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Success depends on how you react to unexpected opportunities. - Ross Perot

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Mars will look good in Earth's skies over the next few days -- but not this good.

To get a view this amazing, a spacecraft had to actually visit the red planet. Running across the image center, though, is one the largest canyons in the Solar System. Named Valles Marineris, the grand valley extends over 3,000 kilometers long, spans as much as 600 kilometers across, and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep. By comparison, the Earth's Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA is 800 kilometers long, 30 kilometers across, and 1.8 kilometers deep. The origin of the Valles Marineris remains unknown, although a leading hypothesis holds that it started as a crack billions of years ago as the planet cooled. Several geologic processes have been identified in the canyon. The featured mosaic was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s. Tomorrow, Mars and Earth will pass the closest in 11 years, resulting in the red planet being quite noticeable toward the southeast after sunset. APOD: 2016 May 29 - Valles Marineris: The Grand Canyon of Mars

gerardvanderleun : May 30, 16  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Orphaned at age 5, WWII veteran Jack Tueller, went on to play first chair trumpet at BYU. This is a remarkable story from Jack's military experience.

gerardvanderleun : May 30, 16  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

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Army Capt. Ed Arntson, of Chicago, kissed the grave of Staff Sgt. Henry Linck in Arlington, Va., National Cemetery Thursday. Staff Sgt. Linck was killed in Iraq in 2006. Armed forces placed flags at more than 300,000 gravestones ahead of Memorial Day.

The cemetery at the top of Queen Anne in Seattle is busy this weekend. This even though a cemetery under all circumstances is seldom thought of as a busy place. We haven't had busy cemeteries since 1945. Since then the long peace and its sleep was only briefly, for a few years every now and then, interrupted by a small war. The cemeteries fill up more slowly now than ever before. And our sleep, regardless of continuing alarms, deepens.

These days we resent, it seems, having them fill at all, clinging to our tiny lives with a passion that passes all understanding; clinging to our large liberty with the belief that all payments on such a loan will be interest-free and deferred for at least 100 years.

Still, the cemetery at the top of Queen Anne does tend to take on a calm, resigned bustle over Memorial Day weekend, as the decreasing number of families who have lost members to war come to decorate the graves of those we now so delicately refer to as "The Fallen." They are not, of course, fallen in the sense that they will, suddenly and to our utter surprise, get up. That they will never do in this world. For they are not "The Fallen," they are "The Dead."

In the cemetery at the end of my street , of course, all the permanent residents are dead. But those who are among the war dead, or among those who served in a war, are easily found on this day by the small American flags their loved ones who still survive place and refresh. In this cemetery atop Queen Anne hill in Seattle, the small flags grow fewer and smaller with each passing year. It is not, of course, that the size of the sacrifice has been reduced. That remains the largest gift one free man may give to the country that sustained him. It is instead the regard of the country for whom the sacrifices were made that has gotten smaller, eroded by the self-love that the secular celebrate above all other values.

As you walk about the green lawn and weave among the markers, the slight breeze moves the small three-colored flags. Some are tattered and faded. Some are wound around the small gold sticks that hold them up. You straighten these out almost as an afterthought. Then the breeze unfurls them.

Here and there, people tend the grave of this or that loved one; weeding, washing, or otherwise making the gradually fading marks in the stone clear under the sky. Cars pull in and wind slow, careful on the curves, and park almost at random. An old woman emerges from one, a father and son from another, an entire family from yet another. They carry flowers in bunches or potted and, at times, gardening implements and a bucket for carrying away the weeds. It's a quiet morning. Nobody is in a hurry to arrive and once arrived to leave.

When I lived in Villers-Cotteret , between Compaigne and Soissons, along the Western Front in France, the cemeteries were as quiet but on a scale difficult to imagine unless they were seen.

In the Battle of Soissons in July of 1918, 12,000 men (Americans and Germans) were killed in four days. Vast crops of white crosses sprouted from the fields their rows and columns fading into the distance as they marched back from the roadside like an army of the dead called to attention until the end of time. American cemeteries merged with French cemeteries that merged with German cemeteries; their only distinction being the flags that flew over what one took to be the center of the arrangement. I suppose one could find out the number of graves in these serried ranks. Somewhere they keep the count. Governments are especially good at counting. But it is enough to know they are beyond numbering by an individual; that the mind would cease before the final number was reached.

To have even a hundredth of those cemeteries in the United States now would be more than we, as a nation, could bear. It would not be so much the dead within it, but the truth that made it happen that would be unbearable. This is, of course, what we are as a nation fiddling about with on this Memorial Day. We count our war dead daily now, but we count mostly on the fingers of one hand, at times on two. Never in numbers now beyond our ability to imagine. This is not because we cannot die daily in large numbers in a war. September 11th proved to us that we still die in the thousands, but many among us cannot now hold that number as a reality, but only as a "tragic" exception that need not have happened and will -- most likely -- never happen again.

That, at least, is the mind set that I assume when I read how the "War on Terror" is but a bumper strip. In a way, that's preferable to the the mind set that now, in increasing numbers among us, prefers to take refuge in the unbalanced belief that 9/11 was actually something planned and executed by the American government. Why many of my fellow Americans prefer this "explanation" is something that I once felt was beyond comprehension. Now I see it is just another comfortable position taken up by those for whom the habits of automatic treason have become just another fashionable denigration of the country that has made their liberty to believe the worst of it not only possible but popular.

Like the graves in my local cemetery, these souls too bear within them a small flag, but that flag -- unlike their souls -- is white and, in its increasing rootedness in our body politic signals not sacrifice for the advancement of the American experiment, but the abject surrender of their lives to small spites and the tiny victories of lifestyle liberation.

In the cemetery at the end of my street, there are a few small flags. There are many more graves with no flag at all, but they are the ones that the small flags made possible. Should the terrible forests of white crosses ever bloom across our landscape -- as once they did during the Civil War -- it will not be because we had too few of those small, three-colored flags, but because we became a nation with far too many white ones.

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The grave of James A. Wilmot, Pvt 49th Spruce Squadron, World War I. Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Queen Anne, Seattle

[Originally published Memorial Day, 2007]

Vanderleun : May 30, 16  |  Your Say (64)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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In a binary political choice a vote cast either way increases the “weight” of the party voted for in the case of victory or in the case of defeat.

Either way, the more people that vote (participate) the more chance there is of a balancing of power in order to keep the more powerful in check. The greater the participation, regardless of who the vote is cast for, the more heft there is in the electorate. In voting one does not really vote for him or against her, or for them or against those, but first and foremost for us.

Since political offers, options, circumstances, and environments can alter rapidly it is best to keep the overall participating electorate as big as possible in every election. Both parties, each in their own way, have an interest in dissuading the other party’s voters from participating. If both parties are effective in doing this either may win but what is really reduced is the overall electorate. Thus, not participating in any election decreases the size of the electorate and thus doth increase the suckitude of the power structure between elections.

Not choosing is a choice. Through not voting you choose to increase the overall power of the elite political structure that rules you.

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

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“The late Solar Eclipse was an event which was heralded and predicted many years ago, but during the past year has attracted very great attention. The special attention of photographers has been called to it, as a subject of great interest for the camera, and we are glad to know that good and interesting results followed. The idea of making photographs of the great sources of light himself, particularly when he was partially or totally deprived of his power, had a charm about it which many found it impossible to overcome. …

We were now told by the astronomers that the moon would soon reach the sun. Plates were prepared at once ready to get a picture of first contact. Prof. Watson was to signal us by lifting his hand at the moment. Our plate was in the camera and the slide drawn, while we watched for the signal. Up went the hand; click! went the stop and the first exposure was made, the plate showing on development the least contact, looking like the impression made upon an apple by the thumb when testing its ripeness. Negatives were then made at intervals of five to ten minutes until totality took place and after totality until the eclipse was ended and over.”

1869 Eclipse Photographed | Graphic Arts

gerardvanderleun : May 29, 16  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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About that lizard from Nevada....

"As a junior Senator I preside over the Senate, I usually do it in the morning, which means I am forced to listen to the bitter vulgar incoherent ramblings of the Minority Leader. Normally, like every other American, I ignore them. I can't ignore them today, however." He also says, ""The happy byproduct of fewer days in session in the Senate is that this institution will be cursed less with his cancerous leadership."

gerardvanderleun : May 29, 16  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Every Memorial Day (and other patriotic holidays) Paradise California puts out the Parade of Flags all along the main street through town.

gerardvanderleun : May 29, 16  |  Your Say (19)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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“An Unseen World” is an award winning short film by Paul Rosolie that captures the remarkable biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest. The film weaves together camera trap footage taken on an Amazon Rainforest tributary located in the Madre de Dios region of Peru.

gerardvanderleun : May 28, 16  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Breathtaking Landscapes of Guilin, China by Kyon.J

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gerardvanderleun : May 27, 16  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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The Gray and the gray. "Confederate veteran reunion, Washington, 1917"

Row after row with strict impunity
The headstones yield their names to the element,
The wind whirrs without recollection;
In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament
To the seasonal eternity of death;
Then driven by the fierce scrutiny
Of heaven to their election in the vast breath,
They sough the rumour of mortality.

Autumn is desolation in the plot
Of a thousand acres where these memories grow
From the inexhaustible bodies that are not
Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row.
Think of the autumns that have come and gone!--
Ambitious November with the humors of the year,
With a particular zeal for every slab,
Staining the uncomfortable angels that rot
On the slabs, a wing chipped here, an arm there:
The brute curiosity of an angel's stare
Turns you, like them, to stone,
Transforms the heaving air
Till plunged to a heavier world below
You shift your sea-space blindly
Heaving, turning like the blind crab.

         Dazed by the wind, only the wind
         The leaves flying, plunge

You know who have waited by the wall
The twilight certainty of an animal,
Those midnight restitutions of the blood
You know--the immitigable pines, the smoky frieze
Of the sky, the sudden call: you know the rage,
The cold pool left by the mounting flood,
Of muted Zeno and Parmenides.
You who have waited for the angry resolution
Of those desires that should be yours tomorrow,
You know the unimportant shrift of death
And praise the vision
And praise the arrogant circumstance
Of those who fall
Rank upon rank, hurried beyond decision--
Here by the sagging gate, stopped by the wall.

         Seeing, seeing only the leaves
         Flying, plunge and expire

Turn your eyes to the immoderate past,
Turn to the inscrutable infantry rising
Demons out of the earth they will not last.
Stonewall, Stonewall, and the sunken fields of hemp,
Shiloh, Antietam, Malvern Hill, Bull Run.
Lost in that orient of the thick and fast
You will curse the setting sun.

         Cursing only the leaves crying
         Like an old man in a storm

You hear the shout, the crazy hemlocks point
With troubled fingers to the silence which
Smothers you, a mummy, in time.

         The hound bitch
Toothless and dying, in a musty cellar
Hears the wind only.

         Now that the salt of their blood
Stiffens the saltier oblivion of the sea,
Seals the malignant purity of the flood,
What shall we who count our days and bow
Our heads with a commemorial woe
In the ribboned coats of grim felicity,
What shall we say of the bones, unclean,
Whose verdurous anonymity will grow?
The ragged arms, the ragged heads and eyes
Lost in these acres of the insane green?
The gray lean spiders come, they come and go;
In a tangle of willows without light
The singular screech-owl's tight
Invisible lyric seeds the mind
With the furious murmur of their chivalry.

         We shall say only the leaves
         Flying, plunge and expire

We shall say only the leaves whispering
In the improbable mist of nightfall
That flies on multiple wing:
Night is the beginning and the end
And in between the ends of distraction
Waits mute speculation, the patient curse
That stones the eyes, or like the jaguar leaps
For his own image in a jungle pool, his victim.

What shall we say who have knowledge
Carried to the heart? Shall we take the act
To the grave? Shall we, more hopeful, set up the grave
In the house? The ravenous grave?

         Leave now
The shut gate and the decomposing wall:
The gentle serpent, green in the mulberry bush,
Riots with his tongue through the hush--
Sentinel of the grave who counts us all!

Vanderleun : May 27, 16  |  Your Say (18)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Trump Reaches the Magic Number to Clinch Nomination - Donald Trump reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president Thursday, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the stage for a bitter fall campaign.

Meanwhile, back at the Kristol Palace,
previously headquarters of #NeverTrump many could be seen taking the #EverTrump pledge.

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1. We admitted we were powerless over Trump—that our #NeverTrumping had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Trump greater than ourselves could restore us to #EverTrumping.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Trump as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our articles and other blatherings of #NeverTrump.

5. Admitted to Trump, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our #NeverTrump crimethink.

6. Were entirely ready to have Trump remove all these defective clots of #NeverTrump blather and spew.

7. Humbly asked Trump to remove our brainless blatherings about Trump, aka evil-Satan, proto-Hitler, serial-liar, neocon-defier, blathering buffoon, smasher of little old lady and little old man homesteads on the blasted heaths of Scotland and somewhere else in America (that rat bastard!) and all around Anti-Christ if we believed in Christ as the anti-Anti-Christ in the first place.

8. Made a list of all #EverTrumpers we had harmed and alienated, and became willing to restore their previously trolling and just plain wrong and stupidhead comments about the purity of #NeverTrump.

9. Gave direct bootlickings to #EverTrumpers except when to do so would amuse them or other #EverTrumpers too much.

10. Continued to take a personal inventory of my brain that told me Trump would never happen and promptly admitted new #NeverTrump wrongthink when it just popped into my brainpan.

11. Sought through doorbelling and lawnsign placement to improve our conscious contact with Trump as we understood Trump, prostalitizing only to get out the vote for Trump as Trump gives us the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message of #EverTrump to all remaining #NeverTrumps, and to practice the #EverTrump in all our affairs.

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gerardvanderleun : May 26, 16  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

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"No doubt some of your chums are already enjoying this fast-paced sport. Why not give it a "shot" to-day?"

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

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The monsters from the id that now control the Democrat Party have transformed that party into a mob of undead extras from The Dawn of the Dead. It's an indecent and disgusting spectacle and I suspect there's more than a few million long-time Democrats who are revolted by it. That certainly seems to be creeping into the polls. No matter the good it once did, the Democrats today present as sick and crazed political party that is so greedy and hungry for power that it will do anything, including selling its country down the drain, to get it back.

Regardless of the race of the Democrats' current leader and failed president, Martin Luther King's dream of judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin has been transformed into a tawdry thing; a dried husk in which they wrap their skeletal remains, a hollow phrase spewed by the ascendent race hustlers of the party and lapped up by their acolytes.

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Until 2004, with the exception of Guiliani's second term as mayor, I voted the Democrat ticket in every election since 1967. In 2004, offered the Insane Clown Posse of John Kerry and John Edwards, I voted for George Bush. The spectacle of the last twelve years of various Democrats reaching for the gold ring did not inspire me to change my view. Only the dead enjoy parties in a crypt.

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From the party that gave us FDR, Truman, JFK and even, yes, LBJ, the Democrats have gone through a process of gradual but inexorable devolution to the party of such weak, tepid and compromised souls as Carter, Clinton, Kerry, Clinton Part Deux, Bernie the Crazed Attic Aunt, and of coursee Obama - the ultimate bargainer, the race hustler with an Ivy League sheepskin and the slick suit hiding his childhood castration. But these craven souls the Party puts up are only the shadows cast by the compromises it has made within itself. It has made many compromises over the years and taken in many "causes" each one more dubious and rotten than the last.

As a result of this unremitting ideological promiscuity, the "progressive" party has become progressively more diseased from each submissive encounter. The gangrene that has rotted the body of the party has transformed it into some transnational Dorian Gray. Strutting and noble and handsome when preening before the cameras and the crowds, but putrid and pestilential when you see it as it is in the dull light of its pustule blossoming "new morning."

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Politics is a profession founded on and fueled by hypocrisy. This we all know. But, at the same time, we also need a politics that somewhere within it has a shred of uncompromised decency, the dim understanding of honor, and more than a shred of courage. None of these qualities exists in the Democratic Party today.

For some time, I expected there would be a turning around among many Democrats. I expected that the better angels of their nature would triumph and lead them out of the moral swamp into which they were wading deeper with every passing month.

During this year's never-ending primary season, however, I have come to the place where the whole sorry spectacle and circus of the Democrats has finally filled my gorge with disgust and revulsion. The party whose ideals once excited me has become a mockery, a dumbshow, a parody of itself, and a dangerous parody at that.

Instead of inspiration the Democrat Party delivers a brain-damaged cackling whore of unspeakable criminality, a shopworn socialist's solutions, numbing boredom, sheer despair, intellectual and spiritual poverty, sexism, and the worst sort of racism seen since it gave birth to the Klu Klux Klan. Classical racism loathes "the other." The new racism of the Democrat requires one loathe oneself first and last, and to accuse those that do not of racism. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, "The Democrats want to get you down in the hole that they're in."

Instead of telling us what sort of New Jerusalem it would have us build as our City on the Hill, the party requires that its members root about in the ghettos of the soul, to ponder the rightness or wrongness of the very babies of its opponents. Instead of waving the bright banners of America triumphant, the Party dons the rags and bones of defeatism and appeasement and moves about the country like a tarted-up Typhoid Mary, infecting all who kiss its chancred lips. As a party, it's a poxed whore for whom no condom is thick enough. Democrat's a death trip.

No more dates with Demy for me. I'll have no more to do with it. I know I'm not the only one. Day by day over the six months, more and more are coming to this conclusion.

The Democrat party is somewhat like a first wife thought about at a safe distance from the divorce.

You know you loved her at some point, but you can't really remember why.

You know she was beautiful to you then, but now you can only see the ruins of that beauty, and you are glad you had the best years.

You know that, yes, you must have been happy with her and had a lot of good times, but now you can't remember what, where. or when.

In fact, when you think about her now you can't really believe you wasted all those poisoned years with her just because you believed that somehow, some time, she would grow sane, beautiful, and young again.

In some way, in some universe, that hopeshould be true about the people you loved. When it comes to the politics you once loved it is never true. When a party goes insane and degenerates into a diseased mass of hate, "an old bitch gone in the teeth, / A botched civilization" it never really reforms.

Like they say in the National Parks, "Once a bear is hooked on garbage, there's no cure."

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Vanderleun : May 25, 16  |  Your Say (109)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"Everyone with a message nowadays is eager to take it to the masses. His first, last and only thought is of mass acceptance and mass approval. His great care is to put his doctrine in such shape as will capture the masses' attention and interest. This attitude towards the masses is so exclusive, so devout, that one is reminded of the troglodytic monster described by Plato, and the assiduous crowd at the entrance to its cave, trying obsequiously to placate it and win its favor, trying to interpret its inarticulate noises, trying to find out what it wants, and eagerly offering it all sorts of things that they think might strike its fancy....

"The main trouble with all this is its reaction upon the mission itself. It necessitates an opportunist sophistication of one's doctrine, which profoundly alters its character and reduces it to a mere placebo.

"If, say, you are a preacher, you wish to attract as large a congregation as you can, which means an appeal to the masses; and this, in turn, means adapting the terms of your message to the order of intellect and character that the masses exhibit.

"If you are an educator, say with a college on your hands, you wish to get as many students as possible, and you whittle down your requirements accordingly.

"If a writer, you aim at getting many readers; if a publisher, many purchasers; if a philosopher, many disciples; if a reformer, many converts; if a musician, many auditors; and so on.

"But as we see on all sides, in the realization of these several desires, the prophetic message is so heavily adulterated with trivialities, in every instance, that its effect on the masses is merely to harden them in their sins. Meanwhile, the Remnant, aware of this adulteration and of the desires that prompt it, turn their backs on the prophet and will have nothing to do with him or his message.

Isaiah, on the other hand, worked under no such disabilities. He preached to the masses only in the sense that he preached publicly. Anyone who liked might listen; anyone who liked might pass by.

"He knew that the Remnant would listen; and knowing also that nothing was to be expected of the masses under any circumstances, he made no specific appeal to them, did not accommodate his message to their measure in any way, and did not care two straws whether they heeded it or not. As a modern publisher might put it, he was not worrying about circulation or about advertising.

"Hence, with all such obsessions quite out of the way, he was in a position to do his level best, without fear or favor, and answerable only to his august Boss....

The rest is available HERE @ Mises Daily

gerardvanderleun : May 24, 16  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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If you are going to have a life, have a big, big life.

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gerardvanderleun : May 22, 16  |  Your Say (18)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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In the outskirts, after living for decades in the cities, it may seem like less is happening around you, and it is, but this is not at all a bad thing.

Since there are fewer people, the people that are living near you in the outskirts, be it town, village, or hamlet are more vivid. This is especially true if they are vivid in the first place such as those sporting full body tattoos and/or long, very long, passages of scripture tattooed across their breasts, around the back, and evidently down the spine. Like I said, vivid.

At the same time there is a strong normality so bland, so low-key, that one would flee from it if it weren't so restful and so reassuring and so honest.

Case in point: Purchase a bag of almonds at a street market. A simple transaction over in a moment. Getting home you take our the almonds and notice the printed tag that seals the bag of "Queen of the Valley Chili & Lemon Almonds." On the back of the tag is a short message from the family the owns and sustains the almond orchard. It's signed, "Marie, Joseph, Emily & 'Lil' Marie" in a plain and simple manner with no smear of green pretense nor taint of some corporate marketing department's focus-grouped palaver.

A family, an orchard, a product. By Us, "Marie, Joseph, Emily & 'Lil' Marie" Life among normal people here on the outskirts. A good deal.

I pity the cities.

gerardvanderleun : May 20, 16  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Long after his final forms are cast,
And the sculptor's hands are mute,
The line forms daily at his door
To tour his institute.

Long after his final fire fades,
And the sculptor becomes his bones,
Two faces in his house are forming,
Melting out of frozen stone.

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To your right, the dreamer strains to wake,
And struggles within her sleep.
On your left, the convalescent, pale,
Lays back upon her sheet.

Their sanded eyes, their still, stone lips,
Emerge from drifts of solid snow,
And whisper life in tongues of brass,
To the shadows of their shapes below.

Plump matrons, muttering recipes,
Shuffle past them in a bunch,
And amble into the arid garden
To stand in line for lunch.

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Outside, within the ivy's cloak,
All wrangled by the wall,
The rain-scorched Burghers of Calais,
Gaze numbly on their final fall.

Tanned lovers stroll and pose beside
Those forms, and buff those metal hands,
To laugh and wander off quite calm,
In their sheltered, cozy bands.

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The Burghers' flesh and staring eyes,
Know no real pain, weep tears of time,
While those around, quite blithe, ignore
The sculptor's agony that they mime.

Yes we, quite modern, admire them.
We discuss the sacrifice they tell,
Then, laughing, use our selfie sticks
And pose knocking on The Gates of Hell.

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gerardvanderleun : May 20, 16  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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You will not be sorry should you chose to

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gerardvanderleun : May 19, 16  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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5-Minute Arguments

If you need extra piety credits, enter your SJW number and choose from the following:

To enter our Change of Color program, press one.

To volunteer to write slogans on coffee cups, press two.

To volunteer to bring toilet paper to Venezuela, press three.

To volunteer to become a doctor in Cuba, press four.

To volunteer to become a patient in Cuba, press five.

If you would like to leave the country you are living in and then return illegally, press five. (To be eligible for benefits under this program your total net worth must be under two million dollars).
If you would like to be on the Global Commission for Human Rights, press six. (Enrollment in this program is currently restricted to Iranians and members of ISIS).

If you would like to become the Secretary General of the United Nations, press seven.

If you would like to listen to the rest of this recorded message in a voice of a different gender, press eight.

You will have 76 genders to choose from, including none. If you choose none, the voice you hear will be randomly chosen by a randomly-chosen computer built at our fully unionized, government owned COEXIST factory in Cambridge, Massachusettes.

To read more about Utopia Inc. press this link.

gerardvanderleun : May 19, 16  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Some say the world will end in mire,
Some say in nice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor mire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of fate
To say that for destruction nice
Is also great
And would suffice.

gerardvanderleun : May 19, 16  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Dear Brainiacs, I've been down this road. I've seen things get old. Time to get control, and start again. I shouldn't have to tell you this, but in 2016 voting is simple.

You ponder all the as usual shabby and vile candidates offered by the major parties;

you feel your gorge rise;

you feel your brain writhe as you are forced to remember, and not for the first time, just what an evil and soul destroying system the current system is;

you shiver with the very natural and enduring repulsion, and then....

You vote for the one who is the most to the right.

Always.

Without fail.

"But I have my principles!"

Fuck.
Your.
Principles.

This is not a kindergarten ethics period just before milk and cookies and a long dirt nap.

We're playing with live ammunition in 2016.

Man up, grow a pair, and vote for the candidate who is most to the right.

You might hate him.

You might loathe him.

Me. Too.

And I don't care what his name is.

Trump.
Dump.
Bump.
Lump.
Stump or
Hump.

You might want him to be executed by a belt sander on pay-per-view.

Me too.

Does.
Not.
Matter.

"But.. but... he can't win!"

Not if you sit home in your eternal dorm room muttering small talk at the wall while I'm in the hall, reliving your visions of political purity, and tossing your brain salad with mixed nuts.

"But... but... he makes me feel bad."

Me too.

Fine. We get it that you have feelings. We get you feel bad.

Take your feelings back to your dorm room and sob into your pillow until you're finished. Don't get any on you. We'll bring you a box of Kleenex or a hot towel, okay? You done? Good.

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gerardvanderleun : May 18, 16  |  Your Say (35)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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The entire Universe,

on all scales,
in all places,
and at all times,

obeys the same fundamental laws of nature.

From the weakest, lowest-frequency photon of light to the largest galaxy ever assembled, from the unstable atoms of Uranium decaying in the Earth’s core to the neutral hydrogen atoms forming for the first time 46 billion light years away, the laws that everything in this Universe obeys are the same.
Gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces are the same wherever and whenever you go. The particles that exist (and can exist) and their properties are the same. The rules that govern the entire system are the same. All of it, at all energies, at all times, at all places, are underwritten by the same laws of nature.
This is the most remarkable thing of all. Imagine what things would be like if this weren’t true. Imagine an existence where nature behaves randomly and unpredictably, where gravity turns on-and-off on a whim, where the Sun could simply stop burning its fuel for no apparent reason, where the atoms that form you could spontaneously cease to hold together.
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gerardvanderleun : May 18, 16  |  Your Say (13)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Just when you think it might just be possible that various race hustlers of the African-American persuasion could not possibly become more delusional than they are, along comes Sultan Knish: Our Racist Trees

Now Alcee Hastings, an impeached judge, and a coalition of minority groups is demanding increased “inclusiveness” at national parks. High on their list is the claim that, “African-Americans have felt unwelcome and even fearful in federal parklands during our nation’s history because of the horrors of lynching.” What do national parks have to do with lynchings? Many national parks have trees. People were hung from trees. It’s guilt by arboreal association. The origin of the bizarre racist lynching theory of national parks appears to be Carolyn Finney. author of Black Faces, White Spaces. In it she claims that “oppression and violence against black people in forests and other green spaces can translate into contemporary understandings that constrain African-American environmental understandings.” Finney cites the work of Joy DeGruy Leary who invented a Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome that she claims black people suffer from. Affected by PTSS, black people experience “fear and mistrust of forests and other green spaces.” According to Finney, the tree is a racist symbol to black people. “Black people also wanted to go out in the woods and eat apples from the trees,” Finney explains.
I guess if you tried really, really hard with a room full of infinite writers on infinite word processors from Saturday Night Live when it was funny that you could, in fact, make this shit up. But then you'd be called "racist." So you might as well relax and let these "scholars" of our African-American Studies Programs do it for you.

And speaking of "scholars" here's a report on "Blackness Matters" from the National Association of Scholars

Readers who have not previously dropped in on Black Lives Matter internal discussions may be disconcerted by the racist rhetoric, the narrow-minded ideas, and pernicious premises. Some of what follows in this essay is pretty raw.  Consider this a trigger warning.  I am about to recount, with direct quotations, what I saw and heard at Black Lives Matter 101. When I have mentioned some of these details to others, some have responded to the effect that it is grossly impolite of me to repeat such things. I have cleaned up the language to the extent of deleting the expletives that accented much of what was said.  Otherwise the quotations are accurate and as close to verbatim as I could transcribe.

gerardvanderleun : May 18, 16  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Takimag: It’s hard to talk about the attack without sounding like you’re blaming the victims, but it’s impossible to deny fear of Islamophobia and fear of guns led to a lot of deaths that night.

Jesse Hughes: I saw fear fall like a blanket on the whole crowd and they fell like wheat in the wind—the way you would before a god. I was totally alert from the very beginning. The first thing I needed to do was find my girl. Fear took a backseat and “where’s my girl?” took over. I could smell gunpowder in the backstage area and I knew someone fired a round back there. I saw a guy with an FAL and when he turned to face me his eyes looked like marbles. He was stoned out of his mind, and we now know they were on Xanax and cocaine. I recognized him. I’d seen him earlier in the day and noticed him staring at us......

Takimag: I went to Paris after the attacks and was disgusted by the lack of rage. They didn’t blame Islam. In fact, many blamed the Jews. They seemed more concerned with us promoting xenophobia than laying blame on the terrorists.

Jesse Hughes: I hung out with plenty of Parisians who were fucking pissed off, but it was mostly cops and military. During the attack, one cop finally realized it wasn’t a hostage situation and yelled out, “It’s a turkey shoot” as he charged in, holding his gun. He got shot right through the hand and into the neck and kept going. He took a terrorist out, chased another one into the hallway, who then blew himself up, and did it to another guy, who blew himself up on stage. Our amplifiers were a gory mess.

Did that cop live?

Yes, I met him in triage. I hung out with him. Great guy.

You went to the hospital?

I had pieces of teeth and human bone pulled out of my face. A girl got shot right next to me by the shooter at the top of the stairs who I had met earlier. She stepped one step in front of me and her head just exploded. It blew pieces of her teeth and skull into my face.....

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gerardvanderleun : May 18, 16  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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MONDO BIZARRO


Donations Gratefully Accepted

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

To date 200,000 were killed by nuclear weapons.

Between 1939 and 1945, 60 million people were killed in the most sanguinary conflict the world has known so far.
Of those, only about 200,000 were killed by nuclear weapons. On either side of that conflict, Russian and Chinese communists murdered 120 million, all with antediluvian weapons. Before they got going, another 17-20 million had been killed in the First World War – yet Rutherford hadn’t yet got around to splitting the atom. Let’s hear it for nuclear weapons – Alexander Boot


"First one to pull my finger wins."

Jerry Brown: No Endorsement Yet in California Primary

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"In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince,

nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.
When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to." -- Theodore Dalrymple QQQ - Maggie's Farm


Why Is This Hardcore Conservative Not #NeverTrump? Because Hillary Is So Much Worse

Trump may be kind of thuggish, but he'll leave me alone.
Hillary's going to come looking for me, and she’s foolish and clueless enough to push and push until we normals get tired of it and start to push back. I, for one, prefer my country not to be sucked into a second civil war because some former president’s angry wife is playing out a freakish psychodrama revenge fantasy against all the guys who have rejected her, from her father to Bill to those of us male-identifying men who laugh at her cankles. Advantage Trump. - - Kurt Schlichter via | Western Rifle Shooters Association


The Pause That Reloads

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Soda Machine Gun Safes: 5 Brands
By “soda machine gun safes,” I mean: soda-machine gun-safes. Not: soda machine-gun safes. (Although, given the number of soda machines that have been converted to gun lockers, it’s always possible that there might be a few soda-machine machine-gun safes out there.)


KNITTING WITH DOG WOOL

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It takes about seven years for a client to gather enough dog hair for a sweater.
And they can’t just pull the fur out. They have to brush their dog regularly and save what comes off. Then they mail their precious fur collection to Doumé and she returns it to them in a 50-gram ball of dog wool. It takes her 2 hours of work per wool ball and it costs 11 euros. - The OtherThe Other


It turns out that married women are twice as happy as single women.

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This is a biological fact of life. The females of our species are wired to seek out a high status male, with whom they build a life-long bond. From the point of view of nature, this guarantees the greatest chance of reproductive success. Since it is vastly easier for a young adult female to land a suitable mate than it is for a middle-aged female, getting married early makes the most sense. Sure, the man could be a dud, but there are no guarantees in life. My Advice to the Broads

Hollywood's economic ignorance. Not Just Wrong But

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Now you might think that a community as obsessed with money and status as Hollywood would know a thing or two about economics.
However, if you did think that you would be wrong. In fact you couldn’t be more wrong if you were Bob Wrong from the city of Wrong driving his 2010 Wrong 550, made by Wrong Motors, through the magical land of Wrong, while wearing a suit made from 100% hand woven Worsted wrong from the tailoring firm of Wrong & Wrong. The average citizen of the Axis of Ego probably knows less about how economics really works than an all too ordinary shopkeeper in the very small village of Correct. - The Rebel


Things were slow in the trenches of discrimination.

Most victories had been won. A woman commanded the SEALs, who had been disarmed to prevent violence. The new main battle tanks had changing tables, and urinals had been outlawed throughout the services or converted to flower pots to preclude uncomfortable spaces. The warriors of social justice needed a Cause. Fred On Everything

69 Words: Robinson Crusoe's Title In Full

The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who Lived Eight and Twenty Years, All Alone in an Un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, Near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having Been Cast on Shore by Shipwreck, Wherein All the Men Perished but Himself. With an Account how he was at last as Strangely Deliver’d by Pyrates. Written by Himself.

"I'm never too cool to respect the flag."

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As is my habit, I stand when the flag passes in review, or is raised or lowered. Even on the screen. Too much?
It's a good time to be a patriot. Your president just shat on the service members who fought in the Pacific War, as sure as any insult ever hurled. The US Marine with a face no older than a child's, who died trying to assault a beach from the front, is no different than the Nippon soldier who bayoneted a 7 year old boy in China. You understand that, don't you? That's called morally evolving. I'm never too cool to respect the flag. - - Casey Klahn


The remains of the city were sown with salt, a ritual on conquered cities to symbolize a curse on their re-inhabitation.

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This must be the fate of the late Willian F. Buckley’s crowning achievement, the National Review.
It must be destroyed without impunity for its habitual transgressions, perpetual failures and the fiends that have infected it. It’s time has come. As the symbol of the Old Right’s impotence and incompetence at halting the Left’s conquest of our nation and its heritage, National Review must be purged out of existence. It must have no voice nor provide guidance. Woodpile Report
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Though Nazi Germany and militarist Japan are now gone ideology is with us still with the same potent certainty it possessed in 1940s.

It is still as sure as ever it will succeed however frequently it fails, in China, Russia, Cambodia, Cuba or North Korea. The president's own party has a 2016 candidate who advocates the same policies that are destroying Venezuela without worrying it will do the same in America because Sanders is smarter than Maduro. - - Hiroshima as Gun Control | PJ Media

I don't write the headlines, I just report them.

Menstrual synchronization and cryptic ovulation

So we don’t have long lines of people looking for work; instead they sullenly stay home,

or a few joyfully take the dole, food stamps, and all the other entitlements. Most Americans don’t like doing that. They want jobs. But the jobs are gone, sent overseas along with the equipment they worked with, and the economy settled into one of opening containers of goods from China, and “paying” for these cheap goods by borrowing the money from China to give it to the not-unemployed people who used to have jobs but don’t any more. And the deficit grows, the economy stagnates, people get more angry, and many of the Republican establishment long for the old days when nobody expected them to WIN for heaven’s sake. - – Jerry Pournelle

'I was the principal of there school when they found there W buried there in there time capsule' on my last day at there school'

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You will not hear me say: bottom line, game plan, role model, scenario, or hopefully.

I will not kick back, mellow out, or be on a roll. I will not go for it and I will not check it out; I don't even know what it is. And when I leave here I definitely will not boogie. I promise not to refer to anyone as a class act, a beautiful person or a happy camper. I will also not be saying "what a guy." And you will not hear me refer to anyone's lifestyle. If you want to know what a moronic word "lifestyle" is, all you have to do is realize that in a technical sense, Atilla the Hun had an active outdoor lifestyle. - - George Carlin

A First Look at America’s Supergun

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The weapon is called a railgun and requires neither gunpowder nor explosive. It is powered by electromagnetic rails that accelerate a hardened projectile to staggering velocity—a battlefield meteorite with the power to one day transform military strategy, say supporters, and keep the U.S. ahead of advancing Russian and Chinese weaponry. In conventional guns, a bullet loses velocity from the moment the gunpowder ignites and sends it flying. The railgun projectile instead gains speed as it travels the length of a 32-foot barrel, exiting the muzzle at 4,500 miles an hour, or more than a mile a second. - - WSJ

The future of Facebook is more bias, not less

Facebook's mistake was to attempt to create a universal, one-feed-fits-all headline service.
The company put itself in a no-win situation. Even if it were possible to create a purely unbiased news feed, a lot of people would still perceive bias in it. And most people don't want an unbiased news feed, anyway -- they just want to be able to choose their own bias. So here, if you'll allow me to exercise my own jaundiced bias, is what I bet will happen. Once all the fuss dies down, the Trending Topics section, in its current universal form, will quietly be eliminated. In its place, Facebook will start offering a variety of news "channels" that will be curated, for a fee or an ad-revenue split, by media outlets like Fox News, or Politico, or Brietbart, or Huffington Post, or Vice, or Funny or Die, or what have you. Facebook members will be free to choose whichever channel or channels they want to follow -- they'll be able to choose their own bias, in other words -- and Facebook will tighten its grip over news distribution while also getting a new revenue stream. Now that's a win-win. | ROUGH TYPE


There's a First Time for Everything

At 96, Dr. Heimlich finally uses his life-saving technique
Monday’s incident at the Deupree House was the first time Heimlich, who has demonstrated the maneuver countless times since inventing it in the 1970s, used it to stop someone from choking, he said. In a telephone interview Thursday, Heimlich recounted what happened. He said Ris had been sitting next to him at his table. “When I used it, and she recovered quickly,” he said, “it made me appreciate how wonderful it has been to be able to save all those lives.”


Inside the Real Noah’s Ark buried on an Arctic Island

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No genetically modified seeds are allowed to be stored at the agricultural Noah’s Ark he helped create.
Marijuana however, is very welcome. On the Nordgen website, the resource centre that manages the facility, you can keep track of what exactly is being stored in the global vault. According to the database, there are currently more than 20,000 seeds of two different marijuana species. They also store almost 600 types of barley used to make beer. | Messy Nessy Chic


Göbekli Tepe

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The problem is that it seems to date in its earliest incarnations as far back as 10,000 B.C., many thousands of years older than the earliest known megalithic monuments in Mesopotamia and Egypt.
So old, in fact, that its builders, whoever they were, started their project as the last Ice Age was coming to a close, a remote epoch during which our ancestors were supposedly still sub-literate cave dwellers.... We have no idea how large it really is, who built it, what they used it for, or why. We know it was in use for thousands of years. And it was apparently, intentionally buried around 8,000 B.C. The deliberate burial of such a complex, requiring the movement of hundreds of tons of earth is in itself as stunning an engineering achievement as the construction of the monument itself. Articles: What Lies Beneath?


We'€™ve Learned How To Stop School/Mass Shootings

The real factor that drives casualty count is the time before the shooter is opposed – by someone else with a gun.
Looking at all the events over the past couple of decades, the killers have an average of nine minutes of completely unopposed time to do whatever they want. Considering that over 70% of school killers end their spree by committing suicide, it’s clear that time is all they seek. There’s no escape plan. There’s not even a big hurry. Nine minutes of complete and total domination is an eternity. In fact, according to Martin’s research, it usually takes two minutes before a 911 call is placed. That alone is an eternity. Then it takes minutes for the police to arrive. Then it takes more minutes for responders to formulate and execute a response plan. The killer actually knows, not thinks or believes, but knows, that they have another four minutes after they hear the sirens coming. The result of all that is nine minutes of pure hell for the victims. - LewRockwell


How Tenderness Leads to the Gas Chamber

The liberal West has been driving on the fumes of Christianity for about a century now and the car won’t go much further.

We think all that matters is being tolerant, kind, compassionate, forgiving and by that what we mean is that we let anybody do whatever they want however they want because personal freedom is all that matters and “who am I to judge?” The problem with this is that without the Christian faith there is soon no Christian morals. Why should a person be good if there is no God? As Dostoevsky said, “If there is no God everything is possible.” When the only virtue left is tolerance and tenderness everybody gets away with everything and there’s no one to put on the brakes. -- Patheos



Inevitably, we will learn that this is a carefully choreographed slowdown by the TSA so they can get more money.

It’s not just miniature horse keepers who will benefit.

Senator Chuck Schumer, a well regarded airport engineer and security expert, is demanding dogs be unleashed on the people standing in line. You’re standing in-line and a miniature horse just took a dump on your sneakers and then a pack of hounds trailed by fat guys in blue shirts starts chasing the horses through the terminal. Maybe that’s where the clowns come in. Like at the rodeo, their job will be to distract the animals.Send in the Clowns | The Z Blog



Zuckercucks

Vox Popoli: We don't need their platforms. We don't kiss the gatekeepers' asses.

We storm the gates, tear them down, and erect our own institutions using their skulls as decorations. The Brainstorm knows what's coming next. In August, the rest of you will too. There is nothing to accommodate. We will replace them by Fox Newsing their CNNs, Breitbarting their Salons, and Castalia Housing their Tors. They can keep the left-liberal third of the literate population. We'll take the rest.



"A little less off the top, Joe."

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Joe Barca, Sr. gives a haircut to Bucky Volkmar on his 99th birthday at Barca's Barber Shop in Elmer, Thursday, May 26, 2016. Volkmar has been getting his hair cut by Barca for 60 years. On his 99th birthday, Elmer barber keeps on trimming [HT: Reader CStacy]

Perhaps there are those who do enjoy smoking Mixture No. 79 by Sutliff; I however would not be among them.

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I have tempered my original review of this, in consideration for those who may find something redeeming in this tobacco, though I would strain to imagine what that would be.
However, during my travels I took note of a people who enjoyed the rind of a fruit, dipped in salt that was so bitter it was nearly impossible to keep on the tongue. There are people who bury fish heads in mud for a month and then dig it up and consume the putrid flesh. There are others who eat boiled eggs wherein the embryo has developed into a partially formed duck. So it stands to reason that there would be some within a population of respectable size, who might enjoy this tobacco. I have never eaten the flesh of rotted fish, but I have tasted "balut", the aforementioned egg of the duck; it did not taste like chicken, nor did it remind me in any way of peking duck, and I remember I required a significant amount of the local beer in order to distract my palate in hopes of avoiding an unpleasant reaction. All this is to say that, while I cannot decide which experience I would choose should it ever be necessary to revisit one of the undesirable experiences; suffice to say that I would prefer not to. again, experience either of the two. Sutliff Tobacco Company - Mixture No.79 - Tobacco Reviews


How long before we see a headline, "Terrorists Blow Up TSA Screening Area, Dozens Dead, Hundreds Injured"?

Shall we then see pre-screening screening?
Shall we be required to show up the day before our flight? Yes, this is a shakedown to restore recent job cuts. It's also the sheerest kind of incompetence , TSA's expertise aside from their daily theatre. Ever gone through a third world airport? You will, without ever leaving the country. Next. Woodpile Report


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