Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
2007 Predictions: Oh, the Humanity!


Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 31, 2006 1:02 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Creche by the Side of the Road

[Republished from December, 2003 ]

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.

--Eliot, Journey of the Magi

Small moments in long journeys, like small lights in a large darkness, often linger in the memory. They come unbidden, occur when you are not ready for them, and are gone before you understand them. You have the experience, but miss the meaning. All you can do is hold them and hope that understanding will, in time, come to you.

To drive from Laguna Beach to Sacramento the only feasible route takes you through Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. If you go after dark in this season of the year, you speed through an unbroken crescendo of lights accentuated by even more holiday lights. In the American spirit of "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing," the decking of the landscape with lights has finally gotten utterly out of hand.

Airports, malls, oil refineries, the towers along Wilshire and the vast suburbs of the valley put up extra displays to celebrate what has come to be known as "the season." All the lights flung up by the hive of more than 10 million souls shine on brightly and bravely, but the exact nature of "the season" seems more difficult for us to define with every passing year.

For hours the lights surround you as if they have no end. But they do end. In time, the valley narrows and you come to the stark edge of the lights. Then you drive into a dark section of highway known as the Grapevine.

The Grapevine snakes up over the mountains that ring the Los Angeles Basin to swirl down the far side into the endless flatland of the Great Central Valley. From entrance to exit is about 50 miles.

So steep is the ascent to the top of the Grapevine that the summit makes its own weather. Comfortable valley nights can turn into snow

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 23, 2006 1:24 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Frequently Answered Questions ®

Everywhere you go you see "Frequently Asked Questions" scattered about to help you find out what everybody else apparently knows. Nobody, as far as we know, is helping you with the essential questions of life, the Frequently Answered Questions ®.

These are the questions you ask or answer hundreds of times in your life? But do you answer them correctly? Sadly, millions of people do not.

As a public service we present the first in our ongoing series of answers to Frequently Answered Questions ®. If you have any Frequently Answered Questions® you'd like help with, pop them in the comments and our crack staff of out-of-work philosophers, professional wise-guys, cut-rate gurus, and grief counselors between assignments will be happy to enlighten you.

Was George Bush legally elected president the first time?
Only ask this question if you've got the next five hours to burn.

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 22, 2006 3:42 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"My Special Wish for You"

Zawahiri's Christmas Message. Translated with amazing subtitles from Scrappleface.

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 20, 2006 12:31 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Patience Please: An American Empire Takes Time
"It is not the weapons per se that cause fear, but the nature of the government that possesses them." -- Victor Davis Hanson

One of the mildly exasperating things about the plethora of news media available now is having to wade through a much more extensive swamp of fetid posturing and vain prognostications on a daily basis. The "stalemate of this" in "the quagmire of that" consumes these impostors. The disaster of beginning weakly and the hubris of winning resoundingly confounds their timorous timetables. The warnings not to be too weak in struggle nor too overbearing in victory erupt from their mouths like gouts of steam from a Yellowstone blowhole ringed round with slack-jawed credulous groundlings. The endless whines about the least loss of innocence in the inadvertent slaughter of an innocent slink out of their yawps as dependably as hamsters multiplying in a cage of some kindergarten.

The war must be won in a week! If not, abject failure and the military must go to its room.

The peace must be won in a day! If not, rioters will strip the country bare and another Vietnam will spring up from the desert sands like the ghost of Christmas past.

We must pacify a foreign country and make them love us in a month, or, well, we're just not good enough or smart enough or nice enough.

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 20, 2006 11:55 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The World We Live In Today:




Posted by Vanderleun Dec 19, 2006 5:08 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Smarm Also Rises

One of the small, but continuing pleasures of being out of Manhattan is that one no longer risks reading the emissions of the ever-smarmy Joe Conason in those defenseless moments when, having devoured most of a New York Observer, you are still stuck between subway stations, and are forced to choose between reading Conason and watching the rider across from you drool onto the floor. And that is a close run thing, I'm here to tell you.

Still, the persistence of this scribbler on the Net means that you will, sooner or later, have a lapse into intellectual masochism and dial the doofus up. Earlier today, since much of the news seemed to be

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 11, 2006 4:02 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Camo Testing in Urban Environments

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Posted by Vanderleun Dec 10, 2006 9:28 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Litvinenko's Way

You begin as a Russian. You become a member of the KGB. Then you're a Russian Spy. Then you're a Russian spy in London saying bad things about the Kremlin.

Journalist Anna Politkovskaya, is in Moscow. She's also saying bad things about the Kremlin. In October she is shot to death in her apartment building in Moscow. You start to investigate her killing.

One November evening, you meet two Russians in a London hotel. One is a KGB agent. Later you go out to eat at a London Sushi bar with an Italian academic where it is said you receive documents naming Ms Politkovskaya's killers. Then you become very sick. Then you get even sicker. Then you die.

It is determined that you died of poisoning by radioactive polonium 210. Lots of things and people that have had something to do with you or with your killers start to emit radiation.

But before you die you convert to Islam.

As a newly minted Muslim on your death bed you ask for your funeral to be a full Muslim ceremony at the Regent's Park Mosque in London.

Today's the day, but when you show up in your coffin, the authorities say no dice. You are still too radioactive for Islam and the general public. Instead, there's a small ceremony in the mosque while you're body remains outside. After that, you are taken to a secret burial site and interred. Your coffin is air-tight and radiation proof.

It is all very, very Russian. Isn't it?



Posted by Vanderleun Dec 7, 2006 8:41 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bette Midler cops to wearing Britney's Underwear. And more.

"I'm wearing underwear, a lot of underwear. In fact I'm wearing all the underwear that those girls are not wearing - at least two bras and several pairs of panties." (Irish Examiner) Tomorrow, Midler is scheduled to receive the thanks of a tired and grateful nation.



Posted by Vanderleun Dec 7, 2006 5:24 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In Seattle, Global Warming is on Hold

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Posted by Vanderleun Dec 7, 2006 12:38 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Phone Quotes

"We're going to party like it's 1969!"

"There's 79 recommendations in the Baker Report. It's like the Howard Johnsons' of Crap."



Posted by Vanderleun Dec 6, 2006 2:25 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
There's a Lot to Loathe in the Baker Report

But this conjoined pair of 'Recommendations' floats right to the top of the Surrender cesspool.

RECOMMENDATION 31: Amnesty. Amnesty proposals must be far-reaching. Any successful effort at national reconciliation must involve those in the government finding ways and means to reconcile with former bitter enemies.

RECOMMENDATION 37: Iraqi amnesty proposals must not be undercut in Washington by either the executive or the legislative branch.

It would seem that to the cardboard cut-outs that fashioned this chunk of crap that the criminals who have been building bombs and shooting our soldiers must, for "the sake of the children," "world peace," or the end of Israel, or some such, be let to just walk away. What's more, Baker expects everyone to agree to this going in. No override from the executive or the legislature.

Let's just suppose we, at some time in the far distant future, really do get out of Iraq. In the process, some group of criminals takes aim at a departing brigade and slaughters them by fair means or foul?

I guess that would be, from Baker's perspective, just dumb luck filed under "Shit happens."

That's the problem with all these pabulum reports and swatches of smarm oozing out of our "corridors of power" these days. There is simply no will to put some power in the proposals. Cardboard souls in empty skulls just wishing and hoping that somehow the party years will return and the American Happy World will roll along. As well it might.

For today. For, maybe, tomorrow.

But we all know, deep down, we're just waiting for the day of the bomb.



Posted by Vanderleun Dec 6, 2006 1:06 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In the Musee des Beaux Arts

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Posted by Vanderleun Dec 4, 2006 6:42 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
G2E Media GmbH

MONTHLY ARCHIVES


SIDELINES

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

Your Shower Is Lame, Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Work, and Your Clothes are Dirty

It’s not just about the showerhead.
The water pressure in our homes and apartments has been gradually getting worse for two decades, thanks to EPA mandates on state and local governments. This has meant that even with a good showerhead, the shower is not as good as it might be. It also means that less water is running through our pipes, causing lines to clog and homes to stink just slightly like the sewer. This problem is much more difficult to fix, especially because plumbers are forbidden by law from hacking your water pressure. | Foundation for Economic Education [HT: Never Yet Melted]


In 2016 the Western political system had a stroke.

The American political system is operating in the curious condition of being an impaired state.
It's not really thinking -- about China, Russia, Syria, Kurdistan. It's not really thinking about anything except half remembered slogans from 1968. Like a person afflicted by a stroke, it can't take a consistent view of external reality because it's regressing into atavisms by a loss of brain function. Impaired


Fake News. At the same time of the political putsch, the mainstream media outlets,

in particular the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks, via broadcasts and social media, began an orchestrated campaign of defamation and delegitimization.
The crazier and more diverse the media mythologies, the better. Melania Trump was a former call girl and illegal alien. Ivanka Trump was peddling her business wares from the West Wing. Jared Kushner was a profiteering collusionist. Steve Bannon was a racist, Sebastian Gorka an unrepentant Nazi. Baron Trump was a spoiled, autistic child. The late elder Trump had run a racist campaign for mayor. And on and on. Resistance & Regime Change: Any Means Necessary – Lies, Leaks, Violence | National Review


Crime simply does not pay as well as politics or banking.

That may be the way to look at something like the Clinton Foundation and, coming soon, the Obama Foundation.
These are not explicitly criminal organizations, but they certainly play outside the spirit of the laws. Obama is out of office and prohibited from running again, but he still controls the Democratic party. The Clintons would be in charge, if not for the fact that the voters took their under boss out in the Tuesday Night Massacre, otherwise known as the presidential election. Even so, the Clinton Family is still a player. Late Phase Capitalism | The Z Blog


Bodymore, Murderville”

Most whites have become habituated to the reality of life in this part of the world.
Everyone, white and black, knows the reality on the street. The blacks with anything on the ball do exactly like the whites and that’s put distance between themselves and the black ghetto. That does not stop the Progressive maniacs from ranting about racism, but they do it from high up in the towers of their whites-only neighborhoods. As a result, no one hears them and so they can be ignored. The Killing Season | The Z Blog


New Blog Arriving Soon

Some have asked, "Gee whiz, Unca Gerard, where is that thar new blog you keeps a promisin'?"

I am hoping for sometime tonight. Hoping. We've been having some issues getting this winged dinosaur landed.


Drink Tea

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Drink tea, together with your friends; pay attention to the tea, and to your friends, and pay attention to your friends paying attention to the tea. Therein lies the meaning of life. The Essence of Peopling

We would love to cut a deal with the noble indigenous peoples across the Earth—

you can have your Navajo panties and aboriginal dot paintings and every last freaking burrito on the planet so long as you give us back our computers and cell phones and cars and indoor plumbing and electricity and air conditioners. Deal?

If people go their separate ways such a divorce would be an astonishing defeat for the Left.

As late as 2016 it was possible to imagine an America led to a "progressive" future by Hillary Clinton;
an EU guiding all of Europe to a similar destiny and the G20 taking the whole world to the same destination. Indeed everyone told they were fated to follow an Arc of History. Yet after Brexit, Trump and G-Zero it is no longer possible to visualize this outcome. A blue-red division would confirm the failure to create a "progressive" world. No conceivable rollback will ever put Humpty Dumpty together again. Opportunity


Trump, Julius Caesar, and killing tyrants

The Roman lower classes, with whom Caesar was popular, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had sacrificed Caesar. -- neoneocon

Execute Trump? Nah, You First.

Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency,
but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then — upon receiving guilty verdicts — they must all be executed under the law. Impeachment Is No Longer Enough; Donald Trump Must Face Justice | HuffPost [Retreived from GoogleCache after it was expunged from the Huffington Post]


A bee in her bonnet

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Thousands of bees took over a car in the UK and beekeepers are struggling to make them leave -
At first it wasn't clear why the bees chose the blue Nissan car and he and a colleague were trying to determine whether this was just a temporary stop or a new nesting site. But as the bees moved to the inside of the bonnet, filling every nook and cranny, things got more serious. "They're building a lot of wax in there now, and of course once they start doing that, they're reluctant to leave it, because it's the start of building a house. They put a lot of effort into producing the wax," Coulson told Hull Daily Mail. "I've got a feeling this might be their chosen permanent home."


[Bumped] "They send one of ours to the hospital, we send two of theirs to the morgue."

Baseball Shooter a Big Wake-Up Call for the Left | Roger L. SimonRobespierre is alive and well in 2017 USA.

This pathetic character in Alexandria is, now was, the left's ungoverned id. By any means necessary -- that's for sure. They will undoubtedly try to shove him under the rug as quickly as possible, just one more aberrant individual to be forgotten, just one obscure Bernie volunteer gone bad. Sanders did his best to separate himself within minutes of the revelation. Yes, it's undoubtedly true that this was just one rotten apple, but it's also true that only five years ago Bernie was recommending Venezuela -- now ground zero for starvation, kidnapping and murder -- as a path for us to emulate.



Greatest antitheft device when the thieves are millenials:

Man leads Jeffco deputies on low-speed chase in stolen flatbed truck after unable to get out of 1st gear The driver - later identified as 29-year-old Randy Dewayne Vert - refused to stop and continued driving south on Center Point Parkway, Christian said. Vert was apparently unfamiliar with the complexities of a modern manual transmission.

The natural impulse of a political system in institutional crisis is to dig in.

Too many institutions in the West remain decades after their birth, frozen in the moment of their creation.
NASA, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the university system and the United Nations rule us from the past. Public life has become a museum of memes from which nothing can escape without a mummy hand dragging the fugitive back into the darkened interior. It is perhaps no coincidence the two most popular leaders of the Western left, Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, might credibly impersonate Boris Karloff. They are here to lead us back to 1968. Stuck


The Japanese. Nuked Too Much... or Trying to Get Their Mouths Around Fujiyama Volcano Plate

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We put Japan's most phallic-looking roast beef meal into our mouth at VolcanoKitchen | SoraNews24
Since we’d already become somewhat desensitized to the initially unsettling sensation of peeling strips of meat off the top of the shaft, we mercilessly crushed the egg, sending viscous, gooey liquid running down to the base of the meat rod.
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The power of the press is a figment of the imagination -- humbug --

Oscar Diggs behind the curtain projecting the image of Oz the Great and Powerful!
The Internet did not kill the power of the newspapers. It was suicide. And not just because most of them had Marxist editorials, editors, and reporters. Newspapers lost their sense of community -- and their credibility -- when the heirs to hometown publishers didn't want the paper, sold it to a chain for $1,000 per subscriber to a chain -- Gannett, Knight-Ridder, Thomson -- and moved on. Don Surber: Craigslist killed newspapers


When terrorists enter your children’s school and begin to execute them...

will the gun ban (you favored) in school that prevented abiding staff and teachers from saving your child, come to mind as a good idea?
If the answer to any or all of these and many more reasonable questions, is 'yes,' then you may be a delusional liberal, and likely a coward, and almost as big a threat to our nation as the terrorists who are at war with us." - Morgan K. Freeberg


"Happy birthday, Mr. President...."

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First truth which has been grounded into dust, must spring forth from the earth again.

At the present time . . .he who practices loving-kindness is esteemed and sought after, while he who champions the truth in word and in deed is persecuted and shunned. 
For men desire to base their affairs on everything except the one incorruptible truth which has been set down before us by God , and therefore these affairs have no permanent value . . . only when love and truth meet together, only when men come to understand that the highest act of loving-kindness is to bring men to know and practice the truth, only then will the marriage of love and truth produce that condition on earth in which everyone and everything will occupy the place which has been assigned to it by the will of God. Truth and Peace - Men Of The West


What happened to Nuclear Winter?

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As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive;
John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring. A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened. Raconteur Report: Aliens Cause Global Warming by Michael Crichton


If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus.

I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. - - Woodpile Report


Joe Biden’s niece dodges jail after $100K credit card scam

She walks on a major felony? Of course she did. And who believes she'll keep her end of the deal? In her defense, we're assured she's "a very complicated girl who has a lot of feelings and a lot of issues." Oh ... okay. That explains everything. Hugs from all the little people. Woodpile Report

Why is English so weirdly different from other languages?

There is exactly one language on Earth whose present tense requires a special ending only in the third‑person singular.
I’m writing in it. I talk, you talk, he/she talk-s – why just that? The present‑tense verbs of a normal language have either no endings or a bunch of different ones (Spanish: hablo, hablas, habla). And try naming another language where you have to slip do into sentences to negate or question something. Do you find that difficult? | Aeon Essays



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