Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
"My Little Old Sod Shanty on the Plains"

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The Chrisman Sisters, 1886: Lizzie Chrisman filed the first of the sisters' homestead claims in 1887. Lutie Chrisman filed the following year and the other two sisters, Jennie Ruth and Hattie, had to wait until 1892, when they came of age, to file.

One of the most striking features of these photos is the pride the homesteaders show.

Many of those photographed were the first landowners in their family. Homesteaders often lined up their most prized possessions in the photos to show the scope of their ownership.

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One woman, reportedly embarrassed by her sod house,

requested that the family be photographed with her pump organ instead. They dragged the organ out into the yard — farm animals and wagons can be seen in the background — then dragged it back into the house after the photo was taken.

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Ned Dunlap, known as Kearney, Nebraska's only real cowboy, 1902.

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The Shores family, near Westerville, Custer County, Nebraska, 1887. Jerry Shores was one of a number of former slaves to settle in Custer County. He took a claim adjacent his brothers’, Moses Speese and Henry Webb (each had taken the name of his former owner).

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Sylvester Rawding brought his family to Nebraska in the 1880s. In 1886, they brought their lunch outside on a muddy day so that photographer Solomon Butcher could capture the family on film. Sylvester was a Union Army Civil War veteran, wounded during a skirmish near Mobile, Alabama.

More images at The Week - America’s pivotal move West

"Oh the hinges are of leather
And the windows have no glass
While the board roof
Lets the howling blizzards in
And I hear the hungry coyote
As he slinks up through the grass
Round the little old sod shanty
On my claim"



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 24, 2017 9:05 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Passengers cheer as woman berating Trump supporter is kicked off plane

"You may be going to Portland, but not on this flight."

Welcome to the No-Fly List, Moonbat.

According to Koteskey:

Just had the craziest experience ever on an airplane:

I’m boarding my flight from Baltimore to Seattle and approach my seat. I had an upgraded seat that I paid a little extra for because of the long 6 hour flight. As I approach my row I smile and motion to the husband and wife sitting in the aisle and middle seat that Imy seat was next to the window. I put my backpack in the overhead and the wife with a very stern voice says to me:

“Did you come here to cheer or to protest?”

“I came here to celebrate democracy ma’am”

… I knew this was going to be a long flight at this point. She then proceeded with: (somewhat paraphrased as my memory allows)

Her: “You put a crazed man in charge of the nuclear codes! You should be ashamed!”

Me: ‘Well we’re all entitled to our opinions here ma’am.”

Her: “And I’m entitled to get drunk and puke in your lap! I’m going to throw up right in your lap! You make me sick! Don’t talk to me! Don’t look at me! Don’t you dare even put your arm on that rest. You disgust me! You should be ashamed of yourself! You put a maniac’s finger on the button” (assuming she’s means nukes). You are a bigot. You should get off this plane!”

Me: “ma’am, by definition, bigotry is disparaging someone prior to knowing them simply by their beliefs and opinions. Thank you for being the very thing you preach against.”

VIDEO: - The American MirrorThe American Mirror



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 23, 2017 11:55 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Modest Proposal for the Reform of the American Penis

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Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

"Fear not, the Resurrection is close at hand."

The Obvious Truth

SIGMUND FREUD has established for all time that a cigar can be a penis substitute. At about the same time Rudyard Kipling observed that while a woman was only a woman, "a good cigar was a smoke." Lighting up and reflecting on this, Sigmund Freud agreed that a cigar could, in certain places, be "only a cigar." For nearly three decades now, millions of American men, including even politicians such as Nancy Pelosi, have been unable to make this fundamental distinction.

In any reasonable society this signal failure of perception would be a tragedy shared by both sexes. But fortunately for the future of the country, millions of American women have lately come to prefer cigars to penises. Their decision is not utterly without a sunny side since millions of American men have decided - faced with this doleful feminine reality and subsequent weight gain - to prefer penises to both cigars and women.

Both of these responses are islands of light in an era of increasing darkness, but the central tragedy still remains. If things are not clearly out of hand in America's sexual circus (And indeed the declining birth rate and rising divorce rate demonstrates that things are probably all too often in hand), then they are at least at sixes and nines. In this paper we will study the reasons for the decline of the American Penis, and what can be done to hasten its resurrection.

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 23, 2017 11:42 PM | Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hero



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 23, 2017 8:07 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Ancient Ones

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Trees in particular were mysterious, and seemed to me direct embodiments of the incomprehensible meaning of life. For that reason, the woods were the place that I felt closest to its deepest meaning and to its awe-inspiring workings. -- C.G.Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

We should not omit to mention the great admiration that the Gauls have for the ancient ones as well. The druids – that is what they call their magicians – hold nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and a tree on which it is growing, provided it is a hard-timbered oak .... Mistletoe is rare and when found it is gathered with great ceremony, and particularly on the sixth day of the moon.... Hailing the moon in a native word that means 'healing all things,' they prepare a ritual sacrifice and banquet beneath a tree and bring up two white bulls, whose horns are bound for the first time on this occasion. A priest arrayed in white vestments climbs the tree and, with a golden sickle, cuts down the mistletoe, which is caught in a white cloak. Then finally they kill the victims, praying to a god to render his gift propitious to those on whom he has bestowed it. They believe that mistletoe given in drink will impart fertility to any animal that is barren and that it is an antidote to all poisons. -- Roman historian Pliny the Elder, written in the 1st century AD

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Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 22, 2017 2:34 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems: Subterranean Homesick Blues

With John Hammond Jr and Bruce Langhorne on electric guitars, jazz musician Bill Lee (father of film-maker Spike) on bass, session man Bobby Gregg on drums, an unidentified pianist and Dylan himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica, the song was cut in a single take. In two minutes and 22 seconds of jangling, rickety-rackety, homemade folk-blues-rock, something new was born – although, like all Dylan’s music, it sprang from firm roots. --The Guardian

"Subterranean Homesick Blues" is an amalgam of Jack Kerouac, the Woody Guthrie–Pete Seeger song "Taking It Easy" ("Mom was in the kitchen preparing to eat / Sis was in the pantry looking for some yeast") and the rock'n'roll poetry of Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business".

In 2004, Dylan said, "It's from Chuck Berry, a bit of 'Too Much Monkey Business' and some of the scat songs of the '40s."

Dylan has also stated that when he attended the University of Minnesota in 1959, he fell under the influence of the Beat scene: "It was Jack Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso and Ferlinghetti." Kerouac's The Subterraneans, a novel published in 1958 about the Beats, has been suggested as a possible inspiration for the song's title.

The song's first line is a reference to codeine distillation and the politics of the time: "Johnny's in the basement mixing up the medicine / I'm on the pavement thinkin' about the government". The song also depicts some of the growing conflicts between "straights" or "squares" and the emerging counterculture of the 1960s. The widespread use of recreational drugs and turmoil surrounding the Vietnam War were both starting to take hold of the nation, and Dylan's hyperkinetic lyrics were dense with up-to-the-minute allusions to important emerging elements in the 1960s youth culture. According to rock journalist Andy Gill, "an entire generation recognized the zeitgeist in the verbal whirlwind of 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'."[8]

The song also references the struggles surrounding the American civil rights movement ("Better stay away from those / That carry 'round a fire hose"). (During the civil rights movement, peaceful protestors were beaten and sprayed with high-pressure fire hoses.) Despite the political nature of the lyrics, the song was the first Top 40 hit for Dylan in the United States.[9] -- La Wik

The original clip was the opening segment of D. A. Pennebaker's film Dont Look Back, a documentary on Dylan's 1965 tour of England. In the film, Dylan, who came up with the idea, holds up cue cards with selected words and phrases from the lyrics. The cue cards were written by Donovan, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Neuwirth and Dylan himself. While staring at the camera, he flips the cards as the song plays. There are intentional misspellings and puns throughout the clip: for instance, when the song's lyrics say "eleven dollar bills", the poster says "20 dollar bills". The clip was shot in an alley close to the Savoy Hotel in London. Ginsberg and Neuwirth are briefly visible in the background.

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 21, 2017 9:32 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Songs for a Victory Concert, Washington, D.C. January 20, 2017:

From a distance
You look like my friend
Even though we are at war
From a distance
I just cannot comprehend
What all this fightings for
From a distance
There is harmony
And it echoes through the land
And its the hope of hopes
Its the love of loves
Its the heart of every man
God is watching us
God is watching us
God is watching us
From a distance
God is watching us
God is watching us
God is watching us
From a distance

Comin' over the airwaves, the man says I'm overdue
Sing a song, send some money, join the chosen few
Yes, mister I'm not in a hurry and I don't want to be like you, no, no
All I want from tomorrow is to get it better than today

Step by step, one by one, we're climbing, climbing
Step by step, one by one, we're climbing Jacob's Ladder

I am, and I hope you are, enjoying this day far too much. And yes I know, as you do, that there will be hard days, bad days, tough days, and days of rage. But let us not borrow too much trouble from the future. The future, being unwritten, lets us write our dreams on its shimmering surface as it streams by us into the past. And let us always write those dreams even though we know that we write on water.

"This is the day God has made.
Rejoice and be glad in it."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 20, 2017 3:20 PM | Comments (0)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Battle Hymn of the Republic

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish`d rows of steel,
"As ye deal with my contemners, So with you my grace shall deal;"
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel
Since God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 20, 2017 12:18 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Fanfare for the Common Man

Then, 2010:

Then, 1984.

Now: 2017



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 20, 2017 12:33 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
January 19, 2017: The Arrival (584 Days After Starting to Run)

We. Are. Family. Noted in passing: First salute received and returned.

Concept by Abigail Adams.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 19, 2017 5:24 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
June 16, 2015: "So ladies and gentlemen…I am officially running… for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again."

June 16, 2015 Donald Trump’s Presidential Announcement Speech way back in the mists of political history. It was all there at the very beginning....


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Wow. Whoa. That is some group of people. Thousands.

So nice, thank you very much. That’s really nice. Thank you. It’s great to be at Trump Tower. It’s great to be in a wonderful city, New York. And it’s an honor to have everybody here. This is beyond anybody’s expectations. There’s been no crowd like this.

And, I can tell, some of the candidates, they went in. They didn’t know the air-conditioner didn’t work. They sweated like dogs.

They didn’t know the room was too big, because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS? I don’t think it’s gonna happen.

Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don’t have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time. All the time.

When did we beat Japan at anything? They send their cars over by the millions, and what do we do? When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Tokyo? It doesn’t exist, folks. They beat us all the time.

When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically.

The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.

Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people.

It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably— probably— from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast.

[Read the rest and watch the video if you]

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 19, 2017 4:57 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just as an aside watch an evening unfold in Washington DC

Okay. The man, his wife, and his family come to Washington in a vast convoy of sleek black SUVs. He stays at his eponymous hotel. Then... he speaks off the cuff from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Then... The Battle Hymn of the Republic is sung. Then... the Fireworks....

Love him or hate him, when it comes to Trump you can only say, "This man has really run the table."



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 19, 2017 3:24 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Strictly for Dickheads: The Grab A Pussy Hat Protest

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We love that you are looking for a #pussyhat and want to get one to you as smoothly as possible.

A group of boojie women gathered at Knitty City in New York lay down their plastic brain-substitute devices long enough to make their pink Pussyhats in preparation for protests, in Washington and New York, for women’s rights following the election of Donald Trump - - 18 January 2017

Short form: Thousands of dickheads are to hit the streets in "protest" by jamming their empty skulls into their hand-made slack and scratchy pussies.

HOW TO GET A HAT IN THE DC AREA [Emphasis Added]

Days before the March

apussyhat1.jpgWe love that you are looking for a #pussyhat and want to get one to you as smoothly as possible. So, here’s the plan. We are going to have few pickup sites in DC in the days leading up to the March. We will be announcing them on Facebook and Twitter. Please be patient.
Our first distribution scheduled will be at Busboys and Poets at their 5th and K St. Location at 2 pm Wednesday, January 18. We will be there until the hats run out. We will see how that goes and then announce more times as soon as possible.

Day of the March

We are giving out hats at the March. We love that you are a marcher who is already part of Pussyhat Project with your enthusiasm, passion, and commitment to women's rights. We have a spot confirmed and almost ready to announce. Follow us on Twitter: @pussyhatproject for any last minute changes.

Are you still a little concerned about hat distribution? We are doing our best! Hat makers are pouring their hearts into making hats for you and we are all so grateful for your participation. Please sign up on Twitter @pussyhatproject for logistics in DC (yes, we are mentioning it again). We have to be nimble and may have to make some last minute location changes. If so, we want you to know ASAP.

AFTER THE MARCH:

apussyhat2.jpg1. We hope you continue to wear your pussyhat loudly and proudly everywhere and anywhere for years to come. Be prepared to don your pussyhat for future marches and protests.
2. If you do not want your pussyhat after the march, please give it to a feminist who will wear it loudly and proudly. We know that there are many who are still in search of pussyhats.
3. The Michigan State University Museum is collecting stories, selfies, pussyhats, and other items related to Michigan women’s participation in the Women’s March in Washington, DC, and in Lansing, Michigan. Please consider donating your stuff and the stuff of your memories to the MSU Museum to document this historic event. Before you send anything, please contact Shirley Wajda, Curator of History, 517.432.4582 or (better) wajdashi@msu.edu. (It is possible that other collections will also be asking for artifacts related to the Women's March and Pussyhat Project)
4. Bring your pussyhat back to your hometown and give it to someone who needs it to keep warm. We have had many participants suggest women's shelters and cancer wards. Become more involved with the organization you are supporting.

Thank you for being part of Pussyhat Project! We are deeply grateful.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 19, 2017 2:27 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: So, this 92 year old woman walks into a dance hall....

Her name is Jean Veloz. Here she is in a previous life.

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HT: neo-neocon



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 19, 2017 1:45 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Making Inroads

Mesmerizing. Made by the Shire of Moora here's how they lay this road in the outback of Western Australia.

Finishing touches were recently accomplished on the $443,000 upgrade to Airstrip Road. Funded through Roads to Recovery Funding Program. A great job by our road works crew and Trevor Longman with the Shires drone for the footage. A total of 4.9kms were completed over a two day period.
I love work like this. I could watch it for hours.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 18, 2017 11:26 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
America to the Sorest of Losers: "If you don't want to play, then you might as well split Get over it, get over it"

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 at 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 they 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



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 17, 2017 9:19 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
[Bumped & Updated] Strange Scenes Inside the 21st Century: A Majestic Leopard Accidentally Takes a Selfie in the Streets of Mumbai

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At precisely 3 am on January 15, 2016, a leopard snapped a selfie.

The fact it did this is not unusual; wild animals take a surprising number of selfies. What’s noteworthy here is the leopard snapped its selfie in Mumbai.

The big cat was prowling Aarey Colony, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, when it tripped Nayan Khanolkar's camera. The cat looks almost as surprised as Khanolkhar was. “When I saw a picture of the leopard with a look of inquiry in the direction of the camera, I realized it was special,” he says.

Khanolkar, a native of Mumbai, began photographing urban leopards after one of the big cats killed a seven-year-old in 2013. He started in Aarey Colony, which sits at the edge of Sanjay Gandhi National Park -- which covers 40 square miles and hosts more than 1,000 species, including leopards. It isn’t unusual for them to explore adjacent neighborhoods.

Still, the animals are sly and surreptitious, and difficult to photograph. Khanolkar started his hunt by identifying several locations where leopards often pass through Aarey Colony. For this photo, he set up an infrared motion sensor in an alley, attached a Nikon D700 to a nearby building, and positioned three strobes at various points throughout the area. Khanolkar visited the spot every few days to check his trap. After four months of waiting, he captured a stunning leopard creeping through the scene.

Khanolkar hopes his photos prove leopards can live alongside humans, even in a thriving metropolis like Mumbai. After all, the leopards were there first.




UPDATE FROM 2014: The leopards of Mumbai: life and death among the city's 'living ghosts'

The leopards come close to human settlements looking for food, says SGNP wildlife researcher and conservationist Krishna Tiwari. Around 90% of their diet consists of dogs, rodents and wild boar, with stray dogs - attracted by the garbage dumped on the edge of the park - accounting for 60%.

Mumbai’s leopards have generally coexisted peacefully with their human neighbours. But a spate of attacks a decade ago reinforced the notion of them as bloodthirsty man-eaters. Of the 176 reported attacks between 1991 to 2013, 84 occurred between 2002 and 2004. Nine people were killed by leopards in the month of June 2004 alone.

During this period, leopards rescued from other parts of Maharashtra state were being released in the SGNP. The authorities thought the park would be a haven for leopards, but instead the relocated cats were forced to fight for territory and food. “What we ended up having in the park was stressed-out predators,” says Athreya. “Highly territorial animals who were displaced and had to find food in an unfamiliar place.”

After the relocations stopped in 2006, the number of attacks decreased dramatically and there were no fatalities or injuries from leopard attacks in the Mumbai suburbs from 2009-11. Yet, since November 2011 there have been six fatalities; the last three deaths were all reported in Aarey Milk Colony, to the south of the SGNP. The most recent was in October 2013, when a seven-year-old boy was killed.

Tiwari, who grew up in a residential building just outside the SGNP, has worked in the park for almost two decades. The encroachment of the city today is unparalleled, he says. Illegal settlements - including nagars (settlements by non-indigenous people), padas (tribal settlements) and high-rise buildings - continue to swell in and around the park. More than 54 illegal settlements and two villages - with a combined population in excess of 250,000 - are inside the park itself.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 17, 2017 8:36 AM | Comments (39)  | QuickLink: Permalink
US Airways Flight 1549: "All Souls OK" The Hudson Miracle Approach

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This repays closer study to appreciate what was done.

Several days ago, a pilot friend sent me an email with a most interesting attachment. It seems that Jeppesen, the universally well-known publisher of aeronautical charts, had produced a special edition approach chart, detailing the Hudson Miracle Approach, as performed by the crew of Cactus 1549, the US Airways A320 that famously and successfully ditched in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. -- Aircrew Buzz

Via with a big HT toTrue North:



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 16, 2017 7:37 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Global Warming Strikes Again: How Cold Is It?

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It is block of ice containing a drowned fox who broke through the thin ice of the Danube river cold. Fridingen, southern Germany, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 15, 2017 8:40 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems: Heroes

Hummm, not a bad tune for a forthcoming inauguration.

I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh, we can beat them, forever and ever
Then we could be heroes, just for one day

David Bowie's 'Heroes': How Berlin Shaped 1977 Masterpiece

In what is arguably his greatest vocal performance, Bowie tells a story of determined lovers meeting in the shadow of the Berlin Wall (a scenario inspired, it turned out, by Bowie's glimpse of Tony Visconti and his girlfriend embracing). The narrative is borne by Robert Fripp's otherworldly guitar work. "I went into the large control room with a Les Paul around my neck and a large Marshall stack, and the guitar sound is produced simply by feedback," Fripp recalled. Eno claims he knew "Heroes" would be a great song "from the very first moment those guys started playing it." Recording his vocals after the music had been laid down, Bowie testified that "Fripp's plaintive guitar cry really triggered something emotive in me."

Tony Visconti rigged up a system, a creative misuse of gating that may be termed "multi-latch gating",

of three microphones to capture the vocal, with one microphone nine inches from Bowie, one 20 feet away and one 50 feet away. As the music built, Bowie was forced to sing at increased volumes to overcome the gating effect, leading to an increasingly unhinged vocal performance as the song progresses. Each microphone is muted as the next one is triggered. "Bowie's performance thus grows in intensity precisely as ever more ambience infuses his delivery until, by the final verse, he has to shout just to be heard....The more Bowie shouts just to be heard, in fact, the further back in the mix Visconti's multi-latch system pushes his vocal tracks, creating a stark metaphor for the situation of Bowie's doomed lovers". "Heroes" (David Bowie song) - Wikipedia



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 13, 2017 4:25 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The ABC of Death: No Volvo for Me But This Commercial Makes Its Point

With the untimely death of my car last month, I have been forced to shop for a new (used) car. For me shopping for a car is the closest thing I've had to a near-death experience since my real-death experience five years ago.

Buying a car is a skill that I do not have, in a realm I know nothing about, and which requires more money than I can easily spend, in order to get a car that will not collapse, crawl to the side of the road, wheeze, steam, gurgle, gasp, and die.

In short, I have become very weary about everything in the car-buying process. Still, I must persevere and make this all an extended Zen moment.

And in the course of looking about with my Zen"I have to get a car"Mind I stumbled over this ad from Volvo. It didn't sell me on the over-rated and over-priced Volvo, but I think it will amuse you just the same.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 12, 2017 7:09 PM | Comments (30)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens

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One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 12, 2017 8:16 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Let’s Review: Peegate

Once upon a time I was, for many years, senior editor at Penthouse Magazine. Towards the end of my tenure there the owner, Bob Guccione, found himself -- as the direct result of decades of his foolish business decisions -- about to lose the magazine and all he had. Guccione had been a big winner in the game of life but he played the endgame poorly and was about to become a big loser. This was, as so many in his losing situation always think, not the result of his poor decisions but always because of outside forces and "enemies." With Bob there were always enemies. Everywhere.

As he felt his empire slipping away, as he saw his carefully crafted world evaporating around him, Guccione became willing to do anything. Towards the end this included commissioning, buying, laying out and publishing, long photo features of naked Penthouse Pets peeing on themselves and on others as a kind of kinky foreplay in a virtual fornication festival.

The Penthouse staff -- as no doubt many many readers -- were revolted by this turn of the screwings, but Guccione was convinced that he had some sort of insight into the secret sexual desires of Americans so he published these repulsive photo features over and over again. Result? He lost his magazines, his money, his house, and ended sunk deep into penury.

Having lived through that period of Penthouse insanity I thought I had finally seen the last of losers using urination to somehow, someway, claw their way back into the winner's circle.

Alas, just when I thought I was out, the perverted progressive losers among us pull me back in. It seems they are trying to make the world believe in Trump and "Peegate."

Really? This seems to be the way Peegate worked:

1) An international business man who has spent decades in the rough and tumble world of real estate development and skyscraper construction and may be presumed to have some sophistication when it comes to wheeling and dealing with governments of all sorts throughout the world travels to

2) Moscow. Not Moscow, Idaho, but Moscow in Russia. That would be Moscow the capital of one of the most paranoid and intrusive governments in the world (Both now and for the 19th and 20th centuries.). It is a society and a government with a long history of...

3) Secret police and the clandestine surveillance of its own citizens and visitors to the extent that the US was digging bugs out of the walls of its own embassy in Moscow for decades. When he gets to Moscow he stays at...

4) The Moscow Ritz-Carlton in the “Presidential Suite.” Since such accommodations are typically only taken by the filthy rich and/or representatives of foreign governments such as, say, presidents. And then this sophisticated and reasonably intelligent billionaire real estate developer...

5) Assumes that such a suite in such a capitol city of such a government has no surveillance equipment at all installed in its rooms, bathrooms, closets, and -- most importantly -- bedrooms. He then asks the hotel staff to show him...

6) The bed in which Barack Obama and his wife slept in when they were in this same “Presidential Suite.” Upon being show the bed our businessman then...

7) Contacts two high-dollar Russian hookers (who would never, ever, have anything to do with the KGB or other intelligence organs of Russia) and instructs them to.... Wait for it....

8) Urinate on said bed in order to give said businessman some odd sort of thrill and...

9) Said businessman remains utterly positive no agency of the Russian state is running cameras and microphones from every possible angle in the master bedroom in a “Presidential Suite” in a top hotel in the capitol of Russia and...

10) The two damp hookers will never, ever, reveal a word about their golden shower in the Ritz Carleton’s “Presidential Suite.”

While I know that millions of morons are nodding like the drinking bird over the glass in their deep and abiding belief in this overflowing crock, I still find it hard to believe that there are smart people out there that really are this stupid. But of course they are not that stupid, not the smart ones. Instead they know this is a crock and yet they find they must drink from it lest their #NeverTrump fantasy world dissolve.

Sad. Their repetitive manic desperation now has foam flecking their lips and jowls as they dive down deep, and not for the last time, into this fuming septic tank of their own political sewage. Without even a snorkel. If they ever get out of the tank they will need a long, long golden shower.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 11, 2017 5:53 PM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
AIN'T IT COOL?: A Tale of Two Cultures

[From My Back Pages]

It's Easter Sunday and we are two and a half years into the Iraq war. Good Friday evening was one of those nights when, in Southern California, the weather and the combine to create what are rightly called "balmy conditions." Balm, as in a kind of salve to the soul and the skin. The air is warm but not too warm. The skies are clear and the stars seem closer. My wife and I had just seen some current comic book confection at one of the 20 screen multiplexes that are so numerous in this area that you can see the same movies 15 times within a ten mile radius.

We sat by a large sandstone and marble fountain in the stone circle between the vast theater and the vaster parking lot. It was date night and the beginning of Spring Break for the schools of Orange County. All around us kids from 11 to 18 were whooping and laughing and forming clusters of friends. They were dressed according to the upscale Goth-Surfer/Balkan Refugee dress-code common to the kid culture here on the coast. Most were too young to have tattoos or piercing, but you could see some were already planning where those lifestyle statements would go. They were slim, energetic and heedless of the future. In short, they were just reasonably rich kids in America in 2003.

We are two and a half years into the war, but the war is not and will probably never be these kids' concern. It isn't even something they consider outside of, perhaps, a few classroom exercises of dubious intent or merit. There is no reason they should consider war, nor do I wish that upon them. It isn't, in any real sense, their war. War isn't being asked of us or the affluent kids of Orange County, nor does it seem likely to be. Besides, war isn't what they're into.

They're into creating their own layer on top of our culture of cool. Their variation would be, as these things are these days, a kind of slap-dash cultural collage. It would have a bit of the Beatnik, a Hint of the hippy, a shred of the Skateboarder, an ounce of Outlaw, a portion of Punk, a hunk of Hip-Hop, and, because we were on the California coast, more than a soupcon of Surfer. It would be a melange of the old and outdated that would assert it was unique and brand new. When they were done cooking up their "culture of cool" they would all agree among themselves, "Ain't it cool?"

Their parents, as parents now do, would sigh and pour another drink or drop another Ambien, and hope that their children would get through this phase without a drug arrest, a school suspension, a permanent piercing, or a lethal accident on the highways or in the ocean. It was all they asked of them. We were two and a half years into the war and none of the kids of Orange County would fight in it unless they asked for it. All of the parents in Orange County knew their kids were crazy. After all, they were teenagers in high school. Few thought any of their kids were that crazy.

Less than 20 miles south of where we sat last Friday, there was another kind of youth culture. I saw it for a day last January. You don't see it very often around here because it doesn't hang out at the malls. You can't see it from the freeways because its center is far back in the hills. It has its own malls and towns and sporting and educational complexes. It doesn't deal in "the culture of cool." It deals in the culture of carnage. It's the Camp Pendelton Marine Base.

There are many young people here, some the same age as the kids at the malls to the north, but none of these young people are kids. There's something about daily training with tanks, rifles, heavy machine guns and artillery that puts your childhood as far behind you as the kids at the malls have their childhood still in front of them. Instead of worrying if their dad is going to pay for the new mag-chrome rims for their Escalade, this youth culture worries about the state of readiness of their Apache attack helicopters.

The culture of Camp Pendelton isn't cool in the way political fundraisers today feature hip-hop groups and background music from the golden age of Fleetwood Mac. The culture here despises the culture of cool. The culture here is composed of deeper, abiding and more fundamental things: God, Country and The Corps. There are a lot of people in America and elsewhere that would like nothing better than to deconstruct this culture into oblivion, but, as courageous as they might be in proclaiming this elsewhere, they don't seem to be showing up at the gates or on the grounds of Camp Pendleton to press the issue. They wouldn't because, according to their worldview that arises from spending decades as adolescents, the Marines are just so uncool. Aren't they?

The young men and women that come to this culture do not, we are told, come in the main from the affluent suburbs of America. They come from the ghettos and the working class parts of the country. They come to get a leg up and a ticket out of their origins. They come because they see the Marines as either a career or a means to an education that leads to a career. Most have had little given to them because they come from families with little to give. Some come to prove themselves. Some come because members of their family came before. Some come because the only other path open to them led to a cell. Some even come out of a deep faith and a deeper sense of duty. Not all that come will be accepted, but none come because it is cool. Before they came they too were once kids in America. They got the big and repeated message that the military in America these days is uncool. They knew it was uncool and they came anyway. Some because they had no other choice. Many because they didn't care about being cool if being cool meant being a kid forever.

There aren't many rich Orange County mall rats that come to the Marines out of high school. Rich kids no longer have this calling. Instead they wander on in their extended childhood though college. Then they drift into the arena where all they will have will be a six-figure income and a few "great moments at work." They will learn, if they do not already know, how to play golf and how to drive themselves deep into "middle management." In time, they will form one or two or more families in one or two or more cities or suburbs. Their roots will be shallow, but they will take lots of interesting two-week vacations to comfortable enclaves in Europe or pacified third-world countries. Towards the end, they'll spend a lot on cruise ships where they will be treated 'like royalty.' They'll acquire real estate and hope for "a nice appreciation ride." They will have little to show that they existed but that will be all right. They will use the word 'cool' in conversation and evaluation well into their seventh decade. One of the central social anxieties of their lives will be being discovered being or doing something that their peers will say is "uncool."

In short, they will be such cool Americans that, two and a half years into a war, nothing will be asked of them. That would be, you see, very uncool.

Twenty miles south at Camp Pendelton, everything is being asked of the Americans there. It is asked for in Iraq daily and paid there daily. Our very cool media's job is clear. It is to tell us in hundreds of big and little ways daily of how uncool it is to ask everything of someone. Our media is very cool indeed.

Our media is by default not a "liberal media," but a melange of many businesses and institutions that are staffed by generations of the coolest of the cool in our aging culture of cool. Our media, as every MTV-addled mall rat learns by age 5, is where the really cool jobs are. Rock star or record producer, movie star or director, reporter, anchorman, editor, publisher, video-game designer, web-monkey, DJ, photographer, pundit, columnist -- the positions go on and on and everybody knows, EVERYBODY knows, that the media's where the cool people are.

If you have a job in the media you go to the cool parties. You live in the cool towns driving the cool cars. You eat the cool foods in the cool restaurants where everybody knows your name and you get the cool table next to what passes for this week's cool celebrity du jour. You subscribe to the cool magazines and if you haven't had your picture in one yet, your turn is on the way. You have the cool summer place. Your haircut is cool. Your computer is cool. Your friends are cool. Even your dog is cool. You wear the cool clothes, and you are absolutely up-to-the-nanosecond on what is cool now and what will be cooler tomorrow. And you also know that that which is not of the culture of cool is uncool.

What is uncool today, two and a half years into the war, is, of course, the war. War's been uncool to these eternal cool kids and their kids since about 1962 and, except for a brief six month period after September 11, 2001, war is uncool now. War's uncool because, well, it is "unhealthy for children and other living things" goes the party line in the culture of cool. This war is especially uncool because it is being run by uncool people and the uncoolest President ever. But really, war is uncool because it is one of the big things that threatens to undo all the great parties and smooth lifestyles promised and delivered by the media-made culture of cool. And how does war threaten this? War, real war, actually asks something of the people of a nation as a whole people. It asks them to sacrifice their blood and their treasure and their cool attitudes and their endless summers. It asks, in the parlance of the Marine Corps, that "all give some and that some give all."

The American culture of cool has become a nation apart, an alternate-America that looks to the real America as merely some mechanism set up to deliver the many features and benefits of America to the culture of cool without question, by divine right of media. This culture is not into giving back anything they have taken from the culture at large. The culture of cool is not a giving culture, it is an taking culture. Anything it chooses to have is taken in and used to improve the lot of those within the culture of cool. That which is not cool it seeks to either use or destroy depending on whether or not it advances the culture of cool and the lifestyles of those that exist within it. It sees itself as the real soul and real intelligence of America, even as it actually rides on the broad shoulders of America like some strangling old man of the sea that, once taken up, refuses to get down. It sees itself as the engine responsible for making the culture of America continually new, even as it only recycles one empty cultural container after another through the battered green bins of its rigid internal codes and fashions to pop them out as 'new, improved and even more impossibly hip.'

Regardless of the shiny gift wrap of the cool advertising and marketing agencies that have taken to spotwelding vintage rock and roll and the latest pop or sports sensation's face onto their shabby garage sale goods, we seldom see, hear, or read anything today that is not either a remake, a sequel, or an allusion to the cool things of yesteryear. The same holds true for the politics of cool. This is confirmed in a brief review of the lamentable Democratic primaries of this year. During the months of this excruciating ritual, what was once a proud and progressive party offered up nearly a dozen cardboard candidates. When it was all over, the party chose the one candidate that sounded the most like, looked the most like, and sported the haircut and even the initials of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Camelot Redux because JFK was, as the culture of cool constantly reminds us, the coolest President ever.

John F. Kerry is, in many ways, the perfect candidate for today's graying culture of cool. He snowboards at sixty. How cool is that? He goes to great parties with hip-hop stars. Too cool. He's got lots of money that he didn't earn. So cool. He can hold opposite positions on difficult issues and lie about it with a straight face. Very cool way of getting out of middle management into upper management. He can fight in a war and throw another man's medals away. Cool career move. He can promise 10 million jobs to the 8 million unemployed. Super cool to make more jobs than workers. If he can tax those jobs that have no workers, he can probably cool out the deficit. He can talk to and cajole the alienated country of France into amour encore. This is extremely cool since it makes renting summer villas in France and trips to Paris acceptable again. Besides France is the coolest country in Europe as every member of the culture of cool will attest. His Africa-born white wife is so cool she calls herself an "African-American." Most of all, Kerry is cool because he thinks the war is uncool and is saying so in a cool kind of way. Even more than that, the members of the culture of cool know that Kerry will never ask anything of them. And the culture of cool is not a giving culture, but a taking one. If Kerry would only learn to play the saxophone he would be cooler than JFK.

Yesterday I saw a photograph fresh from the war in Iraq. There are many photographs from Iraq these days. It's an uncool country in an uncool part of the world where American soldiers are fighting and dying to cool it out. It's uncool to be a soldier there, but it is very cool to be a photographer, so we have a lot of photographers and a lot of photographs. Some taken by being on call to and hanging out with the people who are killing Americans. How cool is that?

The photograph was taken in a hanger at a military base. It shows a group of young, uncool American Marines kneeling in a tight circle on the ground in prayer. Prayer. How totally uncool.

When you look closer at the photograph you notice that extending out from within the circle of kneeling and praying Marines are the legs of a dying or dead comrade in arms. Probably a very young comrade, not too distant in age from the kids laughing and playing in front of the multiplex on a balmy night in Orange County a world away.

How uncool this man was to die for his country and his comrades. How uncool is the effort to liberate a country mired in the morass of the middle ages, when you could just stay home and play video games. How uncool to take the war to an enemy that has sworn to kill Americans wholesale and has done so. How very, very uncool.

Now this Marine will never have a shot at working in the mail room of a movie studio, a record company, or a publishing house. All this Marine has now as he recedes into death are the prayers of those Marines who trained and fought beside him. That and a military funeral and a folded flag given to his family. Prayers. Funerals. Folded flags. These things are very uncool as the media-made captions on these photographs will seek to remind you. Very uncool.

At the same time that this Marine lay dying in Iraq, the current senior spokesman for the Democratic Party, Senator Ted Kennedy (a man whose cool, credibility and courage are equal in measure) was busy condemning the effort that cost this uncool Marine his life by waving the bloody shirt of Vietnam under the nose of the nation. His words and image were duly broadcast across America by all his life-long compatriots in the culture of cool. It's a shirt faded and frayed by many decades of constant handling, wringing and waving, but the bloody shirt of Vietnam has a lot of buttons, patches, fringe, and embroidered flowers on it. It's vintage clothing. Ain't it cool?



Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2017 11:11 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Meryl's Choice

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“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.”

― William Shakespeare, Othello

Three days ago nearly anybody in America who was asked, "What do you think of Meryl Streep?" would have responded with either some level of positive admiration or a shrug that said, 'She's okay but I really don't think much about her between movies, and not all that much even then.'

Three days ago Streep had reached peak reputation in her chosen field in America. She was honored by her profession and well thought of by the vast majority of her fellow citizens. Then in five minutes at one of the auto-erotic award shows so beloved by her profession she destroyed her reputation all by herself in a fit of pre-Trump hysteria which was more like a post-menopausal hot flash than a statement of any seriousness. Her eructation of wet blather was lauded by one sarcastic commenter as "Meryl Streep openly expressing a mainstream media-approved political opinion is literally the bravest thing a woman has ever done"

This was an unforced error of major proportions; one that will have a lasting and debilitating effect on what's left of Streep's "career."

In one evening Streep has alienated, for life, much more than half the country. Significantly more. Consider that before the speech Streep's political disease was effectively hidden from most of the nation. This is not to say it was not known and could not be known to anyone who took the time to dig her smarmy notions and Hillary donations out of her back pages, but only to say that to the vast majority of us it really didn't make any difference. Now that she has dragged the fetid corpse of her politics out into the light, it is not only those described by Streep as the racist - knuckle - draggin' - their - lives - away clods right out of the fascist left's book of worn-out cliches that loathe her, but many others who now have a negative impression of her for the first time in her career.

By opening her carefully trained mouth to preen before her peers Streep has poured gasoline over her reputation, flicked her Bic lips, and burnt her reputation to the ground. From this point on most people will have a lingering question mark when it comes to deciding whether or not to see any of her films.

Streep, in her thirst to pump out one more iteration of "I stuck in my thumb and pulled out a Trump plum and said, 'What a good girl am I' ," has 'filched from herself her good name.' Her name, such as it was, will never be the same. Streep's moved herself from the realm of yet another of America's cinema sweethearts into the realm of the America-hating, citizen-despising, over-privileged infected media crones who seek to normalize the perverted.

Since the election there has been a steady stream of America hate spewing out of Hollywood. There will be more as the Trump years roll relentlessly over the PC cultists of the left. The clever will step to the side and continue to enjoy a healthy box office. The politically demented will, like Streep, continue to spew out their hate to a steadily diminishing audience. The rest of us will simply flush Streep and her ilk out of out minds and cares.

Streep's precious "Lifetime Achievement Award" will always carry, like the bad stats in baseball, an asterix next to it.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 10, 2017 8:22 AM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
White Guilt In A Box

The Safety Pin came into its own right after the election. Now it is proving, not for the first time, that "There's a [white] sucker born every minute."

It was worn by guilt-ridden white liberals who wanted to show their friends of color that they weren’t just ordinary white people… they were white people who cared. Or something.

But two Black Lives Matter activists decided that it wasn’t enough for white people to just wear a little diaper pin poked through your clothes. They needed to give money.

So Leslie Mac and Marissa Jenae Johnson created a “Safety Pin Box” so white people could give money. To them.

And even better: You can give money to them every month. As little as $25 per month and as much as $100.

“We believe giving Black people your money is essential to being a useful ally,” they proclaim on their FAQ page. They sure do! By “Black people” they mean them. They’re not a charity, they’re a business, they claim.


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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 10, 2017 8:00 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
THE CHAOS by Dr. Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946)

the-chaos.gif

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 9, 2017 8:31 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Concentrated History of Global Warming

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The true believers keep a comin'
But the train done gone.

Via Never Yet Melted's Climate Change History



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 7, 2017 8:11 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Fireborn Are At Home In the Fire

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This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.
There are men who can't be bought.
The fireborn are at home in fire.
The stars make no noise,
You can't hinder the wind from blowing.
Time is a great teacher.
Who can live without hope?

In the darkness with a great bundle of grief
the people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people
march:
"Where to? what next?"
- - Carl Sandburg: The People Yes (excerpt)

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 7, 2017 9:43 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Some Say That Snow

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Some say that snow is sleep. I say
That snow is but the rest
Of clouds upon earth's surface laid
To soothe the forest's breast,
To calm the souls that linger there
Beneath an age of leaf
That hides within its brindle flesh
Whole galaxies of seed.

Some say that snow is chill. I say
That snow is but a shawl
Draped over stones of silence,
That such silence shelter all.
And in such silence seal within
The brook beneath the glass,
That when the spring shall set it free
All dreams to sea shall pass.

Some say that snow is death. I say
That snow is but the prayer
Said when soul in winter's glade
Calls the body from its lair,
To stand within the last of light,
Becoming less than air,
To leave behind what came before
In the shadows dawn prepares.



Posted by Vanderleun Jan 6, 2017 12:21 PM | Comments (50)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Further


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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 6, 2017 10:54 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Welcome to 2017, where Bernie Sanders brings posters of Trump’s tweets to Congress

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Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 6, 2017 10:32 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Things Cost in the U.S. in 1836--How Much WAS a One Pound Bladder of Snuff?

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In case you've wondered how much four barrels of gin cost in the U.S. in 1836

I have provided the following list of What Stuff Cost, found tucked away in a book-keeping section of a very well used pocket-sized copy ofRoswell C. Smith's Practical and Mental Arithmetic on a New Plan..., which was published in Hartford in 1836. The answer to the gin question is $75, and if a barrel meant 42 gallons back then as it does now then the gin would cost about 60 cents a gallon. That of course sounds like a tiny price, but compared to what? That 60 cents would be about two-thirds of a day's wages for the average non-farm white male worker (actually between 50 cents and $1.00), while girl/women textile workers in Lowell Mass worked for about $3-4 per six day week. So if you considered working for most of theday in exchange for a bottle of (average, nothing special) gin, then it would seem a little on the expensive side. Or consider the prices of stuff as expensive or not based on a yearly salary of $300 or so and getting by on about a dollar a day.

Many varieties of food and drink in this imaginary store's stock would have come in barrels (abbreviated "bbl"): gin, vinegar, brandy, pork, and beef (probably salted). Rum and molasses were tallied in hogsheads ("hhd"), a standard measure of volume usually used for alcoholic beverages.

This hypothetical clerk also stocked cloth, hats, shoes, axes, kettles, textbooks, and knives—all the items a 19th-century country clientele might have relied upon such a store to provide, in a time before widespread availability of mail-order goods.Via the Venerable JF Ptak Science Books



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 4, 2017 12:42 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Required Reading: Rules for Righties -- a War-Winning Manifesto for 2017

"One of the best things about 2016 for me was the way it gave the lie to the weaselish and wet aphorism – so often repeated by so many of our impeccably reasonable, sensible and balanced TV and newspaper pundits – that elections are “won in the centre ground.”

"This was the Belial philosophy that gave us, in the U.S., that hideous continuum from the Bushes and the Clintons to Obama; and in Britain, the grotesque and malign Third Way squishery that took us from Tony Blair through to his (self-admitted heir) David Cameron and beyond. (It’s also the mindset which invented the disgraceful, sell-out concept of “soft Brexit”.)

"No wonder so many of us had become so fed up with politics: no matter which party you voted for, whether the notionally left-wing one or the notionally right-wing one you still seemed to end up up with the same old vested interests, the same old liberal Establishment elite.

"Of course we should always despise the liberal-left because their philosophy is morally bankrupt, dangerous and wrong. But I sometimes think that the people we should despise most of all are the squishes who pretend to be on our side of the argument but forever betray our cause. Sometimes they do this by throwing the more outspoken among us to the wolves in order to signal how tolerant and virtuous they are; sometimes they do this by endorsing some fatuous liberal position in order to show their willingness to compromise.

"I call the latter approach the “dogshit yogurt fallacy.”

"If conservatives like fruit or honey in their yogurt and liberals prefer to eat it with dogshit, it is NOT a sensible accommodation – much as our centrist conservative columnists might wish it so – to say: “All right. How about we eat our yogurt with a little bit of both?” We need to understand, very clearly, that there are such things as right and wrong; and that, furthermore, it is always worth fighting to the bitter end for the right thing rather than accepting second best because a bunch of lawyers and politicians and hairdressers from Brazil and squishy newspaper columnists and other members of the liberal elite have told us that second best is the best we can hope for."

by James Delingpole. Now finish your assignment and read the whole thing. And remember.... NO PRISONERS!



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 3, 2017 10:08 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Trump's New Tailor: Martin Greenfield, Holocaust Survivor, "I was liberated by Eisenhower."

With Obama, at first he wanted me to copy a suit. I don't copy other's suits. They copy my suit. So, if he wants me to make something I have to measure. Next day he sends an email, "It will be a pleasure to meet you."

Greenfield was born on August 9, 1928 to a Jewish family in Pavlovo, a small village in what was then Czechoslovakia. At age 14, Greenfield was rounded up along with his father, mother, two sisters, brother and grandparents. All were brought to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Near the end of World War II, Greenfield was moved along with other Auschwitz prisoners to the Buchenwald concentration camp. In April 1945, the American army stormed the camp, and liberated its prisoners. As the troops passed through the camp, Greenfield stopped a young rabbi who was serving as a U.S. Army chaplain and asked him, "where was God?". The rabbi, Hershel Schaecter, later told Greenfield that he had never forgotten the question.[2] Later, General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived to supervise the liberation, and Greenfield shook his hand; coincidentally, standing next to Greenfield at the time was Elie Wiesel, who would later become famous writing about his time in the concentration camps.

Soon after the liberation, Greenfield and another teenage survivor set out to kill the wife of the mayor, who had previously had Greenfield beaten for trying to eat food intended for her pet rabbits. When they found her, she was carrying her newborn baby, and Greenfield relented; he has described that moment as when he "became human again".
Greenfield spent the next two years in Europe, looking for his remaining immediate family, who unbeknownst to him had all been killed. His father was killed one week before his camp was liberated. In 1947, at the age of 19, he boarded a ship to the United States, and stayed with wealthy relatives in Baltimore. Soon afterward, he moved to New York City, where an aunt of his lived.

In 1947, a fellow Czech immigrant guided him to GGG Clothing, a clothing manufacturer in the East Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he was hired as a "floor boy".[2] Over the next decade, his tailoring skills and reputation grew. His first major client, in the early 1950s, was General Eisenhower, then preparing to run for the presidency.In 1977, Greenfield bought GGG Clothing, and renamed it to Martin Greenfield Clothiers. The company would grow from six employees at the time to 117 by 2010.

Among Greenfield's list of clients are U.S. presidents Eisenhower, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford and Barack Obama; General Colin Powell, actor Paul Newman, Cardinal Edward Egan, athlete Patrick Ewing and New York City political figures Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly. -- - - La Wik



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 2, 2017 8:37 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Off the Grid... Way Off the Grid

aaclifhouse.JPG

If you, like me, have ever wanted to live off the grid, then the up for auction Utah Cliff House near Moab, Utah is the place for you. Lord knows that if I had the money I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Located just 20 minutes outside Monticello, Utah in Montezuma Canyon, Cliff Haven is rich in Anasazi history with artifacts throughout the property. Watch the video above to get the full details and see how this cliff house is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.

This property includes 12 acres, a garage, room for expansion and more. There’s wifi and phone line on the property so you can stay connected, work from home, keep in touch with family and let Amazon deliver to your front door.

Property details

Property Size: 2,100 sq ft
Property Lot Size: 12 acres
Rooms: 9
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Year Built: 1986
Garages: 3
Garage Size: 900 sq ft


The auction is on the 21st. Start your liquidations now.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Jan 2, 2017 8:05 AM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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