An American, one of the roughs, a kosmos,... No sentimentalist .... no stander above men and women or apart from them...
-- Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855)
“I am not an American, I am THE American.”
-– Mark Twain
Remember when Hillary Clinton, during her last attempt to rule the world, stopped calling herself a “liberal” and rebranded herself as a “progressive?”
It was Clinton's desperate attempt to crawl out from under the vast heap of crap she and all the other “liberals” had piled on themselves -– notably during her own husband's administration. And who, when trying to run, wanted to have that old "liberal" ball and chain around her thick ankles? Not Hillary.
By 2007 “Liberal” had become so drenched in sewage liberals could only clean it through “rebranding.”
The new/old brand name chosen was 'progressive.'
And it worked for them -- and for Obama -- just long enough to get them elected the first time by a credulous public who had seemingly never heard "progressive" before.
“Progressive...” it sounded so, well, hopeful. It was, after all, not "trans-" but "pro-"gressive.
After all, who can be against “progress?” Who is not pro "pro?"
Who, that is, except the vast majority of older Americans who had seen the wreckage that the progressives' “progress” had wrought wherever it touched down on the American landscape.
Still, the recloaking of ye olde “liberal” wolves inside of the “Progressive Sheeps' Clothing” worked well enough with the young and stupid as well as the old and malicious.
"Progressive" caught on because it junked “liberal” but didn't say “socialist.” At least not in so many syllables.
That was then. Now, of course, “progressive” as a brand has become synonymous with cheats, control-addicts, the walking brain-dead, lying Social Justice Warriors, and the power junkies that want to tell you all about the bad McDonalds Happy Meals in condom chewing San Francisco.
Today "Progressive" is as dead as Hitler's charred corpse smoldering in a ditch outside the bunker on Pennsylvania Avenue. But “progressives” don't know they're crispy critters because they can't entertain any ideas that weren't minted in ye olde Soviet Union. So let's let them keep it.
Let those bitter aging boomers cling to their Darwins and their "progressive" programs and labels. Progressives, after all, are the queens of worthless labels.
What we need to do is a little “rebranding” of our own in order to blunt the brain-dead attacks that keep coming from the attack poodles of the left. Attacks that when examined are all aimed at the label “Conservative” or “Republican.”
"Conservative." "Liberals." These two categories are not the same. Not all “Conservatives” are “Republicans,” and – unfortunately for the life expectancy of the Republican party – not all “Republicans” are “Conservative.”
Let's dump both brands.
I don't know about you, but I do not consider myself either a “Conservative” or a “Republican.” Never have. I consider myself to be one thing and one thing only:
I AM AN AMERICAN.
Always have been.
Always will be.
Couldn't be anything more.
To call me a Conservative is to miss the point.
To call me a Republican is to mistake me by a mile.
To call me an AMERICAN is to know me down to the bone. I suspect this blunt fact is true of all those who term themselves “Independents,” all those who call themselves “Conservative,” all those who joined the Tea Party, they and all the others who,
Came from the hills and mountains,
The valleys and the plains ,
Some were kind and gentle,
And some too wild to tame.
That's who we are and that's who we shall always remain -- Americans.
A single, obvious, and overarching word to cover a wide, wide tent:
Americans all regardless of race, color, creed, or national origin.
Let's rebrand ourselves from this point forward:
When you are called a Conservative, you reply, “No, I am an AMERICAN.”
If someone tries to tar you with the label “Republican,” you must correct them by saying, “No, I am an AMERICAN.”
If they say you are arguing from Republican or Conservative views, point out to them that you are arguing from AMERICAN views only.
Do that consistently and we can all look forward to future disputes and elections that pit the “Progressives” against the AMERICANS. I know which way I'd bet.
It's a big country. If we call ourselves "AMERICANS" we're going to need a bigger tent.
Failing to fetch me me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop some where waiting for you
Inside Trump's Secret Dinner: A Side of the President You Don't Ever See Inside the restaurant, I was seated at a table which I had booked hours earlier, directly next to where Trump would be dining. I made the booking based on a tip from a trusted source.
8:45 PM: Trump is served his entree. According to a waiter, who wished to remain anonymous:
“The President ordered a well-done steak. An aged New York strip. He ate it with catsup as he always does. The sides and appetizers on the table were shared. Three jumbo shrimp cocktails were delivered before the meal. At one point, the President looked at his watch and remarked ”They are filming 'Saturday Night Live' right now. Can't wait to see what they are gonna do to me this week.“ It was hard to serve him because he is so funny and relaxed, it makes you laugh.”
Trump talks jovially with his guests for the next two hours. His iconic hand motions fill the space as dinner is served....
10:14 PM: Trump and his party get up to leave. The president is stopped momentarily for selfies and handshakes. Discretely, Trump can be seen handing cash to one of the latino busboys for his table. The president handed the young man a $100 bill.
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.
"I've enjoyed little more then watching the descent of 'Bathtub Boy" Keith Olbermann from Media Star to just a floater in the leftist media latrine in recent years. Once the on high main anchor of Cable News MSBNC, to the little known and watched Current TV, to now broadcasting on the Internet with a used GoPro in an empty basement in front of a piece of a set background that looks much like it was salvaged from a dumpster behind a local theater company." Diogenes' Middle FingerContinued...
Most children are afraid of the dark. I know that I was. Parents who are too tough deny you the nightlight or the cracked door letting in a distant glow from the front room or from downstairs. Parents who are too kind leave the door ajar or plug in the nightlight. A lot of parents, tough or kind, help you learn a prayer familiar to hundreds of millions of people:
“Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake....”
It is not clear that the prayer helps allay the fear of the dark and of death in the dark, but as children we learn it anyway. It is probably the first prayer that is learned. Its lesson is that, parent or child, we are hostage to fortune or His will. It is one of the most fundamental calisthenics of faith.
Most children remain afraid of the dark but learn not to admit it. At some point you grow out of it. You become an adult and no longer a slave to childish fears without foundations. You tell yourself, “I’m not afraid of the dark.” You’re lying but, like so many other lies that let you get through the day, you lie so long that you forget it is what it is, a lie.
I feared the dark as a child and when I grew to be a man I still felt uneasy when consigned to a room that was “too dark.” I developed some manly and not-so-manly methods for mitigating the dark -- light curtains, dim baseboard night lights in the hallway, falling asleep with the television on a timer, votive candles, the whole inventory. After some years of sleeping safe within these rituals and relics I forgot that I was, in the core of my being, still afraid of the dark; afraid that “I should die before I wake.” And then I did.
The thing about dying and then being returned to life is that, like a ghost half-seen out of the corner of the eye or in a shadow on the stairs, the experience keeps coming back. You think you’ve pretty much exhausted what you think about it -- exhausted all there is to think about it -- and then you are presented with a new moment, a new cause for reflection.
A bit over a week ago, at around midnight, I decided to go to bed. I went through all my rituals and dressed in my pajamas and went into the bedroom and lay down on the bed. As I lay there the old prayer from childhood appeared in my mind after many years of not being thought of at all,
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
It appeared so vividly it was as if an alien, almost feminine, voice had recited it to my ears in that room. I lay there feeling anything but sleepy and thought about this prayer.
The prayer itself is a classic from the 18th century and it was included in most basic texts for centuries including The New England Primer. Like many other things from the 18th century it has been shortened to make it “more efficient.” The full prayer is:
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
Bless the bed that I lie on.
The are four corners to my bed,
Four angels round my head,
One to watch, and one to pray,
And two to bear my soul away.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
And, as I looked into the origins of the prayer I discovered that a “kinder, gentler” variant has lately been introduced as:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord, my soul to keep;
Guide and guard me through the night,
And wake me with the morning's light.
I suppose that’s a way of making the poem fit for a more secular society in which nothing fatal ever happens to children. Until, of course, it does. But that’s for another, younger, and more clueless generation. I’m stuck with the original in my memory.
As such it is one of my earliest memories. It was almost as certainly the very first rhyme or poem that I memorized. It would have been taught to me by my mother as she tucked me in in my childhood and calmed me for the night. I know that she, and hundreds of millions of other parents who have taught it to their children, wanted it to comfort me and I suppose it did. Thinking about it in my bed on that night last week, however, it didn’t seem to be comforting. Instead it seemed like a horror sandwiched into the middle of a plea for rescue:
“...my soul to keep.”
“If I should die” “before” “I wake.”
“... my soul to take.”
At most times and in most places, this prayer was simply a tradition, not a reality. But I wasn’t in most times or in most places and it was terrifying.
It was terrifying because, as it occured to me then, I had experienced the reality of the prayer. I had actually died before I could wake. I continued in death for some unknown minutes and then was revived and kept in a deathlike coma for 13 days; a time that I, gratefully, have no memory of whatsoever. And, it came to me, I had died in the bed I was currently lying down in and thinking of this old childhood prayer. I had, without realizing it, gotten used to sleeping in my deathbed.
For awhile that evening this was a very disturbing realization. But then, as now happens to me daily, in time I drifted off to sleep in my deathbed. In time we all drift off there if we are lucky enough to find our way for our time of dying. I’d like to say that as I drifted off my final thought was,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
but I can’t. Like my first death, I don’t remember anything about those last moments, or the ones that came after. So I can’t say I said a prayer. I can only pray I did.
So you've foolishly agreed to meet an online contact in meat space. And yet you know that online made meetings can be appointments to rob you[ Sacramento police warn of social networking robbery trend ]. What to do?
Never fear. Sensing's got you covered with his own training:Sense of Events: A Soviet spy on how to meet a dating-site match in person
Thanks to my training at the Army's counter-terrorism school and former Soviet spy Victor Suvorov's explanation of "fieldcraft," the steps that espionage agents take to avoid capture while spying on and in hostile countries, here are the rules for meeting anyone whom you have not met in person before:
1. Try to get a photo sent to you beforehand. The sticky wicket is providing one back. In a word, no. But if you are meeting someone from a dating site, this can be difficult. Judgment call to ask. But it is also likely that the other person's social media, perhaps even the dating site itself, will have one. But be prepared for it to be, um, inaccurate or out of date.
2. Do insist on being fully told how you will recognize the other person - what s/he is wearing, color of hair, does s/he wear eyeglasses, height, weight (yeah, good luck with that, guys), etc. Then when you go to meet, wear something else. If robbers are using these sites to lure you there, you do not want to show up looking like you.
3. Arrive very early. Suvorov wrote that he always arrived a few hours before the set time, found a spot away from the meeting place and keenly observed who came and went, especially those who came and didn't went. Of course, he was stealing military secrets so you don't need to arrive hours, plural, early, but one hour. And then watch. I am guessing that thugs will get there 15-20 minutes beforehand, so be alert, as Suvorov was, for men who arrive and seem to have no purpose being there. In other words, they look like they are waiting.... Read even more tips at Sense of Events
They were all gathered in one place. The Hajj was the perfect time to have a strategy and coordination meeting. The blessings of Allah and his prophet were on them all. They had just sat down to a meal of traditional rice and lamb and were going to save the business talk for later. They had time. Their sources told them that their enemies were on the run and had unilaterally given up and gone home. The hated Americans had no stomach for a fight and abandoned Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of the Islamic world. Even the filthy Jews seemed to have pulled back their spies and allies to their own territory. This was the perfect time to go on the offensive. The entire Western world would learn submission.
On the border between India and Pakistan, a different conversation is taking place. A junior captain in the Indian Strategic Rocket forces has an uncontrollable smile on his face. “REALLY? You would not be shitting on me like this?” His commander confirms, “it is an order, from the top. We will be eliminating our nuclear stockpile as part of our new treaty with America and the Russians. A Global peace initiative.” The Indian captain smiles broadly. Good cheer spreads to the other officers in the room and he sat at his control console and began to enter the instructions.
35,000 feet over the Islamic Republic of Iran, an obsolete Russian Airplane was lumbering along on a direct path to Tehran International Airport. The pilot was hand chosen. He had lost his only son when Islamic terrorists stormed the child’s school years earlier. He didn’t really care about the orders he had. Something about global peace initiative to reduce nuclear stockpiles. But he was really happy to be delivering this particular cargo.
Mecca – Coffee was being served and greasy hands were being cleaned on shirt fronts. Servants were carrying away the remains of the feast.
Then it all changed in a blink.
The people inside did not even have time for their minds to register confusion about what was happening to them.
And then they were gone.
35,000 feet over Mecca. A US B-2 bomber turned gently onto a new heading. LTC Brown muttered into the coms, “one down, three to go”. He noticed large bright flares in the distant horizon at two other points. He calmly mutters, “Get Some” and looks back at his checklist.
India — The captain hit the launch button, firing his entire battery of nuclear tipped missiles into Pakistan. He remembered the faces of his cousins who had been butchered in a market bombing a few years earlier. He muttered, “Burn in Hell” as he watched the rockets leave their launchers.
Not all the bombs hit at the same time. Some Islamic nations had more time than others to contemplate what was befalling them. But it didn’t matter. The results were the same. The 1000 largest Islamic population centers in the world had all just been obliterated. Other targets had been destroyed using conventional weapons when they bordered on “friendly” areas. 60 percent of the Islamic population of the world had been instantly incinerated. Half of the survivors would die in the following days due to exposure, disease, fallout, and starvation. No international organizations were organizing humanitarian relief efforts to come save them. The effect was dramatic and permanent. Most of the world had expended most of their nuclear arsenals and their stockpiles of evil cluster bombs and was determined to live in peace with each other henceforth.
The world lived happily ever after.
HT: Sense of Events
[ Note: Excerpt from a long read on the realities of World War II: Losing the War - by Lee Sandlin]
For the Vikings, this was the essence of war: it's a mystery that comes out of nowhere and grows for reasons nobody can control, until it shakes the whole world apart. Njal's saga ends with a vision of war as the underlying horror of the world, always waiting underneath the frail mirage of peace. In a final dream image, spectral women are seen working an occult and horrible loom: "Men's heads were used in place of weights, and men's intestines for the weft and warp; a sword served as the beater, and the shuttle was an arrow. And these were the words the women were chanting:
From the cloudy web
On the broad loom
The web of man
Gray as armor
Is being woven.
This is as good a description as is available for the course of World War II from the fall of 1944 on -- after the Allies at last acknowledged that, despite the decisive battles of the previous summer, the Axis was never going to surrender. That was when the Allies changed their strategy. They set out to make an Axis surrender irrelevant.
From that winter into the next spring the civilians of Germany and Japan were helpless before a new Allied campaign of systematic aerial bombardment. The air forces and air defense systems of the Axis were in ruins by then. Allied planes flew where they pleased, day or night -- 500 at a time, then 1,000 at a time, indiscriminately dumping avalanches of bombs on every city and town in Axis territory that had a military installation or a railroad yard or a factory.
By the end of the winter most of Germany's industrial base had been bombed repeatedly in saturation attacks; by the end of the following spring Allied firebombing raids had burned more than 60 percent of Japan's urban surface area to the ground.
There was no precedent even in this war for destruction on so ferocious a scale. It was the largest berserker rage in history. The Allies routinely dropped incendiary bombs in such great numbers that they created firestorms in cities throughout the Axis countries. These weren't simply large fires. A true firestorm is a freak event, where a large central core of flame heats up explosively to more than 1,500 degrees, and everything within it goes up by spontaneous combustion -- buildings erupt, the water boils out of rivers and canals, and the asphalt in the pavement ignites. Immense intake vortices spring up around the core and begin sucking in oxygen from the surrounding atmosphere at hurricane speeds. The Allied raids reduced cities in minutes to miles of smoldering debris. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed -- about 20 percent of them children. Tens of thousands suffocated, because in the area around a firestorm there's no oxygen left to breathe....
Such was the discipline of the Axis armies that they went on fighting even in the midst of these cataclysms. But the homelands they were defending disintegrated into anarchy and rubble. Tens of millions of Germans and Japanese were driven from the wreckage of their homes to join the hundreds of millions of people already flooding the roads of Europe and Asia. They were seen everywhere, trudging away from smoking villages and along the ruined autobahns, across cratered fields and through burned forests. "DPs," they were called, displaced persons: interminable lines of refugees carrying a few possessions (a bag of tools, a handful of books, a house cat, a crying baby) in an anonymous stream. Amid the chaotic flux of collapsing empires, no one could sort out what side the latest flood of DPs had been on or where they wanted to go now; their movements were as unpredictable as tidal waves. Millions of Japanese came pouring back into the home islands from the dwindling fringes of the "coprosperity sphere," but there was nowhere to house them, with so many millions already on the streets because of the firebombings. In the eastern provinces of Germany a wave of terror and panic spread through the population as the Red Army at last approached. Overnight more than ten million people bolted for the west, abandoning land that had been cultivated and treasured by Germans for more than a thousand years, since before the time of Die Meistersinger, since before an anonymous poet in a royal court had first written down the legends of the Nibelung's ring. Not everyone joined the stampede, but those who stayed to protect their homes learned that their worst fears had been wholly justified. The Red Army murdered more than a million civilians in the eastern provinces of Germany as it marched toward Berlin.
Meanwhile the crimes the Axis had so long fought to conceal were coming to light. Every day brought news of some large-scale atrocity or revealed years of bottomless despair -- even now, historians examining newly discovered archives are finding evidence that the Axis occupation was much worse than had been previously imagined. When the three-year siege of Leningrad was at last broken, it was learned that more than a million people had died of starvation; they'd killed their house pets for food, and before the end there were pervasive rumors of cannibalism. The collapse of the Japanese empire revealed famine throughout China; more than ten million people in provinces once controlled by the Japanese were dying or dead. And in April 1945 the line of German defenses finally shrank back far enough that the death camps were discovered by Allied troops. "A crime beyond the imagination of man," the first news reports called it. People who thought they'd been permanently numbed to horror found they were wrong.
But by then the Holocaust seemed almost lost in the universal destruction. The deaths are still being counted. In the decades after the war it was believed that between 15 million and 20 million people had died in the war, but historians now believe the real number was at least three times higher, and some recent estimates (based on studies of newly declassified archives in Russia and China) put the total at close to 75 million. The extent of the material damage was incalculable. The civilian economies of Europe and Asia were a shambles. Most industries not related to war production had been shut down or destroyed outright. Basic commodities were unobtainable, even on the black market. Roads and bridges throughout two continents had been blown up, ports had been wrecked, and commercial shipping had stopped. The submarine war had sent rivers of oil into the ocean -- a torrent that made the great postwar spills look like irrelevant trickles; oil from torpedoed tankers was washing up on beaches all over the world. Nobody knew enough to care about environmental damage in those days; what mattered to them was that their essential fuel source had become as rare as gold. The unavailability of fuel was what finally broke the last German armies still fighting in the field. The Japanese government, its supply of oil cut off, had ordered civilians to dig up every pine tree on the home islands so that a synthetic oil could be distilled from the roots (it didn't work).
Food too was desperately scarce -- not only because the armies had commandeered so much of the supply, but because the war had ruined agricultural production in much of the world. There had been rationing for years on all sides. "Hitler butter" was what the Germans had called their foul-smelling margarine substitute, the only kind available; the British had learned to expect the promising-looking morsels of beef in their stew to have the unique, disgustingly sweet taste of horse meat. But even these delicacies vanished in the war's final fury. Hundreds of millions of acres of farmland were left fallow or destroyed by the movement of the combat zones. Countless herds died of starvation, were slaughtered by troops for food, or were killed by the universal, indiscriminate shelling. With no safe transport, thousands of tons of fresh fruits and vegetables were left unharvested or rotted in the warehouses of blockaded ports. The standard food ration in Japan fell far below the subsistence level, and in Europe fresh meat and fruit, when they could be had at all, were found only in the black markets -- which were officially discouraged but universally tolerated because they helped stave off the growing threat of famine.
Even in America, which had been the least damaged of any combatant nation, the final year of the war at last eroded the basic textures of life. Rationing, after that giddy summer of expectancy was over, was reimposed more stringently than before. The black market dried up, and beef was scarce for the first time since the war began. There was a serious shortage of heating oil by the end of the year, in the middle of the coldest winter in a decade. Blackouts were still in effect on both coasts, and to conserve fuel the government ordered brownouts in midwestern cities -- all businesses were to close at dusk. For the first time since the war began the lights of Chicago, like those of all the major cities of the Northern Hemisphere, went dark.
[ Note: Excerpt from a long read on the realities of World War II: Losing the War - by Lee Sandlin]
The sax is sailing three sheets to the wind,
While the organ's rehearsing original Sin.
The lead guitar's flailing, and falling behind,
While the bass guitar's wailing and losing his mind.
The drummer's in hiding. He can't be spied,
But the singer is taking it all in stride.
He knows life on the street Is never as sweet
As life here on the Other Side.
The Other Side, the Other Side.
Come carry me over to the Other Side.
Some may be lost, while others abide.
Some never pay, while others pay twice.
Some swim in fire, others dance inside the ice.
Some sleep forever. Others take that ride
To the carnival shining on the Other Side.
Everybody wants to make it, wants to do their dance.
Nobody wants to break it, shatter their trance.
Making endless music out on the edge of night,
You want them all to love you, well, they just might.
If the song is not too long, or your face a federal crime,
If the band plays fast and loose, if the train comes in on time,
They'll all buy your tickets gladly, slip you silver on the side,
If you can give them just a glimpse of the Other Side.
Pull yourselves together while there's something left to save.
Aren't you getting tired of chasing shadows in a cave?
Outside the stars are singing still, perfectly in tune.
You can see it's getting late, there's a circle round the moon.
You don't need songs to tell you that freedom's in your shoes,
And love the only known cure for all a lover's blues.
In love some found the answer, and for love some have died,
But it's only love that makes you real out on the Other Side.
The Other Side, the Other Side,
We'll help you get over to the Other Side,
Where no one is lost, where all will abide
In those rainbow crystal cities made of ice,
And swim in seas of sunlight. It's no sacrifice
To hold on to the music, let it be your guide
Through these solid stone walls to the Other Side.
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.
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
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.
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.