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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

"The Show Must Be Paused" purposefully, throughout the entertainment industry. Today, June 2, 2020

Tuesday, June 2: unique developments in music & beyond

The music industry has called for June 2nd to be a complete blackout on live streaming concerts: #TheShowMustBePaused

The intention is to support the black community and to encourage us to have conversations about the state of human rights in our country, rather than watching concerts Tuesday night.

The word went out on Monday, June 1, at 3:30 pm PDT.
One of the cyber shows we would have listed was immediately rescheduled to a future date by our Denver-based friends, who announced it in a way worth sharing.

They said,

"[We] are not a political band. We are a humanitarian band. We support loving each other. We support learning about each other through deep listening, and being open to the possibility of a new perspective. And we believe in withholding judgment when one doesn't have all the information. We believe music is healing. We intend our music to be healing. And healing is sorely needed right now.

"That being said, we are supporting the initiative for #TheShowMustBePaused out of respect for the music industry's intention.

"We feel fairly certain that healing will still be needed on June 9th. [Their rescheduled date.] Though what a delight it would be if it were not. We hope you will all join us then, and share this event with your friends and family. And in the meantime, stay safe, stay well, focus on the good.

"We love you.
Stephanie & Luke
Bettman & Halpin"
Here at The Guide, we add our sincere hope for "conversations about the state of human rights in our country," and we add our sentiments that love can yet prevail.

Today, our reporting is only toward that purpose.


"The time is always right to do what is right."

~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

The quote was applied yesterday by a volunteer group of artists to a theatre marquee. The artists were painting a mural on the plywood used to board-up the iconic Ohio Theatre's glass windows, broken the night before by destructive elements hiding-out among protesters.

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THOUGHTS FOR TODAY from two born on this date...

6 quick quotes for everybody from 2 black writers

"Identity is not inherent. It is shaped by circumstance and sensitivity and resistance to self-pity."

"There is no life that does not contribute to history."

"... bread unshared is bread unblessed when someone else is hungry, whether man or beast, friend or stranger."

"To know how much there is to know is the beginning of learning to live."

"I'm a writer. I don't cook and I don't clean."

Dorothy West (born June 2, 1907, died in 1998) African-American writer who played a key role in the cultural flourishing and experimentation of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s.


"The capacity to produce social chaos is the last resort of desperate people."

Cornel West, African-American author, philosopher, political activist, social critic, and university professor (born June 2)

(While both are named West and share today as their birthday, we did not find evidence they are related.)

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Very resonantly, very relevantly...

On this day

It was on this day in 1865 that the Civil War came to a formal end. Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, surrendered, and the last Confederate army ceased to exist. The war that cost 620,000 American lives was over. And with it, America's "peculiar institution" of slavery was abolished. And the legal argument that "state's rights" could allow a state to ignore federal law, or states to go their own way, was ended. 

At least until the states were forced to compete for scarce medical PPE in a pandemic because there was (and is) no coherent federal policy. 

The other point with absolute relevance to us today? Slavery was abolished 155 years ago, yet discrimination, prejudice, denial of equal rights, attempts to block voter participation, lack of equal justice under the law, lack of equal treatment by the law, and countless other examples and manifestations of racism, from overt to subtle, are still with us. With us, upon us, haunting and torturing us, burdening the energy of our society, giving lies to our lofty visions of ourselves, and as rawly exposed as the demonstrations being held on this day, the very anniversary of the end of America's bloodiest war -- the one that was supposed to have settled all those questions 155 years ago today.

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The following is "straight news." We worked hard preparing it to give you a quick and complete picture of what's going on, as background on why the music industry has called upon all artists, producers, publicists, managers, venues, presenters, and music press and media to go dark with artistic content today. 

Therefore no editorial cartoon, no clever characterizations, no satire. 

Just news, what's essential, aimed at clarification and understanding.


Tuesday morning: 
asking, verifying, reporting

Institutions here 'To Protect And To Serve': 
Some comfort, some confront

A militant president waves a Bible, claims himself "an ally" of protesters, but threatens an airborne division that landed on D-Day

What the hell is going on? Give us five minutes and we'll take you though the extraordinary last few hours.

1968 is the poster-child year for societal unraveling, chaos in the streets, a riot by police, accusations of outside agitators, both peaceful and violent demonstrations over civil rights, murderous police brutality with racial overtones, the American military shooting civilians in America, and political parties nominating uninspiring, disillusioning candidates, with one adopting a bombastic law-and-order / lock-up-the-protesters message. But 1968 did not have a global pandemic.

In the past seven days -- a week of turmoil triggered by the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis -- three dialogues have developed. 

One is about racism in all its ugly forms and the demand that, at last, it stops, now. 

Another is about the cynical opportunism of looters exploiting the disruptive presence of peaceful protests to smash windows and steal, with the suggestion that some are "outside agitators" perhaps sent by nefarious foreign interests ("suggested" as a way to avoid facing the frustration present in communities rife with poverty and crime). 

The third narrative is the one that dominates from the Trump White House, and it is all about invoking fear, power and control.

A dozen cities across the nation have invoked nighttime curfews, with some beginning in late afternoon. The 6 pm curfew that applies to all of Los Angeles County was moved-up to 5 pm on Monday.

Yesterday, according to CBS this morning, journalists documented and reported at least 125 violations of press freedom at the hands of various law enforcement, ranging from reporters being arrested and detained, often with their cameras, cell phones, audio and video recording devices and notes confiscated, to being shot with nonlethal projectiles, tear gassed, and held down and blasted in the face, point blank, with pepper spray or other debilitating chemicals.

Last night, police officers were shot in Las Vegas and St. Louis. Stores were looted in smash-and-grab robberies across America. The third narrative got reinforcement.

Going beyond threats of using draconian post-9/11 legislation, President Trump on Monday threatened to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act. And things got convoluted and complicated. From this point on, we will carefully cite the sources of what we present here. We begin with remarks from President Trump on Monday and characterizations of those remarks as reported by ABC News.

"We're going to clamp down very strongly," he said, later adding, "We're going to do something that people haven't seen before."

In a series of tweets since late last week, Trump has fanned the flames of division by threatening to sic "vicious dogs" on protesters outside the White House -- evoking ugly images of dogs used on African Americans in 1960s civil rights marches and voting rights protests.

With that, Trump wrote in a tweet, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." That line was made famous by a Miami police chief in the 1960s and was roundly condemned for its racist history.

Then came Trump's "group-call" Monday, in which told the nation's governors that they need to "dominate" over the ongoing situation of unrest. He related the situation to a military conflict.

"You have to dominate, if you don't dominate you're wasting your time," Trump said. A recording of the call was obtained by ABC News and has been widely heard on media outlets. "They're gonna run over you, you're gonna look like a bunch of jerks. You have to dominate," he asserted.

He said at another point: "It is a war in a certain sense and we're gonna end it fast."

If that weren't surprising enough, the president told the governors he was putting Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, who doubles as his top military adviser, "in charge" of the response to the domestic protests. ABC noted "The president did not explain what he meant by putting Milley 'in charge.'"

As an historian, this writer notes the last time in U.S. History that an American general was tasked with mobilizing troops against peaceful protestors in the streets of Washington D.C. That was in 1931, when Gen. Douglas MacArthur conducted the U.S. Army's last-ever cavalry charges -- to trample the "Bonus Marchers" beneath the horses' hooves. The marchers were World War I veterans and their families, rendered jobless and homeless by the Great Depression. They had marched on the Nation's Capital to demand early disbursement of the veterans compensation payment they had been promised. President Herbert Hoover lost all chance of re-election because MacArthur enacted, with murderous zeal, his president's wishes to "disperse the marchers." (It got MacArthur quickly dispatched to Asia. Which is why he was commanding the Philippines a decade later on December 7, 1941.)

Yesterday brought chilling echoes. After Trump's combative call to the governors, he made a speech in the White House Rose Garden. He claimed to be "with the peaceful protesters" but against the looters. Yet, as he spoke, a combined force of military, National Guard, federal agents, Capitol Police, and D.C. police -- including mounted officers on horseback -- were firing flash-bang shells, chemical smoke, and pepper spray into hundreds of peaceful protesters across the street from the White House in Lafayette Park.

Turns out the purpose was to terrorize and disperse the crowd so that Trump could stroll across the street into the park. Twenty minutes after the assault, immediately following reiteration in the Rose Garden of his threats to end protest with military force against his "allies," the peaceful protesters, Trump and his aides walked across Pennsylvania Avenue to pose before cameras in front of a church, holding a Bible.

He wasn't holding the Bible to say anything about what's in it. He waved it just to pose and hold it, in front of a church.

His photo spot is St. John's Episcopal Church, just off Lafayette Park, across from the White House. Attorney General Bill Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany joined Trump for his photo op, turning it into a group photo. I note that the administration's chief religionista, VP Mike Pence, did not take part in Trump's theatrical Bible waving.

After the briefest of moments -- just a minute or so in front of the church -- Trump and his entourage strolled back across the street to the White House, his daughter Ivanka now trailing him.

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde quickly issued a response to the president's visit to the church:

"The President just used a Bible and one of the churches of my diocese as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for. To do so, he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the church yard. I am outraged."

When law enforcement began their move against the peaceful protesters in the Park, there were still 15 minutes remaining before the start of the  declared curfew, according to ABC News' Rachel Scott. As the assault began, it was a different scene across the street on the other side of the building. Trump had just declared himself an "ally" of peaceful protesters.

Partly channeling Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, Trump evoked in the Rose Garden, "I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters."

Earlier, as Trump's press secretary cited Martin Luther King Jr.'s support for nonviolence, Trump shared a message from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who suggested unleashing an air assault division (the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, famous for its role in the Normandy Invasion, one must note). Cotton wasn't clear whether he was proposing parachutes to deploy the famous "Screaming Eagles," he advocated using the elite troops to attack those carrying out "anarchy, rioting, and looting."

"100% Correct," Trump wrote in response.

ABC News' Luis Martinez, Sarah Kolinovsky, Katherine Faulders, Alexander Mallin, Jack Date, Rachel Scott, and Libby Cathey's reports are the basis of the foregoing, except for the writer's discussion of the "Bonus Marchers" being trampled the last time something like this happened when a general and a president got violent with peaceful protesters.

In addition, NBC is reporting a top Trump aide, who spoke under conditions of anonymity, saying the "victory lap" and "high fives" of their White House colleagues in Lafayette Park, and Trump's "use of a Bible and the church as a photo prop," "sickened" them.

NBC soon reported another irony. The crowd in Lafayette Park -- the peaceful hundreds that had been attacked by law enforcement and military -- was so characteristically peaceful because it was inclusive of dozens of members of the clergy. They were nonetheless on the receiving end of the pepper spray and/or tear gas and pseudo cavalry assault.

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday on CNN, shortly after Trump made his foray to Lafayette Park, "What the president did was call out the American military against American citizens, just so he could have a photo op of him[self] walking to the church."

"It was just for a photo opportunity. I mean it is amazing calling out the American military for a photo opportunity. That's what it was. I mean it was shameful," Cuomo told the CNN audience, reiterating, "It was really, truly shameful."

ABC notes, "Rather than focus on protesters' grievances -- such as systemic racism and police brutality -- Trump has increasingly turned his focus to squelching the civil unrest that has accompanied the national demonstrations and has taken a hardline stance to restoring order."

Trump himself, while -- as ABC notes -- he offers no evidence,
 continues to claim that much of the rioting that has wracked American cities over recent nights has been carried out by supporters of nefarious outside forces. He cites them as an amorphous "antifa" -- which is, to him, sometimes an organization, sometimes a movement -- that he claims is "very organized" and "very dangerous."

ABC calls it "a loose group of people who define themselves as anti-fascist." Others throughout the broadcast and print media emphasize that Trump has set-up a straw man, since there is no "antifa" organization or entity. Undeterred by facts, Trump tweeted Sunday that the U.S. government would designate the group "a terrorist organization." 

But the White House did not say Monday under what legal authority it would do so, nor did it explain how it could prosecute "antifa members" as terrorists.

The entire matter of "antifa" has been a recurring obsession with Trump and Trump camp assistant tweeters Donald Jr. and Jared Kushner. This morning, a few of the latters' more inflammatory posts of the past few days began to come down. It seems the White House desire to label "antifa" a "terrorist organization" and make "them" responsible for protests, violence, looting, et. al., comes from the presence of a false-flag site on Twitter. That site is, in fact, run by a white supremacist group. By advocating violence or extremist acts, the site's actual operators give credence to their own invented narrative about dangerous organized black and left-wing agitators in "antifa." They've been doing it awhile. That was revealed in a CNN report this morning.

Of course, when Trump believed dangerous advocacy for violence came from "antifa," he was ready to have the government go after "them" as terrorists. Now that the sources of the danger are revealed as white supremacists inventing, but still advocating, trouble, all talk of prosecuting the authors as terrorists has vanished.

Meanwhile, with few exceptions, police presence and response throughout America is not monolithic. Officers, deputies, and even police chiefs have "taken a knee" with protesters, removed their riot helmets to clasp hands and even hug demonstrators (in the midst of global pandemic) and asked protestors if they can march with them rather than stand against them.

The irony screams at you when crowds cheer for a cop dropping onto one knee with the crowd. Because it is exactly the same posture that killed George Floyd. But somehow context overcomes everything.

Context is coming to mean more and more. Even Trump's avowed intentions of armed confrontation are coming unraveled in D.C. 

In a statement Monday after the assault on Lafayette Park for his photo op, a taken-for-granted ally stood down. Arlington, Virginia abruptly withdrew its law enforcement personnel from the Nation's Capital. The Arlington County Board issued a statement that read, "At the direction of the County Board, County Manager and Police Chief, all ACPD officers left the District of Columbia at 8:30 tonight. The County is re-evaluating the agreements that allowed our officers to be put in a compromising position that endangered their health and safety, and that of the people around them, for a purpose not worthy of our mutual aid obligations."

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Notice to readers, Tuesday May 26, 11:45 am

Until further notice, The Guide will cease listing Twitter links for any concerts, musician or event information, or other content. We have taken this step because Twitter refuses to apply its own policy regarding untrue and malicious content. Posts in violation that are routinely taken-down when made by ordinary users without huge numbers of followers are, indeed, subjected by Twitter to its policy. But at least one Twitter user with 8 million followers and 40 million page viewers routinely gets a free pass for blatant, deliberate, malicious and wholly unfounded outbursts of character assassination of persons both living and dead who are not public figures.

Twitter's chairman has been formally asked -- by the widow of a woman whose death, years ago, was ruled accidental -- to take down a continuing flurry of posts alleging she was murdered. Those posts even accuse someone of being her murderer.

But Twitter has said it will allow those posts to remain up and visible to all on its site, and it refuses to stop more such posts by the same person making the allegations.

Anyone making such outrageous and unfounded accusations in any public forum should be answered by civil prosecution. So should any kind of media outlet that aids the accuser by propagating such claims -- especially where said media outlet facilitates the accuser's purpose and intent without clearly reporting the incident as news reportage that indicates the accusations are neither verified nor otherwise have been put forth by any credible source.

The fact that the accuser is the President of the United States, a man whose documented lies have surpassed 70,000 since he took office in January, 2017, should in no way give him a public forum for making malicious claims for his abberant purposes. Or for a media site to make money for itself through being a platform for malicious lies that escape responsible scrutiny.

Because Twitter chooses to facilitate that behavior and give its platform to that use, we refuse to do anything further that facilitates traffic to Twitter. Any references or links to Twitter in our previously published content will remain, because we are a source of record. But unless and until Twitter chooses to be a responsible source that follows its own rules, we are done with them here.

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This edition is deliberately being published without music entertainment content, in cooperation and support with today's music industry-wide pause for contemplation of race relations in America.

Even our closing section and boilerplate is edited-down, to that purpose.

CHECK BACK soon, when a new edition takes over with more typical content. The basic site url always takes you to our latest word.



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