Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Bwahahaha. Not if the US has anything to say about it or anything do do with it. Afterall, our entire sanctions regime is intended to create poverty and suffering in the populations of the target countries, of which there are many, and our economic model is predicated on there being massive numbers of impoverished here at home. Very simply put, It can't happen here (Zappa's maxim).
I'll return to that in a bit, but first a word about Black Poetry Day. Today is Black Poetry Day, so I'll include a poem here writtin at the age of 17 by the great Langston Hughes entitled
The Negro Speaks of Rivers
I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.
I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I know that I did promise to return to the subject of Poverty and the Eradication thereof, and hence I will more or less do so, in my own fashion. I have not the reach, the grasp, nor the hubris to even consider seriously addressing global poverty. I will, however, aspire to the efficiency of the multitaskers by letting Mr. Langston Hughes address the subject here in these Untied States in my stead:
Let America Be America Again
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There's never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this "homeland of the free.")
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery's scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one's own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I'm the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That's made America the land it has become.
O, I'm the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I'm the one who left dark Ireland's shore,
And Poland's plain, and England's grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa's strand I came
To build a "homeland of the free."
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we've dreamed
And all the songs we've sung
And all the hopes we've held
And all the flags we've hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that's almost dead today.
O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that's mine—the poor man's, Indian's, Negro's, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people's lives,
We must take back our land again,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
Should you have made it this far in life without reading the man's works, go do so, you won't regret it, and if you have, maybe re-read a few and contemplate them well. Starting with Let America be America Again-
On this day in history:
1604 – Kepler's Supernova was observed in the constellation of Ophiuchus.
1713 – Russia defeated Sweden in the Battle of Kostianvirta in Pälkäne
1771 -- The premiere of Mozart's opera Ascanio in Alba
1781 – British General Charles, Earl Cornwallis surrendered at the Siege of Yorktown
1814 -- Eight people died in the London Beer Flood, declared an act of god
1907 -- Marconi's company began the first commercial transatlantic wireless service
1933 -- Albert Einstein immigrated to the US
1956 -- The first commercial nuclear power plant opened (in England)
1961 -- Paris police massacred up to 400 Algerian proesters.
1973 -- OPEC imposed
an oil embargo sanctions against several Western nations
1989 -- The Loma Prieta earthquake hit the greater S.F. Bay Area and CA Central Coast
2018 – The recreational use of cannabis was legalized in Canada.
Some people who were born on this day:
“Don't be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.”
~~ Arthur Miller
(strangely enough, I just discovered the following: “More Weight -Giles Corey-” ― Arthur Miller, The Crucible)
1909 -- Cozy Cole, a topsy turvy kind of drummer
1912 -- Jack Owens, singer, songwriter and pianist who starred on Don McNeil's Breakfast Club
1915 -- Arthur Miller, playwright and screenwriter
1918 -- Rita Hayworth, actress, singer and dancer
1923 -- Barney Kessel, guitarist and composer
1933 -- The Singing Nun
1934 -- Rico Rodriguez, trombonist
1941 -- Earl Thomas Conley, singer, songwriter and guitarist
1946 -- Michael Hossack, drummer
1951 -- Shari Ulrich, singer, songwriter and violinist
1953 -- Joseph Bowie, trombonist and bandleader
1956 -- Fran Cosmo, singer, songwriter and guitarist
1958 -- Howard Alden, guitarist
1958 -- Alan Jackson, singer, songwriter
1968 -- Ziggy Marley, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and voice actor
1971 -- Chris Kirkpatrick, boy band boy
1984 -- Randall Munroe, author and illustrator, writes must-read web comic xkcd (at xkcd.com)
Some people who died on this day:
Any religion which will sacrifice a certain set of human beings for the enjoyment or aggrandizement or advantage of another is no religion. It is a thing which may be allowed, but it is against true religion. Any religion which sacrifices women to the brutality of men is no religion.
~~ Julia Ward Howe
(Methinks that Ms. Howe, in criticizing certain religions, has completely redefined the word, so that now we need a new word for "religions as we know them")
1586 -- Philip Sidney, courtier, poet, and general
1806 -- Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a leader of Haiti's revolution,
1849 -- Frederic Chopin, pianist and composer
1887 -- Gustav Kirchhoff, physicist and chemist; Whoa black body, bam de lam.
1910 -- Julia Ward Howe, poet and songwriter
1972 -- Billy Williams, singer
1979 -- S. J. Perelman, humorist and screenwriter
1991 -- Tennessee Ernie Ford, singer and actor
2007 -- Teresa Brewer, singer
2008 -- Levi Stubbs, singer (4 tops)
Some Holidays, Holy Days, Festivals, Feast Days, Days of Recognition, and such:
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Black Poetry Day
Loma Prieta y'all. (yeah, it's our fault, we know)
Ok, it's an open thread, so it's up to you folks now. So what's on your mind?
Cross posted from http://caucus99percent.com