Saturday, April 29, 2006

Writer Doctorow on our current Prez

"An Essay on our President"
by E.L Doctorow

I fault this president (George W. Bush) for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our twenty-one year olds who wanted to be what they could be.

On the eve of D-day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the WMDs he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man. He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But you study him; you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion, which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the thousands of dead young men and women who wanted be what they could be.

They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life.... They come to his desk as a political liability which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq. How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that rather than controlling terrorism his war in Iraq has licensed it.

So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice. He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options, but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to.

This president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing --- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends. A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children....

He is the President who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead; he does not feel for the thirty five million of us who live in poverty; he does not feel for the forty percent who cannot afford health insurance; he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills --- it is amazing for how many people in this country this President does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest one percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the safety regulations for coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it. But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneously aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over the world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into is his characteristic trouble.

Finally the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail: How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective war making, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot mourn, but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Keep ARTS FIFTH AVENUE alive: Benefit tomorrow, Saturday, April 29th

I love that this special community-based performing arts and education venue is right in my hood. That stop sign on the corner of Allen & Fifth is where you'll find my bicycle on the nights I'm hanging out for a concert, theater performance, poetry event, or Wednesday night yoga.....! Highly recommended.

BBQ, Blues, & Bohemian Art Sale
Benefiting Arts Fifth Avenue


\wang dang dood'l\: an unrestrained & one-of-a-kind event.
to play music with wild abandon. the song & lyric by
american blues great, willie dixon.

James Hinkle
with special guests:
K. M. Williams, Holland K. Smith,
Cookie McGee,
Aaron Burton, & Cheryl Arena

$25 per person - 6 pm to Midnight

ARTS FIFTH AVENUE, an eclectic neighborhood arts center and home of MONDO DRUMMERS is located at the corner of 5th Ave. & W. Allen the Fairmount Southside Historic District of Fort Worth. We are open to the public for events, performances, rehearsal, and meetings and offer a variety of classes in music, dance, art and theatre for children and adults.

Partial funding provided by the Arts Council of Ft Worth & Tarrant County, The City of Fort Worth, Garvey Texas Foundation, RadioShack Corporation, McAfee Security, the William C. Perry & Paul A. Nelson Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of North Texas, Humanities Texas, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

1628 5th Avenue
Ft Worth, TX 76104
Ph: 817-923-9500

Monday, April 24, 2006

Medicine for the masses - herbs for protesters

Journalist and friend, Patrisia Gonzales, writes a monthly column on Mexican indigenous medicinas. The April 3rd column of "Patzin" ("venerable medicine" in Nahuatl) focuses on remedios para movimientos. So timely, so necessary.

For now, I'll just share an excerpt or 2 here. To read the column in its entirety, please go here. (BTW--each column is posted in both English and Spanish.)


"As the people march in the millions, placing their bodies on the line to proclaim their rights to be treated justly, I uphold the right to our medicinal knowledge as a human right and as la comadre Sylvia Ledesma has said, part of our self governance.

Elders say the plants and the four elements of life are our relatives, our witnesses, and our protectors. While there is a backlash against the peaceful protestors, the anger needs to be countered by medicine -- or turned into medicine. My grandmother used to say that coraje can be used for good – as in defense of el prove -- or coraje can create bad medicine. I offer this herbal arsenal, or herbs for protest and times of great movement and upheaval.

For long term stamina, eat chayote, and if you can get the leaves, make a tea to strengthen the kidneys and pancreas. During stress we use up lots of vitamin Bs. Drink or eat chaya for energy, a beloved plant by those who perform great physical sacrifices and need immediate results. Drink juice with chia seed, which is recorded in the ancient stories as one of the original foods given to the Mesoamerican peoples. Spirulina (another ancestral food) will take away hunger, give you energy and lots of amino acids and minerals. Bay leaf tea will gently strengthen the kidney’s ability to move energy in our body. Wild ginseng or American ginseng will nourish our adrenal system, as will boraja. Romero with yerba buena will brighten the brain but relax you so that you can get a bit more work done.

For sore throats from too much chanting, drink slippery elm tea or take a teaspoon of linaja/flax seed and let it set in a warm cup of water and drink as a tea with honey. For sore feet, a good baño from these recetas will do.

Purify your bodyspirit of mal aires picked up along the marchas or caminos with a limpia of the plantas of your land.

© Column of the Americas 2006

Patrisia Gonzales, as well as her partner and co-writer Roberto Rodriguez, can be reached at: 608-238-3161 or or Column of the Americas, PO BOX 5093 Madison WI 53705.

Lick it up - free cone day is tomorrow, April 25th

Ben & Jerry's offers single-dip freebie cones once a year, and tomorrow's the day--no strings (apparently) attached. Look for the B&J's outlet nearest your neck of the here.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Who's watching the watchers?

"AT&T violated U.S. law and the privacy of its customers as part of the "massive and illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications" without warrants, the EFF alleged."

"Uh-oh, Chango!" (distress call in episodes of "Danger Island"---1970s tv)

I love the EFF, which was born in Silicon Valley (well, yeah) in 1990. A year later, Steve Jackson and others created EFF-Austin, which is now a separate nonprofit organization. Both groups, however, cover the same issues with their digital rights advocacy work. My kind of brainiacs....for sure.

Electronic Frontier Foundation: they're "Defending Freedom in the Digital World".

"To Each His Own"

Cri Nobody performing in the June 2005 presentation of TRASHIN' FASHION on the Firehouse Gallery lawn.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

"Trashin' Fashion" show - SAVE THE DATE: Friday, April 21st

"TRASHIN' FASHION" - a post-millennial display of unfashionable garments made entirely from recycled/trash materials

Friday, April 21st, 2006,

as part of the
art exhibit
1440 N. Main St., in north Fort Worth.

The "unfashion designers", led by performance/conceptual artist Tammy Gomez, will unveil a wildly irreverent critique of mass consumerism and the fashion industry, with a runway show of their outlandish garments, which will be modeled by TRASHIN' FASHION krewe members Angelique, Zoe Pardee, Cri Nobody, Andrea Gonzalez, Jeremy, Natalia Dominguez, Shaggy, and others.

Tammy Gomez states that, for her, TRASHIN' FASHION is "about the desires, fears, and other compelling emotions 'stitched' into our clothes and emblazoned on our bodies. If we are what we eat, then we do how we dress."

If you miss this encore presentation of TRASHIN' FASHION it will be the fashion faux paus of the season!

Show starts at 7pm.

(When last we performed this show (June 2005), we made the FASHION SECTION of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS!)

"There is no hierarchy of oppression" - Audre Lorde

[The following, a response to an article that recently ran in the Advocate--a national LGBT magazine--is circulating around the net this week. Both Ari C and Maggie J sent this to me. I'm really glad to see this kind of thinking. Even if you're not LGBT, there're some important points herein about our need to coalesce in our shared struggle against injustice and oppression everywhere.]

April 10, 2006

An Open Letter to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community:

We are a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color who work in the LGBT movement. We are writing to you in response to Jasmyne Cannick’s article "Gays First, Then Illegals”, which ran in The Advocate, in which she, a black lesbian, argues that she cannot support the current battle for immigrant rights because LGBT people have not yet won the right to marry. We are writing to express our profound disagreement with her, and to offer alternative LGBT perspectives to the current immigration battles happening across the country.

To begin with, Cannick fails to realize an obvious fact – the LGBT community and the immigrant community are not mutually exclusive. There are thousands of LGBT immigrants in this country. There are thousands of black immigrants. And there are thousands of black LGBT immigrants. To put forward an argument that says "we should get ours first" makes us question who exactly is the "we" in that analysis. In addition, we recognize the historically interconnected nature of the immigrant and LGBT struggles — such as the ban on “homosexual immigrants” that extended into the 1990’s, and the present HIV ban, which disproportionately impacts LGBT people — and we believe that only by understanding these connections and building coalition can we ensure real social change for all.

And we ask those who share the destructive views of this article to remember the immortal words of Audre Lorde when she said that “There is no hierarchy of oppression”. We reject any attempts to pit the struggle of multiple communities against each other and firmly believe that "Rights" are not in limited supply. We condemn the “scarcity of rights” perspective espoused by Cannick and other members of the LGBT movement, and are surprised to see members of our community trafficking in such ugliness. But then, one reason why it has always been so hard to shift power in this country is because the ruling class has successfully made us believe that there are only a few deserving groups to whom rights can be given. This strategy has always been used to divide oppressed groups from coming together to work in coalition.

We are painfully aware that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities still lack many basic protections under the law in this country, including the right to care for and support all of our families, in the various ways in which we construct family and kinship. Nevertheless, supporting immigrant rights, while we continue to work for LGBT liberation, does nothing to hurt our cause. In fact, we believe the opposite to be true, and want to work towards building powerful coalitions between immigrant and LGBT movements to work together for social justice.

We are also aware that many immigrant right advocates have (intentionally or not) used anti-black rhetoric to move their agenda forward. Arguments such as “Don’t treat us like ‘criminals’” or “We are doing work that ‘other’ Americans won’t do” have the effect of positioning immigrant narratives as subtly juxtaposed with American stereotypes of non-immigrant black communities. They leave native-born black Americans as among the only people who do not have access to the immigrant narrative, and so are in a permanent position of subordination, as the state consistently negotiates and redefines citizenship and “American-ness” for almost everyone but blacks. Nevertheless, the solution to this problem is not to abandon support for the struggle of immigrant communities. Rather, we call on immigrant movements and (non-immigrant) black organizations to work together for real racial and economic justice in this country. Together these movements can work to end the exploitation and targeting of both communities, and to ensure that black folks and immigrants do not end up having to choose between competing for low-paying jobs, or being targeted for detainment or imprisonment.

As lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of color, we support the current immigrant rights marches and rallies happening across the country this month, and we march too. We march because immigrants are among the most politically vulnerable, underpaid and exploited communities in the country, and are asking for basic human rights, including the right to live free from torture and exploitation, and the right to work. We march because we recognize the connections between the state attacks on immigrant and LGBT communities, and that LGBT immigrants in particular are disproportionately affected by much anti-immigrant legislation. We march because we oppose the heightened policing and criminalization of immigrant communities, including the increased militarization of the border, as mandated by HR 4437 and Senate bills. We march because we oppose indefinite and mandatory detention of noncitizens—as well as the mass incarceration of people-of-color-communities in the U.S. more broadly—and envision a society that ensures the safety and self-determination of all people, regardless of national origin, race, class, gender or sexuality. We march because we oppose the guestworker proposals, which would continue the exploitation of many low-wage workers. We march because we demand the repeal of the HIV ban. We march because our sexualities have been historically criminalized by this country, and we understand that “law” and “justice” are not the same thing.

It is our understanding that Jasmyne Cannick was writing as an individual, and not as a representative of either the National Black Justice Coalition (on whose Board of Directors she serves) or The Stonewall Democrats (for whose Black Caucus she serves as Co-Chair). As LGBT people of color, we call upon both of those organizations to publicly clarify their own positions in this ongoing civil rights discussion.

We also call upon our community to imagine how much more progress we could make if we all stopped thinking of social justice as a zero-sum game.


Katherine Acey
Executive Director, the Astraea Lesbian Action Fund

Faisal Alam
Founder & Former Director, Al-Fatiha Foundation for LGBTIQ Muslims

Samiya Bashir
Board Member, National Black Justice Coalition
Communications Director, Freedom to Marry
Board Member, Fire & Ink

Noemi Calonje
Immigration Project Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

Noran J. Camp
Office Administrator, Freedom to Marry

Chris Chen
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
immigrant from Taiwan 1997

Alain Dang
Policy Analyst, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Debanuj Dasgupta
Board of Directors, Queer Immigrant Rights Project

Carlos Ulises Decena, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Joseph N. DeFilippis
Executive Director, Queers for Economic Justice

Marta Donayre
Co-Founder, Love Sees No Borders

Andres Duque
Coordinator, Mano A Mano

Monroe France
Educational Training Manager, Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Eddie Gutierrez
Rep. for Christine Chavez, granddaughter of labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez

Priscilla A. Hale, LMSW
Executive Director, ALLGO

Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano
Director of Arts and Community Building, ALLGO

Kemi Ilesanmi

Surina Khan
Interim Vice President of Programs, The Women's Foundation of California
former Executive Director, International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Lee Che Leong
Director of Teen Health Initiative, New York Civil Liberties Union

Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Yoseñio Vicente Lewis
Board Member, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Latino, Trans Social Justice Activist, first generation U.S. Citizen

Glenn Magpantay
Steering Committee Member, Gay Asian & Pacific Islander Men of New York

Rickke Mananzala
Campaign Coordinator, FIERCE!

Gloria Nieto
National Latino Justice Coalition

Doyin Ola
Welfare Organizer, Queers for Economic Justice

Jesús Ortega-Weffe
Director of Community Organizing, ALLGO

Emiko Otsubo
former Board member, Queers for Economic Justice

Clarence Patton
Executive Director, NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project

Donna Payne
Senior Diversity Organizer, Human Rights Campaign

Earl L. Plante
Development Director, National Minority AIDS Council
President-Elect, Board of Directors, National Black Justice Coalition

Achebe Powell
Betty Powell Associates

Lorraine Ramirez
Public Policy Committee, Queers for Economic Justice

Lisbeth Meléndez Rivera
Convener, the National Latino Coalition for Justice

Ignacio Gilberto Rivera
Founder, Poly Patao Productions
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Russell D. Roybal
Director of Movement Building, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Shay Sellars
Major Gifts and Events Administrator, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Pedro Julio Serrano
Communications Associate, Freedom to Marry
President, Puerto Rico Para Tod@s

Sarah Sohn
New Voices Legal Fellow, Immigration Equality
Board of Directors, Queers for Economic Justice

Lisa Thomas-Adeyemo
Co-Coordinator, National People of Color Organizing Institute, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Director of Counseling, San Francisco Women Against Rape

Carmen Vazquez
Deputy Executive Director, Empire State Pride Agenda

Robert Vazquez-Pacheco
former Program Manager, Funders for Gay and Lesbian Issues

Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz
Capacity Building Project Director, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Andy Shie Kee Wong,
Coalition Manager, Asian Equality

Lancy Woo and Cristy Chung
lead Plaintiffs in the Woo vs Lockyer, marriage rights case

Miriam Yeung
Director of Public Policy and Government Relations, the LGBT Community Center

Mónica Taher
People of Color Media Director, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

Katina Parker
People of Color Media Manager - Communities of African Descent, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

[Organizational affiliation listed for identification purposes only]

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gabriela Anaya Valdepena in Fort Worth tonight - 7pm

"They call her Impetuous Delirious, Bride of Baudelaire, La Chacalaca, Goya's Maja, and by legal decree, Gabriela Anaya Valdepeña — Gabriela of Mexico City, of Texas, and of La Jolla. In coin bra and sequins, she reads and dances in library, theater, and college; in bookstores and salons by the sea. Read her poems in the air, in your dreams, in, Quill and Parchment, Megaera and Sauce Box. Her books, Exaggerated Gender Signals, Sun's Promise and Bride of Baudelaire, grace the clean and dusty shelves of the unruly and the well-groomed, the insane, and the lucid."

Gabriela Anaya Valdepeña,
Tuesday, April 11th, 2006
FORT WORTH COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER - formerly known as the Modern Art Museum - just S of the Amon Carter Museum
1300 Gendy Street (right off W. Lancaster)
Reception at 7p.m.
Performance at 7:30p.m.
Gabriela Anaya-Valdepeña, the proud mom of a 17 year-old daughter, is a poet, artist, and dancer living in San Diego, California. Born in Mexico City, she spent much of her life in Texas. She is also an award -winning teacher, who taught poetry for the California Poets in the Schools and Border Voices programs.

"Pay me now for my dance, that I may eat the sins of trees,
that I may anchor sons, and teach the night's tongue to knot the cherry's stem.
My curses are involuntary.
I am as I was made, whilst heaven's scientists slept and the witches
of the bridge chanted 'round God's belly.
And on the eighth day, chewing jerky,
they rested their fat feet and saw that it wasn't bad."

(excerpt from Eve's Return)

"A Day Without A Mexican" - at TCU tomorrow, Wednesday, April 12th

John Singleton, who curates the KinoMonda (international) film series at TCU, announces that a screening of the 2004 film "A Day Without a Mexican" (directed by Sergio Arau), will take place tomorrow. A roundtable discussion featuring folks from campus (faculty and students) and the community (including John Hernandez, a lawyer who has worked within the Mexican government) will take place directly after the film. If you come early (or on-time), you can have FREE food as well, probably catered by a local Tex-Mex restaurant.

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006 - 6:30 PM
"A Day Without a Mexican" film screening & roundtable discussion
Location: Sid Richardson, Lecture Hall #1 on TCU's campus.

This event, sponsored by KinoMonda and the TCU Department of Spanish, is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the International Students' Office at 817.257.7292 or send me your questions and I'll get back to you asap.

Go to the TCU website for maps and directions to the event.

Please participate in the ongoing discussion about immigration and the place of Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and immigrants in U.S. society.

Let's keep this momentum (towards rationale and just U.S. policies) up!!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

swell proud joy - march today!

Para Patricia y para todos que sienten orgullo de nuestra America:

Todos en Fort Worth y Dallas estamos preparando para la gran marchas que van a comenzar hoy (domingo) el nueve de April in Dallas.

Thousands and thousands of people are expected to march. I am getting excited and noticing an increasing feeling of pride: funny, but it is a feeling of pride of BEING AMERICAN--U.S. American. For it is particularly when I am expressing myself, in full knowledge of my rights and privileges of being born in this nation, that I feel that something which I suppose could be national pride. Or perhaps it's something bigger than that--beyond ethereal and concrete fences of nation-state delineations--perhaps what I'm feeling is more like HUMAN PRIDE. Feeling like I am empowered enough to take my rightful place in a classroom, a jury box, voting booth, a job interview office, behind a steering wheel, on a bicycle, raising my fist, holding my picket sign, signing a petition, gathering in a park, shouting my existence, remembering my roots.

I feel like I belong---that I am the honored citizen that the Constitution was designed and signed to protect and respect. One of the most memorable experiences I have ever had is when I crossed the threshhold, passing a military officer (the final test!), to enter the Casa Blanca---la mera mera White House. It was amazing to realize that even someone like me--protest marcher, in-your-face spoken word artist, unabashed community leader--could step upon that White House welcome mat and be received as a guest, warmly and respectfully. That damn House is my house too. For I am part of the American Dream, right? I am here to protest or protect, as we see it and as we call it, so that those slogans and sound-byte exhortations come to have meaning (once more): land of the free, home of the brave, america the beautiful, let freedom ring...

I've decided to participate in the Dallas marcha. This afternoon. Angelique, Machete, Violeta are also planning to go to Dallas. So are the professors (from Denton and Arlington) who I met yesterday at the all-day teach-in on UTA campus. Machete's going with a UNT-Denton student group called MUEVE. I hope to hear more from this group in the coming months.

I will stand in my colors, with my compas and others, proclaiming our rightful place on this tierra--our original home continent--and we will do so as we yell, drum, sing, dance, wave flags, and celebrate loudly.

For evolution and revolution needs to be about dancing and living without shame. When I return from what promises to be an ecstatic event in Dallas, I will be super-charged to (continue to) do the work that I need to do in forte wes (FW). I need the surge of love and unconditional acceptance that marching will make me feel, and I have a right to walk with the proud masses gathering from all over the country. (Yes, I've heard that folks from out-of-state are driving to Dallas to make that march a special and huge procession.)

We will march for you, Patricia, and any other Americanos from this continent who want an opportunity and a kinship with the U.S. that will cause truer bridges to be made than those overseen by the migra and border patrol officers.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Don't Hate the Media - Be the Media

Heads up, folks! A new grassroots community weekly program is coming to cable tv (channel 28) in Fort Worth. Fellow organizers and Green Party people Diane and Ramz are the brains behind this media-making initiative. Training sessions have been happening and at least four other folks have joined the production team. It's also likely that Tunde Obazee, programming director for community radio station (heavy on public affairs shows in the weekday mornings which are ever so rad and mind-opening) KNON--"The Voice of the People", will be contributing his skills to the tv program. In other words, a formidable team is coming together, and if you want to be involved and/or submit program ideas and news, just lemme know. (Post a comment here, or email me directly at

The production team could also use some more video production-experienced folks to serve as consultants and advisors.

I hear that the show is likely to start as a 30-minute weekly and will be called "Grassroots Pulse." Netcasting the show is also a future possibility.

Check back here for more information and broadcast schedule details.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

MY FORT WORTH: Thursday, April 6th - Chicano Luncheon

Thursday, April 6th at 12 noon, folks!

Please come out to the Chicano Luncheon scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, April 6th.

La Trinidad United Methodist Church
1300 Gould Ave., corner of Northside Drive and Gould Streets (about a 4 minute drive north of the Museum District)
Fort Worth, 76106 - (817) 924-1997

Specifically tomorrow, the focus will be on immigration legislation that is being forged on Capitol Hill; on community responses to this debate on immigration; and on the recent (and future) actions of resistance and opposition that are happening in the 817 (including last week's student walk-outs).

If you know ANY student who participated in a school walk-out last week and who MIGHT want to share his/her story at the Luncheon (on-camera for later multiple broadcast on cable tv), PLEASE share this invitation with him/her ASAP. Ask them to look for me tomorrow, as I will be there at the Luncheon.

Thanks and much love,
Tammy aka sunlit doorway

General info:
Hour-long luncheons first and third Thursday each month to discuss Hispanic community issues. Guest speakers featured. Guests can sign-up at each luncheon to make announcements, either on- or off-camera--as the entire public presentation is videotaped for later broadcast on Community Cable Television of FW (channels 7 and 31). Cost for the luncheon is $5.

For this week’s Community Cable tv broadcasting schedule, go to:

Join Cri (and others) at Saturday's 10th Annual "Victory Over Violence" foot race

This scheduled race is a benefit for the anti-violence programs of the Women's Center of Tarrant County (which recently benefited from the "Art of Music" festival at the Axis back in December 05).

My friend and fellow comrade, Cri de Coeur aka Cridom, sent me the following information, accompanied by a call for assistance. Cri has such bravado, and it's shown in such a warm, funny, & embracing style. No wonder so many people love him..

Cri says:

"Join me at the VICTORY OVER VIOLENCE race at the Trinity Park Duck Pond.

Saturday April 8th, 2006
The 1K Race Begins at 8am sharp!!! (The 5K Walk/Run begins at 8:30am.)
$18 goes to the Women's Center! (Registration for children is a mere 7 bucks)

I will be racing and creating some kind of visual spectacle to Illustrate the Necessity for Men to be Publicly Involved in Denouncing and Eradicating Rape and Sexual Violence in Our City, County, Region, Planet! Let it Echo through the Minds of Men Everywhere....

The Strength of a Man Exists For Respecting Women, Children, and Life! Our Might is For Bear Hugs Not Control! Denounce Violence Against Women!

The Race:
I will be racing dressed as an 'Old-Fashioned Weight Lifter Guy'. Remember those Bald Dudes in Leopard-Print Tarzan Outfits that would lift weights at the beach? Maybe you don't remember them personally, but you've seen cartoons with them! The weights I will be carrying will read:


I hope to make more presence for this cause by handing out small packets of soil with a seed in them. Each packet will invite people to 'Overgrow the Systems of Oppression' by planting the seeds and giving them respect, love, consideration, and water! There will also be a statement enclosed to further the conversation about ending Rape and Sexual Violence.


How You can Help!
1. You can come to Run this weekend!
2. You can make your own sign or use something I've written and put it on a sign!
3. You can Donate Money to the Women's Shelter!
4. You can Organize a Meeting about this topic at 1919! (I will come!)
5. You can pass this Message to others!

Thanks for Reading this Message, Cri Dom"

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Three truck accidents - in one day in FW

While eating my brunch today, I turned on the tube to watch the noon news. Not one, but TWO, truck accidents had happened in a single 12-hour period. And they were both in central FW, one on I-30 (at Forest Park Blvd.) and the other on I-20 (at McCart Ave.). Later in the day, while driving from Wedgwood MS (where i teach writing and performance), I heard about yet ANOTHER truck accident in the city. In one case, there had actually been a chemical spill.

If three truck accidents can happen in one inner city on a single day, what are the chances of a radiation exposure/spill happening in an accident involving a vehicle transporting radioactive waste? It might be a good idea to consider how freely we let haz mat-carrying vehicles traverse our inner city roads--where human population density increases the likelihood of mass exposure to harmful toxins. It might be a good idea to read this and this. One quote from the Lone Star Sierra Club report is pretty ominous: "...Texas does not have a good truck driving record - in fact, in 1993, was number one in the U.S. in total number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes."

To read more about the truck accidents that happened in Fort Worth today, go here.