No way, did not eat chickens, fox says.

No evidence commanders lied over 9/11: report - Yahoo! News:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - There is no evidence that senior Pentagon commanders intentionally provided false testimony to about the military's actions on the morning of the September 11 attacks, according to a report by the Defense Department's watchdog agency cited in the New York Times on Saturday.

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Redefining the word, “absurd.”

Fearing U.S. Attack, Cuba Readies Troops:
The White House has insisted no such threat exists, with press secretary Tony Snow dismissing the suggestion that the United States would attack the island as “absurd.”

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Right. I bet. A lot.

Today's THV KTHV Little Rock News Article:
Lt. Colonel Less Collins says over the last two years, there have been two [Army recruiting] age changes. They've gone from 38 to 40 and then from 40 to 42.

Collins says, “Mostly that's been because we've had a lot of folks out there that had wanted to serve their country, but were ineligible because of their age.”
Dude, that just makes my bones hurt to think about. Twenty is one thing. forty is a whole something else. Forty is the time to start thinking about getting out, not getting in.

Of course this is what armies do near the end of wars gone bad, send the old guys to the front. And then the children.

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I bet this guy uses the same library I do.

CD-ROM's in the Microwave
I mean, that explains everything.

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Dude, somebody really ought to buy this guy's amp.

eBay: AC-15 GEORGE DENNIS BLUE BEETLE AMP.. (item 130010987332 end time Jul-29-06 11:45:00 PDT)
I don't have no money and I don't need no amp anyway, but nobody's ever had a better reason for selling one.

And another thing. If you spill something, any little thing, it is all over the kitchen by definition, automatically.

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There'll always be an England.

Hundreds expected to come to Masturbate-a-thon - Yahoo! News:
“It is a bit of a publicity stunt...”

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Woohoo! Reuters discovers a whole new kind of news!

“Culture war” in America may be overblown
Or maybe Pew has discovered a whole new kind of poll. Meanwhile, in other headlines:
“Summer” may be hottest season

“Air” may be useful for breathing

“Votes” may be how people get “elected”

“Rummy” may be nuts.

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“Summer of Goodbyes”

Baghdad Burning:
Since the beginning of July, the men in our area have been patrolling the streets. Some of them patrol the rooftops and others sit quietly by the homemade road blocks we have on the major roads leading into the area. You cannot in any way rely on Americans or the government. You can only hope your family and friends will remain alive- not safe, not secure- just alive. That’s good enough.


Who needs enemies?

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Message to the People of Cuba:
...all of you [in Cuba] must know that you have no greater friend than the United States of America.

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OK, I'm missing something here.

Crooks and Liars:
Nevertheless, the division among evangelicals on this issue is growing increasingly stark. Robertson joins Rich Cizik and the National Association of Evangelicals on the side of those who acknowledge reality. On the other side we find James Dobson and Jerry Falwell, both of whom reject the overwhelming evidence.
How did global warming become a religious issue? I don't get that at all.

Or is it that they're just divided over whether we should all bake or fry.

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Poor guy doesn't have a ranch.

Blair Delays Vacation for Mideast Diplomacy - New York Times:
LONDON, Aug. 4 — After speaking repeatedly this week about an “elemental struggle” with radical Islam in an “arc of extremism,” Prime Minister Tony Blair delayed a Caribbean vacation today saying the coming days would be crucial in the diplomatic effort to secure a cease-fire in Lebanon.

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Ah. Well. So that's OK then.

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News:
Israel is not at war with Lebanon...

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Oh oh. Forgot about Iraq.

Shi'ites take to the streets of Baghdad | Jerusalem Post:
Crowds of al-Sadr supporters from across Iraq's Shi'ite heartland converged on the capital's Sadr City district, chanting “Death to Israel, Death to America” in the biggest pro-Hizbullah rally since Israel launched attacks against the guerrillas in Lebanon on July 12.
“Pro-Hizbullah” is, it just seems to me, a somewhat quaint characterization of “Death to America,” but then this is the Jerusalem Post, not the New York Times.

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Media With No Guts, No Grace:
I have watched the D.C. press corps play courtier to Bush since he openly insulted Helen Thomas, who is not only a first-rate journalist but a lady as well. Shame on you all. No principle, no guts, no grace.

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This is probably why I'm not rich.

TIME.com: An Embarrassment of Riches for Lieberman's Challenger -- Page 1:
Ned Lamont, the Democratic challenger who faces off against incumbent Joe Lieberman in Tuesday's Connecticut primary, has run into another problem with his multi-million dollar stock portfolio. Last spring the anti-war candidate had to deal with revelations that he owned up to $50,000 worth of stock in Halliburton, the services giant that has been at the center of controversy over its lucrative post-war contracts in Iraq. And now, only a day after he took Wal-Mart to task at a campaign stop in Bridgeport, a review of his personal financial disclosure forms has revealed that he owns between $2,000 and $30,000 worth of Wal-Mart stock in two managed accounts.
See, I didn't understand you have to agree with how a company does business before you can buy stock in it. Dumb, huh?

But surely Time has this right. Time is, after all, Time. Sorta like People, only newsier.

How about some UN peacekeepers then?

Sex-starved wife asks police to intervene - Yahoo! News:
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Police in the German city of Aachen received an unusual call for help late on Wednesday when a woman telephoned to complain her husband was not fulfilling his sexual obligations.
Police “did not feel able to resolve the dispute.”

Ahhh, these practical New Englanders.

N.H. woman bakes cookies on dashboard - Yahoo! News:
With temperatures soaring Wednesday, Fontaine placed two trays of cookie dough on the dashboard, shut the doors and retreated inside to her air conditioned office.
“Mrs. Fields has nothing on Sandi,” says a co-worker.

Guess not.

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A perfect good morning: nice, cool summer rain, and this.


Who is this guy? And where are his minders?

Media Matters -
Boortz: Adults earning minimum wage are "incompetent", "ignorant", "stupid", "worthless," and "pathetic"
I want you to think for think for a moment of how incompetent and stupid and worthless, how -- that's right, I used those words -- how incompetent, how ignorant, how worthless is an adult that can't earn more than the minimum wage? You have to really, really, really be a pretty pathetic human being to not be able to earn more than the human wage. Uh -- human, the minimum wage.

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No, wait! I take it back!

This! Damn, it's just a freakin carnival of buffoonery this afternoon.

Think Progress » Rumsfeld Claims Insurgent Violence Increases ‘In the Spring, Summer and Fall Months’:
Does the violence tend to be up during the summer, in the spring, summer and fall months? Yes it does. And it tends to decline during the winter period. Does that represent failed policy? I don’t know. I would say not.
It's the weather! Give 'em some air conditioning and we're home free!

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Man, you just gotta love the pure buffoonery.

The Raw Story | Texas Republicans take DeLay case to Supreme Court:
"The Republican Party of Texas intends to expeditiously appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court," said party Chair Tina Baker in a release, "the 5th Circuit's decision to force Tom DeLay, an ineligible candidate for Congress, to stay on the ballot in Texas Congressional District 22 as the Republican nominee."
The Rs petitioning the Supremes to take DeLay's name off the ballot. I mean, how perfectly awesome is that.

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An upgrade I'll be skipping. But still, it's pretty cool.

Carmakers race to accommodate iPods | CNET News.com:
A number of other car manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, have already accommodated some or all of their new models to allow for iPod integration--among them are DaimlerChrysler's Jeep, Volkswagen, BMW and its Mini, and Honda Motor. With the addition of Ford, Mazda and GM, Apple estimates that more than 70 percent of new cars sold in the United States by the end of 2007 will have some kind of iPod integration technology.

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Fortunately, we are easily amused.

After all the heat (the temp right now is just where it's been the last two days at the end of the afternoon, but at least there's a little air in the air today, and a small breeze, and the weatherwidgets are proclaiming a break in the heat tonight) and attendant concerns of power failures, a tree fell over on the other side of the street, hit a utility pole (the wiring the Pilgrims installed, as I was saying), and we went dark. There was only an iPod between me and a terrifyingly total media withdrawal.

Whew. Close call.

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If we were half the "superpower" we claim to be...

...we would tell these guys to go to their rooms and stay there until they calmed down.

First, "Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned on Thursday that if the Israel Defense Forces attacks Beirut proper, his guerillas would launch rockets that would hit Tel Aviv."

Then, "'If Tel Aviv is attacked, Lebanese national infrastructure will be destroyed,' the [Israeli] state-owned television station said, quoting a senior military source, 'and our old man is bigger than your old man, so there'."

OK, I just made that last part up. But it hardly matters, does it?

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A dickens of a time!

Crooks and Liars » ‘I Have Never Painted A Rosy Picture’ About Iraq:
“I have never painted a rosy picture,” the Defense Secretary said with a straight face. “I have been very measured in my words, and you’d have a dickens of a time trying to find instances where I have been excessively optimistic.”
Count me in! I can't tell you how long it's been since I had a dickens of a time. And believe me, Bunky, there is nothing better than a good dickens of a time.

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Back to the 50s.

Rumsfeld warns against early Iraq pull-out | World News | Reuters.co.uk:
“And then we would face not only the evil ideology of these extremists, but an enemy that will have grown accustomed to succeeding in telling free people everywhere what to do.”
Remember the domino theory? It's back. If we get out of Iraq, says Dr. Rummy, the next thing, they'll be telling us to get out of Cleveland. And all our base will belong to them, those evil ideologists. Of course Cleveland is in Ohio, but even so.

There is only one answer, Bunky: deterrence.

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You gotta love any blog that includes a post entitled “The Road to Waseca.”

The Miss Rockaway Armada:
The drive took about 30 hours. Chicken’s bus is amazing and we had a good time and slept well. Props to the drivers (Chicken and Jim) as well as the rotating crew who drove the rented box truck behind us, carrying most of what had been piled onto the trailer (before the axle debacle).

“The Miss Rockaway Armada,” they explain, “is a group of approximately 25 performers and artists from all over the country including members of the Toyshop Collective, Visual Resistance, The Amateurs, The Floating Neutrinos, The Infernal Noise Brigade, The Madagascar Institute and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra. This July we will converge in Minneapolis to construct a flotilla of rafts that will journey down the Mississippi River.”

With movies, too.

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Oh no. This is bad. This is very bad.

The alumni association has discovered digital photography. That's how bad. Suddenly I am surrounded by geezers. I'm getting newsletters in the mail, newsletters filled with pictures of some guys I'm supposed to know. I did recognize one but he looks like he's pushing 70, what's up with that. WTF.

Let's go back to the old yearbook pictures, OK? Thank you.

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And then, when it comes to nitwits, there's Rummy.

Rumsfeld: Iraq Isn't In “A Classic Civil War At This Stage...Certainly Isn't Like Our Civil War”... | The Huffington Post:
We're now up to 275,000 Iraqi security forces, heading toward 325,000 by the end of the year. The president has announced a reconciliation process. He's working on it. He's a serious person. He's working with some of the neighboring countries to try to encourage the Sunnis to participate. He's worked with Sistani, the leading Shia cleric in the country, and had him support a reconciliation process, as well as support of the disarming of some of the militias.

So there's a number of good things happening. There are four provinces in the country where almost all the violence is occurring, and there are 14 where there is relatively little violence.

And so, amidst all of this difficulty, the currency is fairly stable, the schools are open, the hospitals are open, the people are functioning.
It's nothing but a “high level of sectarian violence,” Rummy says.

I don't know, Rummy. How dumb do you think I am? More to the point, how dumb do you think they are at West Point?

I'm only asking because I have right here in front of me the West Point Atlas of the Civil War. I've read it cover to cover more than once. And I'll be damned if I can find any maps of battles in Maine. Or Vermont or Massachusetts or Connecticut or Rhode Island. Or, for that matter, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin....

Oh well. You get the point. The currency was fairly stable, the schools were open, the hospitals were open, and the people were functioning.

But then, not to be too hard on poor Rummy - he does have nukes, after all - maybe he's got one thing right. Those guys in Iraq don't seem to have as many cool songs.

Mine eyes have seen the glory, dude.

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Damn! Who knew it would be so easy?

In Iraq, It’s Hard to Trust Anyone in Uniform - New York Times:
American and Iraqi officials have been promising for weeks to address the problem [of guys in official uniforms doing all sorts of scary things]. This week, the interior minister, Jawad Bolani, acknowledged that rogues were among his ranks. He told Parliament that new uniforms and identification cards would soon be supplied to hobble those “who carry out bad activities under the cover of this institution.”
New uniforms!
But only a small percentage of the 145,000 Interior Ministry officers — from the national police, public order brigades and other forces — will get them.
Oh. Well then.

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Or how about a radical copywriting rethink?

PM calls for re-think to beat 'arc of extremism' - Evening Times:
Prime Minister Tony Blair wants a radical foreign policy rethink to combat an “arc of extremism” across the Middle East.
When I first moved to New York in the (very) early 60s, a callow incredibly sophisticated youth of 22 and a veteran English major, I was sent off by my boss to tour the company's ad agency. And as I was walking down the hall accompanied by one of the agency's copywriters, an ancient (meaning guy with white hair) walked past and the copywriter leaned to me and whispered, in a voice filled with awe, “he's the author of 'Tower of Power'.“

So I was wracking my brain, trying to think what I knew about that book, when the realization struck: ”Tower of Power“ was the advertising slogan of some gasoline company. Shell, I think. ”Tower of Power“ was what the guy had written. In toto.

So now I'm wondering if this morning there's some guy in London being reverently whispered about, the author of ”Arc of Extremism.“ Just as there's a guy in Washington for authoring ”Axis of Evil.“

Guys, it worked for Churchill. Do not think that you are he.

Which reminds me, speaking of Churchill, a guy for whom ending a sentence with a preposition was something up with which to not put, have you heard this one?

See, there's this confused looking Freshman (OK, that's redundant I guess, but anyway) standing in the middle of Harvard Yard when an upperclassman walks by and the frosh says to the upperclassman thusly: ”Where does this path lead to?“

The upperclassman looks condescendingly at the frosh and replies, ”This is Harvard. We do not end sentences with prepositions..“

”Oh,“ says the frosh. ”Sorry. Where does this path lead to, asshole?“

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Do not mess around with a storm named Chris.

WESH.com - News - State Officials Preparing For Tropical Storm Chris:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Tropical Storm Chris could become a Category 1 hurricane as early as Thursday, and officials at the state emergency operations center are gearing up for a possible hurricane strike.
(Sorry, Christopher. Just kidding. Ha ha ha!

Don't blame it on my heart, blame it on the heat.)

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Right you are, Mr. Olmert. No uniform.

The Times interview with Ehud Olmert: full transcript - World - Times Online:
And by the way, how do you really know that 400 innocent civilians were killed? How do you know who is innocent and who is not? Why? This is not an army. They don’t wear uniforms that distinguish them from other civilians.

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Is there no end?

Elvis' teddy bear is chewed up by dog:
LONDON Mabel, the teddy bear once cuddled by Elvis, is all chewed up.A Doberman pinscher named Barney ripped Mabel's head off at a children's museum near Wells, England. Barney was supposed to be guarding hundreds of rare bears, but the museum's general manager Daniel Medley says "he just went berserk."

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I don't know, maybe it's just the heat...

...but somehow this door says "lemonade" to me.

Yeah, we need some sort of standard here.

spiked | A proxy war of a different sort:
Of course, everybody has been moved by the terrible scenes of dead civilians, many of them children, after the Israeli attack on the Lebanese village of Qana. But put such a loss of life in a wider context, and it becomes clear that the death toll to date is not particularly high by historical standards.
How about the Black Plague? Work for you?

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A dim idea.

I was in a McDonald's today. In broad daylight. You'll just have to take my word about the broad unless you've seen narrow daylight for yourself, and then you'll know. They have a building with big windows all around and no floor-to-ceiling obstructions in the dining area. They had lights hanging from the ceiling every eight or ten feet in every direction and every one of them turned on. And a big faux skylight with fluorescents behind. Or above. As the case may be. And of course back-lit menu boards and promo stuff and, well, you get the idea.

And so I was thinking, what if they turned just half of them off? In all their stores, everywhere. And then what if all the Wendy's and Burger Kings and Uncle Charlie's FatBurgers did it too?

Ok, I just made that up, about Uncle Charlie's. But it doesn't matter, because none of them will.

Which is not bright.

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Yeah! Damn right!

Media Matters -
Matthews: "We know" President Clinton "didn't stop" 9-11
Bill Clinton. Do you think he did a good job of stopping a second attack on the World Trade Center when he was president for eight years?

We can't know whether he stopped it. Richard Clarke --

We know he didn't stop it.
And another thing. Neither did Rutherford B. Hayes.

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So this doesn't count as a "kidnapping" then.

IDF commandos nab five low-level Hezbollah men in Baalbek raid - Haaretz - Israel News
In Baalbek, the commandos captured five Hezbollah militants and killed at least 10 others before completing the operation and safely returning to Israel, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said.
More like a capture. Or maybe a seizing. I don't know. Is there a scorekeeper?

Oh. Him.

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Take that, Kettle!

Think Progress » Malkin: Outrage About Qana ‘Manufactured,’ ‘If It’s Not Qana, It’s Something Else…It’s Beauty Pageants’:
Pot calls Islam, apparently, or something or other, "the religion of perpetual outrage."

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A pedestrian lament.

Yes there's a rant coming, Bunky, I'm afraid.

Where the fighting (at least let's refrain from calling it "tension," shall we?) in the Middle East is concerned, the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, I'm not interested in arguing over who hit who first, who stole who's lunch money, or who Mommy likes best. I'm just saying here, is all.

But I'm a pedestrian at heart. I've spent a whole lot of years, over the years, walking. I've seen my share of careless drivers, inconsiderate drivers, and just plain bad drivers, and no way am I going to step into traffic until I'm sure the traffic is gonna stop. Because the one thing I don't want to have inscribed on my tombstone is, "But I Had the Right of Way."

"I Was Not a Target" doesn't seem one jot better to me. The "explanation" that civilians on either side of the conflict were "not targeted," and the implication that they are somehow, as a result, less dead, cuts no ice. (Sorry. "Ice" just sounded soooooo good.) And the same thing goes for the Lebanese Army officer who was "not a target" while the car he was driving, apparently, was.

It cuts no ice. In other words, as the DOOFUS would say, it sucks.

And if, as the "spokesmen" and assorted blabbering apologists seem to suggest, the only way to defeat terrorists is to become terrorists ourselves, we're in for a long, long, sorry time.

To be honest, there are days when I'm glad I'm old.

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Safe to eat the fries again.

Crooks and Liars » ‘Freedom’ is on the march — out of Congress’ cafeteria:
Jones, who came up with the brilliant idea, told one reporter, "This isn’t a political or publicity stunt. We feel sincere as to what we’ve done. This isn’t going to change the debate or course of the world. It’s a gesture just to say to the French, ‘Up yours!’"
But no more. The Gallic (actually Belgian) dish is back on the menu in the basement of the House. And if the French send peacekeepers to Lebanon maybe we can call them Vive la French Fries.

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Yesha Rabbinical Council: During time of war, enemy has no innocents - News from Israel, Ynetnews:
All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians...
No such term as “innocents” of the enemy, rabbinical council says.

The Rabbis seem to be more concerned by “Christian morality” than some of the “Christians” I know.

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The Snake Lady says it.

Despair. Is. Not. An. Option.

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Communique from inside the bubble.

FOXNews.com - President George W. Bush Sits Down for an Exclusive Interview With Neil Cavuto:
And I want the American people to know that, even if they don't think that we're still at war, I do, and, therefore, will deploy the — the assets of the federal government to protect us here at home and to bring the people who — who intend to hurt us to justice.
And this.
But, you know, the words "amnesty" are loaded words...
Last I looked there were toys that did better than that.

Maybe we should reconsider that "official language" thing.

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Hey, I don't know if this is true or not.

Tales of the Freewayblogger: Israel Attacks Gibson
The picture, I mean. You can look and decide for yourself.

But it does feel good to laugh.

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Macs don't sweat.

Well hey, I don't believe in wind chill, why should I believe in "heat index" either, whatever heat index may be. Cold is cold and hot is hot, the way I figure, and there's an end to it.

And so what. Macs don't sweat. Meanwhile, all the web widgets have been saying it's around 95 degrees here, but my thermodevices (three now! who knew my cooking thermometer registered this low?) all agree it's somewhere in the high 80s indoors. And the sun is well onto the other side of the house by now - it'll be 186 tonight when I'm trying to sleep but it appears my chips will live to cycle another day. Which would be tomorrow, I suppose, forecast to be warmer.

Still, I have a few degrees to spare.

(One expects, so far, power failure may be a bigger hazard than heat. But power failure is more a problem - so far, did I say so far? - in the winter than in the summer in this corner of New England, where we are still operating on overhead wiring the Pilgrims installed.)

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Does it.

Livni: Qana attack led to turning point in support for Israel - Haaretz - Israel News

It now appears that the military had no information on rockets launched from the site of the building, or the presence of Hezbollah men at the time.

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Little Tucker gets right down to it, takes off his tie.

Media Matters -
MSNBC's Carlson on O'Reilly's desire to "[l]evel" Fallujah, subsequent claim that "macho solutions are no solutions": "This is what happens when cable news does foreign policy"
Let's see, the solution in Iraq is just level it, turn it into a parking lot, an ice rink, just kill everybody, knock every building down, pulverize it to dust. On the other hand, macho solutions are no solutions. This is what happens when cable news does foreign policy. Bill O'Reilly, he's an intellectual.

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If you're ever in the market for an abandoned factory, New England is definitely the place to look.

Not peaches, though. Man, I haven't had a good peach since I left M!chigan, and that was a freakin' decade ago. Apples, they understand. And maybe watermelon - but how can you screw up watermelon anyway, that'd be harder than screwing up scrambled eggs. Peaches, no. Just don't even think about peaches. Don't obsess. About peaches. Don't.

But it's Ohio, dude.

Waitress gets own ID when carding patron - Yahoo! News:
"The odds of this waitress recovering her own license defy calculation," police Capt. Guy Turner said Monday.
And anyway, the odds we want here are the odds on somebody being dumb enough to hand her her own license. Which are apparently not all that bad.

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There'll always be an England.

We don't want to be disrespectful to dead fish... - Yahoo! News:
LONDON (Reuters) - An English fishing town has banned the sport of conger cuddling after an animal activist complained.
Oh. Whew. For a minute there I thought they said codger. But conger - what's a conger anyway?

And what, exactly, do animal activists have against codgers?

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Oh oh. Better call the flag police.

Worldandnation: Castro gives up power, for now:
Shortly after 11 p.m., a couple of men in Little Havana - not far from the home where Elian Gonzalez was seized - climbed palm trees and hung a giant Cuban flag.
I mean, if you think waving a Mexican flag is a big deal. Those Cubans are commies!
Aren't they?

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Terrorists are the new kiddie porn.

At least 52 dead in latest Iraq carnage - Yahoo! News:
The Interior Ministry denied that the kidnappers were police — despite the uniforms — and blamed the attack on “terrorists,” Iraqi state television reported.
Or wait. Maybe it's the other way around. And anyway, this is all so ten minutes ago, isn't it? I mean, Iraq. Big whoop. We're on to new opportunities now.

Oh, and by the way. Buy batteries. I went over to rent “V for Vendetta” (yo!) this morning and while I was there picked up an el cheapo digital clock at CVS, because it has an el cheapo thermometer in it. It may not be too accurate but it's probably better than my other one, which used to dangle from the zipper of my ski jacket. Better yet, it's bigger. Nothing on the box about needing batteries but I bought some anyway. Good call. It did.

The sun's come out and the temp indoors has risen 6 degrees in the last half hour. So far, though, it's well within the range my equipment can handle. My iMac has five fans and when they start winding up it sounds like a 747. When it gets to about liftoff speed, I'll shut down. The PowerBook runs cooler - merely varnish-scorching - so as long as the network seems safe I'll no doubt still be online.

Today's the day I was dreaming about in February.

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Name that wacko!

A little game this morning, boys and girls. Who said which?
1) "...until those civilians start paying a price for propping up these kinds of regimes, it's not going to end, folks..."

2) "...they are not exonerated from responsibility, because they chose this government and voted for it despite their knowledge of its crimes..."
Go on, say it. You give up. Right? Well then, Bunky, here you go.
1) Rush Limbaugh, July 31, 2006, on the Qana bombing.

2) Osama bin Laden, March, 1977, on his "fatwa against America."
(You can read the full quotes here, thanks to billmon.)

Not that it's at all novel, this sentiment. It's essentially the same opinion that allowed the Nazis to blitz London and us to firebomb Dresden; the same thing Ward Churchill said in his infamous post-9/11 op ed; undoubtedly someone said it right here in Massachusetts, circa 1776. Yada yada, nothing to see here, move along.

No matter all the blathering about "clash of civilizations," when the bombs start to drop we are all on the same verse.

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We could use more guys like this here.

Filled with protest tents, Mexico City slows to crawl | Chicago Tribune
"We'll stay here for as long as it takes, but we're not going to let them impose a president on us," said farmer Anacleto Garcia Martinez, 53, as he warmed his coffee on a wood-burning grill set up beneath a tarp strung from the wrought-iron gate leading to Chapultepec Park.
Oh, wait. Mexicans. Damn.

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What they taught me in statistics class.

This exotic cloud formation floats in Antarctic air measured at minus 189 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Australian Antarctic Division. So then, if you have your feet in Antarctica and your head in, say, Ohio - not that you'd want to have your head in Ohio, Bunky, I know that, I'm just saying if - you ought to feel just about right, on average.

Massachusetts daze.

Just so you know, patient reader, it's expected to get hot here today (imagine that!) and since I don't have AC I will possibly shut down sometime therein to prevent my microchips from frying before my eyes. This is also my excuse for not having posted too frequently for the last few days, but don't believe everything you read here.

Oh. You've figured that out already, have you? I see.

Well, no matter. I'll keep you posted if the smoke doesn't get too thick.

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Havana daze.

ottawasun.com - Money - U.S. cut off from Cuba's oil rush:
“Our choice is: Are we going to let those other countries take that oil? Or are we going to look at our strategic interests and recognize that very close to our shores is a substantial quantity of oil that is going to be exploited?”
So says Kirby Jones of the US-Cuba Trade Association, according to the Ottawa Sun. How can there be a US-Cuba Trade Association when the US doesn't trade with Cuba, you're wondering? Well, Bunky, don't ask me.

Suffice it to say this substantial quantity of oil's got hearts thumping in China, India, Norway, Spain, Venezuela, Brazil, and Canada - they want some of the action - and in Miami - they don't. “[Letting U.S. companies drill for oil off Cuba] would damage our ability to press the Cuban government on other issues, such as human rights,” says the director of the Cuban American National Foundation. You wonder how there can be...oh no, you don't.

So the US winds up with three options here: 1] take over Cuba (look how well that's working in Iraq); 2] kiss up to Castro (“Congress” is working on legislation to exempt Big Oil from the Cuban trade embargo); 3] suck wind.

Learn to sail, would be my advice.

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Finally! Some good news!

Slashdot | It's OK to keep AIMing:
According to the Univeristy of Toronto instant messaging does not hurt the grammar of the people who use it. From the article: "With 80% of Canadian teenagers using instant messaging and adopting its unique linguistic shorthand, many teachers and parents are concerned about the medium's potential to corrupt kids' grammar. But instant messaging doesn't deserve its bad reputation as a spoiler of syntax, suggests a new study from the University of Toronto."
Whew, it's been a long day, hasn't it? OK maybe not where you are. But here, what with trying to read the news and going to the grocery store. I'm telling you, the most dangerous place on earth to drive - well, except the road to Damascus, I suppose - is in a supermarket parking lot.

And by the way, have I mentioned recently how cool Google Earth is? Like awesome, I mean. If you don't already have it go get it here. I'm not kidding. I haven't figured out how to use all the little doodads and things but just tooling around looking at the whole thing is excellently, well, excellent.

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IDF prepared for attack by Syria | Jerusalem Post:
Defense officials told the Post last week that they were receiving indications from the US that America would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria.

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Welcome to Election '06

The Open Voting Foundation:
“Diebold has made the testing and certification process practically irrelevant,” according to Dechert. “If you have access to these machines and you want to rig an election, anything is possible with the Diebold TS -- and it could be done without leaving a trace. All you need is a screwdriver.” This model does not produce a voter verified paper trail so there is no way to check if the voter’s choices are accurately reflected in the tabulation.

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Woohoo! Outsource your appendix!

Suburban Guerrilla » Sad State of Affairs:
Some medical tourism agencies are preparing to offer health insurance plans that outsource all major surgeries abroad. IndUSHealth — a medical tourism agency based in Raleigh, N.C., that Blue Ridge hired — said it was in negotiations with several companies.
Medical tourism? Oh that sounds like fun. Do you get to play shuffleboard?

OK, seriously. Really. What could there be in this “medical tourism” thing?

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ABC News: U.S. Backs Israel's Right to Defend Itself
Funny, I could have sworn I'd heard that someplace before.

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Lovin' red.