Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
All the President Midgets

photo_contact.jpg In my email this evening, a retired top executive from a major multi-national corporation looks at the laboring of our political mountain that has, again, brought forth midgets. He is not amused.

What a dreadful situation. The whole process has perplexed me for years.

We often hear someone put forth the premise that the U.S. President is "the most powerful person in the world" (However arrogant that may be.). Yet we require very little of the actual candidates for the office.

No major corporation would hire most of the individuals that have run for the U.S. presidency in my lifetime - at least not before they became President.

On top of that, our political dialogue is not about the kind of person a candidate should be, and the basket of traits that a candidate should possess, but focuses on all manner of irrelevant crap.


Posted by Vanderleun Feb 29, 2008 10:52 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Passion of the Obama


"Here he is in El Paso meeting with some schoolkids. This was right after he fed an entire auditorium with just a single stick of French bread and a pack of hot dogs" - The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: Barry is rocking the world down in Texas
Posted at 11:18 AM

-- Two hours later, second thoughts. --

The original title for this entry was "Suffer the little children to come unto me in Texas." That was, it seemed to me in the moment, a light enough touch for the illustration supplied this morning by "The Secret Steve Jobs." Over at that site I also entered a glib, cheap comment:

Does this mean we are headed to the passion, the crucifixion,and the subsequent ascending into heaven stuff? And will this be before or after the election?

Now the web draws out the cheap shot and the glib comment like no other medium, and I find myself guilty as charged across all the 20 years I've been a part of it.

But after a moment's reflection the chilling subtext of that glib rim-shot started to occur to me as I recalled recent reports of lax security at Obama appearances. ( ABC News: As Obama Security Rises, Lapses Remain ) And since I am of an age where I can remember the 1960s, I was chilled even more as images from the more violent of those days came back to me. Chief among them were November 22, 1963, April 4, 1968, and June 6, 1968. These are, as I'm sure you know from the first date, the days on which John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy were assassinated.


Posted by Vanderleun Feb 29, 2008 11:18 AM | Comments (31)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Touching Tender Parts

The Modern Way of War:

"When the bad people scare us or hurt us, we have to whack them. This is hard, because you want to try and whack the bad people where they live and not where we live. Naturally, the bad people don't want to get whacked, and they feel pretty smug because we aren't mean enough to whack all of them at once. So we have to go over to where they live and whack them carefully." -- The Belmont Club: How to understand war


Posted by Vanderleun Feb 29, 2008 10:11 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Food Fight

"An abridged history of American-centric warfare, from WWII to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict."

Review:Absolutely amazing video for lovers of food and global conflict.

Guide to the nationalities of the foods in the fight is HERE

Posted by Vanderleun Feb 28, 2008 9:40 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Wild, Wild Science World of the India Daily Technology Team

Rare picture of "The Team"

Today I have discovered, via my close reading of "The Blog That Nobody Reads" a new source for breaking science news that will, dare I say it, change the world. It is India Daily Technology Team!

This is science reporting as it should be but never is. This is science reporting that goes where no science has gone before and beams down the goods. This is science reporting that probably has Al Gore's unlisted brain chip on direct download. This is science reporting that passes through a chronosynclastic infundibulum into a brand new universe; a universe that puts the lie to those who say, "You can't make this shit up!," with a rousing "Yes. We can!"

The archives of the India Daily Technology Team are vast and daunting. Here's a small selection of this crack science reporting that can crack science and your skull at the same time. Strap on your tinfoil hat!


Posted by Vanderleun Feb 26, 2008 1:48 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink


by Gerard Allen Van der Ginsberg

For Karl Rove Solomon

I SAW the second-best minds of my not-so-Great Generation destroyed by Bush Derangement Syndrome, pasty, paunchy, tenured, unelectable, and not looking too sharp naked,

bullshitting themselves through the African-American streets at cocktail hour looking for a Prozac refill,

aging hair-plugged hipsters burning for their ancient political connection to the White House through the machinations of moonbats,

who warred on poverty and Halliburton's Wal-Mart and bulbous-eyed and still high from some bad acid in 1968 set up no-smoking zones on tobacco farms in the unnatural darkness of Darwinistic delusions floating a few more half-baked secular notions like "Let's all worship Zero!",

who bared their withered breasts and, he or she, bleated their vaginas' mawkish monologues to John Kennedy's ghost under the capitol dome and french-kissed Mohammedan agents in the gore-drenched redrum rooms of Guantanamo,

who passed gas and on into universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating President Al Gore and Vice-President Noam Chomsky envisioning world peace among the masters of war and stayed on and stayed on and stayed on sucking off the great teat of academe in upaid student loans and over-paid professorial positions the better to molest the minds of children for decades with every third year off for bad behavior,

who were embraced by the academies and hired by the New York Times for crazy & publishing obscene odes or anything else that trashed George W. Bush without regard for truth since there were no consequences for these posturing poseurs of puke,

who cowered in their marble-countered plasma screened media rooms in underwear which was no longer Victoria's Secret, burning their money by donating it in carloads to every half-assed Democratic PAC that promised impeachment in a nano-second without the losing proposition of actually holding an election and listening to Rush Limbaugh through the wall,

who got bombed at public wine-tastings by chugging the slops bin and referencing Sideways, returning to their summer house in the Hamptons where they ate smoked salmon, smoked $200 marijuana, wore $250 denims, and bitched about how the economy was a mess but did not really, as they claimed, send their $36,000 tax cut back to the government, and continued to suffer the secret shame of Affluenza,

who breathed fire and bile about "that crooked administration" among their friends and shut up around people with real jobs and drank turpentine to get through "A Night with Gloria Steinem", claimed bogus ego-death, and Ab-busted their torsos night after night,

with dreams of real electoral victory without elections, with seven different mood-soothing drugs, with waking Birkenstock nightmares of Bush, Bush, Bush, alcohol Jello shots and the soon to be sanctified Holy Matrimony of cock and endless balls,

who blathered continuously about the Florida "theft" for the entire ninety-six months of the two Bush terms while the Evil One put one, two, maybe three or even four justices on the Supreme Court, causing a million fatal air-embolisms during consenting acts of mutual humm-jobs,

a lost battalion of a multi-million man and mom marching platonic conversationalists jumping to conclusions about WMD off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon, yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering "BUSH LIEEEEEEEEED!" and moronic memories and false anecdotes and eyeball kicks and yearning for the electroshocks of hospitals and the briefness of jails and the endless Bush wars .... oh my sorry little schmos.... ,

who wandered around and around at midnight at the Democratic National Committee wondering where Howard Dean hid his dildos, got the address of his love nest in San Francisco and went there with fresh batteries, and found Barbra Striesand drooling in the alley set on leaving no child behind,

who had double-standard visions while their baby seals died, turned into a pair of mucklucks by Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton,

who thought they were only mad when BushHitler appeared in the clouds above their Iowa Caucuses proclaiming "Neener, neener, neener,"

who in humorless protest turned Cindy Sheehan into their personal hand-puppet, which she enjoyed, and complained that she looked far too much like the devil spawn of Howdy Doody and Alfred E. Newman,

who scribbled celebrity porn from scuffed kneepads in the offices of Vanity Fair and collected and shaved stray cats far into their barren Pecksniffian nights until that bleak dawn when, waking from their stupor, rolled over in bed and discovered they had slept, not with their sixth spouse, but with Ward Churchill, and thought, "Well, that's an upgrade,"

who dreamt Hilary Clinton hectoring and shrieking in the White House until in galactic luminosity that crass and shabby woman stood revealed on "Fleece the Nation"in her SupportHose of pallid played-out policies, while being frisked by a thousand agents of Barrack Obama, super avenging angel of the Democratic Party, now and forever recreating the syntax and measure of poor human prose, Oh Hope!, Oh Change!, Oh Yes we can!, and then all of them in their faded glory standing before you speechless and pseudo-intelligent and shaking with unshamed shame, a whole once proud party now unable to get elected to high-school treasurer, reduced to bribing judges with dinner parties and invitations to Hollywood "events,"rejected yet confessing to the rhythm of thought in its naked and endless head as it proclaimed its new positive program for "Mourning in America," "Yes, yes, yes, like our patron saint George Soros, we too have a two-inch political penis, give us your money, give us your votes, give us THE POWER, we and we alone can promise you appeasement, defeatism, pacifism, penury, and death!",

and rose reincarnate in the tattered rags of bluster and blabber in the goldhorn shadow of the ballot box and blew the suffering of America's lumbering liberals' lust for unearned power into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone bleat still pandering for the Jewish vote, as the people, no fools they, shived the elite in their entrails and blew them off again and again right past the last bus stop of democracy

with the absolute loss of political significance butchered out of their own body politic good to lose a thousand years.

NOTE: By request, "Growl" is now in PDF format and suitable for printing: Download Growl Here [Back because whatever Larwyn wants, Larwyn gets... ] HT to Dinocrat's Howl 2006

Posted by Vanderleun Feb 24, 2008 3:02 PM | Comments (50)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something to do while waiting for the Internet


Posted by Vanderleun Feb 21, 2008 11:04 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Unwilling Icon: Dorothea Lange and Florence Owens Thompson, the "Migrant Mother"

Six Frames in Ten Minutes on a Cold Day in 1936

"Seven hungry children. Father is native Californian. Destitute in pea pickers' camp ... because of failure of the early pea crop. These people had just sold their tires to buy food." -- Field Notes by Dorothea Lange, Nipomo, California, March 1936 on "Migrant Mother"

"You can see a lot just by looking." -- Yogi Berra

1. Photographers to Fauxtographers

Once we were wrapped in a web of words but now, more and more, our web is woven of images. When wrapped in the images of our age -- especially those images backlit by history -- we see what we wish to see or, more insidiously, what we are told we see.


Posted by Vanderleun Feb 18, 2008 11:08 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Candles to Gun Fights

After the predictable killings comes the predictable vigil. Effectiveness? Zero.

They had candles. They had prayers. They had tears. They had everything they needed except the means to defend themselves.


Posted by Vanderleun Feb 15, 2008 9:27 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Not Raping = Rape ... If You Are an Israeli Soldier

Paper Proves Once Again that Academics Never Outgrow Their Need for Bullshit

Prize Winning Sociology Thesis at Hebrew U.: Lack of Rape Among Israeli Soldiers Achieves Same Aims as Rape

"A Hebrew University Sociology department M.A. thesis entitled "Controlled Occupation: The Lack of Military Rape in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict" notes that the relative absence of instances of rape by Israeli soldiers is an alternate method of achieving the same kind of degradation of Palestinian Arabs that would be achieved through a directed policy of raping Arab women."


Posted by Vanderleun Feb 14, 2008 1:02 PM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama: The Sorcerer's Method Behind the Madness

obamababes.jpg "Come on home, girl,"
He said with a smile
"You don't have to love me yet,
Let's get high awhile.
But try to understand,
Try to understand,
Try, try, try to understand
I'm a magic man."
-- Heart

"In savage society there is commonly to be found in addition what we may call public magic, that is, sorcery practised for the benefit of the whole community. Wherever ceremonies of this sort are observed for the common good, it is obvious that the magician ceases to be merely a private practitioner and becomes to some extent a public functionary.

"The development of such a class of functionaries is of great importance for the political as well as the religious evolution of society. For when the welfare of the tribe is supposed to depend on the performance of these magical rites, the magician rises into a position of much influence and repute, and may readily acquire the rank and authority of a chief or king.


Posted by Vanderleun Feb 12, 2008 9:49 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Live Demo: Nukes and New York City

Something to keep in mind as you hope for change and a better world via magical thinking. You may not be interested in false hopes, but false hopes are interested in you.

[via information aesthetics - data visualization & visual design ]

Posted by Vanderleun Feb 12, 2008 6:39 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
MDS ("McCain Derangement Syndrome") Mainstreams

angelsatan.jpgFiery the Angels rose, & as they rose deep thunder roll'd
Around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc!

-- America A Prophecy by William Blake

Meanwhile in Milton's Paradise Lost, the war in heaven is between the angels loyal to Satan and the angels loyal to God. We all know how that turned out. Something similar is burning out of control with the raising of John McCain to the godhead of the Republican Party. It didn't take long to acquire a name, a flip of the right's favorite moonbat diagnosis, "BDS -- Bush Derangement Syndrome." Of course, you had to know that that phrase -- a personal favorite of mine -- would come back to bite the presented posterior. And it has in less than a month with "MDS -- McCain Derangement Syndrome."

This catchphrase has legs....


Posted by Vanderleun Feb 8, 2008 10:31 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Conservative No McCain Zone: Big Arguments for a Bad Idea

Some years ago I recall leafing through a slight volume of the collected sayings of New York City taxi drivers. One that stuck in my mind was that of a Bengali driver who observed, "Bicycle messengers, they thirst for death."

Watching the blistering salvos fired against a McCain ascendency throughout the net in the past week has put me in mind of that observation, only applied to the incondite arguments of recondite Republicans:


The gist of the Republican argument against McCain seems to be that he is not pure enough for many conservatives. I submit that that is precisely the point. The pure products of extreme ideology don't win elections in this country. The pure products of ideology start, well, civil wars.

NeoNeoCon has a long exegesis on this bizarre phenomenon at Conservatives jump the shark: party purity über alles where she states the obvious:

Candidates don't win by ideological purity. That's a delusion to which the extreme wings of both parties are subject.

But it turns out that for some, it's not even about winning. It's about party purification, about who owns the soul of the Republican Party.

It reminds me of the Biblical wandering in the desert. Forty years of that, and the Jews were ready to enter the Promised Land.

If you'd like a crash course in the current extreme Republican insanity, you might take a brief tour through the comments to that post above. Most illuminating when it comes to understanding that not all moonbats inhabit the cave on the left.

Does all this spuming and carping about McCain bode ill for his candidacy? I like to think not. I like to think that what we are seeing in the last week is simply the froth that always rises to the top of a hot cup of blather on the Internet.

Still, it is instructive to follow the heft of the arguments that shore up the ruins of the Republican party. These seem mostly to stem from McCain's real or imagined positions on "The Big 3 Issues" -- abortion, immigration, homosexuality -- plus -- just for fun -- some sort of running around outside his marriage a decade or more back. The latter is often thrown in because it just wouldn't be politics as usual without some mud in the mix.

Why the blow-up on the Right. It's not really about McCain. The conservative rage to my mind is powered not by the actual prospect of McCain candidacy itself. The looming reality of McCain's nomination brings a deeper failure into focus. That knowledge is powered by the unconscious awareness that, on "The Big 3 Issues", the culture war is over. And the conservatives have lost. Reaction? Consume your own.

Here's the news on "The Big 3 Issues:"

Abortion: Alas, this is a done deal. There will not come a time in the foreseeable future when abortion on demand will not be available in the United States. The best that can be hoped for at this point is a widespread understanding among the populace that abortion, though perfectly legal, is morally wrong except in certain, widely understood, circumstances. (And, no, I'm not going to spell those circumstances out -- that's up to you. Work it out with yourself, your family and your friends.)

The law and public morality are not coterminous, nor should they be. When they are the result is dhimmitude. Not really the state one is seeking, correct?

Homosexuality and gay marriage: This too is a done deal. To paraphrase Gay Rights activists from years ago, "They're here. They're queer. Get used to it."

Democracy, at the bottom, runs on a simple axiom: "Everybody's in. Nobody's out;" although these days you might want to cast the last part as 'Everybody's out.' If people want to enter into a state of marriage, that's up to them, not the state. The official recognition of gay people's right to be married or not married is merely generational. It will roll forward, couple by couple, state by state. As the poet says,

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

-- Omar Khayyam

Indeed, rather than resist the desire of gay Americans to marry, it seems to me that insecure straights who for some reason have it in for gays should welcome their entrance into the twisted state that secular marriage has become. After all, it is a staple of comedy that straight marriage brings not bliss but woe and regret and the death of romantic love. Think of the decades of rich comedy material gay marriage will bring all Americans. Think positive. Think -- "Gay Divorce Court." Ratings to the moon, Alice. To the moon!

Reversing Illegal Immigration: Done deal #3. I know that, like visions of sugarplums, visions of some sort of "fence" protecting America from the hordes of marching Mexicans dance in the heads of Americans who just want them all to turn around and march back. But, alas, that too joins the previous two issues in the category, "It Ain't Gonna Happen."

I know, believe me, all the designs for a kinder and gentler fence that will have hi-tech detectors and some sort of ready interdiction corps sitting on helicopter scramble pads across the southern border. I know all the arguments for expanding the ever-so-effective techniques used to stop the flow of illegal drugs to stop the flow of illegal aliens. None of these will prove any more effective than "The War on Some Drugs" we've be squandering billions on over the decades.

What would work would be some sort of East German wall 1,969 miles long. This monstrosity would have guard towers, mine fields, attack Dobermans, armored cars, and about 100,000 armed border guards with a shoot on sight policy (3 shifts of 17 guards per mile). After around 500 Mexican civilians were shot dead, this might have some effect on reducing the flow. I'm not quite ready for this draconian a solution. Are you?

Then there is the extended policy of finding those illegals here and, well, just deporting them. Another 25-watt idea.

Okay, let's follow that one home with the vision of hundreds of buses chock full of thousands of illegals (rounded up in armed swoops through the US barrios) departing daily for Tijuana and all points south. The first problem is finding and then imprisoning the illegals. That would mean raids into homes and apartment buildings around the country as well as stop and frisk identity checks on the street for "looking Mexican." Then you'll have to refurbish those Japanese internment camps in the Owens valley and elsewhere as holding pens. Think the Manzanar Concentration Camp to the 10th power on the outskirts of every major city. You start opening those up and armed Mexicans are going to be the least of your problems.

Which brings up the small problem of resistance since male members of La Raza are not known for their submissiveness. No, not all of these armed roundups would be met with a tug of the forelock submission. And it is best to remember that this America is, first and foremost, a heavily armed country -- especially in the barrios. Are you ready for gun fights across the US? I'm not sure I am. But that's what we'd get since many illegals, faced with internment and deportation on a mass scale, would not go quietly.

Next, let's suppose that, after countless "regrettable" deaths (Each one of which is given the full "Pobre Maria Treatment" on NPR and in the New York Times. Yes, your head will explode.), that after these deaths hundreds of thousands of Mexicans did indeed show up at the border in surplus Greyhound buses. (Don't kid yourself, we're going to need a lot of buses.) What if Mexico decided, "Hey, we don't recognize any of these people as ours, and just what do you mean 'looks' Mexican?"

Are we then going to use the armed forces to force Mexico to take back their huddled masses? And even if they did, do we really want a country as corrupt and unstable as Mexico to become even more unstable? If you want to see a wall come up on the southern border overnight, just wait until a full-scale revolution breaks out in Mexico. Think "American Civil War" X 2 with automatic weapons and plastique explosives. If one side wins you get Nazi Germany to the south. If the other side wins you get Communist China during "The Great Leap Forward." Neither is what you'd call a "desirable outcome." Either will make you wish for the status quo ante when decent yard work and fine tacos everywhere were a staple of American life.

For these reasons and many more, the concept that a McCain candidacy and presidency would be "unacceptable" to Republicans and Americans is, in the land of realpolitik, simply delusional. When you want "everything" out of a president, you get "nothing." Huckabee is not the answer since he's too evangelical for the middle. Romney is not the answer since, well, the middle feel -- no matter what you say about it -- there's something too weird about being a Mormon. McCain's not only the best shot at the middle, he's really -- when you come down to it -- all the Republicans have in their quiver. And in politics, you don't beat somebody with policies and purity. You gotta beat somebody with somebody.

This, of course, will neither still nor stifle the true believers among conservatives. Like the sorely afflicted BDS democrats who have yet to get over the fact that Al Gore lost the election of 2000 fair and square, so there will always be those MDS conservatives among us who have not gotten over the fact Goldwater was skunked by Johnson in 1964. History has no lessons to teach the true believer.

Many of these mossbacks seem to feel that four more years of the Clintons or the first four years of Obama will be a small price to pay for ideological purity.These folks simply will not see that, as the TV infomercials say, "AND... it doesn't STOP there!" I know I am shoveling seaweed against the tide here, but I would ask those people, for but a brief moment, to consider these two potential line-ups:

Clinton/Obama 2008
Obama/Clinton 2008

This is, for so many reasons, the Democrat dream ticket and the pure Conservative's worst nightmare. Not the least because it means, at the outside, the potential of 16 years of a Democrat with a big socialist jones in the Whitehouse. Let's spell that out: S I X T E E N - Y E A R S.

Give one party sixteen years in power and you could, dare I say, appoint every single justice of the Supreme Court. Especially if you've got congress on your side.

"Not voting" to register a protest is also, in this case, not an option. A "not vote" counts as two against you; the vote you did not cast and the vote you did not cancel.

So, what the Republicans have to ask themselves before signing off on the No-McCain purity test is, "Do you feel lucky? Well, punks, do you?"

Posted by Vanderleun Feb 4, 2008 10:34 AM | Comments (92)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama: A Progressive for Progress! Now with Liberal Substance!

He's not a "Liberal." He's a "Progressive!"

Bigger promises need bigger icons. As I remarked only yesterday in Hope, Change, and the New Old NOW   "the people do not want POLICIES, the people want PROMISES! Promise, LARGE PROMISE, is the soul of politics." Today we can see this essential truth continue to reveal itself from two widely opposing viewpoints in the blogosphere.


Posted by Vanderleun Feb 2, 2008 6:25 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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