Monthly Archives: October 2010

What she said:

You are there.
You have always been
Even when you thought
you were climbing
you had already arrived.
Even when you were
breathing hard,
you were at rest.
Even then it was clear
you were there.

Not in our nature
to know what
is journey and what
Even if we knew
we would not admit.
Even if we lived
we would think
we were just

To live is to be
Certainty comes
at the end.

Erica Jong

I need to be happier.

Full disclosure: I think that the “terrible twos” are off by a year.

The last few weeks have been rough here in the Bennetch household.  Maybe it’s due to all the transitions — Emma going to school half-days and suddenly becoming a morning person (!!), me back to work full-time and taking a class part-time, etc.  It could be Em is transitioning into a new cognitive level — one where she’s learning to assert her independence (leaving her mama exasperated in the process).

But the bottom line is over the last little while, I haven’t been happy about meeting each new day as a parent of a BUSY toddler (or is she considered a preschooler now? Crap.).  Tonight I got this email from the Greater Good Science Center that asked me: Do you want to be a happier parent?


Part of the email included a link to this article that explains how women are more unhappier today than in past generations:

A recent group of studies has found that women’s happiness levels have been dropping steadily over the last few decades, to the point that women now report lower happiness levels than men, a role reversal from the 1970s.

The email also linked to this article that discusses the socially-contagious effect of your happiness is on others in your life:

We found that social networks have clusters of happy and unhappy people within them that reach out to three degrees of separation. A person’s happiness is related to the happiness of their friends, their friends’ friends, and their friends’ friends’ friends-that is, to people well beyond their social horizon…And we found that each additional happy friend increases a person’s probability of being happy by about 9 percent.

Maybe one of the reasons why things have been so challenging here on the homefront is because I haven’t been very happy lately. I need to do something about that.

So, I’m going to sign the 100,000 happier parents by July 1, 2011 pledge.   The pledge reads:

I understand that improving my own happiness is a way make the world a better place. Over the next 9 months, I will take steps to increase my happiness.

I’ll keep you posted on whether or not my glass starts looking half-full again.

Home-grown religiously-inspired terrorists (and their enablers)

Oh how easy it is for those of us in North America to think that terrorism is only bred in countries overseas.  Tonight I watched The Assassination of Dr. Tiller, and I’m just sick about what happened to this heroic and compassionate doctor.

No matter which side of the debate you fall under, you should watch and bear witness to Dr. Tiller’s story (not to mention the stories of the women he sacrificed so much for).

Here’s a bit from the conclusion of the documentary:

For those who worked for Dr. Tiller, a raw anger remains — though not for the man who pulled the trigger.  For them, much of their rage is focused on the anti-abortion forces in Wichita who targeted Dr. Tiller for so many years.

“The ones who don’t carry guns definitely incite the ones who do have guns.” [Shelly Sella, MD]

“They gather all these people up, they fill them with hate, and then they stand back when the least imbalanced among them does something.  They stand back and say they didn’t have anything to do with it.” [Joan Armentrout, Clinic Administrator]

“[They say:] ‘We never advocated violence.’  No?  You didn’t? You advocated everything else.  You put [Dr. Tiller] up to hatred, contempt, and ridicule.  And he gets killed, and you step back from it now and say, “Well, that really wasn’t our intent.”  Well, what the hell was your intent?!  [Nola Foulston, District Attorney of Sedgwick County, Kansas]

When it comes to discussing the abortion issue with people who disagree with me, I try to get them to see what their position looks like when it’s practically applied.

Now I’ll also get them to see what their stance looks like when their ideology is drawn out to its extremes — this documentary provides a very good picture of how anti-life that view really is.

What he said:

Theology is also awesomely sophisticated and complex, and I think it’s an indicator of the intelligence of the men (mostly) behind it that they have erected such a fantastically intricate collection of rationalizations for such deeply absurd ideas.

PZ Myers
Sunday Sacrilege: Cant Can’t

A great take on “sophisticated” theology and its clash with evolutionary biology. Team PZ!


I can’t say I’m looking forward to watching this documentary next week, but I think Dr. Tiller’s story is one that is worth bearing witness.

You should watch, too.

What he said:

I think the atheist dickhead phenomenon is about at this level of discussion right now. It’s no longer about God, it’s about “others.” It’s about the purity of your unbelief, measured not against any philosophical standard or line of argument but about finding religious believers septic and converting polite unbelievers to the more radical view that religion runs from noxious to poisonous, not from good to bad. It’s also about your solidarity with others who share your radical unbelief and how you measure the attitudes and intentions of other members of the tribe.

Of Atheist Tribes
R. Joseph Hoffman

Enough of the Hitler referencing.

Oy, if I hear someone else break out ye ol reductio ad Hitlerum argument one more time, I’m going to scream.  An old Mediaite post reminded me of this soundbite from Robert Gibbs (who I still haven’t forgiven for the “professional left” remark):

You hear — in this [healthcare] debate you hear analogies, you hear references to, you see pictures about and depictions of individuals that are truly stunning. And you hear it all the time. People — imagine five years ago somebody comparing health care reform to 9/11. Imagine just a few years ago had somebody walked around with images of Hitler. Hopefully we can get back to a discussion about the issues that are important in this country, that we can do without being personally disagreeable and set up comparisons to things that were so insidious in our history that anybody in any professional walk of life would be well advised to compare nothing to those atrocities.