Monday, June 11, 2018

BARCLAYS 34 SALSA FESTIVAL JUNE 09 2018






 Adam Torres did it again. I am grateful for my residence in this yearly event. It's hard to believe that a massive Salsa festival like this can happen in these times but year after year Adam Torres executes his plan flawlessly. Not to say he has done so without opposition. Competitors have tried in vain to throw a monkey wrench into his game, promoting concerts at Madison Square Garden, Radio City and Carnegie Hall.  Incredibly they have consistently failed.  

The Barclays Salsa Festival has become an institution. It is the home of the last Salsa mega concert before the Puerto Rican Parade. It is now a tradition.  





































Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Tide Is Still Against Democrats


Image: The Tide Is Still Against Democrats
California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa campaigns at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights in the run up to the primary election, on June 2, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)
By  Thursday, 07 June 2018 10:08 PMCurrent | Bio | Archive
With their successes this week in the California primaries, Democrats are increasingly optimistic about their prospects for the midterm elections. But they should take note of the bigger picture when it comes to left-right politics these days. Over the last decade, the center-left has been devastated electorally across the West. Unless Democrats face up to this reality and devise a strategy to reverse this tidal wave of defeat, they might find themselves surprised one more time this November.

When you tally up their representation in Congress, state legislatures and governorships, the Democrats are almost at their lowest point in 100 years. But they are not alone. Britain's David Miliband observed in 2011 that the year before, the Labour Party had received its second-worst electoral result in nearly a century. In Sweden in the same year, the Social Democrats fared worse than they had since 1911. In Germany, in 2009, the once-dominant Social Democrats had their worst showing since the Federal Republic was created in 1949. In France, for the establishment left, recent results had been worse than any time since 1969. Things have changed a bit since 2011, though mostly for the worse.
The situation is even more puzzling when you consider the backdrop. Ten years after the start of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression — a global financial crisis caused in large part by the recklessness of the private sector — the parties that have been punished are largely on the left, and those rewarded are largely on the right. Why?

To answer this question, a group of scholars published an excellent book last fall titled, "Why the Left Loses: The Decline of the Centre-Left in Comparative Perspective." In her foreword, Sheri Berman, a professor at Barnard College, points out that the answers cluster around three factors.
The first is leaders. Personalities matter in politics. Think of the difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in their ability to inspire followers and communicate effectively. Tony Blair recently pointed out to me that the only center-left leader of a major Western country is Canada's Justin Trudeau. It's not an accident that Trudeau is charismatic and stirred voters with his "sunny ways" message. French President Emmanuel Macron, who might be considered center-left, has demonstrated similar talents. Consider, by contrast, Britain's Labour Party, which has been led now for two cycles by men utterly unappealing to mainstream Britons.

But leadership cannot be the main explanation, because the phenomenon of left-wing defeat is too widespread. It can't be that the left everywhere simultaneously found itself led by bad politicians. Berman's second factor is the nature of the economic systems of the post-World War II era, with large unionized workforces, manufacturing sectors, regulated economies and safety nets. This social market economy — prevalent even in the United States — was largely created by the left. (The right went along with programs like Social Security and Medicare but only grudgingly and after the fact.) Thus, Berman argues, when this whole system found itself threatened by globalization and information technology and then cracked by the financial crisis, it was the left that found itself most at a loss as to how to respond politically. (In America, at least the right could disingenuously and somewhat illogically claim that if only pure free markets had been in place, the crisis would never have happened.) Leftists damaged themselves further, in my view, by immediately turning on themselves, with many claiming they should never have embraced markets in the first place. It is worth noting that the so-called neoliberals — free traders such as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder — actually won election after election, and it is their left-wing successors who keep losing.
Berman's third factor is more directly ideological. And here I think the left confronts its greatest challenge. Throughout the world, politics has shifted from core issues of economics to those of identity. Perhaps this is because of the rise of a mass middle class. Perhaps it is because the left and right do not have dramatically different programs — certainly compared with 50 years ago, when many on the left wanted to nationalize industry and many on the right wanted no social safety net at all. But for whatever reason, people today are moved by issues of race, religion, ethnicity, gender and identity. And on those issues, the left faces a dilemma. It cannot celebrate identity and diversity without triggering a backlash among the older, whiter population.
Berman summed up the challenge to me in a conversation. "The left has always been about a hopeful vision of the future, one in which everyone prospers." But when a large part of the public is fearful and pessimistic — and nostalgic for a world gone by — offering hope becomes a hard sell.

Fareed Zakaria hosts CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," and makes regular appearances on shows such as ABC's "This Week" and NBC's "Meet The Press." He has been an editor at large Time magazine since 2010, and spent 10 years overseeing Newsweek's foreign editions. He is a Washington Post (and internationally syndicated) columnist. He is author of "The Post-American World." For more of Fareed Zakaria's reports, Go Here Now.


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Friday, June 8, 2018

THINGS ARE OFTEN NOT WHAT THEY SEEM

Anthony Bourdain, ‘Parts Unknown’ Host And Chef, Dead At 61


Kate Spade, legendary handbag designer, found dead of suicide




The recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain; people who apparently "had it all", reminds us not to compare our insides with others outsides. Especially on social media and fake news where they can make everybody else appear perfect, when the truth is something else. Condolences to those they left behind to deal with the tragedy.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

This Saturday, May 12, 2018, I will be one of the 100 to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Ellis Island Medal of Honor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is an American award founded by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO)[1] which are presented annually to American citizens whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to the United States are cause for celebration. Past Medalists include seven U.S. Presidents, several world leaders, two Nobel Prize winners and countless leaders of industry, education, the arts, sports and government, along with everyday Americans who have made freedom, liberty and compassion a part of their life's work.

The medals were established at the time of NECO's founding in 1986; a ceremony is held each May on Ellis Island. All branches of the United States Armed Forces traditionally participate. Both the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year’s recipients are read into the Congressional Record. The Great Hall where immigrants were once processed hosts the gala dinner which follows the ceremony. Approximately 100 medalists are honored each year. Past medalists include seven Presidents, including current President Donald Trump, as well as Nobel Prize winners and leaders of industry, education, the arts, sports and government.

Past notable medalists include: