iPhone photo:  Phil Compton



If you're reading "Elmer Gantry" (otherwise, forget it)

Damnation, American style: How American preachers reinvented hell - Salon.com

UN guys totally make up news I plan to totally ignore

World Environment News - Bad weather for 2050 as TV forecasters imagine climate change - Planet Ark

"Imaginary television weather forecasts predicted floods, storms and searing heat from Arizona to Zambia within four decades, as part of a United Nations campaign on Monday to draw attention to a U.N. summit this month on fighting global warming.

'Miami South Beach is under water,' one forecaster says…"

"Coalition" (as well as "adorable")…

…should have their vowels wrung. 

Hairs Split While U Wait

Op-Ed: Time for Pres. Obama to prepare country for new Iraq war

"While Mr. Obama refuses to call it a war against Islamic extremists, preferring to call them ‘extremists,’ it is a war against Islamic extremists…"

Anyway, haven’t we always been at war against Eurasia? (I know, I know, references to 1984 are lazy, cheap, and dull. Especially dull. But still. So are references to Iraq.)


New York Post (well, that probably explains it right there) pick Bears and Packers to tie in NFC North this year. Have they ever heard the term, “fat chance”?

NFC North preview: Classic rivals duke it out supremacy | New York Post

"The countdown to kickoff is underway.”

(Also: Duke it out supremacy? Sounds kind of weirdness, doesn’t it?)

What? Gambling at Rick's?

Obama punts on immigration action until after midterm election | TheHill

"The White House cited what they called Republican exploitation of the humanitarian situation near the Rio Grande Valley for further justification to delay any executive action by the president."

We are shocked.



The horror!

The U.S. Government's Secret Plans to Spy for American Corporations - The Intercept

"The report recommends ‘a multi-pronged, systematic effort to gather open source and proprietary information through overt means, clandestine penetration (through physical and cyber means), and counterintelligence’ (emphasis added)[sic]. In particular, the DNI’s report envisions ‘cyber operations’ to penetrate ‘covert centers of innovation’ such as R&D facilities."

Glenn Greenwald freaks out about U.S. government efforts to steal technology from foreign sources, which is pretty much what we’ve been doing since the 18th Century.

Better late than never, we suppose.

Read it when you're in the mood to make an investment.

Matthew Aid’s The Secret Sentry is a nearly must-read book for anyone interested in current events; a definitive history of the National Security Agency from its beginning to the early days of the Obama administration. But it's a little difficult to read because the author, perhaps overly committed to objectivity and impartiality, often becomes concerned with administrative details to the detriment of storytelling. Fortunately, it's also an easy book to skim, and its underlying story is both engrossing and essential to understanding today. 

It’s on the list.

And then there are Bears fans

Why the Bears will go 9-7 - Chicago Sun-Times

"Faith, they say, is belief without proof. Every religion is built on it. At its extreme, it gives us such things as Cubs fans. At the other extreme we get a rain of frogs, or the Kardashians."

Alas, this just possibly might be true, says veteran Dick Morris scoffer

Dick Morris: Biden's Remarks on ISIS Signal Run for President

"The reason Vice President Joe Biden's comments on the growing threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) were so much stronger than President Barack Obama's is that he's planning to run for president in 2016 and doesn't want to be blamed for Obama's policy, says veteran political analyst Dick Morris."

Biden trying to out-hawk Hillary: It’s gonna be a long, long two years. (Remember when Presidential campaigns were only one? Or less?)

Johnson, Dr, at dinner, an indecent spectacle

See Also – Futility Closet

"Index entries in Thomas De Quincey’s Collected Writings, 1896"

Just a plain ist

Rand Paul: ‘I Am Not an Isolationist’ | TIME

"I’ve said since I began public life that I am not an isolationist, nor am I an interventionist. "

This could go on for a very long time

The 2,128 Native American Mascots People Aren’t Talking About | FiveThirtyEight

"I searched the database and found 2,129 sports teams that reference Braves, Chiefs, Indians, Orangemen, Raiders, Redmen, Reds, Redskins, Savages, Squaws, Tribe and Warriors, as well as tribe names such as Apaches, Arapahoe, Aztecs, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Chinooks, Chippewas, Choctaws, Comanches, Eskimos, Mohawks, Mohicans, Seminoles, Sioux and Utes. (Not all teams with the names ‘Raiders’ and ‘Warriors’ are referencing Native Americans, but we spot-checked 20 schools with each name and a majority of each did.)"


Kiddies force-fed

Junk Food Fight: Students Tee Off on Michelle Obama on Social Media

"They are irked at the empty vending machines, the soda-less drink choices and the overall lack of junk food—and they’re threatening to skip lunch altogether if they’re going to be force-fed whole grains and fresh fruits."

Imagine the horror.

So that's where they went

Surgery on ailing Great Dane yields 43 ½ socks - Yahoo News

Good eyes!

Cardboard license plate fails to fool trooper - Yahoo News

"A Massachusetts state trooper noticed something a little odd about the license plate she spotted…"

Whoa! I take it back!

Plenty of Light! Feds Are Selling off Lighthouses - ABC News

"Dave Waller, who purchased the Graves Island Light Station in the mouth of Boston Harbor for a record $933,888 last year, is retrofitting the turn-of-the-century lighthouse into a private home that can double as a vacation rental. He's trying to fashion a bedroom as far as possible from the foghorn — a challenging feat in a building with about 750 feet of livable space."

For just the tiniest part of an instant I thought the idea of living in an unused lighthouse might be pretty cool. But Bunky, it the foghorn is gonna keep blowing count me out. I once spent a night  in a hotel three blocks from a foghorn on a foggy night and I’m telling you, it can’t be done

Who knew?

There’s a Circleville in Utah too (don’t worry, it’s an inside joke), and it’s the home town (kinda sorta maybe) of…

Butch Cassidy


iPhone art:  Phil Compton

Even so, no

Waiting in line for an iPhone 6. Never too early.

"They are each being compensated to attract attention and pitch a product, a telemedicine app called VideoMedicine in Moon Ray's case, and BuyBackWorld.com, a phone buy-back service in the case of Ceballo and Cruz."

The buzz list

coilition against - Google Search

Twitter inquires

"Do you know U.S. Dept of Defense?"

We’ve sort of lost touch over the years.

Sex geckos in space!

Who could resist?

Russian sex geckos in space die in orbit. What killed them? Not cosmic sex. : SCIENCE : Tech Times

"The Russian Federal Space Agency, commonly called Roscosmos, sent five geckos, four males and one female, to space aboard a Russian Foton-M4 satellite as an effort towards a microbiology experiment to study reproduction in microgravity."

Biden dusts off 2007 line to play bad cop

Biden Delivers Fiery ISIS Remarks: We Will ‘Follow Them to the Gates of Hell!’ | Mediaite

"For those Americans looking for an angrier, more impassioned response to the deaths of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff than President Barack Obama was able to provide…Biden drew cheers from the crowd by declaring that the U.S. will follow ISIS fighters to the ‘gates of hell.’"


They couldn't afford a real senator?

Gazprom-controlled bank hires former senators Lott, Breaux as lobbyists - Andrew Restuccia - POLITICO.com

"A bank affiliated with Russian energy giant Gazprom has hired former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and former Sen. John Breaux to lobby against U.S. sanctions.

"According to a lobbying disclosure Friday, Lott and Breaux will focus on ‘banking laws and regulations including applicable sanctions’ on behalf of Gazprombank."

What kind of bank are they, anyway?

Those kids at the border?

Private Prison Stocks Soar As Companies Cash In On Incarcerated Immigrants | ThinkProgress

"‘Investors see this as an opportunity. This is a potentially untapped market that will have very strong demand,’ activist investor Alex Friedmann told CNN Money."

Most of the internet, we just ignore

Penn State student gains rep as squirrel whisperer - Yahoo News

"Junior Mary Krupa tells WJAC-TV (http://bit.ly/1B9IvPf ) that she's able to dress up the squirrel in party hats, or get Sneezy to hold doll-sized props, simply by feeding the animal."

On a web site…

…otherwise populated by strange, somewhat spooky sleepwalking women, a few pictures by the master:

The Stories — Chapter 48 — On Henri Cartier-Bresson: A Conversation with Peter Galassi — THE LINE

And we were just getting over worrying about Putin's nukes

Here’s how bad it would be Yellowstone’s supervolcano erupted today - Salon.com

W00t! Now we can stay under our bed for the rest of the day!

But they sure are purty

Solar flares launch beautiful radiation into space in NASA’s new video - The Washington Post

"Particularly strong solar flares can interact with our planet's own magnetic field, sending our radio and electrical signals haywire and causing blackouts."

Chuck who?

How well do you know Chuck Todd? 

Back when the oceans still protected us

Washington is burned - The Washington Post

"Two hundred years ago this week, British forces advanced on Washington. Red coats swept aside the U.S. defenders at the Battle of Bladensburg, then entered the Capital, burning the White House, the Capitol and other public buildings in the fledgling city."

(One of the dopiest things Dubya ever said was that somehow, before 9/11, the oceans protected us from foreign attack. Here’s one example of many to the contrary.)

I can't wait for the sequel


Keep your pants on (or get over it)

Sending nude selfies is increasingly common behavior | The Verge

"According to a recent study from the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of teens reported sending or receiving a sexually explicit text, or sext, a jump of nearly double the 26 percent who reported doing so in 2012. The number of users among all age groups who say they have received a nude photo is now one in five, compared to 15 percent two years ago. A separate study from Purdue University found that among 21 year olds, 80 percent had sent or received a sext and 46 percent had sent a nude selfie. A report from the security firm McAffe found half of adults surveyed had used their mobile device to send and receive 'intimate content' and half of those kept the images and texts stored on their phones."

Oh please, spare us

The Unbearable Emptiness of a New York Times Op-Ed - The Atlantic

"McCain and Graham want Obama to act both ‘deliberately’ and ‘urgently’ because they’re both happy words. (As opposed to ‘lethargically’ and ‘rashly,’ which are nastier synonyms for the same thing.)"

Dude needs a new thesaurus. Fast. (Which is a synonym for posthaste.)


Maybe we can't

President Obama needs to focus on how the United States can meet global challenges - The Washington Post

"Throughout his presidency, he has excelled at explaining what the United States cannot do and cannot afford, and his remarks Thursday were no exception."

Imagine our relief

Dozens of police agencies report loss of Pentagon-supplied military weapons | Fox News

"A Pentagon spokesman told the station that 8,000 law enforcement agencies participate in the 1033 program and that 98 percent remain in good standing."

Raise your hand if you believe this one

Female researcher dons fake mustache to study ravens - NY Daily News

"Stacia Backensto, an Alaska biologist and master of disguise, dressed herself as one of the men working in the northern oilfields to spy on the scientist-shy birds."

We have no comment on Obama's tan suit

This, on the other hand…


We're not joking here

Japan rolls out campaign to stockpile toilet paper - Yahoo News

"The government and paper companies kicked off a 'Let's stockpile toilet paper!' campaign to mark Disaster Prevention Day…"

Not to mention with the ocean

North Korea fired short-range projectile into sea, says Seoul - Firstpost

"Seoul: North Korea fired another short-range projectile into the sea on Monday…three days after it cancelled a plan to send cheerleaders to the upcoming Asian Games in the South.…
"Analysts say the North's decision suggests that the country may not continue an earlier push to improve ties with South Korea."


Right you are, Bunky, that's polite alrighty

Foul-smelling beer withdrawn from sale in Norway

"The smell of the beer was compared by consumers to, well, human flatulence, to put it politely."

So just lying around on something green is what's good? We're all for that!

Undernews: Dishing the dirt is healthy

"‘People usually assume that the health benefits of exposure to green space are due to exercise. In fact two large studies now demonstrate that although exercise is definitely good for you, it does not explain the beneficial effect of green space,’ says Rook. ‘Contact with microbial biodiversity is looking like the most probable explanation for the green space effect.’ "
The Conversation

iPhone art: Phil Compton

Go Raiders

Rimrock High School (Bruneau, ID) Football Home - MaxPreps.com

"The Rimrock Raiders football team lost Friday's home non-conference game against Garden Valley by a score of 50-0."

We’re naming the Rimrock Raiders of Bruneau, Idaho, as our official football team for the year. 

But we're laughing at the Republicans already

Herman Cain Uncovers Obama's Secret Plot To Get Impeached

"Herman Cain took the conservative rhetoric of 'impeachment bait' to the next level on Thursday by theorizing that President Obama is actually trying to get impeached in order to 'laugh at the Republicans.'

"'I believe that he'll do it, and here's why,' Cain explained in a radio interview.… "

This one, at least.