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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Guide's "Guide to Giving Tuesday" AND BEYOND. Nov 27 2018.

Late addition...

Here's the full edition as originally published on "GIVING TUESDAY," except for the new intro (above) added Wednesday morning...

1st, a whole BUNCH of charities of all shapes, sizes, and areas of emphases, are getting MATCHING GRANTS TODAY. So your power to donate gets hugely amplified!

2nd, if you're donating anything to any charity today, "GIVING TUESDAY," you can USE PAY PAL -- they're MATCHING DONATIONS today, 100%, up to a total of $500,000.

THIS EDITION has three features:

# 1 -- Commentary, some serioso-comedy, and why today really does matter

# 2 -- the Guide's "Guide to Giving Tuesday" (with MANY categories, so find your passion!)

# 3 -- YOUR INVITATION to the "37th Annual Old-Fashioned L.A. Holiday Caroling" for shut-ins

# 1 news feature...

Commentary, Serioso-Comedy, and Why Today Really Matters

If you're too broke to take part because you indulged in spending sprees in support of consumerism these past few days, we're not going to lecture you. We did all we could before the fact.


We DO encourage everyone, in the strongest terms, to RE-SET ALL YOUR FINANCIAL PASSWORDS if you were all over the web with credit and debit cards since Friday. The more times you shared your magic numbers, the more exposure you incurred. It does increase the odds that somebody or some lurking computer or some nefarious cyberworm got ahold of something that can wrack ruin on you. 

ALSO, the scammers and flim-flammers are thieves with no conscious. If you receive an email appeal or a phone call asking you to donate to anything -- even something that sounds absolutely legit -- beware. Check the email sender's address, and even then, it could be "spoofed." Check the link you activate by clicking to donate, and be sure it looks right. You can always go to the web to get real contact info, and donate that way, through the charity's website.


It began with news of three more US soldiers killed and four wounded this morning in Afghanistan. That follows the death of a US Army Ranger there three days ago in a "friendly fire" tragedy with Afghan forces trained by the US. Which leaves more families without their loved one -- something specific charities do address. Even if organizations within and beyond the scope of charity are the ones trying to stop that war and other media-neglected wars, and America's astonishing assortment of drone wars, aerial wars, proxy wars, and clandestine wars. And until it stops, we will continue to hear of a singular kind of giving, whether or not it's Giving Tuesday -- we'll hear of individuals in uniform "giving  their lives for their country" -- whether or not their countrymen have idea if, or why, they were there to get killed.

Also out today are new U.N. stats on domestic violence committed against women and children. Each day, 137 women are murdered by a domestic partner. Tracking abused children is harder to do.

Meanwhile, America's ethnocentric certainty of "American Exceptionalism" guarantees distraction away from, and active obfuscation of, things that command the attention of the rest of the world. Thus, many of the world's top charities, including Oxfam and UNICEF, receive almost no mention on our shores. Global peace campaigns like that of Avazz, working to stop the US-enabled Saudi War on the starving and disease-wracked civilian population of Yemen, are known in America only by those on email lists.

We are up against corporate-controlled, overmerged megagiant media that is limited by its corporate masters. Each subsidiary, including the News Division, must not do anything that harms the bottom line of the rest of the corporate behemoth. 

So, while it seems credible to claim we are all just sooo overwhelmed with a constant bombardment of news... the reality says, "not exactly."

The gaggle of sources produces a few well-funded camps with the resources to dominate with their agenda and their narrative. And "the alternative" is too often the pseudo-factual crap that goes viral on social media's so-called "news feeds" which are often infiltrated by for-profit propagandists whose "product" lacks every component of actual journalism. 

It's a cyber world of blaring horns, a cacophony in which no one can hear a damn thing but the loudest bullhorns. And many sounds we should hear are not loud enough, and some are just too weak and too needy to be heard or seen -- as the loud brass band playing "story of the week" parades by. Translate the analogy, and...

Seems that simply determining who should get your money to do good in your name isn't such a simple premise.

It may surprise you to know that "GIVING TUESDAY" actually delights the corporate capitalists because:

(a) it comes AFTER their days to take all your money and crush you with 25%+ interest rates on credit card purchase financing, and

(b) it enables them to present themselves as heroes when they take massive end-of-the-year tax deductions. (They still need their charitable contributions to avoid paying their own taxes, even after this year's tax-cut-for-the-rich-and-corporations; and you're delusional if you think they aren't trying to play puppet master with their monetary clout, even there.)

Be that as it may, "GIVING TUESDAY" is the societally-endorsed focus day to do, with "LOOKEE-HERE-WHAT-I-DONE!" aplomb... EVEN WHEN it's something all of us should be doing quietly on a small but consistently continuous basis all year long. Things like:

• Supporting worthy charities where the money goes to the mission and not to the execs;

• feeding the desperately hungry;

• providing opportunities for the poor;

• working to abolish oppression;

• enabling all people -- not limited to children -- to access top-quality health and dental and vision and occupational rehabilitative care, and treatment for birth defects, burns, and conditions acquired from exposure to toxins, ALL as a right of citizenship and a human right on a planet loaded with carcinogenic industrial toxins littered in the name of corporate profits;

• ensuring institions of research and higher learning are affordable and accessible and not forced to succumb to some narrow imposed agenda to maintain their funding;

• abolishing ignorance and its disastrous justification for greed;

• supporting music and arts education for ALL students, and not just those in elite "STEM or "STEAM" schools;

• celebrating artists and musicians with bountiful opportunities for each serious artist to earn a decent living from their art;

• assuring that arts institutions and venues can continue to operate;

• guaranteeing the missions of museums and places of historic preservation as vital teachers of the kind of world we can yet have;

• fighting to re-establish participatory democracy in the face of oligarchy, corporatocracy and kakistocracy;

• doing, at last, as Lincoln pledged, to "care for he (and she) who have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan," and EXTENDING THAT to our firefighters and all first responders who risk their lives protecting public safety;

• preserving the natural world and the endangered plants and animals that barely cling to life in vast parts of it;

• and generally and specifically, doing a MUCH better job of bringing about a peaceful, just, equitable, and (yes) loving world, where we do a MUCH, MUCH BETTER JOB of taking care of each other.

OUR LIST is separated with semicolons because most of us would like to support ALL, or some multiplicity, of those things. And that's just our list. Yours surely contains people and causes and charities and institutions that ours neglected or otherwise omitted.

If we had our way, GIVING would be a universal expectation, and those with the most would be looked to for examples to give the most. But we realize that's a fantasy in this second coming of the Gilded Age and its rogue's gallery of power-and-control-the-massage Robber Barons.

And if Warren Buffet and Bill Gates want to emulate Andrew Carnegie, we hope they leave universally useful lasting legacies, like he did, with a nation where towns and cities large and small all got Carnegie Libraries, filled with knowledge freely accessible to everyone. But Frank Capra is long dead, so that's another fantasy.

Time for our serioso-comedic interlude...

On the subject of an up-to-the-minute, modern fantasy regarding causes that need support, we would gladly contribute to a rehab program for those afflicted with Goofyspeak. You know what we mean -- the residual permanent impact of all those Americans who were raised with "participation trophies" and helicopter parents. Their vocalizations indicate they still require constant validation of their every act, and therefore they end every sentence with a plea for your endorsement, in the form of the one word demand, "Right?" Which most often is pronounced in Goofyspeak as "Rye-eat?"

Goofyspeak is, almost overnight, an actual dialect. It has one historical root, having resurrected the buried-for-decades obsession with inserting the word "like," ubiquitously and unnecessarily, everywhere. Perhaps that's proof that Facebook has brainwashed the masses, since its for-sale analytics depend on knowing everyone's likes. That's, like, valid? Rye-eat?

Mostly, Goofyspeak is a new plague without a vaccine, and with clearly presented symptoms of the disease. 

In its most prominent example, Goofyspeak inserts continuous streams of mid-sentence question-mark inflections. And it replaces all pivotal consonants with an "h." As in, di'hint,  wou'hint, impor'hant. That one is especially prominent, since they find so many things are "reeeeally impor'hant." ("Reeeeeally bahhd" is the obverse.)

Surely you've noticed Goofyspeak's standard vocalizations of "that" and "me" have both acquired five or six vowels, delivered with so much emphasis that it's jarring.

On average, two similar examples per minute of Goofyspeak can be heard on whichever cable news is your household's addiction: Like, we recognize thaaaat(?) from those charac'heristics(?) that like, make it sooo annoying(?) to meeeee, like every time we like, try to get tha'news(?) about whah's impor'hant? Rye-eat?

Okay, serio-comedy aside, let's get to some of the good causes that are bent, and carrying on while barely unbroken; causes that are stressed by the demands of too damn many climate-change-caused massive wildfires. Overwhelmed by hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods -- along with assorted global conflicts that are sacrosanct to the warconomy. And some of the many worthy causes that are suffering undue abuse from tribalist political nonsense.

Time to open your heart, your mind, and your wallet.


# 2 news feature...

 The Guide's "Guide to Giving Tuesday"

We present this with many separate categories, so you can find your passion. Or play hopscotch and spread your meager wealth around. You can be sure it will be appreciated by any of the following who receive it, and that will do good in their hands.

We wish we had the days it would take to "vet" even more things. But, presented by category, here's what we know we can recommend.

first category...


Northern Valley Community Foundation,
Fire Victim Relief Fund
(donate through MoveOn; 100% goes to NVCF; also recommended by the California League of Conservation Voters, CLCV, noting NVCL "helps with immediate priorities, such as portable showers, blankets, shelters, and long term recovery efforts.")

California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund
(recommended by CLCV; supports intermediate and long-term recovery efforts)
Link is their name.

Safety Harbor Kids
(helps orphans, foster & homeless children year-round; now helping fire victims)

United Way 
(recommended by CLCV; provides cash aid to help individuals find housing, make up for lost wages, and cover transportation and food costs)
Link is their name.

Hydration Packs for Firefighters
The GRAMMY Museum, in recommending this charity, says: "For those who have been affected by the recent fires across our state, we stand by you. The ramifications are devastating and the losses irreplaceable. Should you be looking for a way to help, we urge you to consider donating to the 'Entertainment Industry Foundation,' a nonprofit organization that helps firefighters and other emergency workers battling California wildfires. One of its beneficiaries is the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, which provides hydration backpacks for firemen and night vision goggles for helicopter pilots. Another beneficiary provides meals for emergency workers and evacuees staying in shelters."

-- The Grammy Museum, in a message addressed, "To Our Los Angeles Community."

The "Entertainment Industry Foundation" says:

"Urgent need.
"Immediate impact.

"Support firefighters and first responders who risk their lives to protect the people of California.

"Donate to EIF’s Fire Relief Fund, and together we can make a positive impact in the communities that need it most.

"$275 funds one Hydration Pack for a firefighter."

Donations of as much as you want to give, as small as $5, are accepted at (you need the entire long url):;jsessionid=00000000.app367a?df_id=4520&mfc_pref=T&4520.donation=form1&NONCE_TOKEN=BD586CAC59FBAE663577626DA737EA87&mc_cid=7f51abc1cd&mc_eid=f1ad8a56a3

EIF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and meets all 20 BBB Charity Standards.

The following in this continuation of our "fire relief" section, is from "Do LA" (; we found their recommendations (with embedded links) quite thoughtful and worthy of passing along to you with our endorsement:

Support the brave men and women who have been tirelessly battling the flames that have threatened and consume whole communities in just a few short days. Between the winds, fatigue and multiple outbreaks, they have been there keeping as many people safe as possible. 
Donate here.

You can make cash donations to support Red Cross relief efforts can do so on the Red Cross website or over the phone by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. You can also text CAWILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Donate here for disaster relief.

You can donate the LA County Animal Care Foundation and help save a life. In doing so, you’re helping newly 60,000 animals each year - a number amplified as they are currently working to provide animal sheltering for the #WoosleyFire and #HillFire.
Donate here

In response to a disaster, The Salvation Army works in conjunction with government and non-profit agencies to provide food, personal necessities, and shelter to victims and first responders (i.e. firefighters, police and sheriff's departments). They ensure that the most vulnerable members of our community including the elderly, those with disabilities, and families with children, receive shelter, food, and assistance with rebuilding their lives.
Donate here.

The Humane Society of Ventura County is open for those who have been evacuated and are in need of sanctuary for dogs, cats, horses or other domesticated animals. Fire officials have issued mandatory evacuations for thousands of homes in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties due to The Hill and Woolsley Incidents. For animal evacuation information and assistance please call the shelter at 805-646-6505.
     If you would like to help, they are currently in need of donations to their general fund in order to best serve the animals evacuated from the Hill and Woolsey Fires. 
Donate here.

Aside from the natural disaster, many low-income communities and working individuals are often affected, creating long-term needs to reestablish their lives. United Way of Greater Los Angeles, in partnership with United Way of Ventura County, have created the Disaster Relief Fund to help those impacted by the Hill and Woolsey Fires and other natural disasters in Los Angeles County and other areas of Southern California. Donate online or text UWVC to 41444 to help.
Donate here

Join the community of 900+ hosts who have opened their homes to evacuees for free around the Hill and Woolsey Fires - Ventura County. If you have available housing in the area indicated on the map, please consider making your home available for displaced neighbors or relief workers.
Learn more here.

___ ___ ___


If you're looking to help out with the fires in Northern California, our friends at DoTheBay have a guide for that right here.
___ ___ ___


As the disaster continues to evolve, the Red Cross will assess how community volunteers can best support the operation. You can sign up here to help.

Caring Choices is currently accepting and processing applications for medical volunteers. They are also in need N95 respirator masks to provide our volunteers upon deployment. You can donate masks to our Chico office: 1398 Ridgewood Dr, Chico, CA 95973. You can also send monetary donations to the fire efforts by mailing a check or donation online here.
Volunteer here.


next category...


Topanga Banjo•Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival
(the festival venue of 24 years was destroyed in the fires; they'll need lots of help to relocate and continue)

Grand Vision Foundation
(Warner Grand, Grand Annex, San Pedro)

Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum
(Topanga Canyon, with many events & arts ed programs)

The Broad Stage (Santa Monica)
(Music, theatre, arts education & community programs)

Grammy Museum, L.A.

The Music Center, downtown L.A.

Muckenthaler Cultural Center
(Fullerton, museum, performance venue, arts classes)

Scottish Fiddlers of California
Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles
(both provide workshops and educ programs)

Northwest Folklife, huge Seattle-based free festival

Folk Alley
(24/7 multichannel online streaming Folk-Americana radio)

Pacific Symphony
(OC based, with solid youth programs)

Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Pasadena

Levitt Foundation
(operates a free outdoor concert series at 10 venues across the US, including L.A. & Pasadena)

Pasadena Symphony and Pops
(performances indoors & out, and education)


next category...


(all these have good, solid track records)

Food & Water Watch 

California League of Conservation Voters
(they're asking you to donate to fire relief charities! And they are themselves a good charity)


Ocean Conservancy

World Wildlife Fund
("Every dollar will make a difference for vulnerable wildlife and nature around the world.")

The Trust for Public Land

National Parks Foundation
(protects what the gov't doesn't)

Earth Justice
("Because the Earth needs a good lawyer")

Rainforest Action Network

RootsAction Education Fund

Sierra Club (you can designate the Angeles Chapter)


Environmental Defense Fund


next category...


Just Foreign Policy
(strong advocates for equitable US policy based on peace and justice, not emotion and national ego)

California Common Cause
(Nonpartisan political reform; part of the nat'l organization)

Wolf-PAC National
(working to fix our broken campaign finance system)

American Promise
(Working for 28th Amendment to get money out of politics)

California Clean Money Campaign
(Working to get money, esp. "Dark Money," out of politics)

Corporate Accountability
(stops transnational corporations from devastating democracy, trampling human rights, and destroying our planet)

(a community of people around the world committed to curbing the growing power of corporations)

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
(AIDS is still a crisis, and the US administration is trying to de-fund our part of the $4 billion spent annually by the Fund on local experts and their work)

Equal Means Equal
(Working to ratify the original Equal Rights Amendment)

Americans for Tax Fairness
(working to undo the Trump-GOP tax scam that is now threatening vital services like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and education)

Everytown for Gun Safety (includes Moms Against Gun Violence)

Avaaz (47-million-person global campaign network for peace & justice)

Our Revolution
(Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, a $15 minimum wage)

John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
(Boston-based, with the richest offerings of public seminars and forums of any of the Presidential libraries)

RootsAction Education Fund
(supports human rights, social justice, environmental protection, press freedom, alternatives to war)

Betty's Foundation
(L.A.-based foundation that uses live music to help Alzheimer's patients)
Check out their key annual event at:

The Betty Effect
(NYC-based, empowers girls & women worldwide, including "LGBTQ+ people")


next category...


L.A. Progressive
(The only local daily progressive political forum; online)

The Progressive
(Madison, WI-based essential journalism)

The Nation Magazine
(Reports on Medicare for All, the fight for $15, student loan forgiveness, other non-mainstream news)

TYT, The Young Turks
(Cenk Uygur's daily online webcast, independent news & views)

("evidence-based journalism")

CounterPunch Magazine & radio, online
(25 years of meaningful muckracking)

(L.A.-based ezine of American folk music & crafts, mixed with lots of world music)


next category...


Battleship Iowa
(docked as a museum, with many programs, in San Pedro)

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Art Deco Society of Los Angeles
(actively involved in architectural preservation while hosting many events with period attire & music)

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation
(politics aside, supports major exhibitions at the Pres. Library & Museum in Simi, like the current "Pompeii," and last year's "Titanic")


next category...


Save-a-Life Pet Rescue and Adoptions
(Mojave, CA-based no-kill animal shelter)

AND, there's always YOUR local "Friends of the Library"
(raises funds to put new books on the shelves)


# 3 news feature...

Your Gift of Participation -- NOT your money, but ONE LATE AFTERNOON of your time and talent...

37th Annual Old-Fashioned L.A. Holiday Caroling Festivities -- THIS Sunday, Dec 2

Every year, the Guide supports this effort to bring holiday cheer to shut-ins. Founder Vincent Leinen starts in L.A., then hits the road to make this a national event, one community at a time between December 2nd and December 24th. 

Vincent has invited the Guide to invite YOU to take part, together with music and show biz celebrities, professional studio musicians, opera vocalists, and ordinary folks who experience the simultaneous thrill of humility, grace, and excitement to have such a grateful audience.

Thus, we extend a special invitation to support, promote, and participate in at the 37th Annual Los Angeles Holiday Caroling Festivities on Sunday, December 2rd, 2018 at three senior care centers located in the West San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. Perform 4 pm-7:30 pm -- on a modular schedule -- you may arrive / depart at your discretion, but you'll probably want to stay for all of it.

Immediately following the caroling, participants are invited to socialize and dine at HomeTown Buffet Restaurant (VanOwen/Fallbrook) in Canoga Park (7:30 pm-9:30 pm). Vincent has discount tix for you, because their management supports what we do.
The festivities include multiple performances at senior care centers. Some are scheduled at concurrent time slots, because that allows us to provide entertainment (happiness and healing) to more needy senior residents and their caregivers.

To balance out the large talent pool and maximize your impact on the senior residents and care givers this has a tradition of forming two separate Holiday Caroling Presentation Teams. Both teams get together afterward at the dinner.

Just call Vincent (number below) to get registered. Tell him if you play an instrument and know the chords for some carols or if you just want to sing; you'll learn which of the two teams needs you most, and receive the link for the map of your team's exact route (with driving directions) charted out by time & location. (That map can be very handy during your whirlwind performance schedule.)

Call Vincent at 818-342-9336 or C 818-429-1563.

All the details are at: 
This is produced in collaboration with "Giving Music-A Music Charity," with details at:

The Guide's editor and our writers have been privileged to perform with Grammy winners and nominees and music's elite over the years we have taken part.

Come out, join in, bring joy to folks who probably wouldn't have it without you, and meet your fellow performers at the dinner gathering. It's the finest way we know to get yourself in a true holiday spirit!


That's all for this edition. Stay tuneful!


We'll be back again soon with music news and more "News of the Non-Trumpcentric Universe." (c)



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...


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Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks.

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♪ 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. That includes 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 (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, 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 swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The cyber porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.