Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Something Wonderful: Scissors / Hands

The Putter who puts scissors together at Ernest Wright and Son Ltd Scissors.

[HT: The ever admirable A Continuous Lean.]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 29, 2014 12:29 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just In Case You Forget What Barbarians They All Are.... Money or Not

Courtesy of one Riaz Badshah, who probably thinks this is just nifty.

HT: Cobb



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 28, 2014 5:39 PM | Comments (30)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And now for something completely refreshing....

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Red by Anastasia Galaktionova

"With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 28, 2014 4:22 PM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
So Obama, Biden, Holder, Reid, Pellosi, McCain, Jerry Brown, Hillary, and Bill are just standing around in a field talking when....



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 28, 2014 4:12 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Here Comes Everybody!

This is all not going to end well. Not well at all.... at sea in Europe and on land along our own borders.

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Massimo Sestini's remarkable photograph of an open boat carrying 227 illegal immigrants heading north across the Mediterranean.

"In the first half of this year sixty thousand illegals have arrived on Italian territory. If the flow continues at this rate, this year's total will be 120,000 — twice as many as in 2011, the record year so far. A growing problem? Oh yeah.

Sicily alone has received 53,000 of those sixty thousand this year. That's more than one percent of Sicily's population.
Should Europe at large be afraid? Sicily's population is one percent of the EU, so you could say: "Eh, one percent of one percent — surely Europe can absorb them."
And what's to be afraid of, anyway? Immigration boosters, Club for Growth types, open-borders libertarians, the Wall Street Journal, and what Steve Sailer calls the NAABP, the National Association for the Advancement of Billionaire People — Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Sheldon Adelson — They'll all tell you that these are just willing workers whose labor and skills will grow Europe's GDP.
Maybe. But turn to the next page of the Journal and there's an article about self-driving cars. I guess we won't be needing cab drivers much longer, then. How many workers do today's robotized factories need? Are these boatloads of illegals really an economic boon to Europe?
Does the expression "the 20:80 society" mean anything? That's a society foreseen by a couple of German authors back in the nineties, one in which only twenty percent of the adult population is needed to provide all goods and services. The other eighty percent basically live on welfare. "The 20:80 society": If you haven't heard this expression, trust me, you soon will." -- Via Radio Derb Transcript

And now..... with an extra helping of irony....Neil Diamond's Coming To America

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 28, 2014 12:18 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Will the Sleepers Awake? (May, 2002)

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[Preface to an Old Essay: Before there was an American Digest, there was another American Digest. It was begun as a response to 9/11 and was hosted on the servers of Penthouse.com which was, of course, a subset of Penthouse Magazine. In that time and in that place I was the VP in charge of Penthouse.com for Bob Guccione, the man that owned the company then. Both that man and that company are now gone from the face of the earth as is the first iteration of American Digest/New York City/2002. Except, of course, for some pages snagged and held at The Way Back Machine.

One of my readers reminded me of these scattered back pages the other day and looking through them I found a couple of items that still had some relevance to them from a time and a city under siege. This is one of them. The title, “”Will the Sleepers Awake,” is taken not from the famous Bach cantata (although that works well with the piece) but from a much more obscure book by the now forgotten poet Kenneth Patchen called Sleepers Awake on the Precipice. At that time, 2002, and in that place, New York City, it seemed to be an adequate title for a country roughly awakened and -- even then / even so soon -- slipping back into the arms of Morpheus, god of dreams.... back into the dark arms in which we slumber today.]


Just before dawn in Brooklyn Heights a dream woke me.

It was one of those troubled dreams where emblems and visions and snippets of your past and present lives cascade in an obscure but oddly familiar setting; a setting I’ve seen before in dreams; a setting I call “The Eternal City.” In those years I kept a notepad by the bed and, upon waking, I dutifully scribbled dream notes for discussion later in the week with my therapist. In those years I’d take notes for my therapist both out of fear of forgetting, and out of fear that I would again find myself “in session” with nothing substantive to talk about that seemed worthy of discussion.

Millions of Americans know, have known, or will know this petty little fear; you've paid for the hour, the hour is "all about you," and yet this stuff, your 'stuff ', seems only shameful and small and not really worth discussing at all. It’s, frankly, boring.

Millions also know the response to this complaint from the therapist. 'It is your therapy and it is supposed to be all about you, and it's in these petty and small details that you find out the larger truths that will, it is hoped, will lead you into some future where, when all is understood, all is forgiven.'

In therapy, confessions, or even "sessions of sweet, silent thought," the secular seek this odd forgiveness for what we have become in ever increasing numbers. We seek it because we live in a culture that has given us nothing larger than ourselves and, even though we might yearn for things larger than ourselves, there seems to be nothing but ourselves at hand. So we work with this small lump of clay that will never be the stone of Mt. Rushmore.

Abandoning God to his heaven in the sphere outside the universe, we seek recognition and forgiveness from the therapist, even though he insists it is ourselves that will forgive us. Rediscovering God we seek recognition and forgiveness, even though our priests cannot be trusted and will tell us to "Go and sin no more.”

Now, it seems, we seek forgiveness from our dreams.

But we wake up from dreams and the world awaits us, much the same as it was the day before, and the work of the world is also there to be done, whatever our roles in that work may be, most of which are, if we were frank, absurd.

And the world is not all about ourselves but pressingly, inevitably and enduringly about all the others with whom we share the world, its sordid and strange past, it's perplexing present and its unknowable future.

In our immediate orbit of work and family it is, in a sense, "our world" and is what we make it day by day. But our world is a small splinter of the larger world of every expanding and overlapping circles where greater issues and duties than our small needs, fears and hopes hold sway. And, at times, these larger circles of events and moments impinge on our small and pleasant worlds and draw our attention to them.

In these last eight months [since 9/11], I've been reading an inordinate number of books and articles on war and on history and on what the immediate future might bring. Like millions of other Americans, the 11th of September drew my attention in an immediate and violent manner. I've become, I think, both more thoughtful about the present state of the world, as well as angry about America's somnambulant and unprepared condition. Living where I do I've also become very sensitive to the sound of airplanes overhead. (A single engine plane is heading west to east at this moment, the sound fading to silence instead of an explosion so I assume that it is safe and being safely handled and tracked.) Indeed, it is usually not dreams but the jets overhead on track to an from LaGuardia or Kennedy that wake me in the morning.

Smiling foolish experts sitting knee to knee with the nation's foolish morning television mavens tell us that lots of New Yorkers have trouble sleeping these last months because we have "unresolved issues and anxieties." I demur when I hear nonsense like that. I like to think New Yorkers simply know first hand how quickly our enemies can effectively destroy your city, and that other Americans have yet to learn this lesson up close and personal. A lesson that I hope they will never learn, but one that I am resigned to seeing taught again in the near future, since many in my country seem not to have learned it yet, even those who breathed in the ashes of all those who died in the Towers.

In America in 2002 it still seems to me that we have an inordinate fondness for sleep, dreams and forgetting.

All of which is to say that, strangely, after waking and scribbling down the notes about the dream before they escaped me, my first thoughts went to a passage in a book I've been reading, "Culture and Carnage: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power" by Victor Davis Hanson. This is a book in which one deadly encounter between nations or other powers is detailed from the battle of Salamis in 480 BC to the Tet offensive in Vietnam. Two days ago I read Hanson's report on the fate of American torpedo bombers against the Japanese fleet at the battle of Midway. His report makes it clear that these bombers and the American crews were, because of the obsolescence of the machines and the commitment of the crews, doomed to destruction from the outset, but that their selfless courage in pressing forward made the victory of Midway, and the turning of the tide in the Pacific during the opening year of America's Second World War, possible. It's a vivid account of sacrifice for the sake of a greater good and a larger victory. But what came to my mind on waking today was not the details of the battle but of what Hanson writes as a kind of epitaph to the men of the torpedo bombers who sacrificed themselves:

"To the modern American at the millennium, these carrier pilots of more than a half century ago -- Massey, Waldron, and Lindsey last seen fighting to free themselves in a sea of flames as their planes were blasted apart by Zeros -- now appear as superhuman exemplars of what constituted heroism in the bleak months after the beginning of World War II. Even their names seem almost caricatures of an earlier stalwart American manhood -- Max Leslie, Lem Massey, Wade McClusky, Jack Waldron -- doomed fighters who were not all young eighteen-year-old conscripts, but often married and with children, enthusiastic rather than merely willing to fly their decrepit planes into a fiery end above the Japanese fleet, in a few seconds to orphan their families if need be to defend all that they held dear. One wonders if an America of suburban, video-playing Nicoles, Ashleys and Jasons shall ever see their like again."

A light rain is still falling on this street in Brooklyn Heights in the spring of 2002, and I would like to think that the kind of men described in that paragraph can still be called up our of this nation in the kind of numbers necessary to our tasks ahead. We've seen their like on horseback lately in Afghanistan, but these are our 'Special Forces,' and hence limited in number. I'd like to think that we have been woken from the long sleep of comfort, money, and ever-expanding special pleadings that have splintered us with the promise of bringing us together. But I know the temptation is always to roll over, hit the snooze bar, and try to grab a few more years of rest even as the enemies of our world patiently plan to assault us again and again, convinced of the weakness of our Nicoles, Ashleys, and Jasons, and the culture which created them.

Our mortal enemies possess, as they have shown, great patience. More patience than we have shown and far more commitment than we have shown to attaining their dark goals; our deaths. They are the Believers while we are still the Dreamers, waking only briefly to write down a few notes for discussion later in the week, during the hour when all that is in the world is really only about ourselves.

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 27, 2014 10:34 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
American Digest's Birthday: "These go to eleven...."

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American Digest: June, 2003 to June, 2014. "What a long strange trip...."

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11 (eleven i/ɨˈlɛvɨn/ or /iˈlɛvɛn/) is the natural number following 10 and preceding 12.

In English, it is the smallest positive integer requiring three syllables and the largest prime number with a single-morpheme name. If a number is divisible by 11, reversing its digits will result in another multiple of 11. As long as no two adjacent digits of a number added together exceed 9, then multiplying the number by 11, reversing the digits of the product, and dividing that new number by 11, will yield a number that is the reverse of the original number. (For example: 142,312 x 11 = 1,565,432. 2,345,651 / 11 = 213,241.) 11 (number)

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 25, 2014 8:11 PM | Comments (28)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Lest We Forget

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United States Special Operations soldiers stand atop shipping containers at a base in the Central African Republic

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - - George Orwell

Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom.... You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. A Few Good Men



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 25, 2014 3:43 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Do Not Watch While Operating Heavy Machinery

Rube Goldberg meets MTV in MC Escher's warehouse.

OK? Go!

[How was it done? Here's how....]

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 24, 2014 7:02 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Don't Hear Much About Urkraine Lately. Must Be Nothing Happening There

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Pro-Russian separatists walk at the site of the crash of the Il-76 Ukrainian army transport plane in Luhansk, June 14, 2014. Pro-Russian separatists shot down the plane with an anti-aircraft missile as it came in to land early on Saturday in the eastern city of Luhansk, killing all 49 military personnel on board. Photos of the Week: 6/14-6/20 - In Focus - The Atlantic



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 24, 2014 12:37 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Waiting for the War

Back in 2012 in a comment on Side-Lines: "Since the election I’ve noticed a very gloomy and defeatist mindset circulating on the right," John the River remarks, "Just waiting for the war to start. Civil War if we just want to separate, Revolution if we want to take it back."

He's not the first to think or to say this. Nor, even though I admire and think the same thought, is he the first to be wrong. For if John really is "waiting for the war to start," he'd best pack a lunch. It's going to be a long wait.

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards. On the road to tyranny, we've gone so far that polite political action is about as useless as a miniskirt in a convent." - Claire Wolfe, 101 Things To Do 'Til The Revolution



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 24, 2014 9:01 AM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Happy Acres speaks for me when he says:

I didn’t expect the collapse of western civilization to be this goddamn funny.

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HappyAcres



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 23, 2014 2:42 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
First Moon Party: How We Live Now



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 23, 2014 9:20 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
7 Hard Drives Failing: What are the odds? These are the odds.

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I run a data center. Disk drives that are left running continuously last between two and three years. Three years is about 36 months.

The odds of a disk failing in any given month are roughly one in 36. The odds of two different drives failing in the same month are roughly one in 36 squared, or 1 in about 1,300. The odds of three drives failing in the same month is 36 cubed or 1 in 46,656. The odds of seven different drives failing in the same month is 37 to the 7th power = 1 in 78,664,164,096.

Of course this is very simplified because disk failure modes are more at end-of-service-life rather than linearly spread over median life. So what if I am off by a factor of 4X? This crude calculation gets us into the same astronomical ballpark. You could insure against this event happening by buying lottery tickets. --theBuckWheat Comment at Doug Ross @ Journal: GEORGE WILL ON MIRACULOUS IRS COINCIDENCE OF CRASHED HARD DRIVES: "Religions Have Been Founded on Less"



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 22, 2014 11:14 PM | Comments (24)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Core Samples [Updated]

The Consequences of Syria | World Affairs Journal

The reality is, however, that the United States has never been able to deter or contain Iran.
No American policy-maker has ever pushed back against the Iranians for their misbehavior. I’m not just faulting Obama here. I’m also faulting the Bush administration, the Clinton administration, and the Reagan administration which also sought a rapprochement with the clerical regime. No one has pushed back for 35 years.

Kids Today: American Exchange Student Gets Stuck In Giant Stone Vagina In Germany | The Daily Caller


The scandal of fiddled global warming data : The US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record.


Kerry: 'I'm Working Hard to ... Have Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Ambassadors' [and get them assigned to Muslim countries]..... The Weekly Standard


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Why attach the propeller to a perfectly normal car?

Firstly, because you can!
Second, because you can rid your car of transmission, clutch, brakes and many other conventional systems.
         Dark Roasted Blend: Cars with Propellers, Part 1
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Final Proof Global Warming Purely Political |

Proof-stories are those that say
“The science predicted this-and-such, and here is the evidence verifying the prediction.” These were common in the early days of the panic, back in the late ’90s when temperatures cooperated with climate models, but are now as rare as conservatives in Liberal Arts departments. The reason is simple: there is little in the way of proof that the dire predictions of global warming are true, and much evidence, plain to the senses, that they are false.

Taste: The chili pepper that makes your head explode --

Currently rated as “the world's hottest chili pepper” by Guinness World Records, the pepper averages 1,569,300 on the Scoville Heat Unit scale, with peak levels of over 2,200,000. In comparison, a regular jalapeno pepper comes in at around 8,000 units.
- ODDEE

Cheney: Another 9-11 Coming

"The next time, it will be with far deadlier weapons than airline tickets and box cutters.
There's been a 58% increase in the number of groups like al Qaeda -- Salafi-Jihadists, and it stretches from west Africa all across north Africa, east Africa, through the Middle East all the way around to Indonesia -- a doubling of the number of terrorists out there.

Here's why I ban laptops from my classrooms:

because we're reading and discussing books.
We look at page after page, and I and my students use both hands to do that, and then I encourage them to mark the important passages, and take brief notes on them, with pen or pencil. Which means that there are no hands left over for laptops. And if they were typing on their laptops, they'd have no hands left over for turning to the pages I asked them to turn to. See the problem?
         laptops of the Borg - Text Patterns

Neo-Conservatism, for example,

was a cosmopolitan revolt
against the traditional bourgeois conservatism of the previous era. More precisely and practically, it was an attempt to fuse the worldly liberalism of the first half of the 20th century with the traditional, American social conservatism of the second half of the 20th century. It was a complete failure.
          The Z Blog › Ramblings on Hyphen Conservatism

Occasionally life throws you a melon, an egg, or a Ming vase,

but you have to be ready.
I've seen far too many people push away perfectly good fruit, because they're scared of what people might think if they ever get caught catching bananas from strangers.
         Worst Movers Ever | The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys

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“I was stunned.

House after house, block after block
was filled with incredible Craftsman homes, Tudor homes, and Victorian mansions. I'd never seen anything like it. I couldn't figure out why I'd never heard of this place,” he said.
         Los Angeles’ West Adams neighborhood

“Roth is full of shit,”

he says without hesitation.
Jonathan Franzen is undeserving of his reputation, as is Jonathan Lethem. The postmodernist Lydia Davis is “ridiculously overrated.” Paul Auster, too: “I can’t read him anymore.” The subtle redesign of The New Yorker has been a “dreadful error.” The upstart Brooklyn lit mag n 1 is a “crock of shit.”
An Angry Flash of Gordon

In a world of constant disagreement of every little thing on Tumblr nearly 250,000 people agree....

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This guy [Dwight Howard] is an asshole.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 22, 2014 10:42 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Transluscent Hands: Christ in the Carpenters Shop

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"Another haunting work of Georges de la Tour in his tenebrist style is Christ in the Carpenters Shop, completed in 1645 and which hangs in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. 

"It is a depiction of Joseph, a descendant of the house of David, husband of Mary and "€œfoster father"€ to Christ, who was a carpenter in Jerusalem. In Georges de la Tour's depiction we see Joseph leaning forward, busy drilling a hole in a block of wood with his auger, the shape of which mirrors the shape of a cross.  He is in his workshop watched over by Jesus whose face radiates in the large frame.  Once again the depiction of the two characters is swathed in darkness with only their faces and upper bodies lit up by the flame of the candle held by the boy.
"Jesus is seated and holds a candle to illuminate what Joseph is doing. It almost seems that it is the face of Jesus which is illuminating the scene and not the light of the candle. The act of holding up the light for Joseph to see by has an allegorical reference to Jesus Christ being the Light of the World as mentioned in the New Testament (John 8:12)." On Georges de la Tour

“…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.…”



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 22, 2014 3:03 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Locate & Identify Enemies of Freedom

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 20, 2014 7:01 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
No Airstrikes But Obama Considering Special Forces To Iraq

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Via WELCOME TO THE RIGHTLY GUIDED:



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 20, 2014 12:56 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses.... "

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"'Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country.

All nations and ages have been subject to them. Britain has trembled like an ague at the report of a French fleet of flat-bottomed boats; and in the fourteenth [fifteenth] century the whole English army, after ravaging the kingdom of France, was driven back like men petrified with fear; and this brave exploit was performed by a few broken forces collected and headed by a woman, Joan of Arc. Would that heaven might inspire some Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment!

"Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered. In fact, they have the same effect on secret traitors, which an imaginary apparition would have upon a private murderer. They sift out the hidden thoughts of man, and hold them up in public to the world." The Crisis, Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 20, 2014 9:20 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Can You Imagine?: On the American "Elites"
“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” — André Gide

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But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,

-- Sonnet 18

In the end, it is not our failure to learn from history that condemns us to repeat it, but our mind's turning away from even the briefest glimpse of what the dark passages of history were like that damns us. We may know, but we refuse to see. We blind our own mind's eye. It is our inability to imagine the most evil things that all men are capable of that corrupts us.

No, do not say "our inability" to imagine. Say rather, "our refusal" to imagine since the imagination itself -- if we were honest -- can indeed visualize carnage and depravity with ourselves as the actor and never the acted-upon. Our mind can and does see things that we cannot stand to admit we see. Our imagination can bring to itself an image -- and hold in our mind's eye things -- of infinite vileness.

And in such images we see, most of all, ourself. And so we turn away, turn away, and assign what we may have imagined, might have seen, if only briefly, as but a bad dream, a short nightmare; something that will pass at dawn when 'the sleep of our reason no longer breeds nightmares.' It is how we live. Now and again when we tire of our wars not because they are wrong but because they endure.


In America, the only depraved things that actually happen -- we are assured daily -- are those of individual criminals, they are never the responsibility, the known and foreseen result, of the crimes of a whole people that "could not" imagine, that "refused" to imagine, and so turned away, turned away. A portion of a people that granted, if only they were left alone, permission to be vile to another more animalistic portion of the same people.

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Many years ago, when I was a book editor in Boston, I spent a day with the distinguished Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld. My purpose was to, as we said then, "woo the author" and acquire him and his books for the house. Aharon Appelfeld had just won the Israeli Prize for literature and was considered, if not a "hot property," at least one that would, as we also used to say, "add luster to the list." Since my publisher, Houghton Mifflin, was the publisher that had given the English-speaking world Mein Kampf in 1939 and continued to sell it at the time, the addition of a celebrated Israeli author writing in Hebrew was a luster devoutly to be wished.

I had dutifully read all of Appelfeld's works available in English (translated from his chosen language of Hebrew) and put on my very best suit, my very best tie, and my very best Bahston editorial manner. Since he had won prizes and high critical regard the house had no problem with taking him for a lunch at Loch Ober, a Victorian era restaurant with a menu the size of a small town phone book and prices that were, even then, astronomical. I was pulling out all the stops in the "designed-to-impress-editorial-express." Appelfeld was, as I now dimly recall, not the sort of man to be at all impressed by the vanities of the world.

Today the Internet entries for Appelfeld give his pre-Israel life a short entry. The Jewish Virtual Library states:

"Aharon Appelfeld was born in Czernowitz, Rumania, and deported to a concentration camp at the age of eight. He escaped and spent three years hiding in the Ukraine before joining the Russian army. A post-war refugee, he made his way to Italy and immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1946. He currently resides in Jerusalem."
Short with no sweetness about it, that paragraph sums up an experience that most living Americans can only dimly perceive; that most living Americans know nothing about and about which, if the truth were told, most living Americans wish to know less than nothing; something we "refuse" to imagine. It is a very short story about a boy's life taken out of its halcyon first years, plunged into the deepest dark bloodpools of genocide, and left there to steep.

Wikipedia's brief entry for Appelfeld notes:

"In 1940, the Nazis invaded his hometown. His mother was killed and Appelfeld, a boy of eight, was deported with his father to a concentration camp in Ukraine He escaped and hid for three years before joining the Soviet Army as a cook. After World War II, Appelfeld spent several months in a displaced persons camp in Italy before immigrating to Palestine in 1946, two years before Israel's independence...... Aharon Appelfeld is one of the foremost living Hebrew-language authors, despite the fact that he did not learn the language until he was a teenager. His mother tongue is German, but he also speaks Yiddish, Ukrainian, Russian, English and Italian. With his subject matter revolving around the Holocaust and the sufferings of the Jews in Europe, he could not bring himself to write in German."

At my lunch, and subsequent afternoon spent with Appelfeld, some of the brief details in the biographical facts of his life were filled in.

There were the years in hiding, the years when he pretended to be an orphan, a refugee, a Gentile -- anything other than what he was, a Jew escaped from the camps. There was his passage as "a cook for the Soviet Army." As a cook of around 13 at the time one wonders what his actual duties were.

After the war the entry notes that Appelfeld "made his way to Italy." According to him this 'making of way' entailed walking for over three months across the entire landscape of a shattered and gutted Europe. What he saw on this tour of the ashes of that culture is something that recurs in his books, as are the things he did to survive that time and reach Israel as a survivor. To know what he saw and suffered and did to survive you need to read across the whole of his work since they appear only in flashes, like snatches of bad dreams and nightmares fitfully remembered.

At the time we met, I'd read Badenheim, 1939, the story of how upper middle class Jews in Germany came, by stages, to their doom. It is a book in which the horrors do not unfold on stage, but like the great Greek tragedies, wait off stage in the wings of history to gather up and destroy a whole people who, like so many now, "refuse" to imagine what awaits them; "refuse" to imagine how their "Happy World" can ever change.

Little of my conversation with Appelfeld remains in my memory save for one question and answer. I asked him what he thought his single message and driving force behind his writing was. His answer was essentially and in paraphrase, "As a Jew no matter how safe you think you are, no matter how assimilated you think you and your family might be, you aren't. You are never safe and you are never assimilated. You know could always happen again. You know it will."

From time to time his statement comes back to me when I'm faced with the inexplicable actions, the weak thinking, the unfathomable ignorance, and the cultural cringing of my fellow countrymen in our present era. Yesterday [ July 8, 2007 ] it was the bizarre editorial from the New York Times calling for immediate retreat and surrender in Iraq. Entitled somewhat poetically "The Road Home" the editorial is a monument to "the refusal to imagine" mindset that has overtaken so many Americans after years of the unremitting media water torture on the issue of Iraq. It's key passage reads:

"It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.... Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide."

When I first read this blithe gush issuing -- without heart or care or conscience -- from whatever mind originated it, and passed by whatever chortling editorial process approved it, I felt the twinge of nausea that I often feel when reading the carefully crafted and anonymous twitterings of that paper's editorial pronouncements. But, like most of those moments, I stopped ingesting it and, in time, my nausea passed.

Later that day I was speaking with a friend and the subject of the editorial came up. My friend was mystified by it, hard pressed to understand how a paper like the Times, a paper filled with intelligent people whose families had had no little experience with genocide, could so blithely advocate a policy which would, if carried out, condemn hundreds of thousands if not millions of Iraqis to death in a thousand brutal ways that we all would "refuse" to imagine. What could possibly be the motivation, the obsession, the vile-on-the-face-of-it commitment to such a policy? Didn't they understand what it would mean?

My answer at the time was that while the editorial board, the publisher, and the Finzi-Contini owners of the New York Times knew full well what it would mean, they didn't care. The settling of political scores and the advancement of their internal political agenda was what mattered. It was indeed the only thing that mattered and their agenda was simple -- they sought "The Restoration" of The Floating World.

The inevitable genocide of the Iraqis would take place off their stage and would not trouble their sleep on beds made plush by three inches of Memory Foam. Of course, their media companies and their minions would report the killings in due course and in the appropriate tone -- taking care not of offend whatever entities were their reporters' hosts for the viewing of the slaughter -- but the slaughter itself would not matter. Their bubble would not be pierced. Their catered dinner parties would go on undisturbed. Their parades would roll through the Village without rain. Their dogs would be walked for them and their dogs' droppings scooped and disposed of for them. Their hands would not touch the droppings.

Their summer homes in the Hamptons would be cleaned and buffed for them. Their waiters at their beach clubs would bring them their beverages on a tray and they would sign for them. Their drivers would always be waiting at the door for them, cars washed, polished and swept. Their power tables at breakfast and lunch would always be set and reserved for them. They would again be welcomed at White House fetes and the bedrooms there would be prepared for them.

It would all be as if George Bush and September 11, and Afghanistan, and Iraq had never happened. There would even be Bill Again -- playing that cool saxophone, smoking those big cigars, and laughing into the long and languid summer nights in the Rose Garden. All would be as it once was. This they could imagine.

Whatever might or might not be happening in Iraq then would be reported as the reports of summer storms in the Midwest tracked as green and red blurs by radar are seen on the Weather Channel -- distant thunder never coming closer. They would "refuse" to imagine it had anything to do with them, that it was anything that could happen to them. After all, the new New York Times Building was several miles from Ground Zero. That was Downtown, they were Midtown.

No. They were safe at last. They were fully assimilated into the safest country on Earth; the Finzi-Continis of our time. They were, once again, fully-vested members of the power elite of the United States of America. They weren't running some dying newspaper on the West Side of Manhattan. They were back. Whatever happened elsewhere was the fault of the previous lost years. History could never happen to them. History, once again, was at an end. History was, once again and this time for good, something that they actually "could not imagine."



First published July 9, 2007 and lo, five years later, they have learned exactly nothing: Yesterday in the wake of the massacres in Syria we have the New York Times whining little editorial, The Massacre at Houla , which seems to feel the opponent of Obama is the point of the story and "sanctions" the only solution:
Sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and others are having an effect. Still, a United Nations arms embargo and the toughest possible comprehensive economic sanctions are long overdue. Russia has the most leverage, but, inexcusably, it still sells arms and coal to Syria and uses its Mediterranean port of Tartus. We can see no easy solutions to Syria, despite Mitt Romney’s facile criticism of President Obama. In a campaign statement issued on Tuesday, Mr. Romney called for “more assertive measures to end the Assad regime.”
What small and contemptible minds.



Posted by Vanderleun Jun 18, 2014 1:11 AM | Comments (37)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? - Job 38

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Massive 'ocean' discovered towards Earth's core | A reservoir of water three times the volume of all the oceans has been discovered deep beneath the Earth's surface. The finding could help explain where Earth's seas came from.

The water is hidden inside a blue rock called ringwoodite that lies 700 kilometres underground in the mantle, the layer of hot rock between Earth's surface and its core.

The huge size of the reservoir throws new light on the origin of Earth's water. Some geologists think water arrived in comets as they struck the planet, but the new discovery supports an alternative idea that the oceans gradually oozed out of the interior of the early Earth.

"It's good evidence the Earth's water came from within," says Steven Jacobsen of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The hidden water could also act as a buffer for the oceans on the surface, explaining why they have stayed the same size for millions of years.

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6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. Genesis 1:6-8 KJV - And God said, Let there be a firmament - Bible Gateway

Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...
Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...
Water dissolving...and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Isaiah 40



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 17, 2014 2:16 AM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Queen FTOUS: The First Tranny of the United States

One assumes this is a mere satire. I mean it just has to be satire. I mean it can't be just bad craziness. Right? Right.

Viral Video Claims To Have Evidence Michelle Is A Man

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 16, 2014 8:12 AM | Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Arabs could be swung on an idea as on a cord"

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Committed to Obama’s forest road, Western security chiefs are already warning a new generation of al-Qaeda, more powerful than the last, has been forged in the furnaces of Syria, Libya, Iraq, Africa and Afghanistan ready to attack. We already know, if we haven’t guessed already, that Obama’s is not going to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, which in any event, Pakistan already has. It’s more than likely the West will face attacks in the near future that will make 9/11 look like a Sunday School picnic by comparison. -- Belmont Club サ In Search of Plan C

Chapter 3 of Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence

If tribesman and townsman in Arabic-speaking Asia were not different races, but just men in different social and economic stages, a family resemblance might be expected in the working of their minds, and so it was only reasonable that common elements should appear in the product of all these peoples. In the very outset, at the first meeting with them, was found a universal clearness or hardness of belief, almost mathematical in its limitation, and repellent in its unsympathetic form. Semites had no half-tones in their register of vision. They were a people of primary colours, or rather of black and white, who saw the world always in contour. They were a dogmatic people, despising doubt, our modern crown of thorns. They did not understand our metaphysical difficulties, our introspective questionings. They knew only truth and untruth, belief and unbelief, without our hesitating retinue of finer shades.

This people was black and white, not only in vision, but by inmost furnishing: black and white not merely in clarity, but in apposition. Their thoughts were at ease only in extremes. They inhabited superlatives by choice. Sometimes inconsistents seemed to possess them at once in joint sway; but they never compromised: they pursued the logic of several incompatible opinions to absurd ends, without perceiving the incongruity. With cool head and tranquil judgement, imperturbably unconscious of the flight, they oscillated from asymptote to asymptote.*

They were a limited, narrow-minded people, whose inert intellects lay fallow in incurious resignation. Their imaginations were vivid, but not creative. There was so little Arab art in Asia that they could almost be said to have had no art, though their classes were liberal patrons, and had encouraged whatever talents in architecture, or ceramics, or other handicraft their neighbours and helots displayed. Nor did they handle great industries: they had no organizations of mind or body. They invented no systems of philosophy, no complex mythologies. They steered their course between the idols of the tribe and of the cave. The least morbid of peoples, they had accepted the gift of life unquestioningly, as axiomatic. To them it was a thing inevitable, entailed on man, a usufruct, beyond control. Suicide was a thing impossible, and death no grief.

They were a people of spasms, of upheavals, of ideas, the race of the individual genius. Their movements were the more shocking by contrast with the quietude of every day, their great men greater by contrast with the humanity of their mob. Their convictions were by instinct, their activities intuitional. Their largest manufacture was of creeds: almost they were monopolists of revealed religions. Three of these efforts had endured among them: two of the three had also borne export (in modified forms) to non-Semitic peoples. Christianity, translated into the diverse spirits of Greek and Latin and Teutonic tongues, had conquered Europe and America. Islam in various transformations was subjecting Africa and parts of Asia. These were Semitic successes. Their failures they kept to themselves. The fringes of their deserts were strewn with broken faiths.

It was significant that this wrack of fallen religions lay about the meeting of the desert and the sown. It pointed to the generation of all these creeds. They were assertions, not arguments; so they required a prophet to set them forth. The Arabs said there had been forty thousand prophets: we had record of at least some hundreds. None of them had been of the wilderness; but their lives were after a pattern. Their birth set them in crowded places. An unintelligible passionate yearning drove them out into the desert. There they lived a greater or lesser time in meditation and physical abandonment; and thence they returned with their imagined message articulate, to preach it to their old, and now doubting, associates. The founders of the three great creeds fulfilled this cycle: their possible coincidence was proved a law by the parallel life-histories of the myriad others, the unfortunate who failed, whom we might judge of no less true profession, but for whom time and disillusion had not heaped up dry souls ready to be set on fire. To the thinkers of the town the impulse into Nitria had ever been irresistible, not probably that they found God dwelling there, but that in its solitude they heard more certainly the living word they brought with them.

The common base of all the Semitic creeds, winners or losers, was the ever present idea of world-worthlessness. Their profound reaction from matter led them to preach bareness, renunciation, poverty; and the atmosphere of this invention stifled the minds of the desert pitilessly. A first knowledge of their sense of the purity of rarefaction was given me in early years, when we had ridden far out over the rolling plains of North Syria to a ruin of the Roman period which the Arabs believed was made by a prince of the border as a desert-palace for his queen. The clay of its building was said to have been kneaded for greater richness, not with water, but with the precious essential oils of flowers. My guides, sniffing the air like dogs, led me from crumbling room to room, saying, 'This is jessamine, this violet, this rose'.

But at last Dahoum drew me: 'Come and smell the very sweetest scent of all', and we went into the main lodging, to the gaping window sockets of its eastern face, and there drank with open mouths of the effortless, empty, eddyless wind of the desert, throbbing past. That slow breath had been born somewhere beyond the distant Euphrates and had dragged its way across many days and nights of dead grass, to its first obstacle, the man-made walls of our broken palace. About them it seemed to fret and linger, murmuring in baby-speech. 'This,' they told me, 'is the best: it has no taste.' My Arabs were turning their backs on perfumes and luxuries to choose the things in which mankind had had no share or part.

The Beduin of the desert, born and grown up in it, had embraced with all his soul this nakedness too harsh for volunteers, for the reason, felt but inarticulate, that there he found himself indubitably free. He lost material ties, comforts, all superfluities and other complications to achieve a personal liberty which haunted starvation and death. He saw no virtue in poverty herself: he enjoyed the little vices and luxuries--coffee, fresh water, women--which he could still preserve. In his life he had air and winds, sun and light, open spaces and a great emptiness. There was no human effort, no fecundity in Nature: just the heaven above and the unspotted earth beneath. There unconsciously he came near God. God was to him not anthropomorphic, not tangible, not moral nor ethical, not concerned with the world or with him, not natural: but the being , thus qualified not by divestiture but by investiture, a comprehending Being, the egg of all activity, with nature and matter just a glass reflecting Him.

The Beduin could not look for God within him: he was too sure that he was within God. He could not conceive anything which was or was not God, Who alone was great; yet there was a homeliness, an everyday-ness of this climatic Arab God, who was their eating and their fighting and their lusting, the commonest of their thoughts, their familiar resource and companion, in a way impossible to those whose God is so wistfully veiled from them by despair of their carnal unworthiness of Him and by the decorum of formal worship. Arabs felt no incongruity in bringing God into the weaknesses and appetites of their least creditable causes. He was the most familiar of their words; and indeed we lost much eloquence when making Him the shortest and ugliest of our monosyllables.

This creed of the desert seemed inexpressible in words, and indeed in thought. It was easily felt as an influence, and those who went into the desert long enough to forget its open spaces and its emptiness were inevitably thrust upon God as the only refuge and rhythm of being. The Bedawi might be a nominal Sunni, or a nominal Wahabi, or anything else in the Semitic compass, and he would take it very lightly, a little in the manner of the watchmen at Zion's gate who drank beer and laughed in Zion because they were Zionists. Each individual nomad had his revealed religion, not oral or traditional or expressed, but instinctive in himself; and so we got all the Semitic creeds with (in character and essence) a stress on the emptiness of the world and the fullness of God; and according to the power and opportunity of the believer was the expression of them.

The desert dweller could not take credit for his belief. He had never been either evangelist or proselyte. He arrived at this intense condensation of himself in God by shutting his eyes to the world, and to all the complex possibilities latent in him which only contact with wealth and temptations could bring forth. He attained a sure trust and a powerful trust, but of how narrow a field! His sterile experience robbed him of compassion and perverted his human kindness to the image of the waste in which he hid. Accordingly he hurt himself, not merely to be free, but to please himself. There followed a delight in pain, a cruelty which was more to him than goods. The desert Arab found no joy like the joy of voluntarily holding back. He found luxury in abnegation, renunciation, self restraint. He made nakedness of the mind as sensuous as nakedness of the body. He saved his own soul, perhaps, and without danger, but in a hard selfishness. His desert was made a spiritual ice-house, in which was preserved intact but unimproved for all ages a vision of the unity of God. To it sometimes the seekers from the outer world could escape for a season and look thence in detachment at the nature of the generation they would convert.

This faith of the desert was impossible in the towns. It was at once too strange, too simple, too impalpable for export and common use. The idea, the ground-belief of all Semitic creeds was waiting there, but it had to be diluted to be made comprehensible to us. The scream of a bat was too shrill for many ears: the desert spirit escaped through our coarser texture. The prophets returned from the desert with their glimpse of God, and through their stained medium (as through a dark glass) showed something of the majesty and brilliance whose full vision would blind, deafen, silence us, serve us as it had served the Beduin, setting him uncouth, a man apart.

The disciples, in the endeavour to strip themselves and their neighbours of all things according to the Master's word, stumbled over human weaknesses and failed. To live, the villager or townsman must fill himself each day with the pleasures of acquisition and accumulation, and by rebound off circumstance become the grossest and most material of men. The shining contempt of life which led others into the barest asceticism drove him to despair. He squandered himself heedlessly, as a spendthrift: ran through his inheritance of flesh in hasty longing for the end. The Jew in the Metropole at Brighton, the miser, the worshipper of Adonis, the lecher in the stews of Damascus were alike signs of the Semitic capacity for enjoyment, and expressions of the same nerve which gave us at the other pole the self-denial of the Essenes, or the early Christians, or the first Khalifas, finding the way to heaven fairest for the poor in spirit. The Semite hovered between lust and self-denial.

Arabs could be swung on an idea as on a cord; for the unpledged allegiance of their minds made them obedient servants. None of them would escape the bond till success had come, and with it responsibility and duty and engagements. Then the idea was gone and the work ended--in ruins. Without a creed they could be taken to the four corners of the world (but not to heaven) by being shown the riches of earth and the pleasures of it; but if on the road, led in this fashion, they met the prophet of an idea, who had nowhere to lay his head and who depended for his food on charity or birds, then they would all leave their wealth for his inspiration. They were incorrigibly children of the idea, feckless and colour-blind, to whom body and spirit were for ever and inevitably opposed. Their mind was strange and dark, full of depressions and exaltations, lacking in rule, but with more of ardour and more fertile in belief than any other in the world. They were a people of starts, for whom the abstract was the strongest motive, the process of infinite courage and variety, and the end nothing. They were as unstable as water, and like water would perhaps finally prevail. Since the dawn of life, in successive waves they had been dashing themselves against the coasts of flesh. Each wave was broken, but, like the sea, wore away ever so little of the granite on which it failed, and some day, ages yet, might roll unchecked over the place where the material world had been, and God would move upon the face of those waters. One such wave (and not the least) I raised and rolled before the breath of an idea, till it reached its crest, and toppled over and fell at Damascus. The wash of that wave, thrown back by the resistance of vested things, will provide the matter of the following wave, when in fullness of time the sea shall be raised once more.

Chapter 3 of Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 15, 2014 2:43 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Waiting for the Barbarians by C. P. Cavafy

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What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

                The barbarians are due here today.

Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?

                Because the barbarians are coming today.
                What laws can the senators make now?
                Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.

Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city’s main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?

                Because the barbarians are coming today
                and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
                He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
                replete with titles, with imposing names.

Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?

               Because the barbarians are coming today
                and things like that dazzle the barbarians.

Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?

                Because the barbarians are coming today
                and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.

Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?

                Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
                And some who have just returned from the border say
                there are no barbarians any longer.

And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.

-- C.P. Cavafy 1904

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 14, 2014 2:40 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Feuilleton du Jour de la Weekend

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Devil Dogs: The Mysterious Black Dogs of England Moments after the church was fried, a massive black dog burst through the doors, careening through the aisles. Two men knelt in prayer. The monster shot past them, and as he did he “wrung the necks of them bothe” and they fell over dead where they prayed. As quickly as he appeared, the dog vanished, leaving nothing but scorch marks on the floor and two corpses in his wake.


"Chelsea Clinton earned an annual salary of $600,000 at NBC News before switching to a month-to-month contract earlier this year, sources with knowledge of the agreement told POLITICO. "Chelsea Clinton has no skills, other than a famous name and a twat. The latter is a dime a dozen in infotainment. That leaves the former and makes this nothing more than bribery. The Z Blog › Casual Corruption

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This is the time of festering: But we are not going to save Iraq and we are not going to save Syria. It’s over. That’s what the Middle East wanted, and it’s what the Middle East is going to get. The Beginning of the End of Iraq? | World Affairs Journal

IRS Claims to Have Lost Over 2 Years of Lerner Emails | House Committee on Ways & Means Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame. The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.

One Cʘsmos: Postmodern is the New PremodernGod doesn't just gives us one book to work with. For that matter, nor does science really work from just the one book of material reality. Rather, there are always four books, the book of nature, the book of the human subject, the book of history, and the book of revelation.
The Z Blog › Panera Bread is Evil

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The Most Famous Farm Dog: Lassie So they said fire the other collie and hire this one,  and let’s shoot it in color and make it an A-picture. So after they bumped it up to an A-picture, it became one of the most successful pictures of the year, and spawned five sequels at MGM, the next one being "€œThe Son of Lassie", which also introduced Elizabeth Taylor who had a small part as the child in the movie. And I think of all the Lassie movies, "€œSon of Lassie"€ might be my favorite because of the really incredible work the dog does in the film.
America in 2034 | American Renaissance The triumph of the boring. The expanding underclass will thrive on its goodies-rich dependency, a modicum of cultural autonomy, and the election of rabble-rousing black office holders. Meanwhile, middle-class blacks will enjoy sinecures, especially in government.
Mt Everest Journey : Everest Avalanche Tragedy [Now in 3d!] Discovery Channel

coloncleanse.jpgHillary Clinton's Book Reviews On Amazon Are BrutalSickening:I became violently ill before finishing the first chapter and had to burn it in a bio-hazard incinerator. Dangerous stuff. Boring:The directions on shampoo were more interesting than this. I feel like the Clintons owe me 4 hours of my life back. Toilet Paper:Totally unequivocally pure unadulterated stinky no good terrible crap. I would not recommend using this as toilet paper, maybe kindling, do not waste your money.

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COULTER: Cantor Loses by 11 Million Voters | Truth RevoltSixty-five thousand ballots were cast in the Cantor-Brat contest. That is not a large turnout for a congressional primary election -- it's gigantic. In Cantor's 2012 primary, 47,037 people voted. In the only other two congressional primaries in Virginia on Tuesday -- the day with all that rain! -- 38,855 people voted in one and 17,444 in the other.

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A Short History of the Executioner—Blog—The AppendixOne did not simply become an executioner; rather, one was generally born into the profession. Though not legally hereditary, the office was usually recognized as a family trade. The title of executioner passed from eldest son to eldest son; younger sons and nephews remained in the family business, filling vacancies in other cities or working as assistants. Daughters of executioners invariably married sons of executioners, therefore providing an endless bounty of death’s choreographers.

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 14, 2014 2:03 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Candidate Hill[Because Vagina!]ary is doing just fine!

Seriously, no worries.

Honest.

Would she lie?



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 13, 2014 5:37 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Debacle

Far-called our navies melt away—
On dune and headland sinks the fire—
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

- - Kipling,Recessional

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Meanwhile, in 2014, the always perceptive Belmont Club » On The Subject of Last Helicopters takes a detailed look at the forthcoming humiliation and human disasters wrought by Obama:

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"If the embassy is evacuated, it will leave what is perhaps one of the most lavish and expensive diplomatic facility in history in the hands of al-Qaeda. It contains what is probably a huge intelligence facility. “The 104-acre compound — already its biggest and most expensive in the world — currently houses 1,350 U.S. government employees in the heart of Baghdad’s International Zone and will increase its capacity because the U.S. is consolidating overall diplomatic property in Baghdad down by one-third. The most interesting upgrade is the construction of a data hall in an existing classified embassy annex building that will cost $20 to $35 million. It will require ‘electrical/telecommunication system upgrades [and] extensive mechanical and plumbing systems,’ according to a June 12 notice from the State Department.”

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"But great though the loss of the buildings will be, the blow in terms of intelligence gathering capabilities, networks, facilities and dislocation will be monumental. No one knows how many translators, sub-agents and locals who have risked their lives for the US will be left twisting in the wind. It will be no easy task to thoroughly efface the work of years. Yet it will have to be done if al-Qaeda is not obtain the greatest intelligence windfall of its career. President Obama may find a way to screw that up too, for even to be properly defeated requires a competence he may lack."

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Now it is not good for the Christian’s health to hustle the Aryan brown,
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the Christian down;
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: “A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.”

Rudyard Kipling.THE NAULAHKA



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 13, 2014 12:35 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama's War on Straw Men

There is pleasure in the wet, wet clay
When the artist's hand is potting it.
There is pleasure in the wet, wet lay --
When the poet's pad is blotting it.
There is pleasure in the shine
of your picture on the line
At the Royal Acade-my;
But the pleasure felt in these
is as chalk to Cheddar cheese
When it comes to a well-made Lie--

To a quite unwreckable Lie,
To a most impeccable Lie!
To a water-right, fire-proof, angle-iron, sunk-hinge, time-lock, steel-faced Lie!
Not a private handsome Lie,
But a pair-and-brougham Lie,
Not a little-place-at-Tooting, but a country-house-with-shooting
And a ring-fence-deer-park Lie.

-- Rudyard Kipling



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 13, 2014 9:15 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Feuilleton du Jour Friday

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A Retro Fathers Day Fit for a King | Envisioning The American Dream Once upon a time, but not too long ago, all Dads were king. Not only for a measly third Sunday in June, but to believe the mid-century American advertiser, the head of the household was the sovereign ruler of his suburban dominion the year round.


Who knew? Frog's tongue 'can lift three times own body weight'
America in 2034: People will gleefully abandon their privacy. The result will be an ever more extensive (and effective) witch hunt. Already, anonymous commentators in Sweden were (illegally) exposed by hackers, and the media showed no compunction about hounding them from their jobs. Donors will also be targeted. Already, “point and stutter” seems to be the sole occupation of American journalists.
IN KARACHI, THE DELIVERY MAN COMETH | One Friday night, a friend came over to commiserate because we’d had a horrible week. I served her a McDonald’s Happy Meal. On a tray.
Vanilla Is The Old Black Until 1841, when a twelve-year-old slave on the French-owned island of Réunion discovered how to hand-pollinate the vanilla orchid, its production was limited to the habitat of its natural pollinator, a small bee native to Veracruz, Mexico. Even today, vanilla is hand-pollinated, and, as a result, costs more than $100 per kilo, making it second only to saffron as the most expensive spice.

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See More of BOHN against Communism, 1952| Retronaut


"This Video Seems Silly, But It Makes A Good Point" @ Clickhole
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Oregon Wildfire Used As an Incredibly Dramatic Backdrop for Wedding Photos

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Gary U.S. Bonds at Seventy-five : How much longer? “I don’t know—fifty years?” he said. “I ain’t going nowhere.”

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Hamilton man arrested again for having sex with pool float: Edwin Tobergta, 35,was arrested Wednesday morning after a witness observed him standing naked on Route 4 in Hamilton simulating sex with a pink pool floatation device. According to the police report, the witness said he was in full view of nearby businesses and passing cars.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 12, 2014 11:29 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Pomplamoose [Now Improved and UPDATED w/ Eva Cassidy]

Schooled! Now updated and improved with Eva Cassidy. [Who says I don't listen to my readers.]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 12, 2014 1:55 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Biden in 2010: Iraq Will Be 'One of the Greatest Achievements' of This Administration



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 12, 2014 1:22 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"This Video Seems Silly, But It Makes A Good Point"


Clickhole



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 12, 2014 12:08 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And Now "The Rout in Iraq" Brought to You in Living Color By Barack Obama

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"Hope and Change" in Iraq

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How's that "Hope and Change" working out for you?

“Mosul: Iraq Crumbling before our eyes”. The Internet is rife with pictures of al-Qaeda triumphantly inspecting millions, perhaps billions of dollars worth of captured, American made military equipment. It’s like Vietnam all over again, except this time the NVA are continuing the attack all the way to New York.

Unless the rot is stopped, ISIS will soon be at Baghdad’s gates and al-Qaeda’s affiliates will soon possess one, perhaps two major Middle Eastern countries plus trillions of dollars in oil resources. Libya, Iraq, perhaps Syria. They will be on the border of Saudi Arabia, able to credibly menace the energy lifeline of the Western world, a fact that can only play to Putin’s advantage.
The dangers of abandoning such a vital region were always obvious. Those who have not read my 2010 post, The Ten Ships, might take the time to do so now. It’s good for a laugh, not because it is so “brilliant” but because it’s so obvious. It explains how Obama’s political petulance made him ignore fundamental military strategy by ignoring the obvious center of Islamic militant gravity the Middle East in favor of redeploying the ground forces to a PR fantasy campaign in Afghanistan.
There’s nothing in place available to stop al-Qaeda. The forces that might have are locked up in the Southwest Asia, sustained at the mercy of Russia and Pakistan. Obama has been faked out; the AQ have gone around him for a layup to the basket. He may lose Iraq and its border with Syria before the year ends. Afghanistan’s fall will follow almost immediately thereafter, behind the last American troops, whose safe exit from the landlocked country is now by no means guaranteed. The Russians lost more than 500 men going out in 1989 — and they only had to cross a land border a short distance away.Belmont Club サ The Day of Reckoning

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Taking things seriously in Iraq

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Taking events seriously at WH.gov.


‫ Islamic state convoy in Mosul pictures



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 12, 2014 11:26 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hillary: Because Vagina

"These five guys are not a threat to the United States. They are a threat to the safety and security of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s up to those two countries to make the decision once and for all that these are threats to them. So I think we may be kind of missing the bigger picture here. We want to get an American home, whether they fell off the ship because they were drunk or they were pushed or they jumped, we try to rescue everybody."

[neo-neocon: Spread this video, please: Hillary Clinton on the Taliban Five and American security]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 12, 2014 11:21 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
False Flags: The Map is Not the Territory

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"This claims to show all the places where "gun incidents" have occurred in schools just since the Sandy Hook shooting, a total of 79.

Seventy-Nine gun incidents just since December 2012! -- It turns out that with closer analysis, you see that almost every one of those flags is only vaguely related to schools. Many are suicides by schoolkids not at school. Many are gang-related shootings, drive-bys and such that took place near a school. Several are from robberies and drug deals near a school, and so on. Not mass shootings at schools at all. And that's not just kids schools, its universities and other learning institutions as well.... In other words, the chart is deliberately loaded up with false flags, literally, to prompt that visceral emotional response. It was designed to get you to emotionally connect Sandy Hook with any gun use near a school or involving school kids. And in this, it was deliberately false as so often this kind of attempt is.
Taylor @ Word Around the Net: THE MADNESS OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS

Source: ‘Wow’: Journalist Attempts to ‘Debunk’ Anti-Gun Group’s List of ‘School Shootings in America Since Sandy Hook’ — Here’s What He Found | TheBlaze.com



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 12, 2014 11:08 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
DEAR SEN. McCONNELL AND SPEAKER BOEHNER: Here are the Terms of Your Surrender

My Dear Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell,

The American people are tired. They are tired of your hatred for the conservative base, your insults of the American people, and your utter disregard for the Constitution.

In your petty quests for power, you both spend more time, energy and resources plotting against your party's base rather than fighting the most lawless and destructive president in American history. The national debt will have doubled under this President, the IRS and other arms of the government have been weaponized, the Justice Department is busy race-baiting and attacking Obama's political opponents, China and Russia are rapidly arming up, Iran is rolling non-stop to acquire nuclear ICBMS, and the Middle East is on fire.

And still you focus on pathetic political infighting, as if this is some sort of game.

We've had quite enough, thank you.

The following are the terms of your surrender and they are non-negotiable:
1. Speaker Boehner: you will, on or before the departure of Eric Cantor from the position of House Majority Leader, name a suitable and real conservative to that role (e.g., Jeb Hensarling or Jim Jordan).

2. Senator McConnell: you will, on or before the departure of Eric Cantor from the position of House Majority Leader, name Senator Ted Cruz to the post of Ranking Member on the Senate Judiciary Committee and, should the Republican Party take the Senate, will name him Chairman of that committee.

3. You will both cease pushing for any Amnesty, immigration or other deal until the border is secure from the unfolding humanitarian and refugee crisis.

Failure to meet these requirements will result in the following actions:

1. Speaker Boehner: I will do my level best to encourage the 30 percent of Ohioans who supported your primary opponents to vote for your Democrat rival. As you know, it would not take many Republicans to defect to unseat you. There is no point in having a Republican Speaker of the House if he or she has no desire to resist the increasing epidemic of lawlessness.

2. Senator McConnell: Likewise, I will do my level best to encourage the 40 percent of Kentuckians who supported your primary opponent to vote for your Democrat rival. Again, it would not take many defections to unseat you -- and based upon the polling, you could lose regardless. I am convinced that there is absolutely no point in having a Republican Senate Majority Leader who is unwilling to fight.

These are my terms and they are non-negotiable.

A reply is unnecessary. Your actions will suffice.

Signed: Doug Ross @ Journal
Feel free to reproduce this post in its entirety.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 12, 2014 10:03 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pigs Are Busting Out All Over

After Monday's porcine pop-out in Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Slaughterhouse @ AMERICAN DIGEST we find yet another piggy who decided not to go to market.

Pig's Daring Escape From Truck On Its Way To Slaughterhouse



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 12, 2014 9:37 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Feuilleton du Jour Thursday

neo-neocon :

"One thing I would hate to see is a civil war in the Republican Party that hurts their chances in 2014. First things first, and first is stopping or at least slowing down this president in the damage he can do before January of 2017."
[Sure, but the only way to do that is to make Joe Biden president.]

The Rout in Iraq: The Tweets tell of a monumental collapse.
”Jesus. “30,000 men – simply turned and ran in the face of the assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters … Surreal scenes in #Mosul, #Iraq as US trained troops leave behind their uniforms and flee from #ISIS to #Kurdistan. ”

The results of last night’s election in Virginia.
Official Washington is busy interpreting the results in a way that pleases them. That’s to be expected. Inside the halls of power, the managers and technocrats hate you. They hate everything about you. Middle America has been their enemy for so long they no longer recall why. They simply know their guy was thrown out of office by the voters in favor of a guy who sounds like Pat Buchanan with a PhD. There has to be a reason that does not indicate failure on their part. They will tell themselves all sorts of stories rather than face the truth. The reason is they cannot face the truth. The Z Blog › MARs Counter Attacks


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And next? This map, from the Institute for the Study of War explains clearly what ISIS' ambitions in the middle east are: creating a grand nation-state that basically controls virtually all of Syria and most of Iraq (including an unknown amount of petroleum deposits and refineries, for those wondering why crude is higher today). Mapping Al Qaeda's Grand Ambitions In Iraq And Syria | Zero Hedge

Meanwhile.... once upon a time in the West...

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Question of the year! Is the lake pictured on every iPad secretly CURSED by the ghosts of disabled babies who were thrown into its waters because they wouldn't survive?



Even Toilets Aren’t Safe as Hackers Target Home Devices - Bloomberg

If the enemy is in superior strength, evade him. Sun Tzu (ApplyArtofWar) on Twitter

Why I'm pulling my kids out of public school: Today's public school atmosphere is all about accountability and not about the actual needs of the child.

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Gun-toting parents square off with daughter's abductors to save day - When the door opened and the men stepped inside, the parents unleashed gunfire. The mother missed with her lone shot, but the father hit both men, killing Mr. Johnson.

Steyn: Cantor Buried : Eric Cantor Blew $168K at Steak Houses; Brat Spent $122K Overall.

Richard Dawkins, Cyclops of Science must be one execrable speck of a man.

There is no suggestion by anyone - Obama, Republicans, media - that this "government-wide response" might ever include enforcing US sovereignty at the border for which the government is nominally responsible. No, that's just crazy talk. Instead, the comprehensive "government-wide response" to the invading forces is to house them, feed them, clothe them, school them, and Obamacare them. Cantor Buried :: SteynOnline

Neatorama: Spam-Filled Donuts To make this culinary marvel, he slices open an ordinary glazed donut, adds a layer of spam, then re-assembles the components and deep fries them.
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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 11, 2014 10:18 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television ... North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

"Hillary, Cantor, Al Qaeda/Iraq, open borders; Just reading the headlines on Drudge makes my brain go into vapor lock." - chasmatic

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Meanwhile, our scholarly research into Marilyn Monroe continues with "The Battle of the Bosoms"



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 11, 2014 8:37 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Feuilleton du Jour

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"Remember us?"

"Obama administration's biggest achievement so far"- Remus Sadam Out, Al Qaeda In: Militants Overrun Iraq's Second-Largest City As Government Forces Flee { ** }
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"We're Back!"



Amnesty and Cantor both DOA for 2014; HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER CANTOR DEFEATED IN PRIMARYCantor says "immigration reform could be an economic boon to this country." Brat responded to Cantor's baby-talk, saying immigration "lowers wages, adds to unemployment, and the taxpayer pays the tab for any benefits to folks coming in." -- Ann Coulter

In Billy Clinter and the Chamber of Semen, Billy realises that he splinched while he was apparating, which had never happened before. This is all the fault of Moaning Monica, the intern who haunts the anteroom at Housewhites and has the rare power of Parcelmouth, the ability to look into the eye of the Basilisk, the world's smallest snake, without being petrified. When Harry Met Hillary SteynOnline

These Early Examples Of Film Will Shock You The first American film ever made, Monkeyshines was the creation of William Dickson to test the Kinetograph format.

The Air Loom Similar gangs, Matthews said, were operating looms all over London to influence the thinking of the nation’s leaders. The tortures included “fluid locking,” “cutting soul from sense,” “stone making,” “thigh talking,” and “lobster-cracking,” which Matthews also described as “sudden death-squeezing”

Sultan Knish: Winning the War Waving around Bin Laden's head is a good way to distract them from the fact that the United States has lost the war in Afghanistan, that Obama's own strategy there failed badly and cost numerous American and British lives, and that we are turning the country over to the Taliban.

Educators Disease Reaching Epidemic Levels, Experts | William M. Briggs“There is no cure. Nothing in the pharmacopoeia has had the least impact,” he said. “There are some intriguing results with nicotine, which seems to act as a restorative in some of the patients. Unfortunately, part of the manifestation of the disease is an unreasoning, pathological horror of tobacco. We can’t get near most of the patients without they turn violent.”

Conclusions: Potential and subclinical injury to erectile tissue caused by electrosurgery on the penis cannot be underestimated. - PubMed - NCBI

“Cold War Woman.”Starring a hot Kim Hunter as a frigid woman with Jack Klugman as the husband, the actors
“ portray a married couple deeply troubled by the most personal of emotional problems in a dramatization based on case histories, professional reports and taped interviews…today despite the American woman’s privileged status, her club memberships, college degree and kitchen full of appliances a great number of her kind is in distress.”
The Frigid Woman in the Cold War

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{ ** As of May 29, 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Defense casualty website, there were 4,487 total American deaths (including both killed in action and non-hostile) and 32,223 wounded in action (WIA) as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As a part of Operation New Dawn, which was initiated on September 1, 2010, there were 66 total deaths (including KIA and non-hostile) and 301 WIA. }

"Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished"

[Update from the comments: As an actual former nuclear target analyst, I assure you that the destruction sequence in the video is much too slow. An accurate animation, from the same POV, would be:

1. Flash of blinding light that turned the entire screen pure white

2. Light fades to be replaced by dense smoke and flying debris, pretty much nothing else visible

3. Smoke and vapor clear (not quickly) to reveal absolute devastation.

But what there would not be a slow-rolling "wave" slogging outward from ground zero. It would be super-supersonic.

If the frame was wider view, you would also see flammables bust into fire well before the blast wave reached them since the infrared from the fireball would be intense and infrared travels at 186,000 miles per second. - D. Sensing]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 11, 2014 2:35 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Confirmed: Obama's "Staff" is Composed of 110% Extremely Stupid Low Information Apes

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Every day in every way it's time to play: "What's wrong with this picture?"

[Hey, if we can put a man on the moon, why can't we put the president there?]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 10, 2014 4:17 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Amnesty: "Do it for the Children!"

Ola, chicos y chicas, que ora esta?
[Trans: "Hey kids, what time is it?"]

WH Wants $2 Billion to House Illegal Immigrant Children | Truth Revolt As tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors cross into the United States illegally from Mexico, the Obama administration admits it didn't anticipate how many would come -- and it is asking Congress "for additional (taxpayer) resources to meet this challenge."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 10, 2014 1:13 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
“Who still wants to rule? Who obey? Both require too much exertion,”

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Matthew Continetti explains the party that never ends at the White House:

"I like to imagine the conversations at these parties. How are they structured? Is there any awkwardness at the beginning? Does it take a few drinks to get things going? I imagine that there is plenty of hesitant and anodyne talk about children, about movies, about basketball, about the weather.

"When the discussion turns to domestic or foreign affairs, though, the clichés must be stifling:

"How can the Republicans be so obstructionist and rude and luddite, what happened to the nice moderate conservatives they used to have in the Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush administrations, have you seen the latest essays by Ezra Klein and Michael Tomasky and Ta-Nehisi Coates, who cares what the media says, E.J. Dionne says you are doing A-OK, what’s it like to hold the nuclear football, have you been to Eric Ripert’s newest restaurant, weren’t the Afghan and Iraq wars terrible mistakes, people have got to recognize America can’t go its own way in today’s integrated, global, flat world, the Wire is Shakespearean, what are you going to do about the polar bears, we need to appreciate the value of other cultures, America doesn’t have such a clean record itself you know, my son just took a job in Dubai, wasn’t Sheryl Sandberg brilliant in her City Colleges of Chicago commencement speech, let’s touch base on the new youth outreach project Mark Zuckerberg is standing up, do you watch Mad Men, politics is a relay race and we just have to keep going until we hand the baton to the next person, where do you come up with all of those beautiful words, we leave for Beijing next week, Putin doesn’t understand how we do things in the twenty-first century, God that Bibi is so unreasonable, who are your favorite authors, it’s time for a real conversation about race, is Homeland like real life, this is the sushi place to go to in Los Angeles, you are a real role model for young men not only in this country but all around the world, I watch House of Cards but my wife prefers Orange is the New Black.…
"The earnestness, the posing, the sentimentality, the affected and knowing tones, the blather, the sanctimony, the insinuation, the phoniness, the small talk, above all the endless putting on airs before the most gigantic ego known to mankind—that wine had better be good."

This and more is at Dialing It In | Washington Free Beacon



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 10, 2014 11:28 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Feuilleton du Jour

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Across America, Police Departments Are Quietly Preparing For War | Zero Hedge



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The Fat Man: Almost 100 of Fats Domino’s records were hits. He didn’t like to leave his home town, and performed mainly in New Orleans 1949 till 2012, usually to a full house. That’s 63 years for those weak in maths. Fats is in his 80s now and is not so regular a performer.

Secret Science Reform Act of 2014 | William M. Briggs “To prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based upon science that is not transparent or reproducible.”

Liberals: "They’re a bunch of authentic geniuses on a runaway train wondering what went wrong."Belmont Club サ A Sudden Realization



"Teachers are some of the most deluded people you will find in modern America.... Public sector employees always worry about status and no group frets over it more than teachers. "The Z Blog › Teacher Delusions

Coca Cola uses the sun to cool drinks

Immigrants bringing diseases across border? : LeMenu-- Scabies, chicken pox, MRSA staph infections, we are starting to see different viruses....

The Japanese: Nuked too much or not enough? Exhibit #58,659Japanese researchers have developed a robotic glove like device that can simulate the sensation of touching someone's boobs.

Colleges are full of it: Behind the three-decade scheme to raise tuition, bankrupt generations, and hypnotize the media - Salon.com

Seattle Hero Inundated With Wedding Gifts And All-Expense-Paid Honeymoon | Truth Revolt As of Monday morning, the $5,000 goal was shattered with a whopping $48,236 raised to pay for the couple's wedding and honeymoon.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 10, 2014 2:04 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Slaughterhouse

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This little piggy will not be going to market after escaping from a moving truck on the way to a slaughterhouse.

The sow, who has since been nicknamed Babe, after the Hollywood film, was captured jumping 16ft to freedom in south China.


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A witness said the pig climbed over the backs of her fellow porkers before leaping out of the slaughterhouse van.

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Miraculously she escaped unhurt and has now been adopted by police who responded to the incident in the Guangxi region.

‘She saw one chance of freedom by clambering on the backs of the other pigs and took it.

‘She deserves her chance of life and she has got it. She will never be eaten here.’

"Never be eaten here." Yeah, right.

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 9, 2014 11:31 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Supply and Demand

"The Waterford Chronicle requests that persons supplying the Journal with obituaries will attend to the following scale of prices;

for a simple death two shillings and sixpence. For the death of a person deeply regretted, five shillings. For the death of a person who lived a perfect pattern of all the Christian virtues, and died regretted by the whole country, ten shillings. For the death of a person who possessed extensive literature and profound erudition, superadded to which, his whole life was remarkable for piety, humility, charity, and self-denial, one pound. For the death of a lady, whose husband is inconsolable for her loss, and who was the delight of the circle in which she moved, one pound ten shillings. For the death of a gentleman, who had only been six months married, who was an example of every conjugal and domestic virtue, and whose widow is in a state of anguish bordering on distraction, two pounds. For the death of an aristocrat, who was a pattern of meekness, a model of humility, a patron of distressed genius, a genuine philanthropist, an exemplary Christian, an extensive alms-giver, profoundly learned, unremitting to the duties of his station, kind, hospitable, and affectionate to his tenantry, and whose name will be remembered and his loss deplored to the latest posterity, five pounds. For every additional good quality, whether domestic, moral, or religious, there will be an additional charge." – Birmingham Journal, Aug. 21, 1830
[ – Futility Closet]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 9, 2014 7:44 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hubble unveils a colourful view of the Universe

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have captured the most comprehensive picture ever assembled of the evolving Universe — and one of the most colourful. The study is called the Ultraviolet Coverage of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UVUDF) project. -- ESA/Hubble Even web-scale, this image is big so...

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 9, 2014 7:12 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What is a "Feuilleton?"

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"Among the favorite subjects of such essays were anecdotes taken from the lives or correspondence of famous men and women. They bore such titles as “Friedrich Nietzsche and Women’s Fashions of 1870,” or “The Composer Rossini’s Favorite Dishes,” or “The Role of the Lapdog in the Lives of Great Courtesans,” and so on. Another popular type of article was the historical background piece on what was currently being talked about among the well-to-do, such as “The Dream of Creating Gold Through the Centuries,” or “Physico-chemical Experiments in Influencing the Weather,” and hundreds of similar subjects." -- Herman Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 9, 2014 10:16 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Feuilleton du Jour

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The Wildies of Alberta They have the look of a Shetland pony

—short, stout, strong but not sleek. They have evolved to climb hills and cross bogs, they can run through the bush backwards. You could ride one if you captured it and decided to train it, but “it’s like riding a Dodge with no tires.”

Limbaugh: Republicans Won't Impeach Obama -- and Democrats Will Not Abandon Him - There is no political will to do it.
And without that, it's a waste of time, if you don't have the political will. Meaning, if the Republican Party doesn't have the gonads, and if the American people are not desirous of it, then it's just whistling into the wind.

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Cut Off Glassholes’ Wi-Fi With This Google Glass Detector “These are cameras, highly surreptitious in nature,
with network backup function and no external indication of recording. “To focus on the device is to dance past a heritage of heartfelt protest against the unconsented video documentation of our public places and spaces.”

We need a theory of jerks. We need such a theory because,
first, it can help us achieve a calm, clinical understanding when confronting such a creature in the wild. Imagine the nature-documentary voice-over: ‘Here we see the jerk in his natural environment. Notice how he subtly adjusts his dominance display to the Italian restaurant situation…’
Aeon

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“Going Out of Business” The list of dramatic markdowns is breathtaking.
They include trading away five murderous terrorists for a likely Army deserter, an open invitation to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to cross the Mexican border, and a decision to recognize the terrorist group Hamas as part of the Palestinian government.On the home front, environmental regulations will cost thousands of coal miners their jobs and drive up the cost of electricity for millions. The ObamaCare mess is hardly resolved, and the Veterans Affairs scandal keeps getting worse.
New York Post

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Like a jalopy falling apart on the road, dropping a screw here and a spring there, the Obama administration
is gradually shaking itself to pieces. It can go on for a long time shedding parts, but eventually the axle falls out. Centralized regimes may seem to collapse suddenly, but in reality they have usually been fall apart for a long time. The process usually follows this path. First their narratives become so infested with lies they go out of sync with their own administrators on the ground. In the second stage their edicts become unenforceable from sheer impracticability. Grandiose plans are announced, “pivots” are ordered, Red Lines are drawn, all manner of schemes are announced with a maximum of hoopla — but everybody ignores it. They know the latest fad will pass and the regime will Move On. At some point the entire structure of governance becomes a system of workarounds with all real power devolved to the man on the ground.
Belmont Club

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If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists, till in the end the politicians proper become merely the scientists' puppets.
Technocracy is the form to which a planned society must tend. Now I dread specialists in power because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects. Let scientists tell us about sciences. But government involves questions about the good for man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man's opinion no added value. Let the doctor tell me I shall die unless I do so-and-so; but whether life is worth having on those terms is no more a question for him than for any other man.
C.S. Lewis Essay - Willing Slaves of the Welfare State



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 9, 2014 10:04 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A 3 Minute Sermon



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 8, 2014 1:48 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"The lord is a very very busy man..."

When you walk through the garden
You gotta watch your back
Well I beg your pardon
Walk the straight and narrow track
When you walk with Jesus
He's gonna save your soul
You got to keep the devil
You gotta keep him
Down in the hole

He's got the fire people
He's got the fury
At his command
You don't have to worry
Hold on to hold on to Jesus' hand
We'll all be safe from Satan when the thunder
When the thunder starts to roll
We got to keep the devil keep him on down
Down in the hole

That red horned lousy low life
Underneath our boots

Praise the Lord

I don't know what it is

Two dollar

That demon meister

Three dollar

That prince devil
Just see if you can come up with a figure
That matches your faith
You say how much has Jesus done for you
And we got to go in with our
Hydraulic system and blast him out

People can I get an amen

All the angels
They start to sing
All about Jesus' mighty sword
And they'll shield you with their wings
People they'll keep you close to the Lord
Now don't pay heed to temptation
For his hands are so cold
You gotta keep the Devil
Keep him on down in the hole
Down in the hole
Down in the hole
Down in the hole

Well people I got to speak about something
Can I get an amen
Can I get a hallelujah
Praise the lord
Have mercy

The lord is a very very busy man
I do what I can

But Jesus is always going for the big picture
But he's always there to help us out of the little jams too

Down in the hole
Down in the hole
Down in the hole
Keep him down in the hole
We got to keep the Devil
Down in the hole

We got to keep the Devil
Keep him on down in the hole

Down
Down down down
Mighty devil

I send you down below my boots

Down down

Filling my life
With anger and strife
Go down mighty Devil
Find a place to live

Down down down

Tom Waits

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 7, 2014 1:16 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
70 Years Ago: Both Sides Now



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 6, 2014 11:09 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"One dead, three wounded:" Meanwhile, in my neighborhood, on a beautiful summer afternoon....

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We're in Year 2 of this local "Ceasefire" effort in the City of Seattle.

One dead, three wounded in shooting on Seattle Pacific University campus "Authorities say that a man walked into a building at Seattle Pacific University and opened fire, killing a 20-year-old man and injuring three others. NBC News reports that the suspect is in custody, and police say that no one else is being sought.

"Seattle police say that the man entered Otto Miller Hall, the school's engineering and math building, carrying a shotgun. Four people were shot before the man stopped to reload, and at that time a student security guard pepper-sprayed him. Other students then jumped in and pinned him to the ground.

"A spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center said that a 20-year-old woman is in surgery in critical condition, while two others are in satisfactory condition."

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This crime scene is four blocks from my home. Seems like the "Washington Ceasefire" is breaking down in the hood.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 5, 2014 11:54 PM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Screaming Eagle at 93: Pee Wee Martin of the 101st Airborne

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70 years later, D-Day vet Jim 'Pee Wee' Martin jumps again: Martin was part of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division that parachuted down over Utah Beach in their bid to retake France and, eventually, the rest of Europe from Nazi Germany. They actually touched down in enemy-controlled territory a night before what's referred to as D-Day. His jump Thursday in the same area was different and -- despite his being 93 years old now -- a whole lot easier.
"It didn't (compare)," Martin said, "because there wasn't anybody shooting at me today."

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Type: Airborne
Role: Air assault Infantry
Size: Division
HQ Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Nickname "Screaming Eagles" (special designation)
Motto "Rendezvous With Destiny"
Mascot Bald Eagle a.k.a. "Old Abe"



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 5, 2014 11:29 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On the Day Before D-Day

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"Good will always prevail, but there is no limit to the amount of suffering that will be required for that victory to occur.

If men stand up early on, the suffering will be minimized because it will be spread over many people. The worst that might happen is that some folks go to bed scared for a while, but widespread bravery will allow good to prevail without much suffering. If, however, there is a decided lack of courage displayed by a large group or society early on in an advance by the powers of evil, that aggregated courage requirement will be borne by a relative few at a later time. The longer this goes on, the worse it will be for the few who have to bear the weight of the cowardice of the broad society. The one about BRAVERY AND COWARDICE | Barnhardt

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 5, 2014 11:24 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Great Steak on Coals: Grilling in Excess of 1000 Degrees

You're welcome.

Steak on Coals : ALTON BROWN
Software:
2 pounds inside skirt steak, cut into three equal pieces

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Procedure:
1. Remove the steak from the fridge and lay over a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan and season the steak liberally.

2. Fire up one chimney starter of natural lump charcoal. Once white and ashy, distribute evenly in the lower level of your charcoal grill.

4. Using a blow dryer, blow the charcoal clean of ash. Immediately lay steaks directly onto the hot coals for 35 to 40 seconds, then flip and repeat. When finished cooking, place the meat onto heavy duty aluminum foil, wrap, and rest for 15 minutes.

6. Remove the meat from the foil, reserving foil and juices. Slice thinly across the grain of the meat. Return to meat and toss with the juice. Serve immediately.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 4, 2014 11:24 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Everything is Broken

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“It gets really hurtful when I think, this guy was worth my son’s life? My son who was patriotic? Who was a true soldier? Who defended his country with his life?” Andrews told Army Times via phone on Monday. “That guy was worth that? I don’t think so.” Gold Star mom: 'This guy was worth my son's life?'

3 More Members Of Bergdahl's Platoon Speak Out...

Joshua Cornelison, 25, who was a medic in the platoon: “He was very, very quiet. He kept everything very close to the vest. So, after he actually left, the following morning we realized we have Bergdahl’s weapon, we have Bergdahl’s body armor, we have Bergdahl’s sensitive equipment (but) we don’t have Bowe Bergdahl.” At that point, Cornelison said, it occurred to him that Bergdahl was “that one guy that wanted to disappear, and now he’s gotten his wish.”

Evan Buetow, 27, who was a sergeant in the platoon:said Bergdahl asked him how much of a cash advance he could get and how to go about mailing home his personal computer and other belongings. He also asked what would happen if his weapon and other sensitive items such as night vision goggles went missing. He said he told Bergdahl that, as any soldier would know, that would be “a big deal.”

Matt Vierkant, 27, was a team leader of another squad in Bergdahl’s platoon. Asked about the statement Sunday by National Security Adviser Susan Rice that Bergdahl served “with honor and distinction,” he said: “That statement couldn’t be further from the truth. I don’t know if she was misinformed or doesn’t know about the investigations and everything else, or what.” He said Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers knew within five or 10 minutes from the discovery of disappearance that he had walked away. “He said some strange things, like, ‘I could get lost in those mountains,’ which, at the time, that doesn’t really strike you as someone who is going to leave their weapon and walk out.”

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 4, 2014 9:02 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Marilyn Monroe vs the Potato Sack

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Continuing our strictly scholarly study into the life and times of Marilyn Monroe American Digest is proud to present the little known saga of Monroe and the Potato Sack:

The story is that Marilyn was once chastised by a female newspaper columnist for wearing a low-cut red dress to a party at the Beverly Hills Hotel. According to Marilyn, the columnist called her cheap and vulgar. Not stopping there, the writer then suggested that the actress would look better in a potato sack. So, Twentieth Century Fox decided to capitalize on the story by shooting some publicity stills of Marilyn in a form fitting burlap potato sack just to prove she would look sexy in anything. The photos were published in newspapers throughout the country. vintage everyday: Marilyn Monroe and the Potato Sack Dress, c.1951

Do the photos "prove she would look sexy in anything"? We report. You decide.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 3, 2014 4:48 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Lying Blink Rate of Benghazi Rice

This is a 53 second clip called "Susan Rice: Bergdahl Served With 'Honor and Distinction' ." We all know what a feckless liar and traitor Rice is from her previous Obama guzzling turns before the press. What's interesting here is that her liar's blink rate is through the roof. She's lying so fast you can barely keep up with her hummingbird's wings velocity of her blinks. I've tried to count a couple of times and I think it is somewhere north of 65 times in her 30 seconds of screen time.


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That’s What Melts His Butter



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 3, 2014 10:41 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

Billy Ocean with the high powered backing vocals of Kathleen Turner and friends.

Ah yes, Kathleen Turner. Lest we forget....

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 2, 2014 5:04 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Colonel by Carolyn Forche

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"What you have heard is true. I was in his house. His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on its black cord over the house. On the television was a cop show. It was in English.

"Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for calling the maid.

"The maid brought green mangoes, salt, a type of bread. I was asked how I enjoyed the country. There was a brief commercial in Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was some talk then of how difficult it had become to govern. The parrot said hello on the terrace. The colonel told it to shut up, and pushed himself from the table.

"My friend said to me with his eyes: say nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to bring groceries home. He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this.

"He took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of fooling around, he said. As for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck themselves.

"He swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held the last of his wine in the air. Something for your poetry, no? he said. Some of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on the floor were pressed to the ground."

Carolyn Forché : The Poetry Foundation



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 2, 2014 11:12 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hallelujah

6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Revelation 19

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 1, 2014 8:19 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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