#038 Moscow Hostage Crisis

#038

Moscow Hostage Crisis 

Part One 

Life of the slave show!

    I will remove you from your castle and make you watch the way we live in the wilderness below.       

And she slips off her high heels into a star-crossed stare down, 

    She always calls the shots,

    Gun shots to blood soaked makeshift cots.   

The shots she calls are complicated.

             She must find me highly dedicated. 

She mostly deals with the haves, and I am the have nots.

The rules are anything goes, but no know one “knows”.

    If she’s been known to steal the weapon from my over coat,

    I’ve been quick to remove my clothes.

       I spill_ for the thrill of those invited, I can kill on compunction, I still have the will; 

To activate the full facilities, 

Of word play, and use of allegory_

       To execute deliverance of a blue-blood-bleeding testimony_ 

A Former Soviet love story.

    Involving a Chechen peasant and a woman once of Penza now mostly of night.  

    It will be of little glory, the way I tell the story.

    It’s based upon real people. Real blood_ and real bleeding_ 

Of taking-of wanting-of feeding the need. 

Of fucking and fighting and the will to survive in a City of glass, steel, and greed. 

           Real emotional explosions_ her eyes are always so bright,

 She has long since urged me to put down the weapon and give up the fight. 

But I have a last name that is easy to place,

I could buy some new papers, but not a new face.

They can spot us on site!

It’s the ongoing struggle of those who lead: 

A tragic_ unyielding life of night.  

We’ll sell a sordid tale. 

I wish I had found her back when she was nineteen or twenty_ 

Before she had to do what she did,

And does what she still do, 

To keep from starving in the shadow of plenty. 

My objective and travail_ is to recruit the members of this audience into a clandestine apparatus_ And harness our collective clandestino

To force a mighty train to prematurely jump the rail.  

         I wear suspenders with buttons, a Mayakovsky cap, and iron plated under shirts. 

I dreamed up a plan to get revenge on a man, or a series of men, hit them in their pockets, 

Hit them where it hurts.          

    I called her late at night_ bleeding all over the place,

      She said don’t get your bleeding heart on my red carpet, 

And her mother fixed me midnight supper.          

Herring, beets, Palemni.

        And she wiped the cake of crimson off my bloody Chechen face.

    (Small talk)   

 “And the snow fall is phenomenal this year”_ 

She retorts”

 “Don’t get French with me my dear.”

_They really punched yer ticket_ did a number on you in the district, this time.

          (She loves the way I make the Ameikanski noire lingo mix out elequently with a touch of old Fenian rhyme.)

The pay phone call cannot be traced_

The weapons hidden in the drywall_ 

In the space your men replaced_ 

The ice cold taste of 9 proof Baltika is refreshing, albeit haram_

Those good patriot informers_ those zombies_ those follow-follow men.

They beat me for a fortnight, 

Demand I sign a grim confession,  

Attesting to the building and/or placement of some near but unexploded bomb.

        “Why can’t you be like normal men?”

 I told her: “I’m hungry for my freedom and I’m never going hungry again!” (Sung)

And she says;

 “I cannot love you if you’re dead.” 

Please put the house in order, 

Use the lithium, 

Use Russian Standard Vodka; use my lips if necessary, 

To rectify the madness as it expands inside your head.

       I’m not saying that I love you now or later, 

Simply I refuse to cater_ 

To all the “incidents generated lately” when you do not behave_ 

Explain how you plan to court me_ 

From a black-bag-disappearance. 

In frosty, shallow, unmarked open grave.

       If you’re going to dedicate, in your exacerbation, 

Resistance efforts to a woman (me) who can only love you out of pity, 

In this bleak and foreign city_

Even if the words sound epic, also pretty_

Fuck it man! You’re doing it again!

I sigh and then reply:

“Did I tell you lately you’re my dorogaia and if not for loving you_I’d surely be dead a thousand times at the hands of ten thousand lesser men?”

Oh, when last we wrote I spoke of devouring her, for hours. 

To tease her- to please her_to want her to need her- amid a bed of hand-picked, Peonies; or provincial-wild-flowers.

She isn’t one for single serving dancehall roses, she moves too fast for poses.

Her bright eyes beckon as they dart about the room filled with bluff and imitating glee_

“Accelerate your tempo of evacuation_ 

The checkpoints separate the have everything’s_ 

From the people who are dressed like you_ 

And carry paper work like me.”

I suppose you and only you_ the woman that I trust and choose_ 

Can entrap these men of business with their whoring, 

With their thirst for further treasure_

With long lines of china white running from the mouse trap to their nose.

How many slaves does it take to keep this neon play ground running?_

I know via your profession you can undertake a series of transactions_

Blonde dynamite distractions_

Before any know exactly what’s in store.

Reduce the need for automatic weapons, 

Acquire us the proper routes and channels_

And guide us through a tunnel to the vile trading floor.

    She looks at me and rolls her eyes and says in Russian “Lord have mercy.”

    I said “I don’t have imaginary friends; there ain’t no need to curse me._   

Where we met is unimportant. 

Did I mean to enlist her? 

I couldn’t resist her. 

I had causes and struggle and vengeance and plan.

I shouldn’t have kissed her 

And longed for her touch,

For surely she lays nightly in the arms of some husband, some man.

We have become a most curious spectacle_lately.

     You hate me? Push further,

Took you home from the bar stool, 

Bite me_

Kick me_

Bait me.

She could have killed me that first night, just with things that she said:

I looked at her once. 

And the wheel was turning quickly but the hamster was dead. 

The wheel was her cold rationale, 

The hamster was the morals that once governed the wheel.

And there were bright lights, that up lit her eyes_ and whatever that implies.

Separating what she does_ 

From that which she’s still willing feel.

“You take up so much clock! 

Blood from a rock! 

I must return to District work which begins at moon rise.

And the steel trap will slam shut_ 

And bind me behind those District walls.

        And the men of that vile district,

    Will use their credit cards_

To try and pay for my flesh and access to between my thighs.”

She said “root for me.”

I’m going voodoo out tonight_

To earn my money the City.

         If you truly are my friend, 

Understand that I’ve been hungry and I’m never going hungry again.” _(Sung)

I am looking down the barrel at my pin striped enemy. 

      And the columns we’ve been shaking 

And lives we’re always taking, 

I was seeking sweet surrender and I sought it at her feet. 

You think you’re not a target? You pay your taxes don’t you?

        Are you blind to their transgressions? 

A cavalcade of charging bulls rampaging down the street.

       Everything from here out, it’s true,

My bones rust, from your star dust, your fairy eyes_

     I loose myself to you.

She says, “Oh the things you might do,” 

Our harsh and untenable positions have emboldened us_ as we know no one cares or pays attention, or even has a clue.

If we want it bad enough we can get it:

     “For the rest of our lives_

_we do.”

Even if that life, she says, will last no longer than another a day or two.

Kiss me _fight beside me Dorogaia

Even if to you my name and words are sometimes strange, 

For what they do to your body and mind,

     And what they did to my family,

     Help us create a major crisis at the Moscow Stock Exchange.

You’re crazy she said, 

You’re crazy won’t get me dead. 

Well talk about your ridiculous plan in the morning.

It’s all a slave show, and if you didn’t know.

Russians who help rebels aren’t even given a funeral, much less a warning.

#14 Sometimes the Vodka Drinks Me

#14: Sometimes the Vodka Drinks You

I.

What does a half Jew know about the Ghosts of Christmas past? 

Arrogance vast! 

If sirens of suffering call-free-for-all_ 

_then have your crew insert wax in their ears and bind your bleeding heart to the mast! 

Look at your most tragic failures, 

Look at your past! 

Your sister, your brother, your comrade, the love of your life: raped and abused

Self-murder imprisoned and her young body used: 

The die is cast.

You toast to our fortitude? 

Look in the mirror and see the accused!

Who put the world on your shoulders man?! 

Whoever asked!

         Labriut.

         There was nothing one person ever asked you to be, 

Nothing they asked you to do.

         No one expected a miracle. 

You battle demons still in their name, 

And when it was done the world was exactly the same, man it’s too true:

Sometimes you drink to remember, 

Sometimes you drink to forget.

And sometimes the vodka drinks you.         

II.

The card said:

        “Ya tbya verejnum glaz najom.”

         So I went up to Brighton Boston.

         To consult with a gangster named Medvinsky. 

         “Droog.” 

         You had better turn that walk into some kind of fearsome-forward-run.

        “Get gone, Get done.” 

        Get yourself a final lavish Turkish bath,

You lost a lot, 

She lost a bit, 

We’ve all lost something over flesh chase bullshit,

                                         A fait complit_ it’s done. 

      Since you won’t take a lap dance down on Brighton 7 as down payment on your solitude, 

We can’t build you back until you repay the debt accrued, 

Pass port change your latitude, 

It’s your very Westy attitude we’ve come to question!  

                                    So make adjustments to the clout,

 You thought you could throw about. 

Without suggestion: 

          Settle up and out.

          Take a shot then,

Run.  

          You have to settle up with the Voorhis down in Oceania, 

That won’t be fun.

        “Gde bolit tovarish?”

“Did you even stop to think about the things that you two unleashed?  

             With passion pens, with cold war sword play, and with gun! 

              It was your morals that she prayed on with her callous kick box on the night she almost killed you.” 

“For sport?” 

 “Not for sport.  For fun.”  

“You had best turn in your 8 shot, because she’s gone and punched your midnight ticket now!” 

“She’s removed the bullets from your gun.”

              There’s no blame in this situation. You two just forgot your host nation, class and social station.

    And lost in excited trepidation you made war.

But in all that war you’ve been making, 

You were changing nothing

See the score?  

And shortly one dead Russian escort 

And one badly tortured gun man is all there will be to show totality of foolishness:

The things, you and she were fighting for.

Let’s do a shot for good intentions now a bloody mess under duress:

What Medvinsky says is partly true:

Sometimes you drink to remember, 

Sometimes you drink to forget.

And sometimes the vodka drinks you.         

III.

Sometimes, 

I get drunk. 

And I drive my car 

In figure eight circles around the Adler Loop in coop city,

The only street which bears my name. 

       And from the wheel of my Civic I survey a high rise brick kingdom. 

All I can see!

Sometimes I drink to remember, sometimes I drink to forget.

And sometimes the vodka drinks me.

It’s a bevy of victimless crimes. 

          There are no children playing at these midnight hours, 

Most of the times, 

Or those that are carry various calibers as they carry on trade in West Indian nickels and dimes.

           With each kiss of Stolichnaya I get further from all the accusing faces of friends lost, 

And lubricated by the demons still waters I am forgiven for my yet unfulfilled promises. 

And that which such promises cost.

            I sip and shoot shot and bottle tip. 

And the ghosts of past make clever cheers: 

Nazdrovia! 

They say as I sip. 

More shots! 

To the last drop, a fast viscosity, a deadly drip. 

              Cheers to little Malka who’s daddy abused her, and who’s foreign baby’s father used her like a Siberian doll and fled leaving a teenage mother with child in the slums of Shahoun Daled

Shot to the head. 

               Cheers to Maya captured and bonded to brothels at the age of sixteen, 

Pale white tits all the gawk of Montreal’s flying flesh carnival scene. 

Long white lines of supine mortgage, 

Traumas of the slave trade never fully known_ what they made her do.

Time supine, also prone.  

Third shot for Rahula, also called Jeremy McGaffey, 

A soldier, a comrade now dead, and all the dark things he saw before putting two rounds in his tough brilliant head.

               For all that they went through these three in particular abused an accosted,

I empty the bottle to my useless gestures exhausted, 

Having arrived too late to have saved them and too weak to have healed them, and play pretend knights making promises into a sad mock-ery.

Sometimes I drink to remember. 

Sometimes I drink to forget.

And sometimes the vodka drinks me.

IV.

        I awoke in hand cuffs black hood folded blind.

And it wasn’t just another Saturday night wilding-wild-West Indian 

On the loose in Coney Island of the mind,

                               Truncated by tell-the-boys-in-blue I won’t be easy. 

       They had laid their hard hands on me. 

Stop the tape. Pause. 

Rewind.

Wam! 

 Something struck the Gulliver out of nowhere_ it gyrated my warbles.

      This time, maybe; my past had caught me.       

That then said;

       My first thought was of my baby, my lady who is even tougher than I am. 

                 Good thing your woman’s hidden said the voice in my head.

                 Simmer-on-sinner,

 A loser or a winner is in the end always picking up taps for the devil at dinner. 

      When I say baby, I should say goddess, she’s a warrior.

          Or just several shots short of serial killer, 

A base sinner invited into your house for the small talk most certainly, also her chest, high heels and the promise of dinner.

              She loves me because I am a good man. 

    You can, only hurt a Real man by destroying his goodness and if he be a hard man, 

No kid’s gloves_ 

_you can only do that by hurting people he loves.

        I’ve been interrogated before.

There many ways to do it,

        You can purchase a good deal of information via third party use of shill, mark or whore. 

When people don’t know what they’re fighting for…

Or stacked shocks, shock headed peter_a drill with a small bore.

      But who’s keeping score, anymore.

      I was trained in district Florentine. 

      I have mental blueprints to up the ante of an occupation, or increase the flicker flame of fire on a low boiling international class war.

    What for? What was in it for me?

      I was tapped long ago on my shoulder by a series of sirens 

And enlisted in a long simmer struggle to even a score, 

Against the forces of Razpizdia, general a-pathology bloody feuds based little more than mistranslated folk lore.

 To Hit back, 

          And coordinate the American arm of a general attack on behalf of the wretched run miserable, the abused and the victimized poor!

Oh that’s adorable, he’s a man with ideals. Let’s get him out of his country and rip out his teeth with some plyers so he can see exactly how real change making feels!

         The prelude to a good long torturing is an offer you can’t refuse.

         Already assume you have nothing to lose.

False positive clues to dissuade and amuse as they work to disfigure, 

And of course to abuse.

 They said I was born chosen, but I keep on choosing battles that my lady says that I’m destined to lose.

      That’s what she said.

      And when panting and longing and holding me tightly, through the calling of names 

But only she is the one I allow in my head.

      The trick is to talk in circles, 

Keep asking for cigarettes, 

     Saying nothing makes them think you know more than you do.

Once the beatings begin you must meditate your way through the blood and the swelling. 

So master art of storytelling.

So when that occurs you can only betray yourself via you’re capture and give long accounts of imaginary conspirators.

 And try and make sure you don’t know where your woman is being hidden 

      A pale horse with pale rider will give no account of the devastations witnessed passing though places he’s ridden.

              You can beat a man into saying almost anything. 

You can try and buy him, make him sing tunes you want him to sing. Strike his face with a truncheon cuffed to chair he’s got nowhere to run.

        And if they know who you are they just might do it for fun.

              But having done this before, if you want to get to my family you’d better be legion, better have monstrous tentacles, bottomless pockets, or know how to properly swim. 

For I know the face of the devil and Invest adequately in keeping my loved ones from him.

              I hide my woman in Haiti. Just cause you can see her golden blonde hair from space, well that don’t mean you can fight your way through eleven million Haitians. Has nothing to do with race.

               I’m one popular fucking blan these days. They say no good deed goes unpunished, and but I have my ways.

              Russians have counter insurgency down to a T. 

      The Ts for torture the shit out of everyone. Best believe these days several are gunning for Vasa, Vasa is me.

        Its a long game, its a late stage in the war.

        A fist crunches my face, then a bucket of water.

        I’ve brought a box cutter on a plane before.

       Before  it was cool.

        Who am I?

        Fool, If you allow yourself to be coffined they will attempt it using desriptive pejoratives.

    I’m new school. 

        I have spoken to you at length in babalonian, but parable take away, here’s the golden rule: 

         Don’t pose a question that you do not intend in a timely fashion to unravel.

       I am a man of three colors. Red black and green. I’m in the business of chechen resistance, this involves travel. 

   In my rounds and deployments you’d have no idea of the suffering I’ve seen.

       Its less a riddle to fuck the answers out of me. But just incase they get me, know that when my families safe, and Ichkerias free, and most of the world is a place where its safe for your pasty white children to be, and then we can agree that when you open your eyes and turn off your tv, then you will collaborate with a chechen like me, and the resistance generally. 

           These are hard cuffs. I’m not going anywhere. I zone out and I dream of the mountains, the scent of my babies hair. I know she’s safe, I know they gonna break me out. Unpleasant nights until that occurs, no doubt.

   Soon as these wolves know they got Vasa the gunslinger, I can hear them shout. 

Ya tbya verjnum glas najum.

I’m gonna cut your fucking eyes out.

        Do your worst motherfuckers. I’ve heard these words before.

 You aint getting nothing but nonsense from the lips of a rebel implore, 

ladies and gentlemen my name is Vasili Pveada, the world is one fire and you’re all in a tower on top of a hill,  for the blood that they spill, for our loved ones they kill, listen to me.

 The armed wing of the human rights movement has long arms and old soul memories, we will not stop fighting, until every last man woman and child is free.

#55 Havana Road

 # 50: Havana Road
 
We could be in Havana by nightfall. 
It’s what I’ve been whispering for years. 
If I could just trade a pound of my flesh for just one single ounce of your tears. 
 
Bloody paw marks cross my face! Self-inflicted. 
Lash marked loved one; I am so careless for you. 
Dug my own American grave in a record time, the scary parts of our company is that most of our stories are true. Avail me of your sling shot eyes, Last cartridge spent. 
Temptation looks like you. 
But, sin-not-simple-sinner! 
Your thighs delight the treachery of lawless temperament. 
Losing bearings righting wrongness. 
Leather boots, And dark sun glasses, Skinny dipping long legged mikvah, digress under stress! What you wear under that dress is tougher than my mechanical heart or the flash of iron eyes scaling walls and the ripping off of clothing, 
As the best dreams fall apart. 
Over last supper, Our unsung broken heroes if the story’s told right can make all the martyrs grin. 
Losing ones lost morals doesn’t make the skin itself once broken any thinner. Or the self inflicted violence of total recollection even a mostly piratic win. Temptation looks like you! How do you say exsanguination in Cyrillic? 
I have not three fucks of clue. 
I am too brazen for these bonds, As Benjamin bondage holds plantation risings, pale of settlement, comfort keeps the ghetto wall in check, 
A noose about my neck! 
The only true reminder, as I quiver amorous beside her, 
What just one night loose in Babylon can make a brother do! And all this special for you, I pause to dot a check list, of what calamity ill next ensue. 
For that’s just the market price to play, with a deadly creature such as you.
Some French-Reggaetone anthem belted out from the bodega, 
As some abstracted grindhouse of a poem, 
Or foreign tongued gift made of song. 
And black death inside us, from those fires we long left burning, another late night in Brueklyn Soviet, 
And we lied when we said that we knew our right from wrong. 
I tell her, “We all just pretend that we’re strong.” 
Like a tribute to golden aged exile. Or an ode to a bold deportee. She says that my goodness is good for her only half of the time. “But bless you you’re savage when beaten but always loving when looking at me.” 
You’re drunk off your tired you’re constantly trying, you’re doing god’s work, so they claim. Just make sure that the salt it stays in the mind and not in the wounds as it distorts all the forces of blame. 
What a spree! We did some violent pen to pad scribbling’s by cell phone at midnight. 
Lately for her, and the glorious plot! 
Plotting out plan dalet through z. 
We all hope this violence you do to yourselves, is making a man out of me. The trouble with the nightlife in Brooklyn, Is that sinning comes mostly for free. When a thousand sweet words are the only way left_ 
_This city of Zion in a world of struggle has been bleeding the shit out me!
There is no lonelier place than the boardwalk at midnight. When your love lies in another man’s arms, And the ghosts and the screams from a life you had lived twice before_ are never completely drowned out by these danger filled banshee siren alarms! 
Jessica asked what’s been killing me lately? 
The Malboroman he has blackened my lungs and the Vodka has clouded the morals you so often condemn. 
And I sold both my two souls and cut my own heart for the Russians just to try and see the world like them! 
Madman, I hope she cries for you. As much as you secretly cry for yourself. As you dash your ambitious wilding dreaming, 
On dagger ragged rocks of mislaid plans seen on Steeplechase pier. 
Lover, lately I have no inclination for fear. Salt tastes like salt. If there’s blood on the streets you can bet a green dollar that god gives not a single shit, And always there’s a human to fault. 
I’ve been a boxing a brickwall most lately. 
And we all know the wall always wins. 
When the lights went out you will be left alone with your failures, your torments and sin. 
And a candle, will be the only way you better know the devils in your casement mirror. Death winks at you from the dirty mirror. And she calls for as you lie helpless and still unable to really hear her.
We’d could in Havana by nightfall. 
It’s what I’ve been howling for years. 
I’d easily trade a pound of my flesh for a single ounce of your tears.
 
 

Al Prelude

Al Prelude

It is not that any of us longed to die. It was only that we believed that in this transience, this short human life, it was preferable to die on ones feet moving towards a just idea. Moving in solidarity, in defense of the powerless. Then it would be to die on our backs or our knees, half lives, shuffling along like zombies. Always asleep. With meaningless, un-free lives wasted. Lives spend like serfs and slaves.  

Have you ever had an amazing noble idea in your head? That simply refused to translate itself or find traction in reality? Have you ever risked everything, sacrificed absolutely everything for such an idea? Myopically, almost psychotically pushing forward in the face of a stubborn, intractable cruel reality. When you can bring yourself to do that. To engage in nothing short of overwhelming zealotry. Pursuing a new reality, a reality where the vast suffering of this world is mitigated. Where the chaos and carnage and daily humiliation that is the lot of most humans is undone by rights, by hope, by heroism. That is called the motivation for the fight.  

It has been a very long hard bloody road to the mountains and back from them. From Manhattan to Jerusalem to Havana. All the trips to the City of Port-Au-Prince. To Greater Boston. Back to Brooklyn then to out Russia. Across Russia on a train then into the Middle East to fight in Rojava. Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Egypt and then back to the Big Apple again. Riding on the backs of armored trucks and flying carpets. On horses, on tanks on airships. Over the great rivers and through the woods. Mountains beyond mountains beyond mountains. With stopovers where all civilization has come to a resolute end in the Fertile Crescent. Smoldering villages. Enormous cities razed to the very foundations. Once historic places, simply crushed and undone. Burning down river by river shore to deep sands of desolation. A revolution within a civil war within an endless third world war. A place called Kurdistan which exists not on maps but in the hearts and dreams of perhaps forty million stateless, long oppressed people. Engaged a very long fight for their right to exist.  

How do you make any sense of such carnage to people that were not there? How do you make an enjoyable narrative about bloody chaos? Articulate ideas that when they become facts on the ground, have vast contradictions. Have improbable capability to survive.  

My name is Sebastian Adonaev, but the Kurds named me “Blacksmith Winter”, or Kawa Zivistan. The Arabs, they needed to name me too so they called me “Abu Yazan”. Because my then part-girlfriend, part-confidant Polina has a son named Yazan. I was 33 when I deployed but looked and felt a bit younger. I felt brave or stupid enough to volunteer for a war. At the most desperate heights of the conflict, which would end up killing over 500,000 people, there was a cry for some extra hands, some Hamsas. Every side called up all available reinforcements. Just before Baghdad almost fell, the mostly Shiite al-Hashid ash-Shabi Popular Mobilization Forces called up half a million Iraqis to hold I.S.I.S. back.  The Assad Regime enlisted thousands of Russian, Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah to fight Daesh and other Sunni rebel factions aligned with ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Free Syrian Army brands and the Al Qaeda reboot H.T.S. The Islamic State took in over 40,000 foreign fighters and the mostly Kurdish forces in the “Syrian Democratic Forces”  enlisted just 500. I fought alongside the Iraqi Special Operations Forces in Iraq and for the Syrian Democratic Forces, in the Y.P.G. Militia defending the idea of Rojava in Syria. I contributed very few bullets, mostly serving as combat medic during my time there. Mostly stopping hemorrhage and carrying the wounded to ambulances. Mostly trying to train people to save lives, actually, at a time when almost everyone wanted to kill.

After defeating the so-called “Islamic State” as a force holding any territory, the United States military all but completely abandoned their Kurdish allies and Turkey invaded Rojava.

We who survived to talk about the Syrian Civil War, we often found there were not easy words to describe what we took part in. This is story grounded in history and ideology. The tale of a stateless people spread over 4 nations, 40 million strong. This is a love song after a series of hard fucks in Spanish and some love making in Russian. This is a Post-Soviet Lullaby, written in Imperial English about Western privileges. I have heard on the wire that the Turkish Army is fully mobilizing to crush Rojava. A fully modern army of over 435,000 soldiers. That Anya is losing her mind in Baghdad and Ana Campbell, that optimistic young woman I once gave hand grenades to, well she died in an airstrike in Afrin. Here I am in Capitalist Modernity’s very heartland and loving embrace. Doing nothing useful for Kurdistan. Just writing stupid love songs. Composing vain self serving propaganda plays.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m supposed to hide and what I can give away. I’m actually very detached from Western thinking so I don’t even know what actually makes compelling propaganda in the West anyway. Actually, the sly and looming enemy knows most of our real names, and frankly were there not many informants amongst us, it is simply a matter of sad fact that to get their passports back many of the French and British volunteers gave us away. Not to snitch jacket, but with a little lean on anyone can make a person flip. Really, there were not that many of us internationalists to keep track of. As the mad China-man Andok said, “the hard drives containing our data were barely even secured and this place is awash in spies.” Our overall numbers were estimated to be around 500 strong of which around 50 later perished. Mostly in combat, some in a wave of alleged suicides. We were small enough therefore for the various security services to keep track of.

So what is the actual purpose of this little manuscript? It is certainly not to glorify or denigrate the volunteers. I think it brave we went there but I don’t think we game changed a single thing. Perhaps we were all only there to bear witness that the revolution has even happened. It is surely not my aim give away military secrets and name names, because I am many things but not a Josh, a ‘donkey ass betrayer. Suffice to say the C.I.A., MI5 and the M.I.T. know all our names.
I heard some comrades sang like little opera singers to get their European passports back. All speculation, none can actually say. Americans, we had the easiest deal. After ISIS is finished maybe it will not be so black and white, fighting a N.A.T.O. ally and what not. Assisting a revolution for stateless democracy, womens emancipation and social ecology in the heart of the war torn Middle East. ‘Heval Ciya’ the Scott always used to say that the 231 Sniper Unit changed the entire game, but really only the United States and the Coalition airstrikes probably, certainly did. When the last of the under 2,500 U.S. Special Forces leave the Turks will invade in force and try and undo everything.
There’s a story we heard about a Y.P.G. Euro volunteer vacationing in Turkey immediately after his tour. He was of course arrested and will serve life in prison. He probably should have made better choices for leave and decompression. There are lots of crazy people here. You have to be little crazy to travel half way across the earth to enlist in a revolution inside a bloody brutal civil war amid a great power confrontation placing Russia and Iran directly against the United States and N.A.T.O.
I was told by ‘Heval Jansher’ the Y.P.G. guerrilla who helped train us that, that if I survive the war I should “write something about Rojava that does justice to the over 12,000 martyrs. That does justice to the cause of Kurdistan. Honors Abdullah Ocalan and upholds the values of the revolution.” That it should humanize this resistance struggle inside a revolution inside a civil war inside a great game for the Middle East.

Maybe Heval, just make it a kind of strange fucked up love story,” Jansher joked with me over cigarettes and endless black tea. 
So I hope this account manages some of that, compiling the oral history, experiences and many martyrdom’s shared amongst the approximate 500-600 foreign Y.P.G./Y.P.J./I.F.B. Internationalist fighters. At the very least I’d like to capture what it was that made us enlist in this hell to take part, to fight and die and kill and try and help, to be less than a foot note in the epic tale of Kurdistan. But still a part.
“It has to be a love story or they will never make a movie about it comrade,” Heval Jansher once said, “to the West without a Movie, it is perhaps like this struggle is not even happening at all.” But he also said a ‘real revolutionist’ has no love except for his or her people. That any romantic love is a “bourgeois luxury for civilians”.

“Our love story is for the Resistance of the Age” he used to say, but then Heval Jansher also laughed and noted Jake Gillenhaul was then already shopping around a script where he plays an anarchist falling in love for a beautiful Y.P.J. fighter and another action exploitation of the Y.P.J. was coming out soon in France. But that will likely not go anywhere useful.
“You see, in real life we would probably platform and deport this stupid volunteer and the Y.P.J. comrade, she would be shamed and sent briefly to prison” Heval Jansher told me. A famous saying states that the “Kurds have no friends besides the mountains.” Well that’s no longer completely true. The 500 who served and the 45 who died besides the 12,000 Kurdish and Arab martyrs of the battle to defeat ISIS and defend the Rojava Revolution will live forever in the Kurdish tradition, since in Kurdistan ‘Martyrs never die’. Shahid Namarin. These were kind of talks we had at the Qerechow Academy.

That then said this is not a love story at all. It’s not even “a Middle Eastern Western”. The revolution itself has hardly been secured. The struggle is hardly over. The iron heel and might of the Turkish army looms right over the border to the North. Ready to descend quickly and murder us all. Undo everything that has been fought for against the so-called Islamic State. The Forces of the bloody dictator Assad backed by the Russian army and Hezbollah dig in to the south of the Euphrates river. The collaborationist Iraqi Kurdish K.D.P. Peshmerga, the Iranian supported Hashid Ashabi popular mobilization forces, the Shi’a dominated Iraqi Army and all manners of Iranian revolutionary guards to the south east in Sinjar. To the West the Jihadists of Al Qaeda’s latest rebrand and Islamists of different types in Idlib.

Enemies of the revolution on every single side! In fulfillment of my promises I will try and present our little part of the story as the defense has really only just begun. Everything might be wiped away before you even paid attention to vastness and hope of it. I worry, no sadly I expect, that long before this manuscript is ever published anywhere, all will be lost. My remaining Hevals will all be killed. The Turkish Army will literally roll over the border and everyone will be slaughtered. This isn’t really speculation, since it has happened many times before.

False Necessitarian Theory

False necessity, or anti-necessitarian social theory, is a contemporary social theory that argues for the plasticity of social organizations and their potential to be shaped in new ways. The theory rejects the assumption that laws of change govern the history of human societies and limit human freedom. It is a critique of “necessitarian” thought in conventional social theories (like liberalism or Marxism) which hold that parts of the social order are necessary or the result of the natural flow of history. The theory rejects the idea that human societies must be organized in a certain way (for example, liberal democracy) and that human activity will adhere to certain forms (for example if people were only motivated by rational self-interest).

False necessity uses structural analysis to understand socio-political arrangements, but discards the tendency to assemble indivisible categories and to create law-like explanations. It aims to liberate human activity from necessary arrangements and limitations, and to open up a world without constraints where the possible becomes actual.

Background

Modern social theory contains a tension between the realization of human freedom and the necessity of social rules. Liberal political theorists of the seventeenth century, such as Hobbes and Locke, saw the issue as one of sacrificing some individual freedoms in order to gain others. They understood social rules as enabling constraints—necessary impositions that limited activity in some spheres in order to expand it in others. (For example, traffic laws compel us to drive on one side of the road but allow us to travel more freely than if we were constantly assailed by oncoming traffic.) In the socio-political realm, these early liberal thinkers argued that we agree to surrender our freedom for political authority in order to gain greater freedom from a state of nature. The sovereign authority is a constraint, but it allows freedom from the constraints that other individuals might impose upon us. In this way, rules are always seen as a means of increasing freedom rather than rescinding it.

These early Enlightenment thinkers opposed existing religious, aristocratic, and absolutist institutions and organizations as the natural state of the world. However, they did not argue for the absolute freedom of the individual outside of any constraining rules. For them, human activity was still subject to certain types of social arrangements that followed a historical necessity.

Inspired by Kant‘s thesis of human freedom, which argued that there is no evidence to disprove our absolute freedom or capacity to resist external domination, thinkers at the end of the eighteenth century addressed how human freedoms were constrained by social institutions. Thinkers like FichteSchillerSchelling, and Hegel argued that those institutions that constrain human freedom and subject the individual to fear and prejudice insult human dignity and deny the individual his autonomy. But they attempted to formulate universal laws, which in turn led to deterministic social and political arrangements. Marx, for example, put humanity at the mercy of historical and institutional necessity.

The contemporary theory of false necessity attempts to realize this idea in its entirety, and to escape the limitations of liberal and Marxist theories. It aims to realize social plasticity by decoupling human freedom from any necessary social rules or historical trajectory. The theory recognizes the need for social rules, but also affirms the human potential to transcend them. Humanity need not be constrained by any structure.

Development and content

The development of the theory is credited to philosopher and politician Roberto Mangabeira Unger. His main book on the thesis, False Necessity: Anti-necessitarian social theory in the service of radical democracy, was first published in 1987 by Cambridge University Press, and reissued in 2004 by Verso with a new 124 page introduction, and a new appendix, “Five theses on the relation of religion to politics, illustrated by allusions to Brazilian experience.”

The theory of false necessity attempts to understand humans and human history without making ourselves the object of a law-giving fate. It rejects the assumption that certain and necessary laws of organization and change govern the social, political, and economic institutions of human activity and thereby limit human freedom. It holds that the problem with traditional deep structure theory, such as Marxism, is that it couples the distinction of deep structure and routine practice with both indivisible types of social organization, and deep seated constraints and developmental laws. The theory rejects the constraints and focuses on how human behavior is shaped by the deep structures of these institutions, and how they can be remade at will, either in whole or in part. The aim is to rescue social theory and recreate the project of self-affirmation and society.

Rather than “enabling constraint” or “universal structure”, the theory advocates “structure-denying structures”—that is, structures that enable their own dissolution and remaking. Since these structures normally constrain our activities, this would increase our freedom.

Sources of entrapment and emancipation

The problem of false necessity arises due to the failure of transformative practice to realize its stated aim. This can take form in three different scenarios:

  • the ideals fought for (democracy, decentralization, technical coordination, etc.) result in the development of rigid institutions
  • an oligarchy effect in which groups and rulers clash at the summit of power and drum up popular support
  • the survival effect in which there is a fear of disturbance of contemporary arrangements.

Unger points to mass politics as a means to counter oligarchy and group identity. However, if these forms are only disturbed and not destroyed, democracy is limited and becomes a quarrel about forms of power and seizing advantage. Likewise, enlarged economic rationality provides another source of emancipation by shifting economic and social relations in the ability to constantly innovate and renew.

The radical project

The theory of false necessity develops the idea that the organization of society is made and can be remade—we can rebel against the worlds we have built; we can interrupt our rebellions and establish ourselves in any of those worlds. By emphasizing the disembodiment of institutional and social structures, the theory provides a basis to explain ourselves and our world without using necessitarian thought or predetermined institutional arrangements.

At the extreme, the theory of false necessity criticizes and thus unifies strands of the radical tradition. It frees leftist and liberal ideals from institutional fetishism, and emancipates modernist ideals from structural fetishism. The theory further detaches the radical commitment from utopian claims and provides a theoretical basis for transformative action. That transformative action, Unger believes, does not have to be a complete overhaul or total revolution, but rather is “a piecemeal but cumulative change in the organization of society”. The key to the project, in the words of one critic, “is to complete the rebellion against the naturalistic fallacy (that is, the confusion of accident with essence and contingency with necessity) and to effect an irrevocable emancipation from false necessity”.

Thinkers and opinions

Contemporary[when?] political thinkers and philosophers have developed and advocated the theory of false necessity. Roberto Mangabeira Unger has employed the theory in developing social, political, and economic alternatives, as well as in his political activism and appointments in Brazilian politics. Richard Rorty compared the theory’s move towards greater liberalism with Jürgen Habermas, and called it a powerful alternative to the postmodern “School of Resentment“. Other thinkers have said the theory is “a challenge that the social disciplines can ignore only at their peril”. Bernard Yack wrote that it contributed to “a new left Kantian approach to the problem of realizing human freedom in our social institutions”.

See also

Bereshit 2

1 Now that the heavens and the earth were ordered and completed, they had to be named.  All known and knowable existence became subject to the measure of soon sentient woman and man. Host to their speculation and inquiry. Through humans Hashem subjected raw creation to rational existence and subsequent use. Subjected a raw matter to rumination and use.

2 Hashem completed all this by the seventh day. Hashem then abstained on the seventh day from any further creation, work or even naming. On the 7th Day Hashem rested. Infinite matter and all newly made things paused to rest, to reflect on purpose, an all seeing and all knowing creator paying respect to the finite, fallible and temporary matter it created.

3 Hashem blessed this seventh day and sanctified it for thereon none of creation, sentient, simple, complex, animal, plant or even miniscule measure of matter was expected to labor, for the 7th day was a day of pure rest, relaxation, rechargement and peace.

4 The heavens and the earth when they were created would also need rest, on the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven Hashem invented the concept of fragility. Honoring fragile new creation with a sense of rest.

5 Now no tree of the field was yet on the earth, neither did any herb of the field yet grow, because Hashem had not brought rain upon the earth, and there was no human to work the soil.

6 A mist ascended from the earth and watered the entire surface of the ground.

7 Hashem formed humans of dust from the ground, and breathing into their nostrils the soul of life, and thus woman and man became instilled with living souls. Become conscious and sentient beings.

8 And Hashem planted a garden in Eden from the east, a refuge in the mountains above Mesopotamia and Hashem placed there the humans whom it had formed.

9 And Hashem caused life to sprout from the ground every tree pleasant to see and good to eat, and the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden, and also the Tree of Knowledge of good and of evil. So newly created humanity might learn of of morals, learn of ethics, learn of options. Humans might learn of vice and valor. Might experience temptation, betrayal and the temporary fragile nature of life. Might come to know good and evil. Might through this choose good over evil. Of free will make good triumph over hollow selfish vile evil.

10 And a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it separated and became four heads flowing out from the fortress of mountains.

11 The name of one is Pishon; that is the one that encompasses all the land of Havilah, where there is gold.

12 And the gold of that land is good; there is the crystal and the onyx stone.

13 And the name of the second river is Gihon; that is the one that encompasses all the land of Cush.

14 And the name of the third river is Tigris; that is the one that flows to the east of Assyria, and the fourth river that is the Euphrates.

15 Now Hashem took woman and man, and He placed them in the Garden of Eden to live, learn, work, play and also to guard it. For their progeny would be heirs to the garden, the river, the evil and the good.

16 And Hashem commanded woman and man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat.

17 But of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat of it, for on the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die.”

18 And Hashem said, “It is not good that first woman and man is alone; I shall make them children as a helpmate opposite them. My creation will thus create. “

19 And Hashem formed from the earth every beast of the field and every fowl of the heavens, and brought [it] to humans to see what the would call it, and whatever the woman and man called each living thing, that was its very first name.

20 And they named all the cattle and the fowl of the heavens and all the beasts of the field, but for woman, she did not find a joy in this naming.

21And Hashem caused a deep sleep to fall upon woman and man, and they slept, and together as woman and man they created humanity. The first born twins a girl and boy.

22And Hashem built humanity from his first two templates.

23And man said, “This time, we are bone of bones and flesh of flesh. This creation is fragile flawed and finite”

24 Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

25 Now they were both naked, the man and his wife, but they were not ashamed.

Invest in EMS

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Paramedics practice a largely non-scientific, protocol driven form of medicine, in completely uncontrolled non-sterile field environments with little to no direct supervision.

No matter what valid grievances other sectors had, it was the EMS members in and out of Covid infected households with 1 N95 for a week or 2 issued at most, with no access to 3m Respirator Masks. We all got exposed. 18 of us died in the tri-state area. 6 in the FDNY. Everyone clapped and kept it moving. But some of the therapies we were using of our own initiative were the right ones.

The most widely accepted treatments for Covid-19 are not outside of the practice of a regular EMT or Paramedic. They are part of our regular regime of clinical management before and during Covid-19.

According to the University of Oxford and the British National Health Service a simple set of procedures and medications routinely used by Paramedics on the basis of common sense, protocol and discretionary orders could soon be by the future routine protocol for managing COVID-19.

This combination of common procedures involves a) placing the patients prone to maximize lung surface area, b) providing hyper oxygenation via a nasal cannula set to 6 lpm and a non rebreather set to 15 lpm on two tanks c) Administration Intramuscular or Intravenous of Dexamethasone 12mg an anti inflammatory steroid d) using CPAP with mild sedation to delay or prevent intubation.

A host of expert and lobbyist driven options have all failed. There is no vaccine. Remdesivir used to treat Ebola is very expensive, in short supply and only may only mildly shorten the time it takes to recover from the infection. The FDA just withdrew emergency usages of the anti-Malaria drugs Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine as viable treatments for Covid-19. The overwhelming majority of Americans intubated and placed on ventilators have all died.

The Covid 19 virus directly attacks cells lining the patient’s airways and lungs which triggers a rapid oxygen desaturation and an overwhelming immune reaction called Cytokine Storm.  Cytokines are part of the body’s normal immune response to infection, but rapid release in large quantities causes multisystem organ failure and death.

Dexamethasone greatly reduces inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the latest British study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

This week Britain’s National Health Service has begun using the Dexamethasone as the standard treatment for coronavirus patients. The drug costs less than $1 per day of treatment on a single patient. We need these protocols properly established in New York City and the USA.

Paramedics intubate in the field (an anesthesiologists job at the ED), interpret 12 lead ECGs (a cardiologists job at the ED) and administer around 40 medications all of by protocol and clinical judgement. Critical Care Paramedics manage ventilator settings and Rescue Medics carry out field amputations, cricothyrotomies, fasciotomies, escharotomies and other field surgeries. We do all of that for not alot more than minimum wage.

During the Covid-19 Crisis, as many now know, over 17,389 people in New York City alone have perished while much of our medical establishment has remained baffled, terrified and confused.  Over 120,000 largely elderly, re-currently sick and largely poor Americans have died so far. The majority of those people died inside the ER.

Push your politicians to invest in EMS. We do not have advanced degrees but we have common sense and our fingertips directly on the pulse of the community.

The Real Difference

The Real Difference Between EMS, Police, Nursing, Sanitation and Firefighters

It takes a special person to be a first responder. There is a great deal of real danger involved in any job where a person is asked to drive and run towards an emergency that the majority of people are running away from. We compensate first responders for the readiness for that danger. In the case of EMTs and Paramedics, the city and state have basically refused to. The difference between an EMS provider and a Cop or Firefighter is not the risk involved, as Mayor DeBlasio has claimed. The real difference is rooted in demographics and failure of the EMS workers to unite and engage in industrial action as a unified group.

The New York City Council has just passed a non-binding resolution calling for parity with Police and Fire. We need to organize and lobby for even more.

EMS is a fully diverse service, the majority of which is composed of Blacks and Latinos from the city’s most underserved districts. Its members and officers are over ⅓ female with many openly gay, including the FDNYs EMS Bureau top Chief Lillian Bonsignore. Muslims, Asians, Jews and new immigrants make up a large percentage of the workforce. Approximately 13,500 Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics divided in four sectors and over 100 responding agencies, the FDNY being the largest unified group of 4,300.

But the real difference lies in three distinct variables. EMS daily saves human lives. EMS turns a huge profit. EMS is overwhelmingly people of color.

The real “difference” between EMS and all other services is that we are actually worth way more, though we have been bullied and self censored from declaring it. Everyone says “the very worst enemy we have is ourselves”. There is always some truth to that statement. But, we currently also have a great deal of actual external opposition to our call for parity and justice. Arrayed against our members are an array of powerful actors that by action and inaction purposefully block our progress to parity. 

That opposition can be isolated into the following groupings. The FDNY Management, the Firefighters Union, Hospital Management, the Nursing Unions, the ownership of all private ambulance companies, the political establishment of the City and State, the current Mayor DeBlasio and very importantly our own unions which perpetuate the status quo through a “management of expectations”.  With the exceptions of FDNYs 2507/3621, 1199/SEIU and the IAEP/SEIU none of the other unions are actually dedicated to or specialized for EMS workers. And what happens is we are divided amid nine separate unions each negotiating for limited possibilities.

Of course the nurses, firefighters, cops and sanitation workers are completely essential. Vital and important. If not for all those heroes, and I don’t say that tongue in cheek, the city would probably come undone. Of course each of their unions and PR machines would like to sweep away the memory of when each went on strike, repeatedly over the years. The Nurses of NYP, Montefiore and Mt. Sinai NYSNA nurses with start pay around $97,000 voted to go on strike just last year. Time and time again our heroes paralyzed the city and threatened the lives of New Yorkers for exactly the kind of normative middle class wages and benefits we in EMS are asking for today. Of course EMS will not ever be going on Strike for so many different reasons. Most importantly because people might actually die. But make no mistake every other group of heroes has put their economic well being before their service to the city at some point or another, repeatedly.

Nurses are the integral workhorses of the entire Healthcare system. 

Like a Nurse, EMS members need to understand concepts of medicine and are supervised by a doctor. In some precise ways our Paramedic skill set is on the practical level is above the entry level nurse. Nurses definitely do not intubate people or interpret EKGs, or administer medication autonomously. Nurses work very, very hard, but they do so in controlled situations with a great deal of supervision, guidance and support. During a 1998 nurses strike at Maimonides Hospital in the recent past Paramedics were used in the ER, with beyond adequate performance. The Nursing unions would like to make sure we are never allowed in an ER again. The nurses unions quite actively would like to prevent any clear bridge from Paramedic to RN or PA because it would lead to a realization that people paid half what they make, with almost none of the science background can do their job just as well on the ground. When people start whispering about an ambulance strike, which is also against the law, people say “So cruel, selfish and nearly evil, people could die.” But a nursing strike seems to be as American as apple pie. Could it be that in all the previous Nursing strikes, no one died, no one sued? That was because even higher paid nurses were bussed in to temp for them. 

“Without the Department of Sanitation a plague would overtake this city. Or at the very least trash would pile up high, the city would stink and rats would have field day.”

Like a Sanitation worker, EMS members operate a large vehicle in cumbersome urban traffic and all weather conditions, with near total disregard from the public, especially in the Bronx. We must get through the streets making pickups while the public blocks streets with their cars, darts in front of our vehicles and basically flip out when a street is blocked operationally. Like sanitation, we have to lift and carry,  albeit not in a rapid repetition. Sanitation doesn’t have to carry 125 Ibs of equipment up six flights of stairs and carry down people around 250 pounds or more. In some ways, like sanitation, a pause in delivery of service will potentially cost lives. Like when Sanitation went on strike during the Blizzard of 2010. “New York’s Strongest used a variety of tactics to drag out the plowing process — and pad overtime checks — which included keeping plows slightly higher than the roadways and skipping over streets along their routes.” Although the Department of Sanitation has a logo somewhat similar to EMS,  and is engaged in a vital part of public health, they have regularly blackmailed the city with strikes and slowdowns. Also went on Strike for 9 days in 1968. In the DSNY today after 5½ years, the salary jumps to an average of $88,616 dollars. They have a 20 and out pension.

Like Nurses, EMS members practice medicine. Like Sanitation workers we pick things up and we put them down. But EMS isn’t at the educational level of an RN or engaged in the physical rigor of a Sanitation worker. Parity is thus pegged to Cops and Firefighters. The two most similar jobs, jobs we basically share a navy blue uniform with and see on the majority of our calls.

The real difference between Cops, Firefighters and EMS is not only $50,000 in wage disparity, but in what we all actually do on the job. As well as the physical and mental toll it takes to constantly be around death, dying, sickness and trauma. What our job actually results in, not theoretically results or results in by default,  is a daily struggle to keep people from dying. A daily struggle to promote health and wellness. The police protect a system of law and order. The firefighters protect property. EMS protects human life and well being.

The police spend the vast majority of their careers fighting quality of life crime and taking reports. 

The very limited amount of instances they are ever being shot at, they rarely and statistically have been killed. Statistically meaning, taken as a whole, numerically, over time.

111 NYPD officers were killed on duty between 1980 and 2010. Another way to think of that is 4 per year. A total of 331 NYPD employees have died in the line of duty since 1950, 5 per year. Deaths peaked in 2001, when 23 officers died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but the effects are still being felt today. 206 NYPD officers have died from 9/11-related illnesses, which are separate from the 331 officers who died in the line of duty. Police work is still on the 16th most dangerous American job, but decreasing in the number of deaths and injuries per year.

The job of the Police department is “to be a deterrent to crime and enforce the laws”. Statistically speaking they do not get in that many fire fights and they also do not save that many lives directly, except in a noble indirect way by keeping human tribalism and criminal instincts at bay. In 1971 the NYPD staged a Work Stoppage occuring for five days between January 14 and January 19, 1971, when around 20,000 New York City police officers refused to report for regular duty. While officers maintained that they would continue to respond to serious crimes and emergencies, they refused to carry out routine patrolling duties, leading in some cases, to as little as 200 officers being on the street in the city.

In 2014 the NYPD held a work “slowdown” for about seven weeks as political conflict between protesters, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s police unions intensified. Legally, police officers can’t strike, but for 7 weeks in 2014-2015 the NYPD engaged in a near total work stoppage, arresting no one except in violent crimes. For the week of 22 December, citywide traffic tickets dropped 94% from the same period in 2013. Court summons for low-level offences, like public intoxication, also dropped 94%. Parking tickets were down 92%. Overall arrests were down 66%, as well. Nobody noticed.

Though their publicists and the writers of their many TV serials would like the general public to think they do save many lives, “get the bad guys off the streets” and risk their life every single day, they really don’t. Mostly they write reports, hand out quality of life crime related fines and make quota quality of life crime collars. To justify what amounts to a highly respectable middle class wage a Salary after 5 ½ years of  $85,292 which include holiday pay, longevity pay, uniform allowance, night differential and overtime, police officers may potentially earn over $100,000 per year

The public didn’t even notice the Police were on strike in 2014. It had almost no impact on violent crime or quality of life. It was as if their main job was needless fines and upholding a “broken windows theory” now widely discredited. But sometimes they do get executed in their squad car, they do get shot by criminals and they do die. And while being a cop is hard work, it sure doesn’t directly keep people alive. It doesn’t seem to slow any link between quality of life crime and descent into anarchy and most importantly, quota based policing it has led to mass incarceration, illegal/unconstitutional racist methods of policing like “stop and frisk”, and contributed to the deaths of around 1,200 people of color in police custody or killed during arrest in America each year. 1 in 100 Americans are behind bars, on probation or parole.

The NYPD has a clear resentment to the FDNY Firefighters, who are paid more to do a lot less. 95% of FDNY calls do not involve the risk of actual fire fighting. 

The Firefighters after 5 ½ years earn around 110K, they have 20 and out pensions, they work 2 days a week and they have the enduring love and admiration of much of the public. 

As they should, because encountering flames in close quarters is dangerous and risky. Although it is something done mostly by volunteers across America and tens of thousands are on the FDNY waiting list. There is also a strange macho ideology called “interior attack” which worked its way into FDNY methodology, not used anywhere else in the country. Fighting fire inside a building of a working fire instead of dumping water on it from the outside. They proudly claim this is about “saving lives” but it is actually about endangering working class people to protect property. However, because of building codes and modern technology fires make up only 5% of their total call volume. 

The FDNY Firefighters have lost 421 members in line of duty deaths since 1980. 343 on 9.11 and 222 more of lung disease and exposure later.. adjusting this in the same way NYPD deaths are arranged, that is 10 deaths a year factoring out 9.11, that number would be 2 a year.

The International Association of Firefighters says cancer is now the leading cause of death among firefighters. While thirty years ago, firefighters were most often diagnosed with asbestos-related cancers, today the cancers are more often leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma, officials say.

On Nov. 6, 1973 for five and a half tense hours, most of the city’s 10,900 firemen (they were all men) picketed outside their firehouses or simply watched as some 80 fires burned citywide, chanting ”Scab! Scab!” at makeshift firefighting crews.

Today, 95% of the time the FDNY and fire houses across America respond to medical EMS type assignments. Engine company CFRs show up on priority 1 to 3 EMS jobs, just a little bit before the ambulances because they get the call 30 seconds before. The “enthusiasm” they have for battling combustion in the shadow of 9.11 is not translated into an enthusiasm for medical first aid. Very well documented by now is fire fighters leaving calls without being released or even assessing patients, firefighters not giving even the most basic report before asking “if you guys got this” to EMS, as well as firefighters abandoning EMS crews before anyone even knew the status of the patient.

Firefighters do sometimes give oxygen and do CPR, in varying combinations of one or two hands, which is to say they don’t do it well a great deal of the time, they do give “lift assists” and they vary radically in level of respect by fire house. They do anything they can to get off the scene as fast as they can. Although they have around 48 hours of CFR training, and many of them are or were EMTs and Paramedics, they don’t ever take vitals. They rarely if ever give any meaningful reports. Then, they remain out of service for 30 to 40 minutes after the release of care. It is also very expensive to send 5 firefighters to participate in this insulting charade. By the hour the same cost would fully fund 4 or 5 entire BLS ambulances. Thus also ending the excuse of their wider geographic distribution.

During the Covid 19 Pandemic they were released of these responsibilities for the worst 2 weeks. For the next worst 4 weeks they slowed down and regularly abandoned EMS crews in the field. 

They had so much time on their hands they took to feeding nurses on television and turning out for the daily public clap. During the course of the pandemic over 30% of the FDNY went out sick. Over 1,000 EMS members and over 2,000 firefighters. The rapidly overwhelmed 911 system had to call in hundreds of the very same private ambulance EMS providers they so regularly denounce and make life difficult for on a daily basis. That is because the FDNY was unable to manage the pandemic response, as it is unable to manage the normal daily call volume.

9.11 type terrorism, Superstore Sandy or Covid 19 style pandmeic aside the FDNY only manages to staff ⅔ of the 911 ambulances on a regular uneventful day because typically it’s EMS members resign after just 4 years from poor conditions and low wages. It is also the lowest paid 9.11 employer in the City of New York.

There are of course many very brave firefighters, no one begrudges them their good wages and benefits, but they don’t treat EMS workers very well, especially not the 4,300 FDNY EMS workers they share a uniform with. On every conceivable level of abandonment, FDNY firefighters use a combination of the 9.11 legacy and the leverage of their political weight to force an inefficient model of response on the taxpayer. We are literally paying for a loud and nearly useless show since there is no reason that 2 EMTs and 2 Paramedics and a Lieutenant with a Lucas automated compression device cannot manage a cardiac arrest. There is no reason to have 11,000 firefighters when 95% of the calls are EMS calls. There is no reason the FDNY cannot pay its members a living wage in their city.

The realization that our workforce is also a billion dollar operation means that not only do we get exploited, we are propping up the establishment which exploits us.

Parity is a justice whose time has come for people who serve this city. We deliver your babies, we bring back your dead, we carry your wounded off the bloody streets. We check on your grandparents, we bring the ER into the homes of the poorest most vulnerable, we head to the fires with the firefighters, we careen with ungodly speed towards the shootings of police and gangsters alike. We are there when you are born and when you die. It takes an unknowable toll on our bodies, minds and backs.

Amongst ourselves we must defeat ethnic, garage, agency, union and sector tribalism. No single faction or group has enough members to win this fight.

The cops, the firefighters, the nurses, the sanitation workers, the teachers and bus subway operators. They have all used their “essential nature” to bargain for better wages and workplace rights.

EMS will never strike. Because people will actually die, because every day in big and small ways we actually are simply essential. So we are left with two strategies moving ahead and we need to unite 13,500 strong around them. First, we need to tighten the belt, unite the ranks across all sectors and step up the hearts and minds game in all districts. Second, we need clear concise united demands backed up by escalation of industrial action.

If the City Council is allegedly now behind us on parity and the public knows how hard we grind for them before and after Covid 19. We must look our mayor,  managers, unions, institutions namely the FDNY Management, the Hospital Groups and the CEOS in the eyes. We need to say in one voice, “As long as there blood in our eyes, there’s pain in our backs, as long as our kids can’t afford the right schools, we can’t afford to live here and you are unwilling to help us advance our lives, we won’t turn our backs on the public ever, but we will hit you in the pockets.”

Never forget that the price of one ambulance ride is billed at $724 to $4,000 and that our median wage is $18 an EMT and $30 a paramedic per hour. Never forget that we do over 4,000 911 calls and 2,000 private calls per day. Never forget that we are essential. The time for Parity and Justice is now.

The New York City Council has just passed a non-binding resolution calling for parity with Police and Fire. We need to organize and lobby for even more.

EMS is a fully diverse service, the majority of which is composed of Blacks and Latinos from the city’s most underserved districts. Its members and officers are over ⅓ female with many openly gay, including the FDNYs Em@ Chief Lillian Bonsignore. Muslims, Asians, Jews and new immigrants make up a large percentage of the force. 

But the real difference lies in two distinct variables. EMS daily saves human lives. EMS turns a huge profit.

The real “difference” between EMS and all other services is that we are actually worth way more, though we have been bullied and self censored from declaring it. Everyone says “the very worst enemy we have is ourselves”. There is always some truth to that statement. But, we currently also have a great deal of actual external opposition to our call for parity and justice. Arrayed against our members are an array of powerful actors that by action and inaction purposefully block our progress to parity. 

That opposition can be isolated into the following groupings. The FDNY Management, the Firefighters Union, Hospital Management, the Nursing Unions, the ownership of all private ambulance companies, the political establishment of the City and State, the current Mayor DeBlasio and very importantly our own unions which perpetuate the status quo through a “management of expectations”.  With the exceptions of FDNYs 2507/3621, 1199/SEIU and the IAEP/SEIU none of the other unions are dedicated to or specialized for EMS workers. And what happens is we are divided amid nine separate unions each negotiating for limited possibilities.

Of course the nurses, firefighters, cops and sanitation workers are completely essential. Vital and important. If not for all those heroes, and I don’t say that tongue in cheek, the city would probably come undone. Of course each of their unions and PR machines would like to sweep away the memory of when each went on strike, repeatedly over the years. The Nurses of NYP, Montefiore and Mt. Sinai NYSNA nurses with start pay around $97,000 voted to go on strike just last year. Time and time again our heroes paralyzed the city and threatened the lives of New Yorkers for exactly the kind of normative middle class wages and benefits we in EMS are asking for today. Of course EMS will not ever be going on Strike for so many different reasons. Most importantly because people might actually die. But make no mistake every other group of heroes has put their economic well being before their service to the city at some point.

Nurses are the integral workhorses of the entire Healthcare system. 

Like a Nurse, EMS members need to understand concepts of medicine and are supervised by a doctor. In some precise ways our Paramedic skill set is on the practical level is above the entry level nurse. Nurses definitely do not intubate people or interpret EKGs, or administer medication autonomously. Nurses work very, very hard, but they do so in controlled situations with a great deal of supervision, guidance and support. During a 1998 nurses strike at Maimonides Hospital in the recent past Paramedics were used in the ER, with beyond adequate performance. The Nursing unions would like to make sure we are never allowed in an ER again. The nurses unions quite actively would like to prevent any clear bridge from Paramedic to RN or PA because it would lead to a realization that people paid half what they make, with almost nine of the science background can do their job just as well. When people start whispering about an ambulance strike, which is also against the law, people say “So cruel, selfish and nearly evil, people could die.” But a nursing strike seems to be as American as Apple pie. Could it be that in all the precious Nursing strikes, no on died, no one sued? That was because even higher paid nurses were bussed in to temp for them.

“Without the Department of Sanitation a plague would overtake this city. Or at the very least trash would pile up high, the city would stink and rats would have field day.”

Like a Sanitation worker, EMS members operate a large vehicle in cumbersome urban traffic and all weather conditions, with near total disregard from the public, especially in the Bronx. We must get through the streets making pickups while the public blocks streets with their cars, darts in front of our vehicles and basically flip out when a street is blocked operationally. Like sanitation, we have to lift and carry,  albeit not in a rapid succesion. Sanitation doesn’t have to carry 250 Ibs up six flights of stairs and carry down people around 250 pounds or more. In some ways, like sanitation, a pause in delivery of service will potentially cost lives. Like when Sanitation went on strike during the Blizzard of 2010. “New York’s Strongest used a variety of tactics to drag out the plowing process — and pad overtime checks — which included keeping plows slightly higher than the roadways and skipping over streets along their routes.” Although the Department of Sanitation has a logo somewhat similar to EMS,  and is engaged in a vital part of public health, they have regularly blackmailed the city with strikes and slowdowns. Also went on Strike for 9 days in 1968. In the DSNY today after 5½ years, the salary jumps to an average of $88,616 dollars. They have a 20 and out pension.

Like Nurses, EMS members practice medicine. Like Sanitation workers we pick things up and we put them down. But EMS isn’t at the educational level of an RN or engaged in the physical rigor of a Sanitation worker. Parity is thus pegged to Cops and Firefighters. The two most similar jobs, jobs we basically share a navy blue uniform with and see on the majority of our calls.

The real difference between Cops, Firefighters and EMS is not only $50,000 in wage disparity, but in what we all actually do on the job. As well as the physical and mental toll it takes to constantly be around death, dying, sickness and trauma. What our job actually results in, not theoretically results or results in by default,  is a daily struggle to keep people from dying. A daily struggle to promote health and wellness. The police protect a system of law and order. The firefighters protect property. EMS protects human life and well being.

The police spend the vast majority of their careers fighting quality of life crime and taking reports. 

The very limited amount of instances they are ever being shot at, they rarely and statistically have been killed. Statistically meaning, taken as a whole, numerically, over time.

111 NYPD officers were killed on duty between 1980 and 2010. Another way to think of that is 4 per year. A total of 331 NYPD employees have died in the line of duty since 1950, 5 per year. Deaths peaked in 2001, when 23 officers died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but the effects are still being felt today. 206 NYPD officers have died from 9/11-related illnesses, which are separate from the 331 officers who died in the line of duty. Police work is still on the 16th most dangerous American job, but decreasing in the number of deaths and injuries per year.

The job of the Police department is “to be a deterrent to crime and enforce the laws”. Statistically speaking they do not get in that many fire fights and they also do not save that many lives directly, except in a noble indirect way by keeping human tribalism and criminal instincts at bay. In 1971 the NYPD staged a Work Stoppage occuring for five days between January 14 and January 19, 1971, when around 20,000 New York City police officers refused to report for regular duty. While officers maintained that they would continue to respond to serious crimes and emergencies, they refused to carry out routine patrolling duties, leading in some cases, to as little as 200 officers being on the street in the city.

In 2014 the NYPD held a work “slowdown” for about seven weeks as political conflict between protesters, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s police unions intensified. Legally, police officers can’t strike, but for 7 weeks in 2014-2015 the NYPD engaged in a near total work stoppage, arresting no one except in violent crimes. For the week of 22 December, citywide traffic tickets dropped 94% from the same period in 2013. Court summons for low-level offences, like public intoxication, also dropped 94%. Parking tickets were down 92%. Overall arrests were down 66%, as well. Nobody noticed.

Though their publicists and the writers of their many TV serials would like the general public to think they do save many lives, “get the bad guys off the streets” and risk their life every single day, they really don’t. Mostly they write reports, hand out quality of life crime related fines and make quota quality of life crime collars. To justify what amounts to a highly respectable middle class wage a Salary after 5 ½ years of  $85,292 which including holiday pay, longevity pay, uniform allowance, night differential and overtime, police officers may potentially earn over $100,000 per year

The public didn’t even notice the Police were on strike in 2014. It had almost no impact on violent crime or quality of life. It was as if their main job was needless fines and upholding a broken windows theory now widely discredited. But sometimes they do get executed in their squad car, they do get shot by criminals and they do die. And while being a cop is hard work, it sure doesn’t directly keep people alive. It doesn’t seem to slow any link between quality of life crime and descent into anarchy and most importantly, quota based policing it has led to mass incarceration, illegal/unconstitutional racist methods of policing like “stop and frisk”, and contributed to the deaths of around 1,200 people of color in police custody or killed during arrest in America each year. 1 in 100 Americans are behind bars, on probation or parole.

The NYPD has a clear resentment to the FDNY Firefighters, who are paid more to do a lot less. 95% of FDNY calls do not involve the risk of actual fire fighting.

The Firefighters after 5 ½ years earn around 110K, they have 20 and out pensions, they work 2 days a week and they have the enduring love and admiration of much of the public. 

As they should, because encountering flames in close quarters is dangerous and risky. Although it is something done mostly by volunteers across America and tens of thousands are on the FDNY waiting list. There is also a strange macho ideology called “interior attack” which worked its way into FDNY methodology, not used anywhere else in the country. Fighting fire inside a building of a working fire instead of dumping water on it from the outside. They proudly claim this is about “saving lives” but its actually about endangering working class people to protect property. However, because of building codes and modern technology fires make up only 5% of their total call volume. 

The FDNY Firefighters have lost 421 members in line of duty deaths since 1980. 343 on 9.11 and 222 more of lung disease and exposure later.. adjusting this in the same way NYPD deaths are arranged, that is 10 deaths a year factoring out 9.11, that number would be 2 a year.

The International Association of Firefighters says cancer is now the leading cause of death among firefighters. While thirty years ago, firefighters were most often diagnosed with asbestos-related cancers, today the cancers are more often leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma, officials say.

On Nov. 6, 1973 for five and a half tense hours, most of the city’s 10,900 firemen (they were all men) picketed outside their firehouses or simply watched as some 80 fires burned citywide, chanting ”Scab! Scab!” at makeshift firefighting crews.

Today, 95% of the time the FDNY and fire houses across America respond to medical EMS type assignments. Engine company CFRs show up on priority 1 to 3 EMS jobs, just a little bit before the ambulances because they get the call 30 seconds before. The “enthusiasm” they have for battling combustion in the shadow of 9.11 is not translated into an enthusiasm for medical first aid. Very well documented by now is fire fighters leaving calls without being released or even assessing patients, firefighters not giving even the most basic report before asking “if you guys got this” to EMS, as well as firefighters abandoning crews

Fire fighters do sometimes give oxygen and do CPR, in varying combinations of one or two hands, which is to say they don’t do it well a great deal of the time, they do give “lift assists” and they vary radically in level of respect by fire house. They do anything they can to get off the scene as fast as they can. Although they have around 48 hours of CFR training, and many of them are or were EMTs and Paramedics, they don’t ever take vitals. They rarely if ever give any meaningful reports. Then, they remain out of service for 30 to 40 minutes after the release of care. It is also expensive to send 5 firefighters to participate in this insulting charade. By the hour the same cost would fund 4 or 5 entire BLS ambulances.

During the Covid 19 Pandemic they were released of these responsibilities for the worst 2 weeks. For the next worst 4 weeks they slowed down and regularly abandoned crews in the field. 

They had so much time on their hands they took to feeding nurses on television and turning out for the daily public clap. During the course of the pandemic over 30% of the FDNY went out sick. Over 1,000 EMS members and over 2,000 firefighters. The rapidly overwhelmed 911 system had to call in hundreds of the very same private ambulance EMS providers they so regularly denounce and make life difficult for. That is because the FDNY was unable to manage the pandemic response, as it is unable to manage the nor.al call volume.

9.11 type terror, Superstore Sandy or Covid 19 style pandmeic aside the FDNY only manages to staff ⅔ rds of the 911 ambulances on a regular uneventful day because typically it’s EMS members resign after just 4 years. It is also the lowest paid 9.11 employer in the City of New York.

There are of course many very brave firefighters, no one begrudges them their good wages and benefits, but they dont treat EMS workers well, especially not the 4,300 FDNY EMS workers they share a uniform with. On every conceivable level of abandonment, FDNY firefighters use a combination of the 9.11 legacy and the leverage of their political weight to force an inefficient model of response on the taxpayer. We are literally paying for a loud and nearly useless show since there is no reason that 2 EMTSs and 2 paramedics and a Lieutenant with a Lucas device cannot manage a cardiac arrest. There is no reason to have 11,000 fire fighters when 95% of the calls are EMS calls. There is no reason the FDNY cannot pay its members a living wage in their city.

The realization that our workforce is also a billion dollar operation means that not only do we get exploited, we are propping up the establishment which exploits us.

Parity is a justice whose time has come for people who serve this city. We deliver your babies, we bring back your dead, we carry your wounded off the bloody streets. We check on your grandparents, we bring the ER into the homes of the poorest most vulnerable, we head to the fires with the firefighters, we careen with ungodly speed towards the shootings of police and gangster alike. We are there when you are born and when you die. 

Amongst ourselves we must defeat ethnic, garage, agency, union and sector tribalism. No single faction or group has enough members to win this fight.

The cops, the firefighters, the nurses, the sanitation workers, the teachers and bus subway operators. They have all used their essential nature to bargain for better wages and workplace rights.

EMS will never strike. Because people will actually die, because every day in big and small ways we actually are simply essential. So we are left with two strategies moving ahead and we need to unite 13,500 strong around them. First, we need to tighten the belt, unite the ranks across all sectors and step up the hearts and minds game in all districts. Second, we need clear concise united demands backed up by industrial action.

If the City Council is allegedly now behind us on parity and the public knows how hard we grind for them before and after Covid 19; we must look our mayor,  managers, unions, institutions namely the FDNY Management, the Hospital Groups and the CEOS in the eye. We need to say in one voice, “As long as there blood in our eyes, there’s pain in our backs, as long as our kids can’t afford the right schools and you are unwilling to help us advance our lives, we won’t turn our backs on the public ever, but we will hit you in the pockets.”

Malcolm on the Ballot or the Bullet

Malcolm on the Ballot or the Bullet

Malcolm X: History and Philosophy

    This famous speech is perhaps best viewed as a candid ultimatum. As the race crisis in America escalated in violence and scope; Malcolm X articulated the position of many northern Blacks for which segregation was a non-issue. Coming at a time after his separation with the Nation of Islam (NOI) and Elijah Muhammad, the Ballot of the Bullet speech touches on four key themes that illustrate a great transition on Malcolm’s philosophy and political strategy. Underling these four points is bold and terrifying statement in line with a famous Martin Luther King quote; “those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” Malcolm makes it plain; if the white power structure blocks Blacks from utilizing the ballot; then violence will erupt and power will obtained in more tumultuous and bloody ways.    

    Key Point One: The Political Strength Blacks (How does Malcolm X see himself in terms of politics?) The NOI preached political non-involvement. Elijah Muhammad kept Malcolm from getting Muslims active in the civil rights struggle or from supporting political candidates because separatist ideology declared it counter productive to integrate with ones enemy the so-called devilish white man. But this drew criticism from many black sympathetic to Malcolm’s rhetoric but frustrated with the NOI’s lack of activism. With his break from the NOI Malcolm realigned his priorities and moved to articulate his Black Nationalist views through concrete political action. While this speech is pre-Mecca; thus his distrust of whites remained unchanged; Malcolm admits during this period that before and independent Black nation; (a more long term goal) can be achieved or a repatriation to Africa could be made; there is the immediate plight of Blacks in America who lack social services and are under constant threat of racial violence. Before idealized visions of a true nation can come to pass; in this speech Malcolm makes the demand that since Black built America; America must grant Blacks the rights of its white citizens. Basically Malcolm has realigned himself with the immediate demands of the mainstream civil rights movement as an initial stepping stone to Black Nationalist long term political goals. 

    In terms of politics; Malcolm understood that with white America evenly divided between Republican and Democrat the Black vote was what swung the race. In this speech Malcolm talks of how Blacks throw away their vote with the false promises of the double dealing politicians who pander to integration minded Blacks during the campaign but do nothing once elected. Malcolm also reminds his listeners that there is no real difference between both parties and logical step would be for Blacks to form a new Black Nationalist Party to run candidates. A fundamental of this speech is that Blacks need to make their votes count; but not necessarily for any of the two established white parties that have always stood on similar ground with race relations.

    Key Point Two: Unity Among Civil Rights Leaders (Has there been any change in his reference to mainstream civil rights leaders?) In this speech Malcolm also makes a defacto apology and accepts one without it being stated to and from the other mainstream civil rights leaders. He is humbly stating that his rhetoric has not accomplished concrete political good and that it is time for greater unity among leaders allegedly struggling for the same short term objectives.

    Malcolm’s reasoning is that the white power structure discriminates and does violence to Blacks collectively regardless of their religious or ideological creed; therefore it is only sensible that resistance be collective as well. This speech on top of political realignment is a declaration of reconciliation with the other leaders. Malcolm is stating that he will involve is soldiers in civil rights struggle now that the restraints of the NOI have been lifted.  

    Key Point Three: The African American Condition (How does Malcolm X assess the African American condition?) Malcolm’s phrase “the so-called Negro” is an illustration of his Pan-African thinking well on top of his Black Nationalist ideology. Malcolm seeks not only empower Blacks to assert themselves on the political apparatus; but to reconnect them with their roots via the Global Black struggle.  

    The condition of Blacks in America according to Malcolm is a state of exploitation, moral degradation, and brainwashing. By brainwashing Malcolm refers to disconnect between Blacks living in America and the heritage as being part of the greater African civilization. Malcolm said that Blacks couldn’t remember that they descended from a once proud African civilization. He said that they didn’t even remember their true names. The condition was based on the psychological trauma inflicted by slavery and enforced by adherence to the Euro-Centric practice of Christianity. By Blacks not being able to vote, by blacks not controlling the economic resources of their communities; and by Black being completely disconnected from their roots; the condition furthered Black oppression.       

    Point Four: On Elijah Muhammad (Is there mention of Elijah Muhammad?) In all previous speeches Malcolm sought to point attention the Elijah Muhammad’s teachings by bringing all credit for his personal rehabilitation on the man himself and while at the time to this speeches delivery Malcolm X had been cast out of the NOI and was being plotted against by his great mentor and former savior; Malcolm would hold off serious criticism of the man until his property and family were threatened by Elijah Muhammad’s followers. The Ballot of the Bullet makes no mention of Elijah Muhammad and coming right after his establishment of Muslim Mosque Inc., this on top of the political redirection marks beginning (so close to the end of life) of the independence of Malcolm’s political actions. No more is he under the leash of Elijah Muhammad; while whites found him radical and so-called dangerous a Muslim minister orator; that fire turned to political engagement would have had a terrifying impact if he had survived to see it pan out. In essence Elijah Muhammad has restrained Malcolm and with their break, and absence of reference in this keynote speech; implied a new sense of policy and vision on what to do about the race crisis in America. 

    The Ballot or the Bullet was the question; by 1968 a lot of bullets began to fly. By that time Malcolm and Martin had been assassinated; gunned down for their ideas and respective strategies both under highly questionable circumstances as to who orchestrated the murders. Out of the civil rights movement grew the Black Power movement and out of Black Power arose the Black Panther Party for Self Defense directly from the nationalist ideology of Malcolm X. And bullets flew. This speech predicted the massive eruption of violence around the country, especially in the northern ghettos which reached a peak in 1969 with the murder of Panther leader Fred Hampton. We are not going to make a statement as to whether this violence obtained any more political freedom than subsequent attempts at the ballot. But the Black vote still wasn’t an organized by 1970 and it isn’t organized in 2006. And after all that perhaps brother Malcolm isn’t looking down and wondering if Black people, and the American people in general, might need to offer up the same scenario again. 

#2: The Dragon Fly

Danger, she makes strange bed fellows.

There are no atheists in fox holes, they say.

    But I was one.

        I need no God to die today.

    Or to love.

        Or do with my hands,

    What most attempt with vain word.

        Of paper figures.

    I lost once in a bottle what a priest uses achieves in a prayer; never saw, only heard.

        Vodka is more inviting than the priests anyway.

    Safer also to have children around.

        I believe I was a child around you once or twice. 

    But it was short lived, adulthood was swiftly found.

        To have met you in Penza, eleven years ago;

I might have made your journey more, hospitable. Based on what you say.    

    “Would have’s” are everyone’s favorites.

        Everyone is alive with regret in this city today.

    There is no could have, only the will do imaging the before times. 

You lies and your truths eviscerate me, vivisect my joint.

        The only think I know how do well in a kitchen,

Is cook, and fuck you at knife point.

    Albeit, simply; my love for you is twofold;

        You are voluptuous and stunning, you’re total hear of darkness, you’re hot, 

And then you’re quite cold.

For my love or my own belly I can do much, I liked your arms around my neck, I liked your grab of meat inside my jeans, I need you clutch.

You and I it seems have lived a life of night!

We’ve slept out in the exposure cold, fell asleep out outbound trains, the story you painted, it was bold as it was used to get me sold.

I’ve slept where I was offered, you’ve slept once there here and too,

I’ve stolen bread, you’ve stolen bread,

We both know very well the Manhattan finer things, well you do.

I’ve lied to protect myself, you lie supine and lateral and rewind, you fine dine and call sign, you text novels, she says, you woo.

I’ll steal bread for the universe for you!     

If I had such reach with my plane speech, to feed the stars with words of action and of promise and of hope.

“Man I own less than four feet of your noose, but you are hanging on a thread, dying from your hope.”

The things I’ve done in past lives are made plain at 6am in Brighton, we hold hands sometimes, we stumble we bottle tip, we bottle lighten.

When I was the man with Grey Mask, I used to kill for you!

The things you say, we are twenty minutes from the coming of the new day, the rabbit hole residing; you cling to me like glue.

I lie, I wish to always lie with you.

My past lives melt like midnight wax, like Mason words, like the blue moon too.

    I lose myself, I give myself I bind my fate, and its Jew true.

The blue moon above us drowns out the sobs of my soul.

You lie and I cry and the circle sounds, ring tones, bells and things made un whole.

Sobs, of the stroll, the Russian ghetto thug roll, the body count is getting higher as you see into my goal.

We lie on the beach and midnight star wax drips from me to you.

Not two fucks of clue about the things you just might do.

I drip on her, she likes, the pain the basic pain the sealing of desire,

Between my legs you’ll drip and wax on the back you’ll pour, but if it’s true I a married woman, a desired girlfriend and have over fourteen lovers; then use me;

    Make me for one night more you story whore.

You almost killed us over nothing, I say.

“You almost kissed me over nothing,” she replies, it’s not yet but almost day.

A dove goes by, it decorates the Brooklyn sky, there are blue blacks turning into tiny yellow rays,

Well we killed us, but don’t make that dirty moment linger. It was the wine, it was the mood, it was the; Je ne sais.

Don’t get French with me my dear,

Dragon flies are temporary creatures, they mate, they kill, and they do not ever stay.

Temperamental predator at best, Daria what is it that you really hide. Where hide you your sword, your blade your knife;

    “I bore my neck to monsters, and those monsters took my life.”

The surely know to prey on glorious pests,

    Fastest insect in the world they say; but they eat each other.

Whereas I’d like to think you only eat your enemies, the knife point fucking, the dripping wax the rest of it, the salsa dancing; I’m a dirty minded man, but I respect you and I love you as if I were your non-blood brother.

Sounds incestuous for monster to be dating.

We’re blood ritual mating, we’re cold war postulating, we’re exodus deliberating, it’s dawn.

I have never feared death, for I’m mostly dead already;

    “Dead men don’t use Amex cards, dead men don’t buy sushi, lamb or steak.”

“You’re not what I signed up for, you’re not like Americans at all, you’re crazy, you a big mistake to take.”

Ha!

Don’t mock a man who thinks himself bewitched with love, love is vast in itself annoyance mixed to the universe’s called solution.

He is steely in his constitution.

    Also half mad, it’s possibly true.

Do not confine his gestures, his fire or his eyes as they shine a new,

Make me prove it!

Me work, identify the mountain and I will seek to move it.

That is the objective anyway, of enamored me.

For if I for one second falter, push me off the very ledge,

“What kind of name is Walter?

You pushed us over the ledge last week, in plain speak.

    I am triumphant, let me have you, let me have all.

Potentially I fear, you might die for me this year,

Black hearts defying logic, 

    This night, remember this night was the edge.

        Kiss me hard, don’t look away from this now you’ve pushed me dragon flying off the ledge.

#14: Fire, Fever, Cough and Chills

You Stoke Class War, Woman.

Crystalline elongated orbs! Tits errupt to sky. Amid a blackened why? 

The shimmer on your brilliant spheres are the lack heavens sole reply.

Within the void a million stars, 

Bottled in each such brilliant glee.

All floating in a night so bright, like my soul an endless coal black sea.

Then suddenly!

A ripple from the phallus toward your nipple!

Commotion in the stills.

The once still night let loose its fury out my window,

The silence now made raucous as we piglet sons of oligarchs throw forth twenty dollar bills.

And the still night torn asunder by a fiery roar,

Such epic cosmic fireworks I’d never seen before.

An effervescent miracle,

An eruption and explosion in the their brothels, 

Fragment bombs and shattered bones upon the trading floor.

Where forth does one run, to where does one go!?

I swear I’ll never know,

The light that night it burned so bright, 

As we stood mesmerized below.

The complexity, the sheer black magic, 

The dark of soul deeper black than all of outer space.

Who in this chaos interrupted?

What force had set upon us?

Who was now amongst the biggest Apple! 

The citadel and bastion of the entire human race?

Neon lights an urban blare too bright to see the sky.

Eleven million people trapped beneath, within this city lie.

A paradox, a fool’s delight in the concrete jungle dwell,

All boxed up in plantation cubicles,

A candy coated hell.

Thus sprawling out for miles and miles,

The deep metallic tomb.

Its arteries the highways streets,

The power plants its womb.

With each exhale, ascends the smog of souls as if some smoke signal from below.

Eleven million voices shouting answers,

Sick cries in the form of questions we all know.

The telescreens are glowing gods,

Truth in the dollar lies,

Redemption if you hold your tongue,

Wall Street’s wall by city hall is built a mile tall!

Those inside the district prosper even as the outside world dies.

And knelt down on the rooftop pavement,

I have in solace sought,

One cannot shake the inner quake of knowing all’s for naught.

What was that flash asunder?

That so lit up the sky.

Had the Devil raced the Reaper?

Were dark forces bearing down?

Was it a Chinese missile? 

Or more gangsters crossing over from the poorer side of town?

What did that cosmic illumination spell? 

The return of Christ triumphant, 

Or a pale horsed rider cracking open gates of hell.

 Scientologist phenomena, 

Hipster prank for fun?

Or perhaps it was the signal,  

My tovarish, wink.

That the rising has begun.

The world that had managed, the titans swagger, happy spending, rapping on and on about automobiles and pills.

Don’t under count the 100,000 stacking bodies. Fire, Fever, Cough and Chills.

#77: “What Science has yet to learn in the Blood”

You know that I’ve got what science has yet to learn in the blood!

It’s a tug of war some nights.

Insights; in me a passion piñata; bashful-now-I-bash myself for less than useful plights.

    Rip off my shirt on site, and beset all inhibitions to the loftiest of flights. You’re not like other women and I don’t ever look too hard for a round of winless fights!

    But, I still base my outlook on convictions and those noble thirty human rights.

    I still beat my fist against brick walls, I still battle demons and the higher that one climbs in a life of epic expectations;

Then don’t underestimate the gravity of falls.

Or, head spinning, as tobacco demons leave thee,

    I want for you to need me!

The how-damn-much you’re wanted near we; 

Verse-by-verse a beckon; a tug of begging; of affections hoping that you hear me, 

Hoping that you see.

Hoping that you see me win!

    Am I weaker because I measure myself in the eyes of woman? 

And truthful make my secrets seen to any looking in?

For my English has no resonance it seems,

I long for you, I need you fierce; my close companion by my side and also in my dreams.

And the Burma nights will unfold in nightly plights and carnal color schemes.

    You are a world unto yourself, if I cannot pronounce your city how will I never speak to your soul? That is my truest goal.

    The moment when our essence and our trust, our common longing makes a good thing whole. 

    She says;You know that I’ve got what science has yet to learn in the blood!” 

    Does a man when lacking bricks build a house from sticks and mud?

    When my heart makes a second beat; is-it-more-like machine gun’s fire, 

Or a door closing with a thud.

    And if I could speak to her special uniqueness,

Knowing my emotions are a liable thing, a source of honest, utter weakness.

    And like some unclassified species of sky bound creature, a shaman or a sorcerous blessing many as their patient friend and quiet teacher; does she who has defied science via the reanimation of her own broken heart;

    Now broken two times, or more?

    Mine four, but who keeps score foreshore!

    Find any solace so to speak in clever words or stone heart rhymes?

Does she who has braved so much and cut off expectations bounds find peace with any kind of poetic vagabond when she is certain of his must intenuous mind.

Rewind.

    Did you like my passion kissing, did you believe my pledging of my world to you in just one month of passion so reckeless and a man so emotionally blind?

    Where was to light a candle for the newness of our kind? 

    She says; “You know that I’ve got what science has yet to learn in the blood!” 

    Does a woman when lacking open feelings build a life where golden cows and golden temples escape the torrent and thwart impending flood?

Eye for eye, a blood for a blood!

The mathematics equated to measure her eye brow to eye brow,

To gauge the hard diameter of her judgment, the softness of her spirit, I vow!

I have battered myself up over hard hearts.

For you I pledge devotion to you until such devotion moves or I am moved by cause and zeal, worlds apart to steal and to heal.

    To battle these tyrants, to open the thick of my heart to the world of the soul, the world we control, the happy in now and the all of the essence since you showed me how.

One day 10,000 miles apart, the light and dark the stop and the start, 

As the thing falls apart; 

You keep me like a steel hand guarding your breast and I’ll wear your spirit and memory over the walls of my heart. And keep you in the chakras that resides from the crown of my head to the base of my chest.

“The rest is the rest, and the test is no test for a holy fool such I, if your soul can make love after bodies do perish what good is the kiss to lips of the blessed?”

When my head’s on your chest! When my fear is all vanquished by your fire and magic and when you hold me close you’re my bullet proof vest.

“I’d never have guessed that in three months of knowing I’d yearn for you this deeply!”

She says;

“Well Alan and I could have guessed,” she says with wink and I stand before her pale blushing and naked; completely undressed.

She says; “You know that I’ve got what science has yet to learn in the blood!”

    What’s love; just a useless word for a volumous thing, is vodka potatoes or when in America called just a spud?

    She does second guess your naked feeling, she has sent you spectral reeling, she is spurred by actions; words are things rehashed.

    “You have a stormy lurid past. I don’t judge you for a minute but I know this thing can’t last.” 

! Pulling-pulling torching feelings supple action frantic dealing!

    She declares “I am a thing unique!”

    Now my poetic leanings have failed me for the last time and once filled with fire, am naked, quivering weak.

    “We like our manly men.”

    “I’ll pull myself together and make myself a thing of manly virtue before we meet again.”

I’m going nowhere, I’m your friend. Don’t iron strike my love and time and break your deals, your promises on this end. 

“What is “love” is officially?” she never asked to me;

Love to me officially is Strast (passion is the basis for us to set we free). 

Loyalnost (loyalty is the basis of all human interactions, those which offer merit, I think we’d both agree.) 

Stojkost (perseverance always needed for what the world will throw at thee) 

And Predannost (devotion is the last lesson in Russian that before you turned numb you taught to me) 

All must be carried out together; fearlessly. 

For another in daily acts of awe,

In your gold brown eyes I saw, warm company and the sheer fire of their soul. 

Love to me means the world is alive again when a person you are devoted to smiles and makes you whole. 

At you they look and such looks into your very being, 

And then on fire you engage the world alive and all awake and loving all you’re seeing. And nothing is abstract or hidden. 

And nothing is secret and nothing forbidden.

You are in the end sharing a fire that lights up the night of life and via being together makes waste of all strife; 

And cold world bright and the sometimes heavy load, eased by living a state of joy is like butter to a knife. 

    She asks,

    “How without science or knowledge did you but two months come to love?”

    “I was dead and it was you who breathed the life into me, and carried me in your arms to safety and as waves crashed below us there were you in passion as we watched the Burma skies above.”