Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Sign O' the Seattle Times

SEATTLE IS A CITY OF STRONG OPINIONS in an unfortunately predictable vein. The fading Kerry-Edwards stickers are a mandatory accessory on the bumpers of the Mercedes Maybachs that are a glut on the market in town. Indeed, the presence of such a sticker on such a bumper gives a whole new meaning to the Mercedes Maybach's tagline: "Not so much a name as a philosophy." Only a city endowed with more Microsoft Millionaires than any other burg could find no hint of irony in supporting for President a man whose money came not from the entrepreneurial spirit but from the dead husband of his second wife.

Fresher still are the placards suggesting we get rid of a President whose money came from something as filthy as oil and not from the clean rooms of Intel. It's the clear front runner in lawn and window signs and its message brings a lump to the eye and a tear to the throat of committable liberals everywhere. It is:

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 31, 2005 4:02 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Three Things 24/7/365

TO BE CONSIDERED a real city a city has to have at least three things available 24/7/365. New York has subways, sex, and a buffet of drugs delivered to your home. Los Angeles has traffic jams, tacos, and drive-by shootings.

When I first came to Seattle, I wasn't sure it would qualify as a full city, but now I can report that it does. Having done extensive urban research these past three weeks, I find that the three things available in Seattle 24/7/365 that make it unique are caffeine, Pho, and facial piercings.



Posted by Vanderleun Oct 29, 2005 12:24 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Web Above Us

AT THE SEATTLE HOUSEBOAT where I write, it's spider mating season. All about this floating world, spiders big and small are weaving elaborate webs in all the angles such an enclave offers. So many spiders are getting so busy that it behooves you to begin the day waving a broom across your doorways and walkways lest you end up wearing a web. That's my current ritual and it works, most of the time. When it doesn't you get a face full of web and the spider gets, I imagine, very ticked off seeing his long night's labor destroyed in a split second.

At the same time, I know how beneficial it is to have spiders at work in a wet environment like a houseboat community; mosquito populations are severely reduced, flies too. If you want insect life kept down you don't want to destroy any webs that aren't directly in your way. Besides, after a fog or a light rain at dawn or in the slanting late afternoon light you are can see dozens of gleaming diadem dappled webs moving ever so gently in the light breeze off Lake Union. Regardless of how you feel about spiders, their webs and their work are both beneficial and beautiful.

Not so to flies. For flies, a spider's web is, in the full meaning of the phrase, a dead end. Touch even one strand and you can't shake it off. The nature of the web is that once caught by a single strand, your struggles enmesh you ever more securely in others until escape is hopeless. You are held not just by the single strand you started with, but by all the others that lie just to this side or the other. The only safe way to escape the web is not to touch it in the first place.

At least that's what I told the small fly that landed under the web next to my foot this morning as I stood outside on the railing with my coffee. I noted the web between the two uprights when I first stepped out, but since it wasn't going to interfere with me, I wasn't going to interfere with it. Live and let be, I thought. I could have brushed it into oblivion with the broom to my right, but it was both beautiful and functional, so why destroy it? Why interfere? Live and let be.

Then I noticed the fly; a small fly, insignificant even by fly standards, a pipsqueak. It sat on the decking just below the web and, from my giant's vantage point, seemed to rest scanning the water and boats for whatever it is flies scan for with their multi-faceted eyes. Being a fly it had no real knowledge that just overhead, death lurked with its many invisible strands. Touch just one, fly up into just one, and that's the end of that little fly's all too short history.

Which is when I got the idea that I could help this little fly avoid destruction with a brief gesture. I could see it was courting an unpleasant and lingering death but it could not. It sensed no danger at all. It was just moving in the world according to its instincts and programming. It was, I suppose, doing what felt good to it at the time, or doing what it was doing because it had to do it. If it got caught in the web, it would be just one of the billions of small natural tragedies that happen every minute of every day in the world. What right had I to interfere in the unfolding of nature?

Every right. I was not outside of nature but part of it too. And I was there at that time and that place. I could see the danger. It could not. A butterfly beats its wings in a garden in Peking, a fly settles to rest under a web on a houseboat in Seattle. God's plan, Fate, chaos theory, or a minuscule meaningless moment? Probably a bit of all of the above. Plus the chance for a minuscule godlike moment for me.

I know, through repeated experience, that you can't save people from themselves, but, I thought, I could at least save one small fly from her own foolishness. A small gesture, affirming life, but mine own.

I gestured towards the fly with my shoe. It took alarm and flew off a foot or two. And then circled back to land at the self-same spot. I gestured again, closer and with more vigor. Same reaction -- a small circling flight and then right back on station. Again with the shoe and yet again the stubborn pattern of escape and return on the part of the fly.

Curious, I bent down and looked closer. It was then I saw a faint, thin strand of web above it had already attached itself to the fly. Loose and long, the strand, a single strand, was already there. I guess it had been there all along but from far off and high above I hadn't seen it.

Determined now to complete my effort to save the fly from its fate, I waved my finger over the fly and severed the strand. Alarmed, the fly flew away. But it only flew a little way. Then it came back and settled roughly in the same spot.

It was free but, in the same way it didn't know it was trappedf, neither did it realize its freedom. Instead, in response to some deeper programming, it returned again to its place in this infinitesimal corner of the universe. There it courted the same fate I'd tried to save it from.

I finished my coffee and walked back into the room, leaving the fly to whatever fate may, in time, befall it. Like so many human beings I've known, it was, I guess, fated to be there. All it would take would be one small move, one firm decision, the flight of a moment and it would live. It couldn't do it. It was tied to its place in the loom of life by stands too fine for me to see and far too strong for me to sever.

From where I sit now, another fly crawls along the inside of my window. Through it I can see the spider, who owns the web under which my fly sits. Something has alerted it and it is starting to move, ever so carefully, from that shadow it waits in towards the center of its web.



Posted by Vanderleun Oct 11, 2005 1:46 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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MONTHLY ARCHIVES


SIDELINES

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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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