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Friday, November 29, 2019

Turning "Black Friday" & "Cyber Monday" GREEN. Special edition, Friday Nov 29 2019

Late addition -- just one important observational comment:

Friday's global STRIKE FOR CLIMATE / EXTINCTION REBELLION protests got ZERO coverage on US corporate media broadcast / cable outlets -- until Saturday, after they were OVER. What more do you need to know about who controls what gets past the news filters of the parent corporations?

(Following is the full edition as originally published.)

Granted, 'purt near every environmental organization -- from global ones with very inclusive agendas, to local ones with a specific focus of habitat, range, ecosystem, or species preservation -- are succumbing in some small way today to the far larger mania of today's corpieate media singularity: the "buy-it-now, extended-through-tomorrow-just-for-you," overhyped mania of manipulation to "save money" (on junk you wouldn't buy otherwise) in the orgy of resource-consumptive capitalistic orgasm that is "Black Friday."

But not quite all. We begin with what's happening today, and being ignored by corporate media: the 4th global STRIKE FOR CLIMATE / EXTINCTION REBELLION protests.  They don't want your money. They want your participation and your voice as an informed advocate for saving all of us.

It's not just that "Black Friday" keeps the world in needless debt to the banksters. It's a far bigger issue of resource depletion, and the conflicts, exploited populations, and actual open wars that are fought over control of scarce or manipulated resources. Most recently, the biggest ones are the "rare earth minerals" needed for microprocessors in celphonery and cyber gaming.

We bring you details and links in a moment.

First, this quickie: for those who want to enjoy the charming side-effect of global climate chaos -- the earlier-than-ever-before-and-freakishly-rare-anytime SNOW IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, we have added several events today through Sunday that let you do that, and most of 'em are free. They're all in the updates in our End-of-November Events Edition. (Hey, even a "Bomb Cyclone" with 40-foot waves clobbering the coast, and 100-mph winds tearing-off roofs, can accidentally deliver something good.)

Today is also "FIND YOUR PARK FRIDAY," an annual alternative to the "Black Friday" sharp elbows/gouging/tug-of-war stupidity of retail shark-feeding frenzy. Your National Parks and Nat'l Monuments, together with many state parks across the nation, and even regional, county, city, and municipal parks, all take part, with many providing special events and ranger programs, today-only or through this weekend.

The Trust for Public Land has a parallel theme with #OptOutside today. Speaking to each individual, they say, "We both know that spending time outdoors in nature improves both our health and our well-being … and that is the heart of the #OptOutside campaign." They "ask you to pledge to enjoy the outdoors — the local parks, green spaces, and treasured landscapes" and include today in your plan to do that.

There are options for birdwatchers, nature hikes, historic interpretation, trail rides, and all kinds o' things to get you outside with nature. It's as far away as you can imagine from Big Box stores and the stress-saturated, indebtedness-incurring pandemonium of overcrowded shopping malls. Or from the airless claustrophobia of websites dangling carrots to make you click credit card numbers, and sticks to flail you with threats of outrageous interest rates when you do.

Just go out and do something real! Get in touch with the planet where you live (before it changes to adjust to all the toxic human activity). Check out the options we include by clicking the hyperlinks. But don't sit indoors all day doing that.

Feature # 1


Very intentionally coinciding with, and as a counter-movement to, "Black Friday," the timing of this latest STRIKE FOR CLIMATE / EXTINCTION REBELLION protest couldn't be a more effective "in your face" message to those who desperately need it. In addition, today's date closely precedes the opening of "COP25," the recently relocated climate conference in Madrid.

Like previous events, it runs two days, a week apart, to comprise the full event.

NOV 29: Over 3400 events (and the number is still growing) are happening for the first day of the strike.

That is almost TWICE as many as in March, when climate protests set records for worldwide gatherings.

DEC 6: Part two of the 4th global strike follows, and that day already has over 2400 events scheduled, including huge ones in Madrid, Stockholm (Rinkeby), Santiago, and New York City.

Feature # 2

Changing climate discourse: reinventing the narrative

☆  Collins Dictionary has named the term “climate strike” as its 2019 "word of the year."

☆  Oxford Dictionaries, just a few weeks later, declared “climate emergency” as its "word of the year" for 2019.

Oxford Dictionaries reported a hundred-fold increase in the usage of “climate emergency” and noted how it demonstrated a “greater immediacy” in the way we talk about the climate compared to more traditional terms. The dictionary’s definition is “a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it.”

Clearly, these terms are dramatically ramping up the sense of urgency for THE existential issue of our time.

Feature # 3

But what about tangible action?

(1)  European banking: Climate activists scored a significant victory when the European Investment Bank (EIB) voted to stop funding fossil fuel energy projects from the end of 2021.

(2)  Sweden sells bonds: Sweden’s central bank recently sold off bonds from Western Australia and Queensland and the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta because it felt that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions coming from these regions were too high.

(3)  Italian schools make curriculum changes: Italy announced that it will make sustainability and climate crisis compulsory subjects for school children.

(4)  UK Labour makes important promises: In the current UK election campaigns, Labour, the chief "opposition party," has pledged they would "delist" any companies from the London Stock Exchange who are not taking adequate measures to tackle the existential threat of climate change to the planet. (That's if Labour beats Boris Johnson, or if Labour can form a governing coalition.)

(5)  US Presidential Primary elections: it begins in just over two months (for the first time, California votes in March with the "Super Tuesday" states). Every Democratic presidential candidate has pledged to reinstate US membership in the Paris Climate Accords, and to make America a global leader in the movement to halt climate change; Sen. Bernie Sanders has, by far, the strongest programmatic commitment.

(5)  #FridaysforFuture, the movement founded by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, has rapidly become a global movement to recognize the climate emergency and demand action. While it began with millions of young people leading school strikes to demand action, it is inclusive of all ages. The movement proclaims, "Everybody is welcome. Everybody is needed!"

Feature # 4

The essential Greta: "and a little child shall lead them."

Here at the Guide, we believe there is no question that TIME MAGAZINE'S "PERSON OF THE YEAR" must be GRETA THUNBERG.

Whether or not that publication can overcome corporate pressure, we aren't waiting to see. The Guide is hereby naming her OUR "Person of the Year."

Greta Thunberg's solitary school strikes for climate awareness, outside the Swedish Parliament every Friday, became the first domino. Her passion and determination overcame her own challenges -- autism and asperger's -- as she drew others to the compelling reality that caused her to take action. She is still unjustly being subjected to ridicule, even though her movement has recruited tens of millions. Greta continues to stand up for scientific truth and to live in accordance with her values, which, unlike those of her critics, are based on frequent dialog with many of the world's leading climate scientists. A diminutive young woman of just 16 years of age, she effectively uses her legal standing as a child to speak for children who want a future on an Earth that isn't drying-up and blowing away. In doing so, she has gained the endorsement of millions of school children and millions more of all ages.

At the moment, Greta has hitched a ride aboard a wind-powered vessel back across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, to attend the latest major global climate conference. Following her powerful address to the United Nations in New York, she will speak at COP25, which was unexpectedly relocated to Madrid.

Greta is sailing aboard the boat "La Vagabonde" with an Australian family and an expert British skipper. This is not a favorable time of the year for a sailboat crossing of the North Atlantic, so we join in the fervent hope that they all arrive safely. The vessel should reach Lisbon, Portugal early in December.

Sign the petition to name Greta as the TIME magazine "Person of the Year," at:


Feature # 5

What do you want your future to look like?

Urgent action is needed to restrain greenhouse gas emissions and keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C.

Climate change deniers fail to tell us they are protecting a fossil fuel industry that receives US$5.2 trillion in annual subsidies – which includes subsidised supply costs, tax breaks and environmental costs. This amounts to 6% of world GDP.

Economists believe we could fix climate change now by spending 1% of world GDP -- perhaps less with cost savings from improved human health and expansion of the global green economy. BUT... if we don’t act now, by 2050 it could cost over 20% of world GDP.

But isn't this something that needs all the developing countries to stop burning coal?

Per capita annual carbon dioxide emissions and cumulative country emissions might surprise you. Fact is, 25% of the human-produced CO₂ in the atmosphere is generated by the U.S., while another 22% is produced by the EU. Africa produces just under 5%. Data from the Global Carbon Project.

Feature # 6

Okay, so what do you expect ME to do?

Simple. Realize it is serious, so you'll be willing to look at the data. Take the very short time required to understand what it says. Then act on it. Change some very simple aspects of your behavior. Support only politicians who "get it" and commit to acting promptly and effectively on it.

Because whatever other ostensibly "political" issues command our passions? Compared to REVERSING climate change, everything else is simply re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Feature # 7

We are at the Crossroads

Self-indulgent "Black Friday" vs Global "Giving Tuesday"

A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to global warming

By Larry Wines

Political orientation may not be a predictor, but this writer is vehemently opposed to the "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" orgies of conspicuous consumption. Though we do support "Small Business Saturday," two days after Thanksgiving. If there is an alignment here, it's with Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, including its Stop Shopping Choir, when it comes to anything remotely resembling "Black Friday."

For starters, 48 million Americans are still in debt from Christmas season holiday spending in 2018, and that's up substantially from 39.4 million Americans a year ago, still indebted from the previous year's Christmas.

Behind the obvious, it's what enables the idiotic fantasy of "constant economic growth." Pursuing it (for the enrichment of the few) comes at devastating costs (to everyone and every species on the planet). As a direct result, the top seven economic nations are nowhere near being able to meet the goals they agreed to in the Paris Accords for this year's maximum carbon emissions. And in the corporate media's reporting of that fact, they continually emphasize "a 1.5 to 2 degree Celsius rise in global temperature" as being "within the goal." 

We keep waiting for someone among them to sound the biggest alarm bell they have, that a rise within those limits merely assures continuation of the climate chaos we see now. 

On November 26, the latest UN report got some traction at CBS News, amidst the pile of also-ran stories.

The package CBS aired skimmed-over the stark facts contained, without much commentary, in their print piece. Yes, they broached the subject, but like other outlets that ignored it altogether, they failed to run, as the lead, the latest aspect of the most important story of our time: the boo-boo doesn't heal and things don't get all-better if we hold global warming to a 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit) temperature increase -- because doing that, we would "merely" need to relocate eighty percent of the human population and entirely change everything we eat if we are to survive that 1.5 to 2 degree C temperature rise.

Instead, corporate media always likes to focus on the parts of U.N. agency reports that says, in the words of CBS citing the latest one, "getting the world back on track to limit the increase to 2.7 degrees (1.5 Celsius) would require a fivefold increase in measures pledged so far." Which quickly defaults to trillions of dollars nobody has, making it readily dismissable. So, predictably, move on to the next story with a smaller sticker shock. And make sure that's not the one about Venice and its art treasures being underwater, so nobody connects things.

CBS isn't especially villainous. Just representative.

Minimizing recognition of actual impacts -- even when they're reported between the hyped stories of celebrity misbehavior or who-wore-what on the red carpet -- facilitates a rapid return to our fantasy comfort zone. It is guaranteed to feed desires the corporatists nurture in each of us: to prove our individual worth in an expression of expensive exercise of conspicuous consumption. The short road is never taken, straight from consumerism to resource depletion and its myriad impacts in environmental degradation, and ultimately, climate change. 

Of course, our society is complicated. Turns out the "yeah, yeah, we reported on it" de facto dismissal is also directly related to how the "panic management" game is played. 

The Big Media that serves corporate masters -- which is damn near the entire industry -- can't let the masses grasp the idea that our overconsumptive civilization's addiction to shiny baubles is directly courting collapse, with ice melt, drought, twelve-month fire seasons, deforestation, loss of critical habitat and ecosystem collapse, killer storms everywhere, coastal storm surge and coastal inundation, sea level rise, ground water depletion, water ruination from fracking, and collapsing productivity of climate-impacted farms and fisheries. 

Because if they did allow that combined juggernaut of existential realities to take hold, they wouldn't be able to strike-up the band for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and (a) keep luring us into addictively buying resource-consumptive stuff we don't need, and (b) manage our panic away from the next great extinction, while simultaneously and profitably maintaining ratings for the talking-head drama-queens of impeachment punditry.

An old folk song advocated "Blow up your tv, throw away the paper, move to the country, build you a home." As if any of us could afford that, with the cost of gas for the commute. Even if we still think of fossil fuels in terms of acquisition costs instead of "use" costs. Nevertheless, like you, we are more than ready to do some good where we can.

Accordingly, we very much DO support "Giving Tuesday," held annually the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year, that's December 3, 2019 -- the day after the lunacy of "Cyber Monday." 

Tuesday's celebration of altruism runs for 24 hours and begins at midnight local time, wherever you are. It is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world through tangible expressions on that one day, December 3, and by extension, every day. 

It's also a good place to take account and commit to giving of your time and talents, signing-up to volunteer during the holidays or the year ahead. In that sense, it may be the last shred of what Franklin Roosevelt envisioned in his presidential proclamation of Thanksgiving as a permanent holiday.

"Giving Tuesday" was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good.

Each year -- and growing in participants by leaps and bounds -- nonprofits, causes for activism, organizations that fund protection of wild lands or historic sites, or that acquire lands to preserve habitats for threatened species, are ALL benefactors of what ordinary people do, as individuals, on this special day. 

Homeless people can get blankets and warm clothes, the hungry can get food, and old people can do better than putting canned cat food on their own menus. Poor people can get access to legal help. A kaleidoscope of possibilities is empowered, because each of us responds thoughtfully and compassionately to the message sounded for this day. 

You, me, the crabby neighbors with the toxic politics, together with small businesses, brands, schools, and the inevitable religious organizations -- in your neighborhood, and all over the planet -- can celebrate this as a global day of giving and make a difference in the world. As in, "BE the change you want to see." Which Gandhi never actually said, but we can.

Many reputable charities and activist movements arrange for matching donors or offer special "thank you" recognitions on Giving Tuesday. So if your inbox isn't already bulging at the seems with appeals from them? Then fulfill your inner need to give back (or to pay it forward) by picking something you know you can support, and send 'em a few bucks. Before you blow it all on plastic Christmas crap from some sweatshop in China, and still have the bill on your credit card a year from now.

Feature # 8

for Extinction Rebellion protesters

"THE FIVE CORRUPT PILLARS OF CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL" (Nov 28, 2019) by Mark Maslin, UCL, concisely tells how to identify and understand different types of denial: scientific, economic, humanitarian, political and crisis. The fossil fuel industry, political lobbyists, media moguls and individuals have spent the past 30 years sowing doubt about the reality of climate change - where none exists. The latest estimate is that the world’s five largest publicly-owned oil and gas companies spend about US$200 million a year on lobbying to control, delay or block binding climate policy. "... lobbying has changed, now employing more subtle and more vicious approaches – what has been termed as “climate sadism”. It is used to mock young people going on climate protests and to ridicule Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old young woman with Asperger’s, who is simply telling the scientific truth." Don’t let the naysayers drown you out, when science and the facts -- and understanding propaganda -- give you all the advantage you need.

"A PSYCHOTHERAPIST EXPLAINS WHY SOME ADULTS ARE REACTING BADLY TO YOUNG CLIMATE STRIKERS" (Oct 11, 2019) by Caroline Hickman, University of Bath. "In her UN speech, Thunberg challenged adults the world over to care about the climate crisis. She spoke of the shattered dreams and despair that her generation bears. She also recast inaction as a conscious choice. 'If you choose to fail us, we will never forgive you,' she said. By making this choice conscious, she left older generations with no more excuses. That challenge was always going to hurt and provoke a backlash. When adults are challenged to behave like adults, by a child, they can go in one of two directions. One is simply to grow up. The other, is to defend themselves."

"CLIMATE REFUGEES: WHY WE CAN’T YET PREDICT WHERE MILLIONS OF DISPLACED PEOPLE WILL GO" (Nov 28, 2019) by Derek Groen, Brunel University London; Diana Suleimenova, Brunel University London. Beware those who say it is a solved problem. Forcibly displaced people are usually fleeing from unexpected and disruptive events. The data upon which the machine learning algorithms are “trained” is incomplete, biased or often non-existent. 

"THE CLIMATE CRISIS HAS ARRIVED – SO STOP FEELING GUILTY AND START IMAGINING YOUR FUTURE" (Feb 7, 2019) by Matthew Adams, University of Brighton. "...devastating impacts of anthropogenic climate change are stacking up, and it is becoming horrifyingly real. There can be no doubt that the climate crisis has arrived. [Yet] Numerous psychological perspectives suggest that if we have already invested energy in denying the reality of a situation we experience as profoundly troubling, the closer it gets, the more effort we put into denying it."

"THE U.S. SPENDS MORE ON ITS MILITARY THAN 144 COUNTRIES COMBINED" (Jul 18, 2019) by Robert Artiga-Valencia. US vs world military spending -- chart and fact-filled short article. "$121.1 billion. That’s how much more money the United States spends on its military than 144 other countries combined, according to the latest update to available data on military expenditures compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). That’s not to mention the number by which the United States also outspends the next 7 largest military budgets combined: $40.1 billion. Both these numbers are stark increases from last year’s differences."

"GIVING THANKS MAY MAKE YOUR BRAIN MORE ALTRUISTIC -- Neuroscience is revealing a fascinating link between gratitude and generosity" (Nov 27, 2019) by Sigal Samuel.

Each of these was carefully chosen and is enthusiastically recommended to you.

Hey, just because we have a Commander-in-Tweet who doesn't read (anything), that's no excuse to copy him, y'know.


Our previous edition has more news features. Those are...

□  "Bebe can't meet Rico, but Trump could."
We wrote back in March 2018 of all the ways that Israeli Prime minister Benjamin "Bebe" Netanyahu was Trump's prototype. Now Bebe has been indicted -- for fraud, bribery, and breach of trust.

□  "Life Imitating Art, Imitating Life."
A "Simpsons" writer says Republicans in the House are using "the Sideshow Bob defense." Doh.

□  "How intransigence will bring unprecedented Presidential power."
Presidential power in America keeps expanding -- especially when a partisan Congress keeps surrendering its Constitutional responsibilities.

  Plus a fun Nov 24th photo feature story on the counter-culture cause celebre that is THE DOODAH PARADE.
THAT EDITION also has all the latest music and other arts and entertainment events, substantially updated on an ongoing basis (until a wholly new edition comes along). 

All that is just a click away, here.


As always, we have lots of MUSIC NEWS features in the works, and they'll be along as we get them dressed, shoes tied, cowlicks combed down, bowties cranked straight, and strings tuned.

'Til we catch ya on the flip side...
as Buford the Wonder Dog looks on 
and in our best Kathy Baker
"Hee Haw" voice: "THAT's all!"
Stay tuneful!

On to the necessary boilerplate...

Boilerplate? What "boilerplate"? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...

Alright already, it's right down there...



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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.

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

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