Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Dead Career for Brain-Dead Bitch: That is the world Kathy Griffin lives in.

Here comes the Judge!

Imagine living in a bubble so impermeable it didn’t occur to you that retailing a photograph of a decapitated president’s head would be a horrendous career move

— a bubble in which you don’t know anyone who doesn’t think the world would be a better place once Donald Trump had had his head cut off.... That’s why she initially defended the picture to the journalist Yashar Ali by claiming it was “art.” But in her heart of hearts, Kathy Griffin is no more a provocateur than Tickle-Me Elmo. Her professional life has been about making fun of people who try and fail to achieve genuinely deserved American celebrity. That’s very nearly the opposite of risky. Making fun of a Kardashian is about as daring as smoking a clove cigarette. -- New York Post

It's past time to 1)Hate these people with an iridescent hate, and 2) Make them pay and pay again for every move like this. We are not in Kansas any longer. Time to fire up the erasers.



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 31, 2017 7:13 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Noubliez Jamais

Papa, why do you play all the same old songs
Why do you sing with the melody
'Cause down on the street something' goin' on
There's a brand new beat and a brand new song

In my life there was so much anger
Still I have no regrets
Just like you, I was such a rebel
So dance your own dance and never forget

N'oubliez jamais
I heard my father say
Every generation ha its way
A need to disobey
N'oubliez jamais
It's in your destiny
A need to disagree
When rules get in the way
N'oubliez jamais

Mama, why do you dance to the same old songs
Why do you sing only harmony
'Cause down on the street something's goin' on
There's a brand new beat and a brand new song

In my heart there's a young girls passion
For a life long duet
Someday soon someone's smile will haunt you
So sing your own song and never forget

N'oubliez jamais
I heard my father say
Every generation ha its way
A need to disobey
N'oubliez jamais
It's in your destiny
A need to disagree
When rules get in the way
N'oubliez jamais

What is this game
Searching for love or fame
That's all the same
One of this days
You say that
Love will be the cure
I'm not so sure

N'oubliez jamais
I heard my father say
Every generation ha its way
A need to disobey
N'oubliez jamais
It's in your destiny
A need to disagree
When rules get in the way
N'oubliez jamais



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 31, 2017 6:54 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
DEMOCRAT LOGIC COMIX: Kathy Griffin's #Resistance Edition

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-- Doug Ross @ Journal:

If somebody were to put one of those crosshairs on Kathy Griffin, I'd pay folding money for the video. No crosshairs? Too soon? Too violent? Okay, how about just one little red laser dot? Pour encourager les autres. It would probably save a lot of liberal lives in the long run.



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 30, 2017 7:08 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bleached Woodpulp + Ink + Glue = A Mature Information Retrieval System

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An intelligent teenager of my acquaintance tells me he now buys old-fashioned physical books because, "you can keep them." Too, the memory of a printed page is always greater than retention from electronic scrolls, which he has noticed is approximately zero. And this, regardless of attention levels, which of course plunge in a medium riddled with “links,” which scatter the attention wonderfully. Of back-ups & throwbacks : Essays in Idleness

One of the recurring themes in the discussion of the "new media" (internet, blogs, databases, web pages, online encyclopedia's, Google's thirst to control and contain all the information in the known universe, the cloud, ebooks, etc.) is if bytes will "replace" books. To many, it certainly looks that way on any given day at any given rest stop on the Information Highway. After all, the current Holy Grail of Deep Geek Hipness is to have everything -- every scrap, note, frame, word, and image -- stored on one's iPad for display at the touch of a fingertip. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Be that as it may, the book is not going anywhere. Indeed, the book -- in form and concept -- is the foundation of the new media; it is contained within and yet contains it. The very way in which we discuss the new media ( web pages, web browsing, and that constant root of all places cyber, the place, space and file called "index.html" ) asserts that the book remains the dominant permanent record of all things worth keeping. Storage mediums come and go in the cyberverse ( One word: "floppy."), but I don't think that the age when all information and opinions and records and history is held in some immense GoogleServer pile is one which we should welcome. Distributed information is more powerful and more secure when it is distributed not only throughout the Net, but in more than one medium.

The way-new information universe, straddled by the ever growing hulk that is ("First don't be evil." ) Google is barely out of infancy and just about due to grow into "The Terrible Twos." The book, by contrast, represent a fully mature information retrieval system.

What is good about the book? What makes it persistently valuable in storing, not the trivia of the day, but that which is valuable to humanity over the long term?

Let's review:

1) No "advanced" technology required. Ability to manufacture present in all areas of the globe.
2 ) Crude but functioning units can be made by kindergartners with pencil, paper and glue.
3) Operating system and interface rock solid.
4) All types of information can be stored.
5) Has been demonstrated to be able to retain information in retrievable form across several thousand years.
6) Of the two, the User will often crash first.
7) All parts can be recycled.
8) All or part can be backed-up at any Kinkos.
9) Can be powered for hours with one candle.
10) All users receive up to 12 years of interface training free.

Add to that the tactile and aesthetic pleasures of fine books where art combines with craft, and you have something that will be with humankind long after today's high-tech toys are consigned to a museum and listed in their paperback catalog. Perhaps there may be some new innovation at the dawn of some new day that will really and for all time displace the book, but that innovation and that dawn of that day is not yet. For now, if it is a really important bit of knowledge or expression we put it in a book. Just to be safe.

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[Republished from 2006]

Update: Today, Webber sends in this wonderful cartoon.

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Posted by gerardvanderleun May 30, 2017 1:20 AM | Comments (32)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Small Flags

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Army Capt. Ed Arntson, of Chicago, kissed the grave of Staff Sgt. Henry Linck in Arlington, Va., National Cemetery Thursday. Staff Sgt. Linck was killed in Iraq in 2006. Armed forces placed flags at more than 300,000 gravestones ahead of Memorial Day.

The cemetery at the top of Queen Anne in Seattle is busy this weekend. This even though a cemetery under all circumstances is seldom thought of as a busy place. We haven't had busy cemeteries since 1945. Since then the long peace and its sleep was only briefly, for a few years every now and then, interrupted by a small war. The cemeteries fill up more slowly now than ever before. And our sleep, regardless of continuing alarms, deepens.

These days we resent, it seems, having them fill at all, clinging to our tiny lives with a passion that passes all understanding; clinging to our large liberty with the belief that all payments on such a loan will be interest-free and deferred for at least 100 years.

Still, the cemetery at the top of Queen Anne does tend to take on a calm, resigned bustle over Memorial Day weekend, as the decreasing number of families who have lost members to war come to decorate the graves of those we now so delicately refer to as "The Fallen." They are not, of course, fallen in the sense that they will, suddenly and to our utter surprise, get up. That they will never do in this world. For they are not "The Fallen," they are "The Dead."

In the cemetery at the end of my street , of course, all the permanent residents are dead. But those who are among the war dead, or among those who served in a war, are easily found on this day by the small American flags their loved ones who still survive place and refresh. In this cemetery atop Queen Anne hill in Seattle, the small flags grow fewer and smaller with each passing year. It is not, of course, that the size of the sacrifice has been reduced. That remains the largest gift one free man may give to the country that sustained him. It is instead the regard of the country for whom the sacrifices were made that has gotten smaller, eroded by the self-love that the secular celebrate above all other values.

As you walk about the green lawn and weave among the markers, the slight breeze moves the small three-colored flags. Some are tattered and faded. Some are wound around the small gold sticks that hold them up. You straighten these out almost as an afterthought. Then the breeze unfurls them.

Here and there, people tend the grave of this or that loved one; weeding, washing, or otherwise making the gradually fading marks in the stone clear under the sky. Cars pull in and wind slow, careful on the curves, and park almost at random. An old woman emerges from one, a father and son from another, an entire family from yet another. They carry flowers in bunches or potted and, at times, gardening implements and a bucket for carrying away the weeds. It's a quiet morning. Nobody is in a hurry to arrive and once arrived to leave.

When I lived in Villers-Cotteret , between Compaigne and Soissons, along the Western Front in France, the cemeteries were as quiet but on a scale difficult to imagine unless they were seen.

In the Battle of Soissons in July of 1918, 12,000 men (Americans and Germans) were killed in four days. Vast crops of white crosses sprouted from the fields their rows and columns fading into the distance as they marched back from the roadside like an army of the dead called to attention until the end of time. American cemeteries merged with French cemeteries that merged with German cemeteries; their only distinction being the flags that flew over what one took to be the center of the arrangement. I suppose one could find out the number of graves in these serried ranks. Somewhere they keep the count. Governments are especially good at counting. But it is enough to know they are beyond numbering by an individual; that the mind would cease before the final number was reached.

To have even a hundredth of those cemeteries in the United States now would be more than we, as a nation, could bear. It would not be so much the dead within it, but the truth that made it happen that would be unbearable. This is, of course, what we are as a nation fiddling about with on this Memorial Day. We count our war dead daily now, but we count mostly on the fingers of one hand, at times on two. Never in numbers now beyond our ability to imagine. This is not because we cannot die daily in large numbers in a war. September 11th proved to us that we still die in the thousands, but many among us cannot now hold that number as a reality, but only as a "tragic" exception that need not have happened and will -- most likely -- never happen again.

That, at least, is the mind set that I assume when I read how the "War on Terror" is but a bumper strip. In a way, that's preferable to the the mind set that now, in increasing numbers among us, prefers to take refuge in the unbalanced belief that 9/11 was actually something planned and executed by the American government. Why many of my fellow Americans prefer this "explanation" is something that I once felt was beyond comprehension. Now I see it is just another comfortable position taken up by those for whom the habits of automatic treason have become just another fashionable denigration of the country that has made their liberty to believe the worst of it not only possible but popular.

Like the graves in my local cemetery, these souls too bear within them a small flag, but that flag -- unlike their souls -- is white and, in its increasing rootedness in our body politic signals not sacrifice for the advancement of the American experiment, but the abject surrender of their lives to small spites and the tiny victories of lifestyle liberation.

In the cemetery at the end of my street, there are a few small flags. There are many more graves with no flag at all, but they are the ones that the small flags made possible. Should the terrible forests of white crosses ever bloom across our landscape -- as once they did during the Civil War -- it will not be because we had too few of those small, three-colored flags, but because we became a nation with far too many white ones.

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The grave of James A. Wilmot, Pvt 49th Spruce Squadron, World War I. Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Queen Anne, Seattle

[Originally published Memorial Day, 2007]



Posted by Vanderleun May 29, 2017 6:35 AM | Comments (70)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Transluscent Hands: Christ in the Carpenters Shop

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Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 28, 2017 11:03 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Stranger in Paradise: Clean Up in the Clean Up Aisle!

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Paradise California is a working man’s town. People here work; work hard at tough physical jobs. If they don’t work they either run meth labs and get all their skin tattooed, or are retired -- usually from the military. It been this way since I first moved here in 1953 even though I left for 60 years.

As a result Paradise is generally Republican by birth and inclination and experience. Every morning at around 7 am the traffic floods down the Skyway into the moonbat metropolis of Chico to turn on that town by opening the shops and baking the doughnuts and starting the coffee. Still, since Paradise is home to over 26,000 it boasts a Safeway market. And it was to that market I went yesterday in order to pick up some laundry detergent for the laundromat down the road.

Picked up a cart and pushed it to the back of the store. Made a right. Made another right at cleaning aisle and almost ran over a woman who was kneeling down with her back leg fully extended across the aisle.

“Excuse me please,” I said.

“Sorry,” she said as she moved her leg.

I went past her noting a woman in her early 60s knocking on the door of that old age which I currently inhabit. She wore a somewhat sheer flowered pantsuit showing more cleavage than was appropriate for her, her greyed hair was dyed a false red, her fallen face sported brave amounts of rouge.

But it was only a glance and I moved on down the aisle to the far end and the detergents. This put me about 10 yards away from the woman.

At that point the fifth day of my cold kicked in and I had a coughing attack. It was a loud one.

From the far end of the aisle the woman said, “God bless you.”

“Thank you,” I said and turned back to my scanning of the shelves looking for fragrance-free Tide. I thought our pleasant exchange was politely over.

Then, standing at the far end of the aisle and raising her voice to assure all heard her, she said, “I said ‘God Bless You’ even though you probably voted for Trump and have given control of the atomic weapons to a man that will use them to end the world and kill you and your family!”

A few seconds ticked away as I checked to see what planet I had been beamed down on. Or if I had unknowingly donned my MAGA hat, or had ‘666’ tattooed on my forehead in invisible ink.

“I beg your pardon?”

“I can see you voted for Trump like all the rest of the bigots in this town.”

“Excuse me?”

“You know what I mean. You want everyone of color to be enslaved by Trump and the white resistance to be imprisoned. I know what you think. You know what you did. You ALL know what you did!”

People behind her are now avoiding the cleaning aisle and pushing their carts away... slowly. Listening.

In my mind I am counting... slowly, “One potato, two potato, three potato....”

“Admit it. Admit what you’ve done!”

That’s it.

“Listen, lady, old, fat, ugly, alone, and insane is no way for you to go through the rest of your life. Get your head straight and your mouth shut or get out of Paradise. The moonbat colony is twenty miles away down the Skyway. Bitch.”

(Faint laughter comes to my ears from the next aisle over. People pushing their carts behind her have stopped.)

“What did you say? WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

I reach deep into my bottomless mental garbage can of pop cultural references: “Let me put it to you in the immortal words of Jack Nicholson, ‘ Where do they teach you to talk like this? In some Panama City "Sailor wanna hump-hump" bar, or is it getaway day and your last shot at his whiskey? Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here.’

I take my scentless detergent off the shelf and exit to the cashier.

“What was that all about?” she asks.

“Clean up in the cleaning aisle,” I tell her.



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 26, 2017 11:04 AM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
“A little girl’s hair.”

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Saffie Rose Roussos: 8-Year-Old Girl Identified As Manchester Arena Bomb Victim

I begin with a little girl’s hair. That I know is a good thing at any rate. Whatever else is evil, the pride of a good mother in the beauty of her daughter is good. It is one of those adamantine tendernesses which are the touchstones of every age and race. If other things are against it, other things must go down. If landlords and laws and sciences are against it, landlords and laws and sciences must go down. With the red hair of one she-urchin in the gutter I will set fire to all modern civilization. Because a girl should have long hair, she should have clean hair; because she should have clean hair, she should not have an unclean home; because she should not have an unclean home, she should have a free and leisured mother; because she should have a free mother, she should not have an usurious landlord; because there should not be an usurious landlord, there should be a redistribution of property; because there should be a redistribution of property, there shall be a revolution. That little urchin with the gold-red hair, whom I have just watched toddling past my house, she shall not be lopped and lamed and altered; her hair shall not be cut short like a convict’s; no, all the kingdoms of the earth shall be hacked about and mutilated to suit her. She is the human and sacred image; all around her the social fabric shall sway and split and fall; the pillars of society shall be shaken, and the roofs of ages come rushing down, and not one hair of her head shall be harmed. — G.K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World (1910)



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 24, 2017 9:42 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The First Terrorist War [Written 2003]

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[Note, May 23, 2017: It is some 14 long years since I wrote the essay below. And after 14 years the West still has not summoned the will to destroy Islam. And so, deep inside the bosom of Europe and America the vipers continue their pogrom of homicide bombings. The West responds with its vigils, its candles, its pallid proclamations that responding in violence to the source of these attacks "is not who we are."The weak and weeping West responds with the piling on of useless defensive "security measures," when what is needed is war to the knife on the centers of Islam.

A dear and close friend becomes upset whenever I mention that this disease of Islam needs to be eradicated root and branch. She condemns me for thinking it and for saying it. I tell her, "Very well, get ready to lose a city to the Islamic bomb. Get ready to lose families and children." This angers her because she sees it as an irrational response, an evil and hateful response. She is right. It is irrational, evil, and hateful. It is a response not from my mind but from the surge in my blood and my bone of my ancestors' spirit. My blood and my bones call for a war of fire; of an annihilation that is utter and complete.

But these things are "badthink" and my rational mind says to wait. As does hers. As do most minds in the West. And so it goes.

And so it goes on, and so we lose children, all because our rational minds, our moral minds, tell us we cannot kill the number of innocents we would need to in order to eradicate the black evil at the center of their faith. We cannot yet do what we know we will have to do.

And so we wait to lose a city. We wait for the Saxon to begin to hate. I am of the bloody Dutch. I am of the Highland Scot. I am of the Saxons.I am an irrational man. Yes, I hate... but I have not yet begun to hate.

[Arabs] were incorrigibly children of the idea, feckless and colour-blind, to whom body and spirit were for ever and inevitably opposed. Their mind was strange and dark, full of depressions and exaltations, lacking in rule, but with more of ardour and more fertile in belief than any other in the world. They were a people of starts, for whom the abstract was the strongest motive, the process of infinite courage and variety, and the end nothing. They were as unstable as water, and like water would perhaps finally prevail. -- T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
1. Calling the War By the Right Name. In a war, "Know your enemy" is one of the first axioms in formulating a strategy for victory. It is an axiom the United States has studiously ignored for over two years. In its place we’ve seen a host of euphemistic notions and slogans thrown up in the belief that, having had many decades of a life where ugly things are given pretty or neutral names, Americans can no longer "bear very much reality."

In the two years that have unfolded between September. 2001 and today, the public has had little asked of it and has seen less happen on our own ground that alarms it. All seems well, all is quiet here on the home front.

Foggy thinking, however attractive in politics, has no place in war. War requires a habit of mind that is precise, cold, and unrelenting. War requires that we call things what they are and cease to skirt issues that make us, in the damp parlance of our times, "uncomfortable." Vague names let us slip into fluffy policies hamstrung strategies and wishful thinking. This is where we are drifting.

To say we are "involved" in a "war on terror" and to repeat this phrase ad infinitum extends our decades old infatuation with euphemism and obfuscation into dangerous territory. The vagaries of the phrase lull us into a state where all dangers seem unclear and distant. The "war on terror" joins an expanding list of "wars on..." such as drugs, poverty, or profuse paperwork in government. The "war on terror" implies a "process" rather than a campaign; an indeterminate series of unresolved encounters rather than decisive actions that lead to an end, to peace.

Peace is the goal of war in civilized countries. To accept a perpetual "war on terror" is to accept a plan for mere "management" rather than a path to victory. And the failure to make a plan for victory is the construction of a plan for defeat.

To those with a clear vision of this war and a knowledge of history, it is a lie that we are "involved in a war on terror." Our media pundits and our policy wonks may prefer it that way, but this war is not at all similar to being "involved in a business slump" or "involved in a troubled relationship."

While wishful souls in the West may see the war as a "process" -- an exercise in supply chain management -- our enemies do not. Our enemies do not involve themselves with vague thinking and phrases front-loaded with vacillation and pusillanimous wishing. Their thinking is driven by an ancient religious doctrine designed to manipulate, exploit and harness societies into servitude. Their commitment to our destruction is adamantine. It is no accident that many of their spiritual leaders speaking from the centers of their faith call for the death of the "Crusaders." They see what their goals are in this struggle. Obfuscation has no place in their goals. They are the same goals they have held for more than 500 years. They are the goals announced several times a week in tens of thousands of mosques throughout the world. For our enemies, the wars of the Crusades and the wars surrounding the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire were merely the prologue to this war.

Our present reality, brought home to us in the cataclysm of September 11, is that we are now fighting The First Terrorist War. We had best know it by that name. When we persist in calling it the "war on terror" our implied goal is control and containment; a "management problem" This is a dangerous illusion.

In war the only acceptable outcome is complete victory. A negotiation does not end a war - - as Oslo shows. A partition does not end a war - - as we learned in Vietnam. A cease-fire does not end a war -- as we saw in the Gulf War. The Cold War taught us that a wall does not end a war. Only victory, clear and decisive, ends war and creates peace. To date, we have failed to learn this lesson and when a lesson is not learned, it is repeated.

In war, language is a strategic asset. Indeed, we see daily how language, here and abroad, is used to weaken the resolve of the United States. The central problem in calling The First Terrorist War the "war on terror’ is that f the phrase soothes us into accepting less than victory, and resolves the war to a new normality where terror is accepted as the status quo. This is the state in which Israel has existed for decades as terrorist violence becomes the scrimscreen screen against which life goes on. Although our present foreign policy may impose this on Israel, it may, over time, prove less popular at home. We are not yet the kind of country that easily accepts The Forever War.

2. Not Process But Victory Restores Freedom

An open-ended "war on terror," like a ‘war on drugs" invites a continuing erosion of small liberties. As this persists, once rare infringements on liberty become the norm. If it is to be the case that the shoes of all air travelers are to be inspected from now until the last ding-dong of doom, we will all be wearing sandals on airlines for the rest of our days. In this, many are correct to be wary of the long term effects of The Patriot Act.

Short of military conquest, a free society does not lose freedoms gained. Rather, freedom is lost through small infringements on liberty and dignity in the name of security. In a perfectly safe state, freedom is seldom found. If our policies essentially sustain rather than defeat our enemies, we are to that degree held hostage to them. When war is reduced to a process, that process become a self-renewing system in the same way that the "war on drugs" has become institutionalized in our lives -- a normal part of the background noise that defines our days. A strategy based

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun May 23, 2017 10:23 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
For My Daughter

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1.
I saw you first as some small prized gem
Passed between white-masked men
In rooms ablaze with light, and laid
Wrapped and so precious in my hands,
That I felt then I had somehow stolen
Some full measure of fire from heaven
And held it now on earth forever,
As firm as stone, as light as breath.

In all my days, of all my days,
No gift was given me but you,
And this I knew as we first met
In that bronze-bright room
Where, draped in white, I heard
The music of your newborn's heart,
And knew you'd stand the first in mine
For all the moments mine would mark,
And those moments all of yours beyond.

2.
Since then the years have rolled away,
And separate rooms enclose us now.
Still in the meadows of my heart,
In that first moment, all my circles close,
Like runners rounding third at dusk,
And safe at last come loping home.

That moment was the best of life,
Held in my heart where distance dies,
Yet I am trapped in these thin lines
That cannot paint a love so wide,
And all my mind and meager art
Lies stunned and speechless struck.

3.
In life, our words are clipped and brief.
We do not say what we would speak,
Since saying would in some strange way
Dissolve the moment, reverse the day,
And risk the heart would come to grief.
All is left unspoken, unexplored but sensed,
Our interrupted lives accepted as the wind,
As some red weather over which
We have no control beyond a shrug,
As if to speak of love except at slant
Were to invite the derision of the sky,
And so we must in silence trust
That in not speaking our love will grow.
And if you wish it, why then I wish it so.

4.
Let all that be as it shall be, but here I shall reveal
Those deeper notions that I hold, and always shall,
For you, my only child, as on the dawn
Of this one day in deepest winter I mindful mark
How we began beyond all those winters gone.
And if, in speaking here in such strange silence, I
Will say too much by saying short, I trust
In your emerging love to be, as all doting fathers must,
Forgiven these few words; if not today, in time,
For not to speak in time would be the cruelest way.

5.
Of all the gifts I've lost you are
The single one I seek to find.
But that I know I cannot know,
For I by you must now be found,
As you your child must also hold,
Until the woman you shall be
Unfolds from child and stands apart,
Upon some hill I shall not know
Where all that is spreads out below,
And following paths to trails to roads
You trace your own bright shadow home.

6.
How distant now was that chill day
When wrapped you first drowsed within
My forearm, head cupped in my hand,
And dazed and dazzled, gazed about
That buzzing room as if to see
All the things that you would be,
Awakened now from that strong sleep
That had embraced and nourished you
Since, in another afternoon's half-sleep,
You were begun in a patch of sun,
That fell in softened patterns through the boughs,
Where two doves murmured your as yet unknown name,
And, in the softened rustle of their breaths,
Sang you into being as the music of our dream.

7.
Now that spring has faded far,
Although I hear its music still,
But you, my dearest, darling girl,
Are of that spring in every cell,
And more than dreams could ever tell.

The years from there to here all blur,
Their endless seconds ended each
In their short span, and here we stand
Within another winter's day to mark
The day when first at last we met.

Within that room your gift was such,
I did not think that it could be
Not mine forever, yet now I know
That all our children must be free.
We hold them only through our letting go


-- Written for my daughter on her sixteenth birthday



Posted by Vanderleun May 22, 2017 6:22 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Argument for the Targeted Elimination of Anti-American Activists [Bumped]

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For the radical, murder becomes a sacrament.

When Turreau inquired about the limits of what he could do to pacify the region, the answer from the committee was “eliminate the brigands to the last man, there is your duty.”

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This is something to keep in mind when thinking about the present crisis. The revolt that put Trump in office is a revolt of the provincials. Plenty of Trump voters went to college or have office work. It’s not the old class divide. It is the new class divide. The revolution over the last 25 years has been led by a cosmopolitan elite, based in the coastal cities of America. These are the people dreaming up gay marriage and transgenders, not because they make any sense, but because they offend the sensible provincials out in the suburbs.
It’s comforting to think that the pendulum is swinging back toward normalcy, but it could simply be a rearguard action. The radicals running the American “republic” are no less bloodthirsty and malevolent than those who razed the Vendée. They may not unleash genocidal infernal columns on the suburbs, but they are plenty enthusiastic about importing hordes of foreign peasants to wreak havoc on the people. They are also smart and savvy, masters of the tools of power. But most of all, they have no sense of restraint.

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They are plenty enthusiastic about importing hordes of foreign peasants to wreak havoc on the people. They are also smart and savvy, masters of the tools of power. But most of all, they have no sense of restraint. - - The American Vendée
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Posted by gerardvanderleun May 22, 2017 9:46 AM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Resume of Captain Kink

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I'm Captain Kink. I'm Mister Scratch.
I'm your smiling, deathless dentist, Doctor Pain.
I've owned the Earth since Adam's birth,
And co-authored the book on raising Cain.

But you learned too well my old hard sell,
How I used to tempt your souls with sin and tonic.
And since out-of-date spells don't populate Hell,
I'm gone post-modern, solid-state, and ultra-sonic.

I'm that modern manufacturer
Who swung Liz Borden's ax for her.
I gave you Neutron Bombs and Asian Flu.
I've got old friends in the Senate
(Why, so many I may just rent it,
And, for my summer place, the Kremlin too.).

So when your puny little wars get out of hand,
Just sign in blood and , baby, I'm your man.
Don't you look for any favors from the blessed.
God's angels will just confuse you,
Shame you, bore you, and abuse you.
(They might even convince you life's a mess.)

I'm never that judgmental.
In fact, I'm rather sentimental.
When time's get tough I'll be your only hope.
I'll hold your hand and guide you,
In that darkest dawn I'm right beside you.
(And you know I've always got the finest dope.)

So if doing good is looking...
Rather pale,
And being sweet is tasting...
A bit stale,
And you've got the yen to try...
A little starkness,
Just give me one short call,
You'll have no worries left at all,
When you sign on with Kink,
the Prince of Darkness....

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun May 17, 2017 1:53 AM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
You're Welcome



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 16, 2017 12:07 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Steve Sailer’s “World’s Most Important Graph”

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This graph—the world’s most important graph—looms over the 21st century like a monstrous great crow.

Yet we can’t talk about it. Or rather, I can, and Mark can; but no-one with much more of a profile than us, can.

Why not? Do you need to ask? That line shooting up on the graph represents Africa—black people (mostly), and a high proportion of them Muslims. The other line, the one plodding along horizontally, represents Europe—white people (mostly), and a very high proportion not Muslims.

In the state ideologies of the Western world, black people are sacred objects to whom whites must defer, Muslims only slightly less so. Nothing negative may be said about these peoples, nor even hinted.

Where Europe is concerned, Mark identifies part of the problem as relating exactly to our children and grandchildren—or rather, to the fact that Europeans aren’t having any.

Mr. Macron, for example, is childless. So is German leader Angela Merkel. So is British Prime Minister Theresa May. The President of Italy has three kids, but Italy’s Prime Minister is childless. So is Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of Holland. Mark has some fun with Belgium: the current Prime Minister has two kids, but the previous one was a childless homosexual.

Why, Mark wonders rhetorically, would we expect these barren politicians to think hard thoughts about the world of twenty, fifty, eighty years from now? They have no personal stake in that world.

It’s way past the time when we high-IQ, low-fertility, long-civilized Arctic peoples—the whites and the yellows—can afford to bicker among ourselves, about election hacking or anything else. We should be putting our smart, pale heads together to plan a geostrategy to preserve our nations, our civilization, from the swelling numbers down there in the tropics who seek to displace us by demographically overwhelming us. - - John Derbyshire




Posted by gerardvanderleun May 15, 2017 12:10 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Precious Snowflakes by Tim Allen

ABC Cancels Conservative Tim Allen Sitcom 'Last Man Standing' Despite Strong Ratings

The show’s cancellation appeared to come as a surprise to fans, as its ratings had reportedly been solid, as Daily Wire’s John Nolte noted. Last Man Standing averaged 6.4 million viewers in its final season and a 1.2 rating amongst adults 18-49, strong numbers for a Friday night comedy. But Deadline also notes that Last Man Standing was down just 5 percent this season, a stellar result when compared with other shows were generally down by as much as 20-30 percent. The show was also reportedly performing extraordinarily well in syndication.

Even more surprising, the cancellation comes after ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said at a London media summit in December that broadcast networks were not paying enough attention to the television viewers in the country who helped elect Donald Trump president.

Viewers in its final season and a 1.2 rating amongst adults 18-49, strong numbers for a Friday night comedy. But Deadline also notes that Last Man Standing was down just 5 percent this season, a stellar result when compared with other showswere generally down by as much as 20-30 percent. The show was also reportedly performing extraordinarily well in syndication.

Even more surprising, the cancellation comes after ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said at a London media summit in December that broadcast networks were not paying enough attention to the television viewers in the country who helped elect Donald Trump president.



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 15, 2017 10:41 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Flowers for Our Mothers



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 14, 2017 9:37 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Inch Time Foot Gem: For My Mother This Mother's Day is Around Day #37,380.....

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Strong and yet as delicate as a bird. Her first memory is of being held on the shoulders of her father and watching American troops parade down Main Street in Fargo, North Dakota, on their return from the First World War sometime in what must have been the late Spring (Maybe May) of 1919.

She's been a student of Moorhead State Teachers College and is now their oldest alumni. A class reunion is anywhere she is and at anytime she decides to have it. She still reads the alumni magazine.

In fact she still reads The Saturday Evening Post, having been a subscriber since 1943. "It's a very interesting magazine. Not as important as it once was, but still with a good variety to its articles."

She's taught school in everything from a one room, multi-grade school in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota to the modern modular buildings of Chico Country Day. At that school she put in 6,000 hours of reading classics such as Black Beauty and Treasure Island to generations of children.

She married her husband and lived with him for over 30 years until he died in 1972. Since then there has never been another man in her life.

She raised three sons of her own. All of whom had pretty good lives and none of whom came to any more bad passages than life ordinarily deals everyone.

I am one of them.

Last November she celebrated her 102nd birthday and again I discovered at her party that she has more friends just in the town of Chico, California than I know people in the entire world.

Thirty-seven thousand and three hundred and eighty days.

"Not twice this day
Inch time foot gem.

This day will not come again.
Every minute is worth a priceless gem."

-- Takuan



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 14, 2017 12:06 AM | Comments (27)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Play Dead: The Sullen Young Having Never Been Alive Are Half In Love with Easeful Death

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

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More than by anything else, however, I was struck by their facial expression.

It was surly, sulky, sullen, sour, and morose. It was the kind of expression to which only thoroughly spoiled brats might aspire. Even in my far-off days as a lazy and impertinent youth, I would never have adopted an expression half so insolent. Two of the men, however, managed also the clenched and cruel facial habitus of camp guards or officers, one German and one Japanese. The nearest the others came to an active expression was a petulant pout. As a group of young men and women they could hardly have been less attractive. It is true that, for the most part, they were not of the type whom one would cross the road to avoid; rather they looked as if a gust of wind might blow them over and the slightest impact snap their bones. But they looked as if they would have nothing to say if spoken to, their brains reduced by starvation to a boring self-obsession.
To whom would such models be attractive? As I looked at them, fascinated in the way that the morbid always fascinates, I could not help but think of Sir Thomas Beecham’s characterization of the sound of the harpsichord: skeletons copulating on a tin roof. The world had evidently disappointed them, there was nothing in it for them, their expensive clothes notwithstanding. I had seen happier people in a displaced persons’ camp. What cataclysm, what civil war, had they suffered?

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.... It was a pose, of course, but when a pose is kept up long enough it ceases to be a mere pose. To express joy, or even mere pleasure, would evidently for them be to lose caste, to seem shallow and unsophisticated to a youth brought up in the hope and expectation of emotional and psychological problems. To be without such problems is to be a simpleton and, what is far worse, uninteresting; for what do you talk about if you have no problems? How can you talk about the one subject on which you are the world expert, yourself, if you are uncomplicated and un-immiserated? For if you eavesdrop sufficiently in public places (bars, buses, trains, airports), you will soon discover that the self is the main topic of conversation—or should I say of alternating monologues?
Catalog Slog by Theodore Dalrymple

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Posted by gerardvanderleun May 13, 2017 10:31 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems: "It was fifty years ago today / Jimi Hendrix burned his guitar away...."

If you can just get your mind together
Then come on across to me
We'll hold hands, and then we'll watch the sunrise
From the bottom of the sea

[Chorus]
But first, are you experienced?
Have you ever been experienced?
Well, I have

Speaking only for myself, but starting around the time this song was released in 1967 I was "experienced" about 60-65 times over the following four years. My old friends say this single fact explains so much about me. I demur.



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 12, 2017 11:03 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Wheatfield

12 Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase. Psalm 85

In 2008/2009, U.S. farmers grew nearly 2.4 billion bushels of wheat on 63 million acres of land. In the United States, one acre of wheat yields an average of around 40 bushels of wheat. About half of the wheat grown in the United States is used domestically.

In 2008, the state of Kansas was the largest wheat producer in the United States with North Dakota a close second. Kansas is number one in flour milling in the United States. Kansas produces enough wheat each year to bake 36 billion loaves of bread and enough to feed everyone in the world, over six billion people, for about 2 weeks. An acre of Kansas wheat produces enough bread to feed nearly 9,000 people for one day.

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

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

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The Wheat Field

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

Sheaves of gold on bronze in files beneath the sun.

Is it towards the whiteness of the wafer

The field bends on autumn winds;

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Towards the body which is breath not flesh

That the body which is only flesh

Scuffs its limbs upon the soil,

And fears at night tomorrow's toil,

And sees in dreams the shade of musk

The trumpets rising in the dusk?

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Or is the seed of wheat enough,

Its own bronze parable of blood,

Enorbing in its nucleus

The architecture of the Ark,

The constant covenant of bread?

4%20Andrew%20climbs%20to%20dizzying%20heights%20inside%20the%20new%20bin%20that%20he%20hopes%20will%20soon%20be%20full%20of%20wheat.jpg

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

A fan spreads out in silted twists

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

And clasped by five white fingers of that marble hand.

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Between the rise and fall of speech

The pulse is felt throughout the land,

Its rhythms mimicked by the priests,

Its regulations drawn on dirt

In circles, trisects, lines and cubes

Of numbers and of wheat,

Of incantations scratched on stone

That from their power we may eat

The bread, for we have tasted of the fruit,

And found it, if not sweet, of use

In surveying tombs and gardens that will suit.

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The wilderness yields only flesh

Of fruit, or fowl, or hunted beast.

It cannot give us wheat and bread,

And it is bread that we would eat.

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

Though we scan the skies with eyes of beasts,

Still we would walk in fields of wheat,

And from such sheaves deduce the laws

Of war and wealth and God, and pause

To build our towns and temples, paved streets,

And gird the very globe with grids,

And make our maps and take our measures,

And populate the final stars with our myriad

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

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Posted by gerardvanderleun May 12, 2017 10:09 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Japanese. Nuked Too Much or Sleeping with the Fish?

Fisherman Call is a free service. All you have to do is register online and provide your name, phone number and the time you would like to be called by the fisherman. You can even select a specific fisherman from several profiles listed online. You can see a picture of each one of the available fishermen, check out their work schedule and even listen to a recording of their voice to see if it’s the first thing you want to hear in the morning. Then, all you have to do is go to sleep.

Boy: Hello…

Fisherman: Morning! How are you feeling this fine day?

Boy: Good, thanks. Are you on a boat right now?

Fisherman: Yeah, I woke up at three and came out to sea.

Boy: Th… three?!?!

Fisherman: We caught a huge fish this morning, I’ll send you a picture.

Boy: Thank you!



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 12, 2017 9:59 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The BSBFB is Back and It Is Badass

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Yes, after a strange wandering-in-the-wilderness hiatus, it is a pleasure to see the return of BSBFB – AKA The Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys

How "sociopathic?"

Well you can find an item like this:

And then a week later you can find an item like this:

We report. You decide.



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 11, 2017 5:34 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On The Time, This Time, of Our Lives

In his essay : This problem will only get worse at Sense of Events Donald Sensing directs our attention away from the freak show issues of the day to more immediate things, to First Things....

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By Donald Sensing
More people are living longer than ever and this particular situation will become more and more problematic.

The article is from the UK's Times newspaper. The circumstances in Britain do not exactly correspond to those of the US, mainly because Britain has socialized medicine and elder care. What the judge objected to was the government coercively separating couples when they wanted to remain together.

As a minister I deal with this situation more frequently than I wish I did. Only here in the U.S., the separation is not from compulsion but from necessity. One spouse becomes physically or mentally unable to live at home because of the constancy and level of care required. So the healthier spouse finally accedes to the other being moved to a care facility. But this is always a wrenching decision.

In generations past, this was not a big problem because when someone got to "threescore and ten" s/he was pretty close to life's end. My grandfathers both died about then, one at 71 and the other at 72. No one thought they died young. Today when you hear someone died at 71, you ask, "Oh, my, what happened?" One of my grandmothers died at 76. The other lived until 90 but for her generation she was an exception, not the rule.

This is not the case any more. Both my dad and my wife's are still living. Her dad will turn 98 next month, mine 90 in September. My mom died at 87, hers at 86 - well beyond the expectancy of their parents' generation. My generation, the Boomers, is the first in which caring for aged parents is normative even after we are retired from our careers. I know couples in their mid-70s who are both dealing with parents in their 90s.

I know that "dealing with" is a bad way to put it, but many people in their mid- to latter-70s are starting to cope with their own aging issues. The stresses of that plus trying to look after one or two very elderly parents can be pretty stout. And it is aggravated if one or both parents are living in care facilities....

Read the rest and continue at Sense of Events: This problem will only get worse



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 11, 2017 5:08 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Site Down: The Crash of O'Keefe

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Crash on the levee, mama
Water's gonna overflow
Swamp's gonna rise
And no boat's gonna row

A server crash took this site down for about eight hours. It was fixed with alacrity and competence as things like this always are with the venerable and wonderful Hosting Matters. I guess that the O'Keefe server is toast. I'm being restored on Picasso.

And now back to our regularly scheduled pogrom.



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 11, 2017 4:23 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dear President Trump,

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Please accept my sincere and enduring thanks for getting rid of that evil man who was responsible for my losing the election to you. It serves him right.

All my love,
Hillary

PS: Let's not have any more silliness about that special prosecutor, okay?



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 9, 2017 8:34 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Herstory

Last week some wag remarked that the best thing about Trump's First Hundred Days is that they weren't Hillary's First Hundred Days. This clip will make you a believer.



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 8, 2017 11:12 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Icecaps are [still] melting

No matter if you're out there parked to that car along the highway
Or whether you're at home, sitting by the radio
Or whether you're having them good meals
Or whether you're by the TV set
Let everyone sing about those melting ice caps
how they're coming down into the sea
and let us all have a swimming time, as we sing;

The ice caps are melting
Oh, ho, ho ho
All the world is drowning
Ho, ho ho, ho ho
The ice caps are melting
the tide is rushing in
All the world is drowning
to wash away the sin


THE CONTINUING CRISIS:

The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulate, at Bergen , Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.


Oh dear, upon a second glance I find I must apologize.....

Continued...

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 8, 2017 2:19 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boomer Anthems: Venus by Bananarama

Extra Points for Chinese Red Latex Satan Cat Suit.

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Goddess on the mountain top
Burning like a silver flame
The summit of beauty and love
And Venus was her name

She's got it
Yeah, baby, she's got it
I'm your Venus, I'm your fire
At your desire
Well, I'm your Venus, I'm your fire
At your desire

And what's more... they're coming back.

banarama.jpg



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 7, 2017 11:25 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Imagine by B Lewis

Imagine a future planetary exploration team is surveying the surface of Mars. During an excavation, they are astonished to discover what appears to be a computer chip embedded in the rock. Further investigation reveals the object to be a functional integrated circuit device.

"This is the most momentous discovery in the history of science, " says the team leader. "Finally, proof positive that an intelligent creature has existed on Mars at some point in the past. We are not alone!"

"Not so fast," says the chief scientist. "Just because we found a piece of silica that happens to be in the form of a computer chip doesn't necessarily imply that any extraterrestrial intelligence exists."

"It certainly does," says the team leader. "Micrographs show definitively that this is an integrated circuit chip. Since no human beings have ever been to Mars, and none of our probes have penetrated to this area, logic dictates that an extraterrestrial intelligence exists."

"Nope," says the scientist. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. What evidence have you that this 'chip' was made my an intelligent being?"

The Team Leader is nonplussed. "I -- it's a circuit, Chief. A functional electronic circuit! The computer says it could be made to run like any IC chip. Integrated circuits don't just create themselves. Someone designed this!"

"That's an interesting statement of belief," replies the Chief Scientist, "But not a demonstrable fact." He examines his nails nonchalantly. "I can't accept your faith in some invisible sky person as a scientific theory, Team Leader. All I can know from what we have here is that we have found a functional circuit chip. Where it comes from, how it came to be -- all of this remains unknown."

"But somebody had to make it!" The Team Leader is incredulous. "It's obviously an artifact. Complex structures like computer chips don't just appear out of thin air!"

"Sure they do, Team Leader," says the Chief Scientist. "Biological cells. A single living cell is billions of times more complex than this chip we've found, and yet cells just 'appeared', without the aid of some fantastic 'designer' in the sky." He looks up from his nails. "Like a living cell, this chip merely appears to be the product of an intelligent designer. In fact, it's complexity is probably just the result of the random actions of wind, water, and radiation upon local geology over eons of time."

Something Wonderful: Molecular Visualizations of DNA @ AMERICAN DIGEST

He stands, looks the Team Leader in the eye. "Just as we have learned that we need not invoke the supernatural to explain life, we need not posit a race of chip-designing Martians to explain this object. Like us, this chip was produced by the action of natural forces upon natural materials over billions of years of time. It, for lack of a better word, evolved into its present state." He points toward the airlock. "In fact, there are probably ancestors of this chip -- transitional forms -- buried in the rock beneath us right now."

"Sir!" cries a nearby technician. "We've finished the circuit analysis. The computer says this is a data storage chip -- and the data is readable!"

"What's it contain?" the Team Leader asks.

"A raster image sir," says the tech. "I'm calling it up now."

On a nearby screen, an image appears: a creature utterly inhuman in form, but wearing what can only be the Martian equivalent of a clean-room suit. In one hand -- tentacle -- the creature holds a small box containing a duplicate of the found IC chip.

"Holy cow," says the Team Leader. "It's a photo. A photo of a Martian -- and he's holding the chip. I just won a freaking Nobel Prize!"

"Coincidence," scoffs the Chief Scientist. "Over billions of years, local radiation probably flipped the bits on that chip randomly into this configuration. It only appears to our pattern-sensitive brains to be a clear, color image of a blue-eyed extraterrestrial creature in a clean room suit holding in its appendage a copy of the so-called 'chip' we've found."

The tech and the Team Leader stare at the Chief Scientist open-mouthed.

"What?" asks the Chief Scientist. "It's Science 101: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I see no reason to believe in any Martians."

No one speaks for a handful of moments. "What," asks the Team Leader quietly, "would it take to make you believe?"

"Proof," responds the Chief Scientist primly. "I'm a scientist, Team Leader. If I can't poke it with a stick, it ain't real." The Chief Scientist grins ironically. "Call me Doubting Thomas. 'Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.'"

Posted by: B Lewis at August 27, 2012 8:31 AM



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 7, 2017 9:49 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sigh: In the way that the Sistine Chapel Summed Up the Renaissance So This Sums Up the Art of the 20th Century.



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 6, 2017 1:25 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Co-Dependent Anti-Pentagon

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An aerial view of the new Apple headquarters on April 28, 2017 in Cupertino, California.

Apple's new 175-acre 'spaceship' campus dubbed "Apple Park" is nearing completion and is set to begin moving in Apple employees. The new headquarters, designed by Lord Norman Foster and costing roughly $5 billion, will house 13,000 employees in over 2.8 million square feet of office space and will have nearly 80 acres of parking to accommodate 11,000 cars.

Pretty much everybody that will work inside this monument to hubris will hate, absolutely hate, everything the Pentagon stands for. And they will depend, every moment of every day, on the power of the Pentagon to keep their lives, their fortunes, and their non-existent honor.



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 6, 2017 9:45 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Great Souls of Our Time: Van Morrison

>

Morrison9.jpgBut darlin', those days are gone
Oh yeah
Stop dreaming
And live on in the future
But darlin', a-don't look back
Whoa, no-no
Don't look back

-- John Lee Hooker

Ah, but we do, don't we? We always look back. Seeing the shapes, getting the measure, going the distance and finding -- if only for a moment -- the safe harbors of your life requires a spiritual sextant for sighting the fixed stars. It's a ghost ship's voyage with what lies ahead a blank white screen while what is behind fades into the smoke of the world well lost. There are shallows, shoals and the fatal allure of Sirens and the lee shore. Times in irons, then storms, then stretches of clear open ocean on a broad reach, but always with the sense of hidden reefs and an unknowable destination. It helps to track others' voyages, to follow similar arcs, to watch if they pass, or seem to pass, the same checkpoints. Some are siblings. Others are friends and lovers. Still others are artists that, at some point, strike us as sharing if not a life then at least a similar trajectory.

Everybody has a different set of charts, but some overlap. Among these are the singer-songwriter / poets of our era. These are our troubadours, the most influential of which in our time, is Bob Dylan. Indeed, I've often thought that it must gall the endless pile of disposable poets stashed in the academy that, for all their pallid effort, the greatest American poet of this era is Dylan. But Dylan, for all his protean output and achievement, misses the music as much as he hooks the mind.

For my money, the singer-songwriter-poet among my contemporaries, that both hooks the ear and brings the music is Van Morrison.

Not only for his ability to play his voice like some transoceanic jazz choir, nor his manner of mining the blues and jazz traditions and his own life, but also because -- like Dylan -- he endures. Not only that, but he reports back. And like a few others in music, painting and writing, the arc of his life seems to resonate with mine. It may be just a fluke of years lived in the same unfolding history, but it seems larger. It seems, as it always seems with the great souls, that there's an emotional and spiritual concordance happening, as one bell might pick up the tone of another nearby even though it has not itself been struck.

"Take me back, there, take me way back there..."

But that was later, and this is earlier, much earlier. Before there really was "Van Morrison." When he was just a singer. When he was one of THEM.

Comes a-walkin' down my street
When she comes to my house
She knocks upon my door
And then she comes in my room
Yeah, an' she make me feel alright

G-L-O-R-I-A (GLORIA)

Remembering that song the first thought is "Who, but who, was ever that young?" But of course we all were. And the number of times that the 45s of Mystic Eyes and Gloria were spun on the turntables in those years pretty much surpass memory. I do recall they made for some long and fine white nights. Gloria, played at the right time, could pretty much close the deal.

"The cool room, Lord, is a fool's room."

Make-out songs weren't the only thing in Van Morrison's bag, even in those years. Something else was there. Something that lived in the deep and would insist upon rising.

Within two years Morrison left "Them" and soloed, releasing the trendily titled Blowin' Your Mind! from Bang Records. The hit on that album was "Brown-Eyed Girl" and it has, thanks to the continuing and increasing supply of brown-eyed girls in the world, stayed pretty much a perennial since then. Boomers used it first for seduction and later for lullabies.

But there was another song on that first album that foreshadowed Morrison's work much more deeply, "T. B. Sheets." This is a dark and haunting evocation of death and sickness. Junkies like to think it's about them, but junkies think everything is about them. It's bigger than that. Much bigger. And it is, in its provenance as well as it's lyrics, nothing like any pop song that came before, and very little like any that came after. In the other songs on Blowin' Your Mind! you hear a young singer pulling out everything he knows in quest of a hit, any hit. But "T. B. Sheets" is vastly different. In it you hear the song of an old soul, one that has been here before; one that knows the deal and has paid the bill.

The origin of "T. B. Sheets" is, figuratively and literally, in nightmare.

His mother, Violet Morrison said that the song originally had emerged from a nightmare her son had and that he had felt it so strongly that he couldn't tell it to her but sang it instead with verses lasting for an hour.
An hour? The song on the album runs nearly 10 minutes, twice the length of any of the others, and an eternity for a pop album of the mid-60s. But an hour? Just to stay in that mental space for 10 minutes is enough for most people. (The song did not chart.) But an hour is inconceivable.

Still, I'd like to hear it. It's a song that first insinuates itself deep into your lungs and then crawls down your bones:

So open up the window and let me breathe,
I said, open up the window and let me breathe
I'm looking down to the street below
Lord, I cried for you, Oh, Lord.

The cool room, Lord, is a fool's room,
The cool room, Lord, is a fool's room,
And I can almost smell your T.B. sheets
And I can almost smell your T.B. sheets, on your sick bed.

I gotta go, l gotta,
And you said, please stay.
I want, I want a drink of water,
I want a drink of water,
I went to the kitchen to get me a drink of water,

I gotta go baby.
I send, I send, I send somebody around here later,
You know we got John comin' around
Later with a bottle of wine for you, babe.

So much for the easy pop songs from a handsome young jazz singer who had gotten mixed up in rock-and-roll. There's Milton's "darkness visible" writhing at the center of that song, something seldom seen in pop music -- especially in the days of "Do you believe in magic/ in a young girl's eyes?"

"Darkness visible." That was to be a recurring image in Van Morrison's work. That and a search for the light as well.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

-- Traditional hymn, recorded in Hymns to the Silence, 1991

Light seen sometimes in the present, and sometimes in the past. But always with a sense of trying to learn, in the end, what he hears from John Lee Hooker:
Don't look back
To the days of yesteryear
You cannot live on in the past

Ah, but we do. Don't we?

[Bird Dog @ Maggie's reminds us that today is....Van Morrison's birthday - Maggie's Farm He's only 69. Looks 79. Acts 89. We appreciate his work, though.]

Continued...

Posted by Vanderleun May 5, 2017 12:10 PM | Comments (27)  | QuickLink: Permalink
God Bless Americans

"Texas. Tornado Alley. In the aftermath of a storm, a truck is overturned in flood waters. Inside the truck: A baby and a toddler, both drowning. What happens next will, well, if you know Americans like I know Americans, it won't astound you at all. Into the flood waters rush bystanders. White men. Black men. Hispanic men. American men. Working together with their bare hands they manage to pull the dying children from the wreckage, get them to solid ground and begin resuscitation procedures. Throughout, a woman on the bank prays fervently to Jesus for help in saving these children's lives.

"And they did."
- - May the Fourth ONT be With You



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 5, 2017 9:43 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Second Thoughts: Trump Voter Feels Betrayed By President After Reading 800 Pages Of Queer Feminist Theory



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 4, 2017 8:51 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Vuelo Nocturno or Night Flight

Today's flight across the Atlantic Ocean to South America.
Our flight is packed and some 340 passengers are settling in for a long night flight. Its my turn to be at the flightdeck for the first part of the journey, as my other co-pilot gets the chance to rest in the crew bunk above the passenger cabin. We are heading our westbound, along the clearly visible Alps to our left. Just before reaching Geneva and the western tip of Switzerland we are making a shallow left turn to join the Rhone valley leading us to Marseille and onward onto the Mediterranean Sea. Our routing will bring us towards Algeria and on across the northwestern part of the vast Sahara. We will be flying past Dakar in Senegal where we will be heading out onto the Atlantic Ocean. Our south-westerly course will get us across the wide blue – in fact it was pitch-black during the night – to the north eastern shore of Brazil. Landfall is expected just north of Rio de Janeiro and the remaining few hundred miles will get us straight towards Sao Paolo. Our landing is expected around 6am local time, still before the sun will rise.   The chatter of the French and Spanish ATC accompanies us for another hour, we get changed over to Algiers and past the bright city light of the capital of Algeria towards the Sahara. Tonight will be a special night, since its one of the few nights every August where countless shooting stars will be seen all over the night sky. Deriving from constellation of Perseus, these meteor showers will guide us through the night.   Just as the bright city lights are vanishing behind us, the Milky way starts to become clearly visible up ahead. Its now us, pacing at almost the speed of sound along the invisible highway and the pitch-black night sky above this surreal landscape. Ahead of us are another eight hours flight time, but we already stopped counting the shooting stars. Vuelo nocturno – The magic of flying at night - Beyond The Clouds - An Airline pilot's journey


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 3, 2017 6:52 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Nature Red in Tooth and Claw: Carcass Cam of Yellowstone

Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation’s final law–
Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek’d against his creed–

- - Alfred, Lord Tennyson - In Memoriam



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 3, 2017 4:34 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Taco Wall of Cinco de Mayo

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Here on the lower ridges of the Sierras in Northern California the supermarkets lose no opportunity to sell their stores to the wall. The latest methods are vast entry displays in which the packaged and artificial foods are stacked to the ceiling so you won't miss out on the next [holiday] [national day of...] [holiday in another country, language, or other element of the vibrancy and the diversity], or some such mercantile nonsense. This month's "celebration" it concerns something called "Cinco de Mayo."

What is this "celebration?" Well it once had something to do with: "The date observed to commemorate the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza." Strange but then again the history of the Mexican Army seems to be one of "unlikely victories," so this one is as good as another.

Of late the May 5 street celebrations in the US seem to be orgies of hating on the United States and praising the bouncy car and taco culture of Mexico from safe spaces (so far) inside the US.

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Your moral and intellectual betters lose no time in reminding you that May 5 is just a Hispanic version of St. Patrick's Day. Maybe but I don't recall the St. Pats Parade in NYC being a hotbed of treason, felonious behavior, and America hating. Still, our shopkeepers never pass up an opportunity so when I entered my local Safeway yesterday I had forgotten all about this smarmy little holiday imported from south of the border down Mexico way.

In one moment I was confronted by this wall; a wall that Safeway and the faux-Mexican food producers somehow (unlike Congress) found the money to build.

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Ah yes, never let anyone forget that in America we're so nice we celebrate Cinco de Mayo as well as making Spanish Numero Uno on our telephone tree choices. Upon being reminded my first thought was, "What? No Quatro de Julio Down Mexico Way?"

My second thought was, "Of course not. Mexicans aren't suckers."

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Posted by gerardvanderleun May 3, 2017 10:47 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
To The Right


To The Right / Candice Drouet from Really Dim on Vimeo.

On the Left, the people keep a comin' but the train's done gone. Everybody's moving "to the right."

The Shining / The Darjeeling Limited / Holy Motors / Inherent Vice / Jackie Brown / Juno / Drive Ex Machina / Delicatessen / American Psycho / 2046 / Rebel Without A Cause / Little Miss Sunshine / 1984 / The Neon Demon / The Big Lebowski / Collateral / Donnie Darko / Bronson / Catch Me If You Can / Marie-Antoinette / It Follows / Lost River / Trainspotting / Still Alice / Cape Fever / Amelie Poulain / The Grand Budapest Hotel / Blue Is The Warmest Color / Nightcall / Only God Forgives / On the road / Boogie Nights / One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest / Saint-Laurent / Reservoir Dogs / Wild Tales / O’ Brother, Where art Thou ? / Fight Club / Black Mass / Twelve Years A Slave / Memento / Hail, Caesar ! / Upstream Color / La La Land



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 2, 2017 4:22 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Democrats "We're Desperate" Dialing for Dollars Drive

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I keep a weather eye on the horizon, my back to the wall
I like to know who's coming through the door, that's all

-- -- Knopfler, Cleaning My Gun

So yes, I am on some political mailing lists that don't quite confirm to my own views. One of those is the mailing list from today's Democrats, or as most of us know them more and more since November, "The Insane Clown Posse."

One of the head clowns in the Posse is the disgraced cheat Donna Brazile, a woman clearly given over to the vapors, hysteria, and other forms of 19th century female fogs steaming from her out of work vagina. Donna loves to shriek out a warning, any old warning, any old hot flash that snaps through what remains of her cerebral cortex. Here's today's dire warning:

People could die!!! - vanderleun@gmail.com - Gmail

Gerard, if you have a friend or loved one who has ever been sick and relied on insurance to cover the cost of their medical care, I need you to take action right now.

Unless we stop them, House Republicans are about to vote again to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something much, much worse.


Now let's stop right there. Unless I am misunderstanding Ms. Brazilewax she has just admitted that Obamacare is so bad the only thing you need to be afraid of is something (unknown) that will make it, not just "worse," but "much, much worse."

There's a lot of blah-blah after that but it's clear there's no editor inside or outside Brazile's brainpan. Instead she leads you through the dementia to get to the real point of her effort:

Sign on to stop this health care disaster:

ADD YOUR NAME

Thank you -- this is so, so important.

Donna Brazile

And where do you go when you "sign on" to "ADD YOUR NAME"? You go to the golem's grotto. You go to the page where they try to extract cash from your credit card because as long as you have a card with money on it, the Democrats have the griddle to fry it on. Not for any real reason of policy, not because the Democrats are FOR anything other than not getting worse, but because.... wait for it... the Democrats are NOT.... guess who?

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Yup. That's the page where they try to extract money from you. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Me? I'm shaking in my boots, Donna. Be right with you.



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 2, 2017 2:59 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Leonardo's Resume

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In the early 1480s, many years before he painted the world-famous pieces for which he is now best known—the Mona Lisa being just one—Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci sought a job at the court of Ludovico Sforza, the then de facto ruler of Milan. Fully aware that Sforza was looking to employ military engineers, Leonardo drafted an application letter that put his seemingly endless engineering talents front and centre, by way of a 10-point list of his abilities; interestingly, his artistic genius is merely hinted at towards the very end.

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TRANSLATION: I shall endeavour, while intending no discredit to anyone else, to make myself understood to Your Excellency for the purpose of unfolding to you my secrets, and thereafter offering them at your complete disposal, and when the time is right bringing into effective operation all those things which are in part briefly listed below:

1. I have plans for very light, strong and easily portable bridges with which to pursue and, on some occasions, flee the enemy, and others, sturdy and indestructible either by fire or in battle, easy and convenient to lift and place in position. Also means of burning and destroying those of the enemy.

2. I know how, in the course of the siege of a terrain, to remove water from the moats and how to make an infinite number of bridges, mantlets and scaling ladders and other instruments necessary to such an enterprise.

3. Also, if one cannot, when besieging a terrain, proceed by bombardment either because of the height of the glacis or the strength of its situation and location, I have methods for destroying every fortress or other stranglehold unless it has been founded upon a rock or so forth.

4. I have also types of cannon, most convenient and easily portable, with which to hurl small stones almost like a hail-storm; and the smoke from the cannon will instil a great fear in the enemy on account of the grave damage and confusion.

5. Also, I have means of arriving at a designated spot through mines and secret winding passages constructed completely without noise, even if it should be necessary to pass underneath moats or any river.

6. Also, I will make covered vehicles, safe and unassailable, which will penetrate the enemy and their artillery, and there is no host of armed men so great that they would not break through it. And behind these the infantry will be able to follow, quite uninjured and unimpeded.

7. Also, should the need arise, I will make cannon, mortar and light ordnance of very beautiful and functional design that are quite out of the ordinary.

8. Where the use of cannon is impracticable, I will assemble catapults, mangonels, trebuckets and other instruments of wonderful efficiency not in general use. In short, as the variety of circumstances dictate, I will make an infinite number of items for attack and defence.

9. And should a sea battle be occasioned, I have examples of many instruments which are highly suitable either in attack or defence, and craft which will resist the fire of all the heaviest cannon and powder and smoke.

10. In time of peace I believe I can give as complete satisfaction as any other in the field of architecture, and the construction of both public and private buildings, and in conducting water from one place to another.

Also I can execute sculpture in marble, bronze and clay. Likewise in painting, I can do everything possible as well as any other, whosoever he may be.

Moreover, work could be undertaken on the bronze horse which will be to the immortal glory and eternal honour of the auspicious memory of His Lordship your father, and of the illustrious house of Sforza.

And if any of the above-mentioned things seem impossible or impracticable to anyone, I am most readily disposed to demonstrate them in your park or in whatsoever place shall please Your Excellency, to whom I commend myself with all possible humility. Letters of Note: The Skills of Leonardo da Vinci



Posted by gerardvanderleun May 2, 2017 10:28 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Banality of Sedition

It's May Day again and Communism is still alive and well on the streets of Seattle....

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Illustration by RapierWitt

THESE DAYS its not often that you see a member of the Despairing Classes being seduced by classic Communism on a city street, but it does happen.

Sidewalk Snapshot: It's a warm Spring evening on Pine Street in Seattle. Lengthening shadows and brightening light brings everything into sharp relief including the random collection of lay-abouts, short-order poets, tattoo artistes, and students a decade between degrees that take up the tables outside the Cafe Laddro on Capitol Hill.

Capitol Hill is one of those neighborhoods in Seattle that compiles a mainstream lifestyle out of alternatives. Even though it is indeed a hill, it has suspended the normal laws of gravity and everything loose in Seattle rolls up to the top of it. That includes, on this evening, me.

I'm stepping out of your "one-every-block" Seattle espresso slop shop with my machiatto when I notice the odd couple at the table just outside the door. That's not too odd since odd couples, like spiked bright blue hair, are pretty much the norm on Capitol Hill. I notice them at first because the youngest is wearing a Motorhead t-shirt with the mantra "Everything Louder Than Everything Else" on it in that faux German Black gothic font that got old when Auschwitz was in flower, and so had to be made new again back when heavy-metal was a fresh idea.

Glancing over Motorhead's shoulder I note that the man across from him is giving him an ideological lap-dance complete with a whole raft of tracts, papers and books being brought out and waved about and placed, with a muffled thwang, one after the other on the thin black metal of the table: Trotsky's "Marxism and Terrorism," (thwang!); the ever-popular Marx and Engels "Communist Manifesto," (thwang!); Lenin's greatest hit "What Is To Be Done?," (thwang!), Gramsci's "Prison Notebooks," (thunk!), Zinn's "People's History of the United States,"(clunk!).

One by one, they come out of the worn back pack and pile up on the table. All in all, a larger pile of ideological dung would be hard to imagine, and harder to handle even with meat hooks and thick rubber gloves.

The man making his pile of "roadmaps to a more perfect world" is quite a bit older than Motorhead with a slim, somewhat furtive look to him. There's the vibe coming off him that you sometimes sense when someone old is trying to pick up somebody far too young for him.

In the intense light of the evening, you can see a faint cloud of dust motes rising from him as he keeps slapping the tracts down. Greying hair in moist ringlets covers his head except for a monk's tonsure on the back of his skull. He's got a mustache and a beard that, with a little care, could be brought to a Van Dyke point. He sports small round rimmed glasses in front of thin blue eyes. His eyes, although they never waver from his prey, carry within them a permanent 1,000 yard stare -- as if he's always looking outside of the present moment at something in the distance that never gets nearer. Overall the face reminds one, as these faces so often do, of a watered down Leon Trotsky, the Christ of Communism, crucified with an ice axe but still twitching in his tomb.

Trotsky is resurrect this evening on Capitol Hill though, and I linger at the table next to them writing down a few notes about their conversation. Except it is not exactly a conversation so much as a monologue as my Trotsky keeps, in smiling and soft tones, returning to the subject at hand which is the inevitable collapse of the evil American Empire ("Long past its expiry date..."), and the inevitable rise of world Socialism ("Everyone will have more than enough, but nobody will have it all.")

Trotsky's sporting, as all good Trotskys must, a collection of slogan buttons and a sheaf of free tracts and newspapers. The button that is the largest is pinned to his faded plaid flannel shirt and proclaims him to be a member in good standing of the ISO (International Socialist Organization, good Latter-Day Trotskyites all. )

He passes the tracts and newspapers over to his intended, "Free, all free," and points out the more salient injustices they outline: eternal racism, eternal slavery of women, eternal repression of the working man by capitalists, eternal imperialism by the United States -- the whole catastrophe. He underscores that the only escape is through the ever-imminent but forever delayed Rapture of the Left, The Revolution.

After several minutes of his soft chants, Motorhead is nodding like the drinking bird over the glass. He's looking a bit dazed. I wonder if Trotsky has slipped a roofy into Motorhead's machiatto and is just waiting for it to kick in.

Trotsky's tales are the sad sotto voce sagas that underscore all the old nightmares of the Gulag, the Killing Fields, and every other massacre done in the name of the Marxist Utopia. It's a litany proving, once again, that some lies lodge so deep in man's hopes they will not die, no matter the murders they require to live.

Today's fresh lie is that if only Motorhead will attend the "event" tomorrow, Trotsky will be pleased to take him to the exclusive "Cadre" meeting that follows so he can meet the "Comrade of Honor," one Ahmed Shawki.

In soft tones salted with a quick twinkling smile that comes and goes like the red queen in three-card monte, Trotsky continues his spiel, his seduction. Motorhead is "obviously a man of no little intelligence" -- even if his five facial piercings (ears, left eyebrow, lip stud and nose-ring) might make one wonder.

Motorhead "needs to live in a system where social justice is the rule for all, not just the rich." Given Motorhead's ripped black jeans, worn black boots and general air of someone not likely to be hired by any business whose work involves meeting the public, this is probably more true than either of them realize. Motorhead nods again to this last proposition, and observes that he yearns for a social order that is more just to his lifestyle than can easily be found outside the subcultural hamlets of Seattle.

Much has been made of Hannah Arendt's phrase, "The banality of evil," and I suppose I'm witnessing a small satori of that kind here on the sidewalks of Seattle. But it seems to me to be a more insidious event than that.

After all, there's nothing evil in speech that argues for ideas that have proven, without exception, to be evil. It is, after all, only speech and the strength of the American system is to protect all forms of speech, especially the idle blather of a coffee house revolutionary. There's nothing, really nothing, in this overheard conversation that threatens the existence of the United States. The mere fact that it can be had, five years into the First Terrorist War, underscores just how strong this nation adherence to its founding principles remains. Here on Capitol Hill dissent of even the most egregious sort, is not only tolerated but celebrated.

The conversation bothers me at the same time it fascinates me. It strikes me that what I am auditing is not so much "the banality of evil," but "the banality of sedition;" a banality we see acted out daily on our television screens and on the op-ed pages of our newspapers.

The banality of sedition is now so well established that it is, well, banal and goes forward without a great deal of remark or trouble. In the last few years, the phrase that has arisen to describe this phenomenon is "The Culture of Treason." I'm not sure who originated the phrase, but its use is proliferating across the Internet for the reason that all such phrases proliferate when the time is ripe; it somehow rings true.

Of late, it iseems that large sections of the better educated and the most privileged among us have decided that the Constitution is, after all, a suicide pact and have determined to preach this death gospel to us all:

"This way to the gas, ladies and gentlemen. Step right up into the van carrying you all away into the perfect freedom of the perfect world. Don't worry about those canisters of gas dropping in through the top. It's just to delouse you of your old, traditional ideas of what being an American is all about.

"In just a few painless minutes you'll all be, as we are now, citizens of the world. And in that world to which we are all going you'll forget the old dream of America. You'll forget, at the last, everything that was good about America. You'll also forget the true and the beautiful. In the end, you'll forget about God himself.
"All those old dreams and visions will fade into a gray sameness. And then you'll all be, at the last, perfect citizens of our brave new world. We've breathed deeply of this gas before you and find it is the perfect blend of platitudes, freshly roasted, for the killing of your soul. After all, you weren't using it much. So step right up. First ride's free."

The long evening light was fading down into a warm dusk outside the coffee shop on Capitol Hill. Motorhead, in a moment of awakening, said, "Well, I should probably get grocery shopping."

Having gotten Motorhead's assent to attend the "event," Trotsky the Comrade becomes Trotsky the Closer and skins twenty bucks out of Motorhead's wallet for Gramsci's "Prison Notebooks" ($14.95 at Amazon). The tracts and, of course, the newspaper are free. Such a deal.

The threadbare backpack is repacked with Trotsky's portable library. He and Motorhead set off up the hill and, turning the corner, move out of sight.

I fold up the scrap of paper on the back of which I've made my notes of their meeting. The front side invites all and sundry to a "Solidarity Gathering" at the 45th Street Overpass: "We Support the Rape Survivor at Duke... and the Countless Others Everywhere. Come and join us in solidarity to bear witness to this terrorism against women." I make a mental note to, somehow, manage to be elsewhere.

Walking back to the Century Ballroom, I notice a large flyer that announces the "event" that Motorhead has agreed to attend. Ahmed Shawki, editor of the International Socialist Review, will speak, it seems, on "Black Liberation and Socialism."

Shaki's image dominates the flyer and looks, for all the world, like a Malcom X returned to life. The look is, of course, a carefully studied one since black socialist saints are hard to come by these days.** The Clenched Fist logo is in the lower left hand corner of the flyer. There are other details but I have a hard time making them out. It is, I discover, hard to read a flyer that is lying in the gutter. Especially when the light has failed.


In "Celebration" of May Day, 2008. HT: Cynr who created the art.

**Written in April, 2006

"I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;"



Posted by Vanderleun May 1, 2017 1:47 AM | Comments (76)  | QuickLink: Permalink
G2E Media GmbH

MONTHLY ARCHIVES


SIDELINES

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By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | 6616-D Clark Road #176 | Paradise, CA 95969

Your Shower Is Lame, Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Work, and Your Clothes are Dirty

It’s not just about the showerhead.
The water pressure in our homes and apartments has been gradually getting worse for two decades, thanks to EPA mandates on state and local governments. This has meant that even with a good showerhead, the shower is not as good as it might be. It also means that less water is running through our pipes, causing lines to clog and homes to stink just slightly like the sewer. This problem is much more difficult to fix, especially because plumbers are forbidden by law from hacking your water pressure. | Foundation for Economic Education [HT: Never Yet Melted]


In 2016 the Western political system had a stroke.

The American political system is operating in the curious condition of being an impaired state.
It's not really thinking -- about China, Russia, Syria, Kurdistan. It's not really thinking about anything except half remembered slogans from 1968. Like a person afflicted by a stroke, it can't take a consistent view of external reality because it's regressing into atavisms by a loss of brain function. Impaired


Fake News. At the same time of the political putsch, the mainstream media outlets,

in particular the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks, via broadcasts and social media, began an orchestrated campaign of defamation and delegitimization.
The crazier and more diverse the media mythologies, the better. Melania Trump was a former call girl and illegal alien. Ivanka Trump was peddling her business wares from the West Wing. Jared Kushner was a profiteering collusionist. Steve Bannon was a racist, Sebastian Gorka an unrepentant Nazi. Baron Trump was a spoiled, autistic child. The late elder Trump had run a racist campaign for mayor. And on and on. Resistance & Regime Change: Any Means Necessary – Lies, Leaks, Violence | National Review


Crime simply does not pay as well as politics or banking.

That may be the way to look at something like the Clinton Foundation and, coming soon, the Obama Foundation.
These are not explicitly criminal organizations, but they certainly play outside the spirit of the laws. Obama is out of office and prohibited from running again, but he still controls the Democratic party. The Clintons would be in charge, if not for the fact that the voters took their under boss out in the Tuesday Night Massacre, otherwise known as the presidential election. Even so, the Clinton Family is still a player. Late Phase Capitalism | The Z Blog


Bodymore, Murderville”

Most whites have become habituated to the reality of life in this part of the world.
Everyone, white and black, knows the reality on the street. The blacks with anything on the ball do exactly like the whites and that’s put distance between themselves and the black ghetto. That does not stop the Progressive maniacs from ranting about racism, but they do it from high up in the towers of their whites-only neighborhoods. As a result, no one hears them and so they can be ignored. The Killing Season | The Z Blog


New Blog Arriving Soon

Some have asked, "Gee whiz, Unca Gerard, where is that thar new blog you keeps a promisin'?"

I am hoping for sometime tonight. Hoping. We've been having some issues getting this winged dinosaur landed.


Drink Tea

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Drink tea, together with your friends; pay attention to the tea, and to your friends, and pay attention to your friends paying attention to the tea. Therein lies the meaning of life. The Essence of Peopling

We would love to cut a deal with the noble indigenous peoples across the Earth—

you can have your Navajo panties and aboriginal dot paintings and every last freaking burrito on the planet so long as you give us back our computers and cell phones and cars and indoor plumbing and electricity and air conditioners. Deal?

If people go their separate ways such a divorce would be an astonishing defeat for the Left.

As late as 2016 it was possible to imagine an America led to a "progressive" future by Hillary Clinton;
an EU guiding all of Europe to a similar destiny and the G20 taking the whole world to the same destination. Indeed everyone told they were fated to follow an Arc of History. Yet after Brexit, Trump and G-Zero it is no longer possible to visualize this outcome. A blue-red division would confirm the failure to create a "progressive" world. No conceivable rollback will ever put Humpty Dumpty together again. Opportunity


Trump, Julius Caesar, and killing tyrants

The Roman lower classes, with whom Caesar was popular, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had sacrificed Caesar. -- neoneocon

Execute Trump? Nah, You First.

Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency,
but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then — upon receiving guilty verdicts — they must all be executed under the law. Impeachment Is No Longer Enough; Donald Trump Must Face Justice | HuffPost [Retreived from GoogleCache after it was expunged from the Huffington Post]


A bee in her bonnet

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Thousands of bees took over a car in the UK and beekeepers are struggling to make them leave -
At first it wasn't clear why the bees chose the blue Nissan car and he and a colleague were trying to determine whether this was just a temporary stop or a new nesting site. But as the bees moved to the inside of the bonnet, filling every nook and cranny, things got more serious. "They're building a lot of wax in there now, and of course once they start doing that, they're reluctant to leave it, because it's the start of building a house. They put a lot of effort into producing the wax," Coulson told Hull Daily Mail. "I've got a feeling this might be their chosen permanent home."


[Bumped] "They send one of ours to the hospital, we send two of theirs to the morgue."

Baseball Shooter a Big Wake-Up Call for the Left | Roger L. SimonRobespierre is alive and well in 2017 USA.

This pathetic character in Alexandria is, now was, the left's ungoverned id. By any means necessary -- that's for sure. They will undoubtedly try to shove him under the rug as quickly as possible, just one more aberrant individual to be forgotten, just one obscure Bernie volunteer gone bad. Sanders did his best to separate himself within minutes of the revelation. Yes, it's undoubtedly true that this was just one rotten apple, but it's also true that only five years ago Bernie was recommending Venezuela -- now ground zero for starvation, kidnapping and murder -- as a path for us to emulate.



Greatest antitheft device when the thieves are millenials:

Man leads Jeffco deputies on low-speed chase in stolen flatbed truck after unable to get out of 1st gear The driver - later identified as 29-year-old Randy Dewayne Vert - refused to stop and continued driving south on Center Point Parkway, Christian said. Vert was apparently unfamiliar with the complexities of a modern manual transmission.

The natural impulse of a political system in institutional crisis is to dig in.

Too many institutions in the West remain decades after their birth, frozen in the moment of their creation.
NASA, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the university system and the United Nations rule us from the past. Public life has become a museum of memes from which nothing can escape without a mummy hand dragging the fugitive back into the darkened interior. It is perhaps no coincidence the two most popular leaders of the Western left, Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, might credibly impersonate Boris Karloff. They are here to lead us back to 1968. Stuck


The Japanese. Nuked Too Much... or Trying to Get Their Mouths Around Fujiyama Volcano Plate

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We put Japan's most phallic-looking roast beef meal into our mouth at VolcanoKitchen | SoraNews24
Since we’d already become somewhat desensitized to the initially unsettling sensation of peeling strips of meat off the top of the shaft, we mercilessly crushed the egg, sending viscous, gooey liquid running down to the base of the meat rod.
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The power of the press is a figment of the imagination -- humbug --

Oscar Diggs behind the curtain projecting the image of Oz the Great and Powerful!
The Internet did not kill the power of the newspapers. It was suicide. And not just because most of them had Marxist editorials, editors, and reporters. Newspapers lost their sense of community -- and their credibility -- when the heirs to hometown publishers didn't want the paper, sold it to a chain for $1,000 per subscriber to a chain -- Gannett, Knight-Ridder, Thomson -- and moved on. Don Surber: Craigslist killed newspapers


When terrorists enter your children’s school and begin to execute them...

will the gun ban (you favored) in school that prevented abiding staff and teachers from saving your child, come to mind as a good idea?
If the answer to any or all of these and many more reasonable questions, is 'yes,' then you may be a delusional liberal, and likely a coward, and almost as big a threat to our nation as the terrorists who are at war with us." - Morgan K. Freeberg


"Happy birthday, Mr. President...."

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First truth which has been grounded into dust, must spring forth from the earth again.

At the present time . . .he who practices loving-kindness is esteemed and sought after, while he who champions the truth in word and in deed is persecuted and shunned. 
For men desire to base their affairs on everything except the one incorruptible truth which has been set down before us by God , and therefore these affairs have no permanent value . . . only when love and truth meet together, only when men come to understand that the highest act of loving-kindness is to bring men to know and practice the truth, only then will the marriage of love and truth produce that condition on earth in which everyone and everything will occupy the place which has been assigned to it by the will of God. Truth and Peace - Men Of The West


What happened to Nuclear Winter?

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As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive;
John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring. A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened. Raconteur Report: Aliens Cause Global Warming by Michael Crichton


If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus.

I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. - - Woodpile Report


Joe Biden’s niece dodges jail after $100K credit card scam

She walks on a major felony? Of course she did. And who believes she'll keep her end of the deal? In her defense, we're assured she's "a very complicated girl who has a lot of feelings and a lot of issues." Oh ... okay. That explains everything. Hugs from all the little people. Woodpile Report

Why is English so weirdly different from other languages?

There is exactly one language on Earth whose present tense requires a special ending only in the third‑person singular.
I’m writing in it. I talk, you talk, he/she talk-s – why just that? The present‑tense verbs of a normal language have either no endings or a bunch of different ones (Spanish: hablo, hablas, habla). And try naming another language where you have to slip do into sentences to negate or question something. Do you find that difficult? | Aeon Essays



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