Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Picture of the Day from Pictures of the Day


Cherry trees bloomed in front of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington Tuesday. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival runs April 4 to April 12 -- Pictures of the Day

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 31, 2009 6:07 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Not Boring Just "Comfortably Numb"

disaster_movie01.jpgThe meme sensation that's shakin' the nation lately is... Obama is boring. Boring columnist Gail Collins teed this one off in - Everything Bad Is Good Again @

Barack Obama — Kinda boring. Did you see the news conference? Same thing over and over again. Not that we mind. In these troubled times, we like stability. Thank God we didn’t elect somebody who was all charisma and exciting speeches.
To paraphrase Tonto, "What do you mean 'we' white girl?" And boring isn't the right world, although as I noted weeks ago, "bummer" sort of fits. Like a lot of people of her ilk, Collins thinks she's bored when she is only "comfortably numb." She might as well face it, she's addicted to 0. And those addicted to 0, like those addicted to heroin, are often numbed down and want to stay that way.

When you mainline 0, as Collins and her fellow junkies have been doing for years


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 31, 2009 8:57 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
If at first you don't succeed....


VIA Jonah Goldberg @ The Corner

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 31, 2009 8:43 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Our Enemy Endures: "Four Pounds of Anthrax in a Suitcase This Big"

"Kuwaiti Professor Abdallah Nafisi Suggests a Biological Attack at the White House and Prays for the Bombing of a Nuclear Plant on Lake Michigan."from Memri.

HT: Brutally Honest

Transcript after the jump.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 30, 2009 7:44 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Jesus Laughed: Greatest Used Car Salesman Lie Evah!

obamadriving.jpgA universal expression of rueful remose is the phrase, "Jesus wept." I think we need to shelve that expression for the duration and swap it out for, "Jesus laughed." As in, "You want to amuse God? Tell him your plans."

Jesus laughed this morning as I read that the US government has gone into the used car repair business when Obama sez:

If you buy a car from Chrysler or General Motors, you will be able to get your car serviced and repaired, just like always. Your warrantee will be safe.

In fact, it will be safer than it's ever been. Because starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warrantee.

It is for statements like this that the world "risible" was created. And for attitudes such as that that the word "hubris" was so prized by the Greeks. The government as grease monkey. The government as the entity that is going to fix your car. Or, rather, the government as the entity that will be working with, and overseeing, car repair shops from sea to shining sea. Oh yes, this will end well.

I submit that this is not so much about cars as about pose; the pose of a new Messiah. And this new Messiah doesn't know squat about fixing cars, his ambition instead is to reduplicate an ancient miracle. Please to consult Matthew 14:

24But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
Be not afraid, it is I, thy President, and I shall walk, not just upon water, but upon the thick oil of charm. As in
"Oozing charm from every pore, he oiled his way across the floor." — Alan J. Lerner, My Fair Lady
Now that we see the hubris of the man extend itself into the crankcase of your care, we can only wait for the first model out of the new, improved Government Motors: "The 2010 Nemesis."

For when the government is in control of warrentees and car repairs, the catch phrase at the Indianapolis 500 will be: "Gentlemen, just try to start your engines!"

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 30, 2009 8:48 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just In: Precious National Resource Iowahawk Reviews Intellectual Insantity Today

When the surviving monks in the monasteries write the history of this era, they will cite: iowahawk: The Country's In the Very Best of Hands "Gradulations!"

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 30, 2009 7:43 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Smile that tripe off your face!


Not at all like the gold teeth extractions in the Nazi death camps, this time it's "volunteerism":

There's a new Gold Teeth Rush sweeping the nation! As people struggle to pay bills and put food on the table in this economic downturn, pawn shops and estate jewelry dealers are seeing an influx of those looking to cash in their gold caps, fillings and grills.... There are people like Cash Money Records CEO/CO-Founder Bryan "Baby" Williams, aka Birdman that had a $250,000 platinum with white gold-plated and diamond-encrusted crowns replaced with a $500,000 set of 18-karat white gold with some platinum crowns set with ascher-cut diamonds.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 30, 2009 6:41 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Extreme Sheep Herding: "What we do, because we can."

See and you will believe.

Thanks to commenter Thurberite.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 29, 2009 4:50 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Afghanistan Bananistan: The 10 Point Plan


Richard at The Belmont Club is taking a hard look at the Obama Effort in Afghanistan and wondering if the President realizes what he's getting himself into. I think he does.

I think he realizes what his needs are in Afghanistan. What he needs to do is end a war in an American defeat while being seen as "trying for a victory." To do that he has to engineer an American defeat. Iraq is already, in the public mind at least, in the win column. So how do we engineer an American defeat? It is simplicity itself. You begin, not with a "surge" but a ripple.

1) Ripple: Reinforce, but only lightly.
 After all, it's not really a "surge."
2) Raise the body count: Tighten the Rules of Engagement on US forces. This loosens the Rules of Engagement for the Taliban which increases the casualties for the US.

3) Look rational: Set “goals” and a “timetable” going in. Make sure these goals cannot be achieved with the resources available in the time allowed.

4) Short Pakistan: Alienate the land power that control the supply routes. Make protecting logistics consume most of the “reinforcements.”
5) Grandstand: When the land supply routes go down, make a valiant “Kennedyesque” resupply “effort” with an airlift for a short period.

5) Look "realistic:" When your goals are not met and airlift fails, announce that you’ve given it the old college try and must regretfully withdraw.

6) Give a history lesson: Make sure you withdraw using plenty of airpower, with lots of large helicopters at the end taking off from Kabul.
 The media will be more than happy to compare and contrast the fall of Saigon.
7) Triumphantly involve the UN: Announce at around the same time that your soft diplomacy has born fruit in Iran, and that Hans Blix and the Mullahs have agreed to UN-type weapons inspections of 20 square blocks of the downtown shopping district of Tehran.

8) Be heroic: Announce that the US remains committed to Afghan democracy and get the Congress to agree to fund the Afghan forces and political establishment for "as long as it takes." This can be easily rescinded at a later date as it was for the South Vietnamese.
9) Mission accomplished : Just in time for, say, a 2012 September surprise: "I brought your boys home, and we'll have enough troops for government to fill your sandbags in Fargo this spring!" Make the defeated army "your" helpful-at-home army.
10) Reallocate funding: Once you transform the army into something that fights natural disasters and not enemies, you can slash their budget to the bone. The Navy's next since there won't be any American power to project or protect. But, hey, you've just funded National Health Care so you don't care. Make sure you've got a lot of burn units near major cities. You can name them after Saul Alinsky.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 29, 2009 10:02 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My Back Pages (Halloween 2008)

Hitchhiking in the Land of the Dead

From a minor tradition of sending kids out for to pick up some free candy, Halloween has mushroomed into a major American fornication festival in which we regularly -- and with increasing intensity -- celebrate the meat state of life while pretending to vaguely celebrate the spiritual part. If you've noted, as I have, the increasing lust for gruesomeness in costumes at every new Halloween, you might have reflected that dark humor has taken a back seat to darker fascinations. One new costume around this year allows you to dress us as a corpse in a body bag complete with wounds and autopsy slashes. And that's a mild one.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 29, 2009 5:24 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Five Old Pictures in Search of an Explanation: Up in the sky of 1943, it's.....

One of my tasks to prepare for my mother's 90th birthday was to create a "memory wall" out of photographs spanning her life. My brother went through her albums and brought me some sixty old pictures, in varying degrees of preservation, to have scanned and printed.

One of the pictures he brought for scanning was this one (reproduced at approximately the size of the original):
Mom & Dad, just married, Los Angeles

It would have been taken in the mountains above Los Angeles on some day in either 1943 or 1944. Like a lot of the others it had dirt, scratches and smudges, but I was sure I could clean up the image. Then I started to look more carefully at the smudges in this shot once it had been scanned....


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 29, 2009 3:38 AM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My Back Pages (March, 2008) Graven Images
It was like watching people letting themselves be hypnotized for the greater glory not of Christ but of men. It was like watching a generation willing to continue their enslavement to a self-imposed definition of inferiority rather than rise up in the liberation of truth faith and equality. I saw not a hunger for the glory of God, but a thirsting after the glory of a race to the detriment of all others. How weak, I thought, and how shameful. A Christ triumphant would drive these race hustlers from His temple. -- Graven Images: Racist Fundamentalist Churches of America

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 29, 2009 3:19 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Now This is How to Celebrate the Earth and Mankind

Via TigerHawk comes this video from the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Human Achievement Hour. It's great and the screen is so big it has to go after the jump. But you won't be disappointed. Just the thing to start off, underscore, or end a Sunday.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 28, 2009 9:45 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The New American Anthem

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things
But you'd better lift your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 28, 2009 6:32 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
My Back Pages (October 2008)

Armies of the Blight: Men Seeking Work. Anything Accepted. Cash Only. Illegal Not a Problem.

"What happens to these men if we arrive at a point, in a recession, where there is a lot less work for them in their many millions? What happens when the American dream starts contracting from the edges and the extra cash that allows us to employ them starts to dry up? They won't be counted as 'unemployed' since they were never legally 'employable' in the first place. Where will they go? Back to a Mexico where a recession in the US will breed a depression in that 3rd World country? Unlikely. Their best shot would still be to stay here. But if they did, what would they do? And how many would there really be? And how hungry and desperate would they get?"

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 28, 2009 1:21 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hitler finds out about EPCOT

Just when you think they can't possibly squeeze more laughs out of the Hitler clip....

VIA: Another great roundup at The Anchoress

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 27, 2009 8:59 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
We'll See About That

Yes, that. Over there. At the top of the right sidebar.

I must admit it rather suits me to have no followers. I must be doing something right to the right, right? Right.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 27, 2009 11:02 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Following the Anchoress

When the Anchoress tells me read an essay "because it is more important - and more real - than most of what you’ll read the rest of the day" I do what she says. You should too. Go HERE.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 27, 2009 10:09 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Futt the Wuck? Enviros Go Stark, Staring Nucking Futz!


To retain my last rotting shred of faith in humanity, I'm praying, praying, this is the ultimate send up of the Nucking Envirofutz: Life vests for polar bears on melting ice

As the climate crisis mounts and Arctic icebergs slip away, polar bears are suffering starvation, population declines, and drowning as they must swim further and further to find food. Seeking to raise awareness for the endangered species' plight, ADDI Concepts has taken wildlife preservation literally by designing a life-vest for displaced polar bears struggling to stay afloat as their homes sink into the sea.
It almost certainly is.... but... if it is not, I will pay real, real folding money to underwrite a boatload of greenies to haul on up to the Arctic, and be the first to strap one of these on a polar bear. They will only be required to wear a pair of muck-lucks made out of fresh killed baby seals.

I get world video rights because this is going to be bigger than Bum Fights and Stealth Lesbians Gone Wild put together.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 26, 2009 11:21 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"BREAKING: [New Republic Owner] Marty Peretz is a Crazy-Ass Racist" Inside the Echochamber of 'JournoList'

The somehow always sane Mickey Kaus has gotten his capture buffer on a thread from JounoList (A sekrit mailing list of DemoMediaHackz): Kausfiles : JournoList Revealed! Inside the Secret Liberal Media Email Cabal

It makes for some wonderful reading such as this choice nugget from PunditWannabe Jesse Singal:

BREAKING: Marty Peretz is a Crazy-Ass RacistEveryone I know who likes Olbermann also acknowledge that he is egomaniacal [expletive deleted by Kaus] and has a penchant for hysterical drama. The main difference, which is glaringly left out by anyone who conflates him with the Savages and O'Reillys of the world, is that Olbermann doesn't tend to, you know, lie about stuff regularly.
Oh, really? I guess young Jesse is hoping Keith will invite him home to frolic in the bathtub.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 26, 2009 6:41 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Stimulus Package Made Simple


From SXSW Interactive 2009 - a set on Flickr at Mike Rohde's Photostream

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 26, 2009 4:30 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
"Gives"? There's no "give" about rights.


E3 notices this bit of revisionism: Second Amendment - Social Engineering from the White House

Update: Originally discovered by Life in 3D who notes: "Next up for them is the Second Amendment, by attempting to redefine it so that it says “gives us the right” instead of “prohibits the government from infringing on our right”

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 26, 2009 3:40 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Beauty is truth, truth beauty

"So I said to him, "Barack, I know Abe Lincoln, and you ain't Abe Lincoln"

HT: Mark

Painting by Andy Thomas

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 26, 2009 2:49 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Where the Jobs Are
Naturally a government of such massive size and influence must be staffed. Huge edifices must be constructed, bureaucracies created, directives issued and laws written. Hundreds of thousands of new jobs will become open as these agencies begin to function. You might wonder what sort of people will be attracted to these new centers of power and influence. Easy answer: The same sort of people who are attracted to the Internal Revenue Service, Environmental Protection Agencies and Departments of Education—petty busybodies, grim manipulators, and small-minded paper pushers. These types will exert more direct control over your life than any religion ever could. Indeed, this motley throng will become the new priesthood of the new America. - The Laughter Of Future Men | The Return Of Scipio

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 26, 2009 1:11 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Joketime is Over in O-Land

"Humor must contain an element of truth, but there is no humor in Marxism, as Obama and his legions are proving. It's sucking the humor out of the industry like baking soda sucks the scent out of an onion.

"A better sentence for [the Onion News Network] would be to be forced to put this in stand-up and watch it kill a live audience of their choice twice a night for a year. Or if they prefer it could be a USO tour." -- James Wilson commenting on The White-Face Comedy of the United Slaves of Obama @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 26, 2009 12:55 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Shamanism and the "Middle Class"
"Both, alike, confuse words with things, and imagine by manipulating words they can manipulate reality. They believe things like public order and safety just happen without human intervention -- that they grow on trees, like money. And that the source of all evil is the unfair distribution, of money in particular. They are given to magical invocations when things go wrong, and to other behaviour that would be more clearly identified as shamanistic, were it not instead identified as "liberal" and "progressive."
"Unable to fathom the mysterious reality of evil, and its contamination of all human nature, they create scapegoats who can be blamed for any disturbance of their peace, and then ritually cast them out. For instance, when suddenly impinged upon by terrorists, or by bank failures for that matter, they consult the entrails of birds (or equivalent), and select "Bush" and "Cheney" to be demonized, assigning them qualities worse even than those of the perpetrators of such things. Then a shaman, named Barack Obama, is selected for his charismatic personal qualities, to purify the public domain. -- David Warren

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 26, 2009 1:12 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The White-Face Comedy of the United Slaves of Obama

Will 'Sure dead American soldiers are funny.' Graham The Onion's Executive Producer / Director Insect

Currently playing at "The Onion" is what has to be the most repulsive attempt at comedy in living memory. It is, to say the least, stunning in the depth of its callousness. It is what happens to souls rotten with nihilism and long-schooled in depravity. It exemplifies, better than almost anything else in the past months, the low and insectoid popular culture that now palms itself off as "comic relief" in the age of Obama.

As others have noticed in the past week, the broadcast efforts of our national jesters have, in the face of ample opportunities for satire, steered very, very clear of anything that might touch the sacred icon of President Obama. Not because he is too big to fail but, truth be told, he is too African-American to fail. Comics of the caucasian persuasion are simply terrified, not of his politics, but of his race. Obama not only knows this, but depends upon it. And he has not been disappointed. Chris Stigall casts a cold eye on this trend today at Big Hollywood with Remember When SNL Was Funny? (Obama Ushers in New Era of Comedic Irresponsibility)

Instead of taking aim at the failings and foibles of Obama and his Gang That Couldn't Think Straight, comedy outlets seem to be announcing that the end of comedy has finally arrived when it comes to political commentary. As this clip amply demonstrates, the approved targets for comedy are no longer American Presidents but dead American soldiers.

I'd originally titled this item "Pour Encourages les Autres: The Staff of the Onion Needs to Be Summarily Shot," but then I realized that would be too, too easy for these bugs. Too merciful. Instead, those responsible for this travesty need to be kept alive for a long time. As the years roll by them, they need -- wherever they go and whatever life brings them -- to be shown this bit of their "contribution" to their nation and their era. This item needs to be the one thing that they are known for.

One would think that somewhere the people who pulled this revolting little bit of video together would have some smidgen of shame, but as we know only too well the capacity of these "citizens" to even begin to feel something akin to shame left them long, long ago.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 25, 2009 7:37 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Dirty Jobs" Mike Rowe Talks About the War on Hard Work

Daphne @ Jaded Haven urged me to spend 20 minutes with this video. I started, but after 5 minutes of his graphic description of gelding lambs with his teeth I had to click off. That was a mistake. This is 20 minutes of brilliance from a man who's been in the trenches with the people that actually make the things and do the work that makes the world revolve.

If you've spent 3 minutes gobstoppered at that tool and fool Corinne Brown in the House (see below) and come to despair, this will restore you to life.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 25, 2009 11:48 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Gradulations! Three and a half minutes in which the Congress was prevented from doing anything even more stupid than this

Democrat Representative Corinne Brown, a credit to her college, district and state, gradulates the Gators.

File under: "I try to become more cynical every day but lately I just can't keep up."


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 25, 2009 10:29 AM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The last time "Bills of attainder, ex-post-facto laws, and laws impairing the obligation of contracts" were popular....

From: Article One of the United States Constitution Section 9

To: The Children Known as the House of Representatives
From: James Madison
Re: Constitution, Article 1 Section 9

Dear Children, Let's review:

"Bills of attainder, ex-post-facto laws, and laws impairing the obligation of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. The two former are expressly prohibited by the declarations prefixed to some of the State constitutions, and all of them are prohibited by the spirit and scope of these fundamental charters. Our own experience has taught us, nevertheless, that additional fences against these dangers ought not to be omitted. Very properly, therefore, have the convention added this constitutional bulwark in favor of personal security and private rights; and I am much deceived if they have not, in so doing, as faithfully consulted the genuine sentiments as the undoubted interests of their constituents. The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less informed part of the community. They have seen, too, that one legislative interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding. They very rightly infer, therefore, that some thorough reform is wanting, which will banish speculations on public measures, inspire a general prudence and industry, and give a regular course to the business of society." [Emphasis added]

Yours truly, James Madison. Federalist No. 44

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 24, 2009 1:00 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pol Pot Porritt says UK must "cut" people... or else!

1984. It's not just a book anymore in merry olde England:

UK population must fall to 30m, says Porritt - Times Online Porritt said: “Population growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure. “Each person in Britain has far more impact on the environment than those in developing countries so cutting our population is one way to reduce that impact.”
Why dither? Why not "cut" throats? Why not start with the kids. After all, the science is SOUND!
New Solution to Global Warming: Kill Your Children

Paul Murtaugh, a statistician at Corvallis' Oregon State University, claims that our carbon legacy isn't just limited to our own emissions, but 50% of our children's (The other parent gets the other 50%). And 25% of their children's, and so on, and so on. He arrived at this estimate using math. -- Mad Science: Your Child Causes Global Warming

HT: Belmont Club

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 24, 2009 12:06 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My name is Barack Hussein Obama, one of the sons of Barack Obama, Sr., a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya, and of Ann Dunham Soetoro.

As a result of my recent election to a high government post, I have come into possession of $3,550,000,000,000 ($3.55 trillion of U.S. dollars), that I wish to transfer to various agents in the states and abroad during the years 2009 and 2010.... -- LEAK: Budget Email to Obama’s 13-Million ‘Buddies’

HT: Sensing

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 24, 2009 11:54 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Blackboard Blogger: "A man with a chalkboard in Liberia is smarter than Pinch Sulzberger."


Oh no, I've said too much
I haven't said enough

-- REM, Losing My Religion

Sippican Cottage can see clearly now:The Future Of The Internet Is A Blackboard. The New York Times doesn't see anything.

The New York Times sells their building and their jet and lay off thousands who are just doing their job, but they pay hundreds of thousands -- millions -- to keep the Op-Ed page going, and the bigshot managers in caviar at their Long Island Gold Coast getaways.

All I can get on the Internet is opinion. It's an enormous sea of opinion. Everyone is doing for free what Maureen Dowd wants to earn a phone number for. That can't last. But they'll sacrifice the entire news operation on the altar of opinion to keep it going to the bitter end

The democratization of opinion would tell a normal person in a position of authority at a newspaper to abandon opinion and put factual information first, last, and always in the paper. And maybe not print it, just offer it in pixels.


The man at the end of the information spear, is one Alfred Sirleaf of Liberia.

Alfred Sirleaf is an analog blogger.

He take runs the "€œDaily News", a news hut by the side of a major road in the middle of Monrovia. He started it a number of years ago, stating that he wanted to get news into the hands of those who couldn’t afford newspapers, in the language that they could understand.

Alfred serves as a reminder to the rest of us, that simple is often better, just because it works. The lack of electricity never throws him off. The lack of funding means he’s creative in ways that he recruits people from around the city and country to report news to him. He uses his cell phone as the major point of connection between him and the 10,000 (he says) that read his blackboard daily.

Liberia's Blackboard Blogger from WhiteAfrican on Vimeo.

An inspiring and cautionary story. Read All About It: HERE and HERE.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 24, 2009 10:43 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Human Achievement Hour to Light Up the Dark Earth Hour

lighttime.jpgWorried that you won't have anything to do during this coming Saturday's "Earth Hour" except turn on every light in your house, pee into the sea to raise the level of the oceans, hunt down and eat every endangered species within ten miles, slash bicycle tires, and burn a half-ton of coal on your front lawn? Take heart, because now there's a new holiday just for you. CEI Announces "€œHuman Achievement Hour"€ to Coincide with "€œEarth Hour"


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 23, 2009 6:11 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
in Just-spring

What probably keeps the world from being hijacked by the melancholy of intellectuals are its ordinary people. The world's sanity is upheld by people who haven't watched the movies and haven't attended Harvard. - Richard Fernandez


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 23, 2009 12:12 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink

The Office of Public Affairs develops and implements communications strategy for the Department and advises officials within the Department and its bureaus how best to communicate issues and priorities of public interest.

U.S. Treasury - Key Personnel of the Office of Public Affairs Contacts

Assistant Secretary and Director of Policy Planning: Vacant

Senior Advisor and Public Affairs Specialist for
Economic Policy and Management:Vacant

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Public Affairs: Vacant

Director of Public Affairs and Public Affairs Specialist, Domestic Finance: Vacant

Public Affairs Specialist, International Affairs: Vacant

Public Affairs Specialist, Tax Policy, and Terrorism and Financial Intelligence: Vacant

Media Coordinator, Economic Policy, and Management Media Contact: Vacant

Senior Speechwriter: Vacant

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Business Affairs and Public Liaison: Vacant

Senior Advisor for Business Affairs and Public Liaison: Vacant

Special Advisor for Business Affairs and Public Liaison: Vacant

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 23, 2009 9:46 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
"Everything is Broken" The Prophet Dylan Has a Song for Everything

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 23, 2009 9:13 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Obamantion of the Day: Monday, March 23


President Gigglepuss on 60 Minutes:

STEVE KROFT: You’re sitting here. And you’re– you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, “I mean, he’s sitting there just making jokes about (LAUGHTER) money–” How do you deal with– I mean, wh– explain -


STEVE KROFT: –the mood and your laughter.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:Yeah, I mean, there’s got to be–

STEVE KROFT: “Are you punch-drunk?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: No, no. There’s gotta be a little gallows humor to (LAUGHS) get you through the day.

Dr. Johnson would not see the humor: "Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." - Samuel Johnson

Ah, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Or is it, in the immortal words of Dan Quayle, “What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is.” Either way, it's never too soon to say:


[** Bumper sticker on request by Morgan ]


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 22, 2009 8:46 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
How Did We Survive?

asks Doug Ross....

"We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits resulting from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever."

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

We had the good fortune to grow up as kids in America, before the government regulated so much of our lives "for our own good".

Give thanks, for such an age will never occur again.

He's right you know. Sadly, he's right. We had the very best of it and, as always, didn't know it at the time.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 22, 2009 2:13 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"The Country Will Go Bankrupt" Obama in the cockpit will crash the plane


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 22, 2009 12:31 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Regrets? I've had a few, but then again too few to mention..."


"Republicans and democrats acknowledge it’s better to allow Sarah Palin to take your child, and his entire school class, on a sleepover-field-trip for two solid weeks…than to allow Barack Obama to talk to them for thirty seconds. For the democrats, this can’t be admitted out loud because it would cause damage to one’s social standing within a collective...." -- House of Eratosthenes

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 22, 2009 11:27 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Recalculating "Re-CAL-cu-lating"

... because somebody had to do something.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 22, 2009 10:06 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obamanation of the Day, Saturday March 21

Obama makes pitch for budget priorities "I didn't come here to pass on our problems to the next president or the next generation...."

Congressional auditors say will Obama's budget will generate $9.3 trillion in red ink over the next decade.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 21, 2009 8:12 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"AIG Cribs Tour:" Drive-By in Connecticut

Where's a suicide bomber when you need one? On the bus? Of course....


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 21, 2009 7:35 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Futt the Wuck?

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 20, 2009 9:29 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Obamanation of the Day, Friday March 20

Today a twofer as the world's numero uno power couple got their freaks on.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 20, 2009 8:28 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Department of Smart Questions -- Neoneocon Edition

neopic3.jpgIn sharp contrast to the stupid questions of Peggy Noonan (see below), the always astute Neoneocon asks and answers What's behind Obama's Teleprompter addiction?

Obama is addicted to his Teleprompter not only because he knows he sounds better --smoother and smarter-- with it than without. The deeper reason for his reliance on it may just be that he differs so profoundly from the persona he wishes to convey that he quite literally cannot trust himself to speak without it. Shorn of the Teleprompter, he not only runs the risk of revealing a disfluency that could rival (or even exceed?) that of his reviled predecessor George Bush -- he may reveal who he truly is, an angry man with a profoundly radical agenda for America.
Why papers and media outlets are paying pundits like Noonan to write tripe, while writers like Neoneocon go begging, is beyond me.

Until this sort of fundamental disconnect is reversed, the MSM will continue to die.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 20, 2009 2:30 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Department of Stupid Questions -- Peggy Noonan Edition

renocol_peggynoonan.jpgPeggy Noonan is starting to take off the kneepads she so gleefully strapped on last October. Also fading now is Noonan's once palpably moist adulation

Mr. Obama's cabinet picks and other nominations suggest moderation, also maturity...
Still, in her rush to de-adulate, she seems to have lost some insight into her often-touted ability to see behind the scenes in DC.

In today's column Noonan actually wonders

"why, say, the president does not step in and insist on staffing the top level of his Treasury Department, where besieged Secretary Tim Geithner struggles without deputies through his 15-hour days."
Peggy, Peggy, Peggy. Listen, old girl, I know the pressures of one column every week or two are overwhelming, but you can do it if you really try. In that light, has it occurred to you that maybe, just maybe, they've phoned everybody in their "Best & Brightest" rolodex and found that nobody in their right mind wants a job in the Obama Treasury Department?

Peggy, you've got a phone and a decades deep DC rolodex. Pick up the phone and check it out.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 20, 2009 1:57 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dear Iran, You guys are great!

"And the measure of that greatness is not the capacity to destroy, it is your demonstrated ability to build and create." -- Obama on Iran: A New Year, A New Beginning

Latest Iranian creation still being built:

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 20, 2009 12:22 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
They told me that when Bush was President ...

... the Constitution would be destroyed!

Even worse are the clever schemes being cooked up in Congress to retrieve the money by means of some retroactive confiscatory tax. The common law is pretty clear about the impermissibility of ex post facto legislation and bills of attainder. They also happen to be specifically prohibited by the Constitution. We're going to overturn that for $165 million? -Charles Krauthammer - Bonfire of the Trivialities -

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 20, 2009 11:31 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Journalists don't let the sun set on you here

Now that he's got Leno, he doesn't got to give you no stinkin' press passes.

From the president's official schedule: "Later in the afternoon, the President and the First Lady will attend a reception with the National Newspaper Publisher Association in the State Dining Room, where they will be presented the Newsmaker of the Year award. This event is closed to the press." -- Top of the Ticket, Los Angeles Times
I could say more, but the jokes just kind of write themselves.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 20, 2009 10:33 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Iraq After Four Five Six Years In

VMFA-533.jpg[Republished from last year at this time.]

Five years in. An inch of time. Five years in and the foolish and credulous among us yearn to get out. Their feelings require it. The power of their Holy Gospel of "Imagine" compels them. Their overflowing pools of compassion for the enslavers of women, the killers of homosexuals, the beheaders of reporters, and the incinerators of men and women working quietly at their desks, rise and flood their minds until their eyes flow with crocodile tears while their mouths emit slogans scrawled on cardboard. They believe the world is run on wishes and that they will always have three more.

Like savages shambling about some campfire where all there is to eat are a few singed tubers, they paint their faces with the tatterdemalion symbols of a summer of love long sent down to rot with the worms. They clasp hands and sing songs whose lyrics are ash. "We shall... over... come." Overcome what, overcome who? Overcome their nation? Is that their dream? It is the lifelong dream of those that lead them. That much is certain.

Five years in and we see these old rotting rituals trotted out in the streets like some pagan procession of idols and shibboleths, like some furred and feathered fetish shaken against the sky by hunkering witch-doctors, to hold back the dark, to frighten off the evil spirits and graven images that trouble the sleep of the dreamers.

Five years into the most gentle war ever fought, a war fought on the cheap at every level, a war fought to avoid civilian harm rather than maximize it. Picnic on the grass at Shiloh. Walk the Western Front. Speak to the smoke of Dresden. Kneel down and peek into the ovens of Auschwitz. Sit on the stones near ground zero at Hiroshima and converse with the shadows singed into the wall. Listen to those ghost whisperers of war.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 19, 2009 4:36 PM | Comments (109)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Final Frontier of Domestic Decor

But the question is, are you still master of your domain?

The Brothers Judd note "That's nothing, what's really troubling is their Ayn Rand blow-up dolls."

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 19, 2009 10:36 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Speaking Truth to Cower

Shepard Smith eviscerates the congressional beclownment hearings today: "Well, well, well. Wasn't that a quite a little show. Ladies and gentlemen, just facts now. No opinions."

"And furthermore... Barney Frank asking the CEOs to 'name names'? Remember Joe McCarthy?"

HT: Kate @ small dead animals: Fwankwy, My Dear who notes:
After watching most of the testimony on Fox News, I came away thinking the only competent person in the room was the $1 a year Chairman of AIG. Across from him, a pompous posturing grandstanding bloviating herd of swine. And if I noticed, I suspect millions of Americans noticed, too.

Sigh, I try to become more cynical every day, but lately I just can't keep up.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 18, 2009 4:44 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink

AIG asks execs to return bonuses - Mar. 18, 2009

"I don't want to quell that anger -- people are right to be angry, I'm angry,"

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 18, 2009 12:54 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Paid Outrage: AIG Bucks for then Senator Obama


"This whole AIG fiasco shows, once again, why the government shouldn't run anything, because it cannot run anything." -- Lawrence Kudlow

"I don't want to quell the anger!" Obama said today. Okay, let the anger rip.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 18, 2009 11:59 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
New Solution to Global Warming: Kill Your Children

evilchild.jpgWe regretfully announce the arrival of 8,000 tons of CO2, via
Allison Elizabeth
May 15, 2000
6 pounds, 12 ounces
Kay, Chris and Will Calloway

If you doubt that the Global Warming Cult is warming itself up to "crimes against humanity" consider the latest 'original contribution to knowledge' from a barren intellectual:

Paul Murtaugh, a statistician at Corvallis' Oregon State University, claims that our carbon legacy isn't just limited to our own emissions, but 50% of our children's (The other parent gets the other 50%). And 25% of their children's, and so on, and so on. He arrived at this estimate using math. -- Mad Science: Your Child Causes Global Warming
He arrived at this estimate using math. Science at its best. The spirit of "Watch Mr. Wizard" personified.

Seems to me the responsible thing to do now is to 1) not have children and, 2) if you have had some, kill them. Grandchildren too. You do want to save the planet, don't you?

This grant-grubbing 'perfesser' has come a long way from his stunningly ignored papers such as Selective predation by Neomysis mercedis [Opossum Shrimp] in Lake Washington from 1981. His more recent effort in 2003,


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 17, 2009 7:16 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Because a mind is a terrible thing to waste....

It seems to me that it might be possible to salvage Bernard Madoff's unique skill set by sentencing him to four years of community service in Obama's Treasury Department. I understand there are some positions available. He'd fit right in.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 17, 2009 6:42 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Obama Dividend: A Blissful Silence from the "Early Adopters"

muffled-scream.jpgFor all the aggravation and daily doses of "Duh" emitted from the current Training Wheels Institute at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (or perhaps because of it), we've overlooked an unexpected pleasure of these last fifty odd days. This is the steady increase in moments of silence from of the Obamatrons. Although the O-ratings remain high, the breathless blather and spittle-flecked spew of the ravening hordes of recent memory has increasingly fallen from fortissimo to pianissimo.

Yes November's bestial yawps of "Neener... neener... neener" that swept across our fruity plains and, on January 20, 2009, crashed like a tsunami of political orgasm on the steps of the Capitol building, has waned like the fading grunts of some spent great dane on an x-rated Animal Planet special leaving only bones of promises broken and used rhetorical prophylactics bobbing in the spume.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 17, 2009 1:18 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Wedgies or Beheadings for AIG?


O brave new world that has such outrages in it! For wisdom and clarity on the chump-change AIG bonus issue that has so many pairs of bipartisan panties in a twist, I recommend a sane man,TigerHawk, on two key points:
1) What did they know and when did they know it?

My speculation: The Obama administration, including the president or his political staff, has known about these bonuses for quite some time, and the letters from Liddy to the Treasury were requested by the government to provide cover. I further speculate that neither the Treasury nor Liddy wanted this issue to explode until after the bonuses were paid precisely because they could not afford for the people they need to unwind the losing trades to quit before their work is done....

2) What is to be done.
"You cannot make people miserable and not pay them. You have to choose or they will quit and we will not have the skilled people we need to unwind this mess. So either torture, humiliate, and investigate the hundreds of people at AIG and other financial institutions -- none of whom actually created these problems -- who are struggling through all of this and grit your teeth and pay them, or leave them alone to toil in quiet ignominy and screw them out of most of their contracted compensation. For many people, one or the other will suffice, but not both."

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 17, 2009 12:58 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Buh-Bye to the P. I.: Couldn't happen to a more liberal paper. Check that. It can and it will.
"These people deserve to lose, and if the newspaper industry crashes as a byproduct of the economic crunch, then it's a silver lining for a dark cloud. They have done their level best to trash the political system of my country, and I will dance on their grave when they go." -- Tim Oren's Due Diligence: The Newspaper Crash of 2009... And How You Can Help

Ah, the ironies of web-only news. My email alert for local news informs me of the death of the dead-tree Post-Intelligencer with this headline: The 146-year-old Seattle Post-Ingelligencer [sic] will print its last edition Tuesday and will go Web only.

This reduces the number of frothingly liberal daily and weekly newspapers in Seattle to... three -- Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, The [Odious] Stranger. So there won't exactly be a shortage of liberal spew anytime soon in this town.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 16, 2009 10:30 AM | Comments (42)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Our First African-Irish-American President Honored on the Sidewalks of New York


It's not quite a free lunch but for Manhattan it's close. Although corned beef and cabbage were probably a one day special over the weekend, the menu offers popular Irish street fare such as pitas and falafals. Alas a cheap and crunchy "wearin' of the green" chicken dish with a curry dipping sauce seems to be missing. Perhaps the owner (and former cook at the Russian Tea Room) Muhammed "Paddy" O'Rahman can offer these little taste treats just on the market in the always clueless Germany, of course.


[Stand via:Midtown Lunch. "Obama Fingers" via Spiegel Online]

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 16, 2009 8:28 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Report from a Seething Climate-Crazed Cranium

endoftheworld2006_300x300.jpgPresented for your consideration the frothing hallucinations of one Tim Anderson, founder of Z Corporation, maker of "rapid prototyping machines," as he gets his freak on in Climate Sinners in the Jaws of an Angry Dog. True that these sorts of eructations are cheaper than cow pies in a cow pasture these days, but Anderson gets extra points for an embedded Jonathan Edwards reference and exceptionally rapid stroking of his variant of the "We're all a gonna die!" meme.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 14, 2009 5:52 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"The Missiles of October" Redux? It seems to me we've been here before...

Testing... testing... this is only a test.

... but, having been present during the "before" I have no desire to see just how "Kennedyesque" the current President can be. Nor should you. The last time this sort of fooling around by Russia led from hints to actions, the policy of the United States was:

Third: It shall be the policy of this Nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union. -- President Kennedy's Address to the Nation on the Soviet Arms Buildup in Cuba

Things are not nearly at that level, just yet, but "mighty oaks from little acorns grow...."


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 14, 2009 1:10 PM | Comments (39)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Wait for it.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 14, 2009 12:42 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pat Condell Speaks for Me and He's a Brit

Condell tells it like it is with A word about the soldiers. The incident discussed concerns a group of Islamic Insects currently living in Britain. These vermin turned out to trash a group of British soldiers returning from Iraq this week. While this may seem to be just about Britain, it really isn't. Works for this country as well.

Condell's You Tube Channel is Here. Well worth subscribing to. I have.

[HT: Daphne @ Jaded Haven]

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 13, 2009 5:26 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Newsnotes that make you go, "Tell me more..."


In an article today about the tribulations of the rich,Beverly Hills pawnshops snap up artwork, Rolexes, we read this teasing morsel:

"Well, I had the last sale yesterday and the buyer was Michael Jackson," said Iranian-born David Delijani, owner of European Fine Antiques.

"His agent came here about a month ago and he lied to me, he said that he was a business man in construction and asked me to take some pictures here.

"Yesterday he came back to explain the situation and he told me: 'I'm with my celebrity, he's waiting into the car, next door', and in less than five minutes Michael Jackson arrived with two bodyguards, a little boy," Delijani said.

End of information.

Reminds me of William Burrough's crack in The Yage Letters, "In Uraguay, I travelled light. Just a toothbrush and a little boy."

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 13, 2009 3:45 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
It seems to me that the looming deficit....

.... currently projected to be in excess of $1.75 trillion has only one possible solution.

That is to replace this bit of current currency --

-- with this new, improved and highly changed bill:

Of course, being a realist, I'm also going long on wheelbarrows:

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 13, 2009 3:26 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
From "The Decider" to "The Object in Chief"

A confused nation says, "Huh?" Obama: Economic crisis 'not as bad as we think'

"A smidgen of good news and suddenly everything is doing great. A little bit of bad news and ooohh , we're down on the dumps," Obama said. "And I am obviously an object of this constantly varying assessment. I am the object in chief of this varying assessment."
Coming soon, a teleprompter embedded in the brain.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 13, 2009 11:36 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Meanwhile, back at Mount Rushmore

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 12, 2009 11:05 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"It's 3 AM, the phone is ringing..."


Remember "Ready to rule on Day One?" Surveying the scene at the Oval office, Don Surber notes "There is nobody there."

Barack Obama is too busy posing for magazine covers to actually do the job to which he was elected. There is a price to be paid when a president throws a party every other night, weekends in Chicago or Camp David and poses for magazine cover after magazine cover. After 51 days in office, Barack Obama has appointed only 73 people to 1,200 jobs that require Senate confirmation.
That price might be paid at 3 AM

Ring.... ring.... ring.... ring... ring...

Hello! You've reach the New Lincoln's bedroom at the White House. The lights are on, but there's nobody home. Please listen carefully since our menu options and policies may have changed.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 11, 2009 12:09 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It seems to me... Obama "Don't know much about history."

Dear Mr. President,
Please take a couple of hours out of your tizzy schedule to read and absorb, Don't Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned . Time to brush up, lest you beclown yourself further with such statements as:

President Roosevelt didn’t have the luxury of choosing between ending a depression and fighting a war. President Kennedy didn’t have the luxury of choosing between civil rights and sending us to the moon. -- Obama to "the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce"
Sigh. You will note, in passing, that President Roosevelt did not lead the country into war (See 7 December 1941 at Wikipedia, or, if you are too tired to read, screen Tora! Tora! Tora! for an update on this issue.)

As for the concept of John Kennedy "choosing" between civil rights and going to the moon... please fire whatever 30 something speech writer is grinding out this pap and hire somebody who knows about the President who actually did something about civil right, The Democrats' "Forgotten Man" -- Lyndon Johnson. You know, that white cracker Texan who, while President, passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I dare say that without Johnson's actions then, you would not be possible now.

Thanks for listening. I know you can do better.

All the best,
Gerard Van der Leun

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 10, 2009 11:23 AM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Road to a Democrat Led Defeat of America Goes Through Afghanistan


Once there under the umbrella of "hunting down Bin Laden," it would be only a matter of time before that "mission" was declared either a success or "impossible." -- American Digest, October 4

Well, that didn't take long, did it? Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of the Taliban

WASHINGTON — President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq.

What follows is an article I wrote a month before the election on October 4.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 7, 2009 10:53 PM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Stealth Reparations: "Mouth Full of Gimme and a Hand Full of 'Much Obliged' "

reparations-can_web.jpgJohn Derbyshire @ The Corner relates this sage observation:

I was giving him my usual rap about Caracas on the Hudson, and how cardboard box cities will spring up in Miami, Houston and Los Angeles over the coming decade. "It's the poor who always suffer worst from inflation." I said.
"Not in this case," said my friend, "because all the poor in this country are deeply in debt. They'll all have the relative value of that debt wiped away while the middle class will end up bearing the brunt of the burden. All Obama has to do is dilute the currency and he'll be responsible for one of the greatest transfers of wealth in human history without firing a shot."

I submit that there are elements lurking in the Obama legislative offensive even more craven and hypocritical than that. Smarter too.

Suppose, just suppose, you were a politician whose most fervent supporters were looking for a check, a fat check, from the government for wrongs done to their great-great-great-grandparents through slavery. This yearning for unearned money is what has been dubbed, Reparations. It's been a popular dream in and out of the surviving urban ghettos for decades. Nothing focuses the mind of the professionally indigent -- and those set up to serve them -- more than the vision of globs of money descending upon them from the Great Father in Washington.

But at the same time you are a smart politician. You know that just pounding a gigantic honeypot labeled "Reparations" down the throats of the taxpayers would create a firestorm of argument. Not only about the money but about the recipients as well. You want Americans to have a full and frank, no-holds-barred "conversation" about race? Just announce you're going to pay one race off.

The quest for reparations goes back long before the Civil War, and emerged after in the concept of "40 acres and a mule" that were given and sometimes taken back from freed slaves. It has been kept alive up to this day through a series of groups whose special pleading has grown sharper as the distance in time from slavery has increased. The issue slipped beneath the surface of American political life during the recent campaign as did so many others but that does not mean it has sunk. As a quest, reparations is always ready to resurface.

It's hard to encapsulate what is wrong, deeply wrong, with reparations, but Thomas Sowell comes close with:


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 5, 2009 11:38 AM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Thursday, 3/05

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 5, 2009 9:53 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Stimulus Economics Simplified

The Final Stimulus Package Explained

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 4, 2009 7:47 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Leonard Cohen Live: The Podcast-Download of the Day, Week, Month, Year, Decade

Get this now. Just go to Leonard Cohen, Live From The Beacon Theatre @ NPR Music and download the one hour free podcast of this concert.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 4, 2009 5:18 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Dawn of "The Morning After" is beginning to break on Christopher "Quisling" Buckley The strange thing is that one feels almost unpatriotic, entertaining negative thoughts about Mr. Obama’s grand plan, as if one were indulging in—call it—the audacity of nope.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 4, 2009 12:53 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
VIA: Wednesday, 3/04

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 3, 2009 5:31 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Days of Miracle and Wonder: Earth from Above


Snow Along the East Coast March 3, 2009 Children were mostly back in school, and trains were mostly running on time by March 3, 2009, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture.

Skies have almost completely cleared over the East Coast in this true-color image, and a wide swath of snow coats the ground. South of Chesapeake Bay, the snow sweeps inland and stretches southward into Georgia. In the north, Lake Ontario appears ice-free, but some ice coats neighboring Lake Erie. Off the East Coast, clouds form streets over the ocean, forming similar patterns to cloud streets over the Greenland Sea days earlier.

Bringing a combination of snow, wind, and freezing rain, the early March storm caused some 500 car crashes in New Jersey, led to a 15-mile traffic jam in North Carolina, and sent 50 cars into a Maryland ditch. Heavy, wet snow in Virginia broke tree branches and downed power lines. Airlines grounded flights and home improvement stores sold out their stocks of show shovels and bags of salt. In Philadelphia, however, flower enthusiasts braved the wicked weather to attend the city’s annual (indoor) flower exhibition.[Follow the link for very high resolution.]

Detail: New Jersey, New York City, Long Island

These are the days of miracle and wonder
This is the long distance call
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all

The way we look to a distant constellation
That's dying in a corner of the sky
Therse are the days of miracle and wonder
And don't cry baby, don't cry
Don't cry

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 3, 2009 4:09 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
From Your Lips to God's Ear

Found at: Apuntes Criticos: Match Box Labels

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 3, 2009 12:20 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Stimulusol XR

VIA: The essential Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 2, 2009 6:13 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Rush vs Doofus: Once Again I Am Proud, Damned Proud, Not to Be a Republican


Michael Steele, the Already Rusting Great New Hope of the Republicans, beclowned himself -- not for the first and not for the last time -- when he offered up the brain-dead observation:

"Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh's whole thing is entertainment," Steele said. "Yes, it is incendiary. Yes, it is ugly."

Actually, it seems to me that the ugly thing going in the Republican Party these days is the cheap effort to "compete" with the style and appearance of the Democratic leadership rather than the substance of its nefarious aims. It certainly cannot be said that the rise of Steele is utterly unconnected to the election of Obama, but if Steele's slam of Limbaugh is indicative of his "substance," I'll wait for the resurrection of "The Know-Nothings or the Whigs before giving allegiance to any party.

I don't know about you, but I am fed up with the current Republican party-animal-line of trashing their supposed constituency.


Posted by Vanderleun Mar 2, 2009 2:49 PM | Comments (26)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"A sea-change / Into something rich and strange:" Macropinna microstoma

Researchers solve mystery of deep-sea fish with tubular eyes and transparent head

"Full fathom five thy father lies;/ Of his bones are coral made;/ Those are pearls that were his eyes..."


O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!


And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

A stunning video of an amazing and mysterious creature:

"Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute recently solved the half-century-old mystery of a fish with tubular eyes and a transparent head. Ever since the "barreleye" fish Macropinna microstoma was first described in 1939, marine biologists have known that its tubular eyes are very good at collecting light. However, the eyes were believed to be fixed in place and seemed to provide only a "tunnel-vision" view of whatever was directly above the fish's head. A new paper by Bruce Robison and Kim Reisenbichler shows that these unusual eyes can rotate within a transparent shield that covers the fish's head. This allows the barreleye to peer up at potential prey or focus forward to see what it is eating."

All of which, for no particular reason, brought to mind this question posed by Cobb in December, "Imagine if God existed but was sufficiently advanced such that we couldn't identify him for another 1000 years. Where does that leave the scientific atheist?"

I don't know about you, but I'd say it leaves the "scientific atheist" full fathom five, deep in the dark, and without the benefit of a transparent head that will help him descry the food floating in front of his face.

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 2, 2009 9:15 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunday Meditation: Our Text is Exodus 20


Case in Point: "A body painting done on nude people that's an optical illusion that creates an image of Obama when viewed from a certain angle? Well, OK... I guess..." VIA: Flares into Darkness: Jumping Jehosephats!

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
-- Exodus 20

Of course, this is all just an extension of the Bush Worship of the Last 8 Years. Isn't it. No? But, a commenter notes, what about:

Remember all the adulation bestowed on President Bush? This is nooooo different! How about the "W" tattoos that seven out of ten right wingers still proudly wear on sensitive areas of the body? Couldn't score a chick without one! And what about all the giant Bush murals on every public building? Or the statues in butter, chocolate, or ice that you saw at every wedding, banquet, or holiday feast. Not to mention the toe-tapping, lighter flicking songs of praise that every rock band recorded if they wanted to get a record on the radio. And the Bush-as-Rambo style comic books that are still flying off the shelves- what about them, HUH? And the GWB toys, the board games, the action figures...

Posted by Vanderleun Mar 1, 2009 6:35 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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