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.
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.
A report on school-age children who are homelessness in Los Angeles ran Thursday on "CBS This Morning," and is available on-demand at www.cbsnews.com
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."
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" (www.garrisonkeillor.com)
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?
|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.|
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|
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, wearing 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.
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.|
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
~ gas pump handles -- whatever was deposited on them is now on your steering wheel, and marinading on your hands as you snack while driving.
~ 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.
Here's what's happening this Leap Weekend...
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: www.eventbrite.com/e/leap-day-silent-disco-on-third-street-promenade-tickets-92095625495
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:
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
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|
* 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: https://www.laprogressive.com/lady-day/
* 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: https://www.itsmyseat.com/ERT/index.html
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Today in 1998, the James Cameron epic "Titanic" became the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide.
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...
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: https://homesteadmuseum.typeform.com/to/CVHhbM
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
|Karole Foreman as Billie Holiday|
Today is Monday, March 2, 2020.
"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.
Today is Wednesday, March 4, 2020.
"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.
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."
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.
"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.
(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, https://longbeachca.eventticketscenter.com/long-beach-convention-center-long-beach-tickets/30884/e
See it now; ART EXHIBITION, unknown duration:
|Barbara Kruger, ’WHO BUYS THE CON’ mural, on the façade of NeueHouse Hollywood.|
Photo, Fredrik Nilsen
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.
* 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 www.littlefishtheatre.org
“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 www.pvld.org
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.
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
* Runs Fri & Sat at 8 pm, and Sun at 2 pm, through Mar 8.
* TIX, $28, at 424-241-8040 or www.surfcitytheatre.com
* OPENING RECEPTION Fri, Feb 28, 5-8 pm.
* Info, 310-547-3158 or www.parkhurstgalleries.com
"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; www.bostoncourtpasadena.org
* 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.
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: www.shockboxxproject.com
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 www.getty.edu
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 www.southcoastbotanicgarden.org
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:
ONGOING, Feb 5-Mar 1; LIVE THEATRE:
"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; www.pasadenaplayhouse.org
* 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 https://www.pasadenaplayhouse.org/event/the-father/
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!
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...
in this new decade...
"Hee Haw" voice: "THAT's all!"