Widespread Panic returned to the stage at Mud Island Amphitheatre last night only a few days after their annual trip to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. As to be expected for a show in the South, the Georgian boys played a dirty set full of swamp, grit, and flavor as the muddy Mississippi River rolled and tumbled behind the stage. Unfortunately, a young fan went missing after jumping into the Mississippi River following last night’s show, and the local authorities are still searching for him (more details can be found at the end of the review). To kick off the first set, the band played an aggressively thumpin’ “Henry Parsons Died” before annihilating a fiery “Junior.” Dave Schools pummeled his bass while providing support vocals and supplementing a hilarious “Who’s your daddy?” on “Junior”. The boys then dove into a slow and sexy version of The Meters’ “It Ain’t No Use” which they last played with George Porter Jr. at Panic en la Playa Siete in January. Everyone took turns ripping solos with an epic back and forth volley between JoJo Hermann and Jimmy Herring. JoJo Hermann on keys led the segue into a stirring cover of the Talking Heads’ “Heaven” as John Bell crystallized the lyrics with his emotional swagger. Fueled up on Memphis soul food, the boys incinerated an intense jam connecting an uplifting “Airplane” into a triumphant cover of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” which hasn’t been played since the second night of Panic en la Playa Siete. A cut from their most recent album “Steven’s Cat” mellowed the tempo before Dave Schools led the charge on a devastating “Imitation Leather Shoes.” To close the set, dem boys aced a cover of Neil Young’s “Mr. Soul” with Jimmy Herring standout for his lightning guitar work.To open the second set, Colin Butler on turntables (from Big Ass Truck) assisted the returning musicians to play a rippin’ “Dyin’ Man” as well as a cover of Bobby Rush and Calvin Carter’s “Bowlegged Woman.” John Bell laid down a mysteriously spicy rap during this “Bowlegged Woman” to the pleasure of the ravenous fans. A sizzlin’ “Thought Sausage” from Don’t Tell the Band preceded a jaunty “Worry” with Dave Schools descending the music into the depths of madness. John Bell captivated throughout an emotionally wrought “Mercy” before a heavy jam emerged that eventually resulted in another cover of Neil Young’s “Vampire Blues”.Widespread Panic – “Bowlegged Woman”[Video: TNspreadhead]An intense musical sandwich began with the first verse of a rugged “Provin’ Ground” with John Bell igniting the audience with a fiery “Find out just how tall I am… by jumping in the middle of the river!” The percussionists, Duane Trucks and Sonny Ortiz, remained on stage to berate their drum kits before the musicians returned and executed an exhilarating “Saint Ex” from their album Dirty Side Down. The band segued into the back half of “Provin’ Ground” before ending the set with an always raucous rendition of the party-anthem “Tall Boy” off Bombs & Butterflies.The rock n roll giants returned for a swingin’ cover of the Yardbird’s “Drinkin’ Muddy Water” which hasn’t been played since 2015. With the muddy Mississippi rollin’ in the background and the venue of Mud Island, this was an appropriate choice in encore. To end the first night of music, Panic tugged on heartstrings with a sentimentally sweet version of “Vacation.” The audience was tight and reciprocated the immense amount of energy that the band gave. Widespread Panic – “Drinking Muddy Water”It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness to report that, after the show, a teenager jumped the concrete wall and into the Mississippi River. As of this afternoon, the teenager, identified as Pace Taylor (described as white, 5’7’’, 170 lbs) is still missing. If you have any information as to his whereabouts, please contact the Memphis Police Department immediately. Prayers for his family as a search party continues their efforts.Widespread Panic resumes their two-night run tonight at Mud Island. There is still plenty of southern soul left on the table. Look out for each other and be safe, friends, brothers, sisters.Setlist: June 29 | Mud Island | Memphis, TN | June 29, 2018Set One: Henry Parsons Died, Junior, It Ain’t No Use > Heaven, Airplane > A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Steven’s Cat, Imitation Leather Shoes, Mr SoulSet Two: Dyin’ Man*, Bowlegged Woman*, Thought Sausage, Worry, Mercy > Jam > Vampire Blues > Proving Ground > Drums > Saint Ex > Proving Ground, Tall Boy Encore: Drinking Muddy Water, Vacation* w/ Colin Butler on turntables (Big Ass Truck)
When Marshall Nannes began researching his master’s thesis on American military bases in Bahrain and Kuwait, he did something practically unknown. He actually asked the people in those countries how they felt about the U.S. presence there.“All the research on the topic was at the government-to-government level,” said Nannes, a graduate student at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) who traveled to the two tiny Mideast nations in January for his research. The popular wisdom, he said, was that “it doesn’t really matter what the people — the opposition leaders — think.”A scant two months later, Bahrain has been swept by turbulent demonstrations and a government crackdown. Bahraini opposition leaders, once just the subjects of Nannes’ obscure thesis, now are interviewed regularly in The New York Times. And Bahrain’s protesters are trumpeting their anger in the streets.Political protests are sweeping the Arab world across a 2,000-mile crescent. The unrest began in December with one man’s self-immolation in Tunisia and spread like wildfire to Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere, taking the international community by surprise. In a region that historically has appeared inhospitable to democracy, millions of ordinary citizens rose to demand basic political rights.Responding to these shifts, Harvard analysts have been working overtime to parse the resultant economic, religious, political, and social changes. Taken together, their insights offer a fresh glimpse into the Arab world’s future. In a series of interviews, the Harvard specialists said it is time to shed outdated assumptions about the region: from the dictum that oil must be protected at all costs, to the fear that Islam guides the region’s worldview, to the fantasy that democracy can solve all of the area’s problems.“Now is not the time to go in with rhetorical guns blazing, but to step back and think about what this means” for civil-military relations, democratization, and issues of religion and the state in the region, said Paul Beran, director of the CMES Outreach Center.The results of the political unrest have ranged from the inspiring — President Hosni Mubarak’s relatively peaceful departure from power in Egypt — to the explosive, as in Libya, where an international military coalition began enforcing a no-fly zone last weekend against leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, as civil war raged through the land.Among the key themes that Harvard analysts see emerging from the Arab unrest are these:It’s not about oilTo much of the world, the Mideast and North Africa have long been defined by oil — and energy interests often define when and how the West responds to the region’s political crises. But whether the Arab world sustains its newfound democratic energy or slides back toward more authoritarian rule, oil won’t be to blame, according to one Harvard expert who studies the effects of political instability on energy markets.It’s time to ditch the myth of the “resource curse,” or the popular theory that countries with an abundance of limited natural resources such as oil are more vulnerable to, among other ills, power-play politics and corruption.“Sitting on a boatload of oil does not make you unstable,” said Noel Maurer, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School (HBS).In truth, oil production tends to stay up and running even in highly destructive wars. “It actually seems to be the case that the [oil] markets are completely resilient to political instability and violence going on around them. Those sectors are often the last man standing,” Maurer said.The idea that lucrative oil resources make many Arab nations ripe for takeover by authoritarian leaders only leads to cynical cynical — and misguided — foreign policy, according to Noel Maurer, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Photo by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe idea that lucrative oil resources make many Arab nations ripe for takeover by authoritarian leaders only leads to cynical — and misguided — foreign policy, Maurer said. The United States should support the Arab revolutions not just because they increase freedom for millions, but because democracies in the region would likely prove more stable for business than the autocracies that U.S. leaders have tacitly supported for years, he argued.That said, observers are right to be concerned if continued fighting in the region cuts off the flow of oil, as has already happened in Libya.“Oil markets right now are extremely tight,” Maurer said. “There’s not a lot of excess capacity around, so even small shocks could send prices up.” As rising industrial powers, China and India demand an ever-greater share of the world’s oil, and that is unlikely to change, he said.While Libya produces much more oil, Bahrain, an island nation of just a million people, is “the real place to watch,” Maurer said. “Oil’s going to start flowing in again from Libya, either because the rebels will figure out how to continue production or Gadhafi will prevail, although the latter is unlikely now that the United Nations has intervened,” he said. But if unrest continues in Bahrain, fear of it spreading could send oil markets into short-term panic.In addition, the Bahraini unrest and the resultant government crackdown have thrown a wrench into the relations between oil giant Saudi Arabia, which dispatched security forces to aid government forces, and the United States, which opposes any violent response.The economy trumps religionThe uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and other Arab countries have surprised outsiders with their lack of religious rhetoric. The protests and resulting overthrow of Tunisia’s leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt’s Mubarak have shown that the economy, not Islam, dominates everyday citizens’ concerns, according to Malika Zeghal, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor in Contemporary Islamic Thought and Life in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).In Tunisians’ revolutionary rhetoric, “religion was simply absent because the Tunisian revolution was not about religion,” Zeghal said. “The protests were articulating a critique of the relationship between Tunisians and their state.”That critique stemmed from deep economic crisis. In central Tunisia, unemployment among young people with college degrees is as high as 40 to 50 percent, according to Zeghal. Tunisians’ discontent over the lack of economic opportunities coalesced into anti-state protests targeting the regime’s corruption and its repression of political dissent.Egyptians and Tunisians are now debating whether their revised constitutions should keep the notion of a state religion.Both countries have legally authorized Islamist parties (Wasat in Egypt and al-Nahda in Tunisia) for the first time. Such religious parties will have to cross the same hurdles as secular ones, Zeghal said. Egyptian and Tunisian youth have high expectations that their new governments will increase economic opportunities and become accountable.Even Muslim parties’ “ability to emerge politically in future elections will also depend on their capacity to find solutions to the deep socioeconomic crisis in these two countries, and to speak a political language that can inspire the youth,” she said.Democracy isn’t enoughThe Egyptian constitutional referendum held March 19 was certainly proof that major change has already resulted from the wave of protests. More than 14 million Egyptians turned out to vote in what was considered the first legitimate referendum in the country’s lengthy history.But while this step toward democracy was a breakthrough for Egypt, that move alone won’t solve the underlying socioeconomic problems that sparked the protests. “There’s a stark contrast between the rich and the poor in these countries, and the disparity has been growing,” said Steven Caton, a professor of contemporary Arab studies in the FAS Anthropology Department. For a case study on the limits of democratic participation, look no further than Yemen, an extremely poor nation. Caton, who has studied the country for 30 years, noted that Yemen has a longstanding democratic tradition. Despite the autocratic bent of the country’s ruling regime, Yemen has held several successful, internationally monitored elections for both its president and parliament. But the country has still been swept by revolutionary fervor. Support for President Ali Abdullah Saleh has plunged, amid violent protests and high-level government defections.“They have a more-or-less democratic system that limps along,” Caton said. “What they don’t have, really, is an ability to address certain simmering, long-term complaints within their society.”Yemen’s population has exploded in recent years, Caton said, and more people are moving to urban areas looking for work as the country’s agricultural system becomes overburdened. So Yemen’s city dwellers are also exposed to the regime’s corruption to a degree they never would have been had they remained in tribal society.“The regime has allied itself to this oligarchy at the expense of an equitable distribution of resources to the rest of the population,” Caton said. “These protests are for political reforms, and they’re couched in the populist language of democracy. But they’re really about political reforms that will bring capital back [to the country] and redistribute capital.”To create long-term stability in the region, Caton said, the United States must be prepared to contribute to economic development, not just to stable elections. American leaders, who have focused on Yemen mainly as a potential hotbed for al-Qaeda terrorist recruitment, need to invest in economic development projects to earn trust.Social media matter — to a pointThe temptation to overvalue the role of social media in bringing about democratic change has abated somewhat since Iran’s failed Green Revolution in 2009. Then, Iranian protesters took their frustrations with undemocratic elections to the world through Twitter, only to see their online voices muted as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tightened his grip on power.When it comes to reporting on so-called social media revolutions in the Mideast and North Africa today, “the Western media’s a little more sophisticated than they were then,” said Rob Faris, research director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and a contributor to its Internet and Democracy Project.How can outside observers know when to trust the Internet buzz coming from the region? The Internet and Democracy Project’s authoritative 2009 study, “Mapping the Arabic Blogosphere,” which the Berkman Center is now updating, shed light on how countries such as Egypt have fostered revolutionary chatter online in ways that Iran did not.Even Muslim parties’ “ability to emerge politically in future elections will also depend on their capacity to find solutions to the deep socioeconomic crisis … and to speak a political language that can inspire the youth,” said Malika Zeghal, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor in Contemporary Islamic Thought and Life in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. File photo by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer“In Iran you had a clearly divided blogosphere. You had pro-reform elements, and pro-theocracy elements,” Faris said. “That parallels in many ways the [two-party] structure of American politics. Egypt is completely different.” Not only are Egyptian opposition groups much less cohesive and more difficult to target online, he said, but a survey of the country’s blogosphere shows “it was missing a pro-Mubarak element.”“We don’t know to what extent the blogosphere reflects offline life,” Faris said. “So far, everything we’ve seen is consistent with that.”Still, even Faris, an Internet acolyte, cautioned that after the masses are mobilized, the web may prove useless in helping to build new institutions and hold them accountable. “It’s probably easier to bring down an autocrat than before,” Faris said. “But what that brings you after the revolution — I don’t think that’s changed much.”Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter don’t appear to be as crucial to organizing protests as some might believe.“You might put a Facebook page up to get people interested [in a protest], but chances are all the major organizing is happening on back channels,” said Jillian York, project coordinator for the OpenNet Initiative, an Internet monitoring group run in part out of the Berkman Center.But cell phones do play a role. While wealthier nations such as Iran and the United Arab Emirates saw skyrocketing rates of Internet use over the past few years, the countries that have experienced recent unrest were experiencing an explosion in cell phone use, according to figures from the International Telecommunication Union.With the new ability to communicate instantly, easily, and — most important — privately through cell phones and text messaging, “it’s become clear that mobile is an absolutely vital part of this movement,” York said.Lessons for AmericaPresident Barack Obama’s decision to support a no-fly zone over Libya with U.S. warplanes marked a late but decisive entry into the region’s turmoil. Although the announced goal of the no-fly zone is to stop humanitarian abuses by Gadhafi’s forces, the move also signals tacit support for overthrowing the embattled leader. It was a controversial shift, according to Stephen Walt of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Backing the ouster of authoritarian leaders such as Gadhafi reflects the Obama administration’s desire to see the “Arab spring” of democratic change blossom.“America’s interests in the region, both strategic and moral, have not changed at all,” said Walt, the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs and faculty chair of the International Security Program. “What’s changed are the political strategies we must use to try to advance those interests.”He said the United States will have to get used to caring about public opinion in the Arab world, a metric that was easily ignored when American diplomats dealt primarily with authoritarian leaders not accountable to public opinion.Despite Western fears that the region’s revolutions will leave a political vacuum that could be filled by extremist groups, Walt said the protests have most likely helped to slow the spread of radical Islamist ideas.“One of al-Qaeda’s primary grievances was with this set of autocrats in the Arab world that they accused of being un-Islamic and in bed with the United States,” Walt said. “Al-Qaeda argued that the only way to deal with those governments was with violent extremism and terrorism. Instead, what we’ve seen is that peaceful protests accomplished far more to open up these societies than al-Qaeda ever did.”There is some evidence that embracing international cooperation, as the Obama administration has done, has long-term positive benefits. A recent study of the world’s political systems over the past 200 years said that a country’s membership in international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, or regional trade groups leads the state gradually to become more like its neighbors.“States are more likely to experience positive changes in their level of democracy when they are tied to many other countries that are more democratic than they are,” said Magnus Thor Torfason, assistant professor of business administration at HBS and a co-author of the study. Tunisia and Egypt had strong ties to international groups. Even countries that are tied to other democracies through military alliances, as was Egypt, are historically more likely to accept democratic reform.“If the United States wants to promote democracy, it should engage effectively with international organizations, but also support the engagement of other democracies,” Torfason said.In other words, Torfason’s research suggests, democracy can be contagious — a theory borne out by the protests that have swept North Africa and the Mideast. Regardless of how the political turmoil plays out in individual nations, Harvard’s analysts agree, the region will have shed its reputation as a place seemingly immune to the popular desire for freedom.“We are witnessing a fundamental shift in the social and political conditions in much of the Arab world,” Walt said. “The clock is not going to be turned back.”
Read Full Story Harvard Divinity School (HDS) announces a major gift to support and expand its program in Buddhist ministry studies. The gift will provide exceptional funding to enhance and expand the strength of the School’s current offerings and will help to form a new generation of students who will make a lasting impact in Buddhist communities.The Buddhist Ministry Initiative—the first of its kind at a divinity school within a research university—will be supported by a generous $2.7 million gift from the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, a private philanthropic organization engaged in strategic, sustainable, and long-term projects in Hong Kong and around the world.The teaching of Buddhist ministry at HDS will offer Buddhist insights, textual traditions, and practices to students from all religious traditions who study ministry at the School; will allow future Buddhist religious professionals to be trained in terms appropriate to modern, global conditions; and will support the field education of these students in hospitals and other sites of pastoral care.“The Ho Family Foundation’s gift presents an exceptional set of opportunities for the Divinity School,” said Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies at HDS. “It places the study of ministry in Buddhism in a larger academic framework of Buddhist studies; it allows students who are studying ministry in Buddhist contexts to be part of an already well-developed program of progressive religious and socially engaged ministry that has been in place at HDS for many decades; and it also allows the larger HDS ministry program to expand its own horizons and methods by virtue of the contributions from a rich array of resources in Buddhist literature, thought, practices, and communities.”
By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaThe next time you’re admiring a beautiful oak in your yard this spring, get face-to-wood with the bark and then look closer.Gnat-size insects, granulate ambrosia beetles, bore holes the size of pencil leads into hardwood trees in the spring. Since they attack 200 species, your favorite tree may be a target.“Ten ambrosia beetles can kill a tree, not due to damage from boring into the wood but by clogging up the circulatory system,” said Gretchen Pettis, an entomology graduate research assistant with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Early detection is critical. Other signs of infestations are frass toothpicks, 1- to 3-inch-long threads of mixed beetle excrement and sawdust protruding from a branch or trunk. However, strong wind or rain can easily brush off these toothpicks.Granulate ambrosia beetles used to be called Asian ambrosia beetles. They don’t feed on trees. But they do carry a fungus.“The beetles farm the fungus and feed on it,” Pettis said. “This is why using systemic insecticides such as imidacloprid simply doesn’t work.”Once your tree is infested with more than 10 to 20 beetles, she said, you’re down to one option.“There’s nothing you can do to kill the fungus,” she said, “once it’s in a tree. The only solution when a tree is that infested is a chainsaw and burning.”The burning is important. “If you don’t burn,” Pettis said, “the beetle could go to other trees.”If ambrosia beetles have hit trees in your area before, Pettis said, spray the trunks and branches of your trees with pyrethroid insecticide such as permethrin or cyfluthrin. This will kill a beetle before it can start digging.Apply the pesticide every two to three weeks for up to three times starting in early April. Check the Georgia Pest Management Handbook at www.ent.uga.edu/pmh/ for annual updates on pesticides and proper application rates.Another way to help keep ambrosia beetles at bay is to keep your trees healthy. This won’t completely protect a tree, Pettis said. But it’s a start.Granulate ambrosia beetles made their presence known in Georgia more than 10 years ago. For a while, they stayed confined to nurseries.“For some reason, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they’ve really spread,” Pettis said, “mostly through nursery stock and wooden packing crates.”Young trees planted in new housing developments may be under transplant stress. This makes them more susceptible, she said. In new neighborhoods, watch your trees closely for signs of attack.Ambrosia beetles don’t just target landscape trees. In the United States, it was first noticed in South Carolina’s peach trees. Pine trees are safe from ambrosia beetles but may be susceptible to southern pine beetles, which look similar.A converted 2-liter bottle can help detect ambrosia beetles in early spring. Place traps as early as February and remove them in late May. Beetles rarely attack after that.Just get a bottle and its cap, a film canister or small medicine bottle, stake, soapy water, ethyl (grain) alcohol and a cotton wick. Cut several lengthwise holes 2 inches wide and 5 inches tall in the bottle. Then invert it and attach it to a 4-foot-tall garden stake.Secure a film canister inside one of the long sides and fill it with ethyl alcohol. Cap the canister and insert the wick through a hole in the lid. Finally, fill the bottle with soapy water to an inch below the canister.Check your trap weekly. The alcohol attracts many beetles, so if you catch something that looks like an ambrosia beetle, call your local UGA Cooperative Extension agent (1-800-ASK-UGA1) to positively identify it.
As you begin planning your holiday meals, be sure to include some of Georgia’s top commodities. Pecans, blueberries, peanuts and chicken liven up your holiday feast and serve as a celebration of Georgia’s unique agricultural heritage.Here are Georgia’s top 12 commodities and helpful hints on how to incorporate some of Georgia’s top commodities into your holiday.Broilers: Substitute your turkey for a chicken this holiday season. Not everyone enjoys eating turkey, let alone cooking it. A whole roasted chicken can be just as showy as its larger, gobbling cousin and much easier to roast.Beef: The holidays are a time for special meals, right? Consider serving steak for holiday dinner.Cotton: Use cotton in your decorations. Incorporate whole cotton bolls into your centerpieces or in place of the fiberfill “snow” in other holiday displays. Do not use cotton on a Christmas tree – it’s flammable!Eggs: This is a given. You are most likely using eggs in your recipes already. If not, scramble some eggs for an easy holiday breakfast.Timber: Much like cotton, wood can be used to decorate the house. You could also use it to make a fire and to roast marshmallows. Use caution when burning wood outdoors this season. Georgia is facing a drought, and one stray ember could cause your bonfire to spread quickly.Peanuts: Serve peanuts as a snack. You and your guests won’t have to break out the nutcracker to enjoy them. You can also make peanut brittle or peanut butter cookies as a dessert or for gifts. Make sure guests don’t have allergies before using nuts in your holiday meals.Dairy: Santa must have milk with his cookies, right? Chances are you are using one or more dairy products in your holiday recipes, and there’s a good chance those products came from a good, old Georgia cow.Blueberries: While blueberries aren’t exactly in season during December, adding frozen blueberries to pies or muffins can bring some of that summer sunshine to the table, even if it gets dark at 6 p.m.Horses: You’re probably thinking, “How can I use a horse in my holiday meals?” Well, you don’t. The days leading up to a holiday can be stressful. Consider taking the family to go horseback riding. Finding a stable that gives guided rides is a great way to spend time together as a family, even if you’re new to riding.Pecans: No matter how you say it, pecans are one of the highlights of holiday food in Georgia. Use them to make a pecan pie, pecan brittle or cookies. Once again, be sure to check for nut allergies among your guests.Pork: Step outside your turkey comfort zone. Try making a pork roast this holiday season. You can make it in the oven or in the crockpot so you can have more time with your guests.Ornamental plants: Be sure to decorate your house with plants and a live Christmas tree this year. Do not place plants near a fireplace or heat vent. Be sure to water plants and trees. Check for bugs before bringing any plant into your home.For more information about Georgia’s top commodities, visit the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development at caes.uga.edu/center/caed.
Our favorite outdoor videos from around the web for the week that was:Behind the Line: Heli PilotTeton Gravity Research praises their Alaskan heli pilot Teeg (Teig? Tege? Teague?) in the latest episode of their Behind the Line series. Some serious sketchy heli drops here.ChurchFantastic footage of some fall mountain biking in WNC. Where do you worship?Church from ZfH Productions on Vimeo.Metlako FallsWinter paddling action: running PA’s Metlako Falls. Looks, um, cold.Metlako Falls, PA from ARMADA Media on Vimeo.PSA: Chesapeake Bay ConservationThis applies to all of us. Also: cute animal shots.PSA: What does it take to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay? (Presentation Version) from Chesapeake Bay Program on Vimeo.High FivesHuckers, shredders, and all humans love to high five. It’s in our bones. But sometimes it can go wrong, horribly wrong. Here are some awkward high fives from the world of sports.
Who pays the fine? Not Michael Corbat, the executive who was paid $14,515,462 in 2016. Jail was never a possibility.HSBC had criminal charges dropped for money laundering. It also had made a profit of $881 million for allowing illegal drugs to flow through the American financial system. One of the world’s biggest lenders was fined and paid $1.9 billion, but again, jail is never an option in our justice system.Why does Congress let these crimes go unpunished? The people have an obligation to demand equal justice. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If the people behave like sheep they will be eaten by wolves.”Mary Jane ValachovicSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashTroopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stopSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departments Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionIn the Capital Region, a 16-year-old boy was sentenced to nine years in jail for stealing about $100 worth of clothes. Compare that to the sentence and jail time time received by the oligarchs of the world — whose corporations and banks cheat the innocent public of millions but have too much money and power to ever see a jail cell.Citigroup was fined $11.5 million for cheating mom-and-pop investors by giving them wrong information on 1,800 stocks the company analyzed.
Blind and visually impaired people in Greater Jakarta are vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic as they have yet to be included on the government’s list of those at risk from the virus, according to members of the Indonesian Blind Union (Pertuni).These people, mainly working as masseurs and cracker sellers, are calling on the central and regional administration to include them on the risk list as they have been unable to receive social aid in some areas.In Jakarta, for example, the blind have not yet received the social aid packages consisting of staple foods, cloth masks and soap that have been distributed by the city administration since April 9.”The city’s Social Affairs Agency told the disability organizations that it had distributed the packages to ojol [app-based motorcycle taxi] drivers and other poor groups,” Eka Setiawan of Jakarta Pertuni said on Friday.Eka further said they had been told they would receive packaged meals, instead of the aid packages. He assumed that the agency did not have a social aid quota for the disabled despite having submitted their data to the agency long before the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in the city.Read also: COVID-19: State Palace braces for social unrest”If it happens in the capital city, how about in other regions?” he said.The next phase of the distribution in Jakarta will run from April 19 to 23. However, Eka said the blind had not yet received any news about this.A similar situation has also occurred in South Tangerang. The blind are struggling to get social assistance as the local administration does not provide a special quota for people with disabilities.”Our members have tried to register with several subdistricts but they have been rejected. The quota is only available for workers with daily income. In the meantime we, the blind, are relying on daily income too,” South Tangerang Pertuni’s Sapto Wibowo told The Jakarta Post on Friday.Read also: COVID-19: Govt to provide Rp 4.5t in social assistance to millions of low-income people in JakartaBoth Eka and Sapto said some members of the public had supported some of the blind people in the two regions, mainly in the form of food and cash. However, many are still in need of social aid.Sapto added that most of them were mainly in need of financial assistance as they were renting places to live. “We need money to pay rent and buy mobile phone data packages. And although some have received staple food packages, some others still need it.”Topics :
Image source: EllicottLieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon, and Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick Murphy recently showcased 33 shoreline resiliency projects in Monroe County that are receiving an estimated $43 million in state funding through Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative (REDI). The projects were reviewed at a meeting of the Monroe County REDI Region Planning Committee, which includes local elected officials and other stakeholders.“Shoreline communities have faced tremendous challenges in recent years. That’s why we have taken aggressive action to help local governments, businesses, and homeowners with state support to improve resiliency, address the impact of flooding, and fight the threat of climate change,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This targeted funding for 33 priority projects in the Monroe County area will address critical infrastructure needs to ensure sustainability long-term. These important efforts will help to combat devastation from extreme weather events, strengthen our economy, and enhance quality of life for residents.”DOL Commissioner Reardon added that “The funded projects were carefully selected based on sustainability and long-term impact on their communities. We’re rebuilding the infrastructure of this region with an eye to the future. I continue to be proud of the work of this commission.”New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner, Patrick A. Murphy, said: “State and local partners launched an unprecedented effort to help New Yorkers withstand Lake Ontario’s rising waters in 2019. However, if we are going to truly protect the long term health of lakeshore communities, we must take a holistic view of the lake and find ways to strengthen shoreline resiliency.”As part of the state’s ongoing response to record flooding that hit the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shoreline communities this past summer, Governor Cuomo created the REDI commission, a multi-agency team tasked with studying sustainable solutions to strengthen infrastructure and mitigate impacts from future flooding along the shorelines of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, while bolstering the region’s local economies.Some of the Monroe County projects include:$2.67 million to address recurring flooding and stabilize the shoreline at Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park;$143,000 to extend the existing berm along Round Pond in the Town of Greece;$748,000 to make the Town of Webster’s Sandbar Park more resilient to floodwaters;$1.77 million to make publicly owned regional docks and boat launches in Rochester, Greece and Irondequoit more resilient to floodwaters, etc.