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"Green out of the pockets of politicians..."

The PEX Summer Music Festival in July 2015 gave me a chance to break through a few personal musical milestones. My DJ & MC set at Meso Creso on Friday night better realized the vision that prompted me to start DJing in the first place -- fusing the lyrical spirit of conscious hip-hop with the funk and delirium of house music -- than any gig I've played yet. Fortunately, the inspiration struck at a good time.

A tribal, dreamy, funky, conscious, Latin, and sometimes techy deep house set mixed on the Meso Creso sound system at the PEX summer music festival (07.04.2015) by Shahid Buttar on Mixcloud

 

This 2:00 video clip shows me mixing between tracks, our fabulous and frenetic crowd celebrating the wee hours of Independence Day, and a single rhyme challenging both drug policy and money in politics.

Debating an NSA apologist on the eve of a Senate victory

On Tuesday, May 19, I was invited to join a panel on The Heat including my colleague Julian Sanchez from the Cato Institute and Fred Fleitz, a former CIA employee and Senior Vice President at the Center for Security Policy. Our discussion spanned two segments (both posted below after the jump).

Days later, popular constitutionalists scored a major victory when the Senate failed to extend section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, allowing its scheduled expiration under a previous act of Congress. It's the first time a controversial surveillance authority has ended since unconstitutional mass surveillance was first illegally imposed in secret over a decade ago, and offers me particular cause for celebration as I'll be wrapping up my time leading the Bill of Rights Defense Committee next week. 

Fighting corruption in the surveillance state

I've had a chance to publicly critique the intelligence establishment several times this month. After being quoted by the Guardian as describing the proposed USA Freedom Act as "yesterday's news," I had a chance to visit Thom Hartmann several times on The Big Picture. Here's our on April 28 interview:

That visit was followed by a series of return appearances on The Big Picture.

Questioning police body cameras across the Midwest

This month, I had a chance to invite audiences in two midwestern cities at the center of the Black Lives Matter uprising to reconsider the conventional wisdom on police body cameras.

Challenging Mass Surveillance on Capitol Hill

Today, after publishing Back to Square One on Spying in the Hill, I spoke at a congressional briefing about a proposed bipartisan measure to repeal the twin statutory pillars of the surveillance state. Here's video of my remarks at the briefing:

Arrested for asking questions about corruption

I'd been back in DC for less than 14 hours before I found myself standing up in a Senate hearing chamber to ask Director of National Intelligence James Clapper a question that somehow never came up during his appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

Rhyming about Gitmo, torture, and the New Jim Crow

Today was the 13th anniversary of military detention at Guantanamo Bay. After joining inspiring allies from Witness Against Torture (many of whom fasted for a week and came from all across the US) at a vigil at the White House, we marched to DC Superior Court, where I busted this rhyme about the inversion of criminal justice in America. The guilty remain free and run amok, while innocents are imprisoned en masse.

NYPD slowdown and police body cams

I joined Abby Martin on "Breaking the Set" tonight to talk about how the NYPD slowdown reveals an opportunity for cities to save costs by shrink unnecessarily large police departments, and why police body cameras won't help solve the police violence & accountability crisis, and could instead make mass incarceration even worse. 

Challenging the legitimacy of 3 letter agencies

Acronym TV featured me in an extended interview alongside Kevin Zeese focused on NSA surveillance but also ranging well beyond it. The interview concludes (and opens with a preview of) a live performance of my new dance song, "NSA vs. USA,"

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