Thursday, July 21, 2005

What's My Name Fool?

First off, Dad told me I better recommend C.I.'s "NYT: Nobody Fluffs It Better than Bumiller." Dad says he laughed all day thinking about that so do yourself a favor, click the link and grab a chuckle as C.I. explains why Bumiller is the squad leader of the Elite Fluff Patrol.

Second off, Rebecca's taking a vacation and while she's gone, a friend of her's is filling in for her.
Elaine's filling in and she's doing a great job. So far she's offered a peace quote each day and I hope she continues to do that because I'm really enjoying it.

Now I want to share something from Democracy Now!:

London Mayor Blames Western Policy for London Bombs
The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said yesterday that western foreign policy has fuelled the Islamist radicalism behind the July 7 London bomb attacks. In an interview with the BBC on Wednesday, Livingstone said: "You've just had 80 years of Western intervention into predominantly Arab lands because of a Western need for oil. We've propped up unsavory governments, we've overthrown ones that we didn't consider sympathetic." Livingstone continued, "I think the particular problem we have at the moment is that in the 1980s ... the Americans recruited and trained Osama bin Laden, taught him how to kill, to make bombs, and set him off to kill the Russians to drive them out of Afghanistan. They didn't give any thought to the fact that once he'd done that, he might turn on his creators." Livingstone also blasted the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the US prison camp at Guantanamo. An opinion poll this week showed two-thirds of Britons see a connection between the Iraq occupation and the bombings.

Shows you that the British people are a lot smarter than their leader Tony Blair and a lot smarter than most of us have been in this country.

Now let's go to the e-mails. Yesterday, I told you about Becky's problem and asked if you had any thoughts or advice. Here's what stood out.

Greg says pour the honey on him and start licking because maybe he'll hate it and stop doing it to you. Lenny says just tell him to knock it off. Starla says Becky's problem's not so big and that when it's dealt with "have I got a real problem, a real one, for you." Joe says that since Becky says it tickles sometimes, she should move her leg real quick and knock her boyfriend's nose and "that'll make him stop." Ellen says she should tell him this isn't working for him.

This time, I'm with Ellen. This isn't about a haircut or an odor that somebody's going to worry about forever. This is about something that can easily be changed. Tell him it's annoying you, not exciting you. You can say that it was fun at first if you want. You can even say that being summer, it's too hot outside to enjoy. But let him know that you're not enjoying it.

Now I want to talk about this great story Amy Goodman had today called "What's My Name, Fool?: Sports and Resistance in the United States." Dave Zirin was the guest and he wrote the book on sports. I listened online via WBIA because I had the day off from school and work and because Jonah's been sharing at The Common Ills that Democracy Now! is two hours long on WBAI this week because it's pledge week.

So you got two hours with Dave and he is just so smart and Goodman's so great at what she does that if you go to the link for the story you still won't be able to picture out how great it was.

AMY GOODMAN: Let's go back to another clip of When We Were Kings. Muhammad Ali was known as an anti-war symbol to some. This is a news clip from that film.
NEWS CLIP: Cassius Clay, at a federal court in Houston, is found guilty of violating the U.S. Selective Service laws by refusing to be inducted. He is sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000.
AMY GOODMAN: What happened to Muhammad Ali then?
DAVID ZIRIN: Well, Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title, and he was forced to report to a draft board in El Paso, Texas. Now, this was very interesting, because, you know, Ali was offered the same deal that many past heavyweight champions had been offered, which was, you know, that he could just – you know, it’s not like he was going to be sent to, you know, to Saigon or anything. He could have worn red, white, and blue trunks, boxed at some U.S.O. shows and kept the title.
But instead, what Ali said was – he was quite clear -- he said, "The enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my people, my religion, or myself by fighting against other people" -- speaking about the National Liberation Front in Vietnam – "who are fighting for their own freedom, justice and liberty." And so he came out very -- there was no mistaking where he stood on this.
So they stripped him of his title for his anti-war views, and he was sent down to the draft office there. And as he went down there, it wasn't known exactly what Ali was going to do when he got there, because he was facing a prison sentence of five years, you know, in a federal prison. So there was actually a rally outside the El Paso area that was organized by H. Rap Brown and the students at Texas Western, now Texas El Paso. And they were out there, a couple hundred of them, with a huge banner, and what it said was "Draft Beer, Not Ali." And when Ali went in there and when they called his name to take the step forward, I don't – I mean, I don’t know if this made a difference, but they made quite a mistake when they called his name in that they called for Cassius Clay to take a step forward, and he absolutely refused. Then they asked for Muhammad Ali to take a step forward, and he absolutely refused.
And there’s a tremendous quote by a writer named Gerald Early who said that "when Ali refused to take that step forward, I felt more than pride in him, I felt as if my honor as a young black boy had been defended. He was the dragon slayer, and I went home into my room that night and I cried. I cried for myself and I cried for our black possibilities." I mean, that's just the power that that moment had for people was incalculable, but not something that’s talked about when ESPN Classic does a look at Muhammad Ali.

There's a second part to it that I hope they air tomorrow but the second hour on WBAI isn't in the link. And he was talking about so many important things and talking about Steve Nash and so much more. His book sounds way cool and as soon as I finish the book I'm reading for The Third Estate Sunday Review. So make a point to look for it, it's called What's My Name Fool?
It sounds incredible. I'm going to suggest we all read it for next week, not this Sunday but the one after, for The Third Estate Sunday Review.