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Theater Festival Dilemma

Why would a festival organizer or producer work so hard and take so much time to mount a large seasonal event or show, then say it’s deliberately ‘under the radar? ‘

Hilarity For Charity® Is Throwing James Franco A Bar Mitzvah!

Hilarity for Charity (PRNewsFoto/Hilarity For Charity)

Hilarity for Charity (PRNewsFoto/Hilarity For Charity)

This came in yesterday and apart from it being a part of the Hillary movement…this event is linked to raising awareness for Alzheimer’s disease:

Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen’s Hilarity For Charity®(HFC), a movement led by the couple to inspire change and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among the millennial generation, today announced the theme of the fourth annual Hilarity for Charity Variety Show: James Franco’s Bar Mitzvah!

This year’s HFC Variety Show will take place on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association®. The flagship Los Angeles Variety Show is creating the next generation of Alzheimer’s advocates through evenings filled with music and comedy.  Each year, the HFC Variety Show has a new theme and this year the organization is excited to throw James Franco his Bar Mitzvah.

“Ever since I’ve known James, he’s been talking about wanting a Bar Mitzvah.  We’re excited to see him finally become a man while also helping us raise awareness and funds for people living with Alzheimer’s and towards research that will lead to a cure,” said Rogen. “And in celebration we’ll also have a mohel and a live bris for James at the event. You don’t want to miss it.”

Miller Rogen, whose mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 55, said, “Five million Americans are currently living with the disease and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., yet it is the least funded and the only one with no treatment whatsoever.” She continued, “I hope we’re able to capture the attention of more young people, and get the disease the type of funding it deserves.”

Past shows have drawn some of Hollywood’s biggest names with performances and appearances by Paul Rudd, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruno Mars, Jack Black, Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Kroll and many more! In 2014 the Prom Night themed Variety Show raised nearly $1 million.  The lineup for this year’s Variety Show will be announced in the coming weeks.  Tickets go on sale to the general public on August 11, 2015 at

About Hilarity For Charity
In 2012, Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen (along with some amazing friends), created Hilarity for Charity (HFC), a movement to inspire change and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among the millennial generation. They later established the Hilarity for Charity Fund as part of the Alzheimer’s Association, through which monies raised are directed to help families struggling with Alzheimer’s care, increase support groups nationwide, and fund cutting edge research. Since its inception, Hilarity for Charity has raised $2.5 million to support these efforts. Through evenings filled with music and comedy, the flagship Los Angeles Variety Show is creating the next generation of Alzheimer’s advocates.  Join the online conversation by using the hashtag #HFC , and following Hilarity for Charity on Twitter (@Hilar4Charity), Instagram (@hilarityforcharity) and liking us on For more information,

About Alzheimer’s Association®
The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit®.

“We’d have less violence if more women were in charge” Says Dalai Lama

Tonight on Larry King’s PoliticKING, the Dalai Lama tells Larry why he believes we’d have less violence if more women were in charge; he weighs in on Dylann Roof and how to end racism; he gives his views on ISIS and his opinion of current world leaders.  Below are highlights from the interview.

The Dalai Lama tells Larry King he has tried to reach out and reason with ISIS


LARRY KING: What do you think of ISIS?  Do you worry about ISIS–

THE DALAI LAMA:  Very sad.  Very sad.  You see, the very factor which–inspiration to human being, these tradition– give us message of love, forgiveness, tolerance. That very factor now causing more division, more hatred. It’s unthinkable. I think due to lack of close contact. And environment– you see, truth– I think for centuries some of these Muslim brothers and sisters living more or less isolated. Indian Muslims and– and also Indonesian Muslim, you see– through centuries, they live with different sort of religious traditions.  So you see in their mind they take for granted there are different traditions. Whereas, you see, Muslim brother and sisters who are completely isolated. Then, you see, these difficulties come. So we have to extend our hand — should reach out. Reach out to them.

LARRY KING:  To them?

THE DALAI LAMA: And cool down their sort of thinking —

LARRY KING: But they don’t listen.  They–

THE DALAI LAMA: But then, okay.  But for our part, try.  (LAUGH)


THE DALAI LAMA: Maybe unrealistic.

LARRY KING: Yeah, it sounds unrealistic.  Look at what they do.

THE DALAI LAMA: Okay. I believe, you see, we should make attempt. Fail? Nothing lose.

The 14th Dalai Lama’s opinion on world leaders

dllk2LARRY KING: I want your opinion of some leaders.  What do you make of Assad, the president of Syria?

THE DALAI LAMA: I think in order to answer that I have to go to Syria and meet more people and analyze. Then I will give you answer.

LARRY KING:  Netanyahu of Israel.

THE DALAI LAMA: I met few occasion. Quite tough.  (LAUGH)

LARRY KING:  Tough guy?  Do you like him? You like everybody.

THE DALAI LAMA: But, again, you see, I think where some of his policies concerned, I have some reservation.

LARRY KING: The Chinese President Jinping.

THE DALAI LAMA: Xi Jinping. Basically as I mentioned earlier, some of his public expressions are something quite surprising.  A communist leader, you see, saying some nice thing about Buddhism is something new.

LARRY KING: What do you think of Mr. Putin in Russia?

THE DALAI LAMA: Putin? Of course, I should sort of– I should respect him, because he is the president of a great nation. And I think third term or something like that, isn’t it?  He first president. Then become prime minister. Then again become–

LARRY KING:  President–

THE DALAI LAMA: –president.  Too long, I think.  (LAUGHTER)

LARRY KING:  And finally, what do you think of President Obama?


LARRY KING: Have you met him?

THE DALAI LAMA: Oh Yes. Few occasions. Since first meeting, you see, I sorta jokingly express his sort of appearance. He looks like a monk. You see–very short hair. And his face also looks like, you see–


THE DALAI LAMA: Yes. As a distinguished monk like that. I love him.

Other highlights from the interview include:

  • The Dalai Lama tells Larry King why he believes the world would be more peaceful with women in leadership roles around the globe: “According scientist– see, female– biologically more sensitivity about others’ pain than men… I really feel the leadership of our planet, you see, more female takes responsibility, maybe less violence.”
  • The Dalai Lama tells Larry King religion is failing worldwide: “I think religion– all major religion including Buddhism– over 2,000 years I think–immense help to humanity.  But not adequate.  Particularly now today…Out of 7 billion, over 1 billion– non-believer.  And then more important, among the believers– there are corrupted believer there.  So this clearly shows religious teaching not adequate.  So now we have to find another way to educate people the– important– importance of these inner value.”
  • The Dalai Lama tells Larry King Earth is not the only planet in space that has life: “Of course…Buddhist literature mentioned countless world…So then I think if we use our common sense, then [out of] countless galaxies…only this planet have…human being? I think difficult to say.”
  • The Dalai Lama on Dylann Roof and how teaching morality in schools would help end racism: “We need more effort to make awareness the value of compassion. Compassion…an essential concern of others’ wellbeing and respect others’ life…You see message not properly channelized…And I have strong sorta– view in education field from Kindergarten up to University level we should include some lesson about the inner value with more sorta awareness…Then the society who come through that kinda education would be more different. This present up to now, the existing modern education very much oriented about material value. Not much talking about inner value.”
  • The Dalai Lama explains why China posts warnings about celebrating his birthday (he just turned 80 last week):  “Some of their officials– describe me as a demon.  So they should– discourage–birthday of demon. (he laughs)”
  • Why the Dalai Lama is optimistic about Tibetan autonomyWithin People’s Republic of China, we seek meaningful autonomy. That safeguard for preservation of Tibetan identity, Tibetan language, Tibetan rich cultural heritage like that…our struggle [is] a struggle between power of gun and power of truth. For short term, power of gun is more decisive, more effective. But long term, power of truth is much stronger.”
  • Dalai Lama on Pope Francis: “Nice. Very nice. I think very practical.”


Larry King, the legendary Emmy Award Winner and Peabody Award Winner, brings you inside the political arena every week on PoliticKING. With headline-making personalities, the hottest issues, behind-the-scenes scoops, and no-holds-barred debates, no one does politics like The King.

PoliticKING airs on cable TV every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 pm9 pm, and 11 pm ET on RT America. The show is available on demand online at and

“BITCH I’M MADONNA” — In Case You Didn’t Hear It The 1st Time!


Bitch I'm Madonna

Madonna released a remix version of “Bitch I’m Madonna” today on VEVO. The video, directed by longtime Madonna collaborator Jonas Åkerlund  (Ghosttown, Music, Ray of Light), is cut to the Sander Kleinenberg’s remix of the epic track and features both additional footage and remixed footage of the original video.

Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Diplo, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Rita Ora, Chris Rock and Kanye West along with fashion designer Alexander Wang and Madonna’s sons Rocco and David all co-star in the video. “Bitch I’m Madonna” is the third video from Madonna’s critically acclaimed 13th studio album REBEL HEART. 

Madonna will kick off her highly anticipated Rebel Heart Tour on September 9th in Montreal, Quebec at the Bell Centre. A full list of dates can be found HERE.

“BITCH I’M MADONNA” !!! – View Today’s Video Release Here

MADONNA is premiering the music video for “Bitch I’m Madonna” today on Tidal. The video, the third from her critically acclaimed 13th studio album REBEL HEART, is available to view exclusively by Tidal subscribers for 24 hours.  Go HERE.  Following its premiere on Tidal, the video will be available on Madonna’s VEVO page.

Featuring guest stars:  Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Diplo, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Rita Ora, Chris Rock and Kanye West along with fashion designer Alexander Wang and Madonna’s sons Rocco and David, the “Bitch I’m Madonna” video was shot on the 17th floor at Andre Balasz’s Standard Highline hotel and in its clubs the Boom Boom Room and Le Bain. Jonas Åkerlund, who has directed several of Madonna’s videos including the already classic and current “Ghosttown”, “Music” and “Ray of Light”, directed the video.  It was styled by Arianne Phillips who is one of Madonna’s longtime stylists and was the costume designer on Madonna’s film W.E. as well as last five Madonna Tours.  A complete list of Madonna’s wardrobe can be found below.  Other credits include: Megan Lawson and Kevin Maher for choreography, Andy LeCompte for hair and makeup by Aaron Henrikson.

The Material Girl will kick off her highly anticipated Rebel Heart Tour on September 9th in Montreal, Quebec at the Bell Centre. A full list of dates can be found HERE.
Rave reviews for Rebel Heart include: ROLLING STONE:  “Rebel Heart is a long, passionate, self-referential meditation on losing love and finding purpose in chilling times.”   LA TIMES:  “Rebel Heart like its creator pushes through the pain and more often than not lands solidy and with great grace on its feet.”   NOISEY: “Madonna continues to keep us on our toes, like no other performer in the history of modern music..  NY DAILY NEWS ‘Rebel Heart’s best moments boast some of the most finely structured pop melodies of Madonna’s 32-year career.” It is available HERE.



Leopard Dress: MOSCHINO
Custom Leather Jacket: DISCOUNT UNIVERSE
Threat Hat: SSUR
Whistle: CHANEL
Jewelry: LYN BAN


Blue Silkscreen Shirt Custom Madonna / Marilyn T-shirt: TOMTOM FASHIONS
Shoes: PRADA
Pink Gloves: GASPAR
Large Silver Ring: CHRIS HABANA
Rings: LYN BAN

Whole Foods Shakes Down Organic Farmers

Is Whole Foods Markets Throwing Organic Farmers
Under the Bus to Fund Grocer’s Marketing Program?


Incensed and insulted, five of the most respected and influential, veteran Certified Organic farmers in the nation have sent the CEO of Whole Foods Market a letter calling the company’s new “Responsibly Grown” produce marketing scheme “onerous and expensive” and stating that it devalues the Certified Organic label.

The signatories come from California and Pennsylvania. They, along with many other growers around the country who felt unable to speak on the record for fear of risking their livelihoods as Whole Foods suppliers, express concern that the giant retailer is setting aside decades of partnership with farmers in building the organic movement to pursue an ill-advised, self-serving marketing program.

Their letter was addressed to the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, John Mackey.

Whole Foods’ growth, with annual sales approaching $15 billion, has run into strong headwinds in the maturing marketplace for organic food. Same-store sales are flat and other retailers are gaining market share from a company that has long had a reputation for being top-quality, but expensive, earning the nickname “Whole Paycheck.” The iconic natural foods grocer has more than 400 stores.

One of the signatories, Tom Willey, of T&D Willey Farms, located in Madera, California, is a longtime Whole Foods supplier. “Intending to create a value-added image for the conventional produce on their shelves, Whole Foods is undermining the work my family and I have done, along with so many others in the organic farming movement, to create a Certified Organic ‘gold standard’ in terms of safe food production,” Willey said.

While devising a new labeling program that identifies fruits and vegetables as “Good,” “Better,” and “Best,” Whole Foods is asking the growers to pay for participating in the retailer’s verification program.

Another signatory to the letter, Jim Crawford, founder of New Morning Farm in Hustontown, Pennsylvania, said numerous growers reported that their cost to comply with Whole Foods’ new program ranges from $5,000 to $20,000. “That is not an inconsequential sum for medium-sized, established organic growers like myself. But this cost, and the added labor to administer the program, could be impossible for some smaller and new-entry farmers to absorb,” stated Crawford.

“I call this marketing model ‘Robin Hood in reverse’,” said Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute. “Although their market capitalization has taken quite a hit recently, at over $14 billion Whole Foods remains one of the wealthiest grocers in the United States. In an effort to enhance their image, they are asking modestly scaled family farmers to pick up the tab for a program whose benefits will almost exclusively accrue to the corporation,” Kastel stated.

One of the most objectionable elements of the “Responsibly Grown” program, for farmers, is the company’s alleged attempt to devalue the importance of the Certified Organic label in terms of customer perception. Under the Whole Foods program, conventionally grown produce, treated with toxic agrochemicals, can be rated higher than Certified Organic produce, which is grown under strict, legally enforced compliance overseen by the USDA.

An example of this grievance is clearly illustrated in photos taken this spring at Whole Foods stores in California. The company was selling conventionally grown asparagus, imported from Mexico, at $4.99 per pound with signage identifying it as “Best.” 


Simultaneously, the grocer was offering locally grown, Certified Organic asparagus for $7.99 per pound, which only garnered the stores’ lowest rating, “Good.”


“Why would a customer pay three dollars more per pound for the Certified Organic asparagus when they could buy what a trusted retailer has labeled ‘Best’?” asked Kastel.

Because T&D Willey Farms has not yet complied with Whole Foods’ program, their produce is currently labeled “Unrated.” “I am most assuredly rated!” said Willey. “I have been Certified Organic for 28 years and my farm undergoes a rigorous annual physical inspection and auditing by CCOF, an independent certifier, accredited by the USDA. That’s a pretty high rating in my book.”

This is not the first time The Cornucopia Institute has referred to some of Whole Foods’ marketing tactics as “bait and switch.”

“Here is a business that touts their status as being the nation’s first national Certified Organic grocery chain,” Cornucopia’s Kastel explained. “In their marketing materials and signage they are constantly promoting their dedication to organic agriculture. But when you shop at their stores, you might notice that a high percentage of their offerings are not actually organic. Now the ‘Responsibly Grown’ program is attempting to put some of this conventional food on a pedestal higher than organic,” Kastel lamented.

Whole Foods has long been criticized by some in the organic movement for developing a proprietary meat department rating system, which predominately sells premium-priced conventional meat labeled as “natural.”

“The meat Whole Foods sells that is not Certified Organic was produced from livestock that were fed conventional feed, almost assuredly genetically modified, and, based on USDA research, likely contaminated with agrochemical residues,” Kastel added.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are traces of 29 different pesticides in the average American’s body. Dr. Michael Crupain, Director of the Food Safety and Sustainability Center at Consumer Reports, states, “We’re exposed to a cocktail of chemicals from our food on a daily basis.”

Although the new Whole Foods rating system bans a selected list of synthetic pesticides, most toxic agrochemicals are still available for their conventional growers to use based on the company’s “Responsibly Grown” protocols.

For example, the USDA’s National Organic Program bans the use of antibiotics, sprayed on fruit trees to control the bacterial disease fireblight, in apple and pear orchards. The agency also bans the use of synthetic mold and sprout inhibitors, sprayed on the skins of potatoes after harvest. However, these materials can be used on fruits and vegetables that receive the “Best” rating under Whole Foods’ new approach.

“Undoubtedly, based on research, some of the produce that Whole Foods has rated ‘Best’ carries detectable levels of pesticides demonstrably higher than anything that would be found on Certified Organic produce,” added Kastel.

Tom Willey, who farms year-round in California’s San Joaquin Valley, added, “If Whole Foods truly is committed to the values they expound, nothing in their stores should be rated ‘Better’ or ‘Best’ unless it first passes muster under the strict regulations Congress designated when they passed the Organic Foods Production Act.”


Jim Crawford, of New Morning Farm, and Tom Willey, of T&D Willey Farms, were both recognized in a 2014 gathering, covered by the New York Times, of “Organic Elders” who founded the organic movement. Crawford thinks Whole Foods’ marketing program is unfairly burdensome and expensive for farmers, especially smaller-scale ones, but he says that’s not the worst aspect of it.

More harmful, he says, is the fact that the program deceives consumers in their perception of which foods deserve to be rated “Best.” “It’s a privately dreamed up, proprietary food-rating system directly contrasting and competing with a publicly created system, USDA Certified Organic, which was painstakingly developed over years and is administered rigorously and with verifiability.”

Crawford thinks it especially ironic that the private Whole Foods program is made to appear more demanding, more rigorous, and more restrictive than Certified Organic. “In reality, it is drastically more permissive, especially in the area of pesticide use, and not rigorous or verifiable at all in the way it’s administered,” Crawford said.

And, unlike within the USDA National Organic Program, farmers participating in Whole Foods’ labeling campaign are not subject to annual, on-site inspections or audits of the paper trail for their farm inputs and all sales to assure compliance. Nor could any detected malfeasance lead to large fines and other sanctions.

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Street League Skateboarding Fans Will Want to Tune In To This!

Watch the exclusive 2015 Street League Skateboarding Nike
SB Pro Open
 Kick Off Special TONIGHT – Thursday, May 28 at 8pm ET on FOX Sports 1. Don’t miss never before seen footage and interviews from Barcelona!
Find your FS1 channel:
#StreetLeague #SLSProOpen #SLSonFOX

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