had a 2 hit game yesterday. He should have 200 hits again this year.
Venezuela just signed a big oil pact with China. It's important to watch the movement of both nations.
Why does the media pay so much attention toTom Cruise?
Where is Pluto?
A big book. 1,850 pages of evidence in the Duke Rape Case. See NY Times (frontpage) today for a long article.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

China recently sold Zimbabwe six more military jets. Why? It's sad to see China giving so much military stuff to African countries. This was the problem with the Cold War. We should try and keep as much military hardware out of Africa as possible. China is doing the same nonsense in Sudan. People have no food but too many people have guns and portable rockets. This is crazy and we let it happen everyday. So how many African children are going to die because of Chinese Mugabe planes?
So now everything ends. Nothing makes sense. Everything is upside down or is it down upside?
We go from nine to eight. Nine to eight. Crazy. No more Pluto. Pluto is no longer a planet. Yipes.
I don't want to hear this. What's coming next? Juneteenth? Bring back Pluto! Do you remember growing up when Pluto represented the end of everything. It was like being in last place in the American league. Please don't tell me tomorrow that Charlie Parker never played a horn. Pluto Lives!
In the August/September issue of New African magazine there is a letter to the editor about homosexuality in Africa. In the letter there was reference to a number of gay organizations in Africa:
LeGaBiBo (Lesbians, Gays Bisexuals of Botswana)
Galz in Zimbabwe
Galebitra in Kenya
Rainbow project in Namibia
Africanveil in Zambia
Behind the Mask and Triange Project in South Africa

People who suffer wide-spread discrimination and abuse are organizing. We must protect human rights and promote tolerance wherever we are.
Mark Burnett, the series producer for the CBS reality show SURVIVOR is going to enter the real world. His decision to divide teams along racial lines is very interesting and will be good for ratings. We talk so much about race, let's have one. How much pressure will be on the Survivor cast? Will they feel like Jackie Robinson? The weight of their race on their backs? Will they downplay the racial factor and just compete? Well, whatever happens on the show will open the door to much lunch room talk and maybe even a few academic papers. Let's look at what could happen:
- The black survivor team (they call them tribes) wins. Did they win because of physical or mental skills? Does this simply prove that the best survivors have always been black people?Hmmm.
- The white survivor team wins. Does this uphold the status quo? Did they play fair?
- The Asian team wins. Does this represent the changing America?
- The Latino team does better than the black team. Oh, oh...
- Viewers call in and say race is a minor factor. Religion is the way to go. Muslims, Christians and Jews face off in the next round. Where is your tribe? How many of us might refuse to watch Survivors just because it's on television. Why look at races competing on television when you can just look out your window. Too bad we can't change the channel.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Having a family reunion?
Information for you:

www.family-reunion.com

www.cyndislist.com/reunions.htm

www.reunions.afrigeneas.com
Blog power or does someone want my vote? The light in the alley behind my house was repaired today. Must be another hurricane on the horizon. I can see myself in the dark now.
No more communal space? Tower Records is bankrupt and on the block. Music stores across the country are closing and sales of CDs are declining as more people download music from the intenet. In 1991 there were 9,500 chain music stores. In 2006 there are only 2,000.
Only the Red Sox could lose 5 straight games to New York. Nothing but Abreu.
With football season almost here, all eyes are "thinking" about the SuperBowl and perhaps a repeat performance of Janet Jackson's right breast.
Kola Boof?
Explain this to me.
www.kolaboof.com

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

100 years. Richard Wright's 100th birthday is in 2008. Look for Wright conferences to start being held around the country. Upcoming this year at the University of Missouri will be the "The Life and Work of Richard Wright and Zora Neale Hurston." This event will be held on November 2-3, 2006. Speakers will include: Julia Wright, Colia Clark and Jerry Ward. Dr. Julius Thompson is pulling this together. He can be reached at: thompsonju@missouri.edu.
So you want to be mayor? I've been trying to get a light replaced in the alley behind my house for weeks. How long does that have to take? The city number I call is a joke. Leave a message and someone will get back to you in 24 hours. Please. In the next episode of 24 - Jack will be back from China. Go figure. I live in DC where folks want to talk and go door-to-door trying to find votes. I say change my bulb.
Well tonight I took a night walk around my neighborhood (yes Ward 4) and it was in the heart of darkness. So many lights are out or hidden behind trees that need to be cut. Looking for a light was like trying to find the sky in a rain forest. Darkness is where crime begins. You don't need an emergency crime bill to change a bulb - unless that's a DC Jay Leno joke. It's so dark on some of our city streets that I couldn't even read the political signs folks had in their yards. Fenty - Cropp - will it make a difference? Maybe we should all buy candles. How long would it take for someone to bring me a match?
Quote of the day:

"Now I just keep wondering how this life's going to wind down. It's time to die, but I don't feel like dying. I feel good all the time. Except when I don't."
- Harry Crews

Monday, August 21, 2006

Patricia Spears Jones has written an essay on Lorenzo Thomas. Check the following site:
www.tribes.org
The language game -another reason why poets should be elected to high office:

OK. The word is Cease-Fire. You can't attack someone. The word is Cease-Fire.
This is what Caesar said in August Wilson's GEM OF THE OCEAN:
"People don't understand the law is everything. What is it not? People think the law is supposed to serve them. But anybody can see you serve it. There ain't nothing above the law."

OK. The word is Civil War. That's what's going on in Iraq and has been going on. That's what many experts knew was going to happen. So let's call it a Civil War. OK - Civil War. Say it. We are probably going to be using this word after the November elections. Look for a high Bush official so slip it into a speech or in response to a question. Look for a military leader to start using the term. So now we have a Civil War- what do we do? Free the slaves? Divide the country into parts? Save the Union?
What's Mother Nature doing? Where are the hurricanes? Things are too quiet...

Countries to check on before they disappear from the news:

Nepal
Haiti
Nicaragua (Is Danny O back?)
Mexico (What's going on with the elections??)
Ethiopia
Somalia (No more pirates off the coast. Islam must be doing something right?)
Things to watch for and things we can avoid:

- The US should try to improve relations with Cuba while Fidel is alive and not dead.
- Let's not create a new "bad guy" list linking Iran with Venezuela. It will simply complicate things within our own hemisphere.
- Dialogue and trade between nations is needed; we must avoid the rhetoric between leaders that push countries into angry camps. In the end only the people become sufferers. Can you imagine having your cities bombed because Clay called Liston a Bear?
Quote of the Day:

Asked if he ever felt sorry for his challengers, Woods smiled and said, "No."
"To take love seriously, to endure it, and to learn it the way one learns a profession - that is what young people need to do. People have misunderstood the role of love in life like so much else. They have turned love into a game and pleasant distraction because they thought that games and distractions are more blissful than work; but nothing is filled with greater joy and happiness than work, and love, exactly because it is the most extreme joy and happiness, can be nothing but work. A person in love thus has to try to believe as if he had to accomplish a major task: he has to spend a lot of time alone, reflect and think, collect himself and hold on to himself; he has to work; he has to become something!"
- Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, August 20, 2006

New music from Bob Dylan - MODERN TIMES.
The blues fell down twice today.
Ginger G gone North to Harlem.
Walking on U Street won't be the same.
Tiger represents a standard of excellence, class and humility that you don't see too often. What he does on the golf course is what we should all be doing - wherever we play. Master your game. Perfect your shot. Play for the love of the game and for the love of life.
Relocating and looking for schools for your kids?
www.greatschools.net
Best Question in Best Life magazine (Sept 2006):
I found my son playing with my wife's vibrator (he thought it was a rocket ship). I didn't know she had one. Am I not satisfying her?
I plan to attend the memorial program for Dorothy Healey at 2PM today (Josephine Butler Park House). I interviewed Healey back on September 5th, 1990. Her book DOROTHY HEALEY REMEMBERS: A LIFE IN THE AMERICAN COMMUNIST PARTY had just been published by Oxford University Press. I still have a list of some of the questions I asked her:

1. How has your book been received by members who still belong to the Communist Party?
2. Your book combines personal history with the history of the Communist Party. One characteristic that people sometimes dislike about communism is that emphasis is placed on the group and not the individual. Could you comment on this?
3. You mentioned in the beginning of your book that it was action not theory that entranced you. You mentioned that a considerable percentage of Communists never got around to reading much of Marx or Lenin. Was this the leadership as well as the followers?
4. Within the American Communist Party how was the issue of race and racism handle. What were some of your observations during the 1940s and 1950s?

If one can access the CITY PAPER archives there is a very good profile of Dorothy Healey that was published in the October 26, 1990 issue of the newspaper. It was written by Bell Clement.
Business Information for you.

Calculating credit scores:
- Your payment history (35%)
- The amount you currently owe (30%)
-The length of your credit history (15%)
- New credit activity (10%)
-The types of credit you're using (10%)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

OBiT:

Rufus Harley (70) died on August 1st.
He adapted bagpipes to jazz
Keep playing the music.
Happy Birthday Bill Clinton (60 today) - From one Black man to another. He He.
On Photography: A Tribute to Susan Sontag is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until September 4th. A reason for going to New York...

The 16th International AIDS Conference was held in Toronto...important discussions to follow.
Check newspapers.

OTHER numbers:

US soldiers:
2, 607 killed in Iraq
19,511 wounded

230 Allied Military Fatalities
133 US Civilian

40, 430- 44,969
Iraqi Fatalities


www.defenselink.mil/news
www.casualties.org
www.iraqbodycount.net
The difference in New York might be Bobby Abreu.

Ichiro is hitting only .273 since the All-Star Game.
How can we win the war against terrorism with bad movies like SNAKES ON A PLANE. Samuel Jackson should be detained for making stuff like this. Where is airport security?
Oh - and last night I watched INSIDE MAN. If you wonder why so many black people seem to be walking around talking to themselves, it's because they are in a Spike Lee film and looking into the camera. How many times is the guy going to do this? Who edited this movie? You can also tell a Spike joint by the embedded breasts and booty jokes. Having a woman being called a cunt to her face is real equality - right? Geez. Oh- and we have to have someone knock the Rabbi down? I must be an inside man too -I refuse to go outside to the theater and watch anymore of this stuff.
Marie Marie
I've decided to vote for Marie Johns for mayor. I think she can do the best job. If she fails to win the upcoming election, I'm certain she can win the next one. Johns brings a new face into city government and her manager skill are a big plus. Fenty has the lead and "might" be mayor - but the guy makes me feel as if I'm looking at the mayor of New Orleans. Just feed me gumbo and shut my mouth. Cropp seems to be lacking the "image" the city needs if it's going to continue to be a hot haven for young people. Fenty supporters have good energy and they campaign well -but minor league players always look good until they see a major league curve.
Baseball might be back in DC - but can everybody play this game?
www.johnsformayor.com

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'm still reading Charles Johnson's essay in Shambhala Sun (September 2006). I like when he mentions that the world needs a new vocabulary, a new grammar, a new vision. The recent introduction of the term Islamic fascists is not going to help improve things. Terms like this just muddy the waters between people and nations. We are already drowning - must we drink this stuff too?
An interesting book -BUILDING HOUSES OUT OF CHICKEN LEGS: BLACK WOMEN, FOOD AND POWER by Psyche A. Williams-Forson
The University of North Carolina Press.
See the book review in the New York Times on August 13th by Matt and Ted Lee.
The Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (ASCAC) is having its 24th Annual Ancient Kemetic Studies Conference in Aswan, Egypt. August 7-10, 2007.
For additional information: www.ascac.org
I spent much of the day taking M. Diallo (from Senegal) around the HU campus and the nearby community. He is the Fulbright scholar I'll be hosting for 9 months. His interest is in the work of Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison. He has also done research on Ngugi. Diallo and I did much walking - even made a visit to Busboys for lunch. While at Busboys I purchased a copy of August Wilson's GEM OF THE OCEAN. It's the one play by Wilson that I missed. Arena Stage is doing a production directed by Paulette Randall from January 26 - March 18, 2007. I can't wait. Wilson who died last year remains one of my favorite writers.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

So I have my keys in my hands and I'm getting ready to enter my house...and who appears but the candidate. He is going door-to-door with his team. We briefly talk. I have my key. He wants my vote. I remind him about an old matter that went nowhere. His face changes and he sees a vote slipping away. He asks if he has my support. I look him in the eye and I say - I don't think so. He continues on down the street. I look at his back. The guy looks like he should be coming home from school. I open the door to my house. The candidate can run. I can hide.
Hey - was that Ethelbert hanging out at Busboys after 9PM last night?
Loide was singing in the Langston room. Ethelbert was with buddy Bev.
There were a triplet of black poets in the bookstore area creating their own Harlem Renaissance. Speaking of Harlem, what will Ethelbert do after Ginger G departs in a few days? Good friends are very hard to find.
True friendship however is tested by time and distance; it's strength is measured by the memories of the heart.
When I was at the King Library this week I borrowed a copy of MAKING WAVES by Mario Vargas Llosa. It's his collection of essays. I couldn't stop laughing while reading his piece "My Son the Rastafarian."
I also came away from the library with THE POET'S GUIDE TO LIFE: THE WISDOM OF RILKE edited and translated by Ulrich Baer, and AMERICAN SUBLIME by Elizabeth Alexander.
Yesterday I received Valerie Kinloch's JUNE JORDAN Her Life and Letters. This is a critical biography of Jordan's career published by Praeger. The book is part of the Women Writers of Color series. Joanne M. Braxton is the Series editor. Another book in the series is LUCILLE CLIFTON by Mary Jane Lupton.

I plan to read Kinloch's book this weekend. I sent her the following email:

Hi Valerie,
I received your book yesterday. I'm looking forward to reading it. Many congrats! It's so important for future writers and scholars to understand the importance of June Jordan's career.
I know if she was alive today, she would be the first person speaking out against what is happening in Lebanon.
Your book is a gift,as well as a reminder that, we who believe in freedom cannot rest.

One Love,

Ethelbert

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

BA BA BA
British Airways canceled about 1,100 flights out of Heathrow and Gatwick since Thursday. They were forced to pay hotel rooms for 10,000 stranded passengers. They also had to hire trucks to transport baggage that did not make it onto flights to Europe.
BA BA BA
I won't be flying on this airline anytime soon.
Strange to see Hezbollah moving so quickly to repair Lebanon and folks in New Orleans still hurting. Nasrallah is offering people "decent and suitable furniture" and a year's rent on a house to any Lebanese who lost his home in the war. How places rebuild should be examined very carefully. What can we learn from each war and natural disaster?
2006 Nobel Peace Prize should go to Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.
After Condi speaks will Haliburton listen? Reading Rice in today's Washington Post:

"Looking ahead, our most pressing challenge is to help the hundreds of thousands of displaced people within Lebanon to return to their homes and rebuild their lives. This reconstruction effort will be led by the government of Lebanon, but it will demand the generosity of the entire world."

Replace the word generosity with greed and I think we need to monitor some upcoming contracts. Don't you?
Cave Canem News:
I've been invited to be the featured poet for the next Legacy Conversation on December 1st in New York. The person interviewing me will be Elizabeth Alexander. The site is Wollman Hall, The New School University, 65 W. 11th Street, 5th Floor (enter through 66 W. 12th ). The program begins at 7PM.
I slipped downstairs yesterday evening and folks were watching THE LOST CITY. This is the movie about Cuba - before and after the revolution. The stars are Andy Garcia and Bill Murray. Garcia is the owner of the Cuban upscale night club, El Tropico. If you want to know why folks have a hatred for Fidel it's shown here. It's obvious who paid and wrote the script for this film. They even refuse to have someone be seen as Fidel. We see a cheek of a beard near the end. Cool Che is cast as a cruel guy and the handsome face behind the destruction of a way of life. What the film examines is the impact of the revolution on one family. Folks take side and suffer for their actions. Bigger than everyone however is the land. I can buy some of this if I get change back for my pocket. The problem with THE LOST CITY is that one never sees how the revolution benefited black Cubans. We don't see that story being told on the screen. Black people are only represented by song and dance in this movie - no politics. THE LOST CITY has a great soundtrack. I would purchase it and keep my eyes open. What would Raul do?
On the way to work this morning I saw a woman wearing a great t-shirt. On the front it said - JUST STAY IN YOUR LANE.
MillerTime:

Today my daughter begins her first year at George Washington University Law School. Wow...from carriage to court in such a short time.
My son will get a new basketball coach at Widener University today.
Going into the new season Widener is ranked among the top 25 Division III teams in the country.
Note from my friend Kyra Hicks:

Hello! If you're in the San Fransisco area - please do stop by the Museum of the African Diaspora on Saturday, September 9, 2006.

Telling Our Stories—200 Years of African American Quilt HistorySaturday September 9, 2006 Lecture 2–3pm Reception 3–5pmMoAD SalonQuilter and scholar, Kyra Hicks will present a lecture which focuses on key quilters, quilts, and quilt developments by decade. She will also include information about local quilting guilds and discuss work by both male and female quilters. Did you know that Geo. Washington Carver was a quilter?!?


Exhibition schedule: http://www.moadsf.org/newsletter/moad_patterns.html
Trouble viewing this newsletter? Click Here>

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bert News:

Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro Station Public Art Project - Estimated completion of project: December 2006
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in cooperation with the Washington Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Art in Transit Program has commissioned local artist, Lisa Scheer to fabricate and install artwork at the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro Station. The station is located at the intersection of New Hampshire and Georgia Avenues in Northwest Washington DC. The site for the artwork is at the northeast corner of the intersection in front of the station entrance. The selection committee wanted to see the artwork serve as a gathering place and community landmark. The artwork is a cast bronze sculpture of a stylized leaf form engraved with a poem by local poet, Ethelbert Miller. The leaf sculpture has green patina, measures approximately 4 feet high by 8.5 feet wide by 4 feet deep. The sculpture rests on a curved light gray solid granite base that is place on top of a 15-foot diameter circular pad of light gray granite pavers that are inlaid in the existing cement sidewalk. The poem reads:

Every leaf surrenders to air
We flutter
We dance
We touch the earth

Dupont Circle Metro Poetry Public Art Project - Estimated completion of project: October 2006
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in cooperation with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Arts in Transit Program has selected two poems to be engraved at the Dupont Circle Metro Station. The selected poems by local poet, Ethelbert Miller, and one the great American poets, Walt Whitman, are inspired by, and celebrates caregivers in the local AIDS/HIV response, particular volunteer efforts in the early days of the epidemic. The poem by Walt Whitman will be permanently engraved on the inside wall at the Dupont Circle Metro Station, north side Q Street exit. The poem by Ethelbert Miller will be permanently engraved around a circular bench in front of the station wall. The poems read:

WE EMBRACE

We fought against the invisible
We looked to one another for comfort
We held the hands of friends and lovers
We did not turn our backs
We embraced
We embraced

© E. Ethelbert Miller, 2005


THE WOUND-DRESSER

Thus in silence in dreams' projections,
Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals;
The hurt and wounded I pacify with soothing hand,
I sit by the restless all the dark night - some are so young;
Some suffer so much - I recall the experience sweet and sad...


Walt Whitman, from "Leaves of Grass", 1876

______________________________ Rachel Dickerson Art in Public Places Manager 410 8th Street, NW 5th Floor Washington DC 20004 202-724-5617 direct 202-727-4135 fax
The Creative Capital Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant is a three-year pilot program designed to support writers whose work addresses contemporary visual art through project-based grants issued directly to individual authors. http://applyccawf.creative-capital.org//guidelines.php
So Fenty has an 8 percentage point lead over Cropp. Who is going to be in the guy's brain trust?
That's what I want to know. Where are his ideas going to come from? Many months ago we tried to invite him to IPS. He sent back a few Blackberry responses but everything else remained on the trees.
Returning Home

I don't live in Beirut.
But I live in New Orleans

I don't live in Beirut
I said I lived in New Orleans

- E. Ethelbert Miller
I'm going to miss my friend Dorothy Healy. She died on August 6th at the age of 91.
Here is a link to information about her:

http://web.mac.com/richardhealey/iWeb/Dorothy.
A new book out from Eloise Greenfield. The title is WHEN THE HORSES RIDE BY: Children In The Times of War. The publisher is Lee & Low. I really like this book. Great art work by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. This is the type of children's multicultural book we need if we are to change world events. One word, one poem, one book...
More about the Miller Classic at Bennington:


Ethelbert: thanks for sponsoring the softball game. I think we all enjoyed it, even the losing poets. And it also led to this poem, so my box score was no hits, no runs, and one poem. Jim McKenna


The Bennington MFA
Annual Miller Softball Classic
(June 22, 2006)

A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat;
-Robert Herrick
(1591-1674)
The final score was
nothing special--
Prose Writers 12 and
Poets 9, and certainly
the game did not deserve
a poem, except for a thought
that came unbidden, after
a young woman came late,
about the third inning,
with a big smile,
and said she was a poet and
could she play? The fact
that she was wearing a
white lace dress and a
deep blue necklace,
as you might imagine,
gave us wonder.
But her running shoes were fine
and she had tied her red hair
with a pale ribbon
(which made her smile
seem even bigger),
so we found her a mitt
and placed her in right.
So, fine. We played on.
And a few innings went by
and then the thought came
(the one this poem is about)
when I had turned
to make sure that she
was properly spaced
(a lefthander was up)
and I saw her standing
awkwardly, her face
uncertain, a left hander
wearing a right hander's mitt,
and a small breeze gently
blowing her white dress,
and then the thought came,
and was the kind of thought
that a poet might have
but which a prose writer,
even if this girl
had raised her hand
and waved hello,
would never have.

-James McKenna
8/8/06
Getting back into my life(?) Messages and mail to respond to. I'm listening to Etta James -HEART OF A WOMAN - CD. It's not true that only women bleed. I've been wounded by hatred. I've been wounded by love.
Knock Knock:
It was discovered by FEMA that the same keys can open many of the 118,000 trailer homes being used by Gulf Coast hurricane victims. Who discovered this leak? Is it better to stick your finger in the key hole? Whose hole is it anyway?
FOR LEBANON

Why is there always a sequel to madness?

We are running out of wars
We ran out of peace a long time ago

Only people are running
No one is running out of bullets and bombs

The world is running on empty
We are doing nothing

We must surrender to love
Once again we must surrender

Is there nothing under our nakedness?

- E. Ethelbert Miller
I caught the Super Shuttle home. It should be call Tour America at times. If you have a number of passengers you could be the last one home and discover you've moved. Sounds like the type of game we played in the housing project after dark: Last one home.

Anyway, the driver was a guy I immediately liked: Michael Ajayi. This guy owned his own Super Shuttle, had a recording studio in Nigeria, gave me one of his CDs - Redeemers Grace...
I'll listen to it later today.

I'm digging through the mail right now. Charles Johnson sent me a copy of the latest Shambhala Sun (September 2006) with one of his latest essays. This one is about Buddhism and politics.
r(E)ntry. I'm on the flight from Frankfurt back to Washington. It's Lufthansa airlines. I have a middle seat which can give you nightmares about your own Middle Passage. Next to me is a black doctor from Australia- such a cool guy. He was doing AIDS research. On my left was a young female student from one of those nations that was once part of those USSR Southern provinces. I can't spell which one. Maybe Stalin couldn't either which is why folks are happy to be liberated today. The woman reminded me very much of a friend living in Seattle. Lufthansa
is OK to fly - then on my headset the voice of Alicia Keys. Oh, baby. I felt so good. It was like being in baggage claim and your luggage is there- just when you thought it was AOL. Keys in my ears made me feel like Baldwin clinging to Bessie Smith...something very special found me. I think the girl knew my name. It was like a first date. The plane heading home.
OSLO # 1

morning walk
north of my hotel

the newstand
waiting by a corner

her lips red
with headlines


- E. Ethelbert Miller
So I made it back home from Norway. Many thanks to Bendik Rugaas (Counselor for Cultural Affairs/Royal Norwegian Embassy) for making my trip possible. Bendik and his partner Ingrid took wonderful care of me. To update the E-Notes, let me run the trip backwards.

Because of the recent incident in London traveling has become an old time adventure. The only thing missing are the big ships with sails. I came home by way of Frankfurt. When I got there to change planes for the trip back to the States I encountered a long line of people waiting to be screened. I quickly entered into a conversation with a young African American woman who had been visiting her father in Germany. We found ourselves on the Canadian -Toronto line by mistake. I chuckled as I was standing behind her Harriet Tubman shadow. Anyway, we found the line and was handed the Lufthansa News. Don't subscribe to this. It was a one page update on new flight regulations. All liquid substances were being banned in carry-on luggage on flights to the USA. Folks were just turning over stuff - when I got to the screeners they were even taking away pens. Yes...that's a liquid inside and not a vegetable. Once again I went through all this security only to be given a metal knife to eat my meal within a few hours later while flying in the sky. So much for security. Anyway, let's consider the possible terrorist attack in which a liquid is used - what if it was simply the use of human urine. Hmmm. What would James Bond do with this M invention of the bladder?

Anyway, because I returned on Monday instead of Sunday, I had an extra day in Oslo. I walked around Ayer Brygge as well as near the National Theater. I sat in a cafe drinking an orange juice (31 KR). Later around 8 PM, Bendik took me to the Vigeland Park. The park is open all year.It's simply amazing. Let me say that again. Amazing. One of the wonders of the world. The park highlights the work of Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943).
200 sculptures of nude men, women and children. Just going to this park is worth a trip to Norway.

On Saturday, Bendik took me to another tourist attraction and that's the Viking Museum in Oslo. Who can think about Norway without thinking Vikings.The size and design of these ships convey much about the character of these warriors. A true outgrowth of the landscape.

Norway is also Ibsen country. Bendik and Ingrid took me 3 hours into the mountains by car to a place - near Lake Gala for the performance of Henry Ibsen's Peer Gynt. I had been reading the work of Ibsen (including Peer Gynt) and could follow the spectacular outdoor event. The large cast of actors were superb. See site: www.peergynt.no.

Before the performance I was taken to a yum yum dinner at the Per Gynt Gaarden. This lovely place is run by Christian Mikkel Dobloug. Food and service gets an A.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hotel Gabelshus. Maybe Don Cheadle will play me in this movie. I'm here in Oslo...happy not to be in London. I'll try to make new flight arrangements. I just unpacked...will try to stay positive and see more of Norway. Homeward Bound maybe Tuesday?

This is the first time I've been stranded somewhere...

Terrorists threats are just as damaging as actual terrorists acts. The disruption of all things normal - personal as well as economic.

I started drinking coffee...a bad sign?

British Airways...they are going to take a kick in the pants and elsewhere.

I was talking to a beautiful black woman earlier today (from Paris). One smile can hug a heart.
The people here in Norway have been wonderful. I feel as if I'm outside of everything that's wrong with the world.

I'm reading two books right now - OUT STEALING HORSES a novel by Per Petterson. The other book is Edvard Munch: Close-Up of a Genius. I visited the Munch Museum this week.
If I remain here I might start painting too.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I saw a picture of the airport in London and it looked crazy. When I leave Norway I plan to pack everything and just carrying my passport (on the plane) and a book to read. As we fight the war against terrorism we keep losing more freedom. Soon folks will rely on email and video conferences to do business. If you can't use your computer on a plane it makes the mobile office difficult to maintain. I was reading the newspaper this morning and saw an article about China killing dogs because of an outbreak of rabies. Over 50,000 animals destroyed. Folks had to watch their pets being hung in parks. 1984 all over again. Who makes the rules?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hello from Oslo. Norway is one cool place. More E Notes when I return. Well I hope things are safer in London...

So Fidel is sick...
The Middle East conflict continues
Ichiro in a serious slump

Maybe I should stay here. So many wonderful people. A very small world too. Yesterday I ran into an old friend, the poet Chenjerai Hove. We met back in Oregon during the 1980s. Funny for both of us to sit in a cafe in the city of Stavanger.

Monday, August 07, 2006







Reetika Vazirani - Birthday - August 9th.

Missing you...
The OP-ED essay by Richard H. Shultz, Jr and Andrea J. Dew in today's NY Times should be read by everyone. It might explain why we keep making mistakes overseas.
The title of the article is "Counterinsurgency, by the Book." I often tell my friends that it seems some of our agencies don't upgrade. They don't factor in issues of religion and race. There is a tendency to lump everyone into the same box.
I felt this was the problem when the US started using the word insurgents. Geez that could apply to a kid who didn't want to do his math homework, or maybe is upset with the youth summer curfew in DC.
Excerpt from OP-ED:
"The Pentagon's new counterinsurgency manual suffers from similar flaws. It focuses almost exclusively on combating cohesive groups of insurgents who share the same goals. Yes, there are traditional insurgents who share the same goals. Yes, there are traditional insurgent groups in Iraq, like cells of former Baathists. But the foreign terrorists, religious militias and criminal organizations operate from very different playbooks. We have to learn to read them the way other nations faced with insurgencies have."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

What you can do. Peace is in your hands:

http://www.amnestyusa.org/countries/israel_lebanon/vigil.html
HEY- E-Note Readers - Look for regular E-Notes to continue next Sunday. Much to tell so don't forget to tune in. Ciao.
Too much news, not enough space. So here is Cuba shaking her hips and pushing the Middle East crisis to the corner of the room. Fidel sneezes and the entire hemisphere has the flu? Cuba after Fidel? We've been talking about this since the early 1960s. After all these years - Raul gets some playtime. I always thought Raul was more popular than Fidel in Cuba. I remember back in 1976 when I was in Havana...folks were cheering Raul, Raul. Anyway, the media is using Fidel's illness to take a slap at Hugo. Is he Chavez I or Castro II?

If you want to read one of the best overview pieces on Latin America (in recent weeks) checkout Julia E. Sweig's essay in the Outlook Section of today's Washington Post. Julia is the director of Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of FRIENDLY FIRE: LOSING FRIENDS AND MAKING ENEMIES IN THE ANTI-AMERICAN CENTURY. I remember Julia from early IPS days. In her Post article she is on the mark with the following remark:

"Unfortunately though, the people who still set the tone for Washington's Latin America policy have barely changed since the Cold War."

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sports:
If the Nationals can have a "hot" August they could make a run at the wild card slot.
They first have to reach .500.

Ichiro is in a slight slump. Not too many multiple hit games lately. I'm waiting for him to hit that 3/4 hits a game groove. He will need that to make any run at the AL batting title this year. Right now Jeter is looking good.
I try to stay in touch with many of my friends living in war zones and places like New Orleans. You don't want to forget folks. Here is a note I received from a friend in New Orleans:

You must want me to cuss asking me about Ray Nagin, that bastard. He has set up an evacuation plan for people to leave the city, but he has not identified the shelters where people will be transported,that dumb motherfucker.All he knows how to do is put on a designer suit and make excuses.

The city still looks like a war zone. I am back in my house, but the other 12 houses on my block are still empty and overrun with high grass.It is hard living in this environment,but I am trying to be a pioneer. I am still writing.It gives me peace.
Important Peace News:

The Israeli Committee
for a Middle East Free from Atomic, Biological
& Chemical Weapons
P.O.Box 16202 Tel Aviv 61161
Israel
_____________________________________________________

Press Release, August 5, 2006

The Government of Israel has recently purchased from the United
States bunker-busting bombs (GBU-28), for use in its war in Lebanon.
These bombs contain depleted uranium - a carcinogenic substance
that spreads in the form of a toxic and radioactive dust, which enters
the lungs and bones and is especially harmful to babies and young
children.

We call on the Government of Israel not to make use of these bombs.

This call is of special significance on August 6, the anniversary of the
dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

These days of war remind us of the dangers facing humanity, when the
warring sides are equipped with nuclear weapons and radioactive
materials.

The State of Israel must not resort to the use of weaponry that can
cause environmental damage lasting hundreds of years, or any weapon
of mass destruction.

We call on the Government Israel and all the governments in the
Middle East to renounce weapons of mass destruction without delay!

A Middle East free from all weapons of mass destruction would be the
best guarantee against their use.

Signed: The Israeli Committee for a Middle East Free from Atomic,
Biological & Chemical
Weapons
------------------------
For additional information you can call: 03-5238584
Astronaut Stephanie Wilson (the second Black woman to travel to outer space) went up and came down without too much fanfare. I guess we are making some progress as a society.

Here is my quote of the day:

"Given your track record, Secretary Rumsfeld, why should we believe your assurances now?"
- Hillary Clinton
Try removing Rumsfeld's name and replacing it with someone else. Hmmm.

"Given your track record, Barry Bonds, why should we beleive your assurances now?
"Given your track record, Mel Gibson, why should we believe your assurances now?
"Given your track record, Ethelbert, why should we believe your assurances now?
"Given your track record, President Bush, why should we believe your assurances now?
"Given your track record Michael Jackson, why should we believe your assurances now?
"Given your track record Hillary Clinton, why should we believe your assurances now?
I was in the Mocha. Imagine one of those cafes in Beirut? Are they still there? Where have all the artists gone? Why must we have hell in Haifa? Anyway, on Friday it was Renaissance on U. I had a great meeting with Holly B. She is more than a Baby Diva - a real talented sister -going places and giving color back to our world. D-Man (ALLBetts) was in the Mocha and was carrying a computer full of Cave Canem pictures. I was surprise to see so many coloreds. Wow...I didn't know there were that many people wanting to be poets. Just joking...
Well, silly Dunbar me. Anyway, talking to Holly and D-Man was fun. After 5 - Ginger G dropped in and had Harlem on her mind. G stands for glow as well as grace. We walked around to Busboys for food and more conversation.I keep waiting for Hurston to emerge from the rest room behind the books. I can see her and Ginger G, talking about folklore or maybe it's Africana Studies today. I purchased a copy of A MATTER OF OPINION by Victor S. Navasky. In the early 1980s, I helped him organize the American Writer's Congress. I think it was Navasky that also nominated me to serve on the board of the PEN American Center. Ah...those were the days. I'll pack Navasky's memoir and a couple of other books for my flight to Norway.
Friday was a day to clean my desk at work, send poems out for publication (whew- when was the last time I did that)and try to read as much as possible. The conflict in the Middle East just seems to pull me into a dark corner and puts a gun to my head. Why is it a few people start a war but many, many, people die? Is this a trick math problem? A bomb leaves Israel traveling at such and such a speed, and passes a bomb flying from Lebanon, if there are civilians in a home below that are X years old- how many will die? Remember those old Mixed problems from elementary school? I could never understand them, I thought I was better at history. I doubt that now. I read history and wonder if it has a future.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The new mayor of DC was "elected" today. Yep- Adrian Fenty won. Just read Steven Pearlstein's "endorsement" in today's business section of the Washington Post. Once the business community accepts you - then it's business as usual on some fronts. No need for folks to panic. With Pearlstein's blessing in the Post -look for the editorial page of the newspaper to do the same soon. If Fenty gets the backing of the City Paper -it will be over for Cropp before folks vote in September.Job resumes will start flowing Fenty's way. Who will run the city? The new game is going to be "Fenty In The Middle."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

While in a bank on U today - Bev and I couldn't stop laughing at the text in this slick MID CITY 2006 (FAGON COMMUNITY GUIDES). The following should be read with drums beating like in those old Tarzan movies:

PANHANDLING

Panhandling is a fact of urban life. Some panhandlers are at their posts as regularly as if it were a 9 to 5 job, and for them it is. They are there for lots of reasons- substance abuse, mental illness, lack of marketable skills. Some of them are decent folks who have fallen on hard times, others are con artists or criminals. Some people make it a policy never to give, others give only if the panhandler seems truly needy. However you come to terms with requests for money two points are important. First, it is against the law for a panhandler to intimidate threaten or obstruct your path. Do not hesitate to report such an incident to the police. Second, realize many of these people have been on the streets for years. People have given them change and they are still there.


Who writes this stuff?
Seattle - now Rome. Recently, Jewish shops across Rome were vandalized and defaced with swastikas. Look for other communties to wake-up to this growing cancer. Anti-semitism is simply going to increase around the world as a result of the Middle East conflict. This is very unfortunate. It's also another reason why good people must protect the lives of others. Fascism is always around the corner sipping a cold beer.
Those Dog Days:
It was reported that a Doberman pinscher guard dog at Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, England went on a recent rampage. He chewed up hundreds of rare teddy bears -one onced owned by Elvis Presley. The collection was valued at more than $900,000.
Someone should interview this dog. What was he thinking? What was the source of his rage? Growing up my father always warned me about Dobermans losing their minds. It was a type of dog he never trusted. I'll always be a cat guy.
I'm gonna change the mood of these E-Notes. I'm playing some Jackie Wilson, baby.
"Your Love Keeps Lifting Me"
Play this song today - dance and hug someone...or just dance. The hugging will find its own partner.

Lifting
Higher&
HIGHER
What is Yuri Orlov doing today? Do you remember him? Orlov (played by Nicolas Cage) was the jet-setting arms dealer in the movie LORDS OF WAR. Don't you have the feeling this guy just made a big deal in the Middle East? Check the movie out (again).
"When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" by Spike Lee might be a storm of a film. See the review of it in the New York Times today. Oh - check that powerful photograph by David Lee of trumpeter Terence Blanchard blowing his horn while walking down the street. Page B-7. Whew...looks like a solitary New Orleans funeral march. This one for the city. Doug Brinkley, author of THE GREAT DELUGE makes an appearance in this film. Lee's movie might just be the map that was missing from Brinkley's book. Sam Pollard produced this film. He has worked with Lee on 2 other documentaries. I love this quote by Calvin Mackie:

"No matter how you feel about Spike, and I don't like all his movies, people know about his integrity and his unrelenting commitment to African-American people, to tell our stories. You talk about street credibility, well, he has cultural credibility."
From Charles Johnson:


Shambhala Sun | September 2006

An Excerpt From:

Dharma for a Dangerous Time
by Charles Johnson

Yes, the world may seem particularly dangerous and uncertain now, says the novelist Charles R. Johnson, but it’s wise to remember that the ways of history—and the dharma’s response—haven’t changed since the time of the Buddha.


The painfully perturbing dissolution of familiar forms, which suggests to weaker spirits that the ultimate reality is nothing but a chaos, may reveal to a steadier and more spiritual vision the truth that the flickering film of the phenomenal world is an illusion which cannot obscure the eternal unity that lies behind it.
ARNOLD J. TOYNBEE
A STUDY OF HISTORY


FOR THOSE WHO TAKE REFUGE in the teachings of the dharma, a crucial and recurring theme in our meditation is the experience of impermanence (anicca) and the inevitability of change. For a decade now, I’ve occasionally tried out on my friends and students a prediction about the historical moment we find ourselves living through at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It’s an idea about change for which I have only anecdotal examples, and no empirical proof whatsoever. That means this conjecture is only a hunch at best, something glimpsed furtively in my peripheral vision, but perhaps it might serve as a useful thought experiment when the changes, local and global, that are reshaping our world so rapidly cause us to feel anxiety, fear, or anger.

For me, it is axiomatic that while pain is inevitable in life, suffering is produced by the mind, frequently by our conditioned ideas of what is and ought to be. I find it helpful to remember that in the 4.5-billion-year history of the earth, modern humans (one of twenty humanoid species that once existed) have only been around for an estimated one hundred thousand years, the mere blink of an eye in a universe that is 15 billion years old. Twenty-three percent of the universe consists of dark matter, 73 percent is dark energy, discovered eight years ago, which leaves the measurable cosmos—what we can experience—at only about 4 percent.
During our brief, flicker-flash time here, there have been long periods of stagnation in our social evolution, notably the Dark and Middle Ages, which lasted a thousand years. But since the seventeenth century of Descartes, and certainly since the European Enlightenment, civilizational change has seemed relatively constant, sometimes marked by brief, intense periods that compress paradigm shifts and technological developments so far-reaching one is tempted to compare them to the movement of tectonic plates that alter continents and reshape the surface of the earth. Old and often cherished ideas and ways of life die; new experiences arise and require a new vocabulary, a new grammar, a new vision.

For example, a glance at the thirty years between 1895 and 1925 discloses a startling shift from the horse-and-carriage world of my great-grandparents (who lived a hairsbreadth from slavery and when average life expectancy was forty-seven years in 1902) to one in which the era of the Victorians ended, quantum mechanics provided a deeper understanding of matter than Classical or Newtonian physics, and new forms of art emerged (poetry’s free-verse movement, the revolt against formalism, the paintings of Picasso and sculpture of Eric Gill), and new philosophical and conceptual models took hold. In a very short time, our lives filled with the all too familiar “furniture” of the twentieth century. Just three dizzying decades produced such forms as the airplane, radio, modern naval submarine, diesel engine, typewriter, electric iron, talking pictures, television, x-rays, zippers, and the calculating machine—all came into being and restructured the possibilities of lived experience. ©




CHARLES R. JOHNSON is a novelist, scholar, and essayist. He holds the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Professorship for Excellence in English at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Foundation grant. Johnson’s novels include Dreamer, based on the life of Martin Luther King Jr., and Middle Passage, for which he won a National Book Award.









Excerpted from: Dharma for a Dangerous Time, by Charles Johnson, Shambhala Sun, September 2006.

Available on Newsstands Now.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Not a bad day. I worked on my Mason course. Lecture topics selected for 15 classes.
I'm now selecting the poems that will be discussed in each session. I'm getting the Resource Center ready for students returning to Howard. Right now because of the heat the campus is quiet.

After work I took the Metro over to Tenleytown and met Wendy. We had a Thai dinner and talked about movies and news. Lots of laughter and good conversation. Around 8:00PM- Wendy went back to the news station and I came home. In the mail several bills but a copy of HALF WIND by Mary Rose O'Reilley. This book is the winner of the 2005 Walt Whitman Award of The Academy of American Poets.
Something to think about:


A view of the truth: Spinoza's faith in reason
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein The New York Times
MONDAY, JULY 31, 2006
BOSTON A view of the truth

Thursday marked the 350th anniversary of the excommunication of the philosopher Baruch Spinoza from the Portuguese Jewish community of Amsterdam in which he had been raised.

The Spinoza anniversary didn't get a lot of attention. But it's one worth remembering - in large measure because Spinoza's life and thought have the power to illuminate the kind of events that at the moment seem so intractable.

The exact reasons for the excommunication of the 23-year-old Spinoza remain murky, but the reasons he came to be vilified throughout all of Europe are not. Spinoza argued that no group or religion could rightly claim infallible knowledge of the creator's partiality to its beliefs and ways. After the excommunication, he spent the rest of his life - he died in 1677 at the age of 44 - studying the varieties of religious intolerance. The conclusions he drew are still of dismaying relevance.

The Jews who banished Spinoza had themselves been victims of intolerance, refugees from the Spanish-Portuguese Inquisition. The Jews on the Iberian Peninsula had been forced to convert to Christianity at the end of the 15th century. In the intervening century, they had been kept under the vigilant gaze of the Inquisitors, who suspected the "New Christians" of carrying the rejection of Christ in their very blood. It can be argued that the Iberian Inquisition was Europe's first experiment in racialist ideology.

Spinoza's reaction to the religious intolerance he saw around him was to try to think his way out of all sectarian thinking. He understood the powerful tendency in each of us toward developing a view of the truth that favors the circumstances into which we happened to have been born. Self-aggrandizement can be the invisible scaffolding of religion, politics or ideology.

Against this tendency we have no defense but the relentless application of reason. Reason must stand guard against the self-serving false entailments that creep into our thinking, inducing us to believe that we are more cosmically important than we truly are, that we have had bestowed upon us - whether Jew or Christian or Muslim - a privileged position in the narrative of the world's unfolding. Spinoza's system is a long argument for a conclusion as radical in our day as it was in his: that to the extent that we are rational, we each partake in exactly the same identity.

Spinoza's faith in reason as our only hope and redemption is the core of his system, and its consequences reach out in many directions, including the political. Each of us has been endowed with reason, and it is our right, as well as our responsibility, to exercise it. Ceding this faculty to others, to the authorities of either the church or the state, is neither a rational nor an ethical option.

Which is why, for Spinoza, democracy was the most superior form of government. The state, in helping each person to preserve his life and well-being, can legitimately demand sacrifices from us, but it can never relieve us of our responsibility to strive to justify our beliefs in the light of evidence.

It is for this reason that he argued that a government that impedes the development of the sciences subverts the grounds for state legitimacy, which is to provide us physical safety so that we can realize our full potential. And this, too, is why he argued against the influence of clerics in government. Statecraft infused with religion is intrinsically unstable, since it must insist on its version of the truth against all others.

Spinoza's attempt to deduce everything from first principles - that is, without reliance on empirical observation - can strike us today as impractical, and yet his project of radical rationality had concrete consequences. His writings, banned by greater Christian Europe, but continuously read and discussed, played a role in the audacious experiment in rational government that gave birth to the United States.

The Declaration of Independence, that document first drafted by Thomas Jefferson, softly echoes Spinoza. John Locke, Spinoza's contemporary, is a more obvious influence on Jefferson than Spinoza was. But Locke had himself been influenced by Spinoza's ideas on tolerance, freedom and democracy.

If we can hear Locke's influence in the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," we can also catch the sound of Spinoza addressing us in Jefferson's appeal to the "laws of nature and of nature's God." This is the language of Spinoza's universalist religion, which makes no reference to revelation, but rather to ethical truths that can be discovered through human reason.

Spinoza had argued that our capacity for reason is what makes each of us a thing of inestimable worth. That each individual is worthy of ethical consideration is itself a discoverable law of nature, obviating the appeal to divine revelation. An idea that had caused outrage when Spinoza first proposed it, adding fire to the denunciation of him as a godless immoralist, had found its way into the minds of men who set out to create a government the likes of which had never before been seen.

Spinoza's dream of making us susceptible to the voice of reason might seem hopelessly quixotic now, with religion-infested politics on the march. But imagine how much more impossible a dream it would have seemed on that day 350 years ago. And imagine, too, how much even sorrier our sorry world would have been without it.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is the author, most recently, of "Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity."
Poem by Tadeusz Rozewicz:

After the end of the world
after death
I found myself in the midst of life
creating myself
building life
people animals landscapes

This a table I said
this is a table
on the table is bread a knife
a knife is to cut bread
people live on bread

Man must be loved
I studied night and day
what must be loved
I answered man
LIT NEWS:

Tayari Jones will be conducting the JENNY MCKEAN MOORE FREE COMMUNITY WRITING WORKSHOP, Tuesday, 6:30 PM-8:30PM, September 12th to December 5, 2006.
Applications must be received by August 25th.
To apply,submit a letter of interest, outlining your experience with creative writing and your motivations to for taking the course. Enclose a 10-15 page sample of your writing. Make sure you include your name, address, home and work telephone numbers on your documents.
Here is the address where material should be sent:

Fiction Workshop
Department of English
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street, NW (Suite 760)
Washington, DC 20052

For information about Tayari Jones visit her website: www.tayarijones.com
OK. Let's add another country to the problem list. Cuba. Our failure to develop a "modern and sane" approach to this country is going to hurt us down the road. It would be best to have "normal" relations with Fidel while he is living instead of waiting for the guy to see the angels or the devil. Instead of cheering in Miami we should be changing policies in Washington. We've had cultural exchanges, let's open the door to dialogue and trade. We can also respect the concerns of those Cubans who went into exile when Fidel came to power. If we think Fidel's death is going to turn back the Cuban Revolution we might as well return Manhattan to the Dutch. Here is another example of how much people want to cling to the past or move into the future. Can you imagine being black in Cuba and now having someone demanding to roll the clocks back to 1951. I don't think so.
Home folks went to the Marley Museum in JaHmaica. They came back with a copy of Christopher John Farley's book BEFORE THE LEGEND, THE RISE OF BOB MARLEY. mE READ IT
ON DE 70 today. Me a Wailer too.
Family folks just back from Jamaica. I spent last night talking to my daughter about her trip, and then the war in the Middle East. What kind of world will our children inherit? How many of our kids will be hostages in the future? Held hostage by history? What are we doing? But what if this is nothing but the "changing same."
A term I remember from one of Baraka's early essays on black music. It might just be that.Look at how we are still having religious conflicts everywhere. Are we still fighting Crusades? And then -Black people once again migrating from the South to the North because of natural disasters. Pain and suffering in black women voices. Will the next Billie Holiday, please step forward. Every country being turned into "strange fruit." Every bomb a rope.
"Bad Neighbors" by Edwards P. Jones is a slice of fiction from his new book (ALL AUNT HAGAR'S CHILDREN)and can be found in the latest issue of The New Yorker(August 7 & 14). The new book should be in the bookstores this month. A good reason to stay indoors out of the heat and chill.
I received the following information about Mexico from Chuck Collins this morning.
Collins is one of our new Fellows at IPS:


EVIDENCE OF ELECTION FRAUD GROWS IN MEXICO
Chuck Collins, Joshua Holland, AlterNet
As the U.S. media distorts the aftermath of the July 2
election, evidence suggests there may be an attempted theft
in progress.
http://www.alternet.org/story/39763/

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

But what about the Cress Color Theory??
I knew it was silly. Anyway it's reported in the Post health section that dark skinned people can get skin cancer too. Don't think all the melanoma is going to protect you. Get your butt out of the sun too. He He
Thank you Jimmy Carter. Read his OP-ED piece about the Middle East in today's Washington Post. This guy should be head of the UN:
" A major impediment to progress is Washington's strange policy that dialogue on controversial issues will be extended only as a reward for subservient behavior and will be withheld from those who reject U.S. assertions."

See...this is what I meant about treating countries like they were kids. Go to your room Syria. No cookies for you Iran. Geez. Oh- and you can't use the car for a week.
Today I accepted an invitation from Cave Canem to be their guest poet at The New School (New York) on December 1st (More info later). Elizabeth Alexander will be the person interviewing me. Liz is a person I simply adore. Her father and mother should get the Lifetime Cool Parent Award. I think they are both remarkable people. A couple of years ago I interviewd Liz's father Clifford Alexander for my Humanities Profiled televison show. Nothing but a special.
Good breakfast and conversation with Michon this morning at Dos Gringos. Afterwards I made it over to 18th and Columbia for a haircut. While waiting I read an interesting article that was published in the July issue of Esquire magazine.It was a profile of John Walker Lindh by Tom Junod. Walker was captured in December 2001 and had that American Taliban label placed around his name. Walker calls himself Hamza now. The guy is still a devout Muslim, spending much of his time in jail reading the Quran and following his faith. The Esquire profile mentions how Walker was introduced to Islam by Spike Lee's Malcolm X film. I think how and why people change their faith is always an interesting story (and journey). In yesterday's Washington Post there was an article about David Belfield who coverted to Islam at 18th and lived in DC. I remember meeting him when he attended Howard. He was a very peaceful brother...reading books in the library. I was shocked when I learned later that he was responsible for the killing of an Iranian diplomat in Bethesda. Whew...you can talk to a person everyday and still not get a clear look into their DNA. I've always been amazed by people moved to extreme actions because of their faith or politics. I've never stood in a crowd (or mob) and yelled something hateful at a person. So someone is saying their prayers to a different God around the corner -is this a reason for me to throw a rock into their window?
Quote of the Day:

You've got to do what you've got to do"
- Big Papi (David Ortiz/Redsox)
I received the following important computer information from my friend Jamie. With all the storms taking place - protect yourself:

http://www.apc.com/tools/mytools/index.cfm?action=display&id=48FB5A9F-5056-9170-D3D1BE7519340F8A
Now look at what Condi done done. It's amazing how one incident or event can define or redefine a career. Mention OJ's name and you don't think of someone rushing for over 2000 yards in a season. Mel Gibson just discovered that his lethal weapon might be his mouth.Now look at what Condi done done. The crisis of Lebanon will stick to her before it sticks to Bush. This could be a new remake of the Tarbaby tale. Gone will be the focus on what Condi is wearing but more on what she has done. Look for critics to come out of woodwork and start attacking her. If she had ambitions about seeking a higher office, it just got derailed for a moment and maybe for longer than that. Lebanon could become her Vietnam. Rice could go the way of McNamara. Mistakes of intellect I call it. Knowing too much while not knowing enough. This is what harms so many leaders. What will the Bush/Rice legacy be now? What's coming after?
Will the next president focus on domestic issues? We see in today's world one can't do that anymore. So looking ahead, we need to elect a president that has a vision and a world view. Someone who will usher in a new age, of compassion and conflict resolution. Someone who will enter into dialogue with all the nations that are on the terrorist list. We can no longer simply permit economic interests to drive our political ones. If we are going to get it right sometimes, it will mean supporting popular movements in various countries;and not supporting those small minorities that keeps the oil or natural resources flowing out of their country.