on plato’s republic and the deconstruction of western philosophical assumptions and some shit…

June 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

i know that we say that plato is the father of european philosophy.  who is it who says that all other philosophy is a footnote to plato?

but in thinking today about greek philosophy and literature.  specifically plato’s apologia, odyseus and the plato’s republic- i am wondering if plato could better be seen as a the high critic of this european project.  in that the republic is a critique of the foundations of european philosophy.  and if it can be seen as a deconstruction of european totalizing and idealizing foundations.  i mean plato puts forth the idea of the perfect state.  right?  the perfect government.  and the philosopher-king to rule us all in perfect wisdom.  but within this we know that plato is not advocating for such a government but showing us the impossibility of such a government.  showing us the impossibility of achieving such an ideal.  and in his work, he reveals the incredible violence and destructiveness of creating and living by these ideals.  and yet he is acknowledging that we as human cultures do create these ideals.

so in real life.  our project.  rather than trying to re-construct the ideal.  on this earth.  is to create a world that is open to all of the imperfections (aka not ideal) aka diversity in the world.  nothing is ideal.  right?  but in place of the ideal.  we get variety.  we get multiplicity.  we get hybridity.  we get fractures.  and pieces.  or at least that is how it seems to us looking through the paradigm of the ideal.

once we realize this.  then we can begin to talk about how can we contribute to a world that supports this diversity.

i mean what does one see in the blinding light outside of the cave?  color.  colors.  so many different colors.  and so much life in so many different forms and shapes and movements and embodiments…so so much…

where ive been

June 29, 2009 § Leave a comment

hey there

you may have wondered why i havent been posting as frequently lately. well, as i had stated before i was cocooning.

and in the interim i thought you might want to be alerted to some things going on in our lil world.


#i have been guest blogging at flip flopping joy for the past week.  and will be doing so for at least another week or so.  so if you want to check out the posts…

messy but necessary

1. one of the things i have learned in community building is that communities are not monolithic.  now this may seem to be an obvious point.  but one of the principles of my community work has been that we must follow the leadership of the oppressed marginalized excluded.

and in theory.  on paper.  on screen.  that looks really ethical.

in practice.  on the ground.  off line.  these clear lines get much messier.

after years of thought and work, i have stopped referring to myself as non-violent.  non-violence to me is a series of tactics that one uses in order to achieve a more just world.  non-violence is a tactic.  not a goal.  in the non-violent org i used to work for (the same one that joy worked for in palestine) we used to joke: non-violence is the answer.  non-violence is the answer.  non-violence is the answer.  now what was the question?

fluency and coalition

1. We as a society give so much more credit to a white person who is fluent in a third world or people of color language, cultural style and lifestyle than we give to a person of color or third world person who learns intimately a white person’s language and cultural style.

For the white person who masters the others language he or she is made into a ‘master’ of that language and culture. And of Language and Culture in general.

In a person of color such parallel mastery of white folks language or another poc or third world communities language is considered to be ‘par for the course’. In other words it is to be expected of a poc with any ambition to be able to mimic the language and cultural norms of white folks. I am not sure why this is exactly.

i am also also blogging at raven’s eye.  and have altered some what the format of the blog.  you can check it out here.

also i just posted an article here at vegans of color:

survival foods

A nuclear Iran wouldn’t be that bad if it was chummy with Israel.

June 29, 2009 § Leave a comment

a fascinating post on the iranian protests.

So the protesters are a heteroclite assemblage of small groups and individuals ranging from bourgeois who would like to see Iran join NATO, to extreme leftists. But many if not most of them are not demanding the overthrow of the regime. According to my bro, what they would settle for is better economic policies to address unemployment and to stop the Ahmadinejad’s demagogic disaster, and the removal of dress restrictions for women: veil and coat. Basically people want to live better. Austerity is not the modern youth’s favored mode.

The Baseej, of course, are on the other side. They support Ahmedinejad and they also form a significantly large group of young people. There are regional differences in the distribution of the relative importance of the two groups, but, unlike what has been implied, not one group has the monopole of the rural or the urban fabric, or of the provincial cities versus Teheran. There is everything everywhere.

An issue of relevance to Palestine and Lebanon is that dislike (not to say repugnance) of Ahmedinejad and of his policies is spilling over on what he is seen as political choices he has imposed, especially in regional politics: Palestine and Lebanon. So while it was Musawi who had institutionalized the Iran-Hizbullah relationship when he was president (and this was during Hizbullah’s darkest days), support to Palestine and to the Lebanese group is now being seriously criticized by those who are contesting the results of the elections. This is where support to the protests gains increased importance for the US-Israel agenda in the region. A nuclear Iran wouldn’t be that bad if it was chummy with Israel. Remember the Shah?

June 29, 2009 § Leave a comment

Just as the Iranian people (or some of them) were about to feel that the West really cares about them, Michael Jackson died. Now they are realizing that no people and no cause (of the brown people) can rise above the status of a major or minor celebrity.

placenta medicine

June 24, 2009 § 1 Comment

After a woman has a baby, many changes quickly begin to occur in her body. Hormones revert to pre-pregnancy levels, organs shift and blood levels decrease – just to name a few. This transition can sometimes be difficult. Placentas contain hormones which, when given in the postpartum period, can make the change easier. Ingesting the placenta also can help to prevent postpartum depression. I have seen quite a few women who had postpartum depression with previous pregnancies take placenta medicine after a current pregnancy and feel completely different.

Placenta medicine also has nutritional benefits. It is a high source of iron and protein. Because the placenta is the bridge between mother and baby, it contains all of the same vitamins and nutrients that mother has passed across to baby. This may be especially important if a woman experiences postpartum hemorrhage.

~ Kelly Graff
Excerpted from “The Bridge of Life: Options for Placenta,” Midwifery Today, Issue 84


The most practical method of processing the placenta is to dry it. This method has been and still is being used all over the world. Depending on the culture, the placenta is dried in the oven or in the sun. When the placenta is finally mummified after many hours, it will still need to be protected from bacteria and insects.

Traditionally the dried placenta is wrapped in a piece of cloth and hung in a cool, dry place to be cured like bacon. In a modern household, a preferable method is to grind it into a powder and keep it in a well-sealed jar in the refrigerator. The powder can then be used to produce various remedies.

The placenta must be completely mummified before being pulverized. The average placenta is 25 mm thick, has a diameter of 22 cm and weighs about 500 g. Depending on the size and thickness of the organ, an average of three days and three nights is required for it to dry enough to be broken into chunks.

The exposure to heat during the drying process should be as gentle on the healing substances as possible. Afterwards, the placenta will only be half its original size and will have turned hard and black. It needs to be brittle enough to be crushed into pieces with a heavy object.

First, grate the dry chunks of placenta, then grind with a coffee mill or with a mortar and pestle. Keep removing the powder and grinding the bigger pieces. If the powder is still not fine enough, add a carrier substance such as sugar, silica or mineral earth. The crystals of the carrier substance will make the powder even finer.

The completed placenta powder keeps best in a cool, dry place. The container should be marked with the date the powder was made, the dilution and the origin of the raw material. Experience shows that the powder can be stored for up to three years. If bacteria, spores or parasites are not destroyed, the powder will develop a bad smell. If this happens, do not use the powder anymore.

~ Cornelia Enning
Excerpted from Placenta: The Gift of Life, Motherbaby Press 2007

June 23, 2009 § 1 Comment

never forget gaza

h/t rebellious arab girl

simple health care

June 22, 2009 § 2 Comments

as many of you may know i have a healthy distrust of the medical establishment.  and by that i mean that i have stayed away from doctors as much as i could for my teenage and adult life.  now part of this is just economic.  for most of my adult life i havent had health care insurance so i couldnt afford to go see a doctor.  even if i wanted to.  when walking into the doctors office is 70 dollars and that doesnt include tests or fillling prescriptions…i had to find more economic ways to keep myself healthy.

so at first i started with herbs and vitamins.  echinacea, kava kava, st johns wort, vitamin c, etc.

and food.  raw fruits and veggies, cutting out animal products, drinking more water, etc.

and yoga.  and learning to breathe deeply.

and energy/body work. focusing.

and chiropracter after the birth to get my back and especially my spine stronger.

and homeopathy.  which i didnt have a lick of faith in. until i was so desperately in pain with a sinus/tooth infection and i had tried everything and been to two dentists and finally went to the homeopath in san cristobal and a day later i was so much better i couldnt believe it.

and i have plenty of reasons to distrust doctors.  i have my lil set of horror stories.  especially in dealing with /nurses/hospital staff while i am admitted through the er with no insurance…which is why i was at the er in the first place because i couldnt afford to go see a private doctor.

and there are definitely times when i think that doctors are really helpful.  for instance surgery when it is necessary.  and broken bones and xrays.  when i need a knife to cut into my flesh to extract something or set something right … yep a doctor is useful then…

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June 17, 2009 § 3 Comments

some drawing/ paintings by local cairene artist shayma kamel.

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June 13, 2009 § Leave a comment

walk home 4

saqqara pyramids

June 13, 2009 § Leave a comment

saqqara 1

saqqara 2

saqqara 3

saqqara 4

saqqara 5

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