"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson

Utility Fog Banner

Do Something Right for Once
Watch The Middle Man, tell your friends, write your congressman, blog incessantly about it.

Because it's good, and by some rip in the fabric of reality is on just before the 700 Club. Hard to believe Pat Robertson is still alive-he doesn't look it.


Did I mention the cursed tuba?



Argggh!

"The actions of Ms. Goodling, Mr. Sampson and other aides constituted official misconduct in violation of federal Civil Service laws and the department's internal policies, the report concluded. Those who violated civil service laws cannot generally be prosecuted under criminal law."

Civil Service Laws = Mere Suggestions

Though their local bar association can disbarr Goodling and company if they think corrupting the Justice Department is unlawerly.

"A White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, said of Monday's report, "There really is not a lot new here.""

Translation: "We've been wiping our ass with the Constitution since 2000 , where have you been?"

Report Faults Aides in Hiring at Justice Dept.


Lost - The FUN Song
I don't know how I missed this little gem for 2 years:

Via Lost In Thought in Alabama



Lost - S4 Recap

Lost Season 4 Clues animgif

"Four years into the magical mystery tour that is Lost, I think it's safe to say, if we're at all honest with ourselves, that there isn't a one of us who has any idea what the hell is going on. There are so many clues in play now, so many images, mysteries, themes, characters, symbols, all swirling around our heads like the chickens and bicycles in the twister that took Dorothy to Oz. We get a sense from time to time that we're glimpsing the secret behind it all, and then just like that, it's torn away from us again and we're as confused as ever before. What none of us know yet, is whether or not Lost is ever going to make any sense. It spins us around in a big whirlpool of pictures and slogans and icons and books and maps and drawings and numbers and faces. It's only natural to wonder sometimes if we're just being dazzled with bullshit. "

Smoke And Mirrors: Decoding Lost (Fishbiscuitland)

Squirmy
The World's Largest Maggot Farm (Ranch?)
Via Celebritology

When Pastry Attacks
cake wrecks
Cake Wrecks
Via MetaFilter

Post-Apocalyptic POTUS Ahoy
Doomsday Ships
Via Cryptome

Get On It
Unsolved Problems
Via kottke.org

King George Can Throw You in a Pit

"The Fourth Circuit's 5-4 ruling yesterday upheld the President's authority to detain al-Marri in a military prison as an "enemy combatant." What makes the ruling so striking is that -- unlike Hamdi and Padilla -- not even the Bush administration claims that al-Marri fought alongside the Taliban, fought against U.S. forces, or had even been to Afghanistan. He's simply a civilian accused by the President of being involved in a terrorist plot.

....

Thus, the President can order anyone in the U.S. imprisoned in a military brig as an "enemy combatant" -- even if they have never fought on a battlefield or with a foreign power against the U.S. Rather, mere accusations by the President of "terrorism" are sufficient to justify the indefinite incarceration of such an individual as an "enemy combatant," who is then denied basic Constitutional guarantees.

To say that such individuals can be held "for the duration of relevant hostilities" means, of course, that such individuals can be imprisoned by the President in a military brig not just for years but for decades"

Al-Marri and the power to imprison U.S. citizens without charges

Well, How About That

"For reasons that are not entirely clear, many compounds which attack cancer cells are also harmful to brine shrimp, therefore most modern assay tests include the brine shrimp lethality test as a standard procedure."

That is just so weird.

The Pit of Life and Death
Via Bifurcated Rivets

FISA

KO-Maddow & Turley
Via Glenn Greenwald

Why The Interweb was Invented


The What Now?
I listened a bit to Defense Secretary Robert Gates talk about the rebidding of the tanker deal (this is big news around here because Seattle hasn't figured out yet that Boeing has moved to Chicago) and I was struck by a one question: How did we fight World War II without the use of the term "warfighter"? Because Gates can hardly get through a sentence without it.

Sovereignty Rears it's Ugly Head

" Iraq's national security adviser said Tuesday his country will not accept any security deal with the United States unless it contains specific dates for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces.

The comments by Mouwaffak al-Rubaie were the strongest yet by an Iraqi official about the deal now under negotiation with U.S. officials. It came a day after Iraq's prime minister first said publicly that he expects the pending troop deal with the United States to have some type of timetable for withdrawal."

Iraq insists on withdrawal timetable for US troops

Screw it, Let's Have Some Kittens


Solar System Weirdness
Mercury's atmosphere contains water. Water blown off the surface by the solar wind.
Via Kottke.org

I Feel Sick

" Early next week the U.S. Senate will vote on an extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with a few small amendments intended to immunize telecommunications corporations that assisted our government in the warrantless and illegal wiretapping it has grown to love.

That such a gutting of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution even made it out of committee is yet another stain on the gutless and seemingly powerless Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.

That a majority on both sides of the aisle --- not least of them the presumptive nominees for president of both political parties --- intend to vote for such a violation of Americans' right to privacy and of the sanctity of their personal communications is a stunning surrender to those who want us to live in fear forever.

We are living in a time when the right of habeas corpus --- which simply put is your right to be brought before a proper court of law where the government is made to prove that there is good and legal reason to detain you --- recently survived by a margin of only one vote at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Now these bad actors are prepared to set aside your right to privacy --- written into the Constitution as a key part of our Bill of Rights --- with hardly a nod in the direction of the true patriots who rebelled against an English king and his army to guarantee those rights.

That they will do this while the last empty phrases of the political windbags at the Fourth of July celebrations are still echoing across a thousand city parks and the bright red, white and blue bunting and blizzard of American flags still flap in the breeze is little short of breath-taking.

How dare they?"

Commentary: How dare they rip the Fourth Amendment?

"Thus, we have extremely strong indications from multiple courts that the President deliberately broke the law for years -- a law that provides that violations of its provisions are felonies punishable with 5 years in prison for each offense. And yet our political establishment, with Democrats at the helm, are about to ensure that there are never any consequences for that lawbreaking and no accountability whatsoever in a court of law."

The Al-Haramain ruling and the current Congress

Come primary time, I'll remember if Patty Murray or Maria Cantwell vote for telecom immunity and a free pass for Bush



Look Over There, It's Halley's Comet!

"UK researchers are working on fitting CCTV cameras with artificial intelligence, allowing them to more quickly respond to crimes.

The technology, being developed by University of Portsmouth scientists, would allow cameras to "hear" violent sounds and react, swiveling quickly in the direction of a broken window or somebody shouting abusively for example, before alerting an operator.

The artificial intelligence powering the camera would also be able to respond to visual cues such as fights, or violent behaviour.

Scientists say the aim is to allow the camera to react just as a human might, hearing a scream and then swinging around to find the source with the same speed as a person, which is about 300 milliseconds.

Over time, the scientists claim the AI algorithms would learn, picking up key words and phrases it associates with criminal activity."

Everyone at Slashdot had the same reaction to this that I did: Arrange for some noise over there so you can do your crime over here unobserved.

AI could power next-gen CCTV cameras
Via Slashdot

First!
The world's first album cover
Via Kottke.org