4th of july


DON’T STOP THE MOVEMENT – PARIS

When I was thirteen years old, I was really into hip hop. I had a tape by a rapper named Paris and the album was titled The Devil Made Me Do It.  I remember thinking it was the most violent, dangerous and seditious thing I had ever heard, so needless to say, my adolescent self loved it.  My father found the tape, saw the parental advisory sticker on the cover, the title conjuring images of Satan and listened to a few moments of the first track and immediately decided to confiscate it.  I first tried to steal the tape from my father’s top bureau drawer.  He eventually noticed the tape was missing and questioned me.  I vaguely remember pleading with him that the music represented the violent reality of the violent environment where this poor rapper must have originated.  I was obviously watching far too much MTV and regurgitating what I heard from some talking head.  My father let me have the tape.  I am not sure if I made a successful argument or rather he just didn’t want to hear it anymore.

A few years later, before the 1992 election, Paris released an even more bombastic album titled Sleeping With The Enemy.  The biggest single which garnished much attention was Bush Killa.  The track portrayed a gunman shooting George H. Bush and the nervous record company shelved the album until after the election.

Seventeen years later, I wondered if this enigma named Paris still made music, if he was still as committed to his art and his politics. Here’s what I happily discovered on YouTube.

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CAN YOU IDENTIFY PROPAGANDA?



When We Furnish the Means By Which We Suffer

“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without a government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

-Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

post script,

Thomas Paine used all of his profits from the sales of Common Sense to purchase mittens for the Continental Army whom were to invade English-occupied Canada in the cold of winter.



A Police State Can Only Exist Through Willful Ignorance and Civic Indifference

 

This is video footage of a pastor being beaten and tazered by border patrol agents after this pastor requested the police officers to abide by constitutional law and honor this individual’s civil liberties.  This video made me cry.  I get really upset when I see individuals who took a sacred oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution acting like ignorant, jackboot thugs with no inkling of understanding concerning constitutional law.  I get really upset when I see innocent American citizens beaten by people whose job is to “protect and serve the public.” It shouldn’t be possible.

It is not well enough for you or me to individually understand our civil liberties and constitutional law. We must educate every American around us.  We need to educate our neighbors who are police officers, soldiers, teachers, everyone.  I carry a U.S. Constitution in my purse, I carry one in my work uniform.  My coworkers laugh at me but I play the role of the clown. I make self effacing jokes but I assure you this, my coworkers are well aware that last week the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was eroded by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision that states attorneys are not required to be present in police interrogations in “certain situations.”  I may play the clown, but my coworkers, from the busboys to the servers to the bartenders to the cooks to the managers, know that eroding our Bill Rights creates a slippery slope which can only lead despotism.  My coworkers are learning. Teach your neighbors, teach your coworkers, bring a constitution every where.  The christians carry their Bibles and memorize biblical script, shouldn’t we carry the U.S. Constitution and memorize constitutional law if we are going evangelize to the American people the virtues liberty and constitutional republicanism?