Ezra Klein

Losing Esteem for Self-Esteem

Remember all the times your teacher told you how special you were? Remember all the ego strokes delivered by well-meaning adults, certain enough compliments and praise would keep you from using crack, having kids and needing condoms? Eh, turns out it did no good. No wonder you're such a fuck up.

Words? Meet Actions.

I know Bush doesn't read the papers, but can't someone in his office monitor them? Because post-inauguration speech, this story seems worth some attention. A prominent Iranian artist and pro-Democracy activist fled to Australia, was detained for the last five years, and has now been denied a humanitarian visa, which means deportation. When the news came down, he attempted to overdose on sleeping pills which, all in all, was a logical move as he's expected to be tortured and executed upon arrival in Iran.

Welcome!

I'm going to keep this atop the page for the day, or at least the morning. New posts will appear under it. If you've read the welcome message already, just scroll on down for fresh blogging goodness. If not, click "More" and have at it.

Tech Supported

Is the "Read More" feature working now, or are people still being deposited betwixt my name and photo?

And someone mark down my 20 points for correctly using "betwixt" in a sentence.

Update: All signs point to yes. Greg, who figured it out, is just as talented as he claims.

Senate Dems Rub Eyes, Grab Toothbrush, Wake Up

Good post by Kos on the changes Reid has wrought. The Senate Dems really have transformed from a yipping, useless caucus to a united opposition force. And it's as much in what they do -- The 10 Leadership bills, Schumer retiring the DSCC's debt in record time -- as in what they feel freed to do, with the recent, finally contentious hearings being a perfect example. It almost makes losing those three seats worth it.

Almost.

Tech Support

I'm getting complaints that clicking on "Read More..." vaults you to the top of the page. This isn't happening for me, but it's widespread enough that I should try and fix it anyway. So all you html geniuses out in the audience -- any idea what's going on? if it helps, something weird happens when you click "All Done!" and it only shows a couple posts down the page. I don't know if that's connected, but there it is.

Also -- the picture. Some seem to love it, others seem to hate it. So I'm putting it to vote. Should it stay? Should it be replaced with another, less suggestive, photo? Or will opening-day concerns over my buttoning habits evaporate amid the flood of good posts I'm planning to write? The power is yours.

This Word, It Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

PZ Myers is right: if evolution is a religion, religion is no longer a word with a recognizable meaning. That's what's so confusing to me about that rebuttal; do creationists really want to argue that religion is nothing more than a way of explaining certain portions and conditions of reality? I would think they'd want something in there about spirituality or the divine, but in the rush to counter science they seem to be quickly devaluing their own beliefs. Although it is pretty funny to see such absolutists turn to ardent relativists in moments of need...

Papercuts Are Good For You

In the land of the cool, Random House discovered a genius author working in their mailroom and, after getting a five-figure, two-book deal, he's still toiling among the envelopes. Oh, and his book might become a movie. It doesn't get much sweeter than that.

Via The Elegant Variation.

Choose Progress

I want to engage something Ed Kilgore says in a much-larger post on Southern politics:

Goldwater Lives!

With Republicans sweatily gripping all the levers of government, it's worth taking a moment to see how the worm has turned. MoJo blog had a great post showing that Bush's speech wasn't so much penned by Michael Gerson, as lifted from an acceptance address 50 years ago:

Time to Work on Labor

With little-to-no expertise in labor issues, and no memory of a time when unions were strong, it's hard for me to enter the debate between Nathan Newman and Chris Bowers. So I won't. Suffice to say that Chris castigates elected Democrats for abandoning labor and Newman replies that our politicians are quite favorable to labor, it's the liberal opinion-makers and base that can't be bothered on the issue.

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