Monday, September 14, 2020

Sound Guy hang out

My friend and audiophile Rob France works the audio systems for a few venues, and has created videos to discuss different aspects of setting up for a live music event. These short videos have great information for a novice or experienced sound engineer to learn and/or review when setting up your own systems. Check them all out and watch for more!

Sound Guy Hang Out 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Consider This – The Election Cycle

When last we visited the keyboard, it was February; before the pandemic took hold, the mismanagement of crisis after crisis, the 175,000 dead (and still climbing), protests, demonstrations, riots, and continued struggles of We the People as this presidential election year winds down to the final months and weeks until the ballots are cast.


When last I put thoughts to words, I admitted to making a mistake in 2016 – that of voting for a third-party candidate (Libertarian) instead of one of the two popular parties. While I still don’t think of my personal protest as throwing away my vote, and if the popular vote had more weight the outcome four years ago would have been profoundly different, I still consider what I did as a mistake, even though I didn’t really agree with the Democratic nominee. If the choice was truly between only two candidates, then Ms. Clinton was arguably the better of the two by a slim margin at least (and a 3-million vote popular lead). The Electoral College had different plans, and we ended up with Trump.


While there are more than two parties, or even three, in our electoral system, it truly only boils down to the top two which control the government – and have for many, many years. There is no coalition of Libertarian/Green/Constitutional/Communist or others which can begin to match the power and reach of the Democratic or Republican Party. For this to change, there needs to be a much stronger grassroots effort to promote the lesser known parties – or even just one party which could truly unite people against the dichotomy of our current government – two sides of the same poorly functioning machine. Such an effort needs to start at the local level, make a strong foothold into the mainstream system from there. Move to a state level, then spread to other states until it is an unstoppable force for change against those other two parties. This sounds like an impossible task, but it is actually something which can be accomplished given enough time. It certainly won’t happen overnight, though, and that brings us back to the two parties currently sharing power.


After these last three and a half years, the country truly needs a drastic change. Granted, when Trump took over, there certainly was a lot of transformation of government; much of it can be expected at the beginning of one’s term in office, but Trump certainly took it to a new level, not just with personnel, but basic policy changes which had been de facto standards in government for much longer. While he certainly did shake up the establishment, it is very questionable whether he actually did it for the nation, or just himself. As his final weeks for this term continue, there are more questions than answers about his actions and those who have supported him through his deeds (and misdeeds). It will certainly take another major change to recover the country’s standing in the world, let alone our economic and societal well-being.


I won’t make the same mistake this time as I did in 2016.


In 2016, I ended up a “Bernie or Bust” supporter, and when he was snubbed so harshly, it was a slap in the face by the party I believed to truly be for We the People. While I had hoped I might have still been able to support Ms. Clinton in the end, I could not reconcile myself to it, so made my protest vote instead. Many others did this as well; over 6 million votes went to the “other candidates” and took away from Trump and Clinton. In the end, it was the Electoral College which did the nation a raw deal, and gave us what we have today.


Now it’s another presidential cycle, and we started with one of the broadest groups of candidates ever seen for any party. There were over 20 people vying for the Democratic nomination, and I think if the pandemic hadn’t taken over so much of our lives in the middle of the primary cycle, there would have been a narrow divide between some of the top candidates entering the Democratic National Convention.


The way things turned out, I do wonder about how the deals were made to get the others to drop out and support Joe Biden – who else was in the room where it happened? But there is more and better support within the party for Joe and his historic pick for VP, Kamala Harris. This time, the Democratic Party has a stronger pair to head up the charge and take this all the way to the White House.


For those who still think voting for a Libertarian, or Green, or any other party’s candidate for President is better than the choice of Biden or Trump, reconsider. While I still will be looking closely at these other parties and their candidates on local and state positions, there truly can be only one choice to stop Trump before he irreparably damages our nation. We cannot allow him to continue to dismantle the federal systems which have been in place for 240 years, throw out the basic tenets set forth in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and run rampant over our courts and legislature. The world has already shut us out from their borders, and while Trump may believe he is the best thing ever, nations around the world are laughing at him – and by proxy laughing at US – while he continues to mismanage our nation.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Consider This - My Mistake

I made a mistake.

For over three years, I have considered, and thought, and reflected on how I got to where I am now, personally, professionally, politically. The journey has been a long one – as is true for most people my age – and fraught with failures, miscalculations, and yes, mistakes.

My mistake happened in November, 2016… and I am recalled to a short exchange from an episode of the short-lived television show Firefly:

Harken: Seems odd you'd name your ship after a battle you were on the wrong side of.
Mal: May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.

See, I supported Bernie Sanders in 2016, all the way up to the Democratic Convention. I believe he was railroaded by the established DNC powers-that-be, who peddled influence through Super-Delegates and kept him from being the candidate, even though he had proven to be more popular than Hillary Clinton.

But perhaps I should go back further, where it all begins for me.

I grew up in a predominantly conservative family, town, school, and political climate. My father was friends with a local state representative, and even worked for his reelection campaign a few times. In 1984, I came of age for my first election cycle, and believed the hype about Reaganomics and how the conservatives of the GOP were looking out for “We the People” and protecting us from the evil regimes – especially that of the Soviet Union and its bloc of allies. At the time, I proudly voted for Reagan – and would probably do so again, considering the political climate of the time, and what I know now, nearly 40 years later.

I remained registered as a Republican for many years, through my military service and after my medical discharge, the Clinton Years, and even the “hanging chad” of the 2000 cycle. Looking back on this, perhaps Bill Clinton was a slightly better candidate – and President – than I gave him credit for then; but to this day I still believe Hillary actually ran things; she wore the pants in that relationship because he couldn’t keep his on…

I did have some reservations about George W. Bush, considering how divided the country became after Al Gore lost due to questionable balloting, and the results being determined in the Supreme Court. I’m not convinced Gore was the better candidate, but I could sense then there was a growing divisiveness in our country. By the time September 11th happened and the ensuing combat operations in the Middle East and Asia since then – not to mention the question of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” coming into play – I was seriously concerned with the direction which the country and the Republican Party were heading.

In 2008, I switched parties. The GOP no longer seemed to represent what I felt, and the representation which had started to form with the “Contract for America” and the Tea Party was falling far short of where I felt the country should be heading now that we were fully ensconced in the 21st century.

Of course, there was Hillary, too, which in hindsight was a little petty of me, but as I mentioned above, I felt she already had her eight years while her husband ran around with his pants at his ankles. Barack Obama was a true breath of fresh air, with progressive but not radical ideas to improve our country. He spoke to everyone, with open ideas that did not reflect a division of race, creed, or religion, but instead an attempt at unification across all differences.

I had thought I might switch back in 2012, but in the first four years of President Obama’s tenure, I realized just how different my underlying beliefs were as compared to the Republicans in power – and those who were showing support for that side of the aisle. This also got me thinking back to my high school days, where I took a class called “Comparative Ideologies” which discussed the many forms of government and economic systems from history through the current era. From despots and monarchs, through dictatorships, variations of democracy, fascism, socialism and communism, everything was touched upon. This included the difference of a political system and an economic one (democracy vs. socialism/communism).

The light shone on that 17-year old boy, but it would take thirty years for it to cultivate.

Socialism. This is the buzzword which sends conservatives – and even many moderates – into apoplectic fits. It was used during the Cold War – along with Communism – as a label for our enemies. Russia was called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (see? It even had Socialist in its name, it MUST be bad…). And China turned to Communism under Mao Tse-Tung. What we learned of these two countries, the history of their violent revolutions to become the “terrible enemy of the free world” – was almost all one-sided propaganda to galvanize Western support against these countries and their allies.

I won’t go into the history of it all now, but suffice it to say some forms of communism and socialism have failed – and failed hard. But others have done well, balancing the democratic rule of The People with the economic designs of social responsibility. Capitalism runs rampant, with the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor. The American Dream is turning into a nightmare, as the disparity between the top wealth and what used to be considered the middle class grows.

The current trend for the liberal, progressive side is to promote a social responsibility of corporations and the rich. This is the socialism which is becoming the foundation of this movement. Such shared responsibility for the economic, physical, and (for lack of a better word) spiritual well-being of the country is what is intended. It isn’t an attempt to destroy the bourgeois elite and prevent progress and advancement of personal worth, but instead the understanding that we are all connected, together on this planet, and working together in a shared system is better for everyone than the greed and divisive nature that has pervaded our society as a whole, and this country specifically.

My mistake in 2016 was not realizing the depths of this realization, and how unity of “We The People “has been affected for decades by the infighting not just across party lines, but within each party as well. This led me to falling into the trap of believing all voices have a say in how our country works, and the dissenting “third party” votes might actually make a difference.

Well, actually, they did.

While Hillary did win the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, there were another 6 million which went to “Third Party” candidates. Had these votes been cast for Hillary instead, it is entirely possible they would have changed the outcome of that election. But, this dissenting vote, which did not like either candidate, is a big reason why Trump is occupying the Oval Office.

Four years ago, neither the Democratic nor Republican Party offered a viable candidate that could truly unite the country. Because of this, Trump managed to play the electoral game to his advantage – and the detriment of the country. Hillary may have been the more popular candidate, but so many of us felt uneasy about her going back to the White House it was difficult to reconcile our thoughts and feelings.

So we made the mistake, failed the country, by “throwing our vote away” to protest the unworthy candidates.

This year, the Democratic Party has many good candidates, and as the primary season begins, there are already a few surprises and more hope felt throughout the party than before. With the momentum started in 2018 when the House was flipped, and now the Impeachment process which was never properly executed in the Senate – not to mention the continued protestations from Trump – there is even more hope the nation will change, and with this change we can heal.

I apologize to Hillary Clinton, and my fellow Democrats, for not sticking by the party four years ago. This year I am weighing my options carefully before the Pennsylvania Primary near the end of April, but no matter who gets the final nod at the Convention, it is time to move forward from hate and division, and once again unite the country for progress – socially, economically, and spiritually.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Random Work - photographer for hire

When not working behind the scenes, producing and directing video streaming for the local activities (and some professional sports talk), news and other events still need to be covered. Freelance coverage can fill in where other outlets are stretched thin, whether simple photography work or providing video of all the action. And everyone enjoys pictures of their special events, whether a graduation or other occasions.

Here are a few shots from a recent wedding and graduations in the area. If you have a need for photo or video coverage of that special celebration, let KW3HD Productions make it happen. Contact us today for your free quote.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Consider This – We Still Don’t Know

It has been three weeks since the Mueller Report, and subsequent Barr Summary, were announced and released (respectively). For all of the talk online and on the airwaves, we still don’t truly know what the Report contained, and Barr – along with so many close to Trump – are playing everything close to the chest. Congress put forth a resolution for the full report to be released by April 2nd– a time which came and went without a peep from the Attorney General or Justice Department – and Barr still refuses to release the report.

Although recently, Barr did express that once the full report has been redacted, it will be released to the public. This means Barr – with unknown input from unknown sources – will be drawing lines through various sections to “declassify” the report, hiding certain segments which might be sensitive material. Information which might relate to ongoing investigations (of which there are many others which were initiated based upon early findings of the Special Counsel investigation process). Other line-outs will be to protect the innocent (supposedly), or other names which are not under investigation, presumably to protect against alleged repercussions those people might face. There is just so much to question still, and Barr is taking a longer time than many believe necessary in order to release the Report.

Pundits and other talking-heads still talk about this report, often providing opinion about the findings based upon rumor and conjecture – most of which stems from what others are talking about in their own opinion. While some of the supporting investigators from the Special Counsel’s staff have started to speak out about their duties while serving in that group, no one has specifically said anything which will be found in the report. However, there are certainly disagreements between these underlings’ statements so far, and the four-page Summary which is the only official document released so far.

Consider This – we still don’t know anything.

Until Barr releases the report – even in a redacted version – no one can say “THIS is what is on the report.” Conjecture and supposition fill the void for now, but The People, through our properly elected officials, have demanded the release of this report. Barr tries to go against precedent, through the delays and censoring of the report, but this will not deter those who demand the Truth and will not accept the lies and deceptions which are continually presented by the current administration. 

We are tired of the vitriol. Tired of the prevarication, the prejudice, the political maneuverings which have attempted to divide this country. We are a union of states, a union of The People, and we cannot sit idly by and let a select few try to foment discontent between Us. Between 2016 and now, the country has seen an exponential increase in hate-related incidents, some of which have originated with statements from the top levels of our own government. The lack of transparency with the Mueller Report just fuels the fires of discontent and distrust in the federal government, and the administration tries to redirect this by attacking others – including elected representatives within the Legislature. 

It is time – it is WAY PAST time – to release the full Report, and let The People decide how they want their country to be run; the 2018 mid-term elections are a good indicator as to the change in that direction, away from hate and towards hope.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Random Work

On top of the livestream video work I do, there is occasion to fill in on news and other duties with the radio station. Companies will sometimes pay to advertise and include a PSA message in their copy, and I will grab these readers to mix up the voices otherwise used; often the advertisers request our station manager - the Voice of the Eagles, Merrill Reese.

Here is just a sampling of a few of these ads:

Missing Children:  1127

Child Safety - Drive Safe: 1033

Toys for Tots:  0902

Honor Vets - Blood Drive:  0799  0800

Voiceover work is simple, for the most part, but combining it with background noises or music, timing out to meet the 30-second limitation for most commercials, and sometimes squeezing more into that brief moment than might otherwise be possible makes this a fun challenge.

Just thought I'd share the randomness.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Consider This – the Barr Summary

Last week the nation was abuzz with speculation and supposition about the 22-month investigation which Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted to the Justice Department – a reportedly 300-plus page report detailing the findings. After barely two days, Attorney General William Barr proffered a four-page summary of the report, which prompted Trump to decry the whole process (once again) as nothing but a “witch hunt” and claiming full vindication and exoneration of any charges of collusion, conspiracy, or obstruction. 

Since the submission of the report to the Attorney General’s office, there have been rumors and speculation as to the actual contents of those results, with demands by Congress and the Senate originally wanting the full report to be released (and subsequently the Senate has backed off of the request, while the Democratic-held Congress is still wanting to see every page). Congress gave Barr the deadline of April 2ndto release the report, but Barr has stalled, saying the report will need to be reviewed and redacted before anything can be released to the public.

Barr’s appointment came quickly after the resignation of the prior AG, Jeff Sessions. As with nearly all things relating to the Trump regime, rumors about Sessions’ departure range from voluntary to forced out by Trump just after the mid-term elections. Barr comes in as an experienced Attorney General, having held the post in 1991-1993 under George H.W. Bush and into the start of the Clinton tenure. At the start of the Trump presidency, Barr had written op-ed articles which were against the investigation into possible collusion and other criminal activities by Trump, his family and followers. Just prior to taking over as AG, Barr expressed a desire to maintain transparency of the report’s findings – but has since been slow in the execution of this transparency.

Consider this – where can we go from here?

While Mueller did not find substantial evidence of conspiracy or collusion, his report – according to the Barr Summary – does not exonerate Trump or his entourage of obstruction of justice. There could very well be evidence which might indicate attempts of this charge, but Mueller perhaps did not feel there was enough to formally charge anyone at the time of the submission, instead (presumably) he left this decision for the AG and Congress.

We can’t really go anywhere yet. While AG Barr claims the report basically clears Trump, even his summary leaves enough questions that demand answers. With his stalling to release any of the details Congress (and the People) are demanding, it only raises more questions – what is going to be redacted as judicially classified or sensitive? What evidence did Mueller uncover about anyone related to the Trump campaign or consequent executive branch members? 

So what can we do? Keep pressuring our elected representatives, maintain the protests on social media, and be as patient as possible. We doknow that the Russians attempted to interfere with the elections – that has been confirmed by our Intelligence agencies. 
Can our legislatures get back to their job of running the country? We can only hope. There is still the question of healthcare, and the Green New Deal program the incoming Dems have established as their current game plan. Trump has been against any eco-friendly programs, rolling back a lot of regulations and other systems promoting alternative energy and other clean- or reusable-energy programs. And there is still the ongoing question of updated gun laws and other prevention measures. The list goes on, and much of it will not be addressed any time soon.

But we need to keep active in local and national-level government. Make sure our voices are heard, engage in civil discourse to share ideas and hope that solutions can be resolved to truly make America a better place.

Sound Guy hang out

My friend and audiophile Rob France works the audio systems for a few venues, and has created videos to discuss different aspects of setting...