Last week, The New Mastersounds brought their patented funk out to The Independent for two great nights of music. The band’s ever funky presence is always felt, between old classics and newer cuts from their 2015 release, Made For Pleasure. One highlight from the first night of the run was the band’s cover of Kool & The Gang‘s “Give It Up,” complete with a horn section featuring Daniel Casares on saxophone and Mike Olmos on trumpet.Listen to the New Mastersounds funkify San Francisco with this great jam below:[Video courtesy of Martin Lefkowitz, photo by Courtney Harrington]
The death of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday leaves a number of questions for the South American nation, which now adds a presidential election to the list of complex challenges it already faces. Professor Michael Coppedge, a political science professor specializing in Latin-American politics and global democratization, said the future of the regime – at least in the short term – will be determined by Interim President and Chavez’s chosen successor, Nicolas Maduro. “A lot of it depends on what Maduro will do now that he’s not in Chavez’s shadow, because he’s been very loyal to Chavez and has hidden his own tendencies to demonstrate absolute loyalty,” Coppedge said. “Now that he doesn’t have to do that, we’ll see what kind of person he is. I expect he’s not a liberal democrat, but whether he’ll be more open [to opposition] … remains to be seen.” Coppedge said Maduro’s initial statements after the president’s death suggest he intends to keep a short leash on opposition, at least in the weeks leading up to the election. “There was a subtext that the opposition better behave itself, that this is not a time to cheer or call for radical change, it’s a time to remember our fallen leader,” Coppedge said. “I think there’s a fear the opposition will try to capitalize on the moment.” The Venezuelan government announced an election will be called within 30 days, and Coppedge said he believes Maduro, the candidate for Chavez’s socialist party, will likely be the winner. “If I were to place a bet right now, I’d say Maduro will probably win, in part with the election coming so close after the death, he’ll get the vote,” Coppedge said. “A lot of Chavistas are out to prove their movement will not fall apart. … I think they’ll be motivated to campaign hard and win.” While Maduro is the likely victor, Coppedge believes the opposition could have a substantial presence in the election. “There are a lot of things for people to be unhappy about, and without Chavez to hold his group together, some of these complaints may lead to divisions,” he said. “Purchasing power has been declining, public services have been declining. … People are not happy with the extremely high crime rate.” Although the opposition stands to benefit from economic conditions, its most prominent leader does not appear to be mounting a power grab. “The opposition will probably be behind Henrique Capriles Radonski, but he has exercised some calming leadership,” Coppedge said. “He hasn’t been a polarizing leader and after Chavez’s death he expressed solidarity with Chavez’s family.” While much is uncertain for the political future of Venezuela, Coppedge said the change in leadership could present new opportunities for the country’s relationship with the United States, which was strained under the Chavez regime. “The Obama administration can act as though this can be a new opportunity to do things differently,” he said. “Obama’s statement was expressing hope for better democracy and stability in Venezuela, so I think the [United States] is going to be happy to talk and send out feelers to see whether relations can be better.” The supply of oil from Venezuela to the United States is unlikely to be disrupted during the transition, Coppedge said. “Venezuela is not in a good economic situation,” he said. “It can’t afford to stop selling oil to the [United States]. It makes economic sense to sell to us because we’re so close and have established relationships.” If Maduro wins the election, Coppedge said he is doubtful relations will improve. “I think it depends on whether Maduro, or whoever the president [will be], is going to use the same tactics as Chavez, which is to demonize the [United States] to build support at home,” he said. “I think Maduro is cut from that mold.”
continue reading » If you Google “decision-making,” we think you’ll be amazed at what comes up in the search results: “The Top 5 Decision-Making Models You Need to Know,” “Models of Decision-Making: Rational, Administrative and Retrospective Decision-Making Models,” the “Most Popular Decision-Making Models,” and even “Decision-Making Models of Decision-Making.” And the list goes on.Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a simple, no-fuss, one-size-fits-all model that we as leaders of our credit unions could apply—be it in the boardroom or in the halls of our CUs’ administrative offices—that could assure us that we were making the right decisions? Wouldn’t it be nice to know we’re making the best decisions that always put our members’ interests first while delivering the most effective outcomes for our credit unions? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.A former colleague from what was then the Ethics Resource Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank and consultancy, used to say that decisions are the hardest when there are two competing values at play. And we think he’s right. It’s easy to make good decisions when the options are black and white, good and bad, positive and negative. Should you merge with the larger, more solvent credit union when yours is hours away from shutting its doors? Is the core conversion a go when you have the funds to switch and your current system is on its last legs? Should you promote the current VP/finance to CFO when she’s fully capable, has the requisite skills, the backing of the board, a great relationship with you (the CEO) and the trust of senior management? It’s easy to see how you can quickly get to “yes” on these questions and many others. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Cristiano Ronaldo became Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer as Rafael Benitez’s side saw off Levante 3-0 to go top of the Primera Division on Saturday.The prolific forward hit his 324th goal in 310 games in the white of Madrid just three minutes after Marcelo had given the hosts the lead midway through the first half, moving ahead of Raul as the club’s leading marksman.Although Levante had made a positive start to the game, Ronaldo’s strike gave Madrid a comfortable lead going into half-time, and substitute Jese rounded off the win late on with a terrific individual goal to take Los Blancos to the summit of La Liga.Real Madrid are ahead of Barcelona on goal difference and two points clear of Villarreal, who face Celta Vigo on Sunday.Neymar scored four goals to help Barcelona overcome an early deficit and defeat Rayo Vallecano 5-2.Javi Guerra provided the visitors a lead after a quarter-hour, but it only lasted seven minutes as Neymar converted a penalty to draw Barcelona level. A second Neymar penalty 10 minutes later after he was brought down in the box put Barca ahead for good.The Brazilian added two more goals to his tally just seconds apart in the second half.First, he cleaned up Luis Suarez’s hard shot by slamming the rebound into the roof of the net. Then inside a minute he had the simplest of finishes on a counter-attack.Neymar then turned provider in the 77th minute, crossing for Suarez to deliver Barcelona’s fifth goal of the night.Sevilla came from behind to salvage a point at Eibar with a 1-1 draw. Borja Baston gave in-form Eibar an early lead but the visitors improved in the second half and drew level through Kevin Gameiro’s close-range effort on 71 minutes.The Andalusians remain in mid-table and are still searching for their first away win of the season in all competitions, while Eibar missed out on an opportunity to cement their place in the top six.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports.