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"Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice. " - H.L.Mencken

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

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And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

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gerardvanderleun : April 23, 17  |  Your Say (3)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Lest we forget how minuscule we really are.

CARLIN: "Let me tell you about endangered species, all right? Saving endangered species is just one more arrogant attempt by humans to control nature. It's arrogant meddling. It's what got us in trouble in the first place. Doesn't anybody understand that? Interfering with nature. Over 90%, way over 90% of all the species that have ever lived on this planet, ever lived, are gone. They're extinct. We didn't kill them all. They just disappeared. That's what nature does.

"We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the fucking planet?

“I’m getting tired of that shit. Tired of that shit. I’m tired of fucking Earth Day, I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. They don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t.  You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.

“Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we’re a threat? That somehow we’re gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun?

“The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles…hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages…And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet…the planet…the planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE!

“We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.

“You wanna know how the planet’s doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, how the planet’s doing. You wanna know if the planet’s all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilauea, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.

“The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new pardigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?” Plastic…asshole.

“So, the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that’s begun. Don’t you think that’s already started? I think, to be fair, the planet sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. And the planet can defend itself in an organized, collective way, the way a beehive or an ant colony can. A collective defense mechanism. The planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet? How would you defend yourself against this troublesome, pesky species? Let’s see… Viruses. Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And, uh…viruses are tricky, always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps, this first virus could be one that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus, making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along. And maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.

“Well, that’s a poetic note. And it’s a start. And I can dream, can’t I? See I don’t worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we’re part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. The Big Electron…whoooa. Whoooa. Whoooa. It doesn’t punish, it doesn’t reward, it doesn’t judge at all. It just is. And so are we. For a little while."

gerardvanderleun : April 22, 17  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Nellia Ehrentraut, 64, and husband Dietmar, 70, are drawing accolades online after a YouTube video showed them energetically dancing to Johan Blohm & The Refreshments. The video was filmed at an event called the Boogie Woogie Veterans Tournament in Landshut, Germany. The couple, who married in 1070, said they have been dancing together for more than 30 years, and have won numerous awards for dancing in styles from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. "We still have a lot of fun," the couple told ABC News.

That's the news of the day and the week and we are out of here for a beautiful Friday afternoon. Hope you have one too. Come back when you can. We'll be here all week month year decade.

gerardvanderleun : April 21, 17  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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[HT: The once more ice cold Never Yet Melted]

gerardvanderleun : April 20, 17  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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“We are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” -- Oscar Wilde

If you could pick up the Northwestern US by the southeast corner of Idaho and shake it, everything loose would roll down into Seattle. So many loose bipeds have rolled into town over the years that the city boasts not one angry and twisted little “alternative paper” but two: The Seattle Weekly and The Stranger. Of the two, The Stranger is the stranger, the more angry, and the more spiteful. Strangely, The Stranger -- in this age of Obama and “springtime for progressive Hitlers" -- grows more angry and peevish every week since the November elections. It no longer competes with the Seattle Weekly to see who can be more revolting. It won that dubious contest long ago. These days The Stranger seems to mostly compete with itself; trying every week to put out more slime and bile than the week before. Most weeks, it wins. This week was no exception.

No matter what the standard Democrat/Progressive line may be, it is never quite good enough for The Stranger. This may be because of it’s editor, one Dan Savage by name, a man who seems to live to reveal that for some, when it comes to being intellectually twisted, there really is no bottom. It may be because The Stranger’s infected bloodlines run from from the ancient wheezings of The Daily Worker, down through The East Village Other, and out onto the news stands of Planet Moonbat with classifieds courtesy of The Berkeley Barb. Or it may be because the editor is simply an awful person with a full load of obsessive-compulsive disorders.It’s difficult to know when it comes to this perfect storm of spit, spite, and smut.

All one can know is that, with The Stranger, you see deeper into the soul of today’s post-modern American quisling than any other “alternative” weekly. And what you see is the utter lock this mindset has on what once we called “The Seven Deadly Sins.” It is positive for all of them and takes no medication. Instead, it showcases them in order to effectively infect every freshman class that arrives in Seattle looking for an “education” in how to be fashionably depraved in worn fleece. I read the paper every so often to keep in touch with how dementia, depravity and degradation are progressing in progressive America.

These days it would seem that the 7 deadly sins are now the 7 cardinal virtues of the progressive left. As I shall demonstrate....

Indeed, the progressive left has cast off all pretense of “progress” and simply reverted to a rag-tag slop bucket brimming over with Americans that hate children, success, happiness, liberty, and life itself. All the local “progressive heroes” will sooner of later get their close-up in The Stranger. Their faces and their ever-extending list of physical and mental diseases will unfailingly reveal the state of souls that have committed to personal and social devolution. Along the way, they've bagged the seven deadly sins with the zeal of hunters, never knowing that it was themselves that was the hunted. Theirs is the socialist Utopian view of life fueled with poppers and propaganda.

Those who have the tragic view of life accept that all humans are flawed. We all, to a greater of lesser extent, have touched on all of the 7 deadly sins. It is in our nature. But those with the tragic view at least struggle against this and strive to leave the world brighter and better than when we came into it, not more depraved and darker.

I see this split and this struggle in myself and hold myself more guilty of the 7 sins than is perhaps strictly true, for I know that when you put yourself on trial the verdict is always “guilty.” At the same time, I think I struggle in my small way to overcome these tendencies in myself and if I do not succeed, I still struggle. What I do not do is revel in them and constantly seek to live out the more extreme expressions of the same. That seeking can be seen in almost every progressive position and policy of the last several decades. From the celebration of abortion and treason to the exaltation of perversion and penury, it seems that every step taken by the progressive strain of American politics over the last few decades has been to go deeper into the pit and to glory in the mire.

For most Americans, the 7 deadly sins are things we struggle against. For progressives, the 7 sins have become the touchstones of their plans and policies. So extreme has their dedication to degradation become that they have become proud in their achievements. We’ve long had to bear witness to the progressives' preening pride in their "achievements," from the slaughter of the unborn to the feckless squandering of the local, state, and federal purse. Now their goal seems to be to pull the rest of us down into the cesspit that they're in. As we saw in November, most Americans, when the choice is stark and immediate, decline to join them in the muck. But as we have seen since then, rejection at the polls does not dissuade them but rather energizes them to new depths of depravity. It isn't an accident that a popular cultural meme this season is that of Zombies, the walking dead who seek to feast off and then convert the living to their living death.

At one point the classical American liberalism might have avoided this cultural and ideological degradation, but that was before they left shame behind. Then it was full speed ahead. After all, once you’ve expunged shame from your conscious mind, Pride is what is left.

Pride, as we know, is the first and most deadly sin. It’s the one that makes all the others possible. When the self and it’s immediate needs have become the individual's brave new god, humility is impossible. Humility is, well, so human that the brave new gods of the Left cannot abide it. Instead the must worship Ego Uber Alles. Pride must take its place at the head of their lemmings' parade over the cliffs of nihilism into the waters of oblivion.

Long ago, there was a mnemonic for the seven deadly sins, PEWSLAG. In order it meant Pride, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Lust, Avarice, and Gluttony. All of these are on display weekly in “The Stranger,” as they are daily across the nation wherever progressives have gained a voice or power. They prance about in the half-time shows at the Superbowl. They never fail to make the nightly network news or grace the editorial pages of our leading "papers of record." So common have the elements of PEWSLAG become in our time that they can no longer be considered as ‘The 7 Deadly Sins,” but rather as the PPAF, The Progressive Platform for America’s Future.

Let's review the PPAF in greater detail:

Progressive PRIDE: It’s no accident that this word comes up again and again in their writings. It is essential for the Progressive to internalize extreme amounts of Pride. Pride in the self is the single most important element the freed will needs to move God out of the universe entirely and Self into the center. Once Self is in the center and the feeding of Self the most important element of existence, there is effectively no limit on what the Will can demand for the Self.

We’ve seen how societies based on The Triumph of the Will sweep across the world in the last century. These Self and Will centered social experiments all seem to have the worship of a single man at their center and the word “Socialist” in their name. Their core concept at the apex of their terrible arc is a National or Group Pride in a single individual as an excuse for the most horrible crimes committed on citizens and other innocents. The words “Nazi” and “Communist” both slide nicely into the old slogan, “Say it loud / I ______ and I’m proud.” Wisdom tells us what comes after pride, but wisdom is not a progressive value.

Progressive ENVY: This is an ancient organizing tool that uses those with less than everything as tools against those who have, well, more. It doesn’t matter if “more” is an second goat, or an extra billion dollars. Thou shalt covet is the commandment here. For once you can convince a person to envy another there is no limit to what they will want to take since what they want is not a goat or a billion dollars, but simply and eternally “more.” In the final analysis, those who at some point refuse to give “more” will be required to give all, including life itself. Envy always ends in guns.

Progressive WRATH: All those who point out, even in the slightest way, that the Progressive plan for Utopian improvement never seems to arrive at an end point but is always seeking “more,” are sure to feel increasing amounts of Wrath directed against them. It begins in a mild reproach as the doubter is made to feel the chill from his or her closest associates, but it quickly escalates to anger if the doubter does not immediately lie down and become submissive. For those that stand clearly outside the Progressive circle of approved behavior, wrath is constant and unremitting and ever growing in its intensity. To test this all you need to do is to utter the magic words, “Sarah Palin” to a progressive. Better yet, utter them to a group of calm Progressives. Record the reaction.

Progressive SLOTH: One of the pleasures of being a Progressive is the one never has to actually produce anything of use in the form of innovation and invention. Progressives need only put in place things that impede innovation and invention in the form of excessive laws and continuing and complex regulations and false customs. It is remarkable in this century that one can spend a lifetime making these impediments to prosperity in the media, in academic life, in unions, and in a bureaucratic career, and only rise from reward to greater reward by making those and other careers safer for slackers and lay-abouts. In the process, the position of those that enable slackers is made ever more secure through increasing the dependency of the hard-core unemployable among us on the slacker state. While doing nothing is a waste of life, there seems to be no shortage of the non-abled among us that are dedicated to this as a career path.

Progressive LUST: As the progressives institutionalize and subsidize sloth, whole oceans of time open for the non-abled and non-thinking and non-feeling in the mass of the intentionally under-educated in the nation. What better way to spend the brief time between the progressive-worshiped states of unbeing than in the constant pursuit of the sating of the senses? For although there is a puritan stain that oozes from all Progressive alphas, the alphas have found that the best way to control, to placate, the betas is to let them live lives devoted to lust.

Hence there are endless fully-supported programs that enable sex without any chance of pregnancy and, should avoiding pregnancy prove to be beyond the mental capabilities of the betas, there are subsidized programs for terminating any inconveniences. Should the inconveniences seem to be convenient, there are programs to support and warehouse them. Should the lusts of the body lead to disease, there is no end of programs to cure or at least palliate them should they be resistant to a cure. In all cases, everything is done to enable and promote lust as the booby prize for the betas. The more rubble in the masses, the less trouble for the elites.

Progressive AVARICE: The old joke of the two line IRS form that reads,

HOW MUCH DID YOU MAKE? __________________.
SEND IT IN.

seems less and less amusing as it becomes more and more clear that Progressivism is merely the stalking horse for the complete control of private property and assets of the middle class. (Graduation to the “political class” aka “The Party” or “Politburo” grants you and your family a waiver.)

Progressivism in the United States has seen the truth of the Thatcher observation that “The trouble with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.” The solution, driven by the greed of the political class, is simply to get their hands on all the money. Once that is achieved, the pie can be doled out from the private-jet sky. The size of your slice? Well, as we know only too well, the Progressive plan is “From each according to their ability. To each according to their need.”

Unbridled Progressive AVARICE is the only way to overcome GREED "for the greater good." Only when the state has it all can the machinery of the state at last thrive. Only then can the endless compassion of the state come into play in a gentle redistribution in which no citizen has more than any other citizen, except for those citizens connected enough to get a waiver. The current state-of-the-players in the embryonic healthcare establishment is a testament to this.

Progressive GLUTTONY: A funny thing happened to the political animals of the sixties as they wormed their Progressive way into the national establishment in their dotage. These radical retreads discovered they liked to eat well and, at times, strangely. Hence we have the endless passions of the Progressive foodies for organic, for local, for “sustainable,” for ethnic, for vegan, for raw, for everything that can be eaten on the face of the earth combined with a catechism for the masses of the fast cheap food that is “bad” for them. It’s no accident that the biggest fetish for the Baby-Boomers that comprise the mass of the Progressive alphas is a food fetish. They like to eat... everything in sight. Unborn lamb today. The unborn tomorrow. Start with the stem cells and move up from there.

And their gluttony does not stop at food items, it extends to all other spheres of human behavior. They like to eat traditions. They like to eat values. They like to eat nuclear families. They like to eat real history. They like to eat real rights. They like to eat the Founding documents of the nation. They like to eat the rule of law. They like to eat the living. They like to eat souls.

The progressives are gluttons for everything and they will continue to eat everything until they are stopped. Until then, their platform and program, their PPAF, is summed up in the simple mnemonic, PEWSLAG, where Pride is the beginning and Gluttony the end of their endeavors. And the fruits of the Progressives’ Gluttony will always be that which is always emitted the morning after a long night of unrestrained feasting on the living by the zombies among us.

Vanderleun : April 19, 17  |  Your Say (45)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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They will declare:Every journey has been taken.
You shall respond: I have not been to see myself.
They will insist: Everything has been spoken.
You shall reply: I have not had my say.
They will tell you: Everything has been done.
You shall reply: My way is not complete.
You are warned: Any way is long, any way is hard.
Fear not. You are the gate – you, the gatekeeper.
And you shall go through and on . . .

Alexandros Evangelou Xenopouloudakis

gerardvanderleun : April 18, 17  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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In the episode called “Most Memorable Year Week,” the celebrity participants chose the most important year in their lives and danced to a song that represents that year for them. The sixty-four-year-old Mr. T (“My first name is ‘Mr,’ my middle name is ‘period,’ last name is ‘T.’”) chose 1995, the year he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

The scowling ex-boxer and ex-bodyguard—real name Lawrence Tureaud—grew up in a Chicago ghetto, became a college athlete, then a pro wrestling personality before going on to star in Rocky III and The A-Team TV series. His signature Mohawk haircut, gold chains, and lines like “I pity the fool!” and “Prediction: pain!” turned him into a lovable pop culture icon of gruff masculinity.

Then came the cancer diagnosis. “Back in the day, I had money, cars,” he said in the introductory video to the DWTS performance. “I had achieved what I wanted to achieve and then everything really stopped.”

He suddenly found himself helpless in the face of an antagonist he didn’t know how to fight. “I called on God,” Mr. T says in the video. “I said, ‘God, give me strength to do your will.’ That’s when it really hit me: What’s really real? My faith in God. That was real, because only God could save me.” It worked, because twenty years later he stands as a humble testament to his faith, courage, and perseverance. - - ‘Tough and Tender’ Mr. T’s Amazing Grace

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

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The PRPS NOIR Collection is not about black denim. Noir utilizes the best selvedge denim fabrics available anywhere in the world– with incredibly extensive washes and old school wear, tear & repair details that are authentic to genuine vintage jeans painstakingly collected over the years worn by real miners, mechanics, and laborers alike. Each jean is handmade and can take up to a week to produce. [Price: $300 -- $500]-- The Selvedge Yard

One of the small economies about living in New York City for years and relocating to the West Coast is to be had in clothing costs. If one of your jobs in New York was being a men's fashion editor for a magazine, you find that you don't buy clothes so much as have them.

In any case, I dumped clothes by the cartload before I moved, and I still had far too many when I arrived. Since I don't ski, the usefulness of items that would put Nanook of the North into a sweat during January in Greenland are pretty dubious. As a result, I've been pretty much out of the clothing shopping cycle for years and I find it, to say the least, refreshing.

In Seattle if you hold some fleece jackets, a couple of hooded sweatshirts, a few work shirts and two pairs of jeans for "formal occasions," you're pretty much done. But "wear happens" and I've noted that my Levis have been getting -- even for Levis -- fairly grotty in the last couple of months. Yesterday, I decided they about to be redefined as "rags," and I so set off to purchase my first new pair of jeans in at least six years.

Since I'm a hit-and-run shopper I did what any American male in search of jeans-to-go would do, I turned left into the parking lot of the first Gap I saw and sauntered inside confident of my mission. Unlike women of my acquaintance who practice "catch and release shopping" in order to increase their collection of designer shopping bags, I knew what I wanted. I also knew how much I was going to spend. This was in sharp contrast to many women who never really spend any money on clothes, but only "save" money on clothes. [ Me: "You look great in that new outfit with the shoes and the hat. How much did they cost?" Her: "Would you believe I saved over $800 on this? How great is that?" Me: "That's really great."]

I firmly believe that if you have to spend more than 15 minutes in a clothing store, you don't need what you think you need. My list was short. I wanted one pair of five pocket denim jeans, blue, crisp, and coming in at no more than $50. The Gap was the place for me.

Fool. Yes, fool. For if you want to find a pair of crisp, new blue jeans in trendy grunge Seattle, you'd better pack a lunch, because you are about to find yourself trapped inside an episode of "Shop Trek."

It's not that you can't buy some new jeans at the Gap, it is just that you can't buy any new new jeans.

Yes, it would seem that sometime in the last decade, the American people have become so fat and so happy and so inordinately lazy that they no longer want to put their own wear, sweat and stress into their Levis. Nope, it seems that the entire country will only buy jeans that have already been worn into a shambles, reduced, as new, to the rags I already had at home.

You've got new jeans at the Gap that look like they've had non-union and unlucky sweatshop employees of Sri Lanka of all shapes and sizes stuffed into them and then dragged for miles along country roads. They've got jeans with the off -the-rack look as if they've been sandblasted at a construction site in Tijuana -- after Happy Hour.

You've got jeans that look as if the person inside them was persuaded to run through a scene of "Dirty Dancing" with a belt-sander .

You've got jeans that seem to have been stolen out of a wedding reception in Afghanistan after a predator strike went terribly wrong.

And you've got jeans that I swear have the finish and light golden color stained deep into the blue that you could only get if you buried them in a Chicago feedlot and let several herds of cattle rain down on them for a month.

Pre-shredded, pre-torn, pre-raveled at the seams, pre-faded, pre-pissed upon and a dozen other industrial or inhuman processes all combined to give me a section of men's jeans at the Gap that looked like the changing room right next to a mass grave. All displayed proudly and marked and priced as "New."

I'd long been aware of a certain market on eBay, Eastern Europe, and Japan among the tragically hip for vintage worn Levis. I'd accepted that as one accepts the fact that there will always be a market real and facsimile shrunken heads. I'd been vaguely conscious of the "stone-washed" process in denim, but thought that was only popular among Suburban housewives of the expanding midriff. But I'd just not caught up with the fact that it was no longer necessary, or fashionable, to break-in your own Levis when you could have a process or a prisoner or a refugee do it for you.

It was once the case that when you bought a pair of Levis they were not only board stiff, they were two sizes large so you could "shrink to fit." The other miracle about them was that they could turn any laundry within two blocks of your house blue for the first five washings. Wear? Wear happened -- slowly, over years, like the mellowing of a fine Bordeaux. Long gone. Where are the Levis of yesteryear? In the Ginzo district in Tokyo selling for $1,110 a pair.

Where are the Levis and Gap jeans of next year? Probably on the ass of some hapless bastards in lock-down at a prison in either Arizona or Bangladesh. After all, if my web host can outsource his service calls to India, surely it is only a matter of time before our Levi pre-wearing is outsourced as well.

Did I buy any new jeans? Of course not. I came home and looked at the two half-rotten pair I own, frayed at the cuff, a hole in one knee, and stained from five years hard-riding. I slipped a pair on, chose an Hawaiian shirt that would be ashamed if it was a tie, slapped a fleece hoody over that, and took a turn in front of the mirror.

Ah, that Tropical-Balkan-Refugee-Gansta look. The very glass of fashion.

Vanderleun : April 17, 17  |  Your Say (49)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Grace Notes

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The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night

-- Mathew Arnold

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

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      "If I take the wings of the morning,
      and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea...."
-- Psalm 139

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WE RISE in a banking curve of pure velocity
over fallow fields and grids of neighborhoods,
arcing over ponds painted with slick scum oozing
-- from the oil pans of countless sunken cars,
-- from punctured sacks of toxic trash,
-- from fleshless graves of abandoned murders,
of missing persons filed in muck.

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WE RISE embraced by first-class armchairs,
pondering the crisply printed histories
of yesterday's most meaningless events.
We rise up above our lives and lies,
above, alone, away, alas, good-bye
to families and to friends, to all terrestrial ties.
Our very cellulars, by strict law silenced
so that our murmurs not disturb
the delicate electronics on which so much
at this tremulous moment depends
that we dare not think on it, and so select
music of our choice from mid-heaven's jukebox.

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WE RISE in the faltering dark
into the pale flicker of a cosseted sun
slatted in flashes through fingers of cloud,
up into the white blood of the sinewed sky,
and so our day and world slips by.

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WE RISE UP to where all breath is snow,
so far that all above becomes below,
up until the sky is seen as vapor,
smeared white on blue construction paper
and framed by dark remorseless space.

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WE RISE UP until from Earth we seem
only a fading gesture, some echoed trace
of fog, distinguished only by our direction,
out over arid ancient seas, past all reflection.

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AND STILL WE RISE, our lush ascent
powered by ageless diatoms' descent
into the ooze between the fossiled stones,
the shattered crypts of shells and bones;
above the planned sere autumn fields
of pasture, silage, grain that yields
the bread we break in this, our floating world.

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AND STILL we rise, resurrected,
through the thinning strands of sky reflected,
until the edge of day the stars deny,
where all the worlds we knew slip by,
tangled in a mapless maze of rivers,
our passing but a whisper that shivers
the dream of a drowsing owl, a silver splinter
caught in a facet of the eye of winter,
and, unremarked or written, quickly glides
beyond the reach of records or of guides.

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WE RISE until at last held still
in that blue hand which grasps all sky,
awake within our tube of paper steel,
our long ascent levels and we slide
onto a gleaming lake of granite ink,
reflecting now the empty gaze of God,
beyond warm hands and done with Earth.

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NEVER NOW to stagger or to slip
back into the shadows and the rain,
back into the warm musk of the day,
but, keen as an iron blade
touched to the tongue,
we sail forever on these slate seas
out to the far edge of imagine,
and on, and still on beyond
into the heart of the stars,
into the silence of their song.

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Vanderleun : April 16, 17  |  Your Say (37)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"Why seek ye the living among the dead?" -- Luke 24 KJV

Beginning on October 13th of 2011 I spent eleven days among the dead and then was returned to life. Why and for what I still cannot say. What I can say is that, in some brief and infinitesimal way, I have had a small shimmer of resurrection shine upon my dead shadow and raise me back into the light. It was a tiny touch and yet it would seem that was all it took. This time. Next time I have no doubt it will require divine intervention. Perhaps it did this time. I have no way of knowing.

Nor can I say that I know what it "was like" to be dead because of my death I have neither shred of memory, nor the slightest sense of a blank space between one moment of life and the next moment of life. My mind holds only two instants; the one enjambed against the other.

In the first I am standing on the front porch of my house looking across the road at the playground sometime on the afternoon of October 13, 2011. There is the impression of small children running about in bright clothing. The sky is clear and there is sunlight from overhead. Shadows are small pools moving beneath the children. It is in the high 50s neither warm nor cold.

Then, in the very next instant, I am cold. I am lying in a bed covered with only a sheet. I am looking past my feet in a room ringed with drapes hanging on rails from a ceiling. At the foot of the bed a man in a blue tunic is sitting in a pose similar to Rodin's "The Thinker." His arm is bare to the shoulder and he has a Maori tattoo on it. I think, for a moment, that someone is speaking to me from the side, something about being in a coma. Then I am gone again.

Those are the two moments.

One is right next to the other.

There is nothing in between.

I lose track of what happens next and come to know it is not an instant between memories but eleven days and that I have spent that time in a medically induced coma after spending some unspecified number of minutes dead. It was nothing so dramatic as a crucifixion. It was simply a ceasing to be of which I had no awareness. What followed, as dramatic as it was for those around me, was a blank to me; something available to my soul only via hearsay. There were, it would seem, heroic measures involving tubes, machines, drugs, and methods of lowering the temperature of the human body and maintaining it lower for some days. For some minutes I was, it would seem, dead and for some days after that I was, it would seem, as good as dead. I was kept cold and under the stone of coma. Then, after eleven days, that cold stone was rolled away and I was returned to life. It was, I suppose, a kind of cut-rate resurrection. Yet it was mine and I was, and am, glad to have it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world.

I’ve spent no small amount of time wondering what it is I am to do with this “resurrection.” It seems as if I should do something; something more than I was doing before, something that is somehow “better.”

I ask about this "purpose" in passing in the daylight and more formally in prayer, but I have to date received no answer, no voice out of the whirlwind or the burning bush. I don’t expect such although I would not be utterly unprepared if it happened. I’m used to the mysteries of the universe or the tricks of the monkey mind at this point. Still, it would be nice to get a message neatly laid out, sent in from God’s great cosmic sign factory in the clear and in a crisp typeface. It would be nice but it is clearly asking too much. “Still not satisfied” is not a good attitude to have if one has been resurrected. As they say in meetings, “The attitude is gratitude.” I had that for a long time. It slipped away. Maybe I should try to get it back.

Or maybe I should not.

Maybe I should just drop all that and drop the searching for the BIG MESSAGE. Maybe, just maybe, I should try to see again what we always forget: the Here and the Now of the Miracle. Maybe, just maybe, on this day, I should strive always to recall that Christ is not just the Resurrection, but “the Resurrection and the Life.”

Today, resurrected, I sit here and look through my front window, across my porch, to the playground across the street:

“There is the impression of small children running about in bright clothing. The sky is clear and there is sunlight from overhead. Shadows are small pools moving beneath the children. It is in the high 50s neither warm nor cold.”

That was both then and [two/ three / four/ five / six years later] now.

There is “the Resurrection and the Life.”

Of the two it is the latter that remains the larger miracle.



October 13, 2013
Easter Sunday, 2012
Easter Sunday, 2013
Easter Sunday, 2015
Easter Sunday, 2016
Easter Sunday, 2017

gerardvanderleun : April 16, 17  |  Your Say (52)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Magnified, sanctified
Be thy holy name
Vilified, crucified
In the human frame
A million candles burning
For the love that never came
You want it darker
We kill the flame

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Grace Notes

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There is a world dimensional

For those untwisted

By the love of things irreconcilable.

--Hart Crane

Sometimes, far too seldom, I like to go out into my neighborhood of Queen Anne in Seattle. I like to go out and see what the world dimensional is up to; to exercise my far-too-sedentary body. The problem is I don't do it enough. It never seems compelling. Jogging, walking, reps of all sorts for exercise's sake fill my spirit with inertia. To the sleeping mind all walks seem the same -- pretty flower, overgrown lawn, cute little house, sad big McMansion, jogger with perky breasts, jogger with miles to go hanging from her thighs. As the song says, "All in all, it's all the same. / Just call me if there's any change."

But, from time to time, out I go. And recently when I went out the mantra, "There's never nothing happening," echoed in my mind. I decided to test it. I decided to wake up and take a look around.

Waking up when you're already awake is something that takes constant effort and a life to learn. You first need to wake up to the fact that you are sleep-living; a state that most humans inhabit every waking second of their life. Just knowing you're asleep isn't enough though. You have to decide to wake up, to be present in the present; to inhabit the present moment no matter what lullaby your monkey mind may sing to return you to slumber. It only does that to drown you in regrets for the past and fear for the future. Your monkey mind is a liar, but clever and it gives no quarter. When you put yourself on trial the verdict is always "Guilty.... but with an explanation."

It doesn't take a sage to glance at the current political and social and entertainment landscape of America to tell you that many prefer sleep-living to wakefulness. Not only that, the sleepers have a growing resentment towards those who continue to insist on wakefulness. It is as if much of our nation has fallen "half in love with easeful death;" with freedom and government set on cruise control. That's only one reason why it is more important than ever to know and to act in the world every moment in the belief, "There's never nothing happening."

Looking out into my little world up above Seattle on the crest of Queen Anne Hill, I got Yogi Berraized and "saw a lot just by observing." Then I took a walk.

I recorded it all on my mental video: Here are some jump cuts, zooms, slo-mo and freeze frames:

Couple having coffee outside Bustle. He's expounding. She's listening, smiling a false smile and pretending to be fascinated. Not married. They will marry; him out of a need for love, her out of a greed for things. It will last until his need is not met and/or her greed not satisfied. Written on the wind.

"No good. No bueno. Hustling myself." Wake up!

Pause. And begin again. Look around and look deeper. This moment. This step. This one. The next. Once and once only.

Mixed race couple holding hands and walking with their two beautiful children, boy and girl, the coffee-colored compromise of America made real, heading to the Safeway. Their love as strong and lithe as their children.

Hipster couple coming back from the Safeway. He hasn't shaved. She doesn't care. Their little girl in the stroller is pumping her chubby pink legs trying to kick off her new pink flip-flops.

Trendy young girl with spider-web tattoo on shoulder listens intently on her cell-phone to a friend and then complains that their numbers may be recorded by the NSA. Crosses the street unconsciously confident that no car within ten thousand miles will explode. Resenting the reasons why.

Homeless man sitting half in the street reading a thumbed paperback he's plucked from the garbage can next to him. It's a page turner and he's turning the page.

Couple lounging outside the laundromat. At ease with each other and waiting for their tumbling, mixed laundry to finish drying. Her hand brushes lightly along his thigh. He pushes his thigh against her hand. May their clothes dry quickly.

One overwhelming orange bloom of an Opium poppy growing alone out of a heap of rich black compost in a back alley.

On a half-blown lilac bush a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly with one tip of one wing torn off. The scent of the lilacs.

Scrawled sign above a raft of reeking garbage cans in same alley, "Get Out! Police have been called."

Whirring slapzap of a weed-whacker shaving a small man's small patch of lawn. Scent of the fresh cut grass blowing across the road past the corner house which sports a skull and cross-bones flag on a pole, and a line of worn Tibetan prayer flags strung along the porch.

A sleek jogger swoops by across the street, her bare shoulders pale in the sun, her bright red hair lifting in the lambent light behind her as she runs into a wind of her own making.

The cell phone sounds the opening bars of the 9th Symphony. An old friend reveals a moment of God's grace and the ending of a pain that has been with him daily for decades.

Listening to his relief and happiness, I turn a corner towards my own home and come face to face with a small gray house festooned, roof to lawn, in a thick drenching of lilac blossoms that tumble my mind into blankness with the tsunami of their perfume.

I walk onto my own lawn and stand for a moment under the 40 foot willow shimmering above me and glance into the play ground across the way where a basketball game played by one man flows back and forth across the blacktop. Pass, catch, run, jump, shoot, rebound, nothing but net.

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The light of life and the hand of God lie gently across all of Queen Anne on this April afternoon.

"There's never nothing happening."

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Click-Pix: Blogs on a Roll

I am so pleased that the closeted psychotics of BSBFB – The Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys (A subset of Sipplican Cottage) are BACK BABY! Here's their latest offering.

So I’m watching this Rube Goldberg contraption. It’s the shizzle. It rifles through Newton’s wastebasket, looking for new Laws of Motion after the first three aren’t enough to get the job done. It uses hydraulics, and electromotive force, and combustion, and every darn thing they can lay their hands on in the modern snouthouse. If it’s available at the mall, it’s integrated into the action. The hammer blow to turn on the power strip and start the fan is inspired.

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t-17.jpghe wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer's art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

    Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam's curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

    The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

    The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

    The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood --
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

Eliot -- East Coker / The Four Quartets

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23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

- - 1 Corinthians 11

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gerardvanderleun : April 13, 17  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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A catchphrase that will live in infamy!

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"Extra care is doing things nobody tells us to do, or maybe even expects us to do."

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"You get this kind of 'extra care' every time you fly with us."

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What a shame it would beif the world should happen to incinerate Earth's foremost producer of lichen and human fertilizer!

[HT: Western Rifle Shooters Association]

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

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Drive-By

gerardvanderleun : April 11, 17  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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5-Minute Arguments

Thugs and goons working for United and the airport drag a slight Asian man off a plane and bloody him... with all that that implies.

How big a deal is it that a bunch of thugs threw an Asian off a United Plane? It's the main thing on the Internet right now to judge by Memeorandum. Here's their page from thirty minutes ago.

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This incident is on track to be picked up tonight and tomorrow and be featured in the Week In Review by every single American news program on radio and television and most newspapers right down to the Pennysaver of Podunk.

People holding United stock need to short it.

People holding United tickets or reservations need to return and cancel them.

People about to board a United airplane need to turn around and walk away. People on a United Flight with the door still open need to deplane now.

If there was ever a boycott that all sides of the American argument can agree on, this is it.

United Airlines needs to auger nose first into the ground at max speed. It's a criminal operation and never to be trusted again.

gerardvanderleun : April 11, 17  |  Your Say (47)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

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Once upon a time they all said the future was going to be dominated by plastics.

For once "they" told the truth.

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Built in Disneyland in 1957 as a joint project between Disneyland, Monsanto, and MIT, the House of the Future was constructed of 16 identical plastic shells that were fabricated off-site and then shipped to the building site for assembly.

 The home was meant to display technological marvels, such as the microwave oven and speaker phone, but mainly showed the many ways that plastics could be incorporated into home-building of the future.  Materials included:  Acrylon, melamine, rayon, vinyl (flooring), and even plywood.  Each of the four wings was capable of supporting 13 tons.  Besides showing off the wonders of plastic, this was an attempt to build a home of fewer but large parts rather than the current (and still current) method of building homes of many small parts. Monsanto House of the Future: When Our Future Was Made of Plastics

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gerardvanderleun : April 10, 17  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Matthew 21 - And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem....

10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,

16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.

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There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

                                 - - The Waste Land

The river gouges its way down into the rock as the stoneland around it surges upwards. The cracked stacks of strata rise towards the vault of sky at a pace that makes the growth of glaciers seem a sprint. When the river's downward adze works through the strata's lift the walls of the chasm soar thousands of feet up until all they frame is a slim ribbon of blue slashed with contrails.

The road -- smooth two lane blacktop on top of an amalgam of granite, grit, arrowheads and dinosaur bones -- runs beside the roiling green muck of the Colorado whose banks are fringed with the sharp slate branches of tamarisk ringing patches of lime green cottonwood groves. Along this road mostly carved out of the cliff and still studded at times with sandstone boulders the size of a large house cars and semis scuttle like bronzed beetles catching glints of sun on their carapaces as they slide in and out of the chasm's shadow.

Across the river or beside the road the vast slabs of rust tinted sandstone tower and, towards dark, close in above you like hands beneath the sky closing in prayer. The red rock marches for miles along the river, unpurposed cathedrals of stone for titans long gone down into earth.

Along the face of the red stone acre upon acre of slick black vertical pools of desert varnish expand at a pace outside of time. Their blank black panels spread like blotches of the space between the stars. Red lines scratch their surface and sketch designs of random shapes that only emphasize the black sheen that frames these indecipherable notes; notes written in the alphabet of stone and time; notes you can learn to limn but never decipher.

As on other roads in the southwest your first response is "how beautiful." Your second response is "how spectacular." And then, after a time, your last and lasting impression is of how monumentally indifferent the land is and shall remain. It's then that you see how the long, long life of this land has and shall endure; how all that we are, all that we have been, all that we hope or fear to become, is only -- added all together and recalculated for its sum -- equal to at most an inch of time.

Along this river run you've come to the place where the bones of the earth are bare and where you know, in your own birdlike bones, the vast, the eternal, the extreme and the utter blank indifference of the land to the plans of man.

Steeped as we are in our idle affluence and a cultural boredom that seems to be relieved only by a ceaseless celebration of the most base of us, our fully indoctrinated and colonized minds of the "intellectual" class are prone to many cheap and loosely laminated intellectual fads. One fad popular now for a few decades is that humans should somehow "care" for and about the Earth. The attitude of "caring about the Earth" must be accompanied by a ceaseless preening and pursuit of the expression of that care in word, deed, policy, and even prayer to some imaginary spirit of the planet. The reward is the "Good Person" medal of Caring. Alas, in the reality of the universe that lies outside of time and outside of our Institutions of Higher Mind Colonization such posturing is all mere bosh and piffle.

Along the river road, under the bones of the rock, where the Earth is seen stripped bare there is no caring to be had and no caring that is needed. The stones hold no intent or emotion that man can fathom; he is not that strong and not that wise and not that deep. All he can do is hear, if he listens long and closely, the fading bass note of the Earth's eternal indifference in a land that, like the God of the oldest testaments. is formed of stones utterly silent and forever outside of time.

Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood

Teach us to care and not to care

Teach us to sit still

Even among these rocks....


-- Eliot, Ash Wednesday

Vanderleun : April 9, 17  |  Your Say (18)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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This is a documentary movie uncovering the difficult and time consuming process of making traditional expanded dugout canoe using mostly traditional hand tools and techniques.

The master woodworker in this movie is Richard (Rihards Vidzickis) - an experienced green wood worker, wood sculptor and dugout canoe maker. Richard’s passion to green wood and solid wood creations has grown together with him since his childhood days. Richard’s father is also a wood worker and carpenter and has led his son into the beautiful world of working with wood. Richard has gone through all the traditional steps of becoming a master woodworker - starting from an apprentice, then journeyman and then receiving his Master degree in Latvian chamber of crafts. Richard’s passion to wood is not only sculpturing and carving it but also knowing the wood in a scientific level. So Richard has studied in Technical university as a student and reached his degree of Doctor in engineering materials science, so he has combined the craft, nature and science in his life and work. While working in furniture making during the studies, with making different kinds of difficult wood carving for Jugend, Barrocal, Renesance design style furniture, Richard has discovered that he tends to get back to more rustic, robust and natural forms of wood, so he created a park of massive wooden sculptures, wood crafts museum and live workshop where Richard lives and creates wooden bowls, plates, boats and accepts visitors to share his work and lifestyle.

Music - Alan Gogoll, Jason Lowe “When a River Parts”.

Sound - Gints Sola

Camera, edit - Jacob (Northmen Guild)

Revive the guild! by Northmen on Vimeo


Northmen Guild We use our hands to create things that will live on, telling their story in the hands of the craftsmen and people after us. Each thing we create is born with energy and personality – a love and care that will be felt daily by each craftsman; a resonance from the heart of the creation. Towering factories and belching chimneys are not our game. All of our makings are created in our small workshops, using equally traditional methods and techniques. Each craftsman is working in his own workshop, that is located on his own farmland.

gerardvanderleun : April 8, 17  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

"It is only comparatively late in my life, I am ashamed to say, that I have learned truly to appreciate the small beauties of the world, such as lichen on the bark of trees, moss and ivy growing on ancient stone walls, and so forth. Housman wrote his poem (or rather published it) when he was only 37, and put it in the mouth of a 20-year-old boy, much wiser than I." Look Around

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American Studies

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"In the past if someone was famous or notorious, it was for something—as a writer or an actor or a criminal; for some talent or distinction or abomination. Today one is famous for being famous." -- Malcolm Muggeridge

I’m a man who doesn’t like cats. I don’t understand why women and certain men don’t get the simple axiom: “Dogs? Cool. Cats? Not.” It is one of the universal truths that no sane man can deny. And yet the chicks and chestless men persist in promoting this most useless of animals which steadfastly resists domestication, becoming an agreeable amusement, and is next to useless if not downright nauseating when sauteed or roasted, grilled or boiled, or even deep-fried.

There was one cat, however, that I did come to admire; Fatso.

Fatso arrived in my life like most cats arrive in the lives of men -- attached to a woman. Indeed, Fatso was one of three cats attached to this woman, and he was the least promising at the outset. The other two cats were: 1) “Spotty” -- an utterly coal black cat whose only “spot” was directly under his tail, and 2) “Oswald LeWinter” -- a cat who was so utterly gay that he could have been the reincarnation of Liberace. And then there was.... “Fatso” -- a cat so utterly beaten down and scabrous that on him a sucking chest wound would have looked good. When this particular woman arrived in my life the cats were all firmly established in hers so it was a done deal if I wanted her to stick around which, at the time, I did.

Fatso was not only a fat cat -- from eating anything no matter how vile and rotten, -- he was a loser cat. He was continually wandering off into the neighborhood and getting into screeching, yowling, spitting, clawing, gnawing fights with every other cat whose food bowl he tried to hoover. And he always, but always, lost and came dragging home with this flap hanging off him, that long slash in his side, and claw marks slanting across his face. His fur would be matted with urine, spit, drool, feces and blood. Fatso was one ugly beaten down fat cat.

The woman who owned him was, obviously, committed to him in the way that women get committed to hurt things, battered things, stupid things, and things that don’t really run on all cylinders. It’s their training for putting up with men, I guess. She’d hold him down and squirt this fine yellow powdered sulphur into his wounds to promote healing or at least hold off gangrene. After a day or so of recuperating around the house, Fatso would haul himself out the window and start catting about the neighborhood looking for food and finding a fight. Then, after a day or so, he’d come limping back with yet more of his body turning into scar tissue.

I put up with Spotty since he was a black cat and I didn’t want to alienate any black cat lest he put some bad juju and mean mojo on me. As for Oswald LeWinter, the gay cat, I said, early on, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” -- even though I suspected, with cats at least, there might be. As for Fatso, well, he disgusted me. I had no use for him. I was even starting to measure him for a river diving bag.

And so it went until..... until.... until the hippy girl arrived.

In those years hippy girls were always arriving. It was what they did. They came and then... they went. And they all had.... they all had to have.... a handicraft. Some did tie-dyes. Others did very heavy and clumsy pottery. Some chipped arrowheads out of flint. Some made teepees in the back yard. Still others wove macramé diaphragms.

This particular hippy girl did beaded belts and chokers. And, needless to say, methamphetamine. She had several egg cartons holding a mass of teeny-tiny beads and a kind of wire frame loom. She’d wire up the loom, smoke a lot of dope, pop a little meth, and then crack open the egg cartons and bead up a bunch of stuff she hoped to sell somewhere along the edges of Telegraph Avenue. I once figured she was making about a dime an hour and when I told her this she said, “That much? Groovy.”

She lived in the apartment behind ours and one day, while setting up her loom, Fatso wandered by her and wiped the latest blood from his wounds on her tie-dye skirt. She glanced down and said, “Oh, Fatso. Uncool.” Then she went to work her hippy girl fingers flying lightly over her bead loom as only the young, stoned, female speedfreak can manage.

Within two hours she had finished a large cat-sized collar in beads. She called Fatso over and strapped it on him. He tossed his head a little bit since the collar was over an inch in width and must have pinched a bit on his neck, but then he seemed to accept it. He sauntered over and has he passed me I glanced down. The hippy girl had woven and arranged a collection of bright red beads against a black background to read, in capitol letters, “FATSO!” (Exclamation mark included.) You could read it from six feet away. The cat, supremely indifferent to this gift, wandered through my legs, into the back garden and hobbled out of sight. “Good riddance,” I thought and hoped he’d try to kill a large delivery truck with his teeth at thirty miles an hour.

It was not to be. Instead we heard, for over a week, a whole chorus of yelps, screeches, yowls and other indications of a virtual tom cat war breaking out across the back yards of the neighborhoods with nary a sign of Fatso limping home for repair. A few days into the week some neighbors would, walking by, remark, “Hey, I saw your cat Fatso kicking some ass the other day. Slipped him some tuna. Cool cat, man.” Other praise kept coming our way. It would seem that Fatso was becoming, if you were of a feline persuasion, a force to be reckoned with in the neighborhood.

Then late one afternoon a changed Fatso sauntered casually back into our house. It was, of course, just at feeding time and he immediately walked up to Spotty and knocked him away from his bowl. Then he turned to Oswald LeWinter and knocked him away from his bowl. Both cats began to make aggressive gestures and take on puffed up postures, but a single glance from Fatso and both shrank away and went to a far corner of the kitchen where they made faint mewling noises. He ate from each of their bowls and then his own. Then he sauntered back to the door and down the stoop and walked slowly away up the center of the sidewalk.

The woman and I, stunned, followed him at a discrete distance. All along the way as he was being passed by people, they’d glance down and, taking note of his collar, say “Hey, Fatso! What’s happening?” Some would even stop to pet him until he purred. Then Fatso would seem to give a feline shrug then and saunter on.

At his approach, other cats would disappear until he passed. Fatso had, by virtue of his collar, become known by name to the entire neighborhood. He had become famous by being famous. He'd become a celebri-cat, the first I’ve ever known.

All it took was a collar and a name and Fatso was never beaten up again and certainly never went hungry ever again. In time his saunter became a strut. You couldn’t help but like Fatso since liking him was what Fatso was all about.

In a year or so the woman and I decided to move up into the hills above the town. We packed up Spotty and Oswald LeWinter, but when it came time for Fatso he was nowhere to be found. He’d decided to stick to the old neighborhood. With nearly twenty women putting out food for him and with all the other cats living in fear of him there was no motivation to move with us. We were now “little people.” He was.... well, he was “FATSO!”

For all I know he's still there to this day, kicking fur-butt and flaunting his name; master of his domain, King of Kats. All he needed was what we all need.... a little name recognition.

[Republished for Geoff: Hello Kitty Captain of Queen Anne]

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Mark Steyn Has Excellent Analysis on Trump’s Syria Action…

"Idiot MSM pundits like Jake Tapper, though it’s not exclusive to Tapper, keep pointing out the 2013 tweet by President Trump warning Obama about action in Syria and framing their narrative about “what changed?” etc.

Just for clarity. Between the 2013 tweet by non candidate Trump and the 2017 action by President Trump, there was a 2014 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) voted and approved by congress permitting military action in Syria against the backdrop of chemical weapon use and terrorism. I swear sometimes the MSM are flippin’ idiots, then I remind myself of the David Mamet principle: 'In order for left-wing ideologues to keep espousing their cognitively disconnected talking points they need to pretend they don’t know things.'

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Ahhhhhhh..... now that's satisfying!

As opposed to THIS! This ATROCITY! from a few days back.

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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!"

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PictureThis

The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe,

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This site is a free photo material site of a nurse who responded to the demand of 1% maniac customers. Even those who were not satisfied with the material site so far are satisfied lineup! Please use it if you can use it. -- Scima nurse

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Making their campus safe for special snowflakes and their fur babies.

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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

In the absence of sincere belief in the practice and presence of Our Lord, playing dress-up starts to feel silly.

Instead, that irrepressible sense of awe is transferred to, for instance, high-class restaurants,
with the candles on the table and the reverent “servers” chanting, almost liturgically, items from the menu. For the religious impulse will never go away, with its longing for a certain elevation and tone. If not foodie, every man and woman born will find something holy, and be outraged by blasphemies against it. The codes of speech and gesture that now govern our public behaviour are “spilt religion” of an obvious kind. Those who dare breach them are the new Infidels. Among the new Infidels : Essays in Idleness


The center may hold in France but it is unlikely to hold for long.

The long and agonized effort rearguard effort to explain away the challenge posed by Brexit, Trumpism and now France
as just the result of yahoos hearing themselves hog calling have been one futile exercise in self delusion. There's a hole in the bottom of the Titanic and the water has reached F Deck and now gurgling up the staircase. It's time for the passengers in first class to seriously consider they may actually actually drown before the night is out. Sneering comedy skits on the Daily Show, Full Frontal, and Last Week Tonight won't cut it any more. SOS


Thank You, Internal-Combustion Engine, for Cleaning up the Environment

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We complain a lot about air pollution today, but there were 200,000 horses in New York City, at the beginning of the 20th century defecating everywhere.
And when you walked around in New York City, you were breathing pulverized horse manure—a much worse pollutant, than the exhausts of automobiles. Indeed in the United States, the automobile was considered the solution to the horse problem because pulverized horse manure carried a lot of deadly pathogens. - - Foundation for Economic Education


Please, God, Stop Chelsea Clinton from Whatever She Is Doing

Unkind as it is to say, reading anything by Chelsea Clinton—tweets, interviews, books—
is best compared to taking in spoonfuls of plain oatmeal that, periodically, conceal a toenail clipping. Take the introduction to It’s Your World (Get Informed! Get Inspired! Get Going!). It’s harmless, you think. “My mom wouldn’t let me have sugary cereal growing up (more on that later),” writes Chelsea, “so I improvised, adding far more honey than likely would have been in any honeyed cereals.” That’s the oatmeal—and then comes the toenail: I wrote a letter to President Reagan when I was five to voice my opposition to his visit to the Bitburg cemetery in Germany, because Nazis were buried there. I didn’t think an American president should honor a group of soldiers that included Nazis. President Reagan still went, but at least I had tried in my own small way.

Ah, yes, that reminds me of when I was four and I wrote to Senator John Warner about grain tariffs, arguing that trade barriers unfairly decreased consumer choice. | Vanity Fair

When Women Campaigned to Prohibit "That Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish Liquor Called COFFEE"

Coffee, so insist the Buxome Good-Women,

renders the men of England “as Lean as Famine, as Rivvel’d as Envy, or an old meager Hagg over-ridden by an Incubus. They come from it with nothing moist but their snotty Noses, nothing stiffe but their Joints, nor standing but their Ears.” These charges drew a response in the form of the “Mens Answer to the Womens Petition Against Coffee, Vindicating Their own Performances, and the Vertues of that Liquor, from the Undeserved Aspersions lately cast upon them by their SCANDALOUS PAMPHLET.” - -
The Coffee Revolt of 1674



Who are we to judge the way Russians feel about bears?

In Russia, Bear Eats YOU. Well, Actually, He Eats Your Cookies – BSBFB
Americans have fallen into a dumb habit of calling brave people dumb. They post pictures of Darwin every time some misadventure befalls any person who’s doing anything other than cowering in mom’s basement. Who are we to judge the way Russians feel about bears? For all we know, a gigantic bear with arms like a furry Schwarzenegger holding five paring knives is like a squirrel to them. Nothing to be worried about. Maybe they’d call an exterminator if they found a bear in the attic, but other than that, it’s live and let live.


These are popping up in a town that is 99%+ white and affluent.

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A more accurate sign:

We Believe

Black Lives Are Props

No Human Is Illegal (unless they’re trespassing on my property)

Love Is Code For Hating The Right People

Women’s Rights Don’t Count For Muslims

Science Of Race And Sex Isn’t Real

Water Is Life (check out my in-ground pool)

Injustice Anywhere But Against Whites Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere

We Testify Under Penalty Of Exile | Goodbye, America (in a photo)

The Scorecard so far? Let's go to the video tape!

How’s everything else looking?

The economy? Looking good.

North Korea? Looks like China is on our side. Good sign.

Syria? Those Tomahawk missiles were downright “Presidential”

Illegal Immigration? Already down 70% from Trump’s persuasion alone.

Supreme Court? Gorsuch is respected and qualified, even if you don’t like his ways.

Healthcare? No one said it would be easy, but the focus and energy are in place to get something done eventually.

Tax reform? Too slow for the country’s taste, but observers expect something good to come out of it. That’s why business optimism is high.

Climate change? Anecdotally, it seems to me that the debate has evolved from mindless bullying of non-believers to a lower confidence in both the climate models and the economic models (which are not science). That seems like a step toward clarity.

Generally speaking, if your critics are reduced to complaining about what might be in your tax returns, you already won. -- The Air Comes Out of the Anti-Trump Balloon | Scott Adams' Blog


"Trying to squeeze blood from a rotten turnip." [Bumped]

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Chelsea Clinton’s Cheerleading Cult Trying to squeeze blood from a rotten turnip:
Welcome to the liberal media’s manufacturing of “cool.” Leather jacket? Check. Overzealous airbrushing? Check. Humanizing grin? Check. Democratic establishment pedigree? Checkity-check-check. This is just the latest attempt by The Media Resistance to make Chelsea Clinton a thing.


Outrage du Jour

This fresh terrorist shooting in Paris is going to knock the media's non-coverage of the Fresno terrorist shooting right off of the bottom of page D23. I lied. The Fresno shooting isn't on D23 either. More details to come as the media buries them and teams of forensic news archeologists sift through the artifacts of this soon-to-be buried non-event. Ace of Spades HQ

The Japanese: Nuked too much or not enough?

Sumo Wrestlers Enjoy Cherry Blossom Season
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"Are we not men? No! We are Sumo!"


The Elements of Bureaucratic Style

The term “officer-involved shooting” is a perfect example of bureaucratic speech:
It invariably is paired with an active verb (“an officer-involved shooting occurred”) and yet the entire purpose of the construction is to imbue the scene with passivity. Police did not kill anyone; a shooting just occurred and it happened to involve officers. There is no actor in an officer-involved shooting, and not even any real actions. We don’t even technically know who was shot, only that an officer was somehow involved. An entire syntactical arrangement consisting of a subject (“police”), a verb (“shot”), and an object (“a civilian”) are transmuted into a noun (“shooting”) with a compound adjective (“officer-involved”) attached. It’s almost as if nothing took place at all. - - Longreads


Jihadi and drone speech are deadly because they do not require complete messages to guide them.

Apparently there are ideas, like the incantations that Coulter is likely to utter
that are dangers in themselves, which summon devils from the vasty deep and provoke an involuntarily reaction in whoever is unfortunate to hear them. .... What the Antifa, Howard Dean and the Venezuelan regime call contemporary "hate speech" is code for a culture to rival their own. They fear culture not speech. What makes it so dangerous is it dares to do what the progressives have done themselves. Critical speech could be tolerated for so long as it lacked a sense of identity but it became an existential threat with the first stirrings of self-consciousness behind the words. - - Skynet


If you want more people working, make it simpler to hire them.

Exempt more small businesses from regulations.
Double the exemption numbers. That is, if a regulation stipulates that it applies only to firms with ten or more employees, make that number 20. If 9 make it 18. I would go further, and double exemptions up to 99 employees; certainly, up to 50. There are a lot of businesses that might expand were the regulations not so expensive and/or oppressive. This simple exemption would let tens of thousands of firms hire more people, and would cost not very much. It could be passed in a week by Congress, but a Presidential Executive Order could accomplish a lot. - – Jerry Pournelle


The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI

You can’t just look inside a deep neural network to see how it works.
A network’s reasoning is embedded in the behavior of thousands of simulated neurons, arranged into dozens or even hundreds of intricately interconnected layers. The neurons in the first layer each receive an input, like the intensity of a pixel in an image, and then perform a calculation before outputting a new signal. These outputs are fed, in a complex web, to the neurons in the next layer, and so on, until an overall output is produced. Plus, there is a process known as back-propagation that tweaks the calculations of individual neurons in a way that lets the network learn to produce a desired output. - - MIT Technology Review


What became of America's Drive-Thru Fotomat?

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Once upon a time, in an era when mankind had to wait an unimaginable 24 hours to see how holiday snaps and selfies had turned out, there was -- the trusty Fotomat. A bright and compact little kiosk easily recognizable by its pyramid-shaped gold-coloured roof, usually positioned in a large parking lot outside a strip mall, at its peak in the early 80s, there were over 4,000 Fotomats throughout North America. - - Messy Nessy
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"We got black and a white actor in the commercial, and they're gay with an asian baby. No one can complain!"

There is no longer a mass market.
The white consumer population is falling. Companies need to sell more to minorities to maintain growth. Minorities no longer want to be token add-ons to white advertising or white policies, they want their own. Blacks want black ads and policies that favor blacks, Spanish-speaking people want Spanish language programming. Advertisers tried race-mixing. This is interpreted as a conscious decision to force race mixing on the Alt-Right, but it might be a way to increase diversity (we got black and a white actor in the commercial, and they're gay with an asian baby. No one can complain!). That backfired and more people complained, plus the sheer number of them caused more people to notice that ads are social programming. - - Peak Diversity: The Mass Market Is Dead


Chelsea Clinton Gives Advice on How Millennial Women Can Be As Successful As Her

Clinton's jobs have apparently valued her quite well.
Clinton was first hired at 23 by top consulting firm McKinsey & Company, earning a $120,000 annualsalary. She was their youngest hire and made as much as fellow employeeswith MBA degrees, even though she only had a bachelor's in history. In 2006, she moved on to work at hedge fund Avenue Capital Group, run by high-powered Democratic billionaire Marc Lasry. Lasry has contributed more than $460,000 to Democratic causes since the 1990's. Most infamously, Clinton was hired by NBC as a special correspondent to the tuneof $600,000 annually, or approximately $26,724 for every minute she was on air. Among her most probing interviews was her grilling of the Geico gecko. - - Freebeacon


Dumb Birds of North America

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Seadull If you live near the coast, these sons of bitches are everywhere.
Also, if you live near a garbage dump. Gulls literally don’t care whether they’re eating a small marine invertebrate from the ocean or a rancid french-fry from the trash. Yeah. They enjoy eating garbage and shitting everywhere. Fun bird fact: The gulls in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie The Birds were fed a mix of wheat and whiskey so they would attack a children’s birthday party.Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America


A horse is a horse, of course, of course, And no one can talk to a horse of course.

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Mister Ed's Final Resting Place – Tahlequah, Oklahoma Alan Young, who played Wilbur Post,
the only person to whom Mister Ed would speak on the show, says that Harvester actually died accidentally following a shot of tranquilizer in California and was cremated, his ashes spread around by his trainer, Lester Hilton. Young says the horse buried in Oklahoma was a different palomino horse named Pumpkin, who died in 1979. Pumpkin was used for publicity shots for the show, and took up the mantle of Mister Ed after Harvester died, but never played the role on television. A third story has Harvester dying in California and being buried in Oklahoma.


Just when we think we're out, they pull us back in.

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They don’t call it the “Stupid Party” for nothing. Republicans ran 11 – that’s right, one short of a dozen – candidates against a good looking 30 year old Anyone But Trump Democrat; what kind of a strategy is that? MOTUS A.D.:

The women of the Hell’s Angels were bad, brassy, bombshell ‘old ladies’

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“One thing about the Angels that I found fascinating,
and something I’d never given much thought to before I started photographing them, was the role that the women played,” he said. “The girls weren’t there in chains, or against their will or anything. They had to want that life if they were going to be accepted by the Angels. These guys were kings of the road. I don’t think they ever felt they had to look around for girls. Girls would come to them, and they would take their pick. And then they’d tell them where to sit and what to do.” - - TimeLine



The Income Tax Then... and Now

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-- Via the every valuable Doug Ross @ Journal

The population of addicts is like the population of deer.

It is highest in rustic places with access to urban supplies.
Missouri’s heroin problem is worst in the rural counties near St. Louis. New Hampshire’s is worst in the small cities and towns an hour or so away from the drug markets of Massachusetts: Lawrence, Lowell, and Boston..... The implicit accusation is that only now that whites are involved have racist authorities been roused to act. This is false in two ways. First, authorities have not been roused to act. Second, when they do, they will have epidemiological, and not just tribal, grounds for doing so. A plague afflicting an entire country, across ethnic groups, is by definition more devastating than a plague afflicting only part of it. American Carnage by Christopher Caldwell | Articles | First Things


Why No Civility Is Possible Today

When spelled out, what we have today in this country is an unbridgeable disagreement about what the family is.
Misunderstand the family and all its coherent complexities, what follows is that nothing else will go right. We have no common judgment about the transcendent meaning of our lives. One division maintains, with no real proof, that man has no given nature. Logically and politically, step by step, consequences, that are not accidental, follow. We legalize contraception, then, when that does not work, abortion, euthanasia, fetal experimentation, homosexual marriages and adoptions. We can even decide if we are male or female. A “family” is configured as we wish it to be. These practices have all become “rights” under positive law. They are systematically enforced. No criticism of them is allowed, no matter how scientifically or reasonably based it may be. - Crisis Magazine


"Not a racial issue but a religious or cultural one"

With regard to the Islamic presence in Europe,
do we need reminding of the wars in the Balkans, of recent memory, in which Christians and Muslims in Bosnia and beyond, killed each other in a frenzy of hatred and “ethnic cleansing”? Do we need reminding that all of those doing the killing, on both the Christian and Muslim side, were impeccably white? Do we need reminding that such ethnic cleansing has been part of the demographic dynamic of that region ever since the Muslims first invaded centuries earlier? Do we need reminding that the very word “balkanization” entered the language because of such enmity between peoples and the destructive fragmentation that is its consequence? The point is not whether Islamic immigration to Europe is a major threat to peace—obviously it is—it’s that Islam is a multiracial religion as Christianity is a multiracial religion. It’s about a clash of cultures, not a clash of races. In such a clash of cultures, a black Christian and a white Christian are one side of the divide, and a black Muslim and a white Muslim are on the other. It might well be the case that the influx of Muslims into Europe is leading to the balkanization of Europe with all the harmful consequences that this entails; however, it’s not a racial issue but a religious or cultural one. Is the West Lost Forever? - The Imaginative Conservative


Stephen King's Stranger Love Songs

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by Butcher Billy on Behance

Poof-Berries

Liberalism is the secular religion for the girls, mostly single white girls.
They try to cobble together a coalition of hues for political reasons, but it is mostly a religion for cat ladies and the women who intend to be cat ladies. Buckley Conservatism is trying to fish in those waters, but that hole is all fished out and take that however you like. - -The Z Blog


The Heart asks Pleasure -- first --
And then -- Excuse from Pain --
And then -- those little Anodynes
That deaden suffering --

And then -- to go to sleep --
And then -- if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor
The privilege to die --

-
- Emily Dickinson



America is not Weimar Germany. It is not even 1960’s America.

The days of hard men enforcing ideological discipline on the streets are long over.
The days of disaffected youth upsetting the social order are also past. Ricky Vaughn did more for the disaffected with his twitter account than any of these guys playing make believe on the streets of Berkeley. The bros had a good time beating up on the punks from Antifa and that’s not a terrible result in itself, but it is not the Spartacist uprising. If there’s any lesson here at all it is that in the current crisis, the old tactics are more for theater and entertainment than advancing a political agenda. Going on campus to harass Charles Murray is not changing minds and it is not intended to change minds. It’s just something to do in order to show off to friends. Its bored children coloring on the walls, even though they know mom with be pissed. Since mom is not going to give them up for adoption over it, the act is just pointless, risk-free theaterAlt-LARP | The Z Blog
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Only Way to End North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program Is to ‘End the North’

“I would be very wary of Chinese assurances that they’re going to help persuade North Korea to give up the nuclear weapons program.”
“They’ve said that for 25 years, and they haven’t done a single thing to materially impede North Korea’s nuclear program. I think further discussions with North Korea, further efforts to pressure North Korea, are basically a waste of time. The way to end the North’s nuclear program is to end the North – merge it, reunify it with South Korea.” - - John Bolton


The Most American Thing You've Never Heard Of: Tanking

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There’s a new way to get your kicks in rural Nebraska.
The uniquely Nebraskan water “sport,” tanking, is like tubing on steroids. Groups of three to six people comfortably float down stream, all held buoyant by giant metal tanks. Large livestock tanks outfitted with seating and coolers carry passengers on calm waterways. The stream provides the motion, and a paddle on board can gently change course. Because of the tank’s cumbersome and circular shape, they bob up and down and rotate like a slow-motion tilt-o-whirl.- - Gear Junkie


Don't Force Our Hand

Look, the Hard Right has no desire to fight in the streets.
No sane person wants to live in a society where there is constant, realistic expectations of ongoing bloodshed. That is why we advocate the removal of undesirables. We do not want to kill anyone. We want them to simply go away. Go home. Go back where you came from. Just leave us alone. In fact, if there is an overarching theme to the Hard Right position, it is that we just want to be left alone to live our lives as we see fit. Unfortunately, the left has horribly misread the situation. Rather than realize the superiority of our position, they have chosen to bring the fight to us. They have mistaken our forbearance to this point for weakness. That is dead wrong. It is not that we are not capable. It is that we do not want open conflict. But if we are forced into a corner, all hell is going to break loose, and the left is not going to like the result. - Men Of The West


The biggest obstacle to ensuring the 10,000 Year Clock actually lasts 10,000 years is

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the obstacle it seeks to overcome.
“When you start thinking about building something that lasts that long, the real problem is not decay and corrosion, or even the power source. The real problem is people,” Danny Hillis wrote in Wired in 1995. “If something becomes unimportant to people, it gets scrapped for parts; if it becomes important, it turns into a symbol and must eventually be destroyed. The only way to survive over the long run is to be made of materials large and worthless, like Stonehenge and the Pyramids, or to become lost. The Dead Sea Scrolls managed to survive by remaining lost for a couple millennia. Now that they’ve been located and preserved in a museum, they’re probably doomed. I give them two centuries — tops.” Forever Now — Real Life


How dangerous and unstable would Asia become without the Seventh Fleet?

The Navy points to two different threats.
The first is China, which has territorial claims against most of its neighbors. Taiwan comes immediately to mind, of course, but the Chinese government is also disputing ownership of the oil-rich Spratly Islands with Vietnam and the Philippines. If North Korea were to collapse, moreover, the Chinese Army could take over its territory before South Korea or the U.S. had time to intervene. China is building a very large deepwater fleet—the first in its history. (South Korea and Japan are similarly increasing their naval power.) Thus far, this Chinese fleet seldom moves far from China’s territorial waters, something that surprises the Seventh Fleet leadership. The lack of a high-seas tradition, perhaps? - - George Washington Patrols the Pacific


The first line of a paper she published has a similar error in the first line -- one that would disqualify a person from being my assistant:

"The consumption of Nollywood films in the United States is a site of complex translational engagements and a location of disjunctured processes that illuminate how Diasporas are imagined, created and performed. "Advice Goddess Blog



Leftists are r-strategist migrant psychologies, programmed to crave being surrounded by the strange and the foreign.

The only thing is, given those urges to be surrounded by the foreign, they have to choose –

is it better to migrate out to some third world shithole, or is it better to stay put and import that foreign quality which they are programmed to want to be surrounded by? Even as it is blatantly clear that Islam is death, and their migrant policies will only fuck up the entire continent for decades at least, they cannot deny their urges. They need that foreign component. So they import it. - Liberal and Conservative Politics



"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."

It wasn't Brexit or Trump or even Putin who unmoored the world. Gramsci did. Unmoored it so thoroughly that public debate over culture now has descended to the level of whether McDonald's is guilty of cultural appropriation by offering Szechuan sauce with its Chicken Nuggets. The Google which can remember Cesar Chavez has pointedly forgotten Easter. - - Lost

Even sucking the lifeblood out of Millennials is not enough to feed the greedy academic beast.

The bright new idea – one embraced by that commie from New England, that other commie from New England who tricked her college into thinking she was an Indian, and that firewater aficionado who lost the election – is “free college.”
Let’s set aside the fact that community college exists to give everyone the opportunity to get some higher education; today, it’s job is to occupy high school students for a few extra years by intermittently teaching them the things the incompetence of unionized teachers ensured they didn’t learn in public high schools. The “free college” idea offers those of us who have already paid for our own education the opportunity to pony up for someone else’s. Academia Is Our Enemy So We Should Help It Commit Suicide - Kurt Schlichter


"Nothing like hanging out with the poor people....how's your carbon footprint these days Obama?"

A picture perfect moment! Barack and Michelle Obama pose on billionaire David Geffen's superyacht during day out with Oprah, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks in French Polynesia Barack and Michelle Obama were guests on David Geffen's 454ft superyacht Rising Sun on Friday Oprah, Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen were also on board the stunning $300million vessel The Obamas have been holidaying at the Brando resort in French Polynesia for the past month Since leaving the White House, they have also visited Palm Springs, Hawaii and toured the Caribbean[HT: Althouse]

Exploring the Spiritual World of the 19th Century

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At some point, possibly by accident when the glass-plate negative was heated to receive a coat of varnish, a crack appeared in the upper half of the plate.
Gardner pulled a single print and then discarded the plate, so only one such portrait exists. The crack seems to trace the path of Wilkes’ bullet. Some saw it is a symbol of the Union reunited through Lincoln’s own body. - - Smithsonian


"How does my hair look," she asked before blowing out the candles on her 117th birthday cake last year.

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Italian Emma Morano, last known survivor of 19th century, dies at 117
Morano's death, at the age of 117 years and 137 days, means there is no one living known to have been born before 1900. Her first love died in World War I, but she married later and left her violent husband just before the Second World War and shortly after the death in infancy of her only son. That was 30 years before divorce became legal in Italy. In an interview with AFP last year, she put her longevity down to her diet. "I eat two eggs a day, and that's it. And cookies. But I do not eat much because I have no teeth."


Parent Failure

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This from AD reader Jewel: Last night my youngest girl wanted to dye Easter eggs with the Boy. I was to butt out and let her run the egg show.
I guess she figured that the Boy, being all of 6 years, had pretty much mastered the egg dunk and decided to move him up a level to glue, paint, glitter, googly eyes, and felt. The results were predictable, and were a prelude to a tantrum. But more interesting is the Girl's egg art: The text reads: "Do you ever cook something in the microwave but it's still cold in the middle but you just keep eating it because entropy is unavoidable and the universe is filled with casual and callous destruction?" Clearly, I have failed as a parent.
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[Bumped] The law of trespass, which is common throughout the civilised world is at the basis of this hoo-hah.

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Hard cases make bad law. The law of trespass is an essential safeguard for us all.
The doctor had no right to refuse to leave and the ejection was lawful. If more force than necessary was applied, then that is a case for assault and battery, causing actual or grievous bodily harm. But the court will have to take into account the resistance of the doctor during the ejection, as he had no right of refusal to leave.
Having said all that, the damage to the reputation of the airline in provoking this incident through crass management practices will be costly and it serves them right. But don't knock the law of trespass if you own a dwelling or a cabbage patch. Some asshole might decide to occupy it and then you need the law to undecide him. Comment here by Posted by: Frank P


OUCH! Now that's going to leave a mark.

If mediocrity can ever be said to shine, then it shines from these pages.
The writer, though a journalist, has no literary ability whatsoever. He writes entirely in clichés, there is not a single arresting thought in over 400 pages, wit and even humor are entirely absent, and he seems unable to use a metaphor, almost always tired to begin with, without mixing it ("We are likely to succumb on this if they get on their high horses and cry foul"). He has no powers of analysis and no sense of history; there is no plumbing his shallows. Unleashing Arrogance, Complacency, and Mediocrity


The final rule of Trump Club

is total detachment and living life the best you can. - - Jewel.



There is also the problem of moral grandiosity, perhaps seen in purest culture in Sweden.

There the government agreed to take 160,000 refugees or migrants from the Middle East in a single year (who did not want to claim asylum in Denmark, where the social security payments were lower).
The government did this because it (and its supporters) wanted Sweden to be an ethical superpower, a country responsible to and for the whole world, rather than to and for itself. Even these ethical narcissists soon realized, however, that if they proceeded in this fashion for, say, ten years (by no means an eternity in the history of a country), Sweden would have become, with the aid of a little family reunification and a higher birthrate, a semi–Middle Eastern country stuck in the Baltic, and they promptly closed the borders. In effect, they wanted to close the stable door before too many horses got in and ate up the supply of oats. - -Immigration Follies


In order to ascend to the rarefied world of the enlightened elite,

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you are required to affirm membership with insipid and inane identifying incantations.
You must be “awestruck” at the brilliance of obvious idiots and their ideas; “moved to tears” by ugly art, discordant music, unreadable novels, and tedious movies and theatre; fake laugh at the correct comics; cite approvingly propaganda masquerading as serious journalism, and praise the statesmanship of criminals. The elite unfortunately set the agenda for what the rest of the populace reads, views, and hears. The incantations are the elite’s public entrance exam; who knows what’s required privately. It’s undoubtedly unwholesome and disgusting, entangling its members in a vast, inescapable web: everyone kissing everyone else’s ass all at the same time. - - No Need to Ask


As Niccolo Machiavelli would've said, "You could look it up."

Let's review:
We burned up some aging cruise missiles, to erase an entire squadron of Assad's dwindling loyalist forces. (Bet your ass the other squadrons will bear that fate in mind from here on out.) We gave the surface Navy in the Med some good training and a great live FIREX. Putin has his pants around his ankles. Assad has a bloody nose. And Kim, Xi, and the mullahs in Teheran are leaning forward much more attentively when we speak. President Trump, and the US, are much more feared. Which means respected. Raconteur Report: Take A Breath


A grip. Get one.

Seriously, get a grip.
"TRUMP HAS CUCKED AND BETRAYED US ALL, THE END IS NIGH AND REICHSFUHRER KRISTOL REIGSN UBER ALLES!" doesn't make you look clever, or smart, or even sane. There is not only no need for you to announce your opinion of every zig and zag of foreign policy, but the unpredictability of the God-Emperor all but guarantees that you're going to look like a complete buffooon within days, if not hours, regardless of what you say. - - Vox Popoli: On vulgarity


In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function.

We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful. -- C.S. Lewis
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"This geriatric generation of white Democrats is the last of a dying breed "

Schadenfreude is on the horizon as we watch the Coalition of the Fringes come apart.
The 2020 presidential election is full of potential. There aren't any viable white candidates on the Democrat side. Bernie Sanders and creepy Joe Biden will be in nursing homes. Fauxcahontas, whose national appeal is reminiscent of Michael Dukakis', is the youngest known quantity of any significance and she'll be older than Trump was when he was elected the oldest president in US' history. The Audacious Epigone: Intersectionality


The first rule of Trump Club is: Don’t believe anything the Leftstream Media reports about him.

The seventh rule of Trump Club is: Trust YOUR instincts, and stay loyal to Trump. The media wants to sow dissension within Trump’s ranks and among his supporters. Refuse to take their bait. This doesn’t mean criticizing Trump is off-limits, but abandoning him to the jackals every time he makes a trivial move that violates some arcane alt-tenet will betray you, not Trump, as the untrustworthy party. - - The Rules Of Trump Club

Notes for a White Kid in University:An Introduction to the Blindingly Obvious

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A white man’s stick hut. We began building these things in 1137.

Euclidean geometry. Parabolic geometry. Hyperbolic geometry. Projective geometry. Differential geometry.
Calculus: Limits, continuity, differentiation, integration. Physical chemistry. Organic chemistry. Biochemistry. Classical mechanics. The indeterminacy principle. The wave equation. The Parthenon. The Anabasis. Air conditioning. Number theory. Romanesque architecture. Gothic architecture. Information theory. Entropy. Enthalpy. Every symphony ever written. Pierre Auguste Renoir. The twelve-tone scale. The mathematics behind it, twelfth root of two and all that. S-p hybrid bonding orbitals. The Bohr-Sommerfeld atom. The purine-pyrimidine structure of the DNA ladder. Single-sideband radio. All other radio. Dentistry. The internal-combustion engine. Turbojets. Turbofans. Doppler beam-sharpening. Penicillin. Airplanes. Surgery. The mammogram. The Pill. The condom. Polio vaccine. The integrated circuit. The computer. Football. Computational fluid dynamics. Tensors. The Constitution. Euripides, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Homer, Hesiod. Glass. Rubber. Nylon. Skyscrapers. The piano. The harpsichord. Elvis. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. (OK, that’s nerve gas, and maybe we didn’t really need it.) Silicone. The automobile. Really weird stuff, like clathrates, Buckyballs, and rotaxanes. The Bible. Bug spray. Diffie-Hellman, public-key cryptography, and RSA. Et cetera at great length. | Fred On Everything


Frantic and angry and late is no way to go through life, son.

But that's exactly how the general public acts about everything all the time now.
They're lost. Almost everyone is traveling to a location they cannot name, but they seem hell bent to get to. Every milepost, sign, and touchstone that formerly directed their travel through life has been defaced or destroyed by vandals. They have map books that consist solely of dead ends on other planets. They started off edgy but by now they're entirely unglued. They will turn on anyone that comes into their line of sight. Even a Good Samaritan better watch out, as no amount of help is ever enough to turn back a clock. Anything resembling advice is seen as vilification, and even the mildest sort of criticism is an imperative to immediately drop the gloves. - - Sippican Cottage


In reality, it lies in desiring another to kiss your a– for having just before threatened to kick his;

for I have observed very accurately, that no one ever desires you to kick that which belongs to himself, nor offers to kiss this part in another.

It may likewise seem surprizing that in the many thousand kind invitations of this sort, which every one who hath conversed with country gentlemen must have heard, no one, I believe, hath ever seen a single instance where the desire hath been complied with; – a great instance of their want of politeness; for in town nothing can be more common than for the finest gentlemen to perform this ceremony every day to their superiors, without having that favour once requested of them. -- Henry Fielding, A History of Tom Jones (1749)



A people who will not rule themselves – who will not defend themselves, or one another – are nothing but serfs, and so they shall be treated.

The part which most stood out to me about this video was how nobody came to Dao’s defense.

A small, 69 year old Asian man is being beaten by uniformed thugs, and the only response was mewling; a people who cannot defend themselves, who rely upon the police to moderate every conflict in their personal lives, will be at an utter loss when those same police turn on them. If there’s one take-away from this situation, it is this: submit or bleed from the forehead. A people who will not rule themselves – who will not defend themselves, or one another – are nothing but serfs, and so they shall be treated. The current reaction is not a principled protest (the few who are principled were already protesting); it is nothing but the bleating whines of agitated rabbits, failing to comprehend that this was the system they’ve been asking for all along.Corporations, United Airlines, and the Open-Air Prison Planet - Stares at the World



Pop Quiz: When is a gun NOT loaded? Bueller? Bueller?

Man Shows Friend How His Gun's Safety Works By Blowing His Own Brains Out A 911 caller reported that his friend was holding the gun to his own head when he pulled the trigger and it discharged, said Officer Jimmy Pollozani, police spokesman.
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The Incoming Roar

Among the dead was Chris Richardson, an Englishman who worked in Sweden for the music-streaming service Spotify.
The people who create such billion-dollar boutique diversions assure us that they are the future, and that the likes of the Stockholm jihadist are momentary aberrations, freakish eruptions in the otherwise smooth progress to a world in which the seductive siren of the unending song can be piped directly into your cerebral cortex 24 hours a day. The killers of Stockholm, Petersburg and Alexandria are betting otherwise.... The toll of the dead in Stockholm numbered Maïlys Dereymaeker, the young mother of an 18-month-old baby: She'd worked as a psychologist at several Belgian migrant centers helping "refugees" whose asylum bids had been turned down. Her killer could have used her assistance: Rakhmat Akilov had had his application for Swedish asylum rejected last year, but the authorities couldn't be bothered to rouse themselves to deport him. She was, in a certain sense, on his side. But he killed her anyway, because that's not how he saw it. :: SteynOnline


Trump declares Mid East "Overbooked" with dictators, one has to go

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President Trump has announced that he will pay Syrian dictator and mass murderer Bashar Assad $800 to leave Syria and wait for another dictatorship to become available later.Sense of Events:

If It's Worth Doing, It's Worth Overdoing

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The Bulgari Ginza Tower houses the luxury brand's chocolate specialty store, the BULGARI Il Cioccolato, on the 10th floor,
and that's where we got our hands on a very special 6,000-yen (US$55) chocolate Easter egg. The chocolate egg, called the Uovo di Pasqua (literally "Easter Egg"), was a limited edition item of which just 50 in total were sold at the Il Cioccolato shops in the Ginza Tower and the Matsuya Ginza Department Store. --| RocketNews24


"If you go down in the woods today / You'd better go in disguise"

I do my woods cruising "ghosting style"—a dozen steps, stop, repeat—without a backpack, I toted a rifle in .22 WMR, crank-action, topped with a low power scope. Sighted for ahunnerd yards with 40 grainers. Good for feeling dangerous. It carries well muzzle down. And a big ol' Schrade knife with a quarter-inch thick fixed blade sharpened to where its shadow alone will cut paper. My trusty Sunto wrist compass, natch. Around here compasses are like small town newspapers, people read 'em to make sure they got the facts right. North stayed just where it should be the whole time, a few degrees off the pointer. Check. - - If it's Tuesday it's a new Woodpile Report




Give Into Your Craving: It's National Grilled Cheese Day

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The ballpark classic of soft pretzels with mustard, and a favorite quick bite of Jarlsberg and hard pretzels, turned into a great grilled sandwich. It combines homemade pretzel rolls and mustard, and it’s worth the extra effort. Get our Sweet Hot Mustard and Jarlsberg Grilled Cheese recipe. -- Chowhound

10 Terms to Be Used by United Airlines Personnel When Addressing the Public

10. Unscheduled Equipment Retirement (crash) “United regrets to announce that Flight 80 from Boston to Las Vegas experienced an unscheduled equipment retirement. As soon as our United crew reaches the flight’s bonus destination, we will announce how many passengers, if any, we will re-accommodate.” - McSweeney’s

The Swedish Solution: Raped, Cucked, Fucked, Killed, and Happy to Limit the Use of Cars. Fondue Forks Next.

It's The Perfect PC-Storm. From now on any Swedes killed by Muslims can thank all their fellow Swedes who made it possible over and over and over and over and over again. 'Ban Cars to Stop Terror' Says Sweden's Best-Selling Newspaper After Stockholm Attack

Say "Ahhh..... just kill me now."

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13,000-Year-Old Fillings Were 'Drilled' With Stone and Packed With Tar The new study focuses on two of the incisors,
which contain marks that suggest a pointed instrument, likely a stone, was used to enlarge cavities in the teeth and scrape out decayed tissue. The Neolithic dentist then seemed to stick dark bits of bitumen—a type of naturally occurring tar that Ice Age people used to waterproof baskets and pots—to the walls of the cavity. The researchers also found bits of hair and plant fibers stuck in the bitumen, though they are not sure what purpose they served.


Cannonballs and bayonet charges are terrible things,

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but they pale in comparison to massed machine gun fire on advancing infantry.
It would seem blazingly obvious that unless you have an answer for the machine gun, much less the new artillery, you don’t willingly go to war. That’s not what happened. Two great industrial wars latter and the West was just about dead..... It’s fun to speculate, but flying death robots alone change the way the world will be fighting wars in the future. Things like carriers can quickly become white elephants in a world where a swarm or drones can fall out of the sky or come up from the depths of the ocean. Everyone forgets about the coming proliferation of a independently controlled torpedoes that can literally roam the ocean looking for targets. The microprocessor goes from being a force multiplier to a force nullifier. - - The New Ways Of War


Torn From the Virtual Pages of the Maine Craigslist

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Mainers are incapable of projecting the false front of bonhomie that blarney requires.
They are bereft of whimsy. This Maine Craigslist Cultural Encyclopedia is a great example of the heartfelt sincerity of the place. There is nothing ironic in the Maine Craigslist. Or more accurately, there is nothing deliberately ironic. It's refreshing to live in a place where you are what you is, as they say. - - Sippican Cottage:


Your Appalachian medical lesson of the day. Use it wisely.

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Keep a sealed bottle of real vanilla in your first aid kit as a dental pain reliever.
If not sealed it will evaporate over time and if you have ever had tooth pain you'll appreciate the suggestion. Uncap the bottle, remove the seal, hold a tightly wadded paper towel over the opening and turn it upside down for a moment saturating it. Then quickly hold that wad tight against the painful tooth for a full minute. Within 10 seconds the pain will completely disappear.... While eating a hard shell taco an upper molar snapped off at the gum line. I didn't know there was a problem with it beforehand. The pain was instant, overwhelming, and went all the way up into my eye and forehead. If a gun was at hand I might have used it. It was THAT bad. Then I remembered a passage in Foxfire 1 and ran for the vanilla. In a way it saved my life. Posted by: ghostsniper.


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