Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Caption Me!


The original caption reads, "Secret Service agents stand watch as Mr Obama practises before an event."

I'm sure we can do better.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 30, 2009 2:11 PM | Comments (42)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In the Future Everything About Your Life Will Be Cheaper and Crumbier. Dumb Too.

Yet another crapulous contraption made by eunuchs. I for one decline to live the recycled life of these pious pecksniffs who infect the biosphere.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 29, 2009 10:35 PM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Righteous Brothers: Arlen Specter Joins the Party of Phil Spector



Posted by Vanderleun Apr 29, 2009 6:23 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Drudge Done Right

Don Surber
Don Surber サ About

I窶况e been with the Charleston Daily Mail for 24 years, the last 21 as an editorial writer and columnist. The National Society of Newspaper Columnists named me the best columnist in the land, under 100,000 circulation, in 2000.
Jules Crittenden
Jules Crittenden サ About

Jules Crittenden is a Boston Heraldeditor and columnist who has reported on politics, crime, science, foreign affairs, and maritime and military matters in the United States, Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 28, 2009 12:59 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
We Need a White House "Stupid Service"

I'm an adamantine supporter of the "Secret Service" and it's mission to protect the President. But couldn't that agency spin-off three or four agents for a "Stupid Service" whose bizarro world duty would be to seek out the people in the White House stupid enough to pull off this stunt and drown them in the shallow end of the gene pool give them a stern reprimand? Would that be asking too much?

View more news videos at:

Jumbo Jet, F-16 Buzz Lady Liberty, Put New York on Edge

"On edge?" On EDGE? I'd say that when you have people fleeing the Hudson River waterfront screaming, "on edge" doesn't quite cover it.

As someone who stood across the East River and saw the towers fall, I know exactly what was going through the minds of New Yorkers today when this gigantic clusterfuck showed up in the skies. And that was terror. (More than a few might have spared a moment to regret voting for the current clump of zombie bozos lurching about in the West Wing gnawing each other's brainzzz.)


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 27, 2009 8:06 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Anything to Declare?


"Visas? I don't got to show you no steenkin' visas!" You'd think some people would at least try to stay on the down-low, but no. Marco Lugo walked through Miami International Airport Monday after arriving on a flight from Mexico City for a family visit.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 27, 2009 6:15 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink


. . . . . . . . . . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
My name is Ozymandius, King of Kings,
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

-- -- Ozymandius by Shelley

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 27, 2009 5:35 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Poster of the Week (So Far)


OK, now we're getting to the point on the Monty Python planet where the Brit walks in and says, "Too silly. New sketch." At Cobb: Change

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 27, 2009 1:04 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Two for Today


I'm working on something rather extensive for, maybe, tomorrow. In the meantime, you'll want to read the two following essays by Sippican and The Doctor, two writers who are consistently excellent.

Sippican Cottage: Big Mistake

Long after all his help was mold, he'd still descend the stairs like some baron. You'd have to wait there like a peon, hat in hand. Hat in hand wasn't just an expression to him. If he came down and you had a hat on your head in his lobby, he'd turn right around without speaking. When he had a maid or something still left to smooth it over, you had a chance to get at him again. Now, forget it....

The Doctor: Truth & Consequences

We live in an age where the notion of truth, of absolutes which transcend the individual and society, is increasingly under assault. Ours is an age of radical individualism, wherein man alone becomes the sole arbiter of what is right or wrong, where moral relativism reigns, where postmodernism trades absolute truth for “narratives”, which vary from individual to individual, culture to culture, and age to age.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 27, 2009 11:35 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
HOLP! And Now a Message from Yet Another Sponsor

Just in time for MOTHER'S DAY!


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 27, 2009 9:06 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"By the pricking of my thumbs something wicked this way comes."

"Energy crisis, severe recession, now Swine Flu - did someone insert a line of code that said GOTO 1975?" - James Lileks (Lileks) on Twitter

Ah, Distopia, disaster and death. It seems we are half in love with all three easeful states. But don't panic, because as you can see here Gary Sinise of CSI:NY is on the case. And when Mac Taylor gets his forensic team and gigantic lab on the job, you can at least look longingly at Melina Kanakaredes as you expire. There are worse ways to go.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 26, 2009 10:38 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
You can follow the news on "Swine Flu" or you can follow the news on "torture"...

... either way the effect on your mental health is the same:


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 26, 2009 1:57 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Virus Does Not Travel at the Speed of Tweet, But the Tweet of the Virus Does


And that's just one stream flowing into the rising river of panic. Drudge did his level best to raise the flood yesterday when he managed, at one point, to stack about 10-15 headline links above the blood red screaming head.

But services like Bloombergare also doing their level best to conflate fact with fear:

"The first case was seen in Mexico on April 13. The outbreak coincided with the President Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico City on April 16. Obama was received at Mexico’s anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist who died the following day from symptoms similar to flu, Reforma newspaper reported. The newspaper didn’t confirm if Solis had swine flu or not."

Slap a face-mask on your keyboard, kids. There's going to be no escaping this tsunami of alarm online. It's everywhere and now it's here. But dropping your net connection will not inoculate you from the infovirus either.

How quickly can Swine Flu make you sick? About 90 minutes of CNN should do it.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 26, 2009 8:04 AM | Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
BREAKING! Perez Hilton accepts exclusive North American rights to distribute swine flu!

Caution, this may hurt your eyes, so I've hidden it beyond the jump.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 25, 2009 2:09 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Saturday Morning News

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 25, 2009 7:12 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dear Greens, You Want to Save the Earth?

Here's a clue on where to start. Lay off the US and get to work on the North Korean city of Hyesan.


Write when you're done and then we'll talk. Waitin' on you to show the courage of your convictions.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 24, 2009 3:02 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Attention "Returning Combat Veterans:" Napolitano Does Have a Clue


Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind—

-- Dickenson

Humor hides hard truths; truths told at slant. Indeed, that's one of the social functions of jokes. Jokes let us think things unthinkable. Case in point this list, published in jest at BLACKFIVE: The Real Problem (Thanks, Rick.)

The humor here derives from the recently released report from the Obama administration, a report begun under Bush but buffed and polished and released by Obama, of what the government sees as threats to the country, and more importantly, itself. When it was seen that "right wing extremists" were listed as a threat, and associated with those extremists were "returning combat veterans," there was a firestorm of criticism that caused some backpedaling from Napolitano and the Obama administration. It was the usual hemming and hawing and "We really didn't mean it the way you read it" mumbles.

And then, as it does, the administration moved on to it's next bright and shiny object it holds up three times a week in order to distract any Americans who might still be able to pay attention, and to control the news cycle. Professional distraction and the control of the news cycle are job one in the current administration, and you'd do well to remember that. It's a government hand in a media glove arrangement these days, and the glove fits.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 24, 2009 10:10 AM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Bullshit Also Rises

The election's over but MSNBC's online polling stations are still open!

Rises? It never stops flowing in no matter how high the No-BS sandbags are piled. I'm starting to think that even the sandbags are stuffed. Other sectors of our manufacturing economy may be slammed and shuttered, but the United States Bullshit factories are fuming furiously; running three shifts with the blast furnaces heated up to 11.

This request just in via my email:


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 22, 2009 4:56 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The O-Baby! Boomlet - or - Come August There's Gonna Be Some New Obamas in Town

obama-baby2.jpgThe last few days have, at last, been sunny and warm in Seattle. As a result, I've been out walking around. Just about everyone else in this city where moss grows on your north and south side has been out too. By this time of year, Seattlites suck up any stray sunshine like jonesing junkies sucking their crack pipes.

On Sunday I went to Seattle Center for the low key Japanese Cherry Blossom festival. Blossoms, ikebana exhibits, one man in a kimono sharpening a samurai blade, calligraphy coloring books... done. Seattle Center also has a number of other attractions such as the execrable Experience Music Project that squats on the edge of the center like so much discarded rainbow colored tin-foil toilet tissue.

It also has a cheesy carny arcade, a ferris wheel, a dwarf roller coaster, and a number of other attractions designed to lure the younger set out for a romp. And when it is sunny and rompish in Seattle the younger set comes out stripped for action. Shorts, t-shirts, and the People's Republic of Seattle mandated sleeveless fleece vest. And since Seattle is, going away, the whitest second class city in the nation, you see a lot of pasty flesh pass you by -- or wobble by, as the case may be.

I saw a lot of it on Sunday and this afternoon as well. Up on the sky island of Queen Anne and down in the swampy arboretum as well. And I noticed one thing.

There seemed to be an unusual number of slightly pregnant 20-30-40 something women around. Not stunningly pregnant as in, "Ah ha! Another woman trying to smuggle a basketball into the park!," but slightly pregnant; just past noticeable and into "Now that woman is with child."


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 21, 2009 8:57 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something for Everyone, a Tragi-Comedy Tonight! The Soft Marxism of America's Left


How, you might ask, can an ordinary, everyday American liberal resist the onslaught of the bottom four factors of 1) "You want to be nice to the Planet, don't you?", 2) "You want to be nice to people, don't you?", 3) "You want to think nice thoughts, don't you?", and 4) "You don't want anything bad to happen to your livelihood, lifestyle, or life, do you?" The answer not only, "They can't," but also "They don't want to. It's not nice." Bumper sticker for the Liberal American: "I am a NICE person." Epitaph for the Liberal American: "He Was Nice.... and Easy."

Chart by the ever-sane Dr. Sanity: @ THE POLITICAL LEFT: UNITED IN HATE WITH AMERICA'S FOES where she explains these factors in greater detail.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 21, 2009 5:27 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The All Purpose O-pology

TO: White House Staff
FROM: David Axelrod

RE: Standard O-Pology Policy [For immediate release to loyalists]

The continuing strain on our beloved President Obama of His world-girdling apology tour is beginning to show on our Commander-in-Chief. In addition, even with several hundred more aides in the White House than his predecessors, the effort of crafting new craven and groveling statements is beginning to tax even those resources. In the interest of a more efficient government, our beloved President today signed off on the following document which will be used henceforth for all state occasions.

All Purpose O-pology

I, [SAY YOUR NAME AND TITLE], come to [NAME EVENT / COUNTRY / MEDIA OPPORTUNITY / CHANCE ENCOUNTER] today as the very first penitent, conscience-stricken, regretful and contrite American President. Speaking as the one and only unifying voice for My country, I beg your indulgence to say that all Americans now share the pain our very existence causes you and we deeply regret it. We repent of our lives, our freedom, and our prosperity with every shred of our American soul. Hear now our eternal confession of sin and error.

Speaking for all Americans, of the past, the present, and the future, I am ashamed to have hurt your feelings and bruised your tender national sensitivities.

As the newly minted, sharply dressed, scrubbed and shining symbol of America, I invite you all to see Me instead as a base and abject supplicant ashamed of My cheesy, contemptible, insignificant, shabby, small, and pathetic country.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 21, 2009 11:54 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Perez Hilton: Parents, gay or straight, would you want your son engaged to this man?

Invader from Mars Hilton: Yes, he does have the chip implanted in the back of his neck.

Read more on "the shameful intolerance from the tyrannical left and gay totalitarians." @ The Western Experience. "Shameful?" Oh, they left the Planet of Shame aeons ago.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 21, 2009 9:18 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Well, you gotta cut somewhere.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 21, 2009 7:58 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Regretfully, American Digest Has Had to Add Another Sponsor


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 20, 2009 12:32 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Susan Boyle sings "Cry Me a River" on a 1999 Charity CD

With only 1,000 original copies made, the CD is poised to become one of the most collectible on the planet.

For purposes of comparison, here's the immortal and smoldering Julie London covering the same song:

At a time when the President of the United States feels compelled to use a teleprompter for even the most minor appearances, when Grecian columns are necessary props for campaign speeches, when public figures are as carefully packaged as your morning cereal boxes, after watching plain Susan Boyle sing with a voice for the ages, you feel like you have witnessed a real person do something that's real. And right. And good. No, extraordinarily good.

She is, in effect, the anti-Obama. No artifice. No teleprompter. As likely to stumble over words, or do a spontaneous bump and grind as she is to belt out a song that could leave you with chill-bumps. -- William Tate

HT: Ligneus @ Road Sassy

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 17, 2009 8:45 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Is this mano-a-mano strokefest getting out of hand?

I mean, I'm no expert but don't you sorta have to date first?

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 17, 2009 7:02 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Start Your Day with Susan Boyle..

HERE. Then come back.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 17, 2009 2:15 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When It Comes to Web Pages Drenched in Graphic Garbage,

the all-time "winner" in the endless competition to see who can pile the most crap on a single page has to be home page makes you want to claw your eyes from your head to stop the pain.

It is simply stupefying to see one site with so little sense of lucidity and simplicity in design. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it has become "A site made by an idiot. Full of so much sound and fury it signifies nothing." For all that they have done and will do I'm giving them my "Pinhead Pundits" award.

Too bad. They've got good writers.

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 17, 2009 1:46 AM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
If You Don't Know About 4-Block World, You Should

Short, sharp and to the point. That's what Tom McMahon's up to at 4-Block World: Chuckles and Angst.



Posted by Vanderleun Apr 17, 2009 1:16 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hint to James Wolcott: When You Look Like the Spawn of Jabba the Hut and Mr. Toad, Don't Advertise TV Appearances

Smart. Brainzzzz! "You know, I get, uh, four newspapers delivered every day!"

Once upon a time even the 4th string liberal commentators at least made an effort at cleanliness before appearing on TV, but no more. I'm sure at some time in the past, James Wolcott read one of the innumerable stories on how those close-up sweating moments on 60 Minutes indict liars, but he has evidently forgotten it. These days this mercifully brief video segment only underscores the fact that some people will do anything to get on televison; some people will even do CSPAN.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 16, 2009 9:50 PM | Comments (30)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On Susan Boyle: This Is the Essay to Read

It's by Colette Home at the Herald. It not only encapsulates Boyle's now remarkable, but previously unnoticed story, it says what so many millions are thinking: The Beauty That Matters Is Always On The Inside

Susan is a reminder that it's time we all looked a little deeper. She has lived an obscure but important life. She has been a companionable and caring daughter. It's people like her who are the unseen glue in society; the ones who day in and day out put themselves last. They make this country civilised and they deserve acknowledgement and respect.

Susan has been forgiven her looks and been given respect because of her talent. She should always have received it because of the calibre of her character.

Britains Got Talent 2009 Susan Boyle 47 Year Old Singer
Uploaded by kj1983
The number of people who have seen this worldwide is probably well above 50 million. I've seen at least ten times. But, what the hell, one more, or 12 more, or more wouldn't hurt me. It would even work, just a little, to make me a better human being. Go ahead and click again. It'll do the same for you.

UPDATE: The Anchoress adds a deeper understanding on the deeper meaning of Susan Boyle.

I suspect it is because Susan Boyle has reminded us of something we’ve forgotten for too long. Hypnotised by Madison Avenue and Hollywood and the culture of youth, we’ve forgotten that the things they offer to us as “the norm” are ideals, and mostly fake ones. In embracing those fake ideals (how much money was spent last year in cosmetic surgeries and teeth-whitening?) we’ve forgotten that beyond all of those superficialities, we each have within us something of much greater value than perky breasts and unlined skin: the divine spark, the God-kiss, that lives in each and every one of us - no exceptions.

I think we look at Susan Boyle and her artistry (and she is clearly an artist) and we think, “wait a second…that’s not the narrative! Ordinary people who look ordinary, and live obscurely and who don’t run with the herd are not supposed to be great.” And then we dare to think: “what if there is greatness in all of us?”

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 16, 2009 4:23 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Thursday's Links Have Far to Go

    Posted by Vanderleun Apr 16, 2009 1:15 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Separated at ideological Birth

    janet_reno-us-portrait.jpg janet_napolitano.jpg

    Janet Reno and Janet Napolitano.

    Powerful is sisterhood.

    Posted by Vanderleun Apr 15, 2009 8:06 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Seattle Teaparty Turnout is Around 500

    Just back from downtown Seattle Teaparty. I put attendance at around 500 people. To get this number I did a grid count from several perspectives around the crowd and spoke to the head SPD officer on scene who gave me the same estimate, "This place will hold a grand crowded and it's not crowded."

    Downtown Crossing, Seattle, 5:30 PM

    Downtown Crossing, Seattle, 6:30 PM

    Posted by Vanderleun Apr 15, 2009 7:08 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    It's Wednesday and it's time for Tea



      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 15, 2009 12:12 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
      Tea-ed Off? Remember the Rage

      Coincidence? Why would you think that? Are you some kind of extremist?

      An extreme proposal: Pay taxes on October 15. Vote the first Tuesday in November.

      "Unfortunately, taxpayer outrage about Big Government usually coincides closely with Tax Day in April, which is way far away from Voting Day in November. As the graphic above shows, it's been 162 days since we last voted in November 2008, and it will be 202 days before the next election, so Tax Day and Voting Day are almost as far apart as two recurring annual dates can be.

      "Here's an idea: Move Tax Day and Voting Day much closer together, like perhaps in the same month or same week, instead of being about 6 months apart. " -- CARPE DIEM: Taxpayers Are Really Tea-ed Off

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 15, 2009 8:54 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      As they say, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

      If that's true, this pooch is going to be the hardest working woofer in town. I wonder if he can be trained as a seeing-eye dog.

      "Portuguese water dog Bo made his official debut at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Tuesday. This is the first dog’s fourth home in his six months of life."

      Now some cynics will wonder how long it might be before Bo is sniffing the butt of this dog on the White House lawn....


      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 14, 2009 3:17 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink

      Unmanned Flying Wing Reported Seen in Afghanistan (Artist's conception)


      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 14, 2009 10:43 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      41 Seconds in Which Social Media Avatars Diagnose the Condition of Mister Mainstream Media

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 13, 2009 1:14 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Tweets Just In



      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 13, 2009 9:44 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      God Bless the Easter Seals!


      SOMALI BASIN (April 12, 2009) Maersk-Alabama Capt. Richard Phillips, right, stands alongside Cmdr. Frank Castellano, commanding officer of USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) after being rescued by U.S Naval Forces off the coast of Somalia. Philips was held hostage for four days by pirates. -- Navy News Service - Eye on the Fleet

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 12, 2009 12:34 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink


      A slogan for our time in more ways that uno.

      [Click on image and download one to print today!]

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 11, 2009 11:18 AM | Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      "Shut Up." Andrew Klaven Explains It All to You

      HT:Little Miss Attila

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 11, 2009 8:01 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Is it humanly possible to go 3 days without an Obama post?

      I don't know but, as God is my witness, AS GOD IS MY WITNESS!, I'm going to try starting right now, 9:10 PM Good Friday evening. Pray for me.

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 10, 2009 9:09 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Breaking! First Obama Medical Crisis


      After a week spent suffering from more than the usual Biden pain in his ass, the White House announced this evening that Joe Biden will be surgically removed from Pres. Obama's backside.

      "A biopsy of the Biden growth was taken at Walter Reed and found to be malignant and growing faster than hair plugs on a Chia pet," said Press Sec. Gibbs. "We had to act quickly as this was clearly a matter of Obamanational security."

      Assuming that Biden survives being cut off from his air and food supply, the Vice President will be flown to American warships on station off the Somalia coast and swapped out for the American Captain currently being held hostage by pirates.

      When asked "What then?" by resident press corps mummy Helen Thomas, WH press secretary Gibbs said, "Frankly, dear Helen, we don't give a damn."

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 10, 2009 9:03 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Take 2 Minutes and Watch This. You Won't Be Sorry. At All.

      The Way We Get By

      It will make this Good Friday better. I promise. And it is only the trailer.

      HT: Surber

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 10, 2009 7:27 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Magna Est Veritas

      Olympic Peninsula, Washington Coast

      Here, in this little Bay,
      Full of tumultuous life and great repose,
      Where, twice a day,
      The purposeless, glad ocean comes and goes,
      Under high cliffs, and far from the huge town,
      I sit me down.
      For want of me the world's course will not fail:
      When all its work is done, the lie shall rot;
      The truth is great, and shall prevail,
      When none cares whether it prevail or not.

      -- Coventry Patmore (1823-1896)

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 10, 2009 11:54 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Exurban League: Obama Reaches Out to 'Moderate' Pirate Community


      "Since the pirates are still holding the captain, I have sent FBI negotiators to facilitate his safe and speedy release. I assure his friends and family that I will not stop until this man-made disaster is resolved in a peaceful, tolerant and ecologically-sound manner.... For too long, America has been too dismissive of the proud culture and invaluable contributions of the Pirate Community. Whether it is their pioneering work with prosthetics, husbandry of tropical birds or fanciful fashion sense, America owes a deep debt to Pirates." -- The full text of Obama statement can be found at that outpost of sanity deep in our southwestern wastes @ Exurban League

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 10, 2009 3:28 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink

      The wounded surgeon plies the steel
      That questions the distempered part;
      Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
      The sharp compassion of the healer's art
      Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

          Our only health is the disease
      If we obey the dying nurse
      Whose constant care is not to please
      But to remind of our, and Adam's curse,
      And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

          The whole earth is our hospital
      Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
      Wherein, if we do well, we shall
      Die of the absolute paternal care
      That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

          The chill ascends from feet to knees,
      The fever sings in mental wires.
      If to be warmed, then I must freeze
      And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
      Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

          The dripping blood our only drink,
      The bloody flesh our only food:
      In spite of which we like to think
      That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood --
      Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

      -- Eliot, East Coker

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 10, 2009 2:22 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
      Nationalize the Money Machines!


      When cutting a porn film for maximum impact, there's an old bromide that the folks in the editing room know only too well: "Cut to the f**king." It seems to me that getting from here to there is taking entirely too long for this adminustration. It's time they quit diddling around will bailouts, TARPS, and Zombie banks, and just give the people what they want -- money machines that will never, ever, run dry.

      You may be worried about your 501K. I may be concerned about my position in US steel. But the hard core of the Obama constituency is fretting over one thing and one thing only, the terrible specter of a Government check that hits the bank but doesn't come out the business end of an ATM.

      You think you've seen trouble when the stock market augers into the ground like a poleaxed pigeon? Wait until a day arrives when the ATMs don't stand and deliver. That's when canned goods and ammo will seem like manna from heaven.

      So the Omen might as well "cut to the f**king" and get the ATMs firmly under government control. Once that happens, who needs banks?

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 9, 2009 8:24 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      "We Must Disenthrall Ourselves."


      From In Love With A. Lincolnby Maria Kalman. More than worth the long, long scroll.

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 9, 2009 8:08 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      The Deer in the Headlights


      What can be going through a deer's mind just before the deer goes through the windshield? The dazzle? Something so bright that it overwhelms the flight impulse which always comes before the fight reaction? The tendency of deer to freeze when caught in the sudden glare of an oncoming disaster is so well recognized that it has evolved into the familiar catch phrase; a phase used for any life situation in which the threat is so overwhelming and sudden that no survival reaction is possible. Instead, the animal remains rooted in place -- nailed to its perch, as it were.

We now see this dreaded situation acted out daily along the Information Highway where an increasingly large number of our fellow citizens have assumed this dazed position on the highway of history. They seem surprisingly content to stand spot-welded to the tarmac as the glare of ruin and the promise of destruction rolls towards them, air horn suspiciously silent.


      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 9, 2009 2:03 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Time to Get Detroit Back on the Road


      "How many wheel chairs with motors is General Motors going to have to make before anyone wants to buy one?" - Rush Limbaugh

      Yesterday we noted that the gelded GM proposes to reverse-engineer its sexuality by merging with the metrosexual vehicle company, Segway, to make the OWay, a vehicle that can make testicles retract on sight and any man's voice go up three octaves just by sitting in it. It is the very model for a modern metrosexual. People such as James Wolcott would cash out their MTF fund to buy one. Gazing at the vehicle brings to mind the old WWII movies in which the Nazi on the motorcycle is tooling along the alpine roads oblivious to the piano wire stretched across it and rooting for the wire.

      But rescue, real rescue, for GM is on the way.

      Today, that great American Iowahawk announces The Iowahawk Council of Automotive Advisors

      Soon after the election, former law professor Barack Obama first floated another law professor as his "Car Czar" ( although he ended up settling on the only thing arguable more useless in a car emergency: a Benz-driving financier with a journalism degree).
      In despair, Iowahawk offers his services because:
      Unlike nearly every other moron giving advice to Detroit, I actually know how to build a car.
      As such, I realize the industry is not suffering from a lack of law professors -- it is suffering from a lack of imagination. They gave us cup holders and electric seat warmers when we wanted angel fur and bubble tops. They pushed micro-clown cars and hybrids when the market was rife for chromed 8-deuce Chrysler Hemis. Well, Bucko, all that outmoded thinking is going to end during the reign of Czar Dave.
      And out it will go as we review some of the models (some with supermodels) that Iowahawk presents as prototypes for a new birth of American freedom.


      Here's the full range of models from his Council of Automotive Advisors

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 9, 2009 11:59 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Today, the brilliant Richard Fernandez, speaks for me:
      Sometimes I think the only function that a blogger can perform is to become a chronicler of the descent into insanity. The issues are no longer Right versus Left; Conservative versus Liberal. To some extent it is a battle between sanity and Looney Tunes. The word €œchronicler€ is apt because like one of those narrators of Gothic tales, the diarist is aware of a certain inevitability. The bell will ring from the sepulcher; the door will creak open revealing some sending from the night; and the Raven will speak at appointed time. It is all consistent, but only in a nightmare.


      The best thing to do is keep on trucking. Get some Turkish bread and cover it with some chopped bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and cheese and stick it under the grill. In the meantime chop some tomatoes and sautee it in peanut oil, then mix in a beaten egg to make an omelet. When both are ready, drag out some chilled red from the refrigerator and have dinner. Beats breathing sulfur. -- Belmont Club » 2012

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 9, 2009 11:28 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      The OWay: Synergy for Our Two Biggest Transportation Failures


      They call it P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility). I call it the OWay and I say "Shoot on sight!"

      GM, Segway to Make Vehicle

      General Motors Corp. is teaming with Segway Inc., maker of the upright, self-balancing scooters, to build a new type of two-wheeled vehicle designed to move easily through congested urban streets.
      Ah yes, General Motors and Segway (that paragon of technorati BS) will be slammed together at last, courtesy of the Government. It's the new math (Failure + Failure X Government = Success).

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 8, 2009 3:14 PM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      An Open Letter from Obama-Americans to Islam: Please Come and Kill More of Us.

      fallingman.jpgTO: ISLAM


      It's 9/10 again in America! Our President has said the U.S. "is not and never will be at war with Islam." We say, "Come out, come out, wherever you are! Olly olly oxen free!"

      You may have asked yourselves if, with the apotheosis of Barack Hussein Obama, the American supporters of the President of the Millennium are impatient with you. Yes, it's true. You are not fulfilling our desires which we believe we have made clear with our election and deification of Obama. So let's be clear about one thing: as supporters of Obama we thirst for death. Our death. Now that President Obama has signaled we can kill our babies, our brain dead (except if they are serving Democrats), and our too old or too sick, we'd like to move on to ourselves because, as any good Democrat will tell you, there can never be too much death for us!

      We would like you, at your earliest opportunity, to slake our deaththirst - especially that of the whitest and therefore most guilty among us - by slaughtering us wholesale.


      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 8, 2009 2:23 PM | Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Saving Pvt. Newspapers

      Here's a national marketing campaign I thought up that stresses the best feature and biggest benefit of newspapers:


      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 7, 2009 2:33 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      One Moment in Time: Israel vs Palestinians

      A masked man ran away from a stun grenade hurled by Israeli police during clashes in Jerusalem Tuesday. -- WSJ Photo Journal

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 7, 2009 12:10 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
      Obama's Submarine

      Obama In The Sea of Hope

      Obama's gonna MAKE US RICH! (An answering machine message a Lubbock Texas Bank after the bank had notified a customer that the bank needed to repossess their car. Click to play and wait for the last five seconds.)


      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 6, 2009 5:52 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Just When You've Regained Your Faith in Humanity, Satan Invents This

      The "Sigorney:" When baby needs changing, you'll be the first to know!

      "Uncle Gerard, at what point did the drowning of Western Civilization in an ocean of hellfire become inevitable?"


      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 5, 2009 12:17 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Just When You're About to Lose Faith in Humanity, God* Tells You About This!

      This.... Is.... Just.... Wonderful!

      That's it. I'm going out into Spring. You should too. After you watch this you'll go singing and dancing all the way.

      * Via one of his messengers, The Anchoress.

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 4, 2009 3:57 PM | Comments (28)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Obama Trends Up While Employment Trends Down


      Google Trends: An Oracle for Our Time -- Google Trends: obama, employment. Who says a search engine god can't have a sense of humor?

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 4, 2009 1:57 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
      It seems to me...

      that there's a hidden benefit to the nation following the Iowa Supreme Court just up and telling Iowans that gay marriage is okay. We're now less than 18 months away from the debut of the new TV reality show: Gay Divorce Court. I don't know about you, but I'm laying down some vintage Orville Redenbacher.

      The promos for "Gay Divorce Court" might go something like this:

      "You're cute... but not cute enough."

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 3, 2009 8:30 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      3 Kinds of Black, Liberal Structuralism, and Rudyard Kipling

      "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?"

      There are white thinkers and black thinkers. And then there's Cobb.
      Three Kinds of Black: "It turned out that I have no 'own people,' and it's the hardest lesson of all. No black Americans have their own people because we, of all people, have striven the most against being owned. So I keep repeating that question, a basic human question -- when are people going to realize that they don't own people? When are black people going to learn that they don't own black people? When is humanity going to realize that they don't own humanity? I suppose never, which is when we'll all realize at once that we are God's children -- and we don't even really know God. The alternative belief is more comforting and wrong."
      Liberal Structuralism: Overwrought laws implemented by overlarge government bureaucracies for overspoiled children who cannot manage their own affairs independently, like individuals of piety and industry. So long as people will be petty and unable to resolve their differences on their own, there will always be lawyers and laws springing up to fill the vacuum of common sense and decency. Listen for the herald cry: 'There oughta be a law'.
      On Listening to Rudyard Kipling's Rolling R: The reader of the audiobook reminds us of a time when the English language was closer to something it oftimes seems unable to convey, which is conviction and respect, even authority. He rolls certain Rs in words for emphasis. It used to be a more common practice to do so, even here in America. Did Dorothy Parker roll the occasional R? I can't imagine that she didn't in the course of her discourse. And so I am remembering Kipling, and Poesy and the discipline and song of adventures into the world, thankful I have been reminded of my great fortune to inherit the language of Liberty.
      And those are just from the last week.

      I've been reading (and sometimes responding to) the essays and short notes of Michael Cobb since before there was a World Wide Web. It began in the stone age of 1200 baud dial-up when we were both members of The Well in the early 1990s. He remains a sane writer with that rare ability to startle me into thought just when I think I must know all he has to say. Sooner or later, he'll do the same for you. His mind is a work in progress.

      Many writers run dry, not Cobb. He's never out. He can always "make it new." He's the real deal: a citizen.

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 3, 2009 7:11 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      It's Curtains for TOTUS!

      Biden: What the hell is this?
      Emanuel: It's a Sicilian message. It means TOTUS Brasi sleeps with the fishes.

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 3, 2009 12:19 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Palin: Deep Down They Hate Her Because She's Beautiful


      I track stories about Sarah Palin via Google Alerts. As a result, I see everything published about her in the MSM and the Not-So-MSM. Boiling this daily feed down to a few words, I'd say the hate and the fear of Palin continues unabated. The only reason I can ascribe to this is that there's something about Palin that scares a lot of people across the political spectrum silly. Very silly and very scared. Why? She's an outlier; a wild card in the normally stacked political deck. After 2008, Palin's got "a chip in the game," but she's not playing the game. She's not even sitting at the table, and shows disdain for the DC trough. Beyond that, Palin's got what most politicians cannot hope to match -- real American values, innate intelligence, and beauty.

      As I noted last September in The Beautiful Candidate @ AMERICAN DIGEST

      Attractiveness is a quality generally found in the political classes. Not always, of course, but more often than in most other lines of work. And while a certain intelligence plus an ability to immediately make a direct connection to another person are probably more important qualities, attractiveness doesn't hurt.

      What is highly unusual, however, is for a candidate for office to be actually beautiful.

      In a nation, and a world, that idolizes beauty, most of our politicians are, male or female, woofers. When a politician emerges that not only thinks right but looks right, the ugly dogs bark. Nobody understands this, and other assorted PalinHate, better than Morgan Freeberg in Why They Hate Sarah Palin So Much
      1. There is room at the top, not just for women, but for pretty women ... In playing to the weak, wallflower women who don’t want to distinguish themselves in any way, feminism has become an advocacy group for those who lack appeal. With time, it has become an advocacy group for those women who work at not having any appeal. And I’m not talking sex appeal. I mean, being ready to engage in dialogues instead of monologues; talking to people in some way other than as a cross stepmother; motivating your man to come home instead of go out somewhere else, when he’s in the mood for some sex; acting like that’s important to you. We’ve seen the incremental rise of a counterculture of females who are in a great hurry not to have any appeal to anyone else, or to be beholden to anyone else — except other females who don’t have any appeal to anyone else and aren’t beholden to anyone else. They’re a grown-up version of those chubby goth chicks you knew in high school who didn’t know how to behave in public, didn’t care to learn, were horribly out of shape, and kept to their own at all times.
      But beauty is not the only reason the PalinHaters -- Left to Right -- fear the MILF from the North. Morgan outlines 11 more reasons they hate her. They're HERE and they're CLEAR.

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 3, 2009 10:43 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      American Digest Regretfully Announces Its First Sponsor

      I have not sold out. I have bought in! Your clicks help to keep this site smooth and trim.

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 3, 2009 9:28 AM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      News to Me: Friday, April 3

      I'm looking at using this feature of Twitter as a way of tracking items of interest in the 200 odd (some very odd) pages I follow on a daily basis. Sort of like a rolling Instapundit scroll with enforced terseness. I'd like to know from readers how this item loads in their browsers. Any feedback would be appreciated.

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 3, 2009 8:24 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Soft Diplomacy




      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 2, 2009 10:23 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
      Traditionally, American Presidents Do Not Bow Down to Kings


      There are many good reasons for this, starting with "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." It would seem that President Obama hasn't read or understood that document. It's hard to see if he's going in for a ring kiss, but perhaps that had already happened behind closed doors. In any case, it is especially heartening to see the President of the United States performing his kowtow to his betters, isn't it?

      JammieWearingFool asks, "Is Obama that stupid he doesn't know only King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia's subjects bow before him?"

      Hey, they don't call him Barack Hussain Obama for nothing.

      Can someone remind me again how many Saudis were on the planes that killed 3,000 Americans on September 11?

      What's next? I'm betting on a visit to a mosque within the year with streaming video of President Obama celebrating diversity with a full prostration. Depend upon it. Probably wouldn't be the first time.

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 2, 2009 4:58 PM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      Whoa! Catfight! Picture of the Day

      Hungary’s Emese Szabo, top, wrestled Italy’s Francine De Paola in the women’s quarterfinals at the European Wrestling Championship in Vilnius, Lithuania,

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 2, 2009 2:10 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      News to Me: Thursday April 2

      I'm looking at using this feature of Twitter as a way of tracking items of interest in the 200 odd (some very odd) pages I follow on a daily basis. Sort of like a rolling Instapundit scroll with enforced terseness. I'd like to know from readers how this item loads in their browsers. Any feedback would be appreciated.

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 2, 2009 11:50 AM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      No Failure: It Just Didn't Work the First 10,000 Times

      A lesson that we often fail to learn is the lesson of failure. Here's an inspiring reminder of the value of failure from Honda Motors, a company built on failure and built well.

      The video, titled "Failure: The Secret to Success," provides insight into the thought process of company founder Soichiro Honda, and how he viewed failure as a means to winning. It also shows how much Honda, a successful car company by all accounts, has failed in the past and what it's learned from those missteps. Have you ever seen an orange 1996 Civic? Neither have we, and you'll know why when you watch the video after the jump. - Autoblog
      HT: The astute Ole Eichhorn

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 2, 2009 1:29 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      The More Things Change The More They Stay Insane

      Exurban League exhumed this from 30 Years Ago

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 1, 2009 9:36 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      My Back Pages -- Bounders of the Blogosphere: The Wolcott Method

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 1, 2009 6:11 PM | Comments (25)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      In Musa Qala, the Poppies Grow: Picture of the Day

      Poppy field in Musa Qala, Helmand province. Recent scenes from Afghanistan - The Big Picture -

      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 1, 2009 5:49 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
      A Tale of Two Giftings: Obama vs Bush

      Fee. Fi. Fo. Fum.

      Confirmed: The Obamas are Tacky, Tasteless, and Cheap The gifting gaffes roll on. First you had a cheap set of American movie DVDs that couldn't be played in England and now, when meeting the Queen of England,

      Barack Obama's gift for the Queen: an iPod, your Majesty Barack Obama met the Queen at Buckingham Palace today and gave her a gift of an iPod loaded with video footage and photographs of her 2007 visit to the United States. [but...] The Queen already has an iPod, a 6GB silver Mini version she bought in 2005 at the suggestion of Prince Andrew.
      What is it with these two Clampets? We they born in a barn? This is getting embarrassing. What are they going to give the rulers of China? Taiwan or a poo-poo cushion?

      A commenter at Ace says, "Wow, we were really lucky to get rid of that Texas hillbilly, and miss out on that Alaskan chick, huh?

      Up next, his gift to Angela Merkel: copies of "The World at War" and "Schindler's List" on DVD along with a first edition of "The Diary of Anne Frank"

      UPDATE: What did the George and Laura Bush give to the Queen when she visited in


      Posted by Vanderleun Apr 1, 2009 11:06 AM | Comments (53)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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