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yave begnet

Last Build Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 22:08:25 +0000



Sat, 05 Sep 2009 05:30:00 +0000

Now I don't know what stopped
Jesus Christ from turning
every hungry stone into bread
and I don't remember hearing how Moses
reacted when the innocent first born sons lay dead
well I guess God was a lot more demonstrative back when
he flamboyantly parted the sea,
now everybody's praying,
don't pray on me


I dont know if the billions will survive,
But I'll believe in God when 1 and 1 are 5.
My moniker is man and Im rotten to the core.
I'll tear down the building just to pass through the door.

fake rainbow coalition

Thu, 09 Apr 2009 01:11:00 +0000

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This is disgusting.(image)

Movin' On Up

Thu, 15 Jan 2009 01:25:00 +0000

The more prominent the prolific Matt Yglesias becomes, the more likely it is that phrases like "Bushonomics trap of debt-financed middle class consumption growth" will become part of the public lexicon. And that's a good thing.(image)

if can't take the blame, then don't deserve the credit

Sat, 06 Dec 2008 01:53:00 +0000

M. Yglesias speaks wisely.
One we realize that that’s not the case, that there’s no “magic” at work in the financial field and people are just mucking around I think that has quite radical implications. If nothing the CEOs and top fund managers are doing makes them worthy of taking the blame when the crash hits, then they also don’t deserve nearly the share of the credit — and money — that they got while things were going up.
Bada bing!(image)

NBC shills for the war machine

Sun, 30 Nov 2008 16:36:00 +0000

Matt Y. unleashes on the TV networks:
But rather than focusing on McCaffrey and his issues, it’s worth contemplating the breathtaking lack of integrity on display from the television networks here. As I said, Barstow published a piece on this back in April. None of the TV networks addressed the issue he raised in anything resembling a serious manner. And, again, we now have NBC News caught flat-out in the midst of corruption, deceiving their viewers. And NBC News isn’t sorry. They’re not apologizing. They’re not ashamed. Because they’re beyond shame. They never had a reputation for honor, so they don’t even see this sort of thing as damaging.
Ouch. Perhaps NBC should pay more attention to one of this country's rising public intellectuals.

Or perhaps people will stop paying as much attention to NBC.(image)

gay marriage more threatening than torture

Fri, 14 Nov 2008 02:02:00 +0000

I had forgotten about this. It's quite upsetting, if the stories related are true.

And the political issues the church selects to get involved in seem odd, to say the least.(image)

nonpseudonymous blogging

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 23:38:00 +0000

Here's the post I just put up at Citizen Orange:
Some attentive readers might have noticed a recent change in the Citizen Orange blogger lineup. Some guy named "yave begnet" was replaced by yours truly without much explanation.

So here's a bit of explanation. When the website relaunched about a month ago, I joined the site as the immigrant rights blogger. I also changed jobs and moved to a new city around the same time, and the time seemed right to stop using my pseudonym, "yave begnet." So that is why you've been seeing less of yave, and more of me. It's less schizophrenic this way and less confusing to me, at least.

So check out the new site, if you get a chance. I'll still be blogging here regularly, but not quite as frequently as I have been for the past year.
My name, if you didn't catch it in the last post, is David Bennion. I'll still be blogging as "yave" here, though. I hope that clears things up a bit.(image)

Prop 8 passage results in one less name on LDS church rolls

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 16:52:00 +0000

A couple weeks ago, I wondered why the LDS Church was so eager to deny equal rights to gays and lesbians. Then Prop 8 passed, due in no small part to the Church's efforts. Though I am no longer an active member of the Church, and have little influence over anything it does on any level, I am still technically a member. That will change after the Church receives the letter I am sending out tomorrow, reprinted below:November 10, 2008Member Records Division, LDS Church50 E North Temple Rm 1372SLC UT 84150-5310To Whom It May Concern:This letter is my formal resignation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it is effective immediately. I hereby withdraw my consent to being treated as a member and I withdraw my consent to being subject to Church rules, policies, beliefs and discipline. As I am no longer a member, I want my name permanently and completely removed from the membership rolls of the Church.I have given this matter considerable thought. I understand what you consider the seriousness and the consequences of my actions. I am aware that the Church handbook says that my resignation "cancels the effects of baptism and confirmation, withdraws the priesthood held by a male member and revokes temple blessings" I also understand that I will be "readmitted to the church by baptism only after a thorough interview". (quotes from the current Church Handbook of Instructions)I have not been active in the Church for more than 11 years now. I have moved several times and never contacted any local Church leaders or members to update my records. Until now, I was content with the current situation. Only once or twice was I visited by members or missionaries—the Church seemed to respect my wishes and by and large left me alone. If it had not done so, I might have resigned long ago. One reason I had not previously resigned was because it didn’t matter much to me whether or not I was still listed as a member, and it didn’t seem to impact my daily life one way or the other. I felt the trouble it would take to resign was not worth the sorrow it might cause members of my family. With respect and love to my family, I no longer feel that I can leave things as they are. My decision on this matter has changed with the Church’s public and very effective support of Proposition 8 in California in the recent election. I cannot allow my name to be associated, however symbolically, with this shameful attack on the basic civil rights of a historically oppressed group. The Church’s official position is doubly troubling given the history of persecution members of the Church—my ancestors—endured in the name of their faith. Knowing that the outcome in California on November 4 was a direct result of the Church’s efforts was a deeply shameful realization for me, and may irreparably change my relationship with the Church. I can only hope that, sooner rather than later, the Church leadership comes to understand the harmful consequences of this misguided policy and reverses it, as it reversed the policy of refusing blacks the priesthood after President Kimball’s historic 1978 revelation.My resignation should be processed immediately, without any waiting periods. I am not going to be dissuaded and I am not going to change my mind. After today, I request that the only contact I receive from the Church is a single letter of confirmation to let me know that I am no longer listed as a member of the Church.Sincerely,David Colin BennionThe letter is a modified version of a letter I got from this website. This website gives instructions on how to request that the IRS revoke the Church's tax exempt status. I don't know enough about tax law to know whether that effort is just pie in the sky. The LDS Church didn't pass Prop 8 on its own. I'm not too happy about the Catholic Church's role in the passage of Prop 8 and in fighting [...]

not your fucking mascot

Thu, 06 Nov 2008 01:38:00 +0000

From Newsweek:
McCain was dumbfounded when Congressman John Lewis, a civil-rights hero, issued a press release comparing the GOP nominee with former Alabama governor George Wallace, a segregationist infamous for stirring racial fears. McCain had devoted a chapter to Lewis in one of his books, "Why Courage Matters," and had so admired Lewis that he had once taken his children to meet him.
It must have come as a hard blow to have one of your heroes compare you to such a villain. Maybe that would give you pause to reevaluate the direction of your campaign and think about why someone you admire would rebuke you so publicly.

But nah …

After Lewis’s statement, the GOP started running the Jeremiah Wright ads in Pennsylvania. That worked out well.(image)

a good night to stay in

Thu, 30 Oct 2008 03:17:00 +0000

Apparently, my new city is full of crazy people.

Crazy about baseball!

Oh dear:
On the 1400 block of JFK Boulevard, out-of-control Phillies fans have overtaken a Channel 3 news van. They're rocking it, trying to turn it over, according to police. The windows have been broken out of the van. There are also sporadic shots being fired throughout the city, and police are surging toward the areas of the largest crowds. Mayor Nutter, in TV interviews, urged fans to remain calm. "Enjoy it, savor it, but let's all be respectful to eachother," Mayor Nutter said.

Meanwhile, at Pattison Avenue and Darien Street outside Citizens Bank Park, a group of youths was fighting police. One of the youths had some blood streaming from his head.


Prop 8 and the LDS church: a query

Sat, 25 Oct 2008 03:03:00 +0000

I have about had it with the LDS church and Prop 8 in California. Why is this such an important issue to the Church? I stopped attending church about 11 years ago. These days I go along, live and let live more or less, mostly out of respect for my family. I think religion is a personal choice--it works for some people, it doesn't work for others. That's fine. I even joined the "Mormons are Christians" cause on Facebook because it bothers me when people assert that they aren't--out of unfamiliarity with the doctrine or for other reasons.

But this is just over the line. Why is the leadership so motivated to persecute a disfavored minority? Do they have any idea of the consequences of what they are doing? Don't they realize that what they are doing will ultimately fail and only damage the institution's long-term viability?

I guess not. More on this to come.(image)

swing state life

Wed, 08 Oct 2008 00:55:00 +0000

Q: How awesome is Santogold?

A: Very much awesome. ("None" more black.)

Mental note: must check out Fela Kuti. Time to join eMusic again now that I have a job.

In other news, my vote in this year's election will count for the first time ... ever!

It didn't count in Utah.

It didn't count in New York.

It counts in Pennsylvania! Suck on that Tom Friedman!

(Santogold's vote counts, too, unless she foolishly moved to New York or something.)

Update: Looks like PA isn't turning out to be much of a swing state after all - Obama up by 15.(image)

zingers and one-liners

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 14:02:00 +0000

Andrea Mitchell is telling me that Barack Obama failed in last Friday's debate because he didn't have any zingers or memorable one-liners like Ronald Reagan did. He talked about policy issues too much.

What is it Brad DeLong is always saying? Why oh why can't we have a less retarded press corps?(image)

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 03:08:00 +0000

I bought Cormac McCarthy's most recent book, The Road, at the airport recently, and finished it the same day, even having spent most of my four-hour flight watching the airheads on CNBC explain how essential for my personal well-being it is for me to not raise too much of a fuss while their employers, associates, and benefactors borrow from China my alotted portion of $700 billion and give it to, um, themselves. Not that I have much say in the matter, anyway. But it makes the airheads feel better about taking their cut if they feel they've persuaded some of us to emotionally invest in our own bamboozlement. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I heard George Bush muttering, "If you don't hand over $2000 to my buddy Hank right now, the terr'ists have won."

Guess I was slightly behind the curve on this book, since Oprah endorsed it to her viewers about a year and a half ago. Better late than never.

The Road is, in literary parlance, some dark and foreboding shit. Reading it, I found myself scraping the empty corners of my soul, trying to dredge up some contemporary context, straining to find a moral purchase from which to defend against the horrors McCarthy was projecting into my visual cortex. Then tonight, researching this shitty post, I discovered that McCarthy's apocalypse was not a nuclear holocaust, as I had assumed, but an impact event. So in his world, it doesn't actually matter what happens through the puny self-serving machinations of governance, the construction and arrangement of social interaction to delude the masses for the enrichment of the few, the cosmic paper-shuffle known variously as "productive employment," "public service," "spiritual enrichment," or what have you . . . in McCarthy's world, most of us are inevitably the walking dead, existing only to prepare the ragged remnants of our progeny to endure unspeakable horror and degradation in the service of no greater end than the meagre comfort of a half-empty belly and a warm campfire. And there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Even taken as a metaphor, it's pretty depressing. So Onward and Upward! Toward a Bright and Prosperous Future! Can't wait to see the movie!

And I'd offer a note to McCarthy's other readers, and to Oprah: The Road may seem familiar to some, for whom similar travails constituted their childhood. Like the horror movies and churches to which Western audiences/parishioners flock to reassure themselves that death is only a nightmare (before dying--you'd think the Creator could have come up with a less predictable plot!), the post-apocalyptic genre serves to comfort the world's wealthy billion that they will never experience the sort of deprivation and hopelessness that periodically intrudes at the margins of their consciousness. Maybe that's the moral I was looking for.(image)

speechless, or Palin/Romney 2012!!

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 02:27:00 +0000

(image) For my 500th post at this crappy blog, I will celebrate again the Sugar Bush Squirrel, here commenting on the vice-presidential race.

When scholars dig up relics of American culture thousands of years from now and examine nuances of construction and arrangement for glimmers of insight into our society, I hope to god they find some representation of the Sugar Bush Squirrel. And if they then exhumed and reanimated my dusty remains and compelled me through some dark art to put into context what is pictured here above, I'd be just as lost for words as I am right now . . .(image)

economic intellectual reassessment

Fri, 19 Sep 2008 14:19:00 +0000

As venerable financial institutions bite the dust with increasing frequency and the market jumps around like a hopped-up Charlie Kelly, bloggers are trying to make sense of the broader ramifications of the financial crisis. First, Henry from Crooked Timber weighs in:[W]hat is utterly startling to me is that . . . the claim that the state shouldn’t be directly involved in running the economy – is under serious threat too. I genuinely hadn’t expected this to happen. As the NYT notes, countries like France are using US actions as a way to justify state involvement in picking and supporting national champions. In a couple of years, perhaps we’ll see a new version of ‘le Plan’ (I’m half-joking here – but only half-joking). As Tyler says: The economic fallout from these events is dominating the headlines. The intellectual and ideological fallout we are just beginning to contemplate. Mark Blyth’s book, Great Transformations has a theory of the relationship between economic crises and economic ideas. Very roughly speaking, when a crisis occurs that is difficult or impossible for the prevailing wisdom to explain or deal with, intellectual entrepreneurs have an opportunity to create a new (partly self-reinforcing) collective wisdom. We’re most likely in just such a crisis now. Which set of intellectual entrepreneurs are going to succeed in reshaping a new collective wisdom – economic nationalists like Sarkozy and Putin, social democratic globalizers like Dani Rodrik, or some other crowd entirely – I have no idea.Jim Henley thinks the national liquidity crisis could be what finally gets us out of Iraq.Reading casually into the ongoing financial meltdown this week, I keep coming across the bottom-line explanation that the world’s, and particularly America’s, financial institutions just don’t have enough assets to cover their obligations. The dollar seems to be Wile E. Coyote now, or a less sagacious mark than Dummy 2 in the flashlight joke - tiptoeing in midair with nothing under it while gravity clears its throat and prepares. The various central banks are trying to keep it going because the various central banks have a whole freaking lot of them. But the translation of the bottom-line explanation is that the world, and particularly America, are not nearly as rich as most of us thought. Sorry! And I’m not just saying that! I can’t see how that doesn’t mean pretty much all the central banks are going to want to sneak their way out of dollars if they can. I think it’s one of those prisoner’s dilemma things. Meanwhile, as part of Uncle Sam’s attempt to keep the whole contraption going, the Federal Government has taken on massive, massive liabilities from Fanny and Freddy and AIG and who knows what else is coming. Things move quickly in a crisis, and now we have an idea of "what else is coming," and it doesn't look good (as John Quiggen puts it, a "US government asset purchase on a scale that will make all past nationalizations look puny.")Jim then discusses the principal components of the federal budget.Social Security and Medicare have - nominally - their own funding mechanism. The US is probably not going to default on the debt. Nobody in power is going to want to compound possible Depression-level demand shocks by cutting entitlements or even safety-net spending. That big red wedge [Ed.: military spending] is where the savings are to be had. Because so much of war funding has been tucked into "emergency" appropriations, the big red wedge is probably even bigger. Sorry, American Enterprise Institute, it’s over. (NB: In this case, I am just saying that - the "sorry" part.) We are abo[...]

la confusión de McCain

Fri, 19 Sep 2008 14:19:00 +0000

The General brings us an update on John McCain's struggle for clarity.(image)

do your kids deserve health insurance?

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 03:30:00 +0000

I take my talking points on health care from Ezra Klein. And apparently today, he's taking them from Brad DeLong. So here they are:

Brad DeLong has a bunch of them. I'd slim the list down to three for each candidate. For McCain:

• McCain's health care plan will increase taxes on employer-based insurance, and kick 20 million people off the rolls.

• McCain's plan will throw you into the individual market, where the same plan your employer offered will cost $2,000 more, and you can be refused care because you were sick 10 years ago.

• McCain's plan will shift costs onto the sick.

For Obama:

• Obama's plan will cover tens of millions of Americans and reform the insurance industry such that everyone gets a fair deal and no one can be discriminated against because they were once sick or unlucky.

• It will create a group market that businesses can buy their employees into so that a small business that paints homes doesn't have to run a tiny insurance company on the side and an entrepreneur can pursue his idea without having to learn about health coverage regulations.

• It will cover all children. And Christ almighty, isn't it time we did at least that?
Past time.

This topic has special salience for me this month since until October 1, I'm one of the 47 million uninsured in the U.S. Cross your fingers for me and the other 46,999,999!(image)

Georgia man faces execution despite lack of evidence against him

Wed, 17 Sep 2008 01:12:00 +0000

From Roberto Lovato today:
This very sad news from Georgia: Troy Anthony Davis, the Georgia man whose case has garnered international attention for what many believe is a case of shattered justice, is now set to be executed next week. Davis was sentenced to death for the alleged murder of Police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail at a Burger King in Savannah, Georgia; a murder he maintains he did not commit. Georgia authorities decided to move forward with Davis’s execution even though there was no physical evidence against him and even though the weapon used in the crime was never found. Unless immediate action is taken, he will be executed by the state based on a case made up entirely of witness testimony which contained inconsistencies even at the time of the trial. Since then, all but two of the state’s non-police witnesses from the trial have recanted or contradicted their testimony. Many of these witnesses have stated in sworn affidavits that they were pressured or coerced by police into testifying or signing statements against Troy Davis.
Michelle Garcia, in her Amnesty International Magazine's article on Troy Davis, discusses key eye witnesses who withdrew their original testimony condemning Davis (linked to in Roberto's post):
It took nearly a decade for D.D. Collins, who was also at the scene of the shooting, to recant his eyewitness testimony; he had been just 16 when police took him in for questioning without his parents present. “I was scared as hell,” he said in his 2002 statement. “They told me I would go to jail for a long time and I would be lucky if I got out.”

And it wasn't until 2000 that Dorothy Ferrell, a convicted shoplifter who attorneys had argued provided compelling testimony against Davis, signed an affidavit recanting. “I had four children. I couldn’t go back to jail,” she said. “I felt like I didn’t have any choice but to get up there and testify."
Take action to stop this execution here.(image)

accepting my 'pastitude'

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 20:51:00 +0000

From like Sarah Palin wants what many of us already have - Brown SkinActually, I caught this bit about Sarah Palin installing a tanning bed in the Alaska’s governor mansion yesterday, but it just illustrates the level of vanity and superficiality, which I recently addressed here with this woman. All of this is made more ironic when you consider that Senator McCain has been treated multiple times for melanoma. Personal tanning beds can cost as much as $35,000, which is not out of the ordinary for most folks from small town America, right?I laughed when I saw the headline. I imagine she'd like the darker skin but maybe not the latinidad that goes with it.Election commentary aside, I don't know why it seems nobody is happy with their skin color. I've been known to lay out in my back yard (when I had one), on the roof of the building (when I thought the landlady wouldn't catch me), or on the beach for purely cosmetic reasons. My Mii of choice is not the one that looks like me--shaved head, pale skin, blocky glasses--but one with brown skin and a full head of spiky black hair. Even my pseudonym doesn't reflect my Welsh/Scots/English/Scandinavian heritage, but that is probably why I stuck with it. Growing up white in Utah, Texas, and Hawaii, self-deprecatory humor about "pastiness" and ghostly white legs and bellies in the spring and winter months was an essential part of any skin-baring activity (swimming, skinny dipping, etc.). Bronzed skin was always the gold standard.Then I look at the thriving market for skin bleaching products in Asia and Africa and scratch my head. I watch the Mexican telenovelas on Univision (now in HD!) and wonder why none of the actors look like my clients (in fact, some seem to my untrained eye to have landed roles principally based on their blond hair and blue eyes ... and, ahem, acting skills). I watch(ed) with bemusement as the Chinese women of Bensonhurst walk under umbrellas on sunny days.It'd be healthier, psychically and physically, for each of us to simply accept the lot we're dealt at birth, but then that's not human nature, is it.[Adding that the reasons for and consequences of whites aspiring to be tan and nonwhites adopting trappings of whiteness are vastly different and this post doesn't begin to address them.Also noting that "accepting the lot we're dealt at birth" doesn't come near to adequately characterizing the social implications of skin color. But before I end up fisking my own post, I'll just leave it at that.][...]

shoe on the other foot

Sat, 13 Sep 2008 14:56:00 +0000

Jill at Jack and Jill Politics has a message for the journalists who read her blog:
From Letters to the Editors @ Fort Worth Star-Telegram

How racism works

What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review?

What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said “I do” to?

What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?

What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama were a member of the “Keating 5″?

What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

— Kelvin LaFond, Fort Worth

Posted at 12:05 AM in Letters to the Editor, U.S. Politics
To which I’d add — what if one of Obama’s kids was teenage and pregnant? What if one of his kids was rumored to be an Oxycontin addict? What if Obama just did not know the basics of our mortgage system and how Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae work (like Palin)? What if he and Michelle belonged at one point to a fringe political party advocating secession from the United States (like Palin)? What if he lied to the American public about his opponents’ record and positions over and over and over?
Those seem like reasonable questions.(image)

Hurricane Ike hits Texas

Sat, 13 Sep 2008 03:23:00 +0000

I am hoping from Philadelphia that the people of southeast Texas, including blogmigo XP, are able to weather the storm that is hitting them right now.

I went to grade school in Houston, and one of the bayous mentioned in this article ran behind our house in Spring Branch. During one storm, the 20-foot bayou filled to the top and suddenly there was a brown river running behind our back yard. I can only imagine what happens when the bayous’ capacity is overwhelmed and those rivers spill over into neighborhoods.

I hope the damage is contained and the relief assistance can get to where it needs to go. Our thoughts are with you tonight, Texas.(image)

U.S. strikes Pakistan, nominal ally

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 11:47:00 +0000

From Charlie Gibson’s interview last night with Sarah Palin:
GIBSON: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?

PALIN: Now, as for our right to invade, we're going to work with these countries, building new relationships, working with existing allies, but forging new, also, in order to, Charlie, get to a point in this world where war is not going to be a first option. In fact, war has got to be, a military strike, a last option.

GIBSON: But, Governor, I'm asking you: We have the right, in your mind, to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government.

PALIN: In order to stop Islamic extremists, those terrorists who would seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.
In other news today:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — As the American campaign against suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas seemed to intensify, two missiles fired from American pilotless drones killed 12 people Friday in an attack on a village compound in North Waziristan, according to a local journalist and television reports.

. . .

The missiles were fired at a village called Tole Khel, two miles east of Miranshah, and the dead included women and children, according to residents speaking to Pakistani reporters. There was no immediate word on the reported attack from American or Pakistani military authorities.

Pakistan’s government has little control in the tribal areas which the United States regards as safe havens for Al Qaeda and Taliban militants. In July, President Bush approved secret orders permitting American Special Operations forces to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without the prior approval of the Pakistani government, according to senior American officials.

Earlier this month, American forces raided a Pakistani village near the Afghan border in an attack that angered Pakistani officials who asserted that it achieved little except killing civilians and stoking anti-Americanism in the tribal areas.
Using the U.S. military means never having to say you’re sorry . . .

Obama’s not much better on this point, IIRC.(image)


Thu, 11 Sep 2008 03:42:00 +0000

(object) (embed)
Peaches come from a can
they were put there by a man
in a factory downtown . . .
I forgot about this video.

I had not remembered that the two guys in the band who are not the drummer look like an accountant and a tech guy. I guess you could get away with that in the '90s.(image)