Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Something Wonderful: Take Five

Dave Brubeck Quartet, Live in Belgium 1964. Cool, blue, black and white. Jazz doesn't get better than this. It just gets more elaborate.

[HT: Butch Bornt. Clip From Stephen Worth's Excellent YouTube Channel. His "Adventures in Music" series is highly recommended. ]

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 29, 2010 9:48 PM | Comments (73)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wondrous Strange

"God is my co-sniper." -- Velociman


"God is my co-sniper." -- Velociman

U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Alonzo, of the 177th Field Artillery Regiment, 172nd Brigade, allows an Iraqi police officer to look at his M-4 carbine assault rifle at a post in Hayy, Iraq. Light-enhancing combat rifle sights made by Trijicon for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan carry an ID number on them like the one pictured above (top center): "ACOG4X32JN8:12" - which reads as "Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, 4x32, John 8:12", referring to a Bible verse with the last six characters. That verse is "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, 'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life'". After concerns were raised about about whether the inscriptions break a government rule that bars proselytizing by American troops, Trijicon has now announced that it will no longer imprint the verses on the sides of scopes intended for the U.S. military. -- The Big Picture
It will come to a Crusade. Depend upon it.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 29, 2010 4:59 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Little Mars Rover That Could

Spirit rover landed on Mars in January of 2004 to take a look around and show us what it saw. Its 90 day mission is still extending itself, even if Spirit is currently stuck, over six years later.


From the consistently brilliant xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language - By Randall Munroe

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 29, 2010 4:31 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Shovel Ready in Siberia: Stalin's Road of Bones


Don't say your government's plans for "stimulus" and "recovery" can't get worse. They can. Those who do not remember the past are condemned to be building roads in Alaska.

The road runs for over two thousand kilometres through the wildest terrain of the Asian continent, connecting Magadan and Yakutsk, and making an enormous loop through the Siberian mountains in order to reach the hundreds of gold mines that once operated there.
Forced labour was used to construct every inch of this incredible project -- at first by inmates of labour camps, but later by the unfortunate denizens of the gulags that began springing up all over these near-uninhabitable provinces of Stalin's Soviet empire. Many were Russian POW's, banished to the region after being labelled German "collaborators". Many were Russian Christians who refused to renounce their faith under the Communist regime. Prisoners were chained except when they were working their twelve-hour shifts. Many died during transport alone, and thousands were shot by the officers for not working hard enough. And any worker who died during construction of the road was buried€™ where he fell -- survivors'€™ reports indicate that bodies were as common a sight as fallen logs.-- Stalin's Road of Bones

Happy Workers Camp with Pictures of Dear Leader

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 29, 2010 12:26 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Someone Wonderful: Salinger


'Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around - nobody big, I mean - except me. and I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye. I know it; I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy.' -Holden Caulfield

There will be a lot of comment coming our way today and tomorrow on the eccentric life of J. D. Salinger. And it will all fade into the blathering brainfuzz of the forgettable carpers and critics and other associated craphounds of our blighted culture. They all will fail, fall, and be erased by next weeks whining. What will remain standing will be The Catcher in the Rye.

The blunt fact of the writing life is that if you can write one --just one -- book like The Catcher in the Rye, you don't have to do anything or or be anything or explain anything to anyone ever again. Period.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 29, 2010 11:11 AM | Comments (24)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Mid-Morning Prophecy by Bob

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. -- Revelation 2:7

Man's ego is inflated, his laws are outdated, they don't apply no more,
You can't rely no more to be standin' around waitin'
In the home of the brave, Jefferson turnin' over in his grave,
Fools glorifying themselves, trying to manipulate Satan
And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

- BOB DYLAN /songs/slow-train

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 28, 2010 8:25 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Matthews Forgets Obama is "Black." Fails to Notice He's "Red"

Last night, Chris Matthews leg was tingling as hard as blue steel.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: You know, I was trying to think about who he was tonight, and it's interesting: He is post-racial by all appearances. You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour. You know, he's gone a long way to become a leader of this country and passed so much history in just a year or two. I mean, it's something we don't even think about. I was watching, I said, "Wait a minute. He's an African-American guy in front of a bunch of other white people, and there he is, President of the United States, and we've completely forgotten that tonight. Completely forgotten it." Via Newsbusters.

There's not a lot that is genuinely "interesting" about Chris Matthews. The albino schlub you see is the albino schlub you get. Of late, however, it is entertaining to watch him quietly triangulate away from the Olbermann-Maddow Axis of Idiots. I think that Matthews is struggling to put a palpable gap between himself and the Obamlatio twins but at the same time stay on the Obama administration's good side and preserve his access as a dependable tool. Why?

As some have noted, ownership of MSNBC has recently passed from GE to Comcast. Unlike GE for whom MSNBC was worth about a nickel, MSNBC is a much better fit with cable giant Comcast. And when it comes to reviewing their properties, Comcast may notice that Olbermann-Maddow, regardless of current abysmal ratings, actually inhibit the growth and success of the channel. Where GE thinks of "MSNBC" as some sort of "loss leader." Comcast thinks of it in terms of "How many subscribers does this channel attract or drive away?" Comcast is much more likely to be a harsh taskmaster in this regard and will look to cut losses.

When that happens, Matthews wants to be the "voice of calm reason and balanced bias" in the triumvirate of tripe that form MSNBC's "news" team. Matthews wants to be the survivor and is the only one of the three that has some room for maneuver. It's a game of "last man standing" and Matthews is a "playa."


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 28, 2010 8:03 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Go for the Substance. Stay for the Snark

The man with the meta. Glenn Reynolds liveblogs the livebloggers and captures the state of the blogging nation as Obama rode his tired war horse thrice around the congress this evening: "The country’s in the very best of hands. Our future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades. So sit back, relax, and watch!"

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 27, 2010 7:54 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama's State of the Union. America Responds.

Encapsulating most conscious Americans' reaction to the me-first-auto-fornication festival on the Potomac tonight, we take you live to commenter Tres Nalgas at Ace of Spades:

"Well, that is a first. I've never shouted "Lying goddamn motherfucker!" at the TV in front of the kids & wife. Going to mass twice this Sunday."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 27, 2010 7:34 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Family Picture


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 27, 2010 7:10 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
January 29, 2002: "The State of Our Union Has Never Been Stronger"


Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

As we gather tonight, our Nation is at war, our economy is in recession, and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the state of our Union has never been stronger.
We last met in an hour of shock and suffering. In four short months, our Nation has comforted the victims … begun to rebuild New York and the Pentagon … rallied a great coalition … captured, arrested, and rid the world of thousands of terrorists … destroyed Afghanistan’s terrorist training camps … saved a people from starvation … and freed a country from brutal oppression.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 27, 2010 10:22 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Moby Bill and Captain Barack

Too much obsession is a mistake.

"You see? You see? He beckons. He's dead but he beckons."

Retribution, swift vengeance, eternal malice were in the healthcare bill's whole aspect, and spite of all that mortal democrat could do, the solid white buttress of the 2,000 pages of the bill's bull smote the Democrats' port bow, till House and Senate reeled. Some in previously safe-seats fell flat upon their faces. Like dislodged dodos, the heads of the Congressmen aloft shook on their reed-thin political necks. Through the breach of Brown, they heard the raging flood waters of wee-weed-off voters pour, as mountain torrents down a flume....


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 27, 2010 3:28 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Chart Wars

Pay Attention: "A great, short talk by TargetPoint's VP and Director of Research, Alex Lundry, at DC Ignite. He addresses the issues of subjective messaging through visualization, the emergence of open data, some ideal data visualization tools, a set of quick lessons in graphic literacy, and a short list of recommended visualization books, all within the time span of 5 minutes."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 26, 2010 8:26 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Passing Strange

"The horror! The horror!" KEIICHI MATSUDA's Augmented (hyper)Reality: Domestic Robocop

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 26, 2010 6:32 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
All About the Pho

Oh Broth, Where are Thou? @ The Bold Italic is one of those rare web articles that merges design, type, copy, and subject matter that leaves you hungry for more writing and much more pho:

For many, “Bay Area cuisine” conjures up images of avocados, tacos, small plates, Alice Waters and disappointingly, for David Chang, the vision of a few balsamic vinegar-drizzled figs on a plate. But for me, San Francisco is all about the pho.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 26, 2010 12:23 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama Stumbles in The New Yorker? Yes, The New Yorker

This Year

Ah, how the mighty have stumbled.... and even gotten their pants leg wet. Things weren't always so much in the "Hey, kids, let's dump on our cool president" mode that's become fashionable these recent weeks. Once upon a time, the kids all loved daddy cool. They even gave him a founder's wig to wear.... once upon a time....


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 26, 2010 7:08 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Hey, Party at the Fed. Get Down!

"In Fear the Boom and Bust, John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, two of the great economists of the 20th century, come back to life to attend an economics conference on the economic crisis. Before the conference begins, and at the insistence of Lord Keynes, they go out for a night on the town and sing about why there's a "boom and bust" cycle in modern economies and good reason to fear it."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 25, 2010 4:49 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Checking Out?


Picture courtesy Curmudgeonly & Skeptical

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 25, 2010 2:01 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Zimbabwe to Obama: "Piker, we'll see your $12 Trillion and raise you $100 Trillion"

Zimbabwe is introducing a $100 trillion note, currently worth about US$30.

What a laff-riot it has to be to work in the Zimbabwe version of the Federal Reserve these days. You just come in, have some coffee, and go to the Monday morning meeting:

"What shall we print today?"

"Well, we did the $20Trillion bill last Monday."

"And we did the very spiffy $50Trillion on Friday."

"Super. What'dya say we roll out the $100Trillion today?"

"Agreed. But what do we have left to put on it for a pretty picture?"

"Humm, that's a tough one. But the $100Trillion is such a strong and manly number I suggest..... rocks."


"Of course. What is more solid than a rock? Rock of Gibralter. Rock of Ages. Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham..."

"Rock On!"

"Precisely. $100Trillion. So let it be printed. So let it be done."

"This will stimulate the Americans to catch up. We shall show them that all you need is one hundred trillion dollars and a dream."

Too much of this and you'll become nostalgic for the times of Inflation in the Weimar Republic when you could get a postage stamp for a mere 500 Million:
Ah, those were the days, my friend. We thought they'd never end.

From Word Around the Net: PICTURE OF THE DAY who notes, "What leftist fiscal policy results in."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 25, 2010 11:16 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Populist Twins, Joe and O, Hold a Middle-Class Garage Sale!

One of the dangers of watching cable news is that you're always at risk of seeing Joe Biden and/or the Big O coming at you live with little or no warning. At noon today I was bushwhacked by Joe and O as they announced their new old-time religion, "Populism."

In a questionless vacuum chamber stocked with admin shills and a few cameras the Pep Boys, Joe and O, announced a series of new bribes for "the middle class." Unmentioned and perhaps unmentionable was the concept of "healthcare." Instead the four new (or not so new) bribes offered to the "middle class" were as outlined in President Obama and Vice President Biden Preview Initiatives for Middle Class Families

Nearly Doubling the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for middle class families making under $85,000 a year. This is accomplished by increasing their tax credit rate from 20% to 35% of qualifying expenses. The value of the tax credit nearly doubles for all families making under $85,000 a year, and every family that makes under $115,000 will see their tax credit increase. ... Additionally, for families struggling to join the middle class, the administration will provide a $1.6 billion increase in child care funding, the largest one-year increase in 20 years, to help an additional 235,000 children.
Where the money to make up any revenue shortfall here was, of course, not addressed since that would have meant mentioning "tax increase."
Limiting a student's federal loan payments to 10 percent of his or her income above a basic living allowance. This will lower payments for hundreds of thousands of students, who are struggling to make ends meet coming out of college.
And thereby extending the period the payments will be made from years to decades. Sorry kids, but this way the USA will be out of debt before you are.
Creating a system of automatic workplace IRAs, requiring all employers to give the option for employees to enroll in a direct-deposit IRA.
Yet more requirements for business that make hiring people even more expensive and onerous. Not a lot here for jobs to be saved or created is there? In addition, Biden mentioned in passing a hazy scheme in which the government would match retirement funds with $500 for every $1,000 put in. Where this money is coming from was not stated, but we can assume they'll tax it out to put it in. No mention either of whether or not this would require to employee to put his money into a "social-security-type lock-box" plan run by... the government, but you can bet your boots that's what going on in their seething craniums.
Expanding tax credits to match retirement savings and enacting new safeguards to protect retirement savings, making it easier for families to plan for retirement.
Going to expand the ever-popular FDIC from savings to investment accounts to the point where nobody can ever lose anything by investing in anything? That's going to boom the stock market with the government as the payer of last resort no matter what. Nothing like that for stability in markets. No more busts. Just "Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, BOOM."
Expanding support for families balancing work with caring for elderly relatives, helping them manage their multiple responsibilities and allowing seniors to live in the community for as long as possible.
Who, I ask you, could possibly be against this sort of thing? Who does not feel and feel deeply for families in this fix? How this is going to be paid for is, like all of the above elements, never touched on. Maybe it will be paid for with all the money we didn't squander on healthcare. You know, the money Joe and O were going to tax out of you hide and borrow from your children's sad future. But hey, why talk about those bummers when we're giving money away today. Step right up, suckers.

Fact sheet released by the White House PDF IS HERE

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 25, 2010 9:38 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Morning Coffee: News and Abuse as It Happens

Via Data Underload #6 – Bed Head | FlowingData

First, who says there's no good news? 'Chemical Ali' executed in Iraq Majid was "executed by hanging until death."

Good News #2: One Biden out, one more to go: Beau Biden not running for Senate. Rats. Sinking ship. Rinse and repeat.

Drain Bamage: Your stimulus dollars sort of at work:

U.S. military veterans are sorting through a massive government archaeological collection that has been neglected for decades, with the hope of archiving the stone tools, arrows and American Indian beads that were found beneath major public works projects.... In recent weeks, U.S. veterans — many with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder — have begun processing, cataloguing, digitizing and archiving the collection as part of a one-year $3.5 million project, funded with federal stimulus money.

Admit it, you want even more Obama than you got. Wait, wait! Come back! Don’t all stampede for the hills! He only gave (according to CBS News’s Mark Knoller) 158 interviews and 411 speeches in his first year. That’s more than any previous president — and maybe more than all of them put together.

Dem lawmaker: Congress could pass health reform if men were 'sent home' - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room That would be mouth-breather Rep. Carol Shea-Porter of NH.

"God willing, our raids on you will continue as long as your support for the Israelis continues," bin Laden said in the recording, which was released to the Al-Jazeera news channel. Obama to Israel: "You're on your own."

Jackpot in Las Vegas: ABOUT $2 MILLION A MONTH: More illegal immigrants getting emergency dialysis treatment at UMC

The new and regrettable blog style of writing very long and often tedious headlines merging into items via an ellipsis regrettably continues with the latest offender being the otherwise admirable and lucid law professor of the female persuasion whose initials are an A and an A.... Althouse: What to do about those science classes at Berkeley High School — where the classes that don't require science labs are full of black and Latino students... ... and it's mainly white students who get the advantage of all the money spent on all those great labs.

It's impossible to avoid the apocalypse these days. And yet, the End has never been so much fun.

Turns out the only thing cooking in the Global Warming kitchen were the books.

Wet-tail. Lileks' hamster's got it and when you google up.... then all webpages about hamster ailments should just play a midi file of Chopin’s Funeral March when they load.

"The president ...will come in with a plan -- and it will be bogus... . " Curmudgeonly & Skeptical presents Boned Jello

Sartorial advice from Howie Carr: Hey, Mr. President - the first thing you have to do is figure out where somebody hid all your ties. That Ahmadinejad look didn’t go over big here in Boston a week ago, and it certainly didn’t cut it in Elyria, Ohio, on what you must have figured was “casual Friday.” You wanted to be The Man? Well, The Man wears a tie, OK.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 25, 2010 6:38 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Wizard of Ahs Watch: OK.It's Getting So Something Every Hour of Every Day Tells You Something is Seriously Wrong with this Man

Now this, this, makes George W. Bush look like a towering genius:

You wish it was a photoshop, but no, it really is your president squeaking.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 24, 2010 8:12 PM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Surpassing Wonderful: Charles Johnson Gets His... Downfall

Note to self: "Do not ever piss off Pamela Geller."

Sunday NY Times Magazine Profiles the Notorious ex Biggie S.M.A.L.L. Little Green Balls - Atlas Shrugs

"Since he has turned coat and transformed himself into a website of hate and smears, the left comes knocking like a sailor who just got paid.... Chuck, groveling, stepping and fetching to garner favor with his new overlords of the left, fell short with the NY Times. The LA Times went for it hook, line and stinker (embarrassingly so, for Traitor1 them), but not so with the NY Times. Jonathan Dee, who penned the piece, actually wrote responsibly. And while I don't agree with all he wrote, Dee was fair."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 24, 2010 6:59 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Question: Just what do you do with a presidency...

... that's over three years before it's officially over?

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 24, 2010 1:51 PM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama: Working the Enemies List

monopolyguystestifies.jpgWith the Obamacare Bill either pushing up daisies or strapped to the reanimator table in Dr. Frankenpelosi’s secret laboratory, it’s clear that Kid President has to clone some new enemies in time for the State of the Onion address this week. Obama has to go to the clone because it’s too late to assemble new enemies from spare parts in the New Age Garage. So what to do?

The answer is simplicity itself. Just reach into the large sack of bullshit the Kid President keeps under his seldom-used desk in the Oval office and pull out the hoary old and patented “evil special interest” labeled “Bankers AKA Greedy Special Interests with Money.” And here it comes right on schedule:


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 24, 2010 8:47 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something for Everyone! A Tragedy Tonight!
What if Obama simply doesn't know how to manage things? Can't win a war, can't reform intelligence, can't contain entitlements, can't fix the economy, can't do anything practical? Just like maybe he couldn't manage the Annenberg Foundation or edit the Harvard Law Review? It's no crime, but it means that he will sooner or later either become a figurehead surrounded by Democratic "wise men" or go charging around like a bull in a china shop. -- Belmont Club » Magic

Besides containing a telling clip from Henry IV, Part 1 with not a little to say about any blowhard tyrant's self image, this blog entry is merely to place a prediction marker for this time next year.

Prediction: The president swears he will not stop fighting for "us" even as most of "us" wonder when he ever started fighting. In the face of a mounting repudiation from all sides (even if for partisan reasons) it seems as if the response of the Obambis is to become even more fixed in their current direction. Should they continue in this past the perfectly normal period of political bluster, by this time next year they will all be in shit so deep they'll need snorkels just to drown.

"He expects Magic. He will summon monsters from the vasty deep. But will they come? Someone should have taught young Barry Soetero to tell truth and shame the devil. Now it is to late."-- LifeOftheMind @ Belmont Club サ Magic

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 23, 2010 7:54 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Get Jiggy with It!

Has this just been the bestest week in ever or what?

Neonocon notes: "Remember when they were saying...... there was no way comedians could make fun of Obama? Well, I think we can safely say that's been remedied."

Gentlemen (and ladies) start your ridicule engines!

HT:Curmudgeonly & Skeptical presents Boned Jello

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 23, 2010 4:20 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Harnessing the Homeless

UPDATE: In the comments a representative for Cass and the Green Gym says it's not at all like this:

I want to thank you for writing this story and I just hope that I might have cleared up some of your questions or skepticism. We appreciate any and all support of Cass Community Social Services because they are dedicated to helping people in Detroit who need it the most!
See the comments for the full message.

18419-Clipart-Illustration-Of-An-Orange-Man-Exercising-On-A-Stationary-Bicycle.jpgYet another milestone on the endless road of our decline. It's one of those press releases you think has to be a hoax, but sadly turns out to be real:

Detroit Non-Profit Opens Green Gym -- DETROIT, Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ --
The Green Gym is the nation's first workout facility created specifically for homeless men, women and children. The grand opening of the Green Gym will mark a revolutionary step by Cass to improve its carbon footprint, reduce its energy costs and improve the quality of life for Detroit's most at-risk citizens.
The Green Gym will be the first of its kind. Nowhere else in the country have such innovations been implemented for the benefit of homeless citizens. In addition to standard fitness equipment such as two weight machines, boxing bags, and a treadmill, 10 Green Revolution Technology enabled stationary bikes will generate electricity to be redirected into Cass' power grid. Over one year of four daily classes, a full class of 10 at the Green Gym can generate enough power to light 36 homes for a month, or three homes for a year!
Nothing like putting the drunk, hopeless, schizophrenic, and hard-core unemployed to work while working out, is there?

As Rob "reports" in email, the mind set might work something like this:


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 23, 2010 3:33 PM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Taxman

Beatlemania eats the State of the Union. You just gotta check this out!

"Next week, the president will give his first State of the Union address. If that seems strange, it's because it will be his third nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress. The only way the White House communications shop could cram more Obama down our throats would be if it required, as part of the health-care bill, that we have Obama-message receivers installed in our fillings." -- Jonah Goldberg : Feeling the Heat, Obama Pours Kool-Aid -

[HT: Mark]

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 22, 2010 9:02 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Traitors of Britain's National Association of Muslim Police


Melanie Philips has more on The thin blue line of jihad that was first covered here yesterday in England's Muslim Police and Muslim Terrorists Evenly Matched. She illuminates the darker implications in the memorandum of the NAMP pit vipers:


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 22, 2010 9:44 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Mother of Mercy! Is This the End of Olbermann?
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Special Comment - Keith Olbermann's Name-Calling
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Exactly why MSNBC keeps Olbermann on the air and his pockets full of dough is no mystery. While it is true that Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit blog has a greater reach than Olbermann's extended 2-Minute-Hate, it is also true that without Olbermann's basement ratings MSNBC would have no ratings at all.

Still, among his morlocks, Olbermann seems to lurch on.... until last night when Jon Stewart rammed a spit through him mouth to fundament and turned him slowly over a hot fire for seven minutes.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 22, 2010 9:33 AM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Let's Review: This Man Has the Launch Codes


Dear Liberals, "Progressives," Democrats,

You may ask yourself
Where does that highway lead to?
You may ask yourself
Am I right?... Am I wrong?
You may say to yourself
My God!... what have I done?

-- Once in a Lifetime

Worried about a sudden increase in "global warming?" You should be. Perhaps it is time you all filed this under "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time."

The citizens of the planet Earth

[We know. It's kind of scary and disgusting to admit to yourselves what you've done, isn't it. Here's hoping we live through it with our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor intact.]

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 22, 2010 7:20 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Bright Ideas and Disturbing Mind of Graham Rawle


What is it about Brits like Graham Rawle? Is it something in the water of the Thames? Is it something in the fifth of "Six of the best"? Is it because the beer is warm and the toast cold? Whatever it is, it turns out a steady stream of brilliantly daft litArts like Rawle, whose page is loaded with other "bright ideas."

[For another incarnation of the GPS phenomena, see "The Bitch." ]

Update: A reader comments that it does not seem disturbing enough on Rawle's page. Perhaps. But consider this Mobile Mobile


And then this page from his current magnum opus, The Wizard of Oz, done with dolls:


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 22, 2010 7:11 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderfully Expensive: Conan Runs Up the Expense Account

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2010 9:25 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
New Boogyman on the Obama Blockhead

Taking a Populist Stance, Obama Takes On Banks -

With Populist Stance, Obama Takes on Banks

Published: January 21, 2010
WASHINGTON — The tougher approach to financial regulation that President Obama outlined on Thursday reflected a changed political climate, the rebound in big banks’ fortunes after their taxpayer bailout and a shift in power within the administration away from those who had been seen as most sympathetic to Wall Street.

Enlarge This Image

Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Obama, with his economic adviser Paul Volcker at his side, told the banking industry on Thursday he was ready to fight.
Obama Moves to Limit ‘Reckless Risks’ of Big Banks (January 22, 2010)

Enlarge This Image

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Paul A. Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman, had urged the president to restrict behavior at banks that led to the crisis.
In calling for new limits on the size of big banks and their ability to make risky bets, Mr. Obama was throwing a public punch at Wall Street for the third time in a week, underscoring the imperative for him and his party to strike a more populist tone, especially after the Republican victory Tuesday in the Massachusetts Senate race.

In announcing his proposals Thursday at the White House, Mr. Obama said if the financial industry wanted a fight over new restrictions, it was a fight he was r

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2010 9:14 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
In the "Marketplace of Ideas" Companies Gain Parity with Media

Lobbyists Get Potent Weapon in Campaign Finance Ruling -

Lobbyists Get Potent Weapon in Campaign Finance Ruling

Published: January 21, 2010
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday handed a new weapon to lobbyists. If you vote wrong, a lobbyist can now tell any elected official that my company, labor union or interest group will spend unlimited sums explicitly advertising against your re-election.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2010 9:13 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Are We Better Off Today Than We Were One Year Ago?

A question that will grow more poignant with every passing disaster.

"A year ago President George W. Bush left the White House. Since that time the unemployment has nearly doubled, the national deficit has tripled, government has grown in leaps and bounds, and the current president has blamed his predecessor for every problem he has encountered. President Obama even blamed George Bush for the Coakley loss yesterday in Massachusetts." -- Gateway Pundit

Abraham Lincoln? "He freed the slaves." Ronald Reagan? "He won the Cold War." George Bush? "He kept America safe." Barack Obama? To date.... "Putz."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2010 10:21 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
England's Muslim Police and Muslim Terrorists Evenly Matched

This morning's Telegraph from London softens the blow with the headline The National Association of Muslim Police is in denial over Islamist terrorism. Denial? Here's an interesting pair of numbers from the article:

The 2,000 strong National Association of Muslim Police is clearly in a state of denial regarding the motivation and inspiration behind the vast majority of terrorists in the UK.... And as the Director General of MI5 pointed out, there are at least 2,000 suspected al-Qaeda operatives based in Britain.
If I were a Briton this morning I wouldn't be worried about the "denial" in the National Association of Muslim Police when it came to Muslim terrorists in England. I'd be worried about the overlap. As we saw at Fort Hood, it only takes one to kill and wound many.

Speaking of which, a psychopathic form of denial has evidently infected the Pentagon when it comes to Fort Hood Muslim terrorist:

The Pentagon released its 80-page report on the Fort Hood massacre on Friday - which conveniently fell just before a three-day weekend. Of course, it is devoid of any mention of Islam or jihad. former Army Secretary Togo West even went as far as saying that this had nothing to do with Islam, that it could just as easily have been a radicalized Christian. Really? -- BLACKFIVE: The Pentagon's War on Reason
It would seem that here, as in England, the Muslims in the police or in the army are a "protected species." We may want to recalibrate that designation.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2010 8:59 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Going Pink -- Reasons Brown Won: "It had to be all of them"

The New Ledger clears away the dead wood excuses this morning with Seven Lessons of the Brown Bombshell

In the past three decades, Republicans have won zero Senate races in Massachusetts but have won the Governorship four times with three different candidates. Bill Weld got 50.19% of the vote when he was elected in 1990, Paul Cellucci 50.81% in 1998, and Mitt Romney 49.77% in 2002. (Weld got over 70% of the vote when he was re-elected in 1994). Brown beat Coakley 52-47, meaning that he had the best showing by a non-incumbent top-level statewide Republican in decades. For contrast, in 2006, Deval Patrick carried Massachusetts 56-35, a 21-point margin. In 2008, Barack Obama carried Massachusetts 62-36, a 26-point margin. In other words, the electorate swung 26 points from the 2006 Governor’s race and 31 points from the 2008 presidential race. To illustrate:


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 21, 2010 8:25 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hitler Finds Out Scott Brown Won Massachusetts Senate Sea

The Swiss Army Knife of Video Clips. The gift that just keeps on giving. Savor slowly. Repeat.

UPDATE: Morgan has amassed a large collection of Things Hitler Learns

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 20, 2010 5:59 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Jimmy Durante sings "The Glory of Love"

"There isn't anything I'd rather do than sit up here having my little love affair with you."

Usually I look for video clips that have great detail and color balance, but there's something about the soft chiaroscuro in this clip that blends perfectly with the delivery of old Schnozzola in this classic. It's like watching a smudged old master, a Rembrandt charcoal, that's come to life with a timeless tune.

This performance was as host of Hollywood Palace in 1969 in Durante's 76th year.

Does that seem a bit dated to you? Well, try this to bring Durante just a bit more up to date:


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 20, 2010 1:01 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Freed by NeoNeoCon!

Whew! That was not even close. Now I can take a break from politics for a bit and get back to slapping around the idiots of the media and the blogsphere for a bit.

This post by NeoNeoCon sums up the present state of play in the Republic right now:


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 20, 2010 11:35 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Vast Wasteland of Little Green Footballs

"I Got Plenty O' Nothing" | Johnson, Charles | Anti-American | 2009

As the devolution of the once important and now only self-important LGF Blog continues I note, more in glee than in saddness, that Charles Johnson's main page is becoming as vacant of content as a Charles Johnson photograph.

Simply put LGF is out of gas (though still gassing on) and it is gratifying. The only time you're thrilled to see an old clunker run out of gas is when that clunker is a Charles Foster Johnson.

Here's the current wheezing and tired line up on LGF's home page. Ponder, if you will, the sheer entertainment value of this page for those among us who yearn to be filled with inertia. It's amazing how Johnson can ask for so many donations and give so little in return. Even more amazing would be if anyone were donating more to him than twenty-five cents and two Wheaties box tops.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 20, 2010 11:10 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Is This the End of the Obama Era?

It wasn't a lot of fun while it lasted.
But yesterday spelled the beginning of the end of the Obama era in American politics. At least, we can hope so.

It took the American people exactly one year to discover that they had been tricked by a candidate who presented himself as one thing and governed as another. -- Had Enough Therapy?

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 20, 2010 10:25 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink


Howard Stern

Osama Bin Laden Trans

coke commercial

Opening title sequence from Al Goldstein's notorious MIDNIGHT BLUE, the scandalous tv show which ran from 1975 until 2003 on Manhattan cable tv

More and more, the prime time offerings on MSNBC remind me of Screw publisher Al Goldstein's cable offering Midnight Blue, but without the sex. Belmont Club » No, leave it on

I think there was a time when Keith Olbermann would have been glad to get a rise out of people. It would demonstrate his importance in a roundabout way. But listening to him now is just sad.

There was a time not so long ago when I would have taken the words of someone in a suit, seated behind a desk in front of a camera seriously. And despite the rant in “Network” that profession may have possessed a certain grandeur once. And now I feel the way one feels at seeing an old teacher, professor or authority figure sneak into a peep show. You feel both ashamed and betrayed. But mostly you feel sad; sad mostly for yourself and the loss of yet one more thing.

I wonder how much of TV was true and how much we made it true on the strength of our belief. We were held together in our innocence by a lie. Part of the reluctance to say goodbye to the authority of the gatekeepers lies in the fondness of that backward glance; and knowledge that we purchase truth at the cost of cynicism and farewell to the men we used to be.


Interviews wall street bull

On Obama April 2008

record deal clip

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 20, 2010 7:27 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Scott Brown: "I drive a truck, and I am nobody’s senator but yours."

For the record: Scott Brown's remarks at his victory rally. Note that he only mentions "Republicans" and "Democrats" once, as those that he will work with. All else is "independents" and "the people."

Thank you very much. I’ll bet they can hear all this cheering down in Washington, D.C.

And I hope they’re paying close attention, because tonight the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken.

From the Berkshires to Boston, from Springfield to Cape Cod, the voters of this Commonwealth defied the odds and the experts. And tonight, the independent majority has delivered a great victory.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 19, 2010 8:14 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 19, 2010 7:34 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Martha's Midnight


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 19, 2010 7:14 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Boston Globe Runs a Test of the Early Election Fraud System


Globe jumps the gun in online map goof -

Not so fast. In a premature online Dewey beats Truman moment, today posted an online map of Massachusetts voting results declaring Attorney General Martha Coakley the winner of today’s special U.S. Senate election.


If the final electoral map looks anything at all like the "test" map the Boston Globe had best declare an indefinite furlough for all employees and double-down on its fire insurance.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 19, 2010 3:55 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Brown has to beat Coakley by 4.8 percent plus, or he loses outright. "

American Digest's Master of 'Massachusettes' Seamus O'Hammer will do your arithmetic for you:

"Herald Today:

Secretary of State William F. Galvin projects between 1.6 million and 2.2 million voters, out of a total of 4 million**, will show up at the polls today despite weather predictions of a mix of rain and snow. More than 105,000 voters have applied for absentee ballots.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 19, 2010 7:50 AM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
January 19, 2010: Updated as Found

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 19, 2010 5:51 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Someone Wonderful: Scott Brown. Keep on Truckin'

If you're in Massachusetts and you've got a vote coming, go get it. Here's some traveling music.

Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on Main Street.
Chicago, New York, Detroit and it's all on the same street.
Your typical city involved in a typical daydream
Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings.

Dallas, got a soft machine; Houston, too close to New Orleans;
Boston's got Scott Brown and beans; vote or it won't let you be, oh no.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 18, 2010 8:59 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Allegorical As Hell


Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir Why Muir is not in major syndication is beyond comprehension.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 18, 2010 8:13 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

Martin Luther King's last speech - the day before his assassination

"Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say,

"If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the twentieth century, I will be happy." Now that's a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land. Confusion all around. That's a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a away that men, in some strange way, are responding -- something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee -- the cry is always the same: "We want to be free."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 18, 2010 1:42 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Things roasted in the depths of the Slor

Milblogs are hunting this poser, impostor and fake hero hard. Keep your eyes peeled and file at the CDR Salamander if you spot him.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 18, 2010 12:18 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Bring. It. On."

greatscott.jpg “All localities are political.” – Seamus O’Hammer

“Brown? Even if he loses he wins,” said my long-suffering Massachusetts pal Seamus O’Hammer over coffee on Saturday. Shamus was giving me the low-down on the many different species of Massachusetts democrats to be found in those environs. It seems you have your Kennedycrats, your Progressocrats, your Greenocrats, your Librocrats, your Midocrats, your Reactionocrats, and your Republicrats.

“Now the bosses,” said Seamus, “can work the Democrat slot machine on a district by district basis, me boyo, but when it comes to statewide elections it is much more difficult to control the Big Casino. That doesn’t mean they won’t be Fedexing all the leftover Franken ballots in from Minnesota, but they will have to do some very heavy lifting to get effective cheating in place.”

“They say, Seamus, that ‘if it’s not close they can’t cheat’ so I take it that Brown’s got to have a lot of votes over the 50% line in order to be declared the winner.”

“Ah me boyo, there’s a fine old confused lad you are. It’s no longer a win-or-lose election. Brown’s already won. The only question now is what he’s won.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 18, 2010 8:46 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Crony Capitalism Chicago Style

Two snakes sleeping under the same green rock.. She's in the administration's green jobs office. He's the VP of the one "green" window maker to get a lot of government green.

HT: The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : Conflict of Interest for Obama's Weatherization Czar

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 17, 2010 8:51 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Winners from the Watchers

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 17, 2010 2:24 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Winners from the Watchers


In the council category this week the top two selected were Bookworm's excellent revisiting of the intractable problem: The need for an honest, 21st century debate about abortion,

"I grew up in the feminist abortion oriented culture, and that culture shies away assiduously from focusing on the life within the woman and focuses, instead, only on the woman herself. "
and Wolf Howling's deeply impressive, documented and exhaustive National Security At The End Of Obama's First Year.
"Obama's initial strategy towards the war on terror was to deemphasize it to the point of wiping it from America's consciousness. In Orwellian fashion, one of Obama's first acts in the war on terror was to dispense with the phrase “war on terror.” "

In the non-council category, the top essays were, Rabbi Aryeh Spero's heartfelt and insightful President Obama Must Choose Sides

"Mr. Obama's first concern seems to protect things Islamic rather than name and fight the Islamism intent on destroying us. This attitude predates his presidency, and it is one of the animating and personal goals of his worldview."
and Jules Crittenden's masterful adieu to the last unlamented decade, God Damn The Naughts
"In its closing months, as if to add insult to injury, this damned decade showed, finally, how a charismatic young president’s utter lack of accomplishment, his disparagement of past sacrifice and achievement .. and worse, vain lip service to it … and even destructive behavior toward our allies can be heralded as great deeds in themselves, bestowed the world’s highest honor. It has been a bizarre display."

There were many other worthy essays too. Listed here:


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 17, 2010 2:24 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Run Scared

Memo to conservatives: "Don't read the rave reviews coming from the Bay State.

No doubt the needle has swung to the right in the Massachusetts senate race. Still, it's only enough to make it a very tight election. But this is too big to fail if you live in the White House or anywhere along the liberal food chain, and the fear of losing is going to inflame the left's cadres. They're going to use every dirt bag trick in the book - and make up some new ones in the days ahead. It may not be Ted Kennedy's seat but it is Barney Frank's state and David Axelrod's world. Don't put the champagne on ice yet, friends. Don't even buy it. If you want to win, take nothing for granted. Run scared too." -- Dan Friedman

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 17, 2010 2:11 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Fire and Ice by Robert Frost



Posted by Vanderleun Jan 17, 2010 1:07 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: "And now I need somehow getting out"

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 17, 2010 12:16 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Scott Brown: Move Evil Than the Average Republican

Now this is low.

Most Vicious Coakley Attack Ad Yet

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 16, 2010 9:11 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Martha Coakely Issues a Correction

This just in: In order to pull her campaign out of a crash dive into solid concrete, Martha Coakley today issued the following statement:

There has been a lot of talk recently about my position on the Taliban no longer being in Afghanistan and the Boston Red Sox. Let me be clear about this. All the Taliban who were initially in Afghanistan are now in Boston and all the Red Sox fans have moved to Afghanistan.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 16, 2010 9:06 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Expect a Miracle

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 16, 2010 11:32 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Distant Early Warning Signs of Inflation

Dollars start showing up in the Take-a-Penny trays.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 16, 2010 7:36 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Haiti: Bibles and Burning Bodies


More HERE and at the jump. If you think you can bear it, you can't.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 16, 2010 7:13 AM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Stress of O -or- "Ward, I'm worred about the Beaver"

Famous for saying "I hope he fails," Rush Limbaugh has never quite gotten around to what happens "If he fails" while in office. In this I'd like a little guidance. In fact, I think it would behoove all of us to consider this for a moment.

Check out this video from a couple of days ago, but ignore the content. Check it out with the sound off. Take a close look at his expression and affect.

"I need you to put on your walking shoes again.... Call, email, text and tweet."

Keep in mind that this is the best that he looks right now. He's got professional stylists and professional camera make-up, and professional lighting.

Does this man look relaxed and sure of himself? Does this man inspire confidence and exude leadership? Does this man seem to be having a good time?

Or is this man giving off that subtle vibe of a manic-depressive in a depressive phase as the job gets harder, the failures accumulate, the mistakes of tone and policy loom?


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 15, 2010 7:33 AM | Comments (39)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Game On at Iowahawk: Comments Open for Stop Scott Brown Radio Scripts

In a clear sign of the end of days, Iowahawk has opened comments at: iowahawk: You've Got to Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Negative and is asking for your contributions in stopping the Scott Brown apocalypse express in Massachusettes:

Thankfully, independent concerned citizen groups such as ACORN, SEIU, and Multinational Pharmaceutical Executives for Good Government have stepped into the breach to create issue-oriented, informational media messages to point out Brown's insatiable appetite for toddler blood, his membership in a paramilitary death squad, and his palatial multi-thousand dollar timeshare in Aruba.

It's a good start, but not nearly enough if we are to avoid the galactic dystopian wasteland that awaits if Brown and his hate radio masters pull off this illegal coup. That's why I've opened up the comments for a limited time so you, the concerned Iowahawk reader, can provide your own 30 second Stop Scott Brown radio ad scripts.

Be there or despair.

My small effort reads:

[All VO text taken from: Blue Mass. Group:: Yes it sucks. Yes you have to vote Coakley.]

SOUNDTRACK UP: Onward Christian Soldiers (Instrumental) Fade under VO.

VO: You might not want to vote for Martha Coakley.

CHORUS: "She sucks!"

VO: You might think she deserves what's she's getting after an absentee, self-satisfied campaign.

CHORUS: "She sucks!"

VO: You likely want to send a message to everyone from the attorney general all the way to our well-spoken light-skinned President what's his name.

CHORUS: "She sucks!"

VO: Odds are you didn't vote for her in the primary.

CHORUS: "She sucks!"

VO:And, you might be wondering if it'll make a difference who wins this Tuesday.

CHORUS: "She sucks!"

VO: You got every reason to be pissed, but it needs to be clear: not voting for Coakley is the same as voting for Brown. And voting for Brown is a very, very bad thing.

CHORUS: "She sucks!"

VO: Yes she sucks. Yes you have to vote Coakley. Martha Coakley. She sucks good.

Paid for by the "Yes She Sucks But She Sucks The Way We Like It" Committee.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 14, 2010 9:48 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
“It’s a Brown-out”: Mass Poll Has Brown Up by 4 Points


Poll shocker: Scott Brown surges ahead in Senate race -

Riding a wave of opposition to Democratic health-care reform, GOP upstart Scott Brown is leading in the U.S. Senate race, raising the odds of a historic upset that would reverberate all the way to the White House, a new poll shows. Although Brown’s 4-point lead over Democrat Martha Coakley is within the Suffolk University/7News survey’s margin of error, the underdog’s position at the top of the results stunned even pollster David Paleologos.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 14, 2010 7:30 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Paid Advertisement

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 14, 2010 7:03 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In the Ruins of Yesterday


"You know what blood looks like in a black and white video?
Shadows, Shadows..."

-- John Prine

The pictures stream as always. The suffering they display, like meat in a butcher's window, is as it always is. A people with measly mean nothing at the beginning of their day greet the night with less than nothing.

The disaster is so perverse that the shabbier your dwelling was the safer you were. Those that lived in walls of sticks driven into mud and roofed with leaves had a better chance at life than those who dwelt in concrete and brick or wattle and daub. When the tremors stopped the hut dwellers dug out those who were at least one rung up on the ladder of what passed, until just the other day in Haiti, for "the good life."

Within the electronic stream of reports, the reporters report as they always do. The albino wraith of Anderson Cooper gestures in the dust, shining white and well-coifed against a sea of black survivors. Cooper and his colleagues lack the soul necessary to narrate what is unfolding before their eyes. Instead they stumble towards a hyperbole commensurate with what they see and smell as they glide through the rubble in their bubble of privilege.

Blessed by the news stars' presence "the Get" in Haiti streams up to the satellites and out over the roof of the world. Especially gripping footage taken from above or from a passing jeep is looped over and over to add images to the reporters' reports of the unimaginable. The frantic digging in the rubble with hands and sticks. The dead limbs and faces mottled with blood and dust. The child with the makeshift bandage wrapped around her jaw. The father carrying the limp young boy in his arms along the shattered street. The grainy 30 seconds of surveillance footage in which the earth begins to bob and leap and jump about as small human figures scuttle towards any place other than where they are; towards someplace safe when nowhere is safe.

The prayers and pleas are prayed and pled as they always are. "Give till it hurts." "Give until you drop." "The need is without bottom." "These are the charities with 'good track records' at getting the most of your dollar to those in the most need." These are the voices that remind Americans about "how generous Americans are; how generous Americans always are."

The president, grateful that the story of the day is not about him, stands with his strange and useless vice-president and his stranger still secretary of state, and promises that America will assist, as America always assists, and that Americans will give as Americans always have given. His factotums on either side bob their heads up and down in assent like two drinking birds over the glass.

We know the drill by now and we know what we shall see. Large airplanes landing and taking off. Perhaps a carrier task force and a landing that doesn't look too much like an amphibious invasion by the Marines. All these will bring in aid and help and comfort and, after a time, all these will leave. And after some time later, America will be back to being hated by all those in Haiti and elsewhere who have always hated it and who have no ability to alleviate suffering themselves, only extend it.

That's how it will be and how it always is. Still, a certain tomorrow is not reason not to act today to stop the suffering in the ruins of yesterday. And so we shall go on until this particular task is done. We're Americans. It is what we do in these times of crisis. It is what we do while working hard to reduce ourselves to the status of the third world where, no nation being exceptional, all nations shall be equal in squalor and suffering.

Before then, there will be a point when -- if the numbers killed are as we have been told -- the dead will be stacked like cord word somewhere in the deforested fields of Haiti. Then they'll be soaked with diesel fuel and burned like so much trash. You'll smell the smoke for miles. Footage of these "funerals" will most likely not be streamed but clips will find their way to LiveLeak or other sites of dubious distinction. At some point fairly soon, cholera will appear and there will be more fuel for the pyres. This will go on until the dead are burned out.

And then, in a few months, the world will again forget about Haiti. It's a place long beyond recall and it takes a disaster this size to make the world remember. The impulse then is to "fix" Haiti as soon as possible and then return to the forgetting.

This morning I saw, as did you, the whole cascade of horror streaming from the television. I stepped outside into a crisp and clear winter's morning and saw in the high blue above a jet climbing towards mid-heaven with a long white contrail slashing behind. Somewhere, I thought a surviving Haitian may have looked up and seen, high overhead, a jet trailing contrails across the blue heading out from somewhere near to somewhere very, very far away. How much would he pay to be on that jet on this morning? Everything he had and more. And when this is all over you can sense that the soul of such a man caught in his deathtrap nation would fill with either despair or a terrible resolve.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 14, 2010 3:21 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Scott Brown, Another God Damned Republican!

Yes, you do want to embed this in any web site you control, and yes you will email Scott Brown, Republican to everybody on your list.... especially those really irritating Democrats in your family.

HT: Neoneocon

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 14, 2010 2:58 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama, Clinton, Biden United on Response to Haitian Earthquake


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 14, 2010 8:11 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink

13 seconds of life as it was and then 17 of hell rising. A car begins to cross an intersection. It stops. A truck comes towards the stopped car. It stops. A figure gets out and runs. Where? In the distance you can see a building begin to collapse into a cloud of concrete dust. Silent.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 14, 2010 7:16 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Map of the Universe

Logarithmic Maps of the Universe

Logarithmic Maps of the Universe

This website contains figures from "Map of the Universe" e-print, by Gott, Juric et al. The paper has been published in the Astrophysical Journal (Gott et al., 2005, ApJ, 624, 463), and you can also find the manuscript here (note: Figure 8. of the manuscript has been published as an inset poster, and has to be downloaded separately (see below)).

Note to Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox users: your browser will automatically shrink the large maps once they're loaded. Click on the shrunk image to bring it back to its full size and be able to scroll it.

To print the map, print out the individual sheets and tape them together to make a wall map. To get the best quality and resolution, use the PostScript versions.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 13, 2010 11:01 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Wearing "Those Pants" How It's Done

You are not alone. You are just one of many millions of your fellow citizens who have asked, "How is THIS possible?"


Well, now it can be revealed....


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 13, 2010 4:23 PM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Someone Wonderful: The Offhand Wisdom of Jerry Pournelle

jerry.pournelle.jpgYou can never go wrong by spending some time each week browsing Jerry Pournelle's The View From Chaos Manor, an effort he describes as, "Think of VIEW as my column on the installment plan, but there are major differences; here you see what happens as it happened."

Pournelle is an eminence gris of computers (They continue after all these years to vex him.), science fiction and history. He's got a keen sense of the novel and the classical. This morning is no exception. View 604 January 4 - 10, 2010

Western intellectuals used to share far more common education -- novels, familiarity with myth and legend, Iliad and Odyssey and Aeschylus and Sophocles and -- ah, well. There is a great deal of more modern stuff that we must know now, and perhaps a neglect of the classics was an inevitable result of all our modern scientific discoveries. Jacques Barzun told a story of the days in the 19th Century when Harvard instituted the Bachelor of Science degree; something new at the time. It did not guarantee that its recipient knew any science, but it certainly guaranteed that he would know neither Greek nor Latin... Today's graduate can add history and philosophy to those guarantees; all of which makes communication more difficult. If I say David and Goliath most readers will understand the reference and the image of the underdog winning; but the days when there were thousands of such colorful images for a writer to draw on in the sure knowledge that the reader would understand are long gone. Alas. I am not sure we are the better for it.
A smart man and a fine American. Recommended. (And don't miss his "Daily Mail" feature to see what his fine collection of correspondents is highlighting.)

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 12, 2010 11:16 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Making Reverend King's Dream Acceptable to Today's... What?

With less than a week left before his birthday, Democrats everywhere are scrambling to make Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech acceptable and fit for general consumption. Here's a section of a draft by Harry Reid being passed around the Congressional Black Caucus with his notes:

[Brothers, As you know thanks to my BIG MOUTH we've just lost the fallback N-word and King Day is closing in. Sorry about that. Here's some of my suggestions about what to do about "The Speech." Please get back to me with what you need. -- Your pal, Harry]
"Five score years ago,[Isn't that too tough to parse figure out? Let's just say "Eighty," otay?] a great American [Lincoln? A Republican? C'mon. Maybe strike and insert "ectomorph."], in whose symbolic shadow [Too close to the general concept of "darkness." Ask the "Lightworker" for "guidance" with this one.] we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation [Might have to go. Get's a little too close to the "Sl-very" word. Depressing for the young people in the projects.]. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of [No N-word of any kind. Not even "Neros" with it's empowering connotations.] [Not the S-word either. See above.] who had been seared in the flames [Strike flames. Too reminiscent of certain unpleasantness in antebellum times] of withering [Too big a word. Use "bad" but not in the good sense.] injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night [Same problem that we had with "shadow" above.] of their captivity. [No. Sounds too much like what happens in a Z-word.]
"But one hundred years later, the [Insert latest acceptable word or phrase] still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the [Insert latest acceptable word or phrase] is still sadly crippled by the manacles [Find another word. Those incarcerated brothers will be sensitive to this one and may forget to vote after we give them the vote.] of segregation and the chains [Same objection as "manacles"] of discrimination. One hundred years later [Isn't it "Eighty" as I said above? Maxine, check my math, otay?], the [Insert latest acceptable word or phrase] lives on a lonely island of poverty [Try "island of the transitory out of money experiences"] in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity [Maybe "vast ocean of giant LCD TV screens"]. One hundred years later [See above. Again! Good speaker that King, but just couldn't count.], the [Insert latest acceptable word or phrase] is still languishing in the corners of American society [delete and insert "the corners of white oppression by bankers and CEOs and Republicans"] and finds himself [Sexist and genderist. Strike and insert him/her/heshe/shehe] an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition [Insert and make sure we get ours].
That's it from me. Get those additions and corrections back to me and don't forget to stop by the office for those tickets to the sky boxes at Superbowl, otay?

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2010 11:17 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
BROWN STRIKES GOLD! "With all due respect, it’s not the Kennedy seat and it’s not the Democrats’ seat, it’s the people’s seat."

Pure. Political. Gold. How golden is it? Watch him say it.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2010 7:42 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Zero Divided by Zero = Meghan McCain

Can anyone, ANYONE, explain why this mangina is getting a column anywhere outside of FARK? Want to make the case that CO2 is a lethal gas? Just expose a gerbil within a 20 foot radius of this DNA sinkhole.

Look on her latest and despair.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2010 7:23 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And today's "No Shit Sherlock?" Award goes to the AP and Mark McGwire

Mark McGwire admits using steroids

Really? Truly? For sure? Who knew? What a scoop! What an admission! Sound the alarm! Ring the bells! Shoot off the distress rockets! What BREAKING NEWS! If this is the best the legacy media can do for "news" they might as well bone up on their auto-erotic asphyxiation in the closet techniques and hit the rope. Nobody's gonna cut 'em down.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2010 12:25 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Obama Mob: Asset Stripping and Torching the USA

"Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. You had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. The place got hit by lighting? Fuck you, pay me. "

Once you look past the sharp suits and the smooth poses, you can see the current administration as they are, Made Men, Chicago Mobsters, Goodfellas. At this point that's not an original insight. Neoneocon has given it a glancing blow recently with: What sort of criticism of Obama is considered acceptable?


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2010 7:29 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Gobbling Up Your IRA: If your government invests in you, you should invest in your government. Like it or not.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 11, 2010 6:57 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Flying; The Prophecy from 2005

Dateline: March 10, 2005 in The Brand-Extension Blight @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Please allow me to quote my favorite source, me.

FLYING: Everybody's favorite. On my first flight to Europe, everyone dressed for success. Now everyone dresses for Gold's Gym. And I'm sure the next step in TOTAL SECURITY will be to require everyone who is not of Arab descent to arrive with a note from their doctor attesting that they had a high colonic an hour before the airport to make the body cavity searches a bit more pleasant for the staff. Then there's the added coach thrill of a blood clot developing in the legs that stops your heart at 50,000 feet. Plus... no peanuts! After all, think of the allergic children! Add to that the new innovation, no pillows! I don't see why the airlines don't simply install hooks and, working in concert with government's laughable security cops, require everyone to hang from said hooks naked. It will come to that. You know it will.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 10, 2010 8:09 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Vangelis - Tears in Rain (A Blade Runner Tribute)

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 10, 2010 7:41 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Please Take a Moment to View the Important Message from My New Sponsor... Putz

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 10, 2010 6:14 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Shocking All White Crime Wave in Brinksville [Updated with alternate ending]

There's no diversity when it comes to threats to home security in Brinksville. These perps and gangstas could snow blind a polar bear. And they're not all that threatening since their MO seems to be "smash a window or a door and FLEE!"


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 10, 2010 2:49 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The N-Word of the Narcissus

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 9, 2010 7:59 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Career First: Senator Harry Reid Apologizes for Telling the Truth

"Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid apologized on Saturday for saying Barack Obama should seek — and could win — the White House because Obama was a "light skinned" African-American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." -- Chicago Tribune

With his apology for the truth, Reid joins Vice-President Joe Biden on the shamed truth-teller podium for his 2007 remark: ""I mean, you got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 9, 2010 4:50 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Question That Dare Not Speak Its Name

RattlerGator takes a hard look at a touchy subject:

"What if, I've consistently asked, what if he winds up being (as is increasingly likely) an awful President incapable of winning re-election? What effect will that have on African Americans? Or the way the rest of America views us? Hmmm?"
It's a question I've often wondered about but decided it was not for me to say. Read it all and the article he links to as well.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 9, 2010 9:52 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Speed Kills: Kids! Don't Take the Little Green Footballs! [Updated]

Bontril%20Slow%20Release%20105%20mg-AMA.jpg BanLGF2.jpg
"I’m pretty sure Little Green Footballs refers to Dexedrine (Dextroamphetamine), which were commonly called, you guessed it, little green footballs in the 60’s and 70’s."

"How is this website doing nurse? Really? That bad? Let's take a look at its chart."


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 9, 2010 8:18 AM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Senior Statesman Makes Sense: "What It Will Take to Win"

“Promise, big promise, is the soul of an advertisement.” -- Samuel Johnson

Ways to start winning. Excerpts from Restoration Weekend's Lunch Keynote with Newt Gingrich. Important messages: "The combination of Obama, Pelosi and Reid is creating the most decisive moment since the 1850s."


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 9, 2010 7:44 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"They Tell Us We Are Weak. But When Shall We Be Stronger?"

Patrick_henry.jpg"There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free -- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending -- if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

"They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 8, 2010 10:14 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Liberals: Always half in love with easeful death

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 8, 2010 2:07 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: This is a MAN'S world!

Feats of skill that no woman could master because all women would think, "Why bother?" (A fatal intellectual weakness for which we forgive them because they are cute and have no hair patches on their chests.)

Thanks be to Cassandra and Little Miss Attila.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 8, 2010 10:39 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Isn't it strange

that at the very moment in history when China is struggling to awaken from its long nightmare the government of the United States is trying to drag this nation down into that same nightmare?

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 6, 2010 10:43 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The 2010 Election Season is Now OPEN: "What Happened to the Republicans I Used to Know?"

In the last few days some, but only some, notable Democrat politicians have declined to strap on the Obama Suicide Vest™ above the Pelosi Penis Substitute™ and plunge into the 2010 Electoral Fornication Festival. For Republicans this has caused hope to spring eternal in the middle of this winter of our discontent.

Live in hope. Die in despair....


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 6, 2010 9:58 PM | Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
DrudgeKu on Global Warming

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 6, 2010 6:52 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Essential: "They Stole Our Future, But They Cannot Break Our Will"

What is killing American confidence and innovation? Bill Whittle takes a look at the Leftist attitudes that threaten the ideals of optimism and progress in the latest Afterburner.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 5, 2010 6:43 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Green Links: Worst Blog Feature Ever | Take the Poll!

You know, crap like this:


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 5, 2010 12:08 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: "From Hippies' Lips to Obama's Ears"

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 5, 2010 10:56 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Who Said "Washington is Just Hollywood for Ugly People"

Scott Brown is running for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat against a Democrat party hack. He's getting within striking distance. Neonocon makes the case. And I say "Hey, Massachusetts, isn't time you voted for someone you can stand to look at for a change?"

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 5, 2010 10:37 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Lowballing Death: Keeping the Northwest 253 Numbers Down

December 1988, Scotland "Two more girls were lying dead across the road, one of them bent over garden railings. It was just as though they were sleeping. The boy lay at the bottom of my stairs for days." -- The PANAM 103 tragedy at Locherbie

I've noticed the chant more and more as the days have gone by. It's a chant usually preceded by the world "only;" as in "Even if the bomb had gone off it would have 'only' killed 290."

"290" is by far the most magical number in the morass of magical thinking that's subsumed discussion of the "near disaster" of the Christmas attempt to give Northwest 253 a "premature landing". The number "290" is the number of passengers and crew on board the aircraft. "290" is a number we hear a lot in conjunction with discussion of this failed attempt at mass murder. A lot of people in the administration, the TSA, and those on the left attempting to excuse what happened would be happy if "290" stuck. If "290" can be made to stick then the disaster, tragic as it might have been, is merely a "pinprick" and can be, like so many other aspects of this monumental failure, lowballed.


Posted by Vanderleun Jan 4, 2010 7:25 AM | Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Is Your Bwain Confoosed by the News? There's Always Time to Check What the "Experts Say"

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 3, 2010 7:19 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Why Is the President Always the Last to Know?

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 2, 2010 11:22 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Deeper

"In August,

after the last repair mission on the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers directed its newest camera towards the same area of sky where just five years ago, the first Hubble Ultra Deep field image was made and recorded a new one - this time in the near-infrared, a wavelength invisible to the human eye.
"Over the course of four days, the camera shutter was open for one hundred seventy three thousand seconds and astronomers collected photons that had left their galaxies over 13 billion years ago. Sensitive to slightly longer wavelengths than its predecessors, the newly installed camera known as Wide Field Camera three recorded objects that are likely the oldest galaxies ever identified, having formed only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. Here are the results."

Made by Darnell, The Redneck Astronomer at Deep Astronomy, who says of himself: “I’m a computer programming redneck astronomer-inventor who plays Irish music, reads science fiction and loves to fish.”

And how to keep looking up.

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 2, 2010 8:37 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Sunset on Mars

[Click to enlarge]

On May 19th, 2005, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this stunning view as the Sun sank below the rim of Gusev crater on Mars. JPL Photojournal Catalog Page for PIA07997

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 1, 2010 8:14 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Things I learned while watching Avatar"

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 1, 2010 6:05 PM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
INSTAPROPHET: Glenn Reynolds in June, 2002

Posted by Vanderleun Jan 1, 2010 12:24 PM | Comments (21)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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