Archive for July, 2008

Sudanese Rappers om Egypt

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Egypt Daily News has a story about Sudanese refugees in Egypt using rap as an outlet for free expression.

As violence increases among Sudanese male youth involved in local street gangs in Cairo — demonstrated most severely with the fatal stabbing outside the American University in Cairo in June 2007 — hip hop groups work as a healthy coping mechanism to deal with the harsh reality. It also acts as an avenue for camaraderie outside of the gang scene.

“It has been shown in a variety of settings that there is a direct link between increased ability to express oneself and decreased levels of violence,” said Natalie Forcier, founder of the Campaign for Internationally Displaced Youth [CIDY]. The program is under the non-profit organization called the Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies that works to develop the natural talents of refugee youth through various techniques of creative expression like poetry and music.

“The goal is trying to get them to express themselves in some way. Because right now all the anger and resentment is just being bottled up,” Forcier explained.

Indeed, V.I.P’s song lyrics — sung in Arabic, English and French — have more to do with unity among people of the world than the typical sex, drugs and violence-centered lyrics typically associated with hip hop genre.

Both Nour and Reagan regard themselves as messengers, charting their life stories through their music. In one song, Nour raps about hurtfully being labeled a “Janjaweed” by his fellow Sudanese, in reference to his hometown Darfur where the infamous militia group is most prevalent.

A common theme found in their lyrics is racial intolerance.

“We started to let the people know the Sudanese situation by rapping,” Nour said.

There are around six well-known African refugee hip hop groups in Cairo that perform regularly at venues like the Townhouse Gallery, El-Sawy Culture Wheel and The Factory in Maadi, while many other groups spring up on a more ad hoc basis.

There is more in the article and it is worth reading the whole thing.

More Random Music from The Inbox/Blogs

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Some more random songs:

I recently got sent this new hot song called “Bang! Bang!” from the rap group The Knuxx. Good song with a positive message. It sounds a little bit like something Outkast might have done.

This song will be the second single on the album they are releasing on October 14th titled Remind Me in 3 Days.

Termanology and Bun B have collaborated on a new track produced by DJ Premier titled

Termanology will be releasing his debut LP, Politics As Usual, on September 30th, 2008 via ST. Records/Nature Sounds.

DJ Revolution has a song off his new album with KRS-ONE called “The DJ.” KRS-ONE is an always enjoyable rapper especially with some good production behind him. DJ Revolution ‘s new album King of The Decks arrives in stores September 16.

CL Smooth has a new track out called Dripped in Champagne which has leaked on the internet. CL Smooth enjoyable as always. link via Mick Boogie

Mixtape: Sha Stimuli – Hotter than July

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

There is a new mixtape from DJ Victorious and Sha Stimuli called Hotter than July. The mixtape features rhymes mixed in with Stevie Wonder. Worth a listen. Download here.

August 6th Barr Bomb

Friday, July 25th, 2008 is setting a goal for a money bomb for Bob Barr of August 6th.

The people at seem to realize that the Bob Barr money bombs are not going to raise as much as Ron Paul’s money bombs. They have set the goal for the August 6th money bomb to raise $100,000 which is an impressive goal since the last money bomb for Bob Barr raised only $40,000. Bob Barr does not seem to be having the traction that Ron Paul had earlier this year either in terms of fund raising or media coverage.

T.I. – Whatever You Like

Monday, July 21st, 2008

T.I. has a new song called Whatever You Like that has a new kind of sing-songy hook that I like. It’s a typical rap song about sex and materialism but it sounds good and sometimes that is enough.

Update August 8, 2008:

Here is the video for the song:

Bob Barr Meets with Al Gore On Global Warming

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Bob Barr met with Al Gore earlier this week to discuss global warming. From Bob Barr’s press release:

Former Vice President Al Gore and I have met privately to discuss the issue of global warming, and I was pleased and honored that he invited me to attend the “We” Campaign event. Global warming is a reality as most every organization that has studied the matter has concluded, whether conservative-leaning, liberal oriented or independent. I am, however, also aware that scientists differ on its causes, impact and remedies. I remain firmly committed to free market solutions and innovations to address this issue; not tax-driven policies.

I commend Mr. Gore for his efforts and leadership in this area, and urge Senators Obama and McCain to join me in studying, debating, and finding solutions to the problem of energy needs, consumption and effects. The American people deserve to hear all of our views and proposals on this issue and others. I am particularly pleased that Mr. Gore agrees that the public debate of this issue should include me so that the American people can make an informed choice after hearing a range of views. However, the fact that neither of the two major party candidates attended this event may indicate their unwillingness to address this important issue. Mr. McCain, for example, seems to have adopted already the internationalist approach and relying on the cumbersome and costly “cap and trade” formula and he may therefore be unwilling to engage in a real debate that would reveal how flawed that approach truly is.

All of the three major candidates have met with Al Gore to discuss global warming.

Thomas L. Knapp left a comment on the Third Party Watch blog post discussing global warming explaining a libertarian argument for a carbon tax:

In discussing the “green tax shift” with advocates thereof (Brian Holtz and Fred E. Foldvary, to name two), I’ve been at odds with them insofar as they advocate a carbon tax not for the purpose of paying for the removal of excess carbon from the atmosphere and sequestration of it, but as government’s “general revenue” source.

In my opinion, a government carbon reduction policy should pay for itself—barely. It shouldn’t be a source of revenue that enables the state to get up to unrelated fuckery.

The presumptive goal is to keep the carbon content of the atmosphere below x parts per million (the number I’ve heard thrown around a lot is 350, but it may be something else). If there’s a libertarian justification for that goal, said justification is that carbon in excess of x parts of million harms people or property, and that therefore pushing the ratio of carbon above x parts per million is an initiation of force.

It’s already getting complicated, but then throw into the complication the fact that there are not just 300-odd million Americans involved in emitting carbon, but another 6 billion people not in US jurisdiction.

Presumably there’s going to have to be an assessment of just how much carbon any one person can emit before crossing the threshold into initiation of force by contributing to exceeding the x parts per million threshold.

After that, rather than a tax, I’d prefer to see a destination-optional user fee. For every ton of carbon in excess of the threshold, the emitter can buy offset/sequestration from a private party at a market rate. If someone is caught “emitting in excess” without offsetting or sequestering, then why not go with the old civil standard of “treble damages?” The government fines them three times the market price of the offsets/sequestration they should have bought, buys TWICE as much on their behalf, and keeps 1/3 to cover the costs of enforcement/administration.

I suspect that most of this would take care of itself very quickly through the market—manufacturers would roll their automobiles, lawn mowers, etc. out of the factory with an “X Tons of Carbon VER purchased for this device at point of manufacture” sticker on them (in an amount in excess of emissions produced in the average life of the device type), utilities would fold the price of VERs into the kilowatt-hour charge, etc. On a personal level, investigating/charging someone with excess emissions would be subject to all the same probable cause, reasonable search, etc. constraints as any other state enforcement action

Previously Bob Barr had said that global warming is a myth.

A blogger at Freedom Democrats posits that Barr flip flopped on this issue so he will be included in a debate on climate change.

Bob Barr Conference Call

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Bob Barr recently held a conference call with several bloggers. Ed Morrissey, The Moderate Voice and James Joyner. Bob Barr explains the practical things he would do if President:

Barr would lead by example, ordering an immediate 10% cut in the Executive office for personnel and spending. Further, he would ask Congress, (both parties) to start cutting costs or “they will be next“. Any bill that increases the national debt will be vetoed. No increases in appropriations for any office will be tolerated. He would immediately put a freeze on all federal spending. He would also eliminate the Dept. of Education, reduce the size and scope of the Dept. of Energy, and establish a commission similar to the Grace Commission under Ronald Reagan. This group would examine every department and agency to determine their constitutionally based identity and function and prioritize eliminating those that don’t meet muster

Drill Now! Or in 7 Years

Friday, July 11th, 2008

From the latest article from The Hill it sounds as if some Democrats are moving towards expanding the areas where drilling is allowed. Quote:

The House is going to have its own “gang” of Republicans and Democrats who want to push for more drilling to relieve gas prices.

The Democrats in the group, led by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), will be bucking Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who earlier Thursday called efforts to open up new areas to drilling “a hoax.”

Abercrombie announced late Thursday that he and Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.), one of the loudest voices for more drilling, will form a bipartisan working group to discuss energy issues.

In an interview this week about his work with Peterson, Abercrombie said the Democratic message on energy is not working.

“Simply standing up and saying, you can’t drill your way out of this doesn’t work,” Abercrombie said. “The people are standing up and saying, ‘Yes, we can.’”

There are to be 20 members of the working group – 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans. The members will be announced Tuesday.

“In order for us to remain competitive and rescue ourselves from a second ‘great depression’, Washington needs to put the politics aside and address the crisis,” Peterson said in a statement announcing the working group.

Drilling is politically popular and will probably result in lowering the price of oil down the road. The federal government should allow states to have some say in whether or not drilling occurs in an area.

I understand the concern for the environmental damage that drilling would do but I would say that is a problem with the government owning such a large amount of land.

John McCain = J-Love

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Yesterday this blog mentioned an analogy between John McCain and 50 Cent, today this blog would like to point out the similarity between John McCain and J-Love.

What could old Washington insider Senator John McCain and underground rapper J-Love have in common? They both hate bloggers.

Below is the audio of J-Love dissing bloggers.
This was put together by Robbie at
John McCain also hates the bloggers as seen from this clip from New Hampshire:

Where I Agree with Fidel Castro

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Fidel Castro has called on FARC to release all hostages.

I have openly and energetically criticised the objectively cruel methods of kidnapping and holding prisoners in the jungle,” he wrote in an internet article posted on Sunday.

“If I may dare to suggest something to the Farc guerrillas, it is that they simply, by whatever means at their disposal, declare that they have unconditionally freed all the hostages and prisoners still under their control.”

Hugo Chavez called on FARC to release their hostages in June.