Last Friday, before the arrival of Hurricane Irene, Cynthia McKinney, former 6-term Congresswoman from Georgia, made a stop here in Philly as part of her "Eyewitness Libya" tour. The tour, which has been happening in multiple cities around the country, seeks to expose the truth about how the U.S./NATO intervention in Libya is endangering and killing the civilian population and demand an immediate end to the war on Libya. McKinney, who ran for president in 2008 on the Green Party ticket, led a coalition of independent journalist to the war-torn country earlier this year.
The Philadelphia leg of the tour, which was held at Calvary Church in West Philly, was organized and supported by the International Action Center and International Concerned Family & Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, N’COBRA, The Askia Coalition, Del. Valley Veterans for America, Philadelphia Innocence Project, Workers World Party, Moorish Unification Council of the World, Men United Against Violence Network, Party of Socialism and Liberation, Phila. ANSWER, Green Party of Philadelphia, Brandywine Peace Community, Philadelphia Against War, and the Sankofa Community Center.
Listen below as McKinney discusses what we are not seeing in the media including how this U.S./NATO "intervention" has killed thousands and ushered in a wave of violence against Libyan people of African descent.
*Just some technical notes: It was hot as hell in the meeting space, so the buzzing you hear in the background is actually the sound of whirling fans. Also, any sound fluctuation you hear is due to me adjusting the mic sensitivity so that it would filter out some of the sound of the fans. Finally, there were other speakers there that night. But due to battery and space limitations on my recording device, I chose only to focus on McKinney. However, Sara Flounders from the national office of the International Action Center, speaks briefly during the Q&A segment.
Now that is out of the way, please enjoy and let me know what you think in the comment section below:
Compared with the regular storms we been having over the last month, Hurricane Irene turned out to be a big bust. I went out earlier to survey the Hurricane damage, aka walking the dog, and the only causalities in my neighborhood appears to be a couple of broken tree limbs, an overturned trashcan and the half a roll of Scott's tissue paper, which was blown off the toilet cover into my toilet bowl. I'm already on the phone with FEMA ;)
Honestly, I gave up Hurricane Irene watch around 2 a.m., which wasn't much of a watch considering I was actually watching movies and reading blogs online and normally go to bed around 2 anyways. But I am happy to report that the cool breeze blowing in from the air conditioner unit (it was off) did help me sleep like a baby.
Despite the hype and overall lackluster appearance, Irene did manage to provide some entertainment; mostly in the form of my dog Coltrane in a raincoat. Check out how adorable he looked below (I swear he is a natural model):
According to this site:"Colour block fashion is one of the hottest new trends for the season. It combines the use of two or more blocks of colour in an ensemble. This could be for a top, bottom, tunic, a dress and even a handbag or shoes. Simply it means – creating an outfit by putting areas or blocks of solid color next to each other. It can include monotone, bright colours, muted colors, contrasting and complimentary colors. Clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories can all feature color block designs or can make up different blocks of color to be put together for a color block outfit."Um, back in the day, we used to call this mis-matching. And it wasn't a trend. It was more like: either you got dressed in the dark or might be suffering from vision problems because that hot pink/fuchsia shirt doesn't exactly "go with" those orange pants. And then my mother would send me back upstairs to change.
Nevertheless, this is fashion. And as fashion goes, so do we. And quite honestly, I kind of like it. Although, I don't know if I am daring enough to pull it off intentionally. At the very least, this new trend will provide me with the perfect excuse on laundry day to combine random colors and still appear to be "put together."
And that is a real question, I would like some insight into. I was reading Mediatakeout when I came across this post
: The nation's second-largest Indian tribe formally booted from membership thousands of descendants of black slaves who were brought to Oklahoma more than 170 years ago by Native American owners. The Cherokee nation voted after the Civil War to admit the slave descendants to the tribe. But on Monday, the Cherokee nation Supreme Court ruled that a 2007 tribal decision to kick the so-called "Freedmen" out of the tribe was proper. The controversy stems from a footnote in the brutal history of U.S. treatment of Native Americans. When many Indians were forced to move to what later became Oklahoma from the eastern U.S. in 1838, some who had owned plantations in the South brought along their slaves.Wait, What!?!Let me begin on what I do know about relationship between Native American and African during slavery:
First, both were oppressed people, who were driven/captured from their homelands by mostly Europeans. In the early days of slavery, indigenous peoples of the Americas and Africans were enslaved together. Those who escaped slavery, found themselves welcomed in the Seminoles tribe, which had refused to give them up when whites came demanding the return of fugitive slaves. There were regular intermingling between Native Americans and Africans, which is why today, there are large numbers of black Americans of Native American ancestry. Now, what I didn't know: There were actually Native American tribes, which partook in the enslavement of Blacks in America? Needless to say that this article has sparked my interest in the topic and I certainly have some reading and research to do.
Besides the history, I am most curious of this decision by the Cherokee tribe, particularly their treatment of their Black slaves (if true) and what this expulsion means in terms of reparations to the Blacks to which they once, possibly, owned. Got any insight to this? Reading suggestions will be very much appreciated.
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So, I was at my neighborhood Aldi's supermarket (which I like to call Trader Joes cheap) when I saw a new display for Greek Yogurt. I had heard of it before from friends and even seen it listed on a couple of menus at restaurants. But I never had the desire to experiment with it. Feeling ambitious, I decided to purchase a cup and hope for the best.Two days later, I'm sitting at my desk, reading emails and eating the yogurt.
Let's just say that it was different. Kind of a chalky and definitely sour. I wasn't quite sure if I liked it or not. So the next time I was at Aldi's, I got four more cups. That was two weeks ago and now I am addicted to the stuff. From The Atlantic: American tastes are too complex to diagnose conclusively, but analysts think the ascendance of Greek yogurt is a case of conspicuous consumption (literally) led by women in the workplace. One theory holds that rich old women in affluent coastal cities are leading the trend that's making Greek yogurt an aspirational product -- So foreign! So classy! -- even if the health benefits are dubious:The rise of Greek yogurt in the U.S. reflects a larger change in the American culinary consciousness: a desire for foods that are considered purer, simpler, and more natural--in other words, not yogurts purporting to taste like key lime pie or strawberry cheesecake.I want to suggest another idea. The opposite idea. Perhaps people are buying Greek yogurt, not despite the fact that it's expensive compared to yogurts, but because it's cheap compared to similarly filling foods. The taste of Greek yogurt is thick, like scooping avocado out of its skin. Sometimes I eat it for breakfast. I couldn't eat fruit-on-the-bottom Dannon yogurt for breakfast, because that stuff can have the consistency of melted ice cream and after I eat a cup, I feel like I've had a big glass of water, not a snack.So here's a corollary to the conspicuous consumption theory. I don't doubt that many people eat Greek yogurt to feel, and project, a sense of cosmopolitanism. But I wonder if other middle-to-upper-middle class people fell for Greek yogurt as a cheaper solution for breakfast or a big snack, rather than an expensive solution for yogurt.
"I tend to agree with the author. While hearing about the yogurt definitely sparked my curiosity, it wasn't necessarily the reason for trying it.
After weeks of eating the traditional fruit-on-the-bottom cups, I really wanted something new and different than what I had already been accustomed to. Likewise, if it wasn't on sale at Aldi's, I probably wouldn't have taken the risk, no matter how many bougie folks sang its' praises. Now, if someone could just explain the sudden rise in the popularity of avocados.
Today, I survived the Great East Coast Earthquake of 2011. Plus I got a chance to go home from work early. So overall, not a bad day.
However, after the trembling had stopped and my nerves relaxed a bit, I wanted to check around to family and friends to see how everyone else had fared. Only problem was, I couldn't get a damn signal on my cellphone.
Luckily (and ironically), Facebook and Twitter were both working. So I asked folks online if they too were experiencing trouble dialing out or receiving incoming calls. Just about everyone, who commented, said that they were.
Great, the wireless phone lines are either down or experiencing heavy call volume, which means if this had been something more catastrophic, you would probably be shit out of luck. Sure they work good for individual emergencies like car accidents or bear attacks but for a major event like another 911 or the great East Coast earthquake of 2011, it is best to have a land line somewhere nearby. Or at least Facebook.
Below is a pictorial of how the four major cellphone carriers fared.
Meanwhile all the shit they tell you, you're suppose to do in event of an earthquake, totally went out the window. I was in the office when the quake happened and started shaking the building. I grabbed my purse, my car keys and my cellphone and got the hell out of that office - early. *Shrug*
Now that I reflect on it more, the choices of King's facial expression does seem a bit off track to me. It was said that King was an energetic, warm person, know for his off-color humor. I don't that represented in this statue. In fact, there is no energy or warmth or immediacy in the work. Not to mention that the lack of detail at the bottom of the statue, where his legs are suppose to be, is pretty disarming.
Here is a comment from TJ, who wrote on the first post about the memorial:
"Didn't you see the Boondocks, King was pissed the way things turned out! Thats why he has the "Joe Clark, i'm the HNIC w/ a baseball bat" look going. And i guess the rocks are the mountaintop? (Apparently he doesn't like what he sees from there now)."
I totally remember that episode of the Boondocks. In fact, it is one of my favorites. I remember he was very angry at the state of modern-day Black America and had resolve to move to Canada. I also remember how pumped his was about the McRib sandwich. God, I loved that episode.
Anyway, TJ brings up an interesting point: perhaps the message is that, like the statue, King's dream of equality and the end to imperialism, is not quite finished. No one can argue (okay, some could but they argue over anything) that as a nation, we have a bunch of work still left to do. It's no wonder Kings apart from his broken mountaintop, scowling at what he sees as a deeply fractured and dysfunctional country, both by race and economic lines. I mean you can probably walk a few blocks away from the nation's capital to see first hand how the poor struggle immensely in substandard housings, inadequate schools and with unemployment and racism. And throughout the country, record numbers are receiving public assistance while the number of children living below the poverty line, has jumped to levels not experienced since the era of King. In some ways, this monument is like a back-handed compliment of who we are. We have made progress enough to elect a Black president but haven't been progressive enough to act beyond symbols of our collective growth.
Of course, that is my theory. I'm sure the artist had his own vision.
A lot has been written about the Lei Yixin, the Chinese master sculptor who produce the monument. Mainly about what some are calling the "outsourcing" out the work to China. And then there are some, who believe that an African American artist should have been picked for such an important project. I find that discussion interesting too. Admittedly, I haven't been following this story. But once I finished reading, I post more on it.
(hat tip to Tyrone)
Remember the English riots from a week ago? And remember in the aftermath when the elite were scratching their heads trying to find justification for why it happen - except the obvious? And remember when David Starkey, a so-called historian, got on the Telly (English word for T.V.) and made comments to the BBC
that the"Whites Have become Black?"Well, here is a pitch-perfect smackdown from Nabil Abdul-Rashid, a comedian hailing from across the pond. I have never heard of him before seeing this video. And nothing he says is actual funny. But he is real and dead-on in his critique of what Starkey, and others like him, have chosen to so casually gloss over.
picture stolen from Gawker, who probably stole it from some other site
Oh, that's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (I kid the King)
I haven't seen the Martin Luther King's Memorial in person but from the pictures of it, I'm not quite sure if I understand all the nuances of the imagery. Right now it just looks like a very pissed off Dr. King ready to get in someone's ass with a rolled up newspaper. Plus, what is with the rocks in the background? Why does it look half-finished? And couldn't we get the man a seat?
If you could provide some insight into the symbolism behind his monument, let me know in the comment section. In the meantime, I'm about to do some reading on the artist and his inspiration for the memorial.