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Getting my groove on this Ramadan

July 2014 has been an intense month! Before turning 40 earlier this week, I had a chance to make some strides musically, while making waves as an advocate and organizer.

Over the first two weeks of the month, I spun 6 DJ sets (including my first recorded mix, a live set I mixed at Zeba on July 12 for Mischief) at venues including the PEX Summer Music Festival, Zeba, Tattoo Bar, and a friend's back yard for an overnight pool party. My NSA vs USA music video has continued making the rounds and was tweeted by Anonymous. It's been viewed roughly the same number of times as my video for Bumpin in My SUV, but in only 2-3% of the time (2 months vs. 6 years).

My latest advocacy includes addressing the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board at its July 23 meeting. The PCLOB's creation was first recommended by the 9-11 Commission over a decade ago, but it took the White House over a decade to finally appoint members before it was able to issue its first two reports (one of which was excellent, while the other reflected disappointing gullibility) earlier this year. I led off among the advocates, expanding the context beyond the latest news to address various ways in which our government monitors law-abiding Americans suspected of no wrongdoing. I'll post a link to the transcript once we have it.

The latest developments on government surveillance have offered plenty of grist for my writing mill. I wrote about the House passing a gutted version of the USA Freedom Act, before responding to White House intervention by escalating its resistance, followed by a  surprisingly helpful Supreme Court decision that bolsters congressional reform efforts. I've also done a handful of radio interviews, including:

Ramadan (which started in late June and will conclude next week) is always a profound time of the year. Fasting tends to wreak havoc with my body's internal rhythms, so I've often ended up awake in the middle of the night and dragging in the late afternoon, when dehydration compounds low blood sugar and leaves me feeling a bit like a shadow of myself. If nothing else, it's helped me cultivate gratitude, by reminding me at every turn how lucky I am to have all my physical needs met with relative ease. I fear a future when that may not always be the case -- not for me, but for my nieces, nephews, and their peers around the world.

Responding to some nostalgia as I've neared (and since turned) 40, I went back and started posting my writing from the 2006-2007 ShantiSalaam tour promoting communical harmony across South Asia. It was my first time in my native region, and it's been fun to relive the experience through my writing. I hope you dig it, the beats, and the interviews! 

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