Grim news from all around.

The New York Times' Frank Rich figures Britney's haircut is gonna get us all killed.
Referring to "last week's terrifying but little-heeded front-page New York Times account (link) of U.S. 'intelligence and counterterrorism officials' leaking urgent warnings about al Qaeda's comeback," Rich writes in his latest Sunday Times column, "ask yourself: Haven't we been here before?"

"If so, that would be the summer of 2001, when America pigged out on a 24/7 buffet of Gary Condit and shark attacks," Rich writes. "The intelligence and counterterrorism officials back then were privately sounding urgent warnings like those in last week's Times, culminating in the President's Daily Brief titled 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.' The system 'was blinking red,' as the CIA chief George Tenet would later tell the 9/11 commission. But no one, from the White House on down, wanted to hear it."

"Christian conservatives" think all the R candidates so far are just a bunch of wimpy libs.
"A group of influential Christian conservatives and their allies emerged from a private meeting at a Florida resort this month dissatisfied with the Republican presidential field and uncertain where to turn," David D. Kirkpatrick writes. "The event was a meeting of the Council for National Policy, a secretive club whose few hundred members include Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family, the Rev. Jerry Falwell of Liberty University and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Although little known outside the conservative movement, the council has become a pivotal stop for Republican presidential primary hopefuls, including then-Gov. George W. Bush on the eve of his 1999 primary campaign."

The Army's getting bored with all this chasing around after Bin Laden shit.
"So we get him, and then what?" Schoomaker said.

OK, so maybe that's not so grim but whoa, Dude, this sure is:
People controlling animated avatar members of a self-proclaimed Second Life Liberation Army (SLLA) have set off computer-code versions of atomic bombs at virtual world stores in the past six months -- with their own manifesto.

So watch where you click.

I'm all ears.

Father to 10-year-old son: She likes ziti, french fries, pizza, and cake? Do you know what she's going to be in high school? Fat. Never date a girl that likes to eat more than two things. First rule in life.
(Overheard in New York)

So what's the second rule?

Please excuse me while I write myself a note.

Get the hell out of town before Trickshot Dick flubs one.

There. And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Answering growing criticism in the U.S. and Australia, [Cheney] defended the Iraq war as a "remarkable achievement"....

No! No! Not the chicken too!

“Expecting the Bush administration to defend religious liberty is a little like asking Col. Sanders to babysit your pet chicken,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United.

So hey, Gal - tell us what you really think.

Thank you.

I'm just wondering here, is all.

Is "Max Boot" just another way of saying "Bigfoot"?

Something there is that does not love a barrier.

In a previous life (no, the one before that), when I was a corporado, the company of my employment devoutly observed the formalities of rank and those of us who toiled at whatever level longed to obtain whatever fragments of conspicuous privilege were allowed to the next. Or whatever. So that, as a case in point, when I once moved into a new office in a new city a carpenter arrived one day to install a false wall, the room's existing dimensions having been determined somewhat too generous for my humble use.

Once, in fact, when I was laboring in New York, a new guy just transferred in from the provinces attained instant celebrity by ordering and - yes! - obtaining a clock for his office, a perq commonly assumed available only at the next higher level of command. The cry went up: "Joe [his name changed here to protect the innocent] has broken the clock barrier!" And everyone spent the rest of the afternoon ordering clocks of their own.

All of which comes to mind because in Massachusetts now, the state where (although it was recently turned around by "Mitt") - the state where, I say, once the embattled farmers stood, a newly-elected Governor Deval Patrick is piteously confessing to "screwing up" for having requisitioned a leased Cadillac and some "high-end" office furniture (including, no doubt, a clock) and for hiring a "chief of staff" for his wife. And so I assume the Caddy-plus-chief-of-staff barrier, although somewhat tattered, is still intact in the Commonwealth. Alas.

What we need around here, IMVHO, is a few more breakers of barriers.


A faux crown of what??

PHILADELPHIA — A 10-year-old boy who said he was not allowed to wear a Jesus costume during his school's Halloween activities has sued the district, alleging that his religious and free-speech rights were violated.

The complaint, filed in federal court on Feb. 20, says officials at Willow Hill Elementary School in Glenside told the boy Oct. 31 that he could not wear his faux crown of thorns or tell others he was dressed as Jesus.
Oh. Right. See, turns out this kid and his mommy don't believe in Halloween - the "pagan elements" of it, that is, but apparently the costume elements are OK and anyway if the kid showed up without a costume he wouldn't be allowed in the parade but would have to go to the computer room instead - oh the horror, the absolute horror! - is there no end to the persecution of the Christianists? Who wouldn't wear a faux crown of thorns?

So, yeah, of course the kid and his mommy are suing.

Meanwhile I'm thinking maybe that old hymn really was about a cross-eyed bear.

(And the story's from the AP via First Amendment Center, turned up, along with a bunch of other things, by The Carpetbagger Report.)

Big Oil is wimping out, and that's a conservative fact.

Despite criticism from socialist liberals who wish to abolish the use of gasoline, Big Oil has an exceptional environmental track record, often repairing mistakes quickly before they can become disasters. Big Oil has also proven valuable in funding independant [sic] scientists who are able to dispute the propaganda behind Global warming without worrying about losing their government or academic funding due to liberal reprisals. Though, it appears now even Big Oil is aknowledging [sic] the reality of man's effect on climate.

From Conservapedia - or, to be somewhat more precise, possibly from Conservapedia. Some Conservapedia articles seem to be changing at a furiously fast pace, not that we can possibly imagine why. One thing seems to be for sure though:
Democrats often attempt to position themselves against Big Oil despite accepting over $48,000,000 in donations from oil companies. Republicans embrace Big Oil because they know that the companies define the very essence of capitalism -- success at business.

So just keep that in mind.

[An official statement from the World Headquarters of Yet Another Media Empire: Given this blog's own record of egregious spelling errors we suggest it should be careful where it scatters its [sic]s. Farther [sic], we are considering changing its name to 76003.1414apedia.]


And those weird furry things that sit up in a tree saying "Quantas"

Today (or, with the time difference, yesterday or possibly next week) Dick Cheney was in Australia, which used to be Britain’s Guantanamo Bay. He said, “When Americans think of Australia, we think of a place with a pioneering spirit much like our own.” No we don’t, we think of kangaroos. “We think of a country that shares our founding commitments to liberty and to equality, and to our traditions of justice and tolerance.” Nope, kangaroos. “We think, above all, of the character of the Australian people -- self-reliant, practical, and good-hearted.” Kangaroos. That’s it.


And you're worried about the freakin' Muslims, you say?

At a July 19th, 2006 Washington, DC inaugural event for CUFI; following a recorded greeting from President George W. Bush; and with four US Senators and the Israeli ambassador to the US in attendance, Pastor John Hagee stated:

"the United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West... a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ."
(Talk to Action)

Whoa, Dude!

Who is Spanking Bill and why have we not heard of him til now?

CA Spanking Bill Dies

Iran caught smuggling children to powerful Iraqi politicians!

U.S. troops detained the son of Iraq's most powerful Shiite politician Friday as he returned to the country from Iran, keeping him in custody for nearly 12 hours before releasing him, Shiite officials said.

Oh, the treachery!

And here's a good idea: Let's call it the Army Hospital Study Group!

Defense Secretary Gates tells us that a new panel will look into the deplorable conditions of Walter Reed and any other medical facility they choose.
(Crooks and Liars)

Damn. I was reading "Oliver Twist" when I could have been reading this?

No wonder I'm so screwed up.

Moooooo bwahahaha.

While Washington ranchers are raising a fuss over Canadian cattle and the danger of mad-cow disease, the region's only mad-cow testing lab is quietly preparing to close March 1....

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently scaled back mad-cow testing by more than 90 percent, leading to closure of the WSU lab and several others around the country. The agency has backed off plans for a mandatory animal-tracking system, which can help identify the source of an infection and other animals at risk, and now says the program will be voluntary.....
(Seattle Times)

So you've been having this recurring fantasy about how we're going to leave Iraq - is that your problem, Bunky?

Under the proposed law, Iraq's immense oil reserves would not simply be opened to foreign oil exploration, as many had expected. Amazingly, executives from those companies would actually be given seats on a new Federal Oil and Gas Council that would control all of Iraq's reserves.

In other words, Chevron, ExxonMobil, British Petroleum and the other Western oil giants could end up on the board of directors of the Iraqi Federal Oil and Gas Council, while Iraq's own national oil company would become just another competitor.
(Daily News)

Just keep telling yourself "it's only a dream."

But 2.836 out of three athletes don't care.



Of course there'd be a way to find out.

Wikipedia has a competitor in "Conservapedia," a new wikipendium of conservative facts.
For example, the entry on Isaac Newton -- "Sir Isaac Newton was one of the inventors of calculus and the propsed [sic-whoops!] the theory of gravity (It should be noted that gravity, like evolution, is just a theory and has never been proven to be true)."
(Shakespeare's Sister)

Which puts poor old Al Einstein in a heap of trouble because his "theory of general relativity" (perhaps you are beginning to notice a pattern here, with the "theory" stuff) has the temerity to overturn Newton's mere theory of gravity, which in turn is all you need to know to explain the universe is "overall flat." I kid you not.

Which may or may not have something to do with Technology Review's finding the other day that 7 of 10 Americans are scientifically illiterate. (I know. I was going to say 70% but I thought maybe that would be too technical.)

But it's not all about the science: Conservapedia also takes exception to a perceived tendency at Wikipedia to spell certain English words the way they spell them in some place called "England." Which is certainly not a very conservative thing to do - worse, not a very American thing to do.

"Conservapedia is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American," we are informed on the site's front page.

And we wouldn't want our kiddies reading anti-American "facts."

Indeed, the demand for good old, honest-to-God American Christian facts is so overwhelming the Conservapedia site is almost impossible to get to, but you can click on the links above if you like, and if you are using one of the American Christian Internets you will probably be able to read it for yourself in time.

Oh. Right. Almost forgot. You could jump off a cliff.

This morning along the tracks.


Holy Alaskan pollack, Batman!

KFC, the nation's largest fast-food chicken chain, this week began selling something it's never sold nationally: fish.

Its new Fish Snacker sandwich sells for 99 cents and is available at all 5,500 locations across the USA. In an unusual move, President Gregg Dedrick sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI, asking him to lend his personal seal of approval for the item "as a way for members of your flock to keep a holy Lenten season."
(USA Today)

I don't watch American Idol.

There. Now you know the awful truth. Satisfied? I don't watch it and I don't care who wins.

Although the thought has occurred to me that would be a pretty good way to run a presidential election. Everybody stands up and makes a speech, and the ones who don't cut it get voted out. (Or something like that - maybe it could be more like "Survivor" and they would all have to eat some leaves or something too.)

Come to think of it, I don't care who wins that either - the presidential election, I mean - yet. Maybe next year at around this time. But it's way too early now, and all the blabber about it bores me. So now you really know the awful truth.

Come to think of it, one of the ways we could get our government back and out of the hands of the big corporate donors is to limit the length of the campaigns. A month ought to be plenty, I figure. Require the candidates to run exclusively on public funding and require all the TV networks to give up 100% of their time for a week. Divide the TV time the same way as the money, and let the campaigns yammer all they want.

If campaigns were a lot cheaper to run there would be a lot fewer votes for sale.

Lotta physics in this.

And, well, other stuff. From Technology Review:
Let’s start by focusing on the positive. In just 17 years, over 50 million people have been added to the rolls of Americans who can understand a newspaper story about science or technology, according to findings presented last weekend at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Francisco....

Okay, now let’s talk (dare I say rant?) about the 200 million Americans out there who cannot read a simple story in, say, Technology Review or the New York Times science section and understand even the basics of DNA or microchips or global warming.

This level of science illiteracy may explain why over 40 percent of Americans do not believe in evolution and about 20 percent, when asked if the earth orbits the sun or vice versa, say it’s the sun that does the orbiting--placing these people in the same camp as the Inquisition that punished Galileo almost 400 years ago. It also explains the extraordinary disconnect between scientists and much of the public over issues the scientists think were settled long ago--never mind newer discoveries and research on topics such as the use of chimeras to study cancer, or pills that may extend life span by 30 or 40 percent.


Where are the heads and why are they not rolling?

As if that weren’t bad enough, there’s the equipment problem weighing heavily on the military. Maj. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, commander of the Oklahoma National Guard, told the NYT that one-third of his soldiers lacked the M-4 rifles preferred by active-duty soldiers and that there were also shortfalls in night vision goggles and other equipment. Capt. Christopher Heathscott, a spokesman for the Arkansas National Guard, said the state’s 39th Brigade Combat Team was 600 rifles short for its 3,500 soldiers and also lacked its full arsenal of mortars and howitzers.
(The Carpetbagger Report)
What I simply do not understand is why all the "Support The Troops" fans aren't out in the streets about now, waving pitchforks. And why all the politicians - from outside and inside the military establishment - who have allowed this to happen are not doing time.

And yes, that includes the so-called "Commander in Chief."


I told you, don't walk on the wall until the bricks are dry.

Meanwhile, in another universe far, far away...

US Vice President Dick ("Trickshot") Cheney gives an interview to somebody called "ABC News" describing the British troop withdrawal from Iraq announced by Prime Minister Tony ("Woof") Blair as "good news and a sign of progress in Iraq."
"Well, I look at it and see it is actually an affirmation that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well," Cheney told ABC News' Jonathan ["Two First Names"] Karl.

"In fact, I talked to a friend just the other day who had driven to Baghdad down to Basra, seven hours, found the situation dramatically improved from a year or so ago, sort of validated the British view they had made progress in southern Iraq and that they can therefore reduce their force levels," Cheney said.

Cheney, although he may recommend driving down from Baghdad to Basra to his friends, was holed up aboard a US aircraft carrier at the time, the road from Baghdad to Basra - or, for that matter, Toledo - being no safe place to make a speech.

Cheney also found time to blame Nancy Pelosi for everything, including anything that still may go wrong anywhere in the galaxy.

Attn: "Mitt"

JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY, CHICAGO TRIBUNE - This week, we were treated to the spectacle of the former U.S. civilian overlord of Iraq, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, squirming in the hot seat as he attempted with little success to explain what he did with 363 tons of newly printed, shrink-wrapped $100 bills he had flown to Baghdad. That's $12 billion in cold, hard American cash, and no one, especially Bremer, seems to know where it went.. . . Bremer, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role in totally screwing up the first two years of the Iraq Occupation, said that a lot of the cash was delivered to ministries of the Iraqi government to meet payrolls that were patently fraudulent. The Department of Defense's special inspector general for Iraq, Stuart Bowen, said that a 2005 audit he conducted found that in some ministries the payroll was padded with up to 90% "ghost employees" --- people who didn't really work there or perhaps didn't really exist.

Well, I mean. If "Mitt" thinks he's paying to much in taxes he can get "Ambassador L. Paul Bremer" to help him out. "Ambassador L. Paul Bremer" has money to, you know, throw away.

What will she shave off now?

Again Britney Drops Out Of Rehab After 24 Hours

Oh. Sorry I asked.

Woohoo! Another Hitler sighting!

I mean, that Hitler guy gets around more than Elvis. Last time I heard - this was after Hitler was Saddam - he was in a German submarine on the moon. But now he's back and he's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!
See, in my world, Diane Sawyer would have had her passport seized upon coming back to America. And the smirk would have been driven off her face as she was booked, the handcuffs on the back of her hands, for aiding and abetting the enemy, the Hitler of our time. She would have been fingerprinted and booked for sedition. Then we would have seen if she was still smirking giving her little speech. OK?

That's some guy named Michael "Savage," having some kind of kinky fantasy about Diane Sawyer with handcuff tattoos, or something. In the supermarket checkout line.

Diane Sawyer is hot. I liked Hitler better when he was Saddam, though, because who the hell can spell Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

Meanwhile, I don't know where Michael "Savage's" world is but I hope it gets hit by an asteroid in 2029 or '30, somewhere around there. That'd be about the best smirk-wiper I could think of, right there.

What you git with Mitt

Former Massachusetts governor and savior (he's campaigning on the claim he "rescued the Olympics" and "turned around a Democratic state," according to the folks at the Concord Monitor who, I have to assume here, know whereof they speak because I, myself, am just too turned around to tell) - governor and savior, as I was saying, Mitt ("Mitt") Romney was recently seen on Faux News (and I know how hard that is to believe) by News Hounds proclaiming thusly:
"I believe the American people are over taxed and the government is overfed.

So there you have the solution for saving everything, or for getting elected, whichever comes first.

Speaking of which (speaking of Mitt ("Mitt") Romney, I mean), that "Guy Who Saved Massachusetts" thing makes a really dull campaign slogan, doesn't it? I like Jimmy Kimmel's suggestion better:
"Mitt Happens."


You've been worried about the peanut butter? Is that your problem, Bunky?

While everybody was enjoying the nice three-day weekend, the Main Stream Media announced that we’re all going to be blown up or drowned by a terrible asteroid named Apophis — that’s also the Greek name for the demon monster god of Ancient Egypt who devours all that is good and hides in the eternal evil darkness and commands an army of demons who plague mankind. (If you’re confused, just remember that Cheney is an earth monster and Apophis is a space monster.)

"When Rove leaves, the White House will have to be fumigated."

Rove has outdone Joe McCarthy in damaging America. What’s needed is a latter-day Joe Welch to confront him and ask, “Have you no sense of decency at long last?”

Last summer, when Rove accused Democrats of cutting and running, Murtha noted he was “in his air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside saying stay the course. That’s not a plan...that’s a political statement.”

Not vintage Joe Welch, but it’s a start.
(More at Connecting.the.Dots)

Riverbend is back.

In her first post from Iraq since December 31...
As I write this, Oprah is on Channel 4 (one of the MBC channels we get on Nilesat), showing Americans how to get out of debt. Her guest speaker is telling a studio full of American women who seem to have over-shopped that they could probably do with fewer designer products. As they talk about increasing incomes and fortunes, Sabrine Al-Janabi, a young Iraqi woman, is on Al Jazeera telling how Iraqi security forces abducted her from her home and raped her. You can only see her eyes, her voice is hoarse and it keeps breaking as she speaks. In the end she tells the reporter that she can’t talk about it anymore and she covers her eyes with shame.

She might just be the bravest Iraqi woman ever. Everyone knows American forces and Iraqi security forces are raping women (and men), but this is possibly the first woman who publicly comes out and tells about it using her actual name. Hearing her tell her story physically makes my heart ache. Some people will call her a liar. Others (including pro-war Iraqis) will call her a prostitute- shame on you in advance....

And yet, as the situation continues to deteriorate both for Iraqis inside and outside of Iraq, and for Americans inside Iraq, Americans in America are still debating on the state of the war and occupation- are they winning or losing? Is it better or worse.

Let me clear it up for any moron with lingering doubts: It’s worse. It’s over. You lost. You lost the day your tanks rolled into Baghdad to the cheers of your imported, American-trained monkeys. You lost every single family whose home your soldiers violated. You lost every sane, red-blooded Iraqi when the Abu Ghraib pictures came out and verified your atrocities behind prison walls as well as the ones we see in our streets. You lost when you brought murderers, looters, gangsters and militia heads to power and hailed them as Iraq’s first democratic government. You lost when a gruesome execution was dubbed your biggest accomplishment. You lost the respect and reputation you once had. You lost more than 3000 troops. That is what you lost America. I hope the oil, at least, made it worthwhile.


Yup, I can almost hear the clamor from here.

Last year, New Life Ministries, Christian group, shipped 11,000 “sexual purity” kits mainly to Iraq and Afghanistan as a defense against pornography for the troops. But increasingly, troops at home are requesting the kits. Unfortunately, the demand has outpaced New Life’s funding support (20,000 sent, and only 13,000 of them funded)….

The Department of Defense (DOD) cannot effectively protect our military from pornography and its copious adverse consequences by banning porn only in Muslim countries. The DOD needs to understand why the troops at home are ordering the “sexual purity kits” - they need homeland security from pornographers.

(More at Pandagon)

That too?

"It's not like the past," they say almost in unison. "There used to be a lot more street musicians."
(ABC News)

The woman just has no shame, huh?

The strange world of Britney Spears has got even stranger. Soon after shaving off all her hair, she donned a bizarre blonde, Marilyn Monroe-style wig and large black sunglasses to visit yet another club.

Showing no sign of craving privacy, the 25-yearold singerarrived [sic] at the Roxy nightclub on Hollywood's Sunset Strip for a karaokethemed [sic] birthday party.
Not to mention the Huffington Post.

Oh come on, Steve.

AP - Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs lambasted teacher unions today, claiming no amount of technology in the classroom would improve public schools until principals could fire bad teachers. Jobs compared schools to businesses with principals serving as CEOs. "What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in they couldn't get rid of people that they thought weren't any good?" he asked to loud applause during an education reform conference. .
Or for that matter, what kind could you get to run a country? (Yeah. See?)

Or teach evolution? Or let the kiddies read books?

I'm not saying the schools don't need work, and a lot of it. But casting a blanket of blame on "teachers unions" (or, for that matter, a blanket of happy faith in technology) is not the answer.

I'm wondering what kind of person Steve thinks he could get to run a small business on the condition he could pay employees no more than teachers' salaries.

Getting pretty close to the magic number, ya think?

The total of America's military bases in other people's countries in 2005, according to official sources, was 737....

Interestingly enough, the thirty-eight large and medium-sized American facilities spread around the globe in 2005 -- mostly air and naval bases for our bombers and fleets -- almost exactly equals Britain's thirty-six naval bases and army garrisons at its imperial zenith in 1898. The Roman Empire at its height in 117 AD required thirty-seven major bases to police its realm from Britannia to Egypt, from Hispania to Armenia. Perhaps the optimum number of major citadels and fortresses for an imperialist aspiring to dominate the world is somewhere between thirty-five and forty....

[The] numbers, although staggeringly big, do not begin to cover all the actual bases we occupy globally. The 2005 Base Structure Report fails, for instance, to mention any garrisons in Kosovo (or Serbia, of which Kosovo is still officially a province) -- even though it is the site of the huge Camp Bondsteel [*] built in 1999 and maintained ever since by the KBR corporation....

If there were an honest count, the actual size of our military empire would probably top 1,000 different bases overseas, but no one -- possibly not even the Pentagon -- knows the exact number for sure.

Excerpted from Chalmers Johnson's new book, "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic" (Metropolitan Books) by Alternet.
*WTF? Bondsteel?

Not that Gerry Ford didn't try

Just in time for President's Day, a new Gallup poll finds Abraham Lincoln now topping Ronald Reagan as the public's idea of the greatest U.S. president ever.

John F. Kennedy edges Bill Clinton for the #3 spot, with Franklin D. Roosevelt coming in at number five. George Washington can do no better than sixth. Gallup notes that respondents tend to favor president's of later vintage.
(Huffington Post)
But seriously, folks. Ronald Reagan? That's pretty weird.

Well, OK, Kennedy - who is famous mostly for getting dead* - and Clinton - who is famous mostly for getting, well, you know** - probably don't belong there either. Whatever happened to Rutherford B. Hayes?

*Sure, Kennedy also did that Bay of Pigs thing.

**And Clinton also got, well, that too. But still.

Trickshot Dick to world:

US Vice President [Trickshot] Dick Cheney was set to leave for Japan and Australia, where he will discuss these countries' roles in Iraq and Afghanistan and common challenges like China's rise and North Korea's nuclear programs....

The vice president will take pains to thank Japan and Australia for their help in Iraq and Afghanistan and may urge them to consider ways to beef up their presence in both war-torn countries, a senior US official said Friday.
(Raw Story)

Let's just not teach the kiddies to read.

That'd save us from having these interminable arguments about the naughty bits. Like, for example, in the current case, the word "scrotum." Yes!
Ms. Nilsson, reached at Sunnyside Elementary School in Durango, Colo., said she had heard from dozens of librarians who agreed with her stance. "I don't want to start an issue about censorship," she said. "But you won't find men's genitalia in quality literature."

"At least not for children," she added.

Of course in the book ("The Higher Power of Lucky," by the Newbery Medal-winning Susan Patron) it wasn't a man's genitalia, it was a dog's. And of course Ms. Nilsson wants to start an issue about censorship (Howard Stern-type shock treatment! she wailed).

But censorship is not the solution, is it? I mean, you can't just ban books because they mention body parts - where would it end? Get rid of scrotums, they'll just start writing about something else, those Howard Stern-type shock treatment anuses. Like, ankles.
“A lady’s ankle was pretty shocking stuff,” she added. “To the point they often had separate men’s and women’s staircases in Victorian houses in order not to risk the person walking behind a woman getting a glimpse of her ankle.”
(University of Texas)
No, the only answer is, just don't teach them to read. And outlaw TV.


When does Spring cleaning start?

Just a hypothetical question, is all.

If you'll pardon the expression, LOL!

Iran withdrew permission at the last minute for the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior to enter the port of Bushehr where its first nuclear reactor is under construction, the campaign group said.
(Raw Story)

Sorry, Babe. Just couldn't help myself. I can't wait to hear what the DOOFUS has to say about this.

Not extinct, but feeling seriously creeped out.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Deep in the bayous of eastern Arkansas, two robotic video cameras keep vigil for an elusive bird, aiming to capture conclusive evidence the ivory-billed woodpecker is not, as long feared, extinct.

Spend your next vacation at a thumb spa!

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Cell-phone addicts who spend hours on end sending text messages, e-mails or talking on their phone can now seek a "BlackBerry Thumb" massage for their sore hands.

Graceful Services, a New York City spa, recently began offering the massage to its cell-weary customers.

Who says there's nothing to do in Bismark, North Dakota?

Nearly 9,000 snow angels (8,910 is the exactly unofficial count) were created on the state capitol grounds, boosting Bismark back into the Guiness book for most people lying down and flopping their arms and legs around in the snow.

Given the circumstances, this would be way beyond just "cool."

Planning a trip?

Or even if you're not - check out this excellently awesome video found on a blog called Collision Detection.

And be sure to return your seat back to its original upright position.

This is kinda wonderful, isn't it?

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - US media giant Walt Disney Co. has lost a court battle in a long-running fight over the copyright of the Winnie the Pooh character, the attorney challenging the company has said.

A US federal judge in California granted Stephen Slesinger Inc., which claims the rights to Winnie the Pooh, a "summary judgment" that effectively ends Disney's efforts to take back the copyright, said attorney Barry Slotnick.

Maybe that'll teach 'em to stay away from those nasty movie download sites.

Campaign noir

I don't know - I'm a big fan of black-and-white but this John McCain campaign web site does look a little, well, grim. Just IMHO, ditching the flag motif in the banner might help.

Of course there's plenty to be grim about these days. Including John McCain.

Got Monday off this week?

Well then, you're in luck. Because you'll have a whole 'nother day to watch this excellent live Moosecam (approved by the Dull Men's Club).

OK, there may be no moose in the picture now but one could come by at any time!

Woohoo! They must have some really, really fine-looking lawns in Florida!

We have remained in Iraq for 4 years because we want a unified and secure Iraq so it won’t become a haven for terrorists. Unfortunately, it seems that the Americans want a unified and secure Iraq more than the Iraqis do.

Let me give you an analogy. Imagine that you have a next door neighbor who refuses to mow his lawn, and the weeds are up to his waist. You mow his lawn for him every single week. The neighbor never says thank you, he hates you, and sometimes he takes out a gun and shoots at you.

Under these circumstances, would you keep mowing his lawn forever? Would you send even more of your family members over to mow his lawn? Or, would you say to him, you better start mowing your own lawn or there’s going to be serious consequences for you?
- The Honorable Ric Keller, United States Congressman (R-FL)