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[snip] Tsunami theology. "The tortured notion of a God who is both good and powerful is fairly recent, dating to roughly 1200 BC, after which Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam emerged," writes Barbara Ehrenreich in the Progressive. "Before that you had the feckless Greco-Roman pantheon, whose members interfered in human events only when their considerable egos were at stake. Or you had monstrous, human-sacrifice-consuming, psycho-gods like Ba'al and his Central American counterparts. . . . The faithful will protest that they don't want to worship a bad--or amoral or indifferent--God, but obviously they already do."

[snip] One more reason to love bikers. A Columbia University study of 60 babies born in New York City finds that those exposed to high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (typical urban pollutants produced by combustion engines) had 7.2 chromosome abnormalities per 1,000 white blood cells, compared to 4.7 abnormalities in those who'd been less exposed. This doesn't translate directly into cancer risk in later life, but these abnormalities have previously been validated as a biomarker of cancer risk.

[snip] Dick Durbin, "radical middle" man? Mark Satin's "Radical Middle" newsletter ranks members of Congress on their support for 20 bills and initiatives that he believes show them to be "pragmatic enough to draw on good policy ideas wherever they're found and bold enough to address fundamental issues in creative new ways." Radical-middle policies--not all backed by Durbin--include free trade, hydrogen fuels and renewables, increased foreign aid, diverse media ownership, pay-as-you-go requirements for all laws, and individual development accounts of $500 or $1,000 for every newborn. Durbin scored 65 percent; no other senator scored higher.

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