Late December 2013 radio interviews

I had a series of radio interviews in late December on various facets of the NSA spying controversy. Between a favorable court ruling, and surprisingly strong recommendations from the President’s review board on global signals intelligence (to which I responded immediately after the president’s announcement of the review board back in August), I had plenty of grist for my analytical mill:

  • On December 28, I spoke alongside former CIA analyst Ray McGovern (who you can see in action inCOINTELPRO 2.0, a video I helped produce back in 2011) in an interview by host Kevin Pina on Saturday Morning Talkies on KPFA (Pacifica-Berkeley).
     
  • On Christmas Eve, December 24, host Guillermo Jimenez interviewed me for a podcast on Boiling Frogs Post, also featured at Traces of Reality.
     
  • On December 23, I was interviewed by host Glen Ford on Black Agenda Report about domestic spying beyond the NSA, including postal surveillance by the US Postal Service. 
     
  • On December 20, correspondent Alice Ollstein recorded an interview for Free Speech Radio News about the president’s review board and its recommendations.

Sitting (February 2009)

Moments grasped
with longing
outstretched fingers
from the blur
in all directions
of a life lived fully

Oases
in a barren land
sand dunes shifting
in an intricate infinitely
beguiling dance
that could leave
one too distracted to drink
even if there were water
more often

Claiming space
for one’s mind
with closed eyes
a dark room and
a modicum of quiet
while the life
of this world
tries to beat
down the door

Tailwind (January 1998)

My feet, it appears, can step nowhere wrong.
Something is guiding my actions.
Floating on destiny’s tide, I ride,
driven by winds I can’t feel or hear.

Fate pulls my strings like a wry puppeteer,
making me dance a cute jig.
The marionette must convey what I feel,
for whatever I, the puppet, desire,

appears on the stage,
a wonder itself.

All things come to those who wait,
or those who see fit to give in,
letting What lies without lie within,
putting the strings in Its hands.

Discovering My Id (August 2001)

Somewhere deep inside
the enigmatic depths
of the feeble human mind
in which our selves are hidden

is a Mollusk
a slitherous
cute little cuddly thing
that lays at the root
of our personalities

It watches, and learns
It’s skittish, elusive
visceral
primordial
pre-civilizational

completely obscured
from our conscious attention
a symbiotic parasite
intertwined with our souls

eyes on tall stalks
fear, rhythm, and hunger
for both food and passion
are its twisted contributions
to our lifelong trial

And that is how
we will never make machines
with all our glorious sophistication
The mollusk is id
irreplicable
inexorable
the collected organic memory
of several million years

Meditation lulls
the mollusk to sleep

Democracy (September 2001)

[I wrote this poem 3 days after the 9-11 attacks that have come to define my life since.]

It will never again
be the way it once was,
back before
the bad things started to happen,

relative innocents
dying en masse
no one currently
understanding the cause.

In Vietnam our people
died in great numbers
thrown into the swirling
razor blades of a fan

blood and gore spilled
by the strokes of pens held
in the rich, fat fingers
of well-to-do white men,

and we took to the streets
to make our will known
to wrest our trust back
from those who abused it.

And today, once again,
we reap what they sow,
generations of tyrannical
insidious world domination

achieved with the bullets
or trade, dollars, and cents,
the espionage
of cultural co-optation,

the best foreign minds
drawn to the imperial center
pilfering the hope
of potential future resistance,

and we’ve allowed it
to happen,
our mandate miswielded,
and whereas before,

it was us, apathetic,
made complacent
by electronic baubles and gadgets,
disinterested in what we worked abroad,

we now feel the pain
that we have inflicted on others,
hiding behind our veneer, propaganda,
or prosperity, peace,

and poverty.
The luxury of remaining lax has lapsed.
We must change our paradigm
or be swept into the dumpster

behind the house
in which history lives.
It stands
for liberty and justice for all.