Friday, December 29, 2017

Bridge & Tug in the Bay

We are Tainos; we are not "Latinos". - YouTube

First and foremost we are humans...

We are Tainos; we are not "Latinos".
114,902 views views
Published on Jan 26, 2014


The Tainos are the indigenous people of the Caribbean, including part of Florida. We are different from Hispanics and Latinos. Hispanics are people from Spain. Latinos are people from Southern Europe. Before 1492, there were no Afrikans or Spaniards on our land, or people of any other race. There were only Tainos. Some people may think of us as "Native Americans" or "American Indians". While the etymology of these terms can be debated, this is correct. "Latino" comes from "Latin". Latin is the root language of all the Southern European languages, known as the "romance languages". From "Latin America" comes the colonial identity "Latino". The term "Latin America" was coined by the French economist, Michel Chevalier. It was a political move to ally the conquered now Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking part of "the Americas" with "Latin Europe" in their struggle with "Teutonic Europe," "Anglo-Saxon America" and "Slavic Europe". Our people have been used as pawns to fight Europe's wars, against each other. As for Hispanic, "Hispania" was the name the Romans gave to the Iberian Peninsula during their conquest. From "Hispania", you get "Espana" and "Spain". From "Hispania" you get "Hispanic". In my head, I pronounce it, "HiSPAINic" for clarity, because the term only describes things from Spain, just like "Latin" is for all things Southern European. There is a reason Tainos got tricked into calling themselves "Hispanic" and "Latino". After colonization began, we forgot who we were. Queen Isabella of Spain was one of many monarchs who instituted laws forbidding us from practicing our indigenous religion, forbidding us from speaking our indigenous language, and making slaves out of us. They did this on purpose. Why? For power. For our land. If they stole who we were, it would be easier to govern us, because we would start thinking that they were us. Why are we taught to call ourselves "Hispanic" and "Latino" instead of Taino? Why don't we think of ourselves as Native American, American Indian or Indigenous? It's all political. We are taught to claim our identity through our conquerors from 1492 because it hides us from the truth of our history. When people are robbed of their history, they are robbed of their humanity. We should be proud of being Taino. When we call ourselves "Hispanic" and "Latino", it prevents us from being proud of our heritage. It also keeps us from the rights we deserve, like the right to govern our own land. Knowing who you are gives you happiness and a purpose. If this is your first time being exposed to Taino knowledge, please share with your friends and family who are Taino but don't know it yet. Use this knowledge to inspire others to reclaim their Indigenous pride and fight for our people's rights. For someone who has gone their whole life not knowing who they really are, this knowledge can be shocking. Some might not know what to do. We, the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere, experienced genocide, leading to the death of 95% of our population. Our people have psychological damage from not knowing who we are and being denied our ancestral pride. Let us heal this psychological damage by being supportive of each other. After more than 500 years, it is time for the Tainos to wake up. Let's do this, together. You know what "Hispanic" and "Latino" really mean now. Welcome to being Taino. Welcome to finding out who you really are and who you were always meant to be. Be Taino. Every time you call yourself Taino instead of "Hispanic" or "Latino", you are making a difference and you are honoring your people.

Top Comments

Boogeyyyman | Tainos are the most proud native people. I adore you for your proud not to call yourself by this false name "Latinos" I hope Taino culture will continue to exist forever ;)
2 years ago

marcbronze1 | Let's procreate and take back what's ours!
1 year ago

Angela Arroyo | We are Tainos we are not Lations
2 years ago

Xiuhcoatl Tecuhtli | Not Hispanic, Not Latino and Not African! we are indigenous to this continent!
3 years ago

Nkosi Nu Heka Kau Sen | I am part Taino. My great Grandmother was full blood Taino from Jamaica.
2 years ago

Mrs.roman Roman | wow great introduction I always put Hispanic and now I know not to put that again thank you
2 years ago

Taino People, We are still here! | Thank you! We need to study our history and be proud of being Tainos! Christopher Columbus was a murderer and a colonizer and he bought more people like himself to this land after him. The act of genocide on our people along with all the crimes on an entire continent and the stealing of our lands and it's resources is never spoken about and how they forced Spanish on our people, that is basically what colonialism is. He should not be celebrated but he should be condemned. The Taino people he and his followers murdered should be remembered and honored. They tells us they wiped us out, but we are still here.! We are proud Tainos, we are not Latinos! We are not Hispanics!
2 years ago

Jason Lopez | This is ignorance. we cannot just say we are tainos because we are not full tainos. we are a mixture of spanish, african and some european ancestry so yes we are hispanic and latino with taino blood.
1 year ago

L.Antonio Malave | If you are true Taino, your ancestors were from Puerto Rico prior to the influx of all the other countries who have come to rule the island. BUT just because you are from Puerto Rico, does not automatically make you Taino.
2 years ago

TheRedman1949 | We are a Caribbean people, we are a bi-racial people, a mixed people and yes we have African infused in our DNA as well as Taino and European. Some of us are more European or African in looks, some like my self were blessed with the appearance of the first Americans. In spite of that truth many of us have chosen to follow the customs and language of the people that enslaved, raped and tortured us, murdered us! I was cursed with an identity crisis all my life until a DNA test set me free! So, embrace who you are, accept what you are, it will lighten the load you bare in this life, we are not European/Spanish!  
3 years ago (edited)

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The Great Bitcoin Scam

Jay Adkisson, ContributorI cover Wealth Preservation in its legal permutationsOpinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
At the outset, let me clarify that Bitcoin itself is not a scam, but how Bitcoin is being sold is a scam. More about that below.
To start out, it is important to understand what Bitcoin really is. It would be easy to bore you with a discussion of the technology, about peer-to-peer servers and sophisticated algorithms, but that is not what you need to know.
What you need to know about Bitcoin is that distilled to its technological essence, each Bitcoin is simply a number. That's it: A number. It is simply a series of digits, with each number being assigned to each Bitcoin.
To illustrate, I'll randomly pull a $1 bill from my wallet, which bears No. L88793293J. Assuming some minimal level of competency by the U.S. Treasury, no other bill bears that number.
The face value of a $1 bill is, of course, just $1 dollar. But two people could privately agree that No. L88793293J is actually worth $5,000.
To illustrate Fred wants to buy Joe's golf clubs, but Fred doesn't want his wife to know -- at least just yet -- that he spent $5,000 for golf clubs. So, Fred and Joe agree that No. L88793293J is worth $5,000 and Fred gives No. L88793293J to Joe. Fred then tells his wife that he bought the clubs for the $1 bill. At some later time, when Fred's wife doesn't care so much, Fred pays $5,000 to Joe for No. L88793293J, and gets the $1 bill back.
The only difference between Bitcoin No. ABC123 and $1 Bill No. L88793293J is that at the end of the day, the $1 bill physically exists and has a face value that is worth something, i.e., Fred could take the $1 bill and buy something off the $1 menu at McDonalds.
By contrast, Bitcoin has no intrinsic value -- it is just a number. The number may have an agreed value between two parties, but the number itself has no value. Consider a bank account number, such as Wells Fargo Account No. 456789. The depositor and Wells Fargo essentially agree that the account designated by No. 456789 has the value of what the depositor puts into it, less what the depositor takes out. But the number itself, No. 456789 has no value. The same situation occurs with credit card transactions, whereby the credit card processing company assigns are unique value to each transaction, but the number itself has no value.
Let's now talk about uniqueness. Bitcoin does have some value because there are only a finite number of Bitcoins available, because the algorithm that is used limits Bitcoin to a particular number of units, of which there should only be somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 million that fit the algorithm.
Uniqueness certainly has value. Because there is only one Hope Diamond, it is estimated to have a value in the neighborhood of $350 million. Because there are only 100 of that 24¢ stamp with the upside down airplane, they are estimated to be worth about $1 million each. Ditto for rare coins, original Picasso paintings, etc.
But here is where the fundamental flaw in Bitcoin's value lies: It is simply a number, and numbers are infinite -- there will never be a shortage of numbers. Even if you are the world's greatest mathematician and think that you found the largest number ever, there is always that number plus one, plus two, etc.
So, Bitcoin may be limited to 21 million numbers, but that doesn't mean that somebody else can't come up with a similar algorithm and thereby create their own unique set of numbers, i.e., their own cybercurrency.
For example, let's say that somebody creates a cybercurrency that is based on known prime numbers. There are about 50 million of those, so another 50 million cybercurrency numbers could be created. Indeed, the recent boom in Bitcoin has triggered numerous companies offering their own cybercurrencies, and the amount of such numbers that they can generate is limited only by the ability of their mathematicians to create the necessary algorithms, which of course is similarly infinite.
According to that tome of all knowledge known as Wikipedia, as of November 27, 2017, there were 1,324 cybercurrencies in use. Just multiple each cybercurrency by the number of units they each support, and you get a pretty big number. And that is just the presently existingcybercurrencies, recalling that all it really takes is a sharp mathematician to come up for an algorithm for a new one.
And that brings us back to the main point: Cybercurrency units are simply numbers, and there is not a finite supply of numbers. Rather, the numbers available are infinite. This further means that the supply of cybercurrency units is likewise infinite. This has profound implications for pricing.
Jay Adkisson
Value Calculation

The true value of any widget is determined by the aggregate street price of the item, i.e., the sum total of what all units could be purchased for today, divided by the number of additional units which are available for sale. This is where uniqueness comes into play. There is only one Hope Diamond, which means that you take its estimated value of $350 million and divide by one, yielding $350 million. Collectively, those 24¢ stamps with the upside-down airplane are worth $100 million, but there are 100 of them, so they are worth about $1 million each. Or think of it simply in common-sense terms: The more there are of something, the less valuable each one is; if the market is flooded with something, they each have little value. Consumers see this every day at the gas pump, as the price of fuel varies primarily based upon available 

oil supplies.
Jay Adkisson
Bitcoin Value Calculation

Herein lies the problem with cybercurrency, which is that there are an infinite number of cybercurrency units available. Divide anything by infinity, and you get a number that is almost zero -- not quite zero -- but as close as you can get to it as possible. This is true even if we assign a current aggregate value of all the existing cybercurrency units at $500 billion. Because it is not quite zero, we can assign it a value of 1¢, not because it is necessarily worth 1¢, but simply because that is the smallest unit by which we can designate value in our currency.
Actually, it is some number larger than zero, and thus 1¢, mainly because the Bitcoin folks have put in a lot of effort to keep each number unique and assignable to a given owner, and there are some merchants who will accept Bitcoin as if it were a government-issued currency. But how much does that really add, and how unique are those features as other cybercurrencies take hold? Suffice it to say that the answer is much closer to 1¢ than $15,000 per unit.
This now brings us to the economic law of supply and demand, by which value is determined by what a willing seller will let a unit go for, and what a willing buyer will pay for that unit, at a particular moment in time. Take the 24¢ stamp with the upside-down airplane as an example. Presumably, the U.S. Postal Service would honor the stamp only for 24¢, which is its face value. Otherwise, the stamp creates no other value. But collectors of stamps and other valuables would offer $1 million or more for such a stamp, due to its rarity, and their belief that the value of the stamp will increase over time.
This now brings us to the topic of tulip bulbs. Tulip bulbs have no intrinsic value, other than that they can produce a pretty tulip flower. Yet, beginning in 1636, the price of tulip bulbs in Holland began to skyrocket, as buyers started believing that -- with demand driven by exports to the apparently then tulip bulb hungry French -- the price of tulip bulbs would keep appreciating. They were right. Eventually, the price of a single tulip bulb hit many multiples of the average Dutchman's average wages, and reportedly 12 valuable acres of land were traded for one particular tulip bulb. Individual tulip bulbs were traded for many times each day, with the price increasing with each trade. Then, one day in February of the following year, 1637, the price of tulip bulbs quit going up, and by May 1, the price for tulip bulbs had fallen back to their original value. Thus, was tulip mania the first recorded bubble.
Many centuries later, more specifically in November, 2013, the President of the Dutch Central Bank, Nout Wellink, reflected on the tulip bulb bubble with the following: "At least then you got a tulip, now you get nothing." He was referring to Bitcoin.
But Wellink wasn't exactly right, since with Bitcoin you get a unique number. What that unique number is worth, as discussed above, is something pretty close to zero, which makes Wellink's statement much closer to the truth
All of which means that the value of Bitcoin, and any other cybercurrency, is established by agreement of the willing sellers and willing buyers as to what point they would be willing to let go of or buy up Bitcoins as the case may be. This means that an investment in Bitcoins is purely speculative -- it is utterly no different than investing in gold, social-media stocks, or tulip bulbs. So long as the number of buyers outnumbers the sellers, the price will go up, but when the sellers outnumber the buyers the price will go down.
You'd think that folks would be able to spot bubbles by now, since we have three in the last 20 years, being the (or, maybe more accurately, Dot.con) bubble of the late 1990s, and of course the housing bubble that ended in the crash of 2007, and then the instant Bitcoin bubble. These bubbles illustrate that they occur not because of sophisticated Wall Street traders looking a business fundamentals, but because the less sophisticated investors who start taking money out of their nice, safe FDIC-insured deposit accounts and money-market IRAs, and start trying to shoot-the-moon with investments that they barely understand. Yet, they see other folks making money overnight and want to do so too. Ask about anybody what the key to successful investing is, and they'll repeat the old mantra "Buy low and sell high". The problem with people chasing investments which are already hot is that they will end up buying high and selling low.
All of this brings us to the scam element of Bitcoin. Again, as I stated at the start of this article, Bitcoin itself is not a scam. Now let me tell you what is.
The scam in Bitcoin is in talking average man-on-the-street investors into investing in Bitcoin by intentionally obfuscating what it really is, just a number, into some super-sophisticated investment by throwing out the technical verbiage that surrounds cybercurrencies, such as Blockchain technology and peer-to-peer servers. These technologies actually accomplish only one critical thing, which is that they keep particular numbers peculiar to Bitcoin, but they sure sound like Star Trek level stuff. Yet, to those not familiar with these technologies, it makes Bitcoin sounds like it has a lot more worth than it really does.
To push Bitcoin, there are now a lot of internet gurus who claim to have inside knowledge on the ever-imminent rise of the cybercurrency, very similar to how such gurus appeared so that the Iraqi Dinar Scam (which is very similar, although Dinars at least exist in paper) was able to take off. There are also Bitcoin sellers who spin a load of bull so that they can sell Bitcoins to the unsophisticated investors who can't seem to bring themselves to confront the question that "if something is anywhere as valuable as they say, then why are they selling it?"
The answer is that those who trade in anything make their money on their commissions for selling. It doesn't matter what they are selling, so long as they can make a commission on it. The more trading, the more in commissions. Investments that are perceived as "hot" will generate a lot of trading, and so traders will naturally flock to those investments and try to gin up further interest among investors who heretofore had no interest in that investment at all.
Sure enough, getting away from the wealthy folks who have the spare cash to speculate in stuff, we're now seeing pooled funds set up just so that the average mom-and-pop investors who are simply trying to set some money back for retirement, can throw their bucks in too. What these folks don't realize is that they might as well just take their money to the nearest casino and drop it all on red for a single spin of the roulette wheel. They'll either win or lose, just as Bitcoin is either going to go up or down.
And, at least the casino will pay if you win. I get the idea that some of these "Bitcoin funds" actually own no, or very few, Bitcoins, but are simply the next wave of Ponzi schemes.
I got into a discussion about Bitcoin with retired financial advisor Charles Padua, who expressed concern that so many small investors seemed to be falling for Bitcoin. His take was that smaller investors should be in carefully asset-allocated portfolios so as to spread and minimize their risk, and if -- and this is a big if -- somebody determined to invest in any speculative investment, such as Bitcoin, they should limit their portfolio exposure to no more than 2%. But, he says, better not to invest in purely speculative investments at all.
This takes up back to the fundamental rule of investing, which is simply to buy low and sell high. Bitcoin is already high, and astronomically high compared to its true value. Folks who buy into Bitcoin now are quite likely to be buying high and will end up selling low. There is also an old investment adage to the effect that "the quickest way to lose money is to invest in something which is already hot." The idea there is that the folks who are going to profit have already made their money investing, and now are just looking for suckers to unload their investment on. Bitcoin is certainly hot; in fact, it's now the hottest thing going. That by itself should raise a bright red flag for investors.
Will Bitcoin fall? Maybe not today, tomorrow, or next week, but eventually it will fall as the novelty wears off and folks figure out that they are really just buying a number, and the number of buyers diminish.
Will Bitcoin go away entirely? Probably not, because Bitcoin still can serve some usefulness as a unit of exchange, to the extent that it can convince merchants to accept it as currency. The caveat here is that when a bubble finally bursts, the object of the bubble usually falls into deep disrepute.
By then the scammers who prey on the little investors will have moved on to the next "big thing". It is all a never ending cycle, limited only by the number of available suckers.
And that is a big, big number.
This article at
Jay D. Adkisson -- -- E-mail to: jay [at]

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Areyto = “Senora, the slave.”


             Senora, the slave.”
For a moment, Irene looked at Maria while she slept, “Maria, el esclavo está bailando…” she says.
Things were changing, for better or worse she didn’t know, but all would be different if Maria awoke to what she was saying. She had come to love and care for Maria like a daughter…she needed to be protected, to be set free how her father imagined, to become aware… Baldo had become her prison but never understood his role…Tomas knew and would soon at some point interfere and know what his role was becoming with respect to Maria’s place in it…
Que?” said Maria…
Maria was in the climax of a dream, now she would know...
I awoke from a dream… a child was calling my attention, a wave from the shadows, so dark I couldn’t see but felt its call...”
...and the child?” said Irene.
It looked like you when it finally appeared it looked like you and stood before me but quickly stepped back to be overcome by the shadows having moved forward to overwhelm and drape the child in its darkness...”
The drums played like a madness expressed rose from below, repressed expressed the
madness apparent.
Irene, as if she immediately knew the dream… “The slave, he is dancing?”
Como? That is the noise, there noise… stay here… let me look.” and slid forward off the bed to dress quickly in a shawl…
Senora, I will come down with you…”
No Irene, I must go myself.” And she darted from the room half dressed.
Maria reached the lowest level slowing to a near stop but stepping forward in a soft step as the other slaves awakened and watched Maria become aware... of the dancing slave…
Maria watched without calling attention to herself though it didn’t seem to matter to her…if he knew she where present, if she knew as well
An exotic dance that first was overwhelming, confounding, every move a story, a part of a whole that was the soul of both their stories…and the words, the song he sang in part with his dance… then found the drums from within.
He never stopped once he took note of her, she continued to watch, Anani dancing for her, to her… she slowly steps up to the iron mesh, placing her hands as she watched, enamored by his spiritual exhibition then perhaps not an exhibition but an expression of his sudden love for Maria, his deep love for home and the anger and hate for the Spanish that something whole within him was dancing, the dancing wasn’t him but from a larger being present in and out of them
            Anani stopped not embarrassed but to explain the meaning of his expression.
It is an expression in movement, of the movement in our hearts… the expression not is as confused as it has ever been but the clearest in its cause the clearest in its result which no seems to have an answer for and there may be none...he questions with an answer he isn’t sure of, the question becomes the answer.
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Sorry Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg: If Daniel Ellsberg Is a Hero, So Is Edward Snowden

The crew of The Post celebrates leaking the Pentagon Papers but gets all touchy when Obama's secret surveillance is mentioned.

Nick Gillespie
Dec. 27, 2017 12:30 pm

If you need more proof that baby boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, aren't quite up to living in the 21st century, look no further than this BBC interview with Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Meryl Streep, about the new movie The Post, which details the Washington Post brave and precedent-setting commitment to publishing the Pentagon's secret history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, a.k.a. "The Pentagon Papers." Despite massive political and legal pressure not to do so, Ben Bradlee and Kay Graham (played by Hanks and Streep), pushed ahead with printing secret documents stolen by Daniel Ellsberg, winning a massive victory for press freedom and almost certainly shortening the Vietnam War.

Of course that was the right thing to do, Hanks tells Sam Asi. But when Asi brings up Edward Snowden, who in 2013 revealed massive, warrantless, secret surveillance of all sorts of electronic communications among American citizens, Hanks gets tongue-tied. Skip to about the five-minute mark:

After brushing aside the Snowden revelations—"I wasn't that surprised" that the government was spying, says Hanks—the Oscar winner plays social-media whataboutism. "Facebook makes money off of us based on what we're interested in," he says. "Do you think it's wrong that Google has an algorithm that can essentially you know, say, hey, Sam only likes black suits, so we're going to start sending you advertisements for black clothing." When asked whether Snowden is "a traitor or not," Hanks waves off the question, joking that it's above his "pay grade."

Asi makes the point that Hanks, along with Spielberg and the movie's other star, Meryl Streep, were public supporters of Barack Obama, whose secret programs Snowden opposed, and Hillary Clinton, who called Snowden a traitor. He then asks Spielberg why Hollywood was silent during Obama's unprecedented reliance on the World War I–era Espionage Act. Obama pursued nine prosecutions, compared to just three since the law's start under Woodrow Wilson. Snowden's revelations were "different for me," says Spielberg, because Snowden simply had information about agencies with the capabilities of spying on individuals and infringing on our privacy, while "Daniel Ellsberg was trying to stop the Vietnam War." Ellsberg was a "hero," says Spielberg, who refuses to call Snowden by the same term. "I don't have the same information." Streep, speaking at the end of the clip, at least grants that it's good and "valid" that the programs and activities Snowden unmasked are now in public view.
Asi ends his segment by asking whether The Post is actually intended as a defense of a free press or "a warning" to President Trump that, you know, the media took down Richard Nixon, so watch out.
That's a provocative question precisely because Barack Obama was, in the words of one of the journalists prosecuted by him, "the greatest enemy of press freedom" to hold the Oval Office. Of course Hanks, Spielberg, and Streep are simply representative Hollywood liberals ready to give Democrats a pass regardless of their actual policies. But more important, they are also aging baby boomers who are quick to fetishize outlaw heroes of their youth while throwing shade on younger mavericks. To the extent that they are self-absorbed and morally certain about events from their own past, baby boomers are simply playing to type. Indeed, while promoting Saving Private Ryan, Spielberg reduced World War II to a footnote to the birth of his own generation, calling it the "key, the turning point of the whole century...It was as simple as this: The century either was going to produce the baby boomers or it was not going to produce the baby boomers."

20th Century FoxBut such generational solipsism also renders them un-serious, if not next to useless, in a 21st-century in which Millennials now outnumber boomers. Although the circumstances in which Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers will never be repeated exactly, there was nothing unique about what he did, and what's called for by all men and women of good will. What exactly has changed about the ways in which government, especially the surveillance state, functions since Lyndon Johnson opened up the "credibility gap" and today? In the wake of Vietnam, Watergate, the Church Committee, Iran-Contra, the revelations of William Binney, Thomas Drake, Chelsea Manning, Snowden, and others, is there any reason to believe that the federal government is not duplicitous? Not at all, and it's a shame to see three articulate, thoughtful people stumble on the altar of partisan loyalty when it comes to such a question. If they don't have enough information on which to evaluate Snowden, that's on them (read and watch his interview with Reason here).

To his credit, Daniel Ellsberg calls Snowden "a hero of mine." Speaking to Reason in our December 2017 issue, he said he hopes his legacy is something like this: "I would like others to believe that they have the power—and the obligation, really—as patriots, as human beings, to reveal what they themselves know are unjustified dangers to human existence. And not simply, for reasons of career and promises to superiors, to conceal dangers of that nature. In other words, to be truth tellers."
As a boomer myself (born near the end, in 1963), I understand that resisting generational and moral nostalgia is no easy thing. The past is past and it's easier and quieter not to worry so much about the current moment, I suppose. But for those of us who not only want to see the future but participate in it, keeping up is the first business of the day and partisanship should be left off the to-do list altogether. If Ellsberg is a hero (and he is), so too is Snowden and all the others who put their lives on hold in order to rein in powers that dare not show their hands.

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How Ahed Tamimi was slapped first, and why no one is talking about it

Jonathan Ofir on December 28, 2017

In this screen shot of Shehab news agency video, Israeli soldier is seen slapping away Ahed Tamimi with his left arm.

The video of Ahed Tamimi slapping Israeli soldiers, which last week caused heated debate in Israeli society concerning the soldiers supposed lack of response, or 'restraint' as it were, needs no lengthy introduction these days. The discussion was rather exclusively about the slap, and the humiliation – of the Israeli soldiers, that is. Should they have reacted violently? Was their supposed 'restraint', 'good for the Jews or bad for the Jews'? Was it good to be such a 'most moral army' or was it counterproductive to Israel's image and deterrence?

In this writing, I am going to talk about another slap that has hardly featured in any coverage of this case – a hard slap that was given to Ahed Tamimi by the 'restrained' soldier, just 5 seconds before her now-famous slap back to the soldier from Ahed. In a 3-minute video posted on Shehab Agency Facebook page, one can witness this slap from the soldier at 0:59. It comes after some rather relatively gentle pushing and demands from Ahed for the soldiers to go away – the soldiers who are occupying her family lawn, that is, the force which had just shot her cousin Mohammed in the face and put him in coma. There is even another slap at Ahed from the soldier at 0:23, a quicker and less forceful one, which Ahed hardly reacts to at the point. But it is the forceful slap in 0:59 that causes Ahed to go livid, where she manages to slap the the soldier 5 seconds later.

That moment, at 1:04 of the video, has become the 'famous' slap by Ahed to the soldier. Now, many might be wondering, why hasn't this slap, by the soldier to Ahed, featured more prominently? Why have we hardly noticed it? Why, and how, has it drowned in the mainstream narrative of the supposedly 'restrained' soldiers?

The answer lies probably and mostly in Israeli propaganda, known as Hasbara, and in the way in which Israeli media has willingly picked up the story – which was subsequently taken up with limited critical examination by international media. The new framing of the story had to focus exclusively upon Ahed's response, and that response was to be stripped of all causes – in order to be framed as a provocation which was solely construed in order to create bad PR for Israel.

I thus wish to provide an analytical background for how this omission has occurred, why it has occurred, as well as explain why the soldier's slap and its general omission from discussion, are about a grand societal pathology of denial. Let it be added, that Ahed was not just standing there when she was hit. She was attempting to get the soldiers to leave, she was being physical with them in putting her hands on them occasionally, pushing them lightly, slapping their arms – all that happens – but it doesn't get very aggressive until when she is slapped at 0:59. It is then that Ahed first kicks the legs of the soldier and then slaps him. It is possible to suggest, from the angle of filming, that the soldier is possibly responding to Ahed's putting of aher hand on his shoulder, and that he attempts to remove her arm – but his action is so forceful, that it cannot be called a mere 'removing' of her arm. It is a forceful lashing from the soldier.

Anyhow, I am not here to forensically evaluate where the soldier exactly hit Ahed when he did. I am here to question why that hit was so widely omitted from the story.

We can begin to see the pathology in the video tailoring of pro-Israeli sites. Now, if you search for "Ahed Tamimi video" on Google for example, the first hits of an actual video will be tailored ones, by pro-Israel organisations. At the top I get a "Legal Insurrection" video of 1:12 minutes. It is conditioned by text saying that "the Tamimi clan is notorious for sending their children to confront Israeli police and soldiers for the cameras, hoping for a reaction that will create a viral video", that "in this video from 2017, Ahed Tamimi, who has been exploited for videos since early childhood, hits and kicks Israeli soldiers, who do not react". The video edits the mentioned slapping of Ahed out.
Next actual video search hit: A Stand With Us video. Here they elevate the level of mockery. It starts with the title "BDS fake films presents"…"She waits for the camera to record"…"and starts a fake fight" etc. – "starring Ahed Tamimi AKA Shirley Temper". Then comes the short 'slap' clip, where the first slapping by the soldier is edited out. It ends with further mockery: "Available in your inciting social media", with small print, including "as soon as the camera turn on [sic], she provokes IDF soldiers, hoping they would lose their temper".

It is not particularly surprising that such Israel-apologia organizations dominate the social media like this. As the Israeli Seventh Eye has been uncovering recently, the Israeli Ministry of Strategic affairs under Gilad Erdan is also a ministry of Hasbara, which has been infusing millions of shekels into various organizations worldwide in an attempt to bolster Israel's image through supposedly independent organizations. This also includes Israeli media such as Yediot Aharonot – the same media which hosted an anti-BDS conference last year, the same media which was ready and rolling yesterday, when Israeli lawmaker Oren Hazan (Likud) got on an ICRC bus of Gazan Palestinian families visiting relatives in Israeli prison, calling them "dogs", "human scum" and "beasts". As the Seventh Eye's Itamar Benzaquen notes, "the relationship between the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Yedioth Ahronoth is only part of a much broader, well-funded campaign: in June and July of 2017 the ministry spent nearly NIS 7 million ($2 million) on spreading its messaging to the public in Israel and abroad. That is larger than any of the other campaigns that have been exposed by The Seventh Eye in recent years."

But isn't Israeli mainstream media more critical than that, you may ask?
Three days ago +972 Magazine published an exquisite article by Lisa Goldman titled "Nabi Saleh is where I lost my Zionism". Goldman had been reporting on site from the West Bank for four years before she came to Nabi Saleh, and then she spent several months there covering the weekly Friday protests. Referring to the recent Ahed Tamimi case, Goldman writes:
"The Israeli media has, for the most part, promoted the army's narrative about the incident — of a restrained and mature soldier who dealt admirably with a difficult and stressful situation involving enemy actors."
Her article features a segment from Yaron London's primetime magazine program on channel 10 (the 9-minute segment can be viewed in article). It features Or Heller, the station's military affairs correspondent, and Jonathan (Yonatan) Pollak, a veteran anti-occupation activist. Whilst rewarding London with the description of "an intelligent and educated man who does, I am sure, identify as a liberal", Goldman nonetheless notes that he "mirrors the perspective of the army":
The conversation between the three men is salutary because it provides real insight into the mentality of mainstream Israeli society. First we hear Or Heller, an experienced military affairs correspondent, repeating the army's narrative. He expresses pride in the soldiers, makes the claim that the Tamimi family provoked the confrontation as a means of creating an anti-Israeli propaganda video, and asserts that the soldiers were only in the vicinity to prevent Palestinian residents from throwing rocks.

Yaron London, an intelligent and educated man who does, I am sure, identify as a liberal, fails to question Heller's narrative. Both men are completely focused on the challenge those unarmed adolescent girls supposedly present to "their" soldiers, rather than on the actual violence that those soldiers visit upon the village week after week.
Jonathan Pollak was in Nabi Saleh when the incident occurred. Watch as he calmly provides the context, and note how shocked Heller and London are when Pollak refers to "your" army — rather than "our" army. (Pollak refused to serve, which is a radical act in Israel).
It is further worth noting, that the military affairs correspondent Heller, expressed "enormous pride" at the soldiers' 'restraint', saying that they acted "intelligently and correctly":
"Intelligently", because "to smack the butt of a rifle in a 15-year old girl's head is not very smart" (actually the English translation there omits the "butt of the rifle" and just says "smack", and "not very smart" is translated to "pathetic"); and "intelligent", because the soldiers understood that "this whole event was not a military event, but rather a media event".
So Heller is actually suggesting that a "normal" response (albeit not the "very smart" one) would, or could easily be, hitting Ahed with the butt of a rifle – which could actually smash her skull. This is mistranslated, so it looks a bit more benign for the Goyim. A smack – well that could just be a little slap, right? And that's what already happened anyway. The "intelligent" part is, it would seem, avoiding doing such things when being filmed. Like Ben Caspit really, who wrote that "to keep one's restraint in this impossible situation is far more difficult than applying force, especially when the bitter enemy in front of you is three girls who do everything to get beaten up, knowing fully well that any laying of a hand by armed combatants upon supposedly innocent girls will serve as a deadly propaganda weapon in the endless war fought for hearts on social media." It's all about doing it in the dark and when there are no cameras – that's the "intelligent" part…

London, with his liberal-Zionist schmaltz, notes that he has a grandson serving there, and asks himself, "I thought to myself what I would do if I were there – and I'm not sure". Heller asks London: "What would you do, Yaron?". London says first that he doesn't know. Heller literally asks London "would you shove the butt of a rifle into a girl of 15?" (this is then egregiously mistranslated to "if you got punched in the face by a 15-year old girl") to which London finally answers: "I don't know whether my nervous system would have handled it" (this is mistranslated to "I don't know if I could have handled it").

This expression is Israeli jargon for going amok. It's a bit like what 'leftist' journalist Ben Caspit wrote, that "I, for example, if I were to encounter that situation, I would have long ago been in detention until end of procedures". In other words, Caspit was saying he would run amok on the girls to a degree that would get him arrested. That's what he's indirectly suggesting would be 'normal', because he would do it…

Now, during this magazine program, the video clip of Ahed Tamimi slapping the soldier runs in the background. It appears in loop three times throughout the debate. All three times, the slap of the soldier is edited out. The sequence begins precisely 1 second later, just after Ahed was slapped. This becomes a background semi-conscious conditioning for the Israeli audience.

But why is this omitted slap important? First of all, we can see how Ahed's slap to the soldier was important, critically important, for the Israeli public. It represents a defiance that 'boils the blood' and 'turns the stomach' of so many – even, according to the 'leftist' Ben Caspit, it did that to all Israelis. So why is the slap from the soldier not important? Because it confuses the 'restraint' narrative. Even if it were shown, it would be reducing the soldier's act (slapping Ahed) to the level of a petty fight with a 16-year old girl, and that would perhaps be further humiliating for the Israeli public. It was better to run with Ahed's slap to the soldier, so that this could manufacture consent for the 'price' Ahed would later pay. If the soldiers are portrayed as 'moral' and full of 'restraint', then Ahed's image as a 'provocateur' is strengthened. But this is more than just about a slap here and a slap there. This is about denial on a grand scale. The whole violence of the occupation needs to be denied, for Israelis to feel good about themselves and their liberal, nearly "superhuman restraint" as Caspit would phrase it. If there is no background – no occupation, no violent crackdown on demonstrations, no shooting of a boy in the head, no jumping of the fence and no occupation of the family lawn, and finally no slap from a soldier – then Ahed Tamimi's response is just a 'provocation'.

As Orly Noy wrote in +972 Magazine, "The two soldiers may have acted according to their consciences in refusing to beat Ahed Tamimi, but the army in which they serve later broke into the Tamimi home in the middle of the night to arrest Ahed, and then arrested her mother when she accompanied her daughter to the police station. In other words, regardless of their best intentions, their encounter with the Tamimis began with violence and ended with violence. From the moment they put on their uniform, their ethical sensibilities ceased to be a factor."

That slap from the soldier is, in itself, a small thing in relation to the grand, systemic violence enacted upon the Tamimis, Nabi Saleh and Palestinians in general. So the slap from a soldier on top of that, is adding insult to injury. One could argue that it's not the issue in itself. But if Ahed Tamimi's slap which she delivers to the soldier in direct response is so important, then why is the soldier's slap so unimportant?

The soldier's slapping of Ahed is arguably just as important as Ahed's slapping of him. But Israelis don't want to know about it, or think about it too much. Because such a slapping of a Palestinian is so insignificant for them. After all, it would have been pretty normal to smack a rifle butt to her head, why the big fuss? But Ahed's slap to a soldier, that we cannot forget. For that she will pay forever.
PS In response to my 2nd article on Caspit and his backpedaling, Annie Robbins commented:
"[I]t is as if they think palestinians have no normal emotions. can you imagine if a palestinian entered a settlement after shooting an israeli child, or a settler child, in the head? the people showing restraint here, are without a doubt the tamimi's. because under similar circumstances, with the perps reversed, a settler family would have greeted the palestinians not by slapping them, but by killing them."
Indeed, a few months ago, in response to a murder of three settlers in Halamish by a Palestinian, lawmaker Oren Hazan said on video that if it was up to him, he would "enter the terrorist's home last night, take him and his family with him and execute them all."

But Hazan's genocidal incitement has largely been forgotten and forgiven, like Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's genocidal advocacy to kill "little snakes" (Gazan children) or medic/killer Elor Azarya's support for genocide (and his parents' support too). Those are just details, let's move on – Hazan is just a loudmouth, the court already called Azarya a "positive personality" and a "normative person until his current complication", Shaked is already Justice Minister, no less… but never forget Ahed's slap. The price for that one is endless.

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New York lesbian couple and their kids all had throats slit in gruesome quadruple homicide

Do the killers take pride in their work? Doubtful. 
Worse the killers are not proud enough of their act to stand by it...afraid of repercussion...taking pride in your work and the consequences involved. Show your purpose in such an act then why carry it out? You carry it out? Then tell the world don't run and hide from your glory.

Shanise Myers (left), Jeremiah Myers (second from left), Brandi Mells (second from right) and Shanta Myers, the children's mother (right) were found dead in Troy, NY on Tuesday. Image via Troy PD.

Officials in Troy, New York have revealed the identities of four people killed in a quadruple homicide earlier this week.
As the New York Daily News reports, mother Shanta Myers (age 36) was killed along with her partner Brandi Mells (22) and her two children, Shanise (5) and Jeremiah (11).
"They were bound, and their throats were cut," the News' report notes.
Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said in a press conference that the murders do not appear to be a "random act," and that the "person who committed this crime is capable of anything."
Mells and the Myers' bodies were found by a property manager in their apartment during a welfare check.
"Our hearts are shattered," Myers' relative Tracy Coleman, who lives in North Carolina, posted on Facebook after the murders.

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Poor Mans Viagra Drink, "Wow" Factor - Healthy

The below video is a video illustration the attached recipe and demo...

Poor  Mans  Viagra  Drink,  "Wow"  Factor - Healthy
Hey, go from the Volkswagen to the Ferrari with this drink. By making this awesome super power drink, now  it doesn't mean that you need it, but after all, every bit helps. 
All natural with no chemicals and homemade. Have the drink about have an hour before you need it and it will help more if you made a little extra and  have some more  to give you an extra  time for the drink to stay longer in your system. 
Try it and see...
 And Why Does It Work ?

Celery/ Root for erectile dysfunction.
Celery leaf juice, as well as the root, are powerful stimulants and aphrodisiacs for men, depurative, digestives and antirheumatics. It's also used with good results in cleaning blood and hormonal regulation, as well as juvenile acne and psoriasis. Celery is recognized aphrodisiac and sexual lust booster. Romans cooked celery leaves and the root to increase potency and help increase virility, treating psychogenic impotence resulting from physical and mental exhaustion, but also those of vascular or endocrine type.

The seeds of this luscious red fruit improve blood flow and are rumoured to increase genital sensitivity.

Cabbage and Cruciferous Vegetables.
Here's the kicker: Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, bok choi, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, radishes, kohlrabi and rutabagas), long heralded for anti-cancer and other healthful properties, are testosterone boosters as well.

Ginger and Sex Drive
Ginger Root has been used for centuries to help both men and women get back their sex drive, improving libido and even help halt premature ejaculation. Since the time of its discovery, ginger has been attributed to the ability to help spark sex drive, increase performance and improve duration of a rock hard erection. It is mentioned in both the Kama Sutra and the Koran as a powerful stimulant that can help during sexual encounters.

Eating cinnamon heats up your body and, in turn, your sex drive. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory properties, and can help normalize blood sugar. 

I/2 to 1  - Pomegranate
100 to 120 g  -   White cabbage.
1 med. -- Celery root.
2x2  cm -- Ginger root.
Pinch of cinnamon.

For more information please see video below. 


Cook the celery root and the cabbage together and you will know when you are done when you the fork can easily go through the root.  
Also please save the water for the flavor and the power is there.

Set your blender to the highest setting and let it blend the mixture up to about a full two minutes. It's important to get the veggies to break it down as small as possible to come close as a liquid as it can.  
Now if you want and do not want all the trouble of the bag, then just use a juicer machine.

To get the bag I had a dressmaker make a few up in different sizes in a 100% cotton material. Make sure the bag is large enough to get one blender vase size for to do it in parts will give you too much trouble. 
To remove the pulp just invert the bag and toss it into a bowl. The leftover pulp can be used to add to any cake mix. But beware the eating the cake it can and will make the Ferrari  roar...I would recommend making cookies with it.

Try it and see how this works with the bag method. Remember it's best to have small particles in your system to last longer than to just a liquid running through.

I'am not responsible for you not getting any sleep or over heating your engines. Please use your seat belts for safety reasons.
Poor  Mans  Viagra  Drink,  "Wow"  Factor

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lifetime Achievement in Music: The Poet Laureate of Mardi Gras Indians, Monk Boudreaux

Monk Boudreaux was born to be a Mardi Gras Indian.
It is not a career, a craft or a profession, though one needs to go through an apprenticeship to become one.

It's a blood and spirit celebration of the bond between African people brought to the New World as slaves and the indigenous people who were here when they arrived. The interchange was not just cultural. Monk, like many Mardi Gras Indians, is part of the undocumented creolization that occurred when the arrivals to the New World interacted with its indigenous people. Emancipated blacks, like many other Americans, were reluctant to admit a na
tive heritage at a time when the United States was in open warfare with the Indian nations. You don't want to go from the plantation to the reservation.
"Choctaw Indian, we Indians," Monk explains. "Mardi Gras day we don't just be doing this for masking. We be doing this for who we really are. It was a hidden thing. The older people hid this because they was hiding from the government because they didn't want to be put on the reservation. That's why they kept it low 'file and they never to talked to nobody 'bout it. Mardi Gras day was the day.

"That's what it really was. They never talked about it. Mardi Gras comes. That's the day. They never talked about it. My grandmama she was on her dying bed she said 'Tell him I'm on my way' and that's when she told me. They never told me that before. I was spending all this time and money being an Indian and I could have been anything for less money and less time. She told me why but I already knowed why. I knew there had to be a connection 'cause I knew how I felt and I was wonderin' why I felt like that and then she told me. I know my daddy was masking. My granddaddy didn't mask but he used to do secret talking. When the old people talk we had to go outside. One time a cousin of mine living in Baton Rouge did some research and found out we had people outside of Houma on a reservation. I go fishing there right now. Some things are left alone. I have people say 'I'm Boudreaux too so I say 'We may be kin you never know.'"

Monk is a leader, a folklorist, a singer of songs, a storyteller, and a window into a unique corner of humanity. His trademark phrase, delivered with a tolerance that defines the infinite patience of a master of oral tradition, is "They don't understand." His mission is to make them understand. Accordingly, he learned the oldest traditional Mardi Gras Indian songs and added his own to the mix. He has been a mentor to countless Mardi Gras Indians himself, and has been generous in opening the secrets of that tradition to outsiders, not just in New Orleans but all over the world.

Photo: Elsa Hahne

He is the greatest of teachers in that he will share his message with anyone who will listen. We were fortunate to get a lesson from him on the eve of his 76th birthday. Joseph Pierre "Monk" Boudreaux was born on what the history books call the "Day of Infamy," December 7, 1941, the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and pulled the U.S. into World War II. The day has no such significance for him, as his education took place outside the realm of a school system that had no use for him.
"My family will be there on my birthday, but I'm not planning a party, because I've got to sew, got to get the suits ready for Mardi Gras day," he says. Monk helps prepare the suits for his whole family. He says he expects "15 to 17" of his relatives to join him on his procession this year.

We arrived in front of Monk's Uptown house to pick him up. The house took on six feet of water in the Katrina flood and Monk used the carpentry skills handed down from his father and grandfather to rebuild it. "I put up all the sheet rock, did all the painting," he says proudly. "They tell me the house is worth $250,000, but it's worth more than that to me." Monk's story was used as part of the storyline of David Simon's HBO series Treme. He was the inspiration for the character Albert Lambreaux. Simon also used Monk as himself for the drama in a powerful moment during the first episode. Monk's return after the flood to find his Mardi Gras Indian suit in the safe place he stashed it before leaving town is documented in the 2010 film Bury the Hatchet.

We took off to trace a route down to where Monk grew up, a block away from his Mardi Gras day destination, the Sportsman's Bar at the corner of Second and Dryades. "We don't have a set route," he says. "We go whichever way seems best at the time. I signal the spy boy ahead which route to take." Our route today takes us along until we get to Dryades Street, where we retrace Monk's steps on Mardi Gras day along with the steps of his life.

Monk's father masked with the Wild Squatoolas. When Monk was a boy he was not allowed to be part of the rituals, especially on Mardi Gras day, when the children were under strict orders to stay on the porch and watch the Indians from there. Monk's father left the gang before the boy started masking himself. He never told his son why he quit masking, but after Monk became chief his father started up again as second chief.

"I was taught the Indian songs as a kid," says Monk. "That's where they come from. My dad was an Indian before I was, he masked Indian. He used to leave out at five o'clock in the morning so we had to stay in until he got back, catch him later on in the daytime. I think I was 12 when I was allowed to participate. Now all my grandkids when they's one years old we take 'em out. But during that time you had to do your own suit so I had to wait 'til I learned how to sew my own Indian suit. The practices was held in the back yards, in the chief's backyard. It was like a hidden culture y'know. Later we started having the practices in local bars.

"It's not hard to learn the songs because if it's in you, it's in you, yeah, once it's in you, it's in you. I always talk about old black Johnny. He used to come into town every year and stay through Mardi Gras day. He never masked, but he knew the songs. He took me under his wing and he taught me the songs. He told me 'They may not hear you now but you just keep on singing, they're gonna hear you one day.'

"I never intended to be a chief but when it was handed down I accepted it. That was before my father passed because he masked second chief for me. It was handed down. I was the second spy boy for the White Eagles. The way it go, the first spy boy he's in line to be the chief, so when he didn't want it it got handed down to me, second spy boy. So I accepted.

"The spy boy, he's part of the game because he's number one. The chief is last but the spy boy is first. People don't know that. They don't know. I know they don't know. I get a lot of questions everywhere I go, people ask questions.

"Before my time it was violent but to get involved in it deeply we stopped all the violence because we didn't see where it make sense. Why would we fight amongst each other for what reason and why they were doin' it I don't know why. Still don't know why. So we started going to all the different Indian practices. We invited the chiefs from downtown to come to our practice and they would invite us to their practice so we all pretty much got along together."

Monk arrived at Second and Dryades and was surrounded by a group of men eager to greet him. Inside, the affable barman Steve kindly turned down the TV so we could talk and took some snapshots of himself with Monk. This very block was where Monk grew up.

"See that beige house down the corner?" he pointed to the corner of First and Dryades. "See that tree behind it? That's where I lived. The house is gone there, but that's where I lived. See this lot here? That was the H&R Bar, where I made my first record with the Golden Eagles."

Monk's childhood haunts ranged all over the neighborhood. Though he was strictly forbidden from following the Indians downtown on Mardi Gras day, he had free rein the rest of the time. He got his nickname from climbing trees, making him witness to a lot of events, some of which he wasn't supposed to see. But that curiosity led to a wisdom that has informed his storytelling to this day.
Monk grew up with another local kid who would become a famous Mardi Gras Indian Chief, Bo Dollis. He was also tight with the Neville Brothers, especially Aaron, though he and Cyril played conga drums together at Indian practices.

"We come up together, Jolly they uncle, big chief of the Wild Tchoupitoulas, we was all together. We used to have Indian practice, we'd go to his, he'd come to ours. Jolly got his name because he was a jolly fella, laughing all the time. He was a good person. He masked with the Wild Magnolias one time.

"Nevilles was a presence. I was close to Cyril. Art is older than me about three years. Charles is the oldest. Aaron, I really knew Aaron, we were friends, still is. He was born with that voice. Bo knew him. New Orleans ain't a big city, you got Uptown you got Downtown; you got back o' town you got front o' town; that's it. Cyril started coming to practices but he wasn't singing then, he was beatin' the drum.

"I knew Bo practically all my life. Because we come up in the same neighborhood, he was just a couple of blocks from me. I come up on First and Dryades and Bo came up around Jackson. I met him through a friend. I always did know Bo's brother 'cause we around the same age, and then one day a friend brought Bo around our neighborhood and that's how I met him.

"You know when you're good people you meet people and you come to be friends. Like I said I knew his brother and all and he was younger so I met him later on. I think I was already masking with the White Eagles when I met him. Bo started young. I started I think two years before him. Bo and I had practice together when we first started going into the bar when I was with the White Eagles and Bo wasn't masking yet. It was different because we had the practice in the Big Chief's back yard. But when we got to be friends we started to have practice in the bar so him and I practiced together. 'Cause we were in the same neighborhood."

By this time Monk had built an encyclopedic knowledge of traditional Mardi Gras Indian songs and was embellishing them with his own stories.

"Each tribe from different parts of town, they may sing the same song but they got different lyrics, the same background but different lyrics," he explains. "Right now today if you will come to Uptown practice and you were hearing somebody singing in there that really know how to sing then you go Downtown you'll hear that same song but it will have different lyrics to it. We was singing about what we do and they was singing about what they do."

Monk and Bo were at the forefront of the young Mardi Gras Indians in the late 1960s, introducing new ideas into the old traditions. By this time the White Eagles had broken up and Monk was leading the Golden Eagles. Bo was Chief of the Wild Magnolias.

"Our practices would start about 8 might break up about 12 because a lot of people would come and we'd let them all sing and they could go as long as they want to. Bo and I was together. He would sing, then I would take over, then he would come back in. We was doing it traditionally and everybody was singing the same song so then I started chanting my own lyrics," says Monk. "When we was in our teens we met Quint Davis. He was about 17 years old. He came to one of our Indian practices and he went on and on and on. When he graduated from school he said 'Y'all are making music that nobody else is making all over the world and I would like to make a record.' And so we did 'Handa Wanda,' it was four Wild Magnolias and four Golden Eagles we joined hands because Bo and I was two powerful young Indians in the city. Bo had the loud voice and I had the mind, I was taught, we put that together and we came up with some music that people are trying to recapture right now today."

In 1970 Davis brought them into the studio with keyboardist Willie Tee, bassist George French and drummer Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste backing up the Indians to make a 45 rpm recording of "Handa Wanda" and the rest is history.

"We didn't have any idea about recording," says Monk. "We didn't do anything different. They followed us; we didn't follow them. Like I said we all come up together in New Orleans and Willie Tee had a band. Quint thought it would be a good idea to get Willie Tee with us because he come up in the neighborhood. He knew about the Indians. At the time he was doing a different type of music but we know that he could back us. Ain't too many people even today that can back the Indians. It's gotta come from your heart. It's a new music to them where nobody else teaches this type of music. It's the music they wanna play because it's got a lot of fire to it, it's a religion thing. They say gumbo, well that's what Indian music is about, gumbo, it's got all kinds of music, jazz, blues everything goes into it.

"Willie Tee was from the neighborhood. One time he say he live on Third and I think Dryades, and he also lived on LaSalle Street, that's when I was knowing him because we went to school together. He was big but to us it didn't matter because we had our own music. We wasn't into that recording thing, so as far as we knew he was joining us.

"We went in with the percussion thing that we do and he listened to it and then he started playing it. Like I say he came up in the neighborhood so he knew about it. He was playing different kinds of music but he knew what we were doing."

"Handa Wanda" was in jukeboxes all across the city and remains a cornerstone piece of local music every Mardi Gras. But the real moment Monk and Bo brought their music to the outside world came at the first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, when festival organizer Quint Davis asked them to lead a Mardi Gras Indian parade to the festival. The Indians became a regular feature of the festival.

"When we went to the Jazz Fest they didn't have a lot of people there," Monk recalls. "So Quint says 'Let's go through the Quarter.' So we put our suits on and went through the French Quarter and brought the people back to the festival. They followed… they had to follow, we put down some bad sounds. Me and Bo. We did 'Handa Wanda,' 'Meet the Boys…,' 'Shallow Water,' we did all the old traditional songs."

Davis got the band a contract with the French Polydor label and they made a record, then toured to promote it.
Photo: Elsa Hahne

"We did the first record for Polydor. We went on tour with it, but they kind of pushed that to the side. They said we were before our time."

Monk was glad to return to the neighborhood and his regular Indian practices because he wasn't sold on the electric band concept.

"During that time I was only doing percussion because that was the way I was taught and I didn't like the idea of an electric band. I came out with my own record, made at a practice at the H&R Bar, which was Lightning and Thunder and that's the way I felt it. Bo and I was together. He wasn't on Lightning and Thunder because this was like a percussion thing but he was there. We hung out together all the time, every day. I went on with my percussion thing, played a lot of folk festivals, even when I didn't have a record out. I went all over the world even without a record because people were seeing what I did as folk music.

"Rounder Records put out Lightning and Thunder. People saw me at Jazz Fest with my percussion band the Golden Eagles and they started booking me all over the world. That was under Rounder. After that I introduced Bo to Rounder and we did another record with Bo and then we started traveling together again. We got back together and we got this band the Bayou Renegades with June Victory to back us."

Bo and Monk made several records as the Wild Magnolias and toured under that name even as they kept their traditional gangs. They were powerful live as Bo, a natural R&B singer and entertainer, relished the role of the frontman as the more spirit-oriented Monk was edged into a role as backing vocalist.

"When they tell me I got to go into the studio I know what I got to go in there for," says Monk. "But they didn't let me do a lot of recording. Bo had the voice and that's what the people wanted to hear. But I was always there in the background somewhere and like old black Johnny told me 'You just keep on singing, they're gonna hear you one day, people are gonna come from miles around just to hear you get down.'

"At first Bo would come on and do his version of a song and then I would come in and do my version. We had it so down pat 'til it just locks right in. They never let me sing too much on the records and then we met this stranger and I wasn't sure how he was gonna act with us and what he was gonna do for us so I didn't wanna do more lyrics."

The stranger Monk was referring to was a manager who represented the Wild Magnolias, trademarked the name and concentrated on promoting Bo Dollis. Monk knew it was time to move off on his own. He made a series of records beginning with a terrific collaboration on Shanachie Records with Anders Osborne, producing one of his most powerful albums, Mr. Stranger Man. Monk by this point had warmed to the idea of blending his percussion band with electric guitars.

"I didn't feel it back then," he admits, "but as the years go on I say, well, everything changes."
Monk was a founding member of the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars, a group dedicated to raising public awareness of the disappearing Gulf Coast. Then came Katrina, and everyone in New Orleans was forced to evacuate the devastated city. The black communities were pretty much wiped out and there was a sense that they might never return. The Mardi Gras Indian culture seemed in particular jeopardy. But Monk never wavered in his belief that it would return, and since 2005 he has been one of the most important leaders of that culture.

"I was one of the first ones back," Monk says. "I gave an Indian practice at Tipitina's. Right after they let everybody start coming back we had a practice at Tipitina's. It was packed out. I told Quint all you gotta do is put the word out. Indians they got to come back, this is home. They all thought they was coming to a repast 'cause word got out that I had drowned in the flood. Somebody put the word out that I was dead. I was up in Colorado working. I heard 'Everybody in Texas think you dead!' Well, now they come back, even if they still in Texas they come back to mask on Mardi Gras day."
Quint Davis put Monk in charge of assembling the returning Indians to perform at Jazz Fest, a role Monk has performed to this day. He has played and recorded with various bands around town, including a reunion with Bo Dollis in the Wild Magnolias before his death and gigs with Bo Dollis Jr. since then. As a featured vocalist with the 101 Runners Monk finally put the story of old black Johnny down on record, and he has recorded several other projects, including the reggae-influenced Rising Sun and Won't Bow Down, which includes a revealing story about his childhood, "Education."
Under Monk's curatorial watch the Mardi Gras Indian presence at Jazz Fest has flourished. Not only has the culture revived, it has been refreshed with a lot of new blood and some of the gangs are introducing bold new elements into the traditional mix.

"It's gonna continue," Monk promises. "It'll never die. They gotta lotta young people comin' out, they learnin'. They need somebody to teach them. You gotta sit down and listen. It was like we was doing a video shoot from the Treme and one of the producers come out and ask me 'Monk, what are you sayin?' Ha ha ha. I said that's Indian talk you might not understand it but I was saying 'Hold him Joe your donkey want water.' I'm telling my spy boy to hold his donkey if he wants some water. He didn't want no coconut water, that's all they had. The way I do it they can't understand when I talk that Indian talk 'cause it's a secret language.

"Some of what I know may pass with me but whatever the new people do will be right 'cause it's their story. Indian music has got all kind of music into it. It's spiritual 'cause it's got a lot of power in it. It reaches people right inside. Once they hear it they got to get up. You got people dancing that don't dance. I played in theaters where they didn't get up but they was trying. One time we was in London in this theater where they don't dance I was doing a song and everybody got up, everybody was going up and down, coming on stage. Yeah it's a religious thing, it's a spiritual thing. When I be going into it the spirit guide me."

On the way back to his house, on Freret Street approaching Louisiana, Monk recalled a rough moment on a recent Mardi Gras day.

"We was moving along, singing, and this guy come running up with a rifle, all wild. Johnny Vidacovich was there, children was with us, we had all the Baby Dolls along. I grabbed the guy and hugged him. He was all wild, saying they had killed his friend across the river. So I told him 'Then that's where you should be, take this across the river.' He hit me. But it turned out the rifle was only a BB gun."

Monk can defuse that kind of madness with his power. And now he's concentrating that power, every day, into sewing those Mardi Gras suits.

"I have to do it," he chuckles, "because it's in me. This is not a costume. It's who I am. I'm an Indian. Sometimes I think most everyone in New Orleans has some Indian in them."

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