Kid, I am on your side

Letting our fingers do the talking - The Boston Globe

For young people, phone calls — especially to land line numbers — risk chance, unwanted encounters....

“You call people and you have to talk to their parents and go through that whole process,’’ said Kelsey Corrigan, 21, a writing student.

No. Friggin'. Way.

Banned Books Week: 10 banned books you might not expect - Yahoo! News

When it comes to banning books, even the dictionary gets no respect. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary was pulled from the shelf of a school in Menifee, Calif. The offending term in the dictionary? "Oral sex." The entry references of the dictionary also included cunnilingus and fellatio, which were not cited as the reasons for pulling the dictionary off the shelf.

OK, way. But really. How bizarre is it when the dictionary gets banned because it has bad words? 

And yes, this is uncharitable I know but I can't help it, why is it I imagine the very people who objected to this book are the people who bitch about schools being no good and about paying school taxes? I can't help it. I do.


The American Heritage Dictionary of 1969 was also banned in 1978 from a library in Eldon, Mo., because of 39 objectionable words. The dictionary continued to cause trouble as far away as Alaska, where it was banned by the Anchorage School Board in 1987 for its inclusion of slang words, including "balls."

"Dude, this food is really boring," said one Pilgrim to the other.

"No!" said the other Pilgrim. "It's a regional specialty!"

I give you the New England Boiled Dinner.

OK, pop quiz. 

Close your eyes.

Wait. Open them again and read the question, then close them.

Question: What other delectable dish shares the same recipe?

Got it? OK, now you can open your eyes.

Right! Hobo Stew! (Recipe: Take what you got, put it in a pot, cook it till it's hot. Also, toss in a bay leaf, what the hell.)

Also, its for dinner. Tonight.

Hanging on

From Blog photos
I imagine you've noticed, boys and girls: It's not summer any more.
(Also I'm trying a new way to post photos, so.)

PS. I'll try something else next time.



Make of that what you will dear reader. But never say that the NY Times stooped to the level of shrill bloggers who suggest that the far right might have a radical agenda. Let no one say that the old Gray Lady is anything but well mannered.

(Click the link.)

Open Clockwise

Photo: Phil Compton

Excellent posters

Travel Posters - a set on Flickr

From the Boston Public Library, and thanks to Mike the Mad Biologist for pointing them out.

Billionaires round on each other and yes! yes! darlin', you helped bail them out! Thanks!

Talking Business - A Billionaire Investor Sues JPMorgan Chase - NYTimes.com

The investor, Len Blavatnik, was now fighting in court to get back some of the money he had lost because of the bank’s alleged negligence.

But it's a lot harder to take pictures of and that's the main thing

Exclusive: Gulf oil dispersant contained extremely toxic carcinogen | Raw Story

“Dispersant chemicals are effective at breaking the oil down into smaller parts,” she explained. “[But] by breaking it down into smaller pieces, it can more readily be absorbed by aquatic organisms and incorporated into their bodies.”

If you were paying attention, Bunky, you knew all this stuff six, eight months ago anyway. These chemicals weren't invented for the occasion, they were already known and already available and already banned in some places, and information and testing on these substances was easy enough to find. Don't worry. Nobody's doing anything about it either then or now.

(Oh. Sounding a little depressed this morning, are we? Hmmm? I just read the old Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan is now a part of the Marriott hotel chain, which is totally the end of civilization, right there.)

Does too!

Told to Eat Its Vegetables, America Orders Fries - NYTimes.com

This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a comprehensive nationwide behavioral study of fruit and vegetable consumption. Only 26 percent of the nation’s adults eat vegetables three or more times a day, it concluded. (And no, that does not include French fries.)

French fries are a vegetable. They're made out of potatoes. And often eaten with ketchup, so that's two vegetables. I rest my case.

And by the way, kids, don't fall for that "carrots are junk food" ploy. That's dumb.

Weak oversight? Where have I heard that before?

Gas Blasts Spur Questions on Oversight of Pipelines - NYTimes.com

...weak oversight of gas pipelines in the United States...has contributed to hundreds of pipeline episodes that have killed 60 people and injured 230 others in the last five years

If this weren't so absolutely evil it would be hilarious

CIA used pirated, inaccurate software to target drone attacks: lawsuit | Raw Story

The CIA used illegally pirated software to direct Predator drone attacks, despite apparently knowing the software was inaccurate, according to documents in an intellectual property lawsuit.

Yes! You never read to the end of the EULA (End User's License Agreement), do you? No, you just click, what the hell. But way down near the bottom of that seemingly endless document is this entry:

If you are the CIA none of this applies to you, you can use the software any way you want please don't shoot.

If it weren't there, the FBI would now have to investigate the CIA and then they, the CIA, would have to pay a huge fine and go to jail for a long time, both in English and in French. 

So it' a good thing.

Oh, also, yeah, people died. There's that.


Remember this?

From Blogo
This was a picture taken on July 21 this year and posted shortly thereafter on this blog. It's the top of a willow tree that had been lopped off around the first of that month, cut about 12 or 14 feet above the ground. The tree sits in a wet spot beside the driveway (on the shore of Lake Cindy) and the tree guy said cutting that high would leave the root alive to help soak up the water.

This is what the tree looks like now, two months later:

I'm just wondering what it will look like this time next year.

Wait! Wait!

Op-Ed Contributor - The Founding Fathers Versus the Tea Party - NYTimes.com

Sharron Angle, who is mounting a spirited run against Harry Reid for a Senate seat from Nevada with Tea Party support, bristled at Mr. Reid’s contention that she is overly conservative. “I’m sure that they probably said that about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and Benjamin Franklin,” she protested. “And, truly, when you look at the Constitution and our founding fathers and their writings ... you might draw those conclusions: That they were conservative. They were fiscally conservative and socially conservative.”

Isn't Thomas Jefferson the guy they want to take out of the schoolbooks in Texas because he was not conservative enough?

Dude, I am soooo confused.

Yet again

Court Rules DADT Is Unconstitutional, Obama Administration Freaks Out

Remember when Barack Obama was heckled at a fundraiser for not loving the gays enough? Obama responded to that mean heckler by explaining that everyone should be shouting and screaming at the Senate Republicans for preventing the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” But now no one has to heckle anyone about anything ever again, because a federal court just ruled DADT completely unconstitutional, so hooray. (Oh, except the Obama Administration is not very happy about this and says terminating the policy “may pose a threat to the military.”) Election Season is upon us, friends.

Headline of the hour

The Super Rich Get Richer, Everyone Else Gets Poorer, and the Democrats Punt


Mmmm, goes good with peanut butter

Op-Ed Columnist - Downhill With the G.O.P. - NYTimes.com

Banana republic, here we come.

At least he didn't wear a flight suit, so there's that much

U.S. troops fight on despite end to combat in Iraq - Yahoo! News

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Since President Barack Obama declared an end to combat operations in Iraq, U.S. troops have waged a gun battle with a suicide squad in Baghdad, dropped bombs on armed militants in Baquba and assisted Iraqi soldiers in a raid in Falluja.



On anatomy

Spineless - First Draft

I'm not surprised by the fact that Congressional Democrats won't be voting to rescind the Bush tax cuts for people with polo ponies BUT I'm still horrified. They've raised spinelessness to dizzying new heights: they refuse to do something popular out of fear of the Tea Party.

Thank you, thank you

The freedom of picking books that matter - chicagotribune.com

Oprah Winfrey, the most powerful woman in the history of, well, everything, selected Jonathan Franzen's novel "Freedom" for her next on-air book club. To which I moan piteously: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no …

I don't follow Oprah's book club or, for that matter, Oprah's anything else but it has become impossible to avoid this stuff, some of it at least. Also I did not read Jonathan Franzen's earlier book, nor do I care to. There is a point (I count this as a personal failing, I really do) at which a book or movie or what not becomes so famous and popular I could not possibly read it myself, not on a bet. Franzen's "Freedom" passed that point long before Oprah got involved. 

This doesn't mean I don't ever read "big" books, of course. I like, as you know, the Dragon Tattoo books, for example. It has more to do with my severe (and apparently incurable) allergy to doing required things, like eating applesauce with pork, playing bridge, or being jolly on December 25. 


This is, perhaps, the most forlorn sentence ever written

Healthcare Reform 2014: Mandated Coverage, Insurance Exchanges, and Employer Requirements - For Dummies

During the next few years, federal and state officials will be working with leaders in the health and insurance industries to restructure our nation’s healthcare system.

I know, I know, the D's want desperately to make us believe they've really accomplished something good with this health care so-called reform but really, how happy does it make you feel to hear that "federal and state officials" and "leaders of the health and insurance industries" will be diddling around with your health care plan for the next few years? Really happy or not so much? (And by the way, in the meantime don't get sick.)


If corporations are people, why can we not put them in jail?

Bank of America forecloses on a man who has no mortgage - Boing Boing

Jason Grodensky, a Fort Lauderdale man who bought his house with cash last December was surprised to discover that Bank of America had foreclosed on him, though he has no mortgage. Florida's foreclosure mills being what they are, the checks and balances against erroneous foreclosure have eroded to the point where banks can seize and sell homes they have no interest in.


Around and around they go

Robert Reich (GM Has No Business Using Our Money On Campaign Contributions)

General Motors has given $90,500 to candidates in the current election cycle, according to the Federal Election Commission....

To put it another way, we taxpayers are paying some people (GM executives) to tell us how we should vote for another group of people (House and Senate candidates) who will decide how our taxes will be used in the future.


Run! The Humane Society is friggin' out to get you!

» We’ve Been Sacked by the Humane Society - Big Government

While Americans across the country have entered the political game to save our country, moving that proverbial ball of freedom towards the end zone, we’ve been sacked. Blindsided. We’ve been so focused on legislative elections (and rightly so) that most Americans don’t even know they’ve been hit – and hit hard....


It’s called the Humane Society of the United States cowardly hiding behind animal cruelty, lying to our citizens and taking our constitutional rights away – one state at a time.

Wait. Humane Society? Really?

Yes! Click the link!

Yes, Bunky, there really are guys like this running around in the woods with guns

US hunters shoot down Google fibre - Telco/ISP - Technology - News - iTnews.com.au

Google has revealed that aerial fibre links to its data centre in Oregon were "regularly" shot down by hunters, forcing the company to put its cables underground...

"What people do for sport or because they're bored, they try to shoot at the insulators," Gill said....

"Every November when hunting season starts invariably we know that the fibre will be shot down, so much so that we are now building an underground path [for it]."


Guy tries to sneak up on TV, change channels (TV can't see him coming due to special camouflage snuggle thing)

Health care reform kicks in

Ethan Rome: Insurance Companies Abandon Sick Children And Lie About It - Mike Huckabee Says That's OK

Several health insurance companies have announced that they are ending insurance coverage for children because the new law won't let them turn away the sick ones anymore. That's right - WellPoint, CoventryOne and others are refusing to issue new child-only policies because the companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to children with "pre-existing conditions." They blame their actions on the new health care law, not their own greed. Even for the insurance industry this behavior is surprisingly brazen.



Terry Jones, Florida pastor who proposed Koran burning, to be hit with $200K security bill from city

Authorities said security for this month's canceled event -- originally planned on the anniversary of  Sept. 11 -- cost the city of Gainesville, Fla., $200,000. And the 50-member church will likely be forced to pay up.

Working on it


King Solomon's Mines

Says Wikipedia:

[King Solomon's Mines] was first published in September 1885 amid considerable fanfare, with billboards and posters around London announcing "The Most Amazing Book Ever Written".

Reading King Solomon's Mines today is like watching an Indiana Jones movie without the special effects. It's packed with the conventions of its genre (the old fooling-the-natives-with-an-eclipse trick, getting stuck in a cave after the big stone door has unexpectedly crashed shut, finding the light at the end of the tunnel, etc.), many of which conventions made their first appearance in Sir H. Rider Haggard's book, and certain Victorian customs and attitudes therein will perhaps be uncomfortable to the modern reader, but still it remains an entertaining yarn for boys young and old and, as H.G. Wells once said of another book, women of the better sort. 

Movies based on King Solomon's Mines were made in 1950, 1985, and 2004, if you want to get all Netflixy about the thing, and the book itself is available free from Apple's iBooks, gutenberg.org (see also the link in the books list) and lots of other places, no doubt.



Photo: Lynn C Dot


BBM! Of course!

WBBM radio in Chicago has Bears football. Woohoo! 

(Also, it's Talk Like a Pirate Day and not everyone forgot.)


Oh yeah, check this out

Three minutes left to play and Chicago's leading Dallas, go Bears!

(OK, three minutes left to play in the third quarter. I just got sooo excited!)