Saturday, November 26, 2016

Music Industry & the 2016 Presidential Election

First in a Series

It is the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2016.  Families have now come together to discuss the results of the 2016 Unites States of America Presidential Election.  Although their may be some "Houses Divided," the United States has a Republican President Elect and a majority in both houses of Congress.  Nonetheless, we have a Congress and Country divided.  Businessman President-Elect Donald Trump won the majority of electoral votes 290 to Former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who garnered 232.  Secretary Clinton won the popular vote over Businessman Donald Trump 64.4 million to 62.3 million.  2.1 million people more voted for Clinton over Trump.

Many music artists supported Secretary Clinton over Donald Trump.  General wisdom speaks of artists wishing more work needs to be done for homeless, hungry, peace, climate, wage inequality, freedom of speech and many social justice issues relative to race, gender, policing, trade, government spending to name just a few.  Many argue that all Americans essentially want the same actions taken.
It is just a matter of how to get there and how to get it done.

The music industry is going through its own discovery.  A journey that changes minute by minute with the advent of new technologies and the deliverability of content to the market consumer.  Spotify appears to be the leader in delivering musical content to the consumer for free or for a monthly subscription.  The company is outpacing its competition with data collection used to provide what the consumer wants.

The big winner today in digital advertising is the advent of interactive delivery of content to the consumer as opposed to the consumer searching for what they want.  At least, consumers now have both options to their avail.  Data allows Spotify to make suggestions to the consumer via information gathered over time (short and long) and also interacting by allowing the consumer to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down.  Same feature is provided by Netflix and others.  Some people are now migrating away from conventional cable and satellite content deliverability to Netflix and You Tube as their entertainment providers.

Now that the Thanksgiving 2016 dinner conversation has concluded and people are ruminating over their own set of feelings and the reality of the state of the nation, music is still listened and film is still viewed.  The winners?  The winners are the artists who touch the individuals heart and soul through their work.  The individual wins as well.  Technology delivers the art.  Business sets up the rules, payment and deliverability.  How will the new administration, which controls the executive branch, the legislative branch and will have one Supreme Court Justice to appoint immediately, govern the business of of music and art?

Please feel free to provide your comments.  They are graciously appreciated.  Below, please find an article published in Billboard Magazine prior to the election.

All the best until next time,

Markie Z (@markandrewz)

Better Late Than Never: Artists Finally Weighing In on 2016 Presidential Election
At this point in the past two presidential elections, the roster of A-list artists backing the candidates (okay, mostly President Obama) were like the line-up for the greatest concert never staged: Eminem, Jay Z, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Faith Hill, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Beastie Boys, Beyoncé, the Roots, plus dozens of others in Obama's corner, and Pat Boone, Daddy Yankee, Charlie Daniels, Lee Greenwood, John Rich, Cowboy Troy, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent for Republican candidates John McCain (2008) and/or Mitt Romney (2012). 
But until pretty recently, with a few big-name exceptions, the musical world was much quieter this cycle. Why? It's hard to say, as this election is historic in ways slightly different than 2008's election of the nation's first black president. Faced with the choice between two very unpopular candidates -- one with the potential to be the country's first female commander in chief and the other the first U.S. leader with no military or government experience -- Hollywood has kept it on the DL for the most part.
With less than 50 days to go, though, that began to change over the past few weeks, in large part due to a number of prominent female musicians who've re-iterated their loud and proud support for Clinton. From Barbra Streisand -- who has said #ImWithHer for over a year -- to Katy Perry and Madonna -- who both got naked this week to stand with Clinton and encourage voting -- the former Sec. of State is ringing up some big endorsements. Aside from Katy, Madge and Babs, other musical Hillary supporters include CherLady Gaga, P!nk, Cyndi Lauper, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Kelly Clarkson, Meghan Trainor, Elton John and John Legend.
Clinton's even gotten a thumbs up from Mexican ranchera icon Vicente Fernández -- who can't vote in our election -- but who said, "together, we can," and Los Tigres del Norte, who condemned Trump's insults against Mexican immigrants while endorsing Clinton. Another major artist who won't be in the voting booth but finds it hard to keep his opinions to himself, U2's Bono, recently said he was concerned Trump could "destroy" the very idea of America.
Kesha threw her hat in the ring on Wednesday (Sept. 28) when she came to the defense of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who continued to get fat-shamed by Trump after Clinton brought up her rival's misogynist comments about women in the past during the first presidential debate.
Last month, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi and Jimmy Buffett performed at a private fundraiser for Clinton, while Streisand has taken a number of opportunities this summer to announce @ImWithHer while making fun of Trump and penning a scathing essay for the Huffington Post entitled "Facts Matter." Typically outspoken American rock icon Bruce Springsteen has mostly kept his powder dry this cycle, but recently called Trump a "moron" in Rolling Stone and said he thinks Clinton would be a "very, very good president."  

Girls were talking 2day & Were AFRAID‼️

Trump, on the other hand, has had a good deal less musical co-signs, the most prominent coming from Kid Rock, Wayne Newton, as well as usual suspects Rich, Nugent, Boone and Kenny Rogers. Kiss' loud and proud bassist/singer Gene Simmons was labeled the "Donald Trump of rock" recently by his son, Nick Simmons. 
Las Vegas icon Newton went on Fox News earlier this month and said that if America has "ever needed Donald Trump, it's now." Kid Rock, an avowed Republican, hasn't stumped for the billionaire real estate mogul (though he told Rolling Stone in February that he was "digging" the candidate), but when Clinton made a crack about Rock possibly getting a cabinet position in a Donald White House, the Detroit rapper joked, "I don't care what your politics are, funny is funny!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

World's Mind Made Up on US Presidential Race

Markie Z Letter - @markandrewz Guest Blogger: Brian Stokes

World's Mind Made Up on US Presidential Race

Pew Research Center survey in 15 nations: Obama is tough act to follow, Clinton is more trusted than Trump
Bruce Stokes
YaleGlobal16 August 2016
World watch on America: US President Barack Obama is highly popular in Europe, top; Donald Trump’s isolationist policies attract global anxiety
WASHINGTON: When on November 8 Americans head to the polls to elect the next president of the United States, they effectively select the de facto president of the world. And, history suggests, whoever becomes the next resident of the White House – Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump – he or she will impact America’s image, and thus US influence, around the world. 
Of the two principal presidential candidates, Clinton is the better known outside the United States. Having served as US secretary of state from 2009 to early 2013, Clinton enjoys the confidence of many in both Europe and Asia to do the right thing in world affairs, according to a recent survey of 15 nations by the Pew Research Center.
Majorities or pluralities in 12 of 14 European and Asian countries have faith in Clinton, including the Swedes, 83 percent; Germans, 79 percent; Australians, 70 percent; Japanese, 70 percent; and Canadians, 60 percent. On the other hand, views of Clinton among the Chinese are much more divided, with 37 percent saying they have confidence in her, 35 percent saying they do not have confidence and 28 percent with no opinion. And Clinton is still little known in India, where a majority, 56 percent, voices no opinion about her ability to act on world affairs.
Views of real estate magnate Trump are a different story. Less than a quarter of people across all 15 countries surveyed in 2016 express confidence in Donald Trump’s ability to do the right thing regarding international affairs. In fact, overwhelming majorities in most of the societies surveyed have little or no confidence in him. This includes 92 percent of Swedes, 89 percent of Germans, 88 percent of Dutch and 85 percent of both the French and British.
Most Australians at 87 percent as well as Japanese, 82 percent, and Canadians, 80 percent, also lack faith in Trump. People in Asia’s two most populated nations have little knowledge of the Republican candidate. In China, there is a split between those who have no confidence in Trump, 40 percent, and those who do not offer an opinion, 39 percent. In India, 67 percent offer no opinion.
The next president, Clinton or Trump, faces the challenge
of comparisons
with Obama.
The candidate who heads to the White House in January, whether Trump or Clinton, faces the daunting challenge of comparison with Barack Obama, who is leaving office enjoying widespread public confidence in his conduct of foreign affairs. In Europe, majorities in nine of 10 countries surveyed this year trust the outgoing president’s ability to handle international issues, including 93 percent in Sweden and 91 percent in the Netherlands. Only the Greeks regard Obama unfavorably, with 58 percent expressing little or no confidence in him.
Obama has fewer fans in Asia, but is still popular: 78 percent in Japan, 58 percent in India and 52 percent in China voice faith in Obama’s record on the world stage.
History suggests that foreign confidence in US presidential leadership can be a consequence of the triumph of hope over experience. In 2008 in Europe, in the wake of the Iraq war and other issues that put Washington at loggerheads with other countries, trust in then-President George W. Bush had fallen to 16 percent in the United Kingdom, 14 percent in Germany and 13 percent in France, according to a Pew Research Center survey. In 2009, soon after Obama had been elected, but before he had been tested by events, 93 percent of the Germans expressed confidence in the new US president, and 91 percent of the French and 86 percent of the British agreed.  
Americans’ choice can influence foreign judgment of the United States, and in countries surveyed, majorities or pluralities said Obama’s election led them to have a more favorable view of the United States. Again, Western Europe and especially France, 93 percent more favorable, and Germany, 91 percent, stood out in this regard, but also 77 percent of Japanese and Brazilians, 73 percent of Indonesians and 47 percent of Chinese expressed the view that the election had buoyed their view of the United States.

Confidence in US Leaders Regarding World Affairs
Tough act to follow: A Pew Research Center survey conducted in 15 nations suggests that confidence runs high in US President Barack Obama "to do the right thing regarding world affairs"; Hillary Clinton, former US secretary of State, follows close behind, while doubt lingers about real estate developer Donald Trump (Data: Pew Research Center).
The outcome of the 2004 American election had the opposite effect. A 2005 Pew Research Centersurvey found that after the reelection of George W. Bush in not one of 15 countries surveyed did a majority or plurality report that Bush’s reelection led them to holding a more favorable view of the United States. In Germany, France and Canada, roughly three in four respondents said the election’s outcome caused them to have a less positive opinion of Uncle Sam. This may reflect waning support for the Iraq war among those nations that had joined the US invasion and growing opposition to the US-led war on terrorism.
On the eve of the 2016 election, majorities in 13 out of 15 countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center have positive views of the United States. America receives its highest ratings from the Poles, 74 percent; Italians, 72 percent; Japanese, 72 percent; and Swedes, 69 percent. The survey shows that the US also enjoys support from Indians at 56 percent and Chinese at 50 percent.
Whether international views of the US change in the wake of the upcoming election may depend on whom voters choose and foreigners’ expectations of that incoming president.
In 2009, in 15 of 24 countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center, not including the United States, majorities or pluralities assumed that Obama would not act unilaterally and would consider the interests of countries like theirs when making foreign policy decisions. In 16 of the nations surveyed, public opinion leaned toward the view that Obama would be fair in dealing with the Israelis and the Palestinians. And in 19 nations, majorities or pluralities expected the United States under Obama to take significant measures to control global climate change.
But by 2012, in 14 of the same countries surveyed again, a median of 58 percent said Obama had acted unilaterally, 60 percent said he was not fair in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian situation and 62 percent suggested that he had failed to take significant steps on climate change.
Foreigners look on the US electoral process with a mixture of hope and anxiety.
This reversal in sentiment is a reminder that foreigners can have unrealistic expectations of American presidents. And their disappointment when their expectations are not realized may affect views of both the presidency and the country. Between early 2009, during Obama’s honeymoon period, and 2012, international approval of Obama’s international policies fell significantly in Europe, Muslim countries, Russia, China, Japan and Mexico. In the same period, favorable views of the US declined in Germany, Britain, France, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Mexico. 
Without a vote in the US presidential election, foreigners look on the American electoral process with a mixture of hopefulness and anxiety. The process to date has not proved encouraging. Three-quarters of Australians and nearly seven in ten Canadians, among the foreigners who arguably may follow the US election the most closely, have a negative impression of the 2016 US presidential campaign. They know that Americans’ decision will affect their lives in ways they cannot control. They know Trump less well than Clinton and have greater confidence in her than in him. So non-Americans hope for the best, and history suggests they can be disappointed. Both their expectations and likely disappointments will affect the next US president’s ability to lead the world.
Bruce Stokes is director of global economic attitudes at the Pew Research Center.
Rights:Copyright © 2016 YaleGlobal and the MacMillan Cente

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Markie Z Reaction To:

 "The Olympics Do Not Need Golf and Golf Surely Does Not Need the Olympics"
                                                        By Chris Chase for Fox Sports

Golf in the Olympics?  Apathy among top players?  Of course. That is so true.  Chris Chase is absolutely correct and accurately reporting the issue on behalf of Fox Sports. One big however though: Those that do not wish to compete do not have to. That is pretty simple. Those that do - let them. Another International Event is not going to hurt any sport. Just take the criteria and work one's way down until a player accepts the opportunity to play. Leave it up to the individual. Fill the field and award the medals at the end of play. The player that wins Gold can say he/she did. Period. If you do not want to attend the event, don't. If you do not wish to view the event or check on it online, don't. Shameless self-promoting criticism of an event is nothing more than bringing attention to your sponsors for others to see their name and logos (Adam Scott) for a few more impressions.  I am sure you can throw in a few more Tweets in there as well.

This article and the comments therein along with my comment/response is nothing more than a waste of time. Who cares what Adam Scott thinks? Adam Scott is free to do what he wants to do. I am free to read this article or not and to respond or not. What does that all mean and what good does it do? Nothing.  Everyone knows Tiger Woods hated playing in the Ryder Cup and it surely showed.  Mark O'Mear supported Tiger and that blackballed him for ever becoming a Ryder Cup Captain - and that hurt Mark's feelings.  I don;t blame Mark.  He was caught in between a rock and a hard place at that time.  Subsequent events changed life for both mark and Tiger. This is the last time I will spend any effort on this ridiculous topic (which was easily predicted by anyone - not just me) and the tabloid remarks made by "name" players. Play golf, or don't.  One should think about making comments and doing things that help people and society.  Personally, I prefer to use golf as a means to that end. That is a better and more productive use of one's time.  Enough said.

Mark Andrew Zwartynski    @markandrewz 

Link to the article:

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Legal, But Morally Dubious - Cheating in Sports

The champion athlete pursues every avenue to gain the “so-called” competitive edge.  More often than not taking this quest to the utmost gamble of the risk (if discovered) of losing everything.  Some people have made the statement to me, "legal, but morally dubious."    

However, what is “legal, but morally dubious?”  Who holds the authority on how to define and determine morality in sports.  Ultimately, is the fan?  The one who makes no decisions as to the course of the sport or its business, but pays dearly for its engaging entertainment value.  

Of course, “playing dirty,” “kicking your golf ball to improve your lie when no one is looking,” “corking your bat,” “deflating footballs,” etc., are much easier to define as there are rules agreed to by committees and competitors.  “Performance Enhancing Drugs” have been proven to make a difference between one who utilizes them over one who does not.  It is called an "uneven" playing field.  Therefore, committees, federations, competitors have staunchly taken up the mission to "level the playing field.  In some cases even to save lives and families.  

But I wonder about the court of public individual opinion and the personal determination of something being immoral and dubious.  Everyone always has an opinion.  At least on most subjects they are familiar with.  Go to a "sports" bar and you will find as many opinions as are in attendance. Therefore, morals and whether or not some thing or some act may be dubious is just that – an opinion.  It is not right or wrong.  Again, it is just an opinion. 

plural noun: morals
a lesson, especially one concerning what is right or prudent, that can be derived from a story, a piece of information, or an experience.
"the moral of this story was that one must see the beauty in what one has"
Synonyms: lesson, message, meaning, significance, signification, import, point, teaching
"the moral of the story"
a person's standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.
"the corruption of public morals"
Synonyms: moral code, code of ethics, (moral) values, principles, standards, (sense of) morality, scruples
"he has no morals"  

hesitating or doubting.
"Alex looked dubious, but complied"
Synonyms: doubtful, uncertain, unsure, hesitant; More
not to be relied upon; suspect.
"extremely dubious assumptions"
Synonyms: suspicious, suspect, untrustworthy, unreliable, questionable;

So if an athlete is within the rules agreed upon by the committee and all competitors, but displays “suspect values,” is that athlete cheating?  

Thursday, March 31, 2016

High Performance Breathing Technology Runners Win Two Gold Medals at IAAF World Indoor Championships

High Performance Breathing Technology Runners Patrick Feeney and Chris Giesting paced their four man team in the 4 x 400 metre relays for Team USA over two days to win the Gold Medal in the IAAF World Indoor Championships and nearly break the world record.

HPBT Runners Feeney and Giesting along with National Indoor Champion Vernon Norwood, Kyle Clemons, Calvin Smith and Elvyonn Bailey of team USA displayed a memorable performance in front of a sell-out crowd at the Oregon Convention Center for the IAAF World Indoor Championships held March 19 and 20, 2016.

Team USA finished with a 3:02.45 win, the third-fastest time ever indoors, just 0.33 seconds shy of the world record they set two years ago in Sopot, Poland. Bahamas (3:04.75) and Trinidad and Tobago (3:05.51) produced national indoor records to complete the medalists.

Chris Giesting, when asked about High Performance Breathing Technology and the Oxygen Advantage stated, “Since adopting the program in September it has improved my overall health, increased the threshold at which he was able to train in order to accomplish more during a single workout providing the edge of margin to separate himself from his competitors.’ Giesting, the fastest leg runner in the heats, produced a superb run (45.34) to build up an unsurmountable lead in the third leg of the finals as Norwood took the baton with the clock at 2:17.47.

Patrick Feeney, when asked about High Performance Breathing technology stated, “After a couple of weeks working with High Performance Breathing Technology’s Oxygen Advantage program I have been sleeping better than ever and feeling much more calm and relaxed.  It has helped me focus on the race at hand, trust my training and get my mind right for the best times I have ever run.”

Mark Andrew Zwartynski, Managing Partner of High Performance Breathing Technology, stated, “The combination of Founder Dr. Martin Denbar’s Airway Management strategy and Patrick McKeown’s Oxygen Advantage has introduced the newest natural program to improve athletic performance and be an alternative to certain illegal banned substances, the latter for which we are very proud of.”

Silver went to the Bahamas; Bronze was won by Trinidad & Tobago with Jamaica finishing fourth.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Guest Blogger Laura Walden - IOC, Doing the Right Thing - Refugee athletes get a second chance and hope for their Olympic Dream

IOC President Bach © IOC/C.Moratal
IOC President Bach © IOC/C.Moratal
LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications
(SFC) The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has created the Refugee Olympic Athletes (ROA) team giving athletes who have had to flee their homeland a second chance to compete at the Games. The IOC pledged to offer assistance to elite level athletes who were affected by the worldwide refugee crisis and came through with the opportunity.
National Olympic Committees (NOCs) were requested to identify any refugee athlete who might qualify for the Rio 2016 Games and these athletes might be able to receive aid and assistance from Olympic Solidarity to help them their preparations and qualification efforts.
IOC President Thomas Bach said, "By welcoming the team of Refugee Olympic Athletes to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, we want to send a message of hope for all refugees in our world.
"Having no national team to belong to, having no flag to march behind, having no national anthem to be played, these refugee athletes will be welcomed to the Olympic Games with the Olympic flag and with the Olympic Anthem. They will have a home together with all the other 11,000 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees in the Olympic Village."
Around 43 athletes have been targeted so far that are already receiving assistance and the ROA team for Rio 2016 is expected to number between five and 10 athletes. The EB decided today to close the call for new candidatures and only under exceptional circumstances requiring the approval of the IOC President will new candidates be considered. And the EB will also announce the names of those that will be approved to attend.
After Agenda 2020 was approved, the IOC carved out a special fund of US$2 million to establish relief projects in collaboration with the NOCs around the world.
The IOC will step in and has approved:
·         *The EB also approved the operational aspects surrounding Team ROA.
·       *  The name of the team will be Team Refugee Olympic Athletes;
·       *  Team ROA will get its own welcome ceremony at the Olympic Village, like all other teams;
·       *  The team will be housed like all the other teams;
·         *A team entourage will be appointed by the IOC to meet all the required technical needs of the athletes, including: Chef de Mission, coaches and technical officials (as per official quotas);
·         *The team uniforms will be provided by the IOC;
·         *For all official representations of the team (including possible medal ceremonies), the Olympic flag will be raised and the Olympic Anthem will be played;
·         *The team will march behind the Olympic flag before host team Brazil at the Opening Ceremony;
·        * An adequate insurance policy will be contracted;
·         *A proper doping control process will be introduced through the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA); and
·       *Olympic Solidarity will cover travel and other participation expenses for the team and will continue to support the athletes of the team after the Olympic Games.
**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · IOC · refugees

For more information contact:
Laura Walden (