WPFW at 30, Pacifica Radio, Washington Style

Imagine, if you will, the hep Village Voice, Washington, DC, “Chocolate City” version. Then open your eyes and notice WPFW 89.3FM.

I first noticed WPFW in September 1977. The station had just been on the air six months. I produced a 14 minute radio show: “I Remember Elijah Muhammad” to be aired around October 7, the 100th birthday anniversary of the leader of the Nation of Islam. WPFW accommodated my effort. I worked and produced the program, and became a volunteer, as well as a contributor to the companion Pacifica National News Bureau.

The marriage of the left-radical Pacifica Foundation, to the Jazz, Blues, Oldies, Caribbean, African, and Latin rhythm-loving indigenous DC community–Chocolate City, if you will–is, without question, a marriage made in Heaven–the Village Voice on the Potomac. WPFW, the offspring of that marriage turned 30 in 2007, and celebrates with an Anniversary Gala on Dec. 15 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Continue reading

The trouble with “radical” Islam is…

The trouble with “radical” or “fundamentalist” Islam is not that it’s “Islamic,” but rather that it’s radical, as in: “marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional,” in other words, it’s “extreme.” Radical Islamists, tend to, or are “disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions.”

It’s not unlike the trouble with fundamentalist Christianity; fundamentalist, Zionist Judaism; Neo Conservatism.

Remember: “Islam is not the problem. Islam is the solution to the problems.” Continue reading

A front row seat in purgatory

Unless the crooks who the Feds believe stole more than $20 million from the D.C. Tax and Revenue office change their ways between now and the time they eventually get out of the slammer, they will eventually find seats reserved for them in Purgatory.

The same is true for the photogenically-challenged former President of the Washington Teacher’s Union who’s already doing time in the Big House for stealing more than $2 million of her brother and sister union members’ money in her hopeless quest to make up for the gifts Mother Nature denied her, by lavishing gifts of Gucci and Prada and Louis Vuitton on herself.

Yes, there are seats reserved for the cheap thieves in Purgatory, but they won’t be seated in the V.I.P. Section. Sorry, Little Bush League thieves. You will get to transit straight to The Inferno.

No. The V.I.P. Section in the American English-speaking Abyss is already reserved for the Big Bush Leaguers. The Enron founders, and the masters of the Savings & Loan rip-offs, those in the banks themselves and their accomplices in elected office. Continue reading

Republicans: ‘The Dog ate my homework’

I don’t know what it is about Republicans in high office this political season. They are behaving like: “Dumb,” and “Dumber,” and ‘Dumbest.”

First, we had Mr. 2008 Presidential Front Runner, Rudy Guiliani. He goes and nominates this thug with ties to the Mafia to a top Homeland Security job. He didn’t check the guy’s background.

Oops. The dog ate his homework.

Then, here comes Mr. Law & Order himself, Fred Thompson. His good friend for several years and the co-chairman of his presidential campaign is a drug pusher and a bookie. Convicted of selling 11 pounds of marijuana and cocaine, he was. Mr. Fred just didn’t know his BFF had such a sordid past. He’s not an honest man. He just plays one on TV.

It looks like the dog ate his homework too.

Then, here comes the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney. You know, the guy who told Senator Patrick Leahy to: “go f— yourself” on the floor of the U.S. Senate. That’s him, the same guy who shot one of his friends in the face on a hunting trip and his office didn’t tell anybody it happened for 24 hours.

That’s him. Darth Vader himself. He likes to joke about being referred to the Lord of the Dark Side. In fact he dressed his dog in a Darth Vader costume on Halloween. Oh, it’s big fun being the sinister soul of the American Constitution in the Cheney household. His wife even makes jokes about it.

Well, the Vice President went hunting this year at the Clove Valley Gun and Rod Club, which had a 5-foot by 5-foot Confederate flag hanging in its garage. This exclusive country club was located not in the heart of Dixie, where at least folks there claim the Confederacy’s part of some “Southern heritage,” but rather in Union Vale, N.Y.

The Veep says he didn’t see the flag. But somebody saw it and took a picture of it for the evening news. Oops. Continue reading

San Diego-New Orleans: A Modern ‘Tale of Two Cities’

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”

When Victorian-age, British author Charles Dickens wrote those words in his epic 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities, no one could have foreseen that they would so accurately describe the state of suffering and relief endured by Black people and White people in 21st Century America.

But in comparing the response of the U.S. government and state governments to the suffering of mostly middle-class and wealthy White victims of the recent Southern California fires housed for less than a week in the Qualcom Arena football stadium in San Diego, with that of the mostly poor Black victims of Hurricane Katrina huddled for week after week in the New Orleans Superdome football arena, then we should be able to agree, Mr. Dickens was correct: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

And while we know that catastrophic natural disaster and devastation can and does inflict pain without consideration of race or class, we can easily see that the response of governments of men and women certainly do make such distinctions, and when they do it is the non-White, the poor, who are disproportionately afflicted by the decisions made by discerning government bureaucrats. Continue reading