Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

Heroes & Hustlers

Obama Stumbles in The New Yorker? Yes, The New Yorker

This Year

Ah, how the mighty have stumbled.... and even gotten their pants leg wet. Things weren't always so much in the "Hey, kids, let's dump on our cool president" mode that's become fashionable these recent weeks. Once upon a time, the kids all loved daddy cool. They even gave him a founder's wig to wear.... once upon a time....

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 26, 2010 7:08 AM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Meanwhile, back at Mount Rushmore

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 12, 2009 11:05 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama Fakes Right... Goes Left... Jump Shot...

Being left-handed makes this move a natural:

The Step-Through Move
To execute this move do the following:
Come to a one-count stop.
Fake a jump shot.
If you want to go to the left, take a quick step to the side of the defender with your right foot. Protect the ball as you go toward the hoop....

You might even get a power lay-up by faking to the middle, then executing a quick drop step with the baseline foot, then, power it up. - How to teach and coach one-on-one basketball moves

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 8, 2008 1:11 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Seven Wonderful Minutes with Dennis Miller

1. "Women on the left hate Palin because she has a great sex life. Most of the women on the Upper East Side... their husbands haven't been aroused since Norman Mailer signed copies of the Executioner's Song back when Rizzolis was a bookstore."
2. "I'm happy now that it's over that Obama was elected. Obama is so smart that when two dim mindless magpies like Reid and Pelosi trundle down to sell their tired Willy Loman wares he's going to ignore them. I hope Obama does so well that four years hence I'm salivating to vote for him."
3. "Barney Frank wants to be arrested."

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 13, 2008 11:32 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The D.G.A.S. Election Phase

Monday brought us, as all tedious news days must, the MEGO news that Republican, Democratic Presidential Contests Strikingly Similar -- Fred Thompson surges into tie with John McCain. "Surges" to a "tie?" "Strikingly Similar?" Well, slap me silly, butter my biscuit, and wake me when its over.

There are times when I believe that the current "Long and Winding Road" tour of these Republican and Democrat plastic frogs huffing

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 20, 2007 9:45 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Once You Learn to Fake Sincerity, the Rest is Easy


"The more obscure and uncertain the cause, the greater the effect: the greater the number of idlers one could count in a family, the more illustrious it was held to be....

"It is to this desire of being talked about, and this unremitting rage of distinguishing ourselves, that we owe the best and the worst things we possess, both our virtues and our vices, our science and our errors, our conquerors and our philosophers; that is to say, a great many bad things, and a very few good ones. In a word, I could prove that, if we have a few rich and powerful men on the pinnacle of fortune and grandeur, while the crowd grovels in want and obscurity, it is because the former prize what they enjoy only in so far as others are destitute of it; and because, without changing their condition, they would cease to be happy the moment the people ceased to be wretched." -- Rousseau, "On the Origin of Inequality"

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 26, 2006 2:48 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
NBC "Internets" Ex-Girlfriend

Couric to NBC: "I'll be leaving Today at the end of May."
NBC to Couric: "Kate, you ignorant slut!"

BREAKUPS ALWAYS HAVE FALLOUT, and it usually isn't very attractive. The poster child for "ugly out takes that somehow make the wire" this morning is this picture released by NBC of Katie Couric. Hair lanky, overdone eyes slightly askew and with a nutso-putso cast to them, and most of all the droopy mouth that might drool at any moment. I'd wager real folding money you wouldn't find an "unglamor" shot like this in last month's media packet from NBC. But now that she's gone, its time to get the image of the "real" Couric out there.

Nothing says "Door. Ass. Bang." more than taking a really unflattering picture of your "Ex" (And we all have them.) and splattering it all over the Internet. Especially when, no matter how much he or she

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 5, 2006 7:19 AM |  Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Idols of the "Hip:" Then and Now


Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 12, 2005 7:50 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
FREE! American Digest's Living Author Holiday Give Away

Take a guess, get a free book. The first American Digest reader to correctly identify the American author shown below will receive, free and post paid, a copy of one of his classic tomes.

Take a look and take a guess in the comments section to this post.

Who am I?

[Members of author's family or the family and associates of American Digest are not eligible.]

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 15, 2004 1:44 PM |  Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My, My, My. Whatever Shall We Do With Andrew?

[He's baaaaack! Having run through any monetary advantage he received from insulting Michelle Malkin last month, Andrew Sullivan is back taking a run today at Glenn Reynolds and Powerline. Sullivan's site meter and revenues must be running lower and lower if this sort of monthly hysteria is any indication. And yet, it must, in the short run be working for him. After all, you can't stay in an excited froth over torture 24/7/365, no matter how much you are fascinated by the details of that rough trade. Below is something from about a month and a half ago on Sullivan's scam. The same thing still holds true today. Just change the names.]

Andrew Sullivan is once again running his well-worn but so-far successful "Look at Me" money scam on the Blogosphere. And, once again, it seems to be working on those that just can't stop themselves from giving ink and link to a serial panderer.

I'm loathe to play along since it only increases the success of Sullivan's smarmy little maneuver. Still, I'll have one last go so nobody who chances to read this can say they didn't get the cluecard.

Andrew's been very successful at mining the blogosphere for adulation, attention, and cash over the years. He's been successful because he understands better than most how to push the buttons and chum the waters. Above all, he understands "online-drama" and how to milk it to the last drop found in the last cow in the last pasture beyond the last bus stop. When it comes to political drama, Andrew's got the full wardrobe and makeup kit ready at hand.

The only person more canny than Sullivan at this is Drudge who, unlike Sullivan, makes no pretensions otherwise. Indeed, Sullivan is Drudge-light without the scoops or handy link lists.

The current Sullivan gambit is to pick a sentence from Michelle Malkin -- a single sentence -- and then tack the word "Award" behind her last name. Stunning creativity, yes?

All right, no.

Even less stunning is Sullivan's immediate compulsion to run his patented "Cut&Paste" blogging macro behind this lame-brained conception, and then run plop in a pile of what he hopes you'll mistake for daily "Posts" or "Content" to fill up his dark and otherwise unreadable page.

This little "Award" gambit worked well for Sullivan after 911 when Susan Sontag drop kicked the

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 9, 2004 4:03 PM |  Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Blogging and Social Software, Condensed Version

HERO VS. THE HUSTLERS: Yesterday, I was forced, under duress from Linkmeister, to unburden myself of a few choice thoughts concerning Technorati and the people that hover about it. [See below] It would seem that at about the same time David Hornik was getting around to the same point in Blogging: A world stuck on itself at CNET. In doing so he has managed to come up with the all purpose "social software panel presentation:"

"Welcome blah blah blah relationship capital blah blah blah social contracts blah blah blah media businesses blah blah blah identify the rabid fans of the iPod blah blah blah utility media blah blah blah this is the future of the Web blah blah blah RSS blah blah blah spam blah blah blah killer app blah blah blah business model blah blah blah advertising model blah blah blah Is this a product or a feature? blah blah blah A feature doesn't make a business blah blah blah leveraging relationships blah blah blah decentralized system blah blah blah privacy concerns blah blah blah profiling people blah blah blah.

"Social networking is blogging dumbed down for the masses blah blah blah tribecaster blah blah blah widget blah blah blah What is the connection between social networks and blogs? blah blah blah the most efficient media platform ever blah blah blah read-write, not read-only blah blah blah All software is about people blah blah blah put this stuff in context blah blah blah monetizing relationships blah blah blah a new dimension to the Web blah blah blah I met my wife on blah blah blah.

"Network diversity is good blah blah blah reputation management blah blah blah open standards and open platforms win always blah blah blah it's group voice blah blah blah social context blah blah blah The entire Web is a social network blah blah blah Join me in thanking tonight's moderators blah blah blah Goodnight."

If you can remember that, you too can be a social-software contender. And you don't have to build anything but another level on the Tower of Blather.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 22, 2004 7:30 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Marshalling the Spin with Chin Music

"Gimme that blah, blah.
Gimme that jaw-jaw.
Gimme that old time funky chin music!"

HERE'S A POPULAR POSE among aging Boomers and X'ers that scribble for a living. I call it "The Pondering Pundit Pose." It is very popular and is growing more so.

The pose consists of moving the hand up to the face and resting it on the chin between the chin and the camera. The chin may then be gently cradled, as seen here, or rested firmly with the forefinger extended upwards somewhat perpendicular to the jaw line.

There's no smiling once the hand reaches this positions. Instead for one must project "the perpetual pondulation of the pundit." A thoughtful gaze downward as if contemplating the precision bombing of the text with les chic bon mots d' heir soir.

Perhaps, if the shot is full-face, a somber, world-weary gaze will be offered the viewer proclaiming, "I am not a ninny, I am an Original Mind!"

A good touch, if you can manage it, is to also display a certain insouciance to the basics of chin grooming. Chief among these techniques is to shave for several days with the sideburn trimmer on your electric razor. This gives you that perpetual five o'clock shadow signals an ocean of raging testosterone seething beneath that fervid mind. We have an especially good example of this above: Josh Marshall, PunditStud.

Once you're alert for it, you see this hand on the chin pose more and more these days; especially among writers -- Tina ("I'm writing as bad as I can") Brown will do as a place holder for the female Marshalls. But why?

As a former fashion editor I once had to oversee various photo shoots of various kinds. As a former book editor, I had to either commission or review dozens of "author's photos." I love authors, but , as Internet geeks are not known for the size of their wardrobes, so authors are not generally known for 'making the pretty picture.' This is especially true as authors age, which is why an author's first book jacket photo often appears on their next books for decades. Exhibits A, B, and C: Erica Jong.

When the author's "official" photo is replaced, eight times out of ten, you see that hand used as a chin rest. Once you look for it you see it all over. I've used it myself to little avail. Here's the scoop.

After a certain age, your face falls. No shame in that. It is merely the triumph of gravity over a sedentary lifestyle. But if you are a vain person, and who isn't, you might not want your fallen face to be associated with the young vital

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 15, 2004 12:16 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It Must Be True, I Saw It On the Internet

32 Volvos Sold in One Town in One Day and, no, it wasn't Marin.

"Jung says there is another dimension, if you will, beneath our existence..."

The Midwich Cuckoo Car "Documentary" at the link above. It would seem that the Michael Moore meaning of "documentary" is catching on.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 23, 2004 12:52 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
For Ten Bucks the Whole Castro Thing Could Have Been Avoided

Click to enlarge

Letter from Fidel Castro, as a young student, to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940

"If you like, give me a ten dollars bill american, in the letter, because never, I have not seen a ten dollars bill green american and I would like to have one of them.

My address is:
Sr. Fidel Castro
Colegio de Delores
Santiago de Cuba
Oriente Cuba"

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 13, 2004 12:34 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Busting the Identity Thieves -- A True Story

This morning, I found out that thousands of dollars of charges had been made on two of my credit cards in the past two days. Now, the identity thieves are sitting in jail. This is how it happened. It involves identity theft, a careless thief, one pissed-off Ovid and lots of luck....
-- publius_ovidius: Don't f**k with Ovid -- the long version

A fascinating minute by minute account.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 25, 2004 6:30 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
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By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | 6616-D Clark Road #176 | Paradise, CA 95969

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

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

In 2016 the Western political system had a stroke.

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

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

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

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

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

Bodymore, Murderville”

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

New Blog Arriving Soon

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

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

Drink Tea


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

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

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

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

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

Trump, Julius Caesar, and killing tyrants

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

Execute Trump? Nah, You First.

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

A bee in her bonnet


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

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

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

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

Greatest antitheft device when the thieves are millenials:

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

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

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

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


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

The power of the press is a figment of the imagination -- humbug --

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

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

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

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


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

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

What happened to Nuclear Winter?


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

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

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

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

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

Why is English so weirdly different from other languages?

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

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