One word:



Snazzy Picture of the Day

This rather handsome critter is a bomb-sniffing dog in Afghanistan, and he received a medal for  for bravery and commitment in wartime, Feb. 24.

My critter is still sleeping and farting next to me in the bed…

This is too funny:

From The Guardian, PEI’s paper:

The statement does not include details of the incident but sources to The Guardian say Guergis was rude and insulting toward staff and the province.
After spending the afternoon in Prince Edward Island for a funding announcement for local women’s groups (see story on page A4), she arrived for her flight out of Charlottetown just five minutes before it was scheduled to depart.
She became testy with staff almost immediately, accusing them of ruining her birthday.
In a detailed breakdown of events written in a letter to The Guardian, a staff person at the airport characterized the behaviour of Guergis’ and her aide Emily Goucher as “so difficult and rude (the Air Canada counter representative) almost refused to allow them to board despite their ‘V.I.P.’ status.”
“They berated him loudly and treated him in a most condescending manner after he told them some of their excessive bags were too large to be carry-on and should be checked,” the employee stated.
Guergis then became even more belligerent in the security screening area. She refused to remove her coat and shoes, and when ordered to do so, threw her boots across the floor. She complained she was going to get stuck on P.E.I., referring to the province as a “hell hole.”
She then tried to force her way through a locked security door. When a security officer stopped her and told her she would have to wait, she shot back at him.
“I don’t need to be lectured by you. I’ve been down here working my ass off for you people.”
She then began banging on the window of the preboarding area in an attempt to get the attention of a flight attendant outside.
Now, I have, once or twice, probably referred to PEI as a hellhole. But have I ever thrown a tantrum at the Charlottetown airport? Nope. In fact, the people who work at the Charlottetown airport are the NICEST airport staff I have ever come across. This bitch should be fired.

More Garrison Keillor love…

Unreality remains pretty much the same, and its appeal in politics is as strong as ever. Look at the recent powwow of the conservative choir in Washington. Their goal is to reduce government to where it was in Coolidge’s time. They are sticking to this, though their presidents, Reagan and Bush II, only succeeded in enlarging government. As for their foreign policy, it’s the old Flag In Your Face, Nuke The Whales, Talk Loud, Walk Tall, Proud To Be Dumb & Who Gives A Rip Anyway, Republican bravado that’s all for domestic consumption and makes perfect sense if you’re a shut-in and your TV is locked on Fox News but not if you are ambulatory and able to read English.

Meanwhile, our president, who is more or less forced to live in the real world, has seen his numbers drop alarmingly because unreality is so beautiful to so many people, such as the tea baggers. The conservatives should, in all decency, lie low for a few years. When you’ve driven the car into the swamp — up to our eyeballs in debt, fighting two wars on behalf of shaky regimes, trying to keep a lid on Iran, Congress in a frozen stupor — and then you throw mudballs at the tow-truck driver, you are betting on the electorate having the memory of a guppy.

I’ve finally decided…

that the U.S. deserves everything it gets…

The geniuses at Newsweek:

Dan Stone, Reporter
Yep, comes down to ID. This guy was a regular guy-next-door Joe Schmo. Terrorists have beards in live in caves. He was also an American, so targeting the IRS seems more a political statement – albeit a crazy one – whereas Abdulmutallab was an attack on our freedom.

Read the whole thing, it’s worth the outrage. These are professional journalists, this isn’t Fox News, it’s not Hannity.

Hell in a handbasket, anyone?

“The chattering creative classes…”

Joseph Huff-Hannon at Salon on the TED conference:

That discussion abruptly over, Andy and I get back to deconstructing some of what we’ve seen so far, and return to brainstorming about our upcoming talk — and the challenge of selling a provocative brand of anti-corporate activism at a conference heavily sponsored by a laundry list of major corporations (Dow Chemical, GE, Walmart, Shell, etc). The challenge also being how to pitch our idea (the creation of a “Yes Laboratory for Creative Activism” which will, hopefully, train subsequent cadres of aspiring provocateurs and culture jammers) to an audience that, from what we had seen so far, seemed dedicated to a utopian, fairly apolitical form of magical thinking in which change is synonymous with invention, or sometimes just better branding, and where politics is nowhere to be found.

“What the world needs now is — mindshift,” conference MC and TED curator Chris Anderson says to wild applause, as he kicked off the conference. At TED, mindshift is best delivered in a huge luxurious ballroom, with crystal chandeliers, and rows of red bean bag chairs and comfy lounge chairs. Here in Palm Springs the experience is totally mediated, mind you, 500 “TEDsters” who paid almost $4000 a pop are here to watch the thematically grouped talks and presentations beamed in on massive TV screens all over the room. One man lies horizontally on a bed set up that resembles a sort of Bedouin encampment in the desert. Only instead of gazing up at the stars, he’s looking up at an LCD monitor above him broadcasting the talks from the main venue in Long Beach, which is invitation-only and costs $6000.

In the world according to TED, where high-powered über-networking between very smart people and their very big ideas is the best way to address the various social, political and economic crises facing the world, would our entreaties for more organizing, more rebellion, more creative activism to change the rules of the game fall on deaf ears? Mindshift sounded nice, whatever it meant, but could we get anybody here interested in policy shift, in economic shift, in power shift? We knew this was a conference of designers, inventors, venture capitalists and management consultants — not a hot bed of radicals — but we also figured given the much vaunted influence of the “TED community, “if we could interest even a few of these people in our scheme, we’d be in good shape.