birdie's blog

Napoleon and George W. Bush

A lesson from history...interesting comparison of the two leaders by Richard Bulliet from the International Herald Tribune.

Feds to assist in MN bridge collapse

It's a tragedy, and it's hit home, in a oldest son just moved to Minneapolis having graduated Carleton College and started his first full-time job in the Cities. Fortunately, neither he nor his girlfriend were nearby at the time of the collapse. Minneapolis is going to need a lot of help to rebuild physically and psychologically...but this article concerns me, particularly based on the current administration's past track record with disaster recovery.

No End in Sight

Watch the clip, movie opens July 27.

Anyone read Cyrillic?

My little company, IN MY BOOK, is mentioned in this blog, but it is written in Russian--something about bookmarks...

Al Gore is a smart guy

Here's a sneak peek at his new book, The Assault on Reason. I'm looking forward to reading it and hoping that it mobilizes a lot of discussion and moreover action on the part of both public and private institutions in this country.

Addicted to Violence;We're Consciously Victimizing Our Kids

The concluding paragraphs of Bob Herbert's column in today's New York Times: "A study released a few years ago by the Harvard School of Public Health compared firearm mortality rates among youngsters 5 to 14 years old in the five states with the highest rates of gun ownership with those in the five states with the lowest rates.

Bypassing the Electoral College

Hurray for Maryland's new Governor Martin O'Malley.

Loyalty and brands

I'm not exactly naive, but I must say I found it quite shocking that so many reputedly trustworthy pet food brands all are manufactured by a single source, Menu Foods. Does branding mean anything in this day and age? Customer confidence is supposedly built on "brand loyalty." Is it just luck that my cats happen to eat dry food from Nutro (one of the affected brands in the wet food version)? I thought that Nutro was made by Nutro or at least quality-controlled by Nutro; their website says "For over 75 years, Nutro has created, tested, and produced the finest pet foods on the market.

Bill Maher on Anna Nicole Smith and prescription drugs

As reported by Terry Armour in the Chicago Tribune: We happened to catch up with Bill Maher on Friday--the day after former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith died in Florida. Maher and other comedians have mined a lot of laughs out of Smith and her status as a self-made celebrity.

Those Damn Drug Ads


from skank, to saint, to...? whither Angelina

If the New York Times can report it, I can pass it on here. Analysis of what's happened to Ms. Jolie's public persona since divorcing Billy Bob Thornton and marrying Brad Pitt. A little diversion for your day.

Good gossip site

Martinis, Persistence and a Smile...when you feel like you need to read one of those trashy magazines but you don't want to waste the money.

Twelve Items or Less

Just got wind of the painting by Kate Kretz of Angelina Jolie posed as the Madonna holding her children and waiting at a cashiers line at Wal-Mart. Description and photo of this art as social commentary from PugBus (and the NYT w/o photos).

Here's the artist's website.

Bureaucracy Defined

AP. WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army said Friday it would apologize to the families of about 275 officers killed or wounded in action who were mistakenly sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

our health care system

From the New York Times three physicians contribute to an essay on how far astray we've gone with diagnosing "diseases", some of which (hair loss, libido loss, insomnia, twitchy legs, etc.) used to be considered 'just part of life.' It's right on target and beautifully written. The article leads with "For most Americans, the biggest health threat is not avian flu, West Nile or mad cow disease. It's our health-care system," and goes on from there.

Thoughts on a not very cheery subject...death

What is this renaissance of fascination with how upon death, one's body is buried and interred? Reference the deaths and burials of President Ford and the plans for Billy Graham. So much fuss over the remains of what once was a human being; too bad our society pays so little attention to people while they are still alive.

Independent America

A great six-minute trailer and more information on the indie documentary "Independent America" based on two journalists trip across the U.S. using only secondary highways and only patronizing mom & pop stores. See America Walmart, no Starbucks, no Best Western, no Borders, etc. You might want to purchase the DVD for your library.

Taking a Cue from Daniel and Blake - Politics Thursday

I think this Clyde Haberman/NYTimes column says it all...he is such a great writer and he's really hit the nail on the head regarding the NYS pols.


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