Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Moves On to Higher Ground, dancing with Amiri Baraka, et al.

Dance Maya dance
You and AB cuttin' a rug
so smooth
in tune
flying high
in the Upper Room
Dance Maya dance
swing low sweet chariot
comin' fa da take me home
let her rise now
let her rise now
rise ta touch da sky
see Amina laughin
what a moment
don't take da J out ma joy devil
not in da eternity of things.
Dance Maya dance
poet to poet
something special
Dance Maya dance
no more caged bird
fly black bird fly.
Peace Maya dance
--Marvin X
Oaktown Cali

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pianist Alfie Politt at the Henry Box Brown Festival, Philadelphia

"The voice of the drowned out by the roar of fear. It is ignored by the voice of desire. It is contradicted by the voice of shame. It is biased by hate and extinguished by anger. Most of all, it is silenced by ignorance."
--Dr. Karl Menninger
"Birthing" by Stanley Squirewell

The Henry Box Brown Festival, Phase Six

Black Male Jazz and Classical Music Virtuosos, Ages 17 to 71: A Multigenerational "Knight" of Live Music
in Celebration of Our Brother Of the Year E. Mitchell Swann
May 31, 7:15 P.M.

You are invited to join The Brothers' Network for an evening of fine jazz music and our annual honor for our Brother of the Year, E. Mitchell Swann, on the Avenue of the Arts on May 31.
Our Henry Box Brown Festival program at the Philadelphia Theatre Company is an "out of the box" jazz concert featuring the stylings of Alfred "Alfie" Politt.

Pianist, composer, producer, arranger, and educator Alfred “Alfie” Politt penned his first song, “15th Street,” in 1958.  Over his career, Politt has written more than 500 songs. Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in 1943, Politt started playing piano at the age of three. He is a versatile musician that performs jazz, Latin, R & B and other music genres. His music, composition, style and performance are influenced by John Coltrane, Horace Silver, Joe Loco, Bud Powell, McCoy Tyner, Sun Ra, Jimmy Smith, Elvin Jones, Cecil Taylor, Barry Harris, Bobby Timmons, Herbie Hancock, Jimmie Merritt, Mtume, Kashif, Leon Sylvers, Alfredo, Leon Huff, Stevie Wonder and Prince.

During his music career, Alfie has performed with a long list of jazz greats. They include Slide Hampton, Carlos Garnett, Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Gregory Herbert, Earl and Carl Grubbs, Sunny Murray, Bootsie Barnes, J.J. Johnson, Odean Pope, Rufus Harley, Sonny Fortune, Byard Lancaster, Archie Shepp, Lex Humphries, Edgar Bateman, Rashid Ali, Ron Everett, John Gilmore, Khan Jamal, Lee Morgan, Rashan Roland Kirk, Norman Connors, Johnny Hartman, Bobbie Humphries, Bill Barron, John Blake, Bob Pollitt, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Jimmy Garrison, Donald Byrd, Reggie Lucas, Bobby Durham and others.

Politt has also worked with many of the R & B greats that made "The Sound of Philadelphia" famous, such as Barbara Mason, Billy Paul, The Blue Notes, Sister Sledge, The Tymes, The Majors, Stephanie Mills, and Lloyd Price’s Big Band. He was the keyboard player on Teddy Pendergrass’ platinum-selling album “Teddy Coast to Coast Live” as well as his album “This One’s for You.” In 1980, Alfie organized the R & B band OUCH, and he formed Alfie Pollitt and his All-Star Musical Friends in 1985.
As an educator, Alfie teaches music and has conducted songwriting workshops in New Jersey and correctional facilities in Pennsylvania, including the Philadelphia House of Correction and Holmesburg and Graterford Prisons. In addition, both of his bands performed concerts at the correctional facilities. Alfie’s lifetime goal has been to maintain his positive message in music universally, in his own words, “by the Divine permission and help of the Almighty Creator.”

The Brothers' Network is proud to partner with the Philadelphia Jazz Project to present Alfie Politt as part of the Henry Box Brown Festival.



Our evening of jazz will also feature Atamosi (French horn, above left) and Atamanu(viola, above rightHagins, rising seniors at Julia Reynolds Masterman School who sit second and first chairs respectively in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. The Brothers' Network is pleased to present this intergenerational interplay of music and conversation juxtaposing classical music with classic jazz.
The Henry Box Brown Festival introduces more diverse audiences to the performing arts by creating a multidisciplinary festival that features black male choreographers, filmmakers, actors, writers and composers. The festival is inspired by the life of Henry “Box” Brown, an enslaved African who shipped himself to Philadelphia in a wooden box to gain his freedom in 1849. The wooden box serves as an artistic metaphor to explore the pedagogy of oppression and to examine the notions of liberation through symposia, dialogue and artistic interpretation.

The Henry Box Brown Festival is funded by a Knight Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The Brothers' Network will also present our Brother of the Year Award in a post-concert ceremony. The musical selections are a tribute to E. Mitchell Swann (pictured above) and his love for music from the classics to jazz.

Our Brother of the Year, E. Mitchell Swann - that's "E" as in "erudite": highly educated, knowledgeable, and worldly - has traveled around the globe: Spain, Switzerland, Brazil and beyond, taking with him the love of music he too acquired growing up in West Philadelphia. That love formed the foundation of a lifetime commitment to the arts that has nourished his soul on his journey through the engineering profession.
Doors open at 7:15 p.m. at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, 480 South Broad Street (at Lombard), on the Avenue of the Arts in Philadelphia.
The Miami Foundation serves as the fiscal agent of The Brothers' Network.

Marvin X speaks on KPOO 89.5FM (, tonight, 10pm (pst) Terry Collins Show

Marvin X speaks tonight on KPOO radio at 10pm. Accompanied by his star student Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, Marvin will discuss The World According to Marvin X at 70 (May 29, 1944). Marvin and Dr. Nzinga will read from their original writings.

Dr. Nzinga was a student of X's when he taught theatre at Laney College, 1981. She directed and performed in his play In the Name of Love, 1991, and his docudrama One Day in the Life, 1996-2002 (Recovery Theatre), the longest running Black play in the Bay. Ishmael Reed said, "One Day in the Life is the most powerful drama I've seen."

Dr. Nzinga has established her own theatre in West Oakland and is producing the entire cycle of plays by August Wilson with her Lower Bottom Playaz.

 Terry Collins of KPOO will interview Marvin and Ayodele

Monday, May 26, 2014

Miles Davis - Time After Time (Live 1985)

If you fall I will catch you

time after time....--Cyndi Lauper

If you are by yourself and fall, who will lift you up, so two are better than one.--Ecclesiastes


I will hunger strike for three days for Syria and the world. This world needs help. JB said hep! Imagine the young man committing mass murder because he couldn't find a girlfriend, but alas, he wasn't in tune with himself, how could he connect with a girl/woman?

The power hungry fight for the cause of continued oppression, not freedom. There are multiple fighters in Syria for multiple causes, few of them give a damn about the Syrian people, they are obsessed with their cause, for this or that ideology or sectarian theology. In three days I will be 70 years old. The world was at war when I was born, May 29, 1944, and there has been war ever since. I suspect there shall be wars and rumors of war after I am long gone, for some war is money, good for the economy of the globalists, who have no loyalty to anything or anyone except greed, who seem to enjoy the crushing of bones and spilling of blood. And then they wonder why their children are going stark raving mad. Baldwin said the murder of my child will not make your child safe.
--Marvin X

The war in Syria is part of the world war against the freedom of human beings. Freedom is for all, not a family, a sect or religious group. The rape and torture of men, women and children is a reality in Syria as well as Nigeria and America. The children kidnapped in Nigeria are no different from the sexually exploited children in Syria and the children on the  streets of America, especially Oakland's International Blvd, where children of all ethnic groups (10, 11,12 years old) are sexually exploited day and night. We must all transcend religiosity, sectarianism and dogmatism. From Syria to America, the patriarchal mentality of domination must be uprooted and cast into the dustbin of history!
--Marvin X 


Tell it, my friend. All people of conscience, and especially those who dream of a day of equal citizenship for all in a truly free and pluralistic, human-rights-respecting, secular, sovereign Syria, appreciate your stand.
--Dr. Mohja Kahf, Syrian poet/professor for non-violence in Syria

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Obama slips into Afghanistan to extend the permanent war

Obama slips into Afghanistan to visit US troops

Associated Press 

President Barack Obama, left, speaks during a briefing by Marine General Joseph Dunford, commander of the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), after arriving at Bagram Air Field for an unannounced visit, on Sunday, May 25, 2014, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (AP) — President Barack Obama, on a surprise holiday visit to this sprawling military base, said Sunday he was close to a decision about the number of U.S. troops who will remain after year's end in America's longest war.
"We are aware of the sacrifices so many have made," Obama said after a briefing by Marine Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, the top American commander in Afghanistan. "We'll probably be announcing some decisions fairly shortly."
The decision may come Wednesday when Obama delivers the commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
Air Force One landed at Bagram Air Field, the main U.S. base in Afghanistan, after an overnight flight from Washington. Obama was scheduled to spend just a few hours on the base and had no plans to travel to Kabul, the capital, to meet with Hamid Karzai, the mercurial president who has had a tumultuous relationship with the White House.
Obama's surprise trip came as the U.S. and NATO withdraw most of their forces ahead of a year-end deadline.
Obama is seeking to keep a small number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to train Afghan security forces and conduct counterterrorism missions. But that plan is contingent on Karzai's successor signing a bilateral security agreement that Karzai has refused to authorize.
Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, said Obama had not finalized the troop decision and no announcement was expected during the Afghanistan visit.
At least 2,181 members of the U.S. military have died during the nearly 13-year Afghan war and thousands more have been wounded. There are still about 32,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, down from a high of 100,000 in mid-2010, when as Obama sent in additional soldiers to quell escalating violence.
Obama said he saw a poster of the Twin Towers, downed in the 2001 terrorist attacks, when he arrived at the briefing building. "It's a reminder of why we're here," he said.
This was Obama's fourth visit to Afghanistan as president, but his first since winning re-election in 2012.
Rhodes said Obama was passing on a meeting with Karzai in order to avoid injecting himself into Afghanistan's presidential elections. Karzai was given advance notice of Obama's trip, Rhodes said, though it was unclear how far ahead of time.
In addition to the briefing by U.S. commanders in Afghanistan, Obama planned to speak to troops at Bagram and visit the injured being treated at a base hospital.
Obama was accompanied by a few advisers, including senior counselor John Podesta, whose son is serving in Afghanistan. Also along was country singer Brad Paisley, who was to perform for U.S. troops.
As is typical of recent presidential trips to war zones, the White House did not announce Obama's visit in advance. Media traveling with Obama for the 13-hour flight had to agree to keep the trip secret until the president arrived at the air base.
Obama's visit was taking place against the backdrop of growing outrage in the United States over the treatment of America's war veterans. More than two dozen veterans' hospitals across America are under investigation over allegations of treatment delays and deaths, putting greater scrutiny on the Department of Veterans Affairs. The agency already was struggling to keep up with the influx of forces returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Obama has staked much of his foreign policy philosophy on ending the two wars he inherited from his predecessor, George W. Bush.
The final American troops withdrew from Iraq in the closing days of 2011 after the U.S. and Iraq failed to reach a security agreement to keep a small American residual force in the country. In the years that have followed the American withdrawal, Iraq has been battered by resurgent waves of violence.
U.S. officials say they're trying to avoid a similar scenario in Afghanistan. While combat forces are due to depart at the end of this year, Obama administration officials have pressed to keep some troops in Afghanistan after 2014 to continue training the Afghan security forces and undertake counterterrorism missions.
Pentagon officials have pushed for as many as 10,000 troops; others in the administration favor as few as 5,000 troops. Obama has insisted he will not keep any Americans in Afghanistan without a signed security agreement that would grant those forces immunity from Afghan law.
U.S. officials had hoped plans a post-2014 force would be well underway by this point. But Karzai stunned U.S. officials this year by saying he would not sign the security agreement even though he helped negotiate the terms. The move signaled that Karzai does not want his legacy to include a commitment to allow the deployment of international troops in his country any longer.
Karzai's decision compounded his already tense relationship with officials in Washington who have grown increasingly frustrated by his anti-American rhetoric and decision to release prisoners over the objections of U.S. officials. Obama and Karzai have spoken just once in the past year.
Karzai, the only president Afghans have known since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban's Islamic rule, was constitutionally barred from running for a third term this year. An election to choose his successor was held this month, with the top two candidates advancing to a June runoff.
Both of those candidates, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, have promised a fresh start with the West and pledged to move ahead with the security pact with the U.S.

Iran: Jihad til America is no more!

Iran’s Supreme Leader: Jihad Will Continue Until America is No More

The Daily Caller 

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Iran’s Supreme Leader: Jihad Will Continue Until America is No More
Iran’s Supreme Leader: Jihad Will Continue Until America is No More
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, all but said on Sunday that negotiations over the country’s illicit nuclear program are over and that the Islamic Republic’s ideals include destroying America.
“Those (Iranians) who want to promote negotiation and surrender to the oppressors and blame the Islamic Republic as a warmonger in reality commit treason,” Khamenei told a meeting of members of parliament, according to the regime’s Fars News Agency.
Khamenei emphasized that without a combative mindset, the regime cannot reach its higher Islamic role against the “oppressors’ front.”
“The reason for continuation of this battle is not the warmongering of the Islamic Republic. Logic and reason command that for Iran, in order to pass through a region full of pirates, needs to arm itself and must have the capability to defend itself,” he said.
“Today’s world is full of thieves and plunderers of human honor, dignity and morality who are equipped with knowledge, wealth and power, and under the pretence of humanity easily commit crimes and betray human ideals and start wars in different parts of the world.”
In response to a question by a parliamentarian on how long this battle will continue, Khamenei said,“Battle and jihad are endless because evil and its front continue to exist. … This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors’ front with America at the head of it, which has expanded its claws on human mind, body and thought. … This requires a difficult and lengthy struggle and need for great strides.”
Khamenei cited the scientific advancement of the country. “The accelerated scientific advancement of the last 12 years cannot stop under any circumstances,” he said, referring to the strides the regime has made toward becoming a nuclear power.
As reported on May 19 on The Daily Caller, Iran has put up new roadblocks to reaching a deal with the P5+1 world powers over its illicit nuclear program. The powers are the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany.
Three days of negotiations in the fourth round of Geneva meetings ended recently without concrete results when the Iranian team presented the country’s new “red lines” — diminishing any hope by the Obama administration to claim victory in its approach to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, according to reports from Iran.
The Obama administration had hoped that with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif showing an eagerness to solve the nuclear issue and address the West’s concerns, there would be a possibility for a negotiated solution. An interim agreement penned last November in Geneva was touted as a “historic nuclear deal.”
Under that agreement, Iran, in return for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, limited its enrichment activity to the 5 percent level with a current stockpile of over 10 tons (enough for six nuclear bombs), converted much of its 20 percent enriched stock to harmless oxide and agreed to allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear plants by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspections were limited to only agreed-upon facilities.
The Iranian delegation last week presented new red lines that could not be crossed, including the expansion of the country’s research and development for its nuclear program, the need of the country to continue enrichment, and the fact that the country’s ballistic missile program — despite U.N. sanctions — is not up for negotiation.
At the same time, IAEA officials met again with their Iranian counterparts last week in Tehran to discuss information on the work on detonators and needed collaboration by the regime to clear outstanding issues on its nuclear program as part of seven transparency steps Iran had agreed to fulfill by May 15, which has yet to take place.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).