Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Something Wonderful: This Day | This World

"With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 31, 2013 4:30 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Are You Smarter Than An 8th Grader From 1912? I'm Not.

"Yes. The national intelligence has fallen that far.

The morons in West Philly can't spell 'Cat'. At least 75% wouldn’t know the Vice President of the U.S.. More than 50% can't add 5 5. And 80% wouldn't know when and why the Civil War was fought." | Zero Hedge


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 31, 2013 1:14 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pianos In Flight -- Good Morning. You're Welcome. [Updated]

The record of yet another series of moments when the beauty of the Earth and the human race rises up and takes your heart with it. The Creator made the world and the entire universe for moments exactly like this. And gave you a ringside seat.

Coldplay - Paradise (Peponi) African Style (Piano/Cello) Cover - The Piano Guys ft. Alex Boye

"On a whim we decided to back away and take an entirely new approach to the song—an African approach. It may seem random in retrospect, but at the time it was an exciting way to restart the arrangement. It was working, but our journey still was on foot until we called in Alex Boye, one of the most talented people we've ever met. Alex has this contagious energy that gave new life to the song and to us. He sings the tune in 4 different languages: Swahili, English, Yoruba (his mother's native language), and Alex's own African "scat" (we'll call it...Scafrican) =) Most of the words you hear are translated from the lyrics in the original Coldplay Tune."

UPDATE FROM JANUARY, 2012: And now, recently published, how this astonishing and moving video happened to get [almost] accidentally made. Hint: It was the first time they had to figure out how to lift a brand new $20,000 piano....

"Peponi is one of those things where you’re using classical instruments with a Coldplay tune with a guy singing in four different languages on top of a cliff..... That isn’t one of those ideas you wake up in the morning and say, “Oh yes, that would be a cool idea.” No, it involved so many planet aligning concepts coming together at one crazy moment...."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 30, 2013 10:57 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Do Bears Pole Dance In the Woods?

Ever wonder what bears do when we're not looking? These bears were caught on camera in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada. These images were taken during May and June 2013.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 28, 2013 11:45 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow"

In my email this morning, a photo and a note from Chuck Ellington:


"A sign of times gone by.East of Harrison, Nebraska on Highway 20. A lonely road, even in midsummer vacation season on a Saturday.

"A sign of rugged individualism, not government subsidies. I bet the owner was never asked how many minorities he had hired.

"I doubt he had to file an environmental impact statement when he built either."

Of course in these days that's just enough information to go to the [Google] map and check out the territory. Just enter "Harrison, Nebraska," drop down into street view and take a trip out of town on Highway 20. Keep going, keep going..... it takes a while..... keep going..... there's a smudge on rise in the distance.... keep going..... don't zoom out or you'll have to go back into town and repeat it all... keep going.... and.... there on the left....


Yup, like some many things out on the vast land sea of America, still there and still haunting. There was a time when the government left you alone. There may be such a time again. I dread what comes in between, the interregnum, but I no longer fear it.

"I see from my house by the side of the road
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife,
But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man."

      --Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 28, 2013 9:22 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth by Arthur Hugh Clough, 1819-1861


Say not the struggle naught availeth,
    The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
    And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
    It may be, in yon smoke conceal'd,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
    And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
    Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
    Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
    When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
    But westward, look, the land is bright!

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 26, 2013 3:18 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
John Fleming's Comment In Search of a Cornerstone


People have talked about a coming "singularity", where afterwards everything is different.

There's a group of people riding the accelerating high-tech wave towards the future. But if that's you and you fall behind, it's ever-harder to catch bup. An ever-smaller cohort of high-productivity people are being forced to carry along with them an ever-growing collection of dependents for whom an aspirational attitude and determination are useless. The cultures are in some sense separating, witness VDH's C&C of the affluent Left Coast, with the falling backwards Central Valley.

I do not know if the singularity means the connection between the two becomes permanently broken, with the techies leaving behind the dependos. Or the singularity will enable the dependos to get back into independent, aspirational, productive lives.

I do not like this emerging nostalgie de la boue born of hopelessness. It stretches the connection between us all to the breaking point. Some seek to hasten and to profit from it, but there are always little men who scheme to be kings of their own ragtag dominions.

There is a puzzle before us. We are at the beginning. What are the steps to re-instill an aspirational and moral culture to all our people? What pieces, and in what order? And how do we keep the vandals from ever-scrambling our efforts? We must not fall into civil conflict, but perhaps we will have to teeter at the abyss before there can be an American Awakening.

An American Awakening. A rejection of the addiction of dependency. An embrace that all your neighbors and countrymen are at Liberty to pursue their own happiness without your interference. Shared civic virtues that a civil society cannot be made unless each of us does what we can to make it better. Opportunity is available, for those willing to work for it. Putting off gratification today, that our children will inherit a better world from us.

Is there one tiny cornerstone piece that we can agree upon today? Is there one new idea, or old idea made new, that can seize us all, to build upon? Aspiration seems a good start, but for what? we have generations that have not known the blessings of Liberty, only the soma of dependency. The banishment of envy as policy. The source of all meaning and value is what each person does with what they are given. It is not what you have or have not, but what you do with it. And we will secure for all of us the Liberty to decide for ourselves.

We must begin a forced rejection of the crack dealers of dependency. Trust not in men, but trust in God to provide the Blessings of Liberty.

-- John A. Fleming at July 16, 2013 9:28 PM

Reader's comment on The Left's New Boy-Toy

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 26, 2013 7:33 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Weiner Roast: It's Tony's Turn In the Barrel


A new Navy recruit is being given a tour of the vessel he shall be manning.. The ships captain is giving the tour: " This is the crew quarters...This is the mess hall", etc, etc..

The new recruit begins to think, and queries the captain: “Sir, being that we are away at sea for a long period of time... what happens about sexual needs?"

“Oh" says the captain, "go to the back of the cargo hold and you will see a barrel with a hole. Give it a go. It'll be the best you ever had!"

Bewildered, the recruit goes to the cargo hold and finds the barrel. The recruit has sex with the barrel and returns to the captain. Full of joy, he says, "You're right.. Its the best i ever had. I want to do it every day!"

The captain replies, " Well you can use it every day...except Thursdays"

The recruit asks “Why not Thursdays?"

"Because Thursday is your turn in the barrel!"


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 25, 2013 9:55 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Of course you know that this means war! (Once we get you all out of the plastic bag with the label on the top)


To which one must say, "Best ever!!!"

As was said on The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys: "In our mind's eye, it was always like this. We'd mouth the pew! pew! sounds and cries of happy agony as the little green fellows fell over. We'd advance and retreat over the carpeted ground, or perhaps over the hardwood steppes. Snipers using rubber bands would take out the unwary lieutenant, always motioning: Onward!"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 24, 2013 7:49 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Working for Nothing

For every new job that the Obama Administration says it created, two Americans have been added to the food stamp program. Obama’s America.

"For a lot of folks, the idea that if you worked hard, you could make it -- you could get a good job that paid a living wage, that you could count on your kids having a better future than you did -- those things were slipping out of the grasp of a lot of folks." July 22, 2013 Remarks by the president at an OFA Dinner | The White House

In the fall of 2011, Mr. Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to unveil a $447 billion jobs bill that has not passed. In 2012, as his re-election campaign neared its end, he renewed his vision with a 20-page economic plan. In his State of the Union address in February, the president refocused on the economy after beginning his second term focused on gun control, immigration, climate change and gay rights. And just this past May, Mr. Obama announced he was restarting his “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour,” with stops in Baltimore and Austin, Tex. Obama Seeking to Take Credit and Set Course for Economy -

Once upon a time
Having money was a crime,
And I was in my prime
And working for nothing.

Now that habit's hard to break,
And what I got you wouldn't take
The time to steal. Life's so unreal
When you're working for nothing.

Working for nothing
-ain't my act.
Working for nothing
-an un-natural fact,
Working for nothing.

Those cats in the top hats
All know money's where its at,
Say `You want it easy, want it fat?
Quit working for nothing.'

Those dudes hopping on The Line,
Making Fords and doing fine,
Do you think they'd take a shine
To working for nothing?

Working for nothing
-for pie in the sky
Working for nothing
-in the sweet bye and bye
We'll all be working for nothing.

That man with the handshake,
His love is just a stone fake.
He wants your love for his sake.
He ain't smiling for nothing.

He's got power in his sights.
He'll come out on top all right.
Still, his wife stays out all night,
Working for nothing.

Working for nothing --
Gotta break on through --
Working for nothing
To where dreams come true.
No more working for nothing.

Gotta get that bacon.
Gotta pay that rent.
Gotta give that loan shark
My last red cent.

Gotta make a final payment
And get my pistol outta hock.
Gotta press my three-piece suit.
Gotta darn my sock.

There's alimony, child-support,
There's last month's union dues,
And my baby needs a new pair
Of hand-made English shoes.

She's been broke before,
And says she won't put out no more,
If putting out just means
She's working for nothing.

Working for nothing...
-But there ain't nothing free.
Working for nothing...
-It's just the fool in me
That's working for nothing.

I used to be a winner,
A syncopated sinner.
I gave out all my love for free
(Yes, that was really me.)

Now I jump when they push the button,
Trying to get me a piece of something,
Trying to make a deal that beats
Working for nothing.

Gonna pull myself together,
Buy the papers, find a job.
Maybe dress up all in leather
And break legs for the mob.

Maybe wear those real sharp suits,
Be the servant, play the clown,
For those jokers in the penthouse
That own the whole damn town.

Maybe be a jewel thief,
Or rob banks like Willie Sutton.
Be a local discount hit-man.
It's better than working for nothing.

If you're working for something
-don't take no bets
It only seems like something
-cause you ain't seen nothing yet
No, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 23, 2013 5:08 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
This Just In


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 23, 2013 4:26 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Making Thunderbirds: "The big line moved one mile an hour / So loud it really hurt "

The big line moved one mile an hour
So loud it really hurt
The big line moved so loud
It really hurt
Back in '55
We were makin' Thunderbirds

We filled conveyors
We met production
Foremen didn't waste words
We met production
Foremen didn't waste words
We were young and proud
We were makin' Thunderbirds

We were makin' Thunderbirds
We were makin' Thunderbirds
They were long and low and sleek and fast
They were all you ever heard
Back in '55
We were makin' Thunderbirds

Now the years have flown and the plants have changed
And you're lucky if you work
The big line moves but you're lucky if you work
Back in '55
We were makin' Thunderbirds

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 23, 2013 1:59 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Just In


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 23, 2013 11:26 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
George Zimmerman to the Rescue --or -- "Once again, the Most Hated Man in America gets out of his vehicle."

[File Under: "You can't make this stuff up."]

George Zimmerman Emerged From Hiding to Rescue Family Trapped in SUV - ABC News

George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue a family who was trapped in an overturned vehicle, police said today.

Zimmerman was one of two men who came to the aid of Dana and Mark Gerstle and their two children, who were trapped inside a blue Ford Explorer SUV that had rolled over after traveling off the highway in Sanford, Fla. at approximately 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said in a statement...... His lawyers said Zimmerman has been wearing a bullet-proof vest when he ventures out in public.

Zimmerman's parents told ABC News' Barbara Walters they too have received death threats and have been unable to return to their home. - ABC News

The family that was rescued:


They're white so I guess it doesn't count. Or, as someone has noted, did Zimmerman attack the SUV because it was black and had a hood?

"NBC has footage of the incident that it's running backwards, so that Zimmerman is shown pushing the family back into the upside-down car."
neo-neocon サ Blog Archive サ Who was
Updated with this comment:

"The most important thing to understand about Zimmerman is he is an example of what the evil liberals will do to any one of us, out of the blue, and the consequences be damned. The people on our side that refuse to see that the Left is evil, from top to bottom, and to a man, are the weak-sisters in our camp that allow our side to find reason to comprise with The Left.

"Until The Left picks you out of a crowd for no reason, only then will the weak-sisters in our camp finally understand they routinely destroy innocent people for fun and profit. The weak-sisters think ( or is it hope?) if they are careful enough they will be spared.

"They think, if they follow the rules, they will be spared.

"They think, if I am nice enough to a few liberals, I will be spared.

"They're fools. The Left will attack you and accuse you of walking on your hands around Mars and hundreds of 'witnesses' will come out of the woodwork to declare they can also testify to your use of the N-word, beating a child, or anything else. However, until each of the weak-sisters are the target of The Left they will not recognize how fictitious ALL of The Left's charges ultimately have been. And your fellow weak-sisters will stand back and wonder why you weren't more careful so it wouldn't have happened to today's target.

"There are no nice liberals. They will, to a man, sacrifice you the moment it is necessary for them. The person you think is an exception just hasn't been tested yet. They will abandon you. They have evil in their heart. They've ignored 100 million dead and 100 years of history.

"Learn from others' experience."

Posted by: Scott M George Zimmerman to the Rescue --or -- "Once again, the Most Hated Man in America gets out of his vehicle." @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 22, 2013 8:54 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Departure Roulette

I don't know about you, but I'm outta here.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 22, 2013 12:35 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Contemporary Classics, Compare and Contrast: A Whiter Shade Of Pale (1967-2006)

Procol Harum performing A Whiter Shade of Pale with the Danish National Concert Orchestra and choir at Ledreborg Castle, Denmark in August 2006.

But before that there was -- as far off and faded as the shadow of smoke cast on shaded water -- the 1967 version.... or there should have been, except that nobody, ever, was this young.....

This is the original 16mm Scopitone conversion, from the 'summer of love' 1967 hit record. Vocals and piano played by Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher played the Hammond organ, and these original lyrics were written by Keith Reid;

We skipped the light fandango
turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
I was feeling kinda' seasick
the crowd called out for more
the room was humming harder
as the ceiling flew away
when we called out for another drink
the waiter brought a tray

and so it was that later
as a mirror told its tale
that her face at first just ghostly
turned a whiter shade of pale

She said: "There is no reason
and the truth is plain to see"
but I wandered through my playing cards
would not let her be
one of sixteen vestal virgins
who were leaving for the coast
and although my eyes were open
they might just as well've been closed

and so it was that later
as the miller told his tale
that her face at first just ghostly
turned a whiter shade of pale...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 22, 2013 11:44 AM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"As the State swells, it ceases to perform any of its functions even marginally well."


"The annotations are significant, but even more so is the geometry through which they're depicted: an expanding sphere of State control, first over our necessities, then over our discretionary activities, and ultimately over the whole of human existence.

At each stage, the State's coercive powers are amplified by the importance and scope of the resources it appropriated in the previous stage, such that individuals and voluntary organizations steadily lose all power to resist its further expansion. The Blob wouldn't have had a chance against the State. I can add only a single observation to this depiction: As the State swells, it ceases to perform any of its functions even marginally well. Indeed, the first functions it will slough are the ones for which we originally agreed to tolerate a pre-indemnified coercive authority: national defense, police protection, and the administration of impartial justice. In the terminal stage of its expansion, when it lays claim to all things and no one outside its corridors may do anything without first asking its permission and paying its price, the State's sole concern becomes the maintenance of its power and the perquisites of its nomenklatura." Liberty's Torch: The Metastasis

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 22, 2013 10:47 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Profile

A brief excerpt taken from the OSS Psychological Profile of Hitler, Part Three

"He is a master of the art of propaganda. Ludecke writes: "He has a matchless instinct for taking advantage of every breeze to raise a political whirlwind. No official scandal was so petty that he could not magnify it into high treason; he could ferret out the most devious corruption in high places and plaster the town with the bad news."

"His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.

"Hitler's ability to repudiate his own conscience in arriving at political decisions has eliminated the force which usually checks and complicates the forward-going thoughts and resolutions of most socially responsible statesmen. He has, therefore, been able to take that course of action which appeals to him as most effective without pulling his punches. The result has been that he has frequently outwitted his adversaries and attained ends which would not have been as easily attained by a normal course. Nevertheless, it has helped to build up the myth of his infallibility and invincibility.

"Equally important has been his ability to persuade others to repudiate their individual consciences and assume that role himself. He can then decree for the individual what is right and wrong, permissible or impermissible and can use them freely in the attainment of his own ends. As Goering has said: 'I have no conscience. My conscience is Adolph Hitler.' "

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 21, 2013 7:39 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
BILL WHITTLE: The Lynching

Just the facts.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 20, 2013 11:12 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Rock Goddess: Charlie Watts can just SIT. DOWN.

The Coalition Drum Shop notes She has been coming into Coalition Drum Shop, 215 State St., once every few months since the store opened last year, said store manager Dustin Hackworth. “We don’t know anything about her, except that her name is Mary. She comes in, plays ‘Wipe Out’ for about 10 minutes and leaves,” he said.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 20, 2013 10:36 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
DETROIT: Cause of death? Inoperable governmental cancer.


Hard truths from MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Detroit Files Bankruptcy [HT: Doug Ross]

And from 2009, this prescient video:


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 19, 2013 5:48 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Roy Sullivan, The Conductor: Winner and Still Champion


The Conductor • Damn Interesting

Roy Sullivan is recognized by Guinness World Records as the person struck by lightning more recorded times than any other human being. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 71 over an unrequited love.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 19, 2013 2:15 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dragnet: "Don't try to build a new country. Make this one work."

MOBLEY: "You just don't understand."

FRIDAY: Maybe we do, son. Don't think you have a corner on all the virtue vision in the country or that everyone else is fat and selfish and yours is the first generation to come along that's felt dissatisfied--they all have, you know, about different things; and most of them didn't have the opportunity and freedoms that you have.

"Let's talk poverty. In most parts of the world, that's not a problem, it's a way of life. And rights? They're liable to give you a blank stare because they may not know what you're talking about.

"The fact is, more people are living better right here than anyone else ever before in history. So don't expect us to roll over and play dead when you say you're dissatisfied. It's not perfect, but it's a great deal better than when we grew up: a hundred men standing in the street hoping for one job; selling apples on the street corner-- that's one of the things we were dissatisfied about; and you don't see that much anymore..."

GANNON: "You're taller, stronger, healthier, and you live longer than the last generation; and we don't think that's altogether bad. You've probably never seen a 'Quarantine' sign on a neighbor's door. Diphtheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough--probably none of your classmates are crippled with polio. You don't see many mastoid scars anymore.

"We've done quite a bit of fighting all around the world. Whether you think it was moral or not a lot of people are free to make their own mistakes today because of it. And that may just include you."

FRIDAY: "I don't know; maybe part of it's the fact that you're in a hurry. You've grown up on instant orange juice. Flip a dial--instant entertainment. Dial seven digits--instant communication. Turn a key--push a pedal-instant transportation. Flash a card--instant money. Shove in a problem--push a few buttons--instant answers.

"But some problems you can't get quick answers for, no matter how much you want them.

"We took a little boy into Central Receiving Hospital yesterday; he's four years old. He weighs eight-and-a-half pounds. His parents just hadn't bothered to feed him. Now give me a fast answer to that one--one that'll stop that from ever happening again.

"And if you can't settle that one, how about the 55,000 Americans who'll die on the highway this year? That's nearly six or seven times the number that'll get killed in Vietnam. Why aren't you up in arms about that? Or is dying in a car somehow moral?

"Show me how to wipe out prejudice. I'll settle for the prejudices you have inside yourselves. Show me how to get rid of the unlimited capacity for human beings to make themselves believe they're somehow right--and justified--in stealing from somebody, or hurting somebody...and you'll just about put this place here out of business!"

GANNON: "Don't think we're telling you to lose your ideals or your sense of outrage. They're the only way things ever get done. And there's a lot more that still needs doing. And we hope you'll tackle it.

"You don't have to do anything dramatic like coming up with a better country. You can find enough to keep you busy right here.

"In the meantime, don't break things up in the name of progress or crack a placard stick over someone's head to make him see the light. Be careful of his rights. Because your property and your person and your rights aren't any better than his. And the next time you may be the one to get it.

"We remember a man who killed six million people--and called it social improvement."

FRIDAY: "Don't try to build a new country. Make this one work. It has for over four hundred years; and by the world's standards, that's hardly more than yesterday."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 18, 2013 2:05 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Niagara Falls! Slowly I turned.....

And.... step by step.... inch by inch....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 17, 2013 8:56 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Fifty Seconds That Will Fix Your Day

Found by the Hulk-sized leprechaun @ Sippican Cottege who claims, I've Hired A New Life Coach. She Leads By Example and notes "Children are God's opinion that life should go on. And my, how they do go on."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 17, 2013 7:45 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
L.A. 1965 & 1992: Is this what you have in mind, Mr. Holder?

Hey kids, ever been in a city when the army comes in? I've been in two of them. It's not pretty. You won't like it. You won't like the "leaders and their lapdog media" that made it happen.

Well, you can cool it,
You can heat it . . .
'Cause, baby, I don't need it . . .
Take your TV tube and eat it
'N all that phony stuff on sports
'N all the unconfirmed reports
You know I watched that rotten box
Until my head begin to hurt
From checkin' out the way
The newsman say they get the dirt
Before the guys on channel so-and-so

And further they assert
That any show they'll interrupt
To bring you news if it comes up
They say that if the place blows up
They will be the first to tell,
Because the boys they got downtown
Are workin' hard and doin' swell,
And if anybody gets the news
Before it hits the street,
They say that no one blabs it faster
Their coverage can't be beat

And if another woman driver
Gets machine-gunned from her seat
They'll send some joker with a brownie
And you'll see it all complete

So I'm watchin' and I'm waitin'
Hopin' for the best
Even think I'll go to prayin'
Every time I hear 'em sayin'
That there's no way to delay
That trouble comin' every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin' every day

-- Frank Zappa

The six-day riot resulted in 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damage. It was the most severe riot in the city's history until the Los Angeles riots of 1992.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 16, 2013 11:45 PM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Putin the President vs Our My Little Pony President: Compare and Contrast


The Hunt for Red Putin:

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, seen through the glass of C-Explorer 5 submersible after a dive to see the remains of the naval frigate "Oleg", which sank in the 19th century, in the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea, on July 15, 2013

As noted here nearly four years ago in The Strong Horse vs. My Little Pony @ AMERICAN DIGEST:

Lost on the western media and assorted schmos from the blogosphere is the obvious fact that these macho pictures of Putin were not released for their amusement, but for Putin's benefit. And, in the current international climate, they benefit him quite a bit. They benefit Putin and Russia because, for most of the world unblotched by the the crippling "sophistication" of the West, Putin is compared, inevitably, to Barack Obama. And when that happens, it's like comparing a Wild Mustang to My Little Pony....

The problem with Obama when it comes to maintaining balance in the world is that he both sounds weak and looks weak. Indeed, the overall physical impression of Obama from day to day is one of a being that is simultaneously languid, effete, and enervated. The only thing more dangerous in this current era than an American president that is too aggressive is one that is too weak; one that is slight and sapless. This is, indeed, what is being projected from the Obama White House.

To emphasize this perception, Putin wisely put into play a series of photo-ops to underscore how strong and vital he, and by extension, Russia has become. It's playing for the hearts and minds of the weaker countries of the world. With the exception of the morally and spiritually weak nations of the west, it's a winning campaign.

In the Great Game, letting Russia seem strong and America seem weak is a losing proposition for the West and a winning one for Russia.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 16, 2013 1:10 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Age Demanded an Image


The age demanded an image
Of its accelerated grimace,
Something for the modern stage,
Not, at any rate, an Attic grace;

Not, not certainly, the obscure reveries
Of the inward gaze;
Better mendacities
Than the classics in paraphrase!

The "age demanded" chiefly a mould in plaster,
Made with no loss of time,
A prose kinema, not, not assuredly, alabaster
Or the "sculpture" of rhyme....

All men, in law, are equals.
Free of Peisistratus,
We choose a knave or an eunuch
To rule over us.
-- Hugh Selwyn Mauberly -- Ezra Pound

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 16, 2013 2:06 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
When Did the Government Become a Jealous Girlfriend?

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 15, 2013 11:45 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
President Obama Address NSA Surveillance Concerns: You Can Trust Me I Am A Trustworthy Robot

Partial Transcript: "It was concerning when the Bush administration was secretly collecting your information. Heck, I had concerns back then myself. But, everyone knows that George W. Bush was not a good President. Whereas, I am a good President. See the difference? So, while you could not trust George W. Bush to secretly collect your data, you can trust me. I'm a trustworthy guy.

"Another important difference between my administration and the Bush administration is that when the Bush administration secretly spied on you, the Bush administration could not point to a single judge willing to say their program was legal. We, on the other hand, can point to such a judge. I'm not going to tell you who this judge is, or why he or she thinks our program is legal. If I did that, it would, obviously be harder for me to convince you that the program is legal. Instead, I'm just going to tell you that we secretly found one judge who was willingly to secretly say that it was legal for us to collect all of your data....

"The Bush administration could not tell you that it had informed Congress. Whereas my administration took steps to ensure that if you ever found out about our secret surveillance program, we could tell you that we informed Congress. To be clear, when I say 'we informed Congress,' I am not saying that we did out best to ensure that Congress had enough information to have an informed debate on this vital national security issue. What I am saying is that we informed Congress enough for me to stand here and tell you that 'we informed Congress.' What Congress actually knew is not important....

"If Congress did not want us to secretly interpret the law, then Congress should not have passed a law for us to secretly interpret....

"If you, the American people, did not want me to secretly collect your data, then you should not have elected me President. Yes, I know many of you were probably unaware that I wanted to secretly collect your data, especially since I said I would not secretly collect your data. But, I choose to believe that you elected me to be your President, because you believe that if someone has to secretly collect your data, that someone should be me. And, as we all know, my secret interpretations of your support are more important than the reasons you actually supported me.

"Finally, while I do not believe there is any reason to debate this issue, I will tell you that I welcome a debate on this issue. In fact, I'm so grateful that Edward Snowden started this debate that I have decided to stop at nothing to ensure he spends the rest of his life in a federal prison."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 14, 2013 10:30 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Tale of Two Systems

Mark O’Mara, the lead defense attorney for George Zimmerman: “Two systems went against George Zimmerman that he can’t understand: you guys, the media. He was like a patient in an operating table where a mad scientists were committing experiments on him and he had no anesthesia. He didn’t know why he was turned into this monster, but quite honestly you guys had a lot to do with it. You just did. Because you took a story that was fed to you and you ran with it, and you ran right over him. And that was horrid to him.

“Then he comes into a system that he trusts — let’s not forget, six voluntary statements, voluntary surrender — and he believes in a system that he really wanted to be a part of, right? And then he gets prosecutors that charge him with a crime that they could never, ever, prove. They didn’t lose evidence along the way, right. So I don’t think anyone in this room would argue they had evidence of second degree murder. This ‘in you heart’ stuff.... That’s not what we’re supposed to do. So those two systems failed him.”

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 14, 2013 8:09 AM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Is A Third Party Really Nonsense? The Discussion


Fifty plus responses is a big discussion in these parts. Not at all like the multi-thousand item rant fests you catch at the chain of Internet Roach Motels run by the AP.

For the sake of keeping this discussion all in one place, here's the complete as of today unexpected thread for what I thought might be a small item of passing interest to readers: Side-Lines: A third party is nonsensical. It is a vote to fail. [Bumped]

We must become the opposition party within the opposition party. Just as Ronald Reagan fought the establishment for decades, so too must we continue to fight using the party only as a vessel for our needs. -- Doug Ross @ Journal: THREE CRISES: An Essay
Ross' essay begins, "Why am I a conservative? For one, I'm literate. I read history.
I know that every government is a social experiment. Every one is an experiment in power and respect, truth and enlightenment, integrity and frailty. And all too frequently, history teaches us that governments descend into corrupted forms of their original selves no matter how grand their vision. Hitler and Gaddafi, Stalin and Pol Pot, Ivan the Terrible and Genghis Khan are only the most infamous examples of murderous despots bent on destruction, pillage, and mass murder."
For Ross the Three Crisises are Leadership, Knowledge, and Will. For readers here, they were only the beginning.

What do I think? Well, that's not really an issue here, is it?


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 11, 2013 9:57 AM | Comments (27)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Contemporary American Classics: "Ripple"

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

Long ago and far away, and as happens far too often in my life as a footnote, I found myself dressed in paisley pants, a white embroidered tunic, and boots of Spanish leather dancing in what passed for the audience at Fillmore West when the Dead performed Ripple for the first time in August of 1970. This is not to say I remember it at all from that performance. While I do remember sharp flashes of imagery and distinct crisp moments from those years in the gone world, most evenings at the Fillmore Ballroom and Fillmore West remain a blur.... for obvious reasons.

Today, 43 past gone years on, I discovered that somebody grabbed that evening on tape and tossed it down the decades until it became digital and hence immortal: Grateful Dead Live at Fillmore West on 1970-08-19. where it’s track 6. Did I hear it then? (“I mean like, man, really hear it, really dig Ripple, you know?” --in the argot of the era. ) Was that me applauding and/or whooping in the background. Who can tell? Who can know?

It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
Perhaps they're better left unsung.
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air.

It's haunting to hear an evening from your life decades past. It stirs a lot of ghosts that live in a universe you do not normally disturb. But again it does not mean I remember that song at its first singing. I certainly remembered Ripple after it came out on their album, American Beauty, later that year. That would have been a requirement. As was the habit of the original hippies in the original San Francisco, we’d get a Dead (Dylan) (Beatles) (Stones) album on the first day it was released and play that vinyl until we’d ground down the gooves to powder and inhaled that powder to plant the groove inside us.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

Ripple was the perfect anthem for the time because everything at the time and of that place in and around San Francisco was, well, like a Ripple, very liquid.... quite flowing. And, hearing it again now, I have to say that the anthem quality of the song persists.

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.

Ripple is, as noted in the video of the surviving members of the Dead placed at the end of this post, a young man’s song; an optimistic song straining for an older wisdom as yet unearned but sensed, foreseen, and in the song foretold.

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone,
If you should stand then who's to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home.

Wisdom. Something most claim they want but few will seek. Most people are, as am I, constantly distracted by the detritus of daily living. And so we seek out and find our various songs, poems, or other talismans to remind us, distantly, that there is a road, no simple highway. What is it and where is it? From where I stand it comes and goes, rises and falls, fades in and out; sometimes it is a maze and other times it is a labyrinth. In all states the gate is strait and the way narrow and easily lost in the fog, in the smoke of the world. Does it lead down to the pit, off into the starlight, or up some endless staircase?

If I knew the way, would I take you home?

"Sometimes the light's all shining on me.
Other times I can barely see.
Lately, it occurs to me....."

The Story of "Ripple" by the Grateful Dead....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 10, 2013 3:36 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
How's That "War on [Some] Drugs" Working Out for You?


Want to know what 17 million pounds of pot looks like? The Center for Investigative Reporting takes a heady look at how much marijuana is seized at the U.S.-Mexico border. Via the Report at Crossing the Line: Drugs, corruption and the rise of the U.S. Border Patrol| The Center for Investigative Reporting


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 10, 2013 8:50 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: "Rafael Cruz at Free the People"

An exceptional speech by an exceptional man. The best way to spend twelve minutes today or any day. Pass it on. HT: Neo-Neocon

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 9, 2013 12:29 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
They said if gays got married it would come to this....

and it has!....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 9, 2013 11:50 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Quick. Don't Think of a Black Elephant!


The new racism in America stinks. The whole revolting "little George Allen maybe said the "N" word 30-odd years in the past" pile of crap pushed out by his political rival over the last few days Paula Deen social media raping has filled me with a new found revulsion for our politics.

My crime is this: by writing out the following word, "nigger," I have just committed a social crime more heinous than smoking a cigarette within three miles of a day-care center. But what is done, sigh, is done.

I've done many thing in my life that have made me potentially unelectable to any office in the United States.

I've had points of view that were out when conservatism was in, and points of view that were out when liberalism was in. I've worked for magazines that printed pictures of naked women and letters that began "I never thought I'd be writing this to a magazine, but...."

There are photographs of me smoking cigarettes in a land where the only two things the educational system teaches children is that cigarettes are bad and the New York Times is good.

My religious affiliations are dubious and transitory. I tend to change churches as others change sox.

While I am a member of the largest minority, it is the only one that is unrecognized by the Diversity Stamp of Approval Bureau. After a lifetime of voting the Democratic ticket, I became so nauseated by Teresa Heinz Kerry and her consort in 2004 that I actually voted for George Bush. To compound this sin I then moved to Seattle, Washington where Bush Derangement Syndrome has claimed the brain death of approximately 97.6% of the population.

Yes, I am one American citizen whose chances of being elected to anything, before this essay, hovered at .001 %. But with the single word in the essay above I have, for all eternity, sealed my political doom. That word has now become part of my "Permanent Conduct Record," and has, as far as the ever-alert pecksniffs of our shared political purity are concerned, made me an outcast. Alas, I am forever doomed to wander the barren heath where dwell the "hard-core unelectable." I suspect I shall soon be able with George Allen to:
"...sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been depos'd, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos'd,
Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd."

Murdered by the "N-Word."

It is not, mind you, that "The N-Word" is forbidden or never heard in this fair land at this time. On the contrary, "nigger" is spoken, sung, shouted and roared from the rooftops of our culture to an extent I have never witnessed in all my decades.

The word is blasted across the blank forebrain of our culture every minute of every hour of every day. Not only can it be bought in huge quantities at every on and offline record/DVD store in the country, it is also blasted into our city streets by large vehicles mounting sound systems that can drop a charging rhino at 100 yards and cause small dogs to implode in penthouses high above our boulevards. At vast nocturnal gatherings of our most vital and hyper-sexual young people, the word is drummed out in endless celebratory chants as all assembled shake, shake, shake their money makers to the non-stop N-chants of our perpetually preening princes of pop. If rappers were smart enough to be pilots, they'd sky-write it.

For, lo, this Word of N which once emblemized both race-hate and a degraded and disgraced secondary state of humanity has, through the alchemy of the asses and the asinine among us, been mystically transmogrified into something approaching a holy incantation. From a mongrel word it has be made magical. An abracadabra of assholiness. But the use of this magic word has, as the high priests of pap always assure us, been made unavailable to the many to enhance the power of the few.

The Word of N is now the sole possession of the REMD (Racial Establishment of Monetized Defeatism). It is a closely held stock whose possession assures that, the more we strive to put racism behind us in this country, the more it will be kept alive in order to maintain the parasite of racism's ability to feed upon the host culture and continue to enrich its stockholders.

The Word is the carrier of a strange disease. It is a disease that those who would benefit most from its eradication seek desperately to maintain. After all, if the scourge of racism were ever allowed to fade from our land, where would all the people with jobs and investments in the continuance of racism go? How would they live? How would their mortgages be paid and how would their car, boat and second-home payments be met?

For if racism is allowed to die a natural death, isn't the Race-Hustling industry also on-line for the grave as well? This can't be allowed to happen. Too many people are getting too rich.

The crowning irony is that those benefiting are not all black. Not by a long shot. That is why rather than sending the N-Word into a well-deserved oblivion with the ghosts of the KKK and the lynch mob, it has been made, instead, into a Holy Word; a cross between a mantra and a prayer with just a whiff of violence attached so you don't get too cocky with it.

I am "one of those" who are denied access to this new Holy Word simply by an accident of my birth and racial heritage. It matters not one whit what the First Amendment may say about all English words being free to all, there is one word there that is not free to me, and I may not say it or write it ever without dire consequences to my social and political and employment chances in America today.

Evoking the F-word may or may not be a firing offense in America today, but for a person of my race the mention of the Word of N most certainly is. Context has exactly nothing to do with it. Indeed, as some will recall, the use of a word that even sounds like it, such as "niggardly," is a potential firing offense. Even the first syllable seems to have become forbidden to those suffering my genetic misfortune over which I have no control.

Yes, I was to my everlasting shame and regret born a White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant -- AKA "WASP." This awful affliction looks like this:


This is fixed in my nature. I cannot change it and, no matter how much I may have done, no matter how much I do to carry forward the banner of a raceless, classless society in which all me are judged "not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character;" to raise high the escutcheon of a perfect world, a perfected America, I know that because of the accident of my birth it will never, ever be enough.

I once thought, when I was drowned deep in the somnambulant 60s dreams of racial equality, that we could -- as people of good will working together -- achieve the dream of Dr. King. Now I know it is nothing but a chimera. The truth is that good seldom overcomes greed and there is simply too much money to be made and to many jobs to be handed out by the Racial Grievance Industry of America.

The once admirable Racial Equality movement in America has regrettably transformed itself within a mere 50 years into a Racial Inequity in Perpetuity Movement, and is probably more entrenched than a government bureaucracy -- especially since many government bureaus and employees have a role in it. As a result, there is no sense in yearning any longer for a raceless or classless America.

The control of words and images by the Race Hustlers of America ensures that that day will never come about no matter how much the people yearn for it. As long as the cheap mouthpieces of a faux ghetto identity strut and fret their weary wares upon the stage of our corrupted culture, as long as there is one grill left to be set on one pair of greedy teeth, as long as the Holy Grail of a Big Reparations Check is dangled in front of all those that hold within their genes a single sequence of African DNA, the Race Hustling Religion of America will never fold up its tents and steal away. It is just too much of a Gold Cash Calf to walk away from.

And, like all religions sunk in the pagan fantasies of violence and degradation, the Race Hustling Religion will have to have, from time to time, a white human sacrifice to underscore its power. Right now, that sacrifice is George Allen, Paula Deen whose crime --punished immediately and without trial, is some ancient, vague, unproven and unprovable, use of "The N-Word." a word she was never it turns out allowed to utter or to even think. She's not the first. She won't be the last. I'm probably on the list now. But I know all you who are reading this are safe. After all, you've never, ever said or even thought that terrible soul-destroying Word of N. Have you?

[First Published: 2006-09-28 Now revised 2013-07-07]

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 8, 2013 3:48 AM | Comments (50)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Contemporary American Classics: "The Wichita Lineman"

A visual hymn to the song and its subject. This cut is from the original in 1968. How does Campbell handle it 43 years later? Not bad. Not bad at all as you can see and hear in the video of his performance on Jools Holland in 2011 after the jump.

"Wichita Lineman" is a popular song written by Jimmy Webb in 1968, first recorded by Glen Campbell and widely covered by other artists. Campbell's version, which appeared on his 1968 album of the same name, reached #3 on the U.S. pop chart, remaining in the Top 100 for 15 weeks. In addition, the song also topped the American country music chart for two weeks, and the adult contemporary chart for six weeks. It was certified gold by the RIAA in January 1969. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" ranked "Wichita Lineman" at #192. It has been referred to as 'the first existential country song'.

"Webb was inspired to write the lyrics when he saw a solitary lineman in rural northern Oklahoma] The lyric describes the longing that a lonely telephone or electric power lineman feels for an absent lover who he imagines he can hear "singing in the wire" that he is working on. Such a sonic vibration is commonly induced by wind blowing across small conductors. There is uncertainty as to which "Wichita" is intended; Wichita, Kansas, Wichita County, Kansas (which is over 250 road miles away), Wichita Falls, Texas, and Wichita County, Texas have all been suggested as possibilities. In his Wichita, Kansas concert, Glen Campbell announced that the song referred to Wichita County, in western Kansas.

"In the first recording, by Glen Campbell, a notable feature of Al de Lory's orchestral arrangement is that the violins and a Gulbransen Synthesizer mimic the sounds that a lineman might hear when attaching a telephone earpiece to a long stretch of raw telephone or telegraph line, i.e. without typical line equalisation and filtering. One would be aware of high-frequency tones fading in and out, caused by the accidental rectification (the rusty bolt effect) of heterodynes between many radio stations (the violins play this sound); and occasional snatches of Morse Code from radio amateurs or utility stations (this is heard after the line of lyric, "is still on the line"). Heterodynes are also referenced in the lyric, "I can hear you through the whine".

"The bass solo was played by Campbell himself on a Danelectro six-string bass borrowed from friend and session bassist Carol Kaye; the pulsing effect is tremolo from a Fender amplifier. On a 1969 appearance on the Smothers Brothers TV show, Campbell played the solo on a Fender Bass VI six-string bass guitar." -- La Wik


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 7, 2013 10:14 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
American Digest: That's Ten Years and That's a Wrap

Flying Over America - YouTube

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 6, 2013 10:29 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Opening the Nebraska Tomb of the Ancient Chevrolets, "One mile on the odometer"

"....They just kept them....without driving them...for forty years?...."


“It Will Pay to See Ray”

Coming up, the 2 Day Auction 28th-29th, 2013 in Pierce, Nebraska. by VanDerBrink Auctions - Yvette VanDerBrink Auctioneer.


First spotlighted at Messy Nessy Chic and brought to my attention by reader Deborah H.: 1940s Chevy Dealer re-opens to Auction off 500 Time Capsule Cars | Messy Nessy Chic Messy Nessy Chic

Ray and Mildred Lambrecht are now in their 90s and have made what is described by their daughter Jeannie, as a "difficult and painful" decision, to liquidate the dealership'€™s massive inventory of "survivor vehicles"€™. On September 28th and 29th, 2013, VanDerBrink Auctions will have the honor of selling this incredible, once in a lifetime collection of American automotive history.

Urban legends speak of a former Midwest Chevy dealer with a collection of hundreds of vehicles hidden away in a rural setting. Rumors abound regarding this man and the mystery of that collection. The man behind that legend is my father, Ray P. Lambrecht. Dad owned and operated Lambrecht Chevrolet Company from 1946 until 1996, selling new Chevrolets to multiple generations of families all over the Midwest and beyond.
Lambrecht Chevrolet Company was owned and operated by my parents, Ray and Mildred Lambrecht with only one employee, a mechanic. They operated the dealership for 50 years until they retired in 1996 at ages 78 and 75. My parents worked six days a week for 50 years, never taking one single day of vacation or one sick day. They worked hard and operated their business with honesty, integrity, and kindness, frequently lending a helping hand to others who were in need.

My Dad just loved to sell new cars and trucks, and he sold lots of them. Also, he felt very strongly about the issue of safety for families with young children. He would strive to put those families in new cars that were safe and reliable rather than selling them a used car. That was the genesis of my Dad’s car collection. He sold lots and lots of new cars and lots and lots of pickups. The trade-ins were parked on our farm outside of town. Their numbers gradually grew into a massive collection. New cars that were left unsold were also stored. There is a lot of history in that collection. Dad can look at any of those vehicles today and tell you the story behind it. He remembers each used car and the former owner, like the 1928 Durant owned by Mom’s uncle Louie.-- Jeannie Lambrecht Stillwell


Lot 15, 1978 Chevrolet Corvette (V8, four-speed automatic transmission), five miles

48 vehicles with fewer than 20 miles on their odometers. The oldest are a pair of '58 Chevys -- a one-mile Cameo pickup and a five-mile Apache pickup -- and the newest is a 1980 Monza with nine miles.

Gentlemen, start your checkbooks.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 6, 2013 8:45 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Saturday Review: Longer Stories Worth Your While

30 Breathtaking Undersea Photos by Alexander Semenov --TwistedSifter

How Do Death Valley’s “Sailing Stones” Move Themselves Across the Desert? These mysterious rocks have puzzled scientists for decades—until one geologist found the answer on his kitchen table | Travel | Smithsonian Magazine

Still Trying To Vote Your Way To Freedom?: African Americans didn't initiate the Civil Rights Movement because they like pushing buttons in voting booths. -- Cobb

A Thousand Year Reich: Photographs (from the LIFE archives) by Hugo Jaeger (Adolf Hitler’s personal photographer) -- but does it float Plus The story of how LIFE came to own Jaeger’s collection of roughly 2,000 color photographs

The Eyes Have It: New Human Body Part Discovered Popular Science

Today's Best Science Fiction Writers Imagine The Future Predictions for how we will live and work—on Earth or in space—in the decades and centuries to come --| Popular Science

Trapped in an Underwater Air Bubble for Three Days: Harrison Okene’s shipwreck air bubble: How could he survive underwater for three days? -- Slate Magazine

The Developing World Needs GM Plants More Than It Needs Hippy Protesters | VICE United Kingdom

World War Z: Brad Pitt's Story of Salvation-- RealClearReligion -

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Beyond the Greeting Cards --| Humanities

The Internet of Actual Things: Toe nail clippers will nag you from the drawer. - - The Morning News

The Unfiltered History of Rolling Papers, Plus Tommy Chong’s Big Fat Jamaican Vacation | -- Collectors Weekly

Rocket Science 3: Airstream Interplanetary Explorer - steel, aluminum, stainless steel, electronics / length 84 feet or 26 meters, height 31 feet or 9 meters -- Edward Tufte forum

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 6, 2013 4:01 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Luminous Pop of the Beatles

The Beatles at the very beginning. Crisp and brilliant then. Still the same now. Check the unconscious yet simultaneous guitar move at 1:05 to appreciate how tight this group could get. Really quite extraordinary.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 5, 2013 4:03 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Age of Miracles and Whoppers

tall-hamburger1.jpgIt's the little things that can really underscore a nation's greatness.


Burger King Corp. is joining the low-carbohydrate parade by offering Bunless Whopper hamburgers and, soon, salads featuring steak, chicken and shrimp.

The Bunless sandwiches, which will be available nationwide beginning Tuesday, will come in plastic salad bowls, with knife and fork.

Again, the American microcosm reveals the American macrocosm. Ponder that item for a mere moment. Meditate on the deeper truth that is revealed in the simple and mundane mantra, 'Bunless Whopper.'

And what is that truth? It is as clear as a $5 bottle of Fiji water. What the 'Bunless Whopper' tells us without question is that the United States of America has at last achieved the most ancient dream, not only of humanity, but of life itself.

Yes, America has finally arrived at the alpha and omega point of life on Earth.

Today we stand at the top of the long, hard and deadly climb from the primeval soup.

Today the free world, the first world, the Crown of Creation and Cradle of Democracy is home at last with the Bunless Whopper; each one served 'in plastic salad bowls, with knife and fork.'

We have in America, right now, what all other cultures and nations and empires have dreamed of since before the dawn of time. We have, finally, created a society that produces

Way-Too-Much-Food ™


After aeons of the nightmare of Never-Enough-Food we now awake into the brave new Bunless Whopper World. We are the kings and queens of the Global Food Court, and our national sport is double dipping at the salad bar as we supersize everything from soup to nuts.

In fact, we are now so firmly established in the way-too-much-food universe that we are about to pass through a chronosynclasticinfandibulem into the alternate universe where a kid at the cash register says, 'Would you like to downsize these fries? It will only cost you a dollar less.'

I know, I know, They will tell you that people in America go to bed hungry every night. And They will be right. They will tell you, because They live to tell you, that you must think of "the starving children of Appalachia" (urban or rural), and so you will because you always think about what They so compulsively must tell you.

But, at the same time, the same 'They' are also going to tell you that you, or others like you, or others that you may know, or may see on the street (but seldom at a bikini contest on the beach) are much too fat.

They will tell you that people, especially 'the children,' ('They' love to drag in 'the children' at every opportunity.) are getting too obese, and by God the government needs to step in and 'do something.' This 'something' will invariably be a host of new regulations written by Them and directed at large corporations to tell people more about the fact that 'way-too-much-food will make you way-too-much-fat.' A message that really hasn't been sufficiently promulgated by the nation's book, magazine, newspaper, radio, and dietary supplement companies since the year Dot.

After the new regulations 'telling people what is good for them' have zero effect at halting way-too-much-food intake, They will make their next move. They will, 'for your own good,' make some laws to limit 'way-too-much-food.'

Following rapidly on the heels of these new laws that They will make 'for your own good,' will come a raft of studies, convocations, symposiums, and finally the really big gun, the class-action law suits directed at the deepest pockets around; farms and large corporations involved in the criminal conspiracy of:

Way-Too-Much-Food ™


After all, why have

Way-Too-Much-Food ™?

when you can have crop-failure, food-distribution and retailing bankruptcies, and famine across the face of the land?

Bribed experts from academe will blather at $500 and hour plus expenses in hundreds of courtrooms to achieve these goals.

Morbidly obese victims without number will waddle in front of morbidly clueless juries without peer in an effort to suck morbidly huge settlements from the coffers of companies who have produced way-too-much-food for decades.

Judges busy digesting way-too-much-lunch will drowse on their benches for months and years at a time. Discovery motions will uncover mountain ranges of documentation going back decades that prove, PROVE, that McDonalds' executives knew the Big Mac has six grams too much secret sauce for the heart of average American who wants to hoover up ten meals a day and live to 120.

Purveyors of food for the poor and middle class will be found guilty of a conspiracy to feed people way-too-much food for way-too-little money. (The top restaurants that charge $20 a bite in Los Angles, New York, and DC will get a pass so that power lunching may continue.)

And when it is all said and done and run up to the Supreme Court, and the checks are cut, the only Americans who will then be getting far-too-fat will be the members of the Trial Lawyers Association, the tools of Expert Academe who have shilled for them,and the politician with his hand out "lookin' for a new friend."

Way-Too-Much-Food ™


will have been judged to be, in the final analysis, un-American for poor people and little children.

It's the American Way.

"Do you think anyone in Rwanda's got a fucking lactose intolerance?"

Posted by Vanderleun Jul 5, 2013 12:34 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Happy Overthrow The Government Day


Made by Maksim

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 4, 2013 7:14 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Credo

To be born an American, or to become an American, you need only know and understand four things that we have written down. Our founding document, The Declaration of Independence. Our agreement with ourselves and our government that specifies and protects the self-evident truths and freedoms of the Declaration, The Constitution. Our national motto: "In God we trust." And our credo, "The Gettysburg Address." The Address: Seven Score and Nine Years Ago @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 3, 2013 8:39 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Mapping Little Round Top: A Cutting-Edge Second Look at the Battle of Gettysburg

"Early on July 2, Confederate scouts reported, erroneously, that there was no Federal presence around the two large hills south of Gettysburg called the Round Tops.

They missed several thousand Union troops that were in the vicinity until dawn. Lacking his cavalry "eyes" and unable to see Union troops that had gathered in the night, Lee decided to strike the Union’s vulnerable left flank, the far end of the "fishhook" descending from Cemetery Hill. He intended to land the blow before the rest of Meade’s army arrived." -- Smithsonian Magazine

The interactive map shows Union and Confederate troop movements over the course of the battle, July 1 – 3, 1863. Panoramic views from strategic viewpoints show what commanders could – and could not – see at decisive moments, and what Union soldiers faced at the beginning of Pickett’s Charge. You will also find “viewshed” maps created with GIS (Geographic Information Systems). These maps show more fully what was hidden from view at those key moments.

See more at: Battle of Gettysburg


Posted by gerardvanderleun Jul 1, 2013 3:39 PM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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