So is this a record then?

Quote of the Day, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, about checkpoints in Afghanistan: “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”

link: Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: Misc

Dog eats cop car

From Borowitz

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – In what some are calling the boldest move of his Presidency, Barack Obama broke with a time-honored tradition observed by several U.S. Presidents including George W. Bush by pronouncing the word “nuclear” as it appears in the dictionary....

Mr. Obama’s obscure pronunciation of “nuclear” drew harsh reactions from members of the Tea Party movement, who see the President’s obsession with correct English usage as an attempt to make the nation more European.

link: Obama’s Obscure Pronunciation of “Nuclear” Breaks with Tradition « Borowitz Report


Angel of Spring

And that, you simply can not argue with

Cheese Weasel Day is a real holiday that started on the Internet sometime in the early days of the web in the 90’s. Like most holidays, CWD is filled with traditions that many celebrants may not understand. Like, “Why cheese?” and “What’s up with weasels?” But most people realize it doesn’t matter, since they don’t know what USB and URL stand for either.

link: What’s Cheese Weasel Day? :: Cheese Weasel Day


According to Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of US forces in Iraq, “People have to get past why we came here.”

link: Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: Wherein is revealed what people have to get past

And speaking of Pavlov

Pavlov And The Clock

link: Chocolate Chip Mint: Pavlov And The Clock

My own Pavlovian pitfall involves ringtones. I sort of like the idea of ringtones but the only thing that actually registers on my brain as a ring is, well, a ring. No matter what other sounds I use (and with an iPhone and a Mac it's a snap to make whatever ringtone you want) it just disappears into the background noise. But a ring - hey, who can let a ringing phone ring? Not me.

So, my phone just sounds like a phone.

Who cares? I want one!

WASHINGTON — Does a “gasoline-powered alarm clock” qualify for the EnergyStar label, the government stamp of approval for an energy-saving product?

link: Audit Finds Vulnerability of EnergyStar Program - NYTimes.com


All I'm saying is...

...if those Canadians would just keep control of their weather - is that too much to ask? - we'd have paradise in the valley here but no, oh no, instead we have this icy cold spot headed right down the river and by morning the ducks will be frozen in the puddle, or at least that's what the forecast says. In January I always believe the brightest, sunniest forecast but by the end of March I know better. The gloomiest is invariably true. Alas.

On the whole, I'll go with the bow-wows

"In an interview with the NewsHour after his appointment, Simpson said of Social Security, 'You have two choices. . . you either raise the payroll tax or decrease the benefits or start affluence testing. The rest of it is B.S. And if the people are really ingesting B.S. all day long, their grandchildren will be picking grit with the chickens. This country is gonna go to the bow-wows unless we deal with entitlements, Social Security and Medicare.'"


Alan Simpson, former senator from Wyoming, is the guy Obama has picked to save us all from the horrors of Social Security.

Congressman's comity

“Let’s beat the other side to a pulp!” Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa, shouted to the last stand of Tea Partiers on Sunday night. “Let’s chase them down! There’s going to be a reckoning.”

Indeed there will. But as the party of the hissy fit, Republicans are playing with fire.

link: House of Anger - Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com

-From our Midwest Bureau

Bye, Rush

There we were, minding our own business, when all of a sudden, whammo, health care got reformed. Really, it was quite a shock....

...feel free to remind Rush Limbaugh that he promised to move to Costa Rica if health care reform gets implemented.

link: Op-Ed Columnist - Brave New Health Care World - NYTimes.com

-Noted by our Midwest Bureau

Think of humor and Naperville does not come to mind

After Naperville police booked a woman for disorderly conduct, they granted her the customary one phone call.

She promptly dialed 911. To report she was being held against her will at the Naperville police station.

Police were not amused

link: Cops gave woman one call after arrest, so she dialed 9-1-1 - Chicago Breaking News

What got her arrested was a dispute over $0.60 on a taxi bill.


Wahooo indeed

The principal of Bellingham Christian School canceled classes at the private school today because it's too nice out.

"Good morning students, parents and staff. Yes, It's a Sun Day! Wahooo," Sampson wrote on a page on the school's Web site. The page also features a picture of him giving a thumbs-up from the seat of his year-old Suzuki 450 motorcycle.

"That's right, school is CANCELLED today due to good weather! Enjoy!"

link: Wait - what?! Bellingham principal cancels school 'due to good weather'

Things getting a little bit wacky in the top left corner there.

-Noted by our Seattle Bureau

And not a moment too soon

ATLANTA – Bernie Madoff is serving 150 years in prison for a multibillion-dollar fraud. Norman Schmidt got 330 years for his role in a huge investment scam. And then there's white-collar criminal Sholam Weiss, who isn't due for release until November 2754.

Weiss was sentenced to 845 years in prison in February 2000 by a federal judge in Florida who said he should be removed permanently from society. Of course, Weiss wasn't in court at the time. He had fled overseas while a jury was deliberating.

link: White collar criminal appeals 845-year sentence - Yahoo! News

In the numbers

POLTICIAL WIRE - A new CNN poll finds that Americans oppose the current health care reform plan passed by Congesss, 59 to 39%. However, parsing the numbers shows that many of those against the plan actually oppose it because "it is not liberal enough." In fact, 52% of Americans either support the current legislation or think it should be more liberal, while only 43% oppose the plan saying it is "too liberal."


Ducks return but, perversely, refuse to pose

Or it's good with lunch

GAUHATI, India - The Indian military has a new weapon against terrorism: the world's hottest chili.

After conducting tests, the military has decided to use the thumb-sized "bhut jolokia," or "ghost chili," to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilize suspects, defense officials said Tuesday....

Srivastava, who led a defense research laboratory in Assam, said trials are also on to produce bhut jolokia-based aerosol sprays to be used by women against attackers and for the police to control and disperse mobs.

link: India to weaponize world's hottest chili - Weird news- msnbc.com


New to our peerless Work Avoidance List...

...the International Banana Club and Museum. With YouTube videos!

Visit any time you feel like going bananas.

By the numbers

67 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Americans overall) believe that Obama is a socialist

57 percent of Republicans (32 percent overall) believe that Obama is a Muslim

38 percent of Republicans (20 percent overall) say that Obama is "doing many of the things that Hitler did"

24 percent of Republicans (14 percent overall) say that Obama "may be the Antichrist"

From a new Harris poll reported by Daily Beast


One choice better than none

The new Democratic Party is an excellent substitute for the old Nixon/Ford Republican Party. They even passed Nixon’s vision of a health care plan. That there’s no Democratic Party left is a shame, but I guess one choice is better than none.

link: Baby Killers! - Matt Taibbi - Taibblog - True/Slant


And more from our baffling books department

"Essential for Scandinavian crime lovers," says the Library Journal about Swedish thriller writer Jo Nesbo, according to an ad in the current New Yorker, the one with the diner noir cover. The ad compares Nesbo to Stieg Larson and another guy named Henning Mankell, just for what it's worth. Our baffling books editor is curently immersed in the WWII battle for Guadalcanal, but will make a note.

I get it...

...I kind of like it, even...when cops write novels about cops, spies write novels about spies, politicians write novels about politicians, and Bill O'Reilly writes books about awesome dirty sex, but when English professors start writing about English professors things start to get a little bit depraved. Freaky, I mean. Which is kind of the road Richard Russo has been going down since he left Empire Falls. Writing about English professors, I mean.

But far be it from me to argue with a book whose dust jacket has reviews for a different book on it. The different book is, at least, another of Russo's: Bridge of Sighs, which appeared on our own humble reading list some time back. Yes, we're hip. Don't say we're not.

Russo's That Old Cape Magic is certainly worth a read (we opine, condescendingly). It's not exactly a beach book, title notwithstanding, but then it's not exactly beach season yet. You have plenty of time to squeeze it in. It's about an English professor who is, well, there's no other very good way to say this: screwed up.

It's the big time for @

Millions of us type it each day, usually without thinking about it. Yet the Museum of Modern Art in New York has deemed it to be such an important example of design that the @ has been officially admitted to its architecture and design collection. That’s as good as it gets in the design world, rather like bagging a Tony on Broadway or an Oscar in Hollywood.

link: Design - Why @ Is Held in Such High Design Esteem - NYTimes.com