Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two tax plans

Chart from Ezra Klein at the Washington Post.

There is much more analysis that should be done and is done. But while it makes almost no difference to me at my bracket whether the Bush tax cuts are extended, it makes a great deal to our economy.

Benefiting the wealthy at the expense of the overall economic well-being.... How might we describe that? Oh yes, class warfare, a war that has been steadily waged against the middle class by the wealthy for as long human history has records.

What a lovely swath of deficit vanishes if the Bush tax cuts lapse. So if you are going to posture about the deficit (I am looking at you congressional Republicans), you will undoubtedly let them lapse without a squawk. But if your real interest is the happiness of your wealthy overlords and not the health of the American economy, you will try to preserve them.

Oh. I guess we already know the answer, don't we?

--the BB

May your ancestors curse you

Yes, you: 奕玲張奕玲張奕玲張. May you be forgotten from the earth.

Spammers will be denounced and cursed.

--the BB

Friday, August 13, 2010

Heart thread - 08/13/2010

Today we focus our prayers on Kirstin who asks for our prayers.

...[T]here are some increases in tumor activity, but the amount is questionable. This means two things: we're not really clear about whether the treatment is working, and I have a week to not know whether I have a whole new regimen (high-dose Interleukin-2, with its own set of side effects) to get used to.

How am I? Short of panicky. Oddly, both worried and trusting. Preparing; I can feel myself gearing up, both for change and for news I don't want.

Pray, of course. Be here. Love me in whatever ways you think of; I need that right now.

Sent from home before returning to work.
--the BB

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Plotting to destroy America

We are a nation of blithering idiots.

Or maybe there is truth to the sinister plot, they just have the details garbled. The terrorists have secretly birthed idjits in Texas and raised them up to run for office. A truly nefarious plan to destroy the United States and one with way too high a possibility of succeeding.

The more I think about it....

--the BB

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

May your ancestors curse you

Yes, I'm looking at you,


I am tired of Chinese spam. As the ancient Romans might say, "I ad malam rem."

--the BB


Most words fail me. [The obscenities will come through. After all, the topic is a vast obscenity.]


Granted, I have never had any use for the American Family Association, a bunch of christianist fear mongers raising lots of money off the anxieties of people they regularly stir up. Whatever position they take on anything, the odds are excellent that I will hold the opposite, as I have no use for heterosexist dominionists.

But really, folks, the levels of ignorance, fear, intolerance, hatred - and let's call it by its name - bigotry that has risen like a gigantic shitstorm over the proposed building of an Islamic center in New York leaves one whomperjawed.

Folks who gain power or make money on other people's fears have entered some dark pact and conjured up a dark, mindless, slavering being that threatens to take over the land. Sweet church-going people are being led to fall down before the beast (whose name is IGNORANCE and BIGOTRY, let the reader understand).

I'm gonna name it: it's fucking satanic.

Get a grip, people! If you know that little about another major religion of the world you need to shut up and educate yourself.

Jillian Rayfield reports at TPM:

Bryan Fischer, the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the American Family Association, wrote a blog post yesterday on the AFA's site arguing that the United States should have "no more mosques, period."

"This is for one simple reason," he writes. "Each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government."

How's this little tidbit?

If a mosque was willing to publicly renounce the Koran and its 109 verses that call for the death of infidels, renounce Allah and his messenger Mohammed, publicly condemn Osama bin Laden, Hamas, and Abdelbaset al Megrahi (the Lockerbie bomber), maybe then they could be allowed to build their buildings. But then they wouldn't be Muslims at that point, now would they?

What if a church had to renounce the Bible and all the verses that call for the death of infidels, renounced G-d and his son Jesus, condemned the crusades of every era and their leaders (including all the religiously motivated Christian terrorists of our day) before being granted building permits? Hmm?

Am I hearing crickets now?

People like this are why Anne Rice felt she couldn't follow Christ without renouncing Christianity.

This is not something that arose spontaneously.
The Times report, however, descends into a kind of "liberal" media known-nothingism when it comes to how this became a controversy, suggesting that " a combination of arguable naïveté, public-relations missteps and a national political climate in which perhaps no preparation could have headed off controversy." This is a remarkable formula that manages to place the blame everywhere except where it belongs -- on a right-wing smear machine that went into overdrive in an effort to portray Rauf and Khan as terrorist sympathizers, an experience no one outside of contemporary partisan politics could have possibly been prepared for. The conservative media lied about the location of the project, they lied about Rauf's background, they lied about the project's funding, they lied about when the project would be built, and they lied about Rauf's political beliefs. And it would have been one thing if it had just been a small group of people lying, but they had an entire cable news station to lie for them, and politicians who were willing to amplify their smears. This controversy isn't about the "political climate." It's the fruit of a conscious, deliberate, and sustained effort. [Crooks and Liars]
Digby comments:
Normally I would think we could ride out this latest wave of nativism and racism, but there are two factors that make it more dangerous than usual. The first, of course, is the economy which looks like it's not going to recover smartly thus giving this impulse more oxygen than it might otherwise have. The second is that the right wing demagogues have an entire industry now devoted to creating and nurturing these wedge issues for political and financial gain. The culture warriors have just shifted their strategy away from "family values" to their other stand-by, "stop the boogeyman." It's all part of the same throwback tapestry, but different times require difference emphasis. We're officially in the "the foreigners and blacks are ruining everything" portion of the show.
At least one cretin on the right have suggested building a gay bar next to the center to freak out the Muslims. It is to laugh.

gay bars

If you look at this picture, and you’re not too stupid to breathe (sorry, wingnuts!), you should immediately see two things that make this whole “let’s put a gay bar by the Cordoba House and see liberal heads explode!” wishful thinking look even stupider than it is on its surface: 1) There are three gay bars within .1 mile of the Cordoba House and 2) They are all as close or closer to the Cordoba House than the WTC is. [Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon]

Furthermore, you might want to check out what Maha has to share with us:

Someone here had said that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the main guy behind the Cordoba House Islamic center, is a Sufi. This is a detail I have yet to see in a news story, but I can confirm it is true. He is the imam of a Sufi mosque in lower Manhattan, about ten blocks north of the proposed Cordoba House site.

Thus, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is not connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. I can say this because there is no way the Muslim Brotherhood, or al Qaeda, or the Taliban, or any other organization dedicated to enforcing dogmatic Sunni Islam would have anything to do with a Sufi. In fact, Sufis in the Middle East have suffered terribly from attacks by Sunni terrorists.


Sufism is mystical Islam. Dogmatists don’t get mysticism. This is true of the dogmatists of all religions. It is often the case that mystics from different traditions understand each other better than the dogmatists of the same tradition.

The idea that all Muslims are somehow part of the same conspiracy is absurd enough, but to put Sufis in the same boat as jihadist is just plain ignorance.

The endless stream of deliberate lies and misinformation filtered through blind passion makes one feel that an immense pustule has been burst and we are drowning in a flood of sanguinopurulent hatred. [Yes, I've been waiting for decades to use the word "sanguinopurulent" in a sentence.]

And before you denounce the small minority of hate mongers in Islam you really should look to your own house and denounce the hate mongers in Christianity. I mean, really. Way overdue.

Jesus weeps.

--the BB

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The growth of unemployment

Not for the faint of heart.

--the BB

Sometimes I just feel overdue for a rant

Robert Gibbs is an asswipe.

You may quote me on that.

As the Rude Pundit put it:
So, let's get this straight, Bobby G. We on the left warned your boss and the Democrats that every time you reached out your hands to the Republicans, those fuckers would just gnaw on 'em. But you kept on with the effort of bipartisanship, watering down bills and watering 'em down. Anyone with a lick of sense knew that the GOP was just setting you up: force 'em to compromise and then make sure that what gets passed does just a scintilla of what could have been done. On bill after bill these mad negotiations occurred, and now you're accusing us of not living in reality?
The White House Press Secretary decided to kick the "professional left." Well, let me tell you something, Bobby boy, there are a lot of us, unprofessional but progressive, who knew from the get go that Obama was not a progressive, so we didn't expect miracles day after day, believe me. But, and I really want you to pay attention to this, treating us like shit is not winning you friends.

Sure, you've accomplished a lot. But it would take very little effort to accomplish a lot more. Recess appointments. Just saying. Close Gitmo. End DADT; it doesn't take another study, it requires an executive order.

Oh, and transparency. We count that promise not unfulfilled but broken.

Btw, I know Obama does not believe in gay marriage. He's said so from the beginning. I don't expect him to change. But he can STFU about saying he believes in equality, because it is patently clear that he does not. "Fierce advocate" my queer ass. There is zero credibility there.

It might be a good idea for the White House to consider working with the left, since we share more goals with the White House than the Republicans do. Or do we? Actions do speak louder than words and it is clear that Obama desperately wants to work across the aisle but has little interest in working with progressives. When he had public opinion with him he still would not fight for public option.

I will continue to support progressive Democrats. And the Obama team ain't getting a single penny out of me. The reasons should be obvious.

Perhaps it is time for Mr. Gibbs to spend more time with his family.

Glenn Greenwald summarizes it nicely.

--the BB

Heart thread - 08/10/2010

Tonight's prayer call comes from that most loving northern prayer warrior, David:

Prayers begged for Rosemary please. In the past I've written how this is Rosemary's second round with cancer; how she is one of the fiestiest friends I've ever seen face this challenge. Well according to my sister Jenny, who is primary caregiver when David, Rosemary's husband has to be in Ottawa during the week for his job, the days are very few and numbered before our little Armenian-Canadian is to move into paliative care. David and Rosemary have two sons, not even yet adult, who are primary reason for all that Rosemary has undergone to beat this. I ask your prayers for Rosemary my little Armenian nightengale, for the grace of a good and peaceful passing, for her husband Dave and their two boys.
I'd also ask prayers for my baby sister Jenny who a week before Rosemary's latest turn burried her father-in-law.

Begging again, prayers for Kirsten please as you might remember is also in a second round fight with cancer and is undergoing a really aggressive experimental course of treatment in California.

Prayers for M. & J. most particularly that they be held close in that 'Love beyond our wildest imagining' to quote Mam's favorite Giant.

Prayers please for two cherished sisters who are undergoing a series of major transitions in their lives which are not only impacting on their professional careers but on the location where they live. For one of these sisters in particular there has been real pain, struggle and a lot of letting-go.

Prayers for the people of Pakistan. Yet again the developed world is being invited to change compassionately, to open itself to radical transformation, but once again I'm deeply concerned that the west will be too busy making war and gorging itself to realize there is no 'us' and 'them', and that we are all diminished by these unnecessary deaths in Pakistan.

For the people of Afghanistan; here the list of need and horror is too long for this medium.

And the good news; Mam was cleared by her surgeon this afternoon. Though she is left with a limit of flexibility in her left index finger, the whole team were really amazed at her remarkable recovery, having regained a lot more mobility in her left arm and wrist than they expected. Another night staying with my sister Joanne and her husband, and then the plan is for Mam and Charlie her rescue corgi to go home tomorrow. I'm planning to go out Thursday to spend the day with her and so see what might need to be done. On the phone just now as we celebrated this good news, Mam specifically asked me to thank my 'Giants', and then she used my cousin Frank's words- exactly- 'you tell them they make all the difference.' That's you folks- beloved all.

She also specifically sent her love along to one particular Giant and his spouse who it has been her great joy to uphold in prayer daily for almost four years now. 'Tell him, through-out all this he was never forgotten, and send him my love.' You know who you are.

Rosemary and her family, Kirsten, Jenny, two cherished sisters in transit, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and thanks- joyous, heartfelt thanks for Mams recovery.

Thank-you beloved Giants, I love you all.

love always- always Love

Mimi always shares these promptly but while she is off infiltrating the British Isles I want to invite all our friends to join in holding these folks in our hearts.

The congregation of San Gabriel is going to move - again - at the end of this month. From their founding they have been a pilgrim people. Pray for a smooth move and for the Spirit to sustain hearts and spirits (and bodies). They will be next to a micro-brewery, so perhaps the spirits are already covered.

For Mimi, Cathy, and Jonathan in their adventures.

--the BB

Praying the headlines

From Google News:

More than 700 die in landslides in China

CNN - ‎42 minutes ago‎
By the CNN Wire Staff Beijing, China (CNN) -- The death toll from mudslides in northwestern China rose to 702, state-run media reported Tuesday.

Moscow mayor cuts meetings due to heat, smog

RIA Novosti - ‎45 minutes ago‎
MOSCOW, August 10 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov has urged members of the city government to cut back on meetings and discuss important matters over the telephone because of the scorching heat and acrid smog in the Russian capital.

More rains add to Pakistan's flooding misery

CNN - ‎26 minutes ago‎
By the CNN Wire Staff Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Some 14 million people have been affected by the torrential rains and flooding that have left more than a thousand dead in Pakistan, a spokesman for the national disaster authority told CNN Tuesday.

UN: Civilian Casualties Rising Sharply in Afghanistan

Voice of America - ‎1 hour ago‎
Photo: AP The United Nations says civilian casualties are on the rise in Afghanistan, with insurgents increasingly responsible for harming Afghans.

--the BB

Were you even aware?

The US media seem to be ignoring this or giving it minimal notice.

The flooding just keeps getting worse and worse. On Saturday, the UN estimated that 4 million people were affected by the flooding in Pakistan. By Sunday they revised that estimate to 6 million people. Today, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that over 13 million people are affected.

It is no wonder that a UN officials are saying this is bigger than the 2004 tsunami. In fact, that would make it bigger than the combined number of people affected by the Tsunami, Haiti earthquake and 2005 Kashmir eartquake...combined.

That's from the UN Dispatch.

Can we let this sink in?

Thirteen million.

Let us pray.

Flood affectees evacuating in Dera Ismail Khan. PHOTO: EXPRESS

h/t to LaughingPlanet where you can read more and find channels to help.

The UN is also launching an appeal.

--the BB

Monday, August 09, 2010

I wonder

Will I live to see the American corporatocracy turned back to a democracy?

Frankly, I doubt it. I want to believe that what I have witnessed in my lifetime is not the death of constitutional democracy but I fear that I have.

And we have "conservative" policies to thank for it. Worship at the altar of business, deregulate, screw the working public, convince everyone government is evil and incompetent (and prove it when you are in power)... this is where it leads.


Blogger is run by Google. May I just say, fuck Google and Verizon. They have no right to tell the FCC what it can or cannot do.

Hey, FCC! Grow a set and tell the telecoms what they may and may not do. That's your job, in the interest of the public.

--the BB

No, it's not a rat's nest

I always marvel at how much dark brown there still is in my hair, though every buzzing shows more white. Tonight it seemed to have a lot of reddish blond. On my head, it all looks silver to me.

Yep, haircut night. I was getting a bit shaggy. Also watered the yard and researched where in ABQ I could find someone to repair my refrigerator. Its fan has gone to be with Jesus.

Dang, this is as mundane as a Facebook posting. I must do better.

[But I really have not felt inspired to post, ponder, or rant lately.]

Though I will not allow them to post, there will be at least three Chinese spam comments on this post by midnight tomorrow. They multiply like rabbits. Wait for them.

--the BB