Friday, September 17, 2010

Jane Mayer on The Koch brothers (in The New Yorker)

You've surly heard about it, but possibly haven't read it. Jane Mayer's New Yorker article: Covert Operation: The Billionaire [Koch] Brothers who are Waging a War Against Obama." Here it is. It's well worth reading. Let me know what you think.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Substitute your "favorite" Republican face for Nixon's in this cartoon

Once upon a time Herblock, the great cartoonist, drew this picture of Nixon crawling out of a sewer. It seems to me it would be a perfect image for Newt Gingrich or for that matter any Tea Party or Republican spokesperson. Just substitute your "favorite" Republican face for NIxon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sept.23: El Grito De Lares! Rally and march


El Grito De Lares!

Rally and march

Gather on

Thursday, September 23, 4:00 PM

Assemble at Marcus Garvey Park
(124th Street and Madison Avenue)

El Grito de Lares is today the most celebrated and respected holiday in Puerto Rico. It was an event that affirmed the existence of the Puerto Rican people as a nation and defined its historical quest for liberation from foreign tyranny. This rebellion demanded the independence of Puerto Rico from Spanish colonialism and the abolition of African chattel slavery.
Since September 23, 2005, the anniversary of El Grito De Lares has added meaning. An F.B.I. assault team launched a vicious attack on the home of Machetero leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios. The revered leader of the struggle for Puerto Rico’s independence was assassinated by the agents of colonialism.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sunday 9/12 events

Noon and 5pm • Free
Listen to Amy Goodman speak at the Brooklyn Book Festival this Sunday. At noon she will discuss the intellectual and popular influence of Howard Zinn. At 5pm she will be speaking about the depiction of conflict in both fiction and non-fiction, and the way these events can shape both our identity and engagement with our everyday lives.
Francis College McArdle Hall, 180 Remsen Street in Brooklyn
718-802-3852 •

7pm • Sliding scale: $6/$10/$15
In his latest book, God and His Demons, Michael Parenti brings his critical acumen and gifted writing skills to bear on the many evils committed in the name of godly virtue throughout history. Not a blanket condemnation of believers, the focus is on the threat posed by fundamentalists and theocratic reactionaries.
Brecht Forum, 451 West St
212-242-4201 •

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Irwin Silber, October 17, 1925 - September 8, 2010

Although I came to the Guardian Newsweekly after Irwin Silber left, having worked at the paper for a number of years I mourn his passing. He was its executive editor from 1972-1979.

He was also one of the founders and long-time editor of Sing Out! Magazine. After his tenure at the Guardian he and his long-time companion Barbara Dane founded Paredon Records whose mission was to use music as a tool to promote social and political change.

Although I'm sure Irwin and I would not have agreed very much abut the politics of The Guardian (when he was its editor I was working with The Mass Party organizing Committee), his contribution to our movement must be recognized. We are losing too many comrades, yesterday Lou Walker, today Irwin Silber.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr. 3 August 1930 - 7 September 2010

Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr. was a founder and the executive director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) since 1979. From 1973-1978 he was Associate General Secretary of the National Council of Churches. Through IFCO he helped to initiate the National Anti-Klan Network, now known as the Center for Democratic Renewal. He was pastor of the Salvation Baptist Church in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, N.Y. The Rev. Walker died yesterday of a massive heart attack.

Over the years I ran into Rev. Lou Walker in many political venues. Most recently I met with him and other Beacon HS parents in 1999, when he was organizing a Beacon trip to Cuba with Andrew's Spanish class. The N.Y. Post later put the Beacon trips to Cuba on its front page ("The Red High School"). Being attacked by the Post is an honor somewhat akin to having been on Nixon's enemies list.

In response to being wounded in a Nicaraguan "contra" terrorist attack in 1988, he conceived and helped to organize Pastors for Peace Material Aid Caravans to Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Cuba and Chiapas, Mexico. The Cuba caravans, or Friendshipments, have served as a challenge to the insanity, immorality and illegality of the U.S. government's blockade of Cuba. In 1996 he and four others engaged in a 94-day "Fast for Life" which successfully forced the U.S. government to release computers they had seized that were destined for hospitals in Cuba.

But these are merely some of the things that he did. As with Dennis Brutus and Marilyn Clement what they did only scratches the surface of the loss their deaths mean to our movement.

Lou Walker, Presente!
and Rest in Peace

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Today's Jeopardy question

Yesterday's Answer: Hershey, PA

Here's today's:
Official State Songs: In 1953 it became the only state whose official song was written for a Broadway musical
(from the New York Times)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Jeopardy question for today

We are in the true sense of the term "fans" (= "fanatics") about Jeopardy. I have recently discovered that many people don't know that every weekday a Jeopardy question appears in the New York Times (Arts section). So I thought I would post it here to see how much you know. I will tell you if we knew the answer or had to look it up. Here's an easy one to start with:
U.S.A.: Chocolate Avenue & Cocoa Avenue are 2 of the main thoroughfares in this town that was established in 1903.
Answer tomorrow. Have a great Labor Day.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Tonight: "The United States and Yemen: Destroying Lives in the Name of National Security," a public discussion

"The United States and Yemen: Destroying Lives in the Name of National Security,"

Sept. 2, 2010, 7:30 pm,

the Brecht Forum
451 West St bt Bank and Bethune Sts.

a public discussion featuring renowned Yemeni activists and a CCR human rights attorney addressing state violence, targeted killings, and human rights abuses enabled by the so-called "War on Terror."
(The Brecht Forum

PLEASE NOTE the TIME CHANGE from 7pm to 7:30pm. (A prayer room and appetizers will be available as it is Ramadan.)

The U.S. government describes Yemen as 'an important partner in the global war on terrorism' while at the same time characterizing it as an Al-Qaida stronghold. The Yemeni government has taken advantage of the U.S. partnership and increasing military aid to justify its domestic "anti-terror campaigns" which have resulted in egregious human rights violations, including mass arrests, illegal abductions, enforced disappearances, torture, and killings. The victims of this violence are not only alleged militants and their families, but Yemeni dissidents and journalists critical of their government. The "war on terror" has served as a cover for the Yemeni state to increase repression and militarization in response to its own internal political crises -- all with the tacit approval of the international community.

Don't miss out on this exceptional opportunity to hear visiting Yemeni human rights activists at the forefront of human rights struggles in their country discuss what they are doing to resist this mounting repression and to create a meaningfully democratic and peaceful future. Learn about the political climate in Yemen, and together think through what ethical solidarity with Yemeni people might look like. Also hear from a CCR lawyer who is trying to stop a "targeted killing" by the United States in Yemen and who represents men detained at Guantánamo -- where Yemeni men constitute the largest group of remaining prisoners, all declared by the Obama administration to be indefinitely detainable without charge based solely on their nationality.

Developing an understanding of this political reality is crucial to ending the U.S. government's complicity in more human rights abuses, and to stopping the creation of a war without boundaries or end that threatens our collective safety.

Annette Warren Dickerson
Director of the Education and Outreach Department


Tawakkol Karman, chairwoman of the Yemeni non-government organization Women Journalists Without Chains, which campaigns for freedom of the press in Yemen and against human rights violations.

Ezz-Adeen Saeed Ahmed Al-Asbahi, the president of Human Rights Information & Training Center (HRITC), a non-governmental organization which seeks to enhance human rights in Yemen and the Arab World, focusing on the Gulf States in particular.

Pardiss Kebriaei is a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York City.

Leili Kashani (moderator and discussant): is the Education and Outreach Associate for the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). i

*This event is co-sponsored by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Brecht Forum.

Baseball's 25 Greatest Players

Former NBC sports reporter Len Berman has a book coming out this Fall, Baseball's 25 Greatest Players. The book is meant to teach baseball history to kids, but it provoked me to create my own list. Tell me wat you think. Here's my list:

Henry Aaron, OF
Roberto Clemente, OF
Ty Cobb, OF
Joe DiMaggio, OF
Bob Feller, P
Lou Gehrig, 1B
Bob Gibson, P
Josh Gibson, C
Ricky Henderson, OF
Rogers Hornsby, 2B
Walter Johnson, P
Mickey Mantle, OF
Christy Matthewson, P
Willie Mays, OF
Stan Musial, OF
Mariano Rivera, P
Jackie Robinson, 2B
Pete Rose, 3B
Babe Ruth, OF
Nolan Ryan, P
Tom Seaver, P
Warren Spahn, P
Honus Wagner, SS
Ted Williams, OF
Cy Young, P

Len Berman and I differ on six players. He includes Johnny Bench, Jimmie Foxx, Frank Robinson, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Schmidt instead of Rivera, Henderson, Clemente, Seaver and Ryan. I should say that Berman relied on a panel of "experts" to make up his list: Ralph Branca, Bernie Williams, Frank Deford, Chris Russo, Jeffrey Lyons (?), Steve Fortunato & Roland Hemond.

Other people commenting on this have mentioned several other players who should make the list: Satchel Paige, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Sandy Koufax, Joe Jackson & Greg Maddox.

There are a number of people on both lists I would like to include, but 25 is 25. What do you think?