Saturday, September 16, 2006  

Happy Independence Day to Mexico (and parts of Alta California and Texas, etc.). On this day in 1810, Miguel Hildago y Costilla, uttered the Grito de Dolores, in Dolores, Guanajuato, that galvanized the independence movement of Mexico:

"Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe! Death to bad government! Death to the gachupines!"

Shortly after, the movement marched on Mexico City. The Mexican War of Independence lasted from 1810-1821, and cost Mexico over 450,000 casualties.


An elephant by any other name...

1.7 billion people have no access to clean drinking water.
20 billion people live below the poverty line.
Every day hundreds of people are made to feel physically sick by morons at art shows telling them how bad the world is
but never actually doing something about it.

Anybody want a free glass of wine?”

Banksy hits LA. To find out about his brilliant new show, click


Remember the oboe?

Remember the oboe (see post below)? Well, here is a very real story about a trumpet, the man who plays it and the nice people who broke his arm at Charles de Gaulle Airport last week as he protested not being able to bring his trumpet on the plane with him:
So Valery...63 years old, maybe 5' 5" tall, 140 lbs...pitched a bitch at the gate when some pissed-off functionary at a loading gate decided to pull rank on him. They called security and four (as he so colorfully put it to me today when he told me the story) "giant asshole cops" took him someplace where there were no witnesses, tried to forcibly take his trumpet away and when he would not let go of it with his right hand, pulled his left arm behind his back and broke it.

And people sniff and moan when the word "fascism" is used to describe what is happening in America and in much of Western Europe as well.

Vaslery did not try to fight these people. As he related today (I wish I could reproduce his great Russan accent) "I grew up in Soviet Union under Stalin and Khruschev. I know enough not to try to hit a cop. Let alone four of them. Big, stupid motherfuckers." (Here he stands on tiptoe and raises his remaining functioning hand as high in the air as he can.) "They were THS BIG!!! FOUR of them!!! I am not THAT stupid."

And indeed he is not.

Read the rest of what happened to Valery Pomonarev, an internationally known jazz trumpeter here and then catch a discussion of the incident at Left End of the Dial.

Like I said, what did the oboe ever do to you?

Friday, September 15, 2006  
Insert video here

could someone PLEASE explain to me how to put video on blogspot?
A friend sent me a hilarious video: ay_que_follon_Bush_Blair which I would love to share.
Think about it.
Bush and Blair set to a flamenco beat... ay, papi!


Something to read...

Mabrouk also to Zazou's good friend and fabulous photographer, Berber Algerian- American author Zighen Aym. He's written an excellent, personal account of what happened to him after September 11. 2001. Plenty has been about that day, enough to have created a little genre of its own. Little, however, has been written about the detentions and other events that occurred after that day, and Aym's new book, about paranoia in the American heartland, is a significant contribution to what may become a growing body of literature.

See this space for a review in the next few days.
To order a copy for yourself, click here or, better yet, check out Aym's page


Hit the Street

You know, what they say about the Arab Street is true...a lot going on out there...
Saturday, celebrate Zazou's b-day (and no, you don't get to ask how old, so scoot and party already) by hitting the street if you are in LA (if not, click on the links and have a blast, anyway)

Some of these artists have links to Jackie Salloum who is working on Hip Hop Sling Shot, a documentary about Rap in Palestine.
Check out The Phillistines or others

Tell Jordan Zazou asks lebbes and says mabrouk, ya ahai.


very, very cool

Banksy is, I suspect, a little bit nuts, but for all those who engage in protest art, this is the real deal.

This is briliant.
A life-size replica of a Guantanamo Bay detainee has been placed in Disneyland by "guerrilla artist" Banksy.
The hooded figure was placed inside the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at the California theme park last weekend.
(read the rest)
he is also supposedly behind some of the stencils on the wall in Palestine, Check out this.

Someone told me some of the art on the wall in the OT looks to be Chicano-based. Does anyone know about that or have any picts I could see? Thanks.


That's what friends are for...

"Because camel racing is extremely dangerous and arduous, especially for children," the suit says, "the Arab sheikhs would not make their own children jockeys and trainers. The sheikhs instead bought boys who had been abducted and trafficked across international boundaries and enslaved as young as two years old...

"The defendants robbed parents of their children and boys of their childhoods, their futures and sometimes their lives, for the craven purposes of entertainment and financial gain."
(read the rest

The suit (somewhat ironic, such is life) is being filed in the US (you can stop gagging now) against members of one of the leading families of Dubai. This practice, as Anti-Slavery notes, is not limited to Dubai but, in fact, is common practice is the Gulf States.

These states, of course, are seen as natural allies of the US, for a number of reaons: oil, money, influence, possible employment after being president, and, oh, yes, oil.

Not to diss friends of mine from Dubai and the Gulf whom I love dearly, but I would like to point out to my fellow Americans who might ask themselves "why do they hate us" once in awhile: this is one of the reasons. When you support a society that believes it is ok to enslave children (usually from much poorer nations) to serve as jockeys or whatever, you are no better than they are.

It's nice to have a variety of friends, but as they say, lie down with dogs and you get up with fleas. Aiding and abetting human rights abuse and child trafficking, Mr. President, does not become the US. And neither does torture, black ops, secret torture centers or anything else of that nature of which you and AG Alberto Gonzalez seem so fond.

These things may not bother you too much when out of the public eye, but it offends the national conscience, and that, Mr. Bush, supercedes all your weasling behind the scenes, dealings to assure yourself of something to do when you step down, and that pseudo-anti-terrorism gobbledygook you graced us with this week.

Monday, September 11, 2006  
Tomorrow, Mister Bush, I've planned to put as much distance as possible between myself and any device capable of carrying your image or voice. The sorrow and rage I feel every time I see one of your calculatedly stumble-tongue performances is bad enough. I usually pay attention anyway, since one never knows when you might announce the start of another war or two. But during the remembrance of the day on which "everything changed," no way will I listen to you sanctify five years of international outlawry, torture and slaughter on the blood of those who died in Manhattan, Washington and Shanksville on September 11.

My thoughts exactly.
From My Left Wing


Every day is September 12...III

These are the known faces of the dead (in the US) of 9/11.
Countless of undocumented workers also died,
and have no picture or name to mark their passing.

There are few names and even fewer photos of those who died
in the vengeful aftermath in Afghanistan, Iraq,
in nameless prison cells that do not exist.

There are faces and names of the known US and coalition personnel
who died in Afghanistan and Iraq.
There are greencard soldiers who have no names,
no photos to commemorate them.

There are few official photos to commemorate
the translators in Iraq and Afghanistan who died
helping the coalition forces.

There are journalists from many countries who died in Afghanistand and Iraq,
so that their viewership at home might see what revenge had wrought.

For these and for their loved ones,
for whom September 10 will never come again,
we ask for peace

(thanks, Mash for the inspiration)


Every day is September 12...II

Pete Seeger has something to say to you.

Sunday, September 10, 2006  

Every day is September 12...

Every day is September 12.
On September 11, I mentally hold my breath because I now know this is the day my country and my life as I knew it, was about to die. On September 11, this country was wounded, and on September 12, it was sentenced to death by the neocons who saw this as an opportunity to put their vision of an American Century into play. The jury was the craven Congress and the mob the general populace who allowed fear, racism and blind ignorance to encourage them to sell the freedoms and basic decency in exchange for the illusion of safety and security that the men behind the curtain held out like bread to beggars.

What have we received for this exchange?
* A president who dares to suggest that the judicial branch is impinging on his right to administer justice.
* An executive branch who needs to be reminded this is not a country of kings, but one of checks and balances provided for in the Constitution.
* A government which engages in torture and then vigorously lies about it
* A war which has cost thousands of lives, ruined a country which posed no threat, and threatens to ruin a generation of young Americans .
* A government that prevaricates and postures while its ally invades and destroys its neighbor
* An atmosphere in which White America tells its fellow citizens to suck it up- because submitting to racial profiling is doing their part
* Depraved federal indifference while New Orleans drowns and unseemingly greed while Halliburton "rebuilds" and South African mercenaries patrol a city in dire need of assistance, especially the Ninth Ward.
* A war on "terror" that sucks in hapless immigrants, preys on the vulnerable and spits them out while the Right engages in evermore vicious anti-immigrant sentiment to the point where HR447 would criminalize priests and doctors doing their moral duty.
* An endless "war on terror" that seems to depend on using the threat of terrorism like a pinata to hide misdeeds and make docile myriad of populations.
* A government that works hand in glove with private entities that scheme to throw elections (see the issue with voter rolls in Florida) and carries that practice across borders (Mexico, Iraq).
* A conscious eroding of civil rights with the colusion of a population driven inconsolate with fear and manipulation.
* The attempt to create a state that would rival Stalin's, one in which all citizens are ignorantly vigilant and willing to inform on each in defense of civic freedoms that may no longer exist.
* The attempt to silence dissent as well as thought and artistic expression that dares to disgree with the neocon agenda.
* A present reputation as a rogue nation that invades, lies, uses chemical weapons, flaunts international treaties, kidnaps and tortures, lies down with torturers and strong men who control their populations all the while mouthing platitudes about democracy.
* A country and a people hated and feared the world over. We are despised, reviled as hypocrites and a society that values American lives far and above the lives of others we come in contact with. Before, many others could and would distinguish between the US government and the US people, but no longer. We are being held responsible for our government, for the soldiers who raped, killed, tortured in Iraq, the US support of governments that torture and surpress their own people, the slow, collective starvation of the West Bank.

We who do not fly on Airforce One, we are not safe.

The ghosts of the thousands chemically destroyed, bombed, shot, maimed, destroyed in our name and their relatives ask for justice from us or at least some recognition that our complicity in our government's foreign policy has ruined their lives, but they get none from us. They do not understand that our government is at war with them and with us.

The reasons for invading Iraq have shifted as many times as quicksand shifts when you walk on it. One present reason is the liberation of Iraq from Saddam's tyranny.

But who will save us? Who will protect our Constitution, save us from wiretapping, profiling, the lies of this government? Who will save us from Bush, Rove, Cheny, Rumsfeld and Rice?

The answer is no one. And we, as a people, are such fools that we seem unable to save ourselves. Our Congress will not impeach, our military will not rise up, our judiciary can barely contain the Executive, and the oligarchy rolls on.

On September 12, this country began a long and slow descent into indecency.

I was working for a conservative newstation at the time. I saw the footage as well as anyone else, probably more, because I edited the same scenes over and over for years. I had to listen to news pople call for the nuking of Afghanistan, the total destruction of Iraq. Many laughed when the photos of Abu Ghraib came out. I left the station, finally, because I could no longer take the reporting style and an ownership in bed with rightwing politicians and defense money. I liked many of the people I worked with, but I despised the station by the time I left.

On September 12, I learned just how much of an exile in my own culture I would become. Like many others, I was married to an Arab, with an understanding of the culture, language and colonial history of the region, in part, from having lived there. We were watched, listened to as we spoke. At work, the fact I could read Arabic and provide culturally relevant information made me suspect for months. I was advised to watch what I did, who I saw and how I conducted my private life. The tendancy was to keep one's head down, keep the music low, not buy certain food, not not speak English. And then, one day, I decided enough was enough. I was tired of being looked at as a cultural traitor, of hearing people whisper when I came in the room at work- the same people who would ask me to listen to interviews from Al Jazeera, the same who would ask me how to call the contacts in the Arab community- and I thought, that is enough. My America is plural, embraces other cultures and holds to certain standards. My America bends to no mob, does not cower in fear of its elected officials. Let them record me, watch me, and learn. I am not an exile here - this is my place and I will not let them force me to help them remake it in the image of Argentina of the 70's, Russia of the 50's.
Isabelle Allende once said in an interview:
You learn to live with things. For example, something is taken away, like let's say, the freedom of the press or... yeah, let's say that you're telephones are tapped so you say "Okay, I can live with that" and then the next day something else, and then you say, "Okay, I will have to live with that too," and so forth. And then after a few months, you realize that you have lost everything. But, you got sort of used to it. And then there's a point when you're talking torture at breakfast time with your kids. And all of a sudden you have this epiphany or this revelation in which you realize what kind of life you are having... and then there is a point where I left.

I refuse to live like that and I began to write again, and to produce artwork in resistance to what I saw as a despicable tendancy to silence civil discourse.

And I found that I am not alone. Over the years, our voices have grown. As has interest in the Middle East and its cultures. And I have learned that I have to be vigilant and active in this effort because "they" do hate our freedoms- and it is not an external enemy we face, but an internal one which is both ourselves and elected representives who do not and will not stand up for what is right-an America in which civil rights and discourse are respected, racial profiling is riviled and both torture and offensive wars are what others do.

And I will not be silent because no one will come to save us. We must save ourselves.

It will never by September 10, again.

Every day is September 12.


Days of September

I want to talk about September. Most people are going on about September 11. but I want to talk about September 12. On September 11, something happened, but on September 12, things changed. And almost every day has been September 12, since then.

On September 11, something happened in New York, Virgina, and Washington, DC. Conspiracy theories abound- ranging from the US did it, to explosives brought down the towers, to the accepted position of foreign hijackers.

But on September 12, this country as I know it changed, and that was an inside job.


Sept 11 - other places, other times

From Wikipedia, some other things that happened on Sept 11. I have starred and bolded some I think are worth remembering.

When you get to 1973, take a moment and listen to Mercedes Sosa sing "Yo tengo tantos hermanos"
In other places of the world the media also uses it as shorthand for other events, for example, the September 11, 1973 Coup D'Etat in Chile is referred to as "El 11 de Septiembre" or "El once" ("September 11" or "eleven" in Spanish) as shorthand for the Coup events.

* 1185 - Isaac II Angelus kills Stephanus Hagiochristophorites and then appeals to the people, resulting in the revolt which deposes Andronicus I Comnenus and places Isaac on the throne of the Byzantine Empire.
* 1226 - The Catholic practice of perpetual adoration begins.
* 1297 - Battle of Stirling Bridge: Scots led by William Wallace defeat the English.
* 1541 - Santiago, Chile, is destroyed by indigenous warriors.
* 1609 - Henry Hudson lands on Manhattan island.
* 1683 - Battle of Vienna
* 1690 - Expulsion order announced against the Moriscos of Valencia; beginning of the expulsion of all Spain's Moriscos.
* 1649 - Siege of Drogheda ends: Oliver Cromwell's English Parliamentarian troops take the town and massacre its garrison.
* 1708 - Charles XII of Sweden stop outside Smolensk heading (by the lack of food since the Russians use the tactic of the burning soil) to the south, culminating in the disastrous battle of Poltava, the end of Sweden as a major power.
* 1709 - Battle of Malplaquet: Great Britain, Netherlands and Austria fight against France.
* 1714 - Barcelona surrenders to Spanish and French Bourbonic armies in the War of the Spanish Succession.
* 1776 - British-American peace conference on Staten Island fails to stop nascent American Revolution.
* 1777 - Battle of Brandywine - Major American Revolutionary war victory for British in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
* 1786 - The Beginning of the Annapolis Convention.
* 1789 - Alexander Hamilton is appointed as first Secretary of the Treasury.
* 1792 - Hope Diamond is stolen along with other crown jewels when six men broke into the house used to store the jewels.
* 1814 - The climax of the Battle of Plattsburgh, which ended the War of 1812.
* 1847 - Stephen Foster's most well-known song, Oh! Susanna, is first performed at a saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
* 1857 - The Mountain Meadows Massacre: Mormon settlers and Paiutes massacre 120 pioneers at Mountain Meadows, Utah.
* 1869 - Work completed on the Wallace Monument.
* 1888 - Death of the Argentine politician Domingo Sarmiento, after whom the Latin American Teacher's Day was chosen.
* 1893 - First World Parliament of Religions conference held.
* 1897 - After months of pursuit, generals of Menelik II of Ethiopia capture Gaki Sherocho, the last king of Kaffa, bringing an end to that ancient kingdom.
* 1906 - Mahatma Gandhi starts Non-Violence movement
* 1911 - Middle Tennessee State University is founded in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, as Middle Tennessee Normal School.
* 1914 - Australia invades New Britain, defeating a German contingent there.
* 1916 - The Quebec Bridge collapses for a second time, killing 11 men. The bridge initially collapsed on August 29, 1907.
* 1918 - Baseball: The Boston Red Sox won the World Series; they would not do so again until October 27, 2004 after 86 years.
* 1919 - US Marines invade Honduras.
* 1921 - Motion picture star Fatty Arbuckle is arrested for rape.
* 1922 - The British Mandate of Palestine begins.
* 1922 - One of the Herald Sun of Melbourne, Australia's predecessor papers The Sun News-Pictorial is founded.
* 1926 - An assassination attempt on Benito Mussolini fails.
* 1931 - Salvatore Maranzano is murdered by Charles Luciano's hitmen.
* 1932 - Franciszek ?wirko and Stanis?aw Wigura, Polish Challenge 1932 winners, killed in a plane crash as their RWD 6 crashed into the ground during a storm.
* 1940 - George Stibitz pioneers the first remote operation of a computer.
* 1941 - Ground broken for the construction of The Pentagon.
* 1941 - World War II: US Navy ordered to attack German U-boats.
* 1943 - World War II: German troops occupy Corsica and Kosovo-Metohija
* 1943 - World War II: start of the liquidation of the Ghettos in Minsk and Lida by the Nazis
* 1944 - World War II: the first allied troops of the US Army cross the western border of Nazi Germany. The RAF bombing raid on Darmstadt and the following firestorm kill 11,500.
* 1948 - Henri Queuille becomes Prime Minister of France.
* 1955 - Dedication of the first Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe, the Bern Switzerland Temple.
* 1960 - Young Americans for Freedom meeting at home of William F. Buckley, Jr. promulgates the Sharon Statement.
* 1961 - Formation of the World Wildlife Fund.
* 1962 - The Beatles record their debut single, Love Me Do.
* 1965 - The 1st Cavalry Division of the United States Army arrives in Vietnam.
* 1970 - The Ford Pinto is introduced.
* 1971 - The Egyptian Constitution becomes official.
* 1972 - Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in America begins regular service.

* 1973 - A military coup in Chile (aided by the US - my addition) headed by General Augusto Pinochet topples the democratically elected President Salvador Allende. Pinochet remains in power for almost 17 years.

* 1974 - Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 crashes in North Carolina, killing 69 passengers and two crew.
* 1978 - U.S. President Jimmy Carter, President Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin of Israel met at Camp David and agreed on a framework for peace between Israel and Egypt and a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
* 1981 - The Pee-wee Herman Show airs as a special on HBO.
* 1982 - The international forces, which were guaranteeing the safety of Palestinian refugees following Israel's 1982 Invasion of Lebanon, left Beirut. Five days later, several thousand refugees were massacred in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
* 1985 - Baseball: Pete Rose gets his 4,192nd career base hit, breaking Ty Cobb's record which stood for over 60 years.
* 1987 - 9-1-1 Emergency Number Day.
* 1987 - CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather, angry over being preempted for a tennis match, marches off the set, leaving affiliates with six minutes of an empty news desk.
* 1987 - Reggae musician Peter Tosh is murdered in his own home in Kingston.
* 1989 - The iron curtain opens between the communist Hungary and Austria. From Hungary thousands of East Germans throng to Austria and West Germany.
* 1990 - President George H. W. Bush delivers a nationally televised speech in which he threatens the use of force to remove Iraqi soldiers from Kuwait, which Iraq had recently invaded.
* 1992 - Hurricane Iniki, one of the most damaging hurricane in United States history during its time, devastates the State of Hawai'i, especially the islands of Kaua'i and Oahu.
* 1996 - Union Pacific Railroad purchases Southern Pacific Railroad
* 1997 - Scotland votes to re-establish its own parliament on the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, after 290 years of union with England.
* 1998 - Independent counsel Kenneth Starr sends a report to the U.S. Congress accusing President Bill Clinton of 11 possible impeachable offenses.
* 1998 - Yevgeny Primakov is appointed Prime Minister of Russia.
* 1998 - Opening ceremony for the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia was the first Asian country to host the games.
* 1999 - Tennis: Serena Williams, 2 weeks short of her 18th birthday, wins her first Grand Slam tournament when she became US Open champion, becoming the first African American woman to win a Grand Slam tournament since Althea Gibson in 1958.
* 2000 - Activists protest against the World Economic Forum meeting in Melbourne, Australia. See S11.
* 2001 - The September 11 attacks destroy the World Trade Center in New York City, part of The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and crash a passenger airliner in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In total, almost 3,000 are killed.
* 2003 - Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh dies after being assaulted and fatally wounded on September 10.
* 2003 - The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety enters into effect.
* 2004 - Petros VII, the (Greek Orthodox) Patriarch of Alexandria and his company are killed in an unexplained helicopter crash outside Mount Athos, Greece.
* 2005 - The State of Israel officially declares an intent to leave the disputed territory, the Gaza Strip after 38 years

It has been suggested by Ernest L. Martin that Jesus of Nazareth was born on September 11 in 3 BC when the moon moved in a rare pattern with Venus generating the Star of Bethlehem. On the Julian calender September 11, 3 BC is also the second day of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year

Yo tengo tantos hermanos
Que no los puedo contar
Y una hermana muy hermosa
Que se llama libertad
~ Mercedes Sosa
(I have so many brothers
that they I cannot count
And one beautiful sister
whose name is liberty)


ON oboes and other seditious instruments

The list of things you may not bring with you on a plane is growing. Add to that list- instruments:
The issue even struck a false note at the world-renowned Last Night of the Proms on Saturday night, with one conductor joking that next year audiences may have to put up with "Concerto for Laptop and Orchestra".

As most people who travel know, baggage handlers are not the most tender of people and there is little chance a priceless viola will make it intact to its next concert.

Whither these newest regulations?
Seventeen people have been charged with terrorism-related offences and 11 with conspiring to murder and preparing acts of terrorism following police raids in Britain on August 10.
Ah ha! you may say. Look at that! Yes. Look at it. And then look it up.
Some interesting facts to consider:

none of the alleged would-be bombers had a plane ticket to anywhere.
- most had no passport (which would make going overseas a tad difficult, don't you think?)
- some had visited Pakistan recently- something thousands of Brits of Pakistani origin do every year
- originally no bomb making material was found- until when pressed, the British police said things that could make bombs were found. (no stabs at specifics or anything- just, you know, things)
- computer and media equipment were seized. (like you don't have any anyone could take?)
- Pakistan arrested one suspect and handed his confession over. I bet. Pakistan is known to have very persuasive techniques. The suspect, Rashid Rauf, has not yet been charged with any terrorism attempts, but the British are asking for his extradition. Rauf has been variously described as having an alias (Khalid Rauf), being an important go between and a familar of Al-Libbi (rather hard to do since al-Libbi was reported killed in 2004- but you never know), as well as a senior operative (why his name has not popped up until now- hmmmmm, please speculate. I'll wait), most of which cannot be substantiated. More importantly- more for the Pakistanis, than the US- Rauf is married to a relative of Maulana Masood Azhar, wanted in both India and Pakistan for attacks on parliament, attempts on Musharref, etc.
So, there seems to be a quid pro quo operating here. Here is what it might be:
The Brits "suspect" a terror plot, the US and Pakistan swear that yes, there is one and it's eminent (facts are such annoying things, don't you think?) and pressure the Brits to step it up. The fact that last week in the UK, there were still months of analyzing material ahead, suggests that plenty had not been done to create a substantial case. Several "suspects" have already been released and the others are being held on charges while the Brits (with American assistance) "analyze" stuff.
Why the pressure? On the US side, the reasons are legion- Lebanon was primary because of the need to conflate Hezbollah, Lebanese resistance and the new buzzword- Islamo-fascism in the minds of the population. In a further move to discredit trust in investigative reporting that was beginning to probe the US involvement in aiding Israel in its invasion of Lebanon, questioning the official line on 9/11 and the potentially explosive issue of marines up on aggravated murder charges, Cheney has accused "islamo-fascists" of manipulating the American press (Greenish is now the new Yellow jouralism?)
Pakistan needs to be seen as firm on terrorism in part because of the accusations stemming from the bombing of the train in India and because the debate of the use of torture in the "war on terror" is causing support for his regime to come up for re-examination. And, as various other countries have seen, it's so much easier to internally attack your population and your dissidents if you are seen by the US as an ally (see Operation Condor, Argentina, etc.), and get all kinds of assistance. Plus, the US needs Pakistan as an ally to balance India and keep an eye on Afghanistan.

So, back to the oboe and friends. Here are more tails than dogs to wag. People are being incovenienced in basic ways, Islamo-facism is becoming a fabulous buzzword and everyone is annoyed.

Consider this:
It will take "many months" for investigators to analyze all of the data, he said. CNN's Robin Oakley said the sheer amount of material seized by police indicated that it would be some time before a trial starts.

Oakley said he believed police had revealed so much information partly to assure the public that the terror threat remained high more than a year after the London bombings that killed 52 people and the four bombers.

He added that Scotland Yard was probably also keen to show it was avoiding mistakes it had made in previous terror investigations.

That would include shooting several innocent people, ruining reputations and making pre-mature arrests that including a number people who were later released.
(read the rest)

And here's the bonus, the afghan hound. if you will- most of this has been "caused by" home-grown terroristas. They couldn't make it work with the Canadian cell (heard much about them lately?), nor the Florida guys (really incompetent group + the level of entrapment was pathetic)- so here's another chance to make the imagery of terrorists amongst us really concrete. This feels like phase I, because, however you slice it, most Pakistani Brits look, well, Pakistani. So, now, there is a legitimized feeding into subconscious post-colonial fear, coupled with a sneaking suspicion that national politics and foreign policy are not winning one friends. Phase II is probably in the offing and that would be terroristas who look like the general populace - McCarthy's dream come true - suspect everyone, trust no one, not even the family dog. Hence Cheney's need to suggest that Islama-fascism has infiltrated and compromised the 4th estate (never mind the US has been found to have paid journalists in Iraq and in the US to create and plant favorable stories on Iraq and and negative stories on Cuba).

The fact the poor oboe, and the bagpipe and the cello and the flute and the sittar and the list goes on, have fallen afoul of the new terrorism-inspired edicts is merely gravy. It only serves to deaden cultural commerce (already a suspect in the New American Century) and to subtly underline why "they" hate "us" by suggesting that the free exchange of primarily Western/ized culture- through music (when is the last time you saw someone haul a (*)through the airport?) is under attack.
And again, this allows the mainstream to turn inward on minorities- making profiling the visual mark of second-class status, and encouraging a demonizing mindset that no amount of apologies or public stances, etc. will be able to quiet.

And then, it's a slippery slope to profile and civicly quarantine all those who dare to question, think seditious thoughts, talk about, etc.

Yes, you may argue that we were attacked on Sept 11, 2001- and yes, something did happen, but what has happened since internally in our societies, we have allowed to be done to us by our public servants and by each other.

So, leave the oboe out of this. What did it ever do to you?
(* a kanoon)


The shirt off (s.o's) back

Wow! Artists behaving badly- who would have thunk it? Courtesy of those creative types who brought you:

Now have something for you to wear:
Yep, the very same shirt that got Iraqi (now American) blogger, architect and activist Raed Jarrar thrown off a Jet Blue flight. FYI: the Arabic says "we shall not be silent (or we shall not shut up, depending on how you translate lan nascoot)".

You can read Raed's account of the incident here, a story which has been all over the blogosphere.

You can get the shirt in a variety of languages.

Interestingly enough, a follow-up story (can't find link at the moment) says quite a number of people have started ordering the shirt, as a result.


The shirt off (s.o's) back, II

Cafe Press has an interesting little item for sale courtesy of (thanks Naeem for the info):

fyi: the Arabic says "We shall not be quiet (or we shall not shut up, depending on how you translate it)"

and I am engaged in a discussion with some documentary friends as to how to view this. Some feel it's a free speech issue and one even suggested an ironic twist (very cute, Sahand).

The shirt seems to be a response to the shirt Raed Jarrar (and others) have been wearing- We Shall Not Be Silent, in different languages. (see above post)

I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I agree it's free speech, on the other, I deplore its racist overtones as well as its idiotic premise (I can read it - should I be profiled? Oh, yeah, I have been. Never mind).

Personally, I would never buy it unless I could mutilate it in some clever way or develop my own and I really don't feel like buying anything cafe press has to sell at the moment, as a result.

Any thoughts on the subject? (racist posts will be flagged- them's my rules)



The fabulous Cinemayaat- the Arab Film Festival is happening now in San Francisco and the Bay Area. The largest such festival is celebrating its 10th year with a stunning line-up of great pieces from all over the Arab world and the Arab/Berber/Chaldean, etc. diaspora.

In keeping with the wider vision of its founders, the Cinemayaat joins forces ovethe year with the Pacific Film Archives, The Jewish Film Festival and the Asian Film Festival, to name a few, and if you sign up for their on-line updates at, you can find out about those, too.

Next weekend catch Cheb i Sabbah spinning
for the festival party. Listen up for cuts from
his new cd, La Griba, remixes from
La Kahena- music from the Mahgreb.
Ya chabaan!

Mabrouk, ya Cinemayaat!

Check out their fabulous trailer (a great edit, btw) and on Monday, thinking about crossing boundaries and cultures by seeing one of these films:

Roxie Cinema, San Francisco
The Blood of My Brother (USA/Iraq)
I Know I'm Not Alone (USA/Iraq/Palestine)

Cubberley Auditorium, Stanford University
Under the Ceiling (Syria) preceded by Oh Night!(Syria)
Malek Wa Ketaba (Egypt)

Back from some kind of hiatus...and not looking forward to 9/11. Have a bit to say about various things, so enjoy, if that's the word, the next few posts.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Locations of visitors to this page
Technorati Profile