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"A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing."- Clive James

5-Minute Arguments

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gerardvanderleun : April 16, 14  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Because I love seeing '66 911s moving on tarmac.

John Benton has been passionately restoring, racing and maintaining Porsches

since the moment he bought his first 912 in 1984. With Benton Performance, he's created a distinct approach to Porsche restoration which keeps true to the original while pushing the famed german engineering to even greater heights.

gerardvanderleun : April 16, 14  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

"I'm gonna bar-b-que your ass in molasses!"

Ol' Smokey's got them ears on and he's hot on your trail.
He aint gonna rest 'til you're in jail.
So you got to dodge'im and you got to duck'im,
You got to keep that diesel truckin'.
Just put that hammer down and give it hell.

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin',
We're gonna do what they say can't be done.
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I'm east bound, just watch ol' "Bandit" run.


{HT: Mikey NTH}

gerardvanderleun : April 15, 14  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"With the advent of the "Palestinian cause" becoming chic in Western, European, and Liberal circles being infected by virus has once more become acceptable to exhibit socially."

It's baaack! But no, that's not right. Say rather it never really leaves. NeoNeoCon today notes the latest eruption of the disease:

Anti-Semitic drawings and the San Francisco anti-circumcision campaign Zombie illustrates that an anti-Semitic cartoon has been pressed into service in the San Francisco fight to ban circumcision. It was only a matter of time.

Antisemitism is not a sign, a symbol, a bullet or a gas. It is a Virus. It is the oldest known virus to infest the human soul. In those infected, the virus is clever enough to mask it's existence by renaming itself as "anti-Zionism." Through the renaming of this ancient disease as a “political problem,” infected souls can transmit the virus to their friends, families. They can spread their disease at their schools and in their their community, church, or nation. The virus is also transmitted by exchanging infected fantasies with infected ideologues. By changing it's name the disease made it possible for many to deny that they have contracted the virus, and that their souls are chancre-ridden and rotting. This facilitates the current outbreak.

Yes, antisemitism is a clever virus and this shape-shifting is one of its oldest methods of perpetuating itself. Like other viruses currently feasting on humans, this one always has a pleasure principle associated with it. It feels good to get it and we live in the plague years of "If it feels good, do it." Those whose moral immune systems have been previously compromised by other pleasure-born diseases have souls which are particularly susceptible to this virus.

The origin of the virus is unknown, but many suspect the area to be Bablyon and Sumur with an early leap across borders into Egypt. It was later transmitted through not-so-casual contact to much of the world by traders out of Northern Africa and the Roman Empire.

During the period following the fall of Rome, the virus found traction in early Christianity as a common carrier. In this host it thrived, and was able to survive and spread for many centuries. Of late, many parts of Christianity, now that it has become fragmented, have rejected the virus and those who host it, but strains of the virus can still be found at the center of many subsets of the Christian faith today.

Islam, of course, is the not-that-new major religion to not only host the virus, but to celebrate being infected with it, and to actively take measures to make sure that, within the body of Islam, the virus can thrive and expand. What to do about this new and virulent strain of the virus is something that is now consuming a great deal of the attention and treasure of Western Civilization.

In the past, treatment of the virus involved the application of large amounts of steel and fire, but this age is still experimenting with targeted surgery of the infected parts of Islam to see if a less Draconian cure is possible. Recent events confirm that this sort of microsurgery will probably be ineffective since the virus seems to have become the host.

Flare-ups of the virus have been common across Europe throughout the last 2 millennia, but an overwhelming series of eruptions in Europe from England through the lands controlled by the USSR, required a global intervention before the conflagration was deemed to be put out. This, of course was an illusion, since like the root burns engendered by forest fires, it only smoldered underground in the human and social hosts for decades before erupting once again in the vast Petri dish of the Middle East.

With the advent of the "Palestinian cause" becoming chic in Western, European, and Liberal circles -- driven at first by Socialist Progressive romanticism in the late 1960s and early 1970s -- being infected by virus has once more become acceptable to exhibit socially in certain ways. Indeed, in many circles and societies, having the virus has lately become a highly prized fashion accessory to popular academic, media, and state ideologies. It is now actually a badge of pride in many Western circles to appear at various events wearing gold-plated buboes inset with multi-faceted Kaposi's sarcoma that contain the virus at their core. Many now believe this intellectual adornment to actually be beautiful.

In a recent mutation, the virus has shown that it can leap the blood/brain barrier and actually infect Jews -- if they feel safe within their "advanced" society. The current term for this mutation is "Juicebox Mafia" in which self-styled "intellectuals" of Jewish lineage actually feel it is "intelligent" to call for a world in which it is easier for Arabs and other Islamic groups to kill Jews wholesale. This sort of strange host to the virus is replacing the previous host termed "the self-hating Jew." The reason for the rise of the Juicebox Mafia is unclear, but it may well have to do with desires for celebrity and paychecks that exceed the desire to live.

The virus, because it is an ancient and clever virus, can lie dormant for years, and like HIV, can mutate around a lot of therapies designed to destroy it.

As noted above, in the recent past, it has been shown that large doses of steel and fire can eradicate the virus in some populations, but only for a time. A cure is promised, but seems to be always delayed. The only measures that work are, at best, prophylactic. Another strategy is strict monitoring to prevent the spread of the virus. This seemed to be holding the virus at bay for decades. Lately, however, this method has broken down. The virus, like terrorism, has recently been able to piggy-back on the world-circling data-stream, and infect individuals and groups previously deemed immune. The current strain has indeed become so virulent that large blocks of Jewish people, in Europe, America and even Israel, have become infested.

As history demonstrates, there is no immunity to be had from the virus. The only strategy that seems to work is abstinence. This is accomplished by a rigorous rejection of all attempts by the virus to establish itself within an individual host. Constant monitoring and the suppression through education or other means of outbreaks in groups or ideologies or nations is also required.

Since the virus has been present in human hosts for well over 4,000 years, hopes for eradication in our lifetime are slim. Hopes for eradication in the future are better in civilized countries if, and only if, members of the generations now living and infected with the virus become dedicated to not passing it on to future generations. The virus is found nowhere else in nature except within the human host. If it is denied transmission to the young, it can be eliminated from the world in three generations. If... but only if.

Outlook? Not favorable.


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[First version posted in 2003.]

Vanderleun : April 15, 14  |  Your Say (40)  | PermaLink: Permalink

5-Minute Arguments

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Matt Walsh: "

CarolBeth Hawn on Facebook reminds me that my list of taxes you pay in the morning was woefully incomplete: You forgot to mention that the milk (taxed) you put into your coffee (taxed) had the following tax-line: Farmer (income tax) has land (property tax) on which he grazes his cows (tax on grass seed, tax on fertilizer spread by tractor, tax to buy tractor, which was also taxed in its production, tax on gas for tractor, tax on replacement tires and parts for tractor, which were also taxed in production), the cows were raised from calves produced on farm (capital gains) and visited by vet (tax on products, vet is also taxed ad nauseum) from semen purchased from an exchange (taxed), which are raised and milked in a milk shed or barn (more property tax) using equipment purchased (taxed, both on purchase and on production) and bottled (more equipment taxed on purchase and in production), sold to Meadow Gold (taxed ad nauseum), trucked to the grocery store in a refrigerated truck (taxed, taxed, taxed, gas tax), sold to store (sale is taxed, store is taxed ad nauseum) where it sits in big, taxed refrigerators, until you go to the store (gas tax, tax on vehicle) and purchase the milk (taxed) for your coffee (taxed). This is, of course, an abbreviated list. We’d need a flow chart to do it justice. The amazing thing isn’t that things cost so much, it is that they cost so LITTLE, being taxed on every level as they are!


In this segment, Virtual President Bill Whittle examines who pays what under the current system, and what we can do to make our tax code more efficient, more fair, more moral and generate more revenue.

gerardvanderleun : April 15, 14  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Can one generation bind another, and all others, in succession forever?

I think not. The Creator has made the earth for the living, not the dead. Rights and powers can only belong to persons, not to things, not to mere matter, unendowed with will. The dead are not even things. The particles of matter which composed their bodies, make part now of the bodies of other animals, vegetables, or minerals, of a thousand forms. To what then are attached the rights and powers they held while in the form of men? A generation may bind itself as long as its majority continues in life; when that has disappeared, another majority is in place, holds all the rights and powers their predecessors once held, and may change their laws and institutions to suit themselves. Nothing then is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.

– Thomas Jefferson, letter to Maj. John Cartwright, June 5, 1824

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes — our ancestors.

It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking around.

– G.K. Chesterton

gerardvanderleun : April 12, 14  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

COSTELLO: I want to talk to you about the unemployment rate in America ..

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 7.8%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that's 14.7%

COSTELLO: You just said 7.8%.

ABBOTT: 7.8% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 7.8% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that's 14.7%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it's 14.7% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that's 7.8%.

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE! Is it 7.8% or 14.7%?

ABBOTT: 7.8% are unemployed. 14.7% are out of work.

COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, Congress said you can't count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!

ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn't look for work can't be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn't be fair.

COSTELLO: To whom?

ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But ALL of them are out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking and if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you're off the unemployment rolls that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don't look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That's how they get it to 7.8%. Otherwise it would be 14.7%. Our govt. doesn't want you to read about 14.7% unemployment.

COSTELLO: That would be tough on those running for REELECTION

ABBOTT: Absolutely!

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to have people stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like an ECONOMIST!

COSTELLO: I don't even know what the hell I just said!

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like our CONGRESS!

gerardvanderleun : April 12, 14  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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On Tuesday, after protests by students, faculty and outside groups, Brandeis University revoked its invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree at its commencement ceremonies in May. The protesters accused Ms. Hirsi Ali, an advocate for the rights of women and girls, of being "Islamophobic." Here is an abridged version of the remarks she planned to deliver.

One year ago, the city and suburbs of Boston were still in mourning. Families who only weeks earlier had children and siblings to hug were left with only photographs and memories. Still others were hovering over bedsides, watching as young men, women, and children endured painful surgeries and permanent disfiguration. All because two brothers, radicalized by jihadist websites, decided to place homemade bombs in backpacks near the finish line of one of the most prominent events in American sports, the Boston Marathon.

All of you in the Class of 2014 will never forget that day and the days that followed. You will never forget when you heard the news, where you were, or what you were doing. And when you return here, 10, 15 or 25 years from now, you will be reminded of it. The bombs exploded just 10 miles from this campus....

Read the rest of this remarkable speech at Ayaan Hirsi Ali - - The Wall Street Journal

gerardvanderleun : April 11, 14  |  Your Say (12)  | PermaLink: Permalink

American Studies

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If you had to guess what is considered to be one of the most collected archetypal forms in the craft world, what would it be?

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Before you spend too much time with that question, I will tell you.

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It’s the teapot.

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While the traditional teapot should be at the very least functional — that is, have the ability to hold and pour a liquid, I recently viewed an exhibition that turns all that on end with the “idea of a teapot.”

If you take the most basic functional elements of what defines a teapot, it boils down to three things: a vessel-like shape with an opening at the top, a handle, and a spout.

Take those elements (and throw in a lid if you like) and you have the essence of a teapot. -- Design Observer

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gerardvanderleun : April 11, 14  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

"This is what a nation values when its culture is ruled by the iron fist of the Patriarchy." - - Unorthodoxy

gerardvanderleun : April 10, 14  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

gerardvanderleun : April 10, 14  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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gerardvanderleun : April 10, 14  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Drive-By

The depth of the problem -as illustrated in the Washington Post: After an Australian vessel, Ocean Shield, again detected deep-sea signals consistent with those from an airplane’s black box, the official leading a multination search expressed hope Wednesday that crews will begin to find wreckage of a missing Malaysian airliner “within a matter of days.”

“I believe we’re searching in the right area,” Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said.
Yeah. Right. Here's the beginning, only the beginning, of where that box might, we repeat, might be....

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It goes on down, very far down, from there. As you can see HERE.

[HT: Morgan]

gerardvanderleun : April 10, 14  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

with a very special shout out to the anestheologist who made me completely forget all the details.

First, a song to lift up the heart.

Then this stirring memoir by David (I got one too) Barry;

You know you're supposed to get a colonoscopy. But you haven't. Here are your reasons: 1. You've been busy. 2. You don't have a history of cancer in your family. 3. You haven't noticed any problems. 4. You don't want a doctor to stick a tube 17,000 feet up your butt.
Let's examine these reasons one at a time. No, wait, let's not. Because you and I both know that the only real reason is No. 4. This is natural. The idea of having another human, even a medical human, becoming deeply involved in what is technically known as your ''behindular zone'' gives you the creeping willies.
I know this because I am like you, except worse. I yield to nobody in the field of being a pathetic weenie medical coward. I become faint and nauseous during even very minor medical procedures, such as making an appointment by phone. It's much worse when I come into physical contact with the medical profession. More than one doctor's office has a dent in the floor caused by my forehead striking it seconds after I got a shot.....
My friend the doctor the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, ``HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BUTT!''....
On the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes -- and here I am being kind -- like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.
MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.
.....When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was Dancing Queen by Abba. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, Dancing Queen has to be the least appropriate.

Which is, as far as I can tell, pretty much how it went for me. I think. After I woke up and was taken home by a dear friend it took me about ten more hours to remember that I didn't remember I woke up and was taken home by a dear friend. As for the aftermath, well, we'll see. But for now just let me stay that with that procedure behind me I am again sitting pretty. And not in the smallest room in my house.

gerardvanderleun : April 9, 14  |  Your Say (21)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Bad Americans

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If you can't read the writing in the red box, this is what it says...

"In all honesty, I am already bored with this topic. It is far less interesting than I had hoped and I really don't want to finish this essay. I'm fairly sure you don't really read these so I'm just going to put enough words down to make it seem like I wrote a lot while I kill time. Wanna hear some words that rhyme with time?

Crime, dime, mime, (haha mimes are funny), chime, lime. Aw dude you know what has lime in it? Sprite, it like lemon lime. I could really go for one of those about now, but not sierra mist, that just isn't the same. It tries too hard to be sprite but it just cant pull it off. It should just try to be itself and stop trying to measure up to other sodas."

What Happens When "The Workers" Just Don't Care Anymore? | Zero Hedge

gerardvanderleun : April 7, 14  |  Your Say (13)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Chichen Itza

"What scaled and feathered fetish shakes awake our loamy sleep
in these sealed vaults where dust and sand enrobe our golden masks
that hover over dreaming faces drowned in tinted musk?
Here where the spider curls and chitters in the crystal locket.
Here as time's mouth leeches blood and brain and bids
the leather skin to tighten in on the empty, staring socket,
and bind the breath that fading far once laughed within the dusk?"

Here is your thin tin trowel,
And here your sable brush,
For prying loose these mitered stones,
And sweeping off the dust
That sifts between these shaded souls
Like paling ebony snow,
As you squat above the site
Where you worshiped once below.
Come thrust your torch
Through these shattered walls,
And map the stains on stone,
And explicate these distant deaths
From strewn patterns of bone.

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The distance that such deaths define
Is measured by that ageless path
That winds up from the sea's last limb
Meandering to the blood's demands,
And, rolling over shells' sharp rims,
Finally finds its well-trod way
To midnight's flaming brands
Where vacant, lusting faces grin
Within masks of whitened clay.

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This path slopes through the stunted woods
Where the mantis ruts and broods,
Then spirals down to the sacred caves
Where men in twitching files repeat
The witless chants of wind and waves.

"Thick curds of rancid smoke performed our genuflections.
Our flayed limbs writhed, then steamed in screams of light.
Our lidless eyes became one daring crow's confections.
Our shriveled nerves shrank back from the chittering coal's delight.
Our marrow melted fast as flames licked up our blackened bones.
Our gaping mouths spewed rancid smoke as if they would relate
the secret magic flint and steel on tethered flesh create."

Here is your iron pick,
And here your crested spoon.
Not silver, true, but still
The emblem of your art,
Which is, to wit,
To lay these bodies bare;
Explain their ritual agonies,
Deduce their sorry fate,
Describe their diet, sex,
The colors of their hair,
And tell how long
Their ashen lair
Has lain beneath
Our present pleasant State.

Vanderleun : April 6, 14  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Drive-By

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gerardvanderleun : April 5, 14  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Neo-neocon drops by the place where George W. Bush exhibits his paintings | George W. Bush:

“As you know, our dear dog Barney, who had a special place in my heart — Putin dissed him and said, ‘You call it a dog?’” Bush recalled. “A year later, your mom and I go to visit and Vladimir says, ‘Would you like to meet my dog?’ Out bounds this huge hound, obviously much bigger than a Scottish terrier, and Putin looks at me and says, ‘Bigger, stronger and faster than Barney.’ I just took it in. I didn’t react,” Bush continued. “I just said, ‘Wow. Anybody who thinks ‘my dog is bigger than your dog’ is an interesting character.’ And that painting kind of reflects that.”
Here's a close-up of Bush'€™s portrait of Putin (the NBC logo is not part of the painting), which I think is quite fine, as well as revealing of Putin'€™s character:"
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Bush: I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.

Bush told Putin he had warned him that the Georgian leader, President Mikhail Saakashvili, was “hot-blooded.”

“I’m hot-blooded too,” Putin said.

“I stared back at him,” Bush writes in his book. “‘No Vladimir,’ I said. ‘You’re cold-blooded.”

gerardvanderleun : April 4, 14  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Headshots, taken at the Former Playboy Bunny Reunion in Las Vegas by photographer Robyn Twomey

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gerardvanderleun : April 4, 14  |  Your Say (19)  | PermaLink: Permalink

The wind in the willow played
Love's sweet melody
But all of those vows we made
Were never to be

Though we're apart, you're part of me still,
For you were my thrill on Blueberry Hill.

Clapping along with Vlad in 2010 we have those lovely Americans Sharon Stone, Goldie Hawn, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Costner, and Kurt Russell.

gerardvanderleun : April 2, 14  |  Your Say (15)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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A lie told often enough becomes the truth.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Destroy the family, you destroy the country.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

He who now talks about the "freedom of the press" goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards Socialism.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

We do not have time to play at “oppositions” at “conferences.” We will keep our political opponents… whether open or disguised as “nonparty,” in prison.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

One of the basic conditions for the victory of socialism is the arming of the workers and the disarming of the bourgeoisie (the middle class).
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

One man with a gun can control 100 without one.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

The goal of socialism is communism.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in ancient Greek republics: Freedom for slave owners.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

The bourgeoisie is many times stronger than we. To give it the weapon of freedom of the press is to ease the enemy’s cause, to help the class enemy. We do not desire to end in suicide, so we will not do this.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

All our lives we fought against exalting the individual, against the elevation of the single person, and long ago we were over and done with the business of a hero, and here it comes up again: the glorification of one personality. This is not good at all. I am just like everybody else.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.
-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin



Lenin's Hanging Order:

1. Hang (and make sure that the hanging takes place in full view of the people) no fewer than one hundred known landlords, rich men, bloodsuckers.
2. Publish their names.
3. Seize all their grain from them.
4. Designate hostages in accordance with yesterday's telegram.
Do it in such a fashion that for hundreds of kilometres around the people might see, tremble, know, shout: "they are strangling, and will strangle to death, the bloodsucking kulaks".
Telegraph receipt and implementation.
Yours, Lenin.
Find some truly hard people

That.

And now this:

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gerardvanderleun : April 2, 14  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"I got it!" "No, I got it!" "No, we got it!"

"The New York Yankees’ Nick Swisher climbed a wall to try and catch a ball in Game 1 of the 2009 World Series..." (via Photo Journal - WSJ )

As long as we have Opening Day every Spring and the World Series every Autumn, I will continue to believe to the adamantine rock bottom of my soul that God blesses America and has an exceptional plan for this nation.

Look at the moment above captured in Game 1 of the 2009 World Series. It could be hung in the Norman Rockwell Museum and not be a tittle of a jot out of place. In every face (except Swisher's) is an expression of pure joy as they all realize that on its way to them, at that very moment, is every baseball fan's most cherished dream from childhood: The chance to catch a fly ball in a World Series game in the stands.

In another few instants only one fan will come up with it, but in this moment all have a chance at it and all are transported at the opportunity to transcend themselves and enter into something bigger, brighter, and finer than their lives would otherwise be.

And that's the way it is in America. That's why we see many footprints leading in and few coming out. For with all our quarrels, our disagreements, our struggles, and our incessant bickering, this remains a land where you can always get another turn at bat, where you can always, right up until six months after death, get another chance to swing for the bleachers. And where, even if you aren't a player in "The Show," you can buy a seat out on the right field line and wait there for the crack of the bat, the rise of the ball against the sky, and... it's coming, it's coming.... and whap, you got it. You're in "The Show."

And in that moment life, the universe, and everything else comes down to one great roar of joy from yourself and the rest of the crowd.

Baseball, from a hot grounder on Opening Day to the World Series and a high fly ball in an Autumn sky is the arc of the essential America. Nothing else like them ever was. "I got it!" "No, I got it!" "No, we got it!"

Vanderleun : April 1, 14  |  Your Say (23)  | PermaLink: Permalink

5-Minute Arguments

The party's over
It's time to call it a day
They've burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away....

"To quote Herbert Stein, "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."

"Yes, my loopy progressive friends, the fantasy ride is over.

"Time to collect the same-sex partners and test-tube kids; get back into the Prius, hope the battery is not dead; and head home to the stagnant economy, the mortgage, the leaky roof, the uncollected garbage, the sky-high energy bills, the unemployed and unemployable college students receiving a DOA education, and a American health care system, once the greatest in the world, now on death's door thanks to your prescriptions. Oh, and let's not forget the misunderstood thugs and terrorists with their knives out, waiting in the driveway to cut all our throats, yes, our--yours and mine." From The DiploMad 2.0: Flight MH370 and Foreign Policy in a Dangerous World

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gerardvanderleun : March 31, 14  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Intellectually Insane

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

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

-- Robert Frost, "Once By The Pacific"

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

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

Once upon a time we knew enough to curse the darkness. In the aeons long climb from the muck, we have only had the ability to hold back the dark for a bit over a century. Now millions yearn to embrace it and, should they yearn long enough and hard enough, the darkness will embrace them and hold them for much longer than a brief hour of preening and self-regard.

The Big Picture at the Boston Globe site routinely publishes stunning photographs of what is taking place in the world. But at editor Alan Taylor's whim after last year's "Earth Hour", it went a step further in "celebrating" the rise of mass insanity in our age. "Earth Hour 2009" presents a round-the-world tour of cities with each picture designed to fade from light into darkness at the click of a mouse. Proud of his clever variation on a theme, the editor's instructions were -- without a hint of irony:

"[click image to see it fade]"

Of course with a second mouse click the lights came back on. It never seems to occur to the people with the Green Disease, that is perfectly possible to

[click civilization to see it fade]

and get no second click.

"Pater dimitte illis non enim sciunt quid faciunt." ("Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.") -- Luke 23:34

[Republished from 2009 because it's not worth spending new powder. And because I can't believe I almost forgot it was the sacred "Earth Hour." Oh, you did as well? Typical.]

Vanderleun : March 29, 14  |  Your Say (35)  | PermaLink: Permalink

If you know anything about the artist, S. Weasel you know you do not want to click the "Continued" link below to see the poster. No, really, you do not want to do it. Trust me. Have I ever steered you wrong before? Horseman, stay thy clicking hand. Just keep scrolling on. Nothing to see here. No.... no.... mustn't.... mustn't....

Click Here to Continue
gerardvanderleun : March 26, 14  |  Your Say (14)  | PermaLink: Permalink

"A Russian father and his baby daughter are having a seriously heated discussion.

The little girl most likely only understands a few of the words, and she can’t reproduce them coherently, because she’s a baby. She can, however, reproduce the cadence, emphasis, and body language to an amazing degree, which is adorable. If I understood what she was arguing about, she’d have me convinced." A Father Daughter Debate - Neatorama

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

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"The session began with "Maggie's Farm": only one take was recorded, and it was the only one they'd ever need:"

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gerardvanderleun : March 22, 14  |  Your Say (22)  | PermaLink: Permalink

American Studies

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I encountered the Horseman in Laguna Beach riding along the Pacific Coast Highway. He was ahead of me moving at horse speed. The traffic, hurried as always, slowed to a pause and then pulled around him. As I pulled past him, I could hear the clip-clop of the hooves of his mount and his pack horse. I glanced into the rear view mirror after I got ahead of him and saw the blinking red and blue lights and heard the short bleep of a siren tapped once. He had been pulled over by the Laguna Beach police for an interview. I pulled in around the corner, walked back, and joined a group of citizens already watching this encounter.

The Horseman was riding to Texas. He said he'd started at the Canadian border. The cop asked him why he wasn't driving. He said he didn't have a truck and a horse trailer, just a horse, a pack horse and a dog. His plan was simply to ride the coast to San Diego and turn left.

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He had what he called a "shoulder pass" which he drew from his pocket and presented to the officer. The officer, being confused, was not even sure such a document existed and examined its molecular structure.

Then the Laguna Animal Control officer showed up. That officer informed the cowpoke that he did not have his dog on a leash. Something all good little citizens of California do as willingly as they carry bags of the dog's feces around in their hands.

The Horseman replied sensibly that his dog (named, I swear, "Dog") knew how to follow along, and that if he put a leash on him from the saddle he risked strangling the dog.

"Horse goes one way, Dog goes another. Tough on Dog, officer."

At this point, having been alerted to the Horseman, another police car showed up with another, but more senior, officer. He stood to the side a bit taking in what the situation actually was.

The animal control officer, failing to see the sense of not strangling a dog on a leash tired to a horse, began a hectoring lecture on the very special ordinances of the very special town of Laguna Beach, California. The Horseman stood motionless as the scolding went on. Finally the litany of banal cop-talk was interrupted by the senior officer who evidently had less patience for the Animal Control claptrap than the Horseman. After all, if you are riding a horse from Canada to Texas in the 21st Century, you are probably not in much of a hurry.

In short order, the senior officer informed the others that, regardless of the endless petty ordinances of Laguna Beach, what they were actually going to do was let this man continue on his way. Not only that, they were going to give him a police escort out of town.

I assume the senior officer looked into the near future of any other action. And in that future he saw the issue of providing transport for two horses to some undisclosed location as well as the dog, while they were arraigning the Horseman, was going to be far too much paperwork to contemplate. That and noting about 15 citizens gathered nearby, ready for a sincere chat with the city council probably gave him pause as well.

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The Horseman had heard and seen it all before on the long road between Canada and Laguna Beach. He took "The Cowboy Way." He rolled a smoke, nodded, saddled up, whistled to Dog and was escorted out of town.

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That was all years ago and on another planet. But I still like to think of the Horseman. I like to think he's still out there making his way from Canada to Texas -- via a left turn in San Diego.

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[2009-08-11]

Vanderleun : March 22, 14  |  Your Say (34)  | PermaLink: Permalink

5-Minute Arguments

“Taxes upon every article which enters into the mouth, or covers the back, or is placed under the foot.

Taxes upon everything which it is pleasant to see, hear, feel, smell, or taste. Taxes upon warmth, light, and locomotion. Taxes on everything on earth or under the earth, on everything that comes from abroad or is grown at home. Taxes on the raw material, taxes on every fresh value that is added to it by the industry of man. Taxes on the sauce which pampers man’s appetite, and the drug which restores him to health; on the ermine which decorates the judge, and the rope which hangs the criminal; on the poor man’s salt and the rich man’s spice; on the brass nails of the coffin, and the ribbons of the bride; at bed or board; couchant or levant, we must pay. The schoolboy whips his taxed top; the beardless youth manages his taxed horse, with a taxed bridle, on a taxed road; and the dying Englishman, pouring his medicine, which has paid 7 per cent., into a spoon that has paid 15 per cent., flings himself back upon his chintz bed, which has paid 22 per cent., and expires in the arms of an apothecary who has paid a licence of a hundred pounds for the privilege of putting him to death. His whole property is then immediately taxed from 2 to 10 per cent. Besides the probate, large fees are demanded for burying him in the chancel. His virtues are handed down to posterity on taxed marble, and he will then be gathered to his fathers, to be taxed no more.” Rev. Sidney Smith, Edinburgh Review, 1820 Via HappyAcres

gerardvanderleun : March 21, 14  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Search American Digest

The Top 40


Why? Oh why?

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Eric Holder and Lois Lerner not only are liars, they're in cahoots.

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Lois Lerner was asking the Department of Justice to criminally prosecute people like Catherine Engelbrecht.
This woman, this Lerner, this is a witch. This is a very unhappy -- well, you can tell. I mean, if everything's going her way, this is the kind of woman, person, not because she's a woman, she's just not happy. Don't doubt me on this. She's just seething with rage every day. - - Limbaugh


Empty Cradles

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In the West, it has been a matter of faith that we have too many humans.
Therefore, setting up abortion mills in the schools, putting girls on birth control and severely limiting our “carbon footprint” are ways to thin the herd. It’s eugenics with a smiley face. It’s also worked. If you look at the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) by country, you see that the West is well below replacement just about everywhere. The US is right at replacement, but that includes high birth rates amongst non-Asian minorities. White birthrates are well below replacement. Our nuts happen to think this is just a good start. - - The Z Blog


Transgender Dudes Don't Fool Chicks

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Bruce "Bridgitte" Jenner
Those I met after surgery would tell me that the surgery and hormone treatments that had made them “women” had also made them happy and contented.
None of these encounters were persuasive, however. The post-surgical subjects struck me as caricatures of women. They wore high heels, copious makeup, and flamboyant clothing; they spoke about how they found themselves able to give vent to their natural inclinations for peace, domesticity, and gentleness”but their large hands, prominent Adam’s apples, and thick facial features were incongruous (and would become more so as they aged). Women psychiatrists whom I sent to talk with them would intuitively see through the disguise and the exaggerated postures. “Gals know gals,” one said to me, “and that’s a guy.” Surgical Sex by Paul R. McHugh | Articles | First Things


New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson

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About her tattoos:
“I have now four. I think eventually, when I finish doing them, will tell the story of me, of where I lived, and what things have been important to me. … I have two then on my back that are the two institutions that I revere, that have shaped me. One is unsurprisingly the amazing ‘T’ in The New York Times newspaper. Then I have a Crimson Harvard ‘H’ and that’s for Harvard, and also for my husband Henry, who we met when we were in the same class at Harvard. … - - JIMROMENESKO.COM

And a tramp stamp with a down arrow reading "All the News That Fits."

The Keepers of the Stones

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Pagans, druids, and other self-styled mystics gather at the site for this year’s vernal equinox, on March 20th, an occasion that drew thousands of visitors. The woman pictured here is a member of a group called the Loyal Arthurian Warband. George Steinmetz's Photographs of Stonehenge Pilgrims : The New Yorker

In the event of a TEOTWAWKI I intend to use several options.

I intend to Bug out with a truck-load of supplies to a pre-selected wilderness area (within 15 minute ride of home),
establish a hide site and wait out the carnage. (I have about seven months supplies for my family plus a couple of caches with extra food and weapons nearby for a total of roughly nine months of rough living. I believe our odds of remaining unnoticed for six or more months are very good while maintaining a fairly high standard of living. Common Survival Strategies


Historians? What Historians?

Ukraine crisis "I hope I'm wrong but historians may look back and say this was the start of World War III", says Edward Lucas | Mail Online

Modern Pioneering

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Pellegrini hunts her dinner with guns.
She makes tables out of tree stumps. And, sometimes when she’s in the mood, she garnishes cakes with rose petals.I first crossed Pellegrini’s path when I heard about her hunting trips. She takes girls to the field, kills dinner with them, then cooks up delicious meals around a wood-fired hearth (or similar cooking source). A standard itinerary includes: clay shooting, falconry, fly fishing, bird hunting, ATV riding, cooking, and—of course—mechanical bull riding. Huckberry |


After "I am Curious Yellow" it was only a matter of time....

Swedes vote for country's nicest cock - The Local

Portrait of a Young Woman of Frankfurt (c. 1480-1485) Sandro Botticelli

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The Airplane That Went Away

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They've been searching for this thing and they can't find it.
Shouldn't they be finding loads and loads and loads of garbage dumped by the cruise ships? Shouldn't they be finding lots of satellite debris from satellites that have fallen out of orbit? I mean, Ted Danson and these clowns told us that the oceans were becoming the biggest garbage dumps on the planet. And somebody wrote a column or a book that the cruise ships throw away more sewage and leftover food than Haitians have to eat. Where is it? - - Rush Limbaugh


Sympathy for Cliven Bundy and his family.

Why You Should Be Sympathetic Toward Cliven Bundy : They don’t have a chance on the law, because under the Endangered Species Act and many other federal statutes, the agencies are always in the right.
And their way of life is one that, frankly, is on the outs. They don’t develop apps. They don’t ask for food stamps. It probably has never occurred to them to bribe a politician. They don’t subsist by virtue of government subsidies or regulations that hamstring competitors. They aren’t illegal immigrants. They have never even gone to law school. So what possible place is there for the Bundys in the Age of Obama?


What to give a president who has everything?

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Worked for Louis XVI.

“I just filed my taxes and I’m getting 400 dollars from the federal government!”

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Please don’t celebrate the tax return you’re “getting”. You aren’t getting anything.
That’s your money. The government took it, held onto it for a year, and now they’re returning it without interest. If some guy at work stole a hundred bucks from your wallet and then, after you tracked him down and harassed him about it, he gave you back a small portion of it, would you run through the halls jumping for joy? Would you thank him for returning your own money? Or would you smack him upside the head and tell him to give you back the rest with interest, or you’ll break his kneecaps with a tire iron? - - Three things that all of you serfs and peasants shouldn’t say on Tax Day | The Matt Walsh Blog


Living in the Penumbra Between Time and History

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It seems to me, the larger the expanse, the more room for ignorance.
If we don't understand World War II, what makes us think we understand something as remote as the "big bang," the emergence of life, or the appearance of human beings? Science can only approach these thingularities in the most abstract manner imaginable, so abstract that they are essentially devoid of content except what the imagination fills in. Which means that they are essentially myth by another name. - - One Cʘsmos:


Bitch, bitch, bitch....

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"Our men, who in former Ages were justly esteemed the Ablest Performers in Christendome; But to our unspeakable Grief, we find of late a very sensible Decay of that true Old English Vigor; our Gallants being every way so Frenchified, that they are become meer Cock-sparrows, fluttering things that come on Sa sa, with a world of Fury, but are not able to stand to it, and in the very first Charge fall down flat before us. Never did Men wear greater breeches, or carry less in them of any Mettle whatsoever." - - The women'€™s petition against coffee

Hotdog in a sausage bun because bread makes you fat

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- - Sploid

"Liberalism hasn’t had a new idea since the 1960s"

“Liberalism has a kind of Tourette Syndrome these days. It’s constantly saying the words racism and racist.
There’s an old saying , if you have the law on your side, argue the law. If you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. If you have neither, pound the table. This is pounding the table. There’s a kind of intellectual poverty now. Liberalism hasn’t had a new idea since the 1960s, except Obamacare, and the country doesn’t like it. George Will: The Obama Administration’s Cries of Racism Are Becoming a Joke


"A Russian fighter repeatedly buzzed a US warship in the Black Sea."

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American credibility and prestige — its legitimacy as the hegemon in other words
— would once have prevented the Russians from trying this stunt. But it’s gone. And going to battle stations each time plane shows up is ruinously expensive. When the IRS shuts down Republican companies or when Harry Reid uses his political position to drive a rancher off his land the damage goes beyond the individual aggrieved party. It goes to the legitimacy of the system. Of all the values the “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” cohort have squandered, nothing has been more ill-spent than trust.Belmont Club » The Book of Numbers


The Moral: Aesop Knew Something About Crows

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The last common ancestor of humans and crows lived perhaps 300 million years ago, and was almost certainly no intellectual giant.
So the higher levels of crow and primate intelligence evolved on separate tracks, but somehow reached some of the same destinations. And scientists are now asking what crows can’t do, as one way to understand how they learn and how their intelligence works. - NYTimes.com


The most beautiful animal you’ve never seen

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I’d spent the afternoon on a small dingy off the coast of Durban, South Africa.
It was muggy, and I’d been working for hours–-throwing a small net out, and pulling in tiny hauls of plankton that I’d then collect in jars. As I looked through one jar, the boat rocking up and down, I saw for an instant a bright blue flash. Gone. Then again in a different place. An incredible shade of blue. [HT: Doug Ross / Journal ] - - | Deep Sea News


"A weird black ring appeared in the sky in England and then disappeared"

This is bizarre. A 16-year-old girl saw a giant black ring in the sky above England and captured it on video.
After three minutes of floating around like a cloud, the black ring disappeared completely. So far, experts have no idea what it was. - - Sploid


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It's Spring in Chicago at Last!

Weekend Violence Leaves Four Dead, 37 Wounded

The Dark and Dangerous World of Extreme Cavers

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He’d travelled more than three miles through the earth by then, over stalagmites and boulder fields, cave-ins and vaulting galleries.
He’d spidered down waterfalls, inched along crumbling ledges, and bellied through tunnels so tight that his back touched the roof with every breath. Now he stood at the shore of a small, dark pool under a dome of sulfurous flowstone. He felt the weight of the mountain above him—a mile of solid rock—and wondered if he’d ever find his way back again. - - Burkhard Bilger : The New Yorker


Take Religion Seriously

Taking religion seriously means work.
If you're waiting for a road-to-Damascus experience, you're kidding yourself. Getting inside the wisdom of the great religions doesn't happen by sitting on beaches, watching sunsets and waiting for enlightenment. It can easily require as much intellectual effort as a law degree. Advice for a Happy Life by Charles Murray - WSJ.com


The Hot Links Are Always Piping Hot at Maggie's Farm

Monday morning links (and not just on Mondays) - Maggie's Farm

Looking For Tom Lehrer

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“Is this Tom Lehrer?” Morris asked over the phone, working to hide his nervousness.
“Yes,” replied a voice some 1,000 miles away. “The Tom Lehrer who teaches math?” “Yes.” “The Tom Lehrer that did some records in the ’50s and ’60s?” “Yes.” - - Comedy's Mysterious Genius


The Founders had a pretty good understanding

of the bandits, highwaymen, con-men, the clever fraction and the parasites present in every human population.
They also understood how easily the smart and successful could tip into corruption. Their project was designed to make it tough for these elements to gain power of their neighbors. They may have imagined a tribe of Podestas, but they never imagined a class of coat holders and fixers, who existed outside the power of the king. The next Constitution, if there is one, will have to address this type of vermin that runs the Imperial Capital. The Z Blog › The Imperial Capital


Side Bet

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The BLM-Bundy Ranch confrontation

What comes next - Government seldom gives up this easily.
I’d venture this is only settled for the moment and the heist will resume as soon as the media is distracted by something else... Figure however long it takes for the Feds to run facial recognition on everyone who showed up in support of the Bundys, and time for a Grand Jury to be empaneled and come up with some kind of conspiracy to obstruct, or whatever, and then a snap decision to show We the People who the boss is. I give it 120 days, more or less, but we’ll see how it all rolls out. George Ure at urbansurvival.com ol remus and the woodpile report


Psalm 37

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25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Ann Barnhardt: "Regarding the cattleman in Nevada" [Bumped]

I would strongly discourage you all from hitching your cart to this particular horse. While I have all manner of criticisms of the BLM and certainly of thuggish FEDGOV tactics, it is essential that one pick one’s battles very carefully, and this is NOT a good battle to pick. The guy in question has been grazing his cattle at essentially zero feed cost for upwards of twenty years (well, THAT makes the cattle business easier, doesn’t it!) because he stopped paying the BLM any lease charges. A Few Things | Barnhardt

The inventor of everything

How an egotistical genius convinced Silicon Valley to invest hundreds of millions in his shoddy science: whenever I asked detailed questions about his wealth, he would change the subject back to his passion for pure research. "I’m about being out there doing something nobody has ever done before," Cheiky intoned. "Doing the best you can for mankind." | The Verge

Comment of the Month So Far: On MRAPs

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Regarding Afghanistan and victory: "Do you know what piece of inanimate equipment pisses me off? MRAPs. Mine Resistant Armored Personnel carriers. Thousands of them.
When you turn your jeep into Battlestar Galactica, you have admitted to the enemy that you lack the will to kill the minelayers. Or win the war. Money doesn't buy victory. It buys lots of equipment, but failing to IDENTIFY and ATTACK and DESTROY the ENEMY to the point he loses the WILL to resist means you are just buying shiny toys from donors. Declining to attack an enemy is not equal to not having one. I almost miss the last administration; even when "conflict = defeat" was the journalism paradigm. At least the war was acknowledged. Our kids lose their sanity on multiple deployments, some finally lose the armour vs. warhead roulette, and the tribesmen still dig holes on the trails and roads at night. Evil. Posted by: TmjUtah in And the Great talk a good line.


Bad Moon

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Popular televangelist claims four blood moons are sign of "€˜world-shaking event"€™: Four complete lunar eclipses will appear in the sky starting on April 15. Pastor John Hagee, of Texas' Cornerstone Church, believes God is trying to communicate with humans through these celestial signs.

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

The Wages of Sin

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Around $3,000
"From now on when people ask me why I'm a stripper, I'm just going to show them this picture (one day of work- 1130am to 3am).”

And the Great talk a good line.

They tell us that landmines, not those who plant them, are the real dangers.

They say that guns, not broken people, are responsible for crime. They promise that if we abolish nuclear weapons and elect people who make the oceans fall we can fundamentally transform America. They warn of every danger except of man himself; how in form like an angel and how when fallen like a devil. Madison thought differently. He understood that men were the danger. - - Belmont Club サ Beyond Reproach



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