Friday, September 30, 2005

There are few...

There are poets who I enjoy and they make me glad I am a poet, some make me want to put my pen down and burn my notebook, some make me want to pick up my pen and write some more. And some like Suhir Hammad make me want to do it all. Find her work, read about her then check out her site. She will be a featured artist on my new poetry site. I can't help it - she is raw.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My Sept 11th memorial post

On Sept 11th, 2001 I was at work - just like this year. I remember how people started getting up from their cubicles and RUNNING to the break room where the only T.V was. I remember how the phones in our call center just died, then every now and again the rare person would call and say they couldn't get through to NY -could I help, or they just didn't want to be alone. I talked to that woman for a long time - She told me what was going on she was watching live- we asked what was wrong with our world. She stayed on the line until the towers fell. Until her brother showed up to be with her, until we just couldn't watch it anymore. And then I just sat there. I didn't see the video, didn't see the towers fall until that night - my dad was home, he was taping it all, on VHS.

I read this post and meant to post it and a link to the persons site who wrote it. So I am going to quote it in the section below. It just gives you a moment to ponder why, makes me understand why things happen the way they do, why people feel the way about us that they do- and how said it is that we have learned NOTHING as a country from Sept 11th, nothing that counts, nothing that will stop the cycles, nothing that will change the politics, nothing at all. They know us so well, they know us so well...

September 11, 2005...
“R.- come in here! You have to see this!”

was September 11, 2001 and I was in the kitchen rinsing some dishes from lunch.
I paused at the urgency in my brothers voice but continued rinsing, thinking
there was some vaguely important news item on Iraq’s state controlled channel. “

I’m coming- a moment.” I called back. The phone began to ring and I
stopped to answer it on my way out of the kitchen.
R: “Alloo?” I answered.
L: “Are you watching tv???” L., my best friend, cried out with no
R: “Uh… no- but…”

The line went
dead and I put down the phone, my heart beating wildly. I made my way to the
living room, curious and nervous, wondering what it could be. Had someone died?
Were they going to bomb us again? That was always a possibility. It never
surprised anyone when the US decided on an air strike. I wondered if, this time
around, Bush had been caught with a presidential aide in the Oval Office.

I walked into the living room and E. was standing in the middle of it-
eyes glued to the television, mouth slightly open, remote control clutched in
his hand, and directed towards the television set.

“What is it?” I
asked, looking at the screen. The images were chaotic. It was a big city, there
was smoke or dust and people running across the screen, some screaming, others
crying and the rest with astounded looks on their faces. They looked slightly
like E., my brother, as he stood staring at the television, gaping. There was
someone speaking in the background- in English- and there was a voiceover in
Arabic. I can’t remember what was being said; the images on the tv screen are
all I remember. Confusion. Havoc.

And then they showed it again. The
Twin Towers- New York… a small something came flying out of the side of the
screen and it crashed into one of them. I gasped audibly and E. just shook his
head, “That’s nothing… wait…” I made my way towards the couch while keeping my
eyes locked on the television. There was some more chaos, shocked expressions,
another plane and the towers- they began to crumble. They began to fall. They
disappeared into an enormous fog of smoke and dust.

I sucked in my
breath and I couldn’t exhale that moment. I just sat there- paralyzed- watching
the screen. A part of me was saying, “It’s a joke. It’s Hollywood.” But it was
just too real. The fear was too genuine. The incoherent voices in the background
were too tinged with confusion and terror.

The silence in the living
room was broken with the clatter of the remote control on the floor. It had
slipped out of E.’s fingers and I jumped nervously, watching the batteries from
the remote roll away on the ground.

“But… who? How? What was it? A
plane? How???”

E. shook his head and looked at me in awe. We continued
watching the television, looking for answers to dozens of questions. Within the
hour we had learned that it wasn’t some horrid mistake or miscalculation. It was
intentional. It was a major act of terror.

Al-Qaeda was just a vague
name back then. Iraqis were concerned with their own problems and fears. We were
coping with the sanctions and the fact that life seemed to stand still every few
years for an American air raid. We didn’t have the problem of Muslim
fundamentalists- that was a concern for neighbors like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

I remember almost immediately, Western media began conjecturing on which
Islamic group it could have been. I remember hoping it wasn’t Muslims or Arabs.
I remember feeling that way not just because of the thousands of victims, but
because I sensed that we’d suffer in Iraq. We’d be made to suffer for something
we weren’t responsible for.

E. looked at me wide-eyed that day and asked
the inevitable question, “How long do you think before they bomb us?”

“But it wasn’t us. It can’t be us…” I rationalized.
“It doesn’t
matter. It’s all they need.”

And it was true. It began with Afghanistan
and then it was Iraq. We began preparing for it almost immediately. The price of
the dollar rose as people began stocking up on flour, rice, sugar and other

For several weeks it was all anyone could talk about. We
discussed it in schools and universities. We talked about it in work places and
restaurants. The attitudes differed. There was never joy or happiness, but in
several cases there was a sort of grim satisfaction. Some Iraqis believed that
America had brought this upon itself. This is what you get when you meddle in
world affairs. This is what you get when starve populations. This is what you
get when you give unabashed support to occupying countries like Israel, and
corrupt tyrants like the Saudi royals.

Most Iraqis, though, felt pity.
The images for the next weeks of Americans running in terror, of the frantic
searches under the rubble for relatives and friends left us shaking our heads in
empathy. The destruction was all too familiar. The reports of Americans fearing
the sound of airplanes had us nodding our heads with understanding and a sort of
familiarity- you’d want to reach out to one of them and say, “It’s ok- the fear
eventually subsides. We know how it is- your government does this every few

It has been four years today. How does it feel four years later?

For the 3,000 victims in America, more than 100,000 have died in Iraq.
Tens of thousands of others are being detained for interrogation and torture.
Our homes have been raided, our cities are constantly being bombed and Iraq has
fallen back decades, and for several years to come we will suffer under the
influence of the extremism we didn't know prior to the war.

As I write
this, Tel Afar, a small place north of Mosul, is being bombed. Dozens of people
are going to be buried under their homes in the dead of the night. Their water
and electricity have been cut off for days. It doesn’t seem to matter much
though because they don’t live in a wonderful skyscraper in a glamorous city.
They are, quite simply, farmers and herders not worth a second thought.

Four years later and the War on Terror (or is it the War of Terror?) has
been won:
Al-Qaeda – 3,000
America – 100,000+

Friday, September 23, 2005

FBJ and poet

FBJ and poet
Originally uploaded by raquita.
I really liked this photo so I thought I'd share

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

How to date yourself 101

Top 100 Hits of 1995 / Top 100 Songs of 1995

Okay I know I'm really showingmy age but I'm highlighting the ones that was just my CUT and making a few little notes as I go down this list - these are songs that were given to me nota list I compiled my self cause honestly some of these songs were just a lil wack.

1. Gangsta's Paradise, Coolio - remember the sweaty guy singing in the video who looked like the cloud from the childrens books?
2. Waterfalls, TLC
3. Creep, TLC
4. Kiss From A Rose, Seal love that song -he's still not cute
5. On Bended Knee, Boyz II Men
6. Another Night, Real McCoy - who?!?!
7. Fantasy, Mariah Carey (big baby jesus on the remix!)
8. Take A Bow, Madonna - always liked her
9. Don't Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days), Monica (wasn't this about PMS?)
10. This Is How We Do It, Montell Jordan (very tall one hit wonder)
11. I Know, Dionne Farris
12. Water Runs Dry, Boyz II Men
13. Freak Like Me, Adina Howard (b4 I knew better)
14. Run-Around, Blues Traveler :)
15. I Can Love You Like That, All-4-One boy bands unite!
16. Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?, Bryan Adams - I thought this was older...
17. Always, Bon Jovi
18. Boombastic / In The Summertime, Shaggy (loved it! especially that growl he did in the middle)
19. Total Eclipse Of The Heart, Nicki French (i remember the song not the artist)
20. You Gotta Be, Des'ree the good for you track of the year
21. You Are Not Alone, Michael Jackson (in his bed room... in the shower...)
22. Hold My Hand, Hootie and The Blowfish (HOOOOOTIIIEEEE!!)
23. One More Chance-Stay With Me, Notorious B.I.G. (RIP)
24. Here Comes The Hotstepper, Ini Kamoze
25. Candy Rain, Soul For Real - had their CD -go figure
26. Let Her, w Hootie and The Blowfish (HOOTIE!)
27. I Believe, Blessid Union Of Souls
28. Red Light Special, TLC
29. Runaway, Janet Jackson
30. Strong Enough, Sheryl Crow
31. Colors Of The Wind, Vanessa Williams (Wasn't this from a disney movie?
32. Someone To Love, Jon B. I loved this white boy although not this track but I STILL play his CD to death.
33. Only Wanna Be With You, Hootie and The Blowfish did I scream HOOTIE yet?
34. If You Love Me, Brownstone - people used to tell me I looked like one of these girls.. never could see that
35. In The House Of Stone And Light, Martin Page (umm no.)
36. I Got 5 On It, Luniz
37. Baby, Brandy
38. Run Away, Real McCoy
39. As I Lay Me Down, Sophie B. Hawkins
40. He's Mine, Mokenstef
41. December, Collective Soul
42. I'll Be There For You-You're All I Need To Get By, Method Man-Mary J. Blige nothing esle to say
43. Shy Guy, Diana King
44. I'm The Only One, Melissa Etheridge
45. Every Little Thing I Do, Soul For Real
46. Before I Let You Go, BLACKstreet
47. Big Poppa / Warning, Notorious B.I.G.
48. Sukiyaki, 4 P.M.
49. I Wanna Be Down, Brandy
50. I'll Make Love To You, Boyz II Men
51. Dear Mama / Old School, 2Pac
52. Hold On, Jamie Walters
53. Keep Their Heads Ringin', Dr. Dre
54. The Rhythm Of The Night, Corona
55. Roll To Me, Del Amitri
56. Scream / Childhood, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
57. Freek'n You, Jodeci
58. I Wish, Skee-lo
59. Believe, Elton John
60. Carnival, Natalie Merchant
61. You Don't Know How It Feels, Tom Petty
62. Back For Good, Take That
63. Tootsee Roll, 69 Boyz
64. You Want This-70's Love Groove, Janet Jackson 70's was the JOINT!
65. Tell Me, Groove Theory Bryce was hot as hell
66. Can't You See, Total
67. All I Wanna Do, Sheryl Crow
68. This Lil' Game We Play, Subway
69. Come And Get Your Love, Real McCoy
70. This Ain't A Love Song, Bon Jovi 7
1. Secret, Madonna
72. Player's Anthem, JuniorM.A.F.I.A.
73. Feel Me Flow, Naughty By Nature
74. Every Day Of The Week, Jade
75. The Sweetest Days, Vanessa Williams 7
6. Short Dick Man, 20 Fingers Featuring Gillette - Since when does my razor sing?
77. Brokenhearted, Brandy
78. No More "I Love You's", Annie Lennox
79. You Used To Love Me, Faith Evans
80. Constantly, Immature
81. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, U2
82. 100% Pure Love, Crystal Waters
83. Ask Of You, Raphael Saadiq higher learning was a greaat movie
84. Sugar Hill, Az
85. Good, Better Than Ezra
86. Brown Sugar, D'angelo bought FIVE copies of this CD
87. Turn The Beat Around, Gloria Estefan she was all the
88. 'Til You Do Me Right, After 7 - my dad loved After 7
89. 1st Of Tha Month, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony- my ex loved this song
90. Like The Way I Do If I Wanted To, Melissa Etheridge
91. I Live My Life For You, Firehouse
92. Dream About You-Funky Melody, Stevie B
93. Cotton Eye Joe, Rednex
94. Thank You, Boyz II Men
95. I'll Stand By You, Pretenders
96. I Miss You, N II U
97. Give It 2 You, Da Brat
98. Best Friend, Brandy
99. Misery, Soul Asylum
100. Can't Stop Lovin' You, Van Halen

Monday, September 19, 2005

Stupid people care of Google

Okay I was crusing this wonderful internet care of the new google blog search and came across this chicks blog

Superstar Futon and beautiful Kaos

I had poet this weekend. Arguably one of my favorite poets came for a quick little visit this weekend. I say that like I caught the flu or had Italian for dinner.
" Why yes I had the poet, it was quite good thank you."
13 of Nazareth from Norfolk VA came through, and we had a really, really good time with him. 13, is the kind of people I try to surround myself with and once you get to spend time with him and see what a genuinely good man he is you realize whether or not you are the kind of person you want to be. For the first time however, in my self reflection I did not come up nearly as short as I would have expected. I still hold a lot of loss and hurt with the poetry scene but I was able to vocalize my feelings on that with so much more clarity than I had previously. And its funny J will ask me after reading that - how come I couldn't talk about that before?
The words just came like a revelation over the BEST Italian dinner I think I've paid for in fifteen years, and that's saying a lot since I was a waitress in a Italian restaurant for four years. St. Louis has a area near my south city home called the Hill. Apparently if you are an Italian American and wish to open a restaurant you MUST do so on the hill. I have heard rave reviews of many places on The Hill, but we ended up at Cunetto's House of Pasta. Oh. My. God. So off the chain. Me, J, Super Joe and 13 were all like -WOAH. Jerry took the day off and hung out with 13 and they had a good time. They got to watch some movies and talk - Jerry never hangs out with the poets like that.
Poets can tend to be very clique-ish and as of late that is causing more headache than I am willing to deal with. Typically spoken word artists come off as arrogant - self centered - and or condescending and J doesn't respond well to any of those so normally he tires of poets once they hit those - and more commonly than not they do. Correction alot of those who do it (spokenword) for a living come off that way - you must have certian level of arrogance to be like I'm gonna make my living seeling poetry cds. what the !?@#!#@? Exactly.
Lately I have become embroiled in the very poet behavior I hate. Hypocritical I know but it happens to the best of us. A very dear friend is being excluded from the group - what appears to be systmatically and I can't understand why. I admit my bias as I think he's great, and can't see why anyone would want to exclude him. And he said she said has started to rear its ugly head, and I did momentarily step into that despite my best intentions. And I find that I don't want to be friends with people who would exclude my friend for no decent reason. And then smile in his face about it. And tell me they don't like him - like he's not my friend. I feel conflicted because I almost thought these people were my friends, associates... sure, but almost friends, but then again so did he. And there was a time - have been several times where I have been excluded on personal events, business and performance opportunities, anything and everything and I know how he feels. But I have just ignored the slights - try to chalk it up to head and not hearts but its harder to do when its not you catching the slight but someone you care about. Jerry thinks I should just stay out of it all. I know he's right but doing that is way harder than just saying it.
Besides I'd want someone to be on my team. My friend says hes striving to be the best Christian he can in this situation and I think I'm gonna try and follow his lead on this one - That can never lead you wrong - I don't think.
Anyway - I'm almost finished revamping my website I need some folks to write some articles and I'm about to start soliciting my friends and poet family to help me out with this. No I'm not making any money - No I'm not planning an anthology or anything - I just want this to be active in the poetry - I repeat POETRY community. Where we strive to become better writers, as well as performers. If I haven't said it before - I believe that a strong writing foundation has to be the base of where spoken word should be built. Badly written poems are badly written no matter how theatrical the recital is. Nothing more offesive to me than bad poetry being touted as great because someone took a drama class instead of creative writing. We should be teaching young - new - spoken word artists to respect phenomial writing as well as performing. I'm not at all saying don't take the drama class, I'm saying take them both. (okay really I'm saying take all the writing classes and one drama class) anyway I don't think you can become better if you are not reading and exposing your self to other poets and writers and excercises ect. I respect poetry so much and I hope that I can use this platform to convey that and foster more respect for our craft among my peers. The new header is up on the site ( just as a coming soon graphic - let me know what you think. Will write again soon.

Daddy I was just thinking

  1. I will always be your little girl no matter how old I get
  2. You think I am beautiful and tell me so
  3. Your sense of humour cracks me up
  4. Your appreciation of music and the fact that you played drums in my room when I was a kid and belonged to a rock band before I could give music a race was a great benefit to my whole person.
  5. Because you were as honest with me as possible
  6. Because you bought me teddy bears and race cars
  7. Because I remember being little and lying on your bicep while listening to you snore and feeling like that was the safest place in the world
  8. because you let me bother you when you were drunk the morning after holiday parties
  9. Because you can make me laugh
  10. Because you write poetry and I had to get that from you
  11. Because you spoilt me rotten
  12. Because you never prohibited anything when I was a teenager instead told me as much as you could and why you felt the way you did and let me make my decisions myself
  13. Because you gave me a choice about religion
  14. Because you get me
  15. Because I am you, intrinsically and always will be
  16. Because you still look like Emmit smith and Evander Holyfield
  17. Because you are still amazingly good looking
  18. Because you love animals and taught us the value of a smart pet
  19. Because you took Jerry golfing, taught him to spackle and support him in our marriage
  20. Because you try so hard with Rocky and I know its hard for you
  21. Because you smile so genuinely
  22. Because you bought Syl's car for me and kept it rolling through 2 1/2 years of highschool, three of college.
  23. Because I've never had to hire a mover
  24. Because even though we don't see you enough you call to check on us
  25. because you telling me to relax and not worry is totally different from anybody else saying it
  26. Because I know you know me better inside than anybody
  27. Because when I was sick you would watch me from the door, I would feel safer
  28. Because you always found the pieces of my broken heart and helped me put it back.
  29. Because you were and always will be young at heart
  30. Because you were right about my first boyfriend and even though I hated that you were at the time, and the next few guys too,I now love and appreciate your protectiveness over me and in hindsight you were right (yeah I said it!)
  31. Because you allowed me to fail and come back home countless times and Never told me I told you so, (okay a few times it slipped ), Just took me back and helped me get back on my feet
  32. Because your music taste and mine are similar (if a tad offbeat)
  33. Because you allowed me to believe I could be anything I wanted to be
  34. Because you didn't just say it you invested money and time in every one of my interests
  35. Because you helped me out more times that I can count with out making me feel bad about it
  36. Because you always pick the right birthday/valentine /Christmas card
  37. Because of the way you are with my daughter and I can see how you were with me as a little girl
  38. Because you are one of the strongest men I know
  39. Because I am proud to be your daughter
  40. Because you are not ashamed of your past
  41. Because you can talk to me about serious things and give sage advice
  42. Because of your amazing insights into situations and people, which You have passed on to me and for this I am so grateful
  43. Because you are not a ‘normal’ dad
  44. Because you would have bought me the 4,000.00 wedding dress if you could have
  45. Because I still value your opinion, No matter how old I get, in fact, if anything it’s become more important
  46. Because even though you’re not together anymore, you still love and are protective of mom.
  47. Because now that I am older and have a child of my own, I am awed at the sacrifices you made for me and Roc and Nata without complaining
  48. Because in ANY time of crisis I can call on you and you will be there
  49. Because you are my one and only dad
  50. Because I buy cards for you and never send them all the time.
  51. Because I always buy your fathers day card as soon as they put them out
  52. Because you might read this blog and prove my previous points threefold
  53. because poker nite gives me the opportunity to meet you as an adult
  54. Because you still tell mom the things you should be able to call and tell me - like you miss the baby - but that's okay as long as I find out.
  55. Because I really wanted to move nearer to you but didn't
  56. because you still put other peoples wants before yours even though you don't have to.
  57. because you wore those baby blue Nikes I bought you even though I know you hated them
  58. Because you are a wonderful Grandfather
  59. Because you admitted you are still a Dallas fan even though we have a home team now
  60. Because I like your laugh alot
  61. because I like you

    .And I love you today and always

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Guess who's Back!!

I am back and in a happy way - and I am gonna post fo real tonight... look for it! I miss ya'll!!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Katrina .. you'z a Bitch

This post will be very sporadic - and long – my thoughts are jumping around quite a bit and I am just writing this as it comes – Sorry people DEAL – I got no time to edit profusely.

I live in a very electronic world – I read blogs by people all over the world – black people white people, republicans, house wives, cops, republican cops, rightwing farmers, left wing writers, film makers, democrats, independents, guys, girls, kids, dads, parents, couples, poets, assholes, asshole poets… you know who you are! J – everybody has a blog and it gives me so much of a broader view of our society to read them.
People and their response to Katrina, who by the way ran in to the south east like she was a woman scorned - varied from the compassionate to so harsh I wonder if they have hearts in their chests. Emotions were high – almost from the very beginning. Mine were raw for days on end – and actually today well the last 24 hours has been the first time I have tried to gather my thoughts for post.
People want to avoid politicizing this event (ironically republicans who also want to turn everything we who have issue with into – us saying Bush is responsible for the hurricane. Lets be real people. Bush is a lot of things but he’s not God so no I don’t blame him for mother nature I blame him for all the opportunities he F’ed Up after the fact, and the things he didn’t do that could avhe stopped it from happening this way to begin with) – but everyday all of it is politics. I am not a republican – not a democrat, for me that’s like asking do you want to be stabbed in the back or the front? So this is not about supporting a particular candidate. Its about being real.

The Katrina disaster zone takes up an area roughly the size of the United Kingdom. 90,000 square miles. That area is home to slightly less than 12,000,000 people.

I am embarrassed by my governments’ response on the highest levels. I am a relative of men in Armed forces, police officers, my friends are firemen and national guards men and I know - know like you know - they are trying to go - do what they can - and I will be here trying to do what I can, give what I can - help who I can but that pride in the people of the US does not extend to its government as a whole for me. I blame the current administration as well as Clintons. And yes I believe now is the time to point out the problems before they are forgotten in our 30 minute attention span Americans are known for.
I blame our administration for dismantling FEMA - while I give them credit for doing what they can with what they have (there are unsung heroes amidst every fuck up) - but they should have had more to work with - wasn't their funding cut to pay for Iraq? And they should have taken this seriously from the jump. Not after all eyes were furrowed in anger afterwards and looking their way- I also blame the previous administration for not putting more money behind it - taking the threat more seriously - I hate to take this position but I really - can't bear to hear another thing about Iraq and we can't take care of home .

I shoulder my fair share of blame - but I wonder what we do to prepare - Missouri sits on the largest earthquake fault in the nation and we are not prepared - what if it had been us? What if we had been shaken and the pictures were not of people drowning in water but in rubble again? This is why the comparisons to 9/11 are made because if it were St. Louis or E. St. Louis or some equally middle class city - and yes predominately minority - would it have taken Bush THREE DAYS to start federal preparations? New York is always portrayed as white people land - Blair Underwood was the ONLY BLACK MAN in New York in you believed Sex in the City and there are like three if you watch Friends. And I hate that it’s a race thing but its not just race - it’s a class thing - look at where the towers went down... in the middle of wall street.

If it were Beverly hills, LA falling into the ocean or Portland caught in a mudslide? would they have had to wait? I bet you your extra tall Latte HELLZ NAW! Now, it should be mentioned that less than 2 days after Rehnquist (sp) died, before his body was even in the ground, Bush had nominated John Roberts as his choice to become the new Chief Justice of the Supreme court. It takes less than 2 days to announce and send something on its way when it’s some shit that matters to him.We live in a great country, I don’t argue that. I love my city – I love my culture– while I score a 40% American on the little joke quiz – I am an American – a black woman – so in the eyes of many including most members of government -40% is about right. And I know the question becomes why, why are black people and granted people in general so hostile about this? Why are we so vocal? Why do we want the people responsible for our government held responsible for this? Let’s look at
or rather if you don’t like Guerrilla News as a source lets try Newsday,0,7162001.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

And we wonder why black people look sideways at this administration, at Government in general. People are a very strong reflection of their parents. I have my racist moments. I know some of my beliefs are in place as defense mechanisms – blatant ignorance on occasion, and sometimes bad information. But as leader of the free world – shouldn’t you be trying harder to over come those types of racist tendencies and , and while I strongly believe that race plays a major roll like Barack Obama believe it is just as much a class issue as well. see this article, anyway Jake and I - We got into a short e-mail discussion about the role of race in this situation. Which, by the way, in the week following has been a card finally recognized by the media – who have started to earn back a millimeter of my respect. (most of you don’t know when I was in high school I wanted to be in journalism, the change in news coverage between high school and college changed my mind quickly – Newsrooms are too corporate to allow for many Watergates anymore) Anyway I don't think the people who stayed (whether they felt they had a choice or not) deserve what they got. PERIOD. No excuses, no fancy reasoning. They are human and are my peers, my human family. No one deserves to have their family members slip out of grasp, away from fingertips - Don't think they deserve to sit in a football stadium with no water or power among the corpses of those who would not survive. No one should have to sit on the side of the interstate while her husband dies while she begs for police and rescue works to stop and help. Yes I know there was not much they could do for her - in particular- yes I know the whole thing could have been handled differently by both the people who stayed and the people who were sent to help. Granted, looting for electronics is stupid - Looting for food is what I would have done to feed my little girl - take care of my husband - help my grandmother survive.

I read a kid say in another blog : There is a higher law that says you have to stay alive.

I couldn’t agree more. We don't know why they stayed - I'm sure some of them were of the "we'll ride it out" mindset but I can't fault them because they have rode out storms many of us would not be able to dream of. I have family and friends in the area some who stayed for reasons their own - some left because they could. Some stayed for family who could not go.
And that is why this is not just about people but politics – because the politics of all of this should have been enough to ensure the well handling of our fellow citizens. PEOPLE ARE POLITICS. Because to our Government officials and our “non-biased media” it should never have been an issue that was a topic of concideration. Black people catch the negative end of the assumption constantly – We’re looters, we’re used to the conditions, we’re animals and out of control… you leave any group of people in those conditions and see what happens. If our government had supplied the same amount of support and compassion to Louisiana and Mississippi as they did to the Tsunami victims, 911 victims, Shoot TERRY SCHIVO for Christ sakes, if the media had been as forth coming as they had been with the college girl in Aruba situation, with Iraq , insert nationally featured white girl kidnap victim here – instead of trying to paint those people as animals, maybe the whole truth would get out.

How about the paramedic who tells his story about how police kept people from leaving NO? All the while Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went shoe shopping on Fifth Avenue, played tennis and saw a musical.
"... at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several
thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes. A fellow shopper went up to the
Secretary and reportedly shouted, 'How dare you shop for shoes while thousands
are dying and homeless!' Rice had security physically remove the woman."

What about the stories of the Military personnel on the USS Baatan* (see foot note below) who followed Katrina in from the gulf and were ready to assist but were told to stand down And Vice President Dick Cheney was still on vacation ... killing things, and trying to get his corrupt hands on the sweet sweet Canadian tar sands

The Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert said, maybe we should just forget all about rebuilding New Orleans. It's below sea level, he doesn't listen to "jazz," has never been south of Virginia, doesn't know any African Americans, and besides, it might cost money ... so how important a city could it be?-The Pentagon, headed by Donald Rumsfeld, reassured America that, yes, the Country music hoe-down with Clint Black on September 11th is still on ... but don't politicize hurricane Katrina, besides he was at a baseball game. .

The head of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman, sent out an email stressing that NOW is the time when we must repeal that which is causing our country to go down the tubes: the estate tax. Because the public is seemingly too distracted to notice. -And Vice President Dick Cheney was still on vacation ... killing things, and trying to get his corrupt hands on the sweet sweet Canadian tar sands.

And when Bushie finally got around to dealing with the situation – he has the nerve to look BORED?!?!? COME on people – what does he gotta do to get impeached? All it took for Clintion was a less than attractive woman and a stained blue dress. This man is caught in lie after lie after lie after lie, and we just kinda shrug it off – as if we knew he wasn’t for us anyway. Like that makes it okay?

* There's an interesting BBC
World News report
(brought to my attention another blog I’m doing a bit of
copy and paste here) in which NorthCom Lt. Commander Sean Kelly explained the
military's efforts which, in addition to military support, include distribution
of medical supplies, search and rescue operations, distributing food and water,
and meeting transportation needs. (Note: the server hosting the video seems to
be overwhelmed. This is
a direct .mpg link, which is also slow right now, but keep trying.)
When the
BBC noted the criticism of the government's slow response, Lt. Commander Kelly
explained that NorthCom was ready to go well in advance of Katrina making
landfall, but suggested the president didn't make the right call at the right
"Northcom started planning before the storm even hit. We were ready
when it hit Florida, because, as you remember, it hit the bottom part of
Florida, and then we were planning once it was pointed towards the Gulf
"So, what we did, we activated what we call 'defense coordinating
officers' to work with the states to say, 'OK, what do you think you will need?'
And we set up staging bases that could be started.
"We had the USS Bataan
sailing almost behind the hurricane so once the hurricane made landfall, its
search and rescue helicopters could be available almost immediately So, we had
things ready.
"The only caveat is: we have to wait until the president
authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military
can't just act in this fashion; we have to wait for the president to give us
Apparently, that permission could have been given right away,
but it wasn't. Bush was on vacation, sharing some cake with John McCain, and pretending to play some guitar.
This seems like it could be a fairly big deal.
There's been some frustration on the part of military officials about bureaucracy and FEMA's ineffectiveness, but Kelly's remarks to the BCC sounded like a fairly direct
challenge to the president's leadership — they wanted to leap into action, but
the White House never made the call.
Considering that there are already questions about who was in charge last week, can someone please ask the White House who first gave the order to NorthCom and when?

Tell me what I am supposed to think? How am I supposed to believe in my country like this? This is my song for the day . Down load it to your respective IPod MP3 player and take a listen. “My Petition” Jill Scott
You say you mean good for me
But you don't do it
You say you have a plan
but you just don't go thru with it
You say you know the way to goA
nd I should follow
But all of your empty promises
Leave me hollow
And oh
How do I trust you
How do I love you
When youLie to me repeatedly
And oh
How do I have faith, in you
When you just don't come thru
Like you say you could
Oh, say can you see [2x]

You say that I'm wrong for
Stating my opinion to you
You say that I'm wrong and there'll be quiet consequences too
But I know my rights babe
There'll be no law abridging
The freedom of my speech
Or the right for me to petition for a remedy of grievances
And I want to trust you
I want to love yeah
But you lie to me repeatedly
And oh I want to have faith in you
But you just don't come thru
Like you said you could
Oh say can you see
HmmmI want fresh fruit, clean water,
Air that I don't see
I want the feeling of being safe on my streets
I want my children to be smarter than me
I want, I want to feelI
want to feel, I want to feel free
For real ya'll
I'm just telling you so you know
I want to, I want to have faith in you
I really do but you keep lying to me
It hurts
I believe, I believe you owe it me
Give it to me like you said you would
HmmmOh say can you see
HmmmOh say can you see
Oohh say can you see
By the dawn's early light

Thursday, September 01, 2005

that looting/finding image.

that looting/finding image.
Originally uploaded by david.
I swear I'm speechless - once I calm down just a little bit I'll be able to talk about this whole Hurricane thing - and how race has played into so many responses including that of our government.... REsponses are welcome to this image alone