Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
Request by Lawrence Raab

For a long time I was sure
it should be "Jumping Jack Flash," then
the adagio from Schubert's C major Quintet,
but right now I want Oscar Peterson's

"You Look Good to Me." That's my request.
Play it at the end of the service,
after my friends have spoken.
I don't believe I'll be listening in,

but sitting here I'm imaging
you could be feeling what I'd like to feel––
defiance from the Stones, grief
and resignation with Schubert, but now

Peterson and Ray Brown are making
the moment sound like some kind
of release. Sad enough
at first, but doesn't it slide into

tapping you feet, then clapping
your hands, maybe standing up
in that shadowy hall in Paris
in the late sixties when this was recorded,

getting up and dancing
as I would not have done,
and being dead, cannot, but might
wish for you, who would then

understand what a poem––or perhaps only
the making of a poem, just that moment
when it starts, when so much
is still possible––

has allowed me to feel.
Happy to be there. Carried away.

- - - - Inward Bound Poetry: 965.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2016 5:40 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Virtual Used Car Dealership: Low Start-Up Costs


My 3-Step Business Plan

1) Cheap online marketing via Craigslist coast-to-coast.

2) ....

3) Profit beyond the dreams of Avarice!

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 30, 2016 3:51 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Just Gimme Some Truth

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board. The hospitality was as cold as the ices. I thought that there was no need of ice to freeze them. They talked to me of the age of the wine and the fame of the vintage; but I thought of an older, a newer, and purer wine, of a more glorious vintage, which they had not got, and could not buy. The style, the house and grounds and "entertainment" pass for nothing with me. I called on the king, but he made me wait in the hall, and conducted like a man incapacitated for hospitality. There was a man in my neighborhood who lived in a hollow tree. His manners were truly regal. I should have done better had I called on him." -- Henry David Thoreau, Walden [HT: Mizz E]

or, as was sung at another time in another place [with just some minor substitutions]....

I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

I've had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, momma of obama
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of hope
Money for dope
Money for rope

I'm sick to death of seeing things
From tight-lipped, condescending, Obama's little democrats
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth now

I've had enough of watching scenes
Of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, momma of obama
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of soap
It's money for dope
Money for rope

I've had enough of reading things
by neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth now



Posted by Vanderleun Aug 29, 2016 8:57 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
YE OLDE AMERICA: Hello Sailor -- The Perverted Older Videos of Younger Cher

The music video for "If I Could Turn Back Time", directed by Marty Callner, takes place on board the battleship USS Missouri. It depicts Cher and her band performing a concert for the ship's crew. The video was filmed in Los Angeles on July 1, 1989, while the ship was stationed at the former Long Beach Naval Shipyard at Pier D. In the video, the band plays on the foredeck, and the ship is rigged with spotlights, light racks and strobes. Cher's son, Elijah Blue Allman, only twelve at the time, appears as one of the band's guitarists (he wears dark glasses and a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt).

Cher's outfit for the original video, a fishnet body stocking under a black one-piece bathing suit that left most of her buttocks exposed, proved very controversial, and many television networks refused to show the video. MTV first banned the video, and later played it only after 9 PM. A second version of the video was made, including new scenes and less overtly sexual content than the original. The outfit and sexual nature of the video were not expected by the US Navy when they had originally granted permission for filming. The USS Missouri liaison, Steve Honda, asked Callner to prevent Cher from wearing the outfit when he saw it on-set, but Callner refused. The Navy also received criticism for the video, and has since refused to allow any music videos to be filmed aboard its ships.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 29, 2016 3:10 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Speaking (A Little Too Much) Truth to Power: HuffPo Terminates Journalist, Deletes Story Questioning Hillary’s Health


Published and then pulled and scrubbed with the author sacked. But the Internet never forgets. This is the story just to make sure it doesn't vanish into the memory hole of the HuffPost:

Hillary Clinton’s Health Is Superb (Aside From Seizures, Lesions, Adrenaline Pens)

Hillary Clinton: Stronger Together. How strong? Well, the great woman’s health is excellent, superb even. Her heart and mind one hundred thousand times stronger than the strongest beams of steel that built our great American cities more than a century ago. Her soul a shining exemplar of selflessness, service, and humility, her footing sound… wait, are we talking about the same person here?!

The same Hillary Clinton who recently became the latest unintentional star of YouTube, with a truly endless upload stream of videos purporting to show Hillary Clinton wildly seizing up when several reporters begin questioning her at once? Yes, the same Hillary Clinton who became the star of this Paul Joseph Watson video, attracting 3,554,177 views since it was uploaded on August 4th:

I realize some readers might be wondering after watching Paul Watson’s video… how is she strong, or healthy, after seeing all that?

Look guys, I need to keep my job and platform. A lot of people read the Huffington Post and AOL properties. We all know what happens when you speak a little too much truth about the Establishment-beloved Clintons.

Just ask longtime broadcaster Dr. Drew Pinsky. “CNN has canceled Drew Pinsky’s HLN show, Dr. Drew On Call, just eight days after Pinsky made comments on a radio show questioning the health of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Pinsky’s show, which is six years old, will air for the last time Sept. 22,” The Daily Beast reported.

But what do you think? Is Hillary Clinton strong and wise and healthy? If so, why does Paul Watson and the team at Infowars want to hurt her feelings? They should know better over there: Americans are allowed to vote for anyone they want this election season, and support anyone they want, so long as that person is Strong Hillary Clinton.

Stronger Together. Together, Stronger. Or something.

Article with commentary found at:HuffPo Terminates Journalist, Deletes Story Questioning Hillary's Health

UPDATE: Author of the pulled article responds here--

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 29, 2016 9:52 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink


Once the Progressive needle goes in, it never comes out.

williamburroughsdog.jpgAnd speaking Personally... and if a man speaks any other way we might as well start looking for his Protoplasm Daddy or Mother Cell...

I Don't Want To Hear Any More Tired Old Progressive Talk And Progressive Con .... The same things have been said a million times and more and there is no point in saying any of them again because NOTHING Ever Happens in the Progressive world.

(And while we're at it: I Don't Want To Hear Any More Tired Old Conservative Talk And Conservative Con about playing nice with these junkies. Once the Progressive needle goes in, it never comes out. Junkies don't kick if you're kind to them. Junkies only kick if you kick them.
Only excuse for this tired Progressive death route is THE KICK when the Progressive circuit is cut off for the non-payment and the Progressive-skin dies of Progressive-lack and overdose of time and the Old Skin has forgotten the skin game simplifying a way under the Progressive cover the way skins will.... A condition of total exposure is precipitated when the Kicking Addict to Progressiveism cannot choose but see smell and listen.... Watch out for the cars....)

It is clear that Progressiveism is Round-the-World-Push-an-Opium-Pellet -with- Your-Nose-Bullshit. Strictly for Scarabs – a stumble bum Progressive heap of pure bullshit. And, as such, Progressives strap on your drool cups and please report to disposal. We’re tired of smelling and hearing your looping loopy bullshit.

Progressives always beef about The Rush Limbaugh as they call it, turning up their black coat collars and clutching their withered necks at the mention of the man's name and hissing, like the green lizard dwarfs, "Raaaaacist!"... this is pure Progressive con.


A Progressive does not want luke-warm Rush Dementia, he wants the Cool-Cooler-Cold RUSH DEMENTIA. But he want The RUSH Cold like he want His Progressiveism -- NOT OUTSIDE where it does him no good but INSIDE so he can sit around with a spine like a frozen hydraulic jack... his metabolism approaching RAGE Absolute ZERO at RUSH.

TERMINAL Progressives often go two months without a bowel move JUST BY THINKING ABOUT RUSH and the intestines make with sit-down-adhesions --Wouldn't You?-- requiring the intervention of an apple corer or its surgical equivalent.... Such is life in The Old Progressive Ice House. Why move around and waste TIME?

Room for One More Inside, Sir.

Some entities are on Alinsky dynamics kicks. They invented Alinsky dynamics.... Wouldn't you?

And some Progressives are on Obama Kicks and that's a thing out in the open the way I like to see what I eat and visa versa mutatis mutandis as the case may be.

Obama's Naked Hope Room... Strip down. Oil your body. Step right up... Good for young and old, man and donkey.

Nothing like a little Hope snake oil to grease the wheels and get a show on the track Jack. Which side are you on? Fro-Zen RUSH Hydraulic? Or you want to take a look around with Honest Obama?

So that's the #1 World Mental Health Problem I was talking about back in The Article. That's the Prospect Before Us Friends of MINE.

Do I hear muttering about a personal razor and some bush league short con artist who is known to have invented The OBAMA? Wouldn't You? The razor belonged to a man named Occam and he was not a scar collector. ONE Ludwig Wittgenstein BY NAME! QUOTING: Tractatus Logico Philosophicus: "If a proposition is NOT NECESSARY is it MEANINGLESS and approaching MEANING ZERO.''

Question: "What is More UNNECESSARY than Progressiveism if You Don't Need it?

Answer: ''ProgressiveS, if you are not HOOKED ON Progressiveism.''

I tell you boys, I've heard some tired conversation but no other POLITICAL BLATHER AND YABBLE can approximate that old thermodynamic Progressive Slow-DOWN BUMMER.

Now your Ron Paul addict does not say hardly anything sane and that I can stand.

But your Progressiveism "Bullshit Smoker'" is more active since he still has a Tent and a Lamp... and maybe 7-9-10 fellow treehugging Progressives lying up in there like hibernating reptiles keep the temperature up to Talking Level:


How low the other Progressives are whereas We -- WE have this heavily funded tent and this Soros-powered lamp and this tent and this lamp and this tent and nice and warm in here nice and warm nice and IN HERE and nice and OUTSIDE ITS COLD.... ITS COLD OUTSIDE where the Liberty Oppressors and the fascist Rush boys won't last two years not six months hardly won't last stumble bum around and there is no class in them.... But WE SIT HERE and never increase the SOCIALIST DOSE... never-never increase the socialist dose never except TONIGHT is a SPECIAL OCCASION with all the Liberty Oppressors and the fascist Rush boys out there in the cold.... And we never eat it never never never eat it....

Excuse please while I take a trip to The Source Of Living Drops they all have in pocket and opium pellets shoved up the ass in a finger stall with the Family Jewels and the other shit.

Room for one more inside, Sir.

Well when that Progressive record starts around for the billionth light year and never the tape shall change us non-Progressives take drastic action and the men separate out from the Progressive boys.

Only way to protect yourself against this horrid peril is come over HERE and shack up with Conservatism.... Treat you right kid.... Candy and cigarettes. First one's free.

I am after THIRTY years in that Progressive tent. In and out in and out in and OUT. Over and Out.

So listen to Old Uncle Gerard who invented the William Burroughs Find-and-Replace Blog Posting Regulator Gimmick on the Hydraulic Jack Principle.

No matter how you jerk the Progressive handle the result is ALWAYS THE SAME BULLSHIT.

Got my training early... wouldn't you?

De-Progressiveized Babies of the World Unite. We have nothing to lose but Our Progressives. And THEY are NOT NECESSARY.

Look down LOOK DOWN along that Progressiveism road before you travel there and get in with the Wrong Mob....

A word to the wise guy.

[No apologies offered to William Burroughs' Testimony Concerning A Sickness. Mistah Bill he dead. A penny for the old guy. He's found the Exit...
... it's time Progressiveism did the same.

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 28, 2016 10:12 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Slow Life

"Slow" marine animals show their secret life under high magnification.

Corals and sponges build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives. These animals are actually very mobile creatures. However their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen.

Make sure you watch the video on a large screen. This clip is displayed in Full HD, yet the source footage (or the whole clip), is available in UltraHD 4k resolution for media productions.

The answer to a common question: yes, colors are "real" and not exaggerated by digital enhancement. We have only applied basic white balance correction. However, we used specialized lights to mimic the underwater ambient spectrum. When photographers use white light (artificial spectrum) on corals, they simply miss the vast majority of colours. Corals have spectrum-sensitive colouration due to fluorescent pigments.

The duration of sequences varied from 20 minutes to 6 hours.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 26, 2016 6:07 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
On Hillary's Newly Proclaimed "Vast Alt-Right Wing Conspiracy"

"The Truth About Hillary's 'Alt-Right' Speech"

Secretary Hillary Clinton, campaigning to become President of the United States,

actually gave a public speech claiming that Vladimir Putin was using mind-control to manipulate nationalist inhabitants of planet earth in a grand conspiracy against her campaign. And if you don’t believe her, YOU are the conspiracy theorist. - - The Last Refuge

[HT: Geoff of 10th Avenue]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 26, 2016 1:04 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Electoral Mind Maps of the United States, 2016




Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 26, 2016 12:02 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
The Fact Folks vs "Feelings, nothing more than feelings...."


"For the age 60 and above, the early Boomers and their parents, facts remain very important and feelings, while important, are thought not very reliable. Emotions are to be controlled and overcome, they are not to be a guide.

"For post-Boomers, especially those born after 1980 or so, feelings are predominant, and the younger of that group the more important feelings are. This is also the cohort that was raised in the thick of the self-esteem movement, being told they are special (you know, just like everyone else). They received praise and rewards just for showing up (participation trophies, anyone?).

"They are very, very heavily into social signaling by where they live and where they vacation and by what their children do. They absolutely dominate their kids, who typically have little choice in what activities they will do and when.

"The younger sets of this group, born after the early 90s, have also learned (having been actually taught) that the cult of victimhood is the most important status of all. They are on high alert for reasons to be offended and when they are, it is for slights, real or imagined, that mystify the 60 cohort.

"Victimhood demands recompense so there is no hope of forgiveness unless the offender crawls on his belly like a cold reptile to beg for it. But forgiveness is never unconditional. The hatchet may be buried, but the handle protrudes skyward so it can be easy to recover.

"It is very much and honor-shame dynamic where all interactions are zero-sum. Where they are on the totem pole if always of concern and they are acutely aware of who is above or below. And woe betide those whom they think are below.

"I think of it as the 'Veruca Salt' generation. They are demand oriented. Their magical thinking is that merely because they want something, it should be granted. They react strongly negatively to being asked for facts and logic to support their contention because in their minds, 'I feel very strongly about this so why are you asking for facts?' "

A Comment by Sensing in "For most people, wanting to know the cold truth about the world is way, way down the list.”

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 25, 2016 8:44 AM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Saturday Night at Graceland with the Holy Relics of Elvis

The Holy Remote of Saint Elvis

The Holy Golden Beretta of Saint Elvis

The Holy TV of Saint Elvis

Photos by Henry Leutwylers


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 24, 2016 1:37 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Liquid Mountains of Lake Erie and The Witch of November



"I chose to focus on Lake Erie at a time of year when the Great Lakes often act more like oceans than lakes.

With the warm, sunny, beach days of summer behind us, it is during autumn's darkest, coldest and windiest days that the Great Lakes are transformed into wickedly wild and treacherous bodies of water. Masses of cold, arctic air push southward and collide with the warmer air above the lakes. This creates the perfect conditions for massive wind storms. These conditions are often referred to as "The Gales of November" or "The Witch of November." The waves at this time of year can be an amazing display of Mother Nature's power and a photographer's dream to capture. I can best describe the scene like a giant washing machine. There is no pattern to the waves: they move and explode in unpredictable ways, often colliding into one another and creating spectacular explosions of water. With winds reaching speeds of 70 mph (Category 1 on the hurricane scale), these powerful winds generate waves that reach heights of 20'-30'. These movements of water are large and powerful enough to send ocean freighters to a watery grave at the bottom of the lakes......

- Photographs and text by Dave Sandford | LensCulture

In a rustic old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 24, 2016 1:00 PM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Difficulty of Ruling over a Diverse Nation (1578)

The more things change, the more they stay insane.

16th-century Dutch engraving depicting a fantastical animal with the heads of various other animals sprouting from its body: an allegory for the difficulty of ruling over a diverse nation. In the background, watching on, can be seen a small mob or leaders, both secular and religious. This work by Antwerp-based artist Pieter van der Borcht the Elder, with its image of a confused and troubled body politic, can perhaps be seen as particularly salient in regards the US presidential elections. | The Public Domain Review

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 24, 2016 9:06 AM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Jack Reno


He put his wallet on the table,
And Joe the Joker called his bluff.
Jack filled his house with a pair of queens,
But was busted by Joe's royal flush.

Jack's boots were worn and dusty,
And he'd sometimes get the shakes,
But he'd always raise the ante,
And play for bigger stakes.

You could see him sipping Turkey
And playing dollar Keno
In the first joint over Stateline.
They called him old Jack Reno.

Smiling, laughing Jack who always bought a round.
Jazzing, crazy Jack who was every loser's friend.
He had a nasty girl in Vegas, a sweet wife in Marin,
But his first love was the table where Fortune took a spin.

When he first blew into town fresh from gambler's school,
Jack knew all the odds by heart; Jack was no man's fool.
He thought that he owned all the cards. He knew his way around.
But it only took one joker to bring Jack Reno down.

You could stake him to a chip and watch him take a hit
From a brand new deck that never ran his way,
Or try to double down, or fill a California split
To build a little stack to get him through the day.

You could see him sipping Turkey
And playing dollar Keno
In the first joint over Stateline
Where they all knew old Jack Reno.

One night at a table where dealers named the game,
A man in black said, "The stakes are fates."
"I'm in," said Jack. "I'll take five cards."
He drew a Deuce, a pair of Aces, pair of Eights.

"I'll call your bluff," said smiling Jack.
The stranger showed three trays and took the pot.
"I'll be damned, " said cleaned out Jack.
"Your call," the stranger said and shot him on the spot.

They laid Jack out with his lucky charms,
And passed the hat for a box of pine,
And sent Jack to sit in with the worms
Down where no one loses all the time.

Now his ghost looks worn and dusty
As it moans and shakes its chains,
When it's haunting the casinos
And can't get in the games.

You can see it after midnight
Trying to place a bet on Keno,
In the first joint over Stateline ,
Just a chip off old Jack Reno.

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 23, 2016 12:43 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: Powers of Ten

The classic 1977 film that put the vastness of the universe into perspective Opening at the scene of a picnic in a Chicago park, then gradually zooming out to encompass a view 100 million light years away before magnifying down again to a single proton, this classic 1977 short documentary by the legendary husband-and-wife design team Charles and Ray Eames uses exponential powers of ten to contextualise the scale of the known universe and chart the limits of human understanding. An ‘adventure in magnitudes’, Powers of Ten has been used to teach millions and millions about the cosmos and the microcosmic, and remains an extraordinary journey nearly 40 years later. - -| Aeon Videos

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 23, 2016 8:20 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Presence of Malice: Against the Cuckservative Portrait of Obama [Updated]

glumobamaportrait2left.jpgContinuing his epic slither into the every deeper swamps of cluelessness Krauthammer is still afraid to let the obvious sewer of Obama swamp his wishing well in The price of powerlessness

"And in part because [Obama's] convinced that in the long run it doesn’t matter. Fluctuations in great power relations are inherently ephemeral. For a man who sees a moral arc in the universe bending inexorably toward justice, calculations of raw realpolitik are 20th-century thinking — primitive, obsolete, the obsession of small minds.
Obama made all this perfectly clear in speeches at the U.N., in Cairo and here at home in his very first year in office. Two terms later, we see the result. Ukraine dismembered. Eastern Europe on edge. Syria a charnel house. Iran subsuming Iraq. Russia and Iran on the march across the entire northern Middle East.
At the heart of this disorder is a simple asymmetry. It is in worldview. The major revisionist powers — China, Russia and Iran — know what they want: power, territory, tribute. And they’re going after it. Barack Obama takes Ecclesiastes’ view that these are vanities, nothing but vanities.
In the kingdom of heaven, no doubt. Here on earth, however — Aleppo to Donetsk, Estonia to the Spratly Islands — it matters greatly."

Sigh. It's getting pretty late for Krauthammer to have a revelation about the truth of this unconnected, landless, nationless, president without a country. Simply put Obama's wanted to destroy this nation from the time he found out his mother was a slut and his "mentor" "Pop" was more than ready to diddle him as a boy. [Forbidden >]And don't even think about how stereotypical it is that Obama's mother's sperm donor would just skip out on the mom and the kid at the first opportunity. [< Forbidden]

[Note: Somehow this essay from 2011 never really goes out of style. I could run it every week and it would just become more true.]


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 22, 2016 12:06 PM | Comments (113)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Ah, sinful nation:" Endtimes and the Vision of Isiah


18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:

23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

24 Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:

25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.

27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

28 And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed.

29 For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.

30 For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.

31 And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them. Isaiah 1

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 21, 2016 2:49 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
And now a few words from our sponsor, Fiber Fix.

Fiber Fix, The Manly Man's Tape, asks 'What happens when you flip a car with a roll cage held together by duct tape?'

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 20, 2016 7:43 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Black Lives Don't Seem to Matter to "Black Lives Matter"


Louisianan calls out BLM, Black Panther hypocrites: Where are you, if Black Lives Matter?

“I ain’t seen one Black Panther boat or one Black Lives Matter boat,” he said from his flood-ravaged hometown. “All I see are our own people from our own city.”

“With all the drama that was going on with the Alton Sterling killing,” he said, “they came out with guns and ready to go to war.”’

And now?

“All these people flooded out and truly in need of some help, and you can’t find one of them.”


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 19, 2016 2:35 PM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Hypnotizing: Blackstone oil engine startup

"1909 10HP Blackstone oil engine was used for pumping water from a river to a market garden.

The engine was sabotaged in the 1920s by someone blowing up the cylinder with explosives. A new cylinder was installed and the engine was returned to service for a number of years when it eventually fell into disuse. A number of river floodings submerged the engine and it was eventually partially buried in silt. It was recovered in the 1990s and in 1997 it was dismantled, cleaned and started again after many years of neglect. The starting procedure requires heating of the hot bulb with a blow lamp in order to vaporise the fuel ( kerosene ) and to preheat the internal combustion chamber to allow fuel ignition."

Engineers' Creed

As a Professional Engineer, I dedicate my professional knowledge and skill to the advancement and betterment of human welfare. I pledge:

  • To give the utmost of performance;
  • To participate in none but honest enterprise;
  • To live and work according to the laws of man and the highest standards of professional conduct;
  • To place service before profit, the honor and standing of the profession before personal advantage, and the public welfare above all other considerations.

In humility and with need for Divine Guidance, I make this pledge.

Adopted by National Society of Professional Engineers, June 1954

HT: Tech Stuff 31 | The Arts Mechanical


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 19, 2016 8:53 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
In the 60s we used to ask, "Hey, what if we put LSD in the water supply?" In 1934 it was laughing gas into the atmosphere.

Betty Boop Cartoon Banned For Drug Use 1934.

Laughing Gas, or nitrous oxide, has been used as an intoxicant since about ten seconds after it was first synthesized by Joseph Priestly in 1772. That, however, does not mean that by the 1960s laughing gas was regarded as passé. Au contraire since you have to remember that in those days people were trying to dry, roll, and smoke the inside of bananas. In those days, nitrous was just another established "fun" recreational drug. In those days you could buy a tank just by saying you needed it for underwater welding. Yes, underwater welding.

A friend I knew in those days discovered that taking a hit of nitrous "helped" him with his creative writing. In a way he was right. He did create very clever and interesting short stories when he'd had a few whiffs from the tank. Indeed, in the spirit of the 60s drug counter culture in Berkeley an San Francisco, he became convinced that if any drug was worth doing, it was worth overdoing. (A common American attitude that persists to this day.)

He was 24 years old and impatient for fame.

In pursuit of more and more "creative push" from his tank of nitrous he designed a mask that would fit over his nose and mouth and be held there by some complicated elastics so he could type with both hands while whiffing from the tank.

It worked pretty well and I recall noticing that his writing did indeed get better and more interesting. Right up to the morning when they found him slumped dead over his typewriter with the mask fixed firmly over his nose and mouth, and the tank still hissing away.

He was 24 years old and impatient for fame.

He left behind two binders with his writings in them. The stories were good and full of promise. I still have the binders somewhere. I think.

If not they are mouldering in a sub-sub-basement of a Brooklyn Heights brownstone on Pierrepont Street.

He "lived fast, died young, and left a good-looking corpse." And two forgotten binders of "promising" work.

Too much heavy, heavy fuel....

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 17, 2016 7:35 PM | Comments (8)  | QuickLink: Permalink
[My Slack Pages / 2013 ] Rhiannon: A Song From That Ancient World When Performances Were Not Phoned In

The Iconic Stevie Nicks in 1976: Big hair, big hips, big pipes, hot lips, and (alas) the brain of a singer. But when she turned it on she could blow up the entire building and leave everyone charred and cheering in the rubble.....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 17, 2016 10:29 AM | Comments (24)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The 70-Mile-Wide River


'Historic' Louisiana Flooding Affects 40,000 Homes, Governor Says

About 40,000 homes in southeastern Louisiana have been affected by days of devastating flooding, which Gov. John Bel Edwards today described as "unprecedented" and "historic." At least eight people have died, he said, adding that authorities remain in emergency search mode in many parishes. Edwards said that over 20,000 people have been rescued and about 8,000 were in shelters Monday night....

Yes, it's bad but hardly "historic." It's been worse. Much, much worse.....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 16, 2016 10:56 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Well Made: The Bronze Sword of Goujian, King of Yue State 越王勾踐劍


In December 1965, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the ruins of Jinan, an ancient capital of Chu, a casket was discovered at Wangshan site #1.

Inside, an ornate bronze sword was found with a human skeleton.

The sword was found sheathed in a wooden scabbard finished in black lacquer. The scabbard had an almost air-tight fit with the sword body. Unsheathing the sword revealed an untarnished blade, despite the tomb being soaked in underground water for over 2,000 years.

On one side of the blade, two columns of text are visible. Eight characters are written in an ancient script which was found to be one known as Bird-worm seal script (literally “birds and worms characters” owing to the intricate decorations of the defining strokes), a variant of seal script. Initial analysis of the text deciphered six of the characters, “King of Yue”and “made this sword for [his] personal use”. The remaining two characters were probably the name of this King of Yue.

You have to be patient with (and pay close attention to) this video. But if you do you will be rewarded.

[Other details at Vintage News]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 15, 2016 4:56 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
After the Ball Is Over: Past Olympic Sites Today

Beach Volleyball Venue, Beijing, 2008 Summer Olympics

Main Swimming Pool, Athens, 2004 Summer Olympics

Olympic Sports Complex, Sarajevo, 1984 Winter Olympics

Recently, the average cost of hosting the Olympics exceeded $5 Billion with Rio coming in at =/-$11.6 billion. Pricey, but what's money when it comes to a really fabulous venue for synchronized swimming? Images from Imgur

It wasn't always just Corinthian sports followed by urban decay, From 1912 to 1948, the Olympics awarded medals to sculptors, architects, writers and musicians, too.

“William Butler Yeats’ brother Jack won a silver medal in the 1924 Olympics... in painting,” the commenter wrote. And sure enough, a look at Olympics results history shows that Jack B. Yeats placed second in the 1924 painting event for his work “The Liffey Swim.”


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 15, 2016 9:16 AM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
A People's Cube Classic: "Women's Progress Backwards: The Tale of Two Burkas"


This is a rearranged version (mostly to fit the viewable area, plus the title) of a series of photos by a female Yemeni photographer Boushra Almutawakel, who received her education in the United States.

"Having studied in America, Ms Almutawakel has returned to live and work in Sanaa in Yemen. Controversial among Yemenis, her photographs seem designed mainly for a Western audience. See an interview with her here.

Contrast it with the pink Vagina Burkas of the leftist "women's rights" radicals of Code Pink, who, when they are not dressed as vaginas to pursue collectivist identity politics, are often cuddling up to Muslim theocratic dictators.

Code Pink's strategy is the opposite of the Yemeni photographer's: controversial among Americans, their stunts are calculated to reach anti-American foreign audiences.


Intentionally or not, the message sent by their costumes reduces the woman's existence to a single physiological function, stripping her of an individual mind, spirit, and character - a view not very different from the fundamentalist Islamic idea of a woman as merely a veiled reproductive organ. This is hardly coincidental: two militant collectivist philosophies are bound to converge at one point or more.

MUCH MORE AT Women's Progress Backwards: The Tale of Two Burkas

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 14, 2016 4:41 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The It's-Not-Butter Brand Blight

"Made with sweet cream BUTTERmilk"


This, of course, was only the beginning of the tsunami of NotButterBullshit.





And finally the saddest of them all....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 13, 2016 11:32 AM | Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Stand by Razorbacker

I’ve been on my knees, in the muck and mire, the stench in my nostrils. I’ll stand.

Unbeatable forces force me again down, but again I stand.

Pain hurts, but despair kills. I’ll stand.

Do you think yourself alone, a minority of one? Still stand. One is enough, when one is all that there is. Stand.

To stand is to make a target of yourself. Stand.

You will not win. You are doomed to fail. Stand.

Better men than you have died standing, but all men must die. Stand. Do you not wish to be counted among the better men? Then stand.

Better to live a slave than die a freeman? If you ask the question, you cannot comprehend the answer. Stand.

Today is not the day? When, then? Are you so comfortable? Do your knees not ache? Man was not built to kneel, but to stand. So stand.

You were given a priceless gift, the gift of life. Do not waste it. Stand.

They will mock as you fall. All men must fall. It is a shorter fall from your knees. But fall from your feet, so as to make a resounding echo. Stand.

You can live on your knees. You will die on your feet. Choose for yourself; I will not judge. But as for me, I’ll stand.

Stand | Daily Pundit

[HT: Western Rifle Shooters Association]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 13, 2016 9:37 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Season 3 of "This Old Nag:" Dragging Her Over the Finish Line


Well I'm about to get UPSET
From watchin' my TV
Been checkin' out the news
Until my eyeballs fail to see
I mean they say that every day
Is just another rotten mess
And when it's gonna change, my friends
Is anybody's guess

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

- - - The Mothers Of Invention - Trouble Every Day

Standing instructions to Hillary Handlers

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 11, 2016 12:31 PM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Traveling Wilburys - End Of The Line

Maybe somewhere down the road aways (end of the line)
You'll think of me, wonder where I am these days (end of the line)
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays (end of the line)
Purple haze

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 11, 2016 8:49 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Democracy is Coming: "It's coming to America first, / the cradle of the best and of the worst. / It's here they got the range / and the machinery for change / and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. "

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean. I love the country but I can't stand the scene. And I'm neither left or right. I'm just staying home tonight, getting lost in that hopeless little screen. But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags that Time cannot decay, I'm junk but I'm still holding up ....

It's coming through a hole in the air,
from those nights in Tiananmen Square.
It's coming from the feel
that this ain't exactly real,
or it's real, but it ain't exactly there.
From the wars against disorder,
from the sirens night and day,
from the fires of the homeless,
from the ashes of the gay:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
It's coming through a crack in the wall;
on a visionary flood of alcohol;
from the staggering account
of the Sermon on the Mount
which I don't pretend to understand at all.
It's coming from the silence
on the dock of the bay,
from the brave, the bold, the battered
heart of Chevrolet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 10, 2016 9:49 AM | Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Last 2 Minutes of the Last Howdy Doody Show

If you were raised on this ancient afternoon series of televised myths and tales [1947 to 1960].... and you grew too old for this last look, all you have to know is.... Clarabelle speaks his first and only line in the history of the program.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 9, 2016 6:29 PM | Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Wonderful: The Jukebox Repairman

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 9, 2016 12:08 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Perseid Meteors over Mount Shasta


Where are all of these meteors coming from? In terms of direction on the sky, the pointed answer is the constellation of Perseus.

That is why the meteor shower that peaks later this week is known as the Perseids -- the meteors all appear to came from a radiant toward Perseus. In terms of parent body, though, the sand-sized debris that makes up the Perseids meteors come from Comet Swift-Tuttle. The comet follows a well-defined orbit around our Sun, and the part of the orbit that approaches Earth is superposed in front of the Perseus. Therefore, when Earth crosses this orbit, the radiant point of falling debris appears in Perseus. Featured here, a composite image containing over 60 meteors from last August's Perseids meteor shower shows many bright meteors that streaked over Mount Shasta, California, USA. This year's Perseids holds promise to be the best meteor shower of the year. APOD: 2016 August 8 -
Larger image if you....


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 8, 2016 9:28 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Toying with Genocide: The "Unthinkable" Can and Is Being Thought

The 4 COAs of the Apocalypse [COA,military: Course Of Action. Image by Butch**]

[Note: Given current world conditions it seemed a good idea to repost this meditation from December of 2006. Some details have changed. Some players have changed. New players have emerged. And always changing for the worse, of course.]

"What is the most terrible and terrorizing thought of the 21st century?"

Stick around and I'll tell you.]

1. The Most Dangerous Game

LURKING BENEATH OUR INTERNAL ARGUMENT concerning the relentless demographic expansion of Islam into the West without assimilation, is the persistent background question, "Oh, my, whatever shall WE do with THEM?"

WE are, you see, like muddlers and fiddlers since Nero, worried about THEM. Our doltish conservative muddlers and fiddlers worry about what "THEY will do to US" if we aren't very, very careful and selective about which of THEM we capture or kill while WE seek to give THEM the "gifts" of freedom and democracy. Our brave new fiddlers on the Left fiddle about worrying if THEY have enough to eat, enough to wear, enough respect, enough, in short, of the love THEY deserve for not killing US today.

Both bumbling groups may differ in the focus of their fretting, but fret they do. For the problem, as they have defined it, has to do with what is commonly stated as 'a statistically small group of Muslims around the world' who need to be dealt with in some manner so that greater Islam can get on with the historic task of being "a religion of peace and understanding." The majority of both camps of muddlers and fiddlers agree on this one thing: It isn't Islam that's the problem, just a few heretics that have gotten out of hand in their zeal to obey the will of God, and, hey, who hasn't done that from time to time?

One solution, commonly referenced as "the Left/Liberal" position is essentially "leave them alone and they'll come home. They know its for their own good." The other solution, "the Right/Conservative" position, is to force assimilation, modernization, reformation and democratic mechanisms upon Islam "for its own good."

The two positions agree that "something must be done." They differ only in their specifications for "a New!, Improved! Islam" that can play well with other religions and nations in the post-modern world where "business as usual" is worshipped more than any other state of affairs. Both positions, whether they focus on "giving" the benefits of the modern world to the West's Islamic populations spread out in its cities and nations, or "bringing" the same benefits to the center of Islamic mass in the Middle East, share the belief that Islam can be "fixed."

Once you understand that the question posed by both enclaves of political "thinkers" boils down to "How can WE best fix THEM?" the subtext of the whole Big Argument starts to echo Richard II:
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth,
Let's choose executors and talk of wills....

In short, both sides think that in some way "Islam is broken." Is it?

Finding myself in neither political camp, it strikes me that Islam -- especially if you look at the fertility rates of Muslims, mosque construction and attendance, and the retention and conversion of the faithful around the globe -- is doing just fine. It strikes me that a religion that doesn't view itself as broken is unlikely to take kindly to the notion that it needs fixing. Still, that's the proposition advanced by both camps in our broken and shattered society. But it is a proposition that is advanced only sotto voce, in whispers, because to ask, right out loud, if Islam wants to be "fixed" or indeed can be "fixed," is to know the answer in the act of asking.

The answer is a resounding "No." And that brings the persistent background question, "Oh, my, whatever shall WE do with THEM?" into sharp relief in the foreground of Western minds. If history is any guide that is the single most dangerous question one group of humans can ask about another. It is a question no sane member of the West nor sane member of Islam would ever want thrust into the foreground, for it begins the process of transforming a group with whom a society lives in peace into the "Others" with whom a society cannot live in peace.


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 7, 2016 6:05 PM | Comments (57)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Sunday Song for August 7: "Give me Christ Or give me Hiroshima"


You'll see a woman hanging upside down
Her features covered by her fallen gown
And all the lousy little poets coming round
Tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson
And the white man dancin'

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St. Paul
Give me Christ
Or give me Hiroshima

Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby
It is murder

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold and it has overturned
The order of the soul

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant
When they said REPENT REPENT
I wonder what they meant

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 7, 2016 1:37 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hiroshima Day - or- Nukes: Time for a Live Demo [Updated]

Dear LowInfo Citizens,

It's been about five SIX SEVEN EIGHT years since this was first proposed. It is still something to keep in mind as you hope for change and a better world via magical thinking.

You may not be interested in false hopes, but false hopes are interested in you....

Duck and cover!

A bomb called Licorne. Fired at 18.30 on July 3, 1970, and yielded 914 kilotons (Think "57 Hiroshimas"). Imagine it being fired next door. Hope that if it is ever fired, it is fired next door.

Seventy years ago : "On Monday, August 6, 1945, the nuclear weapon Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima by the crew of the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay, directly killing an estimated 80,000 people. By the end of the year, injury and radiation brought total casualties to 90,000-140,000. Approximately 69% of the city's buildings were completely destroyed, and 6.6% severely damaged." - Hiroshima

"Little Boy," the aptly named 16 kiloton bomb that took out Hiroshima, was -- in comparison to the nuclear devices in the world's arsenals -- sort of a light field artillery shell. There was, at the time, a second bomb called "Fat Man." Weighing in at 21 kilotons it would put paid to Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. With the erasure of Nagasaki, the world was fresh out of nuclear weapons. It was only a temporary lapse. Today we've got about 25,000 of these little items of discipline scattered about.

The largest nuclear bomb ever detonated in the atmosphere was The Soviet Tsar Bomba , or "Big Ivan" which at 50 Megatons was very harmful to every living think on Novaya Zemlya Island (located above the arctic circle in the Arctic Sea) in October of 1971. Whatever else you might think about them, you can't deny those Soviets dreamed BIG dreams.

No matter what our political feelings, I believe we can all agree that the world is getting just a wee bit too hot for comfort these days, and I don't mean "Global Warming." I mean that people here and there about the globe are getting just a wee bit too hot under the collar. They seem to have forgotten just exactly what comes into play like the force of gravity when whole nations or peoples get really ticked off. Time to refresh our collective memories.

I think we need to have the people of the world focus like a laser on the table stakes of going beyond these little patty-cake wars we are currently diddling around with and look, really look, at what can actually happen with one little slip.

What we need to do this is: "The Live Demo." By this I mean we need to find a small island or deserted space somewhere on the planet and sacrifice it for the greater good by setting off one, just one, low-yield thermonuclear device in the atmosphere for all the world to see.

Think of "The Live Demo" as a remedial educational moment for the entire world; a kind of slap upside the head coupled with a large shout out of: "PAY ATTENTION!"

I believe this "Live Demo" needs to be announced -- in date, time, and place -- to the entire world with something approaching the intensity of the promotion dumped on the Beijing Olympics.

I believe that we should allow any media organization that wishes to to cover this event and provide the infrastructure necessary to film and broadcast it (from a safe distance) to the entire world in all media -- live. I believe we should re-task a satellite to give us a view of the event from space.

No matter what many may think, this event would be the essence of "appointment television" for the people of the world.

I think we should also construct some of those quaint suburbs, villages, and towns that were set up in the ancient Nevada tests to demonstrate just what happens to a family sitting down for an evening snack when the sun is brought -- for one brief shining moment -- to the surface of the Earth. (Those of you who saw the opening scenes of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull probably got some laughs out of this stuff, but it is not really a laughing matter, is it?)

I know that there will be an army of Environmentalists around the world that will bitch and moan about the "harm to the environment" from setting off a single nuclear device in the atmosphere. Those same people need to contemplate instead the "harm to the environment" that comes from setting off several hundred or several thousand of these devices in one very bad afternoon. They need to, for one brief and shining moment, sit down and shut up!

Then there will be those who will carp about "The Test Ban Treaty." They need to take a chill pill, lie down and think of England... or Cleveland... or Tel Aviv... or Tehran.

I can assure you that having the entire world tune in for "The Live Demo" -- and the whole world will tune in -- shall give the entire planet pause. It's not enough for humans to be told about nukes. Every so often, we need to see to believe.

Let's touch off a nuke for world peace next year on August 6. It will be a fitting memorial to Hiroshima. Nothing else we can do will have quite the same... impact.


Posted by Vanderleun Aug 6, 2016 12:36 PM | Comments (89)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Black Hole of San Francisco

Homeless_Depot.jpg"These days, the streets of San Francisco resemble the streets of Calcutta." -- Cinnamon Stillwell "Homeless by the bay"

San Francisco, America's top open-air exhibit of failed social policies, never fails to illuminate the lies of social utopianism. Although large sections of this city still retain their charm at a distance -- the swooping helicopter pan shot in from the Golden Gate; the brightly painted Cable Car cresting against sunset -- most soon lose all charm in close-up. Instead, strolling through this city has become like taking a long walk through an endless parking lot at The Homeless Depot.

Scene: A clear and crisp dawn in a small side street near Laguna and Hayes. Plantings in all the window boxes on fussily painted facades. A few very small well-kept front yards. Clean curtained windows. All in all a pretty and quiet moment in the city's morning.

Then, between two of the cars on the street and a bulging shopping cart on the curb, I notice a man who has obviously slept rough for at least 200 consecutive days. He is, like some haggard Tai-Chi dancer, turning in a slow pirouette and gazing intently at the ground. Then he lowers himself delicately down into a squat between an Audi and an SUV.

Seeing no real reason not to stroll past, I do and see that the man, pants to his ankles, is slowly relieving himself onto the curb. I note that he has no plastic bag which dog owners use to deposit the deposit. I was to see this behavior twice more in a single day in San Francisco.

And I was in the better neighborhoods.

In the course of a random walk of four hours through the most touristed sections of the San Francisco, this scene was only the most unhappily memorable of a series of disturbing snapshots. Perhaps they only disturbed me because they were playing out against the postcards of my memories of San Francisco during the six years I had lived and worked there in the early 70s; against even deeper images of the city in the Summer of 1968.

Against memory any present day moment usually pales as nostalgia takes its toll. Knowing the nostalgia effect you are prepared, at the least, to be disappointed. Feeling that the past is preferable to the present is a common human instinct. Revisiting old haunts you're prepared to be disturbed. After all, you've read and heard about the degradation of San Francisco for a long time. That said, there's nothing like a few people crapping on the sidewalk to remind you that the San Francisco of the present is probably past redemption absent another earthquake.

The extent to which the homeless, the hard-core unemployed, the drunk and the addicted, the whores of all three sexes, and battalions of shabby panhandlers infest San Francisco is something to bring even the most hard-core liberal from elsewhere up short. For decades myriad policies and millions man-years of effort funded with untold millions have only created a free-crap zone.

That and extreme compassion fatigue.

Strolling San Francisco past the blanket wrapped souls that sleep upright in bus shelters, past the ad-hoc shanty towns of clustered shopping carts, past lone men swaddled in sleeping bags on a stretch of stained concrete with only a fence and a warning between them and a few meager blades of grass; all this gives one a deep sense of unease and unmitigated tragedy after the 20th exposure. After the 50th exposure these human disaster zones just fade into the background body count, one more item of the city's detritus -

  • the sudden sirens and worried whoop of ambulances caught in traffic,
  • the litter shuffled about in the sidewalk's grime by the wind,
  • the hysterical graffiti of ranting political spite
  • the crass billboard ads and signs announcing yet another source of 24 hour lap dancing,
  • the corner gangs of schizophrenic pan handlers,
  • the doorway leather queens touting afternoon sling sex in the Castro.

All just part of San Francisco's rich tapestry of diversification through stupefaction.

Seeing so many driven so low -- and this in what still passes as "the better neighborhoods" -- you have to wonder what happened to, and what is still happening to, the many millions of public funds being compulsively shoved at this problem. Where have the money, the time, and the good intentions all gone?

The best that can be said is that the limitless toleration of homelessness has provided lifetime employment in various government and private agencies for those who would otherwise be part of the problem they have sworn to solve. Although it is commonly preached that poverty creates homelessness, it is also as correct to say that agencies set up to combat homelessness have a deep and abiding interest in preserving it. This interest and these agencies are now such a permanent feature of our government that there is virtually no chance of disbanding or eliminating them. Ever. The best that can be done is to slow, if possible, the growth of their funding since increased funding primarily swells the size of their employee pool and thus perpetuates and enhances their power.

A cynical person might believe that HISF ( "Homeless Industry of San Francisco)", which recently merged with the Free Schizophrenics Movement (FSM), exists not to curtail suffering but to relentlessly expand its scope. After all, were the number of the homeless to actually diminish in San Francisco, the number of those serving the insatiable needs of this group would also be expected to fall.

A cynical person could believe that an institutionalized, unionized group with excellent benefits and a fine pension plan would never knowingly do anything that would lower its customer base. Indeed, it would be much more likely to make the description of its customer increasingly complex so that ever more people would be discovered to be lacking in basic social services.

A cynical person could believe that the industry's customer base in San Francisco was booming. Booming to the extent that this year, and the next, and the years that come after the years after, the nation, state and city will all require more and more money from working citizens to continue rather than solve homelessness.

But I am not that cynical person. At least not today. I see hope in the small things, the little signs on the streets of San Francisco that not all the homeless wish to suck on the city tit forever; that some of them still possess the classic American entrepreneurial spirit.

Example: At night on the same day as above. I am walking down Laguna Street towards Hayes with an old friend. We have just been to a party and to drinks after and are feeling very in charge of the night. As we walk down the block I can see we are coming up on a parking lot behind a chain-link, razor-wire capped fence. I notice something odd in the fence.

When we get up to it I can see it is a used -- very used -- fishing rod of uncertain vintage and battered aspect. Instead of fishing line, rough brown twine comes up through the line loops on the rod and dangles down from the tip about 11 feet above the sidewalk. On the end of the twine, is a used -- very used -- large Starbucks coffee cup. The twine is very carefully woven into the lip of the cup. On the cup itself a grimy 3x5 card is taped. Printed on the card in hasty letters is the word "Please."

That's it. Just hanging there in the middle of the block panhandling for its owner well out of standard panhandling hours. We glance inside and it's working. There's about three dollars in change at the bottom.

Cynical men would have emptied it out to feed the parking meters for their Escalades. Not having Escalades we just chipped in and strolled on by.

Still, it was nice to know that somewhere in the vast and increasing army of the homeless now occupying The Streets of San Francisco was at least one soul who pushed aside total dependency and chose, instead, innovation in his or her chosen field of endeavor.

You'd think that the vast apparatus that exists to keep people from begging on the street could learn a bit about begging from this constituent. But then again, why should they? Getting more money to do less from San Franciscans these days is like shooting fish in a barrel; a large barrel and a lot of very fat-headed fish.

Bonus link: A tour of 16 Crappy Places -Mapping San Francisco's homeless haunts

Bonus bumper strip solution to problem:

It's a joke.... I think.

Posted by Vanderleun Aug 5, 2016 12:26 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Something Parable: Bob Dylan: All Along The Watchtower, Explored

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 5, 2016 11:44 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Breaking News: Bikers for Hillary are on their way to Philly

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 5, 2016 8:13 AM | Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"‘The key is in the window, the key is in the sunlight at the window"

The First Photograph:


Taken in 1826, "View from the Window at Le Gras" is the world's first photograph

View from the Window at Le Gras is a heliographic image and the oldest surviving camera photograph. It was created by Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827 at Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, France, and shows parts of the buildings and surrounding countryside of his estate, Le Gras, as seen from a high window.
Niépce captured the scene with a camera obscura focused onto a 16.2 cm × 20.2 cm (6.4 in × 8.0 in) pewter plate thinly coated with Bitumen of Judea, a naturally occurring asphalt. The bitumen hardened in the brightly lit areas, but in the dimly lit areas it remained soluble and could be washed away with a mixture of oil of lavender and white petroleum.

A very long exposure in the camera was required. Sunlight strikes the buildings on opposite sides, suggesting an exposure that lasted about eight hours, which has become the traditional estimate. A researcher who studied Niépce’s notes and recreated his processes found that the exposure must have continued for several days.

Nearly 200 years and trillions of photos later, at the nano-instant it was taken, this was The Last Photograph:


‘The key is in the window, the key is in the sunlight at the window"

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 4, 2016 3:23 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
Honest Trailers - The Bourne Trilogy

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 4, 2016 8:20 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Donald, You Ignorant Slut: Joe Bob Briggs Writes the Best All-Purpose Trump Article Yet


NEW YORK—All over America IKEA futons are groaning with the restless insomnia of journalists—tossing, turning, cursing the impotence of their melatonin capsules—burdened with the future of the Republic. Long nights of torment, and then . . .

Morning resolve! Before they’ve even microwaved their second Jimmy Dean Sausage Sandwich, they know that this will be the day of reckoning. They will fire up the Kia Sedona and take the long way to work, giving them more time to think about the epic 1,500 words that will make the difference between chaos and civilization.
Yes, they tell their wives, It’s time for my “Donald Trump is a Dickwad” column.
Let me make it clear here that I’m not talking about lesbian-rights vegans who organize fair-trade coffee boycotts at Maxwell House and agitate for medical marijuana in The Nation. Nor am I thinking of tweed-jacketed professors of sociology at Montana State submitting articles to the Journal of Spanish-American Diacritical Marks. Think-tank analysts at the Institute for Pan-Arab Non-Alignment are most certainly churning out white papers on why Donald Trump is a dangerous threat to the Maghreb treaty on fish hatcheries, but I’m not discussing them either. I’m not talking about intellectuals or activists or experts.
No. I’m talking about the guy who enrolled at McNeese State in the nineties and fell into deep reverence for Professor Rusty Naugahyde, the legendary teacher whose Newswriting 312 workshop was almost as inspirational as Lou “The News Is Sacred” Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Our starry-eyed undergraduate buys a safari jacket, takes an oath of objectivity and resolves never to be a member of a political party. After that it takes years of struggle to become the lead Metro columnist at the Lotus Tree, Kansas, Daily Arapaho, days spent chronicling the brutal fights over county bond issues needed to repair the Lost Frenchman Bridge. But now that he’s a 32nd-degree Mason and chairman of the Little League committee on maintenance and parking, he knows that it’s his responsibility, and his privilege, to tell the people of Lotus Tree that Donald Trump is a narcissistic disagreeable soulless callous rude arrogant authoritarian vicious egotistical vulgar braggart and megalomaniac, possibly a lunatic, definitely a psychopath, perhaps a fascist....

[Much, much more. Read the whole thing at Taki's Magazine]

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2016 2:51 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Ronald Reagan!


by Gerard Allen Van der Ginsberg

Ronald Reagan! I'm with you in America
where you're more alive than I am

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you must feel transfigured

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you announce again a new morning

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you've strangled the last progressive
with the entrails of the last liberal

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you laugh at Harry Reid’s senate

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where we are great citizens of the same Resurrected Republic

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where your sudden appearance above the Interstate
is reported with fear or joy on every web site of the Internet

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where the Constitution is read aloud and squashes
the worms in the White House

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where we drink the fine summer wine of Liberty

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you midwife a new birth of freedom

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where your mere name makes progressives scream
in straightjackets and fill up their drool cups

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you announce the American soul is immortal
and has never yet melted

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where the traitors in the Congress are consumed
in a refining fire

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where the LORD will not suffer
the souls of the righteous to famish

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where you will split the heavens above Washington
and resurrect the living human Jesus from the
secular tomb

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where there are three hundred million sane citizens
all together singing the final stanza
of The Battle Hymn of the Republic

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where we embrace the United States under
our flag, the stars of the United States that shine all
night and won't let us sleep in our dream

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
where we wake up luminous and transformed from the coma
of socialism, our states’ stars beautiful
in spacious skies above our fruited plains,
as diamond-armored angelic guardians of the last best hope of Earth
O liberated legions run outside O starry
spangled shock of freedom the eternal war is
won O victory where the memory of the just is blessed:
but the name of the wicked shall rot

Ronald Reagan, I'm with you in America
in my visions you stride back from a seachange
on the highway across America glowing luminous
our founders’ vision confirmed by God’s holy angels
to the door of my bungalow in the Northwestern night

This concludes the epic poem of GROWL!. The previous two sections are:



Posted by Vanderleun Aug 2, 2016 11:28 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Gearhead Heaven: A Flathead V-8 Rebuild


The Shade Tree Mechanic is not extinct. He's moved inside and gotten an air-conditioned shop with serious power tools.


Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 2, 2016 9:31 AM | Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Regime Change in America: The Jacobins Call Out "Death to the Ancien Regime"


The Ancien Régime

The tumbrils creak in worn grooves
Along the roads of slate,
Retracing gutted years of sand
Whose distance storms debate.

Their passengers stand fixed as stone
While faces cheer from snow.
The blade awaits it's midday meal,
When above becomes below.

Innovations carved from clouds
Give despair and dance new measures.
The blade reflects its evening meal
When kings slake lower pleasures.

Arrived at Now they gaze at mist
Where granite horses roam.
Their schedules as fixed as dark.
Their future -- structured foam.

The head within the basket sees
Vast parliaments of sky.
The ears hear but the fading surf
As the past gone years drift by.

"They don't trust their leaders. The anger would fall greatly with regime change.
It wouldn't end until problems get solved, but the public doesn't want to swap a Democrat for a Republican, they want actual regime change, which would require firing people down to mid-level bureaucrats and major media outlets. Imagine a major news organization having to fire most of their reporters because they don't know anyone who is in power in DC, and the people in power don't like them and refuse to talk to them. Then you have an idea of the level of regime change required. This isn't a solution, but a lot of the anger would go away." Unorthodoxy: They Still Don't Get It

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 1, 2016 1:21 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Alan Jacobs' boilerplate letter to social media services


I don't think Alan would take it amiss if you used this form letter for your own enjoyment. I do.


Someone has signed up for your service using my email address. (And, interestingly, using this name.) Please delete my email address from your database.

The email I got welcoming me to your service came from a no-reply address, so I had to go to your website and dig around until I found a contact form. I see that you require me to give you my name as well as my email address, so you're demanding that I tell you things about myself I’d rather you not know because you aren't smart enough, or don't care enough, to include one simple step in your sign-up process: Confirm that this is your email address.

This neglect is both discourteous and stupid. It’s discourteous because it effectively allows anyone who wants to spam someone else to use your service as a quick-and-easy tool for doing so. It’s stupid because then anyone so victimized will tag anything that comes from you as spam, which will eventually lead to your whole company being identified as a spammer. You’ll all be sitting around in the office saying, between chugs of Soylent, “We keep ending up in Gmail's spam filters, what’s up with that? Those idiots.”

So, again, please delete my email address from your database. And please stop being a rude dumbass, like all the other rude dumbasses to whom I have to send this message, more frequently than most people would believe.

Most sincerely yours,

my - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis

Posted by gerardvanderleun Aug 1, 2016 9:33 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
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