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"A countryman between two lawyers is like a fish between two cats."-- Ben Franklin

In America, many Christians stand down. They cower. They whimper.

They won’t even declare their faith on Facebook for fear that it might prompt a mean Facebook message and an unfriending. Christians in the Middle East will give up their lives to keep their souls while we give up our souls to keep our reputations and our social media reach.

This isn’t true across the board, of course. But it might be more true about you than you want it to be. I certainly am not hoisting myself up as a perfect example of a courageous American Christian.

What I know is that over 80 percent of the people in this country still call themselves Christian, yet we are far from a reverent, God-fearing culture. Indeed, we are a culture of abortion, of fornication, of materialism, of rationalizing and equivocating and compromising. Can you look around you and say that most Christians you know are truly on fire with the faith? Do American churches fight tooth and nail against progressivism and secularism? When religious freedom is threatened here at home, do all Christians stand in solidarity against it?

No. No to all of the above.

READ IT ALL and carry the message to your church. They HAVE mentioned this, right?

gerardvanderleun : April 25, 15  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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In order to raise publicity for their productions, MGM toured Jackie — billed as "Leo the MGM Flying Lion" — across the U.S.

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For one publicity stunt in September 1927, the studio modified a Ryan Brougham plane (similar in design to the "Spirit of St Louis" but with a shorter wingspan) with tanks for milk, water and extra fuel, with a cage incorporated in the body to house Jackie.

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Five hours into the flight from San Diego to New York, after a takeoff covered by extensive media, the plane crashedin the Arizona desert. The pilot, Martin Jenson, left Jackie in the cage with the supply of milk, water and sandwiches before he went for help. After four days, Martin was found and taken to a telephone. He called MGM. Their first question was "How's the lion?"

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Jackie was rescued unharmed and earned the nickname "Leo the Lucky." He retired to Philadelphia Zoo in 1931 and died after heart problems in 1935.

-- Mashable Retronaut

gerardvanderleun : April 25, 15  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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The Persistance of John Denver Among the Japanese: Kooky and korney as Kansas in August... and Kompletely charming.


HT: The Thinking Housewife

gerardvanderleun : April 23, 15  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

Speaking of "Earth Day, this is the tale of a tree from Summer 2007: ""Like other things in this city, this country, and this era, "the solution" to "the problem" is not exactly crisp and effective, but it sounds nice and feels good."

asickbirch.jpgIn mid-July the tree in my front yard is losing its leaves. It's a weeping birch some fifty feet high. It doesn't so much shade the house as stand guardian to it. On its trunk the black and white patches have merged together and long ebony tendrils of branches dangle down festooned with dark forest-green leaves like emerald fireworks frozen above the lawn.

The shade pool from the tree covers my neighbor's yard to the north. He sits under it on his lawn on hot days. He's a quiet neighbor and a nice man. Speaks two languages and has a few political ideas which are a bit too socialist for my taste, but it's Seattle and he doesn't push them too hard so we live in harmony. He has a nice little house and spends a lot of time keeping it tidy.

The shade from my tree doesn't quite reach my neighbor to the south who admires it much more than I admire his fence, which is old and full of holes. Often time's he's told me how he wishes he could lounge in the shade, but he'd have to move his chair onto my lawn to do so. He's hinting about permisson. I suppose I could issue an open invitation for him to enjoy my shade, but given the way he keeps up his house and his fence I fear he'd soon be camped out on my lawn with a lot of friends and family. His whole operation is one step away from old appliances and rusted cars as lawn decorations. Then again I don't like cutting my lawn or weeding my garden, so maybe if I let him hang out under the tree he'll do the job that I won't do.

The tree began to shed leaves in early June. Just a few fell at first. A couple here and a some more there. I enjoyed their chance patterns on the grass and the flower beds. They were small and tan and had an almost Zen effect when seen among the blossoms; little bits of punctuation, small notes of color. The tree had so many leaves that the few that fell didn't diminish it. I didn't notice any thinning and I certainly didn't think the tree was ill. After all, it was a large tree and it had sheltered the house for a long time. The trunk was thick and strong. It's roots ran deep into the soil. It had been there longer than the house.

I went away for some weeks in June and into July and when I returned my lawn looked as if it was not high summer but late autumn. The grass was covered with small tan leaves, and even though the tree above was still thick with dark green leaves it was obvious that something was amiss. It was even more obvious when you walked on the lawn and came away with clots of leaves stuck to the bottom of your shoes.

I took my ladder from the garage and set it against the trunk. I climbed up to where the branches dangled down and looked closely at the leaves. They were dark green as always but had an unhealthy sheen to them as if they had become overheated and begun to sweat. Touching them left a sticky, unpleasant residue on my hands.

I looked more closely at the trunk and saw a host of small black bugs on the surface of the white bark and even more against the black patches. There didn't seem to be any of those bugs on the leaves that I could reach, but all those leaves were coated with the same tacky sheen. It had the consistency of the adhesive side of Scotch tape.

I'm no arborist. I didn't know what was making my tree sick but it was not thriving. Fortunately Seattle is a city where more inhabitants worship trees than worship God. I put a few twigs and leaves in one Ziploc bag and some of the black bugs in another and drove off to a nearby plant cathedral to ask one of their many priests.

He looked at the bags, ran his fingers over the outside, and didn't even bother to open them. "Aphids. Lots and lots of aphids. And since aphids are born pregnant you're going to have a lot more."

I looked closely at the bags. Very closely. I'd noticed a plant in the back yard that had been stricken with aphids in early June. Those had been thick colonies of lice sized insects. I carpet-bombed them with insecticide from an altitude of eight feet. They never knew what hit them. But I couldn't see any aphids inside the bag, just sticky leaves. "There's no bugs in there," I remarked to the priest of plants.

"Nope. The bugs are higher up in the tree. This is honeydew coating the leaves. A lot of honeydew. And that means a lot of bugs."

My far-too-literary mind immediately delivered the closing lines of Coleridge's "Kubla Kahn,"
"For he on honeydew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise."

I'd always thought those lines very evocative and alluring. "Honeydew?" I asked.

"It's what the bugs excrete after they suck out the sap from the tree," he said.

Score one more metaphor forever ruined.

"What do I do to stop it?"

"You have to get it sprayed or injected. Probably both. Spray and inject is probably best. That's what we do here. I'll give you the number of an eco-friendly tree care company. No toxins... biodegradable sprays... all that jazz."

"Is that the best way?" I asked and gave him a straight look.

He glanced about him to check that we were alone at the tree altar in the plant cathedral. "Not really," he said in a confidential tone, "but that's all the company allows me to recommend. Otherwise we'd have a picket line of eco-nuts in front of the parking lot in a twinkling and that would be very bad for business. You want anything stronger, stuff that will really get the job done, get out your phone book and... call around."

I felt like we were two guys whispering on a street corner about where to score "the hard stuff." I thanked him for the information, took the eco-friendly number, and left.

Back home I stood in the yard and gazed up at my sheltering tree. Then I raked the yard and hosed off the walkway. It took a long time since all the leaves were coated with the crap of "aphid honeydew" and stuck to the grass and the pavement. Nature's Super-Glue.

As I was finishing my neighbor from the south came out and strolled through the hole in his fence and across the lawn to where I was working. It was a hot day and he held an iced Corona. (He favors that brand but never offers me one, just kind of toasts me from his porch. If he wasn't obviously Norwegian I'd expect him to say, "Hola mano. Que tal?")

"What's up with your tree?" he asked. "Those leaves are falling all over my yard and they're a mess."

I told him the tree was sick. "There's an infestation of aphids high up in the crown sucking the sap out of the tree and dripping their crap all over anything below."

"Heh, sounds like a Bush/Cheny disease and that's always bad," he offered, leaning against his part of the fence that still stood while watching me rake and clean. (Nearly everybody in Seattle's Queen Anne is a Democrat and assumes you are as well -- it's an "innocent until stated guilty" place.)

"It is bad. I'll have to get an arborist in to spray it and inject it."

"Whoa. Be sure and tell me when that happens so I can close my windows. And be sure to use those companies that don't use toxins. They'll cost you more but you don't want to risk real poisons."

As usual my neighbor was more than happy to suggest any solution at all to my infestation problem that involved extra hassle and me reaching for my wallet.

"I'll let you know," I said. "I'll let you know."

I've made the calls and I've tried to be a good citizen. I got the arborist from "In Harmony" tree service to come by. She said it will take 8 injections and cost about $300. She gave me a brochure printed in bio-degradable inks on recycled paper too. It explains the benefits to the entire planet of their methods in somewhat fuzzy type. It doesn't explain why it costs $300 to give a tree eight shots. Like other things in this city, this country, and this era, "the solution" to "the problem" is not exactly crisp and effective, but it sounds nice and feels good.

Still, there's no question that the stately tree that shelters me is sick, sticky and a mess. I've got to stop the insects infesting the top from crapping all over everything below. Organic's too slow and too expensive by half. I think I'm going to have to start hanging out in the shadier places of the Seattle tree scene, trying to make a connection with people who can really "Git-R-Done!"

Vanderleun : April 23, 15  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
They were icy -- willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.

Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd.
It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not suddently bred.
It will not swiftly abate.
Through the chilled years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the Saxon began to hate.

gerardvanderleun : April 22, 15  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Say you get a dozen Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (make sure they're the "government approved" ENERGY STAR), and install them to feel better about your "carbon footprint." It's true that these 12 bulbs are going to cost you around $50, but that's a small price to pay for feeling good, isn't it?

Now, get to work. Let's say you're a fast light bulb screwer-inner and get it all done inside of five minutes.

Whew, that felt great, didn't it? Think of all the money you've saved and how much you've done to save the planet Earth from TEOTWAWKI!

Now if only China and India could be convinced to stop bringing 200 new souls into the world in the time it took you to change 12 light bulbs and we really might be getting somewhere.

Two hundred new human beings every five minutes in these two nations alone. And 200 more during the next five minutes. And 200.... Humm, 12 light bulb changes versus 200 human beings.... surely there's room for negotiation.

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Real Time: Population Counter for India

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Real Time:Population Counter for China

And, as usual, Europe is becoming dumber than the US faster: Drying up of lightbulbs has German in a lather -- latimes.com

As a European Union ban on making or importing certain incandescent lightbulbs takes hold, Ulf Erdmann Ziegler has hoarded 3,000 to last a lifetime -- he hopes. The ban aims to slow global warming.
Ah, Western European Man.... so elegant, so intelligent....

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Q. How many European nations does it take to change lightbulbs?
A. All of them and now we'll just sit here in the dark.

Have a nice Earth Day, suckers.

Vanderleun : April 22, 15  |  Your Say (17)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard: Still standing after all these years.

It’s all going to pot
Whether we like it or not
As far as I can tell
The world’s gone to hell
And we’re sure gonna miss it a lot

All the whiskey in Lynchburg, Tennessee
Just doesn’t hit the spot
I gotta hundred dollar bill
You can keep your pills, friend
Cause it’s all going to pot

That cackle-bobble-head-in-a-box
Must think I'm dumb as a rock
Readin' the daily news
While I'm kickin' off my shoes
It's scarin' me outta my socks

The Red Headed Stranger I'm not
But buddy, let me tell you what
Ask ol' Will, he'll tell ya here's the deal
Friends, it's all goin' to pot

Well, it’s all going to pot
Whether we like it or not
Best I can tell
The world’s gone to hell
And we’re all gonna miss it a lot

All the whiskey in Lynchburg, Tennessee
Just doesn’t hit the spot
I gotta hundred dollar bill
You can keep your pills, friend
Cause it’s all goin' to pot

Well I thought I had found me a girl
Sweetest little thing in the world
But all my jokes went up in smoke
When I caught her makin eyes at Merle

He said, sweet little honey
With her eye on your money
She's gonna take every penny you got
I said she's never gonna get it
Cause I've already spent it
Merle, It's all goin' to pot

It’s all going to pot
Whether we like it or not
Best I can tell
The world’s gone to hell
And we’re all gonna miss it a lot

All the whiskey in Lynchburg, Tennessee
Just doesn’t hit the spot
I gotta hundred dollar bill
You can keep your pills, friend
Cause it’s all going to pot
I gotta hundred dollar bill
You can keep your pills, friend
Cause it’s all goin' to pot

Songwriters: Buddy Cannon
Jamey Johnson and Larry Shell

gerardvanderleun : April 21, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"The rules apply to everyone..."

The statespersons of Europe seem baffled over what to do to prevent a large fraction of the 1.1 billion people of Africa from climbing into boats and inundating the heart of Christendom.

One possibility, however, is to do what the Australian government has done with a fair degree of success: post a video on Youtube telling would be Camp of Saintsers that they won’t be let into Australia, so don’t bother trying. It’s so crazy it just seems to be working! from Steve Sailer - The Unz Review

Displaced Persons | Belmont Club

According to EU’s border chief, up to one million refugees are waiting on the Libyan beach waiting to board ship for Europe. “Up to one million migrants could reach Europe from Libya amid collapsing security in the northern African country, the European Union’s border agency chief has warned.”

Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri said he expects asylum seekers’ crossings to skyrocket in 2015 and urged EU governments to ready themselves to “face a way more difficult situation than last year”.

“We are told there are between 500,000 and one million migrants ready to leave from Libya,” Leggeri told Italian news agency Ansa. “We have to be aware of the risks”.

gerardvanderleun : April 21, 15  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Mama Angus: We had mothers to raise us. They raised us to be women. Raise our own children. A woman has to be a woman. A woman’s place is in the home. A man’s place is to provide and if he don’t provide that you don’t need him….I’ve been cooking since I was 4 1/2 and these women today all they know is McDonalds, fast foods and stuff. They don’t know nothing about cooking and feeding no man. A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Get your behind in there and cook, and feed him, and make sure he get up off his but and go to work!

Off camera: Is there something that’s missing in this community?

Mama Angus: The women’s soft. Now they might not like me for saying it but these young women today, they don’t even raise their children. Their children are raising them. Look, a woman’s place is to raise her children and at the end of the day tell their husbands which one they had to almost kill. That’s how that goes. That’s why the juvenile center is so full and why they’re expanding the jails, because mothers don’t raise their children and putting the blame on the man!

…I’m telling the truth. And I can’t stand it, cuz I’m 72 years old and I still don’t mind working. I ain’t scared of work. They stay in the system and use up the elderly money. They stay out there in the system and go out there and get all those children and expect us to help them take care of them. I’m sick of it!

gerardvanderleun : April 21, 15  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Imagine ghosts, gods and devils.

Imagine hells and heavens, cities floating in the sky and cities sunken in the sea

Unicorns and centaurs. Witches, warlocks, jinns and banshees.

Angels and harpies. Charms and incantations. Elementals, farmiliars, demons.

Easy to imagine all of those things: mankind has been imagining them for thousands of years.

Imagine spaceships and the future.

Easy to imagine; the future is really coming and there'll be spaceships in it.

Is there then anything that's really hard to imagine?

Of course there is.

Imagine a piece of matter and yourself inside it, yourself, aware, thinking and therefore knowing you exist, able to move that piece of matter that you're in," to make it sleep or wake, make love or walk uphill.

Imagine a universe-infinite or not, as you wish to picture it- with a billion, billion, billion suns in it.

Imagine a blob of mud whirling madly around one of those suns.

Imagine yourself standing on that blob of mud, whirling with it, whirling through time and space to an unknown destination.

Imagine!

Written by Fredric Brown, 1955

gerardvanderleun : April 20, 15  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Sane and thoughtful people upon viewing this quite naturally say, "Get me a gun. No, the bigger one."

Vanderleun : April 20, 15  |  Your Say (35)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Transcript follows:

"We're so self-important. So self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven't learned how to care for one another, we're gonna save the fucking planet?

"I'm getting tired of that shit. Tired of that shit. I'm tired of fucking Earth Day, I'm tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren't enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world save for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don't give a shit about the planet. They don't care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don't. Not in the abstract they don't. You know what they're interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They're worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn't impress me.

"Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We've been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we've only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we're a threat? That somehow we're gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that's just a-floatin' around the sun?

"The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles...hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages...And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet...the planet...the planet isn't going anywhere. WE ARE!

"We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away. And we won't leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet'll be here and we'll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.

"You wanna know how the planet's doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, how the planet's doing. You wanna know if the planet's all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilowaia, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.

"The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it's true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new pardigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn't share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn't know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, "Why are we here?" Plastic...asshole.

"So, the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that's begun. Don't you think that's already started? I think, to be fair, the planet sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. And the planet can defend itself in an organized, collective way, the way a beehive or an ant colony can. A collective defense mechanism. The planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet? How would you defend yourself against this troublesome, pesky species? Let's see... Viruses. Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And, uh...viruses are tricky, always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps, this first virus could be one that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus, making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along. And maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.

"Well, that's a poetic note. And it's a start. And I can dream, can't I? See I don't worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we're part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. The Big Electron...whoooa. Whoooa. Whoooa. It doesn't punish, it doesn't reward, it doesn't judge at all. It just is. And so are we. For a little while."

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gerardvanderleun : April 19, 15  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"Those who put their faith in fire, in fire their faith shall be repaid."

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Click Here to Continue
gerardvanderleun : April 19, 15  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"The view was worth the trip.

Battling high winds, cold temperatures, and low oxygen, the trek to near the top of the volcano Santa Maria in Guatemala -- while carrying sensitive camera equipment -- was lonely and difficult. Once set up, though, the camera captured this breathtaking vista during the early morning hours of February 28. Visible on the ground are six volcanoes of the Central America Volcanic Arc, including Fuego, the Volcano of Fire, which is seen erupting in the distance. Visible in the sky, in separate exposures taken a few minutes later, are many stars much further in the distance, as well as the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy situated horizontally overhead."APOD: 2015 April 13


Iceland’s Volcanic Pollution Dwarfs All of Europe’s Human Emissions
To demonise element number six in the periodic table is amusing. Why not promethium? Carbon dioxide is an odourless, colourless, harmless natural gas. It is plant food. Without carbon, there would be no life on Earth.
The original source of atmospheric CO2 is volcanoes. The Earth's early atmosphere had a thousand times the CO2 of today's atmosphere. This CO2 was recycled through rocks, life and the oceans. Through time, this CO2 has been sequestered into plants, coal, petroleum, minerals and carbonate rocks, resulting in a decrease in atmospheric CO2.
The atmosphere now contains 800 billion tonnes of carbon as CO2. Soils and plants contain 2000 billion tonnes, oceans 39,000 billion tonnes and limestone 65,000,000 billion tonnes. The atmosphere contains only 0.001 per cent of the total carbon in the top few kilometres of the Earth. Deeper in Earth, there are huge volumes of CO2 yet to be leaked into the atmosphere. So depleted is the atmosphere in CO2, that horticulturalists pump warm CO2 into glasshouses to accelerate plant growth.
Our planet has about 1,000 volcanoes on land, such as Holuhraun and Bardarbunga, but most of our volcanoes are under the sea. “Some 85 per cent of volcanoes are unseen and unmeasured yet these heat the oceans and add monstrous amounts of CO2 to the oceans,” notes Dr. Plimer. “Why have these been ignored?,” he asks.

gerardvanderleun : April 18, 15  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

Communism is alive and well on the streets of Seattle....

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Illustration by RapierWitt

THESE DAYS its not often that you see a member of the Despairing Classes being seduced by classic Communism on a city street, but it does happen.

Sidewalk Snapshot: It's a warm Spring evening on Pine Street in Seattle. Lengthening shadows and brightening light brings everything into sharp relief including the random collection of lay-abouts, short-order poets, tattoo artistes, and students a decade between degrees that take up the tables outside the Cafe Laddro on Capitol Hill.

Capitol Hill is one of those neighborhoods in Seattle that compiles a mainstream lifestyle out of alternatives. Even though it is indeed a hill, it has suspended the normal laws of gravity and everything loose in Seattle rolls up to the top of it. That includes, on this evening, me.

I'm stepping out of your "one-every-block" Seattle espresso slop shop with my machiatto when I notice the odd couple at the table just outside the door. That's not too odd since odd couples, like spiked bright blue hair, are pretty much the norm on Capitol Hill. I notice them at first because the youngest is wearing a Motorhead t-shirt with the mantra "Everything Louder Than Everything Else" on it in that faux German Black gothic font that got old when Auschwitz was in flower, and so had to be made new again back when heavy-metal was a fresh idea.

Glancing over Motorhead's shoulder I note that the man across from him is giving him an ideological lap-dance complete with a whole raft of tracts, papers and books being brought out and waved about and placed, with a muffled thwang, one after the other on the thin black metal of the table: Trotsky's "Marxism and Terrorism," (thwang!); the ever-popular Marx and Engels "Communist Manifesto," (thwang!); Lenin's greatest hit "What Is To Be Done?," (thwang!), Gramsci's "Prison Notebooks," (thunk!), Zinn's "People's History of the United States,"(clunk!).

One by one, they come out of the worn back pack and pile up on the table. All in all, a larger pile of ideological dung would be hard to imagine, and harder to handle even with meat hooks and thick rubber gloves.

The man making his pile of "roadmaps to a more perfect world" is quite a bit older than Motorhead with a slim, somewhat furtive look to him. There's the vibe coming off him that you sometimes sense when someone old is trying to pick up somebody far too young for him.

In the intense light of the evening, you can see a faint cloud of dust motes rising from him as he keeps slapping the tracts down. Greying hair in moist ringlets covers his head except for a monk's tonsure on the back of his skull. He's got a mustache and a beard that, with a little care, could be brought to a Van Dyke point. He sports small round rimmed glasses in front of thin blue eyes. His eyes, although they never waver from his prey, carry within them a permanent 1,000 yard stare -- as if he's always looking outside of the present moment at something in the distance that never gets nearer. Overall the face reminds one, as these faces so often do, of a watered down Leon Trotsky, the Christ of Communism, crucified with an ice axe but still twitching in his tomb.

Trotsky is resurrect this evening on Capitol Hill though, and I linger at the table next to them writing down a few notes about their conversation. Except it is not exactly a conversation so much as a monologue as my Trotsky keeps, in smiling and soft tones, returning to the subject at hand which is the inevitable collapse of the evil American Empire ("Long past its expiry date..."), and the inevitable rise of world Socialism ("Everyone will have more than enough, but nobody will have it all.")

Trotsky's sporting, as all good Trotskys must, a collection of slogan buttons and a sheaf of free tracts and newspapers. The button that is the largest is pinned to his faded plaid flannel shirt and proclaims him to be a member in good standing of the ISO (International Socialist Organization, good Latter-Day Trotskyites all. )

He passes the tracts and newspapers over to his intended, "Free, all free," and points out the more salient injustices they outline: eternal racism, eternal slavery of women, eternal repression of the working man by capitalists, eternal imperialism by the United States -- the whole catastrophe. He underscores that the only escape is through the ever-imminent but forever delayed Rapture of the Left, The Revolution.

After several minutes of his soft chants, Motorhead is nodding like the drinking bird over the glass. He's looking a bit dazed. I wonder if Trotsky has slipped a roofy into Motorhead's machiatto and is just waiting for it to kick in.

Trotsky's tales are the sad sotto voce sagas that underscore all the old nightmares of the Gulag, the Killing Fields, and every other massacre done in the name of the Marxist Utopia. It's a litany proving, once again, that some lies lodge so deep in man's hopes they will not die, no matter the murders they require to live.

Today's fresh lie is that if only Motorhead will attend the "event" tomorrow, Trotsky will be pleased to take him to the exclusive "Cadre" meeting that follows so he can meet the "Comrade of Honor," one Ahmed Shawki.

In soft tones salted with a quick twinkling smile that comes and goes like the red queen in three-card monte, Trotsky continues his spiel, his seduction. Motorhead is "obviously a man of no little intelligence" -- even if his five facial piercings (ears, left eyebrow, lip stud and nose-ring) might make one wonder.

Motorhead "needs to live in a system where social justice is the rule for all, not just the rich." Given Motorhead's ripped black jeans, worn black boots and general air of someone not likely to be hired by any business whose work involves meeting the public, this is probably more true than either of them realize. Motorhead nods again to this last proposition, and observes that he yearns for a social order that is more just to his lifestyle than can easily be found outside the subcultural hamlets of Seattle.

Much has been made of Hannah Arendt's phrase, "The banality of evil," and I suppose I'm witnessing a small satori of that kind here on the sidewalks of Seattle. But it seems to me to be a more insidious event than that.

After all, there's nothing evil in speech that argues for ideas that have proven, without exception, to be evil. It is, after all, only speech and the strength of the American system is to protect all forms of speech, especially the idle blather of a coffee house revolutionary. There's nothing, really nothing, in this overheard conversation that threatens the existence of the United States. The mere fact that it can be had, five years into the First Terrorist War, underscores just how strong this nation adherence to its founding principles remains. Here on Capitol Hill dissent of even the most egregious sort, is not only tolerated but celebrated.

The conversation bothers me at the same time it fascinates me. It strikes me that what I am auditing is not so much "the banality of evil," but "the banality of sedition;" a banality we see acted out daily on our television screens and on the op-ed pages of our newspapers.

The banality of sedition is now so well established that it is, well, banal and goes forward without a great deal of remark or trouble. In the last few years, the phrase that has arisen to describe this phenomenon is "The Culture of Treason." I'm not sure who originated the phrase, but its use is proliferating across the Internet for the reason that all such phrases proliferate when the time is ripe; it somehow rings true.

Of late, it iseems that large sections of the better educated and the most privileged among us have decided that the Constitution is, after all, a suicide pact and have determined to preach this death gospel to us all:

"This way to the gas, ladies and gentlemen. Step right up into the van carrying you all away into the perfect freedom of the perfect world. Don't worry about those canisters of gas dropping in through the top. It's just to delouse you of your old, traditional ideas of what being an American is all about.

"In just a few painless minutes you'll all be, as we are now, citizens of the world. And in that world to which we are all going you'll forget the old dream of America. You'll forget, at the last, everything that was good about America. You'll also forget the true and the beautiful. In the end, you'll forget about God himself.
"All those old dreams and visions will fade into a gray sameness. And then you'll all be, at the last, perfect citizens of our brave new world. We've breathed deeply of this gas before you and find it is the perfect blend of platitudes, freshly roasted, for the killing of your soul. After all, you weren't using it much. So step right up. First ride's free."

The long evening light was fading down into a warm dusk outside the coffee shop on Capitol Hill. Motorhead, in a moment of awakening, said, "Well, I should probably get grocery shopping."

Having gotten Motorhead's assent to attend the "event," Trotsky the Comrade becomes Trotsky the Closer and skins twenty bucks out of Motorhead's wallet for Gramsci's "Prison Notebooks" ($14.95 at Amazon). The tracts and, of course, the newspaper are free. Such a deal.

The threadbare backpack is repacked with Trotsky's portable library. He and Motorhead set off up the hill and, turning the corner, move out of sight.

I fold up the scrap of paper on the back of which I've made my notes of their meeting. The front side invites all and sundry to a "Solidarity Gathering" at the 45th Street Overpass: "We Support the Rape Survivor at Duke... and the Countless Others Everywhere. Come and join us in solidarity to bear witness to this terrorism against women." I make a mental note to, somehow, manage to be elsewhere.

Walking back to the Century Ballroom, I notice a large flyer that announces the "event" that Motorhead has agreed to attend. Ahmed Shawki, editor of the International Socialist Review, will speak, it seems, on "Black Liberation and Socialism."

Shaki's image dominates the flyer and looks, for all the world, like a Malcom X returned to life. The look is, of course, a carefully studied one since black socialist saints are hard to come by these days.** The Clenched Fist logo is in the lower left hand corner of the flyer. There are other details but I have a hard time making them out. It is, I discover, hard to read a flyer that is lying in the gutter. Especially when the light has failed.


In "Celebration" of May Day, 2008. HT: Cynr who created the art.

**Written in April, 2006

"I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;"

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"How do the elders, lacking the vitality to last indeterminably into the succeeding generations, send their positive messages?
Not the negative ones. Negativity is easy. It always has been easy. How do we recharge the batteries? How do we let the younger generation know that, even though the U-boat has vanished with the Ark of the Covenant in its hold, it’s still possible to stow-away? To stage yet another confrontation? Even when all seems lost…" -- Morgan @ House of Eratosthenes
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Grace Notes

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By Grant Snider: INCIDENTAL COMICS: Colors

gerardvanderleun : April 16, 15  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Darleen Click Via bluebird of bitterness


And in 2007....
As I got up to leave the family of six at the long table across from me was served with the quick flourish and satisfied air of presentation that is the style of serving these days. The was food steaming in front of them, but none of them made a move towards it. Instead, they talked quietly amongst themselves and seemed to come to a decision. They made their selection from among them. It was to be one of the daughters, a girl of about 17 I guessed. The din in the restaurant rose and fell, but the family of six sat quietly and then bowed their heads as one. Then they said grace.
I stood motionless at my table. I had, I thought, never seen this before in a restaurant. I'd seen it in private homes to be sure, but upon reflection I realized that I'd not seen it there in quite sometime. And I was quite sure this was, for me, a rare event. I'd probably not been paying attention since it no doubt went on all the time, but still it was a startling moment. Perhaps I'd just been too long in Seattle where the only manifestations of spirit are flimsy; where the invocations are raised to a watery Buddhism or bloodless Unitarianism where God is impossibly distant if at all extant. Be that as it may, this simple act of saying grace did not so much shock me as still me. I paused to listen in. And the daughter did not disappoint. Grace in the Blue Ridge Mountains @ AMERICAN DIGEST

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“I have never seen a more sublime demonstration of the totalitarian mind, a mind which might be linked unto a system of gears where teeth have been filed off at random. Such snaggle-toothed thought machine, driven by a standard or even by a substandard libido, whirls with the jerky, noisy, gaudy pointlessness of a cuckoo clock in Hell.

"The boss G-man concluded wrongly that there were no teeth on the gears in the mind of Jones. 'You're completely crazy,' he said.

"Jones wasn't completely crazy. The dismaying thing about classic totalitarian mind is that any given gear, thought mutilated, will have at its circumference unbroken sequences of teeth that are immaculately maintained, that are exquisitely machined.

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"Hence the cuckoo clock in Hell - keeping perfect time for eight minutes and twenty-three seconds, jumping ahead fourteen minutes, keeping perfect time for six seconds, jumping ahead two seconds, keeping perfect time for two hours and one second, then jumping ahead a year.

"The missing teeth, of course, are simple, obvious truths, truths available and comprehensible even to ten-year-olds, in most cases.

"The willful filling off a gear teeth, the willful doing without certain obvious pieces of information....

"That was how Rudolf Hess, Commandant of Auschwitz, could alternate over the loudspeakers of Auschwitz great music and calls for corpse-carriers -

"That was how Nazi Germany sense no important difference between civilization and hydrophobia -

"That is the closest I can come to explaining the legions, the nations of lunatics I've seen in my time.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night


aa-sideleft-george-orwell-who-controls-the-past-controls.jpgWritten by George Orwell:

"Fifteen years ago, when one defended the freedom of the intellect, one had to defend it against Conservatives, against Catholics, and to some extent — for they were not of great importance in England — against Fascists. Today one has to defend it against Communists and ‘fellow-travelers’....

"But however it may be with the physical sciences, or with music, painting and architecture, it is — as I have tried to show — certain that literature is doomed if liberty of thought perishes.

"Not only is it doomed in any country which retains a totalitarian structure; but any writer who adopts the totalitarian outlook, who finds excuses for persecution and the falsification of reality, thereby destroys himself as a writer.

"There is no way out of this. No tirades against ‘individualism’ and the ‘ivory tower’, no pious platitudes to the effect that ‘true individuality is only attained through identification with the community’, can get over the fact that a bought mind is a spoiled mind.

"Unless spontaneity enters at some point or another, literary creation is impossible, and language itself becomes something totally different from what it is now, we may learn to separate literary creation from intellectual honesty.

"At present we know only that the imagination, like certain wild animals, will not breed in captivity. Any writer or journalist who denies that fact — and nearly all the current praise of the Soviet Union contains or implies such a denial — is, in effect, demanding his own destruction. The Prevention of Literature - Wikilivres

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5-Minute Arguments

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Scene:
FALSTAFF, sitting upon the ground telling sad stories of the deaths of kings
.... some poison'd by their wives.

Enter FOOL.

FOOL: Good Sir John, how fare thee.

FALSTAFF: I fare well but soon must fare thee well.

FOOL: Nay. Take thy shadow off thyself.
Do but drink this bottle down and we shall merry be.

FALSTAFF: Merry? Me? Falstaff shall no more merry be.

FOOL: But thou art known from Land's End to John O'Groats
as the merriest of Harry’s merry band.
And I stand witness from our revels past
that all such tales are true.

FALSTAFF: Oh, fine Fool, if you seek one
who would be merry with you
you seek not old Sir John.

FOOL: Posh and bother, good Sir John,
with these sweet cakes
and this good ale
how can you not merry be?

FALSTAFF: I may not now make merry
because I have made myself marry.

FOOL: Merry? The very stones echo back
your merry laughter from across the years.

FALSTAFF: You hear me amiss.
I am not merry because I married am.

FOOL: Ah. Now I have your measure.
You say you married are?
Well, there's the rub that raises up
the blister on the foot of all men's souls.
How say you of this married state
in which you are not merry?

FALSTAFF: It is much of a muchness
and on it have I meditated mightily
this past fortnight far beyond the chimes of midnight.
Follow me, my Fool, in this:

The unmarried man, being merry,
seeks to marry from merriment in his cups.
For in this muddled state his merry mind
reminds him that to marry may mount
his present merriment in his maid to highest heaven,
and hence his maid,
marking he is merry at the thought of marriage,
moves maidenhead to make him yet
more merry still.
Do you follow my stormy petrel's seaward path, my Fool?

FOOL: Indeed I do e'en though it pricks my feet with shards of ice.

FALSTAFF: I'll dance you deeper still
into those darker seas
where many merry men have drowned:

Upon his marriage the merry man's merriment
doth decline until he can only merry be
when apart from, or in full flight from,
his unmerry married maid and marriage.
Is this not the very unmerry truth?"

FOOL: 'Sooth it is. For all our sages and finer fools
do of marriage make unmerry merry fun."

FALSTAFF: Then follow deeper into my unmerry depths
for hidden waters flow
from questions never made by maids.

If to marry is to be unmerry,
why should then the merry man marry?
Has he not, while merry, laughed that to marry
is to lose all merriment?
How then can he not know in marriage
he places his merriment in ceaseless servitude
not to the maid he married, but to her merry nest
and the ever mounting money pit
the maid's married plan requires
if the maid he married, after marriage,
is to ever be made merry?

FOOL: How can he not, good Sir John,
whose present wisdom would confound the waves,
and send them rolling always teeter never totter?"

FALSTAFF: My meaning I draw out as this:

I find that the merry man wearies of being merry.
He marries then because his merry life
has become burdened by being merry,
and his deeper miseries,
being mushed under his higher merriments,
grow lonely for that company such misery must seek.
I find that this lonely misery
in the midst of merriment
grows more mighty than all such married misery.

In short, good Fool, he wants not a wife
-- as wives are all too seldom spied
in the barren landscapes of our brave new world –
but wishes for a witness to his willful fall
from merry into marriage.
And in this we find that are all our maids
are merrily full willing to comply.

FOOL: But surely, good Sir John,
you slander all our modern maids.
Do they not say, in whispers and in wails,
that only marriage makes them merry?
And if so they say, do they not also wish it true?"

FALSTAFF: No slander sling I at our maids,
but only seek to see them straight,
not touted up with rouged ideas
that in their pates our stunted scribblers doth instill.

I have known many maids
and maids may, as maids,
make merry mock of marriage.
But mark me well, my Fool, once married,
maids are no more maids but wives,
and wives have but one wifely will
which is to make no merriment
in marriage unless they in houses dwell.
Deny them house and no merry love is found
in married maids for they no longer maids remain.

FOOL: So if we then would merry stay,
then marry not we must?

FALSTAFF: You have the nub and core of me proud Fool.
Here begins our brave ascent from Fools' dark depths
to the merry realms of men unmarried.
Mark well this mantled moment when you first knew
that to be merry you must never married be.

'Swounds! The growling hounds of heaven sound the dawn
and I must away to wife unmerry.

Exeunt omnes... followed by a bear.



[Note: Almost a year after I wrote the following a note of thanks arrives from a reader: "It was posted just a week after I learned my wife had been having an affair, and it gave me the first real laugh since the news broke. I bookmarked that post and have referred to it regularly, especially throughout the divorce and custody battle (believe it or not, I won). " What can one say other than, "At American Digest, the pleasure is to serve." ]

Vanderleun : April 13, 15  |  Your Say (26)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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

How to Make Scrambled Eggs With a Waffle Maker Recipe

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1. Turn Waffle maker on.... - Snapguide

Why people are sick of newspapers

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If you checked the newsroom of the Washington Post, I suspect you would find that the inmates mostly lived in pricey neighborhoods, had degrees from Princeton, drank white wine, and ate salads made from strangely named vegetables.
Most of them, I'll bet you, have never baited a hook, changed their oil, or made a raft out of orange crates and old inner tubes. Nor (I'm continuing to bet) have they ever held a gun, much less fired one, and would regard doing so as highly exotic and probably fascistic. Zero of them would have served in the military. The men likely never got into a fight in high school. The women probably think that peeing in the woods constitutes either grave hardship or high adventure. Few have hitchhiked, boozed in a country bar, done shift work in a gas station, pulled crab pots, or played in a tire swing. In short, they are privileged little snots. And have the attitudes to go with it. Fred On Everything


"A system for allowing a shoe wearer to lean forwardly beyond his center of gravity...."

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Michael Jackson patented 'anti-gravity' shoes following famous lean dance For the video of his 1987 single "Smooth Criminal," pop sensation Michael Jackson devised a dance routine. He leaned forward 45 degrees, apparently defying gravity, and completely blew our minds. (In reality, the effect was achieved by wires.) But Jackson wanted to recreate the same dance move in live performances on tour. So, along with two co-inventors, Jackson developed a special shoe.


The 'To Hell With Them' hawks" is a really clunky way of identifying a faction.

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We don't particularly care whether the Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds of Iraq put down their arms.
We only want them to put down their arms against us. Henry Kissinger famously said of the Iran-Iraq War that it was a pity both sides couldn't lose. One doesn't want to be accused of inhuman callousness; but I am willing to confess, and believe I speak for a lot of THWTHs (and a lot of other Americans, too) that the spectacle of Middle Eastern Muslims slaughtering each other is one that I find I can contemplate with calm composure. -- John Derbyshire


The Rentier Class has no plight. They are the winners.

Rentiers have locked in complete economic security and no longer need to do unpleasant work in order to survive.

Examples of rentiers include: Cashed out entrepreneurs, Wall Street types who banked their salary and now no longer need to work, small business owners who have grown a profitable business that now runs itself, super star athletes who invested their earnings well, etc.
The rentier class is not limited solely to those who have amassed independent wealth. I count as rentiers tenured professors who love their jobs and who can pick their own research topics. A staff engineer at Google who can pick and choose projects might also count as a rentier. Great Problems: The Economic Classes and their Respective Plights



These days I can't sit through that "I'm proud to be an American 'cause at least I know I'm free"

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As Cindy Archer and others understood, when the nightmare suddenly descends, you have to be super-alert not to put a foot wrong, even by an inch or two.
She was worried they were going to shoot her barking dogs. Which the police certainly do. But, maybe if your poor dog tries to protect you and you rush to grab his collar, the sudden move will result in them shooting you - and then trotting back to the vehicle to find a taser to plant beside your body.
What I mean is, when Mr Mauser says "it's hard to know how you would react", you have to react as you would if you were raided by the Egyptian police or the Turkmen police, and figure out a way to increase your odds of surviving the encounter. But, on his general point, I'm in agreement: Americans need to recover the habits of liberty, and refuse to accept the "justice" of squalid hacks like "Judge" Kulka. And they need also to understand that there is a direct line between the contempt for law demonstrated by the super-elite in Washington and the terrifying caprices of Wisconsin "justice".
Like I said, I want a candidate who'll restore government integrity and equality before the law. These days I can't sit through that "I'm proud to be an American 'cause at least I know I'm free" song. I'd like fewer people to sing it and more people to live it. Oligarchs for Hillary! :: SteynOnline


Are We Out of Nazis Yet?

Seventy years on, none of this makes any sense to me.
This old guy is 93. What do they expect to come of this? He’s going to croak any day now. These trials are nothing more than guilt porn. They have nothing to with justice, they never do, and they sure don’t have anything to do with vengeance. The guy is 93. I guess we will have to wait for the final Nazi to die in the next few years. There are only a few thousand left, if that many. The Nazis, in my view, cast way too long of a shadow. Marx is arguably history’s greatest monster. At least 100 million were murdered in that prick’s name. Hitler was a piker compared to the Reds, but Western Progressives see too much of themselves in the Nazis. Maybe when the last Nazi dies, the Cult will be free. Are We Out of Nazis Yet? | The Z Blog


The Slave Caste of America

Especially since the 2007 financial crisis and the escalation of the cost of living in these cities,
this slave caste (which is often quite wealthy, as slave castes often have been, particularly in the East) has become more squeezed and dependent. It’s not uncommon to hear of particularly ambitious corporate slaves who have achieved ‘success’ only to be able to barely afford to buy a humble, lower middle class home in their favored region near the seat of power. Outside the seat of power, even a truck driver can afford to buy a beautiful home which would cost millions of dollars in the central cities. Inside the seat of power, most of the slaves can only afford to rent from either higher-end slaves or members of the oligarchical class. About the Corporate Slave Class - Henry Dampier


The SWPL class

SWPL's are educated, urban, Bohemian, progressives.
The social network centers around the upper tier universities and the "blue"/progressive urban centers. Common activities of this class include: listening to NPR, drinking locally roasted coffee, attending an upper tier college, voting for Obama, shopping at Whole Foods, drinking a micro brew, or engaging in some activity to raise awareness. The class is mostly white, but there is a substantial minority of Asian members, and a smaller minority of black and Hispanic members. SWPL's are 'white' in the sense of what a black person from the hood says when he accuses his buddy of 'acting white.'Great Problems: The Economic Classes and their Respective Plights


Totalitarianism, however, does not so much promise an age of faith as an age of schizophrenia.

to be corrupted by totalitarianism one does not have to live in a totalitarian country. The mere prevalence of certain ideas can spread a kind of poison that makes one subject after another impossible for literary purposes. Wherever there is an enforced orthodoxy — or even two orthodoxies, as often happens — good writing stops. This was well illustrated by the Spanish civil war. To many English intellectuals the war was a deeply moving experience, but not an experience about which they could write sincerely. There were only two things that you were allowed to say, and both of them were palpable lies: as a result, the war produced acres of print but almost nothing worth reading. George Orwell -- The Prevention of Literature



Frightened villagers “killed” the first hydrogen balloon

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It is presumed that it was carried to a height of more than 20,000 feet, when it burst by the reaction of the Inflammable Gas upon the Atmospheric Air.
It fell at three quarters past five near Gonesse, ten miles [actually, 15 miles] from the Field of Mars. The affrightened inhabitants ran together, appalled by the Hellish stench of sulphur, and two monks having assured them it was the skin of a Monstrous Animal, they attacked it with stones, pitchforks and flails. The Curate of the village was obliged to attend in order to sprinkle it with holy water and remove the fears of his astonished parishioners. At last they tied to the tail of a horse the first Instrument that was ever made for an Experiment in Natural Philosophy, and trained it across the field more than 6000 feet. Progress - Futility ClosetFutility Closet


The computer is not expected to recover.

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Man shoots computer in Colorado Springs alley, gets revenge he wanted - and a citation Strossner tweeted Hinch "executed" his computer in an alley on the 2200 block of West Colorado Avenue. The penalty for the citation will be up to a judge, police said, adding that Hinch was good-natured about the citation and hadn't realized he was breaking the law when he went Wild West on that useless piece of technology. Hinch shot it eight times, Strossner said, "effectively disabling it."

She has been smart enough to play the skins game well enough to get rich as a colossally bad poet

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Now, maybe Toni Morrison is just a stupid person. But, she has been smart enough to play the skins game well enough to get rich as a colossally bad poet.
No, I suspect she knows the truth of things. She just hates white people and would enjoy seeing more white people suffer and die. The cops could shoot a thousand white teenagers in the back tonight and Morrison will want more. I don’t blame her, really. She’s old and no one really cares what she has to say about anything. She may as well let loose with what’s on her mind. She also must think the tide of history is on the side of non-whites. Look around and ask yourself if she is wrong. Death to Whitey! | The Z Blog


The left is at its best when it’s trying to take power.

It unleashes its egocentric creative impulses, it writes poems, plays and songs as its heroes die in doomed battles or pump their fists at protests. And then they win, get rich and fat, the people grow poor and the country becomes a miserable dictatorship. Try putting a 300 pound Che on a t-shirt. Or get inspired by Obama lazily playing golf. Sultan Knish: The Death of the Left

The Socially Acceptable Sin

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There’s one sin in particular that has pervaded our society and churches so silently
we hardly give it a second thought, and that is the constant hunt for more over what is enough. Or, in an uglier terminology, what is known as gluttony.... At its simplest, gluttony is the soul’s addiction to excess. It occurs when taste overrules hunger, when want outweighs need. And in America, where upsizing has always been part of the American dream, it’s often difficult to distinguish what is hard-earned achievement and what is indulgent excess. In this sense, even the most athletic and toned among us can be gluttons. Any of us can be. | RELEVANT Magazine


Moron of the [Earth] Day

Gowanus Canal Swim What: Wrapped in a yellow drysuit and exposure protection gear,
Water Advocate and Swimmer Christopher Swain will emerge from the contaminated soup of the Gowanus Canal Superfund Site, on Earth Day, to call for an accelerated cleanup of the Canal. Swain’s goal is a Gowanus Canal that is safe to swim in every day. Swain will swim the entire 1.8 mile length of the Gowanus over the course of the day, from the Flushing Tunnel down to New York Harbor, navigating through industrial waste, fuel slicks, sewage, and trash. Swain is thought to be the first person in history to attempt to swim the entire length of the Gowanus Canal.... A layer of sludge 10 - 20 feet thick, spiked with coal tar, heavy metals, and toxic compounds, covers the bottom of the Canal. Dangerous levels of bacteria and viruses, including gonnorhea, have been found in the Canal’s waters as a result of raw sewage discharges.


Hitler’s six million, Stalin’s twenty to thirty million, Mao’s fifty to eighty million…

the twentieth century’s body count is so massive that mere margins of error often run into tens of millions of human lives.
Pockets of just over a million such as we find in the Rwandan civil war (a number which also fits the Irish Potato Famines, by the way, where an element of calculated genocide was certainly present) hardly seem to bear inclusion. If we are not to be permanently, fatally stultified, however, by the depth of our own depravity, we must strive to count every body. We must no longer tolerate speech that incites violence. We must purge mass entertainment of its irresponsible representations of mayhem. We must limit the manufacture and distribution of weapons. Those instruments of doom which we have already created must systematically be dismantled…. And so the program goes. Why Is Human History an Inhuman Nightmare? | Intellectual Conservative


Kicking the Can

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The Coors company in nearby Golden, Colorado, not only makes beer, they manufacture the aluminum cans as well.
Tasty light beer, in a lightweight container that’s strong and durable and stackable. The can has a pop-top, and is recyclable when empty. It’s called “The Silver Bullet.” The cans are one of the most sophisticated pieces of engineering we encounter. The product of more than 150 years of research and development. - - Robert Fulghum


Don't Believe the Hype

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Via HappyAcres

The Quest for the Chocolate Savior

There’s a sacramental quality to the worship of non-whites and foreigners.
I hear this from otherwise sensible people regarding Hispanics in California. They believe the state will turn around when a suitably conservative Hispanic wins the governorship. To my ears, this sounds a lot like ancients believing the right sacrifices could result in a good harvest. It’s magical thinking. In the case of Americans, my sense is many white people think that their sins can only be scrubbed from their soul if they fully and complete submit to those who their ancestors harmed. Racism has taken up the place of original sin. Christians believe you must completely submit to God. The anti-racists think they can only be cleansed by submitting completely to non-whites. -- | The Z Blog
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For Earth Day: Michael Crichton explains why there is "no such thing as consensus science"

"In science consensus is irrelevant.
What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period." - AEI | Carpe Diem Blog サ AEIdeas


Down by Me

The Native Americans, we call them "Indians" since that's what they call themselves, they can get real spiritual here.
The Anglos, sometimes referred to as Gringos, the land could break their hearts. The Hispanics, mostly Mexicans, they get called Meskins but not in a derogatory way. They're more used to the environment down here. When I think about it, what we call each other gets pushed aside since there are Mexicans that go back three or fourgenerations and Anglos that grew up side by side with them, fighting Nature, rejoicing it, simply being ordinary folks. Spillers of Soup


Meet Boston Corbett, the self-castrated hatmaker who was John Wilkes Booth’s Jack Ruby.

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Corbett was watching Booth intently from his unit’s formation around the barn.
Through the cracks in the wall, he could see the fugitive shift in and out of view, a gun in hand. As the flames rose, Corbett trained his pistol on the image, even though the word from Washington was clear—Booth was to be taken alive. Corbett, you see, wasn’t the kind of soldier who followed orders easily, unless they came from God. | Washingtonian


Twinkie's Miracle Comeback: The Untold, Inside Story of a $2 Billion Feast

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But while you wouldn’t find Twinkies on Whole Foods’ shelves or in Gwyneth Paltrow’s pantry, Hostess had something you can’t find in a locally sourced, chia–seed snack–millions of nostalgic fans.
“The brand awareness was unbelievable,” says Jhawar. “It’s not every day you have an opportunity to acquire a brand that is ubiquitous, that had $1 billion in revenue before the bankruptcy and 80–plus years of legacy.” Acquire they did, plunking down $410 million for the cake brands and promising to inject another $250 million to rehabilitate the business. Now, just two years after buying the shuttered company, they sit atop what will likely be a $2 billion win. - Forbes [HT: Maggies Farm]


Woodrow Wilson, Lloyd George, and Georges Clémenceau

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I think of them as the “Three Stooges of the Apocalypse.”
They were themselves not causes but symptoms of a disease, which for a word we might call post-modernism. President Wilson did the most permanent damage. He was the Barack Obama of that historical moment, enjoying an immense charismatic popularity in Europe. A moral and intellectual simpleton, he had handy to his lips a short list of glib progressive nostrums that appealed to great masses of the war weary. The valour deficit : Essays in Idleness


Roseanne Barr on Losing Her Sight, Smoking Weed, Rejecting Feminism, and Not Voting For Hillary

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"I might run again for the Peace and Freedom Party, but they’d have to get rid of a lot of their platform—it’s obsolete.
I thought about starting my own party, the Green Tea Party, a hybrid of freedom and safety net. That’s what I think the future is all about: a limit to government size and power, government made efficient. There’s a party called the National Woman’s Party, which started about 100 years ago: That would be a great party to run with.” - The Daily Beast


JUST GO AWAY: The Case Against Jeb Bush for President

Giving Jeb the nomination neutralizes some of the best arguments against Hillary.
She’s a relic from the 20th century? So is Jeb. She’s a longtime member of the political ruling class who thinks she’s entitled to the presidency because of her last name? So is Jeb. She supports an immigration policy that rewards lawbreakers and dilutes our cultural identity? So does Jeb. She’s charisma-challenged and is propped up not by grassroots enthusiasm but rather by the largesse of big money donors? So is–you get the idea. Doug Giles | #ClashDaily


On our marks.... getting set....

Pew Shows Highest Support for Gun Rights Ever Pew Research released a poll showing their highest documented support for gun rights, and 63% of their respondents said the best way to protect yourself against crime was with a gun. The survey also specifically says that Americans do not believe that more gun control will keep them safe.

Otis Taylor, Nasty Letter: "If the devil come I've been wrongly, wrongly accused"

A face, and a voice, and a song that have all been down a thousand miles of rough roads.

If you liked "Global Warming" and Climate "Change," you'll love "Sustainability."

Global warming had a mortal weakness.
It was testable. Sustainability does not suffer from the same fault. It need never meet reality.  No matter what any individual or organization does, its activities can always be labeled "€œunsustainable." This is because there is no definition of what sustainability is. It always means just what someone claiming to be more eco-holy than thou wants it to mean. True sustainability is a goal ever disappearing into the distance, one which can never be reached, but which must be pursued with ever increasing vigor --€” and funded by ever burgeoning taxes. -- Breitbart


Vincent Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”

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“The Starry Night” is a simple, small oil painting, 29 in. by 36 in. It portrays a landscape consisting of a village tucked in among some hills, a night sky with stars and an exaggerated crescent moon, and a tall tree. There is no activity, no people, and no animals. Described like this, you would hardly think the picture was worth a second look. So what makes it so special? - Neatorama

I have seen money. Felt it in my hand.

I have wasted it one day and built temples to my fellow man the next with money, with no good reason to do either.
I have watched it slumber in a bank book with my name on it waiting for nothing more than a notion and a signature. All gone. Gone for good, I think but must not say. She hears everything I say. I utter the sounds but I don’t listen to what I’m saying. What is the line? I must remember the line. Strut and fret upon the stage, I think. Sippican Cottage: I Must Not Do It


Understanding The Fear Of Self-Defense And Revolution

The great lie being injected into the movement over the past few years is that removal of the elites will solve nothing

because the “real problem” is the corrupt nature of humanity in general and that if we remove one set of elites, they will simply be replaced with another set, as if society is fatally predisposed to develop an elitist class. This is the most vapid form of defeatist garbage ever regurgitated by nihilists. First, we have no idea whatsoever what life would be like without the globalist network because we have never lived in a society in which they have been removed, even for a single generation. I think early America after the revolution is the only example I can find of a society free from most elitist controls, and the prosperity that developed in that environment leads me to believe that removal of the entire elitist framework would result in undeniable positive changes for the world. Why else would the globalists spend the past two centuries attempting to dismantle the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
Guest Post: | Zero Hedge



The slave class is entirely dependent on the activities in the modern bureaucratic courts

They’re skimmers, financiers, rule-makers, centralizers, standardizers, administrators, teachers, technologists, and cultural manipulators.
They usually turn their noses up at independence, even in matters of business, preferring to raise paper money for grand projects with social missions from their oligarchical superiors. They’ll happily trade autonomy for a recognized position within the court, even if it makes them soft and dependent on the system. Hand such a man a gun, and he will tend to feel frightened of the idea of shooting it. About the Corporate Slave Class - Henry Dampier


It's not cheap to be poor anymore.

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Printed Cotton Peasant Dress US $375.00 == La Garrenne

"About the Size of a Grain of Rice:" This is the world's smallest computer

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At just one millimeter cubed, the Michigan Micro Mote (M^3) is the smallest autonomous computer in the world....
Despite its tiny size, the M^3 has the ability to take pictures, read temperatures and record pressure readings. Researchers hope to implement the microcomputer into a variety of applications ranging from medical to industrial purposes. Due to its micro-size, the M^3 can actually be injected into the body, where it can then perform ECGs and also take pressure and temperature readings. The oil industry is also interested in inserting the Micro Mote into oil wells to help detect pockets of oil that can still be extracted before moving on to new sources. - CBS News


The left is winning, but for the left winning is indistinguishable from dying.

The West didn’t defeat Communism; it held it at bay long enough for it to defeat itself.
The Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China crushed Communism more decisively than Goldwater could have ever dreamed of. The embargo didn’t turn Cuba into a hellhole whose main tourism industry is inviting progressive Canadian pedophiles to rape its children. Castro did that with help from the dead guy on the red t-shirts. Sultan Knish: The Death of the Left


I said to Gandolfini, the bell rings and you look up.

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That last shot of Tony ends on 'don't stop,' it's mid-song.
I'm not going to go into [if that's Tony's POV]. I thought the possibility would go through a lot of people's minds or maybe everybody's mind that he was killed. He might have gotten shot three years ago in that situation. But he didn't. Whether this is the end here, or not, it's going to come at some point for the rest of us. Hopefully we're not going to get shot by some rival gang mob or anything like that. I'm not saying that [happened]. But obviously he stood more of a chance of getting shot by a rival gang mob than you or I do because he put himself in that situation. All I know is the end is coming for all of us. This Magic Moment - The Sopranos


Kids Today: Dumb and Dumb-De-Dumb-Dumb

American Millennials are among the world's least skilled - Fortune When the results were analyzed by age group and nationality, ETS got a shock.
It turns out, says a new report, that Millennials in the U.S. fall short when it comes to the skills employers want most: literacy (including the ability to follow simple instructions), practical math, and — hold on to your hat — a category called “problem-solving in technology-rich environments.” Not only do Gen Y Americans lag far behind their overseas peers by every measure, but they even score lower than other age groups of Americans.


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