Sunday, February 20, 2011

P aul Haggis considers himself a curious man. Yet for 35 years he did not question the tenets of his religion: Scientology. Why? The incentive to believe is high;

The media don’t shape the culture ; they merely reflect it, giving rise to today’s common readers: Those who have fallen in love with their own mediocre taste... Narcissus Regards a Book

The journalist Janet Malcolm once gently joked in an interview that "the narrator of my nonfiction pieces is not the same person I am—she is a lot more articulate and thinks of much cleverer things to say." True to form, her memoir of life as a widow reveals little and obscures much You give it immortality - That is why you write and for no other reason

Grandfather knows best
If this doesn't make you laugh, you're dead
She votes Democratic but lives Republican.

Man cannot live by masterpieces alone, nor can any playwright, however gifted, hope to produce them every time he sits down at his desk. It is in the nature of things that there must also be well-made pieces of intelligent entertainment to keep our fancies tickled, and there must be enough of them to keep actors from standing on unemployment lines and critics from going mad with boredom. Therefore let us now praise A.R. Gurney, who writes a play or two each year, some of them inspired, others merely solid, but all guaranteed to send you home feeling that you wasted neither time nor money by seeing them. "Black Tie," Mr. Gurney's latest effort, falls into the second class, scoring 100% on the intelligent-entertainment checklist.

Grandfather knows best [ If this doesn't make you laugh, you're dead; Most people have a hard time understanding what the true value of their tax dollars would be if invested and saved for the future, says economist and Independent Institute Research Fellow Emily Skarbek, director of the Center on Entrepreneurial Innovation. "'s latest version is an easy-to-use tool that provides an understanding of how government spending directly impacts you]
• · John Lantigua has this article today in The Palm Beach Post. Seventy years ago, Ohio farmer Roscoe Filburn found himself on the losing end of a U.S. Supreme Court case. He'd harvested 239 bushels more wheat than the federal government allowed and was ordered to destroy the extra crop and pay a fine. Wickard vs. Filburn could be an important touchstone this year as the health care law, called the Affordable Care Act by supporters and Obama¬care by opponents, heads to the high court Congress' power at heart of fight over health law ; Keneally plunges to record low
• · · Adam Gopnik has this "A Critic at Large" essay in the February 14, 2011 issue of The New Yorker. Toast, as every breakfaster knows, isn’t really about the quality of the bread or how it’s sliced or even the toaster. For man cannot live by toast alone. It’s all about the butter. Its risk is real: evil things will register more vividly than the great mass of dull good The Information: How the Internet gets inside us ; Legislative Council Calculator
• · · · Seat-by-Seat Prediction ; NSW Elections
• · · · · A common image of the ‘political class’ running the Australian Labor Party is of a collection of daleks, without names or faces, and about whom it’s possible to believe the worst. But can we be sure that many of the nameless, faceless wouldn’t seem a bit less alike—and a bit more attractive as human beings—if they were allowed to tell us about themselves? Lessons from the Political Class; A decade that changed Australian journalism
• · · · · · History’s Greatest Feuds: Man vs. Machine; Stephen Baldwin vs. Kevin Costner the oldest dog in America ; Artificial intelligence has advanced to the point that computers can very nearly pass for human. What are they telling us about ourselves? To find out, the author enters himself in a famous battle of. wits pitting man against computer ; A history of the Baghdad Express illuminates the resilience of politicized Islam From Berlin to bin Laden

In the words of H.L. Mencken, “There comes a time when every man feels the urge to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats.”