Energy Independence at Last?

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After eight presidents of the United States from Nixon to Obama have promised and failed to make this country energy independent, is there any reason why Americans should listen to a former president of Shell Oil USA?

To which I reply, yes. And what’s more, we’d better.

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Forgetting Oneself Into Immortality

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The lives of saints are invariably paradoxical. Whenever Mother Theresa was asked how she kept the adulation that came with being an international celebrity from infecting her with the sin of pride, she would reply that Jesus had given her a great grace: the deepest conviction of her total nothingness. “If He could find a poorer woman through whom to do his work,” she said, “He would not choose me, but He would choose that woman.”

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Village Fool

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‘Ti Laurent wasn’t right in the head, and wandered from footpath to footpath saying, “Tu fais bien, c’est pour toi; tu fais mal, c’est pour toi.” [“When you do good, it’s on you; when you do bad, it’s on you.” “What goes around comes around.”]

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Why I Learned French

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Nineteen sixty-four, and I was flunking French. I don’t mean “doing badly,” but as in, getting straight Fs. The first assignment that freshman year was to read 70 pages of Le Rouge et le Noir of Stendhal, and to do it within 48 hours. They might as well have put me in an advanced Indonesian, for the preparation I had.

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Death Song for a Generation

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Promising English composer George Butterworth was killed at the Battle of the Somme one hundred years ago on August 5. He was just 31 years old.

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