It began in 1923, when South Dakota historian Doane Robinson had the idea to carve larger-than-life figures into the state's Black Hills.
Robinson wanted to honor Western heroes — both Native Americans and pioneers — but it was his sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, who suggested the monument go national, spotlighting George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Robinson appealed to Congress for funds and permission, but only permission was granted. Amid outspoken opposition to the project, planning and fundraising began in 1925. But it wouldn't have gotten very far without President Calvin Coolidge who, in one of his last executive acts, signed a bill approving funding. Borglum broke ground in 1927.
The workers were paid $8 an hour, which is more than $100 an hour by today's standards.
But the work was brutal and dangerous. They had to endure blazing hot summers and bitter cold winters. Just to clock in each morning, they had to climb more than 500 stairs and maneuver over 45 ramps to the top of the mountain. Drillers and carvers strapped into leather harnesses dangled on the side of the mountain, hundreds of feet off the ground. Anytime they needed to change position or come up for the day, a worker hand-cranked the cable. Incredibly, not a single person died in the process, thanks to the intricate, and stringent, infrastructure Borglum designed.
Did Donald Trump beat up your hopes, crush your dreams. and kick them to the curb? Well, snowflake, it's time for you to feel better by moving, not to Canada, but to an alternate universe.It is a universe ruled by.... President Hillary Rodham Clinton!
Immigration - Global humanitarian reasons for current U.S. immigration are tested
in this updated version of immigration author and journalist Roy Beck's colorful presentation of data from the World Bank and U.S. Census Bureau. The 1996 version of this immigration gumballs presentation has been one of the most viewed immigration policy presentations on the internet. Presented by immigration author/journalist Roy Beck
As each refugee that vacates Africa, India, Mexico, South America, Indochina, the Middle East or any other overpopulated country—that same arena of humanity adds another 80,000,000 (million) net gain, new babies annually. Those countries and cultures either refuse to engage birth control or have no access. Therefore, they refuse to or cannot become responsible for their own numbers. Those people follow ancient religions that refuse to step into the realities of the 21st century: Catholic Church, Islam, Hindus and other Christian sects.
As a result, our planet falters as the Third World adds one billion more humans every 12 years on their way to adding three billion more of themselves by 2050 or 33 years from now. These verifiable facts cannot be disputed as reported from population projections by the United Nations.
Millions of those people cannot read, write or perform simple mathematical equations. In other words, illiteracy drives their fecundity rates that can never be solved because no country on Earth can educate another 80 million people annually without commensurate teachers.
Don't like gumballs? Here's more from the same source done in charts:
Matthew had some strong ideas about prayer. It is in his book that we find the Lord's Prayer, also known as "The Swiss Army Knife of Prayers." This particular prayer, according to Matthew (who should know about such things), is the Alpha and the Omega of prayers. He stresses this when he writes in Matthew 6:9-6:13, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven....
Of late, and for obvious reasons, I've become more likely to pray than to curse. Indeed my new program is to swap a prayer for a curse whenever I find I've slipped into the cursing mode.
In a world that is accursed putting more curses into it is never a good idea. We are full up at present. No shortage of curses that I can see. Still, slipping into the cursing mode is easy to do in today's world. We're encouraged to do it by the very nature of the secular society.
Add to that my thirty year stint in New York City where the standard reaction to almost any event is either a curse that involves the middle initial of the Savior (Just what does that "H." stand for anyway?), or the invocation of unnamed males who have an affinity for crude sex only with females of the motherly persuasion, and you've got, when it comes to my ability and propensity to curse, one crude mother....
It's a bad habit and one that I am trying to break. One way is, whenever I catch myself in an angry cursing moment, to recite a prayer instead. And the goto prayer in these multiple moments is always the Lord's. It's brief. It's beautiful. I can say it at high speed and by rote.
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day...
The Lord's Prayer also has a hidden benefit. It has, at is core, one simple but profound request:
"Give. Us. This. Day."
That's it. That's the real core of all prayers. That is the one request of the Lord without which nothing else matters. That is what all our past, lost days flow towards and which all our future hoped-for days flow from. Without the gift of "This Day" the ones that have passed have no meaning and the ones that are to come have no potentiality. Both are but abstractions or, as the poet has it:
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Which is a fancy way of saying that without the gift of this day being given all else is lost. Secular thinkers speak of this as being "in the now" as if "being here now" was all that it took to be really alive.
I lived in that popcult fauxworld for years before escaping and, looking back, I seem to remember it not as replete with luminous headlands overlooking the sea, but as the shadowlands that loom beyond a darker border. It was neither a gift nor a curse, a burden or a blessing. It simply was and, as a result, was rather unremarkable.
That secular world originated out of nothing, out of the limited imagination of the noosphere and, with no reach beyond itself, existed closer to the Alpha than to the Omega. It had, as secular things often do, a tangle of bright, shiny deceivers clustered around it like gnats outside a privy, but when you arrived at the center it had nothing to say about tomorrow, and very little to promise about this day other than that it would be roughly similar to yesterday. There was little inscape and no escape. Its "Now" was always the same day, neither given nor taken but simply existing. It was the kind of day in which the existence of the Human and the existence of Planaria were essentially equal. I, for one, would rather ask for my day than simply arrive in it.
Which is why, when I pray the Lord's Prayer, I always pause -- at the very least -- when I come to the phrase, "Give us this day." And in that pause I remember another phrase derived from scripture, "Tomorrow is not promised."
I once knew that phrase, "Tomorrow is not promised," in a rather dry, academic, vaguely poetic manner. Now, having had my all my tomorrows removed and then miraculously restored, I understand the phrase down to the marrow of my bones. Coming into this day I always ask "Give us this day." Departing the day I find I return to the early litanies of childhood, "I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake...."
But then, so far, I do wake and I continue in my project to replace curses with prayers. I'm not very good at it yet. Still fairly shaky. Then again, as another poet tells me,
This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.
The Lord give me (and give you) This Day.
[ UPDATE: And now, the First Lady of the United States, in Florida, February 18, 2017 .... ]Continued...
Proof -- Dateline: Moab, Utah Taken at Site
He'd hunted big game for years all over the United States. Hunting was a way of life to him. But, in all those years, he'd never shot a buffalo. He'd put his name in for the lottery that gave out yearly licenses to shoot buffalo, but year after year the winning number had eluded him. As he failed, again and again, his need to add a buffalo, an American bison, to his life bag grew to obsessive proportions. Finally, he could stand it no longer. He determined that he would buy a couple of young buffalo, raise them, and then shoot them. It seemed like a plan.
When the buffalo purchase was completed the question arose about where these buffalo were to be raised. He wasn't a rich man and the cost to two baby buffalo maxed out his credit cards. The only viable option was to raise them on his front lawn in Moab, Utah. Accordingly, the buffalo were delivered and put out to pasture, or "out to lawn" as the case may be.
Besides grass the lawn also contained, courtesy of his kids, a couple of soccer balls. Shortly after the buffalo became his lawn ornaments, he was out walking among them when one of them discovered a soccer ball and butted it over to him with its nose. Without thinking he kicked it back towards the other buffalo, who passed it to the first buffalo who butted it back to him. An hour or so of passing and kicking the soccer ball between man and buffalo ensued.
When he went out on his lawn the next morning, they were waiting for him. One seemed to be playing midlawn while the other hung back by the water trough which had become some sort of goal. The forward buffalo butted the ball towards him. Without thinking he returned the kick over the head of the forward. No good. With a speed belying its bulk, the defensive buffalo moved quickly and butted it through his legs to the porch. When it bounced off the barbecue, they seemed to do a brief victory prance. The game was afoot.
Day after day, week after week, the strange lawn ritual with the soccer ball went on and on. In truth, he had long since pulled far ahead of the buffalo in goals, but what do buffalo know about keeping score?
In time, however, the hunting season came around. He looked out of his house on the first morning and saw the buffalo waiting for him, the soccer ball in front of the forward, the defensive buffalo pacing slowly back and forth by the water trough. It came to him then that he could never shoot them. It would spoil the season -- and the soccer season, in the deserts of Utah, is never really over.
On a hot afternoon soon after, he looked out his window and discovered, much to his delight and his neighbors' shock, that the two buffalo on his lawn were indeed male and female.
Now it is two years later and he has four buffalo on his lawn. He doesn't hunt anything anymore. Says he's lost the taste for it. His old hunting buddies come by every so often and razz him about the buffalo.
"You started with two and couldn't shoot them," one said. "Now you got four, and next year you're gonna have five. What are you going to do then?"
He went to his garage and came back with a basketball.
"Trump la mitad del territorio de U.S.A. es nuestro": Trump, half the territory of the USA is ours. "Trump, devuelve (etc)": Trump return our (list of states). "Trump no pagaremos tu muro": Trump, we're not going to pay for your wall.
Loomings. Every year, sometime between the fade of Indian summer and the rise of white drifts, I find myself entering the forgetting. Underneath the rain and the packed ice my world goes brown and brittle, sodden with leaf mulch, sad with weed sighs, and the mind fills with all the past gone years.
The weather becomes predictable and hence I pay more attention to the predictions -- a kind of confirmation bias of gloom; sought to bolster my own pessimism of this time, of that place,
Of things ill done and done to others' harm
Which once you took for exercise of virtue.
In the forgetting time the sunlight hours of the day seem to drain rapidly away until you mark well, and others underscore for you, the shortest day of the year. But once that passes, the adding of sunlight to the day seems to come on with agonizing slowness and you note, ruefully, on a January Sunday, that at 7:15 it is still dark.
And then, on that same Sunday, only four hours later you open the door and step out into your little corner of the world. And you smell it. You smell it every year and every year you forget until it comes back again.
You smell that faint, distant, almost ineffable, sweetness coming in on a breeze from the south. You look to the north and you see the slate sky swirling away, almost ablating before your eyes, and the washed teal blue revealed. Not the winter's blue of stark ice, but a shade like that seen in a cast-off jay's feather.
It's the hint, the first faint far-off hint. It's a memory's whisper behind the breeze. You remember that to see what's really the news of the day you have to LOOK and look carefully. And so you look and you see what even yesterday you did not.
You see that the green of the pines has gotten brighter and taken on a faint shine. You see that the moss seems to be ringed round and shot through with small shoots of grass. You look and look more closely at the weeping birch and you see, as small as a butterfly's eyes, the buds beginning to push through the bark.
You see what was the rank and sodden leaf-mulch and sad decayed weeds and you think, "Compost. I really have to plant something now."
You pause on the street corner of your little corner of the world and you feel, see, hear, smell and, yes, faintly on the tip of your tongue, taste the return of the world. It's back from winter as the abiding earth swings again closer to our home star. It is today and today is Just-spring.
And in spite of yourself you remember the plaque on the wall at your daughter's school somewhere in all those past gone years:
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it -- Psalm 118
Ace says: "Thanks to Soothsayer, the best TV intro ever, and yes, it beats Manimal, UFO, and even The Six Million Dollar Man."
And I believe him.
Nordstroms of Seattle yanks Ivanka Trump's line because... because.... well they lied. An interview with Abigail Adams at I Own the World where, at the end, it is suggested that I get in my van and round der loons. File under: "It's my horn and I toot it as I pleases."
"Just so you know: the woman I spoke with at Nordstrom was an exec asst to CEO, Blake Nordstrom. She wasn’t a random customer service person in the PI. Money talks and BS walks — and I’ve got (somewhere) my original paper Nordstrom credit card. I’m probably customer number 001. Now I’m customer 000. We won the battle of the election but, as you can all see today, the war has just begun. So suit up, fix bayonets, and get into the current battle — whatever it is." -- Abigail Adams We’re Going To Try and Do This More Often: Conversations With Readers – IOTW Report
One of my favourite anecdotes is of Mick returning unannounced to Dartford to see his parents after two years of chaotic world tours, debauchery, mayhem, riots and goodness only knows what else. ‘Oh Michael,’ says his horrified mother on opening the door. ‘Your hair….’
A laundry chute is a mythic domestic space. It’s an unwatched door to nowhere, the open throat of an old home. Its reputation has as much to do with convenience as with the early recognition that a house is not solid through and through. The laundry chute is a place where stains and embarrassing odors go to be erased, and dropping linen down the chute is a mnemonic for forgetting those embarrassments, for making such accidents invisible.
Does gentle reader enjoy being smeared? Well, I should speak only for myself. I don’t like it. Perhaps I am projecting when I guess that most members of the new administration, Stateside, don’t enjoy it either. Verily, I’ll go out on a limb, and say no normal person delights in becoming the target of vicious attack, and yet our Lord said: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
In the past three weeks, Trump has: staffed the White House, sent a dozen Cabinet nominees to the Senate, browbeat Boeing into cutting its price on a government contract, harangued American CEOs into keeping their plants in the United States, imposed a terrorist travel ban, met with foreign leaders and nominated a Supreme Court justice, among many other things (And still our hero finds time to torment the media with his tweets!) What have congressional Republicans been doing? Scrapbooking?
Time and again, we give away a right because we think it’ll adversely affect only those we see as adversaries. But it always comes back on you. When you give power to politicians you like in order to punish Americans you don’t, it’s guaranteed that that power will one day be used against you by politicians you don’t like, who see you as the bad guy.
"Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world.
Where none suffered. Where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed that we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that as a species, human beings define their reality through misery and suffering. Smith Interrogates Morpheus Transcript
While the original colonial ancestry of the country has been overrun by subsequent migrants, the founding stock remain as a genetic undercurrent – a common genetic thread – within each American nation. This is especially true in the nations of the American South, where the colonial settlers received less subsequent migration and the original stock remains strong.
The changes that they saw in their lifetimes are nothing short of astonishing. Almanzo lived from 1857 and died in 1946; his birth predated the Civil War and his death happened after the dropping of the atomic bomb. Laura lived from 1867 to 1957; she was born during Reconstruction and died in the same year that Sputnik I was launched. She lived to see the introduction of electricity, the telephone, penicillin, movies, television, air travel, space travel, and two World Wars. She was born in an era of twig brooms and eating hard tack on the trail, and died in the age of vacuum cleaners and counter-top blenders.
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: "
A ten minute signing ceremony today which concludes with Trump, surrounded by Washington DC players, giving the pen to the miners and inviting them back to the Oval Office. Check it out.Continued...
Too much winter? Too much rain? Two words: "Road Trip"
THE FIRST THING YOU LEARN IS your don't go "into" the Olympic Peninsula. You go around it. Although Seattle has the feel of being on a coast, it's really an interior city protected from the lashing storms of the Northwest Pacific by a vast up-welling of mountains, as much as it is protected from the cutting edge of our political storms by its removal to the far corner of the nation. One of the advantages of the city is that it sits at the bottom of a vast bowl of straits, lakes and mountains. When the rain clears out and you take in the western view from the top of Queen Anne Hill (the highest hill in Seattle) you see the barrier of the Olympic Mountains that seems to wrap around half the horizon. After seeing this a number of time, two words appear in the mind: Road Trip.
So it was with Spring a day away and, for once, a promising weather forecast I set out for a short trip to the Olympic Peninsula since I had had enough, for a few days at least of:
But, as I said, there is no "into" when it comes to the Olympic Peninsula, only "around."
It was not promising when, in my effort to get to the ferry that would take me out to the jumping off point, I ran afoul of three detours and two Sunday afternoon traffic jams. What should have been a fifteen minute drive to the ferry turned into an hour and a half. Enough time to take me off my original plan of staying at the Kalaloch Lodge. Instead, I only managed to make the town of Forks in time to participate in the town's annual scholarship auction. You had no choice but to participate since every sound system in every store and restaurant was tuned to the broadcast of the auction and turned up loud. I took shelter by going to the auction itself.
It was one of those small town events that puts your faith in the essential goodness of people back into your soul. Everyone in this town of some 1,300 souls had evidently donated something (From a $1600 Alaskan Fishing Trip to a plate of 6 brownies baked by the Brownies -- $22 and delicious). And everyone in the town was buying something. Furniture, art, baked goods, embroidered guest towels, exercise equipment... a hodgepodge of a town wide garage sale. The purpose? A fund to send some kids from Forks to college. And in Forks getting to college was very, very important because it meant those kids that made it had a chance to get out of Forks.
Not that it is a bad town. Not at all. It is just that it is a dying town. The curtailing of logging and fishing in the Olympic Peninsula may have gone over well in Seattle where people are concerned that they won't have any natural, unspoiled environments in which to ride their horsies and mossy woods to hike about in. In Seattle, the only thing more popular for a politician to say than "It's for the children" is "It's for the environment." Some of the brighter politicians have taken to working in the phrase, "It's for the children's environment!" This always plays to rousing ovations and cheers, especially from the childless.
Things are not so happy in Forks which has had to deal with the loss of thousands of jobs as a result of various "popular" [in the cities] measures. Forks, by any measure, is struggling to keep its head above water. You can feel it in the forced cheer and the determined pride shown at this one small auction where, against all odds, they have managed to raise more than $50,000 for the Forks Escape Fund.
One of my local correspondents, much more knowledgeable about the shameful political history that killed Forks related this small tale that pretty much sums up the relationship of city and town in Washington state:
Our US Senators, Patty Murray (D) who we rightfully detest and Slade Gorton (Republican and now defeated by Maria Cantwell) were on opposite sides of a timber debate on the floor of the senate. Listening to the floor action on the squawk box, we heard Patty nattering about how she was totally in tune with the people of Washington on timber issues, why in fact the lumbermen of Forks were some of her best sources of information and strongest supporters, The staffer turned to me and said "Seattle liberal greenies may love Patty, but not the good folks in Forks. She's cost hundreds, maybe thousands of timber people their jobs. If you handcuffed her to the stop sign in the middle of Forks at 3 AM, come morning she'd be gone and they would never be able to find her body."
True enough. I looked. And she wasn't there. There are many hungry crab pots in these waters.
After an amazingly indifferent meal, I put up at the Pacific Inn Motel to wait for dawn and pray for sun.
Which, amazingly, arrived with the dawn. I wanted to go south towards the Hoh Rain Forest, but since La Push was nearby I decided to head there. Big mistake. Even though my correspondent, who had been so prescient about Forks, declared that she "grew up hiking, camping, trying to drown myself and poaching salmon, crabs and clams off all these beaches and I love every stinking piece of seaweed on every slippery barnacle befouled rock, " I found that I could not share the love enough to find it in La Push. La Push is an indian village and like most of these sad places, seems determined not to let money from casinos work against decades of squalor. Whenever I find myself in these towns I always have to wonder where all those millions are going. Certainly not for paint or decent housing. I beat a quick retreat.
La Push, the only scenic view
About an hour later, I took a left and came to one of the roads I was looking for.
This let me know that I was well on my way to what is probably the greatest collection of moss in the Northern Hemisphere, the Hoh Rain Forest.
I stopped in a small store on the way in where the woman behind the counter had been waiting patiently for at least a week to sell something to somebody. She sold me a rain coat. "You'll probably need it seeing that you are going to a rain forest." What could I do but agree? Besides, it was lined with the holy fabric of the Pacific Northwest, fleece, and it doubled my holdings.
Correctly attired, waterproof, I pushed on up the road past local inhabitants --
--- and signage betraying local attitudes that seemed as eager to say "Goodbye" as "Howdy tourista!"
But it was worth it because, once beyond the mysteriously deserted entrance to the Hoh Rain Forest, --
-- I found myself alone in the location where they will shoot the Freddy Kruger epic, Nightmare in the National Parks.
Walking the Hall of Mosses trail alone on a Monday morning brings you quickly in touch with the overwhelming beauty of this carefully preserved and presented part of the forest. The signs along the way and the slow rise into deeper and deeper groves of moss obliterated trees is like walking through a live Powerpoint slide show on "the value of preserving our national parks at all costs. No matter who has to pay."
At the same time, this particular show, by the time you get to the core of it, starts to present your subconscious mind with all sorts of disturbing back chatter. For all the beauty of it, you still understand that you are also seeing a parasite run wild across a very large chunk of forest. And you see, time and again, how a very small organism such as a spore of moss can topple very large forms of life such as a 300 foot tall spruce. I've always liked moss but I have noticed that various treatments to kill it are quite popular at the local Home Depots. Perhaps, just perhaps, even a good thing can get a little out of hand.
From the Hoh Rain Forest I finally found my way to Kalaloch Lodge. I'd made this my destination since it seemed to promise all the things I need in the way of a retreat from the world, that vision of Edna St. Vincent Millay of:
.... a little shanty on the sand
And so I was forced to hunker down with plank-grilled salmon and a few glasses of crisp Riesling. And there I sat until, as it will, the last light came and got me.
It not only fetched me out of the cabin, it fetched the entire lodge as if a lodestone had, on the very cusp of the vernal equinox, of Spring, taken hold of our rain-soaked, mossy souls and dragged us out of our pastoral stupor, back into the world dimensional.
All along the cabins strung down the bluff doors opened and men, women, children and dogs came tumbling out onto the wet lawn to hover and stare as far out to sea as they could while the sun came down from beneath the curtain of cloud and lit the world and made it new.
It was only about five hours steady drive back to Seattle, but nobody was leaving. Behind us you had the impenetrable escarpment of the Olympic Peninsula.
In front of us you had the slow Pacific swell illuminated by the hand of God.
Tomorrow would be the first full day of Spring. It would rain again. It would always rain again.
For now, nobody was going anywhere.
"If there had not been freedom of speech in the 19th century, I can guarantee you that we would still have slavery today. Powerful voices would have silenced the abolitionists arguments and the modern world would never have come into being. We have labor saving devices because labor became expensive. And labor became expensive because slavery was ended...."Continued...
When the fog forms in Paradise all my ghosts come out, moving like wraiths behind the mist, believing no one can see them. But I do. Everywhere in this small town in northern California in which I was a young boy and to which I have returned as an old man, I often sense that boy and those long ago moments.
This morning the fog was thick here on the ridge as I returned from an errand down on Lucky John Road; a road I had not been on for over 60 years. Even before I came over the crest of the hill and started down the far side my back brain told me there was a brook at the bottom. And sure enough, in a moment, my car passed over the brook as it flowed in a culvert from one side of the road to the other.
Today there were a number of tidy cookie-cutter contractor-built homes on either side complete with their gardens, garages, and water-features. The once forest-thick pines were thinned out to garden specs.
The little old lady’s ramshackle homemade house was long gone to landfill... as was the little old lady herself. Still, as I pulled the car over in the fog and looked around, they appeared. Ghosts moving behind today's new morning; a kind of Balinese shadow puppet epic projected on the far side of the atmosphere by the lantern of memory.
The last time I had been to the brook I was 11 and I walked. I walked from my house on the canyon's edge half a mile to where the brook meandered out of the pines and under Lucky John Road. I did it because my father told me to do it. I did it because my father had decided that at 11 it was time I had “A Job.” My father believed in boys having A Job and having one as soon as possible.
One evening shortly after my 11th December birthday he called me aside. “There’s an old lady named Miss Helen over the hill who needs help,” he told me. “She’s getting on and she has no family. She needs help chopping wood for her heat and other chores.” (“Dad, please.”) “No backtalk. I’ve already told her you’d be there tomorrow afternoon.” (“Oh come on, dad.”) “Did I mention she was going to pay you.” (“Please, dad.... Oh? How much?”) “Four or five bucks a week....” (“When can I start?”)
This would have been 1956 and my allowance at the time was a royal fifty cents a week which kept me in bubble gum and comic books. Barely. The sum to be paid was an expansion of my cash on hand to levels beyond the dreams of boyhood avarice. The next afternoon my Keds crunched through the thin sheets of ice formed in the puddles next to the stream as I reported to Miss Helen driven more by greed than duty.
Thinking back Miss Helen’s place was more of a hut than a house. It had a tin roof and was very small, consisting of a small sitting area just inside the door, a kitchen behind that, and a sleeping alcove behind that with a curtain that was always closed.
The hut sat on what were probably cinder blocks on a sort of islet around which branches of the brook actually made a babbling sound over the mossed rocks. There must have been some electricity since I remember a refrigerator and a radio, but there weren’t any electric lights, only kerosene lanterns that required me to trim their wicks. Her water was drawn from the stream and stored in a large tank just on the other side of the kitchen wall with a pipe that came through the wall to a small metal tub she used as a sink. One of my primary tasks was to carry buckets of water to the tank and fill it.
This job began in the winter and the only source of heat Miss Helen had was a standard issue wood stove that she also used for cooking. The stove took a lot of wood and the old lady’s wood came from a large pile of logs on another islet behind her hut. They were far too big to fit in the stove and my main job was to take a maul, then an axe, then a hatchet, and transform the each log into a pile of kindling that the old lady could use. It wasn’t that bad a job except when it snowed or rained, which, since this was winter in Paradise was pretty much every other day when it was not a continuation of the snow and rain from the day before.
At the start it made me ache but by the end of two weeks I didn’t mind it much. I went to school. I took the bus home and at the bus stop instead of going down the dirt road to home I walked over the hill to chop wood and carry water. When I was done I would walk home. Tired.
Miss Helen was both little and very, very old. Or as old as a person in their late 60s appeared to a boy of 11 in 1956. She was small, stooped, with almost translucent hands, and as roly-poly as my paternal grandmother. She wore thick stockings and heavy shoes. It seemed to me that she wore only hand-sewn dresses that could have been fashioned from large print tablecloths. Over these she always had an apron on. These aprons always had a pocket and from that magic pocket, every Friday, she’d take a clasp-closed leather change purse and count out four silver dollars with their satisfying clack and clink.
Once I got home my father had me hand over two of the silver dollars so he could demonstrate the miracle of compound interest in a savings account he made me open.
“So,” he’d ask every week as he relieved me of half my cash flow,”how do you like going to the job?”
I’d make some kind of half-hearted response to which his response was always, “You don’t have to like the job, but a real man always goes to the job.”
I’d nod and dream of all the extra Fleers bubble gum and comic books my residual two bucks were going to get me down at the Feed Store. Sometimes I’d splurge and get a nickel Coke and read my comics lying on bags of feed with their dusty burlap smell.
And so I went to the job with the little old lady who lived by the brook. For months I chopped wood and carried water for Miss Helen, and saw how even the very old and the very poor still carried on their lives with dignity even when all they had was miserable, mean nothing.
Then, one day, I came home on the school bus and found my father waiting for me at the stop. “You don’t have to go to work today. Miss Helen’s left.”
“Left? Where’d she go?”
“When’s she coming back?”
“She won’t be. But she left this for you.” He reached into his wallet and handed me a ten dollar bill. At the time it was the largest bill I’d ever possessed. “It’s like a two week notice. She wanted you to have it.”
I took it feeling good about having it but disappointed that Miss Helen would leave without so much as a goodbye.
But of course she didn’t leave. She just became a ghost; a ghost my father wanted to spare me. Hence, she just went away. Until this morning when, sitting in my car near the brook on Lucky John Road, she came back.
She came back out of the fog; small, translucent, in her hand-made dress with her apron and her worn change purse fat with its silver dollars.
Which is when, after 60 years, it hit me.
Miss Helen was a very, very poor woman. In 1956 four silver dollars a week would have been a serious sum of money to her. Very serious. Unless she had some sort of secret stash of silver dollars. Which I was pretty sure she did not. In fact I’m pretty sure a secret stash of pennies would have been beyond her means.
On the other hand, my father really liked silver dollars and always kept a jar full on his dresser.
“You don’t have to like the job, but a real man always goes to the job.”
When the fog forms in Paradise, all my ghosts come out.
Now I see you standing
With brown leaves falling around
And snow in your hair
Now you're smiling out the window
Of that crummy hotel
Over Washington Square
Our breath comes out white clouds
Mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
We both could have died then and there....
As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I've got a little list--I've got a little list.... - W. S. Gilbert
"The List" is the bane of testosterone-driven humans. "The List" is kept in the secret mental lock-box of human beings of the estrogen persuasion. Some believe that "The List" is a social construct, while others believe that "The List" is hard-wired into the DNA of the human female. I favor the latter theory since it seems to me that "The List" is merely a subset of "The Plan" -- and "The Plan" is not only part and parcel of the basic makeup of the human female regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, or historic epoch, it is also the reason that -- over time -- women triumph over men. Women, in short, always have a life plan while men are stuck with something that looks like a cross between a spread sheet without a recalc button and a really slick marketing idea.
In short, men might have a plan for making a rocket-propelled street luge, but they have none at all when it comes to human activities that stretch across decades -- unless it involves such trifles as national defense or energy policy. Men seem to see items like this as actually important, but women know that what is really important is the command and control of male behavior. Hence, "Your Permanent Conduct Record" aka "The List."
Women reading this essay are, of course, not the type to ever keep an indelible list of male transgressions, large and teeny-tiny. But trust me, there are many that do. Why? Because it works.
"The List" is a means of male-control through negative feedback. Positive male actions towards a woman are expected, perhaps noted at the time, perhaps not, -- but always in pencil. A brief pat and nod of encouragement and then the woman goes back into the default mode of "what have you done for me lately?" "Lately" is, as all men know, but a small subset of a single day.
Failings of the male -- such as lapses in mental telepathy -- are kept on "The List" in indelible ink, preferably blood-red. "The List" also includes transgressions, large and small, against the woman from previous relationships with previous males. The ownership of all these transgressions is automatically transfered to the male of the current relationship at the moment of inception or conception, whichever comes first. This is the reason men sometimes feel they are expected to pay an overdue bill for a meal they did not eat in a restaurant that no longer exists. Plus a 20% tip.Continued...
In a large forested enclosure of the Wolong Reserve, panda keepers Ma Li and Liu Xiaoqiang listen for radio signals from a collared panda training to be released to the wild.
Tracking can tell them how the cub is faring in the rougher terrain up the mountain. As conservation icons go, nothing quite beats the giant panda. Instantly recognizable worldwide and adored by billions, the giant panda is a virtual brand whose resemblance to anything wild is as tenuous as it is rare. Like many endangered species, giant pandas have declined as a growing human population has seized wild lands for human uses. The Chinese have spent the past quarter of a century perfecting breeding methods, building a captive population and protecting habitat. The giant panda was recently taken off the world endangered species list—a minor miracle, due to the unique efforts of Chinese zoologists and conservationists. -- Winners of the 2017 World Press Photo Contest
Cognitive dissonance happens.
Fortunate that the drooling moron mayor of Davis now sleeps with the squashed toads.
[HT: Armchair Sinner: "Gawd, I forgot about Julie Partansky: a proponent of leaving potholes unpaved, lest we should lose their historic value (I'm not joking); one of the architects of the Dark Skies campaign, which dimmed and shaded streetlamps to better view the stars, much to the delight of drunken college students, graffiti "artists," rapists and muggers (finally, we folks in the Downtown Davis Business Association -DDBA- been able to make some headway against this crime issue); and, last but not least, Ms. Partansky was a vocal opponent of mosquito abatement, particularly with respect to West Nile Virus spraying.
RIP, Julie, 'cause now that you're gone, we sure are.
Oh yeahhh, we can't forget this little gem either (sorry about the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert link, but it's funny and from way back in 1999, when he wasn't so insufferable.):"]
Thank you for being here. For today, and for all days, this is my wish for you.
In Tuesday's Woodpile Report. Ol' Remus offers up a fine study of the recent regrettable events in that bastion of Free Speech, Berkeley, California:
Having achieved their stated goal—shutting down the event—the mob then surged into the city of Berkeley and went Full Ferguson, again without serious inconvenience by law enforcement.It appears there was another, unstated goal. Those who committed acts of violence and property destruction were promptly called "outsiders" on the basis of no public evidence whatever. Such speedy certainty suggests insider knowledge, perhaps prior knowledge.
Actual "outsiders" in student mobs, meaning "no affiliation to the campus", are rare. They ask us to imagine a sudden and sizable influx of random opportunists where there was no evident gain. "Outsiders" are more often the most inside of insiders, on call for criminal thug work . On call by who? Perhaps by those who can offer credible assurance of noninterference by law enforcement....
Oathkeepers has infiltrated organizations like The Berkeley Against Trump Coalition and has this to say about the "outsiders" they deploy:
The anarchists are by far the most dangerous of these groups. They are organized like militias. They actively train and practice their operations. They have discipline and zero tolerance for weakness. They have a number of former military personnel providing expertise to enhance security, logistics and martial arts capabilities. The majority are physical fit, military age males. They are primarily white with few minority members. Their leadership tends to be either former military, a proven leader from the occupy movement or a highly educated alpha-male.
The rest is right next to the top at last Tuesday's Woodpile Report.
The progressive madness
has only gotten worse after the election of our LORD and SAVIOR, Donald J TRUMP!! They're doubling down on EVERYTHING they believe in, but the thing is, they don't actually believe in anything except for petty vindictive virtue signaling moral panic justified by demonizing every political opponent.
It's going to be a beautiful 8 years of Trump!
I'm a Marine on the beach, I’m a killin’ machine, with a need to bleed you when the light goes green.
Best believe, I’m in a zone to be, from my Yin to my Yang to my Yang Tze.
Put a grin on my chin when you come to me, ‘cuz I’ll win, I’m one-of-a-kind and I’ll bring death
To the place you’re about to be: another river of blood runnin’ under my feet.
Forged in a fire lit long ago, stand next to me, you’ll never stand alone,
I’m last to leave, but the first to go, Hard Corps is the only way I know.
I feed on the fear of the devil inside of the enemy faces in my sight.
Aim with the hand, shoot with the mind, kill with a heart like arctic ice.
I am a Devil-Dog I’m marching on, I am a warrior and this is my song.
I bask in the glow of the rising war, lay waste to the ground of an enemy shore,
Wade through the blood spilled on the floor, and if another one stands I’ll kill some more.
Bullet in the breach and a fire in me like a cigarette thrown to gasoline,
if death don’t bring you fear then death ain’t brought by no Marine.
Come to the nightmare, come to me, deep down in the dark where the devil be,
In the maw with the jaws and the razor teeth, where the brimstone burns and the angel weeps.
Call to the gods if I cross your path and my silhouette hangs like a body bag.
Hope is a moment now long past, the shadow of death is the one I cast.
I am a Devil-Dog I’m marching on, I am a warrior and this is my song
Hell has no demon I won’t overcome, I am a warrior and this is my song.
Now, I live lean and I mean to inflict the grief, and the least of me is still out of your reach.
The killing machine’s gonna do the deed, until the river runs dry and my last breath leaves.
Chin in the air with a head held high, I’ll stand in the path of the enemy line.
Feel no fear, know my pride: for God and Country I’ll end your life.
I am a Devil-Dog I’m marching on, I am a warrior and this is my song
Hell has no demon I won’t overcome, I am a warrior and this is my song
I made the devil himself turn and run, I am a warrior and this is my song
Into the fire I will keep marchin’ on, OORAH, Marine Corps, get some!
Five Models Gain Cup at Tidal Bathing Beach Costume Show.
With five models displaying the most modern bathing costumes, Lansburgh & Brother won the prize cup at the first annual style show, held yesterday afternoon at the Tidal bathing beach. The models who represented Lansburgh's -- all local girls -- were Mary Lee, Iola Swinnerton, Thelma Spencer, Hattie Spencer and Julia Cunningham. The suits which they wore were special importations, brought to Washington for exhibition at this show ... -- Washington Post, 6/26/1921
But what of the green house?
If that house was not real, if it was not true, if it did not exist, what then did exist? What exists now? Where is the street beside the pale green house on the bright green lawn ringed with violet crocuses in the spring, shaded by three elms near the sidewalk and a rambling blackberry vine that clambered up the outside of the stairs and porches that linked the four apartments? That house where a few of the dreamers lived and others met, ate, loved, slept or passed through. What happened there between those ghosts made not of shadows but sudden shafts of sunlight?
Could they be called up? Brought back from the distances?
Could they be made to emerge from the dream and inhabit this present waking world amid the gaudy tokens and worn rewards of our despised surrender?
Would such ghosts, if caught in a web of words, stand and unfold themselves as they were, as more than they were, as emblems of the dream, wavering like rushlights in rooms made from mist, running along beaches smeared with seadrift and sunset, lounging against phantom trees on those parched and lawn-lined streets, talking and laughing in whispering echoes on porches through the warm, dusky evenings when the falling light caressed the harps of bridges across the bay and the music was made of its light, and the clouds flowing in from the sea over the shadowed hills moved to the music through all the past lost years like ships setting out for the Fortunate Isles beneath the burnt orange strings of the sun’s lyre stretched across the mouth of the bay?
Ah, but that lyre is an old lie. And there was no truth. And without truth, there was no foundation, and, hence, no enduring reality. There was only America, only one dream of America. No better or worse, no more or less real, than a thousand other dreams of America. It was a dream woven on the loom of the stars and the ocean that enmeshed that western city on seven hills which we watched at night from the green house on the flatlands across the bay. A thousand and one nights watching and telling tales which were, in the final analysis, but variations on a single theme of light reclaimed and held against the flooding dark for but a moment.
And then the distant guns coming closer, the bells, the sirens, the chopping whir of helicopters, the boots falling in lockstep, the thud of nightsticks, the crackling orders on two-way radios, metallic clicks, shotgun fire, the screaming…
We awoke in a metal dawn. The air tasted of rust. The smell of burning automobiles and tear gas was woven in the morning breeze and we slowly came to understand that the dreams were gone and only the nightmare was left. It was a slow nightmare which—if not exactly true, for truth in the nightmare was only propaganda—was at its bottom as real as the black neoprene bags on the tarmac in Saigon. And this reality in time revealed to us the final face of fear—a fear that was not a fear of death, but of continuing failure; of our failure to sustain the dream, to make it real, to constantly renew it. And this fear, a fear seldom spoken by any but known to all, kept us awake through all the years that followed and forced us, in the end, to deny not only the dream, but the very possibility of dream.
And in time we became like all the others before us although we had, like all the others before us, sworn that we would not.
We forgot the dream. We sold most of the records and purchased color televisions with cable hookups. We sold all the books and subscribed to a news weekly. We moved from the rented rooms, leaving the mattress, rug, and cat to shift for themselves, and made from what was real our cold comfort.
These days there is money to be made and property to be acquired. Now there is important work to be done. Now we have responsibilities to meet and, oh, that was all long ago. The green house is gone and we are changed, changed utterly. We no longer remember.
“Time,” she sang, “keeps movin’ on.”
Do not go.
Rest easy here with me.
I have not forgotten, nor have you. Together, we will remember. Together we will recall it all, as it was or as it should have been; it makes little difference. We shall walk back and raise it up; a testament to foolish desire, mistaken ideals, strong hopes, and wild nights; a place where there will be light and warmth and we will abide forever together as we were and as we wished to become. A small green house where there is always room for one more, if memory serve.
And memory shall serve. It is ours to command. It is the one thing of value which can be given but not taken. It is our past, our common history. We know it is beyond price. Why else have we been such haste to pawn it? Because it lends light to our present lives and hence we fear it?
Who among us does not secretly despise what we have made of our dreams? Who among us does not secretly loathe what we have become for the sake of this dubious reality?
It was better, clearer, cleaner and more strangely beautiful when we slept in the green house.
It was not a special place. It was ordinary. The most ordinary place in the world. If it was neither real nor natural, it was fraught with a strange excitement, fecund with endless possibility. It was built of a metaphysic so loose that the most absurd accident could happen and it would only be a part of the Grand Design. It was a place where revelation and prophecy were daily events, the Second Coming scheduled for tomorrow after lunch, magic considered merely another, older branch of science, poetry an acceptable mode of speech, and caricature a widely appreciated attitude. As far as we know Rasputin, William Blake, St. Teresa, and Walt Whitman had never lived in the green house, but they would have been welcome if they had wandered in.
Let’s go then and knock on the door.
All you’ve got to do is step right up.
All you’ve got to do is ring that bell.
You can come as you are.
There’s nothing to be hung about.
There is some wine for the asking, music always playing, pipes forever smouldering. Perhaps there will be some hashish, or the more exotic opium. Perhaps there will someone to meet and take home later. Perhaps there will be a chance for love among these phantoms—among these phantoms we have set to sleep in music that our dreams remind us.Continued...
"The progressive wing of the statists look to have learned very little from the Trump victory in November and absolutely refuse to acknowledge their version of reality is not measuring up to the facts of the situation.
A more stark example of the Dunning-Kruger effect I cannot think of. The people protesting have the misplaced idea that Newton’s third law does not translate on a sociological level. The election most are so upset over is proof positive that a segment of America feels very attacked and very marginalized, and over the last eight years has not only showed up to the voting booth but showed up to the gun store as well. I don’t pretend to be able to read the tea leaves. However, there will come a point when the violence will elicit a reaction from either a state actor or non-state actors, or both. Starbucks and Berkley may not bother to defend their private property, but there will inevitably be a Korean shopkeeper moment....
"The crisis of identity has been a generation in the making, and inconvenient facts will not reverse a generation raised on political tribalism. Escalation is inevitable because it is the only course left. Trump was the third way Glenn Beck is so obsessed with, a peaceful, albeit crude, stopgap. Unlike peace, war only requires one party to acknowledge the fact. People will die at some point, as a beating gets out of control or a building catches on fire. Trump will feel the need to respond and will likely involve federal agents or possibly the National Guard if the situation escalates even further. The echoes of Kent State are strong here. The moment boots on the ground show up the movement is legitimized and the color revolution has the optics they need. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. One thing is for sure, it will not go away." - - - Inevitable – The Virginia Freeman's Society
Hyundai ran an ad at the end of the Super Bowl that featured American soldiers deployed overseas who couldn’t enjoy the game with their loved ones.
The powerful ad had to wait until after the game because Hyundai edited together moments from the soldiers watching the game as the company brought the game, and their loved ones, to them.
The minute-and-a-half ad highlighted stories of the sacrifices made by our military. Hyundai made it possible for soldiers stationed at the U.S. Military Base in Zagan, Poland to experience the big game with their loved ones and a powerful message scrolled across the screen in the beginning.
“Millions of people just watched the Super Bowl. Which wouldn’t be possible without our troops. That’s why Hyundai made their Super Bowl a little better.”
The Brady Bunch
"The #NeverBrady cabal was supposed to ensure that the hated Patriots lost yesterday’s battle. Gaia was supposed to be appeased by Brady’s complete and utter defeat, and the earth would once again begin to heal itself.
"And it looked really good for Team #NeverBrady for awhile: after all, no team in Super Bowl history has ever come back after being down more than 10 points to win! Until they did.
"The Super Bowl has NEVER gone into overtime! Until it did.
"And nobody has EVER won 5 Super Bowl rings! Until somebody did:
"And so, against all odds, the Patriots won. How can that be? The fix was in! The #NeverBrady cabal immediately sprung into action: they declared that since Atlanta had accumulated more yards rushing they had actually won the game. They demanded that officials review all of the game tapes, looking for any uncalled penalties against the Patriots. They circulated internet rumors of Russian hackers on the sidelines, moving the yard line markers. They called Brady and Belichick and Kraft “haters.” And I hear that the FBI director called for a reopening of the Deflategate investigation.
"But in the end it was all to no avail: like Trump, Brady and the Patriots won fair and square. And they did it the old fashioned way: they earned it.
"And no, I’m not tired of winning yet." MOTUS A.D.: Brady and the Patriot’s Win: Let The Memes Begin
Her sinewed arms bend oars downstream,
Her belly taut against the eddied swirls
And shifting shoals of sand and silt.
Soft plash of water against the hull,
As, on the lift of wind and loft of wave,
Her legs push and her breasts swell
To the slow rotating stroke on stroke
That guides her craft past rocks and reeds
Where bighorns graze and beavers slap the pool.
Her hair, rayed out, enfolds the sun.
Her downed thighs surge and shift
To the tempo of the current's heart,
And her shoulders roll, her shoulders roll
The long blue oars through shafts of sun,
Through canyons carved from time.
Unknowing, and yet knowing, I boarded her silver boat,
Armed with maps and memoirs,with the latest equipment;
With the whole weight of the world compressed into a sack.
And we cast off when the sun slid above the canyon's rim.
All day we slid past walls of slate, the hawk our only witness,
Past pages of the Book of Earth no living soul could hope to read.
I lay upon the cushioned deck, soothed by the lull and surge of rapids,
And watched her eyes become the stream, as time was silenced by her touch.
Her face, at first quite modern, changed; Diana, mistress of the moon,
Emerged to meet my gaze.The air grew still. A silken shawl
Seemed draped upon the river's skin.The sun breathed in and paused.
It was then her voice, a whisper across a glacier, moved within my mind,
And in that place, removed from time, this timeless tale she told....
Oh yes, this is mighty fine and mighty filling. It is far more entertaining than anything our decayed mainstream showculture can present.
Do a shot, smoke 'em if you got 'em, crack a cold one and deploy the lawn chair.
Take it away, Joe Dan....
From Men of the West: "I certainly do not have all the answers, and look forward to your thoughts in the comments, but here are some things that these young men could start doing to get back on the right path – the path of a Man of the West.
Fine. That is enough to start with. Do yourself a favor and learn to be a man. Stop with the sissy, effeminate nonsense. Be a warrior – a Man of the West.Manly Men – Men Of The West
An Essay on Man: Epistle II BY ALEXANDER POPE
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of mankind is man.
Plac'd on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the stoic's pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of thought and passion, all confus'd;
Still by himself abus'd, or disabus'd;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
I would argue that the human mind has recently evolved to include the thinking process of social media as a whole. We’re connected to social media like a great hive mind. And thanks to scientific advances in datametrics, the social media companies now have almost perfect mind control technology. We connect to the hive mind, the social media giants decide who sees what messages, and they program us individually. You get different persuasion than I do.
I no longer have freedom of expression in the way that most of you still do because the social media platforms throttle my ideas. And you know why this isn’t the biggest story in the world?
LOOK OVER THERE! IT’S HITLER!The Social Media Hive Mind | Scott Adams' Blog
"Worse is better."In place of the Old Order of "bourgeois capitalism" and "imperialism," Lenin offered a sweeping New Order of socialism, socialist discipline, a global crusade for a new world order. He insisted that any means could be used -- in the amoralistic times -- to attain the goals: labor camps, secret police, one- party dictatorship, civil and international war, the most lethal weapons. Lenin , the quintessence of self-discipline and advocate of strict discipline within his own party and society, commended the spreading of disorder and discord within "bourgeois" societies, which were at a "lower level" of historical development. "Worse is better" was his slogan.
[Note: The riots on the UC Berkeley Campus to shut down a speaker took place in front of Sproul Hall; the place where I, along with hundreds of others, demonstrated for free speech back in 1964. It brought to mind my tiny role in that history.
"I knew a lad who went to sea and left the shore behind him.
I knew him well the lad was me and now I cannot find him."]
There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it — that unless you're free, the [Fascist Progressive] machine will be prevented from working at all!-- Mario Savio Speech, Sproul Hall, University of California, Berkeley (1964-12-02).
If you look closely at the radical Democrat/Progressive Diet for a Diminished America you see a familiar list of "ingredients." The list is composed of the ideological stock and trade of a significant segment of Americans to whom this nation, as conceived by our founders, and struggled for for more than 200 years is merely one long, large joke.
And I should know. After all, that boy in the picture up there -- that boy that thought Communism was "something we could live with" -- that young boy was me.
In my small way, I took part in the crafting of The Joke on America. For years I thought there was nothing funnier. Conceived during the waning months of World War II, I had no idea I was a Baby Boomer, but that, in the end, was what I was. And being a member of this large and fortunate generation gave me the leisure to develop quite a sense of humor when it came to basic human values.
When I was a student at the University of California at Berkeley in the late 1960s, we were the brave new world's social engineers. We were the innovators. We were busy innovating the brave new world where everything about the old world of our parents seemed either hilarious or evil.
Our program was quite clear early on and it hasn't changed a jot, it has simply gotten more pervasive and elaborate. After all, we're older now and we're in control. We can finally fund these things. With your money.
God, if he didn't emerge from 500 mikes of pure Sandoz LSD, was just a funny old guy a little bit like Santa Claus but with less of a user base.
The Bill of Rights was okay as long as you could figure out someway to erase a few of the amendments involving guns and add a host of new ones involving groups.
The Constitution? Too long and too arcane to really read with care. It was a given so what did we care?
History? The only really happening history was the future, man. Ours.
The United States? They were really "AmeriKKKa" -- Satan incarnate.
The US Military? Baby killers and agents of Satan.
The Police? Pigs.
The Viet Cong, Fidel Castro, and a host of other evil dictators and fascists? Heroes of "The People."
The People? Really wonderful as long as you didn't really have to hang out with them.
Voting in political parties? Stupid. We were into "participatory democracy" which involved really long meetings. ( This is now known as "emergent democracy" and involves really long online discussion threads.)
We believed in sex and drugs and rock and roll.
We were determined to resist "the man" on all levels.
We were young.
And we were very, very stupid for college kids. Check that. We were stupid because we were college kids.
Many of the most committed of us, decades later, are still in college and even dumber. We're professors now and our ability to be dumb has never been deeper.
Others of us are well ensconced in the various parts of what passes for the media. We're there with a lot of others just like us and, even if we thought differently, we'd never say it for fear of losing regard, position, grants, or promotion. Besides, we've been around others who think like us for so long its no problem at all to top up the latte and nod in blind agreement.
Nope, we never sold out. We bought in. But we kept the Che poster pinned up forever in our hearts.
And now, we've arrived at our rendezvous with history.
In our aging but fitness-crazed hearts, we hate what we've become and, like any good group of neurotics, transfer that hate to the country that gave us everything including the Long Peace in which to enjoy it.
We're the first in line to bitch and moan and hate a country that makes our freedom possible. More than that we're also in love with the privilege, comfort, money and safety that makes it possible for us to mouth off without limit. And finally, we're coming to understand that we are not our parents' generation, we're "The Not-So-Great" Generation and deep down we're cowards.
We say we're 'afraid' of losing our cherished 'freedom' to the jackbooted legions of Conservative Brownshirts that might stifle our dissent from every street corner. That's really what a lot of us think. That's really just how bull-goose looney we've become.
Two performances that will heighten your day and deepen your soul. Why? Because betimes it is the case that -- as the poet says --
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
The Left is far better at allowing its people, esp radicals, to rise and mainstream. As a result, way more new Lefties attain prominence and effective leadership status than Righties.
This makes for a deeper activist bench. With a sea of effective, prominent Lefties, Lefties who are lost will be mourned but not irreplaceable. This is emphatically not the case for Righties. To be perfectly blunt: the Right would be extremely easy to disrupt with targeted assassinations. The Left would not.Read the whole thing at Days of Rage | Status 451. THERE WILL BE A TEST.
Once political violence starts, the smart move is to keep your violence low-level and try to provoke the other guys into serious violence. This, as with everything else, favors the Left. The Left can absorb a hell of a lot of serious violence.
Martyrs are fuel for Leftism. Look at the history of unions. So these are the tactics I see the Left using for early political violence:
- use as many different nonmurderous but disruptive-to-violent tactics as possible
- "shut it down," occupations, property damage, riots
- weaponize Institutions against Righties, when possible
- drag events out â long, very low-level conflict works in Leftiesâ favor
- target individual Righties for intimidation/disemployment, to discourage others
- target the most effective Righties for Unpersoning, lawfare,.... and (only if absolutely necessary; this would be very rare)
Yes, the Left is doing almost all of this stuff already. But it could be ramped up.
Take disemployment: Lefties clamoring to get somebody fired. The way it works now is reactive, news-cycle driven. It doesn't have to be. Political donations are public record. So are voter registrations. It would be trivial to set up a Disemployment Committee to scrape these. HR departments tend to have a lot of Lefties in them. They could bring back a coordinated blacklist. You'd never know it.
Ever wonder why the American public got behind the idea of mandatory minimums and stiff sentences? The Seventies. The Seventies are why!
As BLA attacks continued, a lone wolf perp in New Orleans, a black radical named Mark Essex, shot 19 people, killing 9, 5 of them cops. Then NYC saw two BLA attacks on cops in 53 hours, and people started thinking that there was a nationwide conspiracy. (It wasn’t that huge.)
In 1973, Chesimard was shot and captured following a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in which a policeman was killed. Not much later, the police finally landed an informant, and after a few stakeouts and gunfights they arrested or killed BLA’s shooters. Sekou Odinga got away. But that’s basically the end of the BLA. Except…
Except this flurry of activity and press has all the radicals who weren’t involved thinking, “Dang, I missed out!” And guess where there’s been a ton of radicalization? In U.S. prisons!
Weatherman had tried to rally the working class. No luck. They weren’t into being radicalized. But black prisoners really, really were.
And white radicals — many the kind who’d be really into privilege confession today — started getting into the idea of black leadership. I mean: really into the idea of black leadership. To the point of fetishizing it. Fetishizing black convicts, especially.
I told you this gets crazy, right? Well, here’s a little taste of the stuff Burrough gets into. Check this out:In 1972, a group called Venceremos, from the Bay Area, literally broke out a black convict named Ronald Beaty during a prison transport so he could train them in guerrilla tactics and lead a revolution.
That was their actual plan. That was their entire actual plan.
Exactly that one bit from South Park, but a bunch of ’70s white Bay Area radicals going, “Token, you’re black; you know guerrilla tactics.” (Spoiler: when Beaty got arrested again, he promptly rolled over on the white radicals.)
But where there’s a demand, a supply will surface, and in 1973, a black inmate named Donald DeFreeze capitalized on the trend. To better explain Donald DeFreeze: imagine that Eldridge Cleaver & George Jackson are YouTube stars, ok? Well, DeFreeze is the comments.
DeFreeze escaped prison and hooked up with a Berkeley, CA radical named Patricia “Mizmoon” Soltysik. DeFreeze and Mizmoon assembled a small cell of eight men and women. Say hello to the Symbionese Liberation Army. Slogan: “Death to the fascist insect that preys on the blood of the people!”
So their first target, of course, is Oakland’s first black school administrator, superintendent Marcus Foster!
I know. You’re thinking, “Wait, what?”
Foster had dared suggest ID cards for kids and using police to curb in-school violence. For this, the SLA murdered him, on November 6, 1973. In 1974, the SLA kidnapped 19yo heiress Patty Hearst, demanding her family do massive food giveaways (which they did). The food giveaways actually got the SLA some favorable attention in the radical press, for forcing the rich to give to the poor. Meanwhile, the SLA was indoctrinating Hearst and raping her repeatedly. Then the SLA offered her a choice: to join them, or be released.
Let me ask you a question: in the shoes of 19-year-old Patty Hearst, how much would you trust the assurances of Donald DeFreeze and the SLA? That’s exactly how much Hearst trusted them when they said they’d let her go. So she said of course she’d join them. Hearst famously robbed a bank with the SLA and went on the run with them. The account I’ve given of her decision is hers, which I believe.