2015 Ford Mustang as reveled by Ford and yes, Virginia, there is a convertible.
1964 Ford Mustang -- Serial Number: One
The way Gail Wise tells it, she was just looking for a car to get her to her first job out of college, and was growing tired of her parents' '57 Ford Fairlane, when she went to Johnson Ford in Chicago. After a tour of the showroom turned up nothing of interest, the salesman said “I’ve got something in the back that's really new" — a light blue Mustang convertible, fully loaded with a 260 V-8 and a power top.
The amalgamated fantasies of youth for 2013. Some will just live it. Most will just continue to live in their parent's basement.
Advertising signs they con
You into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meantime life outside goes on
All around you
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) Bob Dylan
A mashup of the 25 biggest hits during 2013 in the U.S.
Avicii feat. Aloe Blacc - Wake Me Up
Bruno Mars - When I Was Your Man
Capital Cities - Safe & Sound
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams - Get Lucky
Eminem feat. Rihanna - The Monster
Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly - Cruise
Imagine Dragons - Radioactive
Imagine Dragons - Demons
Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake - Holy Grail
Justin Timberlake - Mirrors
Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z - Suit & Tie
Katy Perry - Roar
Lady Gaga - Applause
Lorde - Royals
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton - Can't Hold Us
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz - Thrift Shop
Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball
Miley Cyrus - We Can't Stop
OneRepublic - Counting Stars
P!nk feat. Nate Ruess - Just Give Me A Reason
Rihanna - Stay
Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I. - Blurred Lines
Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin - Don't You Worry Child
Taylor Swift - I Knew You Were Trouble
Will.I.Am feat. Britney Spears - Scream And Shout
Okay, I know. You haven't been paying attention and neither have I. I don't make the pop culture anymore, I just report it.
"It was this spirit of national efficiency in the Circumlocution Office that had gradually led to its having something to do with everything."
The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. It was equally impossible to do the plainest right and to undo the plainest wrong without the express authority of the Circumlocution Office....
This glorious establishment had been early in the field, when the one sublime principle involving the difficult art of governing a country, was first distinctly revealed to statesmen. It had been foremost to study that bright revelation and to carry its shining influence through the whole of the official proceedings. Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving--HOW NOT TO DO IT.
Through this delicate perception, through the tact with which it invariably seized it, and through the genius with which it always acted on it, the Circumlocution Office had risen to overtop all the public departments; and the public condition had risen to be--what it was.
It is true that How not to do it was the great study and object of all public departments and professional politicians all round the Circumlocution Office.
It is true that every new premier and every new government, coming in because they had upheld a certain thing as necessary to be done, were no sooner come in than they applied their utmost faculties to discovering How not to do it.
It is true that from the moment when a general election was over, every returned man who had been raving on hustings because it hadn't been done, and who had been asking the friends of the honourable gentleman in the opposite interest on pain of impeachment to tell him why it hadn't been done, and who had been asserting that it must be done, and who had been pledging himself that it should be done, began to devise, How it was not to be done.
It is true that the debates of both House and Senate the whole session through, uniformly tended to the protracted deliberation, How not to do it.
It is true that the [State of the Union] virtually said, Ladies and gentlemen, you have a considerable stroke of work to do, and you will please to retire to your respective chambers, and discuss, How not to do it.
All this is true, but the Circumlocution Office went beyond it.
Because the Circumlocution Office went on mechanically, every day, keeping this wonderful, all-sufficient wheel of statesmanship, How not to do it, in motion.
Because the Circumlocution Office was down upon any ill-advised public servant who was going to do it, or who appeared to be by any surprising accident in remote danger of doing it, with a minute, and a memorandum, and a letter of instructions that extinguished him.
It was this spirit of national efficiency in the Circumlocution Office that had gradually led to its having something to do with everything.
Mechanicians, natural philosophers, soldiers, sailors, petitioners, memorialists, people with grievances, people who wanted to prevent grievances, people who wanted to redress grievances, jobbing people, jobbed people, people who couldn't get rewarded for merit, and people who couldn't get punished for demerit, were all indiscriminately tucked up under the foolscap paper of the Circumlocution Office.
Numbers of people were lost in the Circumlocution Office. Unfortunates with wrongs, or with projects for the general welfare (and they had better have had wrongs at first, than have taken that bitter English recipe for certainly getting them), who in slow lapse of time and agony had passed safely through other public departments; who, according to rule, had been bullied in this, over-reached by that, and evaded by the other; got referred at last to the Circumlocution Office, and never reappeared in the light of day. Boards sat upon them, secretaries minuted upon them, commissioners gabbled about them, clerks registered, entered, checked, and ticked them off, and they melted away. In short, all the business of the country went through the Circumlocution Office, except the business that never came out of it; and its name was Legion.
Lois Lucille McNair Van der Leun -- then and now
Her earliest memory is being held on the shoulders of her father, watching the men who lived through the First World War parade down the main street of Fargo, North Dakota in 1918. She would have been just four years old then. Now she's 90 years old and she comes to her birthday party wearing a chic black and white silk dress, shiny black shoes with three inch heels, and a six foot long purple boa. She's threatening to sing Kurt Weill's 'The Saga of Jenny" and dance on the table one more time .
She'll sing the Kurt Weill song, but we draw the line at her dancing on the table this year. Other than that, it is pretty much her night, and she gets to call the shots. Which is what you get when you reach
90 97 and are still managing to make it out to the tennis courts three to four times a week. "If it wasn't for my knees I'd still have a good backcourt game, but now I pretty much like to play up at the net." [Note 2012: Alas she had to give up tennis two years back when her knees finally gave up. She didn't. Water walking twice a week.]
She plays Bridge once or twice a week, winning often, and has been known to have a cocktail or two on occasion. She still drives even though it causes my brother to fret. This is a good thing since he's the kind of man who sees the incipient disaster in everything and it's good for him to fret about something that has a smidgen of reality to it.
She keeps a small two-bedroom apartment in a complex favored by young families and college students from Chico State and, invariably, has a host of fans during any given semester. She's thought about moving to the "senior apartments" out by the mall, but "I'm just not sure I could downsize that much and everyone there is so old."
She was born deep in the heartland at the beginning of the Great War, the youngest of five children. She grew up and into the Roaring 20s, through the Great Depression, taught school at a one room school house at Lake of the Woods Minnesota, roamed west out to California in the Second World War and met the man she married.
They stayed married until he died some 30 years ago. Together they raised three boys, and none of them came to any more grief than most and a lot more happiness than many.
After her husband died at the end of a protracted illness, she was never really interested in another man and filled her life with family, close friends (some stretching back to childhood), and was, for 15 years, a housemother to college girls. She still works three mornings a week as a teacher and companion to young children at a local day-care and elementary school.
She has always been a small and lovely woman -- some would say beautiful. I know I would. An Episcopalian, she's been known to go to church, but isn't devoted to the
practice, missing more Sundays than she attends. She's given to finding the best in people and letting the rest pass, but has been known to let fools pass at high speed.
Born towards the beginning of the 20th century, she now lives fully in the 21st. It is her 90th birthday party. It is attended by over 200 people from 2 to 97, many of whom are telling tales about her, some taller than others.
We don't believe the man who tells about the time in her early seventies that she danced on his bar. He's brought the pictures of the bar with her high-heel marks in it to prove the point.
Other stories are told, some serious, some funny, all loving. But they all can only go back so far since she has only been living in Chico, California for 30 years. I can go back further, and so, without planning to, I took my turn and told my story about her. It went something like this.
"Because I'm the oldest son, I can go back further in time. I can go back before Clinton, before Reagan, before Nixon, before Kennedy, before Eisenhower. We'll go back to the time of Truman.
"It must be the summer of 1949 and she's taking my brother and I back home to her family in Fargo for the first time. I would be almost four and he'd be two and a half. The war's been over for some time and everyone is now back home and settled in. My father's family lost a son, but -- except for some wounds -- everyone else came out all right.
"We're living in Los Angeles and her home is Fargo, North Dakota, half a continent away. So we do what you did then. We took the train. Starting in Los Angeles we went north to San Francisco where we boarded the newest form of luxury land transportation available that year, the California Zephyr.
"Out from the bay and up over the Sierras and down across the wastes until we wove our way up the spine of the Rockies and down again to the vast land sea that stretched out east in a swath of corn and wheat that that I remember more than the pitched curves and plunging cliffs of the mountains. You sat in a plush chair at the top of the car and Earth from horizon to the zenith flowed past you.
"There was the smell of bread and cooking in the Pullman cars that I can still capture in my mind, and the lulling rhythm of the wheels over the rails that I can still hear singing me down into sleep.
"At some point we changed trains to go north into the Fargo Station and, as we pulled into Fargo in mid-morning, my mother's family met us with their usual humble dignity -- they brought a full brass band that worked its way down through the John Philip Sousa set list with severe dedication. They also brought me more family members than there were people living on our entire block in Los Angeles. There may also have been a couple of Barbershop Quartets to serenade us during the band breaks, but I'm not sure about that.
"My mother and brother and I were swept away in the maelstrom of aunts, uncles, cousins by the dozens, and assorted folks from the neighborhood on 8th Avenue South.
"The day rolled into a huge lunch at a vast dining room table where my grandmother ruled with an iron ladle. Then, after a suitable post-prandial stupor, my entire family rose as one and headed out to the nearby park for their favorite activity -- trying to crush each other in tennis. When this family hit the courts, it was like a tournament had come to town. Other would-be players just took one look and headed for another set of courts elsewhere.
"I was still too young to play, although my mother would have a racquet custom-made for me within the year, so instead I would have been exhausting myself at some playground or in one of the sandboxes under the eyes of my older cousins. Then, at dusk, I made my way back to the courts."
"In the Fargo summers the twilights linger long and fade slowly and as they fade the lights on the courts come up illuminating them in the gathering dark. And I sat, not quite four, as the night grew dark around me and my mother and her family played on below.
"Now it is all more than fifty-four years gone but still, in my earliest memories, they play on in that endless twilight. I see them sweeping back and forth in the fading light. Taunting and laughing together. Calling balls out that are clearly in. Arguing and laughing and playing on forever long after the last light of day has fled across the horizon and the stars spread out high above the lights.
"Service. Return. Lob. Forehand. Volley. Backhand. Volley. Love All."
November, 2004 -- Chico & Laguna Beach, California
"Norman Rockwell gives us a humorous take on KP, or Kitchen Patrol, duty at the start of WWII.
We are not privy to whether or not this chef is a full time chef or just one of the kitchen staff.HT: 10engines
One things is certain. He had his work cut out for him. He has prepared a Thanksgiving Feast for 137 men, a whole brigade stationed at Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont.
The menu shows lots of items. I count 34 total.
The list includes:
Apple and Raisin Dressing
Candies Sweet Potatoes
Olives and Celery
Lettuce and Tomato Salad
The meal was scheduled to be served at 12:15. The time is now 1:22. The meal has been served.
Now our chef can unwind. He is sitting down. His boots are off. He is stretching and wiggling his toes.
He is also free now to enjoy a cigarette and a cup of coffee.
This Thanksgiving chef may not be actively involved in battle, but he has sure seen plenty of action!
Now it's time to take a deep breath and start cleaning up."
November 22, 1963. "Overview of crowds of people waving as President John F. Kennedy and his wife sit in back of limousine during procession through downtown Dallas, Texas; Texas Governor John Connally and his wife ride in the limousine's jump seats." - -Welcome to Big D: 1963
"In the United States, the Kennedy assassination was the catalyst.
Since 1963, the Secret Service’s staff grew by a factor of 10, and its budget by a whopping 273 times. Obama, according to Yahoo’s Chris Moody, rides in a hunkered-down fortress with a mobile blood transfusion lab. It’s a far cry from JFK’s open-top aparade. The vehicle’s fuel tank is sealed in foam so that it won’t explode, according to a Discovery Channel special. It’s sealed against biological or chemical attack. The doors weigh as much as those on a Boeing 757. 50 Years After JFK, The History And Future Of Political Assassination
"It was as if we slept from Friday to Monday and dreamed an oppressive, unsearchably significant dream, which, we discovered on awaking, millions of others had dreamed also. Furniture, family, the streets, and the sky dissolved, only the dream on television was real. The faces of the world's great mingled with the faces of landladies who happened to house an unhappy ex-Marine; cathedrals alternated with warehouses; temples of government with suburban garages; anonymous men tugged at a casket in a glaring airport; a murder was committed before our eyes; a Dallas strip-tease artist drawled amiably of her employer's quick temper; the heads of state of the Western world strode down a sunlit street like a grim village rabble; and Jacqueline Kennedy became Persephone, the Queen of Hades and the beautiful bride of grief. All human possibilities, of magnificence and courage, of meanness and confusion, seemed to find an image in this long montage, and a stack of cardboard boxes in Dallas, a tawdry movie house, a tiny rented room where some shaving cream still clung to the underside of a washbasin, a row of parking meters that had witnessed a panicked flight all acquired the opaque and dreadful importance that innocent objects acquire in nightmares." -- John Updike
November 1913. Fort Worth, Texas.
"Some results of messenger and newsboy work. For nine years this 16-year-old boy has been newsboy and messenger for drug stores and telegraph companies. He was recently brought before the Judge of the Juvenile Court for incorrigibility at home. Is now out on parole, and was working again for drug company when he got a job carrying grips in the Union Depot. He is on the job from 6 A.M. to 11 P.M. (seventeen hours a day) for seven days in the week. His mother and the Judge think he uses cocaine, and yet they let him put in these long hours every day. He told me 'There ain't a house in "The Acre" [Red Light] that I ain't been in. At the drug store, all my deliveries were down there.' Says he makes from $15 to $18 a week. Eugene Dalton."Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. - - Shorpy Historical Photo Archive :: Hard Worker: 1913
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
"Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
"Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present -- and is gravely to be regarded.
"Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
"It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.
Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."Continued...
Sippican spins the first of a series of ripping yarns about this amazing living machine; some of which I've heard. If you can't believe the price, you won't believe the repairs!
We bought a fairly big, 1901 vintage, Queen Anne house for $24,400. I consider any house for sale for less than a Kia "free." It wasn't "Detroit" free, either. I know you can buy a crackhouse in Detroit for a double sawbuck, or trade it for a couple syphilitic chickens or something, but then you've got to try to defend its walls against all comers --the walls where the copper pipes used to live before the crackheads gave your new home its crackhouse soubriquet -- but we moved to what's considered a nice neighborhood in a quiet little town in western Maine. And in addition to a lack of Mogadishu-level crime, the taxes here are low because there's a huge, stinking paper mill right in the center of town paying half the town's freight, so our free house didn't come with a bent number followed by a vapor trail of zeroes after it for back taxes, or front taxes or sideways taxes. Details at Sippican Cottage: Our $25,000 House and bookmark it because the fun's only just begun!
Suggestive, evocative, and mesmerizing.
"So a friend of mine found this box by the trash, it is full of wonderful, crazy illustrations. Clearly something happened to this guy that was very memorable. It measures roughly 29" by 38" and almost all the drawings are very large."
5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. Rev. 4.6 And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
6 And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass.
8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. - - Ezekiel 1
THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled --but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.
It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my in to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my to smile now was at the thought of his immolation.
He had a weak point --this Fortunato --although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity, to practise imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires. In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially; --I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.
It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand.
I said to him --"My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking to-day. But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts."
"How?" said he. "Amontillado, A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!"
"I have my doubts," I replied; "and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain."Continued...
Pull up a chair and sit a spell. Death's in residence on my block
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die
To cease upon the midnight with no pain....
-- Keats, Ode to a Nightingale
Once upon a time, when Europe could be had at $5 a day, I found myself hitchhiking on the freezing plains of Spain just outside of Madrid. Car after car swept past me, the winds in their wakes chilling me further. This was very disconcerting since I had with me my fail-safe ride generator, a hot hippie girlfriend (Think a good-looking Janis Joplin.) My ride generator had never failed me before but on this day she was generating zero rides even though the traffic on the road was heavy. Then I noticed two things.
First there seemed to be no trucks on the road. Second, the cars that huffed past us were filled to the gills with whole Spanish families bearing vast bouquets of flowers. And all those Spaniards looked, to the last, very grim.
After a few futile hours, we made our way -- walking -- a few kilometers down the road to a truck stop where, using my pidgin Spanish, the mystery of the ride drought was solved. It seemed that we were trying to get to Barcelona on one of the most holy days of the Spanish year -- All Saints Day, or as we have it here in America, Halloween.
The Spanish tradition on this day is for the whole family to load up the car with flowers and other offerings and haul off to the local graveyard for a visit and picnic with the dearly departed. After that many go off to a traditional performance of Spain's Faustian epic Don Juan Tenario in which the final act takes place in a cemetery. On this holy day in Spain we had almost zero chance of getting a ride anywhere other than the local graveyard. Chastened, we made our way back to Madrid by bus and set out the next day with much better luck.
What remains in my memory from watching the parade of cars on that long-lost Spanish highway is just how dour and serious the Spanish were on their Halloween. They weren't fooling around with death, but taking it at its word. They not only believed in death they also, in their prayers and rituals and their traditional play, believed that what you do in life determines how you will be treated in the afterlife. They had, at bottom, that adamantine belief that is the pearl beyond price of the Catholics. But even if you were to strip away the 2000 years of dogma, these people still had the one thing that more and more Americans lack at the core of their lives: a belief in something greater than themselves, a belief in something greater than man, greater than death.
Disillusioned words like bullets bark
As human gods aim for their mark
Made everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without looking too far
That not much
Is really sacred.
In my neighborhood in Seattle many don't believe in anything sacred other than, at best, Obama. Their entire belief system centers on that tin god then on themselves and their "only one life to live, live, live!." All of which makes for an empty skin sack of existential desolation that they try to fill every Halloween with the greatest of American secular concepts: fun.
"Fun" is a curiously American concept that seems to have begun its invasion of all aspects of our shared life shortly after the end of WWII. I suppose that after the Great Depression and the war, the nation felt it could use a little fun. And, as usual, that great American axiom, "If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing," came into play. Nowhere do we see the idea that life should be "fun" pumped up into bigger balloons of pure vanity than on Halloween.
From a minor tradition of sending kids out for to pick up some free candy, Halloween has mushroomed into a major American auto-fornication festival in which we regularly -- and with increasing intensity -- celebrate the meat state of life while pretending to vaguely celebrate the spiritual part. If you've noted, as I have, the increasing lust for gruesomeness in costumes at every new Halloween, you might have reflected that dark humor has taken a back seat to darker fascinations. One new costume around this year allows you to dress us as a corpse in a body bag complete with wounds and autopsy slashes. And that's a mild one.
Added on to costumes depicting violent death, mutilation, and the corruption of the grave, we have the increasing trend to freak show street events and private parties where this week's perversion is served as bubbling punch; as a witch's brew we are only too pleased, dressed as dregs, to drink to the dregs. In Seattle, of course, freak show street events and perversion parties are pretty much the order of the day, if not the daily spectacle on many blocks. But there's something about Halloween that brings out the horror show of many inner lives like no other event. The only thing that saves us from seeing ghouls and goblins parading naked about the streets with their full-body tattoos and multiple genital piercings on display is the colder temperature, but there are clubs that specialize in that all about the city so you can see it if you wish.
It seems strange that a day for the contemplation of mortality has been turned into a carnival of corruption in this country, but perhaps not all that strange. I'd suggest that, as the country becomes more secular; as it ceases to believe in anything other than the here and now, the moment in the meat, it becomes increasingly terrified of the extinction of the self by death. It is one thing to profess a belief in the Great Nothingness, it is quite another to have to face it. The only weak weapon that can be raised up against it is its denial.
Ernest Becker's The Denial of Death touches on why this is so:
Becker argues that a basic duality in human life exists between the physical world of objects and a symbolic world of human meaning. Thus, since man has a dualistic nature consisting of a physical self and a symbolic self, man is able to transcend the dilemma of mortality through heroism, a concept involving his symbolic half. By embarking on what Becker refers to as an "immortality project" (or causa sui), in which he creates or becomes part of something which he feels will outlast him, man feels he has "become" heroic and, henceforth, part of something eternal; something that will never die, compared to his physical body that will die one day. This, in turn, gives man the feeling that his life has meaning; a purpose; significance in the grand scheme of things.
Of course, absent religion and the perception of the vertical in the universe, science and the deep belief in the Great Nothingness is a poor substitute. As Becker notes, without something larger than yourself, the "heroic project fails."
O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,
The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters,
The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers,
Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees,
Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark...
-- Eliot, Four Quartets
We aren't accustomed to failure in our ceaseless search to find a meaning in the Great Nothingness. But fail we do because the nature of the Great Nothingness that we so admire is exactly that, Nothing; death as a black hole with despair as the free-candy in your skin sack.
What the empty among us are compelled to do when confronted by death is a bit of mass-culture symbolic magic. We dress as what we fear most, and we deck our halls with symbols of death and decay. We pretend that shaking these shibboleths and feathered fetishes against the dark will protect us much as hiding under the covers kept us safe from the monster under the bed. It's a child's response to fear and it is not at all surprising that, as the worship of the Great Nothingness grows and festers among us, the ever escalating morbid gestures of Halloween do nothing to fill the Great Nothingness that roils the souls of many of our fellow citizens. It's a bit like the ceaseless urge to "keep ourselves in shape" that obsesses so many.
Alas, it will not avail us. You can drape yourself with the rubber raiments of Zombies all you want, the world will always, in time, eat your flesh down to dust. And without faith, that fate is the hard-core horror of existence as mere meat. Without faith, more and more of us find ourselves hitchhiking on the cold plains with no chance of being picked up. Without faith, the vehicles that pass us on the high road just aren't going our way.
[Republished from October 2008. New this year, the ante goes up with these hyper-realistic hacked up chunks of human meat. There really is no bottom. Is there?]
And this year comes word of "The fake “dismembered human” meat packages from a fake butcher called The Chop Shop were discount store Europris’ way of getting into the Halloween spirit." Norway Pulls Hands Why not? Halloween is "for the children!"
"The tagline for my website has been SMART CONSERVATIVE THINKING. I chose it because it was bold, it was defiant, and it was assertive: it was running to the top of a hill and planting a flag for people to rally around.
"Now, with my new vision, I see that it is all those things: a conventional unit on an open plain. That flag, and that hill, will be turned into searing napalm the instant is starts to become enough of a threat to warrant an airstrike.
"That message – that smart, common-sense, responsible conservative message – cannot change. That message is the entire reason we are fighting this battle in the first place. But I have to stop thinking like an American – which is not only hard but extremely distasteful for me – and start thinking like the Viet Cong. I have to start thinking the way the Left itself started thinking forty years ago. They didn’t come out and say GET YOUR COMMUNISM HERE. They turned students into professors who then turned out more students. That’s how we have to think: the Long March. Dammit."-- More at Bamboo Spears @ Bill Whittle
On the greatest chocolate-chip cookie in the known universe, with recipe....
The Critical American Issue of the Day
This issue is not, as many would have you believe, whether or not the Constitution is a "living document" (It will be a living document on the day that it breaks out of its case and takes the current Supreme Court out for a drink, a toke, a smoke, and a poke -- assuming Justice Ginsberg stays home.), but is centered instead on the much more important and utterly American question: "Just what is the finest chocolate chip cookie in the known universe?"
One night in the Hood River Hotel in Hood River, Oregon on the banks of the Columbia, I had a chance to examine that question again just before the cataleptic sugar shock of nine home-made chocolate chip cookies knocked me sideways for eight hours like a poleaxed pound puppy.
When this coma finally released me, I thought more deeply on the question of the Holy Cookie and what makes for greatness. I would have liked to hand the baker of the cookies that conked me the laurels but I cannot.
I shall explain the nature of my judgment, the history behind it, and also, should you choose to stay with me, provide you and you alone with the recipe for, "the finest chocolate chip cookie in the known universe."
First of all, anything that can be purchased in a supermarket is not fit to be called a cookie, much less a chocolate chip cookie, no matter how thick the BS on the package may be. Especially any with the word "artisan" on the package which must be incinerated in situ. We're all agreed on that, right? Right.
Second, do not be fooled by "boutique" chocolate chip cookies. They are all from Satan's Workshop and are, therefore, instruments of the Enemy who is out to weaken the intellectual and moral fiber of America. Consumption of these cookies leads, inevitably to "a profound sense of fatigue... a feeling of emptiness [and] loss of essence." You may, in a moment of weakness after, say, a friendly strip search at the air port, find that you cannot "avoid" these cookies, but under no circumstances are you to give them your essence.
Eat Not the Cookie of Satan
Yes, ever since Mrs. Fields rightly determined that her days of getting on the covers of the Adam and Eve and Victoria's Secret catalogues were over and she went into the sidewalk-blower bakery business, these evil simulacra of chocolate chip cookies have spread over the American landscape like the Eighth Plague of Egypt. The results are murder, insanity, death and an obesity so monumental that the victims do not so much walk our streets as teeter through them -- a threat to passersby, lost pets and unreinforced brick structures.
Do not, I repeat, consume boutique chocolate chip cookies. Pass by these scented and seductive venues of the Fifth Horseman. Deny them, I say, your essence.
Instead, know that small batch, by hand, and home-made chocolate chip cookies are the only chocolate chip cookies that may even begin to aspire to the realm of the Sacred and the Holy. A realm in which, like wives, many are cold but none are frozen. Indeed, if Nestles, dairy farms and refrigeration had existed at the time of the Last Supper the entire menu of Holy Communion would be different today.
Partake Only of the Holy Cookie
Like American Christianity today, the Church of the Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie has many branches, subsets and sects. And, like American Christianity, these various factions contend mightily over the question of which, in the eyes of God, is the true gospel of the Chocolate Chip, the Recipe of the Word.
I do not pretend to know the mind of God. Indeed, I am still unclear about the workings of the will of God in my life. But I am clear about what is the true gospel of the Chocolate Chip. I know beyond a scintilla of a speck of an iota of a jot of a doubt that single Cookie which is now and forever shall be the Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookie in America and the Known Universe, yea even unto that alien planet of the hard-bodied and the homeless, San Francisco.
This Cookie Given by the Hand of God would be, beyond question, of my sainted mother's chocolate chip cookies. These and these alone are the good, the true, and the blessed -- the Holy Cookies. All others crumble before them and return to the dust and detritus of the earth from which they were mistakenly called forth by the unconverted, the heathen and the apostates.
The Advent of the Holy Cookie
I was converted to the Holy Cookie soon after my teeth came in. For several years thereafter I lived in heavenly bliss since the only person in the house with whom I had to contend for ALL the cookies was my father and, even though he was much larger than I was as a toddler, he had to work and sleep sometime. This left me free to range about the kitchen in search of yet one more Holy Cookie. Something I did at all hours until my mother saw fit to deploy a leg shackle along with my fresh pajamas.
Alas, Eden was not to endure forever since I had a couple of brothers coming along in the years that followed. With the advent of these "cookie competitors" the leg shackle was retired, but I was required to learn the always difficult lesson of "Share."
As the eldest and hence the largest, my capacity to "share" the plate of Holy Cookies my mother would set out for us diminished in direct proportion to the distance between that plate and my mother and/or father, or both. Sharing was on as long as they were in the room, but if they stepped out my little inner Hitler would emerge and endeavor to take all the cookies and the Rhineland as well.
This dictatorial method of getting all the cookies only served me well for a few years. It fell apart on the day it came to my attention that my "little" brother had at last grown large enough to literally kick my ass when it came to taking more than my share of cookies.
Day of the Judgment of the Father
On that day I was also foolish enough to kick back in an effort to retain my rightful share of all the cookies. A small war broke out in the kitchen which caused my mother to come in from the laundry room, break us up, take all the cookies away and cast both my brother and I into the slough of despond by uttering the phrase no child ever, ever wishes to hear from his mother: "Wait till your father gets home."
An afternoon longer than eternity squared ensued. Our father did get home and subsequently gave instructions to my brother and myself, in turns, on why it was a bad idea to have a fist fight over chocolate chip cookies in his house. He reminded us both of his first and only commandment, "Thou shalt not upset thy mother." It was a lesson that is "seared, SEARED!, into my memory."
Like all sinners, this lesson made us repent briefly but did not actually reform. Instead we made an alliance in order to ensure our survival and advance our quest for the Holy Cookie. Sensing, as she always did, this shift in the order of things, my mother took to hiding the Holy Cookies about the house.
She knew that my father favored the cookies, and that if they were not hidden from us, the chances he would have any upon 'getting home' would range from slim to somewhere below absolute zero. She became, as all mothers of boys must, sneaky. She began to bake the cookies while we were at school, hide them before we got home. She'd also take care to destroy all evidence that the Holy Cookies had been baked and would carefully air out the house. She always was a clever woman.
Quest for the Holy Cookie
But we were two to her one; the smallest band of brothers on a mission from God. In no time, we found ourselves cowlick deep in a war of spying and surveillance against our own mother. It was a cold war that escalated over time as our methods of sensing and locating the hidden cookies became increasingly sophisticated. Towards the end, these methods became so refined that we could have found a single small Weapon of Mass Destruction under the shifting sands of the Sahara if it happened to have a Holy Cookie in the war head.
But we never were required to go that far afield, even if we once found them in the garage of the people who lived next door. (Their kid, our mole, tipped us off for a paltry three cookies.) Over the years we found them at the bottom of the clothes hamper in the master bath, behind a box of motor oil in the garage, in the trunk of her car, under the camouflage of towels in the dryer, behind the set of World Book Encyclopedias in the den, even taped in coffee cans and stuck up under the kitchen counter concealed behind the disposal unit.
Once, in her despair, she actually sealed them in a large container and buried them behind the shrubs in the back yard. We found them by checking carefully for disturbed earth, and that night snuck out after our parents were asleep, disinterred them with a trowel, ate them all on the spot, and then buried the container again with a Crayoned note that said, "Delicious, The Avengers." We were bludgeoned with meatloaf sandwiches in our school lunchboxes for a week after that one.
Spies in the House of the Holy Cookie
Mothers know a lot of secrets about their children, but not all secrets. My mother's favorite way of finding out our secrets was a simple psyche-war method of asserting that she knew what she didn't know in order to elicit a confession. She'd give us "that look" and say, "Well, you might as well know that I know."
"Know? Know what?"
"You know what, so you might as well tell me."
It shames me now to admit that this simple ploy worked on more than one occasion. What never worked, and what she was never to figure out, was how we knew when the Holy Cookies had been made.
Early on it dawned on her that we were watching the house supply of Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. When those bags were used or diminished, it would be a dead give-away that there were cookies to be located and my brother and I would, as a team, work the grid. Using step-stools, ladders, and a mirror attached to a broom-handle that I kept taped above the door in my closet, there was no area of the home we could not scan. Sooner or later, once we knew they were around, we'd find them. Kids don't have many resources, but they do have oceans of time.
Her solution, so she thought, was to buy replacement bags of chocolate chips before baking a batch. In that way, she foolishly assumed we'd assume -- seeing a full bag undisturbed -- that no cookies had been baked that day. What she did not know, and was never to learn, was that each bag of chocolate chips in the house was marked with a small dot of ink on the lower right hand corner of the back of the bag as soon as we could get to it in stealth mode. We'd check the bag daily after that and when it did not have that mark we would know the truth.
We also, as a back-up, used faint pencil marks, not on the level of Scotch in my father's bottle (that was to come later), but on the canister of Quaker Oats which were another essential ingredient of the Holy Cookie. She bought the economy sized canister and we discovered that using a red pencil on the red part of the package was almost undetectable unless you were looking for it, which we always were.
The Holy Cookie Cold War
The Holy Cookie Cold War of stealth and surveillance continued across the years until my second brother and I left the home for college. My mother breathed a sigh of relief at our departures. Little did she know that before we left we had passed on the full Holy Cookie Finder File to our little brother ten years my junior. He carried on the tradition until he too left. At which point my mother brought out the apple shaped cookie jar which had been stored away for decades and began to enjoy the long peace as well as a cookie or two from time to time.
Except, of course, there would be no peace. The begging letters and phone calls came in from colleges, apartments and houses across the country and down through the years. From time to time, these pathetic screeds and whines would elicit a package of the Holy Cookie, but only at the kind of interval that makes the Pavlovian Rat press the pellet bar that much more compulsively. As long as she held the keys to the Holy Cookie, my mother knew she would hear from us frequently.
But the technology of the time was working against us and the Holy Cookie. This was the pre-eBay era when packing and shipping were still lost arts to most Americans. Lost most of all, I regret to say, to our mother.
East of Eden and the Problem of the Post Office
For while she could bake, she could not ship. As a result of this and the less-than-reverent attitude of the United States Postal Service, the shipments of the Holy Cookies would arrive transmogrified into the Holy Cookie Crumbs. It is, I have discovered, very difficult to dunk a crumb into a glass of cold milk to any sort of meaningful effect other than crummy milk.
After suffering our complaints for longer than anyone other than a mother would, she finally took drastic action. She had to. After all, she had a life to live, friends to see, places to go and tennis sets to play. We were grown men now with fully dysfunctional families of our own, and she was no longer going to allow herself to be crucified on the golden cross of the Holy Cookie.
And so it was that on one faithful day, her three sons received in the mail, not the Holy Cookies for which they begged, but the Holy Cookie recipe and instructions that they learn to cook. I love my mother, but she can be a cold woman once she makes up her mind.
The Torch is Passed to a New Generation
On the other hand, my need was great and my understanding of the gap between desire and gratification scant. And so I learned, at last, to cook. It was one of my mother's many fine and enduring gifts, perhaps the finest next to, of course, life itself.
First, out of sheer necessity, I learned the Holy Cookie and, when that turned out well after only a few disasters, I went on to learning to cook other things. Things like entrees, side dishes, bread and desert right down to and including a Chocolate Souffle.
As my confidence grew I took to exotic dishes and found myself in a Chinese cooking course. Other cuisines followed. I even, during my stint as a book editor for Houghton Mifflin, published one cookbook ( Fear of Cooking: The Absolutely Foolproof Cookbook for Beginners (And Everyone Else) by Robert Scher Amazon rank: 1,332,536 which is not that bad for a book published in 1984).
And so, from a cookie recipe, I grew to have one of the basic life skills that everyone should have; a skill no longer taught in our schools since it is much more important that our children learn the Inner Meaning of the Inner Child of the Maori-Americans than how to do anything with food other than pick a number at the drive-through window. I learned it from my mother who taught it to me not by doing, but by standing out of the way and not doing; by letting me discover how to do it myself. That's always the path to the real higher education in life. It's a path never taught in our crippled schools but always open to everyone regardless of age, color, creed, national origin. All you have to have to get on the path is the need to learn something and the passion to do it yourself.
That and a recipe. Here it is. What are you waiting for? Gentlemen, start your ovens.
BEHOLD I BRING YOU TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY
MOM'S (Lois Lucille McNair Van der Leun's ) CLASSIC OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Please note: It is not to be made merely by combing the ingredients but by following the procedure, the sacred ritual.
Combine: 3/4 Cup brown sugar with 3/4 Cup white sugar.
Mix in until smooth but gritty 1 cup shortening ( Crisco [classic] or butter/marge + Crisco in varying proportions )* This, and other mixing moments, can be done with your hands if a) you have washed them, and b) nobody's around to see you do it. Maintain plausible deniability.
Add 2 eggs -- Beaten-- plus 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Combine One and 1/2 Cups flour with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon soda and then work into sugar, shortening and egg mixture until smooth.
Add two cups of rolled oats and work into the dough. Add one 12 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips (No more. Resist temptation.) and (optional) 1 cup chopped black walnuts**. Shape into medium-sized (no more than 3" in diameter, baked) cookies and bake on a greased cookie sheet
Bake in a 350 oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Monitor at around 8 minutes.
The recipe is usually good for 2-3 standard size cookie sheets. When baking, it is best to start one tray in the lower rack of the oven and after eight minutes move it to the upper.
Allow to cool. You will snake three to five and burn your lip on the first bite, but try to show a little restraint after this, okay?
Yield: 4-5 Dozen
Note: The Holy Cookie, when baked to perfection, should not be chewy or soft but possess, upon being cooled, a toothsome quality and a certain proportion of crisp-walled open cells throughout the cookie that absorb milk when dunked, but do not become a milk sodden mush. The milk should be present within the cells of the cookie, but the cookie itself, providing one has not be lazy and let it just slosh around in the glass, should still retain a certain crispness and emit a distinct crunch when consumed.
* Yes, Crisco. This ancient pure product of Amerca can still be found in the baking aisle. The Holy Cookies cannot achieve their proper milk absorbing properties without its presence. If you have some sort of issue with Crisco, get over it and just cowboy up. While butter or margarine can be used in combination with Crisco, their proportions are problematical. One stick is probably the maximum.
** Black Walnuts are optional but not, strictly speaking, classic. Still, they add an extra texture which is appealing, unless, of course, you are allergic to walnuts in which case you eat them and you die -- happy and with an enhanced skill set.
[ UPDATED FROM 5 YEARS AGO]
Out of me unworthy and unknown
The vibrations of deathless music;
“With malice toward none, with charity for all.”
Out of me the forgiveness of millions toward millions,
And the beneficent face of a nation
Shining with justice and truth.
I am Anne Rutledge who sleep beneath these weeds,
Beloved in life of Abraham Lincoln,
Wedded to him, not through union,
But through separation.
Bloom forever, O Republic,
From the dust of my bosom!
- - - Edgar Lee Masters
"In the 1950s, non-medical use of stimulant and sedative drugs was widely accepted and promoted in the mainstream media–
so widely in fact that they even made it into a children’s Walt Disney 1951 comic book starring Mickey Mouse as a speed dealer who just loves his own product.
"In ‘Mickey Mouse and the Medicine Man’,
Mickey and Goofy try a new medicine called ‘Peppo’, representing a brand of amphetamine (speed). In a time of fierce commercial competition between pharmaceutical companies that helped drive amphetamine consumption higher, Mickey and Goofy become brand evangelists for Peppo and end up pushing the drug in Africa! While trying to hustle their product, the pair run into some drug rivalry with another local dealer, ‘the medicine man’, who has doped his entire village on “hash”." From That time Mickey Mouse was a Drug Dealer @ Messy Nessy Chic
Transcript: But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education SUCKS, and it’s the same reason it will never, ever, EVER be fixed.
It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got.
Because the owners, the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the BIG owners! The Wealthy… the REAL owners! The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions.
Forget the politicians. They are irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice! You have OWNERS! They OWN YOU. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls.
They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want:
They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests.
Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that!
You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shitty jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this fucking place! It's a big club, and you ain’t in it! You, and I, are not in the big club.
By the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care! Good honest hard-working people; white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means, continue to elect these rich cock suckers who don’t give a fuck about you….they don’t give a fuck about you… they don’t give a FUCK about you.
They don’t care about you at all… at all… AT ALL. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Thats what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick thats being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth.
It's called the American Dream,because you have to be asleep to believe it.
FREE HUMAN SIZE HAMSTER WHEEL AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE PICK UP. CAN ACCOMODATE UP TO 200 LBS. FULLY FUNCTIONAL. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR HOUSES WITH SMALL CHILDREN OR ANIMALS. 50 LBS OF SHREDDED NEWSPAPER ALSO AVAILABLE.
I WILL NOT HAVE THIS IN MY HOUSE ANY LONGER.
TAKING APPOINTMENTS TO VIEW THE WHEEL THIS WEEK.
They seek a dedication
No passion prints on stone,
Their reveries -- of clouds.
Their benedictions -- moans.
Not one can name their masters,
Nor indenture's date reveal.
Doomed to ride the animal
That runs within the wheel.
For a basic sense of how the world of ultra-massive real estate has changed, here’s one fact: Between 2012 and 2013, the top 100 added 700,000 acres to their collective portfolios, bringing their total to two percent of the U.S. land mass.
In other words, stitching together all the land listed here gets you something about the size of Connecticut.
#1 John Malone
Loves land and his wife loves horses, which explains #1’s 2013 acquisitions. The cable billionaire from Denver added two properties in Wellington, the epicenter of South Florida’s equestrian community, and an Irish castle with a solid set of stables.
Doesn’t just own CNN — he is the largest landowner in New Mexico. His purchase of the Sierra Grande Lodge and Spa brings tourists closer to two of his landmark properties and, ya know, space. Richard Branson’s spaceport is just a quick drive away.
The family behind logging company Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) with land holdings twice the size of Rhode Island. Still, that’s not as it much as it once was. The Emmersons have transferred 6% of that chunk to the public since Curly Emerson founded the company in 1949.
This businessman has ranch holdings in Texas, Florida, and New Mexico. He also knows his way around the rest of the world. His NC2 Media Company recently bought Lonely Planet guidebooks.
A logging family with a state-of-the-art $30 million softwood sawmill in Ashland, Maine. Because if you’re going to go softwood sawmill, you want to make it state-of-the-art.
This ranching family owns some of the oldest operating ranch land in the country. Their holdings outside New Mexico include the Peachtree and Top ranches in John Steinbeck’s Salinas Valley.
Awwwwwww..... - - KA-CHING!
Meanwhile, from the comments: "Sure would be nice to know how they came up with those fancy, professionally made signs on such short notice. It takes the government 8 months to buy a box of ball point pens, so where did all those signs come from on such short notice? Say, you don't think this was planned, do you?" -- Former Lurker"
Kale Joy! A bargain at $5.00 an ounce
Of late many self-employed food bullshit artists have concluded that we should eat more kale. Why anyone would want to eat even a little kale is beyond me. Kale, considered dispassionately, is something that you’d want to dry and stuff into a tick mattress if you were out of paint soaked rags and seaweed. Kale is not, strictly speaking, a food.
And yet, and yet, there it is. Oozing in piles of of leafy green intestine cleansing fronds in what can now only be described as the weed section of the produce aisle at your average Whole Foods.
How kale actually got into our national food chain is a mystery almost as deep as how the flavor of pumpkin (backed by “Spice!”) has been infused into foods and beverages starting October 1. Both kale and pumpkin exemplify items from the somewhat vegetable kingdom that would be better going straight from farm to compost without passing through humans.
And yet, and yet, here we are .... one more mile down the road to hell courtesy of those post LorenaBobbittized vegans within whom there is not a teaspoon of testosterone in a trainload.
“Before scientists were blinded by kale’s health food halo, they studied its horrific effect on livestock. Farmers had been mystified by the births of lambs that already had goiter. Researchers experimented with kale on sheep and rabbits with grisly results. Turns out kale does contain a goitrogen, thiocyanate, which is chemically very similar to deadly cyanide. Some young lambs were stillborn, their brain development stunted by their goiters. The consumption of kale had blocked their thyroid’s ability to function properly even in the presence of proper iodine consumption. With many Americans consuming little iodine, especially those obsessed with health foods who eschew iodized salt, the effects could be devastating.”
Ah, cyanide and stillborn little lambs! What can be more “Heart and Earth Friendly”? What? Kale, it turns out. McEwen continues:
“As kale becomes more and more popular, it raises the question: how will we feed the world’s almost 9 billion people on kale? The Food and Agricultural Organization at the UN doesn’t track kale production and consumption yet, but they will have to start. At current rates of growth, by 2350, almost all the world’s cropland will be devoted to kale. The consequences to the environment will be devastating.
“Large-scale industrial commercial kale production requires clearing massive amounts of animal habitat and killing animals that invade the fields of kale. In the world of leafy greens production, any life that’s not a leaf is a potential liability. After the spinach-related e.coli outbreak, farmers can’t take the risk of co-existing with other plants and animals. Will the world look like the Salinas Valley looks like today? A sterile dry wasteland where any signs of life are promptly shot or poisoned?”
Killing for Kale!. That’s the wave of the future and it is not an amber wave under spacious skies. Nope. It is a wave of pale and sodden progressively "good-for-you" greens slopped onto your aluminum plate in the prison chow line on Planet Vegan. You remember that putrescent puddle of gurgling spinach guts in spinach water that was once glunked on your plate in the high school cafeteria? This is the same thing only with extra thiocyanate. But hey, its KALE!, so count yourself lucky. Think of all the children of the elite and super rich that are going to bed tonight without any.
Of course it is not enough that the progvegan aliens will poison your guts and your planet by convincing you that kale’s the thing, first they will rob you.
How will they rob you? By transforming the fresh feisty poison of common kale into the gold dust of kale, Kale Chips!
Kale Chips are the philosopher’s stone of kale. They prove that the depravity of vegans can always, ALWAYS, make a vegetable worse and more expensive at the same time. You may well have seen these “chips” hanging in their foil coffins from J-hooks in the stores. They currently retail at around $5.00 a bag for about an ounce. Yes, five bucks for one ounce. For all those who skipped multiplication, that’s $80.00 a pound for ...... kale! A jaw-dropping price that says, at least to me, that the owner of said store wants to keep all his kale chips in his private collection.
On the other hand, it might be better, in light of the downside to kale that transcends its vile nature and threatens your liver, your planet, and your little lambs, to locate the growers and producers of this green harbinger of tomorrow’s turd today and burn them out. Much like one once burned out witches. Tied to a stake with a bunch of dry kale chips at their feet they’d make a fine beginning to an old fashioned barbecue. Not as food, mind you, but as entertainment. Who knows, with enough kale-fueled auto-da-fés we might even put the amber waves of grain back where they belong. Under our spacious kale-free skies.
Of course you can always take the extreme position that McEwen does,
"In the end the best thing you can do for yourself, your family, and the world is to avoid kale and its cousins. This post contains over fifty peer-reviewed references to science, so think about that next time your so-called friend serves you a massaged kale salad with delicious flecks of parmesan reggiano. Remember there is no documented need for kale in your diet and you can get all the nutrients you need from delicious nutritious cow’s liver."That is before, of course, she admits that she was just making all those alarming things about kale up:
Yes, Kale does contain chemicals, all foods do. In very large amounts or in certain vulnerable people could cause problems. Many of the studies I chose involved animals with a diet almost completely based on kale, which I think anyone will agree is a bad idea. Most also involved varieties not sold for human consumption and consumed in ways that humans might not consume- uncooked, un-marinated, etc. A lot of the rest involved just scary language about various chemicals and studies involving isolated chemicals.As you can see, McEwen is clearly a transgendered gurlboi in transition from an American to an Amoronican, and is really, really, really just kidding when I comes to the killing fields of kale. Unfortunately for her and all the other sexually vague vegans, when it comes to burning the $80 per pound kale chip producers at the stake, I'm not kidding. Somebody's got to draw the line in the grocery line.
The 1890s prototype:
"In 1899, Freelan and his wife Flora drove one of their cars to the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the highest peak in the northeastern United States. The ascent took more than two hours and was notable as being the first time a car had climbed the 7.6 miles (12.2km) long Mount Washington Carriage Road; the descent was accomplished by putting the engine in low gear and braking extensively. The twins later sold the rights to this early design to Locomobile, and in 1902 they formed the Stanley Motor Carriage Company. -- La Wik"
"The identical twins Francis Edgar and Freelan Oscar Stanley both had teaching careers before beginning to experiment with photographic formulas for their younger sister Chansonetta, an accomplished photographer.
They perfected their emulsion, invented a plate-coating machine and formed the Stanley Dry Plate Co. in 1894. Their plates were good enough that George Eastman bought the company for a reported one millon USD in 1904. The brothers had rather wide-ranging enthusiams and dabbled in not only photographic plates but air brushes, drafting equiptment, steam engines and musical instruments. With their windfall from the Eastman sale they pursued their next interest and formed the Stanley Motor Carriage Co. to manufacture a stream-powered automobile nicknamed, appropriately enough, the Stanley Steamer. It became one of the first successful automobile companies and by 1907 they were building more than 750 cars a year." Codex 99
UPDATED with this comment from American Digest reader Jimmy J.:
I actually met F. O. Stanley in Estes Park, Colorado in 1938. He built the Stanley Hotel (of "The Shining" fame) there in the early 1900s. My grandfather, W. E. Baldridge, was hired to do the electric wiring. After the hotel was completed, F.O. kept my grandfather in his employ to maintain the hydro-electric plant, which he built by damming Fall River just east of Horseshoe Park in Rocky Mountain National Park.
When I met him it was at his home, a stately Georgian style manor house, which was about a mile from the hotel and had a magnificent view of the Front Range. He was engaged in playing chess blindfolded. A pastime that he considered stimulating. (The man was a genius.) He had snow-white hair, a full beard, and was quite old. (I think he was 89 at the time.) He seemed very cheerful and encouraged me to "get a good education." He was also kind to my grandfather. He offered to pay for a college education for his three daughters. Only one, my Aunt Doris, took him up on it. But he paid for all her expenses through Wellesley College. At the time, in the small village of Estes Park, that seemed a very remote and grand place.
My grandfather told me many stories about Mr. Stanley and their relationship. Mr. Stanley was a large figure in my heritage. I would not have had the good fortune to be born and raised in Estes Park if my grandfather hadn't gone there to work for him.Continued...
This charcoal drawing, done when Rockwell was a student of 17, is his earliest surviving work and has never been reproduced until now. (Permanent Collection, The Art Students League of New York)
"Revealingly, his earliest known work portrays an elderly man ministering to a bedridden boy.
The charcoal drawing has never been reproduced until now. Rockwell was 17 years old when he made it, and for years it languished in storage at the Art Students League, which had purchased it from the artist when he was a student there. Consequently, the drawing was spared the fate of innumerable early Rockwells that were lost over the years or destroyed in a disastrous fire that consumed one of his barn-studios in later life.
"Not long ago, I contacted the League to ask if it still owned the drawing and how I could see it; it was arranged that the work would be driven into Manhattan from a New Jersey warehouse. It was incredible to see—a marvel of precocious draftsmanship and a shockingly macabre work for an artist known for his folksy humor. Rockwell undertook it as a class assignment. Technically, it’s an illustration of a scene from “The Deserted Village,” the 18th-century pastoral poem by Oliver Goldsmith. It takes you into a small, tenebrous, candlelit room where a sick boy lies supine in bed, a sheet pulled up to his chin. A village preacher, shown from the back in his long coat and white wig, kneels at the boy’s side. A grandfather clock looms dramatically in the center of the composition, infusing the scene with a time-is-ticking ominousness. Perhaps taking his cue from Rembrandt, Rockwell is able to extract great pictorial drama from the play of candlelight on the back wall of the room, a glimpse of radiance in the unreachable distance." Inside America's Great Romance With Norman Rockwell | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine
Episode #14 of The Amerikans Who Lives There Filmed on location in Wellington, Ohio, Episode 14 shares the vision of Dawn Reese, miniature artist, dollhouse builder, and owner of Dolls and Minis: a store with over 20,000 miniatures.
As sung by Bob Dylan, Roscoe Holcomb, The Foggy Mountain Boys, The New Lost City Ramblers, Dan Tyminski and... wait for it... Limbotheque.
"I am a man of constant sorrow
I've seen trouble all my days
I'll say goodbye to Colorado
Where I was born and partly raised.
Your mother says I'm a stranger
My face you'll never see no more
But there's one promise, darling
I'll see you on God's golden shore.
Through this open world I'm about to ramble
Through ice and snow, sleet and rain
I'm about to ride that morning railroad
Perhaps I'll die on that train.
I'm going back to Colorado
The place that I started from
If I knowed how bad you'd treat me
Honey, I never would have come."
History of this traditional American folk song.
"It was first recorded by Dick Burnett, a partially blind fiddler from Kentucky. "Man of Constant Sorrow" is a traditional American folk song first recorded by Dick Burnett, a partially blind fiddler from Kentucky. Although he song was originally recorded by Burnett as "Farewell Song" printed in a Richard Burnett songbook, c. 1913. An early version was recorded by Emry Arthur in 1928 (Vocalion Vo 5208).
"On October 13, 2009 on the Diane Rehm Show, Dr. Ralph Stanley of the Stanley Brothers, born in 1927, discussed the song, its origin, and his effort to revive it: "Man of Constant Sorrow" is probably two or three hundred years old. But the first time I heard it when I was y'know, like a small boy, my daddy -- my father -- he had some of the words to it, and I heard him sing it, and we -- my brother and me -- we put a few more words to it, and brought it back in existence. I guess if it hadn't been for that it'd have been gone forever. I'm proud to be the one that brought that song back, because I think it's wonderful."
"There is some uncertainty whether Dick Burnett himself wrote the song. One claim is that it was sung by the Mackin clan in 1888 in Ireland and that Cameron O'Mackin emigrated to Tennessee, brought the song with him, and performed it. In an interview he gave toward the end of his life, Burnett himself indicated that he could not remember:Charles Wolfe: "What about this "Farewell Song" -- 'I am a man of constant sorrow' -- did you write it?"
Richard Burnett: "No, I think I got the ballad from somebody -- I dunno. It may be my song..."
"If Burnett wrote the song, the date of its composition, or at least of the editing of certain lyrics by Burnett, can be fixed at about 1913. Since it is known that Burnett was born in 1883, married in 1905, and blinded in 1907, the dating of two of these texts can be made on the basis of internal evidence. The second stanza of "Farewell Song" mentions that the singer has been blind six years, which put the date at 1913. According to the Country Music Annual, Burnett "probably tailored a pre-existing song to fit his blindness" and may have adapted a hymn. Charles Wolfe argues that "Burnett probably based his melody on an old Baptist hymn called "Wandering Boy".
Bob Dylan stated,
"Roscoe Holcomb has a certain untamed sense of control, which makes him one of the best." Eric Clapton called Holcomb "my favorite [country] musician." Holcomb's white-knuckle performances reflect a time before radio told musicians how to play, and these recordings make other music seem watered-down in comparison. His high, tense voice inspired the term "high lonesome sound." Self-accompanied on banjo, fiddle, guitar, or harmonica, these songs express the hard life he lived and the tradition in which he was raised. Includes his vintage 1961 "Man of Constant Sorrow."Continued...
The Asheville, North Carolina restaurant was one of those common to our post-post-modern world. Open and airy with a wall of windows framing hanging plants. Casual to the point of paper napkins. Sporting a list of local beers and -- surprise -- local wines. Tarted up with the kind of overtly ironic art on the walls where the painter has one statement and one image in his repertoire and repeats it ad nauseam. This time it seemed that the sensibility being trotted out was one of Hieronymous Bosch meets Hello Kitty.
The menu, a litany of updated regional classics such as black-eyed pea cakes, was relentlessly "improved" by garnishes such as avocados and Basmati rice. The joint's "philosophy" -- since all new restaurants must now publish a justifying manifesto along with their menu -- centered on the now tedious homage to "local" "organic" produce and a dedication to "reviving tradition" -- plus the removal of trans-fats. Collard greens, sweetened lima beans, and salty sweet potatoes bracketed the entrees. In the center you'd find rib-eyes under slathers of sauteed onions, broiled slabs of local fish dusted with some orange spice, chickens with a roasted-on glaze, pork in five different variations, and dried cranberries slipped into cakes on the sly just when you thought it was safe.
It was a boutique version of the kind of food once common to the region, but that now survived either in roadside diners named "Granny's" and "Hubert and Sal's,"or at upscale nostalgic eateries such as this one. I suppose you could call it a "cuisine" -- as the local magazines and guides are wont to do -- but that word has too many curlicues. Call it "eats" and get on with it.
The diners seemed to agree and were not slow about getting on with their meals. One man to my right hulked over his plate like a Turkish sumo and ate mechanically as if his hands were back hoes in some mountain grave yard, the coffin inbound on the midnight train and the kinfolk getting antsy. Across from him, a slim woman ate in a punctuated manner and talked at him at the same time, her hand gestures angular and as precise as scalpels. He nodded dully as if barely feeling her opinions and just put his head down and ate right on through them, looking up just often enough and nodding just slightly enough that she might believe he was actually hearing her.
Hearing anyone was a sometimes thing in this room. It was one of those restaurants whose hard ceilings, walls, and floors made for a constant din and clatter and clang. You had to raise your voice to be heard over it, and -- since raising your voice added to the din -- it made you and everyone else speak ever louder until the yabble peaked, then plunged into brief silence as everyone lapsed back into murmurs. Then it began building, again, inevitably to shouts, and so on.
It was a down-home yuppified place with a pretty good kitchen and fine intentions. It was a place where you could get the same meal you could get at "Granny's Country Kitchen" out along the highway, but you could rest assured that none of the boys from the hills -- those with flag decals on the pick-up's bumper and a deer rifle on a rack in the rear window -- would be smoking or farting or telling tales next to you. This privilege only cost you about three times as much.
This was downtown Asheville in the heart of the freshly gentrified, cosmopolitan zone and instead of pick-ups rattling down the streets, Porsches prowled growling in the night outside the rock-climbing gym. This was an armed cultural hamlet in the New South, guarded by down-home decorating parlors ready to give your custom log-cabin that shabby chic lived-in look; where the sentries were hair salons called "The People" with mirrors in front of each station resembling nothing so much as the guillotines that "The People" of France once used so effectively in solving their aristocracy problem. The difference here was that the new aristocracy of this region was busy admiring themselves in the mirrors of these guillotines with nary a Marat or Robespierre in sight. Instead, downtown Asheville -- or at least some small section at the top of the hills -- was relentlessly promoting our new secular religion of senseless and endless shopping opportunities.
Down in the gulch streets below the mini-Madison Avenue of Asheville a wide variety of ethnic restaurants from the Jerusalem Cafe to Mela Indian foods jostles with used book stores and the ubiquitous tattoo parlors. Antique stores have arrived with a vengeance as have poodles and other toy breeds that bring with them shops devoted to "canine cuisine". After all, once you've got a whole generation of 20 or 30 and sometimes 40 somethings that have elected to raise dogs rather than children, nothing is too good for your fur-faced kids, is it?
And where there are bakeries for dogs, there are restaurants whose owners handle regional foods as carefully as curators in a museum. In this, I admit, they do not do half-bad at the Early Girl Eatery where quick bread can be had at breakfast for three bucks a plate, and slow-cooked pork in the evening for fifteen. It's not quite the roadside diner down in the hollar, but that land's been bulldozed for one of the endless gated communities sprouting across the landscape in these parts like dubious toadstools. At least at the Early Girl you're pretty sure the pork isn't road kill. And even if it was, the sauces and seasoning would make up for it.
The check had come and I'd paid it. They'd filled the restaurant and turned it once since we'd been there. A popular place. A post-post- modern place, a place that was a sterling example of how we live now -- the real and the regional reduced to a remembrance, the communities gated, the homes "maintenance -free." History in a bottle, cleaned, pressed and with the trans-fats removed. Just the way we like it. Traditional in style but tradition-free in content. The experience without the meaning and not missing it.
As I got up to leave the family of six at the long table across from me was served with the quick flourish and satisfied air of presentation that is the style of serving these days. The was food steaming in front of them, but none of them made a move towards it. Instead, they talked quietly amongst themselves and seemed to come to a decision. They made their selection from among them. It was to be one of the daughters, a girl of about 17 I guessed. The din in the restaurant rose and fell, but the family of six sat quietly and then bowed their heads as one. Then they said grace.
I stood motionless at my table. I had, I thought, never seen this before in a restaurant. I'd seen it in private homes to be sure, but upon reflection I realized that I'd not seen it there in quite sometime. And I was quite sure this was, for me, a rare event. I'd probably not been paying attention since it no doubt went on all the time, but still it was a startling moment. Perhaps I'd just been too long in Seattle where the only manifestations of spirit are flimsy; where the invocations are raised to a watery Buddhism or bloodless Unitarianism where God is impossibly distant if at all extant. Be that as it may, this simple act of saying grace did not so much shock me as still me. I paused to listen in. And the daughter did not disappoint.
Her's was no gestural grace -- "Bless this food. Amen. Let's eat." -- but an extended meditation on the good fortune to find oneself among family and before a rich selection of food; an acknowledgment of an unusual level of being blessed by God, and a calling down of God's grace on members of the family present and not present, and ending with a wish that God continue to bless the family, the community, the state and the country. Then, and only then, was "Amen" spoken and the meal begun.
Outside along the Asheville streets, it was a balmy evening. Down the block another restaurant offered "Exceptional International Vegetarian Food," and a shop on the corner sold items imported from Africa whose purchase was purported to help suffering children here and there in that blighted continent. A local freebie paper picked off a stack had decided that a photo of a tribal protest in Santiago, Chile on the Dia de la Raza was important information for the citizens of this part of town. Down in the Asheville hipster-dopester-homeless gulch at a more cut-rate vegetarian restaurant, citizens with shaved heads, "message" t-shirts, multiple facial piercing and full-body tattoos were climbing the stairs in search of a bran muffin, bitching about George Bush, global warming, and their personal collection of STDs while complaining of residual racism in a city that seems more white than Seattle.
The road back to the house in the hills was dark and winding and you had to take it slow. Going back it was nice to know that somewhere, somehow, and for reasons that sometimes challenge all understanding, there were people still asking God to bless America.
For now, that's the big headline news of the day here in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Dilbert's Mom, a Tale from the [Near] Future :
HT: Claire Wolfe @ Living Freedom who is famous for saying, "America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."
Yeah bring me champagne when I'm thirsty.
Bring me reefer when I want to get high.
Yeah bring me champagne when I'm thirsty.
Bring me reefer when I want to get high.
Well you know when I'm lonely
Bring my woman set her right down here by my side.
Well you know there should be no law
on people that want to smoke a little dope.
Well you know there should be no law
on people that want to smoke a little dope.
Well you know it's good for your head
And it relax your body don't you know.
Everytime I get high
I lay my head down on my baby's breast.
Well you know I lay down be quiet
Tryin' to take my rest.
Well you know she done hug and kiss me
Says Muddy your one man that I love the best.
I'm gonna get high
Gonna get high just as sure as you know my name.
Y'know I'm gonna get so high this morning
It's going to be a cryin' shame.
Well you know I'm gonna stick with my reefer
Ain't gonna be messin' round with no cocaine.
Got my mojo working, but it just won't work on you
Got my mojo working, but it just won't work on you
I wanna love you so bad till I don't know what to do
I'm going down to Louisiana to get me a mojo hand
I'm going down to Louisiana to get me a mojo hand
I'm gonna have all you women right here at my command
Got my mojo working
Got my mojo working
Got my mojo working
Got my mojo working
Got my mojo working, but it just won't work on you
"Well, it was only 3,000 people and we've moved on. Why can't you? Carpe diem, man."
The huge wound in my head began to heal
About the beginning of the seventh week.
Its valleys darkened, its villages became still:
For joy I did not move and dared not speak,
Not doctors would cure it, but time, its patient still.
-- Thom Gunn, The Wound
Simon Dedvukaj, 26, Mohegan Lake, N.Y. janitorial, foreman, ABM Industries / Confirmed dead, World Trade Center, at/in building 2
EVERYONE WHO WAS IN NEW YORK ON on "The Day" will tell you their stories about "The Day." I could stun you with an eight figure number by running a Google on 9/11, but you can do that as well.
"The Day," even at this close remove, has ascended into that shared museum of the mind to be placed in the diorama captioned, "Where Were You When." The site has long since been cleared and scrubbed clean. There is even an agreement on the memorial which will, I see, use a lot of water and trees. "The Day" has become both memorial and myth.
Less is heard about the aftermath. Less is said about the weeks and months that spun out from that stunningly clear and bright September morning whose sky was slashed by a towering fist of flame and smoke. You forget the smoke that hung over the city like a widow's shawl as the fires burned on for months. You don't know about the daily commutes by subway wondering if some new horror was being swept towards you as the train came to a stop deep beneath the East River. You supress hearing over the loudspeaker, always unclearly, that the train was being "held for police activity at Penn Station." Was that a bomb, poison gas, a mass shooting, a strike on the Empire State building? You were never sure. You carried a flashlight in case you had to walk out of the tunnels that ran deep beneath the river. Terror was your quiet companion. After the first six weeks you barely knew it was there.
If someone tells you that the melted wax from the candle shrines at Union Square had a radius of 20 feet and a depth of 4 inches at some points before it was scraped away, that's just a data point.
If someone mentions that there were pictures of those we called 'the missing' put up on walls about the city, you might recall that. What you won't recall is that they appeared everywhere and grew in numbers on nearly every surface on the island until there was no block and no main station that didn't host a grim and large gallery of these images.
You've forgotten about the shrines, large and small, that appeared at the door of every fire and police station of the city overnight. You don't remember how they grew and then shrank until only a few vases of flowers and faded flags remained.
I could show you the Post's headline from the 12th declaring: 10,000 FEARED DEAD. Many of you would now say, "Well, it was only 3,000 people and we've moved on. Why can't you? Carpe diem, man."
Wounds, as noted in the poem above, heal. Lots of Americans like this fact. Many now make their living from the process. Explainers, obfuscators, politicians, pundits -- they're all part of yet another bogus new-age industry, grief counseling. Let some disaster, small or large, occur and these locusts descend from wherever they spend their off-hours to feed on the fear and pain of that other bogus group, "the survivors." Many of us are proud to be members of this group. I'm sure somewhere someone is selling t-shirts and badges that say "I'm the Proud Survivor of ______" (Insert disease or disaster of choice).
Wounds heal. Those that don't become "mortal wounds." All others heal. That's the nature of wounds. What isn't often mentioned is that wounds, in healing, leave a scar. A scar is different kind of skin that covered the wound and, because it is stronger than the original skin, it is called "proud flesh."
Along with grief, scars are another thing our brave new age sets out to eliminate. With the application of money and skill most scars in time can be made to disappear, to be made beautiful. Americans approve of this process. We like to make new fresh flesh appear where old proud flesh once was. All smoothed out. All traces eradicated. We move on. We get over it. We wear white trousers and walk upon the beach. Tomorrow is another day and we will never be hungry again.
Wounds do not heal, they only seal themselves up and we erase the scars with myths and monuments. Unless we are required to, every so often, go back and look at what was without sham or falsity.
Selecting a few images from a very bad year takes you back into that time. Because you fear opening the wound, you work at some remove from what the images return to you. Until you come to one that takes you back and you find yourself there, in that time, in those weeks and months after 'The Day.'
Mine was a picture of a flyer posted around the city. One of the thousands of flyers posted everywhere. I'd hardly noted it at the time, but kept it in a folder called "September." It shows three pictures of Simon Dedvukaj. He's in a tuxedo with the jacket tossed over his shoulder in one shot. Another shows him wearing the cap and gown of a high school graduate. The third is a candid snap taken, I imagine, in his room with some out of focus possessions in the background. There's a prayer at the bottom and at the top the information: "February 15, 1975 -- September 11, 2001.
Three strips of wrinkled tape fasten this to a black metal surface. The photo, I know, was taken somewhere in lower Manhattan at 9:18 on September 11, 2002. The flyer is crisp and the tape fresh so someone must have spent time over the previous days printing the flyer up and sticking it to surfaces around the city. His family? His friends? Certainly one of those groups. Did they do it again on September 11, 2003? I don't know. I wasn't there to look.
What can I know about Simon Dedvukaj? I can know what you can know if you run another Google search. It's an unusual name and you won't get many hits. What I can know is this: "Simon Dedvukaj, 26, Mohegan Lake, N.Y. janitorial, foreman, ABM Industries Confirmed dead, World Trade Center, at/in building "
That's from an early list. One of many put up to track the dead -- "26" "janitorial," "foreman," "confirmed dead," "at/in building.2" There are thousands of other listings just as stark.
It is no wonder we move on from these facts, that we work to heal the wound and erase the scar. These are things too grim to carry. We have to put them down. Unless we know more than the stark facts above. Then we carry them with us. Forever.
I can know more about Simon Dedvukaj, a man whom in his janitor's uniform, would have never been more than another member of that faceless crew of New Yorkers who take the subways in at 4 AM to turn on the city, or take them home after midnight having cleaned up and shut down the city. I would have passed him without seeing him. I still would. So would you. But still I can know a lot more about Simon Dedvukaj. I can know about it from his sister Lisa:
July, 2002Just a janitor. Just turned on the city and cleaned it up. "How different we are without you here...."
From:Lisa Dedvukaj, submitted: 07/31/2002 5:45:28 PM
Simon is my brother. He worked in the World Trade Center, North Tower 1. He was and still is a great guy. Simon will always be remembered as that thoughtful person who always did good for everyone else and thought of himself last. Simon gave everyone strength and Simon made you smile and laugh like never before. Simon what a man you were. That smile you just couldn't resist it, you had to smile back. Simon I know you are in a better place and I know that you are watching over us. Please be there for us always and guide and comfort us through our needest times. I LOVE YOU!
From: Lisa Dedvukaj, submitted: 11/13/2002 3:59:23 PM
It's been a while since I wrote in here but I wanted to let you know that I'm still thinking of you.. I can't seem to understand the negativeness that still surrounds us. Simon you are my life and it just hurts me so much to see that you are not here, I want to see you walk through that door again and sometimes I wonder if this was for the best. But I what I do know is that God has you with him and that you and the others are looking out for us and I feel you around me alot and it comforts me to know that you are holding me while I cry for you. I miss you Simon and I will always love you. Please be with us always like you are now, give us the strength and the love that we need. Protect our family and always keep us within your reach..
I LOVE YOU SIMON!
From: Lisa V., submitted: 01/11/2004 10:47:44 PM
I haven't written in here in a long time! I miss you so much and life will never be the same.. Reading all these posts here makes me cry, I always cry thinking of how life changed it is and how different we are without you here. I miss you so much.. I love you.
Love your sister,
I called for armor, rose, and did not reel.
But, when I thought, rage at his noble pain
Flew to my head, and turning I could feel
My wound break open wide. Over again
I had to let those storm lit valleys heal.
-- Thom Gunn, "The Wound"
[Written SEPTEMBER 13, 2009]
The Fred Reed this time uncannily writes for me in Surrender in the Culture Wars @ Fred On Everything:
I lived, 1951 to 1956, aged six to eleven, in the Arlington suburbs of Washington and, ´56 to´57, in smalltown Athens, Alabama, and eighth grade through high school in rural King George County, Virginia, graduating in 1964. Another country. Another world. What happened?
The Arlington of then was entirely white, peopled largely by men several years back from World War Two, enjoying the fantastic surge in prosperity following the war. The dominant culture, the only culture, was that of Reader´s Digest, clean cut, honest, and confident. We watched the Mousketeers, all soap and good manners. We joined the Boy Scouts, and were told to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. We were, at least sorta, most of those. Pornography meant monitoring the advance of Annette Funicello´s bustline.
At age eight I walked every morning the perhaps six blocks to Robert E. Lee Elementary School, alone. Why not? There was nothing to be afraid of. My friends and I rode to Westover, the shopping center on Washington Boulevard, and left our bikes on the sidewalk for hours while we read comic books in the drug store. Why not? Nobody stole bikes. My family never locked the doors of the house. Why should we? There weren´t any burglars.
And in summer evenings thirty kids, girls and boys, played hide-and-seek across several blocks, and parents didn´t give it a thought. Why should they? It was safe. We were the dominant culture, the only culture, and we didn´t do pederasty, engage in gang attacks, or muggings, or drive fast on kid-littered streets. It wasn´t our way. If we had suffered a natural disaster, no one would have looted. It wasn´t what we did.
I´m not sure what would have happened if a gang of high-schoolers had robbed a candy store. It was impossible, because we didn´t do such things. A child molester? I don´t know. It would have one way or another been a case of God help him and he never would have been seen again. The culture didn´t tolerate child molesters.
And now, and now….
Cushing Biggs Hassell who says, in passing, among many other things:
"... of the young members who, having no spiritual life, cannot partake of spiritual food, and for the raising of money for pretended religious purposes—such as strawberry and ice-cream festivals, oyster suppers, concerts, burlesque hymns, comic songs, amateur theatricals, Sunday School excursions, and picnics, and banners, and emblems, Christmas trees, Easter cards, charity balls, and " church fairs" (with their rafflings or gamblings), rightly termed " abysses of horrors," mingling* sham trade with sham charity, obtaining money under false pretenses, teaching the selfish and thoughtless patrons how to be " benevolent without benevolence, charitable without charity, devout without devotion, how to give without giving and to be paid for ' doing good'..."
Got it? Now try the whole sentence on for size: Running On from Futility Closet
Cushing Biggs Hassell’s thousand-page History of the Church of God (1886) is notable for a single sentence — this one, on page 580, beginning “The nineteenth is the century …” It’s six pages long, with 3,153 words, 360 commas, 86 semicolons, and six footnotes. Many regard it as the longest legitimate sentence ever written in a book.
Weak minds would just give you the link to History of the church of God @ Google Books. But we are not that forgiving. We're giving you the whole enchilada. Take a deep, a very deep, breath.Continued...
"Many talented coin engravers, as well as newcomers, started creating hobo nickels in 1913, when the Buffalo nickel entered circulation. This accounts for the quality and variety of engraving styles found on carved 1913 nickels. More classic old hobo nickels were made from 1913-dated nickels than any other pre-1930s date.
Many artists made hobo nickels in the 1910s and 1920s, with new artists joining in as the years went by. The 1930s saw many talented artists adopting the medium. Bertram Wiegand, known almost exclusively as Bert, began carving nickels in the teens, and his student George Washington Hughes, known as Bo, began carving in the late teens (and up to 1980). During this period, Buffalo nickels were the most common nickels in circulation." -- La Wik
It's unclear who or what the assembled drones and droolers at today's autofornication festival represented, but it certainly wasn't Americans, African or otherwise. Under no circumstances can what was blathered today be thought of as a credit to the once noble and now nefarious "civil rights movement." Like so many other idealistic visions of its era it has now devolved and degenerated into a gelatinous slab of smarm and slime. I suppose that the best that can be said is that nothing said today will matter in another 50 years. Probably in another 50 months.
There's these sleazy, crazy mullahs
Want to rearrange our head.
Want to pick our pocket.
Want to slip into our bed.
Well, they better watch their moves,
Cause we're getting in the grooves,
And unless they want real action
They'd better just get back,
Or they'll feel the positraction
Of our Atomic Cadillac.
Chorus:It gets three miles to the gallon.
It's hand-made by General Motors.
It's got a Winchester Repeater,
And seven polychromed rotors.
It's got five-wheel drive in naugahyde.
It cruises below the street.
It's got solid-state steering.
We can drive it with our feet.
It's amphibious, subacqueous,
It's sealed up for outer space.
It's the meanest motor-scooter in the atomic arms race.
Who are these guys who're cracking wise
And showing no respect?
A bunch of jerk-off turkeys
Who're gonna get it in the neck.
They think they'll make us quiver;
Make us stand up and deliver,
But they're rousting the wrong mob
With they're heads stuck in a sack,
Cause we've got a secret weapon
In our Atomic Cadillac.
Ain't no Bashar al-Assad top cat
Gonna tell us where it's at.
His Hezbollahs got all the styles
Of Harlem pimps beat out by miles,
And ‘cause these Arabs got the pump
They try and tell us when to jump,
But when they mess with Uncle Sam,
Man, they'd better start to pack
And take it on the lam,
Cause he's about to cruise them
In our Atomic Cadillac.
So they better watch their act
Or we'll give 'em cause to grieve.
We're holding all the cards
In our hands and up our sleeves.
Next deal they're gonna holler
For their fooling with the dollar,
Cause we're calling, we ain't bluffing.
We're hot for an attack.
We're diving from the sun at dawn
In our Atomic Cadillac!
It gets three miles to the gallon.
It's hand-made by General Motors.
It's got a Winchester Repeater,
And seven polychromed rotors.
It sports the finest camel saddle
Designed by General Rommel,
Rides on sixteen slicks by Goodyear,
Has a solid plastic pommel.
Air-dropped on any desert
It's computer sniffs out crude.
It'll keep the Ayatollahs blushing.
It's pure power in the nude.
It's the acme of technology.
It really sets the pace.
It's the curvy, MIRVy sweetheart
Of the Atomic Arms Race!
"Now I ask you in all soberness, if all these things, if indulged in, if ratified, if confirmed and endorsed, if taught to our children, and repeated to them, do not tend to rub out the sentiment of liberty in the country, and to transform this Government into a government of some other form.
"Those arguments that are made, that the inferior race are to be treated with as much allowance as they are capable of enjoying; that as much is to be done for them as their condition will allow. What are these arguments? They are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world.
"You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden. That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it.
"Turn it whatever way you will---whether it come from the mouth of a King, an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent." -- Abraham Lincoln. Speech at Chicago, Illinois | July 10, 1858
They didn’t want to turn her on but they did. I never want to turn her on but I do. After they had turned her on for awhile they grew tired of listening to her. After listening to her for even ten seconds I’m enraged by her. Somewhere along the long road to their duck hunting camp they named her “The Bitch” and turned her off. At random points on any road I drive I want to throw “The Bitch” out the window and run over her until she’s nothing but a flat black splotch on the asphalt.
“The Bitch” has her uses. She’s helped me find my way to unknown destinations and out of places where I’m hopelessly lost. It doesn’t matter. I hate the very thought of her. She’s the worst nag since Eve made Adam slap on the fig leaf and remarked on how small it was. She’s Lilith and Delilah and the “What-ever Girl.” She’s the most passive-aggressive talker since the last speech by Barack Obama. She’s “The Bitch.”
It’s not what "The Bitch" does and doesn’t do but the voice of "The Bitch" that instantly sets my teeth on fire. It’s so pale and distantly grating that it draws me into a conversation even though I’ve got nothing to say to "The Bitch" and she isn’t listening.
“In sixth tenths of a mile, turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you.”
“In two tenths of a mile turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you.”
“I said I’ve got it.”
“Turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you.”
“Shut up. Just SHUT UP! I GOT IT. I GOT IT! Here, just to show you I’ll turn LEFT on ‘Mac Graw Av-en-you,’ bitch.”
And I turn left just to spite her and get about ten yards up the street when I hear her say the one thing that makes me want to strangle her with her charging cord:
Recalculating? Shit. Here it comes….
“In two tenths of a mile turn left on Harper and then turn left to Queen Anne Av-en-you… In sixth tenths of a mile, turn right on Mac Graw Av-en-you….”
Nag, nag, nag…. Short of pulling the plug nothing, but nothing, will shut “The Bitch” up. I don’t know what sort of market research came up with the voice of “The Bitch” as the optimum voice for a GPS unit, but I suspect knew what they were doing all along. They were looking for the optimum voice that would drive men out of their minds. And they succeeded. Sadists.
For added insanity, try handing the bitch to a woman who's driving with you and have her tell you what “The Bitch” is saying at the same time “The Bitch” is saying it. No jury of 12 men would convict.
And don't tell me to reset “The Bitch” to that English Accent choice. She's just bitchier with the bright tang of British smarm smeared on top. She's “The Brit Bitch.”
I hate “The Bitch.” I hate her every time I hear her say “Re-cal-que-lating….” I’ve been known to set her destination to “Home,” and then get on the freeway and drive fifty miles in the other direction… just to hear her ever more passive-aggressive and faintly irritated plaint of “Re-cal-que-lating….” every time I pass an off-ramp.
She’s “The Bitch” now and forever. No other female voice can even hope to come close to her voice. It is seared, SEARED, into my memory.
One of these days I’m going to take a very long drive into the heart of Death Valley and dump her. I’d do it today if I didn’t need her so much.
A summer rerun from 2009
"These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a ten-fold beacon in the night: Duty, honor, country." General Douglas MacArthur
The insect formerly known as "Bradley Manning" currently has "let if be known" that s/he/it wishes to be known as "Chelsea" and have the Army pay for s/he/it's "gender reassignment surgery." I am sure that there are many who, having lost limbs in their Army service, would be more than happy to let this traitor have some speed gender reassignment surgery for free. "‘Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished."
Although I know this creature will, from time to time, crawl back into the news, today's proclamation will be the high water mark of s/he/it's notoriety. At some point in the near future s/he/it will disappear inside the walls of Leavenworth and fade into the dull, grey life inside an institution. And the days will roll into the weeks and into the months and on into the years. Yesterday s/he/it was a traitor. Today s/he/it is a joke. Tomorrow joke time will be over.
Some horrifying but useful points as explained by Michael Snyder @ Economic Collapse Tracker
But if you do want to focus on "the change" that has taken place since Barack Obama entered the White House, there is no way in the world that you can claim that things have actually gotten better during that time frame. The cold, hard reality of the matter is that the U.S. economy has been steadily declining for over a decade, and this decline has continued while Obama has been living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
It is getting very tiring listening to Obama supporters try to claim that Obama has improved the economy. That is a false claim that is not even remotely close to reality. The following are 33 shocking facts which show how badly the U.S. economy has tanked since Obama became president...
#2 Since Obama has been president, seven out of every eight jobs that have been "created" in the U.S. economy have been part-time jobs.
#3 The number of full-time workers in the United States is still nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.
#4 It is hard to believe, but an astounding 53 percent of all American workers now make less than $30,000 a year.
#5 40 percent of all workers in the United States actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.
#6 When the Obama era began, the average duration of unemployment in this country was 19.8 weeks. Today, it is 36.6 weeks.
#7 During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans "not in the labor force" soared by an astounding 8,332,000. That far exceeds any previous four year total.
#8 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.
#10 When Obama entered the White House, the mortgage delinquency rate was 7.85 percent. Today, it is 9.72 percent.
#12 When Obama first became president, 12.5 million Americans had manufacturing jobs. Today, only 11.9 million Americans have manufacturing jobs.
#13 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.
#14 The poverty rate has shot up to 16.1 percent. That is actually higher than when the War on Poverty began in 1965.
#15 During Obama's first term, the number of Americans on food stamps increased by an average of about 11,000 per day.
#16 When Barack Obama entered the White House, there were about 32 million Americans on food stamps. Today, there are more than 47 million Americans on food stamps.
#17 At this point, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. This is the first time that has ever happened in our history. That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.
#18 When Barack Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.85. Today, it is $3.53.
#19 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.
#21 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.
Bush Sr.: 11.3
Bush Jr.: 10.8
#23 In 2008, that total amount of student loan debt in this country was 440 billion dollars. At this point, it has shot up to about a trillion dollars.
#24 According to one recent survey, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
#25 During Obama's first term, the number of Americans collecting federal disability insurance rose by more than 18 percent.
#26 The total amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has grown by 32 percent since Barack Obama became president.
#27 According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.
#29 Under Barack Obama, the velocity of money (a very important indicator of economic health) has plunged to a post-World War II low.
#30 At the end of 2008, the Federal Reserve held $475.9 billion worth of U.S. Treasury bonds. Today, Fed holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds have skyrocketed past the 2 trillion dollar mark.
#32 During Obama's first term, the federal government accumulated more new debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.
#33 When you break it down, the amount of new debt accumulated by the U.S. government during Obama's first term comes to approximately $50,521 for every single household in the United States. Are you able to pay your share?
"The spirit born into her years ago, when men dedicated to excellence took the time and care to build her well."
Once upon a time... years ago.... we did not place orders for Kindles from China. Instead, we
made created -- and flew -- epics like the SR-71 Blackbird:
"It is a race this jet will not let us lose. The Mach eases to 3.5 as we crest 80,000 feet. We are a bullet now - except faster. We hit the turn, and I feel some relief as our nose swings away from a country we have seen quite enough of. Screaming past Tripoli , our phenomenal speed continues to rise, and the screaming Sled pummels the enemy one more time, laying down a parting sonic boom. In seconds, we can see nothing but the expansive blue of the Mediterranean . I realize that I still have my left hand full-forward and we're continuing to rocket along in maximum afterburner. The TDI now shows us Mach numbers, not only new to our experience but flat out scary." -- Major Brian Shul From "The Thrill of Flying the SR-71 Blackbird"Continued...
Or, "The Ninja Nibbler of the Night"
As a friend of mine recently pointed out, "Women shop. Men resupply."
Too true. Whenever I find myself in one of our current Cathedrals of Food (AKA: "Whole Foods -- Why Pay Less?"), I don't buy meals, I buy components. Though I've lived alone for some time, I buy like I'm supplying a small tribe. I've tried to control this by selecting the "little" cart. You know, that half-pint shopping vehicle, that grocery Miata, that let's you believe you're not really buying as much as you are. It doesn't work. I come home, unpack my "kills" -- at about $69 a bag -- and mumble, "Who's going to eat all this?"
House guests are the God's answer to "Who's going to eat this?" They are. That's okay. I love to cook for people. I'm good at it and it gets boring cooking for one; expensive too since I loathe leftovers.
Problems return when your house guests are stealth eaters. You know who I mean. Yes, you. Stealth eaters never, ever overeat -- except on the sly. They are the Merrill's Marauders of the post-midnight refrigerator.
Ordinary stealth eaters can be dealt with because the damage done by their pillage is obvious. You had half of a banana cream pie in the frig at sunset but by dawn it is gone. Vanished. Evaporated. Kaput. Never to be heard from again. Not so much as a ransom note, just a crumpled tin husk folded and stuffed down the side of the garbage bag beneath the camouflage of a crumpled milk carton.
Not pleasing, especially when you were planning on banana cream pie for breakfast. Still you suck up your sorrow, move on, and resupply.
No so with the worst sort of stealth eater -- the dreaded food eroder.
The food eroder is so stealthy he or she can even conceal their eating from themselves. The food eroder wishes to eat but not be seen eating nor to be known to have eaten. The food eroder can make your entire refrigerator into a Potemkin village where you think you have a LOT of food, but actually have almost none. A food eroder deals in cuisine disinformation.
Case in point:
Some weeks back I had a house guest. This house guest was a very careful eater -- someone cognizant of the fine points of nutrition; someone who knew the calories in a twice-baked potato down to the last bacon bit swimming in a dollop of sour cream. This nameless but shameless someone also had a finely tuned economic indicator and never met a leftover that was not loved, caressed, and consumed -- even when the original meal was lost to recorded history.
I once had a kind of grudging respect for this guest who was so much more disciplined about food than I could ever hope to be. But that was before I discovered -- after the guest's departure -- that I had been sharing my home and sacred refrigerator with a food eroder, a late-night Ninja nibbler.
You see, in order to fulfill my male mission of re-supply, I need to know what supplies are actually on hand. With a food eroder, this cannot be known since -- if you do not actually hand inspect every item in your larder -- you can never be sure of the quantity. What you can be sure of, I now know, is that a food eroder will guarantee you have less than you think.
The clearest example of this is -- as I have discovered today -- the most often decimated target of any self-respecting food eroder, ice cream.
About a month ago I noted that the house had no ice-cream in the freezer. This is not good -- especially should an after-midnight-ice-cream emergency break out while watching, say, "I Got the Hook-Up."
To prepare for such an emergency, and thus avert an ice cream crisis, I resupplied the freezer with a full half-gallon of French Vanilla. Since my house guest was looking a bit peckish at the time I offered to make a couple of sundaes (carmel sauce, shaved almonds, etc.). My guest gracefully accepted and the half gallon of ice-cream supply was reduced by perhaps a pint overall. This left around three pints. Such was the state of the ice cream three weeks ago at last check. Need for resupply? Negligible.
Fast forward to today when I was suddenly stricken with an ice-cream-emergency (While watching, yet again, "I Got the Hook-Up.") and staggered to the supply in the freezer. As I removed it I noted it felt strangely light for a container that should have contained about three-pints. You can only imagine my shock when upon opening it I discovered that it contained only about a half-inch thickness of ice cream covering the now far distant bottom.
But that was not the worst of it.
On closer examination, the surface of that razor-thin level of ice cream was scored by a series of small parallel grooves across it from side to side. It was as if somebody had gone back and forth over the ice cream with a teaspoon like a lawn mower.
I knew then I had been hit by the food eroder. I knew that, over several nights, my ice cream had be hit again and again and again.
Just a little this time. Just a little more that time. Then a bit again when the compulsion struck. And all, it was clear, in a shameful and furtive way as I slept.
This degradation probably went on and on until the food eroder could no longer avoid the terrible truth that nearly a half a gallon of ice cream had been consumed whilst standing at the refrigerator with spoon in hand. At that point shame overcame the eroder and the container was placed carefully back in the refrigerator so that it would appear to be undisturbed.
The food eroder escaped without ever having to face the shame. I'm off to resupply and thus avoid a post-midnight ice cream crisis. My only solace is that I know that the food eroder, now back home and faced with a refrigerator stocked only with the desiccating remnants of cantaloupe and celery is still having to walk an extra two miles every day in penance. Ice cream giveth, but ice cream doth not taketh away.
Meanwhile, my stock is back to normal. But I am taking steps to avoid future shock. I'm installing a state of the art motion-sensing alarm on the refrigerator instead of my previous sign that said, "Too late. Already here."
"I know it sounds like nothing and it is nothing. In my world, the wronger something feels the righter it is." Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up - NYTimes.com
"In its first iteration, the Leatherman multi-tool was a Double-Oh-Seven-worthy gadget idea, born out of a traveler's frustration and initially snubbed by major tool companies.
These days, Leatherman is a synonym for any dozen-in-one dream tool you can fit in a pocket. The idea came to Tim Leatherman back in the 1970s, when the recent mechanical engineering grad and his wife Chau decided touring Europe in a questionable Fiat would be a good use of a year. Leatherman found himself regularly eyeballing the guts of the car, wishing for one tool he didn't have in his Swiss Army Knife: pliers.
After partnering with a friend with a machine shop, he pitched the first Leatherman multi-tool to knife and tool companies to resounding disinterest... until Cabela's unexpectedly ordered 200 for their mail-order catalog. They featured it on their back cover and ordered 500 more before the first order was filled. With that, the Leatherman snowball was off and rolling. A Visit to Leatherman Core77
[ Note: Just when I'm having too much fun not really posting anything from sushisistah this afternoon comes this notice: Campaign to stamp out the word 'awesome' launched in LA (by an Englishman). This causes me to remember July of 2010....]
Moments of real awe that overwhelm the soul are rare, but if you look closely at the miracle of creation in the macro or micro cosmos you can create such a moment almost at will. Real awe is front-loaded into the universe.
At the same time, those things of man that inspire awe diminish moment by moment under the unstoppable onslaught of the word "awesome." The descent of the word "awesome" from a valuable modifier when describing an experience to the status of a brain fart is a classic example of how our "educated" illiterates destroy literacy.
I've had a few moments in my life where genuine awe shook me to the roots of my soul. Holding my daughter in my arms a moment after she was born comes to mind as does a time when I was very young, lying a field and looking up at the sky and the high cirrus glowing burnt orange in the fading rays of day. There were others as well, gifts given and grace notes. Common to all were an intake of breath and a feeling as if your heart had been grazed by a thought of God and forgot, for that moment, to beat. Matched up against all the torrent and cascade of moments though, this genuine awe was rare; it was one of the pearls beyond price, the shining instant of "Ah ha, so that's what it's all about."
Not so today. Today awe is as common as clay. Today all things of man possesses the awe of someness. The movie is awesome. The SmartCar is awesome. The candy bar is awesome. The cheeseburger is awesome. Today it would seem that every slice of tripe spun out of the crap factories of pop culture is awesome even though one note of the 9th Symphony would crush the entire oeuvre of Arrowsmith. My morning latte was described by the barrista as "awesome" when, like all our cornucopia of crapulous things described as such, it was quite mediocre, thank you.
I'm not sure when "awesome" died, but it was sometime in the very late, not-so-great, 20th century. You'd think it would be mummified by now, but no. Whenever someone so forgets to drive their mouth responsibly that the word "awesome" emerges it carries with it the stench of that slaughterhouse where perfectly good words go to die.
In a time when moments of true awe are needed to slake the parched post-modern lost souls, the intense trivialization of awe by the neutered generation is awesome.
Back at the beginning of the century, in 2005, absent being in a coma, a terrorist or monk somewhere on a high mountain, or sunk to your neck in the middle of a cypress swamp, you could not escape the story of "The Runaway Bride:"
"The runaway bride case was the case of Jennifer Carol Wilbanks (born March 1, 1973), an American woman who ran away from home on April 26, 2005, in order to avoid her wedding with John Mason, her fiancé, on April 30. Her disappearance from Duluth, Georgia, sparked a nationwide search and intensive media coverage, including some media speculation that Mason had killed her. On April 29, Wilbanks called Mason from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and falsely claimed that she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a Hispanic male and a white woman. Jennifer Wilbanks gained notoriety in the United States and internationally, and her story persisted as a major topic of national news coverage for some time after she was found and her safety was assured. "
Wilbanks was the plat du jour of selfishness and fear in our blighted age and was the story of the decade for as long as it lasted. When she finally showed up and confessed she was parsed and probed, drawn, quartered and eviscerated by the rapacious media until she was little more than a damp spot on some surgical sponge.
I despised The Runaway Bride from the first moment it was revealed she was safe and had simply freaked out and taken the geographic cure by getting gone to Las Vegas. It was a match made in hell. Along with Wilbanks sane people have to hate Las Vegas too -- a place that advertises that when you do freak out, it is the psycho's vacation destination of choice. A pathetic reason for a town to exist, but cheap and low places need to work with what they have. After all, nobody would mistake Vegas for Vatican City until, of course, they build a 1/3rd scale model of Saint Peters and slam six thousand slots into the basilica -- something I am sure is in the planning stage.
Still Vegas was the perfect place for The Runaway Bride to select as the terminus of her bus ticket. Once you go psycho in America it seems you have to pass through at least a Vegas of the mind and soul even if your final destination is someplace much more mundane like.... Albuquerque.
Let her go.Let her go. God bless her,
Wherever she may be.
She can search, search this whole world wide over....
-- St. James Infirmary
Freaked out, flipped out, bugged out, came back, fessed up, and was forgotten in a wave of law suits.... "then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago." That's the surface. Let's take a dive.
Let's look instead at what lies far below the personalities of this pathetic drama to the deeper principles which illumine why this tawdry little tale once had such a large impact.
Father forgive the media, they know not what they do. But sometimes they do things right in spite of themselves. "The Runaway Bride" was one of those stories. And no matter how many in the media beat up their peers for paying so much attention to this tawdry tale, in the end it illuminates a deeper truth about ourselves and our lives.
What we are really seeing here is something that has a deep and abiding interest to humans because it is something that happens -- in their secret hearts and deeper souls -- to millions of human beings every single day. This particular iteration is merely some modern passion play in which people act out on the stage of the nation our daily common tragedy entitled: Love Gone Missing.
It seems to me that if we knew the secrets of all our hearts, we'd know that love goes missing in our country thousands of times an hour. It doesn't usually go for a run, take a taxi, and grab a bus for destinations thousands of miles away, but that can often be the end of it.
Love goes missing in a moment of fear, of spite, of words spoken or left unspoken, in blink of an eye or a sentence only half-heard or remember wrongly. Love untempered by fire or by ice is a skittish thing in our lives. We think we know what it is, but we really only know what we've been told it is -- at least at the beginning.
We've been told Love is the white-hot passion that comes at the beginning of romance and is supposed to sustain itself at that level of heat across the decades. When that expectation burns through the weak vessels that we are, love goes missing -- off on a quest to find the next pile of fuel on which to burn. Go to a Family Courthouse in any county in this country on any day of the week and you'll see, scattered about the corridors, the scorched waste, sodden ash and family rubble left by this fools' fire.
We've been told that Love is seen in the increasingly lavish weddings whose example is the 14 bridesmaids, 600 guests bash that our current poster child for Love Gone Missing fled from. With such a monstrous beginning, what love could not go missing either before or soon after. No real love can measure up to such grandiose beginnings. After all, Princess Diana had only 5 bridesmaids at her wedding and we all know about the bloody tunnel in which that love gone missing ended in a Paris night.
Wise people and scriptures all tell us that Love, if it is not to go missing, should be built carefully and slowly until what lies inside Love is seen and grasped. But our Love we are told should not be centered on the soul but on things. We are told that Love needs to be seen in the world through things -- the place setting from Tiffany's, the endless objects from the multiple registries, the proof positive of the house becoming the ever larger house as we flip our homes every three years to get our nice appreciation rise. And so we seek to buttress and shore up Love by meeting the expectations of others in the material realm. God forbid you fail those expectations, for then, in an instant of selfish decision that always opts for better and not for worse, Love Goes Missing.
I've seen love go missing in a single, secret, brief and enraged glance on Christmas Day. I've heard love go missing months before the front door slammed. I've seen it go missing in me in a hundred silent moments where I did not speak my heart and in a hundred other moments when I spoke my heart falsely and far too quick. And the only thing I think I've learned about love gone missing is to let it go -- and I'm not even sure about that no matter how often it is repeated to me. Your milage, of course, may vary.
For most of us, when Love Goes Missing it is not easily found again. When it goes missing it goes -- near or far in space -- a long, long way away and we don't have the town turn out to walk search grids for our family, or issue nationwide alerts, or offer $100,000 rewards. It just goes and once it goes we may struggle to find it for a time, but by that time it is far out of reach and beyond our puny power to locate.
But even if one could locate it, what good would that do? Love gone missing can't be compelled to return like some runaway bride taken through the airports with a cloak over its head -- an apprehended perpetrator of the non-crime of going missing. Love's a wild force in our too domesticated and ordered frantic lives. Once gone missing,for whatever reason, it can't be just taken back as it was even if it is found. For if love gone missing is found and returns, it always remains a shattered vessel.
Yes, I know that in the endless bromides of our modern Therapeutic State Religion one is supposed to find the heart, the mercy and the compassion and the patience to pick up every little shard of what has been shattered and, with our ample supplies of theraputic superglue, painfully and tediously put it all back together as it was. Except, of course, it can never be what it was.
Love gone missing takes with it the hostages of trust and truth but they don't come back with it if it returns. They've been buried somewhere en route and their locations long forgotten, far off the map. Even if you could accept it without them, you'd still see the fine hairline cracks in the vase you put back together together. You'd both handle the love like a rare museum object, always looking for the next soft place to store it so that it could not break or escape again. Love under constant guard will never be entirely free from the craving to go missing once again. At any time and for any reason. Sometimes for no reason of love at all.
So, like some many other things that ring deep in the changes of our hearts, we look for what to do; for how we can fix what cannot be fixed by us. If we find love gone missing and if it seems to have been returned to us we look to repair the rare and delicate thing. But it is, we find, like trying to repair a Swiss Watch with sledgehammer. Nobody human has that delicate a touch.
Perhaps it is better, in the end, to learn to let it be. Nobody says you can have only one love with one person. If there can be, and there is, room for more than one love in one life, perhaps there can be more than one love in one love. Maybe the answer, if answer there be, is not the easy answer of repair, but the harder answer of starting all over from the gross and shapeless clay of love.
Maybe you worked too fast at the first pass of love and threw on the wheel of your days a lopsided and thin pot, something that had, deep inside it, some emptiness, some pockets of thin air that you could not see from outside, but that caused it to crack inside under the long heat of our lives of days and hands. Not everything that's pretty is strong.
Perhaps the best thing to do with love gone missing is, as said before, to just let it go and get it gone. It seems cold to say that no search will find it again as it was, but that's probably the truth. At the same time, and in the always inscrutable nature of love, to know that love has gone missing is not the same as knowing that love itself is gone. That's the thing that we always seem to miss and that we need to remember.
Maybe, if you take the time to improve your skills on the wheel of life, you will be able at some point to take up the clay of that love and, kneading more patiently, centering more carefully, and shaping with care and constant hands a better, stronger vessel. It might not be as fine and pretty as the first more delicate one, but it could be good and serviceable and steady. Not at all as likely to shatter on a glance or a word or a silence or a shadow and just go missing. Like all things made here on the great wheel, love could -- in time -- be coming around again.Continued...
From Vaclav Havel's essay - The Power of the Powerless, 1978 [PDF]
"The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!”
"Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?
"I think I can safely assume that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and the carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be.
"If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.Continued...
"Yes. The national intelligence has fallen that far.
The morons in West Philly can't spell 'Cat'. At least 75% wouldn’t know the Vice President of the U.S.. More than 50% can't add 5 5. And 80% wouldn't know when and why the Civil War was fought." | Zero HedgeContinued...
Many befuddled Conservatives and Republicans, drenched in so much angst they might as well be in a wet T-shirt contest for the morbidly obese, are asking, “What difference can another few years of Obama make? The damage has been done. It can’t get worse.”
To which we Ancient Ones respond, “Really? Are you new? Were you just born beneath a banana leaf? We are dealing with Obamatrons here and with these alien life forms the ruling rule is always: “It. Gets. Worse.”
In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Obamatrons of America have been making a list and checking it twice since George Orwell was a zygote. Here area few items still left on their to-do list and when the Obamatrons list a to-do they mean to do it. To you.
Can they do it to you? As their twice elected Dent has said, “Yes, we can!” Just lie back, relax, think of the country you once had and say to yourself, as disappointed wives have said since time immemorial, “Beige. I think I’ll paint the ceiling beige.”
1. Abortions R' US (also know as "MA1.5"): Mandatory Abortions after 1.5 children (MA1.5) for everybody except special congress people and high-net worth Democratic donors who can buy one or two more kids with every election cycle. To make it easy and cheap to obtain this service, all Democrats in the House and Senate will receive funding to open abortion clinics in their own official offices throughout their home state. Supplemental funding will be attached so that every abortion also comes with a free turkey dinner and fill up the the constituents EBT card.
1.a. Eco-rider to "Abortions R' US " (MA1.5): To better conserve the scarce resources of our eternally-endangered Planet, all aborted fetuses will be harvested into artisanal beer coolers, packed with small-batch dry ice, and dispersed by means of surplus FBI, IRS, CIA and NSA Lear Jets to Federal tissue and organ banks for the future use of important Americans such as politicians, film-stars, social media moguls, dot-com billionaires, and their heirs and assigns in good standing with the DNC. More stored "sustainable" abortions means a better chance of a perfect match should members of these groups pack in their livers, kidneys, brains, or sexual organs with booze or drugs. If this had been done 40 years ago Walt Disney, Ted Kennedy, and Jimmy Carter would still be alive.
2. Stemcell Winding in Our Time: In keeping with the MA1.5, and other green programs to harvest and recycle all US, Canadian and Mexican medical waste to make those crude cakes of herb scented soap you see in Farmers' Markets on Saturday, stem cells will be harvested as well. These vast Petri-dish collections will be dispersed to the newly created Federal Stem Cell ("FedStem") Laboratories, Fat Farms, and Day Spas in all the 50 states plus American Samoa.
All Obamacare mandated "FedStem" labs will be fully-funded so that they can better muck about with the basic building blocks of life. Before being dispersed, all “FedStem” stem-cell harvests will be clearly labeled as to their genetic makeup so that the stem cell's membership in an endangered-victim group can be noted and Federally-mandated affirmative-victim quotas can be forever fulfilled. Stem-cells found to be associated with any majority or Republican group will be returned to the point of origin for termination and incineration along with the donor.
It is hoped that the harvesting of Mandatory Abortions (MA1.5) will create enough stem cells to supply all the experiments that FedStem can dream up, but if the supply falls short mandatory stem cell collection will automatically be instituted via midnight raids on gated Republican communities and other heterosexual redoubts for "People of Pallor".
3. The Better Americans Through Extra Diversity Bill (BATED): Let's face it, too many Americans, when it comes to marriage, are still sticking to their own kind and even, in some extreme cases, the opposite sex among their own kind.
BATED solves this phenomenon via forced marriages for the diversity-impaired. This bill, which requires all Americans to register their race, color, creed and national origin at birth, will give a much needed high-colonic to the presently stalled "Coffee Colored Compromise."
Good Democrats know well that the natural leanings of love often make mistakes (as opposed to the unnatural leanings), but with good Democratic government the mistakes that the normals make can always be rectified. Because some critics have referred to this as "eugenics," the BATED Bill will rectify this problem by mandating that it be called "newgenics."
With full-funding and draconian enforcement (which may or may not extend to mass sterilizations), the Democrats have no doubt that they can create the new Americans volk, the UberUniRace, within a decade -- especially if they offer free-sex weekends to selected teenagers during the school year in the gym. To ensure an optimum mix of breeding stock, bussing will be employed between such areas as Beverly Hills and South Central. To ensure that "race-neutral" breeding takes place as scheduled, fully-qualified members of the National Teachers Union will be paid double-time to oversee and instruct these "Prom" replacement festivals.
4. The Dynamic Diversity Extreme Blowout Bill (DDEB): Here we would take a privilege previously reserved for the Democratic Hollywood elite and extend it to the Democratic Party masses via 3rd world baby adoption with a tax rebate. With two 3rd world baby adoptions in a year, you would get a five-year tax holiday. With three you would get egg roll.
5. The Be-Kind to Border Jumpers Bill (BKBJ): To replace the millions of Democratic voters sadly culled by the D&C’s of the MA1.5 bill, illegal aliens, regardless of country of origin as long as they are south of the Nordic belt, will receive a Diversity's Kidz Wavier (DKW) that requires them to have 5 to 12 children, and pays them a monthly bonus of 5,000 Obamabucks per baby.
6. The Family Uberesteem Conjugal Klan Statute ("FUCKS" also known as "On Beyond Rosie O'Donnell"): As the Democrats' definition of "Family" expands to encompass everything on the North American continent up to and including the caribou herds roaming the Alaskan tundra, it will be important for them not to just legislate animals but to educate them as well.
After a long-overdue purge of local school boards and National Teachers Association recidivists, this act mandates hands-on kindergarten sex education from trained professional molesters who have previously been forbidden to live with 2,000 yards of a school.
In order to bring pride back to the millions of single mothers of five under the age of 20, the word 'bastard' shall be expunged from all dictionaries and literature, to be replaced with "village child."
Circumcision will be defined in said dictionaries and literature as "child abuse, no religious excuses, get over it." Previously circumcised citizens of the demonstrably male persuasion who feel cut off from their foreskins will be given, upon signing a pledge to vote Democrat, $250,000 grants to have replacement foreskins regrown at the FedStem tissue banks and reattached through the miracles of microsurgery. Should the procedure cost less, the grant recipients may either elect to spend the money on a boy-finding trip to Brunai or have a couple of extra inches tacked on.
7. The Comprehensive Anticipatory Child Care Act (CACCA): Given the well-known levels of stress and undue expense involved in raising a child, any parent may, upon application and proof of a solid Democratic voting record, have the child removed from the home and stored in a government approved "Foster Child Care Farm."
These institutions shall be established in the homes of or on property confiscated from, any American shown to have voted Republican -- federal, state, or local -- since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
8. The Dress for Survival Act (DFSA): "Stop that running! You'll put your eye out! Don't play in the street! Watch it! Watch it!" Who among us has not felt compelled to crush our child's spiritl with this kind of unfeeling and emotional criticism? And yet, children continue to be killed, maimed or get a boo-boo every day. With the passage of the DFSA this will come to a halt as all American children when exiting the bed will be required to don full-body Eddy Murphy-certified fat suits to prevent any injury whatsoever. The cost for this program will not create any new personal taxes because it will be funded by a 120% tax on oil-company profits.
9. The Four Non-polluting Wheels for All Program (FNPWA): Bicycles? Two wheels? You've got to be kidding. Millions of accidents waiting to happen. With the onset of FNPWA all bicycles will be confiscated and placed into our newly un-dammed ("Free!") rivers as fish habitats. Every American, at birth, will be issued a quadracycle (with basket) for their errands. The quadracycles will also involve no new taxes as they will also be funded by a second 100% tax on all oil-company revenues left after the previous tax on 120% of their profits.
10. The Traditional Family Readjustment Act (TFRA): In keeping with the goals of "The Family Esteem Statute," the words "mother" and "father" and their derivatives in daily speech are to be replaced by first names of parents (if both are known) or, “Hey, you, yes, you asshole” if unknown. In addition, the Fifth Commandment shall be expunged from all present and future Holy Books, as will all similar religious references to "Honoring thy father and thy mother" unless found in the Koran .
11. The You're Not the Boss of Me Bill (YNBOM): Criticizing, looking sternly at, correcting, or in any way reducing a child's beautifully natural self-esteem from infancy to 35 years of age shall be a misdemeanor. Touching a child with corrective intent shall be a felony. As a bonus, this extends to any handling of the child's feces. Both will be subsumed under the new law informally known as "No Child's Behind."
12. The Universal Marriage of Everything to Everything Act (UME): Men, women, dogs, cats, goats, or Barbra Streisand in that hideous Focker movie. We don't care. If you can fondle it you can marry it. Complaints or whining about this fundamental fundamental will be punishable by summary execution, the better to cull the herd.
13. The Divorce with Benefits Act (DWB): Except upon proof of the murder of a spouse, all Divorces shall be no fault, but must be adjudicated as no-fault to a minimum of $50,000 in legal fees to be paid in the absence of any work whatsoever so that Trial Lawyers’ feelings are not hurt by this ruling.
Gay divorces, should one ever actually occur, are exempt from the monetary awards of this act, but all window-treatments shall be divided equally along with the Spode China -- so buy the 12 place set. For the first five years of this act, all gay divorces (should any ever actually occur) will be required to be done on a TV reality show so that Judge Judy not profit from this act.
Upon hetero or bi-sexual divorce, being declared officially to be no-fault on the part of any individual no matter how many people shall have been in the marriage, any male involved in the divorce shall be required to pay to any designated female involved in the no fault divorce (should there actually be any females in the marriage in the first place), a minimum of 60% of his before tax income calculated backwards to the date of the first kiss in the relationship that would later become marriage.
Should 1.5 children have arisen from the Union before the mandatory abortions kicked in, the father shall pay a total of 40% of his before tax income to towards the care of those children until they reach the age of 35.
Should the female remarry and bear any children to the next husband, the husband of the first marriage shall be required to pay 10% of his before tax income to the children of the second marriage since the female never would have had them if he hadn't been such a bastard in the first place.
Alimony and support provisions shall be waived of any couple, or pairing of species, that shall have split up without being married since the circumstances of their birth and ancestry doubtless compelled them to live in such a way.
Any children fathered out-of-wedlock in the United States shall be considered for inclusion, at the mother's whim, in a Foster Child Care Farm (see above) and endowed with a trust-fund of no less than $3,000,000 from the moment of conception at the expense of taxpayers with no knowledge of the child whatsoever.
Until they reach the age of consent, now reduced to 10 years of age, all the interest from said trust fund shall be paid in monthly installments to the birth mother. At the age of consent, the principle of the trust fund will be passed to the 10 year old child to do with as he or she or it sees fit, while the birth mother shall receive a one-time balloon payment of $500,000 tax-free.
Nothing in these bills shall be construed to represent an attack on Marriage, which the Democratic party still holds to be a sacred union between any one warm-blooded multi-cellular life form and another, regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, gender (assumed or assigned) and species. Mammal to fish, reptile to insect or Michelle Obama to banana marriage is still outlawed under these provisions because you simply must draw a line somewhere.
14. The Spiritual Revivification and Normalization Constitutional Amendment (SPANCA): To eliminate all future arguments about "The Family" and other contentious questions about which religion is "best," all children born after the passage of these bills will be sent to one church and one church only, "The First Unitarian Church of the Agnostic Atheist." Only Muslim children will be exempted this necessary adjustment to their spiritual psyches since, well, they have suffered enough.
Please review these still-outstanding items on the Obamatron to-do list and prepare yourselves. Lock and load or lubricate. The choice is still, for the moment, yours.
A new Navy recruit is being given a tour of the vessel he shall be manning.. The ships captain is giving the tour: " This is the crew quarters...This is the mess hall", etc, etc..
The new recruit begins to think, and queries the captain: “Sir, being that we are away at sea for a long period of time... what happens about sexual needs?"
“Oh" says the captain, "go to the back of the cargo hold and you will see a barrel with a hole. Give it a go. It'll be the best you ever had!"
Bewildered, the recruit goes to the cargo hold and finds the barrel. The recruit has sex with the barrel and returns to the captain. Full of joy, he says, "You're right.. Its the best i ever had. I want to do it every day!"
The captain replies, " Well you can use it every day...except Thursdays"
The recruit asks “Why not Thursdays?"
"Because Thursday is your turn in the barrel!"Continued...
The big line moved one mile an hour
So loud it really hurt
The big line moved so loud
It really hurt
Back in '55
We were makin' Thunderbirds
We filled conveyors
We met production
Foremen didn't waste words
We met production
Foremen didn't waste words
We were young and proud
We were makin' Thunderbirds
We were makin' Thunderbirds
We were makin' Thunderbirds
They were long and low and sleek and fast
They were all you ever heard
Back in '55
We were makin' Thunderbirds
Now the years have flown and the plants have changed
And you're lucky if you work
The big line moves but you're lucky if you work
Back in '55
We were makin' Thunderbirds
"The annotations are significant, but even more so is the geometry through which they're depicted: an expanding sphere of State control, first over our necessities, then over our discretionary activities, and ultimately over the whole of human existence.
At each stage, the State's coercive powers are amplified by the importance and scope of the resources it appropriated in the previous stage, such that individuals and voluntary organizations steadily lose all power to resist its further expansion. The Blob wouldn't have had a chance against the State. I can add only a single observation to this depiction: As the State swells, it ceases to perform any of its functions even marginally well. Indeed, the first functions it will slough are the ones for which we originally agreed to tolerate a pre-indemnified coercive authority: national defense, police protection, and the administration of impartial justice. In the terminal stage of its expansion, when it lays claim to all things and no one outside its corridors may do anything without first asking its permission and paying its price, the State's sole concern becomes the maintenance of its power and the perquisites of its nomenklatura." Liberty's Torch: The Metastasis
A brief excerpt taken from the OSS Psychological Profile of Hitler, Part Three
"He is a master of the art of propaganda. Ludecke writes: "He has a matchless instinct for taking advantage of every breeze to raise a political whirlwind. No official scandal was so petty that he could not magnify it into high treason; he could ferret out the most devious corruption in high places and plaster the town with the bad news."
"His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
"Hitler's ability to repudiate his own conscience in arriving at political decisions has eliminated the force which usually checks and complicates the forward-going thoughts and resolutions of most socially responsible statesmen. He has, therefore, been able to take that course of action which appeals to him as most effective without pulling his punches. The result has been that he has frequently outwitted his adversaries and attained ends which would not have been as easily attained by a normal course. Nevertheless, it has helped to build up the myth of his infallibility and invincibility.
"Equally important has been his ability to persuade others to repudiate their individual consciences and assume that role himself. He can then decree for the individual what is right and wrong, permissible or impermissible and can use them freely in the attainment of his own ends. As Goering has said: 'I have no conscience. My conscience is Adolph Hitler.' "
Neil Armstrong presents a Google moon video together with original footage taken from the Eagle module during his landing 20 July 1969.
U.S. astronaut Buzz Aldrin salutes the American flag on the surface of the Moon after he and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first men to land on the Moon during the Apollo 11 space mission on July 20, 1969. -- - PhotoBlog
The moon marked out the edge of heaven.
On this, our scriptures all agreed.
The moon was fixed, it could not fall.
The moon would fill our final needs.
The songs we'd learned were of the moon,
A fitting subject, known to all,
But the songs we sang were of the Earth,
And those that lived before the Fall.
These songs of forests flowing round
The Earth's four corners warmed the frost
That killed our gardens, coming early,
To remind us all of what we'd lost.
"Why wander yearning for the moon?"
We'd ask of stones and ancient trees.
Their silence sang back in the night,
Of lands where all free choices freeze.
"Tranquillity", they promised us,
"Is the highest peak you will attain.
Tranquillity, where your bones will rest
Forever in the airless rains."
Our numbers grew, as did our tongues,
Beside brown rivers, on ancient plains.
We made more gods, we built up walls,
We fashioned towers of dirt and rain.
Within those walls we planted fruit
And flowers bordering roofless rooms,
Wherein we sang the centuries down,
Observing all the phases of the moon.
In time our towers turned to steel,
And their foundations into fire.
The rooms we made were sealed as stone,
And in those rooms we rose much higher.
The moon grew monstrous as we ascended;
In our window it grew larger than the world.
We lowered our ladder gingerly,
Stepped down, a bit of cloth unfurled.
We named the place Tranquillity.
A fitting gesture, all agreed.
We photographed ourselves on site,
Tossed away some junk we did not need,
And left, returning to that place
Where we'd begun beside the plains,
Boasting our footprints would endure
Forever in the airless rains.
Sometimes at night, we still look up
And see the moonrise scrape the sky.
It is the same, yet not the same,
And we know why, yes, we know why.
Roy Sullivan is recognized by Guinness World Records as the person struck by lightning more recorded times than any other human being. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 71 over an unrequited love.
Hey kids, ever been in a city when the army comes in? I've been in two of them. It's not pretty. You won't like it. You won't like the "leaders and their lapdog media" that made it happen.
Well, you can cool it,
You can heat it . . .
'Cause, baby, I don't need it . . .
Take your TV tube and eat it
'N all that phony stuff on sports
'N all the unconfirmed reports
You know I watched that rotten box
Until my head begin to hurt
From checkin' out the way
The newsman say they get the dirt
Before the guys on channel so-and-so
And further they assert
That any show they'll interrupt
To bring you news if it comes up
They say that if the place blows up
They will be the first to tell,
Because the boys they got downtown
Are workin' hard and doin' swell,
And if anybody gets the news
Before it hits the street,
They say that no one blabs it faster
Their coverage can't be beat
And if another woman driver
Gets machine-gunned from her seat
They'll send some joker with a brownie
And you'll see it all complete
So I'm watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear 'em sayin'
That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
-- Frank Zappa
The six-day riot resulted in 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damage. It was the most severe riot in the city's history until the Los Angeles riots of 1992.Continued...
The new racism in America stinks. The whole revolting
"little George Allen maybe said the "N" word 30-odd years in the past" pile of crap pushed out by his political rival over the last few days Paula Deen social media raping has filled me with a new found revulsion for our politics.
My crime is this: by writing out the following word, "nigger," I have just committed a social crime more heinous than smoking a cigarette within three miles of a day-care center. But what is done, sigh, is done.
I've done many thing in my life that have made me potentially unelectable to any office in the United States.
I've had points of view that were out when conservatism was in, and points of view that were out when liberalism was in. I've worked for magazines that printed pictures of naked women and letters that began "I never thought I'd be writing this to a magazine, but...."
There are photographs of me smoking cigarettes in a land where the only two things the educational system teaches children is that cigarettes are bad and the New York Times is good.
My religious affiliations are dubious and transitory. I tend to change churches as others change sox.
While I am a member of the largest minority, it is the only one that is unrecognized by the Diversity Stamp of Approval Bureau. After a lifetime of voting the Democratic ticket, I became so nauseated by Teresa Heinz Kerry and her consort in 2004 that I actually voted for George Bush. To compound this sin I then moved to Seattle, Washington where Bush Derangement Syndrome has claimed the brain death of approximately 97.6% of the population.
Yes, I am one American citizen whose chances of being elected to anything, before this essay, hovered at .001 %. But with the single word in the essay above I have, for all eternity, sealed my political doom. That word has now become part of my "Permanent Conduct Record," and has, as far as the ever-alert pecksniffs of our shared political purity are concerned, made me an outcast. Alas, I am forever doomed to wander the barren heath where dwell the "hard-core unelectable." I suspect I shall soon be able with George Allen to:
"...sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been depos'd, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos'd,
Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
Murdered by the "N-Word."
It is not, mind you, that "The N-Word" is forbidden or never heard in this fair land at this time. On the contrary, "nigger" is spoken, sung, shouted and roared from the rooftops of our culture to an extent I have never witnessed in all my decades.
The word is blasted across the blank forebrain of our culture every minute of every hour of every day. Not only can it be bought in huge quantities at every on and offline record/DVD store in the country, it is also blasted into our city streets by large vehicles mounting sound systems that can drop a charging rhino at 100 yards and cause small dogs to implode in penthouses high above our boulevards. At vast nocturnal gatherings of our most vital and hyper-sexual young people, the word is drummed out in endless celebratory chants as all assembled shake, shake, shake their money makers to the non-stop N-chants of our perpetually preening princes of pop. If rappers were smart enough to be pilots, they'd sky-write it.
For, lo, this Word of N which once emblemized both race-hate and a degraded and disgraced secondary state of humanity has, through the alchemy of the asses and the asinine among us, been mystically transmogrified into something approaching a holy incantation. From a mongrel word it has be made magical. An abracadabra of assholiness. But the use of this magic word has, as the high priests of pap always assure us, been made unavailable to the many to enhance the power of the few.
The Word of N is now the sole possession of the REMD (Racial Establishment of Monetized Defeatism). It is a closely held stock whose possession assures that, the more we strive to put racism behind us in this country, the more it will be kept alive in order to maintain the parasite of racism's ability to feed upon the host culture and continue to enrich its stockholders.
The Word is the carrier of a strange disease. It is a disease that those who would benefit most from its eradication seek desperately to maintain. After all, if the scourge of racism were ever allowed to fade from our land, where would all the people with jobs and investments in the continuance of racism go? How would they live? How would their mortgages be paid and how would their car, boat and second-home payments be met?
For if racism is allowed to die a natural death, isn't the Race-Hustling industry also on-line for the grave as well? This can't be allowed to happen. Too many people are getting too rich.
The crowning irony is that those benefiting are not all black. Not by a long shot. That is why rather than sending the N-Word into a well-deserved oblivion with the ghosts of the KKK and the lynch mob, it has been made, instead, into a Holy Word; a cross between a mantra and a prayer with just a whiff of violence attached so you don't get too cocky with it.
I am "one of those" who are denied access to this new Holy Word simply by an accident of my birth and racial heritage. It matters not one whit what the First Amendment may say about all English words being free to all, there is one word there that is not free to me, and I may not say it or write it ever without dire consequences to my social and political and employment chances in America today.
Evoking the F-word may or may not be a firing offense in America today, but for a person of my race the mention of the Word of N most certainly is. Context has exactly nothing to do with it. Indeed, as some will recall, the use of a word that even sounds like it, such as "niggardly," is a potential firing offense. Even the first syllable seems to have become forbidden to those suffering my genetic misfortune over which I have no control.
Yes, I was to my everlasting shame and regret born a White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant -- AKA "WASP." This awful affliction looks like this:
This is fixed in my nature. I cannot change it and, no matter how much I may have done, no matter how much I do to carry forward the banner of a raceless, classless society in which all me are judged "not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character;" to raise high the escutcheon of a perfect world, a perfected America, I know that because of the accident of my birth it will never, ever be enough.
I once thought, when I was drowned deep in the somnambulant 60s dreams of racial equality, that we could -- as people of good will working together -- achieve the dream of Dr. King. Now I know it is nothing but a chimera. The truth is that good seldom overcomes greed and there is simply too much money to be made and to many jobs to be handed out by the Racial Grievance Industry of America.
The once admirable Racial Equality movement in America has regrettably transformed itself within a mere 50 years into a Racial Inequity in Perpetuity Movement, and is probably more entrenched than a government bureaucracy -- especially since many government bureaus and employees have a role in it. As a result, there is no sense in yearning any longer for a raceless or classless America.
The control of words and images by the Race Hustlers of America ensures that that day will never come about no matter how much the people yearn for it. As long as the cheap mouthpieces of a faux ghetto identity strut and fret their weary wares upon the stage of our corrupted culture, as long as there is one grill left to be set on one pair of greedy teeth, as long as the Holy Grail of a Big Reparations Check is dangled in front of all those that hold within their genes a single sequence of African DNA, the Race Hustling Religion of America will never fold up its tents and steal away. It is just too much of a Gold Cash Calf to walk away from.
And, like all religions sunk in the pagan fantasies of violence and degradation, the Race Hustling Religion will have to have, from time to time, a white human sacrifice to underscore its power. Right now, that sacrifice is
George Allen, Paula Deen whose crime --punished immediately and without trial, is some ancient, vague, unproven and unprovable, use of "The N-Word." a word she was never it turns out allowed to utter or to even think. She's not the first. She won't be the last. I'm probably on the list now. But I know all you who are reading this are safe. After all, you've never, ever said or even thought that terrible soul-destroying Word of N. Have you?
[First Published: 2006-09-28 Now revised 2013-07-07]
“It Will Pay to See Ray”
Coming up, the 2 Day Auction 28th-29th, 2013 in Pierce, Nebraska. by VanDerBrink Auctions - Yvette VanDerBrink Auctioneer.
First spotlighted at Messy Nessy Chic and brought to my attention by reader Deborah H.: 1940s Chevy Dealer re-opens to Auction off 500 Time Capsule Cars | Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy Chic
Ray and Mildred Lambrecht are now in their 90s and have made what is described by their daughter Jeannie, as a "difficult and painful" decision, to liquidate the dealership's massive inventory of "survivor vehicles". On September 28th and 29th, 2013, VanDerBrink Auctions will have the honor of selling this incredible, once in a lifetime collection of American automotive history.
Urban legends speak of a former Midwest Chevy dealer with a collection of hundreds of vehicles hidden away in a rural setting. Rumors abound regarding this man and the mystery of that collection. The man behind that legend is my father, Ray P. Lambrecht. Dad owned and operated Lambrecht Chevrolet Company from 1946 until 1996, selling new Chevrolets to multiple generations of families all over the Midwest and beyond.
Lambrecht Chevrolet Company was owned and operated by my parents, Ray and Mildred Lambrecht with only one employee, a mechanic. They operated the dealership for 50 years until they retired in 1996 at ages 78 and 75. My parents worked six days a week for 50 years, never taking one single day of vacation or one sick day. They worked hard and operated their business with honesty, integrity, and kindness, frequently lending a helping hand to others who were in need.
My Dad just loved to sell new cars and trucks, and he sold lots of them. Also, he felt very strongly about the issue of safety for families with young children. He would strive to put those families in new cars that were safe and reliable rather than selling them a used car. That was the genesis of my Dad’s car collection. He sold lots and lots of new cars and lots and lots of pickups. The trade-ins were parked on our farm outside of town. Their numbers gradually grew into a massive collection. New cars that were left unsold were also stored. There is a lot of history in that collection. Dad can look at any of those vehicles today and tell you the story behind it. He remembers each used car and the former owner, like the 1928 Durant owned by Mom’s uncle Louie.-- Jeannie Lambrecht Stillwell
Lot 15, 1978 Chevrolet Corvette (V8, four-speed automatic transmission), five miles
48 vehicles with fewer than 20 miles on their odometers. The oldest are a pair of '58 Chevys -- a one-mile Cameo pickup and a five-mile Apache pickup -- and the newest is a 1980 Monza with nine miles.
Gentlemen, start your checkbooks.Continued...
It's the little things that can really underscore a nation's greatness.
Burger King Corp. is joining the low-carbohydrate parade by offering Bunless Whopper hamburgers and, soon, salads featuring steak, chicken and shrimp.
The Bunless sandwiches, which will be available nationwide beginning Tuesday, will come in plastic salad bowls, with knife and fork.
Again, the American microcosm reveals the American macrocosm. Ponder that item for a mere moment. Meditate on the deeper truth that is revealed in the simple and mundane mantra, 'Bunless Whopper.'
And what is that truth? It is as clear as a $5 bottle of Fiji water. What the 'Bunless Whopper' tells us without question is that the United States of America has at last achieved the most ancient dream, not only of humanity, but of life itself.
Yes, America has finally arrived at the alpha and omega point of life on Earth.
Today we stand at the top of the long, hard and deadly climb from the primeval soup.
Today the free world, the first world, the Crown of Creation and Cradle of Democracy is home at last with the Bunless Whopper; each one served 'in plastic salad bowls, with knife and fork.'
We have in America, right now, what all other cultures and nations and empires have dreamed of since before the dawn of time. We have, finally, created a society that produces
In fact, we are now so firmly established in the way-too-much-food universe that we are about to pass through a chronosynclasticinfandibulem into the alternate universe where a kid at the cash register says, 'Would you like to downsize these fries? It will only cost you a dollar less.'
I know, I know, They will tell you that people in America go to bed hungry every night. And They will be right. They will tell you, because They live to tell you, that you must think of "the starving children of Appalachia" (urban or rural), and so you will because you always think about what They so compulsively must tell you.
But, at the same time, the same 'They' are also going to tell you that you, or others like you, or others that you may know, or may see on the street (but seldom at a bikini contest on the beach) are much too fat.
They will tell you that people, especially 'the children,' ('They' love to drag in 'the children' at every opportunity.) are getting too obese, and by God the government needs to step in and 'do something.' This 'something' will invariably be a host of new regulations written by Them and directed at large corporations to tell people more about the fact that 'way-too-much-food will make you way-too-much-fat.' A message that really hasn't been sufficiently promulgated by the nation's book, magazine, newspaper, radio, and dietary supplement companies since the year Dot.
After the new regulations 'telling people what is good for them' have zero effect at halting way-too-much-food intake, They will make their next move. They will, 'for your own good,' make some laws to limit 'way-too-much-food.'
Following rapidly on the heels of these new laws that They will make 'for your own good,' will come a raft of studies, convocations, symposiums, and finally the really big gun, the class-action law suits directed at the deepest pockets around; farms and large corporations involved in the criminal conspiracy of:
Bribed experts from academe will blather at $500 and hour plus expenses in hundreds of courtrooms to achieve these goals.
Morbidly obese victims without number will waddle in front of morbidly clueless juries without peer in an effort to suck morbidly huge settlements from the coffers of companies who have produced way-too-much-food for decades.
Judges busy digesting way-too-much-lunch will drowse on their benches for months and years at a time. Discovery motions will uncover mountain ranges of documentation going back decades that prove, PROVE, that McDonalds' executives knew the Big Mac has six grams too much secret sauce for the heart of average American who wants to hoover up ten meals a day and live to 120.
Purveyors of food for the poor and middle class will be found guilty of a conspiracy to feed people way-too-much food for way-too-little money. (The top restaurants that charge $20 a bite in Los Angles, New York, and DC will get a pass so that power lunching may continue.)
And when it is all said and done and run up to the Supreme Court, and the checks are cut, the only Americans who will then be getting far-too-fat will be the members of the Trial Lawyers Association, the tools of Expert Academe who have shilled for them,and the politician with his hand out "lookin' for a new friend."
It's the American Way.
A short list. In no particular order.
We told our children that any child could grow up to be President. And then we made it come true.
We had car shows, boat shows, beauty shows and dog shows.
We ran robots on the surface of Mars by remote control.
Our women came from all over the world in all shapes and sizes hues and scents.
We actually believed that all men are created equal and tried to make it come true.
Everybody liked our movies and loved our television shows.
We tried to educate everybody, whether they wanted it or not. Sometimes we succeeded.
We did Levis.
We held the torch high and hundreds of millions came. No matter what the cost.
We saved Europe twice and liberated it once.
We believed so deeply and so abidingly in free speech that we protected and honored and, in some cases, even elected traitors.
We let you be as freaky as you wanted to be.
We paid you not to plant crops and not to work.
We died in the hundreds of thousands to end slavery here. And when that was done continued for a century and a half around the world.
We invented Jazz.
We wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysberg address.
We went to the moon to see how far we could hit a golf ball.
We lifted a telescope into orbit that could see to the edge of the universe.
When people snuck into the country against our laws, we made parking lots and food stands off to the side of the road so they wouldn't get hurt, and we let them use our hospitals for free, and we made their children citizens.
We didn't care what God you worshipped as long as we could worship ours.
We let the People arm themselves at will. Just to make sure.
We gave everybody the vote.
We built Disneyworld. Just for fun.
We had a revolution so successful it was still going strong two and a quarter centuries later.
We had so many heroes, even at the end, that we felt free to hate them and burn them in effigy.
We electrified the guitar.
We invented a music so compelling that it rocked the world.
We had some middling novelists.
We had some interesting painters.
We had some pretty good poets.
We had better songwriters.
We ran our farms so well we fed the globe.
We made the automobile and the airplane.
We let you get rich. Really, really rich. And we didn't care who you were or what you were or where you came from or who your parents were. We just cared about what you made or what you did.
We had poor people who, even at their most wretched, were richer than any other poor people on the face of the planet.
We were the most nobel nation the world had ever known.
We had so much freedom that many of us voted to just throw it all away.
Even towards the end, as we dissolved into the petty bickering and idle entertainments that come with having far too much leisure and money, many among us were still striving to make it higher, finer, brighter, better and more beautiful.
Even towards the end, the best of us declined to give up and pressed on. "Where to? What next?"
[First published 2007]
"Early on July 2, Confederate scouts reported, erroneously, that there was no Federal presence around the two large hills south of Gettysburg called the Round Tops.
They missed several thousand Union troops that were in the vicinity until dawn. Lacking his cavalry "eyes" and unable to see Union troops that had gathered in the night, Lee decided to strike the Union’s vulnerable left flank, the far end of the "fishhook" descending from Cemetery Hill. He intended to land the blow before the rest of Meade’s army arrived." -- Smithsonian Magazine
The interactive map shows Union and Confederate troop movements over the course of the battle, July 1 – 3, 1863. Panoramic views from strategic viewpoints show what commanders could – and could not – see at decisive moments, and what Union soldiers faced at the beginning of Pickett’s Charge. You will also find “viewshed” maps created with GIS (Geographic Information Systems). These maps show more fully what was hidden from view at those key moments.
See more at: Battle of GettysburgContinued...
[With the arrival of summer in Seattle (some actually hot days -- except, of course, this one.) the murder of crows in the pines next door has returned and, at times, their cries shred the air. The cacophony reminds me of this observation from a few years back in southern California.]
When I lived in Manhattan, I never needed to know when winter officially arrived. I could count on one particular coworker to announce it. The official date changed every year, but he never failed to signify it by dropping by my office first thing in the morning, a Starbucks commuting coffee mug in his hand, and saying, "Boy, oh, boy, do you believe how cold it is? Damn!"
Having just peeled off watch cap, ear muffs, scarf, gloves, and a ten pound top coat, I could -- while watching the sleet moving horizontally across the windows -- say with some conviction, "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do believe how cold it is."
With this exchange, the first of a daily ritual that would be repeated between us for months without variation, I knew that winter had been declared open.
In New York City, there are really only two seasons -- "Winter" and "Street Repair." Winter was cold and inconvenient. "Street Repair" was hot and inconvenient. My coworker wasn't happy with either. Yet he never failed to announce the beginning of "Road Work." The official date changed every year, but he never failed to signify it by dropping by my office first thing in the morning, his Starbucks commuting coffee mug in his hand, and saying, "Boy, oh, boy, do you believe how hot it is? Damn!"
He was a living, breathing, mind-numbing example of why the number two fantasy of people who work in offices is the ruthless slaughter of one or more of their coworkers. (The number one fantasy? I don't have to tell you. You know. And you should be ashamed of yourself.)
When I moved to southern California, this was one little daily irritation I was happy to leave behind along with "Winter" and "Road Work." Instead, I got only one season, "Traffic," but since you have to go to "Traffic" in order to be in that was okay. I no longer needed to kill my coworker, so that was a win.
In the hills above Laguna, however, I discovered another two seasons -- "No birds" and "Birds." That's otherwise known as "Not Spring" and "Spring." When the birds leave sometime around the Christmas holidays, you don't really notice it. At least I didn't until I passed a neighbor, a Starbucks commuting coffee mug in his hand, on his daily constitutional and he said, "Boy, oh, boy, do you believe how quiet it is? Damn! Sure wish the birds would come back."
He walked on but I stopped and turned slowly to look at him. Brief memories of fantasized mayhem washed over my mind until I shook my head and thought, "No. Can't be. Just your imagination," and went on my way.
But, of course, what couldn't be, was. Over the course of the next few months, I'd pass this neighbor on our overlapping walks and he'd invariably say, just to be neighborly, "Boy, oh, boy, do you believe how quiet it is? Damn! Sure wish the birds would come back."
In time, of course, the birds, as birds will, did come back. I noticed it one day when, just at dawn, a bird woke me with a Bachesque series of trills and calls. A day or so later, when passing my neighbor on the hill, he said, "Boy, oh, boy, did you hear that bird this morning? Terrific!"
But nature is not decorative no matter how much we might wish it would be. Where you have one bird, you get two. When you have two, you get ten. And ten is just the prelude to a hundred or even more, as Alfred Hitchcock knew.
About a month after the first return of the birds, I was awakened by a cacophony of bird calls hooting and screeching at the first crack of light. I shrugged it off and went outside to get the paper from the drive way. My bird-loving neighbor lives diagonally across the intersection. I picked up the paper to go inside when I heard the sliding door to his deck open. I looked across and saw him in his underwear stagger sleepily out into the rising and falling cloud of colorful bird calls, wipe the sleep from his sad eyes, and shout out into the pristine morning, "Shut... UP!"
Even in paradise it seems that some people are never really happy. Must be the traffic.
You woke up this morning
Got yourself a gun,
Mama always said you'd be
The Chosen One.
She said: You're one in a million
You've got to burn to shine,
But you were born under a bad sign,
With a blue moon in your eyes.
"There is simply no room left for 'freedom from the tyranny of government' since city dwellers depend on it for food, power, water, transportation, protection, and welfare. Your right to live where you want, with companions of your choosing, under laws to which you agree, died in the eighteenth century with Captain Mission. Only a miracle or a disaster could restore it." -- William S. Burroughs, Cities of the Red Night (1981)
There is a growing interest in new techniques of mind-control. It has been suggested that Sirhan Sirhan was the subject of post-hypnotic suggestion, as he sat shaking violently on the steam table in the kitch of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles while the as-yet unidentified woman held him and whispered in his ear. It has been alleged that behavior-modification techniques are used on troublesome prisoners and inmates, often without their consent. Dr. Delgado, who once stopped a charging bull by remote control of electrodes in the bull's brain, left the U.S. to pursue his studies on human subjects in Spain. Brainwashing, psychotropic drugs, lobotomy and other, more subtle forms of psychosurgery; the technocratic control apparatus of the United States has at its fingertips new techniques which if fully exploited could make Orwell's 1984 seem like a benevolent utopia.
But words are still the principal instruments of control. Suggestions are words. Persuasions are words. Orders are words. No control machine so far devised can operate without words, and any control machine which attempts to do so relying entirely on external force or entirely on physical control of the mind will soon encounter the limits of control.
A basic impasse of all control machines is this: Control needs time in which to exercise control. Because control also needs opposition or acquiescence; otherwise, it ceases to be control. I control a hypnotized subject (at least partially); I control a slave, a dog, a worker; but if I establish complete control somehow, as by implanting electrodes in the brain, then my subject is little more than a tape recorder, a camera, a robot. You don't control a tape recorder - you use it. Consider the distinction, and the impasse implicit here. All control systems try to make control as tight as possible, but at the same time, if they succeeded completely there would be nothing left to control. Suppose for example a control system installed electrodes in the brains of all prospective workers at birth. Control is now complete. Even the thought of rebellion is neurologically impossible. No police force is necessary. No psychological control is necessary, other than pressing buttons to achieve certain activations and operations.
[Note: Last night I went out to the backyard to grill the first hamburgers of summer.... then I remembered these hamburgers from 2011. ]
I admire excess. I admire fellow Americans who keep the faith when it comes to one of the central guiding principles of this nation: "If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing." So when I learned that Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft ultra-millionaire and the guiding force behind the six-volume $625.00 cookbook Modernist Cuisine would be speaking at Town Hall in Seattle last night, I had to attend.
I'd first bumped into Myhrvold in the Penthouse offices in New York over a decade or so back. He was touring New York promoting something that never really got off the ground for Microsoft -- something that happened a lot in that period. He impressed me then as a very high functioning prodigy moving into middle age. He's a fascinating polymath and his years with Microsoft have left him with the means to indulge his obsessions. One long term obsession, stemming (so goes his myth) from nine years of age, is cooking. The apotheosis of this obsession is the book, say rather "block of paper and ink," known as Modernist Cuisine.
"Initially the book was planned to be 150 pages on cooking sous vide in water baths and combi ovens, along with some scientific fundamentals relevant to those techniques.It gradually grew in scope; by late 2009, the book plan had expanded to 1,500 pages, and when finally printed it was 2,438 pages."Another fact is that the ink used in printing the book weighs four pounds.
Myhrvold spoke about the book and the recipes and techniques of the book for about an hour in his rather high-pitched but scratchy voice. I was kept interested and informed for most of it if not overly impressed. After all, it seemed to be one of those projects where, if you had the obsession and money (He had both.) to toss at a project, you could staff it and fund it enough to make it happen. He was being marginally more interesting than the ultra-rich nerds who go out and fill barns with Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
Then he came to his variation of "The Cheeseburger." Like other things in Modernist Cuisine, Myhrvold's "Chesseburger" is constructed by taking infinite pains to concentrate flavors and make various ingredients do techno-tricks. In exploded form,"The Cheeseburger" looks like this:
Tasty, right? But the payoff is when Myhrvold informs you about exactly how they cook the patty. For reasons explained in the video below, the "shortrib patty ground vertically to align the grain" is first dipped into liquid nitrogen and then lowered into boiling oil.
That's right: first liquid nitrogen at -346F and then into boiling oil. That's when I knew I was listening to a certifiable maniac whose resume and fortune were the only things that stood between him and an Institution for the Cusinely Insane.
Still I had to wonder, "What can that cheeseburger possibly taste like?" I was more than a bit disappointed when he offered to sign copies of his $625.00 book after the talk. I was sort of hoping he'd invite us all out for some burgers.Continued...
Richard Gideon, 65, of Mt. Lebanon is a vexillologist, or someone who studies flags.
He said that up until 2001, Flag Day, which commemorates the Second Continental Congress' adoption of the American flag on this day in 1777, was an "almost unknown" holiday, but 9/11 temporarily changed that, he said..... Cliff Ruderer, who owns Flag Factory in Castle Shannon with his wife, Carol, said that, mirroring the trend in attention paid to Flag Day, the sale of flags rose and subsequently fell following 9/11. "Pretty much the whole country was sold out of flags for quite a while," he said. Since then, demand has tapered off significantly. -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Storm clouds fill the sky over the U.S. Capitol Building, June 13, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Feeling the heat at home, Obama decides to ramp up the foreign wars: U.S.: Syria used chemical weapons, crossing "red line" - CBS News
The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons against the rebels seeking to overthrow him and, in a major policy shift, President Obama has decided to supply military support to the rebels, the White House announced Thursday.Continued...
Now that the story has a face, the answer could say a lot about how it ends -- with Snowden in chains and the government continuing its spying without restraint, or with Snowden lionized and the government backing off. If purity of motive is the measure -- and if Snowden's account of his actions holds up -- he might well fit the hero's mold.Continued...
Can you support these children? "I got a criminal record, but I ain't worried about that man. I'm just hoping I get lucky. I play the hell out of the Tennesee lottery."
"Have you have been an un-American?
Just you and your idol singing falsetto 'bout
Leather, leather everywhere, and
Not a myth left from the ghetto
Well, well, well, would you carry a razor
In case, just in case of depression?
Sit on your hands on a bus of survivors
Blushing at all the afro-Sheilas
Ain't that close to love?
Well, ain't that poster love?"
"In this film a Greyhound bus rides from San Francisco to Washington D.C, transporting us at the same time through the landscape of American mythology (and unwavering patriotism).
"The cast of bus riders include: Fred Schroder who, embittered by the death of his son in Korea, is riding to Washington to accept a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor on the son’s behalf; Jimmy Rollins, a Scout, heading to Washington for his first Jamboree; Mary (a young Angie Dickinson) and Bill Roberts, a basketball star on the make; actor and country star Tex Ritter, playing himself, taking a short ride on the bus as it passes through Texas, singing about the Alamo and the “freedom road.”; and most importantly, a black-suited mysterious stranger who appears, as if from nowhere, to transform the outlook of the passengers.
"Greyhound Lines and America have never looked so good. Winner of the Freedoms Foundation Special Award."Continued...
Yesterday morning when, through an errant link, I first saw and brought the Prancercise video to my discerning readers' attention the counter at You Tube was at 301 views. Today it is, as of this posting, at 346, 182 and trending up with a bullet.
Yesterday morning the Prime Prancer's website, www.prancercise.com, went down on her as the slavering internet hordes mobbed the domain of which she was the mistress. Today Prancercise is up and down, but it's creator, Joanna Rohrbuck, is up... way, way up.
She’s aware that people think her exercise routine “Prancercise” is “goofy,” and that by extension its founder must be “spooky and goofy and weird and wacky. I say bring it on. I love it. Look at all the attention it’s getting me. If I wasn’t all those things, I wouldn’t be who I am.”
She also wouldn’t be an internet sensation, which is something of an understatement. Since Rohrback recently revived the hilariously original aerobic routine she created in 1989 but shelved for more than two decades, the Coral Springs, Florida, woman has been bombarded with so many clicks at her web site that it crashed Wednesday, and she’s scrambling to figure out how to add more server capacity. She can barely keep track of the interview requests galloping in. It’s such a big deal that its founder can’t find the time to prancercise.
“I didn’t even get to do it today, and I’m so upset about it,” Rohrback told The Daily Beast. “I can’t even do all the interviews. I’m going wacko.”
And, of course, the Prancerciser wannabes have trotted out of the woodwork and into their paddocks:
What accounts for the craze? All the obvious reasons including the fact that, as one of my friends said on the phone after watching the video I sent him, "I laughed so hard I think I threw a kidney."
Meanwhile, over on Amazon, the rave reviews or, if you will, the raving reviewers are pouring in:
Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence Bronies need exercise, too!
I am not going to even prance around the point -- I am a brony. What's a brony? An adult, male fan of My Little Pony. But not just any fan, I am a serious fan. I go to conventions dressed as my favorite pony (Twilight Sparkle, duh), and my room could easily be mistaken of that of a five year old girl's due to all the MLP collectables I've acquired. The one thing that the new My Little Pony franchise has not really taken into consideration is the health of their fanbase. Friendship is great, but what good is it when you are lethargic and flabby? That is where Prancercise comes in.
I first discovered Prancercise while surfing the popular website Reddit. Granted, people were posting links to the author's video for the sake of mocking it, but something in the freedom of her movements spoke to me. Underneath that crisp, salmon-colored jacket and those tight white leggings was a kindred spirit. A spirit that had been sent onto this earth to spread friendship, cheer, and prancing.
Look, I know how it sounds, and I know you're probably thinking that either I am sitting here being facetious or that I am a total nutcase. But I promise you that I am sincere, and that I am at least sane enough to be an independently living adult with a full time job. So, I mean, that's something. I implore you to pick up this book and give Prancercise a chance. It has changed my life. I went from lazy, lethargic, barely having enough energy to squeeze into my size 6T Pinkie Pie pajamas (they need to start making these for adults). Now I am full of energy, life, joie de vivre. I am a new me. A new pony. I do not skulk around, I PRANCE. I prance PROUDLY and with gusto.
"PROUDLY and with gusto....." Where have we seen such proud gusto before? Ah yes.....
It never gets old and, I note, you can Prancercise to it!
I can see that my own and, indeed, all of America's fitness programs are up for some severe revisionism. I think I can say without fear of contradiction that if only somebody would put this program in front of Obama he'd prefer it over golf. He's a natural.
There are four (count 'em 4!) modes:
1: "Let's Stop Talking and do some walking!"
2: "We'll step up the pace with the Prancercise trot. It's really hot!"
3: "We're gonna really cut the noose and let it loose with the Prancercise gallop!"
4: "The Shadow-Box Prance: Better to punch empty space than in your face!"
"Now it's your turn!"
Get the ebook!
Amazon.com: Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence A Review/Testimonial
I'm a man who used to weigh 340lbs. I used to lift weights to stay in shape, until I dropped a bar on my head and wasknocked into a coma. While unconscious, an angel visited me in my hospital bed and commanded me to wake up and try Prancercise. I regained consciousness immediately and bought this book, and what a difference it has made in my life! I'm now 148lbs and have never felt better. I have to buy a new set of ankle weights though, since I had to remove my last pair to get away when a dozen teen girls came running after me the last time I was prancing through the park. Get this book! You won't regret it.
I got a little mix tape here I'd like to play you.....
"We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don't dance
And if they don't dance
Well they're no friends of mine".....
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.
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.
The grave of James A. Wilmot, Pvt 49th Spruce Squadron, World War I. Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Queen Anne, Seattle
[Originally published Memorial Day, 2007]
"Smooth! And some little blonde will never know the difference...."
Rubbing alcohol as scotch? N.J. officials release details of 'Operation Swill' In most instances, they said, bars swapped higher-priced brands for less-expensive liquor. But in a few instances, "they didn't even bother doing that," said Michael Halfacre, director of the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
"They literally just filled it with whatever they had available," Halfacre said.
That, Chiesa said, poses a health risk.
"I think it's pretty dangerous," he said. "I wouldn't drink rubbing alcohol in my house. It serves a very specific purpose: to rub."Continued...
UPDATE This Just In: The FBI Investigated the Song ‘Louie Louie’ for Two Years --
The song “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen might not strike you as Federal Bureau of Investigation material. But the song was under investigation by the FBI for two whole years. The bureau’s interest had to do with the lyrics of the song, which most listeners find either confusing or simply impossible to understand. Those muddle words turned out to be big trouble for “Louie Louie,” as at least one person heard a few things in there that weren’t exactly suiting for a teenage audience. -- | Smart News
When she's not quietly, politely, and respectfully driving a stake through the heart of the Obama campaign, neoneocon dallies with a certain number of odd obsessions. Recently she was on a Jello Mold binge, but seems to have turned her attention of late to ancient pop culture. In that capacity, you might want to take a trip through some of the worst songs of decades gone by that are embedded in her essay, Whatever happened to really silly pop songs?
Most of the greats are there: “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” "Purple People Eater," "Monster Mash" and others just as odious. But she misses the Godzilla of silly pop songs, "Louie Louie."
"Louie Louie" is the ultimate "silly pop song" for two main reasons: 1) It is a highly infectious ear-worm that heard once seems to gnaw its way to your brain stem. 2) Nobody in the history of the world really knows what the hell the lyrics are. Until now.
Click and see, at last, the lyrics synched to the song as put together by a great human being; one who had to have subjected himself to untold excruciating repetitions of "Louie Louie" to create this video. He probably died from the effort murmuring "Hey gotta go now," but he did not live in vain.Continued...
"Please see for me if her hair hangs long,
If it rolls and flows all down her breast.
Please see for me if her hair hangs long,
That’s the way I remember her best."
[Live / The Johnny Cash TV Show 1969]
Adolf Hitler speech English Subtitles
In those iconic newsreels where Hitler rants in black and white, it's easy to forget that those rants had content.
He was railing against a group of people, labeling them as enemies of the state (and enemies of the people who mattered), mocking them, de-legitimizing them, blaming them for the country's problems, tacitly endorsing any actions taken against them.
Oh yes; it can happen here.
"Picture this: quite possibly the most important street photographer of the 20th century was a 1950s children's nanny who kept herself to herself and never showed a single one of her photographs to anyone.
Decades later in 2007, a Chicago real estate agent and historical hobbyist, John Maloof purchased a box of never-seen, never-developed film negatives of an unknown "amateur" photographer for $380 at his local auction house.
John began developing his new collection of photographs, some 100,000 negatives in total, that had been abandoned in a storage locker in Chicago before they ended up at the auction house. It became clear these were no ordinary street snaps of 1950s & 60s Chicago and New York and so John embarked on a journey to find out who was behind the photographs and soon discovered her name: Vivien Maier. -- Found at Auction: The Unseen Photographs of a Legend that Never Was
From the genius that is ICON.The speaker has a flat affect but stick with him and the overwhelming nature of what was done with this Powerwagon will engulf you.
Speaking at Hoover Institution's 2013 Spring Retreat.
All are limitory, but each has her own
nuance of damage. The elite can dress and decent themselves,
are ambulant with a single stick, adroit
to read a book all through, or play the slow movements of
easy sonatas. (Yet, perhaps, their very
carnal freedom is their spirit's bane: intelligent
of what has happened and why, they are obnoxious
to a glum beyond tears.) Then come those on wheels, the average
majority, who endure T.V. and, led by
lenient therapists, do community singing, then
the loners, muttering in limbo, and last
the terminally incompetent, as impeccable,
improvident, unspeakable as the plants
they parody. (Plants may sweat profusely but never
sully themselves.) One tie, though, unites them: all
appeared when the world, though much was awry there, was more
spacious, more comely to look at, its Old Ones
with an audience and secular station. (Then a child,
in dismay with Mamma, could refuge with Gran
to be revalued and told a story.) As of now,
we all know what to expect, but their generation
is the first to fade like this, not at home but assigned
to a numbered frequent ward, stowed out of conscience
as unpopular luggage.
As I ride the subway
to spend half-an-hour with one, I revisage
who she was in the pomp and sumpture of her hey-day,
when week-end visits were a presumptive joy,
not a good work. Am I cold to wish for a speedy
painless dormition, pray, as I know she prays,
that God or Nature will abrupt her earthly function?
The Drudge Report now:
Extra visual, verbal, and historical punning points for "Son of Watergate?"
Why has Matt Drudge never received a Pulitzer? Because a Pulitzer, at this point, would demean this most modern Michelangelo.
What gives Steven Spielberg his magic touch in movies? It has to do with perfect pitch when it comes to conveying emotion. Here's 12 minutes worth of insightful clues.
Bitchy Resting Face is a disorder that affects millions of women every day. Together we can face the problem.
The spire atop One World Trade Center has been fully installed and the structure has reached its symbolic height of 1,776 feet. The finishing touches were put in place this morning and the building now becomes the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.Continued...
"A man's got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job." -- John Wayne
Once upon a time, there was "The Code of the West." [Original here] That was long ago, far away and in another country. Now there is only, "The Code of the Left." I've compared the two here. The Code of the West is in plain text. The Code of the Left is in italics because, well, it is just so damned important!
It's time for our biannual check in on how these two dueling codes are faring in America. When last we looked the Obama Banditos were riding roughshod over the people. Now, the Banditos seem to be in retreat and at our feet pleading a new birth of populism. But since the leftist Banditio is always either at your feet or at your throat it can't last. What's next? We're open for updates, additions, and deletions.
* Don't inquire into a person's past. Take the measure of a man for what he is today.
* There are no "people," only "social policies." Don't inquire into a social policy's past or that policy's likely consequences for the future. Take the measure of a policy by how closely it maps to the Socialist Utopia that has already killed and crippled hundreds of millions of people. Dream big nightmares.
* Never steal another man's horse. A horse thief pays with his life.
* Always look to steal another man's money with a "tax." Always ask your fellow citizen to reach for his wallet. All tax thieves are rewarded with a fat government pension and fatter health plan.
* Defend yourself whenever necessary.
* Do not defend yourself or the country under any circumstances. Killers are just grown-up kids who were abused. Terrorists are just people who haven't had their issues listened to with compassion. Make sure nobody else can defend themselves. Use only diplomacy to defend your country. Armies are raised only to place sandbags around towns about to be flooded for the fifth time. When that happens use government money to enable the fools who built them to rebuild them.
* Look out for your own.
* Look out, first, last and always, for any other people numerous enough to declare themselves an oppressed group (The minimum number is 3) - except if the group is an actual family, in which case seek to disband it by any means necessary.
* Remove your guns before sitting at the dining table.
* Ban guns. Anytime, anywhere. The Second Amendment is a misprint. Erase it in the original. Burn all copies.
* Never order anything weaker than whiskey.
* Never order anything stronger than a decaf double latte made with soy milk. Yes, that drink will shrink your testicles and/or ovaries to the size of peas, but you weren't using them anyway. Make it a double.
* Don't make a threat without expecting dire consequences.
* Threaten everyone and every behavior you think does not square with an organic, green, globally-warmed new-age life-style. They will fold. There will be no consequences. There never are.
* Never pass anyone on the trail without saying "Howdy".
* Never pass anyone on the street without muttering "Bush lied."
* When approaching someone from behind, give a loud greeting before you get within shooting range.
* When approaching someone from behind, try to determine if they are a Republican-Christianist before picking their pocket and denigrating their beliefs with impunity.
* Don't wave at a man on a horse, as it might spook the horse. A nod is the proper greeting.
* Don't wave at a blind man with a seeing-eye dog as it might confuse/abuse the dog. Lead them both into a disabled parking space and leave them there with a pocket full of kibble and food stamps.
* After you pass someone on the trail, don't look back at him. It implies you don't trust him.
* After you pass anti-Christian laws, don't look back. God will turn you into a pillar of salt and there is no salt tax.... Yet.
* Riding another man's horse without his permission is nearly as bad as making love to his wife. Never even bother another man's horse.
* Riding another man's wife or significant other is not only okay, but a qualification for high office. Gay or straight, you are allowed to have anyone you want without consequences to the family since soon there won't be any. Medicines for STDs will be free and will soon consume 92% of federal research funds (7% goes to embryonic stem cell research), dedicated to finding a sex vaccine so you can get back to the level of random sex with random strangers you enjoyed in the early 1970s.
* Always fill your whiskey glass to the brim.
* Always buy and carry the really big bottle of Fuji mineral water everywhere so people can know that while you object to Big Oil making windfall profits on $3.00 a gallon gasoline, you have no problem with windfall profits on $10 a gallon bottled water.
* A Cowboy is pleasant even when out of sorts. Complaining is what quitters do, and Cowboys hate quitters.
* A Leftist is mean and bitter even when in office. Complaining and turning small complaints into laws is what Leftists at all levels do. Leftists love making new laws from old whines.
* Always be courageous. Cowards aren't tolerated in any outfit worth its salt.
* Never exhibit courage when it comes to defending your country. Cowardice is a Leftist pre-requisite for running for office on any level. Your constituents are cowards to the core and don't expect any less from you.
* A Cowboy always helps someone in need, even a stranger or an enemy.
* A Leftist only helps those in need when helping them will condemn them to being in need for all eternity. Enemies are to be helped only if they will promise to first vote for and then behead Leftists. In that way both the need to rule and the need to expunge guilt can be satisfied.
* Never try on another man's hat.
* Never try on another man's condom or use his needle - without asking permmisson which will naturally be forthcoming. Free condoms and free needles are a basic right and will replace the present Second Amendment as soon as possible. Draft text: "An unregulated and unrestrained sex and drugs and rock and roll lifestyle, being the necessary opiate of the masses, the right of the people to free condoms and free needles, shall not be infringed."
* Be hospitable to strangers. Anyone who wanders in, including an enemy, is welcome at the dinner table. The same was true for riders who joined Cowboys on the range.
* Be hospitable to those who "wander" into your country illegally. Anyone who "wanders" into the United States, including an enemy, is welcome at the welfare table. This is especially true for those who will do the voting sane Americans won't - voting for you.
* Give your enemy a fighting chance.
* Give all enemies a really good fighting chance always. Make the Armed Forces fight with both hands behind their back. Roll back all arms programs to the environmentally sensitive bow and arrow era. Marines are to be especially despised for their general Gung Ho militaristic attitude. Make up rules of engagement that ensure all wars will be fought on the cheap and without weapons that are more lethal than megaphones. In war, Love is all you need.
* Never wake another man by shaking or touching him, as he might wake suddenly and shoot you.
* But if he does, pass more laws restricting guns and apologize to him before dying.
* Real Cowboys are modest. A braggart who is "all gurgle and no guts" is not tolerated.
* Real Leftists are the first to tell you what wonderful human beings they are. A Leftist who is "all gurgle and no guts" can be easily nominated for high office. See "Edwards, John."
* A Cowboy doesn't talk much; he saves his breath for breathing.
* A Leftist does nothing but talk. Talk is mother's milk without the annoying lactation. Leftist talk is a three-foot length of numbing rebar pounded down the center of your spine. A Leftist will save his breath for Yoga class.
* No matter how weary and hungry you are after a long day in the saddle, always tend to your horse's needs before your own, and get your horse some feed before you eat.
* No matter how weary and frustrated you are after a long day of lying and pandering on the campaign trail, always tend to your political machine's needs before your own. Get your machine some more money (cash if possible) for moveon.org or Media Matters. Don't skim more than 55% of the cash for yourself. Remember that if you are elected you can feed at the public trough for life, and earn millions for blathering after you retire.
* Cuss all you want, but only around men, horses and cows.
* Cuss all you want, constantly and without restraint, especially when you hear the obscenity-triggering words, "President Bush." Be sure to teach the F-word to your children early and reward them for using it.
* Complain about the cooking and you become the cook.
* Complain about earmarks unless they are your earmarks and remember to vote for all earmarks so that others will vote for yours.
* Always drink your whiskey with your gun hand, to show your friendly intentions.
* Always sip your chai with the pinky finger crooked, to show your rainbow intentions.
* Be there for a friend when he needs you.
* Be there with a handout for a voter when you think that you can pander enough and promise enough free stuff to buy that vote. Pander early and pander often. Offer $5,000 just for being born. Be sure you put that idea forward before a group of people with a history of getting (and an undying thirst for more) handouts. Always infantalize.
* Drinking on duty is grounds for instant dismissal and blacklisting.
* Drinking and smoking dope in office is grounds for instant lionizing, a safe seat, and a free pass should you drive off a bridge on the way home and leave someone who was giving you sex at the wheel behind to drown.
* A Cowboy is loyal to his "brand," to his friends, and those he rides with.
* A Leftist is loyal to the nightmares of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Fidel Castro - all of whom knew how to run billions of lives for the better. They may be gone but their song remains the same. Dance to it and make sure everyone else does too. Or else.
* Never shoot an unarmed or unwarned enemy. This was also known as "the rattlesnake code": always warn before you strike. However, if a man was being stalked, this could be ignored.
* Always smear a blameless or dangerous political enemy. Lying and innuendo is okay. Be the rattlesnake. Unless the man is stalking the same office you are. In that case smear early and smear often. Lie big and lie long.
* Never shoot a woman no matter what.
* Never seek to make love to a woman unless there are no other alternatives - including shrubs - or unless you are a woman.
* Consideration for others is central to the code, such as: Don't stir up dust around the chuck-wagon, don't wake up the wrong man for herd duty, etc.
* Being inconsiderate of personal God-given liberty is central to the code of the Left. There is no God, there is only the Party and the dream of a socialist utopia. Always stir up dust and regulations around the free market -- it can and does donate money to your opponents. Don't wake up those who depend on government hand-outs for everything. Promise more and keep them comatose.
* Respect the land and the environment by not smoking in hazardous fire areas, disfiguring rocks, trees, or other natural areas.
* Respect the small, endless fears of everyone in the environment by not smoking anywhere at anytime unless it is copious amounts of really righteous dope. Remember the first commandment of the Leftist: "Tobacco and Fox News bad. Dope and the New York Times good." Seek to have laws passed enabling everyone to smoke as much dope as they want. Then they will be too stoned to see through your insane plans. They will even think that more taxes on the rich means higher government revenues. Praise those who are disfiguring rocks, walls, and buildings with graffiti as "artistes." Return forests and farmland to their natural state -- especially if you can get them cheap via takings or public domain. Let the surviving population live like the sheep they are and eat grass.
* Honesty is absolute - your word is your bond, a handshake is more binding than a contract.
* Lies are your friend. Never let facts obfuscate falsehoods. Your word is only good for those your are speaking to at the time you are speaking. After you've promised something, forget about it. A handshake and a contract are simply lies waiting for laws to make them inoperative. If caught in a lie and under oath remember to always ask what the meaning of "is" is.
* Live by the Golden Rule.
* Live by the Rule of the Gold: If you run across anyone with gold, make them convert it to paper money and give 98% of that to the state or your re-election campaign. Require the other 2% to be donated to a charity of your choice for a tax deduction. Live the dream by buying your way into the government which will be, when that great getting-up morning arrives, the only thing on earth with any money or privilege.
[Note: I'm also looking to add to this list. The last time it came around we got this prescient statement in the comments:
West: "Never shoot a woman no matter what."
Left: "Unless she is the Republican Governor of Alaska. In which case, blast away. Be sure to remove her orange hunting vest afterwards so you can claim it was 'just an accident' and you mistook her for a caribou."]