Foot, shot in

U.S. 'forcibly' took custody of militant leader, Afghans say | The Japan Times

The United States recently seized a senior Pakistani Taliban commander in eastern Afghanistan, snatching him from the custody of Afghan intelligence operatives who had spent months trying to recruit him as an interlocutor for peace talks, Afghan government officials charged Thursday.…

The dramatic capture enraged Afghan President Hamid Karzai and is a new irritant in already-contentious negotiations for the terms under which a U.S.-led military coalition will remain in Afghanistan after the formal end of combat operations next year.


Red by Ted Compton
Red, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Unlike certain corporations we could name

(Well, OK, all.)

The wheat, on the other hand, got pretty screwed

News from The Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- When a pipeline rupture sent more than 20,000 barrels of crude spewing across a North Dakota wheat field, it took nearly two weeks for officials to tell the public about it.

…officials say no water was contaminated or wildlife hurt.

This morning's security sermonette



Government Quotes, Sayings about Governments, Democracy, Bureaucracy

If people behaved like governments, you'd call the cops.  ~Kelvin Throop

More crazy than we can keep up with

Gohmert Describes McCain As Supporter Of Al Qaeda

For shame

McDonald’s worker arrested after telling company president she can’t afford shoes | The Raw Story

A woman who has been employed by the McDonald’s Corporation for over 10 years says she was arrested last week after she confronted the company president at a meeting and told him she couldn’t afford to buy shoes or food for her children.…

“It’s really hard for me to feed my two kids and struggle day to day,” she shouted as Stratton was speaking. “Do you think this is fair, that I have to be making $8.25 when I’ve worked for McDonald’s for ten years?”

“I’ve been there for forty years,” Stratton replied from the podium.

Not what you'd call a really great review

Wherefore art this remake of ‘Romeo and Juliet’? - Movies - The Boston Globe

Watching the insipid, interminable new “Romeo and Juliet” prompts one to ponder, between regularly checking one’s watch, where it falls on the spectrum of awful Shakespeare.

Eggplants attack!

Eggplants attack! by Ted Compton
Eggplants attack!, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

The Republican party should be banned (Cont.)

Just in time for Thanksgiving dinner

It's Not Just Us: Even American Animals Are Getting Fatter - David Epstein, ProPublica - The Atlantic Wire

When you elect fools you get foolishness

Rand Paul: ‘There’s a worldwide war on Christianity’

"From Boston to Zanzibar, there's a worldwide war on Christianity," the world's most-practiced religion, he said Friday at the Values Voters Summit, an annual conservative gathering. The intensity of attacks is so high, he later added, that it's "almost as if we lived in the Middle Ages," a period that included the Crusades.


Exit by Ted Compton
Exit, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

You don't really want to read this; just take my word

Christian delusions are driving the GOP insane - Salon.com

Just as terrorists use the fact that you care more about the lives of the hostages than they do to get leverage, Republican threats rely on believing they don’t care about the consequences, while Democrats do.

(I was right, wasn't I?)


USPS junks stamps that set ‘bad example’ for kids | New York Post

An entire press run of a new stamp series will reportedly be destroyed by the cash-strapped US Postal Service because it shows potentially dangerous activities — like doing a headstand without a helmet.

Doing a headstand without a helmet? Is it possible to do a headstand with a helmet? Wouldn't that be called, I don't know, a helmetstand?

I seldom get very worked up about the ever-popular "nanny state" accusation but really, this is just dumb.

Also, cannonball is the only dive I know.


Everything you need to know

The Onion’s Guide To Understanding The Debt Ceiling Crisis | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Consolation prize

GOP now the most unpopular political party ever measured by Gallup | The Raw Story

The Republican Party has recorded the lowest favorability rating for a political party ever measured by Gallup.

Maybe Putin can save us again


"I blame it on all of them," she says, sitting in a leather armchair in the lobby of the Capital Towers senior-living building in Raleigh, N.C. "I think Obama is being kind of crappy about it. But I also think the Senate or the Congress, whoever it is, is being just as crappy for not trying to reach an agreement - do ANYTHING - to keep the government going."

(It doesn't look like we'll be saving ourselves.)

DC goes preverbal

Flag Orders on Hold Thanks to Shutdown - Heard on the Hill

As someone in HOH HQ said when we saw the news, “womp, womp.”

What what?


Tea Party Galaxy: Voyage to the Center of Delusion on Vimeo

With the government shutdown continuing and no real negotiations happening, it seems that Captain Ted Cruz is still at the helm of the Republican Party.…

The last laugh

Waterboarding Is A Big Joke At Cheney Roast

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman “said something to the effect that it’s nice that we’re all here at the Plaza instead of in cages after some war crimes trial,” recalled one person who was there.


Oh no! Not that!

Next they'll want to turn off the ice machine.

A little autumn for a change

Unfortunately you can't get inoculated against Congress, but you can (and ought to) get…

Flu vaccine, by the numbers

Bipartisan at last

Poll: Basically Every American Totally Hates Congress - Philip Bump - The Atlantic Wire

A new poll conducted by the Associated Press suggests that approval of Congress is at the stunningly low figure of 5 percent — slightly more Americans than earlier this year said they believed lizard people controlled the government, as Politico's Jonathan Allen points out.

Come to think of it, lizard people explains a lot.

Guess how well this is gonna work

Obama to Boehner: Call a House vote on the shutdown so we can oust you in the election.

[Obama is] telling Boehner to call the vote so that congressmen who oppose the bill can be exposed and thrown out of office.

The rise of Bin Laden's horny ghost

From a review at Amazon:

Horny Ghost Of Osama Bin Laden: Rise Of The Ghost: P R Resurrector: 9781490372099: Amazon.com: Books

Simply stated, this book is a masterpeice that will surely go down as a classic for the ages to sit along side such literary mainstays as The Great Gatsby, Moby Dick, Catcher in the Rye, Hitler's Homosexual Zombie Corpse, and The Grapes of Wrath.

Well, OK, maybe not Moby Dick so much.

Luckily, we have SPAM

The Wages of the Attempted Republican Coup - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money

While the government is shut down, with food-safety personnel and disease detectives sent home and forbidden to work, a major foodborne-illness outbreak has begun. This evening, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture announced that “an estimated 278 illnesses … reported in 18 states” have been caused by chicken contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg…

Have your machine write to my machine

Still have to write that thank-you note? Pay a robot to do it for you | Ars Technica

For $5, the company will have the robot write up to a 255-character message on a gold-embossed card that will be sealed with wax and mailed to the intended recipient.

The wax is a nice touch, no?


Not that it's a big deal or anything

Undernews: Money movers call default a catastrophe in the making

Failure by the world’s largest borrower to pay its debt -- unprecedented in modern history -- will devastate stock markets from Brazil to Zurich, halt a $5 trillion lending mechanism for investors who rely on Treasuries, blow up borrowing costs for billions of people and companies, ravage the dollar and throw the U.S. and world economies into a recession that probably would become a depression. Among the dozens of money managers, economists, bankers, traders and former government officials interviewed for this story, few view a U.S. default as anything but a financial apocalypse.

And wasn't worth it

(Might have been worth 2.)

Maybe it's where they're trying to run the Obamacare web site

The NSA’s Massive Computer Clusters In Utah Are Failing Due To “Arc” Explosions | TechCrunch

The super secret NSA Utah Data Center is suffering from a number of massive electrical jolts which, in turn, have melted hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment.

What about knitting with Nerf needles?

N.Y. school bans balls at recess, cracks down on tag games over safety fears - CBS News

The ban at Weber Middle School in Port Washington, N.Y. will apply to footballs, baseballs, soccer balls, lacrosse balls or any other equipment that might harm a child or school friends. Students will be allowed to play with softer Nerf balls.

A reminder

Become a member of
The International Banana Club

Since 1972.
Membership in 27 countries.


We were just going to come right out and say GIFT but we changed our "mind."

Yes, Bunky, we do have editorial principles

And here's one of them. We will no longer pay any attention to stories based on lists (Ten Ways, Five Reasons, Eight Things…).

Three reasons:

1) They're stupid.

2) They're boring.

3) They suck.

Congress is more popular than toenail fungus, but not by much

Congress losing out to Zombies, Wall Street, and...Hipsters - Public Policy Polling

There's been no shortage of polls out in the last few days showing that Congress has a poor approval rating and we'll add to the pile- we find that only 8% of voters approve of the job it's doing to 86% who disapprove.

In an effort to get some more perspective on those terrible approval numbers though, we tested Congress head to head with a couple dozen dubious things to see what came out ahead and for the most part the results for Congress aren't too hot.

Can't keep track without a program

Undernews: The part of the kidnapping story the White House and media don't talk about

For the last dozen years, Washington has justified military aggression abroad and the implementation of police-state methods at home in the name of a never-ending war on terrorism. Over the course of this period, the Bush and Obama administrations’ principal achievement consists of overthrowing two secular Arab regimes—in Iraq and Libya—and attempting to do the same to a third one in Syria.…

While Al Qaeda did not exist in any of these three countries before US intervention, it now thrives in all three.

YA little note from the Feds

Chocolate Chip Mint: Briefly

A quick rundown on the latest news from the IRS.

Sorry, we're closed. But, for the 6 to 7 million people who still need to file their tax returns, they're still due October 15th. And, if you owe any money, you should definitely mail that in. No one will be here to open the envelope, but mail it in anyway.…

And more.

You thought evergreen meant ever green, right?

Afterward by Ted Compton
Afterward, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

But no. These are pine needles, blown out of the neighbor's trees overnight; we had a big blow. Also a few small tree branches lying around this morning. Just Nature cleaning up a bit. There were tornado warnings over there on the other side of the hill, but I don't know if any happened. Here, just wind.

I won't be responsible: Read this at your own risk

Scalia believes in the Devil and ‘very much suspects’ some friends of his are homosexual | The Raw Story

In a wide-ranging interview with New York‘s Jennifer Senior, Supreme Court Justice and conservative icon Antonin Scalia revealed much about his habits, both daily and intellectual, since coming to the court.…

Yeah, but at least we don't have that there socialist health care


WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's long been known that America's school kids haven't measured well compared with international peers. Now, there's a new twist: Adults don't either.…

Adults in Japan, Canada, Australia, Finland and multiple other countries scored significantly higher than the United States in all three areas on the test.

Nothing wrong with politics that a little more corruption won't cure


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court is tackling a challenge to limits on contributions by the biggest individual donors to political campaigns.…

Republican activist Shaun McCutcheon of Hoover, Ala., the national Republican Party and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky want the court to overturn the overall limits on what contributors may give in a two-year federal election cycle. The total is $123,200, including a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to candidates, for 2013 and 2014.

No escape from B-52

Editorial: U.S. household wealth back to 1989 level | masslive.com

Median household income – the point at which half earn more, half less – stands today right where it was in 1989.… 

After nearly a quarter of a century – through the roaring 90s, past Y2K, into the languorous new millennium, beyond the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression and right on through to today’s so-called recovery – we are right back where we were when the B-52s’ “Love Shack” was beaming from car radios across the land.

(No word about 1989 prices either.)


Safe seats — but not safe for you, Bunky

Want to know why the government is shut down? This chart explains it.

Done drone

Video: Drone Crashes into Lake

Two things to take away.  1) It’s a reminder of why there is still some controversy over the use of drones in US civilian airspace as the small aircraft seems to have plunged into the water like a skydiving sumo wrestler who never pulls his shoot.  2) The Go Pro camera seems to be a pretty tough little piece of equipment, surviving the drop and submersion to the bottom of the lake providing us with this little nugget of video.



And, ahem, that's chute.

You probably don't have to worry about this too much, Antonin

Justice Scalia uses the Internet. And he thinks you people on it are narcissists.

For example, I don’t know why anyone would like to be “friended” on the network. I mean, what kind of a narcissistic society is it that…

Will this become the new national pastime?

How scared should you be about the debt ceiling? Introducing the Wonkblog Daily Default Dashboard!

The Wonkblog Daily Default Dashboard. Here is the first edition, covering market activity as of Friday's market close. We'll keep updating as new information comes in. So far in Monday's trading session, markets are getting more nervous about the possibility of default.

I didn't know what time it was

National Institute of Standards and Technology Page Not Found

NIST Closed, NIST and Affiliated Web Sites Not Available

Due to a lapse in government funding, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is closed and most NIST and affiliated web sites are unavailable until further notice. We sincerely regret the inconvenience.

Some guy at Salon just notices

When the close button doesn’t close - Salon.com

The web is full of all kinds of annoying and distracting advertising tricks, but the experience of having the close button fail to close something delivers a unique brand of torture.

Sounds like a job for Snowden

Russia's Sochi Games: Why you may want to leave your laptop at home - Yahoo News

Russia's FSB security service is reportedly installing a sweeping and invasive surveillance system, which security experts have dubbed "PRISM on steroids," to ensure that they will be able to intercept, read, and even filter every single digital communication passing through the city's telephone and Internet networks during the Games.

(Sarcastic? Moi?)

Oh oh, new toy


I've been using this NOAA weather app for iOS for quite a while — it's good for its radar presentation. In some recent update a camera function got added, and it takes pictures like this one. I'm not a really hard-core weather geek but this is too much fun to pass up.

So Sarah Palin can have a look at it


It will then travel from the far western exclave of Kaliningrad to the easternmost point just across the Bering Strait from Alaska…


Imagine our joy

Google Wants Patent On Splitting Restaurant Bills - Slashdot

"In a classic example of parody coming to life," writes GeekWire's Todd Bishop, "a newly published patent filing reveals Google's ambitions to solve one of the most troublesome challenges known to humanity: Splitting the bill at the end of a meal."

When real food is just not good enough

School Pulls All-Beef Burgers From Menu, Citing Complaints : The Two-Way : NPR

Students in a Virginia school system are now eating hamburgers with additives in them, after officials heeded their complaints about the appearance and taste of the all-beef burgers it had been serving. The burgers that are now being served include a reported 26 ingredients.

An informational note from Uncyclopedia*

October 6 : Anniversary of the Invention of Fire, World's Most Dangerous Day To Be Flammable

*See our fabulous Work Avoidance List

Getting a little kinky on the Sunday teevee


The Olympic Flame Embarrassingly Extinguished Itself in Russia - Connor Simpson - The Atlantic Wire

The Olympic torch arrived in Moscow on Sunday after a quick trip through Greece. The welcoming ceremony was filled with Russian pomp and circumstance. In response, the flame extinguished itself while someone was running through the Kremlin.…

Thankfully there was someone near by with a lighter…

(If this happened in the US it would wind up in a Bic commercial.)

Whatever happened to all that talk about Texas seceding?

Some Texans Cheer Ted Cruz Amid Furloughs And Partial Shutdown | Fox News Latino

Thanks to Texas' new senator, Dale Huls is out of a job — at least for now. Yet Huls has never been prouder that he voted for him.…

Any chance we can get that started again? (Meanwhile, if this guy Huls wants to "stand up," why doesn't he just quit his job?)

Dark Morning

Dark Morning by Ted Compton
Dark Morning, a photo by Ted Compton on Flickr.

Remembering the good old days

Selling Secrets of Phone Users to Advertisers - NYTimes.com

SAN FRANCISCO — Once, only hairdressers and bartenders knew people’s secrets.

Now, smartphones know everything…

Just who's running the show

Meet the Morons Who Caused This Shutdown - Esquire

There has never been a single House of the Congress with a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than this one.…


The Shutdown in 10 Infuriating Sentences | Mother Jones

At its core, the dispute over the budget and the debt ceiling isn't complicated at all. But it is full of misconceptions and urban myths. Here are the 10 facts worth remembering past all the obfuscation…

Also, if they're allergic to autocorrect

In This Business, Scaredy Cats Need Not Apply : NPR
"We do ask people if they have any problem with chainsaw fumes, moving floors, strobe lights, loud noises," Streuver says. "We need to know if they're allegoric to stage blood or latex, because they will be experiencing that in their costumes and makeup."