Miscellaneous Weekend Links

Organized for your convenience:

About Dogs

From The New York Times, The Healing Power of Dogs

The heartwarming picture alone is worth the click over.

Other Heartwarming

Someone unearthed a cache of 1970s-era studio photos from Sears and Olan Mills photo stores. The pictures are comical but also moving, and some of the captions are fun. I love the funny-hat family.

About Veganism

Terrific Wall Street Journal article on vegan athletes . Features NFL and NBA players, as well as the recent winner of Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter,” a violent combination of kick-boxing and wrestling, who says, “It’s about animal rights, not human rights.”

More Good News

Whole Foods to Stop Use of Plastic Bags
Once more, our good friends at Whole Foods lead an ethical charge. Did you know there’s a vast “trash island” in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Plastic grocery bags are a major component. Sea turtles also eat plastic bags thinking they’re jellyfish, usually with fatal results.

About Republicans

John Cole asks the obvious question about Paul Wolfowitz’s being rehired by the White House.

Harper’s reports that George Bush’s favorite painting isn’t quite what he says it is:

“George W. Bush is famous for his attachment to a painting which he acquired after becoming a ‘born again Christian.’ It’s by W.H.D. Koerner and is entitled A Charge to Keep. Bush was so taken by it, that he took the painting’s name for his own official autobiography. And here’s what he says about it:

“I thought I would share with you a recent bit of Texas history which epitomizes our mission. When you come into my office, please take a look at the beautiful painting of a horseman determinedly charging up what appears to be a steep and rough trail. This is us. What adds complete life to the painting for me is the message of Charles Wesley that we serve One greater than ourselves.’

“So in Bush’s view (or perhaps I should say, faith) the key figure, with whom he personally identifies, is a missionary spreading the word of the Methodist Christianity in the American West in the late nineteenth century.

“Only that is not the title, message, or meaning of the painting. The artist, W.H.D. Koerner, executed it to illustrate a Western short story entitled The Slipper Tongue, published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1916. The story is about a smooth-talking horse thief who is caught, and then escapes a lynch mob in the Sand Hills of Nebraska. The illustration depicts the thief fleeing his captors. In the magazine, the illustration bears the caption: ‘Had His Start Been Fifteen Minutes Longer He Would Not Have Been Caught.’

“So Bush’s inspiring, prosyletizing Methodist is in fact a silver-tongued horse thief fleeing from a lynch mob. It seems a fitting marker for the Bush presidency. Bush has consistently exhibited what psychologists call the “Tolstoy syndrome.” That is, he is completely convinced he knows what things are, so he shuts down all avenues of inquiry about them and disregards the information that is offered to him. This is the hallmark of a tragically bad executive. But in this case, it couldn’t be more precious. The president of the United States has identified closely with a man he sees as a mythic, heroic figure. But in fact he’s a wily criminal one step out in front of justice. It perfectly reflects Bush the man. . . and Bush the president.”

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