Friday, April 22, 2011 5:32:08 PM
From Adam McKay, film director and co-founder of Funny or Die.
Music is an entertainment slash art form that doesn't suffer B.S. well. Sure you can sing songs about benign subjects like having a crush or wanting a Benz but try and sing a song about how the Koch Brothers need more tax breaks or how teacher's unions are overpaid and it's going to sound really, really F'd up. But other than Green Day we haven't had a lot of protest music over the past few decades. Sure Rage Against the Machine was amazing and Neil Young had his say about Bush, but I'm always amazed how even small local bands stay away from the fact that our country is being ripped off, polarized and lied to by huge corporations that don't pay taxes and weirdo billionaires who inherited all their money.
I can't exactly say why there's not much protest music to speak off. And I know there are acts out there still putting a message in their music. Maybe it's Clear Channel's ownership of so many radio stations. Or maybe it's iTunes and Apple being a company that makes most of their stuff in China. Or maybe it's because the outrage is just starting to really spark in the Midwest with all those insane Governors attacking the middle and lower classes.
I asked this question enough that finally some musician friends of mine in Austin, Texas (the home of music as far as I'm concerned) called my bluff and said, "If you write the lyrics we'll record the songs." So we did. The band is called English Teeth (Kevin Hoetger, Kevin McKinney, and Kyle Crusham). They smoke live if you haven't seen them. We recorded for four days in Austin and it was a blast. And just like that we were ready to release our EP of protest music.
But Kevin, Kyle and I realized we didn't want to be anywhere near the final word on this. We wanted other people to do their own songs. We wanted people to cover our songs or remix them. We wanted all kinds of voices. And we didn't want to rely on corporate radio stations or MTV or iTunes. So we decided to create this project: Public Domain Protest Song.
This is the site which launches today.
The songs are completely free. No strings attached. But more importantly we want your songs and raps. We also want you to take one of our songs on this site and re-record it, re-write it, mash it up, hack it to bits, tear it apart, then put it back together again. Click the button to submit and we'll post them. The songs can be about anything: local issues, national, international, whatever. We don't care. We just want music about what's going on. If you're in a band and you cover one of our songs, send it to us. If you play a cover of "Which Side Are you On Boy?" we'll post that too.
We want to support the songs that will be played at rallies, punk or folk shows, rap concerts and on iPods for the next ten years. We want the God Save the Queen or the Maggie's Farm of our times. We know it's out there.
And once again: it's all free. Anyone posting music is posting it cause they believe it needs to be heard. Not to make residuals. And we mean no offense to those recording music for money. We get it. You gotta pay the bills. This is different. We want to create a scene outside the corporate radio stations and corporate music outlets. So please forward this site and play this music. And Public Domain Protest Song will be scheduling shows in Los Angeles and Austin with guest musicians that will hopefully lead to more shows. We'll also be releasing videos and of course more music from English Teeth and myself as well as from some other bigger name artists who are already interested. Spread the word.
Friday, February 25, 2011 8:00:01 PM
Rally to Save the American Dream
In Wisconsin and around our country, the American Dream is under fierce attack. Instead of creating jobs, Republicans are giving tax breaks to corporations and the very rich—and then cutting funding for education, police, emergency response, and vital human services.
On Saturday, February 26, at noon local time, we are organizing rallies in front of every statehouse and in every major city to stand in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin. We demand an end to the attacks on worker's rights and public services across the country. We demand investment, to create decent jobs for the millions of people who desperately want to work. And we demand that the rich and powerful pay their fair share.
We are all Wisconsin. We are all Americans.
This Saturday, we will stand together to Save the American Dream. Be sure to wear Wisconsin Badger colors—red and white—to show your solidarity. Sign up today to join in!
Register to Attend!!
South Steps of the Capitol
692 registered participant(s) (2000 maximum)
1100 Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
Directions: You can park at the Public garage at 12th and San Jacinto free for 2 hours, or you can park on the street free, since it's a Saturday. We'll be holding our rally on the South steps of the Capitol.
Hosted by Bill Hamm, Stephanie Hamm, Andrew Clements
UPDATE: Jim Hightower to speak at the Rally.
Some of you weren't able to attend the AFL-CIO sponsored march and rally, so MoveOn decided to offer an additional opportunity to those people to demonstrate for the fine workers in Wisconsin and against the scorched earth tactics of Governor Walker. We will be holding a rally in front of the South Steps of the Capitol and join similar rallies across the country in support of the demonstrators in Wisconsin. We will have signs and chants and fervor.
Share this event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=143912135673411
Friday, February 25, 2011 7:44:04 PM
From the Harris County Democratic Party:
STOP Rick Perry and the Texas GOP Legislature from devastating our State, Working Families, & Less Fortunate! On March 15, 2011 4:30PM at HOUSTON CITY HALL
Every segment of our society is threatened, as BILLIONS of dollars will be eliminated from:
- m>Public Education!!
- Health Care!!
- m>Social Services!!
- Environmental & Protection Agencies!!
- State Parks & Historical Monuments!!
Demand Governor Rick Perry use the $9.4 BILLION Rainy Day Funds and End Corporate Welfare!
It is time that Texans unite in solidarity and protest these outrageous budget-cuts and hateful legislation attacking Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, GLBT, Latinos, and Immigrants!
If you are as furious as we are about our current state of affairs and our future then join the movement at Houston City Hall, or check with your local Democratic Party Office for information on your county’s Texas Day of Outrage! event and location. If an event is not planned in your country, then organize one together and contact us with the details and we will add it to our Facebook page!
JOIN THE MOVEMENT TO PROTECT OUR STATE, OUR PEOPLE, & OUR FUTURE!
Friday, February 25, 2011 7:36:49 PM
from Richard C. Shaw, Secretary-Treasurer Harris County AFL-CIO Council
Everyone deserves to come home safe after a hard day of work. But, every 2.5 days in Texas, a construction workers dies on the job. They come home in a coffin. Build a Better Texas – an initiative of the Workers Defense Project and its allies, will be carrying 138 coffins to the Capitol, representing the workers who will never return home this year, on March 2, 2011. Everyone will gather at 3:30 p.m. at the Federal Building, 300 E.. 8th Street, Austin, Texas, and march to the Texas State Capitol delivering the coffins.
The Build a Better Texas program is supported by Unions, business, community and religious organizations. You can learn more about the campaign and join it at http://www.buildtexas.org/. The Houston Interfaith Worker Justice Center (HIWJC) is sponsoring a bus trip to Austin for the event. Go to www.hiwj.org and sign up for the rally and if you want to ride the bus, you can sign up there too.
Today, Friday, February 25, 2010, is the LAST day for signing up for the bus trip. You can still go to Austin on your own and meet up with us.
Friday, February 18, 2011 7:49:53 PM
Statewide March & Rally - Austin, TX
Saturday, March 12
March: 11:00 a.m. starting at 12th & Trinity
Rally: Noon-2:00 p.m. at State Capitol Bldg, 11th & Congress
Texas students are tough, but they've never faced a crisis like this. In communities across the state, the same grim headlines repeat: campus closures, teacher layoffs, deep cuts to core academic programs.
There is help for Texas students - IF our leaders have the courage to use it - and you can make a difference.
Make education a top priority!
Use the $9.3 billion Texas "Rainy Day" Fund to support schools.
Sign the paperwork for $830 Million in federal aid for teachers.
Fix school funding laws to be fair to all districts and to our growing student population
Please visit SaveTxSchools for more information about the rally.
Texans Together will provide a chartered bus ride for a limited number of people from Houston to Austin for this rally on March 12th. If you are interested in taking advantage of this free chartered bus ride please register here to stay updated with the details regarding the bus ride.
Houston ISD will hold a live, call-in television show on Monday, February 21, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m regarding the budget review and planning process.
The panel will include: Board President Paula Harris
Superintendent Terry Grier
Chief Financial Officer Melinda Garrett
This is intended to give viewers an opportunity to call, email, and tweet their comments and questions regarding the topic.
Monday, November 08, 2010 3:38:07 PM
A High Steel Encounter
"...so always walk iron with a little dread, in exchange for this, your daily bread." from "High Steel" by Joe Haan
An Event with author of God’s Angry Man: The extraordinary life of Joe Haan, Colonel B. Wayne Quist. Joe Haan was a WWII war hero, trade unionist & lifelong Ironworker (Local 84), poet, philosopher and scientist.
Date: Saturday, November 13, 2010
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon (light refreshments served)
Place: Harris County AFL-CIO Council, 2506 Sutherland, Houston, Texas 77023
10:00 - Meet and Greet Colonel B. Wayne Quist, Exhibits
10:30 – 11:15 - Author B. Wayne Quist presentation/slide show
11:15 – 12:00 - Discussion and book signings
Sponsored by the Ironworkers, Local 84 and the Harris County AFL-CIO Council
RSVP to Richard C. Shaw
Friday, October 08, 2010 5:25:39 PM
Start: October 12, 2010 - 5:00pm
End: October 12, 2010 - 7:00pm
On Tuesday, October 12, Brazos Bookstore and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy present Robert Reich discussing his new book, Aftershock: the Next Economy and America's Future. Co-sponsored by the University of Houston Department of Economics, the Rice University School of Social Sciences and Barbara Ann Radnofsky.
Admission requires the purchase of a book from Brazos Bookstore. Click here to purchase tickets for the event. Purchase of this ticket includes your reservation plus a signed, first edition copy of the book Aftershock. Ticket must be presented at the event to receive the book.
A brilliant new reading of the economic crisis—and a plan for dealing with the challenge of its aftermath—by one of our most trenchant and informed experts.
When the nation’s economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street. But Robert B. Reich suggests a different reason for the meltdown, and for a perilous road ahead. He argues that the real problem is structural: it lies in the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top, and in a middle class that has had to go deeply into debt to maintain a decent standard of living.
Reich’s assessment of what must be done to reverse course and ensure that prosperity is widely shared represents the path to a necessary and long-overdue transformation. Aftershock is a practical, humane, and much-needed blueprint for both restoring America’s economy and rebuilding our society.
About the author: Robert B. Reich is professor of public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He last served in government as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. He contributes weekly commentaries to Marketplace on public radio, appears regularly on television, and is a cofounding editor of The American Prospect. In 2003 Reich was awarded the prestigious Václav Havel Foundation Prize for pioneering work in economic and social thought. He lives in Berkeley, California.
Author's site: http://robertreich.org/
6100 Main Street, Baker Hall #120
Houston, Texas 77005
For more information, see the Brazos Book Store Website.
Friday, August 13, 2010 6:43:55 PM
Union Maid and Hell Raiser, Anne Feeney, has announced that an 11cm tumor was found on her lung while traveling in Sweden. Now back in the US, she is being admitted to Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA.
She writes in her blog:
Instead, here I am in Pittsburgh packing to go Shadyside Hospital. On August 3rd, in Sweden, a lung specialist advised me that I have an 11 cm tumor on my lung that is stressing both my heart and lungs in dangerous ways. As terrifying as this diagnosis is, it is in many ways a relief to get an explanation for the several mysterious and troubling symptoms I've had for the past few months... including increasing fatigue, shortness of breath, terrible coughing, and bizarre heart rhythms.
I could have stayed in Sweden for the bronchoscopy, biopsy and surgery ... my health insurance would have covered everything in Sweden that it covers here. But even the best case scenario here will involve a protracted recovery period and probably at least six months out of work. It was also hard to think about being so seriously ill so far away from my children, and my lifelong network of friends in Pittsburgh.
The diagnosis has wiped out most of her meager folksinger's savings. She has been forced to cancel a lot of work and incurred a lot of unexpected travel expenses. Although most of her medical bills will be covered (now that she has come up with the $6000 in deductibles and copay), it seems unlikely that she'll be able to return to her hectic tour schedule, or any full time work, for several months.
Join all of us at Voices At Work in wishing Anne a speedy and full recovery. Send Anne a Get Well Message on her Guestbook.
If you want to help out Anne with what are going to be fairly staggering expenses by folksinger's standards...
You could send a donation via PayPal to email@example.com or send a check to Anne:
2240 Milligan Ave
Pittsburgh PA 15218
I'm hoping to find 1000 folks who'll pony up $50 ... I really *don't* want any larger donations ... I don't want anyone to dig deep for this... and if $50 is hard for you to come by, PLEASE don't think about sending me a cent. I know I have enough dear friends who are doing okay that those of you who are struggling shouldn't spend a second worrying about my finances.
Join all of us at Voices At Work in wishing Anne a speedy and full recovery. Send Anne a Get Well Message on her Guestbook.
Friday, July 09, 2010 5:42:03 PM
Newcastle, Maine (Vocus/PRWEB ) July 9, 2010 -- An effort to gather stories about the importance of Social Security in our society has resulted in a special video project and upcoming book. The Social Security Stories Project is seeking story submissions from the public, with a goal of receiving 1,000 stories by the end of July. The stories will then be reviewed for possible inclusion in a new book to be published in honor of the 75th anniversary of Social Security on Aug. 14, 2010.
There are currently 10 stories featured in a new video that was showcased by the National Academy of Social Insurance on June 22, 2010 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The video can also be viewed on YouTube. The video uses photos submitted by the story tellers, as well as audio captured through a special toll-free number set up for the project.
Those who have received Social Security as well as those who know of a friend or family member whose life was impacted are encouraged to submit their stories. Online submission is easy and requires less than 400 words or a short video. Full details and a submission form are available at www.SocialSecurityStories.org. Stories can also be shared by calling 1-800-335-2082.
“We are hoping the younger generations will interview their parents and grandparents on the subject which is why our website offers interview questions,” says Barbara Burt, executive director for the Frances Perkins Center, a nonprofit organization leading the project as part of its mission to honor and learn from Frances Perkins (the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet). A pioneering woman in and ahead of her time, Perkins was U.S. secretary of labor for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She was champion of the New Deal, close friend and advisor to FDR.
The Social Security Stories Project seeks to create a full picture of the importance of Social Security to celebrate and share with all U.S. citizens, and the world. Stories featured in the video include:
The story of a new dad that died a few days after his son was born. The son received his Social Security benefits, preventing a further tragedy for the family. “I am saddened that my grandson has to grow up without his daddy,” says Angela Stockwell of Athens, Maine. “But I am grateful that a program which began 75 years ago still exists today to help struggling families deal financially with the loss of a loved one.”
The story of a dad struck by cancer suddenly, leaving his wife to care for their children alone. “The funeral director in our small town told my mom about benefits available from Social Security that would help her,” says Evonne Zalewski of Greendale, Wis. “ I remember my mom telling me how this will help so much and that we will not be poor or have to move. Having grown up during the depression with only food stamps available was terrifying for my mom.”
“We're inviting people across America to share examples of how Social Security made a meaningful difference in their life or the life of someone they know -- as it currently does for one in six Americans,” says Burt.
Go to SocialSecurityStories.org for more information.
Friday, June 11, 2010 1:07:26 PM
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What: AFGE Rally for Collective Bargaining Rights with Congressman Gene Green
Where: IAH Airport Marriot Hotel
When: June 19, 2010
Lunch will be provided!
Any union that can help out with this event please contact Cynthia Sanders at (713) 725-5021 or email at