And it'll be another long, hard day without golf

WASHINGTON - President Bush asked Americans to pay tribute to veterans by pausing on Memorial Day for "a moment of remembrance."

...He said the moment of remembrance would be marked Monday at 3 p.m. local time.

[From Bush asks for 'moment of remembrance' for veterans - Yahoo! News]


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Detainees released from the prison at Guantanamo Bay have complained about inhumane conditions there, but according to the admiral in charge, their living situation is "pretty much" like that in a fraternity house.

[From The Raw Story | Gitmo Admiral: Detainees pretty much live in a fraternity house]

We're not going to ask where you went to school, Rear Admiral Mark Busby dude. But you might want to, you know, ask about getting your money back.

On the wall

On the wall, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

I suppose it's not worth asing, is it...

According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, "There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived 'enemies of the state' almost instantaneously." He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.

[From From The Magazine : Radar Online]

...why the government that wants to snoop on you at every turn is, itself, the most secretive government, if not in all of US history, at least in memory.

I'm down with transparency, dude, but only if it works both ways.

Disturbing stories and safe bombs

After the shootings, the creative-writing faculty at Virginia Tech put out a guide to help instructors identify and respond to disturbing fictional work. The University of New Mexico has created a hot line to take calls from professors with worries about students, including concerns about writing that contains "credible threats of harm to self or others." And Boston University has published a brochure, "Helping Students in Distress," that advises faculty to watch for writing with themes of "hopelessness, social isolation, rage or despair," among other things.

[From Schools Struggle With Dark Writings - WSJ.com]

The United States on Wednesday opposed a worldwide ban on cluster bombs, calling instead for "technological fixes" that would make them safer.

State Department expert Stephen Mull told reporters the United States is "deeply concerned" about the danger of such munitions, but said a ban like one proposed at a major conference in Dublin would be impractical.

"We think that it will be impossible to ban cluster munitions as many in the Oslo process would like to do, because these are weapons that have a certain military utility," Mull said.

"So rather than ban them, we think that a much more effective way to go about this is through technological fixes that will make sure that these weapons are no longer viable once the conflict is over," Mull said.

He did not explain how such a technological solution might work.

[From The Raw Story | US opposes cluster bomb ban, backs 'technological fixes']


happy to help out, dude

The EU is being urged to take action to stop a biofuel trading scam that exploits US agricultural subsidies and undermines the fight against global warming.

Up to 10% of biofuel exports from the US to Europe are believed to be part of the rogue scheme reaping big profits for agricultural trading firms.

The "splash and dash" scam involves shipping biodiesel from Europe to the US where a dash of fuel is added, allowing traders to claim 11p a litre of US subsidy for the entire cargo....

[From Demands for crackdown on biofuels scam | Environment | The Guardian]


“I don’t write a story saying how Obama came out of the rough-and-tumble of Chicago politics,” she said, quietly and forcefully in her Chicago accent—she’s lived there nearly 40 years. “Because in my experience, he was able to avoid the rough-and-tumble of Chicago politics. Au contraire! He didn’t come up through the system.”

[From Sweet on Obama! | The New York Observer]

Embracing the surveillance society

A British man has been branded a city's "dumbest criminal" after he posted more than 80 videos of himself committing various misdemeanours on YouTube, officials said Wednesday.

[From The Raw Story | Smile! Your crime is on YouTube]

So now if you could get this bird to mate with a dog...

TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- When Yosuke the parrot flew out of his cage and got lost, he did exactly what he had been taught -- recite his name and address to a stranger willing to help.

[From Lost parrot gives vet his name and address - CNN.com]

And, it helps keep some of our big backers really happy

“I don’t believe the [border] fence is a cure-all,” Mr. Chertoff said. “Nor do I believe it is a waste. Yes, you can get over it; yes, you can get under it. But it is a useful tool that makes it more difficult for people to cross....

[From Homeland Security Stands by Its Fence - New York Times]

Says Mayor Patricio M. Ahumada Jr. of Brownsville, TX, “Homeland Security is using it to give a false sense of security to middle America that it will keep illegal immigrants and terrorists out, but it just isn’t true.”


Raising the stakes

Army gets all, you know, cool and stuff

Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, who heads the Combined Armed Center [CAC] and Ft. Leavenworth, told his soldiers in a recent memo that "faculty and students will begin blogging as part of their curriculum and writing requirements both within the .mil and public environments. In addition CAC subordinate organizations will begin to engage in the blogosphere in an effort to communicate the myriad of activities that CAC is accomplishing and help assist telling the Army’s story to a wide and diverse audience."

[From Danger Room - Wired Blogs]

The climate must be perfect all the year

"It appears that John McCain is very much a creature of Washington," [Obama] said. "One of the the things we've said is if we're going to changes policies ... that we were going to have to change how Washington works...."

[From The Raw Story | McCains national finance co-chair resigns]

(Lyric: Camelot)

OK, tomorrow I'll get organized and I really mean it too

Or later today, maybe, if that's not to soon. Or possibly Wednesday. Right now I just need to get to CVS before my coupon expires.

It's true I pretty much blew the weekend off, but that was only because I didn't feel like doing anything.

White stuff everywhere!

Police say a trailer loaded with 14 tons of double-stuffed Oreos has overturned, spilling the cookies still in their plastic sleeves into the median and roadway....

Mahoney says no charges have been filed but both lanes of traffic remain closed while authorities remove the cookies.

[From The Raw Story | 14 tons of spilled Oreo cookies snarl Ill. traffic]

Imagine what that'll do to the donut business.

Whatever. If you're driving on I80 between Chicago and Morris this morning, bring milk.