Chuck D: 25 Years Later, Still Fighting The Power

Chuck D: 25 Years Later, Still Fighting The Power

The opportunity came up out of the blue – The Hubby came home and the following conversation ensued: The Hubby: Guess who’s coming to the store to do a signing at the store? MP: (In my usual smart-ass style) Okay, I’ll bite. Who? The Hubby: Chuck D! MP: (Stunned) No! Get out! Really??? The Hubby: Yep. He’s playing at the Ventura Theatre and is coming by the store  before the show to do autographs. MP: THE Chuck D.? Public Enemy Chuck D? Unfiltered with Rachel Maddow and Lizz Winstead Chuck D? AirAmericaChuck D? The Hubby: Yes, one and the same! You should come by and do an interview. MP: I’m there! He didn’t have to tell me twice. And I know, you’re probably wondering, “Why on Earth would this middle-aged, white suburban mom care about Chuck D???” Perhaps a little background info is in order. See, when Public Enemy first hit the scene, I was working in record stores – that was my previous, pre-teaching/blog/radio life, and where I met my husband, 25 years ago. We were working for a chain called Licorice Pizza, run by a man named Jim Greenwood. Licorice Pizza had about 40 stores here in California, and were the coolest job in town. Licorice Pizza was a very employee-friendly company, and they had this benefit called the “borrow book,” everybody’s favorite perk. It was a binder, and as an employee, you could list in this book 10 pieces of product a week to check out – take ‘em home, listen to them…it was a brilliant way to get your employees to know the product, because you would take a chance on things that you might not normally listen to. That’s how I discovered all kinds of music: from big bands of the 40’s to the crooners of the 50’s and 60’s, girl groups, 12′ dance mixes, 45s, to the first CDs. From Public Enemy, to X and Dwight Yoakum, through my punk and country punk phases, to The Violent Femmes, Patsy Cline and REM, we got to hear it all. That was how I first heard Chuck D. When “Yo! Bum Rush The Show!” came out, it was earth-shattering, revolutionary. It was during the Reagan – Bush years, and there was little music out there that was really speaking truth to power like that. And being a politically-minded kid and a bit of a rebel at the time, Public Enemy’s willingness to shake up the status quo was awesome. Seeing an artist use his voice for social change was powerful…and totally rocked. Add that to the fact that rap was something we white suburban kids had never heard before, and we were blown away. So, when the...

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Undercover Liberal Visits The Gun Show

Politicos, please note: This is a reposting of my original gun show post, to correspond with my A World of Progress Radio show segment on the same subject. Tune in to www.blogtalkradio.com/awop to listen to the segment at 4P/7E today or to listen to the podcast, or download us at iTunes. Enjoy! When friends asked me if I’d like to go to the gun show at the local fairgrounds, I was hesitant. I mean, really? Just because I’ve learned to shoot recently doesn’t mean I have to dive in head first into the whole subculture…but the more I thought about it, the more intriguing the offer became. It’d be like an undercover operation, a double-agent sort of thing. No one would have to know I’m a liberal, and for a mere ten bucks, I could check out the gun show: look around, ask questions, people-watch, pick up pamphlets, etc. Who knows what I would discover? I called my friends Melissa and Kelby to accept their offer, and we made plans for the next morning. We rolled in at around 11:15 a.m., and the lot was already 3/4 full. Though the place had been open for three hours already, no one appeared to be leaving. We trudged toward the front to buy our tickets. Immediately to our left was an NRA booth, flying the American flag, with “Join NOW!” and “Protecting Your Right To Bear Arms” plastered all over the front. I wasn’t quite ready for that discussion, so we bought our tickets. Two signs were posted prominently on the ticket window: “No Loaded Weapons Beyond This Point,” (holy shit, what am I getting into?) and “Your wife called and said you can buy anything you want!” Apparently the latter is a little humor to take the edge off the former… After forking over $10, I am handed a ticket and we head in. Even before we got inside the gate, out comes Davey-friggin’-Crocket, complete with fur hat and rifles cradled in both arms. “Okay, this is gonna be good,” I whispered to Missy. She repied, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, Sister!” And she was right. As we approached the entrance, a booth appeared in front of us, with a red and white banner stating, in bold letters, “CLEAR ALL GUNS HERE” – WHAAATT? Now, there’s a line of text I have never read before. Apparently, you are welcome to bring your guns, large or small, as long as you stop and register them before entering. Guns are checked to make sure they are empty and on safety, and are registered as yours and tagged to prove your ownership. Wow. This is getting more interesting all the time. The next sign? “No...

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Why I Lied: Radio, Politics & Cocktails! My Newest Adventure In Progressive Radio

My New Partnership – Online Progressive Radio at A World of Progress Radio Well, my fellow Politicos, I lied. I did, and I’m sorry. I told you that the new gig as Co-Host on A World of Progress Radio wouldn’t interfere with my blogging duties here on Momma Politico. And in all honesty, I really didn’t think it would. But as we all know, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions… So, here we are, many months after Labor Day, and I am back and blogging again. Most of the time, it will probably be show-related, but you know me, my fellow Politicos, I’ll never fail to spout off about anything I feel is important in regards to all things political. And it’s good to be back with you, my friends. You might ask, “How did this new venture come about?” Well, in mid-July, I was approached by a tweetpal named Kim G., who goes by @awop in the twitterverse. She had asked if I’d be interested in coming on her very first online progressive radio show to discuss the GOP attack on public schools. Well, Hell’s Bells, how could I pas up that opportunity??? I told her she had the right gal, and we began to email, tweet and talk about what she envisoned for her first show. We seemed to get along famously, me with my Southern California style and her with her NC southern hospitality and charming drawl, and by the end of the week, I was running the switchboard, saying “y’all’ and employed as Co-Host on A World of Progress Radio. Kim is a kind and generous-hearted soul, and I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference, fight the good fight and have this much fun – all at the same time! It’s been a fast and wonderful six months. We’re there to promote the common good, as Kim would say, and to help those who keep fighting the good fight. We’ve grown a loyal bunch of fabulous followers on Twitter, and a great group of listeners, and gained some terrific contributors: Ashley Arrington, @arrington13, a smart cookie and our LGBTQ correspondent; Allie McNeil (no relation!) @watergatesummer, our faboo scheduler and 99% report correspondent; and our latest addition, Jordan Catapano, @GirlWalksIn2Bar, our brilliant cocktail correspondent and author of my fave gift of the season, This Girl Walks Into A Bar. My segments usually consist of Kitchen Table Politics, my view on the national events of the day and how they affect us all at our own kitchen tables, and The Undercover Liberal, in which I venture into places liberals dare not go and report back about my experiences. I’m having a blast, and...

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Labor Day And The Middle Class: Thanks, Unions!

cognidissidence.blogspot.com Chances are, if you read this blog, my fellow Politicos, you go to work every day (or did, if you’ve retired or been laid off). I was brought up to believe that working for a living is a noble thing, an honest endeavor. As the daughter of retired Navy/union engineer and a nurse, I was brought  up to believe that if you work hard, you will be able to provide a decent life, a comfortable life, for yourself and your kids. And for my parents’ generation, unions were a big part of what made that promise come true. Generation after generation, this promise held true: middle class families could make a decent wage, have health care for their families, own a home of their own, save for the occasional vacation, send their kids to college and retire to a modest life with a small pension from military service or their union. The American Dream. Now, we have wandered so far astray from the possibility of that dream that my parents cannot fathom how we manage to make ends meet. And, frankly, sometimes we wonder, too. We go without much that they took for granted as a benefit of working hard. Most folks who bought homes when we did, that so-crucial core value of The American Dream, are upside-down in their mortgages, if they are lucky and haven’t been screwed out of it by the loan remod industry (once again, let’s put the fox in charge of the henhouse, because it worked so well with Wall Street). When you don’t have equity, you have to save project-by-project to make any improvements to your home. That’s challenging when you are trying to save for your own retirement, trying to make up for losses that a highly unstable economy served up in big, heaping portions (again, let’s let greed regulate itself) and trying to raise 2.5 kids. The cost of health benefits go through the roof, if you are fortunate enough to have them at all – every 12 minutes, someone dies due to lack of coverage. And saving for the kids for college? Still paying off our own student loans, in an industry bubble that’s about to hit as big as Wall Street did. (Listen to my interview with the makers of Default: The Student Loan Movie on A World of Progress Radio or subscribe to our show/download from iTunes.) The American Dream has now become a pipe dream for most of my generation. What’s attempted to put the American Dream into its final death throes has been the GOP attacks on working people in this country. Governor Scott Walker decided that he’d score some points within his party by...

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Lizz Winstead on @awopradio; Lonely Mitt Romney’s Friends Are Corporations

Hey, there, my fellow Politicos! Just wanted to take a second to thank all of you for supporting my efforts over at A World of Progress Radio (@awopradio on twitter). My cohort-in-crime, Kim G., is a generous soul, and we share the same vision: fighting for the common good and highlighting the wrongs being perpetrated by the GOP’s friends, the corporations. Our contributor, Allie McNeil, of @watergatesummer fame, was able to persuade THE Lizz Winstead, whom I loved on Air America Radio, to appear on our lil’ ol’ radio show this Sunday! (I know! I’m still pinching myself.) Lizz has always been a fighter of the good fight, and is obviously “good people” for so graciously agreeing to visit us at A World of Progress Radio.  I’ll be interviewing the folks behind the film “Default,” an expose of the student loan industry, and the bubble that’s about to burst in that financial sector. They’re fighting the good fight, too, and we’re hoping to help them in our own small way.I hope you’ll get to give us a listen this Sunday, at 4 p.m. Pacific and 7 p.m. Eastern. Please tweet me and let me know what you think of the show – always looking for good feedback from my fellow Politicos. 😉 Now, on to lonely little Mittens Romney. Did you see that clip? Mother of God. What the hell was he thinking??? I sit here speechless. I am honestly struggling to find words, which, as you know, my dear Politicos, is a near-impossibility. But I sit here, with our usual daily dose of Maddow on the TV machine, and on comes Mitt Romney, talking to a group on the campaign trail, about taxes. He was spouting, in his usual rich-guy way, about ways to pay for Social Security. And he makes a remark that is, just, wow. Wow. That’s all I can say. Here, you take a look, and I’ll wait here and try to contemplate what to say about this: I know! I KNOW! I couldn’t believe it, either! We have now gotten to the point that the GOP front-runners are no longer even trying to hide their agenda. “Corporations ARE people, my friend.” Whoop, there it is…the Republican Party’s core belief. We couldn’t write this, folks, not even if we tried. First, there was the Citizens United decision, in which corporations granted personhood by the most activist court in the land. And I thought that was blatant. But, no, apparently Mitt has decided it wasn’t clear enough. So he just spelled it all out for the American people, in simple, no-nonsense, get rid of all that legal verbiage: “Corporations ARE people.” Can’t get much clearer than...

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Fundamentalism and Faith Based Politics

Hey, there, my fellow Politicos! Please welcome the author of our guest post for this week, Political Packrat, a longtime follower and sharp Politico! I will be guest posting at her site over the weekend, so watch twitter for the post or come on by her blog for my latest. Thanks! source Guest Post by Political Packrat It’s not Muslim fundamentalists who are America’s biggest problem these days.  It’s right wing Christian whack-jobs who have taken America hostage and who, because of a point of view that celebrates faith at the expense of reality, just may destroy the country they say they love: not out of malice, but out of a warped world view. This isn’t the first time. The  Scopes Monkey Trial  pitted Christian fundamentalists against modern, rational thinkers  back in 1925.  In case you didn’t know, Biblical literalists were around then too, trying desperately to keep evolution from being taught in the schools. The trial was a landmark case which resulted eventually in legitimizing Darwin and permitting evolution to be taught in America’s public schools amidst much gnashing of Christian fundamentalist teeth.  Science and good sense triumphed in the end, though it was nip and tuck for awhile.  But,if you are taught that science is the work of the devil and that intellectual curiosity will send you to hell as quickly as masturbation, then you are so threatened by a non-authoritarian world made up of all sorts of nuances, that you cling to absolute, black and white, simplistic thinking and a powerful, punishing God who will protect you if you do the right thing and destroy you if you don’t. So why am I not surprised that the same people who think President Obama was born in Kenya, evolution is a theory, global warming is a liberal plot, education (except at a good Bible College) is the work of the devil, and trust fund kids who earn more than $250,000 a year on their investments are ” job creators,” are willing to bring down the economy, not just of the United States, but of the entire world, in order to square reality with their whacked, fairy-tale view of the world.  The brouhaha about raising the debt ceiling is what I am talking about.  The newly elected Tea Party congress-people are fighting fellow Republicans as well as the Democrats for power and most of them are — you guessed it– fundamentalist Christians  who really think they are doing God’s work. So, in the spirit of fellowship, I am turning off the TV and saying a prayer for the salvation of their little Tea Party souls and for the world economy.  God help us all and God help the...

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Momma Politico Is On The Air! How Progressives Are Banding Together Via Social Media To Fight The Good Fight

Social Media Jumble     technorati.com First off this week, my fellow Politicos, I’d like to thank all of you who listened to my debut on A World of Progress online radio! Thanks to the generous spirit of my friend Kim, who is the publisher of the terrific progressive blog, A World of Progress, (follow her on twitter, too: @awopradio), I was invited to help her out and co-host her new weekly program. It all happened kind of quickly, but from the first time we spoke, I knew Kim and her AWOP family are my kind of progressives. She talked about how if everyone is doing what they can, whether it be blogging, tweeting, writing their legislators, what a huge difference that would make. Which is why she’s doing her bit on progressive radio. We had so much fun on our test run, with Shelly, a great mom and liberal, just dishing the political dirt with like-minded progressives, that I couldn’t wait for the show today. It was really a blast, and we actually had quite a few listeners for the first time out. We even had  “Breaking News” from our friend Nunzia Rider, AWOP’s executive editor and Queen of the AWOP Chat Room! If you haven’t heard of BlogTalkRadio, well, you’re missing the best thing since Milky Way came out with the bar that’s just chocolate, caramel and no nougat. Have you had that yet? It’s fantastic. I hated having to eat around the nougat… Amazingly good. You must try it. (And, no, they didn’t pay me either.) But I digress… Anyhow, the BlogTalkRadio premise is that, using your computer and a phone line, you can host a radio show from your own living room. And I’ll be damned if it didn’t work! Check out our first podcast here (I’m on in the 2nd hour). Even the Little Politicos were cooperative and quiet, and The Hubby made room for my makeshift studio on the kitchen table – no wonder I love him! 🙂 (And, no, I have not been paid by BlogTalkRadio – I was simply impressed with the ease of use and the fun we had.) On the website, you have a full host screen in front of you – a switchboard for callers, a way to screen them, a place for sound bytes or recordings, and a way to tweet from within the screen. Another screen provides a chat room, which can be moderated or not as you wish. Even a countdown to air time and a cool “ON AIR” light, just like on WKRP in Cincinnatti! It was an easy interface to work and gave us what we needed to get the show on the air. Kim...

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Welcome

I refuse to cave to a minivan. I am still a tomboy - comfortable in Levi's, my Yankees cap and Converse. And I always have a political opinion...hell, I always have an opinion, period. The hubby, my kids and my friends think I should run for office. Maybe one day. But for now, Momma Politico blogs. Peruse, enjoy, and know that our busy lives are as significant as those in The Washington Post. Cheers, Heidi Haines AKA Perry MacNeil Momma Politico

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