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LEGGER DOWN 


"Unthinking respect for authority
is the greatest enemy of truth."
—Albert Einstein

"Irreverence is the champion of liberty
and its only sure defense."
—Mark Twain

"See a broad to get that booty ak 'em,
Legger down and smack 'em, yak 'em."
—Jive Dude

CHARITY 


"Pregnant women and Vietnam vets,
beggin' on the freeway, bout as hard as it gets."
—Tom Waits

"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity,
nothing exceeds the criticisms made of the habits of the poor
by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed."
—Herman Melville

"You've got to have something to eat and a little love in your life
before you can hold still for any damn body's sermon on how to behave."
—Billie Holiday

ANYTHING YOU WANT by Derek Sivers 


 
I'm knocked out by ANYTHING YOU WANT, the new book by Derek Sivers.

Best known as the musician/mastermind behind independent music juggernaut CD Baby, Sivers has emerged as a modern day folk hero to artists, iconoclasts and entrepreneurs, while earning the respect of the establishment as one of the most inspiring minds of the digital age.

Anything You Want provides a concise outline of the author's unique approach to enhancing creativity and productivity—an approach which is both universally applicable and refreshingly counterintuitive.

Part manifesto, part memoir, the book brings together the best articles from Sivers' popular blog with an inside look at the company he founded and the evolution of its enlightened business practices.

As a special bonus, Derek Sivers is giving book customers an MP3 from some of his favorite CD Baby artists. I'm delighted to recommend the book, and am honored that Derek is including my song "Emerald Buddha" among the selections.

THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE 


On this day in 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in the New York Harbor, a gift from the people of France, designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.

The statue became a symbol of hope, welcoming immigrants to the USA.

On her pedestal is inscribed "The New Colossus" by American poet Emma Lazarus:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


It's interesting to contemplate this sonnet today.

Here in Anglozona, where I make my home, immigration remains a divisive and hotly debated issue as we approach the centennial of our statehood.

The word "immigrant" carries a strong negative connotation around these parts. Apparently, we palefaces forget that we are the aliens. Our claim to this territory is quite recent, and dubious at best.

I don't know the Tohono O'odham or Apache name for the white man's arrival, but I don't believe we were "greeted as liberators."

I do know that the shameless land-grabs of northern Mexico, which our history books disguise with convenient euphemisms (treaty, purchase, Manifest Destiny), are referred to in Mexican texts as The North American Invasion.

Nevertheless, it's 2011, and here we are.

And there stands Lady Liberty, lifting her lamp, welcoming immigrants.

I'm celebrating her anniversary by seeing the movie Green Lantern, which opens today.

It seems fitting.

My favorite comic book from childhood, Green Lantern is an inspirational superhero space opera.

It tells the story of myriad aliens, coming together in teamwork and harmony, heroically using their creative imaginations, strength of will and light to overcome the evil, destructive power of fear.