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Like the first of anything created, this magazine was equal parts labor of love and teeth pulling. I conceptualized this magazine about 3 years ago, when Mercury Soapbox was really starting to take hold and build a collaborative art community, because of a conversation with some creative friends about how to find artists, musicians and artisans. We agreed that crawling the net for creatives that were proactively promoting themselves could be tedious and overbearing, and you dont always find the caliber of artist you are looking for. “So why not a magazine?” I said. “One that’s about, and full of, emerging talent and their work?” And just like that, MSMag was born. Well. Not just like that. From that day on, our task was to meet and collaborate with as many creative people as humanly possible, help them to build their respective bodies of work, and help them to build a fan base of their own. Ultimately, we want Mercury Soapbox Magazine to be a place where creatives can see/hear/experience other creatives that they’ll eventually work with, find out what work creatives are doing and find out how to support one another. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time! Mercury Soapbox Family

USE THIS CODE TO CONNECT WITH EVERYONE IN THIS MAG!!!

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Mercury • music........................................................................6 • books.........................................................................9 Sho Recap • creation show.........................................12 Soapbox • words by rachel khona............26 • jbf customs............................................... 28 • chris carr...........................................................30 • a-1................................................................................36 • words by nick zakharov..........40 The covers of this issue were created LIVE during our Creation Show. The front cover is the collaborative work of CERN ONE (YMI) and Marthalicia Matarrita, and the back cover is the work of Sole Rebel.


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music

@kikoacunningham is one half of Briggz & Cunningham and a bass afficionado.

KikoArtoisCunningham.tumblr.com

5 top must cop albums of 2011

art

St. Vincent - Strange Mercy

Annie Clark is just an awesome musician, that makes awesome music. I love the way she phrases her vocals. Like, the chorus of “Chloe in the Afternoon”. I love the surreal beauty of “Cruel”, which is enhanced by the African feel. “Cheerleader”, “Surgeon”, “Champagne Year”. Buy the fucking album!

Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See

Smart, tasty hooks. Good lyricism. Awesome album. The way the guitar starts out in “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”, did not lead me to believe it would be a set-up for a harder riff; but man, that harder riff is tits. “Brick by Brick” is classic Britrock. “The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala”, too! “She’s Thunderstorms” is bloody awesome. So is “Love Is a Laserquest”. So is everything. They don’t know how to make a shit song.

Class Actress - Rapproacher

I love what singer Elizabeth Harper does on this album; a soon to be electro-pop classic. Cool synth work, from her partners in crime. “Prove Me Wrong” is my hands down fave. Shit is sex, like, amazing ear-fucking. And, it’s kind of weird too, the lead melody. Yet, the atmosphere on that track is what sells it. That kind of description permeates the whole album. “Limousine”,”Keep You”, “Missed”, “Hangin’ On”. It’s not a complete success, it’s not as polished as you’d expect from the sounds, but still very satisfying. “Let Me In” is a great closer. Best closing track I’ve heard in awhile.

Little Dragon - Ritual Union

This band just has first class musicianship. Yukimi’s sublime voice. Hakan’s great melodic choices, on keyboard. Fredrik’s solid bass work. Erik’s impeccable drumming. You know what? Some of the ideas seemed they could have been explored and developed more. Especially “Little Man”, and “Brush the Heat”. You know what, also? I’m okay with that. There’s alot of sensuality on this album, and not necessarily upfront. It isn’t raunchy. It isn’t haughty. It is sensuous. Dope album. Dope group.

Neon Indian - Era Extrana

This artist also did a dope e.p., this year, with The Flaming Lips. I choose the full length l.p. An album full of colors. “Polish Girl” is just a great, great pop tune. Nice, memorable lead melody. The bass kicks. A lot of energy to it. Simply sublime. “Fallout” is a great make out track. That also goes for anything on this album. Lock someone’s lips to “The Blindside Kiss”. Or, “Hex Girlfriend”. Or, “Halogen (I Could Be A Shadow)”. Okay, so let’s say that you aren’t getting hot & heavy. It’s still a fun listen. Plenty of atmosphere. Word.

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film

@RuthNineke is the author of five selfpublished books, a snarky blog and an upcoming full length novel. She’s also much, much smarter than you. www.RuthNineke.com

books

When I was asked to write a book review for Mercury Soapbox Magazine there was no hesitation in my response. Of course I would! I knew exactly which books I wanted to share: Storm Constantine’s Enchantments of Flesh And Spirit, and A Planet Named Treason by Orson Scott Card. With our current cosmic situation running remarkably on schedule what better use of my energy than to spread thought-provoking literature? Both titles are Fantasy/Sci-Fi. Both main characters are young men who undergo dramatic shifts both mentally and physically, their lives and destinies instantly changed. In both stories the characters embark on journeys, where they must leave behind their homelands and learn new ways of living. In A Planet Called Treason, societies exchange different goods for metal. Treason’s inhabitants have been banished to the planet generations ago, and metal is the most coveted commodity among them. When the main character, Lanik Mueller – next in line for the throne of his kingdom, is discovered to be a “rad” (short for radical regenerative) he is sent into exile to avoid being harvested. Muellers naturally possess regenerative powers allowing them to regrow injured body parts. During puberty their abilities are a little uncontrollable, but this usually sorts itself out. Those who don’t outgrow the growing phase are sent to harvest their extra parts in exchange for metal. Because of his status Lanik becomes a spy instead, his mission to discover what the Nkumai are trading for metal. The Nkumai are militarily the strongest tribe of people on the planet. Through his journey Lanik learns the secrets of many other nations on the planet and gains new powers to help him save his own people. He must leave behind the ones he loves, but finds in the end they were willing to wait for him, because they believed in his return. Enchantments of Flesh And Spirit introduces a young man named Pellaz. He’s taken away from his family and home, almost entirely by the seduction of another man named Calanthe. Cal isn’t actually a man though. He’s part of a new race of hermaphrodite beings. Around the time of humanity’s downfall – thanks to war and destruction – Wraeththu evolved from an unspecified mutation. Their legends and myth spread throughout the region, but no government or military had appeared to put them down. Pell decides to leave with Cal for Immanion – one of the greatest Wraeththu cities. Along the way Pell is turned into a Wraeththu and learns more about his new race, eventually rising to a higher status within it. There’s a love story between Cal and Pell, even though Pell has a child with another Wraeththu. This is explored more in the other titles in the series on Wraeththu. Aside from the fantastic premise of both these tales I find the basic ideas of each to be relevant to our current events. Both focus on a character whose greater societal situation has a clear and direct impact on his personal life. The happenings of the world around Lanik and Pellaz are no longer some external thing, separate from them but become a direct part of their lives. As change happens to them each learns to accept truths faster, and embrace their personal powers fully. The idea of fear is replaced with the quality of curiosity, each story progressing as our protagonists build new information into what’s already come before. It seems to me that we are now in the busiest, most exciting, times of our lives. The collective consciousness is processing information more rapidly than perhaps we knew it could adapt to. As individuals we are always ripe for receiving knowledge. I dare say we are never not seeking knowledge. And how lucky that these days there is so much of it coming at us! There’s so much we are doing and saying, as we process and share. Each of us is clearly the main character in our own lives. And what goes on within our communities, and governments, and our world is not separate from us. Individuals are always changing, and evolving - though random genetic mutations aren’t the thing yet – we are always in possession of the opportunity to learn to think differently, and experience life in a new way. Acceptance of that also allows us to impact the world we live in, as it impacts us, as we are not actually immune to or isolated from the larger whole.

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tech

video games

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SETTING UP THE CROWD WATCHING LOVE FOR THE MASSES PROGRESS TEARS IT DOWN DJ EUGENE ROCKIN LEE ANN GOES IN CERN AND BOBBI PHOTOSHOPPIN ADRIENNE MACK DAVIS KILLIN IT OCTAVIA SHARES WORDS JAY SPADE RIPS

trying to set up the live streaming performances from Nicole Verhamme (of Golden Boy) and Justina Soto and the Salvation Armband. Ultimately failing, and apologizing profusely, we kicked off the musical part of the show. Bookended by deep house phenom DJ Eugene, the line up was chock full of talent: ART, Life on Impact, Corona, spoken word from Octavia Almonte and Lee Ann, followed by a preview from Adrienne Mack Davis, a short set from Jay Spade, and a mind blowing set from the unstoppable Progress. We had a great time and kept it going for HAPPY HOLIDAZE - our beneift show on December 16th, which hosted art, music, a toy drive AND a food drive. Stay Tuned for the next show/project! SEE YOU ALL SOON!!

photos by patricia koo, errol basdeo, lauren pasculli, isaac betancourt-sabillion

WELCOME BACK! It had been about a year and a half since the last show. But that last one was a doozy. A McKibben Street hot box of bodies, cheap beer and rock & roll, it was wonderful in its frenetic kineticism but what it lacked in art it made up for in dancing and great rock talent. We took some time off to meet a ton of new people, create some new ideas, set a few things in motion but now we’re back, and the Creation Show was proof positive. As the artists (photographer/ painter Patricia Koo, photographer/videographer Errol Basdeo and mixed media artist Lee Ann Irrizary) put the finishing touches on their exhibits and started to greet friends coming in, we were having a tiny meltdown


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CORONA ROCKS ACOUSTIC MINDS BEING BLOWN

“it’s not gonna be as good if it isn’t that raw”

washington heights singer/songwriter working on album

LIFE ON IMPACT JAMS ART PERFORMS

brooklyn/queens “when i was a little kid, i always was stealing photographer the cameras, taking all getting back to painting the family photos” “my biggest challenge is staying motivated, staying on task”

new jersey documentarian/poet book- indigo, there’s other colors in the rainbow

washington heights “i love hip-hop in general, i love the lyricist culture, the movement” working on mixtape “i kind of fumbled into bellevill nj it when I was around poet fifteen, so I’ve been pretty much book- tears on my pillow writing ever since” “come to all of our shows because we’re the shit. and always tip your bartender.

new york city alternative/indie rock demo

brooklyn clasically trained singer/songwriter

vans warped tour/fighting for futures/bring it back stage

“realizing that art was something that I was really good at instead of like social studies or something”

harlem painter art battles

queens fusion band playing shows

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“the biggest challenge brooklyn is overcoming fear of filmmaker/photographer doing something. once jump that hurdle, dp of “Bottle Service” you you just keep going”

writing poetry washinton heights “i started ‘cause i used to be rapper angry at my ex shout out This Is Light Mixtape girlfriend. to my ex girlfriend”

new york deep house dj track on mixcloud queens “Myself is the biggest challenge. i feel pretty blessed by the world, visual artist mural on n8th but self destruction, self defeat, those things are huge.” and driggs


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Photography

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The Graveyard By Rachel Khona

fter I graduated college I decided I didn’t really want a job so I decided to move to L.A. and become an actress. Of course that meant I had to get a job waiting tables since that’s what every wannabe actress does . So I marched up to Sunset Boulevard and got myself a job at the restaurant in the Standard Hotel. Since I was brand spanking new, I usually got to work the super fun overnight shift from 11 pm to 7 am. This of course meant that I got to meet every loser and derelict whoring themselves out on Sunset Boulevard as opposed to all the celebrities and bigwigs (Dave Navarro, Metallica, Steven Soderbergh, Christina Aguilera, Denise Richards) my coworkers got to see during normal hours. The biggest celebrities I saw were Heidi Fleiss and Tom Sizemore.

So one night these slutty girls decided to stop in at the ripe old hour of 4:30 am. Besides the requisite gigantic plastic boobs, one of them sported a shiny black vinyl bustier and zebra print leggings (and this was before Rachel Zoe put Lindsay Lohan in a pair of leggings and made them all the rage) while the other one was wearing a short see-through white strapless dress and white heels. Bad move. Only Pamela Anderson can pull that off and still look hot. If you look like the product of multiple generations of incest, it’s not going to work. I was practically asleep so even though I found their taste in clothing highly questionable I was thrilled to have someone wake me out of my stupor. I figured they had just finished clubbing and wanted a bite to eat.

“Wow, that uniform is really hot. That’s cuter than anything we have to wear,” said Zebra pants. “I want to get one of those for work.” “Oh….. What do you guys do?” I asked thoroughly perplexed. What kind of job would find a yellow diner dress acceptable attire? Their boss must be very liberal. “We work at the Body Shop down the street,” White dress said. I was confused, were they mechanics? Half-dressed girls fixing cars? Maybe even doing car washes? That’s not a bad idea. I should open a Body Shop too. “Oh, what’s that?” I asked. “It’s a strip club,” said White dress.

“Hi, we would like a table for two,” Zebra pants said. This was kind of comical, as there was no one in the restaurant.

Ohhhhhhhhhh. Now it was ALL coming together. There was a strip club down the street. That makes a lot more sense than the whole mechanic scenario.

“Sure sit anywhere. Do you want to start off with something to drink?” I asked.

“That’s festive. Have you decided what you want to order?”

“Just menus right now,” strapless dress said.

They placed their orders which I actually remembered to enter into the computer unlike most

of the time when I just forgot. Probably because no one else was there. About ten minutes later their orders were ready. I promptly delivered them, checked on them, and went back to downing coffee behind the counter. When they finally finished eating, I asked them if they needed anything else and gave them their check. I ran the credit card and picked up the signed copy. There was NO tip. OK in all fairness, I know I am probably one of the worst servers to ever walk God’s earth, but this time I actually did a good job! I didn’t fuck up a single thing! And as women who survive on tips, I was appalled that they could be so callous. I was hurt; I really thought we had bonded over my uniform. Fuck them. It was now 5:15 am I am working for shit, and I had no patience. Shit is going down. “Excuse me, was there something wrong, because I noticed there was no tip.” “The service wasn’t really any good,” Zebra pants stated bluntly. “Ummm, you’re the only customers in here. The service has been amazing.” “Whatever, we’re not tipping you. We’re out of here.” With that, the dumb whores got up and started to run out. As I stood there incredulously, I saw Zebra pants reach behind the counter and grab the ketchup and mustard on the way out. So she’s not just a lying coke-snorting stripper, she’s also a klepto. That biyatch needed to forget about stealing ketchup and steal herself a real non-polyester outfit from Barney’s.

“Hey, give those back!” I screamed, running after her. “No!” she yelled as she ran out to the valet. Fuck this dumb bitch. I might have been naïve, but I was no doormat. I will take those Lucite heels and clock her in the face with them. I ran after her.  “Wait!! Don’t give her the car!” I yelled at the valet. She spun around angrily and glared at me.  “That stupid bitch stole the ketchup and mustard!!! She can’t have her car back until she returns it. And by the way, she didn’t tip me, so don’t count on a tip.” I yelled. The valet looked us tiredly. “Give back the ketchup. ….Nicely.” She angrily fished the ketchup out of her bag and handed it to the valet who handed it to me. “Happy?” she snapped. “Fuck you.” I turned on my heel and walked away. Except that I didn’t. I hid inside the hotel’s frosted doors. As the girls got in the car, I walked back outside. As they pulled away I hurled the ketchup bottle at the car, which landed on the back windshield and splattered everywhere. I sprinted back into the hotel, ran down the stairs and hid in the basement. They never found me. Rachel Khona is a nationally published writer and performer from New Jersey. Check out her work and blog at www.rachelkhona.com

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Jake Ferrato, aka

Where are you originally from?   Akron, Ohio How did you get started in fashion/customizing? What made you think you should get into it? I started painting shoes back in my junior year of high school.  I did that just because I wanted cool shoes and I didn’t wanna pay for the SB releases, etc.  They didn’t make those in my size either (14) so it just made sense.  From there it has continuously evolved into what you see today. How hard was it to spread the word about your work?   That was and still is difficult.  As the small artist it’s tough to get bigger blogs/websites that really drive traffic to pay attention.  Social media has been a great way to help with promotion, though.

Where do you get your inspiration? What about for fabrics, designs, color schemes? Everywhere... A lot of it is just what I want to see done, and what people tell me they want to see done. Are there other areas of fashion you’d like to move into? I’m looking into getting into backpacks.

photos by jbfcustoms.com

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@jbfcustoms, is an upcoming hat and sneaker customizer, a style trend blazer with a great eye for colors, patterns and materials.

Whats your favorite piece you›ve made so far? My favorite shoes are the Jet Life Blazers (so exclusive I don’t even own a damn pair)  And my favorite hat thus far is the Grizzlies one I did. What piece of advice could you give future and current designers/ customizers?  Be consistent, and keep your work in view.

Do you have regulars visitors/customers?

Whats the next step for you and your work?

I like to think so! hahaha! I know I have a few repeat customers, and there’s the people that always really show support on Twitter. Thank you to all such people.

Selling out of boutique shops seems to be what’s happening next, as well as getting into some new products.

Did you have to make a transition between selling works in person and selling them online? I’ve really never sold in person, so I’ll probably making that transition in reverse in the future.

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30 Where are you originally from? Washignton DC 0 - 18, Atlanta 18- 23, NY 23- 25, DC 25 - 29, NY 29 - 33 How did you get started in photography? What made you think you should get into it? I went to school for history/sociology; I am fascinated by interpersonal dynamics, social groups and identity formation.. so photography is a great medium for documenting social events, trends, issues, conflict .. the human experience. At different times I was into landscape, flora, fauna, portraits, events, commercial work.. I love how film photography is a mixture of chemistry and magic.. and I think photography is my way of managing the human condition and mortality. How hard was it to spread the word about your work?

It is difficult to answer that question in a straight forward manner..It depends on scope and expectation.. It has taken me a couple of years to build the name for my brand but I have in no way maximized technology, communication and certain innovations in running/managing a small business in this economic environment. So, on one hand, it is easyI use the internet.. I shoot really interesting people (they help promote by sharing on social media sites and telling friends), I shoot events and pass out promo cards or fliers, I always have a camera with me so that when I meet people they immediately know what i spend my time doing.. and through my experience as a mucisian I have met people that can help funnel

photos by chris carr. obviously.

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Chris Carr is a vibrant, daring and exciting photographer. Soul-wise and unashamed, he pushes the imperfections perfectly to the surface of his imagery. Find him at Brooklyn Wildlife

work my way or spread the news about my projects or work. On the other hand.. it is extremely difficult to break through and have a platform as large as the magazines or newspapers or really well known commercial photographers.. I don’t have a name like nikola tamindzic but he inspires me because he moved to NY, hit the scene, started shooting with Gawker and within two or three years had two well known blogs and got into all types of commercial and art photography.. so I have a lot of work to do. me rc u r y s o apb ox

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Do you have regular customers? Yes. I have a couple of T shirt companies that hire me on a regular basis (Pockets Fulla Pillz and One vs Many), I have some event clients that have me shoot their parties on a regular basis, I shoot Shecky’s Girls Night Out every year and others like that. There are also people I shoot on a regular basis.. my friends that inspire me and certain models that always link to make some art Did you have to make a transition between selling works in person and selling them online? No.. i only sell works in person. But.. i am starting an etsy account and I will be selling prints and other items via my website What kind of research do you have to do for your work? It depends. There is a lot of planning and art direction that goes into the shoots before we ever arrive on location I tend to conceptualize and discuss with the client, cast for the models, locate stylists, hair, make up or etc.. and then pull off the shoot. So

usually, the more effort that I put in prior to the day of the shoot, the more smooth the shoot actually goes. So sometimes the research is looking at other ad campaigns for what NOT to do, sometimes it is art history, sometimes it is looking at a brand’s previous campaign and making sure we don’t veer too far away from their brand image Where do you get your inspiration? What about for set ups, lighting, makeup, color scheme? The inspirations are life, the world.. all the people I meet and places I travel.. I know it sounds corny, but I am one of those people that would try to draw you if I thought you looked cool.. but I suck at illustration, so photography allows me to achieve the same goal. When I am driving through some mountain town in Croatia.. how can I not take a picture. When I am in some party in Denmark with some amazing people that I just met, eating hash brownies and drinking German beer.. how else would I remember it.. take a photo. I like

imperfection as well.. I am inspired by our faults, our crooked teeth, or bags under the eyes, shoes with holes in them Don’t get me wrong, I also really enjoy capturing beauty and aesthetically awesome people, tattoos, environmental landscapes, cities and the things that stand out when you travel Are there other areas of art you’d like to move into? yes - I would like to shoot large format film..black and white. I would like to shoot videos, short films and eventually help produce indie art movies. I am already in a band, and at some point wheatpasting/ collage and large scale printmaking seem like they would be fun. And maybe carving little raindeer out of wood. I am not too bad at that. Whats your favorite piece you’ve made so far? Honestly, I do not have a favorite. I shot a series of mock Supreme ads with my friend Amy that a lot of people seem to like. and I recently did a couch surfing portrait project that

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produced some awesome images...I have shot a lot of events.. Rock the Bells, Scribble Jam, Howards HOmecoming, CMJ fest for the past 4 years, Winter Music in Miami, South by Southwest, Private listening parties, Martha Stewart Luncheons, Senators and much more.. It would be impossible to say what I like the most.. What piece of advice could you give future and current photographers? Get a day job. haha.. no, I am kidding.. The only advice I can say that wont be as long

as a book (i plan to write one in a few years) would be this:

GO HARDER THAN EVERYBODY For real.. I could talk about equipment, or the market in NY or how to promote yourself, or the politics/social scene of photography or the artistic ethos and philosophy of photography as an art.. but at the end of the day.. the only thing that matters is if you do what you do to the fullest extent. Whats the next step for you

and your work? A kickstarter to raise money for an art space.. I need to be able to curate a space, hang my art, have shows for my friends and do whatever I want in terms of content.. so that is on the plate for this spring. I would also like to set up more corporate event clients, more apparel companies and I need to find a tattooist to follow for six months and make some sick art. Also my nude artwork.. I need old people and guys to shoot nude.. take your clothes off..

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36 me rc u r ys o apb ox Where are you originally from?

Born and raised in San Francisco California. what was your first exposure to music?

My mom used to play these oldies mixtapes for my sister and I when we were really little. We would

memorize the words to all kinds of various pop tunes. “Hit the road Jack” by Ray Charles and “Obla Di Obla Da” by the Beatles stick out. I remember my Dad used to move the furniture out of the living room and play Michael Jackson cassettes for us and we would have these

When did you decide/realize you wanted to be a musician?

photos by sean donnely melissa santiago

Adam Traore, aka A-1, is an extremely talented, verbose and prolific MC outta the west coast. @adamraps

dance parties. The first cassette I ever owned was a Bob Marley mixtape my pops dubbed for me when I was like 6. I’ve always been really into art. I used to draw a lot in school and I adopted being an “artist” as my identity early on. I guess music was just another form of art for me to explore and it just so happened to be the one I stuck with. It probably could have been anything though. How did you get started?

I use to listen to a lot of East Coast rap in high school when I first started becoming a hip hop junkie. Before that I was all about Bay Area underground rap like Andre Nickatina and Celly Cel and a bunch of other really grimy gangsta

music that was comin out of the bay at that time. When I started getting into Nas and Wu Tang and stuff I started appreciating the art of lyricism and MCing more. It inspired me to write and try to freestyle. My friends started getting into it too and I’ve been rhyming ever since. What was the first song you finished?

I was in a group back in highschool called “BlackMale” with 3 of my friends and we had a song called “All of It” where we all just went back to back bustin verses. When I hear it now it sounds so amateur, but at the time it was the illest shit out! Nobody our age was touchin us lyrically back then. It was a lot of fun. How do you go about beat selection?

For lack of a better description.. it just has to grab you by the boo-

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boo. If it doesn’t get my attention within the first 30 seconds then it’s on to the next. I produce a lot of stuff too so I kind of have an idea what works for me and what doesn’t. Some beats are really well produced, but if I can’t hear myself on them then it’s a no go. Which do you think is the stronger skill set- the ability to freestyle or the ability to write well?

Writing hands down. If you can’t write a solid song you will never have a successful career in music. Name a rapper (besides eminem) that’s KNOWN for his freestyle ability that has anything more than a small underground cult following. It’s hard to do because there barely are any. The artists who stand the test of time are people with the ability to spend time writing, constructing and perfecting a record for people to listen to. With that being said I think all MCs should still jump in cyphers from time to time and be able to kick a few rhymes off the dome, because understanding what that type of free-flowing energy feels like helps us get in touch with the roots of this art form and build upon our artistry as well.

I haven’t dropped any projects that I’m willing to call an “album” yet.. but I have two mixtapes out right now. One’s called “After School Special” and it’s a short tape that has a 90’s television theme. The newer one is called “The Book of Adam” and it’s just a collection of songs that better represent my style and my personality as an artist. Do you have any dream collaborators? Who are they?

Outkast because they make the best albums, Ice cube because he tells the best stories, Devin the Dude because he has a great outlook. Any big plans for the rest of this year?

My goal this year is to do a lot of regional shows and start branching outside of the Bay with my performances/music. Also, I’m planning to drop a new E.P. or a mixtape sometime in the spring or early summer. Some parting words for your current and future fans?

If it doesn’t get my attention within the first 30 seconds then it’s on to the next.

I just want to thank everyone for supporting, my only hope is that you are able to get some kind of pleasure or relief from my songs. Peace and health to everybody, A-1.

How many albums have you finished? me rc u r y s o apb ox

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by Nick Zakharov You can’t let your failures define you -- you have to let your failures teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently the next time. -BARACK OBAMA, National Address to America’s Schoolchildren, Sep. 8, 2009 This was an interesting quote for the president to make when the official policy of so many public schools across the country is that if the kids fail, the schools fail, losing funding and even incurring eventual closure. The foreclosure crisis allowed reductions in public school funding, through lost property tax revenues as well as general education cutbacks our local governments assure us are necessary. This forces city and state governments to rely more on federal funding which itself is being cut and based on a purely by-the-numbers payout. Too many disadvantaged areas are losing schools and forcing class size to skyrocket, with proud politicians like NYC’s Bloomberg proclaiming that he’d still want to cut the teaching force far more yet we have reports of schools unfairly being cut and closed1. This is a classic work force reduction to dissolve unions, a favored method of plutocratic elites in political power. One would think that the schools with poorest performing students need stronger and more transparent oversight, not a clear cut message to the students being: it’s your fault your school closed. Essentially, Obama can proudly disregard the mechanics of the law but paradoxically state that we shouldn’t judge ourselves by how badly we’re performing. Well, Mr. President, I won’t even stress your effects on the economy2, politically dividing the public3

or on health4. Instead, I want to evaluate the Obama administration’s effect on civil liberties abroad as well as domestically. His effects on the global scene are to be taken into greater consideration, for the countries our military is pointed towards invariably experience the wrath of our presidents far greater than we do. For a full list of Obama’s achievements, I refer you to a jaw-dropping compendium at http://stpeteforpeace.org/ obama.html . These are sheer facts, no theorizing necessary. Conversely, for a list of achievements he’d admit to, go to http://obamaachievements.org/list . You can compare and consider which ones matter more to you. As the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia say “That’s politics, bitch.” President Obama just signed into law HR347, dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act5 which makes it unlawful to be within certain proximity of buildings where public officials that have secret service protection without authority, making it a FELONY to exercise our first amendment right of peaceful assembly and protest. Could this be because of the Occupy Movement’s massive growth, the Tea Party’s staunch opposition to Obama’s presidency or the Anonymous movement? No doubt the Arab Spring Revolutions of the past year helped to inspire a protest feeling amongst many Americans, despite US state provocation behind the various movements6 and the expansive effects of each country’s own revolutions7. Many are willing to be arrested by local police for simple crimes of disobedience or trespassing

photos by the internet. not mine.

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The Changeling’s Failings

but these recent legislative changes could only strike fear into the hearts of so many who actively protest meetings of G8, NATO, the Bilderberg conferences of international policy makers but even simple political rallies, who could face escalating and undue charges. This could also authorize our government to connect violators of this law to the recently signed National Defense Authorization Act (signed on New Year’s Eve, much like the Federal Reserve Act passed right before Christmas in 1913, two quite unpopular acts with the public, fading from serious mention8) which allows indefinite detention of American citizens, suspending the habeas corpus right to trial, and the rendition of Americans to foreign nations for torturous interrogation9. The scary thing is that this passed so timely through a heavily partisan, by far the most divided in recent history, Washington. We were angry about the Patriot Act and this broadened the definition of terrorist and allowed multiple agencies overriding reach into all aspects of our lives but the passage of NDAA and HR347, among countless other laws, do not specify any connection to violence, foreign or domestic terror cells but seem to be directly aimed at protestors and whistleblowers and any effective detractors from official state power. Even more cryptically, Obama just signed an executive order on March 16, allowing him and his secretaries jurisdiction over the most vital resources and, yes, EVEN PEOPLE for whatever purpose they see fit under the guise of “national defense”10. While presidents of the past have brought on similar laws, they were always in emergency events and times of actual war. Despite the US having been embroiled in some level of war since WW2, we do not experience it here. But this law clearly states that this can be implemented in “peacetime” and in non-emergency situations. Additionally, we must assess the nomenclature and properly term this as “state defense” for this is so far detached from any idea of “national” and confines protection to a vastly burgeoning electorate whose sole purpose is expansion of legally-protected

power. What faction of the actual population of our country could feel anything but defenseless under the passage of these acts? They are absolutely leveraged against us yet are simply judged by the capitalized terms like ‘national’, ‘patriot’ or ‘freedom’ and the subsequent safeguarding rhetoric, allowing the most meretricious verbiage to keep people from studying the subtext and pacifying a populace, whose strength in recalling and holding such criminals accountable has globally paramount protection by their own constitution. Is this what we expected of a man who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 (without having achieved any semblance of peace thus far)11?He received it a week after announcing an increase of thirty thousand troops into Afghanistan. In his acceptance speech he justified American military actions since WW2 saying “Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: the United States has helped underwrite global security for six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.” In 2011, he received an award for transparency, a word that became synonymous with how his administration was to be conducted, by 5 different government accountability organizations IN SECRET12! Yes, on March 28, 2011, he received this award with no press or public allowed, without the event even being on his official schedule. This, despite his administration spending a record $10.17 billion on classifying 224,734 documents, according to the federal agency Information Security Oversight Office13. Obama didn’t just claim those transparency or peace awards, his campaign won a deserved award presented by Ad Age for marketer of the year14, beating Apple, a company whose stock numbers have recently had to be taken out when reporting the Dow average for it accounted for 17% of the growth. Such a megalith company couldn’t match the ad campaign Obama had. Most of us like to think electing the highest post in the world shouldn’t be in the same category as picking whose device will blast your me rc u r y s o apb ox

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shitty music through ear-damaging buds but the sad truth is that this marketing hypnosis is the only language we understand, and the Obama team spoke it expertly. So we bought a product. We entered into a contract for supremacy of maintenance, and should we feel shortchanged?

Watching Obama’s press conference on 3/6/2012, I didn’t expect any mention of radical ideas or approaches from him, seeing as posturing a moderate position, even in his heady stature, is the way to get reelected. No, spouting radical ideas may allow you to depose a fading despot like Bush and that is certainly what Obama delivered in 2008, assuring us that only we have the strength to save ourselves from corruption in high office. And of course said strength could only culminate in electing a figure like him, whose vague calls for readjustment helped assure the populace that he was not of the sinister ilk of his predecessor and that his aims could redirect American standing in a number of areas. This was no unfamiliar tactic. Regan promised small government and expanded it vastly. George HW Bush famously reiterated “no new taxes”, a lie. Bill Clinton appeased the public by promising healthcare reform yet quickly backed away. George W. Bush ran on a non-interventionist platform. And we saw what happened then. Mind you, these are isolated lies that I can easily say were the least of these presidents’ mischief. But it brings the point home that Obama was not out of character as a misdirecting

candidate who reassured us of an end to the wars, economic regulation and the ensuing stability, social and bipartisan cohesion, some level of transparency and countless other turnarounds from the previous administration. With our dual-party systemic failure, we imagine that an ongoing debate should account for all viewpoints. That way, no one can be wrong. And if you abstain, people readily disregard you for you’re a mere naysayer, a political nihilist whose inability to choose the favored saccharine toxicity of candidate Coke and candidate Pepsi shows willful ignorance towards the current issues. We can compare the shift from Bush to Obama in 2008 with the shift from Bush to Clinton in 1992: Loads of expectations with a minimum of follow through. Clinton fooled people into thinking that he’d counter act the warfare of the Bush-Regan years and went on to bomb thirteen different countries outside of a declaration of war. Like with Obama, a house of congress was regained by democrats for a short period, hardly achieving what their supporters clamored for before quickly ceding the legislative back to the republicans. The move to a democrat headed administration is always fueled by members of the politically disenfranchised classes: minorities, women, youth, the poor and many other groups, all of whom tend to align with liberals. Liberals often feel their party is comprised of social defenders while conservatives often feel their party protects values of nationalism, religion and capitalism. But do either party protect any of these when in executive power? Considering that every subsequent president is elected for the purpose of cleaning up the mistakes of the former rather than expanding them, their stated ideals can easily take a back seat, or rather a bound up prostrate immobility, hidden in the trunk. To evaluate Obama’s presidency, you can ostensibly disregard his campaign promises compared to results because few presidents, after being elected, fulfill these promises or refrain

from reminding us that the clean up process is hardly timely and often flawed. Disregard his party aims because the top executive post should be working to appease the other side as both sides are financially supporting the treasury. To evaluate his time in office, simply study his actions. Obama made transparency a cornerstone of his campaign yet under his rule, he has used the Espionage Act a record six times in order to silence the growing number of whistleblowers15 and his classification of 77 million documents, in 2009 alone, was a 40% increase over the past year16. Bush’s invoking of State Secret Privilege to gag multiple whistleblower’s cases pales in comparison to Obama’s use of this antiquated WWI era Espionage Act to actually prosecute more than ALL PREVIOUS PRESIDENTS COMBINED. This ostensibly follows an era of increasing intimidation under Bush which kept a lot of truth tellers in the shadows but considering Bush didn’t prosecute a single person for whistle blowing while Obama is breaking records in using the State Secret privilege, the latter sends a far more powerful message of legal consequences for any other insiders foolhardy enough to provide us unauthorized accountability. So Obama ramped up secrecy, reiterating the Bush doctrine notion of any Americans being possible “homegrown” terrorists, not like Bin Laden17, al-Awlaki18, Hussein19, to name a prominent few, all of whom had financing and training by America before becoming premier state enemies. No, instead our justice department has the FBI anti-terrorism unit investigating mere anti-war activists20, reminiscent of governmental actions against the Black Panthers and auxiliary anti-war protest groups of the sixties. Only now, a redrawn playbook is almost unanimously accepted in Washington when attaching the epithet of possible “terrorist”. What would you consider inciting terror? Demanding an end to illegal wars and bombing campaigns which were started with neither proper justification nor any sort of global, national or legislative approval? Or convincing people that taking such a

stand against government will deem you a terrorist criminal, whose punishment can elicit actions outside of our rule of law? Sadly, our international bodies of court refuse to accept the term “state terrorism”21, of which so many countries are gravely culpable, chiefly our own. And until such actions are properly identified, our leaders will take full advantage when reaping and privatizing access to all resources, all the while claiming speciously that phantom splinter cells are the root of this wild goose chase. One dangerous aspect of American war mongering that has been heavily escalated under Obama has been the use of secret CIA UAV(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) drone missiles in Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan, even domestically stationed and controlled from a growing number of secret bases22. Besides the idea of an alleged intelligence gathering organization used to carry out military actions being illogical, it is a clever enough extension of Bush era policies since CIA actions fall under the orders of the executive branch and are presumed free of legislative and judicial review. The CIA provides no feedback on this issue but Obama personally admitted to these bombings only this year. He claims that a small number of civilians have been killed by these strikes and that the main, intended targets have been militants23, although, in Pakistan, only 150 militants have been named, while close to three thousand have been killed, 175 of these children24. The press admitted civilian death toll, in Pakistan alone, ranges from 391-780. Only being able to specifically name 150 of these as militants out of a range of 2347 to 2956 does not bode well for the administration’s claims of a modest minimum of 391. Who accounts for the other 2200-2800 or so? Again, neither our military nor the CIA compiles these numbers. These are coming from independent news sources25. These Pakistani bombings began in 2004 yet in these last five years of Bush’s presidency, he ordered 42, while Obama has ordered more than 26026. Obama’s me rc u r y s o apb ox

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supporters can argue that this is an effect of inheriting Bush’s wars but the fact remains that these actions do not fall in the scope of congressional approved military actions, not even in Afghanistan or Iraq. But considering Bush provided Pakistan with $18 billion in military aid27, to combat Taliban and Al-Qaeda internally, although he exercised direct US aerial attacks, while Obama chose rather to illegally bomb them six times more than Bush in a shorter amount of time shows a similar unrelenting ruthlessness of every successive administration, regardless of party promises of military retreat. NATO has been at the mercy of all aims American since its inception28. Our attack and Iraq style dismantling of Libya is a painstaking example of a global community absolutely subservient to American interests. With the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the most protested against war, and consequently the most profitable, we drew a lot of flack and hate from the international community, as well as a springboard for so many politicians, chiefly Obama, to admonish the former administration and appear to be soft on war. But while Obama touted how he was against the Iraq invasion, he wasn’t even a senator when the country was invaded and after taking senatorial office, he supported every measure of Bush’s relating to the war29. While there is no doubt that the numbers of Iraqi casualties in the first invasion under HW Bush, the innumerable bombs dropped by Clinton, outside of wartime(as if that a state of war should morally vindicate any president’s murders) and the follow up invasion by Dubya were horrendous, Obama’s treatment of Libya underscore an exactly similar purpose. Like Hussein, Gaddafi held on to power with a tight grasp. But prior to the American led NATO incursion into the country, Libya enjoyed the highest standard of living in Africa. Their citizens had free healthcare, free education, no homelessness, free electricity, interest free loans since they actually had state owned banks, something the American

constitution demands yet we completely avoid. If you were to marry, you’d receive $50 thousand American, when a mother would give birth she’d receive $5 thousand American, if you were to start a farm you’d receive land, equipment and a stipend, all free, homes were considered a human right, the price of oil was $0.14 a liter, you could buy 40 loaves of bread with $0.15, government would subsidize 50% of your new car cost, if you were unhappy with their medical or educational facilities, you could go abroad and receive these all on the government’s dime plus a $2300 monthly allowance, but few would since Libyans had the best healthcare system throughout the Arab and African world. What kind of dictator does this for his people? Could you ever imagine an America that provides this? And on top of this Libya had no external debt and their 150 billion in reserves (compared to our 15 trillion dollars of debt) which is now frozen and will remain so perpetually.

So we clearly had to get this monster out of power, right? Gaddafi also created the world’s largest irrigation method, the Great Man-Made River Project, to provide free clean water for not only Libya but throughout Africa, and when he announced this in the early nineties, he became a serious threat to the water controllers. Considering the Bush family holds more of their money invested in water than in oil now, this

was a serious threat. Libya has the largest amount of oil reserves in Africa and oil profits actually went directly TO THE PEOPLE, depositing $500 American in every Libyan’s bank account monthly. Talk about trickle-down economy. Throughout the developing world, the privatization of food has sky rocketed the price, leading to serious starvation but Libya instilled price controls on all vital foodstuffs. This allowed them to have an undernourishment level at a modest 2%. That is BETTER THAN OURS. 60 years ago this was the poorest country in the world. Before Gaddafi it had a 25% literacy rate and now it is at 87%, 99% amongst the youth, with whom Gaddafi was extremely popular. This was life under the Jamahiriya. So what was the threat? Maybe this could have been a model for much of the developing world, for so many resource-rich countries like India, Russia, Brazil, countless middle-eastern nations, even us, whose people have a lessening grip on their own livelihood, pensions, healthcare rights, forget our childrens’ futures. Gaddafi rarely held his tongue on American imperialism and paid dearly for it. His state-owned bank helped create such a progressive state and is in direct opposition to our federal reserve, whose existence is unconstitutional and has been able to give and lend tens of trillions to all the biggest banks and investment groups without congressional or public consent or any accountability. Gaddafi refused to accept the dollars or euros and was planning to institute a gold dinar, eliciting an isolation that is inexcusable to the IMF, World Bank or BIS. [sources for Libya rights prior to US incursion30 31 32 33 34]

When the Arab spring revolts came to Libya, the instigators were all western backed35 and Obama jumped on the chance to spread mistruths about Gaddafi’s reactions36. Multiple news sources pointed out that the massacres Obama spoke of were simply not going on but it was enough to get a UN mandate to freeze Libyan assets and commence bombings for “humanitarian purposes”, during Ramadan, no less. We began bombing schools, hospitals, food centers when we only were claiming we’d hit military targets and amassed over thirty thousand casualties, four thousand still missing and over 50 thousand wounded. These are figures from Libyan interim health minister in August 201137. NATO and the US of course refused to investigate, admitting the magnitude of their guilt is rarely in the government’s interest38. Why couldn’t we claim Al Qaeda was the reason we were attacking Libyan civilians? Because we had installed Al Qaeda there39 just like when we had created the group to combat Russia in Afghanistan in the eighties. Now you see Al Qaeda flags all throughout rallies by rebels against Libyan government, even waving proudly from the Benghazi courthouse40. How many times can we volley these murderous terrorists in and out of our favor before our public acknowledges that they have always been a CIA asset41 used to achieve ends that would be admonished by any member of the military or our public? After the first round of bombings, Libyan government demanded human rights groups and UN inspectors to come in and show the falsity of our claims of corruption. They were 100% willing to negotiate since they were flabbergasted at why we’d take such brutal steps. But at every step the international community refused and brought in more American financed and armed rebels to create a brutal civil war. Prior to this western “intelligence” backed uprising, Gaddafi was even poised to receive a human rights award from the UN42. Obama boasted that we had me rc u r y s o apb ox

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achieved so much in Libya so quickly without using combat troops, only these NATO sponsored predator drones (unlike our clandestine CIA drones in the five other countries he has bombed) but he did deploy 12 thousand ground troops to promote “stability” and where were they stationed? Surprise, surprise: the country’s oil fields and ports43, from whence China was, under Gaddafi, obtaining 10% of their oil supply. Fending off Chinese influence and massive investment in the region was a clear purpose of the western destruction of Libya44 and we have left behind exactly what we wanted, a destabilized region where hundreds of thousands flee in fear while the Al Qaeda rebels have helped to institute Sharia law and completely deteriorate the glory of the former Jamahiriya, the country’s future, in deep question45. What we are seeing now in Syria is quite similar with many of the rebels that helped topple Libyan government now displaced to Syria, drawing fire from Assad’s regime. Western powers are denying that the anti-Syrian protesters are connected to us but it has been corroborated by whistleblowers within our own government that we are funneling weapons through Turkey and Jordan to the anti-Syrian rebels46. Russia, who has provided Syrian government with arms, is proposing a UN resolution to both sides to stop the violence, something Assad is willing to do47. The chances of this coming to pass are unlikely as the Arab League, created by Egypt and Saudi Arabia (two intimate allies of America), have barred Syria from membership and are asking the US and NATO to take whatever steps it needs to combat the violence, in which they have a heavy hand already48. The attempted security council resolution, vetoed by Russia and China, and justification therein is exact to that of Libya, as if a joint resolution against the Syrian government is for the purposes of protecting its citizens from a grossly misnamed “civil” war, when the anti regime violence is accelerated by foreign rebels. It’s as if calling the US war of 1812, when great Britain armed and trained native tribes against the

US army, a “civil” war, as if the US had considered natives even remotely part of their nation, and then pitting the whole of Europe against the US. Whatever the regime of Assad has committed, the move into war is identical to that of Libya, is foreign intelligence influenced49 and is being recorded into the history books as a civil war. Iran is another situation where, like in Libya, in Syria, as it used to be in Afghanistan and as it used to be in Iraq, the banks are not under the umbrella of the American led IMF or the American appointed World Bank50 allowing a possibility of external market disruption outside the precepts of western bankers. Obama’s false claims of a dangerous Iran aiming to seek nuclear weapons is laughable when he heads the only country to have used nuclear weapons, whether the case of the atomic bombs or the past and current use of depleted uranium in so many bombs51, something that is still affecting the people and farmland wherever used. This is flat out nuclear warfare yet our media paints Iran as such a threat when there is no evidence of even possession of such weapons there, admitted by our own agencies52. Look up the Gulf War Syndrome53 which affected our own troops and has never been admitted by the department of defense. So Obama tells the people his assurance of Iranian attempts to build a nuclear arsenal is reason enough to sanction oil exports from the country, cutting off their banks from connection to the outside world and build towards an impending strike. Meanwhile, Iranian nuclear researchers are being assassinated possibly by Israeli intelligence54 The country that publicly pushes strongest for a preemptive strike is Israel, claiming fears of being the first nation to be attacked by a nuclear Iran. Mind you Iran has a Jewish population55 and even has Jewish representation in the Iranian parliament. Many of these Persian Jews dissociate themselves with the political Zionists and feel at odds with Israeli mischaracterization of Iran as an antiSemitic state. Iran has Jews in their government56 and their opposition to Israel

is on a political basis, Israel being the largest receiver of foreign military aid and waging astonishing crimes against its Palestinian population, but certainly these dissenters are not displaying violent means. Jews in Iran enjoy far more rights than Palestinians do in their own homeland. And on the issue of nuclear strength, Israel is the only middleeastern country that has nukes and even boasts the sixth largest nuclear stockpile in the world but is untouched by UN and IAEA inspectors57. Their steadfastness to attack Iran is publicly being tempered by US, allowing Obama to appear calmer on the Iranian issue, even though he is reiterating identical arguments against Iran that Bush used on Iraq and imposing serious sanctions. Compare it to the embargos and sanctions on Iraq during the Clinton years and the grim effects the country’s people suffered58, I cover this in Preemption To Terror*. Looking into our history with Iran, they were the first country where CIA was sent for operation Ajax59, in 1953, to overthrow Mossadeq who had sought to nationalize the country’s vast oil reserves, an anomalous crime for the corporatist west who never allows any of its counties’ people to be enriched by their resources, and US installed the Shah and provided 1.3 billion over the next decade. In 1979 the shah was overthrown and American extradition of the shah led to the hostage crisis, the resolution of which decreed a promise of arm supplication to Iran during the ensuing Iran-Iraq war. In the following years, the US influence of Iraq to attack Iran, the reactions to Hezbollah bombings in ’83, the Iran Contra affair in ’86 all intensified contention between the two countries. In Regan’s final year as president, he conducted operation Praying Mantis, the largest American naval combat operation since WW2 and pressured Iran into a ceasefire with Iraq, then a strong US ally. Later in the year, an American ship, the USS Vincennes, shot down Iranian Air Flight 655, a commercial airliner and killed all 290 people on board, 66 of them children. The US has never accepted blame or even

expressed an apology to Iran but once a case was brought by Iran to the International Court of Justice, US agreed to pay 131 million to Iran in 1996, after 7 years in court, on an “ex gratia” basis, meaning as a favor of kindness, seeing as the US still admits no wrongdoing60. In ’95 Clinton imposed a total embargo that lasted until ’98 when a new Iranian president was elected. In 2002 Bush named Iran as one of the two countries of the axis of evil, along with North Korea(a country who was sold nuclear equipment and material by Donald Rumsfeld in ’9861) and then in 2003, Iran offered a “grand bargain” to open its nuclear program to scrutiny and reign in their connection to Hezbollah and Hamas as well as prove their lack of connection to Al Qaeda but the Bush administration refused, abiding by a unilateral approach to negotiations with the country. Once Obama took the election, he claimed that he would open dialogue with Iran without “preconditions” and the Iranian president went so far as to congratulate Obama for his win, perhaps fooled by the rhetoric as the rest of the world seemed to be. But in the following years, both presidents have backed away from negotiations, with Iranian officials publicly stating that an attack from Israel or America will be militarily reciprocated62. We didn’t hear this sort of reaction from Hussein, perhaps because he was an American ally for so long. In the recent press conference, Obama acted hopeful towards these sanctions as “diplomatic steps” but again, can we accept this at face value when Obama’s retention of Bush cronies, policies, and protraction of war plans (that if the Bush administration had pushed towards, the public would have tacitly accepted as immoral) have proven time and time again that he wouldn’t abandon the exact values for which the world grew to hate Bush? These are united evils under one flag. It just all depends on which color happens to be in focus. In this upcoming election, it is hard to think that Obama could possibly be ousted when the front running me rc u r y s o apb ox

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Republican candidates are demanding even stronger action and expansion of a military whose yearly budget has already surpassed a trillion dollars63 (factoring in covert funding, foreign aid, NSA, homeland security, etc.). This video “Tax Dollars at War” explains how much farther it goes: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=kFeduoDWKj4 and Obama’s crimes against the world as well as civil liberties at home go unmentioned by all institutions of US media, the public’s only true buffer with government. His media ordained conservative critics (meaning all but Ron Paul) make him look like a moderate and will no doubt help rally him into office under the guise of the “lesser of two evils” argument. Only judging military and security spending by the department of defense costs of 700 billion a year puts us ahead of the next 17 countries combined64, all of whom are our allies (China being the questionable exception that keeps buying up our treasury bonds). One of the strongest selling points of reappointing Obama to power will be his murder of Osama Bin Laden, on whom the FBI admits they cannot pin 9/11 with any credible evidence65. This is the man around whom the bulk of our foreign policy has been based yet his death did not put an end to our military intervention strategy. It was announced on May 1st which is the anniversary of many events. The official formation of Great Britain (1707), The birth of the Kingdom of Hawaii (1785), The establishment of North Korea (1948), the creation of the Hong Kong Police Force (1844) (Asia’s first and the world’s second), the creation of All-China Federation of Trade Unions (the largest Trade Union in the world) (1925), the launching of the ship RMS Lusitania whose sinking was the reason US joined WW1 (1915), the announcement of Hitler’s death (1945), the creation of the polio vaccine (1956), George W. Bush’s fallacious ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech (2003) and most cryptic of all: the creation of the Illuminati in 1776, only a month before the birth of our nation.

process? His hideout was a mere 100 meters from a highly secure Pakistani military academy and Pakistani Abbottabad71. Not as inconspicuous as he was for the past 10 years for some reason.

In fact, immediately the announcement of his death the Obama administration has been caught in multiple lies. He was killed amid firefights, they said, yet he was reported afterwards as unarmed and his daughter said he was taken into custody and executed in front of his family66. He was using his wife as a human shield, but then it was said she was on a different floor and got shot running at the seals. One of the best points is that Leon Panetta, the head of the CIA said himself that they lost feed from the helmet cams of the SEALs before they even entered the compound67, yet we all remember the photos of the situation room with Obama and Hillary looking stern and shocked, respectively, while the rest of his aides seemed quite unenthusiastic. Clearly there were only two credible actors in the room. Bin Laden had been reported dead nine times by different public officials68. He was identified by facial recognition and DNA and then his body was disposed of instantly, at sea. If we had put Hussein on trial and paraded his dead sons’ pictures for the world to see, why didn’t we do the same with Bin Laden, a far greater enemy in the American public’s eye? How was his DNA matched so quickly, when experts cite a minimum of 3 days69, reportedly against that of his sister’s brain tissue, when all he had were half-siblings70, making identification a longer and far less certain

The biggest tragedy is the lack of media mention that the only helicopter to actually land, of the three that were seen near the compound, actually blew up upon taking off, mere minutes after the mission ended72. This helicopter would have had Osama’s body on board. The only officially admitted deaths of Navy Seal 6 team members was months later in August when a NATO helicopter carrying 31 special ops members, 22 of them from seal team 6, a 7 Afghan commandos was shot down in the biggest loss of the 10 year Afghanistan war73. The government refuses to release any evidentiary materials pertaining to the raid74. Even if these discrepancies continue to be obfuscated, Obama will try to claim that his withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the call for a drawdown in Afghanistan are the hallmarks of his foreign policy. Yet in his speeches, he only lauds the bravery and commitment of our volunteer army. I had to save the worst for last because our actions in this particular country are by no small margin the most reprehensible of our recent history. Western (British-US) history in Iraq is far reaching and I write about it to some palpable length in my article “Preemption to Terror” where I cover Western role in Iraq from the first world war, the brutality of the first Gulf War, the terror experienced by Iraq through the UN sanctions and consistent aerial bombardment during the Clinton years, the political climate of the middle east up to 9/11 and the occupation of Afghanistan and then Iraq. But hearing Obama’s warnings of a nuclear Iran and the effectiveness of economic sanctions, one only needs to recall father and son Bush’s and Clinton’s claims of WMDs and the sanctions and bombings they conducted outside of warfare that led to the deaths of well

over a million people. Obama hailed the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 as a success, no doubt taking credit when he had pushed for a strong troop presence past the new year75. Although 15000 troops coming out of Iraq have been deployed to Kuwait as a “response force”76. The fact remains that the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) was set to expire for this time was finalized at the end of 2008 by Bush administration and Iraqi officials. Obama was only operating by this predetermined timetable and actually wanted to maintain military presence at the bases77 and keep immunity of crimes committed by American military, both refused by Iraqi PM Maliki. Despite this Maliki says that he will still need US assistance in: security issues, combating terrorism, training and equipping their military, education and developing its wealth78. Additionally, the embassy set up there will be the biggest US embassy in the world, comprised of 17000 US diplomats and private security contractors(which are triple the price of military personnel to the taxpayers) in Baghdad alone. Basra, Mosul and Kirkuk will have consulates with about 1000 staffed each. These will be under the state department, which provides little to no oversight of their contractors’ crimes. These contractors will also enjoy legal immunity79. Violence sharply increased with the departure of troops, with 451 civilians killed in January, 278 in February and 74 in the first week alone80. I am not implying that the US military’s presence is helpful since the civilian deaths prior to the 2003 invasion were due to only to US/UK aerial bombings and effects from the sanctions and had greater numbers. In addition, suicide bombing are inextricably linked to foreign occupation81 and it is hard to consider Al Qaeda Islamic when their victims are eight times more likely to be Muslims than not82. The intent of American military is hardly to protect the people of the occupied land. The actual count of Iraqi or me rc u r y s o apb ox

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Afghani casualties is rarely considered by mainstream media83. The Iraqi casualty counts range widely from: the UN- 34,452 by 2006; the Iraq Health Ministry- 87,215 by 2/09; Iraq War Logs- 109,032 by 2010; the Associated Press- 110,600 by 4/09; Iraq Body Count- 113,728 by 11/11; Ali Al Shemari- 100,000-150,000 by 2006; Iraq Family Health Survey- 151,000 by 6/06; Lancet Studies- 654,965 by 6/06; and the Opinion Research Business1,033,000 by 8/0784. A MIT study did an informative report on the matter of Iraq casualties85 but I’m afraid even time will not spell the true numbers. The fact remains that our government refuses to do any research on the matter and may only glamorize the effects of this war. I go into greater length in my supplemental article. The Iraq war has been the most privatized war and together with Afghanistan and other conflicts is projected to end up costing us a MINIMUM of 3.7 trillion dollars86, while Obama said only 1 trillion was spent (which is roughly what it cost to finance the first two hundred years of our nation’s history). The drawdown in Iraq in terms of troops and spending directly assisted the surge in troops and spending in Afghanistan, echoing the sentiment that liberals took on with the election of Obama, being that Iraq was the wrong war and Afghanistan was the right one. This still extended the Bush notion that Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were solely responsible for 9/11. While no credible investigative body has proven as such, let alone even properly investigated the 9/11 attacks at all, we are still run by the whims of executive rhetoric which callously underreports its damaging past and projected effects globally. Obama proposes that his administration has made cuts of $400 billion dollars to defense for the next 10 years. But when considering the $770 billion in cuts over the same period in discretionary spending, it’s hardly fair that the

defense portion that takes up 58% of our budget only receives a third of the total cuts87. Sadly, these cuts are only in the projected growth of defense spending based on the last few years88. The actual appropriation nominal value will still grow. By judging that the economy still has many hurdles to clear, our entitlement benefits and domestic spending will only increase while an end to the Iraq war and a drawdown in Afghanistan should spell an ostensible reduction in defense budgets, shouldn’t these cuts be somewhat reflective of the expected changes in the military and domestic fronts? Unfortunately not. Our president must have other plans in mind. Although the budget control act of last year called for a sequestration, a cap on spending, on all areas, neither the GOP budget plan by Paul Ryan, House Speaker John Boehner’s (don’t you just pronounce ‘boner’ every time you read it?) budget, nor Obama’s budget plans include any kind of defense sequestration, although they put caps on all other spending89.

The Robert Greenwald film Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers (http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=0Zt9BZD7mlc) gives a good idea exactly how our treasury is exhausted under the guise of private war and this admission made by Donald Rumsfeld (http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=OTwCRuwJc34) comes as no small coincidence. Obama’s protraction of Bush-era crimes against this great state is more than just cause for an immediate recall or impeachment and an investigation into the events that have preceded these and future wars. His republican contenders excuse his crimes by stating that he has not gone far enough. Even Ron Paul,

That we seek strength in the capital executive to lead, and surrender all our power to the single meaningless vote, is a recurring admission that we don’t have the power to lead ourselves. a new underground political messiah for the youth consistently denies any form of 9/11 truth, as he is a born freemason90 whose obligations are to protect his fellow freemason’s crimes. He states that he would never go to war without congress but we’ve seen our legislative body fall deathly silent as presidents act time and time again with complete impunity. He advocates a return to the gold standard which, while stabilizing currency, would be impossible to do unless we were to see a worldwide gold seizure, followed by a currency value collapse to properly fix the massive amount of paper currency to the limited supply of asset metals, or a massive run up in value of gold, either way skyrocketing the value of simple goods far beyond the affordability of even the upper middle class’ life savings. His massive following could be actually used to put a Libertarian or otherwise transformative party on the ballot yet he continues to square off with other Republicans while he and his growing constituency are the victims of voter fraud91 and a media blackout. The reality is that the cult of personality that emboldens single figures like Barack Obama or Ron Paul with extraordinary political power underscores the deep flaws in how we view rule. That we seek strength in the capital executive to lead and surrender all our power to the single meaningless vote is a recurring admission that we don’t have the power to lead ourselves. If we were instead to create a inalienable legal code by which elected officials could be

tried and imprisoned and quite possibly executed for clear and proven crimes like taking lives here or abroad, looting vast sums or resources here or abroad or disintegrate the governing laws and subverting them to legitimize so many forms of treason we wouldn’t have a perpetual stream of increasingly corrupt politicians misusing our offices as their own corporate boardrooms. With authoritarian laws specifically aimed at our politicians held so strict, we would see the scavenging rats fleeing our ship they have no remaining right to infest anymore. Then, maybe we could dispel the implicit corruption of politics we have all come to accept sardonically as we dissociate ourselves from it ever further. We allow ourselves to be ruled by corporate lawyers masquerading as public servants who often remind us Lincoln’s legal elitist message: “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Well the information age can facilitate and awaken the genius inside each one of us. This “great emancipator” not only created the IRS solely for the purpose of tax revenue for war, but staged a civil war that accounts for more than half of all American casualties of war throughout the country’s entire history over slavery, which all the other western nations had eradicated peacefully. His racist views were despicable as evidenced by this quote from one of his famed Lincoln-Douglas debates92. It was a shameful American electorate that put him in power after expressing such vile views so blatantly. This goes to show that even the greatest American political heroes can be grossly misrepresented. me rc u r y s o apb ox

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Mercury Soapbox Magazine Issue 1  

Beta2- this is the latest release of issue 1, totally complete. I will release a final version with hot links to Video Interviews...

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