That land of unfulfilled expectations

From an open letter on the inauguration of Barack Obama, by Nigerian poet and playwright Wole Soyinka: Americans are not exempt by special dispensation from the mines that litter the field of social transformation across the world, nor endowed with any special talent for their avoidance or deactivation. A slow, painful phase of correction and [Read More…]

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Gerbils and polar bears

Temple Grandin was on NPR's "Fresh Air" last week. Grandin, a professor at Colorado State, looks at the world with a different perspective than I do. I don't mean that figuratively. Grandin, who was diagnosed as autistic in 1950, really does see and experience the world differently than neurotypicals like myself. As she and radio [Read More…]

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Military precision

With all due respect to India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, and with sympathy for the tragic loss of life his country recently suffered in the murderous attacks in Mumbai, it’s still necessary to point out that his statement earlier today grievously — and destructively — mischaracterizes those attacks. Here is what the prime minister said: [Read More…]

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Catching up

There's that moment in a race when you're about to get lapped and you look in the rearview mirror and see the other driver coming up on you. With a bit of creative delusion and the power of positive thinking you can, at that moment, pretend that you're actually ahead of the other guy. After [Read More…]

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A tent among us

This is from Anne Lamott's "Advent Adventure," from her old Mothers Who Think column on Salon. (That link is still alive, 10 years after this was first posted, but someof thespaces betweenwords aremissing, so I'm pasting and posting the ending here for readability's sake, which I hope Salon won't mind, it being Christmas and all.) [Read More…]

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Crime desk

The "Fort Dix 5" — five Philadelphia-area men accused of plotting an implausible attack on the South Jersey Army base — were convicted of conspiring to commit murder. This was a murky case involving what the defense characterized as virtual entrapment by the FBI informant who seems to have masterminded the scheme. But what really [Read More…]

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Doggie justice

Scientists have demonstrated that dogs can feel envy. So says The New York Times and so says National Geographic. But scientists have not, in fact, done any such thing. What they actually seem to have demonstrated about dogs is far more interesting. The experiment in question actually had little to do with the deadly sin [Read More…]

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You know who else I don't care for?

Comcast. [Read more…]

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