You gave me language as a gift, I turned it against you Thank You by Sage Francis

Language is fundamental to being human as it allows us to think, to communicate, to represent and understand the world around us.

In this song, as you’ll see later on, Sage is speaking about his father who gave Sage language not only by busting that quintessential nut but teaching him it as he grew up.

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Stalin Why I Wrote 1984 by George Orwell

One of the immediate aftereffects of World War II was the substantial expansion of the Soviet sphere of influence. Countries which the Red Army had liberated from German occupation or from supposed capitalist oppression (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, etc) were subsequently annexed as Soviet Socialist Republics.

Now, the Soviet Union’s influence penetrated Germany whereas it was previously contained to the fringes of Eastern Europe. Stalin in addition to gaining new territory gained new populations which could be manipulated to mobilize industrialization through Stalin’s Five Year Plans.

This was crucial as World War II left the USSR absolutely devastated and desperately in need of a new direction.

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Planning to inflame other areas of the world. Letter to Chairman Khrushchev by President John F. Kennedy

This statement is of incredible importance when taken in context of the US foreign policy going into the Cold War. As per NSC 68 (the policy planning document for the Cold War) the main concern for Soviet expansion lay with:

the possibility that no coalition adequate to confront the Kremlin with greater strength could be assembled

Whether it was the US' own sphere of influence—namely Latin America (there is a long history regarding this relationship)—or it’s future prospects, the Soviets could not be allowed a single inch or the US would find itself in a situation where:

[the] Republic and its citizens in the ascendancy of their strength [would] stand in their deepest peril.

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The United States Government can take no action to stifle the spirit of liberty. Letter to Chairman Khrushchev by President John F. Kennedy

Of course, this rhetoric is underlying the fact that the Cuban situation must take on a character which we approve of as holding our values of “the spirit of liberty”, giving the pretense and justification of efforts to intervene. For example, it provides cause for and justifies Operation Moongoose which as RFK described as:

My idea is to stir things up on the island with espionage, sabotage, general disorder, run and operated by Cubans themselves with every group but Batistaites and Communists. Do not know if we will be successful in overthrowing Castro but we have nothing to lose in my estimate.

In another case the cause and justification for another action, such as a repeated global denunciation of the US embargo of Cuba, is that the Cubans themselves “stifle the spirit of liberty” so the United States must act to let liberty breathe by strangling the economy.

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An alien-dominated regime Letter to Chairman Khrushchev by President John F. Kennedy

Kennedy implies that Castro hijacked the goals of the July 26th Movement which bought him to power by ending the Batista dictatorship in 1959. However, this does not correctly portray the events surrounding how Castro’s government became a regime.

Cuba was, for all intents and purposes, under the thumb of US business interests with Batista. With the support of the United States, Batista allowed US business interests to rein supreme and as Kennedy put it in 1960:

At the beginning of 1959 US companies owned about 40 percent of the Cuban sugar lands—almost all the cattle ranches—90 percent of the mines and mineral concessions—80 percent of the utilities—practically all the oil industry—and supplied two-thirds of Cuba’s imports.

One of Fidel Castro’s first moves was agrarian reform, which greatly worried the United States due to the billions that were at stake. The US interference with Castro’s governance was largely a move to protect US business interests in the country from being hurt by laws such as limitations on acreage or restrictions of farm ownership to Cuban nationals.

Further Reading

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Hitler, no doubt, will soon disappear Why I Wrote 1984 by George Orwell

Hitler’s Eastern Front was near collapse following the disastrous results of the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943.

Widely considered to be the turning point of the Eastern Front and thus World War II, the devastating defeat of the Germans and their allies at Stalingrad would serve to keep their forces on a permanent defensive against emboldened Soviets and wipe out a year of gains into Soviet territory and hegemony. Demoralized, shattered, and devastated, this battle marked the beginning of the end.

By 1944, as Orwell stated quite boldly “Hitler, no doubt, [would] soon disappear”.

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I walk a thin line Losing My Mind by Pharoahe Monch (Ft. Mr Porter) 2

The thin line metaphor represents the idea that someone is straddling the safe zone between two equally dangerous possibilities that it is far too easy to slip into.

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A clock without a minute hand Losing My Mind by Pharoahe Monch (Ft. Mr Porter) 2

A prospect that would scare even a tenured Time Lord like the dear Doctor Who

You see, a clock without a minute hand not only literally means Mr. Porter cannot tell how much time is passing—making short amounts of time feel like eternity—but it also represents the trope that as time goes on, one’s sanity and mental fortitude begin to slip away despite best efforts; sort of like our GPAs in college.

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I'm playing D-1 ball Gotta Make The NBA by Lil B

D-1 is short for Division 1, the highest level of college sports sanctioned by the NCAA. Due to the bigger budgets, high-end facilities, larger capacity for attracting talent (through scholarships for example), D-1 schools end up being the schools with the greatest assortment of athletes, regularly serving as major players and powers within the sport.

You can’t beat Based God though even with your fancy D-1 stats. Based God’s facilities are not of this world, they’re Based . You can’t match his budget, it’s Based.99. You can’t match his talent, he’s Based God.

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I been in worse positions Gotta Make The NBA by Lil B

For example, there was that one time in Ancient Egypt when Based God was doing the nasty with Cleopatra and suddenly, Mark Anthony’s squad walked in on them.

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