Sunday, September 30, 2007


When I was young I met women
who said they would love me forever.

Now forever is here and they're gone.
What happens to people

you only love once and countries
you will never see again? Not even a passport

is good forever. The heart builds borders
day by day.

- E. Ethelbert Miller
Silver Spring, Maryland.
Sometimes the best thing in the newspapers are the cartoons of Tom Toles in the Washington Post. Often priceless and funny as hell.

See the Washington Post today. Shouldn't George Will answer his own questions instead of questioning Barack Obama? Will has newspaper space. Use it. I know the guy is smart he loves baseball. Why give someone a take home exam as if they were a child? Very condescending. Very W. Presidents of the US don't have the luxury of taking "prepared" tests. It's simply P/F after they take the oath. During a campaign you can cheat and even make-up answers. Everyone knows that. What seat on you sitting in George?
It's all about the Nationals today. These guys should be going to the Playoffs - not the Mets or Phillies.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Say YES to NO:

I shared my Norway, New Orleans speech with several people living in NO.
Here is an edited excerpt from a letter from my friend Wiletta, keep her (and others) in your prayers:

Hi, E.

I enjoyed your paper. Thanks for speaking for us. Sometimes we are so absorbed in our problems, we can not articulate our hurt or our plan to overcome.
Your four true, In my block, I have neighbors in Katy, Texas, Austin and Houston, Arkansas and Maryland. Mental health is a BIG problem. I see people walking down the street talking to themselves...some walk for hours and hours. The culture of African American is in jeopardy; so many musicians have not returned to the city...

Margaret Garner -the opera - Toni Morrison's work. New York City Opera to open this fall.
Oh- sing your song Toni.

If your bag has not beeen checked at least 30 minutes before your flight - it will probably miss the plane. Just a reminder.
Don't miss the weekend edition of PARADE magazine (included in The Washington Post). It's an excellent health issue - Take Control of Your Health: A Practical Guide for You and Your Family. Important to read and keep. More help than you might get from Hillary if you vote for her next year. Do for self? Oh, Elijah where are you? The "Nation" turns its lonely eyes to you.

What would the Buddha do?

Myanmar where are you? Where are my Beloved monks? Who came for them in the night?
The world buries its head and Burma is crushed. Lost sandals in the street like stains. Who will protect the shaved heads before they are tortured? 400,000 military soldiers cannot hold back the prayers of one monk. Love cannot be destroyed by bullets. Flowers will continue to bloom even if China remains silent. You cannot have a crackdown without cracks spreading across the world. Democracy is an earthquake of feet moving towards freedom. The world split open once again and singing.
Quote of the Day:

We did not lose the battles of ideas. We were not outsmarted and we were not outargued. We lost because we were crushed. Sometimes we were crushed by army tanks, and sometimes we were crushed by think tanks. And by think tanks I mean the people who are paid to think by the makers of tanks.

- Naomi Klein
Here comes T-Judge.

You knew that if OJ was back in the news, soon we would hear from Clarence Thomas. Somebody must have hit the remix button. So Tommy has a book - MY GRANDFATHER'S SON. Someone should invite Anita Hill to review this? The quotes in today's Washington Post were very interesting. If I was teaching a course in African American literature this might be a book to read after BLACK BOY, NATIVE SON and of course INVISIBLE MAN. Thomas under the lightbulbs? I wonder if Scalia wrote the blurbs.
Will Ethelbert become a Celtic fan this fall?

I love Ray Allen and respect the coaching of Doc Rivers. I might just get some Wizard's tickets when Garnett, Pierce and Allen come to town. Look for the networks to fall in love with those Heat/Celtic games as well as Lakers/Celtics matches. Talkin Lakers - poor Kobe. He might miss the playoffs again. Will the Wizards finish in last place? Very possible. Who can they beat -Atlanta? Knicks?

Ichiro Watch:
Well no batting title this year. No catching Ordonez. Where did this guy come from? Whew.
Still Ichiro is one of the best if not the best player in baseball. Here are his 2007 stats:

1. Will finish second in batting in the AL
2. First in hits.
3. Eighth in runs
4. Fourth in stolen bases

World Series 2007?

The nation might just pull for Soriano and the Cubs.
The best series might be Red Sox/Cubs for the networks. Folks would love to see the crazy Philadelphia fans on television too. Oh, poor McNabb if the Phillies won the World Series. Nothing like a taste of victory to demand more blood.

No way the powers that be want to look at Arizona or San Diego in October. Is baseball still an east coast thing when the ratings are on base?
Ali-Muhammad Varga died on September 22nd in Haifa. He was 95.For 52 years he was the leader of the Bahai community. The Bahai religion was founded in the 19th century in Persia. There are 5 million believers worldwide; organized in 182 countries.
An E-Note to Remember?

If Hillary Clinton is elected president look for her to serve one term. There is no way she can pull US troops out of Iraq in four years. So this means her face will replace George Bush on the Anti-War posters. If the economy takes a dive it will mean her domestic image will take a hit too. Republicans will love to have the Clintons to bash again. It would give Republicans 4 years to regroup, reclaim Congress and then the White House. Who might benefit? Bush # 3? Newt? Look for the Republicans to use the next few years to take a close look at the Obama playbook. I can see a young dynamic Latino or Black Republican candidate emerging like an American idol. It's all about the hype. Auditions will take place during the Republican Convention in 2008. Pay close attention not to who gets nominated but who gives the best speech and emerges from the Convention not with voters but a fan base. Can Condironi be in the future? She is looking at a peace wardrobe (right now) and could be at the center of a new Middle East settlement. If she can pull this off within the next few months, she leaves the White House on a political high. A Middle East agreement could give her a Nobel Peace Prize nod too. This would give her an M.L.King cloak to wear after she leaves office. Look for Condi to write a big book about her White House years. With new outfits she could return to promise to end the Iraq war in 2012.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I decided to catch up with the movies this weekend. After dinner with my daughter in Silver Spring, I went to Hollywood Video and pulled the following:

Shooter with Mark Wahlberg
Lonely Hearts with John Travolta
I Think I Love My Wife with Chris Rock
Venus with Peter O'Toole
One can get annoyed by Labor Unions not endorsing Edwards. The guy has been asking for labor support since he started running for president. What are the Unions waiting for?
Quote of the Day:

Politicians and journalists inevitably try to simplify crowded political contests by identifying one candidate as a front-runner, long before a single American even votes. It is a disignation that is often based on the most tenuous of evidence and one that often proves to be wrong.

Journalist Adam Nagourney writing in The New York Times on September 26, 2007.

Vote for John Edwards in 2008.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

National Cathedral celebrating 100 years.
A range of birthday activities this Saturday from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Mamadi Nyasuma

African drummer and founder of 2000 Black.
Upcoming Richard Wright conference in Pennsylvania:

Friday, October 12, 2007

9AM - 2:30 PM
Great Court, Mitten Hall
Temple University

The University of Pennsylvania
3:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Room 401, Fisher Bennett Hall

Lost News?

Whatever happened to the story about Israel bombing Syria back on September 6th?
I was reading a Washington Post editorial in the September 20th newspaper and then - poof.
And we once called it BURMA:

My beloved monks are on the move...

Shave your head and turn your bowl upside down.

Democracy is the sweetest prayer.

Peaceful protest is water rising.

A bad government will always sink.

A free people will always swim.
Another day at the NEA. My panel did escape in the evening and was able to catch Kwame Dawes reading his poetry at Busboys. We had dinner and drinks. Kwame was excellent. His comments on Bob Marley went well with the catfish I ordered. Shyree Shyree was there as was Big Al King, Tony (the) Medina and D.Brown the poet (not basketball player). One book that Kwame read from was WISTERIA. It's a Red Hen Press book. Read a copy when your eyes open. Thanks Shyree Shyree for the gift.

I spent the early morning hours reading over the copy of an interview I did for an upcoming issue of Callaloo. I sound like a rambling Buckminister Fuller. The text will need some serious editing.

I had a long talk with my Mom last night. One of the longest in years. She reminded me she was 88 and not 86. 1919 - Go girl! Sweet Mom is back home in her own space again.
Love your parents before you love yourself.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

OK, OJ, Vick, Tyson - that's three. Add the Jena 6 and I'm certain somewhere someone is planning a conference about black man (once again). Soon some pundit will talk about a conspiracy and we will be back in the 1970s and wondering if black men will survive the 21st Century or fail to be invited to participate in the establishment of the moon colony. I was walking down the street yesterday on the way to the NEA office and two African American women were blaming Bush for everything. Geez -where's the Ark? I'm praying for rain so that I can float into the future. What about you?
The Heavyweight champion of the World?

Mike Tyson recently pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession (cocaine) and driving under the influence...
The incident took place last December in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tyson faces up to four years and three months in prison. He will be sentenced November 19th.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sister Sonia:

Poet Sonia Sanchez will be lecturing to Dr. Jamie Walker's "Politics of Black Autobiography" and "Harlem Renaissance" class on Friday, September 28, 2007 from 3--4pm in Rankin Memorial Chapel, Howard University.
Nothing but NEA today. My panel is going well. Good to see Dana Gioia. and members of his wonderful staff. He has done an excellent job restoring the image and programs of the Endowment.

There were a couple of shelfs of free books (and magazines) in one of the NEA corridors. I found two titles by Arthur Sze:
The Silk Dragon

Both are old Copper Canyon Press books.

I'm tired but will try to wash clothes this evening and clean my desk off. I'm in the middle of reading Danticat's BROTHER, I'M DYING.

In the mail was a nice CD from the poet/publisher Kwame Alexander. I'm listening now to Titilayo - BEWARE THE SHORT HAIR GIRL. Don Byron is a special guest on clarinet.
Also in the mail was the latest issue of The New Yorker - still the best mag out there.

October and November are going to be busy months. I better enjoy the last days of September.

I'll try to catch Kwame Dawes at Busboys tomorrow evening at 7PM.

Sunday I'll be giving a poetry reading at the Shirlington Public Library in Virginia. 3PM.
Reception afterwards at the new Busboys.
It's a bye week so you Redskin fans have no excuse for not attending.

Monday, September 24, 2007

So you wake the next day to discover that the goal is just 1 yard away. You decide to run it in.
Your life is snapped and the ball which contains your dreams is handed to you. For a moment you see an opening in the line - light? You tuck your dreams and run - suddenly you find yourself tripping over someone's feet. You're falling behind the line - your shoulder hits the ground and then your body joins the rest of itself. You're on the ground with dirt in your eyes and history on your back. You hear the cheers and the celebration - but it's not for you. You've lost (again) and even poetry is no excuse for failure.

Howard University is looking for a new president. Nominations may be submitted to the following address:

Howard University Presidential Search Committee
P.O.Box 90961
Brentwood Station
Washington, D.C. 20090

Don't you think a poet should be given this job? Hint.



Well - how long will Norv Turner be a coach in San Diego?
When will someone let me be the new QB for the Chicago Bears?
How big is Al Saunder's playbook and when will he zip it?
How many saves just don't exist in Chad Cordero's arm?
Was McNabb's big game yesterday a "Black" statement?
Why would Brady and Moss ever have to cheat?
Is Detroit resting Ordonez so that he can win a batting title?
Quote of the Day:

Allowing women to drive will only bring sin. The evils it would bring, mixing between the genders, temptations, and tarnishing the reputation of devout Muslim women, outweigh the benefits.

- A man living in Saudi Arabia (quoted in the Washington Post, 9/24/07)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm heading down to Sheridan Circle this morning for the IPS Memorial program for Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt. They were killed 31 years ago in a car bombing in DC. Letelier (Chilean diplomat) and Moffitt were colleagues at the Institute for Policy Studies. Letelier was one of the most outspoken critics of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
The Sheridan Circle (located at 23rd St and Mass Ave, NW) program will begin at 10AM.

Continue to fight for peace, justice and human dignity.
Check Washington Post article today on Hurricane Katrina. The focus is on depression. This was one of the points I was making in my Norway Katrina speech. You can access my speech by going to my website:
The Washington Post article can be found on page A3.

Trust the Brits for good info:
Walk this way?
Did you know that by January 1, 2008, U.S. Citizens will need a valid U.S. Passport to travel by land and sea?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday at Karibu. I had a chance to see E1 - Edwidge Danticat. A good turnout. She read excerpts from her new book BROTHER, I'M DYING and took questions afterwords. It was so wonderful seeing her again after too many emails.

Reading NEA proposals. I think this might be the last time I do panel work. I should be spending weekends writing.

Listening to ETTA JAMES - Heart of A Woman, This is a CD I often play, Nothing but blues surrounding me.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The JENA 6??

Claude Brown
Nathan McCall
Malcolm X
George Jackson
Chester Himes
Huey Newton
Here is my interview with Anya Achtenberg:
NAKED -Gayle Danley's one-woman show runs at Everyman Theatre, 1727 N. Charles Street, through September 25th.
Showtimes: 7:30 PM
Tickets are $20.
Call 410 752-2208 or go to
Another movie Western coming out - Brad Pitt in THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. We seem to love the west during wartimes. Shootouts and Bang bangs. Iraq my world. The frontier just there for the taking. Indians instead of insurgents. Oh, it was all so easy then. Do you want to be like Jesse James or do you want to be Jesse James?
More Capstone News:
Barack Obama is coming to Howard University for the Convocation Ceremony on September 28th.Cramton Auditorium will be crowded. Folks are expecting a turnout of 3-4 thousands. The Auditorium seats 1,500. You will need a ticket.

So what will Mr. O say? Look for him to give the black speech. Will the other O make a surprise appearance? Oprah? That would make a nice happening for the media. Lady O and Mr. O.
But Oh, what about US? Where are the answers to ending poverty and ending the war?
Are we simply dancing to old Barack and Roll?
Colin Powell is going to lead the Howard University search for a new president. That's good news. Maybe I'll make the short list. I hear there are good benefits that come with the job. Powell went to P.S. 39 in the Bronx. It's the same elementary school I went to. Possible networking here? In an old E-Note you will find THE MILLER PLAN for running the Capstone. All I need is a poem and a prayer.
Quote of the Day:

The federal Bureau of Prisons is under pressure from members of Congress and religious groups to reverse its decision to purge the shelves of prison chapel libraries of all religious books and materials that are not on the bureau's lists of approved resources.

Outrage over the bureaus's decision has come from both conservatives and liberals, who say it is inappropriate to limit inmates to a religious reading list determined by the government.

- NY Times. September 21, 2007
The List:
While in Norway I met a number of interesting writers and artists. Here is a list of folks you might want to Google and try to obtain more information about:

Triztan Vindtorn
Cornelius Jakhelln (I'm hoping he will contribute something to the E-MAG)
Yesid Arteta Davila
Erling Borgen
Torgeir Schjerven
Per Vers
Jessie Kleeman
Ichiro Watch:
Oh, no. Ichiro goes 1-5.
Quote of the Day:

"In the years since I first met him in 1974, I have learned that it's wise to take Newt Gingrich seriously. He has many character flaws, and his language is often exaggerated and imprudent. But if there is any politician of the current generation who has earned the label "visionary,"
it is probably the Georgia Republican and former speaker of the House."
- David S. Broder

Yes, the vision thing. That's what's missing too often from today's leaders. Where are the poets?
What are they writing about these days? Progress comes from the Right as well as the Left.
The failure to listen and understand people on the opposite side of the political fence can create fractures in society - small openings where someone's fear can grow and this will always turn into hatred, racism and violence. In short a breakdown in the political sphere destroys the fence and turns it into bars.

I remember walking behind Newt in the Atlanta airport several years ago. I briefly chatted with him. I tried to get him to appear on my television show. I like how this guy will think outside the box now and then. If he was running for president it would force the media to deal with ideas and not simply personalities. Everyone would benefit. Right as well as Left.

Later this month the Newt is going launch his American Solutions for Winning the Future - an advocacy group. IPS should play these guys in softball. I wonder what type of ideas they are going to throw at people?
If you're in Milwaukee, don't miss Hettie Jones reading on the 28th at the Woodland Pattern Book Center. It's located at 720 East Locust Street. The reading starts at 7PM.
Hettie is the author of the wonderful memoir HOW I BECAME HETTIE JONES. If I was in the movie making business this is one book I would place on the big screen. I can even hear the soundtrack - Miles and Coltrane of course. Greenwich Village in the 1950s. Little LeRoi Jones
packing bags to come down to Howard University.
Busboys is always filled with people. You never know who you'll meet. Last night it was Dal LaMagna who is a Democratic Candidate for President Running to End the Violence in Iraq.
Here is his campaign site:
October 6 -7, 2007.
Washington Convention Center
Monday, September 24th finds two important women in the DC area:

Edwidge Danticat will discuss her new book BROTHER, I'M DYING at 7PM at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Avenue, NW. 202 364-1919.

Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai will discuss "Greening the Earth" at the Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History, 1oth & Constitution Avenue, NW. 7PM $20.
202 633-1000.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jazz musician Andrew White sent me information about his upcoming concert. Catch the jazz master on November 15th at 12:40 PM in Andrew Rankin Chapel, Howard University.

Happy Birthday (September 23rd) to JOHN COLTRANE. It's going to be his 81st birthday!
A nice CD to listen to is: THE GENTLE SIDE OF JOHN COLTRANE. Impulse of course.
All day D.C. Commission meeting today. E-Notes will have to be in the evening. Be careful -OJ is out. Be very, very careful. Hide your football cards. If you're a woman with blonde hair run or call an emergency number. Bert's Law.
Ichiro Watch:
Well, he took the AL batting lead by 1 point over Ordonez. Ichiro is at 354. This hitting race is going down to the wire. I've noticed that Ichiro is walking more. That's one way to keep the average up. Hard to believe that Ordonez went 0-4 in his last game. The guy is having an awesome season. A-Rod who?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Two mothers refused to hide kids' torture :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES ...
Williams is the mother of Megan Williams, the black West Virginia woman who was tortured, stabbed, sexually assaulted and treated like an animal by six ...

Sometimes things just don't seem to be getting any better.
Where is the ghost of John Brown?
Things to watch in the news:
Keep an eye on French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Tough talk for Iran and now he is getting ready to tackle the issue of immigration in France.
He is seeking new laws that will seek language requirements and possible DNA testing. Hmmm-
looks like France will begin to lean to the right. More protests?

Blackwater down?
Blackwater USA the contractor working in Iraq was founded in 1997. They have a $900 million contract. They provide security for US officials. But why do we rely so heavily on private-security companies and not our own military? Might one not feel safer with someone who takes a pledge to honor country instead of someone who is simply taking a paycheck?
Iraq seems to be contractors heaven. There is more money in war than in poetry. I must be in the wrong business. How much could I get paid if I protected someone with just words? Flakpoems? To be worn at open mic readings? Maybe just press conferences...
Here is a link to the speech I gave in Norway last week:

Dance Festival 07
September 28 - 30, 2007
Art at the Captstone:


Sunday, September 30, 2007

3:00 PM - 6:00 PM


2455 6TH Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20059

Main Campus, Childers Hall

(202) 806-7070

Thirty-One Years...

This year's program will mark the 31st anniversary of the September 21, 1976 car bombing that killed Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and American Ronni Karpen Moffitt. Until 9/11, it was the most infamous act of international terrorism ever to take place in our nation's capital.

Letelier and Moffitt were colleagues at the Institute for Policy Studies, where Letelier had become one of the most outspoken critics of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Moffitt was a 25-year-old fundraiser who ran a "Music Carryout" that made musical instruments accessible to all. A massive FBI investigation traced the crime to the highest levels of Pinochet's regime.

The Institute for Policy Studies has continued to host the annual human rights award in the names of Letelier and Moffitt to honor these fallen colleagues while celebrating new heroes of the human rights movement from the United States and elsewhere in the Americas.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
National Press Club Ballroom
529 14th Street NW, Washington, DCMap & Directions

5:30pm • Reception and light fare
7-8:15pm • Human Rights Program

RSVP & ReservationsEarly Bird discount through September 30

About the2007 Award Recipients:

Senator Gustavo Petro
Gustavo Petro is at the forefront of challenging the paramilitary infiltration of Colombian society. Elected to the Colombian Senate after 12 years in Congress, Petro has focused his investigations on the influence of far-right narco-militaries and death squads on the justice system, Congress, the military, and the president's inner circle. His courageous efforts have exposed more than a dozen Colombian legislators, several governors, and other top-ranking political and military figures. Petro has been a leading voice in Colombian human rights and democracy movements since his involvement in the peace process of the 1990s and the re-writing of the country's constitution. Although he is the most threatened person in the country, he is also one of the most popular, receiving the second most votes in the 2006 elections and winning "person of the year" honors for 2006 from the country's most widely circulated magazine.
Read more: in Wikipedia (Spanish) or Democracy Now! (English)

Appeal for Redress
The Appeal for Redress from the War in Iraq has rapidly become the most influential force within the U.S. armed services to challenge the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The Appeal calls for an immediate military withdrawal from Iraq as a proud, proactive, and patriotic act. Started in January 2007 by Navy Seaman Jonathan Hutto and Marine Corps Sergeant Liam Madden, the Appeal for Redress brings together nearly 2,000 active-duty U.S. military personnel, most of them veterans of the Iraq War. Because of their risk-taking for peace, they have quickly gained the support of both veteran organizations and anti-war organizations. The Appeal, part of a growing surge of support for ending the Iraq War, is also a critically important effort to exercise and guarantee the freedom of speech within the armed services.
Read more:

DC Vote
DC Vote has been advocating on behalf of full political representation for the residents of Washington, DC for nearly a decade. Under the banner of "no taxation without representation," DC Vote has called attention to the equal rights denied to the more than half a million DC citizens. In 2006, after bringing over 5,000 people into the streets of the nation's capital, DC Vote was instrumental in gaining passage of the DC House Voting Rights Act, the most promising step toward political representation in decades.
Read more:

* * *
Letelier-Moffitt Selection Committee

Sarah Anderson, Institute for Policy Studies

Fred Azcarate, AFL-CIO

Marie Dennis, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Joe Eldridge, Chaplain, American University

Jill Gay, Activist

Adam Isacson, Center for International Policy

Peter Kornbluh, National Security Archive

Erik Leaver, Institute for Policy Studies

Isabel Morel de Letelier

E. Ethelbert Miller, Howard University

Joy Olson, Washington Office on Latin America

Barbara Shailor, AFL-CIO

Sanho Tree, Institute for Policy Studies

1112 16th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036Tel (202) 234-9382Fax (202) 387-7915

Customize or cancel your IPS e-mail subscription.We don't share your info with third parties and we respect your preferences.Artwork by Naúl Ojeda. Other material, ©2007 Institute for Policy Studies

Ideas into Action for Peace, Justice, and the Environment
Quote of the Day:

I've learned the key to success, take pictures of talented black folks.

- Dwayne Betts

Surge or Scourge?The Truth About Iraq and Iran that You Won’tLearn from Petraeus, Bush, or Cheney

Thursday, September 20, 8 pm

Abramson Family Recital Hall
Katzen Arts Center
American University,

Akbar Ahmed: Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University. Former Pakistani High Commissioner to Great Britain. The BBC described him as ““the world’’s leading authority on contemporary Islam.””

Daniel Ellsberg: Former Defense and State Department official who faced 115 years in prison for releasing the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971. Author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.

Max Friedman: Professor of History, American University. Expert in U.S. twentieth century foreign relations.

Larry Johnson: Former CIA analyst and operations officer and deputy director of the State Department Office of Counterterrorism. Consultant with U.S. military on terrorism-related matters.

Peter Kuznick: Professor of History and Director, Nuclear Studies Institute, American University.

Ray McGovern: Former CIA analyst who prepared the President’’s Daily Brief for Nixon and Reagan and gave morning briefings to Vice President Bush. Chaired National Intelligence Estimates. Co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Bob Parry: Investigative journalist who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for AP and Newsweek in the 1980s. Now manages and writes for

Sam Provance: U.S. Army intelligence analyst at Abu Ghraib. After attempting to alert those in charge, he blew the whistle on the cover-up. Though ostracized by the Army, he was honorably discharged last year.

Coleen Rowley: Special agent and staff attorney for the Minneapolis FBI when Zacarias Moussaoui came under suspicion there. In memoranda to FBI director Mueller, she decried Bureau ineptitude regarding 9/11 and warned of consequences of invading Iraq. One of three whistleblowers named Time Magazine’’s Persons of the Year for 2002.

Ann Wright: Former Acting Ambassador in Afghanistan who resigned from the Foreign Service the day the bombing began in Iraq to protest U.S. policy. Served 29 years in the Army before retiring as a colonel.
Listening to Prince:

Somewhere Here On Earth.

It's the song for today.
Today is Mother's Day. My Mom's birthday. She is 86. I think of her as my father's girlfriend.
I spoke with my sister yesterday and she informed me that my mother recently got hooked on reading black romance novels. Oh, boy...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Memorial for Liam Rector this Saturday in New York:

Liam Rector: 1949 - 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

3 p.m.

St. Marks Church In-the-Bowery

131 East 10th St.

New York, New York 10003
Quote of the Day:

Chavez sees the creation of a great Latin American fatherland, a vision that I share."
- Evo Morales, President of Bolivia
A Home Supreme.

John Coltrane's home in Dix Hills, New York (Long Island) has been added to the NY State and National Registers of Historic Places.
A place call Elizabeth Alexander:

Celebrate the publication of Power & Possiblity--a new collection of essays by poet Elizabeth Alexander.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
7 PM
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X. Boulevard at 135th Street
Tripping? Or The first day back and Columbus discovers people are square and only the world is round.

Is Dulles Airport a sick joke? Have you tried to reclaim your luggage after a trip overseas?
Stuff is all over the place. It looks more like a luggage morgue. Where is the security? The bomb sniffing dogs look like they are circus pets. They are just pulling guards around and sticking their noses everywhere. Who could quarrel if they decided to take a piss on a bag? How come no one checks luggage claim slips anymore? My advice to anyone using Dulles is that they place a large pink bow on their bag. Oh, and avoid those Super Shuttles at all cost. Walk back to DC if you have to. It might be quicker. It took me more than 3 hours to get to my house yesterday. I was in a van with 5 other people. Of course I was the last one off the van. But who shaped the route?
And how come I didn't get to see the Indies?
We drove from Dulles to downtown DC near 16th Street and then back up to an area around American University; I also got a glimpse of Washington behind the veil. Behind Foxhall Road the wealthy live. Around 5 and 6 PM, you can see housekeepers and nannies making the long walk to bus stops and other markers pointing in the direction of the colored shanties. The places where we - the others live. I could see these women making this trek in dark mornings and darker nights - in winter without the wonderland. So many of the women reminded me of my mother- who was trapped in the garment industry - but here in DC these women are caught in the sleeves of someones life. Hard work is what they do while others make more money doing less. It wasn't always this way. What's right in the world? The van takes me home. I look for the "invisible" border which separate things - today it's long division. Too much is separated. On Underwood I pull my bags from the van and place them on the curb. So many others on the move right now -should I keep moving too.
Just the facts:

According to a 2006 study in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, nearly one-quarter of Americans ages 18 to 50 have tattoos. Nearly 20% of women have tattoos on the their lower back. I didn't know that.
I received the following letter from the John Edwards camp. Another reason why I'm supporting him in 2008.


If you want to know why we need change in Washington—and I mean real change, not just trading corporate Republican insiders with corporate Democratic insiders—then just look at Senator Clinton's schedule for today.

Today at noon, Hillary Clinton will be hosting a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. for a select group of lobbyists with an interest in homeland security.Tickets for the Clinton fundraiser are $1,000 a ticket and $25,000 per bundler. And for that money you get more than a meal—you get to attend one-hour breakout sessions in four different areas of homeland security that will include House Committee Chairs and members of Congress who sit on the very committees that will be voting on homeland security legislation.

The American people know that the system in Washington has become corroded and corrupt—that the nation's capital is awash in campaign money from lobbyists seeking to gain influence to impact legislation.Yet too many in office have fallen under the spell of campaign money at any cost—and do not see that when they defend the system, they are protecting those that have rigged the game that puts corporate profits ahead of the interests of working Americans.

To truly end that game, it's going to take more than a change of heart from other candidates: it's going to take thousands of committed Americans like you who are willing to take on the powerful interests dollar for dollar to elect a president like John Edwards—who has never taken a dime from any Washington lobbyist, and never will.You may not have $1,000, but your $25, $50 or $100 contribution today—when combined with the contributions of thousands of others who are replying to this email right now—can send a powerful message to all of Washington that the days of trading special interest contributions for government access are

Today's Clinton fundraising event is a "poster child" for what is wrong with Washington and what should never happen again with a candidate running for the highest office in the land.That no one in the Clinton campaign—including the candidate—found anything wrong with holding this fundraiser is an indication of just how bad things have gotten in Washington—because there isn't an American outside of Washington who would not be sickened by it.

Just last month, John Edwards asked Senator Clinton to join him in taking the Democratic Party on the first step towards real reform—to become the first party to refuse and reject the money of Washington lobbyists.Senator Clinton refused to stand up to the lobbyist game. But you can send a message today to all of those in Washington that it's time for all Democrats to stop playing this rigged game by contributing what you can

As John said last month when he challenged all Democrats to reject lobbyist money, we cannot point a finger at anyone in either party for what they did yesterday—or even today—but we can today as a party stop the game, and say once and for all to all Washington lobbyists: your money is no good here anymore.Help send that message by contributing any amount you can afford to give

Thank you for all you do.
Joe Trippi Senior Advisor,
John Edwards for President

September 18, 2007

Keep an eye on the AL batting title race. It's going to be a close one between Ordonez and Ichiro. Ichiro can't seem to close the 5-6 point gap. Ordonez keeps having multiple hit games.

Byron Leftwich might sign with the Falcons - a good fit.
So DC reaches a undisclosed financial settlement with former school superintendent Janey. This seems so textbook. I guess you reach a level of employment where someone always wants to give you severance pay and pension benefits. This must be a game. It might explain why some people are always traveling, driving big cars and looking good Meanwhile, the sufferers continue to suffer from K- adulthood. It's call education.
HoCoPoLitSo is sponsoring a reading by Jane Hirshfield.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
3 to 5 PM
For information visit:
More from Naomi Klein:

The shock doctrine is very shocking.
One of my best moments in Norway was sitting and listening to Viktoria Tolstoy. She was singing "In A Sentimental Mood." Her voice embraced me like I was Baldwin in Europe - a long way from home. Suddenly the music reminds you that you're black and someone is reminding you that the soul will always find a lover.
While in Norway I had a nice lunch and chat with Martin Espada. He gave me a copy of his NOW THE DEAD WILL DANCE THE MAMBO. This is a wonderful (I'm listening to it now) CD of Martin reading 39 of his poems. The poems were recorded back in August 2004.
"Neruda is dead, but...his ghost lives through a poet named Martin Espada."
- The San Francisco Chronicle

The CD is produced by Leapfrog Press:

I received today a complimentary copy of Edwidge Danticat's BROTHER, I'M DYING.
Look for my interview with Danticat in an upcoming issue of Foreign Policy In Focus:
Jazz Ahead:

April 18, 2008
Sonny Rollins at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall
Tickets: $35 -$75

Is Rollins the greatest saxophone player since Charlie Parker?
Ask Down Beat.
More Music:

Youssou N'Dour
He will be performing at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Monday, November 19th.
8 PM
Tickets are: $35 - $58.

Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar will be performing at the Kennedy Center, October 13, 2007 at 4 PM.
Kennedy Center Concert Hall
Tickets are: $35 - $75
New exhibit opening in Newark, New Jersey:


Wednesday, September 26, 2007.
5:00 - 8:00 PM

52 Park Place
Newark, NJ

Program is sponsored by the New Jersey Historical Society
On the road to Amherst:

The keynote speaker for the event is poet Elizabeth Alexander. Other speakers during the day and tribute will include: David Leeming, James H. Cone, and Michael Thelwell.
For program information contact Sarah Hart, the event coordinator. She can be reached at:
Well I'm back from Norway. Many thanks to Charles Johnson for taking care of the E-Notes the last few days. I was in Stavanger giving a couple of poetry readings as well as a lecture on the impact of Katrina on the U.S. I'll post my speech on my website before the end of the month.
So it will be at:

The Stavanger International Festivial of Literature and Freedom of Speech was a big affair with readings, lectures and films for an entire week. Last year when I was visiting Norway I met with conference organizer Birgit Hatlehol. She took some of my suggestions and invited poets Toni Blackman and Martin Espada to the festival.

I enjoyed being back in Norway - seeing old friends again. I made some good contacts and was introduced to poets from places like, Spain, Columbia and Greenland. More about this later during the week.

So what's with OJ and the Bandits? Strange to be sitting in a hotel room overseas and watching BBC and CNN and trying to follow the earthquakes in Indonesia and the floods in Africa - and then there is OJ with blockers running into a hotel in Vegas. What has become of the black man?
Do you remember those days when Miami had the oranges and Buffalo had the juice?

During my trip to Norway I did read a couple of good articles in THE GUARDIAN newspaper.
One was an article on Iraq by Naomi Klein. It was an excerpt from her book THE SHOCK DOCTRINE: THE RISE OF DISASTER CAPITALISM. Klein's work about the war is very upsetting. This looks like a must read book.

Also in THE GUARDIAN was a review of the Lee Miller exhibit - THE ART OF LEE MILLER at the V&A in London. I love photography. Miller was once Man Ray's lover...
I need to read more about her life as a photographer.

Oh, and coming back today I was in seat 36C reading about Diana Krall. I only own one of her CDs. THE VERY BEST OF DIANA KRALL was just released on Universal. How many songs can this be? I always want to give Krall a Kralling chance as a jazz singer. Her voice always finds me doing something else- so I have to remind myself to listen. This is the type of CD I might purchase and keep by my desk at work. Music to listen to when it's raining outside and you forgot your umbrella - so you decide to sit at your desk a little bit longer. Krall time?

The Norway trip gave me time to almost finish the Ellison biography. One more chapter...
Reading this book I'm somewhat happy I never met the guy. Just respect the work. I'm going back and review those essays in SHADOW AND ACT and GOING TO THE TERRITORY.
I'm glad I "sipped" this Ellison biography by Rampersad. So much to taste and think about.

I kept going back to that Bellow quote that opens chapter 14 :

It is not easy to find the right way...You must manage your freedom or drown in it.
Saul Bellow (1957)

While in Stavanger I drafted an essay about growing up in the South Bronx. I'll work on it some more and shape it into the comments I'll be making at the AWP Conference in 2008 (New York).

Well, I'm back and my desk is a mess with mail, magazines, reports to do, NEA and DC Commission proposals to read, etc. Oh and those bills.
This most be home.

Monday, September 17, 2007

"Conquer hate with love;
Evil with good;
Meanness with generosity;
And lies with truth."

Verse 223 from the Dhammapada.

Buddhist selections are made by the novelist Charles Johnson

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Be lamps unto yourselves."

Last words of Shakyamuni Buddha to his disciples.

Buddhist selections are made by the novelist Charles Johnson

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"May all beings be happy.
May they live in safety and joy.
All living beings,
Whether weak or strong,
Tall, stout, average or short,
Seen or unseen, near or distant,
Born or to be born,
May they all be happy,"

Metta sutta (or loving-kindness prayer for all sentient beings).
Buddhist selections are made by the novelist Charles Johnson

Friday, September 14, 2007

"In this very body, six feet in length,
with its sense impressions, its thoughts
and ideas...are the world, the origin of the world,
the cessation of the world, and the Way
that leads to the cessation of the world."

Shakyamuni Buddha.

Buddhist selections are made by the novelist Charles Johnson.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick: every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. Instead, be like a lion who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once." Milarepa, the most famous saint of Tibet (1052-1135).
"Shakyamuni Buddha.

Buddhist selections are made by the novelist Charles Johnson.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Teach this triple truth to all:
a generous heart, kind speech,
and a life of service and compassion
are the things which renew humanity."

Shakyamuni Buddha.
Buddhist selections are made by the novelist Charles Johnson.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"You yourself, as much as anybody
in the entire universe,
deserve your love and affection."

Shakyamuni Buddha.

Buddhist selections are made by the novelist Charles Johnson.

Monday, September 10, 2007


So when will the wars end? It's important to remember that there are 2 wars: Iraq and Afghanistan. The US will be in these countries as long as we've been in Korea. The bases we have established are pretty much permanent ones. Folks will play around with the numbers of troop reduction for the next two years or more. Look for a few soldiers to always come home around the holidays. It makes for good PR. One thing folks should try to agree on is a reduction in the tour of duty. Try and decrease the number of months soldiers have to serve; this might mean finding new ways to rotate folks in and out. Even this might weaken the military -so it's not a proposal with wings.

We need a full report on organized crime inside Iraq. Not everything is link to terrorist groups. One can assume that somewhere folks are making money and would prefer to have a weak central government in Iraq. Keep both sides fighting - provide them with guns and ammo. Ship the money home.
Sounds like that Lord of War movie.

On the home front, it's up to a few Republicans with courage to speak out against the war.
I don't see the Democrats ending anything without a real battle with the Right. Another bashing at the polls or on election night and EVERYONE will get the message. Americans don't like to lose in sports so you know a pullout of Iraq is like a hot beer. Not something you want to drink at the game. Nothing is really happening right now that is going to change our war policy. This thing is going to be in the lap of the next President. It's important that the next Administration have good people in the State, Defense and National Security positions. We might need a serious break with old Bush, Clinton and even Carter people. It's time for a new administration (with new faces) with a new foreign policy for the 21st Century. We seem to be already seven years too late.
E-Air to Norway.
Click on Kapittel 07
"There is, however, such a thing as self-imposed, psychic exile: a feeling of estrangement and alienation within one's adopted culture, a nagging sense of homelessness and dispossession."

-Jess Row, reviewing Edwidge Danticat's BROTHER, I'M DYING.
New York Times Book Review - 9/9/07

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Activity: Lying In State

DC Flags will fly at half staff from now until the day after services.

Location: The Wilson Building

Thursday, September 13, 2007
Activity: Lying In Repose

Location: St. Timothy's Episcopal Church
3601 Alabama Ave. SE
Time: 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Friday, September 14, 2007

Activity: Celebration of Life

Location: National Cathedral
Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Time: 11am - 12:30pm

Repast: City Museum , Mt. Vernon Square

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Inside the October issue of The Atlantic magazine is a nice surprise. A long article about cricket and C.L.R. James by Joseph O'Neill. O'Neill takes a look at BEYOND A BOUNDARY written by James. It's considered (in the world) to be one of the best sports books ever written. Cricket is a game I guess I'll never understand. Just call me a dumb wicket. I loved CLR but was introduced to him first by HISTORY OF THE PAN AFRICAN REVOLT and then BLACK JACOBINS. I first met the man around either 1969 or 1970. He was teaching a class on Pan Africanism in Founders Library. Reggie (my Cook Hall dorm mate) was in that class and I remember James instructing him to explain the role of the police in society. CLR was a wise man and could take Reggie's Philly Groove away - the way Rizzo did to so many. I came to admire CLR - tall and always wearing a big hat. Later in the 1970s I took him books when he lived in a small apartment on 16th street. He was always in bed, watching television with a stacks of books everywhere. James Early and I interviewed him a couple of times.I last saw James when he was residing in London - it might have been above The Race Today office. CLR was talking about Michael Jackson and other aspects of popular culture. It seems he was a student of everything - so why not cricket.

Try and slip pass the "Mobile Booty" ads in the latest issue of VIBE (October) and read the interview with Newark mayor Cory Booker. A good exchange...

Alicia Keys - new album coming out.
AS I AM (J Records)

One of the few female singers I really enjoy listening to these days. Yes - If I Ain't Got You - Alicia -my ears won't stay open.
The 45th New York Film Festival
September 28th - October 14th

New movies always tend to "mirror" the political reality. Changing demographics in many of our cities will give you a Jodie Foster in THE BRAVE ONE. Fight back and kick the scum in the balls. Fight the gangs. Kick their butts! The audience cheers and one feels good when leaving the movie theater and entering the night air. It's either shooting up with flicks like this or getting a dog. Everyone wants to be safe and enjoy city living. What time is it? Clockwork Orange?

Jamie Foxx in the Middle East? Does this guy get to sing in THE KINGDOM? I hope not. Might we be in need of a vacation from Foxx and Samuel Jackson?

Denzel Washington must be looking at Sidney P's career and afraid someone will hand him a script with nuns in it. So here we have AMERICAN GANGSTER coming out. Denzel as bad boy again. Hip Hop will end when the bad guys in the African American community start wearing suits and ties. It's all about style. Why can't we all dress and be like Denzel? Pull your pants up and it might change your behavior. A rebirth of the cool?

Quote of the Day:

The truth can be adjusted.
More sports:
Will Miami upset the Redskins? Maybe. Trent Geen is a good QB. More pressure on the Skins to win this game. Could the season be over after 1 game? Maybe. Of course if Campbell was able to throw 3-4 TDs, folks in this city would start thinking Super Bowl. But let's be real -Washington is not on the level of the Colts or Patriots. How good will the Cowboys be this year? I think it starts and ends with their new coach. I don't see them winning much this season either. Does Bert know sports? I think so. Bo did.
Ichiro Watch:

Ichiro is having a poor series against Detroit this weekend. It might cost him the AL batting title.
Next week is going to be a key week. He will need about 3 good games. Can he go 5 fof 5 again?
That would help. Meanwhile Ordonez seems to be having an MVP year with the Tigers.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Class of one. I met with Brooke at the Savory (Takoma Park); she's in the Hopkins Creative Writing Program. I'm serving as her teacher for this term. We met from 10AM - 1PM. Good to talk about writing and literature on a Saturday morning.

A good mail day.
I received the latest Atlantic magazine with Bill Clinton on the cover; also the latest VIBE and BusinessWeek. W.W.Norton sent me a copy of Lee Gutkind's new book -THE BEST CREATIVE NONFICTION Vol. 1. Yesterday Percival Everett's new novel came- THE WATER CURE, published by Graywolf Press.

While sitting in the Savory waiting for Brooke, I outlined my Board Chair Report for IPS. I should have it done by the end of the month. It has to be presented in November.


Another note from my friend Phoebe in Nicaragua:

Hello friends and family,

Writing with a few updates about my life and the events surrounding me at this time. Hurricane Felix: Tragedy and Inspiration at the same time.

Although the number of deaths appears significantly lower than that in disasters that have previously struck Nicaragua, such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998, the loss of property and livelihood is substantial. "17,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged," President Ortega said, and an estimated 50,000 people had lost everything they owned.

One incredibly inspiring thing I have to report following the tragedy of the Hurricane is that you would not know that the majority of the people here in Nicaragua are poor, and just struggling to survive. There has been an outpouring of financial and material support to the government and to the Red Cross, people bringing rice, beans, zinc, sugar, and making small little donations that are really adding up. It is so heartwarming and so inspiring to me because it really proves that if we all work together, each one even doing his/her very small part, we can make it through and progress.

In fact it reminds me of a Nicaraguan saying which is that all you have to do is contribute your small grain of sand. I am looking into volunteer efforts and the full range of ways that folks can make a donation if they wish to do so. I will update you as I learn more.

Commission on Women and Children.Well, today I made my first visit to the Commission for Women and Children, an office of the Police Department. I went to go report a case that I heard about this morning when I went to the hospital to get a letter from a doctor. The way it works in the Bluefields hospital is that anyone can wander almost anywhere, peering into other people's rooms and it's considered quite normal. While I was waiting for the doctor with my mother-in-law, one of her friend's came to tell us that she was very sad and upset about a case in the pediatrics where her grandson has been the last few days.

A woman found her 6-year old son lying in a huge pool of blood when she came home. The little boy had loss so much blood that he could not talk, or even cry. As she took in the scene, the stepfather told her I'm going to kill him. Once the little boy started to recover in the pediatrics part of the hospital, he told his mom that his stepfather raped him and did other things to him with a knife that I'm not going to horrify you with.

The woman, who probably depends on the economic support of the man to survive, has not told the people at the hospital what actually happened to her son. She is afraid they will tell the police and the police will go arrest her husband. That could put her life in danger, and/or her livelihood. So they are treating him but really do not know what happened as she told the doctors that he fell on a knife. Anyway, I just felt that I had to try to do something so I went to the Commission for Women and Children to ask them go to the hospital to investigate the situation. I hope I did the right thing though of course I will never know. I just don't want the woman to take the poor child back to the house up in the country where this crazy man lives so that something worse happens to him or he dies.

This horrifying act, though the intensity of the crime is perhaps unusual, is not uncommon here in Nicaragua and is part of the system of machismo that empowers men to act in violent, selfish ways. I happened to have the excellent good fortune of meeting the actual director of the Commission for Women and Children. Her name is Ms. Martha Ingram and she is a Creole woman (of African descent) who speaks the local dialect of English, also called Creole. Of course she happened to be the first cousin of the woman I live with--so typical of Bluefields! We talked for a long time about the issues of violence and rape in the region that SO MANY women and children confront on a daily basis. She told me about a ten year old girl who is about to have a baby in the Maternity House here in Bluefields. She told me about a case in December where a man beat the crap out of his 8 and 1/2 month pregnant wife and then dragged he across oyster shells. She started bleeding internally and went into pre-term labor. When the baby was born he was completely black and blue.

Ms. Martha loves her job--she has been working for the police department since she was 16 and now she is 41! She said to me, "You really have to love your job to work for the police. I make less than $300/month and I'm the boss!" I shared with her my dream of opening a center and safe house in Bluefields for women who need refuge from domestic violence--rape and physical abuse. She said, that is EXACTLY what we need. here in the region--because women would come from all the small communities as well to escape from violence. Right now it is so difficult for her to really protect these women because there is nowhere safe for her to send them--no where. Anyway, my conversation with her has gotten me motivated to type up a basic description of the dream that I have, give it to her so we can start exchanging ideas and she can start working on exactly what resources and space she would need to protect the women and children with whom she works.

Please pardon the somber nature of this email but this is the reality I am currently confronting.

Love to you all,


Friday, September 07, 2007

From my friend Vineeta:

Hi friends and colleagues!

This is Vineeta from India - I know you can tell I am from India :) - I mean right now I am actually in India.

For the next month I will be traveling extensively to learn more about the needs of orphans and vulnerable children here. This visit will take me to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Chandigarh.

To learn what I am doing and what an exciting visit this is:

Link to the visit page:
Link to the blog:

I arrived here in Delhi tonight - read about it and let me know what you think!

Good meeting at IPS today. Phyllis Bennis gave me a report she did on Iraq. It's really a response to the forthcoming Petraeus Report - due out next week. Difficult to believe that almost 650,000 Iraqi civilians have died since the war has started. 2 million Iraqis are displaced and homeless inside and outside Iraq.

The world is a dangerous place to live.
Sign of the Times?
So this morning I catch the Metro bus around 18th and Columbia Road - and to my amazement the bus driver is a young white woman. Must be a first in DC. Was this the seat Rosa Parks always wanted?
News from Sarahville:

Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness invites proposals for panel discussions and workshops on a range of topics at the intersection of poetry and social change.

The guidelines are pasted below and will be available for download from the website at next week.

The deadline is December 1, 2007. Please forward this notice widely and send us your ideas – we can’t wait to read them.

Sarah Browning and the Coordinating Committee of Split This Rock

James Jackson,1914-2007.
Civil Rights Activist
Former official of the American Communist Party.
One of 21 Communist Party members who were indicted in 1951, at the height of the McCarthy era. They were accused of teaching classes on violent revolution.
Mr. Jackson was the editor of The Worker.
Love and prayers to his daughter Harriet Jackson.

James E. Jackson Jr. in 1959.
IPS Meeting today. Art proposals to read. Another busy weekend.
I took time to watch the first game of the NFL season. The Colts looked good against the Saints.
But what about that horrible pre-game concert and show. What was that about? How many awful singing female vocalists are currently residing in the US? The NFL must know all of them.
Peyton Manning makes dumb commercials. Who is his agent?
The Saints yesterday looked liked their city - rebuilding?

Big baseball games this weekend. Seattle plays Detroit. This means Ichiro and Ordonez go head to head for the batting title in the AL They are tied at .352.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Measured by Stone
Measured by Stone by Sam Hamill Original Paperback Curbstone Pub date: September 2007 ISBN: 978-1-931896-40-5 92 pages $13.95
A Note from Asha Bandele:


I know most of our lives are really, really crazy. But if you have some extra time once a week or so, please take a minute to view/comment on my blog. Believe it or not, it's still a challenge getting the voices and opinions of single moms out there in mainstream press so your thoughts will help show folks why our voices need to be heard. And the we I refer to here includes those of us who are single parenting,are supportive in various ways of single parents or were raised by single parents. Anyway, below is the link. I hope everyone had a great summer and blew it out for Labor Day!!


FIRST in style and with Amazing Grace: EFFI BARRY

First Lady Effi Barry has died. She was the former wife of Marion Barry. This woman loved the arts and artists. I remember her love for Sterling Brown. Effi was a "Strong Woman." Every Ward in DC is weeping today - the night- tonight will be darker without this woman's glow.
Peace go with you Effi.
So the book is out - THE ISRAEL LOBBY AND U.S. FOREIGN POLICY by John Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. There is a review in the NY Times today by William Grimes. Isn't this just another lobby in our house? What's the surprise? I must be missing something. I can see a number of Black Nationalists clunching this as if it were Cliff notes for a "Final Call" or Final Exam.

Kaleidoscope Portrait of Frida Kahlo
A Lecture and Discussion by Gregorio Luke

Sunday, September 9th. 2 PM
National Museum of Women In the Arts
1250 New York Avenue, NW
202 783-7369 for tickets.

Gregorio Luke is the director of the Museum of Latin American Art in CA.
I'm not a Redskin fan but look at the schedule for 2007. This team should be 6-0 before they meet New England. Of course they could lose this Sunday to the Dolphins. If they do - look for a long season. The key has to be Campbell. Any fumbles or 2 interceptions this Sunday - and a loss will bring out the quick boos at FedEX. The first serious text will come the second week in Phillie. Any serious heat on Campbell will bring out a soup of mistakes and the Redskin folks will be sick again.
Good to see U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon in Darfur.
The President of the US is just one seat in the room. Who will be advisers for the next US president? This is what one should be paying attention to. Despite Obama being a fresh face many of his foreign policy advice is going to come from the same folks who were in the Clinton Administration. New face on top and old ideas underneath. So do we go from failed Republican ideas to failed Democratic ideas? Nothing like voting with a mute ballot in 2008.

This photograph was taken by Naomi Ayala.

Do you know these writers?

Please buy their books.

Treve de blues
- Leon Damas




We stop at a local stand and Yuko mentions she will buy something for her itoko, Yukiko, and she is quickly handling the small plastic containers which each hold four very large ripe red-yellow skinned peaches. My stomach rumbles looking at them. I ask if it would be okay for me to take her cousin something as well and indicate the bunches of flowers in buckets aligning the stall. She seems pleased by the thought so I pick the healthiest of the lot.

When we arrive, I am introduced to Yukiko and present the flowers, a type of lily, for which I receive a flat, pure smile, a general up-down assessment and nod, and then Yuko ushers me into the small bright diner style of a restaurant attached to the hotel. She asks if there is anything I cannot eat, and I say no, realizing nothing itches for once, and she orders promptly for us both. We speak mostly of easy things first: a bit about our families—she has three sons, one attending university in Tokyo, and she is here in Aizu for Obon, primarily, to see her mother, who has aged a great deal in the last few years and gives Yuko concern.

I think as we talk of my own mother who just last year endured a battle with breast cancer and the days and nights we spent together talking about what we would do when she was feeling better, just to talk and think of tomorrow, and I think too of my father who, near my mother, sleeps, for now, oblivious for a few brief hours to the paralysis of his legs which even in their death give him constant pain.

The tightening grip inside my chest compresses my heart until I think I can not stand it. I will not be able to rid myself of this . . . ? It’s an instinctual need to be a home where I know I cannot protect them but I can bear things when we share them. I still cannot name the thing to settle my stomach.

Her cousin’s husband, who we stand for and bow until I see my kneecaps to greet, takes care of her mother. Yukiko is the daughter of Yuko’s mother’s youngest sister. He leaves for other business matters and we are served our meal of a ten-don set, which includes fried vegetables and shrimp over rice, miso shiru with fu and tofu, and a tiny dish of a tangy bright yellow pickled radish. Oishii.

We are quiet as we eat, the only two inside a four-table eatery. Gentle murmurs and soft laughter emit from around the wall where we sit as the two women serving us busy themselves and the muscles in my back begin to unbunch for the first time since leaving home. When we are nearly done, Yuko begins speaking. She tells me company I am about to begin working for has had many financial and legal problems within the last few months and that it’s reputation has suffered. “They do not reimburse their students for lessons they do not take” so much of the students’ hard earned money goes to waste. “It has gotten so bad the government has been involved and told [them] they can no longer sell tickets for classes.”

These tickets that Yuko refers to are the coupons the students redeem in order to take classes, but they are very expensive, and if they are not used in a certain amount of time or at all, they can not get their money back for them. She tells me that in Japan, people who go to the schools like the one I am planning to teach at are usually convinced by the sales teams to buy more tickets than they need—they are too embarrassed not to. Then, when they cannot use them and their time runs out, and they find they cannot get a refund, they are too embarrassed to complain. Neither of us knows that in the next few weeks, things will get so bad within the company that some of the Japanese staff, all over Japan, will not get paid on schedule or that the teachers will find that their rents are not being paid. We are not aware that the question of whether or not I will even have a job in a month will become a real question.

She tells me that the government’s intervention has been a very good thing because now people know what’s going on—what the problems are—with these types of schools and so the companies are in the position of having to fix them. “You should have no problems while you are here,” she reassures me because my dismay, growing alarm, and strange enough, shame, must be clearly registered by my mouth, which just sits there open, “but if you do have problems, you can call me.” She presents me with her business card, which I take with both hands and study, thanking her for her kindness, and she continues, “If you get sick or something happens and you need anything, you can come here. My cousin will help you. Her daughter is a nurse at the hospital. How long is your contract with them for? We will keep in touch.” I thank her again and insist on paying for lunch. I am astounded by her generosity and my eyes nearly water with gratitude.

After lunch, Yukiko drives us to Tsuruga-jo Castle. We take pictures of one another on the steps to a shrine where we then take turns ringing a bell twice, clapping and ushering in good luck. She cannot know I have already found my good luck in meeting her, how with her quick befriending, I have made a sort of leap from one home and found shelter in hers. I marvel at the thought of how quickly that can happen—in the space of an afternoon, the passing of a few short hours, I could swing from a state of despair back to the emotional state that led me so far from home in the first place: one curiosity and excitement. As I think this thought I begin to realize why I’m here in the first place and why now. It is a story that begins in the past.

I don’t know when it was in time that I became such a worrier, only that I always have and with an almost exuberant desperation that has compelled me to make stings of poor choices, like joining the military in response to 9/11; these snap decisions have gotten me into deep trouble at work and with friends in the past. I’ve always had this fear that some unknown brutality will happen while I am away from those, and to those, I love most, and I do not trust myself to be able to handle whatever it is that might happen. I do not, after all, trust me. But even as I think these things I know of my own trustworthiness. How can I merge the two sets of knowledge? Is it because I worry that I make the poor choices or is it that I make poor choices that cause me to worry? How does one stop worrying needlessly? This I do not know, but for the first time since I landed, after waving goodbye to Yuko who is returning to Tokyo in two days, as I turn the corner onto the road Andy had no name for (after he has lived in Aizu for nearly six months!), but I was able to seek out and find—Jobon Dori—I can, in this moment, feel the ground under my feet, see the black edges of the white castle in the distance, and identify what it is that has bothered me for years, and as I do this, I feel, finally, as though I have arrived.

The problem with America is that we let our future leaders sit in the same chair that our comedians sit in. So see Fred run. I need to get on the Jay Leno Show.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


October 6- 16, 2007

I plan to see Walter Isaacson author of EINSTEIN: HIS LIFE AND UNIVERSE on October 16th at 8 PM.
Ichiro Watch:

So there is Jack Curry writing in today's New York Times about Ichiro. He labels him a hitting robot. Would anybody do this to Joe DiMaggio? Was Boggs every a hitting robot? No. This is an interesting way to dehumanize Ichiro. The guy is so perfect that he must not be human- right? Oh- and he is from Japan too? Is that the place where robots come from? Should we replace the r-word for robot and just use the old R for racism? It's funny how folks won't acknowledge that Ichiro is probably the best player in baseball and not simply one of the top 5. Who are the other 4? In the playoffs who do you want Alex "no hit" Rodriguez or Ichiro? The guy is having another MVP season but we know he won't get it.

Quote of the Day:

"I'm always amazed that people can do things that I can't. But, at the same time, I don't feel I want those skills."
- Ichiro Suzuki

I often feel just like Ichiro when I walk into a bookstore and see all those best sellers. I'm amazed by how some folks keep turning out books and making money (steriods?). But I feel I don't want those skills.

Treve de blues

- Leon Damas

Welcome to the E-MAG, an invitation into the words of others. My guest today is Susan Stinson.

STINSON: PART III - The Arrival.

This morning I was walking past the shops to the main post office to see if I can buy an international calling card, a neatly arranged woman who appears to be somewhere in her late forties smiles broadly, cautiously says hello, and waves. I smile just as wide and wave back. She reminds me of my namesake who’d come to see me off at the airport: a little stout in build, sensible clothing, and a clear slightly weathered face with gentle laugh and cry lines that mention without comment on how much of life she has seen.

This is how I meet Yuko. A native of Aizu, Yuko lives in Tokyo and owns her own independent Ekiwa (English School), called English at Home, in the Shinjuku district. She asks if I am in Aizu to teach English and where, and when I tell her where I work a shade of concern darkens her face and my itch returns. She is excited for me, she assures, but there are some things she wants to tell me. She asks me if I have plans for the afternoon and I tell her no, and she asks if I would like to spend the afternoon with her, meet her cousin, a woman who owns The Green Hotel, just inside the newer district of Aizuwakamatzu, have lunch, and would I like to see a bit of Aizu?

I agree at once, marveling at my luck, and began an afternoon that takes me back in time from 911 again to World War II, even further to 1800s and the Boshin War, Aizu’s “Civil War,” and then flashes me forward again at light speed to Yuko’s predictions for Japan on the cusp of the upcoming decade.

But first we walk for what seems like miles, first continuing on the path I had begun that morning, but Yuko fills in my sketch of the main street of Aizu, first giving me its name Shinmai Dori, telling me it was, in her childhood, blocked off from traffic. There were no bus stops or compact cars. There were more vendors, more people. “This street,” she says, “was the most crowded of any place in Aizuwakamatsu City. This is where my father would take me when I was a child.” And I can imagine it as she speaks. A young Yuko, holding tightly onto her father’s hand walking the middle of the road delighting in all of the goods on the streets, wondering at the sound of wind chimes made of metal, like the ones hanging from the awnings directly over our heads now, generating their mild clear sounds in all directions, swaying gently in the wind.

As we walk, I try to stay to the right of the sidewalk just beside the long line of raised yellow ridges that runs the length of many sidewalks in this area. I have no context for what it’s for, but I notice cyclists tend to steer clear of it and make the snap decision that it must have something to do with keeping pedestrians from being hit by bikes. I am not satisfied with this conclusion, though, because this hasn’t been proven a hard and true fact; really I just can’t figure out how to stay out of the way. The bikes have gone past on both my left and my right regardless of my placement in relation to the lines, so I watch other people for examples to follow, but they, too, walk to both the left and the right and seem unaffected by the heavy traffic. I notice this as I walk with Yuko, with whom, I notice also, I have no near misses.

Bio Note:

Susan Stinson is a native of Farmville, Virginia and recently received her M.F.A. from Goddard College in Vermont. Currently she lives and teaches English in Aizuwakamatsu-Shi, in the Fukushima prefecture of Japan.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Quote of the Day:

"The highlight of the NAACP convention in Detroit this summer was a symbolic burial ceremony for the n-word. In other words, the nation's oldest, largest and once-fierce champion of civil rights has been reduced to staging publicity stunts."
- Michael Meyers (The Wall Street Journal -9/4/07)

So there was Katie C tonight with the flak jacket on in Iraq. But shouldn't we just turn everything over to Lara Logan. Gosh - this woman makes everything seem sexy -even the war. Her voice makes you surge. I found Lara just overshadowing Katie when they were sitting side by side. Lara knows what she's talking about and she looks good doing it.
A sad note from my friend Phoebe Haupt in Nicaragua:

Friends and Family,

Hurricane Felix hit Nicaragua this morning as a Category 5, considered an extremely powerful and catastrophic storm. I feel like crying, so sad for the poor people of the Northern region who have already lost their wooden homes, people who worked so hard to piece together a life. I am worried about my good friend and colleague, Winston Fedrick, who flew to that region yesterday for work.

I just pray that no one has been killed but it does not look good. They are not showing images yet from the damage because the storm has been slashing the same town for the last two hours and is too dangerous to go outside --pieces of zinc from the torn-off metal roofs flying horizontally threw the air, so easy to literally slice off someone's head.

Thank god organizations like Habitat for Humanity have helped the people of the Atlantic Coast build some cement houses designed to withstand Hurricanes since Hurricane Joann literally obliterated the town of Bluefields (where I live) in 1988.

All of the people in the city of Bilwi where we here the Hurricane made landfall are staying in cement houses, having abandoned all of the wooden homes. They have canceled classes in the entire Atlantic region and apparently we are supposed to get a lot of rain. It is very dark here and it is getting cold, a rare thing for Nicaragua. However, we have really been spared the worst. The Hurricane is supposed to maintain a westward motion across Northern Nicaragua and then enter Honduras, just as Hurricane Mitch did in 1998, killing 11,000 people across Nicaragua and Honduras and leaving 8,000 missing.

Please pray that this Hurricane spares lives. Thank you for listening,

Phoebe Haupt


Scholar Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center left Iran on Sunday after 3 months in prison.

Haleh Esfandiari
More NY Times photos. Go to A3 in today's paper.
Here you will find a picture with no article. Why is it here? What agency placed this picture in today's paper?Hush now - don't explain. That's what Billie would have told me. Anyway it's a picture of a visually impaired boy going to school in Havana. It's just one kid - but it's "symbolic" of who might be following Fidel "back" to school these days. If you thought the country needed help - this picture conveys that. Notice the stars on the kid's socks - might they say USA on the inside? I'm surprised the New York Times didn't run this photo with the caption "Little Hugo Chavez finds his way to class at the Abel Santamaria School."
The front page of the New York Times features a picture of President Bush, Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary Condoleezza Rice. This looks like a promotional photo for a western. The sheriff and his deputies? Walking in the Badlands? Bush's head is up and he could be- Hugh O'Bush staring as Wyatt Earp. Gates and Rice have their heads down. It's obvious they are walking in Bush's footsteps. Very obvious. It shows total confidence in Bush's leadership. But then one's eye catches the military vehicles in the background. Isn't this where the fence is suppose to be at the OK Corral? Or maybe there should be a barn or even some horses in this background. Now if you look at the color of the picture - the tone - it becomes very clear that this is NOT a western. It's a sci-fi photo. The picture makes Bush, Gates and Rice look like space invaders. Body snatchers? How do you say run in Arabic? Be afraid? Be very, very afraid.
OK- media guys. You have to do better. This is war not a western.