DC Government Strives to Make it Easier to Vote SEP 28, 2014 – I was perusing the DC government website, and I discovered that the DC Board of Elections has embraced smartphones and Apps to make it easier for DC citizens to not only get city services, but also to vote. The new App called…
HOMELESS YOUTH IS HER DATE AND ACCEPTS HER MTV AWARD AUG 25, 2014 – Miley Cyrus won the 2014 VMA Video of the Year Award for “Wrecking Ball” last night and used the moment to raise awareness about homelessness. Many thought Miley had taken a wrecking ball to her career 10 months ago, and some even thought she…
RUSHCARD’S KEEP THE PEACE INITIATIVE IS LAUNCHED AUG 7, 2014 – Activist, meditation enthusiast and music mogul Russell Simmons and his debit card company RushCard are launching the “RushCard’s Keep the Peace” initiative campaign to help prevent what they see as the leading problems with our youth: poverty, lack of opportunity and an incarceration rate disproportionately affecting…
APR 25, 2014 – Rapper-Activist Common has formed a great non-profit called "Common Ground Foundation" aimed at helping young people "realize their self-worth and become resilient, thriving members of our community." In a statement on his website Common said "I started the Common Ground Foundation because I wanted to help. Most of all help people help themselves. I always believed that if we started with the youth then we would be planting the seeds for our future to blossom. Give the children a sense of hope, self -esteem, and love that will better the world…I think making a difference in the lives of others is life's greatest purpose. I walk this path with faith knowing that the Common Ground Foundation will Change the World."
This is great. I always believed just waiting around for the government to fix everything is a mistake. We need to form more non-profit foundations like this to empower our youth and poor, and help them realize their potential and to seize the day and Rock Your Rights! I urge all young kids and inner-city poor to do what Common suggests: Start eating healthy, have a better attitude, make better financial decisions, get an ID card (free in many states), get a bank account, register to vote, vote, get on a lease or a deed, take a vocational class. Doing all this and more will empower yourself to better places in life. Common Ground also holds summer camps, mentoring sessions, school art productions, and more; and Common himself spends significant time with the youth. Read more about Common Ground Foundation on their website here, and watch Common in a CNN video below talk about his work and passion.
MAR 23, 2014 – I was flipping around the channels the other day, and I stumbled upon a cool music video of the song "Surrender" by the band Angels and Airwaves that paid homage to the Occupy and Anonymous movements, and singing about the youth uprisings not only in America but across the world. It was tastefully done, and the music is pretty cool. Check out the video below.
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.
SEP 24, 2012 – Tomorrow, September 25, 2012, will be National Voter Registration Day. JTMP urges everyone to register to vote, and Get Out and Vote! Even if you think you are registered, it is a good idea to verify and update your voting registration information, and to check out and new voter ID state laws that may require you to bring a photo ID or some form of identification. JTMP is totally against these voter suppression efforts, but for now let's make sure your vote is heard. Meanwhile, we urge you to contact your elected officials and tell them to stop these voter suppression efforts such as voter ID laws.
Usher has gotten together with Our Time and made a PSA video urging his fans and others to take part in the political process. In the video he says, "When you really understand the effective change that happens as a result of coming together, pooling an effort, that is when you begin to see the difference. This is when your voice really matters. This is the time that you should engage. This is the time when you can make a difference." Register to VOTE on Our Time's website by clicking here. Host an event and register voters in your area! To find out how, check out the National Voter Registration Day website HERE, and watch the Usher video below.
July 31, 2012 – Young, progressive Russians, who used to flee to other countries to get away from the brutal oppression of free speech and dissent by the government, are now deciding to stay and try and change things at home. Most notably is the women punk musician-activist band Pussy Riot that is challenging free speech restrictions by doing "actions". 3 members of the band were arrested in February of 2012 and are now on trial for singing an anti-Putin song at the cathedral of the powerful Russian Orthodox Church. They face charges of "hooliganism" and face up to 7 years in prison. Even their spouses are being attacked, such as the husband of one of the women arrested, Pyotr Verzilov, who had a Canadian passport when he was attending school in Toronto years ago and the Russian government flashed an image of his passport on TV and called it evidence that he and his wife are trying to "tear Russia apart". Read more on WashPo here, and also there is a good article about the trial on NBCNews.com here.
They are all part of a movement called "Voina", a group consisting of artists, musicians and others that stage provocative actions deliberately meant to test the boundaries of their freedoms and liberties, and challenge the government's authority. They call this "polical protest art"; and at least 20 criminal investigations have been launched against the group and its members. The government of Russia says the Art group VOINA, "is a left-wing radical anarchist collective whose central goal is to carry out PR actions directed against the authorities…" Check out the org's website and read about the many political prisoners in Russia consisting of journalists, artists and even regular activists trying to bring about progressive change in Russia on their website: http://en.free-voina.org/.
The trial has divided old Russia against the youth, and even spilled over to America as protesters held a rally in front of the Russian embassy here in Washington, DC on July 28, 2012 to protest what they see as government overreach and oppression of free speech. NME.com reports that many musicians have spoken out against the detention and prosecution of the women, such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Franz Ferdinand. Check back because JTMP will be posting on this issue regularly, and will also have a video out soon. (photo credits: CC\Wiki)
June 5, 2012 – Truthdig has a cool article out about the Yo Soy 132 student movement going on in Mexico, where journalist Carmen Aristegui asked the students to create a soundtrack for the marches. Some of the songs that got "Tweeted" with her hashtag "#CancionesParaMarchar" were Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" but also many local Mexican artists were voted for also. Check out the article and what the soundtrack turned out to be at Truthdig.com here. For more information on Yo Soy 132 check out their Wiki articile here, and if you are bi-lingual you can check out their website here. Check out a video below of Molotov by eLbiser86; one of the bands that got a lot of votes, and speaks out about the poverty and corruption in Mexico. The band is called Molotov, and the song is "Gimme the Power". (Photo CC by-sa 2.0)
MAY 15, 2012 – In an interview with CNN, Jay-Z has come out and praised Obama for coming out in support of gay marriage saying, "it was the right thing to do." He added, "I've always thought it as something that was still holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That's their business. It's no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination pure and simple." Watch the interview below.