Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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Murdering Martin Luther King, American-style, Part 2














The true legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been dangerously distorted by corporate media and white washing official historians.

While the first half of King’s career has been preserved--that of nonviolent protest against legal segregation and the resulting legislative victories--the second half has been all but erased. That second half is the radical phase which began when Martin King and Malcolm X forged a secret alliance in 1964, as documented in Karl Evanzz’s book The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X.

Martin Luther King had moved well beyond what would become his most over-quoted and ultimately clichéd phrase “I have a dream,” a phrase which was only the poetical culmination of a much more aggressive indictment of the threat posed by wealth and White supremacy that was the United States government and corporate establishment. King had moved into the American north, fighting de facto segregation inside the supposedly liberal heartland.

But much more dangerously for himself, his movement and the US government, King had poised himself to become the chief domestic opponent of the US war against the people of Vietnam. King had already been under FBI surveillance for years, and had been the target of an FBI counter intelligence programme to try to extort him into suicide, rather than let news of his extramarital affairs come to light. And now he was denouncing American hegemony, saying in 1967 that “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world is my own government.”

King had become perhaps the single greatest threat to the massive economic interests of US imperialism in Vietnam, and even more so with his leading of the proposed Poor People’s March on Washington. That projected mobilisation of around half a million people was intended to be less of a march, and more of an occupation, which according to some analysts, American intelligence feared could spark, in a highly destabilised USA, a revolution.

Tonight on The Terrordome, we’ll hear about the King assassination and the wider context of American intelligence operations and nefarious activities. Our speaker is John Judge.

John Judge is an independent historian, and for four decades he’s been researching the criminal operations, drug and gun-running, tortures, assassinations, population control programmes and so-called secret wars that keep American power flourishing.

He’s the co-founder of 911 Citizen’s Watch, “a grassroots watchdog group demanding transparency and a thorough investigation by the National Commission on Terrorist Acts Upon the United States. [He also helped found the] Committee for an Open Archives, [the] Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA), and Committee for High School Options and Information on Careers, Education and Self-Improvement [or CHOICES], a group countering military recruitment in the schools and providing civilian alternatives. [He’s] currently on the board of the Washington Peace Center.”


In 1999, John Judge participated in the King family civil suit against Lloyd Jowers in the murder of MLK, a suit which they won. On April 6, John Judge, who is Special Project Coordinator for Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, addressed an audience of the US-based Information Collective on the topic of the US government’s role in the assassination of King.

Tune in on CJSR FM88 at 6 PM Mountain Time in Edmonton, or go to cjsr.com on the web, or click on The Terrordome link on the upper left links menu, in part 2 of our 4 part series on the USG and the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

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When dogs become supervillains

Just watch.

And, oh, hell, I know I should stop, but really, see "35 Balls to the Face in 32 Seconds" (this is the correct link, now) and also see "Boo!"
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Brother Travis Simmons is one funny man

Check out video of my man Br. Travis right here. And you can listen to him here discussing Attack of the Clones.
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Book signing TODAY!

I'll be signing copies of The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad today at Chapters on Whyte Avenue & 105th Street (an area featured in the novel, incidentally).

Please come down to chat and pick up a book, if you want. And since my next book is coming out soon, I can tell you a bit about that, too.
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When Uncle Toms Attack!

Ishmael Reed writes: "African-Americans have a number of individuals who are willing to serve as mind doubles. Some are supported by right wing think tanks like the Manhattan Institute's John McWhorter, black front man for the Eugenics movement. The Manhattan Institute boasts that they can provide enormous publicity for their fellows--the kind of clout that enables them to impose their viewpoints upon discussions about black issues--by using proxies who are unknown to black Americans.

"When McWhorter attacks me in Commentary, a magazine that praised Charles Murray's The Bell Curve, or in his books, where do I go to get equal time? He once challenged me to a debate, threatening 'to wipe up the floor with me,' but when I accepted, he backed out.

"Another proxy person-of-color intellectual for right wing interests is Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institute. He just got three hours on C-Span to explain his one-note theory that blacks complain too much about their 'victimization.' He accused blacks of expressing 'victimization' when they complained about being robbed of their votes in Florida during the Presidential election of 2000, even though there is abundant evidence that they were victimized."

On Republican theft of the White House, see superb journalist Greg Palast's site and audio.

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New America: Internment Camps courtesy of Halliburton

"While thousands of people were celebrating the contribution America's undocumented immigrants make to our economy, and demanding justice and recognition for workers who are denied basic rights, the government was making plans for large-scale detention centers in case of an 'emergency influx' of immigrants.


"KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary recently reprimanded for gross overcharging in its military contracts in Iraq, won a $385 million contract to build the centers. According to the Halliburton website, 'the contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.'

"What new programs might those be? The web was abuzz with speculation after the contract was awarded on January 24. Pacific News Service gave the most detailed analysis. It connected the new 'immigration emergency' plans with older plans that involved imposing martial law.

"Certainly the detention centers raise the specter of WW II Japanese internment camps. The new facilities could be used for round-ups of Muslim Americans or other American citizens tagged as 'enemy combatants.'"

(Thanks to Dr. Mick Sleeper for this.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

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Nashville Kemet Jubilee celebrates MALCOLM X DAY

Nashville, TN: "The Nashville Kemet Jubilee (NKJ) is celebrating the 81st anniversary of Malcolm X’s birthday. To wit, the Jubilee is holding an 'I Am Malcolm X' celebration at the Village Cultural Arts Center in East Nashville. I Am Malcolm X: A Celebration of Brotherhood and Humanitarianism will be an exciting evening of music and song (including Reggae, Blues, & Soul), Spoken Word and African Drum and Dance.

"After the entertainment there will be a community discussion on the ideals of Malcolm X and their relevance to the contemporary community and our issues today. This is an artistic event for the whole family."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

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Tonight on the Terrordome: the US Gov't Role in Murdering MLK
















Who has the power to kill a King?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a brilliant organiser and theoretician for what is usually called the American Civil Rights Movement, but what should really be called the American Human Rights Movement. While no mass movement can achieve victories without the work of every person involved, in this case, hundreds of thousands of people, no one can deny that Dr. King was instrumental in inspiring and teaching the many activists who would join the movement. Unfortunately, the legacy of Dr. King has been distorted.

Conservative forces, especially in corporate media, have frozen Dr. King at 1963’s March on Washington, repeating endlessly the empty phrase “I Have a Dream.”
The effect is to limit King to someone who merely had visions rather than plans, who was a prophet rather than a democratic organiser, who had heart rather than intellect.  

This limitation also places the blame for American White Supremacy solely on the heads of Southern Euro-Americans, rather than the giant Northern establishment which would fiercely attack King as he brought his campaigns to the North. Or, for that matter, the Northerners as represented by the Kennedys who had King under constant FBI surveillance, and the FBI itself which targeted King for a counter-intelligence programme that threatened to expose King’s extramarital affairs and even tried to prompt him to commit suicide.

The freezing of King in 1963 denies King’s having learned from Malcolm X, especially as the two were working in 1964 to forge an alliance, as described in Karl Evanzz’s brilliant book The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X. King learned from Malcolm X about the international dimension of racial struggle, especially against imperialism. King would go on to denounce American hegemony, saying in 1967 that “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world is my own government.”










(Muhammad Ali: "No Vietnamese ever called me nigger.")

King’s consciousness of struggle had broadened over the years, as his denunciation of American militarism clearly demonstrates. By 1968 he was demonstrating that the civil right to spend money wherever one wanted was not enough--prior to that was the need was to earn money. He was organising in Memphis, lending his help to the striking sanitation workers, a mostly Black work force. The next day, on Thursday, April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated. James Earl Ray was convicted of the crime, but to this day numerous investigators and the King family itself deny that Ray was the assassin. Given the FBI record of counterintelligence which included disruption and outright murder, many people assert that the real assassins are likely to have been paid agents of American power.
One of the most important voices to probe such terrible depths is investigator and international attorney William F. Pepper, author of Orders to Kill and An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King. Pepper has been a friend of King and his family since the 1960s, and at his family’s request fought and won a civil suit against a man named Loyde Jowers, and “government agencies including the City of Memphis, the State of Tennessee, and the federal government, [who] were party to the conspiracy to assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” Shockingly--or perhaps not surprisingly--thanks to corporate media, that trial and victory, now seven years old, are unknown to almost everyone in North America.


On April the 4th, the 38th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King, William F. Pepper spoke at Roxbury Community College in Boston. The audio of his speech is courtesy of Active Ingredients Radio.


Listen to tonight's edition of The Terrordome: The Africa All-World News Service for the first of a four part series on this tragedy in American history.

Time: 6 PM Mountain in Edmonton on CJSR FM-88
Around the world on cjsr.com (check links on the upper left)


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

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Public schools preserve inequality for African-Canadians

"Public school education in Canada is not race-neutral. It expresses a cultural specificity, rooted in British legacies. It has always had race as a classifying theme, and its structure is centred in customs and traditions that have limited utility for black learners. Far from being the 'great equalizer,' in many respects schools have served to preserve inequality."

"As an adult educator and as an anti-racism educator, having worked with black youth for over 20 years, I am utterly convinced that the public school system does not respond well to the needs of black learners. Education integration has not resulted in equitable outcomes. Black learners and parents continue to express feelings of alienation in their schools."

(Thanks to Charlene for this.)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

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Chicago's Abu Ghraib: UN Committee Against Torture Hears Report on How Police Tortured Over 135 African-American Men Inside Chicago Jails

Democracy Now reports: "For nearly two decades a part of the city’s jails known as Area 2 was the epicenter for what has been described as the systematic torture of dozens of African-American males by Chicago police officers.

"In total, more than 135 people say they were subjected to abuse including having guns forced into their mouths, bags places over their heads, and electric shocks inflicted to their genitals.

"Four men have been released from death row after government investigators concluded torture led to their wrongful convictions.

"Extraordinary rendition. Overseas prisons. Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo Bay. Practices and places that have become synonymous with the abuse of detainees in US custody are getting renewed attention at the United Nations this week, where the UN Committee Against Torture is holding hearings on U.S. compliance with its international obligations. But there is one name expected to arise this week that few people in this country will have heard about – and it’s the one that’s closest to home...."

The full-length audio interview is here.

"Yet the case around Area 2 is nowhere near a resolution -- to date, not one Chicago police officer has been charged with any crime."

Monday, May 08, 2006

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Mr. Spock's Crib

Phenomenal. Should perhaps be called "Charlie Murphy's True Hollytrek Stories." Thanks to the always amazing DJ Mick Sleeper (and fellow Big-4 member and CJSR DJ) for the link.

While you're on the site, be sure to check out the other "Star Trek Cribs." For those of you who, like I do, live outside the US, MTV Cribs is a programme featuring (although without, in my limited experience, irony or critique) the grotesque, narcissistic opulence and mindless consumerism of American musical celebrities. Rome falls! (Although, as Philip K. Dick warned repeatedly in VALIS, "Rome never died").

Thursday, May 04, 2006

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SUDAN & DARFUR: Who is lying to whom? Why? And what horrors await the Sudanese if we fail to act--or because we do?

"We're talking about a rally urging a U.S./NATO intervention in Africa's largest country, legitimated by the UN strong-armed by a thuggish neocon-led administration in Washington. We're talking potentially about regime change in Africa's second-largest oil producer, in the context of planned U.S. strikes against Syria and Iran.

"Should anyone in the antiwar movement with a minimal knowledge or recent history be comfortable with that, or suppose that it could be fully benign?"

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

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Marvel Superheroes vs.... Homeland Security?

"Captain America is about to battle his most fearsome foe yet: The government of the United States.

"Today, Marvel Comics is releasing the first in its miniseries Civil War, which can only be described as a gutsy comic-book series focusing on the whole debate over homeland security and tighter government controls in the name of public safety.

"The seven-issue series once again puts superheroes right back in the thick of real-world news, just as DC Comics has Batman battling al-Qaeda in a soon-to-appear comic and Marvel's X-Men continue to explore themes of public intolerance and discrimination.

"It also recalls the plotline during the Watergate years when Captain America's alterego, disillusioned by White House politics, stopped donning the patriotic costume.

"But with Civil War, hero is pitted against hero in the choice of whether or not to side with the government, as issues ranging from a Guantanamo-like prison camp for superheroes, embedded reporters and the power of media all play in the mix."

(Thanks to Bob ["the Guardian"] for this.)
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Analyst says bin Laden 'desperate'

"In The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global, his latest book on al-Qaeda, Middle East analyst Fawaz Gerges says that by the mid-1990s, the jihadi movement was nearly a spent force, having been ruthlessly repressed by 'the near enemy' - Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

"To revive their flagging movement, al-Qaeda decided to take its fight to the West, 'the far enemy', but this caused a rift with other militant movements who feared US military power would ultimately destroy them."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

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Minister Faust in: GEEK FU ACTION GRIP

The delightful Mur Lafferty, host of the popular podcast, Geek Fu Action Grip, was kind enough to ask me a few questions about my 2004 novel The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad, my thoughts on writing, and my advice to new writers.

I like Mur. Her voice reminds me of that of Jodi Foster as Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs.

You can find out conversation here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

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My new book: FROM THE NOTEBOOKS of DOCTOR BRAIN

Excelsior, faithful folks!
(Or something suitably Stan Lee-ish).

At long last, I can announce that my new book is coming out, in February, to be exact. It's a book within a book, a self-help book for superheroes. The novel is called FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF DOCTOR BRAIN, and the book inside it is called Unmasked: When Being a Superhero Can't Save You from Yourself, by Doctor Brain.






















The image you see above won't be the actual cover, of course. I just like making fake covers. Here's my own take on back-cover copy, though:

Meet the F*O*O*J, the World’s Greatest Heroes

OMNIPOTENT MAN
A body with the density of steel, and a brain to match

THE FLYING SQUIRREL
Aging playboy industrialist by day, avenging krypto-fascist by night

IRON LASS
Mythology’s greatest warrior, but the world might be safer if she had a husband

X-MAN
Formerly of the League of Angry Blackmen, but not formerly enough

THE BROTHERFLY
Radioactively fly

POWER GRRRL
Perpetually deciding between fighting crime or promoting her latest album, clothing line or sex scandal

They’re Earth’s mightiest super-team. And dysfunctional as hell.

Having survived arch-criminal assaults in the 1950s, intergalactic aggression in the 1960s, affirmative action battles in the 1970s, and the final defeat of all its arch-enemies in a battle global in the 1980s, the Fantastic Order Of Justice finds itself in a peaceful world without super villains--and thus bereft of a mandate.

Without external foes, the phenomenal F*O*O*Jsters are reduced to waging toxic office politics rife with their own arcane idiosyncrasies, bizarre perversions, mutual contempt and explosive neuroses, leading to what must sooner or later be a workplace super-powered civil war.

Only one woman can save them from themselves: Dr. Eva Brain-Silverman, AKA Doctor Brain, the world's leading therapist for the extraordinarily-abled.

But when the planet's most hallowed hero dies unexpectedly, career-ending depression descends, accusations fly and conspiracy theories boil--is the age of heroes truly over, or has an old foe returned to exact revenge on them all?

Can the F*O*O*J survive its two greatest threats: assassination and group therapy?
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Tavis Smiley, the Darfur Horror, and Wal-Mart's global gulag

Regarding Darfur, some argue the word "genocide" may be standing in the way of peace... others have argued that its absence guaranteed war. Whether genocide or not, it's one of the greatest crimes of our times. Thanks, Br. Tav. Listen here.

Unfortunately, as I just heard while listening to the sound file, Tavis's editorial is literally "brought to you by Wal-Mart." I kid you not.

Hell's bells... look, I'm not comparing an international network of sweatshop gulags which exploit tens of thousands of poor factory workers and tens of thousands of underpaid, under-employed, under-benefitted, union-denied workers in order to siphon billions of dollars into the hands of a tiny number of corporate kingpins (breathe!)... I'm not comparing that to genocide.

If I were forced to choose between ending:

a) Wal-Mart's cruel and greedy global super-exploitation, OR
b) mass-murder and destruction in Sudan,

then I'd choose to end the latter.

But the point is, we don't have to choose. We need to end both.

I'd also like to point out that I know you've got to pay the bills to get a message out to millions. And if Tavis has to shake hands with Asmodeus in order to kick Mephistopheles in the grunties, then I guess I can live with that, for now.

You might also want to check out "Five Truths About Darfur" from the Washington Post.
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Michael Eric Dyson hosting a Super Uncle Tom?

I really appreciate the work that the excellent Br. Professor Michael Eric Dyson does in analysing complex issues around race, gender, sexuality and, to some extent, power. The Black Commentator carries the following intriguing response to Dyson's cordial discussions with John McWhorter of the Manhattan Institute, the folks who are bringing you Corey Booker and who brought you The Bell Curve.

Br. Dyson, just because I'm posting this doesn't mean I don't love you. But it does sound as if you might need a better choice for a weekly recurring guest.
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Uncle Tom with a Nuclear Bomb 'fesses up

The Free Speech Zone kindly includes the following:

"Robert Scheer: Now Powell Tells Us. On Monday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told me that he and his department’s top experts never believed that Iraq posed an imminent nuclear threat, but that the president followed the misleading advice of Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA in making the claim. Now he tells us."
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Video: Stephen Colbert roasts Bush--IN FRONT OF BUSH

Good ol' Colbert. Check out these video segments while you still can, recorded at the White House press corp dinner for Lil Caesar himself.

Okay, You Tube has yanked it. So now check out the video at this swell place. Thanks to Dino who let me know about the switch.
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Rakim said it: "It's been a long time...."

I'm back--sorry for the long delay. Much is happening, and much has been happening--some personal, some professional, and almost everything good. I've never gone such a long time without posting to THE BRO-LOG, so there's much to catch up on.

The picture, while not me, accurately depicts the luscious hair I once had (though less glistening).