Posted by: Khepera | Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Launching the 2nd Stage


For the eager, the patient, those intrigued and those steadfast, the time has come — the Second Edition of the Heartfire Rendezvous romantic adventure trilogy is finally here and available, on Amazon of course!! All three volumes are now at a second edition, incorporating shifts subtle and significant.

Book I – Destiny — 3483824

Book II – The Crossing — 3483845 

Book III – Culmination — 3483846

Heartfire Rendezvous romantic adventure trilogy is a broadly inclusive weaving of human cultures from ancient Egypt, Olmec and Inka to Dravida, China, Angor Wat and Angor Thom, Micronesia and Amerindian. The overlay of spiritual systems and principles exposes unfamiliar linkages, posing a fabric of communion instead of conquest as alternate paradigm.  Heartfire Rendezvous is character-rich speculative fiction spanning several continents and epochs of time.

The following readers’ resources are available on my Heartfire Rendezvous blog:

You can actually view pages of text on Amazon, to check it out, if you prefer. However, should you choose to buy, please use the links at the top — to my E-Store on Amazon — I get a better split.  🙂

TV interview @ Heartfire Rendezvous on YouTube

Some have termed the writing “enthralling,” “couldn’t put it down.” It is a feast for hungers, some you knew, some you did not know you had. As author, I invite you into the Heartfire Rendezvous universe…..may your life never be the same…

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Posted by: Khepera | Monday, 15 August 2011

Up Close & Toxic


<a href="

” target=”_blank”>Up Close & Toxic

As some may know, our home environment in the USA is starkly toxic.  The above link will take you to the PBS page where an exceptional program on this topic is referenced   If you are aware of the toxic nature of our food industry, you should really find out about this — it could empower you to make significant positive changes in your living spaces.


This is fairly old news now, but it’s amazing how many Americans — particularly African Americans — are unaware of this, especially with a new school year drawing near….  There are two articles below — one from the Washington Post.  It is worth considering this info when choosing to accept Internet-based research, not to mention having one’s children warehoused& spoon fed historical crap in the name of education.

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William & Mary history professor finds gaffe in her child’s 4th grade textbook

Excerpt

A textbook distributed to Virginia fourth-graders says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War — a claim rejected by most historians but often made by groups seeking to play down slavery’s role as a cause of the conflict.

The passage appears in “Our Virginia: Past and Present,” which was distributed in the state’s public elementary schools for the first time last month. The author, Joy Masoff, who is not a trained historian but has written several books, said she found the information about black Confederate soldiers primarily through Internet research, which turned up work by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Scholars are nearly unanimous in calling these accounts of black Confederate soldiers a misrepresentation of history. Virginia education officials, after being told by The Washington Post of the issues related to the textbook, said that the vetting of the book was flawed and that they will contact school districts across the state to caution them against teaching the passage.

“Just because a book is approved doesn’t mean the Department of Education endorses every sentence,” said spokesman Charles Pyle. He also called the book’s assertion about black Confederate soldiers “outside mainstream Civil War scholarship.”

Masoff defended her work. “As controversial as it is, I stand by what I write,” she said. “I am a fairly respected writer.”

The issues first came to light after College of William & Mary historian Carol Sheriff opened her daughter’s copy of “Our Virginia” and saw the reference to black Confederate soldiers.

“It’s disconcerting that the next generation is being taught history based on an unfounded claim instead of accepted scholarship,” Sheriff said. “It concerns me not just as a professional historian but as a parent.”

Virginia, which is preparing to mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, has long struggled to appropriately commemorate its Confederate past. The debate was reinvigorated this spring, when Gov. Robert F. Mc­Don­nell (R) introduced “Confederate History Month” in Virginia without mentioning slavery’s role in the Civil War. He later apologized.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group of male descendants of Confederate soldiers based in Columbia, Tenn., has long maintained that substantial numbers of black soldiers fought for the South The group’s historian-in-chief, Charles Kelly Barrow, has written the book “Black Confederates.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans also disputes the widely accepted conclusion that the struggle over slavery was the main cause of the Civil War. Instead, the group says, the war was fought “to preserve their homes and livelihood,” according to John Sawyer, chief of staff of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Army of Northern Virginia. He said the group was pleased that a state textbook accepted some of its views.

The state’s curriculum requires textbook publishers and educators to explore the role African Americans played in the Confederacy, including their work on plantations and on the sidelines of battle. Those standards have evolved in recent years to make lessons on the Civil War more inclusive in a state that is growing increasingly diverse.

When Masoff began work on the textbook, she said she consulted a variety of sources — history books, experts and the Internet. But when it came to one of the Civil War’s most controversial themes — the role of African Americans in the Confederacy — she relied primarily on an Internet search.

The book’s publisher, Five Ponds Press, based in Weston, Conn., sent a Post reporter three of the links Masoff found on the Internet. Each referred to work by Sons of the Confederate Veterans or others who contend that the fight over slavery was not the main cause of the Civil War.

In its short lesson on the roles that whites, African Americans and Indians played in the Civil War, “Our Virginia” says, “Thousands of Southern blacks fought in the Confederate ranks, including two black battalions under the command of Stonewall Jackson.”

Masoff said of the assertion: “It’s just one sentence. I don’t want to ruffle any feathers. If the historians had contacted me and asked me to take it out, I would have.”

She added that the book was reviewed by a publisher’s advisory council of educators and that none of the advisers objected to the textbook’s assertion.

Historians from across the country, however, said the sentence about Confederate soldiers was wrong or, at the least, overdrawn. They expressed concerns not only over its accuracy but over the implications of publishing an assertion so closely linked to revisionist Confederate history.

“It’s more than just an arcane, off-the-wall problem,” said David Blight, a professor at Yale University. “This isn’t just about the legitimacy of the Confederacy, it’s about the legitimacy of the emancipation itself.”

For the rest of the article

Posted by: Khepera | Friday, 29 July 2011

Lemons: Sour to Taste, Sweet to Body Health


FYI…@ a friend

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The Surprising Benefits of Lemon

This could be an inexpensive and easily available source of great hope for many….

Friends: Eat lemons and/or drink its juice and you will stay cheerful, happy and cancer free.

Eating a Lemon is lot healthier than eating an orange … LEMONS will clean all your INTESTINES.. Which oranges won’t!

LISTEN UP FOLKS:

This is something that we should all take seriously. Even doctors are now saying that there in value in trying LEMONS. This is the latest in medicine, effective for cancer! Read carefully & you be the judge.

Lemon (Citrus)is a miraculous product to kill cancer cells . It is 10,000 times stronger than chemotherapy. Why do we not know about that? Because there are laboratories interested in making a synthetic version that will bring them huge profits. You can now help a friend in need by letting him/her know that lemon juice is beneficial in preventing the disease. Its taste is pleasant and it does not produce the horrific effects of chemotherapy.

How many people will die while this closely guarded secret is kept, so as not to jeopardize the beneficial multimillionaire large corporations? As you know, the lemon tree is known for its varieties of lemons and limes. You can eat the fruit in different ways: you can eat the pulp, juice, prepare drinks, sorbets, pastries, etc… It is credited with many virtues, but the most interesting is the effect it produces on cysts and tumors.

This plant is a proven remedy against cancers of all types. Some say it is very useful in all varieties of cancer . It is considered also as an anti- microbial spectrum against bacterial infections and fungi, effective against internal parasites and worms, it regulates blood pressure which is too high and an antidepressant, combats stress and nervous disorders.

The source of this information is fascinating: it comes from one of the largest drug manufacturers in the world, says that after more than 20 laboratory tests since 1970, the extracts revealed that: It destroys the malignant cells in 12 cancers, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreas … The compounds of this tree showed 10,000 times better than the product Adriamycin, a drug normally used chemotherapeutic in the world, slowing the growth of cancer cells.

And what is even more astonishing: this type of therapy with lemon extract only destroys malignant cancer cells and it does not affect healthy cells.

Institute of Health Sciences, L.L.C.
819 N. Cause Street
Baltimore, MD

Posted by: Khepera | Saturday, 5 February 2011

Integrity Within the Community


An elder of mine, in my home town of Detroit, asked me to write something on this, as a result of one of our conversations….

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A needed foundation stone, for nearly any community effort, is trust.  Trust builds from integrity.  A people without integrity will have little trust among them.  How to rebuild so crucial a foundation element – how can you make a choice of integrity, over its opposite, ‘pay off’?

It seems safe to say that every man in the African American community, the entire African Diaspora, and beyond, would agree on the following:

Every woman is someone’s mother, daughter, sister or wife.  If there is something adverse you may be considering towards a female, even you know that you could never do that with impunity, in her neighborhood, on her block.  As men, we wish, pray, that in that moment, when a female relative finds herself in a dangerous situation, someone would step up and check the situation.

This author has done this, more than once.  How can we, any of us, hope & pray that someone else will do what we will not?  No one is talking about taking on seven guns by yourself.  If action had been taken earlier, it may never have even reached that point.

Let’s be clear, this is not about heroes.  It’s about righteousness.  All of us are not leaders, all of us are not courageous.  Yet, as I have found in situations like this, those who may not initiate such a confrontation, might be more than willing to back the one who does.  Others more hesitant soon follow, once they realize it is this one – or three – against a community of nine, and growing.

We used to have a different kind of community, where there was a clarity about what was and was not acceptable, here….and it did not take a block club meeting.  Go criminal for a minute, and contemplate the 80’s, with angel dust and crack.  There was a time, the rule was “never deal in your own neighborhood.”  That soon fell by the wayside.

Therein rests a major difference between criminality/abuse and integrity – one will change the rules to make what’s happening right now ok, whereas the other is consistent…or it is not integrity.

We used to gasp or shudder when we heard about another bright young African American woman being snatched, only to be found dead days or weeks later….“and a good student too!”  We used to.  What if you knew, that taking a stand, asking a simple question could make a deposit in the karma bank which could actually help a female loved one?  Is that a payoff?  Does that have value?

The most valuable things in our lives have no dollar value anyone could name. More than a ‘deposit in the karma bank’, each time one of us does something like this – on our own, or en masse – the collective, the community planet-wide takes a small step forward.  How many of you remember a time when sending your twelve year-old daughter or niece to the store for a missing ingredient in the late afternoon was NOT something to worry about?  Could we do this because “the streets were safer then”?  No.  It was because, even then – city, town or country store – folks knew there were certain things which would not go unchallenged.  Like the old thief’s adage “Why bother with the home which has an alarm system when there plenty that don’t?”

For a variety of reasons, we have abdicated our responsibilities, individually & collectively.  We lost it by inches, then in large chunks, crumbling before our eyes, ’til all we have left is this current shell, better suiting to kiting than any form of structure or support.

“We can avoid our responsibilities,
but not the consequences of avoiding our responsibilities.”

African proverb

There’s more than enough blame to go around.  The question is, what do we do from here, right where we’re standing..?..not spending time trying to build national coalitions.  Yes, that’s all fine and good…..but only if your streets are secure.   The effort needs to be homegrown. Can you have a community garden on your block without being concerned that the produce will be snatched days before the grower’s harvest?  Can your son leave their bicycle in the driveway, unlocked, to get a drink on a hot day, and be assured it will be there when he comes back?  As James Brown sang, “There was a time…”

Truth is, if a community, a block does not have trust among its members, it is not a community…..just a bunch of frightened folks who happen to live on the same street.  Peace, and integrity in a community is like having sunshine nearly every day – it can radically change how you see, how you choose to be, building an assurance, like a rising tide, and a rising tide lifts all ships.

Before closing, there is one other factor which must be addressed.  On the part of the women, once you get the sense this might be for real, some of you may feel this is the time to jump in some brother’s face, even get physical.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Just because someone supposedly has your back does not free you to be abusive or demeaning to the other person.  In every instance of oppression, and revolution, there comes a time when a period of truce is called for.  Yes, accountability is crucial, but what will you say when questions are raised about the extent to which you contributed to a situation you knew you were not ready for?  Is your ego going to move you to put your brothers/friends/community in a position to be hurt, killed or made to look like fools trying to protect you?  Is that integrity?  If it is to work, it must work across the board.

In a paragraph above, a child was described leaving their bicycle in the driveway – without lock or putting it inside the gate.  It is easy to imagine that some of you thought this was ridiculous, that the child should know better.  In most cases you would be right.  If this premise holds here, how can one claim to disregard it when choosing what clothing to wear out into them be it midday or midnight?  Who is at responsible, the one who spilled the gasoline in the building, or the one who lit the match?

We all are.

Posted by: Khepera | Thursday, 16 December 2010

Book III – Culmination is available again on Amazon!!


As of this morning, Heartfire Rendezvous Book III – Culmination is once again available on Amazon!! I know some of you have been waiting, wanting to get the full set, and I appreciate both your support and your patience….which has now been rewarded!!

Also, be advised that I have put together a discount arrangement for any African American booksellers which are interested in carrying the Heartfire Rendezvous adventure trilogy in their store(s) at a price competitive with that of Amazon.  Send me an email directly, and I will forward the agreement particulars.

Enjoy!!!

HR Book 3 - cover

Heartfire Rendezvous Book 3 - Culmination

Heartfire Rendezvous

Heads up folks!! The wait is OVER!! December 1st is  launch day, and release of Heartfire Rendezvous trilogy is ON!! It’s been a long haul to get here, and exhilaration is in order..!!

To browse info & images, the Heartfire Rendezvous blog is a good place to start.  The best source for info on the books, resources and other news is HeartfireRendezvous.com, is also launch imminent.  Stay tuned!

For those who already know, use the following links to my E-store to shop Amazon, I get a better split.

Book I – Destiny

Book II – The Crossing

Book III – Culmination

Below is part one of a television interview on Andrea Knight’s Global People Link.  The rest of the video can be found on the Heartfire Rendezvous blog

HeartFire
Posted by: Khepera | Sunday, 7 November 2010

Mississippi and the Scott sisters: The Definition of Injustice


Mississippi and the Scott sisters… Anyone who knows about the state knows that in many ways it is one of the most backwards states in this country…and this can only be true if the same can be said for those who occupy, and thereby elect those who run the state. The story of the Scott sisters is all too exemplary of this collapse of moral vigor and simple humanity, again, not surprising for Mississippi.

I first heard of this story several months ago, and, sadly, posting on this slipped for me, in large part due to some personal medical challenges I have faced this year.  That said, the excerpted article below details & references many critical aspects of this case…which can in no way be considered an application of what any sane human being would define as “justice”. It is up to us with the means to get the word out, to fan the fire…

I must apologize for the delay in my posting this, due to some personal health setbacks, but nonetheless, this info needs to get out.  Therefore, I am releasing this post today, and will update it as the days pass & their story develops further.  Consider the following:

Mississippi Pardons

By BOB HERBERT
Published: October 15, 2010

Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi has to decide whether to show mercy to two sisters, Jamie and Gladys Scott, who are each serving double consecutive life sentences in state prison for a robbery in which no one was injured and only $11 was taken.

This should be an easy call for a law-and-order governor who has, nevertheless, displayed a willingness to set free individuals convicted of far more serious crimes. Mr. Barbour has already pardoned four killers and suspended the life sentence of a fifth.

The Scott sisters have been in prison for 16 years. Jamie, now 38, is seriously ill. Both of her kidneys have failed. Keeping the two of them locked up any longer is unconscionable, grotesquely inhumane.

The sisters were accused of luring two men to a spot outside the rural town of Forest, Miss., in 1993, where the men were robbed by three teenagers, one of whom had a shotgun. The Scott sisters knew the teens. The evidence of the sisters’ involvement has always been ambiguous, at best. The teenagers pleaded guilty to the crime, served two years in prison and were released. All were obliged by the authorities, as part of their plea deals, to implicate the sisters.

No explanation has ever emerged as to why Jamie and Gladys Scott were treated so severely.

In contrast, Governor Barbour has been quite willing to hand get-out-of-jail-free cards to men who unquestionably committed shockingly brutal crimes. The Jackson Free Press, an alternative weekly, and Slate Magazine have catalogued these interventions by Mr. Barbour. Some Mississippi observers have characterized the governor’s moves as acts of mercy; others have called them dangerous abuses of executive power.

Read More…


While Israel’s history of unprovoked attacks and human rights abuses is not news to most, it is nonetheless something which is rarely reported through news channels here in the US, and in Europe.  However, now we have a circumstance which is perhaps even more compelling than Israel’s attack on the USS Cole.  Why?  Because it is not merely the report of one, or even a few reporters, it is a comprehensive report from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights(the PDF can be found here).  A few articles have appeared in international newspapers(London Guardian) certain web resources, such as the Salon and Huffington Post. As noted in the report:

The force used by the Israeli military “was unnecessary, disproportionate, excessive and inappropriate and resulted in the wholly avoidable killing and maiming of a large number of civilian passengers”; that “at least six of the killings can be characterized as extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions”

It also adds that Furkan Dogan, a US citizen, was one of those killed by Israelis. It’s important to keep in mind that this was a peaceful flotilla of boats trying to bring aid to the people of Gaza. Israel violated numerous international human rights conventions, including the Fourth Geneva Conventions (see p. 38, paragraph 172 of the report).

In the Salon article, Glenn Greenwald notes:

The U.N. investigators interviewed 112 witnesses and consulted with numerous forensic and medical experts, while Israel refused to speak with its investigators (though Israeli officials are cooperating with a separate group investigating the attack).

Read the UN report, peruse the other articles, and see if you come to the same conclusion that the acts of the Israeli military include not only murder, but constitute war crimes, as defined by the UN. Perhaps now, finally, the free pass & blind eye Israel has enjoyed for so many years will finally cease to be a factor in Middle East, US & global politics.  Certainly it is clear for the people to see, especially when you look at the response of the people of Israel’s allies, such as Turkey.

Posted by: Khepera | Sunday, 26 September 2010

Indigenous Survival — A Global Challenge


This is from a close friend & colleague of mine, the indefatigable Runoko Rashidi

This article raises some critical question in this very important discussion — the discussion which brings focus & attention to the adverse impact of globalization, capitalism and the western cultural retrovirus in devouring living human museums around the planet.  If we consider the well known African proverb

“When an elder dies, a library is lost.”

then what is it when a village dies, when a people dies?  For this reason, genocide is considered so heinous.  IMHO, globalization is simply a euphemism of cultural homogeneity. It is this aspect which China and many Arab nations hold up as the righteous justification for their choice to buttress themselves & their people from the cultural contamination of the west.

In the final analysis, no human being has the scope of vision or the wealth of knowledge to make the judgment call on which lifeforms should survive, and which should die off, be they plant, animal or least of all human.  At some point, this exaggerated sense of privilege which Europe has assumed must be terminated, for the sake of the planet as a whole.  Western culture has become the Borg of the planet…but most of us still know resistance is not futile, but a crucial necessity.

Again, none of us fully comprehends the scope of the knowledge base that a given indigenous people possesses, and maintains.  None of us fully comprehends what happens to the food chain when artificially concocted foods — with deleterious effects on animals and humans — gets into the food chain.  We have fish who ingest plastic fragments from bags choking our seas(also here), which are in turn ingested by other fish, animals and humans.  As long as these indigestible substances remain, they are passed along in the food chain to contaminate those who unknowingly feed on on the compromised flesh of these other animals.  The same goes for the ingestion of GMO’s, as addressed in earlier posts(and here also). We have forgotten that the old name for farming is “husbandry“, as in animal husbandry — we are mates, spouses to Mother Earth, and our consistent pattern of abuse is more than just cause for divorce….and we all know what that means.

It may be worth considering that there is an equivalent dynamic within the human cultural dynamic — do you really want to ingest/digest the cultural plastic garbage of western culture?  If we are what we eat/ingest — by mouth, eye, ear or mind — then nutrition is not only about the health/integrity of the body.  If biodiversity is crucial for planetary health, then the same can be said for cultural diversity.

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Native Island Tribe Redefining Survival

by Julienne Gage

It has taken several hundred years and one radical proposal, but the last Carib natives in the Caribbean, the Kalinago, are taking steps to preserve their culture by redefining what it means to survive as a people.

Indigenous peoples are among the most affected by poverty worldwide. And this week the United Nations hosted the Millennium Development Summit to discuss progress on its goal of halving global poverty by 2015.

The Kalinago tribe, on the island of Dominica, is under some historic population pressure. The vast majority of the West Indies’ Carib and Arawak natives died from disease, murder or suicide during the first few hundred years of colonization. The Kalinago survived as a tribe because of their location high in Dominica’s rugged terrain, which was less appealing for colonial plantations.

For the full article

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