Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
The News of the Day: While America Shopped... ocean of fog fills the Grand Canyon


Friday morning, the gorges of the Grand Canyon were filled with fog in a rare temperature inversion....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 30, 2013 7:10 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"I keep a weather eye on the horizon, back to the wall /I like to know who’s coming through the door, that’s all"


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 30, 2013 3:50 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
San Francisco.... Close Up Your Golden Gate

Aizhai Bridge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Construction on the Aizhai Bridge began in October 2007 and was completed by the end of 2011, ahead of schedule.[7][8] The bridge was temporarily opened to pedestrians during the 2012 Spring Festival[8] and was formally opened to traffic in March 2012

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 29, 2013 3:07 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Oh Beautiful for Turkeys from Sea to Shining Sea

7 For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; 8 A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; 9 A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. 10 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Deuteronomy 8-10 - All the commandments which I command - Bible Gateway

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 29, 2013 9:25 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Charles Bronson in "Killing Hipsters"

Charles Bronson's best movie you probably never heard of.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 29, 2013 8:00 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Thanksgiving Blues, 1942

Chef With Thanksgiving Menu, Norman Rockwell, Saturday Evening Post Cover 1942

"Norman Rockwell gives us a humorous take on KP, or Kitchen Patrol, duty at the start of WWII.

We are not privy to whether or not this chef is a full time chef or just one of the kitchen staff.

One things is certain. He had his work cut out for him. He has prepared a Thanksgiving Feast for 137 men, a whole brigade stationed at Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont.

The menu shows lots of items. I count 34 total.

The list includes:

Roast Turkey
Giblet Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Apple and Raisin Dressing
Candies Sweet Potatoes
Scalloped Corn
Brussel Sprouts
Chocolate Cake
Pumpkin Pie
Fruit Cocktail
Olives and Celery
Lettuce and Tomato Salad

The meal was scheduled to be served at 12:15. The time is now 1:22. The meal has been served.

Now our chef can unwind. He is sitting down. His boots are off. He is stretching and wiggling his toes.

He is also free now to enjoy a cigarette and a cup of coffee.

This Thanksgiving chef may not be actively involved in battle, but he has sure seen plenty of action!

Now it's time to take a deep breath and start cleaning up."

HT: 10engines

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 28, 2013 7:38 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Joan River's Thanksgiving Message to an Uptight Nation of Punks and Pussies

Joan Rivers Defends Alec Baldwin ... "Relax, everyone's a fairy, a nigger, a kike, a mick. Everybody's something.... Be thankful that we're living in America and everybody stop being so damn uptight."


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 27, 2013 9:23 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Frankly Dear Scarlets We Don't Give A Damn


The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

-- William Butler Yeats -- "The Second Coming" Analyzed

The secular infection of the post-post-modern mind is beyond virulent and oozing pus wherever one looks. One manifestation of the spread of the epidemic is the "fashionable" compulsion to declare one has no faith by declaring one's faith in atheism. This is becoming a fad among our self-styled artiste class.

This evening I was looking at some interesting work on Flickr and wanted to learn a bit more about the artist, one Michael Paukner. His short Flickr autobiography is "graphic designer, freelancer, musician, atheist, jack of all trades." That's it. That's all. Which of those five things is not like the other four? That's right, the compulsive addition of "atheist."

I must confess I'm always a little surprised by the "passionate intensity" of these childish and malformed souls. It's as if Paukner felt forced to declare himself "graphic designer, freelancer, musician, broken, jack of all trades." If he had he'd have been a bit more honest about himself. As it stands declaring one is a loud and proud "atheist" is I imagine a kind of advertisement for one's own brokenness in order to attract and gather around oneself others who are broken in the same way. I suppose it's a kind of dating behavior of the spiritually malformed in order to wall themselves off from redemption of any sort; a kind of forehead tattoo of the Tribe of Zero.

It's a continuing mystery to me that, faced in every moment with the self-evident presence of the miracle of all that is, people in western cultures can shroud themselves in the deepest dark of "There is no miracle." Then again, I am reliably informed that the grace of free will is what makes this possible and I cannot argue with grace. It has too often been granted to me for me to test it.

Still I wonder at the Tribe of Zero's compulsion to announce it's dark faith in Nothing. In a way, the passionate intensity of atheists is mirrored by the passionate intensity of Muslims who would kill and behead unbelievers and be convinced of their own "tough-mindedness" as they pulled the trigger or chopped at the neck. The difference is, of course, that our post-post-modern atheists, with their t-shirts and tattoos, their mumbles and tacky manifestos proclaiming their "faith," are unlikely to ever kill Muslims. That's not their role in today's global religious war between the submission and slavery of Islam and the liberty and freedom of the west. No, the role of atheists is similar to the role of pacifists. They hide behind those who believe in Liberty and Freedom and carry on their broken lives.

Their only other conceivable role, should the civilization that makes their "faith" possible is, if that civilization should lose, to become the first sheep slaughtered under Sharia law. (Unless of course their "tough mindedness" failed and their rushed to conversions as most would.) Those that stuck too their intensely passionate conviction in "atheism" would quickly discover the truth of the old saying, "If you don't believe in anything, you'll die for nothing at all."

Posted by Vanderleun Nov 26, 2013 9:37 AM | Comments (35)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Days of Miracle and Wonder

"The bomb in the baby carriage was wired to the radio...."

“Years ago I used to think it was possible for a novelist to alter the inner life of the culture. Now bomb-makers and gunmen have taken that territory. They make raids on human consciousness … We’re giving way to terror, to news of terror, to tape-recorders and cameras, to radios, to bombs stashed in radios. News of disaster is the only narrative people need. The darker the news, the grander the narrative.” -- Don DeLillo, Mao II

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 26, 2013 8:50 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Umbrella Man

Dallas. November 22nd, 1963. The only man in Daley Plaza under an umbrella!

"The Umbrella Man dangles around history’s neck like a fetish.

We wonder whether a genuine mystery is being concealed here or whether any similar scrutiny of a minute section of time and space would yield similar strangenesses—gaps, inconsistencies, warps, and bubbles in the surface of circumstance. Perhaps, as with the elements of matter, investigation passes a threshold of common sense and enters a sub-atomic realm where laws are mocked, where persons have the life-span of beta particles and the transparency of neutrinos, and where a rough kind of averaging out must substitute for absolute truth. The truth about those seconds in Dallas is especially elusive; the search for it seems to demonstrate how perilously empiricism verges on magic." -- John Updike

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 24, 2013 10:12 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Someone Wonderful: Jack

"Jack English lives in a cabin he built himself deep in the Ventana Wilderness in California. Now 93 years old, he lives exactly the way he wants to: self-sufficient and close to nature."Found at Neatorama


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 24, 2013 10:45 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunrise in Monument Valley



Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 24, 2013 10:32 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Speed Carving Your Turkey + "Just Put the F*cking Turkey in the Oven"

How to properly carve a Turkey with a .460 Weatherby rifle in slow motion!

Updated (by request) with: Tante Marie and "Just Put the F*cking Turkey in the Oven"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 24, 2013 8:38 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunday Reflections: Isaiah 53

53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 24, 2013 1:57 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Last Hour When the American People Had Open Access to Presidents


November 22, 1963. "Overview of crowds of people waving as President John F. Kennedy and his wife sit in back of limousine during procession through downtown Dallas, Texas; Texas Governor John Connally and his wife ride in the limousine's jump seats." - -Welcome to Big D: 1963

"In the United States, the Kennedy assassination was the catalyst.

Since 1963, the Secret Service’s staff grew by a factor of 10, and its budget by a whopping 273 times. Obama, according to Yahoo’s Chris Moody, rides in a hunkered-down fortress with a mobile blood transfusion lab. It’s a far cry from JFK’s open-top aparade. The vehicle’s fuel tank is sealed in foam so that it won’t explode, according to a Discovery Channel special. It’s sealed against biological or chemical attack. The doors weigh as much as those on a Boeing 757. 50 Years After JFK, The History And Future Of Political Assassination





Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 23, 2013 1:00 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Millennials in the Workplace Training Video

HT: Never Yet Melted

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 23, 2013 8:42 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink


John F. Kennedy's favorite photograph of himself: Walking on the dunes, Hyannis Port, 1959 -- Mark Shaw The Kennedys @ Le Journal de la Photographie

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 22, 2013 11:43 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Get the f**k out of my house!" Watch Closely But It Won't Do You Any Good

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 22, 2013 11:34 AM | Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Two Priests Stepped Out of Parkland Hospital


Associated Press teletype news bulletin from Friday, November 22, 1963 shows news that President Kennedy had died after being shot in Dallas. The message reads, "TWO PRIESTS STEPPED OUT OF PARKLAND HOSPITAL'S EMERGENCY WARD TODAY AND SAID PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED OF HIS BULLET WOUNDS." This document is now located in the AP Corporate Archives in New York.

As It Happened: AP Wire Copy of the JFK Assassination - In Focus

He's Dead, All Right: Kennedy's Last Rites Priest And Making Of News

When Fr. Huber arrived and was led to the trauma room, Kennedy was already covered in a white sheet. “I did not speak to him,” Fr. Huber later wrote, “it was evident he could not answer.” Huber pulled the sheet down to below the President’s nose and was “sure that he was dead,” in a clinical sense. But Fr. Huber also thought it possible Kennedy’s soul had not yet departed and so, he began to administer the last rites.
With a small Roman Ritual book in one hand and Holy Oil in the other, Fr. Huber prayed aloud in Latin. He conditionally absolved Kennedy of his sins. Still praying and paging through the Ritual book, he anointed the President’s bloody forehead with Holy Oil. Huber could not give Kennedy his last communion, but ended the ritual with several Our Fathers and Hail Marys. The First Lady joined in praying aloud. Before leaving, Mrs. Kennedy asked for Huber’s prayers. He assured her that he would say Mass for the President.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 22, 2013 12:20 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
"The question that confronts us all is this: What’s going to happen to the children When there aren’t any more grown-ups?"

Life today is hectic.
Our world is running away.
Only the wise can recognize
The process of decay.
All our dialectic
Is quite unable to say
Whether we’re on the beam or not,
Whether we’ll rise supreme or not,
Whether this new regime or not
Is leading us astray.

We all have Frigidaires, radios,
Television and movie shows
To shield us from the ultimate abyss.
We have our daily bread neatly cut,
Every modern convenience but
The question that confronts us all is this:

What’s going to happen to the children
When there aren’t any more grown-ups?

Having been injected with some rather peculiar glands
Darling Mum’s gone platinum
And dances to all the rumba bands.
The songs that she sings at twilight
Would certainly be the highlight
For some of those claques that Elsa Maxwell
Takes around in yachts.

Rockabye, rockabye, rockabye my darlings,
Mother requires a few more shots.
Does it amuse the tiny mites
To see their parents high as kites?

What’s, what’s, what’s going to happen to the tots?

Life today’s neurotic, a ceaseless battle we wage;
Millions are spent to circumvent
The march of middle age.
The fact that we grab each new narcotic
Can only prove in the end

Whether our hormones gel or not
Whether our cells rebel or not,
Whether we’re blown to hell or not,
We’ll all be round the bend
From taking Benzedrine, Dexamyl,
Every possible sleeping pill
To knock us out or knock us into shape.

We all have pills for this, pills for that,
Pills for making us thin or fat,
But there’s one problem that we can’t escape.

What’s going to happen to the children
When there aren’t any more grown-ups?

Thanks to plastic surgery and uncle’s abrupt demise,
Dear Aunt Rose has changed her nose
But doesn’t appear to realize
The pleasures that once were heaven
Look silly at sixty-seven,
And youthful allure you can’t procure
In terms of perms and pots.

So lullaby, lullaby, lullaby my darlings,
Try not to scratch those large red spots,
Think of the shock when mummie’s face
Is lifted from its proper place,
What’s, what’s, what’s going to happen to the tots?

What’s going to happen to the children
When there aren’t any more grown-ups?

It’s bizarre when grandmamma, without getting out of breath
Starts to jive at eighty-five and frightens the little ones to death.
The police had to send a squad car
When daddy got fried on vodka
And tied a tweed coat round mummie’s throat
In several sailor’s knots.

Hushabye, hushabye, hushabye my darlings,
Try not to fret and wet your cots.
One day you’ll clench your tiny fists
And murder your psychiatrists.

What’s, what’s, what’s going to happen to the tots?

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 21, 2013 1:39 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Creation: God Is the Photograph of Everything From the Outside

The Universe Map - - This innovative map features cylinders with grids measured in light-years that illustrate volumes of known space.


Everywhere else....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 21, 2013 8:43 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The incorrigibly industrious Eugene Dalton 100 years ago


November 1913. Fort Worth, Texas.

"Some results of messenger and newsboy work. For nine years this 16-year-old boy has been newsboy and messenger for drug stores and telegraph companies. He was recently brought before the Judge of the Juvenile Court for incorrigibility at home. Is now out on parole, and was working again for drug company when he got a job carrying grips in the Union Depot. He is on the job from 6 A.M. to 11 P.M. (seventeen hours a day) for seven days in the week. His mother and the Judge think he uses cocaine, and yet they let him put in these long hours every day. He told me 'There ain't a house in "The Acre" [Red Light] that I ain't been in. At the drug store, all my deliveries were down there.' Says he makes from $15 to $18 a week. Eugene Dalton."
Photograph by Lewis Wickes Hine. - - Shorpy Historical Photo Archive :: Hard Worker: 1913


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 20, 2013 3:48 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
I Loves Me a Lawless Nation


Always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever. -- Orwell 1984

And the future is now!

[ Image and soundtrack discourtesy of Michelle Obama's Mirror: The Obamacare Fix is in: Feets Don’t Fail Me Now! ]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 20, 2013 9:34 AM | QuickLink: Permalink

Lincoln City, Oregon: photo by Austin Granger, 23 October 2013

TOM CLARK: Wrapped in cellophane and isolated from everything great

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 20, 2013 7:20 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Like A Rolling Stone: 2013 Variation


I see that I have, once again, overstayed my time on the planet: Bob Dylan's 'Like a Rolling Stone' Interactive Video Mimics TV Surfing

Rock icon Bob Dylan's 1965 hit "Like a Rolling Stone," deemed one of the greatest songs ever by experts, just received the 2013 music video treatment. The interactive video, shared first with Mashable, is the song's first official video. It allows viewers to use their keyboards or cursors to flip through 16 channels that mimic TV formats such as games shows, shopping networks and reality series. People on each channel, no matter what TV trope they represent, are seen lip-syncing the lyrics.
Take it out for a spin beyond the jump. Try not to wreck it and, please, home before dark.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 19, 2013 9:25 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama Says Americans Can Keep Their Damn Insurance


-- The Invaluable Borowitz Report at The New Yorker

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 18, 2013 12:38 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Take a Pill and Call Us When It's Morning in America

Drug use and abuse across the decades explains a lot.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 18, 2013 10:20 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Love Story




I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

- - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 17, 2013 4:24 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In Passing

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 16, 2013 6:31 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
In the Old House Across the Alley


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 16, 2013 6:27 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hold My Hand and Tater Tot


Westley Wade was born prematurely at 28 weeks due to complications with pre-eclampsia.

In this image, his adoring parents were just told that depending on test results their baby who weighed less than 2 pounds could potentially need heart surgery. As his parents emotionally looked down at him through cords and wires, this warrior newborn (4 day old) baby boy Westley shot his hand up straight for them as if to let them know, that everything would in fact, be alright. Gratefully, it was and is. Westley is now 10 pounds 9 oz at 4.5 months and continues to amaze everyone who crosses his path. Location: BC Womens Hospital, Vancouver, BC. -- Showcased at National Geographic Photo Contest 2013 - In Focus - The Atlantic

Tater Tot: A true story from B Lewis in the comments:

Our baby girl, whom we call Tater Tot, was diagnosed prenatally with severe hydrocephalus. The excess fluid swelled her head and crowded out all nervous tissue within her skull. We were advised that it would be best to (minced words removed) abort her and chop her up for spare parts. When we refused -- we are Catholic -- we were told she would live perhaps one minute after her birth.

I told the doctor, "She's a Lewis, and if she only lives a minute, fine. She's going to get sixty full fucking seconds of life."

She was born, and lived. She went to surgery right away to have a shunt installed in her skull. The lead doctor in her case showed me her cranial CT scan. It was black from one end to the other. No brain was present, only a thin (2mm) film of cortical tissue plastered against the inside of her skull. "I'll be honest with you," the doctor said. "I've seen other cases like this, and they never end well." They took her to the NICU, intubated her, hooked her to a nutrition/hydration drip, and waited for her to die.

At midnight on the second night, they took her out of the support bed and put her in my arms. "We don't usually let parents hold a baby that's been intubated," the charge nurse said in an apologetic tone. "But, well, this may be your only chance."

So I held our poor baby in my arms. My wife, however, could neither see nor hold our daughter. She was across the street at the maternity hospital, alone on a floor full of mothers and their healthy babies. I stayed with our daughter throughout the long night.

The next day, they removed the respirator from her. "She's being fed room air, anyway. No point in keeping her tubed." I was told that with no brain it was unlikely that our daughter would be able to breathe on her own.

Several hours later, she was still breathing. "Hmm," said her doctor.

Later that day, the hospital's Catholic chaplain dropped by. He prayed with me, gave me a Rosary, and administered Holy Communion to me. After he left, I got up to check on the baby.

As I leaned over her support bed, a crumb of Our Lord's Body which had become stuck in my beard fell onto her forehead. I thought little of it at the time. A few minutes later, another CT scan was ordered.

That night, our parish priest arrived. He baptized our daughter and confirmed her in the Church. I broke down completely at that point. I have never felt such a black sorrow as I did then, but I was kept from utter despair by the knowledge that at least our baby would now go to Heaven when she died.

But she didn't die.

The next morning, the CT scan came back. Her skull now contained a brain where none had been before. The doctors did not agree on how this could have come to pass. An EEG was ordered. "Her brain waves are pure spaghetti," said the neurologist. "I have no idea what's going on in that head." Our daughter began crying and wriggling vigorously in her bed.

Later that day, my wife was released from the post-partum prison at last, and hurried over. Together with our young son, we held and prayed for our baby. Mommy wanted to hold her and feed her, but the nurse said no. "She'll need a gastric tube," we were told. "She doesn't have enough neural capacity for the suck reflex."

"Let's try a bottle on her anyway," said my wife.

By the end of the week, our daughter was sucking down two to three bottles per day. They disconnected the nutrition/hydration line soon therwafter. "I don't understand any of this," one nurse told us.

But we understood.

That was ten months ago. Today, our daughter is at home. She is now a big, strong, pink baby, with a full head of red-auburn hair. I just got off the floor where we were playing together. She's definitely retarded (or special needs, or whatever weasel word they use now), but she's getting better and more capable every day. She can coo, smile, laugh, and raise her head and upper body upon her forearms. She eats, poops, cries, and does most of the normal baby stuff. Not bad for a kid with no brain! No bad for a baby hey wanted to part out like a used car!

It hasn't been all smiles and dimples, of course. These past ten months have been hellish at times. My daughter's problems are very real and quite serious -- but she is doing great. She has responded well to drug and physical therapy. She passes physical exam after physical exam with flying colors, to the bafflement of her doctors. She is trying to make organized sounds. She loves music. And more brain tissue appears in her weirdly-shaped little head with each successive CT scan. She has a long way to go and a great many hurdles to overcome before she realizes her full potential, and of course there are no guarantees in her life (nor in anyone's), but I can guarantee you this: no daughter of mine will ever just lie there and die. She didn't when she was in that NICU support bed and she won't now.

We, too, have a warrior infant.

And I'm not surprised. Our family is Scottish on one side and German on the other. We are stubborn, hot-tempered people who, frankly, like to fight, and our baby is typical of the Mockingbird Breed. Like all Lewises, my girl was BORN FIGHTING, and that fighting spirit, that will to survive, continues. Every day she lives is a big, fat, Lewis Family Finger thrust boldly into the face of the Grim Reaper. "Not today, Mr. Death," we say tauntingly. "Maybe tomorrow, sir, but NOT TODAY."

Our Tater Tot may live a hundred years, or she may die tonight. The same is true of me, you, and everybody else. But I know this: when the time comes for her to go, she -- like the rest of us -- is going to go down the Lewis way, with every battle station manned and firing.

Thank you for posting this story.
Posted by: B Lewis at November 15, 2013 6:44 PM

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 15, 2013 4:03 PM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hitler finds out Obamacare will not let him keep his doctor

"Anyone who has never had their colon examined by a doctor with fingers the size of a Bratwurst, leave immediately."

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 15, 2013 9:23 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Eisenhower on "The insolvent phantom of tomorrow."


"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

"Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

"Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present -- and is gravely to be regarded.

"Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

"It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."

Source: American Rhetoric: Dwight D. Eisenhower -- Farewell Address


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 14, 2013 12:33 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Improving the Program

"I went on to test the program in every way I could devise. I strained it to expose its weaknesses. I ran it for high-mass stars and low-mass stars, for stars born exceedingly hot and those born relatively cold. I ran it assuming the superfluid currents beneath the crust to be absent--not because I wanted to know the answer, but because I had developed an intuitive feel for the answer in this particular case. Finally I got a run in which the computer showed the pulsar's temperature to be less than absolute zero. I had found an error. I chased down the error and fixed it. Now I had improved the program to the point where it would not run at all."

--George Greenstein, Frozen Star: Of Pulsars, Black Holes and the Fate of Stars

Posted by Vanderleun Nov 14, 2013 9:46 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Get Hot: Colorado Asks Got Insurance? Got Sex? Get Obamacare!

"Thanks to Obamacare, Colorado has a new online insurance marketplace called "Connect for Health Colorado." This new marketplace is where you can easily compare health insurance plans, find financial assistance that could help you purchase coverage, and get the plan that's right for you." - - Got Insurance

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 13, 2013 9:15 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
'Brosurance' and 'Hosurance': Colorado Asks Want Alcoholism, Want Sex? Get Obamacare!


"Thanks to Obamacare, Colorado has a new online insurance marketplace called "Connect for Health Colorado." This new marketplace is where you can easily compare health insurance plans, find financial assistance that could help you purchase coverage, and get the plan that's right for you." - - Got Insurance

Buying Millennials with free sex, free wine, free beer. No jobs but Obamacare will get you drunk and laid!



Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 13, 2013 9:15 AM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Why Is There This 'No-Fly Zone' Over Bill Clinton? Larry Elder Presents: The Definitive Take on Bill Clinton

HT The Definitive Take On Bill Clinton - Small Dead Animals

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 13, 2013 4:20 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Make It Go Faster


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 12, 2013 10:23 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Scandal? What Scandal?

Bob: "Did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?
Jim: "You mean the Mexican gun running?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean SEAL Team 6?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the State Dept. lying about Benghazi?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean voter fraud?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the military not getting their votes counted?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean that 3 or 4 of Obama's GAY friends were mysteriously MURDERED when they came forward with claims he was gay too?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?"

Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the drones in our own country without the benefit of the law?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Giving 123 Technologies $300 Million and right after it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?"
Bob: "No the other one:.
Jim: "The IRS targeting conservatives?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The DOJ spying on the press?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Giving SOLYNDRA $500 MILLION DOLLARS and 3 months later they declared bankruptcy and then the Chinese bought it?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants  from jails and prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's threat to impose gun control by Executive Order in order to bypass Congress?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The 2012 vote where 115% of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The president's unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate's advise-and-consent role?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "The State Department interfering with an Inspector General investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?"
Bob: "No, the other one."
Jim: "Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?"
Bob: "No, the other  one."
Jim: "I give up! ... Oh wait, I think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don't pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?

[Via the Homechick Email circuit ]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 12, 2013 10:06 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Hitler's Health Insurance Is Cancelled: "It took me five years to find a proctologist I like... "

HT: Never Yet Melted

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 12, 2013 12:49 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Coming Home from On High: Soyuz undocking, reentry and landing explained

From 17,000 miles per hour to about 2 miles per hour starting at around 220miles straight up. Then.... pow! The good news is you are back from orbit and alive. The bad news is you're in Kazakhstan.

What is it like to experience this? Well, here's one man's reaction:

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 11, 2013 3:28 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Great War: "For a botched civilization."


There died a myriad,
And of the best, among them,
For an old bitch gone in the teeth,
For a botched civilization.

Charm, smiling at the good mouth,
Quick eyes gone under earth's lid,

For two gross of broken statues,
For a few thousand battered books.

H. S. Mauberley by Ezra Pound


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 11, 2013 1:08 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
True Story, True Price: "Sippican Cottage: Our $25,000 House"


Sippican spins the first of a series of ripping yarns about this amazing living machine; some of which I've heard. If you can't believe the price, you won't believe the repairs!

We bought a fairly big, 1901 vintage, Queen Anne house for $24,400. I consider any house for sale for less than a Kia "free." It wasn't "Detroit" free, either. I know you can buy a crackhouse in Detroit for a double sawbuck, or trade it for a couple syphilitic chickens or something, but then you've got to try to defend its walls against all comers --the walls where the copper pipes used to live before the crackheads gave your new home its crackhouse soubriquet -- but we moved to what's considered a nice neighborhood in a quiet little town in western Maine. And in addition to a lack of Mogadishu-level crime, the taxes here are low because there's a huge, stinking paper mill right in the center of town paying half the town's freight, so our free house didn't come with a bent number followed by a vapor trail of zeroes after it for back taxes, or front taxes or sideways taxes. Details at Sippican Cottage: Our $25,000 House and bookmark it because the fun's only just begun!

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 9, 2013 5:46 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
As Seen from the Space Station

Typhoon Haiyan. November 9. As photographed by astronaut Karen L. Nyberg: ...

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 9, 2013 10:33 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, "

"unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid." - - Dwight D. Eisenhower - Letter to Edgar Newton Eisenhower, 1954


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 9, 2013 9:30 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Always a lovely day, somewhere, sir.


"His senses uncrossed in the ivory-and-gold Star Chamber of Castle Presteign... he saw the high mirors and stained glass windows, the gold tooled library with android librarian on library ladder... he heard the android secretary tapping the manual bead-recorder at the Louis Quinze desk... he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.

...He ignored his enemies and examined the perpetual beam carved in the robot face of the bartender, the classic Irish grin.

'Thank you,' Foyle said.

'My pleasure, sir,' the robot replied and awaited its next cue.

'Nice day,' Foyle remarked.

'Always a lovely day somewhere, sir,' the robot beamed.

'Awful day,' Foyle said.

'Always a lovely day somewhere, sir,' the robot responded.

'Day,' Foyle said.

'Always a lovely day somewhere, sir,' the robot said. "

The bartender robot hurled its mixing glass across the room with a resounding crash. In the amazed silence that followed, Dagenham grunted: Damn! My radiation disrupted your dolls again, Presteign.'

'The answer is yes,' the robot said, quite distinctly.

'What?' Foyle asked, taken aback.

'The answer to your question is yes.'

'Thank you, Foyle said.

'My pleasure, sir,' the robot responded. 'A man is a member of society first, and an individual second. You must go along with society, whether it chooses destruction or not.'

'Completely haywire,' Dagenham said impatiently. Switch if off, Presteign.'

'Wait,' Foyle commanded. He looked at the beaming grin engraved in the steel robot face. 'But society can be so stupid. So confused. You've witnessed this conference.'

'Yes, sir, but you must teach, not dictate. You must teach society.'

'To space-jaunte? Why? To reach out to the stars and galaxies? What for?' "

"'Because you're alive, sir. You might as well ask: Why is life? don't ask about it. Live it.'

'Quite mad,' Dagenham muttered.

'But fascinating,' Y'ang-Yeovil murmured.

'There's got to be more to life than just living,' Foyle said to the robot.

'Then find it for yourself, sir. Don't ask the world to stop moving because you have doubts.'

'Why can't we all move forward together?'

'Because you're all so different. You're not lemmings. Some must lead, and hope that the rest will follow.'

'Who leads?'

'The men who must . . . driven men, compelled men.'

'Freak men.'

'You're all freaks, sir. But you always have been freaks. Life is a freak. That's its hope and glory.'

'Thank you very much.'

'My pleasure, sir.'

'You've saved the day.'

'Always a lovely day somewhere, sir,' the robot beamed. Then it fizzed, jangled, and collapsed. "

-- Bester, Alfred. The Stars My Destination. New York: Berkley Publishing (1975; c. 1956); pg. 240.

Posted by Vanderleun Nov 9, 2013 1:15 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Video Dreamgirls: 60 years of Female Stars on CBS

Suggestive, evocative, and mesmerizing.

Made by Phillip Scott Johnson

Via Mid-Century Modern who notes "We Could Watch This All Day ." 1948 - 2008

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 7, 2013 5:05 PM | Comments (15)  | QuickLink: Permalink
'Obamacare by Morning' : Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood

Obamacare: The first hybrid computer/human virus.

HT: Never Yet Melted

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 7, 2013 7:18 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The SciFright Zone: Blending the Sound of a Baby Elephant, a Growling Tiger, and an Alligator's Snarl

Those who asked, "What's that sound?" on the ancient African veldt don't have many, if any, descendants. The "startle reflex" is the fastest thought that you can have.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 6, 2013 8:14 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
THE ICON THRIFTMASTER: Bringing the Chevy 3100 into the modern age with clean lines and one hell of an engine.


It comes with a standard 5.3L V-8 Small Block, but can be upgraded to the Magnuson Super Charger, with 435 H.P and 458 ft lbs. of torque (go for the upgrade).

And while ICON’s kept the vintage look of the old Chevy, ICON doesn’t skimp on modern conveniences. The seats are bison hide and the bed’s made from US sourced ash. And, with web-enabled Kenwood and Audison audio equipment, your Led Zepplin track sounds as good as the roar from the engine. ICON’s shipping the Thriftmaster in 2014, but they’re only making five. Each will be signed and numbered, and they’re priced between $220,000-250,000. Huckberry | The Icon Thriftmaster


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 6, 2013 7:35 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Box of Crazy


"So a friend of mine found this box by the trash, it is full of wonderful, crazy illustrations. Clearly something happened to this guy that was very memorable. It measures roughly 29" by 38" and almost all the drawings are very large."


5  Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. Rev. 4.6 And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man.
6  And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings.
7  And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass.
8  And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings. - - Ezekiel 1


Contents of The Box of Crazy can be seen HERE.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 5, 2013 8:38 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
THE TYGER By William Blake


Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And What shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 4, 2013 10:48 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: 10 Passing Shots by Roger Federer

HT to Paleo Retiree who notes: I don’t know how Federer dreams up these shots, let alone executes them. Me neither. I only know that in this game there never has been anyone, but anyone, quite like him.

After the jump because bigger is better.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 3, 2013 12:36 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Hitchhiker


During my recent tour of the Southwest I seem to have pulled over to the side of the road and picked up a cold. As near as I can figure it, the cold climbed aboard my body just outside of Bluff, Utah at the border of the Navajo reservation. It was probably dressed in dogwood and sagebrush camo inside of a cloud of pollen. It announced itself in the form of gargantuan sneezing fits so explosive that the car's safety glass shivered and my fellow passengers began to use their smartphones to order Hazmat suits for overnight delivery.

Not content with carpet-bombing the passenger compartment and surrounding landscapes with hell-fire sneezes, the cold immediately sat itself behind my eyes and began to pump out every bit of moisture there through my tear ducts. It seems that it amused my new and unwanted passenger to reduce me to a shaking, shambling, wheezing, sneezing, watery wreck of a man as quickly as possible. It was as if I could almost here it mumble under its foetid breath, "Now that's entertainment."

All colds behave like this. Rude and intrusive and overwhelming without so much as a "pretty please." We try to shake them off at the first sign we've picked them up. We consume vast amounts of zinc tablets, old wives' remedies, pills, ointments, potions, powders, and prayers. And the reaction of this cold was like the reaction of all the other colds I've picked up over the years. It just sits comfy in the passenger seat in your head and sneers.

"Where you heading?" I ask, hoping it just wants a lift to the next Navaho hogan down the road.

"Depends," says the cold. "Thought I'd just ride around with you for two weeks or fourteen days and see where it gets me."

"You know," I say, bargaining, "I haven't had any of your sort in the cab in long time. Can't say I've really enjoyed the company. How about I drop you at the next truck stop. I can hook you up with a semi full of laytex gloves and Handi-Wipes heading for the Dugway CBW Proving Grounds in upstate Utah. I hear they're doing great things with sexy, hot viruses up there."

"Just drive, sucker. You don't want me to use my little friends here." The cold opens up its backpack and shows me two containers. One is labeled "Bronchitus," and the other, "Pneumonia."

I sneeze explosively raising cries of alarm from my fellow passengers as a fine mist fills the cab. Then a sheet of water sluices from my eyes. I fumble at a small brick of "Personal Kleenex," the first of many. I say, "You make bunny cry," and off we roll on the rest of my grand tour of the Great Southwest.

It's been more than a week since that tour ended, but the cold from the side of the road continues its grand tour of my body. Although its Wagnerian entrance draped in sneezes and tears was unique, it quickly settled into the standard routines of resident colds. Like some dubious guest of consistently malevolent intent it resists all efforts at eviction. Instead it seems determined to inhabit, in turn, all the major organs of my body.

My once commodious nose and my previously spacious sinuses are, of course, the first favored location. This sojourn allows the cold to lay in vast stocks of mucus and associated detritus that brick up the sally ports of your breathing. Strange that you don't realize how convenient the nose is for breathing until yours has been sealed with what has to be a heady blend of damp concrete and gummy bears. You move to evict the cold from the nose with the forces of crude expulsion ("Better lay in that aloe soaked Kleenex with the steel mesh core in Costco quantities...") and intense infusion ("Excuse me, do you have the gallon sized 12 Hour Afrin pump with napalm chaser?"). After a time, these seem to succeed, but only because the cold has moved leaving you to shampoo your mustache repeatedly.

Having cleared the nose sector in the same hopeful manner that the Marines clear sectors in Afghanistan of the Taliban, the cold retaliates (Much like the Taliban) by simply shifting its residence across the border and digging in deeper. It moves to the lungs and sets up camp in the deepest, most out of the way section where it barricades itself behind vast berms of phlegm, settles in for siege warfare, and taunts you. It is going to be awhile. Like it said when you picked it up, "Two weeks or fourteen days, whichever comes first."

I've lost track of exactly how many days the siege has been going on since my sleeping has been a sometime thing. It would seem that the cold grew bored with my mere sneezing, sniffling, wheezing, hacking, snarfling, and snorting. At some point, to keep itself interested, it went to its big gun -- the cough. Since then it has launched a continuous barrage of coughs of such intensity that, after a day and a night of these attacks the cumulative effect of their impact is such that I seem to have pulled a set of muscles just below my left ribcage. This means that not only do I have the experience of a racking cough of such intensity that it startles small children in the street, I also have the simultaneous pleasure of feeling a stone axe pound against my ribs with every reverberation. If I ran some sort of commercial dungeon I could see this to masochists for a premium until their Visa card was reduced to a charred cinder.

Ah travel! The places you'll go! The sights that you'll see! The things you'll pick up!

This morning, however, here in the sunlight by the old mill stream, things seem to have quieted down a bit. The coughing barrages are coming in less frequently and the ribs are no longer reminding me of their cracked existence. The nose seems to be opening slowly like a spring blossom. Slight sniffles come and go with little bunny sneezes. Perhaps, just perhaps, the cold that I picked up among the Navajo is packing up, decamping, and getting ready to hitch a new ride with someone else.

I hope you'll forgive me if I don't shake hands.

[And this week, this lost week of 2013, this hitchhiker is baaaaaack!]

Posted by Vanderleun Nov 2, 2013 2:18 PM | Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
This Just In: "Teacher" Arrested at JFK


Via: LaToni

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 2, 2013 2:11 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Low Information Voters: The Early Years

We are the Little Folk — we!
Too little to love or to hate.
Leave us alone and you’ll see
How we can drag down the State!
We are the worm in the wood!
We are the rot at the root!
We are the taint in the blood!
We are the thorn in the foot!

Mistletoe killing an oak —
Rats gnawing cables in two —
Moths making holes in a cloak —
How they must love what they do!
Yes — and we Little Folk too,
We are busy as they —
Working our works out of view —
Watch, and you’ll see it some day!

No indeed! We are not strong,
But we know Peoples that are.
Yes, and we’ll guide them along
To smash and destroy you in War!
We shall be slaves just the same?
Yes, we have always been slaves,
But you — you will die of the shame,
And then we shall dance on your graves!

- - A Pict Song by Rudyard Kipling

Posted by gerardvanderleun Nov 1, 2013 10:40 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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