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"A life without tragedy would not be worth living."- Edward Abbey

Mesmerizing. Made by the Shire of Moora here's how they lay this road in the outback of Western Australia.

Finishing touches were recently accomplished on the $443,000 upgrade to Airstrip Road. Funded through Roads to Recovery Funding Program. A great job by our road works crew and Trevor Longman with the Shires drone for the footage. A total of 4.9kms were completed over a two day period.
I love work like this. I could watch it for hours.

gerardvanderleun : January 18, 17  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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I turn on the tube and what do I see
A whole lotta people cryin' "Don't blame me"
They point their crooked little fingers at everybody else
Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves
Victim of this, victim of that
Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat

Get over it
Get over it
All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it

You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash
But you might feel better if they gave you some cash
The more I think about it, Old Billy was right
Let's kill all the lawyers, kill 'em tonight
You don't want to work; you want to live like a king
But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing

Get over it
Get over it
If you don't want to play, then you might as well split
Get over it, get over it

It's like going to confession every time I hear you speak
You're makin' the most of your losin' streak
Some call it sick, but I call it weak
You drag it around like a ball and chain
You wallow in the guilt; you wallow in the pain
You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown
Got your mind in the gutter, bringin' everybody down
Complain about the present and blame it on the past
I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass

Get over it
Get over it
All this bitchin' and moanin' and pitchin' a fit
Get over it, get over it

gerardvanderleun : January 17, 17  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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aaleopard.jpg

At precisely 3 am on January 15, 2016, a leopard snapped a selfie.

The fact it did this is not unusual; wild animals take a surprising number of selfies. What’s noteworthy here is the leopard snapped its selfie in Mumbai.

The big cat was prowling Aarey Colony, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, when it tripped Nayan Khanolkar's camera. The cat looks almost as surprised as Khanolkhar was. “When I saw a picture of the leopard with a look of inquiry in the direction of the camera, I realized it was special,” he says.

Khanolkar, a native of Mumbai, began photographing urban leopards after one of the big cats killed a seven-year-old in 2013. He started in Aarey Colony, which sits at the edge of Sanjay Gandhi National Park -- which covers 40 square miles and hosts more than 1,000 species, including leopards. It isn’t unusual for them to explore adjacent neighborhoods.

Still, the animals are sly and surreptitious, and difficult to photograph. Khanolkar started his hunt by identifying several locations where leopards often pass through Aarey Colony. For this photo, he set up an infrared motion sensor in an alley, attached a Nikon D700 to a nearby building, and positioned three strobes at various points throughout the area. Khanolkar visited the spot every few days to check his trap. After four months of waiting, he captured a stunning leopard creeping through the scene.

Khanolkar hopes his photos prove leopards can live alongside humans, even in a thriving metropolis like Mumbai. After all, the leopards were there first.




UPDATE FROM 2014: The leopards of Mumbai: life and death among the city's 'living ghosts'

The leopards come close to human settlements looking for food, says SGNP wildlife researcher and conservationist Krishna Tiwari. Around 90% of their diet consists of dogs, rodents and wild boar, with stray dogs - attracted by the garbage dumped on the edge of the park - accounting for 60%.

Mumbai’s leopards have generally coexisted peacefully with their human neighbours. But a spate of attacks a decade ago reinforced the notion of them as bloodthirsty man-eaters. Of the 176 reported attacks between 1991 to 2013, 84 occurred between 2002 and 2004. Nine people were killed by leopards in the month of June 2004 alone.

During this period, leopards rescued from other parts of Maharashtra state were being released in the SGNP. The authorities thought the park would be a haven for leopards, but instead the relocated cats were forced to fight for territory and food. “What we ended up having in the park was stressed-out predators,” says Athreya. “Highly territorial animals who were displaced and had to find food in an unfamiliar place.”

After the relocations stopped in 2006, the number of attacks decreased dramatically and there were no fatalities or injuries from leopard attacks in the Mumbai suburbs from 2009-11. Yet, since November 2011 there have been six fatalities; the last three deaths were all reported in Aarey Milk Colony, to the south of the SGNP. The most recent was in October 2013, when a seven-year-old boy was killed.

Tiwari, who grew up in a residential building just outside the SGNP, has worked in the park for almost two decades. The encroachment of the city today is unparalleled, he says. Illegal settlements - including nagars (settlements by non-indigenous people), padas (tribal settlements) and high-rise buildings - continue to swell in and around the park. More than 54 illegal settlements and two villages - with a combined population in excess of 250,000 - are inside the park itself.

gerardvanderleun : January 17, 17  |  Your Say (40)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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aa-Cactus1549-Jeppesen.jpg

This repays closer study to appreciate what was done.

Several days ago, a pilot friend sent me an email with a most interesting attachment. It seems that Jeppesen, the universally well-known publisher of aeronautical charts, had produced a special edition approach chart, detailing the Hudson Miracle Approach, as performed by the crew of Cactus 1549, the US Airways A320 that famously and successfully ditched in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. -- Aircrew Buzz

Via with a big HT toTrue North:

gerardvanderleun : January 16, 17  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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afrozenfoz.jpg

It is block of ice containing a drowned fox who broke through the thin ice of the Danube river cold. Fridingen, southern Germany, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017

gerardvanderleun : January 15, 17  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Hummm, not a bad tune for a forthcoming inauguration.

I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh, we can beat them, forever and ever
Then we could be heroes, just for one day

David Bowie's 'Heroes': How Berlin Shaped 1977 Masterpiece

In what is arguably his greatest vocal performance, Bowie tells a story of determined lovers meeting in the shadow of the Berlin Wall (a scenario inspired, it turned out, by Bowie's glimpse of Tony Visconti and his girlfriend embracing). The narrative is borne by Robert Fripp's otherworldly guitar work. "I went into the large control room with a Les Paul around my neck and a large Marshall stack, and the guitar sound is produced simply by feedback," Fripp recalled. Eno claims he knew "Heroes" would be a great song "from the very first moment those guys started playing it." Recording his vocals after the music had been laid down, Bowie testified that "Fripp's plaintive guitar cry really triggered something emotive in me."

Tony Visconti rigged up a system, a creative misuse of gating that may be termed "multi-latch gating",

of three microphones to capture the vocal, with one microphone nine inches from Bowie, one 20 feet away and one 50 feet away. As the music built, Bowie was forced to sing at increased volumes to overcome the gating effect, leading to an increasingly unhinged vocal performance as the song progresses. Each microphone is muted as the next one is triggered. "Bowie's performance thus grows in intensity precisely as ever more ambience infuses his delivery until, by the final verse, he has to shout just to be heard....The more Bowie shouts just to be heard, in fact, the further back in the mix Visconti's multi-latch system pushes his vocal tracks, creating a stark metaphor for the situation of Bowie's doomed lovers". "Heroes" (David Bowie song) - Wikipedia

gerardvanderleun : January 13, 17  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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With the untimely death of my car last month, I have been forced to shop for a new (used) car. For me shopping for a car is the closest thing I've had to a near-death experience since my real-death experience five years ago.

Buying a car is a skill that I do not have, in a realm I know nothing about, and which requires more money than I can easily spend, in order to get a car that will not collapse, crawl to the side of the road, wheeze, steam, gurgle, gasp, and die.

In short, I have become very weary about everything in the car-buying process. Still, I must persevere and make this all an extended Zen moment.

And in the course of looking about with my Zen"I have to get a car"Mind I stumbled over this ad from Volvo. It didn't sell me on the over-rated and over-priced Volvo, but I think it will amuse you just the same.

gerardvanderleun : January 12, 17  |  Your Say (29)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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amindofwinter.jpg

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

gerardvanderleun : January 12, 17  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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5-Minute Arguments

Once upon a time I was, for many years, senior editor at Penthouse Magazine. Towards the end of my tenure there the owner, Bob Guccione, found himself -- as the direct result of decades of his foolish business decisions -- about to lose the magazine and all he had. Guccione had been a big winner in the game of life but he played the endgame poorly and was about to become a big loser. This was, as so many in his losing situation always think, not the result of his poor decisions but always because of outside forces and "enemies." With Bob there were always enemies. Everywhere.

As he felt his empire slipping away, as he saw his carefully crafted world evaporating around him, Guccione became willing to do anything. Towards the end this included commissioning, buying, laying out and publishing, long photo features of naked Penthouse Pets peeing on themselves and on others as a kind of kinky foreplay in a virtual fornication festival.

The Penthouse staff -- as no doubt many many readers -- were revolted by this turn of the screwings, but Guccione was convinced that he had some sort of insight into the secret sexual desires of Americans so he published these repulsive photo features over and over again. Result? He lost his magazines, his money, his house, and ended sunk deep into penury.

Having lived through that period of Penthouse insanity I thought I had finally seen the last of losers using urination to somehow, someway, claw their way back into the winner's circle.

Alas, just when I thought I was out, the perverted progressive losers among us pull me back in. It seems they are trying to make the world believe in Trump and "Peegate."

Really? This seems to be the way Peegate worked:

1) An international business man who has spent decades in the rough and tumble world of real estate development and skyscraper construction and may be presumed to have some sophistication when it comes to wheeling and dealing with governments of all sorts throughout the world travels to

2) Moscow. Not Moscow, Idaho, but Moscow in Russia. That would be Moscow the capital of one of the most paranoid and intrusive governments in the world (Both now and for the 19th and 20th centuries.). It is a society and a government with a long history of...

3) Secret police and the clandestine surveillance of its own citizens and visitors to the extent that the US was digging bugs out of the walls of its own embassy in Moscow for decades. When he gets to Moscow he stays at...

4) The Moscow Ritz-Carlton in the “Presidential Suite.” Since such accommodations are typically only taken by the filthy rich and/or representatives of foreign governments such as, say, presidents. And then this sophisticated and reasonably intelligent billionaire real estate developer...

5) Assumes that such a suite in such a capitol city of such a government has no surveillance equipment at all installed in its rooms, bathrooms, closets, and -- most importantly -- bedrooms. He then asks the hotel staff to show him...

6) The bed in which Barack Obama and his wife slept in when they were in this same “Presidential Suite.” Upon being show the bed our businessman then...

7) Contacts two high-dollar Russian hookers (who would never, ever, have anything to do with the KGB or other intelligence organs of Russia) and instructs them to.... Wait for it....

8) Urinate on said bed in order to give said businessman some odd sort of thrill and...

9) Said businessman remains utterly positive no agency of the Russian state is running cameras and microphones from every possible angle in the master bedroom in a “Presidential Suite” in a top hotel in the capitol of Russia and...

10) The two damp hookers will never, ever, reveal a word about their golden shower in the Ritz Carleton’s “Presidential Suite.”

While I know that millions of morons are nodding like the drinking bird over the glass in their deep and abiding belief in this overflowing crock, I still find it hard to believe that there are smart people out there that really are this stupid. But of course they are not that stupid, not the smart ones. Instead they know this is a crock and yet they find they must drink from it lest their #NeverTrump fantasy world dissolve.

Sad. Their repetitive manic desperation now has foam flecking their lips and jowls as they dive down deep, and not for the last time, into this fuming septic tank of their own political sewage. Without even a snorkel. If they ever get out of the tank they will need a long, long golden shower.

gerardvanderleun : January 11, 17  |  Your Say (18)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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[From My Back Pages]

It's Easter Sunday and we are two and a half years into the Iraq war. Good Friday evening was one of those nights when, in Southern California, the weather and the combine to create what are rightly called "balmy conditions." Balm, as in a kind of salve to the soul and the skin. The air is warm but not too warm. The skies are clear and the stars seem closer. My wife and I had just seen some current comic book confection at one of the 20 screen multiplexes that are so numerous in this area that you can see the same movies 15 times within a ten mile radius.

We sat by a large sandstone and marble fountain in the stone circle between the vast theater and the vaster parking lot. It was date night and the beginning of Spring Break for the schools of Orange County. All around us kids from 11 to 18 were whooping and laughing and forming clusters of friends. They were dressed according to the upscale Goth-Surfer/Balkan Refugee dress-code common to the kid culture here on the coast. Most were too young to have tattoos or piercing, but you could see some were already planning where those lifestyle statements would go. They were slim, energetic and heedless of the future. In short, they were just reasonably rich kids in America in 2003.

We are two and a half years into the war, but the war is not and will probably never be these kids' concern. It isn't even something they consider outside of, perhaps, a few classroom exercises of dubious intent or merit. There is no reason they should consider war, nor do I wish that upon them. It isn't, in any real sense, their war. War isn't being asked of us or the affluent kids of Orange County, nor does it seem likely to be. Besides, war isn't what they're into.

They're into creating their own layer on top of our culture of cool. Their variation would be, as these things are these days, a kind of slap-dash cultural collage. It would have a bit of the Beatnik, a Hint of the hippy, a shred of the Skateboarder, an ounce of Outlaw, a portion of Punk, a hunk of Hip-Hop, and, because we were on the California coast, more than a soupcon of Surfer. It would be a melange of the old and outdated that would assert it was unique and brand new. When they were done cooking up their "culture of cool" they would all agree among themselves, "Ain't it cool?"

Their parents, as parents now do, would sigh and pour another drink or drop another Ambien, and hope that their children would get through this phase without a drug arrest, a school suspension, a permanent piercing, or a lethal accident on the highways or in the ocean. It was all they asked of them. We were two and a half years into the war and none of the kids of Orange County would fight in it unless they asked for it. All of the parents in Orange County knew their kids were crazy. After all, they were teenagers in high school. Few thought any of their kids were that crazy.

Less than 20 miles south of where we sat last Friday, there was another kind of youth culture. I saw it for a day last January. You don't see it very often around here because it doesn't hang out at the malls. You can't see it from the freeways because its center is far back in the hills. It has its own malls and towns and sporting and educational complexes. It doesn't deal in "the culture of cool." It deals in the culture of carnage. It's the Camp Pendelton Marine Base.

There are many young people here, some the same age as the kids at the malls to the north, but none of these young people are kids. There's something about daily training with tanks, rifles, heavy machine guns and artillery that puts your childhood as far behind you as the kids at the malls have their childhood still in front of them. Instead of worrying if their dad is going to pay for the new mag-chrome rims for their Escalade, this youth culture worries about the state of readiness of their Apache attack helicopters.

The culture of Camp Pendelton isn't cool in the way political fundraisers today feature hip-hop groups and background music from the golden age of Fleetwood Mac. The culture here despises the culture of cool. The culture here is composed of deeper, abiding and more fundamental things: God, Country and The Corps. There are a lot of people in America and elsewhere that would like nothing better than to deconstruct this culture into oblivion, but, as courageous as they might be in proclaiming this elsewhere, they don't seem to be showing up at the gates or on the grounds of Camp Pendleton to press the issue. They wouldn't because, according to their worldview that arises from spending decades as adolescents, the Marines are just so uncool. Aren't they?

The young men and women that come to this culture do not, we are told, come in the main from the affluent suburbs of America. They come from the ghettos and the working class parts of the country. They come to get a leg up and a ticket out of their origins. They come because they see the Marines as either a career or a means to an education that leads to a career. Most have had little given to them because they come from families with little to give. Some come to prove themselves. Some come because members of their family came before. Some come because the only other path open to them led to a cell. Some even come out of a deep faith and a deeper sense of duty. Not all that come will be accepted, but none come because it is cool. Before they came they too were once kids in America. They got the big and repeated message that the military in America these days is uncool. They knew it was uncool and they came anyway. Some because they had no other choice. Many because they didn't care about being cool if being cool meant being a kid forever.

There aren't many rich Orange County mall rats that come to the Marines out of high school. Rich kids no longer have this calling. Instead they wander on in their extended childhood though college. Then they drift into the arena where all they will have will be a six-figure income and a few "great moments at work." They will learn, if they do not already know, how to play golf and how to drive themselves deep into "middle management." In time, they will form one or two or more families in one or two or more cities or suburbs. Their roots will be shallow, but they will take lots of interesting two-week vacations to comfortable enclaves in Europe or pacified third-world countries. Towards the end, they'll spend a lot on cruise ships where they will be treated 'like royalty.' They'll acquire real estate and hope for "a nice appreciation ride." They will have little to show that they existed but that will be all right. They will use the word 'cool' in conversation and evaluation well into their seventh decade. One of the central social anxieties of their lives will be being discovered being or doing something that their peers will say is "uncool."

In short, they will be such cool Americans that, two and a half years into a war, nothing will be asked of them. That would be, you see, very uncool.

Twenty miles south at Camp Pendelton, everything is being asked of the Americans there. It is asked for in Iraq daily and paid there daily. Our very cool media's job is clear. It is to tell us in hundreds of big and little ways daily of how uncool it is to ask everything of someone. Our media is very cool indeed.

Our media is by default not a "liberal media," but a melange of many businesses and institutions that are staffed by generations of the coolest of the cool in our aging culture of cool. Our media, as every MTV-addled mall rat learns by age 5, is where the really cool jobs are. Rock star or record producer, movie star or director, reporter, anchorman, editor, publisher, video-game designer, web-monkey, DJ, photographer, pundit, columnist -- the positions go on and on and everybody knows, EVERYBODY knows, that the media's where the cool people are.

If you have a job in the media you go to the cool parties. You live in the cool towns driving the cool cars. You eat the cool foods in the cool restaurants where everybody knows your name and you get the cool table next to what passes for this week's cool celebrity du jour. You subscribe to the cool magazines and if you haven't had your picture in one yet, your turn is on the way. You have the cool summer place. Your haircut is cool. Your computer is cool. Your friends are cool. Even your dog is cool. You wear the cool clothes, and you are absolutely up-to-the-nanosecond on what is cool now and what will be cooler tomorrow. And you also know that that which is not of the culture of cool is uncool.

What is uncool today, two and a half years into the war, is, of course, the war. War's been uncool to these eternal cool kids and their kids since about 1962 and, except for a brief six month period after September 11, 2001, war is uncool now. War's uncool because, well, it is "unhealthy for children and other living things" goes the party line in the culture of cool. This war is especially uncool because it is being run by uncool people and the uncoolest President ever. But really, war is uncool because it is one of the big things that threatens to undo all the great parties and smooth lifestyles promised and delivered by the media-made culture of cool. And how does war threaten this? War, real war, actually asks something of the people of a nation as a whole people. It asks them to sacrifice their blood and their treasure and their cool attitudes and their endless summers. It asks, in the parlance of the Marine Corps, that "all give some and that some give all."

The American culture of cool has become a nation apart, an alternate-America that looks to the real America as merely some mechanism set up to deliver the many features and benefits of America to the culture of cool without question, by divine right of media. This culture is not into giving back anything they have taken from the culture at large. The culture of cool is not a giving culture, it is an taking culture. Anything it chooses to have is taken in and used to improve the lot of those within the culture of cool. That which is not cool it seeks to either use or destroy depending on whether or not it advances the culture of cool and the lifestyles of those that exist within it. It sees itself as the real soul and real intelligence of America, even as it actually rides on the broad shoulders of America like some strangling old man of the sea that, once taken up, refuses to get down. It sees itself as the engine responsible for making the culture of America continually new, even as it only recycles one empty cultural container after another through the battered green bins of its rigid internal codes and fashions to pop them out as 'new, improved and even more impossibly hip.'

Regardless of the shiny gift wrap of the cool advertising and marketing agencies that have taken to spotwelding vintage rock and roll and the latest pop or sports sensation's face onto their shabby garage sale goods, we seldom see, hear, or read anything today that is not either a remake, a sequel, or an allusion to the cool things of yesteryear. The same holds true for the politics of cool. This is confirmed in a brief review of the lamentable Democratic primaries of this year. During the months of this excruciating ritual, what was once a proud and progressive party offered up nearly a dozen cardboard candidates. When it was all over, the party chose the one candidate that sounded the most like, looked the most like, and sported the haircut and even the initials of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Camelot Redux because JFK was, as the culture of cool constantly reminds us, the coolest President ever.

John F. Kerry is, in many ways, the perfect candidate for today's graying culture of cool. He snowboards at sixty. How cool is that? He goes to great parties with hip-hop stars. Too cool. He's got lots of money that he didn't earn. So cool. He can hold opposite positions on difficult issues and lie about it with a straight face. Very cool way of getting out of middle management into upper management. He can fight in a war and throw another man's medals away. Cool career move. He can promise 10 million jobs to the 8 million unemployed. Super cool to make more jobs than workers. If he can tax those jobs that have no workers, he can probably cool out the deficit. He can talk to and cajole the alienated country of France into amour encore. This is extremely cool since it makes renting summer villas in France and trips to Paris acceptable again. Besides France is the coolest country in Europe as every member of the culture of cool will attest. His Africa-born white wife is so cool she calls herself an "African-American." Most of all, Kerry is cool because he thinks the war is uncool and is saying so in a cool kind of way. Even more than that, the members of the culture of cool know that Kerry will never ask anything of them. And the culture of cool is not a giving culture, but a taking one. If Kerry would only learn to play the saxophone he would be cooler than JFK.

Yesterday I saw a photograph fresh from the war in Iraq. There are many photographs from Iraq these days. It's an uncool country in an uncool part of the world where American soldiers are fighting and dying to cool it out. It's uncool to be a soldier there, but it is very cool to be a photographer, so we have a lot of photographers and a lot of photographs. Some taken by being on call to and hanging out with the people who are killing Americans. How cool is that?

The photograph was taken in a hanger at a military base. It shows a group of young, uncool American Marines kneeling in a tight circle on the ground in prayer. Prayer. How totally uncool.

When you look closer at the photograph you notice that extending out from within the circle of kneeling and praying Marines are the legs of a dying or dead comrade in arms. Probably a very young comrade, not too distant in age from the kids laughing and playing in front of the multiplex on a balmy night in Orange County a world away.

How uncool this man was to die for his country and his comrades. How uncool is the effort to liberate a country mired in the morass of the middle ages, when you could just stay home and play video games. How uncool to take the war to an enemy that has sworn to kill Americans wholesale and has done so. How very, very uncool.

Now this Marine will never have a shot at working in the mail room of a movie studio, a record company, or a publishing house. All this Marine has now as he recedes into death are the prayers of those Marines who trained and fought beside him. That and a military funeral and a folded flag given to his family. Prayers. Funerals. Folded flags. These things are very uncool as the media-made captions on these photographs will seek to remind you. Very uncool.

At the same time that this Marine lay dying in Iraq, the current senior spokesman for the Democratic Party, Senator Ted Kennedy (a man whose cool, credibility and courage are equal in measure) was busy condemning the effort that cost this uncool Marine his life by waving the bloody shirt of Vietnam under the nose of the nation. His words and image were duly broadcast across America by all his life-long compatriots in the culture of cool. It's a shirt faded and frayed by many decades of constant handling, wringing and waving, but the bloody shirt of Vietnam has a lot of buttons, patches, fringe, and embroidered flowers on it. It's vintage clothing. Ain't it cool?

Vanderleun : January 11, 17  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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5-Minute Arguments

astreepspeecher.jpg

“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.”

― William Shakespeare, Othello

Three days ago nearly anybody in America who was asked, "What do you think of Meryl Streep?" would have responded with either some level of positive admiration or a shrug that said, 'She's okay but I really don't think much about her between movies, and not all that much even then.'

Three days ago Streep had reached peak reputation in her chosen field in America. She was honored by her profession and well thought of by the vast majority of her fellow citizens. Then in five minutes at one of the auto-erotic award shows so beloved by her profession she destroyed her reputation all by herself in a fit of pre-Trump hysteria which was more like a post-menopausal hot flash than a statement of any seriousness. Her eructation of wet blather was lauded by one sarcastic commenter as "Meryl Streep openly expressing a mainstream media-approved political opinion is literally the bravest thing a woman has ever done"

This was an unforced error of major proportions; one that will have a lasting and debilitating effect on what's left of Streep's "career."

In one evening Streep has alienated, for life, much more than half the country. Significantly more. Consider that before the speech Streep's political disease was effectively hidden from most of the nation. This is not to say it was not known and could not be known to anyone who took the time to dig her smarmy notions and Hillary donations out of her back pages, but only to say that to the vast majority of us it really didn't make any difference. Now that she has dragged the fetid corpse of her politics out into the light, it is not only those described by Streep as the racist - knuckle - draggin' - their - lives - away clods right out of the fascist left's book of worn-out cliches that loathe her, but many others who now have a negative impression of her for the first time in her career.

By opening her carefully trained mouth to preen before her peers Streep has poured gasoline over her reputation, flicked her Bic lips, and burnt her reputation to the ground. From this point on most people will have a lingering question mark when it comes to deciding whether or not to see any of her films.

Streep, in her thirst to pump out one more iteration of "I stuck in my thumb and pulled out a Trump plum and said, 'What a good girl am I' ," has 'filched from herself her good name.' Her name, such as it was, will never be the same. Streep's moved herself from the realm of yet another of America's cinema sweethearts into the realm of the America-hating, citizen-despising, over-privileged infected media crones who seek to normalize the perverted.

Since the election there has been a steady stream of America hate spewing out of Hollywood. There will be more as the Trump years roll relentlessly over the PC cultists of the left. The clever will step to the side and continue to enjoy a healthy box office. The politically demented will, like Streep, continue to spew out their hate to a steadily diminishing audience. The rest of us will simply flush Streep and her ilk out of out minds and cares.

Streep's precious "Lifetime Achievement Award" will always carry, like the bad stats in baseball, an asterix next to it.

gerardvanderleun : January 10, 17  |  Your Say (15)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

The Safety Pin came into its own right after the election. Now it is proving, not for the first time, that "There's a [white] sucker born every minute."

It was worn by guilt-ridden white liberals who wanted to show their friends of color that they weren’t just ordinary white people… they were white people who cared. Or something.

But two Black Lives Matter activists decided that it wasn’t enough for white people to just wear a little diaper pin poked through your clothes. They needed to give money.

So Leslie Mac and Marissa Jenae Johnson created a “Safety Pin Box” so white people could give money. To them.

And even better: You can give money to them every month. As little as $25 per month and as much as $100.

“We believe giving Black people your money is essential to being a useful ally,” they proclaim on their FAQ page. They sure do! By “Black people” they mean them. They’re not a charity, they’re a business, they claim.


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gerardvanderleun : January 10, 17  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!

gerardvanderleun : January 9, 17  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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The true believers keep a comin'
But the train done gone.

Via Never Yet Melted's Climate Change History

gerardvanderleun : January 7, 17  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.
There are men who can't be bought.
The fireborn are at home in fire.
The stars make no noise,
You can't hinder the wind from blowing.
Time is a great teacher.
Who can live without hope?

In the darkness with a great bundle of grief
the people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps, the people
march:
"Where to? what next?"
- - Carl Sandburg: The People Yes (excerpt)

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gerardvanderleun : January 7, 17  |  Your Say (12)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Some say that snow is sleep. I say
That snow is but the rest
Of clouds upon earth's surface laid
To soothe the forest's breast,
To calm the souls that linger there
Beneath an age of leaf
That hides within its brindle flesh
Whole galaxies of seed.

Some say that snow is chill. I say
That snow is but a shawl
Draped over stones of silence,
That such silence shelter all.
And in such silence seal within
The brook beneath the glass,
That when the spring shall set it free
All dreams to sea shall pass.

Some say that snow is death. I say
That snow is but the prayer
Said when soul in winter's glade
Calls the body from its lair,
To stand within the last of light,
Becoming less than air,
To leave behind what came before
In the shadows dawn prepares.

Vanderleun : January 6, 17  |  Your Say (50)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Grace Notes


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gerardvanderleun : January 6, 17  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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gerardvanderleun : January 6, 17  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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In case you've wondered how much four barrels of gin cost in the U.S. in 1836

I have provided the following list of What Stuff Cost, found tucked away in a book-keeping section of a very well used pocket-sized copy ofRoswell C. Smith's Practical and Mental Arithmetic on a New Plan..., which was published in Hartford in 1836. The answer to the gin question is $75, and if a barrel meant 42 gallons back then as it does now then the gin would cost about 60 cents a gallon. That of course sounds like a tiny price, but compared to what? That 60 cents would be about two-thirds of a day's wages for the average non-farm white male worker (actually between 50 cents and $1.00), while girl/women textile workers in Lowell Mass worked for about $3-4 per six day week. So if you considered working for most of theday in exchange for a bottle of (average, nothing special) gin, then it would seem a little on the expensive side. Or consider the prices of stuff as expensive or not based on a yearly salary of $300 or so and getting by on about a dollar a day.

Many varieties of food and drink in this imaginary store's stock would have come in barrels (abbreviated "bbl"): gin, vinegar, brandy, pork, and beef (probably salted). Rum and molasses were tallied in hogsheads ("hhd"), a standard measure of volume usually used for alcoholic beverages.

This hypothetical clerk also stocked cloth, hats, shoes, axes, kettles, textbooks, and knives—all the items a 19th-century country clientele might have relied upon such a store to provide, in a time before widespread availability of mail-order goods.Via the Venerable JF Ptak Science Books

gerardvanderleun : January 4, 17  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"One of the best things about 2016 for me was the way it gave the lie to the weaselish and wet aphorism – so often repeated by so many of our impeccably reasonable, sensible and balanced TV and newspaper pundits – that elections are “won in the centre ground.”

"This was the Belial philosophy that gave us, in the U.S., that hideous continuum from the Bushes and the Clintons to Obama; and in Britain, the grotesque and malign Third Way squishery that took us from Tony Blair through to his (self-admitted heir) David Cameron and beyond. (It’s also the mindset which invented the disgraceful, sell-out concept of “soft Brexit”.)

"No wonder so many of us had become so fed up with politics: no matter which party you voted for, whether the notionally left-wing one or the notionally right-wing one you still seemed to end up up with the same old vested interests, the same old liberal Establishment elite.

"Of course we should always despise the liberal-left because their philosophy is morally bankrupt, dangerous and wrong. But I sometimes think that the people we should despise most of all are the squishes who pretend to be on our side of the argument but forever betray our cause. Sometimes they do this by throwing the more outspoken among us to the wolves in order to signal how tolerant and virtuous they are; sometimes they do this by endorsing some fatuous liberal position in order to show their willingness to compromise.

"I call the latter approach the “dogshit yogurt fallacy.”

"If conservatives like fruit or honey in their yogurt and liberals prefer to eat it with dogshit, it is NOT a sensible accommodation – much as our centrist conservative columnists might wish it so – to say: “All right. How about we eat our yogurt with a little bit of both?” We need to understand, very clearly, that there are such things as right and wrong; and that, furthermore, it is always worth fighting to the bitter end for the right thing rather than accepting second best because a bunch of lawyers and politicians and hairdressers from Brazil and squishy newspaper columnists and other members of the liberal elite have told us that second best is the best we can hope for."

by James Delingpole. Now finish your assignment and read the whole thing. And remember.... NO PRISONERS!

gerardvanderleun : January 3, 17  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Search American Digest

MONDO BIZARRO


Please Donate

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By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | 6616-D Clark Road #176 | Paradise, CA 95969

The Angry Man is not, and never will be, a victim.

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Nobody like him drowned in Hurricane Katrina. He got his people together and got the hell out.
Then, he went back in to rescue those who needed help or were too stupid to help themselves in the first place. He was selfless in this, just as often a civilian as a police officer, a National Guard soldier or a volunteer firefighter. Victimhood syndrome buzzwords; “disenfranchised,” “marginalized” "safe spaces" and “voiceless” don’t resonate with The Angry Man. “Press ‘one’ for English” is a curse-word to him. His last name, his race and his religion don’t matter. His ancestry might be Italian, English, African, Polish, German, Slavic, Irish, Russian, Hispanic or any of a hundred others. What does matter, is that he considers himself in every way to be an American. He is proud of this country and thinks that if you aren’t, you are whole-heartedly encouraged to find one that suits you and move there. Free North Carolina: THE ANGRY MAN


"The days dwindle down / To a precious two..."

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Thanks to Mindful Webworker for the countdown art. The Morning Report 1/18/17

Africa Wins Again

Teenager rushed to hospital after circumcising himself with MACHETE in Zimbabwe

The Unimportance of Being Earnest

WH Correspondents' Assoc. Chair Praises Earnest, Only One Person Claps.

"Pssst, pass it on!" The Secrets of Facebook

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It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

List of inventors killed by their own inventions

The 1930s Ice Cream Parlor Tucked Away in Cincinnati's Union Terminal

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Union Terminal in Cincinnati is one of those happy examples of a defunct historic building finding new use. Rather than meeting with a wrecking ball, the art deco building now houses multiple museums– and features a priceless Rookwood tiled ice cream parlor. | Thought & Sight

California Megaflood, 1861: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe

In early December, the Sierra Nevada experienced a series of cold arctic storms that dumped 10 to 15 feet of snow, and these were soon followed by warm atmospheric rivers storms.
The series of warm storms swelled the rivers in the Sierra Nevada range so that they became raging torrents, sweeping away entire communities and mining settlements in the foothills—California’s famous “Gold Country.” A January 15, 1862, report from the Nelson Point Correspondence described the scene: “On Friday last, we were visited by the most destructive and devastating flood that has ever been the lot of ‘white’ men to see in this part of the country. Feather River reached the height of 9 feet more than was ever known by the ‘oldest inhabitant,’ carrying away bridges, camps, stores, saloon, restaurant, and much real-estate.” Drowning deaths occurred every day on the Feather, Yuba and American rivers. In one tragic account, an entire settlement of Chinese miners was drowned by floods on the Yuba River. - - Scientific American


Trump voters are plentiful and they’re everywhere. You’ve encountered them without knowing it.

They know how you think. You don’t know how they think.

Keep that in mind snowflake, you’re surrounded by people you constantly berate. They know you’ve equated their vote with murder. They know you consider them evil (though not full beheading evil). They know you would “defeat them or wait for them to die”. They move around you, past you, next to you, talk to you, interact with you, and yet every moment of that interaction they know you’re a fuse ready to be lit. They assess your level of crazy and exhibit greater self control than you can imagine. I Love America; Including The Americans | Adaptive Curmudgeon



The Cult of Ugliness [Bumped]

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The docent told us that she would take us through the Corcoran collection chronologically so we could observe the development of styles over time.
Then she said, “Personally, I prefer the old works. Much of the modern art is ugly, and I doubt I am the only one here to share that view. However, we must not blame the artists. As you will see, in any age, art is a merely a reflection of the culture and times. And we are living in ugly times.” -- The Thinking Housewife / The Woman at the Museum


New ABC / WaPo Poll Shows Drop In Trump Favorability Courtesy Of Aggressive "Oversamples"

Thus doth the bullshit forever flow on:
In the month leaded up to the election on November 8th, we repeatedly demonstrated how the mainstream media polls from the likes of ABC/Washington Post, CNN and Reuters repeatedly manipulated their poll samples to engineer their desired results, namely a large Hillary Clinton lead (see "New Podesta Email Exposes Playbook For Rigging Polls Through 'Oversamples'" and "ABC/Wapo Effectively Admit To Poll Tampering As Hillary's "Lead" Shrinks To 2-Points"). In fact, just 16 days prior to the election an ABC/Wapo poll showed a 12-point lead for Hillary, a result that obviously turned out to be embarrassingly wrong for the pollsters. But, proving they still got it, ABC/Washington Post and CNN are out with a pair of polls on Trump's favorability this morning that sport some of the most egregious "oversamples" we've seen. The ABC/Wapo poll showed an 8-point sampling margin for Democrats with only 23% of the results taken from Republicans ...while the CNN poll showed a similar 8-point advantage for Democrats with only 24% of respondents identifying as Republicans."A total of 1,000 adults were interviewed by telephone nationwide by live interviewers calling both landline and cell phones. Among the entire sample, 32% described themselves as Democrats, 24% described themselves as Republicans, and 44% described themselves as independents or members of another party. | Zero Hedge


Who Says There's No Good News? Reality Bites.

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‘Never Trump’ national-security Republicans fear they have been blacklisted
They are some of the biggest names in the Republican national security firmament, veterans of past GOP administrations who say, if called upon by President-elect Donald Trump, they stand ready to serve their country again. But their phones aren’t ringing. Their entreaties to Trump Tower in New York have mostly gone unanswered. In Trump world, these establishment all-stars say they are “PNG” — personae non gratae. Their transgression was signing one or both of two public “Never Trump” letters during the campaign, declaring they would not vote for Trump and calling his candidacy a danger to the nation.


"I have a dream...."

10 Killed, 29 Wounded In MLK Day Weekend Shootings:
About 1:10 a.m., 36-year-old Marlon Pollard was standing outside in the 2200 block of West Chicago in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood when someone in a black SUV opened fire, striking him in the abdomen, face and left leg. The Evanston resident died in less than an hour at Stroger, authorities said.


Wasn't Jesus supposed to save us from this bullshit?

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What I want to say is that Jesus (by which I mean the whole tradition that flows from him) saved my mind.
From what? Well, for starters, from mountains of bullshit. Before the transition, my mind was a vast and fertile field for the cultivation of bullshit. Matters were only made worse by an extensive education, for The learned fool has a wider field to practice his folly, and He who understands the least is he who insists on understanding more than what can be understood (NGD). One Cʘsmos: Lord Save Us From the Bullshit


On Martin Luther King Day

As for the more problematic aspects of his life—well, I think they can be summed up by saying that King was a flawed human being.

In other words, a human being. Perhaps MLK himself would be the first to agree; he was a preacher, after all, and he knew a lot about human sin and error. It’s pretty much certain he was a philanderer as well as a plagiarist, and in later life he seemed to veer ever more leftward (some think that’s a feature, not a bug). Does that diminish his achievement? I don’t think so. I’ve always been more interested in real human beings who accomplish great things despite their own weaknesses than I am in a pretended (and mostly unachievable) perfection. - - neo-neocon



Why the Left, Particularly the Hollywood Left, is Losing It Over Trump

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Meryl Streep is panicking because for the first time voters have rejected HER, and everything her faith has taught her to believe.
There is a new faith rising on the right, not an explicit religious faith like old-school Christianity, but a wicked kind of counterculture movement. We laughed at the hippies in 1968, but by 1978 they were teaching in classrooms and sitting behind school administrator desks.

Where will the hippies of 2016 be sitting after eight years of Trump? How many of the shitposting Twitter bad boys will start up alternative media outlets, until one of them becomes the new Saturday Night Live?Never Yet Melted サ



Donald Trump Inhabited Body of Hillary Aide

Reines purchased four podiums on Amazon, two for his home and two for the secret office the Clinton campaign lent him at the PerkinsCoie law firm in Washington, D.C.
He searched eBay for a 2005 Donald J. Trump signature collection watch, which he purchased for $175. He experimented with a self-tanning lotion on his face. Before prep sessions, Reines began suiting up with velcro knee pads (to keep his legs straight), a posture enhancer (to keep his arms back), and dress shoes with three-inch lifts (to match Trump’s 6’1 frame). His longtime tailor fit him for a loose-fitting suit with large cuffs. His goal was not a “Saturday Night Live”-style caricature of Trump, so he didn’t try to replicate Trump’s famous mane. But he wanted to approximate his physicality so that Clinton would grow accustomed to Trump’s looming presence when she saw Reines in her peripheral vision. Politico/ Newsbusters


The moonbeam left has traded in God for Global Warming as its universal answer to everything.

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Sultan Knish: A Drought of Sanity in California
"California is currently in the grips of an extreme drought with record low precipitation," it gloomily began. Then the Sacramento River flooded, the downtown rainfall record was broken and copies of the report came in handy as makeshift umbrellas by scurrying staffers. So there was nothing left to do but blame Global Warming. If the rain doesn’t fall, that’s Global Warming. If it does fall, that too is Global Warming. The moonbeam left has traded in God for Global Warming as its universal answer to everything.


I am deeply touched by the sudden progressive concern for the security of the United States.

Most of the same people now screaming "RUSSIA!" and accusing President-elect Trump of being the Siberian Candidate, historically have opposed a strong US military, opposed efforts to fight Soviet Communism, laughed at "a Red under every bed" paranoia, derided the CIA as murderers and coup-plotters, wanted immediate US nuclear disarmament, made fun of Romney's concerns about Russia, defended Hillary's use of an insecure server, etc. Lots more, you can fill it in. The DiploMad 2.0: On Russia, Again

Power corrupts. And America’s political class has so much power that it is hard not to let the corruption consume everything.

I recently read a blog by Robert Reich, laying out the strategy for “civic resistance” as if he was a college student in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.
It was comical, coming from a former Cabinet Secretary; it was a little pathetic, reading his final point ‘sit down with your family at your table and come up with your own resistance’, as if the majority of the country were not celebrating so great a change; and it was refreshing. Because if somebody who was at the top of American power is reduced to conspiring over a bowl of cheerios at their kitchen table as a result of the decision of a bunch of ordinary folks on a brisk November morning, then there is hope for America yet!On Destroying New Nobilities | Joel D. Hirst's Blog


Send home the clowns.

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After 146 years, the curtain is coming down forever on “Ringling Brothers: The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Its last performance will be May 21 at the Nassau Coliseum. The show stoppers included high operating costs, declining attendance and changing public tastes. Not to mention a long and costly legal battle with animal rights advocates, which ended with its hugest stars — the elephants — being pink slipped. New York Post


Obamacare

Speculation on what’s fair begs the main question: how did my health concerns become your problem?
If my kids get sick, why is it your obligation to pay? If I get AIDS, why do you have to pay for the expensive drug cocktail needed to keep me alive? And ironically, that cocktail was discovered through the expenditure of tax money, some of which you paid, and now its discovery lays on you the obligation to buy it for me. Why? Where did you get this obligation to save me? You didn’t have that obligation until you paid for its discovery; now my life depends on it, I can’t pay for it, so you must buy it for me; and if you don’t, well, the tax collector can call armed men, and you better not resist them. Or you could join with others to lay the obligation on the rich; all the same to me so long as I get my drug cocktail.

Of course few AIDS victims think this way and none talk this way, but that’s how entitlements work: you’re obligated to pay for them, and you’ve no choice in the matter. You got the obligation because lawmakers say you have it, and none of this nonsense about religion, either. You have it because we say you have it, and we’ll hire people to make you pay, don’t doubt that. - – Jerry Pournelle



Revised George Carlin: "It's a very small club and you ain't in it."

STARK INEQUALITY: OXFAM SAYS 8 MEN AS RICH AS HALF THE WORLD
Oxfam used Forbes' billionaires list that was last published in March 2016 to make its headline claim. According to the Forbes list, Microsoft founder Gates is the richest individual with a net worth of $75 billion. The others, in order of ranking, are Amancio Ortega, the Spanish founder of fashion house Inditex, financier Warren Buffett, Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim Helu, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle's Larry Ellison and Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York


Let’s plan a party

There should be a complete cleansing of the White House … with fire.
All the feces and urine soaked rugs, drapes, whatever dragged out and turned into a bonfire. Hose down and scrub the exterior with a surgical disinfectant, rip out the grass and shrubs and plant afresh. Turn that arugula garden into an oil stained parking lot reserved for the military who serve the new President. All day long play John Philip Sousa marches at an ear splitting volume and shoot fire works into the sky while Air Force and Navy jets practice strafing runs on DNC headquarters. The military aircraft will also jettison air-born canisters filled with recruitment notices for a full time Marine firing squad whose sole purpose will be to execute traitors. – - IOTW Report


Can Peter Thiel Save California?

Hollywood is a ghost of itself and, frankly, everybody in the Bay Area to down here in Lalaland
is living out the umpteenth lifestyle rerun of old Doors and Jefferson Airplane albums fifty, or is it sixty, years later. Hell, we’ve got the same governor we always did for what seems like a hundred years (actually a record 13 years in two sessions) -- His Grooviness Zen Jerry who was supposed to be this great original, this innovator. But can anyone tell me what he has innovated, other than an unbuilt bullet train the Japanese had in 1962 (true -- look it up) and nobody wants anymore? So what if grass is legal. Was it ever really illegal? | Roger L. Simon


David Brock's "creepy letter" to Bernie Sanders craving forgiveness in exchange for a job.

Give me a job and I'll say anything.

In this hope of employment Brock joins thousands of progressives who find there's "a vastly smaller job market for their skills" in 2017. The job market is about to get even more crowded for Washington Democrats, as thousands of Obama appointees join the hundreds of Clinton campaign staffers looking for employment. There’s rarely been less demand for their services. The End of the Malevolent Familiar



Russian "Hacking:" The Early Years

The Russian Spy Who Convinced America to Take ESP Seriously |
He told them that the Soviet government actively encouraged such study, and name-checked prominent Russians (from astrophysicists to philosophers) who supported parapsychological inquiry. He described studies in which subjects had been able to perceive images from over a distance of nearly 2,000 miles.


Musso and Frank Grill

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For decades Hollywood legends have hung out at Musso and Frank Grill. It opened in 1919 and is completely entwined with stories of the stars who have dined there.  Charlie Chaplin ate there so much he had his own booth, and the menu still features his favorite dish, grilled lamb kidneys with bacon. Los Angeles, California | Atlas Obscura
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I don't write the headlines. I just report them.

Left Wing Vegan Denied Swiss Passport Because She's 'Too Annoying'

Japanese rock band destroyed a concert venue with a bulldozer as a part of their performance<

The most extreme performance of the band also happened in 1985,
when Eye drove a smallbulldozer through the back wall of the venue and onto the stage.The act shocked both the audience and the unwitting owners of the venue. The concert hall suffered significant damage, and the police stormed the venue. Eye was arrested and spent several months in prison, and he also had to cover theexpenses for the repair of the venue, as well as paying a considerable fine. -- Vintage News


There’s so much being written, by so many people, that it’s also difficult for great minds to be ‘found’.

Not in the same way as for Solzhenitsyn; an impenetrable insurmountable obstacle between himself and the free word.
Today it’s more like Murkwood forest of J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination. The darkness of irrationality in our post-truth world; the swamp of “celebrity” like a sort of toxic sponge sucking up pages and word counts and column inches; the spiders’ webs of political correctness where our fearlessness gets snagged and sucked dry – our new censors all. Solzhenitsyn, Writing and Our New ‘Curtain’ | Joel D. Hirst's Blog


He was always the smiling black guy on the brochure. [Bumped]

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Good Riddance:
That’s something the liberal media will skip over as they write their re-imagined histories of the Obama years. The other thing they will skip is the very superficial appeal of Obama. He was always just a black guy. Liberal whites and blacks supported him because he was a black guy, not because of anything he said or proposed to do as President. It’s why no one ever quotes an Obama speech. He was always the smiling black guy on the brochure. His efforts to promote Democratic candidates failed because that narrow charm is never transferable.


Best opening sentence of the year, so far

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– Knowledge is Power

Mystakes Wur Maid

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If that won't immanentize the Eschaton, what will?

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An early paragraph in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas goes,
The sporting editors had also given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous drugs. The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. - - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis


Call it Information Laundering:

Each step along the way, the dirty, unverifiable information is cleaned up just slightly enough to get the next laundromat in line to pretend to clean it up just a little bit more. Easy-peasy: If you can't verify the story itself, report the rumors of the story -- see, the part that this is "rumored" is verifiable. If you've heard it, it is, inarguably, a rumor that's going around. So just shift the narrative frame of the story from "These are the facts" to "The fact is, people are spreading this rumor, which is very important, if true." Always throw that rhetorical hedge in there: if true. You can add a smiley-face-wink emoji to indicate "And man, you better believe this is true, baby!!!" Ace of Spades HQ



Why Oreos Taste Worse Today Than You Remember Them Tasting In the Past

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As for the stuff between the intricately-designed cookies, the filling- it was made partially of lard – pig fat – until 1997.
In 1994, Nabisco embarked on a nearly three year revamping process of the filling to take the lard out. In charge of this was Nabisco’s principal scientist Sam Porcello, otherwise known as “Mr. Oreo.” By that point, Porcello was already a cookie legend, holding five Oreo related patents, including Oreos encased in white and dark chocolate. By December 1997, the Oreo cookie was lard-free, but there was another problem – the lard had been replaced by partially hydrogenated vegetable oil; yes, the very much not good for you trans fats. As the Chicago Tribune put it, “Later, research showed that trans fat was even worse for the heart than lard.” Finally, in January 2006, healthier (and more expensive) non-hydrogenated vegetable oil was put into Oreos instead. Today’s filing is additionally made with loads of sugar and vanilla extract creating a cookie that still is delicious, but slightly better for you. Or, perhaps more aptly, less bad for you. - - The Origin of the Oreo Cookie


PigLife: Amazon's Bezos buys largest house in DC

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Part of the former Museum will serve as a Home for Jeff while Most will still remain a museum called The Museum of Honest Journalism...
where the public will be able to see examples and displays of Actual Reporters researching a Story unlike today when the Press gets its stories off the internet. Most interesting is the Fourth Estate room showing how Reporters once did not Care about being Invited to Parties at the White House , but actually Worked for the People, and sometimes actually walked around outside and asked folks questions, and were Proud to be Members of the Fourth Estate, and kept an close eye on Everyone in Washington not just those that disagreed with them. Those were the days when News Reporters did not make a Million dollars a year to be on TV. Unfortunatly if you want to see an actual Journalist , the only place to find one will be in this Museum. Most interesting is the Woodward Bernstein display showing how two reports actually Reseached a Story for years, rather than just reporting it First, in less than two minutes. - - taosnow • | TheHill


When a company that appears to doing real work hires a powerskirt to bring diversity to the firm,

it means the insiders have cashed out and no longer think the firm is a good bet. Yahoo made that clear when they hired Marrisa Mayer to diversify the company. She immediately went berserk and started firing men and turning the place into an estrogen circus. Diversity and Reality



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