Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

Intellectually Insane

Earth Hour: Click to Fade


[Sigh: It's that time again. The global dementia continues. The good news is that most of the Earth missed it this time around as the boredom increases.]

The Eiffel Tower before and during Earth Hour in Paris, France on March 28, 2009.

It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.

-- Robert Frost, "Once By The Pacific"

In 1914 Sir Edward Grey said to a friend one evening just before the outbreak of the First World War, as he watched the lights being lit on the street below his office: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

In that instance, it was the Great War that loomed. Now the Great Forgetting looms and, from time to time, it washes across the world. "Earth Hour" is such a dark moment as millions either choose to, or thanks to their compliant or complacent local governments suffer through, an hour in the dark.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 25, 2017 11:17 PM |  Comments (40)  | QuickLink: Permalink
All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace


Now once again serious people,

if you consider Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Steven Hawking serious, are saying that the ideas can have consequences. Morality is suddenly a key concern of artificial intelligence research, not a mental disease affecting bigoted white males. Mike Loukides and Ben Lorica astutely observe that "most fears of a super-intelligent AI aren’t really fears of a machine we neither know or understand; they are fears about human nature at its worst, coupled with unlimited power. We don’t imagine a machine that thinks thoughts we can’t comprehend; we imagine an unbeatable Hitler or Stalin, whose thoughts we do comprehend. Our fears are essentially human fears: fears of omnipotent machines acting like humans."Who 'ya gonna call? | PJ Media


Posted by gerardvanderleun at Jul 6, 2016 9:30 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Intellectual Insanity

-- Alexander Boot

Via HappyAcres

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 5, 2016 12:14 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The True Tale of Buying a Knife in China


"I decided to buy a chopping knife, because cutting vegetables should be enjoyable, so I went to Carrefour across the street from campus. Carrefour is like a French version of Walmart that carries basically everything. In my Carrefour they sell clothing, backpacks, bikes, groceries of all kinds, rice cookers and other home appliances, dishes, beauty products, home and automobile cleaning products, and more.

"They do not sell knives, as I found out. Following some stabbings last decade, and in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics, knife sales in China began to be restricted. As far as I’ve found, there’s no place in the central city to buy a big, sharp knife. I had to go to IKEA on the south side to find one.

"We - luckily I had a Chinese-speaking friend with me - found the knives in a locked glass case on the wall after slowly traversing the whole IKEA pathway to the market hall. We spoke to a salesperson and told her which one we wanted, and she brought us to a computer, where she entered my passport number and phone number. We then waited for about 15 minutes while they printed a paper with my information along with the knife’s. To actually get the knife, we had to take that paper to the cashier, pay, and then go to another counter off to the side, where they brought the knife out to us." -- The True Tale of Buying a Knife in China - Underlines

Knife legislation in China

Posted by gerardvanderleun at Dec 28, 2015 11:51 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
You will be very, very sorry if you actually watch the hidden video. I know I am.

As John Farrier says at Neatorama: "There is little information available about this video,

presumably because everyone associated with it has attempted to destroy all evidence of it, then changed their identities, and disappeared. But I surmise that during the 1990s, there was a direct-to-video production company called Mystic Fire Video. According to co-founder Sheldon Rochlin, it was "very concerned with the transformation of consciousness, not only through spiritual teaching but through art, music, poetry and film."
If you are stupid enough to click the link please do not operate heavy machinery while watching.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 5, 2014 8:11 PM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Passover Syndrome’s most prominent behavioral feature consists of whites projecting historical blame onto other whites and hoping that nonwhites will see them as not-so-white for doing so.
What drives this syndrome is the delusion that collective historical ethnic guilt is a real thing rather than a pseudo-religious abstraction. Passover Syndrome’s sufferers tend to believe that all whites, by dint of skin color alone, are indelibly stained with guilt for unsurpassed historical atrocities and that their debt to nonwhites won’t be repaid until the very concept of “whiteness” ceases to exist—if not white people themselves. -- Diagnosing “Passover Syndrome” Among White Liberals - Taki's Magazine

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 12, 2011 8:57 AM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Scoundrel Time: Palin, “I don’t think there’s anything private in our family now.”

News outlets to scan Palin emails, post them in public archive | Poynter.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 7, 2011 9:25 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
"Nothing Says Prick Like a Prius:" Free Bumpersticker for the Sane

This item was first published in 2007. Since then the Pricks of Prius have just gotten more obnoxious. Case in point:


More proof that you never have an RPG when you really need one.

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 28, 2011 4:17 PM |  Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Roots of the Democrat Party


Flyer from the Democrats for the election of 1864

Posted by Vanderleun at May 11, 2010 10:34 AM |  Comments (13)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Climate Control Made Stupid: More Pyramids Now!


As the religion of warming implodes Greens need to reach back to more ancient attempts at terraforming. Here's one with a lot of potential as proposed in Modern SCIENCE Predicts Made-to-Order Weather in 1934.

This has the dual advantage of combining a tomb with terraforming:

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 22, 2010 12:18 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Puzzled over health care? Ask Lenin's question, "Who -- Whom?"

Like you, I tire of the tendentious bullshit swirling about health care these days. The subject has become like a media-powered Sawsall being plunged into my eyes at every click on the great wheel of the web.

Gleaming in the current center of "the converstation" (dispicable term, what?) is the breathless contention some people think is an argument: "Why these Democrats and assorted Obamallationists can't even explain what is in it!"

Bullshit. Of course they can explain what is in it. They wrote it. They simply don't dare to do so. It would blow the gaff. Wide-open and to smithereens.

To know what's in the health-care bill, just take a lesson from that kindly old mass-murderer Lenin. It's a simple case of "Who -- Whom?" A classic as explained here from when Time was a magazine and not a lump of irrelevant woodpulp:

Marxism was posited on the ideas of a single absolute truth, the predestined victory of the cause, and the fallibility and expendability of the individual. Therefore it lent itself to the suppression of dissenters and the extermination of opponents. Lenin, with his knack for hortatory pungency, reduced the past and future alike to two pronouns and a question mark: "Who—whom?" No verb was necessary. It meant who would prevail over whom? And the question was largely rhetorical, implying that the answer was never in doubt. Lenin and those who followed him would prevail over "them," whoever they were. -- The Specter and the Struggle - TIME -- Jan. 04, 1982
"Who—whom?" Who shall be forced to give up the health care that they like (most Americans), and whom shall receive health care they (supposedly) ain't got -- for free -- at a cost to everyone else of trillions in dollars and immeasurable quantities of freedom and privacy and security.

Who (shall give)? You and hundreds of millions of others. Anyone who has a job, or makes things, or owns things that can be taxed. And then have a fee for this or that levied (for the common good). And then taxed again.

Whom (shall receive)? The poor shall be marched to the front of the line; their ragamuffin children with protruding bellies on their shoulders for the photo-op. But right behind them will come.... the slackers, the lazy, the whacked-out, the grifters, the hustlers, the useless, the career recipients of endless government hand-jobs, the hard-core unemployable, the 17% of crack whores that do not work for the government, and a few million others that form the hard, adamantine core of Obama's and the Democrats' aptly named "base."

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs," is what's going on here. Except this time the add-on is "Even if you don't need it or want it, because little Susie the crack whore does. P.S. We're gonna slip in some language to pay for her abortion too, just because it will piss you off."

That's the bottom line and that's all it is. Little wonder they don't dare explain it, but I for one wish they'd cut the crap for once. It really is getting hard to breathe. If not, maybe we can at least get an industrial sized bullshit snorkel out of the deal. We'll need it.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 24, 2009 10:37 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Dear Professor Gates, Watch and learn how not to get your ass kicked by the police!

Chris Rock explains it all for you. Pay attention. There will be a test, you intellectually insane moron.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 24, 2009 2:24 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Hitler finds out about EPCOT

Just when you think they can't possibly squeeze more laughs out of the Hitler clip....

VIA: Another great roundup at The Anchoress

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 27, 2009 8:59 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
New Solution to Global Warming: Kill Your Children

evilchild.jpgWe regretfully announce the arrival of 8,000 tons of CO2, via
Allison Elizabeth
May 15, 2000
6 pounds, 12 ounces
Kay, Chris and Will Calloway

If you doubt that the Global Warming Cult is warming itself up to "crimes against humanity" consider the latest 'original contribution to knowledge' from a barren intellectual:

Paul Murtaugh, a statistician at Corvallis' Oregon State University, claims that our carbon legacy isn't just limited to our own emissions, but 50% of our children's (The other parent gets the other 50%). And 25% of their children's, and so on, and so on. He arrived at this estimate using math. -- Mad Science: Your Child Causes Global Warming
He arrived at this estimate using math. Science at its best. The spirit of "Watch Mr. Wizard" personified.

Seems to me the responsible thing to do now is to 1) not have children and, 2) if you have had some, kill them. Grandchildren too. You do want to save the planet, don't you?

This grant-grubbing 'perfesser' has come a long way from his stunningly ignored papers such as Selective predation by Neomysis mercedis [Opossum Shrimp] in Lake Washington from 1981. His more recent effort in 2003,

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 17, 2009 7:16 PM |  Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Half-Baked Bambuzling


  • The Big O promised that "There will be bambuzooling!" and he was right! Obama Gets Bambu-zled VIA Animal
    In what can be considered the final death blow to counterculture, a prominent rolling paper company that caters to the unskilled smoker who doesn't care about thick paper and too much glue, has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against an obscure apparel company for this obvious Obama t-shirt parody. They're claiming the brand will be exposed to "to criticism and scorn," since some might make an association between pot smoking, Bambu, and the President-elect.
    Who could possibly be into smoking, dope, message t-shirts and supporting Obama at the same time?

    UPDATE: Special nostalgic look back at the Campaign That Was. Ah, those were the days, my friend. We thought they'd never end.

    "Barack Obama: There Will Be Bamboozling"

    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 16, 2008 9:38 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
  • O-Zoned: The Secret Obama Sign (Beats "I'm with Stupid")


    Every time you think, well, this has got to be the bottom circle of the Obama Nut Roasting Inferno, the ground just falls away below your feet and you know there are miles to fall before you sleep. Today's chapter is the New Obama Salute Movement from some ad agency that wants to get in on the vast branding opportunities implicit in an Obama administration:

    Posted by Vanderleun at Aug 7, 2008 11:14 PM |  Comments (14)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Students Protest! Demanding More Discipline!

    What do we want? No violence! When do we want it? NOW!

    How bad is it in the nation's schools? It is this bad:

    Totem Middle School students protest lax rules

    Everett WA:Totem Middle Schoolers call discipline weak, unfair. About 200 students walked out of classes on Wednesday, saying they often feel unsafe and want harsher penalties for drugs and fighting.

    Tap... Tap.... Tap.... Tap.... sigh...

    OK. Let's review.

    After decades of "improvement" ... after decades of pumping more and more money into "fixing" the schools ... after decades of giving the Teachers Unions pretty much anything their little hearts desire ... after decades of catering to the least little desire for self-esteem... after decades of requiring less and less actual achievement ... after

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 7, 2008 3:09 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Candles to Gun Fights

    After the predictable killings comes the predictable vigil. Effectiveness? Zero.

    They had candles. They had prayers. They had tears. They had everything they needed except the means to defend themselves.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 15, 2008 9:27 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Obama: The Sorcerer's Method Behind the Madness

    obamababes.jpg "Come on home, girl,"
    He said with a smile
    "You don't have to love me yet,
    Let's get high awhile.
    But try to understand,
    Try to understand,
    Try, try, try to understand
    I'm a magic man."
    -- Heart

    "In savage society there is commonly to be found in addition what we may call public magic, that is, sorcery practised for the benefit of the whole community. Wherever ceremonies of this sort are observed for the common good, it is obvious that the magician ceases to be merely a private practitioner and becomes to some extent a public functionary.

    "The development of such a class of functionaries is of great importance for the political as well as the religious evolution of society. For when the welfare of the tribe is supposed to depend on the performance of these magical rites, the magician rises into a position of much influence and repute, and may readily acquire the rank and authority of a chief or king.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 12, 2008 9:49 PM |  Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Big Brother Goes "Hands On"

    Another step towards the totally surveilled society... will arrive soon -- for your own good, of course. It is always "for your own good" except when it is "for the children."

    Robert and Andrew Munro at Duke University in South Carolina, US, say it is possible to increase [the frequency of hand washing by restaurant workers] by ensuring that washroom facilities, such as sinks and towels, are fitted with RFID card readers.

    If healthcare workers are carrying RFID tags the number of times they wash their hands can be monitored.

    Keeping a tally would make it possible to reward or punish workers according to their compliance with the hand-washing regulations, and that should improve hygiene and reduce the rate of hospital-acquired infection, say the inventors.

    Now I hate contaminated restaurant food as much as the next person, but this sort of monitoring gives me the creeps. Especially the "rewards and punishment" part of the equation. If experience is any guide there will be plenty of punishment and damn few rewards.

    Back when the seatbelt argument was going on, those who objected to it said it would lead to government intruding in your bedroom. Most people thought this was too far-fetched to credit. But here we are decades later and you can bet your biffy that handwashing monitors in restaurants for the staff are just a question of time. For the public good and all that. And after, well, why not install them in the home. After all, are your hands clean enough to hug your kids? Are your kid's hand clean enough to hug you? Shouldn't there be something in your home that enables your government to help you with these questions? No? What's the matter with you? Do it for the children.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 8, 2008 4:12 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Al Gore as the Powerpoint Jesus
    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 19, 2007 10:07 AM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Global Warming Fear? Less Than Zero

    Global Warming Mug When you pour in a hot beverage,
    the mug heats up and the oceans begin to rise...
    Land mass disappears before your very eyes!

    To responsibly recycle Glenn Reynolds on the issue: "I'll believe global warming is a crisis when the people who tell me it's a crisis start behaving like it is a crisis." Alas for poor politicians who are working tirelessly to suck billions and trillions out of the world's piggy bank in the coming decades, Iowans care, well, less than nothing.

    Global warming ranked at the bottom in the Post's poll of Democratic voters in Iowa who were asked, "What is the single most important issue in your choice for the Democratic candidate for president?"

    Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 30, 2007 9:30 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    I Was A Craigslist Woman Seeking Men

    Our Bizarro Brides -- Craigslist Personals' Ad of the Moment


    In a "measured" response to this ad relentlessly seeking perfection in "Women Seeking Men" -- Your best behavior is in the beginning - 32 -- we read this takeoff on it: Your absolute perfection is only the beginning. I'll take it from there - 32.....

    You might want me but you can't have me because I am unobtainable and cannot be satisfied with anything less that a perfection I can shape in my own image. Yes, I am a mirror addict, but tarry bit while I blow you away with my ineffable essence.

    I'm totally busy with a socialist circle of friends, training my dog to lick my feet, working long hours to accomplish little, going to shows (art, music, poetry slams/theater, and other second rate narcissist crapola that passes for the performing arts in this second level city) and recuperating with my weekly reading/cooking shows/football games on my large screen HDTV which cost me a lot on the Mastercard but I'm paying off as I can.

    So, you aren't going to just meet me accidentally because God is merciful. You might glimpse me around town and we might even chat, should you remind me of myself, but then I'll be off again before you ever get my number much less the ineffable whiff of my perfection.

    And I want to meet you. I really do. Because I know that you are just what the doctor ordered. Because I haven't had it in a way that makes my eyes explode in so long that the Sahara Desert is damp compared to me. I don't need you for your money or your connections, only for your slavish adoration and your throbbing unit. You don't need me to dress you in my clothes (size 10) or mommy you with my mommyness. (but I'm more than happy to help)

    On a deeper level I know you are a person who appreciates his existence and what is good and beautiful especially since you don't have me making your life a living hell. You understand I'm trying to do as much as I can with a limited amount of time on the planet and a much more limited amount of good sense, but an unlimited ego that comes only to those who are now among "the formerly cute." You don't hold it against me, but I certainly wish you would if it is wood.

    Once you meet me and get to know me, you know I'm the one. You know I am the one with whom your first and last thought should be, "FLEE!" Even when my best friend who is a model is nearby, it's about us and you are into me while she just has to lie beside us, paint her toenails, and wait her turn. (Besides, she tattles and then you're toast anyway; unless I can get seconds.)

    You truly like bonfires on the beach with wine and cheese or beer and small puppy dogs turning on a spit. You don't complain about the cold because, well, I'm right there and you know an ice maiden when you see one, so it could be worse. With me you should dress in layers and bring extra blankets even if we're going to Phoenix in July.

    You've probably been married or engaged and know egomaniac women like me first hand. You know how much it sucks to lose people you once loved and trusted. So let me be the second, third, or even fourth. But you are an optimist and have learned some valuable lessons. Your glass is half-full and you'd better drink it down down since mine is empty and I'm still thirsty.

    You want a relationship with a sane woman. I don't have to talk you into it nor, really, do I have to be it. You pick up the phone after our 8th bankrupting date to say "Hi, I know you have a busy week ahead but I'm thinking of you and can't wait to see you pick up a check for a change."

    You hate excuses as much as I do so you'll get none from me if I just blow you off without blowing you off.

    The reason you are quite educated is due to the insatiable foolishness of hanging out with intellectually insane women like me. This translates into great sex (you can wait a *little* while... five years or $50,000 in date expenses, whichever comes first.) as we both plumb the depths of our sexual imaginations and I plug in and introduce you to my little friend, "The Cast Iron Intruder." This will make eventual procreation much more interesting, assuming the state will reinstate my breeding license and give my back my previous kids from their foster homes. You think twins are cute and scary simultaneously. You are right and I should know because I am the evil one.

    Now that the hormones have done their work, I'm an attractive woman, 5'6.5", green eyes, Nordic features-the girl-troll next door. I like imported Italian brands of shoes and bondage equipment and fleece. I ride my bicycle like an obese Lance Armstrong and drive a European automobile much like Adolph Hitler did. I love views of the dungeon and cherish mine. I'm loyal and wickedly humorous and edgy. So is my collection of Ginzu knives. I speak a few languages poorly, am well-traveled in those places in the world where you can rent small men and children, and know my way around a whine list, as you can see here. I dance like Elaine Benes in that Seinfeld episode, so beware of up tempo music. I am proficient on the tuba.

    Not looking for casual-please don't reply if you are. I'm looking for a committed man. Or, if you aren't, you will be soon. Please be HWP, taller rather than shorter, 28-42, ethical, STD-free, smoke-free (controlled drinking ok -- because, hey, as you can see I'm not controlling in the slightest). Please be something that compliments the wonder that is me.

    It's kind of hard to find a boyfriend when you're me. Mostly because I am formerly cute but now certifiable. But I know you are out there and moving through life just as fast as I am and twice as insane. Now that you've got my number, I'd like your number. Let's just stop the world for a moment and really see what's in front of us. Someday, you'll look back on this and run into a tree. So, send a photo (No penis shots. I've several of my own here on the shelf already.) and spend a few moments telling me about why you are the ultimate in male perfection that only needs me to make you finally, firmly, and completely perfect at last.

    Peace. (I'm liberal, btw, so don't use the word "Republican" or the words "George Bush" in your reply lest I fall into a frothing fit of dementia and be unable to answer for six months when my brain returns from orbiting the moon).

    [Semi-Full Disclosure: Earlier today I posted the above item under the original title, Our Bizarro Brides -- Craigslist Personals' Ad of the Moment. The original copy below makes it seem that I "discovered" the ad mocking the ad. Untrue. I wrote the ad mocking the ad.


    Partly because I've been rained in on a weekend (again) and was too bored by Hillary, Obama, Rudy, George, MoveOn, and the rest of the runners in front of the dog sled to write about them. But partly because the peeved tone of the original ad (Your best behavior is in the beginning - 32) seemed to me so vain and preening it was begging to be mocked. Hence, I mocked it with Your absolute perfection is only the beginning. I'll take it from there - 32 . Indeed, I thought I mocked it pretty well. It seemed to me to be so over the top that it was obvious as satire.

    Was it? Not at all. It would seem that the men who troll Craigslist's "Women Seeking Men" (I only read it for the pictures of pear-shaped and pierced people.) simply cannot read, or , reading, cannot comprehend. So far, I've received 27 emails from men (and one "young fun couple in search of adventure!!" ) offering to date me or have me visit them at a nearby hotel or park (Cheapskates!).

    Some are hostile:

    No wonder you have jumped on the liberal bandwagon. Brain damage is a common symptom of liberalism or should I say socialism. Maybe u could find a guy in Russia to worship the ground you walk on.

    Some are self-promoting if a bit undecisive:

    As far as activities go I believe that I like doing pretty much everything, which means outdoor, indoor, travel, stay at home, relaxing/slow and also fast paced high energy type workouts or activities. Thinking of food, I would have to say my favorite type of food is either Chinese or Japanese food, and then coming in a close second would be Thai or Italian food.

    Some give you way too much information:

    So, why pick me? Well, your post made me think you want someone smart and adaptable, and that's me. If there's no connection on an intellectual level then what's the point? The brain really is the sexiest thing a man can bring to the table, I believe. And I know I can keep up. *grin*

    Some give you way, way, way too much information before lapsing into despair:

    6'-1" 185lbs, 33 waist, 7.5c hz eyes, s/p hair, 45 yr old, bi male, multi cummer….. Above is the most common questions asked here as far as I can tell, I have been searching here for some time and usually get the girls or couples sending me to their web site or cam site to chat after paying for it.

    Some are, ah, 'romantic:'

    Oh am I getting too mushy for you? Well chew on this. I really don't care what you believe, what you're into, or what you want to do. As long as we're doing and believing in it together. And we respect that of each other. But the word not spoken? See the other Craigslist category 'Misc Encounters'. See: 'Married. looking for more'. Bite me.

    But none seem to have gotten the fact that the whole thing was a put-on. If love is blind, then longing for love would seem to deaden about every sense and warning flare you can send up.

    The French have a saying -- Les chiens n'obtiennent pas des plaisanteries.-- which translates to "Dogs don't get jokes." Neither, it would seem, do lonely hearts. I think I'll just print my "ad" out and file it in the back pages of my copy of "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again." ]

    Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 16, 2007 2:56 PM |  Comments (16)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Supertooth and "Perversive" Technologies

    supertooth.jpgSoon the tune "I've Got You Under My Skin" may be more than just a silly little love song.

    Yesterday author Robert Fulghum said good-bye to his trusty old back molar and prepared to say hello to "a new solid gold and porcelain tooth on the titanium post - like threading a wing-nut on a screw. In addition, this week's special offer is the free installation of a tiny light that will turn on every time you open your mouth. The tooth also receives satellite radio signals and will have a built-in GPS locator. It comes with an FCC license. The materials are virtually indestructible." (Robert Fulghum)

    Of course, I thought he was just making a humorous point about the increasing trend towards "perversive" technology in our time. Less than 30 seconds with one of the more pervasive and perversive technologies, Google, soon brought me to my senses.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 10, 2007 5:34 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The World We Live In Today:

    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 19, 2006 5:08 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
    I have seen your future, Andrew, it is murder

    The progressively more twisted Andrew Sullivan continues his intellectually insane babblings between the postings of "reader email" that increasingly make up the bulk of his dubious output with: "This is a battle between barbarism and civilization. We cannot destroy our moral compass in order to save it."

    This is the oft repeated position of this preening popinjay. Oft repeated simply because he no longer has the intellectual oomph to do more than roll out of bed, onto the floor, and engage the keyboard

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 20, 2006 11:05 PM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Way We Were: Remembering the Real Nature of Journalism

    Crappy prizes for a crappy "profession"....

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 22, 2006 12:09 PM |  Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Dems Get Busy Breeding Little Republicans

    WITH EVERY PASSING DAY, I FIND IT HARD TO REMEMBER what I loved about the Democratic Party. I did, I think, love them once. I must have since I voted for them for most of my life in local, state and federal elections. Doorbelled. Demonstrated. Got "Clean for Gene." Voted the ticket.

    Now I just sit and watch a once great party dissolve like an Alka Seltzer in the ocean. The latest Mystery Play to be acted out in congress by what passes for the leadership of the Party is a classic case of "Send in the clowns." Censure out in the open and "impeachment" whispered in the wings. Kirkpatrick in today's Times gets close to the nub of the stupidity when he notes: "Republicans, worried that their conservative base lacks motivation to turn out for the fall elections, have found a new rallying cry in the dreams of liberals about censuring or impeaching President Bush."

    But Kirkpatrick doesn't really fathom the depths of this rumbling electoral disaster for the Democrats. He stops at the obvious observation that it will "energize" that ever-popular "base" journalists like to whip out as shorthand for "Everybody that will vote in one direction no matter what happens."

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 16, 2006 12:29 AM |  Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Oscar Encores

    With the THREE 6 MAFIA scheduled to serenade the clotted cream of our culture tonight at the Oscars with their moving ode that, as one critic delicately described it in the program for tonight's festivities, "... celebrates the innate difficulties of being a member of an eternally oppressed minority entombed within the adamantine walls of our hermetically sealed urban prisons and forced, forced, against his will and all that's holy, to require several females to offer up their bodies to the oppressor for small change, and to return that tainted lucre to him so that his life of oppression may continue for one more day in the plantation that is America (AKA: "You Know It's Hard Our Here for a Pimp")," one wonders exactly what songs THREE 6 MAFIA might be called upon to perform as an encore at the after parties should they win.

    Checking the group's impressive catalogue it could be one, or more, or perhaps all of the following masterpieces:

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 5, 2006 6:50 AM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Devolution: The Video

    " UNERTAN SYNDROME consists of quadrupedal gait, severe mental retardation, and primitive language. -- From NeuroQuantology: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Neuroscience and Quantum Physics

    Elsewhere: Human Hand-Walkers: Five Siblings Who Never Stood Up ; Claim of reversed human evolution provokes skepticism, interest ; "Backward evolution" spawns ape-like people (Oh, Dawkins where is thy sting? Oh, Darwin, where is thy victory? )

    Via The Artyom Reader

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 28, 2006 6:01 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Congressional Reinforcements Surge Into Iraq

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 21, 2006 9:15 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Embryo Eater and His Pals

    A HUMAN EMBRYO AND A CHICKEN EMBRYO leads P.Z. Myers, associate professor at the University of Minnesota to ask at Pharyngula which embryo has an immortal soul and propose "Let's have a taste test and find out."

    Besides taking away the current prize for tastelessness, the comments section affords you a great view of those people currently coming up very short in the soul category. Hard to tell if they are trying to curry favor with the "Professor" or with each other. All the same, it is an instructive look into some very stunted minds.

    Of course, it is all a joke. Isn't it?

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 23, 2006 10:57 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Note to Self

    Dear Self,
    In the future please remember that, while renting an entire season of "24" on DVD may well be a good idea, starting to watch it at 10:30 at night is not really a goo ide... plin... concep... Oh, forgit it.....

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 7, 2006 11:35 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Pix and Fonts Newspapers Won't Make It

    GLENN REYNOLDS points to the now common tale of newspaper circulation woes published today in the Wall Street Journal: "Newspaper Circulation Continues Decline, Forcing Tough Decisions." The article cites the new numbers coming out on the decline in newspapers circulations across the board that are dire enough to be called hemorrhagic. And while it is obvious that something has to be done to stop the bleeding, everything that is being done seems to open the vein wider.

    You know this if you still take and are paying at least passing attention to your local newspaper. It has, you've probably noticed, become more colorful and jazzy in the last few years. It has gone from "Just give the news please" to "Here's a lot of nifty color pictures, graphs, and charts and other PIX along with a fresh selection from our bottomless FONTS collection." I call this the PIX & FONTS DAILY -- a way of presenting something that is supposed to be a "paper on which is printed the news" as a dog's dinner of "Graphics Gone Wild." Pulling the news out of this fornication festival of visual white noise is becoming, really, far too much of a chore. And yet the papers, scared out of being themselves by television news, persist in trying to reinvent themselves as TV news that doesn't move and has no sound.

    The sections on pop culture have become popsier. The sections on the home have become homier. Large headlines have become larger, pull-quotes more numerous until they march across the page like some many infolet islands. If it has a comics sections more panels have come in and it has probably expanded to two pages jammed with gag strips but fewer continuing story strips. The front page, especially above the fold, has become not a quick scan of the important and interesting news of the day before, but a kind of carny display of fascinating featurettes you will find inside if you will only ("Please!") take the time to read them.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Apr 2, 2005 6:52 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Harvard Hall Pass

    FILE UNDER: "Every Dark Thought You Have About Academia is Correct"

    To [Roland G.] Fryer [ assistant professor of economics at Harvard ], the language of economics, a field proud of its coldblooded rationalism, is ideally suited for otherwise volatile conversations. ''I want to have an honest discussion about race in a time and a place where I don't think we can,'' he says. ''Blacks and whites are both to blame. As soon as you say something like, 'Well, could the black-white test-score gap be genetics?' everybody gets tensed up. But why shouldn't that be on the table?''

    Fryer said this several months ago, which was well before Lawrence H. Summers, the president of Harvard, wondered aloud if genetics might help explain why women are so underrepresented in the sciences. Summers -- who is also an economist and a fan of Fryer's work -- is still being punished for his musings. There is a key difference, of course: Summers is not a woman; Fryer is black. -- Toward a Unified Theory of Black America

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 1, 2005 5:59 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Last Words of Hunter S. Thompson

    IN A TAPE MADE SECRETLY YESTERDAY AFTERNOON BY DOUG WEED , ONE OF HUNTER THOMPSON'S "BEST FRIENDS," the tortured genius of American Journalism 1972-1973 can be heard saying quite distinctly, "What? What?! You're telling me that that chimp Bush smoked dope? That's it! I'm outta here!"

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 21, 2005 5:16 PM |  Comments (9)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Hunter Thompson: What A Man! Yeah, Right.


    I USED TO RUN A MAGAZINE IN SAN FRANCISCO BACK IN THE 70s. I ran it out of the basement of a firehouse in North Beach under the offices of Scanlan's magazine. Scanlan's was the scam magazine of Warren Hinckle, a man whose record of conning money out of Bay Area millionaires stood unbroken for decades until the arrival of David Talbot and Salon.

    Warren liked to drink and spend other people's money on himself and writers. Naturally such a honey pot was going to attract Hunter. He liked to drink and spend other people's money on articles he might or might not write. Sometimes the small staff working with me and the larger staff working the con with Warren would decide to drink together. We liked to drink at our bar of choice up at the end of the alley, Andre's. And so one night, when Hunter was in town, we all went up to Andre's for a non-stop night of drinking.

    Andre was an elegant French-Canadian who ran an elegant bar. He was old-school and could mix any drink anyone could name and it was always perfect. He was polished, polite, and a good listener. But he was a pro and usually knew when you'd had enough. Then he politely asked you to leave. If you ignored him, he had a very large mallet with a three foot handle behind the bar and you didn't ignore that.

    So there we were, eight or ten of us I think, hanging around and drinking with "Hunter S. Thompson, man!" And, as they would, Warren and Hunter got into a drinking contest -- sort of like watching a match between Ali and Frazier in their prime.

    It went on and on long past the point where I could or would keep up. It was getting late and Andre announced to the assembled cross-eyed drunks, that he was giving us our last round. The regulars took him at his word, but Hunter had to push the envelope. Except with Andre there was no envelope. Just a polite, "Non."

    The next thing I know there's a gun in Hunter's hand and three rounds into the ceiling of the bar. (Did I mention that there were apartments where people were sleeping above the bar?)

    Then I think there was a blur of Andre, in suit and tie, coming over the bar with the mallet. Then more blurs and everybody is out on the street dragging a semi-conscious Hunter back down the alley mumbling something about getting his gun back. After that I don't remember much and, frankly, haven't thought all that much about Thompson in the three decades that have intervened.

    This morning I think even less of him. Yesterday, it would seem, he left in the same way that he lived -- gun-crazy, thoughtless, self-obsessed and selfish to the last second. A gunshot suicide at home, leaving his wife and son to discover and deal with his ruined corpse and clean up the room. What a man.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 21, 2005 10:13 AM |  Comments (62)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    All You Really Need to Know About the LefTogs' Jeff Gannon Scalp Hunt in One Headline


    Isn't it amazing that the most ideologically purile LefTogs such as Kos and Atrios, in their thirst to have a scalp of their own to balance those of Rather and Jordan, would choose to out a gay man with a shaved head and a chest wax?

    Speaking of which, where's Andrew Sullivan on this issue?

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 19, 2005 10:54 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Only Sudoko You'll Ever Need

    SUDOKO A CHALLENGE? Not for RobotJohnny -- Sudoku: crosswords for boring people: "Sudoku books are licenses to print money. If publishers can rake

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 5, 2005 7:23 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Poochie Puffs

    MORE PROOF, if proof were needed, that we have way too much food in this country.

    Pointer from Synthstuff
    Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 2, 2005 11:16 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Dutch Do-It-Yourself Death-Cult Expands

    Why wait for the demented death-cult among your Muslim population to kill your citizens when you can just do it yourself?

    Dutch health officials are considering guidelines doctors could follow for euthanizing terminally ill people "with no free will," including children, the severely mentally retarded and patients in irreversible comas.

    Netherlands was the first country to legalize euthanasia -- ending the life of someone suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, with their approval....

    Eric Van Yijlick, project manager for SCEN (Support and Consultation on Euthanasia in the Netherlands), said the Groningen cases involving newborns should be referred to as "life ending without request" rather than euthanasia, because that term indicates the dying party has requested the procedure.
    -- - Dutch ponder 'mercy killing' rules - Dec 1, 2004

    Look hard at that last phrase, "life ending without request." Then try to comprehend that this is something that the "sensible" elements among the Dutch are actively discussing. Then understand the discussion go far enough and be sensible enough, "life ending without request" will be the policy and law of the state. Keep in mind that the Dutch are firmly opposed to the death penalty and still consider murder to be a crime.

    But "life ending without request" will be different?

    Really? How? If you are in a coma believed to be irreversible? If you are born with a birth defect that is "too much?" If you are retarded enough? Severely this year, not quite so severely next year, just a little retarded the year after that?

    I like the Dutch. I'm part Dutch myself. I have relatives in Holland. I've spent quite of bit of time there. All that and more. But looking at the way they seem to have been allowing their insane intellectuals to run their policies and shape their debate, it looks more and more like Holland is heading to one big Jonestown Kool-Aid Festival in the coming years.

    Too bad. They had some great cheese.
    HT: The Diplomad

    UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt goes deeper into the grisley meanings of this story inDeath by Committee: This is either a low point, or a point of no return. The establishment of "independent committees" to dispatch non-consenting humans is nothing but a

    Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 5, 2004 11:43 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    DNC Proposes New Presidential Seal

    "I have a plan!"

    First things first: [Kerry] would begin, if sworn into office, by going immediately to the United Nations to deliver a speech recasting American foreign policy. -- NYT 'Kerry's Undeclared War'
    "[Kerry] is the Ultimate Conservative - not in politics, mind you, but in temperament. He is the man of the status quo par excellence. Nothing changes or should change in the World According to Kerry. All this talk of nuance is simply a mask for stasis. These "subtleties" of thought are almost never original, merely idea rotation for its own sake, going nowhere and deliberately so. The real(motivating) idea is not to move. No wonder he is so appealing to the solons of the Mainstream Media who benefit so greatly by this status quo. The problem is - the status quo these days is death." -- Roger L. Simon
    Posted by Vanderleun at Oct 10, 2004 7:51 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    The Dead Imagination of the New York Times

    Once you understand the Pravadaesque Mindset that marks a New York Times lifer, the paper's capacity to irritate usually subsides into wry amusement. But every so often, the paper describes its own limited mindset so well it is hard to just let it slide. This morning's lead editorial on Russia is a textbook example of denial, incapacity and intellectual insanity: ( Deadly Stalemate in Chechnya ) It leads with:

    A staggering series of recent terrorist attacks rooted in the Chechen conflict have been both horrific and remote to most Americans. It's hard to imagine what the public reaction would have been here if terrorists had seized a school full of children, blown up two passenger planes and set off a deadly suicide bomb outside a subway station in Western Europe or Canada.
    It would be difficult for most honest reporters to write a more labored lead, but we aren't dealing with honest reporters here, we're dealing with a New York Times editorial.

    To begin with I suppose that if by 'most Americans' you mean those who do not read newspapers, fail to watch television or listen to the radio, who never collect information from the web, and live in caves under the rich soil of Amish country, it might be conceivable that those Americans feel a terrorist attack on children in a school to be a "remote" event -- but only the ones with no children. This sort of shrink-wrapping the vast 'unwashed-unreaders' of the New York Times is a hallmark of the Times editorial page. It is a kind of noblesse distress signal in which the self-appointed and unelected media government distinguishes itself from the rabble. It is unfortunate that, to judge by declining circulation and audience figures, the rabble is also distinguishing itself from the major media.

    After cleansing the room of the Yahoos, the editorial whips out the show stopper: "It's hard to imagine what the public reaction would have been here if terrorists had seized a school full of children, blown up two passenger planes and set off a deadly suicide bomb outside a subway station in Western Europe or Canada."

    Actually it is hard to imagine that there breathes an imagination so dead that it thinks the Chechen atrocity is hard to imagine at all. Imagining it doesn't take more than three brain cells. If, lacking those three brain cells, you still struggle to imagine it, the media is chock full of aids to you imagination in the form of pictures, first hand accounts, and video. Pick up any newspaper or turn on any news station on the radio and television. These aids will be along right after the extensive reports on William Clinton's Big Mac bill coming due. The Russian outrage is many things, but "hard to imagine" doesn't make the list.

    What is hard to imagine is that a newspaper which was once an American newspaper could write about such a thing happening and not reflect on what would happen if it the events actually took place in America. But that's what the Times does in the same sentence. Notice how the hypothetical 'happening' takes place "outside a subway station in Western Europe or Canada." A curious bit of localization for a newspaper whose offices are over a subway in New York City and only a few blocks from several schools.

    Somehow the terrorist killings at Russian schools cannot be imagined by the Times to happen in America, in New York City, where 3,000 died. No, they have to be moved off, placed at a politically correct distance. With that, I suppose, no avid reader of the New York Times will imagine that what was done to the children of Russians will ever, could ever, happen to their own children in the city of New York.

    If the readers could imagine such a thing then they certainly might not support the forthright Times editorial board in the one thing it wants out of the entire episode: "Unless Vladimir Putin opens up negotiations with legitimate Chechen leaders, Russia will not be the only nation to suffer more terrorist attacks."

    Ah, the New York Times wants -- after the slaughter of hundreds of children -- appeasement and negotiation. On a certain level, it is comforting to known that in a world awash in fear and fascism, the New York Times remains true to the obsessions of its publisher and his editors. What would it take for this to change? It is hard to imagine, but at some future dark day the sight of dozens of the children of New York's media elite lying shot and burned in body bags on the sidewalk outside their private schools in New York City might do the trick.

    I wonder whether, if that terrible day should ever come, the editorial staff of the New York Times will use copies of today's editorial to cover the faces of their own dead.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Sep 4, 2004 8:27 AM |  Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Scene from My Psychoanalyst's Secret Club
    "His writing is reverting to "politicus-restrictus", with an overburden of "terroristias-admonishmus." You recall how we dealt with his fixation on Howard Dean by having those friends of yours from the "Internet Police" show up on his doorstep?" (Dr. W smiles and nods) "Well, that worked for a while, and he looked like he was enjoying a wide range of subjects even more, in fact talking about getting back to his book. But, now..."

    Place: A small, private men's club in Laguna Beach, California. Situated behind the Zinc Cafe, it is accessible only by a secret door, and only with the correct password. In the true spirit of men's club's, the inside is discreetly lit, the walls lined with books, overstuffed chairs and hunting trophies abound, and smoking is of course allowed. The only nod to the present is that the menu leans towards sushi.

    Sitting in a chair is world famous and long rumored dead psychologist and science fiction author Dr. Sven Grepenstein. Dr. Grepenstein faded from public view in the mid 1990's when he independently decoded the signals from the SETI project, and discovered that ADD was a universally normal condition. Realizing that the rising occurrence of ADD in children was really nature's cruel joke of evolution, he faked his own death, and now lives off his savings and the tutoring a few aspiring psychologists.

    As Dr. Grepenstein smokes his pipe, his latest protege, young Dr. W., arrives and walks over to his chair.

    Dr. G. : "Ahhh! Young Dr. W.! How are ve doing today? Please, sit down. Sit down." A server appears at their table with Dr. W.'s usual drink, a Cadillac martini.

    Dr. G. : "So, young Dr. W., how do your studies go?"

    Dr. W.: "Oh, Dr G.". Long sigh. "I sometimes wonder if I have chosen the right field. Making progress is so slow sometimes."

    Dr. G. : Nods, "Yess, yess. The science of stealth psychology is so new and unproven, setbacks are wery common. But ve must not become discouraged. Tell me your troubles."

    Dr. W.: Sips his drink. Looks thoughtfully at the head of a wildebeest. Finally, he begins. "Dr. W, it's of course my promising patient, Mr. VDL." He has proven so difficult a case."

    Dr. G: Nodding, "Yesss, Yesss. Mr. V. A very interesting case. The writer who

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 31, 2004 10:42 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Dave Winer's Got Questions, We've Got Answers

    Deceiving Appearances:
    "I am not a Kapor, I am a Winer!"


    Behind the scenes in the press filing room at the DNC. There's a point to these pictures. How different do these people look from people you'd meet at a blogger's conference? They have a passion for information, take pride in their craft, are competitive, and are always trying to do better. They laugh at the same kinds of jokes we do. Like the bloggers at the DNC, these tend to be the good ones, the ones who care.
    To which a friend of ours, wise in the ways of the Web ( and with a good deal more web cred than Dave has even in his own imagination) replies via email:
    "Uh, no, Dave. These people bathe, know how to operate a toothbrush, can hold a 15-minute conversation without resorting to an acronym, and actually spend time writing about their assigment, as opposed to the 12 other bloggers they've meant today and their trip to the toilet.
    Did I say Winer was unconfined to a mental institution? I'm sorry, he is, indeed at the Democratic Convention in Boston. What happens after today is not known.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 29, 2004 2:47 PM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Killing Two of Your Three Triplets to Keep Your Lifestyle

    THE REALLY AWFUL THING ABOUT AMY RICHARDS TALE AS TOLD TO AMY BARRETT in Lives: When One Is Enough is that Amy Richards put her name on her shameful tale of selfishness.

    "I found out I was having triplets when I went to my obstetrician. The doctor had just finished telling me I was going to have a low-risk pregnancy. She turned on the sonogram machine. There was a long pause, then she said, ''Are you sure you didn't take fertility drugs?'' I said, ''I'm positive.'' Peter and I were very shocked when she said there were three. ''You know, this changes everything,'' she said. ''You'll have to see a specialist.''

    "My immediate response was, I cannot have triplets. I was not married; I lived in a five-story walk-up in the East Village; I worked freelance; and I would have to go on bed rest in March. I lecture at colleges, and my biggest months are March and April. I would have to give up my main income for the rest of the year. There was a part of me that was sure I could work around that. But it was a matter of, Do I want to?"

    The self-centered Ms. Richards who writes an advice column for, of course, and has published a book called: Manifesta: Young Women Feminism and the Future, elects to undergo what is coyly titled "selective reduction." This is a nice term for the killing of one or more multiple babies in the womb. As the article puts it, "The obstetrician wasn't an expert in selective reduction, but she knew that with a shot of potassium chloride you could eliminate one or more."

    When the time came to pick one, it was fraught with the pathetic little drama that so often overtakes these young members of our intellectual classes in urban areas:

    The specialist called me back at 10 p.m. I had just finished watching a Boston Pops concert at Symphony Hall. As everybody burst into applause, I watched my cellphone vibrating, grabbed it and ran into the lobby. He told me that he does a detailed sonogram before doing a selective reduction to see if one fetus appears to be struggling. The procedure involves a shot of potassium chloride to the heart of the fetus. There are a lot more complications when a woman carries multiples. And so, from the doctor's perspective, it's a matter of trying to save the woman this trauma. After I talked to the specialist, I told Peter, ''That's what I'm going to do.'' He replied, ''What we're going to do.'' He respected what I was going through, but at a certain point, he felt that this was a decision we were making. I agreed.
    Hard to imagine if "Peter the Boyfriend" would have had much of a future with this woman if he'd piped up to say, "Maybe it isn't such a good idea to kill off two of my children." He'd be history and Amy would be wrapped in the arms of the sisterhood at But then again, if he was that kind of a man he wouldn't be with this kind of a woman.

    The climax of this sordid little drama is delivered as casually as the rest of the entire episode:

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 18, 2004 4:09 PM |  Comments (22)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    August 31, 2005

  • BILLION DOLLAR WEB COMPANIES TO NEW ORLEANS, "DROP DEAD." InformationWeek, "Web Reacts To Hurricane Katrina" :

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 30, 2004 10:40 AM |  Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
  • August 30, 2005

  • A TALE OF TWO VIDEOS from Documentary blog's Lights Camera Protest

    Dorothy Spanos, of The Coffee Station, Crawford, Texas, doesn't mind the protesters at Camp Casey: "What makes America beautiful is that you have your freedom to speak your mind."

    Dennis Kind, Camp Casey organizer, speaks his mind: "Honestly, this [country] is Adolf Hitler's dream."

  • UNDERCOVER @ CAMP CASEY from The Buzz : So the cliche of the "hate America" crowd is indeed true. It is as if the protesters were intellectually bulimic, and having ingested all of the hate America bile, they looked forward to regurgitating it as a show of their steadfastness to their cause of peace and love.

    Cindy Sheehan spent most of her time huddled with VIPS in and air-conditioned trailer. When she ventured out it was for a scripted and often televised moment. She was always trailed by her media people, and they were quick to keep her on point. During one conversation I had with her I tried to ask her a pointed question about how much time she would actually be on the bus tour to Washington (I had discovered she would only be on the tour for two days, and would be away giving speeches during the rest of the trip ... and I wondered if she were being paid for these speeches) Her media person grabbed her arm and led her back to the trailer, and away from me. The message was protected. I was left standing there... alone, and feeling a little less secure about my status at Camp Casey.

    But just a few minutes later, she emerged from the trailer, smiling, and performing for the cameras. Like the chicken at the local carnival that plays tic tac toe, she eagerly performs for any microphone. She is relentless, and professional, well financed and on message. And the message is "All things bad are America's fault".

  • SALON'S PETER DAOU ATTEMPTS TO RECONCILE Left and Right with The Ethics of Iraq: Moral Strength vs. Material Strength, but he gets the premise wrong in the first sentence: "The unbridgeable divide between the left and right’s approach to Iraq and the WoT is, among other things, a disagreement over the value of moral and material strength, with the left placing a premium on the former and the right on the latter."

    Really? I haven't noticed the Left/Liberal side of the political equation holding the moral high ground in this debate. I'll grant you it is a position repeatedly asserted by the Left, but just saying it over and over doesn't make it so anymore than "Bush lied. People died." gives the lie to George Bush.

    The emptiness and vacuity of this false assertion of morality is on display daily at the Cindy Sheehan show in Crawford. The songs, the slogans, the agitprop that we've seen for nearly 40 years are there along with a false piety so tangible it rolls off of Cindy Sheehan faster than her crocodile tears. The whole dreary shebang is coming soon to a 60's Revival Tent show near you with the inevitable announcement of the dour bus tour. This is a good thing since it will allow a lot of Americans, if they care too, to expose themselves to this sorry spectacle.

    At the zenith of the hippie era in the late 60s early 70s there was a rock-n-roll bus tour ("Medicine Ball Caravan," if I recall correctly), that toured the country with the lead bus sporting a sign that said "We Have Come for Your Daughters." About right for that era. Since then we've seen the proliferation of bus tours of all kinds, lately for political purposes outside of an election year. The coming Sheehan bus tour will be the ne plus ultra of these traveling medicine shows, only this time the slogan will read "We have come for your country" since this is the avowed wish of this current devolved species of pacifist carping about a specious morality.

    Orwell, who had a lot of experience in the realm of the bizarre morality that aligns pacifists with fascists, said it best: "Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’." Like others who think of themselves as "reasonable and responsible" members of the Left, Daou simply cannot see, or will not see that to be anti-war is to be pro-totalitarianism. It's admirable to set out to "look at life from both sides now," as if we were still in the sylvan summer of The Long Peace, but it begs the question. And that question is, in the argot of my long-lost comrades of the 60s, "What side are you on?"

    Daou is far too quick to hand the Left the moral high ground and lumber the Right with 'Material Strength.' It is more and more evident that the classic split of Left vs. Right no longer holds water. It is actually a split between, with no political overtones implied, a question of right and wrong. And in this instance, the Left/Liberal grouping in America is becoming more wrong and hence more marginalized by the day. They thought they had a winning hand with Howard Dean. Went bust. Then they thought they could bluff their way in with John Kerry. Went bust. Now they think they have a winning hand with Cindy Sheehan's Morbid Mommy Review, but like all tapped-out card sharks they're just bluffing. When you get right down to it, hole cards of Joan Baez and Al Sharpton won't take you past the flop. Still, like every poker pigeon before them, I'm betting they'll go all in.

  • IN OTHER NEWS, MORE THAN HALF OF ALL AMERICANS support The Patriot Act. AP's weasel headline, Poll: Info Shrinks Patriot Act Support might make your think The Patriot Act's in some kind of deep trouble, but the story tells a slightly differnt story : "Fewer than half of those polled, 42 percent, are able to correctly identify the law's main purpose of enhancing surveillance procedures for federal law enforcement agencies, according to the poll conducted by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut. Almost two-thirds of all Americans, 64 percent, said they support the Patriot Act. But support dropped to 57 percent among those who could accurately identify the intent of the legislation."

    As is usual with these stock ham-handed bits of news "analysis," the last sentence tells you there's "a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points," which widens or narrows the range or both. The point seems to be that when respondents were fed details of the legislation, support dropped 8 percent, plus or minus 3.5 percent. Well, may the Baby Jesus open your mind and shut your mouth if you don't think knowing selected details of any omnibus item of Federal legislation doesn't shrink support every time whether its the Patriot Act or a new series of regulations for sexing chicken eggs. What's really interesting here isn't in the slant of the story, but in the numbers. Even knowing all the "bad mojo" of the Patriot Act still gives much more approval from the American people than you need to win the Presidency. Even with a "sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points."

  • MANY SAY THE SAME THING ABOUT THE BIBLE. Most scientific papers are probably wrong : "Most published scientific research papers are wrong, according to a new analysis. Assuming that the new paper is itself correct, problems with experimental and statistical methods mean that there is less than a 50% chance that the results of any randomly chosen scientific paper are true."

  • VILLAGE MOURNS. Judy Garland's Ruby Slippers Stolen From Museum : "The most recognizable pair of shoes in movie history – the sequined ruby slippers Dorothy wore in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ – was reported stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota on Sunday, August 28. " If these turn up on "Queer Eye for the Straight Girl," Hell will seem only semi-tropical

  • CAL ATTORNEY GENERAL IN THE TOILET.American Flag-in-Toilet Art Yanked from Exhibit in Department of Justice building in Sacramento. Attorney General Bill Lockyer puts it in his own office" Yes, you read that correctly. The chief law enforcement official in California now decorates his office with a painting of an American flag in a toilet. Lockyer had better hope Justice is blind along with everyone else who visits his office.

    Lockyear, elected in 2002, is naturally a Democrat and former teacher. When not contemplating the American flag in a toilet, he spends his time keeping voter initiatives off the ballot, and suing snack food manufacturers trying to get warning labels printed on bags of potato chips and french fries. What a man.

  • THE BOMBINGS WILL CONTINUE until tolerance improves! : "Indonesia’s president warned on Monday of possible terrorist attacks in the coming two months, and said he would also take steps to show the country was still a tolerant Muslim nation. "

  • BLAMING THE VICTIM. SOP AT THE NEW YORK TIMES. Nature's Revenge : "The damage caused by a hurricane like Katrina is almost always called a natural disaster. But it is also unnatural, in the sense that much of it is self-inflicted. New Orleans is no exception, and while the city has been spared a direct hit from the storm, its politicians and planners must rethink the bad policies that contributed to the city's vulnerability." Don't build the levees or the skyscrapers too tall, right?

  • SCHUMER UNCLEAR ON "STRATEGIC" Democrat urges use of oil stockpile in hurricane : "Schumer said... 'If there was ever a time for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to be tapped, it would be now.'" Chuck, the reason it's called "the Strategic Petroleum Reserve" is because it is to be withheld until the Nation's critical transportation and energy systems are at high risk. You know, like in the wake of an exchange of nuclear weapons between ________ and the United States. You don't just toss it out there because we think gas is too expensive. Not everything the Government can gets its hands on gets to be doled out like cheap necklaces at a New Orleans Mardi Gras.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 29, 2004 11:54 PM |  Comments (6)  | QuickLink: Permalink
  • Speaking of Using the Word "Traitor" as a Functional Part of the Conversation


    I USUALLY LIKE IT WHEN BIG MEDIA picks up on my ideas ( "Exactly when did we stop using the word 'traitor' as a functional part in the American conversation?" ) , but I have to admit I'm less that flattered when big media shows up in the form of Bill O'Reilly.

    At the risk of offending the easily offended, I admit that I can't stand to watch O'Reilly; not because I disagree with him, but because he is such a tool.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 23, 2004 7:56 AM |  Comments (11)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    Feedback's A Bitch

    .... or, as one of my emails said this morning, "Now, THIS is a good use of technology..."

    After Dave Winer killed off 3,000 blogs by taking them down and redirecting their urls to his own stumbling experiment in audioblogging... a NINE MINUTE JESUS WEPT DAVE WINER BLATHERFEST! *** , I saw it as just another in a long line of cries for help from Dave. And, since Dave's cries for help inevitably come to resemble a large carbuncle festering on your prefrontal lobes, I determined to avoid commenting and thus, hopefully, reduce the size of said carbuncle. .

    Still, like carbuncles, you just can't leave some things alone. Then again, what can one say above Uncle Dave that hasn't been said a million times before? Zero. Nada. Niente. Bubkis.

    Alas, as usual, I lack imagination. Fortunately, others do not. It only took a few days for the audio mixes to show up. : Daily Log: Dave Winer Remix Contest

    Yes, in audioblogging it is true that feedback's a bitch. The best example, so far, is Dan Dickinson's mini-masterpiece "I'm Sorry Dave Winer Remix."

    Another one is Brian Dear's People Just Love to Jump Up and Down.

    Heres my transcription which is itself a remix to the two remixes above:

    My feeling is that people just don't read these days...
    So if you want to present a subtle idea,
    that's just not a good way to do it....

    Formats and protocol is just a deadly combination for me....
    Formats and protocol is just a deadly combination for me....

    But what can I do for people...
    (I'm sorry)
    But what can I do for people...
    (I'm sorry)
    But what can I do for people...
    (I'm sorry)

    I understand that people
    Would like to have their site
    But I couldn't work that out....
    (I'm sorry)
    (I'm sorry)

    People just love to jump up and down
    And people just love to jump up and down
    And basically certain things happen
    And people will jump up and down
    And just accept that....

    It was very clear that like smoking cigarettes
    (Hack..... cough)
    I guess what I'm saying is

    Anyway so that's about it.
    That's about it
    That's about it
    That's about it

    Good night.

    Good night, Dave. Sweet Dreams.

    *** For the sake of your sanity, the admirable Jeneane Sessum has actually transcribed Winer's Lament.

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 17, 2004 9:57 AM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    It Takes A Village of Fanatics

    ORSON SCOTT CARD DISECTS HIS LOCAL NEWSPAPER and notices, surprise, why all the news bias just repeats itself:

    In every case of bias I just cited, the writers would almost certainly be outraged at my accusation that they were doing anything other than reporting the facts as clearly and fairly as possible.

    It doesn't occur to them that they are biased because they live in a box filled with people who share exactly the same bias.

    But that's how we human beings create our working definition of "sanity" -- someone who shares the same world view as his neighbors is "sane," and those who don"t are crazy.

    The Left-wing news media live in a tiny village of people who all think (or pretend to think) exactly alike. Therefore, to them any reporter or media outlet that rejects their premises must be insane or dishonest, and instead of seeking to refute them with actual evidence, they merely call them names and accuse them of venal motives....

    What makes the liberal bias in the mainstream media so pernicious is that they deny that they're biased and insist that their twisted version of events is "reality," and anyone who disagrees with them is either mentally or morally suspect.

    In other words, they're fanatics. And, like all good fanatics, they're utterly convinced that they're in sole possession of virtue and truth.

    -- From: The Fanatics Who Tell Us the News

    Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 7, 2004 9:33 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
    Lovecraft Family Circus

    More @ The Nameless Dread

    Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 28, 2004 4:41 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
    We'd Like to Thank All the Little People

    As we begin our second year here at American Digest, we looked about the charred wreckage of our first year and scrambled to find something that could be salvaged from the ruins.

    Fortunately, there was one thing which, in the heat and the whirl of the last year, had completely escaped our notice.

    We've become used to the deluge of awards and the kudos of our peers during the tumult of the great American realignment. Indeed, we've had to put in several extra trophy cases in the last year just to keep up with them. But we have to admit we did let one award slip by us a few months ago that we really should have mentioned.

    It was on a lackluster day here at American Digest headquarters last April when we accepted a collect call from the Academy of LiveJournal Studies. Imagine our surprise when a husky voice informed us that we had been designated at the "Official WebLog of the Internet" by a unanimous vote of every website known to Google, including the cached copies.

    Not being inclined to trumpet such an achievement, we let it go at the time and also declined to pay the $15,000 fee for a listing in all the major search engines that came with it.

    Still, the memory of the brief flutter we felt on that day came back to us this afternoon and we thought, "Why the Hell Not?"

    After all if Pentax, an otherwise also ran in the realms of photographic equipment can become "THE OFFICIAL DIGITAL CAMERA OF THE INTERNET" there's really no point in our hiding the fact that we have, for some time now, been "THE OFFICIAL WEBLOG OF THE INTERNET."

    Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 12, 2004 3:30 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
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