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Oakland Rocks for Change

Oakland Rocks for Change!

Latino Stars Come Out for Obama

This presidential campaign is bringing more and more people into the politically active arena. Now UPI reports that on June 29th in Miami, a group of Latino musicians, actors, and celebrities came out to support Barack Obama, urging their fans to register to vote. The article also notes that there has been no "groundswell of support among Latino stars for Republican nominee John McCain" – the "McCainiacs" notwithstanding.

Obama Inspiring Musicians to Action

Barack Obama's run for the presidency is "stirring political passion in the music world unlike any candidate in recent history," declares KBS radio's Scott Miller. He quotes R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe as saying, "We are a country of ideas that have been squandered. With Obama, we have the possibility to have someone who represents what we are in the 21st century. My generation blew it, and for the first time in my life, I can vote for someone younger than me."

"No, Johnny, No": Chuck Berry, ABBA Dis McCain

John McCain's campaign for the White House is having trouble finding a suitable anthem to rally the G.O.P. troops -- in part, because so many musicians are favoring Barack Obama, reports the U.K. Independent. The Swedish soft-pop group ABBA "went berserk" when the Republican forces tried to appropriate their hit "Take a Chance on Me," admitted McCain. And rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry won't be strutting his stuff for the so-called maverick any time soon either. "In the Fifties there were certain places we couldn't ride on the bus, and now there is a possibility of a black man being in White House," said Berry, adding a quote from Martin Luther King: "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, free at last."

A Ballad for Teddy

In our current state of hyper-partisan politics, it often takes us by surprise to learn of deep and abiding relationships between people from different ideological perspectives.  Senator Orrin Hatch, a leading conservative from the State of Utah, penned a ballad praying for the quick recovery of his close friend and political rival Senator Ted Kennedy, the liberal lion from Massachusetts.  According to the Boston Globe:

"The lyrics are a tribute to Kennedy and a call for fortitude as the senator battles a brain tumor. ‘Through the darkness, we can find a pathway, that will take us halfway to the stars,' the song goes. ‘Shoo the shadows and doubts away, and touch the legacy that is ours, yours and mine.'"

Hatch wrote this ballad at the request of several prominent Democrats to honor Senator Kennedy during the Democratic convention:

"'One said, 'Why don't you write a song for the convention for Teddy?' So I did,' Hatch said. He said he had talked to high-ranking Democrats about having the song performed at the convention with a montage of pictures of the Massachusetts senator, but ‘I don't know if they'll do it,' Hatch said, waving his hand modestly."

Neil Young Speaks Truth to Power

Neil Young in a New York Times interview on the Iraq war, politics and technology, and Deja Vu, the new documentary about Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's controversial 2006 "Freedom of Speech" tour:

Why are we having a war? It’s all about energy. Trying to get rid of the reason for the war, that’s something that’s doable."

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