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MAR 14, 2014 - Musical-activist Jared Leto gave a shout out to the people of Ukraine, Venezuela and elsewhere around the world fighting for their freedom and what he calls "the privilege of owning yourself" in his Oscar speech, and Wednesday night he and his band played a concert in Kiev and it became quite a show with not only great music, but he also connected with the Ukrainian people and their struggle leading them with a "Glory to Ukraine" chant. He even brought some Ukrainian citizens on stage and asking them their name, what town they are from, and really making this struggle personal and even hugging one fan at one point and the crowd cheered. Watch Jared Leto with Ukrainian fans below, and listen to an awesome version of "Bright Lights" at the same concert here.
MAR 13, 2014 - US Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the US Justice Department will adopt new policies that will result in shorter sentences, shaving off as much as 25% of the mandatory minimum sentences they were subjected to before. JTMP does applaud this, but we feel we need to go even further and treat drug issues like the health problem issues they are, and not with handcuffs, courts and prison. Read more about this exciting development on HuffPO here.
MAR 13, 2014 - It's National Cannabis Industry Association Lobby Week here in DC, and entrepreneur job creating marijuana merchants are descending on Capitol Hill and visiting US Representatives and Senators and lobbying for many things such as allowing banks to do business with them instead of always having to deal in cash (and some banks wont take cash smelling like marijuana), and removing marijuana from the Schedule 1 List; because marijuana has been clearly shown to have a myriad of medicinal uses. This is grassroots citizen-lobbying at the grassroots level demanding our government servants respond to the needs and wishes of the public that elected them and pays their salary. It is time the federal government once and for all clarify marijuana and hemp as 100% legal commodities in our market, and allow these job creators a free and fair market to do their work in. JTMP urges you to call your US Representative, and tell them to support Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR) and his letter demanding President Obama remove marijuana from the Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. The DEA acts under the Executive Branch, and President Obama DOES have the power to remove it, regardless of what he may say in public. To find out more check out the National Cannabis Industry Association website.
Artists and the Affordable Care Act Launch Website to Help Artists Get Health Care Insurance Coverage
MAR 11, 2014 - 9 different organizations have come together and launched the website "Artists and the Affordable Care Act" to get artists and musicians informed on what the Affordable Care Act law means, what their options are, and to help them enroll in a health insurance plan. Future of Music Coalition, HeadCount, Young Invincibles and many others have created a "task force" to "help creatives learn more and take action on health care". They point out how US-based artists are less likely to have health insurance then the general public, unsure about the Affordable Care Act, and they are seeking advice. On their website are great FAQs, and posts about the dozens of events around the country getting musicians informed and signed up for health insurance in seminars, workshops, meetups and other events. Get your health care insurance questions answered and find events on the Artists and the Affordable Care Act website.
MusiCares, Musicians and GetCoveredAmerica Working To Get Every Musician Covered By Health Insurance
MAR 11, 2014 - MusiCares, an arm of the Grammy organization that is dedicated to helping musicians with financial problems and other issues, has teamed up with GetCoveredAmerica.org and their full scale campaign traveling the country to try and get every musician in America covered by health insurance. They are holding workshops and events from California to Florida to get musicians informed on what their options are, why they need health insurance, and most importantly how the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare", makes the process easy and affordable.
MusiCares is in Florida with GetCoveredAmerica.org for a workshop on March 19, 2014 at Sweat Records to talk to musicians and get them educated and informed on what the new law is, what their options are, and even get them signed up. A local musician's federation, South Florida Musicians, even posted about it on their website. JTMP has found there are thousands of musician federations, musician unions, organizations, bands, musicians and individuals out there working at the grassroots level getting musicians signed up for health insurance, which has always been a problem for musicians to afford and obtain. Read more on Grammy.org's website and find events here, and watch musician Korby talk about how easy, affordable and necessary it was for him to get health insurance coverage under Obamacare in a YouTube video below.
MAR 10, 2014 - Eric Snowden will be speaking at the SXSW Festival today via videoconference to discuss a topic that is HUGE right now: surveillance and online privacy. Today at 11:00 AM CDT (12:00 PM EST) Snowden will have a discussion with Christopher Soghoian, and moderated by Ben Wizner, director of ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project. Watch the live stream of the even courtesy of The Texas Tribune.
MAR 4, 2014 - The David Lynch Foundation, an organization that promotes daily meditation to youth to bring about a more positive world, honored the great musical producer Rick Rubin last month with the "Lifetime of Harmony" award. Rubin is behind all the great songs you have heard for years, and as the director David Lynch described Rubin in a Variety article, "He has the ability to tune into each artist's talent and bring out the best they've got. The list of bands and artists that worked with Rick is so long, it'd be morning if we read out all the names. And it is a heavy duty list. Rick Rubin has great ears and a great mind between them." Russell Simmons, who founded Def Jam Records with Rubin and uses meditation in his daily life and stresses the use of meditation in public schools in his new book, "Success Through Stillness", is a great friend of Rick Rubin. In talking about Rubin he said in the same Variety article, "I'm amazed that he is willing to accept any accolades. He's never taken his Grammys. I don't know where the fuckin' Grammys are. You can sell them, give the money to the David Lynch Foundation." Simmons talks about when he first met Rubin and said, "All of us are trying to calm the noise. At the time I had one route and it was through drugs. I couldn't relate to anybody who was sober because they had so much noise, except Rick, who was totally sober, but he exuded the kind of freedom that I was seeking. He seemed to have a stable and lasting hold on it." Simmons credits daily meditation by Rubin to be the key in this and his own success and stresses you can achieve success too with daily meditation. Rubin was also in instrumental in helping the Dixie Chicks with their career after reactionaries attacked their free speech, and they were on hand for the event and performed one of their very few U.S. shows in the last few years. No video yet but JTMP will post them if they come out.
Read more about meditation and visit the David Lynch Foundation website. Start your first meditation session right now with Rick Rubin and Alison Chemick in a short film titled "Music and Spirituality" from NOWNESS on YouTube below. Read more about Rick and the event on Variety.com here.
FEB 26, 2014 - JTMP is excited to announce we are getting involved in raising awareness about a great new film called "Parents of the Revolution" from director Dana H. Glazer and Dane-Gramp Productions documenting the Occupy protests that sprang up in Zuccotti Park that follows three sets of parents that bring their children along to teach them about activism and changing the world, and the hurdles and troubles they face along the way. Their children face danger as the police attacks grow more violent, and criticism from people for "using their children as human shields". The filmmakers hope the film creates a national conversation about how we can get our children more involved in civic events such as protesting peacefully, speaking out, voting and getting involved.
Check out the Parents of the Revolution website here, and watch the Trailer below. JTMP will be helping out in the screening of the film, so check back. The film will make its debut in all formats on May 15, 2014. If your organization is interested in screening this film visit http://parentsoftherevolution.com/host-a-screening/.
FEB 26, 2014 - Chinese activist-artist-musician Ai Weiwei will be bringing his new activist-art exhibit, "Ai Weiwei: According to What?" from April 18 through August 10, 2014 to the Brooklyn Museum. His exhibit will speak out about his illegal incarceration by the Chinese authorities for 81 harsh days with six iron boxes, and other pieces not seen in North America, and some pieces have never been seen before. Read more about the exhibit on the Brooklyn Museum website here. (photo credit: Hafenbar/CC)
FEB 25, 2014 - JTMP has discovered a great Asian musical-activist somewhat off the radar, and one I think needs to be on everyone's radar; that artist is Bambu. Bambu is a Filipino-American who used to be in a gang, but got out of that mess and now uses his rap music to sow a social justice-conscious society. He is very politically active, and is not afraid to stir up controversy with strong political statements with the artwork on his album cover. One album has a Ku Klux Klan member being hanged, and another has Jesus as a child with an automatic weapon in his hand. Watch a video of his song "Like Us" below, and check out Bambu's website here.