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Showing posts from May, 2005

Top ten examples of how racial supremacy dominates US

Check out Darryl James's list for some straightforward reasoning. Thanks, Br. Darryl.

Did an Afrikan woman create THE MATRIX?

I've hesitated to report on the story until now, because previous internet discussion I'd seen was of questionable journalistic merit. But now, with the story appearing on the Books and Wisdom website, I’m more convinced that this story could be for real.Sophia Stewart, screenwriter, paralegal, science fiction enthusiast and Afrikan woman, says she wrote a tale called The Third Eye whose darkly glittering tapestry of technology, dystopia and race served as the basis for the enormously profitable Matrix and Terminator film series--but for which she received neither credits nor cash.Because I have an obvious interest in seeing a Sister get paid in full--not to mention getting accurate credit for launching two of the most significant SF film spectacles in the last 21 years--I held off on reporting this story to anyone because my own allegiance could have clouded my judgement. But it’s now clear that not only Pan-Afrikanists are interested in Stewart’s case. According to Books and…

Hyperbole and generalisations are the enemies of journalism

Stanley Fish of Chicago writes in today's NYT: "We are at that time of year when millions of American college and high school students will stride across the stage, take diploma in hand and set out to the wider world, most of them utterly unable to write a clear and coherent English sentence" (emphasis added). How can the NYT print such an absurd accusation? Read it back to yourself: millions? "Utterly unable"?

Bashing teachers and schools is far too easy, especially in the US where public education is all too commonly betrayed by political and economic elites. It doesn't help when the newspaper of record gets in on the act with over-the-top, unsupportable charges, which can only further undermine public desire to aid (not "reform," too often a synonym for "privatise") one of the few institutions capable of fulfilling the American republic's yearning for genuine democracy.

The Bush regime’s national insecurity strategy

Hear or view Preventive Warriors, featuring Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, Tariq Ali and others, on the Bush regime’s national insecurity strategy, on the Monday, May 31 edition of Democracy Now!

Why should anyone trust the Canadian Green Party?

Did the BC Greens put the Liberals back into office? So asks the fine online daily The Tyee.

Murray Dobbin of the Council of Canadians demonstrates that the federal Green Party, now led by a Blue Tory, is really a turquoise party.Believe them when they say they’re not left, but don’t buy that they’re not right. Dobbin writes that under the leadership of former Tory Jim Harris, “the Greens have become the quintessential small government, pro-market party. Their social analysis says virtually nothing about the structural causes of poverty, and their solutions borrow from both the former PCs and the Alliance.They talk about how a Green government would ‘enhance the existing network of... school nutrition... and food-bank programs...’ to eliminate hunger in Canada.”

Joan Russow, the former leader of the Greens, wrote last year, “I left the Green Party because... [a]s its former leader, I have become increasingly disappointed with the development of the Green Party of Canada and its loss of…

Bill Cosby: Correct conservative or reactionary race traitor?

Brent Staples writes in Sunday's New York Times:

"Bill Cosby spawned a cottage industry among opinion writers when he ascended a podium in Washington last year and harangued inner-city parents for doing too little to educate their children. He threw salt in the wound by saying those parents were spending too much on expensive sneakers and not enough on books."Those brief remarks have continued to reverberate through the court of public opinion. Conservatives are hailing Mr. Cosby as the tough love truth teller of the moment. Liberals have come close to describing him as a race traitor, as Prof. Michael Eric Dyson of the University of Pennsylvania recently pointed out in his incendiary book, Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?" Read the rest of Staples' article here.Hear Dr. Dyson on NPR discussing the topic, and read his comments on Z-Net .The Black Commentator argues that "we can't afford Bill Cosby anymore," comparing…

GEEK FU ACTION GRIP vs. THE COYOTE KINGS

"The man is so brilliant in so many areas, it's creepy."

That's what the delightful Mur Lafferty of North Carolina said of me (which is the most endearing compliment I've gotten all year) on her fine podcast Geek Fu Action Grip. Check it out and enjoy the ride, everyone. And thanks for all the nice words about The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad, Mur.

US leads global attack on human rights

ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) writes: "Four years after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, human rights are in retreat worldwide and the United States bears most responsibility, rights watchdog Amnesty International said.... "'When the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a licence to others to commit abuse with impunity,' [said secretary-general Irene Khan]."London-based Amnesty cited the pictures last year of abuse of detainees at Iraq's US-run Abu Ghraib prison, which it said were never adequately investigated, and the detention without trial of "enemy combatants" at the US naval base in Cuba. 'The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times, entrenching the practice of arbitrary and indefinite detention in violation of international law," Ms Khan said.Read the rest here.

COYOTE KINGS a finalist for the Locus Best First Novel Award

Well, hey, whaddaya know. My novel The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Padis on the short list of five for the Locus Best First Novel Award. And nobody freaking even told me--I only found out because of a web search on something else.

Anyway, it's nice to find out. The book was also shortlisted for the Philip K. Dick Award and the Compton Crook Award (which as a long-time NWA listener I was really hoping to get for the name alone). I don't expect to win, but I appreciate the recognition of Locus, arguably the most important SFF industry magazine.

Good to see some fellow Del Rey buddies up for some of the other Locus Awards. Congrats to ya, gents. If I win, I wonder if I get a trophy... you know, like a robot on a wooden base or something.

"Economic hit men": Western terrorists who endanger global security

My man Br. Sean Gonsalves writes:"Remember right after the 9/11 attacks many Americans were asking: 'Why do they hate us?' What was even sillier was when neocon pundits and war hawks attempted to answer that supremely naive question. They hate us because they envy our 'freedom,' we were told."The first time I heard the question 'Why do they hate us?' I was reminded of an encounter with a Palestinian shopkeeper in the Old City of Jerusalem. He [said] 'Good people, bad government. I've been thinking about what he said ever since. What I've come to realize is that, on one hand, the shopkeeper was expressing his faith in the common decency of American people. On the other, he was pointing to our collective tendency to fall for the rhetoric of our leaders in justifying morally indefensible policies and the fundamental disconnect between ordinary Americans' values and the decisions made by the leaders we elect. "This week's phrase:…

Ancient Egyptian Love Poems Reveal Jubilation in Life

Cameron Walker wrote in the April 20, 2004 National Geographic News

"Pyramids, mummies, tombs, and other icons of aristocracy and the afterlife dominate our images of ancient Egypt. But love poems composed thousands of years ago may provide a more intimate glimpse of the lives of everyday ancient Egyptians.

"'Poetry is perhaps the greatest forgotten treasure of ancient Egypt,'said Richard Parkinson, an expert on ancient Egyptian poetry at London's British Museum, home to the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts outside of Cairo.

"While historical accounts and biographies inscribed on the insides of tombs often give idealized accounts of ancient Egyptian life, poetry gives real insight into human nature and its imperfections, he said.

"A group of love poems have been found in an excavated workers' village on the outskirts of the Valley of Kings, where many pharaohs are entombed. The verses allow poetry lovers and Egyptophiles alike to tap into the em…

In the tradition of Orwell, Robert Fisk skewers the Egghead Mystifiers

Reminding me of George Orwell in his classic "Politics and the English Language," the always excellent Robert Fisk has turned his razored pen from his usual target--the viciousness of American, British, Israeli and Arab governments--to a group that gets my goat: the academics who specialise in trying to make themselves sound smart by making the rest of us feel dumb. How do they do this? Through their appalling, cumbersome, lethally-dull writing and over-the-freaking-top word choice. Through turning nouns into verbs by tacking on the suffix "-ise." Through lengthening nouns by adding "-isation" or adding prefixes such as "post-" and "neo-". Never say something simply if you can say it in such a way that people need to read it ten times before they can get it. To paraphrase Talib Kweli,just because no one understands what you're saying doesn't mean you're deep.

I'm guessing that this group of secular priests from the Human…

Why Conservatives Should Thank Chuck Cadman (and so should Canada)

The always incisive Murray Dobbin writes in today's Tyee: "[Chuck Cadman] saved [the Conservatives] from a doomed election led by hard right Harper.

"For all the talk of a dysfunctional House of Commons, what has transpired over the past few weeks is precisely the opposite. Oh, to be sure, for Bay Street, newspaper editors, hysterical right wing pundits like Andre Coyne of the National Post and the self-absorbed Rex Murphy of the CBC, it is dysfunctional because the dismantling the country has been put on hold. That, after all, has been the "function" of the House of Commons under Tories and Liberalsever since the free trade deal went through after the 1988 election.

"But if you are talking about government functioning in the interests of ordinary Canadians, families, communities and the nation, Parliament functioned better yesterday than it has at any time in the past twenty years."
See the complete text here.

Newsflash: Canadian gov't DOESN'T fall

So, the Liberals have survived for now.Heard a great speech last night by eloquent lawyer and political heir Rachel Notley, who pointed out how, thanks to the courageous NDP, the federal budget is a now damn sight better for students, parents, and the environment than it was under the original Big Business incarnation. CUPE outlines what we needed and what we got under the original Corporate Liberal plan.Here's how the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives explains the difference between then and now.

Tonight: Music Special on MALCOLM X

In honour of what would have been Malcolm X's 80th birthday, tonight on Asiko Phantom Pyramid, the not-so-secret mystery theme ingredient will be excerpts of speeches by Malcolm X, Minister-mixed into Africentric audio amazement.

Tune in but don't drop out: in Edmonton, at CJSR FM 88.5., webcast to the entire Afrikan planet on www.cjsr.com. Everything starts at 8 PM Mountain time, with the MX special beginning at 8:45 pm.

Don't miss it!

Minister Faust.com

Condi Rice wins Joseph Goebbels Journalism Award

Greg Palast wrote on Wednesday May 18:

"'It's appalling that this story got out there,' Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on her way back from Iraq.

"What's not appalling to Condi is that the US is holding prisoners at Guantanamo under conditions termed 'torture' by the Red Cross. What's not appalling to Condi is that prisoners of the Afghan war are held in violation of international law after that conflict has supposedly ended.

"What is not appalling to Condi is that prisoner witnesses have reported several instances of the Koran's desecration.

"What is appalling to her is that these things were reported. So to Condi goes to the Joseph Goebbels Ministry of Propaganda Iron Cross.

"But I don't want to leave out our President. His aides report that George Bush is 'angry' about the report--not the desecration of the Koran, but the reporting of it.

For the rest of the story, visit the homepage of the superb reporter Gre…

Revenge of the Review of THE REVENGE OF THE SITH

Unabridged review up on Minister Faust.com.

X-Ploitation: Auctioneering and legacy turf wars continue at Malcolm X’s 80th birthday

Recent charges by a prominent scholar have spilled even more kerosene upon the memory of the already controversial activist Malcolm X, who would have been 80 on May 19, claiming that Autobiography co-author Alex Haley may have been an FBI informant who collaborated in suppressing three critical chapters from the book considered a modern classic by many. Locked in a lawyer’s safe to this day, these legendary “missing” chapters are the pan-Africanist equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In a February 21st interview on Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now!,Professor Manning Marable, a major leftist American scholar and former head of Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African-American Studies, alleged that Haley’s self-chosen rôle was to shape the Autobiography to put Malcolm X in an unflattering light. “Haley was a republican. He was an integrationist. He was very opposed to Black Nationalism,” said Marable. “Haley felt he could make a solid case in favor of racial integration by s…

In the year 2000, Quebec farm practiced apartheid

Martin Patriquin wrote in the April 30, 2005, The Globe and Mail: "When Celissa Michel arrived at work one day back in 2000, he saw a new sign posted reminding day labourers that they weren't allowed to eat in the regular cafeteria.

"Rather, he and roughly 100 others had to make do with a 'blacks-only' cafeteria that lacked heat, running water, proper toilets, refrigeration and many other amenities.

"'I wasn't that surprised, because I already knew I wasn't allowed in there,' Mr. Michel said. 'Ever since I was there [in 1998], there was a guy who told us that one cafeteria was for whites, one was for black.'"

It gets much worse than that.

Dealing with Blackfolks the old fashioned way: burn 'em to death

Democracy Now!says: "Supporters of the group MOVE in Philadelphia have marked the 20th anniversary of the day the city police bombed their homein West Philadelphia to end a stand-off with the group. The bombing killed 11people including five children as police officers ordered firefighters to keep their distance from the fire. 61 homes were destroyed after the fire spread through the block."

Mumia Abu Jamal says:
"For MOVE people, the date May 13th, 1985, is, to quote a phrase, 'a day that shall live in infamy.' That's not just because of the horrific act of State Terrorism that the date marks, or even the massacre of 11 MOVE people. It marks, once again, an instance of state injustice, for what made May 13th a date of remembrance is the brutal imprisonment of the MOVE 9, who, despite their innocence, were convicted of murder, and sentenced to upwards of 100 years in Pennsylvania dungeons... an injustice piled upon another injustice; an injustice leavened by a…

How did this culture of filth start in America’s "war on terror"?

Robert Fisk, one of the finest foreign correspondents of any English-language newspaper, writes in the May 08, 2005 London Independent:

"...A vast quantity of evidence has now been built up on the system which the Americans have created for mistreating and torturing prisoners. I have interviewed a Palestinian who gave me compelling evidence of anal rape with wooden poles at Bagram - by Americans, not by Afghans.

"Many of the stories now coming out of Guantanamo - the sexual humiliation of Muslim prisoners, their shackling to seats in which they defecate and urinate, the use of pornography to make Muslim prisoners feel impure, the female interrogators who wear little clothing (or, in one case, pretended to smear menstrual blood on a prisoner’s face) - are increasingly proved true.

"Iraqis whom I have questioned at great length over many hours, speak with candour of terrifying beatings from military and civilian interrogators, not just in Abu Ghraib but in US bases elsewhere…

What if we threw a tsunami, and no one paid?

Humanitarian Aid to Africa Sadly Lacking, U.N. Official Warns"While the humanitarian crisis in Darfur has attracted considerable international aid, other crises in Africa are not getting the funding needed to provide even basic food aid, the chief U.N. relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, warned May 10."

Brutal Attacks Still Occurring in Darfur, United Nations Reports

"...Because Jingaweit militia continue to attack civilians in Darfur and thus perpetuate a lack of security in the region, bringing short-term stability to the area will require considerable strengthening of the African Union (AU) mission in Sudan, a senior U.N. official said May 12.

"Assistant Secretary-General Hedi Annabi told the U.N. Security Council that organized violence continues and that attacks on civilians, rape, kidnapping and banditry actually increased in April. Although there was no evidence of direct involvement of regular government forces, there were widespread reports of abuse by the pro-government Jingaweit militia.

"Upwards of 10,000 civilians -- the entire population of the Khor Abeche village in southern Darfur -- were displaced during a brutal attack, and a number of homes were burned and looted, Annabi told the council."

See All Africa.com for details.

Minister Faust.com

ILO Report: 12 Million People Live in Modern Slavery.

And guess what--trafficking in these human beings was worth $30 billion of blood money. And they don't only live in the Original World, by the way. They're in the West, too.

To watch and listen, check out the Thursday, May 12 Democracy Now!

Countdown to Armageddon: Robots Making Robots

So they finally did it. Robots are now making other robots.

I mean, c'mon, people... doesn't anyone remember Skynet? Scorching the sky? The Sentinels in X-Men #140-141?

Please, let's all remember the lessons of Geonosis.

FOCUS ON UGANDA

Tonight on The Terrordome (6 pm Mountain Time on cjsr.com, or 88.5 FM in Edmonton): FOCUS ON UGANDA.My guest will be 26 year-old Joseph Ekemu. Hailing from Uganda, he’s spent the last five years in Canada searching for ways to help his homeland from the multiple miseries of civil war, the AIDS pandemic and one-party rule. Ekemu holds an MA in Political Science with a certificate in Globalisation, and is currently a research assistant in the Children and Armed Conflict Project of the University of Alberta’s Department of Political Science.A year ago Ekemu helped establishThe Child is Innocent Foundation with four other Edmontonians and another seven board members in Boston to found a sister chapter. TCIF’s mission is to rebuild educational opportunities and provide medical care for children suffering the effects of the 18-year old war in Northern Uganda, a conflict which has rendered over 800,000 people homeless and which has been especially devastating to the Acholi nationality.During…

Even today, Eurocentrists are trying to de-colourise ancient Egyptians, i.e., Afrikans.

Amazing how even to this day, Eurocentrists are trying to de-colourise ancient Egypt and its peoples. A recent multi-national team of forensic facial reconstructionists built separate models of young Tutankhamen’s face. The American team didn’t know whose face they were building, but built a face that looks like you’d expect it to--that of a typical north-eastern Afrikan(such as an Ethiopian, Somali, Nubian, or even a Ugandan, though that’s east-central). But the BBC describes such a face as “coming from a Caucasoid North African.”
The discredited myth of a “Hamitic” race of non-Afrikan invaders “civilising” the ancient Egyptians rests in part on the notion that north-eastern Afrikans are “Caucasoid.” Some scientists even claim that the facial and bodily features (phenotypes) of these populations can be grouped into “clusters” which mark them as non-Afrikans. Imagine that! You walk down the streets of NYC, Toronto, Havana, or Lagos, you’re a Brother. But if anything (like history itsel…

Ancient Egyptian Afrikans, Part Two: The Coyote Kings Debate

On a related note:

The nice folks at SFF World.com have decided to make The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad their book of the month for discussion. But I was surprised to find that someone had challenged the novel’s depiction of Egypt on ethnic-racial grounds, writing: “I also was not happy with the blatant expropriation of Egyptian history and culture by those who are not Egyptian. Just coming from the same continent does not entitle someone or their ancestors to assume credit for the work of others in the past. While it might seem that the ancient Egyptians are no longer around to speak for themselves, their descendents with DNA evidence are.”

My reply:

“First of all, how does [the writer] know I’m not Egyptian? Second, Europeans have spent the last quarter-millennium expropriating Egyptian history by doing everything from inventing the myth of ‘Hamitic’ invaders to the endless slew of Hollywood fare such as Cleopatra and Stargate which depict the ancient Egyptians in a way …

Corporate Media makes social justice look like corruption (and vice-versa)

Ah, Linda McQuaig. You gotta love her. Author of many acclaimed investigate and analytical books on the Canadian political economy, she's also a terrific columnist. On May 1 she wrote:

"Media commentators were in a rage last week, denouncing the Liberal government for signing a 'devilish deal'... that will "prostrate its principles".... But for a full rant against the government's evil-doings, one had to turn to CBC-TV's Rex Murphy: "The current spectacle is dissolving respect for Parliament and politics, and going some way toward dissolving respect for the country.'

"Yikes. One might have thought Paul Martin had just released his own porn video or made a pact with a group of neo-Nazis....

"Inreality, the rage was over the deal the Prime Minister struck with Jack Layton, the democratically elected NDP leader... to spend more federal money on the environment, public transit, affordable housing, post-secondary education, and foreign aid

In defense of *Attack of the Clones*

Brother Art McGee sent me an email suggesting that Episode II: Attack of the Clones was no good. Folks might want to check out my defense of Clones my defense of Clones at Vue Weekly.

Bush's Axis of Genocide - Alliance with Sudanese regime guilty of mass murder

The Sudanese crisis is getting worse rather than better, despite the peace accord signed in Kenya during January, which sadly doesn't address Darfur. And now the self-proclaimed leaders of democracy and enemies of terrorism, announcers of "If you're not with us, you're against us," make it clear whom they're with--allying with the Sudanese regime whom they accuse (accurately) of genocide:

Listen/read/watch: "Bush Administration Allied With Sudan Despite Role in Darfur Genocide"(May 3, 2005).

And to make things even clearer about the deteriorating situation, see "Chad-Sudan: Twelfth Camp Opened for Darfur Refugees," from the always excellent Pan-African News Agency now called All Africa.com .

Leaked Memo: U.S. "Fixed Facts" To Justify Iraq War

Leaked Memo: U.S. "Fixed Facts" To Justify Iraq War

Not much of a surprise, sadly.

If you have a thirst for dependable coverage of American and international news, if you're a masochist, and if you're not already a daily viewer, listener or reader of Democracy Now!hosted by Amy Goodman, by all means check out her excellent programme. And check your local community radio station to see if the show already runs there daily or weekly.

Reactions to Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Non-Spoilers, with one warning)

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Got the chance to see Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith last Thursday during the local critics' screening. No matter what Lucas does, some people are going to complain that he's done most if not everything wrong, but screw 'em. George, ya done good. This is a strange film, in many ways; certainly, it's the most un-Star Wars Star Wars film of all. You're going to hear loads of people calling this one "dark," and if they mean "grim," they're right. It's almost non-stop violence (that's not a complaint, by the way), and some of it is appropriately jarring and disturbing.

I think that Attack of the Clones is under-rated, even though it's flawed; despite its generally weak dialogue and humourlessness, Clones contains the best character interaction of all six films. However, the mood and power and scope of Sith is impressive and haunting, with fine performances despite an underused Natalie Portman. Williams' score, strangel…