In another excerpt from his coming book/interview, Pope Benedict says that he doesn't know if people are born gay or not. But even if God did make you this way, you shouldn't BE this way. Or something.
He said it was still an open question whether homosexual inclinations are innate or arise early in life. In any case, he said, if these are strong inclinations, it represents "a great trial" for the homosexual. "But this does not mean that homosexuality thereby becomes morally right. Rather, it remains contrary to the essence of what God originally willed," he said.
Remember, God doesn't make mistakes. But if he DOES make mistakes, that's your problem to deal with. Benedict also says there's no inherent contradiction in calling homosexuals "intrinsically disordered" and still offering them respect. Got that? Yes, you are a mentally ill freak. But we mean that in the nicest way.
Everyone who speaks in front of people many times a day will eventually suffer from occasional gaffes. The smartest, best-spoken people in the world have made unfortunate slips of the tongue, but we overlook them because these people are generally considered to be intelligent and the gaffes are incidental.
But with Sarah Palin, like George W. Bush, her gaffes point to a lack of intellectual curiosity and smarts. In other words, she's a dumbstupid, so when she botches something, it's a big deal.
So it's no wonder that she simply doesn't understand the difference between an innocent gaffe and an idiot gaffe. For example, when President Obama says "57 states" instead of "50 states" it's probably because he's exhausted and multitasked -- not an idiot.
But when Sarah Palin repeatedly and unapologetically fumbles the First Amendment, it's a big deal. President Obama is a constitutional scholar, and Sarah Palin simply doesn't give a rip what the First Amendment means. Even when she confuses "North Korea" and "South Korea" it calls to mind her underlying dumbstupid. There's a big difference, and we shouldn't expect someone as uninformed and unserious as Palin to get the distinction.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated the land along the north coast of Alaska as part of a partial settlement in a lawsuit filed by environmental groups.
"This critical habitat designation enables us to work with federal partners to ensure their actions within its boundaries do not harm polar bear populations," Tom Strickland, assistant secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said in a statement. "Polar bears are completely dependent upon Arctic sea-ice habitat for survival."
After banning earmarks and solving the deficit, Republicans in the House are going to ban symbolic resolutions, which by itself will lower the unemployment rate by at least a couple of percentage points.
(Via Ezra Klein, who is wrong about these resolutions – they don't make any difference in the House, which is a pretty streamlined operation compared to the tea cooling saucer/constipated old lady that is your United States Senate.)
Second of how many? A dozen? A hundred? "Police have uncovered an 670m (2,200ft) drug smugglers' tunnel under the US-Mexico border - the second such discovery this month. The tunnel links the Mexican city of Tijuana with Otay Mesa in California. Earlier this month a tunnel equipped with ventilation and lights was found. Local media say the new tunnel may be even be more sophisticated. The authorities say the tunnels are used to smuggle marijuana into the US, bypassing stringent border controls."
Lessons in becoming an expert
Ben Casnocha draws this moral:
I believe a key reason so many people on the road to mastery call it quits is not because drawing a beautiful owl in pencil is superhumanly hard. It's because they thought it would be easy.
Skate culture makes its way to Kabul, a remarkable little film that captures something indelible about the capital of Afghanistan and the truly wretched subsistence of its people, and how some, including intrepid girls, have overcome it: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/11/skate-for-freedom.html