Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Chick Fight! "Chick... gave me.... bad.... coupon...."

HT: The Rt. Honorable davidthompson: Friday Ephemera


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 31, 2013 10:52 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Creating a Life


Gavin Aung Than of Zen Pencils on Calvin & Hobbes BILL WATTERSON: A cartoonist's advice: After working on the strip for 10 years, when Calvin and Hobbes was at the height of its popularity and was being published in over 2,000 newspapers, Watterson stopped. He had given his heart and soul to one project for 10 years, had said all he wanted to say and wanted to go out on top.

“I did not want Calvin and Hobbes to coast into half-hearted repetition, as so many long-running strips do. I was ready to pursue different artistic challenges, work at a less frantic pace with fewer business conflicts, and … start restoring some balance to my life.” Since retiring the strip, Watterson has pursued his interest in painting and music. It’s pretty incredible when you think about. Could you say ‘no’ to millions, I repeat, MILLIONS of dollars of merchandise money? I don’t know if I could. Would you stop creating your art if millions of people admired your work and kept wanting more? I don’t know if I would.

Take a look....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2013 2:23 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Beethoven's Secrets


"What are Beethoven's secrets? He had many.

His most prominent secret that he desperately tried to keep from the public and that caused him to be considered extremely eccentric, irritable, and hermit-like was his "weakness." He was deaf during most of his life. Imagine of the greatest composers that ever lived could hardly hear. And yet, he wrote his life's greatest works after becoming deaf. He believed that art itself had "secrets" that had to be "forced into" in order to obtain art's highest level. There is no doubt Beethoven discovered many of the "secrets" of art -- people all over the world enjoy them every day. He was a true master of music, blessed by God. This piece and video are dedicated to him."

Among many others from the lightly named "Piano Guys" this may be the most moving thing they have done to date. Brilliant in so many ways. Even at this remove it brought me to tears. Let it stand and unfold itself.....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2013 1:53 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What the Media Isn’t Telling You About Syrian Civil War [ UPDATED]

"If these guys are so bad, why arenʼt we hearing more about it? I canʼt tell you that but what I can tell you is what is happening in Syria today, should have the attention of every American and evidence of it is not that hard to find.

"All over YouTube are videos posted by members of the Free Syrian Army, or al Nusra demonstrating what they are doing now and what they will do in Syria once they have control. Beheadings of anyone seen as a traitor or siding with the government and the slaughtering of many innocent people.

"There is something else about the situation in Syria that American media is not telling you. Until this war started two years ago, Syria was one of the few places in the middle east where Christians, Shiite muslims, Sunni muslims , Alawites, and Jews all lived in peace with each other."

Full transcript at | @ Ben Swann


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2013 1:50 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Dark Continent of Spooklandia



Of course this is all only according to the Washington Amazon Post ... which, of course, lies all the time. Often, of course, at the behest of Washington insiders. And so, of course, we would automatically assume that the totals are larger than the ones presented here. Think of this as a "baseline" and scale up as your paranoia dictates.

As it stands this chart means that 1 in 17 working Americans works for Spooklandia. But relax, what could go wrong?


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 29, 2013 2:54 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: I'm Putting Up the Flag

I've got one. Don't see them much around my place, but when you do you know those neighbors are squared away.....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 29, 2013 11:52 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
MLK Celebration Was Just Sad: Everything You Once Thought Highly of Has Now Degenerated.

It's unclear who or what the assembled drones and droolers at today's autofornication festival represented, but it certainly wasn't Americans, African or otherwise. Under no circumstances can what was blathered today be thought of as a credit to the once noble and now nefarious "civil rights movement." Like so many other idealistic visions of its era it has now devolved and degenerated into a gelatinous slab of smarm and slime. I suppose that the best that can be said is that nothing said today will matter in another 50 years. Probably in another 50 months.



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 28, 2013 4:59 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Atomic Cadillac


There's these sleazy, crazy mullahs
Want to rearrange our head.
Want to pick our pocket.
Want to slip into our bed.
Well, they better watch their moves,
Cause we're getting in the grooves,
And unless they want real action
They'd better just get back,
Or they'll feel the positraction
Of our Atomic Cadillac.

Chorus:It gets three miles to the gallon.
It's hand-made by General Motors.
It's got a Winchester Repeater,
And seven polychromed rotors.
It's got five-wheel drive in naugahyde.
It cruises below the street.
It's got solid-state steering.
We can drive it with our feet.
It's amphibious, subacqueous,
It's sealed up for outer space.
It's the meanest motor-scooter in the atomic arms race.

Who are these guys who're cracking wise
And showing no respect?
A bunch of jerk-off turkeys
Who're gonna get it in the neck.
They think they'll make us quiver;
Make us stand up and deliver,
But they're rousting the wrong mob
With they're heads stuck in a sack,
Cause we've got a secret weapon
In our Atomic Cadillac.


Ain't no Bashar al-Assad top cat
Gonna tell us where it's at.
His Hezbollahs got all the styles
Of Harlem pimps beat out by miles,
And ‘cause these Arabs got the pump
They try and tell us when to jump,
But when they mess with Uncle Sam,
Man, they'd better start to pack
And take it on the lam,
Cause he's about to cruise them
In our Atomic Cadillac.


So they better watch their act
Or we'll give 'em cause to grieve.
We're holding all the cards
In our hands and up our sleeves.
Next deal they're gonna holler
For their fooling with the dollar,
Cause we're calling, we ain't bluffing.
We're hot for an attack.
We're diving from the sun at dawn
In our Atomic Cadillac!

It gets three miles to the gallon.
It's hand-made by General Motors.
It's got a Winchester Repeater,
And seven polychromed rotors.
It sports the finest camel saddle
Designed by General Rommel,
Rides on sixteen slicks by Goodyear,
Has a solid plastic pommel.
Air-dropped on any desert
It's computer sniffs out crude.
It'll keep the Ayatollahs blushing.
It's pure power in the nude.
It's the acme of technology.
It really sets the pace.
It's the curvy, MIRVy sweetheart
Of the Atomic Arms Race!

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 27, 2013 10:27 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On the Road: "Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?"


Jack Kerouac: The Scroll Manuscript of “On The Road” via the tumblr loverofbeauty

"I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up. I had just gotten over a serious illness that I won't bother to talk about, except that it had something to do with the miserably weary split-up and my feeling that everything was dead. With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road. Before that I'd often dreamed of going West to see the country, always vaguely planning and never taking off. Dean is the perfect guy for the road because he actually was born on the road, when his parents were passing through Salt Lake City in 1926, in a jalopy, on their way to Los Angeles. First reports of him came to me through Chad King, who'd shown me a few letters from him written in a New Mexico reform school. I was tremendously interested in the letters because they so naively and sweetly asked Chad to teach him all about Nietzsche and all the wonderful intellectual things that Chad knew. At one point Carlo and I talked about the letters and wondered if we would ever meet the strange Dean Moriarty. This is all far back, when Dean was not the way he is today, when he was a young jailkid shrouded in mystery. Then news came that Dean was out of reform school and was coming to New York for the first time; also there was talk that he had just married a girl called Marylou...."
"So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty."

- - On the Road, First and Last Paragraphs

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 27, 2013 9:35 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"The Same Old Serpent:" Lincoln On Government and the Enslaving of the People

lincolnwhitesuit2.jpg"Now I ask you in all soberness, if all these things, if indulged in, if ratified, if confirmed and endorsed, if taught to our children, and repeated to them, do not tend to rub out the sentiment of liberty in the country, and to transform this Government into a government of some other form.

"Those arguments that are made, that the inferior race are to be treated with as much allowance as they are capable of enjoying; that as much is to be done for them as their condition will allow. What are these arguments? They are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world.

"You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden. That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it.

"Turn it whatever way you will---whether it come from the mouth of a King, an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent." -- Abraham Lincoln. Speech at Chicago, Illinois | July 10, 1858

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 27, 2013 8:26 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
'Why everything sucks'

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 27, 2013 8:21 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Fire This Time


-- Gary Snyder, Myths & Texts

Rim of Fire

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 26, 2013 2:16 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Simkin and the City

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 24, 2013 6:30 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Linda Ronstadt - Hasten Down The Wind

"This was shot outside her Malibu beach home, and what she has just said, in fact, is 'Don't shoot. You'll scare the horse,' which by accident had happened by in that one fleeting moment. You prepare for a shoot and work for the best. This was one." -- Ethan Russell
"Linda Ronstadt sings no more The cause? Parkinson’s, which can be a cruel and vicious (and protean) disease." -- neoneocon


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 24, 2013 12:57 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Manning's Freakshow Finale: A Dressgrace to the Uniform
"These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a ten-fold beacon in the night: Duty, honor, country." General Douglas MacArthur

The insect formerly known as "Bradley Manning" currently has "let if be known" that s/he/it wishes to be known as "Chelsea" and have the Army pay for s/he/it's "gender reassignment surgery." I am sure that there are many who, having lost limbs in their Army service, would be more than happy to let this traitor have some speed gender reassignment surgery for free. "‘Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished."

Although I know this creature will, from time to time, crawl back into the news, today's proclamation will be the high water mark of s/he/it's notoriety. At some point in the near future s/he/it will disappear inside the walls of Leavenworth and fade into the dull, grey life inside an institution. And the days will roll into the weeks and into the months and on into the years. Yesterday s/he/it was a traitor. Today s/he/it is a joke. Tomorrow joke time will be over.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 22, 2013 1:42 PM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Accident-Prone President: 33 Shocking Facts Which Show How Badly The Economy Has Tanked Since Obama Became President


Some horrifying but useful points as explained by Michael Snyder @ Economic Collapse Tracker

But if you do want to focus on "the change" that has taken place since Barack Obama entered the White House, there is no way in the world that you can claim that things have actually gotten better during that time frame. The cold, hard reality of the matter is that the U.S. economy has been steadily declining for over a decade, and this decline has continued while Obama has been living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It is getting very tiring listening to Obama supporters try to claim that Obama has improved the economy. That is a false claim that is not even remotely close to reality. The following are 33 shocking facts which show how badly the U.S. economy has tanked since Obama became president...

#1 When Barack Obama entered the White House, 60.6 percent of working age Americans had a job. Today, only 58.7 percent of working age Americans have a job.

#2 Since Obama has been president, seven out of every eight jobs that have been "created" in the U.S. economy have been part-time jobs.

#3 The number of full-time workers in the United States is still nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.

#4 It is hard to believe, but an astounding 53 percent of all American workers now make less than $30,000 a year.

#5 40 percent of all workers in the United States actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.

#6 When the Obama era began, the average duration of unemployment in this country was 19.8 weeks. Today, it is 36.6 weeks.

#7 During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans "not in the labor force" soared by an astounding 8,332,000. That far exceeds any previous four year total.

#8 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

#9 When Obama was elected, the homeownership rate in the United States was 67.5 percent. Today, it is 65.0 percent. That is the lowest that it has been in 18 years.

#10 When Obama entered the White House, the mortgage delinquency rate was 7.85 percent. Today, it is 9.72 percent.

#11 In 2008, the U.S. trade deficit with China was 268 billion dollars. Last year, it was 315 billion dollars.

#12 When Obama first became president, 12.5 million Americans had manufacturing jobs. Today, only 11.9 million Americans have manufacturing jobs.

#13 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

#14 The poverty rate has shot up to 16.1 percent. That is actually higher than when the War on Poverty began in 1965.

#15 During Obama's first term, the number of Americans on food stamps increased by an average of about 11,000 per day.

#16 When Barack Obama entered the White House, there were about 32 million Americans on food stamps. Today, there are more than 47 million Americans on food stamps.

#17 At this point, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. This is the first time that has ever happened in our history. That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.

#18 When Barack Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.85. Today, it is $3.53.

#19 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

#20 Health insurance costs have risen by 29 percent since Barack Obama became president, and Obamacare is going to make things far worse.

#21 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.

#22 According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration...

Bush Sr.: 11.3

Clinton: 11.2

Bush Jr.: 10.8

Obama: 7.8

#23 In 2008, that total amount of student loan debt in this country was 440 billion dollars. At this point, it has shot up to about a trillion dollars.

#24 According to one recent survey, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

#25 During Obama's first term, the number of Americans collecting federal disability insurance rose by more than 18 percent.

#26 The total amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has grown by 32 percent since Barack Obama became president.

#27 According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.

#28 As I wrote about the other day, American households are now receiving more money directly from the federal government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

#29 Under Barack Obama, the velocity of money (a very important indicator of economic health) has plunged to a post-World War II low.

#30 At the end of 2008, the Federal Reserve held $475.9 billion worth of U.S. Treasury bonds. Today, Fed holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds have skyrocketed past the 2 trillion dollar mark.

#31 When Barack Obama was first elected, the U.S. debt to GDP ratio was under 70 percent. Today, it is up to 101 percent.

#32 During Obama's first term, the federal government accumulated more new debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.

#33 When you break it down, the amount of new debt accumulated by the U.S. government during Obama's first term comes to approximately $50,521 for every single household in the United States. Are you able to pay your share?

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 22, 2013 11:43 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Ms. Wordsmith: Hillary Clinton Quotes from Eight Different Books

(1) “Where is the G*damn flag? I want the G*damn f**king flag up every morning at f**king sunrise.” From the book “Inside the White House” by Ronald Kessler, p. 244; Hillary to staff at the Arkansas Governor’s mansion on Labor Day 1991.

(2) “F**k off! It’s enough I have to see you shit-kickers every day! I’m not going to talk to you, too!! Just do your G*damn job and keep your mouth shut.” From the book ” America Evita” by Christopher Anderson, p. 90; Hillary to her State Trooper bodyguards after one of them greeted her with “Good Morning.”

(3) “If you want to remain on this detail, get your f**king ass over here and grab those bags!” From the book “The First Partner” p. 259; Hillary to a Secret Service Agent who was reluctant to carry her luggage because he wanted to keep his hands free in case of an incident.

(4) “Stay the f**k back, stay the f**k back away from me! Don’t come within ten yards of me, or else! Just f**king do as I say, Okay!!?” From the book “Unlimited Access” by Clinton ’s FBI Agent-in-Charge, Gary Aldrige, p. 139; Hillary is screaming at her Secret Service detail.

(5 )”Where’s the miserable c**k sucker?” (otherwise known as “Bill Clinton.” From the book “The Truth about Hillary” by Edward Klein, p.5; Hillary shouting at a Secret Service officer.

(6 )”You f**king idiot” From the book “Crossfire” ~ p. 84; Hillary to a State Trooper who was driving her to an event.

(7) “Put this on the ground! I left my sunglasses in the limo. I need those f**king sunglasses! We need to go back! From the book “Dereliction of Duty” p. 71-72; Hillary to Marine One helicopter pilot to turn back while en route to Air Force One.

(8) “Come on Bill, put your d**k up! You can’t f**k her here!!” From the book “Inside the White House” by Ronald Kessler, p. 243; Hillary to Gov. Bill Clinton when she spots him talking with an attractive female

Found by The Forward Observer — Quotes from Hillary Clinton enjoy!

Bonus item from this world-class prunt:


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 21, 2013 8:17 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Top of the World: IceBridge Arctic 2013

You'll be taking off from Thule Air Base,but don't worry you'll be back. Dress warm.....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 20, 2013 9:01 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Our Culture is Just Deja Vu All Over Again and Again and Again....

Collage, montage, copy, paste, transform and combine. We're all copycats and.... well..... that's not bad. You all remember Xerox's "Alto" and "Star" right? No? Why not? You're looking at one of their great-great-great-grandchildren. And yes, it is 36 minutes long, but do you want to learn something new today or just click along? Up to you.....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 19, 2013 3:58 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly / Into the light of the dark black night

"The spirit born into her years ago, when men dedicated to excellence took the time and care to build her well."

Once upon a time... years ago.... we did not place orders for Kindles from China. Instead, we made created -- and flew -- epics like the SR-71 Blackbird:

"It is a race this jet will not let us lose. The Mach eases to 3.5 as we crest 80,000 feet. We are a bullet now - except faster. We hit the turn, and I feel some relief as our nose swings away from a country we have seen quite enough of. Screaming past Tripoli , our phenomenal speed continues to rise, and the screaming Sled pummels the enemy one more time, laying down a parting sonic boom. In seconds, we can see nothing but the expansive blue of the Mediterranean . I realize that I still have my left hand full-forward and we're continuing to rocket along in maximum afterburner. The TDI now shows us Mach numbers, not only new to our experience but flat out scary." -- Major Brian Shul From "The Thrill of Flying the SR-71 Blackbird"


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 19, 2013 8:13 AM | Comments (28)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Saw a UFO in downtown Seattle today...


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 16, 2013 5:45 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Life During Wartime [UPDATE: Many Egyptians blasé about the Muslim Brotherhood]


The new normal: Egyptians at the beach while #matrouh city burns in the background #egypt In Egypt - Business Insider

UPDATE: Muslim Brotherhood had to be dealt with. Working-Class Cairo Neighborhood Tries to Make Sense of a Brutal Day -

Egypt seemed more divided than ever after a brutal day of violence here that left hundreds of people dead. Supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, mourned those killed, vowed revenge, planned their next moves. Many other Egyptians, though, directed their ire at the protesters who had camped out in the streets for weeks. For them, what occurred made sense.

“It was necessary,” Akmal William, standing in his auto-detailing shop on Talaat Harb Street, said of the raid by soldiers and police officers. “They had to be strict.”

In Imbaba, a neighborhood that seems to catch all the nation’s political currents in its congested alleyways, many people regretted the bloodshed. But they asserted that the alternative was worse. The Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Morsi’s political party, was holding back the country with endless sit-ins and protests, many said. And the longer the army waited to act, the weaker Egypt seemed to them.

That conviction only grew stronger amid reports about Islamist violence, including the storming of a government building in Giza early Thursday. Mr. William, a Coptic Christian, was preoccupied by a spate of attacks on churches and Christian homes across the country, a spasm of collective scapegoating by some of Mr. Morsi’s supporters.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 15, 2013 4:51 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Pop-Tart Joke: "It's a long time to spend on something that means absolutely nothing, but that's what people want me to do."

"I know it sounds like nothing and it is nothing. In my world, the wronger something feels the righter it is." Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up -



Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 15, 2013 12:18 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Kicking the Can: "I'm from your government and I'm here to hel...." BANG!


They're rioting in Africa
They're starving in Spain
There's hurricanes in Florida
And Texas needs rain

The Whole world is festering with unhappy souls
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don't like Anybody very much.

-- Sheldon Harnick @1958

I don't like any government very much, and, I'd wager, neither do you. Even if you're a part of it. Still there are times when I feel sorry for those who have chosen to take their gift of life and place it, like a used tea bag, into the lukewarm, thin gruel of government for decades. I'm told it has its rewards and that, these days, those rewards are substantial, but working in the government is a devil's bargain for anyone with even the slightest shred of a soul.

Turning to The Holy Hymnal of Bob Dylan today's preacher would take as his text, "Even the president of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked." And if he cut out the word "sometimes" he'd be up to date. For today said presidential potentate does stand naked daily and it is not a pretty sight. Of late it would seem that it is a sight grown so disturbing he needs to have clowns don masks and scamper through shit spattered sawdust to take our eyes off the sight of his foolishness, failure, and buck-naked narcissism.

There's has never been a cure for bad politics found in faces of clowns, only in the tracks of their tears. Even with all the immense resources that are his to squander, our current presiding clown still has to get up and pretend to steer the ship of state he has long since run into the rocks. He pretends to steer and his crew on the bridge proclaims through their media bullhorns, "All is well. All is well. ALL IS WELL!," all the while edging towards their leaky lifeboats.

Once the song was "Hail to the Chief," then it became "Hail to the Chimp," and with this administration it is becoming not "Hail to the Chump" but the more up-to-the-minute hymn,

I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down,down,down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns,burns,burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.

Such is the state and fate of those stained and "I'm so smart" souls who have to show up every day at their "government jobs." Yes, they have security, high pay, opportunities for graft, unremitting oral sex from the media, and fabulous benefits. But they also know that somewhere down the road there's the slow train of a bad day, a very bad day, heading their way. And on that "very bad day" their soft and powerful job is going to get very, very demanding.


Yes, I feel sorry for government workers from the most princely potentate to the most puffed up little Hitler down at the DMV. It seems to me that all their "power" -- from that of global annihilation down to that of driver's license denial -- only distracts them from the real fate of their jobs; being run over -- sooner or later -- by that slow train everybody knows is coming. Coming soon.

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

Over in the middle east it's already come around the bed and is pulling into Apocalypse Station. Over here our "public" servants are still getting up every morning and kicking that can.... kicking it down the road.... hoping that when that very bad day arrives they are up, up and away in their private government jet, heading to some paradise out among the impossible islands where nobody, but nobody, is going to track them down and hang them, like some cut-rate Mussolini, from a meat rack in the public square. Fat. Chance. The Very Bad Day sees all and takes all. And they know this. Which is why the first and last skill of "the governing class" is kick the can.

Seen as a tragedy the "governing class" is trying to keep the train on the tracks until we arrive at Paradise. Seen for what it is, "the governing class" does little more with the human race than Buster Keaton in the clip below. It tries to keep the train moving with scraps of fuel, broken tools, and always inches from derailment. All while the real pagent of history flows by on either side in the opposite direction. This as the "governing class" kicks the can after Max Sennet villains down a railroad spur that it can't find in a silent movie from long ago. Viewed from space this whole thing is comedy, but viewed from space isn't everything?


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 15, 2013 8:10 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Putin vs Obama: The Strong Horse and My Little Pony

Cliff Notes to The Strong Horse vs. My Little Pony @ AMERICAN DIGEST


Many more stunning examples at PUTIN VS OBAMA HT: Rodger

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 14, 2013 9:57 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Self-Fetching Dog

And now your moment of Zen....

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 13, 2013 10:26 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Tales of Old Racist Bags: It Would Seem Oprah Often Shops While Stupid

The problem with the Oprahs of our age is that they've come to the point where if they don't experience a 24/7/365 ass-kissing they think their moist gobbits of rotting fame are sinking out of sight in today's contemporary celebrity sewage. And they are. Hence, they go to extreme lengths to keep the ass-kisses coming and, when they don't get it, they pout like the useless little floaters they are. Especially when they get to Europe where fewer people than ever buy into the "racist" hallucinations of a bulbous old bag on her way out. An old bag, it turns out, that can't even come up with a new "racist" hallucination but has to rely on one that has worked for her before.

Looking back a number of years it seems that Oprah Winfrey always has trouble shopping for handbags in Europe with Tina Turner. Does this sound strangely familiar?


Oprah hasn't just had beefs with people; she's also taken on luxury designers. This story is shrouded in controversy, but a few facts seem to have emerged. In 2005, Oprah showed up at a Hermes boutique in Paris to buy a purse. Unfortunately, though, the store had already closed and denied her request to slip in to quickly buy the handbag. Oprah was supposedly livid about what she considered to be rude treatment and suspected that the denial was based on racism, and a public war of words broke out. Oprah's Famous Feuds | Mental Floss

In addition she was hanging around, yet again, with Tina Turner:

The New York Daily News cited sources close to Winfrey as saying the talk show host was first rebuffed by a clerk and then a store manager. The Daily News reported Winfrey had gone to the store to buy a watch for singer Tina Turner, her dining partner that night. The New York Post, in its Monday Page Six gossip column, reported she was turned away because the store had been "having a problem with North Africans lately." In comments to CNN, an Hermes spokeswoman categorically denied that allegation. "There was never any discussion of North Africans," she said. "The story is not true." - Luxury store apologizes to Oprah - Jun 22, 2005

That kind of razzamatazz from years back sounds a lot like today's headline:'Oprah's a liar': Sales assistant in Swiss racist handbag row denies telling TV host that she could not view item because she couldn't afford it

'I don't know why she is making these accusations. She is so powerful and I am just a shop girl. 'I didn't hurt anyone. I don't know why someone as great as her must cannibalize me on TV. 'If it had all taken place as she claimed, why has she not complained the next day at the wedding of Tina Turner with Trudie Goetz, my boss? She was there also at the Turner wedding as a guest. I don't understand it.

"I don't know why she is making these accusations..." says the shop girl. Well, we do. This serial slanderer is making them because she can and because, first and last, Oprah may have lots of money and fame but she has no class at all. None. Not a shred.

Thus does a pattern of phony racism emerge from this serial slanderer. First she's off to Europe for something involving Tina Turner. Then she needs a handbag because any one of the thousands she already owns just won't do. Then she waddles into a high end shop and then she waddles out and makes up some lie about what happens and steeps her buttocks in the warm and unquestioning media broth that they slurp upon her. For moral dwarfs like Oprah it has got to be a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling ass kissing all the time. Otherwise she remembers just what a useless blob she was and is.

People with actual class, people who are actually among the real established upper class, don't slander shop girls. They don't need to. They know who and what they are and they are secure in their status. That's the virtue of old money, real money, real class: "We don't buy handbags. We have them."

Hat Tip: RC2

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 13, 2013 8:52 AM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink

"In its first iteration, the Leatherman multi-tool was a Double-Oh-Seven-worthy gadget idea, born out of a traveler's frustration and initially snubbed by major tool companies.

These days, Leatherman is a synonym for any dozen-in-one dream tool you can fit in a pocket. The idea came to Tim Leatherman back in the 1970s, when the recent mechanical engineering grad and his wife Chau decided touring Europe in a questionable Fiat would be a good use of a year. Leatherman found himself regularly eyeballing the guts of the car, wishing for one tool he didn't have in his Swiss Army Knife: pliers.

Back in Oregon, he spent the next several years developing a design for the tool he had craved, patiently supported by Chau.
After partnering with a friend with a machine shop, he pitched the first Leatherman multi-tool to knife and tool companies to resounding disinterest... until Cabela's unexpectedly ordered 200 for their mail-order catalog. They featured it on their back cover and ordered 500 more before the first order was filled. With that, the Leatherman snowball was off and rolling. A Visit to Leatherman Core77

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 12, 2013 2:14 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Anthems of the Fall: Brothers In Arms

Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 12, 2013 11:30 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Scar


Whose Will decreed this landlocked sea
Framed falling sun with flash of green?
What plan determines stone's design,
Or hearts of stars, or shadow's sheen,

Or that we mark, as clever beasts,
The passing haze of comet's fall,
Or are that glaze of dream in flesh
That sees the need of plan at all?

I know, I know... no plan at all
Is said by some to be the plan.
And yet what is this sheen of thought
That seems to measure more than man?

Look out not deep but far afield,
Beyond the limits of our sight.
It cannot be that all that is
Is only night on deeper night.

But if night should be all that is,
And all as purposeless as stone,
The heart still sings the body's chants,
And moves the light along the bones.

Perhaps this pattern that we know
As woven time between two lights
Is but some dance cast to amuse
The Face beyond our blinded sight.

Yet what dark mind could find a gleam
Of pleasure from such turns,
Instead of reading evil
In our countenance of burns?

The countenance of comets
That the sky at night assumes
Mutes all mimes’ mathematics learned
From the continent of tombs.

For to stand within a meadow
And mark the swell of wind
Is ample compensation
For the gift that days rescind.

At length our modern marvels
Are but blots of haze on slate
That we note with lapsed attention
As we step between the gates,

And dance, to some faint music,
Along the path of life’s retreat,
That ancient, ageless minuet
That rounds this sleep with sleep.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 10, 2013 11:56 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Egyptian Belly Dancer Sama Elmasry Would Just Like to Say: "€˜Hey Obama, You Are Stupid, Bad Man:"

A music video featuring an Arabic-singing belly dancer

voicing profanity-laced lyrics that accuse President Barack Obama of supporting terrorism and the Muslim Brotherhood has gone viral in Egypt. The video – “You Obama, Your Father, Mother” – features performer Sama Elmasry brandishing a sword next to Obama’s photo as well as various Photoshopped images of the U.S. president including dressed as Osama bin Laden and as a baby in diapers.


I vote for putting it into heavy rotation on MSNBC. Rachael Maddow would be gobstoppered.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 10, 2013 11:33 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Epic. Just Epic.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 10, 2013 9:57 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
American People Petition the Dent for an Exemption from the DentCare


Sign up here at WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Grant American People ObamaCare Exemption

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 8, 2013 5:40 PM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A Locavore's Sustainable, Organic, Artisan, 100% Recycled Joke

What's blonde with big breasts, looks great in a thong, and lives in Sweden?


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 8, 2013 4:10 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Someone and Something Wonderful: Grace and Her '57 Chevy

In 1957, Grace Braeger of West Bend traded in her old car, threw down $2,250 hard-earned dollars and bought a '57 Chevy. Since that day long ago, it's been her only car. "I was raised during the Depression and we learned to take care of things."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 8, 2013 8:37 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Can a butterfly sing?"

I don't know why but this gives me a boost every time.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 6, 2013 9:25 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Future City by Sky Choi

It's not a painting and it's not imaginary. It's a photograph from last week: Night View Busan Korea 21 Jul 2013 @ 500px /


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 5, 2013 9:47 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Ideal Candidate


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 5, 2013 12:36 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It. Gets. Worse. Life in Obama's Part-Time Service Economy

Yes, it's a satire. Sort of. Except that five will get you ten that everyone in it voted for Obama and still think he's a "pretty nice guy."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 5, 2013 11:54 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Poster Test

From Vaclav Havel's essay - The Power of the Powerless, 1978 [PDF]


"The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!”

"Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

"I think I can safely assume that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and the carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be.

"If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 4, 2013 8:51 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Tomorrow Is Not Promised:" At Green River Utah

For reasons I won't go into here and now, Green River, Utah is one of the constant pivots and the crossroads in my life. It's one of those places I never stay in, but always pass through on my way down the Green River to the Confluence or to Moab, Utah, a town where many journeys and visions originate. But it is also a town where lives can be marginal even in the best of times, and a town where it can get worse without warning; a town where you need faith to keep going.

Cobb has pointed out an encounter with this reality in A Green River - Cobb

The king of EDC and of a number of other things is Nutnfancy. If you don't know him, look him up. He's in the T50 now. Not long ago, on his motorcycle trips, he stopped in a Utah town called Green River and met a man named Tim Vetere. Vetere is the sort of man that people forget exists, especially comfortable people who talk a lot about what's wrong with America, a game I really stopped playing a long time ago despite the fact that I still carry the scars. Vetere is a melon farmer. I'm not going to tell you why Tim Vetere is special. You'll have to see that for yourself."
And if you watch, you will.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 4, 2013 12:07 PM | Comments (24)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunday Meditations: "The most radical political agenda that was ever enunciated on Planet Earth"

"Here, to my mind, is the most radical political agenda that was ever enunciated on Planet Earth:"

Pater noster, qui es in caelis: sanctificetur Nomen Tuum; adveniat Regnum Tuum; fiat voluntas Tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra. Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie; et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris; et ne nos inducas in tentationem; sed libera nos a Malo.

"Before those carefully qualified words, & in the blood of our own martyrs, the demonic power of the Roman State melted away, & its very gauleiters were converted.

"I cannot think of any truth, goodness, or beauty, that is incompatible with that paternalist agenda. Whereas, I cannot think of any that is not potentially an affront to every earthly tyrant, whether or not freely elected as the Ruler of the People." Come the Revolution -- David Warren:

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 4, 2013 3:16 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Revisiting Ye Olde Campaign Slogan

In light of recent revelations [Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack] --revelations that come as a surprise to nobody whose brain has not been occupied by the progressive insects that infest us -- I decided to revisit the Obama slogan of 2012 Osama Bin Laden Alive, General Motors Dead with this update:


I know I've said it before, but now I just have to say it again: "I try to become more cynical every day, but lately I just can't keep up."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2013 10:28 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail? ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


By Sam Hundley of the Virginian-Pilot on July 4th of this year: High-Resolution is here after the jump....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2013 8:36 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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