Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
"It Must Be True. I Read It in The New York Times on the Internet."

John Schwartz, writing in the New York Times (AKA "The White Hot Center of Liberal Hell and Leftist Pinko Moonbat Kerry-Kissing Revisionism Now Coughing Up Only a Death Rattle on a Daily Basis Times) wisely and correctly notes in his surpassingly brilliant and for once utterly true (for at least two paragraphs) Pultizer Prize quality (for at least two paragraphs) article found at: in The New York Times > Week in Review > When No Fact Goes Unchecked

It's true that Kerry and Bush supporters live in "different universes," said Gerard Van der Leun, whose blog, at, blends conservative political views with coruscating humor. But he disagrees strongly with the notion that one side has a monopoly on truth.

"I think it's evident that both sides play about as fast and loose in this political season as they possibly can," he said.

I note he left out my best anecdote about the two groups in two tents with opium pipes, but I'm sure that Schwartz's editor (AKA: Spawn of Satan! ) cut that out so as not to offend Frank Rich with whom he shares a goat.

Now, I admit that might have been misquoted in the article, but due to my recent misfortune ( Blogger's Head Explodes) I'm can't be sure.

Still, I have been reanimated and reconstructed enough to say:

"Hi, my name is Gerard and I'm a Timesaholic. If I can kick it, so can you. " Here's my Program: "NY Times Anonymous: The Twelve Steps. Keep coming back. It works!"

I also realize that there may be among you those so depraved and bottomed out in Timesaholism that you have finished the Sunday Crossword in ink before coming here. To me this can only mean that you will also be casting your vote for the last Democratic candidate for President for at least a generation, John Kerry.

To you I can only say that you will want to come back here on the day after the election. I'll be posting the National Suicide Hotline list, with some special secret phone numbers so you won't have to spend three hours on hold.

A special service for my liberal readers. Both of them.

UPDATE: Reviewed ruthlessly by my wonderful wife at Cheaper Than Therapy .

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 31, 2004 12:16 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Question Every Kerry Voter Needs to Ask Just Before They Pull the Lever

“What have I turned into? How did I become so reflexively partisan, so blinded by rage, so intemperate in my rhetoric that my own arguments are being echoed by a man who planned and enjoyed the mass murder of Americans?”

"How the hell did I reach the point where I agree with Osama bin Laden on Bush?"

Posed by: The Kerry Spot

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 31, 2004 12:04 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Kos Packs for Canada.

"Okay, let's go over this one more time.... think, think....

One forty-five caliber automatic squirt gun;
Two boxes of nutrient supplements for taking off nagging belly-fat;
Four days' concentrated emergency bile;
One drug issue containing ludes, morphine, X, uppers, downers, lithium;
One copy Candian Suicide Hotline 800 Number
One miniature combination French Phrase Book and Greatest Hits of Andrew Sullivan;
One hundred dollars American, one hundred dollars in gold equalling $12,463 dollars Canadian.
Nineteen pounds of primo medical marijuana -- better make it 20 in case it takes more than a day to get there.
One prophylactic (small.)
Three lipsticks in my favorite trendy shade -- "Ghoul";
Three pair of nylon stockings in case I get a runner.

"Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 30, 2004 5:08 PM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Current Status

AFTER NO LITTLE EFFORT I'm pleased to report that I've secured a house in the Queen Anne section of Seattle. The movers deliver next Tuesday and at some point soon after that I should be able to resume ranting at regular intervals.

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 29, 2004 12:32 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
If it's not close, they can't litigate.

The alert bookworm bassist Cameron at the stylish Way Off Bass has directed my attention to Mark Steyn's latest, a 3 page declaration of the coming Bush Tsunami, If Bush goes, I go.

Needless to say, Steyn's not going anywhere, but if he does I'm renting the next condo over. Here are three picks from each of three masterful pages.


So my hunch that that first Harris poll is the correct one is only that -- a hunch that Bush is ahead outside the margin of error. Unfortunately, on election day, he also has to be ahead outside the margin of lawyer, which is a tougher call. The Democrats already have thousands of chad-chasers circling the courthouses in Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and even New Hampshire, alas. It's important for Bush to win big enough both to compensate for Democrat fraud and to deter litigation.



Posted by Vanderleun Oct 28, 2004 11:44 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
GoogleWorld: Google to Own Your Desktop. Short Microsoft.

With the huge momentum and capital built up by Google in the past year, it's only natural to wonder what's next. Many say, with the advent of Google Desktop Search (We note in passing that Google has no time for the Macs of the World), the Google Browser. But really, isn't that just so 1990s? Browser wars? Been there, done that, have the T-Shirt and the stop-loss forms. So, the real question is "Just what does Google want?"

The answer isn't long in coming. Google wants the world and it wants it ... if not now, by and by. D. Weinberger at Joho seems to be on the case with: Google browser browses the world. He looks at some recent purchases and releases from Google and states google+google=world. What would this item from Google ultimately look like?

It would not be a Web browser. It'd be a world browser. It would find pages on the Web, of course, but it'd also find the ones on my desktop (Google desktop). It would know about my email (Gmail). It would know that my own photos are categorically different from all the other jpgs on the planet (Picasa). It would let me browse the physical earth (Keyhole) and show on a map the documents that talk about any particular place (Keyhole Google Local).

And it wouldn't be just a browser. It would let me work with the information I've found: Manage my photos (Picasa), manage my desktop files, translate documents (Google Languages), shop...

If that's what Google's aiming at, they need a file manager (no big deal) and would probably want to have a e-wallet and maybe a digital ID offering (Whoogle? — currently owned by AK PRadeep in Berkeley).

The result would replace current browsers but wouldn't look much like them. You'd do so much of your daily work in it it that it would feel more like a desktop...

...which is where it gets really interesting.

Desktop? But isn't that real estate pretty much owned by Redmond? I wonder why Steve Balmer at Microsoft is spending his time spamming, ranting and railing at Open Source. Seems to me that the Microsoft Oasis is being slowly surrounded by sneaky little seach agents with gleaming scimtars clenched in their geeky little teeth. Then again, Microsoft has a habit of batting last.

Yes, this is where it gets really interesting....


Posted by Vanderleun Oct 28, 2004 9:35 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Large Liberal Media Just Keeps Tanking
Was It Something They Said?

Large liberal media continues to slide down the long slope towards Total Loss Farm. The Los Angeles Times, which brought in Michael Kinsley as an editorial tourniquet a few months back, admitted today that it has suffered a large if not catastrophic loss in circulation during this election year -- a time when readership traditionally grows for newspapers.

The LA Times which is widely known as a liberal hotbed of news hit pieces ( The recall election in California saw it shine in this regard.), enjoys a virtual monopoly in Los Angles. Still, it cannot seem to shake itself out of the stupor which has overtaken most liberal media.

The numbers of the last year tell the story.


Posted by Vanderleun Oct 28, 2004 5:21 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
NY Times Anonymous: The Twelve Steps

Study of these Steps is essential to progress in NY Times Anon . The principles they embody are universal, applicable to everyone except Hopelessly Addicted Liberals. In NY Times Anon, we strive for an ever-deeper understanding of our addiction to NY Times Blather and devote ourselves to ending it forever. We are always mindful that even one small sip of a Maureen Dowd column can lead to a life of despair and intellectually bottoming out.

1. We admitted we were powerless over The NY Times -- that our reading lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Fox News greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, truth, justice and the American Way.

3. Made a decision to turn our New York Times subscription (and our lust to feel smarter than the guy next door who reads the LA Times) over to the care of Fox News as we understood It.

4. Made a searching moral inventory of Howell Raines, Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, Pinch and the other tight bodies giving backrubs in the NYet Times editorial hot tub.

5. Admitted to Fox, to ourselves and to the exact nature of our misplaced credulity and lust after a front page review of our next book in the NYet Times Sunday Book Review.

6. Were entirely ready to have Fox News and our local proctologist remove all copies of the NY Times from our memory banks.

7. Humbly asked Bill O'Reilly to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed by quoting the NY Times in arguments and blatherfests, and became willing to send them gift subscriptions to the National Review.

9. Watched Fox News wherever possible, except when to do so would cause our teeth to burst into flames.

10. Continued to guard against reading the NY Times and when we slipped promptly watched Fox News.

11. Sought through Anne Coulter to improve our conscious contact with Fox News as we understood it, praying only for Geraldo.

12. Having had a huge amount of spare time added to our lives, especially on Sundays, as the result of not reading the NY Times, we tried to extend our watching of Fox News to others who were still addicted to the NY Times.


Posted by Vanderleun Oct 27, 2004 1:06 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Blogger's Head to Be Rebuilt at JPL

Van der Leun head assembly schematic.

From AMERICAN DIGEST NEWS, October 27, 2004

LAGUNA BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- The reassembly and reanimation of blogger Gerard Van der Leun's head went forward quickly over the last 24 hours. Mr. Van der Leun, the latest victim of Hyper-Cerebral Blogosis or HCB, has had the remnants of his head taken to JPL by a crack team of actors from CSI:Las Vegas. "We used Shop-Vacs to make sure we got every smidgen," said the lead investigator on the case. "There's no proof of crime except a general crime against humanity brought on by over exposure to punditry."

Van der Leun, whose head injuries were reported yesterday in Blogger's Head Explodes, is expected to make a full and complete reassembly and reanimation on the lab benches of JPL. "If we can put a man on Mars," said Professor Blunt, "we can certainly put this blogger back into his blather in no time. What? We haven't put a man on Mars? Give it time. I'm part of the Kerry transition team and we've got great plans for George Bush."


In other news, Donna @ Pajama Pundits has found other upsetting examples of Exploding Head Syndrome sweeping the Blogsphere this week.

Vulcan Mind Melds In a Time of Cholera

So this afternoon my brother Tom and I are driving home up The Five from San Diego. We're in the long stretch from Oceanside up to Beach Cities that runs through the fringes of the Pendelton Marine Base.

Tom's a retired elementary school teacher. As such he's seen into the black heart of what is called the "California Teachers Union" and its members a few too many times for his own good. He's worked for decades right next to all the bizarre manifestations of dedicated econuts, experimental educational consultants, and other strange species of moonbats that suck a check out of the state for confusing our young on a monthly basis. A lesser man might have been subsumed by the tidalwaves of BS that wash through the California school system and build up in the shallows, but our father taught us to have independent minds above all.

In addition, Tom's an unreconstructed Jacksonian with a lot of friends in the Highway Patrol, a big Harley in his garage, and a regular gig singing at his


Posted by Vanderleun Oct 24, 2004 11:42 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Open-Source Terrorist Entrepreneurs

The Bazaar of Violence in Iraq

John Robb @ Global Guerrillas casts a cold eye on the business of terrorism in Iraq in GUERRILLA ENTREPRENEURS.

In this item as well as others he's written in the past and linked to this essay, Robb lays out the "economics" of the war as seen from the other side. Often lost in the emotional back and forth about the battles in Iraq are the sheer business details that allow it to go forward. Some bullet points are:


Posted by Vanderleun Oct 24, 2004 7:00 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Bill Maher's Religion Is That Religious People Are Crazy

Today's entry in the "I try to become more cynical every day, but lately I just can't keep up." sweepstakes comes out of the mouth of the "I think he was funny once" Bill Maher:

"I always call religion a neurological disorder. I really do believe that. I mean it's not criticizing. I'm just saying if you took religion out of it and somebody went to a psychiatrist and said you know I believe in you know this crazy, illogical thing, the shrink would say, well you have a neurological disorder. And you need to really get therapy or take a pill."
-- CBC News Indepth
It's nice to know what Bill "really does believe." Seems to be almost a religous obsession with him.

One can almost see Bill at his shrink's office, deep in the 15th year of the talking cure, wondering why so many have turned away from him in the last years. He's in there on the couch wondering why those golden years of prime time seem to have slipped away. He's unsure about the fickle love of the people that have cast him down from network into a squawk show that features more of Jeanne Garofalo than anyone, even her long tail of ex-lovers, wants to see.

In his sessions, Maher returns again and again, like a dog to his vomit, to knowing that the love he once felt beamed towards him from the faceless multitude has gone from a torrent to a trickle, that his income and ability to afford a "must-see" Hollywood shrink six times a week is becoming more and more limited. He knows that his chances for a theatre with his name on it in Branford for his declining years are slim to none. His Vegas bookings seem to be sliding into oblivion. His HBO ratings are working on negative numbers. His nose is enlarging and his hairline receding. The chill fingers of andropause grip his inner cortex. His phone simply does not ring.

Nothing since mid-September, 2001, has been really working for this guy. Everything slips slowly away. A few people in the media are still sort of interested in what he has to say, but that's tailing off. He hasn't had an invitation to the White House since, well, since Bill. Nothing he does gets him forward in his "career." And he just doesn't understand why.

The doctor, knowing that Bill is thousands behind in his fees, decides it is time to write this bozo off and open up an hour for someone who can still pay. "Bill," he says, "it is time we re-evaluate our relationship. This is the last session until you pay in full and even then I can't promise you I'll have time to listen to your whines on a regular basis."

"You can't do that, Doctor. You can't. Who will I talk to? What will I do?"

"This is your last prescription, Bill. Your last. I'll make it out for 30 five grain Seconals. The way I see it you can either take them all at once or try...."

"Try what, Doctor?"

"Prayer, Bill. Prayer."

"Prayer? Hummm, well, okay Doctor, but only because you say so."

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 24, 2004 1:07 PM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Cave in Tora Bora

A few days after writing, The Meeting , [below] I received a mysterious email from what looked, at first glance, like a Hotmail account, but whose headers pointed to a point of origin somewhere inside the "" domain. The subject line read: "A Far More Plausible Scenario."

Whether it is "a more plausible scenario"or not, I will leave to my readers. Still, it does have an ending more chilling than any I could have imagined. And when you find conclusions that outstrip your imaginations, it is always a sign you are looking at something that just might have a grain of truth at the core.

Date: xx/xx/2002 Place: A cave in Tora Bora

The scene is lit by a four Coleman lanterns in the corners of the cave. In the center is a blindfolded figure in native Arab garb. Even bound to the chair, he exhibits defiance. He's surrounded by Special Forces troops. One is taking the picture that's going to buy him a new boat back home.

All of them snap to attention as a crisp "Ten-hut!" comes from up the cave towards the entrance. Even the trained eyes of the Special Forces Ops widen slightly when they see who is there.

"Sir!" they all snap salutes.

"Good job men", he answers. "Is the prisoner secure?"

"Sir,yes Sir!" they all answer with hardened pride.

"Excellent. Consider yourselves all promoted. Now leave us for a minute."

"But, sir...."

"No buts soldier. I'll assume you're right up the tunnel if I need you. I have some personal messages I need to pass on".

With a knowing, but restrained, smirk, the soldiers file out.

The visitor waits until the footsteps fade down the tunnel. "So", he begins, "we finally have you."

The prisoner doesn't react, but you can sense a black seething from beneath the blindfold. The visitor reaches forward, and pulls it off.

"Come on Osama, did you really think we wouldn't find you? You know, Uncle Sam gets really, really mad when you do live up to your end of the deal."


Posted by Vanderleun Oct 24, 2004 12:51 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I try to become more cynical every day, but lately I just can't keep up."


"On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?"
-- Guardian
One might ask more handily, "Where is a V-2 rocket with target co-ordinates set to the Guardian's offices?" The "entire civilized world"? Surely they don't include themselves. From the context, I guess we are to assume the Guardian would have gone for the killing of Abraham Lincoln, John Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan too.

The email address of the "columist" who thinks it would be great if George Bush is assassinated is:

The email address to comment directly to the newspaper that thinks it would be great if George Bush is assassinated is:

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 23, 2004 6:30 PM | Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On Comments

A brief note about comments:

As many know, "comment spam" is a vile and unceasing problem in the blog world. Usually I weed out these noxious items as part of my early-morning ritual, but after being away last week I returned to find that more than 1,500 comment spams of particularly odious content had been posted to the page.

The result is that I am still, in fits and starts, working to remove them. But in the meantime I've set comments off by default.

In the near future we will install a more advanced blogging system and I'll be able to return things to normal, but in the interim please bear with me.

If you do have something you would like included, please email it to me at the link under the Jasper Johns' American flag in the upper right hand corner. I'll do my best to fit it in.

Thank you.

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 23, 2004 1:29 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Meeting

Between 9 and 11 PM, on September 12th, 2002, the four regular Security guards at the Dulles Private Aviation Center in Washington, DC, all called in sick. Their places were taken over by last-minute replacements. The rest of the night staff was told about "food poisoning" at a birthday luncheon for the senior security guard. At 1:55 AM, the six people on the night staff were called into the manager's office and given a 20 minute lecture on his new plan for making the night shift more efficient.

At 2:00 AM on September 13, 2002, a black Chevy suburban with Virginia plates pulled through the gate to the field and rolled up to Hanger 10 at the Private Aviation zone at Dulles in Washington, DC. The wide doors of the hanger opened slightly and the Suburban moved smoothly inside, coming to a halt next to the Dassault Falcon 900EX that gleamed in the center. Behind it, the hanger doors slid shut again.

Three men, fit in their black suits, emerged and made a pattern search around the Falcon and the hanger. A fourth went into the plane itself with a small electronic device. In less than a minute all four reported their zones clear. The driver of the Suburban got out and opened the back door.

"Okay, sir," he said. A short man in a heavy overcoat carrying a locked document case got out and walked briskly up the stairs and into the plane. The driver went with him to help him settle in for the night.

Finally, seeing that all was secure inside, the driver sent a brief signal in clear on his radio, "Staccato. Staccato. Staccato."

In three concentric rings of security spreading from the hanger for a radius of more than a mile, no less than 36 agents came to full alert at their posts. Each one, regardless of the disguise that let him blend in to his surroundings, was wired into the ComNet, had a GPS locator slaved to their vital signs, and carried, besides a side-arm, a case of one kind or another holding a small submachine gun with extra clips. Above, at 50,000 feet, four F-16s held station.

Back in the hanger, two of the three agents that had run the initial security checks, changed into the blue pants, white shirts and red ties that were favored by the pilots of private planes that made Dulles their hub. Then they boarded the 900EX, ran a host of system checks and signaled their satisfaction with the state of the aircraft.

The man in the back of the Falcon finished reading a thick briefing paper he had started an hour before in his office, and then settled back into the tobacco brown leather easy chair at the rear of the cabin for some rest.

For everybody else involved in the operation, it was going to be a very long night.

The rising whine of the three Honeywell turbofan engines woke him at 6:45, but the agents had pulled down all the shades so he couldn't see as the Falcon slipped out of the hanger and onto the tarmac. It came to a halt across from the field entrance of the Private Aviation Center and waited, engines at whisper quiet, for the second passenger.

The man on the plane didn't have to see to know how the limo came up, how the gates rolled open and the limo drove onto the tarmac. He didn't have to see the gaunt, tall man with the large shock of gray hair clamber out of the limo and make his way up the stairs, stooping as he entered the plane. Gawky and clumsy despite his constant attention to sports, the tall man irritated him to no end, but this was politics and you didn't always get to choose who you spent time with. In fact, you almost never got to choose who you spent time with.

"This is all a bit cloak and dagger, don't you think," said the tall man with the assumed almost European tone that belied his humbler origins.


Posted by Vanderleun Oct 23, 2004 7:18 AM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Sacrifice and the Reckoning: Part One

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

-- Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

I. The Sleepwalkers

"We haven't had a real-time nuclear demo since Japan, 1945, and that was with one of the prototypes. We've never had a real-time nuclear demo live on TV, but it is on their scheduling. What we can't face is that the next time, many more than 3,000 will die and a lot of the dead will be our children. Just what do you think our mood will be the morning after they slaughter not only thousands of adults at their desks like they did on the 11th, but thousands of our children as well?"
-- In conversation, July, 2004

Our enemy has not yet taken a woman or a child for a beheading, but both clearly on their programming schedule.

THE RUTHLESS DEDICATION OF OUR ENEMIES TO OUR DESTRUCTION was written across our sky with two pillars of flame and smoke in our largest city. We've seen that dedication continue, punctuated by car bombs, mortars, and random attacks against our soldiers.

Our unluckiest citizens have had their heads severed from their bodies as pilot episodes of what promises to be a long running reality television series in which American heads are held up, to our horror and for the delight of those many millions that support those that take the heads. The message beyond this madness is that they would be pleased to extend this television series to 300 million beheadings in which each of us would have his "star" turn. Our enemy has not yet taken a woman or a child for a beheading, but both clearly on their programming schedule.

All these things we know. We know the nature and goals of our enemy well. Our army is at the ready and in the field. And yet we hesitate.

We hesitate because we are having an election in which we think the outcome will somehow determine what actions our enemy will pursue. We are a foolish people grown fat and fearful during the long peace.

We stay our hand and hobble our warriors and walk on wrapped in our suburban slumber. Our President and the man who would be President cruise about the country on buses or play electric guitars surrounded by doting egoists whose own celebrity removes them from the sense of their doom.

The party in power shambles about speaking in color codes and hushed words of warning. The party that yearns for power forms lines in front of our cinema


Posted by Vanderleun Oct 22, 2004 6:52 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Found Poetry on the Campaign Trail

From that inscrutable poet, Pool Report:

Kerry Hunt News Flash

Geese flew overhead,
a dozen shots fired.
Kerry just returned.
Four geese killed.
Kerry carried
his own gun
but had someone
carrying his goose.
We're loaded up
to move back to hotel.
Will file full report

               -- by Pool Report, via Drudge

National Poetry 101 will convene soon to analyze this inscrutable verse, and to determine exactly whose goose is cooked.

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 22, 2004 2:12 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Yearning for the Mud: The Kerry-Heinz Ticket and the Psychotic Party Platform

While they promise them liberty,
they themselves are the servants of corruption:
for of whom a man is overcome,
of the same is he brought in bondage.

         -- The Second Epistle of Peter 2:19

Listening to John Kerry whip out his plodding French to pander to the sad Haitian vote yesterday put me in a nostalgic frame of mind.

I lived in France for a number of years. I have a lot of French friends. My daughter was conceived in France. I lived in Aix, Paris, and along the Western Front. Unlike others, not all my thoughts of France are negative. But when I consider what the Democratic Party's perverted primary process disgorged as their offering in this year's election, and when I listen to half of it spout execrable French and the other half denigrate mothers and librarians after a career of hunting billionaires to extinction, it brings out the French in me.

When I hear Kerry-Heinz speak, I think "Ah,nostalgie pour la boue." They say that their campaign is about the future. It's not. It is about the past; about nostalgie pour la boue.

The Kerry Campaign is not some expression of deep American values and ideals, but an expression of the lowest realms of American Political life, something that has always been part of our politics -- the subconscious yearning for American defeat.

We saw this in the Revolutionary War with the die-hard monarchists who worked without end to thwart the Revolution and return us to the Crown. We see the same pasty anti-patriotism today in the doddering foolishness of Jimmy Carter and his "one-world" pap.

We saw it again in the traitorous "Copperheads" of the Civil War who worked within the Union for its ruin; that their treason could command a place in history. It did, it gave them a place in historic ignominy.

The Cold War and Vietnam engendered millions who played and protested that this country become less free --- and they did it under the banner of "freedom." They were often, as the years wore on, celebrities or the very rich; those who knew that they could live on the bounty of the society they betrayed. They were also the millions spewed out by the twisted academies that year after year filled up via nepotism with failed socialists, thwarted communists, half-baked artistes, malevolent poets, doomed scribblers and all the other remnants of the intellectually insane of America who couldn't get fat jobs in the mainstream media.

Over time, these elements made up the American Al Queda [Translation from the Arabic -- "the base."] From that base we got decades of insipid, irony-drenched, heavily nuanced and depraved "underground" movements that oozed ever upward until the underground was above ground displaying a few fine tattoos inked deep into its behind.


Posted by Vanderleun Oct 21, 2004 4:41 PM | Comments (101)  | QuickLink: Permalink


"First you say you do
And then you don't
And then you say you will
And then you won't
You're undecided now
So what are you gonna do?
Now you want to play
And then it's no
And when you say you'll stay
That's when you go
You're undecided now
So what are you gonna do?"

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 21, 2004 1:30 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
CELEBRATE!: Two Short Videos for the Kerry Post-Concession Party

[Quicktime, 3 megs.]

[Quicktime, 4 megs.]

We're looking for other upbeat numbers to help the fallen face the dawn and party like it is 1999. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 21, 2004 12:50 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When the Man Comes Around

An amazing flash from Bommer at Free Republic: When The Man Comes Around blends Johnny Cash, George Bush and the Apocalypse.

See it and send it along. And you can dance to it.

And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder: One of the four beasts saying: "Come and see." And I saw. And behold, a white horse.

There's a man goin' 'round takin' names. An' he decides who to free and who to blame. Everybody won't be treated all the same. There'll be a golden ladder reaching down. When the man comes around.

The hairs on your arm will stand up. At the terror in each sip and in each sup. For you partake of that last offered cup, Or disappear into the potter's ground. When the man comes around.


Posted by Vanderleun Oct 21, 2004 10:22 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Take Back the Blight!


This has gone to the top of my Christmas giving list. It is a simple device that

"Hangs on your keychain and turns off virtually any television in 3 continents! "
-- Order from TV-B-Gone From Cornfield Electronics
If you're like me and have grown to loathe the increasing penetration of television into every niche of public life (bars, airports, laundromats, restaurants, waiting rooms, etc. etc. etc.), this is a gift from God.

Imagine being able to simply sit in a place and have a quiet drink, a decent converstation over coffee, or just wait and read quietly. Hard to imagine since the plague of television has now spread over our public spaces like the chicken pox of the soul.

Don't get me wrong. I "like" television. I like it too much when I'm at home. But when I do not like it is when it is assumed that every place in the world needs to have a televison going lest people have to sit down with themselves and others. i especially don't like it since the tubes are invariably tuned to insanely boring shows with the sound cranked over the top of the range of the human voice, or muted. It's a distraction for mouthbreathers.

With this subtle item on your keychain, you've got the power to alter the world for the better in many, many places. I'm expecting great things from this little item. Great things.

P.S. Yes, yes, Wired did an article on this, but I got this pointer from the far hipper and more valuable growabrain. [Which if you are not checking out regularly, you are missing out regularly.]

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 21, 2004 12:50 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Fixing a Hole Where the Rain Gets In...

"...relaxed but clearly wearing his game face."

Included in Jann Wenner's strikingly bland Rolling Stone interview with John Kerry: > Iraq, Iraq, Bush, Vietnam, Iraq, Environment, Vietnam, Iraq, Bruce Springsteen, Favorite Beatles and Stones songs, Apocalypse Now, Iraq ....

Mysteriously not making an appearance in the interview: Gay rights and gay marriage. You'd think Jann would want to know.

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 20, 2004 5:31 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Lawnmower Man: What Jon Stewart Makes

Jon Stewart: Just your average, lawn mowing,
concerned American millionaire. Sincere, too.

Yesterday, "Right Wing Notes" or something like that over at Salon ** linked to American Digest: Dear Jon Stewart, I Want You To Be Honest Too. Since that time we've had a few visits from the Salonistas irate that I should note Jon Stewart is becoming a very rich man off his "Hey, It's Not Really a News Show for John Kerry, It's Just a Joke" daily "Aw, Shucks" strut on "The Comedy Channel, " and his number one best-seller, America. It would seem that, in their cry for "facts," these refugees from a blighted secondary and collegiate school system can't do the math in their heads.

So, here's a back of the envelope look at what Jon Stewart and company are making from the book they've spun off the show:


Posted by Vanderleun Oct 20, 2004 1:51 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Kerry Draft, Part 2

by Harry122 at

The New Non-Action Army.

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 20, 2004 11:14 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
River Patrols Today

A lot of money and energy has gone into patrolling rivers in the last half of the 20th century, as if it is important. Well, when it is all you've got, I guess you'd think it was important. To me, what matters to the present and the future are the river patrols of today.

Photo by Zack Frank

"A Marine attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit watches the shores as his watercraft patrols the Euphrates River outside Forward Operating Base Iskandariyah, Iraq, Oct. 1, 2004. The Marine is with Small Craft Company, attached to Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines. The 24th MEU is currently conducting security and stability operations in Northern Babil province. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Zachary R. Frank" -- DefendAmerica Photo Essay - Patrolling the Euphrates

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 20, 2004 10:56 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Prayer Before Sleep

1:25 AM, on a hill above an ocean, a high wind and rain falling.

We remember the past
and God remembers the future.
Then we forget the past,
God forgets the future,
and the world returns to chaos.

From: The Precision of Pain and the Blurriness of Joy:The Touch of Longing is Everywhere by Yehuda Amichai
Translated from the Hebrew by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld

Posted by Vanderleun Oct 20, 2004 1:25 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Inevitable Bush Blowout

[Republished from American Digest, July 29, 2004 as a Homage to Hugh "It's gonna be a blow-out" Hewitt]

kansas-4 2.jpg
Democratic Party Electorial Prospects Post-Convention: Pick One


  • It will cause my DITS (Democrat Induced Tourette's Syndrome)to kick in and I will have to be put in restraints.
  • It will induce coma and I shall become one with millions of other sufferers
  • It will be a waste of life because, no matter what is said or done by Kerry or his true believers, there's no way to delay that Bush blowout coming every day.

    Yup, it doesn't matter what he says or does from this point forward. Kerry and the Democrats are about to transform themselves from people into smouldering slabs of toast come November. The good part is that they're going to spend lots of money doing it.

    So before the formal canonization of Kerry, I'd like to go on record as saying, along with a few other brave souls, that it is no longer a question of Kerry and the Democrats losing in November, but only one of how great and lasting their humiliation and degredation is going to be.

    As far as I can see it is going to be massive: a Tsunami of rejection; a battering of the Bozos with no ref to stop the fight in the sixth round; a comet impacting dead center in the Democratic Fantasy World and smothering all but the deepest burrowing small rodents in a layer of ash half a mile thick; a landslide in which the entire north face of Mount Everest decides to take a vacation on the shores of the Indian ocean; a blowout equal to the hotspot under Yellowstone deciding to displace Krakatoa as the loudest implosion heard in recorded history; an "L" branded on the forehead of the Democratic party so large and so deep that travel agencies from Japan will divert a whole season of Grand Canyon tours to the nearest Kerry Compound just so they can marvel and photograph themselves standing at the brink.


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 19, 2004 9:24 PM | Comments (58)  | QuickLink: Permalink
  • Trouble Sleeping?

    9,316 words from Al Gore will fix you right up.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 19, 2004 11:32 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Politics is Just Chess in Four Dimensions

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 19, 2004 11:01 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Seven Up
    • England's New Scientist takes a look at the ramifications of the US Election 2004 and is generally ticked off that somehow the United States is not measuring up. Heavy hangs the head that wears the crown. But all in all, this selection of articles underlines how essential to the world the United States is, whether they like it or not. New Scientist tends not to like it. After all, just look at stem cells, will you? Please.

    • For those guys that can't resist a sharp quiz, we recommend the dubious Cooking to Hook Up: The Bachelor's Date-Night Cookbook, which will tell you what kind of girl you are. I took it and, no, I'm not telling. If you're smart neither will you.


    • But should you decide to confess, is into Self Publishing in a big way and will make it cheap and easy for you to get your salacious little gender-bending memoirs out there for a waiting world. And in that case, guys, we will all know just what kind of girl you are.

    • And if, after taking the test and writing the book, you are still in a state of confusion, the scholarly study "The influence of sexual orientation on vowel production" will set you straight. Or not. Could this article be "The Bell Curve" for gays and lesbians. That depends on the orientation of the people making the study and that's not out yet.

    • Moving right along, thank God, we direct you to the latest manifestation of Cassini's work in the outer reaches of the Solar System. Pictures of the South Pole... of Saturn.

    • Back on Earth and matters much more mundane here's a meditation on When Email Attacks .

    • And finally, if you've been patient enough to bear with me through all that, something truly remarkable: "This Wonderful Life." No, not that movie, but another, much shorter, and completly computer-generated short film that packs an amazing range of human emotion into what are really, at bottom, just bits and bytes. In the future, this is going to be how a lot of movies are made. And made well. See if you don't agree.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 19, 2004 1:18 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Halloween XI: The Pumpkin Papers


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 18, 2004 10:37 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Dear Jon Stewart, I Want You To Be Honest Too

    I actually caught Jon Stewart's on-air evisceration of 'Crossfire' last week, and I have to admit I enjoyed the discomfort and confusion he brought to the dual tools of that broadcast. At the same time I also noted what a large, self-impressed tool Stewart has become.

    I don't know about you but my gorge rises when a TV personality who's made his bones with long ironic sighs and sideglances starts to speak phrase like "We need you to be honest!" And that was only the center cut from Stewart's Tripe Store. I was especially taken by Stewart's reference to himself as one of the guys who is out "mowing his lawn"" while "Crossfire" fails to protect the Republic. Hey, I need Stewart to be honest. The closest people like Stewart come to mowing their lawn is telling their personal assistant to drive to some Southern California crossroads and hire an illegal alien to work the Weedwhacker.

    All of which is why I was pleased to note The Daily Show's ratings were tanking . Not because I don't think Stewart is a funny-enough guy (even if his faux-serious pose is becoming a bit much), but because I think Stewart, like most other celebrities, is far too full of himself for his, or our, good.

    But why, you might wonder, would The Daily Show tank? Well, one of my favorite curmudgeons, Uncle Mikey's , got it all figured out:

    I just couldn't stand the not-so-veiled implication that I must be a real moron to want to vote for Bush any more, regardless of his and Kerry's relative merits. It's not funny. Stewart pretends to be unbiased in his assaults on the candidates, but he can't hide his distaste for W and his crew, and neither can he hide his admiration for John Kerry. Like the mainstream press, he thinks the 200 Swift Boat Vets for Truth are liars and Republican shills, but Richard Clarke and the nine Swift Vets who support Kerry are honest men who speak their consciences. In short, he's delusional and paddling as hard as he can to get the Kerry boat to the other side of the river, and in that he is no different from Dan Rather and Newsweek editor Evan "the media wants Kerry to win" Thomas. Nobody they know thinks any different from them, so when they encounter those who do, they must be crazy, or stupid, or just mean.
    Stewart, like Bill Maher and a hundred other celebs, have seen the "Kerry Wavelet " as a kind of "Come out, come out, wherever you are " yodel for the cosseted intellectually insane "stars" of our besotted media age.

    It's as if people like Stewart at MSM and elsewhere have had this secret meeting and decided they can do whatever they want to influence the elections and never have to pay any penalty. After all, why should they? If we take the famous Newsweek editor's admission that the "media" was going to to "put a glow" around Kerry/Edwards that would be worth 15 points, it's pretty clear to see why Stewart, Rather, Springsteen, and all the rest of this cozy little club is in panic mode.

    Here they've given their boys a 15 point edge and they're still lagging, and lagging seriously. It's like betting on a shaggy nag in a horse race because you can put the fix in and then standing there and seeing your "sure-thing" horse come out the far turn and into the home stretch with only one leg. That while the cowboy on the Pinto is way out in front and opening up the distance with every stride. Not only is that no way to run a fixed-horse race, but it also seems that there's going to be a price to pay for fixing the race to begin with.

    As I alluded to in the brief essay yesterday about "Intelligence" most celebrities seem to have a built-in contempt for the very people that hand our celebrities their wealth and fame. This kind of contempt was once called "noblesse oblige" - the obligation of those of high rank to be honorable and generous, but like everything else with a French connotation this concept has been perverted. In the bald hectoring and pot-kettle-black attacks by people like Stewart on his counterparts at CNN all we can see is an exercise in vaingloriousness that is much more often the mark of these talking heads than anything remotely generous or noble.

    Now you might say this is because we've stopped expecting them to be noble and generous, but that doesn't seem to be the case. If the Stewart ratings tank is anything to go by, when a celebrity is seen to betray his bias openly, and when that in turn betrays his his own small-mind, the audience will turn away. Not that Stewart has any real worry about putting food on the table. That's what those guest slots at Las Vegas strip mall casinos are for. And if that fails him, I'm sure he'll be able to find work telling his peers in 2010 how to dial up their perfect sleep number.

    Update: I note a strange sort of Blogsphere mind-meld on the Stewart issue today. Check protein wisdom ; Ghost of a Flea ; Jim Treacher ; Hog on Ice , and INDC Journal. Probably only scratches the surface, but I love it when this sort of thing happens.

    Plus: Jeff Goldstein pops in this ancient link from, like last month, Twenty-first in a series of real-time empirical observations and calls it "Related." Whatever happened to the word "prescient?"

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 18, 2004 2:19 PM | Comments (28)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Bobe Speaks

    In a previous life, back when I had a Bobe , I'd note that whenever we came to a question of politics she'd say, with millions of other Bobe's, "Yes, but is it good for the Jews?"

    Martin Perez asks the same question today about John Kerry and gives us the answer.

    I've searched to find one time when Kerry --even candidate Kerry -- criticized a U.N. action or statement against Israel. I've come up empty. Nor has he defended Israel against the European Union's continuous hectoring. Another thing that bothers me about Kerry is the deus ex machina he has up his sleeve: the appointment of a presidential envoy. It's hard to count how many special emissaries have been dispatched from Washington to the Middle East to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. What's easy to see is that none of them has gotten to "yes."
    -- Kerry the Clueless

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 18, 2004 9:37 AM | QuickLink: Permalink


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 17, 2004 3:09 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Caught In Traffic


    We'd strapped him to his bed for over a year,
    Paid a fat, black woman to wear a white dress
    Change his bed pan, and sit with him at night,
    But when the bone white pigeon banked
    Between the buildings in a pale twilight
    The old man's brain liquefied.

    Foam, whose tiny bubbles reflected my face,
    Bloomed on his lips as he swallowed his tongue.
    It said 5:47 on the red crystal clock by the wet bar.
    His breath rattled around the room like some
    Tired exhaust fan from the Roaring Twenties.

    His wife was out shopping at Woolworths,
    Or trying to sell something at Cartiers.
    The black nurse was downstairs flirting
    With Desi the tap dancing doorman.
    Prince the chauffeur buffed the black Lincoln,
    And wondered what he do when the old lady died.
    My wife was teasing our toddler in the living room.
    Everyone else was trying to get home from work.

    Somewhere inside his skull sore nerves
    Kept sending signals down to his heart.
    I blotted his lips in that wheezing orange room
    As his arms flapped like a beached fish before
    The fisherman brings down the club.
    I turned from the bed, pulled up the beige blinds,
    And gazed out the window wondering
    Where the bone white pigeon had gone.

    Then I called the Doctor's number listening
    To his breath until the call was answered.
    "He's dying," I said to the man I'd never met.
    "You should send an ambulance and a team
    Of medics right now. He's going. Going fast."

    The voice echoed back from far across town,
    "He's home. He's been dead for a year, you know.
    We just change the sheets and pay the nurses.
    I can keep his body going as long--as long--
    As long as you want. You need to tell me.
    Look outside. How heavy's the traffic on Fifth?"

    I looked down on a solid ribbon of oozing steel.
    "Wedged," I said. "Hardly moving at all.
    "Look at his eyes," the voice said. I looked
    Down into his eyes and they had no bottom.
    "Who's there?" the voice asked on the phone.
    "No one I know," I said. "No one at all."

    I held the phone and waited looking over the park.
    "I'll send an ambulance when you tell me," he said.
    The bone white pigeon came sweeping out of the light
    And settled on the sill as calm as the quiet in the room.
    "Send them when you can," I said.
    "No hurry. They'll just be caught in traffic."

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 17, 2004 11:32 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Small Ironies Involving Captions on the Campaign Trail


    "US Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry walks toward a crowd of supporters after delivering a speech .... "In the end, George Bush and I just have fundamentally different approaches to jobs and the economy," Kerry said."

    Via: LILEKS (James)

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 17, 2004 8:19 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Suspense and Waiting is Over at Last: New York Times Endorses Kerry

    One of the most suspenseful moments in modern journalism came to an end today, when The New York Times, after months of coy beating around the bush, came out for Senator Kerry.

    Although the final selection process was described by an unnamed insider as "A very close run thing," in the end it was John Kerry's unflinching celebration of the lesbian lifestyle of prominent Republican families that put him over the top.

    "Maureen," said our source " was just not going to be denied and neither was Frank Rich. Once Kerry said "Lesbian Daughter," they both got so wet we had to mop the corridors between their offices twice.

    "We knocked around the idea of supporting Bush quite a bit in the newsroom and up on the executive floor, but when Pinch came out of the Publishers' Suite and announced he was wearing pantyhose under his suit in honor of 'lesbian daughters everywhere,' we knew we had to go for it."

    In editorials smeared all over the Saturday and Sunday editions, the Times shocked its conservative of readers on the Upper West Side, the West Village and the Meatpacking district by playing the moral high card.

    Kerry "has qualities that could be the basis for a great chief executive, not just a modest improvement on the incumbent," the newspaper said. "He strikes us, above all, as a man with a strong moral core."

    After "examining what the candidates have done in the past, their apparent priorities and their general character," the Times said "we enthusiastically endorse John Kerry for president." -- Kerry Collects Major Endorsement

    Reaction from the White House was swift, surprised and disappointed.

    "We'd been preparing a statement all weekend for Monday release that we really thought could turn the tide at the Times," said an unnamed senior aid to the President who spoke on deep background (and whose initials are K.R.) "We saw how the celebration of lesbian children was swaying the Times and we were going to fire back with our own heartfelf admiration for of Teresa Heinz Kerry's classic collection of cast-iron sex aids. But we just couldn't jam them in the right news cycles fast enough to satisfy the Times. Next time, we'll use Kinkos."

    Asked if the Times endorsement was costly, the source replied candidly, "Why yes. We were really counting on the Times to deliver their numberless hoard of readers who have been enslaved to the paper so long that they do the Sunday Crossword in ink."

    Early analysis by John Stewart (fresh from his on-air disembowelment of the entire CNN Pundit Team and feeling frisky) indicated that the Times endorsement had moved "...more than two and less than five undecided Times readers into the Kerry column. This is obviously a stunning and unexpected blow to the President. The only way he can possibly recover is by coming on my show every night between now and November 2. I remind you that The Daily Show really is the only place left on TV where a man can demonstrate integrity, integrity, integrity. On the other hand, since the lead-in to my show has a cast of a bunch of puppets, the editorial board of the Times would fit right in as well."

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 16, 2004 8:29 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The DenBeste Trend

    Stephen DenBeste, one of the most lucid minds around, posts a very interesting graph and an even more interesting analysis of the trend behind the months of presidential polling in Poll Trends, 20041016

    His analysis is very compelling:

    ....My first suspicion would be that the test equipment was broken, but in the case of opinion polls there is no such thing. My second suspicion would be fraud.

    In September, I think there was a deliberate attempt to depress Kerry's numbers, so as to set up an "October comeback". Of course, the goal was to engineer a bandwagon.

    Public opinion isn't usually as ephemeral as these polls suggest that it is. But there can be long-term trends, and I find it interesting that such a thing actually does show through. It's quite striking how close some of the data falls to the long term trendlines which I've drawn in.

    The reason the Democrats and the MSM are getting frantic is that they're losing.

    Pointer from History's End

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 16, 2004 8:25 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Kerry "Plan" in a Nutshell

    Roger Simon rolls the entire "plan" of the Kerry squad into a nice tight package:

    The brutal truth is that the basic subject of the entire election, of the future going forward, is the neocon argument that (militant if necessary) export of democracy is the only viable solution to endless (possibly nuclear) conflagration . Bush bought into it to one degree or another. The Democrats seem to oppose it. I emphasize the seem because all they offer in opposition is a vague "plan." What this plan is is a mystery to everyone. I think there is a reason for that. There is no other plan.
    -- Roger L. Simon: Tick-Tock

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 16, 2004 2:30 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Coming Draft


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 16, 2004 12:57 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    "You've got questions. We've got answers."

    In the course of joining the "Lesbian Daughter" slugfest du jour, William Kristol asks, in passing, "How stupid does John Kerry think the American people are?" -- "Fair Game"

    Mr. Kristol, while it is clear Kerry does not know the American people all that well, he does have a long and deep understanding of the Democrats among us.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 16, 2004 12:43 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    GoogleZilla: Google Desktop 2.0 (Coming Attractions)

    The fastest replicating virus infecting the Windows machines of the world this week had to be Google Desktop. Millions asked for it and millions got it. After all, it is free. Now. But in the future, it just might cost you some information if you want to get "enhanced functionality." And who doesn't want their functionality enhanced?

    Paolo Massa has seen the next step and, well, it is interesting to contemplate:

    When millions of users will have installed, Google will simply release a new version in which the user can check a box and say "Share the files in my disk" (maybe only files in a certain directory). This will create in a second an enormous P2P (peer-to-peer) network, in which you can search for files directly on other users' disks. What do you think? Make sense?
    -- Paolo Massa Blog: Enormous P2P Network by Google
    Oh, it makes sense. Much too much sense and it will add to the already amazing list of "What Google knows about you." [Take a moment to look at that link, also by Massa, and think about it.]

    Back at the beginning of the 1990s, when I was employee #2 at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (and the web was the HTML/HTTP protocols slumbering on Berners-Lee's server at CERN), we fretted endlessly over the FBI/CIA/NSA/LLE snapping up your computer, getting a backdoor key to your ISP, having a secret decoder right for any cryptography that could be invented, and generally getting to your private information. That fretting continues today at numerous and multiple nodes across the web. It is a fretting only out-fretted by Spamfret. The EFF and other well-meaning wonk tanks in search of the Fountain of Funding continue to harvest planks from this petrified forest.

    But nature always sides with the hidden flaw and the hidden flaw in this case was the users. It never, in our wildest speculations, dawned on us that the most potent and persistent threat to privacy on the Net would be the users themselves. If any of us had proposed at the beginning of the 90s that millions upon millions would give away the vast amount of information listed above to a company in exchange for a few chunks of code, we would have been barred from the next House/Senate sub-sub-committee on POTS subsidies to Podunk.

    And yet, here we are. Big Brother in the form of a "Do no evil" company whose "benign" intentions are taken utterly on faith and without question by every connected soul on the planet.

    Does anyone remember when Microsoft became the evil empire? It was at a point that was well below the position of ubiquity now enjoyed by Google. The result for Microsoft has been an unremitting stream of lawsuits and regulations extending well over a decade with no end in sight.

    Can anyone imagine the same thing happening to Google? Perhaps, but only if a hard look at Google's plans and potential begins in the very near future.

    Another couple of years and it will be well-nigh impossible. Why? Google will quite simply know too much.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 16, 2004 10:35 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Unclear on the Deeper Meaning


    It seems like everyday I'm confronted with something the deeper meaning of which utterly confounds me.

    Case in point : The Conference Bike Movie

    To my mind the deeper meaning could be one of two things:

    1) This proves that the terrorists can never win.

    2) This proves that the terrorists deserve to win.

    Which is it? You tell me.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 15, 2004 7:16 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Democrats and the Sign of the "L" On Their Foreheads

    "Meanwhile most Americans have already quietly made up their minds"

    Terrorist killing, like the first World Trade Center bombing or the USS Cole, certainly was not seen as the logical precursor to 9/11 — the expected wages of a quarter century of appeasement that started with the weak Carter response to the Iranian hostages and was followed by dead soldiers, diplomats, and tourists about every other year. No, these were "incidents" like 9/11 itself — "law-enforcement" issues that called for the DA, writs, and stern prison sentences, the sort of stuff that barristers like Kerry, Edwards, Kennedy, and McAuliffe handle so well.

    This attitude is part of the therapeutic view of the present struggle that continually suggests that something we did — not the mass murdering out of the Dark Age — brought on our present bother that is now "the focus of our lives." We see this irritation with the inconvenience and sacrifice once more reemerging in the Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, and the New York Times: We, not fascists and Islamist psychopaths, are blamed for the mess in Iraq, the mess in Afghanistan, the mess on the West Bank, and the mess here at home, but never credited with the first election in 5,000 years in Afghanistan or consensual government replacing autocracy in the heart of the ancient caliphate.

    The artists, musicians, and entertainers have also railed against the war. In the therapeutic mindset, the refinement and talent of a Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Al Franken, Bruce Springsteen, or John Fogerty earn respect when they weigh in on matters of state policy. But in the tragic view, they can be little more than puppets of inspiration. Their natural gifts are not necessarily enriched by real education or learning. Indeed, they are just as likely to be high-school or college dropouts and near illiterates, albeit with good memories, voices, and looks. The present antics of these influential millionaire entertainers should remind us why Plato banished them — worried that we might confuse the inspired creative frenzies of the artisans with some sort of empirical knowledge. But you can no more sing, or write, or act al Qaeda away than the equally sensitive novelists and intellectuals of the 1930s or 1940s could rehabilitate Stalin.


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 15, 2004 6:39 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Closed-Source Beer

    One of the oldest and most beloved beverages,is going closed source in this new method of brewing.

    The yeast fuses itself to the surface and feeds the wort at an increased rate, meaning the fermentation process takes only a few hours.

    Any normal brewer's yeast can be used in his process but the lifespan of the yeast is much longer than in traditional processing, where yeast degenerates after three brews and starts to affect the quality of the beer, says Heiliger.

    "We tested it and after a year the yeast was still good. The beer still tasted fine. We wouldn't normally keep the same yeast for that period of time but it shows that you can do without cleaning for, say, six months," he says.

    "My system is closed so once you put the yeast in, it stays there. You do not need to touch it. The more you touch the yeast, the greater risk of getting an infection which is deadly in a brewery."

    Heiliger says that his device takes up about 30 square meters, whereas traditional systems can be up to 300 square meters in size.

    Look for that new microbrew, Basement Beer.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 15, 2004 4:39 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    How those elusive terrorist websites are designed and coded...
    We require a team manager, 2 web developers, 3 graphic designers, 1 multimedia designer and 3 reps to join up as a full time team in website design and graphic design to run as a freelance team as you will all be from different parts of the country (most likely).

    All of you will have to be in contact with each other for at least 8 hours per day from 7am to 10pm via MSN Messenger or another IM program providing we all have it you will be all on my list so me and my admin team can monitor your online times and send you info etc.

    Each of you will be given a business email addresses ( which will have been registered for the .net service which will be your msn email address.

    You will be paid an annual wage per month either by wire transfer or paypal, possibly a cheque, payment is in different tears for the type of role you play. All payments are calculated by the hour in 15 minute increments. You will be held at a basic payment price per hour for the first 2 months to allow me and the admin team to assess you as a person and also your work produced.
    -- Tem Members (Online, UK) -

    "...different tears for the type of role you play" and "Tem Members" are dead giveaways. Speaking of which, if you take this kind of job, you don't want to be handing out your home address, less the admin team "assess you as a person" up close and personal.

    Pointer via Need To Know 2004-10-15

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 15, 2004 12:19 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Lileks Withdraws from Race He Never Joined with Accordion Medley

    Based on this report from our reporter in Minnesota, the editorial board at American Digest can only conclude that we were mistaken in our original enthusiasm for a Lileks candidacy. Therefore we take Mr. Lileks at his word (not to mention his actions ) and declare we will no longer support or report on this woeful incident in the history of the blogsphere.

    We do this not just for Mr. Lileks, but "for the children."


    At his first and last news conference held in the elegant Tiki Lounge at Jasperwood, James Lileks today made the extent of his political ambitions clear. They are somewhere south of absolute zero.

    In a stunning wrap-up to what has to be the most meteoric political career in


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 15, 2004 9:32 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    How to Canoe in Five Sentences

    "The bow paddler is only an engine, paddling straight ahead. The stern paddler is the captain and makes all decisions: "Paddle, stop paddling, switch sides, back paddle." The stern controls direction by paddling with a J-stroke -- back and out - or using the paddle as a rudder. The passengers sit still in the middle. Nobody stands up."
    -- Robert Fulghum

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 14, 2004 7:40 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    "Buck Dodgers!" -or- John Kerry in the 21st Century!

    Integrity. Intergrity. Integreedy. Integrot.... aw, the Hell with it.

    America's been through the rockiest start of a century in its history and yet, to judge by his accomplishments, John Kerry just hasn't been punching-in at the factory and getting it done.

    It is coming up on 5 years into the 21st Century and, for all intents and purposes, Kerry is a no-show on the legislation front. All in all, you'd say his is career that spans 20 years, has about 9 "products shipped," but none in this century. Can somebody please tell me where I can get a job with those requirements? I'll take a pay cut, especially with Senate benefits.

    It's well known that Kerry has been phoning in his career from his many different homes over the years. You can't miss 70% of your days at work without careful, assiduous planning and a lot of other places to hang out.

    But if you look at the 9 (count 'em, nine) Bills and Resolutions by Kerry that actually became law, you'll note -- aside from the inane subjects they cover -- that all of them took place in the 20th Century. [See below]

    Kerry started slow in the 1980s with one resolution to help a "Kil Joon Yu Callahan " -- which we assume was something done in response to demands from Kerry's Irish/Vietnamese constituency in Boston.

    Then in the 1990s he set the Senate aflame with 5 (five) laws and 3 (three) resolutions that, among other things, changed the name of a building in Waltham, Massachusetts, got some change to protect marine mammals, and twice (2 times!) made the world aware of its population.

    Whew! What a decade! No wonder the guy had to take a break from 1994 to 1999.

    You'd expect someone with that many notches on his legislative gun to really start to shake up the Senate in the 21st century, but strangely there has been nothing out of JFK. Nothing at all.

    He must have been saving it all up for something. Whatever could it have been? What could all his nothing have been for?

    (Kerry's Stuff is here)


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 14, 2004 5:41 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Why Should Good Citizens Seek Office?

    To keep those who would corrupt the process, the intent and the spirit of the Republic out of office.


    Any other questions?

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 14, 2004 12:02 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink

    Hey, it's news to me:

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 13, 2004 2:34 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Primatologists in the Mist

    Monroe : That region of the Congo's uninhabited.
    Dr. Karen Ross : Well, something inhabits it.
    Dr. Peter Elliot : What exactly did you see on that tape?
    Dr. Karen Ross : A camp destroyed. People dead. A grey gorilla...
    Dr. Peter Elliot : There's no such thing as a grey gorilla.
    Dr. Karen Ross : Well, I saw one.
    -- "Congo, 1995"

    One story that’s strong on buzz today is the all-new, ‘this time for real’, remake of “CONGO.”

    Rumors of a "new kind of great ape" have got the Bigfoot crowd humming and booking tickets to the Congo. It’s very exciting to think we’ve discovered a “new” species of great ape, and perhaps we have. Except for the fact that this great ape may not be all that “new” after all.

    What might be new, but not all that new as these things go, is the new public smackdown between two competing primatologists, Shelly Williams, wearing the white pith helmet armed with a video tape, and Karl Ammann, wildlife photographer, bushmeat activist, and a man who has been on the "Big Chimps of the Bondo" case for many years. What's also new is some National Georgraphic money in the mix.

    It’s a popular notion that science is above the petty bickering of politics, but the reality is closer to Henry Kissinger’s famous remark: “Why are academic politics so vicious? Because the stakes are so small.“

    Today’s story updates several that Shelly Williams did last year, but brings us a


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 13, 2004 11:27 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Most Overbearing Political/Literary Allusion of the Day


    "....yes when I put the sign on my lawn like the gender studies professors used or shall I wear a Kedwards Button yes and how he kissed but did not kiss me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another...."

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 13, 2004 7:39 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Don't Go Here

    Aptly named "Mist or Ghost?" this whole strange item is playing a bit too close to Halloween for my tastes.

    Don't go to the link above. Just don't.

    Hey, I told you not to do it.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 12, 2004 10:33 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Roy Rogers: The Final Insult
    The Sunset Hills Memorial Park cemetery in Apple Valley is giving up grass in favor of artificial turf.

    It's a move owners believe will save as much as $180,000 in water and maintenance costs over the next three years. The cemetery is the final resting place for cowboy stars Roy Rogers and Dale Evans

    -- L.A. Daily

    But how will Trigger continue to graze?

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 12, 2004 10:27 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Teresa Heinz Kerry Signs Historic November to January Lease on Versailles II, France

    Friends Forever. Forever Friends.

    Pour La Release Immediateness

    DATELINE VERSAILLES: One day after Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Iraq, les tout France from Paris Nord to Versailles came to a halt to honor the surprise visit of Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry to this sleepy Parisian suburb and former home of the Ancien Regime (AKA "Kings and Queens of France").

    Arriving on the personal jet that is not owned by her but by her family, Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry (or Mrs. Teresa Kerry-Heinz as she prefers to be known in Europe), was quick to make her way to Versailles II in order to sign the lease for her and her husband's forthcoming R&R retreat now scheduled from November 3, 2004 to January 31, 2005.

    Teresa's sudden appearance in France marked the first time she has been away from the Campaign for the Presidency of the United States of America since Saturday. "The strain is just enormous," she remarked," especially that of being away from my friends here in France for so long, but the proprieties must be observed especially during the final weeks of this, how do you say?, 'debacle'?"

    After a suitable luncheon consisting of a light salad, une morsel de fromage blanc, and six courses of white and red wine, Mrs. Kerry-Heinz took a tour of the villa which heretofore had been referred to under the code name 'Martha's Vineyard East.'

    "You have to say something to all those little people without enough sense to either vote for my husband or let their children gambol about naked," Mrs. Kerry-Heinz quipped to the French press corps who had all donned giant poodle and corgi costumes in her honor.

    Head chef of the French tourism and villa rental bureau, M. Jacques Chirac, was on hand to witness the historic signing of the lease for the Kerry-Heinz's Versailles II.*** "With all this stylish and historic moment," M. Chirac stated, "The grandeur of France's ever-deepening relationship with the Democratic Party is illuminated once again. I am looking forward to many strolls and romps in the grounds of Versailles II with Teresa, as well as a number of private and tender interludes with her recently worn shoes."

    Before being wheeled back aboard her plane, Mrs. Kerry-Heinz told the entire nation of Kerry Supporters-Extraordinaire, "Les etat, c'est moi. I'm excited to be here and even more excited by your sensible attitude towards oil and catsup. I count the moments until we can be together. Au revoir, Lafayette."


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 11, 2004 5:49 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Pleasures of Democracy


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 11, 2004 3:30 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    "The Note" -- for Dummies

    For the chatty, ironic and oh-so-inside-baseball daily screed The Note to be without a chatty, ironic and inside item on ABC News' now infamous "Halperin Memo" is a serious disappointment. Especially since the foremost writer credited at ABC News: The Note: "Myopic Misread of the American Electorate" is Mr. Halperin himself.

    Surely an organization that has "the skill and strength to help voters evaluate what the candidates are saying" (to quote from the memo) can use those same resources to explain and illuminate what sort of ideological bullet was scrambling Mr. Halperin's brain when he created the memo.

    Since the Drudge revelation of last Friday many in the blogsphere (as well as the remnant of sensible souls in the mainstream media) have been united in their call for Mr. Halperin's gaping head at the tip of a spike. We dissent.

    We do not feel Mr. Halperin should be sacked for fawning and tugging the forelock before the Kerry-Heinz fountain of future funding for books yet unwritten. To sack Mr. Halperin for that would mean that the terrorists of media tedium have won. Without these clueless examples of bias arising dependably from the media swamps of Manhattan, much of the blogsphere would sink back into the state of Live Journal from which it arose.

    Under no circumstances should this unfortunate lad be fed to the Drudge-besotted hordes of the blogsphere for mere run-of-the-mill media bias.

    No, he should be dismembered in the public square for being unable to write a coherent sentence.


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 11, 2004 3:22 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Site Notes

    AFTER NINE DAYS on the road up Highway 1 and Highway 101, I've arrived in Seattle. They say the most ancient Chinese curse is "May you live in interesting times." A footnote to that would be, "May you live in an interesting city."


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 11, 2004 1:48 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Easy Out for Kerry on Taxes

    It's a sad, sad thing when you see people so deep in denial that not even a six-foot snorkel will bring them a breath of air. Witness uberblogger and Kerryista Mickey Klaus in his desperate attempt to help "President Kerry" weasel out of his "no-tax-increase-for-people-making-less-than-$200,000 pledge."

    If I weren't such an ardent Kerry supporter I might note that Kerry's insta-pledge reflected a disastrous instinctive willingness to pander now and waffle later. ... P.S.: How will Kerry get out of it? First, he could say he was only talking about income taxes (though the pledge was "I am not going to raise taxes" in response to a question about the entire "tax burden," not just income taxes). Then he could blame his staff! -- Mickey Kaus
    Let me save Uncle Mickey and thousand of other "Kerry Kool-Aid Kwaffers" a kazillion keystrokes:

    John Kerry will never, ever, ever
    need to "get out" of his no raising-of-taxes pledge,
    because John Kerry will never, ever, ever
    become President of the United States.

    It's obvious that Kerry and his wife are hip to this. They're more and more into saying whatever comes into their minds in an effort to at least be remembered as Mr. & Mrs. Alfred M. Landon of the 21st century. What keeps the others hanging on is beyond me. Then again, as they say in the National Parks, "Once a bear gets hooked on garbage, there's no cure."

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 11, 2004 1:36 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Worthy Laureate


    In case you failed to notice it, the United States has a new poet laureate, Ted Kooser. For once, this office seems to be filled by someone worthy of the honor. "What could possibly be wrong with a world in which everybody was trying to write poems?" Kooser said. "Is that not better than watching 'Survivor' or engaging in some sort of nefarious, stupid activity?" --

    Two by Kooser.

    After Years

    Today, from a distance, I saw you
    walking away, and without a sound
    the glittering face of a glacier
    slid into the sea. An ancient oak
    fell in the Cumberlands, holding only
    a handful of leaves, and an old woman
    scattering corn to her chickens looked up
    for an instant. At the other side
    of the galaxy, a star thirty-five times
    the size of our own sun exploded
    and vanished, leaving a small green spot
    on the astronomer's retina
    as he stood on the great open dome
    of my heart with no one to tell.



    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 11, 2004 11:30 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    You go for the Bleat, but you should stay for the Matchbooks


    Everyday thousands of folks show up at LILEKS for the latest installment of "The Bleat." They come thirsting for a screed but often leave dry. They hope for another incident in the unfolding life of the Gnat and are often delighted. Those that come for a note on the antics of Jasper are advised to pack a lunch and, as far as the Lilek's better half is concerned, that's none of your business.

    I originally, years ago, came to Lileks for the "Tales of Fargo," a mythic place that comprised his boyhood and the summers of my boyhood. (If you haven't been through this section of the site and are interested in a fine take on one of the great good spaces in America, I commend it to you.) There are also some places in LileksLand that seem to have a lot to do with celery and panties, but if you've got those tendencies you can find them without any pointer from me except the assurance that they are tasty.

    But what gets me about all of you "Bleataholics" is that you seem to ignore the one area where Lileks, James is working his guts out. I refer of course to The Matchbooks. You'd think a concerned readership would be more than eager to absorb a Herculean endeavor to roll the American universe into a ball and frame it with matchbooks, but noooooooo! Day after day, the links go up but the click-throughs just languish.

    You must, I tell you, rouse yourself from your pastoral stupor and pay attention. The one on offer for today ( LILEKS (James) Matchbooks) notes: "the story of Dixie Belle gin is a true American tale, albeit a sad one: you can see the entire arc of the 20th century in this little matchbook." And he then proceeds to tell you why and how.

    Just one more reason to send this man to the United States Senate.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 11, 2004 11:10 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Meetings with Remarkable Bloggers

    I've already forgotten what link took me there. I should have made a note of it and yet, as so often happens, I did not. There might be a trail of bread crumbs leading back through the labyrinth, but who has time to follow it. Suffice it to say that, from time to time, I come across a site, previously unknown to me, that strikes me as remarkable.

    In the past, I've seldom pointed to these pages out of the feeling that "Such a fine site, surely tens of thousands of others must know about it." That's a common feeling that I know most share, but of late I've decided, "So what. It's new to me and that's what counts." From time to time, I'm going to point out one or two of these "New to Me" sites in the hope that what I value you might value too.

    We begin today with: The Doctor Is In by Bob Finnerty a surgeon in Tacoma, WA. The "About Me" states:

    The Doctor is In is a blog by a physician philosopher, dealing with medicine, religion, family, politics, current events, philosophy, pets, photography, the Pacific Northwest, software development, humor, and any other area of life worthy of passion and depth of consideration.
    This site delivers on that promise. Elegant in appearance, thoughtful in execution, and informed by experience in the analog


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 11, 2004 10:21 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Prescription Bribe and the Rule of Rising Spam

    Every election is, at some level, an exercise in bribing various elements of the electorate. One of the big bribes both parties are handing out this year involves cheaper prescription drugs. This plays mainly to the elderly and is an important bribe since the elderly tend to vote in large numbers and tend to vote their interests. One of those interests, if not the main one, is to be able to get drugs cheaper. The Bush contingent has a plan and a program and elements of that program in place. The Kerry contingent has a plan for everything and a program for nothing since most of the details of its plans are effectively "secret."

    The electorate in need of cheaper drugs already has both a plan and a program in place to save it money. The elements of this plan are "Canada," "Mexico," and "UPS/FedEx." Bush says he opposes this plan because he does not believe it is "safe." Kerry opposes Bush and promises lower taxes all around and a National Health Plan that, it would seem, will be achieved through a replication of Christ's miracle of the loaves and fishes.

    Pharmaceutical companies look at the Bush plan and worry about it. They look at the Kerry Plan and start to refurbish their offices in the Bahamas and study


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 11, 2004 8:51 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    DNC Proposes New Presidential Seal

    "I have a plan!"

    First things first: [Kerry] would begin, if sworn into office, by going immediately to the United Nations to deliver a speech recasting American foreign policy. -- NYT 'Kerry's Undeclared War'
    "[Kerry] is the Ultimate Conservative - not in politics, mind you, but in temperament. He is the man of the status quo par excellence. Nothing changes or should change in the World According to Kerry. All this talk of nuance is simply a mask for stasis. These "subtleties" of thought are almost never original, merely idea rotation for its own sake, going nowhere and deliberately so. The real(motivating) idea is not to move. No wonder he is so appealing to the solons of the Mainstream Media who benefit so greatly by this status quo. The problem is - the status quo these days is death." -- Roger L. Simon

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 10, 2004 7:51 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Worlds Within Worlds

    What are you reading this for when you could be going ZOOM?

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 10, 2004 1:51 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    New Inhuman Airtravel Design

    I'm sorry but we have to locate the person who designed these airplane seats and put him in low solar orbit without a spacesuit ASAP:

    "AIDA Development designed these "seats" to increase capacity on shorthaul flights. When leg room is not an issue, seats may be much closer together."

    In: Aircraft interiors international, March 2004.

    -- Futuristics : Commercial Aviation Transportation Gallery

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 10, 2004 1:36 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Scent for a Woman

    What is it men in women do require
    The lineaments of Gratified Desire

    What is it women do in men require
    The lineaments of Gratified Desire

    --- William Blake

    Although I am sure I am not the first man to have this insight, shortly after my daughter was born I remember holding her and nuzzling her then small and delicate head. The odor of a young baby is difficult to describe especially with a dusting of baby powder, but I recall thinking on more than one occasion that if a men's cologne company wanted to corner the market it would isolate and bottle the aroma. It could be marketed under the name "New Baby." I was sure the scent would prove to be irresistible to women.

    Now Rickey James at the invaluable SciScoop reports that a scent emitted by one woman can stimulate desire in women around her. The catch is that she has to be breastfeeding.

    From a monumentally important press release by the University of  Chicago:  Breastfeeding women and their infants produce a substance that increases sexual desire among other women, according to research at the University of Chicago.

    "This is the first report in humans of a natural social chemosignal that increases sexual motivation," said Martha McClintock, the David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology at the University, and the lead researcher in a team at the University's Institute for Mind and Biology. Chemosignals are substances that while not necessarily perceived as odors, nonetheless have an impact on mood and menstrual cycles when absorbed through the nose.

    Not immediately useful, we still remain certain that manufactures of men's cologne will be drawn to this discovery like like dogs to a meat truck. You can smell the profits from here.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 10, 2004 12:23 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Lineaments of Women's Desire Discovered

    Although I am sure I am not the first man to have this insight, shortly after my daughter was born I remember holding her and nuzzling her then small and delicate head. The odor of a young baby is difficult to describe especially with a dusting of baby powder, but I recall thinking on more than one occasion that if a men's cologne company wanted to corner the market it would isolate and bottle the aroma. It could be marketed under the name "New Baby." I was sure the scent would prove to be irresistible to women.

    Now Rickey James at the invaluable SciScoop reports that a scent emitted by one woman can stimulate desire in women around her. The catch is that she has to be breastfeeding.

    Not immediately useful, we still remain certain that manufactures of men's cologne will be drawn to this discovery like flies to honey. You can smell the profits from here.

    From a monumentally important press release by the University of  Chicago:  Breastfeeding women and their infants produce a substance that increases sexual desire among other women, according to research at the University of Chicago.

    "This is the first report in humans of a natural social chemosignal that increases sexual motivation," said Martha McClintock, the David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology at the University, and the lead researcher in a team at the University's Institute for Mind and Biology. Chemosignals are substances that while not necessarily perceived as odors, nonetheless have an impact on mood and menstrual cycles when absorbed through the nose.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 9, 2004 5:01 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Impact: Free Elections in Afghanistan

    "Moqadasa Sidiqi casts her vote for the landmark Afghan election in Islamabad October 9, 2004. The 19-year-old Afghan woman living as a refugee in Pakistan made history on Saturday by casting the first vote in Afghanistan's first direct presidential election."


    Same country, almost five years ago:


    November 17, 1999

    Who has made the real difference in destroying terrorism and tyranny in the last five years?


    The man on the left or the man on the right?

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 9, 2004 5:41 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Impact: Night Missile Attack in Fallujah

    "I got numerous individuals on the road. Do you want me to take those out?"
    "Take 'em out."

    "Oh, dude...." From

    U.S. Special Forces "Ninja" night stalkers on the ground in Fallujah during the night discovered a meeting at a protected mosque of followers of cleric Al-Sadyr. A mission to attack coalition forces with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and road-side bombs was being planned by the insurgents in the mosque. The Special Forces Ninjas called in an air strike request to Air Force fighter jets and AWAC aircraft on patrol.

    Video here:Missile Attack

    Pointer via: Matthew Heidt @ Froggy Ruminations who notes:

    I kind of doubt that a ground asset was involved in painting this band of miscreants, because the urban terrain would necessitate a position of sufficient height to allow for target identification and yet remain outside of the casualty radius of the munitions deployed (which was fairly significant). It probably was a TF-160 guy in an AH-6 "Little Bird" that called the shot.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 9, 2004 12:44 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Art Made Me Do It!: "Last weak I cud not spel artis. Now I are one."
    • A poor craftsman blames her inspiration.

    The dreary case of Maria Alquilar's ugly and illiterate ceramic mural for the Livermore Library illustrates just how ignorant and untalented many American "artists" actually are.Ms. Alquilar's creation had everything that government committees value in today's public art, i.e., a huge chunk of diversity worship that excludes only beauty and inspiration seeking only to mollify and soothe. It is and, except for a few mistakes, would have remained a forgettable eyesore, noted only by pre-schoolers on a dubious field trip. The mistakes? For starters it couldn't spell "Shakespeare."

    Ms. Alquilar 'created' a series of four dreadful but politically correct clay plaques that were, with some ceremony and a cost of $40,000, installed at the entrance of the new library in Livermore, California. Due to the joint failures of the primary, secondary, and collegiate educational systems in the United States, Ms. Alquilar managed to give "creative spellings" to such names as Einstein, Gauguin, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, and van Gogh. She also blew 'Kachinas' and 'Nefertiti,' along with a few others.

    Neither Ms. Alquilar nor anyone else involved in the creation, fabrication, and installation spotted even one of the eleven mistakes. Result? They now grace the facade of a library, monuments to a culture that doesn't know, doesn't see, doesn't give a damn, and has no intention of putting things right. At least, that's Ms. Aquilar's current position:


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 8, 2004 11:51 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Degenerate Blogger Kos Urges Vote Fraud

    Markos Zúniga: Disgrace to his country,
    Disgrace to the Uniform of his country, and
    now a disgrace to the Democratic Party.
    No ethics. No honor. In it for the money.

    Anyone with the barest notions of ethics and fair play has long since given up on the lifeform known as Kos. Still, it is entertaining to watch the degeneration continue. Here's the first post out of the door after tonight's


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 8, 2004 8:14 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Draft Lileks Campaign: Day 2

    Yes, it is time to ruin the life of another great American.

    Details here.

    We're all agreed he gets to work from home, right? Right.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 7, 2004 5:48 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    When Pets Blog

    Dedicated to Dinker and Bacchus

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 7, 2004 5:43 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Will the Real John Kerry Please, At Last, Speak Up?

    The ever insightful Marc Bowen over at Cobb has cracked the code! -- Cobb: The Speech John Kerry Will Never Make

    There is a clear choice for Americans in November. War or Peace. President Bush is the choice for War and I am the choice for Peace.

    It is a rare occasion when the American people have an opportunity to, with one vote, decide the fate of millions who are currently suffering the ravages of war. But now is that opportunity. This conflict in Iraq is the wrong war at the wrong time. We made a mistake going there and I am the man to correct that mistake. All the possible good that could possibly come from this war has already been accomplished and every minute we remain, we lose the advantage of those gains. There is nothing left to win in Iraq that America is capable of winning. Therefore, I pledge that if I am elected President, I will order the immediate and unconditional withdrawl of all American troops in Iraq.

    My fellow Americans there can be no clearer choice before you. There may be a million reasons for going to war and we can debate those forever. There are equally a million reasons for ending war and those too can be debated forever. But when it comes down to it, for you the American voter, you only have one choice - War or Peace. I am here to make that choice crystal clear. Whatever your reasons, if you believe that we belong in Iraq, then cast your vote this election for George W. Bush. But, if you believe as I do that it is time for peace, then your choice is clear.

    Vote for me. I will end the war.

    You know, if Kerry was a real patriot with real contemporary courage, he'd step up and shout it out.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 7, 2004 5:24 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Porretto Punctures "Process"

    One of the downsides of contemporary capitalism (yes, there are a few) is the need to invent new "theories" of innovation and work along with genuine innovation. These usually take the form of books, seminars, and other grant-in-aid programs for the army of "consultants" that hover over the corporate landscape like trial lawyers and has-been celebrities hover over unexploited diseases.

    The list of these sins is both, as a friend of mine likes to say, "numerous and multiple." One of my favorites was, if you have been conscious and semi-working since the early 1980s, a chunk of blather called "The One Minute Manager." A best-seller in its day and something that gave the author a big hit from the money machine, it has long since shuffled off its mortal coil. [In a way it worked for me as well since, as soon as I saw it on the best-seller list, I went right out and bought a manuscript for Houghton Mifflin called "The 59-Second Employee,"** which enjoyed a similar although smaller success.]


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 7, 2004 4:05 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Reviewing the Review Sites

    Kevin Kelly's -- Cool Tools is one of the most consistently interesting and useful sites around. He's just moved that up a notch with his new project that reviews the reviewers. And he's asking you for suggestions.

    My model of the ideal review site then is one built on a broad base of user reviews, in addition to a field of experts conducting uniform and comparative reviews, and ends up with an extract of top picks or other recommendations of what to get. I have not yet seen a perfect site. What doesn't work for me is a site sporting a vast matrix of all products and their features, or a site recommending a few products --ones that they happen to also sell, or a site with evaluations of gear they happen to get free from cooperative manufacturers, or heaven forbid, a site that has a few feeble reviews and is supported by a zillion ads.
    Examples given at the link above. Take a look and give him a hand. On the web you can never be too meta.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 7, 2004 2:47 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Cheeze It, the Grammar Cop!

    BEST OF SHOW AT THE BANTERIST today is the latest in his series Grammar Cop.

    Complaint: Abuse of the homophone "flair" - a misdemeanor, but not a hate crime; making error permanent by printing it on 80# card stock; placing error behind acrylic shielding so as to prevent correction; placing error in a high visibility location. Additional charges: Blather in the Second Degree in the form of a nonsensical paragraph; failure to capitalize "Asianesque" as required by law.
    I find this "Banterist" theme a bracing restorative whenever I despair of our civilization.[See below] It reminds me that even in our darkest hours of linguistic genocide, there are those who still seek to enforce the law.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 7, 2004 2:30 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    $10 Million Score for MovableType
    Six Apart, known for its award-winning and innovative software used by webloggers around the world, announced today that it has received $10 million in Series B funding from August Capital. In addition, the company announced that August Capital partners David F. Marquardt, a member of the board of directors of Microsoft and Seagate Technologies, and David M. Hornik, a member of the board of directors of PayCycle and Nomis, have joined Six Apart's board of directors. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

    ....In addition, the company has added depth to its management team, established Japanese and European subsidiaries, signed licensing agreements with systems integrator Hitachi, telecommunications leader NTT and ISP NIFTY and established a partnership with mobile leader Nokia. The company said the funds will be used for continued product development, international expansion, increased customer support and sales and marketing initiatives.

    ....August Capital joins Neoteny as an investor in Six Apart. Neoteny,[Joi Ito] a Japanese venture capital firm focused on the rapidly expanding realm of the networked computer, led the company's Series A round.

    -- Six Apart Press Release

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 7, 2004 2:10 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Wrong. Just very, very wrong.



    Sometimes I have to wonder if this civilization really is worth saving.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 7, 2004 1:57 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Senator Lileks?! Hey, You Laughed at "Governor" Ventura.


    Who says there are no good candidates?This stunningly obvious but still brilliant idea just in from Flatlander: "I think we start a movement to draft the Dean of MN bloggers, James Lileks. I know he'll say he doesn't want the job, family, work, blah, blah. But, he's the guy I think is right for the job of representing Minnesota right now." -- FLATLANDER

    Now before you laugh and before you scoff and before you run out of the room with your teeth on fire screaming, "I GOT THE FEAR!," just sit back and reflect on the dead-center obvious nature of this very smart idea.

    And the timing is right. Plus we've already got the bumper sticker and the lawn sign. Now all we need is to get cracking and whip up some tee shirts.

    He'll scream, he'll squirm, he'll twist slowly in the wind, but if there's going to be a draft in the country, I'll take a "Draft Lileks" draft over the other kind.

    Lileks will, sadly, have to divest himself of his Tiki-Torches and it could be that his positions on many issues are a bit too explicit for the tastes of many... but, but.... well, it is just too juicy a shot to pass up. Electing a Senator out of the blogsphere would be the ultimate announcement that this medium has arrived, wouldn't it.

    And if, perchance, Lileks bleats, "It is to dream the impossible dream," we'll just sit him down in front of Lawrence of Arabia for the line: "We are here. Akaba is there. It is only a matter of going."

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 6, 2004 7:04 PM | Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Death of Osama and Everything Else

    There are so many moments and passages that illuminate and inspire in Bill Whittle's long essay, "DETERRENCE" at Eject! Eject! Eject!, that the only reasonable thing to do is to just point you towards it.

    In case you feel you really don't have the time take in this small excerpt and see if you still feel that way.

    Ladies, President Bush has freed the women of Afghanistan, and shut down the state-run rape and torture of women in Iraq. And for every one of those women who was raped and tortured to death, remember that half the entire country lived in daily fear of being spotted by some Ba’athist pig with too much time on his hands as he hid behind the tinted windows of his limousine, cruising the streets of Baghdad or Mosul or Basrah looking for a little fun.

    Senator Kerry, on the other hand, has not only said, he has promised that he will do no such thing.

    SENATOR KERRY: But we also have to be smart, Jim. And smart means not diverting your attention from the real war on terror in Afghanistan against Osama bin Laden and taking if off to Iraq where the 9/11 Commission confirms there was no connection to 9/11 itself and Saddam Hussein, and where the reason for going to war was weapons of mass destruction, not the removal of Saddam Hussein.


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 6, 2004 1:27 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Small Tremors Continue in California

    This just in from the excellent L.A. Observed

    Sacramento Bee opinion blogger Dan Weintraub passes along two new polls that pick up a slide in Kerry's lead over Bush among California voters. In one, the Democrat's edge is down to six points. Regardless of position, Californians are not subscribers to the belief that the country is split roughly even. They feel, by more than 2 to 1, that Bush will win. On a somewhat similar note, right-leaning columnist Jill Stewart tries to make the case in a recent piece that California is not so liberal.

    Now I'm not saying that my state is in any real danger of regaining its sanity, but still a guy can dream, can't he?

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 6, 2004 12:27 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Bush Hate Spirals Ever Upward

    At the beginning of last December, after hearing Emimem rap out "I'd rather see the president dead," I wrote a short commentary, Where Bush Hate is Heading, which observed:

    As Americans, we assume that the terrorist enemies of our country would like nothing better than to assassinate the President of the United States. We can only hope that the Secret Service and all those entrusted with his protection have taken extraordinary precautions to protect him and prevent such an event from ever taking place.

    Even so, as we have learned several times in my lifetime, no security arrangements are flawless, and while you can protect rationally against rational threats, the game can fall apart when you are dealing with people who are manifestly insane and do not need to live.

    We expect our enemies to hate the President and to seek to do him harm. We do not expect members of the loyal opposition to allow their rhetoric and their "cultural standard bearers" such as Eminem ("I set precedents and the standards...") to poison the political system to the level that some of their misguided ilk take it upon themselves to take a shot at Bush "for the sake of the greater good."

    Yet Bush hate is leading is to that point. It may be that we get through the next year without seeing the headline: BUSH KILLED. I pray that it is so. At the same time, would you be surprised?

    In the last week or so, attacks on Republican offices have increased with shootings starting to take place with a certain amount of frequency. Chain sawing of signs goes on apace and other acts of major and minor violence increase.

    The small article linked above drew more than its share of comments at the time but then, as these things do, the comments trailed off. Until this morning when I was greeted by these sentiments in the comments section:

    bush deserves to die, he's personally responsable for the deaths of over 1000 americans, countless civilian iraqies, all for what, a reason that makes no sense, so we should just let him live out the rest of his life while familys suffer from death , the destruction of there homes, billions of dollars wasted on a war we should of never had, he's an idiot and is responsable for the murder of thousands...he deserves at least to die himself
    That pretty much speaks for itself, in as much as it can speak at all. But it seems to me to be a bit of a harbinger of things to come.

    To wit, if there are people among us so sodden with the hate of the Republican President that they are willing to wish death upon him -- here and on our stage and in our books and elsewhere in the culture -- what will they be willing to do on the day after their certain defeat at the polls next month?

    As in so many things, the proof of the strength of our Republic and our democratic system will be shown not on the day of the election, but on the days that come after.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 6, 2004 11:01 AM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Fortune Teller in October 2000

    Went to a fortune teller to have my fortune read.
    I didn’t know what to tell her. I had a dizzy feeling in my head

    In October of the year 2000, when I lived in Brooklyn Heights and worked in Manhattan, there was a fortune teller who ran a storefront operation just around the corner on Montague Street. Her face was stained walnut with deep wrinkles framing jet black eyes. Her hands, when they flickered out from underneath her black shawl, were gnarled knots. From noon until late into the evening she sat in front of her shop and watched what there was of the world on this street flow by.

    Every morning as I strolled to the subway I'd pass her window, two steps down with a red neon hand glowing palm out behind the dusty glass. An Abyssinian cat drowsed on the sill inside the glass and the thick curtains were still drawn. She lived in a room at the back of the shop. No windows, no fire escape. Maybe a hot plate. The police and fire marshals never seemed to bother about this. She'd always been there. A fixture as fixed and unmoving as the fire hydrant in front.

    Every evening I'd pass the fortune teller's again on my way home. Inside the room you could see two chairs and a table with tarot decks and a crystal ball, the tools of this ancient trade. The fortune teller was a woman of the Romany race, as these folks usually are in New York and elsewhere. In New York, the gypsies run the Fortune industry at the same level of market penetration that the Greeks run the coffee shop conglomerate and the Italians waste disposal -- 99.99% It's an ancient business and although I never patronized them, I knew plenty of people who did, mostly women with man trouble.

    But what if I had? What if one evening in the year 2000 I'd stopped and instead of vaguely nodding to the old woman in the long flowered dress and fringed shawl, gone inside, sat down and said, "Okay, 'deal me up a brand new future from a worn out deck of cards'?"

    And what if she had drawn the curtains, lit the candles and incense, and told me this?

    "I see you four years from now, in October 2004."

    "Okay, that's a relief. I'm alive in 2004. Where am I, what am I doing?"

    "I can tell you but I fear you will not believe me. Pay me $100 now."

    "What's not to believe? Here you go. You're paid, now tell me."

    "Very well, but remember, you have asked.

    "In four years, you will be remarried."

    "I suppose that could happen even though I currently think of marriage as being just below do-it-yourself brain surgery on my to-do list..."

    "Do not interrupt... in four years, remarried and in love with a woman who has a son of ten years. He plays chess remarkably well and likes to sneak up behind you and batter you about the head and shoulders with a foam bat.

    "In four years, this city you love will be far away and struggling to rise from a terrible day that leaves it covered in ash and with thousands of dead. You will not be with them. You will live in a place where almost every day is like the few fine days you get here.

    "In four years, your country will have conquered two other countries on the far side of the world and will be fighting for its future in many other lands and fearful of more days of fire at home. This will be a fear founded on fact.

    "When this war begins there will be a great rage in the land over the enemies that killed thousands of your fellow Americans at their desks on a fine, clear morning. But in four years there will be a greater rage in the land between the citizens. One side will want to continue the struggle until your enemies are defeated. The other side will wish to end the struggle as quickly as possible and return to the sleep that they enjoyed so much in the years gone by."

    "Excuse me, but I am really having trouble believing that President Gore would allow..."


    "In four years, you will find yourself in a large room high above the Pacific. You will be watch two men debate the great issues of the election before you on television.

    "One man will be old and hulking. He will be bald and tired with the weight of years. He will have the hard look in his eyes that men get when they do hard things and know harder things loom ahead. He will epitomize all that you have always voted against and will vote against in this year's elections.

    "Opposing him will be a young and handsome man; a man whose demeanor and hair will remind you the Jack Kennedy you so admired in your youth. He will have charm and a scintillating smile. He will tell you stories of his own youth and remind you that he sees the 'candle of liberty' flickering in America. He will promise much that would benefit all -- not in the least free doctors all around and on the house.

    "And.... and.... and this is the hard part."

    "Go on. Tell me."

    "You will know, in your heart, that the man who would be Kennedy is telling you a lie of the soul; that he and the man who seeks office with him have no plan for the country beyond their own cheap ambitions.

    "You will, on that night four years from now, know that the old and grumpy man, the man with the failing heart, represents the only way forward. You will be ready at long last to do the thing that you have never done before."

    "No. No! Not that!"

    "Yes my son, you will vote for a Republican."

    "But, but, how did this come to be? How did all this come to pass?"

    "That will be another $100."

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 6, 2004 9:04 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back to iTunes...

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 6, 2004 12:06 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Origamic Architecture of Chatami Meets Escher

    Paper. Scissors. Escher.

    An amazing confluence of two strange sensibilities.

    And what is Origamic Architecture?

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 5, 2004 11:59 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Le Smart Car It Is Tres Stupid

    Vel Satis: A car of this type rests as from spirit hand over the motorway

    Okay, know going in that this story is going to cause your brain to curdle. You've got French technology, French manufacturing, and a French driver all going wildly, terribly wrong. On top of that you have a not-ready-for-prime-time Google translation from German to English. It's going to be a rough ride, but once you get into the spirit of the thing it just sort of skips along.

    To set the scene: You have a cutting-edge French car with "smart" technology that takes so many little, irritating tasks away from the driver. You know, little things like air conditioningl, seat adjustment, radio tuning, control over acceleration, braking, and the ability to shut the whole thing down. Add in a wide open road and what do you have? Terror on the tarmac!

    [Text verbatim, but cut -- out of respect for our shared humanity.]

    It was worse than a nightmare: A normal route on the motorway. To be stopped suddenly will the car ever faster, is no more.

    Well one hour long hunted a French driver with speed 200 over the runway, in the Slalom around the other cars. ...

    It has a truck overhauled, when its car accelerated suddenly independently on 190 kilometers per hour, quoted the French daily paper "Le Parisien" the driver Hicham Dequiedt on Tuesday:

    "It was impossible to drive more slowly. On the brake to step, nothing proved functioned. as useless. " ....

    A cause for the Horrortrip was a electronics error in the vehicle: the Tempomat of its Renault Vel Satis was defective. The ignition to switch off is not possibly been, since the car has a smart card instead of a key....

    The police certified Dequiedt a "admirable behavior": "you discussed solution types at the telephone with me." The officials let a Mautstelle on his distance vacate, all barriers were eliminated and fire-brigade and ambulance alarmed as a precaution.

    "I stood, said the fear of my life. It became dangerous, when before it a truck on the left trace overhauled another vehicle. It could change over only to the standing tire. "I thought, my last Stuendlein struck."

    Only after approximately one hour and 200 kilometers he could finally bring the cars to holding. "I stepped as firmly, as I could, on the brakes, and the car came finally to a halt."

    The pressestelle of the manufacturer Renault confirmed the incident, which occurred on Sunday. "The car is examined for the moment in France", said spokeswoman Caroline Sambale. To the causes she can say to still nothing for the moment. ....

    The model Vel Satis is steered via the smart card: Door locks open automatically, as soon as the driver equipped with the map, whom grasp affects.

    Preferences of the driver such as air conditioning system and seat position, in addition, vehicle-relevant data such as maintenance dates are stored on the smart card. As soon as the driver puts it into the reader in the center console, going away barrier and steering column bolting device are solved.

    The driver must operate then an asynchronous operation button, in order to start the engine.

    Zoot alors! It is that "asynchronous operation button" at the bottom of all this merde dans les epinard!

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 5, 2004 10:28 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink

    "The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever
    invented is the book."
    --Northrop Frye

    Let's review:

    • No "advanced" technology required. Ability to manufacture present in all areas of the globe.

    • Crude but functioning units can be made by kindergartners with pencil, paper and glue.

    • Operating system and interface rock solid.

    • All types of information can be stored.

    • Has been proven to retain information in retrievable form across several thousand years.

    • Of the two, the User will often crash first.

    • All parts can be recycled.

    • All or part can be backed-up at any Kinkos.

    • Can be powered for hours with one candle.

    • All users receive up to 12 years of interface training free.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 5, 2004 9:53 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    David Hackworth Also Feels A Draft

    For reasons other than those I proposed in Yes, Virginia, There WILL Be a Draft, David Hackworth also sees a draft in '05 or '06: Uncle Sam Will Soon Want Your Kids

    Right now -- with both our regular and Reserve soldiers stretched beyond the breaking point -- our all-volunteer force is tapping out. If our overseas troop commitments continue at the present rate or climb higher, there won't be enough Army and Marine grunts to do the job. And thin, overworked units, from Special Forces teams to infantry battalions, lose fights.

    Clearly, this war against worldwide, hardcore Islamic believers will be a massive military marathon, the longest and most far-flung in our country's history. By Christmas, more troops could be needed not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but wherever the radical Islamic movement is growing stronger, from the Horn of Africa to Morocco, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen and across Europe -- remember Spain?! -- to Asia.

    Accordingly, we need to bring our ground-fighting and support units to about the strength they were before the Soviet Union imploded, especially since the proper ratio of counterinsurgent-to-insurgent in places like the Middle East should be around 15 to 1. You don't have to be a Ph.D. in military personnel to conclude we need more boots on the ground.

    Yes. I'm aware discussing the inevitability of the Draft gives aid and comfort to the Kerry camp and the other members of a party unfit to rule at any level. At the same time, simply running about insisting that there are no plans for a draft, there will be no plans for a draft, and there will never be a draft is nothing but a temporary position taken only for political gain.

    Where I diverge from Hackworth's position is in his insistence that, no matter what, increasing military needs in numerous other countries will stimulate this situation.

    It's obvious that a Kerry administration would initiate an across the board pull-back from foreign adventures to something like the Sept. 10 status-quo-ante of troop deployment. What is not so obvious is that a continuing Bush Administration might be far too gun-shy to expand operations outside of Iraq but look to consolidate and control that country alone. This is not entirely unwise from a strategic and tactical perspective since it allows the US to keep Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran in check and to checkmate them if the need arises.

    In neither case do we see the overwhelming need for a draft. In the first, we simply regroup and make a lot of members of the National Guard feel happy and safe -- for a while. In the latter case, we muddle through with the forces on hand.

    What changes the equation above is, as I argue in the article linked above, a second devastating attack on the United States homeland with large numbers of American men, women and (especially) children killed.

    In that case, Hackworth's draft comes about by default. Right after a very large surge in enlistments.

    Then again we might see a surge in the oft-cited but now vanished "Kerry Peace-Corpesque Civilian Corps," since a large job on the global scale would involve decontaminating highly irradiated sites in the Middle-East.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 5, 2004 11:06 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Unending Mysteries of the Orient

    YOU THERE! Yes, you!

    You might think that in your happy little world you can at least control and hold onto your pointing and clicking CURSOR, right?

    Well, you are DEAD WRONG!

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 4, 2004 9:45 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    DISASTER! The Simpsons to End -- in 2009

    Simpson, faced with cancellation, starts endorsement career

    The bad news for its millions of fans around the world is that it looks like the end is in sight. The overall impression from a day spent with some of the sprawling team of producers, writers, animators and voice talent that make the show is that the goal is to reach 20 seasons, which would take it to 2009 in the States. The series would then overtake Gunsmoke as the longest running entertainment show on US television with its place in history assured.
    -- Matt Groening tells Owen Gibson why he still cares about them

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 4, 2004 9:26 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    And a dozen assorted...

    SPENGLER on why things will get worse for western Muslims before they get better... if then.

    NOSEBLEEDS POSTPONED: Coast Guard pulls over two fishing boats. Canned tuna in the galley, 27 tons of cocaine in the hold.

    PHONE HOME: Beslan Killers phone in the massacre to the Middle East.

    KERRY FUTURES MARKET continues to tank.

    DAN RATHER'S FUTURE continues to tank. [Quicktime movie]

    SEX IN OUTER SPACE? It could happen.


    HOW TO UPGRADE your organic dog. Plus pix from poochCam.

    YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE THE NEW, IMPROVED LIVE DEMO: HOOD, balloon detonation at 1500', 74 kilotons, July 1957

    HOW TO GRILL A MAN, THE VIDEO by the aptly named "Slowtron."

    WE CAN MUMMIFY YOU: Upfront costs, $67,000 plus Mummiform or traditional casket costs, but why skimp on the last thing you'll ever buy?

    EVERYBODY'S DOING IT, BUT EVERYBODY... Official Frank Serpico Blog

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 4, 2004 6:53 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    "We're Going to Need Bigger Pipes"

    HOW MUCH BANDWIDTH does one "transformed" military establishment need? Lots evidently according to this report from DefenseLink.

    DISA experts project an eight-fold increase in bandwidth requirements between 2006 and 2015, or a jump from 20 gigabits to 160 gigabits. And normally, Raduege said, projected estimates fall short.

    A gigabit refers to 1 billion bits of data, and bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted in a set amount of time, usually expressed as bits per second. So to put it in perspective, in 2006, DISA experts expect to need to be able to transfer 20 billion bits of data per second.

    Steps are being taken to address the need for increasing bandwidth.

    "The (Global Information Grid)-Bandwidth Expansion will be the newest terrestrial component of the GIG," Raduege said. "This GIG-BE is designed to be robust enough to eliminate current and future bandwidth constraints.

    "GIG-BE's advanced fiber-optic backbone and switching technology will upgrade


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 4, 2004 11:01 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Back of the Bus

    Going on 40 years of demonstrations. What a difference a few decades make. Or do they?

    Here's a photograph taken during a protest for the Free Speech Movement at the University of California in Berkeley in December of 1964.

    Nearly 40 years ago. I suppose that if it was taken on the right day in December at the right time, I'm floating around somewhere nearby just outside the frame. I'm probably trying to make a sign that's anywhere as cool as, "STRIKE AGAINST THE PATRIARCHAL DESPOTISM AND MARTIAL LAW USED IN DEFENSE OF PERSONAL MORAL WEAKNESS," but I've really got no chance. That guy is just too, too SDS for me. I'd have never come up with it. Still, you have to admire his foresight. He's got "patriarchal" up there a full decade before it was even a gleam in Andrea Dworkin's eye.

    I've been looking at a lot of old photographs of late and I always wonder where the people in the picture are today. I know where I am and it is much more than 40 years . I like to imagine it is the same for the sign-toting student in the shot. But you just can't know.

    The other thing that strikes me is how, as my father would have said, "clean-cut" everybody is. Suits, ties, "ivy-league" haircuts, polished shoes. Nobody wears things like that to demonstrations today, not even the FBI Agents.

    Of course the slightly scruffy couple harmonizing folk songs over a guitar in the background near the middle of the shot are still around. They don't seem to ever age, do they? I wonder what their secret is?

    Last summer I had to take my car in for repair at one of the Mercedes repair shops that line one side of the road up Laguna Canyon from the ocean to the interior of Orange county. Dropping it off I took a little stroll around the automobile graveyard that forms a part of this mechanic's lot. And there it was: my past come back to haunt me like a Maoist version of Marley's Ghost.

    I'm not saying I owned this vehicle, but a lot of my friends did. I'm not saying this was one of theirs, but it sure could have been. And I'm not asserting that


    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 2, 2004 5:22 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    That Magic Menu @ "MEAT SHAKE"


    MEAT SHAKE®, the franchise that takes the Atkins Diet up to levels previously undreamed of, has developed a line of

    Celeb Specialty Shakes

    Ricky's "Liver La Vida Loca" Shake
    (Liver, Anchoivies, Avocados, Salsa)
    Lars' "Mutton Else Matters" Shake
    (Lamb, Cabbage, Tomatos, Honey Mustard)
    Mel & Arnold's "Use the Schwartz" Shake
    (Austrian Brautwurst, Sauerkraut, Creatine)
    P.B. Wolf 's "Who Remixed Roger Rabbit?" Shake
    (Welsh Rabbit, Mixed Greens, Carrots, Vinagerette)
    Danny A's "Old-School Bassomatic" Shake
    (Whole Uncooked Bass, Chocolate Chips, Vanilla Soft Serve)
    Henson's "It Ain't Easy Being Green" Shake
    (Boneless Frog Legs, Butter, Fresh Mint)

    You may be revolted by these culinary disasters. You may be outraged at this proof the United States has "WAY TOO MUCH FOOD®". You may prefer to have your meatshakes in the privacy of your own home with kittens and blenders. You may even think ever so slightly that the whole MEAT SHAKE® frenzy has the whiff of a hoax about it....

    I know. I think these un-American thoughts too.

    My shame is that I actually know close friends who would, given the opportunity, not only patronize MEAT SHAKE®, but seek to buy a franchise.

    Posted by Vanderleun Oct 1, 2004 7:51 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    G2E Media GmbH