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

Is scientism defensible?

The Folly of Scientism @ The New Atlantis
Is it really true that natural science provides a satisfying and reasonably complete account of everything we see, experience, and seek to understand — of every phenomenon in the universe? And is it true that science is more capable, even singularly capable, of answering the questions that once were addressed by philosophy? This subject is too large to tackle all at once. But by looking briefly at the modern understandings of science and philosophy on which scientism rests, and examining a few case studies of the attempt to supplant philosophy entirely with science, we might get a sense of how the reach of scientism exceeds its grasp.



"Who is gonna make it? We'll find out in the long run / I know we can take it if our love is a strong one "

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Couple, Ages 108 and 105, Celebrate 82 Years of Marriage
Veillard starts his day at 5 a.m. and does five to seven pushups. For breakfast, he has a cup of tea, oatmeal and fresh fruit. Lunch and dinner consist of fish and fresh vegetables. The centenarians nap early and often. The couple do not leave their house except to see the doctor. Neither walks without assistance. But both are looking forward to celebrating another landmark in their life. Veillard also let The Journal News in on his secret for living a long and healthy life: “That’s God,” he said in French Creole.


Rock On

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Two hours east of Los Angeles, three hours west of Las Vegas,
and many miles from the nearest traffic light or roadside diner lies a single boulder in the Mojave Desert claimed to be the largest rock in the world—at least until 2000, when a large chunk broke off, neatly and without provocation. Now split in two, it is still called Giant Rock. Graffiti blackens the lower surface and ATVs roar nearby. There is an occasional tourist. CABINET // Mass Effect


We are a silly people ... a foolish people ...

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The dress that broke the Internet
A badly lit photograph of a $77 off-the-rack dress broke the Internet Friday, spawning arguments, memes and half-baked pseudo-scientific explanations over the viral frock's real colors. By some reckonings, Buzzfeed invented "viral," but its deputy news director, Jon Passatino, appeared truly surprised by just how many clicks the dress generated. He tweeted that it broke the site's traffic records, with more than 670,000 people viewing the post simultaneously at one point and garnering 16 million hits in six hours.


Here’s the job description:

Needed, a U.S. president able to confront a world in chaos,
rebuild shattered alliances, revive the country’s demoralized intelligence services and senior officer corps, manage foreign and domestic demands with a budget that will be drained for years by fantastically expensive debt servicing, and along the way restore public faith in an array of deeply politicized federal bureaucracies—Justice, HHS, EPA, Labor, Internal Revenue, the NLRB, FCC, EEOC, even the Federal Reserve. -- Captain America Won’t Save Us - WSJ


Bring On Your Censorship

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  • First of all, censorship is an admission that the official ideas are weak, and unable to survive scrutiny and opposition.
  • Second, it radicalizes moderates.
  • Third, it makes the official opinion organs less trustworthy, and less able to get accurate information about public opinion (because the information gathering methods are then impeded).
  • Fourth, it adds more risk and more reward to routing around the censorship.
  • Fifth, it creates an appearance of hypocrisy among liberals who have argued for untrammeled free speech for centuries.
  • Sixth, it creates a black market in samizdata, even for ordinary information.
-- - Henry Dampier


A Nokia 3310 if you must know. Pervert.

Woman gets mobile phone stuck in her vagina The 27-year-old had been using her Nokia 3310 to pleasure herself. But it slipped too far inside her and she was unable to remove it. When she realised it was stuck she had no choice but call her gynaecologist and say she had an emergency. While sat in the doctor's waiting room the woman's phone began to RING.

A serious invasion of Lebanon by ISIS

could unleash a bloodbath that makes the civil war in Syria look like a bar fight with pool sticks and beer mugs.
It would be tantamount to a Nazi invasion. Every family in Lebanon is armed to the gills thanks to the state being too weak and divided to provide basic security, but people anywhere in the world facing psychopathic mass-murderers will fight with kitchen knives and even their fingernails and teeth if they have to. ISIS' Next Target | World Affairs Journal


There is no arguing with the Culture of Death

beyond showing it is a form of psychopathology.
There can be no debate, and really it’s just a question of who has the power to get his way. Wolves eat sheep when there are no shepherds, and as Thomas More observed, sheep eat men when the atheists are in power. Pray for a slow death


Public schools and academia produce zombies

America today is increasingly anti-freedom, anti-truth, anti-ideas, anti-capitalsim – anti-reason.
A nation built on a morality of reason has all but abandoned its foundational principles. Public schools and academia produce zombies – goose-steppers like the Hitler Youth – who are militant and violent in their imposition of the leftist/Islamic agenda. And when they do it, they congratulate themselves about how they have stood up against “fascism” and “intolerance,” when the intolerant fascists are they themselves. Intellectually, young Americans are the most docile conformists, no matter how vocally and self-righteously they declare themselves free. They have accepted as dogma all the philosophical beliefs of their elders of the hard left without question or exploration. A continuing negation of life and self. Articles: The Poo Generation


You are watching entropy at work, witnessing the destruction of information and seeing disorder take over the world.

Since order and knowledge are expensive, what we call civilization essentially advances by remembering which wires go where. The innovation of political correctness however, holds that since all jumper
connections are equally valid, anything goes and one can even rearrange older wiring to suit aesthetic impulses. By declaring all cultures equal we open the doors to entropy. We may not notice the effect at first, because — to continue the computer example — there is still enough residual functionality in your machine to carry on.
By and by we disable the CD drive, the USB ports, then some of the keys in the keyboard. Then one day we pull out a really important jumper and the hard disk stops. But by then we cannot acknowledge the damage we’ve done since according to our progressive thinking we ought to have improved things. And this thought will still be in our minds as the blade of the machete slices off the hand we put out to ward the blow. The Trouble With Entropy | Belmont Club


Even Madonna understands

Muslims are crucifying Christians, lopping the hands off thieves, beheading Coptic Christians, tossing homosexuals off rooftops, burning people alive, gang-raping children, and worse -- and all our president can say is that Christians weren't nice in the Crusades a thousand years ago? Don Surber: Even Madonna understands

Frito Pie

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This Frito pie adapted from The Homesick Texan cookbook is a winner. Two pounds of ground beef, along with seasonings including cumin, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, and lime juice, make for a classic beef chili that is absolutely fantastic served on a bed of crunchy Fritos. Topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped pickled jalapeno, and fresh diced tomatoes, this dish tastes just as good served in individual Frito bags for bowls as it does on a real plate. 11 Beef Recipes You Should Master: It’s What’s for Dinner - Food News -

Groupies, FanGirls, War Brides, Manson Chicks, Who Cares?: The ‘ISIS brides’ knew what they were doing. That’s the problem.

Yet to suggest, as Mr. Cameron also did, that these young women were “duped by a poisonous ideology” downplays the extent to which they likely were active participants in their own radicalization. By all accounts they got good grades—so much for the State Department’s plan to combat terrorism with better education—and one shouldn’t assume they’re stupid. They schemed effectively to raise the money for their journey. They also appear to have studied up on how to avoid looking suspicious during the trip. Britain’s Lost Girls - WSJ

Unfortunately, a more brutal, cruel, and anti-human government won World War II — the Soviet Union.

The United States at the time, and for a long time afterward, was substantially honeycombed with people who were either sympathetic to or reporting directly to the Soviet government.
One of the main effects of this is that the Western world, despite the collapse of the USSR and the implosion of its sphere of influence, came to resemble what conservatives of the earlier 20th century would readily recognize as a secular socialist state, with Christianity relegated to vestigial or subordinated status, the living faith reduced to a way to spend a Sunday, with sincere Christians repeatedly harried and legally attacked when trying to practice their beliefs in a sincere way. Better Dead Than Red - Henry Dampier


The Open House of (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM)

The Stupid. It Burns! 154 Church Street Open House is a safe space for
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality. Housing at Weslyan


Pediatrician Mike Ginsberg has had enough of the vaccine skeptics.

This Viral Pediatrician’s Anti-Vaxxer Rant is the Smackdown of the Year | John Hawkins' Right Wing News
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The Japanese: "Nuked Too Much or Not Enough?"

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Kagome Co's employee Shigenori Suzuki appears with the newly-developed 'Wearable Tomato' device for runners during its unveiling event ahead of the weekend's Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo February 19, 2015. The eight-kilo (17.6-pound) contraption fits on a runner like a rucksack. It can distribute a total of seven medium-sized tomatoes, one by one, at the click of a button and supplies the runner with much needed nutrients during a long jog or race..... - The Atlantic

Why did the Romans choose to entrust their health, wealth, and well-being to disembodied penises?

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Well, an impressive phallus was the chosen manifestation of the god Fascinus, a protector deity whose worship was entrusted to the vestal virgins.
The word “fascinate” derives from his name. In ancient times, it was believed that by distracting the Evil Eye with sexually explicit imagery, it would become “fascinated” and forget to look your way. Plutarch recorded that “the strange look of (amulets) attracts the gaze, so (the Eye) exerts less pressure upon its victim.” In other words, the Evil Eye is a dick, so the best way to fight it is with more dicks. Apotropaic Boners; or, How to Avoid the Evil Eye | The Hairpin


Australia's deadliest sniper, Ian Robertson, 'never did the arithmetic'

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At the end of a week, the Australians took the hill with a bayonet charge, led by a heroic figure called Len Opie, who took several strongholds single-handedly.
Robertson ran up to the enemy position he'd been shooting at earlier that day, and saw something he never forgot. Where he had been firing, there were 30 bodies. One morning's bloody work. "Just one morning," he repeats, shaking his head. "And I'd been there all week. I got a feeling of horror. I never did the arithmetic. I still don't want to." via reddit.com


"When I was young I wanted to prove"

"When I was young I wanted to prove that I was tougher than life. I was, but not, as it turns out, as relentless." -- mushroom's Comment on Random Kayak Karnage

"Then it is all mystery surrounded by yet more mystery...."

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His father was an anti-British, Muslim/Communist (a popular Third World ideological mix in the 1950s and 1960s).
After his Kenyan father abandoned the family, his mother (apparently, a rather strange drifter and a leftist) remarried to another Muslim--I don't know if she did, but she probably had to convert to Islam or at least pretend to do so. The new family moved from Hawaii to Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country. There Barrack Hussein Obama spent his formative years in a Muslim school, engaging in Muslim prayer rituals and learning about the religion, before returning to a highly dysfunctional leftist-tinged family situation that awaited him in Hawaii. Then it is all mystery surrounded by yet more mystery. As I noted over two years ago, We are not allowed to ask how this self-admittedly mediocre, drug-using student from a highly dysfunctional family, raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, managed to attend exclusive and expensive schools. The DiploMad 2.0: Obama, a Muslim Hater of America?


For Grateful Dead’s Final Shows, Long, Strange Trip Ends in Sea of Mail

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When the Grateful Dead announced it would mark its 50th anniversary in the summer of 2015 with three final performances, Deadheads took the old-school route,
flooding the band’s ticket service here with handcrafted requests rather than clicking online. Since the shows were announced a month ago more than 60,000 envelopes—many painstakingly adorned with the Dead’s typical psychedelic skulls and skeletons—have poured into a post office box in this picturesque Marin County spot a half-hour from the Golden Gate Bridge. The post office usually receives 7,000 letters a week. “It was a big shock to us,” Jim Harvey, the Stinson Beach postmaster, said of the vivid No. 10 envelopes festooned with Magic Marker sketches and fanciful lettering. “It indicated that the Grateful Dead culture is alive and well.” - -- WSJ


The Conqueror Worm

They soon drop their ropes and progress through a series of excavated tunnels and industrial caves, as if puzzling some new route into a pharaoh's tomb
—an Egyptology of urban infrastructure with its own secret chambers and traps. And, incredibly, they actually do it: they actually find the machine, realizing that the rumors were both true and strangely inaccurate. That is, the machine is even larger and more extraordinary than they'd been led to believe. It is a sprawling and tentacular presence that blocks the tunnel with the dark bulk of its old valves and pipework, like some ancient engine that wanted to hide itself in a cocoon of its own making. - - BLDGBLOG:


The administration’s plan to create a “free and open Internet”

means, as usual, the opposite of what it says.

Islam has no ethnicity;

it is not an Arab movement; it is a new people, but a people defined first of all by militancy.
The individual Muslim does not submit to traditional society as such, no matter how many elements of traditional society might be incorporated into Muslim doctrine; he submits to the movement of the tribes. That is why jihad is the most authentic form of Muslim religious activity, and why the blood rituals of Ashura the most authentic form of Muslim worship. Jihad and Self-Sacrifice in Islam | Spengler


If a politician and asked "Is Obama a Christian" answer like this:

Do I think Obama is a Christian? Do I look like his biographer?
Why not ask me his shoe size next? Maybe his preferred Sleep Number setting? Truly, sir, this line of questioning is the dumbest thing I’ve encountered since the last time I encountered a reporter from the Washington Post. Why in the name of all that is holy are you quizzing me about the president’s religion? Why don’t you quiz him? Oh, that’s right, you’re a groveling coward and a pathetic excuse for a journalist. You forget that you’re job is to get to the truth and enlighten the people, not to seek out Republicans for cheap gotcha moments. You, sir, are a fraud, a disgrace, and an embarrassment to what’s left of your dying profession. This president has prosecuted, spied on, and stifled the media, yet you still carry his water like a spineless vassal. Why don’t you shine his shoes while you’re at it? You should be questioning authority, not shielding it from scrutiny, you shameless hack. I will not legitimize you by answering this question. Instead, I will pray that the Holy Spirit sees fit to endow you with even a shred of integrity and courage, so that you might one day decide to do something that in some way resembles journalism. Until then, please leave my presence before I become physically ill. Thank you, sir, good night.
Scott Walker Was Too Nice. It’s Incredibly Obvious That Barack Obama Isn’t a Christian. Matt Walsh @ TheBlaze.com


How do you say, "Cthulhu"

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Another of these dreams he had used as a basis for ‘Pickman’s Model,’ while still another formed the nucleus for ‘The Call of Cthulhu.’
I referred to this story one day, pronouncing the strange word as though it were spelled K-Thool-Hoo. Lovecraft looked blank for an instant, then corrected me firmly, informing me that the word was pronounced, as nearly as I can put it down in print, K-Lütl-Lütl. I was surprised, and asked why he didn’t spell it that way if such was the pronunciation. He replied in all seriousness that the word was originated by the denizens of his story and that he had only recorded their own way of spelling it. Lovecraft’s own invention had assumed an actual reality in his mind. — Donald Wandrei, “Lovecraft in Providence,” When in Rome … – Futility Closet


How Slim Pickens replaced Peter Sellers as Major Kong in Dr. Strangelove

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When Pickens arrived at Shepperton, Kubrick sent Southern over to see he was all right.
The writer cheerfully cracked open a bottle of Wild Turkey to set the mood, and asked Pickens if he had settled into his hotel okay, and if everything was fine and dandy. Slim took a big slurp of his drink, wiped the back of his hand against and mouth and replied: “Wal, it’s like this ole friend of mine from Oklahoma says: Jest gimme a pair of loose-fittin’ shoes, some tight pussy, and a warm place to shit, an’ ah’ll be all right.” Too pinko for Dan or | Flashbak


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