By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | c/o Lake Union Mail | 117 East Louisa, #380 | Seattle, WA 98102
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Entry in My Mom's Datebook

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Ubi Caritas

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur:
Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites.
Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus:
Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum,
Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.

Where charity and love are, God is there.
Christ's love has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And may we love each other with a sincere heart.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
As we are gathered into one body,
Beware, lest we be divided in mind.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease,
And may Christ our God be in our midst.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
And may we with the saints also,
See Thy face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good,
Unto the ages through infinite ages. Amen.

[HT: jwm]


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Merry Christmas from the US Petroleum Industry

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"Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?

It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
He put the children to bed, to dream of the morning. His wife kissed him, said only "good night" to me, and went upstairs. We sat for a long moment by the fire, the soft gentle sucking sound of the logs being consumed audible now that the children were gone. The fire was reflected in the ornaments on the tree. The mantel clock banged through the seconds. Sippican Cottage: I Want The Old Testament

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To ride in a car marks you as an official, but the model, color, and size will vary according to your importance.

At the bottom levels one finds Russian, Czech, and Chinese medium-size cars, cream-colored or gray; at the top, one has long black Hung-ch’i limousines, with tulle curtains that conceal the passengers from the crowds.

Peking is thick with these capacious hearses; their blinded windows have an aura of august mystery, suggesting at the same time the Coach of the Holy Sacrament and the limousines that Arab sheiks shuttle their harems around in. One of the favorite pastimes of Peking people—they do not have many—is to crowd around the entrance of the Peking Hotel or near the Great Hall of the People on gala nights to see the long processions of official cars go past with drawn curtains. Those people, one feels, have no envy or bitterness—they have the experience of three thousand years of despotism—but only the normal curiosity of gapers who try to glimpse, however fleetingly, the faraway magical world where their mysterious rulers live.
Chinese Shadows: Bureaucracy, Happiness, History | ChinaFile


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Do Elephants Have Souls?

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The birth of an elephant is a spectacular occasion.
Grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and cousins crowd around the new arrival and its dazed mother, trumpeting and stamping and waving their trunks to welcome the floppy baby who has so recently arrived from out of the void, bursting through the border of existence to take its place in an unbroken line stretching back to the dawn of life. After almost two years in the womb and a few minutes to stretch its legs, the calf can begin to stumble around. But its trunk, an evolutionarily unique inheritance of up to 150,000 muscles with the dexterity to pick up a pin and the strength to uproot a tree, will be a mystery to it at first, with little apparent use except to sometimes suck upon like human babies do their thumbs.
Caitrin Nicol Keiper - The New Atlantis
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The kids, with their smartphones and sharing economy, are just a bunch of addled-minded commies, high on stupid.

Uber strikes me as one of the pet rock businesses of post-reality America.

By that, I mean it is is a fun fad that people get rich from, but otherwise is not a real business with staying power. The reason is they are basically making money by deception. Part of that deception is cost shifting. They shift the operating costs of a taxi company onto the drivers, cell phone carriers and general society.
Uber Rape at The Z Blog


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The magic of these pallets is the magic of abstraction.

Take any object you like, pile it onto a pallet, and it becomes, simply, a “unit load”

—standardized, cubical, and ideally suited to being scooped up by the tines of a forklift. This allows your Cheerios and your oysters to be whisked through the supply chain with great efficiency; the gains are so impressive, in fact, that many experts consider the pallet to be the most important materials-handling innovation of the twentieth century. Studies have estimated that pallets consume 12 to 15 percent of all lumber produced in the US, more than any other industry except home construction.
CABINET // Whitewood under Siege


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Grandma’s expertise in nutrition dates back to the 60s.

By the mid 70s, she had written several self-published mimeographed books on nutritional intake and vitamins.

Around then or possibly earlier, I think, she started to poison people..... At first, my mother was the only one who’d refuse to eat Grandma’s food, and I thought she was being paranoid. Then I started noticing that every time I went to Grandma’s, I’d pass out on the couch or on the train on the way back to the city.
What Do You Do When You Think You Have a Murderer in the Family? | VICE | United States


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The White Ghetto

Driving through these hills and hollows,
you aren’t in the Appalachia of Elmore Leonard’s Justified or squatting with Lyndon Johnson on Tom Fletcher’s front porch in Martin County, a scene famously photographed by Walter Bennett of Time, the image that launched the so-called War on Poverty. The music isn’t “Shady Grove,” it’s Kanye West. There is still coal mining — which, at $25 an hour or more, provides one of the more desirable occupations outside of government work — but the jobs are moving west, and Harlan County, like many coal-country communities, has lost nearly half of its population over the past 30 years.
There is here a strain of fervid and sometimes apocalyptic Christianity, and visions of the Rapture must have a certain appeal for people who already have been left behind. Like its black urban counterparts, the Big White Ghetto suffers from a whole trainload of social problems, but the most significant among them may be adverse selection: Those who have the required work skills, the academic ability, or the simple desperate native enterprising grit to do so get the hell out as fast as they can, and they have been doing that for decades. As they go, businesses disappear, institutions fall into decline, social networks erode, and there is little or nothing left over for those who remain. It’s a classic economic death spiral: The quality of the available jobs is not enough to keep good workers, and the quality of the available workers is not enough to attract good jobs. These little towns located at remote wide spots in helical mountain roads are hard enough to get to if you have a good reason to be here. If you don’t have a good reason, you aren’t going to think of one.
-- Kevin Williamson, National Review Online
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Normalizing relations with Cuba will not,

as Sen. Marco Rubio passionately put it in these pages, grant the Castro regime “legitimacy.”

Nothing can grant it legitimacy. Fidel Castro ruined his country for a dead ideology and the whole world knows it. It may be closer to the truth to see the Castro brothers’ eagerness for normalization as an admission that they’ve run out their string. They’ve lost everything that kept them alive, from the Soviet Union to once-oil-rich Venezuela. The Castro government is stuck. Their economy is nothing. They have no strength. They enjoy vestigial respect from certain quarters, but only vestigial. They’ve lost and they know it.
The Cuban Regime Is a Defeated Foe - WSJ


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Like a bearded nut in robes on the sidewalk

proclaiming the end of the world is near,

the media is just doing what makes it feel good, not reporting hard facts. We need to start seeing the media as a bearded nut on the sidewalk, shouting out false fears. It’s not sensible to listen to it … Personally, I think we need to start turning away from media, and the data shows that we are, at least from television news. I find that whenever I lack exposure to media I am much happier, and my life feels fresher.
The Gell-Mann Effect


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The Gell-Mann Amnesia effect

The Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows.

You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
-- Michael Crichton


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What Do You Get for the Man Who Has Everything?

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Hurt Locker (Fake Defusable Bomb) Kit After assembly, press the start button and then you will see two colors flicker in sequence. Do not forget them and quickly look up the third color with the color sheet in your hand. Remember you've got only 15 seconds!
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Stooges. Seriously.

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The Tragic And Twisted Tale Of The Three Stooges The internal mechanism of The Three Stooges is deceptively simple.
It’s based on the premise that all of them are stupid, but some are more stupid than others. Moe, with his gravelly voice, permanent scowl and menacing helmet of bowl-cut hair, was the leader, invariably the under-boss entreated with overseeing whatever hopelessly doomed endeavour the Stooges found themselves pursuing (and whatever it was, you can bet it involved heavy objects and the potential for maximum mayhem; plumbing, not surprisingly, was a favourite Stooge profession).
Curly, his hulking frame bursting out of a too-small suit, was the irredeemably incompetent man-child, the knucklehead’s knucklehead and recipient of most of Moe’s abuse — a litany of punches, slaps and smacks, bonks on the head and, quintessential Moe, the twin-pronged poke in the eye. (Moe actually had his brother Shemp to thank for his signature move. Once, during a card game, Shemp became so convinced that Larry was cheating him he leapt up and poked him in both eyes. Moe made a note of it and duly incorporated it into the act.)
Larry, too often underestimated, was the all-important bridge between Moe’s authoritarian bully and Curly’s babyfaced clown. An easygoing simpleton, Larry was the essential, non-threatening intermediary, and he brought a special genius to the role. “As in Waiting For Godot,” writes Ted Levitt in his essay Larry: The Existential Stooge, “if Curly and Estragon are body, Vladimir and Moe are the intellect, then they are waiting for Larry in order to be complete, to have a sense of their own existence.” Of course, he also got hit in the head with a wrench now and then, too.

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Close But No Cigar [Bumped]

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Updated: Clinton with "Butterface" Catsimatidis , The Early Years

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"Uncle Bubba"

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The Left hates the light because their deeds are evil.

The Jihad and the Soviets are utterly, absolutely, entirely, hysterically, insuperably and supremely devoted to falsehood.

Whereas I am truthful. All their bombs and guns and tanks, their money, their armies, their suicide bombers do not frighten the Left, because the Left literally cannot imagine physical danger, nor more than Veruca Salt can do, and for the same reason they cannot. They are spoiled brats. Brats always get their way. But telling Veruca Salt the truth about the state of her soul, and her conscience will prick her, and that is the one pain she cannot fight or tolerate. The Left hates the light because their deeds are evil.
What Wages Pay the Unpaid Apologists for Utter Evil? | John C. Wright's Journal


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“Do not underestimate,”

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he instructs, “the pleasures of reading.
The satisfactions of the book, in the age of social media and proliferating cultural choices, are very singular.” The pleasures of reading morph into the aesthetic delights of print and paper. Reading a favourite novel on a screen is like tasting a vintage wine through a straw. The unintended consequence of the ebook, Daunt reports, has been to make many readers return to the hardback.
Whisper it quietly, the book is back … and here’s the man leading the revival
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Have You Seen Me?

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"Each step was so small, so inconsequential..."

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Probably Means Nothing

Russian Food Suppliers Have Begun Halting Shipments | Zero Hedge Russia's Vedomosti reports, citing vegetable producer Belaya Dacha, juice maker Sady Pridoniya and others, Russian suppliers are suspending food shipments to stores because of unpredictable FX movements. And it is about to get worse: very soon Russians may have to live without imported alcohol because at least on supplier of offshore booze.


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A Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay

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The year is 2014 and dinosaurs have gained control of the world economy
due to exceptionally accurate stock predictions. After graduating from NYU with a business degree, John is hired to be the assistant for one of the largest trading firms on Wall Street. His boss, the CEO of the company is highly regarded as the best businessman of the century. Only difference is that he is a dinosaur!
- by Hunter Fox.
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