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Haiti and the Winter Olympics

The tragedy of the earthquake in Haiti and the devastation - its effect on human life and health, as well as the nation's infrastructure - points out numerous things not always considered.  One is that it often takes something like this, an earthquake, a tsunami, a localized war / government overthrow that combined with famine in an area brings hunger to the point of starvation - for us to even notice poverty elsewhere in the world.  (We also pretty much ignore the poverty in our own nation.)   Second, we see that there is goodness in us after all, with a great outpouring of money, food and other supplies, and actual presence there, by doctors, nurses and everyday people taking time off from their regular jobs and everyday life to help.  (And yes, we also drop money in the big red kettles in season, contribute food and time to Harvesters and local food kitchens, and give to other charities.)   For the first 5 weeks following the earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010,  it was all over television, although less and less as time went on.  Enter Winter Olympics - although NBC won't share footage with networks they don't have an interest in, with still shots and information, Olympics coverage is everywhere now - and rightly so.  An unintended lesson of our focus on this is - life goes on.   But then, let's not forget Haiti - it's still hurting, we can still help.  The Help for Haiti box at the top of the right column is to the White House page on Haiti Earthquake Relief and focused on the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund including making a contribution via your cell phone.  Other charities - check them out at Charity Navigator.  Too new for rating, Hope for Haiti Now (you may have seen the all-star telethon) is an umbrella organization, dividing up funds raised among several other organizations rated and not, including UNICEF, the American Red Cross and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.  Music from the telethon, proceeds to the organization, is available on itunes, amazon etc.   There is also a remake of We Are The World on itunes to benefit Haitian relief (although just how is not set yet.)

Our FDA, really on top of things:

Late January 2010 the FDA announced that Nipro Medical Corp. had recalled 2 million Exel/Exelint Huber medical needles which were manufactured between January 2007 and August 2009; problem was the risk that they could push bits of silicone into patients' bodies.  January 2007???!!   Kind of late for that maybe?

And how about that FBI?

Another news item from about the same time, "The FBI violated the law in collecting about 2,000 U.S. telephone records during the Bush administration, though the violations weren't intentional, officials said."
It's true, collecting those two thousand was completely accidental - but bound to happen while intentionally illegally collecting the other million or so records.

Ft. Hood Shooting Tragedy - and

what's also sad is how quickly it will be capitalized on... for example, while TV news is doing the important, yes, necessary, coverage, analysis, perspective pieces, the network and cable's entertainment divisions are hard at work trying to be the first with a movie of the week "based on the true story" and other hucksters are working on other ways to profit.      MORE ON PROFITING ON TRAGEDY

Gone Postal

Well, that's not the kind of headline to follow the shooting tragedy story, but this is not about violence, but rather, mismanagement of the postal service.  When Postmaster General Porter began testifying before Congress last year about the financial problems of the USPS, I was surprised he didn't ask for a share of the bailouts so many other businesses were lining up for.  I was hoping they'd tell him, losses like that - no bonus for you this year, Mr. Chief Mailman...  Anyway, the "continued" section here is an inside view of what went wrong and what's still wrong with the Post Office today.                    MORE ON POSTAL MISMANAGEMENT

Nobel Peace Prize goes to Obama

but less to recognize results and more to acknowledge and support his efforts. In other words, the Nobel committee likes the President's stated intentions and his approach.  Some pundits have (tongue in cheek?) suggested awarding Obama the Nobel was a consolation prize for losing the Olympic Games to Rio...  my own take on it is the Norway-based Nobel committee is trying to influence him:  he top military commander in Afghanistan, Gen.McChrystal is recommending a troop surge there...  so, does a President who has just won the Peace Prize escalate the war?                              MORE ON BARACK OBAMA'S PEACE PRIZE

Goodbye, Geocities

is the headline for the short news item some months back announcing the end of the free web-hosting service by parent Yahoo.  All of my music pages had been at Geocities these many years, so you'll see a few missing and ugly pages until I finish relocating them all.  While Geo could have handled some of the transition better, kudos to them for continuing the free hosting long after the internet bubble burst and most others gave up on "free."        MORE ON INTERNET OFFERINGS HISTORY

Health Care Reform Headline

in the Kansas City Star October 7: " 'Insiders' balk at health care reform. "   The story continues on to report a survey shows that more than half the area's doctors, employers and hospital executives "agree or strongly agree" with keeping the current health care system in place...    you've heard the phrase "consider the source," right?  The survey results are very telling.  Kansas City's Blue Cross / Blue Shield, along with the Chamber of Commerce commissioned the survey.                                         MORE ON HEALTH CARE REFORM

Friday night I went to a concert - 

Tommy Emmanuel, perhaps the greatest living guitarist except perhaps Eric Clapton.  "Living" guitarist saves comparison with Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, or Andres Segovia.  My son asked, well what about Joe Satriani? (and a few others, and certainly BB King, for example, might be ranked higher by many.)  The real point is not really who's the top, but that you ought to

Get out and hear some live music -

soon, whether jazz, blues, country, rock, folk, or any other genre.  Although summer is the season of festivals, where so often you can enjoy several acts for one admission (or free) - see performers you're familiar with and discover others just as good - and there's the added bonus of enjoying them in the great outdoors.  If that's not your cup of tea - or mug of beer - and even if it is - now that it's Autumn in New York, Kansas City and where you are, there are still plenty of great shows to attend in restaurants, bars and night clubs, and concert halls.                                            MORE ON LIVE MUSIC

How much music is there to enjoy?

A year ago I drove out to Topeka June 1st and 2nd for the Coleman Hawkins Legacy Jazz Festival, catching Son Venezuela and the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band Friday night and Ken Lovern's Organ Jazz Trio, Dan Doran and Marcia Ball on Saturday.  Sunday, went a bit more highbrow with the Northland Symphony, but a pops concert outdoors featuring movie themes.  The next weekend it was up to Parkville, Missouri for their annual Blues, Jazz and Fine Arts River Jam. Many others were on the line up, but Trampled Under Foot, Angela Hagenbach and Saskia Laroo were three acts I caught Friday night.  The following weekend, Jazz in the Woods was on my schedule, where Arturo Sandoval, with opening acts Nils, and Eldar, play Saturday (there was a Friday show too, and Sunday for the first time, Country in the Woods, with headliner Tracy Byrd.  June 19 I went to Alison Krauss' performance in Kansas City, which also featured Dobro player Jerry Douglas.  Incidentally, I just recently (October 10, 2009) went to another Eldar performance, part of the Folly Jazz Series.)                      MORE ON LIVE MUSIC

So, how about you?

You catch some live music now and then, right?  Or listen to CDs, the radio, maybe MTV, CMT etc.?  Watch television, go to the movies?  What do you like (and why?), what don't you like (how bad was it, and why?  Post your opinion in our new  Discussion Board  - have a dialogue with others there.  Simple registration (free) is required, filling a thing or two in on the profile is encouraged                 DISCUSSION BOARD

Okay, so Michael Jackson was a 

major influence on modern music ... however, the seeming never ending coverage was starting to get old.  But then, there was hope - Time magazine cover didn't have a picture of Jackson, but of the moon landing some 40 years earlier.  But even with the commemorative coverage of that momentous event, they couldn't help but bring up the subject of ...  moonwalking.        MORE ON MICHAEL JACKSON

Michael says, commentaries

I was undecided whether to resume the commentaries or to post to the Discussion Board, which would be quicker and allow better for a dialogue with you ...  but I've decided - news will be on the News pages, news accompanied by my opinions or other remarks will initially appear here on the main page, often continued on another page.  Those pages will list all the earlier commentaries.  Meanwhile, I've left the "archives" in place: READ PREVIOUS "MICHAEL SAYS" ARTICLES

 

Most often, I listen to

community radio, which here in Kansas City is KKFI, 90.1 FM.  During the jazz shows each afternoon, upcoming jazz performances are announced, an effort of the Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors ("which reminds you to get out and hear some live jazz tonight").  A similar blues calendar is heard during blues programming later in the day.  Where ever in the world you are, you can listen to KKFI's streaming audio click upper left on any KKFI page, or find it under the On-Air Guide link.                                                                  MORE ON RADIO

 

Netflix, Inc.

 

The Academy Awards

were presented a while back, and I can't argue with them much - in fact, most of the nominees were of such quality that they were all deserving (not always the case in some years past.)   For the Academy's official site with list of all nominees, all winners and other information, go to oscar.com  (not great navigation, but then who am I to talk?)  Looking for a DVD/vid of a current or past winner? That and more, check out Oscar Central at my Amazon.com link.  Did you watch the Awards telecast?  The commercials were great, done "cinema"-style...  after a ho-hum batch of Super Bowl commercials this year, it was refreshing.

Now, speaking of movies - they're an important part of my site, with lead actors and official site links listed, along with links to my "collectibles" pages where you can find DVDs / videos, posters, CDs, etc. from a particular film or artist, as well as others the artists have appeared in.

I fall behind, however, much too often... should I have made 

New Year's Resolutions ?

Well, truth be told, I don't make - nor break, that's the corollary - New Year's resolutions...  but, if I did, it would be to keep all of this site up to date.  Fact is, I do intend to get it and keep it up to date, although it may take a while (hey, it has been completely current in the past, so it is do-able.)

What most needs to be current?  Well, the various news feeds, of course, but that is automated and IS up to date...  but some other things you come here for which require good new info are movie and music recommendations.  My own, along with links to movie trailers, my collectibles pages, music buy pages and more, are being updated, but

your part in this...

Okay, I'm repeating some of what I said above, but... you see movies... listen to music... go to concerts... watch TV... have thoughts on current events...  now you can be a critic too, and voice your opinion.  You are invited - no, ENCOURAGED -to use our new  Discussion Board  to praise or pan what you're watching and listening to, raise questions, and have a dialogue with others there.                                                                          DISCUSSION BOARD

Best of the Year 

Grammys have been awarded, Oscars have been presented - have they missed something?  Well, of course, and in adding my own "Bests," I might well overlook some you feel are deserving too, yet at the same time, call your attention to some excellent music and movies you weren't aware of.  (By the way, you can add your two cents worth on these matters, and more, on our new Discussion Board - see "your part in this," above.)

Coming soon:

A chat site - eclectic discussions - talk about movies, music, books, anything you want, and LIVE!    (this will be added after the Discussion Board  takes off, since if there's not sufficient interest in the board, interest in Chat would be doubtful too.)

Collectibles pages for music pages (besides posters, autographs, clothing and other memorabilia, these will include fan site and official site addresses, CDs and DVDs available, and music download links).

Photography

I will be rescanning my original artist photography, now that I have an ultra-high resolution scanner that I can scan from negatives and slides rather than from prints.  As I scan, I will begin placing pictures (again) at dotPhoto; Sammy Kershaw, Toby Keith, Leann Womack and Journey, Collin Raye, Tish Hinojosa, Chad Brock, Marcia Ball, Exposé, Count Basie, Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck, George Shearing, Tito Puente, Paquito D'Rivera,  Diana Krall, Phil Woods, Dixie Chicks, the Kinleys,  and many more.   I will be starting my new additions there with more recent pictures that I took with digital cameras. I will also be adding nature / landscape / scenics, etc. You can buy high resolution prints from my work in various sizes direct from dotPhoto at very reasonable prices.

 

Help for Haiti: Learn What You Can Do


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