Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Across the Globe explains 'How Detroit Went From Good to Bad to Good Again'

I promised "a post that will still be worth reading in June" yesterday, so I'm returning to the topic of Detroit's population increases for first time since 1957 by embedding Across the Globe explains How Detroit Went From Good to Bad to Good Again.

Did you know that when Detroit filed for bankruptcy in 2013, it was the largest city bankruptcy filing by debt ever, estimated at a massive $18 to $20 billion? Or that in the 1950s Detroit was the richest city in the U.S and maybe even the world according to some people?

Based on this, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that Detroit has faced a lot of challenges over the years, from the collapse of its automotive industry during the 2008 financial crisis to the city’s own bankruptcy filings in 2013. However, despite these negative events, Detroit wasn’t always a place of hardships and in fact, during its early years, Detroit was one of America’s most promising cities. What might be even more surprising is that recent events even suggest that things might be looking up for the city today.

But what’s the cause of all of the ups and downs Detroit has faced over the years? Well, today on Across the Globe we’re going to be looking at How Detroit Went From Good to Bad to Good Again.
That's a good summary of Detroit's history for good and ill and it accords well with what I know of the place having lived in Michigan for 35 years, so I don't mind sharing it with my readers.

That was the history of Detroit. CityGeek looks at the city today in Detroit Overview | An informative introduction to Detroit, Michigan.

Detroit is a fascinating American city! Although it's nicknamed Motor City, there is a lot more to Detroit than simply its industrial heritage. In this video I briefy cover Detroits history, population, skyline as well as a few things that make Detroit unique. Thanks for watching : Detroit Overview | An informative introduction to Detroit, Michigan.
Since CityGeek made this video last month, the Census Bureau released its population estimates and Detroit moved up from 29th last year to 26th in U.S. cities by population this year, passing Memphis, Louisville, and Portland. Things are looking up for the Motor City!

Stay tuned for another post that will be worth sharing next month tomorrow on Wayback Wednesday!

Monday, May 27, 2024

Music for Memorial Day from the Marines and Air Force

I wish my readers a somber Memorial Day. After examining the origin and history of Memorial Day last year, I'm returning to military music to observe the holiday with a twist. Watch and listen as I share Luis of Music213's video of 1st Marine Division Band - Disneyland - Memorial Day 2013.

From Camp Pendleton, CA
The 1st Marine Division Band performing at Disneyland's Town Center Square during the Flag Retreat Ceremony on Memorial Day, Monday May 27, 2013.
That was quite upbeat for a serious patriotic holiday that honors the dead, but it's Disneyland, so I shouldn't be surprised. The only music missing was "Taps." For that, I turn to The United States Air Force Band's Memorial Day 2020.

As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, let us reflect on the tremendous price that was paid by the brave men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. Through the sounding of Taps, members of The United States Air Force Band solemnly render honor to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

A long-held musical tradition at military funerals, the music of Taps originated from a Civil War bugle call entitled, “Extinguish Lights”. A plaintive call, the sounding of Taps signals the end of the fallen serviceman’s duty and is the final tribute from a grateful nation.

To those who have given the last full measure of devotion, we honor your service, pay tribute to your lives, and thank you for your selfless sacrifice.

We'd like to thank Mr. Matthew Priest, Director of Culpeper National Cemetery, all of the staff at Culpeper National Cemetery, as well as Ms. Richelle Taylor, Public Affairs Specialist with the Department of Veteran Affair’s National Cemetery Administration, for their help making this tribute possible.
This should look familiar, as it's the original of FOX 17 WXMI Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek's U.S. Air Force Band: 'Taps', which I used to conclude last year's post. It's good to find the source.

Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day. I'll be back tomorrow with a post that will still be worth reading in June.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

DOJ sues Live Nation/Ticketmaster

Yesterday, I promised that the Sunday entertainment feature would be about Ticketmaster, so without any further ado I'm sharing Yahoo! Finance reporting DOJ files lawsuit seeking to break up Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

US Department of Justice (DOJ) officials filed an antitrust lawsuit against concert promoter and ticket seller Live Nation (LYV) on Thursday, making the case that Live Nation created a monopoly through its ownership of Ticketmaster that ultimately resulted in inflated ticket prices. Live Nation has refuted these claims in a statement, saying Ticketmaster's service fees are no higher — if not lower — than on competing ticketing websites.
Citi Managing Director Jason Bazinet focuses on the DOJ's antitrust crackdown in recent years and whether a breakup outcome would ultimately affect concert and event ticket prices.
"This administration is trying to go back to structuralism, that's what's underpinning a lot of the antitrust actions that they're pursuing," Bazinet outlines. "And so that that's difficult, I think, for the judges to understand because they now have 40-plus years of case law that says this is really all about price. And that's why you see Live Nation in their response, focusing on price."
On the one hand, Citi Managing Director Jason Bazinet expressed a pro-business and government skeptical perspective on this case. He attributes the DOJ bringing this case to a change in legal philosophy, if not outright ideology. On the other, he thinks this case will succeed, despite Live Nation/Ticketmaster's arguments about price. On the gripping hand (hey, the conceit of this blog is that humans are acting like Moties), Bazinet is missing a purely political motive, which I'll get to at the end.

PBS NewsHour hosted a guest with a contrasting opinion in Ticketmaster, Live Nation a monopoly that should be broken up, Justice Department alleges.

The Department of Justice wants the courts to break up Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation, the biggest concert promoter in the U.S. The company has faced intense scrutiny over prices and tickets selling out and reappearing on resale sites. More than two dozen states and the District of Columbia joined the lawsuit. California Attorney General Rob Bonta joined Geoff Bennett to discuss more.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta advocated for the role of government in maintaining free markets. Unregulated markets don't remain free for long. As I wrote last year, "Ticketmaster is a monopoly, which are bad for consumers since there is no competition to drive down prices, so monopolies require regulation. Where's the regulation in this picture? Maybe that's why there were hearings..." Speaking of hearings, MSNBC interviewed one of the Senators who held those hearings in ‘A long time coming’: Sen. Klobuchar on DOJ's Ticketmaster lawsuit before DOJ's press conference.

The Justice Department is set to announce a new lawsuit against Ticketmaster’s owner. NBC News’ Christine Romans has the latest details. Also, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., joins Ana Cabrera to share her thoughts on what needs to be done and discusses the growing calls for Justice Alito to recuse himself from January 6th cases.
For my response, I'm going to repeat what I wrote last year.
Both the Ticketmaster hearings and the closing of Splash Mountain at Disney World qualify this entry as the Sunday entertainment feature. Both news items tie into what I first wrote in 2011, "America is quite clear about its screwed up priorities­. My experience has convinced me that the surest way to get Americans to act is to mess with their entertainm­ent." Both Ticketmaster and Disney messed with (some) Americans' entertainment, although I'm more sympathetic [to] the Swifties than those complaining about Splash Mountain. The former are reacting to a monopoly, while the latter strike me as a bit selfish and insensitive.
That leads me back to the hearings themselves.
The discussion bypassed regulation entirely and went directly to using anti-trust action to break up Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Wow! That would be radical action that would create competition, which the market needs.
And that's what DOJ is doing, suing to break up the monopoly.

The federal lawsuit shows that messing with Americans' entertainment is getting the U.S. government to act. Politically involved people may think that there are more important things the DOJ can do, but this is a priority for more Americans. I expect it will be very popular, especially among young people, since Taylor Swift was Time's 2023 Person of the Year and the most searched on Google last year, and it was the problems with getting tickets for her concerts that brought this issue to a head.

That's a wrap for this week's entertainment update. Stay tuned for Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Detroit's population increases for first time since 1957

I am sharing good news that I didn't expect to happen this soon, Detroit reversing its population decline. I begin with Click On Detroit/WDIV 4 reporting Detroit population rises after decades of decline last week.

Detroit had seen an exodus of people since the 1950s. Yet the estimates released Thursday show Detroit's population rose by just 1,852 people from 631,366 in 2022 to 633,218 last year.
That's a great use of graphics to give the numbers impact and make people pay attention to them!

CBS Detroit provided more context and human interest in their report, Detroit sees population growth for first time since 1950s.

After decades of decline, Detroit's population population is finally growing once again, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
This is such good news that it's enough to make me repost Professor Farnsworth.

I haven't shared this particular meme since 2022, so it's a big deal.

I can't let this silver cloud pass without showing its dark lining, which WDIV reported in Experts call for action as population in Michigan dwindles on March 21, 2024.

Michigan's population growth is among the worst in the nation, and it has experts sounding the alarm for some action in Lansing.
Michigan being a climate haven in a warming world will not be enough for more people to move here. The state has to makes itself and especially its cities more appealing, as I wrote last year.
I'm in favor of getting people to move here, both because it's a safer place to live (but not immune from the extreme weather associated with climate change as the second video mentioned) and because the state has room. Detroit alone lost more than one million people since its 1950 peak and other Michigan cities have lost people as well, so they alone could take up the slack — that is, if they can become better places to live and work. People moved out of Michigan to seek work, so state and local governments need to work with businesses to promote and create sustainable industries to employ the people who move here and rebuild infrastructure to support them in a warmer and, for Michigan, wetter world. Infrastructure and housing construction to accommodate people moving here will provide a lot of jobs by themselves, but that only lasts so long. Ask Las Vegas, for example.
Looks like Detroit is succeeding in this department. Just the same, it needs to improve its mass transit, as CityNerd ranked metro Detroit as the fourth worst city in the U.S. for transit. I might share his video next week for a driving update. Stay tuned, after tomorrow's Sunday entertainment feature, where I plan on writing about Ticketmaster.

Friday, May 24, 2024

'The Daily Show' and Stephen Colbert examine Justice Alito's flags

I haven't focused on the Supreme Court since March 1st, when I posted Colbert, Meyers, and 'The Daily Show' take closer looks at Supreme Court hearing immunity appeal. That was nearly three months ago, so it's time to look at the highest court in the land again, beginning with The Daily Show's opening segment from last night, Justice Samuel Alito Caught Flying Insurrectionist Flags & Haley Endorses Trump.

Michael Kosta dives into Justice Sam Alito's collection of radical right-wing flags hung outside his house, Nikki Haley’s backhanded endorsement for Trump, and daily weed use surpassing alcohol consumption. Plus, Troy Iwata unpacks the meaning of Alito’s controversial flags.
I'm going to repeat what I wrote in March.
I've been expressing concerns over the legitimacy of the Supreme Court since at least the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the rush to fill her seat with Amy Coney Barrett, which I repeated in John Oliver examines the Supreme Court after 'Last Week Tonight' wins four Emmy Awards and CNBC examines 'How The Supreme Court May Threaten Democracy'. This could be another way the Surpreme Court threatens democracy...
Not through "justice delayed is justice denied," which is what's happening to the remaining Trump investigations you should actually care about, especially Trump's Bombshell Federal Document Indictment AKA Donald in the John With Boxes, but through outright bias and contempt for the rule of law.* Stephen Colbert opened Alito Flew “Stop the Steal” Flag After Jan 6 | Trump: Biden Must Take Drug Test | Rudy Gets Served, his monologue on Monday night, expressing a similar sentiment.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito blames his wife for the insurrectionist flag that flew in front of their home after January 6, 2020, Donald Trump wants President Biden to take a drug test before they debate, and Arizona prosecutors served Rudy Giuliani indictment papers at his 80th birthday party.
Stephen updated the controversy in last night's Marijuana Everywhere | Alito Flew Pro-Trump Flag At His Shore House | Trump Says Biden Will Drop Out.

More Americans are smoking weed than ever before, a Supreme Court Justice and the Speaker of the House have both flown a flag associated with Christian nationalism and the Jan 6 insurrection, and Donald Trump thinks President Biden will drop out of the presidential race before November.
Donald Trump thinks Biden should take a drug test and doubts Biden will still be running in November. First, as I wrote in the most tweeted link from the blog last year, Projection is the Right's favorite defense mechanism. Trump projects, so he fits right in. Second, he is displaying his his vulnerability to conspiracy theories, in this case, showing that he's drinking his own Flavor Aid (not Kool-Aid — the common version of the phrase is historically inaccurate) about Biden.

I close with Monday's cold open, Blaming The Wife.

Sen. Bob Menendez and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito are the latest political figures to jump on the trend of blaming their misdeeds on their wives.
Both sides do it? Yeah, only the worst people on both sides.

*That case resulted in more comedy this week, which I might cover tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Randy Rainbow returns with 'FORTY-FIVE!'

I concluded John Oliver on duck stamps and octopuses for International Day for Biological Diversity with this program note.
I told my readers "My readers will hear the melody of 'Nine To Five' later this week when I feature Randy Rainbow's latest" in the middle of Marching music for the Kentucky and Oregon primaries — Oregon Crusaders and marching bands. That's next, so stay tuned.
Now that Randy is back from tour, he's putting out new videos. Yay! I'm sharing the ones he's released so far, beginning with FORTY-FIVE! - A Randy Rainbow Song Parody.

Parody of “9 to 5” (music and lyrics by Dolly Parton)

Parody lyrics by Randy Rainbow
Vocals: Randy Rainbow
Song Produced, Orchestrated, Mixed, Mastered by Michael J Moritz Jr @michaeljmoritz
Vocal Arrangement - Brett Boles

Piano, Synths - Michael J Moritz Jr
Bass - Adam DeAscentis
Drums - Billy LaGuardia
Guitars - Dylan Kondor
Saxes - Ryan Saranich
Trumpets - James Canty
Engineer - Joe Amadio
That's the kind of video I was hoping for when I wrote Randy Rainbow asks 'HOW WILL YOU VOTE?' for Flashback Friday two months ago.

As an encore, I'm sharing Randy's first video after his tour, Randy Rainbow 2024 Campaign Ad.

New videos coming soon…

“Campaign Ad” written by Bobby Quinn Rice and Randy Rainbow
Voice of “Trump”: John Di Domenico
Randy's most important campaign promise was that new videos would be coming soon and, so far, he's delivered. May they be enough that he be nominated again for the Emmys. He wasn't last year, which made me grumpy.
I'm going to whine about two of my favorite previous nominees being snubbed this year, The Randy Rainbow Show and Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News. I finally get on board the Randy Rainbow train and it's not going to the Emmys. Poop. Not having both means that laughing at politics and government has diminished to almost nothing in the short form categories.
These two videos made the eligibility deadline, so they might be enough. Here's to hoping and seeing more videos from Randy.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

John Oliver on duck stamps and octopuses for International Day for Biological Diversity

Happy International Day for Biological Diversity! No Prehistoric Planet today as season 3 has not been announced. Instead, I'm taking advantage of today being Wayback Wednesday by featuring two segments of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver featuring biodiversity from the back catalog beginning with Duck Stamps from 2021.

John Oliver dives into the tense and competitive world of duck stamps.
Art in the service of conservation — I approve!

Next, Octopuses, also from 2021.

John Oliver explains why octopuses are cool, great, and yes, called “octopuses”.
I haven't mentioned My Octopus Teacher outside of the linkspams to retrospectives of Crazy Eddie's Motie News top posts about entertainment for a while, so it's about time I wrote about it again by finally watching and embedding this video, which is just as hilarious as it is informative. John Oliver and his writers and editors should make more segments about animals beyond these two and "Air Bud," but that's a video for another day.

I told my readers "My readers will hear the melody of 'Nine To Five' later this week when I feature Randy Rainbow's latest" in the middle of Marching music for the Kentucky and Oregon primaries — Oregon Crusaders and marching bands. That's next, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Marching music for the Kentucky and Oregon primaries — Oregon Crusaders and marching bands

Welcome to this election cycle's version of marching music for the Kentucky and Oregon primaries! Oregon had a competitive drum corps, the Oregon Crusaders, so I'm beginning today's music to listen to while waiting for results with FloMarching's Oregon Crusaders 2018 Highlight // San Antonio.

Those are the visual highlights, but didn't include any of the corps' actual audio. For that, watch and listen to 22nd Oregon Crusaders 2018 from Drum Corps Library.

This show might look familiar to my long-time readers, as I featured it in Drink to 2018 Oregon Crusaders 'Redrum' for a drum corps Halloween five years ago. That post has held up rather well, so I don't mind reusing the idea. Just the same, enjoy this unofficial upload while it lasts.

Next, the first of two college marching band submissions to the Metallica marching band contest, University of Oregon Marching Band - Metallica Show.

Check out the University of Oregon Marching Band's full Metallica Halftime show at the Oregon vs USC game!

Filmed by: Sam Dennis, Micah Laird and Jason Silveira
Duck video by: Sam Dennis and MarQee Maunakea
Photos by: Dawn Harrison
Edited by: Sam Dennis
That was a fun performance. Better luck this fall, should the band enter this year's contest!

Now for a band I have not featured before, Dolly Parton - 9/29/2023 - The Spirit and Sound of OSU.

Today’s halftime is under the direction of center Drum Major Oliver Devereaux and features the music of one of the all time great singer-songwriters of the 20th century. First appearing on stage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in 1959, her success initially came as a songwriter, until breaking on to the scene with seven top twenty singles in the early 70’s. Sing along as we bring you the music of country music legend Dolly Parton!

// I Will Always Love You - Jolene //

Beaver Nation, please welcome back on to the field your OSU Dance Team!

// Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That //

Let’s hear it once again for the OSU Dance Team!

We close today’s program with undoubtedly Dolly’s biggest hit. It was a triple number one hit, reaching 1st position on the country, pop, and adult contemporary charts, and was nominated for the Oscar for best original song. Ladies and gentlemen, pour yourselves a cup of ambition and tap your toes to Nine To Five!

// Nine To Five //
My readers will hear the melody of "Nine To Five" later this week when I feature Randy Rainbow's latest. In the meantime, follow over the jump for two marching bands from Kentucky.

Monday, May 20, 2024

PBS Terra explains 'Why Bumble Bees Are the Fuzzy Heroes We Need' for World Bee Day

Happy World Bee Day! Since honeybees have their own day, I'm looking at the other well-known group of social bees today, bumblebees. Because of that, I'm sharing PBS Terra explaining Why Bumble Bees Are the Fuzzy Heroes We Need.

If the insect world has a fuzzy, charismatic cutie, it’s surely the humble bumble bee. While insect populations are declining around the globe, bumble bees face unique threats that make them particularly vulnerable. Surveying projects across the U.S. are combining the forces of researchers and community scientists to help protect these critical native pollinators.

Our host and museum curator, Jessica Ware, Ph.D. dives inside the hive to explore why honey bees aren’t the coolest pollinator in town. And Hillary Sardiñas, the pollinator coordinator for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife shows us how to net a queen bumble bee and explains how you can get involved in the mission to save imperiled insects! The series is produced for PBS by the American Museum of Natural History.
The opening repeats the point of Vox explains 'What we get wrong about saving the bees' for World Honey Bee Day; we're worrying about the wrong bees. People in North America may not have enough honeybees to do all the things we need them to do, but they're not going to go extinct. Honeybees are not bananas. On the other hand, some species of bumblebees are threatened or endangered, and we need those, too.

That's a wrap for World Bee Day, but I'm not done with biodiversity this week, as Wednesday is International Day for Biological Diversity. Stay tuned for that after tomorrow's marching music for the Kentucky and Oregon primaries.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

'SNL' season finale opens with 'Summer of Trump'

Last night's season finale of Saturday Night Live began with Summer of Trump Cold Open.

Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson) holds a press conference outside of the Manhattan courthouse and introduces some of his supporters (Heidi Gardner, Devon Walker, Michael Longfellow).
Kristi Noem is still a running joke and Devon Walker's Tim Scott reappears after attending a Trump victory party after the South Carolina Republican Primary. Both are top prospects for Vice President, but only Scott attended Trump's trial. I guess South Dakota is too far away and being Governor is keeping her too busy, unlike the Senators and Representatives who took time off from their work in Washington, D.C., to support Trump and then came back and caused trouble, which was one of the top stories in Weekend Update: Trump vs. Biden Debate, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jasmine Crockett Trade Insults.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like Steve Bannon calling himself the voice of MAGA.
To be fair, while Marjorie Taylor Greene went to New York last month, she didn't go this week and criticized her colleagues who did. Other than causing trouble to attract attention to herself, she's consistently inconsistent.

Weekend Update continued with Tom Brady Regrets Roast, $800 Pee-Stained Jeans.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like McDonald’s introducing a grandma inspired McFlurry.
Making fun of Tom Brady alone qualifies today's entry as the Sunday entertainment feature. So does the item about orcas, which reminds me of Blackfish, which was snubbed by the Oscars, but led to SeaWorld phasing out orca shows and orca breeding. I should write about orcas sinking yachts, but I'm saving that for another entry. In the meantime, I'm sharing another animal story, Two Cicadas on the Largest Cicada Emergence.

Two cicadas (Kenan Thompson, Marcello Hernández) stop by Weekend Update to discuss two separate groups of cicadas erupting from the soil this summer.
Would my readers believe I've never mentioned cicadas on this blog before today? I haven't and it's the kind of story I should have written about already. Thanks to SNL, I finally am.

Weekend Update concluded for the season with Colin Jost and Michael Che Swap Jokes for Season 49 Finale.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news and make each other read jokes they've never seen to close out season 49.
I knew this would be an exercise in bad taste and I wasn't disappointed. Also, I think Colin got the worst of it. Sorry, Colin.

Follow over the jump for three more clips worth sharing more than Colin and Michael pranking each other with Michael winning.