Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
The Political Art and the Art of Politics

THE CLASSICAL THEMES of art have always been -- virtue, nobility, patriotism.

Since I practiced none of these in my youth, and throughout much of my career worked actively or passively to under-mind them, I came -- at last -- to yearn to discover what they could possibly be in this blighted age. After all, I was not alone in my abnegation. My entire generation, one way or another, had tossed virtue, nobility, and patriotism over the side of our Ship of Fools thinking to lighten the vessel and keep it upright and afloat. As the Not-So-Great Generation, we did not understand the physics behind removing the ballast when all aboard were struggling to climb over each other to get as high as the very top of the top gallants.

Since the beginning of this century, the more I surveyed the vast and troubled social sea on which I had finally awakened adrift with the rest of the wreckage, the more I saw that these virtues -- in a shriveled and shrunken form -- seemed only to be found in the scattered sanctuaries of the Church and what remained to the Republican

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Posted by Vanderleun Jun 30, 2005 5:10 AM | Comments (34)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The One and the Many

IT IS SAID, for either comfort or confidence, that God so orders the world that there is "someone for everyone." It is said, by some latter-day Calvinists, that God has assigned this selected one to you from the master moment of Creation; that you will be taken to cleave to them, and only to them, if only your faith allows His will to be done.... on Earth as it is in Heaven.

On our Earth, however, it seems that a power other than God has intervened in this order. It seems that now a different metric is in play in our lives with the advent of the new and updated Devil's workshop made modern, the Internet.

Here, should you wish to push through the endless forms, filings, fittings and radio

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Posted by Vanderleun Jun 30, 2005 4:49 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Uptown Date

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"Original Dating are holding another speed dating event at Oblivion Bar on Monday the 27th June. You will meet up to 20 new people in one great night out! Dates last just four minutes each. Long enough to work out if you want to
see someone again and not too long if you don't!" -- Announcement, June, 2005

      [with apologies to Alexander Pope]

WITHIN OLD GOTHAM'S canyons there dwells a shallow race,
That is only moved to mark and then pursue the face
Whose pursed lips promise much, and yet deliver little,
Except more cash and fame to the various lickspittles
Whose manipulation of the young is really quite refined,
And whose underwear is personally hand-signed by Calvin Klein.

Presented daily with an echo shrouded in a choice,
It surprises none among us that some presume a voice
That yaps and apes authority, and urges happiness
Can be possessed by the possession of a new designer dress
Designed and sold by Donna, or her many fawning friends,
That such a tiny swatch of fabric may yet cover bigger ends.

Armed with such frail weapons, these creatures nightly strive
To convince themselves and others they're vibrantly alive
To life and wit and wealth, and not just sunk in shame,
As in the bistros of the night they play the dating game.
This game is played by two who always seek to measure
The shortest distance now between self-esteem and pleasure.

The entrance fees are steep, yet still these fools rush in --
Each to take their turn, each to have their spin,
Upon a wheel of fortune made of money and of mist,

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Posted by Vanderleun Jun 27, 2005 11:23 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Wonderful, funny, moving and deeply human


Matt Harding of Seattle made this: Where the Hell is Matt?

[Note to self: write something here about the indomitable nature of the human spirit. On second thought, just watch it again.]



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 23, 2005 5:03 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Christians of Convenience

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
-- Matthew 5, 44

DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU the spirit of Christ is not being made manifest in American media today. If you wish to see it in action pick up almost any newspaper on any day. Reading the headlines and the editorial concerns, you will be able to discern a core Christian precept in every edition.

Nearly four years into a war that began with the death of 3,000 of our fellow citizens, a situation has evolved within these United States that is without precedence in the annals of war and religion. It would seem that, even with our troops engaging the enemy wherever he can be found, and even with our troops dying daily from enemy action, that a large and substantial portion of the American population has learned to truly "love thy enemy."

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Posted by Vanderleun Jun 20, 2005 8:30 AM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Kids Today

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THEY SAY IT IS AN INTELLECTUAL FLAW to let things go "in one ear and out the other," but at my age it is merely a question of deciding what to admit onto the hard drive of my brain. It's a limited drive and at this point it is pretty much full. To write something new to it means I often have to delete something else. So I don't view this in one ear thing as a flaw but a necessity.

A much more common variation of this phenomenon is the deplorable habit of letting something go in one ear and out your mouth without first striking either a reflective surface or being passed through a BS filter -- preferably both. Once you realize that "in-ear-out-mouth" (IEOM) is an affliction of epidemic proporations in contemporary America you can spot it maiming and killing brain cells everywhere.

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Posted by Vanderleun Jun 15, 2005 3:31 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Let Us Now Praise Remarkable Bloggers - 1

#1: On The Doctor Is In

DURING THE YEARS I SPENT AS A MAGAZINE AND BOOK EDITOR, the most rewarding and exciting moments were when I'd open a manuscript by someone I'd never heard of and find a new and compelling voice. Over time I got so I'd know that voice was there within the first three paragraphs. I was never disappointed. Once I knew it, I would do everything in my power to see it was published and in this, I don't think I ever failed.

I knew it when I first read the manuscript for a short story called "The Ledge" by a young guy named Steve King. I knew it when I read an essay on the cell by a doctor

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Posted by Vanderleun Jun 12, 2005 10:01 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In the Town Hall's Graveyard

In the hayed field thick with dusted mist,
As the noon whistle of the village hissed,
We noted how the dead were neatly placed,
How all lay labeled, how all were given space.

We remarked the craft of marble wreath,
And supposed that those who lay beneath
Were, like us, clad in the fashion of their day,
Some fitting shroud in which to greet an eternity of clay.

Nearby we saw the fruits of Arbor Day and said
How lovely were the trees; how well pruned and fed.
The trees ignored our gaze, as was their right,
And spawned a host of shadows, imitating night.

The hill beyond, round and mirrored as a globe,
Climbed once in spring, above us hovered
On high and wind smoothed walls of slate
On which trees' naked branches scraped

An etching of themselves slashed onto sky.
But we wandered late into our day and birds' cries
Made us spy the gray and shaken sheets of storm,
That sheathed us soon and drove us down

Into the brambles where the ancient Indians lay,
Separated by the weeds' time from the weather of the day,
And resolved at last to, sightless, calmly wait
Upon the last night's opening of the gateless gate.

"The slashing brambles took our eyes away.
The rain in sheaves removed our clay.
Our dried skin, in husks, remains asleep.
To awaken us, you must dig deep

"Beneath the earth of whittled leaves
Beneath the grief that no longer grieves;
To awaken us you need a careful touch,
For dig you must, but never dig too much."


We turned from the field and its rustle of birds,
Where once sunlight played on summer words,
Playing now only to the chiseled stones,
And to the silence of the abandoned bones.

That stillness slashed the grass with scythes of wind,
And made us wish we could a thousand acts rescind,
But we knew our wishes were for naught,
For what is easily sold is dearly bought.

Instead, we startled life in a whirr of wings,
And in that moment came to present things.
We went home, made tea, and sat together,
Held hands at evening and talked about the weather.



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 10, 2005 9:11 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"And guess what, it's not about the oil."

Michael Bowen @ Cobb wisely points to this insightful article at Stratfor New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize, which establishes that there are other, deeper reasons for valuing New Orleans beyond the oil industry.

A city is a complex and ongoing process - one that requires physical infrastructure to support the people who live in it and people to operate that physical infrastructure. We don't simply mean power plants or sewage treatment facilities, although they are critical. Someone has to be able to sell a bottle of milk or a new shirt. Someone has to be able to repair a car or do surgery. And the people who do those things, along with the infrastructure that supports them, are gone -- and they are not coming back anytime soon.

It is in this sense, then, that it seems almost as if a nuclear weapon went off in New Orleans. The people mostly have fled rather than died, but they are gone. Not all of the facilities are destroyed, but most are. It appears to us that New Orleans and its environs have passed the point of recoverability. The area can recover, to be sure, but only with the commitment of massive resources from outside -- and those resources would always be at risk to another Katrina.

The displacement of population is the crisis that New Orleans faces. It is also a national crisis, because the largest port in the United States cannot function without a city around it. The physical and business processes of a port cannot occur in a ghost town, and right now, that is what New Orleans is. It is not about the facilities, and it is not about the oil. It is about the loss of a city's population and the paralysis of the largest port in the United States.



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 4, 2005 9:00 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
And the 2,000,000th Visitor Was Mr. or Ms. 24.81.141.73 ....

.... at 4:13 PM Pacific Time, June 4, 2005. The IP address locater tells me this visitor came from Calgary in Canada via Shaw Communications.

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Jun 4, 2005 4:15 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
6 DAYS LATER: "We couldn't rush to failure..."

JUST BACK FROM THE GULF COAST, presents a Lt. Gen. H. Steven BlumDefense Department Briefing on the Ongoing National Guard Response to Hurricane Katrina. Up to date numbers and plans for mitigating the disaster. And this exchange which puts a little reality back into the picture:

Q: Across the disaster zone our reporters have consistently run into people over the past week, victims who have asked where's the National Guard, why aren't they here, why aren't they helping us? I know it's not your job to decide where and when aid is delivered. You have to provide these forces. But as a general who's been there and a commander with a can-do reputation, I just wanted to ask your opinion. Do you think in retrospect that more creativity, more ingenuity could have been employed early on to use the military to deliver more aid to people sooner?

GEN. BLUM: It would be easy to draw that conclusion, Jamie, but if you've ever been to Gulfport, remember the highway that runs along the coast was a four lane super highway. It was impassable. So where you could -- if a normal infrastructure existed, no question, you could have saturated the area with more, faster. But we were putting forces in in very degraded infrastructure. Airports had reduced capability. Roads, in some cases we had only one road in because of lack of bridges, flooding, loss of infrastructure, or the structures were too unsafe to cross or we would become casualties ourselves.

So we couldn't rush to failure on this thing and we had to take a more measured approach than any of us wanted. But to call this response late to need, if you're talking about the National Guard response, that would be a low blow to some incredible individuals who were on watch before the storm, harbored during the storm, on the scene immediately after the storm cleared. Just think about it. When was the storm? When did it hit? How many days ago?

Q: Early Monday.

GEN. BLUM: And today is what?

Q: Saturday.

GEN. BLUM: In that short time we're talking numbers of 40,000. This is just military. You're talking about being able to provide food, fuel, water for an unknown number of people that we have to first fine and discover in lots of cases, and then immediately care for with extremely high expectations.

I think the response of the National Guard is nothing less than unbelievably sensational. It's actually better than any planner could ever expect.

When I first laid out the numbers of reinforcements that would be coming into theater and then I went down there to ensure that they arrived so that the plan was in fact being executed, I was very surprised to find that every single projection that we had made had been exceeded because of the magnificent response that we're getting from all over this nation. Puerto Rico, in the height of hurricane season, is sending 1,000 soldiers to the relief effort. Think about what that means. One of the first forces in there were coming in from Oregon, Washington, Alaska. Forty states have soldiers there. Others are lined up to come in later because they have different skill sets that we think we'll need down the road, particularly as we get some of these roads uncovered and we have to start with reconstruction and rehabilitation of the area, rather than just getting in and getting the necessities in, the essentials.

[Emphasis added.]



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 4, 2005 9:27 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Excuse

DAVID WARREN tracks the evolution, or rather 'devolution' on really bad ideas in Bad Gumbo:

"To be honest with you, people who are oppressed all their lives, man, it's an opportunity to get back at society," said a certain Mike Franklin, glibly explaining the scene before the cameras to the Associated Press.

How wonderfully that sentence encapsulates the spirit of postmodern liberalism. In complete ignorance of his intellectual ancestry, this simple clod repeats an idea that has descended from arcane roots in Descartes, to Rousseau, and through Marx, to Frantz Fanon, and through the sociology departments of the universities, to daytime television, and out into popular cliche, till it has finally settled in the sewers of New Orleans. It is the idea of "victimhood"; the idea that a man is not responsible for his acts; that he is instead a victim of the oppression of some abstraction called "society" -- because he is black, or on welfare, or whatever. And everyone who isn't can be held guilty, regardless of how they have actually behaved.



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 4, 2005 7:49 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Renewing New Orleans

DAVID WARREN says it best in "New Orleans:"

In the end, of course, we all die. And all our cities will disintegrate, and their ruins finally dissolve like sugar. As Prospero puts it in the Tempest, "The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples, the great globe itself, yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, and leave ... not a rack behind."

But that is to get ahead of the plot. It is for us to be creators not destroyers, and to build and rebuild against the impossibility that anything we touch can outlast time. And this is something that cannot be argued with: the immutable command of our Maker.



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 4, 2005 7:40 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
In Coldest Type: Crack Addiction in American Publishing

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"There are two things cowboys know nothing about. Cows and horses."

IN 1982 THE FIRST BOOK I EVER EDITED AND PUBLISHED during my career as a book editor at Houghton Mifflin Company was publishing consultant Leonard Shatzkin's In Cold Type: Overcoming the Book Crisis.   I loved working on this book and working with Shatzkin, but others around me were growing colder to the project as it progressed.

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Jun 3, 2005 8:17 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Summing Up

THIS WEEK'S EDITORIAL FROM The Federalist Patriot / Top of the Fold is one of the best overviews on the New Orleans disaster to date.

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Posted by Vanderleun Jun 2, 2005 2:47 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Drive-By

The Kevin Roderick says, "Guests at Wednesday night's fundraiser for Sen. Hillary Clinton at the Hollywood Hills home of producer Roland Emmerich are being warned not to speak with any reporters. It's part of their written instructions."

The P.J. O'Rourke says, "I suggest a Celebrity Tax with a low-end base rate of, mmm, 100 percent.... Given the modest talent of current celebrities and the immodest example they set for impressionable youth, we'll call it a 'Value Subtracted Tax.' "

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Posted by Vanderleun Jun 2, 2005 10:28 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Support Michael Yon in Iraq Today

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Photo by Michael Yon

IN OVER TWO YEARS, I HAVE NOT ASKED FOR ANYTHING FROM MY READERS. That changes today. Today I want you to do something right now.

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Posted by Vanderleun Jun 2, 2005 5:59 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bigfoot Talks About the Real Situation in the Dome

MORE FIRSTHAND REPORTING from Indictor at Outpost Crystal in New Orleans:
====quote====
"Bigfoot" is a bar manager and DJ on Bourbon Street, and is a local personality and icon in the city. He is a lifelong resident of the city, born and raised. He rode out the storm itself in the Iberville Projects because he knew he would be above any flood waters. Here is his story as told to me moments ago. I took notes while he talked and then I asked some questions:

Three days ago, police and national guard troops told citizens to head toward the Crescent City Connection Bridge to await transportation out of the area. The citizens trekked over to the Convention Center and waited for the buses which they were told would take them to Houston or Alabama or somewhere else, out of this area.

It's been 3 days, and the buses have yet to appear.

Although obviously he has no exact count, he estimates more than 10,000 people are packed into and around and outside the convention center still waiting for the buses. They had no food, no water, and no medicine for the last three days, until today, when the National Guard drove over the bridge above them, and tossed out supplies over the side crashing down to the ground below. Much of the supplies were destroyed from the drop. Many people tried to catch the supplies to protect them before they hit the ground. Some offered to walk all the way around up the bridge and bring the supplies down, but any attempt to approach the police or national guard resulted in weapons being aimed at them.

There are many infants and elderly people among them, as well as many people who were injured jumping out of windows to escape flood water and the like -- all of them in dire straights.

Any attempt to flag down police results in being told to get away at gunpoint. Hour after hour they watch buses pass by filled with people from other areas. Tensions are very high, and there has been at least one murder and several fights. 8 or 9 dead people have been stored in a freezer in the area, and 2 of these dead people are kids.

The people are so desperate that they're doing anything they can think of to impress the authorities enough to bring some buses. These things include standing in single file lines with the eldery in front, women and children next; sweeping up the area and cleaning the windows and anything else that would show the people are not barbarians.

The buses never stop.

Before the supplies were pitched off the bridge today, people had to break into buildings in the area to try to find food and water for their families. There was not enough. This spurred many families to break into cars to try to escape the city. There was no police response to the auto thefts until the mob reached the rich area -- Saulet Condos -- once they tried to get cars from there... well then the whole swat teams began showing up with rifles pointed. Snipers got on the roof and told people to get back.

He reports that the conditions are horrendous. Heat, mosquitoes and utter misery. The smell, he says, is "horrific."

He says it's the slowest mandatory evacuation ever, and he wants to know why they were told to go to the Convention Center area in the first place; furthermore, he reports that many of them with cell phones have contacts willing to come rescue them, but people are not being allowed through to pick them up.


I have "Bigfoot"'s phone number and will gladly give it to any city or state official who would like to tell him how everything is under control.

Addendum: Bigfoot just called to report that "they" (the authorities) are cleaning up the dead bodies at the Convention Center right now.

==== endquote====



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 1, 2005 11:27 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Heard On the Radio

THE ONLY GOOD REASON to abandon and flood New Orleans so that it can return to nature would be if we were going to give it back to the French.



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 1, 2005 8:30 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Earth to Race Hustler Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson

Dear Sir: Respectfully, I submit that you should shut the hell up. Looting and lawlessness IS the problem. The National Guard choppers are BEING SHOT AT. The NOPD are BEING SHOT AT. You want to focus on the levee? So do they, but check this out: THEY CAN'T UNTIL THE MOB STOPS ATTACKING THE RESCUE OPERATION.

I know you're looking at this situation with concern for the racial implications of the deterioration of civilization out here, but this is bigger than whether people are going to be racists after this is over. This is about rescuing the masses i.e. life and death.

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and blame your stupid comments on your lack of knowledge of the situation. Don't prove me a fool for doing so.

Regards,
Michael Barnett @ the Survival of New Orleans blog

Somewhere tonight, Al Sharpton is abusing his staff for letting Jackson get from South America to New Orleans before him. After the ditch in Crawford, below sea-level is the only new low left to him.



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 1, 2005 6:44 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Four Levels of Hell

ANN GERHART reports in'And Now We Are in Hell'

Level 1: "On the artificial-turf field and in the lower-level seats where Montrel sat sweltering with her family, a form of civilization had taken hold -- smelly, messy, dark and dank, but with a structure. Families with cots used their beds as boundaries for personal space and kept their areas orderly, a cooler on one corner, the toys on another, almost as if they had come for fireworks and stayed too long."

Level 2: "In the men's, the urinal troughs were overflowing. In the women's, the bowls were to the brim. A slime of excrement and urine made the walkway slick. "You don't even go there anymore," said Dee Ford, 37, who was pushed in a wading pool from her flooded house to the shelter. "You just go somewhere in a corner where you can. In the dark, you are going to step in poo anyway."

Level 3: "Within the skyboxes, on the third level of hell, life was dark 24 hours a day, a place for abandonment and coupling. Also up there was "a sort of speakeasy," said Michael Childs, who had some beer in an empty Dannon water bottle. "You got to know where to go," he said, and grinned."

Level 4: "On the fourth level, the darkest and highest of all, the lurkers lived, scary in the shadows. The fourth level, people explained, was for the gangsters and the druggies. The rumors sprang from there: Two girls had been raped; one girl had been raped and one killed. Someone was abducting newborns. A man had jumped from there and died. A murder had occurred."



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 1, 2005 3:22 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Screw the Whiners, the Appeasers, the Explainers and the Apologists. Time to Cowboy Up.

The Forces of Decomposition and The War on Terror
By William J. Bennett

A grievance culture has taken hold in the West, both in England and America-and at exactly the wrong time. Where not long after 9/11 we were angry, we now have become sad, or depressed and confused; and too many have replaced our concept of evil with all manner of diagnoses of syndromes and root causes. We are at war, and yet we are indulging a culture of grievance. My friend Debra Burlingame -- whose brother, Chick, was the pilot of flight 77 that was hijacked and smashed into the Pentagon -- was recently asked if she missed the post-9/11 commonsense. She answered: "Truthfully, what I miss the most is the anger." I do too.


Posted by Vanderleun Jun 1, 2005 2:54 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"We Need the Military in here NOW."

OUTPOST CRYSTAL aka "THE SURVIVAL OF NEW ORLEANS PAGE" is posting in real time from New Orleans and issues this call for help:


In case anyone in national security is reading this, get the word to President Bush that we need the military in here NOW. The Active Duty Armed Forces. Mr. President, we are losing this city. I don't care what you're hearing on the news. The city is being lost. It is the law of the jungle down here. The command and control structure here is barely functioning. I'm not sure it's anyone's fault -- I'm not sure it could be any other way at this point. We need the kind of logistical support and infrastructure only the Active Duty military can provide. The hospitals are in dire straights. The police barely have any capabilities at this point. The National Guard is doing their best, but the situation is not being contained. I'm here to help in anyway I can, but my capabilities are limited and dropping. Please get the military here to maintain order before this city is lost.
If it hasn't already begun, the shooting of looters is right around the corner. Or, if reports are correct, the shooting back at looters is right around the corner. Faster please.

UPDATE FROM OUTPOST CRYSTAL

Situtation is critical.

I'm not leaving, so stop asking. I'm staying. I am staying until this shitstorm has blown itself out. Period. End of discussion.

Now for some updates:

1. Been too busy to debrief the police officer, so that will come later. Low priority now.

2. Buses loading people up on Camp Street to take refugees to Dallas, or so the word on the street (literally) is.

3. Dead bodies everywhere: convention center, down camp street, all over.

4. National Guard shoving water off the backs of trucks. They're just pushing it off without stopping, people don't even know it's there at first -- they drop it on the side in debris, there's no sign or distribution point -- people are scared to go near it at first, because the drop points are guarded by troops or federal agents with assault rifles who don't let people come near them, which scares people off. It is a mess. When people actually get to the water, they are in such a rush to get it that one family left their small child behind and forget about him until Sig carried him back to the family.

5. Lots of pics coming soon when Sig has time to update.

It's raining now and I guess that's a relief from the heat. It's hot as hell down there in the sun. Crime is absolutely rampant: rapes, murders, rape-murder combinations.

UPDATE 2 FROM OUTPOST CRYSTAL :

"THE REAL MILITARY IS NOW FLOWING IN. National Guard is being replaced before our eyes. Watch the feed.

Word is that the Marines are at 1515 Poydras where our OC4s are. I think we're coming back online in force shortly.

On another note: I've just been told that we're being monitored in Iraq! To all the troops there, from one soldier to another, we're hanging tough here and you hang tough too. No matter what you're hearing, we love you guys and want you to know that we know how hard you've got it. Stay strong!"



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 1, 2005 2:38 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
When You Do Have to Live Like a Refugee

VIA A FRIEND'S EMAIL comes a pointer to Michael Tisserand's moving personal memoir of New Orleans, "Submerged."

Together that night, we watched the same show that all who'd gotten out were watching. The straight line for our city. The familiar "Cat-4" and "Cat-5." And for those of us who thought we'd seen this before, the much-hoped-for right turn.

It didn't matter. It hit. Even those who could read the tea leaves in John McPhee's Forces of Nature or John Barry's Rising Tide, or who had seen the diagrams of a bowl-shaped city, are in disbelief. New Orleans is gone, along with the newspaper where I work, the home where I live, my kids' beloved school, my neighborhood sno-ball stand, my neighborhood anything.



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 1, 2005 11:32 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Landslide in Laguna: There Goes the Neighborhood

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Cubist speed sculpture by nature in Laguna Beach

Slide Area via Mapquest
Area from orbit via ACME mapper
Google Satellite Shot of Area in Color
Topographical map of area via ACME Mapper Yes, it is that steep.

FIRST IT IS JUST ONE HELICOPTER HOVERING, then two, then four, then seven. Up over the house here on Arch Beach Heights above Bluebird Canyon in Laguna Beach.

The choppers are all set on hover and they are not going away. How annoying. Call the police department to complain. "Why in the devil are there all these helicopters over my house?"

"Bluebird Canyon's had a major landslide. 20 homes wiped out. We're evacuating the canyon. Turn on your TV."

"Which channel?"

"All of them."

===
Disaster zone is about 400 yards away from this house.

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Jun 1, 2005 9:44 AM | Comments (71)  | QuickLink: Permalink
G2E Media GmbH

MONTHLY ARCHIVES


SIDELINES

Please Donate

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By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | 6616-D Clark Road #176 | Paradise, CA 95969

It's past, long past, time.

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Panel by Bornt
There is only one appropriate reaction to the kind of people who strap on bomb vests packed with nails and wait for smiling, laughing tweens to come along before hitting the detonator and ripping their limbs off and tearing their guts out.
The only appropriate reaction is righteous fury that turns into a grim determination to exact a retribution upon the bomber’s bros so thorough and so comprehensive that in a thousand years the few descendants of the survivors will still terrify their children with the story of the vengeance exacted by the avengers of the West. Fewer Tears, Fewer Lies, And More Righteous Anger - Kurt Schlichter


If my child were ever killed in such an attack,

I would go on a God-damned (and I don’t make this invocation lightly) one man Crusade for vengeance.
God may have said “vengeance is mine” but I would damn my soul to Hell to get even with anybody who attacked my family. So the passivity and magical invocations of the Progressives grates on my nerves. It’s disgustingly naive and utterly insane. It is the man who passively bows down to his executioner instead of fighting to the last. I don’t understand it. I can’t fathom it.Candlelight Progressive Magic... Again | Declination


Everybody Must Get Chipped!

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Swedish Tech Company Implants Microchips in Employees Bodies to Make Their Lives Easier
“We already interact with technology all the time,” Epicenter employee Hannes Sjoblad told the BBC, in 2015. “Today it’s a bit messy – we need pin codes and passwords. Wouldn’t it be easy to just touch with your hand? That’s really intuitive.” “We want to be able to understand this technology before big corporates and big government come to us and say everyone should get chipped – the tax authority chip, the Google or Facebook chip,” Hannes added, convinced that this way he will be able to question the way the technology is implemented from a position of much greater knowledge.


The Revolution has moved onto a new phase.

In the French Revolution, after the White Terror, the Constitution of 1795 established The Directory.
This was the start of a new phase in which the lower classes were mostly ignored, as the new ruling class consolidated its power. That may be what we are seeing with our managerial class as they largely ignore the results of recent elections and enforce discipline in their own ranks. Ruminations On The Way Down The Mountain | The Z Blog


A Window Looking Over "Happy Acres" is Here

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Tumblr killed off his site there without warning. Twitter still tolerates him, but Twitter will purge him.
For now he's at: HappyAcres (@HappyHectares) | Twitter I tried to tell him that he needs to get his own platform. If on Twitter tell him too. We will need the sites we like to survive and not be killed off by Jack and other Neojacobins of his ilk.


Trump was a political asteroid impact

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The idea that someone who shakes parmesan from a can contravened the wishes of those who can taste the difference between serrano and iberico Jamón is simply unacceptable.
Maxine Waters, Nacy Pelosi, Barbra Boxer and Al Green, are so far removed from traditional America as to be alien life forms. Outside of the 6 -7 major media/political centers in the US, the rest of the population simply do not factor into the equation until election time returns. The Price of Delegitimization – The Virginia Freeman's Society


" This is Topic A -- and there is no Topic B until further notice... "

Manchester: This Time They Came for Our Children

Politicians and the media particularly must face reality. We may not like it but we are at war. You should behave accordingly. This is Topic A -- and there is no Topic B until further notice... that is unless you want Manchester actually to be the "new normal." It pretty much is already. How horrible is that for all of us, how horrible for our children. Why don't we all get together and put an end to it? It's even more important than impeaching Trump.



The truth of the matter is that modern universities are not in the business of leader-making.

Our leaders these days come from other places, or other times;
because our institutions of higher learning have turned their energy to licensing managers to serve as the officers of our managerial oligarchy. According to Patrick Dennan, students these days are “…the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.” If You Don’t Read Books… | Joel D. Hirst's Blog


"We won’t need to build new holding cells on Guantanamo Bay this time."

In this case, the visuals will be provided by future terror attacks.

That reinforces the “evil” part, obviously. But more importantly, the Losers will be doing nothing but losing on the battlefield from now until “annihilation.” They are surrounded, and the clock is ticking. Oh, and the press isn’t allowed to watch the final battles. In other words, we won’t need to build new holding cells on Guantanamo Bay this time. No press means no prisoners, if you know what I mean. (American soldiers won’t be shooting the prisoners. We have allies for that sort of thing.)Goodbye ISIS, Hello Losers | Scott Adams' Blog



How To Make It As A Left-Wing Polemicist

Has your novel just not flowed from your fingertips like you’d imagined?
Does each year of being an adjunct professor feel less fulfilling than the last? Starting to think that no amount of Adderall can launch you past the boredom of your role as a research assistant? Could it be that so much time has passed since you last picked up your guitar that it wouldn’t even be possible to get the old band back together again?

Do you seek validation? Are you hungry for permanent and hip confrontational posturing? Still having dreams about the glory of radical nonconformity? Eager to purge your upper-middle class and white guilt? Want to do something new with your life, but want to rely on the skills you already have instead of learning new ones?

I’ve got just the thing for you: become a left-wing critic of the mainstream American Left. It’s easy, really, and no matter what, your Twitter following will increase at least five-fold. How To Make It As A Left-Wing Polemicist - Social Matter





The Japanese. Nuked Too Much or Sleeping with the Fish?

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Japan's adult wrapping wellness trend is so weird it's creeping out the Japanese people | SoraNews24
In otona maki, participants lie down on a large, sheet-like piece of cloth. An attendant then wraps them up snugly, leaving their face completely obscured their knees tucked up near their waist, and their overall posture resembling the fetal position. The only openings are two small gaps near the participants’ midsection, left over from how the cloth is tied.


I am the king of lost places.

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Nowhere-land. The triangular mud minarets of Sankore Mosque in Timbuktu, in front of that silent sandy plaza that used to host a university, back when life in Timbuktu had significance.
A Catholic seminary converted into a hostel in the old Belgian administrative center called Lubero tucked in the highlands of eastern Congo – blue helmets and razor wire waiting to accept the genocidaire; monsters who had decided upon the extinguishing of another race. Eating escargot and drinking warm beer with the priests. The cement and zinc-roofed house of a witch in a village in northern Nicaragua, sitting in front of her on a rocking chair imploring her to release the sick under her spell so I could take them for hospital care. The King of Lost Places | Joel D. Hirst's Blog


Occupation of a defeated America

would take a form other than garrisoning huge numbers of troops and running the place as a prison camp, the standard motif of doomer movies and novels.
The likeliest would be a Vichy-type puppet government that took care to mimic our current structure and outward forms. Just as in France, they'd have little trouble finding reliable, unprincipled opportunists already in place and eager to serve. Woodpile Report


"Black Lives Matter might more accurately be named White Killers Matter,

because it only seems to care about black lives that are ended by white people.

And that, of course, is because Black Lives Matter isn’t about justice, but about racial agitation."
But the routine taking of black lives by other blacks generates no interest in the mainstream media. Forty-three hundred people, including two dozen children under the age of 12, were shot in Chicago last year. Had 4,300 white people been shot, there would have been a revolution, and the media would have set up headquarters in the city to cover the breakdown of law and order. But because the victims were nearly all black, few pay attention—besides the police. Some Black Lives Don’t Matter | City Journal



The Way It Is

They ain't gonna do jack shitski.
At least nothing of physical context to anyone, cept maybe a couple pisswillys that needed it. On a large scale, say, several hundred people? Not hardly. Look cross eyed at em and they'll be slip-slidin in their own loose fecal matter. Then, with gas mask applied and industrial grade boot covers, just walk amongst them with a 28" Louisville Slugger crackin heads in both directions. Posted by: ghostsniper at May 20, 2017 8:25 PM

If they do break Trump, I don't think the genie goes back in the bottle.
I think the days of leftist pissants grinding our faces in the dirt under the threat of government coercion are over. How it will evolve, I don't know but I don't think it will be peaceful. Posted by: Bill Cox at May 21, 2017 5:13 AM
The Top 40: This is not about Donald Trump’s alleged character defects.

Why do many people want to deny us our past?

Why does the brutishness of our ancestors offend so?

And why do the stories of tremendous resilience, of family and purpose and fight and faith offend them? We are told that because they were not perfect – that they held prejudice in their hearts or often misbehaved – we are not to look to them; certainly not as a means to better understand ourselves. As if we are not even now brutish and vile – albeit in different ways. As if the progress we have been sold, so carefully scraped of all vestiges of the past, is even healthy – even progress at all really, instead of another dark age served to us by know-nothings.Castles, Civilizations and the Know-Nothings | Joel D. Hirst



Memes that Make You Go, "Hummmmm..."

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House of Eratosthenes

Two New Things Under the Sun

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Louis Réard, the inventor of bikini, with a model in 1946.
He named his creation after the Bikini Atoll, which was the site of nuclear weapon tests, as he felt his new swimsuit would create an “explosive commercial and cultural reaction.”


Why the C-130 Is Such a Badass Plane

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Designed to carry only 90 paratroopers, the Hercules's belly was bursting with far more people than that.
Its lone pilot, a VNAF major, pushed its four Allison T56 turboprops to full throttle and began his takeoff down the 10,000 foot runway. At the opposite end of the runway, the airplane still hadn't taken wing. But in the runway's 1000-foot overrun, the C-130 staggered into the air. After a harrowing flight, it touched down three and a half hours later at U Tapao Royal Thai AB, southeast of Bangkok. On the ramp, American personnel were visibly surprised as they watched 452 people disembark. With herculean effort, the C-130 had lifted more than 20,000 pounds above its operational limit. -- Popular Mechanics


This is not about Donald Trump’s alleged character defects.

The Resistance would have arisen against whoever represented Americans who had voted not to be governed as they have been for the past quarter-century.
It is a cold civil war against a majority of the American people and their way of life. The members of the Resistance mean to defend their power. Their practical objective is to hamper and otherwise delegitimize 2016’s winners. Their political objective is to browbeat Trump voters into believing they should repent and yield to their betters. This campaign might break the Trump presidency. The Cold Civil War


Racism: The Last Refuge of Us All?

Race is what you cling to when you have no meaningful achievements of your own to display.
It’s a safe space for the unaccomplished. That’s why there’s been such an explosion of racism on the left, especially among some of its less successful demographic groups. When you have nothing to offer, or when you just don’t want to make the effort to be successful or productive, well…at least you have your skin. And the left has proved to be expert at making everything about skin. With so many layabouts, welfare cases, entitlement whores, and blame shifters among the masses, leftist intellectuals in politics, the media, and academia gain lots of traction by continually reassuring certain constituencies, “Hey, man, your skin color makes you special! Your skin color makes you deserving!” - David Cole


No. Just No.

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Uniquely Designed Jeans That Easily Convert Into High Cut Shorts Either In Front or On the Side
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“Weapons are the tools of power.

In the hands of the state, they can be the tools of decency or the tools of oppression, depending on the righteousness that state.
In the hands of criminals, they are the tools of evil. In the hands of the free and decent citizen, they should be the tools of liberty. Weapons compound man’s power to achieve whatever purpose he may have. They amplify the capabilities of both the good man and the bad, and to exactly the same degree, having no will of their own. Thus, we must regard them as servants, not masters–and good servants of good men. Without them, man is diminished, and his opportunities to fulfill his destiny are lessened. An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.” — Attributed to Col. Jeff Cooper [via Power Tools – waka waka waka]


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