How I Rode the #WaveofAction and Won.

Here I am standing before the Senate Judiciary Commitee (and a crowded gallery) in support of AJR1.

Here I am standing before the Senate Judiciary Commitee (and a crowded gallery) in support of AJR1.

For the first time in 10 years, I willingly celebrated the 4th of July. We, the disenchanted masses known as The People of the United States of America, are prone to gag at the perverted sense of “patriotism” displayed by the American plutocracy what plagues humanity with endless war, flagrant violations of International law, and the global annihilation of basic human rights. Industrial Militarization is out of control. We live in an oligarchy masquerading as a democracy. Our government does not even pretend to represent the will of The People. Now we are left with two basic options similarly offered the Revolutionary Americans we honor this Independence Day weekend: accept what is handed down from the Mighty 1% under the sedation of willful blindness; or dissent through organization, protest, and effective legislative change.

In this spirit, I joined forces with Wolf-PAC and have come away forever empowered by the experience. We were the active force behind the passing of AJR1 in the California State Senate. We talked to voters. We talked to Representatives. We lobbied for the People. We, The People enacted change. Welcome to the paradigm shift.

My current book project involves academically researching my family history. My Fifth Great Grandfather, Captain Micajah Pennington, served in the American Revolution. Perhaps that is one reason I feel so deeply connected to this fight. By looking at the historical significance of my family tree, I now understand my instinctive passion to protect democracy. I recommend The Resident‘s report on the 18th Century Revolutionary War battles we still wage today. Further compelling is Nomi Prin’s “21st Century Declaration of Independence:”

In this latest course of human events, we must pursue independence from oligarchical control over our lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness.

We must pursue independence from corporate dominance over our individual economic destinies and collective opportunities to afford basic needs.

We must insist upon the separation of public office and private power crony alliances that increase rather than reduce inequality.

We must demand the reduction in defense budgets that foster international destruction and infringe upon individual liberties.

We must alter the fundamental trajectory of government-banking ties that dictate the flow of money backed by debt to the hands of those that speculate most dangerously with it.

In short, we must elevate the equality of humanity that pervaded the intent of the Declaration of Independence by moving away from the rapaciousness of old and modern tyranny that prevents it.

-Nomi Prins, Nation of Change.

 

Tea with the Toxic Avenger

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The smog in Texas is thicker than I remember. Flying over on my broom, I saw the vast expansion of factory farms and the alarming murkiness of connected bodies of water, some glowing slick neon colors that have no business being in nature. The nearly 3 million beef cattle, 1.1 million hogs, 330,000 dairy cows, 90.4 million broiler chickens, and 13.8 million egg-laying hens on factory farms in Texas produce as much untreated manure as 430 million people — more than the entire U.S. population. Texas’ booming bullshit industry wrought havoc at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, where an explosion on April 17, 2013 killed 14 people, left 200 others with injuries (including burns, lacerations, and broken bones), flattened houses and a 50-unit apartment building, destroyed a nursing home, damaged a local school, and left a crater 93 feet by 10 feet deep. This weekend, at least 170,000 gallons of oil spilled in the Galveston Bay, shutting down the waterways between contaminated Texas rivers and the Gulf of BP. The southern leg of the Keystone Pipeline that went into normal operation in January 2014 is bringing up to 700,000 barrels of oil a day to refineries in Texas, despite the years-long fight against this tar-sands nightmare. Environmentalists and residents of Parker County, Texas, were dismayed last year when the EPA dropped an investigation into complaints that hydraulic fracking by Range Resources was contaminating local water supplies with methane.

What happens when the People fight back?

The State of Texas boasts lax regulations and suppresses the outcries of the citizens victimized by the corporate greed controlling both media and legislation. Frustrated by the pervasive culture of silence surrounding folks in the direct line of industrial fire, I sat down with my dear friend, Phyllis Glazer, and asked her to share the story of the time she sued the EPA and shut down one chemical plant poisoning her small-town in East Texas. I pooped my pants a few times during the production, once from the story and then again from drinking Dallas water. Seriously, hydrate with Pellegrino and coconuts when you’re there. A gas mask might not be a bad idea, either.

Listen to the Toxic Avenger’s full story.

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Reclaim the News

Once my mother asked where she “had gone wrong” with me and I told her “you taught me to read and bought me a radio.” It was a pink boom box for my 8th birthday and it ruined me in the most effective manner, simultaneously developing my lifelong addictions to Motown music, old radio variety shows, and world news. I kept the transistor between my pillow and the wall, allowing the frequencies to shape my mind while I slept. I came to understand the world around me from a broader perspective and that mattered to me, even at a young age. The dulcet tones of WBBM Chicago lulled me to sleep at night and kept me company as I moved about the solitary afternoons granted by eight years of homeschool. I used money earned from my paper route to buy a battery-powered radio with a long strap to sling around my shoulder so I could listen to long stretches of afternoon news reports while I rode my 10-speed bicycle through the quiet streets of West Chicago. I was extremely cool at that age, most evident in my new hobby of watching the Comedy Channel in the basement while my mom worked mornings for the church. I discovered quickly that I would get more jokes by staying abreast of global politics. Left to my own devices, I developed analytical opinions and learned the value of well-placed reference in conversation, especially where grown-ups are concerned.

As an adult myself, I am endlessly infuriated by the corporate media’s iron grip choking journalists into a culture of sensationalized self-censorship and military-industrial apologetics. Isn’t it bad enough Citizens United has corporatized Capitol Hill, disenfranchising We, the People from our “elected” representatives? I’ve had enough. Over the past year, I have cultivated a diverse feed of editorially-independent journalists that amply fill the void left by the pathetic death rattle of the mainstream media complex. If you also demand to know what is going on in our world, you must rise above the mind control programming of the 24 hours news cycle. Disengage. Occupy your own mind. Subscribe to the following programs and newsletters to take back the sanctity of news. In seeking the truth, remember to follow the journalist, not the outlet.

Breaking the Set

Friend-of-the-show Abby Martin offers revolutionary anti-Establishment coverage the MSM is too chicken shit to touch. Watch as she illuminates the dark corners of corporate oppression and calls to action an awakening of activists demanding progress of the People over profit.

Listen to Everything’s Fine with Abby Martin on The Crisman Show.

The Young Turks

TYT is the largest online news show in the world, with over 1 billion views and counting. Hosts Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian break down news, politics, entertainment, and current events without scripts or teleprompters and without any corporate bias.

The Big Picture

Author Thom Hartmann introduces his program by reminding us the press is the only industry specifically mentioned in the Constitution, because a free and open press is critical to a functional democracy. The Big Picture reveals what is actually going on in the world, going beyond merely identifying the problem and trying to fix it with rational debate and a real discussion of the critical issues facing America.

The Resident

Quick, informative, and cheeky as hell, The Resident talks about the insanities surrounding life in these United States.

Moment of Clarity

Activist and Investigative Comedian Lee Camp creatively carries on the ball-busting legacy of Bill Hicks and Lenny Bruce through stand up, documentary shorts, and sketch animation.

Newsletters Worth a Damn

BORDC Daily News Digest

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee provides a fantastic daily rundown of top civil liberties issues.

Occupy.com

Make it your homepage.

Nation of Change

One of my absolute favorite editorial newsletters, I rarely miss an issue and tend to share most every article I read either on Twitter or Pinterest.

CounterPunch

Named “America’s Best Political Newsletter” and easily the most addictive on this list.

EcoWatch

Environmental news and critical calls-to-action.

EFF Digest

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is on the front lines of digital privacy rights, and leading the fight against patent trolls now threatening the podcasting landscape. To learn more about this battle, check out Adam Corolla’s campaign against trolls (then donate to the defense fund here).

Oakland Eyes with Rich Dreyling

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We put a lot of research into our season finale to thank you kindly for a great year of podcasting.  We are joined by Iraq Veteran and Comedian Rich Dreyling  to discuss the militarization of the police force and the criminalization of dissent as seen in the Port of Oakland. Written and Produced by Crisman Richards. Theme Music and Engineering by Graham Richards. Music by G Koop & O-man featuring Garret Shider and Marshall “Seedless” Shider.

The podcast is on hiatus through the end of the year. Stay tuned to this space for upcoming dates and publications.

Happy Trails, Fuckers.

Download this episode.

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Sources:

NSA Files Decoded (The Guardian).

Oakland activist allegedly fired after police tracked him at protest, alerted employer (RT)

Oakland dedicating anti-terrorism funding to surveillance supercenter. (RT)

ACLU urges Oakland City Council to Put Brakes on Surveillance Center.

Oaklandwiki — Domain Awareness Center

SAIC: Oakland’s Border Militarization, Nuclear Weapons Engineering Surveillance Contractor (Pueblo Lands).

Nuclear law forces Oakland to back out of surveillance center contract (San Jose-Mercury News).

Homeschool History: Tyranny and Revolt

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Let’s share brains.  Be my GoodReads friends.

Crisman Richards shares an essay exploring deep history of Tyranny and Revolution in these United States by way of Netflix and Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.

Download this episode.

Written and Produced by Crisman | Richards. Theme music and engineering by Graham Richards (BMI). Music by G Koop and O-man featuring Whitton, Jerome Rodgers, and the Mastrs. 

Featuring J.S. Bach Prelude and Fugue #9 in E Major and #11 in F Major from the Well-tempered Clavier.  Performed by Graham Richards.

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Want to grease the wheels on our mini-van?  Check out our IndieGoGo campaign for jingles, essay collections, merchandise, and production credits.  We don’t need Hollywood.  We need you.

Additional Sources:

Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society Under the Tudors and Stuarts.  Keith Wrightson, Yale University.

The Tudors

Blackadder

Tell it Slant

Obama’s Rhetoric: Manipulating Your Trust (@BreakingtheSet)

Understanding Obamacare

Say hello on Twitter @CrismanRichards

Say hello on Twitter @CrismanRichards

Understanding the Affordable Care Act is a breeze once you consider the policies of the Obama Administration as a whole.

Written and produced by Crisman Richards. Theme music and engineering by Graham Richards (BMI). Music by G Koop & O-man (RM Moods & Colors, BMI) featuring Lauren Avery and Sayknowledge.

Download this episode.

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Download G Koop & O-man Mixtape.

Want to grease the wheels on our mini-van?  Check out our IndieGoGo campaign for jingles, essay collections, merchandise, and production credits.  We don’t need Hollywood.  We need you.

The Committee

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Celebrating activism through improvisation and the secret history of American comedy with The Committee documentarian, Jamie Wright (thecommitteemovie.com).  Produced by Crisman Richards.  Theme music and engineering by Graham Richards.  Music by G Koop & O-man featuring Markese from the East and Willie Joe.

Direct Download.

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Want to grease the wheels on our mini-van?  Check out our IndieGoGo campaign for jingles, essay collections, merchandise, and production credits.  We don’t need Hollywood.  We need you.

Open Secrets

 

From Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood.

From Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood.

Whose money is representing you on Capitol Hill? This week we put The Center for Responsive Politic’s OpenSecrets.org to good use and take a look at the money oiling our slick congressman, Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15th).

Written by Crisman Richards.

Theme music and engineering by Graham Richards. Music by G Koop & O-man with Taylor Eigsti and NHT Boyz.

Off Beat News Sources:

OpenSecrets.org

Breaking The Set: Oil Industry’s Pig in the Pipeline

Exxon Oil Spill Arkansas

Moment of Clarity: What Exxon Doesn’t Want You To Know

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Want to grease the wheels on our mini-van?  Check out our IndieGoGo campaign for street team gear, merchandise, and production credits all up for grabs.  We don’t need Hollywood.  We need you.

The Crisman Show Tiny Documentary (NSFW)

Presenting four years of work in under 14 minutes. The story of our indie variety show.

Directed by Graham Richards. Written by Crisman Richards. Music by Graham Richards with G Koop & O-man. Animated by Grant Pennington.

Thanks to all of you out in the aether, laughing along or at the very least, listening in a silent panic.

Chicago Protests ALEC Corporatocracy

Photo by Aaron Cynic/Chicagoist

Photo by Aaron Cynic/Chicagoist

Ever wonder who is behind America’s corporatocracy?  We hear from Gonzo journalist Kit O’Connell in downtown Chicago where activists have gathered to protest the American Legislative Exchange Council’s 40th anniversary summit.  Music by G Koop & O-man featuring ANMLPLNT.

Learn more at ALECexposed.org

Produced by Crisman Richards.

Theme music and engineering by Graham Richards.

Check out this episode

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