Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

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Coming Soon: 100 Facts About Gerard Van der Leun. A breathless world awaits. March, 2006
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By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | 6616-D Clark Road #176 | Paradise, CA 95969

"The days dwindle down / To a precious two..."

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Thanks to Mindful Webworker for the countdown art. The Morning Report 1/18/17

"Pssst, pass it on!" The Secrets of Facebook

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It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

List of inventors killed by their own inventions

The 1930s Ice Cream Parlor Tucked Away in Cincinnati's Union Terminal

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Union Terminal in Cincinnati is one of those happy examples of a defunct historic building finding new use. Rather than meeting with a wrecking ball, the art deco building now houses multiple museums– and features a priceless Rookwood tiled ice cream parlor. | Thought & Sight

California Megaflood, 1861: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe

In early December, the Sierra Nevada experienced a series of cold arctic storms that dumped 10 to 15 feet of snow, and these were soon followed by warm atmospheric rivers storms.
The series of warm storms swelled the rivers in the Sierra Nevada range so that they became raging torrents, sweeping away entire communities and mining settlements in the foothills—California’s famous “Gold Country.” A January 15, 1862, report from the Nelson Point Correspondence described the scene: “On Friday last, we were visited by the most destructive and devastating flood that has ever been the lot of ‘white’ men to see in this part of the country. Feather River reached the height of 9 feet more than was ever known by the ‘oldest inhabitant,’ carrying away bridges, camps, stores, saloon, restaurant, and much real-estate.” Drowning deaths occurred every day on the Feather, Yuba and American rivers. In one tragic account, an entire settlement of Chinese miners was drowned by floods on the Yuba River. - - Scientific American


Trump voters are plentiful and they’re everywhere. You’ve encountered them without knowing it.

They know how you think. You don’t know how they think.

Keep that in mind snowflake, you’re surrounded by people you constantly berate. They know you’ve equated their vote with murder. They know you consider them evil (though not full beheading evil). They know you would “defeat them or wait for them to die”. They move around you, past you, next to you, talk to you, interact with you, and yet every moment of that interaction they know you’re a fuse ready to be lit. They assess your level of crazy and exhibit greater self control than you can imagine. I Love America; Including The Americans | Adaptive Curmudgeon



The Cult of Ugliness [Bumped]

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The docent told us that she would take us through the Corcoran collection chronologically so we could observe the development of styles over time.
Then she said, “Personally, I prefer the old works. Much of the modern art is ugly, and I doubt I am the only one here to share that view. However, we must not blame the artists. As you will see, in any age, art is a merely a reflection of the culture and times. And we are living in ugly times.” -- The Thinking Housewife / The Woman at the Museum


New ABC / WaPo Poll Shows Drop In Trump Favorability Courtesy Of Aggressive "Oversamples"

Thus doth the bullshit forever flow on:
In the month leaded up to the election on November 8th, we repeatedly demonstrated how the mainstream media polls from the likes of ABC/Washington Post, CNN and Reuters repeatedly manipulated their poll samples to engineer their desired results, namely a large Hillary Clinton lead (see "New Podesta Email Exposes Playbook For Rigging Polls Through 'Oversamples'" and "ABC/Wapo Effectively Admit To Poll Tampering As Hillary's "Lead" Shrinks To 2-Points"). In fact, just 16 days prior to the election an ABC/Wapo poll showed a 12-point lead for Hillary, a result that obviously turned out to be embarrassingly wrong for the pollsters. But, proving they still got it, ABC/Washington Post and CNN are out with a pair of polls on Trump's favorability this morning that sport some of the most egregious "oversamples" we've seen. The ABC/Wapo poll showed an 8-point sampling margin for Democrats with only 23% of the results taken from Republicans ...while the CNN poll showed a similar 8-point advantage for Democrats with only 24% of respondents identifying as Republicans."A total of 1,000 adults were interviewed by telephone nationwide by live interviewers calling both landline and cell phones. Among the entire sample, 32% described themselves as Democrats, 24% described themselves as Republicans, and 44% described themselves as independents or members of another party. | Zero Hedge


Who Says There's No Good News? Reality Bites.

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‘Never Trump’ national-security Republicans fear they have been blacklisted
They are some of the biggest names in the Republican national security firmament, veterans of past GOP administrations who say, if called upon by President-elect Donald Trump, they stand ready to serve their country again. But their phones aren’t ringing. Their entreaties to Trump Tower in New York have mostly gone unanswered. In Trump world, these establishment all-stars say they are “PNG” — personae non gratae. Their transgression was signing one or both of two public “Never Trump” letters during the campaign, declaring they would not vote for Trump and calling his candidacy a danger to the nation.


"I have a dream...."

10 Killed, 29 Wounded In MLK Day Weekend Shootings:
About 1:10 a.m., 36-year-old Marlon Pollard was standing outside in the 2200 block of West Chicago in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood when someone in a black SUV opened fire, striking him in the abdomen, face and left leg. The Evanston resident died in less than an hour at Stroger, authorities said.


Wasn't Jesus supposed to save us from this bullshit?

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What I want to say is that Jesus (by which I mean the whole tradition that flows from him) saved my mind.
From what? Well, for starters, from mountains of bullshit. Before the transition, my mind was a vast and fertile field for the cultivation of bullshit. Matters were only made worse by an extensive education, for The learned fool has a wider field to practice his folly, and He who understands the least is he who insists on understanding more than what can be understood (NGD). One Cʘsmos: Lord Save Us From the Bullshit


On Martin Luther King Day

As for the more problematic aspects of his life—well, I think they can be summed up by saying that King was a flawed human being.

In other words, a human being. Perhaps MLK himself would be the first to agree; he was a preacher, after all, and he knew a lot about human sin and error. It’s pretty much certain he was a philanderer as well as a plagiarist, and in later life he seemed to veer ever more leftward (some think that’s a feature, not a bug). Does that diminish his achievement? I don’t think so. I’ve always been more interested in real human beings who accomplish great things despite their own weaknesses than I am in a pretended (and mostly unachievable) perfection. - - neo-neocon



Why the Left, Particularly the Hollywood Left, is Losing It Over Trump

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Meryl Streep is panicking because for the first time voters have rejected HER, and everything her faith has taught her to believe.
There is a new faith rising on the right, not an explicit religious faith like old-school Christianity, but a wicked kind of counterculture movement. We laughed at the hippies in 1968, but by 1978 they were teaching in classrooms and sitting behind school administrator desks.

Where will the hippies of 2016 be sitting after eight years of Trump? How many of the shitposting Twitter bad boys will start up alternative media outlets, until one of them becomes the new Saturday Night Live?Never Yet Melted サ



Donald Trump Inhabited Body of Hillary Aide

Reines purchased four podiums on Amazon, two for his home and two for the secret office the Clinton campaign lent him at the PerkinsCoie law firm in Washington, D.C.
He searched eBay for a 2005 Donald J. Trump signature collection watch, which he purchased for $175. He experimented with a self-tanning lotion on his face. Before prep sessions, Reines began suiting up with velcro knee pads (to keep his legs straight), a posture enhancer (to keep his arms back), and dress shoes with three-inch lifts (to match Trump’s 6’1 frame). His longtime tailor fit him for a loose-fitting suit with large cuffs. His goal was not a “Saturday Night Live”-style caricature of Trump, so he didn’t try to replicate Trump’s famous mane. But he wanted to approximate his physicality so that Clinton would grow accustomed to Trump’s looming presence when she saw Reines in her peripheral vision. Politico/ Newsbusters


The moonbeam left has traded in God for Global Warming as its universal answer to everything.

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Sultan Knish: A Drought of Sanity in California
"California is currently in the grips of an extreme drought with record low precipitation," it gloomily began. Then the Sacramento River flooded, the downtown rainfall record was broken and copies of the report came in handy as makeshift umbrellas by scurrying staffers. So there was nothing left to do but blame Global Warming. If the rain doesn’t fall, that’s Global Warming. If it does fall, that too is Global Warming. The moonbeam left has traded in God for Global Warming as its universal answer to everything.


I am deeply touched by the sudden progressive concern for the security of the United States.

Most of the same people now screaming "RUSSIA!" and accusing President-elect Trump of being the Siberian Candidate, historically have opposed a strong US military, opposed efforts to fight Soviet Communism, laughed at "a Red under every bed" paranoia, derided the CIA as murderers and coup-plotters, wanted immediate US nuclear disarmament, made fun of Romney's concerns about Russia, defended Hillary's use of an insecure server, etc. Lots more, you can fill it in. The DiploMad 2.0: On Russia, Again

Power corrupts. And America’s political class has so much power that it is hard not to let the corruption consume everything.

I recently read a blog by Robert Reich, laying out the strategy for “civic resistance” as if he was a college student in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.
It was comical, coming from a former Cabinet Secretary; it was a little pathetic, reading his final point ‘sit down with your family at your table and come up with your own resistance’, as if the majority of the country were not celebrating so great a change; and it was refreshing. Because if somebody who was at the top of American power is reduced to conspiring over a bowl of cheerios at their kitchen table as a result of the decision of a bunch of ordinary folks on a brisk November morning, then there is hope for America yet!On Destroying New Nobilities | Joel D. Hirst's Blog


Send home the clowns.

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After 146 years, the curtain is coming down forever on “Ringling Brothers: The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Its last performance will be May 21 at the Nassau Coliseum. The show stoppers included high operating costs, declining attendance and changing public tastes. Not to mention a long and costly legal battle with animal rights advocates, which ended with its hugest stars — the elephants — being pink slipped. New York Post


Obamacare

Speculation on what’s fair begs the main question: how did my health concerns become your problem?
If my kids get sick, why is it your obligation to pay? If I get AIDS, why do you have to pay for the expensive drug cocktail needed to keep me alive? And ironically, that cocktail was discovered through the expenditure of tax money, some of which you paid, and now its discovery lays on you the obligation to buy it for me. Why? Where did you get this obligation to save me? You didn’t have that obligation until you paid for its discovery; now my life depends on it, I can’t pay for it, so you must buy it for me; and if you don’t, well, the tax collector can call armed men, and you better not resist them. Or you could join with others to lay the obligation on the rich; all the same to me so long as I get my drug cocktail.

Of course few AIDS victims think this way and none talk this way, but that’s how entitlements work: you’re obligated to pay for them, and you’ve no choice in the matter. You got the obligation because lawmakers say you have it, and none of this nonsense about religion, either. You have it because we say you have it, and we’ll hire people to make you pay, don’t doubt that. - – Jerry Pournelle



Revised George Carlin: "It's a very small club and you ain't in it."

STARK INEQUALITY: OXFAM SAYS 8 MEN AS RICH AS HALF THE WORLD
Oxfam used Forbes' billionaires list that was last published in March 2016 to make its headline claim. According to the Forbes list, Microsoft founder Gates is the richest individual with a net worth of $75 billion. The others, in order of ranking, are Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of fashion house Inditex, financier Warren Buffett, Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helu, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle's Larry Ellison and Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York


Let’s plan a party

There should be a complete cleansing of the White House … with fire.
All the feces and urine soaked rugs, drapes, whatever dragged out and turned into a bonfire. Hose down and scrub the exterior with a surgical disinfectant, rip out the grass and shrubs and plant afresh. Turn that arugula garden into an oil stained parking lot reserved for the military who serve the new President. All day long play John Philip Sousa marches at an ear splitting volume and shoot fire works into the sky while Air Force and Navy jets practice strafing runs on DNC headquarters. The military aircraft will also jettison air-born canisters filled with recruitment notices for a full time Marine firing squad whose sole purpose will be to execute traitors. – - IOTW Report


Can Peter Thiel Save California?

Hollywood is a ghost of itself and, frankly, everybody in the Bay Area to down here in Lalaland
is living out the umpteenth lifestyle rerun of old Doors and Jefferson Airplane albums fifty, or is it sixty, years later. Hell, we’ve got the same governor we always did for what seems like a hundred years (actually a record 13 years in two sessions) -- His Grooviness Zen Jerry who was supposed to be this great original, this innovator. But can anyone tell me what he has innovated, other than an unbuilt bullet train the Japanese had in 1962 (true -- look it up) and nobody wants anymore? So what if grass is legal. Was it ever really illegal? | Roger L. Simon


David Brock's "creepy letter" to Bernie Sanders craving forgiveness in exchange for a job.

Give me a job and I'll say anything.

In this hope of employment Brock joins thousands of progressives who find there's "a vastly smaller job market for their skills" in 2017. The job market is about to get even more crowded for Washington Democrats, as thousands of Obama appointees join the hundreds of Clinton campaign staffers looking for employment. There’s rarely been less demand for their services. The End of the Malevolent Familiar



Russian "Hacking:" The Early Years

The Russian Spy Who Convinced America to Take ESP Seriously |
He told them that the Soviet government actively encouraged such study, and name-checked prominent Russians (from astrophysicists to philosophers) who supported parapsychological inquiry. He described studies in which subjects had been able to perceive images from over a distance of nearly 2,000 miles.


Musso and Frank Grill

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For decades Hollywood legends have hung out at Musso and Frank Grill. It opened in 1919 and is completely entwined with stories of the stars who have dined there.  Charlie Chaplin ate there so much he had his own booth, and the menu still features his favorite dish, grilled lamb kidneys with bacon. Los Angeles, California | Atlas Obscura
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I don't write the headlines. I just report them.

Left Wing Vegan Denied Swiss Passport Because She's 'Too Annoying'

Japanese rock band destroyed a concert venue with a bulldozer as a part of their performance<

The most extreme performance of the band also happened in 1985,
when Eye drove a smallbulldozer through the back wall of the venue and onto the stage.The act shocked both the audience and the unwitting owners of the venue. The concert hall suffered significant damage, and the police stormed the venue. Eye was arrested and spent several months in prison, and he also had to cover theexpenses for the repair of the venue, as well as paying a considerable fine. -- Vintage News


There’s so much being written, by so many people, that it’s also difficult for great minds to be ‘found’.

Not in the same way as for Solzhenitsyn; an impenetrable insurmountable obstacle between himself and the free word.
Today it’s more like Murkwood forest of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination. The darkness of irrationality in our post-truth world; the swamp of “celebrity” like a sort of toxic sponge sucking up pages and word counts and column inches; the spiders’ webs of political correctness where our fearlessness gets snagged and sucked dry – our new censors all. Solzhenitsyn, Writing and Our New ‘Curtain’ | Joel D. Hirst's Blog


He was always the smiling black guy on the brochure. [Bumped]

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Good Riddance:
That’s something the liberal media will skip over as they write their re-imagined histories of the Obama years. The other thing they will skip is the very superficial appeal of Obama. He was always just a black guy. Liberal whites and blacks supported him because he was a black guy, not because of anything he said or proposed to do as President. It’s why no one ever quotes an Obama speech. He was always the smiling black guy on the brochure. His efforts to promote Democratic candidates failed because that narrow charm is never transferable.


Best opening sentence of the year, so far

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– Knowledge is Power

Mystakes Wur Maid

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If that won't immanentize the Eschaton, what will?

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An early paragraph in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas goes,
The sporting editors had also given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous drugs. The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. - - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis


Call it Information Laundering:

Each step along the way, the dirty, unverifiable information is cleaned up just slightly enough to get the next laundromat in line to pretend to clean it up just a little bit more. Easy-peasy: If you can't verify the story itself, report the rumors of the story -- see, the part that this is "rumored" is verifiable. If you've heard it, it is, inarguably, a rumor that's going around. So just shift the narrative frame of the story from "These are the facts" to "The fact is, people are spreading this rumor, which is very important, if true." Always throw that rhetorical hedge in there: if true. You can add a smiley-face-wink emoji to indicate "And man, you better believe this is true, baby!!!" Ace of Spades HQ



Why Oreos Taste Worse Today Than You Remember Them Tasting In the Past

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As for the stuff between the intricately-designed cookies, the filling- it was made partially of lard – pig fat – until 1997.
In 1994, Nabisco embarked on a nearly three year revamping process of the filling to take the lard out. In charge of this was Nabisco’s principal scientist Sam Porcello, otherwise known as “Mr. Oreo.” By that point, Porcello was already a cookie legend, holding five Oreo related patents, including Oreos encased in white and dark chocolate. By December 1997, the Oreo cookie was lard-free, but there was another problem – the lard had been replaced by partially hydrogenated vegetable oil; yes, the very much not good for you trans fats. As the Chicago Tribune put it, “Later, research showed that trans fat was even worse for the heart than lard.” Finally, in January 2006, healthier (and more expensive) non-hydrogenated vegetable oil was put into Oreos instead. Today’s filing is additionally made with loads of sugar and vanilla extract creating a cookie that still is delicious, but slightly better for you. Or, perhaps more aptly, less bad for you. - - The Origin of the Oreo Cookie


PigLife: Amazon's Bezos buys largest house in DC

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Part of the former Museum will serve as a Home for Jeff while Most will still remain a museum called The Museum of Honest Journalism...
where the public will be able to see examples and displays of Actual Reporters researching a Story unlike today when the Press gets its stories off the internet. Most interesting is the Fourth Estate room showing how Reporters once did not Care about being Invited to Parties at the White House , but actually Worked for the People, and sometimes actually walked around outside and asked folks questions, and were Proud to be Members of the Fourth Estate, and kept an close eye on Everyone in Washington not just those that disagreed with them. Those were the days when News Reporters did not make a Million dollars a year to be on TV. Unfortunatly if you want to see an actual Journalist , the only place to find one will be in this Museum. Most interesting is the Woodward Bernstein display showing how two reports actually Reseached a Story for years, rather than just reporting it First, in less than two minutes. - - taosnow • | TheHill


When a company that appears to doing real work hires a powerskirt to bring diversity to the firm,

it means the insiders have cashed out and no longer think the firm is a good bet. Yahoo made that clear when they hired Marrisa Mayer to diversify the company. She immediately went berserk and started firing men and turning the place into an estrogen circus. Diversity and Reality



As Barack Obama gives his farewell speech in Chicago and Donald Trump gets ready to assume office,

it may be useful to reflect on the oath the incoming president will take.

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." It is an oath not to an Arc of History, the Planet or some progressive vision of the future. It's not an oath to Mexico or Europe or the Liberal world order. The text of the oath is a declaration of allegiance to permanent interests of the United States and the people who live in it, as determined by the Constitution and the laws of the land -- or it is nothing. The End of the Hyphen



“The characteristic of the hour is that the commonplace mind,

knowing itself to be commonplace, has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will.
As they say in the United States: “to be different is to be indecent.” The mass crushes beneath it everything that is different, everything that is excellent, individual, qualified and select. Anybody who is not like everybody, who does not think like everybody, runs the risk of being eliminated.” - - 3 Bits Of Wisdom From The Philosophy Of José Ortega y Gasset


Shrinkflation

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"Looking at unemployment figures first, while the unemployment rate is currently very low, the number of Americans of working age not in the labour force is currently at an all-time high of over 95 million people.
Discouraged workers who stop looking for work are no longer classified as unemployed but instead become economically inactive, but clearly many of these people really should be counted as unemployed. Similarly, while government statistical agencies record inflation rates of between one and two percent, measures that use methodologies used in the past (such as John Williams’ Shadowstats measures) show consumer prices rising at annual rates of 6 to 8 percent. In addition, many people have noticed what has been termed ‘shrinkflation’, where prices remain the same even as package sizes shrink. A common example is bacon, which used to be sold by the pound but which is now commonly sold in 12 ounce slabs - - Hypernormalisation


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