Sunday, August 26, 2012

Last Call

Meanwhile, Syria is all but in name trapped in a bloody civil war where hundreds and thousands are dying.

On Sunday, 60 people were killed in Damascus and its suburbs, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said. The LCC said 21 people, including an entire family, were found dead in the Damascus suburb of Daraya.

It said 47 people were killed Sunday in Daraa, the town south of Damascus near the Jordanian border where Syria's uprising began.

CNN spoke by Skype to an activist named Osama, who said the army was executing families in their homes in Daraya and stealing some possessions.

He said shelling began last Monday and the military closed all the ways in and out. He kept contact with people inside Daraya through the Internet.

He was told the army moved into the neighborhood on Friday and began sweeping through buildings where families were taking cover.

At least 50 bodies were found in one apartment basement, he reported.

Saturday's death toll included more than 200 bodies found in Daraya, but it was unclear when those victims were killed.

I talk about how our political system is broken and how America is in trouble, and I am humbly reminded that perspective is everything, and as bad as the GOP is, they are nowhere close to the al-Assad regime in the evil, repugnant bastard department.

And so it goes.

Re-Birther Of The Uncool, Part 7

On Saturday's Up With Chris Hayes, Chris discussed Romney's full birther conversion with an excellent African-American panel consisting of The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, Ill Doctrine blogger and DJ Jay Smooth and comedian and "Totally Biased" host W. Kamau Bell.  Ezra Klein called it "one of the best things I've ever seen on cable news" and I'd have to agree.

There's more at the site, or at Ezra's link, but it's worth watching. Also, Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes discussed Romney's obvious birther trolling on Maddow's show Friday night...also worth a watch. Finally, Bon and I discussed Mitt the Birther on this week's Podcast vs. The Stupid.

Give it all a gander, folks.

Deaf Man Hears Music For The First Time

The 23-year-old filmmaker, whose life has largely been visual until now, still struggles to adequately explain the rush of new sounds echoing through his head. He compares them at one point to seeing a high-resolution photograph for the first time. Later, he describes the sensation as being exposed to a color you've never seen before.

Finally, with a broad smile on his face he offers this analogy: "It's like the first time you kiss a girl. It's like that."

The experience came as he cruised around his Orange County, Calif., neighborhood with friends soon after getting the new hearing aids. He had always wanted to really hear Mozart, so his friends put on "Lacrimosa," the brooding work the composer completed on his death bed in 1791.

"I was in the car and it was quite an experience," recalls Kyle Sinnott, Chapman's best friend since high school. "He was nodding his head and moving his fingers. He cried at one point, and the same goes for everybody in the car. Everybody let out a tear."
I cannot imagine what life would be like without sound.  Most of us couldn't.  However, this man knows and has seen both sides.  It's interesting to read his journey, and the full article is very thorough.  It describes the confusion and the irritating inability to just mute the world.  Unlike what we see, what we hear has layers and distortions that we can't just turn off.  Babies sound funny to him, and I'm sure downtown traffic can be maddening.

Still, it's a heartwarming story, enjoy!

Oops! Were You Using That Kidney?

An Ohio nurse accidentally put a kidney in the trash, prompting the University of Toledo Medical Center to suspend its live donor program as it investigates the incident.
Doctors tried to resuscitate the kidney, which came from a live donor, but it was rendered unusable.
“We cannot fathom the disappointment that those impacted have experienced over the course of the last week. The University cannot begin to express the sorrow that we feel that this unfortunate incident occurred. We apologize sincerely,” Dr. Jeffery P. Gold, University of Toledo chancellor and dean of the College of Medicine, said in a statement.

It's unfortunate, and would  be devastating to everyone involved.  Those who lost the donor and the person awaiting the transplant.   It's hard to fathom what goes on during a transplant.  It will be interesting to learn what the investigation reveals.  Right now we don't know who is to blame.

Best wishes to the person who is still next in line.

Florida Frenemies

Former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is now backing Barack Obama, causing howls of betrayal from the state's Republicans.

As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years — and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role — I'm confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation. I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility. It is a vision of the future proven right by our history.

We often remind ourselves to learn the lessons of the past, lest we risk repeating its mistakes. Yet nearly as often, our short-term memory fails us. Many have already forgotten how deep and daunting our shared crisis was in the winter of 2009, as President Obama was inaugurated. It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation's calm through a historically turbulent storm.

The president's response was swift, smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed upon them. 

But it's the Tea Party that has really turned Crist off:

As Republicans gather in Tampa to nominate Mitt Romney, Americans can expect to hear tales of how President Obama has failed to work with their party or turn the economy around.

But an element of their party has pitched so far to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students that they've proven incapable of governing for the people. Look no further than the inclusion of the Akin amendment in the Republican Party platform, which bans abortion, even for rape victims.

The truth is that the party has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve. 


How much Crist's endorsement of Obama will help, I have no clue.  It's not like he had a whole lot of political capital in the blood red Marco Rubio/Rick Scott Florida.   But there's a reason why Dem Sen. Ben Nelson and Barack Obama are running a tough race in this supposedly now permanently red southern state, and it has everything to do with what Crist had to say about the GOP.

Coming on the doorstep of the Tampa convention, that's going to get noticed.
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