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LAST WEEK's EDITION
MEET THE G-CREW! These are the people behind this jam-band every week. AND there are GUIDELINES FOR YOU TO JOIN THE BAND...
Below you'll find the latest letters from YOU.
Kudos, brickbats, spam, you'll find it all right here. Who knew so many people could even find this Web magazine?
Let's get ready to play!
From our Mailbag 01/27/01 - 02/14/01
We gottah start updating this page weekly, Boss!From Ed Cantarella, Bloomfield, MI, USA:
Dear Charlie the Tuna:
Went and checked out Pimpit.com - you were right, lamer than lame; MY KIDS dress a much better pimp style than those assholes (my old lady always refers to the younger one as "the whore" when she's really mad).
Then I went to Ice-T's site: nice visuals; I especially like the cursor "crosshairs" - a marvel of scripting (and to think, some dweeb in coke-bottle-bottom glasses probably toiled for days over it,"houws thisss, Mr. T, or should I call you Ice?").
Then I had to see the old "Murder Incorperated", which sets my ass off a little.› Coincidentially, my next submission touchs on MY THEORY, that a lot of the modern thug life/pimp life look was cribbed from the Mob, the original American gangsters, and us Italian-American's don't get no props for THAT.› HEH!
Stay stiff old son,
From Jeff W., Columbus, OH, USA:
SUBJECT: Stand in The Fire
Martin Luther King once said the hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who stand by in times of great moral conflict.
Or something like that. King said a lot of things and a lot of his words have been co-opted and corrupted by numbnuts like President-Select Bush.
I sense a feeling of discontent and disconnect with the way things are going right about now.
Your column speaks to that Raheem and though it may often seem that nobody is paying attention, rest assured---attention is being paid.
G21›benefits from being a place of diverse voices and views. Glad to see you have once again made yours one of the›dominant›voices.
Stay strong. Stay Black. Stay up. Stand In the Fire.
From NDK, (No City Provided,) USA:
SUBJECT: Your Article "Lord of The Dance"
Hi! Once again I'd like to say you've used that particularly perspicacious wit of yours to penetrate the thin veneer of what passes for culture today.
I like your mind, I like the way you think. Heck, I just like the fact that you're looking! I have got to, got to, got to, finish up my website and my story then get to work on›prepping some of my articles on culture for possible inclusion on G21 as we discussed some 12 months ago.
I'd still love to write for/submit›to G21. So how does it work? What are the guidelines? Once my site is launched I'd love to send some›words over for you to peruse and consider.
By the way, I noticed that you do website reviews and while mine is not yet launched, I'd love to give you a sneak preview when it's about 2 weeks away from being launched; if you're interested, let me know.
Keep up the good work, I've recommended a lot of people to subscribe and they are all enjoying their daily dose of independent thinking.
NDK, Creative Artist
Author "The Helm & The Horde" trilogy
"A vivid sword & sorcery adventure!" Website coming soon! To receive›launch notification subscribe now at www.allforart.com/ndk
From Lloyd M., Foster, Victoria, AUSTRALIA:
Subject: Location, Location, Location
Why don't you move to Australia? As a netizen it shouldn't make any difference to you workwise, and what's a pittance in America is a reasonable living here.
We keep a family of four on about $16K US p.a.
Sydney is a happening city, but the most expensive to live in. Melbourne is cheaper, has better arts but is a little dour. I live in the country in the nicest spot imaginable: friendly community, virtually no crime, cheap living.
There's a laundry in our town and the supermarkets deliver; food is a fraction of the price that it is in the land of the free and super quality, good wine ditto.
Just a thought!
ROD RESPONDS: Lloyd,
Thanks for writing! How nice of you to think of me!
You know, Dmitri, Lord love him, tried to convince me that he and I should make a trip to Australia this year. He's always wanted to go, young pup, and has been trying to convince me I'd love it. As you probably know from the e-mails I've shared, I seem to have quite a following and some regular pen-pals who write me from Oz, too.
I'll certainly keep it in mind.
From Darhl S., Tampa Bay, FL, USA:
California? Russian river? Why does Russian river sound familiar? Is that tubing country perhaps? :)
Your comment about choices got me to thinking. Of all the places I've lived, I can really only think of one (maybe a second, but that's iffy) where it was my choice to move to. All the others relocations were job driven. Rather depressing when you look at it that way.
Born and raised thru 8th grade in Indiana... Moved to Tampa cause the folks moved to Tampa Bradenton/Sarasota FL (EMR) (spent a year at Goddard in the middle of this one)
West Palm/Jupiter FL (RCA)
Toulouse, France (CDC)
Maynard MA (DEC)
Ann Arbor MI (DEC)
Manassas VA (Univac)
Tampa (Hasty Air Freight, GE)
Rockledge FL (CSC at Cape Kennedy)
Satellite Beach, Melbourne FL (Harris)
St Pete FL (Raytheon)
Only the Albequerque was my choice. I wanted to go out west and there was an opening with CDC. I lasted 4 months - they needed me worse in France.
Actually, I hired on with CDC with a choice. To go to Kodiak Island, Alaska, on a site... but their needs changed while I was in training. Never have made it to Alaska.
Where would I go if I had a choice? Damnifiknow. Paris I like a lot. But probably some small podunk town in the middle of nowhere. Probably not Florida. Florida has just grown to be too many people even out where it used to be just cows and cowboys. Sometimes one has to think that maybe the unabomber did one thing right... that shack of his in Montana looks awfully tempting sometimes.
From Ed Cantarella, Bloomfield, MI, USA:
SUBJECT: Isolated White Folks
Loved your "Isolated White Folks" article.
You are absolutely right on that some folks are way too isolated - that hair thing bites people of both colors. I remember when they started a cross-town integration program for the elementary schools in my hometown; it seemed that the first thing everybody wanted to find out about was the other person's hair.
"Horse Hair"!? That used to be my nickname when I worked in a shop (actually it was "Chief Horse Hair" 'cause I get this›really›deep "Indian Red" tan if I get out enough, and I was wearing my hair about mid-back length back then). ›
The dude at the heavy equipment booth - he deserved to look embarressed.› › Peace Out,
P.S.› Ohio is fairly isolated in many ways. It's too bad that convention wasn't held in the Detroit area, you would have ran into a lot less of that kinda shit (I think).
From Dave J., (No City Provided,) USA:
Subject: Tom Leyland on Matt Hale
Could you put me in contact with Tom Leyland, the author of http://www.generator21.net/amdream9a.html›on his high school memories of Matthew Hale of the hate group, the World Church of the Creator?
My wife and I were helping Coach Ricky Byrdsong write his book, Coaching Your Kids in the Game of Life, when Ben Smith of the WCOTC murdered Byrdsong, a Korean man, and wounded nine other people over the July 4th weekend, 1999.
Now we are working on a book about the WCOTC and Byrdsong, following their two histories until the clash.
I'd love to make contact with Leyland and explore additional remembrances he might have of Hale.
ROD RESPONDS: Dave, I'm passing this message on to Matt Sharkey, who conducted the Hale interview and also attended school with Tom Leyland. I'm sure he'll be able to help you. Good luck with your project!
From Ron D., Lizard Lick, NC, USA:
Normally, I read Kevin Carey with interest and general assent. His article on the Israeli elections, however, has gone so far beyond the facts and the knowables that I must say something. Until Sharon has made actual statements and until Arafat has made actual statements, I insist that a reporter or analyst must defer, must wait, must be sure - before speaking FOR these people. Putting words in their mouths and thoughts in their heads makes for poor reportage and poor analysis.
There is a known fact in this mess: the fact is that the U.S. continues to support Israel in the World Community - often the U.S. vote and the Israeli vote in the U.N. the only two in defense of Israeli actions - to the point where the Israelis expect that support, and more.
The "violence" of stone-throwing and sniper-attacking is not to be compared with the "violence" of an occupying army, despite assumptions by reporters from National Public Radio. Israel a victim? tell me again the body-count. Israel besieged? tell me again whose roads are blocked and who is unable to work or travel.
As one Arab analyst said recently, the Palestinians have made concessions. For one thing, they concede all of Israel! And Israel is not satisfied with that? There should be more? How much more?
I need more assurances that there is a solution, an end, a future era of peace. I need to hear more optimism, more willingness to work together. I do not need to hear more fault-finding and condemnations. The whole situation makes me sick.
R E D
From Steven S., (No City Provided,) USA:
Liked Miller's two year old comment on the state of movie S-F.› How's this for casting Bester's "the Stars My Destination:"› Russell Crowe as Gully Foyle and Lynn Whitfield as Robin Wednesbury (I've heard Angela Bassett's name being thrown around but she's much much too strong for the role of Wednesbury)?
From Rolf G, Berlin, GERMANY:
I just wanted to write you and let you know that yours was the best coverage of the American inauguration I have seen on or off the Web. You may not know it, but what you are doing at G21 is important and appreciated by many.
Keep up the excellent journalism!
With Best Regards,
ACTION Alerts and Press ReleasesForwarded by Darryl C, Hershey, PA, USA:
Internship Opportunity: Coca-Cola Corporate Intern Program is offering 50 minority college juniors summer internships, This is an eight week program in either Atlanta, Columbia, MD, Chicago, Dallas or Irvine CA. Each student will receive $5,000 stipend plus a $2,000 housing allowance and transportation allowance and will be eligible for a $10,000 scholarship upon completion. Application deadline is Feb 16th.
For information www.coca-colaoncampus.com or call The College Fund at 800-331-2244.
From SojournProject.org, USA:
The Sojourn Project is a civil rights education project that takes high school students from around the nation to historical civil rights landmarks throughout the South. From time to time, we use this newsletter to publicize our program and encourage involvement from the African-American community. For more information about the program, please visit http://www.sojournproject.org. ›
INDEPENDENCE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION GRANT SUPPORTS CIVIL RIGHTS EDUCATION PROJECT IN BROOKLYN
For Immediate Release -- January 30, 2001
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- On the eve of Black History Month, the New York chapter of the Sojourn civil rights project today proudly announced the receipt of a grant from the Independence Community Foundation (ICF) that will underwrite a Brooklyn public high school student for a 10-day travel-study program to civil rights landmarks in the South. The student will join a group of New York City and California students who qualify for expeditions scheduled for spring 2001.› In addition to this student scholarship, the ICF grant will provide organizational support for Sojourn to present a course on civil rights history to students from Brooklyn high schools and non-profit programs.
Marilyn G. Gelber, Executive Director of ICF, said: "Independence Foundation is pleased to support such a worthy project.› We are particularly delighted that this $5,000 grant will allow a Brooklyn student to explore firsthand the roots of our nation's civil rights movement and personally observe the extraordinary change that leaders like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. helped to bring about. By understanding history, young people will be better prepared to combat bigotry today."
ICF's advocacy on behalf of Sojourn has been a vital factor in successfully introducing the project to Brooklyn and its broad network of philanthropic support.› According to Sojourn board member NY State Assemblyman Roger Green (57th AD), "The staff at ICF vetted the program as it rolled out in Brooklyn last summer.› Then they pledged their support.› And then they went the extra mile, providing introductions to other supporters.› Without the foresight and generosity of ICF, Sojourn's presence in New York would still be a dream.› ICF made it real."› Mr. Green chairs the Assembly Committee on Children & Families in Albany.
Sojourn provides an opportunity for high school students from New York City, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles to travel to the South and study the civil rights era in intimate settings.› The program's itinerary includes Washington DC, Atlanta, Tuskegee, Montgomery, Selma, Birmingham, Jackson, Little Rock and Memphis.› By way of a "living history" syllabus - books, documentaries, recordings and on-site visits with civil rights veterans - lessons of tolerance, nonviolence, personal courage, compassion, forgiveness, faith, hope, justice and civic responsibility are imparted during expeditions.
John Lewis (U.S. Congressman), Myrlie Evers-Williams (Medgar Evers' widow), members of the Little Rock Nine, voting rights pioneer Robert Moses, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth (leader of the 1963 Birmingham movement), Chris McNair (father of one of four little girls killed in a Birmingham church bombing) and Martin Luther King III, among others, meet with students and teachers during their many stops through the South.
Since February 1999, Sojourn has conducted eight civil rights expeditions.› More than 665 participants have met with civil rights veterans who have shared the program's ethical lesson plans.› By the end of this school year, Sojourn will have served more than 1000 students.› To visit Sojourn's Web site, click: www.sojournproject.org.› To visit the Web site of the Independence Community Foundation, click: www.icfny.org.
"Until justice rolls down like waters
and righteousness like a mighty stream."
Forwarded by Diamond D, Middletown, CT, USA:
New York Times Covering for Colombian Death Squads February 9, 2001
From Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
The human rights situation in Colombia is in a state of "alarming degradation," according to United Nations human rights observers (Associated Press, 1/20/01), but you won't learn about it in the New York Times.
According to a joint report from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), "political violence has markedly increased" since the first installment of the U.S.'s $1.3 billion Plan Colombia aid package was dispersed in August, with the average number of deaths from combat and political violence rising to 14 per day ("Colombia Human Rights Certification II", 1/01).
There were at least 27 massacres in the month of January alone, claiming the lives of as many as 200 civilians. The killings are overwhelmingly the work of right-wing paramilitaries with close ties to the Colombian military, such as the Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).
Despite the dramatic nature of the attacks and the U.S.'s heavy financial involvement in the war, the New York Times did not report on a single massacre during the month of January. The findings of the human rights groups' "Certification" report, including its recommendation that the U.S. cease military funding to Colombia, also went unmentioned.
Far from documenting the recent wave of paramilitary terror, the Times has told precisely the opposite story. Juan Forero's January 22 dispatch from the city of Barrancabermeja, headlined "Paramilitaries Adjust Attack Strategies," gave a highly distorted version of events.
Forero claims that "the militia members are killing fewer people than the rebels, who have responded to the threat in neighborhoods they long controlled with a furious assault on those they accuse of supporting the paramilitaries," and that the New Granada battalion of the Colombian military "is sending specially trained urban commandos into the neighborhoods to restore order."
The notion that the rebels in Barrancabermeja have been responsible for more killings than the paramilitaries contradicts all available evidence. A recent dispatch from Inter Press Service (1/15/01) reported that "one of the top complaints of human rights groups in the [Barrancabermeja] area is that a leading cause of violence is the attitude of the armed forces, which have facilitated-- by inaction or omission-- the advance of the paramilitaries, who are responsible for 80 percent of the massacres perpetrated in and around the city, according to several reports."
In fact, less than a month before Forero's dispatch, an article (12/26/00) on the New York Times' own op-ed page by Senator Paul Wellstone, who had just returned from a visit to the town, reported that "this year so far, violence in Barranca has killed at least 410 people. According to local human rights groups, most of those killed were the victims of right-wing paramilitary death squads."
Nationwide, Human Rights Watch reported that "paramilitary groups are considered responsible for at least 78 percent of the human rights violations recorded in the six months from October 1999" (annual report, 2001).
Some historical perspective is needed, too: Members of the New Granada battalion were implicated in a grisly massacre in Barrancabermeja on May 16, 1998. It is alleged that nine soldiers waved paramilitary vehicles through an army checkpoint in advance of and after the attack on civilians (see Washington Post, 8/13/98; Amnesty International, 5/99). That sort of relationship between the military and paramilitaries is at the center of the objections raised by countless human rights groups to the U.S. aid to Colombia.
"Instead of mass killings," Forero's January 22 article reported, "the paramilitaries have, for the most part, been selectively killing rebels. Instead of terrorizing residents, the paramilitaries are paying handsomely to rent houses in battleground neighborhoods, as well as for supplies and information that can be used against the rebels."
The assertion that the paramilitaries are "selectively" killing rebels flies in the face of all credible evidence from journalists and human rights observers in Colombia. About two weeks before Forero's article was printed, paramilitaries were suspected of killing 20 civilians in northern Colombia in a matter of days, including eight in Barrancabermeja (Agence France Presse, 1/10/01).
Forero's claim that the death squads are renting houses instead of terrorizing residents is also dubious. In a January 26 action alert, Amnesty International reported a January 20 paramilitary raid in Barrancabermeja. The death squads "reportedly held the local population at gunpoint and told them: 'We have come to stay. We are creating employment... and anyone who doesn't want to work for us, simply won't be forced to, but will be killed.'" The reported raid took place one day before Forero wrote his article. Other human rights monitors have reported similar threats against trade unionists and other civilians.
The Times' distortions come in the midst of an almost surreal silence about Colombia from much of the mainstream press. None of the network news broadcasts did a single story on the war in the month of January, though ABC's Peter Jennings did find time for a light- hearted piece about the "crazy" hijinks of a British man who was kidnapped by guerrillas while visiting Colombia in search of rare orchids (ABC World News Tonight, 2/8/01).
Not all media outlets have done such a poor job of informing the public. The Washington Post, for instance, ran an excellent account (1/28/01) of the AUC's January 17 massacre of two dozen civilians at Chengue, interviewing survivors who had fled the village. The Post raised important questions the New York Times has chosen to ignore, such as why the Colombian security forces took no action to prevent a massacre they had been warned about, and why their intelligence apparatus was apparently unable to either intercept radio traffic in the area (a tactic they have used against the guerrillas) or respond to the massacre in a timely fashion.
Readers of the New York Times, however, would be hard- pressed to know that anything had happened at all.
ACTION: Call on the New York Times to investigate stories of paramilitary massacres. Encourage the Washington Post to print more of its in-depth reporting on the situation. Given the level of U.S. military aid dedicated to Colombia, American citizens deserve a full accounting of the human rights situation there.
New York Times
229 West 43rd St.
New York, NY 10036-3959
Toll free comment line: 1-888-NYT-NEWS
Read the Washington Post's "Chronicle of a Massacre Foretold" at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56760-2001Jan27.html
From RudeMountain.com, San Francisco, CA, USA:
We at RudeMountain like to feel like we've played a small, but significant role in the breakup of many romantic relationships. That's why we're particularly proud to bring you our line of anti-valentines relationship cards.
Remember, that day of loathsome trepidation is soon at hand. And if you haven't yet given that fading flame the final snuff, this is probably the best time to do it. (It will also save the cost of a dozen roses or box of Whitman chocolates).
Attached is your own very special cartoon-of-the week.
Oh yeah--as for our very first, and much-hyped, RudeMountain mini-movie...It is available for RudeMountain members, like you, on our Private Screening page at: http://www.rudemountain.com/minimovies
Natasa, Morgan & Ken
Proud Developers of http://www.rudemountain.com
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