McCain figures you're fried on something

Yesterday on CNN, host Kiran Chetry suggested to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that he’s been unfairly “painted as being a huge supporter of the president’s Iraq strategy. Is that an accurate portrayal?” she asked.

McCain responded that “life isn’t fair” because, in reality, he’s been “the greatest critic of the initial four years” of war.

(Think Progress)

Fair time

Fair time, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

YA red

YA red, originally uploaded by tedcompton.


I'm sorta getting in to this

Mr. Rove, President Bush’s political adviser, has been criticizing Mrs. Clinton since Monday, when he announced his intention to resign from the White House and coupled it with candid analysis, notably, calling Mrs. Clinton a “fatally flawed” presidential candidate.

Mrs. Clinton, of New York, and her advisers have denounced the attacks while privately welcoming them, hopeful that Mr. Rove, a bête noire to Democrats, will spur liberal skeptics of Mrs. Clinton to rally to her.

(Rove Steps Up His Attacks on Clinton’s Candidacy - NYTimes)

Because, see, she thinks you think if Rove thinks she's no good, you think she is. But Rove thinks if you think she thinks you think if Rove thinks she's no good Rove might just be, well, trying to trick you (what are the odds?) into thinking she's dangerous, because if you think he's trying to trick you, well, he has. If you see what I mean.

You see what I mean? Please explain.

Doesn't take much to keep these guys amused, does it?

The United States on Friday shrugged off Russia's decision to resume long-range strategic bomber flights, merely saying it was an "interesting" move.

"If Russia feels as though they want to take some of these old aircraft out of mothballs and get them flying again that's their decision," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

(US shrugs off Russia's resumption of strategic air patrols - AFP)

OK, babe. As long as they don't start dropping any old bombs.


Thistle, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Whatever you do, Bunky, do not behave

“Specially trained security personnel” will be watching passengers for “micro-expressions” that will reveal treacherous agendas and insidious intentions at airports around the country. These agents, who may literally hold your fate in their hands have been given a lofty, Orwellian name: "Behavior Detection Officers."

(Smile … Or Else - Newsweek)

Coming hard on the heels of the Padilla conviction for talking about eggplant (never heard of the stuff myself) and football (not me!) this sounds grim. But - let's be clear about this, Bunky - not downright disgusting:

These experts have determined that fear and disgust are the key things to look for...

What, Haliburton doesn't make these things?

PEARLAND — Korean War veteran Nyles Reed, 75, opened an envelope last week to learn a Purple Heart had been approved for injuries he sustained as a Marine on June 22, 1952.

But there was no medal. Just a certificate and a form stating that the medal was "out of stock."

(Short of Purple Hearts, Navy tells vet to buy own - Houston Chronicle)

DOD outperforms legions of spooky, evil bloggers in spilling beans

For years, members of the military brass have been warning that soldiers' blogs could pose a security threat by leaking sensitive wartime information. But a series of online audits, conducted by the Army, suggests that official Defense Department websites post far more potentially-harmful than blogs do.

The audits, performed by the Army Web Risk Assessment Cell between January 2006 and January 2007, found at least 1,813 violations of operational security policy on 878 official military websites. In contrast, the 10-man, Manassas, Virginia, unit discovered 28 breaches, at most, on 594 individual blogs during the same period.

(Army Audits: Official Sites, Not Blogs, Breach Security - Danger Room)

Who woulda freakin' thunk. (Hint: Not DOD.)

Ooops, correction: Strike "evil." Sorry, spooks.

In the park

In the park, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Woohoo! Be nice to your librarian!

And shut up.

From the General Laws of Massachusetts:




Chapter 272: Section 41. Disturbance of libraries

Section 41. Whoever wilfully disturbs persons assembled in a public library, or a reading room connected therewith, by making a noise or in any other manner during the time when such library or reading room is open to the public shall be punished as provided in the preceding section.

The previous section, which has to do with alcohol on school property, provides for "imprisonment for not more than thirty days or by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars, or both."

Jurassicpork on Padilla

...the same thing could happen to you some day if the NSA or FBI overhears you say the word “zucchini” to someone of Middle Eastern descent or someone points a gnarled finger at you and whispers, “Terrorist” like some bad movie about the Salem witch trials.

(Blue Earth, Black Eye - Welcome to Pottersville)


High and dry in M!chigan

Water levels in the three upper Great Lakes are wavering far below normal, and experts expect Lake Superior, the northernmost lake, to reach a record low in the next two months, according to data from the international bodies that monitor the Great Lakes, the world’s largest freshwater reservoir....

One-third of the Michigan boat ramps are unusable.

(Water Levels in 3 Great Lakes Dip Far Below Normal - NYTimes)

Michigan has more registered boats than any other state - it's said that nobody in Michigan lives more than an hour from a body of water, four of which are Great (and when we say great we mean grrrreat) Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie). And the way things stand now, maybe more grumpy people too.

Feeling too safe? Is that what's got you down, Bunky?

Well head on over to the Cheese Enforcement Agency's website and add a little color (coding) to your life.


Sic transit gloria

Entry found in the diary of a German officer killed at Anzio:

"American parachutists -- devils in baggy pants -- are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere..."

(Strike Hold)

No more. From Wired's Danger Room comes news of "3-D, 'whole body scanners'" that makes sure every trooper's uniform fits just right ("Nobody wants a baggy uniform, of course," explains Danger Room's Noah Shachtman). So maybe some future diary will record, "They're just big meanies but they look sooooo good!"


Untitled, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Truth in advertising: "Force protection" guys get it on

Bearing the oh-so-precious slogan of "protect your gun at all times," A.L.S Technologies was handing out bright blue condoms at this week's Force Protection Equipment Demonstration in Quantico, a "can't miss" defense show.

(Newest Defense Swag: Condoms - Danger Room)

Oh yeah, Bunky. "Large Caliber Muzzle Protectors," we're not kidding here. At the force protection (get it? huh? huh?) show.

Listen up, men: Don't be fooled. What they're really trying to say is play with ours.

There'll always be an England

Talk about multi-tasking! A London police officer has been acquitted of improper behavior for having sex with a stranger while on duty because he was wearing his earpiece at the time.

(Protected Sex for First Responders - Connecting.the.Dots)

But it was all the mower's fault, really it was

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Danny Fendley started more than just his lawn mower when he tugged at its pull cord -- he started a fire that destroyed his home....

Then his wife tried to toss a can of gasoline out a window as the blaze spread, but she missed, spreading the fuel ''everywhere,'' he said.

(Exploding mower destroys suburban Atlanta house - Chicago Sun-Times)

Anyway, what's the point in suing your wife?


Try to look surprised

The U.S. is building on Saddam's databases to assemble biometric files and national ID cards for hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. American military officials say it's a crucial step towards getting a handle on who the bad guys are in Iraq. But groups like the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) spooked -- in a sectarian civil war, they argue, a biometric identification can suddenly become a death warrant.

Today, in a blogger's conference call, Lieutenant Colonel John Velliquette, the biometrics manager in Iraq for the "Coalition Police Assistance Training Team," said he was worried, too.

(Iraq's Biometric Database Could Become "Hit List": Army - Wired: Danger Room)

Yeah, but one walked through a little while ago, says Faux babe

Faux News reporter Courtney Keely, like John McCain before her, made a total ass of herself by claiming that the “surge” is working because she is able to visit a Baghdad market surrounded by even more US soldiers than McCain had for his visit. As you can see in the video (and the pic above), there are so many soldiers surrounding her that it looks like a freaking USO nightclub — you can’t see a single Iraqi!

(Fox Reporter: The Battalion of US Soldiers Enveloping Me Proves the Surge Is Working - Brave New Films)

Click the link. The video is worth the look.

In or out

In or out, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Internet like a mosque, or maybe a bookstore

NEW YORK (AP) -- Average citizens who quietly band together and adopt radical ways -- not just established overseas terrorist groups like al-Qaida -- pose a serious threat to American security, a new police analysis has concluded.

The New York Police Department report, to be released later today, describes a radicalization process in which young Muslim immigrants, frustrated with their lives in their adopted country, slowly adopt a philosophy that puts them on the path to jihad. The men meet and share ideas not only in mosques, but in bookstores and over the Internet, it says.

(NYPD warns of homegrown terrorism - Morris County (NJ) Daily Record)


Leroy Greer is a bit of a romantic. He sent a dozen roses and a teddy bear to his girlfriend, with a card reading "Just wanted to say I love you".

Unfortunately the florist sent the receipt to his wife....

Divorce proceedings followed swiftly.

(US Florist sued after red roses lead to divorce - Telegraph.co.uk)

Buy tinfoil

Local and federal agencies are to have vastly expanded access to information gathered from spy satellites in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports.

Information from "some of the U.S.'s most powerful intelligence-gathering tools" will soon be at the disposal of a wide array of law enforcement agencies at all levels of government, reports Robert Block in the Journal Wednesday. Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell decided to increase access to the spy data earlier this year and asked Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to facilitate access to the spy data by civilian agencies and law enforcement.

(US spy satellites to be used on Americans - Raw Story)

Mitt ("Mitt") Romney yearns for the simple life

BOSTON - Asked about abortion rights last week, Mitt Romney grew exasperated and said: "I'm pro-life; it would be great if we could just leave it at that."

(AP via Yahoo! News)

But, of course, we can't.

The spin: Rove a myth

Nonetheless, myth or no, "Rove is the greatest political mind of his generation and probably of any generation," infused with (you gotta love this stuff) "lofty goals," blathers Fred Barnes, nutjob editor of the nutjob Weekly Standard (here via Yahoo! News). It was Rove, Barnes enthuses, who got Bush to run as "a different kind of Republican" in 2000 (different from Gingrich and DeLay, he helpfully explains) and devised a brilliant strategy to win in 2004 by creating "an army of several million enthusiastic volunteers" (the only kind of army most of them will ever see) to turn out Republican votes (or at least ballots) and give Commander Guy a second term.

Why, Barnes says, if it hadn't been for that pesky Iraq thing (a war that was "going poorly" in '04, he explains) we'd probably all be happy, cozy Rs by now, and all because Rove influenced the party in "ways that allowed it to grow."

That ain't a myth, Dude, that's a horror story.


August afternoon

August afternoon, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

No wonder it's been so cool here!

GLOUCESTER, Mass. --Thousands of pounds of ice originally sent to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts are being melted after being stored in Gloucester for two years.

A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman told the Gloucester Daily Times that the ice held at Americold Logistics and at 22 similar facilities nationwide is being melted to dispose of it for health reasons. The cost of storing the ice at all the facilities since Katrina is $12.5 million.

(Katrina ice being melted after two years - Boston.com)

Heckuva job, Brownie! Thanks!

Go to China, be fish food

Boing Boing picks this one up:

According to this article in a Chinese newspaper, beauty-seekers in Southern China (and other parts of the world) are soaking themselves in pools filled with a type of small fish that eat human skin.

Yeah. Really. Get nibbled. How's that sound?

We must be running out of sins

At a time when Chicagoans are bracing for post-election tax increases to close a $217 million budget gap, Ald. George Cardenas (12th) said he can think of no better or more lucrative idea to add to the menu than a bottled water tax.

(Bottled water tax on tap? - Chicago Sun-Times)

I've heard of sin taxes - but on water? What's next? Bootleggers? Watereasies? We are talking Chicago here, after all.

Where's Al Capone when we need him?

Who knew?

The surgeon general wears a uniform because the organization of which she is the chief, the U.S. Public Health Service, is a uniformed service. So are mail carriers, you may say, but the postmaster general doesn't get to dress like Horatio Hornblower. The difference is that the PHS began as the Marine Hospital Service, which was organized along military lines in 1870 to minister to merchant sailors. The members were (and still are) given military-style commissions and naval-style ranks, the idea being that they were a mobile force ready to be thrown into the fray wherever germs raised their ugly little heads. One supposes the fact that MHS doctors often served alongside regular military personnel (e.g., in military camps during wars) and sometimes had to order them around also argued for ranks and uniforms. The Marine Hospital Service was reorganized as the Public Health Service in 1912 and transferred to what is now the Department of Health and Human Services, but the military trappings remain.

(The Straight Dope)

And what about the attorney general? "General" is an adjective in that title, explained William Safire in a 2003 column:

Is it right and proper to call an attorney general "General"?

The answer is no. Any attorney general, national or state, who demands to be called "General" is guilty of nominally impersonating an officer, an offense almost as horrendous as aggravated mopery.

Sorry, Alberto. Wrong again.

Say it isn't so, Bunky

In early August, for instance, the Aurea campaign got under way with a seven-page insert in Vogue in Britain. The print ads, shot by a fashion photographer, Vincent Peters, show a model cozying up to a brightly lighted Aurea screen that mirrors her image.

They're using sexy girls to sell TV sets now?

“There is a lot of female coding in this advertising,” said Laura Jones, global client managing director at the advertising agency DDB, a unit of Omnicom Group, which worked on the Aurea campaign along with the media planning agency Carat. “Before, televisions have always been sold based on pixels or that sort of thing.”

(Selling Television Sets by Turning Up the Glamour - NYTimes)

Yeah. Pixels and that sort of thing. What's wrong with pixels and that sort of thing? What are we going to do without our pixels and that sort of thing?

It's never a slow news day at Faux

He may be homeless, wandering, carting around three school-aged kids, but Michael Jackson has a new friend: former imprisoned crack addict and Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry. And that's good in a way because he is being sued by an old friend, Prince Abdullah of Bahrain.

(Michael Jackson Sued by Bahraini Prince - Fox411)



Guy gets caught stopping to ask directions near Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1939.

(Photo: Library of Congress call number LC-USF33-012449-M3)

Oooo, that's gotta smart

A Central Florida man who crashed his new $400,000 Lamborghini only hours after getting behind the wheel has been charged with drunken driving, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

(Man Arrested After Crashingnew $400,000 Lamborghini - local6.com)

I mean, you know, getting a ticket and all.

Wait a minute

Prosecutors want jurors to convict Padilla largely on a five-page "mujahedeen data form" he supposedly filled out in 2000 to attend an al-Qaida terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. Padilla, a U.S. citizen, was held as an enemy combatant for 3 1/2 years.

(Gov't says Padilla 'star recruit' - AP via Yahoo! News)

Mujahedeed data form? That sounds like something you send in three boxtops and a buck for, doesn't it? Sort of like my Sky King decoder ring.

Oooops. I don't have it any more, FBI. Honest.

Your tax dollars at work

But that Stan's no dummy, huh?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - With large swaths of the Gulf Coast still in ruins from Hurricane Katrina, rich federal tax breaks designed to spur rebuilding are flowing hundreds of miles inland to investors who are buying up luxury condos near the University of Alabama's football stadium....

"It is a joke," said Tuscaloosa developer Stan Pate, who has nevertheless used GO Zone tax breaks on projects that include a new hotel and a restaurant.

(Katrina aid goes toward football condos - AP via Yahoo! News)

The duck of ducks, Bunky...

...is here.

(And thanks to Spiiderweb™)

Investigation turns up...huh?

A yearlong investigation by the state inspector general and the Registry of Motor Vehicles has turned up widespread abuse of the placards that allow people with disabilities to park all day in designated spots and free of charge at meters across the state.

(Many use handicap permits illegally - Boston Globe)

Who knew?


In terms of sheer speed, power and history-making levels of engineering excess, the Bugatti Veyron is a success. Bugatti’s parent, Volkswagen, set out to build the fastest production car in the world, and it did. There is a photo of the thing right there in the 2007 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, under the heading, Fastest Production Car. It is said to achieve a top speed of 253 miles an hour, and that’s faster than any production car ever.

(Volkswagen's Wildest Bug - NYTimes)

Buy one in a country where the speed limit is 65? (OK, right, it's not really 65. Nobody knows what it really is. And how much sense does that make? But - I'm just thinking here - it's probably somewhere under 150. Or so.)

And so's yer avitar

"We confronted him about it and his basic response was, 'What are you going to do? Sue me?'" Alderman said. "I guess the mentality is that because you're an avatar ... that you are untouchable. The purpose of this suit is not only to protect our income and our product, but also to show, yes, you can be prosecuted and brought to justice."

('Second Life' Sex Program Spawns Lawsuit' - AP)

So then, like, what? Some make-believe lawyer hauls you into a make-believe court and then you get put in a make-believe hoosegow until somebody sells you a Get Out of Jail Free card for real make-believe cash? (Or do they have make-believe IOUs?)

There are, Bunky, some advantages to being a geezer, and one of them is not having to join Second Life.


Gotta be red

Gotta be red, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Paul (or Ron, either way) "encouraged"

A bunch of hippies Republicans (and bloggers!) descended on Iowa recently to catapult Texas Congressman Ron ("His Momma Gave Him Two First Names") Paul into fifth - fifth! - place in some make-believe election they held there. In Iowa, I mean.

Des Moines Register columnist David Yepsin, who attended the straw poll in Ames, Iowa, said Paul's supporters "won the visibility wars," and bloggers at National Review Online's The Corner noted the large number of anti-war Republicans who had come to support the Texas congressman.

(Raw Story)

First place went to - you're gonna be amazed when I tell you - Mitt ("But Not a Pretty Boy Like That John Edwards Guy") Romney, the guy Republicans vote for while fantasizing about Fred Thompson's wife. Go figure that.

In the meantime Huckabee is happy, Brownback (not wetback) is bummed, and John ("10th Place") McCain is a loser. Giuliani chickened out.

"The political significance of this event was questionable," explains the NYTimes, right on top of things as always.

Ah, the nostalgia

A YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

And they got away with labeling John Kerry as a flip-flopper.