Thank you, thank you, thank you: Brits ban "synergies"

LONDON, England (AP) -- British bureaucrats have been warned: no more synergies, stakeholders or sustainable communities....

The list includes the popular but vague term "empowerment;" "coterminosity," a situation in which two organizations oversee the same geographical area; and "synergies," combinations in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts....

[From Speak the King's English, please, no more buzzwords - CNN.com]

There's a process for this?

(CNN) -- School administrators in Ohio voted Friday to begin the process of firing a middle school teacher accused of burning a cross into a student's arm...

[From Teacher accused of burning cross on student's arm - CNN.com]


D's with round heels

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Senior U.S. House and Senate Republicans said Thursday that civil court cases against phone companies that participated in the government's warrantless surveillance program will be tossed out of court as a result of the deal struck between the House and White House....

"I'm not here to say that the government is always right, but when the government tells you to do something, I'm sure you would all agree that I think you all recognize that is something you need to do," [Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo.] said.

[From Morningstar - Dow Jones & Company, Inc.: FISA Deal Will End Court Cases Vs Phone Cos - GOP Lawmakers]

41 Roundheels vote with the R's.

Shut up and do as you're told: It's the law.

If there's anything

better than a cold chicken sandwich on sourdough bread

I don't know what it is.

Anything that doesn't run on batteries, I mean.

Whoa, there's one hungry guy


[From Progressive Review front page ]

If it won't sell nude, dude, it won't sell at all

COUNTRYWAY -- Swimmers will have the option of wearing nothing at all at the Arbors at Branch Creek, a complex of 390 homes that landed on the idea to help move units in a down market.

[From Condo Company Unwraps Plan For Clothing-Optional Pool]

And how's that working out?

Say what?

The complaints from Chinese about high gasoline prices might not elicit sympathy from American or European consumers: hovering at $3 per gallon...

[From China raises fuel prices at least 16 percent - International Herald Tribune]

Where can I get some of that hovering, please?

Next trip bring gin

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Scientists believe NASA's Phoenix Mars lander exposed bits of ice while recently digging a trench in the soil of the Martian arctic, the mission's principal investigator said Thursday.

[From Mars lander finds bits of ice, scientists say - CNN.com]

It's not easy being green

Another woman washes herself in her daughter’s used bath water and complains of a markedly decreased sex life as a result of her environmental concerns.

[From CJR: "Green Fatigue" and "Eco Anxiety"]

CJR notes marketing conference's recognition of "light green consumers...who drive their SUV to Whole Foods." And more.

Throw us a crumb - any crumb will do

Remarkable Example of How Liberal Positions Are Being Adopted in the Mainstream

[From The BRAD BLOG : Update: Texas GOP Distances Itself from Vendor of Racist Obama Button]

That's the subhead on a post by guest blogger Jon Ponder at The Brad Blog noting the Texas GOP has ejected from its convention a vendor selling a button that asked the question,

"If Obama is President...will we still call it The White House?"

Ponder calls this evidence "that liberal positions are increasingly becoming mainstream."

Dude, we're screwed.


That's it, dude, exactly

Wary of making the debate between liberty and security into a campaign issue, Congressional Democrats appear ready to retreat in their years-long effort to instill some sort of accountability on the Bush administration and its enablers in the telecommunications industry for their extra-legal surveillance of Americans.

Congressional leaders have reached an accord with the White House on the update to a controversial surveillance law that essentially legalizes the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program and seems likely to let off the hook the phone companies that facilitated it.

[From The Raw Story | Feingold: Wiretap deal 'no compromise, it's capitulation']

(Emphasis emphatically mine)

Translation: Screw you, Americans, we'll do anything to get elected, including sell your sorry butt.

Imagine my relief

She hates pantyhose! She loves her girls! She shops at Target…and pronounces it Tar-get, not Tar-jay! She loved Sex and the City! She eats bacon for breakfast (no halal food here, folks)! She’s not above talking with her mouth full…of granola!

As they’ve been reporting yesterday and this morning in the mainstream (read: non-US Weekly) media...

[From CJR: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantyhose]


(From Party Girl )

Finally, the war in Iraq nears an end

BAGHDAD — Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.

[From Deals With Iraq Are Set to Bring Oil Giants Back - NYTimes.com]

Just helping Iraq rebuild, say company officials - anonymously, of course.

More slippery than Slick

Claiming "I support a robust system of public financing of elections," Obama opts out:

John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we’ve already seen that he’s not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations.

From the very beginning of this campaign, I have asked my supporters to avoid that kind of unregulated activity...

[From Lynn Sweet]


Deepers creepers

Suddenly, all over the lefty Internets tubes, D's are starting to sound like Freepers. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the blather about McCain's "100-year war." You can read for yourself what McCain said about 100 years in Iraq here, at Crooks and Liars. I'm no fan of John McCain's, but I don't see where he said "let's stay" and I certainly don't see where he advocated a 100-year war. In fact, it seems to me he specifically excluded that. Yet "McCain wants a 100-year war" is currently the cry of the leftosphere, and now comes a MoveOn commercial in which a young mother holds up a baby and says to McCain, "you can't have him" for Iraq. I hope she doesn't come to regret her words.

I was born in the year of the Anschluss (you can look that up too). Over the next seven years we had a serious disagreement with Germany - it came to be known as World War II. But when I served in the Army 16 years after WWII ended, a posting to Germany was considered a plum assignment. I was delighted when I got orders for Germany and disappointed when the Army decided they had something else they wanted me to do instead. Fortunately, that something else was not in Vietnam. I had friends who went to Germany and friends who went to 'Nam, and the guys who went to Germany came home happier. And that was before Vietnam turned into the hot spot it would become. You can believe by the end of the 60's there were mothers all over America praying please send my son to Germany.

I don't know what Iraq will be like 15 years from now. Neither do you. Neither does MoveOn. But what really annoys me - no, frosts my butt - is that a lot of lefty bloggers who for the last five years or so I've admired for conscientious journalism and "reality-based" analysis have suddenly turned into Deepers.

If that's the way it's gonna be, D's, don't count on me.

Oh. You too.

So perhaps Mr Bush's most significant legacy, as far as Britain is concerned, will be the destruction of the instinctive trust of America and its leaders that once prevailed here.

[From Leading article: The tragic legacy of a disastrous president - Leading Articles, Opinion - The Independent]


Oh, the trains we had

I could write a whole bunch about trains - come to think of it, maybe some day soon I will. I love riding on trains. Even today, the trains Amtrak operates on the East Coast - the ones with the concrete seats - are fun. Congress splashed a bunch of money on Amtrak earlier this month, belatedly catching on to the fact that rail transport is a good idea and we're way, way behind the curve in the US now. I hope it does some good. But it'll be a long, long time before we get back to where we were in the 40s and the 50s - if ever we do.

As a kid in the 40s I rode on a Zephyr twice, at least - maybe three times, but it's hard to say because we came to call any streamlined train a Zephyr. (Zephyrs were branded trains operated by the Burlington (Chicago, Burlington & Quincy) RR.) They were the epitome of stylish travel back then and, as far as I'm concerned, still are - akin to the steamship, another conveyance obsoleted by the flying busses of our age. But I digress. Trains are cool.

The photo: Zephyr at Union Station, Chicago, from the Library of Congress via Wikipedia. (I rode Zephyrs both leaving and arriving Union Station, looked just like that.)

Early at the beach

Early at the beach, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Tough people in tough times

“By February, we ran out of wood and I burned my mother’s dining room furniture."

[From Op-Ed Columnist - Bob Herbert - Letters Filled With Economic Anxiety From Vermont - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com]