Posts Tagged With: pictures

MSNBC Provides Welcoming Community Center for DNC Visitors

I was fortunate to visit the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte on Wednesday, September 5.  This was a great experience, thanks largely to the cool community center provided by MSNBC.   The city was very well-prepared in terms of security and logistics.  However, for those of us without credentials, there really was no public welcome center or place to get an orientation.  Fortunately, MSNBC was ready, willing and able to serve as a community center for the thousands of convention delegates and international media, as well as for plain-old citizens like me.

MSNBC’s efforts paid off very well.  Read here about how and why their ratings rocked during the DNC (and will continue to grow.)  You will also learn about the positive experiences they provided daily for thousands of people in Charlotte, as well as millions of viewers around the world.  Their nearly constant coverage and the overall MSNBC experience have clearly cemented their position (in many minds) as the world leader in all form of news – not just progressive politics.   It was also the one place for thousands to turn on Thursday night after the big speeches were moved indoors (see right.)  Click Below for a Behind-the-Scenes look at the MSNBC Experience and their Coverage of the DNC.

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Categories: Prez Obama, Visionaries | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bob Marley Would Say “Occupy Yourself Before You Occupy Outside”

The Occupy Movement has focused on occupying physical spaces to draw attention to important issues.  However, it is even more important that each of us work hard to get our own lives together.  We need to free our minds and resist the outside forces of capitalist consumption.   Be ready to live with less and avoid entrapment by credit schemes.  As the system continues to melt down, only those who are resilient and self-sufficient will be able to thrive.  One of the best ways to do this is to understand and practice the Rastafarian lifestyle as modeled by Bob Marley.   His words that inspired this title are “Judge not, before you judge yourself.”   Get your own life in order if you want to be able to challenge the Babylon system.  He summed it up perfectly:  “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.  None but ourselves can free our minds.”

I personally became aware of and interested in Rastafarianism about ten years ago through Bob Marley’s life and music.  I did my own research into what it means to live the Rasta lifestyle.  I found that this social movement has much to teach us about how to free ourselves and take down the system.  We can’t get one without the other.  I began to teach about this in my social change and social movement classes.  I found many young people eager to embrace the principles and practices that Bob Marley and others preach about in their music.  In fact, the Occupy fighters already believe in and live many of the values and practices espoused by the Rastafarian way of life.  I developed a series of slides to use in my lectures and have included them here.  Each should be self-explanatory.  Then, I include lots of great pix and quotes from Bob Marley’s music and interviews.  This tribute recognizes that Bob Marley’s music and messages are more relevant today than ever.

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Categories: Activism - Occupy, Musician Tributes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hippies Deserve Respect for their Values and Vision

The Occupy Movement owes much to the Hippie Movement of the sixties.  Now, the right wing has predictably started another round of “Hippie Bashing.”   The hippie subculture was a youth movement that began in the United States during the early 1960s and was largely gone by 1973.    The word hippie is from hipster (used to describe kids who flocked into San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district.  Hippies inherited the counter-cultural values of the Beat Generation.  They also created their own communities, listened to psychedelic rock, embraced the sexual revolution, and used drugs such as marijuana and LSD to explore alternative states of consciousness.  Above all, hippies were promoting the idea of peace, love, unity and freedom.

Hippie fashions and values had a major effect on culture, influencing popular music, television, film, literature, and the arts.  Since the 1960s, many aspects of hippie culture have been assimilated by mainstream society.  The religious and cultural diversity espoused by the hippies has gained widespread acceptance.  Their adoption of Eastern philosophy and spiritual concepts has now spread to a wide audience.  The hippie legacy can also be observed in contemporary culture from health food, to music festivals, to contemporary sexual mores, and the cyberspace revolution.  It is also clear that the well-established environmental movement owes a lot to the hippies (i.e., tree-huggers.)

This article includes recent reflections on the hippie movement in light of the occupy movement.  Original writings about the hippies from the sixties are also included.  This article includes quotes from Timothy Leary, Abbie Hoffman, Eldridge Cleaver and others. Finally, there are links to the best hippie videos on Youtube.   Click below to learn more about why the hippies are more important now than ever.

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Categories: Hippie Legacy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pigpen was the Heart and Soul of the Grateful Dead

Ron “Pigpen” McKernan was born Sept. 8, 1945 and died from alcohol abuse on March 8, 1973.  His father had been a San Francisco radio DJ who played deep blues, soul and R&B, which greatly influenced his son. Ron had always had a wild streak, but was also known to be a really nice guy.  He could definitely play harmonica and and sing the Blues better than most white kids.  In fact, even growing up in the San Francisco Bay area he proved to be a true rebel, with an attitude and approach to the world that inspired many people (especially wanna-be hoods like me.)  He thrived off of African-American culture – just like his contemporaries Brian JonesJim Morrison, and  Janis Joplin did.  In many ways, Pigpen is the forgotten Grateful Dead co-founder – just like Brian Jones became the forgotten founder of the Rolling Stones.  Both were treated quite badly at the end by their respective band mates who were in their defense young and ambitious at the time.

Jerry Garcia was quoted saying that without Pigpen the band never would have made it.  He was the the Dead’s front man because of his passionate voice and willingness to face the audience – while Garcia and Weir were still shy bout singing in public.  He knew how to really work a crowd into frenzy.  Like Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin he avoided psychedelics but drank more than he should have.  He did quit drinking and ate well for an extended time before dying of cirrhosis.  In the case of the early live Dead shows (pre-1972) Pigpen acted as an anchor to his flying off into space band mates (particularly during the early “acid tests” where the band played a lot of covers that Pigpen liked to sing.  He also was, according to Jerry, “The heart and soul of the Grateful Dead.”  This article collects and edits damn-near everything that is currently on the Internet – including media stories, song lyrics, quotes from Jerry and friends, as well as my enhancements of the best pix of Pigpen on the web.  Enjoy and tell your friends because Pigpen deserves the same recognition that have been paid to Jim and Janis, not to mention while considering the history of the Grateful Dead.  Click Below to learn about his contributions, roots, lifestyle, and unfortunate early death.

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Categories: Musician Tributes | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Medical Marijuana: President Obama Must Lead or Get Out of the Way!!

Progressives are disappointed with a number of the policies and practices of the Obama administration.  However, I and many others are most concerned about the fact that President Obama is backing off his earlier promises to end the unfair, wasteful, and ineffective war against medical marijuana patients.  Given our severe budget crisis it is unethical and unwise to keep wasting scarce federal, state and local resources waging war against American citizens.  We already imprison more of our own people than any other country – with the vast majority being non-violent “drug offenders.”  Opinion polls show that most Americans oppose the war on medical marijuana.

President Obama has just called upon the political establishment in Arab countries to “Lead or get out of the way.”   He needs to take his own advice with regards to Medical Marijuana which is legal in a growing number of states (at least until his administration got in the way!!)  In this article I have collected the latest news about the growing protest against the Obama administration’s medical marijuana policies and practices.  President Obama needs to recognize that this is a large and popular social movement that includes all demographic groups.   Medical marijuana advocates and activists have spent over three decades to make the progress we have so far in a third of our states.  As a true progressive and community organizer, Barack Obama needs to either get in step with our movement – or get out of the way.  In fact, true conservatives and libertarians (like Ron Paul) have opposed the drug war for decades.  Click Below for more about the Obama administration’s failures, fumbles, and fallacies in the losing war on weed!!
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Categories: Legalize Ganjah, Prez Obama | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jimi Hendrix Taught How to Change the World Together

Jimi Hendrix was an amazing guitar player, but he also had much to teach us about how to change our own lives and society.  His legacy includes an open embrace of the great potential within our minds to achieve higher levels of consciousness.  He was a fearless spiritual adventurer – boldly going where no man had yet gone.  His lyrics and life provide valuable insights into the nature of the sixties counterculture.  For many of us, Jimi Hendrix was truly the “High Priest of Rock and Roll.”   He also was the first multi-ethnic person to become famous.  This article includes excerpts from the best articles about Jimi; as well as lots of quotes, pix, and lyrics.   So for now, as Jimi would say: “Excuse me while I kiss the sky!!”

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Categories: Musician Tributes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Janis Joplin Leads Women to the Truth

I want to pay tribute to an amazing singer; as well as a path-breaking woman. I am going to provide you with insights, information and inspiration from the life and creative legacy of Janis Joplin. In many respects, she will be remembered as a public pioneer in the women’s movement. Her story is a case study of the hippie counterculture.  I hope that you will enjoy this analysis ofand tribute to one of my main spirit guides (along with Jimi Hendrix , John Lennon, and Jim Morrison.)   Her spirit is more alive today then she was at the time of her death. BTW – although she died directly from an accidental overdose of extremely pure heroin; it really was alcohol that killed her (as it did Jim Morrison.)  Be sure and listen to her music and learn her lessons.  Continue reading

Categories: Musician Tributes, Women | Tags: , , , , , , | 50 Comments

Dr. King’s Legacy Requires Activism Not Pacifism

Today, April 4, 2008 is the 40th Anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s a day to reflect on King’s largely unfinished work for justice and equality. I want to speculate about what King would say and do about today’s issues had he not been assassinated in 1968. King would still be fighting against racism, poverty and war. In particular, he would be leading the criticism of the United States – not just for our involvement in Iraq but for the whole way in which corporations have taken over the global economy. Continue reading

Categories: Activism - Occupy, Visionaries | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dr. Tom Picks “High Fidelity”

Let me recommend “High Fidelity” if you want to learn and laugh about love and music. I have loved movies all my life. When I watch a great movie again after many years it has an enormous impact on my life now (and I recall how it has affected me in the past.) So I will post my own summary for you that include: pix, dialogue, reviews, and trivia. You really will find this 2000 movie has many lessons – among the laughs. It does a great job of showing how music is intimately connected to our personal and social lives. See more about my music at the above tab. Add some comments about this movie or others that you love. Continue reading

Categories: Musician Tributes | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Four Laws of Ecology

This BLOG was originally written in honor of Earth Day (April 22) of 2007. We all need to do a much better job of caring for our only planet. This is from the work of the amazing Barry Commoner. This was originally posted on hiphappy.blog.myspace Continue reading

Categories: Environment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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