Monthly Archives: August 2011

I Wish I Had Drawn and Written this Comic

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“Christians Can Jihad, Too”

Yes, they sure can, young white man. Thank you for pointing that out for all the nice Americans watching. Talking Points Memo has a short article about a youngster who allegedly set fire to a mosque.

Court documents obtained by the Associated Press show that Crawford ranted against Muslims in his conversations with police and said that Christians were also capable of jihad.

“You look like Obama. You are a Muslim like him,” a court document quotes Crawford as telling an officer after he was arrested on Dec. 14 for a charge unrelated to the firebombing. “Jihad goes both ways. Christians can jihad too.”

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Filed under bigoted idiots, domestic terrorism, Our glorious war on terror

Sunday Cat Photo

Calico tabby near sunny window. Too much sun in her eyes, makes her look like a snake.

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Off Topic Yet Again: US Politics

A few days ago I copied this paragraph from a post at Crooks & Liars, and haven’t been able to find the right place to use it. It’s about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney:

The first reason is he has five gorgeous able-bodied adult sons who’ve never spent a day in the military. Actually, none of the as-yet announced Republican candidates have children serving in the military. We’ve been in two wars now for nearly a decade each and yet the all-volunteer force is entirely made up of Americans not spawned from GOP candidates. For the last 30 years at least, the Republicans have been relentlessly, uniformly hawkish – but mostly with other peoples’ children. This disconnect was made evident in the ’08 election when soldiers donated money to candidate Barack Obama 6-1 over Senator John McCain.

Something I think about when I hear demagoguery about the poors not bearing their share of the burden.

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Mario Theme Song on Marimba

A while back I had a video of the Mario Bros them song played on guitar and oud, which I loved. Here it is played on Marimba. No Arab theme here, but I love the sound of the marimba.


Filed under music, off-topic

Off Topic: Warren Buffett on Taxing the Rich

Editorial by billionaire Warren Buffet, “Stop Coddling the Super-Rich.”

This has nothing to do with the theme of this blog, but I felt like spreading the word.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks.

These and other blessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species. It’s nice to have friends in high places.

The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.

I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.

But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.

My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.

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Let’s Please Not Make the US a Theocracy

A US Presidential candidate said earlier this year, “I think it’s time for us to just hand it over to God, and say, ‘God: You’re going to have to fix this’.”

The context: a speech in May, explaining how some of the nation’s most serious problems could be solved.

Found on this New York Times blog.

Also from the same blog post:

But Texas is special. By many measures, it is the nation’s most polluted state. Dirty air and water do not seem to bother Perry. He is, however, extremely perturbed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement of laws designed to clean the world around him. In a recent interview, he wished for the president to pray away the E.P.A.

To Jews, Muslims, non-believers and even many Christians, the Biblical bully that is Rick Perry must sound downright menacing, particularly when he gets into religious absolutism. “As a nation, we must call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles,” he said last week.

As a lone citizen, he’s free to advocate Jesus-driven public policy imperatives. But coming from someone who wants to govern this great mess of a country with all its beliefs, Perry’s language is an insult to the founding principles of the republic. Substitute Allah or a Hindu God for Jesus and see how that polls.

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Filed under church and state, Stupidity

Arabic Grammar – The Forms or Measures

Is Arabic hard or easy, simple or complicated? You sometimes hear the argument that Arabic is easy because there are only two verb tenses and the verbs are formed according to patterns, from a three-letter root.
From what I’ve been told, native speakers of Arabic don’t learn the measures the way we do; some western linguist or grammarian or whatever invented it for our sake. Anyhow, my point is, if you’re trying to learn Arabic, it couldn’t hurt to read Keith Massey’s book, Intermediate Arabic for Dummies.
As an Arabic student acquaintance of mine said, “If Dr Massey wrote another book, I’d read it.”
You can find out more here at Keith’s site, Adventures in Language.

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Filed under arabic, arabist, books

More or Less Funny Arabic Commercial

I’ll be away for several days. But I’ll be back, inshallah!

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Filed under arabic