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"A rolling stone gathers no moss."- Publilius Syrus

"If you’re not in that bunker because you’re not satisfied with a certain candidate, more than shame on you! You’re on the other side!"

gerardvanderleun : April 29, 16  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Scientists just captured the flash of light that sparks when a sperm meets an egg For the first time ever, scientists have captured images of the flash of light that sparks at the very moment a human sperm cell makes contact with an egg. The phenomenon has been observed in animals before, but no one’s ever seen the spark of human conception. And what’s even more incredible is the fact that some eggs burn brighter than others, which is a direct indication of their ability to develop into a healthy embryo.KA-CHING

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. -- Mark 9:23-25

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every single government --
signs for all to see.

I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

gerardvanderleun : April 28, 16  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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5-Minute Arguments

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"A self-ordained professor’s tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school
“Equality,” I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now"

In late 1965, Dylan commented on the writing of "My Back Pages" specifically during an interview with Margaret Steen for The Toronto Star: "I was in my New York phase then, or at least, I was just coming out of it. I was still keeping the things that are really really real out of my songs, for fear they'd be misunderstood. Now I don't care if they are."

gerardvanderleun : April 28, 16  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"It’s not like we didn’t know this was coming. Megyn Kelly is already talking about leaving Fox News.

In recent interviews, Kelly is triangulating against her employer, snarking about the “brain damage that comes from the job” of working at Fox. She’s openly speculating about bailing on the company when her contract runs out because she doesn’t feel the company has backed her sufficiently against the evil sexist Donald J. Trump.
Trump’s attacks on her are the best thing that could have happened to Kelly. Before, she was America’s Sweetheart, a center-right pundit with flowing blonde locks ready to calmly tell you how it is. Not a bad position to be in, but no one important would take her seriously. Now, Megyn Kelly scowls at us from the camera with her angry woman haircut, covering the really critical issues like the “assault” on Michelle Fields.
....
Few people involved in what is absurdly called the “conservative media” want to shift the Overton Window to the Right or view themselves as activists. Instead, their goal is to carve out a niche, secure the loyalty of a certain market, and then push products to that market. If you are Jim Bakker (back and bigger than ever) or Glenn Beck, it’s buckets of food or packets of “survival seeds” so you can survive the End Times. If you’re some girl on Fox News, you want some subtly suggestive picture of yourself on the cover; what you are actually writing about is beyond the point. If you are Bill O’Reilly, you’re pushing a particular fantasy about “greatness” to aging white men who know the country’s best years are behind it. If you are Mark Levin, you’re offering Talmudic and convoluted knowledge about the Constitution, with Levin acting as a kind of rabbi bestowing ancient secrets on the uneducated goyim.
The point is to secure ownership of The Microphone to guarantee access to that market. The business model only works if the Narrative is predictable, the talking points are the same, and the supposed solutions are things people are used to. The recent report Erick Erickson, Mark Levin, and Glenn Beck are being paid to attack Trump isn’t some amazing revelation. It’s just business as usual....""
- - Gregory Hood: RTWT

gerardvanderleun : April 28, 16  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

Secret Service Plans to Raise White House Fence by 5 Feet

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Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down. I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself.
-- Frost

Here endeth the lesson.

I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in

gerardvanderleun : April 28, 16  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Make no mistake. It's not revenge they're after.....

And now, the word according to Milo:

"Dear #NeverTrump: It's Time To Get Behind Daddy - "So, #NeverTrump haters and losers — it’s time we had a little talk.

Now, I know Trump and the alt-right hurt your feelings by relentlessly undermining the anointed heir to the Royal House of Bush, as well as that flamboyant, permanently dehydrated ADHD junkie from Florida, but it’s time to let bygones be bygones. So, by all means spend a few days in a safe space blowing bubbles and eating oatmeal raisin cookies like your feminist compatriots to recover, but after that it’ll be time to face reality: Trump is going to be your party’s nominee. It’s not so bad, honestly. If you get behind Trump fast enough, your betrayed base might forget comments like “we decide the nominee, not the voters.”

"Those weren’t just any old voters you were alienating, by the way. They include the next generation of conservative firebrands, who are currently gravitating to Trump, the alt-right, and me. Unlike most right-wing writers, my biggest demographic is 18-34 year olds. Your supporters will be dead or retired in ten years. Ours won’t. It’s pretty simple, really. Either you want your party and movement to die, or you don’t."
"The GOP establishment are keen on flooding the country with cheap workers. Backing Trump just means your party will be flooded with cheap voters — you don’t have to bribe them this time; Trump will make them come for free! And they aren’t even Mexican gang members — just disgruntled blue-collar Democrats and independents. You own the beltway, and you’ll always own the beltway. So why not come together with the unwashed masses, behind Trump? Don’t forget, you need the base to keep funding your lavish lifestyles. Look, the Inner Party of Oceania in 1984, which you’ve modeled yourself on so well, was adept at the idea of doublethink. It’s perfectly acceptable to both hate Trump and tell the proles to vote for him. Stop letting the hate cloud your vision and act in your own best interest, like you normally do."
"Some of you are convinced that Trump will lose to Hillary, hence your support for the eminently electable Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)97% and charismatic people’s champion Jeb Bush. And it’s true that Hillary currently beats Trump in the polls. But Trump hasn’t even started exposing all the skeletons in her closet yet — assuming the FBI don’t get there first. Remember, this time last year, Jeb Bush was ahead in the polls. Look how that turned out! Oh, sorry, I shouldn’t have reminded you. Here, have a box of tissues."

Meanwhile, as Cruz throws his Hail Carly Pass well out of bounds, Kasich heads off into the Elephants' Burying Ground mumbling coulda-been-a-contender the Trump breaks out the dreaded teleprompter, and the heads of the Whole Thing ask themselves the burning question of the moment,

gerardvanderleun : April 27, 16  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Grace Notes

I.
With woven steel hands

Cupped around clear cadenced tones,
Our sentinels of the infinite
Herald the skein of the sky,
Repeating one announcement,
Sans ornament and instantaneous,
To be etched on eternity's orbit
In a tattoo of silences.

Like torches tossed down
Into unexplored caverns
Our call dwindles and fades
Till the darkness dissolves it:

"We have arrived at the limits of Earth.
We are here. We are here.
We stand on the edge of Forever.
We are here. We are here.
Are we alone here? Are we here alone?
All alone here on the shore of the sky?"

In numbers and bits
The signal soars up,
Clambering the jade ladder
Out of the pit of gravity
To float like some ancient insect
Trapped within the amber spine of light:

"We have arrived at the limits of Earth.
We are here. We are here.
We stand on the edge of Forever.
We are here. We are here.
Are we alone here? Are we here alone?
All alone here on the shore of the sky?"


II.
The disconcerting occurrence

Encountered at the terminus
Of all the mind's parabolas
Is the thought that Nothing
Is all that occurs, that endures;

That Pinwheels of luminous plasma,
Glowing reefs of nebula's matter,
Spatter the crests of the darkness
And descend like lamenting specters
Caught in the eddies of shoreless seas.

Their lights, creeping up along
The curve of the continuum, gleam
No more than the two-franc candles
Cupped in crippled, translucent palms
In the grotto of Our Lady at Lourdes.

And thus they too only serve
To dapple, quite briefly, the dark edge
Of that shoreless ocean that consumes
What little light they lend,
Until, like some pitch-drenched Pharaoh,

Are damned down into oblivion
By their own command to wait
Sealed in stonelight for a distant dawn.
All these thoughts and messages
Noted for a nanosecond, memorized

In some splinter of a second,
In tombs of luminous instruments,
Relayed, incorporated, and sent out:
A telegram with no fixed address
Woven out of frozen starlight,

And then to the darkness delivered.

III.
Fantasy fears spun in the circles of flickering campfires.

Mythologies winnowed out of unusual stones, or bone, or bits of bark.
Cosmologies concocted from rats' skulls, corn, and Titanium atoms.
Theologies tortured from the blind, wrung from hints in high cumulus.
All the perceived and imagined stockades raised against Zero:
The face of hoarfrost that blooms in our mirror, the Last God,
He who is the Pure Noun for which there is no adjective,
An orb of vacuum which sees itself as Cosmos, a tendril of unseen smoke,
A word which can never be spoken, the footprints of extinguished stars,
The visage mathematics cannot freeze.

IV.
Shored against such a Shibboleth all

Our philosophies and ornaments evaporate.
All our most comforting music and meters dissolve.
The clapping of frostbitten hands in Antarctic tents continues.
Above us the rictus of universal harmonies lingers.
The new landscape appears: desolate, arid, airless, uninhabitable.
The tendrils of the desert of the senses invade its frontiers,
Guided by hands of ice that caress the belly of the stratosphere,
As far above the chill ionic winds erase the footprints pressed
Into the dust of the moon's untenanted tranquillity.

V.
The waterless waves on that sea without ships

Go outward, roll onward in search of horizons.
The faces in stone keep their futile appointments
With wind and with water, which also have schedules,
That return them to silence in a melding of stars
Here where the tree's roots drink from the stream,
Here on the banks of tomorrow as the mind's searching message,
Laden with numbers, with dates, and with data,
Rises up and flies out past the sun to the birth of the stars.



**The Very Large Array
The observatory consists of 27 independent antennas, each of which has a dish diameter of 25 meters (82 feet) and weighs 209 metric tons (230 Short tons).[2] The antennas are arrayed along the three arms of a Y-shape (each of which measures 21km/13 miles long). Using the rail tracks that follow each of these arms -- and that, at one point, intersect with U.S. Route 60 at a level crossing -- and a specially designed lifting locomotive, the antennas can be physically relocated to a number of prepared positions, allowing aperture synthesis interferometry with a maximum baseline of 36 km (22 miles): in essence, the array acts as a single antenna with that diameter. The smallest angular resolution that can be reached is about 0.05 arcseconds at a wavelength of 7 mm.... In 2011, a decade long upgrade project had resulted in the VLA expanding its technical capacities by factors of as much as 8,000.

gerardvanderleun : April 27, 16  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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September 1936. "House for sale in Manchester, New Hampshire." - - | Shorpy

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gerardvanderleun : April 26, 16  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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This is wonderful on so many levels. Pass it on.

gerardvanderleun : April 26, 16  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Grace Notes

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I drive the Skyway to the town named Paradise,
park his car at the canyon's rim, and sit awhile
in the hot silence of the afternoon looking out
at the Sierra mountains where, in June, the winter lingers.
On the seat beside me a well-taped cardboard cube
contains what remains of my father. I climb out
and, taking the cube under my arm, begin to climb
down the canyon's lava wall to the stream below.
The going is slow, but we get to the bottom by and by
and sitting on some moss, we rest awhile, the cube and I,
beside the snow-chilled stream.
- - My Father

There are two ways into Paradise, the back way and the Skyway. When you can you take the Skyway but the back way will get you there just the same. When I moved back to Paradise after being gone for more than 60 years everything had changed but nothing had changed. Superimposed over Paradise as it is was Paradise as it was. Not everywhere but in the rise and roll of the land and roads; in the place names and the clearings. It was there in the overlay, in that "certain slant of light" where you see what is not there layered over what is. Because it what was is still there; in moments that appear unbidden and "fade upon the blowing of the horn."

And in those translucent moments I often see all Paradise as ghostly, drifting like a soft wall of mist across the scrim screen of the present. I can always hold this at bay, filter it out to get the errands of the day done. And then in an unguarded moment, it returns.

One afternoon soon after I arrived in Paradise I saw my father standing next to the Skyway. I saw my father, alive as you or me, and dead these forty years.

By the time I saw him it didn't really shock me. I'd lived in Paradise for over a month and I knew these things could happen here. Paradise was not just Paradise. It was a ghost town. And it was filled with my ghosts.

I first saw my father in the middle of the day next to Big O Tires on the Skyway. I'd gone there to have some minor repair done to my car and, while they took the car into the bay behind me, I wandered into the empty front showroom and gazed through the Big O display windows looking out over the Skyway and down the steep decline and quick rise of Pearson Road. Then I glanced down to the left of the showroom at a small vacant building next door. It was caked with many years of paint. The latest coats were pale gray with a light blue trim. The windows were sheets of painted plywood nailed tight to the frames and the door was solid with a padlock. It was shut tight and, like many buildings on the Skyway in Paradise and beyond, had a large red and white "For Lease" sign attached to the front.

As I looked at it my father walked through the closed and padlocked door and, like me, stood looking down hill as the traffic paused at the light and then turned left or right at the T-junction.

It was December for me, but it must have been summer for him because he stood there in his starched, short-sleeved, crisp and immaculate white shirt with a stainless steel Parker ballpoint pen in his pocket, a sharp crease in his slacks, his perfectly shined shoes, and a ruler-level flat-top -- his choice of a "sharp" haircut for men and boys. He stood there for about a minute as I watched him without moving, the smell of new tires in my nostrils. Then he turned and walked back through the walls of his office.

Behind me a burst of compressed air from a lug wrench brought me out of my brown study and I was looking again at a gray and blue building with a small courtyard that was now "For Lease." It was then I recognized the old building as the place where my father had had his car dealership when we all lived in Paradise in the mid-1950s. I told myself that what I had just experienced was some sort of vivid memory from my childhood as a kind of faint film from my mind projected onto the mundane present. Yes, that was all it was. I'm sure of that. I'm an educated man of no little experience in the real, wide world of now. It only felt like seeing a ghost. In broad daylight in deep December, dressed for summer.

The last time I'd seen my father was in a dream decades after he died on the operating table. He came to me out of the streets in the Red City that persists off and on over the years in my dreams. He was wearing a hospital smock stained with large patches of his blood. He said to me, "I don't belong with the dead," and then he faded. I hadn't seen him since.

This time, on the Skyway of Paradise, he was looking much better; looking at home with the dead. This time he didn't even seem dead, only translucent. I had a brief moment of disappointment that he was gone before we could continue the conversation from where he left off in my dream, but having been briefly dead I knew that the dead have little to say to the living. In any case, it was my father and I was, this time, glad to see him.

The poet says "Old men should be explorers." When I was younger I admired that sentiment but now, as the hand of age closes around me, I find I don't wish to explore new lands, but to explore again those I have already passed through trying to see what I missed in the first hectic rush towards my "goals."

These days I pass my father's place on the Skyway several times a week while turning onto the Skyway on an errand in Paradise or down from the ridge and into the valley to see my mother or to get the kind of meal unavailable in Paradise. My father's vacant office is right at the turn and, because of that (or so I tell myself), I don't stop. Someday I might pull over down the road a bit and walk back to his office hoping to see him again. But I don't think he'll oblige if I do. He doesn't have to. He's not inside our time now. He's just one of many ghosts that I've seen of late, up here on the ridge, up here in Paradise.

gerardvanderleun : April 26, 16  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Myths & Texts

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Snow still sheaths the streets in their mountains,
and the spring trees shudder in the wind off their lakes,
until night's smoke frames them fades them finally and forever and they're gone...
gone into the smoke of the world.

Smell of her long hair hot in the sun through the windshield,
rattle of dried corn sheaves shaken by dusk's breeze,
soft heft of breasts sweet as winter oranges,
the breath rising in the dry heat parching her body.
And the fire rose up in me and I stretched her out, O lovely,
across the pale cloth and reached out
and holding held and held until gone....
gone into the smoke of the world.

Gone.
Gone fifty years.
The day, the lips, the hair -- gone,
gone forever, forever gone into the gone world...
gone into the smoke of the world.

Above Berkeley's Old Moe's bookstore late at night
she loomed over me in the lamplight
as morning seemed forever delayed.
An eastern school took her at dawn,
her name forgotten, her scent and her flesh
remembered so that even now, on a unknown street
here in the west, I sometimes pass
a woman with that scent and turn
wondering, all these past gone years later,
could that one, that one, that one have been her
in that night when the dawn delayed,
and I woke to find her scent on the pillow
but her body forever gone, gone forever...
gone into the smoke of the world.

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They arrive dancing along the blade of night.
They leave fading into the smoke of dawn.
The mists of memory swirl and fold,
and remove their distinct details:
the haiku left behind in old boxes:
"I scrunched up the moon
into my water bucket..."

Did someone say she became a singer
somewhere in California? Judy? Was that,
last innocent love of my youth, her name?

The Christian roommate with tawny hair,
stroking the breasts near the kennels of the barkless dogs.
That musk, that hot breath in the cherry orchards,
the dwarf cattle, that hand closing upon me
so fleetingly and then gone...
gone into the smoke of the world.

The Italian with the moped.
The cowgirl with the blues.
The lapsed Catholic.
The painter with the horse's face and too-tight jeans.
The chintz shack. The quilt covered table.
The kiss upon my body -- Ah and Ah and Ah --
The whispered love in the attic of the San Francisco Mansion ---
The poet's garret on the side street, gray corridors --
The one named after the little deer... Bambi....

And then the forest takes a spark
And all the woods are blazing
And ash drifts down over the days
And they are all gone ... all gone...
gone into the smoke of the world.

Then the years of the cities and the slim women
wafting out of the night and into the smoky clubs.
The models and the painters and the posers.
Hairdressers, shop girls.... and those that loved the literary life.
The mockers and the shockers who kept
mostly cats but sometimes chittering marmots.
The ones who were sneaking around way downtown.
The socialites at the Black and White Ball
who needed their foreheads held as they hurled
into the shrubbery and then headed back to the bar
for another burst of oblivion.

And then in the room next to the roses in the Sur,
Holding the one who became the long wife.
Now off to her aging and gone, long gone...
gone into the smoke of the world.

The brief wife calls from her place in the smoke,
hiding her need at the center of her speech,
and achieving assurance can't wait to fade back
to the rooms that she's chosen to have and to hold.

"How am I?
I'm good.
I'm doing quite well."

"That's good.
Glad to hear it.
Stay well."

Missed connections.
Harsh static.
The cellphone in fade and then gone...
gone into the smoke of the world.

Snow still sheaths the streets
in their mountains and rivers,
and the spring trees shudder
in the wind off their lakes,
and the streetlights flicker
in their towns and their cities,
until winter banks their fires,
and night fades them finally,
and forever they're gone,
gone into the gone world,
gone, gone, long gone,
gone into the smoke of the world.

asmokeofworld3.jpg

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Vanderleun : April 25, 16  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

I can see by your coat, my friend
You're from the other side
There's just one thing I got to know
Can you tell me please, who won the war ?
....

Go, take your sister then, by the hand
Lead her away from this foreign land
Far away, where we might laugh again
We are leaving, you don't need us

And it's a fair wind blowin' warm
Out of the south over my shoulder
Guess I'll set a course and go

gerardvanderleun : April 25, 16  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Last year, Streit's closed its 90-year-old matzo factory on the Lower East Side of New York City. The Rivington Street location that produced unleavened bread for the Passover holiday had been a hallmark of the one-time Jewish enclave, alongside mainstays like Russ & Daughters and Katz's Deli.

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A woman packages Streit’s matzo to be sent to Berlin during World War II. According to the company, only two-thirds of each box was filled with matzo, the rest was secretly filled with bullets for the resistance movement.

19 more photos at Streit's Matzo on the Lower East Side - The Atlantic

gerardvanderleun : April 25, 16  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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InVerse

Homestead

It was found in the fog that shivered
        the slivers of glass in the windows.
It was seen in the sheen of the moon
         on the unworn wood of the floor.
It spoke with the slow, patient clutching of light
         and tapped out the unknown codes of the flesh,
         the indistinct worm of the years and the shapes
         of desire, possession, and fate.
It was mute.

It was stitched in the spaces
         of the wind's alphabet.
It was clothed in cool hands
         gloved in wet weather.
It appeared on the paths
         that admitted no passage.
It's rachety rhythms
         were all made of match sticks.
It waited.

It's slashings were tattooed
         on drapes of dank velvet.
It's gibbering laughter inserted itself
         between doorway and jamb and continued to carve.
It's snickering plumbing
         rotted the dinner.
They had left, they had left.
         Indeed, they had left.
Of that all their objects would clearly attest.

theyhadleft.jpg

Vanderleun : April 24, 16  |  Your Say (16)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"There is simply no room left for 'freedom from the tyranny of government' since city dwellers depend on it for food, power, water, transportation, protection, and welfare. Your right to live where you want, with companions of your choosing, under laws to which you agree, died in the eighteenth century with Captain Mission. Only a miracle or a disaster could restore it." -- William S. Burroughs, Cities of the Red Night (1981)

I
There is a growing interest in new techniques of mind-control. It has been suggested that Sirhan Sirhan was the subject of post-hypnotic suggestion, as he sat shaking violently on the steam table in the kitch of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles while the as-yet unidentified woman held him and whispered in his ear. It has been alleged that behavior-modification techniques are used on troublesome prisoners and inmates, often without their consent. Dr. Delgado, who once stopped a charging bull by remote control of electrodes in the bull's brain, left the U.S. to pursue his studies on human subjects in Spain. Brainwashing, psychotropic drugs, lobotomy and other, more subtle forms of psychosurgery; the technocratic control apparatus of the United States has at its fingertips new techniques which if fully exploited could make Orwell's 1984 seem like a benevolent utopia.

II
But words are still the principal instruments of control. Suggestions are words. Persuasions are words. Orders are words. No control machine so far devised can operate without words, and any control machine which attempts to do so relying entirely on external force or entirely on physical control of the mind will soon encounter the limits of control.

III
A basic impasse of all control machines is this: Control needs time in which to exercise control. Because control also needs opposition or acquiescence; otherwise, it ceases to be control. I control a hypnotized subject (at least partially); I control a slave, a dog, a worker; but if I establish complete control somehow, as by implanting electrodes in the brain, then my subject is little more than a tape recorder, a camera, a robot. You don't control a tape recorder - you use it. Consider the distinction, and the impasse implicit here. All control systems try to make control as tight as possible, but at the same time, if they succeeded completely there would be nothing left to control. Suppose for example a control system installed electrodes in the brains of all prospective workers at birth. Control is now complete. Even the thought of rebellion is neurologically impossible. No police force is necessary. No psychological control is necessary, other than pressing buttons to achieve certain activations and operations.

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gerardvanderleun : April 24, 16  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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“Leadership”: What is the architectural equivalent of defenestration into elevator shafts?

Hey, is Yucca Mountain in Nevada open yet?

Is the infrastructure ready for an entire time zone to plug in electric cars, all at once, yet?

Can we expect NON-rolling brown out rationing?

Will a diesel generator recharge my autonomous car AND run the security lights ?

How much is Iranian “heavy” water, per 500ml plastic bottle?

They’ll be stetting up manufacturing of affordable and accessable Solarvoltaic panels, and wind mills with that profit?

Has rain-X marketed those special solar roof panel “winter” wiper blades yet?

Does spinning ones tires when stuck in snow, affect the range /heat /communications /lights /locks in electric cars?

Can I get a carbon offsets, for packaging/transportation/garbage generation, if I have agriculture that actually produces food, that I actually eat?

Can I get an “energy efficiency rebate” if I replace my old solar powered clothes dryer with a NEW, high efficiency, rope (and eco-friendly “wood” clothes pins)?

Just opening a cultured, intellectual, dialogue.

-- - CaptDMO House of Eratosthenes

gerardvanderleun : April 24, 16  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Imagine ghosts, gods and devils.

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

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

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

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

Imagine spaceships and the future.

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

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

Of course there is.

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

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

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

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

Imagine!

Written by Fredric Brown, 1955

gerardvanderleun : April 24, 16  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Okay, it's been one of those days in which you are more than usually in despair over the fate of the damned human race, right?

Right.

Well here's the antidote. Listen carefully and more deeply than you usually do.

You'll notice the young feller yawning and stretching to illustrate the hour.
He has Perfect Pitch, sometimes known as Absolute Pitch. He can identify any note he hears without any other reference. He can even do it with ambient noises out in the world, like bird songs or sirens. They didn't get around to it in the video, but you can play multiple notes on the piano, and he can tell you all of them. It's a very unusual ability. Of course his father, in his infinite wisdom, taught him how to play the drums. -- Sippican Cottage
gerardvanderleun : April 23, 16  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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It's been a nasty decade or so for Kodak. In the last two years alone the company's "highlights" have been "lowlights:"

In December 2010, Standard & Poor's removed Kodak from its S&P 500 index. In January 2009, Kodak posted a $137 million fourth-quarter loss and announced plans to cut up to 4,500 jobs. On June 22, 2009, Eastman Kodak Co announced that it will retire Kodachrome color film by the end of 2009, ending its 74-year run after a dramatic decline in sales. On December 4, 2009, Eastman Kodak Co sold its Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) business unit to LG Electronics which resulted in the laying off of 60 people, which includes research engineers, technicians and interns. - Eastman Kodak
Back in September of 2011 :Bottom Line - Kodak struggles to reinvent itself for digital age
Eastman Kodak appears to be staying clear of bankruptcy proceedings for now, but time is clearly running out for the 130-year old industrial icon to reinvent itself for a digital century.
But that was just blowing smoke because in January of 2012, Eastman Kodak Company and Its U.S. Subsidiaries Commence Voluntary Chapter 11 Business Reorganization And now, a year later, it seems as if it is getting a pulse, or at least a pacemaker: The Daily Docket: Judge Approves $843.7M Kodak Financing Deal - Bankruptcy Beat - WSJ

So it would seem that Kodak is getting a new lease on life, if not a renewed interest in creativity and innovation. For that it would have to go back to the future past.

If the company that calls itself Kodak today had a brain, it would copy the "Instamatic 100" from Kodak's greatest hits, drop a first rate lens in it, add some great chips, a view screen as big as the back of the camera, and rebrand it as the “Kodak Digimatic 100.” Instant win.

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An Apple design from before Apple was Apple

They’ll never be cool enough to do it....

Click Here to Continue
Vanderleun : April 23, 16  |  Your Say (22)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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MONDO BIZARRO


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

The little sign said EDAMAME CRACKERS AND UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR.

The sample bestower saw me and said "Would you like some" -
"WOAH I DID NOT EXPECT CHEDDAR!" I said, except I was about ten feet away and I said it really, really loudly. Surprised myself, actually. "DON'T DO THAT." LILEKS (James)


Co-Opting The Culture Of Victimhood

Evangelicals have for the last 30 years acted as the useful idiots and earnest footsoldiers of the GOP establishment.
While clinging to empty promises of ending abortion and vows to halt the moral decay of the public square, Evangelicals willingly sat by as the very material conditions that permitted the flourishing of their cherished Middlebrow Christianity were destroyed by free trade and the obscenity of a hyper-capitalist popular culture.
Likewise, for the Democrats, the black underclass has filled the same niche of the useful idiot. In exchange for continuous handouts (in the form of lifetime social service benefits) and a series of never-ending affirmative action initiatives, blacks have become the most consistently loyal members of a party’s base in the history of American politics. This is, of course, in spite of the fact that it is the ideologies of their benevolent overlords, i.e., the perverse stupidities of free love and atomized individualism, which have so thoroughly devastated their communities. Walk through any black ghetto in the United States, and immediately you will be immersed in conditions so degenerate that the social mores of feral dogs seem genuinely aristocratic in comparison. - Social Matter


Who says there's no good news?

tom carbone on Twitter: "https://t.co/T0YpaE26sn"


Melissa Cook is a forty-seven-year-old surrogate in California with four children of her own.

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In Cook’s case three embryos were implanted in her uterus and all three took.
When C.M. learned of the triplets, he asked her to abort one because he was not capable of caring for three children; Cook refused. C.M. continued to ask for an abortion by arguing that giving birth to multiples was dangerous for the babies. Despite threats from C.M.’s lawyer that they’d cut off funding to Cook throughout the rest of pregnancy if she did not comply with the abortion, Cook refused and C.M. relented. The Schizophrenic and the California Brood Mare


"Get your mind off 1,237; get your mind on the wind at Donald Trump’s back."

The wind is at Donald Trump’s back, and it’s the kind that doesn’t lessen but builds.
Last week he won the New York primary with an astounding 60% of the vote to John Kasich’s 25% and Ted Cruz’s 15%. This week he swept the five-state Northeast regional primaries with numbers that neared or surpassed the New York results—54% in Maryland, 57% in Pennsylvania, 58% in Connecticut, 61% in Delaware and 64% in Rhode Island. He beat Mr. Kasich in Greenwich, Conn., the affluent enclave of the old moderate Republicanism. Amazingly, he carried every county in all five states, and every county in New York except Manhattan. With 10 million votes, Mr. Trump is on track to become the biggest primary vote-getter in GOP history. He did well with varied demographic groups, old and young, college graduates, rich and not. This is the kind of political momentum that tends to grow. A political saying attributed to Haley Barbour is that in politics this is the dynamic: Good gets better and bad gets worse. Simple Patriotism Trumps Ideology - Peggy Noonan


Ten Things You Should Know About The Reptilian Elite Conspiracy

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Believers don't agree on where the Reptilian Elite came from (some say a distant planet, others say they've been on Earth since before mankind), but they all agree the Reptilian Elite are the scaly bastards behind the New World Order. - Neatorama

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



"Understand us and understand this clearly: you have everything to learn from us; we have nothing to learn from you."

Oxford, let us remind you, is the world’s second oldest extant university. Scholars have been studying here since at least the 11th century. We’ve played a major part in the invention of Western civilisation, from the 12th century intellectual renaissance through the Enlightenment and beyond. Our alumni include William of Ockham, Roger Bacon, William Tyndale, John Donne, Sir Walter Raleigh, Erasmus, Sir Christopher Wren, William Penn, Samuel Johnson, Robert Hooke, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, Emily Davison, Cardinal Newman. We’re a big deal. And most of the people privileged to come and study here are conscious of what a big deal we are. Oxford is their alma mater – their dear mother – and they respect and revere her accordingly.

And what were your ancestors doing in that period? Living in mud huts, mainly. Sure we’ll concede you the short lived Southern African civilisation of Great Zimbabwe. But let’s be brutally honest here. The contribution of the Bantu tribes to modern civilisation has been as near as damn it to zilch. You’ll probably say that’s “racist”. But it’s what we here at Oxford prefer to call “true.”
"Dear Scrotty Students" - Maggie's Farm



The cardinal error of the Germans who opposed Nazism was their failure to unite against it.

At the crest of their popular strength, in July 1932, the National Socialists had attained but 37 per cent of the vote. But the 63 per cent of the German people who expressed their opposition to Hitler were much too divided and short sighted to combine against the common danger which they must have known would overwhelm them unless they united, however temporarily, to stamp it out. -- William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 1960, p. 185

I have not endorsed Mr. Trump.

I do refuse to denounce him. – Jerry Pournelle

It's easy if you don't pay attention to the news. Or weather. Or traffic report.

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Hope n' Change Cartoons: Storm und Drang

While we in the moribund West gabble self-congratulatory nonsense about the “right” and “wrong” sides of history,

China — which doesn’t bother with such rubbish — is rapidly reconfiguring itself. It has always been aware of the risks that Western infection brings, and so it is clamping down on foreign influences, and on the free expression of ideas (such freedom of expression being itself a Western notion, of course, and a relatively recent one at that). Foreign journalists and NGOs are leaving the country, and homegrown muckrakers are being rounded up, pour encourager les autres.... What has made this great expansion possible? The great wealth that China has accumulated through, among other things, its openness to global trade and influences — and in particular, the 3.6 trillion-dollar trade surplus it has racked up against a decadent and profligate United States just since the year 2000. That kind of money will buy a lot of nice new things, including a robust and rambunctious military, and a fat class of loyal political dependents.
Mission Accomplished

Trump has won. The current practice is to find someone to blame for this, other than ourselves; but really the whole team stinks.

I refer, of course, to Team Conservative, which took the battering from this glitzy goon, who didn’t need a “ground game” for his strategy was viral. The great majority of Americans, like a larger majority of Canadians, will actually vote for a Clinton or a Trump; even for a Trudeau. Who cares which huckster they choose? A gentleman like Cruz, who employs reason, and tries to complete his passes (ice hockey again) has no chance with such opponents. They aren’t playing the same game. Wednesday morning : Essays in Idleness


The Democrats are the party of lunatics and black people now.

The other goofy bit was how the party nominates delegates to the convention. I picked from a slate of women and a slate of men. By rule, the seven delegates voted to the convention must be four biological women and three biological men. You just know where this is headed. A few more turns of the wheel and there will be a list for the one tranny, the one left handed gay ginger and so on. The Democrats are the party of lunatics and black people now. Voting in the Ghetto | The Z Blog

Trump does not scare black people.

That does not mean Trump will win many black votes.
It just means they have no reason to fear him. That’s why I suspect Hillary is in deep trouble. Blacks will vote for her over an old Jew, but they are not turning out in big numbers for her unless the Republicans run someone scary. Trump does not scare black people. In fact, blacks seem to respect him and appreciate his showmanship. It’s a small thing but politics is a game of small things. Voting in the Ghetto | The Z Blog


Dear Canada,

If Trump is elected and you do not take these miserable celebrities off our hands it may be considered an official declaration of war.


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

Cruz to Tap Fiorina as Running Mate Translation: Cruz to play the "Who Bitch This Is" card.



6-Day Visit To Rural African Village Completely Changes Woman’s Facebook Profile Picture

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“I don’t think my profile photo will ever be the same, not after the experience of taking such incredible pictures with my arms around those small African children’s shoulders. Honestly, I can’t even imagine going back to my old Facebook photo of my roommate and I at an outdoor concert.” | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

Person Who Will One Day Become Warlord-Ruler Of What Was Once Nebraska Born In Omaha Hospital

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Born to Jack and Monica Crowley of Bellevue, NE, the child is reported to be healthy and happy
and unaware that he'll one day violently subdue dozens of warring, radiation-scarred factions under a brutal regime of torture and forced fealty the likes of which the Gamma Quadrant wasteland has never seen. According to Mr. Crowley, both mother and future mass-murdering tyrant are now resting at home and "doing great." == News Source


"They are unaware of the disaster that godlessness in the West has led to."

A Note to Conservatives Who Are Secular Dennis Prager The vast majority of leading conservative writers, just like their liberal colleagues, have a secular outlook on life. With few exceptions, the conservative political and intellectual worlds are oblivious to the consequences of secularism. They are unaware of the disaster that godlessness in the West has led to.



The Life and Times of the Tactical Backpack

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In the meantime, a civilian named Lloyd Nelson had been hiking around Alaska with a pack made of sealskins and sticks that he’d borrowed from a local indigenous tribe. Less than cozy for long hauls, Nelson craved something a little smoother on the vertebrae, and figured others might too. Building on the locals’ design, he devised an impressive external frame system: a wooden board with a canvas back panel, cross slats, and detachable packsack. In 1922, the "Trapper Nelson Indian Pack Board" was officially submitted to the U.S. patents office. Yukon Gold Rushers were particularly enamored with it. | Huckberry

The modern lynch mob is it is almost always composed of women.

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Sure, there will be men tagging along, maybe throwing in some shots of their own, but the organizers are always women. Maybe a homosexual male will start it with a point and shriek, but 99 times out of 100, the person organizing the lynch mob is going to be a woman. She will sound the alarm and the rest of the coven will arrive, ready to set fire to the wicker man. Female Trouble | The Z Blog

An idea gaining currency



"Tonight there are no lights."

Hate, as a political strategy. Law, used to divide and conquer. Regulation used to punish. Elections used to cement dictatorship. Corruption bleeding out the lifeblood in drips, filling the buckets of a successive line of bureaucrats before they are destroyed, only to be replaced time and again. - - The Suicide of Venezuela

The Medium Is the Message, 50 Years Later

He had a thing for clip-on neckties. He once said LSD was the lazy man’s form of Finnegans Wake. When deciding whether a book was worth reading, he’d flip through its table of contents then skip ahead to page 69. If page 69 offered no insight, he’d put the book down and move onto the next. In a 1951 letter to Ezra Pound, he described himself as an “intellectual thug.” - — Pacific Standard

The last contemporary fiction I had any interest in is Auntie Mame, and I’m not kidding.

The fiction writers are off in another world. They don’t see the world as it exists now. They don’t use the language of the contemporary world. Their English is utterly stale and cloistered. I cannot read a page of contemporary fiction, I’m sorry. A Conversation with Camille Paglia
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Every revolution begins by attacking the collaborators.

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And Conservatism Inc. is composed of collaborators, too cowardly, mediocre, or simply malevolent to stand up for the interests of their people. They operate as parasites on European-America. Our job as revolutionaries is to constantly bring out the contradictions within their own artificial ideology, to constantly show how they are betraying the very people they claim to speak for. The Conservative Media and the Microphone

The longer I live, the more humbug there is.

There is no subject to which humbug attaches more than humanity, of course. Who will admit that he doesn’t love humanity, that it wouldn’t matter to him in the slightest if half of it disappeared, that he can sit through the news of the worst disaster imaginable (provided far away) and eat his dinner nonetheless with good appetite? - - Theodore Dalrymple

A traffic stop

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A rookie police officer pulled a biker over for speeding and had the following exchange: • Officer: May I see your driver's license? • Biker: I don't have one. I had it suspended when I got my 5th DUI. • Officer: May I see the owner's card for this vehicle? • Biker: It's not my bike. I stole it. • Officer: The motorcycle is stolen? • Biker: That's right. But come to think of it, I think I saw the owner's card in the tool bag when I was putting my gun in there. Officer: There's a gun in the tool bag? • Biker: Yes sir. That's where I put it after I shot and killed the dude who owns this bike and stuffed his dope in the saddle bags. • Officer: There's drugs in the saddle bags too?!?!? • Biker: Yes, sir. Hearing this, the rookie immediately called his captain. The biker was quickly surrounded by police, and the captain approached the biker to handle the tense situation: • Captain: Sir, can I see your license? • Biker: Sure. Here it is. It was valid. • Captain: Who's motorcycle is this? • Biker: It's mine, officer. Here's the registration. • Captain: Could you slowly open your tool bag so I can see if there's a gun in it? • Biker: Yes, sir, but there's no gun in it. Sure enough, there was nothing in the tool bag. • Captain: Would you mind opening your saddle bags? I was told you said there's drugs in them. • Biker: No problem. The saddle bags were opened; no drugs. • Captain: I don't understand it. The officer who stopped you said you told him you didn't have a license, stole this motorcycle, had a gun in the tool bag, and that there were drugs in the saddle bags. • Biker: Yeah, I'll bet he told you I was speeding, too.

One more reason to celebrate every night of Passover

Orthodox rabbi declares medical marijuana kosher for Passover

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

French finance minister denies twanging journalist's panties

First tomb of the Nuclear Age. But not... by any means.... the last.

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Site A / Plot M: The Buried Remains of The World’s First Nuclear Reactor

Does God get stoned? Check out the Platypus, Dude

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While looking at his plentiful platypus organs, British anatomist Everard Home of the Royal College of Surgeons in London found that the beak was actually a sensory apparatus, and that the platypus’s sexual organs were like those of an oviparous reptile. Why 19th-Century Naturalists Didn't Believe in the Platypus | Atlas Obscura

So Many People, So Few Crashes

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More @ People We Hate at the Airport

Beyond Mellow Yellow (And don't even think about using the patch to quit.)

Smoking Scorpions in South Asia:So how does one smoke a scorpion, anyway? It’s a simple yet effective process – a dead scorpion is dried in sunlight for several hours or a live one is burnt on coal until it dies. The dried carcass is then lit on fire and the smoke is inhaled. Since it’s the tail that contains the poison addicts seek, some smokers prefer to crush the dried tail and mix it with hashish and tobacco, smoking it in the form of a cigarette.

The great majority do not care much for civic freedom, and never did.

They want to be taken care of; they want someone looking out for them;

they want to feel part of something; they would like to avoid hard work and intelligent thinking. All these are legitimate desires, in their proper contexts. But a man with the rat cunning of, say, a Trump, or an Obama, knows how to exploit these desires, with sparkledust dreams and empty promises. Those who care little for freedom they enslave. -- Essays in Idleness


Why Vladimir Putin’s People Love Him [Bumped]

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He disciplined his country’s unaccountable plutocrats, restored its military strength, and refused, with ever-blunter rhetoric, the subservient role in an American-run world system that foreign politicians and business leaders had drawn up for Russia. His voters credit him with having “saved his country.” So do many of his Russian detractors, although they worry he has stayed in power too long. -- Federalist

Having trickled down from the top, moral licence has now percolated up again from the bottom.

Its tidemark, is tattoos. The middle classes began tattooing themselves out of empathy with marginal people like criminals or bikers. "But unfortunately, when you imitate something, the role becomes the reality." --New English Review

"For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives

In the valley of its making where executives
Would never want to tamper, flows on south
From ranches of isolation and the busy griefs,
Raw towns that we believe and die in; it survives,
A way of happening, a mouth.

Auden, In Memory of W. B. Yeats



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