This upcoming Saturday, organizers will be having an event in Washington D.C. commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Million Man March. Some of you may have missed the first Million Man March, but living in Detroit, I actually remember the news coverage at the time. It was fairly controversial in my neighborhood, where wealthier Jews, Arabs, Blacks and Whites lived in some isolation from the urban issues of Detroit, but were nonetheless vocal about the Million Man March, and its organizer, Naton of Islam spokesman, Louis Farrakhan.
Personally, I like Louis Farrakhan. I have taken the time to listen to his speeches on radio and C-SPAN, instead of just listening to some people taking selected, controversial soundbytes out of context for the purpose of discrediting him, or labeling him anti-semitic, or racist, or whatever.
While I may not agree with Farrakhan on every specific issue, I appreciate the fact that he seems to have the confidence in his activism (he has a pair of balls) to speak bluntly and criticize the status quo about the problems we all face as a nation. Here are the many issues that will be addressed Saturday:
We call, first, for the unity amongst Black peoples and organizations. We call for unity amongst all African peoples and peoples of African descent worldwide. We call for unity with our Brown, Red, disenfranchised and oppressed Brothers and Sisters in America, Caribbean, Central and South America, Asia and all over the world. “The Power of One” is the synthesis of men, women, youth and elders working in unity for our total liberation.
2. Spiritual Values
We call for Atonement, Reconciliation and Responsibility. We organize in the name of our God (The One Creator) and on sound ethical, moral principles and values. Our Movement affirms the rich legacy and diversity of our spiritual traditions and calls for unity and understanding among our religious faiths and spiritual traditions.
We demand an end to substandard education in our community. The Millions More Movement advocates, and will develop, a new, independent educational paradigm for our people. We must have a knowledge of self, our history, and the best education in civilized society. We will build a skills bank, the talent of which will be used in the development of our people.
4. Economic Development
We will establish a Black Economic Development Fund, with the support of millions, to aid in building an economic infrastructure. We will also offer housing ownership opportunities to check the adverse tide of gentrification. The Millions More Movement will produce and distribute its own products and supports “Buy Black” campaigns.
5. Political Power
The Millions More Movement is the political voice of the poor and disenfranchised. We are resolved to take an independent political path in order to achieve political power. The Millions More Movement will be an organized political force of consequence in America and all over the world.
We demand full and complete Reparations for the descendants of slaves. We demand that America take the appropriate steps to help in the repair of the damage done from 300 years of slavery, 100 years of segregation, and 50 years of the misuse and abuse of governmental power to destroy Black organizations and leaders.
7. Prison Industrial Complex
We demand freedom for all political prisoners held in U.S. prisons and detention facilities, both foreign and domestic. We demand an end to police brutality, mob attacks, racial profiling, the herding of our young men and women into prisons and the biological and chemical warfare perpetrated against our people.
We demand an end to the lack of adequate health care in our community and we demand free health care for the descendants of slaves in this nation. The Millions More Movement will present a Preventive Health Care Plan to our people that will begin with a campaign to educate our people on healthy dietary, eating and exercise habits.
9. Artistic/ Cultural Development
We demand a greater accountability and responsibility of our artists, entertainers, industry personnel and executives, for them to commit to the redevelopment and upliftment of our people. We demand an end to the exploitation of our talent by outside forces. We will make strides in obtaining greater control over the means of production and distribution of our immense artistic talent and creative genius. We advocate for cultural development, and for the knowledge of our original culture to be used as a model for future advancement.
We call for the establishment of peace in the world. We demand an end to wars of foreign aggression waged by the United States Government against other sovereign nations and peoples. We demand an end to senseless violence, and advocate peace amongst street organizations (gangs) and youth.
In Pakistan, the earthquake was felt as far south as Lahore, where this multi-storey building collapsed. Scared residents fled into the streets as the tremors began. [BBC/AP]
Medical attention for the wounded has also been limited. This child was evacuated out of Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, by US helicopter. [BBC/AP]
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a magnitude 7.6 earthquake occurred at 03:50:38 (UTC) on Saturday, October 8, 2005, in Pakistan. Subtract 4 hours from UTC for Eastern Daylight Time (New York), or add 5 hours to UTC for the local time of the earthquake.
At least 30,000 people killed, 43,000 injured and many towns and villages destroyed or badly damaged in northern Pakistan. At least 800 people were killed in India and four people in Afghanistan. An estimated 2.5 million people in the area have been left homeless. Landslides have damaged roads and bridges blocking access to many of the worst-hit areas.
International aid is pouring into the region. International Rescue and Recovery teams have saved some lives, pulling people out from beneath the rubble of many buildings. Here are some web sites with main sections devoted to this terrible event with news and donation information:
If you wish to donate money to help people in this region, be sure to go directly to the official web site of an NGO or charity. As with any natural disaster, fraudulent websites and scam artists inevitably pop up to take advantage of disasters and your generosity.
This last year, Mother Nature has been a total bitch -- the tsunami, wildfires, and multiple hurricanes. What do you think is next, a volcano erupting, or a large meteor hitting a major city, or the much talked about bird flu pandemic? Do these natural disasters make you wonder about your religion's prophecies of end times?
George W. Bush had no choice but to postpone his latest September 11th anniversary "Stay the Course" terrorism speech because of the acts of God -- called hurricane Katrina and then Rita. He finally found time the other morning to get back on message about his Global War on Terror (GWoT) and again justify his invasion of Iraq to pre-emptively strike back at his negative popular opinion polls here in the United States. Not surprising, since the casualty numbers of American military killed will soon reach another milestone of 2000 killed, shortly. Dubya's job approval poll numbers are drilling down lower than the depth for finding new oil in a national wildlife reserve. Oh, frack it. Nevermind.
When Bush bullet-pointed his shifting motivations for Iraq, he failed to tell us that apparently God told him to invade Iraq. However, he was sure to tell the American people that his administration had thwarted no less than ten terrorist acts since the Al Qaeda attacks of September 11th. Well, sort of. A few hours later, some people in the media finally discovered their own pair of balls again and actually asked White House Press Excuser, Scott McClellan, for specific examples of the so-called foiled plots.
Breaking from their usual practice of void slogans and vacuous bullshit, the troubled White House felt compelled to tell the press -- no, no, we're not lying this time -- look at this. The additional press release was less vague than the President's speech. All in all, the president's speech [transcript] was fairly good, but the White House staff must be lost without their architect, Karl Rove. They are tripping over their own words, stammering, and backed into a corner by their own core conservative supporters because of the Meiers supreme court nomination.
They are stuck on defense, swinging their arms blindly like a cornered animal, and howling loudly with their own contradictions.
In his speech, originally scheduled to mark the four-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks but postponed after Hurricane Katrina, Bush had many terms for his enemy, calling it variously "Islamic radicalism," "militant Jihadism" and even "Islamofascism." He did not declare an end to his "global war on terror," a phrase that some advisers had pushed to abandon in favor of "strategy against violent extremism."
Bush, however, rejected the idea that "extremism" had been "strengthened" by the ongoing U.S. war in Iraq, taking strong issue with analysts who believe that Iraq has become a "melting pot for jihadists from around the world, a training group and an indoctrination center" for a new generation of terrorists, as the State Department's annual report on terrorism put it this year.
"To say Iraq has not contributed to the rise of global Sunni extremism movement is delusional," said Roger W. Cressey, a former White House counterterrorism adviser under Bush and President Bill Clinton. "We should have an honest discussion about what these unintended consequences of the Iraq war are and what do we do to counter them." [Washington Post]
I'd conspiratorially say BushCo only hauled out the 9-11 speech to raise his job approval numbers, but they can't even do that right, at the moment. Dubya was to give this speech anyway, and the hurricanes just postponed it. However, the question of whether or not DHS sent out the terror alert memo the day after Dubya's speech concerning some NYC subway plot to scare this shit out of some people seems like a seriously politically-motivated and contrived exclamation point.
Do these colors run?
Here's the thing about intelligence gathered about plots: It can be total bullshit, or not. I'm not bashing NYC's elected hobbit for "erring on the side of caution," as mayor Bloomberg has stated. But, I would like to point out that the people seem to forget the roller coaster ride of alerts the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put all of us through last year before the 2004 election.
Last year, DHS sounded like they had studied Monty Python movies for security.
The case of Luis Posada Carriles isn't in the national news, but it is causing a huge stir in the south Florida Cuban population and much opinion in the Miami Herald:
"Mr. Posada is a Cold War combatant who never gave up the fight."
"Mr. Posada has a questionable past."
If "questionable past" refers to Posada's own admission of organizing the plot that resulted in an airplane exploding, killing 73 people, I'd agree with that statement. If being a "cold war warrior" means that Posada assisted in that whole Reagan-era Iran/Contra affair, okay. If "never gave up" means that he was involved in terrorist activities as recently as 2000, then, I agree again.
The very department (DHS) that is supposed to protect the citizens of the United States from terror is now using legalistic smoke and mirrors to thwartthedeportation and extradiction of this terrorist. Don't expect much news concerning this, unless Venezuela decides to make it a bigger issue. You'll have to do your own research through the links I've found to get to the truth of this conspiracy.
I just got this in my Atom Films newsletter. Intel and AtomFilms are sponsoring an Indies Film Contest that anyone can enter. The grand prize winner will get $25,000 cash, plus a home entertainment system worth $20,000. With that kind of scratch, you could buy a spiffy new electric vehicle and a hooker, or a few years worth of gasoline! Even if your film kinda sucks, they will pay you $10,000 for 2nd and 3rd place, which is generously called "two first prize winners." See their bizarre, yet official rules to enter. You have until November 21st to submit your digital cinematic vision for consideration.
Some of the official rules mandate that you must use an Intel processor at some point along the way, so you Mac/Apple freaks should call your PC-based buds and make some arrangements. If you win, you could always pay for his or her participation in your indie film project with some time with hookers or in the champagne room at the strip club.
Other weird rules include that the film shall not be longer than four minutes long. I guess that is because scientific studies have shown that you frackin' slackers don't have a five minute attention span without taking your ritalin.
Another official rule of the Intel/Atom Films contest that I found strange was that you must use their music, if you want to have any music with your film. Here is the list of approved soundtracks for use with your entry. I downloaded SCI-FI_1.ZIP just to hear one sample of the available audio. It's not bad, and potential contestants are allowed to modify the tuneage to suit the needs of their film.
I'm looking forward to (hopeful that) someone using little bits of all of the many audio MP3s available on the audio page in a massively schizophrenic way, just to piss off the sponsors at Intel. Take that, you Intel control freaks!
In related news: the Amazon/AmEx/Tribeca indies film contest has wound down to five finalists for your consideration on the Amazon Screening Room about which I blogged here, last month. You can vote for your favorite of these five entry finalists until October 28th:
"Duel at Red Table" by Jack Paccione Jr.
"Battaglia" by Owen Smith
"Richter's Agenda" by Paul Matusheski
"Coming Home" by Greg Benson
"Meter Maids" by Joseph Garner
Out of these five films, I only saw "Meter Maids" and it was a good film -- worthy to be a finalist. I'm not surprised that it is a finalist for your consideration among the others. Do take five minutes and vote for one of these films before the end of this month. Someone is going to get that $50,000 AmEx card -- so if you vote, you can help out one these five talented indie film makers.