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"A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing."- Clive James

It's time to come away, my Darling Pretty
It's time to come away on the changing tide
Time to come away, Darling Pretty
And I need you darling by my side

Heal me with a smile, Darling Pretty
Heal me with a smile and a heart of gold
Carry me awhile, my Darling Pretty
Heal my aching heart and soul

Just like a castaway
Lost upon an endless sea
I saw you far away
Come to rescue me

Cast away the chains, Darling Pretty
Cast away the chains away behind
Take away my pain, my Darling Pretty
And the chains that once were yours and mine

There will come a day, Darling Pretty
There will come a day when hearts can fly
Love will find a way, my Darling Pretty
Find a heaven for you and I
Love will find a way, my Darling Pretty
Find a heaven for you and I

gerardvanderleun : September 1, 14  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Wait for it.

gerardvanderleun : September 1, 14  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

American Studies

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Crash landing of F6F-3, Number 30 of Fighting Squadron Two (VF-2), USS Enterprise, into the carrier's port side 20mm gun gallery, 10 November 1943. Lieutenant Walter L. Chewning, Jr., USNR, the Catapult Officer, is climbing up the plane's side to assist the pilot from the burning aircraft. The pilot, Ensign Byron M. Johnson, escaped without significant injury. Enterprise was then en route to support the Gilberts Operation. Note the plane's ruptured belly fuel tank.
"I once showed a photo to my father-in-law (he, and my father, were WW II vets). It showed a carrier deck crewman jumping onto a flaming Hellcat airplane, which sill had the huge fuel drop-tanks attached, and he was trying to help free the pilot. Get it? He was jumping onto a flaming gas can to save a man. Here's what my dad in law said: he was doing his job.

"Now you understand something about that generation. They were made of iron." --Posted by: Casey Klahn in The Top 40: Falling on Grenades:

[Note: I'd been saving this image in my drafts for well over a year waiting for something. This comment by Klahn today was that something.]

gerardvanderleun : September 1, 14  |  Your Say (13)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Citizens

See "The Burning Hellcat" above

My old man's that old man,
Spent his life livin' off the land,
Dirty hands, and a clean soul.
It breaks his heart seein' foreign cars,
Filled with fuel that isn't ours
And wearin' cotton we didn't grow

He's got the red, white, and blue flyin' high on the farm
Semper Fi tattooed on his left arm
Spend a little more in the store for a tag in the back that says ‘USA’
He won't buy nothin' that he can't fix,
With WD40 and a Craftsman wrench
He ain't prejudiced, he's just made in America

He loves his wife and she’s that wife
That decorates on the Fourth of July
But says 'Every day's Independence Day'
She's golden rule, teaches school,
Some folks say it isn't cool
But she says the Pledge of Allegiance anyway.

He's got the red, white, and blue flyin' high on the farm
Semper Fi tattooed on his left arm
Spend a little more in the store for a tag in the back that says ‘USA’
He won't buy nothin' that he can't fix,
With WD40 and a Craftsman wrench
He ain't prejudiced, he's just made in America

Born in the Heartland, raised up a family
Of King James and Uncle Sam

He's got the red, white, and blue flyin' high on the farm
Semper Fi tattooed on his left arm
Spend a little more in the store for a tag in the back that says ‘USA’
He won't buy nothin' that he can't fix,
With WD40 and a Craftsman wrench
He ain't prejudiced, he's just made in America
Made in America
Made in America

My old man's that old man,
He's made in America.

[HT: Chasmatic & Ol' Remus]

gerardvanderleun : September 1, 14  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

It began when my brother, Jeff, reached into his cupboard one evening in Black Mountain, North Carolina, and pulled out a small can. "You want to see some vague food?" he asked holding the tin out.

"Vague?"

"Yes, vague," he said. "Just what is "Potted Meat" anyway? Has it been smoked, drenched, strained, and then slammed into the can with extreme prejudice? What animal gives potted meat?"

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I looked carefully at the can and turned it to the list of ingredients "as required by law." Not vague in the least.

Mechanically Separated Chicken, Beef Tripe, Partially Defatted Cooked Beef Fatty Tissue, Beef Hearts, Water, Partially Defatted Cooked Pork Fatty Tissue, Salt. Less than 2 percent: Mustard, Natural Flavorings, Dried Garlic, Dextrose, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite

The first item caught my eye since I had no idea what "Mechanically Separated Chicken" was except that it sounded bad for the chicken. Since then I've learned what the process entails:

Mechanically separated meat (MSM) [I'll let the acronym "MSM" pass without comment], also known as mechanically recovered meat (MRM), is a paste-like meat product produced by forcing beef, pork or chicken bones, with attached edible meat, under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue. Mechanically separated meat has been used in certain meat and meat products since the late 1960s.
That really perks up the taste buds, doesn't it?

My brother, to his eternal credit, didn't open that can of "Potted Meat." If he had we might have had to vacate his home at high speed surfing just ahead of the odor wave. Instead he prepared a very good dinner using real food.

Still, his concept of "vague food" stuck with me. How much vague food was there and what was it like? The next morning I found myself roaming through one of Food Lion supermarkets that are scattered about North Carolina. It was a bit of spontaneous cultural anthropology. My mission was to discover what other strange offerings had crept onto the grocery shelves during the years in which my own tastes had tended towards the more high end of offerings at YuppieChic Whole Foods style markets. I was not to be disappointed.

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Vanderleun : September 1, 14  |  Your Say (46)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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The Asheville, North Carolina restaurant was one of those common to our post-post-modern world. Open and airy with a wall of windows framing hanging plants. Casual to the point of paper napkins. Sporting a list of local beers and -- surprise -- local wines. Tarted up with the kind of overtly ironic art on the walls where the painter has one statement and one image in his repertoire and repeats it ad nauseam. This time it seemed that the sensibility being trotted out was one of Hieronymous Bosch meets Hello Kitty.

The menu, a litany of updated regional classics such as black-eyed pea cakes, was relentlessly "improved" by garnishes such as avocados and Basmati rice. The joint's "philosophy" -- since all new restaurants must now publish a justifying manifesto along with their menu -- centered on the now tedious homage to "local" "organic" produce and a dedication to "reviving tradition" -- plus the removal of trans-fats. Collard greens, sweetened lima beans, and salty sweet potatoes bracketed the entrees. In the center you'd find rib-eyes under slathers of sauteed onions, broiled slabs of local fish dusted with some orange spice, chickens with a roasted-on glaze, pork in five different variations, and dried cranberries slipped into cakes on the sly just when you thought it was safe.

It was a boutique version of the kind of food once common to the region, but that now survived either in roadside diners named "Granny's" and "Hubert and Sal's,"or at upscale nostalgic eateries such as this one. I suppose you could call it a "cuisine" -- as the local magazines and guides are wont to do -- but that word has too many curlicues. Call it "eats" and get on with it.

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The diners seemed to agree and were not slow about getting on with their meals. One man to my right hulked over his plate like a Turkish sumo and ate mechanically as if his hands were back hoes in some mountain grave yard, the coffin inbound on the midnight train and the kinfolk getting antsy. Across from him, a slim woman ate in a punctuated manner and talked at him at the same time, her hand gestures angular and as precise as scalpels. He nodded dully as if barely feeling her opinions and just put his head down and ate right on through them, looking up just often enough and nodding just slightly enough that she might believe he was actually hearing her.

Hearing anyone was a sometimes thing in this room. It was one of those restaurants whose hard ceilings, walls, and floors made for a constant din and clatter and clang. You had to raise your voice to be heard over it, and -- since raising your voice added to the din -- it made you and everyone else speak ever louder until the yabble peaked, then plunged into brief silence as everyone lapsed back into murmurs. Then it began building, again, inevitably to shouts, and so on.

It was a down-home yuppified place with a pretty good kitchen and fine intentions. It was a place where you could get the same meal you could get at "Granny's Country Kitchen" out along the highway, but you could rest assured that none of the boys from the hills -- those with flag decals on the pick-up's bumper and a deer rifle on a rack in the rear window -- would be smoking or farting or telling tales next to you. This privilege only cost you about three times as much.

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This was downtown Asheville in the heart of the freshly gentrified, cosmopolitan zone and instead of pick-ups rattling down the streets, Porsches prowled growling in the night outside the rock-climbing gym. This was an armed cultural hamlet in the New South, guarded by down-home decorating parlors ready to give your custom log-cabin that shabby chic lived-in look; where the sentries were hair salons called "The People" with mirrors in front of each station resembling nothing so much as the guillotines that "The People" of France once used so effectively in solving their aristocracy problem. The difference here was that the new aristocracy of this region was busy admiring themselves in the mirrors of these guillotines with nary a Marat or Robespierre in sight. Instead, downtown Asheville -- or at least some small section at the top of the hills -- was relentlessly promoting our new secular religion of senseless and endless shopping opportunities.

Down in the gulch streets below the mini-Madison Avenue of Asheville a wide variety of ethnic restaurants from the Jerusalem Cafe to Mela Indian foods jostles with used book stores and the ubiquitous tattoo parlors. Antique stores have arrived with a vengeance as have poodles and other toy breeds that bring with them shops devoted to "canine cuisine". After all, once you've got a whole generation of 20 or 30 and sometimes 40 somethings that have elected to raise dogs rather than children, nothing is too good for your fur-faced kids, is it?

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And where there are bakeries for dogs, there are restaurants whose owners handle regional foods as carefully as curators in a museum. In this, I admit, they do not do half-bad at the Early Girl Eatery where quick bread can be had at breakfast for three bucks a plate, and slow-cooked pork in the evening for fifteen. It's not quite the roadside diner down in the hollar, but that land's been bulldozed for one of the endless gated communities sprouting across the landscape in these parts like dubious toadstools. At least at the Early Girl you're pretty sure the pork isn't road kill. And even if it was, the sauces and seasoning would make up for it.

The check had come and I'd paid it. They'd filled the restaurant and turned it once since we'd been there. A popular place. A post-post- modern place, a place that was a sterling example of how we live now -- the real and the regional reduced to a remembrance, the communities gated, the homes "maintenance -free." History in a bottle, cleaned, pressed and with the trans-fats removed. Just the way we like it. Traditional in style but tradition-free in content. The experience without the meaning and not missing it.

As I got up to leave the family of six at the long table across from me was served with the quick flourish and satisfied air of presentation that is the style of serving these days. The was food steaming in front of them, but none of them made a move towards it. Instead, they talked quietly amongst themselves and seemed to come to a decision. They made their selection from among them. It was to be one of the daughters, a girl of about 17 I guessed. The din in the restaurant rose and fell, but the family of six sat quietly and then bowed their heads as one. Then they said grace.

I stood motionless at my table. I had, I thought, never seen this before in a restaurant. I'd seen it in private homes to be sure, but upon reflection I realized that I'd not seen it there in quite sometime. And I was quite sure this was, for me, a rare event. I'd probably not been paying attention since it no doubt went on all the time, but still it was a startling moment. Perhaps I'd just been too long in Seattle where the only manifestations of spirit are flimsy; where the invocations are raised to a watery Buddhism or bloodless Unitarianism where God is impossibly distant if at all extant. Be that as it may, this simple act of saying grace did not so much shock me as still me. I paused to listen in. And the daughter did not disappoint.

Her's was no gestural grace -- "Bless this food. Amen. Let's eat." -- but an extended meditation on the good fortune to find oneself among family and before a rich selection of food; an acknowledgment of an unusual level of being blessed by God, and a calling down of God's grace on members of the family present and not present, and ending with a wish that God continue to bless the family, the community, the state and the country. Then, and only then, was "Amen" spoken and the meal begun.

Outside along the Asheville streets, it was a balmy evening. Down the block another restaurant offered "Exceptional International Vegetarian Food," and a shop on the corner sold items imported from Africa whose purchase was purported to help suffering children here and there in that blighted continent. A local freebie paper picked off a stack had decided that a photo of a tribal protest in Santiago, Chile on the Dia de la Raza was important information for the citizens of this part of town. Down in the Asheville hipster-dopester-homeless gulch at a more cut-rate vegetarian restaurant, citizens with shaved heads, "message" t-shirts, multiple facial piercing and full-body tattoos were climbing the stairs in search of a bran muffin, bitching about George Bush, global warming, and their personal collection of STDs while complaining of residual racism in a city that seems more white than Seattle.

The road back to the house in the hills was dark and winding and you had to take it slow. Going back it was nice to know that somewhere, somehow, and for reasons that sometimes challenge all understanding, there were people still asking God to bless America.

For now, that's the big headline news of the day here in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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[First published October 2007]

Vanderleun : August 31, 14  |  Your Say (60)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Morrison9.jpgBut darlin', those days are gone
Oh yeah
Stop dreaming
And live on in the future
But darlin', a-don't look back
Whoa, no-no
Don't look back

-- John Lee Hooker

Ah, but we do, don't we? We always look back. Seeing the shapes, getting the measure, going the distance and finding -- if only for a moment -- the safe harbors of your life requires a spiritual sextant for sighting the fixed stars. It's a ghost ship's voyage with what lies ahead a blank white screen while what is behind fades into the smoke of the world well lost. There are shallows, shoals and the fatal allure of Sirens and the lee shore. Times in irons, then storms, then stretches of clear open ocean on a broad reach, but always with the sense of hidden reefs and an unknowable destination. It helps to track others' voyages, to follow similar arcs, to watch if they pass, or seem to pass, the same checkpoints. Some are siblings. Others are friends and lovers. Still others are artists that, at some point, strike us as sharing if not a life then at least a similar trajectory.

Everybody has a different set of charts, but some overlap. Among these are the singer-songwriter / poets of our era. These are our troubadours, the most influential of which in our time, is Bob Dylan. Indeed, I've often thought that it must gall the endless pile of disposable poets stashed in the academy that, for all their pallid effort, the greatest American poet of this era is Dylan. But Dylan, for all his protean output and achievement, misses the music as much as he hooks the mind.

For my money, the singer-songwriter-poet among my contemporaries, that both hooks the ear and brings the music is Van Morrison.

Not only for his ability to play his voice like some transoceanic jazz choir, nor his manner of mining the blues and jazz traditions and his own life, but also because -- like Dylan -- he endures. Not only that, but he reports back. And like a few others in music, painting and writing, the arc of his life seems to resonate with mine. It may be just a fluke of years lived in the same unfolding history, but it seems larger. It seems, as it always seems with the great souls, that there's an emotional and spiritual concordance happening, as one bell might pick up the tone of another nearby even though it has not itself been struck.

"Take me back, there, take me way back there..."

But that was later, and this is earlier, much earlier. Before there really was "Van Morrison." When he was just a singer. When he was one of THEM.

Comes a-walkin' down my street
When she comes to my house
She knocks upon my door
And then she comes in my room
Yeah, an' she make me feel alright

G-L-O-R-I-A (GLORIA)

Remembering that song the first thought is "Who, but who, was ever that young?" But of course we all were. And the number of times that the 45s of Mystic Eyes and Gloria were spun on the turntables in those years pretty much surpass memory. I do recall they made for some long and fine white nights. Gloria, played at the right time, could pretty much close the deal.

"The cool room, Lord, is a fool's room."

Make-out songs weren't the only thing in Van Morrison's bag, even in those years. Something else was there. Something that lived in the deep and would insist upon rising.

Within two years Morrison left "Them" and soloed, releasing the trendily titled Blowin' Your Mind! from Bang Records. The hit on that album was "Brown-Eyed Girl" and it has, thanks to the continuing and increasing supply of brown-eyed girls in the world, stayed pretty much a perennial since then. Boomers used it first for seduction and later for lullabies.

But there was another song on that first album that foreshadowed Morrison's work much more deeply, "T. B. Sheets." This is a dark and haunting evocation of death and sickness. Junkies like to think it's about them, but junkies think everything is about them. It's bigger than that. Much bigger. And it is, in its provenance as well as it's lyrics, nothing like any pop song that came before, and very little like any that came after. In the other songs on Blowin' Your Mind! you hear a young singer pulling out everything he knows in quest of a hit, any hit. But "T. B. Sheets" is vastly different. In it you hear the song of an old soul, one that has been here before; one that knows the deal and has paid the bill.

The origin of "T. B. Sheets" is, figuratively and literally, in nightmare.

His mother, Violet Morrison said that the song originally had emerged from a nightmare her son had and that he had felt it so strongly that he couldn't tell it to her but sang it instead with verses lasting for an hour.
An hour? The song on the album runs nearly 10 minutes, twice the length of any of the others, and an eternity for a pop album of the mid-60s. But an hour? Just to stay in that mental space for 10 minutes is enough for most people. (The song did not chart.) But an hour is inconceivable.

Still, I'd like to hear it. It's a song that first insinuates itself deep into your lungs and then crawls down your bones:

So open up the window and let me breathe,
I said, open up the window and let me breathe
I'm looking down to the street below
Lord, I cried for you, Oh, Lord.

The cool room, Lord, is a fool's room,
The cool room, Lord, is a fool's room,
And I can almost smell your T.B. sheets
And I can almost smell your T.B. sheets, on your sick bed.

I gotta go, l gotta,
And you said, please stay.
I want, I want a drink of water,
I want a drink of water,
I went to the kitchen to get me a drink of water,

I gotta go baby.
I send, I send, I send somebody around here later,
You know we got John comin' around
Later with a bottle of wine for you, babe.

So much for the easy pop songs from a handsome young jazz singer who had gotten mixed up in rock-and-roll. There's Milton's "darkness visible" writhing at the center of that song, something seldom seen in pop music -- especially in the days of "Do you believe in magic/ in a young girl's eyes?"

"Darkness visible." That was to be a recurring image in Van Morrison's work. That and a search for the light as well.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

-- Traditional hymn, recorded in Hymns to the Silence, 1991

Light seen sometimes in the present, and sometimes in the past. But always with a sense of trying to learn, in the end, what he hears from John Lee Hooker:
Don't look back
To the days of yesteryear
You cannot live on in the past

Ah, but we do. Don't we?

[Bird Dog @ Maggie's reminds us that today is....Van Morrison's birthday - Maggie's Farm He's only 69. Looks 79. Acts 89. We appreciate his work, though.]

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Vanderleun : August 31, 14  |  Your Say (26)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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gerardvanderleun : August 30, 14  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Stunning satellite images show summer ice cap is thicker and covers 1.7million square kilometres MORE than 2 years ago...despite Al Gore's prediction it would be ICE-FREE by now: The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic.

‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’ Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change. But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.

gerardvanderleun : August 30, 14  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

American Studies

When you move your home the most important tool turns out to be a twenty dollar bill. Lots of them. Collecting a stack from the bank yesterday, this one turned up.

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What's in your wallet?

gerardvanderleun : August 30, 14  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Just another fallen angel
Trying to get through the night.

Step by step, one by one,
higher and higher....

Step by step, rung by rung,
I'm climbing Jacob's ladder.

They tell me to always try to do "more," but never do "too much." When you are recuperating from coronary arrest and a subsequent two week time-out in the ICU these are difficult quantities to judge. My solution is to try to add more to what I did yesterday. Once around the block equals once and a half around the block. Tedious but true. Never a lot. Always a little more.

And sometimes that extra step leads you to a moment of strange revelation; revelation in which you do not know what it means other than that it may mean something; that it must mean something. Maybe something labeled in invisible ink "To Be Revealed Later." Random encounters of matter moving randomly in the dark or something else designed in some subtle way to keep you moving-- climbing,
step
by step,
rung
by rung...

So anyway....

Last night I decide to push myself and attend a Richard Thompson concert in the University District. In a fit of optimism the previous week, having been released from the hospital, I bought two tickets. I didn't "feel" like going, but I don't "feel" like doing much of anything. I do it anyway. It's not really an option.

So anyway....

While waiting for Thompson to come on I find I can't really sit in the chairs comfortably and have to walk randomly about the Neptune theater. I do this every ten minutes or so. On one of these perambulations I decide to go upstairs to the balcony. Then I pause for a minute examining the CDs, t-shirts, and posters that make up the commercial back-beat of concerts today. Then I amble along the corridor and take the handicapped ramp down towards the main floor where the main entrance is. Outside it is a rainy night.

I pause for a moment and pick up a flyer listing future concerts at the Neptune. That takes about three seconds. I turn to go back into the theater and to my seat.

At that precise second he comes through the door of the Neptune into the concert....

.... From sometime on the evening of the 13th of October to sometime on the night of what I think was the 22rd of October I have no memory. Ten days are expunged from my life as if they never existed. These were the days in which I was first effectively dead; then the days in which I was, thanks to a team of extraordinary ordinary heroes in the ICU, returned to life itself. To say what you feel towards these people and all the others of your friends and family is a sense of "gratitude" does not even begin to get on the scale of what you feel.....

.... he comes through the door of the Neptune into the concert.

I take one look and know the man as well as I know my brother. This man was my "respiratory therapist." His was the first face I saw on waking from my coma. He was sitting at the end of my bed in the ICU with his chin resting on his hand like Rodin's Thinker. He was wearing blue scrubs and I think he had some broad bands of a Maori tattoo around his biceps. He glanced at me. I think he said, "I'm deciding whether or not we can take that tube out of your lungs now," and then I drifted by into my drugged haze.

He did decide to remove the tube and that began my ability to leave the ICU and then the Hospital and then my home to attend this concert on a rainy night in Seattle and walk past the door at the precise second....

What do you say to a man like that?

For my part I said, again, "Thank you for saving my life."

He said, "You're welcome but there were a lot of us involved. I'm glad to see you are doing so very well so soon. Don't try and do 'too much.'"

A bit more small talk and then a handshake and he moved off to find the person he was here to meet on his night off from saving the lives of strangers that get delivered to him high above the street at the Harbor View Medical Intensive Care Unit.

I make my way back to my seat and soon the main attraction comes out and begins to play. He's good. Surprisingly good. But at the same time I think I've already seen the main attraction of the evening and I leave about two-thirds of the way through the concert.

At three in the morning I wake in the dark quiet room and I think, "A couple of seconds either way and I would have missed thanking the man who saved my life."

And in that dim room with day still far off I think, "What did that mean? What could it possibly mean? Does it mean something or is it just random?"

The only answer I have so far is, "I. Don't. Know.

'Step
by step,
rung
by rung....'
"

[November, 2011]

Vanderleun : August 30, 14  |  Your Say (23)  | PermaLink: Permalink

5-Minute Arguments

Scott M: "Israel keeps ending their "wars" with cease-fires, truces, and angry and humiliated enemies with a thirst for weapons.

If Israel would keep destroying the latest attacker until the attacker was dead or surrendered it wouldn't keep having these bi-monthly PR contests. If you leave your enemy in place, surrounded by civilians, and refuse to destroy that enemy and his weapons you are guaranteed to have another war. Stop letting your sympathy for Israel cause you to turn off your mind and stop pretending that if Israel fights the war in a humane and careful manner anyone, anywhere opposed to Israel will help Israel.
"Israel has sub-launched nuke missiles that can reach Tehran. It refuses to use them and so I don't believe they are committed to living. They want an LBJ-style show of force and messages. OK, then don't expect me to give a flip about your future. If my sister was getting punched in the nose routinely by her husband, and 50 years later was whining about how bad her husband was still treating her I would tell her to shut her mouth and leave him or kill him. Don't call me until you have done one or the other. It's your life and if you won't take the action that will work, I don't want to hear your sob story. How many Jews have died while Israel keeps pretending this can be settled without Total War? Do it or shut up. The Muslims do not value 1 or 1 million Muslim lives. Nobody should value their life until they shape up. Deport Islam and nuke Islam. AMERICAN DIGEST: Comment on GetReal Estate Posted by Scott M at August 29, 2014 8:51 PM

gerardvanderleun : August 29, 14  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Look at these happy little green robots and admire how carefully they were selected to represent all genders and demographics

Head robot of Portland, Mayor Sam Adams (oh the shame he attaches to that illustrious name!) tells his fellow green robots to shape the fuck up: "I want to thank my City Council colleagues for passing a measure today that makes food scrap composting possible. We’re currently sending 29,000 tons of useful food scraps to landfills each year. Beginning October 31, the new waste collection program will let you throw these food scraps in the green yard debris roll cart so they can be turned into useful compost. In addition, your collection schedule will change as less of what you throw away goes in the trash. The green yard debris cart will now be picked up weekly – just like the blue recycling cart and yellow bin – and trash will be picked up every-other-week."

The little green bin is proliferating everywhere these days. Just one more task that the green fascists have gotten all the citizens to pitch in and do. Plus you pay extra for the privilege of doing the work for the state. What a deal!

You'll recall how this make-work state project started. First you were told to bundle your newspapers and put them out in a stack. (Magazines in coated paper in a separate bundle, thank you.) This led, over time, to a glut of newsprint that put pulp mills in Maine out of business; then to such a tsunami of glut that the newspapers were going into landfills just the same. Just on separate trucks purchased and manned by the city for that purpose.

Then you were told to separate out the glass from the trash and put it in those open blue bins. Small at first but now these bins are gigundo in size and cost. This led, in pretty much no time at all, to a glut in recycled glass that led to huge mountains of glass trash growing quietly outside of all major cities. After all, there are only so many glass tiles and glass blocks that the market can absorb. Then it's right into the landfills again. On new separate trucks, of course.

Then came the plastic bins for plastic. Then the consolidation of the plastic and glass bins -- since it was all really going into the landfill it really didn't matter.

Then came the "Yard Waste" bins because, well, in large cities large cities were suppose to compost all this crap from yards into rich humus. This of course led to humus mountains outside of all large cities and programs where the cities would give you some compost if you picked it up. That you were hauling the composted yard waste back to the yard after it had been hauled to the compost heap from the yard was, well, sort of glossed over. But the compost mountains grew anyway.

At this point you had, behind your house or to the side, a trash can, a glass and plastic recycling bin, and a yard waste bin... minimum. But you do not, it seems, have enough bins behind your house since the city can, it seems, charge you for picking up each and every bin as well as sell you the bin in the first place.

This is a good deal for the city and now it seems the cities want to extend it to yet another bin. This is the small green bin for the "organic kitchen waste" previously known as "garbage" that previously went into, well, your "garbage can."

The deal here is that you are supposed to pick through your garbage with your hands and put into the new tiny green bin only the choicest bits of pre-compost compost. Then you set that bin out on the day for it's collection after a week of pawing through the crap.

That makes four (count 'em) 4 bins to keep track of and to pay for, each one more foul than the one before.

You'd think that an operation that had a monopoly on such a rich resource of salvage could make money operating it. You'd be right. It makes money by charging you more for doing its work for it. And by selling you yet another bin.

But there is hope for the guerrillas among us. These new green bins, being vile and odiferous, are the perfect means of smuggling toxic chemicals out of the house and into the landfills without paying for Hazmat service.

Let's say that, after the forced retirement of the incandescent bulb, and the forced import of mercury filled bulbs into your house you actually break one. (Hey, it could happen.) With the little green bin you can just hide the shards under the kitty litter and avoid the $2,500 clean-up fee from the EPA.

I know that lots of cities are meeting their budget shortfalls not by firing staff but by actually hiring Garbage Cops to patrol your bins, but I'm willing to bet these dolts are not going to be digging into kitty litter and kitchen waste. I'm betting they'll be the number one cops in the doughnut shops for 95% of their shifts.

So, you know that pile of old dead fluorescent tubes you've got in the garage because you're not willing to pay the city the $50 for the "special pickup?" Get yourself a teeny-weeny green bin and some kitty litter.

Problem solved.

Vanderleun : August 29, 14  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

jeffers_big-sur_storm.jpg

While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening to empire,
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence; and home to the mother.

You making haste, haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains: shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster's feet there are left the mountains.

And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught -- they say -- God, when he walked on earth.

-- Robinson Jeffers

Vanderleun : August 29, 14  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

We had the experience but missed the meaning,
And approach to the meaning restores the experience
In a different form, beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness.

-- Eliot, The Dry Salvages

Following a memory of my own, I "found" this video shortly after it was posted to YouTube around three years ago. It struck me then as enormously powerful in that offhand, out-of-left-field way that found objects can be. The power of this short window into 1977 is that it captures, without intent, the elements of memory. It melds the plaintive almost psalmic acoustic hit by Kansas with an imagery whose sheer faded quality adds to an overall impression of other times once lived and now gone beyond recall. It is the essence of "time in a bottle."

Ordinary when made the film aged into something beyond itself. The better memories do that. They seem, if we think of them at all at the time we have the experience we will later remember, to be just barely beyond the cusp of ordinary. Often we don't even discover them as memories until years later when they emerge, not as they were, but as they have become as our souls expand enough to value what we thought at the time was dross as the real gold of our lives.

The fact that it was viewable by me at all was one of those strange conjunctions of love and fate that the Web has made possible. The video is under the YouTube account of "uselessdirector" who has in the years since he posted this posted only two other personal bits in his account. The response to those is what it should be. Negligible. But the response to this video is now above 3,640,000 6,277,000 views with fresh comments still coming in almost hourly.

What is the provenance of this video? Uselessdirector states only, "Filmed in 1977 by my dad, this music video nearly became "dust in the wind" until it was restored from its failing 8mm format." His role was to see the film as it was made, 8MM or 16MM, and to save it as a video before time faded the film to invisibility. He caught it just in time and in doing so caught time itself. Then because he knew it had a value beyond itself and because he could, he placed it on YouTube where, in time, it was discovered.

From the video itself, we learn the names of the "Cast" in the credits and also see a list of "The Tribe." Aside from that there are other hints to the spring or summer in which this was made. We discover it was made in Findley Lake, New York, a small rural community up near the shore of Lake Erie. Was "The Tribe" a group of friends or a small commune of the kind that were still common in those years? Did the young man and young woman paired as "Adam" and "Eve" have a relationship outside the film or was it only for the purposes of the film? Somehow I doubt it was the latter.

Looking a little deeper into the Net I found a few things worth noting. For one thing it is possible, through the odd but wonderful Google Street View to compare "Then" with "Now" and confirm, as if we did not know it with every cell of our being, that "Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky."

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Then

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Now

An interesting exercise in contrasting the present to a memory. But "interesting" is pretty much the finish of the exercise. In mere aesthetic terms it is obvious that the "Then" as evoked by the film image is far superior to the glimpse of "Now" gleaned by a Google Street View car sweeping by and capturing a slice of that particular road during the particular minute it passed that otherwise nondescript place on the edge of Findley Lake. The former is gold, the latter dross.

What was the memory I was following when I first found this film? It was the memory of that song heard first in the summer of 1977 somewhere in London, New York, or Burgundy. I loved the summer of 1977. It was one of my favorite years. It was one of those luminous years when everything seemed to fall right and come together into something you could assign to happiness. I'd wait 26 years for the next one.

I heard the song once again in memory. It was in a suburban mall parking lot in Connecticut on a chill winter evening during one of those years when it all went smash.

If I have to choose between memories I'll take the one contained in this ineffable bit of short film saved from the fade and the fog of time. It's one of those strange artifacts that evokes among those alive in the time it was made the cliched thought, "Dear God, were we ever that young?" Made on a whim during an afternoon, the film answers, "Yes, you were. Yes, we all were. And in time, with the grace of God, we will be again."



Republished from April 1010 2010. [What would I do without my prufreaders?]

Vanderleun : August 28, 14  |  Your Say (41)  | PermaLink: Permalink

5-Minute Arguments

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So far this month, the president's approval rating has averaged just 42 percent, his lowest August rating since 2011. For Obama, August Is The Cruelest Month : NPR

Reading that took me back about seven years to an evening out in Seattle with a friend. He's a long-gone liberal who's never coming back. He's gifted in many ways except, alas, for politics. When it comes to that he has a fully colonized mind and a solid Democrat record of supporting hustlers, losers, con-artists and criminals from Louisiana to New Jersey. Like all slaves on that ideological plantation he thinks it makes him more free and believes everyone he knows will forget about his many decades of picking the worst his party has to offer.

I've long returned from that dark tunnel, but I admire and respect him and our friendship of long standing. Our default position on politics is that "it doesn't come up."

Meeting him were a couple of his friends which are only acquaintances of mine. As such, this being Seattle, they did not suspect, even for a moment, that I happen to be "one of 'THEM'." (Indeed whenever a Seattle acquaintance discovers my politics -- as happened last week at the airport -- the reaction is invariably along the lines of "I never knew you were THAT WAY." )

Into the bar came his friends, one of them walking with a swagger as if he'd just been sprinkled with holy water by the Messiah himself. He ordered a round of drinks and when they were put up lifted his glass, smacked his lips, and said, "Forty-three percent!" This was in reference to the approval rating of George W. Bush that had been announced that day.

Three glasses clinked but mine remained on the bar. The back of my hand brushed it back towards the bartender and left it there.

The man who ordered the drinks looked at me quizzically. I looked at him and, because I am blessed with an English Major and a large mental file of American poetry, said, “there is some shit i will not eat."

An awkward silence ensued from which all were saved by the start of the show we'd come to see.

My friend and I still see each other.

Less now than before as the elephant of Obama’s failure has moved from the lawn to the porch with its trunk in the room.

I never saw his friends again. Never had to refuse another drink. I'm okay with that but they came to mind today when these new disapproval numbers of their tin god were released.

I wonder what they do now. Do they still order drinks to make toasts to Obama's numbers as they sink below Bush, or do they just grab the whiskey and CHUG-A-LUG it straight from bottle?

gerardvanderleun : August 28, 14  |  Your Say (12)  | PermaLink: Permalink

"Three moves equals one house fire."

Because of a series of events too strange to tell, the house I rent is being put on the market. As a result I have to clear it of all my possessions over the coming labor day weekend and find another place to live. Even with the help of dear friends it's a daunting task and I do not, as of this writing, know exactly where I will find my next home. It will, however, not be in Seattle but rather in a town much closer to my mother in Northern California who, as she turns 100, is happy to hear of the prodigal's return.

The consequence of all this is that posting on American Digest will be a much less regular thing than in the past ten years. This note will be pinned to the top of American Digest for the next month. Regular ranting will resume when I am packed, moved, and settled.

gerardvanderleun : August 27, 14  |  Your Say (57)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Citizens

Service is the sacred duty of a free people.

gerardvanderleun : August 27, 14  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Search American Digest

The Top 40


What on earth leads the Establishment to think America

can go into a country with a radically different and largely dysfunctional culture,
about which it knows virtually nothing, and “manage its transition to more democratic politics,” much less “rebuild societies that didn’t have any civic traditions?” Who do the Establishment think they are? Merlin? The Archangel Michael? The degree of hubris is astonishing. The United States, or any foreign power, has no more ability to do those things than we do of commanding the tide to recede.
The View From Olympus: The Origins of Our Distress | traditionalRIGHT

The goal of Women’s Liberation is to wear each female down to losing all empathy for boys, men or babies.

By the time Women’s Studies professors finish with your daughter, she will be a shell of the innocent girl you knew,

who’s soon convinced that although she should be flopping down with every boy she fancies, she should not, by any means, get pregnant. And so, as a practitioner of promiscuity, she becomes a wizard of prevention techniques, especially abortion. The goal of Women’s Liberation is to wear each female down to losing all empathy for boys, men or babies. The tenderest aspects of her soul are roughened into a rock pile of cynicism, where she will think nothing of murdering her baby in the warm protective nest of her little-girl womb. She will be taught that she, in order to free herself, must become an outlaw.
Marxist Feminism's Ruined Lives



Anthony Watts reminds us of what the settled scientists were saying half-a-decade ago:

World Will Warm Faster Than Predicted In Next Five Years, Study Warns.
Duncan Clark in The Guardian laid it on as only a devout warm-monger can: The world faces record-breaking temperatures as the sun's activity increases, leading the planet to heat up significantly faster than scientists had predicted for the next five years. Er, no. None of that happened. That was The Guardian on July 27th 2009
When Science is Settled - by Government :: SteynOnline

Things rarely end the way we think they will,

usually a low-probability event occurs, something it seemed safe to ignore, or at least to discount, until suddenly it wasn't.
Once the stuff of novels, the unexpected is now the stuff of life. It's what makes interesting times dangerous times. We're seeing a replay of 2008 but at the next higher level, not unstable financial outfits, not even unstable markets, but unstable regions of the world. Where we had banks fail we're having nations fail, at the near periphery for now but moving toward the core like Genghis Kahn at a gallop.
ol remus and the woodpile report

"If you are going 80 miles per house how long does it take to go 80 miles?"

Watch the great debate here at Lequelle Moore-El ye mighty and despair!

May Day in Europe and Labour Day in America do not celebrate work,

as a spiritual good when properly directed,
but the organization of workers into a political force. We have the unions which replaced the ancient guilds, in which the member is only incidentally a labourer, and need have achieved no craft skill at all. His real identity is that of an anonymous and dependent cypher, serving the interests of men with power, who serve his interest by getting him more paper money, through “collective bargaining”: a legalized process of threats and extortion. The modern worker is a faceless man, or interchangeably a faceless woman, employed in office or factory, including our factory farms. He is part of the machinery. He must be “efficient” in machine terms, or like any other defective part he will be replaced.
Labour Day : Essays in Idleness

"And, lo, there was a basso-profundo 'har-de-har-har' in heaven:"

Proof of a Merciful God with a Sense of Humor is found in the fact that this insectoid life-form is still consuming oxygen and drooling on a daily basis.
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Observer one: "He thinks he's co-opting the Tea Party."

Observer two: "He's co-opting his crotch. Which is, absent an upstream cerebral hemorrhage on the golf course, about as far as his grasp on power is allowed to reach."

There’s a degree of contempt for the rich, in general, amongst the ruling class.

The Rodney Dangerfield rich guys who barges in thinking
they can buy their way into the right parties are particularly loathed by the Ted Baxter set. Even so, the sophisticated classes that run things in Washington are very good at handling wealthy rubes from the provinces. They want their money, of course. They just don’t want to put up with the bullshit that rich people bring with them.

So, they direct them into harmless endeavors....
the game was to guide the rich dumbasses into funding projects that employed friends of the political class. It was a form of patronage. It was also a way to keep the rich people from doing something stupid. Think about all of the Hollywood assholes who get involved in a cause. Most of them can’t count their balls twice and come up with the same number, but they are loaded and they have free time. That’s a dangerous combo if they want to “make a difference.”
The Z Blog › Fools And Their Money

They were just regular fellas, living life and doing things the right way,

same as all over the country, men of that generation, Americans to their last breath.
What they didn’t do was talk like some kinda punks that had paper assholes. They didn’t have to. They knew their strength and were secure with it.

I learned from this that first comes the man. His reputation follows like dust down a country road. It's not like that these days. A lot of guys in my generation, Boomers if you will, their reputation is concocted and sent in first, like a brass band marching into town ahead of the circus. It is fear-driven. Large promise and poor performance might be their mantra.
Spillers of Soup: FATHERS DAY

The trouble with these disquisitions on inequality is not that they are mere sentimentality.

The trouble is the sentiment is imaginary.
No one really believes inequality is a problem, save for maybe a few bitter Marxists in your local state college faculty lounge. These are those old rancid hippies who have posters of Che Guevara on their office wall. No, the people who prattle on about inequality simply wish to replace the current inequalities that don’t favor them with a new set that do favor them.
The Z Blog › More TED Talks

On the World’s Oldest Trousers

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But now it appears that an even older pair of trousers — some two thousand nine hundred and forty-eight years older — has come to light.
According to a paper in Quarternary International, the garment was unearthed by a team of scientists excavating the tombs in an ancient burial ground, the Yanghai graveyard, in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of western China. This vast cemetery, which covers an area of two square miles, was discovered in the nineteen-seventies by local villagers. It lies on the fringes of the Taklamakan desert, close to the Turfan oasis, in the Tarim Basin, a stopping place for nomads of the Bronze Age and, later, for the caravans of the Silk Route. The extreme dryness of the climate preserved the bodies and their grave goods to a remarkable degree, including perishable items like clothing and food. In one tomb, there was a basket of fruit and leaves near the mummy of a presumed shaman and, next to his head, a stash of cannabis that was still green.
- - The New Yorker

California is no longer the 15 million person state that once was adequately served by our forefathers’ water-transfer projects.

It is not even the 40 million person state
that our ancestors warned could survive long droughts (but only if their descendants of course finish the state and federal water projects). It is instead a 40 million person state with a 20 million person system of reservoirs and canals. In that regard, California’s population would long ago have stayed static, given the recent three decade exoduses of millions of residents tired of high income, sales, and gas taxes, and poor roads, schools, and law enforcement in return. The great equalizer was illegal immigration.

Works and Days サ Mythologies and Pathologies of the California Drought

Falling on Grenades:

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The Indestructible Jacklyn H. Lucas During the battle on February 20, 1945, Jack and his comrades were advancing toward a Japanese airstrip near Mount Suribachi. Taking cover in a trench under heavy fire, Jack realized they were only feet away from enemy soldiers in a neighboring trench. He managed to shoot two of the soldiers before two live grenades landed in his trench.
Thinking quickly, Jack threw himself on the first grenade, shoving it into volcanic ash and used his body and rifle to shield the others with him from the pending blast. When another grenade appeared directly after the first, he reached out and pulled it under himself as well. His body took the brunt of the blasts and the massive amount of shrapnel. His companions were all saved, but his injuries were so serious they thought he had died. Only after a second company moved through did anyone realize he was somehow still alive. Jack endured nearly two dozen surgeries and extensive therapy and convalescence. Despite the surgeries, over 200 pieces of shrapnel remained in his body for the rest of his life.


I am an Islamodespicio because I despise Islam far more than I fear it.

I despise a religion that, other than Comrade Putin, is the source of virtually all the large scale violence in the world and has been for decades.
I also despise it for its treatment of women, homosexuals, children (putting machine guns in their hands at the age of seven and teaching them to kill non-believers) for its complete intolerance of other religions and secular systems and for the consistent dishonesty with which it treats the rest of the human race. I despise it in its Shiite and Sunni forms (even though they despise each other), as well as its murderous subsidiaries like Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, al Nusra and on and on.... Send them a message they will never forget — and if that message resembles Dresden in World War II, so be it. They have brought it on themselves.
Roger L. Simon サ My ISIS Strategy

I went up to his world, filled with talking sponges and grinning dinosaurs and the Google Earth carpet of a cartoon town.

Dad, I want you to help me make a video with Bionicles and muzzle flashes and space ships and galactic battles
and dancing robots and talking animals and it won't be hard because we can do it in 4 fps so the camera won't die of no battery and the moviemaker won't crash and mom says you have to work all day today and tomorrow and the day after and even more days so I'll wait until you don't have to make furniture one day but don't make me wait too long because I'm impatient.
Sippican Cottage: Good Chemistry

China? They want to be a big deal again.

Well, they are, sort-of. They own most of the US debt, sadly.
But that's our fault. If they want to be a big deal, it's ok with me. Why anybody would chose to live there is beyond me. Horrible, charmless place of desolation, with too many people and the stupid, paranoid, autocratic government they deserve. To each his own.
I'm with Obama on these things - Maggie's Farm

A lack of goodwill is our common lot with Rome – a chosen, well-deserved lot.

If we share anything with the Romans, it is their delinquency, laziness, and effeminacy right before they remembered who they were.
But if the Romans were overrun with pirates, we're overrun far worse with illegal immigrants; the former required a war, and we require only a wall. If Rome was embarrassed by Jugurtha, we're embarrassed far worse by the Islamic State – for Jugurtha was a genius and a fighter to be met face-to-face, and the Islamic State's advancement could be stopped with a faceless but insistent bombing campaign. If Rome was infested with layabouts, we're infested far worse with race-rioters; Romans rioted partially because their citizens were unjustly overrun with usury – as ours are currently by national and private bankers – and Americans riot not when innocents, but when known robbers, thugs, and menaces are shot by the police.
Articles: What kind of men are we?

How did we get here?

"Letting the days go by...."

It’s worth looking back into the mists of time — an entire year, to Labor Day weekend 2013.
What had not happened then? It’s quite a list, actually: the Chinese ADIZ, the Russian annexation of Crimea, the rise of ISIS, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the fall of Mosul, the end of Hungarian liberal democracy, the Central American refugee crisis, the Egyptian-UAE attacks on Libya, the extermination of Iraqi Christians, the Yazidi genocide, the scramble to revise NATO’s eastern-frontier defenses, the Kristallnacht-style pogroms in European cities, the reemergence of mainstream anti-Semitism, the third (or fourth, perhaps) American war in Iraq, racial riots in middle America, et cetera and ad nauseam.All that was in the future just one year ago.
Never Yet Melted These Days, Not Such a Wonderful Life

The Meat Prophet of Peru

He follows with a porterhouse, an axe-handle rib eye, and a string of other imposing cuts that he’s carefully aged at Osso.
This is where Garibaldi is moving the traditional grill master role into unchartered territory. They start at 30 days, then increase to 45 and 60. You can taste the collagen breaking down a little bit more with each cut, resulting in more nuanced flavors. Each is muskier and funkier than the last. He finishes some by holding them directly over the flames. Others he sits right in the charcoal and covers in ash. He moves on to a steak aged 120 days, and then, for the grand finale, a 160-day-old piece of Wagyu. Over the course of nearly six months of aging, natural enzymes in the protein break down and the carbohydrates are converted into sugar, so the flavors are richer and more concentrated. The sizzling beef smells like buttered popcorn. Every bite tastes of pure umami.
-- Roads and Kingdoms

When Prophecy Fails

Festinger stated that five conditions must be present if someone is to become a more fervent believer after a failure or disconfirmation:
  • A belief must be held with deep conviction and it must have some relevance to action, that is, to what the believer does or how he or she behaves.
  • The person holding the belief must have committed himself to it; that is, for the sake of his belief, he must have taken some important action that is difficult to undo. In general, the more important such actions are, and the more difficult they are to undo, the greater is the individual's commitment to the belief.
  • The belief must be sufficiently specific and sufficiently concerned with the real world so that events may unequivocally refute the belief.
  • Such undeniable disconfirmatory evidence must occur and must be recognized by the individual holding the belief.
  • The individual believer must have social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand the kind of disconfirming evidence that has been specified. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, the belief may be maintained and the believers may attempt to proselytize or persuade nonmembers that the belief is correct.
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah

British singer, Kenny Lynch, was a performer with the Beatles on their bus tour of 1963 and has clear memories of John and Paul.  According to Lynch, “I remember John and Paul saying they were thinking of running up to the microphone together and shaking their heads and saying '€˜whooooo'€™." Lynch warned them against this radical idea, "You can'€™t do that. They'€™ll think you'€™re a bunch of poofs."€  "She Loves You" and The Start of Beatlemania

Nobody’s Fault

When one thing goes wrong, it may be an accident, but when five do at once—Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and our border—the man at the helm may have something to do with it, and a foreign policy based largely on John Lennon lyrics may be the proximate cause. -- The Weekly Standard

"Sam blew a kiss and waved to the crowd, then walked back to the sideline."

Pretty much sums up his career. Out. In. Out. Over. Michael Sam Cut As St. Louis Rams Finalize Roster

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.

An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.
But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.
Marcus Tulius Cicero via Doug Ross @ Journal

This is why thugs can't have nice things.

Stores to Ferguson: "Buh-Bye" --Despite Threats – QuikTrip Has No Plans To Rebuild in #Ferguson A QuikTrip official told TGP the company has no plans on rebuilding in Ferguson and that the looted store was barely breaking even.

Door. Ass. Bang.

Michael Sam cut by St. Louis Rams - ESPN Next!

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Champ

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Fair Warning

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Why Deer Freeze in Headlights

When an eye that has been in the dark long enough to regenerate significant quantities of rhodopsin is suddenly exposed to bright light, a phenomenon of “bleaching,” or oversaturation, occurs, and on a massive scale. The result in humans is temporary, or flash, blindness.Today I Found Out

The relationship of the Republican Party to its base.

a_republicansthirst.jpg


Take a look at the Left.

In the 1990′s they did not like the direction of their party so they started backing the Green Party.
It cost them some elections. It may have even put Bush in the White House. But, the result was a far more liberal party. The Democrat Party is now wholly owned by the Left. Maybe the Right should take the same approach. Getting raped by a liberal Republican is no better than getting raped by a liberal Democrat. Maybe losing a few elections will force the Republicans to change as it forced the Democrats to change.
The Z Blog › Half-Fucked

The Beginnings

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

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

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

It was not preached to the crowd,
It was not taught by the State.
No man spoke it aloud,
When the English began to hate.

It was not suddenly bred,
It will not swiftly abate,
Through the chill years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the English began to hate.

--Kipling - The Beginnings



New Intelligence on Italian Jihadists

Those recruits are very young, mostly between eighteen and twenty-five years of age, and so far exclusively male. To date, ten Italian jihadists have been killed in Syria. Nearly all have been recruited via the internet:
Indoctrination takes place with pervasive and rapid techniques which prompt these kids to take the crucial step of departing for war theaters in a very short time. These powerfully manipulative psychological techniques have been tried and tested in the training camps for young suicide bombers in Pakistan. When the IS’s recruits are ready, they can rely on liaison officers to organize their transportation, which is often a one-way journey only.
- - The XX Committee

Who Says There's No Good News?

Dare we hope the punch-in-the-face trend is catching on? Anti-Israel MP George Galloway Beaten Up, Left with 'Broken Jaw' on London Street

General Wesley, Chairman of the federal JCS,

appeared on a balcony above the crowd that had been gathered to welcome President Warner.
After announcing the death of the president, the vice president, the speaker of the House, and most of the cabinet, he said, “The line of succession envisioned in the U.S. Constitution had been broken beyond repair,” which wasn’t true since there were still some cabinet members, but that didn’t matter. “I’m in charge here now,” he went on, “and the United States is under martial law. Civilian government is suspended for the duration of the war for the union. The duty of every citizen is to remain quiet.”
Victoria: Chapter 24 | traditionalRIGHT

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