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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Leap Day weekend, leaping into Coronavirus, and all that's out there. Sat Feb 29 2020 edition

Whoa up, thar', pard! While You'll find good stuff here, this is NO LONGER THE LATEST edition.

ON (what was then the impending) CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

California & L.A. County Election results / real-time counts in progress -- scroll to see every election, including all local elections, and every ballot measure:

The Guide's info and endorsements for "Super Tuesday" have been moved. They are with the event listings for that day, in the events section below.

Events last UPDATED: Thursday, March 5th, 8:45 am.

Coronavirus PRACTICAL PRECAUTIONS (good for avoiding the "regular" flu & colds, too) have been UPDATED -- at the end of our feature story -- scroll down to it.

Related late addition:

"Influenza 1918," an episode of the series "American Experience," which debuted in 2028, is airing on select PBS stations this coming week, starting Monday, March 9. You can watch online ON-DEMAND now.

The link also features articles on scientific tracking, a timeline of the pandemic across America, a teacher's guide, a video interview with the author of the definitive book, and more. Watch the show and check out those added features, at:


(Here are the original opening lines in the February 29th edition)

This "Leap Weekend's" events are greatly updated.

Same for our presentation of continuing / ongoing events.

First, some quick motivation for this coming Tuesday, a bit o' news, and...

Our major feature story on the coming MUSIC FESTIVAL season in light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Let's get started.


Things are just Bissextile

Today makes things bissextile, pronounced "bi-SEKS-tile." And that condition lasts all year. The word is an adjective, and it's been around a very long time, since the 16th century.

Whatever you think it means, its actual meaning is "a year having a February 29th. A leap year."

Examples of Bissextile in a sentence, courtesy of Word Genius:

"Since he was born in a bissextile year, his mother joked that he got his driver’s license when he was 4 years old."

"Embrace the bissextile day every four years, and do something fun and out of the ordinary."

Anyone born on Leap Day is obviously bissextile. So is everyone born on any day during a leap year. So you probably know a lot of bissextiles who don't even know they're bissextile. We live in confusing times.


Today is the South Carolina Primary 

Four percent (4%) of the delegates were set before Palmetto State voters headed to the polls Saturday. Only a few more will be decided by what they do, so you don't need to wait with bated breath Saturday night.

But... this coming Tuesday is "Super Tuesday," and for the first time ever, it includes the biggest prize of all -- California, the state with the most delegates.

By the end of March, That measely 4% will be a full TWO-THIRDS (2/3) of the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination for president.

We encourage you to focus on, and TO VOTE on TUESDAY -- Super Tuesday -- when 38% of delegates will be determined in just that ONE day. 

After an insanely long year of contentions claims and counter-claims, villainizations and recriminations, fear-mongering, and still, some real hope for a better life on a planet that, with conscientious stewardship, just might offer us all a future worth having -- at long last, EVERYTHING happening now in American polics MATTERS.


Homeless children

A report on school-age children who are homelessness in Los Angeles ran Thursday on "CBS This Morning," and is available on-demand at

Among the facts it presents are these:

*  There has been a 65% increase in rent in the past ten years in L.A. and THAT is the primary driver of homelessness in Southern California

17,000 children attending school in the Los Angeles Unified School District are "officially" homeless, but LAUSD believes the true number is probably twice that.

85% of students in the massive, sprawling school district live in poverty.

*  With increasing homelessness, many kids attending schools are growing-up in fleabag motels, yet many of them are making it onto the academic honor roll.

*  The story finds inspiration amidst a tableau of crushing poverty and struggle that seems to get worse daily in terms of numbers, as basic costs of living in the region rise faster than opportunities to earn more money.

Still, finding durable solutions remains the only way out of this national disgrace.


Black History Month 

February 29th finale, part one

All month long, The Guide has brought you features (almost daily) in observance of Black History Month, usually connected to our celebration of artists and other influencers, living and dead, born that day. Today, we close that series with remembrances of two remarkable individuals. We begin by remembering someone who left us this past week.

We are remembering the real "Hidden Figures" star, Katherine Johnson, the black woman mathematician who assured NASA's astronauts of the '60s could return from space. She died Wednesday at the age of 101. She had been honored in 2015 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, bestowed on her by President Obama.

NASA paid tribute to her work in a quick video, and we share that, here.

Black History Month, February 29th finale, part 2

The finale in our series comes to us from Garrison Keillor, fondly remembered as the creator and host of radio's "A Prairie Home Companion."

He writes:

On this date in 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Academy Award. White Hollywood had not been a welcoming place for black actors; in the early 1900s, when silent film was still in its infancy, most African-American parts had been played by white actors in blackface. The trade unions were closed to African-American directors, writers, cinematographers, and editors. There were black filmmakers working in the movies, but they worked in separate production companies, producing what were called “race pictures”: movies with an all-black cast and crew.

Occasionally, an established and respected African-American actor could find a role in a studio picture, but only as a maid, cook, nanny, or butler. They were expected to speak in “Negro dialect,” and if they didn’t know how, a white dialogue coach was brought in to teach them. In the 1920s, the first black actor to establish himself in white cinema was the former vaudevillian and tap dancer “Stepin Fetchit,” whose real name was Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry. Stepin Fetchit played into the most deeply entrenched stereotypes of the black American as simple-minded, lazy, and ingratiating. He was the first black actor to receive screen credit, and the first black actor to become a millionaire, but the African-American community had mixed feelings about his success.

Hattie McDaniel, an accomplished actor and comedian, was cast in the role of Scarlett O’Hara’s kerchief-wearing “Mammy” in Gone With the Wind (1939). She had already been typecast as a sassy black servant, and many members of the black community in the 1930s criticized her for continuing to take the roles, but she responded by saying she’d rather play a maid than be one. She first worked with Clark Gable in 1935’s China Seas and they became friends. He recommended her for the role of Mammy, and when she was prohibited from attending the Atlanta premiere of Gone With the Wind because of Georgia’s segregation laws, Gable angrily threatened to boycott the premiere as well. And at the Academy Awards ceremony, McDaniel and her escort were seated far from her castmates at a segregated table.

~ Garrison Keillor, in "The Writer's Almanac" (


LATE BREAKING NEWS, Friday, March 6, 4 pm Pacific time: SXSW CANCELLED. Austin, Texas had cancelled the 2020 South By Southwest Festivals and Conference due to concerns over the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The related events draw over 400,000 people per year from throughout the world. Local officials and event producers believe the risk to area residents and visitors alike cannot be justified given the rapid rate of spread and absence of effective treatment drugs.

Our detailed story, published Saturday, March 1st, continues to be one of the best far-ranging investigative evaluations of what to expect, and what to do to protect yourself.

Feature story... written in February, with a few noted updates on March 2nd...

Will 2020's music festivals be cancelled?

With only 67 -- now 89 confirmed US cases and 2 US deaths as of Monday morning, March 2 --  Coronavirus runs rampant through cultural consciousness

Music festivals are a global phenomenon. This image from Neversea in Romania easily duplicates hundreds of scenes in the US. The confetti falling like rain is an analog for anything else in the air.
by Lawrence Wines

In Switzerland, gatherings of more than a thousand people have been banned, as of Thursday. That immediately shut-down a huge annual auto show, due to get underway in the alpine nation.

Friday, the Iranians became the first government in the world to shut itself down in an effort to stop contagion, suspending meetings of their parliament. That, even as the BBC reported Iranian censorship to prevent public panic. The Islamic Republic admits to 40 deaths. The Beeb says the mullahs are covering-up an actual death toll of 210.

In Japan, all elementary, junior high, and high schools have been shut-down and students furloughed until April. At least some US school districts are quietly preparing to do the same thing.

Japan is an acute case. It's in a national state of crisis because it is host nation for the Summer Olympic games in Tokyo. So, billions spent on new facilities, related infrastructure, and preparations cannot be reclaimed if The Games are cancelled. An ominous air hangs over Tokyo Saturday as 38,000 runners due to compete in this weekend's Tokyo Marathon were scaled-back to just a few hundred of the world's elite, plus a small number of competitors in the wheelchair marathon.

All these things are due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. It is a new strain of respiratory flu, one that is particularly virulent because, being a new product of microbiological evolution, no one has any immunity. In less than a month, it has spread beyond Asia faster than governments expected.

Deforestation in Asia likely caused the Coronavirus outbreak, as COVID-19 was transmitted to humans from bats made homeless by the greedy disregard of man. To paraphrase an old tv commercial, It's not nice to f*** with Mother Nature. And to quote "Jurassic Park," "Life finds a way." And life is more than humans continuing to alter everything.

Thus, quarantines, inspections, health checks, strandings in airports and aboard cruise ships, and fear-driven protests of arriving evacuees from anyplace the virus is present, all dominated the news all week. By Friday, that had shifted to reports of deserted shopping malls and commercial districts in China and Japan, and new ways to order food without a human server handling anything (no hands-on handling where you can see it, anyway).

Friday, an artist friend messaged us:

"friends going to Italy on a 10 day trip including rt airfare, hotel stay, some meals as well as guided tour, all complete, for $1600. Trip to Italy cancelled due to Coronavirus."

What's hype, what's real

As of Saturday morning, there are 67 cases of Coronavirus in the US, though a White House briefing Saturday said the number was 22 cases. With the White House in the act, contradicting experts from the federal government's own agencies, fact checks are especially vital. First, Coronavirus isn't political hype, and isn't necessarily deadly.  At least nine US patients have recovered: four in California, two in Illinois, one in Washington, one in Arizona, and one in Wisconsin.

Still, nobody is mentioning that 125 children have died in the US this season (so far), killed by the "ordinary" annual influenza.

But you need the whole picture. Globally, more than 84,000 people have been sickened in 45 countries and at least 2,912 have died from the coronavirus since the start of January, 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and figures from state government leaders and health officials.
An electron microscope image shows the novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, aka COVID-19, emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. Courtesy NIAID-RML
In China, where Coronavirus was first detected, the central government wants to avoid a repeat of its loss of credibility during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Chinese officials in Beijing have warned officials in the provinces not to cover-up the spread of the virus. The South China Morning Post cites Beijing proclaiming anyone who withheld information would be "the sinner of a millennium to the party and the people" and would be "nailed on the pillar of shame for eternity."

That declaration and overt warning is a welcome change from the shell game the Chinese were playing early on.

No similar proclamation came in the US, where the Commander-in-Tweet repeatedly played-down the threat, contradicted the experts, and attempted to claim his opponents were exploiting the virus to politicize it. His inner circle minions included his son, "...Junior," claiming "The other party, the socialists, want this to come here where they hope it kills millions of people to stop this president who keeps winning."

There simply is no room to accomodate the ego needs of any government's leader, especially one who refuses to lead.

The modern response is, of course, direct action. There, the practical certainly mingles with characterizing things to draw a bigger crowd. As is the case with an online petition to "Transfer money from Trump's racist wall to fight coronavirus."

But what of the threat that's driving the panic? Is it justified? Is it even real? Could COVID-19 kill us all?

"In eight million years of human evolution, our genome has changed very little, and slowly. This virus changes in a day," observed Dr. David Agus on Friday's "CBS This Morning."

He was citing basic biology. Natural selection means the best-adapted survive. Even with viruses. Science knows that unkillable viruses can be an outcome of our runaway use of antibiotics and hand sanitizers that cause nature to respond with heartier adaptations. That can mean evermore resistant disease-causing organisms. 

We know that's true with unkillable things like MERSA, the modern plague of hospitals. 

And when it comes to anything that reproduces rapidly -- like a single-cell, simple, microscopic life-form, it actually can change an entire ecosystem. It's not much different from the oft-cited case of mosquitoes being wiped-out by DDT. Except not all of them die. So the survivors pass-along their natural resistance to their offspring, and so on, through each rapidly reproducing generation of mosquitoes getting hit with more and stronger DDT. Until pretty soon, applications of DDT that would kill us, wouldn't kill them. (But it made bird eggshells fragile, and we almost lost the Bald Eagle, our national symbol.)

Back to Dr. Agus. Asked whether everyone should routinely wear surgical masks, he replied, "I don't believe that everyone routinely wearing a mask to avoid catching something is necessary, and without training it probably doesn't do any good, anyway." 

But he did opine, "It is part of Asian culture to wear a mask when you're sick, to protect others." 

He didn't specifically add what others have, that it's likely the custom of sick people wearing masks in Asia is already restricting the rate of spread. We learned on further inquiry, w
earing masks everywhere is not a good idea, because you'll quickly contaminate the thing and then breathe microorganisms up-close and personal. (Think of the ads selling stuff to decontaminate a home C-PAP machine.)

Get used to new terminology

What you'll hear routinely, from now until the world emerges from this, are terms that are wholly new to the popular lexicon: "community spread," "vectors of transmission," and "contact tracing." The last two refer to the detective work of finding who infected whom, and how. That's important to track-down persons who can spread a disease to others, and stop an epidemic from becoming a pandemic. 

The first term, "community spread," is more nebulous and more ominous. It seeks, more essentially, to predict outbreaks by marking numbers and locations of known and new cases of infection. That allows doctors and epidemiologists to document the extent of the disease -- because in a pandemic, that becomes more important than finding at-risk individuals. It replaces concern for treating individual cases with concern for society. It quickly becomes the most important way to prepare hospitals that are about to be clobbered.

These terms will be joined by more as scientists replace bloviating politicians in media coverage. All of us will be using them the way we rattle-off terms we've known all our lives. Humans are culturally and linguistically adaptable -- even if disease-causing organisms adapt, biologically, far faster than we do, we adapt to shorthand ways of talking about what befalls us.

The great influenza pandemic

One-hundred-two years ago, the Influenza Epidemic of 1918 killed 675,000 people in the US alone. Variously called the "Swine Flu" or "Spanish Flu," it was an H1N1 virus that struck in the midst of World War I, lasted from January 1918 to December 1920, and was the last true global pandemic.

"Influenza 1918," an episode of the series "American Experience," which debuted in 2028, is airing on select PBS stations this coming week, starting Monday, March 9. You can watch online ON-DEMAND now.

The link also features articles on scientific tracking, a timeline of the pandemic across America, a teacher's guide, a video interview with the author of the definitive book, and more. Watch the show and check out those added features, at:


Chart is an historical record  from 1918, showing influenza pandemic deaths
in major cities peaked in October and November of that year. Wikimedia image.
Wartime censorship and attempts at propaganda to blame outbreaks on "the enemy" took energy away from helping victims and stopping outbreaks. Still, the 1918 flu pandemic is responsible for creating the modern science of epidemiology. And history allows us to see some of the political and propaganda obstacles faced then, by those early researchers in the midst of war. 

Moreover, it lets us see the return of those diversions, distractions, and obfuscations, in the midst of political craziness that has institutions making declarations to protect no one except inept, self-agrandizing leaders who claim those demanding careful response are "politicizing it."

Soldiers ill in the 1918 Influenza pandemic were taken from Fort Riley, Kansas to a hospital ward at Camp Funston. Travel to isolation wards spread the disease. Wikimedia image.
If you don't like that last statement, consider the rest of the statistics: The 1918 pandemic  infected 500 million people around the world, or about 27% of the then world population of between 1.8 and 1.9 billion, including people on isolated Pacific islands and in the Arctic. The global death toll is estimated to have been 40 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history.

Of course, today's science is better, and Big Pharma can patent anything it makes, assuring itself of billions in profit from anything it can overcharge for. (Just remember the 5,000% price increase for the Epi-pen when an especially greedy jerk bought the company.) And of course, there is a science-denying US president who publicly said of Coronavirus fears, and in a voice like an adult affects when reading a child a fairy tale, "One day it will be gone from our shores, like a miracle."

Music Festivals are on the horizon: will they happen?

America's biggest music festivals each draw upwards of 40,000 concert goers, with combined totals in the millions. Festival season starts this spring, now less than a month away.

The Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, just hosted the 33rd annual "SOUTHWEST ARTS FESTIVAL ®," in January. But that is only a moderate start to what's held there. The massive "COACHELLA MUSIC FESTIVAL" has grown to two weekends on the sprawling site with seven performance venues, and each weekend costs upwards of $400 to attend. With some of that infrastructure left up, the Polo grounds then hosts "STAGECOACH," a massive, five-stage festival that puts thudding and electrified Nashville pop-country on the two main stages, and the top acts that perform trad and alt country, honky-tonk, Americana, Folk-Americana, and some legendary bluegrass acts -- including top stars -- on its three "B" stages.

Along the way, there are other annual Southern California music festivals that have invested in renting sites, hiring sound companies, paying bands, and contracting for everything from security fencing to security guards to portapotties. These festivals include next weekend's "HIGHLAND PARK FOLK FESTIVAL" on March 7th and the 50th Anniversary "LAGUNA FOLK DANCE FEST" March 6-8; the "RED BARAAT FESTIVAL OF COLORS" at UC San Diego March 12th; the multistage "SANTA CLARITA COWBOY FESTIVAL" in April; the three giant weekends in Indio; and multiple festivals every weekend from late April through late June. That's just Southern California for the next six weeks. Multiply that by about two-hundred for the rest of America.

The "SIMI CAJUN AND BLUES FESTIVAL" had announced a year ago that it would skip 2020, in a decision that now seems prescient. That kicks the start of the Cajun festival circuit into early May, with "GATOR BY THE BAY" in San Diego becoming 2020's de facto lead-off zydeco, blues music, and crawfish fest on the West Coast.

Otherwise, no other cancellations of annual festivals have been announced as of February 29th. But things are developing rapidly.

Response, and questions of bungling

Friday morning, the World Health organization (WHO) raised its risk assessment of a Coronavirus pandemic to "Very High," which is the U.N. organization's highest level.

One day earlier, a US company that makes surgical masks announced it is going from one shift / five days a week, to 24-hours-a-day / six days a week.

As of Friday morning, 40 labs could test for the Coronavirus. By Monday, that number will expand to 93 labs.

Against a backdrop of global and business sector response, we are seeing a collision of socisl and political rhetoric with medical and biological science. Isolationist "America first" ideology has collided with the reality of a constantly interacting, free-flowing -- and therefore filled with chaotic movement -- global economy. 

If that observation offends somebody's politics, they need to explain something: why a statistically insignificant 67 cases of COVID-19 infection in the US has financial markets, retailers, food distributors, schools, hospitals, clinics, and large public gatherings, all poised to stampede toward panic. Because if isolationist "me, first" reasoning works, no one should have any need to protect themselves from exposure to a coronavirus that is spread by economically chaotic global interaction.

In fact, a pandemic can take hold easier with a population in denial, especially one already committed to science-denial. Just ask the religiosos who ruled Europe during The Plague.

In fact, early inept procedures likely let the genie out of the bottle

You can add the US to the short list of places where that has happened. There is clear evidence that intolerant politics substituted a cult of avowed loyalty for competence. It developed that passengers evacuated from cruise ships in Asia were flown to more, supposedly better, quarantines in their home countries -- Japan, and two US military bases in California.

A whistleblower within the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), who saw what happened at the US receiving bases, cites failure of containment procedures due to unequipped, untrained personnel being assigned. 

The whistleblower reports the HHS teams and military personnel completed tasks that involved close contact with people already sick with the virus, and they did so without wearing proper protective gear or properly enacting containment protocols. Those response teams were then sent on their way to other military posts or their home communities -- boarding commercial airliners to get where they were going.

Los Angeles International Airport had already been through an announced "disinfecting of the entire airport" because an airline passenger tested positive after using the airport. Public skepticism is rampant that an entire airport even can be disinfected.

Thursday brought the first victim in the US whose vector of contagion could not be determined -- and that victim, in Davis, California, is just a few miles from Travis Air Force Base, where quarantined persons arrived and were processed by HHS, including persons testing positive for the virus. 

By midday Friday, a second victim in California was in quarantined care. 

By Saturday morning, there were two more -- one each in Oregon and Washington, all with no apparent contact with a known source of infection. Then word arrived the patient in Washington was dead.

An obvious question is why HHS -- Health and Human Services -- was ever sent as First Responders. The array of federal agencies suffering from "austerity" (lack of proper funding, compromising their purposes) is also inclusive of the CDC-- the Center for Disease Control -- which was established specifically to save us from pandemics. 

But CDC often angers religious fundamentalists because its publications frequently reference the evolution of disease-causing organisms. And other conservatives hate CDC because it keeps trying to study mass shootings as a societal disease.

In fact, the Trump administration fired the epidemiological team that was in place when it arrived, and in the two years since, it has never hired replacements. We're not talking about qualified replacements -- an area of concern with many of this administration's picks for jobs that require specific knowledge, skill sets and competencies. The Trump administration never hired ANYBODY to fill the most important jobs in America that exist to protect the human population from pandemic disease.

Yet, pointing that out, or asking why it has persisted, brings only a reactionary tirade about "politicizing a disease" and a quick reference that "Vice President Mike Pence is now in charge of Coronavirus." That's the same Mike Pence who is a leading science-denier, and who once advocated "praying-away the gay" as a way to solve what he cited as one of society's biggest problems.

Americans short-attention-span is itself a pandemic disease. It is child's play for rich interests to manipulate for whatever purpose they want, and it works hand in glove with susceptibility to liking whatever clever ad you saw last. That explains how Mike Bloomberg can ascend in the presidential preference polls by buying more ads than anybody in history, ever, to promote anything.

It also allows the egotistical and inept to claim politicization when their ineptitude threatens lives, even after their own screaming sensationalism in 2009 that "Obama is going to kill us all!" even as his administration had deployed a full court press of medical experts to deal effectively with Ebola and H1N1 Bird Flu outbreaks. Shockingly, nobody remembers that unless you remind them.

Meanwhile, President Trump's dismissive attitude was skewered by comedian Bill Maher, who pulled out "the quote from the mayor in 'Jaws' -- 'The beaches are open. Amity is a summer town. We need summer dollars.'"

Okay, so anybody else in the rest of the world can tell you, America is a very weird place these days. Which scares the hell out of the rest of the world on a good day, and might occasion stark terror in the face of ineptitude when a pandemic is looming.

If that characterization seems overblown, look to the language of U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, accompanying the World Health Organization (WHO) upgrade of COVID-19 to its most serious threat level. Guterres said Friday that containment of the global spread of coronavirus was possible, but, "Now is the time for all governments to step up and do everything possible, but the window of opportunity is narrowing."

Financial panic -- is a collapse coming?

Wall Street, which behaves like mooing cattle between stampedes on the best of days, is in headlong panic. Reporting early Friday before the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) had even opened for the day, the BBC cited European and Asian stock markets to characterize the global financial situation as "a market meltdown."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost 11,090 points on Thursday in the biggest one-day loss EVER. In one week since last Friday, Wall Street had lost 11% of its value, and one-third of global valuation of the world's stock markets had been lost.

One Wall Street trader was heard to say Thursday afternoon, "This is what panic looks like."

An S&P trader and NYSE member said Friday on an awful week's last day of trading, it's "Sell first, ask questions later."

CNN's Fareed Zakaria isn't prone to Chicken Little sensationalism. But you wouldn't know that from what he wrote Friday:

"Markets took their time reacting to the coronavirus — at The New York Times, Ruchir Sharma lamented the false predictions of Wall Street’s amateur epidemiologists that the crisis was 'over' — but even before today’s continued plunge, Nouriel Roubini was warning of serious danger. The current NYU professor and former White House and US Treasury economist, whose history of gloomy predictions earned him the sobriquet 'Dr. Doom,' wrote in a Financial Times column Wednesday that the coronavirus is a supply shock that can’t be fixed with economic stimulus, which governments would have a hard time deploying anyway, given low or negative interest rates."

Zakaria continues:

"In a Der Spiegel interview, his take gets hotter: 'The markets are completely delusional,' Roubini warns. And: 'The political response is a joke … this crisis will spill over and result in a disaster.' Lumping the virus in with US-Iran tensions, Roubini (perhaps unsurprisingly) sees the global economy heading toward a recession on these risks, and he sees President Trump losing reelection because of it. For good measure, Roubini suggests New Yorkers are already skittish about the virus and have vacated restaurants (the Global Briefing [Zakaria's e-newsletter] has yet to see evidence of this); if it comes to the city, Roubini surmises, 'we are totally f*****d.'"

Seems like a lot of people are telling us the past few years, for vast assortments of reasons, that we're "totally f*****d." Well, given the abject failure of political leaders and delusional "constant-growth" instead of "sustainable" economic paradigms, maybe we are. But we're talking about whether a flu pandemic will kill us all.

Let's look at financial facts for the individual

Airline boardings are down 13% and still falling. Hotel and convention bookings have collapsed. Ultimately that will translate to job layoffs. And in America, fully half the population has no savings and lives paycheck-to-paycheck. (Read the short feature in this edition on causes of homelessness.) And, since we are talking about something that makes people very sick, we must reckon that a third of the US population has grossly inadequate health care, or no access at all to a doctor.

That is how "market corrections" translate into the lives of ordinary working people. It may be that we have helped you decide to stay home and hoarde your money against an approaching time when you you won't have income. That's not our advocacy, because we believe staying sane enough to function through all the exploitive craziness is dependent on each of us partaking of and interacting with the arts. But reality is multidimensional.

In addition, it's a good place to note how one-dimensional corporate media has been. Bill Maher's comedic treatment of politics, "Real Time," gave more focused attention to the likely economic effects on ordinary Americans than cable news did all week.

Let's look at the financial facts of the controlling forces

Global stock markets are posting the worst week since the financial collapse of 2008. Oil prices have plunged to around $50 a barrel as demands for travel vanish, as reflected in cancelled flights. British Airways publicly acknowledged it cannot predict how far its revenue will drop or how damaging its losses will be.

(Still, don't expect relief at the pump any time any time soon. Big Oil always hikes prices immediately with every wrinkle, that might bring higher costs, but kings of carbon never lower prices commensurately when they're stuck with a surplus. Not for days or weeks. And with this week's Marathon Oil refinery fire in Los Angeles, they'll milk things to charge you more. Capitalism used to have rules. Overconsolidation that eliminates competition and precludes others entering the marketplace will extort anybody, anytime, because they can.)

Over five trillion dollars have already been lost from stock values globally. That includes value lost from the 401k's that replaced retirement pensions after the cutthroat capitalists declared "Greed is good." US and multinationals controlled by American oligarchs began eliminating once-standard employee benefits -- their ethical contract with workers -- that included no-co-pay health care plans for the entire family and standard company retirement plan. All were tossed overboard in the name of higher profits. Thus, ordinary workers have retirement nesteggs subject to being crushed by vultures.

A sudden loss of a third of the total value of all stocks is hard to reckon, since the means of production are still intact. Is it just another disguised structural flaw of end-game capitalism that acts to enrich the few while ruthlessly eliminating any potential of competition? If so, is the potential of pandemic disease exacerbated by monopolistic hegemony that eliminates multiplicity of options and does away with consumer choice?

There is reason to believe that it is. That's where the financial facts of the individual intersect with those of the fat cat money manipulators.

"Just in Time" economic vulnerability

The way the world does things has changed drastically. We're not talking about cyber messaging instead of travel, or YouTube instead of appointment tv. Because other changes and their resulting paradigms actually invite vectors of infection with the same speed we expect of modern travel and commerce. No, we're not going to launch into how we fly too much, that the airline industry is the number-one producer of greenhouse gases, etc., etc.

We ARE going to identify the driver of all the world's economic systems, put in place during the 1990s.

"Just in time" manufacturing took-over everywhere in the '90s and has become the ruling paradigm of all manufacturing and of distribution of everything the world consumes. And it makes us vulnerable to everything from food shortages in drought-driven crop failures, to overuse of pesticides to stop insect infestations, to growth-hormone-saturated burgers, to energy shortages that can be engineered to raise prices, to deadly wild cards like the 2009 scares of Bird Flu and Ebola and the current panic over Coronavirus.

In states with inventory taxes, it allowed corporations and small businesses alike to avoid getting gouged for whatever inventory they had on their shelves or in their warehouses. One response was to build big distribution warehouses in states with no inventory tax, and over-the-road truck miles exploded (along with fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gases).

Manufacturers, in response to their customers' desires, re-geared everything to respond to "order it today, get it tomorrow," without themselves having to maintain massive inventories or cavernous infrastructure to hold it.

Thus, everything began to work backwards up a chain. Packing of finished goods does not happen until somebody orders them shipped. Components to assemble finished products are not stored -- they are ordered in the precise quantities to assemble a specific number of finished items to fill an order. (Which is why everything is now disposable because it cannot be repaired, since nobody has a stock of spare parts to fix anything.)

Procter and Gamble reports more than 17,600 products may have their supply chains interrupted, from soap to shampoo, paper towels to toilet paper, and even toothpaste, all made in China or dependent on components from China.

That news prompted Stephen Colbert to include a routine in his "Late Show" monologue, wherein he proposed a "made-in-America disinfecting substitute for toothpaste -- brush your teeth with Jack Daniels."

Usually when you hear "components from China," you think of high tech. Apple is showing signs of panic, as well.

Ultimately, things become increasingly vulnerable to interruption by something unforeseen -- all the way back to whether a small nation's government is sufficiently bought-off to allow toxic mining of "rare-earth" minerals needed for microelectronics, and to furnish a cheap indigenous work force to mine them. And if that "accommodating" government is not sufficiently empowered militarily, it can fall prey to those pseudoslave workers and be overthrown by its toxic-waste-dweller population. Such "externalities" must be eliminated to maintain "market stability."

Similarly, stock markets respond with volatility if rumors are whispered that a supply chain is in any way vulnerable. Yet markets no longer tolerate high stock values for any entity that is a responsible global citizen with better assurances of stability through sustainability.

It used to be, if you were in charge of any business, large or small, your number-one task was assuring the viability and longevity of that enterprise. Because, without that, workers had no reason to be loyal and diligent, customers had no reason to give you loyalty, and suppliers knew they had to look for somebody else because you were probably on your way out. Yet all that is gone, replaced by bloated overconsolidation for the purpose of high-dollar buyouts, and to prevent a competitor from building a better mousetrap that would beat yours. Just buy them, sit on the patent, and keep making your crappy mousetrap -- following "just-in-time" paradigms.

To keep it all running, response times can outpace word of people getting sick in a manufacturing region of China. Goods can be shipped with dried globules of coughed-up sputum. Store shelves would quickly go empty if anyone said anything that stopped the chain. Retail stock would drop. Wal-Mart wouldn't have that junk from a country that herds its industrial workers into compounds surrounded by barbed-wire, assembling parts made that use rare-earth minerals mined by oppressed serfs ruled by militarist strong men, who buy weapons systems from warconomy oligarchs in the US, the UK, France and Russia.

Point is, everything is connected to everything else, and it's all based on rich gamblers playing big money games with the human condition.

So what should you do?

First, be aware of the actual data, the true numbers, in anything you're trying to assess. Without that, you cannot hope to maintain a sense of context. Any year's "ordinary flu season" brings an assortment of viruses that evolved to be different from what made people sick the previous year. Each year, those new flus kill about two-tenths of one percent (.002%) of those infected. The COVID-19 Coronavirus is killing about 3% of those who contract it, and it may be trending towards killing 5% of all those it infects.

Note that is NOT five percent of the human population -- it is three-to-five-percent of those it INFECTS.

That could change. That's one solid reason why we need to pay attention to the difference between real science and bloviating tweetery.

So far, children do not seem to be the most susceptible to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. That is highly unusual, since children have not lived long enough to develop hearty immune systems. It may be that we will eventually learn that middle-aged adults are most susceptible to Coronavirus because of all the chemical crap we ingest that accumulates in our bodies and produces specific weaknesses. Of course that is also suspect in cancer, generally, and it is proven with heart disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, COPD, mesothelioma, and dozens of other things that diminish vitality, quality of life, ability to function, and ultimately kills people.

The Harvard-Chen School of Medicine says that in a mere ten years, half the US population will be obese, and a fourth will be seriously obese. The Pentagon has warned that too few Americans will be fit for military service.

Right now, every two weeks, America loses more of its citizens to deaths from drug use, overdose, and suicide than the total number of US troops lost in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

Yet those things do not impress us as crises.

Instead, we have a stark terror of anything that can suddenly clobber you and put you six feet under before you have time to negotiate with it. Sharks. Nukes. Tsunamis. Tornadoes. Earthquakes. Venomous snakes. Head-on collisions. Airplane crashes. And deadly pandemics.

We'd make better use of our fear for self-preservation and hope for longevity if we paid attention to what we eat, to the microplastics and myriad pharmacological and agricultural and industrial toxins being deposited in our cells. And to washing our hands, often.

And we would go a long way to getting rid of the Chicken Little reactionary politics if we banned all big money from the process, at all levels. 

Wouldn't you feel better if scientists were on tv explaing new viruses, instead of self-aggrandizing politicians?

PRACTICAL PRECAUTIONS (good for avoiding the "regular" flu & colds, too) 

Compiled from medical and emergency responder databases and interview comments. Copy and paste into your phone / post / print / share.

•  Coronavirus lives on inorganic surfaces anywhere from two hours to NINE DAYS; it all seems dependent on temperature, unless it is killed by disinfectant. When tests revealed that, even health care workers were surprised. It brings more emphasis to many of the following points.

•  Get the flu vaccine -- ordinary flu will likely mimic Coronavirus, so avoid being ostracized and quarantined.

•  Wash your hands, a lot: scrub for 20 seconds and wash them often.

•  Stop shaking hands. Don't do "fist bumps" because that's still hand-to-hand contact. And don't become a mad elbow-bumper, because of the next point.

•  Cough into the inside of your elbow, ANY TIME you cough.

•  Keep your hands away from your face -- touching your nostrils, eyes, or mouth brings-in every germ your hands picked-up.

•  Get a little bottle of hand sanitizer on a miniature carabiner. Clip it to your belt loop or purse strap and use it frequently. (Be sure you snap the lid shut, or it'll drain all over your clothes.) You can refill it from the pump bottle by the sink.

• Make your own hand sanitizer if the stores are out. Formula, from a doctor who makes it with her kids: two parts isopropyl alcohol (drugstore alcohol, at least 70% alcohol), one part aloe vera gel, a dash of any essential oil. Works just ss well as store bought stuff.

Stay home if you're sick -- even if you don't get paid, DON'T be the "Typhoid Mary" that brings a pandemic of this or ANYTHING contagious. If you're "taking one for the team," make it the big team -- ALL of us.

•  Don't be a transporter. Immediately remove shoes inside your front door and change clothes when you get home. Don't plunk-down on the couch until you shed what you were wearing at work or in the store or on the bus or in the coffee bar. Stop tracking everything from the sidewalk onto your kitchen and bathroom floors and your rug.

•  Be mindful of your car. Everything you touch, everywhere, is on your steering wheel. Everywhere you sit is on your car seat. Keep 'em disinfected -- Clorox wipe the wheel, Lysol spray the seats, often.

•  Everything you wear goes in the hamper. No multi-day wearings between washings.

•  Keep track of where Coronavirus and other flus are headed, the latest ways to avoid contagion, and what symptoms go with what disease, by putting the CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL in your favorites:

•  Call your doctor or public health officials if you become symptomatic, and DON'T "just go" to the doctor or urgent care or ER; everybody else in the waiting room does not have what you have, and vice-versa.

•  Wear a mask when you go to the doctor (remember, everybody else in the waiting room does not have what you have, and vice-versa) -- the check-in counter will give you a surgical mask if you ask, or maybe even tell you it's mandatory. 

•  Don't buy-up all tbe masks that medical responders need. Nearly all the masks in the stores are Dust Masks, made to keep carpenters and other tradesmen from inhaling sawdust. Expecting those to protect you from tiny viruses is like trying to filter water with a tennis racket. Plus, wearing masks everywhere is not a good idea -- without training and lots of practice, you'll contaminate the thing and then breathe a stewpot of microorganisms up-close and personal.

•  Get proper nutrition and plenty of sleep to support your immune system. THAT is THE best way to stay healthy.

•   REALLY IMPORTANT: Think about what you routinely ignore:

   ~  your phone or tablet, which you constantly handle while you're touching everything else in the big, wide world, then keep handling when you're eating (keep your devices disinfected).

   ~  the Kleenex or cloth hankie you pull out of your pocket -- this time your nose or eye gets the side your dirty finger got last time (yeah, duh!)

   ~  door handles & knobs, especially "pull-to-exit" on the restroom door, and all door handles you grab or push.

   ~  gas pump handles -- whatever was deposited on them is now on your steering wheel, and marinading on your hands as you snack while driving.

   ~  restaurant menus, salt and pepper shakers, ketchup and mustard and hot sauce bottles that every unwashed hand touches. Same goes for bins of packaged condiments at fast foodies  or convenience store / gas stations (Use 'em, then use your hand sanitizer.)

   ~  lunch buffet serving spoons, spatulas, tongs that every unwashed hand uses in the food bins (your freshly-washed hands just got contaminated). And if sneeze guard glass panes aren't at the right height or aren't clean, demand a refund and leave.

   ~ coins in change and money, in general -- coins and folding money are germ transit systems. (Back to your little bottle of hand sanitizer.)

   ~ airline & train tray tables -- who knows when they were last cleaned and to what extent? When we saw a baby being changed on one... (bring a little plastic box of Clorox wipes when you travel).

   ~  bring your own food on the airplane -- you're probably doing that, anyway, since they stopped feeding you back when they started charging for carry-on luggage and made you ride with your knees in your armpits. Flight attendants have tested positive -- their hands pour drinks, dispense snacks, and pick-up everybody's garbage. 

   ~  remember to think and act consciously. There is an acute need to be mindful of others, so neither be paranoid reactive nor obliviously ignorant. There was great advice in the old cop show at the end of every briefing: "Be careful out there."


Due to the death we reported last week, our huge number of unfinished music news stories could not be completed for publication this weekend. We continue to do what we can, folks.


Here's what's happening this Leap Weekend...



Today Saturday, February 29, 2020. It is LEAP DAY, which happens once every four years. Anyone born on this date has a huge advantage over everyone else. For example, their twin, born first at one minute to midnight, February 28th, is 40 years old when they, born a minute past midnight February 29th, turn a mere 10 years old. Fun conundrum, eh? Move over, Ponce de Leon. (Some millenial somewhere just said, "Ponds who? What is that, some '60s band? Okay, boomer.")

Sorry, no time to celebrate birthdays or share things that happened on this day in past years.

Sat, Feb 29 FREE EVENT:
6 pm-9 pm - "LEAP DAY SILENT DISCO" in Downtown Santa Monica, on the Third Street Promenade at Santa Monica Bl, Downtown Santa Monica CA
*  Yes, this most certainly IS THE ONLY TIME we've ever listed anything that has the word "disco" associated with it. But it's a SILENT disco, meaning your ear buds can be delivering bluegrass or blues to your ears.
*  "Dance like no one is watching" during this free Leap Day Silent Disco. Maybe you'll meet somebody who likes your moves and will become a convert to your music!
*  Officially, there are "three dueling DJs," and "Headphones are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis." But hell -- just bring your own, and your own music and ignore the soundalike pop crap and electrocution electronica.
*  FREE, and free treats -- plus Carlo’s Bakery cupcakes for anyone born on a leap day.
*  More at:

Sat, Feb 29:
2 pm - CHRIS GANTRY plays a matinee at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
*  Reservations by phone only, at 626-798-6236.

Sat, Feb 29:
7 pm - BEYOND THE PALE plays the Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad CA 92008; 760-438-5996
*  Combining fiddle, mandolin, upright bass, accordion and clarinet, they have carved their own niche.
*  The exciting acoustic Toronto, Ontario-based band finishes a two-week western US tour with two shows in Southern Cal, Feb 27 & 29 in different cities.
*  Playing eleven shows in 15 days, spanning the Pacific Northwest, California and New Mexico, they made a fun lil' one-minute music video to promote it, here.
*  TIX & more at:

Sat, Feb 29:
7 pm - LEDWARD KAAPANA plays the second of two shows in the "Lord Of The Strings" Concert Series, this one at Mission Viejo Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Dr, Mission Viejo CA 92691
* TIX, 949-244-6656

Sat, Feb 29:
7 pm - COLIN HAY plays the Magnolia, 210 E Main St, El Cajon CA 92020

Sat, Feb 29:
7 pm - LOS ANGELES BALALAIKA ORCHESTRA plays the Colburn School of Music in Herbert Zipper Hall, 200 S Grand Av, Los Angeles, CA 90012
*  It's across the street from the L.A. Music Center complex.

Sat, Feb 29:
8 pm - BEAUSOLEIL AVEC MICHAEL DOUCET brings traditional Cajun music to the Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr, Irvine CA 92697; 949-854-4646
*  A bit late for Mardi Gras, but this award-winning outfit delivers in any season.

Sat, Feb 29:
8 pm - PERLA BATALLA & MARIA MULDAUR team-up for a concert at Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Dr, Aliso Viejo CA 92656; 949-480-4278

Sat, Feb 29:
8 pm - TOM PAXTON & THE DONJUANS plus AMY SPEACE team-up in the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; 310-828-4497

Sat, Feb 29:
8 pm - WALLY BARNICK & THE TRAIL BOSS TROUBADOURS play Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City CA 90230; 310-398-2583

Sat, Feb 29:
8 pm - STEVE POLTZ plus THE RUGBURNS plus THE MASTERSONS plus ANTHONY DA COSTA make for quite a bill at Belly Up Tavern, 143 S Cedros Av, Solana Beach / San Diego CA 92075; 858-481-9022

Sat, Feb 29:
8 pm - SALTY STRINGS plus ROSE VALLEY THORNS play SOHo Restaurant & Music Club, 1221 State St, Santa Barbara CA 93101; 805-962-7776

Sat, Feb 29:
8 pm - WISHBONE ASH plus THE BOBBY BLUEHOUSE BAND and various special guests, play the Arcadia Blues Club, 16 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia CA 91006
*  Fun venue, two stages to assure continuous music, pool tables, bar specials, tasty menu (generous portions, two can share). But bring earplugs.  Seriously.
*  Advance online tix save money, but this venue is never overpriced, anyway.
*  Upcoming events, more:
*  TIX for all concerts here, at:

Sat, Feb 29; final weekend; through Mar 1; STAGE MUSICAL:
8 pm - “LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL” at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W Washington Bl, Los Angeles CA
*  Runs Fri & Sat, 8 pm, Sun, 3 pm.
*  Billie Holiday, brilliantly portrayed by Karole Foreman, has driven down from Harlem on an afternoon to perform in the intimate cabaret setting she so loved in a seedy South Philly club. Along with her pianist and last lover Jimmy Powers (played by Stephan Terry), Foreman recreates what would be Billie Holiday's final performance, four months before she died of pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by cirrhosis in July of 1959.
Karole Foreman as Billie Holiday
*  Foreman channels Billie Holiday in performing glorious renditions of a dozen or more of Lady Day’s well-known hits—”God Bless the Child”, “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness”, “Crazy He Calls Me,” and “Strange Fruit” among them. Between songs, Holiday chats with the audience about the hard knocks life has dealt her, from childhood rape and teenage prostitution, to drug addiction and prison, undercut by the pernicious scorn of white society and the incessant stalking of law enforcement.
*  Out of her lifetime of pain and suffering, “Lady Day” highlights Holiday’s heart-rending body of music that lives with us 60 years after she left us. Foreman doesn’t just perform Holiday’s songs, she captures—evokes—Lady Day’s raspy, untutored textures, with their influences in Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith.
*  Performed originally at in 1986, Lanie Robertson’s loving portrait of Billie Holiday soon moved to New York’s Off-Broadway. A 2014 revival on Broadway brought Audra McDonald her sixth Tony Award playing the title role. “Lady Day” marks Ebony Repertory Theatre artist director, Wren T. Brown’s directorial debut.
*  All material in this write-up courtesy "L.A. Progressive." Read their full review at:
*  Tickets, $30-50; seats at the tables (for two) onstage and directly in front of orchestra seats, $50. All options that remain available are at:

Sat, Feb 29:
Benefit Concert



Today is Sunday, March 1, 2020.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date...

"The poet speaks not of peculiar and personal things, but of what in himself is most common, most anonymous, most fundamental."

~ Richard Wilbur (1921-2017), American poet, winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award for his 1956 volume, "Things of This World."


On this day...

Then and now, we march...
     Today in 2020, the 55th anniversary of the landmark civil rights "Bloody Sunday Protest March" (which happened March 7, 1965) is being held at and around the Edmund Pettis bridge in Selma, Alabama. Martin Luther King led the original, televised around the world, and John Lewis is leading it today. As a young protester, Lewis had his head bashed-in on the bridge. He lived to become a distinguished US Congressman. Now suffering from stage 4 cancer, his return to lead the march is both historic and poignant.

Boiling rivers? No, not a fur trapper tall tale...
     "Yellowstone was named a national park on this date in 1872. Written descriptions of Yellowstone began to appear in the East Coast media over the next few decades, but most of them were dismissed as tall tales. Mountain man Jim Bridger insisted over and over that he had seen petrified trees and waterfalls shooting upward into the sky. Trapper Joe Meek, describing the Norris Geyser basin, recounted stories of steaming rivers, boiling mud, and fire and brimstone. Because of the Native American wars and the Civil War, the United States Geological Survey did not come in to investigate Yellowstone until 1871. The crew submitted a 500-page report to Congress, and on March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Act of Dedication to preserve more than 2 million acres of wilderness as the world's first national park." ~ Garrison Keillor's description in "The Writer's Almanac."

Massachusetts becomes Maine? Is it witchcraft?...
     The first incorporated city in the United States, Georgeana, Massachusetts (now known as York, Maine), gave itself that status today in 1642. (Early on, nearly every colony -- then every state -- made crazy claims on land outside the borders they have now.)
     Fifty years later, Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba are brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning what would become known as the "Salem Witch Trials," today in 1692.

Getting started, before they got it right...
     The original governing authority of the United States of America, the "Articles of Confederation," went into effect today in 1781. The document was so filled with inadequacies that a convention called to fix it instead became the Constitutional Convention that produced the document we still use today. In fact, every oath taken by every member of the US military, public school teacher, cop, firefighter, US Senator, Member of Congress, civil servant, and elected and appointed official, is an oath to "uphold the Constitution of the United States," and NOT an oath of any personal allegiance to whoever happens to be in charge.

     The first United States census is authorized today in 1790. It has continued every ten years, ever since, every year ending in zero -- including this one, providing a good, part-time job to many artists and songwriters. The census determines, among other things, how numbers of elected officials are allocated to each state. The mischief follows within the states as district lines are drawn that gerrymander to inflate and decrease representation that is supposed to be equal.

     The impeachment trial of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase ended with his acquital at the end of his U.S. Senate trial today in 1805.

Lone Star landmarks...
     With the defenders of the Alamo under siege by the Mexican army commanded by dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, a convention of delegates from 57 Texas communities convened in Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas, to deliberate independence from Mexico, today in 1836.
     Nine years later, US President John Tyler signed a bill authorizing the United States to annex the Republic of Texas, making it the only state to join the Union by treaty, today in 1845.

Westward expansion...
     Nebraska became the 37th U.S. state, and Lancaster, Nebraska is renamed Lincoln to become the state capital and honor the assassinated president, today in 1867. Of course, the folks who had lived there longest -- the Native American Indians -- got no say in any of it.

     Production of the first practical typewriter, by E. Remington and Sons in Ilion, New York began today in 1873. Could they have imagined an electrified life chained to a keyboard a scant 117 years later?

What's the frequency, Kenneth?...
     Electrical engineer Nikola Tesla gives the first public demonstration of radio today in 1893, in St. Louis, Missouri.

     The deadliest avalanche in US history buried a Great Northern Railway passenger train in northeastern King County, Washington, killing 96 people, today in 1910. Forty years earlier, when the original transcontinental railroad was built -- the Central Pacific, over the California High Sierra -- much of the route had to be enclosed in protective snow sheds. One locomotive engineer, hired-on from an Eastern railroad, lasted only one trip. He resigned because, "I've railroaded through snow and flood and fire, but I'll be damned if I'll railroad in a barn!"

Over there, over here...
     The infamous "Zimmermann Telegram" is reprinted in newspapers across the United States today in 1917, after the US government releases its unencrypted text. Containing a German promise to return all American states that were once territories of Mexico, in return for Mexico keeping America too busy to enter World War I, it was the final straw for pushing public opinion to a declaration of war against Germany.

Lindbergh baby...
     Today in 1932, Charles Lindbergh's infant son is kidnapped.

    Today in 1936, Boulder Dam, renamed by Republicans in Congress as Hoover Dam, is completed, forever ending navigation on the Colorado River, but furnishing water and power and jobs to three stares during the Great Depression.

Nazi alliance...
     Today in 1941, World War II got more complicated as Bulgaria signs the "Tripartite Pact," allying itself with the Axis powers of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Worth noting that the postwar "Iron Curtain" of Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe included some countries that had actively waged war against the US-British-French-Soviet alliance.

Show me the money...
     The Bank of England is "nationalised" today in 1946. One year later today in 1947, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) begins financial operations.

Cold War & Nukes...
     Henri Becquerel discovers radioactive decay today in 1896.
     Klaus Fuchs is convicted of spying for the Soviet Union today in 1950, for disclosing top secret atomic bomb data.
     Three years later, today in 1953, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses; he dies four days later, and one of the modern world's worst reigns of terror comes to an end as Nikita Kruschev is given the top job under supervision
by the Politburo.
     A year after that, today in 1954, the "Castle Bravo" nuclear weapons test detonated a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the US and rendering the island's inhabitants permanently homeless.

Armed Revolution in D.C. ...
      Armed Puerto Rican nationalists attacked the US Capitol building, injuring five Representatives, and attempted to assassinate President Truman. Truman was staying in Blair House, across the street from the White House during its complete gutting and reconstruction. Truman was in the habit of a morning walk before breakfast and a nap after lunch. When the shooting started, the old WW I artillery captain emerged in his boxers and tank top onto the balcony of Blair House, yelling "What the hell is going on here?" A Secret Service agent yelled,  "Get your ass back inside! They're trying to kill you!" (The editor knows, from family history of one who was there.)

Give peace a chance...
     President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps today in 1961. It would change lives around the world, bringing infrastructure, water, electricity, sanitation, education, communication, and opportunities to isolated, usually desperately poor, peoples, worldwide. US Congressman John Garamendi and his wife met as Peace Corps volunteers. Newsman Chris Matthews was a Peace Corps volunteer (even if that seems unlikely with his frequently being a shill for the establishment warconomy). Young college grads had been the mainstay of volunteers until crushing individual college debt loads shifted the corps to a reliance on recently retired people.

     The Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashed on Venus becoming the first human-built spacecraft to land on another planet's surface, today in 1966.
     Today in 2002, the Envisat environmental satellite successfully reaches an orbit 800 kilometers (500 mi) above the Earth on its 11th launch, carrying the heaviest payload to date at 8500 kilograms (8.5 tons).

     Seven Republican operatives are indicted for their role in the Watergate break-in and charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, today in 1974.

The Troubles...
     Provisional Irish Republican Army member Bobby Sands begins his hunger strike in HM Prison Maze today in 1981. He is remembered today as a martyr of the long conflict.

E-speech / free speech...
     Steve Jackson Games is raided by the US Secret Service today in 1990, prompting the later formation of the "Electronic Frontier Foundation."
     Today in 2006, English-language Wikipedia reaches its one millionth article, which happened to be, "Jordanhill railway station."

Hollywood $...
     Today in 1998, the James Cameron epic "Titanic" became the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide.

Afghanistan War...
     Today in 2002, in the US invasion of Afghanistan, "Operation Anaconda" began in eastern Afghanistan. Children born after that invasion started have now reached military service age and are still fighting that same war -- though a Peace deal is supposedly in the works today in 2020 that returns the Taliban to a shared-power arrangement.

The name is still creepy...
     Today in 2003 in the post-9/11 restructuring, management of the US Customs Service and the US Secret Service were given to the Department of Homeland Security. Creepy name then, creepy name now.

But what about Shrub, Cheney, Rumsfeld, & Wolfowitz?...
     Also today in 2003, the International Criminal Court held its inaugural session in The Hague. Global hopes for war criminals to face charges there were dashed when newly-inaugurated President Obama declared in January, 2009, there would be no charges considered against his predecessors.

Climate change manifestation...
     An unprecedented phalanx of tornadoes break out across the southern United States, killing at least 20 people, including eight at Enterprise High School, today in 2007. Simultaneous deadly tornadoes would soon become the new normal as the Earth continues to overheat.

Happy birthday today to...

Harry Belafonte, American singer-songwriter and actor, turns 93 today.

Roger Daltrey, English singer-songwriter, producer, and actor, member of THE WHO and author/composer of the groundbreaking rock opera, "Tommy."

Clinton Gregory, American singer-songwriter and fiddler.

Kesha, American pop singer-songwriter and actress.

Justin Bieber, Canadian pop / altered voice singer-songwriter.

Jason V Brock, American author, filmmaker, artist, scholar and musician.

Bill Leen, American bass player and producer.

Bryan Batt, American actor and singer.

Leo Brouwer, Cuban guitarist, composer, and conductor.

Thomas Adès, English pianist, composer, and conductor.

Mike d'Abo, English singer.

Nik Kershaw, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer.

In memorium to musicians and other influencers born this date...

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849), Polish pianist and composer.

Glenn Miller (1904-1944), American trombonist, composer, and one of the most renowned bandleaders, his plane disappeared over the English Channel in WW II.

Robert Conrad (1935-2020), American actor, radio host and stuntman.

Richard Wilbur (1921-2017), American poet, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner, and source of today's quote.

Alan Thicke (1947-2016), Canadian-American actor and composer.

Paul Hartman (1904-1973), American actor, singer, and dancer.

Winston Sharples (1909-1978), American pianist and composer.

Gerry Boulet (1946-1990), Canadian singer-songwriter.

Doris Hare (1905-2000), Welsh-English actress, singer, and dancer.

David Niven (1910-1983), English soldier and actor.

Harry Caray (1914-1998), American sportscaster for the Chicago Cubs, who, along with Vin Scully, ranks as the most famous, ever.

Dimitri Mitropoulos (1896-1960), Greek pianist, composer, and conductor.

Deke Slayton (1924-1993), American soldier, pilot, and astronaut, who, as one of the original "Mercury 7" was grounded for a heart murmur. He became boss of the Astronaut corps through Apollo, and after years of preparing others to "go up," finally got his own space mission. (Never, never, never give up.)

Ralph Ellison (1914-1994), American novelist and literary critic, author who, in 1952, wrote the Sci-fi classic, "The Invisible Man."

Robert Lowell (1917-1977), American poet credited with the line often applied to the Vietnam War: "If we see the light at the end of the tunnel,/It's the light of the oncoming train."

Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), Irish-American sculptor and academic.


Here's what's happening out there today...

Sun, Mar 1; FREE EVENT:
2 pm - "(Re)IMAGINING MEXICAN MUSIC & THEATRE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA" at the Homestead Museum, 15415 E Don Julian Rd, City of Industry CA 91745
*  Join Dr. John Koegel, Cal State Fullerton Professor of Musicology, for a visually and musically illustrated history of Californio/Mexican music and early theatrical traditions in Southern California between 1840 and 1940.
*  A light reception follows his presentation.
*  Free, free parking; reservations are recommended at:

Sun, Mar 1:
2 pm - NEVENKA EASTERN EUROPEAN FOLK ENSEMBLE plays the Pendelton Dance Center at Pomona College, 210 E 2nd St, Claremont CA 91711

Sun, Mar 1:
3 pm - LOS ANGELES BALALAIKA ORCHESTRA plays the Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Dr, Encinitas CA 92024

Sun, Mar 1; RALLY:
5 pm - BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN RALLY at the Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall GHJ, 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles CA 90015
*  A last opportunity before California votes in "Super Tuesday."
*  RIGHT NOW, only 4% of the delegates have been picked. By the end if March,  it will be two-thirds. THAT'S 2/3 OF ALL THE DELEGATES WHO WILL DETERMINE THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT & the Democratic Party platform-!. EVERYTHING happening now matters.
*  Arrive plenty early due to the crowds and the entry lines with metal detectors.
*  Free.

Sun, Mar 1:
7:30 pm - JOE ROBINSON plays SOHo Restaurant & Music Club, 1221 State St, Santa Barbara CA 93101; 805-962-7776

Sun, Mar 1:
8 pm - JOSH ROUSE plays the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica CA 90405; 310-828-4497

Sun, Mar 1; final performance; STAGE MUSICAL:
8 pm - “LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR & GRILL” at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 W Washington Bl, Los Angeles CA
*  Runs Fri & Sat, 8 pm, Sun, 3 pm.
*  Billie Holiday, brilliantly portrayed by Karole Foreman, has driven down from Harlem on an afternoon to perform in the intimate cabaret setting she so loved in a seedy South Philly club. Along with her pianist and last lover Jimmy Powers (played by Stephan Terry), Foreman recreates what would be Billie Holiday's final performance, four months before she died of pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by cirrhosis in July of 1959.
Karole Foreman as Billie Holiday
*  Foreman channels Billie Holiday in performing glorious renditions of a dozen or more of Lady Day’s well-known hits—”God Bless the Child”, “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness”, “Crazy He Calls Me,” and “Strange Fruit” among them. Between songs, Holiday chats with the audience about the hard knocks life has dealt her, from childhood rape and teenage prostitution, to drug addiction and prison, undercut by the pernicious scorn of white society and the incessant stalking of law enforcement.
*  Out of her lifetime of pain and suffering, “Lady Day” highlights Holiday’s heart-rending body of music that lives with us 60 years after she left us. Foreman doesn’t just perform Holiday’s songs, she captures—evokes—Lady Day’s raspy, untutored textures, with their influences in Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith.
*  Performed originally at in 1986, Lanie Robertson’s loving portrait of Billie Holiday soon moved to New York’s Off-Broadway. A 2014 revival on Broadway brought Audra McDonald her sixth Tony Award playing the title role. “Lady Day” marks Ebony Repertory Theatre artist director, Wren T. Brown’s directorial debut.
*  All material in this write-up courtesy "L.A. Progressive." Read their full review at:
*  Tickets, $30-50; seats at the tables (for two) onstage and directly in front of orchestra seats, $50. All options that remain available are at:


Today is Monday, March 2, 2020.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date...

"We have come to a point where it is loyalty to resist, and treason to submit."
~ Carl Schurz, revolutionary, statesman, and reformer (born Mar 2, 1829, died 1906)

(thanks to A.Word.A.Day)

On this day...

Since you last went to school...
     Today in 2017, the elements Moscovium, Tennessine, and Oganesson were officially added to the periodic table at a conference in Moscow, Russia. Seems like the US in 2017 could have added Bloviatum, Loutite, and highly toxic Trumpertaniam.

Catastrophic mass death...
     The Great Fire of Meireki, A fire in Edo (now Tokyo), Japan, caused more than 100,000 deaths and lasting three days, started today in 1657.

Arts for the groundlings...
     "The Loves of Mars and Venus" became the first ballet performed in England, today in 1717.

Fat cats and finance...
     The Bank of England issues the first one-pound and two-pound banknotes, mainstreaming paper money, today in 1797.
     Today in 1901, in one of many climactic events of the Robber Baron era, United States Steel Corporation is founded as a result of a merger between Carnegie Steel Company and Federal Steel Company -- becoming the first corporation in the world with a market capital over $1 billion.
     Thirty-six years and two Progressive "Trust Busting" presidents later, the "Steel Workers Organizing Committee" signs a collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Steel today in 1937, leading to unionization of the United States steel industry.

     Today in 1807, the U.S. Congress passes the "Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves," forbidding any new slaves from coming into the country; smuggling would continue to steal Africans and enslave them for some time, and the 1807 Act had the effect of raising the price of slaves -- "supply and demand."
     Today in 1859, the two-day "Great Slave Auction" -- the largest such auction in US history, begins. The American Civil War was 25 months away.
     Today in 1867, 23 months after the Civil War ended, the U.S. Congress passes the first Reconstruction Act, guaranteeing rights of citizenship to freed slaves. (That lasted until the "Corrupt Bargain" resolved the gridlocked 1876 election by ending Reconstruction in return for giving the presidency to the Republican candidate who had lost the vote of the people.)

Assassination attempt...
     Queen Victoria, longest serving British monarch until the present Queen Elizabeth II, narrowly escapes an assassination attempt today in 1882.

My fellow Americans...
     The enactment of the Jones–Shafroth Act grants Puerto Ricans United States citizenship, today in 1917. One-hundred-three years later, their descendants get second-class citizen treatment when it comes to everything, including still-undone rebuilding after a disastrous hurricane.

Ya big ape...
     The film "King Kong," starring Fay Wray, opens at New York's Radio City Music Hall today in 1933.

     Ho Chi Minh is elected the President of North Vietnam, today in 1946.
     Nineteen years later and after French colonialists were run-out and American corporate colonialists replaced them, the US and Republic of (South) Vietnam Air Force begin "Operation Rolling Thunder" today in 1965, in a sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam.

Around the world in 94 hours...
     Today in 1949, Captain James Gallagher lands his B-50 Superfortress "Lucky Lady II" in Fort Worth, Texas, completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight in 94 hours and one minute.

     NASA's "Pioneer 10" space probe is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, today in 1972, on a mission to explore the outer planets. The much more exciting "Voyager" pair would follow to do more of the same, later that same decade.
     Czech Vladimír Remek becomes the 1st non-Russian or non-American to go into space, when he is launched as a cosmonaut aboard Soyuz 28, today in 1978.
     Data sent from the Galileo spacecraft today in 1998 indicates that Jupiter's moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.

Lone Star landmarks...
     Today in 1836, the Texas Revolution produced "The Declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico," adopted by the convention of delegates at Washington-on-the-Brazos -- while the siege of the Alamo continued.
    This is Sam Houston's birthday (1793-1863). An American soldier and politician who had been Governor of Tennessee, and became an honorary Cherokee. He emigrated as a colonist to Mexican Tejas, where he became the commanding general of the Army of the Republic of Texas, won its freedom from Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto (near present-day Houston, named for him). In that 18-minute-long battle, he outwitted and defeated Mexican dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, and forced "El Supremo" to sign-over Texas as a free state. Houston was then elected 1st President of the Republic of Texas, and was instrumental in bringing Texas into the Union. He was the only person ever elected governor of two different states -- Tennesse and Texas -- and was also represented Texas as a US Senator. During his 13 years in the Senate, he repeatedly voted against the spread of slavery to new territories of the United States. When Texas seceded to join the Confederacy, he opposed that, and was removed as Governor by the rebels. He died while the ensuing Civil War was raging. But his Texas, being huge, vast, and far from most of the war, was where the last slaves were freed, in June, 1865. Thus, Texas gave birth to the celebration of "Juneteenth," a special day in black American culture. Houston would have approved.

     Long-distance communication speeds-up with the unveiling of a semaphore machine in Paris, today in 1791.
     Compact discs & players are released today in 1983 for the US market.
     Yahoo! is incorporated today in 1995.

Global warming bullet dodged...
     Today in 1989, twelve European Community nations agree to ban the production of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the end of the century. CFCs were proven to destroy the Ozone Layer in the Earth's atmosphere, allowing deadly amounts of UV light to reach the surface.

Climate change -- It's heeeere...
    Today in 2012, a tornado outbreak occurred over a large section of the Southern United States and into the Ohio Valley region, resulting in 40 tornado-related fatalities.
     Five years and one day earlier, today in 2007, an unprecedented phalanx of tornadoes had broken-out across the southern US, killing at least 20 people, including eight at Enterprise High School. We noted in that March 1st, entry, "Simultaneous deadly tornadoes would soon become the new normal as the Earth continues to overheat."

Mideast Wars are always about...
     The end of the 1991 Gulf War comes today in that year with the Battle for the Rumaila oil field.

Community of nations...
     Today in 1992, the former Soviet Republics (from the breakup of the USSR) -- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, San Marino, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- each join the U.N. separately, as independent nations. Still, the "Peace Dividend" of money that could be diverted from the US military budget, post-Cold-War -- to fix human problems and rebuild infrastructure and expand Amtrak and revitalize the Space program -- has never been pried-out of the militarists' bloody hands.

Happy birthday today, March 2nd, to...

Jon Bon Jovi, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor.

Laraine Newman, American actress and comedian, original member of the cast of "Saturday Night Live."

John Irving, American novelist, known for "The World According to Garp" (1978), "The Cider House Rules" (1978), and "A Prayer for Owen Meany" (1989); his newest, due in September, is "Darkness As a Bride."

Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian lawyer and politician, final President of the Soviet Union, Nobel Prize laureate.

John Cowsill, American musician, songwriter, and producer, member of family music troupe, The Cowsills.

Jay Osmond, American singer, drummer, actor, and TV/film producer, member of family music troupe, The Osmonds.

Alvin Youngblood Hart, American singer and guitarist.

Simone Young, Australian conductor, director, and composer.

Larry Stewart, American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Larry Carlton, American guitarist and songwriter.

John Cullum, American actor and singer.

Chris Martin, English singer-songwriter and producer.

Wibi Soerjadi, Dutch pianist and composer.

Dale Bozzio, American pop-rock singer-songwriter.

Mark Evans, Australian rock bass player.

Gabby Eigenmann, Filipino actor and singer.

James Arthur, English singer-songwriter.

In memorium to musicians and other influencers born this date...

Karen Carpenter (1950-1983), American singer in multi-platinum brother-sister duo The Carpenters. She died of anorexia, and in death became the poster child for calling attention and action to the disease. She saved countless lives of people she wasn't alive to meet.

Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor "Ted" Geisel (1904-1991), American author, poet, writer and illustrator of globally renown children's books, ranging from his 1st, "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" (1937), to "The Cat in the Hat" (1957), to "Green Eggs and Ham" (1960), to many more. Seuss's publisher once bet him $50 that he could not write a book using only 50 different words. Seuss won with "Green Eggs and Ham," using exactly 50 different words, and only one of those words has more than one syllable: the word "anywhere."

Tom Wolfe (1931-2018), American journalist, cultural commentator and influencer, and novelist whose work also includes a notable history of the early space program. He authored "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" (1968), "Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flake Catchers" (1970), "The Right Stuff" (1979), and he helped spark the "New Journalism" movement from the '60s onward.

Eddie Lawrence (1919-2014), American actor, singer, and playwright.

Nelson Ned (1947-2014), Brazilian singer-songwriter.

Lou Reed (1942-2013), American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actor.

Derek Watkins (1945-2013), English trumpet player and composer.

Jennifer Jones (1919-2009), American actress, who, after a film career, was tv's alluring Morticia Addams on "The Addams Family."

Dottie Rambo (1934-2008), American singer-songwriter.

Clark Gesner (1938-2002), American author and composer.

Henry Katzman (1912-2001), American pianist, composer, and painter.

Lawrence Payton (1938-1997), American singer-songwriter and producer.

Rory Gallagher (1948-1995), Irish singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer.

Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (1922-1986), American saxophonist.

Desi Arnaz (1917-1986), Cuban-American actor, singer, bandleader and producer, married to and fathered two sgow-biz children with wife Lucille Ball.

Marc Blitzstein (1905-1964), American composer and songwriter.

Kurt Weill (1900-1950), German-American pianist and composer.

Marie Roze (1846-1926), French soprano.

Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884), Czech pianist and composer.

Sam Houston (1793-1863), American soldier and politician, profiled in "Lone Star landmarks" in the "On this day" section.

Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779-1851), American physician and politician, 15th United States Secretary of War, who, while Ambassador to Mexico, "discovered" a plant the Mexicans knew they had, named it after himself, and brought it home. Thus, Christmas includes the red-flowered Poinsettia.

Here's what's happening out there today...

Uhh, nothing. Seriously, nothing. So It's a great opportunity to stay home and get your SAMPLE BALLOT filled out for PRIMARY ELECTION DAY TOMORROW.

Because if ya jus' talk about and complain about it, but you don't do anything about, all you'll have to fall back on is this:

"When all is said and done, more is said than done."

~ old vaquero saying, via Red Steagall.


Today is Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020. It is "World Wildlife Day" and in the US, it's "Super Tuesday."

"SUPER TUESDAY" -- here are The Guide's endorsements in California and Los Angeles County.

Tuesday, March 3rd is the day we shape the future of America, by nominating and electing candidates who will end the reign of science-denying blowhards and corporacratic kleptocrats. Today we take back our future and begin to make it a future worth having, for all of us. Today, we return things, in Lincoln's words, to "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Here is our Progressive Voter Guide with OUR RECOMMENDATIONS and endorsements for offices and ballot measures throughout California and Los Angeles County, presented in conjunction with "Our Revolution" and "L.A. Progressive."

Whether or not you agree with us, GET OUT AND VOTE. 

(image will stretch for easy reading.)


Here's a wonderful source -- COURAGE CALIFORNIA, at:

Plus, L.A. PROGRESSIVE offers more on school boards and judges, at:

Here's what's happening out there today...

6:30 pm–11:30 pm - "SUPER TUESDAY LIVE EVENT" with all-star panelists, presented by "THE NOMIKI SHOW" at 1833 S Hope St, Los Angeles CA 90015
*  How about LIVE ELECTION COVERAGE interpreted by a panel that isn't beholden to Big Pharma or Big Oil or even corporate Big Media?
*  "The Nomiki Show" is a weekly progressive political show filmed once a week in the "Majority Report Studios."
*  Each week, NOMIKI KONST, the host, interviews progressive leaders, activists and thinkers, and focuses on deconstructing political structures and tactics.
*  You can find "The Nomiki Show" on Patreon, Youtube and all podcast locations. Or you can attend this live event.

Tue, Mar 3, on tv / web tv / radio:
7 pm-10 pm (Pacific) - LIVE, NO-BS, NATIONAL COVERAGE of the "SUPER TUESDAY" presidential primaries on "RISING UP WITH SONALI," promising to "bypass the usual spin and punditry from the mainstream media."
*  It's a three-hour special program hosted by award-winning journalist Sonali Kolhatkar.
*  The broadcast / web simulcast is a collaboration of the RootsAction Education Fund and Free Speech TV, to bring viewers "the kind of progressive, fact-based, social justice-centered analysis you won’t find in corporate media outlets."
*  Watch the livestream via any of these media partners (or the link at the bottom):
□  Free Speech TV (DirecTV Channel 348, Dish Network Channel 9415, Sling TV, Roku, and Apple TV)
□  The Real News Network at
□  Or listen on KPFK in Los Angeles.
*  Why not get more than the corporate media's pre-spun propaganda that interprets results through the corporate lens?
*  You'll get results from more than a dozen states, as they come in, AND get COGENT analysis from guest experts with a diverse array of backgrounds and perspectives, including:
---  The Nation magazine's John Nichols
--- co-founder Norman Solomon
---  Investigative journalist Arun Gupta
---  Labor organizer and writer Jane McAlevey
---  Indigenous youth climate leader Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
---  Socialist member of the Seattle City Council Kshama Sawant
--- 's Julio Ricardo Valera
---  Council on American Islamic Relations' Zahra Billoo
---  and many others.
*  Cosponsored by KPFK Pacifica radio, Roots Action, and Free Speech TV.
*  WATCH LIVE through any of the sites above, or go direct here.


Today is Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date...

"The past has brought us both ashes and diamonds. In the present we find the flowers of what we've planted and the seeds of what we are becoming. I plant the seeds of love in my heart. I plant the seeds of love in the hearts of others."

~ Julia Cameron, artist, author, teacher, filmmaker, composer, and journalist (born March 4, 1948)


On this day...

They paved paradise, and put up a big Wal-mart...
     After "discovering" the Americas in October, 1492 and losing his flagship, the Santa Maria, explorer Christopher Columbus arrives back in Lisbon, Portugal, on this day in 1493, aboard his smaller auxiliary ship Niña to reveal to Europe the news of his voyage. He had landed on what are now the Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean.
     Twenty-six years later, today in 1519, Hernán Cortés arrives in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and its wealth.
     One-hundred-nine years after that, today in 1628, the Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a Royal charter for its English colony.
     Fifty-years later, today in 1681, Charles II grants a land charter to William Penn for the area that will later become Pennsylvania.

They were the young Americans...
     Today in 1776 -- four months to the day from the Continental Congress' Declaration of American Independence -- the Continental Army fortifies Dorchester Heights with cannon obtained by the proto-commando taking of Fort Ticonderoga, leading British troops to abandon their Siege of Boston.
     Thirteen years and a successful war for independence later, today in 1789, the first Congress of the United States meets in New York City, putting the US Constitution into effect. As its firstbact, the Bill of Rights is written and proposed to Congress as the first Amendments to the Constitution. (Ten of the proposed 13 passed.)
     Two years later, today in 1791, Vermont is admitted to the US as the fourteenth state.
     Three years after that, today in 1794, the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed by the U.S. Congress.
     And three years later, today in 1797, John Adams is inaugurated as the 2nd President of the United States of America. It marked the first planned, peaceful transition of power for any modern nation, as President George Washington stepped from office to ordinary citizen, and rode his horse home to Mt. Vernon, Virginia.

American aberration...
     Today in 1849, President-Elect Zachary Taylor and Vice President-Elect Millard Fillmore did not take their respective Oaths of office as proscribed by the US Constitution, leading to the theory that the outgoing President Pro Tempore of the Senate -- David Rice Atchison -- assumed the role of Acting President of the United States for one day.

Bonnie Blue Flags...
     Today in 1861 the first national flag of the Confederate States of America -- the "Stars and Bars" -- is adopted. It is not the "X" of the battle flag, but three broad horizontal bars, red, white, and red, with an upper corner field of blue containing a star for each Confederate state. In the smoke of the battlefield, it was impossible to tell which flag was the Stars and Stripes of the Union, and which was the Stars and Bars of the rebels. The Army of Northern Virginia adopted the "X" design for its battlefield, but elsewhere the deadly problem remained, until...
     Today in 1865, the third and final national flag of the Confederate States of America is adopted by the Confederate Congress. But it is mostly white, with a small "X" design in the top corner, and was sometimes mistaken as a white flag of truce or surrender. It was that kind of war.

Progressive era milestones / Women's History Month...
     Today in 1913 on the first day of his Presidency, Woodrow Wilson creates the cabinet-level United States Department of Labor.
     Today in 1917, Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first-ever female member of the United States House of Representatives, while Wilson is still president.
     Today in 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt's appointment of Frances Perkins is ratified by the Senate, and she becomes United States Secretary of Labor, the first-ever female member of a US Cabinet.

Money can't buy me love...
     Today in 1966, in an interview in the London Evening Standard, The Beatles' John Lennon declares the Beatles are "more popular than Jesus now." Across the US Bible Belt, preachers lead mass burnings of Beatles records.

Political revolution 1.0...
     Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated for his first term as President of the United States on this date in 1933. The country was mired in the depths of the Great Depression, and New Deal Democrat FDR beat Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover, bringing a political revolution in a landslide.

     The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a blood test for AIDS infection Today in 1985. It is used since then for screening all blood donations in the United States.

When people in this country used to read...
     "People" magazine is published for the first time today in 1974 in the US as "People Weekly."

Civil rights...
     Today in 1998, in "Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc.," the US Supreme Court rules that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harassment also apply when both parties are the same sex.

     The Soviet Vega 1 spacecraft begins returning images of Halley's Comet and the first images of its nucleus, today in 1986.

But they still didn't get the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz cabal...
     Today in 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its establishment in 2002.

Cold War II...
     Today in 2018, former MI6 spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter are poisoned with a suspected Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury, England, causing a diplomatic uproar that results in mass-expulsions of diplomats from all countries involved.

Happy birthday today, March 4th, to...

David Matthews, American keyboard player and composer.

Chris Rea, English singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Carroll Baker, Canadian singer-songwriter.

Gloria Gaither, American singer-songwriter.

Julia Cameron, American artist, author, teacher, filmmaker, composer, & journalist.

Samuel Adler, German-American composer and conductor.

Bob Lewis, American guitarist.

Mike Moran, English musician, songwriter and record producer.

Shakin' Stevens, British singer-songwriter.

Ronn Moss, American singer-songwriter and actor.

Sigurd Jansen, Norwegian pianist, composer, and conductor.

Bernard Haitink, Dutch violinist and conductor.

John Murphy, British film composer.

Emilio Estefan, Cuban-American drummer and producer.

Jan Garbarek, Norwegian saxophonist and composer.

Evan Dando, American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Umberto Tozzi, Italian singer-songwriter and producer.

Zorán Sztevanovity, Serbian-Hungarian singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Pēteris Plakidis, Latvian pianist and composer.

Mario Davidovsky, Argentinian-American composer and academic.

Alison Wheeler, English singer-songwriter.

Linus of Hollywood, American singer-songwriter and producer.

Aja Volkman, American singer-songwriter.

Suzanna Choffel, American singer-songwriter.

Raven Quinn, American singer-songwriter.

Nocturno Culto, Norwegian singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Edward Dębicki, Ukrainian-Polish poet and composer.

Aribert Reimann, German pianist and composer.

Hawksley Workman, Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Mats Eilertsen, Norwegian bassist and composer.

Chlöe Howl, British singer-songwriter.

Denis Dallan, Italian rugby player and singer.

Jorge Celedón, Colombian singer.

Yasemin Mori, Turkish singer.

Jeremy Loops, South African singer-songwriter and record producer.

Annie Yi, Taiwanese singer, actress, and writer.

Anders Kjølholm, Danish bass player.

Jason Newsted, American heavy metal singer-songwriter and bass player.

In memorium to musicians and other influencers born this date...

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Italian violinist and composer.

Theodore Dehone "Ted" Judah (1826-1863), American engineer who founded the Central Pacific Railroad and surveyed the "impossible" route over the High Sierra, making the first transcontinental railroad possible; we was en-route to Washington D.C. to rat-out the "Big Four" who stole the railroad from him, but he contracted Yellow Fever while crossing the isthmus of Panama, and died upon arriving by ship in New York.

Ward Kimball (1914-2002), American animator, producer, screenwriter, and musician, he played in nearly every band of every music genre at Disneyland during its early years, and in his spare time, restored 19th century steam trains.

Bobbi Kristina Brown (1993-2015), American singer and actress.

Miriam Makeba (1932-2008), South African singer-songwriter and actress.

Barbara McNair (1934-2007), American singer and actress.

Halim El-Dabh (1921-2017), Egyptian-American composer and educator.

Don Rendell (1926-2015), English saxophonist and flute player.

Chris Squire (1948-2015), English singer-songwriter and bass guitarist.

Bobby Womack (1944-2014), American singer-songwriter.

Pete Haycock (1951-2013), English singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Lucio Dalla (1943-2012), Italian singer-songwriter and actor.

Paul Mauriat (1925-2006), French conductor and composer.

Eric Allandale (1936-2001), Dominican trombonist and songwriter.

Carlos Surinach (1915-1997), Spanish-Catalan composer and conductor.

John Duffey (1934-1996), American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Barney Wilen (1937-1996), French saxophonist and composer.

Ferdinand Leitner (1912-1996), German conductor and composer.

Avery Fisher (1906-1994), American violinist and engineer, founded Fisher Electronics.

Dorothy Mackaill (1903-1990), English-American actress and singer.

Angus MacLise (1938-1979), American drummer and composer.

Thomas Shaw (1908-1977), American singer and guitarist.

Taos Amrouche (1913-1976), Algerian singer and author.

Paul Bazelaire (1886-1958), French cellist and composer.

Alexander Goedicke (1877-1957), Russian pianist and composer.

John Garfield (1913-1952), American actor and singer.

Egbert Van Alstyne (1878-1951), American pianist and songwriter.

Joseph Schmidt (1904-1942), Austrian-Hungarian tenor and actor.

Paul Lacôme (1838-1920), French pianist, cellist, and composer.

Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), English actor, playwright, and composer

Francesco de Layolle (1492-1540), Italian organist and composer.



Today is Thursday, March 5, 2020.

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

"The law has nothing to do with justice, and injustice can't be left unchallenged. So I decided to be a writer. Writing can't change the world overnight, but writing may have an enormous effect over time, over the long haul."

~ Leslie Marmon Silko, Native American author who quit law school after reading Charles Dickens' "Bleak House." Her own books include Ceremony (1977), Almanac of the Dead (1991), Gardens in the Dunes (1999), and The Turquoise Ledge (2010). We await her next work.

And, from another influencer born on this date, comes this...

"By God, I told them the truth. They liked it or they didn't like it. What had that to do with me? I told them the Truth; I knew it for the Truth then, I know it for the Truth now."

~ Frank Norris (1870-1902), author of The Octopus in 1901, a key societal influencer in bringing the Progressive Era to power to undo the control of the Robber Barons. Norris intended the book as the first in a trilogy, but he dird of a burst appendix. Nonetheless, his book proved such an eye-opener and awakening influence that it helped elect Teddy Roosevelt, and later, Woodrow Wilson.


On this day...

     Todday in 1963, American country music stars Patsy Cline (born Virginia Patterson Hensley), Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and their pilot Randy Hughes are killed in a plane crash in Camden, Tennessee.

Massacre on America's streets...
     Today is the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre, a cold and snowy night in 1770. British soldiers had occupied Boston for 18 months to protect the tax collectors for the king of England, and several street fights between soldiers and townsmen had ensued since the beginning of the month. Things this night were powered by that tension. 

     A growing crowd of young men taunted soldiers who emerged into the street, and pelted them with taunts, insults, throw snowballs and broken-off icicles, and even oysters (the popular pub food of the time). 
     The soldiers brandished weapons. The crowd dared them to shoot. They did. 
     Five colonists lay dead or dying. One was former slave Crispus Attucks, a black man, who is believed to be the first one to die, thus becoming the first American killed in the American Revolution. 
     None other than American patriot John Adams defended the soldiers in their trial, because he believed all men deserve a good defense under the law. Most of the soldiers were acquitted on Adams' argument that neither the soldiers nor the mob were to blame but it was the British policy of using soldiers to keep the peace in Boston. Two soldiers were convicted of manslaughter. 
     And when America became a nation it would pass the Posse Comitatus Act, forbidding military forces from acting as police in American streets. (Our thanks to Garrison Keillor for reminding us of part of today's significance.)

Electing a dictator...
     On this day in 1933, the Nazi Party won 44 percent of the vote in German parliamentary elections. That enabled the Nazis to join with the Nationalists in a coalition holding a slight majority in the Reichstag. Within three weeks, the Nazi-dominated Reichstag passed the "Enabling Act," giving Hitler dictatorial powers and ending the Weimar Republic in Germany

Too crazy today with pressing things to do, so a general "Happy Birthday" to artists born March 5th.

No music events are in our database of recommendations today. We'll have plenty in our upcoming weekend edition.

More single-performance listings -- beyond those in the section above -- are in the Guide's previous edition.



Continuing Events

(UPDATES ADDED, as needed)

Thu, Feb 27-Mar 8:
THE ANDREWS BROTHERS play multiple shows in the Beverly O'Neill Theater at  Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E Ocean Bl, Long Beach CA 90802
*  TIX, 

See it now; ART EXHIBITION, unknown duration:
"UNTITLED (QUESTIONS)," by artist BARBARA KRUGER at Los Angeles Union Station, Alameda Av, downtown Los Angeles CA
*  This exhibition, part of "FRIEZE WEEK 2020," is still up. Everything else from the big frieze officially ended after the advertised Feb 10-16 run.
Barbara Kruger, ’WHO BUYS THE CON’ mural, on the façade of NeueHouse Hollywood.
Photo, Fredrik Nilsen
*  "Untitled (Questions)" features large-scale queries, alternating between English and Spanish, created by the artist.
*  This project brings Kruger’s provocations/interrogations, which "are indeterminate and open to subjective interpretation," into physical proximity with the public. It's part of "Frieze Week Los Angeles," presented at sites throughout the greater L.A. area.
*  "Wallpaper" says, "Graphically bold and politically audacious, Barbara Kruger is known for plastering her unmissable slogans all over the place – an assimilation of mass media imagery and words reassembled and thrown back in the face of passive spectatorship. Sex, society and politics are Kruger’s primary materials – three topics that are as hot in the US today as they were when she started making work in the 1980s."
*  "Untitled (Questions)" debuted in its original form, 1990-2018 at MOCA. At Union Station, it's co-presented by "Metro Art" and "Frieze Los Angeles."
*  Beyond the iconic train station, a series of 20 questions composed by Kruger such as ‘IS THERE LIFE WITHOUT PAIN?‘ or ‘WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?‘ will be installed outside a number of prominent art spaces, civic landmarks and public centers across the city, on digital billboards, light pole banners, murals, print and digital media.
*  Frieze partnered with multiple venues, including Metro (at Union Station), the West Hollywood Design District, L.A. Tourism & Convention Bureau,  NeueHouse, The Forum, The Standard, and Banc of California Stadium.
*  Tip: avoid traffic and expensive parking by taking Metro to downtown events, aboard the Red / Purple Subway, Gold Line light rail, or Silver Line express bus, all direct to Union Station. The Orange Line from Chatsworth / West SFV connects at NoHo; Blue and Expo light rail connects at Metro Center, 7th and Figueroa, DTLA. Plus, Foothill Transit's Silver Streak from points east gets you there.
*  Riding a bus or train, getting out of the individual encapsulation of your car, helps you "get" the point of this exhibition. Transcendent point -- Transit: try it, you'll liiiike it.

ONGOING, multiple dates:
1 pm-6 pm - "CALLE CARONA FARMS AND VINES MUSIC JAM" at the farm, 39813 Calle Carona, Green Valley CA 91390
*  For people interested in sustainable organic farming in a beautiful country setting, to the accompaniment of music.
*  Bring your instruments to play, and seeds to plant, grow, sing and enjoy the harvest.
*  Dates: Sat, Mar 14; Sat, Jun 13; more.

ONGOING, Feb 14-Mar 15; MUSICAL:
"LAW AND ORDER: THE MUSICAL!" in its world premiere at Broadwater Second Stage, 6320 Santa Monica Bl, Hollywood CA 90038.
*  A parody in accordance with fair use law.
*  This musical by Ilyse Mimoun and Jeremy Adelman spoofs the popular TV series.
*  Runs Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm. Ends March 15.

ONGOING, Feb 19-Mar 29; MUSICAL:
8 pm - “THE BOOK OF MORMON,” the big musical comedy, returns, opening Feb 19 in the Ahmanson Theatre at the L.A. Music Center, 135 N Grand Av, downtown Los Angeles CA
*  TIX start at $45, at 213-972-4400 or

ONGOING, Thu, Mar 12-Sat, Mar 21; MUSICAL:
"HAMILTON" touring cast plays the Hollywood Pantages theatre, Hollywood CA
*  TIX, $253-$1,250 each (gasp), at ticketmaster.

ONGOING, Feb 27-Mar 22; stage play:
8 pm - “DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE” opens at the Little Fish Theatre, 777 S Centre St, San Pedro CA
*  Sarah Ruhl’s play, "mysterious and mesmerizing, explores the need for real life connection in a technologically obsessed world." -- Easy Reader News.
*  Runs: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sun Mar 8 at 2 pm (includes Q&A with crew and cast), Sun Mar 22 at 2 pm. Closes March 22.
*  The Guide just attended a production here on Valentine's Day. Nice little venue with comfortable seats.
*  TIX, $24 opening night; thereafter $28 regular, $26 seniors, and $15 for those age 25-and-under who can remember to say the word “Hipster.” All tix at 310-512-6030 or

ONGOING, indefinite; FILM:
"EARTH" (Not Rated) 115 mins, is a new documentary film that opens Fri, Feb 7 at the Laemmle, Glendale CA, then moves to other Laemmles as part of the "Culture Vulture" film series.

*  This German-English-Spanish-Hungarian-Italian production was filmed at seven locations completely transformed by humans:
(1) mountains being moved in California;
(2) a tunnel being sliced through rock at the Brenner Pass;
(3) an open-cast mine in Hungary;
(4) a marble quarry in Italy;
(5) a copper mine in Spain;
(6) the salt mine used to store radioactive waste in Wolfenbüttel;
(7) a tar sands landscape in Canada.
*  Initially shown from above as abstract paintings, the terrain is then explored on the ground.
*  The film weaves together footage of machines in operation and conversations with workers.
*  Opens today in Glendale. Coming to these other Laemmle Theatres on dates indicated:
  •  Claremont 5 on 02-10-20
  •  Town Center 5 on 02-10-20
  •  Playhouse 7 on 02-10-20
  •  Royal on 02-10-20
*  TIX, and/or watch the trailer for this documentary about protecting Earth:

ONGOING, gallery show, through Mar 1:
“MY DEATH AWAITS THERE,” a display of paintings made by Steve Shriver between 2016 and 2019 after barely surviving being run over by a car, are on view through March 1 in the Peninsula Center Library, 701 Silver Spur Rd, Rolling Hills Estates CA
*  Info, 310-377-9584 or

ONGOING, gallery show, through Mar 8:
“UNSEEN: 35 YEARS OF COLLECTING PHOTOGRAPHS” is on view At the J. Paul Getty Museum / Getty Center, Los Angeles CA
“My Things No. 5 – 5,000 Pieces of Rubbish” Chromogenic print (2002), by Hong Gao
© Hong Hao; anonymous gift. Courtesy of Chambers Fine Art.
*  Features 200 works selected by the photography department curators. (310) 440-7300 or

ONGOING, through Jun 13:
1 pm-5 pm - "WATER CHANGES EVERYTHING" exhibit presented by the Historical Society of Long Beach at 4260 Atlantic Av, Long Beach CA
*  Runs Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 1 pm-5 pm;  Thursdays 1-7 pm; and   Saturdays, 11 am-5 pm.
*  Free.
*  Info: 562-424-2220.

Annual "MASTERS ART EXHIBITION AND SALE" opens Feb 8 at the Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park / Los Angeles CA 90027
*  Paintings and sculptures by 64 premier Western artists ate in the exhibition, to see and purchase.
*  "Masters" opens with an artists' dinner on Friday evening, and then a full day of festivities on Saturday — including artist talks, an awards presentation, and an evening cocktail reception, where approximately 250 fixed-price works are sold through a drawing.
*  Note: All-weekend VIP tickets are SOLD OUT, but Saturday-only tickets are available at the door.
*  Proceeds from "Masters" support the "Campaign for the Autry," which helps provide essential support for the Autry’s educational programs, innovative exhibitions, and over 100 public events annually.
*  Special events with "Masters" include:
   •  "TRUNK SHOW AT THE AUTRY STORE" Sat, Feb 8, 10 am-4 pm.
   •  "GALLERY NIGHT WITH DUBLAB" on Thu, Feb 20, 6:30-9 pm.
*  Note that Feb 8 the museum and store both close at 4 pm.
*  PHOTO GALLERY of artists and artwork:

ONGOING, stage play, through Mar 8:
NEIL SIMON'S “RUMORS” stage production by Surf City Theatre, produced at Second Story Theater, 710 Pier Av, Hermosa Beach CA.
*  Director Katie Kirkpatrick manages a large cast on a small stage and pulls-off a zinger-filled script that would look slapstick in less capable hands.
Christopher Yearwood as Glenn Cooper, Sabrina Guyll as Cassie Cooper, and
Drew Rogers as Ken Gorman. Photo courtesy Surf City Theatre, via Easy Reader News
*  READ THE REVIEW by Bondo Wyszpolski in the South Bay "Easy Reader News," at:
*  Runs Fri & Sat at 8 pm, and Sun at 2 pm, through Mar 8.
*  TIX, $28, at 424-241-8040 or

ONGOING, gallery show, through Apr 3:
"ORIGINAL PAINTINGS BY OVER 50 LOCAL ARTISTS" get lots of space for lots of pictures, on view at Parkhurst Galleries, 439 W Sixth St, San Pedro CA
*  OPENING RECEPTION Fri, Feb 28, 5-8 pm.
*  Info, 310-547-3158 or

ONGOING, through Feb 29:
"MATTHEW PERDONI EXHIBITION" at Encinitas 101 (aka E101) Gallery, 818 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas CA
*  This, Perdoni's most recent series, was inspired by a past CROSS-COUNTRY TRAIN-HOPPING TRIP that spawned an entire collection of scenes and characters gathered while riding the rails.
*  Otherwise, he creates fine art paintings and public artworks in San Diego.
*  His work is heavily illustrative, often exploring stories and themes that resonate in his own life experiences.

6 pm - "THE MANOR" is Theatre 40's production of Kathrine Bates' drama about a murder and suicide that took place at Greystone Mansion a century ago.
* It's AT the Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills CA 90210
* Runs Thu & Fri at 6 pm (Saturdays and Sundays are sold out.)
* Ends March 1.

(but it's an Equity show):
"THE ADVENTURES OF PETER RABBIT" with book and lyrics by Anthony Gruppuso, who directs. Music by Matt Dahan.
* At Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Bl West, Los Angeles CA 90068
* Runs Saturdays at 1 pm.
* Ends March 21.

World Premiere of "LYING WITH BADGERS" presented by "NATIVE VOICES AT THE AUTRY" at the Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park / Los Angeles CA 90027

*  This dark comedy — featuring puppets who interact with humans — tells the story of two estranged brothers of the Blackfeet Nation.
*  Runs Thursdays and Fridays, 8 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays, 2 pm.
*  TIX, $15 non-mbrs / $10 Students, Seniors (60+), & Military (w/ ID), at:

"SWEET LAND" presented by The Industry at L.A. State Historic Park, at 1724 Baker St, Los Angeles CA 90012 (in the NEZ corner of the State Historic Park)
*  L.A.’s contemporary opera company brings a performance that disrupts the dominant narrative of American identity.
*  The Arrivals wash up on the shore. They make contact with another civilization they call “the Hosts.” And from there, the story splinters, following diverging perspectives. Starting as a procession through the L.A. State Historic Park, "Sweet Land" becomes an opera that erases itself.
*  The company that created "Invisible Cities" and "Hopscotch" now brings "a grotesque historical pageant."
*  It's the result of a highly collaborative and multi-perspect approach.
*  Composer Du Yun is a Chinese immigrant whose recent work originates from what she states “is a lack of understanding and empathy around immigration”. Her last major opera, "Angel’s Bone," won a Pulitzer Prize for music and explores the psychology behind human trafficking.
*  Composer Raven Chacon, "United States Artists" fellow and winner of the "Creative Capital Award," is a composer, performer and installation artist from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation.
*  Librettist Douglas Kearney is a poet whose “polyphonic diction pulls history apart, recombining it to reveal an alternative less whitewashed by enfranchised power” (BOMB Magazine).
*  Librettist Aja Couchois Duncan is a mixed-race Ojibwe writer who works to advance equity and social justice.
*  Cannupa Hanksa Luger is a multidisciplinary artist who interweaves performance and political action to communicate stories about 21st-century Indigeneity. He co-directs "Sweet Land."
*  Yuval Sharon, co-director, is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Industry and a 2017 MacArthur Fellow.
*  Info:
*  TIX:

"NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE," a series of productions filmed live on London's West End, screening at Boston Court Pasadena, 70 N Mentor Av, Pasadena CA 91106;
*  Boston Court, itself renowned for live theatre, brings these brilliantly filmed plays from across the pond; some have two dates, and the near-term one is sold-out; get tix early:
■  "ALL ABOUT EVE," starring GIllian Anderson:
Wed, Jan 29, 8 pm, get tix now.
■  "HAMLET" (encore), starring Benedict Cumberbatch:
Sun, Feb 2, 1:30 pm, get tix now.
  "FLEABAG," written & performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge; two dates:
Thu, Jan 30 - Sold out; Wed, May 20, 8 pm, get tix now.
  "PRESENT LAUGHTER," starring Andrew Scott; two dates:
Fri, Jan 31, Sold out; Wed, May 27, 7:30 pm, get tix now.
■  "ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS" (encore), starring James Corden; two dates:
Sat, Feb 1, 1:30 pm; Sat, May 16, 7:30 pm; get tix now, either date.
■  "THE AUDIENCE" (encore), starring Helen Mirren:
Sun, May 10, 1:30 pm, get tix now.
  "HANSARD," starring Alex Jennings and Lyndsey Duncan:
Tues, May 12, 8 pm, get tix now.
  "CYRANO DE BERGERAC" – New, starring James McAvoy; two dates:
Mon, May 18, 7:30 pm; Fri, May 22, 7:30 pm; get tix now, either date.
*  TIX, $20; Box Office, 626-683-6801, 11 am - 5 pm, Tue-Fri.

ONGOING, Feb 26-Mar 12:
“WHAT IS IT ABOUT TREES?” is on view in the El Camino College Art Gallery, 16007 Crenshaw Bl, Torrance CA
*  Featuring "a forestful" of artists.
*  OPENING RECEPTION is Wed, Feb 27, 7 pm-9 pm.
*  Tue, Mar 3,  at 1 pm in the gallery, some of the forestful of artists join in the Artists’ talk.
*  Info, 310-660-3010. Closes March 12th.
*  Pictured, “Blue Ridge Forest, Fiddle Music, Forky Deer 1920,” by Nancy Mooslin.

ONGOING, Feb 15-Feb 29:
“LOVE HURTS” opening reception at ShockBoxx Gallery, 636 Cypress Av, Hermosa Beach CA
*  Features work by Debbie Korbel, Dustin Grabiner, Mike Collins, Wendy Layne, and KT.
*   Participating artist KT says, “With the theme of this show I was even more excited since the topic of Love is miserable.”
*  GALLERY OPENING: Sat, Feb 15, 6 pm-9 pm.
*  MORE at:

ONGOING, PODCAST, on-demand:
"RECORDING ARTISTS: RADICAL WOMEN" is a new podcast series from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. In it, art historian HELEN MOLESWORTH explores the lives and work of six artists — ALICE NEEL, LEE KRASNER, BETYE SAAR, HELEN FRANKENTHALER, YOKO ONO, and EVA HESSE.
*  What was it like to be a woman making art during the feminist and civil rights movements? In this season of "Recording Artists," Molesworth delves into their lives and careers, spanning several generations. Hear them describe, in their own words, their work, relationships, and feelings about the ongoing march of feminism. Contemporary artists and art historians join the conversation, offering their own perspectives on the recordings and exploring what it meant—and still means—to be a woman and an artist. Share this with one who'll appreciate it.
*   HERE'S THE LINK. The whole series is here in individial episodes so you can pace yourself or binge it. You'll hear rare audiotaped interviews and fresh perspectives on what it meant — and still means — to be a woman making art:

ONGOING, through Mar 1:
“MUSEUM ACQUISITIONS 2019: DIRECTOR’S CHOICE” at the Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles CA 90049
*  This intends to be the first of many annual exhibitions that highlight the Getty Museum’s acquisitions made throughout the year.
*  Highlights key works of newly added art selected by the Museum's director. It includes ancient gems and sculpture; Renaissance and 19th-century paintings; Renaissance sculpture; medieval manuscripts; old-master drawings; and 20th-century and contemporary photography.
*  "It’s a small but succinct show, just one gallery, but with a variety of work, including [an] early Crucifixion in which our Lord appears to have four arms, a sort of biplane Jesus." -- Easy Reader News.
*  Open 10 am-5:30 pm Sun-Fri, Sat 10 am-9 pm, closed Mon.
Holiday closures: Dec 25, Jan 1; early closings Dec 24 & 31 at 4 pm; short hours Dec 23 & 30, 10 am-5:30 pm.
*  Free admission, parking costs. Info, 310-440-7300 or

ONGOING, through May 29:
“INCREDIBLE JOURNEY: BUGS” opened mid-Dec at the South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Bl, Palos Verdes Peninsula CA
*  Gawd, we love experiential learning. Whichever journey Garden visitors decide to take, they are transformed into that bug – literally (via props).
*  This program interactively educates visitors about the butterflies, spiders, ants and bees that can be found in the Garden.
*  Full info, 310-544-1948 or

"When the sea shall give up her dead."
The many displayed artifacts recovered
from the ocean floor include the
Stele of Thonis-Heracleion (SCA 277),
loaned by the National Museum of Alexandria –
IEASM excavations. Photo by Christoph
Gerigk ©Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation
ONGOING, through April 12, daily:
10 am-5 pm - "EGYPT'S LOST CITIES" exhibition at the Reagan Library, 40 Presidential Dr, Simi Valley CA 93065
*  Akin to your best fantasies of Atlantis, these are artifacts recovered from beneath the sea.
*  One day as the Mediterranean sun beat down on the bay of Aboukir, two bustling cities of ancient Egypt slipped into the sea without a whisper of wind, buried for centuries.
*  These cities, before they sank beneath the waves, were known throughout the world as cultural centers of power, of wealth, of trade, and novel artistry.
*  Time may have eroded the memory of a civilization, but not the mystery -- or the breathtaking artifacts -- of what it was.
*  This exhibition runs Oct 5, 2019–Apr 12, 2020.
*  View the holiday tree exhibit (through Jan 5; see our listing) and the Air Force One Pavilion, along with this current special exhibition, all during one visit for the price of museum admission. But allow yourself PLENTY of time.
*  Open seven days a week, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
*  Facility features a nice cafeteria-style cafe.
*  TIX include the exhibition and the 125,000 square feet of all the permanent exhibits and displays, including Air Force One; you need to allow three to four hours to enjoy all of the galleries and grounds. Gen'l adm $29.95, discounts for youth, kids, seniors; active US military get in free. Free parking. Tix available in advance or at the door. It's worth adding the $7 "audio tour." Online adv. tix:

"THE FATHER" starring acclaimed actor ALFRED MOLINA in "a tour-de-force performance that will leave you breathless," at the Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S El Molino Av, Pasadena CA 91101; 626-356-7529;
*  90 minutes, no intermission.
*  “Savagely honest … Hugely rewarding” -- The Guardian.
*  Directed by Boston Court Pasadena Artistic Director Jessica Kubzansky. Written by Florian Zeller, translated into English by Christopher Hampton.
*  About the play: André was once a tap dancer. He lives with his daughter, Anne, and her husband, Antoine. Or was André an engineer, whose daughter Anne lives in London with her new lover, Pierre? The thing is, he is still wearing his pajamas, and he can’t find his watch. He is starting to wonder if he’s losing control.
*  An Open Captioned performance is Sun, Feb 23 at 2 pm.
*  TIX: $25, less 20% off tickets with code MEMORY. Restrictions may apply.
*  TIX at

THERE'S PLENTY MORE HAPPENING. And with the Guide in our new topical news feature story format, we can get to things and get them out to you without bogging-down in endless tail-chasing exercises, trying to complete everything for inclusion in a calendar-driven format.

See ya soon. Stay Tuneful!


☆  THE ENTIRE CATALOGUE of all past editions of The Guide is available (and searchable!) FREE, in our archive. If you don't see the navigation pane on the left side of your screen, just click "view web version" and it'll magically appear (along with the correct photo, art, and page formats that you've been missing if you don't see that left-sidebar.)



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.

Find a comfortable spot by the 

wood stove, play a round or two 
of checkers, and we'll be along...

On to the necessary boilerplate...

Boilerplate? What "boilerplate"? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox? How do you add water so it won't blow-up?

Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff? ...obviously some dumbass...

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



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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)

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