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The messages we send to little girls about what’s important…

Why didn’t Obama get it?

Companion piece to “Obama apologist bingo”: Did he really think the bailed-out banks — the banks that caused the crash — would lend the sort of money needed for massive re-employment projects? More here.

Obama apologist bingo

I totally stole this from Lambert. It’s a couple of years old, so you may not get all of it. But still!

God’s in-box

Yeah, it’s a re-run. But it’s a good one!

This is my very favorite Anne Lamott essay of all time, because it was me at my worst, although maybe not so much anymore (although I could be kidding myself):

Say you have a problem, something that is driving you crazy, something you need and want an answer to. Maybe the problem is romantic in nature, or has to do with your career. Maybe a decision needs to be reached that involves one of your kids, or your spouse, or an aged parent or pet. You feel like you really need to go left or right but you have no idea which way to turn. Maybe you feel just a little scared, maybe profoundly anxious; maybe you’ve even developed facial tics and early-stage Tourette’s.

If you’re at all like me, you’re torn between really wanting to know what God’s will is for you, and just desperately wanting this one thing to happen, this one thing to turn out this one particular way. And you keep feeling this, even though you remember the amazing scene at the end of “The Mission,” where the warrior, played by Robert DeNiro, comes to see the priest, Jeremy Irons, to seek his blessing in the battle ahead, and the priest says, “If what you are about to do is God’s will, then you don’t need my blessing. And if it’s not, then my blessing isn’t going to help.”

You remember that and still: You frantically want the guy to call; you want the project to be a huge success; you want the authorities to let your brother off the hook. Whatever. A small part of you, a crescent moon-shaped part of you, wants to be in alignment with God’s will, because you have reason to believe that you are fucked unto the Lord if you somehow get your own will to prevail. But a louder part of you secretly believes that you alone know what the best possible outcome would be, for all parties concerned, even with a lifetime of evidence to the contrary. And you are prepared to use the sheer force of your personality and character to get it to happen.

It’s a terrible feeling, isn’t it — the self-will run riot? Here you long to inwardly resemble the Dalai Lama humming to himself, or Therese of Liseux at dawn Christmas morning in prayer. And instead, on the inside, you’re feeling like Roy Cohn with the flu and bad coffee nerves. Or a dog with a chew toy. A crazy little dog.

A crazy, bad little dog with issues: That’s where the self-will takes me. First there’s all this terrible Jurassic roaring and posturing, the wrestling to the ground, the snapping and gnawing, the growling. And then there’s an unearthly quiet, the isometric moment of silence just before the electrical storm. And then suddenly the toy is flung, tossed up and over the body, and great excitement pours forth like lava as the toy is searched for and captured again; and then dominated, chewed, ripped at, drooled over.

But eventually I am too tired to continue and my head has become too uninhabitable, and I realize I’ve been driving this rickety temperamental old bus of my mind around for too long. I’ve lost all sense of direction and am feeling confused and pissed off and bitter and resentful and nuts; but then finally, finally just tired. I begin to worry that I have had or am having a complete nervous breakdown, and that I am about to start weeping or barking and won’t be able to stop. Sometimes I still look more or less okay on the outside  except for the tics, which can actually be pretty unsightly  but inside I’m feeling a little bit more like Ted Kaczynski than I like to. And I realize I’m just crazier than a shithouse rat; and that it’s all hopeless. And that the sun is burning out.
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Ben Breedlove


Two days after Texas teenager Ben Breedlove posted a YouTube video talking about the dangerous heart condition from which he suffered, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, he died from a heart attack. It was Christmas night.

He’ll be buried today.

Mistaking distraction for engagement

Yes, absolutely. We’ve made it very difficult to detach from our electronic umbilical cords.

Maybe Darwin was wrong

Because otherwise, wouldn’t morons like this have died off by now?

To state Rep. Jerry Bergevin, the horrors of the Columbine school shooting and the atrocities of Nazi Germany are linked by the theory of evolution, and that’s all the evidence he needs to see that New Hampshire’s children shouldn’t be taught that it’s correct.

Bergevin, a Republican from Manchester serving his first term, introduced one of two bills that will be before the Legislature next year addressing evolution, the first in the state since the late 1990s.

The second bill, introduced by Reps. Gary Hopper of Weare and John Burt of Goffstown, more vaguely calls for science teachers to “instruct pupils that proper scientific (inquiry) results from not committing to any one theory or hypothesis . . . and that scientific and technological innovations based on new evidence can challenge accepted scientific theories.”

Hopper points to the state constitution and its order that teachers support their students’ “morality and piety” for the justification of his bill.

[…] “As a general court we should be concerned with criminal ideas like this and how we are teaching it. . . . Columbine, remember that? They were believers in evolution. That’s evidence right there,” he said.


For want of a more precise term, I’ve concluded that having surgery tears a giant gash in the integrity of your body’s energy field. I think it takes more than physical healing – it’s almost as if your “self” has to knit itself back together. I once interviewed a famous surgeon, who told me (off the record) that he absolutely agreed — but wouldn’t say it publicly because “people would think I was crazy.”

So I totally relate to this story.

Also, please note how many of the Calvinist scolds in the comments tell her how she should shut up and be grateful.


It’s a win for drivers, all right – the moneyed interests that drive everything these days:

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal judge blocked California from enforcing its first-in-the-nation mandate for cleaner, low-carbon fuels on Thursday, saying the rules favor biofuels produced in the state.

The lawsuit challenging the state regulations, which were adopted as part of California’s landmark 2006 global warming law, was filed in federal court last year by a coalition that includes the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association and the Consumer Energy Alliance.

Fresno-based U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O’Neill’s written ruling Thursday said the low-carbon fuel rules violated the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause by discriminating against crude oil and biofuels producers located outside California.

Out-of-state fuels producers hailed the decision as a win for California drivers.

This is the kind of politician I like

Someone who’s willing to wield his power to make sure business does the right thing!

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A supervisor in a small rural township in northern Lycoming County took matters into his own hands when a Marcellus shale drilling company kept using a road it had been told to keep big trucks off of.

Daniel Roupp cut down a half dozen trees yesterday, blocking the gravel road. “I’m thinking we got their attention,” he said today.

The drilling company, Range Resources, has resubmitted a plan for repairs to the road. The Cogan House Township supervisors last week felt the plan was inadequate but expressed a willingness to negotiate, Roupp said.

A spokesman for the company said Range has been cooperating with the township.

The township, which has about 100 residents, has been after Range for months to make repairs to the road, Roupp said. The Department of Environmental Protection on Dec. 15 told the township it was in violation of erosion and sediment regulations.

The compliance order required the township to prohibit vehicles of more than six tons from the road and submit a plan to DEP for its stabilization. The township tried to comply with DEP’s order banning heavy vehicles by erecting signs and using barricades, but Roupp said truck drivers ignored them.

The township then pulled permits that allowed the heavy trucks to use the road, but Roupp said that did not stop them, either. That is why he blocked the road with trees, he said.

And as he notes, if they don’t follow through this time, there are plenty more trees along that road.

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