Monthly Archives: October 2011

What if Outlaw Bikers (“1%’s”) Join the Occupy Movement?

As the Occupy movement gains momentum and support the potential for more police violence is always present.  In most cases the unarmed, peaceful protestors will be the losers (as happened in Oakland.)  The occupy movement has natural allies that provide them with protection and clout (e.g., union members.)   In return, the occupy movement provides lots of youthful energy, passion and creativity.  This winter is the time for organizing and building coalitions.  I hope this article provides ideas and inspiration as to the kind of power the occupy movement can have.

The one group with a long-history of confronting police harassment and social rejection include the subculture known as “Outlaw Bikers.”  Ironically, they are also known as “1%’s” – but for very different reasons (as you will learn below.)  They also represent one of the last truly free-living groups (like the James gang and other western outlaws.)  These leading-edge freedom fighters live to ride hard, play hard, and fight hard when provoked.  However, demographics and police repression have reduced the numbers of potential members.  Most “outlaw” chapters do want to engage and help the community – any many are involved with charity.  The outlaw bikers will find kindred spirits in young punk rockers, skateboarders, street gangs, and even hippies!

Historically, the Hells Angels have been a major presence in the SF Bay area (particularly Oakland) for over fifty years.  This gang has been demonized by most of society – particularly the cops and media.  Not unlike, the Sopranos and others, outlaw bikers are involved in a range of “criminal” activities that are economically rational, given the unfair society they and the rest of us live in.  They are prone to violence if provoked.  However, the “crimes” committed by outlaw bikes mainly hurt each other or those who make the mistake of messing with them.   Many outlaw bikers have similar politics and experiences to the Tea Party (i.e., are less educated, white males that tend to be veterans who like guns.)  Like the hippies and some Occupy protestors, they are alienated from society and have learned to live outside the system (i.e., off the grid and outside the law.)  All three groups would agree that “we should be able to do anything we want, whenever we want – as long as we don’t hurt anyone else.” Click below to learn why outlaw bikers and the occupy movement would be a good match to help keep the cops in check.

Continue reading

Categories: Activism - Occupy | 25 Comments

Jesus Would Lead the Occupy Movement to Fight Injustice

Jesus Drives Money Changers from the Temple

The Occupy Wall Street movement builds on over 2,000 years of Christian activism aimed at helping poor people and promoting social justice.  Like Jesus, many of the people taking a stand are willing to sacrifice their own comfort and welfare to help the less fortunate.  In this article I compile writings that demonstrate how Jesus Christ was a radical reformer and rebel who challenged the rich and powerful of his day.  You will find key quotes that summarize how Jesus taught us to care for the least among us.  He also fought hard against greed and corruption during his time.

I was moved to write this article by the “Poverty Tour” conducted recently by Tavis Smiley and Cornell West. This amazing program was broadcast over five nights on PBS.  This article provides links to watch the shows, as well as a summary of the series.  I was also inspired to write when Joe Scarborough finished his MSNBC interview with Smiley and West with his own testimony that “Jesus’ ministry was about taking care of the poor. We don’t see that from the very people who wave their bibles around the most.”  This article documents the many ways in which Jesus would now be considered not just a liberal, but a radical in today’s culture.  I have included a summary of an important book called “Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream” by David Platt.  You will also learn about the great song “Jesus Christ” by Woody Guthrie (which uses the melody from Jesse James and has been covered well by U2.)  Click to Learn Why Jesus would Lead the Fight against greedy Wall Street moneychangers

Continue reading

Categories: Activism - Occupy, Visionaries | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Without the Hippies, Steve Jobs Would Not Have Flourished

With the death of Steve Jobs we have lost one of our most brilliant minds and successful entrepreneurs.  Many tributes are being written about his impacts on the computer and communication industries.  To really appreciate the genuine genius of Steve Jobs, we need to understand the cultural climate in which he grew up.  He was a self-identified “child of the sixties counterculture” who attributes much of his success to the Silicon Valley and San Francisco communities in which he spent his early years (same time and place where the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and others started.)  This article explores the nature and extent of the counterculture’s influence over the development of the computer in general, and on Apple computers in particular.  This type of insight is vital if we ever hope to find “the next Steve Jobs.”

This article collects most of what has been written about Steve Jobs’ early life.  Particular attention is paid to how extensively Steve and other computer pioneers were greatly influenced by the values and vision of the hippie counterculture.  Steve came of age in the epicenter of this social movement.  He clearly embraced the hippies’ practices and philosophy.  Many of the tributes included here show how his business behavior was shaped by his distrust of authority and willingness to expand his mind in many directions.  To provide further context, I include a seminal article written by Stewart Brand in 1995 called “We Owe it all to the Hippies.”  I also collect detailed reviews of an important book called “What the Dormouse Said.”  This article also includes a letter sent to Steve Jobs from Albert Hofman (discoverer and proponent of LSD).  Steve Jobs acknowledged the importance of this psychedelic compound in shaping his own life and career.   It is entirely possible that we will never see “another Steve Jobs” unless another form of “hip counterculture” is allowed to flourish.  Given the conservative and corporate nature of modern American society, that is very unlikely.  Click Below to Learn More:

Continue reading

Categories: Economy, Visionaries | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Chuck Berry Helped Create Rock + Roll Which Set Young People Free

Rock and roll set a whole generation free and on fire during the 1960’s.  I have written before about how much influence the blues had on British and American rock and roll.   We also need to appreciate where rock and roll came from.  One of the leading innovators – Chuck Berry – is still alive and deserves our deep respect and appreciation.  He taught us all how to have fun and enjoy life.  He helped young people shake off their shackles and get happy.  He sang about cars, girls and wild music.  He was also one of the most gifted guitar players.  He directly influenced all the best sixties bands – Beach Boys, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, the Animals and countless others who covered his songs.  He is likely the most studied and admired musician we have known.

John Lennon said “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.”  He helped us break sexual taboos and rebel against authority.  Chuck Berry will soon celebrate his 85th birthday.  He has had an amazing and creative life that have made us all much happier.   Read what follows to learn about the many honors Chuck has received along with his impacts on music and society.  There is also news about his health following an incident in Chicago last January.   Learn to appreciate how his songwriting and guitar picking were truly innovative and important.  Go to I-tunes or wherever to get the real deal and support this great artist.  Let’s all praise rock and roll’s leading light for almost a century.

Continue reading

Categories: Musician Tributes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: