Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Judicial Watch's Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politician List

Watchdog group Judicial Watch recently released their Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politician list for 2007. Though I'm a bit perturbed that George Bush and Dick Cheney aren't included (presumably because they are in the all-time hall of infamy), you may be surprised to see who made the list.

Take special note of how many presidential candidates made the cut. Here they are in alphabetical order:

1. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY): In addition to her long and sordid ethics record, Senator Hillary Clinton took a lot of heat in 2007 – and rightly so – for blocking the release of her official White House records. Many suspect these records contain a treasure trove of information related to her role in a number of serious Clinton-era scandals. Moreover, in March 2007, Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint against Senator Clinton for filing false financial disclosure forms with the U.S. Senate (again). And Hillary’s top campaign contributor, Norman Hsu, was exposed as a felon and a fugitive from justice in 2007. Hsu pleaded guilt to one count of grand theft for defrauding investors as part of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

2. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): House Judiciary Chairman Conyers of Detroit reportedly repeatedly violated the law and House ethics rules, forcing his staff to serve as his personal servants, babysitters, valets and campaign workers while on the government payroll. While the House Ethics Committee investigated these allegations in 2006, and substantiated a number of the accusations against Conyers, the committee blamed the staff and required additional administrative record-keeping and employee training. Judicial Watch obtained documentation in 2007 from a former Conyers staffer that sheds new light on the activities and conduct on the part of the Michigan congressman, which appear to be at a minimum inappropriate and likely unlawful. Judicial Watch called on the Attorney General in 2007 to investigate the matter. [Is it possible that Conyers' failure to press for the impeachment of Cheney and Bush has something to do with the skeletons in his own closet?]Read more »

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Is That What You Wanted?!

Montage by Christopher Land

New music by Nadir
Click HERE to Listen, Download and Share

Is That What You Wanted?!
(c) 2007 (Mitchell, Omowale)

Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!

Iraqi oil underneath the sand...
An endless search for weapons has began.
NeoConservatives are on the take,
And I'm still waiting on my yellowcake.

Call 9-11 there's some fishy shit
Goin' on, goin' on, goin' on.
All our surpluses turned to deficits
And all the money's gone over there and here at home, yeah.

Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!

The flood is rising from the hurricane...
These muthafuckas were vacationing.
NeoImperialist hypocrites
Stole the election and the government.

Call 9-11 there's some fishy shit
Goin' down, goin' down, goin' down.
Who is the enemy combatant here?
They just take more and more while the world is at war, yeah.

Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!

Well, the family business is oil, spies and war.
Shoulda known all along who you been workin' for.
Mission accomplished. The nation's disgraced.
That Dick just shot a muthafucka in the face!

Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!
Is That What You Wanted?!

Did you wanna start a civil war?
Did you want the cash? Did you want the oil?
Did you crash the planes? I wanna know.
What about the war games that very morning?

Is That What You Wanted?!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Les Nubians: Nubian Voyagers

Originally published at

I first encountered Les Nubians in 1998 at a listening station in the now defunct Tower Records store in Nashville, Tennessee. I pressed the play button while examining the cover art of the Afropean soul duo’s debut album, Princesses Nubiennes.

As the first track, "Demain", faded from African rhythms into a jazzy hip hop groove, a sultry female voice sang to me in French, "Tu crois que le monde est a toi/ Qu’il t’appartient." Suddenly, I was the mirror image of the RCA/Victor dalmatian, head cocked to one side in disbelief. I had never heard anything like this before.

I listened to one verse and one chorus, and then pressed stop. I didn’t want to hear any more. I immediately walked to the counter, and bought the album. I have been a Les Nubians devotee ever since.

I’m sure this experience was not a unique one. Over the years, Les Nubians have been embraced by listeners around the world as they have released three albums, and garnered a long list of accomplishments.

The song, "Makeda", from Princesses Nubiennes was the largest selling French-language single in the United States in over a decade. The group was nominated for a Grammy and earned a gold plaque for sales of their second album, One Step Forward. Through it all, French-born sisters Helene and Celia Faussart have become beloved ambassadors for the entire African diaspora, the children of Africa who have been scattered around the world over centuries of slavery and immigration.

"That was our intention," Helene smiled during a post sound check conversation at Detroit’s Music Hall Jazz Café, where the duo performed two stellar concerts on their Evolution pre-tour. "Even with taking the name Les Nubians, our goal was to connect with the diaspora."

Through their many voyages they have embraced the similarities and differences of the cultures they have encountered. "Everyone is different," Celia interjected. "African roots evolved within their [geographical] context." Africa is the trunk, she explained, with many different branches.

Music transcends barriers of culture, language and life circumstance. The sisters felt honored and humbled during an appearance at Haiti’s first Festival Mizik Jakmel this May. During the three day festival in the town of Jacmel, the sisters shared the stage with artists like Stephen and Damian Marley and The Reggae Cowboys. Before the festival, residents of the town willingly had their electricity cut from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to provide power for the festival site.

Helene described the experience as "intense." The U.S., Canadian and French sponsored military coup that removed democratically elected president Bertrand Aristide, and the violence that continues has taken a toll on this poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. "Haiti is broken, but the people are so resilient."

Helene and Celia relish their role as spokespersons for the diaspora, and with their new company Nubiatik, they hope to provide other artists with distribution so they can express themselves as well. Their latest "child", Nubian Voyager, is a CD and book that features some of the best underground poets from the United States, France and Africa.

During the Princesses Nubiennes tour, the duo held a poetry contest, and a different local poet opened their concert in each city. That process was such a great success they decided to expand its scope. Helene was the executive producer of the project which took from 2000 to 2005 to complete.

"I recorded the poets’ acapella and then had ["Makeda’s" producer] Mounir [Belkhir] create music to fit the poetry," Helene said. "I didn’t want the words to be influenced by the music." The CD was released in 2005 and the book with CD package followed in 2006.

And what’s the next step on the journey? A new Les Nubians album is scheduled for release in the spring of 2008. As they record, the sisters still perform a few shows each month.

Celia recently relocated to New York while Helene resides in Paris. Celia hasn’t had time to be homesick yet, and because they see each other so often, she hasn’t had time to miss her sister. No matter where they roam, one gets the sense that these voyagers are most at home experiencing the journey itself.

- J. Nadir Omowale

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