Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Leads That Bite the Ass That Wrote Them

Slate's designated blogboy Bill Saletan is hoist by his own keyboard tonight. He begins to tell his tale according to the voices in his head by slamming Senator Bill Frist for a slip of the tongue:

Frist opens with a Dole-esque gaffe of his own. His prepared text accuses some Democrats of not wanting "seniors" to participate in the drug program. Frist accidentally calls them "senators." This slip takes place just as Frist is about to accuse Democrats of caring more about politics than patients. Evidently it's Frist who has politics on his mind.
But Frist is not the only one having trouble with his mode of expression tonight. Just a bit down the page Saletan writes:
"Elizabeth Dole delivers the fist significant speech of the night."
Frist, First, Fist... it's all the same when we rely on our spell checkers rather than our brains, isn't it Bill?

But then, maybe he meant it. I missed Dole's speech. Maybe it had a lot of punch.

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 31, 2004 11:23 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Instabooks for the New York Convention

With all the hoopla and the crowds swarming over the sidewalks of New York like the world's largest unleashed antfarm, it surprises me that no enterprising soul has tried to gin up some meaningful souvenirs to palm off on delegates and demonstrators alike.

Here's two quickies that would probably sell out the sidewalk book tables in no time. And, because they're books, you don't need a license to hawk them:

Something for the Delegates to Take Home

Something for the Demonstrators to Take Home

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 31, 2004 10:00 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Redneck's OnStar: Locked Out of Your Car? Try This

My father-in-law, Bob, forwards this hint with the message, "We've got to try this sometime." Okay, but he goes first.

This only applies to cars that can be unlocked by that remote button on your key ring. Should you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are home, and you don't have "OnStar," here's your answer to the problem!

If someone has access to the spare remote at your home, call them on your cell phone (or borrow one from someone if the cell phone is locked in the car too!)

Hold your (or anyone's) cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the other person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the phone.

Your car will unlock. and it works. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other "remote" for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk, or have the "horn" signal go off, or whatever!)

UPDATE: Department of "If it seems too good to be true it was forwarded email." An alert reader in the comments points out that Snopes has already debunked this with an entry that gives you all you need to know about automobile unlocking systems. Excerpt:
"Relaying remote entry system signals via telephone might work if the signals were sound-based, but they're not. An RKE system transmits an encrypted data stream to a receiver inside the automobile via an RF (radio frequency) signal, a signal that can't be effectively relayed via cell phone.... We don't know whether whoever created this message was deliberately joking or earnestly mistaken, but the vision of stranded motorists vainly holding cell phones up to their cars in the hopes of unlocking them is an amusing one.
I certainly hope my father-in-law didn't talk my mother-in-law into trying this.

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 31, 2004 9:03 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Okay, Everybody Just Back Away from the Twins!

What is this? Bash the Bush kids night? Almost every blogger on the right that I bring up is dumping all over the Bush Twins this evening.

People need to get a firm grip on the mouse before they select "Save." This pusillanimous dogpiling is lame, halt and betrays a lack of anything substantive to say. The main thing there is to say is short and sweet: "We're not voting on the kids this year so it really doesn't matter."

That's it, but can we stop? No. The Corner's kvetching -- with Goldberg and Lopez in a cross-posting liplock. The cable pundits are ranking on them from wild rank to medium to mild as you tune from CNN to MSNBC to Fox. You can hear the New York Times sending out The Gang of Four to sober up Maureen Dowd. Even the usually well-balanced Reynolds and Roger Simon are throwing brickbats at these feckless 22-year-olds. (Although Reynolds has been bringing in some other reactions that even this out -- that's why he's valuable.)

I shudder to think what's going on at IndyMedia and other moonbat breeding and roosting farms. We can expect their heads grafted onto various obscene poses and bodies within the hour.

Little wonder their parents keep them out of it.

Everybody just needs to hit the brakes and stop this frantic blogeration over every little nit that pops up for picking at the convention. There is bigger game to be bagged and bigger issues to illuminate than the question of how good, bad, sharp, lame, or indifferent a couple of cloistered 22-year-old girls are when trotted out onto a stage in front of the nation.

I seriously doubt that 1.5% of the ladies and gentlemen blasting their bits across the Net tonight could come off one tenth as well.

This is not to say we saw the reincarnation of Winston Churchill as the Doublemint Twins tonight. It's only to say that , for crying out loud, they are twenty-two years old and have the general mental furniture of most twenty-two year olds.

They came out, they said their lines, they said "Hi" to Grandma, they introduced their Dad and they exited. No big thrill? Well, so what?

Not every moment can be a perfect gem, folks.

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 31, 2004 8:51 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Allah Is Just All Right With Us

France Offers Terrorists Historic Compromise

appeasecf.jpg Cox & Forkum: C'est l'appeasement

Speaking from the Elysee Palace in Paris today, President Jacques Chirac announced that, in accordance with its finest military traditions, France was prepared to meet the abductors of its citizens halfway over the Muslim Headscarf issue.

"After extensive consultations with everyone who has worked with France in expanding the horizons of graft in the Middle East over the last fifty year," M. Chirac said, "We have come up with a solution to this unfortunate misunderstanding among friends and equals. We trust that this solution not only underscores our committment to dialogue but also our willingness to seek non-agressive solutions to seemingly insoluble problems.

"France, a proud nation, cannot negotiate with Terrorists. It can, however, move its government to the South of France and re-examine the options. There is ample precedent for this.

"After examining the regulations restricting the wearing of religous symbolism in France's schools, we have decided to compromise by rescinding the ban on headscarfs, but keeping the ban on the Crucifix, the Star of David, and the Yamulke in place.

"Okay? Thanks. Let's eat."

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 31, 2004 4:09 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Fun of Flying: Vacation Report 1

Whenever I am about to join my fellow citizens in the Totalitarian Theme Park called "Commercial Aviation," I like to feel I have everything under control. This is because when we submit ourselves to commercial aviation we surrender all control and pay for the privilege as well.

Whenever I'm going out for a day of fun and frivolity in the air transport system, I like to be packed, ready and at the airport early. Early arrival for late departure is necessary to savor the experience of shuffling along in the black and white reel of the Apple Macintosh Superbowl commercial, knowing that every female athlete that can throw a hammer into my reality screen is busy rolling around in the sand with her partner at the Beach volleyball finals in Athens. Still, it is important to get to the airport early wearing loafers or flip-flops. The airport is our new national ritual in which we celebrate our "freedom from fear." Naturally, I got to the airport late.

At her pre-dawn gym session, my wife had the first of a number of minor mishaps which would plague our "summer vacation." As she pulled hard on the supersized rubber bands she uses for stretching exercises, one band slipped off her foot and, obeying the laws of extension physics, snapped across her torso and directly into her eye. The sound of the impact was enough to bring the slaves of the stairmaster to a halt in mid-step.

Pain, icepacks, swelling and an emergency call to the optometrist were next. At the time where we would normally be wondering if we were going to win the body-cavity search Lotto or settle for just a light wanding of our toes, we were waiting for the optometrist to determine if a retina had detached and surgery would be our major vacation activity.

After long minutes manipulating her bizarre machines in her darkened room, the optometrist determined that it was "probable" that the eye was not severely damaged and, while my wife would see a host of gnats, dots, and translucent islands floating about in her vision for some time, no surgery would be required. We were grateful for her skill, care and her mojo vibrating out of her four inch gold broach spelling out "Jesus" in rubies. You take the edge you can get. I asked my wife if we should stop off and get her a pirate's eye patch because it would make her look hot and we could say "Arrgh!" to each other. She told me to put the hammer down and get to the airport.

"Pulling into "John Wayne..." (I love to say that I fly out of "John Wayne International." It seems so masculine even though a friend of mine is in the fifth year of trying to convince me that John Wayne was gay -- "The walk. The real name... Marion. The butch cowboy gear and that little bandana. The


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 31, 2004 3:17 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Killing of New York City

It would seem that, while I was out, the Republicans have cunningly decided to convene in New York City and thereby suck everything loose in the United States onto that island. Over the past day, visiting a number of moonbat habitats, I've been amused to see that many are getting themselves thrown into the hoosegow in record numbers, and whining about it when they are forced to sleep on a floor that lacks a futon.

Sigh. Kids today just don't have the courage of their convictions. Indeed, it would seem that they believe that if you make yourself obnoxious enough to be arrested in a high-security, high risk, high-terror zone, you should be let off with a warning instead of spending the night in unpleasant circumstances. It must be all that self-esteem boosting they get in school. How cruel when life hands out jail time instead of a chiding word from the teacher.

I actually read one complaint where the person ranting seemed to think, to seriously think, these whack-jobs were being subjected to Gulagesque police state tactics. Others were whining that they may have been exposed to toxic chemicals during the hours spent pent in a bus station.

Weak little whippersnappers all. When I was helping invent and perfect the street demonstations back in Berkeley in the Sixties, those snapped up by the cops met the concrete with great regularity. Some, during the memorable People's Park riots were actually shot by Oakland's finest. One, as I recall, was shot dead. None whined about exposure to toxic chemicals. We just wrapped our shirts over out mouths, doused them with water, ran out and threw the tear-gas back at the cops. Ah, those were the days!

Today, however, the stakes are larger. Much larger. Here's an item from my archives that proposes a little scenario for killing off a lot of people in New York City with just four determined men. None of these men seems to be the sort to waltz around naked or take their $2,000 mountain bike for a spin.

How likely is this scenario from earlier this year? Well, this week the authorities did bust a couple of middle-eastern gentlemen for planning to blow up the 34th Street Subway Station. I know that station well. I went into it twice a day for several years.

In the wake of the Spanish outrage, an email asks what it would take for the global terrorists to take the next step in the United States.

It turns out that, as in Spain, it wouldn’t take much at all. Here’s what you’d need and how it could be done. But it is just one way. There are many.


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 31, 2004 3:15 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Okay, Break's Over...

Back in the Jar!


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 31, 2004 11:43 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Evolution Porridge: Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold, but Just Right

STONE SOUP MEETS GOLDILOCKS as told by Paul Shlichta at
The American Thinker

[T]he concept of the spontaneous origin of the first cell is on very shaky ground. You must start by making a quasi-primordial soup, rich in amino acids and other building blocks of life, as Stanley Miller and Harold Urey did in the 1950's. Then you must somehow stir it and shake it until the components spontaneously assemble to form long chains of DNA, RNA, proteins, and numerous other macromolecules—with all of the multi-thousand amino acid sequences exactly right and mutually compatible. Then you must continue stirring until the macromolecules sort themselves out into the proper groups and somehow surround themselves with membranes, with just the right sort of ion transport properties, to form organelles such as a nucleus, lysosomes, ribosomes, mitochondria, and all the other cellular components. Then you must keep stirring until all these organelles pack themselves into a cell membrane, with just the right composition of fluid in it. You have only a few billion years to shake up all these dice and have them all come up right at the same place and time.. Ready, set, go, and good luck -- but I don't think you're going to succeed. However, if you think this scenario is scientifically plausible, then sit down and start calculating probabilities.

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 26, 2004 10:12 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Poet Goes On The Wagon

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 22, 2004 9:09 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Expecting to Fly

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings."

(Sung a la Neil Young:)
"There you stood
on the edge of forever,
expecting to fly...."

These days
Every day
Is a Great Day
Not to fly.

These days
Every day
You have to fly
Is one day
Filed under "Well, what fresh Hell is this?"

These days
Every day
You choose to fly
Is one day dedicated
To getting terminal in the terminal where you can check in but never leave.

These days
You get confused
Stuck in the terminal
Wandering and wondering
When it was that Yoko Ono began to look like every other old Japanese woman you see waiting in that terminal.

These days
It's a good thing
Everyone terminalized
Is unarmed....
except, of course, "Security" which, these days, is securing everybody obviously not Islamic and patting down that fat Hoosier over there, yeah, the threatening one with Down's syndrome drooling in his tinfoil wheelchair, or paging Two-Ton Tessie, the bull dyke who last found work with William Burrough's Naked Lunch Freight Lines humping ten tons of toilets over the Great Divide and down into Joplin, M. O., with her patented dual-control dildo, Steely Dan, as her only companion until she washed up here in this Federally-funded program for lifetime pervert employment that gives her a whole new career here at the Terminal, even though she's older now with prolapsed kidneys giving her an itch and a drip and a bad attitude which she employs when she steps in from her meth break to secure Grandma Moses with a polite, "Stand up, spread 'em, up against the clear plastic wall, y'all, and feel my big steel wand slide beeping up one thigh and down the other, over and under your withered jugs , you don't mind, do you, Grandma, well do you punk?," while Abdul, Achmad and the Mugwump sail on by to the Sky Club to take over the sauna until plane time chatting about how fortunate it was they kept that Polaroid of Tom Ridge and Achmad in the back of a Buick 6 up on Lover's Leap in 1996 angled just so you can see Achmad giving Tom his special wink as he performs his special trick called "Swallow My Sword and say 'Allah Akbar,' my beloved Infidel."

These days
I suppose
It was only a matter
Of time until
They started stripping off everything but your shoes, yanking out your gold fillings that were beeping the machine, sanitizing their blue steel wands, and whispering to the eagerly shuffling line,
"Your flight is boarding now
We've upgraded you all to first class.
Step right up for your cavity search.
This way, citizens, this way to the gas."

These days
If you're expecting to fly,
Just make dead sure
Old Yoko Ono boards first.

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 21, 2004 2:02 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Tone Deaf

YET ANOTHER CELEBRITY missing the double entendre.

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 21, 2004 7:31 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
How to Make Sure Your Business Shrinks

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 20, 2004 12:59 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
A Quiet Prayer

Dear Lord,


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 20, 2004 10:40 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Cindy Calls for Volunteers

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 20, 2004 10:33 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Grand Rounds

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 20, 2004 9:45 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 19, 2004 8:46 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Grand Rounds

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 18, 2004 9:21 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sign of the Times

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 16, 2004 11:24 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Pause That Refreshes: I will be on vacation until August 15th

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 3, 2004 12:12 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My Mom

"I can't play in the senior tournaments anymore, because there is no one in my age category."

"YOU LIVE LONG ENOUGH and you get noted just for showing up," said my mother when commenting on her recent appearance in her home town paper, The Chico Enterprise.

I've written about this remarkable woman before ( "My Mother at Ninety " ) but I'm putting this story in here so people can see I don't admire her just because she's my mom.

A little tennis, volunteering, travel ...
BY MARY NUGENT -- Staff Writer

Lois Van der Leun plays tennis, volunteers at an elementary school, plays bridge and wears a stylish haircut. At Chico Racquet Club, everyone greets her and kids around with her. She is one of the club's founding members.

Van der Leun is 90 years old. People say she is unusual for her age, but to Van der Leun, she's just living her life.

One hot Thursday morning after a couple of hours of tennis, she sips iced tea and talks with the E-R about her life.

"I have good genes. My mother lived to be 99 and her niece was 107. I have relatives


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 1, 2004 11:09 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And the Back of the Leather Jacket says, "Born to Mow"

WANT TO GET YOUR KID TO MOW THE LAWN? Just buy one of these.


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 1, 2004 10:38 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Air Scamerica: A Plea for Help

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 1, 2004 9:56 AM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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