Saturday, May 4, 2013

A brief series interlude: Death in 3s, an uncomfortably close call and some belated "Ruminations"

In the last three months, death has knocked on my family's door three times.  I'm just now getting back home -- from yet another a funeral.

My aunt, the second of my grandmother's children (my mother was the first), died of a heart attack at 81 years old in mid-February.  I'd flown to Florida to take care of some tenant/maintenance issues at the house there, when I got the call.  I handled the headaches and changed my airline ticket and rental car drop-off location, and then drove the nine or so hours home so I could be there.

I flew back from there, and by the time I got back to Texas, I got a call shortly thereafter that her daughter's husband had died in March due to complications from sickle cell anemia (I'd planned to go to his funeral, but couldn't work it out financially). Then, the man who helped raise me and my brother after my parents divorced, passed away last week after some long-suffering and debilitating effects of Alzheimer's at 88 years old. His daughters and I were like sisters -- there was no way I wouldn't  show up for his "home-going."

I flew home Thursday morning.  Here are the stubs from my boarding passes for that leg of the trip:


Since my connecting flight was leaving from Terminal C, I went upstairs and rode the Link Train from Terminal A, through Terminal B, to Terminal C.  As I had an almost 2-hour layover, I decided to go to a cafe to get something to eat.  As I stood at the register, waiting to pay, the manager with a walkie-talkie came over to the young sister ringing me up and whispered something her ear.  She looked at me, eyes as big as saucers and said, "There's been a shooting in Terminal B!"  I said, "What?!  How?!  The only folks with guns in the terminals are the TSA people right?"  She said she didn't know who'd done the shooting, but she was going to find out.  She finished ringing me up and went in a back room with her manager.

I sat at a table close to the register, hoping to get some more details when she came back out, but she never did.  I just sat there nervously eating, eyes flitting around the cafe.  When I finished, I went to my gate and said to myself, "Let me hurry up and get the hay-ell on that damned plane!"

I got on, but we just sat on the tarmac, delayed because there were passengers who'd arrived at Terminal B but were stuck there.  They waited for a little while (the flight was fully booked) and then decided to go ahead and leave -- there were quite a few empty seats.

When I finally got home, I told my son what had just happened and we flicked through the local news channels to see if there was anything on about it.  There was nothing.  Later, I went online and found thisthis and this.  And wonder of wonders -- the ass-hats from the NRA were all swooping in for a convention the following day! -- Houston airport shooting hot topic at NRA convention.  I swear, you just can't make this stuff up!


Ballot Initiative Could Alter District-Congress Relationship:
“When I hear a senator saying he’s of two minds, that’s progress as far as we’re concerned,” Norton said.
This, from DC's  Representative-in-name only, makes sense?  Please.  She (along with the rest of the Black, misleadership class) has been begging for DC statehood/autonomy forever -- to no avail (and the Changeling putting those, "Taxation without Representation" plates on his official vehicle, mattered not one iota either).  Am I the only fool that understands that the powers-that-be have no intention of ever letting that Home Rule thing happen (at least not until they've effectively "bleached" the District of its chocolate residents, that is)??  {smdh}


No, we all can't go to Cuba anytime we want, but what's the big deal about JoeC and Bey going?

(Photo courtesy of Naturally Moi)
I mean, it's not like the Changeling sent them on some kind of educational, or covert 007 mission or anything, right?  And certainly, there's no danger of them putting their heads (OR pennies) together with an Assata Shakur while they were there, kicking around ideas, plans or actions for Black Revolution 2.0, is there?  I sure don't think so (there's sure nothing revolutionary going on with Sasha Fierce over there ---> (quite the contrary actually).

If I thought this young sister was at all culturally savvy (or cared to be), I'd say she did an excellent, undercover job of exposing Mr. & Mrs. "O" for the, "We'll step on, and over, alla y'all -- because we're better than you" selves that they are (but then again, Mrs. "O" did say she felt Bey was a great role model for her daughters.  Wait!  Isn't "Sasha" their younger daughter's name?).  But, unfortunately, I don't think that about the sister.  I'll leave it at that.

What Black folk should have their panties in a knot over, is this piece of work by Ole JoeC:
Culture icon and hip hop superstar Jay-Z has invested in Israeli wireless technology company, Duracell Powermat, and has signed on as the new face of the company. Duracell Powermat, a joint venture between Procter & Gamble and Israel’s Powermat, was announced in September of 2011. Duracell, a brand of batteries manufactured by P&G, has also invested in Powermat.
If I thought he was at all culturally savvy (or cared to be), I'd say he did an excellent job of setting himself up to take Israel's cash (down the road), so he could use it to help the many Africans-who-look-like-him, living in apartheid conditions -- in Israel.  But again, like his wife, I do not think that.  What I do think is, he's just another shabos goy -- just like Russell Simmons (Sorry, you gotta read all the way to the end for the reference).

A few things on this particular "rumination" -- First, Brother Amenta and I shared this convo on another post recently:
Amenta -- "When Jay Z, easily got the ok to go to Cuba I wondered who in his camp is an agent."
Me -- You're the second person I've read that said that! As I said here, I doubt THEY had a damned 007 clue, but y'all could be right, they could have been the Changeling's "useful idiots!"
A week later, I read Obama Uses JayZ to Trap Assata Shakur, posted over at Freedom Rider (follow the Dhoruba bin Wahad link there to read the entire interview). It included this sentence:   Jay-Z’s delegation included a State-Department “reliable” personage who transmitted the Obama’s administration’s position.  My snark about them not having "a damned 007 clue" was intended, and stands -- as does my "useful idiots" comment.

Second, staying on the subject of Assata Shakur, Sis. Carolyn over at Perspectives... (see sidebar) shared this link with me recently: Statement by the National Network on Cuba on the placement of Assata Shakur on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list.  A good read, and if you're into those "games people play" with other people's lives, a good move!

Third, according to the Naturally Moi link in Sasha's photo up there on the right, "...the weird outfit is supposed to be an owl."

No folks, THIS is an owl (guess I'm just not visionary enough to connect big green eyes, with big brown ones):

(Photo courtesy of Graham McGeorge, from the 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest)

End of update


What can I say about Amira Hass other than I certainly appreciate the alliance of values she and Sister Cynthia McKinney hold.  Mincing no words here, she mirrors what having "stones" is about (pun intended):
In the history of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, stones have played a central role. The stone was the symbol of the first Palestinian intifada (1987-1993), as children as young as 8 years old rained their projectiles down on the occupying Israeli army. Soldiers often responded with live ammunition, killing more than 1,000 Palestinians, about 200 of them children. Youths with stones confronting soldiers with Galils and M-16s: Palestinian children took center stage as David against the Israeli Goliath. The image pricked the conscience of many Israelis, and citizens and governments around the world, and ultimately helped force Israeli leaders, including the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, to the negotiating table. (The Oslo agreement they forged with Palestinian negotiators proved to be disastrous; nevertheless, there was a palpable sense during the first intifada that the stone would lead to Palestinian liberation.)

Today, the stone remains a part of Palestinian resistance to Israel’s occupation, which is more entrenched than ever. And while growing numbers of Palestinians advocate nonviolent resistance as the most promising path to a just peace, others strongly defend the right of Palestinians to throw stones as a legitimate act of political resistance against an illegal 47-year military occupation. One of them is an Israeli journalist.

“Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule,” wrote Amira Hass in an April 3 article in the newspaper Haaretz. “Throwing stones is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance.”...

...In her piece, Hass underscored the “right” and “duty” of Palestinians to resist the occupation in the face of “shooting, torture, land theft, restrictions on movement, and the unequal distribution of water sources.” The Israeli journalist, who unlike nearly every Western correspondent, lives in the occupied West Bank, offered this resistance advice:

“It would make sense for Palestinian schools to introduce basic classes in resistance: ... how to behave when army troops enter your homes; comparing different struggles against colonialism in different countries; how to use a video camera to document the violence of the regime’s representatives; methods to exhaust the military system and its representatives; a weekly day of work in the lands beyond the separation barrier; how to remember identifying details of soldiers who flung you handcuffed to the floor of the jeep, in order to submit a complaint; the rights of detainees and how to insist on them in real time; how to overcome fear of interrogators; and mass efforts to realize the right of movement.”

Not least of these strategies, Hass asserted in the article that has drawn so much heat, is hurling rocks at soldiers: “Stone-throwing is the adjective attached to the subject of ‘We’ve had enough of you, occupiers.’ ” (emphasis mine)

Pelosi: Members are lined up to sign Paycheck Fairness Act (tried to embed but not allowed).  That damned Nancy Pelosi is somethin' else ain't she?

I got this email from when I was a Democrat and subscribed to the DCCC emails (never cancelled it, I always like being abreast of e'erybody's lies).  And this one would have been too funny for how ignorant they believe most folk are to their tactics of blaming Rethuglicans for obstructing everything, if not for their hubris and my long memory (we don't all have it twisted).  Just like the Democrats held the majority in both the House and the Senate when Shrub & Co. lied us into the Iraq war, they also lied when they engineered the bait-and-switch in favor of Ledbetter versus the real Paycheck Fairness Act:

April 9, 2013

Friends --

As the first woman Speaker of the House, I know a thing or two about challenging the status quo. I'm really proud of that, and I'm proud of all the women who have made our country strong.

But the truth is, we're still a long way from fairness and equality in the workplace -- women make just 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Republican obstructionists continue to block progress on paycheck fairness -- tell them to stop acting on the wrong side of history:

Stand with me and women across the country and help us get to 100,000 strong for paycheck fairness >>

Equal work deserves equal pay -- and passing the Paycheck Fairness Act is the next step in the fight for equal pay.

This bill won’t see the light of day unless we hold House Republicans’ feet to the fire. Tell House Republicans it’s time to finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act:


Nancy Pelosi
Am I the only one that remembers this dog & pony show, staged to make all you female 'mericans, think the Changeling had immediately done a damned thing about equal pay for women shortly after he burst on the scene?

Or when Pelosi stepped up on the floor in the first week of the 111th Congress, and told the lie again (even though the words on the bottom of the screen tell exactly what Lebetter was really about?

Rosa DeLauro would have done better on her damned own, rather than allowing the Changeling and Pelosi to manipulate a bill she'd worked on so hard, for so a long.


Also, got this petiton from Avaaz and thought about my telling Amenta last year, "Lawd ha' mercy! I knew my people had it right when they were growing their own food and raising their own chickens and hogs out in the country!": 

Dear Avaazers,

It’s unbelievable, but Monsanto and Co. are at it again. These profit-hungry biotech companies have found a way to exclusively ‘own’ something that freely belongs to us all -- our food! They’re trying to patent away our everyday vegetables and fruits like cucumber, broccoli and melons, forcing growers to pay them and risk being sued if they don’t.

But we can stop them from buying up Mother Earth. Companies like Monsanto have found loopholes in European law to get away with this, so we just need to close them shut before they set a dangerous global precedent. And to do that, we need key countries like Germany, France and the Netherlands -- where opposition is already growing -- to call for a vote to stop Monsanto’s plans. The Avaaz community has shifted governments before, and we can do it again.

Many farmers and politicians are already against this -- we just need to bring in people power to pressure these countries to keep Monsanto’s hands off our food. Sign now and share with everyone to help build the biggest food defense call ever:

Once a patent exists in one country, trade agreements and negotiations often push other countries to honour it as well. That's why these food patents change everything about how our food chain works: for thousands of years, farmers could choose which seeds they’d use without worrying about getting sued for violating intellectual property rights. But now, companies launch expensive legal campaigns to buy patents on conventional plants and force farmers to pay exorbitant royalty fees. Monsanto and Co. claim that patents drive innovation -- but in fact they create a corporate monopoly of our food.

But luckily, the European Patent Office is controlled by 38 member states who, with one vote, can end dangerous patents on food that is bred using conventional methods. Even the European Parliament has issued a statement objecting to these kinds of destructive patents. Now, a massive wave of public outcry could push them to ban the patenting of our everyday food for good.

The situation is dire already -- Monsanto alone owns 36% of all tomato, 32% of sweet pepper and 49% of cauliflower varieties registered in the EU. With a simple regulatory change, we could protect our food, our farmers and our planet from corporate control -- and it's up to us to make it happen:

The Avaaz community has never been afraid to stand up to corporate capture of our institutions, from pushing back the Rupert Murdoch mafia, to helping ensure that telecoms keep their hands off our Internet. Now it’s time to defend our food supply from this corporate takeover.

With hope and determination,

Jeremy, Michelle, Oli, Dalia, Pascal, Ricken, Diego and the whole Avaaz team

I tell you!  Wa-a-a-y too many folk trying to control the damned world by hook or by crook -- and equally, wa-a-a-y too many of us not giving a shit about it! {smdh}

- Carnell Moore, Houston Airport Shooter, Left 'Monster Within Me' Suicide Note
- Why the Hunt for Assata Shakur Matters
- On Cuba Trip, Jay-Z Responds To Washington With Verse
- Why Nancy Pelosi Is Calling On Her Colleagues To Force A Fair Pay Vote
- Paycheck Fairness, Ledbetter and the "Walmart Women"
- Soybean Farmer Takes Monsanto to Supreme Court


Carolyn said...

My thoughts and concern are with you and I trust that you are doing better. Your post suggests that as we deal with sorrow; the issues of the world remain and requires commentary and insight and must be shared. I love quotes for they can capture the poignancy of our life experiences in such a profound way.

"We cannot silence the voices that we do not like hearing. We can, however, do everything in our power to make certain that other voices are heard."
~Deborah Prothrow-Stith~

Peace to you Sis Deb.

Deb said...

Thank so much Carolyn...I am well.

"Your post suggests that as we deal with sorrow; the issues of the world remain and requires commentary and insight and must be shared."

That is exactly what I felt as I wrote it! Thanks for the very profound quote from my namesake!

Peace back atcha Sis...

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