Save the Date for Joyce Gordon Gallery’s upcoming event: Oakland Youth Art Explosion!

Oakland Youth Arts Explosion!
SAVE THE DATE!
Oakland Youth Art Explosion: 
1st Annual Youth Art Festival  
YAE! 2017
 
Sunday, August 6th, 2017  11:00am – 6pm
Downtown Merchants Parking Garage
1316 Franklin St.
Oakland, CA. 94612

OYAE! (Oakland Youth Art Explosion) 

hosted by Joyce Gordon Foundation of the Arts is a Youth Festival featured and organized by youth and young adults.
ORGANIZERS (just to name a few):
Youth Urban Farm Project, Eastside Art Alliance

Joyce Gordon Foundation of the Arts, Attitudinal Healing Center, Downtown TAY, HHREC, Oakland Unite and You!

YOUTH ART EVENTS (just to name a few)

Hip Hop and Jazz Band Performance, Urban Youth Farmers Market, Live Painting Mural Projects, OYAE Youth Cinema, Dance Group Performances, Spoken Word/Open Mic, Painting Workshop w/ Professional Artists, Youth Art Exhibit (preview in July @Joyce Gordon Gallery) Martial Arts and more!

SPONSORS (just to name a few)
Carmel Partners, Akonadi Foundation, Greenlining Institute, Geoffrey’s InnerCircle, HHREC
           
Joyce Gordon Foundation of the Arts is a nonprofit cultural resource for Oakland and the Bay area community. Committed to the development of artist and enriching the cultural landscape by engaging a diverse group (emerging artist, seniors, veterans, those with disabilities) to dream and work together to bring about positive change while building community.

Joyce Gordon Gallery
406 14th St
Oakland, California 94612
510-465-8928
www.joycegordongallery.com

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Travel industry will suffer, consumer prices will go up, cyber crime will go through the roof.

No more laptops on planes with the US as destiny

Making America great and relaxed again. Cut off from the world and with diminished numbers of enthusiastic  international business people bringing money and customers to the US the economy will suffer. Perhaps Americans should embrace the Amish life style?  Plant a garden and live life without any connection to the crazy media world?

But since when there is a will there is a way, government sponsored terrorists will simply use private Jet Planes. They are terrorists and they are funded, ironically by countries who have often held long and close relationships with the US government.  Europeans are not on the top lists of global terrorists.  They are too busy working, drinking beer at local festivals and going to the opera.

As international business people are forced to use public cloud systems, cyber crime will rise to an all time high. Which is a risk that many companies will not wish to deal with.

When computer illiterate people are in charge this may seem like a good idea, since they are completely unaware of the unintended consequences.

As imports are strangled and business customers can’t shop in the US anymore in a convenient way, both B2B and consumer prices will skyrocket. It may create local jobs for some of the basics.  There is always perfect balance in the world. Gardening equipment will go up as people have to grow their own food, due to loss of income.

Business internationally will be forced to reorient and Jean-Claude Juncker who recently got in trouble for stating that the “English language” is loosing its importance – just may become right with the help of some computer illiterate leaderships around the world.

It probably would be less costly and much more effective to just have a public relations campaign that promotes: “Buy Made in the USA” or “Assembled in the USA” products.

The fall out of such a decision will negatively affect the travel industry, tech industry, most exports, and it will practically force nations around the world to deal with each other and forgo business with the US, until this country’s business leadership comes to their senses.  While corporations are people and they can clearly sponsor anyone into power, they have chosen some real doozies lately.  They have eroded the middle class to an all time low since World War II.

The people in charge seem not to realize that trade is a two-way street. You cut off one way and you automatically cut off the other way as well. There are a lot of nations who will love to step in to fill the void.  US lifestyles will suffer but international business people from around the world will always find a place to their investment dollars.

Out of 7,347,000,000 there are only about 321,000,000 Americans and only about 58 Million Brits. That means that over 7 Billion people and their business élites are not controlled by the US government. The reason why the US and England were so successful in the past, is that they were fairminded business people who wanted to create mutually beneficial financial relationships.  Clearly that is no longer celebrated or even supported by the US government, except in genuinely international businesses like Space Travel and the development of life in space.  NASA is entering into more and more genuinely international relationships as the support in the US is diminishing since several administrations in a row.

International business execs are not controlled by anyone, since the can simply move to another country that is more supportive of their business ventures. I imagine this will be great news for Canada, Scandinavia, Brasil, and of course China, Vietnam, Japan, and India, and even Russia and the ex-Soviet States as the Silk Road gains importance.  Enterprising Europeans will look elsewhere for business that is enjoyable and profitable.  Theresa May was annoyed when Jean-Claude Juncker snubbed her about the English language loosing importance.  And he is often quite arrogant!  But unfortunately lately his arrogance is not entirely unreasonable and occasionally even understandable.

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Dreams can come true. We can learn a lot from Finland’s Space Nation Program.

A few years ago this was just a dream. Now with Space Nation that trip to the moon will become reality for more and more kids.

Space Nation’s space project for schoolchildren Space Nation offers thousands of Finnish schoolchildren the opportunity to participate in a fun SpaceSeeds science project. A teacher / school can order a research package containing locally grown radish seeds and ordinary radish seeds.

The seeds of space have been exposed to space conditions for nearly six months when they were sent to the International Space Station in October last year. Teachers guide children sowing seeds, and the science pack material enables students to track and compare how the growth and characteristics of ordinary and sparkling seed differ from each other. The first moment of excitement is to look at which seed germs faster.

Space Nation will open up their US Immersive Experience division in the US in June 2017, by Kasimir Lehto, an accomplished Finnish immersive experience AR and VR film maker.

The CEO of Space Nation Kalle Vähä-Jaakkola is excited to start the many collaborations necessary to with all companies, space programs, educators and countries who are interested in joining Space Nation’s preparing all of humanity for life in space.

The space media company Space Nation (Cohu Experience Ltd.) rose to the forefront of the global space boom by announcing the launch of the Space Nation Astronaut Program accessible to all.  headquarters are in Helsinki, Finland, but our team spans from Helsinki to Madrid, Washington DC, New York, Florida, Houston, Denver and San Francisco.

Cohu Experience has built a strong network of leading space industry corporations as well as compiled an impressive advisory board including Michael Suffredini (former ISS director), John Barbera (formerly Turner Broadcasting), Michael D.Johnsson (Nanoracks, LLC.) and Peter Vesterbacka (Rovio Entertainment: Angry Birds).

The Space Nation Astronaut Program starts worldwide in 2017.

Learn more by visiting:  www.spacenation.org

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Access your mobile phone with your performance eyewear

Liberty Sports partners with Avaya
Liberty Sports partners with Avaya

Liberty Sport Shoots for the Moon with Avaya Midmarket Solutions

SANTA CLARA, CA–(Marketwired – May 02, 2017) – As Liberty Sport grew into a dominant force in the performance eyewear industry and a choice for NASA missions, the company needed a new approach to communications and customer service to mirror the high quality of its products. Called to join the mission, Avaya Midmarket Solutions provided the functionality, mobility and remote accessibility that enables Liberty Sport to execute powerful launches with sustained contact at a level the company had not experienced before.

Significant growth brought Liberty Sport to a crossroads. It had to decide whether to support increasing demand by upgrading its existing solution from an Avaya competitor, or to consider solutions from other vendors. The company elected to change course once Avaya Midmarket Solutions came into the picture with unified communications and contact center support. Avaya offered functionality and efficiency that made an upgrade of their existing solution pale in comparison. Ultimately, the new Avaya solutions enabled Liberty Sport to:

  • Integrate with existing systems so agents are better informed when working with customers.
  • Increase scalability to handle more customers with better service quality.
  • Enhance mobility for traveling executives and managers, allowing them to use their smartphones to seamlessly access calls and messages sent to their company extension.
  • Provide better remote access for and oversight of work-at-home agents. When a major snowstorm caused some to lose power at their homes, agents were able to continue working from any location where they could get Internet access through a wifi connection.
  • Generate real-time and historic reports that enable better staffing strategies and performance improvements among the agent workforce. Management can view peak call times and adjust staffing as needed, which has already resulted in different shift hours. This will also lead to more revenue as agents are placed in roles where they can generate sales.
  • Significantly improved voice quality throughout the organization.

Liberty Sport Vice President Robin Young said:

“When I saw how much reporting functionality Avaya would give us, that’s what made me go this route. What Avaya offered was still more than what the upgraded system would give us. Avaya is always staying above the cusp, always striving to improve their products.”

Learn more about Liberty Sport and the company’s implementation of Avaya Midmarket Solutions in the case study.

About Liberty Sport

For nearly a century, Liberty Sport has been producing superior frames and lenses to handle the rigors of sport. Built to perform under demanding conditions, our products set the global standard for sports eyewear and Rx. From leading ASTM F803 impact sports protective to innovative sun technology, our commitment to research and innovation is unrivaled. And you’ll see that commitment in every product we make.

About Avaya

Avaya enables the mission critical, real-time communication applications of the world’s most important operations. As the global leader in delivering superior communications experiences, Avaya provides the most complete portfolio of software and services for contact center and unified communications with integrated, secure networking- offered on premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid. Today’s digital world requires some form of communications enablement, and no other company is better positioned to do this than Avaya. For more information, please visit www.avaya.com.

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High School Nation donates more than $1.5 Million to improve the arts and music at High Schools in the US

High School Nation organized tours to High Schools around the Nation
High School Nation organized tours to High Schools around the Nation
High School Nation Donating Millions to Arts and Music Budgets as Schools See Huge Shortfall

Recording Studios to be Built in Every School

CAMARILLO, CA–(Marketwired – Apr 12, 2017) – High School Nation, the country’s largest secondary school touring music festival, will top the $1.5 million mark in donations to high school arts and music programs this year when it kicks off its 2017 60-city Festival Tour. The goal of High School Nation is to promote the arts and music programs in high schools across the country, and this year the Festival will expand its donation program to include the establishment of recording studios in each of the schools where it appears.

“We believe that building recording studios will be a major step forward in high school music programs,” says Jimmy Cantillon, CEO and co-founder of High School Nation. “High school teachers and principals are very excited about this addition to our program. It’s a huge undertaking but we have companies in the industry who see the value and want to participate in any way they can.”

During the Festival Tour, High School Nation will take over football stadiums on each of the campuses and present a two-hour concert and events that will celebrate the arts in public schools. In addition to music programs, the Festival supports journalism, film, fine and performing arts, fashion, photography, and stage production.

Corporate sponsorships for the Festivals are being provided by over a dozen companies including Sparkling Ice, Guitar Center, Crayola, and Mars. PepsiCo, Microsoft, and Sony have all participated in the tours. As part of the Festival, students will visit interactive zones to interact with products and educational programs including the truth Zone, the Full Sail University Media Zone, the Hollister Style Zone, Guitar Center Music Zone, and the Crayola Sidewalk Chalk Zone.

The Festival Tour kicks off next week and will feature platinum selling rock band Plain White T’s. “We’re stoked to be headlining the High School Nation 2017 spring tour,” said band member Tom Higgenson. “We love the idea of playing our music and at the same time being able to help High School Nation donate to public school music programs. We believe it is a very important time to be assisting music programs as much as possible.” The band originally formed in 1997 by high school friends Higgenson and Dave Tirio.

“We are excited to be joining the High School Nation tour for the second year,” say Nina Morrison, vice president PR and community relations, of Talking Rain Beverage Company, the makers of Sparkling Ice. “The arts are a very important pillar of the high school experience and we’re honored to be able to help support the various programs.”

In addition to the above, one of this year’s leading sponsors is Truth Initiative, a national public health organization that is inspiring tobacco-free lives and building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco through the proven-effective and nationally recognized truth® public education campaign. “Young people are using their creativity, through arts and music, to change the world and that’s why being part of High School Nation is so important to truth. The teen smoking rate is down to a historic low of 6 percent and this tour is an opportunity for us to give teens the tools they need join us in getting the rate to zero, because we believe they are the generation that can end smoking for good,” says Eric Ashe, Chief Marketing Officer, Truth Initiative.

“We are extremely thrilled to partner with High School Nation with its mission to make the musical instruments easily accessible to students,” says Brian Berman, Vice President of Marketing at Guitar Center. “Ensuring people have a creative outlet to express themselves in the form of music is very important to us at Guitar Center. High School Nation is doing a great job of providing opportunities for children across the U.S. to experience the invaluable gift of learning and playing a musical instrument.”

“Consumers naturally associate Crayola tools with coloring; it made sense for us to embrace that association essentially with kids of all ages, including teens and tweens, and be there for them,” says Kimberly Rompilla, Director of Platform Marketing at Crayola. “We have been involved in new product introductions and new initiatives with High School Nation and this Spring, we are excited to provide a colorful twist to teen outdoor activities, helping kids to express themselves throughout the season.”

The tours also feature a number of young, emerging performers brought in by record labels that see the benefits in being a part of this movement. RCA, Capital, Warner Bros. Records, and DreamWorks, are among the half dozen labels that have participated in the success of the Festival Tours.

“At the center of our Festivals are performances by some of the music industry’s hottest young rising stars,” Cantillon adds. “It’s one of the only opportunities for record labels and consumer products companies to come together to entertain, engage, and give back.” High school students, who spend over $260 billion per year on consumer products, are a significant audience for both the music industry and corporate sponsors.

About High School Nation:

High School Nation keeps music and arts programs alive for students across the country with donations, equipment and facilities.

Our Festival and Concert Tours are the largest events in the nation donating recording studios, musical equipment and funding for schools through on-campus sponsored live music concerts, and hands on activities. To date we have provided nearly $2 million to more than 200 schools and 600,000 students across the country.

Our culture is built around the development of innovative activities with significant and lifelong impact on teens. Through HSN, teens gain the chance to make music and the arts a significant part of their personal and, in some cases, future professional lives. Schools receive much needed funding to continue their educational programs, recording artists gain exposure to their biggest fans and brands make favorable and trusted impressions on a huge, underserved group of young consumers.

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Get tested! You need to ask for this test, since it is hardly ever done.

Courtesy https://www.heartmath.org/
Courtesy https://www.heartmath.org/

Meditation and Mindfulness works to improve health. Our attitudes affect our sleep, hormones and blood pressure.

A study by the Endocrine Society shows that losing as little as 30 minutes of sleep over the course of 12 months can increase obesity risk by 17% and insulin resistance by 39%. “Sleep deprivation impairs good metabolic balance,” says Elissa Epel, PhD, a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

Without effective screening, common hormonal causes of high blood pressure, such as the disorder termed “primary aldosteronism”, often go undiagnosed and untreated. This can leave individuals with these conditions at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, renal disease leading to dialysis or even dying.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects one in four American adults, according to the Scientific Statement. In about 15 percent of these cases, high blood pressure is caused by hormone, kidney or other disorders. The rate can be as high as 50 percent among children and 30 percent among young adults.

“Without appropriate lab tests, some common endocrine disorders are nearly indistinguishable from a routine case of hypertension,” said Endocrine Society Past President William F. Young, Jr., M.D., M.Sc., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and the chair of the task force that authored the Society’s Scientific Statement. “Screening for underlying causes of high blood pressure can save lives. This new resource offers healthcare providers valuable guidance on when to suspect a hormone disorder and how to test for it.”

Hypertension can be the first sign of any of 15 endocrine disorders. The endocrine system produces and controls hormones—the chemical messengers that govern growth, reproduction, metabolism, breathing and other essential bodily functions. Potential causes of high blood pressure can include tumors that produce adrenal hormones such as aldosterone and adrenaline, thyroid disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, or acromegaly, a rare condition where excess growth hormone builds up in the bloodstream. The Scientific Statement delves into the number of people affected by the 15 endocrine disorders and the screening process for these disorders.

The most common endocrine cause of high blood pressure is primary aldosteronism. Primary aldosteronism occurs when the adrenal glands—the small glands located on the top of each kidney—produce too much of the hormone aldosterone. This causes a build-up of aldosterone, which normally balances blood levels of sodium and potassium. The resulting excess sodium can raise blood pressure levels.

“Healthcare providers should consider primary aldosteronism screening for most people who have hypertension,” Young said. “The condition can be easily treated and often cured when it is diagnosed. Early detection also reverses the elevated risk of cardiovascular events and kidney failure in this population.”

Other authors of the statement include: David A. Calhoun of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala.; Jacques W.M. Lenders of Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität in Dresden, Germany; Michael Stowasser of the University of Queensland School of Medicine, Greenslopes Private Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hospital in Queensland, Australia; and Stephen C. Textor of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The statement, “Screening for Endocrine Hypertension: An Endocrine Society Scientific Statement,” was published online in the Society’s journal Endocrine Reviews at https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/38/2/103/3104343/Screening-for-Endocrine-Hypertension-An-Endocrine. The statement was published in the April issue of Endocrine Reviews.

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Mick Mulvaney plans that older people will loose insurance or their home. So disgusting.

Women's Earnings by Occupation[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

How are people who spend between 30% to over 50% of their salaries afford $14,900 for health insurance, the co payments and the medicine, should they be unlucky enough to fall ill? The budget committee suggested that merely 24 Million will loose health care, we venture to guess that it will be many more, since being driven out of your home at a late age, will undoubtedly cause stress related illness for the partner who has to relay this sad fact to their ill spouse. Loosing the family home with nowhere to go is a cruel situation to impose on older people. It is embarrassing to have leaders who call themselves leaders who can’t see how horribly uncivilized the mere suggestion of this actually is.

So shocking that the GOP wants to force older people to choose between providing health care for their loves ones, or staying in their home. Becoming homeless will hurt the elderly, so it seems that the GOP is knowingly trying to allowing people suffer from loosing their home and destabilize their lives so they can pay for a $883 Billion dollar tax cut for the hyper wealthy.

This is the behavior we could expect from Russian Oligarchs. This is not part of civilized Western or Asian thinking. So what does this mean in terms of the stability of the civilized world?

Will Americans and by extension Europeans allow puppets of the Russian Oligarchy take over the West?

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Tillerson is a sidelined Fake “Secretary of State” – who runs the country?

Tillerson sidelined and replaced by two financial oligarchs who are working for their personal and family’s fortunes and Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster who is meant to be a National Security Advisor. If he is an advisor why is the Secretary of State sidelined? What is their agenda?

So the US is now run by Real Estate Mogul Jared Kushner – who has is still involved in major real estate deals – contrary to the earlier press releases.

Gary Cohn, ex Goldman Sachs president, who still managers nearly 1 Million shares of Goldman Sachs, essentially still working for Goldman Sachs.

In a NYT article Kate Kelly on JAN. 25, 2017:
“Goldman Sachs has rewarded its departing president, Gary D. Cohn, with expedited access to cash and stock payments valued at nearly $300 million, and in doing so has tacitly encouraged another of its executives to accept an influential role in Washington. Late on Tuesday, Mr. Cohn, director of the National Economic Council advising President Trump, disclosed in a securities filing that he and his family members had received ownership that day of 940,908 shares of Goldman stock — a position valued at nearly $220 million. That award came in addition to a cash payout, announced the same day, amounting to about $65 million, leaving him with a total windfall of about $285 million.”

Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, National Security Advisor, replaced Michael Flynn who apparently turned out to be a foreign agent and working for Putin, together with Carter Page, Giuliani, Sessions, Kushner and many others.

What is the agenda?  Is there an agenda other than setting up more Trump and Kushner properties, under threat of a Military invasion or Financial Blackmail.  With Trump wanting to get rid of all the “bad hombres”  clearly the meeting was not meant to be friendly. Or, is the “bad hombres” fake news, merely meant to distract us of the biggest Oligarch take over of our country.

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By raising our awareness we healing as a country

By bringing our country’s unconsciousness into awareness, by becoming aware of our lower drives and desires can we choose use to commit to our higher values and will ourselves to become better as a country.  While it is painful to face our lower drives and the more vile parts of this country it is part of the overall healing process to raise our collective consciousness for a better and more beautiful peaceful world.

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Trump claims he is “the least racist person” ever. Well, how about the Dalai Lama?

Racism or lLove that is the question
Racism or Love that is the question
During Netanyahu’s visit a reporter wanted to know about the rise of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States and concerns that the new administration was encouraging xenophobia and racism.  The NYT reports:  “There is no question that hate crimes and malicious speech have accelerated since the presidential campaign, with Jews among the prime targets. The Anti-Defamation League says anti-Semitic talk in the United States has reached levels unseen since the 1930s. And there have been bomb threats against Jewish centers across the country.”  The NYT goes on: “As for racism and anti-Semitism, he said “bad things” have happened “over a long period of time” and gave no hint of appreciating how his nationalistic, anti-immigrant policies and fear-mongering have been a dog whistle for the alt-right.”
The media discussed this terrible response which did not address the havoc that organizations like Bannon’s media property Breitbart, who is known as one of the wife-beating men in the current GOP administration. Trump chose this racism promoting man as his most trusted advisor.  Trump even is known to sign Executive Orders that were placed by Bannon in front of him, without even reading them, and without informing the National Security Organizations. Bannon calls the shots because Trump chooses this racist to call reign supreme.
Instead of taking the opportunity to reassure the country that he will uphold the US constitution, which does not allow racism, he simply whines about feeling accused.  The President of the US, and the leader of the until recently “free world,”  failed with his answers to this important question. The horrible rise in racism and anti-Semitism fostered and fomented by Breitbart, Bannon and his ALT-Right racist segment of the US population.  The ALT-Right is emboldened by Bannon and his media company. Trump hired him and until he fires him,  Trump is the boss, he is responsible. Bannon created speaking opportunities for racists, Ku Klux Klan Members and people who engage in the Nazi salute.

The dictionary explains: “A racist is a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.”  Trump has claimed in several interviews that he finds being questioned whether he is a racist “offensive.” So why does he keep promoting racists?

Trump was raised by a father who was a registered Ku Klux Klan member, and his grandfather rented out women.  We can realize that many of his attitudes were formed during the pre verbal phase of his childhood. Trump rates women on a scale of 1 to 10, typically considering the age and the women’s bodies.  Not their mind, not their personality, he sees women as possessions and as objects.  He thinks that his being so attracted to women that he is compelled to touch them without invitation, is proof that he “loves” women. He succeeded in frightening and empowering women by the millions to leave the coziness of their homes to actually physically take to the street to protest.

It is quite possible that Trump is completely unaware of his attitudes, or how his actions, words, and attitudes perceived by an innocent bystander.  Clearly Trump doesn’t have much respect for his own voters.

Donald Trump made the following statement in a 1998 interview with People magazine:

If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.  
                                                           Donald Trump

Trump admires dictators who murder their own citizens, he hired billionaires after claiming through out to the Fox News watching audiences that he would “clean the swamp.” And claimed Hillary giving speeches was proof that she was pro-Wall Street. Now on a near daily basis Trump brings in his “very capable” – often previously accused of fraud – Wall Street friends to run the government. It is obvious that he and his Wall Street Friends rode into the White House by making false promises – Better Healthcare than ACA – Better Paying Jobs – Safe Streets – and a GOP that would be winning so much they would get “tired of winning.”

Meanwhile here is a quote from the Dalai Lama:

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
 ― Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness
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At C’era Una Volta, a romantic night of Italian Food and Opera in Alameda this Sunday, February 19, 2017

Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes
Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes

Why don’t you create one of the most romantic follow ups for your successful Valentine’s effort and bring your loved one to one of the most romantic settings in the Bay Area.  The quaint family atmosphere with amazing art by a word famous artist, whose paintings hang in the San Francisco Opera as well as all over Europe, is complimented by fantastic food, impeccable services which allows you to make your sweet heart feel like a princess or queen, or prince or king as the case maybe.   Being served by people who take pride in giving you a genuine old-world pleasure will create long term happy memories for you both. And if you have been married for along time, you may want to bring your grand children and introduce them to opera in a way that will open up their hearts to the finer things in life.

In 2014 Open Tables voted C’era Una Volta the Best Bay Area Italian restaurant.  It is located on 1332 Park Street, in Alameda and offers parking in the rear of the building.

This weekend there is a fundraiser that provides world class opera singers performances, a four course meal, and the first glass of wine for the small price of  a $95 per person of which $45 will given to the James Toland Vocal Arts programs.  The program cultivates and supports talents who aspire a professional career as vocal performers.

The Artists
Clarissa Lyons – rising star soprano

She will make her Metropolitan Opera debut as Karolka in Janáček’s Jenůfa in October of 2016 and will sing Countess Ceprano in Verdi’s Rigoletto in January and April 2017.

Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes
Clarissa Lyons by Marielle Hayes

Ms. Lyons was vocal fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in both 2011 and 2012.  Highlights from those residencies include performances Ravel’s Trois Poemes de Stephane Mallarmé, Prokofiev’s Ugly Duckling, Chausson’s Chanson Perpetuelle, Monteverdi’s Lamento d’Arianna, and excerpts of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride with Susan Graham and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She and pianist Bretton Brown have appeared in recital at Opera America’s National Opera Center, the WMP Concert Hall in New York City, and the Sunset Center in Carmel, California in the Winner’s Recital for the Carmel Music Society. Ms. Lyons has appeared as a soloist with the UC Berkeley University Chorus, with the Vermont Philharmonic, and San Francisco Choral Society at Davies Symphony Hall in their performance of Mendelssohn’s  Elijah featuring Rod Gilfry.  More

Arnold Livingston Geis – rising star Tenor

Arnold Livingston Geis, tenor, is a Los Angeles based musician and performer originally from Washington State. Geis began his career in Southern California as a church soloist. In 2013 marked Geis’ first season as a chorister in Los Angeles Opera’s performances of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. He has since performed on the Dorothy Chandler stage in favorites such as Carmen, La Traviata, and Billy Budd.

Geis  sings with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, an opportunity that has lead him to appear at the Walt Disney Concert Hall as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Geis’ most recent stage credits include Cavaliere Belfiore in Il viaggio a Reims, Chevalier in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Laurie Lawrence in Little Women, and Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte.

He is honored to have worked under the esteemed conductors Gustavo Dudamel, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, and Grant Gershon. An active session singer, Geis’ voice can be heard in recent blockbusters such as After Earth, Maze Runner, Godzilla, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 50 Shades of Grey, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He holds a BM in vocal performance from Biola University and graduated with his MM in vocal arts from The University of Southern California.

Clara Osowski – Mezzo Soprano

Clara Osowski’s recently completed the Vancouver International Song Institute, the International Workshop on the songs of Edvard Grieg in Bergen, Norway, and traveled to Tours, France to attend the Académie Francis Poulenc. She was also featured in the 2014 Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, in Berea, Ohio and competed in the 2014 International Vocal Competition in s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. In 2015, she was the only American to reach the finals of the Das Lied competition under the direction of Thomas Quasthoff in Berlin, Germany. This past October Clara was a finalist in the Liederkranz Foundation in New York City. Numerous festivals have introduced Clara to a number of international artists and art-song masters, including Graham Johnson, Felicity Lott, Francois Le Roux, Julius Drake, Irwin Gage, and Richard Stokes.

Clara Osokowski at the Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival
Clara Osokowski at the Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival

James Kallembach’s Songs on Letters of John and Abigail Adams with the Lydian Quartet on the occasion of the Adams’ 250th wedding anniversary at their historic home in Quincy, Massachusetts, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee. In addition to her solo work, she participates in a number of ensembles, including Consortium Carissimi, Lumina Women’s Ensemble, the Rose Ensemble and Seraphic Fire.  More

Austin Siebert

Baritone-Austin Siebert just completed the Merola Opera Program and performed the roles of Mr. Gobineau in Menotti’s The Medium and Marco in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Siebert also covered Dr. Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. Additional recent engagements include outreach with the Dallas Opera as Belcore in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Mustafá in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri with Seagle Music Colony, and the German General in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night with Fort Worth Opera Festival. Austin recently earned a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of North Texas, where he was seen as Dappertutto/Coppélius in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Pritschitsch in Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe, and the title role in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Mr. Siebert received his bachelors from Northwestern University and is a native of Shelbyville, IN.

 

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Amid questions about ethics Andy Pudzer withdraws himself from nomination for Secretary of Labor

Pudzer who is responsible for such misogynist ads, withdraws over conflicts
Pudzer who is responsible for such misogynist ads, withdraws over conflicts

Puzder who fought for lower minimum wages or automation in the fast food industry finally realized that even some Republicans are more pro-worker than he planned to be.  He has been sued numerous time for underpaying workers, which is illegal.  The Labor Department claimed that in 2,561,000 earned $7.25 or less per hour.  Please note that all minimum wage workers who live in states with a higher minimum wage than the Federal Minimum wage rate are not even included in the statistics. Chart

Puzder fights against raising the minimum wage for his workers while paying himself more very well.  Meanwhile, according to CKE’s final public disclosure after going private—Puzder made more than $4 million in salary and bonuses.

Mother Jones reported in December:  “Back in 2004, the company agreed to pay $9 million to settle claims that it had not paid overtime to store managers. In 2013, CKE was hit with a class-action suit for “allegedly failing to pay its general managers overtime, even while requiring them to be on call 24 hours a day,” reports Law 360.”

In response to the proposal to raise minimum wage, Puzder vowed to replace workers with machines. This is what he sarcastically said about machines: “They’re always polite, they always up sell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

Donald J. Trump strongly defends Andrew F. Puzder, his chosen secretary of labor who is an outspoken critic of the worker protections enacted by the Obama administration.  Trump, accused under oath of raping his first wife, defends Puzder and claims that he is treated “unfairly.”  Really?

Puzder’s ex-wife Lisa Henning was terribly abused by him. She said that Puzder  in a widely reported interview that “attacked me, choked me, threw me to the floor, hit me in the head, pushed his knees into my chest, twisted my arm and dragged me on the floor, threw me against a wall, tried to stop my call to 911 and kicked me in the lower back,” according to a 1989 Riverfront Times article.

At last Puzder withdrew his name from the nomination.

Now that Trump, Bannon and Puzder had been accused of spousal abuse, we really need to start wondering.  We know that the best predictor for terrorist is a history of family violence.  Hmmm.  Maybe we need to look at our government through the lens of Domestic Violence.  Article

 

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Celebrate life in a healthy way! Show this to endangered adults and endangered teens

National Overdose Deaths—Number of Deaths from Prescription Drugs. The figure above is a bar chart showing the total number of U.S. overdose deaths involving prescription drugs from 2001 to 2014. The chart is overlayed by a line graph showing the number of deaths by females and males. From 2001 to 2014 there was a 2.8-fold increase in the total number of deaths.

National Overdose Deaths—Number of Deaths from Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers. The figure above is a bar chart showing the total number of U.S. overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers from 2001 to 2014. The chart is overlayed by a line graph showing the number of deaths by females and males. From 2001 to 2014 there was a 3.4-fold increase in the total number of deaths.

Doctors need to become aware that maybe they are vulnerable to strong man sales techniques.

ProPublica found that doctors nationally who accepted payments from manufacturers were two to three times as likely to prescribe high rates of brand-name drugs. The higher the payments on average, the higher the rate of brand-name prescribing.

The NYT in an article by Dr. Arias, who is preparing a larger study of mortality trends over the past 15 years, said drug overdoses, liver disease and suicide were the main drivers of the gloomy trends among whites in recent years, a pattern also found by other researchers. Life expectancy for whites had been rising for decades, but it has stagnated in recent years. It inched up in 2010 and 2011, and was flat in 2012 and 2013. But new federal data, drawn from all deaths recorded in the country in 2014, showed that life expectancy for whites dropped to 78.8 years in 2014

Particularly Oxycontin has caused addiction which often leads to abuse of Heroin. It is a deadly drug.

Unless you are already dying from an incurable cancer, there is really no reason to take a drug that can cause you to become a drug addict.  As a dying person it is okay only because you are going to die anyway.   Before even considering taking an opioid make sure you internalize the consequences for short-term relief.

Side Effects and Warning for Oxycontin

Never take this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Do not crush or break an extended-release Oxycontin tablet. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose.

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OxyContin is be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Take this medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Never share the medicine with another person. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Oxycodone may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother has taken this medicine during pregnancy.

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Enjoy the holidays and stay safe!

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GOP who stopped Obama from releasing Russian cyber attacks. How they will respond to the Trump and Putin alliance will determine the future or demise of the free world.

World Peace in the hands of Tillerson?
World Peace in the hands of Tillerson?

“The sanctions are targeted, not sectoral, and will have a very limited impact,” said Thomas Wright, a fellow and director of the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institute. “This will not deter Putin from interfering in French or German elections in 2017.”

Thomas Wright also suggests that:  “Trump is opposed to America’s alliance arrangements, he is opposed to the open global economy, and he is pro-authoritarian and pro-Russian.  That it is pretty clear this is the most important election anywhere in the world since the two German elections of 1932,” he wrote, in reference to the parliamentary elections that ultimately resulted in Adolf Hitler coming to power. “No other election has had the capacity to completely overturn the international order—the global economy, geopolitics, etc.”

In the Atlantic Monthly article Thomas Wright further explains: “Trump’s isolationist ideology has three components, according to Wright: 1) opposition to U.S. alliances; 2) opposition to free trade; and 3) support for authoritarianism. In Wright’s view, these three beliefs, if translated into policy in a Trump administration, could do away with the liberal international order that the United States helped design after World War II and has led ever since.  Full Article

Thomas Wright explains in a report for the Lowy Institute for International Policy:  “To understand Donald Trump’s foreign policy, we must distinguish between his three core beliefs that he has held for many decades and rarely if ever wavered from, the central themes of his campaign, and other issues. His core beliefs are opposition to America’s alliance arrangements, opposition to free trade, and support for authoritarianism, particularly in Russia. If he is elected president and governs in a manner consistent with these beliefs, the United States will be transformed from the leader of a liberal international order into a rogue superpower that withdraws from its international commitments, undermines the open global economy, and partners with Putin’s Russia.” Full Report

How the GOP responds to the Trump and Putin alliance forged to transform the US into a rogue country that works solely for a few chosen corporation – just like Russia is now – will determine our future and the future of the free world.

Source: Thomas Wright quotes from a variety of sources. For more information feel free to contact him directly at The Brookings Institute

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Cyber Warfare attacks by Russians are happening all over the US

Down the Rabbit Hole we go.
Down the Rabbit Hole we go.
The US Government released a report and recommends that all citizens and companies take pre-cautions.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommends that network administrators review the IP addresses, file hashes, and Yara signature provided and add the IPs to their watchlist to determine whether malicious activity has been observed within their organizations. The review of network perimeter net flow or firewall logs will assist in determining whether your network has experienced suspicious activity. When reviewing network perimeter logs for the IP addresses, organizations may find numerous instances of these IPs attempting to connect to their systems. Upon reviewing the traffic from these IPs, some traffic may correspond to malicious activity, and some may correspond to legitimate activity. Some traffic that may appear legitimate is actually malicious, such as vulnerability scanning or browsing of legitimate public facing services (e.g., HTTP, HTTPS, FTP). Connections from these IPs may be performing vulnerability scans attempting to identify websites that are vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS) or Structured Query Language (SQL) injection attacks. If scanning identified vulnerable sites, attempts to exploit the vulnerabilities may be experienced.

Commit to Cybersecurity Best Practices

A commitment to good cybersecurity and best practices is critical to protecting networks and systems.

Here are some questions you may want to ask your organization to help prevent and mitigate against attacks.

1. Backups: Do we backup all critical information? Are the backups stored offline? Have we tested our ability to revert to backups during an incident?

2. Risk Analysis: Have we conducted a cybersecurity risk analysis of the organization?

3. Staff Training: Have we trained staff on cybersecurity best practices? 4. Vulnerability Scanning & Patching: Have we implemented regular scans of our network and systems and appropriate patching of known system vulnerabilities?

5. Application Whitelisting: Do we allow only approved programs to run on our networks? 6. Incident Response: Do we have an incident response plan and have we practiced it?

7. Business Continuity: Are we able to sustain business operations without access to certain systems? For how long? Have we tested this?

8. Penetration Testing: Have we attempted to hack into our own systems to test the security of our systems and our ability to defend against attacks?

For the full document with more valuable advice:  Click

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Trump’s austerity programs starts with his musical artist line-up at the inauguration … and his Steve Mnuchin is sure to watch every 27 cents

Trump fan and cover song singer Beau Davidson agrees to entertain at Trump Inauguration
Trump fan and cover song singer Beau Davidson agrees to entertain at Trump Inauguration
Trump proves at inauguration that he is “one of the people.”

The International Business Times:  “A bank established by President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, once tried to foreclose on a 90-year-old Florida woman over a $0.27 payment mistake, reported Politico Thursday. Critics in the story allege that OneWest, founded by Mnuchin and partners, took advantage of the 2008 housing collapse by buying out risky loans from mortgage lender IndyMac and, in turn, getting help from Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to cover the costs.”  (full article)

And now they report:  “Democrats are focusing on Mnuchin’s tenure at OneWest, a bank he took over at the height of the financial crisis that has been dubbed a “foreclosure machine” that profited from the real estate collapse. The Wall Street Journal said no Republicans have expressed any opposition to Mnuchin, who likely will be vetted by the Senate Finance Committee. Bloomberg reported Mnuchin, 53, already has met with Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Chuck Grassley of Iowa.”

Clearly this proves that Mnuchin is the best possible person to “Make America Great Again.” Those old ladies don’t need their homes and the value their husbands created while the husbands were still alive can “trickle down” much easier when the Banks repossess the properties, instead of  allowing the survivors to remain in her home until their deaths.  Sure she could have gifted the property to her 40 something year-old grandchildren, who may be able to pay off some of their student loans.  Anyway, a Bankers’ job is to keep as much money as they can and Mnuchin is so worthy of being admired for his “sticky fingers.”  He took a 27 cents error and gained all the equity for the bank from that 97 year old lady’s home. What astounding commitment to business!

Trump is also proving that he is sincere about saving money, by hiring the lounge lizard Beau Davidson, who already has enchanted him at his private estate in Mar-a-Lago, a twenty acre membership club that offers dining, bridge, croquet, tennis, spa and entertainment shows.  If Beau, who looks a little like a man who previously worked for the Chippendales in LA, is good enough for the millionaires and billionaires at Mar-a-Lago, he is good enough for Trump’s inauguration party.  A Choir from Utah will sing as well to bring a type of Christian atmosphere to the celebrations. They will probably do it for (their) god, so it is in the budget.  Surely the Trump children will be there but they will not set up meetings about gaining access. Just like they will do in their non-profit set up for the very purpose they will request that the donors provide proof of funds prior to having a lunch with them where they will hear them out about their concern that they hope their daddy can help them with.  They are absolutely aware of the need to keep up appearances.

Obama meanwhile recently had his last extravaganza at the White House in October 2016.  It was quite amazing and “élite.”  Here you can watch it for yourselves, it was awesome, and the line up shows that Obama has a lot of amazing friends, it was all “Love and Happiness” there.

Trump signals with his celebration that times, are going to focus on the “economy” – kicking out 97 year old ladies from their homes for $0.27 errors in their checks. Trump has drained the swamp and has installed his oligarch friends at every corner. Judging by the celebratory tone of McConnell who forbade the voters to find out about the Russian hacking before the election, Times they are A’Changing. So go home and hug your family and know that you best enjoy your life right now.  Happy Holidays and we’ll see you at the other side.

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Trump’s drains the swamp of lobbyist for corporations and replaces them with the corporate officers and bankers

Trump and Icahn get an "A" for honesty
Trump and Icahn get an “A” for honesty
Icahn and Trump are well known for expressing their feelings and opinions without filters.

Bravo?   They are not politically correct and that is what their voters wanted, right?

It is obvious for people in the know to see what attracts them to each other. They are both single-mindedly focused on their own profit. They are both honest about it and have a devil make care attitude.  They are completely unapologetic about any trails of victims they may leave in their wake.  They are bullies and they are honest about it.  If they can get away with something they not only will try the practically must try.  They love the “Game of Business.”   Trump promised to get rid of lobbyists and by golly he sure seems to keep his promise.  Instead of having lobbyists who want who appeal to Congress to create lenient laws that allow for more profit for the 1%.  They indeed get rid of the lobbyists and replace them with the 1%.  What a practical idea.  The Trump voters must be so very pleased.  Trump is keeping his promise to drain the swamp of middle men.  The swamp of government is now honestly run by and for the corporations and venture capital firms and banks, and the 1% who have paid for everything anyway.  The honesty that Trump brings to government is laudable indeed.  No more pretense.  Just making sure that the hyper-wealthy get what they need and want more efficiently and faster than ever.

Just one thought. We know that these old men don’t care about the future because in the future they are most likely dead.  They are old and they will die and this is one last fling before they go.  But what about the 40, 30, 20, 10 year olds in the world?

A world that run by people who lack humanity typically erodes healthy middle class.  The old men may not care, but without a middle class you have no stability.  If we look at countries who lost their middle class we are always looking at war.  Trump wants to spend a $1 Trillion dollars on improving the nuclear arsenal – without even getting intelligence briefings.   We wonder what Mnuchin, Gingrich, Tillerson, and Icahn think about that?  We hope to find out soon what vision these creators of the new gilded age have in mind for the US and the world. Hopefully they have a vision that goes beyond their own bank accounts.

Hillary Clinton is gone and many agree that her loss was due to due to a confluence of factors and successful efforts to sabotage her campaign. People just didn’t like her very much.  The FBI didn’t like her, Putin didn’t like her, the Public didn’t like her, even Democrats didn’t like her, her campaign staff fought about her, and the media certainly didn’t like her. She was a hard worker, but people didn’t warm up to her.  The warmed up to Trump.  They were amused by Trump.  No one was amused by Hillary, not even SNL. Her portrayal was often nasty and a bit weird. Trump’s portrayal was that of an all familiar American Uncle, reminiscent of Rob Reiner’s politically incorrect TV dad in the show “All in the Family.”

Not many people really know Hillary as she keeps very private and opens up to very few people, many of whom are also intensely private. The acclaimed and award-winning Investigative Reporter for the New York Times and The Washington Post, Ronald Kessler, sheds light on how she how Hillary Clinton was perceived by the service details who spent much time with her. It could explain why the Secret Service seemed so adamant that she ought not be president unless it was unavoidable:   Why the West was Lost – First Family Detail

Whatever we may think about Trump at least he is honest about being corrupt. Maybe that is a step forward?  Or, perhaps we will have Trump, the politically incorrect man and his politically incorrect friends run the country into the ground – honestly.

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One day before Russia, Iran and Turkey summit meeting, Ambassador Karlov is murdered.

President Vladimir V. Putin and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said they would proceed with a natural-gas pipeline under the Black Sea. Credit Emrah Gurel/Associated Press
President Vladimir V. Putin and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said they would proceed with a natural-gas pipeline under the Black Sea.  Credit Emrah Gurel/Associated Press

Both Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan have had recent troubles with Washington.  Putin has been accused of war crimes in Syria for killing hundreds of civilians.  Erdogan is killing Kurds and escalating the conflict, whereas the US is relying on Syrian Kurds to stem the Isis tide.

On December 19, 2016 the Russian Ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was shot and killed as he gave a speech at an embassy-sponsored exhibit in Ankara. Eye-witnesses were reported to have heard eight shots.  The gunman shouted out: ‘‘Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!’’ referring to the Syrian city where Russian bombardments have helped drive rebels from areas they had occupied for years during the war.  He also shouted ‘‘Allahu akbar,’’ the Arabic phrase for ‘‘God is great’’ and continued in Arabic: ‘‘We are the descendants of those who supported the Prophet Muhammad, for jihad.’’  The attacker also smashed several of the framed photos hung for the exhibition and an additional three people were injured during the attack.

‘We consider this to have been a terrorist attack,’’ Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. ‘‘Terrorism will not pass. We will fight it decisively.’’

The attack comes a day before a meeting of Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign and defense ministers in Moscow to discuss Syria. Russia and Iran have backed Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout the nearly six-year conflict, while Turkey has supported Assad’s foes. The Kremlin suggested Turkey, Russia and Iran should come together for a solution, initially over Aleppo, but which could also be enlarged to include other parts of Syria, Reuters quoted a Turkish official as saying.

Melih Gokcek, the mayor for Ankara, told reporters outside the exhibition center that the ‘‘heinous’’ attack aimed to disrupt newly-re-established relations between Turkey and Russia.

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have co-sponsored the evacuation of civilians and rebels from Aleppo and also discussed the prospect of organizing a new round of peace talks in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana. Now this incident threatens to derail the evacuations of civilians from Aleppo.

The last time a diplomat was killed in Turkey was in an attack in 1971. Israel’s consul-general to Istanbul, Efraim Elrom. Until recently Turkey has been considered a relatively safe place for diplomats. This streak has been broken after the assassination of Ambassador Karlov, however, in view of the fact that the Erdogan administration is entirely dependent on Russian energy, relations will continue among the governments.  Recent instability in Turkey and the fact that it is dangerous to be there has severely curtailed the tourist trade. Revenue from tourism fell by 32.7 percent to $8.28 billion in the third quarter of the year.

Despite the death of the Russian’ Diplomate we expect Putin to continue to guide Erdogan’s foreign policy.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been characterized as increasingly undemocratic marked by attacks on freedom of expression. Despite outlawing competitive political parties, and a declining economy, he seems popular among the rural undereducated Turks. Turkey will stay in close collaboration with Russia for many years to come, despite their “hot-headed” relationship. Erdoğan is completely dependent on Russia for natural gas. Over the past 30 years the imports of natural gas from Russia into Turkey have nearly doubled. After Germany, Turkey is Russia’s second-largest natural gas client in Europe.

Gas Consumption in Turkey, Natural Gas World
Gas imports into Turkey, Natural Gas World

According to Natural Gas World: “After the European Union’s stance about competition on Russia and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Russia declared its intention to diversify its demand route by creating a new direct pipeline that runs through Turkish territory. The construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline was first discussed between Gazprom and BOTAS in December 2014. With an annual capacity of 63 billion m3, this pipeline will replace the South Stream, since the construction was suspended over the European Union’s stance about competition. According to initial plans, the Turkish Stream will extend from Russia, through Turkey and stop at the Greek border, giving Russia access to the southern European market. 14 billion m3 natural gas was planned to be consumed in Turkey.” (full article)

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Birth of a new historic era for Russia and Japan

Putin and Abe meet about Japan / Russia Relationships
Putin and Abe meet about Japan / Russia Relationships
Japan and Russia’s world leader meeting promises to foster close European-Asian economic and cultural ties.

Putin announces in a press release through his TASS new agency that the meeting Abe was a great success:

“Russia and Japan signed more than 60 various deals in which Japan will invest over $2.5 billion during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the country, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported citing a senior Japanese government official.  Abe said he and Putin had agreed the two countries have “unlimited opportunities for development of relations in all areas in case of common effort.”

The talks between the officials reiterated their commitment to continue discussions about economic cooperation on the four Kuril islands that both countries claim.  However Russia will still call the shots.  According to Peter Shelakhaev, the head of the Russian Far East Investment and Export Agency, Japan is expected to pay taxes and fees for any money earned on the four islands that are in dispute since the end of the war.

After World War II in 1945 Russia seized four Japanese islands as they call it the “spoils of war.”  Japan has tried to have these islands returned ever since then. Now Abe and several of his Russia-Japan Relations experts have decided that after 60 years of occupation it is time to accept reality with a new perspective.

Nobuo Shimotomai, Russia-Japan expert at Hosei University in Tokyo, recommended: “Getting the four islands back was a Cold War slogan for the Japanese, but after 60 years, we need a new approach towards Moscow. It could be some kind of shared sovereignty.”
Trans-Siberian Railroad courtesy Daily Mail
Trans-Siberian Railroad courtesy Daily Mail (full article)
Economic, Scientific and Cultural ties will be supported by the Trans-Siberian Railroad

The Japan Times informs that the areas of cooperation between Russia and Japan will include the fields of the countries’ health ministries in the fields of medicine and health care; expanded cooperation on development and production in the energy sector, including oil and gas; cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear power; cooperation in promoting diversity and raising productivity in Russian industry; cooperation in promoting industry in the Russian Far East and turning it into a base for exports to the Asia-Pacific; Cooperation in the fields of information and communications and postal services; Enhanced cooperation in agriculture and fisheries; Cooperation between the countries’ patent offices on industrial property rights; and hygiene standards for Russian livestock farms exporting products to Japan. (full article)

This is one of the most expansive cooperation between Russia and Japan since the 19th Century.  One of the most life changing and culturally interesting developments is that Russia agreed to expand the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Japan. If both countries follow through, these new agreements will usher a new historic era that will impact the world economy and political landscape for many decades to come.

 

 

 

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Death of our Democracy: The Carolinas show us how right wing tendencies will ruin us unless we stop their March toward a Dictatorship.

The Picture of a Racist
The Picture of a Racist

“Somebody had to do it,” Roof said of the slayings. He added that “black people are killing white people everyday… What I did is so minuscule compared to what they do to white people every day.”  He researched Charleston, scouted the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and then acted alone. Yes this time there is a guilty verdict by the jury of the avowed white supremacist, Dylann Roof, on his federal hate crimes on 33 charges of federal hate crimes resulting in death, obstruction of religion and firearms violations.

Meanwhile in North Carolina, Pat McCrory, a renowned right-wing GOP governor rolls back laws and passes laws that will prevent his democratic follower from ruling the state.  The Right Wing agenda is to wall in and to fortify their absolute power legally.  He and his fellow lawmakers, who control the General Assembly, introduced measures to end the governor’s control over election board’s requiring State Senate approval of any new governor’s cabinet members and to strip his power to appoint University of North Carolina trustees.  This is right-wing agenda in action to ease their white supremacist agenda.  If you can’t strip the people of their right to vote, we all know they tried.

A press release in November 2016 states:

"NCGOP leaders will discuss final Get Out The Vote efforts and encouraging Republican gains in final Early Voting numbers when compared to 2012. Republicans historically vote in far greater numbers on Election Day itself, these great strides in Early Voting when compared to 2012 show evidence of underestimated statewide ground game and deep volunteer base. Chairman Robin Hayes: “I am encouraged by the excitement and work ethic of our volunteers and the numbers don't lie—the Republican ground game is showing that motivated statewide volunteers and extensive ground game are better indicators of electoral success than the number of candidate-specific offices one has.

Despite this effort and one before to change local laws that the federal court deemed illegal, North Carolina GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the 2013 voter-ID law which a federal court rolled back this year for illegally suppressing African-American votes, claimed in November 2016 that massive voter fraud in his state swung the 2016 election against him, as McCrory’s campaign continues to challenge Democrat Roy Cooper’s thin lead two weeks after Election Day.

The example of voter suppression is right here.  Despite that it is perfectly legal to vote if you are temporarily absent.  If a piece of mail with an out-of-state address is not returned before the vote that vote does not qualify.  If there is another person with the same or similar name at an out-of-state address on Facebook, your vote no longer counts in North Carolina.  If you put your vote into the voting box, instead of giving it to a racist woman who deems you as rude, your vote no longer counts.  If there is a dead person of the same name in another county, your vote no longer counts. Check out this real document with these types of feeble attempts to change the voting results.

Now despite this arduous effort to control and influence the North Carolina voting results, the Democrat Roy Cooper won the election as governor.  Now the White Supremacist Offensive goes on the full on offensive.  The current General Assembly held an emergency meeting and stripped Governor Rye Copper of the powers to govern.  It affects and takes away his ability to govern the State Board of Elections, State Ethics Commission, State Board of Education and the regulation functions of the Secretary of State, and the choice to appoint the head of the Industrial Commission.  It is a well-known fact that the Koch Brothers aim to make North Carolina a model state of the private takeover of a government.

Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Republican from Cary, disputed the portrayal by opponents of the GOP strategy to cut the governor’s authority as a “coup.”  It is a coup and it is only the first of many in States that have a strong element of white supremacists.

We can learn a lot from North Carolina about how a Democracy can be demolished with a few strokes of the pen by white supremacist lawmakers.  Perhaps it is high time to read  For Whom the Bell Tolls again.

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