In a newly released May 2020 publication, nces.ed.gov (the U.S. National Center for Education and Statistics) reported showing 14% of Americans with reading ability proficiently/at high-school level, and 8% are proficient at mathematics. This is similar to a 2019 report from Wylie Communications, which used NCES PIAAC numbers from 2014, where, "just 12% of Americans can read at what we consider the high school literacy level," and, "2% have college literacy levels."
NCES releases various publications of 4-year and 10-year studies that benchmark Americans with other countries.
Apparently, the majority of people cannot do their own research; they might not comprehend what they are reading or writing -- they might not know if they have quality information.
Ascendents Records (the record label/corporation) has opened a small store with music and accessories for its artists, fans, and nearby residents/the surrounding area in Southeast Portland, Oregon. Until now for the area, the closest gear and instrument dealers running the scene have been Guitar Center, and Portland Music Company. When smaller music stores catered to acoustic guitar players, for other genres, such as rock, artists would have to visit a larger store, however; with the rise of online sales and increased competition, the power chains have been found chasing every penny.
"We narrowed down the search to bring our customers the products with the best value," said Ascendents Corporation President, Kyle Keith; he continued, "you can't go to just one store and buy everything we carry," implying that the expert work to create their instrument/gear/accessories/music selection is a reason to check out the location. Keith continued, "we offer customers gear for our favorite styles of music/market." With decades of production experience, he has claimed to have been through enough situations to know the quality and type of equipment people really need the most. "We carry many cool products -- including equipment from well-known trusted brands such as Shure, Peavey, Boss, and Yamaha, and Fender -- we also have some of the best entry-level gear for those on a tighter budget, however; we are official authorized dealers of PreSonus products. For those brands, visiting Ascendents Records just might be a best option; oftentimes we purchase directly from the manufacturer -- plus we work with our customers."
With its retail store section opened (get directions), local artists and also those from out of town traveling have stopped in to talk/inquire about record deals, leaving demos, and producing songs. Others have dropped by looking for music, different types of mixer gear, or accessories such as adapters and strings. Keith said, "we welcome everyone, not only our label-artists. Bring us your band's CDs and t-shirts to sell. Bring us posters for our wall along with upcoming event flyers; we can even help you sell tickets."
As a record label, Ascendents Records offers its signed artists professional and state-of-the-art album production/encoding deals with manufacturing/distribution, licensing/rights/catalog and administrative management, artist/songwriter services, and appearances/marketing support -- including music such as The Ascendents' 2020 release, Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll.
Keith's emerging grunge punk alternative rock band (The Ascendents) and a few musically-inclined friends currently have stepped up to help maintain the shop. On the busy street of 82nd avenue, the black and white sign for the music and accessory store reads, "6819 Ascendents Records -- Music & More."
Kyle also mentioned that for now it will focus on bringing affordable gear to the local area, however; as it works with a partner internet corporation, Ascendents.net, Inc., and details expanding to sell more products online through their web store https://ascendents.net/store/, the company could reach new markets. Ascendents Records' physical store has hundreds of products/accessories. Their website, https://ascendentsrecords.com, has a note about the store opening. Keith also added a dedicated webpage with business hours, phone number, a map/driving directions, and current specials, and extra information about the brands/products available. A partial list of available products is here: https://ascendentsrecords.com/offers.
The recent Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the way people do business. While the store is currently closed to walk-up customers, people can still call-in orders and arrange to have products picked up or delivered.
Update (May 2020): The store has re-opened to customers and complies with statewide mask rules.
Hello, please share with your favorite radio station's program/music director(s). Fans: call/text/message your favorite radio station and request them to play The Ascendents!
You might receive some of this music by distributor or promotional compact disc, however; Ascendents Records' Radio Downloads site is updated ahead of releases with radio edits and other goodies. Mediabase and BDS encoded ISRC-tagged WAV-24, WAV-16, FLAC, and MP3-320 recordings are identified accordingly on the https://ascendentsrecords.com/radio website where you can also request free promo CDs. In addition, we can help you connect with the artists to arrange articles, interviews, appearances, and other music promotions.
Where to begin -- it's Friday the 13th, definitely seen more sick people. Coronavirus 19 has affected pretty much every city, both physically and psychologically -- it is difficult to tell how bad it is, because hospitals, organizations, and governments tend to have under-reported numbers as the pandemic is unfolding faster than it can be documented. Recently leaked covid-19 video footage posted to GitHub, YouTube, and other websites (some true, some propaganda) paints big pictures. Hospitals run out of soap, gloves, and other sanitary supplies. People of all ages lie in hospital beds and collapse on the sidewalks coughing and gasping for air. Some stores are deserted, other stores are so crowded, the number of customers greatly exceeds state-imposed pandemic safety limitations to attendance for events/gatherings. Closures are putting extra strain on individuals, families, and local businesses barely surviving month-to-month.
Even if the virus isn't as bad as the public believes, this failure of leadership has sent the entire country into hysteria, panicking, and fearing for the future. The local economy is upside down, everyone seems out of necessities. It is unprecedented for such a poor government response, America might never know how much the infected curve could have been flattened, because there are so many lies, cover-ups, and blaming others that public wouldn't know where to start believing. People's lives are in the balance. Not knowing what to believe is exactly what sends the majority into planning for the worst, (panicking). It seems like good leaders should be able to calm the masses, instead of causing fear and scaring the hell out of everyone. Despite testing problems and fears concerning the rights of those infected, the amount of confirmed cases continue to grow, and not that many seem to have recovered yet (most are still sick). In recent days, the amount infected has skyrocketed and is gaining more momentum.
Update 2020-04-10: Ascendents.net has compiled worldometers.info Coronavirus statistics into regional daily growth factor time charts and other graphs.
In America's two-hundred year history, the tricks for winning elections have evolved. Political spending is greater than ever, and so are the barriers to contend.
Corporations pay money to advertise a voice and reach new audiences, however; to have a political voice, the FEC (Federal Election Commission) has stated laws requiring "Paid for by" disclaimers in its Special Notices on Political Ads and Solicitations brochure. Many businesses such as Facebook are now flagging political ads and are requiring everything questionable to have a disclaimer and come from a verified account. This raises the quality of contributors, but it also becomes more difficult for independent organizations to even have a voice.
While money can always be funneled through others to hide an agenda's trail, a disclaimer is not even required for items that according to the brochure, "cannot be conveniently printed (for example, pens, bumper stickers, campaign pins, campaign buttons and similar small items) or where its display is not practicable (for example, wearing apparel, water towers and skywriting)."
With hot topics, politics can steal the spotlight and distract from the real issues, emphasizing what captivates attention, and bringing the conversation into a candidate's desired territory. Facts can get twisted and over time be argued to an oblivion where the truth is lost.
Political messages can also appear in less obvious forms -- cities, counties, and districts are targeted; from local clubs, events, and even churches -- countless sponsors push politics using algorithms, big data, demographics, and other technologies. Television stations program content to satisfy political messages. Party ideologies play on internal conflicts and tear apart families/communities, friends and neighbors cannot be trusted because beneath the surface, everything might be about revolution.