Friday, August 01, 2008

Let us give thanks

That I don't have to post these updates quite so often.

For those who risk all for the people and nation they love.

For courage.

Even as we mourn losses and pray for peace and strive to prevent war and brutality.

Even as we struggle to get our government to do right by those who now serve or have served.

Even as we remember all the casualties of war on every side.

Latest Coalition Fatalities

DoD Announces Army Casualty
Sgt. James A. McHale, 31, of Fairfield, Mont., died July 30 at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., of wounds suffered July 22 in Taji, Iraq, when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device.

MNF: U.S. Soldier killed in non-combat related incident
The U.S. military says an American soldier has died in a non-combat incident in northern Iraq. The death pushes the U.S. monthly toll for July to at least 10...the soldier died and two others were wounded Thursday during operations in Ninevah province.


For the Spirit of Integrity
Spirit of integrity, you drive us into the desert to search out our truth. Give us clarity to know what is right, and courage to reject what is strategic; that we may abandon the false innocence of failing to choose at all, but may follow the purposes of Jesus Christ. Amen.
—Janet Morley

Give me land, lots of land, neath the starry skies above

I am about to board the plane homeward!

This is a view from the west mesa across the valley of ABQ toward the east mountains.  I live sort of in the center of the shadowed area (that dark strip across the middle).  A cloud had passed while I was taking this photo.  This is my view when I drive home along the west side.

--the BB

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Heart thread - 7/30/2008

A friend of mine went through some major changes in the past year and part of that was finding an affordable place to live. She found a wonderful place but it took lots of effort and money to make it all happen. Now she needs to move again. The emotional and financial toll of all this is considerable. Y'all know how to spin those prayer wheels, so please hold her in your hearts.

Those who recall my daily nagging last December to join in the appeal for the Anglican Church in Cidade de Deus, Brasil, will remember Elizabeth Kaeton as one of the organizers (along with Mad Priest). Sad news has arrived and is posted at several places, including OCICBW:
It is with deep regret that I inform you of the passing of Elizabeth Kaeton's mother, Lydia.
Let us hold Lydia in our prayers along with Elizabeth and all the family and friends. This news reached Elizabeth while she was at Lambeth and she has headed directly to Massachusetts.

There were major presentations and considerations at Lambeth on the issue of violence against women - a topic and ugly reality that has been raised by faithful women who want the Church to pay attention and do something about it. One good place would be to drop the patriarchal power trappings from our preaching. (Duh, you think?) Synchronous with this is my reading of a Margaret Coel novel that treats this theme through story. We need to make it clear how wrong violence against women is.

Let us pray for all who suffer domestic violence and for those who perpetrate it, that the former may be delivered and healed of the trauma and that the latter may recognize the error of their ways and turn. Let us pray that those who use the Bible to support abuse may also see the error of their ways. May the cultures of the world heal of their tendencies to violence that all may live without fear.

I want to add my own prayers that the boys'-club aspect of churches will get over their terror of girl cooties (and gay cooties) and start getting healthier in mind and spirit. That might help reduce violence too. (Duh, you think?)

Thanks to those joining in prayer and those adding their own petitions and thanksgivings.
--the BB

Almighty God, we entrust all who are dear to us to thy never-failing care and love, for this life and the life to come, knowing that thou art doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The blind following the blind

A little something from Progressive Accountability:

h/t to SusanG at Daily Kos
--the BB

Heart thread - 7/30/2008

I got word last night from Little Sister that Big Sister is not doing well.
I did not see her today. They had her come in at 7am, but her kidneys were not functioning well, so they gave her lots of fluid in her veins so the dye they used would not damage her kidneys. They finally did the procedure late this afternoon. Two new stents, however one was where one of the others was. Probably going to have to do this again in six months with a different "medicated" larger stent ?? They are keeping her overnight, but she should be able to come home tomorrow. Burt said she was feeling better and ate a good dinner.

I ask your prayers for my sister Shirley.

Also for my dear friend Phyllis who has inoperable brain cancer.

For Jan who journeys Home.

For Kirstin who has begun self-injection of interferon.

For all the folks we've met online and their requests. (Feel free to add your own in comments.)

For this aching world and its many sorrows.

Let us also give thanks for every act of compassion, every manifestation of hope, each deed of honor, each moment of love and joy.

For my grandnephew Jeremy and his fiancée Katie who will be married September 6.
--the BB

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

McCain and support of troops and vets

via The Jed Report with h/t to John Aravosis at Americablog

Prayer for Lambeth revsed (see sidebar)

I just could not stomach the official version any longer.

Blogging with a generous splash of Zatarain's

The Rude Pundit (normally X-rated) has turned his blog over to bloggers from New Orleans this week. You can learn a lot more about this place from them.

How about the NOAH scandal and the Nagin administration?

Or "Katrina fatigue"?

Maybe this nasty slice of reality on oil revenues in the Pelican State:
Consider how preeverted and fucked up things are down here: we're actually giddy to spend these oil royalty dollars on rebuilding our coastal wetlands-- the same coastal wetlands that were sliced and diced and killed (in large part) by the oil infrastructure that supplies the rest of the country with oil and gas! Here's the arrangement, simplified: the nation gets energy supplied through Louisiana, the oil companies make ginormous profits, and Louisiana sacrifices its coastal ecology and natural hurricane buffer so that it can get pennies on the dollar back from Big Oil, to address the billion dollar problems that Big Oil helped exacerbate.

This is what constitutes "boom times" in da gret stet. Maximum risk, minimum recompense. It seems delusional, and it is, but not as much as you might think. (More on that later.)
And the tidbits one can learn:
Some things about people from New Orleans:

We don't care what you think. We've been doing our own thing for 300 years.

We don't want to go to your parades, ya'll don't throw anything.

100% humidity is the best moisturizer they ever came up with.

It's "New A'wlins," not "N'awlins."
I hope I whetted your appetite and you'll read more.

So far I have been providing photos - details, mostly, of buildings. I think I will begin to focus more on what moves me, the details of damage showing how far things still have to go. You cannot drive far without seeing devastation. Very few neighborhoods escaped. But I cannot give you the story. You need the locals for that and we can thank the Rude One for inviting them to blog this week.

Oh, and about that humidity-moisturizer thing? It's true. My hands have become incredibly soft again without a drop of moisturizer in three months.
--the BB

The following is an expression of emotional state, not a formal declaration or decision

Rowan Williams does not speak for me.
Rowan Williams does not speak to me.
Rowan Williams does not speak about me.

I am proud of The Episcopal Church.

I feel toward the Anglican Communion rather like Nathaniel opining on Nazareth. He was wrong, of course. I hope I am wrong too.

But this is how I feel right now.

I want to feel encouraged by those seeking to build a better future through the Communion.

But what I hear in the background are the jackboots.

And those are not my darkest thoughts.

The good news, for those who may worry about me right now, is that rather than depression I choose to be angry. For me, one who stuffed his anger down for almost six decades, that is a healthy state.
--the BB

Monday, July 28, 2008

A new visitor - a new flag

There are now 127 flags listed in the neocounter sidebar. Someone from Bangladesh visited us today. Welcome!

My apologies for using romanized script to welcome you in the graphic but it is the best I can do at this time. I do not have much in the way of Asian fonts installed and would not know how to used them if I did.

Bangladesh is bordered by India, Burma, and the Bay of Bengal.

Here is some "new Bangla music" for easy listening (is it a shampoo commercial in disguise?):

"Irsha Tahsan Bangla Music Vedio"

islamic song - bangla song - desher gan -bangladesh-music

Strikes me as Muslim kirtan singing. In any case, I like the sound of it.

--the BB

Blessed Matthew, pray for us

Especially people who care about strangers, who care about evil and social injustice

We're sending this one out tonight to the bishops of the Anglican Communion.

--the BB

Dear Bishops

When and if the whole English tea party thing stops making you all giddy with being there, may I remind you of something?

--the BB

The only Windsor

Lord, you now have set your servant free
to go in peace as you have promised
for these eyes of mine have seen Savior

... I'm interested in seeing continue is Elizabeth II, and she's really a Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

If I say any more about the Windsor Continuation Group and its recommendations I shall become uncivil.

With Grandmère Mimi, I place my hope in Jesus Christ and not in any institution. Certainly not the Church in any past, present, or future manifestation. (It would be idolatry and gross stupidity if I did.)

I'd better stop right here.

--the BB

First degree murder

Vincent Bugliosi's opening statements during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the constitutional limits of executive power:

I found this on Juan Cole's Informed Opinion.

Hear what an experienced prosecutor has to say about the culpability of George Bush (euphemized as "the Bush Administration").
--the BB

Sunday, July 27, 2008

An afternoon at the movies

Today I got out of the house and headed to Canal Place where there are all manner of shops (Saks, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, etc. - feels the yuppie parts of California or the new Uptown in ABQ). There I saw The Dark Knight, the latest installment of the Batman franchise.

"The [k]night is always darkest before the dawn" proclaims District Attorney Harvey Dent in the movie. Well, as usual, Batman is dark and it is not an easy view of society.

Heath Ledger does a brilliant turn as the Joker - much better than Nicholson's over-the-top rendition. But then my own bias is that Nicholson is usually over the top in a manner I don't care for. This is less cartoonish and far more nightmarish.

Kudos also to the make-up and effect people who do the Two-Face work.

I have had pix here of the Cotton Exchange. Here is the Custom House. Do you have anything to declare?

Walking back from the movie and a meal (I had not eaten all day), we came across a band playing in the street. Too fun.

I have not seen any headlines or heard any news briefs that would lead me to suspect that Maggie and Belle have misbehaved.

Dramatic electrical storm as I drove back to the apartment. Iron-dark sky and lightning flashing every 3 seconds (or sooner).

I hope you have had a good weekend.

Here is a theatrical trailer for "The Dark Knight":

--the BB

I might have expected this in Selena

Pray for New Orleans.  The girls are out on the town.

Yes, da goils went to da office again today.  Belle, being a BBW (big beautiful woman) found herself a big handsome man to flirt with and I shot this just after he patted her.  Such flirts.  I am beginning to worry.  Ever since their older sister Selena ran off with Taylor (the seal with the walrus), I have the usual paternal anxieties over losing my daughters to males I am not too sure about.  Ah well, you can't shelter them forever and you don't want to imprison them.

Besides, Belle turned 28 recently, so she's certainly of age and then some.

They are spending the weekend with Aunt Jennifer.  The latest paycheck just hit my bank account so I suppose I can come up with bail money if things get out of hand.  And I know where the bail bond places in NOLA are (really - don't ask).

I know, shame on me for assuming the worst.  My daughters are out having a wonderful weekend.  There will undoubtedly be shopping involved, but at least they have no credit cards that get mailed to dad.  Whether they tell me about any of it when I see them on Monday is another story.  Probably not.  So don't hold your breath.

May Selena and all our children find happiness and thrive.
--the BB