From Sinjar To The United States, Yazidis Rebuild

It was fairly recently that I felt the need to correct the record of what was being reported from the Middle East, with a family member who was getting all of their information from conservative media, which was tainting her perspective.

I reminded her that there were reports about the Kurds — just prior to the Paris attacks and the ones in Beirut — running Daesh out of the Iraqi city of Sinjar, which as I had guessed, she was not aware of.

Now, there are reports about what they’re finding in the city which is to be expected, but tonight PBSnewshour had a story about Yazidis returning to their homes in the city of Sinjar.

As of this writing, extremists are getting more press around the world, confronting refugees and telling them to go home. Many who are not from Syria but refugees nonetheless, are also getting killed in places such as Africa, which I will link to here when I get it.

How unfortunate that I have to agree with those bigots but only as far as to agree that everyone who has a community to maintain, should do what they can to protect it, especially when it comes to overwhelming force against them.

But this reminds me of a comment made by our other blog on the Disqus board on a page for the Diane Rehm show, where they talked about Syrian refugees in the United States.

SurvJourno-SpecialForcesVet-DRShow-Disqus

Clearly it made no difference to someone who wants to find some way to blame Obama. [screenshot]

I don’t think people really understand this refugee as crisis if they don’t know to look past the simplicity of the fact that they’re fleeing the atrocities committed by Daesh.

The point past that — that Everyone needs to understand — are the overwhelming incidents that cause them to flee in the first place because there is no doubt that every family or group has to come to some hard decision, at some point and depending on their circumstances, that they’re gonna have to get the fuck out of there. I mean, it’s not like they’re nomads who are used to travel, always moving from one place to another.

It’s ridiculously obvious from that story by PBS that they’re coming back to rebuild and considering all the shit they’ve been going through, that’s about as optimistic as you can get.

And then we come to the United States where people are starting a new life and there are plenty of stories like that coming out over the Thanksgiving week, but we saw one over on NBCnews, which talks about some Yazidis settling in the United States, starting a new life.

The question here is, what kind of ridicule are they going to have to endure? If the right-wing politicians are going all the way with their Anti-Islamic message that “Christian” refugees should be accepted over Muslim ones, then perhaps Yazidis will be treated a little bit better but, they might still be called terrorists by the hateful extremists who seem to have overrun public opinion, setting us back more years than I have the time to count.

[Featured image by DVIDSHUBS via Flickr is under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) License]

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Are Baltimore’s Recent Animal Cruelty Verdicts Another Hint At City’s Police Problem?

Are there an overwhelming amount of animal cruelty incidents taking place all over the world? Obviously, because one incident is more than enough!

But there are also a lot of good people out there fighting the good fight, cracking down on criminals. The Baltimore, Maryland city government seems to, for the most part, be doing their share. Here in this article, one of our own incendiaryAmericans wrote a post for The Inquisitr, where they refer to two widely reported ‪#‎AnimalCruelty‬ verdicts handed down within a week of each other. (TheInquisitr)

You will likely be disturbed by what you read if you don’t already know about it, but also hopeful, that something is getting done.

Because in these days, we have the power to apply some real pressure here and now, and hopefully, the good people of ‪#‎Baltimore‬ and those outside of it will do their part, along with the Maryland SPCA to keep these terrible incidents down.

That article is centered more around what the City Of Baltimore is doing about animal cruelty cases and at the end of the write up, is a link to a case of animal cruelty which hasn’t been as big as these stories but, reportedly already has 100 charges average racked up against two men.

Of course, go read the article for details on that, but let’s show you this video of the well publicized incident with that police officer.

More specifically, the write-up is about two high-profile people, one of them a public servant and the other, a former player for the Ravens, both institutions of law enforcement and corporate sports acted quickly to distance themselves from both of those guys.

The officer, who was accused of committing a terrible act, as expected, got away scott-free.

Obviusly there’s a lot to be pissed off about here because in an report by WBALTV, just in the way it’s written — even though it’s neutral — the reporting of the facts around the court case is similar to getting sand kicked in the face, when the attorneys defiantly come to the officer’s defense.

Take this part here:

Prosecutors said Bolger slit the dog’s throat in a fit of rage when arriving at the scene, calling it murder. Bolger’s attorneys insist he was only trying to put the dog out of its misery.

After going through a lot of these reports, the idea that Bolger was trying to do the right thing is either a stretch or the same way you would react if you came across a dog, which you restrained and decided to take it upon yourself — if you were an officer of the law — to “put it out of its misery.”

Read the article for what the dog’s owner, Sarah Gossard said about the accusations made against her that she had starved the dog or that she was even rabid.

But the article also follows with this:

‘We are very grateful that the court based it’s decision on the facts, not rumor and gossip that spread on social media, but the facts presented at trial,’ defense attorney Steven Levin said.

The judge made the decision to acquit the officer stating that the witnesses were unreliable and even that the veterinarian who performed the necropsy was biased.

If the final quote we placed here is any indication of how the judge came to their decision, then clearly the fact that Jeffrey Bolger cut the dog’s throat — which isn’t necessarily the ‘go to’ for solving most problems on the streets — is ignored.

Again, no one is saying that he didn’t cut Nala’s throat and even further, the defendant’s attorneys are really trying to sell their sob story for the officer, who had to leave the force over this; because how “dare” people accuse this “great” man who served his country well!

Fuck them.

Also, there’s nothing that says that Sarah Gossard neglected or abused  Nala, which obviously can’t be the case since this story is already a year old and has traveled the world faster than Superman’s gone around it.

Something would have come up by now and that she would even starve Nala? Sarah is a Baltimore bartender. I doubt she’s having problems paying for anything.

But while we’re talking about neglect, the other case mentioned in our post is about a Baltimore football player with plenty of money to throw around, enough to spend on expensive ass animals that he ends up neglecting. At the time he was the center of bad news, he was ditched by the Baltimore Ravens.

What’s interesting about this is the connection we’re making between these two cases, where Terrence Cody gets jail time and the officer is cleared of all charges, in a city that got a lot of attention for it’s racial issues like the death of Freddie Gray, because Cody is black.

The connection is stronger with this new report by The Wall Street Journal where the Fraternal Order Of Police (FOP 3) is mentioned as taking “ultimate responsibility” in paying for the defense of those officers who are charged with Gray’s death, because FOP 3 is the same order who had to make the statement in the WBALTV source we mentioned above, that the officer got his day in court, again, defiantly defending the outcome.

[Featured image of Jeffrey Bolger and attorney by Ian Duncan / Baltimore Sun]

PANTERA Is Never Coming Back, Deal With It!

The only words I never thought I would ever say in all my years of being a music lover and heavy metal fan.

And to see people constantly begging Vinnie Paul to forgive, forget and reunite Pantera with Phil and Rex and Zakk Wylde filling in for Dime, is so fucking selfish.

YOU ARE KICKING A DEAD FUCKING HORSE!

Vinnie Paul’s words people, stop asking; it’s selfish.

Pantera hasn't trended in a lil bit

Wow! Even the number of people who are interested in Pantera today, is more than those who read my blog! [Screenshot from Google trends]

 And now, there is a stupid petition out trying to get a Pantera reunion. Several, actually.

like Vinnie Paul doesn’t know how many fans Pantera has, like he doesn’t know how many of us wish it would happen, the problem is, he will never change his mind.

The other problem is that DIME IS DEAD, there is no such thing as a reunion. End of story.

Vinne stated that to keep asking him to do it, and to keep asking him if it will happen is disrespectful and selfish as fuck.

His words.

Its over.

Pantera is over.

Its not about forgiveness, its the fact that out of respect for DARRELL who wanted nothing to do with Phil in any way, ever again; he will never share the stage again with Phil Anselmo. I mean, why do you think Phil was not allowed at Dimes funeral, or his memorial?

In their eyes, Phil is responsible for Darrell’s death.

Dime didn’t want to ever be in the same room with Phil, he killed Dime’s dream of growing old playing music, he killed Vinnie Paul’s dream of growing old playing music with his brother.

Making a petition is the most stupid fucking thing to be parading and sharing for signatures.

THEY KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE WANT THE FUCKING REUNION!

I want the fucking reunion!

Goddamn people, show some respect and SHUT THE FUCK UP ASKING THE POOR GUY TO DO WHAT HE FEELS IS BREAKING HIS LOYALTY TO HIS GODDAMN BROTHER!

Guess what? I’m from Texas, and guess what else? Loyalty is reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally fuuuuuuuuuuuuuucking important in Texas.

PANTERA IS FUCKING DEAD.

THEIR LEGEND AND HISTORY WILL BE TOLD AND REMEMBERED AND DOCUMENTED IN THE METAL COMMUNITY FOREVER!

But that’s it.

[Featured image ‘My Dimebag Portrait’ is by Threasa Solomon via Flickr and under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)]

Will Smith And Bomba Estéreo Just Improved The Latin Grammys

I’ve never had a problem with Will Smith. He’s a completely likable guy, which for me, is enough to improve even his worst movie.

But Latin television is some bullshit. I hate it. Probably because I’m Hispanic and have a mom who loves to watch the Telenovelas. Can I get a what, what? If you’re Hispanic, then you know what I’m talking about.

So, I’m sitting here behind this computer, doing whatever we do on these things, when I hear some erratic but addictive beats coming from my mom’s television in the other room. Sounded like some kid was on stage, who didn’t know how to sing.

Which makes sense because Latin television loves to make a big deal about that.

I said to myself, that kid seems to be getting the hang of it, and then something in it triggered M.I.A and Santogold.

I walk into the front room to one hell of a light show on television and just what I expected, some eclectic Latin stuff they should be doing more of on this channel. Let’s dig in deep for some sounds and stop mulling around with that Juan Gabriel, Ricky Martin, boyband shit.

Then, there’s this other dude next to them, who looks kind of familiar, hollering into a microphone. The audience is getting pumped up, this time without Pitbull and the fucking guys looks familiar… is that Will Smith?

Bomba Estéreo and Will Smith killed it! I hadn’t seen anything like that for a while! Finally, rather than manufacture some excitement with a bunch of lackluster duds, here we had some genuine entertainment.

Unbelievable!

[Image from the official Bomba Estéreo Twitter account ]

In The Middle Of Nowhere With Opium Denn

When a album is ready, it’s ready, no matter what time of the year it is.

Upon release of Opium Denn’s 9-track debut Demarkation, the weather is getting a little cooler and there’s a time change.

What’s also cool is the psychedelic direction this elusive artist has decided to take us with this record, in the groove of Pink Floyd.

It’s unfortunate that I didn’t (still don’t) have access to drugs so I can go along on the trip with these guys, but that shouldn’t really make a difference — I say to myself with fake conviction — because after listening to this album repeatedly over time, I can tell you where they’re taking me and which tracks I tend to go back to because there is plenty to grab onto here.

For instance, the album starts off with the first of three variations of the song I Am A Feeling which has the pop hook every album tries to go for as it’s part of the vision of New York’s Opium Denn.

The song itself is very much a rock standard and doesn’t have very much imagination to it. I say this because the melody is so dependent on being stylish that it leaves these broad gaps that can only be filled with flash over substance.

The variations on the melody really don’t do much to improve on the track or much more than filler to the next thing, taking up what I feel is too much space in the album, when it could have just been left as the opening track.

But the one that really gets me good has to be Leaf, which accompanies the video and since I’m a visual guy, this creates more depth in the song for me.

It gives me feel like I’m looking in through the windows of miniature houses and tiny lives, giving me a peek into stories I didn’t know were there.

In The Middle Of Nowhere With Opium Denn

Boy this would be cool to see at burning man, right?

Skip one great track over to Drone, and you have something that lights up a session like nothing else, with it’s simplicity, tapping into rock and then backroom blues, showing off their ability to construct captivating instrumentals. For me, it ends too soon but not without tapping into another pop hungry track with Eyes To The Sky.

By this point in the record, I’m still not very sure where I am and that’s okay because so far, things are pretty mellow and the surprises are pleasant.

Now, I’m a guy who really gets a kick out of driving my point and forcing it on others, a fascist quality of mine I’m pretty proud of where I say that the meat of this release is really from tracks one to six, where the filler track I refer to could make the beginning and the end because anything after that is pretty lack-luster as standard rock blues.

Of course, the theatricality of Opium Denn doesn’t really come in vocally until the title track Demarkation, which we could have used a little bit more of in some of those other songs because that’s where the Phantom Of The Opera appeal the band has, that air of mystery works well.

But again, being left in the middle of nowhere with these guys is familiar and certainly sticks with me and at the very least, what more could you ask for?

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‘Boy From The Crowd’ Has Taken East London, The World Is Next!

This morning, like every other morning, my mom and I get into one of our many arguments, next to the one where she tells me I don’t know how to make coffee by putting a cup of it right in front of me to show me what the color is supposed to be, you know, brown water, because coffee “is bad” for you.

Then she eats a wedge of fresh Mexican cheese she recently purchased and cringes her face, saying it’s bad.

I have the cheese and tell her it’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with it. Such is the case with all things, as she gets older in age; everything tastes bad. In the end, before I leave the table I ask her if she wants me to throw the cheese out to which she says yes, then suggests I too think it’s bad to which I responded:

No. I’m just doing what you were going to do anyway.

And I’m being condescending because really, she can go fuck herself. And that’s when I thought about Vinny Piana, a guy who clearly marches to the beat of his own goddamn drum.

I mean, just check out the opening track of this 5-track EP by who we should refer as Boy From The Crowd.

By about thirty seconds into Revelator, my mom would have thrown my listening device across the room because she doesn’t understand technology to know that I can stream the same track, right from where I left off from a desktop, or even, her own smart phone which I dare her to do the same thing with.

But check out how Boy From The Crowd taps into that delta blues sound towards the end, tantalizing your ear buds right before the ripping opening from the first rocking seconds of the second track, All I Need.

At this point, I had no idea I had this much pep so early in the morning, as I climb on top of the washer and dryer, rocking out with my trusty air guitar I promised I would never play again, here in my late thirties. I’m doing it for the cheese, ma!

And I can’t believe I said pep!

I’m waiting for these two tracks to settle in, but not before Vinny sways and slays with the drastic trade off between moog and string on The Road and so many different changes to keep you guessing.

Look man, even though I’m pushing four bills now, I know I’m gonna be grounded. Such is the reality of a post depression/recession.

Maybe I shouldn’t have overreacted at the beginning of this thing because now I’m grounded at the same time that this East London duo’s EP is over! But it’s not too soon to go out with the swan song, that being the title track Where The Bees Come To Die, which is more dramatic than the rest of this release.

But I want more and I think these boys know that, otherwise they wouldn’t have given so much and yet, let me have so little, which ends up working out in that punk rock vein.

No wait, they have given a lot! Just listen to that passion coming out from these two blokes! From raw beginnings you would expect from defiant amateurs but there’s a method here, where less-is-more is no longer half-assed; all part of the plan.

Guys! Boy From The Crowd is making a lot of noise from this EP and you’d be wise to pay attention because you’re gonna be hearing a lot more about them very soon.

Park it on BandCamp where you can order their disc before Santa makes his rounds.

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