Serendiptiy SOUL | Sunday Open Thread | Celtic Music

Happy Sunday, Everyone! Enjoy some Celtic music to lift and transform your spirits on St. Patrick’s Day.

The Chieftains

I was a staunch fan of the Soap Opera One Life to Live. Marty Saybrooke and Patrick Thornhart’s love affair was tumultuous. Song Without End becme their theme song. The Chieftains made a guest apperance on the show, and it was the first time I’d heard them. Love their music.

Here are a few excerpts of their appearance on OLTL

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

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37 Responses to Serendiptiy SOUL | Sunday Open Thread | Celtic Music

  1. rikyrah says:

    Principal Of Slain Brooklyn Teen Pens Heartfelt Letter: ‘We Miss Kimani’ [VIDEO]

    When a young, Black boy falls victim to police brutality, many people immediately attempt to justify law enforcement’s rash actions by making disparaging remarks about the victim. This cycle has begun with 16-year-old Kimani Gray who was gunned down by two police officers in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn on March 9; but the principal at his high school is setting the record straight.

    In a moving letter sent home with students, Matt Willoughby, principal of the Urban School of Design and Construction, paints a clear picture of Gray, remembering his determination, academic achievement and positive energy. He wrote about Gray traveling an hour to get to school each day and how focused he was on succeeding.

    In a heart-wrenching passage, Willoughby shares with everyone what Gray was involved in before two officers, Sgt. Mourad Mourad and Officer Jovaniel Cordova, pumped 7 bullets into his slight frame: dramatic dialogue in English, construction of a school in Design — a project that his group will have to complete without him.

    The grieving principal remembers the Gray as a good person, striving everyday to grow and be his best self — an opportunity that was cruelly snatched away from him.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Kimani Gray Cops Were Targets Of 5 Federal Lawsuits Prior To Shooting

    The two NYPD officers involved in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Kimani Gray last week have reportedly been the targets of five federal lawsuits, with plaintiffs alleging civil rights violations.

    Sgt. Mourad Mourad and Officer Jovaniel Cordova, who are accused of
    fatally shooting Gray seven times on March 9th, have reportedly cost the city about $215,000 in court settlements. Mourad was sued once in 2009 and two times in 2010, and allegations include a stop-and-frisk in which Mourad and fellow cops pulled down a suspect’s underwear, in addition to a claim of an illegal arrest in which the plaintiff says he was slammed into a car. Cordova was sued in 2011 and 2012, with one plaintiff claiming the cop punched him in the eye. The city’s issued no admission of wrongdoing, but a lawyer who’s filed four out of the five suits against the cops says otherwise. “Our clients’ interactions with Sgt. Mourad and Officer Cordova expose a disturbing pattern of unconstitutional and aggressive stop-and-frisk practices,” lawyer Brett Klein told the Daily News. “In each case, Mourad and Cordova attempted to cover up their misconduct by falsifying and fabricating evidence.”

  3. rikyrah says:

    from POU:
    MsKitty •

    This is a follow-up to the Philadelphia Magazine cover story that was posted here about what a fine and dandy place Philly would be if only so many negroes didn’t live there. Well, the only full-time black staffer on the mag wrote a counter editorial and she. goes. in.

    This month, I have the pleasure of representing a publication that felt the best way to spark a discourse about race was to feature a lopsided, conflagrant editorial – that teetered on the brink of fear mongering – as its cover story. At the crux of Bob Huber’s story, “Being White in Philly,” is the notion that black people are essentially what’s wrong with the city, and that the white people who live here are afraid of them.

    The all-white staff of a city magazine, a city whose black population makes up 44 percent of its residents, is ill-equipped to spearhead any kind of enlightened discussion about race. Why? Because its hiring practices have made it abundantly clear that black people and their opinions have no place in its discussions. And I don’t just mean discussions about race. I mean discussions about Philly’s best salons and boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs, playhouses and theaters; discussions about local politics, education, enterprise, and government. The magazine’s positioning of itself as the voice of progressive racial discourse in Philly is the equivalent of Chris Brown being a marriage counselor or Lindsay Lohan being a sober living coach.

    Bob Huber seems fixated on what white people are allowed to say about black people. Some would say he risked a lot in his quest to find out. Well, I have no idea what black employees are allowed to say about being black at Philly Mag, but I guess it’s time I find out. I’ll let you know who took the bigger risk.

  4. rikyrah says:



    The 1st Black Republican President?Famed surgeon and Obama critic Ben Carson fires up the Republican base gathered at CPAC.

    While Sarah Palin and her Big Gulp stunt generated the most laughs at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, the event made clear that she is no longer the GOP’s rising star. Only five short years after she burst onto the national scene Palin was overshadowed by those perceived as representing the GOP’s best hope at reclaiming the White House. Among them was Florida senator Marco Rubio. But there was another rising star that emerged at this year’s gathering. Only he’s not a politician—yet: Dr. Benjamin Carson.

    Carson is one of the most well-known black doctors ever; so well known, in fact, that his life story was the subject of a film starring Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr., titled Gifted Hands. The title refers to Carson’s gifts as a surgeon. He became the youngest division head in the history of Johns Hopkins Hospital when he became Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at age 33. He is known for executing some of the most groundbreaking surgeries of the last two decades, among them separating two conjoined twins. His rapid ascension followed his graduation from University of Michigan’s Medical School and Yale University as an undergraduate. But what makes his accomplishments particularly impressive and compelling is that he grew up in poverty. Carson is the embodiment of the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mantra that so many conservatives espouse.

    A devout Christian, he has made no secret of some of his socially conservative positions, among them opposing abortion. Though Carson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2008, it was not until earlier this year that he first began to be considered a political contender. Carson controversially condemned some of President Obama’s policies in a public speech. While the remarks themselves drew praise from conservative corners, the venue drew criticism. Carson attacked healthcare reform and other Obama administration accomplishments at the National Prayer Breakfast, one of Washington’s few strictly non-partisan gatherings. But while some, including some high profile conservatives, said Carson owed the president an apology for the timing and location of his remarks, others saw a future conservative star emerge.

    Carson’s speech this past weekend at CPAC, which garnered multiple standing ovations, seemed to affirm that. He is in many ways a dream candidate. He has had real world experience that people admire, is a happily, longtime married family man, is handsome, a great speaker, funny and personable. I have both met Carson and watched him captivate an audience—which is not an easy thing to do. Neither is getting elected president. But if anyone is capable of defying the odds, it’s Carson, who has already done so by reaching and staying at the upper echelons of one of the world’s most competitive professions — a profession he has announced he will be retiring from later this year.

    This leaves the door open for Carson to pursue another career, and many seem to think politics is a natural fit. If he does decide to throw his hat in the political ring it will be some welcome good news for the GOP, which just lost one of its African American rising stars to scandal this week, and has struggled to redefine itself in an increasingly brown world, while the party attracts an increasingly white demographic.

  5. rikyrah says:

    As talk about the “drone war” heats up, their use is actually going down

    As all the talk about the “drone war” heats up, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at their actual use lately. Here’s what I found…since February 1, 2013, there have been a total of 3 drone strikes and two of those are disputed.

    For a little historical context, the use of drones in Pakistan peaked in 2010 with a total of 122 attacks (an average of over 10/month). Last year there were 48. So far this year there have been 9. Six of those occurred in January and 3 in the month and a half since then (with 2 disputed). Similarly, their use in Yemen peaked in 2012 with a total of 84 strikes (an average of 7/month). This year there have been a total of 6 strikes with all of those occurring in January. Since February 1st this year – there have been none.

    Not being privy to the intelligence reports our Commander-in-Chief receives, it is hard to predict whether this pattern of the last month and a half will be sustained. But lets plug a couple of events here on the home front into this timeline and I think the picture starts to get a little more clear.

    First of all, on November 31, 2012, General Counselor to the Department of Defense Jeh Johnson talked – for the first time – about ending the war on al-Qaeda.

  6. rikyrah says:

    March 17, 2013 2:50 PM

    The latest infernal scheme from our corporate overlords: lowering the minimum wage — or outlawing it altogether

    By Kathleen Geier

    And now comes the time to turn our beautiful minds to exciting new developments in the laboratories of democracy*. Have you been worrying lately that low-wage workers in this country have it too good? That those sweeeeet minimum wage paychecks are going to their heads? That those lazy bastards should probably just be forced to just suck it up and work every one of their shifts at those three jobs they’re holding down, whether they’ve got the flu, a new baby, a family emergency, or what have you? After all, somebody’s got to flip those burgers and scrub those toilets!

    Well then, have I got some welcome news for you! As Michelle Chen reports in In These Times’ Working Today, our old friends at ALEC have been busy little beavers of late. Chen cites a recent analysis by the National Employment Law Project of over 100 bill in 31 states that “aim to repeal or weaken core wage standards at the state or local level.”

    ALEC, aka the American Legislative Exhange Council — my oh my, how anodyne it all sounds! — is a monster wingnut lobbying organization that creates “model legislation” on behalf of its corporate weasel clients. This organization is gigantic, fantastically well-funded, and is particularly insidious because it often works under the radar — secrecy and surprise can be highly effective weapons in politics. They’ve been around for quite some time but have gotten a significant amount of press attention only relatively recently (Paul Krugman wrote about them here). There is no doubt that they are a vital arm of the vast right-wing conspiracy.

    The bills in question were introduced over the past two years. Here are some of the state-level wage protections for workers that are in the process of being scaled back or totally gutted:

    — State minimum wage laws, which are higher than the federal minimum, and/or cover groups of workers not covered by the federal law (such as home health aides);

    — Local living wage laws, which set minimum wages, but at much higher levels than the standard federal or state minimum wage, and which often are restricted to fewer types of workers;

    — “Prevailing wage” laws, which guarantee relatively decent wages for work done under government contract;

    — Overtime pay laws. Though the federal Fair Labor Standards Act guarantees time-and-a-half pay for overtime, some classes of workers, like domestics, are not entitled to overtime pay under the federal law and thus are covered only by state laws.

    — State and local paid leave and sick leave laws.

    All of this is absolutely sickening, and not in the RuPaul sense of the word. Thankfully, most of these bills have not been enacted as yet. But they come at a time when the one organization that traditionally fights anti-worker legislation tooth and nail, organized labor, is, as Chen glumly points out, “weaker than ever.” If the corporations win these battles at the state level, it sets the stage for them to rev up similar campaigns in Congress. And even if they lose, it drains labor’s scarce resources — resources that would preferably be devoted to organizing and to expanding worker rights, instead of fighting rear-guard battles to protect laws that were enacted many decades ago.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Why Obama and Democrats Should Strike a Grand Bargain and Leave Behind The Great Progressive Resistance
    Thursday, March 14, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 3:32 PM

    When everyone digs in their heels, nothing gets done. As I have noted earlier this week, Paul Ryan apparently doesn’t remember that his party and his ticket lost the election largely on the merits of their budget plans. House Republicans are digging in their heels, furiously opposed to any additional revenue and hell bent on ending the social safety net. But there also seem to be plenty of Democrats and liberals digging in their heels – Bernie Sanders being the leading contender of the mantle of Leader of the Great Progressive ResistanceTM – and are declaring themselves adamantly opposed to any meaningful reforms to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    The Great Progressive ResistanceTM headliners are quick to ignore the fact that the president’s offer of a grand bargain – progressive tax reforms with revenue increases along with long term savings through the use of Chained CPI to calculate, among other things, most Social Security cost-of-living adjustments – was common knowledge during last year’s election. From that vantage point, any Leftist claiming that the country did not vote for a balanced approach including entitlement reforms along the lines the president had outlined (and Great Progressive ResistanceTM had freaked out over) is lying to you just as much as any conservative that claims that we only have a spending problem and not a revenue problem.

    I believe that Democratic party in Congress recognizes this as much as the White House, and they are moving towards striking a grand bargain, while the President continues his “charm offensive” to go arount the Republican leadership to rank and file GOP members of Congress. The Senate Democratic budget, unveiled by Sen. Patty Murray yesterday wasn’t an ideological line in the sand, as opposed to the Ryan budget in the House. It was in fact positioned sufficiently different from the Ryan budget so that if one forges a reasonable, pragmatic compromise, one would get strikingly close to the president’s priorities. Consider the differences:

    •Revenue: House GOP budget: none; Senate Dems budget: roughly $1T from a revamp of the tax code to eliminate loopholes.
    •Medicare: House GOP budget: privatization and limiting total benefits; Senate Dems budget: $275 billion in savings through provider savings in Medicare and Medicaid combined.
    •Medicaid: House GOP budget: repeal ACA’s expansion, cut the program, turn into a bloc grant for states; Senate Dems budget: no concessions except as above, uphold ACA’s expansion.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM PDT.

    Steubenville: CNN Mourns Impact on Rapists Rather Than Victim
    by ProgLegs

    Is it my imagination or did CNN used to be a much more respectable outfit?

    On Sunday when news broke that Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond had been found guilty of rape, CNN reporter Poppy Harlow said that it had been

    “incredibly difficult” to watch “as these two young men — who had such promising futures, star football players, very good students — literally watched as they believed their life fell apart.”

    “One of the young men, Ma’lik Richmond, as that sentence came down, he collapsed,” the CNN reporter recalled, adding that the convicted rapist told his attorney that “my life is over, no one is going to want me now.”

    CNN legal contributor Paul Callan had this to add:

    “There’s always that moment of just — lives are destroyed. But in terms of what happens now, the most severe thing with these young men is being labeled as registered sex offenders. That label is now placed on them by Ohio law.

    That will haunt them for the rest of their lives.”

    So we’re supposed to feel sorry for two young men who…

    are idolized by a community for a meaningless athletic talent

    victimized a young girl who had been incapacitated by alcohol and if you’re to believe Anonymous–who basically got this 7 month old case tried–a date rape drug

    Fuck you, CNN, for continuing to victimize Jane Doe by making these rapists out to be victims of our legal system.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Misdiagnosing the Problem
    by BooMan
    Sun Mar 17th, 2013 at 03:27:52 PM EST

    GOP Chairman Reince Priebus will release his report on why the Republicans lost the 2012 elections sometime tomorrow, but he gave a preview on Face the Nation this morning. What I took from it is that they think they can go a long way towards correcting things by limiting the number of debates their candidates have in the primaries and that it is important to move the convention up to June or July rather than having it in late August or early September.
    I want to discuss each of these ideas separately. The debates hurt the Republicans because their candidates were far outside of the mainstream. Rick Santorum is not a normal politician. Michele Bachmann is a space cadet. Rick Perry is a moron. Newt Gingrich is a very strange individual. Ron Paul is not really a Republican. Herman Cain is just silly. In combination, those candidates were more like a circus act than people offering a serious critique of the president’s policies. In 2004 and 2008, the Democratic debates, which were also numerous, didn’t hurt the party at all. In fact, they hurt President Bush because the candidates were offering substantive critiques and the news organizations were covering those critiques and taking them seriously. The Democrats weren’t discussing birth certificates or the implementation of Sharia Law or anything equivalently detached from reality.

    If the Republicans had had 23 debates between Jeb Bush, Dick Lugar, John Warner, Olympia Snowe, Jon Huntsman, Colin Powell, and Mitt Romney, then maybe the Republicans would have benefited from so many debates. But only two of those people ran for president, and they had to debate a bunch of idiots and crackpots. So, the first thing to do is to field real candidates who actually have the credentials to be plausible presidents.

    I agree that both parties have too many debates, but it’s hard to limit them because each state wants an opportunity to have their particular issues addressed and there are also some constituent groups that want to host debates. Treating the debates as the problem and saying that the solution is to have many fewer of them makes it appear like the Republicans are afraid of exposing people to their message.

    The convention issue is complicated. The specific reason that the Republicans want to move the convention up is that Romney wasn’t allowed to use general election funds until he was officially nominated, so he was underfunded during the summer. I understand the move from that perspective, but it comes with a cost. Holding the convention four or five months before the actual election risks making the event almost irrelevant.

    The conventions started moving later in the calendar because the finance laws limited how much could be spent after the nomination, but that logic went out the window when Obama didn’t accept matching funds in 2008. So, now the logic moves in the opposite direction. Once you’ve secured the nomination by getting enough delegates, you don’t want to wait months to be able to use general election funds. In making this move, the GOP is acknowledging that no candidate in 2016 will be accepting matching funds. What they are forgetting is that the conventions were held late enough in the last cycle to have an impact on early voting. The first ballots cast in North Carolina were on September 6th, the same day the Democratic Convention in Charlotte was completed.

    If the conventions have the intended impact, they provide each party a bump in the polls. Isn’t it better to have that bump when at least some people are voting than in the middle of July?

    In any case, I don’t see either of these moves, on the debates or the timing of the convention, as being on point. If the party would stop populating itself with religious fundamentalists and bigots, they would be more appealing. It’s as simple as that.

  10. rikyrah says:

    African-American’s Y chromosome sparks shift in evolutionary timetable

    By Alan Boyle, Science Editor, NBC News

    Scientists say an African-American male’s odd genetic signature suggests that the human Y chromosome’s lineage goes back further in time than they thought — perhaps due to interbreeding with other populations such as Neanderthals.

    “This really upsets a lot of ideas, but at the same time, it’s understandable if we accept that human populations were structured in the past so that there were little pockets of diversity,” said Michael Hammer, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona who is one of the authors of a study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

    The study focuses on the analysis of a DNA sample that was obtained from an African-American living in South Carolina and submitted to the Genographic Project, a National Geographic effort aimed at mapping human origins and migration. The funny thing about this sample is that it didn’t match up with any of the previously known genetic signatures for the Y chromosome, which is passed down from father to son.


    “Nobody expected to find anything like this,” Hammer said in a news release.

    A team led by Fernando Mendez, a researcher in Hammer’s lab, analyzed more than 240,000 DNA base pairs on the African-American’s Y chromosome. A comparison of the differences between the mystery genetic signature and previously known signatures led the team to conclude that the most recent common ancestor for the entire group lived about 338,000 years ago.

    That goes further back than the fossil record goes for anatomically modern humans, Hammer said. “The fossil record speaks to 195,000 years or 200,000 years,” he said. It also goes further back than the previous date for the most recent common ancestor based on Y-chromosome analysis, which is in the range of 142,000 years.

    The researchers followed up on their discovery by searching through a genetic database for African populations, and turned up 11 men from western Cameroon who had virtually the same genetic signature.

  11. rikyrah says:

    The “Harlem Shake” and the Continuous Co-Opting of Black Culture

    This is one of those topics that bothers me to write about namely because it happens frequently enough and it renders redundant to write about continuously. One thing that I have noticed about maintaining this blog over the last few years whether writing frequently or not, is that there are similar themes that find themselves in my writings. While yes my philosophies have matured, my writing has notably gotten better even at trying to broaden the cultural critique that I offen and the topics beyond the basics of race, religion and politics, I can’t help but be aware that still the same cultural happenings occur that I feel compelled to write about.

    Now I know that many have already discussed this specific topic, but the fact that a few weeks later it’s still surfacing is proving to be a bit bothersome for me: Yes, I’m talking about this “Harlem Shake” foolishness.

    I remember getting ready for work and hearing Matt Lauer mention something about the “Harlem Shake” and of course my ears perked up and I didn’t think much of it. I think by the end of the week when the Today Show was doing their weekly viral round-up segment I actually looked up and saw what dance they were doing, I initially was a bit mortified. My initial reaction, and one I still rest on is that this is not the Harlem Shake. I remember repeating it in my mind as though it needed to be said again: this is categorically not the Harlem Shake. No, it wasn’t that suddenly I had a problem seeing white folk who had no ties to New York, let alone Harlem, doing a dance, but that I saw something inextricably linked to black culture being completely bastardized and co-opted by the dominant American culture.

    Understandably this was not just an American phenomenon, and even this recent move starting in February, by all accounts started overseas. According to reports, the most recent of the evolution of this dance happened in Australia of all places. While not an American phenomenon originally, it certainly has been one that has been taken over by the dominant culture. I think what incensed me so much was that Matt Lauer and the hosts of the Today Show spoke about the Harlem Shake as a dance that was started by the dominant white culture, as though it were an ex nihilo concept that just dropped onto them like tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost in the first century.

    My memory, which does serve me correctly, firmly places the “Harlem Shake” as a dance that was happening in the hip hop community in the early 2000s as it gained national attention. And if you talk to anyone from Harlem, it was a dance that was known amongst the native Harlemites dating back to the early years of the hip hop movement in the 1980s. I don’t see this as an isolated incident, but rather as one of those intrinsic behaviors that is a hallmark of the dominant white culture in Western society.

    I did a blog post back in 2008 about the “dominant subdominant culture” noting that black culture in the United States has consistently informed the dominant white culture to the point of whites assuming many parts of black culture into their own and whitewashing (no pun intended) it into the broader spectrum of American culture. We see this evidenced most easily in music, and specifically in jazz and blues. These ethnic music forms were birthed directly out of the black experience and in the South, one highlighting the improvisation needed to go through life and the other offering an outlet for the pain of that same life as well. Those music forms, while yes are American in fact, they become a part of the American story for the sake of telling the story of dominant culture while the reverse is not true. Bluegrass music is not to be understood as part of the American story that the non-Anglo-Saxons are to identify with, yet jazz and blues are to be understood as part of the American fabric as a whole.

    Being black despite all of the Euro-centric racism that has consistently and perpetually associated it with all that is negative, has still existed to be cool. Even after the modern formation of race as we know it, to be black was to be objectified, but for the sake of my argument, it was to be desired. The construct of race and sexuality has always placed black men and black women, not just as objects, but the object of desire by their white counterparts: white men wanted black women because of the curves of their hips, the fullness of their breasts and the size of the labia and envied black men because of the size of their penis. White women desired black men for the sake of larger penises and the sexual fulfillment that they couldn’t get from white men. However, the racial rub came when dominant culture painted black men as wild sexual bucks who wanted to overpower white women and black women as exotic seductresses who almost possessed some supernatural power over white men.

    Even in typical everyday culture, black music was always more cool than the “square” white music. The hairstyles that blacks could have from conks, to beehives, to pompadours was all just more cool. The cars we drove, the way we walked, the way we talked it was always cool! Frankly, from the top of my head, about the only space in which blacks have not entered and been cool has been with regards to those that identify themselves within the same-gender loving community. Even in that regards, I think the argument could be made that that space is being reified with every passing day.

    It’s one thing to want to be like blacks, but it’s another thing to try and be black.

  12. rikyrah says:


    Cordell Broadus’ college opportunities continue to grow as Duke University recently offered him an athletic scholarship for football. reports,

    “This week, Cordell picked up his third verbal scholarship offer when Duke told him they wanted him in Durham, N.C. He also has offers from Washington and UCLA.”

    Snoop Dogg, a.k.a. Snoop Lion, previously told the press that his son is destined for greatness in football saying, “You don’t get someone like UCLA coach Jim Mora, with an NFL pedigree, saying that they want you to play football for him if you’re not doing something right out there on the field. The way it looks right now, Cordell is going to get a free-ride to play college ball. After that, playing on Sundays as a pro is one of his dreams and I’m going to do whatever it takes to help him get there.” Jim Nora offered Cordell a scholarship to attend and play at UCLA last year, and Washington expressed interest in the high school sophomore a few months back.

    Cordell began playing football at a young age and has found much success in playing as a wide receiver and defensive back in his high school years. Snoop has three kids in all.

    Read more:

  13. rikyrah says:


    Malia,14, and Sasha,11, are growing right before their parents’ eyes! The President and First Lady Obama recently conducted an interview with Vogue magazine where they talked about life as parents of a tween and teen.
    “Our job is, first and foremost, to make sure our family is whole,” said Michelle Obama in the April issue of the magazine. “You know, we have small kids; they’re growing every day. But I think we were both pretty straightforward when we said, ‘Our number-one priority is making sure that our family is whole.’”

    Michelle also commented on Sasha and Malia’s social life saying, “The Secret Service has to change the way they do things; they have to become more flexible. And they do. Because they want to make sure that these girls are happy and that they have a normal life.”

    She added, “There’s a lot of energy that goes into working with staff, working with [Secret Service] agents, working with friends’ parents to figure out how do we, you know, let these kids go to the party and have a sleepover and walk through the city on their own, go to the game. Any parent knows that these are the times when you’re just a scheduler and chauffeur for your kids. And that doesn’t change for us. Ninety percent of our conversation is about these girls: What are they doing? And who’s got what practice? And what birthday party is coming up? And did we get a gift for this person? You know, I mean, it is endless and it gets to be pretty exhausting, and if you take your eye off the ball, that’s when their lives become inelastic.”

    “As I joked at a press conference, now that they want less time with us, who knows? Maybe you’ll see us out in the clubs,” joked the President.

    Malia enjoys life as a high school freshman, while Sasha makes lots of friends in Middle School. Both girls will celebrate their birthdays this summer.

    Read more:

  14. rikyrah says:

    GO ABL, GO!!!


    Glenn Greenwald’s Portman/Obama Comparison on Marriage Equality is Crap
    By Imani Gandy (ABL) March 16th, 2013It’s rather amusing to watch Glenn Greenwald attempt, yet again, to insinuate that President Obama is no different than a Republican.

    In a Twitlonger he likely jotted off because of the pushback he received in response to his vapid tweet earlier this morning, Greenwald compares President Obama and Rob Portman’s evolution on marriage equality: Rob Portman attributed his position shift to finding out that his son is gay and Obama “partially” based his position shift on the fact that he has gay friends.


    Moreover, considering Greenwald’s own “evolution” on certain political positions, his implicit criticism that President Obama’s evolution on marriage equality is borne of selfishness and narcissism is simply too hypocritical for me to let pass without comment.

    Back in 2005, when Greenwald was 35 years old, he wrote the following about the scourge of “illegals”:

    Over the past several years, illegal immigrants have poured into the United States by the millions. The wave of illegals entering the country is steadily increasing. The people living in the border states of California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico know this flow has to be drastically slowed and then halted. The situation is so dire in that region that the Democratic Governors of Arizona and New Mexico were forced to declare States of Emergency as a result of the flow of illegals into their states and the resulting, massive problems which it brings.

    The parade of evils caused by illegal immigration is widely known, and it gets worse every day. In short, illegal immigration wreaks havoc economically, socially, and culturally; makes a mockery of the rule of law; and is disgraceful just on basic fairness grounds alone. Few people dispute this, and yet nothing is done.

    In the last year or so, Greenwald added an update to his post, and blamed “Obama cultists” for “digging back six years in [his] archives to find something to discredit [him].” (Silly, but typical.)

    Now, is it possible for people to change their political positions on issues like same sex marriage, or immigration, or the Iraq War (which, by the way, Greenwald supported before he didn’t)? Absolutely. Is it possible that such political positions are formed based on critical thinking and not out of political expedience, selfishness, or narcissism? Absolutely. Is the opposite true? Again, absolutely.

    But nothing screams “selfish” and “narcissist” like pointing to the fact that you were a noob to blogging as the reason for committing to virtual paper your conservative positions on “illegals” (nice terminology there, pal), and then blaming “Obama cultists” for the reason your old wingnutty positions have come to light. And, as NCSteve’s comment demonstrates, there’s an alternative explanation for President Obama’s “evolution” that does not begin and end with “he’s just like a Republican.”

    As I’ve written before, I’m willing to give Greenwald the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he was politically uninformed in 2005. (Two full years after the beginning of the Iraq War which Greenwald supported, but never mind that.) Maybe Greenwald didn’t change his position out of selfishness and narcissism (because he knew he couldn’t be considered a “progressive” voice on the left while holding positions on immigration anathema to progressivism.) Maybe he had a true “come to Jesus moment.”

    But why won’t he make that same allowance for anyone else, whether the president himself or the president’s supporters? Why won’t he give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who doesn’t march in lockstep with his views on everything? If you hold a nuanced position on drones? You’re a babykiller. If you have a nuanced position on the NDAA, you would defend President Obama if he raped a nun on live television.

    No breaks for Obama. No breaks for Obama supporters. Breaks for Greenwald.

    Thus is the logic of Glenn Greenwald. And given the slurs that Greenwald hurls at Obama supporters, and his willingness to leverage rape to make a political point, Greenwald’s disdain for President Obama seems more like a personal grudge than anything based on principle.

  15. Ametia says:

    BWA HA HA HA Where’s the POPCORN?!!!

  16. Ametia says:

    Steubenville Rape Trial Verdict: Trent Mays, Ma’lik Richmond Found Guilty
    Posted: 03/17/2013 10:14 am EDT | Updated: 03/17/2013 11:47 am EDT

    A judge announced on Sunday that the defendants in the Steubenville rape trial were found guilty.

    Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond had been accused of sexually assaulting a female acquaintance while she was severely intoxicated. Video and photo footage from the night of the incident spread across the internet soon after, drawing national attention to the case.

    Mays and Richmond, both football players at Steubenville High School, received delinquent verdicts on all three charges. Delinquent is the guilty equivalent for juveniles. They were both convicted of digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, and Mays was also found guilty of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. The boys will serve their sentence at a juvenile detention facility until they turn 21.

    The defendants and their family members openly wept at the verdict.

    The victim, who has not been identified, testified in court on Saturday that she did not remember the attack, but that she remembered waking up naked in a house she did not recognize. Other members of the small Ohio community also testified against the defendants.

    Here’s more on the case from the AP:

    STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — Two members of the high school football team that is the pride of Steubenville were found guilty Sunday of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl in a case that bitterly divided the Rust Belt city and led to accusations of a cover-up to protect the community’s athletes.


  17. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s, uh, flexibility
    Charlie Cook takes the long view:

    [C]ould the Republicans’ arguably rigged House majority actually be a curse disguised as a blessing?… [I]n the process of quarantining Democrats, Republicans effectively purged millions of minority voters from their own districts, and that should raise a warning flag. By drawing themselves into safe, lily-white strongholds, have Republicans inadvertently boxed themselves into an alternate universe that bears little resemblance to the rest of the country?

    That, I assume, is a rhetorical question. So on to answering some others.

    The GOP is in a desperate scramble to survive, which is hardly anything new. The party repudiated its own long views of Eisenhower Republicanism once it decided, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, to strategically “fuse” intolerant Christianists and libertarian Goldwaterites under the GOP’s ideological umbrella of rabid anti-communism (now rabid anti-Islamism or an aggressive anti-“Red” China stance or, heaven forfend, there’s our Number One geopolitical foe, Russia!)–and thus win more elections.

    Electoral politics assumed a vast, unlofty superiority over policy concerns and political consistency; hence the party’s ease, for example, in denouncing Democratic deficits but unashamedly embracing its own, or in coddling religious fanatics through stridently anti-women’s rights rhetoric while preaching civil liberties to the libertarians. Such were nimble acts of select demagoguery, but also politically practical and absolutely necessary if the chief objective was to be gained: more elections won and more power grabbed. (It can be conceded without contradiction that the point of politics is, naturally, to win elections; but generally some underlying, essentially immutable philosophy of governance is assumed by outsiders. With the modern GOP, we cannot assume any such thing.)

  18. rikyrah says:

    Republican nullification
    Michael Tomasky runs some GOPspeak through a debullshitter gizmo:

    When Republicans say Obama needs to show “leadership,” what they mean is that he ought to just embrace the Ryan budget. They really won’t accept anything else…. There is nothing Obama can do to please them except drop entirely his demand for revenue, which would be indefensible on political and policy grounds.

    The truth of this nugget is incontrovertible. By “leadership” Republicans mean total agreement, and by “revenue” they mean deal-breaker. Theirs is an exquisitely simple negotiating position that even their base can understand, and most of all, appreciate and adore: Praise Jesus, there shall be no negotiating.

    It would be wrong to suggest, however–and I’m not suggesting that Tomasky does, but others do–that Republicans are merely being their usual dense selves. For in their prodigious simple-mindedness of “No, a thousand times no” there lies the diabolical brilliance of election nullification. It’s as though November never transpired, a national debate never took place, a people’s choice was never made; those 18-or-so months of presidential campaigning never really occurred–they, as well as Obama’s reelection, have been wiped from the books as functionally superfluous.

  19. rikyrah says:

    March 16, 2013
    What can I say? And I ask that literally

    Speaking at CPAC, Eric Metaxas, “author and radio commentator,” just compared the Obama administration’s conduct toward American religious freedom to that of Nazi Germany’s.

    I’d comment, but I’m speechless. Even now, even after all its years of crazy, the right can still take my breath away.


    That idiot was followed by the right’s latest darling, Dr. Ben Carson, who to vigorous applause revealed that socialism arose in response to Henry Ford’s personal success, that the first transcontinental railroad was an ideal example of the entrepreneurial spirit, that churches should–and can–exclusively assist the poor, and that “we” really must stop our “War on God.”

    And I kid you not.


    Then came AEI’s president, Arthur Brooks, who introduced what he regarded as the stunningly ingenious idea of Republican pols selling, say, Medicare cuts not as cuts but as a way of helping future retirees, since otherwise the program might collapse.

    It seems Mr. Brooks slept through last year’s Romney-Ryan campaign. (Can you blame him?)

  20. Ametia says:


    Two Steubenville high school football players accused of raping an allegedly drunk 16-year-old girl were found guilty by an Ohio judge on Sunday.

    Judge Thomas Lipps announced his decision after reviewing evidence presented over four days of testimony in the case against 17-year-old Trent Mays and 16-year-old Ma’lik Richmond.

    The ruling brings to an end a trial that gained national attention for its lurid text messages, cell phone pictures and videos, and social media posts.

    At the heart of the case was the question of whether the alleged victim was too drunk on the night of August 11 and the early morning of August 12 to understand what was happening to her and to consent.

    • rikyrah says:

      I never thought she’d get any semblence of justice. This entire case was nothing but a cesspool of adults trying to cover for these criminal’s behavior.

      • Ametia says:

        You and me both, Rikyrah. How the hell were these fools gonna claim a semi-unconscious teenage girl consented to being raped? They always blame the victims of this horrendous, despicalbe CRIME.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

    • Ametia says:

      Good Morning, Rikyrah & Everyone! :-)))))

    • Good morning, everyone! Happy Sunday!

      2 Corinthians 4:8-9

      We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed.
      We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.
      We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God.
      We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.



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