dancers and blitzens

I found it very moving to watch dancers I have been accompanying for two semesters show off their skills in actual dance pieces last night.  After a typically very busy day, Eileen and I met for a relaxing meal at our favorite pub then walked across the street to the theater for the performance.

There were seven pieces and something to like in each one.  The first piece was most connected to the work I have been doing. Choreographed by the excellent teacher, Amanda Smith-Heynen, it involved six dancers all of whom were very familiar faces to me. Amanda used ballet steps to create an energy filled several minutes to quick, rhythmic gentle guitar music of Ewan Dobson. Very satisfying to watch. This was my wife’s favorite pieces.

The other six incorporated a lot of dance I am not that familiar with. I especially liked the second piece on the program called “Pieces of a Dream” which seemed to be Modern dance. I also learned how Tap Dance can feel contemporary in the next piece, Sincerely Jan.

The whole evening was fun for me. I am scheduled to play for the ballet warm-up for the last performance this evening. Apparently there are warm-ups happening for dancers in other areas as well and the dancers are either assigned to the warm-up by their teacher/choreographer or choose to attend one of them.

Besides rehearsing my organ music for tomorrow, cleaning house and doing this warm-up, today is sort of a day off. I have been thinking that I should try to treat Saturdays as down time since it is the only day I am not always scheduled to do something for one of my jobs.

********************LINKS & Other stuff******************

I don’t normally go in for stuff like this because I think the trap in having so many avenues of news reporting available can too easily lead to the “echo chamber effect” of only hearing what you agree with, but this video lays out pretty clearly some misinformation being disseminated in an easy to understand quick way.


I was engaged in some discussion on Facebook yesterday about the emerging national coverage of recent legislation in Michigan regarding Emergency Financial Managers.

This led me to wondering about what was going on.

Here are some links I used to figure this out.

Daily Kos: Gov Rick Snyder Sellout? Prefabricated Corporate Michigan (Government) Courtesy of Koch & ALEC Excl.

This link is pretty polemic and partisan. Not sure how much is fact based. I found it on this blog that my daughter who is pretty active politically linked into:

Rick Snyder is starting to get national attention for his ambitious plan to defund and take over Michigan cities

But I kept looking around to find out more.

First of all, the bill has already passed.

Financial manager bill passes Michigan Senate | | The Detroit News

I knew that Michigan already had some kind of law because I remember Flint having an appointed emergency financial manager.

City of Flint aims to avoid another state takeover with $13M bond |

I found a FAQ on the old law.

pdf FAQ on old Michigan emergency financial manager law

Also remembered some pretty evenhanded statements by our new governor regarding not acting like the governor of Wisconsin and found some online reports.

Michigan’s New Governor Won’t Fall into the Wisconsin Trap – Yahoo! News

Gov. Rick Snyder steers clear of Wisconsin fight over union rights – Crain’s Detroit Business – Detroit News and Information

Finally this morning, I found this report which sounds more reasonable to me than the polemic partisan scrapping. It helps that I have been listening to Jack Lessenberry long enough to give him a bit of credibility.

Emergency Financial Managers | News for Michigan

And if you’re feeling decidedly masochistic here’s a pdf of the new law.

pdf of new emergency financial bill

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2 thoughts on “dancers and blitzens

  1. I am not a fan of Snyder. I think his lack of political savvy has come to fruition. The problem is really not entirely with corporate taxes. This hidden tax is usually passed on to the end purchaser as a cost of business. However, when assessing the cost of doing business here or somewhere else, it is by far more expensive to do business in Michigan than anywhere else. His biggest failure is the idea that being open and forward will put everyone on his side. His approach of taxing retirement incomes or corp. tax reductions or changing the methods of taxing, or funding of local school districts will not make this change. He is fighting too many issues at the same time and he will lose. This is about perception and ultimately, he will lose this issue with the media. I suspect that all of the items that is being brought to the table are worthy of discussion, but he will lose this battle and will become ineffective in this process. Leadership is different than management and sometimes people need to be leaders to inspire the understanding of purpose rather than that of policy. Would you go to battle with this guy? The answer for me is no. He reminds me of the first General Manager that I knew for the transit system. He was a good manager, but was milk toast in inspiring people to be involved and work for the effort.
    Ultimately, we are faced with terrible options about taxation and revenue sources. Unless we increase the size of the tax base, there will be more pressures on people who live here not to live here. So, is “more government” the answer with an ever increasing pressure on taxes or do we lessen the pressure of government by creating economic reasons for people to develop their business here?

  2. Ray,

    You’ve probably put together by now that you and I see all of this much differently.

    First of all, I don’t think that I totally understand what is happening around these sort of issues and I am interested in learning more.

    Secondly, you and I see leadership totally differently as far as I can tell from your comments. You certainly have had a lifetime of experiences and education that inform how you see these things. But so have I and I have come to entirely different understandings of leadership.

    For one thing, I think society is not primarily an expression of economic needs and values. These however seem to be root metaphors for many in office and corporations who seek to explain and control what is happening in our country.

    I think it’s still a privilege to be an American however fucked up our situation is, right now. And I think that there is a role for government that probably exceeds what you think it should be. This is not because I think government is doing a good job. It’s because I see government as an expression of the community. I know this idealism. But I think that what has distinguished America historically has been its ideals, the things that it has attempted even when it has failed.

    I think that the problems we are having right now in Michigan are a natural outgrowth of bad governing and insidious business practices (e.g. short term profit)I have witnessed for decades. But I don’t think it’s time to throw in the towel and I would like to give Snyder (for whom I did not vote) more of a chance in my own mind since he is so newly elected. And I do believe in honesty and openness in our leaders, but even realizing how difficult and impossible that sometimes is. But that’s just me. I’m just a blitzin’ musicun.

    P.S. Are you for increased taxes? I certainly am, but don’t think many share this idea.

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