With Apologies to Stephen Hawking

This was, hands down, one of the funniest interviews I've seen on The Daily Show, ever.

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Ricky Gervais
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What Athenae Said

Athenae at First Draft knocks it out of the park again:

"Let's stop taking care of people entirely. It's too much. It's always too much, when it's something like keeping the lights on or feeding somebody or educating him. That's too much, too expensive, and so what if we lost entire PALLETS of cash in the Middle East? So what if we shoveled cash at two wars and never bothered to ask where it was all going? That's not too much. In fact, even bringing it up just proves that the argument is over. It proves you're not serious, because serious people know the only thing that can really be questioned is what brand of canned fucking chili somebody bought with his goddamn fucking food stamps."



Why I Return to New Orleans

"In those neighborhoods—if you listen carefully enough—beneath the warmth and hospitality and stories of human struggle and resiliency, you will also hear a more negative note. There’s a feeling of frustration in New Orleans that sometimes comes close to real anger. New Orleanians may not be able to recite the precise statistics and dollar amounts, but they know full well, how vital the mouth of the Mississippi River is to our whole nation’s economy. They know about the trillions of dollars worth of oil, gasoline, grain, seafood, and industrial products that flow through New Orleans—generating profit and prosperity in the rest of the United States. And they know just how little of that profit and prosperity stay in New Orleans.

In other words—if we define a just society as one where every person has reasonably equal access to the fruits of their own efforts and labors—then New Orleans is the perfect case study in what’s unjust about our society."

Originally delivered as a sermon on November 14, 2010, by the Reverend Dennis McCarty at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbus, Indiana.

H/T, Oyster.


Go, Bernie, Go

Not that it will have any real effect, but I'm awed to see Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) standing up for what he believes in and filibustering the deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. And I am in shock--absolute shock--that my senator, the milquetoast, blue-dog Mary Landrieu, has actually been helping him.

He's on hour number seven now and has said he will go on as long as he can talk. Go, Bernie!

Merry Christmas from the Family

My husband always says this song reminds him of Christmas growing up with his family. After 16 years together, I can see why....Feliz Navidad, y'all.

Joyeux Noel


What Driftglass Said

The Last Democrat

"The first rule of American politics is that presidents get elected by promising to keep the American people safe from one peril or another, real or imagined.

The converse of that rule is that no American president ever got elected by promising to keep the American people safe from themselves. Carter tried and lost. Mondale tried and got stomped. Others tried and were crushed before they got out of the gate.

It doesn't work, which is unfortunate because, sadly, the problem with America these days is mostly...us Americans.

Half of us can't be bothered to pay the slightest attention to what our country is doing or why, and more or less half of the rest get our ideas of right and wrong piped directly into our heads from Rupert Murdoch or Glenn Beck or "Focus on the Family" or all of the above.

This situation is not sustainable: as I wrote elsewhere (stealing shamelessly from our 16th President), our nation cannot endure permanently half-Fox and half-free.

And so we must face our real problem: that America is currently too fucking stupid, spoiled and hateful to make good, long-term decisions.

And so we make bad decisions, like deciding to get our Reality from bald-faced liars and lunatics because they tell us what we want to hear; or deciding to scream "Commie!" at people who try to tell us the truth because the truth is not what we want to hear."