Here you'll find media, music, and non-academic politics.

Other Media

Interview on NPR's Marketplace, June 21, 2018

My proud appearance on a conspiracy theory group’s “Wall of Shame”

Quoted in Daily Cal article on the Muslim Travel Ban executive order, January 28, 2017

Bassist, Producer in Rebel Allianz

Beats N Rhymes

Rebel Tapes

The Occupy Wall Street Mixtape

Alive in the City Vol. 1

What Do We Do Now? An Incomplete List

How Did We Get Here?

Constitutional Structure: Two Parties and Advantages for Small Rural States

  • Existence of states
  • Senate (not based on population)
  • Single member House districts (disadvantages third parties)
  • State legislatures set legislative district lines
  • Electoral college

Parties: Who Sets the Agenda (Who Determines the Parties’ Positions)?

  • The Democratic Party has moved left on LGBT rights, feminism, and some aspects of racial justice, but moved right on policies related to corporations and oligarchy
  • The Republican Party has moved rightward and radicalized on every issue
  • Ordinary unorganized voters DON’T set the agenda. They can’t hold politicians accountable effectively enough.
    • They don’t know policy or which party/politician supports what
    • They don’t have the resources to monitor politicians between elections and at multiple levels of government
    • “What % of Americans believe in climate change?” is an irrelevant question
  • Agenda is set by elites (business, wealthy, media, etc.) and organized activist groups

What to Do Now

Protect Vulnerable Communities in Short Term

  • Immigrant rights
  • Women’s rights
  • Muslim rights
  • Join and donate to ACLU, SPLC, Amnesty International, etc.
  • Civil disobedience and social movements

Longer Term Tactics to Build Political Power

  • Vote and GOTV
    • Primary, midterm, and general elections
  • Lobby
    • Phone
    • In person (town halls, trips to legislative offices)
    • Letters
  • Go to commission hearings (agencies)
  • Protest, rally, civil disobedience
  • If you can, talk to EVERYBODY
    • Talk to family, friends, and neighbors
    • Write op-eds
  • Recruit candidates and run for office yourself

Failed Tactics: What NOT to Do

  • Parachuting in money and “messaging” from the coasts
  • Information and facts
  • Focusing on aggregate opinion, not power
  • Focusing on racist and sexist rhetoric and microaggressions instead of the racist and sexist distribution of power, rights, and resources
  • Only pay attention to presidential elections

Build Organizations, both formal and informal

  • Democratic Party organizations at all levels
    • Local Democratic Party organization (by assembly district in CA)
  • Unions, workplaces
    • AFT, NEA
    • CNA
    • Fight for 15
    • PIRG
    • Medicine groups: PNHP, White Coats for Black Lives
    • Science associations
    • Tech groups: Debug Politics
  • Racial justice
  • Gender rights
    • Code Pink, Planned Parenthood, NARAL
  • LGBT
    • PFLAG
  • Environmental
    • 350.org, NRDC, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters
  • Religious
    • Organize your church, temple, mosque
    • PICO
    • Society of Friends (Quakers)
    • Bend the Arc
    • Moral Mondays
  • Other civil society groups
    • Clubs on campus
    • Alumni groups
    • Senior groups
    • Birdwatching, hiking, activity clubs
  • Quasi-party/guides/action lists
  • Start your own group with 5-20 friends!
    • Come up with a dope name for your group, like Rebel Alliance.


  • On rebuilding the Democratic Party
  • On lobbying legislators
  • Context: How We Got Here
    • Economic inequality
      • Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, Winner Take All Politics
      • Robert Reich, Saving Capitalism
      • Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Case for Reparations”
      • Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality
      • Chris Hayes, Twilight of the Elites
    • Racial inequality, criminal justice, and mass incarceration
      • Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
      • Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
      • Ira Katznelson, Fear Itself
      • The Black Power Mixtape (documentary)
      • Michael Javen Fortner, The Black Silent Majority
      • Vesla Weaver, Frontlash
    • Women and Gender Politics
      • Alice Kessler-Harris, In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in Twentieth Century America
      • Dan Carpenter and Colin Moore, “When Canvassers Became Activists: Antislavery Petitioning and the Political Mobilization of American Women”
      • bell hooks, Ain’t I a Woman?
      • Carole Joffe, Dispatches from the Abortion Wars: The Costs of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients and the Rest of Us
    • Political organizations, participation, setting the party agendas
      • Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
      • Erica Hellerstein, “Inside the Highly Sophisticated Group That’s Quietly Making It Much Harder to Get an Abortion”
      • Alexander Hertel-Fernandez and Theda Skocpol, “How the Right Trounced Liberals in the States”
      • Theda Skocpol and Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, “The Koch Network and Republican Party Extremism”
      • Vanessa Williamson, “How the Women’s March Could Have a Lasting Historical Impact”
      • Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
    • Public opinion and mass politics
      • Gabriel Lenz, Follow the Leader
      • Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels, Democracy for Realists
      • Andrew Gelman, “The Decline of Journalism and the Rise of Public Relations”
    • The radicalization of the Republican Party
      • Christopher Parker and Matt Barreto, Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America
      • Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism
      • Katherine Cramer, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker
      • Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan Hajnal, White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics
      • Nicole Hemmer, Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics
      • Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, It’s Even Worse than It Looks
      • Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, Off-Center