Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Lincoln's Land Without God

THERE ARE MANY MOMENTS IN MY LIFE, now more than before, when I wish I could hear within myself a clear call to an abiding faith. But I would be a hypocrite to claim that I do. I've listened deeply for a long time, but I just don't hear it consistently. Grace and belief for me seem to be always approaching or alwys retreating and while I wish they would linger longer, they seem born to roam as far as my soul is concerned. I am, however, mindful and grateful that they do seem to arrive when I need them the most.

That said, I understand that many, many people do hear it and live by what they hear. That's why it strikes me that this continuing assault on various icons such as the Ten Commandments by the transnational secularists of this country must be seen as a deep insult by both people of faith and those of good will. It's all part of the unremitting assault on the few remaining islands of our shared nobility that can only be seen as mean-spirited, small-minded, petty, controlling, feeble and nasty.


Posted by Vanderleun Jun 27, 2006 6:52 AM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
I have seen your future, Andrew, it is murder

The progressively more twisted Andrew Sullivan continues his intellectually insane babblings between the postings of "reader email" that increasingly make up the bulk of his dubious output with: "This is a battle between barbarism and civilization. We cannot destroy our moral compass in order to save it."

This is the oft repeated position of this preening popinjay. Oft repeated simply because he no longer has the intellectual oomph to do more than roll out of bed, onto the floor, and engage the keyboard


Posted by Vanderleun Jun 20, 2006 11:05 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Snapshot from the Floating World

Ezekiel saw a wheel way in the middle of the air.
Little wheel run by faith, big wheel run by the grace of God

-- Traditional

At the far end of the two rows of houseboats, up where they stop and the lake widens, the sun looks like a widening pool of molten gold poured out across the water. And as the sun sinks lower in the sky above Queen Anne hill on the far shore, that gold flows down the canal between the houseboats until the pool of shade from the shore trees behind me absorbs it.

A mallard wheels over me and slooshes down into the the water here in the shadows. It is so quiet I can hear those small ripples slap the sides of the sailboat moored at the back of the house. Across the eight yards of open water that form the "street," they raised the roof-beam on the neighbor's house in the winter and have been painting it for over five months. It's not a trivial thing to paint a large two-story houseboat. It requires long ladders, an indifference to falling, rafts, poles and patience with a


Posted by Vanderleun Jun 17, 2006 8:29 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Intelligent Design

Whose will decreed this slash of sea
Would frame this sun in gleams of green?
What plan determines stone's decline,
Or shapes in stars, or shadow's sheen,

Or that we track, as clever beasts,
The passing haze of comet's fall,
Or are the glaze of thought on flesh
That sees the need of plan at all?

I know, I know... no plan at all


Posted by Vanderleun Jun 17, 2006 10:57 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pajamas Fashion Thread


In comments to another posting, AskMom asks

What pajamas are most suitable for our most or least favorite bloggers and other personalities? We stipulate of course that less than full cover-up is not in the spirit, and try to express through design, fabric and color the essence of the pajama wearer.

I can start by admitting that one of my own favorite pairs is a flannel sock monkey print in Williamsburg Blue. I see Ace in black silk with crossed swords embroidered all over. DailyKos of course wears Hello Kitty in noxious lime green to help him be in touch with his lickspittle gay-friendly little girl vulnerabilities. Neo, maybe some patriotic red white and blue plaid flannel, so impossible for a good liberal Jewish Girl and so right for her now.

I'm not brave enough to put forth any ideas about Gerard here on his own turf. Except to note that Winston Churchill wore a fabulous imperial burgundy wool robe of classic design and stately proportions, with hand turned corded edges and silk lining, and that if writing were pajamas......

I shall not divulge here the actual nature of my pajamas except to note that I own five pairs and for some odd reason I cannot find the bottoms to any of them at present. I think I'd best check out the dryer in the basement.


Posted by Vanderleun Jun 14, 2006 5:21 PM | Comments (31)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"RULES? IN A KNIFE FIGHT?": Redrafting the Rules of Engagement in the First Terrorist War

Harvey Logan: Rules? In a knife fight? No rules.
[Butch immediately kicks Harvey in the groin]
Butch Cassidy: Well, if there aint' going to be any rules, let's get the fight started. -- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

"You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass." -- Pulp Fiction

By rote and by ritual most Americans to assert that they "Support our troops." But as we all know, yet seldom admit, America has more of the known reserves of the world's bullshit than the Saudis have oil. The truth of the matter is that far too many Americans are becoming far too interested in our troops behaving correctly than actually supporting and sustaining them. They blather support out of one orifice while spewing disdain from the other. We hear these clapped-out flatulators daily at work, on the street, and over the tube of the boobs. I don't know about you, but for me these hyperventilating hypocrites are beginning to gripe my hindquarters big time.


Posted by Vanderleun Jun 12, 2006 12:11 AM | Comments (27)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Weegee's Space Patrol

The International Center of Photography has a new show up The Unknown Weegee. For those who don't know about Weegee, one of the great American photographers of the 20th Centry, go here. and learn. Yes, there will be a test.

For my part, the most arresting image available on line is this one:
Why? Because I had that Space Patrol helmet. At the time, it was my favorite item in the world and "Space Patrol" was my favorite TV show. Once I got it I would wear it while watching the show.

Time, of course, keeps moving on, but still today whenever I see a particularly strange bit of behavior in others or myself, the first words that pop into my mind are, "Space patrol." And, alas, I no longer have the hat, but I wish I did. It would come in quite handy for things like political conventions.

Posted by Vanderleun Jun 11, 2006 9:46 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Alley, alley, oxen free!"-- Osama Tosses Turban into the Ring for 2006 American Elections

AFTER A RECENT SERIES OF HIGH LEVEL MEETINGS with ranking Democrats at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, ranking honorary Democrat Osama Bin Laden of Rat Hole, Pakistan, emerged from seclusion with some of the International Democratic Party talking points for the 2006 US election.


Posted by Vanderleun Jun 9, 2006 11:47 AM | Comments (26)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In Passing

The unquiet yearning of Maureen Dowd. Lead sentence in today's NYT column, "When he wants to, Mr. Obama can rouse the crowd to multiple ovations..." (Can He Unleash the Force?)

You'd think an editor would give her a clue, but no.

Daddy, tell me again about New Orleans: "The single biggest thing to be done is the president of the United States needs to put one person, a very high-level competent person in the White House, in charge of New Orleans. And that person -- the president should say to that person, "I want you in my office every morning telling me what you did in New Orleans yesterday." And the next day say, "I want you in my office telling me what you did yesterday. I'm not interested in what you're going to do six months from now; I want to know what you did yesterday. And I want to know what's happening on the ground," the president, "what's happening on the ground every single day." John Edwards, sucking up just as fast as he can

Posted by Vanderleun Jun 6, 2006 10:24 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Much is made this week of conservatives "abandoning" Bush. Some of what is said about it makes sense. Most of it is nonsense.

I'm not a conservative, so I can't speak for them. Who I can speak for are people who are not doctrinaire and locked into eternal opposition to someone or something or some party or some nation. People, in other words, who try to navigate the real world as it happens around them, guided by principles but not ossified by them, aware of ideologies and also of their limitations. Such a person's course of actions is bound to look like a drunken stagger when you only watch the walker, not the pitching deck of the world as it goes on around him."

(Callimachus @ Done With Mirrors)

Posted by Vanderleun Jun 4, 2006 9:44 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
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