SEARCH the Guide, by date, band, artist, event, festival, etc. (in addition to the sidebar)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Will corporate media sabotage democracy, or will YOU vote June 7th-?

We'll be back soon with music news. We're here now with this. It's too important to our shared future to do anything else.
The Guide reminds and ENCOURAGES you, with every bit of motivational power we may have, to VOTE JUNE 7th in the California Primary election to determine who will be the major party candidates for President.

Why? Isn't it "all over now," like the tv talking heads say? NO. No, it is not "all over."

We anticipated, a month ago, that the corporate media "narrative" would pull something like that. We even answered it before they did it, calling out their lie. You see, their coronation is based on the assumption of superdelegates. And superdelegates don't vote until July 25th at the convention. Otherwise, why bother having a convention?

You need to vote.

For starters, people who do not vote are invisible. Winning and losing candidates and parties alike care nothing for those who do not vote.

Second,  this is the first time in decades that the California Primary has mattered. It may very well determine the nominee of the Democratic Party.

Third, this year, both parties have reached a crossroads. For progressives — and in the Golden State, that's both progressives registered as Democrats AND progressives registered "no party preference" — we have a chance to pick the first true progressive candidate for President since Franklin Roosevelt.

Fourth, the mainstream corporate media is behaving disgracefully, openly sabotaging democracy. Though party hack superdelegates do not vote until July 25th — and are free to determine who they will vote for up until that moment — corporate media has been poised to lie and anoint their chosen candidate at least three hours before polls close in California and Montana. Two networks, CBS and NBC, called the election for that candidate on June 6th, before a single vote was counted in ANY of the June 7th primary states. Because they both wanted to be "first," rather than honest or accurate. And they didn't care about democracy.

And finally, it isn't solely because we disagree — strongly — with corporate media's choice of candidate, or because we made our own endorsement (for the first time in the Guide's history). It is because we believe in true democracy and true progressive values that we appeal to you to ignore unethical media BS and cast your vote Tuesday for the candidate you support. Since California has more delegates than any other state? Together, we CAN make a difference!


Read the Guide's endorsement for President of the United States. It is reprinted below so you won't need to dig in last month's archive. Here it is.
Welcome to this very serious consideration of our shared future. Thanks for joining us. Let's get started.



We know. This excruciatingly endless election year has everyone wondering the same thing:

"Are Rod Serling and Franz Kafka at the door?"

"Are we living in some Groundhog Day of a Saturday Night Live sketch?"

In fact: America may be looking at the lowest percentage of voters in a November general-election in our history. But we're not there yet. And nothing says we need to be.

The Guide is doing this — something unprecedented for our music and arts journal — because it matters. Hugely.

If too much tv has you believing otherwise, we're especially glad you're reading this. Because your vote in California matters more than it has in years. Get registered to vote for the candidate of your choice. If you are disgusted with all of them, we hope to influence that.

Registration for the California Primary closes May 23rd.

We decided to offer this endorsement not as some flippant 140-word quip, but thoroughly, seriously, and comprehensively, as a worthwhile use of your time as one of the intelligent, thoughtful folks who comprise our readership. Thank you for joining us here to read this.


The Guide is endorsing Bernie Sanders in the California Primary on Tuesday, June 7th. We'd like to share with you the most compelling reasons why.


These days, neither party can claim the largest plurality of the American electorate. As the 2016 election cycle began, 42 percent of all registered voters were independents.

Independents will certainly determine the outcome in November. In California, independents will almost certainly make the difference in the state's June 7th primary. 

But be careful: in California, that means being registered "No Political Party Preference" — checking the tiny box on the voter registration form that is all by itself, way off to the right of all the other choices. Anyone being quick instead of careful might blunder into checking what they think is "independent," but it's the box for the "American Independent Party" — an ultraconservative political party(!) with no other option. (If you are not sure, go online and check your registration now. Google "registrar of voters" with your county name.)

You can take a Democratic Primary ballot at your polling place, and vote for Bernie Sanders, ONLY if you are registered "No Political Party Preference" or you are a registered Democrat.

Now, let's emphasize the next thing: corporate mainstream media has done a disgraceful disservice to democracy. It is they who would have you believe that voting in the remaining primaries — including the California Primary — simply doesn't matter. That's outrageously untrue. It does matter. And we'll say it again — Hugely. In Califonia especially, because of its delegate numbers, and in every other remaining primary because this is very close.

Given the rancor and ugliness and childish stupidity that has characterized so much of this excruciatingly lengthy presidential campaign, you may question the wisdom of our venturing into it at all, and especially this late. Those reasons, right here in this paragraph, are exactly why we are doing it.


Many Republicans have no desire or willingness to vote for the presumptive Republican Party candidate.

If that's you, you still have time to re-register "No Political Party Preference" and gain the option to vote a June ballot to stop both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

If you're a Democrat and that statement gives you heartburn, stop and recognize that the majority of Americans are not comfortable with Hillary Clinton. And every Californian has a choice.

If you are registered as a Democrat OR registered "No Political Party Preference," you can vote for Bernie Sanders on June 7th.

Yes, independents can vote for Bernie Sanders — as long as they're registered in time as "No Political Party Preference," by May 23rd.

It's important that everyone knows that and spreads the word.

With so much general revulsion for the antics and process of the 2016 election; with such a thoroughly repulsive Republican candidate; and with one extremely unpopular Democratic candidate, in Secretary Clinton, who a majority of respondents in every poll deems "untrustworthy"; we believe it is our duty as a public service to make you aware of the wonderfully attractive alternative and how to act on that opportunity, and we believe that obligates us to offer the reasons why we believe you should.


The California Primary will determine 475 Pledged Delegates to the Democratic Party convention. That's the largest number from any state. Your vote determines how that number is allocated as nominating votes at the convention in Philadelphia.

If big corporate mainstream media has you believing this is already over, you have been deluded. Their insistence on combining Pledged Delegate votes, earned in primaries and statewide caucuses, with nebulous estimates of Superdelegate party hacks and elective office holders — whose votes are not guaranteed — is a baffling disservice to the American people.

There are 1,054 delegate spots STILL REMAINING to be chosen.

It takes 2,383 delegate votes to secure the nomination as the majority of the total of 4,765 delegates. Though, curiously, all three of those numbers, along with the number of California's delegate votes, can increase. We'll get to that.

First, the most important thing. Big media insists on showing a composite of somewhere north of 2,200 Clinton delegates, knowing it's a sham.

Yes, we are calling them out. Big media anonymously homogonizes Superdelegates. Except where the public understands, they don't play that game. In a revolt against party rules, Maine Democrats voted last week to strip their state's Superdelegates of power, making a big splash in the Chicago Tribune but going unreported nearly everywhere else.

It is a byzantine process. On Tuesday, Sanders won West Virginia over Clinton by double-digits. Yet he picked up only 18 of that state's 29 Pledged Delegates and only one Superdelegate. And California's delegation can quietly increase from 548 to 601 if a "20 percent bonus" formula is invoked by the Democratic Party.

But the most basic wackiness is the unquestioned, essentially fraudulent use of a composite number that adds earned Pledged Delegates to Superdelegates who can do whatever they want.

In fact, THESE are the Democratic Convention delegate numbers, with 10 states still to vote, including two of the biggest, California and New Jersey.

Pledged Delegates (guaranteed votes):

Hillary Clinton 1,710
Bernie Sanders 1,440

Superdelegates (discretionary votes, as they are presently expected to be cast):

Hillary Clinton 523
Bernie Sanders 39


So, as we just saw, Superdelegates may change their votes as they please.

There is good reason to believe that by this summer's nominating convention in late July, many will decide to change.

Such things as Secretary Clinton's $100,000 to $333,000 per-couple fundraisers have been advertised as benefitting state party organizations and Democratic candidates up-and-down the ballot. In fact, nearly all the money (after being moved around) ends up in the H-arrow campaign. And the state parties and down-ballot campaigns are left with no money from big donors who are maxed-out and cannot be tapped again.

That might be okay if she had "coattails" that would carry those other candidates into office. But her unfavorability ratings are over 50 percent.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is the ONLY candidate with a positive nationwide rating.

In campaign finance terms? His campaign collects millions of small donations — famously averaging $27 — from people who can be approached over and over for more small donations, with probable capacity to support those down-ballot campaigns, as well.

If Secretary Clinton's approval ratings continue to plunge and Senator Sanders continues to score upset wins as he did in West Virginia, Indiana, and earlier in Michigan, those Superdelegates are hardly in the bag for Hillary.

And — not as some smear, but as a developing reality — there is the growing possibility she could yet face damaging fallout, if not federal indictment, in the ongoing federal investigation being conducted by FBI Director James Comey with 130 agents and a non-interference pledge from the White House. Her campaign calls it "a security review" but it's clearly much more. It may be examining favors done by her US State Department for foreign and domestic financiers and industrialists who contributed to the Clinton Foundation. Don't think it can be dismissed as "dirty politics." It's serious.

Any or all these factors may become straws on the camel, or could become bombshells as voters in the remaining ten states head to the polls. So California and its massive number of Pledged Delegates matters both for its direct part in the additive total to nominate, and for its influence on those whose convention votes for the nominee can be cast as they think best. It's "yuge."


California's delegate haul represents almost 20 percent of the 2,383 delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination and almost 12 percent of the 4,038 pledged delegates up for grabs in 2016.

Despite those percentages, actual numbers are quite squirrely.

In California's Democratic primary, 475 Pledged Delegates are at stake, more than any other state in the Democratic nominating process. But that number can become 528 Pledged Delegates, if the "20 percent bonus" formulas all work with the rather odd numerology of the state party's May and June machinations. (For our mathematician readers, the equation, and enough to discern the odd process, is at ).

The Democrats also award those infamous Superdelegates in California. Initially, that was set at 70. It's now 73.

In California, both Democrats and Republicans award most of their delegates by congressional district. Even politically-savvy residents of California's state capital needed to have it explained.

“So you’re gonna essentially have 53 small campaigns around the state,” says Paul Mitchell, who runs one of California’s most respected political data companies. For example, he says, coastal Democrats don’t vote like inland Democrats. And in some districts, more people vote early by mail.

“Those kind of mechanical differences are gonna be extremely important when you’re talking about potentially somebody’s entire presidential campaign resting on being able to eke out a dozen delegates here, a dozen delegates there, going into the conventions.”

And another twist: Republican delegates are winner-take-all in each district; Democrats award delegates proportionally based on how well each candidate does. Both parties also award extra delegates based on the statewide vote. So now you see why Trump is all but anointed and why the Democratic Party contest is very much up for grabs — despite the media's calls for you to believe otherwise.

(Thanks to Ben Adler of KQED, Capital Public Radio, for those interview quotes.)


The nominee — either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton — will be chosen by vote of the delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, happening July 25th-28th.

Donald Trump will officially become the GOP nominee at the Republican National Convention, held July 18-21, in Cleveland, OH.

Beyond the Democratic Convention? If Senator Sanders is not on the general election ballot in November, you'll hear from us again, with an analysis of third-party options.


Okay, let's get real about that. Have you checked-out a book from the public library? Walked your dog in a city park? Driven on a freeway? Hiked a mountain trail? Spent a day at the beach? Gone camping in Yosemite or Sequoia or the High Sierras or Grand Canyon? Glad those places can't be bought by the rich and everyone else — including you — kept out, or charged more than you can afford?

Are you glad you can call the fire department to save your abode, or the cops if somebody is being beaten to a pulp?

Then you're a socialist. Period. Get over it. If you believe that people should not suffer or die from untreated injuries or diseases without losing their houses, or because they haven't got a lot of money, then you're a socialist. In fact, the way Jesus did things during his time on Earth, there really isn't any question. He was a socialist.

Besides, look where end-game cutthroat capitalism has gotten us. Taxpayer funded bailouts used to pay multimillion dollar bonuses to the bloated fatcats who broke the economy in the first place? Publicly owned beaches and forests and National Parks and freeways and libraries are a much better idea. So is health care for all and tuition-free public colleges and universities that enable people to improve themselves and make our society more competitive against highly educated foreign competitors.

In fact, the notion of a democracy with pure capitalism is impossible. The rich would buy-up everything, and where would you go? We'll take democratic socialism.


We have no idea if this will bring us readers or cost us readers. It should do neither, but we are aware that it could. And that's fine.

The Guide is an arts journal. Throughout our history, we have reliably reported in detail and made countless endorsements — well, recommendations — on events to attend, music buy to buy, artists to watch (and listen to)...

We have kept you abreast of, and sometimes recommended, new gear, venues, workshops, ways to support music education, wonky topics liked by artists and music fans, and more. We've covered trends — critically, and we've certainly not always been complimentary. We've even issued warnings of some real stinkers.

But politics?

We've covered the historic and still vital role of folk music and advocated for its influence in civil rights, worker rights, gender equality, and protecting wild lands and cultural and historic sites. We've advocated for artists and activists who've gifted us with their legacies, and emphatically advocated for the role of music and the arts in our obligation to leave a meaningful legacy to the future. We've noted and honored sacrifices made by some as integral to that legacy. And that's arguably political.

Our tech and science coverage? Along with music gear tech and instrument tech, we occasionally get into some science and engineering topics that range from preserving art and old recordings to archaeology and saving the art and architecture of ancient monuments — whether or not they have 3,000-year-old mosaics of lute players.

We've written about taking guitars out to do dendrochronology graphs in the field from ancient trees. That's the science of documenting climate going back over 8,000 years using rings in living trees more than 4,000 years old, and dead ones lying alongside them. Which is political to someone whose creationist religious beliefs demand a 6,000 year-old-Earth that came with fossils "laminated in."

We even get to a little astrophysics, planetary exploration, and understanding threats to natural systems and safeguarding Mother Earth. And because one of the two major political parties in America expends so much ignorant hot air denying what science can so easily prove, that, again, makes our presentations political.

A cardinal tenet

We advocate for mindfulness by artists that they — you, and we — have influence, and use it wisely and intentionally. And political dimensions can sometimes be found there.

We're told from time to time by various folks that they have written lyrics after finding ideas and inspirations in some of our news and  feature stories on these broadly ranging topics, and that always makes us proud.

While offering plenty of sage advice from music masters in their areas of expertise, plus more humble editorial positions, and sharing viewpoints about controversial arts-related topics, our purpose has always been to spread light rather than heat. Even in fields as passionate as the arts.

Thus, we have made plenty of recommendations and posited some cautions. We have been critical — sometimes scathingly critical — of trends that shouldn't be monopolizing all the attention of arts & entertainment media and seeking to take your money. And we have raved with joy and encouragement to support everything from revivals of styles and traditional instruments and long-lost musical genres to innovators who expand the appeal of Folk-Americana and today's new acoustic music, including accessible classical music.

We could go on, through our ongoing celebrations and recommendations of music festivals, film festivals, and landmark concerts, to exploring songs and lyrics that are changing the world, to making picks of new releases and rediscovered old ones. So there have been countless endorsements. We have celebrated famous, contextually famous, and obscure PEOPLE in the arts who have changed the world in big or small but important ways.

We have covered a great many topics in and out of music where our endorsements are implied if not specifically given.

But we have never endorsed a candidate for political office. Until now.


√  Most of the Guide's readership is in California. Our metrics, happily, do include a truly global audience, and that is part of why we keep doing this: to expand knowledge of the music and musicians and broaden their reach and appeal. We can do what we do because it all comes to us. California is crossroads and nexus for live performance, recording, tv, filmmaking, and so much more.

√  California is also the biggest treasure trove of delegates for each political party's nominating convention. Nearly always, California votes so late that it's over before the plodding march of primary elections reaches the Golden State. This time it matters here, and California can be the game-changer for Bernie Sanders.

√  There is a thoroughly meaningful battle for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party and the future of the progressive movement. Beyond the rhetoric and the maddening focus of big media on trivia and a few overblown aspects to the exclusion of everything else, this is serious.

√  Income inequality in America is a widening gulf and the disparity is accelerating. The banksters, bailed-out by the taxpayers after they broke the economy in 2008, have taken the lion's share of profitability in the US economy for themselves. The middle class is increasingly joining the struggling and impoverished classes.

√  Health care is still not affordably available to all. Ending America's bizarre, uniquely cruel system that requires an investor make a profit before a patient is treated? That is a chief priority for Bernie Sanders.

√  Campaign finance reform, in the wake of Supreme Court rulings, has become the essential requirement to defeat the growing corporatocracy and its plutocratic masters. Other candidates may call for overturning Citizens United. Bernie Sanders would do that and eliminate the cause of such outrageous court rulings by ending the doctrine of corporate personhood — the idea that a corporation is immortal and has never-ending rights of citizenship, even when it pays no taxes and cannot be executed for killing people.

√  College and university education is increasingly out of reach. He will enable state-sponsored colleges and universities to be tuition-free, and fully pay for it with a tax on Wall Street speculation (yes, the money manipulators DO spend that much).

√  The most fundamental tenet of the American dream — home ownership — is vanishing as those with money accumulate more and more rental properties and the rest of us are relegated to being their tenants. Senator Sanders programs to reverse runaway income inequality will give hard working families a chance again.

√  The military-industrial complex never provided the promised "peace dividend" after the Cold War ended. Projecting military power into never-ending regime changes and incursions in the Middle East and elsewhere assures its primacy in the federal budget. Only Senator Sanders wants to reverse that.

√  Even as our bridges, roads, dams, railways, waterways, interstate highways, airports, levees, electric grid — and fresh water, wastewater, and other essential utilities — age out, break, get bandaid repairs, rot, decay, and ultimately collapse, sometimes poisoning us in the process, only Senator Sanders will restore an FDR-style major public works / infrastructure program to replace hopelessly old with world-class new, like they have in Europe and Japan.

√  Our schools operate with high dropout rates and disgracefully inadequate arts and music education, holding classes in crappy portable buildings because there is no money. And it doesn't take an expensive child-development consultant to see those are related. Senator Sanders will fight the conservative demands for school curriculums determined by local religious-zealot school boards and modernize education for all, with college as the affordable goal.


All these alarming problems operate against a background of global climate change that costs us more and more money in emergency disaster relief each year, looms as an existential issue for human civilization, and is denied in its entirely by one major political party. One US political party, that is. The rest of the world isn’t that stupid. Senator Sanders, alone among the candidates, will fight to stop and reverse global climate change.

While both Democratic Party candidates addresses these issues, one — Secretary Clinton — sees them as things that must be approached with moderation and balance that will keep the dialog within the realm of the politically expedient do-able. Her support for trade policies that allow foreign entities to strike-down US laws and regulations established for environmental protection and worker health and safety is courting disaster. Senator Sanders would renegotiate those trade agreements.

The Earth's natural systems have no regard for anything we find a politically achievable compromise. Assimilative capacities for toxins and pollutants do not change because we insufficiently limit their dissemination or inadequately regulate them — or remove all regulatory constraints, as the Republican candidate wants to do.

The fact is, global amospheric carbon has now exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm), after atmospheric scientists have warned for years that we must never allow it to go over 350 ppm, which research and climate modeling shows is the tipping point. Now, because oceans are where much of it ends up, that excess carbon is causing acidification and oxygen depletion of sea water, with consequences of diminished capacity to sustain sea life, including human food stocks.

Everything is connected to everything else.

Preserving fisheries, riparian wetlands, feeding grounds along migratory flyways, or any specific endangered species, share the same necessity. It only works if required ranges are safeguarded to assure viable habitats as part of sustainable ecosystems.

Stopping a little excess carbon and setting aside or safeguarding a little of some rainforest or other vanishing habitat — to make us feel better — it doesn't cut it.

And that is a useful metaphor for all the things we must do to make a difference, vs. settling for "realistic" things that have the optics and the rhetoric. Moderate measures that are shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic and, ultimately, produce much ado about nothing.


Let's take quick focus on some serious facts that define who is ready to be President.

•  We are faced with a Republican Party candidate who denies climate change and wants all environmental regulatory authority suspended because it "interferes" with profitability. That's in addition to his xenophobia, ham-handed demeanor, and generally dangerous uninformed bloviating.

•  We have corporate mainstream media who has given him over two BILLION dollars worth of free airtime because it's boosted their ratings.

•  The same corporate mainstream media has — wholly without justification — anointed one Democratic Party candidate, Secretary Clinton, as the presumptive nominee to face the Republican candidate.

•  Meanwhile, we have the other Democratic Party candidate who has always held office as an independent — Senator Bernie Sanders. Serving in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, he has caucused with the Democrats, while becoming the longest-serving independent in American history. The Democratic Party largrly purged itself of office holders who were not sufficiently supportive of military occupations and presences.

•  Even while, along with Republicans, Democratic office-holders succumbed to big money donors and to their agendas, Bernie, alone, has always run for office funded by small individual contributions, and he's never had a superpac.

•  Bernie Sanders has vowed to reverse the Supreme Court's disastrous Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions that gave big money a free hand to buy elections. He will reestablish the lost parts of the Voting Rights Act and shepherd passage of a new version of the lost Glass-Stegall Act to reign-in the banksters.

•  He has vowed to break-up the opportunistic predators on Wall Street, and to make financial institutions and corporate freeloaders pay their fair shares to the betterment of the society that allows them to operate with so many advantages.

•  Bernie Sanders has maintained his integrity. He has maintained consistent positions on major issues.

•  Bernie has won 45 percent of all Democratic Pledged Delegates and has almost none of the Superdelegates. Sanders has won 19 states and taken-on the entrenched Democratic Party establishment in each one. He's not raging against the machine. He's trying to replace the machine that's addicted to, and responsive to, big money.

•  He has been the most effective legislator in Washington, D.C., as the "amendment king," even in a time of paralysis and mindless obstructionism.

•  As chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, he wrote and attained passage of the most comprehensive help for our military veterans since the post-WW II GI Bill.

•  He is future-focused. That has earned him a "yuge" following of young voters who have, in recent years, registered independent, but rallied to his campaign.

•  He is the only candidate who, as President, will work aggressively, categorically, comprehensively and thoroughly, to stop and reverse global climate change with a carbon tax on polluters and public investment in a rapid conversion to "green" energy.

For all these reasons and more, the Guide enthusiastically endorses Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States.

Get registered to vote for the candidate of your choice. Registration for the California Primary closes May 23rd.

Whether you are a Democrat, a disgusted Republican, or neither, as long as you register either Democrat or "No Political Party Preference" by May 23rd, you can vote for Bernie Sanders on June 7th.

Feel the Bern.

For more that compares the current mess to some haunting parallels in our history, please see:


An abundance of music news and reviews, film festivals, arts events, gear reviews, and more, are in numerous recent editions. More on upcoming FESTIVALS and events is in the May 7 edition, available at a separate click.

Much more, soon, on additional topics.


The Guide brings you frequent editions covering MUSIC NEWS, arts and industry events, and ticket alerts, available right here on the Guide's Blogspot site.


Direct to the current editions /


editions load quickly at
CONTACT US at / send Questions / Comments to: . Tiedtothetracks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Contents copyright © 2016, Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks. All rights reserved.
♪ The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS and views of interest to artists everywhere, more specifically to musicians and the creative community and music makers and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music, both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues, and schedules and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues monumentally large and intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the roots of the blues and where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell.

No comments: