Photo: Lynn C.

BYO potatoes

ST. CHARLES, Minn. – Residents have started returning to a town in southeastern Minnesota after city officials lifted an evacuation order prompted by a large fire at a meat-processing plant.

[From Evacuation order of entire Minn. town lifted]

April, it turns out, is Poetry Month

The reading aloud of poetry has been shown, time and time again, to be effective at breaking up gatherings of people. Rather than tear gas or pepper spray, many police departments now use William Wordsworth. Or T.S. Eliot, that small dark cloud of a poet.

[From The poet gets the girl (sigh) -- chicagotribune.com]

The future has arrived and it's, well, really 21st Century

Oprah Winfrey has officially tweeted...


[From Oprah's first tweet so-so, but fans flock -- chicagotribune.com]



Photo: Lynn C.

Do not try this at home

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A Mississippi woman who was shot in the head not only survived but made herself tea and offered an astonished deputy something to drink, authorities said Friday. Tammy Sexton, 47, remained hospitalized three days after being wounded by her husband, who killed himself after he shot his wife. She is expected to fully recover.

[From Miss. woman gets shot in head, but makes tea]

Dutch bike is It

This new It object is the glossy black Dutch bicycle, its design unchanged since World War II. Increasingly imported to the United States and starting to be seen on the streets of New York (and in the windows of at least one clothing store), it appears to have everything a good craze needs. That includes a hefty price tag — usually between $1,000 and $2,000 — and a charming back story about how the bikes have been an indispensable part of the picturesque Dutch cityscape for decades....

The civilized pedigree of the Dutch bike is matched by its old-fashioned design: it comes with fenders, chain guard, generator and rack — standard, as they say in Detroit....

[From Dress Codes - How to Look Like a Grown-Up While Biking to Work - NYTimes.com]

You only need one

Today's Golden Goober comes with a special Foot-in-Mouth Cluster, because this awardee has added a large dose of hypocrisy to his gooberheadedness. He's Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, who is trying to become a national political star in Republican circles by vehemently denouncing President Obama's economic recovery plan. Obama's massive stimulus program, he cries, constitutes an unwarranted government intrusion into a state's economy, and it will "have dire consequences" for America.

Hot stuff. But, guess which state has been the biggest recipient of federal stimulus money in history?...


They were, after all, just following orders

WASHINGTON – In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, CIA operatives were allowed to shackle, strip and waterboard terror suspects. Now, President Barack Obama has assured these operatives that they will not be prosecuted for their rough interrogation tactics.

At the same time, Obama's attorney general offered the operatives legal help if anyone else takes them to court over the harsh interrogation methods that were approved by the Bush administration.

[From Obama won't charge CIA officers for rough tactics]


YouTube Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

We called for professionals and amateur musicians of all ages, locations and instruments to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra by submitting a video performance of a new piece written for the occasion by the renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun....

[From YouTube - symphony's Channel]

Takes an hour to watch from start to finish. And crank up the sound.

Maybe because it's got more zeroes

Obama and his financial team keep telling us that their Wall Street bailout is all about Main Street – not about the financial elites.

I'm sure you're deeply honored to be at the center of their thoughts, but I can't help noticing that all the money is actually going to those who reside in Wall Street's zip code, not ours.


(It's 10005.)

Have some, it's free yet

Looking Back

Photo: Phil Compton


Might as well cover all the bases

Fox Business Network anchor Cody Willard didn't appear to be very "fair and balanced" as he let out his opinion of Democrats' economic policy during a tea party protest in Boston. "When are we going to wake up and start fighting the fascism that seems to be permeating the country?" asked an excited Willard.

[From The Raw Story » Fox anchor rants about fascism during tea party coverage]

["Joe the Plumber"] Wurzelbacher went on to lambaste what he said was a rising tide of “socialism” across the country and laid the blame on the U.S. government.

[From Michigan Messenger » Thousands rally at state Capitol to protest taxes]

But when people marched to protest a war, nobody paid much mind

ATLANTA – Whipped up by conservative commentators and bloggers, tens of thousands of protesters staged "tea parties" around the country Wednesday to tap into the collective angst stirred up by a bad economy, government spending and bailouts.

[From Tens of thousands rally at tax day 'tea parties']

Even Simon smiled

Paul Knue says, you've gotta watch this.

Tea for me and tea for you, but none for Lafayette Square

There will be no tea-dumping in the Potomac River -- that's illegal -- but organizers of today's national tea party tax protest found out this morning that so is their plan to dump a million tea bags in Lafayette Square to demonstrate displeasure at government spending and tax policies.

Protesters, using a rented truck to haul the million tea bags, began unloading their cargo at the park this morning but were told by officials that they didn't have proper permits and must move the tea . They complied with the order but are still considering what to do with the load.

[From Protesters Pick Lafayette Square, Treasury for Anti-Tax Tea Parties - washingtonpost.com]


A Nottinghamshire businessman who set up a 30ft dung-firing catapult to deter intruders has been burgled after police warned him it was illegal....

The catapult, based on a Roman boulder-thrower, was originally built for a series of unsuccessful attempts to fire his wife, Mary, across the River Avon in 1976.

[From Ananova - Businessman burgled after giant catapult ban ]

Not outsourcing top exec jobs though

The heads of these financial giants are not merely greedheads, but also boneheads – completely clueless about the public's moral outrage over their self-serving actions. The latest to send my O-Rage meter into the red zone is JPMorgan Chase. So far, we taxpayers have delivered $25 billion to this outfit. To show their gratitude, JPMorgan honchos recently announced a new program of job creation, which would be absolutely splendid – except they're sending the jobs to India.


Unclear on the concept

EXETER, N.H. (AP) A New Hampshire high school where students were kicked out of a dance for rhythmically rubbing their bodies together...

[From New Hampshire Wire - wbztv.com ]

Famous Tax Cheats (SLIDESHOW)

Famous tax cheats not currently working in Washington, DC.

[From Famous Tax Cheats (SLIDESHOW)]



Spring. Has. Or, at least, darn close. We hit the high 50's today, clear sky, no wind. And if you were watching real closely you could have seen the green buds popping out on the early shrubs. Better yet, we might still have one or two just as good this week.

Bring it on.

The Easter(n) Bunny visits the drum circle...

Photo: Phil Compton


A good guy - even in defeat

Rarely in sports - or in life - do you see such class in the face of such heartbreak.

"I'll look back the rest of my life saying what could have been. But I'm not going to go there. Because if this is the worst thing that happens in my life, my life's pretty good..."

[From Thomas Boswell - Thomas Boswell: Perry Takes Honorable Approach - washingtonpost.com]

-Paul Knue

Here come the sniff police

Patrons of the Schaumburg Township District Library have never been allowed to bring in the noise. Now they can't bring in the funk.

The library recently added "offensive bodily odors" to its list of prohibitions, joining more traditional no-nos such as running, rowdiness or toting an uncovered beverage.

...And while the policy stemmed from complaints about an apparently homeless person, Sarnoff said it would apply just as much to an overuse of perfume as an underuse of soap.

[From Public libraries: Poor hygiene might get you tossed -- chicagotribune.com]


An Azeri immigrant in Russia's northern city of Saint Petersburg has been charged with hiring hit men to kill his 21-year-old daughter for wearing a miniskirt, police said on Monday.

[From Russian 'hired hit man to kill daughter over miniskirt', police say - Telegraph]

For the well-connected convict...

Larry Levine -- a former federal prisoner who now runs a company, Wall Street Prison Consultants, that gives advice to future inmates on how to survive prison time and win an early release...

[From Report: Shana Madoff Contacted Prison Consultant | TPMMuckraker]

Check out the guy's web site. It's pretty awesome.


Photo: Phil Compton