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"I used to be disgusted, now I find I am just amused."- Costello

gerardvanderleun : February 27, 15  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder:
One of the four beasts saying: "Come and see." And I saw.
And behold, a white horse."

"The Man Comes Around" is a song that I wrote, it's my song of the apocalypse, and I got the idea from a dream that I had — I dreamed I saw Queen Elizabeth. I dreamed I went in to Buckingham Palace, and there she sat on the floor. And she looked up at me and said, "Johnny Cash, you're like a thorn tree in a whirlwind." And I woke up, of course, and I thought, what could a dream like this mean? Thorn tree in a whirlwind? Well, I forgot about it for two or three years, but it kept haunting me, this dream. I kept thinking about it, how vivid it was, and then I thought, Maybe it's biblical. So I found it. Something about whirlwinds and thorn trees in the Bible. So from that, my song started and..." -- Johnny Cash
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gerardvanderleun : February 27, 15  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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With that wonderful dead crab and wet kelp flavor.

Giant Frozen Waves Infused with Ice Slowly Roll in off the Coast of NantucketEarlier this week photographer Jonathan Nimerfroh was walking along the coast of Nantucket when he noticed something odd about the waves crashing on shore. The high temperature was 19°F (-7.2°C) and while the waves weren’t completely frozen, they were thick with pieces of ice, much like the consistency of a Slurpee, or an slushy, or an ICEE, or whatever.

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gerardvanderleun : February 27, 15  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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San Francisco Debuts Human Waste Map What do you get when you visit San Francisco, the city with the highest tech and the lowest morals? If your answer is, "An online map showing block by block where the human excrement is", you'd be 100% correct! Every city has a crime map, showing block by block where crime is, but only San Francisco has a human waste map, showing block by block where to watch your step!
Catching up with me from years ago....
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San Francisco, the nation's leading open air exhibition of failed social policies, never fails to instruct one in the infinite disabilities of social utopianism. Although large sections of this city still retain their charm in the far or middle distance -- the swooping helicopter pan shot in from the Golden Gate; the brightly painted Cable Car cresting a backlit hilltop -- most soon lose all charm in close-up.

Example: A clear and crisp dawn in a small side street near Laguna and Hayes. Plantings in all the window boxes, well but not fussily painted facades. A few, very small, very 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 noticed a man who has obviously slept rough for at least 200 consecutive days turning in a slow pirouette and gazing intently at the ground. Then he lowered himself delicately down between an Audi and an SUV.

Seeing no real reason not to stroll on past, I did and noted that the man, pants to his ankles, was relieving himself. I was to see this behavior twice 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 city, this scene was only the most unhappily memorable of a serious of disturbing moments. Perhaps they only disturbed 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 would pale as nostalgia took its toll. You'd be prepared, at the least, to be disappointed since feeling that the past is preferable to the present is a common human instinct. What you're not prepared to be is disturbed but yet not shocked. After all, you've read and heard about it for years. No matter. The actual San Francisco of the present is a clear reminder that the rap is not the territory.

The extent to which the homeless, the hard-core unemployed, the drunk and the addicted, and general shabby personalities of all kinds are deployed about the city is something to bring even the most hard-core liberal from elsewhere up short. If the myriad policies and millions man-years of effort, coupled with untold billions of dollars in funding deployed in San Francisco over the last four decades have created the current visible result, something is seriously askew with the city's basic social engineering. It is as if the entire region has spent 40 years and 400 billion building a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge on Ocean Beach intending to span the Pacific. A good intention, but a city's gotta know its limitations.

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 they just fade into the background body count, one more item of the city's detritus -- the sudden sirens, the litter shuffled about by the wind, the hysterical graffiti and the crass billboard ads and signs announcing yet another source of 24 hour lap dancing, the pockets of schizophrenic pan handlers, the others. 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 billions of public funds being compulsively shoved at this problem. Where has the money and time and good intentions all gone.

The best that can be said is that it 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. In a way, although it is commonly thought 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 THISF ( "The Homeless Industry of San Francisco)", which recently merged with the Free Schizophrenics Movement (FSM), exists not to curtail suffering but to 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 would 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 would 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 the citizens to continue to not solve homelessness.

But I am not that cynical person. I see hope in the small things, the little signs on the street that not all the homeless wish to remain so; that some of them still possess the classic American entrepreneurial spirit.

Example: At night in the same day as dawn 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 pan handling 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.

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gerardvanderleun : February 27, 15  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

5-Minute Arguments

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“I have never seen a more sublime demonstration of the totalitarian mind, a mind which might be linked unto a system of gears where teeth have been filed off at random. Such snaggle-toothed thought machine, driven by a standard or even by a substandard libido, whirls with the jerky, noisy, gaudy pointlessness of a cuckoo clock in Hell.

The boss G-man concluded wrongly that there were no teeth on the gears in the mind of Jones. 'You're completely crazy,' he said.

Jones wasn't completely crazy. The dismaying thing about classic totalitarian mind is that any given gear, thought mutilated, will have at its circumference unbroken sequences of teeth that are immaculately maintained, that are exquisitely machined.

Hence the cuckoo clock in Hell - keeping perfect time for eight minutes and twenty-three seconds, jumping ahead fourteen minutes, keeping perfect time for six seconds, jumping ahead two seconds, keeping perfect time for two hours and one second, then jumping ahead a year.

The missing teeth, of course, are simple, obvious truths, truths available and comprehensible even to ten-year-olds, in most cases.

The wilful filling off a gear teeth, the wilful doing without certain obvious pieces of information -

That was how a household as contradictory as one composed of Jones, Father Keeley, Vice-Bundesfuehrer Krapptauer, and the Black Fuehrer could exist in relative harmony -

That was how my father-in-law could contain in one mind an indifference toward slave women and love for a a blue vase -

That was how Rudolf Hess, Commandant of Auschwitz, could alternate over the loudspeakers of Auschwitz great music and calls for corpse-carriers -

That was how Nazi Germany sense no important difference between civilization and hydrophobia -

That is the closest I can come to explaining the legions, the nations of lunatics I've seen in my time.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

gerardvanderleun : February 26, 15  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

InVerse

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I.

Her sinewed arms bend oars downstream,
Her belly taut against the eddied swirls
And shifting shoals of sand and silt.

Soft plash of water against the hull,
As, on the lift of wind and loft of wave,
Her legs push and her breasts swell

To the slow rotating stroke on stroke
That guides her craft past rocks and reeds
Where bighorns graze and beavers slap the pool.

Her hair, rayed out, enfolds the sun.
Her downed thighs surge and shift
To the tempo of the current's heart,

And her shoulders roll, her shoulders roll
The long blue oars through shafts of sun,
Through canyons carved from time.

II.

Unknowing, and yet knowing, I boarded her silver boat,
Armed with maps and memoirs,with the latest equipment;
With the whole weight of the world compressed into a sack.
And we cast off when the sun slid above the canyon's rim.

All day we slid past walls of slate, the hawk our only witness,
Past pages of the Book of Earth no living soul could hope to read.
I lay upon the cushioned deck, soothed by the lull and surge of rapids,
And watched her eyes become the stream, as time was silenced by her touch.

Her face, at first quite modern, changed; Diana, mistress of the moon,
Emerged to meet my gaze.The air grew still. A silken shawl
Seemed draped upon the river's skin.The sun breathed in and paused.

It was then her voice, a whisper across a glacier, moved within my mind,
And in that place, removed from time, this timeless tale she told....

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Vanderleun : February 26, 15  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

YOU don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly -- Tom's Aunt Polly, she is -- and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


"As it relates to the actual body of text during the time of publication, Mark Twain composed the story in pen on notepaper between 1876 and 1883. Paul Needham, who supervised the authentication of the manuscript for Sotheby's books and manuscripts department in New York in 1991, stated, "What you see is [Clemens'] attempt to move away from pure literary writing to dialect writing". For example, Twain revised the opening line of Huck Finn three times. He initially wrote, "You will not know about me", which he changed to, "You do not know about me", before settling on the final version, "You don't know about me, without you have read a book by the name of 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer'; but that ain't no matter."[14] The revisions also show how Twain reworked his material to strengthen the characters of Huck and Jim, as well as his sensitivity to the then-current debate over literacy and voting."

"Upon issue of the American edition in 1885 several libraries banned it from their shelves.[24] The early criticism focused on what was perceived as the book's crudeness. One incident was recounted in the newspaper, the Boston Transcript:


The Concord (Mass.) Public Library committee has decided to exclude Mark Twain's latest book from the library. One member of the committee says that, while he does not wish to call it immoral, he thinks it contains but little humor, and that of a very coarse type. He regards it as the veriest trash. The library and the other members of the committee entertain similar views, characterizing it as rough, coarse, and inelegant, dealing with a series of experiences not elevating, the whole book being more suited to the slums than to intelligent, respectable people."
Twain later remarked to his editor, "Apparently, the Concord library has condemned Huck as 'trash and only suitable for the slums.' This will sell us another twenty-five thousand copies for sure!"

gerardvanderleun : February 26, 15  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

If you focus you can follow. And it will stretch your mind in a good way.

Special added attraction: The Problems with Zero...

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gerardvanderleun : February 26, 15  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

"A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house."

HT: Morgan @ House of Eratosthenes

gerardvanderleun : February 25, 15  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Detail

Jan. 27, 1947. Where once the old one's shopped for their children's clothing.

"Kartch's, business on Main Street in Paterson, New Jersey. Interior, to rear." Witness to one of midcentury design's favorite mashups, the trapezoid and the amoeba. - Shorpy Historic Picture Archive

Full interior:

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gerardvanderleun : February 25, 15  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

American Studies

These panels taught me ... that the creative contextualization of a play like The Vagina Monologues can bring certain perspectives on important issues into a constructive and fruitful dialogue with the Catholic tradition. This is a good model for the future. Accordingly, I see no reason to prohibit performances of The Vagina Monologues on campus, and do not intend to do so. -- Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President, University of Notre Dame

LIKE THE DISTINGUISHED, BEFUDDLED, AND OUTFLANKED Father above, I too -- in a fit of "creative contextualization"-- seek to bring "certain perspectives on important issues into a constructive and fruitful dialogue" here at American Digest. To further that mission, I hope I won't be telling tales out of school if I reveal that, of late, a secret evening of drama has been taking place in numerous undisclosed locations about the nation. We are all aware of the unstoppable chunk of mummery and flummery known as The Vagina Monologues, but few know -- and few deserve to know -- about the blowback (so to speak) that is "The Dick Dialogues."

This play is usually performed on the down-low in the basements of sports bars, carefully darkened car-repair garages, and the deepest forest amphitheaters of the Bohemian Grove. Attendance is strictly male and strictly invitation-only since in many states the mere thought of giving a performance of "The Dick Dialogues" would constitute a hate-crime.

Modeled on the successful NPR series "Car Talk," a typical episode of "The Dick Dialogues" consists of two men, traditionally named "Plick" and "Plack," slumped in Lay-Z-Boys in a nondescript Rec Room. Here they field calls on a speaker phone from a series of male and female and neuter voices. The actors, clad in the traditional garb of jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps and army boots, respond to the questions on the spot during an extended half-time at a fantasy football league's Super Bowl. The cost of admission is a donation that is suggested to be equal to one month of the attendee's child support payment.

Spontaneous, unrehearsed, and always faintly pissed-off, the "Dialogues" continue to gather fans and acolytes in the secret Royal Order of Meese (Named after the Sainted Ed Meese, blessed be his Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.) in cities here and abroad wherever non-gelded males still are to be found -- either in captivity or free-ranging.

Last summer I attended a performance of the Dialogues in the greater Seattle area. At first it was to be performed at a used fishing boat warehouse down near the locks at Lake Union, but the proximity of the locks to the University of Washington and its vast stocks of neutered males made this a security risk. So it was moved to a secret location in the model rooms at a Renton superstore with the code name AEKI. While waiting for the show to start, early arrivals were entertained with classic skits such as "If You Really Loved Me, You'd Buy Me a House," "Darling, You'll Never Guess How Much I Saved Shopping Today," "Please Pay Off My Credit Cards Again," and "What the Frikin' Hell Are 'Window Treatments' Anyway?"

The performance began at midnight with sacred de-estrogenation rituals involving the burning of large numbers of cigars, the consumption of local malt beverages, and ten choruses of Kumbaya topped off with a coordinated group belch.

I am forbidden to disclose the full text of that evening's Dick Dialogues, but one particular exchange does stick in the mind. Halfway through the evening, the phone rang in the "Rec Room" and a reedy, frustrated female voice asked:

While we're on the topic of Dick use and abuse, I've recently returned my vintage Dick to the general Dick pool, but find I still need one from time to time for the small chores and larger tensions of my life. I'm reluctant to buy a new Dick outright in this market? Do you know where I can rent one? Or would leasing one be a better deal?

The evening's official Dick Dialoguers rolled their eyes, did a Jagermeister shot, popped open a Bud, took a big hit off Ghengis Bong and answered as follows:

Plick: "Lady, Dick rentals-- especially in Seattle and other major cities -- are chancy at best. While this was once a very dependable option, these days you need to know where and by whom your Dick has been rented in the past before you rent. Outside of the extremely high-end dicks that don't get a lot of traffic, like, say, the Paul Allen, rental dicks are rented to all sorts of people who tend, like bad horse trainers, to ride them hard and put them away wet."

Plack: "Yeah, and don't be taken in by all the propaganda coming from the big Dick rental firms, especially Hurts, about Pre-Owned Pre-Certified Dicks. Certification of safe rental dicks are extremely suspect these days, what with corruption being so rife in City agencies charged with certifying your that rental Dick is clean, responsive, fully fueled, and comes with a functional airbag."

Plick: "Right. I even advise that, should you decide to really blow some cash and rent the high performance dicks, you should deploy the airbag before starting it up."

Plack: "Even then, you have to bear in mind that certification is a flawed policy in any event. In this era of 'Don't ask. Don't tell.' full disclosure is a sometime thing.

Plick: "He's right. Your rental Dick can be certified in the morning after it is returned from, say, a fully fanatical fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton... "

Vanderleun : February 24, 15  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Explain to me, once again, the mystical allure of this "sport."


Love that "[Stay Safe]" at the end.

gerardvanderleun : February 23, 15  |  Your Say (14)  | PermaLink: Permalink

AKA 'The Compendium of Alcohol Ingredients and Processes'

Yeah. Right.

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gerardvanderleun : February 23, 15  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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From today's @NYDailyNews For real.

gerardvanderleun : February 23, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

"Identifying journalistic cliches has become a favorite Washington parlor game. But might it not also open a rare window onto the struggles of writers and editors trying to think outside the box?"

At first glance (or worse, “at first blush”)

As a nation (or worse, “as a society”)

Upon deeper reflection (why not reflect deeply from the start?)

Observers (unless referring to people actually sitting around watching something)

[Person] is not alone (from anecdote to generalization, we get it)

And [someone/something] is no exception

Pundits say

Critics say (or “critics are quick to point out”)

The American people (unless in a quote)

The narrative (unless referring to a style of writing)

Probe (an uncomfortable substitute for “investigation”)

Opens/offers a rare window (unless it is a real window that is in fact unusual)

Begs the question (unless used properly – and so rarely used properly that it’s not worth the trouble)

Be that as it may

If you will (actually, I won’t)

A cautionary tale

Cautiously optimistic (h/t @daviduberti)

Needless to say (then don’t say it)

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gerardvanderleun : February 23, 15  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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First Iwo Jima Flag Raising. Small flag carried ashore by the 2d Battalion, 28th Marines is planted atop Mount Suribachi at 1020, 23 February 1945

"The Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal was coming ashore on Iwo Jima at the moment when this flag went up. It was just a speck in the distance but he immediately recognised its symbolic significance, telling General Holland “Howlin’ Mad” Smith, who was accompanying him:

Holland, the raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years.
It was then decided that a larger, more visible, flag was needed on the summit. The occasion would be photographed not just by the Marines but by the international media as represented by the Associated Press. However the photographer, Joe Rosenthal, had not been especially well prepared for the event:
Out of the corner of my eye, I had seen the men start the flag up. I swung my camera and shot the scene. That is how the picture was taken, and when you take a picture like that, you don’t come away saying you got a great shot. You don’t know.
The photograph that he took has gone on to become probably the most reproduced photographic image in history. " -- WW2 Today

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gerardvanderleun : February 22, 15  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty." -- Avalon Project - Washington's Farewell Address 1796

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Vanderleun : February 22, 15  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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The Bible Isn'€™t a Self-Help Book, Despite What Your Megachurch Pastor Might Tell You Feel good! Be happy! Be nice!

There you go. I just summed up the message that millions of Christians will be hearing at the megachurches of Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and many others this weekend. If you were planning to go, now there’s no need.  You’re welcome. In fact, if you'€™re driving there and you see a "€œDon'€™t worry, be happy"€ bumper sticker on the back of someone'€™s minivan, you might as well turn around and head home. That'€™s about all you were going to hear when you got there anyway. Sure, they might come up with more compelling ways to communicate it, but in the end, when you dig past the charisma and the personality of the pastors who utter this gibberish, this is all you'€™re really left with. An episode of Barney. Syrup and sugar. A smile and a pat on the head. A self-help speech." -- Matt Walsh

15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

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26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

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gerardvanderleun : February 22, 15  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Nonsense:

"Moderate Muslim reformers have no such reality. There is no "peaceful" Islam to return to. Muslims who value modern notions of human rights and liberty must work counter to their prophet, they must, in fact, reject his example. They have no "Jesus" to follow. Their prophet is a barbaric sadist. Their early texts are a prescription for human rights abuses, for war, and for utter and total domination of others. There early deeds are conquest, pillage, and the subjugation of all their neighbours. Islam was born of war and violence. Since there is no peaceful Islam for reformers to go back to, it can be argued that truly devout Muslims are those we Westerners wrongly call radicals ( al quaida, ISIS), for they seek the supremacist Islam of Muhammad and are truly not radicals at all; while in reality the actual "radicals" are those who seek to reform Islam into something more compatible with Western ideals of liberty and freedom. Islam that conforms to Western notions of human liberty is radical; Islam that is violently supremacist is traditional." Celestial Junk: Why Moderate Muslims Have Such a Steep Hill to Climb

Case in Point: The Black Stone

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"Its softness and moisture were such that the sinner would never remove his mouth from it, which phenomenon made the Prophet declare it to be the covenant of Allah on earth." - Ibn Jubayr

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gerardvanderleun : February 21, 15  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Rudy Giuliani: In your heart you know he's right.

Megyn Kelly asked His Honor,

"Mr. Mayor, do you want to apologize for your comments?"

Rudy Giuliani replied:

"Not at all. I want to repeat it. The reality is from all that can see of this president, all that I’ve heard of him, he apologizes for America, he criticizes America. He talks about the crusades and how the Christians were barbarians, leaves out the second half of the sentence that the Muslims were barbarians also. He sees Christians slaughtered and doesn’t stand up and hold a press conference, although we hold a press conference for the situation in Ferguson. He sees Jews being killed for anti-Semitic reasons. Doesn’t stand up and hold a press conference. This is an American president I’ve never seen before." -- Don Surber: Libs who mock patriotism, shocked that Obama's is questioned

gerardvanderleun : February 21, 15  |  Your Say (17)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | c/o Lake Union Mail | 117 East Louisa, #380 | Seattle, WA 98102

Rock On

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Two hours east of Los Angeles, three hours west of Las Vegas,
and many miles from the nearest traffic light or roadside diner lies a single boulder in the Mojave Desert claimed to be the largest rock in the world—at least until 2000, when a large chunk broke off, neatly and without provocation. Now split in two, it is still called Giant Rock. Graffiti blackens the lower surface and ATVs roar nearby. There is an occasional tourist. CABINET // Mass Effect


We are a silly people ... a foolish people ...

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The dress that broke the Internet
A badly lit photograph of a $77 off-the-rack dress broke the Internet Friday, spawning arguments, memes and half-baked pseudo-scientific explanations over the viral frock's real colors. By some reckonings, Buzzfeed invented "viral," but its deputy news director, Jon Passatino, appeared truly surprised by just how many clicks the dress generated. He tweeted that it broke the site's traffic records, with more than 670,000 people viewing the post simultaneously at one point and garnering 16 million hits in six hours.


Here’s the job description:

Needed, a U.S. president able to confront a world in chaos,
rebuild shattered alliances, revive the country’s demoralized intelligence services and senior officer corps, manage foreign and domestic demands with a budget that will be drained for years by fantastically expensive debt servicing, and along the way restore public faith in an array of deeply politicized federal bureaucracies—Justice, HHS, EPA, Labor, Internal Revenue, the NLRB, FCC, EEOC, even the Federal Reserve. -- Captain America Won’t Save Us - WSJ


Bring On Your Censorship

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  • First of all, censorship is an admission that the official ideas are weak, and unable to survive scrutiny and opposition.
  • Second, it radicalizes moderates.
  • Third, it makes the official opinion organs less trustworthy, and less able to get accurate information about public opinion (because the information gathering methods are then impeded).
  • Fourth, it adds more risk and more reward to routing around the censorship.
  • Fifth, it creates an appearance of hypocrisy among liberals who have argued for untrammeled free speech for centuries.
  • Sixth, it creates a black market in samizdata, even for ordinary information.
-- - Henry Dampier


A Nokia 3310 if you must know. Pervert.

Woman gets mobile phone stuck in her vagina The 27-year-old had been using her Nokia 3310 to pleasure herself. But it slipped too far inside her and she was unable to remove it. When she realised it was stuck she had no choice but call her gynaecologist and say she had an emergency. While sat in the doctor's waiting room the woman's phone began to RING.

A serious invasion of Lebanon by ISIS

could unleash a bloodbath that makes the civil war in Syria look like a bar fight with pool sticks and beer mugs.
It would be tantamount to a Nazi invasion. Every family in Lebanon is armed to the gills thanks to the state being too weak and divided to provide basic security, but people anywhere in the world facing psychopathic mass-murderers will fight with kitchen knives and even their fingernails and teeth if they have to. ISIS' Next Target | World Affairs Journal


There is no arguing with the Culture of Death

beyond showing it is a form of psychopathology.
There can be no debate, and really it’s just a question of who has the power to get his way. Wolves eat sheep when there are no shepherds, and as Thomas More observed, sheep eat men when the atheists are in power. Pray for a slow death


Public schools and academia produce zombies

America today is increasingly anti-freedom, anti-truth, anti-ideas, anti-capitalsim – anti-reason.
A nation built on a morality of reason has all but abandoned its foundational principles. Public schools and academia produce zombies – goose-steppers like the Hitler Youth – who are militant and violent in their imposition of the leftist/Islamic agenda. And when they do it, they congratulate themselves about how they have stood up against “fascism” and “intolerance,” when the intolerant fascists are they themselves. Intellectually, young Americans are the most docile conformists, no matter how vocally and self-righteously they declare themselves free. They have accepted as dogma all the philosophical beliefs of their elders of the hard left without question or exploration. A continuing negation of life and self. Articles: The Poo Generation


You are watching entropy at work, witnessing the destruction of information and seeing disorder take over the world.

Since order and knowledge are expensive, what we call civilization essentially advances by remembering which wires go where. The innovation of political correctness however, holds that since all jumper
connections are equally valid, anything goes and one can even rearrange older wiring to suit aesthetic impulses. By declaring all cultures equal we open the doors to entropy. We may not notice the effect at first, because — to continue the computer example — there is still enough residual functionality in your machine to carry on.
By and by we disable the CD drive, the USB ports, then some of the keys in the keyboard. Then one day we pull out a really important jumper and the hard disk stops. But by then we cannot acknowledge the damage we’ve done since according to our progressive thinking we ought to have improved things. And this thought will still be in our minds as the blade of the machete slices off the hand we put out to ward the blow. The Trouble With Entropy | Belmont Club


Even Madonna understands

Muslims are crucifying Christians, lopping the hands off thieves, beheading Coptic Christians, tossing homosexuals off rooftops, burning people alive, gang-raping children, and worse -- and all our president can say is that Christians weren't nice in the Crusades a thousand years ago? Don Surber: Even Madonna understands

Frito Pie

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This Frito pie adapted from The Homesick Texan cookbook is a winner. Two pounds of ground beef, along with seasonings including cumin, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, and lime juice, make for a classic beef chili that is absolutely fantastic served on a bed of crunchy Fritos. Topped with sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped pickled jalapeno, and fresh diced tomatoes, this dish tastes just as good served in individual Frito bags for bowls as it does on a real plate. 11 Beef Recipes You Should Master: It’s What’s for Dinner - Food News -

Groupies, FanGirls, War Brides, Manson Chicks, Who Cares?: The ‘ISIS brides’ knew what they were doing. That’s the problem.

Yet to suggest, as Mr. Cameron also did, that these young women were “duped by a poisonous ideology” downplays the extent to which they likely were active participants in their own radicalization. By all accounts they got good grades—so much for the State Department’s plan to combat terrorism with better education—and one shouldn’t assume they’re stupid. They schemed effectively to raise the money for their journey. They also appear to have studied up on how to avoid looking suspicious during the trip. Britain’s Lost Girls - WSJ

Unfortunately, a more brutal, cruel, and anti-human government won World War II — the Soviet Union.

The United States at the time, and for a long time afterward, was substantially honeycombed with people who were either sympathetic to or reporting directly to the Soviet government.
One of the main effects of this is that the Western world, despite the collapse of the USSR and the implosion of its sphere of influence, came to resemble what conservatives of the earlier 20th century would readily recognize as a secular socialist state, with Christianity relegated to vestigial or subordinated status, the living faith reduced to a way to spend a Sunday, with sincere Christians repeatedly harried and legally attacked when trying to practice their beliefs in a sincere way. Better Dead Than Red - Henry Dampier


The Open House of (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM)

The Stupid. It Burns! 154 Church Street Open House is a safe space for
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality. Housing at Weslyan


Pediatrician Mike Ginsberg has had enough of the vaccine skeptics.

This Viral Pediatrician’s Anti-Vaxxer Rant is the Smackdown of the Year | John Hawkins' Right Wing News
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The Japanese: "Nuked Too Much or Not Enough?"

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Kagome Co's employee Shigenori Suzuki appears with the newly-developed 'Wearable Tomato' device for runners during its unveiling event ahead of the weekend's Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo February 19, 2015. The eight-kilo (17.6-pound) contraption fits on a runner like a rucksack. It can distribute a total of seven medium-sized tomatoes, one by one, at the click of a button and supplies the runner with much needed nutrients during a long jog or race..... - The Atlantic

Why did the Romans choose to entrust their health, wealth, and well-being to disembodied penises?

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Well, an impressive phallus was the chosen manifestation of the god Fascinus, a protector deity whose worship was entrusted to the vestal virgins.
The word “fascinate” derives from his name. In ancient times, it was believed that by distracting the Evil Eye with sexually explicit imagery, it would become “fascinated” and forget to look your way. Plutarch recorded that “the strange look of (amulets) attracts the gaze, so (the Eye) exerts less pressure upon its victim.” In other words, the Evil Eye is a dick, so the best way to fight it is with more dicks. Apotropaic Boners; or, How to Avoid the Evil Eye | The Hairpin


Australia's deadliest sniper, Ian Robertson, 'never did the arithmetic'

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At the end of a week, the Australians took the hill with a bayonet charge, led by a heroic figure called Len Opie, who took several strongholds single-handedly.
Robertson ran up to the enemy position he'd been shooting at earlier that day, and saw something he never forgot. Where he had been firing, there were 30 bodies. One morning's bloody work. "Just one morning," he repeats, shaking his head. "And I'd been there all week. I got a feeling of horror. I never did the arithmetic. I still don't want to." via reddit.com


"When I was young I wanted to prove"

"When I was young I wanted to prove that I was tougher than life. I was, but not, as it turns out, as relentless." -- mushroom's Comment on Random Kayak Karnage

"Then it is all mystery surrounded by yet more mystery...."

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His father was an anti-British, Muslim/Communist (a popular Third World ideological mix in the 1950s and 1960s).
After his Kenyan father abandoned the family, his mother (apparently, a rather strange drifter and a leftist) remarried to another Muslim--I don't know if she did, but she probably had to convert to Islam or at least pretend to do so. The new family moved from Hawaii to Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country. There Barrack Hussein Obama spent his formative years in a Muslim school, engaging in Muslim prayer rituals and learning about the religion, before returning to a highly dysfunctional leftist-tinged family situation that awaited him in Hawaii. Then it is all mystery surrounded by yet more mystery. As I noted over two years ago, We are not allowed to ask how this self-admittedly mediocre, drug-using student from a highly dysfunctional family, raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, managed to attend exclusive and expensive schools. The DiploMad 2.0: Obama, a Muslim Hater of America?


For Grateful Dead’s Final Shows, Long, Strange Trip Ends in Sea of Mail

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When the Grateful Dead announced it would mark its 50th anniversary in the summer of 2015 with three final performances, Deadheads took the old-school route,
flooding the band’s ticket service here with handcrafted requests rather than clicking online. Since the shows were announced a month ago more than 60,000 envelopes—many painstakingly adorned with the Dead’s typical psychedelic skulls and skeletons—have poured into a post office box in this picturesque Marin County spot a half-hour from the Golden Gate Bridge. The post office usually receives 7,000 letters a week. “It was a big shock to us,” Jim Harvey, the Stinson Beach postmaster, said of the vivid No. 10 envelopes festooned with Magic Marker sketches and fanciful lettering. “It indicated that the Grateful Dead culture is alive and well.” - -- WSJ


The Conqueror Worm

They soon drop their ropes and progress through a series of excavated tunnels and industrial caves, as if puzzling some new route into a pharaoh's tomb
—an Egyptology of urban infrastructure with its own secret chambers and traps. And, incredibly, they actually do it: they actually find the machine, realizing that the rumors were both true and strangely inaccurate. That is, the machine is even larger and more extraordinary than they'd been led to believe. It is a sprawling and tentacular presence that blocks the tunnel with the dark bulk of its old valves and pipework, like some ancient engine that wanted to hide itself in a cocoon of its own making. - - BLDGBLOG:


The administration’s plan to create a “free and open Internet”

means, as usual, the opposite of what it says.

Islam has no ethnicity;

it is not an Arab movement; it is a new people, but a people defined first of all by militancy.
The individual Muslim does not submit to traditional society as such, no matter how many elements of traditional society might be incorporated into Muslim doctrine; he submits to the movement of the tribes. That is why jihad is the most authentic form of Muslim religious activity, and why the blood rituals of Ashura the most authentic form of Muslim worship. Jihad and Self-Sacrifice in Islam | Spengler


If a politician and asked "Is Obama a Christian" answer like this:

Do I think Obama is a Christian? Do I look like his biographer?
Why not ask me his shoe size next? Maybe his preferred Sleep Number setting? Truly, sir, this line of questioning is the dumbest thing I’ve encountered since the last time I encountered a reporter from the Washington Post. Why in the name of all that is holy are you quizzing me about the president’s religion? Why don’t you quiz him? Oh, that’s right, you’re a groveling coward and a pathetic excuse for a journalist. You forget that you’re job is to get to the truth and enlighten the people, not to seek out Republicans for cheap gotcha moments. You, sir, are a fraud, a disgrace, and an embarrassment to what’s left of your dying profession. This president has prosecuted, spied on, and stifled the media, yet you still carry his water like a spineless vassal. Why don’t you shine his shoes while you’re at it? You should be questioning authority, not shielding it from scrutiny, you shameless hack. I will not legitimize you by answering this question. Instead, I will pray that the Holy Spirit sees fit to endow you with even a shred of integrity and courage, so that you might one day decide to do something that in some way resembles journalism. Until then, please leave my presence before I become physically ill. Thank you, sir, good night.
Scott Walker Was Too Nice. It’s Incredibly Obvious That Barack Obama Isn’t a Christian. Matt Walsh @ TheBlaze.com


How do you say, "Cthulhu"

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Another of these dreams he had used as a basis for ‘Pickman’s Model,’ while still another formed the nucleus for ‘The Call of Cthulhu.’
I referred to this story one day, pronouncing the strange word as though it were spelled K-Thool-Hoo. Lovecraft looked blank for an instant, then corrected me firmly, informing me that the word was pronounced, as nearly as I can put it down in print, K-Lütl-Lütl. I was surprised, and asked why he didn’t spell it that way if such was the pronunciation. He replied in all seriousness that the word was originated by the denizens of his story and that he had only recorded their own way of spelling it. Lovecraft’s own invention had assumed an actual reality in his mind. — Donald Wandrei, “Lovecraft in Providence,” When in Rome … – Futility Closet


How Slim Pickens replaced Peter Sellers as Major Kong in Dr. Strangelove

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When Pickens arrived at Shepperton, Kubrick sent Southern over to see he was all right.
The writer cheerfully cracked open a bottle of Wild Turkey to set the mood, and asked Pickens if he had settled into his hotel okay, and if everything was fine and dandy. Slim took a big slurp of his drink, wiped the back of his hand against and mouth and replied: “Wal, it’s like this ole friend of mine from Oklahoma says: Jest gimme a pair of loose-fittin’ shoes, some tight pussy, and a warm place to shit, an’ ah’ll be all right.” Too pinko for Dan or | Flashbak


Using a typewriter at times feels more like playing piano than jotting down notes,

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a percussive exercise in expressing thought that is both tortuous and rewarding.
Generations of thinkers have made typewriters their frenemies, and long before there were Gmail inboxes, print correspondence stacked up, some hastily written and impulsive on the steel gadgets. The QWERTY keyboard arrangement was supposedly developed to help alleviate the jamming of frequently conflicting keys. Later, a “shift” key was added, which earned its name by literally shifting a basket of keys to allow not just one, but two sets of letters to be utilized, and paving the way for digital shouting matches and accidentally endearing notes from relatives who still grapple with the dance between lower and upper cases. The Last of the Typewriter Men — Backchannel — Medium


KKK Wednesday was not to be

After the Krispy Kreme outlet advertised the event [“Krispy Kreme Klub Wednesday”] on Facebook, the blowback was fierce and shrill.
Krispy Kreme officials—including the visibly black Lafeea Watson—apologized “unreservedly” for the mishap, assuring customers that their donuts in no way endorse hooded terrorism, mob lynchings, or racial discrimination, and that people of all races, creeds, colors, sexual orientations, gender identities, and species identities are free to purchase their donuts and eat them at their convenience in the designated safe spaces of their choosing. The Week That Perished - Taki's Magazine


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