Contact me HERE

"Ah, to be a buzzard now that spring is here! - Edward Abbey

Happy 105th Birthday, Mr. President.

President Ronald Reagan.jpg
"Whatever else history may say about me when I'm gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears: to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty's lamp guiding your steps and opportunity's arm steadying your way."

-- President Ronald Reagan, 1992

"I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith."

-- Timothy 2:4:7



"His story was classically, movingly rags-to-riches; he was a nobody who became a somebody in the American way, utterly on his own and with the help of millions.

"He was just under 10 when the Roaring Twenties began, 16 when Lindbergh flew the ocean; he remembered as a little boy giving a coin to a doughboy leaning out a window of a troop train going east to the ships that would take them to the Marne and the Argonne Forest.

"Ronald, nicknamed Dutch, read fiction. He liked stories of young men battling for the good and true. A story he wrote in college had a hero arriving home from the war and first thing calling his girl. Someone else answered. Who is calling? "Tell her it's the president," he said. He wrote that when he was 20 years old.

"Many years later, in middle age, he was visited by a dream in which he was looking for a house. He was taken to a mansion with white walls and high sparkling windows. It was majestic. "This is a house that is available at a price I can afford," he would think to himself. And then he'd come awake. From the day he entered the White House for the first time as president he never had the dream again...." Read the rest at Thanks from a Grateful Country - WSJ


Excerpt from Jacob Weisberg's new biography, RONALD REAGAN: The American Presidents Series: The 40th President, 1981-1989

Surrounded by a Wall of Light

MOST OF NEWSWEEK'S WASHINGTON BUREAU was on vacation in late July 1987. That meant an opportunity for the summer intern to cover the president on an out-of-town trip. I remember Tom DeFrank, the magazine’s longtime White House correspondent, giving me my brief. I’d have a turn at pool duty, which meant flying in the rear section of Air Force One and typing up a report for the larger share of the press, following in a second plane. The assignment was “body watch” coverage: I was being sent along, at considerable expense, on the unlikely chance of something bad happening. In the event of an assassination attempt or accident, Tom told me, I should ignore the urge to run for the phone, and instead stay close and record every detail.

The visit to Wisconsin was Reagan’s last trip before departing for his usual twenty-five-day vacation at Rancho del Cielo, his retreat near Santa Barbara. I remember bits of the day distinctly: the dawn arrival at Andrews Air Force Base, the preloading of the plane before the president got aboard, and the executive splendor of Air Force One. In the galley, there were pens and writing tablets and decks of playing cards emblazoned with the official seal of the president of the United States. In the bathroom were baskets of candy, toiletries, and packs of cigarettes, in presidential slipcovers, free for the taking. No one fastened a seat belt as the plane took off. The reporters got off the rear of the plane first, so we could watch Reagan wave as he came down the front stairs and greeted the local receiving committee, before we hustled into the motorcade and sped down closed highways to his speech.

His first stop was the floor of a factory in Hartford, Wisconsin, that manufactured hoods for kitchen ranges, where he addressed the workers. He made two more speeches after that, one at a Rotary Club luncheon and another at an outdoor rally in the pretty Lake Michigan town of Port Washington. All along the way, there were flags and banners and balloons and people cheering. Reagan made his case against the big spenders in Congress, who were fencing with him over the budget. At each stop, he promoted what he called an Economic Bill of Rights, which was a repackaging of his wish list: a balanced budget amendment, a line-item veto, and a supermajority requirement for tax increases. The more immediate political purpose of the trip was to establish that, amid the drama of the congressional Iran-Contra hearings and the embattled nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, he was still relevant.

A larger theme was Reagan’s renewal of his bond with the American people. These were the kinds of midwestern places he knew from his childhood. “I grew up in a town with people like you, just across the border in Illinois,” he reminded his audiences. He quoted Yogi Berra and Will Rogers and told one of the anti-Soviet jokes he collected. He said government spending was like the grass that grows in the cracks on the sidewalk, citing the example of a mass transit system so expensive that it would have been cheaper to buy every rider a new car every five years. (He didn’t say where that costly transit system was.) The day ended with a patriotic rally in the town square of Port Washington, which glowed in the afternoon light. “America is number one, and we’re going to stay that way!” the president declared. Thirty thousand people were chanting, “Reagan, Reagan, Reagan” and “USA, USA, USA.” (“It was a humbling feeling to be greeted with such warmth & affection,” Reagan wrote in his diary that evening.) From a corral on the tarmac, reporters shouted questions about Bork and Iran-Contra as the president ascended the stairs of Air Force One, turned, and waved, either choosing not to hear or, more likely, unable to hear above the engine noise. He was back home in time for supper.

I came back with souvenirs and stories. But spending a day around people who loved Ronald Reagan only deepened the difficulty of comprehending his popularity. Like a lot of those covering him, I pegged Reagan as a disengaged dullard with a simplistic view of the world and a superficial understanding of policy. A few months earlier, he had acknowledged bewilderment about his own role in the arms-for-hostages swap. For any of his predecessors, such an admission would have amounted to a confession of lying. Reagan’s present-but-absent quality made his confusion plausible, and a little pathetic. He was too vague for a villain, but surely an embarrassment.

Few of my friends in those days would have predicted that Reagan would be remembered as a good president, let alone a great one. Yet it was at that very moment that Reagan was making contributions to the end of the Cold War that would stand as his signal accomplishment. A month earlier he had spoken in Berlin and declared, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” His negotiations with the Soviet leader, which had broken down at Reykjavik the previous fall, would change the fundamental dynamics of the world I’d grown up in: the threat of nuclear annihilation, the Communist threat, and a domestic politics built around these threats.

Click Here to Continue
gerardvanderleun : February 6, 16  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

High marks to Hershey's for hitting all the obvious PC diversity buttons in this bit of soppy sentiment aimed straight at the Hallmark Card Heart of 2016 Progressive America. {Or-- as one of my more astute readers just said -- "Virtue Signaling Bukake."}

We open with the ambiguously gay/straight/bi dad working from a suspiciously motherless home with, in the background yearning for attention, is the ambiguously gendered "daughter" with pixie cut.

Add-ins en route;

+ the elderly disabled on her scooter,

+ the use of the bus/public transport,

+ street hockey played with boys and girls and featuring a boy with long curls,

+ random Asian neighbor peering out of window,

+ videoconference meeting with "presenting female executive" with, of course, one admiring white beta male bracketed between two black males -- lest anyone think white men are in charge of anything in this Alternate Universe America where everyone chants the U2 Hymn, "I believe in the Kingdom Come / Then all the colors will bleed into one"

And then, at the end, the soft sweet sell: Wrapping it all up with the ultimate AlternateAmerica snack, The 'Smore, where black, white, and brown all bleed into one fine tasty American treat. It might have been called "The Moonpie" but that's a bit Southern and hence a raaaaacist snack.

Hershey just wants you to know that this expensive chunk Hershey propslush is just its chocolate kiss to the world.

All in all a well-crafted bit of contemporary Government/Corporate propaganda.

Look for it to scroll past at the Super Bowl for several million bucks down the drain.

gerardvanderleun : February 5, 16  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

aaaaKnocking-on-the-Heaven-s-door-58801.jpg

[Note: From my archives in December of 2010]

As they did last year, they’ve come twice in the last day. They’re kids out running “a raise money for NARAL” scam. They get a cut of anything they pull in, and they use any info they get to sell to Planned Parenthood or other death mills.

They’re pleasant and they are enthusiastic (I love the painting! I really admire the tree!) and they hand you the clipboard expecting you to sign in your enthusiasm to support their “work.”

I listen and then I tell them, “No, I don’t support what you’re doing or the people and causes that you represent. I think it’s evil for you to do this, and worse still to do it for money.”

Here in Seattle's Queen Anne, where smiles, nods and signups for their scam are their usual rewards, they seem genuinely surprised and taken aback.

“You mean you’re not pro-choice?”

I assure them that I am not even if though, long ago, I was.


Yesterday evening, at night on the darkened porch, it was a young woman. She just shook her head and walked away to get on with her “mission” of going door to door bilking pro-choicers out of money. I guess she forgot to leave the chalk mark on my door that indicates “Satan!” because just now a boy old enough to be a man but forever avoiding it knocked with the same knock and announced himself as, “Hello, I’m your friendly neighborhood feminist.” He pointed towards the pink watch cap he wore.

He ran through the same spiel and handed me what could have been the same clipboard. I listened and handed it back to it saying, “I don’t support this.”

“You mean, you’re not pro-choice?”

“Do you have any children?”

“Ah... no.”

“Have you even been through an abortion with, say, a woman you love in support of her right to choose?”

“Well, no.”

“I’ve been through two. The first was one that I supported. The second was one that I had deep misgivings about but didn’t oppose.

“Those were all long ago, but now I know that those were two children I didn’t have and will never know, and not a month goes by I don’t think about that and regret it.

"If it ever happens to you, you’ll agree at the time and then, years later, it will come back to you. It will come back to you that you are missing children in your life and it is partially your doing. And it will haunt you, the thought of the people they could have been.

“You’re young and deluded. You’re going to walk away and make this a story you’ll tell to the other kids out running your scam. Then you’ll forget all about it for years, maybe decades, and you’ll go off and have some abortions of your own.

"And then one day, years after that, you’ll come to know what I know now. That’s when you’ll remember me; a man who through his own vanity and foolishness, kept two children out of his life.

“That’s when you’ll remember this moment. But like me, it will be too late for you.”

He walked away shaking his head, already moving into the forgetting. Some day, it will come back to him. I’ll be remembered as a stranger, but suddenly not all that strange.

Vanderleun : February 4, 16  |  Your Say (74)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

Watch this on The Scene.

The serial comma, also known as the Oxford comma, is the one before “and” in a series of three or more: Herman Melville wrote “Moby-Dick,” “Billy Budd,” and “Bartleby, the Scrivener.”

It is also the improbable subject of a passionate debate among scholars, journalists, and copy editors. Can’t we all just get along? - The New Yorker

gerardvanderleun : February 3, 16  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

Mondo Bizarro

RedSquare_Tuthill_960.jpg

What could cause a nebula to appear square? No one is quite sure.

The hot star system known as MWC 922, however, appears to be embedded in a nebula with just such a shape. The featured image combines infrared exposures from the Hale Telescope on Mt. Palomar in California, and the Keck-2 Telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. A leading progenitor hypothesis for the square nebula is that the central star or stars somehow expelled cones of gas during a late developmental stage. For MWC 922, these cones happen to incorporate nearly right angles and be visible from the sides. Supporting evidence for the cone hypothesis includes radial spokes in the image that might run along the cone walls. Researchers speculate that the cones viewed from another angle would appear similar to the gigantic rings of supernova 1987A, possibly indicating that a star in MWC 922 might one day itself explode in a similar supernova. APOD: 2016 January 31 - MWC 922:

gerardvanderleun : February 2, 16  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

"I think I might come here and buy a farm."

gerardvanderleun : February 2, 16  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

"Don't drive angry. Don't drive angry."

"He was a really great guy. I liked him. A lot."

So...How Many Days Does Bill Murray Spend Stuck In Groundhog Day?

gerardvanderleun : February 1, 16  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

American Studies

acabin.jpg

"I lived here for about eight years, and owned it for about fifteen years after I built it in 1976 with local fieldstone and oak logs I cut, peeled and notched on the site, working alone with hand tools.

It had no plumbing, I carried water from a nearby spring, and I heated it in winter with about half a cord of wood a week which I cut and burned in the open fireplace. Eventually I moved into Asheville and had to sell it, but it was a large part of my life, and I miss it more with each passing year." My Log Cabin 1985 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

gerardvanderleun : February 1, 16  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

iStock_000007394535_Medium.jpg

In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate;

Intellectual disgrace
Stares from every human face,
And the seas of pity lie
Locked and frozen in each eye.

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice.

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress.

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountains start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

In Memory Of W.B. Yeats Poem by WH Auden

gerardvanderleun : January 31, 16  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

aaSatEvePostcollagejpggwRedCopy2.jpg

My Back Pages: Debating on the step of Sproul Hall, UC Berkeley, 1966. (Left to right:) Me (Somewhat younger but just as strident), An Iranian friend named "Jaz" -- worked with me in the UC library, a refugee from the Shah's Iran -- probably went back after the fall of the Shah, (foreground right)"The Anti-Communist." He lost his eye in the Hungarian Uprising and had to run for the border and on into the West to stay alive. In this picture he's attempting to convince me that Communism is an evil ideology. I'm not buying it then, but I buy it now.

Lately Americans seem to be slimming on a daily drip-feed of despair for our future and estrangement from our past. It's not a new diet in this country, but it is starting to assume the proportions of a runaway fad diet, a political Pritikins. This thin gruel is what's being poured into us from Seattle, Washington to Washington, D.C.

If you look closely at this diet for a diminished America you see a familiar list of "ingredients." The list is composed of the ideological stock and trade of a significant segment of Americans to whom this nation, as conceived by our founders, and struggled for for more than 200 years is merely one long, large joke; the Baby Boomers.

And I should know. After all, that boy in the picture up there -- that boy that thought Communism was "something we could live with" -- that young boy was me.

In my small way, I took part in the crafting of The Boomers’ Big Joke on America. For years I thought there was nothing funnier. Conceived during the waning months of World War II, I had no idea I was a Baby Boomer, but that, in the end, was what I was. And being a member of this large and fortunate generation gave me the leisure to develop quite a sense of humor when it came to basic human values. It even gave one woman of my cohort, Stanley Ann Dunham, the opportunity to actually conceive the punch line to our joke, her emasculate conception, the current clone passing as “President.”

When I was a student at the University of California at Berkeley in the late 1960s, we were the Brave New World's social engineers driving our little red choo-choo round the bend. We were the innovators, and we were busy innovating the brave new world wherein everything about the old world of our parents seemed either hilarious or evil.

Our program was quite clear early on and it hasn't changed a jot since those years, it has simply gotten more pervasive and elaborate. After all, we're older now and we're in control. We can finally fund these things. With your money.

Here’s how things went in our Brave New Whirled:


  • God, if he didn't emerge from 500 mikes of pure Sandoz LSD, was just a funny old guy a little bit like Santa Claus but with less of a user base.
  • The Bill of Rights was okay as long as you could figure out someway to erase a few of the amendments involving guns and add a host of new ones involving groups.
  • The Constitution? Too long and too arcane to really read with care. It was a given so what did we care?
  • History? The only really happening history was the future, man. Ours.
  • The United States? They were really "AmeriKKKa" -- Satan incarnate.
  • The US Military? Baby killers and agents of Satan.
  • The Police? Pigs.
  • The Viet Cong, Ho Chi Minh, Chairman Mao, Fidel Castro, and a host of other evil dictators and fascists? Heroes of "The People."
  • The People? Really wonderful as long as you didn't really have to hang out with them.
  • Voting in political parties? Stupid. We were into "participatory democracy" which involved really long meetings. ( This is now known as "emergent democracy" and involves really long online discussion threads.)
  • We believed in sex and drugs and rock and roll.
  • We were determined to resist "the man" on all levels.
  • We were young.


And we were very, very stupid for college kids. Check that. We were stupid because we were college kids.

Many of the most committed of us, decades later, are still in college and even dumber. We're professors now and our ability to be dumb has never been deeper.

Others of us are well ensconced in the various parts of what passes for the media. We are there with a lot of others just like us and, even if we thought differently, we'd never say it for fear of losing regard, position, grants, or promotion. Besides, we've been around others who think like us for so long its no problem at all to top up the latte and nod in blind agreement like the drinking bird bobbing over the glass.

Nope, we never sold out. We bought in.

But we kept the Che poster pinned up forever in our hearts right above the Pier One batik bedspread.

And now, we've arrived at our rendezvous with history.

In our aging but fitness-crazed hearts, we hate what we've become and, like any good group of neurotics, we transfer that hate to the country that gave us everything including the Long Peace in which to enjoy it.

We're the first in line to bitch and moan and hate a country that makes our freedom possible. More than that we're also in love with the privilege, comfort, money and safety that makes it possible for us to mouth off without limit.

And finally, we're coming to understand that we are not our parents' generation. We're "The Not-So-Great" Generation, and, like our president, deep down we're cowards.

We say we're 'afraid' of losing our cherished 'freedom' to the jackbooted legions of Conservative Brownshirts that might stifle our dissent from every street corner. That's really what a lot of us think. That's really just how bull-goose looney we've become.

We're so afraid that we can't look at what scares us but instead pull the covers over our head and dream of the ChristerBoogeymen.

Why? Because they're an illusion. They are not really scary at all. Why? Because they are all "just pretend," and we know it. What many of us simply cannot face is the real terror of the times, Terror.

We're really afraid of the wrath of those who, unlike those of us who believe in nothing, believe in something so deeply that they'll kill us for it and die doing it.

We fear their bomb in their baby’s carriage really is wired to the radio. We fear their teenager in the Army sweatshirt with three pounds of C4 wrapped inside of two pounds of ball bearings will be showing up at the Mall for a Big Mac Attack.

Then there’s the ever-popular Muslim-American who decides one afternoon to park his Jeep on top of as many of our kids as he can find in a group.

Hey, check out that guy who slipped past the TSA career sociopath who was patting down the nun and is now sitting next to the window at 36,000 feet with fuses coming out of his Nikes and a t-shirt on that says, "Just Do It." Then walk a mile in the Tevas of the Gay Imam with a plan who is so tense that he decides to walk into downtown San Bernardino and unwind with a small shooting spree.

All these realities disturb our dreams and threaten to pull the covers off our heads. We want to elect that booth-tanned, soothing daddy-cool to smarm us to sleep; to tell us for the umpteenth time how we “inspire him.”

As a result, we like the slogans, books, movies, TV shows, politicians and publications that confirm for us the deep liberal dream that -- if we are just understanding enough, long enough, apologize for living enough, and offer enough in the way of bribes -- the oppressed of the world will come to love us... and then just leave us alone.

Like the French, we believe that by selling off our ideals we'll receive, in return, peace and cheap vacation rentals in France and Greece for the rest of our lives. Like the French, a lot of us believe that by just being nice we'll be left alone to wallow in our prosperity. Like the French, we've come to believe that there's nothing in war for us except "teenagers with bombs." Like all those European morons it seems we’ve come to believe that all we have to do is to leave the war for the war to leave us.

Like I said, people of my 60s generation are very, very dumb.

And, it would seem, we've now bred children who are even dumber than we are. We are now, as far as dumb liberalism is concerned, deep into the third generation of the soul dead and the dumb, and it's clear that not a lot of us are coming around soon enough to avoid another massacre on American soil. To paraphrase a slogan about working with heavy machinery, "You get stupid around terrorism and it'll hurt you real quick and real bad."

We're so stupid we've even started to believe "It can't happen here" after it already has. "9/11? Just a one-off. Chillax. Never again. Forget about it."

How can we get off on being "stuck on stupid" when it comes to this First Terrorist War? How can we prevent another"9/11," "4/20," "5/14," "7/4," "12/25"? Pick a number, any number, there are 365 to choose from. But before that we might want to consider, seriously and carefully, taking some measures which are not merely careful campaigns to 'bring the fruits of democracy,' but things that fall, instead, under the general heading of "Draconian." A modest beginning in this regard would be to convince many members of my baby-boom generation to simply shut up, eat their tofu, and feel their testosterone ebb down to zero.

You don't have to look very far to see that while the dumb teenager might be the Terrorist's first choice when it comes to delivery vehicles, that teenager isn't the one setting the timer, choosing the target, or buying the bomb. That sort of thing is left to the "leadership" which is far too valuable to expend itself on direct attacks. Their leadership is still, thanks to our ever softening policies towards terror, very much in business.

Nor do you have to look very far to understand what the goals of that leadership are. You are told what they are in sermon after sermon throughout the Muslim world week after week. But those of my generation who are still mired in the ideological foolishness of their youth cannot hear these words and, even if they did, would not believe them.

My generation springs from a culture where words seldom have any consequences as long as you choose the right ones. Because of this words don't seem like weapons to us. Words, to my generation, are merely poses at cocktail parties at best, the latest glib lyrics of some pot-drenched rock idol who believes that having a hundred voice choir screech out “Don’t be raaaaacist” is the latest iteration of cool, until the new, cooler president steps forward and administers another slap of pap to the brain -- “Don’t be raaaaacist about me.”

Just because you bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and declare "a famous victory" does not mean the war is over. You’ve just made it easier for your enemies to fight you at home. The Terrorist War scares my generation more deeply than teenager bombs in Tel Aviv put the fear into the Israelis. The Terrorist War is something that is in earnest and it is something that will not go away. What scares them the most about it all is that the conflict, at its deepest core, is actually about something my generation understands only as one of the great standing jokes of our youth: Religion.

You see most of my Boomer "people" don't really get religion unless it comes with a lot of New Age claptrap or a hefty dose of Zen. Pure Christianity or Orthodox Judaism or Islam is far, far outside our ken.

Where previous generations could write, as late as 1927, the sentiments found in the Desiderata:

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. 
Strive to be happy.

My generation was the one that came up with the variation called the Deteriorata :
You are a fluke of the Universe. You have no right to be here, and whether you can hear it or not, The Universe is laughing behind your back. Therefore make peace with your God whatever you conceive him to be, Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin.With all its hopes, dreams, promises and urban renewal, The world continues to deteriorate. Give up.

I believe that to be The New Commandments of the 60s boomers. The "Bible" of our generation, the National Lampoon, first came up with them. I remember how funny we all thought they were. A laugh riot and, well, so true too. So right on. Words to live by.

And for a time we did.

But when you get a little further down the road and look back, if you have learned anything at all, you'll have learned to cherish the sentiment of the Desiderata and despise the mocking nothingness in the Deteriorata. The latter holds not 'words to live by,' but 'words to die by.'

Today my generation, being eternally drenched in a mindless nostalgia for its weird youth, refuses to learn that. It believes that the cool answer to the great crisis which has been brought to us in the last ten years is to make a sign that says "I heart New York more without the twin towers," parade about in the streets and, when confronted with the death of your fellow citizens, to stand firmly in solidarity with the sheep of Europe and the cringing coward at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and say, "We give up."

When I look at the spectacle that my Boomer generation has made of itself, a generation that had everything going for it, that had every opportunity, and instead came up with Caramel Soy Lattes and the slogan "ReElect Obama in 2012. He’s too black to fail!” all I can say is:

"I resign the Revolution. I'm joining the Resistance.

gerardvanderleun : January 30, 16  |  Your Say (18)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

Look what's happening out in the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution

Hey I'm dancing down the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution

Ain't it amazing all the people I meet
Got a revolution
Got to revolution

One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold

Pick up the cry

Hey now it's time for you and me
Got a revolution
Got to revolution

Come on now we're marching to the sea
Got a revolution
Got to revolution

Who will take it from you
We will and who are we?

We are volunteers of America
Volunteers of America
Volunteers of America
Volunteers of America

Paul Lorin Kantner (March 17, 1941 – January 28, 2016)

A political anarchist, Kantner once advocated the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD for mind expansion and spiritual growth, and was a prominent advocate of the legalization of marijuana. In a 1986 interview, Kantner shared his thoughts about cocaine and alcohol, saying, "Cocaine, particularly, is a bummer. It's a noxious drug that turns people into jerks. And alcohol is probably the worst drug of all. As you get older and accomplish more things in life in general, you realize that drugs don't help, particularly if you abuse them."[50] When Kantner suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 1980, his attending physician at Cedars-Sinai, Stephen Levy, was quick to point out it was not a drug-related issue, saying: "There is zero relationship between Paul's illness and drugs. He doesn't use drugs." Kantner died in San Francisco at the age of 74 on January 28, 2016 due to multiple organ failure and septic shock after he suffered a heart attack days earlier

920x920.jpg

gerardvanderleun : January 29, 16  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share


Ashokan Farewell [HT: Howard Nelson]

"In the great journal of things happening under the sun, we, the American people.... find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate.

"We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty than any of which the history of former times tells us.

"We, when mounting the stage of existence, found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings.

"We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them; they are a legacy bequeathed us by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed, race of ancestors.

"Theirs was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves, and through themselves us, of this goodly land, and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; 'tis ours only to transmit these—the former unprofaned by the foot of an invader, the latter undecayed by the lapse of time and untorn by usurpation—to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know. This task gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.

"How then shall we perform it? At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.

"At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.

"I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is even now something of ill omen amongst us.

"I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country—the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions in lieu of the sober judgment of courts, and the worse than savage mobs for the executive ministers of justice.

"This disposition is awfully fearful in any and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth and an insult to our intelligence to deny." - - Abraham Lincoln The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions

aadeerfarewell.jpg

gerardvanderleun : January 29, 16  |  Your Say (29)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

"Less than 5 hours after the accident. I had forgotten he cancelled his State of the Union Address and instead did this, 30 years ago today." -- Drew @ Ace

President Reagan: "I’ve always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don’t hide our space program. We don’t keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That’s the way freedom is, and we wouldn’t change it for a minute. We’ll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: “Your dedication and professionalism have moved an impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it.”"

"Obviously a major malfunction"

The Challenger Accident | Timeline

T+67.650

The abnormal plumes on the bottom and top of the booster appear to merge into one. This means the flame has wrapped around the joint as the leak deteriorated.

T+67.684

Telemetry indicates falling pressure in the 17-inch-wide liquid oxygen propellant lines feeding the three main engines.

T+68.000

Nesbitt: "Engines are throttling up. Three engines now at 104 percent."

Covey: "Challenger, go at throttle up."

T+70.000

Scobee, air-to-ground: "Roger, go at throttle up."

T+72.204

Data shows divergent up and down motions of the nozzles at the base of both solid rocket boosters.

T+72.284

The two solid rocket boosters change position relative to each other, indicating the right-side booster apparently has pulled away from one of the struts that connected its aft end to the external fuel tank. TV tracking camera: A large ball of orange fire appears higher on the other side of main fuel tank, closer to Challenger's cabin, and grows rapidly.

T+72.478

A "major high rate actuator command" is recorded from one of the boosters, indicating extreme nozzle motions.

T+72.497

The nozzles of the three liquid-fueled main engines begin moving at high rates: Five degrees per second.

T+72.525

Data shows a sudden lateral acceleration to the right jolts the shuttle with a force of .227 times normal gravity. This may have been felt by the crew.

T+72.564

Start of liquid hydrogen pressure decrease. Solid rocket boosters continue showing high nozzle motion rates.

T+72.624

Challenger beams back what turns out to be its final navigation update.

T+72.964

Main engine liquid oxygen propellant pressures begin falling sharply at turbopump inlets.

T+73.000 (approximate)

Smith, intercom: "Uh oh..." This is the last comment captured by the crew cabin intercom recorder. Smith may have been responding to indications on main engine performance or falling pressures in the external fuel tank.

T+74.587

A bright flash is observed in the vicinity of the orbiter's nose. Television tracking camera closeup: The nose of the shuttle and the crew compartment suddenly engulfed in brilliant orange flame, presumably caused by ignition or burning of rocket fuel in the forward reaction control system steering jet pod.

"At that point in its trajectory, while traveling at a Mach number of 1.92 (twice the speed of sound) at an altitude of 46,000 feet, the Challenger was totally enveloped in the explosive burn," said the Rogers Commission report. "The Orbiter, under severe aerodynamic loads, broke into several large sections which emerged from the fireball. Separate sections that can be identified on film include the main engine/tail section with the engines still burning, one wing of the Orbiter, and the forward fuselage trailing a mass of umbilical lines pulled loose from the payload bay."

The nose section had ripped away from the payload bay cleanly, although a mass of electrical cables and umbilicals were torn from the cargo hold, fluttering behind the crew cabin as it shot through the thin air, still climbing. Challenger's fuselage was suddenly open like a tube with its top off. Still flying at twice the speed of sound, the resulting rush of air that filled the payload bay overpressurized the structure and it broke apart from the inside out, disintegrating in flight. Challenger's wings cartwheeled away on their own but the aft engine compartment held together, falling in one large piece toward the Atlantic Ocean, its engines on fire. The TDRS satellite in Challenger's cargo bay and its solid-fuel booster rocket were blown free as was the Spartan-Halley spacecraft. All this happened as the external tank gave up its load of propellant, which ignited in the atmosphere in what appeared to be an explosion. It was more of a sudden burning than an explosion. In any case, the two solid rockets emerged from the fireball of burning fuel and continued on, bereft of guidance from the shuttle's now-silent flight computers.

T+74.587

A bright flash is observed in the vicinity of the orbiter's nose. Television tracking camera closeup: The nose of the shuttle and the crew compartment suddenly engulfed in brilliant orange flame, presumably caused by ignition or burning of rocket fuel in the forward reaction control system steering jet pod.

"At that point in its trajectory, while traveling at a Mach number of 1.92 (twice the speed of sound) at an altitude of 46,000 feet, the Challenger was totally enveloped in the explosive burn," said the Rogers Commission report. "The Orbiter, under severe aerodynamic loads, broke into several large sections which emerged from the fireball. Separate sections that can be identified on film include the main engine/tail section with the engines still burning, one wing of the Orbiter, and the forward fuselage trailing a mass of umbilical lines pulled loose from the payload bay."

The nose section had ripped away from the payload bay cleanly, although a mass of electrical cables and umbilicals were torn from the cargo hold, fluttering behind the crew cabin as it shot through the thin air, still climbing. Challenger's fuselage was suddenly open like a tube with its top off. Still flying at twice the speed of sound, the resulting rush of air that filled the payload bay overpressurized the structure and it broke apart from the inside out, disintegrating in flight. Challenger's wings cartwheeled away on their own but the aft engine compartment held together, falling in one large piece toward the Atlantic Ocean, its engines on fire. The TDRS satellite in Challenger's cargo bay and its solid-fuel booster rocket were blown free as was the Spartan-Halley spacecraft. All this happened as the external tank gave up its load of propellant, which ignited in the atmosphere in what appeared to be an explosion. It was more of a sudden burning than an explosion. In any case, the two solid rockets emerged from the fireball of burning fuel and continued on, bereft of guidance from the shuttle's now-silent flight computers.

gerardvanderleun : January 28, 16  |  Your Say (12)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

aalone.jpg

1

When one has lived a long time alone
one refrains from swatting the fly
and lets him go, and one hesitates to strike
the mosquito, though more than willing go slap
the flesh under her, and one lifts the toad
from the pit too deep for him to hop out of
and carries him to the grass, without minding
the toxic urine he slicks his body with,
and one envelops, in a towel, the swift
who fell down the chimney and knocks herself
against the window glass and releases her outside
and watches her fly free, a life line flung at reality,
when one has lived a long time alone.

afreeswift.jpg

2

When one has lived a long time alone,
one grabs the snake behind the head
and holds him until he stops trying to stick
the orange tongue, which splits at the end
into two black filaments and jumps out
like a fire-eater's belches and has little
in common with the pimpled pink lump that shapes
sounds and sleeps inside the human mouth,
into one's flesh, and clamps it between his jaws,
letting the gaudy tips show, as children do
when concentrating, and as very likely
one does oneself, without knowing it,
when one has lived a long time alone.

asnakeorang.jpg

3

When one has lived a long time alone,
among regrets so immense the past occupies
nearly all the room there is in consciousness,
one notices in the snake's eyes, which look back
without paying less attention to the future,
the first coating of the opaque milky-blue
leucoma snakes to get when about to throw
their skins and become new––meanwhile continuing,
of course, to grow old––the exact bleu passé
that discolors the corneas of the blue-eyed
when they lie back at last and look for heaven,
a blurring one can see means they will never find it,
when one has lived a long time alone.

aalbinosnakje.jpg

Click Here to Continue
gerardvanderleun : January 28, 16  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

While home in London for the holidays, James Corden picks up his friend Adele for a drive around the city singing some of her classic songs before Adele raps Nicki Minaj's "Monster."

gerardvanderleun : January 28, 16  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

gerardvanderleun : January 26, 16  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

chuck-jones-9-rules-wile-e-coyote-road-runner-7.jpg

1rule.jpg

2%20rule.jpg

3%20rule.jpg

4%20rule.jpg

5%20rule.jpg

6%20rule.jpg

7%20rule.jpg

8%20rule.jpg

9%20rule.jpg

The game is rigged.

It was rigged from the start. You, yourself, are part of the rigging; your nature produces your failure, and your failure produces the conditions that prompt your next doomed try. What are you trying to do? At what are you failing?
You are trying, like Wile E. Coyote, like Chuck Jones, like me, to make some sense of the world. You are forming a notion; an idea of the rules. That notion only ever can be incomplete; your mind is a baffling supercomputer nevertheless hopelessly inadequate to the task of understanding the full terrible complexity of the world around you. That notion will be blown apart (or dropped off a ledge, or run over by a bus), and you will recognize that it has been, that it was fatally incomplete to begin with—and that recognition will be the first tenet of the new notion, the seed of the next failure. On and on you will go, making sense of the world, forming notions of order, and being surprised in ways large and small by their failure, forever.
Can you stop? My friend, trying to stop forming notions of order is forming another notion of order. Forming notions of order is what you are: Intellectus inadaequtus. There is no escaping. Your mind is the setup; reality is the punchline; your life is the joke. And like all others, it has rules. It isn’t chaos. It is order. It is the order.
What can you do? All anybody can do; the same thing you’ve always done; what you did when Wile E. Coyote pushed down on that detonator and blew himself up. You can laugh at it. It’s pretty funny. -- DeadSpin
[HT: Five Feet of Fury – Kathy Shaidle ]

gerardvanderleun : January 25, 16  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

I turn on the tube and what do I see
A whole lotta people cryin' "Don't blame me"
They point their crooked little fingers ar everybody else
Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves
Victim of this, victim of that
Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat

Get over it
Get over it
All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it

You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash
But you might feel better if I gave you some cash
The more I think about it, Old Billy was right
Let's kill all the lawyers, kill 'em tonight
You don't want to work, you want to live like a king
But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing

Get over it
Get over it
If you don't want to play, then you might as well split
Get over it, Get over it

It's like going to confession every time I hear you speak
You're makin' the most of your losin' streak
Some call it sick, but I call it weak

You drag it around like a ball and chain
You wallow in the guilt; you wallow in the pain
You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown
Got your mind in the gutter, bringin' everybody down
Complain about the present and blame it on the past
I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass

Get over it
Get over it
All this bitchin' and moanin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it

Get over it
Get over it
It's gotta stop sometime, so why don't you quit
Get over it, get over it

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

Bookmark and Share

For the past year, Elliot Ross has been photographing the world of farmer Jim Mertens.

Inspired by the empathetic imagery of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans for the Farm Security Administration, Ross created an essay that examines the relationship between the farmer and the land, giving both characters equal focus in “The Reckoning Days.” The grains of wheat and the cracked palms of laborers are given the same attention, depicted in a mesmerizing palette of blues and yellows. This is how bread, the most basic staple of our diet, is made. “Society is generally removed from the processes in which bread and hundreds of other products reach our baskets,” Ross said. "We must protect, nurture, and celebrate the salt of the earth.”

1%20150716_Harvest_0922.jpg

The Wheat Field

From each one in the hard soil a myriad are spun.

Sheaves of gold on bronze in files beneath the sun.

Is it towards the whiteness of the wafer

The field bends on autumn winds;

2%20150715_Harvest_0479.jpg

Towards the body which is breath not flesh

That the body which is only flesh

Scuffs its limbs upon the soil,

And fears at night tomorrow's toil,

And sees in dreams the shade of musk

The trumpets rising in the dusk?

3%20matriarch%2C%20Deanna%20often%20gives%20advice%20to%20others%20that%20she%20interprets%20from%20these%20worn%20pages.jpg

Or is the seed of wheat enough,

Its own bronze parable of blood,

Enorbing in its nucleus

The architecture of the Ark,

The constant covenant of bread?

4%20Andrew%20climbs%20to%20dizzying%20heights%20inside%20the%20new%20bin%20that%20he%20hopes%20will%20soon%20be%20full%20of%20wheat.jpg

On the Thirtieth Meridian, at the pivot of the Earth,

A fan spreads out in silted twists

Pinned by five gold inches to the river's wrist,

And clasped by five white fingers of that marble hand.

7%20thewheatfieldElliotRossStudio.jpeg

Between the rise and fall of speech

The pulse is felt throughout the land,

Its rhythms mimicked by the priests,

Its regulations drawn on dirt

In circles, trisects, lines and cubes

Of numbers and of wheat,

Of incantations scratched on stone

That from their power we may eat

The bread, for we have tasted of the fruit,

And found it, if not sweet, of use

In surveying tombs and gardens that will suit.

5%20combines%20pass%20one%20another%20as%20they%20begin%20cutting%20a%20new%20field.jpg

The wilderness yields only flesh

Of fruit, or fowl, or hunted beast.

It cannot give us wheat and bread,

And it is bread that we would eat.

brimming%20with%20the%20last%20of%20the%20day%E2%80%99s%20wheat%20harvest.jpg

Though our bodies be of infirm flesh, Our thoughts enslaved to blood and heat;

Though we scan the skies with eyes of beasts,

Still we would walk in fields of wheat,

And from such sheaves deduce the laws

Of war and wealth and God, and pause

To build our towns and temples, paved streets,

And gird the very globe with grids,

And make our maps and take our measures,

And populate the final stars with our myriad

Grown from one, in the harsh soil, our single treasure.

8%20grownfromoneintheharshsoil.jpg

gerardvanderleun : January 24, 16  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

5-Minute Arguments

Is America racist? Is it -- as President Barack Obama said -- "part of our DNA"? Author and talk-show host Larry Elder examines America's legacy of racism, whether it's one we can ever escape, and in the process offers a different way of looking at things like Ferguson, crime, police and racial profiling.

gerardvanderleun : January 24, 16  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

gerardvanderleun : January 22, 16  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

5-Minute Arguments

Yes, it is slightly over an hour long. Nevertheless it is the best summation and clarification of the Donald Trump campaign from its inception to this week. Get a beverage of choice and make it full screen. It's worth it.

Stefan Molyneux Of Freedomain Radio:

Since 1988, Donald Trump has been discussed as a potential United States presidential candidate, but when he officially announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015 the mainstream media refused to believe it. Over the next many months, Donald Trump would be attacked and criticized by the media – but were these criticisms legitimate? What is the Untruth About Donald Trump?

0:43 - Donald Trump’s Strategy
3:42 - Mainstream Media On Donald Trump
5:25 - Trump Isn’t a Serious Candidate!
6:44 - He Won’t File His Election Papers – Ignore Him!
8:52 - Illegal Immigration, Border Wall, Rape and Crime
16:18 - Univision, NASCAR, ESPN and Macy’s “Dump” Trump?
18:22 - Is John McCain a War Hero?
21:52 - Was Trump a Draft-Dodger?
23:40 - Megyn Kelly, Rosie O’Donnell and the War on Women
27:18 - Blood coming out of her wherever…
28:55 - The Truth About The Bankruptcies
32:18 - The Bible Gotcha!
33:39 - Muslim Celebrations on September 11th
35:52 - Did Trump Mock a Disabled Reporter?
37:25 - Muslim Immigration Ban
43:17 - Do Americans Support Trump’s Muslim Immigration Ban?
44:38 - Muslim Databases?
46:33 - Employing Illegal Immigrants?
48:20 - Vladimir Putin
50:09 - Anti-Semitic Comments
51:26 - Comparisons to Adolf Hitler
54:57 - Campaign Event Protestors
56:28 - Old Joke About Dating His Daughter
57:10 - Saturday Night Live
58:09 - Trumps Inheritance and Wealth
59:06 - Donald Isn’t Rich Enough to Fund His Campaign
1:01:21 - Jeb Bush’s Personal Immigration Connection
1:01:54 - Gun Control in Paris
1:02:46 - Don’t Trust Trump With the Nuclear Codes!
1:03:35 - Hillary Clinton’s ISIS Recruitment Video Claim
1:04:10 - Close Down The Internet?
1:05:00 - Carly Fiorina: Look at That Face!
1:05:48 - Hillary Got Schlonged
1:06:13 - Go After Terrorists Families
1:07:00 - George W. Bush Kept Us Safe
1:07:50 - He’s a Rapist
1:08:30 - Deportation Force
1:09:31 - The “Donald Trump is a Hillary Clinton Plant” Conspiracy
1:09:53 - Campaign Finance Hypocrisy
1:10:50 - Oprah as Vice President?
1:11:08 - Donald Trump is Batman

You will find the links to the sources used in The Untruth About Donald Trump | Stefan Molyneux HERE

gerardvanderleun : January 22, 16  |  Your Say (21)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

ageofstupid.jpg

That’s the scariest thing about life, it’s that dumb people are out-breeding smart people at a staggering pace. And nobody ever even talks about it! We all kinda know it’s happening, and the real problem is; most of us are dumb. We don’t want to admit it, but really, how many of us are really smart? Look, I know I’m stupid. I know. I know I’m stupid, yet I’m smarter than almost everybody I meet! And the real problem with dumb people is, they don’t even know they’re dumb. That’s a part of being dumb, you’re not aware!

There should be a way to tell, like a home pregnancy test type thing. Some shit you take at home and you lick it and you go “Oh, I’m a idiot! It’s broken, gimme another one!” Dudes would never believe it, idiots would have boxes stacked to the ceiling. “LIAR! NO!”

The real problem is, most of us are idiots! We just like to think that we’re not idiots because we use stuff that smart people have figured out. But how many of us understand any of that stuff? Think about the technological level the world operates on, how many of us really understand that? What if everybody out there died, and we had to take over the world? How well would you think we’d do?

[Crowd starts cheering]

“Yeah, terrific! We would do awesome!” Yeah, does anybody really know how any of this stuff works?

[Taps microphone]

Why’s that loud, any idea? I’ve been a comedian for sixteen years, I have no idea what’s in there! I don’t know, some loud stuff? I don’t know.

[Points at spotlight]

What makes that bright, bright light? I don’t know. Think about all the stuff you need to run your life. Computers and palm pilots and cell phones, how many of you know how to make any of that ? I mean, if I left you alone in the woods with a hatchet, how long before you can send me an email?

We are not smart! We buy stuff from smart people! I don’t have a camera on my phone because I’m smart! If you left me on an island for a million years I could never figure out how to put a camera on a phone! I don’t even know what a camera is! I know that I press a button and a picture shows up. What happens between me pressing the button and the picture showing up is anybody’s fucking guess! There might be leprechauns with spray paints up the ass!

All I know is “megapixel”! Yeah, you gotta say that to get the good stuff. I don’t even know what a megapixel is! It’s like a noise you make with your mouth. “Megapixel! Ohhh, you’re clever! You are clever!”

Who knows of people who know that shit? Does anybody know anyone that’s invented anything? Who are they? Is anybody watching them? Making sure they’re alive? Making sure that somebody mixed kids with them? No! No one’s paying attention! I think what’s going to happen is that one day smart people are just gonna die and they’re gonna leave us with a bunch of stuff we don’t understand. I think there’s gonna be no warning!

We’re just gonna be sitting around, having a good time, having a couple of drinks, power’s just going to shut off. Everybody’s gonna get out their lighters “Way to go, you idiots! Can’t even keep the power on, what the hell…” And what do you do when the power goes out? I don’t know what you do, what I do usually is that I sit around and I wait. Cause I figure “There’s a guy fixing that stuff. Probably working out it right now…” How long will it take before you figure out all the smart people are dead? It would take years. You would have to run out of batteries, “Dude I don’t know how to make a battery, what do we do?”

“Listen, just get together with a torch, okay? Get a torch, we’re all gonna meet in the street and we’re all gonna work this out. It’s gonna be cool.”

Standing out in the street with a torch, “What’sup?”

“Dude, you know how to get the power on?”

“I thought you did!”

“No… alright, keep me posted.”

“You too!”

We’d just be sitting in our houses with out torches. That would work. ‘Till the animals realize we don’t have electricity any more and they start sneaking around, checking stuff out. And they realize there’s no loud noises to scare them off any more and bears just start grabbing people.

[Imitating bear attack]

They just realize we’re fat and slow, they don’t even have to catch us. They scare us, we’ll just black out. It’s a matter of time before they start eating us! More evolution! But not me motherfucker, I’ve got guns! I’ve got bullets, I’m gonna be fine! …until I run out of bullets

“I don’t know how to make a fucking bullet, do you? Dude, there’s bears out there, we don’t even have any bullets, what do we do?!”

“Listen man, we’re gotta get out of the city, we’re sitting ducks. This is what we should do; we should move back into the caves!” People will live in the caves again!

“Dude, it’s safer in the caves, bro! Just guard the entrance with sharp, pointy sticks!”

“GRRRR”

“AAHHHH!”

We would just get down to a core group of survivors, fighting off the bears. And within one or two generations we would forget EVERYTHING! Trigonometry, calculus, all that's gone! Science, the ‘Net, it’s gone! It’s never gonna happen again! It would take thousands of years, you would have to reinvent electricity… Within one hundred years would think the world’s flat and the sun is seventeen miles away.

“GRRRR”

“AAHHHH!”

We would just devolve to a core group of survivors and let them re-evolve and re-discover the earth. How crazy would that be? How crazy would a caveman discovering downtown Phoenix be? Just coming out of the cave with his fucking club, with his buddies.

“Dude, who built all this?”

“Bro, it had to be aliens!”

“YEAH! Yeah it’s aliens! I can’t do that, you do that?”

“Neither can I! What the fuck?”

See, I think this has happened before. I think it explains the pyramids. And yeah, I was really high when I thought this up. But it makes sense!

If you ever watch a documentary on how they built the pyramids, they have no idea how they made those things.

“Well, we believe they used levers”, but this is all that you really need to know. They know they’re there, so they know somebody made them. But all you need to know about the Great Pyramid of Giza; there’s two million, three hundred thousand stones that weigh between two and 80 tonnes – some of them were cut form a quarry that was that was five hundred miles away! No machines, no trucks, no steel, they had copper tools and they were perfectly cut, you couldn’t even get a razor blade in between these rocks and they were perfectly aligned, true North, South, East and West. And if you cut and place ten of these monstrous stones a day it would take you six hundred and sixty for years to make one pyramid! All brought to you by people who thought the god Ra took the sun across the sky in a canoe and returned later that evening with the moon. They had sixteen year old queens! Cleopatra was sixteen years old when she was running Egypt. That’s like Lindsay Lohan being Queen of the world!

And they built that?! They built that? Are you sure? Are you sure? Okay, because I have another theory. I think people used to be really, really, really fuckin’ smart! But the dumb ones just out-bred the smart ones! That’s what I think! I think that we are all the bastard children of the idiot stone workers of Egypt! I think that at one point there was a master race and they were reading each other’s minds and they were free of ego and they were totally honest and they were mapping out the cosmos and behind them, the stone workers just fucked away.

[Mimics stone workers having sex, and giving birth to a child]

“Oh look, he look just like me! That’s my fella right there!”

They just took over. And one day the smart people just die. There’s probably no warning. Just one day the idiots show up at the pyramids “Hello?! Anybody in there?! We’re supposed to get our checks on Friday! Hello?! The boy’s have got overtime coming! The holidays’ just around the corner, have you no heart?”

Then eventually they just realize the smart people are all dead.

“What do you want to do?”

“I think for now we should just move into the pyramids then we’ll figure it all out.”

And that’s what they did, they just moved in. Then they just started lying about it. After a couple of generations, “Who built this?”

“WE DID! We’re the best, we’re number one! Egypt! Egypt! Egypt! Look at that beautiful flat wall! That’s craftsmanship, son! I think I will draw stick figures on it!

[Mimics drawing]

“This.. is a woman… she’s carrying food upon her head… that’s important to document! And this… is a man… but, he has a head of a dog! And he’s evil!”

You sure they made that? They wrote in stick figures, dude.

quote-we-are-all-born-ignorant-but-one-must-work-hard-to-remain-stupid-benjamin-franklin-10-18-78.jpg


Found at Joe Rogan - Wikiquote

gerardvanderleun : January 22, 16  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share

American Studies

achangewererich.JPG

They are found in trays on the dresser, jars in the kitchen, bowls in the bedroom. They are the small bits of cash detritus, the left over fractions of a dollar, that collect in our pockets and purses on a daily basis, and often consigned to the change cups of America.

Most people have one. I have one. Mine is a white ovenproof ramekin and it slowly fills with pennies, dimes, nickels, and -- mostly -- quarters. Indeed quarters are what most change is made of in these days of prices set to end in .99 at work with various state and local sales taxes of 3 to 9 percent.

Every day I dump whatever is loose in my pockets into the ramekin. In the beginning it's just a couple of quarters and a smear of pennies. Dimes and nickels are uncommon but not yet rare. In the fullness of time the ramekin fills up with an untold amount of money much like William Devane's safe.

When a small mound of change forms at the top of the ramekin I know it is time for one of my favorite shopping trips: “FREE GROCERIES!” And to do that I bag up all my coins and head off to my favorite “FREE MONEY MACHINE!,” the big green Coinstar to get some.

After all, change is just the drippings from money already spent; the sawdust from your logs of liquidity. Few would be willing to separate the coins and pack them into tubes as was the case in the Ancient of Days. Fewer still maintain their own change counting machines. It’s just not worth it since the dollar became the new quarter sometime between 2008 and now.

Coinstar is the answer. For a mere 10.9% of your money it will convert your change into a strip of paper which can be redeemed for groceries and real currency at the cash register. Coinstar is also a very entertaining store machine, one of the few that gives you back something for your effort. It’s a kind of reverse slot machine (with similar sound effects)in which you win every time, minus 10.9%. In addition it shows its work on the screen. You tilt up the slide and let the coins shuffle in to a satisfying series of clinks, clunks, and clacks, interrupted every so often with a clunk as the Coinstar spits out an item it cannot accept. In front of you the screen shows the actual ascending numbers of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars (rare), and silver dollars (hunted to extinction). Then you get your voucher and off you go to shop with.... “FREE MONEY!”

Because I am easily entertained I love those trips. Yesterday I noted that my love for Coinstar was due to be consummated once again. I noticed that ”Lo, my change cup runneth over,” and poured all my change into a Ziplock bag. It's heft felt like around two pounds. My change cup was, obsessive-compulsively and blissfully, empty again.

I set off for the town Safeway and poured my change into the coin slide on the Coinstar. It went through its satisfying series of clunks, clinks, clanks,clacks and counting and came up.... at the end of it all... with...

$24.00.

Yes, a round dollar amount completely at random. This is, for those like me who suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive disorders, equal to “the perfect pump.” (When, in filling the tank at the gas pump, you watch the rising total and snap-release the handle and get a round dollar amount. So satisfying!)

Armed with my free money voucher in the sum of ...

$24.00.

I began shopping. I picked up some milk, which I needed. I picked up some oranges, which I also needed. I passed on the cream-filled fresh-baked Bundt cake, which I really, really, really do NOT need. I picked up some meat on sale for 50% off even if I don’t really count 50% off $18.80 as a bargain. I picked up some of this and some of that and then went to the Express checkout to see how many public school educated citizens in front of me were unclear on the concept of “15 Items or Less.”

When.... at long, long last.... it was my turn I handed my Coinstar voucher to the cashier. She pulled my “15 Items or Less” across her scanner. The total?

$23.75.

To my right the change dispenser at the pay station spit out into its buff metal cup.... one single quarter. I picked it up, slipped it into my pocket, and took it home.

I tossed it into the white ramekin. It made a nice crisp clink as it hit the bottom of the empty change collector.

There it sits this morning, all alone with a small tuft of pocket lint, waiting for others in its mildly diverse family of money to join it.

And the great circle of life begins again.

achangefear.jpg

gerardvanderleun : January 20, 16  |  Your Say (21)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bookmark and Share
Search American Digest

MONDO BIZARRO


Donations Gratefully Accepted

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

Today’s coveted endorsement

– Knowledge is Power

FAUX HATE

1-cross-fire-e1426738161239.jpg
Black woman in a wheelchair? She was the perfect victim.
Nobody even questioned her claims. And it was all lies, from start to finish. She was the first fake hate crime victim I remember hearing about, although there had been plenty invented to demonize the south in the past. As if the lynchings and church burnings weren't bad enough, people invented more to make the civil rights struggles more dramatic and horrible, I suppose. I'm actually having a hard time remembering the last valid 'hate crime' even assuming the category has the slightest shred of credibility. Word Around the Net:


Strong statements appeal to the right because we face a mental virus, liberalism, which succeeds because it is simple.

loudmouth.jpg

We can see the loudmouth travesty play out wherever conservatism appeals because liberalism has failed.
A normal person goes seeking answers, and gets back a rant on God, guns and the flag (plus “working hard” at do-nothing, pointless jobs). Someone goes to a white nationalist and instead of finding a working solution, encounters angry people who are more concerned with harming other races than promoting their own. Naturally, people of sound mind flee from these crazies, which gives the crazies the clubhouse they want: everyone inside must bow to their authority now, or be driven out and called nasty names. For a change, the Right should demote loudmouths


It all works. There is no need for spirits or poltergeists to explain it. Except that it obviously can’t happen.

bones-growth.jpg

Consider how the bones of an infant turn into those of a middle linebacker in college.
For a very small, short hollow bone to grow into a large, long hollow bone, unlikely things have to happen. Osteoclasts inside the cavity have to eat away the bone to make a larger cavity. Osateoblasts outside have to lay down more bone. They do this in precise coordination, which is impossible because they are on opposite sides of the cavity. Look at the skeleton of an adult. The bones are smooth, and flawlessly formed. The bone also has to grow in length. The mechanism of the articulation also has to grow, and do it exactly right. All of this works perfectly, which is impossible.Impossibility Theory, An Advance over Mere Indeterminacy


I Heart Huckabees



Plows Working Around Clock To Keep New Hampshire Roads Clear Of Campaign Signs

NHCampaignSigns.jpg
Never Yet Melted サ

I want to get back to free speech and away from all this thought policing and the right seems more likely to do that than the left.

Breitbart used to say, “Politics is downstream from culture,” and that is where Obama has done most of his damage.
Over half the country agrees that race relations have taken a nosedive since he took office and a mere 8% say they’ve improved. This is relevant because blacks who have been brainwashed into thinking America has mandatory racism are more likely to burn down the CVS when a cop shoots a black kid. Insisting Muslims are our friends allows Iran to get nukes and opens the door for #rapefugees. When our president refuses to Google the mythical wage gap, we lose billions to affirmative-action policies trying to correct a sexism problem that isn’t there. Liberal leaders are so adamant we let gays do whatever they want; it includes bullying Christians into violating their own religions. The same people who want the government out of the bedroom don’t mind the government in your brain. The Cost of Prejudice



What is the fastest speed of any object on the earth?

teleport.jpg

The shaft had, in effect, become a enormous 500-foot long, four-foot wide gun barrel with the energy of billions of pounds of TNT released at one end and, at the other end, the now insignificantly small metal cap, about the equivalent of a bottle cap on the end of a naval gun.
As it happens, a very high speed film camera was recording the event and was expected to capture in slow motion the path and speed of any ejecta from the hole. Unfortunately, the camera, which had quite a wide view of top of the hole and and the area around and above, recorded the “manhole cover” on only one frame. There was no malfunction of the camera, it’s just that the “manhole cover” blasted out of sight so fast that the camera only saw it for one frame. Later calculations showed that the heretofore mundane four-foot metal disk had been launched at six times Earth’s escape velocity. That’s one hundred fifty thousand miles per hour. Talon Torres @ Quora


SpaceBar: The Invisible Punctuator



Why bald eagles are always photographed from the side

can-i-borrow-a-feeling-26.jpg


It’s “deer-dodging season” around Moab, Utah.

adeercanmakeit.jpg
Herds of deer have been driven down into the valleys by the mountain snow.
Bored deer entertain themselves by standing around in the roadside bushes waiting for cars and trucks to come along so they can launch kamikaze attacks by bounding across the road in front of drivers. It’s a bizarre sport - played by deranged deer on one side and anxious drivers on the other – with deadly results for both sometimes. Every hunter has a deer-dodging story. “Almost got my buck – an 8 pointer – just grazed his ass when he shot out in front of my car.” -- Robert Fulghum


Water. It’s all around, but it’s bloody hard to drink in Antarctica.

snowmelt.jpg

Because remember, Antarctica is a desert, and a high-altitude desert at that.
Worsley spent part of his journey climbing the Titan Dome, which rises above 10,000 feet. Every minute, you inhale dry-as-bones air, humidify it with moisture in your lungs, and expel that water into the environment. Plus you’re sweating. Tibton estimates that you’d need to drink about six liters a day—which, by the way, you can’t just scoop up from the snow as you walk along. Every drop you drink, you have to gather and melt over your little stove. People Cross Antarctica All the Time. It's Still Crazy Hard | WIRED


The long reach of time

albertwoolson_400.jpg

So that’s how it happened that my mother was raised by four people, two of whom had been born during the early 1850s.
All four of them had held and reassured my mother when those booming noises had announced the end of the Great War in that scene that constituted her first memory. So, although my mother became a modern woman who smoked cigarettes, drove a car, went to college, and voted as soon as she turned twenty-one (in that order, I believe), two of the people closest to her in her youth remembered the Civil War vividly. - - neo-neocon


If you are a normal, traditional American of any race or religion, the Democrats hate you.

Yeah, they hate white men with a purple passion, but they hate middle-class black guys and Korean shopkeepers too.
Their appeal is exclusively to poor minorities, plutocrats, government employees and the upper reaches of the managerial class. If you are a mailman, the Democrats are the good bet, even if you are a pale penis person. If you are running a UPS Store franchise, the Democrats are your enemy, even if you are a one-legged black lesbian Elvis impersonator. That’s the thing. Their appeal is really just a relentless assault on an ever widening array of enemies. It’s a party of old rich white people promising to smash up the while middle class and give the bits to those who vote Democrat. The Null Party | The Z Blog


The fact a man (or woman) wants to be president should disqualify him, of course;

but as there is no prospect of return to the original Electoral College, envisioned by the American Founding Fathers,
the responsibility to eliminate quacks, demagogues, criminals, careerists, the unteachably stupid, and the insane, falls on the public at large. As those Founders realized, “the people” would make an extremely unreliable “safety net,” for the preservation of their own liberties. Men of some character and understanding would be indispensable. Backhand compliment : Essays in Idleness


It was “long distance,” and that cost money.

aswitchboard.jpg

There were no area codes back then, so if you wanted to call long distance, you dialed 0 (“Oh”) for an operator.
She (it was always a she) would then call the number you wanted and patch it through, often by plugging a cable between two holes in a “switchboard.” Toll-free calls could be made only to a few dozen local exchanges listed in the front of your phone book. Calls to distant states were even more expensive, and tended to sound awful. Calls outside the country required an “overseas operator,” were barely audible, and cost more than a brake job. Doc Searls Weblog · The Giant Zero


I do not want America to be the world's policeman;

I want America to be the world's king. Someone will be. Might a well be us. - Don Surber

Well Ghost, it's like this....

zombieSept09_21.jpg

They're like the 'Walking dead'. It isn't what you did or didn't do, allowed or anything else.
You, me, and other in agreement will simply be overrun by sheer numbers. You cannot shoot enough of them or move far enough away. The answer probably lies in secession, dividing the country into two Americas. And who is to say that "they" would allow anyone to escape their clutches freely. The Civil War aka The War of Northern Aggression will seem like a school yard "Oh Yea!" fight. It won't end with one side drying "Uncle" either. This will leave no one standing on the losing side. -- Vermont Woodchuck


My worldview has receded to that of the European thirteenth century, which I don’t find represented by any of the current political parties.

My loyalty to “the West” is only a knee-jerk extension of my loyalty to Christendom
— which rekindles whenever the sun catches upon a shard of its broken stained glass. I am a “neocon” only in the sense that I remain gung-ho against the Saracens, and am for clearing highwaymen off the open roads — for sake of pilgrimage even more than for trade. I am aware, however, that circumstances have somewhat changed, over the last eight centuries; to my mind, almost entirely for the worse. The neoconical hat : Essays in Idleness


In the ‘First date’ section she put “something with animals, or we could go to a protest and make up fun chants,”

aarapisttrade.jpg

About me
I’m a woman who is socially conscious, and the challenges women face enrages me, as do the challenges and discrimination faced by people of colour, and the working class, and the disabled, and the old. I can discuss that and the dynamics of our society endlessly. If you disagree, or ask for proof that this is happening, then we will probably find each other very annoying…. so message me only if you are impassioned by the unfair social construct of our world and history which leads to the oppression, sickness and death of billions. - - STREET CARNAGE


Man Shot By Trump Now Leaning Toward Undecided

JohnSmith.jpg

Sitting in his hospital bed, John ran through the reasons why he might have to switch his vote.
“I just dunno anymore. I mean, one second I’m just walking across 5th avenue during my lunch hour and the next second, Donald comes up to me, says something about ‘it’s going to be huge’, and shoots me in the gut.” “However, I don’t know who else I can vote for,” he added. Never Yet Melted »


The Barnhardt Axiom

"The culture has degraded such that seeking and/or holding office, especially national-level office, is, in and of itself, proof that a given person is psychologically and morally unfit to hold public office." -- Personal Update | Barnhardt



The oldest joke on record, a Sumerian proverb, was first told all the way back in 1900 B.C.

aa-sumerianjoke.jpg

Yes, it was a fart joke: “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap.”
Don’t feel bad if you don’t get it — something was definitely lost in time and translation (you have to imagine it was the Mesopotamian equivalent of “Women be shopping”), but not before the joke helped pave the way for almost 4,000 years of toilet humor. - - The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy


“I saw it all. I saw Prep H. I saw Geritol. I saw Fixodent. I saw Depends.”

a-aaaclintons.jpg

“Bill Clinton standing behind Hillary last night, I saw that too,” Limbaugh began.
“I saw it all. I saw Prep H. I saw Geritol. I saw Fixodent. I saw Depends.” He continued, “I saw it all. I saw … dripping saliva. I saw it all, folks. It was…it was…it was astounding.”Limbaugh went on to describe Hillary’s speech, likening it to “screeching [from] a bunch of seagulls that have starved out near Alcatraz for a while.” -- TheBlaze.com


The Clinton System

aaaclintons.jpg

Scale and complexity arise from the multiple channels that link Clinton donors to the Clintons:
there is the stream of six-figure lecture fees paid to Bill and Hillary Clinton, mostly from large corporations and banks, which have earned them more than $125 million in the fifteen years since Bill Clinton left office in 2001. There are the direct payments to Hillary Clinton’s political campaigns, including for the Senate in 2000 and for the presidency in 2008 and now in 2016, which had reached a total of $712.4 million as of September 30, 2015, the most recent figures compiled by Open Secrets. Four of the top five sources of these funds are major banks: Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Morgan Stanley. by Simon Head | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books


"Everyone else is galvanized into inactivity."

Because if they prophesize my doom and then I kick ass and I'm like (flashes middle finger).
As the late, great [New York Times columnist] David Carr used to say, "It's fighting season." Look, everybody talks about disruption until you actually f—ing disrupt something, and then everybody freaks the f— out. Warning! This Shane Smith Interview Has 52 F-Bombs: - Hollywood Reporter


Congress seems to me to be of so little importance as not to merit attention. I mean this seriously.

Consider:
The crucial issues facing the country are the endless wars, racial hostility, immigration, affirmative action, federal surveillance, uncontrolled looting and burning, the deterioration of the universities, wildly excessive military spending, the abandonment of the Constitution, the conversion of the schools into indoctrination camps, the federal practice of torture, and the enforcement of political correctness by the federal government, academia, and the media.

What is the relevance of Congress to these? Is it possible to imagine the alleged legislators (allegislators?) actually doing anything about any of them? If they were going to, they would have.Who are Boehner and Pelosi? : A Slough of Irrelevance | Fred On Everything


My message to today’s left-wing journalists: no one believes your story.

Everybody goes straight to the comments sections of your articles for the truth
. You have placed yourself in service to lies in defiance of your code of professional ethics and common decency. But your name is on the bylines and history’s forthcoming judgment will be clear: Not only are you a whore, you are also accessory to genocide. Orwell on Leftist Media: “Once a Whore, Always a Whore” – PA


Yellowing?

Cops: Florida man screams about penis size, then shows his off | Stuart police took Kenneth Snider into custody at 3 a.m. Tuesday after he “began yellowing about the size of his penis,” the report said.

☛ Thinking Right Archives