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Woodstock Decoded

This week’s magical mystery tour is all about Woodstock 69. Woodstock was for wusses and pussies and tie-dyed toe suckers. Real men, like yours truly, went to Altamont. (More about that at a future date.) In this outtake from the Woodstock mudpie we see that most mysterious of 60s stars, Joe (Who the hell let him sing?) Cocker exhibiting his trademark seizures and gibberish for the assembled faithful. It helpfully supplies a full translation. Do try to keep up.

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Back to School

Yesterday I heard of a young mother who came downstairs early in the morning to find her fifth-grade son dressed for school but flat on his back in the middle of the living room staring in despair at the ceiling.

MOM: “What on Earth do you think you’re doing?”

BOY: “I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t do it. I just can’t go to school anymore.”

We all know how that small strike ended. Management made an offer (“Go to school or else.”), and the union of one caved in with a few plaintive “But mom’s… “

I first thought that there was rough justice in that. After all, the thought of actually going on a ten-minute “I-won’t-go-to-school” strike never would have entered my ten-year-old mind. If it had I would not have heard the dreaded promise, “Wait until your father gets home.” No, I would have heard the thermonuclear announcement, “I’m calling your father at work and telling him to come home right now.” That one always alerted me that I had only one half-hour to get my affairs in order.

Today, after mulling the lie-down strike a little more, it seems to me there’s more than a little to be said on the side of the fifth-grader’s strike. After twenty years of schooling and more than thirty on the day shift, those early grades seem — looked at through society’s grubby glasses — to be an idyllic time. After all, weren’t they?

No real worries. No problems with the opposite or the same sex. No goals other than getting to Christmas break, Easter break or the long and endless summer. No money to make. No money, in fact, to speak of at all. All your expenses covered. No taxes. No sense of mortality. In short, the lost and golden land of childhood. We all think of it, once far removed from it, as some distant Edenic idyll.

School days, school days
Dear old golden rule days
Readin’ and ‘ritin‘ and ‘rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hickory stick

But if we try and shift our point of view a bit, and if we try to remember all those things the haze of our twice-told childhood fairy-tales hides from us, we might see it — just a bit and just for an instant — from the point of view of the fifth-grade boy flat on his back in the living room staring at the ceiling in utter despair.

Here he lays. He’s been going to this job of his for as long as he can remember. Unlike my experience which didn’t start until kindergarten, today’s boy has probably been working in the education industry since age 3.

They started him out on basic blocks and why he shouldn’t nail somebody who took his cookie. Those are hard lessons. How to stack something up so it doesn’t collapse in a heap at the first shudder in the earth. How to “share” your very limited and very personal resources. Why you don’t just whack anyone who irritates you with the nearest blunt object.

These are basic lessons, and we forget how hard they are. Some of us don’t learn them at all. Those people are either in prison, assembling bombs, or CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Still, that’s your entry level position in the educational-industrial complex. It’s all downhill from there. [click to continue…]

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RantOmatic#6: KaBoom

In this immortal screed Ace of Spades HQ types for me.
I mean, look at this box. Who is that box for? Who is the intended demographic here ?

People who are coming up in the world? People who are upwardly mobile?

No. Kaboom was for people — children, I mean — who had decided to give up on life. And it’s a sad thing for a six-year-old to have already thrown in the towel and said, “Ah well. The hopes and dreams of kindergarten are ultimately exposed as so much folly. Give me the Kaboom, Ma. I’m ready to settle.”

Because that’s all such a cereal is fit for, those who settle, who accept, those who lower their gaze in defeat and shame. This, this horrid Clown Cereal that looks like it’s some kind of weird generic brand but it’s actually marketed by General Mills. I suppose this was General Mills’ attempt to tap the “downscale demographic” in six-year-olds.

First of all, children hate clowns. All children. There’s a joke that everyone’s afraid of clowns. Well that’s not true. But everyone does hate them. Children most of all, because clowns get up in your grill with horrible jokes and diseased breath, eyes glassy with vodka and pedophilia.

So who’s this cereal for exactly? I suppose clowns might buy it for their victims and abductees, but that’s not a large market. Well, not that large, anyway. Couple hundred thousand units a year, tops.

When marketers found that most children described the Kaboom clown as “creepy,” they called a meeting, and then added a creepy bear and creepy hippo into the mix. Note that the hippo is not really your classic circus animal but this is in line with Kaboom’s “Who Cares?” design parameters.

And look at that box. Look at the colors. They’re horrible. And this was not a color scheme that was in vogue back in the day, either. No, among all the other breakfast cereals, Kaboom stood out as a cereal where the manufacturers simply were not even trying, because they wanted to appeal to children who had already decided that Track 3 in reading class was probably a bridge too far and not really worth the effort.

It’s like they gave a bunch of crayons and construction paper to illiterate hobos and said, “Do your best. Or your worst. We don’t care. We’re aiming for the dregs of second grade. Try to include a clown. Or don’t. It really won’t matter either way.”

RTWT @ Ace of Spades HQ

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Don’t Believe Me? Just Watch!

It’s summer. It’s Friday. Like it or love it, Donald Trump is still the President. Might as well dance.

[HT: Ruby’s Mom over at the Mirror]

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The Eagle Has Landed

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I don’t know about you but I am ready for Greenland to be the 51st state.

First off, it’s big. It’s three times the size of Texas. It has lots of undeveloped beachfront (and inland) property and we did very well with beachfront property on Hawaii.

With a population of some 56 thousand Danes, it is just begging for some diversity, or at least a few Swedes and Norweigian bachelor farmers for a start.

Severely underdeveloped in the ice-covered interior, it can use a lot of illegal aliens to help develop it. This makes it an illegal alien safety valve. We can just put in an air bridge with Air Buses running from San Diego and Laredo to Thule where we already have a fine base.

And it won’t be the first time we’ve tried to buy Greenland. It will be the third:

Following World War II, the United States developed a geopolitical interest in Greenland, and in 1946 the United States offered to buy Greenland from Denmark for $100,000,000, but Denmark refused to sell.

The reason why the US would want to buy Greenland is clear: being able to install anti-Russian military installations such as early-warning radar and nuclear bomber bases (Greenland being fairly close, on a great circle, to Russia). The US has famously often bought large chunks of land (Louisiana Territory & Alaska being the biggest & most profitable), so it was nothing new—this was, in fact, the second time the US expressed interest in buying Greenland, after an abortive attempt in the 1860s.

This appears to have been a large offer: 1946 US GDP was $200-228b, making an offer of $0.1b a nontrivial percentage of US productivity, and Denmark’s GDP appears to have been >50x smaller, ~$23b, as it recovered from WWII.  — Reasons of State: Why Didn’t Denmark Sell Greenland? 

In strategic terms Greenland’s Unique Kvanefjeld Multi-element Rare Earth Project is one of the major deposits of rare earths that China is trying to control.

The Kvanefjeld project, one of the largest rare earths deposits in the world, can be found in the south of Greenland near the town of Narsaq. The project comprises three linked deposits (Kvanefjeld itself, Zone 3 and Sensen). These three deposits contain 1 billion tonnes of mineralized ore. The predominant mineral is steenstrupine, which hosts both rare earths and uranium in significant quantities.

And always remember that in Greenland, English is a strong second language as in “For English press 2.”

Finally, if the globe heats up as we are always being warned it will (“Any day/week/month/year now”),  then we’ve got some fine fine farmland and retirement condo space at very affordable prices. In addition, besides having a lot of rare earths and other precious metals ready for extraction, Greenland is also looking at developing a hydrothermal power system. That is so very, very alternative fuelish  that one might look at buying Greenland as Trump’s much more sensible “New Green Deal.”

And never forget, the other candidate for 51st state is Puerto Rico.

HT: Scott Adams
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The End of Science Fiction by Lisel Mueller

This is not fantasy, this is our life.
We are the characters
who have invaded the moon,
who cannot stop their computers.
We are the gods who can unmake
the world in seven days.

Both hands are stopped at noon.
We are beginning to live forever,
in lightweight, aluminum bodies
with numbers stamped on our backs.
We dial our words like Muzak.
We hear each other through water.

The genre is dead. Invent something new.
Invent a man and a woman
naked in a garden,
invent a child that will save the world,
a man who carries his father
out of a burning city.
Invent a spool of thread
that leads a hero to safety,
invent an island on which he abandons
the woman who saved his life
with no loss of sleep over his betrayal.

Invent us as we were
before our bodies glittered
and we stopped bleeding:
invent a shepherd who kills a giant,
a girl who grows into a tree,
a woman who refuses to turn
her back on the past and is changed to salt,
a boy who steals his brother’s birthright
and becomes the head of a nation.
Invent real tears, hard love,
slow-spoken, ancient words,
difficult as a child’s
first steps across a room.

Lisel Mueller


HT whiskey rivers commonplace book: the school of pure conversation

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Suppose you found a bargain so incredible
you stood there stunned for a moment
unable to believe that this thing could be
for sale at such a low price: that is what happens
when you are born, and as the years go by
the price goes up and up until, near the end
of your life, it is so high that you lie there
stunned forever. – Ron Padgett

“I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!” White Fright is a belief that whites are secretly organizing to overthrow the current order and impose some sort of pale patriarchy on the country. These white supremacists are everywhere and look just like normal everyday white people, so any white person could possibly be one of them. These people can, at any moment, turn into a violent spree killer, if exposed to certain kinds of content called “hate speech” which is found on-line. The similarities to medieval witch-hunting are too obvious not to notice. The adversary is not something that appears in material form. Like Old Scratch, white supremacy is an evil spirit that works through the infected. Once under the control of white supremacy, the person no longer has agency. Not surprisingly, like the accused witches in Salem, the modern white supremacist is most likely to be someone that vexes the moral authorities, either by their presence or by their actions.

Jeff Epstein had a portrait of his buddy, Bill, hanging in his living room.

The long lingering caress of the gay curse: As with many things gay, the trend started with AIDS. The disease did not, as was gleefully predicted by some homophobes, wipe out the fags. But it destroyed gay culture. In its place, we got Grindr, gay marriage, RuPaul on TV, prepubescent drag kids whose parents haven’t got a clue, and a preachy LGBT activist elite that prioritizes pronouns over the realness and rhapsody of human sexuality.

Nice Supreme Court you’ve got there. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to it.Dem Senators to Supreme Court: Rule our way on 2nd Amendment case, or face possible restructuring The closing paragraph was at best a thinly-veiled threat (emphasis added): The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it. Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be “restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.” Particularly on the urgent issue of gun control, a nation desperately needs it to heal.

After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

— Alexis De Tocqueville

Failure has consequences. Decades of demonizing all nationalism as Nazism fails to recognize that what defeated Nazism was Americans fighting for America, the British fighting for Britain, and the Russians fighting for Russia.

The mystery teens strike again! Police: 7-Eleven customer shot 2 suspects during robbery, killing 1 – Story Police say the two teenage suspects, identified as Qwanterrius Stafford and Brenna Harris, first robbed the customer of his wallet before turning their attention to the store clerk. [click to continue…]

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They should repent, but they won’t.

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Memo2File: Never

“Christine Blasey may have been sexually assaulted, he said, but not by him, adding that he intended no ill will to her or her family. ‘The other night Ashley and my daughter Liza said their prayers, and little Liza—all of ten years old—said to Ashley, ‘We should pray for the woman.’ That’s a lot of wisdom from a ten-year-old. We mean no ill will,’ he said, choking up. The hearing room was full of people crying. Kavanaugh’s parents were there to support him and could barely maintain their composure. Watching their anguish over their only son’s ordeal was brutal for the other members of Kavanaugh’s team.” — Justice Brett Kavanaugh, from Justice on Trial, by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino

The last thing that most of us would wish for is to re-experience that moment when we watched the devastation that the Democrats tried to inflict on the life of Brett Kavanaugh. When he choked up, I felt tears in my eyes. My heart ached for him, for his family and friends and even for the country. How had we come to this moment?

I’m posting this quotation because I think many of us could be reaching a saturation point: how can the ugliness, lies, and irresponsibility of the Left and the Democrats possibly get worse? It’s so tempting to just shut it all out, to inure ourselves to the nightmares that are called “politics” in the 21st century. But we simply can’t.

The next year will be a spiritual and ethical test for those of us who believe in this country and its values. We can either cave in, walk away or throw up our hands—who could blame us?

Instead, we have to stay united against hatred, evil and lies. We have to speak to truth and justice. If we hang together, we will remain strong. Do it for Brett Kavanaugh and his family. Do it for your family. Do it for the country. Do it for the next Supreme Court justice nominee.

Don’t give up. Quote of the Day: Fighting Back  |  Ricochet

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I look at these people, these demagogues at these Democratic debates. They stink as people. They don’t just stink as Democrats. They stink as human beings. They lie with the ease with which you breathe.

Cory Booker is a fraud. Elizabeth Warren is a fool, is a liar. Hey, I’m an Indian. She still stands by it. These are not good people. I wish I didn’t believe that. I wish they were just good people I differed with. There are good people I differ with. Bret Stephens is a giant, and he hates Trump. These are not decent people. They’re demagogues.

Beto O’Rourke? It’s hard to get lower than Beto O’Rourke. He’s slime. When he speaks, I wish to throw up. These are not good people. Buttigieg is a fraud. He’s a total fraud. Oh, look, I was in the military. I’m clean cut, but I want to abolish the electoral college. I, Buttigieg, at 35, know better how America should be run than the founders of the country, because I’m an arrogant SOB, that’s why. They’re all arrogant. What did the founders know? Oh, electoral college! We don’t want that! We want a direct vote for president. Oh, you know better, you fraud? Our answer to how to make a better society is get married and make a good family and join a church and treat your neighbors well. That’s our answer. Their answer is fundamentally transform the United States of America. —Prager on 2020 Democrats

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Boomer Road Trip MixTape: 3 Variations of Radar Love

One of the greatest, if not THE greatest, driving song ever recorded. In Radar Love, we have the perfect melding of lyrics and music and a driving driving high hat beat. When Radar Love blooms on the radio at highway speeds the whole universe seems to get in sync. About 50 years back I was hanging out at Greil Marcus’ place before he became a big deal in intellectual rock criticism. We’d just had something to smoke and were listening to a reel of unknown Dylan songs I’d brought back from England that would later be known as “The Basement Tapes.”

We were listening to The Mighty Quinn when I remarked, “Hey, check it out. The clouds are moving in time with the music.” There was a long stoned pause and Greil said, “Well, it’s a good song. It’s got the groove.” 

Radar Love’s got that groove too. And when you’ve got that groove, man you gotta go.

I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hand’s wet on the wheel
There’s a voice in my head that drives my heel
It’s my baby callin’, says I need you here
And it’s a half past four and I’m shiftin’ gear [click to continue…]

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The Spin Cycle: Race Hate, Rinse, Repeat

I try to avoid the summer news because I dislike being spun up by it on a daily/ hourly/ minute-by-minute basis. I don’t need to have my darker emotions fondled by the Left and their ceaseless propaganda organs. Case in point this August, Race Hate.

From CNN and MSNBC to The New York Times and the Washington Post and all their fellow travelers this summer’s fetid blather all has to do with a very simple notion: “Let’s just threaten to kill whitey every chance we get and see if we can’t get some real city slaughterfests going.”

Injecting race-hate into the everyday palaver of a nation has, as Obama knew, the very real revolutionary benefit of slowly spinning up the races into a kind of constant quiet riot; a low background hum of hate. A kind of quiet riot that can get noisy and spicy from the merest spark and drain the nation’s peace into the septic tank of race war.

This is what the Left wants as it believes  “The worse, the better.” It’s a cynical notion that any incident that increases national paranoia and hate is good for those who hope to swoop in after the revolution, kill off all their useful idiots (Zucker at CNN has to be high on the list), and then settle in for a nice long ride in the Stalin Limo down the center lane of the Interstate. This, as all are fond of saying these days, this will not end well.

When you see the cliche “This will not end well” what you are really seeing is the dawning awareness that, unless somebody or something yanks HARD on the choke chain around the throat of the Left, there will have to be guns and blood and killing before the issue is resolved. Not a pretty thought but a less pretty truth. Targeted assassinations, death squads, and urban/rural kill zones are what is coming to America if the Left continues to spin the country up. Depend upon it.

As we learn in the Holy Book of Frank Zappa: “Ain’t no way to delay that trouble coming every day.” [click to continue…]

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“We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided. Immigration is a form of atonement. Previous leaders of our country committed sins ― we must pay for those sins by welcoming an endless chain of migrant caravans. That’s the argument they make.” –Tucker Carlson

All those upper-middle-class professionals who edit the nation’s most prominent publications permit only one narrative when it comes to the toiling masses. Their lives are nasty, brutish, and short, and must always be portrayed as such. To publish a story about a person who enjoys working at Wal-Mart or Starbucks or Georgia Pacific or Amazon is considered tantamount to white-washing the horrific crimes (whatever those may be) of oligarchs such as the Walton family, Howard Schultz, the Koch brothers, or Bezos.

When a state or city cannot borrow money then all of those pork-barrel projects disappear. No more 27 people paving a hundred meters of street. No more Americorps. No more artist-in-residence. No more old hippies getting paid to read to kiddies at the library. No more cops working second and third shift; you will have to file your own crime reports on-line. No more free stuff.

Ever notice that it’s the highest-paid people on TV who are the most determined to convince you white supremacy is America’s biggest problem? Why is that? Simple: Every minute you spend angry about race is a minute you’re not thinking about class — which, of course, is the real divide in this country. Working-class people of all colors have a lot more in common with each other than they do with some overpaid MSNBC anchor. If you were allowed to think about that long enough, you might start to get unauthorized ideas about economics. That would be disruptive to a very lucrative status quo. So they whip you into a frenzy of racial fear so that it never enters your mind. It’s a diversion. Everyone else hates each other. They get to keep their money. Pretty tricky. Unfortunately, it’s destroying the country. This is the path to civil war. [click to continue…]

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Smokey the Bear Sutra by Gary Snyder

[NOTE: Happy 75th birthday to Smokey Bear]

A handsome smokey-colored brown bear standing on his hind legs, showing that he is aroused and watchful.

Bearing in his right paw the Shovel that digs to the truth beneath appearances; cuts the roots of useless attachments, and flings damp sand on the fires of greed and war;

His left paw in the mudra of Comradely Display–indicating that all creatures have the full right to live to their limits and that of deer, rabbits, chipmunks, snakes, dandelions, and lizards all grow in the realm of the Dharma;

Wearing the blue work overalls symbolic of slaves and laborers, the countless men oppressed by a civilization that claims to save but often destroys;

Wearing the broad-brimmed hat of the west, symbolic of the forces that guard the wilderness, which is the Natural State of the Dharma and the true path of man on Earth:

all true paths lead through mountains–

With a halo of smoke and flame behind, the forest fires of the kali-yuga, fires caused by the stupidity of those who think things can be gained and lost whereas in truth all is contained vast and free in the Blue Sky and Green Earth of One Mind;

Round-bellied to show his kind nature and that the great earth has food enough for everyone who loves her and trusts her;

Trampling underfoot wasteful freeways and needless suburbs, smashing the worms of capitalism and totalitarianism;

Indicating the task: his followers, becoming free of cars, houses, canned foods, universities, and shoes, master the Three Mysteries of their own Body, Speech, and Mind; and fearlessly chop down the rotten trees and prune out the sick limbs of this country America and then burn the leftover trash.

Wrathful but calm. Austere but Comic. Smokey the Bear will Illuminate those who would help him; but for those who would hinder or slander him…

HE WILL PUT THEM OUT.

Thus his great Mantra: [click to continue…]

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In the Town Hall’s Graveyard

In the hayed field thick with dusted mist,
As the noon whistle of the village hissed,
We noted how the dead were neatly placed,
How all lay labeled, how all were given space.

We remarked the craft of marble wreath,
And proposed that those who lay beneath
Were clad in the fashion of their day,
Shrouds of wind in which to greet eternities of clay.

Nearby we saw the fruits of Arbor Day and said
How lovely are the trees; how well pruned and fed.
The trees ignored our gaze, as was their right,
And spawned a host of shadows, imitating night.

The hill before us, like some weathered tomb
Passed by in spring, above us loomed
With high and wind smoothed walls of slate
On which the trees’ sharp branches scraped

An etching of themselves slashed into sky.
But we were late into our day and a bird’s cry
Made us spy the gray and shaken sheets of storm,
That sheathed us soon and drove us down [click to continue…]

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Boomer Anthem Redux: The Oompah Highway to Hell

Because in America anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

HT: IT AINT HOLY WATER

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On Red Guards and Cultural Revolution:

A left singularity is usually terminated, as by a Stalin or a Cromwell. One leftist grabs all power and absolute power, and then stops things from getting worse, lest he be devoured in his turn. But until then, it just goes on getting ever more extreme. It does not stop quietly of its own accord, merely because it has become sufficiently extreme to sate people’s appetite for destruction. It is only going to stop if someone stops it.

Fathers and husbands will be deemed toxic for wives and children and will be removed from their families — the salami slicer is already operating to remove the supposedly worst husbands and fathers, and eventually it is going to get the whole salami. Wives who fail to cooperate in the removal of husbands and fathers will lose their children, and eventually be subject to violence and imprisonment, and eventually execution. Next cishet single men, then insufficiently gay single men, and then…

The left cares about power, and power is “impact”, and “impact” is making people suffer. When they run out of kulaks, they liquidate the peasants. Obamaphone woman cares about equality and social justice, the mindless river of meat cares about equality and social justice, in the sense that they are pissed that some people have nicer stuff than they do, and want to trash that stuff and mess up those people, but the puppeteers controlling Obamaphone woman do not give a shit. When they have finished using her to kill all whites and all males, they will take Obamaphone woman’s phone away, and then they are going to kill her: Impact!

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This item concerns a boy suspended from the ceiling and his grandmother.  When they get him down the grandmother needs to horsewhip him through downtown Tokyo at rush hour like an old mule.

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[HT: Ace]

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Danny Trejo has become a real-life hero.

The veteran actor, known for roles in films like Heat and Machete, was in the Sylmar neighborhood of Los Angeles on Thursday when two cars collided at the intersection of Hubbard Street and Jackman Avenue. One of the cars was overturned as a result of the collision and Trejo, and a fellow bystander, jumped into action — rescuing a child trapped inside, according to ABC7 Eyewitness News.

The 75-year-old actor reportedly crawled into the wreckage but was unable to get the seatbelt unbuckled on the child’s car seat. The other citizen who helped, a young woman, crawled in the other side of the vehicle and was able to get the child free, ABC7 reports, then Trejo was able to pull the child from the car.

“And the only thing that saved that little kid was his car seat, honest to God,” he told the local outlet. He also advised parents and motorists to “pay attention” to avoid similar situations.

The Los Angeles Fire Department shared with ABC7 that three people were taken to a hospital, though none have life-threatening injuries. The cause of the accident remains under investigation. However, Trejo alleges one of the drivers ran a red light.

While at the scene, the actor also shared this touching statement: “Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else. Everything.” Danny Trejo Helps to Save Trapped Baby From an Overturned Car | Entertainment Tonight

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Boomer Anthems: Highway to Hell

In a fresh arrangement. Don’t hate me.

Living easy, living free
Season ticket on a one-way ride
Asking nothing, leave me be
Taking everything in my stride
Don’t need reason, don’t need rhyme
Ain’t nothing I would rather do
Going down, party time
My friends are gonna be there too

I’m on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I’m on the highway to hell

No stop signs, speed limit
Nobody’s gonna slow me down
Like a wheel, gonna spin it
Nobody’s gonna mess me around
Hey Satan, paid my dues
Playing in a rocking band
Hey mama, look at me
I’m on my way to the promised land, whoo!

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Memo2File: Exhibit A

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Robot Wisdom by Alfred Bester


His senses uncrossed in the ivory-and-gold star chamber of Castle Presteign. Sight became sight and he saw the high mirrors and stained glass windows, the gold-tooled library with an android librarian on the library ladder. Sound became sound and he heard the android secretary tapping the manual beadrecorder at the Louis Quinze desk. Taste became taste as he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.

He knew he was at bay, faced with the decision of his life. He ignored his enemies
and examined the perpetual beam carved in the robot face of the bartender, the classic
Irish grin.

“Thank you,” Foyle said.

“My pleasure, sir,” the robot replied and awaited its next cue.

“Nice day,” Foyle remarked.

“Always a lovely day somewhere, sir,” the robot beamed.

“Awful day,” Foyle said.

“Always a lovely day somewhere, sir,” the robot responded.

“Day,” Foyle said.

“Always a lovely day somewhere, sir,” the robot said.

Foyle turned to the others. “That’s me,” he said, motioning to the robot.

“That’s all of us. We prattle about free will, but we’re nothing but response…
a mechanical reaction in prescribed grooves. So.. – here I am, here I am, waiting to
respond. Press the buttons and I’ll jump.” He aped the canned voice of the robot. “My
pleasure to serve, sir.”

“… Press the button and watch the robot jump. But I’m not a robot. I’m a freak of the universe… a thinking animal… and I’m trying to see my way clear through this morass. Am I to turn Pyr E over to the world and let it destroy itself? Am I to teach the world how to space-jaunte and let us spread our freak show from galaxy to galaxy through all the universe? What’s the answer?”

The bartender robot hurled its mixing glass across the room with a resounding crash.

“The answer is yes,” the robot said, quite distinctly. [click to continue…]

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