Turning 9/11 into a campaign stunt.

Eat The Press | Bush Announces Sept. 11th Primetime Address, Asks ABC To Interrupt "Path Of 9/11" | The Huffington Post:
Yet another wrinkle was thrown into the factually-challenged ABC "Path Of 9/11" drama today: President Bush is planning a prime-time address from the Oval Office on Monday to mark the fifth anniversary of 9/11 — and has asked the networks for time to broadcast his remarks. If all goes according to controversially-scheduled plan, ABC will be entering the final hour of the five-hour, two-part, commercial-free miniseries, which has been hotly debated over the past few days when it was revealed that elements of the film were fabricated, improvised, and not remotely grounded in proven fact.

Greg Palast reports on the terror threat in Southold, NY.

What if there’s a sleeper cell in Southold? All they have to do is review the Homeland Security website for the town’s Vulnerability Point and they’ll know, “Hit the water slide, Ahmad! The casino ferry’s being watched!”

A chcken in every pot, an oil well under every pool.

My Way News: Louisiana man drilling for oil in his 'front yard'
Jordan, 52, said the well will stretch 8,500 feet (2,591 metres) under his house and swimming pool and below the adjacent Calcasieu River....

Jordan argued Americans should permit more U.S. oil drilling to achieve energy independence. They fight it "and then try to blame U.S. oil companies for the price of energy being so high," he said.

Don't panic. Not this war.

Macy's mucks it up.

Field's green fades to red | Chicago Tribune
After surviving the Chicago Fire, the Great Depression, the Great Chicago Flood and five separate owners, Marshall Field's disappears Saturday from the Chicago landscape and officially becomes Macy's.

It's a makeover that Macy's owner says must happen in order to revive the department store as a shopping destination.
Maybe it's just me but it's difficult to think of any more destinationary place on State Street (that great street) than Marshall Field's, and anybody who's lived in Chicago and has never been to Marshall Field's at Christmas time or said "meet you under the clock" hasn't lived in Chicago. And that's an end to that.


Oh come on, AP.

Schwarzenegger apologizes for remark - Yahoo! News:
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger apologized Friday for saying during a closed-door meeting that Cubans and Puerto Ricans are naturally feisty and temperamental because of their combination of "black blood" and "Latino blood."

"Hot" is what he said. Not "feisty and tempermental." Let's get it right.

I don't care what you think I'm trying to do.

Damn paperclip. OK, on my computer it's a little picture of a dopey looking computer but it's the same thing. Just as bad. Crazymaking, is what it is.

I should get combat pay for this. Hardship pay. Something. My class has been lobbying for help with "help" in Word. So I turned on the freakin' "assistant" for the weekend. If that's not a sacrifice I don't know what is. The thing is infuriating.

And it's even worse when you have to figure out what it does.

Global warming scientists overheat in Australia

Striptease heats up global warming event - Yahoo! News:
Rebecca Gale, who led the team of dancers from Miss Kitka's House of Burlesque, said the performance was in reasonably good taste and she didn't understand what the fuss was about.
Hey, reasonably good taste is cool enough for me.

Maybe it's some sort of Puritan's revenge.

Have you noticed this? The smaller (and therefore, by definition, cooler) tech gadgets become the more pollygagging im-freakin-penetrable the plastic packaging they put it in gets. Gets, I say. I mean, gets. What do you need to open those packages, an ax? By the time I get one open I have shredded the instruction sheet (not that I ever read the instructions anyway, but it's the principle of the thing) and only by a miracle have I managed to avoid shredding the product to. Wrap rage is what it is.

Anyway, I was passing through a Staples on the way home from work today and discovered a Sony flash drive about the size of a thumbnail, holds a gig of data, and could not resist. It came with a sort of wimpy baby blue carrying sleeve, which is regrettable, but blue seems to be a Sony thing. Anyway it was just too cool (and therefore, by definition, small) to pass up. It's plugged in and formatting as we speak.

But look. Folks. It's the 21st. Can't we find a more intelligent way to package things?

Next, why don't we put them to work on kudzu?

DEA Says 98% of Eradicated Pot is Ditchweed - TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime:
According to the data, available online here, of the estimated 223 million marijuana plants destroyed by law enforcement in 2005, approximately 219 million were classified as "ditchweed," a term the agency uses to define "wild, scattered marijuana plants [with] no evidence of planting, fertilizing, or tending." Unlike cultivated marijuana, feral hemp contains virtually no detectable levels of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, and does not contribute to the black market marijuana trade.


I don't know, something about this story is really strange.

The Associated Press:
The government reported Thursday that 4.4 percent of baby boomers ages 50 to 59 indicated that they had used illicit drugs in the past month. It marks the third consecutive yearly increase recorded for that age group by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Meanwhile, illicit drug use among young teens went down for the third consecutive year - from 11.6 percent in 2002 to 9.9 percent in 2005.
I'm just not sure I get this, is all: illicit drug use among fiftysomethings is up to 4.4 percent and among teens is down to 9.9 percent, and this is a cause for what? Joy? Alarm (Geezers Gone Wild!)?

The AP writer - or maybe the Office of National Drug Control Policy (what? is it an election year?) - seems to find this encouraging, but it still leaves 10 percent of the kids zonked. Doesn't it?

And what's with the more good news (apparently) buried near the end of the article that alcohol use among 12 to 17-year olds has dropped to 16.5 percent? Dropped? Twelve?

is this an election year, did I ask? Is the AP running for something? Did this wonderful news come from http://www.whitehouse.gov?

Oh. It did?

Is New Jersey the only state the size of New Jersey?

Talibanistan: The Establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan (The Fourth Rail):
The Pakistani government has ceded a region the size of New Jersey, with a population of about 800,000 to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Seems like just a few short weeks ago Israel was being described as "about the size of New Jersey." I wonder how many other countries are about that size.

And why does New Jersey always get the glory? New Jersey is he 47th biggest state; New Hampshire is the 46th, and only about 600 square miles larger. So how accurate is this "about," anyway. And why are so many little states called "new"?

(So yes, New Jersey is the only state the size of New Jersey, but not by much.)


If you happen to be a bluegill, San Francisco might be a good place to stay away from.

The Raw Story | Anti-terror fish guard San Francisco's water:
San Francisco- San Francisco authorities have drafted 12 bluegill fish to help protect the city's water supply from terror threats, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday. The fish live in a tank at a water treatment plant where a computer monitoring system detects if they are upset by any foreign substances in the water.
Although, if you have a taste for adventure, "anti-terror fish" is a pretty cool title to have. Sounds a lot more impressive than "canary."

Complacency! It's the new terror word!

Media Matters - CNN's Henry: Bush speech quoting bin Laden "may help shake Americans out of any complacency they may feel":
On September 5, both CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry and Associated Press writer Merrill Hartson reported that President Bush's September 5 speech addressing Iraq and the fight against terrorism was an attempt to fight American "complacency." On the September 5 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, Henry said, "President Bush today ... taking the extraordinary step of quoting [Osama] bin Laden's own words in letters to followers, as well as what he called grisly Al Qaeda manuals, to dramatize just how potent the terror group is right now ... [which] may help shake Americans out of any complacency they may feel almost five years after 9-11." And in a September 5 AP article, Hartson wrote, "President Bush used terrorists' own words Tuesday to battle complacency among Americans about the threat of future attack, defending his record as the fall campaign season kicks into high gear." Neither Henry nor Hartson cited any support for their suggestions of American complacency.
It's gonna be all fear all the time from now until November, I imagine. I'm starting to wish I'd dusted under my bed.

"Potential candidate" acts like an oaf.

Romney prohibits police escort for Iranian's visit to Harvard - The Boston Globe:
"There are people in this state who have suffered from terrorism, and taking even a dollar of their money to support a terrorist is unacceptable," Romney, a potential candidate for the Republican Party's 2008 presidential nomination, said in a telephone interview yesterday.
What can you expect from a guy named "Mitt"?

Unfortunately I never voted for this turkey anyway so I can't say now he's lost mine.

PS. Don't hear that word, "oaf," every day, do you?

The word on Word.

I've been sitting here putting together a short list of Word alternatives for my Word class. I have noting against Word. It has, after all, provided a lot of employment for mopes like me who've managed to figure out how to use it. But it's become miserably bloated over the years. Worse, it's very seriously overpriced and I have difficulty recommending its purchase to people who are currently unemployed - or, for that matter, anyone who just wants a workaday word processor without all the seldom-used, exotic features Word provides. (I have a copy of Word myself - indeed, Office - but only because I need it for occasional reference, and prefer using Apple's Pages, Nisus Writer Express, or Mariner Write.)

So then, for what it's worth, here are a few Windows alternatives. I haven't spent extensive time with any of these products but all of them come with good reviews (and there are surely many more - products, I mean, not reviews - floating around). Nonetheless.

There's a lot of buzz right now about web-based software so here are four of those, all free to use:
Zoho Writer
ThinkFree is also available as a local, Java-based application - in that incarnation it gets mixed reviews. But as the web application is free, it's worth a try. Writely is now owned by Google (for the information of those who like Google software, as I do, or those who don't).

Atlantis is a downloadable, locally installed application - $35.00, 30-day free trial.

And then there's Open Office.org. Open Office.org started life as a Sun Microsystems project and has developed into a successful open source project, well regarded in the Windows world. (There's a Mac version but it lags somewhat and is not, IMO, ready for prime time, although it does get the job done.) As it includes alternatives for all the Office programs (and then some) it's a massive download and I wouldn't advise attempting it on a dial-up. However, if you have the bandwith and the time to download it, it's free. CDs (which include clip art) are also available from numerous sources (see the web site) and are priced at about $10.00.

Time to retire the word "victim."

Fedblog: TSA on Ex-Employees' SSNs: Oops, Wrong Address
Feds Are Biggest Cybercrime Victims A new study from Trusted Strategies, an IT security consulting firm, has found that the government has suffered more from Internet-related crimes than any other industry over the last 7 years.
When it gets applied to the federal government it's lost any meaning it may have had.

Not to mention the word "industry."

The bizarrely complicated case of the elusive bin Laden.

Attytood: Wanted: Dead or alive or to have a 'peaceful life' in Pakistan:
Of course, nowadays every two-bit radio host and political blowhard will tell you that invading Iraq in 2003 was the right thing to do, negative consequences be damned, because we got rid of a bad guy. What's more, the only military move of the Bush II era that most Americans agree upon was the 2002 invasion of Afghanistan -- because Afghanistan was harboring Osama bin Laden. So, if you believe that, as most of us do, and if you believe in invading Iraq, as most right-wingers, do, don't you have to now invade Pakistan, the nation that is harboring bin Laden, the even badder guy than Saddam Hussein.
On Sept. 5 ABC News posted a blog story by Brian Ross headlined "Pakistan Gives Bin Laden Free Pass," containing the revelation,
"Osama bin Laden, America's most wanted man, will not face capture in Pakistan if he agrees to lead a 'peaceful life,' Pakistani officials tell ABC News,"
catching the attention of blogger Will Bunch (above) and another, called Richard Cranium, at All Spin Zone.

Today, Sept. 6, ABC's blogger Ross heads his entry "Pakistan Denies Bin Laden Gets a Pass" and therein, somewhat mysteriously, reproduces a telephone conversation with one Pakistani Major General Shaukat Sultan, to wit:
Q. ABC News: If bin Laden or Zawahiri were there, they could stay?

A. Gen. Sultan: No one of that kind can stay. If someone is there he will have to surrender, he will have to live like a good citizen, his whereabouts, exit travel would be known to the authorities.

Q. ABC News: So, he wouldn't be taken into custody? He would stay there?

A. Gen. Sultan: No, as long as one is staying like a peaceful citizen, one would not be taken into custody. One has to stay like a peaceful citizen and not allowed to participate in any kind of terrorist activity.
A Pakistani ambassador to the US named Mahmud Ali Durrani accuses ABC of "grossly misquoting" the good General Sultan, while Sultan himself complains of "hair splitting." I, myself, am confused.

This whole subject, by the way, comes up in connection with a peace agreement recently made between Pakistan and the Taliban operating therein, under the terms of which Pakistan will "cease action" and return captured Taliban weapons and soldiers.

You'll have to figure all that out for yourself. I can't always tell our "enemies" from our "friends." Or a misquote from a split end.


We like to stay on top of fashion news here at YAME, being fashion trendsetters ourselves.

My Way News:
LONDON (Reuters) - Fashion icon and award-winning singer and actress Cher is clearing her Malibu home of its Gothic contents and reshaping her life in a giant garage sale.
Also, around here we call them "tag sales" but that's a technicality, I guess.

Seems Cher (Fashion Icon) is redecorating, "going for a Moroccan-Tibetan look." If you know what a Moroccan-Tibetan look is, you'll understand. If you don't, don't ask us.

Or maybe it's like World of Warcraft. Anything's possible.

Bush Compares Iraq To World War II...Rice Compares Iraq To US Civil War... | The Huffington Post

Why does this not surprise me?

Rocky Mountain News: Local:
On a breezy, hot September day in Utah in the midst of the 2003 drought, Forest Service District Ranger Bill Ott started a million-dollar-plus fire....

Since then, Ott has been promoted to assistant director of fire operations for the Rocky Mountain region of the Forest Service. That makes him second in command for fires in a five-state region.

What's going on behind the curtain?

But Bush has nothing on at all! | CorrenteWire:
Some 80,000 Arab and Muslim immigrants have been subjected to fingerprinting and registration, another 8,000 have been called in for interviews with the FBI, and over 5,000 foreign nationals have been imprisoned in initiatives designed to prevent terrorism. This activity, notes the Georgetown University law professor David Cole, has not resulted in a single conviction for a terrorist crime. In fact, only a small number of people picked up on terrorism charges — always to great official fanfare — have been convicted at all, and almost all of these convictions have been for other infractions, particularly immigration violations.
A blogger summarizes an article in Foreign Affairs that asks "Is there Still a Terrorist Threat?"

Or was there ever (in the US), in the sense we understand it from our increasingly unhinged brethren on cable news?

Well maybe, maybe not. My guess, at the moment, would be there has been or maybe is a threat, but it's been vastly (and unconscionably) over-hyped for political purposes, and whatever risk there is made greater, not less, as a result. My guess, further, is that in moving to create more secrecy and impose more surveillance in the US the government has moved in exactly the wrong direction; that terrorism is more easily accomplished in closed and secretive societies than in free and open ones.

Either that, or the much-feared terrorists are far, far more brilliant than even the wettest of right-wing wet dreams would suppose, and understand the American psyche so perfectly as to know we are far more debilitated by media terror than any real and immediate threat and are proceeding accordingly, the Fauxies and their ilk willing, even eager accomplices.

Time, perhaps, will tell.


At the community garden, things start looking like September.

Sort of a junior varsity red letter, this would be.

- toledoblade.com - :
A recently enacted law allows county prosecutors, the state attorney general, or, as a last resort, alleged victims to ask judges to civilly declare someone to be a sex offender even when there has been no criminal verdict or successful lawsuit.

So, let's just skip right to penalty without the messy, embarrassing, and potentially costly trial, "due process" is for wimps. And sex offender-lovers, I guess.

The Taliban are back. This time, here.

Man, it's been a long weekend, hasn't it?

Old technology proves a modern-day classic | Chicago Tribune
The Mold-a-Rama machine still delights because you watch the made-on-the-spot process before gingerly picking up your still-warm memento.
We're down to writing stories about the Mold-a-Rama machine.

You don't know what a Mold-a-Rama machine is, Bunky? Well, neither do I. But there are 68 of them "across the Midwest and Texas," this guy claims, and nearly a third of them in Chicago. So it's a wonder I missed seeing one, I guess. Or maybe I did see one but just didn't know what it was - apparently some kind of machine that manufactures plastic souvenir geegaws while you wait. Maybe even watch.

Maybe I should have stayed in bed.

Because it's a whole lot easier to just bitch.

Healey will sign antitax pledge - The Boston Globe:
Today, Healey, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, plans to sign a pledge to ``oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes," which was drawn up by Citizens for Limited Taxation, an antitax group based in Massachusetts.
About the schools. About the bridges. About the cops. About "security." Yada yada. Want more, don't want to pay.

Hey. Maybe we could import some cheap labor to fix the roads, ya think? Oh, wait. We're bitching about that too.

I'm not sure "crash course" is exactly how we want to describe this thing.

Next, Hub visitors may take a glided tour - The Boston Globe:
He envisions packs of about eight -- each led by a tour guide who would first put participants through a 30-minute crash course in driving the [Segway] machines -- departing from Downtown Crossing and making their way through notable sections of the city.
And on the same page as this story in the Globe (when I read it) appeared a Victoria's Secret ad touting "up to 60% off bikinis." Woohoo. That sure doesn't leave much on.

Looks like the Emperor has no evidence either.

Study Finds Sharp Drop in the Number of Terrorism Cases Prosecuted - New York Times:
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 — The number of terrorism cases brought by the Justice Department, which surged in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has dropped sharply since 2002, and prosecutors are turning down hundreds of cases because of weak evidence and other legal problems, according to a study released Sunday.
Some idiot from Justice protests the study ignores "the value of early disruption of potential terrorist acts by proactive prosecution,” which sounds suspiciously like "we toss them in jail because they might be up to no good." Which sounds, in turn, suspiciously like some folks ought to stop and ask themselves just who the freakin' fascists really are.


Shouldn't this be "ass over t*t"? I'm confused.

Independent Online Edition > Profiles:
Accepting Best Actress award for her role in Elizabeth I at last week's Emmys, Helen Mirren joked: "My great triumph is not falling a*** over tit coming up those stairs." Having forgotten her high heels, she revealed, she had been forced to buy a pair of plastic "stripper's shoes" from Sunset Strip. The speech was vintage Mirren: witty, unpretentious and a touch bawdy.

Now all we have to do is hope anybody who shoots a missle at us is a dummy, and we're home free.

Aljazeera.Net - US successfully tests missile shield
The United States military says it has successfully shot down a dummy ballistic missile over the Pacific in the widest test of its new anti-missile shield in 18 months.

There'll always be an England.

Sorry, you can't have the internet... you're over 70 | the Daily Mail:
"Later a young lady said company policy is that anyone over 70 might not understand the contract. She said, 'If you would be prepared to go to the shop in town and take a younger member of your family we might give you a contract.'"

Whoa! Does this sound depressing or what?

Like recycling? Cooking? Then welcome home - The Boston Globe:
WALTHAM -- Laura Mandelberg is a dedicated Democrat whose contribution to the decor of a suite at a Brandeis University's residence hall this year will be life-size cutouts of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Bill Clinton. Jordan Frazes is an avowed environmentalist who plans to post and preach the rules of waste recycling in the suite.
I don't mean to cast aspersions here, Laura, but, I mean, whoa. Life-size cutouts of Bill Clinton? And Jordan - recycling pep talks? I don't know, kids.

"Thematic housing," the Globe explains - or claims, at least - is much in demand on college campuses these days. So it's like, all the girls who like cardboard cutouts can live together in their place and all the guys who don't wash their underwear can live in theirs (oh wait, that's a frat house, maybe, I'm not sure) and, you know, so forth.

Sounds pretty dull to me. Hey, I'd hate to live with a bunch of guys just like I am. They'd drive me nuts.

Foreign women in steamy underwear!

Sex expo lingerie models barred from South Korea - Yahoo! News:
Several male visitors were angry about seeing so many inflatable plastic women on display and no real ones.

Some snooze!

My Way News:
Maria Ilieva, 17, was traveling alone and fell asleep on an Air Malta plane taking her overnight from Valletta to Sofia.

Unfortunately she had returned to Malta by the time she woke up, the girl's family said Friday.
Hey, I fell asleep on a train once. Or maybe twice. Maybe. But I woke up a couple of stops down the line, not all the way back where I'd started.

Rush testing. Oh oh.

Rush Testing Is Under Way for Microsoft’s New System - New York Times:
With pressure mounting to squeeze out final bugs, Microsoft asked testers to give Vista an urgent shakedown — even as they headed into a long holiday weekend....

“Teams are working 50, 60, 70 hours a week to go ship this RC1 milestone.”
Maybe it's just too early in the morning but somehow this doesn't seem like a really, really good sign.