Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Spread Love

Ladies say: "El Gringo Rumbero is all about the love." It's true. But most people in this town don't have time for love. We are so caught up in the rat race, the seemingly endless cycle of production and consumption, that we have forgotten about the big picture -- the broader cycle of life, death and rebirth. Love may not conquer all but it is the life experience par excellence -- through love you truly experience being in the world and you have knowledge of that which makes us all live. In love both of the fundamental ontological elements come together -- ecstasy and agony. Also in love you feel intense, strong and powerful while at the same time utterly insignificant, banal and subject to the whims of that which makes us all live. In love you bravely submit to your fate.

The other day I was riding the subway downtown when a man boarded the train with a guitar. He raised the guitar to his chest, threw his head back and began to play. And as his eyes rolled back into his head he began to sing. His songs were devotional hymns that he himself had written (I checked later and couldn't find them on the Internet) and they were love songs. They expressed the joy and suffering that is the fundamental intuition of life -- existence at its core -- the truth one finds in love. Suddenly I understood why love songs are rooted in spiritual hymns and chants. That strength that is realized only in unconditional submission that comes through in hymns is identical to love. His songs were those of the human being in its crudest most raw form, the human being at ground zero, the human being in all its wretchedness but also in all its glory since it's only then that the human is indistinguishable from the rest of the universe and closest to the sublime -- in love. When the man finished his last song he dropped his guitar, opened his eyes and looked at all of the passengers who were all holding forth crisp green bills in their hands for the musician. Looking at each one in turn he said in a slight Jamaican accent, "thank you ladies and gentlemen... I hope that my music has brought peace and love into your hearts." And, as the train came to a stop and the doors opened, he turned without taking any of the money and left the train.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Pocahontas Myth

Frederic W. Gleach, Ph.D. (Senior Lecturer and Curator, Anthropology Collections, Cornell University) wrote a fascinating feature in this month's issue of Natural History Magazine. His argument runs as follows:

The Powhatans (the American Indians encountered by the Jamestown colonists in 1607) adopted the English into their social and political world. While they could have easily exterminated the English in a sustained campaign, the Powhatans instead made the colonists part of the collectivity. The English could not understand this and viewed it as a sign of weakness. They continuously broke the compact they had forged with the Powhatans which provoked the occasional punishment from the Powhatans.

Captain John Smith was an integral part of the contract forged between the Powhatans and the English since the latter viewed him as the English "War Chief." This explains the change in relationships after he returned to England.

Pocahontas was acting in a traditional role as a cultural mediator in symbolically saving Smith's life so that he could be reborn into the Powhatan world. In other words the execution of Smith was staged as part of the ritual the Powhatans performed when welcoming outsiders into their social body and Pocahantas was just playing her role in the ritual as the chief's daughter.

In short -- the Pocahontas story is a myth to dress up the reality of theft and genocide in the pretty garb of an insipid love story that establishes the superiority of Anglo-American Masculinity. The only love in reality is that which the Powhatans showed the English when they greeted them at the Coast while they could have massacred them. Love the English viewed as weakness and reciprocated with continuous attempts to seize more land than they needed. And the only explanation for the English conquest is not their intellectual, military or moral superiority but their willingness to lie, murder and rob the very people who saved their miserable lives from starvation and death.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Israel Is A Racist White Supremacist State

Chinese Jews?! Chinese food in the Holy Land! You'd think any Jew would be thrilled. Not so. Of the 600 or so families in Kaifeng who claim to have been Jews for generations, only one of them (the Jin family) has been able to make the so-called "return" (Aliyah) to the Holy Land. And they had to undergo an Orthodox conversion to do so. And even then they were not granted legal status as Jews by the State. You see the members of the ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng (established in at least the 10th Century), like the rest of the communities in the Jewish Diaspora, look like their neighbors (i.e. they look Chinese). Here's a picture.

In Israel, "Jew" clearly equals "White," although they can't say it. But this is ridiculous. According to Israeli law, I could make the Aliyah without a problem because I am White and can prove that all of my ancestors for many generations have been Jewish. Yet a recent DNA test my father took revealed that none of my paternal genetic markers can be traced to the Middle East. In fact on my father's side I have more in common with an Irishman or a Spaniard than an Ancient Hebrew. In other words, Judaism is not a race! It's a religion. And a Jew can be African, Arab, Chinese, European or what have you. But what the example of the Chinese Jews shows, as well as the experiences of all people of color in Israel, is that the Zionist State has nothing or very little to do with religion. The Jin family produced official Chinese documents showing that they were descendants of Jews. But that was not sufficient (as it would have been in say, my case). So they underwent an Orthodox ritual conversion. But that still wasn't sufficient. So if the Jew angle isn't about religion then what is it about? It's a con. How else do you justify the establishment of a new colonial entity based on White Supremacy after the whole world recognized the right of the formerly colonized people to independence after World War II? But that's another story.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Nobody Ever Wacks The Fascists!

Okay so the Columbia University student Republicans invited the leader of the Minutemen to speak at the school last week and the audience shouted him off the stage (<>). Not a huge deal but commendable nonetheless and a feel-good moment for decent-minded citizens considering no one got hurt. Unfortunately the university administration doesn't see it that way. They want to discipline the students. Now, for those who may not know, the Minutemen are an armed militia that patrol the southern border of the U.S. and kill people who try to cross it from Mexico. Now if my last blog post sounded crazy to you then consider this: Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X -- men whose only crime was fighting for equality, freedom and justice -- were assassinated and their murderers went unpunished. Jim Gilchrist, who is guilty of inciting racist murders, was prevented from giving a speech and those responsible have been targeted for punishment (they might not if you sign this petition). And have you noticed that fascists like Gilchrist and his ilk hardly ever seem to pay for their crimes? Most die of natural causes. What the fuck is that?!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Pessimism easily seduces even the most minimally perspicacious observer of the world. The most beautiful creatures among us die too soon and in mass while ugliness flourishes across the surface of the planet. Wickedness is rewarded and righteousness is punished such that we now live in a world ruled tyrannically by the most wicked people imaginable. Genocidal murderers, dope traffickers, money launderers, child murderers, war mongers are words that come to mind when seeking to characterize the personalities that now rule the world. And our leaders are not content to destroy the best of their own species either. The most beautiful, most elegant, wise and graceful animals are quickly being cleansed from the face of the earth due to the policies of our leaders. The luscious diversity of plants, insects and all forms of life with which Creator lavished us is rapidly disappearing. The air is polluted and most people in the world no longer have access to potable water. Our leaders lie to us, they use us, abuse us, trick us, rob us of our children and generally add to the endless trail of corpses that essentially represents the past five centuries of history. Perhaps it is as Leslie Silko says, that we are living under the reign of the Death-Eyed Dog where blood-sucking sorcerers hold sway and bleed the people and destroy the land to satisfy their vile appetites. Perhaps these are the seven generations that Lakota medicine men spoke of, during which the Wasichus rule as tyrants over the land destroying the Buffalo Nation and massacring the people. And perhaps one day the White Buffalo Calf Woman will return and restore peace, harmony, justice, equality and freedom to the land. I pray that she does come or that something happens; that a change comes and soon, because this is not the way to live! It can't be that Creator put us here to endlessly circulate capital, to persuade others that "Brand X" doesn't suit their lifestyle, to live our lives as ideological automatons, to poison our brothers and sisters or even to murder them in mass! We obviously live in HELL and it's ruled by blood-sucking DEMONS! We must GET OUT! This imperative is the sole response I have been able to articulate to the pessimism that threatens to consume me.

Monday, September 25, 2006

"US Lets Liquids Bought Beyond Checkpoints on Planes"

Either the U.S. government is comprised of a bunch of absolute morons or there is no terrorist threat. These are the only two explanations for why the government would release things like this to the news media. This is essentially telling any would be "terrorists" that if they want to take liquid explosives onto airplanes -- now's the time to do it. It's the same with the Department of Homeland Security threat levels. Why would you want to announce to the world the level of security at airports and so forth if you were actually trying to prevent a terrorist attack? Now I am not among those who believe that U.S. government officials are a bunch of imbeciles. I think a lot of liberals find solace in the notion that they are smarter than the people who run this country and that is probably a big reason for their opposition to the government. In other words they think they could do a better job of running things and the only reason they are powerless losers is because they "chose" to be so -- not because they actually don't have the ability to be in power. I think that government officials are actually very good at what they do and frighteningly effective. So I think that there is in fact no terrorist threat outside the one posed by the U.S. itself in the form of its military arsenal and that all of this code orange and no liquids on airplanes bullshit are purely and simply scare tactics to create a level of mass paranoia sufficient enough to sustain and endless series of wars, a steady flow of terrorist acts, against the peoples of Asia.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Ayer Vine El Diablo Aqui"

Okay. I don't care what anybody says -- Hugo Chavez is ill. He called George Bush the devil in front of the whole world, crossed himself and said it still smelled like sulfur! And people applauded and laughed. Keep in mind that the audience is not supposed to respond to speeches made before the General Assembly of the United Nations -- but people laughed and clapped anyway. He then went on to denounce U.S. imperialism and the continuing military violence perpetuated by the U.S. against the people of the South. I encourage anyone who reads or understands Spanish to check out the text of this speech or to watch the video. The English translation will hopefully be made available soon for those who don't. Chavez just said what the rest of the world's leaders were thinking but didn't have the balls to say. I.e. that the people of the world are not down with the program of U.S. imperialism.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Entertain The Notion

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."


Rest in peace to all of those who have lost their lives since the U.S. launched its war for global domination on September 11, 2001, the hundreds of thousands who needlessly lost their lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and New York City. Pour out some liquor.

What happened on September 11, 2001 was the Reichstag Fire of the present era. The pivotal event that signaled both the end of the last economic expansion of U.S. capitalism and the beginning of the present phase of U.S. imperialism -- the quest for domination of the entire planet. And, like the Reichstag Fire, it was an inside job. People with many more, and more impressive, credentials than I share this view. Robert M. Bowman (former Director of the U.S. "Star Wars" Space Defense Program in both Republican and Democratic administrations, and a former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with 101 combat missions), Andreas von Buelow (former assistant German defense minister, director of the German Secret Service, minister for research and technology, and member of Parliament for 25 years) and Michael Hugh Meacher (senior Labour member of the U.K. Parliament and former environment minister) are among the long list of distinguished individuals that question the official story.

While you pay your respects to the dead, entertain the notion, do the research and examine all the angles. If I am wrong then you've lost nothing. But if I'm right then wouldn't you want to know?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

North Korea

"Before a journalist starts to cover foreign policy issues, he or she should first be required to report on car accidents."

John Feffer, Co-Director, Foreign Policy In Focus and Director, Global Affairs, International Relations Center

Most journalists in the U.S. are simply mouthpieces for the foreign policy of whatever administration happens to be in office at the time. The notion that there exists an opposing view must strike them as utterly alien. It must be nice to get paid not to think. This is blatant when it comes to North Korea. We, the mentally retarded U.S. public, are told that the leaders of North Korea are a bunch of irrational lunatics just aching to shower us with nuclear weapons. Never mind that North Korea has had large stockpiles of chemical weapons for decades, and perhaps biological weapons as well, but has never used them. And never mind that the country has maintained its sovereignty for over 50 years! They're just a bunch of psychopaths. We're also fed a big juicy line on how our leaders just want to spread Democracy and Freedom to North Korea! Pardon me while I go somewhere private to vomit. Let's think about some of the great things the U.S. has done for Korea since World War II:

August 6 and 9, 1945 -- The U.S. drops nuclear weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ultimately killing hundreds of thousands of people including at least 60,000 Koreans mostly brought to Japan forcibly as laborers.

August 15, 1945 -- The U.S. authorities in the South support reactionaries who collaborated with the Japanese. These men formed the kernel of the government of South Korea which would eventually include military dictators like Park Jung Hee who used techniques to suppress dissent that they had learned from their Japanese masters before liberation.

Korean War -- U.S. forces, likely as a result of General MacArthur's view of all Koreans as "defeated enemies" as well as the knowledge that the North enjoyed widespread support among the people, are under orders to view any unidentified person on the battlefield as hostile.

Korean War -- The U.S. uses chemical weapons, especially napalm, extensively during the conflict.

July, 1950 -- Elements of the Second Battalion, U.S. Seventh Cavalry Regiment, massacre hundreds of civilians (mostly women and children) at No Gun Ri.

May 1980 -- The U.S. government approves the use of force against pro-Democracy demonstrators in the city of Kwangju and commits to direct intervention if the situation gets out of hand. A massacre ensues, the notorious Kwangju Massacre, that results in the deaths of between 500 and 2000 (the final death toll is still unknown because the military dumped bodies in mass graves and lakes) civilian demonstrators at the hands of the U.S.-backed South Korean military.

Now let's add that to all the other fucked-up shit the U.S. has done and continues to do all over the world and let's wonder why on earth the government of North Korea, which the President included in his "axis of evil" speech, would want to acquire nuclear weapons!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Gangland and Philosophy, Brooklyn-Style

Everyone from Brooklyn has a mob story. I have a few but I 'm not going to tell them today. Today I want to talk about the real crooks -- the ones whose racket is so bad that they are playing all of us for suckers. These hoodlums are so hip that they have all us all thinking that their racket is legitimate and, even worse, they have us all carrying on about small time hustlers and how they should be locked up. Every year each and every one of us kicks up about three tenths of his or her income to the U.S. Treasury Department. Why? Ostensibly that money goes to maintenance of the government, infrastructure, the military and social programs. But if you look at the Federal budget for Fiscal 2007, you'll see that about 49 percent of the budget is going to the military. And if you include spending on Homeland Security and NASA (basically a military program), the portion of the budget devoted to military operations swells to well over 50 percent. You don't have to be the hippest wise guy on the block to see that the U.S. government is essentially a protection racket. Hence, our politicians are always telling us that we need to spend more on military because of this or that very frightening enemy. Today it's the crazy Arab terrorists tomorrow, who knows what it'll be, or whether there'll be a tomorrow... But it's a little more sophisticated than your typical protection racket because the government really is spending the money on weapons and so forth. They're not just shaking us down to line their pockets like your typical street hustler. We know because they've got hundreds of thousands of our young men overseas and they're tapping our telephones. So whoever's behind this racket is putting the squeeze on us, taxing us in sweat and blood, to fight turf wars to control valuable foreign markets (mainly dope and petroleum) while making sure none of us squares at home gets wise to the lovely set-up. If you think about it, this is much worse than your typical mobster. Your typical gangster may shake you down for "protection" every week but he doesn't make you send your son to fight for him two blocks down. Also your typical lowlife doesn't tell you that Arab terrorists or some such bullshit are trying to burn down your store. And if you don't pay, they don't fly fucking airplanes into your store and demolish the joint and then blame it on some Arab guys with ceramic box cutters who the local newspaper reports were one thousand miles away when it all went down. Sure they may beat you up and send you to the emergency room, but you know damn well who it was. Usually it's the same guy who asked you to pay up the first time. The point is that we are all the big-time suckers in a really gruesome mob story and it's time we got wise.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Truth About Iran

"Reactionaries hate the truth and the world's rulers fear it; but it embarasses lberals, perhaps because they can't do anything about it."

Chester Himes

On Wednesday, the Royal Institute of International Affairs -- a.k.a. Chatham House (a major British think tank) -- released a report that presented the following conclusion (a conclusion of which most of us who have been following the situation in Western Asia from a truly international perspective were already aware): "there is little doubt that iran has been the chief beneficiary of the war on terror in the middle east..." Nonetheless this would blow up the happy little illusion that many in the U.S. have of their country's position in the world if they actually paid any attention. When it comes to Iran, the right and the left in this country like to clamor about political Islam (as if this country wasn't ruled by political Christianity), the absence of Democracy (as if this country were a Democracy), gender inequality (how many women presidents have we had here?) and the race for nuclear weapons (okay -- which country is the ONLY country to have ever used nuclear weapons TWICE on CIVILIANS?) but neither side wants to face the truth: that the leaders of Iran have played this thing out exceptionally well. Iran is now very tight with pretty much all the key players in Asia (excluding the U.S.) -- especially China and Russia. It is unlikely that any serious sanctions against Iran will get past a veto from either or both of these countries. Iran is not the pariah state here -- the U.S. is, along with it's principal ally in the region, the notorious Zionist colonial apartheid state, Israel. The U.S. politicians like to make a big fuss over the few countries that actually support their position against Iran -- namely France, Germany and the U.K. -- while downplaying the fact that all of the other players do not. Even Japan, the only real ally of the U.S. left in Asia, only half-heartedly supports the U.S. in this -- after all, Japan needs oil. A military attack on Iran at this point could easily precipitate armageddon given the players involved and what's at stake (i.e. Asia -- home of most of the world's population and remaining energy reserves). If the so-called left in this country really wants to make a positive impact here, rather than worrying about whether or not Iran is going to get nuclear weapons, they'd do a lot better making some kind of effort to make sure their own government or one of its key allies (i.e. Israel) doesn't end up nuking someone pretty soon! They do a lot better to recall that most of them supported the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and to make sure that they don't turn around and end up supporting a nuclear attack on Iran!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Rebellion in Oaxaca!

In May the teachers in Oaxaca staged a massive strike in response to the Governor's refusal to raise funding for teachers and rural schools. See he needed those funds to keep his and his friends' pockets nice and fat. His response to the strikers was three thousand pigs who proceeded to beat the people down -- sending over one hundred people to the hospital. So then the people got organized and really got down. In June they formed the Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca (APPO) out of regional and municipal organizations, unions, non-governmental organizations, social organizations, cooperatives and parent groups and took over the center of Oaxaca city. Isn't it amazing what the people can accomplish when they get it on and show they ass? The New York Times doesn't think so. That rag finally reported these events yesterday only to decry the protesters' violence (not the pigs') and to echo the Governor's call for Federal intervention! In other words, in all seriousness, the fucking hypocrite was denouncing the violence of the People while advocating more violence on the part of the State. Meanwhile, the Governor has been sending out paramilitary units to murder protesters. All the Times reporter was really concerned about were the fucking tourists trapped in their hotels. You gotta love how traumatized these bourgeois fucks get when confronted with actual Democracy and Freedom!

Monday, August 21, 2006

The War on Drugs

First of all there is no war on drugs -- there is a drug war. Second of all the U.S. is not trying to stop the production and traffic in cocaine and heroin -- it's simply trying to maintain control of the racket. This should be obvious to anyone who read Juan Forero's excellent report on the front page of Saturday's New York Times. Naturally you had to read the entire article to get the entire picture but it's something like this. The U.S. has spent the past six years and $ 4.7 billion supposedly trying to eradicate cocaine production and trafficking in Colombia. However production and price have remained pretty much the same as they were before Clinton launched the program (yes -- this is a Clinton program). And, the reporter mentions at the very end of the piece, the effort has had the effect of furnishing the control of the drug trafficking routes to the right-wing paramilitary commanders instead of the left-wing insurgents. Is it just me or is this just so obviously a racket that you just want to go fucking nuts? Basically the U.S. sent the military into Colombia to wipe out the traffic in blow only they didn't wipe it out -- they just shook down the competition. Now you've got the degenerate children of the U.S. and international bourgeoisie living it up in the night clubs of Los Angeles and New York City run run running to the yayo while U.S. prisons fill up with Black and Latino men who got pinched for allegedly hustling relatively tiny quantities of dope while the U.S. military is maintaining a Civil War in Colombia to keep that coke money flowing. Because it is all about the money. Every year between $ 500 billion and one trillion dollars of drug money is laundered through U.S. banks and companies [see US Senate, (1999); Minority Staff Report for Permanent Sub committee on Investigations, US Senate Committee on Government Affairs, November 9, 1999 and US Senate, (2001); Minority Staff Report for Permanent Sub committee on Investigations on Correspondent Banking: A Gateway for Money Laundering, Senate Committee on Government Affairs, February 5, 2001]. It is this continuous flow of cash money that has kept the U.S. stock market strong despite the dwindling competitiveness of U.S. companies in the world market. Nothing helps financial liquidity like an annual influx of several hundred billion dollars in cash. The leftist insurgents (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) plan to decriminalize the production of coca once in power. Legal proceeds don't need laundering. So Uncle Sam's got to move against them.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is Pluto a Planet?

Whether or not Pluto is labeled a planet (the big debate this week at the annual meeting of the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union ) has more to do with politics than astronomy. Pluto is a cold spherical rock that has been orbiting the sun for billions of years and what the blood-sucking devils who rule this planet call it is insignificant. However, Pluto is the only planet to have been "discovered" and named by a U.S. scientist (Clyde Tombaugh in 1930). What's at stake is the position of the U.S. as a global power, not only militarily, but culturally. Science has little to do with it. Labeling Pluto as a planet will force the inclusion of potentially hundreds of solar system objects into the planet category and unnecessarily complicate the taxonomy of astronomy. But, considering that the U.S. is willing to murder hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women and children to exert its military might, it makes sense that it would fuck up astronomy to exert its cultural hegemony.

Interestingly enough, like the "discovery" of the Americas, the "discovery" of Pluto was an accident that resulted from a faulty hypothesis. Tombaugh believed that only the existence of a ninth planet could explain the anomalies he was observing in the orbits of Neptune and Uranus. However, in fact, Pluto has no role in the anomalies he observed.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Cuba Before The Revolution

For about 20 years, from 1939 until the revolution in January 1959, Cuba was run by gangsters. Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano and Santos Trafficante, Jr. owned the Havana casinos and Fulgencio Batista or whomever was president got his cut. Havana was the location of the notorious Havana Conference -- one of the most important meetings in the history of organized crime in the U.S. The list of attendees reads like a "Who's Who" of the syndicate at the time -- all the original leaders of New York's five families and their closest associates were there -- Bumpy Johnson was there too. Cuba is the link between the Kennedy assassination and the mob. The syndicate, represented at the time by Trafficante, was furious that Kennedy failed to support the Bay of Pigs invasion with the Air Force and the Marines (among other things) even though the latter were stationed offshore and ready to land at a moment's notice. Jose Aleman (Cuban exile and F.B.I. stool pigeon), in his testimony before the U.S. Senate, said that Trafficante told him that Kennedy was going to get hit.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Hezbollah Kicks Ass!

Okay now before you get all excited let me just say that I am strongly opposed to political Islam because it's basically a theocratic, neoliberal ideology that represents various elements of the ruling class who are out to to oppress and bleed the people (for an intelligent critique of political Islam, see this essay by Samir Amin). At the same time, I gotta recognize the outstanding performance of this small band of fighters against a larger, much better-equipped opponent. Just look at the numbers, according to the Associated Press, as of earlier this week: Lebanese dead total at least 642, including 558 civilians, 29 Lebanese soldiers and only 55 Hezbollah fighters while Israeli dead total 97, including 61 soldiers and only 36 civilians. So basically, the vast majority (86 percent) of Israeli kills have been civilians, mainly women and children, while soldiers account for almost two-thirds (63 percent) of Hezbollah kills. And keep in mind that Hezbollah's weapons, like the notorious Katyushas, are inaccurate while Israel's can hit very precise targets. People all across the region, even in the pro-U.S. strongholds of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as well as the Lebanese Christian communities, are giving the Hezbollah guerrillas their props even if it's only because they're bringing it to the Zionist army hard core!

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Cynthia McKinney: the Ballot or the Bullet

People who still think the U.S. is a two-party system should have gotten their wake-up call yesterday when Cynthia McKinney lost her seat in Congress for the second time. Not only was her ouster the result of a bipartisan effort, as clearly evidenced by the reaction of her fellow Democrats to her constant harrassment by the white members of the Capitol Hill police force, but also the entire U.S. news media is united -- Conservatives and Liberals alike -- in their glee at her defeat. Cynthia McKinney was a radical anomaly in Washington. Not content to focus on the petty squabbles that divide the U.S. ruling class, largely tactical issues on how best to bleed the people at home and perpetuate U.S. hegemony abroad, McKinney used her position in Congress to fight for REAL equality and justice. Her only mistake was that she believed she could lead the struggle within a political apparatus whose raison d'etre is to maintain a system of inequality and injustice. It's hard to believe that she really harbored any illusions about the system, however, since she suspected that the U.S. government had a hand in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the murder of Tupac Amaru Shakur and the attacks on September 11, 2001. I think the last straw was her persistence in denouncing Israeli war crimes and supporting the Palestinian cause -- strictly forbidden in U.S. politics. She probably would have gotten wacked outright if the man weren't so good at rigging elections these days. It looks like 2007 might turn out to be a repeat of 1964, like Malcom X said, the ballot or the bullet. What can the man use now to fool us after he kicked Cynthia McKinney out of Washington?