Do not lament.. Do not fear.

To those that are miserable and feel there is no hope,

Put your hope and trust in Yeshua, and our heavenly father.

Do not lament the strife of this world, for it is all temporary, and your soul can be eternal. Wash yourselves clean, repent, atone and apply the full armor of God,and ointment. Eat good food, and do good unto others.

Don't sweat the big stuff, but pray against it, from a fleshy heart, and do your best to remain always in hope, and never in fear.

II Timothy 1,7 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

operation chokepoint version 2

Operation Choke Point 2.0 Is Underway, And #Crypto Is In Its Crosshairs | ZeroHedge

February 10, 2023 by GIHAdmin Leave a Comment From: zerohedge

What began as a trickle is now a flood: the US government is using the banking sector to organize a sophisticated, widespread crackdown against the crypto industry. And the administration's efforts are no secret: they're expressed plainly in memos, regulatory guidance, and blog posts. However, the breadth of this plan — spanning virtually every financial regulator — as well as its highly coordinated nature, has even the most steely-eyed crypto veterans nervous that crypto businesses might end up completely unbanked, stablecoins may be stranded and unable to manage flows in and out of crypto, and exchanges might be shut off from the banking system entirely. Let's dig in.

For crypto firms, obtaining access to the onshore banking system has always been a challenge. Even today, crypto startups struggle mightily to get banks, and only a handful of boutiques serve them. This is why stablecoins like Tether found popularity early on: to facilitate fiat settlement where the rails of traditional banking were unavailable. However, in recent weeks, the intensity of efforts to ringfence the entire crypto space and isolate it from the traditional banking system have ratcheted up significantly. Specifically, the Biden administration is now executing what appears to be a coordinated plan that spans multiple agencies to discourage banks from dealing with crypto firms. It applies to both traditional banks who would serve crypto clients, and crypto-first firms aiming to get bank charters. It includes the administration itself, influential members of Congress, the Fed, the FDIC, the OCC, and the DoJ. Here's a recap of notable events concerning banks and the policy establishment in recent weeks:

On Dec. 6, Senators Elizabeth Warren, John Kennedy, and Roger Marshall send a letter to crypto-friendly bank Silvergate, scolding them for providing services to FTX and Alameda research, and lambasting them for failing to report suspicious activities associated with those clients

On Dec. 7, Signature (among the most active banks serving crypto clients) announces its intent to halve deposits ascribed to crypto clients — in other words, they'll give customers their money back, then shut down their accounts — drawing its crypto deposits down from $23b at peak to $10b, and to exit its stablecoin business

On Jan. 3, the Fed, the FDIC, and the OCC release a joint statement on the risks to banks engaging with crypto, not explicitly banning banks' ability to hold crypto or deal with crypto clients, but strongly discouraging them from doing so on a “safety and soundness” basis

On Jan. 9, Metropolitan Commercial Bank (one of the few banks that serve crypto clients) announces a total shutdown of its cryptoasset-related vertical

On Jan. 9, Silvergate stock falls to a low of $11.55 on bank run and insolvency fears, having traded as high as $160 in March 2022

On Jan. 21, Binance announces that due to policy at Signature bank, they will only process user fiat transactions worth more than $100,000

On Jan. 27, the Federal Reserve denies crypto bank Custodia's two-year application to become a member of the Federal Reserve system, citing “safety and soundness” risks

On Jan. 27, the Kansas City Fed branch denies Custodia's application for a master account, which would have given it the ability to use wholesale payment services, and to hold reserves with the Fed directly

On Jan. 27, the Fed also issues a policy statement which discourages banks from holding cryptoassets or issuing stablecoins, and broadens their authority to cover non-FDIC insured state-chartered banks (a reaction to Wyoming Special Purpose Depository Institutions (SPDIs) like Custodia, which can hold crypto alongside fiat for its banking customers)

On Jan. 27, the National Economic Council releases a policy statement not explicitly banning banks from serving crypto clients, but strongly discouraging banks from transacting with cryptoassets directly or maintaining exposure to crypto depositors

On Feb. 2, the DoJ's fraud unit announces an investigation into Silvergate over their dealings with FTX and Alameda

On Feb. 6, Binance suspends USD bank transfers for retail clients (Binance US was not affected)

On Feb. 7, the Jan. 27 Fed statement is entered into the federal register, turning the policy statement into a final rule, with no Congressional review, or public notice-and-comment period

As of Feb. 8, Protego and Paxos' applications to follow Anchorage and obtain full approval to become National Trust Banks are still outstanding (past the 18 month deadline), and appear likely to be imminently denied by the OCC

In sum, banks taking deposits from crypto clients, issuing stablecoins, engaging in crypto custody, or seeking to hold crypto as principal have faced nothing short of an onslaught from regulators in recent weeks. Time and again, using the expression “safety and soundness,” they've made it clear that for a bank, touching public blockchains in any way is considered unacceptably risky. While neither the Fed/ FDIC/ OCC statement — nor the NEC statement a few weeks later — explicitly ban banks from servicing crypto clients, the writing is on the wall, and the investigations into Silvergate are a strong deterrent to any bank considering aligning itself with crypto. What is clear now is that issuing stablecoins or transacting on public blockchains (where they could circulate freely, like cash) is highly discouraged, or effectively prohibited. It is equally evident that a bank-issued fiat token would only be acceptable to regulators if it were domiciled on a surveilled, private blockchain. No ‘unhosted' wallets allowed. 1

And perhaps most damagingly, the Fed's devastating denial of Wyoming SPDI bank Custodia, as well as their policy statement, effectively ends any hopes that a state-chartered crypto bank might get access to the Federal Reserve system without submitting to FDIC oversight.

Why might crypto entrepreneurs be wary of the FDIC? It traces back to Operation Choke Point. Some in the crypto space believe that the recent attempts to ringfence the crypto industry and cut off its connectivity to the banking system are reminiscent of this little-known Obama-era program.

Beginning in 2013, Choke Point was a scheme which sought to marginalize specific industries operating legally — not through lawmaking, but by applying pressure via the banking sector. The Obama DoJ had already cut its teeth with its successful effort to sideline the online poker space in 2011 and 2012 with threats issued to banks supporting poker companies. With Choke Point, the Department decided to scale up its efforts and target other industries, starting with uncontroversial targets like payday lenders. Then, the DoJ coordinated with the FDIC and OCC to pressure member banks to “redline” — determine as too risky to do business with — certain legal but politically disfavored sectors, chief among them firearms manufacturers and adult entertainment 2

. Banks and payment processors internalized this guidance, and even after the program was formally shuttered under Trump in 2017, its shadow lingered. Today, banks simply ascribe a higher risk to activities that they might draw the government's ire, even if no specific guidance exists.

Since Choke Point nominally ended, using financial rails as an extra-judicial political cudgel has only become more popular. Under pressure, a number of banks walked away from the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2017. In 2018, Bank of America and Citigroup deplatformed firearms companies, and BoA began to report client firearm purchases to the federal government. In 2019, AOC announced her intent to marginalize private prisons through her seat on the House Financial Services Committee.

Financial regulators are being asked to advance progressive causes, too. In 2021, the Democratic House passed the “Federal Reserve Racial and Economic Equity Act,” which would have required the Fed to aim to “eliminate disparities across racial and ethnic groups with respect to employment, income, wealth, and access to affordable credit.” Gensler's SEC now maintains a controversial climate agenda, as does the Fed (at smaller scale). Kamala Harris has deputized banks to advance a racial equity agenda, effectively imposing uneven demographic standards for credit provision.

Today it's even commonplace for explicitly conservative organizations like Gab or Parler, and various malcontents and dissidents who fall afoul of regime politics, to find themselves deplatformed from banks, fintech, and payment processors that they rely on to do business. For those who support this, I would invite you to imagine what financial inclusion (or exclusion) under a similarly zealous DeSantis administration might look like. “Just build your own bank,” right? Well, not if the Fed has anything to say about it. As evident with the stillborn Wyoming SPDI, the crypto industry tried that path and was utterly stymied.

Banks are highly regulated public-private partnerships in an environment where new charters are excruciatingly hard to obtain, and as such remain de facto arms of the state. It has been and remains trivial to deputize them to carry out political objectives. If there was any doubt, it's now evident that the Obama administration and its successor in Biden's regime are comfortable circumventing the First Amendment by engaging nominally private companies to do their dirty work. Anyone paying remote attention would have noticed the oddly close revolving door between monopolistic big tech firms and Obama/ Biden security state officials. And ever since Elon Musk leaked the Twitter Files, it's nakedly clear that the US government and its security apparatus used proxies at Twitter for overt censorship and narrative control. Twitter is “just a private company,” though, right?

In 2017, Trump and Republican lawmakers like Rep. Luetkemeyer were able to put a stop to Choke Point for a time, but it didn't last. One of the first moves from Biden's OCC was to undo Brian Brook's Fair Access rule that prohibited political discrimination in banking. Biden's deputies picked up where Obama's regulators had left off. And now, after the time it took to digest Biden's Executive Orders, regulators are tightening the screw.

Today, the outlook for banks remotely interested in crypto is precarious. Bankers tell me that crypto is toxic and the risks of engaging with the asset class aren't worth it. In the wake of the Custodia decision, obtaining a new charter for a crypto bank looks extremely unlikely. Banking innovations at the state level, like Wyoming's SPDI for crypto banks, appear dead in the water. Federal Charters for crypto firms with the OCC also look dead in the water. Traders, liquid funds, and businesses with crypto working capital are nervously examining their stablecoin portfolios and fiat access points, wondering if bank connectivity might be severed with little notice. Privately, entrepreneurs and CEOs in crypto tell me that they sense a regulatory noose tightening. As crypto-facing banks ‘derisk,' younger and smaller firms will struggle to get banking, taking us back to the 2014 to 2016 period when fiat access for crypto businesses was at an extreme premium. Exchanges and other businesses that rely on fiat onramps are concerned that their few remaining bank partners will shut them off or institute draconian standards for scrutiny. As a venture capitalist operating at the early stage, I am directly witnessing the chilling effects of this policy in action. Founders are reckoning with new uncertainties around whether they'll be able to operate their businesses at all.

So why the push by bank regulators now? The FTX collapse and its ensuing effects, particularly on Silvergate, provides much of the answer. Financial regulators weren't interested in FTX while the fraud was underway (with the exception of the SEC and its chairman Gensler, who had oddly close ties to the organization), but ever since the exchange failed in spectacular fashion, they are now contemplating ways to avoid the next such collapse. FTX as an offshore exchange was not directly supervised by financial regulators (aside from FTX US, which was a marginal stub), so it was outside of their direct aegis. However, regulators believe that they might have a silver bullet in the fiat on- and off-ramps on which the industry relies. If they can choke off fiat access, they can marginalize the industry — on and off shore — without regulating it directly.

In some key respects, Crypto Choke Point 2.0 differs from the original. It appears that the administration has learned from the efforts of its predecessors. In Choke Point 1.0, guidance was mainly informal and involved backdoor, off-the-record conversations. Its main tool was the threat of investigation from the DoJ and FDIC if financial institutions didn't internalize the administration's risk standards. Because this was patently unconstitutional, it gave Republicans the collateral to ultimately repeal the program. In 2.0, everything is happening in plain sight, in the form of rulemaking, written guidance, and blogs. The current crypto crackdown is being sold as a “safety and soundness” issue for banks, and not merely a reputational risk issue. Jake Chervinsky of the Blockchain Association calls it “regulation by blog post.” No need to ask Congress for new laws if federal regulators can simply make policy (and in the case of the Fed, grow their scope and mandate) by publishing guidance which dissuades banks from doing business with crypto. Custodia's Caitlin Long calls the Fed denial of her application “shooting the stallion to scatter the herd.”

As a consequence, the only banks willing to touch crypto at this point are smaller, less risk-averse ones, with more to gain from banking the industry. However, this means that crypto deposits and flows end up being substantial relative to their core business, which introduces concentration risks. Banks prefer not to have excessive exposure to single counterparties, or a depository base that is highly correlated in its flows. Silvergate felt this acutely with the bank run it suffered — and survived — post FTX. While it's impressive that they were able to honor a 70% drawdown in their depository base, that episode will dissuade any banks looking to serve crypto clients that might face the same.

And practically speaking, labeling crypto-facing banks “high risk” has four direct effects: it gives them a higher premium with the FDIC, they face a lower cap rate with the Fed (which inhibits their ability to overdraw), they face restrictions on other business activities, and management risks a poor examination score with their regulatory supervisors, which inhibits their ability to do M&A. So while some analysts like Wilson Sonsini's Jess Cheng have pointed out, somewhat optimistically, that banks are not explicitly barred from providing crypto custody or onboarding crypto clients, they still stand to get labeled high risk — and face serious business hurdles as a result.

Some might be sympathetic to regulators' attempts to insulate the banking system from the vicissitudes of the crypto space. But thus far, crypto's various disasters haven't produced any meaningful contagion. The industry had a full-blown credit crisis in 2022, with virtually every major lender going bankrupt, but the damage was contained. The worst fallout in the banking space was suffered by Silvergate, which suffered an $8b drawdown, but survived. No onshore, fiat-backed stablecoin suffered any meaningful adverse effects, despite the massive crypto selloff in 2021 and 2022. They functioned as intended. And no contagion spilled into traditional finance via mass selling of Treasuries, something officials have historically felt might be a key transmission channel.

As Biden enters the second half of his term, his crackdown on crypto banking has deflated hopes for a regulatory rapprochement in the US. Many crypto entrepreneurs now tell me that they're waiting for 2025 and a putative DeSantis regime for things to turn. Some can't wait that long, and are shuttering their plans for businesses which involve any type of regulatory approval, especially with regards to bank charters. Regulators are effectively picking winners — with larger, more established crypto firms able to hang on to their bank relationships, while newer ones are shut out. Meanwhile, other jurisdictions are making a bid for their business. Hong Kong has adopted a friendlier tone once again, as has the UK. The UAE and the Saudis are looking to attract crypto firms. And US regulators can scarcely afford to forget what happened with FTX, in which they curtailed the business activities of onshore exchanges, effectively pushing US individuals into the waiting claws of SBF. If bank regulators continue their pressure campaign, they risk not only losing control of the crypto industry, but ironically increasing risk, by pushing activity to less sophisticated jurisdictions, less able to manage genuine risks that may emerge.

-Nic Carter

1) If you're wondering how using a stablecoin on-chain is substantively different from a bank letting clients withdraw cash from an ATM and using it to buy something from someone else, you're not alone. 2) The FDIC at one point listed 30 different industries for banks to avoid.

FullText from:


testing the tap water...

#water #tapwater

RABBINISM Unwitting Disciples of Zoroaster: The Influence of Zoroastrianism on Rabbanism in the Talmud and Midrash. In short, modern Yiddish Jews who control banking, business, Israel, NYC, and most of the secular world and are behind most, if not all, of the evil that is spread over the earth. Bloodline of lucifer, nephilim. The damned From 226 to 379, the Persian kings gathered and systematized the works of Zoroaster. The result was twenty-one great volumes – against the twenty-one words of the most holy Persian prayer, the Ahuravarrya. Known as Nusk, it is the Talmud of the Zoroastrians (speaking anachronistically). Due to the hostilities between the Persians and the Arabs in the latter half of the eighth century, the books of the Nusk were singled out for destruction. What now remains to the remnants of Zoroastrianism are five volumes: (1) Yasna – the book of sacrifices, which contains seventy-two chapters among them the Gatha passages (the oldest and most hallowed writings of the Zend-Avesta) (2) Vendidad – twenty-two chapters on the laws regulating evil spirits. (3) Yasht -an elaborate, detailed account of the Persian deities. (4) The Vispered – twenty-four chapters (a supplement to Yasna). (5) Khorda – an abridged edition of the laws in the Zend-Avesta. The Talmud was greatly influenced by Persian culture. It derives, in fact, much of its content directly from the Zend-Avesta, as will be detailed in brief below. One finds in the Talmud not only Persian superstition and legend, but many legal decisions handed down in accordance with Persian code. Not to mention the customs and usages of Persian life. Even the forms and expressions of the literary Pahlavi entered into the Talmud in no small way. The Persian influence on the Talmud is so great that, at times, it is difficult to separate what is Jewish from what is Persian in it. DEMONS Let’s start with a look at Ahriman. Ahriman’s myriads of helpers are referred to as divs, what we now call devils. Vendidad I, 21 notes that these divs are more numerous than the dust of the earth (as does Talmud Masekhet Berakhot 6, Midrash Tehillim 17, Tanhuma, etc.,). The following passages from the Talmud and Midrash regarding demons (divs) were derived or directly copied from Vendidad II: Masekhet Sanhedrin 25 notes that devs are particularly active in graveyards. Masekhet Gitin 68 and Midrash Qohelet state that divs are male and female. Masekhet Berakhot 61 and Masekhet Hulin 105 state that demons can assume the shape of human beings, or flys. Masekhet Hagigah 16 contends that demons, like human beings, can reproduce. Masekhet Gitin 68 calls Ashemdai (Aesmadiv in Persian) the greatest of the divs. One of the fundamental teachings of Persian religious conduct is the avoidance of unclean hands (Masekhet Shabbat 109). It was believed that Sabetkh, a div, rests upon such hands: The Qissur Shulhan Arukh 2.1 quoting Yosef Caro’s Beit Yosef states, “when a man is asleep, the holy soul departs from his body, and an unclean spirit descends upon him. When rising from sleep, the unclean spirit departs from his body except for his fingers, and does not depart until one spills water upon them three times alternately. One is not allowed to walk four cubits (six feet) without having one’s hands washed, except in cases of extreme necessity.” Masekhet Megillah 3 states that during the period of night, no one must offer or receive the hand of another (for fear of an evil spirit). Masekhet Shevu‘ot 15 and Masekhet Berakhot 4 contain the Persian prayer to repel the unseen forces of evil. The driving off of evil spirits by adjuration was an integral part of the Persian religion. Whole systems of conjuration were devised by them; and many were the invocations with which some of them commanded the devils. All of these spells and “prayers” can be found in the Talmud. A few examples will serve to illustrate: Vendidad II, 223 and Masekhet Qiddushin 81 state that the chief thing to utter when exorcising a demon was, “I expel you from me.” If one has been bitten by a mad dog, a spell must be intoned in order to eject the hurtful spirit. [This very incantation, from Vendidad I.30, as well as the spell to ward against forgetfulness and the spell to insure that the sheep of the slaughterhouse may be fat have been written in the Talmud] The Persian beliefs in cameos, amulets, and talismans were also absorbed into the Talmud, along with the reading of sacred writings to restore health. In general, Zoroastrian influence is directly responsible for the presence of demons and devils in the Midrash and Talmud. OTHER ELEMENTS To attempt to detail every point where the Talmud draws upon the Zend-Avesta would take a book. The following section will detail some of the more prominent concepts: The matter of benedictions, or the saying of grace over something that is eaten is of Persian origin (Vendidad II.112) The entire marriage ritual, with its special blessings, ceremony and rites is fully delimitated in the Zend-Avesta (II.157, 158, III.228) Vendidad II.130 and Midrash Tehillim both contend that the righteous who dwell in Paradise are as luminous as the stars. Vendidad 18, 166 and Masekhet Sanhedrin 17 state that the art of magic does not come from the Evil Power, and all wise men (in the case of the Talmud the men of the Sanhedrin can practice it). Both the Zend-Avesta (according to the Persians) and Torah (according to the Talmud) are able to repel demonic influences, merely by their recitation (c.f., Seder Eliyhau, Zuta 82, Masekhet Megillah 31, and Masekhet Ta‘anit 27). The passage in the Zend-Avesta where Ahura Mazda speaks to Zoroaster of the life of virtue that follows death has been copied directly into the Talmud (Masekhet Avot 86). The disciples of Zoroaster are assured of a heavenly existence, so the Talmud says of the nation of Israel (Masekhet ‘Eruvin 10). God is with him who studies and mediates in the night (Vendidad 18, Masekhet ‘Avodah Zarah 3, Masekhet Berakhot 30). The Persians believed that life is but a passing, unimportant state of existence, only after death does one truly begin to live, so Midrash Qohelet Rabba. Zoroastrians were loath to convert others to their faith, so too is found in the Talmud a discouragement to prosetylization (Masekhet Qiddushin 70). Though the Zend-Avesta was unknown before the coming of Zoroaster, the righteous who had lived before him were aware of it, and followed the precepts it contained. The Talmud, in this vein, contends that the Patriarchs perfectly observed the Torah even though it had not yet been given (Masekhet Yoma 28). Truly, all of the enjoinments concerning demons and spirits detailed in the Vendidad may be found in the Talmud. It is as if the authors of the Talmud sat down and copied the Vendidad into the Talmud. Many of the laws of Yasna: sacrificial arrangement, rendering of divine service, and regulations of cleanliness form the major portion of Talmudic law in these matters. The list goes on and on, to the extent that one begins to wonder if Rabbanites are unwitting disciples of Zoroaster.

Hey Amie, I generated a test post, so you could benefit from checking it out, for your blogging efforts. The post is duplicated below.

Problems with the Historical Society

Problems with the historical society.

Maple Mavin on Pixelfed

What is so unsettling in the video (man in costume), is just the hidden hand in every work from Confucius, to Middle ages St. Hildegarde, to our own colonization of America.

Welcome comments...we are here to make you safe.

Post Ends above this line.

Some brief notes to make sense of this:

(((( In order to get the video embed code, without having to do it manually, I went here: https://youtubeembedcode.com/en/ ))) – You paste the video URL into the box there, and pick the options you want, and then hit generate my code. – Then of course, hit the copy code button, and paste it into the blog post, to get the video into your post. :) – I use a different, much simpler video embed code for my posts, but youtube is a complicated beast, and requires their own, in a certain format. – I'm not too crazy about the above generator, because it also embeds advertising links for search engine boost ranking for their advertising partners, but for now it's a solution until I figure out a better way to help you with embedding videos.

It will generate that big old ugly code block, but no worries it doesn't require editing.
—The only reason I'm including the rest of this stuff above the ————– slashed line, is you can see the format for making a link, pretty.

Yay! :)

Good Morning :)


Problems with the Historical Society

Problems with the historical society.

Maple Mavin on Pixelfed

What is so unsettling in the video (man in costume), is just the hidden hand in every work from Confucius, to Middle ages St. Hildegarde, to our own colonization of America.

Welcome comments...we are here to make you safe.

Resurrected from the wayback machine -

an interview from when I ran a music and culture mag..

Interview with Jonah Matranga, by our writer Amy , who went by KidA originally published in 2005

Jonah Matranga :

More Than Just Visiting : Jonah Matranga of onelinedrawing

By KidAmy

The name Jonah Matranga isn't a household name yet. Fans of his music know him best from the rabidly followed Sacramento band Far who, sadly, broke up, after developing a cult following that heavily influenced the emo/metal scene. Now residing in San Francisco, Jonah is still staying true to his art, creating music that captures the heart of music lovers worldwide in the two bands onelinedrawing and New End Original. Both bands are on Jade Tree Records, which released New End Original's Thriller earlier this year and onelinedrawing's Visitor, which hit the shelves in May- Jonah is quite a busy man. He still manages to remain grounded and nice in a business where a good attitude is often non-existent. Jonah was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to chat with me over the phone.

KidAmy: In a lot of your lyrics, you mention historical figures and icons like Mother Mary (Far song of the same title), and Lennon, King and Kennedy (in N.E.O.'s “Lukewarm”). Is this a comment on the impact that these figures have had on people's lives?

Jonah Matranga: I would hesitate to make any big rules about any of my lyrics. In that case, definitely [in] “Mother Mary”, the whole point is that icons are sort of over us. Lennon, King and Kennedy, although they're really recognizable figures, the point of that line is they had a common thing, which is that they all got killed by people who wanted to keep them down. And so it's more saying, “Know your enemy.”

KidAmy: You're definitely one of the most fan-friendly artists, because you break the barrier between the fan and musician. Your website is especially incredibly personal, because you jam-pack it with Jonahpster [Jonah's answer to MP3 file sharing device Napster] which I thought was very creative.

J.M.: Oh, cool.

KidAmy: There's your “Always New” section, the sliding scale prices…Do you feel that this type of grassroots method in promoting your music is necessary, especially with the emergence of the internet?

J.M.: I don't know whether it's necessary or not. I've just always really loved performers that, in one way or another, try to get beyond the very average producer-consumer relationship. It goes on a lot in music, and I have in some ways taken it to a real extreme, it was never a plan of mine or anything…It's just sort of these ideas I've had, and I'm really curious, you know. I get an idea in my head and I'm just curious to see if it'll work and how it feels. And they just keep being interesting and fun. It's only now when I look at it, I go, “Wow. This is a pretty interesting thing that got built.”

KidAmy: Yeah, because I've been on a lot of band/fan sites and I think that yours is probably one of the best ones I've seen.

J.M.: Oh, see now, that's great, because there's a lot of great stuff out there…I'm actually working on a new design that I think is going to be pretty cool. I just got this thing for my computer where you can fiddle with things…I found a digital pad where a line sort of appears on your computer screen. It's called a Graphire, it's made by Wacom, it's neat. So I'm going to be doing stuff with a lot of little drawings and stuff. Should be cool.

KidAmy: I noticed that over the years, you haven't changed your DIY ethic. You experienced life on a major label with Far. Then you came out with your own label, O.L.D. Records, and eventually ended up on Jade Tree. How do you stay grounded in a business where beauty and style is often recognized more than talent?

J.M.: I'm not really sure how I've managed to make a living doing it. I mean, I am proud of what I do, and I think I do it pretty well. I think what I've learned more than anything is how to keep costs down. There's this term “sweat equity,” which is where you put in the work, because, obviously, the more people you pay to do stuff the more money you've got to make to pay everyone. And so that creates a situation where you've got to make kind of a lot of money on your art to make everyone happy, whereas if you don't do all that crazy expensive stuff, then the shows can stay pretty small, and you don't have to sell a gazillion records. You know, Sony spent tons of money on [Far]. I mean tons. And we were a band that was very smart about money, really, for a band on a major label. We were very conservative. And they still spent a ton of money doing stuff. There are some band! s that spend tons of money [on] making records, and the company spends tons of money marketing their record. And I think they make some really beautiful stuff. I'm not saying that you can't, but…

KidAmy: No, because there are a lot of good bands on major labels.

J.M.: Yeah, totally. It's not about that, per se, it's just that I think that when a lot of money gets involved, it gets really confusing, that's all. And so personally, I've discovered that I just like doing the stuff myself. And I love getting help actually, but really, I just like doing the stuff. I'm just figuring out what I like the most about music. I like the most just like writing the songs. That's the thing that is the best for me. As far as getting the songs out there, the thing I like most is the sense of community, like in music, being a part of the community. I feel like that's been lost a lot in the world now. People don't just sit around and play music. People will go to rock shows [to listen] or they'll buy records, but they won't sit around and play music with each other. So I try to keep things as personal and direct ! as possible. It's funny that that's ended up being my business plan, too, because the whole thing about it is when you keep it as direct and personal [as possible], then you don't need a ton of people. A small amount of people just have to chip in a little money, and it's enough to help you pay your rent. And that's great. It's just a really great and simple way to do it. It's sort of like back in the day, when people would just grow and eat their food, and that's it. Nowadays, we get a job, and we go out and earn this money to pay for food [we get at] a supermarket, which for the food to get to the supermarket, it's gone through a million different [places], from some farm somewhere halfway across the world on a plane, into a car, into a freezer, into a little packaging plant. All of these people have been paid along the way, so you're not even paying so much for the food anymore…you're ! paying for all of the people who helped get the food to the market. You know what I mean? You're all getting mixed up. And so with music, I like to make it and get it to people as directly as possible. I've discovered that I really enjoy that. I think I look at myself sort of like a farmer that goes to the farmer's market in town. I just, you know, grow these little ideas and then I sell them just for a small amount to people who want a good, homemade idea.

KidAmy: Well, I think it's worked so far because you have tons of fans that have found out about you, I think, mostly by word of mouth.

J.M.: Yeah, I mean that's cool. It's never to deny that there was a lot that we got to make [in Far], you know, records with really cool people. We were on Sony and they helped a lot in spreading the word. I'm sure Jade Tree will, too…More than anything, I think that the music I've made, in whatever shape, has definitely been a sort of a word of mouth, grassroots thing, and that's great.

KidAmy: Well, this is sort of a funny question, but have you ever considered acting as a career? Because I saw you in Jimmy Eat World's “Lucky Denver Mint” [video] and I laughed my ass off. Nice shorts and Frisbee moves.

J.M.: Yeah, well, I have. I wouldn't just call myself an actor unless I happened to really, really practice a lot. But I think it would be fun. I had so much fun being in that video, that was really great. And it was really easy, because I didn't have to remember any lines or anything. I just had to act goofy. So that was fun. Yeah, no, I really like that idea. I don't know what it would be like to really do it. I think I am going to be in a movie pretty soon. My friend Darren is talking about making one, and he wants me to be in it.

KidAmy: Yeah, that's Darren from Strife? Is that who you're talking about?

J.M.: Darren who did the Strife videos, who did the Far videos. Yeah, he's an old friend. You know, history is littered with bad actors becoming musicians, and bad musicians becoming actors. It's pretty bad. But see, that's the thing again. I would feel kind of stupid going into some billion-dollar movie, saying I could act, but if I get together with my friends and a camera, and we try and make something, then to me it's more like just making an idea, as opposed to trying to be an actor.

KidAmy: What does “Bitte Ein Kuss” mean in English, for those who don't speak German?

J.M.: It means, “Please, a kiss.”

KidAmy: Yeah, because I got the advanced copy of Visitor, and I was wondering what that meant.

J.M.: It just means, “Christiane, please a kiss.” Give me a kiss.

KidAmy: Where did you get the idea to sample Massive Attack's “Protection” for the “True Love (Remix)”?

J.M.: I think it was just that I had this idea for doing “True Love” in a much slower way. And I think I was just really into that record at the time. So I thought, “Wait, this beat would be fun.” It really wasn't, like, a big thing, where I thought I was being really clever. Obviously, it's just a really great beat. And so I just grabbed it.

KidAmy: What versions of “Better Than This” and “14 to 41” do you prefer playing live? You have two different versions, with New End Original and with onelinedrawing…

J.M.: I don't know. I don't prefer either. To me, they're very, very different. To me, in those cases, the onelinedrawing versions [of those songs] are…they're sort of…smaller. And so, maybe they're not as expansive as the New End versions. Maybe they're a little more humble. The New End versions are, like, rockin'. “Better Than This” [onelinedrawing version] is much quieter in the beginning. The New End version is much more dramatic. The onelinedrawing versions are a little more playful. The New End versions are more serious. The volume in the onelinedrawing versions is like a four. Not just in literal volume, but sort of in a drama [sense], and the New End versions are like a nine. But I don't really prefer either. I really love them both. I think they [all] really work in both situations. I don't know if anyone else feels that way, but! I do.

KidAmy: What do you mean by “It's time for a bit of in the bed disco”?

J.M.: What do you think I mean? [laughs]

KidAmy: I don't know [laughs]

J.M.: Come on. No, I mean, the song is actually about sex. But most of my lines are…that's just a real thing. We just have this sort of cute thing in the morning where we'd sort of be waking up, and be sort of like squirming around on the bed. Just like, dancing, but in bed. Just being goofy. We just called it “in the bed disco.”

KidAmy: Got it.

J.M.: It's just sort of…but really, the song is about doing it.

KidAmy: Do you see yourself always doing something musically (like producing, writing, performing, creating) in the future? Even if New End and oneline go to waste, are you going to be producing albums by other people?

J.M.: I don't know. I think it would be fun. Right now, it feels like it would be fun, but mostly I just really don't want to keep doing anything out of habit or because of anything other than just fun. I mean, it's really a simple thing that I'm trying to stick to, which is keeping things right now, and not doing things out of habit or out of obligation or because someone else gets satisfaction out of it or because it makes me money, or any reason like that. I want to do stuff that's fun. I think that's the best way to say, “Thanks for being alive.” I think the best way to do that is to really, really try and do stuff that excites you.

KidAmy: If onelinedrawing/New End Original were to cover 80's classics, what would they be and why?

J.M.: Well, they would definitely be different songs. onelinedrawing…I don't know why these two came to my mind, but, maybe onelinedrawing would cover…Ok, there's two versions. Well, there's this song by David Bowie called, “Space Oddity.” Which is, [singing] “Ground control to Major Tom…” You know that song?

KidAmy: No. (Born too late for that one).

J.M.: No, Ok. That's not an 80's classic. That's true. Forget about that then. I was going to go on this big “Major Tom” thing. What would New End do? Well, Ok…New End would do the other…the first thing I thought of, so it's good. New End would do this 80's tune [sings] “Earth below us/wilting falling/floating weightless/calling calling oh…” You know…? 

KidAmy: Yes, I can't think of the name of that one.

J.M.: [Continues singing the song and humming the melody]… And that has the words “Major Tom” in it. So we [New End] would do that one, maybe? Onelinedrawing…what would I do? What would we do? We would do like a Devo song…maybe go ahead and do “Whip it.” Actually, there's a song that actually both bands could do, called, “We're Through Being Cool.” Except, with onelinedrawing, it would be sort of like the “14-41” thing. With onelinedrawing, it would be small and tight. With New End, it would be big and rockin'… That's pretty much as good of a theme song as I can think of.

To find out what Jonah's been up to these days visit www.onelinedrawing.com or www.newendoriginal.com

Here's an old favorite, from Jonah – “Better than This” – by his band “Oneline Drawing.”

we are now on writing.exchange.

hopefully we can get some members who blog.


streamers. 117/365 been years.