November 13, 2013
Why do we need a constitutional amendment declaring that : 1) money is not speech; and,
2) corporations are not people.
Well, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling under Citizens United has gotten a lot of coverage this election season, and for good reason. Unlimited donations by billionaires and corporations to SuperPacs have drowned out the voice of ordinary Americans.
But overturning Citizens United by itself isnt enough. That case builds on two other cases that can all be addressed in an amendment to prevent big money from corrupting our democracy.
How The Supreme Court Got Us Here
The ruling that money is free speech comes from the Supreme Court caseBuckley v. Valeo (1976) which upheld limits on contributions directly to campaigns. The Supreme Court feared that unlimited contributions directly to candidates might corrupt them, or give the appearance of corruption. On the other hand, the Court held that spending money in other ways to influence elections, by donating to SuperPacs, for example, is protected free speech under the first amendment. That is why unlimited sums can be given to SuperPacs but not directly to candidates campaigns.
Of course, this past election has demonstrated that simply laundering campaign contributions through SuperPacs doesnt solve the corruption problem. The real problem is that when you confuse money with free speech you give the wealthy and their corporations enormous megaphones that drown out the rest of us. A constitutional right to free speech for all is worthless if no one can be heard except members of the .01%.
The second line of cases had to do with giving corporations the same constitutional rights as people. These cases built up over time and slowly added more and more rights for corporations. This Wikipedia article traces that history pretty well. Granting rights to corporations hit its high point under Citizens United, but it didnt start there and overturning Citizens United alone wont end it.
What we need is a constitutional amendment that says that money is not free speech and that also says that corporations are not people. Only then can we begin to pass the laws needed to make our elections fair and free of the corrupting influence of huge money donors.
You Buy em, You Own em
Alternatively, a constitutional amendment has been drafted that would require all federal elections to be funded exclusively through public money. When some people first hear of the idea of public funding of elections their immediate reaction is What? No way Im going to give those politicians even more money. But the reality is that the amount of money needed would be less than $2 Billion. Thats about .02% of the federal budget. It could be paid for by closing offshore tax loopholes for corporations.But the big thing is You buy em, you own em. Right now elections are paid for by corporations and the super rich. And politicians do what the people who paid them want. When we the people buy em, we own em and the politicians do what we want.
Democracy Doesnt Work This Way
Its important to note that no other major democracy in the world allows for the unfettered spending on elections by private individuals or corporations. Most countries allow for relatively small contributions from individuals and beyond that public dollars are used to pay for elections. Sure, wealthy individuals and large corporations still wield undue influence in those societies. But the only chance any of us have of government acting as a counterweight against that undue influence is to ensure that politicians need our support more than they need the support of a tiny percentage of wealthy individuals.
¡RELEASED! – 6 disc DVD box-set Celebrating the 65th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
November 3, 2013
2013 is the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the Magna Carta of the human race that inspires Amnesty International. It’s also the 25th anniversary of the most high-profile of all the concerts in the series – the “Human Rights Now!” world tour. A six-week, five-continent, fifteen-nation, twenty-concert tour of the world in 1988 raising awareness of the human rights cause – headlined by Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman and Youssou N’Dour.
In celebration of these two anniversaries – and to raise further funds for – and consciousness of – Amnesty, the films of all the “Human Rights Concerts” have been digitally restored and are to be released in 2013 in DVD, audio and digital formats. Three of the four films have never been available in any format since their one-time-only airing on TV – making the upcoming release all the more exciting.
The complete concert set will be released on a 6-disc DVD box-set in the Fall of 2013. The title of the box-set is “¡RELEASED!”
The DVD box-set will be released in:
USA & Canada by Shout! Factory on Tuesday November 5th 2013
The World outside North America by Eagle-Rock
There will also be audio versions of the music from the concerts released simultaneously with the DVD box-set – in both CD and digital formats.
The audio release in the USA & Canada will be:
A) A 2-disc CD – titled “¡RELEASED!” – containing 30 highlight songs drawn from the four concerts.
B) A digital release of all 120 songs from the four concerts listed under “¡RELEASED!” – followed by the title of the original concert
The audio release in the World outside North America will be:
A) A series of four individual CD sets – one set for each of the four concerts. Presenting a grand total of 90 songs from the concerts.
B) A digital release of 90 songs from the four concerts listed under “¡RELEASED!” – followed by the title of the original concert
SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS PACKAGE
In addition to the 6-disc DVD box-set and the companion audio releases of ¡RELEASED! – there is also a special highlights set featuring 30 highlights from the concerts available throughout the World (except North America) via Eagle-Rock. The DVD (a single-disc), the CD (a 2-disc set) and the digital release of highlights are all titled “GET UP! STAND UP!”
To celebrate the first-ever release of the “Human Rights Concerts” in any format – and in commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Amnesty’s concert series is being honored with special theatrical screening events in Los Angeles and New York this fall – presented by two of America’s most prestigious cultural organizations. The American Cinematheque in Los Angeles – and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.Link to Article ¡RELEASED! – 6 disc DVD box-set Celebrating the 65th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Rock School Scholarship Fund Hosts Benefit Concert with Special Guest Jackson Browne at the Troubadour on November 24th
October 30, 2013
Rock School Scholarship Fund Hosts Benefit Concert with Special Guest Jackson Browne at the Troubadour on November 24th.
Rock School Scholarship Fund announces a benefit concert with special guest, singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. The event will take place at legendary club, The Troubadour at 7:00 PM on Sunday, November 24th in West Hollywood and will benefit The Rock School Scholarship Fund (RSSF), a 501c3 public charity. Students from the School of Rock West LA and Burbank will perform, and for several songs will be joined by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. Limited VIP tickets, which include early admission, balcony seating and reception, will be available for $120 and general admission tickets are $60. All proceeds go to RSSF. Tickets go on sale Saturday, November 2 at 10 AM Pacific Time, and are available at: http://www.troubadour.com/event/407961
RSSF co-founders Wendy Winks and Carl Restivo created the Scholarship Fund in 2010 after years of working in private music education helped them realize how out of reach music lessons were for most families. The Rock School Scholarship Fund is the first non-profit that provides funds for kids to attend any rock music school in the U.S. The Fund provides instruments and scholarship funding to cover tuition expenses based on a student’s financial need combined with their desire to actively and passionately participate in a rock school program. Wendy Winks, Executive Director and Co-Founder of RSSF, envisions the day when they can “serve thousands of kids and hundreds of schools.” And in order to do that, RSSF continues to work with musicians, music companies and people who love music to raise funds for deserving kids in need.
“Jackson Browne is an inspiration to the students,” said co-founder Wendy Winks. “We are honored to have his support for this benefit concert.” Co-founder Carl Restivo adds, “The students from the School Of Rock are excited beyond belief! The show will include some of Jackson Browne’s greatest hits and a few surprise numbers as well. “
Sponsors of the November 24 benefit concert at The Troubadour, include: Center Staging, Daisy Rock Guitars, Pivotal PR, 5DSpectrum, Schecter Guitars, and Utopia Entertainment.
Jackson Browne has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music and has defined a genre of songwriting charged with honesty, emotion and personal politics. He was honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2007. Beyond his music, he is known for his advocacy on behalf of the environment, human rights, and arts education. He’s a co-founder of the groups Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), Nukefree.org, and the Success Through the Arts Foundation, which provides education opportunities for students in South Los Angeles.
More information about the Rock Scholarship Fund, whose mission is to “Help Kids Rock,” can be found at www.rockschoolfund.org.Link to Article Rock School Scholarship Fund Hosts Benefit Concert with Special Guest Jackson Browne at the Troubadour on November 24th
GREGG ALLMANS PROFOUND MUSICAL LEGACY TO BE CELEBRATED WITH A ONE-NIGHT-ONLY CONCERT ON JANUARY 10, 2014 AT THE FOX THEATRE IN ATLANTA
October 23, 2013
All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman” to Feature Performances by The Allman Brothers Band, Trace Adkins, Jackson Browne, Eric Church, Natalie Cole, Brantley Gilbert, Warren Haynes, John Hiatt, Jaimoe, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Martina McBride, Pat Monahan, Sam Moore, Robert Randolph, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Don Was and Widespread Panic
Music stars and friends will join together for All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman,” a special concert in honor of the legendary singer, songwriter and musician. The star-studded concert will take place at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia and will feature once-in-a-lifetime collaborations by friends and admirers coming together to pay tribute to Allmans music. The initial lineup includes GRAMMY, CMA, ACM, Americana, W. C. Handy Blues and Dove Award nominated and winning musicians: The Allman Brothers Band, Trace Adkins, Jackson Browne, Eric Church, Natalie Cole, Brantley Gilbert, Warren Haynes, John Hiatt, Jaimoe, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Martina McBride, Pat Monahan, Sam Moore, Robert Randolph, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Don Was and Widespread Panic. There will be surprise special guests, along with additional performers, to be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. ET on November 1.
An all-star band will be led by GRAMMY Award-winners Don Was and Warren Haynes, who will serve as co-musical directors. The concert event was created and will be produced by Keith Wortman. Michael Lehman is executive producer and Tisha Fein is talent producer. The event will be recorded and filmed for multi-platform distribution throughout traditional and digital media.
“Gregg Allman and his songs have been a deep and unmistakable influence on artists across southern rock, blues, soul, gospel, and country music,” commented Don Was. This incredible initial lineup of artists coming together to celebrate the man and his music is a genuine reflection of that. I am honored and humbled to produce a multi-media event of this magnitude,” continued Keith Wortman.
Tickets go on sale to the general public November 1 at 10 a.m. E.S.T. at www.foxtheatre.org and by phone at 855.285.8499. Tickets will also be available at the Fox Theatre box office, 660 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30308. Ticket office hours are Monday Friday, 10 a.m. 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. 3 p.m. In addition, tickets will be available at all Metro Atlanta Whole Foods and Select Ticket Alternative Outlets.Link to Article GREGG ALLMANS PROFOUND MUSICAL LEGACY TO BE CELEBRATED WITH A ONE-NIGHT-ONLY CONCERT ON JANUARY 10, 2014 AT THE FOX THEATRE IN ATLANTA
October 9, 2013
Jackson Browne, HEART, Little Steven, Melissa Etheridge, Ani Difranco, Nils Lofgren, Indigo Girls, The Verbs (Steve Jordans new band), Willie Nile, Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers – along with a spoken track of John Lennon “Apathy Isn’t it”) – a soundscape about america & hunger, entitled “redemption #9” inspired by the Beatles track “Revolution 9”; a student-produced mashUp inspired by Joan Baez and Pete Seeger, plus 4 select emerging artists are slated to appear on a unique CD aimed to respond to food banks growing demand and coming cuts to food stamps and other support for the needy.
The tunes4food – Redemption Day (soundtrack) album, produced by a Buffalo, NY grassroots, group, will be released on NOVEMBER 19. Proceeds will be split across Food Banks in 3 hard hit cities, Buffalo, Cleveland & Long Island.
“John Lennon was quoted as saying he wanted to be remembered as a famous peacenik, and he worked tirelessly to get the anti-war message out during his lifetime. Our song, ‘Dear Old America’ speaks through the eyes of a young soldier in 2013 struggling with the reality of modern war and its painful effects on our world and its families. We dedicate this song to all those wounded and in need.”
WITH LOVE, ANN WILSON, HEART