Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Citizens from the Mud: The Subconscious Yearning for American Defeat

ROGER SIMON is on the money (again) with his summation of the American death wish that seems to operate on some subconscious level in much of the American media:

These days the media is referring to our adversaries in Iraq by the seemingly objective term "insurgents," a word Merriam-Webster OnLine defines as

1 : a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government; especially : a rebel not recognized as a belligerent
2 : one who acts contrary to the policies and decisions of one's own political party

Definition 2 does not seem to be relevant, but what about 1? Are the guerrillas in Iraq merely people revolting against civil authority or are they something more specific? According to virtually every report, they are Baathists and their sympathizers, Islamic fundamentalists and their sympathizers or paid thugs working for either or both of the foregoing two groups. So what are they all together? Quite simply they are fascists or at best fascist fellow travelers.

But the media never say the "F" word. They never write the "fascists" did this or that (as they certainly did in other wars). They persist in using the benign "insurgents." Why? I don't want to think that Noah Oppenheim is correct in writing that many in the media quite seriously don't want us to win, but tonight of all nights it seems more likely that could be so. As I type these words at ten p. m. PDT... maybe I missed something... maybe I didn't click far enough... but I see no reports of the large pro-democracy/anti-terror march of Iraqis in Baghdad today in tomorrow's New York Times or Washington Post or in the Los Angeles Times(at least on their websites). Or on the CNN site. Or on MSNBC.... Do you think for one moment that if thousands had been marching for Saddam... for the fascists... excuse me "insurgents"... it wouldn't have been front page news? I don't. What's going on?

One is tempted to say that "God only knows," but that's false. What's going on is a massive, subconscious desire on the part of thousands of our fellow Americans to ensure that America loses -- not only in Iraq, but in the wider First Terrorist War. But why?

The French have an idiomatic phrase nostalgie pour la boue which means, roughly, yearning for the mud. It's a compulsion


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 30, 2006 2:38 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"The North West Washington Barbies are FINALLY Available!"


DO YOU RECOGNIZE any of these little dolls?

Laurelhurst Barbie: Available with a Volvo XC70, a Kate Spade handbag and Nike Sweatsuit. Her ponytail is pulled through the back of her baseball hat. She is very active on Juniors PTA and is fierce at school fund-raising auctions. Beware, you do not want to bid against her!

Comes with Double-tall soy latte with a splash of hazelnut, Xanax and Patagonia foul-weather gear. Optional accessories include either a black or yellow lab with tennis ball chucker.

Available at University Village.

Seattle Barbie: This modern day homemaker Barbie is available with a Mercedes 4WD SUV, a Prada handbag and matching Nike Yoga ensemble. She has a masters degree and double-majored, but has the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom with Ken's generous salary.

Comes with Percocet prescription and Botox. Starbucks mug and traffic-jamming Blackberry internet/cell phone device sold separately. Husband Ken is into fishing, golfing, baseball and is often "working" late.

Available at all Seattle-area Starbucks retailers.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 30, 2006 12:05 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Reviewer Without a Clue

MANOHLA DARGIS is predictably and dependably on top of the current blather points in her New York Times' review of "United 93." 1) Exploitation! 2) Why was it made?

But that narrow focus, along with the lack of fully realized characters, and the absence of any historical or political context, raises the question of why, notwithstanding the usual (if shaky) commercial imperative, this particular movie was made. To jolt us out of complacency? Remind us of those who died? Unite us, as even the film's title seems to urge? Entertain us?

To be honest, I haven't a clue. I didn't need a studio movie to remind me of the humanity of the thousands who were murdered that day or the thousands who have died in the wars waged in their name.

Well, at least she's being "honest" about her needs. Proof again, if more proof was needed, that you don't have to be a clueless moron to work for the New York Times but, since you will mirror the Publisher, it certainly can't hurt your career path. Here's hoping the next time a mass murder goes down in New York that Ms. Dargis and her collegues at the paper have the aisle seats.
ALLAH IS TRACKING THE BLOG REACTION to the film: Bloggers review "United 93"

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 29, 2006 1:23 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Coin of the PC Realm

CHAD EVERETT @ Don't Back Down: Rustle or Jingle is asking about the fact that the dollar coin has not replaced the dollar bill.

The long term cost [of the Sacagawea Dollar coin] is lower, the hassle factor is lower, the speed is faster. Yet dollar bills are still far more prevalent in the US than dollar coins. Why is that, exactly?
He's gathered a few interesting responses in his comments and yet they don't quite get to the real reason: People just don't like them.

Case in point: While waiting in line at the Laguna Beach Post Office to speak to a clerk, a woman came in and rustled to the front to ask a question. She was clutching this bronze object that at first glance seemed to be a quarter, but was of course the dreaded dollar coin. She'd been purchasing stamps from the PO's vending machine with paper money and had been given several dollar coins in change from the machine.

She then decided that she needed a few more stamps and had tried to use the dollar coins. But of course the machine that gave them to her wasn't configured to accept them. This, needless to say, peeved her. But since today the US Post Office exists only to drive customers away and put itself out of business by 2010, the clerks only shrugged and went back to their SOP of imitating every slo-mo work film you've ever seen. The hapless woman interrupted them again and asked if she could please have some dollar bills for the coins so she could use the stamp machine. The clerk said, "We're not supposed to give bills for the coins, but we can give coins for the bills." There were about 12 people waiting in the snake line for the clerk and I think I saw each and every one slump down and despair at this perfect government employee epiphany. The woman just shook her head and made for the exit.

She was stuck with the dollar coins and, regardless of the coin's politically correct choice of an heroic pre-Native-American-Woman on the face, she went away mumbling and grumbling, not feeling chipper about the post office or Sacagawea. Alas, she'd not seen the last of the deadening effects of this stamp machine/post office bait and switch. She'd see more when she tried to spend the coins.

I've seen it and, if you have ever had the misfortune to get a few of these useless exercises in "efficient money," you've seen it too. You try to buy something with them and there's always this bit of hesitation from a clerk as you slip them three dollar coins for a $2.75 purchase.

They gaze in rapt wonder and then look up with a sidelong glance as if you are trying to pull a fast one. You offer that the coins are dollars and instruct them to read the coin carefully. (This is especially difficult if your choice with the clerk is to continue in English or in Spanish.) In time, there's a moment when the light dawns on them , but the suspicion is not really removed. Then, grudgingly, sure they'll have to make up the shortfall when they cash out, they accept them and give you a quarter in change.

The quarter is pretty much like the dollar except that it has a different color. The other difference is that everybody pretty much likes, or accepts without question, the quarter, but nobody is easy with the dollar. And nobody likes to get the dollar back from the clerk as change. I don't know about you but whenever it happens to me, I slide them back and ask for bills. They took them and now they are the store's problem.

Nevertheless, as Everett points out, the dollar is set to last for 30 years and the government has made a mountain of them. So look for the deadly ground loop of dumb government ideas to continue for at least that long. You'll get these dollars in change from Post Office stamp machines and you'll try to get rid of them as quickly as possible at the 7/11. The 7/11 will try to fob them off on other customers and be refused. In the end, I suppose almost all of them will be shipped back to the Federal Reserve. Once there, they'll be shipped out to .... what else? ... Post Office stamp machines.

It's a nice gesture to put Sacagawea on the dollar coin. There was a lot of crowing about it when it happened. Before that, the dollar coin had Susan B. Anthony on it. It also went down to sleep with the Post Office. Perhaps they'd have better luck next time if they put Ben Franklin's choice for the national bird on it -- the Turkey. A much more popular choice with a lot of room for jokes. Besides, collectors would gobble them up.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 28, 2006 12:47 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Top Liberal Cities Grand Tour

ACCORDING TO THE EDITORS OF Human Events Online I've lived in 5 of the the Top 10 Liberal Cities in America. I was distressed to find my current home, Seattle, ranked at the rock bottom of the list, but it does show, I guess, that there's still room for growth in moonbattery here in the Northwest. God knows, we do try.

On the other hand, it gives me a certain amount of pride to note that I have also managed to live in Berkeley (#8), New York (#3), Boston (#2), and front ranked San Francisco, and still emerge in some sort of recognizable form. If there's hope for me, there's hope for all.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 28, 2006 10:13 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"pEwslag:" With the Emphasis on "E" for Envy

A MNEMONIC FOR REMBERING THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS IS PEWSLAG (pride, envy, wrath, sloth, lust, avarice, gluttony) and we all can supply examples from our own behavior to illustrate each and every one. Some people, lacking a full compliment of the seven, hook up with, join a political party, or even marry those that can complete them. Still, the seven seem to get a bad rap these days -- they seem so... out of date... or rather it can seem archaic to even class these behaviors as "sins." More and more, what were once seen as sins are now seen merely as "lifestyle enhancements." That's why it is good to see them worked in more detail, one by one, as a means of reminding us that the laws of God and/or karma, like the laws of gravity and entropy, have not been repealed.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 28, 2006 9:59 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dos Attack at AD Host

This page and many others are currently being affected by a Denial of Service (DOS) attack on my host, Hosting Matters. This happened a year or so ago when the target was Little Green Footballs.

Availability is currently up and running, but outages could continue.

Viewed remotely a a section of the DOS attack on Hosting Matters looks like this:

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 28, 2006 9:52 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Varifrank Knew On the Morning of the Day They Did It

"It is because of these mid-flight 'Walter Mitty' adventures that I knew the morning of the massacre that the hijackers had used the Hudson River as a visual reference to guide them to Manhattan. I knew it before noon on that very day. I knew it, because I had seen it outside my window on many flights, and I too knew that as long as I followed that clearly defined river, that I could find the fabled island of Manhattan. There was no need to practice using navigation aids like GPS. Just look out the window,


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 28, 2006 9:33 AM | QuickLink: Permalink

ONE LINE FROM ShrinkWrapped: Defining Terms: The Left -- "Demanding perfection of ourselves, while excusing the worst excesses of others, is functionally anti-American." --should be reason enough to read the rest.

ROCKIN' THE FED: Every Breath You Take Now playing the music video least likely to get into heavy rotation at MTV: "Columbia Business School's Dean Glenn Hubbard sings about wanting Alan Greenspan's job that went instead to New Fed Chair Ben Bernanke."


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 28, 2006 8:49 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Acquainted with the Blight

ON THIS, the pretty much 38th day in a row of rain in Seattle, I (with all apologies to Robert Frost ), scribble off this short adieu.

I have been one acquainted with the blight.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain,
(And out in rain -- and back in rain,
And out in rain -- and back in rain,
And out in rain -- and .... you get the picture.)
I have been skinsoaked under every city light.

I have looked down every moss-choked city lane.
I have passed drowned dolphins on my lawn
And splashed them with galoshes unwilling to explain.

I have stood up to my kiester in the ceaseless plop of drops
When over head an scheduled cloud's deluge
Sloshed the houses with a mound of mist,

But not to call me back but slather me with slops;
And further still at an unearthly height
One more damned raincloud against the sky

Proclaimed Seattle was neither dry nor Right.
I have been one acquainted with the blight.

And so, like all other foul weather cowards in Rain City, I'm off to sunnier more semi-tropical climes for a week or so. Blogging will continue but, unlike this blasted rain, will be slightly intermittent.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 27, 2006 11:20 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Robert Fulghum Joins the 'Sphere


ROBERT FULGHUM, AUTHOR OF THE CLASSIC BESTSELLER "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" is the latest major American writer to join the blogosphere. His page is new today at Robert Fulghum.

Lots of short and long and thoughtful items from this author. Check it out.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 27, 2006 5:41 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The White Heat of a Rushalanche

RUSH LIMBAUGH is talking about my essay on Joel Stein right now, live, and reading it on the air.

What a Rushalanche looks like to my server.

Died and gone to heaven!

While I'm there, HELLO DITTOHEADS! The essay in question is right below.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 27, 2006 10:12 AM | Comments (27)  | QuickLink: Permalink
How a Mind is Changed, Changed Utterly...

ONE OF THE MOST COMPELLING AND PERSONAL SERIES OF ESSAYS available online is Neo's : A mind is a difficult thing to change. Today's she's published the most resonant part yet in (After 9/11: war is interested in you) . It's a good place to start but if you look at the sidebar on the site you can follow the whole series. It is, of course, about Neo, but it is also about many, many others.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 26, 2006 12:06 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Photo of the Year, So Far


From Dick Jones' Patteran Pages

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 26, 2006 11:38 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Will Rock Your Happy Little World

FROM THE DOCTOR IS IN: Apollyon Appears-I:Looking Back
There were, it is now believed, six bombs: two produced by Iran herself; two purchased from Kim Jong Il, desperate for cash to keep his movies rolling and his regime afloat; and the greatest prize: two high-yield nukes from the Russian Mafia. These broke the bank -- but oil prices were high, their target was priceless -- and money would be worthless after their use.
Read what comes before and after. If you can bear it.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 26, 2006 10:24 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Strong Horse Wins Race. World Stunned.

TO JUDGE BY NEWS AND BLOGSPHERE REACTION, you'd think an asteroid has hit the Earth and shaken the crust around the planet: Palestinian leadership hit by political earthquake. Everywhere you browse, jaws have dropped -- "I never saw it comin' ", "Whoa, Nelly!", and "Who'da thunk it?" reactions abound.

Me, I don't get all this "shock, horror, surprise." I'm not surprised for a nanosecond. I mean, really, why wouldn't Hamas win going away? They've got the will to kill and the track record. They've got the guns and the goons, and they've had them for years. They've got Jimmy Carter on deck certifying the latest Fascist election and Stephen Speilberg honoring their feelings and boosting their self-esteem. They are the cocks of the walk in the ratty strips of land bracketing Israel and they've got the money too.

Plus they ran on that winning campaign slogan that they've run on for years: "Let's just kill all the Jews now!"

This is a campaign slogan, program, policy and plan that Arabs of all stripes in


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 26, 2006 8:56 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
People Worth Reading

DAVID WARREN on the State of the War "Many still argue that the war is a figment of the Bush administration’s imagination. How I wish they were right."

NEO looks at the Questioning of authority liberal commandment "...the kneejerk questioning of authority and the reflexive suspicion of all institutions of government...."

DOCTOR BOB attempts to install Windows XP with predictable results -- Outcome: Disaster. Unmitigated. We'd like to "feel his pain," but we have Macs.

MICHELLE'S fresh out of compassion. "Where's the sympathy for innocent, law-abiding citizens who have lost their lives at the hands


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 26, 2006 8:03 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just When Everything Was Going So Well, Too

PJM News - Hamas captures majority of parliament seats ".... a devastating upset that is sure to throw Mideast peacemaking into turmoil."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 26, 2006 7:31 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
First Drafts of the Apocalypse


SOME GANG HAD PACKED UP most of the tall aluminum light posts in Seattle, laid them out lengthwise, and were carrying them through the streets on dog-drawn wagons. Now why do you suppose they did that?

Oil? No.

Gunpowder? Yes.

Cannon barrels. The tall standing posts were smooth and hollow and made excellent cannon barrels.

The police had fled. They lived in the suburbs and they had their own families to take care of.

Things weren't that bad during the first few weeks because lots of families had supplies in the basements. Beans, baby-wipes, bottled water. The free-for-alls at the grocery stores during those first few days were amazing, predictable. What you'd expect. The strong do sometimes survive. Fights over cereal and parking lots filled with bodies, dead.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 25, 2006 9:46 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink

FINAL FEARS CONFIRMED: How Computers Really Work

GOOD QUESTION: John Hawkins asks and answers. "It is a violation of Godwin's law to say that Iran is the greatest threat to Jews since the Nazis? Whether it is or not, it's still true."

BEYOND LAWN ORNAMENTS The Gay Flamingo Agenda: "Carlos and Fernando have been together now for five years and seem perfectly happy together. Both of them take on the male roles during the courtship ritual which involves preening, strutting and waving their heads vigorously from side


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 25, 2006 8:03 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Eye

by Robinson Jeffers

The Atlantic is a stormy moat; and the Mediterranean,
The blue pool in the old garden,
More than five thousand years has drunk sacrifice
Of ships and blood, and shines in the sun; but here the Pacific--
Our ships, planes, wars are perfectly irrelevant.
Neither our present blood-feud with the brave dwarfs
Nor any future world-quarrel of westering
And eastering man, the bloody migrations, greed of power, clash of faiths--
Is a speck of dust on the great scale-pan.
Here from this mountain shore, headland beyond stormy headland
          plunging like dolphins through the blue sea-smoke
Into pale sea--look west at the hill of water: it is half the planet:
         this dome, this half-globe, this bulging
Eyeball of water, arched over to Asia,
Australia and white Antartica: those are the eyelids that never close;
         this is the staring unsleeping
Eye of the earth; and what it watches is not our wars.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 25, 2006 12:54 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just a Little "Search and Replace" Exercise with Today's News Out of Egypt

Dozens reported dead and wounded in Aspen, Colorado blasts**
Pool Coverage by Rodney G. Wentworth, ("Aspen Social Calendar"), Jack White ("Let's Ski Aspen!") and Jennifer Tiffany Beal, New York Times Spa Critic

Three explosions rocked Colorado Rocky Mountain resort town of Aspen on Monday night, leaving at least 30 people dead and 160 wounded.One blast hit the St Regis Aspen hotel, a second Olive's restaurant and the third explosion rocked the Whole Foods Supermarket in the resort town's tourist area about 7:15 p.m. local time (1715 GMT). Colorado authorities said the blasts were likely not caused by suicide


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 24, 2006 10:38 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Cynthia McKinney's Unbroken Streak of Proving She's a Horse's Ass Continues

Cynthia: If I can't sell it, I'm gonna sit down on it. I ain't gonna give it away.

CYNTHIA MCKINNEY, caught blathering "Crap" on tape, and identifying her aide as a "fool" (Well, he does work for the woman. Case closed.), tried to define for CNN and others exactly what message she would allow them to broadcast: "Anything that is captured by your audio when I am not seated in this chair is off the record and not to be used. Is that understood?"

Results? Predictable:

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 24, 2006 5:16 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink


WHAT CAN ONE SAY except that Michelle Malkin is red hot when delivering "news you can use" via her new venture, Hot Air . Added to that, this new online video report underlines that she has not only the look but the tone of voice necessary to be highly effective in this medium. But you knew that already, right?

Today's debut program turns the heat up on China and its fellow travellers, Bill Gates, Yahoo, Google and Skype. Couldn't happen to a skeevier bunch of guys.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 24, 2006 11:23 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Embryo Eater and His Pals

A HUMAN EMBRYO AND A CHICKEN EMBRYO leads P.Z. Myers, associate professor at the University of Minnesota to ask at Pharyngula which embryo has an immortal soul and propose "Let's have a taste test and find out."

Besides taking away the current prize for tastelessness, the comments section affords you a great view of those people currently coming up very short in the soul category. Hard to tell if they are trying to curry favor with the "Professor" or with each other. All the same, it is an instructive look into some very stunted minds.

Of course, it is all a joke. Isn't it?

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 23, 2006 10:57 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Religion of Peace Rocks Out with the Iranians at Mecca

IN THE MIDST OF A GROUP HUG surrounding Feminist conscientious objector on Flickr comes this startling bit of information about what goes on during party time at Mecca. Here's how they get down!

The following are excerpts from a rally of Iranian pilgrims in Mecca, aired on Iran's Channel 1 and Al-'Alam TV, on January 9, 2006. The speaker addresses the crowd in front of a backdrop showing the WorldTradeCenter and an American flag in flames.

TO VIEW THIS CLIP, VISIT: Iranian Pilgrims in Mecca

Crowd: "Israel is the enemy of Allah."

Man: "May the hands of the infidels be chopped off."

Crowd: "May the hands of the infidels be chopped off."

Man: "May the hands of the infidels be chopped off."

Crowd: "May the hands of the infidels be chopped off."

Man: "[Chopped off] from the land of the believers."

Crowd: "From the land of the believers."

Man: "The audience will now split into two groups: One group will settle the score with America, and the other will settle the score with Israel. This group now: Death to America!"

Crowd: "Death to America!"

Man: "Death to Israel!"

Crowd: "Death to Israel! Death to America!"

Man: "Death to America!"

Crowd: "Death to America!"

Man: "Death to America!"

Crowd: "Death to Israel! Death to America!" Death to Israel!"

Man: "All together now: Death to America! Death to Israel!"

Crowd: "Death to America! Death to Israel! Death to America! Death to Israel! Death to America! Death to Israel! Death to America! Death to Israel!"

Any questions?

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 23, 2006 10:19 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Evil Genius of the Bush Diktat Strikes Again!

rove_flag.jpg story.markos.moulitsas.jpg
Evil Genius and his mole, Sooper Genius

VODKAPUNDIT Stephen Green notes in One-Party System the ominous and mysterious rise of the Koz to prominance:

I think Kerry (or some other Democrat) will position himself to be a mouthpiece for the DailyKos '08 bid to finally and fully take over the Democrat Party. Markos can rally the troops and raise lots of money, and it would take a stupid pol not to at least take a look at what Kos has to offer.

Wow - from blogger to kingmaker in six short years. That's quite a feat for Kos, and a disaster-in-the-making for the Democrats.

All of which gives rise to this one single and telling question: "Why is it you never see a picture of the Koz with Karl Rove?"

My sources tell me that there was a shot of them laughing and sharing a tree at the Bohemian Grove in early 2000, but that the photographer and his negatives both perished in a suspicious fire on November 4, 2000.

Plus both names contain a "K."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 23, 2006 8:12 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Elements of Simple Happiness in Seattle at the Present Moment

PEOPLE SEARCH for happiness by complicating their lives to the point of emotional, physical and moral exhaustion. They believe that happiness lurks in the next acquisition, the next partner, the next idea, the next promotion, the next paycheck, the next drink, the next confession at the therapist's, the next desperate attempt to render themselves worthy of their internal vision of themselves as perceived by others. They always pursue this chimera and they always come up emptier than they began.

In reality, happiness is a warm animal that has the following elements, in this specific case, all lined up and working.

1) An absence of rain for 24 hours.

2) A half-dozen fresh oysters from Puget Sound.

3) A shot of Myers Rum over ice.

4) A local amber Microbrew.

5) Prime rib, medium rare, with a baked potato slathered with butter and sour cream.

6) Chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.

7) A companionable companion.

8) A local team that is going to the Superbowl for the first time in its 30 year history.

9) An entire city of human beings that, no matter what their other issues may be, is on the same contented page for the next 24 hours.

10) Cowbells clanging on nearly every street throughout the city.

In the end, it really is just that simple.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 22, 2006 7:29 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In This Post-Modern "Culture of Treason,"** Judas is a Woman

THE STORY OF THE DEMOCRATS' MOLE AT THE CIA, with links to Kerry, Clinton, Berger, the Washinton Post and who know who else, has been done to death and then Drudged. My favorite round up of this tale of "it's treason but for the 'right' reason" is at Flopping Aces' The Democrat Mole In The CIA Fired

I note in passing that my brief essay on Judas: A Saint for Our Seasons seems to have, in some oblique way, anticipated this new Revelation from our post-modern political gnostics.

Other than that, I'd also observe that when the Fourth Estate becomes the defacto fourth branch of government, but exists outside of any checks and balances given the "special exception" of the First Amendment, incidents like this are only going to increase.

And during this week it was announced by the White House that Karl Rove is being relieved of his policy portfolio in order to have more time to work on getting Republicans elected in the coming months. Coincidence? We think not.

**This phrase that pays found @ Gateway Pundit: Today's Culture of Treason: Scooter's Back! & Dana's Pinko Hubby -- an excellent summation of a DC "power couple."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 22, 2006 2:21 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Some Dare Call It Grace

THERE'S A NEW BLOG ON THE BLOCK that you should be paying attention to: One Cosmos: The Innersection of Lumin Development, Mental Gymgnostics, Paleoliberal Futurism, Leftist Noise Abatement, Supernatural Election, Darwinian Revelation, Isness Ministration, Orthonoetic Logomystique, Stand-up Cosmology, Escatological Upunishantics, and Dilettantric Yoga. Quite a mouthful and that doesn't even begin to cover it.

On second thought, maybe it does.

I was put wise to One Cosmos by the always excellent The Doctor Is In who notes: "OK, this is a site worthy of browsing -- especially if you want your higher consciousness expanded in ways you never imagined possible." And it is, indeed, just what the doctor ordered.

Here's a brief excerpt from : Pornographic Liberalism and The Last Men


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2006 10:11 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Old Media Will, It Seems, Do Anything to Attract New Readers

Seattle Street Fair, May 20, 2006

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2006 5:32 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Kos is Either at Your Throat or at Your Knees

A NEW ARRIVAL IN THE SYCOPHANTS' HALL OF FAME TODAY IS Markos Alberto Moulitsas ("Screw 'Em") Zuniga, the hyperthyroid Janitor and lead ranter at The Daily Kos. (Am I the only one who thinks that "The Daily 'Koz' " sounds like some sort of rough and clensing Serbian high colonic? )

Kos has recently scored what must be a fluffy feather in his commodious backside with the advent of John Kerry starring in "I, Blogger". Of course, the question of whether or not the functionally illiterate John Kerry is actually pounding out the keystrokes for this Kos "Diary," or if that is left to a lackey or other low functionary is not entirely beside the point. My money is on a web monkey of some sort since the laying in of links and the terse paragraphing simply shrieks "staffing." Besides, how would an "important" man like John Kerry have time for blogging, what with his duties of not drafting legislation in the Senate, mapping out his plan to rule the world in 2008, and his decanting of his wife's third bottle of wine before tiffin all competing for his precious seconds?

No, the interesting tale of this tapeworm is not the actual blogging of the Kerrybot, but the fact that he's evidently been readmitted into the National Socialist Democratic Party of Markos Alberto Moulitsas ("Screw 'Em") Zuniga. It seems like only yesterday that Kos was calling out to have Kerry shot to death:

Daily Kos: What the hell happened

But what makes me angry was Kerry and his gang's inability to take advantage of the situation. I may regret saying this later, but fuck it -- they should be lined up and shot. There's no reason they should've lost to this joker.

Hey, come to think of it, it was only yesterday. Or at least, yesterelection.

Ah, how the mighty have fallen. From the standard bearer of the once mighty Democratic party, John Kerry -- presently less visible than Al Gore -- has been reduced to sucking up to Markos Alberto


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2006 4:00 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Dick Dialogues

[Warning: NSFW -- "Not Safe for Wife"]

These panels taught me ... that the creative contextualization of a play like The Vagina Monologues can bring certain perspectives on important issues into a constructive and fruitful dialogue with the Catholic tradition. This is a good model for the future. Accordingly, I see no reason to prohibit performances of The Vagina Monologues on campus, and do not intend to do so. -- Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President, University of Notre Dame

LIKE THE DISTINGUISHED, BEFUDDLED, AND OUTFLANKED Father above, I too -- in a fit of "creative contextualization"-- seek to bring "certain perspectives on important issues into a constructive and fruitful dialogue" here at American Digest. To further that mission, I hope I won't be telling tales out of school if I reveal that, of late, a secret evening of drama has been taking place in numerous undisclosed locations about the nation. We are all aware of the unstoppable chunk of mummery and flummery known as "The Vagina Monologues," but few know -- and few deserve to know -- about the blowback (so to speak) that is "The Dick Dialogues."

This play is usually performed on the down-low in the basements of sports bars, carefully darkened car-repair garages, and the deepest forest amphitheaters of the Bohemian Grove. Attendance is strictly male and strictly invitation-only since in many states the mere thought of giving a performance of "The Dick Dialogues" would constitute a hate-crime.

Modeled on the successful NPR series "Car Talk," a typical episode of "The Dick Dialogues" consists of two men, traditionally named "Plick" and "Plack," slumped in Lay-Z-Boys in a nondescript Rec Room. Here they field calls on a speaker phone from a series of male and female and neuter voices. The actors, clad in the traditional garb


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2006 12:49 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Small Stuff Which is to Be Sweated

1. Double doors in a store or building entrance where one of the double doors is always locked. What, pray tell, is the point? And why is there is no national agreement over which side should be locked? Where is government regulation when you need some?

2. Rules that people have that you are not allowed to know about before breaking them.

3. How many here think there is any truth to the New York critic's recent dictim: "Rock and Roll -- All junk, all the time."

4. Note to people who comment that can't be bothered to capitalize, spell, or move beyond basic text-messaging: "Agressive infra-dig illiteracy is not a wonderful thing. Neither is it stylish or even cutting-edge. You write dumb, you read dumb."

5. As reluctant as I am to question diverse American cultures' religious rituals, I still think dropping a live scorpion into your mouth is a bit over the top.

6. Accept that Disaster is the spice of life.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2006 11:39 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Why I'm Not Running a Business

TODAY'S "CAN'T LOSE" CONCEPT consists of a simple but elegant label to be sewn inside all mink coats that says: "Made from Free-Range Minks Who Died A Natural Death at an Advanced Age in Their Sleep."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2006 11:34 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Of Hypocrites, Fishocrites, and the Secular Hate of Christianity

@ The Doctor Is In, "Fishocrites"

Religion in general, and Christianity in particular, are not simply benign, quirky notions without consequence, such as believing in alien spaceships or in your fairy godmother. Religious conviction has consequences–consequences which require personal decisions which often go counter to our natural inclinations. Although generally dismissed as mere superstition by secular skeptics, religious faith demands that we change, and conform our lives to the dictates of morality and–particularly in the case of Christianity and Judaism–be accountable to a personal God. The religious person asserts, through both his faith and his actions, that behavior has consequences beyond that easily foreseen. Such a testimony can prove threatening to those who would prefer that their actions and lifestyles be unassailable, no matter what their impact on them personally, the people around them, and society in general.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2006 11:33 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
For Today

I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but I'll be spending some time today reading, thinking about, and following the links within The Anchoress' "Judas & the Cult of Malevolent Mendacity. " I'll be printing hard copies and sending the link by email as well.

Excerpt: "The Cult is multiplying and descending upon society in continual and ever-growing waves; you can see its sticky and pearlescent trail everywhere. It lives and thrives on such food as this grief turned outward and slicked up. It drinks itself giddy by imbibing the moonshine of the charlatan, thus convincing itself that this is the way the world should work."

What? Are you still here? Click and be off.

Back again? In that case, be off to Ye Olde One Cosmos for "And Now For Something Completely Indifferent" for a discussion of the roots of female hysteria, wandering wombs, the creation, by single mothers, of feral boys ....

"For a boy to become a man, he will require "male mothering" from a manly role model. It is very rare that a boy will be able to obtain this from his mother alone, no matter how hard she tries. This explains why the plague of unwed motherhood leads directly to the plague of barbarous boys in the body of a man...."

... the bipolar constituents of the Democrats: "Speaking of which, you will notice how man-hating feminists, unwed single mothers, and feminized men are perhaps the largest constituency of the Democratic party...."

... Jane Fonda, Donald Rumsfeld, and more.

Get going. I'm working today on a longer item involving love, marriage and lunacy. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Humm, yet again you are here thinking perhaps a long essay is forthcoming. That may or may not be, but in the interim, when you finish with the two items above you might want to catch Anne Coulter's uncommon common sense at LIE DOWN WITH STRIPPERS, WAKE UP WITH PLEAS. One Cosmos points to it and you might want to read it. If not to yourself, to any alcoholics you may have in your life.

"Whenever a gun is used in a crime, there are never-ending news stories about how dangerous guns are. But these girls go out alone, late at night, drunk off their butts, and there's nary a peep about the dangers of drunk women on their own in public. It's their "right."

And if all that is not enough to set your teeth on fire, consider Porretto's extended discussion of the shared psychopathic dementia that grips our "major" political parties. "In the large, both our major parties are evincing suicidal tendencies. However, present trends continuing, in the process of killing themselves they could well take the country down with them."

Sigh. You know,some days I think that the title of my next book should be The Autumn of the Patriots.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 20, 2006 10:25 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Slate Critic Without a Clue

Burt: Howless

STEPHEN BURT writing in Slate on Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" asks, "Is there a Howl for our own time, a cultural creation that explains, excites, antagonizes, and polarizes a wide swath of America?" He comes to the hasty and unlettered conclusion that "It could not be a poem."

Well. speak for your own silent muse, Stephen. Readers of American Digest and the many other blogs that linked, however, know better. There is the only true "Howl" for our time and that is GROWL!

Sigh, having known Allen on and off across the decades, I think it safe to say that he would have known how to Google his poem.

Ginsberg, the Nirvana Years

[from the comments]

by Mumblix Grumph Ginsberg

You sold your birthright for a bowl of porridge.
Then you refused to eat.

The Best and The Brightest.
You can lie to yourself, but not to me.

Botox, Viagra, Rogaine, and Paxil.
You are less than the sum or your parts.

Degrees on walls, they make exalted.
The lessons forgotten, the learning all for naught.

Trust no one over thirty you said once.
All right, then I don't trust you.

Your bodies decaying, despite all the work.
You fear the hell that you say and pray does not exist.

A lifetime fighting The Squares that you would never become.
The girls that spend your money, they tell you what you want to hear.

Older, but not wiser, you still fight The Man.
Look in the mirror, LOOK if you can.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 19, 2006 9:01 AM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And furthermore....

ONCE AGAIN Joel Stein, the Ken Doll of columnists, thinks he knows something about straight guys, ".... straight men need an excuse to feel OK about shopping."

Really? As someone who served for several years as, among other duties, the men's fashion editor for Penthouse, I am quite sure that 'an excuse to feel OK' doesn't enter into it. And unlike Joel Stein ( "Upon the Dandy's recommendation, I bought a Piombo jacket, two Richard James shirts and a pair of Marc Jacobs pants..." ) , it is also true that straight men feel OK about not looking like Elton John.

With every passing emission from Stein I become increasingly unclear how Joel Stein would know anything at all about what either straight or gay men need. Has he had a genital implant that has gone unreported?

I am clear about one thing, however. As one of my correspondents mentions, Joel Stein's mother needs to be put on suicide watch if he keeps writing this tripe.

GET WITH THE PROGRAM! Why Software Will Never Stop Sucking ".... if you want to move beyond the equivalent of wordless symbols that allow you to "Read Mail" and "Send Mail", you are going to need to actually learn something...."

THREE FROM - a weblog by Tom Coates

1. Research on animals and humans suggests mentally challenging activities such as playing bridge, learning a new language or even blogging might help build new connections in the brain, and ... huh... who.... what was I sayi... look a bunny!

2. File under: Cover, Not Judging a Book by... Police are trying to locate the owner of a 300-year-old ledger, bound in human skin, found in a Leeds road.

3. Masters of Imitation, those Japanese: The Rube Goldberg machines of contemporary Japan.


FROM THIS OFFICE you will come to believe you could (Dare I say it?) RULE THE WORLD!

NO RULES, no lights, no hands, no brains: India Driving

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 18, 2006 10:53 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Zero's Prayer

Church of Zero
Zero-sum be Thy Name.
Zero will Come
Undo the One
Dust is its final Reign.

Bless me Zero for I am Me.

It's a paltry belief in nothingness that masquearades as faith in Science.

-- by "Kieth in Silicon Valley" in AMERICAN DIGEST: Comment on Judas: A Saint for Our Seasons

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 18, 2006 9:54 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"America" by Ray Bradbury

America: An ode to immigrants.

We are the dream that other people dream.
The land where other people land
When late at night
They think on flight
And, flying, here arrive
Where we fools dumbly thrive ourselves.

Continues Here

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 18, 2006 12:29 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Bleached Woodpulp + Ink + Glue = A Mature Information Retrieval System

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

ONE OF THE RECURRING THEMES in the discussion of the "new media" (internet, blogs, databases, web pages, online encyclopedia's, Google's thirst to control and contain all the information in the known universe, etc.) is if bytes will "replace" books. To many, it certainly looks that way on any given day at any given rest stop on the Information Highway. After all, the current Holy Grail of Deep Geek Hipness is to have everything -- every scrap, note, frame, word, and image -- stored on one's iPod for display at the touch of a fingertip. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Be that as it may, the book is not going anywhere. Indeed, the book -- in form and concept -- is the foundation of the new media; it is contained within and yet contains it. The very way in which we discuss the new media ( web pages, web browsing, and that constant root of all places cyber, the place, space and file called "index.html" ) asserts that the book remains the dominant permanent record of all things worth keeping. Storage mediums come and go in the cyberverse ( One word: "floppy."), but I don't think that the age when all information and opinions and records and history is held in some immense GoogleServer pile is one which we should welcome. Distributed information is more powerful and more secure when it is distributed not only throughout the Net, but in more than one medium.

The way-new information universe, straddled by the ever growing hulk that is ("First don't be evil." ) Google is barely out of infancy and just about due to grow into "The Terrible Twos." The book, by contrast, represent a fully mature information retrieval system.

What is good about the book? What makes it persistently valuable in storing, not the trivia of the day, but that which is valuable to humanity over the long term?

Let's review:

1) No "advanced" technology required. Ability to manufacture present in all areas of the globe.
2 ) Crude but functioning units can be made by kindergartners with pencil, paper and glue.
3) Operating system and interface rock solid.
4) All types of information can be stored.
5) Has been demonstrated to be able to retain information in retrievable form across several thousand years.
6) Of the two, the User will often crash first.
7) All parts can be recycled.
8) All or part can be backed-up at any Kinkos.
9) Can be powered for hours with one candle.
10) All users receive up to 12 years of interface training free.

Add to that the tactile and aesthetic pleasures of fine books where art combines with craft and you have something that will be with humankind well into the future long after this day's high-tech toys are consigned to a museum and listed in their paperback catalog.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 17, 2006 5:57 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Housing Slump? What Housing Slump?


ONE OF MY COCK-EYED OPTIMIST REALTOR FRIENDS, sends me the following listing: Corona Del Mar/ Newport Beach "Fixer-Upper" .

"The Portabello Estate, an art form complementing its natural environment. 8 bedrooms, 10 baths and 5 half baths. Beyond five star resort luxury, private, triple oceanfront lot in Corona del Mar and amenities beyond your wildest dreams. Locations of this uniqueness not available anywhere.�""

Price? A humble $75,000,000. Step right up and be the last in before the big quake and the nuking of San Diego. I'll be right behind you.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 16, 2006 2:36 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Unclear on the National Guard Concept?

File Under: No Semi-Bold Bush Deed Goes Comprehended

IN A SEMI-BOLD STEP: Bush to Call on Guard to Bolster Border, the President's actions prove to be too much for the stunted intellects of Congress, no matter what the party.

Example the first of what will be hundreds, Chuck-E-Cheese Hagel, who somehow passed the entrace exam for the Republican Party: "We have stretched our military as thin as we have ever seen it in modern times. And what in the world are we talking about here, sending a National Guard that we may not have any capacity to send up to or down to protect borders? That's not their role."

Not? Their? Role?

Perhaps as many as possible should phone or write to Hagel with this simple thought that even he could hope to comprehend.

When you have and organization called 'The National Guard' one of the first purposes of it is to 'Guard the Nation.'

Press 2 if you wish to continue in English."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 15, 2006 7:58 AM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Must See NetTV

Ask A Ninja Explains Net Neutrality. "That's what the Internet is all about. People in funny hats making things that people like."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 14, 2006 3:35 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Good Friday Meditation

Excerpt from "AskMom's," No Policies Have Been Changed


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 14, 2006 4:10 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Judge Roy Bean and Judge Crater Speak on Alito from Purgatory

Judges Bean, Crater, and Alito: "Revenge is a meal we eat cold."

"WELL, NOW, ME AND MY PAL JUDGE CRATER has been watching these damn fools in Washington blatherin' away and disrespectin' this here Judge Alito. We get it beamed in on CSPAN, it bein' the only two dmaned channels you get here in Purgatory. After all it is Purgatory.

So we wuz havin' ourselves a pull on the jug and a chaw and we got to agreeing that that thar The Economist magazine done got it half-right in The brainbox and the blowhards .

"Then me and Judge Crater gets to speculatin' on what we might be feelin' after a few days of having those sidewinders on the committee insinuatin' and insultin' and making our wimmenfolk to cry.

"Now me, bein' used to bein' the Law West O' the Pecos before I shuffled off that thar mortal coil, woulda just taken that Feinstein and that Kennedy out to the barn and strung 'em up in an old-fashioned necktie party, but Crater sez I'm just a mummified reprobate who don't have no more sense than a gnat's woody."


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 13, 2006 12:31 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On the Job

Again, sorry to be a bit distracted but I've been in LA for a week working on a new web project for Pajamas Media, and also working with my fellow editors @ Pajamas on extensive reporting such as this: WAR

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 13, 2006 11:58 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On the Air with Tammy Bruce

Tammy Bruce: Why You Never Outgrow
Your Need for Brunettes

SITE NOTES: I just spent an extremely enjoyable half-hour chatting with Tammy Bruce on her always scintillating radio program. As I said to her at the time, I am always more than pleased to speak with someone who is "clearly in the tradition of the sharp and funny Bruces of America."


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 12, 2006 10:00 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Get Real: Give War a Real Name

DENNIS PRAGER at Townhall this week published a column entitled: The war we are fighting needs a more accurate name which he concludes with:

We pray that there arises a strong Muslim group that is guided by the Quranic verse, "There shall be no coercion in matters of faith."

But until such time, we had better understand that we are not merely fighting a war on terror, but a war against an ideology that wishes us to convert, be subject to Islamic law, or die.

Prager does not quite get around to finding "a more accurate name."

My own suggestion for Mr. Prager is taken from an essay I wrote in 2003 called "The First Terrorist War" in which I too bemoaned the weak and vacillating title "The War on Terror." Instead, I suggest that we should begin to understand this current global conflict as:

The War of Two Religions

Through the violent attacks of a Radical Islam, two religions have been brought into conflict. The first is that of Islam, a faith that at its core requires absolute submission from its adherents, and looks towards the subjugation of the world as its ultimate apotheosis. As the youngest of the monotheistic religions, Islam is at a point in its development that Christianity passed through centuries ago. And it is not with Christianity that Islam is currently at war. Islam is saving that for the mopping up phase of its current campaign. The religion that Islam has engaged is a much younger one, the religion of Freedom.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2006 9:10 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
You've Got Questions. I've Got an Answer

Hootsbuddy notes that "Gerard Vanderleun is up to something." And he is, indeed, correct.

At present, and for the immediate future, I've taken a position as Editor-in-Chief for Pajamas Media.

As Maynard G. Krebs would say: "WORK!?!!" Oh well, it keeps me in champagne and skittles.

It's an amazing team to work with and, with a host of new projects being built backstage at Pajamas, an immensely interesting task. From time to time, I can be seen in the brief posts at that site as "PJM in Seattle," but the posts seen at the page now are, I can say, only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The roster of affiliated blogs built by Pajamas also gives me the chance to work with some of the most significant writers and minds of this new medium; a resource I am hoping to tap in a host of new ways as we go forward into the elections of this year and the braver, newer world that lies beyond.

I promise that I will be writing here again soon, if not at my former rate, but with, I hope, better quality. For now, however, just working with my colleagues at Pajamas is taking much of my time and energy.

And, yes, I am posting this in my pajamas.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2006 8:49 PM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Muslim Girl on a Downtown Train

Click to Enlarge

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2006 4:04 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Souless Susurration of the Times' Editorials

AFTER MANY YEARS of reading the editorials of the New York Times with interest and attention, both my interest and attention began to drop below absolute zero after several months of sour grapes following the 2000 elections. Soon after that my interest and attention in the paper itself went even lower until, after nearly three decades as a daily reader of the Times, I decided that the money spent on the paper could be put to better use buying lap dances for indigent friends. At least they'd get a little pleasure from the money.

Since early in 2002 I've not spent a penny on the paper, but I do read it online from time to time just to assure myself that its death spiral continues unabated. Lately, since Publisher Pinch (Super-Genius!) has decided to let the once marginally successful online Times joint the death march of the print edition by walling up the columnists behind a "pay" wall, I've taken to imbibing the Times in the least lethal dosage available; RSS Feeds.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2006 5:13 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
You Don't Have to Be Jewish...

Click to enlarge


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2006 4:09 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Ten Wonderful Things About Seattle's "Winter"

1. Citizens save vast sums on moisturizers.

2. Sparkling clean streets. Every hour, every day.

3. No need to buy expensive purified bottled water. Just walk outside, tilt your head, open mouth.

4. Church attendance increases as days of rain approaches 40.

5. Fresh seafood at your door.

6. Office slackers easily identified by fungus patches.

7. No smoking outdoors. Anywhere. Anytime.

8. No showering indoors. Why bother?

9. Grunge music replaced by sea chanteys.

10. Socks wash themselves.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 10, 2006 7:44 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Uncaged Bird Singing

"CALYPSO LP by the Poet Maya Angelou.She was 27 at the time of this recording.Cover looks campy, but she has a voice, no doubt about it. -- Audio-History: Miss Calypso - Maya Angelou [With sample track]

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 10, 2006 12:05 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Land... Land.... Land.... Land.... FLEE!

FedEx Swarming Behavior

This "Time lapse radar track of FedEx aircraft arriving into the Memphis hub during area thunderstorms" reminds you once again that whatever air-traffic controllers are getting paid, it isn't enough.

Via: Parker Tool and Fly

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 9, 2006 12:31 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunday Assignment

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 9, 2006 11:02 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Last Warriors of the War to End All Wars

From Solomon a@ Solomonia comes this photo of: "Robley H. Rex [105 ], Kentucky's last living World War I veteran and one of only about twenty left in the country."


True, they are not at rest yet,
but now they are indeed
apart, winnowed from failures,
they withdraw to an orbit
and turn with disinterested
hard energy, like the stars.

-- From My Sad Captains by Thom Gunn

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 8, 2006 7:55 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Democrats' Plan for Enduring National Security

OUR GREAT FATHER, ETERNAL LEADER, PRESIDENT FOR LIFE! HIS HEAD IS IN THE NOOSE.... Er.... HIS HAT IS ON HIS HEAD!.... No... that's not it... thinking.... thinking.... Ah HA!

HIS HAT IS IN HIS RING! Come now, infidel, to - Official Web Site

Read!! the stirring endorsements from such luminaries as Jimmy (I think I was a President) Carter, Michael Slimfast Moore, and the ever-popular Cindy What's Her Face!

Memorize!! the New Platform for the Enhanced Happiness you vill enjoy or die!:


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 8, 2006 4:25 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Po-tay-to, Po-taa-to, To-may-to, To-maa-to: Still President After All These Years

NEO NOTES a brilliant examination by Callimachus @ Done With Mirrors of the oft repeated "Chimp Rant #4,281a" concerning the Presidential pronunciation of "nuclear." Bush's 'mispronunciation' of this word is, you recall, one of the oldest reasons his enemies feel he is unfit for office. But is it correct?


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 8, 2006 8:45 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Past, Present, and Future in One Paragraph
Ever since September 11, the subtext of this war could be summed up as something like, "Suburban Jason, with his iPod, godlessness, and earring, loves to live too much to die, while Ali, raised as the 11th son of an impoverished but devout street-sweeper in Damascus, loves death too much to live." The Iranians, like bin Laden, promulgate this mythical antithesis, which, like all caricatures, has elements of truth in it. But what the Iranians, like the al Qaedists, do not fully fathom, is that Jason, upon concluding that he would lose not only his iPod and earring, but his entire family and suburb as well, is capable of conjuring up things far more frightening than anything in the 8th-century brain of Mr. Ahmadinejad. Unfortunately, the barbarity of the nightmares at Antietam, Verdun, Dresden, and Hiroshima prove that well enough.
Victor Davis Hanson -- Has Ahmadinejad Miscalculated?

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 8, 2006 8:11 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Who Says There's No Such Thing As Good News?

COULDN'T HAPPEN TO A BETTER NEWSPAPER: "The largest slump at a major daily came at the San Francisco Chronicle, where average paid weekday circulation fell 15.6 percent to 398,246 ."

To paraphrase Dickens, "Drive it fast to its tomb. This from Jacques."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 8, 2006 4:26 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Just In: "The Revolution Will Not Be Blogged"

The Revolution will not be Blogged
by Pharoah Ashseti of Newark @ myspace

You will not be able to read it at home, brother.
You will not be able to log on, log in and syndicate your feed.
You will not be able to lose hours in MetaFilter and Kuro5hin,
Click on text ads for naked punk girls with online diaries,
Because the revolution will not be blogged.

The revolution will not be blogged.
The revolution will not be hosted on Blogspot or Pitas.
It will certainly not be hosted on Salon or Backwash.
The revolution will not show you digicam pics of people
You've never met before in pubs or bars looking like they've
Just stepped out of Nerd Central Station and
Eaten a few too many Ring Dings.
The revolution will not be blogged.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 8, 2006 1:30 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink

And the Number One Reason to Pay the Electric Bill is:
"Hot Mama of Invention"
by Andrea Levy, The Plain Dealer, in Best of Photojournalism 2006


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 7, 2006 11:50 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Note to Self

Dear Self,
In the future please remember that, while renting an entire season of "24" on DVD may well be a good idea, starting to watch it at 10:30 at night is not really a goo ide... plin... concep... Oh, forgit it.....

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 7, 2006 11:35 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Collector's Item: The Ultimate New York Times

EMAIL BRINGS this pocket review of today's edition of the New York Times:

Worth every penny.

The front page has TWO stories (the lead stories) on gay marriage not being upheld by New York state judges: one piece says it was a shock, the other that it was not unexpected. There three more articles on this subject, and, of course, an editorial inside.

Also on the front page, another 'innocent' terrorist abuse story. The usual Israel bashing piece and a story on the Conservative winner in Mexico (with a huge color photo of the lefty LOSER above the fold).

By the way, the front page "news analysis" of the shocking insult to gays was written by the same reporter who a month ago had a front page story on the state of the Clintons' marriage, based on how many weekends they spent together.

I'm buying three and putting them away to eBay in ten years under the title, "End Times at the Times."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 7, 2006 9:33 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just the Facts, Please -- Iraq: The Numbers Trend Down

FROM THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION'S IRAQ INDEX: Tracking Variables of Reconstruction & Security in Post-Saddam Iraq.

  • US Troops killed in hostile action in Iraq, last 6 months, from October 2005 to March 2006, in order: 81, 76, 50, 49, 43, 25.

  • Iraqi military and police killed in Iraq, last 6 months, from October 2005 to March 2006, in order: 215, 176, 193, 189, 158, 193 (and the three months before that were 304, 282, 233).

  • Car Bombings, last 6 months, from October 2005 to March 2006, in order: 70, 70, 70, 68, 30, 30.

  • Civilians killed in Iraq, last 6 months, from October 2005 to March 2006, in order: 527, 826, 532, 732, 950, 446 (upper bound, two months before that were 2489 and 1129).

[HT: Dadmanly]

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 6, 2006 8:29 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Instapundit Milestone?

If you take a look at this link at May 1st post @ there's more to it than meets the eye.

The item, in its entirety, reads:
"IN BUSINESS WEEK, a rather skeptical look at ethanol as an alternative fuel."
but the raw link address reads:


I make that post # 30,000 by the internal counter at Instapundit.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 6, 2006 8:01 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
American Digest: Irritating Liberals Since 2002


tick.... tick..... tick.... tick.... -- 30 minutes pass ---



Posted by Vanderleun Jan 6, 2006 5:53 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Saturday Spent in My Pajamas Media

Aussie Dave at Israellycool wants you to guess what this is:

Really? Shame on you. For the answer click Here

DAILY KOS DEFINED: Frank @ IMAO nails it: "MySpaces for Moonbats."

WHEN THAT ECO-DAZED NEIGHBOR GETS HIS ELECTRIC CAR your electric rates are going up. It's simple small supply vs. bigger demand according to A Blog For All's It's Electrifying - It's Stupifying.

ACE FINDS HE CAN NO LONGER BREATHE in the vast clouds of smoke blowing out of Andrew Sullivan's commodious nether regions: "Of course that interests you, you narcissitic little shitheel; that's the one goddamn thing you got right, so plainly that is the most important datum in your nonsensical rant, as far as you're concerned." Ah, we love the smell of flamewars in the morning.

JAZZ WITHOUT A HOME: Amy Alkon @ Advice Goddess reports: "More news on Gary Musselman, a talented artist who happens to be homeless, and does his artwork out of the Santa Monica Starbucks at Hill and Main." (Examples of Mussleman's art at the link.)

HUNTING THE "Stephen Harper Eats Babies" HACKER: Steve Janke @ Angry in the Great White North thinks he has a line, several lines, on the identity of the hacker who took control of a Toronto train's advertising to assert strange dietary tastes of the part of Canada's conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper .

The hack was first reported @ Gerry's Blog with Railroading Harper, and Janke has been following up in a ruthless manner. He's now narrowed it down to one potential suspect, (a student at Sheridan College in the Telecommunications Technology program) 'Joshua,' "So is Joshua our electonic vandal? ," Joshua asks. "I'll reserve judgment, but "dani elle" seems to think so." And so the noose tightens....

IN RELATED NEWS, Stephen Harper, between babies, has been busy Instructing the ever-loathsome and increasingly insane Cindy Sheehan to micturate vertically on woven hemp.

BACK IN MANHATTAN, OUR HARD-BODIED SUPERGIRL PAMELA @ Atlas Shrugs notes that: "Americans are becoming more informed about Islam, and about the nature of the global jihad, and with that knowledge comes the realization that in the face of various aspects of this immense, life-and-death challenge, our leaders are responding either improperly or not at all."

GREAT BIG GOBS OF GREEN GRIMY FOOTBALL POSTS: LGF Statistics Update In April, Little Green Footballs had nearly one and a half million unique visitors. We're approaching three million comments.

CRAZY LIKE AN IRANIAN FOX: Austin Bay looks at bastions and even more dangerous possibilities in the Straits of Hormuz with : Iran’s nuclear mullahs and the UN: closer to sanctions?/A look at the Strait of Hormuz. "A sub bastion is an undersea area surrounded by mines and sensors, usually located in coastal waters. The sub hides inside the “bastion” — waiting to take a shot (with torpedoes or anti-ship missiles) at ships approaching the bastion or attempting to sweep the mines."

SHOW ME THE MONEY SHOW FIRST! Fausta mourns the passing of Louis Rukeyser in Thank you, Lou and confesses, "In my unmarried days I wouldn't go out on a date until after Lou's show was over."

STRANGE BREWSKIS FOR STRANGER MOVIES: Great Beer Movies @ Balloon Juice. And Cole should know.

SPACE CASE IN OHIO: Brainster's Blog plays Whack-a-Mole on of Ohio's Democratic candidates: "Zack Space? Sounds like a "netroots" candidate to me."


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 6, 2006 3:23 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Google of the Neuter is Faintly Heard Throughout the Land

AN ALTERNATIVE TITLE for this item was "Hapless LA Times Columnist Admits He's Not Gay and Has a Two Inch Penis," but that would have been too cruel. True, but too cruel. After all, Joel Stein, writer of I'm not gay, I'm a wuss! has evidently been a drive-by reader of American Digest:

A few months ago, I Googled an article on some blog about how my voice on the radio is the voice of a "neuter ... educated and acculturated out of ... any gender at all."

That would be my essay The Voice of the Neuter is Heard Throughout the Land @ AMERICAN DIGEST that begins,

LIKE SOME HAGGARD CRACK WHORE banging on the door of a dealer's den willing to do anything , the hapless Joel ( "I despise our troops." ) Stein has been passed randomly about the blogsphere in the last couple of days.

A bit harsh, I grant you, but the punishment must fit the slime.

Of course Stein in his girly-man prose, is being much less than genuine about his slighting glance at my essay The Voice of the Neuter is Heard Throughout the Land . It wasn't a "few months ago," but most likely just last month, or even more likely, just last week as he was writing his column. After all, he had to pull in the quote which he notably eviscerates in a "rit of fealous jage."

We do so love elisons of the kind Stein employs. Elisions (those coy little "..."s) are the lying writer's


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 6, 2006 10:21 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Muslims In Bondage

THE ALWAYS ELOQUENT KIP WATSON @ Truth+Hope has written a moving and counterintuitive essay,Muslims in the West, that I commend to your attention. I hope you find it as thought provoking as I did. The central thesis is that most Muslims who live today in the West are like the Hebrews in Egypt. But that, as they say, is only the start of the story.

An excerpt:


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 5, 2006 9:17 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Unbearable Heaviness of Being Islamic

Lilkes, James, has a dream. No, not a Martin Luther King kind of dream.... Well, not exactly, but one that could lead to a Martin Luther King kind of dream.

I was a Burqa Quality Control inspector. I am not kidding. I had to go around in Cairo, knocking on doors, making sure everything was covered up. At one point I found myself in a grim small flat full of cooking odors, looking at the peeling paint, hearing the sounds of the streets -- cars, horns, crowds, beeps, barking dogs -- and feeling immense sadness for the person who had to live in this room, swathed in sheets. The most haunting part of the dream came at the end: all the apartment doors opened to a balcony, and when I’d left the floor, the balcony retracted so no one inside could leave.

A few year back the best answer I could come up with to "Why do they hate us?" was: "They hate us because we've got the groove, and because its is such a drag being them."

Still works for me.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 5, 2006 5:24 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Car Commercial Breakthrough

The. Most. Politically. Incorrect. Commercial. Ever.

Chevy Tahoe: The Apprentice

C'mon, you know it makes you want one.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 5, 2006 5:01 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Assignment: You Will Be Seeing "United 93" This Weekend

HENNINGER on the return of magical thinking:

There is reason to believe that pre-9/11 thinking will in time return and prevail.

Defenders of Moussaoui's life sentence say he will "rot in prison." Perhaps in a better world Zacarias Moussaoui would share a cell with Hannibal Lecter. But if our moral betters aren't going to let Saddam's torturers rot in Abu Ghraib, if they aren't going to let the CIA's most important al Qaeda captives rot in "secret" foreign prisons, they certainly aren't going to let Moussaoui rot in Florence, Colo. He will be treated more than well.

Not to mention the Moussaoui trial itself. We arrive at the end of these interminable trial circuses of procedural delay and then claim "the system works" and "justice" has been done. No, it has done damage to the normal idea of justice. He saw the game early on and made a mockery of it. Moussaoui achieved a two-year delay in his trial by demanding to interview al Qaeda detainees. But our moral betters insist that the whole lot of Guantanamo detainees be given access to this same system of justice. They would diminish and crush it.

The odds were strong, as Moussaoui's lawyers knew and the government's should have known, that 9 of 12 jurors would vote that Moussaoui's childhood was "dysfunctional" and "mitigating." This is the therapeutic vocabulary that the West has developed to explain anything in the years from the postwar period to, say, September 11.

For quite awhile after September 11, we were a people united in the war on terror. By now we have let the adrenal pleasures of political fighting over the presidency dissipate the difficult emotions of staying united against a real enemy. The war in Iraq has contributed, but you can't lay it all off on Iraq. The ambiguity of the Moussaoui jury is a portent. See "United 93." It is very difficult. It should be."
-- -- Daniel Henninger: 'United 93' and the 20th Hijacker

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 5, 2006 11:01 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Last" Posts Come in First

AT WOW The Council Has Spoken and awarded the laurels for the best essays of last week to:
  • Cassandra @ Villainous Company who asks and answers: "When was the last time the United States actually won a war?"
  • Dymphna @ Gates of Vienna for her moving personal memoir "The Last Boat Out of Liverpool"

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 5, 2006 9:23 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Toying With Genocide

1. The Most Dangerous Game

LURKING BENEATH OUR INTERNAL ARGUMENT concerning the relentless demographic expansion of Islam into the West without assimilation, is the persistent background question, "Oh, my, whatever shall WE do with THEM?"

WE are, you see, like muddlers and fiddlers since Nero, worried about THEM. Our doltish conservative muddlers and fiddlers worry about what "THEY will do to US" if we aren't very, very careful and selective about which of THEM we capture or kill while WE seek to give THEM the "gifts" of freedom and democracy. Our brave new fiddlers on the Left fiddle about worrying if THEY have enough to eat, enough to wear, enough respect, enough, in short, of the love THEY deserve for not killing US today.

Both bumbling groups may differ in the focus of their fretting, but fret they do. For the problem, as they have defined it, has to do with what is commonly stated as 'a statistically small group of Muslims around the world' who need to be dealt with in some manner so that greater Islam can get on with the historic task of being "a religion of peace and understanding." The majority of both camps of muddlers and fiddlers agree on this one thing: It isn't Islam that's the problem, just a few heretics that have gotten out of hand in their zeal to obey the will of God, and, hey, who hasn't done that from time to time?

One solution, commonly referenced as "the Left/Liberal" position is essentially "leave them alone and they'll come home. They know its for their own good." The other solution, "the Right/Conservative" position, is to force assimilation, modernization, reformation and democratic mechanisms upon Islam "for its own good."

The two positions agree that "something must be done." They differ only in their specifications for "a New!, Improved! Islam" that can play well with other religions and nations in the post-modern world where "business as usual" is worshipped more than any other state of affairs. Both positions, whether they focus on "giving" the benefits


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 4, 2006 10:55 AM | Comments (28)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Seasonal Shifts

TODAY, now that the rain in Seattle has stopped for at least 17 minutes, we'll be moving the vast American Digest editorial offices from the Queen Anne Moss Cavern to sunnier climes down at Lake Union:

No policies will be changed:

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 4, 2006 8:31 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Educational Reform

JUST say no to art school....


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 4, 2006 7:52 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
All Things Birthday

Happy Birthday, Baroness


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 3, 2006 9:31 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Reynolds Wrap

Mining Instapundit for Pith


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 3, 2006 6:59 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink

I DON'T REMEMBER ANYTHING ABOUT IT, but it is "On the Internet so it must be true." I was dunking about in depths of Internet Archive's Way Back Machine to try and see if there are any remnants of the original American Digest from late 2001. They're aren't. They only go back to May of 2002. Then, because I am always curious about myself [Ed: And who isn't?] I plugged my own name into the machine. Out popped the following from the stone ages: Internet Archive: Details: John Cage at KPFA on July 29, 1971

"On the evening of Thursday, July 29, 1971, John Cage visited KPFA to discuss his current activities and interests and also to read the first and fifth sections from his Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse). He also reads a high school speech which garnered a permanent trophy for Los Angeles High School where he was valedictorian of the class of 1928. Present in the room during the discussion are also Charles Amirkhanian, Richard Friedman, Charles Shere and Gerard Van der Leun. Gordon Mumma joins the discussion to talk about the latest activities of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company with which he and Cage are associated."

1971? Not in that room any longer, but still present and accounted for, sir!

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 2, 2006 4:31 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Hey Kids, Now It's Mexico for All Your Coke and Heroin Needs

PARTY TIME SOUTH OF THE BORDER. In yet another in a long line of DNA-deficient decisions, Mexico has decided to make itself even more attractive to junkies. Mexican Drug Bill Worries Police

"CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico - Police and business owners from Mexico's beaches to border cities say they are worried a measure passed by Mexico's Congress that decriminalizes possession of cocaine, heroin and other drugs could attract droves of tourists solely looking to get high. Mexican and U.S. government officials insist that the bill eliminates legal hurdles to prosecuting drug crimes large and small. But it also lays out specific amounts of drugs including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and Ecstasy that can be legally possessed for personal use."

What a country!

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 1, 2006 10:11 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pause.... and Begin Again

Seattle, Washington. January 1, 2006

THE RAIN HELD STEADY for three days. A constant tapping on the roof. Streets slicked with it, the trees drooping, the ground drenched and the people in a scurry.

Around ten in the evening the rain tapered off and then stopped. By eleven the clouds that had blanketed Seattle drew back to the fringes of the city and the stars appeared.

We stood along the edge of the heights looking down the damp slopes on grass that still soaked our shoes. All around us the thousands of others who had come to watch counted down the seconds as midnight rolled past us around the globe.

And then that year turned into this one.


Chilled we hurried back to the house, sloshing along the wet sidewalks under a shovel of stars as the old year faded far to the west over the slow Pacific swell never to return.

All in all, it was a good end to a bad year.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 1, 2006 12:35 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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