Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Florida. On one hand, no personal income tax. On the other hand....

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 31, 2016 5:04 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Think the Grand Canyon's "Grand"? Naw, THIS is a "Grand Canyon"


Mars will look good in Earth's skies over the next few days -- but not this good.

To get a view this amazing, a spacecraft had to actually visit the red planet. Running across the image center, though, is one the largest canyons in the Solar System. Named Valles Marineris, the grand valley extends over 3,000 kilometers long, spans as much as 600 kilometers across, and delves as much as 8 kilometers deep. By comparison, the Earth's Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA is 800 kilometers long, 30 kilometers across, and 1.8 kilometers deep. The origin of the Valles Marineris remains unknown, although a leading hypothesis holds that it started as a crack billions of years ago as the planet cooled. Several geologic processes have been identified in the canyon. The featured mosaic was created from over 100 images of Mars taken by Viking Orbiters in the 1970s. Tomorrow, Mars and Earth will pass the closest in 11 years, resulting in the red planet being quite noticeable toward the southeast after sunset. APOD: 2016 May 29 - Valles Marineris: The Grand Canyon of Mars

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 30, 2016 5:50 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Power of Music - Jack Leroy Tueller

Orphaned at age 5, WWII veteran Jack Tueller, went on to play first chair trumpet at BYU. This is a remarkable story from Jack's military experience.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 30, 2016 3:30 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On Not Voting: "Not choosing is a choice" [Bumped]


In a binary political choice a vote cast either way increases the “weight” of the party voted for in the case of victory or in the case of defeat.

Either way, the more people that vote (participate) the more chance there is of a balancing of power in order to keep the more powerful in check. The greater the participation, regardless of who the vote is cast for, the more heft there is in the electorate. In voting one does not really vote for him or against her, or for them or against those, but first and foremost for us.

Since political offers, options, circumstances, and environments can alter rapidly it is best to keep the overall participating electorate as big as possible in every election. Both parties, each in their own way, have an interest in dissuading the other party’s voters from participating. If both parties are effective in doing this either may win but what is really reduced is the overall electorate. Thus, not participating in any election decreases the size of the electorate and thus doth increase the suckitude of the power structure between elections.

Not choosing is a choice. Through not voting you choose to increase the overall power of the elite political structure that rules you.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 29, 2016 7:23 PM | Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In my town this is one of the ways they celebrate Memorial Day

Every Memorial Day (and other patriotic holidays) Paradise California puts out the Parade of Flags all along the main street through town.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 29, 2016 12:12 AM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: An Unseen World

“An Unseen World” is an award winning short film by Paul Rosolie that captures the remarkable biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest. The film weaves together camera trap footage taken on an Amazon Rainforest tributary located in the Madre de Dios region of Peru.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 28, 2016 9:28 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Evidence of Things Not Seen

Breathtaking Landscapes of Guilin, China by Kyon.J


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 27, 2016 2:35 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Alan Tate's "Ode to the Confederate Dead"

The Gray and the gray. "Confederate veteran reunion, Washington, 1917"

Row after row with strict impunity
The headstones yield their names to the element,
The wind whirrs without recollection;
In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament
To the seasonal eternity of death;
Then driven by the fierce scrutiny
Of heaven to their election in the vast breath,
They sough the rumour of mortality.

Autumn is desolation in the plot
Of a thousand acres where these memories grow
From the inexhaustible bodies that are not
Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row.
Think of the autumns that have come and gone!--
Ambitious November with the humors of the year,
With a particular zeal for every slab,
Staining the uncomfortable angels that rot
On the slabs, a wing chipped here, an arm there:
The brute curiosity of an angel's stare
Turns you, like them, to stone,
Transforms the heaving air
Till plunged to a heavier world below
You shift your sea-space blindly
Heaving, turning like the blind crab.

         Dazed by the wind, only the wind
         The leaves flying, plunge

You know who have waited by the wall
The twilight certainty of an animal,
Those midnight restitutions of the blood
You know--the immitigable pines, the smoky frieze
Of the sky, the sudden call: you know the rage,
The cold pool left by the mounting flood,
Of muted Zeno and Parmenides.
You who have waited for the angry resolution
Of those desires that should be yours tomorrow,
You know the unimportant shrift of death
And praise the vision
And praise the arrogant circumstance
Of those who fall
Rank upon rank, hurried beyond decision--
Here by the sagging gate, stopped by the wall.

         Seeing, seeing only the leaves
         Flying, plunge and expire

Turn your eyes to the immoderate past,
Turn to the inscrutable infantry rising
Demons out of the earth they will not last.
Stonewall, Stonewall, and the sunken fields of hemp,
Shiloh, Antietam, Malvern Hill, Bull Run.
Lost in that orient of the thick and fast
You will curse the setting sun.

         Cursing only the leaves crying
         Like an old man in a storm

You hear the shout, the crazy hemlocks point
With troubled fingers to the silence which
Smothers you, a mummy, in time.

         The hound bitch
Toothless and dying, in a musty cellar
Hears the wind only.

         Now that the salt of their blood
Stiffens the saltier oblivion of the sea,
Seals the malignant purity of the flood,
What shall we who count our days and bow
Our heads with a commemorial woe
In the ribboned coats of grim felicity,
What shall we say of the bones, unclean,
Whose verdurous anonymity will grow?
The ragged arms, the ragged heads and eyes
Lost in these acres of the insane green?
The gray lean spiders come, they come and go;
In a tangle of willows without light
The singular screech-owl's tight
Invisible lyric seeds the mind
With the furious murmur of their chivalry.

         We shall say only the leaves
         Flying, plunge and expire

We shall say only the leaves whispering
In the improbable mist of nightfall
That flies on multiple wing:
Night is the beginning and the end
And in between the ends of distraction
Waits mute speculation, the patient curse
That stones the eyes, or like the jaguar leaps
For his own image in a jungle pool, his victim.

What shall we say who have knowledge
Carried to the heart? Shall we take the act
To the grave? Shall we, more hopeful, set up the grave
In the house? The ravenous grave?

         Leave now
The shut gate and the decomposing wall:
The gentle serpent, green in the mulberry bush,
Riots with his tongue through the hush--
Sentinel of the grave who counts us all!

Posted by Vanderleun May 27, 2016 4:06 AM | Comments (19)  | QuickLink: Permalink
#NeverTrump to #EverTrump: The 12 Steps


Trump Reaches the Magic Number to Clinch Nomination - Donald Trump reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president Thursday, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the stage for a bitter fall campaign.

Meanwhile, back at the Kristol Palace,
previously headquarters of #NeverTrump many could be seen taking the #EverTrump pledge.


1. We admitted we were powerless over Trump—that our #NeverTrumping had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Trump greater than ourselves could restore us to #EverTrumping.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Trump as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of our articles and other blatherings of #NeverTrump.

5. Admitted to Trump, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our #NeverTrump crimethink.

6. Were entirely ready to have Trump remove all these defective clots of #NeverTrump blather and spew.

7. Humbly asked Trump to remove our brainless blatherings about Trump, aka evil-Satan, proto-Hitler, serial-liar, neocon-defier, blathering buffoon, smasher of little old lady and little old man homesteads on the blasted heaths of Scotland and somewhere else in America (that rat bastard!) and all around Anti-Christ if we believed in Christ as the anti-Anti-Christ in the first place.

8. Made a list of all #EverTrumpers we had harmed and alienated, and became willing to restore their previously trolling and just plain wrong and stupidhead comments about the purity of #NeverTrump.

9. Gave direct bootlickings to #EverTrumpers except when to do so would amuse them or other #EverTrumpers too much.

10. Continued to take a personal inventory of my brain that told me Trump would never happen and promptly admitted new #NeverTrump wrongthink when it just popped into my brainpan.

11. Sought through doorbelling and lawnsign placement to improve our conscious contact with Trump as we understood Trump, prostalitizing only to get out the vote for Trump as Trump gives us the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message of #EverTrump to all remaining #NeverTrumps, and to practice the #EverTrump in all our affairs.


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 26, 2016 8:03 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Next Stop, Niketown: 1908

"No doubt some of your chums are already enjoying this fast-paced sport. Why not give it a "shot" to-day?"

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 25, 2016 7:19 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Monsters from the Id: Good-bye to All That's Democrat


The monsters from the id that now control the Democrat Party have transformed that party into a mob of undead extras from The Dawn of the Dead. It's an indecent and disgusting spectacle and I suspect there's more than a few million long-time Democrats who are revolted by it. That certainly seems to be creeping into the polls. No matter the good it once did, the Democrats today present as sick and crazed political party that is so greedy and hungry for power that it will do anything, including selling its country down the drain, to get it back.

Regardless of the race of the Democrats' current leader and failed president, Martin Luther King's dream of judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin has been transformed into a tawdry thing; a dried husk in which they wrap their skeletal remains, a hollow phrase spewed by the ascendent race hustlers of the party and lapped up by their acolytes.


Until 2004, with the exception of Guiliani's second term as mayor, I voted the Democrat ticket in every election since 1967. In 2004, offered the Insane Clown Posse of John Kerry and John Edwards, I voted for George Bush. The spectacle of the last twelve years of various Democrats reaching for the gold ring did not inspire me to change my view. Only the dead enjoy parties in a crypt.


From the party that gave us FDR, Truman, JFK and even, yes, LBJ, the Democrats have gone through a process of gradual but inexorable devolution to the party of such weak, tepid and compromised souls as Carter, Clinton, Kerry, Clinton Part Deux, Bernie the Crazed Attic Aunt, and of coursee Obama - the ultimate bargainer, the race hustler with an Ivy League sheepskin and the slick suit hiding his childhood castration. But these craven souls the Party puts up are only the shadows cast by the compromises it has made within itself. It has made many compromises over the years and taken in many "causes" each one more dubious and rotten than the last.

As a result of this unremitting ideological promiscuity, the "progressive" party has become progressively more diseased from each submissive encounter. The gangrene that has rotted the body of the party has transformed it into some transnational Dorian Gray. Strutting and noble and handsome when preening before the cameras and the crowds, but putrid and pestilential when you see it as it is in the dull light of its pustule blossoming "new morning."


Politics is a profession founded on and fueled by hypocrisy. This we all know. But, at the same time, we also need a politics that somewhere within it has a shred of uncompromised decency, the dim understanding of honor, and more than a shred of courage. None of these qualities exists in the Democratic Party today.

For some time, I expected there would be a turning around among many Democrats. I expected that the better angels of their nature would triumph and lead them out of the moral swamp into which they were wading deeper with every passing month.

During this year's never-ending primary season, however, I have come to the place where the whole sorry spectacle and circus of the Democrats has finally filled my gorge with disgust and revulsion. The party whose ideals once excited me has become a mockery, a dumbshow, a parody of itself, and a dangerous parody at that.

Instead of inspiration the Democrat Party delivers a brain-damaged cackling whore of unspeakable criminality, a shopworn socialist's solutions, numbing boredom, sheer despair, intellectual and spiritual poverty, sexism, and the worst sort of racism seen since it gave birth to the Klu Klux Klan. Classical racism loathes "the other." The new racism of the Democrat requires one loathe oneself first and last, and to accuse those that do not of racism. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, "The Democrats want to get you down in the hole that they're in."

Instead of telling us what sort of New Jerusalem it would have us build as our City on the Hill, the party requires that its members root about in the ghettos of the soul, to ponder the rightness or wrongness of the very babies of its opponents. Instead of waving the bright banners of America triumphant, the Party dons the rags and bones of defeatism and appeasement and moves about the country like a tarted-up Typhoid Mary, infecting all who kiss its chancred lips. As a party, it's a poxed whore for whom no condom is thick enough. Democrat's a death trip.

No more dates with Demy for me. I'll have no more to do with it. I know I'm not the only one. Day by day over the six months, more and more are coming to this conclusion.

The Democrat party is somewhat like a first wife thought about at a safe distance from the divorce.

You know you loved her at some point, but you can't really remember why.

You know she was beautiful to you then, but now you can only see the ruins of that beauty, and you are glad you had the best years.

You know that, yes, you must have been happy with her and had a lot of good times, but now you can't remember what, where. or when.

In fact, when you think about her now you can't really believe you wasted all those poisoned years with her just because you believed that somehow, some time, she would grow sane, beautiful, and young again.

In some way, in some universe, that hopeshould be true about the people you loved. When it comes to the politics you once loved it is never true. When a party goes insane and degenerates into a diseased mass of hate, "an old bitch gone in the teeth, / A botched civilization" it never really reforms.

Like they say in the National Parks, "Once a bear is hooked on garbage, there's no cure."


Posted by Vanderleun May 25, 2016 2:24 AM | Comments (109)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Isaiah's Job by Albert Jay Nock


"Everyone with a message nowadays is eager to take it to the masses. His first, last and only thought is of mass acceptance and mass approval. His great care is to put his doctrine in such shape as will capture the masses' attention and interest. This attitude towards the masses is so exclusive, so devout, that one is reminded of the troglodytic monster described by Plato, and the assiduous crowd at the entrance to its cave, trying obsequiously to placate it and win its favor, trying to interpret its inarticulate noises, trying to find out what it wants, and eagerly offering it all sorts of things that they think might strike its fancy....

"The main trouble with all this is its reaction upon the mission itself. It necessitates an opportunist sophistication of one's doctrine, which profoundly alters its character and reduces it to a mere placebo.

"If, say, you are a preacher, you wish to attract as large a congregation as you can, which means an appeal to the masses; and this, in turn, means adapting the terms of your message to the order of intellect and character that the masses exhibit.

"If you are an educator, say with a college on your hands, you wish to get as many students as possible, and you whittle down your requirements accordingly.

"If a writer, you aim at getting many readers; if a publisher, many purchasers; if a philosopher, many disciples; if a reformer, many converts; if a musician, many auditors; and so on.

"But as we see on all sides, in the realization of these several desires, the prophetic message is so heavily adulterated with trivialities, in every instance, that its effect on the masses is merely to harden them in their sins. Meanwhile, the Remnant, aware of this adulteration and of the desires that prompt it, turn their backs on the prophet and will have nothing to do with him or his message.

Isaiah, on the other hand, worked under no such disabilities. He preached to the masses only in the sense that he preached publicly. Anyone who liked might listen; anyone who liked might pass by.

"He knew that the Remnant would listen; and knowing also that nothing was to be expected of the masses under any circumstances, he made no specific appeal to them, did not accommodate his message to their measure in any way, and did not care two straws whether they heeded it or not. As a modern publisher might put it, he was not worrying about circulation or about advertising.

"Hence, with all such obsessions quite out of the way, he was in a position to do his level best, without fear or favor, and answerable only to his august Boss....

The rest is available HERE @ Mises Daily

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 24, 2016 12:03 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bob Dylan is 75. "How does it feeeeeeeeeeeeeel?"

If you are going to have a life, have a big, big life.


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 24, 2016 9:51 AM | Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Slop Thickens

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 22, 2016 9:18 AM | Comments (18)  | QuickLink: Permalink
One of the Good Things About Living in the Outskirts


In the outskirts, after living for decades in the cities, it may seem like less is happening around you, and it is, but this is not at all a bad thing.

Since there are fewer people, the people that are living near you in the outskirts, be it town, village, or hamlet are more vivid. This is especially true if they are vivid in the first place such as those sporting full body tattoos and/or long, very long, passages of scripture tattooed across their breasts, around the back, and evidently down the spine. Like I said, vivid.

At the same time there is a strong normality so bland, so low-key, that one would flee from it if it weren't so restful and so reassuring and so honest.

Case in point: Purchase a bag of almonds at a street market. A simple transaction over in a moment. Getting home you take our the almonds and notice the printed tag that seals the bag of "Queen of the Valley Chili & Lemon Almonds." On the back of the tag is a short message from the family the owns and sustains the almond orchard. It's signed, "Marie, Joseph, Emily & 'Lil' Marie" in a plain and simple manner with no smear of green pretense nor taint of some corporate marketing department's focus-grouped palaver.

A family, an orchard, a product. By Us, "Marie, Joseph, Emily & 'Lil' Marie" Life among normal people here on the outskirts. A good deal.

I pity the cities.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 20, 2016 2:17 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
At The Sculptor's Studio


Long after his final forms are cast,
And the sculptor's hands are mute,
The line forms daily at his door
To tour his institute.

Long after his final fire fades,
And the sculptor becomes his bones,
Two faces in his house are forming,
Melting out of frozen stone.


To your right, the dreamer strains to wake,
And struggles within her sleep.
On your left, the convalescent, pale,
Lays back upon her sheet.

Their sanded eyes, their still, stone lips,
Emerge from drifts of solid snow,
And whisper life in tongues of brass,
To the shadows of their shapes below.

Plump matrons, muttering recipes,
Shuffle past them in a bunch,
And amble into the arid garden
To stand in line for lunch.


Outside, within the ivy's cloak,
All wrangled by the wall,
The rain-scorched Burghers of Calais,
Gaze numbly on their final fall.

Tanned lovers stroll and pose beside
Those forms, and buff those metal hands,
To laugh and wander off quite calm,
In their sheltered, cozy bands.


The Burghers' flesh and staring eyes,
Know no real pain, weep tears of time,
While those around, quite blithe, ignore
The sculptor's agony that they mime.

Yes we, quite modern, admire them.
We discuss the sacrifice they tell,
Then, laughing, use our selfie sticks
And pose knocking on The Gates of Hell.


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 20, 2016 10:58 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Rich and Strange: “DARTH BY DARTHWEST”

You will not be sorry should you chose to


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 19, 2016 10:45 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Utopia, Inc. by James LePore

If you need extra piety credits, enter your SJW number and choose from the following:

To enter our Change of Color program, press one.

To volunteer to write slogans on coffee cups, press two.

To volunteer to bring toilet paper to Venezuela, press three.

To volunteer to become a doctor in Cuba, press four.

To volunteer to become a patient in Cuba, press five.

If you would like to leave the country you are living in and then return illegally, press five. (To be eligible for benefits under this program your total net worth must be under two million dollars).
If you would like to be on the Global Commission for Human Rights, press six. (Enrollment in this program is currently restricted to Iranians and members of ISIS).

If you would like to become the Secretary General of the United Nations, press seven.

If you would like to listen to the rest of this recorded message in a voice of a different gender, press eight.

You will have 76 genders to choose from, including none. If you choose none, the voice you hear will be randomly chosen by a randomly-chosen computer built at our fully unionized, government owned COEXIST factory in Cambridge, Massachusettes.

To read more about Utopia Inc. press this link.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 19, 2016 12:18 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Mire and Nice by Robert FrostDerLeun

Some say the world will end in mire,
Some say in nice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor mire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of fate
To say that for destruction nice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 19, 2016 10:34 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
[Bumped] The Meltdown on the Right or "Oh my, whatever shall we do with the Donald?"


Dear Brainiacs, I've been down this road. I've seen things get old. Time to get control, and start again. I shouldn't have to tell you this, but in 2016 voting is simple.

You ponder all the as usual shabby and vile candidates offered by the major parties;

you feel your gorge rise;

you feel your brain writhe as you are forced to remember, and not for the first time, just what an evil and soul destroying system the current system is;

you shiver with the very natural and enduring repulsion, and then....

You vote for the one who is the most to the right.


Without fail.

"But I have my principles!"


This is not a kindergarten ethics period just before milk and cookies and a long dirt nap.

We're playing with live ammunition in 2016.

Man up, grow a pair, and vote for the candidate who is most to the right.

You might hate him.

You might loathe him.

Me. Too.

And I don't care what his name is.

Stump or

You might want him to be executed by a belt sander on pay-per-view.

Me too.


"But.. but... he can't win!"

Not if you sit home in your eternal dorm room muttering small talk at the wall while I'm in the hall, reliving your visions of political purity, and tossing your brain salad with mixed nuts.

"But... but... he makes me feel bad."

Me too.

Fine. We get it that you have feelings. We get you feel bad.

Take your feelings back to your dorm room and sob into your pillow until you're finished. Don't get any on you. We'll bring you a box of Kleenex or a hot towel, okay? You done? Good.


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 18, 2016 7:49 PM | Comments (35)  | QuickLink: Permalink
What is the most astounding fact about the Universe?


The entire Universe,

on all scales,
in all places,
and at all times,

obeys the same fundamental laws of nature.

From the weakest, lowest-frequency photon of light to the largest galaxy ever assembled, from the unstable atoms of Uranium decaying in the Earth’s core to the neutral hydrogen atoms forming for the first time 46 billion light years away, the laws that everything in this Universe obeys are the same.
Gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces are the same wherever and whenever you go. The particles that exist (and can exist) and their properties are the same. The rules that govern the entire system are the same. All of it, at all energies, at all times, at all places, are underwritten by the same laws of nature.
This is the most remarkable thing of all. Imagine what things would be like if this weren’t true. Imagine an existence where nature behaves randomly and unpredictably, where gravity turns on-and-off on a whim, where the Sun could simply stop burning its fuel for no apparent reason, where the atoms that form you could spontaneously cease to hold together.
| 3tags

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 18, 2016 9:27 AM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The New Three Stooges: Alcee Hastings, Carolyn Finney, and the Ever-Popular Joy DeGruy Leary


Just when you think it might just be possible that various race hustlers of the African-American persuasion could not possibly become more delusional than they are, along comes Sultan Knish: Our Racist Trees

Now Alcee Hastings, an impeached judge, and a coalition of minority groups is demanding increased “inclusiveness” at national parks. High on their list is the claim that, “African-Americans have felt unwelcome and even fearful in federal parklands during our nation’s history because of the horrors of lynching.” What do national parks have to do with lynchings? Many national parks have trees. People were hung from trees. It’s guilt by arboreal association. The origin of the bizarre racist lynching theory of national parks appears to be Carolyn Finney. author of Black Faces, White Spaces. In it she claims that “oppression and violence against black people in forests and other green spaces can translate into contemporary understandings that constrain African-American environmental understandings.” Finney cites the work of Joy DeGruy Leary who invented a Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome that she claims black people suffer from. Affected by PTSS, black people experience “fear and mistrust of forests and other green spaces.” According to Finney, the tree is a racist symbol to black people. “Black people also wanted to go out in the woods and eat apples from the trees,” Finney explains.
I guess if you tried really, really hard with a room full of infinite writers on infinite word processors from Saturday Night Live when it was funny that you could, in fact, make this shit up. But then you'd be called "racist." So you might as well relax and let these "scholars" of our African-American Studies Programs do it for you.

And speaking of "scholars" here's a report on "Blackness Matters" from the National Association of Scholars

Readers who have not previously dropped in on Black Lives Matter internal discussions may be disconcerted by the racist rhetoric, the narrow-minded ideas, and pernicious premises. Some of what follows in this essay is pretty raw.  Consider this a trigger warning.  I am about to recount, with direct quotations, what I saw and heard at Black Lives Matter 101. When I have mentioned some of these details to others, some have responded to the effect that it is grossly impolite of me to repeat such things. I have cleaned up the language to the extent of deleting the expletives that accented much of what was said.  Otherwise the quotations are accurate and as close to verbatim as I could transcribe.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 18, 2016 9:22 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Interviewing Eagles of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes about the Bataclan attack in Paris that killed 89 of his fans


Takimag: It’s hard to talk about the attack without sounding like you’re blaming the victims, but it’s impossible to deny fear of Islamophobia and fear of guns led to a lot of deaths that night.

Jesse Hughes: I saw fear fall like a blanket on the whole crowd and they fell like wheat in the wind—the way you would before a god. I was totally alert from the very beginning. The first thing I needed to do was find my girl. Fear took a backseat and “where’s my girl?” took over. I could smell gunpowder in the backstage area and I knew someone fired a round back there. I saw a guy with an FAL and when he turned to face me his eyes looked like marbles. He was stoned out of his mind, and we now know they were on Xanax and cocaine. I recognized him. I’d seen him earlier in the day and noticed him staring at us......

Takimag: I went to Paris after the attacks and was disgusted by the lack of rage. They didn’t blame Islam. In fact, many blamed the Jews. They seemed more concerned with us promoting xenophobia than laying blame on the terrorists.

Jesse Hughes: I hung out with plenty of Parisians who were fucking pissed off, but it was mostly cops and military. During the attack, one cop finally realized it wasn’t a hostage situation and yelled out, “It’s a turkey shoot” as he charged in, holding his gun. He got shot right through the hand and into the neck and kept going. He took a terrorist out, chased another one into the hallway, who then blew himself up, and did it to another guy, who blew himself up on stage. Our amplifiers were a gory mess.

Did that cop live?

Yes, I met him in triage. I hung out with him. Great guy.

You went to the hospital?

I had pieces of teeth and human bone pulled out of my face. A girl got shot right next to me by the shooter at the top of the stairs who I had met earlier. She stepped one step in front of me and her head just exploded. It blew pieces of her teeth and skull into my face.....


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 18, 2016 12:20 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
2016 Visual Aids 1 #NeverTrump Left vs #ForeverTrump Right


How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!

- - Julius Caesar Act 3 Scene 1

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 16, 2016 9:00 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Milky Way Over Quiver Trees



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


In front of a famous background of stars and galaxies lies some of Earth's more unusual trees. Known as quiver trees, they are actually succulent aloe plants that can grow to tree-like proportions. The quiver tree name is derived from the historical usefulness of their hollowed branches as dart holders. Occurring primarily in southern Africa, the trees pictured in the above 16-exposure composite are in Quiver Tree Forest located in southern Namibia. Some of the tallest quiver trees in the park are estimated to be about 300 years old. Behind the trees is light from the small town of Keetmanshoop, Namibia. Far in the distance, arching across the background, is the majestic central band of our Milky Way Galaxy. Even further in the distance, visible on the image left, are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, smaller satellite galaxies of the Milky Way that are prominent in the skies of Earth's southern hemisphere. APOD: 2016 May 15 - Forest
To see the very large array....


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 16, 2016 8:38 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Hallelujah, By and By

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 15, 2016 1:12 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Caught in Traffic


We'd strapped him to his bed for over a year,

Paid a fat, black woman to wear a white dress

Change his bed pan, and sit with him at night,

But when the bone white pigeon banked

Between the buildings in a pale twilight

The old man's brain liquefied.

Foam, whose tiny bubbles reflected my face,

Bloomed on his lips as he swallowed his tongue.

It said 5:47 on the red crystal clock by the wet bar,

And his breath rattled in the room like some

Tired exhaust fan from the Roaring Twenties.

His wife was out shopping at Woolworths,

Or trying to sell something back to Cartiers.

The black nurse was downstairs flirting

With Desi the tap dancing doorman.

Prince the chauffeur buffed the black Lincoln

And wondered what he do when the old lady died.

My wife was teasing our toddler in the living room.

Everyone else was trying to get home from work.

Somewhere inside his skull the skinned nerves

Kept sending signals down the spine to the heart.

And I blotted his lips in that burnt orange room

As his arms flapped like a beached fish before

The fisherman brings down the club.

I turned from the bed, pulled up the beige blinds,

And gazed out the window wondering

Where the bone white pigeon had gone.
Then I called the Doctor's number listening

To his wheezing until the call was answered.

"He's dying," I said to the man I'd never met.

"You should send an ambulance and a team

Of medics right now. He's going. Going fast."

The calm voice answered from far across town,

"He's home. He's been dead for a year, you know.

We just change the sheets and pay the nurses.
I can keep his body going as long -- as long --

As long as you want. You need to tell me.

Look outside. How heavy's the traffic on Fifth?"

I looked down on a solid ribbon of oozing steel.

"Wedged," I said. "Hardly moving at all."

"Look at his eyes," the voice said. I looked

Down into his eyes and they had no bottom.

"Who's there?" the voice asked on the phone.

"No one I know," I said. "No one at all."
I held the phone and waited, looking out over the park.

"I'll send an ambulance when you tell me," he said.

The bone white pigeon came sweeping out of the light

And settled on the sill as calm as the quiet in the room.

"Send them when you can," I said. "No rush.
They'll just get caught in traffic."

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 12, 2016 9:03 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Closing Time

She was cruising down the Big Sur coast,
Looking for a little romance.
I was walking the edge of Highway One,
Hoping for a second chance.

She pulled that Ford to the side of the road.
I opened the door, got in.
Said, "My name's Adam, baby. What's yours?"
She said, "They call me Original Sin."

She didn't look like no high-school sweetheart.
She was no obvious beauty queen.
But she had something every man knows,
That fire that's felt not seen.

We coasted down that seaside highway
Until the evening fog rolled in,
Then checked ourselves into the Pines Motel,
Where I first knew Original Sin.

When I awoke the next morning
The room held nothing but me and a note.
"Nice knowing you, Adam, but I gotta roll.
See you around sometime," she wrote.

I wandered on down the side of the road,
Feeling just strange and tired.
Stuck out a thumb and a rig pulled over,
Said, "You want a job moving, you're hired."

We drifted along the curves below Sur
For most of that foggy morning,
Crawled over a hill and into a bunch
Of cops and cars with no warning.

Below the carved cliffs, out on the rocks
Was the smoldering wreck of a Ford.
Gulls swarmed above it, calling and calling,
Looking for a little reward.

"Another damn fool," said the trucker.
"Took the curve just a little too quick.
I seen it before and I'll see it again.
It's a killer of a road when its slick."

He edged round the cops and the gawkers,
Hit the gas, downshifted the gears.
"Pull over," I said, " and let me get out.
Far as I go is right here."

I walked back to the Sur and got me a job.
Worked hard, got some money laid in,
And opened this bar by the side of the road,
And I named it Original Sin.

And sometimes halfway to morning,
When the last of the drunks have rolled home,
I find myself down by the Pines Motel,
And I know that I'm never alone,
Know now that I'm never alone.

And that's my sad old story, pal.
Just one of a million I hear.
But this tale is mine to know and to tell.
Tell me yours and I'll buy you a beer.
Tell me yours and its worth
One cold beer.

Posted by Vanderleun May 12, 2016 12:41 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: God Bless The Child - Billie Holiday, The 1941 Recordings

Them that's got shall have
Them that's not shall lose
So the Bible says and it still is news
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own

"God Bless The Child" is a song written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr. in 1939, first recorded on May 9, 1941 in New York City by Holiday under the OKeh label.

She recorded the song with Eddie Heywood and His Orchestra with Roy Eldridge and Ernie Powell on trumpet, Jimmy Powell and Lester Boone on alto saxophone, Eddie Heywood on piano, Paul Chapman on guitar), Grachan Moncur II on bass, and Herbert Cowans on drums. Holiday's version of the song was honored with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1976. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. In her autobiography 'Lady Sings The Blues', Holiday indicated an argument with her mother over money led to the song. She indicated that during the argument she said the line "God bless the child that's got his own". The anger over the incident led her to turn that line into a starting point for a song, which she worked out in conjunction with Herzog.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 11, 2016 7:28 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink




by Gerard Allen Van der Ginsberg

What Socialist Party of lies and slavery bashed open American skulls and sucked out their freedom, brains and imagination?

Democrat! Darwinist Solitude! NEA Filth! Pelosi Perversion! Obamunist Onanism. NPR racism! Recycling Cans to find unobtainable dollars to pay off deficit trillions! Unborn children screaming silent under the D&C! Boys sobbing for fathers! Girls for mothers! Wives for husbands! Husbands for families! Impoverished old men and weeping in the parks!

Democrat! Democrat! Nightmare of Democrat! Democrat the loveless! Gone mental Democrat! Democrat the heavy aggregation of girly-men!

Democrat the incomprehensible African-American electoral plantation system of perpetual ideological slavery! Democrat the skull & crossbones soulless Senate and Congress of corruption!

Democrat whose headquarters are Fascist overbuilding with gun slits! Democrat the vast bloating stone of Deficit! Democrat the broke government of the pauper nation!

Democrat whose mind is pure rusted machinery! Democrat whose blood is gushing tax money! Democrat whose skeleton fingers are in your wallet!

Democrat whose breast is a transsexual dynamo! Democrat whose mouth is a smoking tomb! Democrat of the atheist thumb pulling out a plum and saying what a free to be a very bad boy am I! Democrat whose only god is Dracula!

Democrat whose eyes are a thousand shattered factory windows! Democrat whose empty skyscrapers smolder in the long Detroit streets like endless Molochs! Democrat whose brains dream Utopia and choke in the fog of their flatulent dementia! Democrat whose fuming bongs and facial piercings crown the crapulous cities!

Democrat whose love is lust! Democrat whose soul is welfare and affirmative racism! Democrat whose poverty is perpetual servitude to the government salad bar, no seconds!

Democrat whose only true Doctor and Cure is Kevorkian! Democrat whose foreign policy is a cloud of glowing Iranian hydrogen! Democrat whose whore is BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH!

Democrat in whom I once sat lonely! Democrat in whom I once dreamt the New Jerusalem! Crazy in Democrat! Sucker of crock in Democrat! Lacklove and lobotomy in Democrat!

Democrat of the I've Got Mine Now Give Us Yours Centimillionaires! Democrat of Bush Derangement Syndrome! Democrat of the dried dugs of Ariana Huffington's Code Pink Synchronized Menopause Flasher Brigade known as "The View"!

Democrat who entered my soul early! Democrat in whom I was sold down the River without Huck or a raft and put over the falls of flowing ideological crypto-socialist sewage! Drowned in recycled recycled recycled compost of Democrat! Democrat who frightened me out of my natural freedom and into hive-mind chants of GLO-BA'ALWARMING-O-BA-MA, GLO-BA'ALWARMING-O-BA-MA!

Democrat of the planet has four months to live! Democrat of lies for the common good of Democrat! Democrat of crapper rapper lies of the soul! Democrat whom I abandon!

Democrat demanding that I give all to the State! Vomit in Democrat! Avenging Angels streaming out of the sky! Death of Democrat from above! God's righteous fire on the heads of Democrat-Acorn!, Democrat-SIEU! Democrat-California!, Democrat-Detroit! Democrat-Chicago! Democrat-San Fraudcisco!

Democrat! Democrat! Robot apparatchiks! Maoist czars! Evaporated liberties! Skeleton treasuries! Dictator judges! Demonic policies! Spectral communities of Democrat delusional control! Insane Democrat media madhouses! Olbermann suckers of Democrat crock! Monstrous media leg-tingle "analysis"! Democrat of presidential prop-up! Democrat of Journ-O-list talking pointed heads! Democrat of "Too Big to Fail When Failing!"

Deception of Democrat! Voters broke their backs lifting Democrat to Heaven! Payments fees now for unborn generations mostly to be aborted, for trees, for tobacco, for tilted windmills, for tons of things so bad, very bad for you we know better pay us now for Democrat death panels later! Democrat of Constitution as toilet paper! Democrat of blowing the cities and American land to hell in a hand-basket!

Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! hope of the world sold down the American river!

Democrat destruction of legal immigrant Dreams! Democrat of border war beheadings of citizens! Graven Image Adorations made to tin gods! Crack-pipe Illuminations crammed down the throat of taxpayers! Cap and Trade Religions! Democrat rowing ashore the whole boatload of sensitive socialist bullshit!

Democrat of a pale horse and the name that sat on him was Democrat Death! And Democrat Hell followed with him!

Democrat Breakthroughs in suicide machines! Democrat rivers of toxic educational sludge rising to flood levels in the minds of our children! New Orleans Democrat looting! Democrat flips and crucifixions of enemies, enemies, enemies flagged at! Bill of Rights flushed down the Democrat crapper!

Democrat heroin fueled voter fraud! Democrat Epiphanies of mandated Abortion for all not just for choosy barren Democrat! Democrat Despairs of eternal urban ghettos! Six years' animal screams and suicide of the Republic for which Democrat does not stand!

Democrat Colonized Minds! New lusts for nothing and Democrat kicks and food stamps for free! Mad Democrat cashed-out clunker generation!

Free people despair of Democrat! Free people revolt against socialist utopia con-artists! Free people sound real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell to Democrat! They jumped off the roof! to vote out Democrat forever! waving! carrying flowers! packing heat! Down to the river of freedom! into the street of Liberty, armed and dangerous, Free people voting death to Democrat nightmare now and forever in God's holy war! Free people, mine eyes have seen the Glory!

Posted by Vanderleun May 10, 2016 11:53 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink


“Long before our own time, the customs of our ancestors molded admirable men, and in turn these eminent men upheld the ways and institutions of their forebears. Our age, however, inherited the Republic like some beautiful painting of bygone days, its colors already fading through great age; and not only has our time neglected to freshen the colors of the picture, but we have failed to preserve its form and outlines.

"For what remains to us, nowadays, of the ancient ways on which the commonwealth, we are told, was founded? We see them so lost in oblivion that they are not merely neglected, but quite forgot. And what am I to say of the men? For our customs have perished for want of men to stand by them, and we are now called to an account, so that we stand impeached like men accused of capital crimes, compelled to plead our own cause. Through our vices, rather than from happenstance, we retain the word “republic” long after we have lost the reality. ” – Cicero, De Re Publica

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 10, 2016 10:43 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 10, 2016 7:24 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Monster Vote: Citizen Dale In December 2015

"In 2012, almost five out of ten eligible citizens did not vote. That means 66 million voted for Obama, 61 million for Romney, and a whopping 100 million eligible citizens did not vote. Ironically these 100 million citizens, who typically do not vote, represent the largest voting bloc in America. They can elect any one they want to be their President...."

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 9, 2016 11:57 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Substitute "Politics" for "Parliment"


More if you...


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 9, 2016 10:47 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Naked Fat Black Crippled Dykes Are Hard to Find"

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 9, 2016 8:40 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Scar on Heaven’s Face


Whose will decreed this scar on sky
Would glaze our night with sunstruck ice?
Whose Plan determines stones' decline
To sand, or shapes the stars' dark lore,
Or how our very continents
Drift effortless upon the core,

Or that we mark, as clever beasts,
The passing haze of comet's swoosh,
That we, the glaze of thought on flesh,
May see Who made the Plan at all?

I know, I plan at all
Is thought by some to be the Plan.
And yet, and yet ...what is this thought
That seems to measure more than man?

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

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

Perhaps this pattern that we know
As sunlight seen between two lights
Is but some dance cast to amuse
What lies beyond our blinded sight.

Yet what dark mind could gain a gram
Of pleasure from such clumsy turns,
Instead of reading evil writ
In war’s cold countenance of burns?

The countenance of comets
That the sky at night assumes
Is faced with such equations
As replicate the blooms
Of fruit trees forced to flower
On a continent of tombs.

But to stand within a meadow
And mark the waves of wind
Is ample compensation
For the Gift the days rescind.

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

And step to some faint music,
Along the path of day's retreat,
Our ancient, ageless minuet
That rounds our sleep with sleep.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 8, 2016 10:07 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunday Meditation: Making of Japanese handmade paper of Kyoto Kurotani

Hands by God. Hands to God.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 8, 2016 9:05 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The First Rule of Knight Fight Club is Don't Fall Down


"For Damion DiGrazia, joining the Air Force, graduating from Harvard and Columbia and putting together a lucrative career as a management consultant at a top investment bank in Manhattan wasn’t enough.

He had one more, slightly less conventional item for the bucket list. When this Sunday school teacher isn’t spreading the Good Word, he prefers a metal fist to the teeth. DiGrazia is the captain of the New York chapter of the Armored Combat League — a sort of medieval fight club whose members smash the hell out of each other while dressed like attendees of the Red Wedding in Game of Thrones. “This is a sport that requires passion,” he explains. “Because there’s no responsible way to do it.” "

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
- - Ephesians 6

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 8, 2016 7:40 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Extent of God's Creation as Far as We Can See. Now.

Or are we yet the center of such circles,
our fall a rise above the shawl of night,
where all shall shine contained within
that single soul, that heart of stars;
that interface where souls and suns
and Earth's far scattered waters meet?

- - Interface

"God is the photograph of everything at once." Seen from the Outside.

The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 8, 2016 12:11 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Road to World War 3

Will there ever be World War III and if so, what would it look like? Stefan Molyneux explains the technological advances which have disincentivized war between world powers and the role the European Migrant Crisis may play in future large scale conflicts.

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 7, 2016 10:44 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Here is the problem. The Left will not allow it!

We are told that the goal is "to approach politics in ways that takes [sic] into account our constitutional commitments (including allowing individuals to form and gather in groups of their choosing) and civic practices. It is to give people space to live their lives and think about things in different ways."

But precisely here is the problem. The Left will not allow it! They don't give a rat's ass about the Constitution or its commitments. There are leftist scum who now argue against free speech. There are university administrators who either have no understanding of the traditional values of the university, including open inquiry and free debate, or else are too cowed to enforce them. Not to mention the leftist termites among them out to undermine the West and its institutions. There is nothing liberal about these so-called 'liberals.' Furthermore, leftists have no qualms about using the power of the state to erode the institutions of civil society. Disaster looms if the Left gets its way and manages to eliminate the buffering elements of civil society lying betweenthe naked individual and the state. The state can wear the monstrous aspect of Leviathan or that of the benevolent nanny whose multiple tits are so many spigots supplying panem et circenses to theincreasingly less self-reliant masses. Whichever face it wears, it is the enemy of that traditional American value, liberty. Maverick Philosopher: Can We Live Together in Peace Despite Deep Differences?

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 7, 2016 10:03 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
FLASHBACK TO 2009: What’s Bad for America is Good for the Obama Gang

Minute-Mansmall.jpgThere's a hole in your wisdom,
a hole in your sky.
Two holes in your head
where the light's supposed to get by.

Time to lock and load.
Time to get control.
Time to search the soul
And start again.

-- Bob Seger

[In December of 2009, reflecting on the events from the recent election forward to that day, this small screed I wrote then still has passages that resonate now in May of 2016, and there still are living conservatives who have not grasped, or refused to grasp, that
"All our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death."

It alarms and amuses me to listen to the vast conservative choir sing the “Hallelujah Obama’s Overreached! Chorus” from this year’s “Way New Messiah.” Many among the opposition seem to believe that “the way things are going” it is only a matter of less than a year before a wised-up electorate corrects their collective miasma of 2008 and throws the bums out. This will occur, they believe, because economic and social conditions in America will inevitably continue to worsen.

They’re right about what’s about to happen but wrong about the outcome.

By any reasonable measure, the current Conservative strain in America is clapped out, bankrupt, unattractive, over and out. Do you doubt that? If so reflect that the most organized and funded part of American Conservatism today is known as the Republican Party. The Republican Party actually labored mightily last year and threw up John McCain as a presidential candidate. Is it any wonder that, faced with John McCain, a majority of the electorate threw up? And yet, that is the political arm of Conservatism today. In a way, John McCain’s current foolish blather is a perfect emblem.

To succeed in the halls of power is going to take a new and more vital branch of Americanism taken in part from the old line Conservative stock but melded with a new and more forceful Jacksonian spirit. While America is a “Conservative” nation (or so we are unreliably informed), Conservatism as currently constituted is far too spent as a political force to draw enough youthful allegiance to carry it forward in the face of the rapacious nature of the Obama gang. More and more Conservatism will find itself in the position of having brought a rubber knife to a gunfight.

In the current Conservative dreamtime it is only the matter of one to two years before “the reaction” sets in and their triumphant return to power begins. The forces, Conservatives contend, are evident everywhere:

  • Real unemployment will continue to rise to near Depression levels (Bad for America!),
  • New taxes and inflation will kick in (Bad for America!),
  • Small business will be crushed in the iron fist of relentless federal and state regulation (Bad for America!),
  • The sneering of the world at the gutless and obsequious president will grow to shouts of revulsion (Bad for America!),
  • The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will grow more bloody and boring (Bad for America!),
  • The criminal “reforms” of our health care system will begin to rot from the head residents of our hospitals down (Bad for America!),
  • The political stink of thuggery, corruption, lies, and anti-American loathing emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will finally waft past the media scrubbing filters and into Main Street (Bad for America!).

That last smell alone, Conservatives contend, will be enough to enable them to rise up once again in a new Newt/Reagan morning in America. (Good for America!) How sweet the hope. How touching the nostalgia. How stupid the mindset. What it says is, really, “We’d like to do all the same things we used to do again, only this time we’ll do the same things differently.”

If Conservatives weren’t smoking dope already, I’d advise them to take a couple more giant hits. But this time, they should try the Clue Bong.

Here’s a hit from the Clue Bong just for today: Everything that is bad for America is good for Obama and the Democrats. They know it and what’s more, they’ve planned for it. They have, at last count, the money, the power, high-ground position, the media, the academy, and the Big Lie all working for them.

To take just one example of bad things that are good for the Obama gang, unemployment.

Unemployment continues and deepens? Excellent. Just extend and expand the benefits via this or the next stimulus. Unemployed people on the dole are dependent people. Dependent people that are dependent on you vote for you. Always.

Conservatives may say that people want the “dignity” of work, but that only works when there’s dignified work to be had. In case you haven’t noticed, dignity is in short supply around here in the culture and in the workplace. Dignity lies in the making of things, not the servicing of the customer.

Jobs in the service sector don’t usually come with dignity attached. Delivering a pizza or talking into a headset at a drive-through doesn’t have the same pay or pride attached as working on a line making Thunderbirds. Lots of jobs with dignity have either been off-shored or handed over to illegals for years now. Unlikely to return.

Instead what we have now is the unrelenting expansion of the dole from the previously hard-core unemployable and indigent to a much wider swath of social layabouts. Unemployment is easily transmuted into disemployment and, as long as you manage expectations and provide enough for drugs and television, you can carry an indigent class for decades and count on it’s votes to carry you in office for even longer.

If unemployment transmutes successfully into disemployment you can institutionalize a Depression life-style. You can then expand your professional servicing of the disemployed base by creating ever larger government jobs in ever more inefficient government bureaus on the state and local level. Remember that you’ve already got enough money held back from the first stimulus to fund this expansion.

The last time this was done was during the Great Depression with such things as the WPAand the Civilian Conservation Corps. These and other programs not only extended the Depression and deepened dependency but had the added benefit of bringing the FDR regency an unprecedented 3rd term. Think the 22nd Amendment can’t be repealed? Think again.

It is far too close to Christmas to go into a long explication on how deeply the hook has been set and how strong the line reeling in the fish actually is.

Suffice it to day that, absent a catastrophic existential event involving the deaths of thousands of Americans at widely separated locales, the Obama gang has planned this carefully for the long haul for decades.

Conservatives had better stop kidding themselves about the return of their glory days starting in 2010 and prepare, with some well-equipped Jacksonians and Minute Men, for the Long March.

Posted by Vanderleun May 7, 2016 3:40 AM | Comments (32)  | QuickLink: Permalink
I fly 747s for a living. Here are the amazing things I see every day


3) The weight of a plane is the main variable in how it feels to fly

I'm occasionally asked if one 747 feels the same as another. It does. But the feel of a plane changes with its weight. And the weight of a jet varies greatly, both between flights and during a flight. A 747 flying from the East Coast to London — with not many customers on board, say, and not too many boxes of lobsters or advanced medical equipment (if we're departing from Boston!) in the cargo holds, and with the fuel tanks only a third full for this relatively short flight — seems to practically jump off the runway, and it's light to the touch once we're in the sky. On the other hand, a fully loaded jet leaving Singapore for a long flight to London, with enough fuel to fight the winter headwinds the whole way, takes much more power and runway to get airborne, and it has a pleasant, quite stately feel in our hands.

4) There are rivers in the sky

It's easy to forget, when you're in your backyard under clear skies on a windless day, that the world above you is almost certainly in motion. Indeed, in an airliner at high altitude, it's a very rare moment when the weathervane-like digital pointer on our main navigation screen indicates no wind at all. Through this already-moving landscape of air cut the jet streams — vast, racing rivers, howling, if only we could hear them, at 100 or 200 miles per hour or more. These jet streams strengthen or weaken; they migrate and twist over the planet. I'm a fan of the maritime world and of its charming echoes in the aeronautical realm (think of terms like deck, air-liner, purser, port and starboard…) And so I find it endlessly pleasing that as the winds and currents shaped the journeys of ships in the old days, similarly today, over the Atlantic, pilots routinely sail hundreds of miles out of their way to avoid a headwind, or to catch a tailwind that will speed us across the sea.
In my book I speculate a little on how culture and mythology might have accounted for the jet streams, if only we could see them. Although they're among the most physically dramatic phenomena on earth, they were all but unknown to us until the age of aviation. How might we have worshipped them, or beaten drums to summon or scatter them, if they were a prominent feature of the daylight sky? Or if these air-rivers' remarkably clean-cut edges or shimmering, racing depths were somehow visible at night? At the very least, I suggest, we would have named them. Maybe someday we will.
[RDWT AT . - Mark Vanhoenacker @ Vox]

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 6, 2016 12:31 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Kid of the Month: “I shot through the hamper he was carrying,” Chris Gaither said. "It went straight through the back of his leg. He started crying like a little baby."

11-year-old protects Talladega home against intruder

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 6, 2016 12:22 PM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Looks like we're in for nasty weather": Blackhawk, South Dakota, back on June 1, 2015


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 5, 2016 3:39 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
'Nuff Said: The single biggest political lesson from Trump to date in one sentence.


A guy just won the Republican nomination for president by spending no money, hiring no pollsters, running virtually no TV ads, and just saying what he truly believed no matter how many times people told him he couldn't say that. - - Ann Coulter , And Then There Was One


[Full column if you...]


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 5, 2016 9:32 AM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It's a Small Sad World Coming Kids. Get Used to It


Let's face it. Kids today are getting a smaller, cheaper, and less free world than the one we got from out parents. To help them adjust Playmobil and other sensitive companies are issuing examples of the brave, new, sad, small world. Item: Playmobil Security Check Point


Yes, it is the sort of thing that makes you think, "Hey, they've got to be kidding!" And yet it seems to be genuine.

"Comes with tiny laytex gloves for body cavity searches."

What's lacking here, of course, is a Playmobil terrorist with an exploding vest to stand in the line. After all, what better way to screw up the air traffic system and kill hundreds of Americans than to just detonate in some endless line at some hub airport just before reaching security?

Who? Me?

What Playmobil has to say about this toy: The woman traveler stops by the security checkpoint. After placing her luggage on the screening machine, the airport employee checks her baggage. The traveler hands her spare change and watch to the security guard and proceeds through the metal detector. With no time to spare, she picks up her luggage and hurries to board her flight!

Popular Amazon customer tags for the toy:

A couple of Amazon customer "reviews" of the toy:

This toy would be a lot more realistic with about 350 people standing in line for an average of an hour. It still makes a nice set with the interrogation room.

I will never need to buy toothpaste again thanks to Playmobil. Not realizing this was a toy I purchased it to prepare for my interview as a TSA agent. Needless to say I aced it and have been happily viewing xrays of carry-on luggage and shoes ever since. As noted above, the free toothpaste is just icing on the cake - never expected a free lifetime supply, but who's complaining. This is a "must-have" for any aspiring TSA agent out there

You might think the most depressing thing about this item is its existence. You'd be wrong. The most depressing thing is the Amazon note saying: "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock." Why should this be so? Don't you want one? I know I do. It seems to me that every time the TSA gets more demented there would be a surge in purchases for this set just so citizens could blow them up with M-80s in their backyards.

I'm shorting Playmobil since it obviously doesn't know it has a winner here.

HT via Larwyn The Corner on National Review Online


UPDATE: Rare. There's only one on eBay. NEW - Airport Security Checkpoint - Playmobil Set 3172 - eBay (item 130353762876 end time Jan-19-10 15:38:30 PST)

In these troubled times, with danger seeming to lurk behind every corner, no playmobil community can afford to be without a trained force of security professionals. Assisted by the latest in threat detection equipment (powered by your imagination; in the absence thereof, threats may pass undetected), these brave men and women stand ever vigilant, ready to foil any dastardly plot to bring harm to their fellow citizens. With their inquisitive eyes and friendly smiles, they are both watchful and courteous, perfect guardians in an imperfect world.

Posted by Vanderleun May 5, 2016 6:43 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Intellectual Insanity

-- Alexander Boot

Via HappyAcres

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 5, 2016 12:14 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind by Carl Sandberg


The past is a bucket of ashes.


The woman named Tomorrow
sits with a hairpin in her teeth
and takes her time
and does her hair the way she wants it
and fastens at last the last braid and coil
and puts the hairpin where it belongs
and turns and drawls: Well, what of it?
My grandmother, Yesterday, is gone.
What of it? Let the dead be dead.



The doors were cedar
and the panels strips of gold
and the girls were golden girls
and the panels read and the girls chanted:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation:
nothing like us ever was.

The doors are twisted on broken hinges.
Sheets of rain swish through on the wind
where the golden girls ran and the panels read:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.



It has happened before.
Strong men put up a city and got
a nation together,
And paid singers to sing and women
to warble: We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.

And while the singers sang
and the strong men listened
and paid the singers well
and felt good about it all,
there were rats and lizards who listened
… and the only listeners left now
… are … the rats … and the lizards.

And there are black crows
crying, “Caw, caw,"
bringing mud and sticks
building a nest
over the words carved
on the doors where the panels were cedar
and the strips on the panels were gold
and the golden girls came singing:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation:
nothing like us ever was.

The only singers now are crows crying, “Caw, caw,"
And the sheets of rain whine in the wind and doorways.
And the only listeners now are … the rats … and the lizards.



The feet of the rats
scribble on the door sills;
the hieroglyphs of the rat footprints
chatter the pedigrees of the rats
and babble of the blood
and gabble of the breed
of the grandfathers and the great-grandfathers
of the rats.

And the wind shifts
and the dust on a door sill shifts
and even the writing of the rat footprints
tells us nothing, nothing at all
about the greatest city, the greatest nation
where the strong men listened
and the women warbled: Nothing like us ever was.


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 4, 2016 8:12 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
How to Understand the 14 Different Groups on the Right Wing

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 4, 2016 5:41 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"So time to man-up and pull our line together."


"I know there are many #NeverTrump-sters out there. I know he’s not really a conservative butt he’s also not a communist, a socialist or a felon.
I know he shoots his mouth off and attacks any comers who dare criticize him. I know that his manner can be quite off-putting. It’s called fighting dirty. It’s what Democrats do. Principles are lovely things, butt when your country is literally being overrun with illegals and crushed by socialist programs with their attendant debt, it’s time to put your principles in storage for a bit and fight dirty.
"Because the two things we know for sure is 1) Democrat “campaigns” are always run by Alinsky’s Rules and 2) Republicans won’t use them so they lose. The Donald is one of the few on our side who is quite willing to fight dirty, and the only one who really knows how to do it. When he gets down in the mud he leaves more muck on his opponent than himself. He’s combined The Art of the Deal with Alinsky’s Rules. We would be foolish not to support the first Republican in a very long time who’s willing to push back rather than simply slow the rate of the enemy’s advancement. I know none of us knows for sure what he’ll do if elected. Butt we do know what Clinton et al will and frankly I find that much more alarming. At least with Trump we get a wall. And perhaps we won’t have to pawn the country." -- Michelle Obama's Mirror: A Bad Goodbye


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 4, 2016 11:32 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Circle of Life

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 3, 2016 9:15 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
One Tab Tuesday


Say Goodbye to Your Mind

In order to be an effective persuader, you must embrace the idea that common sense is an illusion. And you must understand that humans rarely (if ever) do anything because of logic and reason. The part of us we consider rational is in reality a rationalizer. Your mind is creating little movies in which you are the star.

Should Flogging Be Reinstated As A Criminal Punishment?

Individuals answer to incentives. Rewards and punishments are an important guide in daily life. Today, prison is a deterrent for normal, civilized persons, but it has long ceased to be for those who dwell in a thug culture. Thugs boast about their condemnations as if they were something to be proud of.

If Mark Twain had been a blogger....

As 1906 began, he hit upon a system that finally produced a vast manuscript of more than half a million words: he hired a brilliant stenographer, Josephine Hobby, and he abandoned all thought of chronology, preferring simply to tell a tale, which reminded him of a story, which reminded him of a person, which reminded him of an adventure, which reminded him of a funny anecdote, all of which the talented Hobby would capture in full flow, complete with the pace and rhythm of Mark Twain the glorious and legendary raconteur. Brian Doyle delves into Twain’s autobiographic treasure trove

This is the story of a man who tried to capture the world, and really wanted us to listen.

Thrown into this avant-garde who's-who, Teibel could have been starstruck. Instead, out angling his microphone at the Brighton Beach surf, he got seastruck. Teibel’s roving mind craved a magnet—he loved his sleepless city, but it was no good for calming down, or corralling his thoughts. Even his hobbies had lost some luster. After years of manipulating noise for fun, he told a friend, he suddenly "found it hard to do anything pleasant" with it.
The sea sounds, though, were easy to love. Taken back to his Manhattan apartment and looped on repeat, they were even better. They quieted his mind. They helped him concentrate. They did something plain old human music couldn't.  The Man Who Recorded, Tamed and Then Sold Nature Sounds to America


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 3, 2016 1:06 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Brigadoon Trailer Park: I could be trailer trash in this mobile home park REAL easy....


"A perfect summer day, sunny and warm in the Owens River Valley.

We stumbled across this trailer court in either Lone Pine or Independence & have not been able to find it since....we've certainly looked. Wouldn't it be cool to have a place that is 'just big enough'....? get rid of that big house that's such a drag to clean & maintain. Maybe we passed through a time warp or something, wish we could've stayed there. Emma Paperclip at Flickr


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 2, 2016 7:07 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Bernie Sanders as George Costanza in Seinfeld

Plus, extra credit for Bernie and his band!

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 2, 2016 5:22 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Remember: First shell is bird shot, second is bird shot, third is a slug.

Revolutionary Glamor is my Favorite Form of Self-Parody

There are a lot of hits in this one, but let’s be conservative, or, if you’re a follower of Christ, merciful.

“Our ancestors would be proud of us, that’s fo sho,” she says in a fake hood accent, which her white counterparts use just as convincingly. She brings up some greatest hits, like “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam” (I suppose her headscarf has nothing to do with the enslavement of Africans, which was pioneered by muslims, and she probably doesn’t know what a kaffir is either). I also suppose blacks who fought under that flag against the confederacy were “Uncle Tom motherfuckers,” as she calls a black man with a camera.

“We are brought together…by fighting,” an overzealous white lady with a fake accent says, and then slowly doubles down. Her black counterpart would have none of that moderate, liberal shit, motherfucker. In fact, with the amount of liberally strewn profanity in this video you would be led to believe that profanity also be sincerity. It reminded me of Nick Mullen’s classic tweet, “seriously, FUCK the gender binary.”


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 2, 2016 1:20 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Why Al Qaeda Fears the "Genius of the TSA"

Oh yes, the dreaded and vicious and cunning and ever vile TSA! Fighting terrorism with their fat asses.

Catching a Flight? Budget Hours, Not Minutes, for Security

Last month, Denver Airport advised travelers to get to the airport as much as three hours before their flights. Still, people waited for more than an hour and a half to clear security.

Airport workers walked up and down the line with therapy dogs and handed out bottled water and candy to travelers, according to one report. The airport accused the T.S.A. of providing an inadequate number of screeners on what was an average Saturday. American Airlines said that the slower security lines had forced it to delay flights and rebook passengers who had missed connections. For instance, in a one-week period in mid-March, the airline said, about 6,800 of its passengers missed their flights after being stuck in T.S.A. lines too long.

“T.S.A. lines at checkpoints nationwide have become unacceptable,” said Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for American Airlines. “Lines grew in January, February and March, and now in April, too. We are really concerned about what happens in the summer.”


Posted by gerardvanderleun May 2, 2016 8:02 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Neo: The Parkour Collie

Posted by gerardvanderleun May 1, 2016 11:14 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
PUDDY: The Gift


And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

        -- Eliot

Last Sunday in Seattle I was still sitting with my morning coffee when the phone rang. It was my old friend, the constant urban explorer, who lives a few blocks away. "I want to give you a gift," he said, "but I can't bring it to you. Instead, you've got to go to it." This man's gifts are not lightly chosen (Except for the inflatable Sarah Palin love doll -- but he's getting that one back when he least expects it.), so I listened.

"Write this down. Walk to the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in your neighborhood."


"No. No. You'll be glad you did. Then go in the main entrance and stroll along the road on the west side."


"Look to your left for a large white stone with two benches on either side of it. The name carved into the stone is 'PUDDY.' "

"Got it."

"Sit down on a bench and look around. That's your gift. Talk to you later. Oh, you'll want to take your camera."

I wondered for a moment if this could be some sort of geocaching joke. At the same time I knew it wasn't. He's a man with little use for the latest techno-ephemera. He values time, his and others. Sleeveless errands are not his style. It was a bright, somewhat cool, Indian Summer Sunday in Seattle and the cemetery was only a few blocks away. I suited up and out the door I went. In a few minutes I was walking into the cemetery and looking around.

Mt. Pleasant is fine cemetery as cemeteries go. Quiet and expansive without being overlarge. You can be buried with your own kind if you are Asian or Jewish, or you can just be planted helter-skelter in the great Seattle diversity plots that make up most of it's area. I've written about this place before in Small Flags, a meditation about loss and war, but the cemetery tells, as all cemeteries do, more than one kind of story if you settle your soul down and listen.

At first I was a bit disoriented inside the gates since the one-lane road winds hither and yon around the grounds and the office with the map to the grave sites is closed on Sundays. By and by, however, I spied off to my left and over near the wall of trees and bushes and chain link fencing that is the western border of the cemetery a large white stone with two white stone benches on either side. I went over and read:


Come sit with us awhile and share our sorrow. Though you weep share the joyful memories too. Look in your heart: In truth you mourn for that which has been your delight.

For Joy and sorrow are inseparable.

I sat and looked north to the outer edge of the large plot that, so far, had only one grave. And there they were.


I've taken this ride in winters past. I've taken it as a child with my mother and father and brothers. I've taken it one New Year's Eve in New England by myself. Right into a tree and the emergency room for thirty stitches. I've taken it as a young adult under the moonlight on the banks of the frozen Red River in Fargo racing my cousins to the bottom and out onto the ice. I've taken it as a father in other winters past. It's a great ride while it lasts; one that -- barring impact with a tree -- makes you want to get up, pull the sled back up to the top and go again. One that makes you want to race your sled against the others. One that makes you want to see how many can pile on and go down, embracing the others and whooping all the way to the bottom where you all tumble off into a laughing heap.

You can take lots of rides in this life, but a full sled careening down a hill of fresh snow is the closest to a ride of pure joy as you can get. You'll find it near the top of my list of "Best Moments in This Life." It's probably on yours too. If you've never done it, move it to the top of the Bucket List now.

The man buried here died in his 45th year: R. Scott Puddy

On the morning of June 18, 2002, Scott perished doing what he loved: practicing aerobatics in a Yak-52, in the mountains of Brentwood, Calif.
He was survived by his parents, his sisters, and his daughter.

The dark secret fear lurking inside you when you are a parent is that your children will die before you do. That fear came true for this family. All parents can imagine their grief, but all choose not to do so. But they did not choose, as so many do, to be utterly undone by grief. Instead they chose to balance grief with joy, "For Joy and sorrow are inseparable," and place upon this grave a bronze symbol of all that is best in this life and in this world.

It's a gift to their son, R. Scott Puddy, and a gift to any in the world who chance upon his grave. It's a gift outright.

If you ever happen to be near Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Queen Anne, Seattle, go see it. Take your camera. Send your friends. Sit a spell and leave a token, stone or blossom or leaf. When it comes to gifts like this, the gift must move. Pass it on.

Young boy in pilot's helmet and goggles

"And down we went. / In the mountains, there you feel free."

[This is back from last October because Puddy's daughter came by and left a comment on the anniversary of his passing.]

Posted by Vanderleun May 1, 2016 12:40 AM | Comments (37)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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