free iran

i would like (y. yevtushenko)

I would like
to be born
in every country,
have a passport
for them all to throw
all foreign offices
into panic,
be every fish
in every ocean
and every dog
in the streets of the world.
I don’t want to bow down
before any idols
or play at being
a Russian Orthodox church hippie,
but I would like to plunge
deep into Lake Baikal
and surface snorting
somewhere,
why not in the Mississippi?
In my damned beloved universe
I would like to be a lonely weed,
but not a delicate Narcissus
kissing his own mug
in the mirror.
I would like to be
any of God’s creatures
right down to the last mangy hyena—
but never a tyrant
or even the cat of a tyrant.
I would like to be
reincarnated as a man
in any image:
a victim of prison tortures,
a homeless child in the slums of Hong Kong,
a living skeleton in Bangladesh,
a holy beggar in Tibet,
a black in Cape Town,
but never
in the image of Rambo.
The only people whom I hate
are the hypocrites—
pickled hyenas
in heavy syrup.
I would like to lie
under the knives of all the surgeons in the world,
be hunchbacked, blind,
suffer all kinds of diseases,
wounds and scars,
be a victim of war,
or a sweeper of cigarette butts,
just so a filthy microbe of superiority
doesn’t creep inside.
I would not like to be in the elite,
nor, of course,
in the cowardly herd,
nor be a guard dog of that herd,
nor a shepherd,
sheltered by that herd.
And I would like happiness,
but not at the expense of the unhappy,
and I would like freedom,
but not at the expense of the unfree.
I would like to love
all the women in the world,
and I would like to be a woman, too–
just once…
Men have been diminished
by Mother Nature.
Why couldn’t we give motherhood
to men? If an innocent child
stirred
below his heart,
man would probably
not be so cruel.
I would like to be man’s daily bread—
say,
a cup of rice
for a Vietnamese woman in mourning,
cheap wine
in a Neapolitan workers’ trattoria,
or a tiny tube of cheese
in orbit round the moon.
Let them eat me,
let them drink me,
only let my death
be of some use.
I would like to belong to all times,
shock all history so much
that it would be amazed
what a smart aleck I was.
I would like to bring Nefertiti
to Pushkin in a troika.
I would like to increase
the space of a moment
a hundredfold,
so that in the same moment
I could drink vodka with fishermen in Siberia
and sit together with
Homer,
Dante,
Shakespeare,
and Tolstoy,
drinking anything,
except, of course,
Coca-Cola,
–dance to the tom-toms in the Congo,
–strike at Renault,
–chase a ball with Brazilian boys
at Copacabana Beach.
I would like to know every language,
like the secret waters under the earth,
and do all kinds of work at once.
I would make sure that one Yevtushenko was merely a poet,
the second–an underground fighter
somewhere,
I couldn’t say where
for security reasons,
the third–a student at Berkeley,
the fourth–a jolly Georgian drinker,
and the fifth–
maybe a teacher of Eskimo children in Alaska,
the sixth–
a young president,
somewhere, say, modestly speaking, in Sierra Leone,
the seventh–
would still be shaking a rattle in his stroller,
and the tenth…
the hundredth…
the millionth…
For me it’s not enough to be myself,
let me be everyone!
Every creature
usually has a double,
but God was stingy
with the carbon paper,
and in his Paradise Publishing Corporation
made a unique copy of me.
But I shall muddle up
all God’s cards–
I shall confound God!
I shall be in a thousand copies to the end of my days,
so that the earth buzzes with me,
and computers go berserk
in the world census of me.
I would like to fight on all your barricades,
humanity,
dying each night
like an exhausted moon,
and resurrecting each morning
like a newborn sun,
with an immortal soft spot–fontanel–
on my head.
And when I die,
a smart-aleck Siberian Francois Villon,
do not lay me in the earth
of France
or Italy,
but in our Russian, Siberian earth,
on a still-green hill,
where I first felt
that I was
everyone.

[yevgeny yevtushenko], 1972.

exotic (s.hammad)

Don’t wanna be your exotic
Like some delicate fragile colorful
bird imprisoned caged in a
land foregin to the stretch of her wings

Don’t wanna be your exotic
women everywhere look just
like me some taller darker
nicer than me but like me
Just the same women everywhere
carry my nose on their faces
my name on their spirits

Don’t seduce yourself with my
otherness
the beat of my lashes
against each other ain’t some
dark desert beat it’s just
a blink get over it

Don’t build around me
your fetish fantasy your
lustful profanity to
cage me in clip my wings

Don’t wanna be your exotic
your loving of my beauty ain’t
more than funky fornication
plain pink perversion in
fact nasty necrophilia
because my beauty is dead
to you
I am dead to you

Not your harem girl
geisha doll banana picker
pom pom girl poom poom short
coffee maker town whore
belly dancer private dancer
la malinche venus hottentot
laundry girl your immaculate
vessel emasculating princess
don’t wanna be
not your erotic not your exotic

(suheir hammad)

FBI and ICE raid halal slaughterhouse

Over 100 FBI and ICE agents raided an Illinois Halal slaughterhouse last weekend and nearly every news report says that no one knows why.

The First World Management provides goat, beef and lamb that is prepared according to Muslim standards. Hmm..post 9-11, I can take a guess why.

Some workers at the slaughterhouse were handcuffed, but no one was arrested. But it seems the two owners of First World, Syed Hamid and Tahawara Hussain Rana, are being targeted by the FBI. Charles Jackson, Hamid’s lawyer, says that Hamid won’t be charged with any kind of crime but is being equally tight-lipped about why the FBI and ICE decided to raid his business.

Leticia Miranda

Being a Women is Not a Pre-Existing Condition

CNN On Latinos: Use Them Bootstraps

CNN On Latinos: Use Them Bootstraps.

Press Freedom Index

Reporters Without Borders just released its 2009 Press Freedom Index, a ranking of countries based on how shamelessly they screw with the Fourth Estate.

Obama has had a positive effect: America leapt up 20 places to number 20. Italy, Spain, and France are all in the 40s and each slipped a few places. Israel sank 47 places and, for the first time, lost its lead among Middle Eastern countries thanks to its crack down on the media last winter. Iran is now down in North Korea territory. And the Scandinavian countries lead the pack.

Here’s the top of the list:

pressindex

Here’s the bottom:

pressindex2

You can read the whole report here : Reporters without Borders

oldest hominid skeleton revealed

At 4.4 million years, Ethiopian fossil clarifies human–chimp relationships.

Rex Dalton
Published online 1 October 2009 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2009.966

mainardi1

In a far-reaching reordering of human evolution, researchers report today the discovery of the oldest hominid skeleton, a fairly complete 4.4-million-year-old female from Ethiopia1.

The discovery shows that humans did not evolve from ancient knuckle-walking chimpanzees, as has long been believed. The reports, in Science, illuminate how early phases of humans evolved along a separate lineage from the last common ancestor shared by early hominids and extinct apes.

The new fossils of Ardipithecus ramidus — known as ‘Ardi’ — offer the first substantial view of the biology of a species close to the time of the last common ancestor, estimated to be at least 6 million years ago. Like modern humans, Ardi could walk upright and didn’t use her arms for walking, as chimps do. Still, she retains a primitive big toe that could grasp a tree like an ape.

“This spectacular specimen shows why fossils really matter,” says Andrew Hill, head of anthropology at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Previously, the oldest near-complete skeleton of a human ancestor was the 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis skeleton known as Lucy, also from Ethiopia. Because Lucy had many traits in common with modern humans, she didn’t provide much of a picture of the earlier lineage between apes and humans, says Alan Walker, a biological anthropologist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. The new A. ramidus does.

“This specimen is so much more important — and strange,” says Walker, adding that it will prompt “considerable rethinking of not only our evolutionary past, but also that of our living relatives, the great apes”.

In a publishing tour de force, 11 Science papers include descriptions of the remains and the geology and palaeoenvironment of the discovery site, in the Afar desert 230 kilometres northeast of Addis Ababa. The papers are the culmination of 17 years of study by 70 investigators collaborating as the Middle Awash Project. Forty-seven of them are authors.

“The great thing about these fossils is that they illuminate a black hole in evolution 4.5 million years ago,” says Tim White, a paleoanthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and a project co-director.

The earliest known Ardipithecus — A. ramidus kadabba — lived around 5.8 million years ago in Ethiopia2. The other oldest known hominids are Orrorin tugenensis, from about 6 million years ago in Kenya3, and Sahelanthropus tchadensis, from at least 6 million years ago in Chad4.

In 1992, Middle Awash team member Gen Suwa found the first specimen of an A. ramidus species near the Ethiopian village of Aramis. “You crawl around on a ridge of bones looking for fossils,” says Suwa, from the University of Tokyo. “I saw the root of a tooth sticking up from a clump of matrix. But we had no idea of its importance — we didn’t believe it was a rich area.”

Yet within two years, enough fossils had been found to produce the first article that named and sketchily described the animal, from a total of 17 fossils5. What followed was one of the most intensive anthropological investigations ever undertaken. Roughly 6,000 vertebrate specimens from the site have been catalogued for the Ethiopian National Museum in Addis Ababa.

The work was done under intense secrecy, prompting some to dub it ‘the Manhattan Project of anthropology’. Some competing researchers have complained about the time it has taken to publish work about the fossils.

“We weren’t interested in how many papers we could publish,” says Berhane Asfaw, a co-director of the Middle Awash Project at the Rift Valley Research Service in Addis Ababa. “Our interest was in the full chain of information; that produces the power of the work.”

From more than 135,000 vertebrate bone or tooth pieces, the team identified 110 A. ramidus specimens, representing a minimum of 36 individuals. Ardi’s skeleton comprises 125 pieces.

Such a wealth of anatomical specimens is unheard of for these periods. O. tugenesis is based on two femurs, some teeth and a few other broken bones; S. tchadensis is named from a skull, two mandibles and some teeth. Lucy’s skeleton is missing key diagnostic bones from her hands and feet.

The fossils come from a sediment layer sandwiched between two layers of volcanic rock known as tuff — each dated to 4.4 million years ago, thereby locking in the dates for the specimens, says a team led by Giday WoldeGabriel, of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Fossils in the sediments include plants, pollen, invertebrates and birds, which helped to pinpoint the woodland environment where Ardi lived.

Years of field work uncovered Ardi’s skull, teeth, arms, hands, pelvis, legs and feet — all of which had to be painstakingly prepared. Ardi’s skull was recovered crushed in more than 60 pieces that were broken and scattered about. The bone was poorly fossilized — so soft that each piece had to be moulded in a silicon rubber cast then digitized by computed tomography scans. “This is an exciting technology,” says Hill. “There was no way to describe this skull 15 years ago.”

Her hands and wrists don’t show several distinctive chimp characteristics, such as some larger bones and a tendon ‘shock absorber’ system in the hand and wrist to withstand bodyweight, says team member Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University in Ohio. The foot, with its big toe sticking out sideways, would have allowed Ardi to clamber in trees, walking along limbs on her palms. And her teeth show no tusk-like upper canines, which most apes have for weapons or display during conflict. “This is a major feature showing that Ardi is not in the lineage of modern chimps,” Suwa says.

A big question now is when our last common ancestor with apes actually lived. “I believe it was 8-10 million years ago,” says Lovejoy.

All White would say was: “Find the fossils.”

References
1. White, T. D. et al. Science 326, 75-86 (2009).
2. Haile-Selassie, Y. Nature 412, 178-181 (2001).
3. Senut, B. et al. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris Ser. IIa 332, 137-144 (2001).
4. Brunet, M. et al. Nature 418, 145-151 (2002).
5. White, T. D. , Suwa, G. , Asfaw, B. Nature 371, 306-312 (1994).