Barbara O'Brien

Barbara O'Brien
New York, USA
October 01
Barbara O'Brien is the author of Rethinking Religion: Finding a Place for Religion in a Modern, Tolerant, Progressive, Peaceful and Science-affirming World, available at Amazon. She is the resident expert on Buddhism at and also blogs at The Mahablog.

Barbara O'Brien's Links


This weekend the International Conference on Men’s Issues was held in a VFW hall in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. It was originally going to be at the DoubleTree Hilton in Detroit, but some feminist groups protested and the terrorized He-Men chose to move the venue, adding that… Read full post »

The Religious Right’s war on abortion is so out of control I say it qualifies as a full-blown social pathology.

As I write this, there is a case before the U.S. Supreme Court arguing the constitutionality of abortion clinic “buffer zones,” or laws that keep anti-abortion protest… Read full post »

JUNE 14, 2014 11:01AM

Beyond the Libertarian Worldview

One of the points I try to make my My Book -- Rethinking Religion: Finding a Place for Religion in a Modern, Tolerant, Progressive, Peaceful and Science-affirming World -- is that we all live in a fog of cognitive bias and we all tend to navigate the world by means of… Read full post »

JUNE 10, 2014 8:53AM

9/11 Museum: Too Soon for History

Patrick Smith complained that the newly opened 9/11 Memorial Museum in lower Manhattan confuses ideology with history.

"Nations are eternally manipulating memory and history, fair enough," he writes. "But the manipulations now on display in lower Manhattan, purporting to express what it means to b… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 4, 2011 12:28PM

From Birthers to Wimpers

An editorial in the New York Times, “The Myth of Obama’s Weakness,” says the "audacious decision to attack the Bin Laden compound in Pakistan has demolished the notion that he cannot make tough decisions or cares primarily about the nation’s image abroad."


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The whizzes at RedState posted an exclusive video that was supposed to justify the manhandling of Lauren Valle at the Paul-Conway debate this week. But in fact, if you watch it closely, you can see Lauren Vale running away from a man who appears to be Mike Pezzano, the guy who… Read full post »

The health care “debate” among progressives has crumbled into a fight over the mandate to purchase insurance. This is the wrong fight. We all need to refocus and look at the bigger picture.

At Firedoglake, Jon Walker writes that the Senate bill with a mandate is unacceptable because the

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DECEMBER 15, 2009 9:08AM

The System Is Broken

We may be selling the original Manichaeism short — I wouldn’t know — but the word has come to refer to a way of looking at the world through a two-color prism that sorts everything and everyone into two piles — good/bad, right/wrong, light/dark, us/them. You might remember th

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Yesterday I saw a blurb that defined the clash over climate change as a struggle between science and ignorance. But these days what major issue isn’t essentially a struggle between knowledge and ignorance? Whether you’re talking about climate change, health care reform, national security

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By now you may have heard that the man being sought in connection with gunning down four Lakewood, Washington, police officers is an ex-convict who was freed by then Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Maurice Clemmons, the 37-year-old Tacoma man being sought for questioning in the killing this m

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This is a follow up to the recent “Malpractice Reform for (Doctors Who Are) Dummies” post. Over the weekend I found more ammunition for my argument that physicians are misinformed if they think tort reform is essential to reducing their malpractice premium costs. Further, while the high

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Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 11, 2009 10:03AM

9/11: The Story, The Shrines, The Meaning

The Story

When I meet someone who says he was in lower Manhattan on September 11, I apply a little test. Yes, I was watching from an office building on West 17th Street, I say. A high-rise. We had a clear view. Where were you, exactly?

If the answer is

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SEPTEMBER 10, 2009 1:14PM

Hey, Righties! Read the Bill!

How come all the righties against health care reform who tell me to “read the bill” — very obviously haven’t read “the bill”?

For that matter, they seem unaware that there isn’t any one “bill” but several versions of bills floating around in Cong

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Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 8, 2009 4:24PM

Malpractice Reform for (Doctors Who Are) Dummies

The AMA’s slow and begrudged support to the contrary, many physicians seem ambivalent about health care reform. They are holding out for federal tort reform, which they believe is key to lowering their malpractice insurance costs.

The doctors’ perspective was expressed this weekend in th

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The claim — that refuses to die no matter how many times it’s disproved — is that there can be no health care reform without tort reform. I’m going to flip that around and ask whether some people are reversing means and ends. Instead of thinking of tort reform as a

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SEPTEMBER 2, 2009 10:17AM

A Plan for Afghanistan?

Former Bush speechwriter and neocon apologist Michael Gerson writes,

It is extraordinary — just extraordinary — that George Will should write a column urging American and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan without mentioning the events of Sept. 11, 2001. It is as though Walter Lippman

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AUGUST 31, 2009 9:46PM

All Their Arguments Are Lies

I spent many hours over the last few days researching my last post, "What the Right Won't Admit About Tort Reform." Today I found this recent editorial from the Washington Times about health care and tort reform, which says,

To be blunt, this mollycoddling of lawyers is legislative malpractice. In st

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Tort reform is an issue continually raised by conservative pundits and angry anti-health reform hoards. Indeed, if you do a news google for "health care reform" you will no doubt find a bounty of recent editorials, like this one in the Nevada Appeal, and on Sarah Palin's Facebook page, thundering

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AUGUST 30, 2009 9:07AM

Win One for Ted

The Right did its best to whip up fake outrage over the way Democrats conducted themselves at Senator Edward Kennedy’s funeral. It was politicized, see, because people who spoke at the funeral brought up the Senator's long work toward health care reform. And righties just can't stand politiciz

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Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 21, 2009 10:55AM

The Truth About Obamacare

First, you should know that the FreedomWorks special ops unit that kidnapped invited me to an undisclosed location for discussion has treated me very well. I must say, that sodium pentathol stuff does clear your mind! And now that I’ve agreed to tell the truth about Obamacare, my hosts have

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AUGUST 9, 2009 11:41PM

Big Pharma and Science for Sale

I reached menopause just as the first warnings about dangerous side effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were trickling into news stories. So I never took HRT. The hot flashes were a nuisance, but I figured they wouldn’t kill me. Eventually they faded away.

I saw a news program on

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AUGUST 8, 2009 10:58AM

What Happened to Free Speech Zones?

This is from the December 15, 2003 issue of the American Conservative, by James Bovard:

When Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up “free speech zones” or “protest zones” where people oppo

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Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 7, 2009 8:05AM

"They've Become Political Terrorists"

Here’s a video of the riot outside last night’s Tampa town hall meeting. If you listen, at one point you can hear someone by the doors who appears to be a police officer trying to explain that the hall was filled to capacity and that allowing more people in would be a… Read full post »

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Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 3, 2009 3:33PM

Fire and Bones: Demolishing the Deutsche Bank Building

Sometime this week, the last scraps of asbestos and other toxic substances will be removed from the Deutsche Bank building on 130 Liberty Street, lower Manhattan, according to officials. And by early 2010, the ruined building will be entirely demolished, they say.

Yeah, right.

We were also told the

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