Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Uncle Sam is Running for President

Uncle Sam is running for president. In an interview on CTN Access Ann Arbor on Thursday, October 24th, Uncle Sam aka Carol Dunitz announced she is throwing her hat in the ring. Interviewer Laurajeanne Kehn asked, "Why?" and Dunitz said she wanted to interject music with poignant lyrics into the campaign to educate the public and get people out to vote. Dunitz said music is an International language that has the potential to create more interest and spark excitement. 

 "Everyone needs to understand the issues and commit to action. Each and every citizen needs do what they can to get others involved and out to VOTE." The half hour interview is punctuated with numerous political song segments from 2020:The Musical and can be viewed at:  

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Woohoo! "Happy Birthday Baby" - 5000 Views on Youtube

“2020: The Musical” has 19 political songs and one novelty song. The novelty song, “Happy Birthday Baby” was released in advance of the other songs. Today "Happy Birthday Baby" reached a special mark. The song has over 5000 views on youtube! Who do you know that’s having a birthday? ‘Bet they’d like to receive “Happy Birthday Baby” as a virtual birthday card. (Click link to view)

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

I Want to Play with You

Lots of sexual innuendo in "I Want to Play With You," one of 20 songs in 2020: The Musical. But it's really about the indecent, corrupt practices between our legislators and the lobbyists who they too often succumb to. This is not the only area of government where there is an abundance of corruption but it is certainly one where it is very obvious. 
 (Please click on link for video)

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Hands Down Better -- In the Studio

Yesterday my friend, Yael Ganet, helped me videotape some of the numbers from "2020: The Musical." Here is "Hands Down Better." It is a song about discrimination -- slightly veiled by attributing human qualities to instruments in the orchestra.  (Please click on link for video)

Monday, October 21, 2019

New Studio Videos!

New Video is now available for six songs from 2020: The Musical. 

Stack the Deck (Click on Link)
I Want to Play with You (Click on Link)

Hands Down Better (Click on Link)
Simple Times Gone By (Click on Link)

My Body, My Choice (Click on Link)
This Life Shared in Poverty (Click on Link)

We were also able to complete a segment of a seventh song.

Let’s Take Out the NRA 
(Click on Link)

My friend, Yael Ganet, operated the video camera while I went through some of the songs. I really appreciated the assistance. Having studio recordings is helpful until live performance video is available.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

GPS Says Turn Left

I met someone at the Michigan Progressive Summit who had a sign that I thought was very original. I asked him if he would take a picture of me with the sign and he was happy to oblige. In Michigan there are two seasons: winter and construction. This sign speaks to that! LOL

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Squad et al

I attended the Michigan Progressive Summit in Lansing today. From 8:30 am to 5 pm attendees were immersed in fascinating programming with fabulous speakers. The first speaker was Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib -- one of four women Trump refers to as "The Squad." She is an excellent speaker and provided many human interest stories that complemented the content of her remarks.

There were a number of breakout sessions. In the morning, I went to the one on Heroes Narrative -- a values-based narrative concept rooted in storytelling. Sam Inglot of Progressive Michigan  talked about using a template to create narratives that inspire activism and help build power for progressive causes.

The Lunch Plenary Speaker was Governor Gretchen Whitmer. She provided an update on what is going on in Michigan, her objectives for the state and how she planned to deal with Michigan's Republican legislature to get things done. She was enthusiastically received by the audience.

I saw an excellent film during the first afternoon breakout session, Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook. It documented the calculated gerrymandering, voter purges and voter fraud that have been rampant in recent years in states throughout the country.  I highly recommend seeing this documentary. Really well-researched and eye-opening!

I then attended another Sam Inglot program about PR and How to Organize an Event. While I did some of this professionally when I was actively doing marketing and PR in the 90s and early 00s, he had some useful suggestions that I may integrate into the campaign for 2020: The Musical.

If all this wasn't enough, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell gave the closing remarks for the Afternoon Plenary. She noted that we lost two great statesmen this week, former Governor Bill Milliken Sr., and Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings. She also talked about all the accomplishments of her late husband, John Dingell, and how so many of the issues that he had worked on have been reversed under the current administration. Debbie is actively working on many of the issues we hold dear to our hearts.

She presented the Michigan Progressive John D. Dingell “Heart of a Champion” Award to State Senator Stephanie Chang. I heard Debbie speak last week Downriver. She really moved everyone and spoke with great passion and determination.

Beyond all the programming, I had the opportunity to meet a number attendees, many of whom are actively working in the nonprofit arena. I also shared a few business cards and news about 2020: The Musical.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Back from Westerville

Guess who was on the campus of Otterbein University in Westerville, OH yesterday? I arrived around 1:30 in the afternoon when things were still relatively quiet. There was a designated area for protesters and others with political agendas. As it turned out, there ended up being more action downtown at State and Main. 

By 4:00 PM more people started to arrive -- including press -- local and from far away. When I was in Houston for the third Democratic debates, I was surprised when a photographer from the Bulgarian News Agency was there and took a picture of me. This time I was interviewed by a Korean news service and other reporters from around the country. I was also interviewed by several students from Otterbein University and a young woman starting a new feminist blog. 

They say a photo is worth a thousand words. Photographers from Reuters, United Press International (UPI) and Associated Press (AP) were out and about at the debate scene. They among others filled my dance card. This shot was taken by a UPI Photographer.

AP Photographer Tony Dejak captured this candid.

And here's one from the camera of a Reuter's photographer.

Lots of people snapped photos of me. Sometimes they asked friends or a bystander to take the picture so they could appear with me. A couple from Boulder, CO (Steve and Jane), who I had met in Houston were there with a huge air balloon promoting democracy. Here's a photo of Steve and me. You can see the ropes and the bottom of the balloon in this photo. I was on my feet for about seven hours. He was, too, and explained his arms did not get tired because the balloon was holding them up!

Up on State Street I posed with a couple sitting on the back of their truck who had signs that echoed mine.

I actually ran into a number of people I have met at other events in Detroit, Houston, Ann Arbor, Kent OH and more. I'm easy to remember because I'm the woman wearing the Uncle Sam suit. 

In the evening, I went to a Democratic Debate watch party at Dewey's in downtown Columbus with Elizabeth Warren volunteers. I had a lot of fun yesterday and managed to get some publicity for 2020: The Musical. The toughest part of the day was remembering I was in Ohio State University territory and had to restrain myself from saying, "GO BLUE." :)

Monday, October 14, 2019

Elizabeth Warren and Me

Danny Steinmetz, who is involved with the Washtenaw Democrats, emailed me to invite me to a Watch Party for the Democratic Debates on Tuesday. I would have loved to have gone but can't be in two places at the same time. I will be in Westerville, OH where the debates are taking place and expect to be at a Watch Party there!

I met Danny at the Climate Strike in Ann Arbor a month ago. He took this photo of me with a cutout of Elizabeth Warren. It's a kick! Haha. Thank you, Danny.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Marianne Williamson. Wow!

I woke up at the break of dawn this morning for the three and a half hour drive to Chicago to hear Marianne Williamson speak at Christ Universal Temple. Marianne delivered the sermon and it was incredible. More sermon-like that campaign oriented in delivery, it touched on many of the issues she addresses in her campaign. Her goals are not unlike many other progressive candidates, not unlike what President Obama said in his University of Illinois -Urbana speech on September 7th, but she approaches them from a different angle -- an angle of caring and love.

Our current president approaches everything from a position of hate, fear and anger. Perhaps that is why it is so refreshing to hear Marianne speak about God and love. Bottom line. We need to bring about dramatic change. We can only accomplish this if we become proactive. It is not enough to say we don't like this or we don't agree with that. Each of us needs to personally try to bring about change by actively letting others know what we believe and encouraging them to become active also, not to mention, VOTE.

What can each of us do? I am a writer and a composer -- so I wrote 2020: The Musical, a show with 20 songs about all the issues we care about in the hope that Democratic organizations will use it to raise awareness and fundraise for important causes. Now I'm doing the not-so-fun part for me, trying to get the word out. Can you help me? Yes? If not, what can you do to bring about positive change?

Marianne says we all have love and goodness within us. And we do. Let's share that goodness to bring about positive change.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Wallace House Hosts "Held Hostage" Seminar

Every year hundreds of American journalists, humanitarian aid workers, tourists and business people are taken captive by terrorist groups, criminal organizations and foreign governments. Sadly, we work in an age where there is a growing risk to journalists and aid workers who work abroad. 

The Wallace House at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy arranged a panel discussion about being taken captive and how the US and other countries deal with these situations. Margaux Ewen served as moderator. Diane Foley and Joel Simon addressed the issues. I attended to learn more about US policies about negotiating with terrorists.

Diane Foley founded the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation in September 2014 shortly after her son, a freelance journalist, was executed abroad by a terrorist group. She told the audience about her efforts to fund an International Alliance for a Culture of Safety. At the present time, the United States has a policy that allows negotiation with other countries and with criminal groups, but it will not negotiate with terrorist groups. 

Joel Simon is the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. A former journalist himself, he spoke of the cruel consequences when some of his friends were taken hostage and the US refused to negotiate. Simon also talked about some research that has been done on negotiating with terrorists and criminal groups. 

Diane Foley and Joel Simon shared their views and what they have learned about negotiating with terrorists. Brutal executions of men like James W. Foley and Daniel Pearl who were simply doing their jobs as journalists underscore the need for the United States to change its policy on negotiating with terrorists. Spain, a country that does negotiate with terrorists has had a 100% success rate bringing its citizens home following detention by various groups. France, too, negotiates with terrorists and has had a success rate above 70%. Only 30% of US citizens detained by terrorist groups survive their ordeals because the US refuses to negotiate.

The issue of dealing with those who have been taken hostage is a complicated matter. But perhaps it is time to rethink the policy instituted by Nixon when a terrorist group called for the release of Sirhan Sirhan, who was convicted of killing Robert F. Kennedy, in return for hostages that group held. In that instance, Sirhan Sirhan remained in jail but all the hostages were killed by their kidnappers.