Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
YouTube's ready to select a winner



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 31, 2013 8:50 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Time the Hitler.... He Speaks for Me

Very much an "inside blogball" item, but I like it so I'll put it here for a couple of days.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 29, 2013 11:19 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sic Transit Generation Gap

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-- P.J. O'Rourke, Peace Kills



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 29, 2013 9:13 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you / Which shall be the darkness of God."

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t-17.jpghe wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer's art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

    Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam's curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

    The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

    The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

    The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood --
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

Eliot -- East Coker / The Four Quartets

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 29, 2013 8:03 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Final Destinations: 2 Passings and a Plan as Told in the Comments to “The Grudge of the Old.”

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In the last few years two older men whom I had turned to for wisdom and good stories passed, and the difference between their final years was illustrative.

The first, married to my grandmother, I had known since I was a child. As he got older I learned more of his life before their union, and it was not an exemplary one. He had changed dramatically under the influence of his final wife, but he was, in all ways, a real bastard in his youth to early middle age.

As his body failed and death was near, he held on with ever greater ferocity. He lost his body, his mind, and towards the end -- in a quiet moment together -- he slightly bared his soul when he confessed that what he feared wasn't dying, but what lie on the other side; the inevitable penance for the crimes against God and man he had committed in youth.

The other death, just this last week, was of a good friend and mentor, whose life was lived fully and without regrets. He was married to his first and only wife. His children had children of their own. He was always gracious and open with friends and enemies alike. In the end, with death imminent, he worked to ensure none would be put out by his passing, and handled the arrangements himself, right down to the catering.

From what I was told, the end was swift and largely painless as he allowed the drugs to ease the pain and his soul to be released.

In both cases, the men who had taught me a great deal about how to be a man continued to teach me to the very end, As I continue to see and interact with the aged, I can't help but notice that the ones who have peace in their hearts and mind believe and have lived as if a reward is awaiting them, and those who display anger, bitterness, and despair seem to be trying to convince themselves that there is nothing to be afraid of on the other side. -- Posted by: dan at March 27, 2013 4:35 PM

[Elsewhere]

I have the house loaded with explosives. Forty five seconds after I flatline, the whole neighborhood goes up. Posted by: Lorne at March 27, 2013 4:47 PM



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 29, 2013 3:22 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Gay Marriage: Just Do It! (And Welcome to It)

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"Fools rush in where fools have been before."

I'm with Dorothy Sayers on this one:

As I grow older and older
And totter toward the tomb
I find that I care less and less
Who goes to bed with whom

We've got a lot of problems with marriage in this country, but can't we take a step back and draw a deep breath, smell the winds of change and admit that Gay Marriage is a done deal?

It's here. It's queer. So what?

Enough with all the whining and carping and running about with one's hair on fire screaming, "Oh! Gay Marriage. I got the fear!" If a couple of normally insane Americans want to get a bunch of friends or Elvis impersonators together, seek out a whompingly liberal priest, rabbi, minister, or Marryin' Sam to hitch them up... so what?

Yes, so what? If yet another brain-damaged, oh-so-victimized minority wants to move into another white, heterosexual fantasyland after white heterosexuals are finished with it, so be it. Nothing like inhabiting the ruins of a dream to make dreams come true.

Speaking as a twice married, twice disappointed, compulsively heterosexual male, I have heard the arguments and seen the yearning and felt the love of gay and lesbian couples from sea to shining sea. And I have felt their gay pain and now wish only that they share my straight pain. It will bring us together faster than Obama explaining economics to stoners everywhere on the Daily Show.

Deep down all our fellow gay Americans want is to be allowed their right, at long last, to enter the, ahem, Holy Realms of Sanctified and Blissful Matrimony. I take them at their word.

And I say: "Bring.... It.... On! Get... Down! Let it be, at long last, Mission Accomplished!" It is the morning of a decade of fabulous parties in America, and not a moment too soon.


As someone with not a little experience inside the obsessions, the compulsions, the addictions, the rages and the long-term quiet desperation of marriage, let me say that I cannot wait to welcome my gay brothers and sisters to the Holy Realm of Sanctified Bliss. I believe with every drop of rain that falls that any two or three or four or more of gay, straight, quadrogendered, pawed or tentacled Americas that want to get into a marriage should not only be encouraged, but tossed headlong into the institution.... before they sober up and snap out of it!

Looked at in the right light, there's a lot of upside in this Gay rush-to-nup for everyone in this country.

  • Going in there's a major boost to the retail clothing and footwear industries.
  • Our financially floundering churches ( It ain't no real weddin' lessen it be a church weddin'! ) are going to get enough in donations to morph themselves into cathedrals.
  • Cathedrals are going to have a five year waiting list.
  • Forget about getting any caterers above the level of the Second Avenue Deli for the duration. They will be either baking enough caviar canapes to drain the Black Sea, or out shopping for Gulfstreams.
  • Salmon will become an endangered species, as will wedding singers.
  • Wedding planners will charge more than Bill Gates' estate lawyers and they'll get it.
  • You want any Spode china, 500-count Egyptian cotton sheets, or monogramed towels? Better snap them up now.
  • Ditto the booking of weeks at any spa resort that offers in-room jacuzzis.
  • Vacations to anywhere other than Bike Week at Daytona are right out too. And even there you'll probably have to sleep on the beach.
  • Don't even mention the word "Disneyland" to your kids for a decade. (See, you just saved about $7,000 right there.)

Then there's the immediate after effects.

  • Have you been thinking about redoing your window treatments, and perhaps junking that Santa Fe look for something crypto-modern you saw in Dwell? Forget it. Every decent interior decorator in the hemisphere is going on a honeymoon, and not taking on new clients until his or her own window treatments are made new. Relax. With a few push-pins and your worn beach towels, you should be able to weather the storm.

Speaking of storms, brace yourself and do not be fooled by the return of peace and quiet to these states. Once the initial tsunami of coast-to-coast gay marriage scours this fair land down to a series of moral nubs, a period of calm normality can only be enjoyed for, well, anywhere from 18 to 36 months before.... the Aftermath.

The Aftermath is when the millions of gay believers who have thrust themselves into the sylvan dream of wedded bliss.... wake up to find out that they are, Aieeeee!, married. And when they do, they will want what nearly every clear sighted heterosexual couple wants out of marriage these days.... a divorce.

And since gays lust after not tolerance but "approval," they are determined to inhabit every burnt-out fantasy of straight life. Hence, it will be a "traditional" divorce. Not a good new-fashioned no-fault divorce, but a brimming-with-blame, spite-spitted Prozac-popping divorce American style. Full of fights, slights, sullen silences, and a craving from the spouse for "my own space."

About half of the gay Americans getting in the long, long lines at divorce court will discover that the "craving from the spouse for 'my own space'" has a very special meaning. It usually means either your space, or a space you will pay for one way or another.

Because make no mistake about it. Whether it is a gay professionals' divorce, or a gay crackers' divorce, somebody's losing a beach house or a double-wide.

Children adopted by gay male couples will probably be treated in a kindly and caring manner during the divorce, but when it comes to the pets, get ready for the mother of all cat-fights over the puppy or the pussy.

Children born to lesbian couples will probably fare less well. Besides a lifelong predilection for comfortable shoes, the best they can hope for is for the courts to okay that they can, should they elect to do so, live with their sperm donor.

To be a classic American divorce a gay divorce has to come complete with that must-have divorce fashion accessory -- the gob-stoppingly expensive lawyer. (Make that two. Three if kids or pets are in the mix.) This is not really the lawyers' fault. The lawyers have to be expensive since it is the only way the lawyers (gay or straight) can continue to pay off their ex-spouse or spouses or farm animals.

Alas, not only is marriage due to be a downer for hundreds of thousands of gays in the same way it is a downer for millions of straights, the non-stop depression generator of divorce is going to weave its old black magic without remorse or regard to sexual orientation or good intentions. And the moralists are "afraid" that all gay marriage will do is to open the door to polygamy?

Dear moralists,
Be not downcast. Do not despair. You are simply failing to see the entertainment value for tens of millions of your fellow divorced heterosexual Americans. Instead, picture your deep and abiding pleasure when you get to unfold a comfy lawn chair, pop a cold one and kick back to watch a stream of four-cornered gay divorces carom through the "family justice system" like drag-queens on steroids trapped in God's Foosball court.

There may be a lot of fuming and fussing and fighting and hissy-fits down in the old Family courthouse, but let them roll on! Out on the lawn we'll just be kicking it, betting on which one of sixteen snarling coon dogs comes out of the pack with all four legs still on.

Do you doubt that these little contretemps will make for big box office on all 40 screens in the vast multiplex of the American mind?

As hinted above, I have three little words that make one big pitch: "Gay Divorce Court!"

"Gay Divorce Court!" would be a reality show with more legs than a queer centipede. "Gay Divorce Court!" is appointment television that could launch a million office pools, and probably some Vegas-sized lines for the inevitable Brad Pitt vs. Tom Cruise de-fornication fiasco.

It is time we all switched from boxers to Speedos in keen anticipation of the gay decade ahead. Gay marriage is a done deal. It's time our gay brothers and sisters stopped having the ACLU pay for their legal battles, and started to pay for some of their own.

And pay they will. I here prophesy that, verily, via "Gay Divorce Court!" they shall be cleaned, reamed, fucked, plucked and hosed through the nose.

Gay Americans say that without marriage they are, like the slaves of yesteryear, only half-a-person. Let us remove from the marriage of true minds all impediments to their assumption of whole-person-hood. How else can at least half of them can learn that special feeling that comes to a whole person when half one's net worth is lopped off by the courts like some robed Loreena Bobbit on crack? Yum!

Gentlemen, start your vows!

Me? I'm out front on the church lawn. I'm making the popcorn, getting out the lawn chair, and popping a cold one. Y'all come too.



[Republished from March, 2006 and November, 2008]
And I'm still right.]



Posted by Vanderleun Mar 28, 2013 3:36 AM | Comments (117)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Grudge of the Old by D.H. Lawrence

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The old ones want to be young, and they aren't young,
and it rankles, they ache when they see the young,
and they can't help wanting to spite it on them
venomously.

The old ones say to themselves: We are not going to be old,
we are not going to make way, we are not going to die,
we are going to stay on and on and on and on and on
and make the young look after us
till they are old. We are stronger than the young.
We have more energy, and our grip on life is harder.
Let us triumph, and let the young be listless
with their puny youth.
We are younger even now than the young, we can put their youth in abeyance.

And it is true.
And they do it.
And so it goes on.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 27, 2013 2:39 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
With Apologies to H. L. Mencken

"Gay" marriage is the theory that gay people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 27, 2013 10:17 AM | Comments (0)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid: North Korea Puts Its War Machine on Display

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Amphibious operations

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Small arms maintenance

Gathered HERE @ In Focus @ The Atlantic are recent KCNA photographs of North Korea's war machine, as the country wishes the world to see it. 33 PHOTOS



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 27, 2013 10:01 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Dick Dialogues

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The creative contextualization of a play like The Vagina Monologues can bring certain perspectives on important issues into a constructive and fruitful dialogue with the Catholic tradition. This is a good model for the future. Accordingly, I see no reason to prohibit performances of The Vagina Monologues on campus, and do not intend to do so. -- The Dickless Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President, University of Notre Dame

Like the distinguished, befuddled, and outflanked Father above, I too -- in a spasm of "creative contextualization"-- seek to bring "certain perspectives on important issues into a constructive and fruitful dialogue" here at American Digest. To further that mission, I shall now reveal that a secret evening of drama has been taking place in numerous locations about the nation. We are all aware of the unstoppable chunk of mummery and flummery, flattery and chattery, known as "The Vagina Monologues," but few know -- and few deserve to know -- about the blowback (so to speak) that is "The Dick Dialogues."

"The Dick Dialogues" is usually performed on the down-low in the basements of sports bars, carefully darkened car-repair garages, and the deepest forest amphitheaters of the Bohemian Grove. Attendance is strictly male and strictly invitation-only since in many states the mere thought of giving a performance of "The Dick Dialogues" would constitute a hate-crime.

Modeled on the successful NPR series "Car Talk," a typical episode of "The Dick Dialogues" consists of two men, traditionally named "Plick" and "Plack," slumped in Lay-Z-Boys in a Rec Room. Here they field calls on a speaker phone from a series of male and female and neuter voices. The actors, clad in the traditional garb of jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps and army boots, respond to the questions on the spot during an extended half-time at a fantasy football league's Super Bowl. The cost of admission is a donation that is suggested to be equal to one month of the attendee's child support payments.

Spontaneous, unrehearsed, and always faintly pissed-off, the "Dialogues" continue to gather fans and acolytes in the secret Royal Order of Meese (Named after the Sainted Ed Meese, blessed be his Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.) in cities here and abroad wherever non-gelded males still are to be found -- either in captivity or free-ranging.

I recently attended a performance of "The Dick Dialogues" in the greater Seattle area. At first it was to be performed at a fishing net warehouse down near the locks at Lake Union, but the proximity of the locks to the University of Washington and its vast stocks of neutered males made this a security risk. So it was moved to a secret location in the model rooms at a Renton superstore code named "AEKI."

While waiting for the show to start, early arrivals were entertained with classic skits such as "If You Really Loved Me, You'd Buy Me a House," "Darling, You'll Never Guess How Much I Saved Shopping Today," "Please Pay Off My Credit Cards Again," and "What the Frikin' Hell Are 'Window Treatments' Anyway?"

The performance began at midnight with sacred de-estrogenation rituals involving the burning of large numbers of cigars, the consumption of local malt beverages, and ten choruses of Kumbaya topped off with a coordinated group belch.

I am forbidden to disclose the full text of that evening's Dick Dialogues, but one particular exchange does stick in the mind.

Halfway through the evening, the phone rang in the "Rec Room" and a reedy, frustrated female voice asked:

I've recently returned my vintage Dick to the general Dick pool, but find I still need one from time to time for the small chores and larger tensions of my life. I'm reluctant to buy a new Dick outright in this market? Do you know where I can rent one? Or would leasing one be a better deal?

The evening's official Dick Dialoguers rolled their eyes, did a Jagermeister shot, popped open a Bud, took a big hit off Ghengis Bong and answered as follows:

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 27, 2013 1:41 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Balance

"What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals." -- Hamlet



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 26, 2013 11:26 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Caught in Traffic

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We'd strapped him to his bed for over a year,

Paid a fat, black woman to wear a white dress

Change his bed pan, and sit with him at night,

But when the bone white pigeon banked

Between the buildings in a pale twilight

The old man's brain liquefied.

Foam, whose tiny bubbles reflected my face,

Bloomed on his lips as he swallowed his tongue.

It said 5:47 on the red crystal clock by the wet bar,

And his breath rattled in the room like some

Tired exhaust fan from the Roaring Twenties.

His wife was out shopping at Woolworths,

Or trying to sell something back to Cartiers.

The black nurse was downstairs flirting

With Desi the tap dancing doorman.

Prince the chauffeur buffed the black Lincoln

And wondered what he do when the old lady died.

My wife was teasing our toddler in the living room.

Everyone else was trying to get home from work.

Somewhere inside his skull the skinned nerves

Kept sending signals down the spine to the heart.

And I blotted his lips in that burnt orange room

As his arms flapped like a beached fish before

The fisherman brings down the club.

I turned from the bed, pulled up the beige blinds,

And gazed out the window wondering

Where the bone white pigeon had gone.
Then I called the Doctor's number listening

To his wheezing until the call was answered.


"He's dying," I said to the man I'd never met.

"You should send an ambulance and a team

Of medics right now. He's going. Going fast."

The calm voice answered from far across town,

"He's home. He's been dead for a year, you know.

We just change the sheets and pay the nurses.
I can keep his body going as long -- as long --

As long as you want. You need to tell me.

Look outside. How heavy's the traffic on Fifth?"

I looked down on a solid ribbon of oozing steel.

"Wedged," I said. "Hardly moving at all."


"Look at his eyes," the voice said. I looked

Down into his eyes and they had no bottom.

"Who's there?" the voice asked on the phone.


"No one I know," I said. "No one at all."
I held the phone and waited, looking out over the park.


"I'll send an ambulance when you tell me," he said.


The bone white pigeon came sweeping out of the light

And settled on the sill as calm as the quiet in the room.


"Send them when you can. No rush.
They'll just be caught in traffic."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 25, 2013 9:03 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Spam Storm: A Comment on Comments

Starting last Friday there has been a continuing attempt by spam comment creators (Blotted be their names from the Book of Life, and may a thousand weasels nest in their pants for eternity!) to overwhelm the Spam filters. Some inevitably get through and I have to weed those out by hand.

Total spam comments usually run to a total of a few hundred a day for both the main column and SideLine. Irritating but manageable. The recent onslaught, however, is running up to five or six thousand a day. This tends to overwhelm the site with read /write / filter operations which slows down legitimate comments as well as the site in general. There are fixes for this that I'm working on, but for now it is going to a slow going.

Oh yes, the filter is set to hold comments that contain a URL / link until I can approve it by hand. Sorry about that but if it were otherwise I'd be weeding out around 500 comments a day by hand. I'd have blisters on my fingers.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 25, 2013 5:19 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Live and Be Free:" Raymond Borzelli Is Not Waiting Around For The Death Panels

Get your week off to a great start with 8 minutes of this man.

Meet Raymond Borzelli

- 85 year old pensioner with a passion for music. At home, Raymond struggles to pay his bills and put food on the table. But out on the streets of Sydney, he dances to a different tune, living out his dreams as the superstar he was meant to be.

"I am shamed into a better humor by a man who dances like everyone is watching." -- | Primordial Slack

Me too.

Life is good, it is good, to, me
And it was meant, for you, to live and be free, to live and be free...

--Live And Be Free Tim McMorris



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 25, 2013 12:03 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Easter Rituals Unlikely to Be Imported to the USA Anytime Soon

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Penitents light their candles as they take part in the "Humildad" (Humility) brotherhood Palm Sunday procession in Malaga on March 24, 2013. -- Pride, penitence and Antonio Banderas: Spaniards mark Holy Week with colorful processions



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 25, 2013 10:59 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
An Israeli Soldier's song to the world for Passover



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 25, 2013 2:05 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Ceremonies of the Horsemen

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The Green House, Berkeley California, 2008

BACKSTAGE: A Preface to a Prologue

In response to yesterday's note about the publication of Let It Bleed: The Rolling Stones, Altamont, and the End of the Sixties a friend and alphablogger whose judgement I respect writes to ask that I write more about what I saw moving through the 60s like some long-haired WASP Zelig.

To recapitulate a remark from yesterday, it's a popular thing to say that "If you remember the 60s you weren't there." My curse is that I was there and despite being a full participant with all that implies, I seem to remember everything. Worse still, the more I do remember, the more I can remember.

One of my larger projects which I hold back from this page is a fictionalized version of what I saw at the "Revolution." In general book length works don't work at all well in this medium and much of the book is only in first draft with other sections coming in in outline form only.

Still there is a prologue which has been in pretty much final form for some time and which sets out certain elements best summed up by a line from the ultimate 60s band, The Jefferson Airplane, "And, there's another side to this life I've been living."

While I have found a great deal, a very great deal, of the things begun in the 60s to have turned out for the worse and to have harmed our society and our culture and ourselves, there is seldom a bouquet of thorns that do not guard a rose.

All of which is to say there are things and moments from those years that still have something of the "Once Upon A Time" about them. This short passage alludes to and points towards some of them in a manner which is, perhaps, too lyrical for its own good, but I find that if I am to write truly, I can only write down what I am sent without fear or filters.

And so, by semi-popular demand, what follows is the prologue one of my longer projects, CEREMONIES OF THE HORSEMEN --

The cloak and dagger dangles,
madams light the candles.
In ceremonies of the horsemen
even a pawn can hold a grudge.

--Bob Dylan

None of this ever really happened.

1. Prologue

To tell the truth about those years, you'd have to begin with the observation that truth was, like all precious commodities, in very short supply. Like LSD from Sandoz or pharmaceutical cocaine, truth was rumored to be everywhere but became scarce when you attempted to score.

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 23, 2013 2:21 PM | Comments (30)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Why I Hate Guns!

Matt Walsh explains his perfectly rational position and brings out the facts behind the myths. Get educated.

HT: Small Dead Animals



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 23, 2013 11:15 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Elisabetta Will... Rock. Your. World.

It's the singer, not the song.


Found at the today cuter than neater - Neatorama



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 23, 2013 10:17 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
We Have Met the RINO and He Is Us

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"McCain & the RINO losers are a symptom of "Passive-Every-Other-November-Voterosis." If Boehner and McConnell agreed to carpet bomb elementary schools in the country Talk Radio would be on fire... with talk. The blogs would erupt... in more talk. One Conservative after another would explain to every other Conservative why bombing elementary schools would be inconvenient, wasteful of resources, unfair, "maybe not as polite as we would all like to be," but it would all amount... to talk.

"Gerald Ford, GHW Bush, Bob Dole, McCain, Romney, and the next several unmotivaed chumps didn't grab hostages and take over the Party. We sat on our rears and explained why would prefer other candidates or other policies, but we did zilch to make that happen.

"When politics has become trying to dodge the sh*t-storm of this or that group and one remaining group threatens, at their most angry, to bus to DC and stand well away from government offices after hours or on a weekend, who do you think will be sold out? If you fear a beating from union thugs or an agnry email and you can't make everyone happy, which one of those will you make sure doesn't happen?

"STOP PLAYING NICE. You don't have to beat up people, but you had sure better make them think that's the price they will pay for p*ssing you off. Being nice means you will be taken advantage of.

"Stop explaining to nice people the benefits of being nice.

"Stop trying to justify yourself to liberals and their media.

"Our options are to engage in routine civil disobedience, surrender, or wait for the violence to begin.

"The Left & RINOs will not stop molesting you because you and your friends agree they shouldn't do it. They will stop when The Left & RINOs fear molesting you. Retreating to ideological, political, or physical gated-communities is just surrender. You have no right to surrender on behalf of the rest of us." -- Posted by Scott M as a comment to Eviscerate Gut the GOP!



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 21, 2013 9:41 AM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Taxi Tour

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Found at: 90 Miles From Tyranny : An End And A Beginning...



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 21, 2013 2:44 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Someone Wonderful: It's Mr Rogers' 85th Birthday

As Miss Cellania @ Neatorama notes

If TV host Fred Rogers hadn't died ten years ago, he would have been 85 today. In honor of the occasion, mental_floss presents 35 Facts About Mr. Fred Rogers. I honestly did not think I could sit through so many facts, because a) I never watched the show and b) I've read lists of facts about him many times. However, this is full of stories about Mr. Rogers that you probably haven't heard before.

As for myself, I'm praying that this will make God forgive me for the video just below this one, but as Mr. Rogers always said, "God loves you just the way you are."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 20, 2013 7:53 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
An Intense Video You'll Watch Again And Again

"Wow, talk about “First Person Shooter” POV. This looks like a Jason Statham movie as seen through his eyes. “Language and violence warning” should be all the incentive you need to spend 5 minutes watching this clip. -- - Blur Brain

N.B. “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR per G.G., CHIEF OF ORDNANCE”
― Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huck Finn

[You will miss much just the first time through. Especially the finer points of these:]
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Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 20, 2013 12:34 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Great Effin' Rant of the Week So Far: "If they can take the money from Cyprus, they can do it anywhere - do you get that in your nut?"


"They're just stealing the money They're getting billions and billions and billions and billions and billions, billions, billions, billions, billions, billions, billions, billions, billions, billions, billions, billions, and billions and it ain't fuckin' enough! These bankers, they are like pedophiles. They won't stop until they're locked up!"

Vast Effin' Warning: A London Cabbie Explains The Great EU Bank Robbery And Much Much More

"You will lose your f##king money in your bank," is how this English gentleman cabbie begins his caustic diatribe against all that is wrong with European (and in fact) the world of bankers and elites. The so-called 'artist taxi driver' has a spit-flying hand-smashing epic rant while sitting in his taxi. "They did a stress test on the banks in Cyprus 18 months ago and said it's f##king great" and now this; "this is some f##king crooked shit." "They're off their f##king nuts mate," he explains as he asks rhetorically of the bankers getting the bailouts, "how many f##king ponies do their daughters' need?"
Hey, he's an East Ender and "effin'" is just his way to taking a breath.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 18, 2013 7:52 PM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: "You can do anything when you're wearing sunglasses."

Take Five - Unorganized Hancock - YouTube

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 18, 2013 3:56 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
California Undreaming

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Net Migration Between California and Other States: 1955-1960 and 1995-2000

This graphic shows the 10 largest state-to-state migration flows in and out of California for the period 1955-1960 compared to that of 1995-2000. In the late 1950s, the largest flows involving California were all inflows to the state, generally from states in the Midwest or Northeast. This pattern contrasted with the flows in the late 1990s, where nearly all of the largest migration streams involving California represented out-migration to other states.
Of course if it showed another arrow, fat and gold, poking in from Mexico, all might be revealed. But that would be too much truth, wouldn't it?

HT: Philip Ngai @ Facebook



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 15, 2013 10:34 AM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Cut It. Out.

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Day in and day out -- and now moving into a 24/7/365 news cycle -- that annoying mosquito whine in your political ear is the argument over cutting.

Cutting back. Cutting the budget. Cutting the government down to size.

Reducing the size. Of the budget. Of the spending. Of the entitlements.

Cutting this department here. Cutting that entitlement there. Cutting out the White House tours. Cutting out the duffer's awful golf games. Cutting the Pentagon. Cutting the Food Stamps.

Cutting them off. Cutting in line. Cutting line by line. Prime cuts. Always and forever the argument over the "cuts" blathers on from Rand Paul to Ayn Rand; from Obama to Yo Momma.

It's all just arrant nonsense, drooling blather, and a stone waste of time. Any fool with two eyes that have not had their pupils poked out with red hot needles can see that the only way this particular government is ever going to be cut is when somebody or something cuts its throat.

Absent that final cut, cut it out.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 14, 2013 3:50 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Where the Jobs Are: North Dakota's Oil Boom

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Roughneck Brian Waldner

Underlying northwestern North Dakota is a massive rock formation, referred to as the Bakken shale,

which holds an estimated 18 billion barrels of crude oil. When this resource was first discovered in 1951, recovering it was financially unfeasible because the oil was embedded in the stone. Then, around 2008, everything changed, and North Dakota boomed. New drilling technology called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," became widespread, and oil production took off. As of 2013, there are more than 200 active oil rigs in North Dakota, producing about 20 million barrels of oil every month -- nearly 60 percent of it shipped by rail, rather than pipeline. -- In Focus - The Atlantic [30 photos]

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 13, 2013 11:02 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
World's Greatest Obituary: Harry Weathersby Stamps December 19, 1932 -- March 9, 2013

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"Harry Weathersby Stamps, ladies' man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler, died on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

Harry was locally sourcing his food years before chefs in California starting using cilantro and arugula (both of which he hated). For his signature bacon and tomato sandwich, he procured 100% all white Bunny Bread from Georgia, Blue Plate mayonnaise from New Orleans, Sauer's black pepper from Virginia, home grown tomatoes from outside Oxford, and Tennessee's Benton bacon from his bacon-of-the-month subscription. As a point of pride, he purported to remember every meal he had eaten in his 80 years of life."
.... He excelled at growing camellias, rebuilding houses after hurricanes, rocking, eradicating mole crickets from his front yard, composting pine needles, living within his means, outsmarting squirrels, never losing a game of competitive sickness, and reading any history book he could get his hands on. He loved to use his oversized "old man" remote control, which thankfully survived Hurricane Katrina, to flip between watching The Barefoot Contessa and anything on The History Channel.
.... He particularly hated Day Light Saving Time, which he referred to as The Devil's Time. It is not lost on his family that he died the very day that he would have had to spring his clock forward. This can only be viewed as his final protest.
View Harry Stamps's Full Obituary by The Sun Herald HERE



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 13, 2013 10:44 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
CHOPPER! The Saudi method reduces crime AND prison populations AND witches!

Just when you think that beheadings in the kingdom of SA are one solid bit of land in a sea of chaos, this comes out!

Reduced Beheadings in the Religion of Pieces:

It's Come to This Saudi Arabia may stop beheadings over shortage of swordsmen | Fox News
Needless to say this threatens the wonderful world of CHOPPER!

Wiccans, don't let the sun set on you in Saudi Arabia!

A man named Muree bin Ali bin Issa al-Asiri was beheaded in Saudi Arabia this week after being found in possession of spell books and talismans. Beheading is "God's punishment" for "sorcerers and charlatans," according to a statement that the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice issued in March.
Al-Asiri's execution was the latest accomplishment of Saudi Arabia's Anti-Witchcraft Unit, an elite police force specifically trained to track down and arrest practitioners of magic.... The Anti-Witchcraft Unit received almost 600 reports of witchcraft in the past few years. Whether or not these are actual cases of people purporting to practice the occult or just a pretext, the government clearly takes the problem seriously. --Saudi Witch Hunt | FP Passport

I don't know why the Supreme Court and the 50 states don't get behind the beheading sensation that's sweeping the Saudi nation. Yes, it may be "sharia law," but it's still "law." And it would reduce the plague of wiccans currently sweeping the nation.

But if they did, how would it all go down?

Here's a quick graphic novel I made in 2006 from screen grabs of an interview on Saudi Television with their Lord High Executioner.

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 12, 2013 12:41 PM | Comments (50)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Maintenance Costs In Hell-with-Good-Restaurants

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Lauren Greenfield photographed these New York professionals and found out how much they spend each month on their personal grooming. Does spending more mean looking better? (Left to right) Laura (25), $145 per month, Suzanne (36), $1720 per month and Claudine (29), $80 per month.

WELL, WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO when hookups, advancement and position still depend on Very Personal Grooming? She spends and spends and spends... and it would seem spends even more as the years add up. In this photo essay you can see some of the rituals, rites, and supplies that women -- even in this enlightened age -- still feel compelled to pile on themselves in their search for dates, mates, and advancement.

Beauty has become a pricey commodity; spending on Botox, spa treatments, designer makeup, cosmetic surgery, fitness and dieting total up to $160 billion dollars each year.  Some women spend $1700 monthly on beauty, more than many women pay for rent.
Sounds like a lot, but think of it as an investment in a rent-free future.



Posted by Vanderleun Mar 11, 2013 10:38 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderfully Destructive: Liberal Agenda Versus Entrepreneurial Spirit

Because... it's time. [And because here at American Digest we believe, we really believe, in recycling.]

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 11, 2013 6:06 AM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Godlike Beauty of the Early Stars: Gary Cooper, 1928

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True, they are not at rest yet,
but now they are indeed
apart, winnowed from failures,
they withdraw to an orbit
and turn with disinterested
hard energy, like the stars.

-- My Sad Captains by Thom Gunn

Nobody, but nobody, looks this good anymore.

"Gary Cooper played a man in love who turned pirate – for Fay Wray. “The First Kiss” was a silent film released in 1928, there is no extant footage, many early prints of this era on nitrate went the way of dust and flame."

From GARY COOPER – STYLE | BEGUILING HOLLYWOOD



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 8, 2013 2:39 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Girls On Fox News: They Report. We Decide. [Bumped]

Updated and bumped with sage commentary from Mike James on AMERICAN DIGEST: Comment on The Girls On Fox News: They Report. We Decide.

Fletcher, there are two or three lawyers, to include a former county judge, Monica Crowley has a PhD in something, and it would be my guess an assortment of various degrees of the sort that women usually get, but I doubt there's even one ethnic grievance degree, not one Women's or Gayandlesbianandtransgenderandwhycan'tIscrewboysandgirls Studies major.

But that's all just credentialism. I think they hold up against the joyless petting zoo on the other networks, once you filter out the code words and implicit assumptions of whatever it is they read from a teleprompter. There's something else as important, and that's credibility and integrity.

Fox has bothered themselves to report on some fairly serious things like the invasion of our Libyan Consulate, or the government deliberately overseeing the transfer of firearms to the sorts of drug running lowlife who behead innocents, massacre whole birthday parties, and the like. Oh, they get around to it, but only if Fox has already been reporting on something for a few weeks and makes it impossible to ignore, damn their eyes.

To be fair, I've seen them try. Not long ago one Fox competitor sent a head turning blonde to cover, alone or she might as well have been, rioting Cairenes, with the customary ugly, predictable results. The MSNBC and CNN viewers told the Fox viewers that this proved that Fox viewers are stupid.

Not that I discount things like covering speakers drinking a little water while they speak, or holding cameras on the President while he boards a huge aircraft to go to some course he hasn't played yet, while some of the girls of CNN or MSNBC describe in glowing terms the outfit his frightening wife is wearing as she boards a completely different huge aircraft because she was taking her holiday someplace else. Those things are important to find out about, too. As well the intimate, personal, one on one, maybe-I'll-get-my-friend-to-join-us interviews. I can go back to this stuff online, it seems that he wears nice suits, his wife looks good in anything, and there's nothing to worry about except for the mean people who are making it very hard for him to do things to make us all happy. This makes him sad.

Ha ha, just joking around with you, I don't take them seriously. Why should I?

And nobody, ever, is going to write a song called the "The Girls of MSNBC", or "The Girls of CNN", not a perfectly serviceable toe tapping one that I could imagine the band playing in a windowless joint somewhere when the fistfight breaks out. Wait, I take that back. I could see them getting Sarah MacLachlan to take a stab at it; MSNBC and CNN are used to people changing the channel out of revulsion by now, anyway. We are at least as well informed, better on some stories, and what could easily be a swimsuit calender; they get the likes of Chris Mathews, Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, or that fat bag of dough named Urk, or Turk, his name evades me right now. Cenk? Ctenk? I'll remember it after I click publish, as usual, darn it.

"Has any one of them two brain cells to rub together?" Cheap shots, Fletcher? That's not how you usually play things. Grace and self-restraint, on the Internet, of all places.

That goddamned song's been playing in my head since yesterday. It doesn't stop. I want it to stop. It has to stop. I thought it would help it stop to watch MSNBC or CNN, but it hasn't stopped.

Posted by Mike James at March 6, 2013 4:58 PM



Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 6, 2013 6:35 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Very, Very Wonderful: My Parents' First Car - 1948 Plymouth convertible

Herewith the best 8 minutes of your week online. No kidding. Break out the Kleenex. Via the always great The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys: The Borderline Sociopathic Boy Looks Out For His Parents

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 5, 2013 12:45 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dream Team, 2016? Obama/Obama!

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Twenty-second Amendment: "Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice...."

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Yes, I know, I know .... but it would almost be worth it just to watch the Cintons' heads explode.

[Or as someone once said (and I appropriated): "I try to become more cynical every day, but lately I just can't keep up."]

Of course nitpicking Constitutional scholars might hold that something called the 12th Amendment stands in the way, but these are the Obamas for goodness sake and a Constitutional quibble has never stopped them before. [Details]

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 4, 2013 2:15 PM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Great Americans: Rod Serling and His Pitch for The Twilight Zone

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"So gentlemen, please sit back and enjoy your first trip into The Twilight Zone.... [Serling vanishes] ... See what I mean? And this is nothing compared to the way jars of Instant Sanka will be disappearing off of grocery shelves come this fall."

Watch The Twilight Zone‘s 1959 Pilot Episode, Pitched by Rod Serling Himself for the first eight minutes.

“You gentlemen, of course, know how to push a product. My presence here is for much the same purpose: simply to push a product. To acquaint you with an entertainment product which we hope, and which we rather expect, would make your product-pushing that much easier. What you’re about to see, gentlemen, is a series called The Twilight Zone. We think it’s a rather special kind of series.”

Sidenote: Check the wide pan shot at 15:23 for an early appearance of Courthouse Square as seen in the Back to the Future series.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 4, 2013 11:55 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
American Dreams: Grace Kelly by the Pool in "High Society"

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Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 3, 2013 12:48 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
American Nightmares: The Poetry of the Young Barry Obama

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Because the child is father to the man. Or, in this case, the man might have been the....

POP*

Sitting in his seat, a seat broad and broken

In, sprinkled with ashes

Pop switches channels, takes another

Shot of Seagrams, neat, and asks

What to do with me, a green young man

Who fails to consider the
Flim and flam of the world, since

Things have been easy for me; 

I stare hard at his face, a stare

That deflects off his brow; 

I’m sure he’s unaware of his

Dark, watery eyes, that

Glance in different directions,

And his slow, unwelcome twitches,

Fail to pass.
I listen, nod,

Listen, open, till I cling to his pale, 

Beige T-shirt, yelling,

Yelling in his ears, that hang

With heavy lobes, but he’s still telling
His joke, so I ask why
He’s so unhappy, to which he replies...

But I don’t care anymore, cause

He took too damn long, and from

Under my seat, I pull out the

Mirror I’ve been saving; I’m laughing, 

Laughing loud, the blood rushing from his face

To mine, as he grows small,

A spot in my brain, something

That may be squeezed out, like a 

Watermelon seed between

Two fingers.

Pop takes another shot, neat,

Points out the same amber

Stain on his shorts that I’ve got on mine, and

Makes me smell his smell, coming

From me; he switches channels, recites an old poem

He wrote before his mother died,

Stands, shouts, and asks

For a hug, as I shrink, my 

Arms barely reaching around

His thick, oily neck, and his broad back; ’cause

I see my face, framed within
Pop’s black-framed glasses

And know he’s laughing too.


*A poem by Barack Obama published in the Spring 1981 issue of “Feast,” a 51-page student literary journal that described itself as "a semi-annual journal of short poetry and fiction collected from the Occidental College community.” The journal is no longer published, according to a college spokesman.

From 2008-09-24



Posted by Vanderleun Mar 3, 2013 10:09 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Great Americans Among Us: Carl Edgar Blake II
Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Mar 1, 2013 11:30 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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