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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

By Jeanette Winterson

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Tag: Not For Profit


GOP Throwing Jindal Under the Bus?

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal just might be going through the quickest rise to prominence, followed by the fastest plummet from the pedestal, in recent political history. Mere moments after he had given his big debut speech Tuesday night, the fallout began—and much of it came from within his own party.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


Square, Category Page


Bobby Jindal’s Speech Renders Rachel Maddow Speechless

If you didn’t catch it already, take a look at MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow’s reaction to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s disastrous speech Tuesday night. This is what is known as good television.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

The Rocky building

The Rocky Going the Way of the Dodo

The death knell has been sounded for the Rocky Mountain News, E.W. Scripps’ Denver-area newspaper, which is scheduled to close after Friday’s edition is churned out, no doubt signaling more mayhem to come in the old media world.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / commorancy

Gamer Says Microsoft Banned Her for Being Openly Gay

Anyone who’s ever worn a headset while on Xbox Live, Microsoft’s multiplayer gaming-chatting-shopping nexus, knows that it’s dominated by adolescent bigots. It’s bad enough that Redmond hasn’t cleaned things up, but a gamer named Teresa says she was actually banned from the service for being openly gay and allegedly offending the bigots who were harassing her.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE

China Protests Artifact Auction

China’s cultural heritage agency has strongly condemned the auction of two bronze pieces it says were looted from the Summer Palace near Beijing some 150 years ago. Christie’s sold the bronzes, part of the late Yves Saint Laurent’s estate, for 31 million euros.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / Foraggio Fotographic

At Last, Accepting Some Clues From Across the Pond

We suddenly seem willing to consider sensible ideas that were always deemed unthinkable. Soon we may be mature enough to observe how other developed countries address problems that have baffled us for generations.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE

Government’s Long Night May Be Ending

Obama’s message was plain: The era of bashing government is over. So, too, is the folklore of a marketplace capable of producing abundance without regulation, oversight or public intervention.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE

Bill Redux?

For someone who spent much of the Democratic primary season running against the Clinton era, Obama sounds an awful lot like President Clinton.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / Marcin Wichary

Mexican Drug Lords Depend on Gun-Crazy America

More than 6,000 people died in Mexico’s drug war last year, far too many as a result of U.S.-purchased firepower. Though Mexico has strict gun laws, smugglers have no trouble legally purchasing military-grade weapons, such as AK-47 rifles, in the U.S., and then shipping them south of the border, where they are used with devastating effect.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE

Colorado Lawmaker Shocks With Tirade on Babies and AIDS

An effort to screen pregnant women for HIV in order to reduce the spread of the virus among babies didn’t get Colorado state Sen. Dave Schultheis’ vote. In the Republican’s own controversial words, that’s because “[t]his stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part, and I just can’t go there. ... We do things continually to remove the consequences of poor behavior, unacceptable behavior, quite frankly.”

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / _Patola_

Workaholics Risk Dementia, Study Finds

Those who have lost their jobs can take solace in the fact that although working may put food on the table, it can also break your brain. A study has found that busy bees who labor more than 55 hours a week develop problems with reasoning, memory and vocabulary, and the problems get worse the more they work.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE

Peachy Keane

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 ENLARGE    

Naming Rights

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 ENLARGE

David Brooks

David Brooks Calls Jindal’s Speech ‘Insane’ and ‘a Disaster’

When civilizations collapse, mass hysteria ensues, often followed by cannibalism—a scenario familiar to the Republican Party, in which old friends are now turning on each other with reckless abandon.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

Bombing Human Rights?
Air Force

Room for Improvement ... Even at Home

In announcing her department’s annual human rights report, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made multiple references to the elephant in the room—the United States’ own tarnished record, saying “America must first be an exemplar of our own ideals.”

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


The Age of ‘Crimmigration’

A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center reports that Latinos now constitute the largest single ethnic group in the U.S. federal prison system. The rising arrest and detention levels are driven largely by changes in immigration law that criminalize undocumented immigration, with nearly half of all Latino offenders jailed on immigration-related “crimes.”

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE


Thou Shalt Not Place Monument

A lawsuit tinged with questions of free speech and separation of church and state ended when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Summum religious group’s attempts to install a marker of its own in a Utah park that already has a Ten Commandments monument.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE

Obama speech
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Getting Warmer

We are lucky to have Barack Obama as president. I write that even though I believe the content of his Tuesday evening speech deserved no more than a B+ / A-, for its failure to seriously address the origins of the banking crisis and for only hinting at the severe military budget cuts required to get close to his goal of reducing the federal deficit by the end of his first term.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 READ MORE

White House

The President’s Address to Congress

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Obama acknowledged the dire state of the economy, but struck a hopeful tone as he expanded on his vision for recovery. Investments in energy, education and health care will be key, he said, as will an expanded bailout of the financial sector. (Summary, video and full text after the jump)

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr/dsb nola

Jindal Disses Obama’s Economic Plan

Perhaps keeping an eye on the 2012 election, Louisiana’s Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal has gone public with his critique of President Barack Obama’s proposed solutions to the country’s economic woes. ThreatDown!

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE

Toxins ’R’ Us

The American Chemistry Council assures us that “we make the products that help keep you safe and healthy.” But U.S. consumers are actually exposed to a vast array of harmful chemicals and additives embedded in toys, cosmetics, plastic water bottles and countless other products.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE

Murdoch Apologizes for Chimp Cartoon

Well, it’s officially impossible to go any further up the News Corp. chain of command than this: Mega-media mogul Rupert Murdoch has now apologized for last week’s Chimpgate cartoon caper carried out by one of his media properties, the New York Post.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE

USAF / Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon

A War Fought in Ignorance

I have often asked for an explanation of why the United States should be at war with the Taliban. Of the several reasons given, none is satisfactory, and all fail to grasp the fundamental truth that peace is better than war.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Brennan Linsley, pool

Spain May Take Some Guantanamo Prisoners

So, President Obama has made it clear that he wants the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba closed in a year, but that leaves at least one huge question unanswered: Where will the prisoners go? Looks like Spain might be one option.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE

Economic Meltdown Threatens Penis Enlarger Industry

The Onion takes a satirical look at the effect a spam crackdown could have on a struggling nation that depends on “free iPod” exports.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

White House / Eric Draper

Schwarzenegger Thought About Ditching the GOP

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biographer has revealed that the California governor recently thought about leaving the Republican Party, but decided he wouldn’t gain much by doing so, politically. Camp Schwarzenegger has yet to respond, but the news fits, given the governor’s problems working with his own party.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Behold the All-Seeing Eye of The DaColbert Code

Who knew that, among his many talents, Stephen Colbert possesses the astonishing power of clairvoyance? Watch in awe as he successfully predicts the lineup of Oscar winners ... and reveals the true identity of Kate Winslet’s father.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


Bernanke: We Won’t Bounce Back in 2009

While he was able to give the banking business a little lift on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke also delivered the sobering news that the economy as a whole isn’t likely to make big gains in terms of recovery before 2010 or later.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE

trading floor
AP photo / Richard Drew

And Now for Some Financial News That’s Not Utterly Disastrous

This just in: Not everything is completely awful in the financial arena. Rejoice—stocks went up a little bit! Even if it’s just because Fed Chair Ben Bernanke assured Wall Street that our nation’s banks won’t be nationalized soon, and even if the 2 percent rise happened a day after the Dow dipped to 12-year lows.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE

Harsh Medicine

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 ENLARGE    

Under New Management

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 ENLARGE

Gary Locke

Obama Takes Another Crack at Commerce

Fourth time’s the charm? Barack Obama’s two official picks to serve as commerce secretary both had to drop out. Another candidate withdrew her name before it was ever announced. Now the president is reported to have offered the job to former Washington Gov. Gary Locke. So who is he?

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE


Global Warming Satellite Launch Is a Failure

NASA’s first effort to loft a satellite to help scientists determine where carbon dioxide is produced and stored around the globe ended in failure when the $270 million spacecraft crashed near Antarctica.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 READ MORE

‘Entitlements’ Take a Bum Rap

It is time to wipe the term entitlement reform, a monument to the dark art of disinformation, out of the political dictionary. There is no crisis in Social Security, or even in Medicare and Medicaid.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE

Turn a Harsh Light Onto the Banks

It’s reaching the point where desperate measures—brutal honesty and complete transparency—may be the only way to bring the economy out of its kamikaze dive. If so, this won’t be pretty.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE

Wilson and Penn

Penn May Take On Plame ‘Game’

Here’s a melding of celebrity and politics that might just be a natural: Academy Award™-winning actor and sometime international political analyst Sean Penn is in talks to play former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, husband of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, in director Doug Liman’s dramatic retelling of Plame’s story, currently known in deal-making circles as “Fair Game.”

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE

Slumdog Sourpuss

It may be the best picture, but Hirsh Sawhney writes in the Guardian that “Slumdog Millionaire” is a simplistic text that “far from spreading the blame for global poverty ... actually suggests that the west is the solution to India’s problems.”

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE

collage: Flickr (epicharmus) / Google

Dow and Out on Wall Street

The Dow hasn’t been this low since “Titanic” won Best Picture, appropriately enough. Investors, apparently convinced the worst is yet to come, sent stocks tumbling to a 12-year low on Monday. The Dow sank to a depth of 7114.78.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE


British PM: We Need ‘Global New Deal’

It’s time for teamwork, according to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who made a call for unity—and a “global New Deal”—during a meeting about the worldwide economic crisis with other European heads of state over the weekend.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE

Dustin Lance Black

‘Thank You God for Giving Us Harvey Milk’

The 81st Academy Awards ceremony was a politics-free affair, except for a predictably superficial nod at the economic collapse and two acceptance speeches for “Milk,” one from screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, the other from best actor Sean Penn.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

A Choice Between Peace and Peril

Bibi Netanyahu’s assumption of power in Israel sets the stage for a huge campaign by the Israeli government, and its well-oiled lobby groups in Washington, to push us into a war with Iran, but a stable relationship with Iran would do more to protect Israel and our interests in the Middle East.

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 READ MORE

A Road-Trip Presidency

After Obama began to campaign around the country for the stimulus, support for the package rose. Administration officials have taken notice. Count on this to be a road-trip presidency. 

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / stan

Citigroup Wants a Bigger Bailout

Uncle Sam already gave Citigroup $45 billion and promised to limit the bank’s losses on $300 billion in troubled loans, but executives at the ailing bank are now reportedly asking the federal government to sweeten the deal. One scheme has Washington exchanging preferred stock for common stock.

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE

Sean Penn Oscar
AP photo / Matt Sayles

Sean Penn Schools Prop. 8 Supporters in Oscar Speech

Lest he miss an opportunity to speak his mind, Sunday night’s Best Actor Oscar winner took a moment on the podium to encourage those who voted last November for California’s Proposition 8, the anti-gay-marriage initiative, to rethink their choice. Turns out the Academy is actually made up of commie, homo-loving sons of guns. Update: Video

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE

The Cure for Shopping Withdrawal

For everyone forced by the global economic meltdown to pinch pennies, the Onion has this friendly reminder that consumption isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Warning: This clip has an abundance of salty language.

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

Sarah Palin
Flickr / geerlingguy

Some Governors May Tell Obama to Stuff It

While just about every state in the Union is starving for funds, a small band of Republican governors is debating whether or not to reject the stimulus bill’s cash infusion, citing concerns over future taxes. This California editor says good. Give their stimulus money to my state. It’s broke.

Posted on Feb 22, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Burris: Symbolism Over Substance

As Sen. Roland Burris’ listening tour apparently deteriorates into a dismissing tour, perhaps black voters will finally abandon the politics of symbolism that Burris has eagerly manipulated. 

Posted on Feb 21, 2009 READ MORE


Obama: Let’s Get to Work

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama hailed the stimulus bill he recently signed, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as “the most sweeping economic recovery plan in history.” Here’s what he had to say to back up this big claim.

Posted on Feb 21, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN

Hillary Clinton and Yang Jiechi
AP photo / Greg Baker, Pool

Dissidents Are Held Back as Clinton Holds Forth in China

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this weekend made her first visit to China in her new role, but Amnesty International and other activist groups didn’t like her position when it came to addressing China’s treatment of dissidents—more specifically, she didn’t take a firm stand on the issue during her meetings with Chinese officials.

Posted on Feb 21, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Darin McGregor, Pool

Obama Gets Aggressive on Cutting the Deficit

Despite the fact that he’s looking at a trillion-plus deficit for 2009 as he settles into his second month as president, Barack Obama has plans to cut the annual deficit by half by the time his first term ends.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE

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