What's happening out in the world? Did it matter, does it now?
Ukraine's unrest has left the door open for neighboring Russia to walk right in and take control of the Crimean peninsula. This gives Russia more coastline on the Black Sea for their navy. I don't think the apparent invasion was for humanitarian or stabilization purposes. Today's stock markets suffered as a consequence, especially those with Russian interests. Some energy and commodity prices went up. NATO is silent, as is eastern Europe, as far as I can tell. Eyes fall upon the USA to do something about Vladimir Putin's "incredible act of aggression", a quote from Sec. of State John Kerry. Putin is more interested in Crimea than he is in improving Russia's relationship with the USA. Let's see how Barrack Obama handles this tense situation and hope for diplomatic success to diffuse potential hostilities.
There are 88,940 more signatures needed by March 12, 2014, so this seems like a long shot and then some, but I'd love to see this happen. A link on the front page here would probably help...
A number of folks have asked about this effort--a petition drive on whitehouse.gov started by a Head in Kansas to have the band included in the Kennedy Center Honors next year for the 50th anniversary. Details here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/nominate-grateful-dead-receive-kennedy-center-honors-2015-celebrating-their-50th-anniversary/ZrzvLSwz
3 years of intense civil war
2,500,000 refugees, most living in squalor in the desert, if they're lucky, with nothing left to go back to.
the polar vortex doesn't seem so bad...
I am looking for suggestions of original acoustic songs that were done by Mother Mcree's Uptown Jug Band, and the Warlocks, and for which clean recordings exist.
Scott Ward, the Minister of Music for 1st Unitarian Church in Wilmington, DE, is planning to let the various incarnations of the band provide the musical accompaniment to the worship program in an upcoming April service. Toward that goal, Scot asked for my help, and I in turn, am asking for your help - leveraging the power of the collective, so to speak.
There will be 4 or 5 musical interludes, and we have potentially covered 2 - 3 of them with Sage & Spirit from he Blues for Allah sessions, and Heaven Help the Fool from the Warfield run (although a clean quality recording would be helpful).
Scott is really interested in getting something from the early years and lineups, which is well before my time and outside of my experience. Any and all input and ideas are greatly appreciated and gratefully received.
Please post back and / or reach out directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Great thanks to all,
Congratulations to Lizzy Yarnold on her Sochi Olympics Gold Medal in Skeleton.
Focused, polite, sincere, humble, determined, inspiring.
Now away to those waffles and muffins. You probably deserve it, I reckon....
Thank you, Anna. Your assessment of the illegal immigrant agricultural labor force is spot-on. Same situation here in WI. I've worked with Latino families in agriculture for the last 8 yrs here and there are at least a few recurring themes as to why they risk making an honest living here and risk deportation:
1. Most Mexican families leave Mexico for the lack of employment opportunities, but even more so, for the very serious corruption, mostly from police, organized crime, and gangs. Justice has not much meaning there or expense and young people are very serious targets for gang recruiting. The parents want their children to have a future and they know that can happen here.
2. The avg. American will not even apply for the positions that the Mexican families will apply for - thus assuring a steady and stable form of employment here. There is a greenhouse operation owner in Alabama who claims that in the last 33 yrs of his operation, not one caucasion person has even so much as filled out an application for employment. But that doesn't sell TV commercial space. We do get to hear about Mexican gang members and marijuana growers, though. That shit sells airtime.
3. Working long days in the fields, risking exposure to pesticides, is something that even minors can do and is it a not-so-well-known fact that [many] American employers overlook age so that they can have entire families employed, often for minimum wage (or less) or just slightly higher.
They are some of the most family oriented, happy-go-lucky people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. And you're right, if they were paid what they were worth, our food prices would easily double.
From what I can see after 8 yrs of observation, these native Central Americans simply want a chance to have a future for their family and they're willing to do the work here that no one else wants to do with low pay and often no benefits in order to achieve that goal.
a change from the venal side of US news.
thanks to Mark Gatiss for bringing it to my attention.
Having been a southern man for a few years, you left out Fat Tuesday: folks in south Louisiana, and maybe along the gulf coast as well, get the day off to go party!
For all you yanks, Fat Tuesday is synonymous with Mardi Gras and falls each year before Ash Wednesday. 35 years later, I've retired from federal service. While working for the USDA, the Friday after Thanksgiving was never a paid holiday.
Most state workers had the day off because it was a Georgia government holiday, Confederate Memorial Day.
The official date isn't until Thursday, April 26, but the state observes it on a Monday to provide employees with a three day weekend.
Confederate Memorial Day was first declared an official Georgia holiday in 1874 and has been observed ever since.
Six other southern states also celebrate it: Florida and Alabama (April 23), Mississippi (April 30), North and South Carolina (May 10) and Texas (January 19).
The holiday was set aside to remember those who died fighting for the Confederacy, many of whom are buried in several local cemeteries.
(Texas takes the case for insensitivity, celebrating this holiday 4 days after MLK Day)