4th of july


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.




Slum Doggy-Style Millionaire – We Got To Stop Taking It In The Butt and Start Giving It Gently

Altruism Looks Good On You!

Altruism Looks Good On You!

If it can be asserted that microlending as an institution is successfully effective and that such monolithic agencies as the IMF or the World Bank effectively keep third world nations mired in a constant state of debt and exposed to corporate exploitation, why would any rational individual or society consent to having their tax dollars given to a centralized global bank?

With a tiny loan of several hundred dollars, you could arrange for a peer-to-peer transaction giving a small loan to a micro-entrepreneur.  With that money, an individual wallowing in poverty could finance an a humble enterprise and rise above poverty.  This might seem unlikely, but when compared economically to the poverty-stricken of the third world, even the most modest of Americans is comparatively wealthy.  Altruistic American junior high students could reasonably raise a small amount of capital selling candy bars to fellow classmates, arrange a peer-to-peer microloan through one of many organizations and effectively finance a small business in Madhya Pradesh which would enormously and forever change the standard of living of not one person, but that person’s family and community for the unforeseeable future.  You could be your own charity, be your own Sally Struthers.  The idea is simple and the reality is beautiful.

The economic reality and effect of current global banks such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund is the photographic and spiritual negative of microlending.  These are the centralized, international banks that crush nations with their explotative macrolending policies.  Their agents cajole, bribe, blackmail or threaten leaders of the third world to take these loans on behalf of their poor nation.  The money is either taken from tax revenue or more realistically printed fresh by the US Federal Reserve, never truly channeling through the borrower nation, but funneling directly to the international corporations who are contracted to build the borrower nation’s infrastructure.  What the corporations actually do is build infrastructure which will allow these corporations to monopolize the natural resources of the borrower nation.  The government of the borrower nation is now expected to make payments on the loan but most likely will not be able to afford payments on the interest.  If all goes according to plan, the borrower nation will hopefully be unable to make payments and go into default.  If that happens, one or many central banks, be it the US Federal Reserve, the World Bank or the IMF, will bailout the nation.  This will cause more fiat money to be printed at the cost of the American people but the profit of the central banks and sink the borrower nation so deeply in debt, that it is left at the mercy and under the influence of the imperial, hegemonic desire of the United States government.  The corporations are getting richer and richer plundering the country side, the US will expect perks from the defaulted nation such as loyal votes in the United Nations, land to build US military bases, et cetera, as the lending international banking agency keeps collecting money and the local national economy plummets into dire poverty.  If a populist leader of the borrower nation protests or attempts to nationalize the production of his nation’s natural resources, that leader is dealt blackmail, bribes or threats.  If that leader is an individual of principle and resolve, he is then dealt assassination, coup d’état or military junto.  If those measures fail, the US military invades.  Ordinarily in these situations, warlords generally rise to power; immoral and violent individuals who do not blanch at the opportunity of bullying their nation’s population into submission as corporations plunder, the international bank tallies the usury and the imperial US military stands sentry.  If microlending is simple and beautiful, macrolending is complex and terrible.

Imagine a world where we did not have a government that laundered hundreds of billions of US dollars every year to international, central banks which shackles third world nations forever in debt and forever vulnerable to exploitation.  Imagine a world where we did not live in a nation that required forty-one military bases across the globe to enforce its imperial hegemony and to defend favored criminal, multinational corporations who plunder and defile the most vulnerable in the world.  Imagine a world where we do not have to fear such concepts as “blowback” or the that the rest of the world hates us.  Imagine a world where we did not have to fear terrorists inspired by of our government immoral intervention.  Imagine the enormous amount of private capital which would be spared from taxation and inflation, which would not support this international, racketeer operation, which could be spent on anything we so desired.  Imagine but the tiniest fraction of that saved capital and how it could afford a peer-to-peer loan.  Imagine knowing and fostering a relationship based on friendship and respect with an individual thousands of miles across the globe, knowing their family, exchanging letters and pictures, hope.  Imagine the positive effect becoming like a cascade of social dominos; as more individuals rise from poverty, they could make future microloans of their own to needy others in own local communities.  Imagine a world economy not supported by neo-Liberal exploitation but a true free market.  It would be beautiful.  We can change our world but it is going to take vision and courage.  We need to stop consenting to criminal government and central banking policies.  We need to change the way our society solves immense issues because sometimes the biggest questions have the littlest answers.

Don’t Vote?

Don’t vote? What does that imply? Not consenting through ballot to a corrupt system that imposes policy through physical, political, intellectual and economical force?

The first video posted is produced independently and contains an individual named Stefan articulately posing the challenge “don’t vote” with all earnestness. The second video is quite literally a government-produced propaganda piece with giant, Hollywood celebrities such as Jennifer Annistan and Ashton Kutcher posing the same challenge as the first video, but this time sarcastically.

My question is this: which video is condescending and insulting to your intelligence?  Which video makes you feel suspicious of the producer and speaker’s motivation?  Which one makes you feel truly hopeless politically and which one makes you feel optimistic about humanity and humanity’s future?  Which one makes you want to change your world?

Do not be fearful.  If we speak the truth, if we fill our hearts with love, hope, our minds with knowledge and enlightenment, we have nothing to fear.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”


“We cannot change the world, we can only change our world.”

Joseph Campbell

Demand Peace!

Want peace in the Middle East? Want a democratic Iran? Want to travel the world and once again feel as an individual, you represent liberty, democracy, justice and constitutional governance? Do you want terrorists, warlords and despots to vanish from the political landscape? Demand an end to U.S. intervention in the Middle East. If you want peace, demand peace. We are still the people, we still have the power.