Got that right, skippy

seems they're more concerned with electing more democrats than actually doing something for the country.
Link: skippy the bush kangaroo: export subsidies for tobacco

Alright! The end of the world!

Finally! After so many false alarms, I'd almost given up waiting. But this is it, right here.

The Saturday Early Show consulted with child psychiatrist Dr. Melvin Oatis for some advice on how to handle this unhappy phase.
And what unhappy phase might that be, you ask? Why, it's the terrible depression your kid will feel after reading the last - the very last - Harry Potter book.

No kidding. Hey, I'm still grieving for Jack London, myself. If I had a TV, I'd ask the Saturday Early Show for a geezer shrink.

Link: They Were Wild About “Harry,” Now What?, Child Psychiatrist On Helping Kids Who Grew Up With the Child Wizard Deal With Post-Pottermania - CBS News

Chasing the last sun

Chasing the last sun, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Balloon moon

Balloon moon, originally uploaded by tedcompton.


Read this, and go back to bed

The Iraq war has been an amazing success, global warming is just a myth and Guantanamo Bay is practically a holiday camp. The annual cruise organized by the 'National Review,' mouthpiece of right-wing America, is a parallel universe populated by straight-talking, gun-toting, God-fearing Republicans.
That's what I'm doing. I don't care.

Link: AlterNet: Neocons on a Cruise: What Conservatives Say When They Think We Aren't Listening

So then the judge is saying...

...outing Valerie Plame was about discrediting her husband, Joe Wilson.

Though the way they sought to discredit Mr. Wilson may have been “highly unsavory,” the judge said, “there can be no serious dispute that the act of rebutting public criticism, such as that levied by Mr. Wilson against the Bush administration’s handling of prewar foreign intelligence, by speaking with members of the press is within the scope of defendants’ duties as high-level executive branch officials.”
Link: Cheney Wins Dismissal of Suit Brought by Valerie Wilson - New York Times

Let's not rush in to this September thing, say brass

WASHINGTON, July 19 — The top commanders in Iraq and the American ambassador to Baghdad appealed for more time beyond their mid-September assessment to more fully judge if the new strategy was making gains.
Link: U.S. Generals Request Delay in Judging Iraq - New York Times

Maybe they figure there's not all that much long term left to worry about

From Maria Bartiromo's interview of Condi Rice in the current issue of BusinessWeek:

MB: Would you consider a position in business or on Wall Street?

CR: I don't know what I'll do long-term. I'm a terrible long-term planner.
Link: Talking Points Memo | Now She tells us


Emergency! Put on your pants!

BRATTLEBORO, Vermont (Reuters) - A Vermont town that is gaining national attention for brash displays of nudity -- from teens in the buff to naked elderly people -- awoke on Wednesday to an emergency ban on nakedness in most public places.
Well, it's only a 30-day ban. So far. But what are the odds.

Seems nobody complained to much about people running around bare-ass as long as said people were teenieboppers, but when a couple of dried-up old geezers (tourists, even!) got into the act everybody went eeeeeeeew.

Nudity, pronounced Heather Birmingham, a hair cutter at Harold & Son's Barbershop, “does rub some people the wrong way.” Not that Heather supports the ban, you understand. “This whole town is about peace and about being your own person. So if it is, then why isn't nudity accepted?” she asks.


Link: Vermont town bans public nudity after brash displays - Yahoo! News

At least we finally know where the disturbance in the Force was coming from

Weeks after claiming that it was not a part of the executive branch, the Office of Vice President Dick Cheney appears to be readying an independent assertion of executive privilege.
Link: The Raw Story | Cheney's office implies it has executive privilege of its own

Guy builds brothel in basement, wife finds out


Flush with wealth from Broadcom Corp.'s 1998 public stock offering, computer chip magnate Henry T. Nicholas III made a few additions to his equestrian estate in Laguna Hills: hidden doors and secret levers, an underground grotto, tunnels and a 2,000-square-foot sports bar he called “Nick's Cafe.”

But there was more, according to a claim made in court documents: plans for a “secret and convenient lair” with hidden entries for Nicholas to indulge his “manic obsession with prostitutes” and “addiction to cocaine and Ecstasy.”

The filing in Orange County Superior Court added that Nicholas had the interior built in warehouse space nearby, which became his “personal brothel” until his wife caught him having sex with a prostitute there.
Should have settled for a wet bar and a TV.

Link: Billionaire sought secret lair for sex, drugs, complaint says - Los Angeles Times


Digital shoplifting, OMG!

Core favorite We Make Money Not Art pointed the way recently, via an interview with artist Paolo Cirio, to a new “crime” reaching epidemic proportions in the shops and newsstands of Japan: Digital Shoplifting....

The Japanese Magazine Publishers Association is describing the common practice of shooting and sending snapshots of cute dress and hairstyle layouts in magazines as “information theft....”
Nobody should be allowed to look at anything unless they've paid for it (except No Looking signs).

Or maybe we should have some sort of eye tax.

Or better yet, maybe we ought to just go ahead and look at anything we damn well please. And listen, too.

Link: Digital Shoplifting: You knew it had to happen eventually

I can hear it now: Chanting crowds, an organ on the PA...

...we will, we will help you!
Oh yeah. And then everybody eats hot dogs with lots of stadium mustard.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Like the maker of an out-of-favor car or sneaker, the U.S. military needs a new “branding” campaign to earn civilian support in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots, a report for the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

“We will help you” could be the pitch, said the 211-page survey by RAND Corp., a nonprofit research group that carries out many studies for the Defense Department.
OK! And let's not forget New! and Improved!

“Like commercial firms that must update unattractive brand identities, so too should the United States consider updating its military's brand identity to suit current and future operational environments,” the report said.
And how about Concentrated!

The Norfolk, Virginia-based Joint Forces Command will use the study to explore possible responses to “current urban challenges,” said Duane Schattle, director of the command's Joint Urban Operations Office.
If those advertising guys can sell Volvos, how tough would it be to sell a little bombing raid?

Link: U.S. military urged to revise tarnished brand | Politics | Reuters

Because everybody knows it's the swing states Al Qaeda hates most

For the second year in a row, Massachusetts will see a sharp decline in the amount of federal money it receives to help cities and towns buy equipment and train emergency workers for possible terrorist attacks, according to a law enforcement official briefed by the US Department of Homeland Security.
Link: Antiterror aid to Mass. drops again - The Boston Globe


Is there a zebra in the house?

Security conditions in Iraq prevented Bachmann from meeting any Iraqis, leaving the Green Zone or staying in Iraq overnight. She and other congressional members were required to wear full body armor, including Kevlar helmets, during the entire trip, she said.
We need a call here. Does a Congresscritter's whole en-freakin-tire body have to be inside Iraq before he, or in this case, she can say she's been there? Or does she just have to get a fingertip or toe across the line, like in football? And does she have to stay there for any minimum amount of time? I mean, like, if the airplane just lands and takes off again, does that count? Do the wheels have to come to a stop?

I mean, I figure we're paying the travel voucher here, so we really ought to know.

Link: Pam's House Blend:: Bachmann: give Dear Leader's surge more time

Sorta sounds like...

...something written by a 1950s-era Midwestern English professor in decline, I think:

He hit the last curve at 85 and it felt like making love to the highway, German-engineered suspension tenderly caressing the tarmac, licking the yellow line. And afterward, after it was finished, the road. sated, lay back straight and good for 300 miles to the bridge.
OK, serious decline.

Cool it, Bunky

Cruzin Cooler combines two basic necessities of life, the ability to have cold food or a beverage handy along with the means to get somewhere, without walking.
All it needs is a broadband connection to be perfect.

(And a hat tip to the Seattle bureau for this one.)

Link: Welcome to CruzinCooler.com - Home of the Cruzin Cooler


Hire this man

LARGO, Fla. (AP) -- A 38-year-old man was arrested after he called 911 and told a dispatcher he was surrounded by police officers and needed help, authorities said.
How's that for thinking outside the box? Or outside the bar, at least.

Link: ABQjournal News: The Associated Press

Some projects...

...were just not meant to be easy and the project I had hoped to finish on the weekend went way, or at least a day, beyond. But it now appears to be done, ready to be trundled off to the printer in the morning. And what I need now, to celebrate, is some stinky cheese. Alas.

Stinky cheese is what my Grandpa used to call it - it was a soft, spreadable cheese made in Van Wert, Ohio, called Liederkranz. And yes, it was stinky. Really stinky. And good.

But I haven't seen the stuff in years: the Liederkranz company, or whatever it was called, is gone. Defunct. Kaput.

So I'll just have to snuggle up with my iPod, I guess. And maybe eat a cracker or two, without.

See, here's the problem

Raw Story headlines...

Toxic dorms await college students
What's up with that? In my day it was the students who were toxic.

Come on, kids, let's try a little harder, OK?

Link: The Raw Story | A rational voice - Alternative news