THE ABSENT

THE ABSENT
THE ABSENT - out now!

CRIPPLED HEARTS

CRIPPLED HEARTS
Out Now - For sale on Amazon and other onlne book sellers

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FLESH EATING MOSAIC AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FLESH EATING MOSAIC AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju
Out Now

THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT NINNY AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju

THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT NINNY AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju
My first book of poetry available through Amazon and other online booksellers www.rajbooks.com

Monday, April 30, 2012

70'S REVIEW PROJECT - MOTT THE HOOPLE - MOTT, CAN - EGE BAYAMSI, QUEEN - A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, TALKING HEADS - 77, VAN MORRISON - MOONDANCE


MOTT by Mott the Hoople (1973) The best record ever made where the theme is music as a career when you are not the guy on top.  The hard life of a touring band ironically played by a band at their musical peak. “I Wish I Was Your Mother” and “The Ballad of Mott” on side 2 are heartbreakers- The former predicts the punk rock dead end mindset, the latter the ultimate expression of resignation in rock and roll a “loser’s game” but one the singer cannot quit. 



EGE BAMYASI by Can (1972) If any Can record could ever be called accessible to the listener it’s this one.  Not as innovate or as powerful as TAGO MAGO but a lot more fun.  Damo Suzuki seems to be taking his medication which is a good thing.



A NIGHT AT THE OPERA by Queen (1975) Any record that can contain both Death on Two Legs and Love of My Life, The Prophet’s Song and God Save the Queen not to mention the show stopping spectacle that is Bohemian Rhapsody is worth the name of royalty.  Queen’s finest hour. 



77 by Talking Heads (1977) The jittery power of this impressive debut is in David Byrne’s irony or not statements – Don’t Worry About the Government, The Book I Read etc. Meanwhile, The Heads nervously tug at the rhythm as if it was pizza dough.



MOONDANCE by Van Morrison (1970) Buoyed by the deep soulful power of his voice and nimble pop jazz instrumentation, Van Morrison keeps one foot in the mystic and one in a world where he dances under the moon, celebrates radio, and is stoned by drinking mountain water from a stream.  Van’s celebration of love and nature is the music itself.  



Friday, April 27, 2012

HONEY FOR THE BEARS BY ANTHONY BURGESS


HONEY FOR THE BEARS by Anthony Burgess is non-stop action.  It’s basically one awkward scene after another with no time for narrator or us to catch our breath.

The main character, Paul Hussey, is the owner of an antique store in London. He has given him a number of dresses to sell on the Russian black market to benefit the widow of a recently deceased friend who he fought with in WWII (and who was making a living smuggling things into the USSR). A recently imprisoned composer named Opiskin that both Paul and his friend were fans of is also repeatedly brought up.
   
When we first meet Paul, he is on a cruise liner headed for Leningrad.  His American wife, Belinda, has developed a painful rash and is spending all her time in their stateroom.  The Russians Paul encounters on the ship and also in Leningrad are at times lazy, dishonest, corrupt, overly informal, and have a habit of drinking too much.  They are also imbued with a fervor for communism that is not unlike those who follow a particular religion with fanaticism.  The religion cannot be questioned.

The tone of this book is humorous – Paul’s dentures becoming loose due to a Russian customs officer seizing the tube of his bonding agent, another male character donning a dress and attempting to get out of Russia using Paul’s wife’s passport, Paul’s continuous run in with a pair of bumbling Russian secret police.

There is also a sideplot about Paul finding out about Belinda having a lesbian affair and Paul himself struggling with sexuality as its revealed that he has some gay issues as well.  All of this creates a crash bam narrative.  This is Burgess’s fastest paced novel and it works because of the humor.

I would have liked more of an explanation for what was going on.  However, it’s still an enjoyable read and never gets too heavy into Cold War politics although I did like the final question about the elusive nature of freedom.  One of Burgess’s lighter books to be sure.


    

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

THE ART OF WRITING CAPUSLE REVIEWS/ 70'S REVIEW PROJECT - GANG OF FOUR - ENTERTAINMENT, NEW YORK DOLLS-NEW YORK DOLLS, BLACK SABBATH - PARANOID, T REX - ELECTRIC WARRIOR, MAGAZINE - REAL LIFE


Currently, I am taking part in a poll documenting the 100 best records of the 1970’s as part of a music group I belong to in Facebook.  Once the poll is closed and the records are selected, the 100 top records each receive a capsule review extolling its virtues.

I am writing a few of these and it got me thinking about the art of writing capsule reviews.  Saying everything you want in four or five lines or even less.  You have to find a hook, a stand-out detail of each record in order to pare it down like this.  A very good example of this is Robert Christgau even if I only agree with about half his opinions.  His record guide books of the 70’s and 80’s are all capsule reviews.

I tried to make a list of my favorite records of all time but it got very sloppy http://rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.com/2011/08/my-top-500-records-of-all-time-100.html I had to post an addendum as well

What I think might be better is if I slowly post capsule reviews for my favorite records of the 70’s – five each time.  I will also do for the 60’s and the 80’s.  In the case of the 80’s, I may need to split up into two parts 100 best of 1980 to 1984 and 100 best 1985 to 1989.  When I am done who knows maybe I will come up with a better more organized best records lists but this time do it by decade.

Here’s the first five:

ENTERTAINMENT by Gang of Four (1979) An anti-capitalist message, feedback laden guitar, and a funky rhythm section seem like an impossible combination but it works here, oh does it work, Composed of equal parts head and heart and perhaps the greatest rhythm section of all time, this swings. 




THE NEW YORK DOLLS by The New York Dolls (1973) While attempting to mimic The Rolling Stones, David Johanson and Co. come up with a completely new form of music. The future is Johnny Thunders' guitar and it barrels forward like a subway train as big as Frankenstein.




PARANOID by Black Sabbath (1970) The problem with Black Sabbath’s records was consistency. This was their most consistent record and we see Ozzy’s Osbourne’s wailing, Tony Iommi’s juggernaut riffs, Geezer Butler’s sludge bass, and the underrated Bill Ward, a faster John Bonham, lock into something that can only be called heavy.




ELECTRIC WARRIOR by T Rex (1971) The true father of glam sets down the template – kitchen sink arrangements, ridiculous lyrics, breathy overblown vocals, the result is grand, majestic, something out of the heavens.  Often emulated, never equaled.




REAL LIFE by Magazine (1978) Howard Devoto’s obtuse vision finds the right musical accompaniment on Magazine’s debut. Over busy keyboards alternating electronics and piano, strafing guitars and Barry Adamson’s bubbling bass, Devoto spins his surreal lyrics like the anti-Dylan and their music hangs on his every word like the Band’s.



  

Monday, April 23, 2012

THE SPECTATOR BIRD BY WALLACE STEGNER


 “I’m just killing time until time gets around to killing me”

What THE SPECTATOR BIRD is ultimately about is open to any number of interpretations by the reader.  It is a book about someone who has watched most of their life, observed their surroundings.  What they did with this is the question.

Joe Allston, the main character, is a retired literary agent living outside San Francisco in a rural setting with his wife Ruth.  He is 70 years old and suffering from the usual old people problems including a recent bout with heart disease.  The book’s first section is largely devoted to his daily complaints about growing old as well as those of his equally elderly friends and neighbors.

A visit from a flashy Italian writer Joe used to represent sparks some past memories and he and his wife end up re-reading a journal he kept of a trip to Denmark they took 20 years previous.  There, Joe and Ruth befriended a countess whose apartment they sublet and shared.  The story of the countess, her family, and their relationship with Joe are the story.

However, it is a singularly different story and I didn’t see at all what it had to do with the other story set in the present of the aging process and the regret felt (mostly to do with the death of Joe’s son some years previous which I believe is the central theme of an earlier book ALL THE LITTLE LIVE THINGS which I have not read).

That’s not to say it’s bad but the last 1/3 goes in a truly bizarre direction-it almost becomes like a horror novel for awhile.  I expected an affair between the countess and Joe (which doesn’t happen) as I felt that was where the book was headed but what happens is totally out of the blue.

I like unpredictability.  When I started this book I felt it was just going to be about stodgy old people (which it is a bit) but it also ended up being weirdly imaginative and has a few pungent statements to make on the subject of family.

Joe is a spectator although his life has been rich and full.  He has observed human foibles and perhaps thinks he should have been more engaged at certain points of life himself.

Of the four books I’ve read by Stegner, this was the most outside the box.  My other Stegner reviews are here.     





 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

RESTAURANT REVIEW - RESTORAN SERI MALAYSIA (IN IPOH, MALAYSIA)


Here’s my stab at a restaurant review – Something I did for my high school newspaper and once or twice when I was a stringer writing for a couple of local newspapers in Northern California many years ago.

The Restoran Sri Lido (Malaysian spelling) is located in downtown Ipoh next to The Store across from the Pizza Hut.  The building the Lido is in used to be a movie theatre which is apparent from these photos.



































During the day on Saturday, it is very quiet.  The dinner crowd is what keeps the place going.  It can also be rented out for events.

We’ve eaten here a few times before and always enjoyed the food and the service.  However, this time when we got our menu, we noticed the absence of pork dishes.  When we asked about this, we were informed by our waitress they had new management and had shifted to a halal menu to attract a bigger clientele (Muslims).  In keeping with that, our waitress was a Malay.

I am happy to report though that this made no difference to either the food or the service which were both great.

We had the following dishes – sweet and sour fish, lemon chicken, yam basket, long bean in garlic sauce.  A radish in chicken stock soup was also included as was rice.  Lido does not skimp on the rice unlike other Chinese restaurants.



The yam basket was also served with chicken and the result was just a wonderful blend of flavour with the yam being the foundation that tied it all together. The sweet and sour fish was a delicate balance of flavours.  The lemon chicken was the highlight of the meal-boneless and crunchy with a genius lemon glaze that was neither too sweet nor too sour-just perfect.  The soup was a great way to start the meal as the taste of the broth was muted enough to advance the pleasant flavor of the radish

All in all, a fantastic meal ata good price (rm44 including two drinks) and great service in an interesting looking building.  The problem with a lot of Chinese restaurants is the rudeness and poor service of the staff.  This sometimes borders on racism as Chinese will often serve Chinese customers before other races and also before foreigners.  I therefore think it’s a good thing to encourage 21st century thinking among Chinese restaurants and I will definitely be patronizing Restoran Seri Lido in the future.

    

     

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RANDOM THOUGHTS AND PREDICTIONS ABOUT SEASON FIVE OF BREAKING BAD


Any number of things could happen in the final season of BREAKING BAD.  Walter has now eliminated every immediate criminal threat to himself, Jesse, and any future business prospects (except for Gus’s bodyguard and henchman Mike who was left behind in Mexico where he is being treated for serious gunshot wounds)

Where does the show go from here?

Zach Gilligan, Breaking Bad’s creator, has said the show is going to get “Shakespearean” and star Bryan Cranston has said that we are going to get to know Walter White’s dark heart.

Both of these quotes would seem to hint at a very dark final season with lots of death as well as revelations on Walter White’s past.  When it comes down to it, there still is much we do not know about him.

I have some ideas and suggestions I’d like to offer about the final season.

It’s assumed by many that Walter is going to die.  It was his impending death from Cancer that caused him to become a crystal meth cook to begin with and he has also operated very close to death at the hands of others throughout the show.  Walter has always stated that the safety of his family came first and everything he does is for them.  So wouldn’t it be a great irony if everybody but Walter died???? That is Skyler, Walter Jr. etc. ending with Jesse his surrogate son?

It was revealed in the last few episodes of Season Four that Gus Fring was part of large corporation.  Whether he owned this corporation or was just an employee will be shown but wouldn’t it also be ironic if Elliott and Gretchen turned out to be behind this corporation?  I do think we need further resolution on what happened between the three of them that caused Walter to not associate with them anymore and feel cheated out of his share of their profits from them working together.

Walter’s relationship with Hank who I believe will quickly figure out Walter is Heisenberg now that all distractions have been removed will be of prime importance in Season 5.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a security camera inside the nursing home that caught Walter.  We know at least one old lady saw him skulking outside Hector Salamanca’s room.  I feel Walter will have to deal with Hank.  It would be easy to kill Hank and make it look like an accident.  I see Walt or Jesse killing Hank.

Walter, a very angry man underneath everything for reasons that have not completely been explained, has gradually stripped himself of everything.  I do not believe he cares that much for his family anymore and I wouldn’t be surprised that in addition to Hank he sacrifices one or more of them to save his own skin (or Jesse's who I believes he loves more at this point).

Here’s an outside the box scenario – Walter is attacked by a shadowy nemesis that gradually kills everyone around him during the season.  In the end it is revealed to be Walter himself who has developed a split personality and at the end must fight himself or Jesse.

I hope they don’t take the route everyone expects – The cartel returns and Walter becomes Scarface until he is killed in battle at the end in a big dramatic burst of violence.  That would be too predictable!

Walter and Jesse being the only two combatants left and turning on each other like rats makes more sense.  Will Jesse ever find out Walter let Jane die and poisoned Brock?

I also look forward to seeing more of Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman – He’s hilarious and one of my favorite comedic actors.   




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

INFORMATION ON MY NEXT BOOK OF POETRY

The good news is I will have a new poetry collection out by the end of year - probably late October or November.  Here is me reciting what is likely to be the title poem of this collection TRAVELS WITH THE ANTI-JOHNNY APPLESEED


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJvJrY3tKvk

Thursday, April 12, 2012

SONIK KICKS BY PAUL WELLER


The first chapter (and the one that gives it its name) of my currently unpublished book of music essays TRUE IS THE DREAM MIXED WITH NOSTALGIA deals with Paul Weller and British music.  He is an artist I have never had anything but the utmost respect for.  A man of true integrity who has resisted putting The Jam back together for a huge cash pay out and a terrific songwriter with Ray Davies’s ear and eye for how people live in the UK and the ability to streamline those observations in songform even more than Davies.  He has also got a very natural rock and roll voice which through aging has become even more soulful and traditional and warm a instrument.

He has never really made a bad solo record in addition to every record he made as leader of The Jam and the first two Style Council albums (the rest of the Style Council period was his nadir).  When he once again found himself musically and launched a solo career in the early 90’s after the end of the Style Council, he not only inspired listeners but I would argue the whole Britpop scene for which he was sort of an elder statesman for.

SONIK KICKS, his latest solo album, is interesting primarily for the reason that it shows you can teach an old dog new tricks.  Weller is now in his early 50’and has made a record that differs from his past solo output by showcasing a heavy use of synthesizers and the sort of programmed percussion that goes along with it.  That doesn’t mean he totally eschews his familiar sound-still plenty of guitars, jazzy arrangements etc.  His vocals are as human as can be imagined.

Fast automated barn burner hybrids such as “The Attic” and “Kling I Klang” are offset by more traditional Weller fare as “When Your Garden is Overgrown”.  Weller’s newfound sound is perhaps best typified by the single “That Dangerous Age” which before Weller’s voice kicks in could be mistaken as being by some lost 80’s New Romantics band.  I also like the fact that Weller never overextends a song’s length.  Many of the songs here are around three minutes or length except for “Study in Blue” which turns into an open ended musical improv session.

SONIK KICKS bodes well for Weller’s career.  We see that he still feels the passion after more than 30 years of making music to break away a bit from his usual sound and try something a little bit different.  This is probably his best album of the last ten years, since ILLUMINATION although I would still say my favorite solo album of his is his second WILDWOOD (one of the best albums of the 1990’s IMO). 



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A FEW THOUGHTS ON THE POETRY OF PAUL VERLAINE


The poet Paul Verlaine is one of these creative people whose work has been overshadowed by a sensationalistic private life.  In Verlaine’s case, it was his scandalous (at the time) homosexual relationship with Arthur Rimbaud.  While Rimbaud’s poetry still stands in the minds of many and has been the source material for rockstars like Jim Morrison and Patti Smith, Verlaine has disappeared a bit from view (aside from being connected to Rimbaud).
                                                                    
The poet I think one would most likely compare Verlaine to isn’t Rimbaud but Charles Baudelaire.  They lived similarly decadent and self-destructive lives and lived roughly at the same time.  However, Baudelaire’s verse is shocking in its honesty, its discordant style, and its powerful descriptions of man at his frailest.  I wrote more about Baudelaire here http://rgdinmalaysia.xanga.com/669584750/the-flowers-of-evil-by-charles-baudelaire/

Despite the seedy cloud around Verlaine’s life, his verse is shockingly normal.  He has an eye for little details and he knows the benefit of just enough speech not saying more than what is needed for the reader to draw a picture in their minds but his subject matter is often purely descriptive or observational.  If he was disturbed, I don’t find it in the verse I’ve read.

Another thing I notice about Verlaine’s poetry is his use of conventional meter.  Many of his poems are constructed of four line stanzas of roughly the same amount of syllables and words.  In recitation, their delivery exposes their conventional construction….But there is nothing wrong with that from a critical point of view-it does not necessarily hurt his verse.

Rather, Verlaine is a simple poet, easy to grasp, and he has found a way to make his ideas small and to keep whatever disagreeable elements of his personality from interfering with his poetry.

Here are two of my favorite poems of Tom Verlaine

THE YOUNG FOOLS


CLAIR DE LUNE



TIM TEBOW AND THE VALUE OF SHUTTING UP



I’m not a fan of American football so am no expert on the merits or demerits of Tim Tebow as an athlete.  As an atheist, I have no problem with public expressions of faith as long as they do not infringe on me by forcing  my participation in religious ritual .  I do think to publicly praise a god or higher power after winning a sporting event is a bit of a FU to the other opponent or team of opponents.  Like saying God likes me best.  Poor sportsmanship!

I do believe that Tim Tebow’s popularity as a public figure is based on his knowing when to keep his mouth shut.  I have read that his publicity/PR people are savvy in this regard and have advised him of that very thing.

Why would Tim Tebow speaking publicly from the heart about his beliefs necessarily be a bad thing?

Because he would turn off many people (women, gay Americans, those religious people who are not Christians).

How do I know this would happen?

Well Tim Tebow has strongly associated himself with the anti-abortion anti-gay Focus on the Family.  He has appeared in a pro-life ad put together by them and other events.  He has strong connections to Focus on the Family and other evangelical right-wing Christian organizations.

If he voiced support for Focus on the Family in a public setting and spoke out more on these issues, I think we’d see his beliefs are very scary.  In addition to being against abortion and gay right/marriage, Focus also believes in “traditional” roles for women meaning women shouldn’t work and just stay home and have kids.  Focus on the Family is basically a hate group founded partly on religious intolerance and partly on the vision of an America that never really existed-some sort of regressive Ozzie and Harriet fantasyland where everyone is white and Christian and only men work and women don’t fret their pretty little heads about anything.

It did seem like the mask slightly fell away on Easter weekend when Tebow addressed a Christian event and said “America was one nation under God”.  Here, I should also point out that Focus on the Family does not believe in the separation of church and state and they also subscribe to and help promote many of the wacky bigoted theories about Islam that are currently the Lingua Franca of the tea party right wing.

So Tebow keeps quiet and the endorsements will keep coming in and the fans will still like him.  However, after football, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run for political office as a Tea Party Republican and it wouldn’t also be surprise to see him get caught up in some sex scandal (caught in a public restroom?) as is often the case with the right-wing social police.        

By the way, there is some question about the veracity of Tebow’s mother’s story about him almost being aborted, that the story may not be true….A good discussion of both sides here



Friday, April 6, 2012

MUSIC ROUND-UP - APRIL 2012


Bear in Heaven’s 2009 record BEAST REST FORTH MOUTH was excellent, one of the best releases that year-deep, powerful organic yet all synthesizers.  The secret weapon here is the masterfully controlled vocals of Jon Philpot - he knows just when to let it all hang out.  The recent follow-up I LOVE YOU IT’S COOL is just as deep and heavy and mysterious but also swings.  This is the bear in disco heaven and the end result is atmosphere plus beats-a gorgeous record!


Weird Dream’s sound begins and ends with the shimmering guitars that are the centerpiece of CHOREOGRAPHY.  The haunting harmony vocals also help push the music which is catchy neo-psychedelic pop boosted by the sparkly guitars – The Beach Boys on a distant water planet.

 
Kindness is a one man band named Adam Bainbridge.  At first, one might think that this is your typical New York 70’s retro techno funk mix but Bainbridge mines many different styles on his debut record WORLD YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR MIND  and seems comfortable with all of them.  That alone is impressive and when coupled with the songcraft on display here ….Well, a most impressive introduction to the man and his music.

 
OTHER PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS by Breton is the soundtrack to abandoned burned out buildings and the occupy type protester.  It’s a record of cut up strings and pianos and layered on synths and thumping percussion with hollow spaces and semi-hoodlum pronouncements in between . It’s a sonically impressive work that gets better with each listen although I wish the vocals were not so lazy.  This is a very good record but I imagine this type of music with a better singer would be even more fantastic.     



HANDICAPPING MITT ROMNEY'S VICE PRESIDENTIAL CHOICES - ALL ROADS LEAD TO PAUL RYAN


Mitt Romney’s public appearances with Congressman Paul Ryan were not just for endorsement purposes (Ryan supporting his presidential bid and helping him win the Wisconsin Primary) but I believe also an audition because at this point one must consider Ryan the frontrunner to be Romney’s first choice for vice president once he clinches the nomination.

All roads lead to Paul Ryan.  He is a walking embodiment of his plan “The Ryan Plan” which is likely to be a major campaign talking point for the Republicans in this election.  He appears to be scandal free, is young and sounds intelligent when he speaks.  He has a very conservative voting record on all issues but is not really vocal on anything other than fiscal policies.  He is not strident or polarizing.  There is also the state of Wisconsin to consider – It is a state that Republicans are eternally hopeful to win during a presidential election but haven’t been able to do since 1984.

 I’m not a Republican by any means but if I was Romney I would pick Ryan.

What about other potential VP’s?  Here is how I handicap the list….

Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana – Would be my second choice if I was Romney.  Fits all three legs of the Republican stool – Fiscal, Social, Defense.  However, the crazy birther wing of the Republican Party believes that those who were born in the USA but had one or more parents who were not citizens at the time of their birth are ineligible for the presidency.  This is how they interpret the “natural born citizen” clause of the constitution.  Jindal's parents originally from India were graduate students at the time he was born and were on student visas.  Romney does not want any trouble with conservatives so this hurts Jindal’s chances.

Marco Rubio, Senator of Florida – an emerging scandal about his finances and the birther problem (Rubio’s parents are Cuban immigrants) will keep him off the ticket which is too bad as he fits many of the targets the Republicans need to hit in this race-From Florida, Hispanic, young, etc.

Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina – Lingering talk of infidelity from her gubernatorial campaign plus a burgeoning tax evasion scandal makes her not so good a pick.  Romney with a female VP would be a good idea but she could be Palin part 2.

Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey – Romney with a much bigger mouth and an extra 200 pounds.  He has become a youtube folk hero although he is basically just a cowardly bully who engineers media events so he can yell at public servants (mostly teachers) Also notice he mostly yells at women and old people.  However despite his bluster he is quite moderate like Romney was when he was governor of Massachusetts on some issues such as gun control and immigration.  Two Northeastern moderates on the Republican ticket?  I think at that point there would be an interparty war.

Bob McDonnell, Governor of Virginia – Virginia is now a swing state and Donnell is popular there but the recent abortion ultrasound controversy hurt him.  It painted him a.) As an extreme right winger and a theocrat and b.) A weakling who reversed course once the bill became known and then unpopular.  

Rob Portman, Senator of Ohio – I would love to run against him if I was President Obama’s reelection team.  He was George Bush’s budget director for God’s sake!  I would talk about that morning, noon, and night.  It would be the first and last thing out of my mouth when campaigning.

Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana – I’ve written about Daniels before http://rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.com/2011/06/why-mitch-daniels-would-never-have-been.html I think the same weaknesses about his weird marriage, drug arrest, time with George Bush apply now plus the recent bill he signed that gives people the right to shoot police officers who enter their home would be an issue.

Susanna Martinez, Governor of New Mexico – a very outside the box choice but could connect with Hispanics.  However, her maternal grandparents were illegal immigrants(Republicans would hate this) and she’s an unknown quantity otherwise so not this time.

Jim DeMint, Senator of South Carolina – The favorite of conservatives.  Would cement Republican support of Romney but turn off a lot of others who view the head of the tea party caucus as way, way, way too far to the right.

There are still deep doubts about Mitt Romney by a lot of people who identify themselves as “conservatives”.  The trick is to find a VP pick that allays those concerns but also doesn’t turn off the rest of America who are trending away from the Republicans due to recent miscalculations on issues pertaining to abortion , race etc..  Paul Ryan is the only one who can do both I think.    



  

Monday, April 2, 2012

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON THE TRAYVON MARTIN CASE


All anybody is asking for at this point in the Trayvon Martin shooting icase s a serious investigation and a trial.  The former I feel is now going on what with the involvement of the state of Florida and the FBI and the latter is an eventuality.

Here are a few random thoughts not in any particular order on the last few weeks….

Racism perhaps starts in the home.  George Zimmerman’s father Robert criticized very guarded and restrained comments by President Obama on the matter.  A day or so later, Mitt Romney said almost exactly the same thing as the president (minus the part of “being my son”).  Mr Zimmerman did not criticize Romney for his comments.

Why did state attorney Norman Wolfinger (now recused from the case) meet in person with the investigators the night it happened?  It is not common for a state attorney to do that considering how many cases he is handling at a given time.

Why did he overrule the police who felt Zimmerman’s story was not credible and he should be charged?

Is there a connection between Mr. Zimmerman and Norm Wolfinger?  Did Zimmerman receive special treatment because he is a retired Supreme Court justice from the state of Virginia?

They should subpoena Norm Wolfinger’s phone records to see if he had any direct involvement with the Zimmerman family.

So far the only person who actually corroborates Zimmerman’s side of the story is an ANONYMOUS witness ILLEGALLY LEAKED by the Sanford Police Department.

If Trayvon Martin had been a woman and been raped as well as murdered, would she have been criticized for wearing a mini-skirt when this happened?

It was raining the night of the shooting, attire with a hood was a good idea.

If George Zimmerman was actually a neighborhood watch volunteer, how come his organization wasn’t formally recognized by their community Homeowner’s Association?

If you don’t believe this was a case of racism at first, the smearing of Trayvon Martin should convince you otherwise.  Martin’s past history(smoking pot, being late to school)  and the way he dressed etc. is totally immaterial to what happened that night.

Zimmerman on the other hand has a long history of borderline violent behavior and many times called 911 to complain about nonsense such as a neighbor’s garage door being open too long.

Why is one pertinent and not the other? Because Zimmerman’s behavior directly relates to what happened that night-his pattern of violence and seeing himself as a John Wayne wannabe.

Sound experts says it’s not Zimmerman screaming that night on the 09/11 calls.  They need Martin’s voice sample to compare.  This could be the smoking gun (so to speak).

Zimmerman being Hispanic is immaterial-“Hispanic” is not a race.  He is also half-Jewish and speaking as someone who lived in Southern California there are a lot racial tensions between Hispanics and African-Americans.  I would also say that some of the most racist people I’ve met in my life have been Jewish.

In addition, one of the flashpoints that helped provoke the LA Riots in 1992 was the shooting in the back of unarmed teenager Latasha Harlins by a Korean shopkeeper Soon Ja Du which was another example of profiling gone wild.  Racism doesn’t only apply to white on black. 

One thing that is clear is it’s time to pass a federal anti-racial profiling law.

I’m not an Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson fan.  Sharpton ruined his reputation with the Tawana Brawley hoax and Jackson uses the proceeds of his organization to live high on the hog and entertain various mistresses but a stopped clock is right twice a day.  Without their involvement, this whole thing would have been swept under the carpet by the Sanford Police Department.

The Funeral Director who prepared Trayvon Martin’s body said there were no marks to his body other than the gunshot wound.  Certainly, nothing to indicate a violent brawl.

Why was Zimmerman released the night of the shooting without being tested for drugs and/or alcohol which is textbook procedure in cases like this?

Martin’s body was tested.  As far as we know, he was clean

Why did Martin’s body sit in the morgue for three days while his parents were looking for him?  The police had his cell phone.  They could have contacted his parents

The photos (most of them faked) of a gangster looking Trayvon Martin were originally displayed on a forum on the Stormfront website.  Stromfront is a neo-nazi white supremacist site.  This is where the Republican party trolls for information.  We all know the Republican party is a racist organization and has been since the 60’s when a lot of former Democrats(most from the south) joined up in the wake of civil rights legislation and integration but President Obama has so deranged them, it has removed the last fa├žade.

Did Zimmerman visit a doctor for his wounds? which by his own description and that of the police were quite severe.

This is anecdotal but years ago when I was a teenager I was playing basketball with some other kids and one fell and broke his nose.  The amount of blood that flowed out was large and had to be stemmed with two bits of Kleenex jammed in the nostrils until he could get to a hospital.  I agree the videotape of Zimmerman’s booking is not clear but there should have at least been some blood on the front of his clothing.


It’s not too late to sign a petition for justice for Trayvon Martin(and that is what this really about-not conviction without due process but justice)….My original post  http://www.rgdinmalaysia.blogspot.com/2012/03/justice-for-trayvon-martin.html