Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

~~~

~~~

A Metaphor for the GOP

Friday, March 30, 2012

‘I Never Foresaw So Much Hate Coming From The President’ --Robert Zimmerman

The father of the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin, Robert Zimmerman, was interviewed recently; and while speaking about his son's involvment in the tragedy and the firestorm that has surrounded it, he stated: "I never foresaw so much hate coming from the president."

Below are President Obama's remarks on the Trayvon Martin killing in response to a reporter's direct question to him about the matter:

From the Miami Herald:

"Noting that his attorney general is looking into the case, the president prefaced his remarks by saying it was important he was not “impairing any investigation that’s taking place right now.”

“I can only imagine what these parents are going through,” the president said, adding that he couldn’t help but think about his daughters. “I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this.

“My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin,” he added. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

The president said he was pleased to hear that Florida Gov. Rick Scott has appointed a task force to look into the incident. “I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen,”


I challenge anyone to find an ounce of "hate" in that statement by the president.

There isn't any, of course. In fact, George Zimmerman isn't even mentioned in it, so where does his father get the idea that the president is promoting hate toward him? This is the massive problem with the rightwingers. They've decided that this president is evil, hateful, and any other pejorative they can fling at him despite all evidence to the contrary.

You can see with your own eyes what Mr. Obama said, and then understand, when you read Robert Zimmerman's statement, why this country is so divided. The rightwingers' devotion to "false facts" and imaginary outrages are the problem, not a president who was careful in his statement and wholly human when he imagined his son would have looked like Trayvon.

We've become a nation of finger-pointing self-victimizers, looking for the slightest, and even imaginary, reasons to hate each other.

I'm sick of it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"They killed my son; now they're trying to kill his reputation."

UPDATE BELOW


I've read righwing blogs where an effort is underway to characterize Trayvon Martin as responsible for or deserving of  George Zimmerman's shooting him.  This is to be expected as a knee-jerk reaction from the wingers to this outrage and to President Obama's heartfelt reaction and comments on this volatile situation.

This is nothing more than character assassination by the right.  And it is a disgrace:

From Think Progress:
"Over the last 48 hours, there has been a sustained effort to smear Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old African-American who was shot dead by George Zimmerman a month ago. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said, “They killed my son, now they’re trying to kill his reputation.”
Thus far these attacks have fallen into two categories: false and irrelevant. Much of this leaked information seems intended to play into stereotypes about young African-American males. Here’s what everyone should know:

1. Prominent conservative websites published fake photos of Martin. Twitchy, a new website run by prominent conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, promoted a photo — purportedly from Martin’s Facebook page — that shows Martin in saggy pants and flipping the bird. The photo, which spread quickly on conservative websites and Twitter, is intended to paint Martin as a thug. As Twitchy later acknowledged, it is not a photo of Trayvon Martin. [Examiner]

2. The Sanford Police selectively leaked irrelevant, negative information about Martin. The authorities told the Orlando Sentinel this morning that Trayvon was suspended from school for ten days “after being found with an empty marijuana baggie.” There is no evidence that Martin was under the influence of drugs at the time of his death, nor would prior possession of marijuana be a reason for killing him. It’s unclear what the relevance of the leak was, other than to smear Martin. [Orlando Sentinel]

3. On Fox News, Geraldo said that Martin was dressed “like a wannabe gangster.” Bill O’Reilly agreed with him. The sole evidence is that Martin was wearing a hoodie. Geraldo added that “everyone that ever stuck up a convenience store” was wearing a hoodie. [ThinkProgress; The Blaze]

4. Without any evidence, prominent right-wing bloggers suggested that Martin was a drug dealer. Right-wing blogger Dan Riehl advances the theory, also advanced in a widely linked peice on a site called Wagist. There does not appear to be any evidence to support this claim whatsoever. [Riehl World View]

5. Without any evidence, a right-wing columnist alleged that Martin assaulted a bus driver. Unlike Zimmerman, Trayvon has no documented history of violence. This allegation continues to be advanced by a blogger on the Examiner even after the real reason was leaked to the police and confirmed by the family. [Miami Herald; Examiner]

6. Zimmerman’s friend says Martin was to blame because he was disrespectful to Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s friend Joe Oliver said that Martin would not have been shot to death if Trayvon had just said “I’m staying with my parents.” Of course, Zimmerman was not a police officer, and Trayvon had no duty to tell him who he was or where he was going. [NBC News]

The final part of the effort to smear Trayvon Martin is to link him and his supporters to irresponsible fringe groups like the New Black Panthers and marignal provocateurs like Louis Farrakhan. Threats by these groups are serious and should be investigated, but they have nothing to do with Martin or his supporters. The leader of the effort to associate Martin with these groups is Matt Drudge. You can see how he is framing the story today here.

Ultimately, whether Martin was a perfect person is irrelevant to whether Zimmerman’s conduct that night was justified. Clearly, there are two different versions of the events that transpired on February 26, the night Trayvon was killed. There are conflicting statements by witnesses and conflicting evidence as to who was the aggressor. Zimmerman has the right to tell his side of the story. But his opportunity to do this will come in a court of law after he is charged and arrested. In the meantime, Zimmerman’s supporters should stop trying to smear the reputation of a dead, 17-year-old boy."



One of the more loathsome blogs has featured this sort of posting in connection with the Trayvon Martin killing. 

 And this as well.

Disgusting.



UPDATE:

vis Think Progress:

Lead investigator wanted to arrest and charge Zimmerman | ABC News reports that the lead investigator in Trayvon Martin shooting wanted a manslaughter charge against the shooter George Zimmerman. The lead investigator, Chris Serino, stated he was unconvinced by Zimmerman’s version of events according to an affidavit he filed the night of Feb. 26. His recommendation for a manslaughter charge was overruled by state attorney Norman Wolfinger, who subsequently removed himself from the case. Read everything you should know about the case here.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trayvon Martin is Dead





Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin, while visiting his father and step-mother in Sanford, Florida, went out to the store to buy some candy and a soft drink.  On his way back to his parents' gated community home, a self-appointed neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, stopped and asked Trayvon what he was doing in the neighborhood.  We now know, from the young man's girlfriend who was in contact with him via cell phone at the time, that Trayvon tried to get away from Zimmerman, who then pursued Trayvone--even though a police dispatcher told him not to after Zimmerman called in his suspicions to 911.

" 'Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy at Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he’s up to no good,' Zimmerman told a dispatcher on Feb. 26, the night of Trayvon’s death. "

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/17/2700249/shooter-of-trayvon-martin-a-habitual.html#storylink=cpy

Seventeen-year old Trayvon Martin is dead, shot and killed by a vigilante who was told not to pursue the child.  Zimmerman has a record of violence with police; Treyvon had no record, was an A and B student whom teachers said was a cheerful young man.  And was only 17 years old.


Seventeen-year old Trayvon Martin is dead because he was walking back to his parents' home after going to the store, while being black.

Zimmerman was not taken into custody, when he clearly killed a seventeen-year old child doing nothing more than walking down the street with candy and a soft drink in his hands, and wearing a hoodie, which Zimmerman decided made Trayvon look "suspicious."

Trayvon Martin is dead because Florida passed a "Stand Your Ground" law which allows a person to shoot anyone if one feels "threatened."  Question:  Is Florida turning into Somalia? 

New York Times 3/21/2012:  "The state attorney in Tallahassee, Willie Meggs, who fought the law when it was proposed, said: “The consequences of the law have been devastating around the state. It’s almost insane what we are having to deal with.”

It is increasingly used by gang members fighting gang members, drug dealers battling drug dealers and people involved in road rage encounters. Confrontations at a bar are also common: someone looks at someone the wrong way or bothers someone’s girlfriend.

Under the old law, a person being threatened with a gun or a knife had a duty to try to get away from the situation, if possible. Now that person has a right to grab a gun (or knife, or ice pick, as happened in one case) and use it, without an attempt to retreat. "

Parents all over America instruct their children what to do if they are followed and accosted by suspicious strange men. Run, cry for help, resist.  Trayvon Martin did just that and was shot dead.  

No matter what your position is on [race or guns], nobody believes that your rights extend to the right to kill innocent and unarmed children on [public property],” says Professor Wright. “No member of the NRA would disagree with me on that.”

Others say that, as evidence has mounted, the case has become less about the Stand Your Ground law and more about a central civil rights question: If the racial roles had been reversed, would an arrest have been made?

“That's what civil rights statutes are there for, when, in fact, local law enforcement fails to protect the rights of citizens, especially when race seems to be implicated, as it certainly is in this case,” says Bob Cottrol, a law professor and gun rights expert at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.


There's absolutely no evidence that Trayvon committed any crime.  Yet this child was shot dead.
 
The police told Zimmerman not to get out of his vehicle to confront Trayvon, yet that's exactly what Zimmerman did, and he killed a child.


“These a--holes always get away,” --Zimmerman.

Not this time, Zimmerman. 

Grand jury to probe Trayvon Martin killing



FAUX NOOZ viewers have this to say about Trayvon's death.



I agree with Smartypants:

"What does it mean to raise an African American child in this country today? It means that once you get over the miriad of ways that the education, health and justice system are filled with inequities, you have to fear the idea of him getting shot while walking home from a trip to the convenience store. There's only so much a parent can do to try to protect their child. So as a white person I try to imagine what its like to be a mother under those circumstances. And that's when I know what a long road we have yet to travel when it comes to racism in this country. The particular bar I set is that we'll know we got there when a mother of an African American boy can sleep soundly at night and leave the fear for her child behind. Until then, I'll brook no talk about a 'post-racial America.' "

From the blog "We Are Respectable Negroes"




Rick Santorum claps while angry pastor vilifies Americans

Where're the outraged chattering classes over the pastor who vilified Americans and commanded them to "get out" of America?  Where's the continuous video loop on FAUX NOOZ or any other news organization of this rightwing, rabble-rousing hate promoter who insulted and denounced Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists, and every religion but his?

While Rick Santorum looked on in approval, this America-hating "pastor" encouraged listeners to turn against and detest other Americans who are not the same as his congregation.  This America-hating "pastor" encouraged people to detest their neighbors--all this while Santorum stood by, smiled, and applauded.

This is Rick Santorum's Reverend Wright moment, and here's what the spittle-flecking, hate-mongering man-of-a-fake-god preached:

In the footage, filmed at the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church in Louisiana yesterday, Pastor Dennis Terry told a crowd that anyone who doesn’t worship God should leave the country, before calling on people to "stand up" against" gay people, liberals and women who have abortions.

“Listen to me. If you don’t love America, and you don’t like the way we do things, I’ve got one thing to say, get out!,” he said. “We don’t worship Buddha, we don’t worship Mohammed, we don’t worship Allah. We worship God. We worship God’s son Jesus Christ.”

To a rapturous applause, Pastor Terry continued: “As long as they continue to kill little babies in our mother’s womb, somebody’s got to take a stand and say it’s not right. God be merciful to us as a nation. As long as sexual perversion is becoming normalised, somebody needs to stand up and say God forgive us, God have mercy upon us.”

Republican contender Mr Santorum was shown clapping approvingly in the background as the rightwing pastor delivered the ranting fire and brimstone address. He later received a personal blessing from the preacher who called on God's will to be done in the upcoming election.

The comments raise some embarrassing questions for the ultraconservative Catholic candidate, who has previously said J F Kennedy’s notion of separating the Church and state made him want to “throw up."

But wait, Santorum said he wasn't listening to some of the parts being demagogued by this "pastor," and that he didn't hear it all nor did he applaud at every instant of hate?

"Insisting he supported religious freedom, Mr Santorum said he 'wasn’t quite listening' during the speech but had not clapped at the parts where their opinions clashed.

'I didn’t clap when he said that. I do remember him saying that, I said, well, I wasn’t quite sure he was saying it for himself, I wasn’t quite listening to everything to be honest with you. But I wasn’t sure whether he was speaking for himself or speaking generally, but I didn’t clap when he said that because it’s not how I feel.'

The clips are reminiscent of the Rev Jeremiah Wright episode during Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, where the pastor's "God Damn America" sermon, almost stalled Obama's White House chances."

Sorry, Santorum, the rightwingers will not accept that you weren't listening to and approving of that hate-filled, anti-American sermon, because the rightwingers never accepted that excuse from Mr. Obama. 

/sarcasm/

The "pastor," Dennis Terry, is clearly a bigoted jerk who knows nothing about "loving your neighbor as yourself."  Plus he's stupid.  No one is stopping anyone in this country from praying anywhere to him/herself.  What is it about these religious-crazed nuts who need to shout out their prayers in public for everyone to hear?  Isn't there something in the NT that suggests people who do that are hypocrites?



via Andrew Sullivan's blog:

"Now you know why most Catholics are leery of this bigotry, intolerance and xenophobia masquerading as Christianity. The truth, of course, is that Americans do worship Allah. They do practise Buddhism. They are gay. And they are gay and married. Brian Tashman has details:
Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Dennis Terry introduced presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins [Sunday night] in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with a rousing speech railing against liberals and non-Christians and condemning abortion rights, "sexual perversion," same-sex marriage and secular government. Terry said that America "was founded as a Christian nation" and those that disagree with him should "get out! We don't worship Buddha, we don't worship Mohammad, we don't worship Allah!" Terry, who has a long history of attacks against the gay community, went on to criticize marriage equality for gays and lesbians, and said that the economy can only recover when we "put God back" in government.
Tashman updates with a video of Terry blessing Santorum on stage. So far as we can tell, Santorum made no attempt to distance himself from this bigoted rant."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

President Awesome

Yeah, I know.  It's over the top.  But after a week of dealing with bottom-feeding trolls and angry rightwing bloggers, not to mention watching the GOP's continuing war on women and its efforts to control their bodies, I thought I'd post this positive message about President Awesome's record.

Steve Benen writes:

"[T]he name of the film, "The Road We've Traveled," is clearly intended to communicate a specific message: look less at where we are and more at what where were and what we've been through. When the narration tells viewers, "Not since the days of Franklin Roosevelt had so much fallen on the shoulders of one president," that's not hyperbole. Given that FDR "only" had to deal with the Great Depression, and Obama inherited a financial crisis and two wars, Michael Beschloss has argued that Obama's job was actually harder than anything any incoming president had to deal with in modern American history.

Put it this way: Obama entered the cockpit of a plane that was crashing, and managed to gain altitude, slowly but surely. As easy as it is to complain about the ongoing turbulence, the point of videos like these is to remind folks that the nose isn't pointed down anymore."

I will give this president credit and praise for what he's accomplished, but with the knowledge that he isn't perfect and has made mistakes. 

That said, very few presidents in the history of this country have ever been flawless in the job.  But considering what Mr. Obama faced when he took office, it is astoundingly impressive that he's managed to accomplish so many good things with so many bad people demonizing and obstructing him.




Talking Points Memo's Five Big Take-Aways from the Obama documentary.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

You Can Bet Your Arse...

that this is not stuck on the back of a Liberal's/Democrat's car:



"But...but...we're not RACISTS!!!!"*

*GOPer/Tea Bagger.

Is THIS  what we want America to look like????

UPDATE:

The HuffPost is covering this story, showing many more racist bumper stickers that are out there.

UPDATE II:

From Yahoo News:

"The urban myth debunking site Snopes says it cannot yet determine the origins of the photo, but also points out the availability of other similar t-shirts and bumper stickers.

There is even an eponymous "Dontre-nig.com" website that appears to have crashed. Going to the page brings up a "Bandwith Limit Exceeded" warning message. I checked the domain registration service site WHOIS, which listed the site as belonging to an anonymous owner who purchased the URL through the company DomainsByProxy.com, based in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company specializes in keeping the names of Internet domain owners private.

And as one astute Facebook reader pointed out, the bumper sticker is not only offensive, it's pretty dumb. After all, if you take the top message at its literal meaning, to not renege in 2012, would mean to in fact re-elect President Obama."

It's not surprising that anyone stupid enough to place a racist bumper sticker on his/her car for the world to see is too stupid to understand that the message contradicts itself if it's trying to make a play on the word "renege."

FOX NEWS: "Fair and Colicky"

Jon Stewart does a smash-up job on the cry-babies over at the propaganda arm of the GOP, FAUX NOOZ.


It really is hilarious and spot on. 


Tuesday night was about the GOP primaries in the south, and yet all the FAUX NOOZ gum mashers could whine about was the  meanies who made the most watched HBO film, "Game Change."


FAUX NOOZ is such an easy target for Stewart's hours and hours of entertaining ridicule.


But this is a classic:





Wednesday, March 14, 2012

IMPOSTERS, IMPOSTERS! EVERYWHERE IMPOSTERS! BUT NARY A BRAIN TO MAKE THEM FUNNY!

How droll.

A dimwitted blogger has hijacked my blog name and is commenting on various rightwing blogs using a misspelled version of my blog's title. 

This unfortunate person is so inept that he/she is unable to spell my blog's name correctly in order to pull off  a half-witted parody.   I've found the imposter on two blogs, and the attempt at humor is about as funny as a fart in an elevator.

Well what is there to be said for people like this?

Actually, nothing.

Except it's more evidence of their pathetic inability to get anything right.


Examples:

At Lisa's blog, "Who's Your Daddy?":


My Dearest Lisa,
Just in case your weren't aware of it, it was Ronald Reagan who was the ignorant one. 


**********************************

At Jo Joe Politico's Blog:

March 14, 2012 4:12 PM

BloggerProgressive Eruption said...
Aquarians Love To Cuddle said...

Dearest Progressive Eruction,
Who you callin' a dummy?



My Dearest Aquarians Love To Cuddle,

I'm calling YOU a dummy.

March 14, 2012 5:14 PM

Progressive Eruption?  LOL! 

Mitt, They're Just Not Into You







Santorum wins Mississippi and Alabama.    Romney came in third by a handful of votes, so not a "debacle" in extremely religiously conservative AL and MS.

Gingrich is still hanging in the race by a delusional hair.

Romney is still ahead in the delegate count, but Santorum is breathing down his grits.

And there's Ron Paul.




"It was a big night for Santorum. He proved he can win in primary elections — not caucuses — in the heart of the conservative base for the GOP,” said John Stineman, a Republican consultant ... 'No one else can legitimately claim to be the chief rival to Governor Romney.'

But Santorum remains in a mathematical vise thanks to what many analysts consider Romney’s nearly insurmountable delegate lead.

'He would need to really start hammering Romney to make up the deficit,' said Kyle Kondik, a political analyst with the University of Virginia Center for Politics
.
'Mitt Romney is still an 80 percent or more favorite to win this nomination,' Kondik said. “'omney seems to be the only one who can actually get to 1,144 delegates, especially because one would expect most of the party leader superdelegates to go his way.'

The Southern contests were more about the speed at which the Republican nomination will be wrapped up rather than who the actual nominee will be, said Republican strategist David Polyansky of New York, who worked for Mike Huckabee’s campaign four years ago.

'At the end of the day, it is almost a certainty that Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee regardless of tonight’s results,' Polyansky said."



The tragedy of anti-science, anti-education that is rampant in the south:

From BussFlash

Bring Out the Dinosaurs: 66 Percent of Likely Mississippi GOP Primary Voters Are Creationists








These are the folks who voted for Rick Santorum.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Breitbart's Posthumous FAIL!

I started several times to write a post on the video Andrew Breitbart promised would deliver evidence to start impeachment proceedings against President Obama, but I just didn't have any strong interest on his silly and weak attempt to once again smear and demonize Mr. Obama--even from the grave.

The video has earned a very large YAWN from the rational in this country, even if the GOP fringies are roiling in outrage over what was broadcast in 2008 by PBS. 

YAWN.

For the record, the video shows Harvard Professor Derrick Bell and a young Harvard Law student, Barack Obama, at a rally when, after Mr. Obama speaks, he embraces Professor Bell. 

YAWN.

But, interestingly, what is significant about this video is the fact that Breitbart, by promoting what had already been released and seen, destroys the rightwing-driven fiction that Mr. Obama did not necessarily matriculate at Harvard Law--a idiotic claim I've read on many an idiotic rightwing blog.

Breitbart's failure to smear from the grave gives the lie to the giddy nonsense the fringies so adore--that Mr. Obama never went to Harvard, or that no one remembers him from that time. Thank you Breitbart for proving to your conspiracy-crazed followers that, indeed, Mr. Obama did attend Harvard, and was elected head of the Harvard Law Review.

Other than that, Breitbart's secret-weapon video is about as interesting as watching Sarah Palin read her talking points from the palm of her hand.

I'll let fellow blogger, Jolly Roger, have the last word on this hilarious revelation, a revelation, BTW, that Breitbart's fans conspiratorialy agreed was the reason for Bretibart's "untimely" death.

Jolly Roger via Infidel753:

"But there’s nothing new about the clip or Obama’s role in the controversy at Harvard Law School. In 2008, as a part of our quadrennial election special The Choice 2008, FRONTLINE ran the same footage of the speech as a part of an exploration of Obama’s time at Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1991. It’s been online at our site and on YouTube since then. FRONTLINE producers obtained the footage from the same source as BuzzFeed did this week: the archives of WGBH, Boston’s PBS station. The footage was shot in 1990 by a team of local news producers for the WGBH Ten O’Clock News.

FRONTLINE is produced at WGBH and our producers were alerted to the footage in the station archives in 2008. In light of today’s controversy, and Breitbart.com editors’ claims that the footage had been edited, we pulled the full archived tape. It includes not just Obama’s speech, but other footage from the rally and portions of Derrick Bell’s speech.

Take a minute to click the link, go over to the PBS site, and watch the footage in its entirety. And then you’ll see it for what it is.

In case you don’t want to be bothered with it, however, I’ll explain it to you. What you will see is something that could be contrived as some kind of radicalized hate speech by only one type of person-a hysterical racist. Breitbart was, of course, exactly that kind of a person, as are most of his worshipers. That he was going to offer THIS as his “bombshell” serves as a fitting epitaph to his lifetime of lies, racism, bigotry, and utter and complete hatred. Hate was the fuel that kept him going, and hate is more than likely what eventually burned through him. He leaves behind him a legacy of waste. He wasted his talents, he wasted his time, and he did everything he could to turn the political discourse into waste. When his history is written, it ain’t gonna be fun for his children to read of him."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Congratulations, Kevin!

My nephew, Kevin Callahan, is a close friend of Odair Assad, of the world -famous classical guitarists, The Assad Brothers. In fact, Odair told me after he and his brother, Sergio performed in a recent concert here in Boston in Jordan Hall last month that Kevin is his "other brother."

This is a review of Odair's performance in Seattle last week, which included "Old Friend," composed by Kevin.



Odair Assad,Benaroya Recital Hall,Friday, March 2

In one of his first Seattle concert engagements as a solo guitarist, the Brazllian guitarist Odair Assad shone brilliantly in Benaroya Hall's upstairs recital hall (Dan Savage was interviewing Fran Lebowitz on stage downstairs in the big room simultaneously, so not a bad night for Benaroya).The audience was intensely observant, and the roughly two-thirds-full room, hung upon each note, and charming ad-lib between songs (and yes, I got busted for taking pictures with my camera phone).

I'd say the show wasn't more than a degree short of perfection for two reasons: for one, I'm embarrassingly under-qualified to be reviewing such a high-level classical guitar spectacle; and two, Assad played like one of the finest guitar players in the world, which he certainly is.

Broken into two parts, the show began with Assad's renditions of traditional Brazilian pieces by the likes of Gismonti, Sardinha, Pixinguinha, and composer of all composers, Villa Lobos. His command of the strings was phenomenal, but perhaps his most engaging quality, and one that he's become well known for, is the natural flare that he brings to each composition: moving ("hypnotizing" as one woman volunteered at intermission); swaying; nearly dancing each note from the instrument; delivering each phrase with his own personal inflection. He truly made each piece his own.

The second half of the show was devoted to pieces that have been specifically written for, or "dedicated to" (to borrow some classical guitar speak) Assad personally, which really put into perspective the amount of respect that the man has earned on the world scene. As a whole, this segment displayed a more contemporary, progressive style of composition, utilizing percussive techniques on the strings and body of the guitar, and a generally more experimental take on the form. The 2007 piece "Sonata del Caminante" ("Sonata of the traveler") by Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, which, on paper, comprises four movements, was performed as a seamless journey, rather than isolated vignettes, and was punctuated by flurries of action.

Assad then debuted his most recent dedication, "Old Friend", which happened to be composed by Seattle resident Kevin Callahan (who was in attendance). This was truly an interesting piece. The program explained it as an homage to the late Jorge Assad, father of Odair, who passed away in the summer of 2011. So, in hearing it played this night, we were hearing a Brazilian man's take on a Seattle man's take on a Brazilian man. Or, more poetically, we were hearing the strength of their friendship through music. Like lining up mirrors, or playing telephone, it resulted in an interesting product. The piece seemed metropolitan, and, as echoed by Assad's more mechanical body language, less jovial. This was compounded by the fact that he had had only a short period of time to learn the piece, and brought out (read: had an assistant bring out) a music stand with sheet music from which to read. It sounded great regardless, and it deserves to be mentioned that it was preceded by a beautiful moment where Odair addressed Callahan as his "best friend."

The night was closed out with a six-part composition called "Seis Brevidades", a piece that tracked the emotional journey through the course of a day, and happened to have been dedicated to Assad by his brother Sergio.

In my humble, rock-critic opinion, the brilliant thing about Assad's playing is the sheer restraint that the man has in terms of volume and tempo. With music so carefully written, the subtlest of variations can change the entire personality of a song, and he controlled the pieces with the utmost patience. His versatility is also impressive: his lively playing spiced up the earlier half of the night just as well as his technical prowess shone through during the later numbers. But even when he played the songs in a more "literal" manner (as Callahan remarked to me after the show), and allowed the composer's voice to be heard more clearly, the songs, as well as the night, certainly belonged to Assad.

Kevin performing another one of his compositions, "The Riverbed," from "Three River Moments."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

THERE IS DECENCY IN THIS COUNTRY AFTERALL

ProFlowers pulled its spot from Limbaugh's radio show, making it 7 sponsors so far to do so. 

"ProFlowers said Sunday on its Facebook page that it has suspended advertising on Limbaugh’s program because his comments about Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke 'went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company.' ”


And on the Sunday talk circuit conservative pundits were not bashful in criticizing Limbaugh's disgusting, anti-woman behavior:


The [Limbaugh/Fluke] controversy was a hot topic of political conversation on Sunday. Speaking on ABC News' "This Week," Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan called Limbaugh's remarks "crude, rude, even piggish," and "deeply destructive and unhelpful."


Panelist George Will went further, blasting Republicans for what he said was an inadequate response to the controversy. He said that House Speaker John Boehner's use of the word "inappropriate" to describe Limbaugh's language was more fitting for "using the salad fork for your entrée."


"And it was depressing because what it indicates is that the Republican leaders are afraid of Rush Limbaugh," Will alleged. "They want to bomb Iran, but they're afraid of Rush Limbaugh."


ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd agreed. He alleged that Republican leaders lacked the guts to stand up to Limbaugh because of a "myth" that the radio personality influences a large segment of conservative voters.


"I think the problem is the Republican leaders, Mitt Romney and the other candidates, don't have the courage to say what they say in quiet, which, they think Rush Limbaugh is a buffoon," Dowd theorized. "They think he is like a clown coming out of a small car at a circus. It's great he is entertaining and all that. But nobody takes him seriously."

But not everyone in the conservative blogsphere believes that Limbaugh went too far.  Limbaugh still has his admirers there who see fit to either ignore the whole controversy, or to stick up for the woman-bashing creep and continue to degrade and denigrate Ms. Fluke or to contort their reasoning in trying to make what Limbaugh did the same as what Ed Schultz did in his slur on Laura Ingraham and what Bill Maher says in his comedy monologues:

" Limbaugh should not have called that woman a slut. Moocher is a more apt description.March 4, 2012 2:17 PM
Yet you lefties stand and cheer when your liberal boys call conservative women vulgarities. Classless. You have no high ground to stand on.

Pardon me while I laugh my ass off at your phony outrage..."


And pardon us for vomiting as we watch rightwing bloggers fall all over themselves to try to find equivalency in this.  There is none, no matter how far into the swill hole that is rightwing shock radio they dig to find one.

And this:

"Bill Maher is a spokesperson for the democrats whether it's once a week or once a month.

Limbaugh does what he does to stir up the masses and it just goes to show how utterly overly sensitive the left is. I used to think Limbaugh was a sexist until I actually listened to him and got the humor it really is just satire,unlike Maher who just comes off as arrogant and nasty. Anyone who knows who Limbaugh really is knows what he does on the air is just for the purpose of getting the left in a tizzy. His political views are what he truly believes but the other stuff is not who he really is ,but Maher used to be funny now he's just another holier than thou liberal who thinks he knows best.


Who cares who's doing it? The thing about the left is you have comedians and actors getting free air time to call people anything they want but because it's 'what they do' you get a free pass.
And it just so happened the president called this girl in the Green Room of MSNBC just before her interview there.


A 30 year old needs a phone call to tell how 'proud her parents must be' from the president? Are you kidding me?"

Bill Maher a "spokesperson" for the Democrats?  This person obviously never watches him, since he's been one of Mr. Obama's loudest critics on the left.  But forget this total ignorance on this winger's part.  No one in the real world ever, ever calls Maher a "spokesperson" for the Left.   Just another "false fact" to fit their false reality.

Another ray of sunshine is the fact that Limbaugh is one of the most disliked radio personalities in America:


 "...three of the 26 news personalities are America's least favorite, almost half say Rush Limbaugh (46%).
Three in ten say Bill O'Reilly (31%)
and almost one-quarter say their least favorite is Nancy Grace (23%).

Rounding out the top ten least favorite news personalities are:

Sean Hannity (14%),
Katie Couric (10%),
Piers Morgan (10%),
Barbara Walters (10%),
Chris Matthews (10%),
Rachel Maddow (7%) 
Wolf Blitzer (7%).
.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

GASBAG LIMBAUGH OFFERS NON-APOLOGY FOR SLUTTY ATTACKS




Breaking News!

El Rushbo, faced with mounting outrage from every man, woman, child, and cockapoo in America with an ounce of humanity, and also, majorly soiling his extra large tightie whities because of potential loss of advertising revenue, today offered this non-apologetic apology, while at the same time doubling or is it fourthling down on his stupid misconceptions (ha! I wrote "misconceptions") on contraception coverage:


"For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone's bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

"I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke?" 

So calling her a "slut" and "prostitute" was an impersonal attack that would have been an equally suitable expression of "absurdity" if, say, his mother had mistakenly served him a ham and cheese on raisin bread instead of on rye?  I get it. 

And we're supposed to believe his wish to see Ms. Fluke produce a sex video in exchange for insurance coverage for contraceptives was just a throw-away line for a good old fashioned chortle?

Sorry, gasbag.  It won't work this time.  You've exposed yourself to the country, and a lot of us are throwing up (a lot) in our mouths.


Rush Limbaugh: The Heart of the Rot in the GOP

From Andrew Sullivan's blog:

"It hardly matters whether you agree with Sandra Fluke, or if you think she is advocating on behalf of suboptimal policy, as I do. There is no excuse for Limbaugh's behavior, and nothing redeeming in it. His words aren't merely illogical. It isn't just that he seems to misunderstand that birth-control pills cost the same whether someone has sex once per month or twice every single day. The problem isn't just that he misrepresented the fullness of her testimony. Beyond all that, he has once again shown himself to be coarse, vulgar, bullying, callous, and needlessly cruel.

This is hardly the first time. Defending himself during a 2010 controversy, Limbaugh
said, "If you read all the way through the story, you'll find that they are livid at me, even though I've called nobody a 'bitch,' I called nobody a 'whore,' I called nobody a 'slut.'"

Guess that excuse won't work anymore.

There's his sexist quip that NASCAR's Danica Patrick should be expected to crash because she's "a woman driver."
Here's what Rush Limbaugh thinks about women:
If the conservative movement's least charitable critic invented a talk-radio host to embody every stereotype of a contemptible right-wing blowhard, the result might well be a thrice-divorced 61-year-old man taking to the airwaves to call a young female law student a "prostitute" and a "slut." It would be too much -- too unrealistic -- if the same man was once detained after a guys weekend in the Dominican Republic with a bottle of Viagra, and if he went on to compare the female law student to a Nazi and suggest that she post a sex tape online.
[skip]
There's his sexist quip that NASCAR's Danica Patrick should be expected to crash because she's "a woman driver." In the course of running through various anal-rape jokes Limbaugh has made over the years, Gabriel Winant harkens back to a clip in which an apparent rape victim describes a finger being inserted into her rectum while Limbaugh laughs at it. John K. Wilson, who wrote a book about Limbaugh, digs up another example of his commentary on women:
My cat comes to me when she wants to be fed. I have learned this. I accept it for what it is. Many people in my position would think my cat's coming to me because she loves me. Well, she likes me, and she is attached, but she comes to me when she wants to be fed. And after I feed her -- guess what -- she's off to wherever she wants to be in the house, until the next time she gets hungry. She's smart enough to know she can't feed herself. She's actually a very smart cat. She gets loved. She gets adoration. She gets petted. She gets fed. And she doesn't have to do anything for it, which is why I say this cat's taught me more about women than anything my whole life. But we put voices in their mouths.
I run through this history -- there are more examples -- so that Limbaugh apologists cannot portray these latest remarks as an aberration. They are not. This is what the man is like. He is nevertheless invited to the White House by Republican presidents, praised by conservative magazines, given honorary titles by conservative think tanks and defended by conservative bloggers.

What confounds me most about it is that Rich Lowry and Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard, Matthew Continetti of the Washington Free Beacon, Glenn Kessler of The Claremont Review of Books, Arthur Brooks at the American Enterprise Institute, Edwin J. Feulner of the Heritage Foundation, fellow talk-radio host Bill Bennett -- none of these people would ever dream of going before a national audience and calling a female law student half their age a slut and a prostitute. None of them would ever dream of joking that if she wants her health insurance to cover birth control she should put a sex tape on the Internet. If a deranged gunman held a loved one hostage and forced them to make those remarks, as if of their own volition, they'd feel deeply embarrassed and ashamed doing it. Yet when Limbaugh says these things -- when he said other things as indefensible in the past -- he remained and remains a frequently celebrated, seldom criticized figure within the conservative movement. The Dittoheads are kept happy, but discredit is brought upon the movement. No leader of the conservative movement is willing to defend Limbaugh on the merits. They just stay mum."
****************************

Let them stay "mum."  I call it cowardice.  They've hitched their wagon to a filthy-mouthed bully whose greatest pleasure comes from the noteriety he gets whenever he attacks African-Americans, people with medical problems, and independent, strong women. 

There is nothing new about a man calling  women who are obviously more intelligent, better spoken, and better bred than he a "slut" and "whore." That is, afterall, how frightened and balless men have always behaved throughout history toward women who dare to express their opinions.

We must never forget that the Republican Party ADMIRES THIS MAN, MADE HIM AN HONORARY MEMBER OF  THE REPUBLICAN CONGRESS, AND NO LESS THAN THE FORMER VICE PRESIDENT, DICK CHENEY, SAID HE NEVER MISSES LIMBAUGH'S SHOW.

The GOP:  Wallowing in Limbaugh's trough of slime and loving every moment of it.

Infidel753 has a great post up on this subject as well.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Two Presidents Support Georgetown Student Sandra Fluke and Denounce Mysogynistic GOP Spokesman, Rush Limbaugh

Because no one's dared to stand up to the bully, Limbaugh has gotten away with vilifying and slandering anyone he dislikes.  Because no one in the GOP has the cajones to denounce his outrageous attacks, like all bullies, Limbaugh felt encouraged to foreswear any restrains whatsoever in his personal  bigoted attacks on the president, his wife, and anyone who holds a different political viewpoint.  That's why he felt comfortable in calling Georgetown law student, Sandra Fluke, a "slut" and a "prostitute" for appearing before a Congressional committe on women's health issues, and no one in the GOP would denounce him.


President of Georgetown University, John DeGioia and President of the United States, Barack Obama both called Ms. Fluke and told her they support her, and Mr. Obama said her parents should "be proud of her."

And it is understandable why President Obama would call and support this young woman.  President Obama is the father of two daughters.  It must have saddened and then angered him to hear the cowardly demagogue, Limbaugh, from the safety of a radio studio, attack this young woman and denounce her as a "slut" and "prostitute" to his millions of listeners.  Acting as any loving father would, Mr. Obama defended and thanked Ms. Fluke for her courage and dignity as she sustained three days of Limbaugh's filthy slanders.

No good will come of Limbaugh's spineless and dastardly attacks on this woman.  No man or woman that I respect will fail to see that Limbaugh's desperate and craven attempt to make the national debate about contraception about him is nothing more than a gutlessly cynical grab for headlines at the expense of a young woman's reputation.

Give a loud-mouthed bully enough rope, and hopefully, the miscreant will hang himself. 

I do believe, finally, the swine, Rush Limbaugh, has done so!







RUSH LIMBAUGH: Attention seeking anti-woman slime

We understand why Limbaugh goes off on his tantrums and insults and slurs people, especially women, in the news:

IT ATTRACTS ATTENTION. 

And like any juvenile, he knows that the louder and the more dispicable language he uses, the more attention he attracts. 

The mouthpiece of the GOP has certainly had a banner week of attention. 

The fetid fumes emanating from the Hindenburg of Gasbags have spread over the land, but will, without a doubt, eventually come back to envelope him in his own foul putrescence.

Good luck with that Rush!  And enjoy your newly found attention as your wallow in the effluence flushed from your diminishing cesspool of malodorous influence .

Think Progress:

Yesterday, as ThinkProgress noted, conservative shock jock and strident women-basher Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown student who House Republicans wouldn’t let testify at a contraception hearing last week, a “slut” and a prostitute. “She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception,” Limbaugh said. But on his radio show today, Limbaugh showed no remorse and instead reveled in the attention. Referring to Fluke, Limbaugh demanded that women post sex tapes online if they use insurance-covered birth control:

LIMBAUGH: So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.


Ed Kilgore of Washington Monthly:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jay Bookman summed up the current state of the controversy:
If Limbaugh hasn’t gone too far this time, then “too far” no longer exists. Those Republican politicians who have genuflected to Limbaugh in the past — do any of them have daughters? Wives? Sisters? Mothers?
Will any of them dare to raise their voice in protest or disgust? Because again, if this is not going too far, what is?


RUSH AND THE GOP CONTINUE THEIR WAR ON WOMEN.






Thursday, March 1, 2012

Federal Judge Sent Joke Email Implying Obama’s Mother Had Sex With Dog

I've posted this wearyingly predictable story because I believe these sorts of racists need to be exposed. And so these posts will continue for a while, I'm sorry to say, because we are not in a post-racial America.  That sickness still runs deep and wide in this country. 

Bloggers and others on the right seem not to be able to understand that when Mr. Bush was president and on the receiving end of jokes and slurs, those jokes and slurs came from bloggers and e-columnists.  I don't recall any federal judge disparaging President Bush's mother, wife, or parentage.  I don't recall any federal judge implying Mr. Bush's mother had sex with an animal in order to produce him.

I don't recall any Democratic member of the US House of Representatives shouting "YOU LIE!" while Mr. Bush was addressing that chamber.  Nor do I remember any governor wagging his or her finger in President Bush's face.

I read somewhere recently that Mr. Obama is the Jackie Robinson of US presidents.  And he, like the great and dignified Mr. Robinson, has had to endure the filth of racism that runs deep and wide in this country in the 21st century because he is the first president with brown skin.  Mr. Obama (and sadly his wife as well) have had to rise above the taunts, the lies, and the monumental disrespect that no other modern president and first lady have had to suffer, not just from partisan hacks and the general opposition, but by members of Congress, governors of states, and even federal judges:

FROM TALKING POINTS MEMO:

Ryan J. Reilly
40016578

Montana Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull, a George W. Bush nominee, admitted on Wednesday that he forwarded a racially-charged email implying that President Barack Obama might have been the product of a sexual encounter between his mother and a dog.

“A little boy said to his mother; ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?’” the email forwarded from Cebull’s official court email address on Feb. 20 read, according to the Great Falls Tribune. “His mother replied, ‘Don’t even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!’”

The federal judge’s email called the joke “a bit touching” and said he wanted all of his friends to feel what he felt when he read the email. “Hope it touches your heart like it did mine,” he wrote.
Cebull told the newspaper that his brother sent him the racist email which he then forwarded to six “old buddies” and acquaintances. A forwarded version of the email eventually made its way to a reporter at the Great Falls Tribune.

Cebull said he showed “very poor judgment” by forwarding the email and said it was “not intended by me in any way to become public.”

He added that he “did not forward it because of the racist nature of it” although he acknowledged it was racist.

“The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan,” Cebull explained to the newspaper. “I didn’t send it as racist, although that’s what it is. I sent it out because it’s anti-Obama.”


"We are bound by an inescapable garment of mutuality, whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ~letter from the Birmingham Jail, 1962