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September 16, 2014

We conjure up more fabricated outrages and controversies in a month than past civilizations could have mustered in a thousand years.

Does anybody remember what everyone was super worked up about four weeks ago? Yeah, me neither.
Maybe something happened on an awards show, or maybe some Republican said something about gay people, or maybe a blogger wrote an opinion of some sort — who knows? We moved on to something else, and then something else, and then something else, and then something else. We have located the Fountain of Eternal Indignation, and we drink it by the gallon.
It's racist to ask someone where they're from, according to your kid's college - The Matt Walsh Blog

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 11:22 PM | Your Say (1)

It’s time to quit worrying and learn to love the battle axe. History teaches us that if we don’t, someone else will.

A rule not ultimately backed by the threat of violence is merely a suggestion.
States rely on laws enforced by men ready to do violence against lawbreakers. Every tax, every code and every licensing requirement demands an escalating progression of penalties that, in the end, must result in the forcible seizure of property or imprisonment by armed men prepared to do violence in the event of resistance or non–compliance. Every time a soccer mom stands up and demands harsher penalties for drunk driving, or selling cigarettes to minors, or owning a pit bull, or not recycling, she is petitioning the state to use force to impose her will. She is no longer asking nicely.
Jack Donovan | Violence is Golden

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 6:23 AM | Your Say (1)

Muslims are waging war

in South East Asia, The Middle East, Europe, Asia, North America, Russia and China. In what way is this not WW3? Wrath Of Gnon / Twitter

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 5:54 AM | Your Say (5)

September 15, 2014

Perhaps it’s an ungenerous attribution,

but they can’t help finding tattoos obnoxious.
The tattoo seems to summon their eyes, to draw their focus even if they have other things they wish to think about. In that sense, a tattoo is narcissistic, and narcissism is coercive. It lives off of others’ notice, and when the narcissist fails to draw attention, he feels disturbed and wounded. Whenever we sense that need, we recoil from it.
A Theory for Tattoos | Mark Bauerlein | First Things

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:56 PM | Your Say (9)

Despite being the greatest orator of the last thousand years,

he's a complete bust at selling anything but himself,
as comprehensively demonstrated in his first couple of years: see his rhetorical efforts on behalf of ObamaCare, or Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley, or Chicago's Olympics bid. When it comes to war, he suffers from an additional burden: before he can persuade anybody else, he first has to persuade himself. And he can't do it. So he gave the usual listless performance of a surly actor who resents the part he's been given.
Coalition of the Unwilling :: SteynOnline

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:49 PM | Your Say (4)

Regardless if it's a gun or a marshmallow

if someone tries to prevent your ownership of anything at all they are trying to control you.
That person is genetically flawed and cannot be fixed and it will continually try to own you. There is only one remedy for this. Total and instant destruction at the source. Anything less is coddling and encouraging.
Ghostsniper commenting @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:58 PM | Your Say (5)

Why are all the excuses made for Islam?

Islam, after all, is a religion, and has been for over a thousand years.
You can call it a weird religion, a violent religion, an intolerant religion, not a “true” religion (whatever that means), but it certainly has claimed to be one quite successfully for all that time. Unlike the other Abrahamic religions which preceded it, and which have a text (the so-called Old Testament) that contains some violence and misogyny, Islam is steeped in both—positively marinated in them -- €”and those Muslims who don't espouse such things are not in the overwhelming majority.
-- neo-neocon

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:48 PM | Your Say (6)

The post-Christian, post-modern man will not fight to defend himself.

He is psychologically emasculated and saturated with self-loathing.

Further, war will never be formally declared. You will not see the U.K. (whatever is left of it), France, Germany or the U.S. declare war on anyone, ever. That’s all over. For the U.S., that ended with World War 2. You all know that the U.S. never declared war in Korea, Vietnam, or anywhere else since World War 2, right? Additionally, while World War 3 grinds its way forward through time, and as millions upon millions die, the media will continually state that THERE IS NO WAR, and anyone who says that there is a war is just a loon. And the people will nod their heads, and the body count will rise, but it won’t be WAR you understand, because everything’s fine.
Octet | Barnhardt

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 4:21 PM | Your Say (1)

September 14, 2014

The Headchopper Next Door

Mohammed would have been as happy rampaging around Iraq and Syria as a pig rolling around in dung.
ISIS is Islam. It’s the naked religion. There are no angels or djinns, no revelations, just piles of mutilated corpses and children playing with severed heads while other children are raped in prison cells. It’s Mohammed, but it’s also Saddam Hussein, Bashar Assad and Gaddafi. Islam doesn’t end the cycle of tyranny and oppression. It is the reason that the cycle continues.
Sultan Knish:

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 10:33 PM | Your Say (3)

“I was not ‘converted’ to the Church,

but made my way into it through what Newman calls illation — fragments of truth collecting in my mind through personal experience, conversations, knowledge of exemplars, and much reading and meditating.” - - Russell Kirk

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 7:15 AM | Your Say (2)

September 13, 2014

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!

"Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.
The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men."
-- Winston Churchill

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:07 PM | Your Say (9)

This just in....

Obama Unable to Sleep After Learning Limbaugh Liked His Speech - The New Yorker

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:35 PM | Your Say (0)

And, lo, it doth beginneth...

Christ Arrested for Assaulting Muhammed in San Rafael

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 10:25 AM | Your Say (0)

If You Liked Vietnam, You’ll Love the War With the Islamic State

Young progressives of Barak Obama’s generation were taught by their professors that the Vietnam War was an evil undertaking few had the inclination to seriously study. Obama himself described it as one of the “dumb wars” when he was a candidate. There are no dumb wars; there are however, wars fought in a dumb manner. Our president appears to be embarking on one. | Small Wars Journal

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:51 AM | Your Say (3)

Confucius Say:

A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot. Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.
The Rectification of the Names

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:04 AM | Your Say (3)

And counting....

There Are Now 52 Explanations For Pause In Global Warming | The Daily Caller

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 7:58 AM | Your Say (1)

You've come a long way, baby. [Bumped]

gaymuslim.png

And the latest leader of the band in the endless parade of perverts would be...
UK Soldier Converts to Islam, Gets Surgery, Becomes First Transgender Gay Muslim Woman

["I try to become more cynical every day, but lately I just can't keep up."]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 7:55 AM | Your Say (14)

Bogart from Above!

Mysterious Men Dropping From Helicopters In CA To Chop Down Marijuana Plants...

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 7:43 AM | Your Say (0)

I love the smell of irony in the morning

A lawyer in the IRS ethics office is facing the possibility of being disbarred, according to records that accuse her of lying to a court-appointed board and hiding what she'd done with money from a settlement that was supposed to go to two medical providers who had treated her client....[Despite this] the office has dispatched Ms. McGee to lecture professionals about the importance of maintaining high ethical standards. - Washington Times

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 7:19 AM | Your Say (3)

You're Not My Real Stepdad!

My real stepdad used to let me take the dirt bike out by myself all the time.
He gave it to me when he told me he was marrying my mom and explained that I should try to call him "Dad." Dennis was awesome. He even promised to take me hunting once, and he would have, if he didn't have to spend all his time and money on a good lawyer. He treated me like his own son through marriage. And unlike you, my real surrogate father raised me from the time my mother sat us down and told us that Dennis would be spending the night at our house from now on.
- America's Finest News Source

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 7:08 AM | Your Say (2)

September 12, 2014

The Unitary Cult Theory.

This is when members of a mass movement, always jostling with one another for status within the movement, close the information loop,
excluding information from people outside the movement regarding a topic. The result is a piety contest where members of the movement stand up and commit increasingly extreme acts of public piety. As more and more members jump into the ring, the contest quickly spirals out of control resulting in these absurd public displays. Because the country is run by the Cult of Modern Liberalism, these piety wheels get maximum attention. The public is often sucked into the the false drama in the same way people get caught up in a TV serial. That’s gasoline on the fire. With Ferguson, the public has seen that drama too many times to stay interested for very long. The Gay Gayington story is too disgusting. This Ray Rice story gets more interest because the NFL is so popular and everyone can relate the story at the center of it
.The Z Blog

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:59 PM | Your Say (1)

The great thing about World War 2 is that it ended

whereas the current conflict has been ongoing since September 11, 2001 with no end in sight.
The only thing worse than war is endless war, especially a war which nobody wins after decades of fighting. This is the kind of conflict which modern political leaders specialize in fighting: violence without ultimate effect, sacrifice without any tangible result; conflict without any milestones, guideposts or landmarks. A war that never ends on the quarterdeck of a battleship, but only in the slow drawing of the blinds.
Belmont Club サ World Views

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 12:18 PM | Your Say (3)

September 11, 2014

Gays are 2.6% of the population, including Lesbians.

Not much to hang a sports league on.
But the motivation is essentially religious. Owners care more about being seen as one of the chosen, the Saved, the special, the “good White” who gloriously saves the downtrodden non-White, or Gay, or Muslim, or what have you, and thus performs the sado-masochistic (credit the tweeter Roissy/Heartiste retweeted) rituals of recycling, yoga, tofu, vegetarianism, jogging, etc. along with “racial cuckoldry” that makes up the religion of Racial Penance and Redemption.
Michael Sam and Denzel Washington: the Gay NFL and Black Equalizer | whiskeysplace

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:30 PM | Your Say (6)

Europeans and their colonial descendants may pen laws of war, but only they are constrained by them.

In the real world outside the dinner parties of Washington D.C. and Brussels, there are no laws in war.
Islamic law which has regulations for which foot to use when entering a bathroom (the left foot) and which side to sleep on (the right) has very few laws of war that cannot be nullified by necessity or even whim. On the battlefield, Islamic jurisprudence is boiled down to, Do what thou wilt in the cause of Allah, that is the whole of the law.
Sultan Knish: Divided We Stand

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 4:52 PM | Your Say (4)

September 10, 2014

Where did the future of 2000 go?

Ironically it rumbled along unnoticed under the public narrative.
For in the years since 2000, revolutionary new medical treatments, practical robotics, new nuclear energy technology, life extension and host of advances have made the future we no longer wanted attainable again. Quite without meaning to, North America became the energy capital of the world. With an Ebola epidemic ravaging Africa, the brightest source of hope came from a biotech startup with a dozen employees operating out of a California strip mall.
Belmont Club サ Rescuing the 21st Century

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:32 PM | Your Say (1)

What POSident Obama Should Have Said

"My fellow Americans, we just completed the bombing of every ISIS target we can identify,
we have frozen their assets in this country and we have indicted all their conspirators and supporters in the United States. I want to thank the men and women of the USS George H.W. Bush, the entire Fifth Fleet, the airmen and women al-Udeid air base in Qatar, the Secret Service's treasury operations and U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger of Minnesota and his staff, as well as the FBI special task force who assisted them in apprehending more than 100 militants in the Minneapolis area alone.
-- Don Surber

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:07 PM | Your Say (3)

Lawrence Lessig

At the dawn of the Internet age, these faculty lounge philosophers were just about out of options.
Sitting around smoking clove cigarettes and talking about Che was seen as ridiculously out of step with the times. Making money, living the good life and jumping on the speeding train of technology was where the cool kids were at, not bookstores and coffee shops. This ever-present caravan of crazies that poses as the avant guard needed to figure out how to get in on the act. Guys like Lessig figured out how to attach themselves to the productive class by philosophizing about technology.
- - The Z Blog

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 7:59 AM | Your Say (1)

And then I go to sites like Ace of Spades and they are still, STILL trying to parse Obama

and the Obama regime from the false premise that Obama and the regime are NOT the malignant, psychopathic (incapable of feeling shame or guilt), sworn enemy belligerents of the American people and milieu that they are.
What can Obama be THINKING?? How could he possibly be so INEPT? Well, what Obama is thinking is, “I’d sure like to smoke some crack and then be fellated by one of my male concubines. It’s been six hours since the last time I smoked crack and was fellated. I gots to get me some crack and fellatio. Somebody bring me some crack. And then **** my ****. ”
- - | Barnhardt

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 7:53 AM | Your Say (14)

A terrorist organization that beheads Americans and posts the video needs to be annihilated, but this is not particularly difficult.

We cannot do the killing ourselves, except, of course, from the air.
We are too squeamish under the best of circumstances, and we are too corrupted by cultural relativism (remember George W. Bush's claim that Islam is "a religion of peace"?) to recognize utterly evil nihilism when it stares us in the face. In practice, a great deal of the killing will be done by Iran and its allies: the Iraqi Shi'a, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Assad regime in Syria. It will be one of the most disgusting and disheartening episodes in modern history and there isn't much we can do to prevent it.
14 Million Refugees Make the Levant Unmanageable

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 7:10 AM | Your Say (5)

[Bumped] What on earth leads the Establishment to think America

can go into a country with a radically different and largely dysfunctional culture,
about which it knows virtually nothing, and “manage its transition to more democratic politics,” much less “rebuild societies that didn’t have any civic traditions?” Who do the Establishment think they are? Merlin? The Archangel Michael? The degree of hubris is astonishing. The United States, or any foreign power, has no more ability to do those things than we do of commanding the tide to recede.
The View From Olympus: The Origins of Our Distress | traditionalRIGHT

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 5:22 AM | Your Say (40)

September 9, 2014

Short of actual credible threat of war by the United States,

Russia intends to possess the Cossack regions of the Eastern Ukraine
– a land bridge to their newly seized Crimean peninsula – and to insure against the seizure of the rest of Ukraine by NATO. Any American foreign policy that does not realize this is deluded. What we must be concerned about is the Baltic Republics, which are already NATO members and thus war trigger allies of the United States.
- - Jerry Pournelle

[And this is why having a craven coward as a faux-president is so dangerous.]

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:13 AM | Your Say (6)

“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

-- Barack Obama, January 31, 2009

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:05 AM | Your Say (5)

“If we are part of Christendom, then we must fight the Islamics,

because they will attack us as soon as they think the odds favor them.
If they succeed in Boston, they will try the same thing in every one of our cities. Nor should you think the appeal of Islam will be only to blacks. They will shape and tune their message to white audiences as well, and they will penetrate them. They will use any means that work. Saudi Arabia used to pay tens of thousands of dollars to any American citizen who would convert to Islam.”
Victoria: Chapter 25 | traditionalRIGHT

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:00 AM | Your Say (6)

Evil is ancient, unchanging, and with us always.

The more postmodern the West becomes
— affluent, leisured, nursed on moral equivalence, utopian pacifism, and multicultural relativism — the more premodern the evil among us seems to arise in nihilistic response, whether it is from the primordial Tsarnaev brothers or Jihadi John. We have invented dozens of new ways to explain away our indifference, our enemies hundreds of new ways of reminding us of our impotence. I suppose we who enjoy the good life don’t want to lose any of it for anything — and will understandably do any amount of appeasing, explaining, and contextualizing to avoid an existential war against the beheaders and mutilators, a fact well-known to our enemies.
Works and Days » Are the Orcs Winning?

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:28 AM | Your Say (2)

If it's taxed, it must be California

After a number of days touring volcanoes on Oregon's amazing Route 97, I pulled into a border check station where a uniformed member of the state of California demanded to know if I had any concealed "produce" in my Cadillac. "There's a Fuji apple in the cooler," I said. "Go ahead," he said and waved us through into the long vallleys and fir-clad mountains and dried-up reservoirs of California.

Posting here will continue to be essays from the archives and occasional notes for a few weeks until I am settled. If anyone among my readers knows of any rental apartments or homes between Sacramento and Chico / Davis and Tahoe I'd love to hear about it at vanderleun@gmail.com .

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:24 AM | Your Say (8)

Serial Monsters

Serial killers are pretty much proportionate to the population.
So out of 100 of them, about 72% are white (of which around 17% are hispanic), about 13% are black, 5% are asian, and about 5% are native American. So yeah, most of the killers are going to be white because the bulk of the population is still (despite what you might have read in the news or see in entertainment media) white in America.
Word Around the Net

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:15 AM | Your Say (3)

10 Things about Murderers we Learned from “The First 48.”

Things we’ve never seen. We’ve never seen a murder done with a legally-bought firearm on the show.
We’ve never seen a murder where the firearm precipitated the crime. (It may have contributed to hotheaded urban “disrespect” killings). We’ve never seen a suspect who turned out to be someone from the gun culture — considering how standard that plot point is in TV, it seems to be a screenwriter fantasy of a piece with the same guys’ dread of “Eurotrash neo-nazis,” a group which has the virtue, from Hollywood’s viewpoint, of being too small and nonexistent to pursue a defamation action.
| WeaponsMan

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:14 AM | Your Say (0)

September 2, 2014

'Imaginary Elegies: IV'

a_santamonicapiersign.jpg

This much I’ve learned
In these five years in what I’ve spent and earned:
Time does not finish a poem.
Upon the old amusement pier I watch
The creeping darkness gather in the west.
Above the giant funhouse and the ghosts
I hear the seagulls call. They’re going west
Toward some great Catalina of a dream
Out where the poem ends.

But does it end?

The birds are still in flight. Believe the birds.

-- Jack Spicer

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 11:25 PM | Your Say (2)

The goal of Women’s Liberation is to wear each female down to losing all empathy for boys, men or babies.

By the time Women’s Studies professors finish with your daughter, she will be a shell of the innocent girl you knew,

who’s soon convinced that although she should be flopping down with every boy she fancies, she should not, by any means, get pregnant. And so, as a practitioner of promiscuity, she becomes a wizard of prevention techniques, especially abortion. The goal of Women’s Liberation is to wear each female down to losing all empathy for boys, men or babies. The tenderest aspects of her soul are roughened into a rock pile of cynicism, where she will think nothing of murdering her baby in the warm protective nest of her little-girl womb. She will be taught that she, in order to free herself, must become an outlaw.
Marxist Feminism's Ruined Lives

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 7:52 AM | Your Say (6)

Anthony Watts reminds us of what the settled scientists were saying half-a-decade ago:

World Will Warm Faster Than Predicted In Next Five Years, Study Warns.
Duncan Clark in The Guardian laid it on as only a devout warm-monger can: The world faces record-breaking temperatures as the sun's activity increases, leading the planet to heat up significantly faster than scientists had predicted for the next five years. Er, no. None of that happened. That was The Guardian on July 27th 2009
When Science is Settled - by Government :: SteynOnline

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 5:32 AM | Your Say (5)

September 1, 2014

Things rarely end the way we think they will,

usually a low-probability event occurs, something it seemed safe to ignore, or at least to discount, until suddenly it wasn't.
Once the stuff of novels, the unexpected is now the stuff of life. It's what makes interesting times dangerous times. We're seeing a replay of 2008 but at the next higher level, not unstable financial outfits, not even unstable markets, but unstable regions of the world. Where we had banks fail we're having nations fail, at the near periphery for now but moving toward the core like Genghis Kahn at a gallop.
ol remus and the woodpile report

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 11:44 PM | Your Say (1)

"If you are going 80 miles per house how long does it take to go 80 miles?"

Watch the great debate here at Lequelle Moore-El ye mighty and despair!

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:43 PM | Your Say (11)

May Day in Europe and Labour Day in America do not celebrate work,

as a spiritual good when properly directed,
but the organization of workers into a political force. We have the unions which replaced the ancient guilds, in which the member is only incidentally a labourer, and need have achieved no craft skill at all. His real identity is that of an anonymous and dependent cypher, serving the interests of men with power, who serve his interest by getting him more paper money, through “collective bargaining”: a legalized process of threats and extortion. The modern worker is a faceless man, or interchangeably a faceless woman, employed in office or factory, including our factory farms. He is part of the machinery. He must be “efficient” in machine terms, or like any other defective part he will be replaced.
Labour Day : Essays in Idleness

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:40 PM | Your Say (2)

"And, lo, there was a basso-profundo 'har-de-har-har' in heaven:"

Proof of a Merciful God with a Sense of Humor is found in the fact that this insectoid life-form is still consuming oxygen and drooling on a daily basis.
bidenunleashed.jpg

Observer one: "He thinks he's co-opting the Tea Party."

Observer two: "He's co-opting his crotch. Which is, absent an upstream cerebral hemorrhage on the golf course, about as far as his grasp on power is allowed to reach."

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 1:07 PM | Your Say (5)

There’s a degree of contempt for the rich, in general, amongst the ruling class.

The Rodney Dangerfield rich guys who barges in thinking
they can buy their way into the right parties are particularly loathed by the Ted Baxter set. Even so, the sophisticated classes that run things in Washington are very good at handling wealthy rubes from the provinces. They want their money, of course. They just don’t want to put up with the bullshit that rich people bring with them.

So, they direct them into harmless endeavors....
the game was to guide the rich dumbasses into funding projects that employed friends of the political class. It was a form of patronage. It was also a way to keep the rich people from doing something stupid. Think about all of the Hollywood assholes who get involved in a cause. Most of them can’t count their balls twice and come up with the same number, but they are loaded and they have free time. That’s a dangerous combo if they want to “make a difference.”
The Z Blog › Fools And Their Money

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 12:37 PM | Your Say (1)

They were just regular fellas, living life and doing things the right way,

same as all over the country, men of that generation, Americans to their last breath.
What they didn’t do was talk like some kinda punks that had paper assholes. They didn’t have to. They knew their strength and were secure with it.

I learned from this that first comes the man. His reputation follows like dust down a country road. It's not like that these days. A lot of guys in my generation, Boomers if you will, their reputation is concocted and sent in first, like a brass band marching into town ahead of the circus. It is fear-driven. Large promise and poor performance might be their mantra.
Spillers of Soup: FATHERS DAY

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 9:49 AM | Your Say (2)

The trouble with these disquisitions on inequality is not that they are mere sentimentality.

The trouble is the sentiment is imaginary.
No one really believes inequality is a problem, save for maybe a few bitter Marxists in your local state college faculty lounge. These are those old rancid hippies who have posters of Che Guevara on their office wall. No, the people who prattle on about inequality simply wish to replace the current inequalities that don’t favor them with a new set that do favor them.
The Z Blog › More TED Talks

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:21 AM | Your Say (0)

On the World’s Oldest Trousers

oldest-trousers.jpg

But now it appears that an even older pair of trousers — some two thousand nine hundred and forty-eight years older — has come to light.
According to a paper in Quarternary International, the garment was unearthed by a team of scientists excavating the tombs in an ancient burial ground, the Yanghai graveyard, in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of western China. This vast cemetery, which covers an area of two square miles, was discovered in the nineteen-seventies by local villagers. It lies on the fringes of the Taklamakan desert, close to the Turfan oasis, in the Tarim Basin, a stopping place for nomads of the Bronze Age and, later, for the caravans of the Silk Route. The extreme dryness of the climate preserved the bodies and their grave goods to a remarkable degree, including perishable items like clothing and food. In one tomb, there was a basket of fruit and leaves near the mummy of a presumed shaman and, next to his head, a stash of cannabis that was still green.
- - The New Yorker

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 8:07 AM | Your Say (3)

California is no longer the 15 million person state that once was adequately served by our forefathers’ water-transfer projects.

It is not even the 40 million person state
that our ancestors warned could survive long droughts (but only if their descendants of course finish the state and federal water projects). It is instead a 40 million person state with a 20 million person system of reservoirs and canals. In that regard, California’s population would long ago have stayed static, given the recent three decade exoduses of millions of residents tired of high income, sales, and gas taxes, and poor roads, schools, and law enforcement in return. The great equalizer was illegal immigration.

Works and Days サ Mythologies and Pathologies of the California Drought

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 5:37 AM | Your Say (4)

Falling on Grenades:

Lucas-340x439.jpg

The Indestructible Jacklyn H. Lucas During the battle on February 20, 1945, Jack and his comrades were advancing toward a Japanese airstrip near Mount Suribachi. Taking cover in a trench under heavy fire, Jack realized they were only feet away from enemy soldiers in a neighboring trench. He managed to shoot two of the soldiers before two live grenades landed in his trench.
Thinking quickly, Jack threw himself on the first grenade, shoving it into volcanic ash and used his body and rifle to shield the others with him from the pending blast. When another grenade appeared directly after the first, he reached out and pulled it under himself as well. His body took the brunt of the blasts and the massive amount of shrapnel. His companions were all saved, but his injuries were so serious they thought he had died. Only after a second company moved through did anyone realize he was somehow still alive. Jack endured nearly two dozen surgeries and extensive therapy and convalescence. Despite the surgeries, over 200 pieces of shrapnel remained in his body for the rest of his life.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at 5:24 AM | Your Say (6)