Brain… is… depleted. …Must… reanimate…

OK, the blog muscles are slightly atrophied. I changed jobs right before the end of the semester, and had to learn a new statistical analysis program (Stata, which is really pretty easy to pick up, but I’m a long time SAS user and continue to experience a bit of proactive interference in this transition), and work on my term paper and finals prep in the off hours. So I failed to keep up with news and extracurricular readings for what seems like a very long time. At present, I’m a little burned out on reading and thinking, but the neurons are beginning to fire more rapidly and I’m trawling the internet again.

  • An aside: since learning here that Amazon.com gives more money to Republicans than Democrats (I didn’t see Amazon on the “shopping list” I received from many, many people and posted Monday) I will start linking to book titles via Powells or other non-Amazon sources. Amazon has a great deal of my money – although for the last two years I’ve purchased far more used books through them than new. Now we must part ways.
  • “The good times, and the heroic people, are all gone. Everyone knows this. Everyone always has.” In her very lovely book For The Time Being, from whence came that quote, Annie Dillard rounded up (p. 60-62) some amusing quotations to demonstrate that, pretty much from the dawn of recorded history, thinkers and observers “thought the world was shot to hell.” Every generation thinks it must be close to the last. So I check myself whenever I start to think, “has it ever been worse than this? Have people ever been more callous and self-centered? Has there ever been so much violence?” etc.

    But, criminy, have there ever been so many (forgive me, Lord) loons dominionists in and around so many positions of consequence, all at the same time? All acting as advisors to, or cabinet members of, or associates with, or taking credit for re-electing, the president of the United States? And all apparently certain that God needs their help in figuring out when to wrap things up? Really, Professor Dillard, has it ever been this crazy?

    And, um, is everyone in South Carolina in on this plan? I can’t link to the Christian Exodus web site right now*, but I could earlier today (*Update: fixed the link!):

    ChristianExodus.org is coordinating the move of thousands of Christians to South Carolina for the express purpose of re-establishing Godly, constitutional government. It is evident that the U.S. Constitution has been abandoned under our current federal system, and the efforts of Christian activism to restore our Godly republic have proven futile over the past three decades. The time has come for Christians to withdraw our consent from the current federal government and re-introduce the Christian principles once so predominant in America to a sovereign State like South Carolina.

  • New abuse allegations are making that “just a few bad apples” explanation considerably less plausible, wouldn’t you say? Especially if the techniques were indeed authorized by the president… But Robo-Scott McClellan says that’s not true, and by golly, his word’s good enough for me.
  • Terrific new Molly Ivins column: “…Of all the problems that arise from having an administration that chooses not to believe in reality, the ones most likely to have irretrievably disastrous consequences are environmental. “
  • Halliburton was just about to take another PR hit — since they are the contractors who were running far behind schedule on replacing the Mosul mess tent with a sturdier structure, but now we learn that it wasn’t rockets or shells that killed the 22 – it was a suicide bomber.
  • Please read Arianna’s column on the latest White House power grab (and then repeat after the president: “…free people will never choose to live in tyrrany.”)
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