Fortune (January 2017)

Whenever I
feel
melancholy
I remember

how other people
spend the month of December:
exposed to the elements,
trying to stay dry.

A hair's breadth
separates
that guy
from you & I.

A melodic holiday mix from a melodious night

I spun this downtempo, funky, melodic set for Gender Blender’s 2016 holiday party at the renowned Mission Control space in its new location in West Oakland. Mission Control has been a cornerstone in the Bay Area counterculture for more than a generation, and Gender Blender has been supporting, connecting, and inspiring queer people & allies since 2009. 

No rest for the weary

After an emotionally challenging summer, I enjoyed the chance to immerse myself in my work in the fall. October offered many chances to speak in support of other organizations in addition to EFF, including Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (APILO), the ACLU of Northern California, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle in Baltimore, and a documentary film, "Do Not Resist," that played at an independent theater in my old neighborhood.

"What we're talking about here are general warrants."

News that Yahoo facilitated the NSA's war on America made the surveillance debate more complicated, but I tried to make it simple on Rising Up with Sonali Kolhatkar by explaining that, "What we're talking about here are general warrants."

Mourning my Mom (September 2016)

[I wrote this poem a few weeks before my mother passed away.]

"Criminalizing transparency to protect illegitimate uses of power’"

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting interviewed me for the Septembr 9 episode of their syndicated radio program, Counterspin, heard on 130 noncommercial stations across the U.S. and Canada. 

Host Janine Jackson & I discussed the problem of police retaliating against grasroots journalists for recording their activities, a petition campaign by documentary filmakers in solidarity with vulnerable communities, and how they relate to a broader crisis of transparency and executive secrecy. FAIR posted both audio & a transcript, which included my favorite passage below: 

Across all of these contexts, what we are talking about is criminalizing transparency to protect illegitimate uses of power. And that, of course, is what the Constitution is supposed to stop....We’re supposed to be committed as a country to transparency and to reining in arbitrary power, but...[we accept it] whether it’s criminalizing and persecuting whistleblowers for revealing fraud, waste and abuse, or lies by executive officials, or whether it’s jailing grassroots journalists who are recording the police departments in their communities using arbitrary violence to, in some cases, kill people extrajudicially without ever proving guilt of any offense at all, let alone a serious one...at the same time, mind you, that senior executive officials do lie about grave issues of global importance and get away with it.

A night cruising the playa on the Aquazone art car

I spun this mix on the Aquazone art car in Black Rock City the night of Friday, September 2, 2016—the night before the effigy burn at Burning Man. It starts out tribal & dramatic, then grows more jazzy and playful, but remains funky from start to finish. 

A breakthrough in Washington

For years, I've championed the power of transpartisan resistance to the co-optation of our Republic by the Deep State, whose role in secretly undermining democracy in America is explained (in writing, or video) more elegantly by professor Michael Glennon than by me. My latest writing for EFF celebrates a milestone in the struggle to overcome secret government: the creation of a bipartisan Fourth Amendment Caucus in the House of Representatives. 

On matters implicating privacy, such as mass surveillance or the powers of investigatory agencies, Congress has too often failed to fulfill its responsibilities. By neglecting to examine basic facts, and deferring to executive agencies whose secrets preclude meaningful debate, the body has allowed proposals that undermine constitutional rights to repeatedly become enshrined in law. In last week’s launch of a new bipartisan Fourth Amendment Caucus in the House, however, the Constitution has gained a formidable ally.

Every Member of Congress swears an oath to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Yet the most significant threats to our Constitution include the powers of U.S. intelligence agencies, enabled by Congress’ faith in the agencies’ willingness to respect legal limits on their powers.

Spitting truth to power on Independence Day weekend

The weekend of July 4th brought me back to the east coast to rejoin Meso Creso, a crew started by some DC homies with which I've rolled since 2009, at the PEX Summer Festival. My DJ & MC set that Friday night was among my highlights of the summer.

After DJing for 4 years and MCing for over 20, this is the first recording ever to combine my beats and live vocals, so I'm quite excited to share it! My several vocal peformances include (around 31:15) this rhyme connecting the dots between our various struggles "from Ferguson to Jerusalem."

Pouring one out for our fallen homies

Our last party in the RECON series was dedicated to the victim of the Pulse shooting in Orlando. We collected donations to the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, as well as the Pulse Victims Fund, and also displayed a memorial with photos of those killed in the attack and a card collecting condolences to their loved ones. My mix recorded that night spans melodic, tribal, funky, Latin, and old-school house.

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