Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Change and Hope for 2009


I don't look back. So here's a look forward from the precipitous cliffs of the two biggest buzz words of 2008: "Change" [1,360,000,000 Google Hits] and "Hope" [Running far behind at only 617,000,000 Google Hits].


Posted by Vanderleun Dec 31, 2008 5:20 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Wednesday, December 31 (Updated)



Posted by Vanderleun Dec 30, 2008 11:33 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Coming Soon: The "Kiss It And Make It Better" President

neo-neocon on Anticipation: waiting for Obama

Journalist Chris Smith is impatient for Obama to take office. He’s sick of that long countdown to Bush’s final day as President, even though the numbers have now become so small, and the clear and brilliant light can be viewed at the end of that long dark tunnel. In this, Smith probably has a lot of company.

It's probably not necessary to point out that this sort of thinking the idea that Obama will magically soothe us, heal us, kiss our foreheads and make it all better -€”is part of a dangerous trend originally noted when Obama first became a candidate. I wrote "thinking" in the previous sentence, but it's really more of a feeling that Obama will fix it. Or, if he can't fix it, at least he'll talk about it in a way that doesn't involve abominations such as 'nucular.' And even if he doesn't talk about it right, we'll all experience such a sense of relief about his mere presence that maybe that will be enough. Because feeling good is a major part of what this is all about.

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 30, 2008 12:59 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
And now a public service announcement

Help These Sufferers: As you know, this page is commercial free. But every so often an appeal crosses our screen that we cannot ignore. Please take the time to consider donating to this worthy cause. Your "giving" will be tax-deductible.

Posted by Vanderleun Dec 30, 2008 10:54 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Tuesday, December 30 (Updated)


  • Financial organizations to track: Vulture funds VIA Archinect


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 29, 2008 11:40 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
  • Let's Hope the Whole Thing Won't Be Reruns of "The West Wing"

    Lincoln Bible

    Life (or at least Obama) loves to imitate The West Wing. Now: Obama will take the oath with Bible used by Lincoln

    Then: THE WEST WING "INAUGURATION PART I" BARTLET: I kept changing my mind all week on which bible I wanted to use, and then I finally settled on the George Washington Bible but we ran into a problem with the New York Freemasons, which we don't have time to get into.

    I like the idea of using the Lincoln bible for a whole host of symbolic reasons. I just hope the Buck-and-West-Wing stops there. [Who are you kidding? Not me.]

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 29, 2008 11:52 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Everything That's Wrong With Us is in This House


    Sippican Cottage tells you why in The Greater Fool Theory Of Housing Excerpt:

    There's Postmodern evil afoot here. Everything is boiled down to a pastiche, and you put all these disconnected totems into a blender and put the mixed up parts on a concrete rectangle. It's making us all crazy in a very subtle but profound way.
    There has been a concerted effort to dismantle all standards of right and wrong and beauty and truth. If ever truthiness was put into sticks and bricks, this house is it. When you rebel against standard things, sooner or later you run out of ways to be original, and all that is left is to do the exact opposite of good. It's the only permutation of new that's left to you after a while. The American house is becoming that prefect distillation of bad ideas. Everything exactly at cross-purposes with its stated purpose.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 29, 2008 8:57 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Monday, December 29 (Updated)



    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 28, 2008 4:21 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    David Warren's selection for "Man of the Year 2008" is: Sarah Palin. Mine Too.



    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 28, 2008 11:43 AM | Comments (26)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Wretchard on Mid-East Inc.

    Wretchard at his best. In an off-hand comment to his post, Belmont Club » The strike on Hamas Richard Fernandez sees what others prefer not to see:

    Maybe the root of this conflict isn't "land," "statehood,"€ or even religion. Maybe its about preserving fighting and terrorism as a way of life; as a business. Palestine is an alibi for anything, but mostly it is the justification for a mode of employment, a whole series of professions, a whole raft of contractors, a self-sustaining funding network that could not exist without continuous and never-ending war. This monster has already consumed the Palestinians; stolen their future, made a mockery of their hopes.
    But sometimes I wonder if the West is any better off. How much "aid", how many diplomatic jobs, how many tenured positions in universities, how many "activist's" careers, how much research and development, weapons manufacturing, military training programs -- how many jobs depend on keeping this abomination going.
    This is too much of a good thing for everyone except the ordinary Israeli and Arab for the music to stop. Sometimes I wonder whether it is any more feasible to finish this war than it is to stop illegal immigration. Maybe nobody really wants either a fence or victory to happen. That would be too simple. One thing seems certain: whatever the UN or the diplomats propose isn’t going to make a dime's worth of difference. One can't read the drivel coming from the UN without wondering whether they are joking, mad or moronic. And no, Obama's not going to fix it. We are in the real world equivalent of Groundhog Day. What worries me is the suspicion that some people want us to stay there.
    There is something worse than war. It is war without end masquerading as a "peace process"€.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 27, 2008 11:28 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Reckoning

    YouTube - The Reckoning

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 27, 2008 1:47 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    In Advance of the Obama Landing Israel Decides to Settle All Family Business

    YouTube - Greatest Film Ending Ever

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 27, 2008 12:47 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The 12 Days Of Global Warming

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 26, 2008 3:55 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink

  • Just in Time is Out of Time: Contrary Brin: Suggestion #5: Avoid a crisis caused by "just-in-time"

    I refer to a brittle weakness in our economy, courtesy of the same smartaleck caste of MBAs who brought us derivatives and hyper-leveraged finance. A frailty that could, potentially, turn some short-term crisis into full-scale disaster -- and all because of a good theory that窶冱 been taken way too far.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 26, 2008 3:07 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
  • Friday, December 26



    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 25, 2008 3:55 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Quite Simply the Greatest Commercial Ever Made

    Link: Fleg Master Tlpizza

    VIA Morgan. Who knows what he's talking about.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 25, 2008 2:34 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Got Home for Christmas by Air? You've Got No Complaints.


    Here's what the commercial jet pilots (the good ones) were doing while you were bitching in the terminal.

    Flight Level 390: Ice World, Part One...

    Position: Underneath the Electric Jet, KJFK (Kennedy)...
    Outside Air Temperature: None
    Windspeed and direction: 290 degrees at 28 gusting to 42 knots
    Precip: Blowing snow

    I am underneath Fi-Fi's belly with flashlight in right hand; left hand in pocket of leather flying jacket. It is surrealistic out here tonight. It reminds me of a movie scene in Alien, where Dallas, Kane, and Lambert descended the Nostromo's crew elevator down to the surface of LV-426. Back to planet Earth, it is unbelievably cold, with howling winds from the northwest. My face is burning, soon to be numb. The snow is stinging my eyes as I try to keep them open, following my flashlight beam, searching for the hydraulic leak, missing piece of aluminum, or shredded tire. Whatever is wrong, if there is anything wrong, this would be the time to overlook it... Got to be careful, even if it freezes my face. Oh well, the pain will go away in a few more seconds.

    This from Dave @ Flight 390: America from the Flight Deck, the best blog by a professional airline pilot on the net. If it is not in your bookmarks, it should be.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 25, 2008 2:16 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Thursday, Christmas

    Giotto, The Nativity, 1304-1306 (Detail)


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 24, 2008 11:05 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Hanukkah Candles on Christmas Eve

    for Justine

    Throughout the night, the cold drew close,
    And wrapped our home in shrouds of frost.
    Within, four candles lent us light,
    Returning to us what was lost.

    Around us, all our village slept.
    Our children safe, their breathing slow.
    Four candles gleamed beside the tree,
    Their flames burned long, burned low.

    Then all fell silent round my house.
    The snow shown blue, the shadows, slate.
    You could almost hear the planet turn.
    I stood bereft beside my gate.

    Behind me, those I loved slept warm,
    Protected by God's endless grace.
    Below me lay the village streets,
    Clad in shadow's chill embrace.

    The darkness waned, the morning loomed,
    Within my house the fire grew bright.
    But still I walked on fragile snow,
    And prayed for greater light.

    As a child I'd lived in dreams of stars,
    Of peace on Earth --life's golden seal--
    And this night seemed, of all our nights,
    The one when all such dreams were real.

    Tonight I know this is not so.
    The world is not as we would wish,
    But as we make it, day by day,
    And this the mystery and the gift.

    The candles whisper of His gift.
    The stars reflect them high above.
    The gift is given to us again,
    That we remember how to love.

    -- Mill Hill Drive, Southport, Connecticut, 1990

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 24, 2008 1:37 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Wednesday, December 24


    In principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum.


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 23, 2008 11:00 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    My Back Pages

    Memphis, Tenn., Aug. 16. I could be in the driver's seat.

    Tag? I'm it? Okay, I'll play.

    The Anchoress prays unto the Lord, as she will, Lord, how dull I am!, because self-abnegation is a way of life! (Hair shirt? Check. Scourge? Check. Communion Wine? Make it a double.) And then she passes on this virus to me.

    “It’s simple. Just list all the jobs you’ve had in your life, in order. Don’t bust your brain: no durations or details are necessary, and feel free to omit anything that you feel might tend to incriminate you. I’m just curious. And when you’re done, tag another five bloggers you’re curious about.”

    Fine. I'll do it, but only because the Anchoress is Sister Mary Nunsense in my book and I don't want my knuckles slapped with her ruler.

    My jobs, in order, were:


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 23, 2008 6:17 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Just asking, mind you, but is Barney Frank...

    redballgag.jpg .... in more dire need of a bright red ball gag than any gay man in history?

    I mean, given all the talented, intelligent, stylish, and attractive gay men in America, is this walking spawn of Gumby and Elmer Fudd really the best gays can do in terms of a "spokesman?" Can't some gay American be found with enough clout to tell Frank to "put a ball gag in it?" I mean, someone other than Keith Olbermann?


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 23, 2008 12:08 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Seattle Stupidity By Design

    Every time I think I have seen just how deeply the pinheads of Seattle can suck, they yet suck more deeply.

    Seattle refuses to use salt; roads "snow packed" by design | Seattle Times Newspaper

    The icy streets are the result of Seattle's refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster used by the state Department of Transportation and cities accustomed to dealing with heavy winter snows. "If we were using salt, you'd see patches of bare road because salt is very effective," Alex Wiggins, chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation, said. "We decided not to utilize salt because it's not a healthy addition to Puget Sound."
    We note for the enlightenment of Mr. Wiggins, aka "Putz," that Puget Sound is 1) vast, and 2) composed entirely of salt water.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 23, 2008 8:59 AM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Tuesday, December 23 (Updated)



    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 22, 2008 4:13 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Today's Weather Map

    Upon receiving this, my correspondent replied: "Unbelievable. Well, at least something is finally uniting the country."

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 22, 2008 1:17 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Stuff White People Really Like: Little Black Dolls They Can Hold in Their Big White Hands...

    ... and Squeeze Until They Say "Yes, Massa."


    This illustration via the clammy cadre of "progressive" white racists at The Boston Phoenix. You know, those happy warriors who voted for Obama because "it's not about race but about 'change' Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink." Now they're running a charming story about what they think they're owed. Sure to be short-listed for The Putzer Prizes, this magnum dopus is titled and subtitled Take Back Barack -- "It's time to reclaim the man we put in the White House." An assertion to which one might answer, with Tonto, "What do you me 'we', white man?"


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 20, 2008 11:59 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Just Asking



    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 19, 2008 4:50 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Perfect Gift for Patriots: "The First and Second Amendment Combined"

    A Substantial Stocking Stuffer: Nokia's "2 Rights in 1." Just the thing for those among your friends and family who like to shoot their mouths off.


    VIA: Strategy Page

    A direct descendant from this stealthy weapon:

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 19, 2008 12:03 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Friday, December 18 (Updated)


    The Burning of the Bull: An Emblem for the Year of Our Lord, 2008 -- A bull sarcophagus in which a member of the Ubud royal family was cremated burns during the funeral ceremony Tuesday July 15, 2008 in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. - 2008 in photographs @ The Big Picture

    • Against Assisted Suicide: "What manner of sentient being seeks to facilitate its own demise, only to perpetuate the illusion that they control their own lives?"
      Physician-assisted suicide is not at all about “death with dignity”, but rather about actively enlisting the culture in support of radical individual autonomy. Not only must we exert full control over the time and manner of our death — which we have always been able to do, by simply killing ourselves — but we demand that society support, honor, and praise this decision, without the faintest whiff of criticism or condemnation. It is not sufficient that we be able to kill ourselves. Rather, it is necessary that we actively kill those societal sensibilities and strictures which condemn such a choice as morally misguided and potentially destructive to our human dignity and our social fabric. - The Doctor Is In [This entire essay is a powerful argument against our secular society of perpetual indulgence which I commend to all.]

    • The 40-Year Scam Continues: Climate science has come to this: We are now being told, in effect, to ignore the data and believe the hypothesis. - American Thinker: Climate Crisis = Logic Crisis


      Posted by Vanderleun Dec 18, 2008 11:27 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas


    Just the thing for trimming the tree. And disposing of it afterwards. Ornamentgranate - Deko-Objekte - DaWanda

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 18, 2008 3:45 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Burning of the Bull: An Emblem for the Year of Our Lord, 2008

    A bull sarcophagus in which a member of the Ubud royal family was cremated burns during the funeral ceremony Tuesday July 15, 2008 in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. - 2008 in photographs (part 2 of 3) @ The Big Picture

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 18, 2008 3:26 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Thursday, December 18 (Updated)


    • Your tax dollars not working: Another reason to loathe the EPA -- EPA Goes Man-Hunting VIA JunkScience: "The list’s creation seems a furtherance of the Greens’ larger campaign to plant the idea within the public’s mind that all environmental “transgressions” fall along a criminal continuum."

    • Beautiful and moving: Laundry and Life: A Solstice Meditation @ The Task at Hand "When I was a child, helping to hang summer laundry was all taste and smell and sound - the rough woody dryness of clothespins in my mouth, the sweetness of clover crushed by bare feet, freshening breezes snapping towels to warn of building afternoon storms."


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 17, 2008 10:26 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Ice Caps Are Melting! So? What?

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 17, 2008 4:37 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Dear PEObama: Need Money? Six Words for More Tax Revenue.

    Drill. Here. Drill. Now. Legalize. Marijuana.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 17, 2008 1:45 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Progressive Charities Look for the Silver Lining in Massive Funds Chokepoint

    Look for the silver lining

    Who says there's no good news about Bernie Madoff?

    "Madoff, single-handedly, has done more harm to the Progressive cause than almost anyone yet realizes. And, that's because The JEHT Foundation, one of the leading providers of grants for all things Progressive, has just abruptly announced they're shutting their doors at the end of January as a result of having come to the realization that they've lost virtually all their money because it was all under Madoff's management." -- Daily Kos: State of the Nation [VIA The Belmont Club's They Got Took, which notes: "'Activists' have a curious relationship with money. They don’t make it, but they need to spend it. They need what they loathe. What can I tell you?"]
    Less money=Less Mischief. Unless the O-Admin launches a bailout for Progressive Charities. Wait for it.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 17, 2008 1:28 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Wednesday, December 17 (Updated)

    "It was Orville’s turn. At 10:34 on the windy morning of December 17, he piloted Flyer for a distance of 120 feet in 12 seconds." -- Humankind Takes Flight: The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, 105 Years Ago Today


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 16, 2008 11:56 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Morbid Major Magazine Song

    Bill Dyszel shoots and scores with the scathing Morbid Major Magazine Song As a book and magazine writer, editor, and agent for over 30 years I can attest to the fact that there's nothing but the adamantine truth in this song.


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 16, 2008 3:34 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Obama Honeymoon, 2008 vs. Truman Honeymoon, 1948: The More Things Change the More They Stay Insane

    Click to enlarge

    Let's review:

    Victory? Check.
    U.S. Debt? Check.
    Inflation? Check.
    Labor? Check.
    China? Check.
    Europe? Check.
    Farm Prices? Check.
    Russia? Check.
    Congress No Good? Check.
    Housing? Check.
    Price Controls? Check.
    Cost of Living? Check.
    Budget? Check.
    Job Seekers? Check.
    Socialized Medicine? Check.
    Deserving Democrats? Check and double-check.

    As seen by Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling on November 16, 1948. Browse Ding's other work HERE

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 16, 2008 12:25 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Half-Baked Bambuzling


  • The Big O promised that "There will be bambuzooling!" and he was right! Obama Gets Bambu-zled VIA Animal
    In what can be considered the final death blow to counterculture, a prominent rolling paper company that caters to the unskilled smoker who doesn't care about thick paper and too much glue, has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against an obscure apparel company for this obvious Obama t-shirt parody. They're claiming the brand will be exposed to "to criticism and scorn," since some might make an association between pot smoking, Bambu, and the President-elect.
    Who could possibly be into smoking, dope, message t-shirts and supporting Obama at the same time?

    UPDATE: Special nostalgic look back at the Campaign That Was. Ah, those were the days, my friend. We thought they'd never end.

    "Barack Obama: There Will Be Bamboozling"

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 16, 2008 9:38 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
  • New York Life: 1,000 Pictures of New York City

    1,000 Pictures of New York City .

    When a man has lived a long time with a city and then decided to leave her, it seems best to make a record before departing. Otherwise, for all the years he has lived with her, all he will have left will be the shards of moments and not the mosaic complete.

    The archives he retains will, invariably, be merely personal -- clippings from the local papers, a box of business cards, filched matchbooks, a sheaf of menus, random pay stubs, a well-thumbed Rolodex, and a few albums filled with pictures of friends and acquaintances remembered with varying degrees of accuracy. And his snapshots.

    They will be snapshots of his personal celebrations; the birthdays, anniversaries, shared summer houses, days in the park and nights on the town. He'll be in some of them. Friends will proliferate in others. And the city will persist, implied, either in the background or intruding in the middle distance; like the air, unnoticed until absent. When you leave her, this is what you will carry away. It will fit in a medium-sized cardboard box. We've all packed this box. Mine was labeled, "New York."


    Like the lies of false and faithless love, your memory of the city will fade long before the snapshots in the box. True, they fade slowly -- pushed into the mist by other days and other scenes -- but fade they do. And so you will find yourself pretending, long after she has gone to seed and faded into the smoke of the world, that you still know what she looks like, and how you felt, when you lived with her through all those bright days and white nights.


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 15, 2008 6:40 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Tuesday, December 16 (UPDATED)


    VIA Indexed: Time to look busy.


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 15, 2008 4:17 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Monday, December 15 (UPDATED)


    Fewless numbering, more better grammer please. [VIA: Art and Installations from Money | WebUrbanist]


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 14, 2008 10:53 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Friday, December 12 (Updated w/ Video of the MKV)




    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 11, 2008 2:40 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Hitler: "I had to make up my own jokes, not get them off the internet!"

    Donald Sensing @ Sense of Events shoots and scores with Hitler hates cussing.

    Make sure you have captions turned on by clicking the small up-arrow in the far lower right of the Youtube box and clicking on "CC." And wait for the penultimate line, it kills.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 11, 2008 2:23 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Staring Contest: First One Who Blinks Loses

    From the Governor's Gazette, Dated November 12 (VIA Blago-Gate Timeline (@ Verum Serum)

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 11, 2008 12:57 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Thursday, December 11 (Updated)




    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 10, 2008 7:32 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    UPDATED: Missing Pages of History Restored: The Obama-Blago Story That Disappeared is Here

    "I did not have interpersonal relations with that man, Governor Blagojevich." - Bloodthirsty Liberal

    The story that put the lie to the No-O & Blogo Meeting was discovered yesterday. Once discovered it promptly disappeared down the memory hole at News : KHQA. Seeing that it had vanished I searched for it in Google Cache and, sure enough, there it was. For about an hour and then cached page vanished as well. A second story from the same source confirming the meeting also met the same fate.

    But, fearing something like the erasure of the cached page, I made a screen shot. Here it is:


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 10, 2008 5:16 PM | Comments (39)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Liberal National Anthem: My Choice for the Theme Song at The O's Inauguration

    At least he didn't emulate Jimmy Carter by saying, "I'll never lie to you." Indeed, this whole administration is shaping up to be a paraphrase of Mary McCarthy's “Every word he says is a lie, including and and the.” Still they'll look to find a reason to believe.


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 10, 2008 3:36 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    President To Face Down Monster Attack, Own Demons In Action-Packed Schedule

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 10, 2008 2:57 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Wednesday, December 10 (Updated)


    • Fantasyland Bill Comes Due:
      Americans spent the 1990s in a fantasy world, where technological change supposedly would transform the human condition, taking as their intellectual guide science-fiction writers like William Gibson. There was nothing wrong with the market mechanism as such; what went haywire was the childish imaginings of the American public.
      Underlying the crisis is the Western world's repudiation of life, through a hedonism that puts consumption or "self-realization" ahead of child-rearing. The developed world is shifting from a demographic profile in which the very young (children four years and under) outnumbered the elderly (65 and older), to a profile with 10 times as many retirees as children aged four or younger. Economics simply never has had to confront a situation in which the next generation simply failed turn up. - Spengler @ Asia Times Online

    • On Gay Out Day, gays need to expand protest locations: "Get your ass down to those "other" parts of town where you don`t brunch – and give those blacks and Mexicans a piece of your mind. And when you`re done with that – confront the Muslims, who cling to a religion that`s not only against you marrying – but living too!" -The Daily Gut

    • Liberal Bigots United: A Commonplace Blog: Why the university is dominated by the Left
      The more interesting question is why the Left dominates the social sciences and humanities. To answer that question might produce the reason there are so few conservatives in the academy. (Could it possbily be that the Leftists in charge of hiring decisions won’t hire them?)
      Do ya think?


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 10, 2008 2:33 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    I WANT MY OTV: Memo from Obama (Starring Mick Jagger)

    "The past is prologue"

    An Obama aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, took back David Axelrod's remark last month that Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich had spoken recently. "What the president-elect said today is correct, David Axelrod misspoke," the aide said. -Ben Smith -

    These are early days. The Obama Administration will not start for another six weeks, and it is already building scenery for an opera worthy of "All the King's Men." We do know the end of the first act: Obama takes the oath of office, and the orchestra frantically signals trouble ahead. - Untouchable - What's News Tonight by John Batchelor

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 10, 2008 2:02 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Sound Familiar? The South-Sea Bubble

    At length corruption, like a general flood,
    Did deluge all; and avarice creeping on,
    Spread, like a low-born mist, and hid the sun.
    Statesmen and patriots plied alike the stocks,
    Peeress and butler shared alike the box;
    And judges jobbed, and bishops bit the town,
    And mighty dukes packed cards for half-a-crown:
    Britain was sunk in lucre’s sordid charms

    "The state of matters all over the country was so alarming, that George I. shortened his intended stay in Hanover, and returned in all haste to England. He arrived on the 11th of November, and parliament was summoned to meet on the 8th of December. In the mean time, public meetings were held in every considerable town of the empire, at which petitions were adopted, praying the vengeance of the legislature upon the South-Sea directors, who, by their fraudulent practices, had brought the nation to the brink of ruin.

    "Nobody seemed to imagine that the nation itself was as culpable as the South-Sea company. Nobody blamed the credulity and avarice of the people,—the degrading lust of gain, which had swallowed up every nobler quality in the national character, or the infatuation which had made the multitude run their heads with such frantic eagerness into the net held out for them by scheming projectors. These things were never mentioned. The people were a simple, honest, hard-working people, ruined by a gang of robbers, who were to be hanged, drawn, and quartered without mercy." -- From Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Volume I, by Charles Mackay, 1852

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 9, 2008 1:20 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Tuesday, December 9


    Six thousand years ago, a mother and two children died at the same time and were buried here holding hands. Someone obviously cared a great deal, as the scientist found that flowers were placed above and below the bodies. It is not yet known how they died. - Green Sahara - The Big Picture -

    • "When a ghost shows up, you don't ignore him because you don't like the clothes he's wearing." Sippican Cottage: Delmer's A Haunt, Still

    • Ze Varmink up ub der Globe:Ecomyths explains it all to you:
      Warming is evidence of global warming. Cooling does not mean that global warming is not happening, just that it hasn't yet...but it might, still..and then the theory will be right again...except if its not, and then it will be because something has temporarily interfered with the theory working, like cooling, but that doesn't mean the cooling has replaced the warming -- its just hiding it, for now. We know this because the models tell us. Can't be anything else happening like the sun, the oceans or any of that stuff. Why? Well, because that's why.

    • Who says there's no good news? Your daily digest of newspaper extinction news


      Posted by Vanderleun Dec 8, 2008 11:01 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Most Disturbing Video of 2008

    You do not want to watch this. Move along. Nothing to see here....


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 8, 2008 2:41 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Weird Terminology of Our Times: "Assisted" Suicide

    I've known a few suicides, but none of them ever seemed to require "assistance" once their minds were made up. One or two tries, maybe. But sooner or later, they got it done. Perhaps "Suicide Assistants" can be a new career path for some of those 2.5 million folks Obama wants to find jobs for.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 8, 2008 1:17 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Obama Fakes Right... Goes Left... Jump Shot...

    Being left-handed makes this move a natural:

    The Step-Through Move
    To execute this move do the following:
    Come to a one-count stop.
    Fake a jump shot.
    If you want to go to the left, take a quick step to the side of the defender with your right foot. Protect the ball as you go toward the hoop....

    You might even get a power lay-up by faking to the middle, then executing a quick drop step with the baseline foot, then, power it up. - How to teach and coach one-on-one basketball moves

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 8, 2008 1:11 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Monday, December 8 (Updated)


    Gun’s N’ Girls "SPF-30? Check. Towel? Check. Sunglasses? Check? M-16? Check. Everything a girl needs for a day in the sun at Camp Victory, Baghdad." [VIA: Stop The ACLU + Morgan ]

    • Who says there's no good news?
      "Lawyers and financial advisers have reported a 50 per cent increase in the number of divorce inquiries since the financial markets collapsed in September.... Like a frog, the Toxic Wife needs to hop safely on to another lily pad, and a rich one, before leaving her husband. She won't stand on her own two feet. And finding a job is quite beneath her.... As the joke doing the rounds among City men goes: 'This credit crunch is worse than a divorce. I've lost half my net worth and I still have a wife.'" -- Recession: When the money goes, so does the toxic wife - Telegraph

    • Doing the jobs illegal aliens won't do: Picking apples with a robot "Two teams of researchers at CMU are developing automated farming robotic systems to help apple and orange growers."


      Posted by Vanderleun Dec 7, 2008 4:38 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Working Boats

    Fishermen's Terminal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Centered around a memorial for over 500 local fisherman who were lost at sea

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 5, 2008 11:33 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Saturday Review

    The Walrus Blogs » A Conversation with Lynda Barry » Four-Colour Words

    I just thought, “I still want to make this book that I’ve been wanting to make since Sasquatch dropped me,” so I thought, “Just make it. Just start.” And again I had that idea about doing this book about writing, but the idea of writing about writing, doing a book that was about writing with writing in it, was something that was so different than my class. I wanted to give some kind of visual equivalent to the class that I teach, so I just started messing around and making collages—and actually there are many, many more than are in this book. And while I would work I would just hear these little things, like, “What would be different if there were no monster stories? Anything?” And that’s all I’d have to have and then I could start messing around.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 5, 2008 11:14 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Friday, December 5 (Updated)



    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 4, 2008 6:05 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Agreement For Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq

    Michael Yon has the rest and a full PDF HERE

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 4, 2008 12:23 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    It's Jonestown Time for PETA!

    THE OLD PINE BOX is pleased to be able to offer a special line of coffins in support of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Designed by the folks at PETA and built exclusively by THE OLD PINE BOX, these coffins allow you to voice your defense of all creatures even after your own voice is silenced. Every coffin purchased from this selection will result in a net contribution of $75.00 to PETA. - About The Old Pine Box

    Via the eversharp copyranter: Peta coffins.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 3, 2008 1:54 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Digg Notes: Formula for Hamfisted Headlines

    (Number between 5 and 50) + of the + (Country / World / Solar System / Galaxy / Universe)'s + (cool- most- best- worst- fun-)est + ( Subject) = Digger attention span.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 3, 2008 11:38 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    We're All Billionaires Now!


    From the simple but wicked xkcd - A Webcomic - Alternate Currency

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 3, 2008 10:51 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Wednesday, December 3 (Updated)



    • ROFL MAO! R U SERIUS? A British doctor volunteering in DR Congo used text message instructions from a colleague to perform a life-saving amputation on a boy.

    • "Unfortunately the tourists can still smell the BS from the Congress." Reid: We won't smell the tourists anymore "My staff tells me not to say this, but I'm going to say it anyway," said Reid in his remarks. "In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true."

    • Bet on "stupid" and keep them that way: RIGHTWINGSPARKLE does the numbers on How Obama got elected. Moral: "Be informed and watch Fox News."


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 2, 2008 8:42 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Obama and Hillary: The Early Years

    "I told you I had a pony in here."

    Found at Tastes Funny: 1916 | Shorpy Photo Archive

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 2, 2008 8:05 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Levon Helm: Often Imitated. Never Duplicated.

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 2, 2008 1:23 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Tech Support for Troubled Marriages


    Please help! I took my husband's i-phone and found a raunchy picture of him attached to an e-mail to a woman in his sent e-mail file (a Yahoo account). When I approached him about this (I think that he is cheating on me) he admitted that he took the picture but says that he never sent it to anyone. He claims that he went to the Genius Bar at the local Apple store and they told him that it is an i-phone glitch: that photos sometimes automatically attach themselves to an e-mail address and appear in the sent folder, even though no e-mail was ever sent. Has anyone ever heard of this happening? The future of my marriage depends on this answer! - Apple - Support - Discussions - Pictures automatically attach to e-mail? ...

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 2, 2008 10:50 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Tuesday, December 2 (Updated)


    "You can fool all of the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all of the time; and that should be enough for most purposes." - From Minims by Tom Weller. [Note: Long ago I was the editor for this wonderful book. Glad to see it has survived being out of print and is still being pointed to today by distinguished pages such as Drawn. ]

    • "It is there we must go. Sooner or later, it is there we must go."
      We are going about this the wrong way. We treat symptoms rather than disease. We goafter men when we should be going after addresses. Behind every Islamic killer there is a nation. We have long known their names -- Syria, Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. These dismal places are the factories of terror and blood. Wherever you find hordes of dead Westerners and slaughtered Jews you will find the footprints of one of these regimes. The Return of Scipio

    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 1, 2008 8:53 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Prophecy from the Book of Bob: Talkin' World War III Blues

    Time: 1964. "I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours."

    Power of suggestion wielded by Ars Psychiatrica


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 1, 2008 2:09 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Happy Face in the Heavens; Keep Your Eyes Peeled Tonight

    Photograph by Shevill Mathers @ The Southern Cross Observatory


    Posted by Vanderleun Dec 1, 2008 11:15 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    G2E Media GmbH



    Please Donate


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

    We have become a rationing society.

    Our industries and our people are literally starving in the midst of plenty.
    Farmers are kept from farming, factories are kept from producing and businessmen are kept from creating new companies and jobs. This is done in the name of a variety of moral arguments, ranging from caring for the less fortunate to saving the planet. But rhetoric is only the lubricant of power. The real goal of power is always power. Consolidating production allows for total control through the moral argument of rationing, whether through resource redistribution or cap and trade. - Sultan Knish: The Rationing Society

    'Henceforth be masterless.' Henceforth be mastered.

    The real American day hasn't begun yet. Or at least, not yet sunrise.
    So far it has been the false dawn. That is, in the progressive American consciousness there has been the one dominant desire, to do away with the old thing. Do away with masters, exalt the will of the people. The will of the people being nothing but a figment, the exalting doesn't count for much. So, in the name of the will of the people, get rid of masters. When you have got rid of masters, you are left with this mere phrase of the will of the people. Then you pause and bethink yourself, and try to recover your own wholeness. D. H. Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature

    Madam Marie's Psychic Booth – Asbury Park, New Jersey


    Marie Castello told fortunes from her small booth, quite incredibly, from 1932 until she died in 2008.
    The Gypsy Queen of the Boardwalk caller her booth ‘The Temple of Knowledge.” A young Bruce Springsteen would regularly play guitar and sing outside her booth, aged just 17. “Back in the day, when I was a fixture on the Asbury Park Boardwalk,” he remembered after the fortune teller passed away at the age of 93, “I’d often stop and talk to Madam Marie as she say on her folding chair outside the Temple of Knowledge.” When Marie Castello told Springsteen’s future, “she always told me mine looked pretty good.” - - Atlas Obscura

    Dr. Killjoy:

    Jackson husband & wife shocked after DNA test reveals they are biological twins

    While “whataboutism” may be a logical fallacy, it’s still a devastatingly compelling argument.

    Humans – especially normal Americans – won’t tolerate a double standard.
    But double standards apply all the time to liberals – they do it and it’s fine, but we do it and it’s Armageddon. The same jerks screaming for O‘Reilly’s scalp worship Bill Clinton and his drunken, perv-enabling pseudo-wife. Or take the Trump-Russia black hole of idiocy – please. Remember how Obama whispered to the Russkies, “I'll have more flexibility after election” and that was cool? But – according to an anonymous source reading a bar tab over the phone to some credulous WaPo hack – one of Trump’s relatives ordered a vodka once and it’s TREASON TREASON TREASON!!!!!! - - Liberals Are Shocked To Find We’re Starting To Hate Them Right Back

    If you are a traditional American,

    a Christian, or don’t recognize the deity of government
    then you are excess humanity to the Neojacobins and have no right to life. The communists have never given quarter so why expect it now? I am confident many inside the Beltway and the large coastal cities understand the price of delegitimization and are willing to pay that price to usher in their ideology. What remains to be seen is whether traditional America is as well. Time to grow up and learn to hate. – Jesse James – The Virginia Freeman's Society

    "SECOND, we hang all the Lawyers."

    HT: Ray V.

    Gen. Mattis: Answer of the Month

    Beneath it all, the military and the gangs.

    It’s really just an organized criminal enterprise fermenting under the façade of ‘public administration’. “Here the public owns everything” which of course means the public actually owns nothing – it’s those with the guns who command. And the end result is always the gun. -- The Day the Music Died

    Hungrey Hippo


    University of Arizona Scholar Identifies as a Hippopotamus in Academic Journal -
    “I do strongly love when my friends call me ‘hippo,’ refer to my ‘paws’ and pretend that they see no difference between me and one of my stuffed hippopotamuses, except that I’m a little bigger than most of them,” Morin writes. [HT:HNelson]


    We have no desire to kill anybody, for any reason, ever.

    But you must never doubt for a single second that, if forced to, we will—in job lots, as many as we can manage.

    We will stack your corpses like cordwood, and will hunt ferociously for more to heighten the pile. We will hate it, we will be horrified by it. We will regret the circumstances that led to it, and agonize over the choices, on both sides, that made it inevitable. But I promise you, as solemnly as I possibly can: we will do it.Cold Fury サ Weaponized Empathy

    “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”: Sun Tzu, Chinese

    US Nuclear Weapon Upgrade Program: “CBO estimates that nuclear forces will cost $348 billion between FY 2015 and FY 2024. Three independent estimates put the expected total cost over the next 30 years at as much as $1 trillion.”

    Artist’s conception of planned $100 Billion Chinese-Made City in Malaysia. Near Singapore “Scares the Hell Out of Everybody.” Will have 700,000 people, almost entirely Chinese. Pundits assert that in twenty years China will own Malaysia. The China-US Arms Race: If One Arm is Right, the Other Will Be Left, No? | Fred On Everything

    Now do you see why Trump surprised them?

    [Check 'em off. I get all but three.]

    Ask journalists when they were last in a truck stop on an Interstate , last in Boone, North Carolina or Barstow, California or any of thousands of such towns across the country. Ask whether they were in the military , whether they have ever talked to a cop or an ambulance crewman or a fireman . Ask whether they have a Mexican friend , when they last ate in a restaurant where a majority of the customers were black . Whether they know an enlisted man , or anyone in the armed services . Whether they have hitchhiked overnight , baited a hook , hunted , or fired a rifle . Whether they have ever worked washing dishes , harvesting crops , driving a delivery truck . Whether they have a blue-collar friend . Know what the Texas Two-Step is , have been in a biker bar . Notes of a Reformed News Weasel: Understanding the Vacuity | Fred On Everything

    What I foresee for both journalism and academia is a financial decline that proceeds at increasing speed

    It’s hard to think of two white-collar professions more imperiled than journalism and academia.
    The belief that left or left-liberal university administrators and professors, and journalists and editors, have in their own impregnability is simply delusional. If they connected their political decisions to their worried meetings about rising costs and desiccating sources of revenue, they would realize this; but the power of compartmentalization is great. So what I foresee for both journalism and academia is a financial decline that proceeds at increasing speed, a decline to which ideological rigidity will be a significant contributor, though certainly not the only one. being right to no effect - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis

    British Jewelry Heist: How a Group of Retirees Pulled It Off


    Reader had generally managed to walk away until the Brinks-Mat Job in 1983,
    involving the theft of what today would be worth more than £83 million ($103 million) in gold bullion from the high-security warehouse at Heathrow Airport. Reader was a “soldier” on that job, moving the gold between a “fence” and dealers. He was found guilty of conspiracy for handling stolen goods and sentenced to nine years. When he got out of prison, it seemed he had put the life of crime behind him. But two decades later, suffering from prostate cancer and other ailments, he decided to get back into the game with his biggest caper yet. Scotland Yard commander Peter Spindler, who oversaw the London police in investigating the Hatton Garden heist, told me that Reader was called “the Guvnor,” the leader in British gangster parlance, who, possibly with associates, “set it up, enlisted the others, and called the job on, to the best of our understanding.” -- Reader's Digest

    There are now three full generations of women (baby boomers, Gen X and now millennials)

    who put a paycheck, a career, their politics, feminism, and their education ahead of their biological and heart-felt desires to have and raise a family.
    They'll never admit it, but they're miserable and have wasted their entire lives. But at least the bad feminists made off $100,000 in tuition, Oprah is a billionaire, Jimmy Choo made a lot of money on shoes, corporate America got some cheap labor, the government got a lot of tax revenue, and the democrats/labour/socialist party got a lot of votes. What's only worse than the ruination of millions of women's lives is how they still claim to be independent minded when they were so obviously hoodwinked and screwed over by feminism. Captain Capitalism: The Case for Evil

    If there is anything interesting in this week’s Weekly Standard, I won’t see it.

    I gave up reading the Standard neo-con editorials several months ago,
    but I usually enjoy the opening humor in the Scrapbook; but it too has now become a Trump bash along with everything else. I started — attempted to start – the article on the “special investigation” but it opened with sufficient Trump bashing that I simply threw the whole thing in the trash. I don’t know how long my subscription runs, but I won’t be renewing. One fewer thing to read, so it will save time. There’s nothing in it I can’t get almost any random “news” source. I use the word “source” but I don’t really mean that: the New York Times used to say that citing anonymous sources was a last resort; but that was long ago and in another country. Now it’s using actual sources that’s rare. – Jerry Pournelle

    Jupiter’s southern pole, complete with giant cyclones.


    Jupiter Is Even Weirder Than We Thought - There are also massive solar storms at the poles that cause bright auroras. But unlike Earth’s, they are not caused just by the solar wind. Jupiter’s especially volcanic moon Io contributes sulfur gas that makes the auroras even brighter.

    Today, they laugh at us.

    And they should, because we are ridiculous.
    They laugh at us for being fools who think that with just a little more submission, just a wee bit more self-abasement, our enemies will accept us as friends. They laugh at us for being fools whose response to spilled blood is flowers and cards and tweets. They laugh at us for not having a fraction of the faith in ourselves that the terrorists have in themselves. They’re willing to blow themselves into chunks for what they believe in. We’re not even willing to take our own side in this fight. Fewer Tears, Fewer Lies, And More Righteous Anger - Kurt Schlichter

    Not "Pug-Ugly" but "Butt Ugly"


    Mr. Meechan managed to make himself uglier than his girlfriend’s pug, which is again no mean achievement.
    No doubt he—Mr. Meechan, not the dog—was unfavored by nature (as so many of us indeed are), but it took some determination on his part to look quite as hideous as he manages to do. In this, however, he was only showing how deeply conventional was his mind, for such primitive self-mutilation as he indulges in has now become a mass phenomenon. If dandyism had been the fashion, he would no doubt have been a dandy; but unfortunately the fashion is now to make oneself look like a barbarian attacking the Roman legions on the other side of Hadrian’s Wall. There is nothing as feeble as the human mind when it is in the grip of the desire to be fashionable.
    -- The Butt of the Joke

    We’re Not Taking Your Migrants – Your Blackmail Won’t Work On Us


    Poland Stands Up to EU on Forced Quotas: ‘’Poland will not submit to any blackmail on the part of the European Union’’,
    Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło stated during a parliamentary debate, adding that her Central European nation would not be participating in the ‘’madness of the Brussels elites.’’ Referencing the Islamist suicide bombing which killed 22, mainly children, and injured dozens more at a pop concert in Manchester this week, the Catholic prime minister said she had the courage to call out the EU’s political elites on their ‘’folly’’. Two Polish citizens were amongst those killed on Monday night’s atrocity in Manchester. ‘’Where are you going, Europe? Get up off your knees. Get out of your lethargy. Otherwise you will be crying every day for your children’’, she warned, stating that Poland had no intention of accepting Brussels-imposed migrants.

    “Whoever is kind to the cruel will end up being cruel to the kind”

    We live in a world where we are faced with mainstream tolerance of terrorist groups

    whose main cause is to destroy all that is modern from sea to sea. After the unimaginable massive attacks of September 11, 2001, American children learned that their Western culture is to blame for the oppression and occupation of the downtrodden underdogs of the world. “Occupiers” like Israel and wealthy White privileged Christians and Jews of the Western World are to blame for the creation of terrorists; “freedom fighters”.Cruelty To The Kind And Kindness To The Cruel - A Modern Catastrophe | Israellycool

    What stupid patsies we in the West are.

    neo-neocon サ Blog Archive サ How did the Manchester bomber get his funds?Abedi was given at least £7,000 from the taxpayer-funded Student Loans Company
    after beginning a business administration degree at Salford University in October 2015. It is thought he received a further £7,000 in the 2016 academic year even though by then he had already dropped out of the course. Salford University declined to say if it had informed the Student Loans Company that Abedi’s funding should have been stopped.

    What stupid patsies we in the West are.

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