EMAIL: "R U Still Down?"
How have you been. I'm thinking about 2006 and I want to know if your in. The only way to conquer is to think now, and I know your an excellent thinker. What's the word maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.
Mos Def amigo, after all, we're facing The New Danger in 200666...
I'm working on what I'm working on which is working on getting better. The ideas are mostly down though new ones are still being created, so now the sales-pitch is being refined to ensure that they reach the maximum audience with minimum resistance. I'm taking a more "zen" approach to consistently "being" a revolutionary and constantly widening the definition, suggesting a better more inclusive path for everyone to inner-peace can be achieved through outer-struggle. I've got a tonne of evidence for this, and as long as you're not a leader of the movement you'll actually live a longer and more fulfilling life.
Of course if you are... you'd better have a plan to retire in 5 years.
I want to push on like this for another 6 months or so, get hundreds of thousands of words and ideas down, and get a few more "first" albums done to keep that fresh hungry vibe - I'll hit you up when I've got some money and have finished planning them out. Most artists best albums are their first ones, so I'm continuing to write and conceptualize with no pressure on me and few responsibilities and restrictions on my time. I don't mind being broke because I'm still nearly always happy, and learning pride through poverty will come in handy later to inspire others by relating first-hand experiences and translating certain learned values for my old middle-class homeboys. I want to cover the spectrum of human experience as widely as possible from an authoritative perspective, expanding on what I've done so far using a simple formula: a bit of balls, a bit of info, a bit more balls, a bit more info... thus building up others into being confident enough to handle the truth and act on it. Once cats get their Dr. Phil of my Tupac Chopra they'll feel better, and this will also help shield me against the Feds as some of the "self-help" shit will resonate with them too and give me good people on the inside.
If I'm not satisfied with where I am professionally in 6 months, then I'll probably sell-out. At that point if anyone asks why, I'll say 'cause I want to; and if anyone says I used to be more hardcore and they liked my early stuff better, I'll say fine, I left a tonne of it for you to enjoy and learn from, so go play with it. At that point people can work backwards in finding my deeper and more specific versions of the truth, and I'll take on a much more Jon Stewart/Dave Chappelle/Kanye West/Black Eye Peas/50 Cent approach to softening up minds as opposed to pimp-slapping them, and keep it "real" with the emotions while fudging the "facts" that explain the systemic cracks. In my mind I've only been at this for a year, so while it's taking a while, in relative terms comparing myself with hip hop and other artists I know and others throughout history, I've still got 4 years left and am more or les on schedule...
For now, telling the truth just because I feel I need to for "free" is part of the plan to build credibility and fight cynicism in a brutal environment where alternate realities are seen as threatening as opposed to even informatively allegorical - keeping even a rational "agree to disagree" discussion from happening. This approach will also enable me to be a really cocky-bastard later when I feel it's needed, a key to staying an "everyman" and infiltrating groups who could care less (as I'm doing now). Don't worry, I'm down, I never believe my relationships with people change unless I'm explicitly informed they have, and even when they do, unless some Keyser Soze-shit went down I always feel like they can be fixed anyway.
We cool, we'll catch up soon...
BONUS: Anything is possible Part I...
BONUS: Anything is possible Part II...
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Haaretz (Hebrew: הארץ ▶(?), The Land) is an Israeli newspaper, founded in 1919. It is published in Hebrew, with an abridged English edition published as an annex to the International Herald Tribune edition distributed in Israel. Hebrew and English editions also appear on the Internet.
The newspaper's editorial line was defined by Gershom Schocken, who was editor-in-chief between 1939 and 1990. Haaretz is owned by the Schocken family. The current editor and managing editor are (resp.) David Landau and Tami Litani, who replaced Hanoch Marmari and Yoel Esteron in April 2004.
In comparison to the other daily Hebrew newspapers, Maariv and Yediot Aharonot, Haaretz is relatively high brow, with longer articles, smaller print, fewer pictures and daily science and literature pages. Its views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict tend to be leftist, particularly the reporting of Amira Hass and, to a lesser extent, Gideon Levy. Haaretz strongly supported the Oslo accords with the PLO. The position of the newspaper in Israel's religious spectrum is decidedly secular. Although space is often given to issues of social justice (exemplified by Ruth Sinai's frequent columns on this topic), the paper's editorial line on economical issues is primarily classical-liberal in the spirit of The Economist. It supports privatization, free-trade, reduction in welfare, lower taxes and strict fiscal practices.
SOURCE - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haaretz
Scores dead in three Amman hotel bombings; Israelis evacuated before attack
Haaretz | November 9, 2005
By Yoav Stern and Zohar Blumenkrantz
Bombs rocked three hotels in Amman late last night, killing at least 57 people and wounding more than 115 in apparent suicide attacks. One of the hotels is known to be popular with Israeli tourists.
"There were three terrorist attacks on the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn hotels, and it is believed that the blasts were suicide bombings," police spokesman Major Bashir al-Da'aja told The Associated Press. He declined to elaborate.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.
A police official said the attacks were simultaneous and hit minutes before 9 P.M. in two districts in the Jordanian capital, including the commercial area of Jebel Amman and Al-Rabiyeh, which houses the Israeli Embassy.
A number of Israelis staying yesterday at the Radisson SAS were evacuated before the bombing by Jordanian security forces, apparently due to a specific security alert. They were escorted back to Israel by security personnel.
The Foreign Ministry stated yesterday that no Israeli tourists are known to have been injured in the blasts. Representatives of Israel's embassy in Amman were I contact with local authorities to examine any report of injured Israelis, but none were received. There are often a number of Israeli businessman and tourists in Amman, including in the hotels hit yesterday.
Israel's counter-terror headquarters yesterday recommended Israeli citizens not travel in Jordan. Travel recommendations regarding Jordan were tightened a few months ago, but many Israelis still visit the country. Many also visit other regions such as the Jordanian Arava and the ancient city of Petra.
The first bomber, at 8:50 P.M. local time, struck the Grand Hyatt, completely shattering the stone entrance. An AP reporter saw at least seven bodies removed from the hotel and many more wounded carried out on stretchers.
CNN reported an eyewitness saying the Jordanian prime minister's car was at the Grand Hyatt at the time of the blast.
Police said a second explosion hit the nearby Radisson SAS hotel, where about 250 people were attending a wedding reception. At least five were killed and at least 20 wounded in that blast, believed to have been caused by a bomb placed in a false ceiling, police sources at the scene told Reuters.
The Radisson, in particular, is popular with Israeli tourists and was a target of several foiled Al-Qaida plots in the past.
Police also reported a third explosion at the Days Inn Hotel in Amman. There were also casualties at that hotel.
"The attacks carry the trademark of Al-Qaida," one police official said on condition of anonymity in line with police regulations. "However, it is not certain. We are investigating."
Ayman al-Safadi, editor of Jordan's Al-Ghad newspaper, told the Al-Arabiya satellite network that it was a "terrorist operation."
"Finally, the terrorists succeeded in breaking the security in Jordan," he said, referring to past success in foiling many terror plots.
Jordan's King Abdullah II condemned the attack, saying, "Justice will pursue the criminals" behind the Amman suicide attacks, CNN reported. Abdullah, who was on an official visit to Kazakhstan, cut short his trip and was returning home last night.
The Grand Hyatt and Radisson SAS hotels, in the commercial Jebel Amman district, are located about one kilometer apart and are frequented by American and European businessmen and diplomats. The Days Inn is located three kilometers away.
An American businessman who was at the Grand Hyatt when the explosion occurred said a "bomb that went off in the lobby." He declined to identify himself.
"It was a miracle that we made it out with a scratch," said a British guest at the Grand Hyatt.
"We thought it was fireworks for the wedding but I saw people falling to the ground," said Ahmed, a wedding guest at the Radisson who did not give his surname. "I saw blood. There were people killed. It was ugly."
Jordan, a key ally of both the United States and Israel, had largely escaped the terror attacks that have hit other parts of the Middle East, and its sleepy capital, Amman, is viewed as a haven of stability in the region.
But Jordan has not been entirely immune: On Aug. 19, militants fired three Katyusha rockets at a U.S. Navy ship docked at the Red Sea resort of Aqaba, narrowly missing it and killing a Jordanian soldier.
Jordanian officials blamed that attack on Al-Qaida in Iraq, and there have been growing worries that the violence in Iraq could spill over into Jordan, where many Iraqi exiles have taken refuge from the violence.
REAL SOURCE - http://www.infowars.com/articles/terror/amman_hotel_bombing_israelis_evac_before_attack.htm
ORIGINAL LINK - http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/643691.html
BONUS: Anything is possible Part III...
Blog Gem courtesy of The Monk on The Couch...
I bought it at Manny's, 48th street New York, in 1969 when I was 16. I had saved up for it for months. Took the bus into NYC from New Jersey with my friend Bob, got jostled and talked down to by the overworked and haughty stringy-haired staff; paid cash and left with my heart racing like it was Christmas morning and I was 6 years old. That new-guitar feel, that new-guitar smell. Oh, Lord. I probably did not sleep that night. I bought it from Manny's because they had the best price. It was an extra bonus that the place was so cool. Never mind that the staff treated me like I was an ant (an ant with cash). The place was (and still is) sooooo cool. In 1969, among hundreds of others photos on the wall of satisfied customers, there were nice autographed pics of John, Paul, George, Ringo, Mick, Keith, Janis, Jimi, Rascals, Animals, Spoonful, Mothers . . . The place was lousy with honest-to-god rock stars. Not only that, there were also lots of musicians there too. All the time.
That section of 48th Street is full of nifty music stores. I wasn't able to find a link for Manny's but here's a picture of the place across the street. I haven't said what kind of guitar this was yet for two reasons. One is to build up the drama of just how much I loved this guitar. I never really learned to play it all that well, but I sure played it a lot. I had it for 10 years. I took it to college with me. I took it to Africa with me. I loved that guitar. I loved how it looked, how it sounded, how it felt, how it smelled, how I bought it, where it went with me. I loved it. I loved it. So the second reason that I haven't said what kind of guitar it was is that it's too painful to talk about. So it's not very Zen to be so attached to material possessions, but who cares. UnZen, that's me.
OK I've drawn out this part of the story long enough.
Here's the kind of guitar it was. I forget what you call this size guitar. It's basically ¾ size. It's smaller than a regular guitar, but it's not a damn ukele either. It's a real guitar.
Notice the lack of ornamentation. Notice that sexy, sexy shape. And take my word for it: it was so smooth to play, and it sounded so, so, so sweet. Notice also (in the text supplied by the manufacturer) that this guitar is so prized by collectors that when the manufacturer wanted to start making this model again, after it had gone out of production, they couldn't find anybody willing to part with one, knowing that the luthiers needed to vivisect one in order to copy its design. Notice where says that the F30 (my model) is "no longer available."
Oh, I think I'm going to cry. (You think I'm joking, but I'm not.)
So anyway after I got out of the Peace Corps in 1976 I got a grant to go be a graduate student in Agricultural Economics at a Big University located in West Lafayette, Indiana.
I rented a studio apartment in a very cool-looking but decrepit bastard Greek Revival style house on 6th Street Lafayette, which is across the Wabash River from West Lafayette, about a mile and a half walk from school, in a dumpy part of town. (In Lafayette, the train tracks run right down 5th Street. Which I think is great, Hank Willliams, but it doesn't add to the desirability of 6th Street real estate). It was a three story building with five apartments, all rented to students. My studio apartment was on the second floor. It had a sitting room, a bedroom/kitchen, and a bathroom. The bathroom had a cast-iron clawfoot tub. The sitting room had French doors that opened onto a long porch that went across the whole front of the house, like in some Natchez Mississippi plantation house.
I really liked being a graduate student in agricultural economics, even though I found the subject matter very difficult. I really liked going to classes, doing research, studying (linear algebra & stochastic models, FORTRAN, price-support policy, regression analysis, macroeconomics, agronomy, soil science) and hanging out with the other ag-ec grad students, many of whom were African, Brazilian, or USians former Peace Corps like me.
We were trying to figure out how to feed the world, how to feed all the starving people; how to create an equitable and just system of land tenure, how to promote autonomy and self-determination for the peasant peoples of the world. We were trying to figure out how to prevent childhood malnutrition and the eviction from ancestral homelands of decent farmers by corrupt politicians who had been bought out by transnational "libertarian" capitalists intent on driving up shareholder value by any means fair or foul. It was fun. And we had houseparties and drank a lot and went to bars and stayed up all night talking and playing guitars and talking about eigen vectors, inverted matrices and freedom and justice and chisel plows and disc harrows.
One of my best friends was a former Peace Corps guy named Stan Cohen. And we hung out a lot with Al and Martha Fleming. A distant member of our posse was Stan's sister Laurie, who was a grad student in Ag Ec at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Stan and Laurie used to say that they were the only Jewish brother-sister team of Agricultural Economists in the world. Laurie would come down from Wisconsin to visit us and we would all do things like go see John Hammond, Jr. play at the local coffee house. And get him to come drinking with us after the show. And just have a fuckin pisser time, y'know? So Stan was really cool, and he and I hung out and studied and went to houseparties and bars and listened to loud blues and tried to figure out how to save the starving children.
SO ANYWAY, one day the landlord tells me that they're upgrading all the locks on the building, and can I be home at such and such a time to accommodate the locksmith. So OK, I'm there at the appointed time, and this kid shows up, the locksmith's apprentice. And while the locksmith himself is changing the locks on other apartments, this apprentice with the long stringy red hair is changing the locks on my apartment. And he notices my guitar case and asks about it. So I take my beautiful child, my Guild F30, out of its case and I let the redhaired punk locksmith play it.
So we're just hanging out, this punk locksmith and I, taking turns playing, talking about how cool my guitar is. And I happen to say, inasmuch as this punk locksmith and I have become such good friends, "I don't know why the landlord is all hot on changing the locks. If anybody wanted to break into here, all they would have to do is push in the French doors. The fucking wind can blow them open, for Pete's sake."
So that next weekend Al Fleming and I go on a road trip in his 68 Buick LeSabre to some damn place, perhaps an Ohio corn/soybean farm if I remember at all, drinking 40oz Pabst Blue Ribbons and listening to the Allman Brothers on the 8-track. And three days later when we get back to my place Al comes up for a beer or coffee or whatever.
I open the door to my apartment and step in. I say to Al, "What's wrong with this apartment?" He looks around. "I dunno. Looks OK to me." "There is no guitar in this apartment," I say. And indeed there is no guitar in my apartment.
I call the cops, I tell them about the punk apprentice locksmith. I don't expect anything to come of it, and indeed, nothing does. I do not recall much about this part of the story. This happened a long time ago, in 1977, before you were born.
Time went by. I still had my little baby-size solid-body epiphone which had been sitting under my bed all this time, but it was small consolation. I played it, unamplified, from time to time. Mostly I just moped around.
So some more time went by. A couple of months.
So Laurie comes down to visit, as does Stan & Laurie's friend Mike McCleary, (known to (a very small number of ) fans of slasher/horror flicks as "Billy Ray McQuade" star of Mother's Day )
So I'm over in Stan's basement apartment (about which more in another diary entry, if y'all ask for it) with Laurie and Mike the slasher-movie star, when Stan decides that he really wants to show Mike what my apartment looks like. It's so cool with those big Confederate pillars, Stan says, and the freight trains running down the back yard. And all my houseplants, and blah blah blah. So why don't we hop into Stan's puke-green Mustang and go over the river to John's apartment and hang out?
Well it seems an odd thing to do, but what the fuck, Stan and I always do odd things. Especially when Laurie and Mike are in town. So we go over to my place.
Which when we get there, I can hear the music on when we walk in the front door. By the time we get halfway up the stairs I know that the music is coming from my place. Indeed, there is one colossal party going on in my apartment. I walk in and everybody cheers. Surprise!
Africans, Brazilians, Midwest farmboys and girls. 50 people where there's room for 20. My bed stood up on its end to make room. A keg of beer in my bathtub. I get a big-ole cup. The joke's on me.
"Do you know why we're having this party?" Stan asks.
"Because I've been saying for more than a year that my apartment would be a perfect place to have a party, but I've never gotten my act together to actually have a party here, so you've decided to force the issue"
"No. You asshole. You really don't know what this party is about?"
"We're going to buy you a new guitar."
Then somebody grabs one of my old straw hats, and somebody calls out, "Well, the shithead finally got here. Let's buy him his fucking guitar so he's stop being such a mopey fuck. And then let's party till the sun comes up."
And they pass the hat, and Stan hands it to me, and it has, like, $200 in it. This is 1978. So for all you youngsters out there, this would be a lot more today.
Oh, fuck, I think I'm gonna cry again.
So I took their $$, and I sold my Epiphone, and I took all the cash I had, and I went out to a music store on Tippecanoe Highway and I bought an Alvarez guitar. I was not able to find a picture of the exact model of my guitar, but the picture that follows is pretty close. There were two different models of basically the exact same guitar in the store--one with and one without herringbone inlay decoration ( which is so delicate that you can hardly see it). The one with the inlay cost $75 more than the same guitar without the decoration.
But that's the one I got. What choice did I have, really? I had to go 2 days without eating to come up with the $$. But what the hell, you know? I mean, for Lord's sake, in the face of such incredible friendship, how could I NOT buy the guitar with the herringbone inlay? Fuckit. Fucking A. Give me the herringbone, dammit.
It looks almost exactly like this . And it is one easy-to-play, goodlooking, and sweet sounding guitar. I love this guitar more than I can say. Years went by. One day I was looking through Rolling Stone or some other corporate rock rag, and there he was, the punk apprentice locksmith. Axl Rose. Now a corporate rock star himself. With a corporate biography of his troubled youth in Lafayette Indiana, his many run-ins with the law, (oh, the daring outlaw! How glamorous!) and his many jobs, including his apprenticeship as a locksmith (what a loser job!) So I put two and two together, and realize that this punk asshole rockstar, this small-talent whiney-boy, not only did he steal the guitar for which I had swept floors and cleaned toilets and scraped dishes for months; but also he's getting bad-boy rockstar mileage out of the fact that he had, quote, brushes with the law, unquote, for things like stealing guitars from loser nerdy graduate students who have never even shot heroin.
Of course, memory being what it is, it's always possible that I've confabulated. Maybe the locksmith apprentice was NOT Axl Rose, and maybe the locksmith apprentice was not in fact the guitar thief. But I like to think that Axl Rose did steal my guitar. Not only because it makes a good story, but also because I think the motherfucker really did steal my guitar. But hey, he's a paranoid has-been loser junkie, and from the few things I've read in the corporate rock press, he's a miserable sad washed-up fucker. Like my favorite philosopher says Axl Rose has his reward. And I have mine. So may peace be upon you Axl, you sorry little fuckwad. I hope someday you'll know friendship like I have known. I hope you'll enjoy a guitar as much as I've enjoyed mine. But somehow I doubt you will.
SOURCE - http://www.gnrlies.com/gallery/axl1.html
BONUS: Anything is possible Part IV...
The U.S. Supreme Court, on October 11, 2005, ruled against Tookie on his final appeal and set his execution date for December 13. Thus they disregarded 9 of the 24 Ninth Circuit Court judges' assertion that the District Attorney at Tookie's trial employed "reprehensible and unconstitutional" racist tactics, using animal-in-a-jungle metaphors to refer to Tookie and to the South Central environment in which he lived.
This landmark ruling means that minorities can now legally be rejected from juries based on race. This is now the law of the land.(download fact sheet about Tookie's case)
SAD-BUT-TRUE-SO-WHATCHOO-GONNA-DO? SOURCE - http://www.tookie.com/
Sign the Save Tookie petition to Governor Schwarzenegger
Read the 9th Circuit Court Ruling against Stan Tookie Williams
The U.S. Supreme Court has now rejected Tookie's appeal to investigate the racism and discrimination at the heart of his case, as well as Tookie's innocence issues. One issue highlighted the fact that the prosecutor in Tookie's original case removed three African-American jurors from the jury. During Stan's trial, this prosecutor made racially-coded remarks during his closing argument, comparing Stan during the trial to a Bengal tiger in the zoo and stating that a black community - South Central Los Angeles - was equivalent to the natural "habitat" of a Bengal Tiger.
Now upheld by the United States Supreme Court, this ruling will establish as "case law" for the nation the right for prosecutors to exclude jurors on the basis of race and to denigrate minority defendants in front of all-white juries.
The ruling is a frontal attack on the civil rights of all Americans.
The California State Supreme Court had twice censured this prosecutor for equally discriminatory behavior. Indeed, a member of the California Supreme Court at that time made the following statement about that prosecutor:
...I believe that we must place the ultimate blame on its real source - the prosecutor. It was he who unconstitutionally struck Black prospective jurors. The record compels this conclusion and permits none other… This prosecutor knew that such conduct was altogether improper. The trial court told him as much. And so did we… This court attempted to teach this same prosecutor that invidious discrimination was unacceptable when we reversed a judgment of death because of similar improper conduct on his part. He failed - or refused - to learn his lesson. The result is another reversal - and another costly burden on the administration of justice.
Amicus Brief Filed By ACLU On Tookie's Behalf
The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), the national NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and several other civil rights groups have filed an amicus (Friend of the Court) brief urging the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to consider racist injustices in jury selection during Tookie's 1981 trial. (click here to read the story)
Court Recommends Clemency For Tookie
Read about the ruling against Tookie on September 10, 2002, by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- and the Court's recommendation to spare his life.
HUH? - http://www.savetookie.org/
BONUS: Anything is possible Part V... then again, some things are eventually proven highly unlikely.
Bush Forcefully Attacks Iraq Critics
By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer 41 minutes ago
TOBYHANNA, Pa. - President Bush forcefully attacked critics of the war in Iraq on Friday, accusing them of trying to rewrite history and saying they are undercutting American forces on the front lines.
"The stakes in the global war on terror are too high and the national interest is too important for politicians to throw out false charges," the president said in his combative Veterans Day speech.
Defending the march to war, Bush said that foreign intelligence services and Democrats and Republicans alike were convinced at the time that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
"Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and mislead the American people about why we went to war," Bush said.
He said those critics have made those allegations although they know that a Senate investigation "found no evidence" of political pressure to change the intelligence community's assessments related to Saddam's weapons program.
He said they also know that the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing Saddam's development and possession of weapons of mass destruction.
"More than 100 Democrats in the House and the Senate who had access to the same intelligence voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power," Bush said.
The president's remarks at the Tobyhanna Army Depot were part of the administration's effort to bolster waning U.S. public support for the war in which at least 2,059 U.S. troops have died. Bush offered a forceful defense of the war in Iraq, saying it is the central front in the war on terror and that extremists are trying to establish a radical Muslim empire extending from Spain to Indonesia.
"We will never back down. We will never give in. We will never accept anything less than complete victory," he said Friday.
Bush said the United States and its allies are determined to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of extremists and prevent them from gaining control of any country.
Bush singled out Syria for particular criticism, saying its government had taken "two disturbing steps" in recent days. He cited the arrest of Syria pro-democracy activist Kamal Labwani and a "strident speech" by President Bashar Assad. In that speech, Assad said his government would cooperate with a U.N. investigation that implicated Syrian officials in the killing of a Lebanese leader, but warned he would no longer "play their game" if Syria "is going to be harmed."
Bush said Syria "must stop exporting violence and start importing democracy."
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SOURCE - http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051111/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_12;_ylt=Aost4Fw.Sn9dTP7ia9SixMxqP0AC;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl