Oh no!

Now we're getting kicked out of Kenya?

The elders said if they did not get an apology, they would demand the expulsion of US troops based near the town of Garissa in their region.

[From TRIBES RAGE AT HILL - New York Post]

And speaking of Hillary - Oh wait, I wasn't speaking of Hillary, that was the New York Post, but still - don't they have an answering service at the White House? What would she be doing answering the phone at 3 AM? Unless it was 3 AM in some other time zone, I mean. In which case, why was that lazy kid still in bed? I'm confused.

When it comes to sniffing out problems in real estate deals...

SAN ANTONIO -- The trial of alleged influence peddler Tony Rezko starts Monday in Chicago, and the Clinton campaign Friday said the number of questions still unanswered about the relationship between Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Rezko are "staggering."

[From Seeing red, Rezko in Texas :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Lynn Sweet]

Oh well. The Sun-Times runs this piece by columnist Lynn Sweet under the hed "Seeing red, Rezko in Texas," which makes no sense to me at all.

The party scene in Huntley, Illinois

A Huntley pub faces a hearing Saturday before a village commission on a complaint filed after an underage drinker passed out last year in a portable toilet at the pub's annual Turkey Testicle Festival, a popular fundraiser for local charities, officials said.

[From Pub known for turkey testicle festival faces license suspension -- chicagotribune.com]



So I'm fooling around with Vista here (moi!) and logged into Windows Live ("You could win a free Zune!"...Oh be still my heart) and I find this page of widgets, gadgets, whatever thingies to put on my very own desktop so I figure, you know, hey. I pick one and click on "Download" and a big window pops up, says "OMG this could destroy your computer, ruin your life, melt your butter, are you sure you want to do this?" I say no.

I click on another, same thing. Two or three more, same thing every time. I give up. Decide to try something else.

In class I tell people about Zoho, Thinkfree, stuff like that, so they can have a word processor to use if they don't have Word themselves at home, so I log into my own Zoho account - I've never used it myself in Windows! before - and I notice a Zoho plug-in for Office so I download it, click "Install" or whatever. Windows says "OMG are you kidding? This could destroy your computer...." Again. I give up.

So I'm sitting here just feeling lucky to have escaped with my life.

I guess I'll just, I don't know, type some stuff in Notepad for a while. That ought to be safe.

Georgie needs another look at Puti's eyes

WASHINGTON - Like the rest of an anxious world, President Bush said Thursday he's waiting to see who will wield the real power in Russia after next month's elections — departing President Vladimir Putin or his hand-picked successor Dmitry Medvedev.

[From The Raw Story | Bush says new Russian leader a mystery]

Oil hits record high, dollar record low, but irony holds steady at normal

Oil traded at $103.05 in Asia earlier today.

The US Dollar index hits a record low.

But where irony is concerned, just more of the same.

Bush told reporters that in order for the use of renewable sources of energy - such as corn- and switchgrass-based ethanol - to become widespread, the country needs to increase domestic oil production and build new refineries.

[From Bush promotes tax cuts, domestic oil and gas production - Feb. 28, 2008]

It's gonna be a long, long year

NEW YORK - Four more aspiring singers failed to convince viewers that they have what it takes to win the star-making talent contest "American Idol."

[From 'American Idol' cuts 4 more contestants - Yahoo! News]

All this and "debates" too.


One million terrorists: Coming soon to an airport near you

More that 900,000 people are currently listed as suspected terrorists on the US government's "do not fly" list, and that number will grow to beyond 1 million by summer, says the American Civil Liberties Union.

"If there were a million terrorists in this country, our cities would be in ruins," Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program, stated in a press release from the group. "The absurd bloating of the terrorist watch lists is yet another example of how incompetence by our security apparatus threatens our rights without offering any real security."

[From The Raw Story | ACLU calls out US over 'absurd bloating' of terror watch list ]


[GOP] party aides are griping to Roll Call that a surge in donations from telephone and Internet providers has failed to materialize.

[From The Raw Story | GOP 'discouraged' at lack of telecom donations to reward immunity support]

Winter sky

Winter sky, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

It's the Foxbots you have to look out for

Yesterday, Fox posted a scaremongering story entitled Scientist: Terrorists May Use Robots in Future Attacks. The story relies on the incredibly lazy “journalism” of simply reporting on a press release and embellishing it with a few facts the reporter no doubt gathered by typing the word “robot” into Google.

[From Scholars and Rogues » Fox News says terrorists are sending killer robots after us!]

Dude, this is really scary stuff. I am unplugging my vacuum cleaner now.

No, actually, it doesn't

In 2006, 67 people were killed in Compton. What that means is that if Compton were the size of Basra, it would have had 1,139 murders in 2006.

[From Basra and Compton | The Agonist]

And yes I do understand what a rate is. If Compton (that's in California) were the size of Basra it would be far bigger - some 17 times bigger by this guy's - Alex Thurston's - numbers and a far, far different place than it is. And there's no telling what it would be like then. Newark (that's in New Jersey), in Thurston's words "another dangerous American city," about double Compton's size, is by Thurston's calculation safer than Basra, so why not argue that cities get safer as they grow and by the time Compton got to Basra's size there'd be no crime at all?

Yeah, I know, that doesn't make sense. Either. But what might make sense is to point out that Basra, unlike Compton or Newark, has suffered an invasion by a foreign power and a five-year occupation, which makes it very different from any American city right there.

Thurston, writing at The Agonst, argues somewhat torturously that, in the name of pragmatism, the British should complete their withdrawal from Basra since...

...once violence reaches first world levels, occupation becomes hard to justify. We don't, after all, have occupying forces in Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Pakistan - or Compton.

...although Thurston, himself, having it both ways, believes "almost all violence is unacceptable." Or almost both ways, that is.

I don't know if the British should pull out of Basra or not but basing that decision on the claim that Basra is now safer than Compton (but more dangerous than Newark) and the US (remember, it's the Brits doing the pulling out here) doesn't have an occupying army in Sri Lanka seems, well, pretty lame to me.


I'm wondering why this AP story about a jewelry store robbery in Milan has a picture of Tilda Swinton with it and...hey!

The bags of jewels stolen Sunday from Damiani — maker of the diamond bracelet that graced Oscar winner Tilda Swinton's wrist...

[From Milan thieves make off with jewels - Yahoo! News]

Alright! Turns out a lot of this jeweler's stuff didn't get stolen because it was, at that very minute, being worn by a bunch of movie stars to the Oscars. Woohoo! Is that a stroke of luck or what? Also some of it was in Japan.

And BTW, just so you know, these burglars apparently do not bother with the pearls. So if pearls are all you've got, you don't have to worry. About them. At least.

This "roadmap" sure seems to have a lot of detours, is all I'm saying

GAZA CITY (AFP) - Israel pounded militants in Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing five, as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to make the Islamists pay a heavy price for rocket attacks amid spiralling violence.

[From Israel pounds Gaza militants after rocket death - Yahoo! News]

I'm not so big for bipartisan governing, myself

NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg has squashed the notion of running for president this year, declaring that he will not seek the White House but might put his support behind another candidate who embraces bipartisan governing.

[From Bloomberg: I'm not running for president - Yahoo! News]

Call me craZy, but to me these Rs just don't seem the bipartisan type: I don't remember a whole lot of bipartisan love over the BushCo years. These guys suddenly getting all cuddly bipartisan feels a lot like some guy stealing my lunch and then getting huffy when i say I want it back. "Be nice," he says. "Share." I don't want to be nice. Screw him.

We can be bipartisan after we get our country back. Until then, not so much.

Sure, because if they tell him he'll just wait for them to go

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters in Ankara that he had been given no timetable for a Turkish withdrawal.

[From U.S. calls for quick end to Turkish Iraq operation - Yahoo! News]


Fog in the net

Fog in the net, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Right after saying, "Of course I remember it's your birthday"

Polish police are baffled after a cyclist was badly burned when his trousers burst into flames.

[From Ananova - Hot pants ]

Yeah, yeah, there's always an agenda, huh?

The mayor of an Oregon town who once stripped to her underwear and posed on a fire truck has been stripped of her office....

Opponents said it wasn't fitting for the mayor to be so depicted. They said they also disagreed with her on issues about water and the local golf course.

[From The Raw Story | Ore. mayor poses in underwear, loses job]

Is this guy always up for sitting down?

Obama dodged a question about his campaign's pledge to take federal funding.

"If I am the nominee I will sit down with John McCain and make sure we come up with a system that is fair to both sides," he said.

[From The Raw Story | Video: After question on NAFTA, Clinton rebukes NBC anchor for asking her questions first]

Nader blah blah something something

Everybody's blabbering about Ralph: OMG! he's the reason Gore lost to the village idiot in 2000! Or not.

Let me clarify, bunky. There are a lot of reasons Gore lost in 2000, at least five of them wearing spooky black robes, and that's just to name a few. Nader wasn't one of them, or maybe he was one of them but only one. Just put a lid on it and listen here.

I'm making you a little bet - a gentleman's bet, as I have no money to lose and even if I did I don't make bets I might lose except the lottery, and that only about twice a year - I'm betting you can't even name all the candidates on the Presidential ballot in your state in 2000 or, for extra credit, 2004. Let alone Florida. No peeking allowed.

I've voted in every Presidential election since I voted for JFK in 1960 or whenever it was, nearly half a century ago, and I can't remember a single one that had only two names, R and D, for President.

So then, hey, you can pick just about any President and claim he only was President because of...who? Perrot? Buchanan? Wallace? McCarthy? Stassen? Gus freakin' Hall? You might be right, you might be wrong, I don't know. And neither do you.

If you're getting the vapors over Nader maybe you ought to consider taking up a more gentile sport. Intramural fingerpainting is worth a look, or maybe synchronized needlework. Politics ain't for you.

But getting the email right is, you know, hard work

WASHINGTON - A computer expert who worked at the White House provided the first inside look at its e-mail system Tuesday, calling it a "primitive" setup that created a high risk that data would be lost.

[From Expert details White House e-mail risks - Yahoo! News]


Say what?

From Bob Herbert:

The Democrats are about to nominate a black candidate or a woman. It would be surprising, indeed, if either had an easy time defeating Senator McCain.

[From A Driving Force - New York Times]

Yeah, but what would Ike know about waging war

"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit

from revolutionists and rebels -

men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine.

As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."

-- Dwight D. Eisenhower --

[From Les Enragés.org: Dissenters Thread Openly]

Oh, wait.

A small risk

Compact fluorescent lamps - those spiral, energy-efficient bulbs popular as a device to combat global warming - can pose a small risk of mercury poisoning to infants, young children, and pregnant women if they break, two reports concluded yesterday.

[From Mercury leaks found as new bulbs break - The Boston Globe]

Maybe we can blame the Chinese.

And curiously strong

NATO Confronts Surprisingly Fierce Taliban

[From NATO Confronts Surprisingly Fierce Taliban - washingtonpost.com]


Dude, this is totally unfair

Picture 1.png

(More bad news courtesy of Accuweather)

What's the rush?

The White House still has not finished work on a new records management and e-mail archiving system, a project that began nearly five years ago.

[From The Raw Story | Still no upgrade for White House e-mail]

Hey, don't fix it if it ain't broke.

Well yes, actually, you could have...

I just couldn't let you go on living without seeing this.

[From spiiderweb™: Spongebob Squarepants Musical Rectal Thermometer]

...let me go on just a little longer, like, you know, until after I'd finished breakfast or something. At least.


It's only a war if it involves us

The Iraq War, Mr. McCain said, will be over "soon."

He continued: "...the war for all intents and purposes, although the insurgency will go on for years and years and years, but it will be handled by the Iraqis, not by us, and then we decide what kind of security arrangement we want to have with the Iraqis. ... "

[From Marc Ambinder (February 25, 2008) - McCain's "100 Years" In Iraq ]

McCain says this by way of clarifying his "100 years" comment but doesn't.

What he does clarify is that the Rs have gotten away with equating "insurgency" and "war" for far too long, and now any attempt by the Rs or the Ds to differentiate them again will be a hard sell indeed. There will be no Korea-like (or Japan- or Germany-like) solution for Iraq: We are already committed to a Vietnam-like solution there. There is no way out for us except the way we came, unbidden, in.


So he wouldn't even have to speak English then

Clarence Thomas tells the Federalist Society:

"One thing I've demonstrated often in 16 years is you can do this job without asking a single question."

[From The Raw Story | Thomas: 2 years of court silence]

Let's outsource him to India, save a few bucks.

Myself, I was rooting for the rat

NEW YORK - The Oscars are a ratings dud. Nielsen Media Research says preliminary ratings for the 80th annual Academy Awards telecast are 14 percent lower than the least-watched ceremony ever.

[From Oscars are a TV ratings dud - Yahoo! News]

After the rat won - it was early - everything was over for me. I hung in for another couple of segments but that was just to watch Cate Blanchett. Otherwise, so what? OK, Marion Cotillard was awesome in La Vie en Rose and I'm a big Coen brothers fan, but it wasn't worth sitting through everything else for that. I'm not a big Oscars fan even in good years, which usually turn out bad anyway. This year, Cate and the rat were enough.

Who have these Afghans been taking lessons from, I'm wondering

An Afghan reporter sentenced to death after downloading an article from the internet on women's rights has said his trial lasted just four minutes.

Pervez Kambaksh, 23, told the UK's Independent newspaper from his prison cell he was denied access to a lawyer and not allowed to defend himself.

[From BBC NEWS | South Asia | Afghan reporter shocked by trial]

Whoa, close call

I was fooling around with the settings and clicked on "Delete this blog" by mistake. Fortunately gave me a chance to change my mind. I will never bitch about being asked "are you sure?" again.

But I've been thinking (yes, I do try to avoid that) about just where this thing's going, and I'm happy to say I don't know. I have tried all along to resist the temptation to adopt some kind of theme (other than work avoidance, which is not so much a theme as a principle of the universe) and I have succeeded admirably, IMO. Still, I've been toying around with some ideas for projects, one or more of which might result in YA blog. The media empire, inexorably, expands, world domination a mere click away.

Also, well, I've been wondering, what is it with politicians anyway? (Has that question been asked before?) Or at least, what is it with the ones we've got? (That?) I mean, take Obama and Clinton for example. (Please.) They both claim to have wonderful health care plans, right? And they're also both Senators, right? So what's preventing them from introducing their wonderful health care plans in the Senate? What's preventing Obama from introducing his $4,000 student credit whatever? What's preventing Clinton from....

Oh, never mind. Know what I think? What I think is both of them believe actually doing something about these things would hurt their chances of becoming President, but blabbering about them endlessly in "debates" would help. How weird is that?


Josh Romney, one of former Gov. Mitt Romney's five sons, says it's "possible" his father may rejoin the race for the White House, either as a vice presidential candidate or seek to become the Republican Party's standard bearer if the campaign of Sen. John McCain falters.

[From Top of the Ticket : Los Angeles Times : Breaking News: Mitt Romney to rejoin GOP race?]

No oxygen

A passenger returning home to New York from Haiti collapsed and died aboard an American Airlines flight after a flight attendant first told her that he could not give her any oxygen, and then brought her an oxygen tank that was empty, a relative said on Sunday....

Her body was moved to the floor of the first-class section and covered with a blanket, Mr. Oliver said.

[From Woman, 44, Dies on Plane With 2 Empty Oxygen Tanks - New York Times]




Look for the silver lining

CHIANG MAI, Thailand—Crickets, caterpillars and grubs are high in protein and minerals and could be an important food source during droughts and other emergencies, according to scientists.

[From Researchers say bugs could ease famine - Boston.com]

Sam Smith on Nader and the Ds

The party of denial needs to look at its own defects and not seek salvation in blaming others for exercising their constitutional rights. Deceive yourself once or twice and you can chalk it up to political error. Deceive yourself thrice and you really need therapy.



Texas Republicans have worked overtime to make it harder for key Democratic voting groups to vote and be represented fairly. The redistricting games they’ve played are infamous. And for the Prairie View A&M University precincts, they put the early-polling place more than seven miles from the school.

[From The Field » Texas Early Voting Wave as Reaction to Systemic Disenfranchisement]

So what to these kids do? They walk. En masse. On the Interstate.

See the video.

I don't even want to think about this

Can two sinkers make a floater for Microsoft?

[From Can two sinkers make a floater for Microsoft?]

Best Huckabee/SNL hed

Mike Huckabee: Live, from N.Y., and going nowhere

[From The Swamp: Mike Huckabee: Live, from N.Y., and going nowhere]

OK, I'll bite

Police in a Chicago suburb say the Internal Revenue Service has told a 7-year-old boy he owes back taxes on $60,000 because someone else has been using the youngster's identity to collect wages and unemployment benefits.

[From The Raw Story | Man accused of stealing 7-year-olds ID]

How can a 7-year-old kid even have an identity? Or, to put it another way, if all an identity is is whatever a kid has at seven what good is it anyway?

And it gets better.

Officers in suburban Carpentersville said Friday the second-grader's identity has been in use by someone else since 2001.

Since 2 freakin' 001? He couldn't have been more than one year old, this kid. Does this make sense?

According to the brief article at Raw some guy, now 29, used the kid's "ID" to work three jobs, buy a truck, pay bills, and collect unemployment benefits.

If the ID of a kid that age is all the ID you need to have an ID, bunky, what's the point?