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If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first four sharpening the axe. - Abraham Lincoln

On the Ridge

Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows on the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new flies.

I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down for miles
Through high still air.

-- from Riprap / Gary Snyder

gerardvanderleun : October 28, 16  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Created by Green Shoe Studio

This will make your day/week/month/year:

The most genuine country song you’ll hear all year came from the least likely songwriter. Reeling from the death of his wife of 72 years in May, Fred Stobaugh, 96, sought a way to deal with his grief and loneliness. Despite lacking any musical experience, he could hear the song he wanted to sing to her—the melody, the lyrics, the longing refrain—just beyond his reach. The Daily Dot

gerardvanderleun : October 27, 16  |  Your Say (16)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Bioluminescent bacteria occur nearly everywhere, and probably most spectacularly as the rare "milky sea" phenomenon, particularly in the Indian Ocean where mariners report steaming for hours through a sea glowing with a soft white light as far as the eye can see. -- The Bioluminescence Page

There is another world above this one; or outside of this one; the way to it is thru the smoke of this one, & the hole that smoke goes through. The ladder is the way through the smoke hole; the ladder holds up, some say, the world above; it might have been a tree or pole; I think it is merely a way. -- Gary Snyder- Through the Smoke Hole

These days she wakes before dawn. The sound of the automatic coffee grinder and its aroma is her alarm. Before first light today, out on the deck overlooking the Pacific, she was gazing at the sea and saw, across the flat miles of ocean stretching out to Catalina, bright flashes come and go like wet fireworks exploding under the waves. Binoculars brought the flashes closer but didn't explain them. They were scattered all across the wide water except where the full moon sliding down the sky towards the western horizon smoothed a bright white band across the slate sea.

Later, when he woke, she brought him out on the deck to see the place where she'd witnessed this strange antediluvian light show. After a few more minutes he noticed that, in the rising light, large patches of the sea were dark, as if secret islands had risen just beneath the surface. Secret until his 'compulsion to explain the mysterious' arose.

"It's most likely a large algae bloom," he claimed. "When it was dark and the algae was stirred up by waves, breaking combers probably excited and concentrated the algae. What you saw was bioluminescence."

"Bioluminescence," she said. "That's such a fine, soft word."

They watched the dark islands under the surface of the sea for awhile longer and he wished he'd seen the flashes in the pre-dawn dark.

Toward the end of his life, Carl Sagan wrote a book about how most of humanity still lives in a "demon-haunted world;" and how science drives us relentlessly out of the dark oceans of our ignorance until, like some stump-legged fish, we scramble gasping onto the thin, dry strands of our knowledge about the truth of this world.

One of those strands in his mind was 'knowing' that the miracle of rush lights within the ocean was caused by the phenomenon we label "bioluminescence."

Mystery seen, mystery solved.

Wonder summed by science, our youngest and most robust religion. A religion whose prime attraction is to transubstantiate the miraculous with the dependable; whose creed reverses the Eucharist by rendering the body and blood of God into bland bread and indifferent wine.

He'd long been a lay member of this fresh, muscular faith whose liturgies are written in arcane symbols of mathematics rather than arcane phrases of Latin. As a lay member and mere acolyte his understanding of science is as shallow as his faith in science is adamantine. He has worshiped the Saints Einstein, Darwin, Newton, and Bohr. He has believed that in time all will be known and, when all is known, all will be explained and all mystery resolved. He has not yet read The Testament of the Unified Field, but he hopes to before he dies and rejoins that Unified Field as empty matter glowing in the dark. Some of our current priests growing old in the quest assure him that he will. They currently hope to hunt Higgs-Boson to its burrow.

Yet still he wonders. Still he persists in his scientific heresy.

He wonders, "When we explain what we experience in life in the steel language of science, do we drive the mystery out or merely mix more mystery in?"

Sometimes he answers, "Perhaps neither. Perhaps what we do, through our relentless human need to explain, is to simply dive, as blindly as fish born deep below the light, ever deeper into the miracle. Perhaps we dive deep in the hope that the light from our minds and souls will, on some immensely distant day, grow large enough and bright enough to illuminate one crest of one wave rising once only out of the darkness. And that something, somewhere else in the immense darkness in which we dwell, will see our small fire and answer."


gerardvanderleun : October 27, 16  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

With all the national insanity, we sometimes forget that local campaigns have ads too.

"Gerald really doesn't have any hobbies...."

[HT: Between the Radials]

gerardvanderleun : October 26, 16  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Twisted Sister and the Trump Family GET DOWN!

We've got the right to choose it
There ain't no way we'll lost it
This is our life, this is our song

We'll fight the powers that be just
Don't pick our destiny 'cause
You don't know us, you don't belong

Oh we're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh we're not gonna take it anymore

Oh you're so condescending
Your gall is never ending
We don't want nothin', not a thing from you

gerardvanderleun : October 26, 16  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"Trump's Election Will Be The Biggest Fuck You Ever Recorded In Human History" - Michael Moore

[HT: Hillary (No, not the nasty one, the nice one.)]

gerardvanderleun : October 26, 16  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Cherry Blossoms Paint A Lake Purple Making Tokyo Look Like A Fairytale | Tokyo-based photographer Danilo Dungo uses drones to take stunning pictures of Japanese cherry blossoms. Every spring, he goes to the Inokashira Park to admire the blossoms, and while regular photography capture the park’s beauty, the drones reveal something else altogether.

gerardvanderleun : October 25, 16  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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gerardvanderleun : October 25, 16  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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I know a lot of people in Michigan that are planning to vote for Trump and they don't necessarily agree with him. They're not racist or redneck, they're actually pretty decent people and so after talking to a number of them I wanted to write this.
Donald Trump came to the Detroit Economic Club and stood there in front of Ford Motor executives and said "if you close these factories as you're planning to do in Detroit and build them in Mexico, I'm going to put a 35% tariff on those cars when you send them back and nobody's going to buy them." It was an amazing thing to see. No politician, Republican or Democrat, had ever said anything like that to these executives, and it was music to the ears of people in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - the "Brexit" states.
You live here in Ohio, you know what I'm talking about. Whether Trump means it or not, is kind of irrelevant because he's saying the things to people who are hurting, and that's why every beaten-down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump. He is the human Molotov Cocktail that they've been waiting for; the human hand grande that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them. And on November 8, although they lost their jobs, although they've been foreclose on by the bank, next came the divorce and now the wife and kids are gone, the car's been repoed, they haven't had a real vacation in years, they're stuck with the shitty Obamacare bronze plan where you can't even get a fucking percocet, they've essentially lost everything they had except one thing - the one thing that doesn't cost them a cent and is guaranteed to them by the American constitution: the right to vote.
They might be penniless, they might be homeless, they might be fucked over and fucked up it doesn't matter, because it's equalized on that day - a millionaire has the same number of votes as the person without a job: one. And there's more of the former middle class than there are in the millionaire class. So on November 8 the dispossessed will walk into the voting booth, be handed a ballot, close the curtain, and take that lever or felt pen or touchscreen and put a big fucking X in the box by the name of the man who has threatened to upend and overturn the very system that has ruined their lives: Donald J Trump.
They see that the elite who ruined their lives hate Trump. Corporate America hates Trump. Wall Street hates Trump. The career politicians hate Trump. The media hates Trump, after they loved him and created him, and now hate. Thank you media: the enemy of my enemy is who I'm voting for on November 8.
Yes, on November 8, you Joe Blow, Steve Blow, Bob Blow, Billy Blow, all the Blows get to go and blow up the whole goddamn system because it's your right. Trump's election is going to be the biggest fuck ever recorded in human history and it will feel good.
gerardvanderleun : October 25, 16  |  Your Say (18)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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To vote just go: Hillary vs Trump - Presidential Election 2016



gerardvanderleun : October 25, 16  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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“Clearly, Germany is now well beyond the banana republic phase and has entered the realm of patsydom. ”

“Thanks to Wikileaks we now have in our possession an extraordinary document. It was not written by anyone in the Clinton campaign, but was sent to her campaign manager, Jon Podesta. The author was a Dutch journalist/academic named Orca. Presumably Podesta commissioned it.” Had Enough Therapy?: "Multikultistan:" The Price of Muslim Immigration in Europe

An excerpt from Special Report from February for John Podesta, Clinton Campaign manager, as revealed in Wikileaks.
Date: 2016-02-21 00:51
Subject: Multikultistan: A house of horrors for ordinary Germans

Britain is something of the odd man out in immigration-devastated Europe, having also received large numbers of successful non-Western immigrants such as Hindus/Sikhs and Chinese. By sharp contrast, the UK's Muslims, blacks, Roma and other problem immigrant groups do no better than those on the Continent, as I will show with statistics at a later date.

Muslim Immigration and Multicultural Madness have left a trail of misery and mayhem across Germany - with far worse to come because of demographics· Muslims make up only 9% of Berlin's population, yet account for 70% of young repeat criminals, revealed Berlin public prosecutor Roman Reusch

SPIEGEL INTERVIEW DISPUTE: "The problem will explode" - DER SPIEGEL 19/2007.

To be more precise, 46% of Berlin's juvenile serial criminals are of Arab descent, while 33% of them have Turkish ancestry

Youth crime - BZ Berlin.

In an un-German display of harsh-truth telling, Reusch said in Der Spiegel that "in parts [of Berlin], the population consist almost exclusively of problem cases." As he tells it, immigrant children as young as six or seven years old turn to crime and grow up to see honest hard-working people as targets - walking sources of easy money. German society is completely powerless in the face of growing ruthless violence and crime.

To describe the German police and criminal-justice system as a big joke would be unfair to big jokes. You won't be surprised to hear that the outspoken public prosecutor has meanwhile been sacked from his job and banned from talking to the media.·


The German police admits that large immigrant areas of Berlin, Hamburg, the Ruhr Area, etc. have become police no-go areas, where criminals and extremists have free reign. Within no time at all, a lone police patrol car making a foray into Germany's ethnic war zones finds itself surrounded by a baying lynch mob, much like US soldiers in Baghdad at the height of the troubles, added Roman Reusch. Check out footage of Berlin's Wedding district, which has become too dangerous for a single police officer to work in, as told by a policeman dressed in civilian clothes for his own safety: Berlin-Wedding: Polizisten haben Angst im Mohammedaner-Viertel - YouTube.

A ZDF report: No-Go-Areas in Berlin ( Senat bestreitet sie ) - YouTube explains that rapidly growing immigrant violence against police officers is not confined to Berlin and Hamburg. The Ruhr Area, to mention another example, has also seen the emergence of ghettoized police no-go areas.

That is confirmed by a Westen interview [ | In poor neighborhoods, even the police fear ] with Bernhard Witthaut, the tightlipped chairman of Germany's largest police union, who knows so much more than he is prepared to let on.·

A police spokesman points out Berlin's ever-worsening ultraviolent ghettos on a map: Teile Berlins sind verloren - YouTube In a few decades, he won't need to be so precise and can just wave in the general direction of Berlin.

The operative word is demographics - a concept alien to German Leftists, who suffer from a severe case of innumeracy.· Whites are fleeing West Berlin to escape immigrant violence specifically targeting native Germans. So says juvenile court judge Kirsten Heisig in a ZDF report: Deutsche werden Opfer türkischer Straßengangs - YouTube

Groups of heavily armed young Turks and Arabs routinely beat white youngsters into pulp, especially their faces and teeth, while filming the whole episode for distribution among their mates. The juvenile court judge provides the grisly details

Anti-white racism of the most virulent kind has become a fact of life across Europe, but perhaps nowhere more so than in Germany. Kirsten Heisig's book When Patience Comes to an End details the visceral hatred many Muslims feel toward native Germans, who are subjected to a daily torrent of abuse and ethnic slurs in their own country. Even young Turkish women think nothing of calling native girls "German whores" and chanting that "Germans should be gassed," she writes. Here young Muslim women shout "So sieht Deutscher Inzest aus" at police officers : Mohammedan chanted on Pro Kn Demo "This is what German incest from" - YouTube

Lone native students at Muslim immigrant-dominated vocational high schools quite often won't last a week and are lucky to escape their bullies physically unhurt. In this footage, four immigrants mug a German man in a Berlin subway station, beating him into a coma and leaving him permanently brain-damaged.

The four perpetrators were teenagers from Albania, Kosovo, Iraq and Nigeria, who had earlier shouted "Scheiß-Nazis" and "wir hassen Deutsche" at the victim and his colleagues.

The fact that, in all likelihood, most or all of them are refugees granted asylum by Goody-Goody Germany further adds to the heinous nature of the crime. I can give similar examples until the cows come home, and these are only the ones that somehow slipped past the censors. Clearly, Germany is now well beyond the banana republic phase and has entered the realm of patsydom. Always lurching from one form of extremism to the next, Germans have now decided that the role of an über-schlemiel is a perfect fit. The New CorrectThink is: Deutschland unter alles!

More, much more at WikiLeaks - The Podesta Emails


gerardvanderleun : October 25, 16  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies


The word “unbelievable” has lost all force. That's why the kiddies and their adult imitators invented the word awesome. -- Commentor BillH, 2014

Moments of real awe that overwhelm the soul are rare, but if you look closely at the miracle of creation in the macro or micro cosmos you can create such a moment almost at will. Real awe is front-loaded into the universe.

At the same time, those things of man that inspire awe diminish moment by moment under the unstoppable onslaught of the word "awesome." The descent of the word "awesome" from a valuable modifier when describing an experience to the status of a brain fart is a classic example of how our "educated" illiterates destroy literacy.

I've had a few moments in my life where genuine awe shook me to the roots of my soul. Holding my daughter in my arms a moment after she was born comes to mind as does a time when I was very young, lying a field and looking up at the sky and the high cirrus glowing burnt orange in the fading rays of day. There were others as well, gifts given and grace notes. Common to all were an intake of breath and a feeling as if your heart had been grazed by a thought of God and forgot, for that moment, to beat. Matched up against all the torrent and cascade of moments though, this genuine awe was rare; it was one of the pearls beyond price, the shining instant of "Ah ha, so that's what it's all about."

Not so today. Today awe is as common as clay. Today all things of man possesses the awe of someness. The movie is awesome. The SmartCar is awesome. The candy bar is awesome. The cheeseburger is awesome. Today it would seem that every slice of tripe spun out of the crap factories of pop culture is awesome even though one note of the 9th Symphony would crush the entire oeuvre of Arrowsmith. My morning latte was described by the barrista as "awesome" when, like all our cornucopia of crapulous things described as such, it was quite mediocre, thank you.

I'm not sure when "awesome" died, but it was sometime in the very late, not-so-great, 20th century. You'd think it would be mummified by now, but no. Whenever someone so forgets to drive their mouth responsibly that the word "awesome" emerges it carries with it the stench of that slaughterhouse where perfectly good words go to die.

In a time when moments of true awe are needed to slake the parched post-modern lost souls, the intense trivialization of awe by the neutered generation is awesome.

gerardvanderleun : October 23, 16  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Enemies, Foreign & Domestic


“The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” – Lincoln

Whenever a class of people, self-anointed, seek to impose Utopia on the world, evil ensues. Whenever a group of people seek to arrogate the power of the people to themselves, evil ensues. It is not merely that power corrupts but that some people are compelled to corrupt democratically distributed power through statist centralization. If the age of kings was the age of rule by one monarch, the current age drifts towards the rule of many smaller kings acting in unison. This is the age of the Multi-Monarchists; of rule by the faction of “Little Hitlers.” Their accoutrements are not uniforms and stark symbols, but cap & gown, press passes, and union cards. Their collective policy is plague.

All faction, no matter its origin or ideals, is in the end Fascist. The Founders knew Faction and feared it. Much of the Federalist Papers is taken up with the problem of suppressing Faction and the Constitution is the carefully wrought attempt at a solution to it. Of course, the Founders also knew that Faction as Facism is never finished except by fire and fire alone. This is why, in the Founders' founding document, The Declaration of Independence, they included this provision,

"... when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

As the Founders knew from their own experience, this is much easier said than done. It requires the blood of patriots and tyrants. And the Founders knew that sustaining such a government was even harder. Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“A Republic," Franklin replied, "if you can keep it.”

Every day I read of new usurpations of power as the current matched set of “ruling elites” takes a new section of the Constitution into the outhouse and emerges without it.

Usurpations of powers previously reserved to the American people in multitudes, swirling over the land like a cloud of locusts. These usurpations come in sizes large and small; from taxation disguised as “fees”, to legislative legerdemain in which bills of economic attainder will be "deemed" passed without a reading and, inside the cancerous towers of bureaucrats, a vote, to meddlesome intrusions into trout fishing in America.

Indeed, it seems that there is little in American life that has not of late had some appointed and malign Faction assigned to it for purposes of some dubious transformation into some off-brand stealth-socialist utopia. And in doing their work of transformation these Fascist Factionists devastate the public purse at the same time they feed at the public trough. The party that struggled for decades to “Keep the government out of your bedroom,” now seeks more and more ways in which the government can wander your home and your body and count your cups and calories.

H.L. Mencken, no stranger to realpolitik in the United States, put it this way, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

An American president during the shooting phase of our first Civil War put it this way:

"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
-- - - Lincoln: 2nd Inaugural

Looking deeper still into history we can remember another time of great plagues when men who thought themselves God sought to enslave people in perpetuity:

And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.

And the locust went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.

For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt. -- Exodus 10

In both instances the only solutions that could be found was not greater control of the people by the faction, but greater freedom for the people from all faction. Until they found that freedom again, until they managed to disenthrall themselves, the plagues only continued, and continued, and continued, and continued.

“The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”

gerardvanderleun : October 22, 16  |  Your Say (17)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Heat Map of DOS Attack

Major internet problems reported after cyberattack

On Friday morning, Dyn — a company that hosts domain name systems — announced it has been the subject of a cyberattack that caused major problems for numerous websites. People reported issues with Twitter, Spotify, SoundCloud, Vox Media sites, Airbnb and numerous other sites.

gerardvanderleun : October 21, 16  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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The pure products of America
go crazy--

mountain folk from Kentucky
or the ribbed north end of
with its isolate lakes and

valleys, its deaf-mutes, thieves
old names
and promiscuity between

devil-may-care men who have taken
to railroading
out of sheer lust of adventure--

and young slatterns, bathed
in filth
from Monday to Saturday

to be tricked out that night
with gauds
from imaginations which have no

peasant traditions to give them
but flutter and flaunt

sheer rags succumbing without
save numbed terror

under some hedge of choke-cherry
or viburnum--
which they cannot express--

Unless it be that marriage
with a dash of Indian blood

will throw up a girl so desolate
so hemmed round
with disease or murder

that she'll be rescued by an
reared by the state and

sent out at fifteen to work in
some hard-pressed
house in the suburbs--

some doctor's family, some Elsie
voluptuous water
expressing with broken

brain the truth about us--
her great
ungainly hips and flopping breasts

addressed to cheap
and rich young men with fine eyes

as if the earth under our feet
an excrement of some sky

and we degraded prisoners
to hunger until we eat filth

while the imagination strains
after deer
going by fields of goldenrod in

the stifling heat of September
it seems to destroy us

It is only in isolate flecks that
is given off

No one
to witness
and adjust, no one to drive the car

gerardvanderleun : October 21, 16  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Woke up this morning in a foul mood and nauseated by the election. You too? Try this palette cleanser. It's casual, real, and utterly lacking in artifice on every level.

As described by one of my new favorite sites, HappyAcres

Educational: as in, should be shown to every schoolchild (and adult) as a reality check

Want to know where the stuff at Home Depot comes from? Jump to the 4:00 minute mark to enter the factory.

As a machinist, Tubal visits as curiosity seeker, marveling at the practical solutions that make a piece-part factory work. It is a marvel to be sure, that man can so organize himself and the material world.

A viewer with soft hands, though, may marvel at Blake’s dark satanic mill surviving into our own age, surviving because it works, because it provides a paycheck to rough tough people with no illusions, because it gives you a cheap high-quality hammer.

The working class… is it really a thing? What does a working class person look like? What does a working class person do for the paycheck he takes home to his family?

And those factories that newspapers say are disappearing from America… what do they look like, can you give me an image?

You’ll never think about hammers or white trash the same again. You’ll have a real image.

gerardvanderleun : October 21, 16  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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We have reached a crisis when upon their action depends the preservation of the Union, according to the letter and spirit of the Constitution; and this once gone, all is lost. -- President James Buchanan, 1858, as quoted in Life and liberty in America: or Sketches of a Tour in the United States, 1858 by Charles Mackay which continues:

As the venerable statesman truly observes, the United States incur no danger from foreign aggressions; there is no one to injure them but themselves; and they have nothing to fear but "the just judgments of God." But this is only a portion of the subject, and the questions still remain, Will they not injure themselves? ....

That the people will increase and multiply and replenish the whole continent no one can doubt: and that in the course of ages North America will be as populous as Europe.... But in speculating upon the future of a people the mind clings to the idea of Empire and Government — and we ask ourselves whether Empire in this noble region will be one or many — central or local — imperial or republican?

Whether the great Republic shall exist undivided, or whether it will fall to pieces from its own weight and unwieldiness, or from some weakness in the chain which shall be the measure and the test of its strength? ...

Or whether, in consequence of internal strife, some new Alexander, Charlemagne, or Napoleon of the West, shall arise to make himself lord absolute and hereditary, and at his death leave the inheritance to be scrambled for and divided by his generals? ...

That the Union may be disturbed or disrupted at some period near or remote, is an idea familiar to the mind of every inquirer and observer.... It is, after all, the hungry belly of the people, and not the heads of legislators, that tries the strength of political systems: and when all the land is occupied, and has become too dear for the struggling fanner or artizan to purchase; when the starving man or the pauper has a vote equally with the well-fed and the contented proprietor; and when the criminal counts at an election for as much as an honest man — what may be the result of universal suffrage on the constitution of the Republic and the stability of the Union?....

But a greater danger even than this — the most formidable of all the rocks that are ahead — is the growth of peculation and corruption, and the decay of public virtue.

A republic is, theoretically, the purest and most perfect form of Government, but it requires eminently pure men to work it. A corrupt monarchy or despotism may last for a long time without fatal results to the body politic, just as a man may live a long time, and be a very satisfactory citizen, with only one arm, one leg, or one eye.

In despotic countries the people may be virtuous, though the Government is vicious; but a corrupt republic is tainted in its blood, and bears the seeds of death in every pulsation. And on this point Mr. Buchanan seems to have a clearer vision than many of his countrymen.... In reference to this fever in the blood of the State, he thus solemnly warns the citizens in the letter from which quotation has already been made: —

"I shall assume the privilege of advancing years in reference to another growing and dangerous evil. In the last age, although our fathers, like ourselves, were divided into political parties which often had severe conflicts with each other, yet we never heard until within a recent period of the employment of money to carry elections. Should this practice increase until the voters and their representatives in the State and National Legislatures shall become infected, the fountain of free government will be poisoned at its source, and we must end, as history proves, in a military despotism. A democratic republic, all agree, cannot long survive unless sustained by public virtue. When this is corrupted, and the people become venal, there is a canker at the root of the tree of liberty which will cause it to wither and to die."

If corruption have attained its present growth with a population so scant in 1858, in a country by the cultivation of which ten times the number could live honestly and independently, if they trusted to hard work, and not to intrigue, for the means of subsistence; what will be the extent of corruption fifty years hence? Shall a despotism attempt a remedy worse than the disease? Or will the patient be warned of the evil of his ways, and amend his life in time?

[Taken from -- Life and liberty in America: or Sketches of a Tour in the United States, 1858 by Charles Mackay. Mackay was also the author of the more widely known Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds]

Vanderleun : October 19, 16  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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You find yourself in a world where the coming election is between a crazy old cat lady, an old hippie, Hitler and Mussolini....
Imagine if someone came up to you are said “I’m Susan Wright and my principles prevent me from voting Mussolini, even though I know Hitler will murder millions, so I’m voting for the goofy hippie guy.” You would have dark thoughts about that person. They are willing to stand aside and allow something truly horrible just so they can avoid doing something unpleasant. To make it worse, they demand that you pretend that their cowardice and treachery is high minded.

Further, you would look at those people investing all of their energy ridiculing Mussolini as pro-Hitler partisans. After all, the successful end of the efforts can only mean one thing – Hitler wins. They could protest all they like that they hate both Hitler and Mussolini, but you would know them by their deeds. They are working to pave the way for Hitler, regardless of their reasoning. If successful, they would be, in part, responsible for what comes next. Blood would be on their hands and you would feel justified in holding them responsible.

Alternatively, if someone came up to you and made the case for Hitler, along with pointing out the faults of Mussolini, you would not feel the urge to punch them in the face. They may be horribly mistaken, but at least they are being honest. They are pro-Hitler and they take responsibility for it. They own it. Who knows, they could be right and Mussolini is worse in the long run. In theory, at least, you can debate this with the Hitler fans and maybe in the process sway some undecided voters to your side. - - - Pink State | The Z Blog

gerardvanderleun : October 18, 16  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Once Only

almost at the equator
almost at the equinox
exactly at midnight
from a ship
the full


in the center of the sky.
--- Gary Snyder, 1958

I don't remember who first played "The Landscape Game" with me. It would have been many, many years ago. I also don't remember what my answers were to the game's ten questions, but I wish I had written them down. Played once the game is played forever. Once the first answers are lost, they are lost forever.

You can only play The Landscape Game once in your life. Once you know the questions and the interpretations any chance of replying honestly and openly is gone. It is one of those things that, if you know the "solution," makes any further revelation impossible. "The Landscape Game" is true once and once only.

So no peeking by any means. There's no "win" in the game and the only player you can cheat is yourself.

Next Monday you will see why....


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gerardvanderleun : October 17, 16  |  Your Say (19)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Passing the Hat


By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | c/o Lake Union Mail | 117 East Louisa, #380 | Seattle, WA 98102

The real issue that is plaguing the NFL is they have run out of ways to separate their customers from their money.

In fact, they ran out of sensible ways to do that a long time ago. That’s why they have started holding games in foreign countries.

They think they can maybe find new customers to exploit. The games they hold in London, for example, cost the league millions, but they hope that Brits will get hooked on the narcotic of the NFL and cough up millions for the product. So far, no good. As Marx observed, they are also ruthlessly trying to exploit their existing market. Go to an NFL game and you come away feeling like you have just been mugged. It’s not the absurd prices for everything. They constantly bombard the fan with marketing, because they expect the fan to commit his life to the corporate entity known as his team. Go to a Dallas Cowboy game, for example, and you are treated to a long pre-game ceremony about how you are not just a fan, you are soldier in the army of the Dallas Cowboys. Marx Was Right, Sort Of | The Z Blog

Regarding "Trump's People: Michael Moore's Monologue Redone As a Trump Campaign Ad"


Two threads down, there are fifteen (as of this writing) comments on the original Michael Moore rant, most all of which thoroughly denigrate him for the fat traitorous ignorant commie pig that we all know him to be.
And all of that is absolutely true, as well as being absolutely beside the point. Even though we all agree on the relative (specifically, the profound lack thereof) worth of Mr. Moore to every aspect of our lives, I will "say this about that", as concerns his rant. He's indeed an idiot, but right now, he's our Useful Idiot, and we should wrest the maximum exploitation out of this, his one and likely only, foray into the realm of sanity and truth.
To the millenials the LiVs and to many others Michael Moore is an Oracle, the Brietbartian hell-raiser of their zeitgeist and their very own Alex Jones-ian rooter-out DaVinci Coded secret truths, revealer of conspiracies and every other brain-addled spiderweb of ill-logic and fantasy as exists in the mind of a LiV/leftist. So, we still afford Mr. Moore the lack of respect which is his due from us. We still hold fast to our knowledge of him being, then, now and always the loutish man his reputation lives down to. But. BUT. We use his reputation as the lever, to pry open the weak and directionless minds of the LiV, the lazily leftist, and through that wedge, we pour Mr. Moore's words into the void where those folks brain would normally nestle.
If that's not enough to convert them to vote Trump, at least squirrel them up enough to cause them to not vote Hitlery, and hopefully, not to vote at all, to the great benefit of down-ticket Republicans. I'll always still despise the fat communist slug. But if he fashions himself into a wrench to use against his leftist tribe, well, I'll put as much torque on that handle as I possibly can. And with a four-foot cheater pipe, too. And like a cheap Harbor Freight tool, when it's useful no longer, I'll just toss it aside like the cheap crap that it is.
So, for now, for this, for what it's worth, I'll email that video of him at any suitable opportunity. To liberals, to fence-sitters and to staunch conservative leaders in their respective communities. I have absolutely no compunction against turning the enemy's howitzers around 180 degrees and pulling the lanyard. Fire for effect!
Jim | Sunk New Dawn | Galveston, TX AMERICAN DIGEST: Comment

“America Could Enslave Black People Again.” [Bumped]

Tavis Smiley, whose name is so black you don’t even need to Google Image him for confirmation, is a black man who is paid handsomely to speak as a black man on topics which may or may not have anything to do with being a black man
but to which he insists upon bringing his black-man perspective, anyway. He takes it upon himself to speak for the underprivileged and the “infirmed,” even though neither he nor his editors at TIME seem to realize that’s not a word. Smiley says he “swallowed hard” and said “whoa” to himself when a “dead serious” student asked him whether our current supercharged racial climate could possibly mean an imminent re-shackling of black Americans and a return to a life of degradation where they are forced under threat of bullwhip to pick cotton and sing spirituals like they show in all those movies. The Week That Perished

Dust of Snow by Robert Frost


The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

If we play small ball, we will lose.

Specifically, we will lose America’s technological and scientific pre-eminence, our dominant position as a military power,
and a significant part of our living standard. In a competitive world, “losing” doesn’t mean giving up a couple of points of GDP growth: It means the sort of decline that the United Kingdom suffered in the 1950s and 1960s, when its auto, shipbuilding gand machine-building industries virtually disappeared. Small-ball conservatism or national greatness? | PJ Media

Official Conservatism is so far from where it started, it is a crime against the language to call it “conservative.”

The traditional American Right was always an individual liberty cause, which starts and ends with freedom of association. Everything that can be “conservative” rests on the basic idea that you have a basic right to associate with whom you like, when you like, on the terms you like. No one on the modern Right has talked about that in so long it is now forbidden knowledge. A Meandering Post About Nothing

Tweet of the Week

They're doing wonderful things with time-release heroin implants and suppositories these days.

"Multikultistan:" The Price of Muslim Immigration in Europe

Thanks to political correctness and multiculturalism, Germany has now become a patsy:
Clearly, Germany is now well beyond the banana republic phase and has entered the realm of patsydom. Always lurching from one form of extremism to the next, Germans have now decided that the role of an über-schlemiel is a perfect fit. The New CorrectThink is: Deutschland unter alles!
Naturally, homophobia and hate crimes against gays are pervasive: 43% of gays in Berlin have experienced hate crimes perpetrated by Muslims in particular, while two thirds of Turkish high school students in Berlin display homophobia. As for assimilation, it is not happening. And not just for Muslims who arrived yesterday:Had Enough Therapy?:

How to Legally Vote More Than Once

Prior to election day, note how lopsided the polls are in favor of Clinton.
Also point out that the pollsters are usually correct when you are this close to election day. Say you are thinking of not voting this year because lines are sometimes long and parking might be iffy. Put that thought in people’s minds a week ahead of election day. On the day before the election, and again on election day, engage Clinton supporters in conversations that involve concepts such as laziness, exhaustion, overwork, and stress. You don’t need to mention the election. | Scott Adams' Blog

Will Hillary Accept Defeat?

The media’s focus has been on whether Trump would accept the results if he loses. Yet a better question might be whether Hillary Clinton would accept her defeat.

Even when it came to the battle for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton refused to concede defeat until the bitter end and then past it. Not only did Hillary refuse to drop out even when Obama was the clear winner, while her people threatened a convention floor fight, but she insisted on staying on in the race for increasingly bizarre and even downright disturbing reasons. In South Dakota, Hillary explained that there was no reason for her to drop out because somebody might shoot Barack Obama, "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California." There’s something disturbing in the revelation that Hillary was basing her decision to stay in the race in the hope that her rival would be assassinated. Sultan Knish:

The Japanese: Nuked Too Much... etc.

Everybody Remember Where We Parked


Descend into a Tomb of Imprisoned Vehicles Frozen in Time
Nobody likes a visit to the car pound. It probably as one of my least favourite places to be on earth, but you wouldn’t have a hard time convincing me to pay a visit to this particular car pound, hidden 150ft below a piazza in the city of Naples, sealed off after WWII and forgotten about for more than 60 years.…

All wars are media wars and all wars require sacrifice.

If the people offering themselves up as leaders of your thing are easily tempted by offerings from the other side, you can never trust them.

No man is so virtuous that he can resist the highest bidder. If being on TV is your goal in life, you will sacrifice your cause for it. That’s what happened with National Review and the rest of Conservative Inc. Like petty nobles bribed with a few extra acres of land or merchants bought off with title, they decided it was better to live a lie than suffer for the cause. Observations From The Front | The Z Blog

Free Food Forever Fattens

That hummingbird that comes to my backyard nectar feeder lebenty-leben times a day for her free food has become the fattest hummingbird you've ever seen. She can't hover at the feeder. She has to sit down.


It's Probably Nothing....

"It cannot be saved"

Add up the bits and pieces. We laugh in horror, some of us, primarily the older, at the decline of schooling, the courses like Batman and the Struggle for Gender Equity.
Comic, yes. Yet in aggregate these constitute an academic and civilizational collapse both profound and irreversible. Enstupidation does not happen in a healthy country. Who even wants to reverse this onrushing night? Not the universities, nor the teachers unions, nor a professoriat gone as daft as the “students,” nor the banks battening on student loans. It is over. Hillary may start wars in her six months before going into a sanatorium. Trump may build walls. But the rot will go on. Vox Popoli

Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest

“If I don’t get away soon, I’ll be going blood-simple like the natives.”

In Poisonville, politics is blood sport.

Red Harvest explores how the corruption in a certain place can become so entrenched there’s no way to expurgate it except through bloodshed. Of course, this is like trying to clean house with a flamethrower. In the end there’s no mess and a lot of ashes stinking up the breeze. The Continental Op doesn’t care. He wants to see his mission of purifying Poisonville through. That’s what he’s been hired to do, clean out this spoiled little town, population 40,000. His mission is successful and meaningless. The inhabitants of Poisonville care more about power than their own lives, which means they’re just as ready to die as they are to kill. The bleakness and bile build. By the end, there’s enough blood to fill a billiard hall and nothing and nobody worth saving. A Book To Read In Times Like These: | HTMLGIANT


Harrison loves my country too,
But wants it all made over new.
He’s Freudian Viennese by night.
By day he’s Marxian Muscovite.
It isn’t because he’s Russian Jew.
He’s Puritan Yankee through and through.
He dotes on Saturday pork and beans.
But his mind is hardly out of his teens:
With him the love of country means
Blowing it all to smithereens
And having it all made over new.


Twitter Is Down : 9:00 AM Pacific is not available "This site can’t be reached’s server DNS address could not be found."

The entirety of the world economy is built on one thing.

That is the rock solid belief that the US government will never miss a debt payment and never devalue the dollar to arrest its debt.
The entire global economy is built on the asset value of US Treasuries. If there ever comes a time when people begin to doubt the security of that debt, the panic will plunge the world into a new dark age or possible something worse. I Bring Bad Tidings | The Z Blog

It's impossible for most Americans to form a judgment with which they feel comfortable,

because they do not have sources of information they can trust.
Fox News is in a civil war between the pro- and anti-Trump Republicans. The other networks are with Hillary. The major media outlets have lost credibility. Only 32% of Americans said they had "a great deal" or "a fair amount" of confidence in the news media in a September Gallup poll survey. That's the lowest level in history, and should be no surprise: the major media has to spin a new cover-up every couple of days, before it is finished putting the previous set of lies to bed. The Roof Blows Off the Echo Chamber | PJ Media

After years of "my old friend," the Darkness is tired of being friendzoned.

"Hello, Darkness, my old friend."

The Darkness huffed. "Oh, you've come to talk to me again? You sure do like talking, don't you?"

"What? What do you mean?"

"It's always you, you, you. Your problems. I'm just supposed to sit here silently, pretending I don't care," the Darkness sighed. Its tears, like silent raindrops, fell.

I bristled. "Are you serious right now? I've tried to connect with you so many times. Remember how I left the neon lights for you?"

The Darkness sniffled. "Wh-what? You like me?"

"I love you. I just want you to be happy."

"Oh! I never knew...!"

And then the Darkness enveloped me.

-- WritingPrompts

Hillary laments 'no more naps' after final debate

After taking a couple questions, she was asked about the Project Veritas videos
appearing to show Democratic National Committee operatives bragging about triggering violence at Donald Trump rallies. “I know nothing about this. I can’t deal with every one of his conspiracy theories but I hope you all have something to eat, something to drink on the way back to New York!” she told the reporters. Three minutes after her Q & A started, it was over. - The American MirrorThe American Mirror

The electoral appeal of the Democratic party is to those who want more government,

and who feel that a whole litany of current and historical grievances can only be addressed by more government taking more from, well, from the "rich," defined as anybody who is not one of the aforementioned categories.

It is a party increasingly divorced from economic reality; it seeks to repeal the pesky and brutal laws of economics by reforming our souls, by getting us not to think or articulate bad thoughts, by getting us to give up on greed and privilege and allow the government to allocate resources and ensure the well-being of us all. And when that fails, it is a party that reverts to its violent lynch mob past to get its way. The DiploMad 2.0: A Little Piece on Nutty White Guys

The number of percentage points being allocated to Johnson and Stein is between 7 and 14.


Notice something very informative about the wildly divergent national polls?
In 2012, the combined Libertarian/Green vote was 1.35 percent. In 2008, it was 0.96 percent. Now, let's be generous and pretend that the combined Libertarian/Green vote will be 2 percent, which would be a 48 percent increase from 2012 and 108 percent from 2008. That means that the national polls are, at a minimum, off by between 5 and 12 points. Vox Popoli: The national polls: stretch run

Nothing beats war for waste and injustice.


We should deflect or delay war where possible, and limit it when it's not. Survivalists should also prepare as if war were inevitable, if unpredictable. Because it is. Poets and utopians say it isn't. Thousands of years of war say it is. Woodpile Report

It's Probably Nothing:

Russia taunts US with biggest military offensive since the Cold War

Socialism Retains Its Perfect Record

Corpses 'Exploding' In Decrepit Venezuelan Hospitals -- Doug Ross @ Journal

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