Tuesday Aug 8, Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx. 6-9pm. After a month away, Rolando finally returns to Carlos Santana’s Danville restaurant for Taco Tuesday. $1 tacos, baby! And Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his diverse repertoire performing out on the patio by the fire pits. (925) 820-2366. See www.mariamariarestaurants.com (925) 820-2366.
Saturday July 29, C’era Una Volta, 1332 Park Street, Alameda, CA 94501, 7-9:30 pm. After more than 3 months away, Rolando finally returns to this fine Tuscan-style restaurant that welcomes you like family to embrace the spirit of Italy. Rolando will take you on a musical tour of the Americas and beyond on solo guitar and voice. This is a great match and a rare opportunity to catch Rolando in Alameda! www.ceraunavolta.us/, (510) 769-4828.
Before the show enjoy shopping at the lovely stores on Park Avenue and enjoy an afternoon in the balmy weather of Alameda with stroll on the beach:
Is the time-honored tradition of Fraternities and Sororities coming to an end?
A committee announced on Wednesday, July 13, 2017, that they recommend that Harvard completely forbid students from joining “fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations.” They feel so strongly about it that they wish to replace existing penalties for members of the social groups that are set to go into place in the fall.
Harvard is not the first University who is grappling with the problems caused by these “private” clubs. Amherst College, Bowdoin College, and Williams College all prohibited undergraduate participation in fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations in recent years.
Undergraduate Council Vice President Cameron K. Khansarinia, class of 2018 said the proposed policy completely “takes away personal responsibility and choice” from College students—and that it is unlikely to be effective. “It’s simply going to either force [the clubs] underground or literally dry out any semblance of social life on campus,” Khansarinia said. “It’s really not the right way to go about this.”
The faculty needs to guide Harvard into the present-day realities and prepare students for life in a gender neutral world. This is an issue that needs to be addressed in most traditional colleges and society at large.
Several of the social clubs, for instance the “Fly Club” are seeking legal council on how they can fight the effort.
Statistics about rape point in a direction that something really needs to be done.
Rainn provides data that shows that sexual violence on campus is pervasive.
- 11.2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students).2
- Among graduate and professional students, 8.8% of females and 2.2% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.2
- Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.2
- 4.2% of students have experienced stalking since entering college.
Student or not, college-age adults are at high risk for sexual violence.
- Male college-aged students (18-24) are 78% more likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.1
- Female college-aged students (18-24) are 20% less likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.
University culture have a profound impact on overall culture around the world.
In June the Harvard Crimson reported:
Harvard College rescinded admissions offers to at least ten prospective members of the Class of 2021 after the students traded sexually explicit memes and messages that sometimes targeted minority groups in a private Facebook group chat. A handful of admitted students formed the messaging group—titled, at one point, “Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens”—on Facebook in late December, according to two incoming freshmen. In the group, students sent each other memes and other images mocking sexual assault, the Holocaust, and the deaths of children, according to screenshots of the chat obtained by The Crimson. Some of the messages joked that abusing children was sexually arousing, while others had punchlines directed at specific ethnic or racial groups. One called the hypothetical hanging of a Mexican child “piñata time.”
No one would dispute that people who engage in threatening deaths and child abuse and find it humorous or in anyway acceptable should not be let loose on society, much less on a top notch educational institution.
Is it time to think yet?
The “Fly Club” an all male institution retained an attorney who made some interesting points in an op-ed in 2016. Silvergate:
"The report acknowledged the correlation between alcohol-fueled partying and sexual assault, which we believe implies that forcing independent organizations to go co-ed would only lead to an increase in the high-risk encounters that lead to assaults. Their proposed alternative is to create a blacklist of non-complying organizations, thereby abridging the freedom of association—a bedrock principle of our nation’s constitution—for its very own students. This latter course of action is particularly galling: Harvard appears to be moving towards a policy that would expel students simply for membership in a club, while it simultaneously fails to properly adjudicate sexual assault cases. The University is blaming an entire class of students for the condemnable and illegal conduct of a small minority—a clearly backwards approach to community safety."
He later goes on to state:
"We are witnessing a return to the College operating in loco parentis, as it attempts to both dictate social-sexual norms and limit students’ independence. Harvard bureaucrats continue to expand their numbers while also attempting to bring independent single-sex organizations, including the Final Clubs and the growing number of Greek letter organizations, under their control, if not to eliminate them entirely. Unlike past debates about sexual mores and student liberty at the College, undergraduate students appear unperturbed by, if not supportive of, this assertion of administrative control over their private lives, while the Faculty of Arts and Sciences seems to have little influence with regards to the issue. The administration is leveraging the current political climate to achieve policy goals that will unfortunately do little to prevent sexual assault, but will certainly make Harvard more illiberal."
In my opinion there is much to think about and the trend to have “Big Brother” forbid you to get drunk and rape people instead of encouraging public debates that allow a culture of inclusion, respect and with humanistic values to thrive voluntarily, is a debate that does and should go on and on until we all live in a free society in which everyone is safe from assault, and free to excel at their own personal highest level.
Equality in a society where women make up more than 1/2 of the work force is a must have. Being able to feel safe is a need that both women and men should be able to enjoy. How to accomplish that reality should really become part of the public debate. Forbidding public gatherings of like minded people may just drive the activity underground and it may be unconstitutional. Eliminating “wanna be” and actual racists and rapists should be a must for every educational institution. Racists and Rapists need therapy not more easy access to victims. However driving racist and misogynist attitudes underground may not be a long term solution for our society either.
When studying Victor Frankl someone who has experienced the worst of human kind in person while he was incarcerated by Nazis during the Holocaust, we may learn that we have to raise our expectations of each other and teach our young future leaders to thrive and foster their wish and their ability to create “Lives with Meaning”, people who are happy and content while working on making life better for everyone. This is what moves people to feel content. Busy and content leaders don’t have time to be jerks. Most jerks are either unhappy and insecure or are pathologically damaged. As we know from some of our current public leaders being a jerk does not make you popular and the ill manners actually make people more lonely and give them a craving for attention and love that will stay unfulfilled. Nobody likes these lonely jerk or brute. We have to aim higher for our students. We need to encourage them to be the better.
Maybe it is time to bring back the education that is deeply rooted in the Humanities that sets the aim high and encourages students to create a better world.
Saturday July 15, Vine at Bridges, 480 Hartz Avenue, Danville, approx 8-11pm. The Rolando Morales Duet returns to this cool winery and nightspot. Enjoy a wonderful selection of wines, superb dinners and tapas while grooving to this powerful duet. Tonight Rolando welcomes the exciting Latin percussionist-vocalist Estaire Godinez, who played with George Benson and Prince; and on guitar, voice and his pedal board of magic, the passionate Rolando Morales. It’s been close to half a year since they’ve done this. Don’t miss it! www.thevineatbridges.com, (925) 820-7210.
Neuro-plasticity is the reason why we are able to learn and modify our responses to life’s events. Over the past few decades many forms of therapy have been developed and practiced. Over the past decade through new technology, gene therapy, and applied nano-technology we now know in no uncertain terms that the mind and body are linked. The body is able to influence the mind and the mind is able to influence the body.
Dr. van der Kolk suggests that all effective treatments involve some way for people to learn to recognize when they change their arousal system. When a person learns how to become aware if they get upset, learns to take 60 breaths, focuses on the out breaths, they are able to calm both their brain right down. We are able to choose to engage in soothing techniques like pressing on acupressure points. A most effective methods to calm frayed nerves are walks in nature. The earlier in life children learn how to recognize that they are upset, that their heart is beating hard or irregularly, that their breath is short, the sooner they can be taught to engage in effective self soothing behavior. It is wonderful that our children learn early in life how to calm down, practice yoga, go for soothing walks in nature.
Now that we are certain about the human mind’s ability to learn at every age everyone is able to learn and to engage in healthy self-moderating behaviors with positive effect. After learning how to recognize that we are growing upset, and how to calm ourselves down when we get upset we can progress to the next step.
Learning how to avoid getting upset
The core idea of Dr. van der Kolk’s teaching is that we recognize that we are not a victim of what happens. We are able to do things to change our own thoughts. The new applied sciences in medicine overturn the mistaken belief that if we can’t stand something, we should just take a pill and make it go away. The best treatment is to realize that when something is happening to we it is our own choice how we wish to interpret the situation. We can be frightened or we can change the sensations by moving, breathing, tapping, and touching or by avoiding touch. We are in charge of how we feel and we can influence the way we feel physically. Dr. van der Kolk has devoted his life to creating tools that will provide us with the emotional management tools. Healthy body habits have positive effects on our emotional habits. With practice we become ever more in charge of our own physiological system. We now know that we can calm ourselves down by talking or through one of the many other processes. We greatly benefit from programs that provide us with empowerment. Physical impact, like model mugging (a form of self-defense training), martial arts or kickboxing, or an activity that requires a range of physical effort teaches us to actually defend ourselves, stand up for ourselves, and to literally feel the power in our bodies are very effective. We can retrain our emotions to realize that we have power and we are not victims or our fate.
Dr. van der Kolk, M.D., teaches that to realize that we are not victims of circumstance. We are capable to focus our attentions on learning how to express ourselves better. When we learn how to effectively communicate our feelings, we are impacted by other people’s behavior we engage in a positive way with others. One way to learn is to share our feelings and to seek out therapy to find the proper language for our internal experience. As we become more adept to share our inner life effectively and to learn how to communicate with others, the quality of our lives improves.
Dr. van der Kolk and communications experts teach that most of our communication takes place on the physical plan. We communicate by nodding our heads, we smile, we frown, move, shift our weight and stance. Kids and adults, who were victims of physical abuse and neglect, lose those interpersonal rhythms. As we engage in self soothing behavior and learn to express ourselves we are ready for the last and most fun step. Dancing, listening to music, play music, practice QiGong and find our own rhythm. Soon our life energy will flow and we will enjoy life.
Dr. van der Kolk, M.D. has been active as a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of post-traumatic stress and related phenomena since the 1970s. His work integrates developmental, biological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment. His book Psychological Trauma was the first integrative text on the subject, painting the far ranging impact of trauma on the entire person and the range of therapeutic issues which need to be addressed for recovery.
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has been involved in creating tools for stress reduction. Learn more by Publications and Products
Friday July 14, Pairings Cellars, 310 Main Street, Pleasanton CA 94566 at 8pm to 11pm. Rolando returns to this exciting social hotspot in downtown Pleasanton. This new wine bar features fine wines, tapas and now dinners, as well as Rolando Morales performing his broad repertoire on solo guitar and voice. Free! www.pairingscellars.com, (925) 398-8846.
Tuesday July 11, Maria, Maria Cantina, 710 Camino Ramon Road, Danville CA, approx. 6-9pm. After about nine months(!), Rolando finally returns to Carlos Santana’s Danville restaurant for Taco Tuesday. $1 tacos, baby! And Rolando on solo guitar and voice with his diverse repertoire performing out on the patio by the fire pits. Reservations: (925) 820-2366. See www.mariamariarestaurants.
During the past five months of Trump being in charge 863,000 jobs were created. During the same period last year 955,000 jobs were added while Obama was still in office. On July 5th this year, Gallup reported: “Last week, Americans’ confidence in the economy averaged a score of 0, the first time in the 33 full weeks since the presidential election that the index’s weekly average was not positive. ” Full Report
In a recent NYT article of Today, half of American jobs pay about $37,000 or less each year, a quarter pay about $23,000 or less, and a family of four qualifies for SNAP at $32,000 or less. No wonder just over half of all SNAP families work, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. In America, “real” poverty is not about a lack of work, but a lack of compensation.
Trump has run on a platform of addressing this issue by “Making America Great Again” by creating jobs. So far this has not come to pass and slowly the public are losing faith in his “Art of the Deal.”
The US is in trouble it is no longer the land of the free and it is not the land of opportunity. Our research shows that in many respects it never had been.
National Conference of State Legislatures shares that in Oklahoma the minimum wage in 2017 is $2.00 per hour.
Oklahoma Employers of ten or more full time employees at any one location and employers with annual gross sales over $100,000 irrespective of number of full time employees are subject to federal minimum wage; all others are subject to state minimum wage of $2.00 (OK ST T. 40 § 197.5). National Conference of State Legislatures.
How can people survive and pursue their happiness on wages like that? Meanwhile the cost of living index in Tulsa Oklahoma is only 24.42% lower than in New York City.
- Four-person family monthly costs: 2,790.93$ without rent (using our estimator).
- A single person monthly costs: 807.71$ without rent.
- Cost of living index in Tulsa is 27.42% lower than in New York.
- Cost of living rank 215th out of 507 cities in the world.
Realtor.com suggests that a 1 to 2 bedroom, 1 bath apartment in Tulsa costs between $526 to $2,280 dollars per month which is of course much lower than the monthly rents in NYC $2,815 for 340 sq ft up to $22,000 for 2400 sq ft, or the San Francisco monthly rents of $2,815 for 340 sq ft to $13,500 for 2240 sq ft. The minimum wage is $9.20 to $11.00 depending on employer size in NYC and $14.00 per hour in San Francisco as of the time of this article. It is impossible to find a decent place to live on a minimum wage and it is little wonder that people who were raised believing in the American Dream are turning to suicide as a solution to their life issues at record numbers.
Housing Crisis and Fraud at all time high
Countries with a strong middle class are economically strong. Only after owners and investor of large companies, and political policies support a strong middle class will the country stop the trend toward becoming a third world nation.
The Battle between Wealth and Human Rights is nearly 250 years old.
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoted the ratification of the United States Constitution with articles and essays that were collected and are still available at The Federalist Papers.*
Within these articles and essays these founders outlined their thinking about creating a federal union. They urged people to allow wise and experienced men who have the public good in mind to counter balance the needs, wishes, and desires of individual states. They believed that a federal union would better safeguard national borders, treaties with foreign nations. National Government would enforce the laws for all people better, instead of having individual states or individuals fall prey to undue influence for personal gain, personal wealth creation, or a desire of personal power, or by foreign powers.
The Federal Papers were used to educate American voters about the benefits of balancing individuals and individual states’ freedoms with the public good and freedom as well as safety and overall wealth for all.
It is amazing how topical these papers are still today when we are engaged in the same exact battle once again. It is obvious that the current administration and the Congress is not occupied by educated, experienced and wise men who strive for what is best for everyone. The Constitution which was written with the public good in mind is now under constant attack.
Freedom of the Press is under attack by a President who has falsified Time Magazine covers decorating his golf courses. He recently stated that the Constitution is “old-fashioned.”
The health care bill that is currently proposed by the House and the Senate leans strongly toward wealth creation for the few, instead of the public good and freedom for all. The desire for individual wealth and power trumps the desire to protect freedom and safety for all.
The current administration who won due to manipulating the voting regions by gerrymandering, does not have full public support. Trump undoubtedly won over a lot of the working white class voters by promising to improve the health care system. Now instead his party wants to eliminate coverage for millions, lower coverage for those who are sick, and increase the premiums for when the policies are used when needed. This translates to the fact that millions more will either not be able to afford healthcare as soon as they get ill or they will go bankrupt trying to pay for medical expenses. In Alaska for instance Premiums for a 60 years old man will go up to $34,000 per year a high price to pay even in a state that offers above average median wages ranging from from $84,000 to $37,284 per median family incomes.
Clean water is under attack by the chosen head of the EPA. Millions of acres of public lands are leased to oil and gas companies with a history of causing oil spills ruining the environment. The Secretary of State, Tillerson has a known history of ignoring, if not supporting human rights offenses, by working with government known to steal from their inhabitants and in some cases killing entire villages to be able to provide Oil companies, like Exxon, with drilling rights.
In an op-ed piece in “The Hill” David Abramowitz, points out that looking for short term wealth for the few often hurts human rights for the many in the long run.
Right now the US is run by people with a history of siding with Human Rights offenders. Trump is publicly friends with human trafficker and known child molester Jeffrey Epstein, who ended up with very little jail time due to the Trump’s family intervention; Tillerson who was nearly sued by Indonesia for human rights offenses but “let go by W. Bush;” Joe Sessions lost his bid for the Supreme Court for his racist comments and attitudes; Steve Bannon, known for garnering support of the KKK, Neo-Nazis; Mike Pence, known for his ties with the tobacco industry and support of ultra conservative Christians oppressive and dangerous to LGBT persons; Sebastian Gorka known for his help to Russia overthrow Democracy in Hungary; and of course Manafort, Flynn and Trump’s own son in law; Guiliani who consulted helped prop up dictators like Duterte, Erdogan and created havoc in Venezuela. The list is too long for this article.
It may be a good idea to reread the Atlantic Monthly Time Capsules as we watch Democracy, Human Rights, Ecology, Education, and everything that has made this country great in the past under attack.
Will the battle for democracy and freedom for all people, regardless of sex, race, religion and national heritage as outlined in the US Constitution be won – AGAIN?
* Kindle Edition free from Amazon and the Gutenberg Press.
Communication & culture determines business success
Whether I worked with a tiny start up like the one above, or Microsoft when they grew from 24 people to thousands, or major Fortune 1000 companies like for instance HP, or a brand new entertainment company, it is usually easy to spot who will more likely succeed.
Ironically, it is not how breakthrough the company’s concept or the management team is on paper. It is also not the access the team has to VCs, Customers, and Vendors due to their Alma Mater, Or, even how chic their equipment and office furniture may be and how huge their marketing budget is initially. Of course, all these factors help tremendously, and of course without a functioning product or services success stays elusive.
What is so striking to me still, after providing strategic advice to companies during their rapid growth phase for so many years, is how much internal communications affects a company’s overall success.
I found in my many years of assisting people succeed, often from the two guys or ladies’ with an idea on a napkin at an affordable coffee shop phase to literally becoming billionaires. Quite a few of them anyhow and millionaires still count, right? The success often hinges on the way the teams communicate with each other inside the company. This is often an underrated success factor.
Are the founders/managers listening and hearing what their teams have to say? Are they staying informed about what the teams are actually working on? Or, is everyone creating their own little business model without letting the rest of the team know? Are people and their contributions valued? Are they encouraged to contribute? Do they feel that they can grow their own career within the company by helping the company grow. Or, do they feel that their ideas are disrespected or worse stolen, are they treated like minions, do they feel used and abused. Very often when the first or second venture money arrives, it quickly becomes apparent who can handle success without loosing composure. Attitudes matter.
Companies, no matter how large or how small, improve their success rate tremendously if they insisted that people communicate with each other in an empowering and honest way. The corporate culture is always linked with top management. Today the HR teams have a lot of influence, not always for the better. Whoever is in charge of hiring has a great influence over a companies’ success or failure. Every new individual brings their own culture into the enterprise and adds or subtracts from the overall success of the company. The culture determines if the company stays informed, nimble and quick – yet steady, reliable, and solid. Successful companies typically somehow manage both by nurturing a culture of open and mutually respectful internal dialogue.
A quote that I often share with C-level managers: “Whether you have a plan or not, you will get there.”
If the company has a plan everyone has a chance to move forward toward the common goal. If there is no plan, everyone may very well move in different directions, messing up the chances for success. If there is a plan that only the top managers know, the company functions as though there really is no plan. Only if everyone on the various teams understands the overall plan, likes and buys into the plan, sticks with the plan or improves and carries out their own part of the plan, has the company a solid chance for success. This is true at every phase of a company’s growth. Lack of mutual respect ruins companies. Sometimes when larger sums of investor money arrive some people get grandiose or create cliques. It is no fun to watch people lose money through foolishness and arrogance.
A small company maintains a solid sense of direction and cohesion by having regular meetings in which people in the various departments share how they move toward meeting their miles stones. An open communication style rooted in polite behavior and mutual respect allows everyone to help improve the companies’ cohesiveness and allows the prompt removal of obstacles to success. As the company grows it is still needed that hundreds of people share their own progress and concerns on how to improve their abilities for mutual progress. At that point, having a clear communication flow vertically, horizontally, and across different departments is ever more important. By the time communication flow needs to filter through team managers the corporate communication culture becomes vital to the company’s health. For many years I heard financial manager say “stay out of the weeds.” Yet, if you don’t know about an overgrowth of weeds, the growth of the crop may be strangled before top managers or the board finds out about needed fixes. Think Uber CEO!
Strategic governance allows departments to stay focused on future goals while dealing with issues in the here and now. It helps a company stay realistic and in tune with their vision, mission, the company’s values, and manage available or missing resources. Team members, whether male or female, will not get defensive if they stay regularly informed about market changes, delivery issues, needs or opportunities in the various departments. In healthy companies there are no problems only solutions! It’s a matter of the corporate culture’s attitude toward issues.
A cohesive team will freely identify and manage challenges, and turn them into opportunities. They will avoid unnecessary risks and make sure the entire company is legally compliant, while allowing the company’s individual divisions adapt to remain relevant to the overall success of the company. Company’s who have constructive policies about sharing, evaluating, and acting on new information without getting distracted from their overall plan have a greater chance for success.
Unlike Comey, Gorsuch must have sworn complete and unwavering loyalty to Trump.
Trump is jubilant. The now conservative US Supreme Court, supported by his appointee Justice Gorsuch, has ruled that his Muslim ban is partly okay until the time they will look at it in October. Experts seems to agree that this is a sign that the Court will uphold his ban in October.
He and his son-in-law recently sold $110 Billion dollars of weapons to the ultraconservative Muslim country of Saudi Arabia, which is known to poison young people’s minds all around the world through their state supported Imams who prejudice against women, Christians, and are known to promote ISIS and attacks on Westerners. But, money talks in Trump land. If you pay you get to play, if you are poor you get prejudiced against. None of the Muslim nations whose citizens are now bannedhave as many known terrorists as Saudi Arabia. So why aren’t the Saudi Arabian Muslim’s banned? Why are only Muslims from oil-poor countries banned? Maybe because they are “useless” to the likes of Trump and his supporters who seem only interested in the Mighty Mammon.
Unfortunately, Democrats don’t seem to have any strategy to change the system, except to ask for their daily demand for small bits of money, as though being willing to ask for small donations is a badge of honor in the money driven world of Nancy Pelosi. No wonder voters are turned off by both parties.
The second ruling supported by the now conservative US Supreme Court is to abolish separation of Church and State. Yes, the Lutheran church merely wanted to have the state to pay for their children’s playground protective rubber mats. Seems benign, right? However, as the Constitution is once more ignored they have now set yet another precedent. First “Church-going” people don’t have to sell cake, they don’t have to support women’s health, now churches can demand tax dollars, and soon? Well, it seems we are well on our way back to the Middle Ages.
The news about right-wing success is encouraging others to come out of the woodwork. Hungarian Leader Orbán today honored Hitler and Himmler supporter Miklós Horthy, who was personally responsible for collaborating with the Nazis in sending over 600,000 Jews to the death camps. Today this mass murderer is celebrated in Hungary as the US lost its way and the Supreme Court ignores the Constitution, again. This is a sad day in history and soon young people around the world will have to choose between Life and Death, again.
In the Federalist No. 2, “Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence” for the Independent Journal, written Wednesday, October 31, 1787 we find:
"It has lately been a received and uncontradicted opinion that the prosperity of the people of America depended on their continuing firmly united, and the wishes, prayers, and efforts of our best and wisest citizens have been constantly directed to that object. But politicians now appear, who insist that this opinion is erroneous, and that instead of looking for safety and happiness in union, we ought to seek it in a division of the States into distinct confederacies or sovereignties. However extraordinary this new doctrine may appear, it nevertheless has its advocates; and certain characters who were much opposed to it formerly, are at present of the number. Whatever may be the arguments or inducements which have wrought this change in the sentiments and declarations of these gentlemen, it certainly would not be wise in the people at large to adopt these new political tenets without being fully convinced that they are founded in truth and sound policy. It has often given me pleasure to observe that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories, but that one connected, fertile, wide-spreading country was the portion of our western sons of liberty."
Perhaps there is hope in this text that was written so eloquently nearly 230 years ago. Apparently the debate about State Rights and Federal Cohesion of the USA has been going on for a very long time. Maybe this great country will survive this latest onslaught of personalized greed and stay democratic after all – eventually.
OYAE! (Oakland Youth Art Explosion)
Joyce Gordon Foundation of the Arts, Attitudinal Healing Center, Downtown TAY, HHREC, Oakland Unite and You!
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!
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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
Yet today you would follow these interpretations of the meaning of your work with interest, and say that the motifs were chosen arbitrarily? Everything has a reason, including the selection of the photos, which was not arbitrary but appropriate to the period, its highs and lows and my sense of them.On Pop, East and West, and Some of the Picture Sources.
Uwe M. Schneede in Conversation with Gerhard Richter
Gerhard Richter was born to Horst and Hildegard Richter in Dresden on February 9, 1932. Gerhard was their first child, with a daughter, Gisela, arriving in 1936. Horst was a teacher and Hildegard was a bookseller and a talented pianist. They were a well-read middle-class family.
In 1946, Gerhard Richter’s father was released from the Americans who had captured him as a POW. He returned to his family, who had relocated from Reichenau to the even smaller Waltersdorf, a village on the Czech border. Horst’s reception was not as warm as he might have hoped. Commenting on this many years later, Gerhard explained: “He shared most fathers’ fate at the time… Nobody wanted them.” After working in a textile mill in nearby Zittau his father eventually found a post as an administrator of a distance learning program for an educational institution in Dresden.
Gerhard Richter was a highly gifted child but notoriously bad in school who even brought home poor grades in drawing. He attended a vocational school, where he studied stenography, accounting and Russian. Fortunately, he was just a little too young to have been conscripted to the army himself during the last year of the war. His two uncles died in the war and Gerhard Richter’s aunt Marianne was starved to death in a psychiatric clinic due the eugenics policies of the Third Reich who did not tolerate anyone deemed to have “mental issues.”
Gerhard remembered quite a lot of the war: “The retreating German soldiers, the convoys, the low-flying Russian planes shooting at refugees, the trenches, the weapons lying around everywhere, artillery, broken down cars. Then the invasions of the Russians […] the ransacking, rapes, a huge camp where us kids sometimes got barley soup.”14
The end of World War II in many ways coincided with Gerhard’s transition from childhood to adolescence, and, now under Soviet control following the Potsdam Agreement, it was to be a very different Germany to the one he had been born into.
In February 1950 he was taken on as an assistant set painter for the municipal theatre in Zittau for the sets for productions including Goethe’s Faust and Schiller’s William Tell among others. After a short time as a State Employee Gerhard Richter returned to his birth city of Dresden in the summer of 1951, ready to begin his formal studies to be a painter.
He enjoyed his studies at the Academy but was disturbed by the ever increasing
Nicolas Bearde’s China debut performance wll be at the Beijing National Theatre on May 28, with sax legend Vincent Herring. Bassist and promoter for this event, Peng Ji, one of the new generation of Chinese Jazz musicians, received his degree in Jazz bass performance in the Netherlands, and his MA degree from Queens College in New York.
He has also studied with legendary musicians Ron Carter and Antonio Hart, and performed with James Moody, George Cable, Don Braden and the like. The group also includes, pianist, Moreno Donadel, drummer, Anthony Vanacore and vocalist, Paulette McWilliams.
We wish Nicolas Bearde much enjoyment on his next new adventures in this part of the world.
What an amazing venue!
Recently we had the pleasure of a personal interview with N’Kenge, one of the most accomplished musical artists of this century. Her accomplishments are too numerous to mention. First opera singer to win the Lena Horne Vocal Competition, first opera singer to win the New York State talented teen, starred in the world tour of Man in the Mirror Tribute Show to Michael Jackson, starred on West End London in the production of the Genius of Ray Charles, was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for outstanding lead actress in arena stage’s production of 3 Mo Divas, she sang for Obama, Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, did 140 shows in 2014 alone and received a proclamation from New York City Hall for her community work. Oh, she sings in 11 different languages. So it is a genuine honor to have her give us a personal interview. Enjoy!
What are your favorite upcoming projects?
I’ve started rehearsals this week for The Golden Apple musical which will be performed next month in the encore series at New York City Center. I’m excited to play the principal role of Mother Hare that doubles as Circe.
This summer will be filled with some exciting projects. In June, I will play the role of Tonya in a Showcase of the Broadway bound “54 The Musical.”
I also join Maestro Steve Reineke and the Philadelphia Orchestra in the concert Sophisticated Ladies/Ella Fitzgerald at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
What were your favorite performances?
Probably a combination of making my debut as Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème at Virginia Opera and originating the role of Mary Wells in the Broadway’s MOTOWN: The Musical.
How did you get started in the entertainment industry?
I started singing at 10 years old at my elementary school in the Bronx PS 95. I landed the role of Patty in Snoopy, the Musical, and I got the music bug. All I ever wanted to do from that time onward was to sing and to make people happy through my music. I got a scholarship to get my Bachelor’s Degree at the Manhattan School of Music and a Master’s Degree at the Juilliard School. I was immediately singing with New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, and Seattle Opera once I graduated. Then I got cast in a show called 3 Mo Divas about opera singers who can sing in eight styles of music. That was the show that transitioned me into the Musical Theater and Pop World.
You have classical training, do you miss performing classical music or do you still work on it?
I still perform classical music with symphonies around the world and was the lead in a Wagner Opera during a vacation break from MOTOWN: The Musical, on Broadway. Probably the first and last time I would ever perform Wagner immediately after doing an eight show week of Motown music. Ha, ha.
When did you realize you wanted to become a singer / performer?
At 10 years old. My fifth grade teacher gave me a chance to perform on stage, and I’ve been addicted ever since. My mom was a huge supporter and was giving me every opportunity to perform – once she realized I had this gift.
Do you have advice for any young people who dream to become singers.
Turning dreams into reality comes with a recipe of hard work, perseverance and passion. Stay focused and develop a circle of people that will support you. Music is a hard career to break into, but if it’s what you LOVE then every step of your journey is worth it.
N’Kenge is such an amazing woman, such an amazing artist, and a genuine role model for kids all around the world. Learn more about her on her website: www.nkengemusic.com
FEVER- LIVE ON WEST END, LONDON in The Genius of Ray Charles
“DEFYING GRAVITY” AT IWF- Performed by N’Kenge
SKYFALL at the Legendary BIRDLAND JAZZ CLUB in NYC
Enjoy more shows on her very own Youtube Channel.