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William C. Altreuter
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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Every time Charley Pierce says something he manages a moment of wit and clarity that so perfectly capture the situation that I can only marvel.

"George W. Bush changed my life.

He showed me at last that the nun had been wrong, that being obstinate was all that really matters in this life. No more sifting of endless options. No more of that exhausting reflection. Decide what you're going to do and, evidence and common sense be damned, just go do it. Who are you going to believe, yourself or your own lying eyes? It was not a good thing to be stubborn about being flexible. Far better to loosen up and get really obstinate.

(I took the president quite seriously as a role model because, well into adulthood, he apparently was quite stubborn in his flexibility toward the healing properties of strong drink and toward the relative necessity of actually working for a living. Of course, he was most stubborn in his flexibility toward the state of Alabama in 1972 -- which he evidently regarded as a noncorporeal state, much like the state of grace in that you didn't have to be there to actually be there.)

Now, I do not have a large military and a compliant Congress, so I am unable to start a war and then obstinately insist that the country I have invaded is rapidly turning into Rhode Island when all the available evidence indicates that it actually is turning into the Land of Mordor. However, it’s an approach easily adapted to the small but surmountable problems of daily living.

Like the oil light, for example. "

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