Additional Thoughts on the Economy

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At the eve of the Republican convention where Dictator-wannabe Donald will speak EVERY night and have his family speak as well (can you say “imperialism”?); as an independent-thinking person, I subscribe to about 30 different news feeds from the entire spectrum of political bias.

I remain convinced from a personal viewpoint that, while the stock market looks steady, the economy for a vast majority of US citizens is precarious. My personal observations were backed up today by this article today in Business Insider, a fairly moderate news source:
https://www.businessinsider.com/stock-market-us-economy-disconnected-paul-krugman-op-ed-2020-8 where a Nobel Prize-winning economist laid out in clear terms what I have been feeling/thinking.

Friends, if you are a Christian, if you have any awareness of social conscience, if you believe in the basic tenets of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution wherein every person should have the same opportunities to succeed, if you care about the inequality of the 1% controlling the 99%; then you must see that this current economic situation favors only the few. If you’re white and privileged (as I am) and not afraid to accept what that means, then you must be an advocate of change.

Enough politicizing, tomorrow I will share my latest news about music and wine.

 

View from the sidelines

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I deliberately stepped away from social media a few months ago to focus on what was important to me in light of the upcoming November elections.

A former registered Republican, I remain a fiscal conservative, but have become increasing concerned about the social inequities that have become commonplace in this country. I was born and raised in a lower middle class family, lived on the wrong side of *both* sets of tracks (really!). My home was surrounded by factories which belched out soot and dust.  I was bussed to an elementary school that was primarily African-American. In high school I knew that I was not in the same social class as many of my classmates. I was fortunate in that, in my parents’ home, we were all expected to get a college education – something both mom and dad were unable to do. I worked in a factory as a UAW member from 1971-1975 to fund my college education.

I am dismayed at the social injustices in play at this point in US society. I recently began working in retail wine sales because it seemed interesting. The lessons learned have opened my eyes to the fallacies of the current economy. While the stock market shows robust numbers, it is obvious that this has NOTHING to do with the average US citizen. The majority of my co-workers are either 1) older than me (I’m 67) and HAVE to keep working in order to eat, 2) working two jobs to get by, or 3) working 50 hours or more a week in order to pay bills. Is this the economy that Trump believes is the best ever?  This is not my uneducated or simple observational opinion. If you, like me, are a fiscal conservative, here are some links that raise real flags about what is going on in this country right now:

  (and the Cramer article referenced the end of this link is also significant).

Furthermore, if you consider yourself any kind of thinking, educated person; I dare you to read the first 200 pages of William Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”. You will find many eerie similarities between Hitler’s actions and what is happening now in the USA. Read it. Don’t skim or dismiss it. Your comments will reveal which you did.

Covid-19.

My career was spent as an educator. Worse, I was a choral director – omg, a super-spreader activity. Are you a parent? How do you feel about sending your child to a building with a bunch of other kids? If you were a teacher, or worse, a teacher with kids or a spouse that had a compromised immunity system, how would you feel about the push to re-open schools? What kind of leadership have we seen regarding this issue?  Allow me to list a few quotes (easily gathered through a Google search):

Jan. 22, 2020 – ” We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.

Feb. 2, 2020 – ““We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

Feb. 4, 2020 – “My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.”

Feb. 10, 2020 – “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away. “

Feb. 11, 2020 – “In our country, we only have, basically, 12 cases and most of those people are recovering and some cases fully recovered. So it’s actually less.”

Feb. 24, 2020 – “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

Feb. 26, 2020 – “When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”

Feb. 28, 2020 – “Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus… And this is their new hoax.”

March 11, 2020 – “The vast majority of Americans, the risk is very, very low.”

March 23, 2020 – “America will again, and soon, be open for business — very soon — a lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. A lot sooner.”

April 14, 2020 – “Today I am instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization ….”

June 17, 2020 – “The pandemic is fading away. It’s going to fade away.”

July 2, 2020 – “The pandemic is “getting under control.”

July 6, 2020 – “We now have the lowest Fatality (Mortality) Rate in the World.”

How many more lies will you believe?  It is time to stop this nonsense.

Donald Trump does not care about you. He only cares about one thing – himself.

New at MusikHaus

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Been working on the Choralis Constantinus items for the Christmas Day mass. Just finished the alleluia Dies Sanctificatus. This process is extensive since it requires me to not only transcribe the original mensural notation into modern notation  but also 1) research the possible and probable chant sources used by Isaac in his composition, 2) identify where that chant melody exists in the polyphony, 3) develop a consistent and reliable editorial style that allows the interpreter(s) to understand what was original and what I have changed in the edition, and 4) make each edition consistent to the others. Whew. Time-consuming. And I’ll probably still get slammed by some musicologists for being sloppy or amateurish. Oh well, if my work results in one performance of this music it will have been worth it.

So, now I am developing the music portion of the website to ready it for PDF distribution of the motets. I hate to say it, but I find web-building much more difficult and less intuitive than it was ten years ago with Microsoft Web Expressions. Simple tasks such as links to different pages on the website are much harder than they used to be.  We should have allowed Microsoft to continue ruling the world…..

In other news, I had my annual review with Total Wine last week and, despite my best efforts, they have decided to not only retain me but give me a raise and enroll me in their TWP (total wine professional) program – which is basically training in being a sommelier without the presentation aspects. And I thought I was done with schooling (sigh..). Actually, should be lots of fun. AND there’s a possibility that the University of Miami wants me to fill again for some courses this fall. If that happens, they’ll probably be online so, Gott sei Dank, I won’t have that awful commute.

Michelle has been in South Dakota since Friday helping Jackson pack up his house for a move to Sioux Falls. Nathan has been promoted by Olive Garden to be the new manager at the Sioux Falls restaurant and so he and Jackson are scrambling to get their house ready for sale and to find a new domicile in SF.  Michelle will return on Wednesday, after having had ample time to remember why she left SD (allergies, dry heat, etc.).  Loki and I (and the cats) will be happy to have her back.

If you are reading this because of your interest in the Choralis Constantinus, please check out the changes in that area of the website. If you’re subscribed to keep up with me and Michelle, be sure to subscribe to Loki’s Instagram page and/or leave comments on this post. Oh, and here’s what the sky looked like last night looking down my street. I love living here.

New Developments

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I began this website primarily at the urging of my friend Markus Utz. We met when he became the Director of Music at the Konstanz Munster and we have collaborated on the music written for that building by Heinrich Isaac – the Choralis Constantinus (CC) . With his ensemble cantissimo, he is one of the foremost professional choral conductors in Europe and has championed performances of my editions in media and venues over many years.

 

 

Markus is now Professor of Choral Conducting at the Zurich University of the Arts. He remains a versatile conductor, organist at the Konstanz Munster, and teacher, including a stint as Visiting Professor in the School of Music at Yale University

With the Covid-19 pandemic curtailing large vocal ensemble singing. Markus believes that smaller vocal ensembles that can rehearse and perform in responsible conditions will become more important. He has asked me to jointly work towards the publication of a CD/anthology of motets from the CC. So, for the moment, I will refrain from uploading public domain versions of anything that might be considered for inclusion in the (potential) collaboration. Anything that is not published will be added to this website.