Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Did I Mention That American Digest is Ten Years Old? Now I Have

Now I have. From June 28, 2003: On books promiscuously read @ AMERICAN DIGEST

From Areopagitica by John Milton

"I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.

"Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary. That virtue therefore which is but a youngling in the contemplation of evil, and knows not the utmost that vice promises to her followers, and rejects it, is but a blank virtue, not a pure; her whiteness is but an excremental whiteness. Which was the reason why our sage and serious poet Spenser, whom I dare be known to think a better teacher than Scotus or Aquinas, describing true temperance under the person of Guion, brings him in with his palmer through the cave of Mammon, and the bower of earthly bliss, that he might see and know, and yet abstain.
"Since therefore the knowledge and survey of vice is in this world so necessary to the constituting of human virtue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with less danger, scout into the regions of sin and falsity than by reading all manner of tractates and hearing all manner of reason? And this is the benefit which may be had of books promiscuously read."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 28, 2013 1:18 PM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Islam's Forbidden Dogs: Coming Soon to a Country Near You


Face it, Islam and Iran shouldn't happen to a dog:

Iranian mechanical engineer Azar poses for a picture with her Terrier dog Pony in her bedroom in Tehran, Iran, on May 28, 2013. For decades, pet dogs were rare and thus tolerated in Iran, where the Islamic beliefs cherished by the vast majority of traditional Iranians consider dogs as “najis,” or unclean. But in recent years the soaring number of pet dogs — owned by the middle class scattered across Iran with a keen interest on imitating Western culture — has alarmed the authorities who have now criminalized walking dogs in public, or driving them around the city. The police warning seems to have effectively scared dog lovers, forcing some to walk their dogs in secluded areas and ask for home calls by vets. Via KA-CHING!

"Almost cut my hair, it happened just the other day.
It's getting' kinda long, I coulda said it wasn't in my way.
But I didn't and I wonder why, I feel like letting my freak flag fly"

-- Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Once firmly established it's the small things that determine the frieze of a fascist dictatorship. Long ago, in that brief shining moment of Hippie Camelot, we used to say that one of the reasons for having long hair was "freedom." We used to say that if "the Man" could make you cut your hair, he could buy your soul. We were, of course, determined never to sell out.

In the final analysis, however, we didn't have to sell out. We bought in. And in buying in we never really had to hide our hairstyles or hide our dogs like Azar above. All we had to do was conform our minds and adjust our behavior to march in lock-step with the latest little, teeny-tiny, small, not-so-bad-at-all, very next baby step away from liberty and towards the creation of a really-much-better-you'll-see society of no offense and fine fairness to all. After all, all "nice people" do, so why wouldn't you?

The things we needed to do to be "nice people" were all, we were assured, such small things. They were all such minor adjustments. To your speech. To your thought. To your soul. We would, in trade, have a lot of freedom for sex and a lot of good feelings about always doing the "right thing." We would also be fed, and housed, and healed until it was the right thing to do to starve us and kill us "for the greater good." And with a final free hit of morphine off we'd go, smiling, with the Beatles "Sgt. Pepper" playing through our earbuds. After all, all "nice people" do, so why wouldn't you?

The rusted world of rulers and ruled, of satraps and slaves, we were making, inside our own minds and outside in our communities, would never, ever make us hide our hair and hide our dogs and cower in our rooms. No, we would always be free to let our "freak flag fly."

Wouldn't we?

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 25, 2013 10:36 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Hubble Ultra Deep Field in 3D

After the jump in order to show it off at the greatest possible scale and detail.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 23, 2013 2:16 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What Scandal?

Bob: "Did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?"
Jim: "You mean the Mexican gun running?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean SEAL Team 6 Extortion 17?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the State Dept. lying about Benghazi?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the voter fraud?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the military not getting their votes counted?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the president demoralizing and breaking down the military?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the Boston Bombing?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the president wanting to kill Americans with drones in our own country without the benefit of the law?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The IRS targeting conservatives?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The DOJ spying on the press?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The NSA monitoring our phone calls, e-mails and everything else?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants from jails and prisons and falsely blaming the seqester?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's threat to impose gun control by Executive Order in order to bypass Congress?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate's advise-and-consent role?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The State Department interfering with an Inspector General investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "HHS employees being given insider information on Medicare Advantage?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "I give up! ... Oh wait, I think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters stuck us again with the most corrupt administration in American history?"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 22, 2013 11:45 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Born Under a Bad Sign With a Blue Moon in Your Eyes

You woke up this morning
Got yourself a gun,
Mama always said you'd be
The Chosen One.

She said: You're one in a million
You've got to burn to shine,
But you were born under a bad sign,
With a blue moon in your eyes.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 20, 2013 10:39 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Forget About Prancercise!

"What about a prance to romance to?"

You might not be interested in Prancercise, but Prancercise (LLC) is interested in you.

"Cut the cord and pull some strings
And make yourself some angel wings
And if those angel wings don't fly
Someone's gonna paint you another sky

"‘Cause you’re like twenty-two girls in one
And none of them know what they’re runnin’ from
Was it just too far to fall?
Was it just too far to fall?"

Sigh. Well, okay. Now I'm ready for the asteroid extinction event. Bring it on....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 19, 2013 1:36 PM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Lifer by The Bard of Murdock


The Lifer
Article link: Rep. John Dingell sets new record for congressional service

While others pause to praise the man
Who’s given sixty years,
We might recall what he has wrought
Before we join the cheers.

An advocate for government,
With bureaucratic heart,
In every regulation passed
Our John has played a part.

The EPA, the FDA,
And now Obamacare!
For every bit of overreach
Our Dingell has been there.

And how he prospers through the years
While moving up in rank;
The latest calculations show
Five million in the bank.

For us, the hand of government.
For him, a fortune gained.
Forgive me if my accolades
Might seem a bit restrained.

While Johnny pauses to reflect
And hear his life acclaimed,
For what he’s done with sixty years
He ought to be ashamed.

The Bard Of Murdock: The Lifer

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 18, 2013 6:56 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Elbert Guillory: "Why I Am a Republican"


“Hello, my name is Elbert Lee Guillory, and I’m the senator for the twenty-fourth district right here in beautiful Louisiana. Recently I made what many are referring to as a ‘bold decision’ to switch my party affiliation to the Republican Party. I wanted to take a moment to explain why I became a Republican, and also to explain why I don’t think it was a bold decision at all. It is the right decision — not only for me — but for all my brothers and sisters in the black community.

“You see, in recent history the Democrat Party has created the illusion that their agenda and their policies are what’s best for black people. Somehow it’s been forgotten that the Republican Party was founded in 1854 as an abolitionist movement with one simple creed: that slavery is a violation of the rights of man.

“Frederick Douglass called Republicans the ‘Party of freedom and progress,’ and the first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was the Republicans in Congress who authored the thirtheenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments giving former slaves citizenship, voting rights, and due process of law.

“The Democrats on the other hand were the Party of Jim Crow. It was Democrats who defended the rights of slave owners. It was the Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who championed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, but it was Democrats in the Senate who filibustered the bill.

“You see, at the heart of liberalism is the idea that only a great and powerful big government can be the benefactor of social justice for all Americans. But the left is only concerned with one thing — control. And they disguise this control as charity. Programs such as welfare, food stamps, these programs aren’t designed to lift black Americans out of poverty, they were always intended as a mechanism for politicians to control black the black community.

“The idea that blacks, or anyone for that matter, need the the government to get ahead in life is despicable. And even more important, this idea is a failure. Our commnunities are just as poor as they’ve always been. Our schools continue to fail children. Our prisons are filled with young black men who should be at home being fathers. Our self-initiative and our self-reliance have been sacrificed in exchange for allegiance to our overseers who control us by making us dependent on them.

“Sometimes I wonder if the word freedom is tossed around so frequently in our society that it has become a cliché.

“The idea of freedom is complex and it is all-encompassing. It’s the idea that the economy must remain free of government persuasion. It’s the idea that the press must operate without government intrusion. And it’s the idea that the emails and phone records of Americans should remain free from government search and siezure. It’s the idea that parents must be the decision makers in regards to their childrens education — not some government bureaucrat.

“But most importantly, it is the idea that the individual must be free to pursue his or her own happiness free from government dependence and free from government control. Because to be truly free is to be reliant on no one other than the author of our destiny. These are the ideas at the core of the Republican Party, and it is why I am a Republican.

“So my brothers and sisters of the American community, please join with me today in abandoning the government plantation and the Party of dissapointment. So that we may all echo the words of one Republican leader who famously said, ‘free at last, free at last, thank God Almight, we are free at last.’”

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 18, 2013 12:06 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Rivers Run Through It

"I'm drawing all of the flowlines. This includes lots of seasonal creekbeds, arroyos, etc. That's why you see so much blue in dry areas. It also doesn't include places like the Everglades where specific flowlines haven't been defined. I may have bugs with a bit of missing data, too. My apologies to Alaska, Hawaiʻi, and the rest of the world. I'm drawing all the data in NHDPlus but it only includes the contiguous 48." Flickr: Nelson Minar

After the jump, US rivers in the contiguous 48


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 18, 2013 10:30 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Stations of the Week @ the Mental Ward


On Monday,

the harridans of the National Organization for Women announce the great discovery, that it is a bad thing for men to beat women black and blue. We wonder what took them so long to discover it. APPLES FALL TO THE GROUND, runs the headline, with the helpful addition, Effects on Agriculture Undetermined.

On Tuesday,

the same harridans announce the great discovery, that it is a good thing for women to join the infantry, to confront not boyfriends, but enemy men who will be at the peak of their physical prowess, armed to the teeth, and filled with the rage of killing and plunder and rape. The chivalry or plain common decency that once protected a woman against brawling—or war—is derided as a masculine plot to keep women in subjection. Women must be free to be conscripted.

On Wednesday,

the keepers of our national morality inveigh against a priest or a coach who entices a teenage boy into sodomy.

On Thursday,

the same keepers inveigh against the Boy Scouts, for shying away from scoutmasters who might do the same.

On Friday,

the feminists in an alphabet-soup alliance of people with various sexual proclivities will protest against pornography, the technical term for smutty pictures. Their grounds are that it turns women into objects of sexual consumption.

On Saturday,

the same people, boldly proclaim the right of both women and men to fornicate, coldly, aloofly if that is possible, with people whom they do not love; it is recreation.

Excerpted Welcome to the Mental Ward by Anthony Esolen

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 17, 2013 2:16 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Fast and Furious" on an early "Godzilla" Budget

AKA: 疾走の追跡 (The fastest yellow&red)

By the irradiated genius of LUXE37 @ YouTube

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 17, 2013 9:21 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Syria on Lake Superior

7 Dead, 41 Wounded in Wave of Chicago Weekend Violence | NBC Chicago

At 11:45 p.m. Saturday a 16-year-old boy was shot by a gunman on a bicycle in the 4100 block of West North Avenue, police said.
The boy tried to flee but collapsed a short distance from where he was shot.
He was pronounced dead at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center at 1:37 a.m. after sustaining gunshot wounds to the left arm and back, Mirabelli said. The teen was later identified as Kevin Rivera of the 1500 block of North Keystone Avenue, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
Chicago Police news affairs confirmed Sunday the teen had gang affiliations.
His death was ruled a homicide but police had no one in custody as of Sunday morning.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 17, 2013 9:00 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Tap It: The NSA Slow Jam

Via ye olde House of Eratosthenes

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 15, 2013 8:54 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Ultimate Hamburger As Brought to You By an Insanely Rich Insane Genius Polymath

[Note: Last night I went out to the backyard to grill the first hamburgers of summer.... then I remembered these hamburgers from 2011. ]

I admire excess. I admire fellow Americans who keep the faith when it comes to one of the central guiding principles of this nation: "If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing." So when I learned that Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft ultra-millionaire and the guiding force behind the six-volume $625.00 cookbook Modernist Cuisine would be speaking at Town Hall in Seattle last night, I had to attend.

I'd first bumped into Myhrvold in the Penthouse offices in New York over a decade or so back. He was touring New York promoting something that never really got off the ground for Microsoft -- something that happened a lot in that period. He impressed me then as a very high functioning prodigy moving into middle age. He's a fascinating polymath and his years with Microsoft have left him with the means to indulge his obsessions. One long term obsession, stemming (so goes his myth) from nine years of age, is cooking. The apotheosis of this obsession is the book, say rather "block of paper and ink," known as Modernist Cuisine.

"Initially the book was planned to be 150 pages on cooking sous vide in water baths and combi ovens, along with some scientific fundamentals relevant to those techniques.It gradually grew in scope; by late 2009, the book plan had expanded to 1,500 pages,[7] and when finally printed it was 2,438 pages."
Another fact is that the ink used in printing the book weighs four pounds.

Myhrvold spoke about the book and the recipes and techniques of the book for about an hour in his rather high-pitched but scratchy voice. I was kept interested and informed for most of it if not overly impressed. After all, it seemed to be one of those projects where, if you had the obsession and money (He had both.) to toss at a project, you could staff it and fund it enough to make it happen. He was being marginally more interesting than the ultra-rich nerds who go out and fill barns with Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

Then he came to his variation of "The Cheeseburger." Like other things in Modernist Cuisine, Myhrvold's "Chesseburger" is constructed by taking infinite pains to concentrate flavors and make various ingredients do techno-tricks. In exploded form,"The Cheeseburger" looks like this:


Tasty, right? But the payoff is when Myhrvold informs you about exactly how they cook the patty. For reasons explained in the video below, the "shortrib patty ground vertically to align the grain" is first dipped into liquid nitrogen and then lowered into boiling oil.

That's right: first liquid nitrogen at -346F and then into boiling oil. That's when I knew I was listening to a certifiable maniac whose resume and fortune were the only things that stood between him and an Institution for the Cusinely Insane.

Still I had to wonder, "What can that cheeseburger possibly taste like?" I was more than a bit disappointed when he offered to sign copies of his $625.00 book after the talk. I was sort of hoping he'd invite us all out for some burgers.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 15, 2013 8:50 AM | Comments (27)  | QuickLink: Permalink
American Digest Men's Seminar: Why You Should Not Move to Iran

Zombie sez: Dear NSA, Constitution Allah Ackbar Tea Party bomb abortion patriot gun IRS Islam dog whistle Obama prayer tax surveillance. "There. Now that I've gotten your attention, can we have a chat?"

Sadly, this sort of high-level discussion is of such immense importance to our national security, that Gyno-Americans are not allowed to participate in our deliberations. Sorry, ladies, but please just pass on by. [No gurlz aloud!]


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 15, 2013 7:02 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
June 14 aka Flag Day


Richard Gideon, 65, of Mt. Lebanon is a vexillologist, or someone who studies flags.

He said that up until 2001, Flag Day, which commemorates the Second Continental Congress' adoption of the American flag on this day in 1777, was an "almost unknown" holiday, but 9/11 temporarily changed that, he said..... Cliff Ruderer, who owns Flag Factory in Castle Shannon with his wife, Carol, said that, mirroring the trend in attention paid to Flag Day, the sale of flags rose and subsequently fell following 9/11. "Pretty much the whole country was sold out of flags for quite a while," he said. Since then, demand has tapered off significantly. -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 14, 2013 6:04 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
There's A Storm Coming: Syria. Because Afghanistan Just Isn't Enough

Storm clouds fill the sky over the U.S. Capitol Building, June 13, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Feeling the heat at home, Obama decides to ramp up the foreign wars: U.S.: Syria used chemical weapons, crossing "red line" - CBS News

The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons against the rebels seeking to overthrow him and, in a major policy shift, President Obama has decided to supply military support to the rebels, the White House announced Thursday.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 13, 2013 3:39 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: What We Can See By Looking At the Sun

Three Years of SDO Data narrated by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center heliophysicist Alex Young.

SDO’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly captures a shot of the sun every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths. The images shown here are based on a wavelength of 171 angstroms, which is in the extreme ultraviolet range and shows solar material at around 600,000 kelvins (about 1.08 million F). In this wavelength it is easy to see the sun’s 25-day rotation as well as how solar activity has increased over three years. NASA - Three Years of SDO Images

For a close-up in high res.....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 13, 2013 11:09 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Timelapse of a supercell near Booker, Texas

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; Exodus 13 21

"It took four years but I finally got it. A rotating supercell. And not just a rotating supercell, but one with insane structure and amazing movement. I’ve been visiting the Central Plains since 2010. Usually it’s just for a day, or three, or two…but it took until the fourth attempt to actually find what I’d been looking for. And boy did we find it.

"No, there was no tornado. But that’s not really what I was after. I’m from Arizona. We don’t get structure like this. Clouds that rotate and look like alien spacecraft hanging over the Earth.

"We chased this storm from the wrong side (north) and it took us going through hail and torrential rains to burst through on the south side. And when we did…this monster cloud was hanging over Texas and rotating like something out of Close Encounters.

"The timelapse was shot on a Canon 5D Mark II with a Rokinon 14mm 2.8 lens. It’s broken up into four parts. The first section ends because it started pouring on us. We should have been further south when we started filming but you never know how long these things will last, so I started the timelapse as soon as I could.

"One thing to note early on in the first part is the way the rain is coming down on the right and actually being sucked back into the rotation." by Phoenix Photographer | Mike Olbinski Photography

Video after the jump:


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 11, 2013 9:17 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Just In

Found at Random Thoughts and Musings

The Golem of Government:

With almost Tolkienesque malice it seeks to see all, hear all, and know all- and owing to complacency that runs the gambit from your blithe acquiescence to your active participation, increasingly looks close to meeting its total information omniscience goal. Yet, the Golem is possessed of no craft, no subtly, no art. Its sensory organs inform crude appendages that know how to do nothing but squeeze, smash, stomp, kidnap, and explode the targets of its interest without apology or feeling. Moreover, the Golem has no sense of proportion, happily imposing costs of $10 billion on the developed world to collect less than one tenth of that in revenue for itself, raining fire from the sky upon any collection of persons it feels might maybe contain a couple troublemakers. It thinks nothing of shutting down the 20th largest city within its borders (at a cost of many billions of dollars) to hunt down a single sleep-deprived, starving, wounded, and suicidal criminal. Likewise, it laughs to spend hundreds of thousands in time and expenses to ransack those of its Subjects' entities with operating budgets of $20,000, $15,000, or even less, or to ruin a mid-sized enterprise with a displeasing political orientation over vague foreign regulations on the exportation of wood. It Is Past Time To Kill "Just One Child" (But It Is Probably Too Late and You Don't Have The Guts) | finem respice


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 10, 2013 6:55 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Dog Wants a Kitty

Well, don't we all? Via the tender mercies of neo-neocon @ A doggie/kitty interlude


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 10, 2013 1:00 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Ghostbusters: The Lingering Questions Continue

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 10, 2013 7:26 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Edward Snowden, NSA Whistleblower: 'I Do Not Expect To See Home Again'

USA TODAY: NSA whistle-blower hero or villain? Our view

Now that the story has a face, the answer could say a lot about how it ends -- with Snowden in chains and the government continuing its spying without restraint, or with Snowden lionized and the government backing off. If purity of motive is the measure -- and if Snowden's account of his actions holds up -- he might well fit the hero's mold.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 9, 2013 9:11 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dog Wants A Kitty

Cracked me up!

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 9, 2013 8:46 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Right Fool for the Right Job

"No problem. I've done this thousands of times...."

Every time I think that mankind really is "the crown of creation," something like this comes along to confirm we're just God's experiment with "the smart monkey" to see if He can generate better monologue material for "The Late Late Eternity Show with Jehovah:"

A man has been severely injured after attempting to loosen a stiff wheel-nut on his car by blasting it with a shotgun. The 66-year-old American shot the wheel from arm's length with a 12-gauge shotgun and was peppered with ricocheting buckshot and debris. According to a sheriff's office report, he was taken to Tacoma General Hospital with severe but not life threatening injuries. His legs, feet and abdomen were worst affected, but some injuries went as high as his chin.

The man had been repairing a Lincoln Continental for about two weeks at his home near Southworth in Washington state, about ten miles from Seattle. He had successfully removed all but one wheel-nut on the right rear wheel and resorted to firepower out of sheer frustration on Saturday afternoon. -- Man hurt after blasting wheel with shotgun - Telegraph

How I would have loved to have been listening in on that thought process:

"One damn nut to go.... just one.....

Just fit this lug wrench over the nut, and t...w....i....s...t, and....."


"ARRRRGH! SHIT! KNUCKLE FUC.... BUT... BUT... no problem....

....just get this big Visegrip and lock it down.... there....

Now just whack the sucker with this small sledge hammer and....."



Deep measured breathing and slowly rising rage rumblings ensue as the afflicted limps and hobbles about the shop.

"That's it. THAT'S IT! You sombitch nut!

You're COMING OFF BABY! OFF! Time for the BIG GUNS!....

Guns? Yes, that's it. I'll just BLOW THIS MOTHER OFF!

"Get that shotgun out of the cabinet. That's it.

Load both chambers. Saves time.

Won't be effing around this time. Got to get in close.

Get that barrel right on the steel nut which is on the steel wheel which is on the steel axle which is on the steel car.... and....

stand at an angle so that there won't be any chance of ricochet and just s..q..e..e..z..e off a round and...."


And then a silence over which we hear a slowly rising siren and the a small voice-over saying, "I wonder if they've got Monster Garage on the hospital's cable system...."

Posted by Vanderleun Jun 8, 2013 7:47 PM | Comments (41)  | QuickLink: Permalink Says "Your Data: If You Have Nothing to Hide, You Have Nothing to Fear"

Your Data: If You Have Nothing to Hide, You Have Nothing to Fear

Our value is founded on a unique and deep understanding of risks, vulnerabilities, mitigations, and threats. Domestic Surveillance plays a vital role in our national security by maintaining a total information awareness of all domestic activities by using advanced data mining systems to "connect the dots" to identify suspicious patterns.....

For security reasons, it is unrealistic to expect a complete list of information we collect for our national citizen database. In the spirit of openness and transparency however, here is a partial list:

internet searches
websites visited
emails sent and received
social media activity (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
blogging activity including posts read, written, and commented on - View our patent
videos watched and/or uploaded online
photos viewed and/or uploaded online
music downloads
mobile phone GPS-location data
mobile phone apps downloaded
phone call records - View our patent
text messages sent and received
online purchases and auction transactions
bookstore receipts
credit card/ debit card transactions
bank statements
cable television shows watched and recorded
commuter toll records
parking receipts
electronic bus and subway passes / Smartpasses
travel itineraries
border crossings
surveillance cameras
medical information including diagnoses and treatments
prescription drug purchases
guns and ammunition sales
educational records
arrest records
driver license information

via "Domestic Surveillance National Data Warehouse"

And remember:

So.... relax. Right? Right.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 7, 2013 5:02 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
New Obama Autopen Debuts

Now he can sign anything remotely without taking time from his golf game and heavy 50 states lying tour.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 7, 2013 10:42 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My Weekly Reader


Living in the Village at the End of the World:

Dogs outnumber people in this surreal and remote settlement with no more than 15 houses in total. If the population falls below 50, government ministers have talked about stopping the supply ships that pass through every few weeks between May and December and relocating the people of Niaqornat. When their fish factory closed a few years ago, the villager's main source of income, thefishermen had to sail 100km just to sell their fish. Within in a few years, the villagers raised what little money they had spare and managed to re-open the factory. This is a village bravely fighting for survival.

Time Regained! by James Gleick | The New York Review of Books
What is time? Nothing but a fourth dimension, after length, breadth, and thickness. “Through a natural infirmity of the flesh,” the cheerful host explains, “we incline to overlook this fact.” The geometry taught in school needs revision. “Now, it is very remarkable that this is so extensively overlooked…. There is no difference between Time and any of the three dimensions of Space except that our consciousness moves along it.”


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 7, 2013 3:19 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
IRS Releases New Simplified Tax Form 1040 TEA-EZ for Tea Party Taxpayers

Yes it is a Mexclusive!! from SOOPERMEXICAN

So prepare your receipts and sharpen you pencils!


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 5, 2013 7:28 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Unknown Soldiers of Liberty: Tank Man




A lone, unknown man, referred to by many simply as “Tank Man” stands in front of a column of Army tanks in Beijing the day after the Chinese government’s violent crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square.

The identity of the man and what became of him are still a mystery to this day.

June 5, 1989 - 24 years ago today

Pictures of War


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 5, 2013 6:56 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just In Time for a Low Information Father's Day: Nashville Father of 22 Children by 14 Women Gives Amazing Interview

Can you support these children? "I got a criminal record, but I ain't worried about that man. I'm just hoping I get lucky. I play the hell out of the Tennesee lottery."

"Have you have been an un-American?
Just you and your idol singing falsetto 'bout
Leather, leather everywhere, and
Not a myth left from the ghetto
Well, well, well, would you carry a razor
In case, just in case of depression?
Sit on your hands on a bus of survivors
Blushing at all the afro-Sheilas
Ain't that close to love?
Well, ain't that poster love?"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 5, 2013 6:48 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Nixon and Obama: Like brothers from another mother

"Many pundits and journalists, including CBS' Bob Schieffer, have drawn parallels between the Obama White House's handling of scandals plaguing the administration and Former President Nixon's management of Watergate. We looked back in the archives to see just how close they were."

Meanwhile, in other news: Media Having Trouble Finding Right Angle On Obama's Double-Homicide

WASHINGTON—More than a week after President Barack Obama's cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime. "I know there's a story in there somewhere," said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama's home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. "Right now though, it's probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation."

Sometimes, time just runs out even for Mr. Wonderful.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 3, 2013 10:41 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Pushing the Myths: Freedom Highway (1956)

"In this film a Greyhound bus rides from San Francisco to Washington D.C, transporting us at the same time through the landscape of American mythology (and unwavering patriotism).

"The cast of bus riders include: Fred Schroder who, embittered by the death of his son in Korea, is riding to Washington to accept a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor on the son’s behalf; Jimmy Rollins, a Scout, heading to Washington for his first Jamboree; Mary (a young Angie Dickinson) and Bill Roberts, a basketball star on the make; actor and country star Tex Ritter, playing himself, taking a short ride on the bus as it passes through Texas, singing about the Alamo and the “freedom road.”; and most importantly, a black-suited mysterious stranger who appears, as if from nowhere, to transform the outlook of the passengers.

"Greyhound Lines and America have never looked so good. Winner of the Freedoms Foundation Special Award."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 3, 2013 9:59 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunday Meditation: "There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness."

"Here lounged the watch, when not otherwise employed, looking into the red heat of the fire, till their eyes felt scorched in their heads. Their tawny features, now all begrimed with smoke and sweat, their matted beards, and the contrasting barbaric brilliancy of their teeth, all these were strangely revealed in the capricious emblazonings of the works. As they narrated to each other their unholy adventures, their tales of terror told in words of mirth; as their uncivilized laughter forked upwards out of them, like the flames from the furnace; as to and fro, in their front, the harpooneers wildly gesticulated with their huge pronged forks and dippers; as the wind howled on, and the sea leaped, and the ship groaned and dived, and yet steadfastly shot her red hell further and further into the blackness of the sea and the night, and scornfully champed the white bone in her mouth, and viciously spat round her on all sides; then the rushing Pequod, freighted with savages, and laden with fire, and burning a corpse, and plunging into that blackness of darkness, seemed the material counterpart of her monomaniac commander's soul.

"So seemed it to me, as I stood at her helm, and for long hours silently guided the way of this fire-ship on the sea. Wrapped, for that interval, in darkness myself, I but the better saw the redness, the madness, the ghastliness of others. The continual sight of the fiend shapes before me, capering half in smoke and half in fire, these at last begat kindred visions in my soul, so soon as I began to yield to that unaccountable drowsiness which ever would come over me at a midnight helm.

"But that night, in particular, a strange (and ever since inexplicable) thing occurred to me. Starting from a brief standing sleep, I was horribly conscious of something fatally wrong. The jaw-bone tiller smote my side, which leaned against it; in my ears was the low hum of sails, just beginning to shake in the wind; I thought my eyes were open; I was half conscious of putting my fingers to the lids and mechanically stretching them still further apart. But, spite of all this, I could see no compass before me to steer by; though it seemed but a minute since I had been watching the card, by the steady binnacle lamp illuminating it. Nothing seemed before me but a jet gloom, now and then made ghastly by flashes of redness. Uppermost was the impression, that whatever swift, rushing thing I stood on was not so much bound to any haven ahead as rushing from all havens astern. A stark, bewildered feeling, as of death, came over me. Convulsively my hands grasped the tiller, but with the crazy conceit that the tiller was, somehow, in some enchanted way, inverted. My God! what is the matter with me? thought I. Lo! in my brief sleep I had turned myself about, and was fronting the ship's stern, with my back to her prow and the compass. In an instant I faced back, just in time to prevent the vessel from flying up into the wind, and very probably capsizing her. How glad and how grateful the relief from this unnatural hallucination of the night, and the fatal contingency of being brought by the lee!

"Look not too long in the face of the fire, O man! Never dream with thy hand on the helm! Turn not thy back to the compass; accept the first hint of the hitching tiller; believe not the artificial fire, when its redness makes all things look ghastly. To-morrow, in the natural sun, the skies will be bright; those who glared like devils in the forking flames, the morn will show in far other, at least gentler, relief; the glorious, golden, glad sun, the only true lamp--all others but liars!

"Nevertheless the sun hides not Virginia's Dismal Swamp, nor Rome's accursed Campagna, nor wide Sahara, nor all the millions of miles of deserts and of griefs beneath the moon. The sun hides not the ocean, which is the dark side of this earth, and which is two thirds of this earth. So, therefore, that mortal man who hath more of joy than sorrow in him, that mortal man cannot be true--not true, or undeveloped. With books the same. The truest of all men was the Man of Sorrows, and the truest of all books is Solomon's, and Ecclesiastes is the fine hammered steel of woe. "All is vanity." ALL. This wilful world hath not got hold of unchristian Solomon's wisdom yet. But he who dodges hospitals and jails, and walks fast crossing graveyards, and would rather talk of operas than hell; calls Cowper, Young, Pascal, Rousseau, poor devils all of sick men; and throughout a care-free lifetime swears by Rabelais as passing wise, and therefore jolly;--not that man is fitted to sit down on tomb-stones, and break the green damp mould with unfathomably wondrous Solomon.

"But even Solomon, he says, "the man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain" (I.E., even while living) "in the congregation of the dead." Give not thyself up, then, to fire, lest it invert thee, deaden thee; as for the time it did me. There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar." -- Melville, Herman - Moby Dick -- or The Whale: The Try-Works

Posted by Vanderleun Jun 2, 2013 5:04 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Escherian Stairwell

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 1, 2013 9:43 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Like This

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jun 1, 2013 9:19 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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