Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Something Wonderful: Guy Dresses Up as His Dog’s Favorite Chew Toy



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 31, 2016 2:20 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The More Things Change, the More They Remain Insane: Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, 1925

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California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 31, 2016 12:57 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
"He Wasn't In His Right Mind"

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"All of the victims were shot in their heads
and all but McGowan were shot in their beds,"
Doyle said.

"The beds were undisturbed.
The house itself was undisturbed,"
Doyle said.

"There were no signs
of a break-in,"
Doyle said.

-- No Motive Found in California Murders

Above, the unintentional "found poetry" of a local murder in Garner Valley, California. Exceptional enough to be brought to the ever shortening attention span of the nation because the toll was unusually high: David, Father, age 42 -- believed dead by his own hand; Chase, son, age 14; Paige, daughter, age 10; Raine, daughter, age 8; Karen, wife and mother, age 42; Karen's mother, no name or age given in the report.

We learn that a "911 dispatcher didn't hear any voices on the line, but was able to identify the sounds of the telephone hitting the wall and a gunshot." We learn that the father's body was found next to a handgun and a phone. We learn that "this community is in no danger. We are not at this time looking for a suspect." We learn that the town is really quiet and that, "A lot could happen right next door and you wouldn't even know it."

We don't learn if the standard spontaneous shrine of flowers, balloons, stuffed animals and children's art and crayoned notes has been erected at the edge of the police tape in front of the home, but we know it will be, and it will remain until the rains wash away.

We won't learn, unless we live in that small town, the "why" of it all.

We probably could know, in time, the why of it all if we became interested in this common killing, exceptional only for its body count. We could learn if we followed the ever-shrinking national news reports down to the local level. We could, we think, learn why if we followed the reports on through the inquest and into the six graves that wait after all the bodies are autopsied by the men who spend their lives
"Working on mysteries
Without any clues.."

We could know why, but we won't bother to find out. No need really. We already think two things that keep us from needing to know. First, we think that we do know what happened in the house. Second, we know -- because it happened in that house -- it will never happen in our house.

We know it will never happen in our house because, as humans, we have an almost limitless ability to forget any hint of 'could' when it comes to horror. In those few moments when our forgetfulness fails us, we remain secure in our belief that we would never do such things to those we love. We know to an absolute certainty that anyone who could must not have been "in his right mind."

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 31, 2016 3:34 AM | Comments (89)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dubious Halloween Costumes

When you see these at your door.... run.

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Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 31, 2016 3:15 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hitchhiking in the Land of the Dead

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Pull up a chair and sit a spell. Death's in residence on my block

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die
To cease upon the midnight with no pain....

-- Keats, Ode to a Nightingale

Once upon a time, when Europe could be had at $5 a day, I found myself hitchhiking on the freezing plains of Spain just outside of Madrid. Car after car swept past me, the winds in their wakes chilling me further. This was very disconcerting since I had with me my fail-safe ride generator, a hot hippie girlfriend (Think a good-looking Janis Joplin.) My ride generator had never failed me before but on this day she was generating zero rides even though the traffic on the road was heavy. Then I noticed two things.

First there seemed to be no trucks on the road. Second, the cars that huffed past us were filled to the gills with whole Spanish families bearing vast bouquets of flowers. And all those Spaniards looked, to the last, very grim.

After a few futile hours, we made our way -- walking -- a few kilometers down the road to a truck stop where, using my pidgin Spanish, the mystery of the ride drought was solved. It seemed that we were trying to get to Barcelona on one of the most holy days of the Spanish year -- All Saints Day, or as we have it here in America, Halloween.

The Spanish tradition on this day is for the whole family to load up the car with flowers and other offerings and haul off to the local graveyard for a visit and picnic with the dearly departed. After that many go off to a traditional performance of Spain's Faustian epic Don Juan Tenario in which the final act takes place in a cemetery. On this holy day in Spain we had almost zero chance of getting a ride anywhere other than the local graveyard. Chastened, we made our way back to Madrid by bus and set out the next day with much better luck.

What remains in my memory from watching the parade of cars on that long-lost Spanish highway is just how dour and serious the Spanish were on their Halloween. They weren't fooling around with death, but taking it at its word. They not only believed in death they also, in their prayers and rituals and their traditional play, believed that what you do in life determines how you will be treated in the afterlife. They had, at bottom, that adamantine belief that is the pearl beyond price of the Catholics. But even if you were to strip away the 2000 years of dogma, these people still had the one thing that more and more Americans lack at the core of their lives: a belief in something greater than themselves, a belief in something greater than man, greater than death.

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 31, 2016 2:40 AM | Comments (33)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Meanwhile, in der Führerbunker: Hitler Learns the FBI Reopened the Investigation

"I'll get Bill and Anthony fixed at a group rate."

HT:Meanwhile, In The Bunker… | Western Rifle Shooters Association



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 30, 2016 10:38 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
It's A Cold Sunday Midnight in Late October. The Storm Is Passing Overhead. The Dawn Delays. Hold Fast.

¡Oh noche, que guiaste,
¡oh noche amable más que el alborada6!,
oh noche, que juntaste
amado con amada,
amada en el amado transformada!

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 30, 2016 12:14 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Bitch

bitchinsidewhite_819342_thumb.jpgThey didn’t want to turn her on but they did. I never want to turn her on but I do. After they had turned her on for awhile they grew tired of listening to her. After listening to her for even ten seconds I’m enraged by her. Somewhere along the long road to their duck hunting camp they named her “The Bitch” and turned her off. At random points on any road I drive I want to throw “The Bitch” out the window and run over her until she’s nothing but a flat black splotch on the asphalt.

“The Bitch” has her uses. She’s helped me find my way to unknown destinations and out of places where I’m hopelessly lost. It doesn’t matter. I hate the very thought of her. She’s the worst nag since Eve made Adam slap on the fig leaf and remarked on how small it was. She’s Lilith and Delilah and the “What-ever Girl.” She’s the most passive-aggressive talker since the last speech by Barack Obama. She’s “The Bitch.”

It’s not what "The Bitch" does and doesn’t do but the voice of "The Bitch" that instantly sets my teeth on fire. It’s so pale and distantly grating that it draws me into a conversation even though I’ve got nothing to say to "The Bitch" and she isn’t listening.

“In sixth tenths of a mile, turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you.”

“Got it.”

“In two tenths of a mile turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you.”

“I said I’ve got it.”

“Turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you.”

“Shut up. Just SHUT UP! I GOT IT. I GOT IT! Here, just to show you I’ll turn LEFT on ‘Mac Graw Av-en-you,’ bitch.”

And I turn left just to spite her and get about ten yards up the street when I hear her say the one thing that makes me want to strangle her with her charging cord:

“Re-cal-que-lating….”

Recalculating? Shit. Here it comes….

“In two tenths of a mile turn left on Harper and then turn left to Queen Anne Av-en-you… In sixth tenths of a mile, turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you….”

Nag, nag, nag…. Short of pulling the plug nothing, but nothing, will shut “The Bitch” up. I don’t know what sort of market research came up with the voice of “The Bitch” as the optimum voice for a GPS unit, but I suspect knew what they were doing all along. They were looking for the optimum voice that would drive men out of their minds. And they succeeded. Sadists.

For added insanity, try handing the bitch to a woman who's driving with you and have her tell you what “The Bitch” is saying at the same time “The Bitch” is saying it. No jury of 12 men would convict.

And don't tell me to reset “The Bitch” to that English Accent choice. She's just bitchier with the bright tang of British smarm smeared on top. She's “The Brit Bitch.”

I hate “The Bitch.” I hate her every time I hear her say “Re-cal-que-lating….” I’ve been known to set her destination to “Home,” and then get on the freeway and drive fifty miles in the other direction… just to hear her ever more passive-aggressive and faintly irritated plaint of “Re-cal-que-lating….” every time I pass an off-ramp.

She’s “The Bitch” now and forever. No other female voice can even hope to come close to her voice. It is seared, SEARED, into my memory.

One of these days I’m going to take a very long drive into the heart of Death Valley and dump her. I’d do it today if I didn’t need her so much.

A summer rerun from 2009



Posted by Vanderleun Oct 29, 2016 6:41 AM | Comments (49)  | QuickLink: Permalink
America's Moment Of Truth



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 28, 2016 6:39 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Plato's 'Tyranny'

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In Book VIII of his Republic, Plato uses a fictitious conversation between his teacher Socrates and Adeimantus to explain how democracies devolve into tyrannies:

Socrates continues by claiming that democracies are transformed into tyrannies when the city becomes “drunk” with freedom; and that unless the leaders are able to provide more and more of it, they are punished by the people, and become accused of being “accursed oligarchs”.
He further states that the city “insults those who obey the rulers as willing slaves and good-for-nothings, and praises and honors, both in public and in private, rulers who behave like subjects and subjects who behave as rulers.” And once freedom has been extended to all lengths of the city, and makes its way into the private households, it ends up breeding anarchy throughout, even among the animals.
It causes a father to behave “like a child and fear his sons, while the son behaves like a father, feeling neither shame nor fear in front of his parents, in order to be free.” Furthermore, “a resident alien or a foreign visitor is made equal to a citizen, and he is their equal.”
Socrates goes on to say that, “a teacher in such a community is afraid of his students and flatters them, while the students despise their teachers or tutors. And in general, the young imitate their elders and compete with them in word or deed, while the old stoop to the level of the young and are full of play and pleasantry imitating the young for fear of appearing disagreeable and authoritarian.”
When freedom is extended to its utmost lengths, there is no inequality between parents and their children, teachers and their students, and ruler and their subjects; nor is there any inequality between men and women, or masters and slaves. Even the animals become free, for as Socrates states, “no one who hasn’t experienced it would believe how much freer domestic animals are in a democratic city than anywhere else.”
He sums up his characterization of how far freedom comes to be extended in a democracy by saying that the citizens’ souls become so sensitive that, “if anyone even puts upon himself the least degree of slavery, they become angry and cannot endure it. And in the end… they take no notice of the laws, whether written, or unwritten, in order to avoid having any master at all.”
This, then, is the “fine and impetuous origin from which tyranny seems to evolve.” As such, “extreme freedom can’t be expected to lead to anything but a change to extreme slavery, whether for a private individual or for a city.” An entitled population that makes increasing demands of their leaders? Check. WOW! ! | Intellectual Takeout



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 28, 2016 3:07 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Oh Sweet Lorraine

This will make your day/week/month/year:

The most genuine country song you’ll hear all year came from the least likely songwriter. Reeling from the death of his wife of 72 years in May, Fred Stobaugh, 96, sought a way to deal with his grief and loneliness. Despite lacking any musical experience, he could hear the song he wanted to sing to her—the melody, the lyrics, the longing refrain—just beyond his reach. The Daily Dot

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 27, 2016 11:37 AM | Comments (21)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Small Fires In the Deep

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Bioluminescent bacteria occur nearly everywhere, and probably most spectacularly as the rare "milky sea" phenomenon, particularly in the Indian Ocean where mariners report steaming for hours through a sea glowing with a soft white light as far as the eye can see. -- The Bioluminescence Page

There is another world above this one; or outside of this one; the way to it is thru the smoke of this one, & the hole that smoke goes through. The ladder is the way through the smoke hole; the ladder holds up, some say, the world above; it might have been a tree or pole; I think it is merely a way. -- Gary Snyder- Through the Smoke Hole

These days she wakes before dawn. The sound of the automatic coffee grinder and its aroma is her alarm. Before first light today, out on the deck overlooking the Pacific, she was gazing at the sea and saw, across the flat miles of ocean stretching out to Catalina, bright flashes come and go like wet fireworks exploding under the waves. Binoculars brought the flashes closer but didn't explain them. They were scattered all across the wide water except where the full moon sliding down the sky towards the western horizon smoothed a bright white band across the slate sea.

Later, when he woke, she brought him out on the deck to see the place where she'd witnessed this strange antediluvian light show. After a few more minutes he noticed that, in the rising light, large patches of the sea were dark, as if secret islands had risen just beneath the surface. Secret until his 'compulsion to explain the mysterious' arose.

"It's most likely a large algae bloom," he claimed. "When it was dark and the algae was stirred up by waves, breaking combers probably excited and concentrated the algae. What you saw was bioluminescence."

"Bioluminescence," she said. "That's such a fine, soft word."

They watched the dark islands under the surface of the sea for awhile longer and he wished he'd seen the flashes in the pre-dawn dark.

Toward the end of his life, Carl Sagan wrote a book about how most of humanity still lives in a "demon-haunted world;" and how science drives us relentlessly out of the dark oceans of our ignorance until, like some stump-legged fish, we scramble gasping onto the thin, dry strands of our knowledge about the truth of this world.

One of those strands in his mind was 'knowing' that the miracle of rush lights within the ocean was caused by the phenomenon we label "bioluminescence."

Mystery seen, mystery solved.

Wonder summed by science, our youngest and most robust religion. A religion whose prime attraction is to transubstantiate the miraculous with the dependable; whose creed reverses the Eucharist by rendering the body and blood of God into bland bread and indifferent wine.

He'd long been a lay member of this fresh, muscular faith whose liturgies are written in arcane symbols of mathematics rather than arcane phrases of Latin. As a lay member and mere acolyte his understanding of science is as shallow as his faith in science is adamantine. He has worshiped the Saints Einstein, Darwin, Newton, and Bohr. He has believed that in time all will be known and, when all is known, all will be explained and all mystery resolved. He has not yet read The Testament of the Unified Field, but he hopes to before he dies and rejoins that Unified Field as empty matter glowing in the dark. Some of our current priests growing old in the quest assure him that he will. They currently hope to hunt Higgs-Boson to its burrow.

Yet still he wonders. Still he persists in his scientific heresy.

He wonders, "When we explain what we experience in life in the steel language of science, do we drive the mystery out or merely mix more mystery in?"

Sometimes he answers, "Perhaps neither. Perhaps what we do, through our relentless human need to explain, is to simply dive, as blindly as fish born deep below the light, ever deeper into the miracle. Perhaps we dive deep in the hope that the light from our minds and souls will, on some immensely distant day, grow large enough and bright enough to illuminate one crest of one wave rising once only out of the darkness. And that something, somewhere else in the immense darkness in which we dwell, will see our small fire and answer."

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 27, 2016 10:41 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Please Re-Elect Gerald

With all the national insanity, we sometimes forget that local campaigns have ads too.

"Gerald really doesn't have any hobbies...."


[HT: Between the Radials]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 26, 2016 9:24 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Trump's People: Michael Moore's Monologue Redone As a Trump Campaign Ad

"Trump's Election Will Be The Biggest Fuck You Ever Recorded In Human History" - Michael Moore

[HT: Hillary (No, not the nasty one, the nice one.)]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 26, 2016 10:42 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And I say to myself, what a wonderful world....

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Cherry Blossoms Paint A Lake Purple Making Tokyo Look Like A Fairytale | Tokyo-based photographer Danilo Dungo uses drones to take stunning pictures of Japanese cherry blossoms. Every spring, he goes to the Inokashira Park to admire the blossoms, and while regular photography capture the park’s beauty, the drones reveal something else altogether.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 25, 2016 10:30 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Res ipsa loquitur.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 25, 2016 9:52 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Michael Moore: "Trump's election will be the biggest F*CK YOU in human history"
I know a lot of people in Michigan that are planning to vote for Trump and they don't necessarily agree with him. They're not racist or redneck, they're actually pretty decent people and so after talking to a number of them I wanted to write this.
Donald Trump came to the Detroit Economic Club and stood there in front of Ford Motor executives and said "if you close these factories as you're planning to do in Detroit and build them in Mexico, I'm going to put a 35% tariff on those cars when you send them back and nobody's going to buy them." It was an amazing thing to see. No politician, Republican or Democrat, had ever said anything like that to these executives, and it was music to the ears of people in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - the "Brexit" states.
You live here in Ohio, you know what I'm talking about. Whether Trump means it or not, is kind of irrelevant because he's saying the things to people who are hurting, and that's why every beaten-down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump. He is the human Molotov Cocktail that they've been waiting for; the human hand grande that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them. And on November 8, although they lost their jobs, although they've been foreclose on by the bank, next came the divorce and now the wife and kids are gone, the car's been repoed, they haven't had a real vacation in years, they're stuck with the shitty Obamacare bronze plan where you can't even get a fucking percocet, they've essentially lost everything they had except one thing - the one thing that doesn't cost them a cent and is guaranteed to them by the American constitution: the right to vote.
They might be penniless, they might be homeless, they might be fucked over and fucked up it doesn't matter, because it's equalized on that day - a millionaire has the same number of votes as the person without a job: one. And there's more of the former middle class than there are in the millionaire class. So on November 8 the dispossessed will walk into the voting booth, be handed a ballot, close the curtain, and take that lever or felt pen or touchscreen and put a big fucking X in the box by the name of the man who has threatened to upend and overturn the very system that has ruined their lives: Donald J Trump.
They see that the elite who ruined their lives hate Trump. Corporate America hates Trump. Wall Street hates Trump. The career politicians hate Trump. The media hates Trump, after they loved him and created him, and now hate. Thank you media: the enemy of my enemy is who I'm voting for on November 8.
Yes, on November 8, you Joe Blow, Steve Blow, Bob Blow, Billy Blow, all the Blows get to go and blow up the whole goddamn system because it's your right. Trump's election is going to be the biggest fuck ever recorded in human history and it will feel good.
Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 25, 2016 10:06 AM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Multikultistan: A house of horrors for ordinary Germans

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“Clearly, Germany is now well beyond the banana republic phase and has entered the realm of patsydom. ”

“Thanks to Wikileaks we now have in our possession an extraordinary document. It was not written by anyone in the Clinton campaign, but was sent to her campaign manager, Jon Podesta. The author was a Dutch journalist/academic named Orca. Presumably Podesta commissioned it.” Had Enough Therapy?: "Multikultistan:" The Price of Muslim Immigration in Europe

An excerpt from Special Report from February for John Podesta, Clinton Campaign manager, as revealed in Wikileaks.

From:orca100@upcmail.nl
To: podesta@law.georgetown.edu
Date: 2016-02-21 00:51
Subject: Multikultistan: A house of horrors for ordinary Germans

Britain is something of the odd man out in immigration-devastated Europe, having also received large numbers of successful non-Western immigrants such as Hindus/Sikhs and Chinese. By sharp contrast, the UK's Muslims, blacks, Roma and other problem immigrant groups do no better than those on the Continent, as I will show with statistics at a later date.

Muslim Immigration and Multicultural Madness have left a trail of misery and mayhem across Germany - with far worse to come because of demographics· Muslims make up only 9% of Berlin's population, yet account for 70% of young repeat criminals, revealed Berlin public prosecutor Roman Reusch

SPIEGEL INTERVIEW DISPUTE: "The problem will explode" - DER SPIEGEL 19/2007.

To be more precise, 46% of Berlin's juvenile serial criminals are of Arab descent, while 33% of them have Turkish ancestry

Youth crime - BZ Berlin.

In an un-German display of harsh-truth telling, Reusch said in Der Spiegel that "in parts [of Berlin], the population consist almost exclusively of problem cases." As he tells it, immigrant children as young as six or seven years old turn to crime and grow up to see honest hard-working people as targets - walking sources of easy money. German society is completely powerless in the face of growing ruthless violence and crime.

To describe the German police and criminal-justice system as a big joke would be unfair to big jokes. You won't be surprised to hear that the outspoken public prosecutor has meanwhile been sacked from his job and banned from talking to the media.·

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The German police admits that large immigrant areas of Berlin, Hamburg, the Ruhr Area, etc. have become police no-go areas, where criminals and extremists have free reign. Within no time at all, a lone police patrol car making a foray into Germany's ethnic war zones finds itself surrounded by a baying lynch mob, much like US soldiers in Baghdad at the height of the troubles, added Roman Reusch. Check out footage of Berlin's Wedding district, which has become too dangerous for a single police officer to work in, as told by a policeman dressed in civilian clothes for his own safety: Berlin-Wedding: Polizisten haben Angst im Mohammedaner-Viertel - YouTube.

A ZDF report: No-Go-Areas in Berlin ( Senat bestreitet sie ) - YouTube explains that rapidly growing immigrant violence against police officers is not confined to Berlin and Hamburg. The Ruhr Area, to mention another example, has also seen the emergence of ghettoized police no-go areas.

That is confirmed by a Westen interview [ | In poor neighborhoods, even the police fear WAZ.de ] with Bernhard Witthaut, the tightlipped chairman of Germany's largest police union, who knows so much more than he is prepared to let on.·

A police spokesman points out Berlin's ever-worsening ultraviolent ghettos on a map: Teile Berlins sind verloren - YouTube In a few decades, he won't need to be so precise and can just wave in the general direction of Berlin.

The operative word is demographics - a concept alien to German Leftists, who suffer from a severe case of innumeracy.· Whites are fleeing West Berlin to escape immigrant violence specifically targeting native Germans. So says juvenile court judge Kirsten Heisig in a ZDF report: Deutsche werden Opfer türkischer Straßengangs - YouTube

Groups of heavily armed young Turks and Arabs routinely beat white youngsters into pulp, especially their faces and teeth, while filming the whole episode for distribution among their mates. The juvenile court judge provides the grisly details

Anti-white racism of the most virulent kind has become a fact of life across Europe, but perhaps nowhere more so than in Germany. Kirsten Heisig's book When Patience Comes to an End details the visceral hatred many Muslims feel toward native Germans, who are subjected to a daily torrent of abuse and ethnic slurs in their own country. Even young Turkish women think nothing of calling native girls "German whores" and chanting that "Germans should be gassed," she writes. Here young Muslim women shout "So sieht Deutscher Inzest aus" at police officers : Mohammedan chanted on Pro Kn Demo "This is what German incest from" - YouTube

Lone native students at Muslim immigrant-dominated vocational high schools quite often won't last a week and are lucky to escape their bullies physically unhurt. In this footage, four immigrants mug a German man in a Berlin subway station, beating him into a coma and leaving him permanently brain-damaged.

The four perpetrators were teenagers from Albania, Kosovo, Iraq and Nigeria, who had earlier shouted "Scheiß-Nazis" and "wir hassen Deutsche" at the victim and his colleagues.

The fact that, in all likelihood, most or all of them are refugees granted asylum by Goody-Goody Germany further adds to the heinous nature of the crime. I can give similar examples until the cows come home, and these are only the ones that somehow slipped past the censors. Clearly, Germany is now well beyond the banana republic phase and has entered the realm of patsydom. Always lurching from one form of extremism to the next, Germans have now decided that the role of an über-schlemiel is a perfect fit. The New CorrectThink is: Deutschland unter alles!

More, much more at WikiLeaks - The Podesta Emails

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 25, 2016 8:45 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Awe Gone

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The word “unbelievable” has lost all force. That's why the kiddies and their adult imitators invented the word awesome. -- Commentor BillH, 2014

Moments of real awe that overwhelm the soul are rare, but if you look closely at the miracle of creation in the macro or micro cosmos you can create such a moment almost at will. Real awe is front-loaded into the universe.

At the same time, those things of man that inspire awe diminish moment by moment under the unstoppable onslaught of the word "awesome." The descent of the word "awesome" from a valuable modifier when describing an experience to the status of a brain fart is a classic example of how our "educated" illiterates destroy literacy.

I've had a few moments in my life where genuine awe shook me to the roots of my soul. Holding my daughter in my arms a moment after she was born comes to mind as does a time when I was very young, lying a field and looking up at the sky and the high cirrus glowing burnt orange in the fading rays of day. There were others as well, gifts given and grace notes. Common to all were an intake of breath and a feeling as if your heart had been grazed by a thought of God and forgot, for that moment, to beat. Matched up against all the torrent and cascade of moments though, this genuine awe was rare; it was one of the pearls beyond price, the shining instant of "Ah ha, so that's what it's all about."

Not so today. Today awe is as common as clay. Today all things of man possesses the awe of someness. The movie is awesome. The SmartCar is awesome. The candy bar is awesome. The cheeseburger is awesome. Today it would seem that every slice of tripe spun out of the crap factories of pop culture is awesome even though one note of the 9th Symphony would crush the entire oeuvre of Arrowsmith. My morning latte was described by the barrista as "awesome" when, like all our cornucopia of crapulous things described as such, it was quite mediocre, thank you.

I'm not sure when "awesome" died, but it was sometime in the very late, not-so-great, 20th century. You'd think it would be mummified by now, but no. Whenever someone so forgets to drive their mouth responsibly that the word "awesome" emerges it carries with it the stench of that slaughterhouse where perfectly good words go to die.

In a time when moments of true awe are needed to slake the parched post-modern lost souls, the intense trivialization of awe by the neutered generation is awesome.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 23, 2016 12:12 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On Usurpations and the Plague of Locusts

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“The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” – Lincoln

Whenever a class of people, self-anointed, seek to impose Utopia on the world, evil ensues. Whenever a group of people seek to arrogate the power of the people to themselves, evil ensues. It is not merely that power corrupts but that some people are compelled to corrupt democratically distributed power through statist centralization. If the age of kings was the age of rule by one monarch, the current age drifts towards the rule of many smaller kings acting in unison. This is the age of the Multi-Monarchists; of rule by the faction of “Little Hitlers.” Their accoutrements are not uniforms and stark symbols, but cap & gown, press passes, and union cards. Their collective policy is plague.

All faction, no matter its origin or ideals, is in the end Fascist. The Founders knew Faction and feared it. Much of the Federalist Papers is taken up with the problem of suppressing Faction and the Constitution is the carefully wrought attempt at a solution to it. Of course, the Founders also knew that Faction as Facism is never finished except by fire and fire alone. This is why, in the Founders' founding document, The Declaration of Independence, they included this provision,

"... when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

As the Founders knew from their own experience, this is much easier said than done. It requires the blood of patriots and tyrants. And the Founders knew that sustaining such a government was even harder. Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“A Republic," Franklin replied, "if you can keep it.”

Every day I read of new usurpations of power as the current matched set of “ruling elites” takes a new section of the Constitution into the outhouse and emerges without it.

Usurpations of powers previously reserved to the American people in multitudes, swirling over the land like a cloud of locusts. These usurpations come in sizes large and small; from taxation disguised as “fees”, to legislative legerdemain in which bills of economic attainder will be "deemed" passed without a reading and, inside the cancerous towers of bureaucrats, a vote, to meddlesome intrusions into trout fishing in America.

Indeed, it seems that there is little in American life that has not of late had some appointed and malign Faction assigned to it for purposes of some dubious transformation into some off-brand stealth-socialist utopia. And in doing their work of transformation these Fascist Factionists devastate the public purse at the same time they feed at the public trough. The party that struggled for decades to “Keep the government out of your bedroom,” now seeks more and more ways in which the government can wander your home and your body and count your cups and calories.

H.L. Mencken, no stranger to realpolitik in the United States, put it this way, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

An American president during the shooting phase of our first Civil War put it this way:

"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
-- - - Lincoln: 2nd Inaugural

Looking deeper still into history we can remember another time of great plagues when men who thought themselves God sought to enslave people in perpetuity:

And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.

And the locust went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.

For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt. -- Exodus 10

In both instances the only solutions that could be found was not greater control of the people by the faction, but greater freedom for the people from all faction. Until they found that freedom again, until they managed to disenthrall themselves, the plagues only continued, and continued, and continued, and continued.

“The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 22, 2016 9:54 AM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It's Not Me. It's Not You. The Internet Has Been Slowed Down or Terminated This Morning

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Heat Map of DOS Attack

Major internet problems reported after cyberattack

On Friday morning, Dyn — a company that hosts domain name systems — announced it has been the subject of a cyberattack that caused major problems for numerous websites. People reported issues with Twitter, Spotify, SoundCloud, Vox Media sites, Airbnb and numerous other sites.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 21, 2016 2:37 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
William Carlos Williams, "The pure products of America / go crazy" from Spring and all (1923)

The pure products of America
go crazy--

mountain folk from Kentucky
or the ribbed north end of
Jersey
with its isolate lakes and

valleys, its deaf-mutes, thieves
old names
and promiscuity between

devil-may-care men who have taken
to railroading
out of sheer lust of adventure--

and young slatterns, bathed
in filth
from Monday to Saturday

to be tricked out that night
with gauds
from imaginations which have no

peasant traditions to give them
character
but flutter and flaunt

sheer rags succumbing without
emotion
save numbed terror

under some hedge of choke-cherry
or viburnum--
which they cannot express--

Unless it be that marriage
perhaps
with a dash of Indian blood

will throw up a girl so desolate
so hemmed round
with disease or murder

that she'll be rescued by an
agent--
reared by the state and

sent out at fifteen to work in
some hard-pressed
house in the suburbs--

some doctor's family, some Elsie
voluptuous water
expressing with broken

brain the truth about us--
her great
ungainly hips and flopping breasts

addressed to cheap
jewelry
and rich young men with fine eyes

as if the earth under our feet
were
an excrement of some sky

and we degraded prisoners
destined
to hunger until we eat filth

while the imagination strains
after deer
going by fields of goldenrod in

the stifling heat of September
somehow
it seems to destroy us

It is only in isolate flecks that
something
is given off

No one
to witness
and adjust, no one to drive the car



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 21, 2016 9:51 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
ROAD TRIP to a HAMMER FACTORY

Woke up this morning in a foul mood and nauseated by the election. You too? Try this palette cleanser. It's casual, real, and utterly lacking in artifice on every level.

As described by one of my new favorite sites, HappyAcres

Educational: as in, should be shown to every schoolchild (and adult) as a reality check

Want to know where the stuff at Home Depot comes from? Jump to the 4:00 minute mark to enter the factory.

As a machinist, Tubal visits as curiosity seeker, marveling at the practical solutions that make a piece-part factory work. It is a marvel to be sure, that man can so organize himself and the material world.

A viewer with soft hands, though, may marvel at Blake’s dark satanic mill surviving into our own age, surviving because it works, because it provides a paycheck to rough tough people with no illusions, because it gives you a cheap high-quality hammer.

The working class… is it really a thing? What does a working class person look like? What does a working class person do for the paycheck he takes home to his family?

And those factories that newspapers say are disappearing from America… what do they look like, can you give me an image?

You’ll never think about hammers or white trash the same again. You’ll have a real image.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 21, 2016 9:25 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Charles Mackay, 1858: “A corrupt republic is tainted in its blood, and bears the seeds of death in every pulsation.”

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We have reached a crisis when upon their action depends the preservation of the Union, according to the letter and spirit of the Constitution; and this once gone, all is lost. -- President James Buchanan, 1858, as quoted in Life and liberty in America: or Sketches of a Tour in the United States, 1858 by Charles Mackay which continues:

As the venerable statesman truly observes, the United States incur no danger from foreign aggressions; there is no one to injure them but themselves; and they have nothing to fear but "the just judgments of God." But this is only a portion of the subject, and the questions still remain, Will they not injure themselves? ....

That the people will increase and multiply and replenish the whole continent no one can doubt: and that in the course of ages North America will be as populous as Europe.... But in speculating upon the future of a people the mind clings to the idea of Empire and Government — and we ask ourselves whether Empire in this noble region will be one or many — central or local — imperial or republican?

Whether the great Republic shall exist undivided, or whether it will fall to pieces from its own weight and unwieldiness, or from some weakness in the chain which shall be the measure and the test of its strength? ...

Or whether, in consequence of internal strife, some new Alexander, Charlemagne, or Napoleon of the West, shall arise to make himself lord absolute and hereditary, and at his death leave the inheritance to be scrambled for and divided by his generals? ...

That the Union may be disturbed or disrupted at some period near or remote, is an idea familiar to the mind of every inquirer and observer.... It is, after all, the hungry belly of the people, and not the heads of legislators, that tries the strength of political systems: and when all the land is occupied, and has become too dear for the struggling fanner or artizan to purchase; when the starving man or the pauper has a vote equally with the well-fed and the contented proprietor; and when the criminal counts at an election for as much as an honest man — what may be the result of universal suffrage on the constitution of the Republic and the stability of the Union?....

But a greater danger even than this — the most formidable of all the rocks that are ahead — is the growth of peculation and corruption, and the decay of public virtue.

A republic is, theoretically, the purest and most perfect form of Government, but it requires eminently pure men to work it. A corrupt monarchy or despotism may last for a long time without fatal results to the body politic, just as a man may live a long time, and be a very satisfactory citizen, with only one arm, one leg, or one eye.

In despotic countries the people may be virtuous, though the Government is vicious; but a corrupt republic is tainted in its blood, and bears the seeds of death in every pulsation. And on this point Mr. Buchanan seems to have a clearer vision than many of his countrymen.... In reference to this fever in the blood of the State, he thus solemnly warns the citizens in the letter from which quotation has already been made: —

"I shall assume the privilege of advancing years in reference to another growing and dangerous evil. In the last age, although our fathers, like ourselves, were divided into political parties which often had severe conflicts with each other, yet we never heard until within a recent period of the employment of money to carry elections. Should this practice increase until the voters and their representatives in the State and National Legislatures shall become infected, the fountain of free government will be poisoned at its source, and we must end, as history proves, in a military despotism. A democratic republic, all agree, cannot long survive unless sustained by public virtue. When this is corrupted, and the people become venal, there is a canker at the root of the tree of liberty which will cause it to wither and to die."

If corruption have attained its present growth with a population so scant in 1858, in a country by the cultivation of which ten times the number could live honestly and independently, if they trusted to hard work, and not to intrigue, for the means of subsistence; what will be the extent of corruption fifty years hence? Shall a despotism attempt a remedy worse than the disease? Or will the patient be warned of the evil of his ways, and amend his life in time?

[Taken from -- Life and liberty in America: or Sketches of a Tour in the United States, 1858 by Charles Mackay. Mackay was also the author of the more widely known Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds]



Posted by Vanderleun Oct 19, 2016 1:26 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Debate between the Cult of Never Trump and the Rest of Us

You find yourself in a world where the coming election is between a crazy old cat lady, an old hippie, Hitler and Mussolini....
Imagine if someone came up to you are said “I’m Susan Wright and my principles prevent me from voting Mussolini, even though I know Hitler will murder millions, so I’m voting for the goofy hippie guy.” You would have dark thoughts about that person. They are willing to stand aside and allow something truly horrible just so they can avoid doing something unpleasant. To make it worse, they demand that you pretend that their cowardice and treachery is high minded.

Further, you would look at those people investing all of their energy ridiculing Mussolini as pro-Hitler partisans. After all, the successful end of the efforts can only mean one thing – Hitler wins. They could protest all they like that they hate both Hitler and Mussolini, but you would know them by their deeds. They are working to pave the way for Hitler, regardless of their reasoning. If successful, they would be, in part, responsible for what comes next. Blood would be on their hands and you would feel justified in holding them responsible.

Alternatively, if someone came up to you and made the case for Hitler, along with pointing out the faults of Mussolini, you would not feel the urge to punch them in the face. They may be horribly mistaken, but at least they are being honest. They are pro-Hitler and they take responsibility for it. They own it. Who knows, they could be right and Mussolini is worse in the long run. In theory, at least, you can debate this with the Hitler fans and maybe in the process sway some undecided voters to your side. - - - Pink State | The Z Blog



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 18, 2016 4:25 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
LET'S REVIEW: This Is the Issue, the Only Issue: "The Truth About World War III | United States vs. Russia"

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Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 18, 2016 2:46 PM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Landscape Game [Bumped -- SPOILERS "Answers" NOW AVAILABLE]

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Once Only

almost at the equator
almost at the equinox
exactly at midnight
from a ship
the full

moon

in the center of the sky.
--- Gary Snyder, 1958


I don't remember who first played "The Landscape Game" with me. It would have been many, many years ago. I also don't remember what my answers were to the game's ten questions, but I wish I had written them down. Played once the game is played forever. Once the first answers are lost, they are lost forever.

You can only play The Landscape Game once in your life. Once you know the questions and the interpretations any chance of replying honestly and openly is gone. It is one of those things that, if you know the "solution," makes any further revelation impossible. "The Landscape Game" is true once and once only.

So no peeking by any means. There's no "win" in the game and the only player you can cheat is yourself.

Next Monday you will see why....

For the questions.... AND ANSWERS. WARNING. ANSWERS AT THE END OF THE JUMP.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 17, 2016 1:49 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
[BUMPED] On the Dead End Trump Bashers: "And then they wonder what happened to valuing character."

Trump's fortune rises and falls, and it is when his defeat seems most certain that the Trump bashers are most piqued.
1. They get pretty darned upset if anyone dares to question their commitment to the conservative cause. Which is odd, because #NeverTrump means there is something more important than that. Right? That’s the meaning. They’ve sequenced their priorities in a way that makes the most sense to them, and defeating liberalism, supporting conservatism, these didn’t make the cut. Why then all the anger directed against whoever notices?
2. They do share a close kinship with liberals, as a matter of fact, in that they’re just so anxious to show what a supreme command they have over the subject matter under discussion. They fancy themselves to be authorities. They want to be thought of as authorities. It is their way of convincing, however, that interests me, much more than the fact that they want to do this convincing: Their method of persuasion is to demonstrate the extraordinarily high level of difficulty that is involved in telling them anything. The foundation of what they seek to argue, therefore, is that people know best after some extended period of time spent not learning anything.
3. They are putting a great volume of energy into bringing about a disaster, for which they will not take any ownership. Some of them are already getting ready to blame the opposition, the “Trump supporters,” for Hillary Clinton’s impending victory. This is unseemly, at best, and a sign of mental illness at worst.
4. They see themselves as independent thinkers. Independent thinkers, by definition, are hard to manipulate, if they can be manipulated at all. They demonstrate this, unfortunately, by being easily offended. That’s a problem, because it’s not hard to manipulate you if it’s easy to offend you.
5. They are very bothered by the lately emerging signs that character no longer matters, or is no longer valued. But they themselves care nothing about their bedfellows in the #NeverTrump orgy, what level of character they possess. Very rarely do I see a #NeverTrump protest that a statement injurious to Donald Trump, while tantalizing, is just too demonstrably untrue, too easily proven false, too craven, too low-balled. Nothing is too low for them. Anybody who shares this common enemy, with them, must be their friend. And then they wonder what happened to valuing character.

Sense and more at The Blog That Nobody Reads. RTWT



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 17, 2016 1:41 PM | Comments (26)  | QuickLink: Permalink
DEPOSITION: Testimony Concerning The LibProgPC Sickness

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[A variation with no apologies to] William S. Burroughs

I awoke from the intellectual insanity of The LibProgPC Sickness and began to de-colonize my mind at the age of fifty-five, calm and sane, and in reasonably good health except for a weakened liver, three months left on my last New York Times subscription, and the look of borrowed flesh common to all who survive The LibProgPC Sickness . . . . Once the The LibProgPC Sickness needle goes it, it almost never comes out. Most of those who contract The LibProgPC Sickness do not survive. Most survivors do not remember the Progressive delirium in detail. I apparently took detailed notes on The LibProgPC Sickness and Delirium....

The LibProgPC Sickness is a spiritual and intellectual addiction and I was an addict for 37 years. When I say addict I mean an addict to whatever stealth socialist LibProgPC Pablum was being spooned into myself and the rest of the Intellectually Insane slaves. I have smoked LibProgPC Pablum, eaten it, sniffed it, injected in in vein-skin-muscle. The needle is not important. Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shoot LibProgPC Pablum the result is the same: intellectual insanity and LibProgPC addiction.

I have seen the exact manner in which the LibProgPC Pablum virus operates through 37 years of addiction. The pyramid of LibProgPC LibProgPC Pablum, one level eating the level below (it is no accident that elite Progressives always grow fat and their slaves in the ghettos, colleges and cities are always in debt or waiting for another small handout). The LibProgPC pushers keep spooning their LibProgPC Pablum into the gaping mouths of their slaves and built on basic principles of monopoly:

1--Never give anything away for nothing.
2--Never give more than you have to give
(always catch the colonized slave hungry and always
make him wait).
3--Always take everything back if you possibly can.

LibProgPC Pablum is the ideal product . . . the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy yet more LibProgPC Pablum . . . . The Progressive pusher does not sell his LibProgPC Pablum to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his LibProgPC Pablum. He does not improve and simplify his LibProgPC Pablum. He degrades and simplifies the client. He pays his staff in LibProgPC Pablum.

A LibProgPC Pablum fiend is a man in total need of LibProgPC Pablum. Beyond a certain frequency his need knows absolutely no limit or control. In the words of total need: ``*Wouldn't you*?'' Yes you would. You would lie, cheat, inform on your friends, steal, do *anything* to satisfy your total need for more LibProgPC Pablum. Because you would be in a state of total sickness, total possession, total intellectual insanity, total mental colonization, and not in a position to act in any other way. LibProgPC Pablum fiends are sick people who cannot act other than they do. A rabid dog cannot choose but bite. Assuming a self-righteous position is nothing to the purpose unless your purpose be to keep the LibProgPC Pablum in operation.

If you wish to alter or annihilate a pyramid of numbers in a serial relation, you alter or remove the bottom number. If we wish to annihilate the LibProgPC Pablum pyramid, we must start with the bottom of the pyramid: *the Addict in the Street*, and stop tilting quixotically for the “higher ups'' so called, all of whom are immediately replaceable. * The addict in the street who must have LibProgPC Pablum to live is the one irreplaceable factor in the LibProgPC Pablum equation *. When there are no more addicts to buy LibProgPC Pablum there will be no LibProgPC Pablum traffic. As long as LibProgPC Pablum need exists, someone will service it.

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 17, 2016 10:49 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Visions of Johanna

Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles
See the primitive wallflower freeze
When the jelly-faced women all sneeze
Hear the one with the mustache say, “Jeeze
I can’t find my knees”
Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule
But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel

Why did Bob Dylan win the Nobel Prize for Literature? Many think this devalues "literature." Many are ignorant of the Troubadour tradition. But does Bob Dylan's oeuvre devalue literature? It might if it wasn't literature.

Let rock music scholar -- and one time pal and collaborator -- Greil Marcus lay it out for you as he unwinds Visions of Johanna:

The June 1966 issue of the youth-oriented American fashion magazine Glamour carried an unusual feature: lyrics from the soon to be released Bob Dylan song Visions of Johanna, which Dylan had been performing onstage, alone, with an acoustic guitar, since late in the previous fall. "Seems like a freeze-out," he'd say to introduce the song before stepping into its slow, languid account of a night of bohemian gloom. Soon the song, recorded in Nashville earlier in the year with the best session players in town, would make a black hole on the first side of Dylan's double album Blonde on Blonde.

What was unusual about this was that the lyrics worked on the Glamour page as they were presented: bare, without accompaniment, without a singing voice, as poetry. All through Bob Dylan's writing life - beginning before his 1962 debut album, Bob Dylan, the songs leaping in ambition, sophistication, daring, and style at first year by year and then month by month if not week by week - Dylan had written words meant to come to life when they were played and sung. A clumsy line meant as no more than a way to get from one place to another. The limp "He really wasn't where it's at" between the unflinching "Ain't it hard when you discover that" and the swirling "After he took from you everything he could steal", in Like a Rolling Stone, could fly by all without harm when it was lifted by a melody that was itself shot out of the cannon of a song by the singer increasing the pressure. But on the page a song's words are naked.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 16, 2016 6:20 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems: McArthur Park

Well, if you have to be a one-hit wonder, this is the song. And this video is chock full of nostalgia. From Playboy Club Bunnies (I'm looking at you, Gloria Steinem, you ignorant slut.) to Girl Scouts. And then back to the Playboy Club and then off for a mad whirl during the break. And then the immortal refrain. Who could ever forget those immortal words....

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 15, 2016 7:52 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Still the Single Most Terrifying Page on the Web and the Place Where Pretty Lies Go to Die

U.S. National Debt Clock : Real Time

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 15, 2016 12:57 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Make America Great Diet: "Fortunately everything on the Denny's Menu is allowed by my diet plan."

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America became great with men eating bacon and eggs and beef and potatoes. And smoking and nicotine.
Almost every famous person you've ever heard of (and most you haven't heard of) lived on this kind of diet. And they drank stuff too. They launched missiles into space and to the moon. Every console in the LCC had an ashtray. KSC was full of cigarette smoke everyday all of the time while men were going to the moon. Women were secretaries and men were engineers. And engineers eat bacon and eggs for breakfast. How do I know? I was there. They built ships, big ships. They built bridges. They got out and did stuff. Everyday. After having bacon and eggs for breakfast, leftover meatloaf sandwiches for lunch and roast beef and mashed potatoes for dinner. Mashed potatoes and rolls with gravy and real butter. It's possible that a few of them did not live as long as some of the vegan flowers but they lived more glory in one Apollo launch than any vegan flower or SJW will live their entire, sad, pitiable lives. There were no safe places in engineering. Only constant, grueling, never ending math problems. That most of them only mastered after long, grueling, constant application and study. And they didn't go out drinking on Friday night because they sat all week in a classroom full of sissies talking about feelings. After Friday night drinking and several hamburgers and sleeping in Saturday they spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday doing math. Then they went into the chem lab Monday and blew stuff up. Then they became rocket scientists, engineers, jet pilots, astronauts, technicians, electricians and plumbers. Then worked their butts off for 40 years. There ain't no rocket scientists who subsist on lettuce.
Posted by Larry Geiger at October 13, 2016 10:44 AM The Top 40: Comment on The gist is this: humans aren’t biologically designed for rich food, yet in its presence we have no defense,



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 14, 2016 11:23 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"It's not revenge he's after. It's a reckoning."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 14, 2016 11:05 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My Back Pages: "Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats Too noble to neglect Deceived me into thinking I had something to protect "

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Today... Bob Dylan Awarded Nobel Prize in Literature

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 13, 2016 9:57 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Earth to Mars



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 11, 2016 1:18 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Can You Dig It?



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 10, 2016 4:05 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Memorable Debate Moments

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Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were

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Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were.

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Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again, tell me, would we, could we....

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{ HT:Michelle Obama's Mirror: Lord, and Lady, of the Flies: Four More Years?}



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 10, 2016 10:06 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Roadside Distractions

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Paradise, California: Neal Road between the Skyway and 99.

[Photo by MEH: October 1, 2016]



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 9, 2016 1:32 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
3 Thoughts In 3 Pictures

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 9, 2016 10:55 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Japanese: Nuked Too Much or Not Enough?

When you want to stay Zen but also feel your metal.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 9, 2016 10:45 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Note to My Fellow Boomers: Get Off the Stage Before the Light Dims

http://kaching.tumblr.com/post/151538775633/concert-for-boomers-in-their-twilight-years



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 8, 2016 6:02 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Word of the Day Set to Music in 1931

Harry Roy & His Orchestra "My Girl's Pussy" (1931)

(Me-e-e-e-o-o-o-ow)

There's one pet I like to pet
And every evening we get set
I stroke it every chance I get
It's my girl's pussy

Seldom plays and never purrs
And I love the thoughts it stirs
But I don't mind because it's hers
My girl's pussy

Often it goes out at night
Returns at break of dawn
No matter what the weather's like
It's always nice and warm

It's never dirty, always clean
In giving thrills, never mean
But it's the best I've ever seen
Is my girl's pussy...

And then there's the current occupant of the White House.....

President Obama says, "Gotta have them ribs and pussy too!"



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 8, 2016 3:32 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Wives Are Coming!



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 8, 2016 10:07 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Why Alcohol Is Not Always Your Best Friend

giving-thanks-6.jpg



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 7, 2016 6:29 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Drawer Horror

aa-american-horror-story-hotel.jpg

Some years ago I was visiting an old friend in Florida. This pal (A large man who is actually "a sensitive little forest flower.") loves boats and boating and maintained two, count ‘em, two homes in Florida set up for boating.

The first home was his main base in Ft. Lauderdale. It was a three bedroom two bath operation with a swimming pool, an office, and a long boat dock where he kept “the big boat.”

The second home was a smaller house set up on stilts down in the depths of the Florida Keys twenty miles above Key West with two bedrooms, one bath, and a boat dock on a canal where he kept “the little boat.”

Since he used the Keys only here and there throughout the year he decided at some point to rent it out. He did rent it out for a year to a well-vetted man. When I visited him that lease was up and he and I went to the Keys house to check it out. A day or so before we arrived my pal had a house cleaner go in and change all the bedding and spiff up the rest of the house.

When we got there I went into the guest bedroom to unpack my things into the chest of drawers. As I opened the bottom drawer I found the renter or one of his guests had left some underwear and t-shits in the bottom drawer. Under them the same person has left behind a large, realistic, and battery-powered dildo in a plastic bag with some suspicious smears on the inside. Moving the switch around inside the bag without touching the dildo I determined that the batteries were, to say the least, fresh. Like Elvis's King Creole it was "jumpin' like a catfish on a pole."

Even though he is a manly man my pal is also a very sensitive little forest flower. The least hint of some sort of object that had spent party time somewhere inside a person’s body fills him with shivering, visceral loathing. My pal took one look at my “discovery” and walked shivering into the kitchen. He returned with his hands in dishwashing rubber gloves and a pair of kitchen tongs.

He gingerly picked up the bag containing the dildo with the tongs and then, holding it as far away from himself as possible, walked down the stars to the car port and dropped the offensive package into the garbage can. He then dropped the tongs into the garbage can. He then removed his rubber gloves, dropped them in the can, and then - still shivering with loathing and muttering to himself -- went back upstairs and took a long hot shower followed by an emergency cocktail.

Because I was an old friend who understood and deeply respected his “issues,” I promptly snuck down to the garbage cans, retrieved the dildo in the bag, switched it to off, and hid it in my luggage.

Several days later, with the dildo incident forgotten (except for my pal's repeated declaration he would NEVER EVER rent out the Keys house again), we returned to Fort Lauderdale. After arriving my pal announced he was going to run to the store to pick up some groceries. I nodded and waved from my perch on the couch in the living room and watched him drive off down the street.

Then I got up and took the bagged dildo out of my luggage and went into his office. I slid open the drawer on the right hand side of his desk and emptied its contents, hiding them in the next drawer down. I then placed the bagged dildo into the empty drawer and turned it on. Closing the drawer I was pleased to note a faint but perceptible hummmmm and vibration from the desk.

Then I went back out to the couch, picked up a magazine and waited.

Soon my pal returned with a bag of groceries. Nodded to me as he came in.

“Hey, man, there was phone call on your office line. Probably left a message.”

“Oh, okay, thanks.” Walks into the office.

My mind says,

“Wait for it....

"Wait for it...”

Suddenly a most unmanly scream comes wafting out of the office into the living room. My pal appears, trembling, pale, and shocked.

“Out..... get it out..... now..... please.... I’m begging you.”

Weeping from laughter, I stagger into the office and glance down into the open drawer where I can see the powered up dildo shaking and slowly moving in a circle on the bottom of the drawer. I pick up the bag by the corner and display it to him. He is standing by the back door pointing to the garbage can. I go out and ceremoniously drop it in.... vibrating all the way down.

He’s back in the kitchen. Boiling water. It will take three quarts of water and two gloved scrubbings with Brillo soap pads until he’s satisfied that the drawer in his desk is finally purged of Dildo Cooties.

In a couple of days I leave.

The next year I’m back. In his office one day I absently pull open the right hand top drawer of his desk. There’s a liner on the bottom and nothing else in the drawer.

Like I said, for a big man my pal is a very sensitive little forest flower.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 5, 2016 4:01 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Hello, Bye Bye!

A story about a family, unicorns, a lion, rocks, rainbows, and a sun gone savage. Written and illustrated by Braley Maria (age 5).



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 5, 2016 2:20 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
All Aboard! : Wake Up, Smell the Trumpening, Quit Yer Bitching, and Put on Your Big Boy Pants, Punks

[A long comment that is crude, rude, and chock full of truthiness.... ]

By any measure, Trump is the best Republican candidate since Reagan. Bush I coasted on Ronnie. Dubya got a split decision by judicial fiat, and barely managed to put away JOHN KERRY in 04 with a point here or there.

Trump is already ahead of Romney. He's polling closer in blue states - heck, Washington is just about in play. NJ too. Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, PA-when were these last in the game? He's even holding steady with Romney's numbers in California. Even New Mexico will come down to how Johnson's 24% collapses Nov 8th.

I have not a word of criticism. Every scandal faded when he ignored it. The entire media elite on both sides has only held him to a tight race with a near certain win (many paths to victory!) and a potential electoral landslide. His gaffes arent not a bit worse than anyone else.

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood...and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

Be as alpha as you like. Be as silver tongued and fearless as you like. Any of us-anyone else- would have long since broken. Its been a year and a half and every day from every side, Trump has been under unremitting, vicious, downright depraved attack.

I mean- we forget, you know? Not to get mushy...no, f**k it. Lets get mushy. Lets get real.

Theres no reason in HELL to do this. For all the shitlib conspiracy theories, he has the favors, the connections to get out of any supposed debt or legal tangle. Hes been good friends with the Clintons, the Bushes, the Kennedys, a dozen others.

His name, his family, his company, his legacy, his health, his pride, his history; his life - - both his social and literal life-all of it thrown on the altar. Not to mewl cuck BS but because he loves this rotten shell of failing dreams. He loves the country that gave his family everything, and he has pledged his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor to fight for her in terrible peril.

Damn us all. Damn us all to hell. A year and a half ago every cockswinging deplorable was jerking off to Teddy Cruz and glumly ready to suck it up and vote Jeb. So we could get our amnesty with a side of guac before we ran to some f**king hideyhole. So we could huddle down and "enjoy the decline." Maybe catch a piece or two of bluehaired vagina while the Romes our fathers built - -not just one, but a dozen Romes from coast to coast - - rotted and burned.

Criticize? Comment? The unlimited hubris of it. We were WHIPPED, gang. We joked about road wars to whistle past the f**king graveyard because we knew it'd never be that good. Just slow rot and shitty jobs until we died, getting older and weaker and fewer while an endless horde. twerked in the ruins of our grandeur.

70 years old. Taking 15 months of endless hate to take a chance at 8 years more.

The more I think of it, the more it moves me. I didn't think we got men like this anymore. Laugh if you like. I dont give a damn. Donald Trump turned his back on endless, unlimited fame, wealth, hedonism, luxury and peace. Cincinnatus left a plow, not a throne.

Posted, with MORE by Mildly Touched Richard Dawkins @ The Donald Trump Presidential Archive



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 4, 2016 12:26 PM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems: The Sound of Silence

"The Sound of Silence" originally was released to mockery, obscurity, and failure.

The song was written by Paul Simon over a period of several months in 1963 and 1964. A studio audition led to the duo signing a record deal with Columbia Records, and the song was recorded in March 1964 at Columbia Studios in New York City for inclusion on their debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.

Released in 1964 the album bombed and S & G broke up.... for the first time. Simon went to England and Garfunkel back to college. Following a burst of airplay at stations around colleges the next spring, the producer, Tom Wilson, remixed the song without S&G’s knowledge and released it as a single in September, 1965. By January the song was number one and Simon and Garfunkel quickly reformed ... for the first time... to capitalize on the song’s success.

Many people have believed that the song grew out of some prophetic insights into the events of the time, but it actually arose from deep inside your typical teenage boy’s angst.

Simon said: ”I wrote The Sound of Silence when I was 21 years old,” with Simon also explaining that the song was written in his bathroom, where he turned off the lights to better concentrate. "The main thing about playing the guitar, though, was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream. And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I'd turn on the faucet so that water would run (I like that sound, it's very soothing to me) and I'd play. In the dark. 'Hello darkness, my old friend / I've come to talk with you again’.”

The rest is silence.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 4, 2016 8:16 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Safe" Spaces of the Ultra-Rich: Bunkering Up In The Middle Of A City Is A Bad Idea

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What’s amazing to me is that the wealthy, but not very intelligent, people having these bunkers built for them don’t understand is that if things get bad enough that they NEED the bunkers, the bunkers aren’t going to help them very much. At least not for very long. All the designs in the article seem more driven toward maintaining a standard of living rather than living to survive. This is a case in point:


AATHR-style-bunkers.jpg


A garage full of luxury cars is more than a little useless.

Those expensive cars are going to be rather useless simply because of the amount of resources required to keep them running. Especially logistics related things like fuel and oil. If things get bad enough that everything shuts down, then deliveries are going to stop, especially to places like Napa CA. All it’s going to take is a couple of armed BLM roadblocks and it’s going to get ugly fast. There’s also no point in trying to grow food, if, A. you’ve never done it before, and B. the power you are relying on to light the underground garden is reliant on a rapidly diminishing supply of fuel. As for the game room and swimming pool, well those are useless. The swimming pool water can’t even be used as potable if it has pool chemicals in it and if it doesn’t the water is going to get ugly quickly. Standing, open water is not a good way to keep water drinkable and disease free.

These bunkers are the result of narcissists who are afraid to face the consequences of the actions they have taken and the world they tried to create. Unlike the revolutionaries of the early 20th Century these people don’t have the courage to put themselves on the barricades. Instead they naively believe that they can hide away as the SHTF and hope that somebody, anybody, will return things to normal.

RTWT @ ===>> | The Arts Mechanical



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 2, 2016 8:42 AM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
HIs Kingdom Is Not of This World. Yet.

I've seen the nations rise and fall
I've heard their stories, heard them all
But love's the only engine
Of survival

- - - Leonard Cohen | The Future

John 18: 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

2,016 years? Only an inch of Time. And, as a Christian, my faith tells me that the entire history of mankind is one of sorrow, suffering, error, terror, and war.... followed by a happy ending.

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21



Posted by gerardvanderleun Oct 1, 2016 11:20 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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