So then, not all bad

Camerons praised as parents by Obama at White House state dinner | Politics | guardian.co.uk

Menu for Cameron and Obama's black tie state dinner

Theme: Winter Harvest

First course: Brussels sprouts, applewood smoked bacon

Second course: Spring garden lettuce, shallot dressing, shaved breakfast radish, cucumber and avocado

Main course: Bison Wellington, red wine reduction, French beans, Cipollini onion

Dessert: Warm Meyer lemon steamed pudding with Idaho huckleberry sauce and Newtown Pippin apples

American wines served with each course

(We don't have themes for our dinners here at YAME but we do occasionally eat beans.)

Brick B/W

Brick B/W, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

@hotvideo, 3/17/12 10:43 AM

Hot Video (@hotvideo)
3/17/12 10:43 AM
Breaking - Unidentified Object SUN! March 11, 2012 Video goo.gl/fb/ppt9G #breaking #unidentified #object #sun #march #videos #video


But that's not all

The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) | Threat Level | Wired.com

But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”

You may think another R administration would be a very bad thing and you may be right, but the fact remains…

Democratic Senators Warn About Use of Patriot Act - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming if the public — or even others in Congress — knew about it.…

The senators, who also said that Americans would be “stunned” to know what the government thought the Patriot Act allowed it to do, made their remarks in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

…this D administration is a very bad thing.


OK, this is weird

I just looked something up in a book. A cooking thing I was trying to figure out. I have a very good cookbook, but that's hardly an excuse.

If Dostoyevski were alive today his book would be called just "Crime"


In recent years, my law firm has handled dozens of securitized trust foreclosure defense cases and one defense of an SEC civil prosecution against broker-sellers of such MBS shares. The fraud throughout the secondary mortgage market has been pervasive…

Or maybe a brain-altering ion beam from the planet Xbarz

Apple fans snap up new iPad on 1st day | Fox News

Apple's latest iPad drew die-hard fans to stores in the U.S. and nine other countries Friday, many of whom lined up for hours to be among the first to buy one.…

"I don't think it's worth the price but I guess I'm a victim of society," Athena May said in Paris.

Whatever. It's always with the "die-hard fan." Does anybody ever write about die-hard HP fans? Lenovo fans? Anybody? "Die-hard Apple fans" might have made sense about 15 years ago or so when "the failing Apple" was all one word. But now that Apple is the hot tech phenom it is probably just "fans" would do. Or, I'm just winging it here, "customers." But hey.

Romney wants to sell Puerto Rico back to Napoleon. Or something. It's not really clear.

The Page by Mark Halperin | Romney Pro Resolution

"I also will work to settle the Island’s 113-year political status question. Around the world, the United States has helped plant the seeds of democracy. Meanwhile, close to four million American citizens in Puerto Rico do not enjoy the same rights and privileges of democracy as their other fellow citizens. It is time to close the book on one of the great unresolved questions of American democracy. As president, I will provide the leadership and resources necessary to ensure that this century-old question gets resolved. That is my solemn pledge."

One more sign

One more sign, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.



Chocolate Chip Mint: Cool Exhibit

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is one of the coolest places in the entire world. 

On the wall

On the wall, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

Oh no!

Yesterday was Pi day and I missed it. Well, I missed it yesterday. [Audio link]

You had to notice, didn't you?

Hiding at the back of the budget book | iWatch News by The Center for Public Integrity

Some vexing news about the Obama administration’s military contracting practices was well-hidden in the Pentagon’s budget briefing materials this year, appearing near the back of the Defense Department Comptroller’s overview presentation of the 2013 budget. There, amid generally positive self-grades in the chapter entitled “Performance Improvement” (page 83) was a disclosure that the number of Pentagon contracts awarded competitively dropped last year.

From the relatively low threshold of 65 percent in 2010, the number dropped to 58.5 percent in 2011, according to the comptroller, Robert F. Hale. That was below 2009’s tally of 62.5 percent, which means that the administration’s ballyhooed effort to boost competitive military contracting has been an utter failure so far.

What we need to do is, let's close down all the law schools for, say, the next 50 years or so

Chick-Fil-A Claims Public Likely to Confuse Vegetable With Chicken - Lowering the Bar

Chick-Fil-A, the fast-food chain that uses the slogan "eat mor chikin," thus brazenly insulting the spelling ability of America's cows, has been threatening an artist in Vermont with legal action if he doesn't stop selling shirts and other items bearing the phrase "Eat More Kale." Bo Muller-Moore says he got a cease-and-desist letter from the chain's lawyers a few months ago telling him to stop using the phrase - which he has been using for ten years - because it allegedly is "likely to cause confusion of the public" and dilute the value of Chick-Fil-A's brand.

We are, ahem, relieved

Toilet paper crisis averted in New Jersey's capital city - Yahoo! News Canada

(Reuters) - The great toilet paper crisis in New Jersey's capital city is over.

Police, firefighters and other Trenton city workers down to their last sheets as the result of a City Council budget battle were rescued late Tuesday by animal rights advocates who offered six months of free rolls printed with a message about filthy slaughterhouses and the resulting fecal matter found in meat.

And also strangely disturbed.

Leading to a degree in Dumb

WGGB abc40/FOX 6: News, Weather, Sports: Springfield, MA - Home

WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WGGB) – The controversy brewing at the Soule Road School showed no signs of slowing Wednesday.

Principal Lisa Curtin reportedly wants to be “inclusive and diverse” and ease any discomfort that may go along with special Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day.a religious holiday” said Wilbraham resident Janet Carlyle.…

At the Soule Road School, St. Patrick’s Day is now called “O’ Green Day”. Students are encouraged to wear the color, and lunches will feature a variety of green vegetables for “Health Awareness Day”.…

Valentine’s Day [is] “Caring and Kind” Day.…



Bishops, White House talks snarl on treatment of faith-based groups | Reuters

(Reuters) - The Obama administration has been quietly negotiating with representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in an effort to tamp down their furious opposition to a federal mandate that insurance companies cover birth control, according to sources familiar with the talks.

 Both sides have indicated that they hope to continue the negotiations, despite scant progress so far.

Back door

Back door, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

Right on cue…

US e-voting system cracked in less than 48 hours - The H Security: News and Features

Researchers at the University of Michigan have reported that it took them only a short time to break through the security functions of a pilot project for online voting in Washington, D.C. "Within 48 hours of the system going live, we had gained near complete control of the election server", the researchers wrote in a paper that has now been released. "We successfully changed every vote and revealed almost every secret ballot."

…election coming up, blah blah. 

But let's not look

Robert Reich (The Difference Between Private and Public Morality)

Despite financial fraud on a scale not seen in this country for more than eighty years, not a single executive of a major Wall Street bank has been charged with a crime.

Book reviews we quit reading immediately

BARNES & NOBLE | Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt's Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York by Richard Zacks, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | NOOK Book (eBook), Paperback, Hardcover, Audiobook

Theodore Roosevelt enjoyed an almost storied political rise…

Really? Almost storied? You're kidding, right?

(The book, however, sounds pretty interesting, especially as it turns out when Roosevelt succeeded in cleaning up New York even his friends were pissed. Plus, I am currently reading a book about New Amsterdam which argues it was all the fault of the Dutch. In a good way.

(More about which later.)

You just can not make this stuff up

Abusive cop blames girlfriend for hitting him with Justin Bieber doll | The Raw Story

According to a police report obtained by The Smoking Gun, Christine Polliard told police that officer Michael Nuanes Jr. had picked a fight with her because she would not change the relationship status on her Facebook page.

No I will not say anything about this story

Undernews: Some NJ government buildings may be shut for lack of toilet paper

CBS, Philadelphia - Trenton’s health department could shut down some city buildings if a toilet paper shortage isn’t resolved soon.

Not a single thing. Nothing. At all. 


What's wrong with this picture?

Stress Tests Buoy U.S. Banks - WSJ.com

Most of the biggest U.S. banks passed the latest round of "stress tests" administered by federal regulators—a milestone in the recovery from the financial crisis that clears the way for investors to receive tens of billions of dollars in increased bank dividends and share buybacks.


Administration, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.


Under the bridge

Under the bridge, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

Really? Nickels?

New York madam is penniless, attorney says | Reuters

(Reuters) - A woman who prosecutors say reaped millions of dollars running a Manhattan prostitution ring doesn't have "two nickels to rub together," her attorney said Monday…

And wait, yes pigs can fly

Rick Santorum blames recession on gas prices - POLITICO.com

LANSING, Mich. — Rick Santorum says high gasoline prices are to blame for the economic recession.

"We need to look at the situation of gas prices today. We went into a recession in 2008 because of gasoline prices,” Santorum said in a speech Monday afternoon.

Just plain awkward? Mittens?

The Associated Press: Romney's "Southern" accents are a hit-and-miss try

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Wealthy New Englander Mitt Romney is trying to woo Southern voters with a mix of regional references that sometimes show self-deprecating humor, and sometimes are just plain awkward.

Say it ain't so (y'all).

Glance, enhanced

iPhone photo: Phil Compton


For Fire

For Fire, originally uploaded by Ted Compton.

The Cobweb

The latest book on our reading list, "The Cobweb," by Neal Stephenson and J. Fredrick George, starts off with one of the funniest first chapters I've read in a long time. You can read it for yourself here, toward the bottom of the page, under the heading "Read an Excerpt." The rest of the book is pretty good too—funny, suspenseful, and (sure, I'm just guessing here but so what) dead-center, Iowa.