Or maybe he's just looking for a new job, ya think?

WASHINGTON --Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, under fire at home with calls for his resignation, is spending some time in Iraq.

The Justice Department said that Gonzales arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for his third trip to Iraq to meet with department officials who have been there to help fashion the country's legal system.

(AP at Boston.com)

I mean, I've heard some pretty incredible things in the last few years but sending little Alberto to advise on how to set up a legal system? Why is this on a news page and not in the comics is what I want to know.

And the Empire's a little shaky too

Last weekend, during a GOP debate in Iowa, George Stephanopoulos noted that Bush’s alleged democracy-spreading foreign policy hasn’t exactly worked out well: “There have been free elections in Gaza; they elected Hamas. There have been free elections in Lebanon; they empowered Hezbollah. There have been free elections in Iran; they elected President Ahmadinejad.” Asked about the track record, former Gov. Mike Huckabee responded, “Sometimes when you get what you want, you don’t want what you get.”

The Carpetbagger Report

Uh huh.

And here in the Empire, well, it was cold this morning - like 50º (what is this, winter practice?) - and my poor frozen fingers stuck while the Empire's headquarters so there is YA new revision being worked on. (And that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.) Our bridges might not fall down but our pages crash.

The new one will be better. Wait and see. In the meantime the old one still works fine, it just can't be updated in its present state and who wants that. Anyway, the way it is now is too black.

(Speaking of which, I haven't figured out if it's possible to change the default background of the photo galleries to anything but black but you can do it. There are controls at the bottom of the gallery pages that change the background color - on the right - and change the page layout - on the left. Yet more work avoidance, brought to you by Yet Another Media Empire.

(It's a feature, not a bug.)

That red maple tree

That red maple tree, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Maintenance is not sexy

"Maintenance,” says one expert, “is just not sexy.” Politicians like new construction they can brag about to voters while posing for ribbon-cutting pictures.

If a bomb had blown up the Minneapolis bridge, politicians would be scurrying to throw money into something to satisfy their constituents. But time is a slow-motion terrorist, and nobody is eager to pay new taxes or tolls to prevent the disasters waiting to happen.


Ain't it the truth. The worst thing that can happen is, right when you're about to buy a new car the furnace dies. Or the roof starts to leak. Or that nice, shiny, new computer you've had your eye on turns into a hot water heater. That's cruel. Or course...

...wait. Why am I thinking the US needs a wife?


Longing for a new desktop picture, something to liven up the old PC?

Have one on the Empire.

Is that the permanent record that follows you for the rest of your life?

SAN FRANCISCO - Official reprimands issued to three high-ranking Army officers are only mildly critical of their mistakes after the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman and at times praise the officers.

The Army also said it would not include the reprimands in the officers' military records, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press....

"You should not consider this as an adverse action," letters to the officers say. "This document will not be filed in any system of records maintained by the Army."

(Yahoo News)

I'm still a little bit worried about mine. There was that time I had to stay after school...

Rules of the road

Rules of the road, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Ah, those Republicans

They just can't get enough, can they?

Voters at the [Iowa Republican] Straw Poll will dip their thumb in purple ink to indicate they have cast their ballot. "We recognize the great privilege of voting by tipping our hat to the Iraqi people who cast their first votes in a free and democratic election," Laudner explained. "Iowans will be just as proud to display their inked thumb as the newly liberated Iraqi people were."


Then surely then will all rush down to the recruiting office and sign up.

Or wait, maybe not.

(And thanks to Wonkette.)

Man, they just couldn't stick to making pastries, could they

Reports The Newshoggers:

Tiny Denmark is following in the footsteps of Canada and Russia, staking out its claim to Arctic territory in advance of global warming making the region's resources more exploitable.

Et tu, Knute?

Why does the "right" hate America so much?

The essential Blue Girl busts some blustering bozo for this bit of unadulterated balderdash:

It will take another attack on the homeland to quell the chattering of chipmunks and to restore America's righteous rage and singular purpose to prevail.

Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Bykofsky, is what I'm thinking here.

Think of it as a parlor game

It's way, way, way too early for all this presidential campaigning stuff, for a whole lot of reasons, the most important of which is this: If we really want to take big-interest money out of politics the first thing we should do is figure out a way to shorten the campaign cycle. Shorten it a lot. A whole lot. And then if they want to take money from the biggies, the candidates, let them call it what it is - not a "campaign contribution": a bribe.

Nonetheless, here for your time-wasting pleasure (and thanks to skippy): words at work's The Drop-Down Menu Candidate.

Go Kucinich, Dude, woohoo.


Just so you know

The principle URL for YAME World Headquarters is now this. The alternate URL, ted.blogsite.org, now also points to the new HQ, and the links on both blogs have been corrected. So nobody'll get too lost, right?

(And by the way, I like some of the possibilities the new HQ site offers, so it's possible there might be a blog there some day too. The Summer of Black and White won't last forever, after all. And who knows about 76003.1414 - I have resolutely avoided deciding what that's about. Or what it means.

(The problem is the new site doesn't the HQ site doesn't support Flickr and I like Flickr for the way it manages photos, but Flickr is ugly, kiddo, you have to admit. Maybe I'll just do everything both ways. We don't call that mindless repetition in the media empire world, we call it synergy and you're stuck with it.)

Saving the Internet, etc.

From SaveTheInternet via SpaceCowboy at Shakesville:

AT&T’s history of breaking trust with their customers includes handing over private phone records to the government, promising to deliver services to underserved communities and then skipping town, pledging never to interfere with the free flow of information online while hatching plans with the likes of Cisco, Viacom, RIAA and MPA to build and deploy technology that will spy on user traffic.

Whether you take Pearl Jam's story at its face value or not (and hey, I used to work for AT&T, indirectly, sorta, sorry, long time ago in an alternate universe, and since they bought Cingular I'm stuck with them again til May so, you know, like I'm saying here) it's still a good example of why it's not a good idea to turn the net over to the nabobs, Bunky, is the point. Not a good idea at all. Which is why we've been wearing a Save the Net here in the Empire for a long time.

After Congress gets done screwing this one up we may need a Save the Empire sign.

So then if you want to be a majority majority you have to be white...

...says the NYTimes in attempting to explain this curiously mind-muddling headline:

Minorities Now Form Majority in One-Third of Most-Populous Counties

Yes indeed, Bunky, just pay attention here.

“The new wave of immigration, along with its continued dispersal to the suburbs and Sun Belt, is transforming the places which are now being classified as multiethnic and majority minority,” said William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution....

...who goes on to say they're getting into the suburbs now...eeeeek!

And another day

I spent most of yesterday rebuilding my Mac and it is now pristine and pure, except that I haven't yet re-installed the app I usually use for blog posts, something called Ecto. Ecto is good, once you get it running, but getting it running with Blogger involves some kind of trick I've forgotten. So my problem is to either research the trick or go with another method of blogging, and I'm leaning toward the latter as we speak. That decision might be put off until I have time to explore the new features of .Mac, which may soon play a bigger part in the empire's affairs.

The other thing I did yesterday, BTW, was watch a movie called "Stage Beauty," which I highly recommend. It's about acting in 17th Century England and features, in a supporting role, one of the first bloggers, Samuel Pepys.

Quoth the Big Tent Democrat

Unlike most of the readership of this blog, and Democrats everywhere, I think George Herbert Walker Bush was a good President. Unlike many of you, I supported Desert Storm and thought Bush 41 did a masterful job of managing the situation, including, especially including, the decision not to continue the war to Baghdad, a much maligned decision at the time, most notably criticized by today's Neocons.


I agree. Well, maybe not so much about HW being a good President although by current standards he doesn't look too bad. But on the first gulf war. It's rare to run into people who think that was the right decision, ending the war when Bush did, and of course the quick finish of Gulf I was often cited as one of the "reasons" for Gulf II. But I thought it was right at the time and I still, you betcha, do.


Plate with pizza

Plate with pizza, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Too busy, too busy

I'm rebuilding my Mac - which is coming along nicely, thank you, but not done. So maybe by tomorrow afternoon (I have a class in the morning). Not that it really takes all that long to do, but I want to watch a movie this evening and do some other stuff too.

But it's all nice and spotlessly clean and I'm just re-installing some software and doing the prefs things, this and that.

Meanwhile, with a whole lot more space now available on the site at .Mac, YAME may be due for a little refresh, as we say in the world of geek. So stay tooned.


Man at the Wheel

Man at the Wheel, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Buying the postcard would have been easier. Cheaper, too.

I drove to Gloucester Sunday thinking it would be an easy day trip and it wasn't. It's only a little farther than New Bedford but the route goes near Boston and I hit some serious weekend traffic going east and worried about getting more of the same coming home (didn't), and then Gloucester itself was full of weekend tourists and weekend tourists' cars.

Speaking of which - cars - I'm still not so countrified I can't deal with city traffic but I hadn't seen it for a long time, not like it was yesterday, six and sometimes eight lanes of it and heavy at that, many of the cars with only one occupant (like mine) and most with no more than two, sucking gas. It's hard to avoid the conclusion we've really screwed up on mass transit. It would have been a lot easier, cheaper, probably faster and certainly less destructive to just all share a ride. Surely Gloucester would have been less clogged.

The place is bigger (I'd forgotten this) than New Bedford and more complex too. It's a two-day trip. Maybe I'll go back after Labor Day and spend a night.


Your what?

“Rudy's a very, very romantic guy,” Judith Giuliani told the magazine. “We love watching 'Sleepless in Seattle.' Can you imagine my big testosteronefactor husband doing that?”


Where was I? Oh yeah.

The LATimes reports now it's not just cars that come equipped with hot babes. Politicians do too.

Those new models look pretty good.

Link: In '08 race, a little leg may go a long way - Los Angeles Times

On this side of the fence

On this side of the fence, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

There'll always be an England

A souped-up milk float is to be used in an attempt to smash a land speed record to become the fastest milk float in the west.
Link: Ananova - Fastest milk float in the west?

Free Jimmy's book!

At the UN, Carter's Palestine Book Is Pulled, as Gaza Explains Qatar's Lebanon Objection
From somebody. Or something. I think.

Link: Inner City Press -- Investigative Journalism from the United Nations

Whoa, that didn't take long, did it?

Commander Guy wants more changes made to FISA, soon as Congress gets back from vacation. (Is the ink dry on the last set of changes yet?)

“When Congress returns in September the Intelligence committees and leaders in both parties will need to complete work on the comprehensive reforms requested by Director McConnell, including the important issue of providing meaningful liability protection to those who are alleged to have assisted our Nation following the attacks of September 11, 2001,” he said.
Wait. Alleged to have assisted our nation? Well, yeah. See, we can't say AT&T broke the law until after we pass a law that gets them off the hook. For breaking the law. Allegedly.

A note to the Dems:

Look, Dems, we really care about you, and that's why we're saying it's time to get out of the house and get a restraining order, go live in a shelter someplace where this guy can't find you, because just doing one more thing for him, just giving him six more months, ain't gonna make him play nice.

Link: The Raw Story | After wiretapping victory, Bush says he wants more authority from Congress

Got that right

I've heard not one single person who actually understands the technology say that this “modernization” [so called, of FISA] was needed. I hear legislators from time to time explaining when pressed that they had it explained to them by the administration but they don't know enough about the technology to know what it meant, and that's it. That's how it works: People who don't really know about this stuff get snowed with a load of jargon and nod thoughtfully without understanding a single word they hear. “It's all too complicated for me; I'll just trust the people who know seem to know what they're talking about.”
Link: The Sideshow August 2007 Archive

And everybody else can join an HMO

Bush: “I think our citizens will be interested to know, for example, that 7,000 community health care workers have been trained that provide about 340,000 Afghan men, women and children a month with good health care.” That’s 1% of the Afghan population.
Link: Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: Bush fully understands the angst, the agony and the sorrow that Afghan citizens feel when an innocent life is lost

Yeah, but what do they have in Arizona to put a bridge over?

In case you're wondering, you can look up your state here.

Link: Bridge Collapse - MSNBC.com

Some guys just will not stop to ask directions

(Photo from YAME's Seattle Bureau.)

Rest stop

Rest stop, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

190,000 missing weapons “seepage”

“They really have no idea where they are,” said Rachel Stohl, a senior analyst at the Center for Defense Information who has studied small-arms trade and received Pentagon briefings on the issue. “It likely means that the United States is unintentionally providing weapons to bad actors.”...

Stohl said insurgents frequently use small-arms fire to force military convoys to move in a particular direction — often toward roadside bombs. She noted that the Bush administration frequently complains that Iran and Syria are supplying insurgents but has paid little attention to whether U.S. military errors inadvertently play a role. “We know there is seepage and very little is being done to address the problem,” she said.
It's sounding more like New Orleans all time.

Link: ‘They really have no idea where they are’ - The Carpetbagger Report


I don't know, Bunky, there's just something about this headline that...ya know what I mean? Let's not even think about it, OK?

Illinois uncorked
Link: Illinois uncorked :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Food

E-voting study in Florida

Schneier hits the high low points (click below).

Link: Schneier on Security: Florida E-Voting Study

PS: I won't mention this because, you know, it would be awful if it gave anybody any bad, evil ideas, my lips are sealed, mum's the word, but these are the guys who make freakin' ATM machines.

On second thought, let's stay in

I'm not saying it's a good idea here, Bunky...

...but watching guys like William Kristol at least makes it easier to understand why the French became infatuated by the guillotine.

On supplying arms to insurgents

The Pentagon has lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to a new government report, raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq.
Ya think?

Some $2. 8 billion, the GAO says, has been spent on buying and delivering equipment to the Iraqi security forces, not all on assault rifles and pistols, one supposes, but, as the great Ev Dirksen once famously said, a million here, a million there, pretty soon you're talking about real money.

The general in charge of the sloppy US distribution program was, turns out, some guy named Patraeus.

Link: Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing - washingtonpost.com


What are the odds?

SURF CITY, N.J. (AP) - The Army Corps of Engineers...accidentally dumped sand filled with old military ordnance on Surf City's beach....

According to [Corps spokesman Khaalid] Walls, the Army Corps unwittingly took sand from an offshore site where the military had dumped explosives decades ago.....

It's unlikely that one of the explosives would ever detonate...said Keith Watson, the Army Corps' project manager.
Also, it's unlikely these levees will ever break and unlikely this bridge will fall into the river. Also...oh, never mind.

(It gets better: The Army wants the city to help pay for cleaning up the beach. “All our projects are cost-shared,” says Walls.)

Link: My Way News - Army Corps Dumps Old Bombs, Charges Town

File under Paragraphs We Never Finished Reading

The next president has got to chose a vice president as skilled as Cheney and a team as experienced as that which was around President Bush after 9/11 if only because the scale of the responsibility is so great and the need for clear thinking so profound....
Link: Crooks and Liars » I bet you are wondering what Mitt’s personal blogger thinks about his Hezbollah-health care model

Republicans: The farmers' friends

Unsurprisingly, poppy production in Afghanistan has risen again this year, with the country now supplying 95% of the world's crop.
Link: The Newshoggers: Poppies

Chris Dodd sort of explains something, kinda

In an interview by Glenn Greenwald discussed at TalkLeft (below) Chris Dodd (CD) comes up with this:

GG: Can you describe what you think it is that motivated 16 of your colleagues in the Democratic caucus to vote in favor of this bill?

CD: No, I really can't . . . We had caucuses during the day, so everyone knew what was there. You had a vote at 10:00 at night, people say I didn't know what was there, then normally I can understand, but we had a caucus during the day. There was a lot of conversation about it.
Well yeah, but...whoa. Let's rewind that.

people say I didn't know what was there, then normally I can understand
Maybe you can understand but the idea that these guys are passing bills (and we know they are) when they don't know what's in them is not OK with me, Dude. I mean, Dodd. I mean, that's got to stop.
Link: Chris Dodd on the FISA Capitulation - TalkLeft: The Politics Of Crime

Naked terror, oh oh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 22-year-old man who was “not fully clothed” jumped the north fence into the White House grounds on Sunday and was immediately apprehended, the U.S. Secret Service said.
Of course with the recently posted White House rules “not fully clothed” could mean wearing flip-flops. So who knows how scared to be?

Link: “Not fully clothed” man jumps White House fence | US News | Reuters.com

Something to keep in mind when you trade up

Bridge, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

How high is the bridge? (This one's in Gloucester, MA.)