Friday, February 29, 2008

Important Stuff for Writers:

The March Poetry News is now available on Beltway Poetry Quarterly:

Follow Men's Basketball in the Commonwealth Conference Final on Saturday at 3:00 pm (radio) / (live stats)
I find one of the most "refreshing" thinkers today to be Naomi Klein. Whenever you see her work - read it!

Being Called Muslim Is Not a SmearNaomi Klein Obama should denounce the attacks themselves as racist propaganda.

Friday, February 29 - 7:30pm
Saturday, March 1 - 7:30pm
Sunday, March 2 - 3:00pm

"INSPIRING PORTRAIT...Robeson shines through as a staunch, understanding, heroic American."-Richard L. Coe, The Washington Post

Philip Hayes Dean's

Starring Kevin Maynor with Cary Gant

Directed by Shauneille Perry
Hosted by Amiri Baraka
Stage Manager: B.Jai Pierce Astwood

The contributions of Paul Robeson to the Black Diaspora and overall American culture are unparalleled. From his stage, screen and recording successess worldwide, to his excellence in academia, sports, and political advocacy. "PAUL ROBESON" is an award winning play that was originally presented on Broadway in the 1977/78 seasons, starring James Earl Jones. In this prime 2008 production, world-class operatic bass vocalist Kevin Maynor captures Robeson the man, myth and motivator of Black and oppressed people around the world.

National Black Theatre's
Institute of Action Arts
2031 National Black Theatre Way
(Fifth Ave. bet. 125th & 126th St.)

CALL TICKET CENTRAL at 212-279-4200

Good to see Kibaki and Odinga working out a deal to govern Kenya. But how much damage has been done? How difficult is it to put the ethnic violence genie back in the bottle? The country might need some more long-distance runners to make this work.

Hi, I'm Matt Gonzalez and I'm running with Ralph Nader. ?????

What is this about?
Please help. Thanks.

Does this day really exist?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

So I saw where Tavis Smiley opened his 9th State of the Union quoting DuBois. Are we still trapped by the color line? Geez. When will African American intellectuals stop running with the same Dubois quotes? Black folks driving and looking into a rearview mirror. So sad. Have we invested in "smiley" buttons? So his key word is going to be accountability. Oh?
I wonder if Hugo Chavez has a copy:

Now available:The Essential Chomsky, edited by Anthony Arnove

We invite you to join us for the
2008 Poetry Out Loud Recitation Contest State Finals

Wednesday, March 12th at 6:00 PM

The Charles Sumner School Art and Museum.

Special guest: Poet Goldie Patrick
E-mail reservations: or (202) 724-4281

FREE. No tickets required. Seating is first come, first served.PLEASE COME!
Politics is a funny thing like Monk's hat:
I find it strange that no one is talking about the "history" Ohio can make next week. If the state is key to Obama obtaining the presidential nomination - it's the right place. The birthplace of Toni Morrison - no need to repeat what she said about Bill Clinton. Let's just try to understand Paradise for a moment. Oh, and what about Larry Doby playing for the Cleveland Indians and doing the Jackie Robinson in the American league? And Dunbar coming out of Dayton. What do we tell all those slaves trying to cross that river into freedom? Speak to the ancestors, baby. Wasn't Ohio a key station on the Underground Railroad? Well, the Obama Express is on the fast track and it should have history as its rail.
IN Israel:

Ariel Sharon recently turned 80. He has been comatose for over 2 years after suffering a stroke.
If life was a movie, Sharon would wake and there would be peace in the Middle East - after a long sleep. Do you believe in miracles? Israelis and Palestinians finding a common future and a trust in hope.

Local man brings poetry, hope to AnacostiaBy admin Among the best-known names in the local poetry scene are E. Ethelbert Miller, the most active in the poetry community; Kenneth Carroll, executive director of DC Writers Corps; Sarah Browning, from DC Poets Against the War, ...-

Dear Tikkun Ally,

We'd like to ask for your help in ending the war in Iraq and creating an alternative to a foreign policy of domination and control of "the Other." Would you consider participating in one or both of the following ways?

Join the Interfaith Peace Witness, March 6-8
NSP has endorsed and is working closely with an impressive list of allied organizations to put on a major event in DC on March 6-8, which will be attended by spiritual progressives from throughout the country.

The Interfaith Peace Witness will include remarks from top national religious leaders, inspirational fellowship, and NSP workshops on the Global Marshall Plan (GMP).We want to have a large visible NSP contingent gathered together on the National Mall on Friday, March 7.

We will be there and would love the chance to meet you in person. Please consider registering now and telling all your friends and colleagues. If you register, please put NSP on your form and let me know you are coming by emailing me at

As we get closer to the event, we will send out updates to those forming our NSP team so that we can gather together in joyous celebration of active peacemaking. If you are coming, we hope you sign up for one of our two GMP workshops. To find out more and to register please visit:

Participate in Generosity Weekend, April 11-13.
Last year, between April 13 and 15, several thousand new people were introduced to the radical notion that "homeland security" could be better and more ethically obtained through solidarity with and generosity toward all of the people of the planet than through efforts to dominate and control them. Many of those people have become active in our campaign to make it real through the Global Marshall Plan for Universal Security, Wellbeing, and Environmental Survival.

This year we'd like to do even better, and to do that, we need your help. Click here to learn what you can do.With hope for a future of open-heartedness and generosity,

David Hart
Director of Advocacy and Outreach
Nichola Torbett
Director of National Programs
web: email:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Bobby Edmunds and Matt Sosna Key Men's Basketball to 67-53 Victory at Albright in Commonwealth Conference Semifinals
2/27/08 -- Sophomore Bobby Edmunds (Linwood, NJ) and junior Matt Sosna (Stratford, NJ) sparked a late run that propelled Widener a 67-53 victory at Albright in the Commonwealth Conference semifinals in Reading, PA.

Third-seeded Widener (21-5) is off to the final for a third straight year and fourth time in five seasons. The team will battle No. 1 seed Lycoming on Saturday in Williamsport, PA at a time to be determined.

No. 2 seed Albright (16-8) found itself in a 51-42 hole with 10:22 left before going on an 8-2 run for a 53-50 contest with 6:54 to play. Tom Murphy and Andre Murphy each had a basket in that span.

But that would be the last time the home team was heard from, playing before a partisan crowd of 1,131. Widener ended the contest on a 14-3 run thanks to five points apiece from Edmunds and Sosna.

Edmunds began the spurt on a 3-pointer for a 56-50 lead with 6:25 remaining. Sophomore Jamarr Johnson (Pittsgrove, NJ) made it an eight-point game with 4:31 to go on a jumper.
Tom Murphy's free throw with 4:16 left cut it to a 58-51 contest, but Widener has a quick answer. Sosna tipped in a missed 3-pointer from junior NYERE MILLER (Washington, DC) and was fouled by Tom Murphy. He completed the three-point play with 3:41 to go for a 61-51 margin.

The Lions missed five shots on their next possession and Edmunds all but sealed it by hitting 1-of-2 from the line with 2:12 left for a 62-51 lead.

Edmunds poured in 10 of his team-high 14 points after intermission and Sosna scored nine of his 12 points following the break. Johnson closed with nine points and six rebounds with MILLER and junior Charles Jones (Philadelphia, PA) adding eight apiece.

Widener won this game on the line, shooting 21-for-29 versus 7-for-12 for Albright. The Pride starters were 15-for-20 and the Lions first five hit just 4-for-8.

This overcame a poor shooting night for both teams as Widener hit only 37 percent (22-of-60) and Albright converted 34 percent (21-of-61).

Albert Medoro scored 19 points and Kyle Brudvig hauled in 10 rebounds for the Lions, who posted a 46-39 edge on the glass.

Widener is ranked third in the latest NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional poll and earlier this season received votes eight straight weeks in the Top 25 poll.

Do you think Bloomberg might give Nader a call?

I was laughing at the front page of The Washington Post today. That picture of Clinton and Obama was cute. Clinton is in what I call a pioneer pose - looking out at the horizon. Searching for super delegates or her vanishing support?
SAVE THE DATE: March 24th.
BOOK PARTY FOR TOBY BARLOW at the Barnes & Noble at Georgetown.
6:30 PM

Toby's first novel - SHARP TEETH.
Is this the Toby of Blue Mountain fame? I haven't seen this guy since the 1970s,
I love his sister and mom...
A film by Brendan Mitchell. Don't Miss! Checkout site:

Hey, is that Ethelbert in that film?
A long day - I did a poetry reading out in Rockville - for the Bureau of National Affairs Guild and the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. This was a Black History Month celebration. I read a number of poems from my anthology IN SEARCH OF COLOR EVERYWHERE. I read poems by Harryette Mullen, Safiya Henderson-Holmes, Cornelius Eady, Calvin Forbes, and Michael Harper.

I spent much of the day thinking about my son's semi-final basketball game. The good news is that his team won. So Widener will try to repeat as Commonwealth Champions again and return to the NCAA Tournament. The big game is on Saturday.

I missed Charlie Cobb's book party at Busboys. His new book is ON THE ROAD TO FREEDOM: A GUIDED TOUR OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS TRAIL. There is a very good interview with Cobb (by Carol Buckley) in the current issue of The Northwest Current newspaper. In this interview Cobb explains his concern for more women receiving credit for their involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. He talks about the contributions of Marian Anderson and Mary Church Terrell.

In the mail today was a copy of Jon Anderson's new poetrty anthology - SEEDS OF FIRE: CONTEMPORARY POETRY FROM THE OTHER USA. This book was published by Smokestack Books in the United Kingdom. Some of the poets included are: Naomi Ayala, Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, Martin Espada, Kimiko Hahn, Linda McCarriston, Grace Paley, Adrienne Rich, and Tim Seibles. I saw one poem in there by E. Ethelbert Miller. I keep wanting to run into him or maybe hear him read. Is he still living in DC?
Here is the link to Smokestack Books:

Nyere Miller was named athlete of the week again. The following information is taken from the Widener University website:

Miller ended last week with 35 points, eight steals, seven 3-pointers, five rebounds, three assists and shot 12-of-29 from the floor in two games for men's basketball. He was on fire Saturday against Elizabethtown, scoring a career-high 26 points and matching a career best with seven 3-pointers in the Pride’s 84-68 victory. Miller shot 8-of-14 from the field in the contest and scored 16 points in the second half.
Well, I do remember Sterling Brown telling me he was never part of the Harlem Renaissance.
Poets House Spring 2008 Season Opens on March 4th with HARLEM RENAISSANCE REVISITED

Join us on Tuesday, March 4, at 7:00pm
as we kick off our Spring 2008 season with

"Harlem Renaissance Revisited"

at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

In this major retrospective event, poet and novelist John Keene, interdisciplinary artists Mendi + Keith Obadike and poet Evie Shockley explore representations of race, sexual identity and class in the revolutionary literature of such Harlem Renaissance poets as Sterling Brown, Langston Hughes, Anne Spencer, Richard Bruce Nugent and later generations of writers they influenced. Through readings, discussions and multidisciplinary performances, the participants will revisit the complex cultural, intellectual and political fabric of the movement that would forever change our city and our nation.

Co-sponsored with Cave Canem and the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at BMCC and with gracious support from the Poetry Society of America. Funded in part by the New York Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

@ Tribeca Performing Arts Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College
199 Chambers Street (bet. Greenwich Street and the West Side Highway)
Subways: A/C/1/2/3 to Chambers Street

$10/Free to students, Cave Canem, Poets House & PSA Members

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A is for ART and ADVOCACY:

Dear Artists and Arts Organizations,

On Monday, April 1st, the DC Advocates for the Arts will be conducting its 7th annual Arts Advocacy Day. Generating support for the arts is an ongoing battle that we all fight every day.

On April 1st our community will come together to visit with our DC Council-members to discuss our concerns. The DC Advocates for the Arts want to make sure that we take to the council the true thoughts and concerns of our community. Here is a link to an online survey.

I hope that you will take a few moments to take the survey. Please feel free to forward the link to whomever you think might be interested.

By participating in this survey you ensure that you will be represented when we go into those rooms on April 1st.

If you are interested in being a part of one of the teams (to visit your council member) please let us know that by email, and include the Ward in which you live/work.

Teams are filling on a first come/first served basis.


Rob Bettmann,
Steering Committee Chair
DC Advocates for the Arts
The Bronx is Back:

The Bronx Council on the Arts is pleased to announce the launching of the new digital literary journal Cross Bronx.

The online publication will encompass the best writing and digital art with a primary focus on Bronx writers and artists.

The journal will be published three times per year, beginning in April, and feature BCA’s award-winning artists alongside commissioned works. Submissions from both emerging and established writers and artists are encouraged.

The deadline is Monday, March 3, 2008. The premiere issue will be available Monday, March 31, 2008.

This new venture follows the success of BCA’s Digital Matrix program which provides an online exhibition space for artists working with new media and continues BCA’s ongoing commitment to the exploration of digital arts.

BCA is seeking electronic submissions of previously unpublished short fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and digital photography/art. Preference will be given to Bronx artists or artists who site the Bronx as influential to their development.

Submitted work must adhere to the following guidelines:Fiction & Creative Non-FictionSubmissions limited to 8,500 words or approximately 20 double-spaced pages. email: prosesubmit@bronxarts.orgPoetrySubmissions of up to three (3) poems per author email: poetrysubmit@bronxarts.orgOriginal Digital Art/PhotographyUp to three (3) submissions per artist, with a maximum file size of 100 megabytes. email: artphotosubmit@bronxarts.orgCriticism or Artist interviewsSubmit a short proposal, 250 words or less, for consideration before submitting the actual work. email: sonya@bronxarts.orgWhen submitting Include your full name, mailing address, and e-mail address in the body of the e-mail. All text pages must be titled and numbered with one-inch margins, double-spaced and typed in 12-point font.Send questions relating to submissions to

About the editors

Sonya Chung is a 2007 Bronx Writers' Center Literary Fellow. Sonya’s short fiction and essays have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Crab Orchard Review, Sonora Review, Cream City Review, and BOMB Magazine, among others. She is also the recipient of the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, a Pushcart Prize Nomination, and a Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Finalist award. She has recently completed her first novel and is at work on a second.

Helen Dano is a 2007 Bronx Writers' Center Literary Fellow, and the author of the Hawaiian childrens' book, The Little Makana (Bess Press, Honolulu). She was born in Hawaii and grew up in Kalihi, a western suburb of Honolulu, and then moved further west to what was then the sugarcane town of Waipahu, the subject of her work-in-progress, 'Aina: Waipahu, a narrative poem.

The Bronx Council on the Arts 1738 Hone Avenue Bronx NY 10463
Debate in O(hio):
Look for tough questions to come from Tim Russert and Brian Williams tonight.
Poor Hillary won't get any soup or popcorn questions from these guys.
Witch(?) Hillary will we see tonight? The sweet one or her evil twin Billary?
22nd Annual Black Theatre Network Conference - 2008.
August 3-7, 2008
"Imagining New Possibilities: Exploring the Magic and Fantasy of Black Theatre"
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort - Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

By Richard Reeves
Mon Feb 25, 9:50 AM ET

LOS ANGELES -- The "fellas" who worked for Ronald Reagan -- he called them that because he couldn't remember their names -- rarely saw the boss angry. But James Lake, a campaign press secretary, did, just once.

Lake walked into Reagan's section of the campaign plane in 1980 and said he had to talk about something important, some issue of the day. The candidate blew up, growling: "Can't you see I'm busy. I'm working on my speech. Go away! We'll be there in 20 minutes and I have to give this speech."

Lake was stunned. What did it matter? Reagan gave the same speech over and over again, practically word for word. What he did not understand, and Reagan did, was that speeches were the candidate's real work. The words he was studying one more time, changing one or two, were what really counted.

The 40th president, an amazingly effective one, understood a few big things.
This was one of them, told in two different ways:
The president's job is not to run the country; it is to lead the nation.

In that business, words are more important than deeds.

Poor Hillary Clinton! She is smart, knowledgeable and disciplined. And she has been getting it wrong, wrong, wrong -- 10 times in a row, at least. Yes, it was bad luck that she, improbably, had to run into this "kid," a former state senator from Illinois who knew what Reagan did and what John Kennedy did. In the end, in a great democracy, what a president can and must do is bring out the best in the American people. Some, tragically, bring out the worst in our nature, as President Richard Nixon did.

Ready to govern on Day One? Does Sen. Clinton think the Office of Management and Budget is the heart of the Republic? Does she believe there is something lacking in her opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, because he is eloquent and inspirational, because he can move people, because his words can persuade and prepare them to do what must be done? Does she know why no one remembers whether Lincoln balanced the budget?

Reagan knew. We used to laugh at him because he said one of his favorite presidents was Calvin Coolidge, whose idea of a good time seemed to be taking a nap. Well, there was a lot wrong with Coolidge -- for one thing, he wasn't much of a speaker -- but there was something important about one of the paragraphs in Coolidge's autobiography that Reagan underlined as a young man: "In the discharge of the office (of president) there is one rule of action more important than all others. It consists in never doing anything that someone else can do for you."

Ah, that Reagan, growing up along the Mississippi River, a regular Tom Sawyer, ready to persuade people to paint fences for him. Great training for a president. You can hire fence-painters and smart people.

Choosing a president is the great, most important, most dangerous responsibility in the world. It's a gamble on character, not so much the character of a candidate but the character of the American people. In her struggle to stay in this year's Democratic race by stopping Obama in Texas and Ohio, Clinton is right about one big thing: No one knows enough about the man to know if he will be a good president, much less a great one.

Obama does not know himself. Nor does Clinton know about herself. The job is sui generis . The presidency is not about qualifications or experience; it is about judgment. Beyond being wise and lucky in making appointments, much of any presidency is essentially reactive. The job is dealing with crises unpredictable and unanticipated: attacks, strikes, bombings, market crashes, revolutions, plagues of nature.

The best a voter can hope for is a man or woman who can find the right words to explain such things and persuade us all to follow the dictates of our better angels.
Quote of the Day:

The difference between a presidential candidate and a fool in love is only a matter of Secret Service protection.

- Richard Cohen

Yesterday I received this information from my friend Charles Johnson in Seattle. This is good stuff - excellent research. Are you ready for the debate this evening?

I Refuse to Buy into the Obama Hype
by Grassroots Mom
Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 05:13:32 PM PST

The next President is going to have some MAJOR challenges. I refuse to buy into the hype, on either side, but especially on that of Obama. However the "empty rhetoric" v. "history of accomplishments" arguments have prompted me to check it out on my own, not relying on any candidate's website, book, or worst of all supporters' diaries, like this one.

I went to the Library of Congress Website. The FACTS of what each did in the Senate last year sure surprised me. I'm sure they will surprise you, too. Whether you love or hate Hillary, you will be surprised. Whether you think Obama is the second coming of JFK or an inexperienced lightweight, you will surprised. Go check out the Library of Congress Website. After spending some time there, it will be clear that there is really only one candidate would is ready to be the next president, even better than Gore. If you don't want to spend an hour or two doing research, then I'll tell you what I discovered on the jump.

Grassroots Mom's diary :: ::
I looked up Obama and looked up Clinton. I looked at the bills that they both authored and introduced. Anyone who has been around politics, and is honest, realizes that there are a lot of reasons why a Senator votes one way or another on bills or misses votes. However an examination of the bills that each of these Senators cared enough about to author and introduce revealed much to me: what they care about, what their priorities are, how they tackle problems. And the list of co-sponsors showed something about how they lead, inspire and work with others. Finally, looking at which bills actually passed is pretty indicative of how effective each would be at getting things done.

Before I get into the nitty gritty, let's all be honest here. It is damn hard to get anything through Congress these days. And Obama and Clinton care about the same issues and have obviously worked together on a lot of legislation, whatever Sen. Clinton's campaign may imply. She is a frequent co-sponsor on his bills, and he on hers. They are both completely competent senators.
I started with Sen. Clinton.

I'm not a Hillary Hater, but I certainly didn't like her much either. I didn't like her DLC history; her votes on Iraq, Iran or the bankruptcy bill; her characterization of the years she spent as First Lady as "executive experience." Hillary Clinton is no Eleanor Roosevelt. Perhaps more like Lady Bird Johnson. Hillary claims to have brought us SCHIP (with a little help from Ted Kennedy). Lady Bird brought us Head Start as well as cleaner, nicer highways. Anyone 40 or older probably remembers when the nation's highways were basically disgusting garbage dumps lined with billboards. But no one thinks Lady Bird should have been president. Might as well argue for Barbara Bush because of her efforts on family literacy, or Nancy Reagan and the War on Drugs.

Hillary Clinton does have a solid record in the Senate, however.

I came away from my research really knowing a lot more about what is important to Hillary in her heart: kids and their well being. My research changed my feeling about her significantly. About 40% of her bills dealt with health care and/or kids. As a mom with small kids, I like her passion for children's issues.

But curiously, her big bill to deliver health care to every child, the one she lauds on her website, S.895 : "A bill to amend titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act to ensure that every child in the United States has access to affordable, quality health insurance coverage, and for other purposes" had not a single co-sponsor. Not one, according to the Library of Congress. Why is that? Is it a bad bill? Or is she not able to recruit support for her signature issue? Or did she just submit it simply to put in the hopper, so to speak, so she could claim she was working on it. I honestly don't know the answer, but I find it curious and suspicious that not even Ted Kennedy co-sponsored it. Its sister bill in the house, H.R. 1535, introduced by John Dingell has 42 co-sponsors. It's just weird. I honestly don't know what to make of it.

S.895 was major. But most of her other bills are much smaller in scale and scope — more targeted and more careful.
For example, she introduced one bill that offered tax credits for building owners who clean up lead paint. Which is a very good thing. And Obama is a co-sponsor. "S.1793 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax credit for property owners who remove lead-based paint hazards."

Obama's anti-lead bill (S. 1306) directed the Consumer Product Safety Commission to classify certain children's products containing lead as banned hazardous substances. He had another bill prohibitting the interstate transport of children's products containing lead. (S.2132) And Hillary co-sponsored each of these.
In other words, they both care about protecting children from lead.
The difference is in the scope and the approach.

Obama's bill shows how he thinks big: do everything we can to make sure that lead-painted Thomas the Tank Engine toys don't get into the hands and mouths of millions of toddlers in this country.

Or Hillary: encourage people by offering tax credits to clean up lead paint in old buildings. People have been talking about lead paint in old buildings hurting kids in living in inner cities, since, well when I was a kid — for decades. If it is still a big problem, is offering tax credits for clean up, i.e. scrape down the walls and repaint, the best way to protect kids from lead?

How many of you parents have lead paint problems? How many have (or had) toxic Thomas the Tank Engine Toys? They are everywhere. The local bookstore and kid's shoe store and the doctor's office and the preschool and the toystore all have train tables. There is nowhere you can go anymore with toddlers that doesn't have a Thomas the Tank Engine train table covered with toxic toys. But that's just my feeling.

Obama's bills risk pissing off the toy industry and the Chinese. Hillary's risks nothing.
A lot of Clinton's health bills focus on children. Or women. She introduced a billl for research in the causes of gestational diabetes, for more pediatric research (S.895) and a rural agriculture bill to get farm-fresh veggies into schools (S.1031).

Her bill dealing with the crisis in foreclosure is actually S.2114 : "A bill to amend the Truth in Lending Act, to provide for enhanced disclosures to consumers and enhanced regulation of mortgage brokers, and for other purposes." Again, no co-sponsors. Obama also introduced a bill in the face of the mortgage foreclosure crisis: S.1222 : "A bill to stop mortgage transactions which operate to promote fraud, risk, abuse, and under-development, and for other purposes." Sponsor: Sen Obama, Barack [IL] (introduced 4/25/2007), co-sponsored by Dick Durbin.

In her ads and speeches, Clinton claims that she's fighting to stop foreclosure while implying that Obama is empty rhetoric. Actually, Clinton is calling for "enhanced disclosures to consumers and enhanced regulation", while Obama's bill will "stop mortgage transactions which operate to promote fraud, risk, abuse, and under-development." After looking at the two bills, Obama's appears to be tougher, more directly addressing the problem.

Speaking of Obama, here's a list of some of his proposed legislation.
Four bills on energy including • S.1151 : A bill to provide incentives to the auto industry to accelerate efforts to develop more energy-efficient vehicles to lessen dependence on oil; •S.115 : A bill to suspend royalty relief, to repeal certain provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal certain tax incentives for the oil and gas industry; and •S.133 : A bill to promote the national security and stability of the economy of the United States by reducing the dependence of the United States on oil through the use of alternative fuels and new technology, and for other purposes.

Clinton had only one bill that I could find that addressed the same issue, S.701 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose a temporary oil profit fee and to use the proceeds of the fee collected to provide a Strategic Energy Fund and expand certain energy tax incentives, and for other purposes.

Obama wants to "repeal certain tax incentives for the oil and gas industry". Clinton sees the answer in a "temporary oil profit fee" and to "expand certain energy tax incentives" for alternative energy. Obama's alternative energy bill (S.133) was co-sponsored by Harkin, Lugar and Salazar. Clinton's bill again had no co-sponsors.

On health care he introduced ten bills/amendments, including one amendment that passed: S.AMDT.1041 to S.1082 To improve the safety and efficacy of genetic tests. Other issues addressed in his proposed health care legislation were AIDS research (S.823 ), hospital report cards (S.692 — the V.A., and S.1824 — Medicare), better emergency care (S.1873), and drug price controls (S.2347).

Clinton's health care bills, for the most part, didn't impress me much, although she introduced many more bills in this area than Obama did:
S.CON.RES.63 : A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the need for additional research into the chronic neurological condition hydrocephalus, and for other purposes. S.RES.176 : A resolution recognizing April 30, 2007, as "National Healthy Schools Day". S.RES.222 : A resolution supporting the goals and ideals of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. S.201 : A bill to establish a grant program for individuals still suffering health effects as a result of the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and at the Pentagon. S.907 : A bill to establish an Advisory Committee on Gestational Diabetes, to provide grants to better understand and reduce gestational diabetes, and for other purposes. S.993 : A bill to improve pediatric research. S.982 : A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for integration of mental health services and mental health treatment outreach teams, and for other purposes. S.1065 : A bill to improve the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury in members and former members of the Armed Forces, to review and expand telehealth and telemental health programs of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes. S.1075 : A bill to amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to expand access to contraceptive services for women and men under the Medicaid program, help low income women and couples prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce abortion, and for other purposes. S.1343 : A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to prevention and treatment of diabetes, and for other purposes. S.1712 : A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to improve newborn screening activities, and for other purposes.
and on and on.

Plenty of these have plenty of co-sponsors. Obviously, Hillary Clinton really knows her stuff on the issues of health care. None of them passed, however. On Obama's side, one of his health care initiatives passed in the Senate, the aforementioned amendment to Kennedy's S.1082, the FDA Revitalization Act.

Truth be told, it was very depressing doing this research to see all these great ideas and how little actually gets done.

Looking at the legislative history of Kennedy's bill is a good example. It finally passed but its sister bill in the House, H.R.2900, was the one that was finally enacted, and with it, Obama's amendment for safe and effective genetic testing. Clinton submitted two amendments to this bill, one of would have eliminated the sunsetting of pediatric data collection; the other would have begin the process to approve generic versions of complex and expensive drugs called biologics or biotech drugs. Neither were adopted.

Now let's look more closely at Obama.
I was blown away as I started going through his record. I've already mentioned his bills on health care and energy. In addition he had introduced bills on Iran, voting, veterans, global warming, campaign finance and lobbyists, Blackwater, global poverty, nuclear proliferation, and education. On Iran: S.J.RES.23 : A joint resolution clarifying that the use of force against Iran is not authorized by the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, any resolution previously adopted, or any other provision of law.

On votingPassed out of Committee and now on the Senate Calendar for Feb. 22, 2008 S.453 : A bill to prohibit deceptive practices in Federal elections Please check this out! This is a great bill. We need this. I can't believe that this time voter intimidation is not already illegal.
On veterans and military personnel: S.1084 : A bill to provide housing assistance for very low-income veterans;
On global warmingS.1324 : A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuel sold in the United States;S.1389 : A bill to authorize the National Science Foundation to establish a Climate Change Education Program; S.AMDT.599 to S.CON.RES.21 To add $200 million for Function 270 (Energy) for the demonstration and monitoring of carbon capture and sequestration technology by the Department of Energy. (This last one passed both the House and the Senate as part of the budget bill.)

On campaign finance and lobbyists S.2030 : A bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require reporting relating to bundled contributions made by persons other than registered lobbyists; and S.AMDT.41 to S.1 To require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged.

On Blackwater S.2044 : A bill to provide procedures for the proper classification of employees and independent contractors, and for other purposes, and S.2147 : A bill to require accountability for contractors and contract personnel under Federal contracts, and for other purposes.

On global poverty S.2433 : A bill to require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

On global nuclear proliferation S.1977 : A bill to provide for sustained United States leadership in a cooperative global effort to prevent nuclear terrorism, reduce global nuclear arsenals, stop the spread of nuclear weapons and related material and technology, and support the responsible and peaceful use of nuclear technology.

I counted nine education bills, but it's getting late and I've got to get my kids ready for bed.
As I mentioned earlier, Clinton is a frequent co-sponsor on many of Obama's bills. So is Ted Kennedy. So are a number of Republicans.

Finally, Obama appears to have a better record last year in the Senate on getting his bills and amendments passed than does Clinton. I've listed everything that passed the Senate for each them at the end in boxes. But check out for yourself. I may have missed something.

In my eyes Obama is the superior choice in every way. He cares about more of the issues that matter to me. Kids and health care are important but so is the issue of global warming, on which Clinton introduced not a single bill last year.

Obama is a leader. With bigger majorities in Congress, much of his agenda should sail through. He can inspire this country to change course on so many things, from health care to global warming, where attitudes have to be changed first. I remember Bill Clinton's endless laundry lists of small, focus group approved initiatives. For those who say Hillary will not govern like Bill did, I respond that the people who were doing the market testing of his proposed policies were Dick Morris, of course, and Mark Penn, who is now running Hillary's campaign.

It's Obama for me! I just sent him $100. My first donation this election.
Yes, We Can!

Clinton's Successes: S.694 : A bill to direct the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations to reduce the incidence of child injury and death occurring inside or outside of light motor vehicles, and for other purposes. (This is currently in conference committee to reconcile difference with the House bill) Passed in the Senate: S.CON.RES.27 : A concurrent resolution supporting the goals and ideals of "National Purple Heart Recognition Day". S.RES.21 : A resolution recognizing the uncommon valor of Wesley Autrey of New York, New York S.RES.92 : A resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of soldiers of Israel held captive by Hamas and Hezbollah. S.RES.141 : A resolution urging all member countries of the International Commission of the International Tracing Service who have yet to ratify the May 2006 amendments to the 1955 Bonn Accords to expedite the ratification process to allow for open access to the Holocaust archives located at Bad Arolsen, Germany. S.RES.222 : A resolution supporting the goals and ideals of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. S.AMDT.666 to H.R.1591 To link award fees under Department of Homeland Security contracts to successful acquisition outcomes under such contracts. S.AMDT.2047 to H.R.1585 To specify additional individuals eligible to transportation for survivors of deceased members of the Armed Forces to attend their burial ceremonies. S.AMDT.2108 to H.R.1585 To require a report on the planning and implementation of the policy of the United States toward Darfur. S.AMDT.2390 to H.R.2638 To require that all contracts of the Department of Homeland Security that provide award fees link such fees to successful acquisition outcomes. S.AMDT.2474 to H.R.2638 To ensure that the Federal Protective Service has adequate personnel. S.AMDT.2823 to H.R.3074 To require a report on plans to alleviate congestion and flight delays in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Airspace. S.AMDT.2917 to H.R.1585 To extend and enhance the authority for temporary lodging expenses for members of the Armed Forces in areas subject to a major disaster declaration or for installations experiencing a sudden increase in personnel levels.

Obama's Success: S.AMDT.1041 to S.1082 To improve the safety and efficacy of genetic tests. S.AMDT.3073 to H.R.1585 To provide for transparency and accountability in military and security contracting. S.AMDT.3078 to H.R.1585 Relating to administrative separations of members of the Armed Forces for personality disorder. S.AMDT.41 to S.1 To require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged. S.AMDT.524 to S.CON.RES.21 To provide $100 million for the Summer Term Education Program supporting summer learning opportunities for low-income students in the early grades to lessen summer learning losses that contribute to the achievement gaps separating low-income students from their middle-class peers. S.AMDT.599 to S.CON.RES.21 To add $200 million for Function 270 (Energy) for the demonstration and monitoring of carbon capture and sequestration technology by the Department of Energy. S.AMDT.905 to S.761 To require the Director of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education to establish a program to recruit and provide mentors for women and underrepresented minorities who are interested in careers in mathematics, science, and engineering. S.AMDT.923 to S.761 To expand the pipeline of individuals entering the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields to support United States innovation and competitiveness. S.AMDT.924 to S.761 To establish summer term education programs. S.AMDT.2519 to H.R.2638 To provide that one of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5 million or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee certifies in writing to the agency awarding the contract or grant that the contractor or grantee owes no past due Federal tax liability. S.AMDT.2588 to H.R.976 To provide certain employment protections for family members who are caring for members of the Armed Forces recovering from illnesses and injuries incurred on active duty. S.AMDT.2658 to H.R.2642 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability. S.AMDT.2692 to H.R.2764 To require a comprehensive nuclear threat reduction and security plan. S.AMDT.2799 to H.R.3074 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability. S.AMDT.3137 to H.R.3222 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability. S.AMDT.3234 to H.R.3093 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability. S.AMDT.3331 to H.R.3043 To provide that none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5,000,000 or to award a grant in excess of such amount unless the prospective contractor or grantee makes certain certifications regarding Federal tax liability. Senate Resolutions Passed: S.RES.133 : A resolution celebrating the life of Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson. S.RES.268 : A resolution designating July 12, 2007, as "National Summer Learning Day".

Added:I realize, of course that several of these amendments are exactly the same. They were added to spending bills. My only reason for including them is for completeness. They are not here to pad out Obama's record. Furthermore, I want to make clear that I only looked at one single year, 2007. This is not meant as a comprehensive review of either candidate's entire Senate record. If you are interested in doing your own research, please go to and look it up.

Carolivia Heron is having a book party on Sunday, March 2nd at the Tifereth Israel Congregation, located at 7701 16th Street, NW. The event will take place from 3-5 PM.
Heron is the author of the book NAPPY HAIR. Her new children's book is ALWAYS AN OLIVIA which is the story of her Sephardic Jewish and African American Geechee ancestors.

Treve de blues
- Leon Damas

Compassion is my art
- Grace A. Ali

God makes stars. It's up to producers to find them.
- Samuel Goldwyn



The Black State of Publishing

I am a literary worker. I have chosen to make a living by publishing the works of writers all across the world. Currently, I do this in the publishing walls of one of the most respected scholarly publishing houses in the country, Northwestern University Press. There I am the Sales and Subsidiary Rights Manager and oversee the sales and marketing department. Northwestern publishes 60 books a year in several areas including fiction, poetry, philosophy, and theater, and distributes and markets over 60 additional books year for smaller presses across the globe, including presses in Canada, Russia, and Los Angeles, California.

My career in publishing started before Northwestern, at the simple but complex age of 21. I remembering standing in the middle of Haki R. Madhubuti’s Third World Press Inc. bright-eyed, wet behind the ears, with a young poet’s vocabulary, taking in the mountains of books in a library made of oak and the writer-fighter words of Carolyn Rodgers, Angela Jackson, Gil Scott-Heron, and more. I got my first taste of what it meant to take the loose unprotected pages of a manuscript and turn it into a bound locket of words that would grace library stacks, book shelves of independent and retail stores, and most importantly, the Black community.

My time spent at Third World Press lead me to Northwestern University Press after college. I tasted publishing in a whole new way and I wanted to know more, see more, learn more. My five years at Northwestern has exposed me to book cultures all across the world. As a poet, I never dreamed that I would be on the other side of publishing.

Working behind the scenes in the publishing industry has allowed me to question the publishing model. I did not expect to work for a university press, but I did decide that I wanted to stay in university publishing. I am a lover of university presses, not because I work for one but because I have learned that university presses are the happy medium in the publishing arena. We are the warriors that demand excellence in the literary world. We are not as sterile and unforgiving as the trade houses when it comes to how we treat authors and keeping books in print. We are braver in the books that we publish and still hold on to the fact that scholars and everyday folk can read and love books. At the same time we have more resources and money than smaller, more obscure publishers that has to fight every minute just to be noticed.

As a Black writer who has worked for a Black publisher and now a university press. I find myself constantly thinking about the state of Black literature in a publishing sense. One of the first things I did when I started working at Northwestern was to find out how many historically Black colleges and universities had publishing units. To my surprise and heartbreak there was only one that could be found, Howard University Press. I was privileged enough to meet the then director of Howard University Press, D. Kamili Anderson. Ms. Anderson became a resource for me; the embracing arms that I needed when I first approached this business.

Today, Howard University Press hangs by a page to stay alive and it worries me that we may lose the only Black university press and that we haven’t taken the stance to create more Black university publishing houses that support the ever growing, ever important Black literature. Why is it that scholar heavy weights like Cornell West, Cheryl C. Clarke, Patricia Hill Collins and literary warriors like Frank X Walker, Kwame Dawes, Yusef Komunyakaa, and others are not being stamped with an HBCU publishing branding?

One idea that came to me is a consortium HBCU press that could be the central meeting place for publishing all things that catered to and contributed to the Black literature. But is this asking too much for the HBCUs to come together for the power of the Black word? I don’t think so. Is there a chance for us to realize the importance of this matter to establish an academic publishing house not a vanity press, but a press we owe ourselves that publishes Black excellence and nothing less. Where astute Black scholars, luminous Black Poets, and stellar Black prose writers know that they always have a home, a safe haven where there thoughts, arguments, essays, poems, metaphors, imaginations can be celebrated, published and archived on the grounds of their literary and cultural ancestors.

Parneshia Jones

Northwestern University Press

Monday, February 25, 2008


WASHINGTON (Feb. 25) - Two years and 142 cases have passed since Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas last spoke up at oral arguments. It is a period of unbroken silence that contrasts with the rest of the court's unceasing inquiries.

2/25/08 -- Widener’s men’s and women’s basketball teams on Wednesday will be on the road the Commonwealth Conference semifinals.

The men’s team (20-5, 6-4 CC) is the third seed and will visit No. 2 seed Albright in Reading, PA at 8:00 pm. The women’s squad (11-14, 3-7) is the fourth seed and travels to fifth-ranked Messiah in Grantham, PA for a 7:00 pm tip-off.

Tickets for both games are $6 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for students and free for those under age six.

Widener’s men’s team, which notched its 13th 20-win season, is in the tournament for the third straight year. The squad last season won its first conference title since 2001 and played in the NCAA Tournament a second straight year.

The Pride have received tremendous play from junior guard Charles Jones (Philadelphia, PA), who is third in the league with 16.2 points per game. He also is fifth with 2.84 assists per contest, sixth with a .759 free-throw percentage and fourth with 2.32 assists per game.

Junior guard NYERE MILLER (Washington, DC) also has played a key role with 12.0 points per game to sit ninth in the conference. He also leads the league with 3.12 steals per game, is 10th with 2.36 assists per contest, second with 2.28 three-pointers per game and fifth with 30.88 minutes per contest.

Junior center Matt Sosna (Stratford, NJ), named CoSIDA first team Academic All-District, is 16th in the league with 9.9 points per game, second with 6.4 rebounds per contest and eighth with a .547 shooting percentage. Sophomore point guard Bobby Edmunds (Linwood, NJ) is 19th in the conference with 8.7 points per game, second with 3.76 assists per contest and second with a 1.24 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Widener, which has no seniors and opened the season 8-0, received votes in the Top 25 poll eight straight weeks. The Pride are third in the latest NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Region Rankings.

The Washington, D.C. Plumbers Union Local No. 5 Joint Apprenticeship Committee will be accepting applications for apprenticeship on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 between the hours f 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm at the union's training facility, located at 8509 Ardwick-Ardmore Road, Landover, Maryland (near Metro line).

Individuals interested in applying for plumber apprenticeship program must be 18 years of age, high school graduate or GED, physically able to perform the duties of the trade and be drug free. Applicants will also be required to take a math test at a later scheduled date and score 50% or better.

At the application date, individuals must bring with them copy of birth certificate, valid driver's license or state issued ID, high school diploma or GED certificate along with transcripts or GED test scores. The beginning salary for a first year apprentice is $15.94 per hour with increment wage increases throughout the apprenticeship training period.

For directions to the Plumbers Union Local No. 5 Apprenticeship training center and additional information regarding the apprenticeship application period, please call (301) 322-8810.
Cesar Watts
Hey - Geraldine Ferraro has an OP-ED piece in the New York Times today. Wow!- I wonder if Hillary remembers her? Oh- that Orwell year of 1984. Did we dance in the streets to the tunes of Big Brother? Who controls our minds today? Oh - it must be the Obama Cult. This year is shaping up to be a Thriller.
Be sure to watch the next DEM Debate. Which Clinton will appear? This woman has so many faces one should request a policy position for each one. I like the angry Hillary. After we finish checking the butt of Clemens we might want to check Bill's too. Somebody is getting a boot in the rear.
Yo Maceo!

Say it Loud: Poems about James Brown

This is a shout out for help. Almost a year ago, when brother James Brown made his transition, I posted the following Call for Poems about the impact his lifetime of music has had on anyone within the reach of the call. To date the “response” has been powerful but as of today—February 20, 2008, the number of poems submitted for consideration number less than 50.

Poets we need at least another 150 poems, to put together a strong anthology. I know a lot of people hit this drum. I’m asking each person who reads this call to “stop” and take a minute to forward it to at least “3” people they know who are either poets or who know poets.

If you belong to other listserves, consider helping us out by “posting” this call on it if possible.

If ya’ll don’t have a James Brown poem—consider writing one and sending it to us. I realize all things come in their own time, but on the practical side—books like these have their “time” too—

May 6, 2008, will mark a year the world’s been without James Brown. In his honor, get down—send us your James Brown poems today. Peace, Mary Weems

Dr. Mary E. Weems invites your submission: Say it Loud: Poems about James Brown. Edited by: Mary E. Weems, and Michael Oatman.

We grew up on James Brown’s hit me! When he danced every young Black man wanted to move, groove and look like him. Mr. Brown wasn’t called the hardest workingman in show business because he wasn’t. Experiencing a James Brown show was like getting your favourite soul food twice, plus desert. His songs, like black power fists you could be proud of and move to at the same time. When Mr. Brown sang make it funky we sweated even in the wintertime. Losing him was like losing somebody in our family.

This is a shout out for poems about the impact James Brown had on our lives. Poems that will help people remember, honour, and celebrate his legacy. Don’t be left in a cold sweat, send us your old and new James Brown poems today.

Submission Guidelines: 3-5 Unpublished and/or published poems with acknowledgement included. No longer than 73 lines. Deadline: April 30, 2008 (Receipt not postmark)

Send hard copies along with a Word Document and short bio on a CD to: Dr. Mary E. Weems / English Department / John Carroll University / 20700 North Park Blvd. / University Hts., Ohio 44118 / Send via e-mail attachment (Word Documents Only) to:

Treve de blues
- Leon Damas

Compassion is my art
- Grace A. Ali

God makes stars. It's up to producers to find them
- Samuel Goldwyn

Welcome to the E-MAG, an invitation into the words of others. My guest today is Kimmika L.H.Williams-Witherspoon.


Why do I write versus why am I a Performance Poet?

Why do I write versus why am I a Performance Poet? I write to breathe. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. If I couldn’t write, I don’t know if I could breathe and breath is as integral to life as writing is to me. Poetry is my most desired mode of expression. I am most at home—communicating through poetry, but I do write across genres—short stories, screenplays, plays, freelancing as a journalist, peer reviewed articles and academic text on the presentation and representations of African Americans in popular culture and theater history.

At various points in my life—failing marriages, voiceless, I kept my tongue; remaining mute for fear of saying the wrong thing, bringing it to a head. Or, when nursing my mother, walking her to the very door of death—those were the times I found it hard to write; and even harder not to. The words, as sign and symbols for other things, they create meaning and metaphor. De-encrypted codes, when I write, in my meager attempt to process life and the world’s loves and hates; passions and annoyances; the current state of affairs or historical realities, writing provides me entrĂ©e in and the mechanism out of the muck and quagmire that might otherwise entomb me in silences.

But, although I write to breathe and to make sense of my place in the world, the explanation is totally different for why I am a Performance Poet. Why I perform, I believe, has a lot to do with my mother. My mother was born in 1922 and was a product of the segregated south in Dade County, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In order to graduate, students k thru 12 had to learn and recite a body of literature at the end of each school year—the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, the capitals of all 50 states and, the work of some of the best Harlem Renaissance poets.

As a child, hearing Mommy recite was electrifying and, in church, when she would “perform” original church recitations, I would watch her mesmerize audience members. I would watch her and the congregations starring up at her and I knew I was watching “word magic”—nommo—at its very best. Each time I perform poetry, in my own way, I think I’m harnessing some of that “word magic” that my mother had such a command of…so many years ago. Part storytelling, part invocation, part theater and part recitation, I am a Performance Poet, embracing the continuum from the African griot, to the backwoods colored preacher, to the litany of African American actors on the American and European stage to my mother’s recitation—I AM A PERFORMANCE POET WITH A NEED TO SHARE!

Balancing writing and performing, it means I write at odd hours of the day and night. I keep a lap top under my bed. There is always pen and paper (at least one journal) in the bed with me. I have a really big bed—my nest—(an ex-husband called it), with piles of books that I am always reading simultaneously, along the side. You never know when a line demands, shouts…no write it down, lest you forget; and the characters in the plays and short stories that I write can start talking through me—to me--at the oddest times. I’m getting older, so I can’t rely on memory as much as I used to, so when the work demands I write, I usually do.

A piece rarely comes out without need of editing. For each manuscript, there are usually 8-10 edits that I needed to work through, that is how it should be, I suppose. One doesn’t get to be a “wordsmith” or “playwright” without time, dedication to the craft and commitment. I am a writer and a Performance Poet.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Why no comment from the McCain Camp?:

If the McCain camp has a problem with the reporting of the New York Times, they should also protest the picture that appeared on page A3 of Saturday's newspaper. There was a picture of traditional horse-fighting at the Gulong Slope Fair in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China. Under the picture was the caption Equine Warriors.
Why did someone "desire" to run this picture? There was no article. Conspiracy or Vicked?
Why are we looking at pictures of horse-fighting in the US? Are we trying to encourage your NBA or NFL players to place bets?
The World According to Punditry:

A referee would stop the fight. Hillary Clinton is exhausted, and her supporters are becoming increasingly demoralized.

- Bob Herbert, NY Times (2/23/08)

Who will Ralph Nader vote for?

My first wife (Michelle) has a company called Mikkididit. I was thinking of recent comments made by Lady Obama. So what did she mean by finally being proud for the first time to be American? If you can't understand her statement then you don't understand race in America. You don't understand deep hurt and blues. Have you ever noticed that the best singers of our National Anthem are often black singers? A key reason for this is that they often infuse the song with a strong element of the blues. So our flag is still there? Good God. We made it. We did it - we survived. Yes, the anthem as survival music. This is the legacy our nation has inherited since the Civil War. When we view Obama's campaign against a history of hurt and being viewed as second-class citizens or an outsider - or a stranger in one's own land- then we finally see what is transforming our society today. Finally, African Americans not only want to love their country but they see their country loving them back in return. This is the kiss one waits for at the end of the movie. This is how returning soldiers from World War I wanted to feel. Instead many were lynched in their uniforms or found themselves in the middle of race riots. It was not a proud moment. Even our recent Civil Rights Movement is not a proud moment when we look back at all the bombings and deaths. So what it appears Lady Obama is saying in 2008 is that one can feel the love - the real love coming from people in states where black people are five fingers on a hand. Yes, this is a proud moment - a time of feel good politics - a time of celebration and the realization that we can indeed see the promised land in November.
Quote of the Day:

Love, like a great work of art, asks you to change your life.

- Michael Dirda

Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.

- Robert Creeley

For love - I would
split open your head and put
a candle in
behind the eyes.

- Robert Creeley
Listening to: Harold Melvin & The Blues Notes - Wake Up Everybody
This is what love is all about - You Know How to Make Me Feel So Good.
I always wanted to write those Gamble and Huff tunes...
Did the joy come from wearing big afros, ties, and funny colored suits?
How the same game is viewed from the other bench:

Widener Drops Elizabethtown 84-68 in Season Finale

Click here for the box score
CHESTER, Pa. --- Nyere Miller finished 7-for-11 from three-point range and scored a game-high 26 points to lead Widener University to an 84-68 victory over Elizabethtown College in Commonwealth Conference men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.

Charles Jones added 19 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Pride (20-5 overall, 6-4 Commonwealth), who used runs of 13-0 in the first half and 17-2 in the second half and went 13-for-27 overall from three-point range to earn the victory over the Blue Jays (15-9 overall, 2-8 Commonwealth).

Senior Chad Piersol (Elverson, PA/Owen J. Roberts) led Elizabethtown with 19 points and six rebounds while sophomore Mike Church (Peach Bottom, PA/Solanco) tallied 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. However, Elizabethtown finished just 2-for-19 on three-point attempts as a team, including 1-for-11 in the second half.

Widener earned the third seed in next week's Commonwealth Conference playoffs and will play at Albright College in a semifinal game on Wednesday night. Lebanon Valley College will play at top-seeded Lycoming College in Wednesday's other semifinal contest.

Elizabethtown led 54-52 with 10:35 to play, but Jones hit a three-pointer on Widener's next possession to give the Pride the lead for good at 55-54. Widener would go on to score 14 of the game's next 16 points, including a pair of three-pointers by Miller, to take a 69-56 lead with 6:44 left.

In the first half, the Blue Jays scored the first six points of the contest and held a 12-6 lead with 13:34 remaining in the half. However, consecutive three-pointers by Miller tied the score at 12-12 just 33 seconds later, and Widener would go on to lead by as many as seven points before taking a 35-32 lead to halftime.

The Pride held a 44-34 lead with 17:30 to play, but the Blue Jays tied the game with a 13-3 run at 47-47 following a three-pointer by senior Mike Schatzmann (Paradise, PA/Pequea Valley) with 15:09 left.

Schatzmann finished with 11 points for the Blue Jays, while fellow senior Bryce Rodgers (Waynesboro, PA/Waynesboro) added eight points and four rebounds in 23 minutes of action.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


NYERE MILLER'S Career-High 26 Points Helps Men's Basketball to 84-68 Victory Over Elizabethtown

2/23/08 -- NYERE MILLER (Washington, DC) scored a career-high 26 points and fellow junior Charles Jones (Philadelphia, PA) added 19 for Widener in an 84-68 Commonwealth Conference victory over Elizabethtown at Schwartz Center.

Widener (20-5, 6-4 CC) clinched its 13th 20-win season in school history and is headed to the conference tournament a third straight year, including a second for head coach Chris Carideo in as many seasons. The Pride are the third seed in the tournament and on Wednesday visit No. 2 seed Albright in the semifinals at Reading, PA, beginning at 8:00 pm.

The other semifinal pits top-seeded Lycoming hosting No. 4 seed Lebanon Valley.
Elizabethtown (15-9, 2-8) trailed by as many as 10 early in the second half, but took a 53-52 lead with 11:41 left on a lay-up from Bryce Rodgers. Mike Schatzmann made 1-of-2 from the line with 10:35 remaining for a 54-52 contest.

But the Pride ran off a 17-2 spurt for a 69-56 lead with 6:44 to go. MILLER, who netted 16 points after intermission, had six points in the run and Jones netted five.

The lead got no fewer than nine the rest of the way and Widener notched its fifth victory in seven outings. The squad shot 48 percent (28-of-62) from the field after intermission and 45 percent (15-of-31) overall.

MILLER drilled seven 3-pointers to match a career high from January 31, 2007. He shot 8-of-14 from the field over 37 minutes and added five steals.

Jones shot 7-of-13 from the field and sophomore Jamarr Johnson (Pittsgrove, NJ) added nine points and nine rebounds for the Pride.

Chad Piersol scored 19 points, Mike Church had 18 and Schatzmann contributed 11 for the Blue Jays, who shot 44 percent (28-of-64) overall and 2-of-19 from 3-point range.
How come I don't find this surprising?

The Howard University College Republicans will have its 1st Annual Economics and Government Symposium March 3-6.

March 3

Open Forum Discussion: Why Republican?
20 Minute Video: Emancipation Revelation Revolution
Special Guest Speaker: Nina May
Blackburn Digital Auditorium
5 pm - 7:30 pm

March 4

Movie Screening: What Black Men Think

Special Guest Panelist: Dr. Gregory Carr
Blackburn Digital Auditorium 7:30 pm - 10 pm

March 5
Lecture: The Economics of Minimum Wage
Blackburn Digital Auditorium
4:30 pm - 8 pm

March 6
Lecture: The Economics of Health Care
Blackburn Digital Auditorium 4:30 pm - 8 pm

March 10 March Speaker: Dr. William B. Allen, Professor of Political Science Michigan State University Browsing Room, Founders Library 1 pm - 3 pm

The US housing meltdown is affecting people from Mexico and Central America who send money home to relatives. Housing-related jobs are vanishing because of the market.

In 2006 about 2.2 million foreign-born Hispanics worked in construction. This number is based on the Pew Hispanic Center's research.
Pick the Obama VP? *
Send your pick to

Deadline is midnight Wednesday.
To be eligible, you must includea cell, work or home telephone number.

*This information was in The Washington Post yesterday on page A21.

As mentioned in an old E-Note, my VP choice would be former NJ senator Bill Bradley.

There is an excellent article in The New York Observer (2/25/08) by Joe Conason. He writes about the real cost of the war in Iraq. He makes reference to a new book by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes. They are the authors of THE TRILLION-DOLLAR WAR: THE TRUE COST OF THE IRAQ CONFLICT.

Are we looking at $2.7 trillion? Even if the war ended today, our nation is faced with the obligation to provide medical care and disability payments for the thousands of wounded soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also consider the psychiatric care...
We also have to factor in the cost of rebuilding our military - especially the National Guard. Whew...a couple of trillion?

We have already spent about $800 billion.

ADD waste, corruption and fraud and things might just get worse.

How to pay for all this without calling for new taxes is beyond me. Tax cuts for the wealthy is not going to help our soldiers overseas.
Cutting programs for the poor is just adding insult to injury.

Talking about the war, I was happy to see Moqtada Sadr back in the news. This Shiite cleric in Iraq is the only person I could name if I was questioned about the war on Jay Leno's show. I always felt that we would never end the war unless we sat down and talked to someone at a peace table. The problem is that I never knew who the "insurgents" were. This is like playing against a no-name defense. Who do you block? During a war one casts the enemy as almost being subhuman; however peace can only be achieved if we understand - the other. The folks who might not look like us or believe in what we believe. How do we find common ground?
Ah- the difficult task of living and trying to love - others. Words like tolerance and compassion must be unwrapped and given as a gift to a new generation.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Many lovers
Have come and gone
Some I miss
And some
I don't

After all the trades the upcoming NBA playoffs should be interesting. Look for some upsets with so many teams looking good including: New Orleans, LA Lakers, Boston, Orlando and Utah. Oh and what about San Antonio and Phoenix?

March Madness will soon be here.
I don't expect Georgetown to make it to the Final Four.

On the homefront, I'm hoping my son can bounce back from a poor game. Tomorrow Widener will try for its 20th win of the season. A good way to head into the Conference playoffs next week.
Check Nyere News late Saturday.

Baseball in the air. DC has a new stadium. I've got to get myself some tickets and see some games. Go NATS! This team should surprise folks - it all depends on how good the pitching is going to be. My other concern is how weak the catching position is.

Well, soon I'll be back to the Ichiro Watch. Can he hit .400?

Hey - do you want to play catch with Barry Bonds? Blackballed or blacklisted?
What's Going on?

Actor Jesse L. Martin will portray the singer Marvin Gaye in the film "Sexual Healing."
Production begins this spring.
Sad News:

The body of 92-year old Vunies High was found Monday outside an assisted-living center in Southfield, a Detroit suburb. Ms. High had Alzheimer's disease. She was the sister of the boxing great Joe Louis.Ms High died from hypothermia.
Europe should be on a PUTIN WATCH.

I've got the Belgrade Blues.
Explain this to an unemployed worker in Ohio:

Nearly $100,000 went for party platters and groceries before the Iowa caucuses, even though the partying mood evaporated quickly. Rooms at the Bellagio luxury hotel in Las Vegas consumed more than $25,000; the Four Seasons, another $5,000. And top consultants collected about $5 million in January, a month of crucial expenses and tough fundraising.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's latest campaign finance report published Wednesday night, appeared even to her most stalwart supporters and donors to be a road map of her political and management failings.

Excerpt from The New York Times, 2/22/08. "Clinton Campaign's Spending Worries Backers and Donors."
So look at how the media and pundits really have nothing to say about DEM debates. Why? Because Lady Clinton didn't provide any type of KO punch. She isn't going to win on March 4th.
When is she going to step aside?
Now read Eugene Robinson in today's Washington Post. Here is his opening gem of a paragraph:

Humor me while we conduct a little thought experiment. Imagine that Barack Obama had lost 10 contests in a row. Imagine that he now trailed Hillary Clinton substantially in the number of Democratic primaries and caucuses won, in total votes cast, in pledged convention delegates, in the overall delegate count, in fundraising and in the ineffable attribute called mojo. Imagine that Obama was struggling, at this late hour, to come up with the right message. What would the coventional wisdom say?

That it was over, of course. That Obama was toast. That staking everything on the March 4 primaries in Ohio and Texas was a starry-eyed hope, not a plan, and that it ws time to smell the coffee.

Yep -Starbucks,baby! Thanks to Robinson for writing the above. I'm simply amazed that the media and silly pundits keep trying to "stage" a Clinton comeback.A Texas Last Stand as if the woman has a Jim Bowie knife hidden in her bra. It's just an example of how many of the folks - especially on the major networks and in certain papers - need to be replaced with people who understand change when they see it. I get tired of conservatives pushing Reagan, and other folks pushing the Clintons. It seems we want to go backwards in time. All the new voters coming into the political process are changing the game. Yes, Obama is correct when he says we should sit down with Raul Castro. Why do we need preconditions after all these years? Wasn't it always Fidel's fault anyway? Time to think out of the box and move forward. So when do with start the serious discussion about Obama's running mate? My choice is Bradley or Richardson. I'm certain there might be some backdoor talk to select a woman for VP. This might help the Hillary crowd.
There are a couple of women governors that might be good to consider. The first big decision Obama will have to make is the selection of his VP. If he is serious about change? Will he give us a fresh face or a crackerjack surprise? What a year this is shaping up to be.
Well, I missed DEM debates but since Fox News at 10PM didn't say anything about it - I guess Obama won. Funny how our news is "lightly" censored - news chips is what I call it. Anyway, the media idea of Clinton's Last Stand in Texas is not going to happen. Will she now divorce Bill? What will she do next? No way Obama can stick her on the ticket. Lady H will now have to find an issue she can make her own. She will need a Gore makeover. Oh, and poor McCain - you know that NY Times article was planted by the Right Wing. A slick attempt to throw the old monkey wrench into his campaign and try to influence the happenings at the Convention. I can see the conservative members of the party trying to clone another Reagan. You know they are up to something if you see their focus turning to a certain general in Iraq right now. Oh, and what about pushing Condi after we witness the vanishing Clinton? Look for some funny politics to emerge after March. Is there an Obama girl in a closet somewhere getting her nails done?
If you think the Right is going to just handover the presidency without a fight - you should be on a plane to Kenya.


To commemorate the 50th anniversary publication of Things Fall Apart, PEN/Faulkner has taken the lead in co-sponsoring a free public reading with Mr. Achebe in Washington, D.C. on Monday March 24, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.

The Washington Post building.

Book World and Marie Arana will co-sponsor the evening with the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.
IMPORTANT information from my friend Steve Cobble:

(1) You asked for a few paragraphs on the superdelegate question to post on your blog.

Most of the delegates that will meet at the Democratic National Convention in Denver next August to pick the Democratic Party nominee are selected using a proportional representation system. The existing proportional representation rules first came into existence in the early 1970s, as a reaction to the huge split in the party that developed during the Chicago national convention, which led to a series of party reforms.

The last significant changes in the rules came about during the 1980s, after the 1984 & 1988 Jesse Jackson Presidential campaigns (which I played a small role in, as Jackson's 1988 National Delegate Coordinator). These "Jackson rules" completed the transition of the Democratic Party to a system where delegates are chosen by proportional representation for those candidates who receive more than a 15% threshold vote in a Congressional District or State.

Under those rules, Senator Barack Obama has outpolled Senator Hillary Clinton by a small but clear margin in the primary and caucus elections to date, and thus has compiled a small but clear lead in "pledged" delegates. These pledged delegates will ultimately make up 80% of the delegate votes at the national convention this August.

However, there is also a significant group of "superdelegates", just less than 800, who will get to cast votes at the convention in Denver. These superdelegates receive a vote as a result of their position, who they are--current party leaders, members of Congress, Senators, Governors, former party leaders, and members of the Democratic National Committee--rather than as a direct result of votes cast in the primaries and caucuses.

As a result, in a close race the superdelegates could definitely affect the outcome. In the 1988 campaign, those of us on the Jackson team always assumed that we would have to win the nomination by overcoming the reluctance of the party leaders to support us, and when we actually took the delegate and popular vote lead for a few weeks after Jackson's surprise victory in Michigan in late March of 1988, the tension among party elites was obvious.

Fortunately for the elites, and unfortunately for us, the campaign of Governor Michael Dukakis defeated our efforts in Wisconsin and New York, thus re-taking the lead and avoiding a Jackson campaign showdown with the superdelegates.

This year, the superdelegates may again come into play, though I suspect that if Barack Obama wins at least one of Ohio or Texas on March 4th, he will establish a claim on the nomination that will be hard to ignore. At that point, as Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., suggests in the linked piece below, the superdelegates will be more likely to "ratify" the primary and caucus results than they will be to "nullify" the voters' intent.

(2) It also turns out that I have been working on exactly that superdelegate issue with Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., who is a National Co-Chair of the Obama Campaign. We have written a couple pieces on the issue, and the one I'm linking to was published in the Chicago Tribune a couple weeks ago--it will also help to explain this issue, I think. Here's the link to that column, below:

Democratic nominee should be chosen by voters, not party elite
By Jesse Jackson Jr
February 12 2008
The Democratic Party is on fire. We have two talented, precedent-shattering,
history-making candidates. We have a fired-up, mobilized, energized base, breaking voting
turnout records. We have a grass-roots donor base that is using the Internet to set new
fundraising records every time we turn around. And the Republican Party seems to have
settled on an aging nominee who has serious problems with his conservative base, tells
voters that their jobs are gone and promises a 100-year war and occupation of Iraq.
The complete article can be viewed at:,0,3952824.story
Visit at
From Starbucks:



Nic Sheff, son and the subject of David’s memoir, will accompany his father for this significant community conversation hosted by Starbucks at the
George Washington University’s, Gelman Library

WHAT: Appearance by Beautiful Boy author David Sheff and his son Nic Sheff;
Reading, Q&A and book signing.

WHO: Author David Sheff and his son and the subject of Beautiful Boy, Nic Sheff

WHEN: March 3, 2008
3:00 – 5:00 PM

WHERE: Gelman Library Room 207 – George Washington University
2130 H Street NW, Washington D.C.

Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction is renowned journalist David Sheff's harrowing struggle to help his son Nic overcome his meth addiction. There have been many books about addiction, but few from the father's and family's point of view. The book grew out of a powerful piece Sheff wrote for the New York Times Magazine, "My Addicted Son," which drew an overwhelming response from readers grateful that Sheff had finally given voice to the devastating experience they shared.

Beautiful Boy is the fourth book by David Sheff, a brilliant writer best known for works that have appeared in various newspapers and magazines including the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Fortune, among others.

In addition to Washington, D.C., Sheff is proud to join with Starbucks to discuss the book in appearances at select Starbucks Coffee locations in New York City, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

For more information, please contact: Aubrey Davis: wk 703-533-4833 / cell 202-725-4100 email

For more information about these appearances go to:
Well, I made the mailing list. It's always important to look at issues from different perspectives.

Dear Mr. Miller.
The Cato Institute invites you to a Policy Forum

Race and the State

Bruce Bartlett
Author of Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past

Casey Lartigue
President, Lartigue Group

February is Black History Month, so it’s an appropriate time to take a critical look at the way government has treated racial minorities, especially African Americans.

Is government more likely to be the friend or adversary of minority groups? Has it been liberals, conservatives, or libertarians like William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass who have been the most consistent defenders of everyone’s rights?

What does history suggest would be the best public policy for racial minorities in the 21st century?

Bruce Bartlett, a former Reagan administration economist with a provocative new book, and Casey Lartigue, coeditor of Educational Freedom in Urban America and a controversial former XM 169 talk show host, will discuss these questions.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
(Luncheon to Follow)

Cato events, unless otherwise noted, are free of charge.
To register, visit, e-mail,
fax (202) 371-0841, or call (202) 789-5229 by noon, Tuesday, February 26.

Are you an Advocate for the Arts?

Join the DC Advocates for the Arts for a special presentation by staff of Americans for the Arts

Friday, February 22, 2008, 12:00 - 1:30 pm.

Learn more about national Arts Advocacy priorities and discuss what we can do to advocate for the arts in daily life.

The meeting will be held at:

Americans for the Arts
1000 Vermont Avenue NW,
6th Floor Conference Room
Washington, DC 20005.

This event is free. Please feel free to bring your own lunch. Please RSVP to>