Curiouser and curiouser

BREAKING: Greenpeace co-founder reports Greenpeace to the FBI under RICO and wire-fraud statutes | Watts Up With That?

"The organization I co-founded has become a monster."

I'm thinking Starbucks will be happy when this year's season of peace and joy is done and gone

Internet freaks out over Starbucks’ ‘bloody’ bear cookies - NY Daily News


Major Bowes' Amateur Hour was the American Idol of 1930s and 40s radio

And the winner of the first year was…
In 1935, the first year of radio network broadcasts of Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour, more than thirty thousand acts auditioned for the talent contest program. One of the successful acts was the “Hoboken Four.” The vocal quartet auditioned as “Frank Sinatra and the 3 Flashes,” but was renamed, purportedly by Major Bowes himself. The act won the competition of the September 8, 1935, broadcast and joined one of Major Bowes’s traveling vaudeville units. Sinatra soon left the tour to strike out on his own.
 Library of Congress

Remember those good old days…

…those golden days, when the Republicans (and Fox News) were badgering the Donald about staying in the party, wanting him to swear he’d never leave? Now it’s not the Donald that’s making waves, it’s that Ben

GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson threatens to leave Republican Party - LA Times

"The retired neurosurgeon lashed out at Republican leaders who discussed the possibility of a 'brokered convention' during a recent private dinner in Washington."

But good news! Some guy named Sean Spicer, the person in charge of answering Republican prayers, made everything better.

"Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer responded, 'His prayers have been answered,' adding that it's ultimately the voters who will decide on the Republican nominee."

Imagine our relief!


Firefighters spray wrong plane with foam at Chinese airport | Miami Herald

"When crew members of a passenger plane reported sparks coming from an engine while taxiing at an airport in southern China, eight fire trucks responded within minutes.…"

So now, instead of obsessing about next year's iPhone (or president)…

There’s An 85 Percent Chance The Cubs Won’t Win The World Series Next Year Either | FiveThirtyEight

"But for now, the Cubs are MLB’s best team — on paper, at least."

Why not Trump the Whole Bunch?

The App That Lets You Block Trump-Related News

"for any­one put off by his re­cent re­marks, the only way to 'trump Trump,' might be to not to re­ward him with at­ten­tion, but to block him en­tirely. Luck­ily, an iOS app named 'Trump Trump,' does just that."


Oops, there goes your tuition bill

College sports’ fastest-rising expense: Paying coaches not to work - The Washington Post

"So far this fiscal year (which runs through next summer) Maryland is one of five Power Five athletic departments that have racked up severance obligations that could run as high as $25.6 million combined, records show, after changing coaches and administrators."

Picky, picky

Just figuring this out now, are we?

Clinton on Trump: ‘I no longer think he is funny’ - NY Daily News


This is the end of civilization for sure…

Brits who don’t recognize an umbrella when they see one.

Terror alert in London following umbrella mistake on bus - NY Daily News


OK, what?

The Scary Mental Health Risks of Going Meatless | Women's Health

"New research suggests that along with shedding pounds, slashing cancer risk, and boosting life expectancy, vegetarianism could come with lesser-known side effects: Panic attacks. OCD. Depression.…"

I'm no expert (but since when has that stopped me, right?)

I’m just saying here…somehow, if your exercise plan consists of walking to the bakery and back…

and the bakery makes excellent scones…

What a way to start a day

Republicans, Guns and Abortion - Gail Collins, The New York Times

"The presidential race has degenerated to the point where I am going to attempt to cheer you up by talking about abortion and guns."


Goose-Steppers in the G.O.P. - Timothy Egan, The New York Times

"The neo-Nazi website, Daily Stormer, was out and proud earlier this week: 'Heil Donald Trump — the Ultimate Savior.’"

Achtung, bitches

VW Says Emissions Cheating Was Not a One-Time Error - The New York Times

"“There was a tolerance for breaking the rules,” Mr. Pötsch said…"

Ve vill haf no breaking of der rules.


Trails in the sunset

Pardon our complete surprise

Poll: After Paris attacks, millennials want ground troops to fight ISIS - CBS News

"The kicker: Young Americans aren't so eager for a ground campaign that they want to carry out the fight themselves."

The revolution will be monitized

Twitter looks to make money from ads aimed at logged-out users | Reuters

"Twitter Inc said it was testing a feature to show advertisements to people who read tweets without logging in, as it tries to make good on its long-time ambition to monetize non-active users."

Today in First World Problems

Find out what your nanny’s really up to when you’re not around | New York Post

“[A} nanny spy, Limor Weinstein, a 40-year-old UES mom of three girls, charges $350 an hour to surveil unsuspecting nannies, including stalking a single nanny for as long as six weeks."

I wish they would at least agree on what to call this thing…

Four Plans Compete to Authorize Military Force Against the Islamic State - The New York Times

"Members of Congress have criticized President Obama’s response to the Islamic State — also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, or ISIS…"

…before they make me crazy, also known as nuts, or freaking bonkers.

Imagine our joy

Kenneth Griffin, Richest Man in Illinois, Endorses Marco Rubio - First Draft. Political News, Now. - The New York Times


This day has been so weird you wouldn't believe

See? I’m starting to talk like Trump. And that’s not even the worst part. Never mind—were talking about incredibly, unbelievably, overwhelmingly, unambiguously totally weird. And tomorrow gonna be pretty dodgy too. Computers crashing in flames, cookie shortage, you name it.

Me, I’m putting on some nice, cozy sweats and sitting right here with a book and, well, this for the rest of the afternoon and if you don’t like it, tough.


Ft. Laramie comes to Jalalabad

As It Fights ISIS, Pentagon Seeks String of Bases Overseas - The New York Times

"The plan would all but ensure what Pentagon officials call an 'enduring' American military presence in some of the world’s most volatile regions."

If you want to stay on top of this strategy you’d do well to study the history of America’s (mostly) 19th Century (I know we don’t say things like this anymore) Indian Wars.

From Wikipedia:

"The Census Bureau in 1894 counted over 40 wars during the 57 years between 1789 and 1846, which killed 19,000 whites and about 30,000 Indians however it did note that the number of Indians killed was likely 50% higher than this, for a total of 45,000."

Notes from another time

From George Orwell's 1940 review of Mein Kampf:

Hitler…knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums.

I hope it's not a jinx to say this but…

…not bad for the second weekend in December—in New England.

Obama: The gun president?

What Drives Gun Sales: Terrorism, Obama and Calls for Restrictions - The New York Times

"'President Obama has actually been the best salesman for firearms,' said Brian W. Ruttenbur, an analyst with BB&T Capital Markets, a financial services firm."


Good way to meet girls


Another fabulous idea from Texas

Gun rights groups are going to march with loaded weapons and then stage a fake mass shooting. Got it? Good. | New Republic

"Let me reiterate: Gun rights activists are planning, a mere week after the San Bernardino shooting, to stage a fake mass shooting at a major public university campus to showcase their displeasure with the idea of gun-free zones. "


"'We love freedom and we’re trying to make more freedom,' Short told the Statesman."

Got it.

Have you ever walked out of a store…

Woman who shot at fleeing shoplifters gets probation - seattlepi.com

"She acknowledged the shooting in the parking lot was a mistake.…

"'We need more people like Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez in our society,’ [her defense attorney] said."

…and triggered an alarm because the clerk forgot to remove one of those little tags?

Oughta be better than a Superman movie

Ted Cruz’s Plan for Toppling Donald Trump in South Carolina? Divine Intervention

"And in South Car­o­lina, which has a long his­tory of nasty primar­ies—the bru­tal struggle between John Mc­Cain and George W. Bush in 2000 be­ing among the most no­tori­ous—many an­ti­cip­ate a co­lossal struggle."

Signs of the times

Smith & Wesson triples profits in three months to October - BBC News


This is just plain depressing

Not the Donald, although he’s pretty depressing himself, but…

Along with Trump’s rhetoric, the stakes for 2016 have risen dramatically - The Washington Post

"One must scroll back decades for echoes, however imperfect, of what he is saying, from the populist and racially based appeals of then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace in 1968 and 1972…"

…learning that WaPo considers 1972 is no longer in the modern era. 

New York Wings (no, not a new basketball team no matter how much you wish)

Dad, son swipe $41K worth of wings | New York Post

“…sold them on the street or to other businesses."

Where else could you sell a box of chicken wings on the street (pssst, buddy)?


After us, of course…

What? No yurts?

San Jose council explores tent city idea to house homeless - San Jose Mercury News

"'The current circumstances warrant us taking a very aggressive approach,' said Councilman Donald Rocha"

Swabbie nun whacks deer

Nun Sister Bauer Shoots 10-Point Buck In Pennsylvania | The Daily Caller

"Sister John Paul Bauer — who learned to shoot while serving in the Navy — has been hunting for a few years and says there’s something spiritual about the sport."

(A veritable festival of outrage.)


Sheriff calls on America's "good guys" to shoot "bad guys"

In a Facebook message that has since gone viral, the sheriff said said he was "sick and tired" of terrorists who just want 'their 15 minutes of fame.’"

Actually now it’s more like a week on CNN.

So much for early diagnosis

Modern science detects disease in 400-year-old embalmed hearts | Reuters


Not the kind that sells cookies, the kind that is a cookie (sort of)

Who doesn’t like brownies? - Toledo Blade

"It’s National Brownie Day, an important occasion we know you’ll want to celebrate."

What happens when you let history majors do math

KING: Conservative's support Trump's new white supremacy - NY Daily News

"After multiple divorces he’s now on his third marriage…"

Buckeyes are nuts

Zombie-Themed Nativity Scene Causes a Stir in Ohio - The New York Times

"The couple is asking for donations to improve the structure for next year and to cover any fines they might face."


Penn Station and some old-time, hard-core black-and-white

Louis Stettner and the Glories of Penn Station - The New York Times


Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, it did

Ted Cruz Tops Donald Trump in New Iowa Poll - First Draft. Political News, Now. - The New York Times


When loopier-sounding bowl game names are written…

Area college football teams going bowling - Toledo Blade

"The Wolverines will…face Florida at 1 p.m. on Jan. 1 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.…"


Florida, Russia (the article never says), what difference does it make: Do not lick this man

Vladimir Putin: ‘No touching, licking or biting’ – POLITICO

Feel the Bern

Sanders voted 'Person of the Year' in Time readers' poll - NY Daily News

"The self-styled Democratic socialist and 2016 presidential candidate came in first in the magazine’s online poll for the award, which closed Sunday night, getting 10.2% support.…

Sanders’ fellow 2016 candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton got only 1.8% and 1.4% support, respectively."

We keep trying but you're not scared enough yet, Bunky

Homeland Secretary: US to roll out new terror alert system

"This will be the third terror alert system put in place by DHS since the September 2001 terrorist attacks."

Say no more

From Katy Perry to Kim Kardashian, How the French Revolution Crept Into Advertising - The Atlantic

"It’s been widely lambasted as one of the most “bizarre” ads in recent history. Kim Kardashian, dressed as Audrey Hepburn…"


And now a few words from Captain Obvious

Politics - The Washington Post

"San Bernardino massacre underlines a divide among contenders in 2016 race"


Republicans not happy that Homeland Security agency leases pricey SUVs - The Washington Post

What's wrong with good old American Kias?

Joy to the world

Jerry Falwell Jr.: Let’s teach Muslims ‘a lesson if they ever show up here’ - The Washington Post

"[Liberty University] President Jerry Falwell Jr. urged students to get their permits to carry concealed weapons during the school's convocation.…

"'I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in,' he says, the rest of his sentence drowned out by loud applause while he said, 'and killed them.'"

Buzzword alert

California Attack Has U.S. Rethinking Strategy on Homegrown Terror - The New York Times

"“We used to have a long time from flash to bang because Al Qaeda would spend years planning,” he said."