Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
These Days I Would Give Almost Anything to Be Able to, Once More, Write in the Affirmative

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In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate;

Intellectual disgrace
Stares from every human face,
And the seas of pity lie
Locked and frozen in each eye.

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice.

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress.

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountains start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

In Memory Of W.B. Yeats Poem by WH Auden



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 31, 2016 7:42 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Boomers’ Buffet: Diet for a Smaller Nation

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My Back Pages: Debating on the step of Sproul Hall, UC Berkeley, 1966. (Left to right:) Me (Somewhat younger but just as strident), An Iranian friend named "Jaz" -- worked with me in the UC library, a refugee from the Shah's Iran -- probably went back after the fall of the Shah, (foreground right)"The Anti-Communist." He lost his eye in the Hungarian Uprising and had to run for the border and on into the West to stay alive. In this picture he's attempting to convince me that Communism is an evil ideology. I'm not buying it then, but I buy it now.

Lately Americans seem to be slimming on a daily drip-feed of despair for our future and estrangement from our past. It's not a new diet in this country, but it is starting to assume the proportions of a runaway fad diet, a political Pritikins. This thin gruel is what's being poured into us from Seattle, Washington to Washington, D.C.

If you look closely at this diet for a diminished America you see a familiar list of "ingredients." The list is composed of the ideological stock and trade of a significant segment of Americans to whom this nation, as conceived by our founders, and struggled for for more than 200 years is merely one long, large joke; the Baby Boomers.

And I should know. After all, that boy in the picture up there -- that boy that thought Communism was "something we could live with" -- that young boy was me.

In my small way, I took part in the crafting of The Boomers’ Big Joke on America. For years I thought there was nothing funnier. Conceived during the waning months of World War II, I had no idea I was a Baby Boomer, but that, in the end, was what I was. And being a member of this large and fortunate generation gave me the leisure to develop quite a sense of humor when it came to basic human values. It even gave one woman of my cohort, Stanley Ann Dunham, the opportunity to actually conceive the punch line to our joke, her emasculate conception, the current clone passing as “President.”

When I was a student at the University of California at Berkeley in the late 1960s, we were the Brave New World's social engineers driving our little red choo-choo round the bend. We were the innovators, and we were busy innovating the brave new world wherein everything about the old world of our parents seemed either hilarious or evil.

Our program was quite clear early on and it hasn't changed a jot since those years, it has simply gotten more pervasive and elaborate. After all, we're older now and we're in control. We can finally fund these things. With your money.

Here’s how things went in our Brave New Whirled:


  • God, if he didn't emerge from 500 mikes of pure Sandoz LSD, was just a funny old guy a little bit like Santa Claus but with less of a user base.
  • The Bill of Rights was okay as long as you could figure out someway to erase a few of the amendments involving guns and add a host of new ones involving groups.
  • The Constitution? Too long and too arcane to really read with care. It was a given so what did we care?
  • History? The only really happening history was the future, man. Ours.
  • The United States? They were really "AmeriKKKa" -- Satan incarnate.
  • The US Military? Baby killers and agents of Satan.
  • The Police? Pigs.
  • The Viet Cong, Ho Chi Minh, Chairman Mao, Fidel Castro, and a host of other evil dictators and fascists? Heroes of "The People."
  • The People? Really wonderful as long as you didn't really have to hang out with them.
  • Voting in political parties? Stupid. We were into "participatory democracy" which involved really long meetings. ( This is now known as "emergent democracy" and involves really long online discussion threads.)
  • We believed in sex and drugs and rock and roll.
  • We were determined to resist "the man" on all levels.
  • We were young.


And we were very, very stupid for college kids. Check that. We were stupid because we were college kids.

Many of the most committed of us, decades later, are still in college and even dumber. We're professors now and our ability to be dumb has never been deeper.

Others of us are well ensconced in the various parts of what passes for the media. We are there with a lot of others just like us and, even if we thought differently, we'd never say it for fear of losing regard, position, grants, or promotion. Besides, we've been around others who think like us for so long its no problem at all to top up the latte and nod in blind agreement like the drinking bird bobbing over the glass.

Nope, we never sold out. We bought in.

But we kept the Che poster pinned up forever in our hearts right above the Pier One batik bedspread.

And now, we've arrived at our rendezvous with history.

In our aging but fitness-crazed hearts, we hate what we've become and, like any good group of neurotics, we transfer that hate to the country that gave us everything including the Long Peace in which to enjoy it.

We're the first in line to bitch and moan and hate a country that makes our freedom possible. More than that we're also in love with the privilege, comfort, money and safety that makes it possible for us to mouth off without limit.

And finally, we're coming to understand that we are not our parents' generation. We're "The Not-So-Great" Generation, and, like our president, deep down we're cowards.

We say we're 'afraid' of losing our cherished 'freedom' to the jackbooted legions of Conservative Brownshirts that might stifle our dissent from every street corner. That's really what a lot of us think. That's really just how bull-goose looney we've become.

We're so afraid that we can't look at what scares us but instead pull the covers over our head and dream of the ChristerBoogeymen.

Why? Because they're an illusion. They are not really scary at all. Why? Because they are all "just pretend," and we know it. What many of us simply cannot face is the real terror of the times, Terror.

We're really afraid of the wrath of those who, unlike those of us who believe in nothing, believe in something so deeply that they'll kill us for it and die doing it.

We fear their bomb in their baby’s carriage really is wired to the radio. We fear their teenager in the Army sweatshirt with three pounds of C4 wrapped inside of two pounds of ball bearings will be showing up at the Mall for a Big Mac Attack.

Then there’s the ever-popular Muslim-American who decides one afternoon to park his Jeep on top of as many of our kids as he can find in a group.

Hey, check out that guy who slipped past the TSA career sociopath who was patting down the nun and is now sitting next to the window at 36,000 feet with fuses coming out of his Nikes and a t-shirt on that says, "Just Do It." Then walk a mile in the Tevas of the Gay Imam with a plan who is so tense that he decides to walk into downtown San Bernardino and unwind with a small shooting spree.

All these realities disturb our dreams and threaten to pull the covers off our heads. We want to elect that booth-tanned, soothing daddy-cool to smarm us to sleep; to tell us for the umpteenth time how we “inspire him.”

As a result, we like the slogans, books, movies, TV shows, politicians and publications that confirm for us the deep liberal dream that -- if we are just understanding enough, long enough, apologize for living enough, and offer enough in the way of bribes -- the oppressed of the world will come to love us... and then just leave us alone.

Like the French, we believe that by selling off our ideals we'll receive, in return, peace and cheap vacation rentals in France and Greece for the rest of our lives. Like the French, a lot of us believe that by just being nice we'll be left alone to wallow in our prosperity. Like the French, we've come to believe that there's nothing in war for us except "teenagers with bombs." Like all those European morons it seems we’ve come to believe that all we have to do is to leave the war for the war to leave us.

Like I said, people of my 60s generation are very, very dumb.

And, it would seem, we've now bred children who are even dumber than we are. We are now, as far as dumb liberalism is concerned, deep into the third generation of the soul dead and the dumb, and it's clear that not a lot of us are coming around soon enough to avoid another massacre on American soil. To paraphrase a slogan about working with heavy machinery, "You get stupid around terrorism and it'll hurt you real quick and real bad."

We're so stupid we've even started to believe "It can't happen here" after it already has. "9/11? Just a one-off. Chillax. Never again. Forget about it."

How can we get off on being "stuck on stupid" when it comes to this First Terrorist War? How can we prevent another"9/11," "4/20," "5/14," "7/4," "12/25"? Pick a number, any number, there are 365 to choose from. But before that we might want to consider, seriously and carefully, taking some measures which are not merely careful campaigns to 'bring the fruits of democracy,' but things that fall, instead, under the general heading of "Draconian." A modest beginning in this regard would be to convince many members of my baby-boom generation to simply shut up, eat their tofu, and feel their testosterone ebb down to zero.

You don't have to look very far to see that while the dumb teenager might be the Terrorist's first choice when it comes to delivery vehicles, that teenager isn't the one setting the timer, choosing the target, or buying the bomb. That sort of thing is left to the "leadership" which is far too valuable to expend itself on direct attacks. Their leadership is still, thanks to our ever softening policies towards terror, very much in business.

Nor do you have to look very far to understand what the goals of that leadership are. You are told what they are in sermon after sermon throughout the Muslim world week after week. But those of my generation who are still mired in the ideological foolishness of their youth cannot hear these words and, even if they did, would not believe them.

My generation springs from a culture where words seldom have any consequences as long as you choose the right ones. Because of this words don't seem like weapons to us. Words, to my generation, are merely poses at cocktail parties at best, the latest glib lyrics of some pot-drenched rock idol who believes that having a hundred voice choir screech out “Don’t be raaaaacist” is the latest iteration of cool, until the new, cooler president steps forward and administers another slap of pap to the brain -- “Don’t be raaaaacist about me.”

Just because you bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and declare "a famous victory" does not mean the war is over. You’ve just made it easier for your enemies to fight you at home. The Terrorist War scares my generation more deeply than teenager bombs in Tel Aviv put the fear into the Israelis. The Terrorist War is something that is in earnest and it is something that will not go away. What scares them the most about it all is that the conflict, at its deepest core, is actually about something my generation understands only as one of the great standing jokes of our youth: Religion.

You see most of my Boomer "people" don't really get religion unless it comes with a lot of New Age claptrap or a hefty dose of Zen. Pure Christianity or Orthodox Judaism or Islam is far, far outside our ken.

Where previous generations could write, as late as 1927, the sentiments found in the Desiderata:

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. 
Strive to be happy.

My generation was the one that came up with the variation called the Deteriorata :
You are a fluke of the Universe. You have no right to be here, and whether you can hear it or not, The Universe is laughing behind your back. Therefore make peace with your God whatever you conceive him to be, Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin.With all its hopes, dreams, promises and urban renewal, The world continues to deteriorate. Give up.

I believe that to be The New Commandments of the 60s boomers. The "Bible" of our generation, the National Lampoon, first came up with them. I remember how funny we all thought they were. A laugh riot and, well, so true too. So right on. Words to live by.

And for a time we did.

But when you get a little further down the road and look back, if you have learned anything at all, you'll have learned to cherish the sentiment of the Desiderata and despise the mocking nothingness in the Deteriorata. The latter holds not 'words to live by,' but 'words to die by.'

Today my generation, being eternally drenched in a mindless nostalgia for its weird youth, refuses to learn that. It believes that the cool answer to the great crisis which has been brought to us in the last ten years is to make a sign that says "I heart New York more without the twin towers," parade about in the streets and, when confronted with the death of your fellow citizens, to stand firmly in solidarity with the sheep of Europe and the cringing coward at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and say, "We give up."

When I look at the spectacle that my Boomer generation has made of itself, a generation that had everything going for it, that had every opportunity, and instead came up with Caramel Soy Lattes and the slogan "ReElect Obama in 2012. He’s too black to fail!” all I can say is:

"I resign the Revolution. I'm joining the Resistance.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 30, 2016 9:24 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems: Volunteers by The Jefferson Airplane

Look what's happening out in the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution

Hey I'm dancing down the streets
Got a revolution
Got to revolution

Ain't it amazing all the people I meet
Got a revolution
Got to revolution

One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold

Pick up the cry

Hey now it's time for you and me
Got a revolution
Got to revolution

Come on now we're marching to the sea
Got a revolution
Got to revolution

Who will take it from you
We will and who are we?

We are volunteers of America
Volunteers of America
Volunteers of America
Volunteers of America

Paul Lorin Kantner (March 17, 1941 – January 28, 2016)

A political anarchist, Kantner once advocated the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD for mind expansion and spiritual growth, and was a prominent advocate of the legalization of marijuana. In a 1986 interview, Kantner shared his thoughts about cocaine and alcohol, saying, "Cocaine, particularly, is a bummer. It's a noxious drug that turns people into jerks. And alcohol is probably the worst drug of all. As you get older and accomplish more things in life in general, you realize that drugs don't help, particularly if you abuse them."[50] When Kantner suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 1980, his attending physician at Cedars-Sinai, Stephen Levy, was quick to point out it was not a drug-related issue, saying: "There is zero relationship between Paul's illness and drugs. He doesn't use drugs." Kantner died in San Francisco at the age of 74 on January 28, 2016 due to multiple organ failure and septic shock after he suffered a heart attack days earlier

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 29, 2016 1:56 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Lincoln's Eulogy and Air to Be Played at the Funeral of America


Ashokan Farewell [HT: Howard Nelson]

"In the great journal of things happening under the sun, we, the American people.... find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate.

"We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty than any of which the history of former times tells us.

"We, when mounting the stage of existence, found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings.

"We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them; they are a legacy bequeathed us by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed, race of ancestors.

"Theirs was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves, and through themselves us, of this goodly land, and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; 'tis ours only to transmit these—the former unprofaned by the foot of an invader, the latter undecayed by the lapse of time and untorn by usurpation—to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know. This task gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.

"How then shall we perform it? At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.

"At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.

"I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is even now something of ill omen amongst us.

"I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country—the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions in lieu of the sober judgment of courts, and the worse than savage mobs for the executive ministers of justice.

"This disposition is awfully fearful in any and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth and an insult to our intelligence to deny." - - Abraham Lincoln The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 29, 2016 8:57 AM | Comments (28)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Challenger, go at throttle up." President Reagan's Challenger Disaster Speech - 1/28/86

"Less than 5 hours after the accident. I had forgotten he cancelled his State of the Union Address and instead did this, 30 years ago today." -- Drew @ Ace

President Reagan: "I’ve always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don’t hide our space program. We don’t keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That’s the way freedom is, and we wouldn’t change it for a minute. We’ll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA or who worked on this mission and tell them: “Your dedication and professionalism have moved an impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it.”"

"Obviously a major malfunction"

The Challenger Accident | Timeline

T+67.650

The abnormal plumes on the bottom and top of the booster appear to merge into one. This means the flame has wrapped around the joint as the leak deteriorated.

T+67.684

Telemetry indicates falling pressure in the 17-inch-wide liquid oxygen propellant lines feeding the three main engines.

T+68.000

Nesbitt: "Engines are throttling up. Three engines now at 104 percent."

Covey: "Challenger, go at throttle up."

T+70.000

Scobee, air-to-ground: "Roger, go at throttle up."

T+72.204

Data shows divergent up and down motions of the nozzles at the base of both solid rocket boosters.

T+72.284

The two solid rocket boosters change position relative to each other, indicating the right-side booster apparently has pulled away from one of the struts that connected its aft end to the external fuel tank. TV tracking camera: A large ball of orange fire appears higher on the other side of main fuel tank, closer to Challenger's cabin, and grows rapidly.

T+72.478

A "major high rate actuator command" is recorded from one of the boosters, indicating extreme nozzle motions.

T+72.497

The nozzles of the three liquid-fueled main engines begin moving at high rates: Five degrees per second.

T+72.525

Data shows a sudden lateral acceleration to the right jolts the shuttle with a force of .227 times normal gravity. This may have been felt by the crew.

T+72.564

Start of liquid hydrogen pressure decrease. Solid rocket boosters continue showing high nozzle motion rates.

T+72.624

Challenger beams back what turns out to be its final navigation update.

T+72.964

Main engine liquid oxygen propellant pressures begin falling sharply at turbopump inlets.

T+73.000 (approximate)

Smith, intercom: "Uh oh..." This is the last comment captured by the crew cabin intercom recorder. Smith may have been responding to indications on main engine performance or falling pressures in the external fuel tank.

T+74.587

A bright flash is observed in the vicinity of the orbiter's nose. Television tracking camera closeup: The nose of the shuttle and the crew compartment suddenly engulfed in brilliant orange flame, presumably caused by ignition or burning of rocket fuel in the forward reaction control system steering jet pod.

"At that point in its trajectory, while traveling at a Mach number of 1.92 (twice the speed of sound) at an altitude of 46,000 feet, the Challenger was totally enveloped in the explosive burn," said the Rogers Commission report. "The Orbiter, under severe aerodynamic loads, broke into several large sections which emerged from the fireball. Separate sections that can be identified on film include the main engine/tail section with the engines still burning, one wing of the Orbiter, and the forward fuselage trailing a mass of umbilical lines pulled loose from the payload bay."

The nose section had ripped away from the payload bay cleanly, although a mass of electrical cables and umbilicals were torn from the cargo hold, fluttering behind the crew cabin as it shot through the thin air, still climbing. Challenger's fuselage was suddenly open like a tube with its top off. Still flying at twice the speed of sound, the resulting rush of air that filled the payload bay overpressurized the structure and it broke apart from the inside out, disintegrating in flight. Challenger's wings cartwheeled away on their own but the aft engine compartment held together, falling in one large piece toward the Atlantic Ocean, its engines on fire. The TDRS satellite in Challenger's cargo bay and its solid-fuel booster rocket were blown free as was the Spartan-Halley spacecraft. All this happened as the external tank gave up its load of propellant, which ignited in the atmosphere in what appeared to be an explosion. It was more of a sudden burning than an explosion. In any case, the two solid rockets emerged from the fireball of burning fuel and continued on, bereft of guidance from the shuttle's now-silent flight computers.

T+74.587

A bright flash is observed in the vicinity of the orbiter's nose. Television tracking camera closeup: The nose of the shuttle and the crew compartment suddenly engulfed in brilliant orange flame, presumably caused by ignition or burning of rocket fuel in the forward reaction control system steering jet pod.

"At that point in its trajectory, while traveling at a Mach number of 1.92 (twice the speed of sound) at an altitude of 46,000 feet, the Challenger was totally enveloped in the explosive burn," said the Rogers Commission report. "The Orbiter, under severe aerodynamic loads, broke into several large sections which emerged from the fireball. Separate sections that can be identified on film include the main engine/tail section with the engines still burning, one wing of the Orbiter, and the forward fuselage trailing a mass of umbilical lines pulled loose from the payload bay."

The nose section had ripped away from the payload bay cleanly, although a mass of electrical cables and umbilicals were torn from the cargo hold, fluttering behind the crew cabin as it shot through the thin air, still climbing. Challenger's fuselage was suddenly open like a tube with its top off. Still flying at twice the speed of sound, the resulting rush of air that filled the payload bay overpressurized the structure and it broke apart from the inside out, disintegrating in flight. Challenger's wings cartwheeled away on their own but the aft engine compartment held together, falling in one large piece toward the Atlantic Ocean, its engines on fire. The TDRS satellite in Challenger's cargo bay and its solid-fuel booster rocket were blown free as was the Spartan-Halley spacecraft. All this happened as the external tank gave up its load of propellant, which ignited in the atmosphere in what appeared to be an explosion. It was more of a sudden burning than an explosion. In any case, the two solid rockets emerged from the fireball of burning fuel and continued on, bereft of guidance from the shuttle's now-silent flight computers.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 28, 2016 7:09 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When One Has Lived A Long Time Alone by Galway Kinnell

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1

When one has lived a long time alone
one refrains from swatting the fly
and lets him go, and one hesitates to strike
the mosquito, though more than willing go slap
the flesh under her, and one lifts the toad
from the pit too deep for him to hop out of
and carries him to the grass, without minding
the toxic urine he slicks his body with,
and one envelops, in a towel, the swift
who fell down the chimney and knocks herself
against the window glass and releases her outside
and watches her fly free, a life line flung at reality,
when one has lived a long time alone.

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2

When one has lived a long time alone,
one grabs the snake behind the head
and holds him until he stops trying to stick
the orange tongue, which splits at the end
into two black filaments and jumps out
like a fire-eater's belches and has little
in common with the pimpled pink lump that shapes
sounds and sleeps inside the human mouth,
into one's flesh, and clamps it between his jaws,
letting the gaudy tips show, as children do
when concentrating, and as very likely
one does oneself, without knowing it,
when one has lived a long time alone.

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3

When one has lived a long time alone,
among regrets so immense the past occupies
nearly all the room there is in consciousness,
one notices in the snake's eyes, which look back
without paying less attention to the future,
the first coating of the opaque milky-blue
leucoma snakes to get when about to throw
their skins and become new––meanwhile continuing,
of course, to grow old––the exact bleu passé
that discolors the corneas of the blue-eyed
when they lie back at last and look for heaven,
a blurring one can see means they will never find it,
when one has lived a long time alone.

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Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 28, 2016 4:02 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Carpool Karaoke: "I spend my life saying, 'It's me, Adele."

While home in London for the holidays, James Corden picks up his friend Adele for a drive around the city singing some of her classic songs before Adele raps Nicki Minaj's "Monster."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 28, 2016 11:00 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hillary Clinton's Campaign Manager Steps Forward! Explains 'Strategy'



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 26, 2016 9:33 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Roadrunner Rules: How Wile E. Coyote Explains The World

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The game is rigged.

It was rigged from the start. You, yourself, are part of the rigging; your nature produces your failure, and your failure produces the conditions that prompt your next doomed try. What are you trying to do? At what are you failing?
You are trying, like Wile E. Coyote, like Chuck Jones, like me, to make some sense of the world. You are forming a notion; an idea of the rules. That notion only ever can be incomplete; your mind is a baffling supercomputer nevertheless hopelessly inadequate to the task of understanding the full terrible complexity of the world around you. That notion will be blown apart (or dropped off a ledge, or run over by a bus), and you will recognize that it has been, that it was fatally incomplete to begin with—and that recognition will be the first tenet of the new notion, the seed of the next failure. On and on you will go, making sense of the world, forming notions of order, and being surprised in ways large and small by their failure, forever.
Can you stop? My friend, trying to stop forming notions of order is forming another notion of order. Forming notions of order is what you are: Intellectus inadaequtus. There is no escaping. Your mind is the setup; reality is the punchline; your life is the joke. And like all others, it has rules. It isn’t chaos. It is order. It is the order.
What can you do? All anybody can do; the same thing you’ve always done; what you did when Wile E. Coyote pushed down on that detonator and blew himself up. You can laugh at it. It’s pretty funny. -- DeadSpin
[HT: Five Feet of Fury – Kathy Shaidle ]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 25, 2016 11:42 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass:" If Trump Wants a Campaign Song, This Would Be a Candidate

I turn on the tube and what do I see
A whole lotta people cryin' "Don't blame me"
They point their crooked little fingers ar everybody else
Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves
Victim of this, victim of that
Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat

Get over it
Get over it
All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it

You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash
But you might feel better if I gave you some cash
The more I think about it, Old Billy was right
Let's kill all the lawyers, kill 'em tonight
You don't want to work, you want to live like a king
But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing

Get over it
Get over it
If you don't want to play, then you might as well split
Get over it, Get over it

It's like going to confession every time I hear you speak
You're makin' the most of your losin' streak
Some call it sick, but I call it weak

You drag it around like a ball and chain
You wallow in the guilt; you wallow in the pain
You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown
Got your mind in the gutter, bringin' everybody down
Complain about the present and blame it on the past
I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass

Get over it
Get over it
All this bitchin' and moanin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it

Get over it
Get over it
It's gotta stop sometime, so why don't you quit
Get over it, get over it



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 25, 2016 11:12 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Wheat Field and Eliot Ross' "The Reckoning Days"

For the past year, Elliot Ross has been photographing the world of farmer Jim Mertens.

Inspired by the empathetic imagery of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans for the Farm Security Administration, Ross created an essay that examines the relationship between the farmer and the land, giving both characters equal focus in “The Reckoning Days.” The grains of wheat and the cracked palms of laborers are given the same attention, depicted in a mesmerizing palette of blues and yellows. This is how bread, the most basic staple of our diet, is made. “Society is generally removed from the processes in which bread and hundreds of other products reach our baskets,” Ross said. "We must protect, nurture, and celebrate the salt of the earth.”

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The Wheat Field

From each one in the hard soil a myriad are spun.

Sheaves of gold on bronze in files beneath the sun.

Is it towards the whiteness of the wafer

The field bends on autumn winds;

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Towards the body which is breath not flesh

That the body which is only flesh

Scuffs its limbs upon the soil,

And fears at night tomorrow's toil,

And sees in dreams the shade of musk

The trumpets rising in the dusk?

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Or is the seed of wheat enough,

Its own bronze parable of blood,

Enorbing in its nucleus

The architecture of the Ark,

The constant covenant of bread?

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On the Thirtieth Meridian, at the pivot of the Earth,

A fan spreads out in silted twists

Pinned by five gold inches to the river's wrist,

And clasped by five white fingers of that marble hand.

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Between the rise and fall of speech

The pulse is felt throughout the land,

Its rhythms mimicked by the priests,

Its regulations drawn on dirt

In circles, trisects, lines and cubes

Of numbers and of wheat,

Of incantations scratched on stone

That from their power we may eat

The bread, for we have tasted of the fruit,

And found it, if not sweet, of use

In surveying tombs and gardens that will suit.

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The wilderness yields only flesh

Of fruit, or fowl, or hunted beast.

It cannot give us wheat and bread,

And it is bread that we would eat.

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Though our bodies be of infirm flesh, Our thoughts enslaved to blood and heat;

Though we scan the skies with eyes of beasts,

Still we would walk in fields of wheat,

And from such sheaves deduce the laws

Of war and wealth and God, and pause

To build our towns and temples, paved streets,

And gird the very globe with grids,

And make our maps and take our measures,

And populate the final stars with our myriad

Grown from one, in the harsh soil, our single treasure.

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 24, 2016 5:59 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Is America Racist?

Is America racist? Is it -- as President Barack Obama said -- "part of our DNA"? Author and talk-show host Larry Elder examines America's legacy of racism, whether it's one we can ever escape, and in the process offers a different way of looking at things like Ferguson, crime, police and racial profiling.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 24, 2016 3:50 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Snow? Whaaaaat?: Coming Right Up, The "Storm of the Century" As Usual



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 22, 2016 6:57 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Untruth About Donald Trump

Yes, it is slightly over an hour long. Nevertheless it is the best summation and clarification of the Donald Trump campaign from its inception to this week. Get a beverage of choice and make it full screen. It's worth it.

Stefan Molyneux Of Freedomain Radio:

Since 1988, Donald Trump has been discussed as a potential United States presidential candidate, but when he officially announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015 the mainstream media refused to believe it. Over the next many months, Donald Trump would be attacked and criticized by the media – but were these criticisms legitimate? What is the Untruth About Donald Trump?

0:43 - Donald Trump’s Strategy
3:42 - Mainstream Media On Donald Trump
5:25 - Trump Isn’t a Serious Candidate!
6:44 - He Won’t File His Election Papers – Ignore Him!
8:52 - Illegal Immigration, Border Wall, Rape and Crime
16:18 - Univision, NASCAR, ESPN and Macy’s “Dump” Trump?
18:22 - Is John McCain a War Hero?
21:52 - Was Trump a Draft-Dodger?
23:40 - Megyn Kelly, Rosie O’Donnell and the War on Women
27:18 - Blood coming out of her wherever…
28:55 - The Truth About The Bankruptcies
32:18 - The Bible Gotcha!
33:39 - Muslim Celebrations on September 11th
35:52 - Did Trump Mock a Disabled Reporter?
37:25 - Muslim Immigration Ban
43:17 - Do Americans Support Trump’s Muslim Immigration Ban?
44:38 - Muslim Databases?
46:33 - Employing Illegal Immigrants?
48:20 - Vladimir Putin
50:09 - Anti-Semitic Comments
51:26 - Comparisons to Adolf Hitler
54:57 - Campaign Event Protestors
56:28 - Old Joke About Dating His Daughter
57:10 - Saturday Night Live
58:09 - Trumps Inheritance and Wealth
59:06 - Donald Isn’t Rich Enough to Fund His Campaign
1:01:21 - Jeb Bush’s Personal Immigration Connection
1:01:54 - Gun Control in Paris
1:02:46 - Don’t Trust Trump With the Nuclear Codes!
1:03:35 - Hillary Clinton’s ISIS Recruitment Video Claim
1:04:10 - Close Down The Internet?
1:05:00 - Carly Fiorina: Look at That Face!
1:05:48 - Hillary Got Schlonged
1:06:13 - Go After Terrorists Families
1:07:00 - George W. Bush Kept Us Safe
1:07:50 - He’s a Rapist
1:08:30 - Deportation Force
1:09:31 - The “Donald Trump is a Hillary Clinton Plant” Conspiracy
1:09:53 - Campaign Finance Hypocrisy
1:10:50 - Oprah as Vice President?
1:11:08 - Donald Trump is Batman

You will find the links to the sources used in The Untruth About Donald Trump | Stefan Molyneux HERE



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 22, 2016 5:28 PM | Comments (21)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Devolution of Stupid People: Joe Rogan's Classic Standup Rant

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That’s the scariest thing about life, it’s that dumb people are out-breeding smart people at a staggering pace. And nobody ever even talks about it! We all kinda know it’s happening, and the real problem is; most of us are dumb. We don’t want to admit it, but really, how many of us are really smart? Look, I know I’m stupid. I know. I know I’m stupid, yet I’m smarter than almost everybody I meet! And the real problem with dumb people is, they don’t even know they’re dumb. That’s a part of being dumb, you’re not aware!

There should be a way to tell, like a home pregnancy test type thing. Some shit you take at home and you lick it and you go “Oh, I’m a idiot! It’s broken, gimme another one!” Dudes would never believe it, idiots would have boxes stacked to the ceiling. “LIAR! NO!”

The real problem is, most of us are idiots! We just like to think that we’re not idiots because we use stuff that smart people have figured out. But how many of us understand any of that stuff? Think about the technological level the world operates on, how many of us really understand that? What if everybody out there died, and we had to take over the world? How well would you think we’d do?

[Crowd starts cheering]

“Yeah, terrific! We would do awesome!” Yeah, does anybody really know how any of this stuff works?

[Taps microphone]

Why’s that loud, any idea? I’ve been a comedian for sixteen years, I have no idea what’s in there! I don’t know, some loud stuff? I don’t know.

[Points at spotlight]

What makes that bright, bright light? I don’t know. Think about all the stuff you need to run your life. Computers and palm pilots and cell phones, how many of you know how to make any of that ? I mean, if I left you alone in the woods with a hatchet, how long before you can send me an email?

We are not smart! We buy stuff from smart people! I don’t have a camera on my phone because I’m smart! If you left me on an island for a million years I could never figure out how to put a camera on a phone! I don’t even know what a camera is! I know that I press a button and a picture shows up. What happens between me pressing the button and the picture showing up is anybody’s fucking guess! There might be leprechauns with spray paints up the ass!

All I know is “megapixel”! Yeah, you gotta say that to get the good stuff. I don’t even know what a megapixel is! It’s like a noise you make with your mouth. “Megapixel! Ohhh, you’re clever! You are clever!”

Who knows of people who know that shit? Does anybody know anyone that’s invented anything? Who are they? Is anybody watching them? Making sure they’re alive? Making sure that somebody mixed kids with them? No! No one’s paying attention! I think what’s going to happen is that one day smart people are just gonna die and they’re gonna leave us with a bunch of stuff we don’t understand. I think there’s gonna be no warning!

We’re just gonna be sitting around, having a good time, having a couple of drinks, power’s just going to shut off. Everybody’s gonna get out their lighters “Way to go, you idiots! Can’t even keep the power on, what the hell…” And what do you do when the power goes out? I don’t know what you do, what I do usually is that I sit around and I wait. Cause I figure “There’s a guy fixing that stuff. Probably working out it right now…” How long will it take before you figure out all the smart people are dead? It would take years. You would have to run out of batteries, “Dude I don’t know how to make a battery, what do we do?”

“Listen, just get together with a torch, okay? Get a torch, we’re all gonna meet in the street and we’re all gonna work this out. It’s gonna be cool.”

Standing out in the street with a torch, “What’sup?”

“Dude, you know how to get the power on?”

“I thought you did!”

“No… alright, keep me posted.”

“You too!”

We’d just be sitting in our houses with out torches. That would work. ‘Till the animals realize we don’t have electricity any more and they start sneaking around, checking stuff out. And they realize there’s no loud noises to scare them off any more and bears just start grabbing people.

[Imitating bear attack]

They just realize we’re fat and slow, they don’t even have to catch us. They scare us, we’ll just black out. It’s a matter of time before they start eating us! More evolution! But not me motherfucker, I’ve got guns! I’ve got bullets, I’m gonna be fine! …until I run out of bullets

“I don’t know how to make a fucking bullet, do you? Dude, there’s bears out there, we don’t even have any bullets, what do we do?!”

“Listen man, we’re gotta get out of the city, we’re sitting ducks. This is what we should do; we should move back into the caves!” People will live in the caves again!

“Dude, it’s safer in the caves, bro! Just guard the entrance with sharp, pointy sticks!”

“GRRRR”

“AAHHHH!”

We would just get down to a core group of survivors, fighting off the bears. And within one or two generations we would forget EVERYTHING! Trigonometry, calculus, all that's gone! Science, the ‘Net, it’s gone! It’s never gonna happen again! It would take thousands of years, you would have to reinvent electricity… Within one hundred years would think the world’s flat and the sun is seventeen miles away.

“GRRRR”

“AAHHHH!”

We would just devolve to a core group of survivors and let them re-evolve and re-discover the earth. How crazy would that be? How crazy would a caveman discovering downtown Phoenix be? Just coming out of the cave with his fucking club, with his buddies.

“Dude, who built all this?”

“Bro, it had to be aliens!”

“YEAH! Yeah it’s aliens! I can’t do that, you do that?”

“Neither can I! What the fuck?”

See, I think this has happened before. I think it explains the pyramids. And yeah, I was really high when I thought this up. But it makes sense!

If you ever watch a documentary on how they built the pyramids, they have no idea how they made those things.

“Well, we believe they used levers”, but this is all that you really need to know. They know they’re there, so they know somebody made them. But all you need to know about the Great Pyramid of Giza; there’s two million, three hundred thousand stones that weigh between two and 80 tonnes – some of them were cut form a quarry that was that was five hundred miles away! No machines, no trucks, no steel, they had copper tools and they were perfectly cut, you couldn’t even get a razor blade in between these rocks and they were perfectly aligned, true North, South, East and West. And if you cut and place ten of these monstrous stones a day it would take you six hundred and sixty for years to make one pyramid! All brought to you by people who thought the god Ra took the sun across the sky in a canoe and returned later that evening with the moon. They had sixteen year old queens! Cleopatra was sixteen years old when she was running Egypt. That’s like Lindsay Lohan being Queen of the world!

And they built that?! They built that? Are you sure? Are you sure? Okay, because I have another theory. I think people used to be really, really, really fuckin’ smart! But the dumb ones just out-bred the smart ones! That’s what I think! I think that we are all the bastard children of the idiot stone workers of Egypt! I think that at one point there was a master race and they were reading each other’s minds and they were free of ego and they were totally honest and they were mapping out the cosmos and behind them, the stone workers just fucked away.

[Mimics stone workers having sex, and giving birth to a child]

“Oh look, he look just like me! That’s my fella right there!”

They just took over. And one day the smart people just die. There’s probably no warning. Just one day the idiots show up at the pyramids “Hello?! Anybody in there?! We’re supposed to get our checks on Friday! Hello?! The boy’s have got overtime coming! The holidays’ just around the corner, have you no heart?”

Then eventually they just realize the smart people are all dead.

“What do you want to do?”

“I think for now we should just move into the pyramids then we’ll figure it all out.”

And that’s what they did, they just moved in. Then they just started lying about it. After a couple of generations, “Who built this?”

“WE DID! We’re the best, we’re number one! Egypt! Egypt! Egypt! Look at that beautiful flat wall! That’s craftsmanship, son! I think I will draw stick figures on it!

[Mimics drawing]

“This.. is a woman… she’s carrying food upon her head… that’s important to document! And this… is a man… but, he has a head of a dog! And he’s evil!”

You sure they made that? They wrote in stick figures, dude.

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Found at Joe Rogan - Wikiquote



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 22, 2016 11:57 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Spare Change

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They are found in trays on the dresser, jars in the kitchen, bowls in the bedroom. They are the small bits of cash detritus, the left over fractions of a dollar, that collect in our pockets and purses on a daily basis, and often consigned to the change cups of America.

Most people have one. I have one. Mine is a white ovenproof ramekin and it slowly fills with pennies, dimes, nickels, and -- mostly -- quarters. Indeed quarters are what most change is made of in these days of prices set to end in .99 at work with various state and local sales taxes of 3 to 9 percent.

Every day I dump whatever is loose in my pockets into the ramekin. In the beginning it's just a couple of quarters and a smear of pennies. Dimes and nickels are uncommon but not yet rare. In the fullness of time the ramekin fills up with an untold amount of money much like William Devane's safe.

When a small mound of change forms at the top of the ramekin I know it is time for one of my favorite shopping trips: “FREE GROCERIES!” And to do that I bag up all my coins and head off to my favorite “FREE MONEY MACHINE!,” the big green Coinstar to get some.

After all, change is just the drippings from money already spent; the sawdust from your logs of liquidity. Few would be willing to separate the coins and pack them into tubes as was the case in the Ancient of Days. Fewer still maintain their own change counting machines. It’s just not worth it since the dollar became the new quarter sometime between 2008 and now.

Coinstar is the answer. For a mere 10.9% of your money it will convert your change into a strip of paper which can be redeemed for groceries and real currency at the cash register. Coinstar is also a very entertaining store machine, one of the few that gives you back something for your effort. It’s a kind of reverse slot machine (with similar sound effects)in which you win every time, minus 10.9%. In addition it shows its work on the screen. You tilt up the slide and let the coins shuffle in to a satisfying series of clinks, clunks, and clacks, interrupted every so often with a clunk as the Coinstar spits out an item it cannot accept. In front of you the screen shows the actual ascending numbers of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars (rare), and silver dollars (hunted to extinction). Then you get your voucher and off you go to shop with.... “FREE MONEY!”

Because I am easily entertained I love those trips. Yesterday I noted that my love for Coinstar was due to be consummated once again. I noticed that ”Lo, my change cup runneth over,” and poured all my change into a Ziplock bag. It's heft felt like around two pounds. My change cup was, obsessive-compulsively and blissfully, empty again.

I set off for the town Safeway and poured my change into the coin slide on the Coinstar. It went through its satisfying series of clunks, clinks, clanks,clacks and counting and came up.... at the end of it all... with...

$24.00.

Yes, a round dollar amount completely at random. This is, for those like me who suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive disorders, equal to “the perfect pump.” (When, in filling the tank at the gas pump, you watch the rising total and snap-release the handle and get a round dollar amount. So satisfying!)

Armed with my free money voucher in the sum of ...

$24.00.

I began shopping. I picked up some milk, which I needed. I picked up some oranges, which I also needed. I passed on the cream-filled fresh-baked Bundt cake, which I really, really, really do NOT need. I picked up some meat on sale for 50% off even if I don’t really count 50% off $18.80 as a bargain. I picked up some of this and some of that and then went to the Express checkout to see how many public school educated citizens in front of me were unclear on the concept of “15 Items or Less.”

When.... at long, long last.... it was my turn I handed my Coinstar voucher to the cashier. She pulled my “15 Items or Less” across her scanner. The total?

$23.75.

To my right the change dispenser at the pay station spit out into its buff metal cup.... one single quarter. I picked it up, slipped it into my pocket, and took it home.

I tossed it into the white ramekin. It made a nice crisp clink as it hit the bottom of the empty change collector.

There it sits this morning, all alone with a small tuft of pocket lint, waiting for others in its mildly diverse family of money to join it.

And the great circle of life begins again.

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 20, 2016 9:56 AM | Comments (21)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Meet Me Halfway Across the Sky



On November 15, 2015
Théo Sanson walked nearly 500 meters on a slackline rigged from The Rectory to Castleton Tower in Castle Valley, Utah.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 18, 2016 5:11 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sentence of the Year.... So Far

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The Coffee-Colored Compromise: Employee Blend

Why life in the post-totalitarian system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies: government by bureaucracy is called popular government; the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class; the complete degradation of the individual is presented as his ultimate liberation; depriving people of information is called making it available; the use of power to manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called observing the legal code; the repression of culture is called its development; the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed; the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom; farcical elections become the highest form of democracy; banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views; military occupation becomes fraternal assistance. The Office Manager’s Sign, 2016 |



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 17, 2016 1:37 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Vaclav Havel for Our Times

"Only the idiots, only absolute idiots are incapable of comprehending that for the relatively quick pumping of millions of people across thousands of kilometers a minimum of ten billion dollars of financial backing is needed."

"The Hungarian-language video is subtitled. I transcribed the English-language subtitles below." -- PA World|

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 17, 2016 1:00 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Four Point Platform for Regaining the American Presidency and Making America Great Again
  • We’re going to crush the global jihad.
  • We’re strictly going to enforce our borders and labor laws.
  • We’re going to use our own energy resources and develop new ones.
  • We’re going to have an economic Renaissance
  • We are going to reform our welfare system.”

Heard at 1:10:30 on Bill Whittle's The Stratosphere Lounge Episode 105 -



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 17, 2016 11:55 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: "You thought God was an architect, now you know He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow"



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 16, 2016 4:01 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink

infire.jpg

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

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From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

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But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

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Is also great

And would suffice.


[Illustrations from Photos of the Week / The Atlantic]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 15, 2016 3:02 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Contemporary American Classics: Mr Tambourine Man

Mr. Tambourine Man (Live at the Newport Folk Festival. 1964)

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 13, 2016 9:37 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Adult Cinema

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"I think I know the warm place you allude to.
Just between the thighs, is it not, my lady?"

-- Frank Harris
1.
Copulations on candelabras draped in overcoats,
And illuminated by burning children,
Guide us inside for the pearl of great price.
Our questions and cards of aging identity
Have been checked with our hats at the door.

Within, in the gray steam composed of our breath,
The mongoloid's lips nibble the rose
That pulses and glows in the garden of meat.
No sound at all flows from the audience.
No sound at all but the wind over stones.

Surely some triple somersault is about to be performed.
Surely some deadly edged object is about to be swallowed,
To the death rasps and rattle of drums draped in black.
Surely some revelation is at hand, and its promise,
A love without name, without years, is arriving at last.

We are decently clothed and seated quite primly.
We have read all the arguments and remained most informed.
We have all made it through to these seats, our reward.

2.
But suppose if that coupling couple smeared on the screen
Would appear (for an instant, a moment, a minute)
Immersed with the bloom, the resurrection of the rose,
Possessed of that intelligence which kindles stars,
And capable, in dance, of painting the sunset dawn,
Would we then, yawning, stumble from our seats?
Would we then demand our ragged dollars back?

Nonsense! Bald nonsense! The most formless of fantasies!
For the flesh show, we know, has barely begun
To run on and run on and run on.
The shorts come first, and then cartoons,
And then coming attractions run on and run on and
Tease us deeper towards the Feature! The one we pay and wait for.

Who of all the Shes that She could be will this She be?
Or more precisely what will be the color, length and luster
Of her hair; the tint of nipples, her age and shaving rituals;
Her basic shape complete with curving thighs and breasts?
And what will be the central sight -- her central secret now
Revealed, unlike her name, to all admitted here?

Or more precisely still, describe the moves and methods
Done to her, undone in her and spun from her
Beneath the lights and looks and lenses
That complicate her love and face, her lunges
That stimulate our frozen senses.

In how many poses, positions and postures
Can orifices and organs stumble and waddle,
Plugging and piercing and probing and pumping
To the beat and the wheeze of the old in and out?
Men gathered in darkness await their pale answers,
Their eyelids in traction while their hands grasp the void.

3.
Twenty-four images flail every second
Suggesting the best way to beat headache pain,
Suggesting a hole to retire, to die in,
To be buried or burned in the funnel of clocks;
Advising one daily to dispense with all dreams
Left broken in childhood where hopes for the future
Dwelt in dim rooms on cold afternoons
With one naked lightbulb whose hands explored shadows
With the ghosts of small candles.
Dispensed with such riches, this cold pleasure we clutch,
Shutting out silence with hands made of marble,
Supporting the sex shops with the flesh of burned peasants.

Ceaseless and useless and chattering streets.
Shops without limit or number or conscience.
Scraping for mica with frozen, torn fingers
To acquire our quota and provide for our pleasures
With those of another, addicted to rations
Of popcorn and playmates and slaughter and puke.

4.
And yet, who escapes it? No one face can be found.
There remains in the center of all our dreamed heavens
That same barren room with no card on the door.
And the streets that slide out from that room
Are all empty, all barren of traffic or children,
Of laughter or new moons or open far fields
Where green paths beneath branches hang glimmered with rain,
Where no one is running, or lounging or loving.

They have all paid their taxes and gone to the theater --
And the theater is empty though they are all present,
And the seats that wait, folded, are spattered with darkness,
For the Feature is finished and only the night
Remains with its daydreams to lull us in slumber.
Shifting our bodies and rising en masse,
We mumbling shuffle from drama to drugs,
And notice in passing the promising placard.

Tomorrow, as always, there will be a fresh show.
Tomorrow more hours immersed in her thighs
Where the boy with blank eyes will ravish the rose.
He will never be older. He refuses to die.



Posted by Vanderleun Jan 13, 2016 2:12 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The State of the Union In One Image plus Essential Equipment If You Accidentally Listen to It

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Plus Obama's special guests
who will be introduced and lauded between rote applause from Congress:

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 12, 2016 10:54 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Eulogy for David Bowie: 1947-2016

Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may God's love be with you

Rest in peace, Starman: A revised version of David Bowie's Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.

[Bowie worked and created right up until his last moments. Here's the eerie, uncompromising, and brave "Lazarus" published on You Tube just days ago....]

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 11, 2016 9:26 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Beasts That We Keep

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If we knew the intent of the beasts that we keep
In the far fields and dark valleys, in the pale light of sleep,
In the marked shards of clay, in papyrus and parchment,
Beneath the brick hearth, in the marks on old bones,
In the marrow of bones, in the plowing of stones
Parting sand furrows where our dreams are pale sparks
In the roots of our nerves, sprouting to thoughts,
To the tee-shirt philosophies of cheap magazines,
And the afternoon shows of electronic dreams,
That drown our blank selves when dredged up from sleep.

If we knew the intent of the beasts that we keep,
We would surely sit senseless, would hide from the sun,
And turn on ourselves the unregistered gun.
If we knew the intent of the beasts that we seek.


If we knew the intent of the beasts which we slay
From couches confessional, in the stone barns of God
Where the soul's soundings echo the light in the sod
To our penitent minds; which illumines our stark
Hearts from within, that dazzles our dark
With His fierce pyrotechnics, with His animate spark
That glows in that womb where all yearning starts,
And yearns for the flare at the top of the arc --
But burns like dead screams flung down in the dark,
Like torches cast deep where drowned Incas decay --

We would know then this life takes place in one day,
That the beasts which we keep are the beasts of our sleep,
Created from dust in the long dusk of God,
That we know the intent of the beasts that we keep.

Note: The item below on Freeing Bandit brought this particular poem from several years ago to mind.



Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2016 8:03 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Freeing Bandit the Bull

Bandit the bull had spent his entire life in a narrow stable without the opportunity to stretch his legs or to enjoy the sunshine. But all that was history when Gut Aiderbichl sanctuary rescued Bandit and gave him a new life.

Take this two-minute break. You'll be the better for it.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 9, 2016 8:24 PM | Comments (26)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems: "Great Balls of Fire"

1958: The Original by The Killer.

You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain
Too much love drives a man insane
You broke my will, oh what a thrill
Goodness gracious great balls of fire!

I learned to love all of Hollywood money
You came along and you moved me honey
I changed my mind, looking fine
Goodness gracious great balls of fire!

Hollywood Burning Piano Version with Dennis Quaid.....

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 9, 2016 6:07 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Tsunami of Mental Disease That Is Drowning Europe

The forced collective suicide of European nations will take guns to reverse. If at all. Either way, guns will decide.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 9, 2016 10:56 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Future Is Now: Blade Runner Replicant Roy Batty's Incept date is 8 January 2016

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.

Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears...in...rain. Time to die.


"Tears in Rain",is a brief monologue delivered by replicant Roy Batty (portrayed by Rutger Hauer) in the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner.
In the documentary Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner, Hauer, director Ridley Scott, and screenwriter David Peoples asserted that Hauer wrote the "Tears in Rain" speech.
There were earlier versions of the speech in Peoples' draft screenplays; one included the sentence "I rode on the back decks of a blinker and watched C-beams glitter in the dark, near the Tannhäuser Gate". In his autobiography, Hauer said he merely cut the original scripted speech by several lines, adding only "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain" although the original script, displayed during the documentary, before Hauer's rewrite, does not mention "Tannhäuser Gate":
I have known adventures, seen places you people will never see, I've been Offworld and back...frontiers! I've stood on the back deck of a blinker bound for the Plutition Camps with sweat in my eyes watching the stars fight on the shoulder of Orion. I've felt wind in my hair, riding test boats off the black galaxies and seen an attack fleet burn like a match and disappear. I've seen it...felt it!
Hauer described this as "opera talk" and "hi-tech speech" with no bearing on the rest of the film, so he "put a knife in it" the night before filming, without Scott's knowledge.
In an interview with Dan Jolin, Hauer said that these final lines showed that Batty wanted to "make his mark on existence ... the replicant in the final scene, by dying, shows Deckard what a real man is made of." When Hauer performed the scene, the film crew applauded and some even cried. -- La Wik



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 7, 2016 7:53 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Moxie

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Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We’d put on our best bib and tucker and straighten up and fly right. Hubba-hubba! We’d cut a rug in some juke joint and then go necking and petting and smooching and spooning and billing and cooing and pitching woo in hot rods and jalopies in some passion pit or lovers’ lane. Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers. Oh, my aching back. Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore.

Poof, poof, poof go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink, and they’re gone, evanesced from the landscape and wordscape of our perception, like Mickey Mouse wristwatches, hula hoops, skate keys, candy cigarettes, little wax bottles of colored sugar water and an organ grinder’s monkey.

Where have all those phrases gone? Long time passing. Where have all those phrases gone? Long time ago: Pshaw. The milkman did it. Think about the starving Armenians. Bigger than a bread box. Banned in Boston. The very idea! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Turn-of-the-century. Iron curtain. Domino theory. Fail safe. Civil defense. Fiddlesticks! You look like the wreck of the Hesperus. Cooties. Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Heavens to Murgatroyd! And awa-a-ay we go!

Oh, my stars and garters!

Excerpt From Old Words And Phrases Remind Us Of The Way We Word | Richard Lederer's Verbivore Via HappyAcres



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 6, 2016 5:54 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Golden Ratio: When Life Imitates Art

The photo of New Year’s debauchery that’s being compared to Renaissance art: There was “The School of Athens,” “The Wedding at Cana,” and now, “The Creation of Manchester.”

The photo was taken by Joel Goodman, a Manchester-based freelance photographer with an ongoing documentary interest in what he calls the “night time economy.” He was out with his camera New Year’s Eve when he chanced upon the scene on Well Street. “This moment came together, random happenstance—the man on the ground, the girl trying to help him,” said Goodman. “It fell together as a frame at that moment.”

This....

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From this....

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 6, 2016 9:02 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: So the bride's father says to the groom....



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 5, 2016 6:18 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Trumpening

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Thousands and thousands packed into arena in Lowell, MA, for Donald Trump's rally.

This is what the crowd looked like per WaPo's Jenna Johnson. The building — named after the late Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas (D) — holds 8,000 people, and local officials were estimating that it was filled to capacity or beyond. That is a MASSIVE amount of people — especially considering that the high temperature in Lowell yesterday was 29 degrees and Trump's rally didn't start until the evening. This is what the line to get in looked like. - - The Washington Post

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 5, 2016 8:13 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On Assault Rifles -- A Guest post by B. Chandler

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As a preface I will note that I was in high school in 1996 when our laws came down, and at that time owned no guns for anyone to pry from my cold, dead hands.

The common conception of how an assault weapon ban will pan out in America usually follows the same inscrutable logic. The Feds will ban the weapons and the citizens will revolt. Truth, Justice and the American way will be restored. The end.

I would offer an alternative. It's less patriotic, there's no swelling crescendo of "from sea to shining sea", and there's no happy ending. Thus it's completely impossible. I offer it none-the-less.

After some run of the mill atrocity "that happens nowhere in the world but the USA" the Feds manage to pass a law banning "assault rifles". There is a generous buyback included, paid for by the federal money spigot. They know only a few guns will be handed in initially so it's more than affordable.

A thousand legal battles will be launched but they will take time to come to fruition and the government is not bound to wait until the result comes out in the wash.

Meanwhile there will be a groundswell of protest. People will march in the streets with their ARs and AKs. No matter. The buy-back amnesty runs for six months. Nobody is breaking the law. Meanwhile other more important factors are coming into play.

Immediately noticeable is the disappearance of online trading in the banned articles. The guns themselves. Magazines for said guns. Etc. Companies like Cheaper Than Dirt can be easily bankrupted by court orders to cease and desist trade. They will not martyr themselves. Gun ranges, also typically being business entities, will no sooner allow you to arrive with banned assault weapons than they would allow you to bring in a pound of cocaine. "Just give the courts some time work it out, Joe", they'll say. Some ranges will shrug off the rules. Nothing will come of it. Not until later.

Similarly, larger companies that manufacture such guns are now either forced to go back to building bolt action rifles or go to work for the government. Back room deals will be made. Nobody will be out so much as a dollar. "Just go along quietly. After all. If the American people want freedom then it doesn't fall to Remington to drag them to it kicking and screaming."

The months will tick by. The protests will start to dwindle in number and attendance. The amnesty is still in effect and many are starting to wonder how this thing is going to go down. After all. Nobody has started shooting so far, at least as far as the mainstream media is saying, and can you really trust those Alex jones types?

boxcuter.jpgJoe Average is starting to wonder if he really wants to bury several thousand dollars of guns. After all, they're fetching top dollar in private sales. Consequently many Joe Averages divest themselves of any skin they had in the game. In any case, they still have their deer rifle and their .45, and that's enough to fight tyranny, right?

The hour draws nigh. The amnesty is drawing to a close. Finally, federal tyranny will have to bare it's teeth and be put down like the monster it is. The protests fire back up. Cold, dead hands, etc etc!

The amnesty is extended for another three months. The cycle begins anew. By the second extension of the amnesty the assault rifle owners have become quite drawn and haggard. Nobody is kicking in their doors and they're getting tired of perpetually attending protests or talking tough on the internet. By the time the final extension peters out the protests are lackluster.

True enough, there are still a LOT of assault rifles in circulation. The majority of them in fact. Many have since been buried. Many sit by bedsides or other handy locations, awaiting the inevitable jack boot of tyranny to come stomping. Their owners grimly await a valiant death in defense of liberty.

They are left waiting.

Protests continue, albeit on a smaller scale. People photographed at such gatherings with illegal weapons start to lose their jobs or their contracts. "Can't be seen to associate with people flaunting the law, you understand." No crackdowns required.

Meanwhile trade in the guns and their parts is closed save for the black market. What breaks or wears down has to be replaced by hand or not at all. Internet forum moderators studiously ban all talk of such things. They can be shut down easily if they were seen to be aiding and abetting lawlessness. Videos on Youtube and other video hosting websites that contain footage of the weapons in anything other than a blatantly historical context are removed, "just to be on the safe side".

Only a few brave bloggers are left to post such content as they are able, and they will later be rounded up by their internet service providers as would be someone caught posting risque pictures of children. No top-down federal tyranny required. The SWAT teams continue playing cards to pass the time.

By this stage the various cases have wound their way through the Supreme Court. If the ban is overturned then a few words in the legislation will be tweaked and it will be passed again. The slowing of momentum would require sophisticated equipment to detect. In any case, no company is going to bet the farm on retooling to ramp up supply of guns that might be illegal in another six months.

As time ticks by we will see an all too familiar story recurring across the nation.

An anonymous call from a concerned neighbor will have the police knocking on Joe Average's door at 3 in the morning. "Domestic dispute", they'll say, "you have to let us in".

"I live alone", he might reply.

"We have to verify that", they will counter.

The rest is inevitable. Either Joe has hidden his gun(s) exceptionally well at short notice or he's going to find himself dead to rights. Maybe he's buried his guns in preparation for the day when he get's the memo from the ghost of Guy Fawkes instructing him to dig them up and RSVP for the revolution scheduled for Tuesday-week. Those guns thus buried will be fodder for future archaeologists.

Most likely, Joe will long have come to hate that gun. It will burn in his presence like the beating of Edgar Allen Poe's Tell-tale Heart. Chances are he'll toss it in the river or sell it to some shady character down at the bar, if not by his own determination then by the insistence of his wife.

"Anonymous tip leads to discovery of illegal weapon cache" will be the mainstream media cliche for a decade. The inference will be that the person in question is either a terrorist or a gang member. Their life will be turned upsidown. If they plead guilty then they get to go home and live out their lives as a convicted felon with a suspended sentence.

The few that try to fight the charges will end up in federal prison as an example to the rest. Their fate will be lamented by internet patriots for five minutes per occurrence, during which many will tout the fact that they'll never give up their deer rifles, such being the necessary tool to defeat Federal tyranny.

Others will shrug their shoulders.

"We may not like it, but it's the law...

We live in a democracy...

Yadda yadda yadda..."

By the 20 year mark a new generation will come of age wondering how it was ever possible for people to legally own such deadly and dangerous weapons.

The odd AR or AK will turn up in grand-dad's wardrobe after he shuffles off this mortal coil and the lawful ownership of such weapons in the USA will end not with a bang but with a whimper.

Nobody has a crystal ball but you can reliably bet that while you have clean(ish) water, electricity, beer and television that the second amendment will only be diluted further. Ask the typical infantry grunt back from Fallujah how much of his kit he'd be allowed to legally own off-base without special federal permission slips.



Postscript:
It was not my intention to impugn the gun owners of America as cowards or fools. My intention was only to give an example of how the fight you expect is not always the fight you get. If I were to add anything it would be this:
Americans, as with all people of formerly free Western democracies ought to prepare for the possibility that their back will never be put against the wall en masse. That there will be no great peril that makes brothers in arms of those who were formally mere neighbours and acquaintances. That no definable moment will tip the scales or "cross the line".

Edmund Burke said "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."

Every militia, every army and every nation can trace its history back to a single point in time when two men looked each other in the eye and agreed not to fall "one by one". Then two became four, four became eight, and so forth.

Start associating. Because by the time you're waiting for them at your doorstep it's already too late.


[HT: Ol' Remus and the Woodpile Report. Republished by kind permission of the author.]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 5, 2016 12:11 AM | Comments (21)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Trump Ad Numero Uno: Smart Enough to Use Black and White

Commentary by Scott Adams at Dilbert:

My overall grade for the ad is A++++. It might go down in history as one of the best political ads of all time. I’ll break it down.

1. It is horrifingly racist FEELING to some people, and scary, and that is enough to keep it in the news and click-worthy forever. Literally. Your great-grandkids will be studying this ad in history class. This is an intentional part of the ad’s design, and perfectly executed.

2. The best part of the persuasion is cleverly concealed in all that noise. The most active part is the part you probably think is nothing but bad writing. It sounds too folksy, and out of place against the seriousness of the background images. That’s why those words stick out like a dollar on the sidewalk. Here is the active part of the persuasion:

“…until we figure out what’s going on.”
Trump’s First Ad (Master Persuader Filter) | Scott Adams Blog



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 4, 2016 5:15 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
“I don’t know how you’re voting but Trump is speaking the truth.”

Anecdotal:

A shy, childless, retired Romanian couple moved nearby a few years ago. They somehow fled Romania before the Iron Curtain came down, worked as electronics engineers in Silicon Valley for several decades, and then decided to move out here in the country - where they knew no one. And have no idea what to do with the horse arenas, barns, and paddocks they bought.

They are very likeable, Sergio & Lucia, but reserved. You sense life in the old country stamped them hard, so they keep their cards close to their vest. Any topic that might reveal a political or social orientation is met with silence.

Anyhow, when I returned home yesterday there was beautifully wrapped holiday cake & candy on the porch, with the card signed Lucia. Quite unexpected and without explanation.

A few minutes ago I dropped by to thank them. Lucia opens the door with a mouthful of food – over her shoulder I see they are eating with guests – and I decline her invitation to step in, so she steps out, closing the door behind her.

After expressing my thanks, she looks at me real hard, like she’s trying to read my soul, and a torrent of Romanian-accented English bursts out:

“We’ve got to stick together in these times. It’s crazy. Neighbor must support neighbor.” She meshes her fingers together. “I don’t know how you’re voting but Trump is speaking the truth.”

She looks at me hard again to see how I react. And I’m thinking I interrupted an impassioned dinner conversation and she’s continuing it here on the stoop.

“The appearance of Trump has revealed that the other guys are not conservative. They are attacking him. They are showing their true colors. They are not conservatives. They’ve been revealed. We know who they are now.”

I nodded.

“The future of this country is at stake. We have to stick together. Come visit Sergio & me later this week.” From Anecdotal @ HappyAcres



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 4, 2016 4:59 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
High Tech War Concepts Via the Israeli Air Force

מדע בדיוני?או מציאות במלחמות הבאות?

Posted by ‎דיווח ראשוני‎ on Monday, December 7, 2015

HT: Curmudgeonly & Skeptical presents Boned Jello



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 4, 2016 11:16 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Found on the Net: Anonymous Rejection of Social Justice Warriors

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I take zero credit for writing this because I most certainly did not. It is just making the rounds on the intertubes today.

“We are fighting to end hate, to unite as one and love each other. We are fighting to be treated right without discrimination and for everyone to have equal opportunities.”

Bullshit. You have no quantifiable metrics for injustice, so you have no victory conditions (for a very simplified example, when blacks hold X% of all engineering jobs and are only Y% of all prisoners, racism is ended). That would be fine by itself, but you believe in fighting injustice with injustice (gays have historically been denied gay marriage? let’s get random CEOs fired for opinions they held six years ago). You don’t seek converts, you seek to punish and bully – straight white males who disagree with you must be purged and publicly humiliated. Even the jihadists will spare you if you convert; no apology or future correction will satisfy a SJW.

I could forgive that too if you weren’t all hypocrites and liars. Your treatment of women and minority dissenters is appalling; if they don’t want you acting on their behalf, that’s their choice, not “internalized patriarchy” or whatever. You rob them of moral agency. When called out for these behaviors (as you always insist on calling out others), you lie. You strawman your opponents (criticized a woman? misogynist!), you group them with the worst (you’re a gamer? you’re as bad as the anonymous rape threateners!) and when confronted with your own flaws, you restate them less threateningly (motte and bailey argument). You phrase all arguments as kafkatraps (disagreeing with your assertion that we are evil is taken as proof that we’re evil). You publish manipulated and misleading statistics, then lambast anyone who questions them.

You insist on vigilante justice against random acts of the week for your two-minutes hate. Why is it the NFL’s business to punish domestic violence? And, if it is their business, why isn’t Hope Solo receiving the same attention from your side?

Then you claim to be arguing for equality, but you’ve taken the idea of racism (hatred based on skin color is bad) and replaced it with a new concept where only one race can be guilty of racism. You excuse racial prejudice and hatred based on what I’ve already explained are arbitrary, unmeasured states of being. Your solution for the unequal treatment of whites and blacks is to hold whites to a higher standard. Your side lobbied the FBI to redefine rape so more women victims would be counted, but also so that “made to penetrate” does not count, leaving male victims in the cold. Because male privilege, apparently.

Historically ignorant SJWs think whites hold collective guilt for the awful things our ancestors have done. But they don’t care about the unspeakable atrocities by other races. The only difference between whites and others was that whites had the social and technological prowess to do evil efficiently; Africans, Asians, Indians, and everyone else practiced genocide and slavery, they were just less adept at doing it right. Given the means, they would have done the same. But nope, only whites are guilty; Arab oppression of blacks and caucasians never happened, not to us, nope.

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in America, so this shit is new to me. But I’m descended from puritans, and I know my history; I know how they treated dissent. I also know how commies treated dissent; I grew up next door to a grizzled old Russian who barely avoided the gulag by smuggling himself out of the country. I know what you petty tyrants have turned into every time you gained enough power.

Worst of all, you turn the very principles of freedom against us. We tolerate you because we believe in free speech and civil discourse, not bullying and violence. But that means we have to watch you advocate against that very freedom. We don’t believe in ruining a stranger’s professional life over an opinion, but that means that we can’t punish your actions.

We believe that the rightness of our actions should speak for itself. You believe in bullying, even as you claim to love the oppressed.

Funny how the evil and all-powerful patriarchy has seen fit to act according to SJW whims for all of recent memory, punishing those they hate and protecting those they love. Funny how the evil oppressor males have to speak anonymously, while the SJWs fighting the power can use their real names and get mainstream media coverage for fun and profit. How when a million straight white male nerds get bullied, no one cares, but the minute one fag hangs himself, suddenly bullying matters – and the solution, of course, is more bullying, but by the “right” people.

That’s the arrogant core of it. You do the same evil, in the same pattern, as so many before you, because mob justice, punishing dissent, and repression of others is just fine and dandy so long as the “right” people are doing it to the “wrong” people.

Eat shit and die. All I ever asked was to be left alone.

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 3, 2016 7:30 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Be Wery, Wery, Qwiet. We're Hunting Wabbits:" Mauser Made a 1,000m Rifle

Lots of uses for a 1,000 meter shot in the coming year:

When a customer complained to Mauser that its M12 rifle is 'not fit for purpose', Mauser's Robert Sajitz wanted to know why. What is wrong? Can Mauser fix it? the answer is yes - and it is easier than the experts at Mauser thought. The customer said that the rifle was incapable of shooting at 1,000 metres. Well, that's a long way further than Mauser expected. So Mauser added a rail that allowed a 1,000-metre shot. but is the rifle up to it. We ask long-range expert Andrew Venables of WMS Firearms Training. h e puts it up against a standard .338 Lapua sniper rifle on one of his big ranges in West Wales.

HT Never Yet Melted



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 3, 2016 11:37 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Cheap Thrills: "Just put 10,000 sparklers in a pot and light ’em up! "

"With me was my cheerful nephew and sad companion who walked in circles to stay warm."

Via Never Yet Melted サ Why Didn't I Think of This?



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 2, 2016 11:58 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In the End, Guns Will Decide: "Today I picked up my Mossberg 500 Tactical 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip and a short barrel. It is not for game. I hate hunting."

Woke up this mornin'
Got yourself a gun
Mama always said you'd be the chosen one
She said, 'You're one in a million
You got to burn to shine'
That you were born under a bad sign
With a blue moon in your eyes

But you're one in a million
'Cause you got that shotgun shine
Shame about it, born under a bad sign
With a blue moon in your eyes

The Church and Scripture teach “thou shalt not kill” certainly, but that commandment refers to the “innocent and the righteous.”

Someone coming at you with murderous intent is neither innocent nor righteous. The Church teaches it is not only your right to defend yourself and your duty to defend others, even unto his death. We shoot not to kill but rather to preserve innocent life, ours and others. If the aggressor is killed, this is not intended but still allowed. The gun I bought is primarily for home-defense, even though we live in a very safe neighborhood, and our house is wired up with an alarm system. Still, I think it is my responsibility to have a weapon at home to protect my family from whatever threat may come down the street or through a window some night. Today I picked up my Mossberg 500 Tactical 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip and a short barrel. It is not for game. I hate hunting.
With my Mossberg 500, I stand in solidarity with them and with what I view as a very healthy gun culture in the United States. Our gun culture is one of the things that makes us like unto our forefathers who knew we must be willing and able to, individually and with others, defend our lives and even our rights. That the Europeans do not understand this is yet another reason to buy a gun.
But my reasons go beyond home-defense and solidarity. They are also political. I bought a gun, Obama, and there is not a damn thing you can do about it. My gun is a statement to all those like him who hate the Constitution. This is who we are as a people, utterly unlike that continent of Europeans who have outsourced their own defense to Americans for more than half a century.
Like you, I rely on social order and social structures to defend me and my family against danger. But, I am no longer sure we can rely exclusively on those. I am no longer willing to count myself among the weak, the trusting, or children who rely exclusively on others to protect them and theirs. I think of all those innocents who have been gunned down in mass shootings by nuts or Jihadists and I wonder how many of them in their dying moments wished they had a gun.Today I Bought a Gun - Crisis Magazine



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 1, 2016 4:24 PM | Comments (24)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Prediction 2016: "It Gets Worse"

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 1, 2016 10:02 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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