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"If a person can't communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up! - Lehrer

Yes, this was sung and filmed within living memory. Seen now its textures, singers, tones, hues and the spirit of a confident culture give it a luminosity that cannot be recaptured no matter our wealth and technical capability. Yet it still has the capacity to soothe and comfort and uplift. It's a song in the affirmative. It would be nice to write and sing songs in that key again.

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
So if you're worried and you can't sleep
Count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

gerardvanderleun : December 9, 16  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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gerardvanderleun : December 8, 16  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"I pray every day and I think everybody should.

I don't think you can be up here and look out the window as I did the first day and look out at the Earth from this vantage point. We're not so high compared to people who went to the moon and back. But to look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is, to me, impossible. It just strengthens my faith."

Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.

Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

gerardvanderleun : December 8, 16  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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We'd finished filming John and Yoko for the video a day or so before he was shot to death. It was their last video, but of course we didn't know it at the time. There was film of them holding hands and walking in Central Park in the place that would later become "Strawberry Fields." We'd filmed them rolling naked in bed together in a Soho Art Gallery where she looked healthy and ample and he looked small and slight, with skin that was almost transluscent. I remember being slightly surprised by the fact that Lennon's need for Ono was so constant and palpable. He was seldom more than two feet away from her side and had the disconcerting habit of calling her "Mommy" whenever they spoke.

My role was as "executive producer" which really meant that I was to stand around with a roll of hundred dollar bills and pay-off the teamsters and solve other problems with copious applications of money. It was an odd job in more ways than one, but I was grateful to have it at the time.

We'd sent the last of the film to the lab, and the director, Ethan Russell, had gone back to Los Angeles to begin editing. The crew had dispersed and I'd taken to my bed racked with pain. The job, this time, had been so tough and high stress that my neck had gone out. I could barely turn my head without feeling as if a sledge was hammering a hot-needle into the cervical vertebrae. I was lying carefully propped on the bed eating Bufferin as if they were Tic-Tacs and trying not to move. My neck was held in one of those tight foam collars. Not moving was the best thing to do at the time and I was doing it with all my might.

It was a small one-bedroom apartment on the East Side of Manhattan. My first wife and I were there after three years of living in London, Paris, the Algarve and other European locations. She was eight months pregnant with our daughter and looked as if she was trying to smuggle a basketball across state lines for immoral purposes. Her mood, never really cheerful, was not improved by her situation.

The apartment was on loan from her uncle's girlfriend. I was down to my last few thousand dollars and was looking for a job. The film gig had been a gift from my old friend Ethan, and I'd been glad to get it. But it was over and, with a baby banging on the door of the world, things were not looking up. At the time, the only thing looking up was me since my neck required me to lie flat and gaze at the ceiling. It had been a rough two weeks but I thought things would certainly improve.

And of course, that's when things got worse. It got worse in the way most things do, the phone rang and my wife called out, "It's for you."

Some New York wag once said, "Age fourteen is the last time in your life when you're glad the phone is for you."

I groped blindly to the side of the bed and picked up the extension. It was Ethan calling from an editing room in Los Angeles. "John's been shot. He's dead."

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Vanderleun : December 8, 16  |  Your Say (72)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Dark Matter

for Tom Mandel (1946-1995)

Love must see all things that are,
But not with any eye.
Dream must rise from darkling waters,
Yet still gloss clear and dry.

The heart must mimic life lived large
In its sentences and fate;
Accepting time must finally halt,
And enter through the gateless gate.

The body, all its time undone,
Must yield itself to air.
The soul, a dream no longer dreamed,
Must rise upon the spiral stairs,

That lead up to that heart of light
Which circles in that storm;
Where one eye sees all things that are,
Where that which is, is born.

The Case Against Dark Matter: A proposed theory of gravity does away with dark matter, even as new astrophysical findings challenge the need for galaxies full of the invisible mystery particles.

For 80 years, scientists have puzzled over the way galaxies and other cosmic structures appear to gravitate toward something they cannot see. This hypothetical “dark matter” seems to outweigh all visible matter by a startling ratio of five to one, suggesting that we barely know our own universe. Thousands of physicists are doggedly searching for these invisible particles. But the dark matter hypothesis assumes scientists know how matter in the sky ought to move in the first place. This month, a series of developments has revived a long-disfavored argument that dark matter doesn’t exist after all. In this view, no missing matter is needed to explain the errant motions of the heavenly bodies; rather, on cosmic scales, gravity itself works in a different way than either Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein predicted.


gerardvanderleun : December 8, 16  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"When the moon is in the seventh house...."

gerardvanderleun : December 7, 16  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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It has been 75 years, but U.S. Navy veteran James Leavelle can still recall watching with horror as Japanese warplanes rained bombs down on his fellow sailors in the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War Two.

Bullets bounced off the steel deck of his own ship, the USS Whitney, anchored just outside Honolulu harbor, but a worse fate befell those aboard the USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, USS Utah and others that capsized in an attack that killed 2,400 people.

"The way the Japanese planes were coming in, when they dropped bombs, they'd drop them and then circle back," said Leavelle, a 21-year-old Navy Storekeeper Second Class at the time of the attack.

Leavelle, now 96, was among 30 Pearl Harbor survivors honored at a reception in Los Angeles before heading to Honolulu to mark Wednesday's 75th anniversary of the attack.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor took place at 7:55 a.m. Honolulu time on Dec. 7, 1941, famously dubbed "a date which will live in infamy" by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. Fewer than 200 survivors of the attacks there and on other military bases in Hawaii are still alive.

Pearl Harbor Hero Returns Home After 75 Years in an Unknown Grave "For decades their bones lay forgotten until a Pearl Harbor survivor uncovered their story."

My Sad Captains by Thom Gunn

One by one they appear in
the darkness: a few friends, and
a few with historical
names. How late they start to shine!
but before they fade they stand
perfectly embodied, all

the past lapping them like a
cloak of chaos. They were men
who, I thought, lived only to
renew the wasteful force they
spent with each hot convulsion.
They remind me, distant now.

True, they are not at rest yet,
but now that they are indeed
apart, winnowed from failures,
they withdraw to an orbit
and turn with disinterested
hard energy, like the stars.


gerardvanderleun : December 7, 16  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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PIERS MORGAN: Twitter helped Trump's campaign triumph, so we'd better get used to government by 140-characters. And if the press and political elite hate it, then tough Twitty!

Since the election, Trump has continued to Tweet away. He's called for Hamilton to be boycotted and flag-burning to be criminalised, and every time the same 10-part pattern unfolds and the whole thing starts again.

Each episode followed a familiar 10-part pattern:

1) Trump posts an inflammatory, highly opinionated tweet.

2) The media goes nuts.

3) Trump’s tweet then dominates the news all day.

4) The media demands he stops tweeting because it’s ‘un-presidential.’

5) Trump ignores them.

6) Conventional politicians demand he stops tweeting because it’s un-presidential.’

7) Trump ignores them too.

8) Trump wakes up next morning to every paper and cable news show talking about his tweet.

9) Trump chuckles to himself.

10) Trump tweets again.


gerardvanderleun : December 6, 16  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

Reaffirmation Post: In which I discuss how I got from "there" to "here" back in April, 2006....

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

Well, I try my best
To be just like I am,
But everybody wants you
To be just like them.
They sing while you slave and I just get bored.
I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.

-- Maggie's Farm

A friend with whom I have a daily correspondence takes great pleasure in needling me on my, shall we say, adamantine position that we need to start fighting the First Terrorist War to win it and not as if we are engaged in a game of patty-cake. In March of 2004, after the Madrid bombings, while I was trapped on a Cruise Ship somewhere deep inside the sixth circle of Hell, he decided it was an ideal time convert me to his policy of "reasonable accommodation." It was the moment in which, as he put it, "...the common citizens of Spain and France are saying 'Tell us again what this got us, other than lots of angry teenagers with bombs?' "

I replied that I'd lived for years in France, with months in and about Spain, and most of the 'common citizens' of those countries would surrender to anything and sell out anyone if it meant they could shop in peace for a few more years. Vichy and Franco came to mind as examples.

Yesterday, in Tel Aviv, the angry teenager with a bomb on his body came again, as he has so many times over the last few years, and as he will in the years to come. Maybe Spain was right to see the effort as futile. Maybe Europe as a whole should just roll over and not just play dead, but be dead. Perhaps Israel should just shrug and say, "Okay, you win. We'll move or we'll die. You tell us."

After all, what's really in all this fighting and dying for anyone? None of the countries that are engaged in this war against terror seems to be ready to do the terrible things necessary to end terror. ("Don't you see? That would make us just like them!" "Perhaps, but we would be alive to repent and reform.")

I once admired the subtle thought, the careful parsing, the diplomatic pas-de-deux of policy, but lately I seem to have gotten a taste for straight talk. It seems to me that if you don't go to war ready to achieve victory by any means necessary -- by any means necessary -- why would you bother to go at all? And of late, I'm only hearing the weasel word "win." I'm not hearing a lot about "victory," which is quite a different thing.

It seems to me that if you are actually "in" a war, victories, big and small, are what you seek to achieve. Once you have the final victory, and that means that the enemy and all that supports the enemy, is so destroyed and laid waste that there's no fight left in him, then and only then can you say you have "won." Absent a drive for victory, there seems to be nothing in this war for any one fighting terror on any front other than pain and death -- and the added insult of an unremitting disparagement from many of the citizens for whom they fight.

That's certainly true when it comes to the United States of late. We seem stalled at the stage of the struggle that brings to mind Churchill's proclamation that he had nothing to offer except, "blood, sweat and tears." We've had those three things constantly for years -- as our media are so keen to remind us every three minutes of every day.

Another factor in the dumb-show called "Bringing Democracy to the Middle East" seems to be that our leadership has become, shall we say, less than inspiring and more like Monty Hall emceeing "Let's Make A Deal" with contestants and a studio audience packed with crazed and crapulous mullahs. Finally, we're seeing a host of our fellow citizens so immersed in their hatred of George Bush that the impression we are hip-deep in demented traitors is getting hard to shake.

All of these things conspire, on a daily basis, to shake our belief in ourselves, our institutions and our commitment to rid the world of the scourge of terrorism. Lately we seem to be living on a daily drip-feed of despair for our future and estrangement from our past. It's not a new diet in this country, but it is starting to assume the proportions of a runaway fad diet, a political Pritikins. And yet this thin gruel is what's being poured into us from Seattle, Washington to Washington, D.C.

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

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

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Vanderleun : December 6, 16  |  Your Say (62)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"All you asswipes out there who have declared war on Christmas (You know who you are.), considering everything in this world that needs to be done. There's weeds by the side of the freeway that need to be pulled. When you come to your deathbed are you going to be saying 'In my life I was able to remove symbols for Christmas from this college in Portland? But please go to work on Ramadan so the Muslims will behead you and we won't have to listen to your douchey crap any longer."

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

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Ladies and Gentlemen, a new look for the President of the United States. It's time to see who we are really dealing with.

The above image is, of course, a photoshop. A minor adjustment of outward elements that make up Trumps face and, as a result, give him a strikingly different aspect than the more colorful and animated personality that appears in public daily now.

Still, this is not the only time we've seen the aspect of Trump that is represented in this photoshop. We can see it in some otherwise offhand photographs from unguarded moments. By that I mean those moments when the subject is not aware that he is being photographed and, hence, does not have his photographic personality suffusing his face and body.

A case in point is the photo below. It was taken just moments before Trump made his entrance on election night to inform the nation and the world that Hillary Clinton had conceded and he was now the President-Elect. Here we see Trump in the wings of the stage and in a moment in which his face makes manifest the enormous weight that had finally, after 18 months, settled on him. It's a sober moment and you can see it in the close-up below.

The eyes, as always, are the windows to the soul. At least in those moments when the man does not have his shades drawn.



gerardvanderleun : December 4, 16  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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when god lets my body be

from each brave eye shall sprout a tree
fruit that dangles therefrom

the purpled world will dance upon
between my lips which did sing

a rose shall beget the spring
that maidens whom passion wastes

will lay between their little breasts
my strong fingers beneath the snow

into strenuous birds shall go
my love walking in the grass

their wings will touch with her face
and all the while shall my heart be
with the bulge and nuzzle of the sea

---by e. e. cummings

"I've had a lot of luck to have such a life. I wish there was some way to pass on with what I've learned of. My God, I was learning fast there at the end." -- Islands in the Stream

UPDATED for the (somewhat) less athletically inclined........

gerardvanderleun : December 4, 16  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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“White clouds encircle the mountain waist like a sash,
Stone steps mount high into the void where the narrow path leads far.
Alone, leaning on my rustic staff I gaze idly into the distance.
My longing for the notes of a flute is answered in the murmurings of the gorge.”

-- Shen Zhou, Poet on a Mountain c. 1500. Painting and poem by Shen Zhou


In The Cascades

Above the trail to the summit
Clouds climb the mountains --
Hands through water, fingers of rain,
Smoke in dreams, as steps accumulate,
Placing first one foot, then the other,
Pacing out the rip-rap of the years.

Below the snow ghosts swirl behind
Drifts of leaf-shimmer, billowed veils
Of wind whose whispers echo back
Across the distant silence singing
To the tempo of the breath:
"Once only, once only, only once."

Above the stream in the ravine.
Watched by sentinels of stone, of fir,
Of trees so tall their tops dissolve
Into the breath of the mountains.
Ebony glints of ravens' wings
Banking into green on darker green.

Below it's all been settled long ago.
Only on foot, step by step,
Can you climb up, beyond,
And out of time -- except for the weight
You carry on your back; gossamer
Thread spinning down into the Labyrinth.

At the crest, looking back, looking below,
Herds of mule deer graze beneath pylons
Where a survey crew measures the steel river,
For a grid of concrete and copper cables
Connecting the Matrix coiled on the coast.
Above, the mountains' shoulders shatter the rain.

gerardvanderleun : December 4, 16  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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I accept the existence of saucers,
I concede there's a case
To be made for believing that something's achieving
the conquest of space;

I find it completely convincing
Whenever I hear
That creatures from Venus were recently seen
As a spaceship drew near:

And yet there's a problem remaining
That baffles me still.
I'm not disagreeing that some super being
Can wander at will

From one universe to another-
But if it be thus why on earth (so to speak)
Should he bother to seek
Any contact with us?"

-- Anthony Brode

gerardvanderleun : December 3, 16  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"You know what, as painful and as excruciatingly long as it was... in retrospect this was the most fun election ever."

Just when Democrats and Moonbats think it's safe to go back in the political waters, Joe Dan Gorman releases, on, "No Rules for Radicals." Funny and insightful and with a down home and homespun flavor that should be bottled and poured over your Moonbat Babyback Ribs at your January celebration barbecues. Joe Dan takes us back over the campaign trail and into the dawning of the age of Trump. With this caveat:

"Now while we are rooting for President-Elect Trump to succeed wildly—we are sycophants of no one. We will hold Trump’s feet to the fire, but only when needed. We are not going to scrutinize and micromanage his every move.

"We knew Trump was apolitical and unpredictable…and no doubt he will have us all scratching our heads at times. But with a history of success that is second to none— Donald Trump for lack of a better word— backs up his bullsh*t like no other.

"So for now… Donald Trump has earned my trust— until he doesn’t.

Popcorn. Full screen. Sit back and enjoy as much as you enjoyed The Buster Brown Show with Froggie and his rollicking sidekick Andy Devine.

"It's the holidays. Enjoy them. Turn off the idiots in the media and bask in the glorious fact that Hillary Clinton will NEVER be our President."

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

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Popular Mechanics wrote in 1954,

“We all know someone who works harder doing nothing than most of us work doing something, but we can’t possibly know anything that works harder at nothing that a machine built by a California hobbyist. The machine has over 700 working parts that rotate, twist, oscillate and reciprocate — all for no purpose except movement.”

Ye Olde Web 1.0 Page Sayeth:Lawrence Wahlstrom and the Do Nothing machine

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

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Here's the lyrics just in case you want to add this to your caroling around the neighborhood.

It's the most wonderful time in 8 years
Yet some kids are protesting
while Trump fans investing their time with good cheer
Sing It's the most wonderful time in 8 years

It's the hap-happiest voting season of all
With each staff member Trump picks, Democrats up to their old tricks …Just trashing them all
but It's the hap- happiest election season of all

There’ll be one party hosting All three branches toasting
but how low now will the press go
There'll spin misguided stories Trying to steal Trump’s glory
from a playbook written, long long ago

It's the most wonderful time in 8 years
There'll be much more enjoyment a lot less unemployment
Cuz Trump will be near
It's the most wonderful time in 8 years (go up)

Hillary’s party’s not hosting they’re no longer toasting,
Beyonce, Kanye, Cop Killers, Racists and the Muslim Brotherhood
They ignored true stories of Hillary who wasn’t sorry
for her crimes now and long ago

Now It's the most wonderful time in 8 Years
We’ll deport all the criminals, Taxes will be minimal
Bad trade deals disappear
It's the most wonderful time
yes the most wonderful time
Oh the most wonderful time… in 8 years!

gerardvanderleun : December 1, 16  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"Gary Snyder, the Zen poet, lives on a hundred backcountry acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, meditates mornings, and thanks his food before he eats it, clapping his hands together and saying “Itadakimasu,” which is Japanese for “Thank you very much.”

He likes a boilermaker at dinnertime (a shot of bourbon and a tall glass of beer) and, on occasion, the bullfrogs from his pond. “I follow the ‘Joy of Cooking,’ “ he says. “You’ve got to skin them and brine them overnight. She recommends rolling them in bread crumbs and frying them.” He finds that vulture feathers make the best pens for calligraphy, and collects them when he hikes. Some nights, he takes a blanket and a thermos of sake and a star map, walks along a gravel riverbed not far from his house to a spot among the mounded diggings left by the gold-mining ventures of the past two centuries, and, by the light of a red torch, works on the constellations....."
“Throughout human history and prehistory, the trail was only to get you somewhere,” he said. “What was important was what was off the trail. Food, roots, berries, dye plants, glue plants, poisonous plants, recreational-drug plants, squirrel nests, bird nests, everything you might think you’d need. What’s way off the trail are the places you go to be alone and have a vision and your own spiritual trip, maybe with some of those recreational plants”—knowing snickers from the kids—“and then you come back.” -- Zen Master - The New Yorker

Excerpts from Myths & Texts - Gary Snyder


Gary Snyder's bio, poems, and articles at the Poetry Foundation

Paris Review Interview - Gary Snyder, The Art of Poetry No. 74

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

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Up to November 8 it was a very stressful year. Now it's time to go and get your opossums de-stressed.

gerardvanderleun : November 30, 16  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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


Yesterday I learned that order, discipline, and authority are considered “whiteness” even when a black person uses such to supervise his team.


No really! Anything that looks like order is actually viewed as oppressive, privileged, and white.
And the push back is LOUD and intractable. Accountability is aggression. Not everyone is like this, mostly just supervisors of any color. They are supervisors by dint of surviving the revolving door of attrition, not out of much merit. At the higher levels of the department's budget and finance processes are people who cannot reason above a 1stgrade level, but they will make you believe you are the idiot because they have a college degree of some sort. And they know how to navigate the sea of bureaucracy. The non-linear thinking bureaucrat | Primordial Slack

It’s as though everyone was keeping a vigil by the deathbed of someone who had been shot and was dying.

That someone was the GOP.
They were hearing the death rattle in the throat and were waiting for the final moment, heads bowed. Some had tears streaming down their cheeks. Some were secretly (or maybe not so secretly) happy, because they felt that the person on the bed had wronged them terribly. But all knew it was very near the end.
And then suddenly the person jumped up. Not just jumped up, but started tap dancing and chuckling. neo-neocon Changing places, left and right

Repulsive "progressive"Visual Vileness Alert

Disgusting photos at the link.... Scroll down at your peril. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. And remember, these are the people that say they have nothing but love and respect for minorities and women.
Modern Art: PHOTOS of a 2011 fundraising gala at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles exemplify the work of the Serbian “performance artist” Marina Abramovic, now famous for inviting Clinton campaign chair John Podesta to a “spirit cooking” dinner. At the gala, cakes were made to look like dead bodies. They were sliced by Abramovic in a red dress wielding an enormous knife. The female guests were all asked to wear lab coats. The centerpieces were live heads, which were considered a bit “exploitative” by some of the artists in attendance. A total of 750 guests paid $2,500 a piece to attend the dinner. [HT: Thinking Housewife]
Maria Occult Gala

" I'm just a soul whose intentions are good Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood"

Bitter words from a man whose skin was his entire resume when applying for the job.Obama says I 'absolutely' suffered racism in office

President Barack Obama says the color of his skin has 'absolutely' contributed to white Americans' negative perceptions of his time in office. The president said in a Wednesday special looking back on his legacy, 'I think there's a reason why attitudes about my presidency among whites in Northern states are very different from whites in Southern states.'

Stop Obsessing Over the Meaningless Popular Vote

Just for fun, let’s look at the popular vote in detail. Here is the key.
*** NO CANDIDATE WON THE POPULAR VOTE!!!” To win the popular vote you have to get over 50%, that is what a majority is. What Hillary Clinton won was a PLURALITY. She got 48.2% of the vote. Donald Trump got 46.5 % of the vote. Not a big difference. Now here is where it gets interesting. Bill Clinton in 1992 only got 42.9% of the popular vote… Which means, Donald Trump won more of the popular vote than Bill Clinton, and no one on the Left said a word about Bill Clinton not being a legitimate President. Bill Clinton won a plurality, just like many presidents before him. It happens all the time. There is nothing unusual about this election. Hillary won a plurality, nothing more, but lost the election. That’s the way it is.Intellectual Conservative « !!!

The King of Thailand's First Name Is....

Vajiralongkorn Borommachakkrayadisonsantatiwong Thewetthamrongsuboriban Aphikhunuprakanmahittaladunladet Phumiphonnaretwarangkun Kittisirisombunsawangkhawat Borommakhattiyaratchakuman (Vaj to his friends). Vajiralongkorn - Wikipedia

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

City Of Chicago Working Around Clock To Clear 18 Inches Of Bullet Casings From Streets

The Circle of Life

It's about 50/50 fields and woods around here. I'm in the woods but the fields are close.

A big field down the road, maybe several hundred acres, does corn 1 year and soy the next, over and over.

Few years ago lots of heavy equipment installed 8" diameter, what appeared to be, reinforced canvas pipes underground, maybe 40' apart, all over that field. The inlet for the pipes is close to the road with a big turn around area for the tanker trucks that come in the spring and fall.

There is a smell of manure in the air at those times. Or something that smells like it.

The corn ends up being burned in my vehicles (destroying the mating surfaces and gaskets) and the soy is in the mayo on my chipotle chicken sando (blowing out my linings). Gotta find another way.

Posted by: ghostsniper: I Got Your Gluten Right Here, Pal [Bumped]

The Guillotine Next Time


In the US, we will probably see the neo-cons waddle back over to the Democrat side to form a more centrist coalition.
There will be the identity political Left and the hyper violent, lose wars of choice, Right in one party. The Republicans will be the honkies from flyover country. Regardless, progressivism cannot be the core of a majority coalition, at least not in anything resembling a liberal democracy. At best, it can be an influential part of a coalition, but never the dominant part. In the fullness of time, it may be understood that the worst thing to happen to American Progressives wastheir final victory over one of the parties. They may have discredited themselves to the point where their thing is never the same again. Robespierre lost his head learning this lesson so Nancy Pelosi should count her blessings. The Party is Over | The Z Blog

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

Cancer patient sues hospital over flesh-eating bug that 'ate' most of his penis

Sanctuary House

I’ve filed affidavits at the court house. Now, nothing is illegal here on my property,” he said, lighting up his favorite crack pipe and blowing the blue smoke into the lower troposphere.

“In fact, as soon as I finish raking and burning leaves, I’m going to wash my Escalade in my driveway and let all of the sudsy water run off into the storm drain to commingle with the nation’s water supply.”

“My God, E.,” I said, grasping the enormity of the concept. “The EPA can’t do anything to you if you live in a Sanctuary Home.”

“Correctamundo,” E. said. “The IRS and the county can’t touch me, either. I no longer pay income or property taxes. I’ve also removed all those tags on our couch pillows that say ‘do not remove under penalty of law.’”  |  Ricochet

With little resistance, China incrementally annexes the South China Sea

while embarked on a naval buildup inversely proportional to the smallest U.S. fleet since 1916,
and further aggravated by China’s ability, once its naval technology matures, to surge production in its 106 major shipyards as opposed to America’s six. More importantly, China is expanding its nuclear forces—to what extent we do not know, because the Chinese program’s infrastructure is hidden within 3,000 miles of tunnels largely opaque to U.S. intelligence. As if China were not a major rival, the Obama Administration, ever infatuated with accords, has made no effort to include Beijing in a nuclear-arms-control regime. Why not? Defense Is Missing in Action


American diplomats have urged all manner of cautions and appeasements of the political elites of European nations that have gutted their own militaries.
Where’s the sense? They owe us! In several cases they literally owe us their existence! Yet we’ve acted all too frequently as if their willingness to allow us to protect them is somehow a favor to us!
Pure, unadulterated madness. President-elect Donald Trump’s recent chat with the prime minister of Taiwan illustrates this vividly.
The next few years could provide many a great surprise. I certainly hope so; the years immediately behind us have been drearily costly...drearily predictable. It’s imperative to reclaim the clarity with which Americans once reacted to a wound inflicted by an enemy with malice aforethought, whether by word or by deed: - - Porretto @ Liberty's Torch:

Fundraising for the Hillary Clinton Legal Defense Fund Is Now Underway

"HELLO SUCKERS!" Hillary Clinton invites millionaire pals including Anna Wintour and Harvey Weinsten to 'thank you' holiday party at Plaza Hotel

The Viral Editor as a distributed being of the Internet.


The Viral Editor is pure freedom of personal reaction. Otherwise it does not work. Solicited, made-to-order, commissioned reactions are possible, but in the statistical body they are revealed and inevitably destroyed by the prevailing numbers of free reactions.

Trojan messages in the Viral Editor fade away on their own or are loudly unmasked. The Viral Editor has a built-in self-cleaning tool.

If a lie is significant, it will circulate until it reaches witnesses and experts who will denounce it, because they know the truth. If a lie is insignificant, no one will denounce it; but it won’t circulate. The Manifesto of the Viral Editor – Human as Media

With regard to fake news : Why? and So what?

If fake news deluded the masses into electing Donald Trump, and sophisticated Russians were responsible for the fake news, then an explanation for 2016 had been found that absolved the news media: a way out of the labyrinth.
But such things never happened. To anyone who follows information effects, fake news is a sideshow, a byproduct of our chaotic information landscape. Its impact, while difficult to measure, probably comes close to zero.... If fake news were a salient part of the 2016 elections, they would have been exposed and exploded. If they weren’t exposed, it was because they never crossed the public’s awareness threshold. Politically, they did not matter. It was only after the fact, and out of the trauma of a shattering repudiation, that the news media tried to explain its failures by positing a parallel universe of counterfeit news and Russian manipulation. The news media: Surveying the wreckage | the fifth wave

I Got Your Gluten Right Here, Pal [Bumped]


Look, people, I’m gonna explain this one time.
Gluten is a Latin word meaning “glue” and it’s the substance that makes dough elastic so we can shape it into bread, noodles, grits, tortillas, cakes, soy sauce, pies, beer, pretzels, macaroni, bagels, candy, cereal, croutons, lunch meat, salad dressing, potato chips, soup, and Belgian waffles. You might have noticed something about that particular food group. It’s stuff that tastes good. But because we live in a masochistic bulimic anorexic food-hating universe of nutzoid crusaders who want to sell us colon scrapers and Lake Titicaca Quinoa Seeds, we have to get rid of it precisely because it tastes good. -- Joe Bob Briggs

The intersectional house of cards has fallen.

Every maladjusted minoritarian mini-tyrant in the country is freaking the frick out that their ragged, patchwork coalition of misfits is crumbing before their eyes.
From coast to coast, every HIV-positive mulatto one-armed transgender lesbian midget is suddenly worried that Trump and his supporters in the heartland will become “normalized.” How the Left Strangled Itself With Identity Politics

Graham's Number: On Beyond Googolplex


Huge numbers have always both tantalized me and given me nightmares,
and until I learned about Graham’s number, I thought the biggest numbers a human could ever conceive of were things like “A googolplex to the googolplexth power,” which would blow my mind when I thought about it. But when I learned about Graham’s number, I realized that not only had I not scratched the surface of a truly huge number, I had been incapable of doing so—I didn’t have the tools.From 1,000,000 to Graham's Number -

It's Probably Nothing:

Secret Back Door in Some U.S. Phones Sent Data to China
For about $50, you can get a smartphone with a high-definition display, fast data service and, according to security contractors, a secret feature: a backdoor that sends all your text messages to China every 72 hours. Security contractors recently discovered preinstalled software in some Android phones that monitors where users go, whom they talk to and what they write in text messages. The American authorities say it is not clear whether this represents secretive data mining for advertising purposes or a Chinese government effort to collect intelligence.

The Power of Money: Bill Gates Sewage Sniffing Reported

A few years ago our foundation organized a “smell summit” to discuss ways to address this [smelly pit toilet] problem.
Representatives from Firmenich were among the attendees and they thought they might be able to help.With more than a century of experience creating perfumes and flavors, Firmenich has developed sophisticated approaches to analyzing odors and breaking them down to their chemical components. They started their work with the foundation’s sanitation team by asking a basic question: why do toilets smell so bad? The answer may seem obvious. But toilet odors are actually quite complex. A Perfume that Smells Like Poop? | Bill Gates

Every sign should read, “I don’t feel good. Make me feel better.”


My anger with the Left - especially with young leftists - is turning into solicitude & pity…they’re lost…they’ve never known a sane society…like twigs carried down a stream. - HappyAcres

What happened in my birth year?

Just type in the year in the slot and settle back for the review.

Don't you love the way Russia rigged the election?


We are told by the Left, Russia hacked the Democrats' emails, released them through Wikileaks, and ruined Hillary Clinton's chance to be the next president
because Putin and Trump are business buddies and they both hate NATO. Or something. In fact, they rigged the election so skillfully that Trump won the electoral college vote but Hillary won the popular vote. Now, that is some kind of talented computer hacking there! And Putin, that clever bear, winds up with two of the most talented and knowledgeable opponents of Russian expansionism in the whole United States as the secretary of defense and the CIA director.Sense of Events:

We Must Not Get Complacent After The Great Election Victory

I hope that in the next couple of years we will see an era of the Great Forgetting where all the loudmouth feminists, SJWs, and other far left elements slowly lose favor and fade into the background. In the Russian Revolution they were all either shot or sent to far away Siberian camps to do hard labor. Of course in 2016 we can’t do that, but I have hope that market forces will do the next best thing and cause them to keep quiet and actually get a job. -- ROK

Who Says There's No Good News?

Dramatic decline in dementia seen among older adults in the US It had been thought that the baby boomers’ march toward old age would triple the number of Alzheimer’s patients by 2050.
These new numbers not only portend a lesser burden on the health care system (and families) but also suggest that something has changed over the generations — and identifying that change could drive down dementia rates even further.
That’s a significant decline: If the rate of dementia in 2012 had been what it was in 2000, “there would be well more than 1 million additional people with dementia,” said John Haaga, director of the National Institute on Aging’s behavioral and social research, who was not involved in the study. As it is, an estimated 5 million Americans 65 and older are afflicted with Alzheimer’s or other dementia.


Donald Trump appears to have sent a message to Beijing: the First Island Chain will be held.

Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines will remain the Westernmost bulwark in the Pacific.

The Hill writes: "Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Taiwan President Tsai Ying-wen, a conversation that breaks decades of U.S. protocol and risks a clash with China. ... The phone call will almost certainly infuriate Beijing, which sees Taiwan as a breakaway province." The First Island Chain, for those unfamiliar with the term, refers to a network of peninsulas and archipelagos which mirror the China coast, and whose possession blocks Beijing from direct access to the broad Pacific. Japan considers denying the First Island chain to a foe as essential to her defense. For many years the same string of islanders served as America's strategic frontier in the West. Return To the First Island Chain | PJ Media

Talk about a party on a suicide run.

'Panic in Progressive Park' -- What If Trump Is Actually Good?
Trump seems to be firing on all engines to a degree I have never seen in an American president, before he has even been inaugurated. His transition, once said to be confused, is rocketing along with a palpable sense of excitement that Trump and his team are deliberately sharing with the public, by-passing the media when necessary.
The Democrats, who have been floundering to an extent equally never before seen, are participating in a juvenile and over-priced recount while reelecting the terminally botoxed Nancy Pelosito the House minority leadership even thoughthat same chamber hemorrhaged Democrat members like a hemophilia victim under her rule. Topping that off, they're considering Keith Ellison to helm the DNC, a man who, according to a recent report, "met with a radical Muslim cleric who endorsed killing U.S. soldiers and with the president of a bank used to pay the families of Palestinian suicide bombers" on a trip to Saudi Arabia organized by an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Who Says There's No Good News?

Under President Trump, Americans set a car sales record President Trump's election triggered a stock market rally, a record Black Friday, and a surge in car sales. Already discussed the first two. Let's look at the third one. Things are so good, even Volkswagen is selling more cars again.


Disaster Girl Meme Zoe Roth Now The image spread like, well, you know.
Internet users began photoshopping Zoe into historic catastrophes, from the sinking of the Titanic to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to 9/11, and sharing their work on viral sites like Fark, Reddit, and eBaum’s World. Buzzfeed aggregated the doctored photos to make a timeline going all the way back to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Somewhere along the way, Zoe became "Disaster Girl." Dave didn’t know about the meme until Zooomr user Ben Dan Hawks sent him a link.

And now I have a message of my own for these students.

Stabbing a bunch of people for not believing the same things that you do is the very definition of hatred and intolerance, yet you self-absorbed little shits dare project the guilt for this heinous act upon the rest of us?
No. Here's the deal. The disgusting piece of trash who attempted this slaughter was here in this country as a guest, funded by taxpayers like me who've been in the workforce for 20 years. We literally rescued him and his family, and this is how he repaid us--by whining about oppression and microaggressions as he plotted a murderous act of terrorism against innocent people.
We will not let you make this about your self-centered agenda. This is not your show. Your callow sloganeering "thoughts" on tolerance, diversity, microaggressions and general butthurtedness are unwelcome at this time, precious snowflakes. Never, ever presume to lecture the rest of us again. Ace of Spades HQ

If you occupied what was considered the ideological / moral centre ground in 1966,

and went to sleep for 50 years and woke up in 2016 you'd find yourself occupying the ideological /moral 'far right'.
You didn't have to budge one inch ideologically to find yourself there. The whizzing sound you heard was the ideological / cultural centre ground zooming over to the Cultural Marxist hard left. Everything that was considered mainstream, obvious, common sense, logical and moral in 1966 is now considered by our political, academic and media elite to be bigoted, ignorant, hateful, xenophobic, racist, extremist and some form of moral abnormality. In other words, within the space of 50 years, morality, right, wrong, evil, good, normal, obvious, extreme, sanity, truth, beneficial, dangerous and the instinct for group preservation, has been inverted and stood upside down on its head. Never before in the entire course of human history has an entire culture, race and civilisation decided to hand over its lands, social capital, heritage and identities to competing and intruding alien cultures without a fight, and even worse, to evolve an ideology that morally justifies and glorifies it as proof of their moral supremacy.European man is in a civilisational death dance.What a difference fifty years makes.... | Boards[HT Happy Acres]

"Mom: "We're leaving now, go give Grandma a kiss goodbye."

Child: "No! Stop forcing rape culture on me!"

Grandma: "God, just kill me..."


Amazon reveals AWS Snowmobile, a 45-foot semi-trailer that moves exabytes of data to the cloud
LAS VEGAS — Snowball, a physical device introduced by Amazon last year to quickly move 50 TB of data out of a data center into AWS’s cloud, has proved extremely popular.But now, organizations are seeking a way to move more data. Much more data. In response, Amazon today unveiled AWS Snowmobile, a semi-trailer that will come to your facility and literally pick up an exabyte of data (1 million terabytes).

"Press 1 for English and 2 through 86 for every other language jabbering away in Buffalo, NY

The Insanity Reaches New and Undreamed of Levels: 85 languages spoken in Buffalo schools as 'New Americans' enter classrooms --

The City of Buffalo has taken in thousands of immigrants and refugees in recent years, and it’s reflected in many of its schools. More than 85 different languages are spoken throughout the district, but that number can change by the day....But last year, Buffalo – forced by necessity and new mandates – began making some long overdue changes at central registration intended to address its large customer base of students from foreign lands. Chief among them is a new team of multilingual staffers who can speak to the students in their own language – and thus are able to sign them up for school, test their English, detail their prior education, and discuss with parents what to expect in the classroom.
Excuse me, "teachers," but is there a hole here for me to get sick in?

Excuse me, but do you speak 'Teeterer'?

I wonder how much we are willing to spend on "compassion"

... what ever that amount is, I would like for it to be spent on American servicemen/women and their families (and cops actually).

If there is compassion money left over after that, I'd like to see it go towards projects that benefit our country. I think immigrants should be assigned to "people of that particular compassion" who want to help immigrants assimilate in to American norms. Let those folks host immigrates in their homes as one might a foreign exchange student - let them be accountable to their neighbors for what that community thinks is right. I don't want to spend my compassion on soldiers intent on harming this Country. I don't think that is compassion well spent.True North:notes on COMPASSION

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