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Elegance is for tailors. Don't always believe in the numbers. There is always room for human judgment. - Albert Einstein

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The poem "Punch Brothers Punch" (also known as "The Horror! The Horror!")was not composed by Mark Twain, but by a group of people in 1876.

It was the brainchild of Messrs. Isaac Bromley, Noah Brooks, W. C. Wyckoff, and Moses W. Handy. Bromley and Brooks, while riding a tram one night, had taken notice of a sign informing passengers about the fare:
A Blue Trip Slip for an 8-cents fare.
A Buff Trip Slip for a 6-cents fare.
A Pink Trip Slip for a 3-cents fare.
For Coupon and Transfer, punch the Tickets.

Bromley had reportedly exclaimed,

"Brooks, it's poetry. By George, it's poetry!" The two spent the remainder of their trip composing the poem, giving it its jingle-like character, and adding improvements such as the chorus. Upon arrival at the offices of the New York Tribune, they showed the poem to their friends, scientific editor W. C. Wyckoff and Moses Handy, who assisted them in completing it. They published their result in the Tribune, the same newspaper which Mark Twain had chanced upon. The poem gained popularity rapidly, taking over the minds of numerous people; it was assisted by Twain, who let it loose upon the world in his story.

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Will the reader please to cast his eye over the following lines, and see if he can discover anything harmful in them?

Conductor, when you receive a fare,
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!
A blue trip slip for an eight-cent fare,
A buff trip slip for a six-cent fare,
A pink trip slip for a three-cent fare,
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!

CHORUS

Punch, brothers! punch with care!
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!

I came across these jingling rhymes in a newspaper, a little while ago, and read them a couple of times. They took instant and entire possession of me. All through breakfast they went waltzing through my brain; and when, at last, I rolled up my napkin, I could not tell whether I had eaten anything or not. I had carefully laid out my day's work the day before--thrilling tragedy in the novel which I am writing. I went to my den to begin my deed of blood. I took up my pen, but all I could get it to say was, "Punch in the presence of the passenjare."

I fought hard for an hour, but it was useless. My head kept humming, "A blue trip slip for an eight-cent fare, a buff trip slip for a six-cent fare," and so on and so on, without peace or respite. The day's work was ruined--I could see that plainly enough. I gave up and drifted down-town, and presently discovered that my feet were keeping time to that relentless jingle. When I could stand it no longer I altered my step. But it did no good; those rhymes accommodated themselves to the new step and went on harassing me just as before. I returned home, and suffered all the afternoon; suffered all through an unconscious and unrefreshing dinner; suffered, and cried, and jingled all through the evening; went to bed and rolled, tossed, and jingled right along, the same as ever; got up at midnight frantic, and tried to read; but there was nothing visible upon the whirling page except "Punch! punch in the presence of the passenjare." By sunrise I was out of my mind, and everybody marveled and was distressed at the idiotic burden of my ravings--"Punch! oh, punch! punch in the presence of the passenjare!"

Two days later, on Saturday morning, I arose, a tottering wreck, and went forth to fulfil an engagement with a valued friend, the Rev. Mr.------, to walk to the Talcott Tower, ten miles distant. He stared at me, but asked no questions. We started. Mr.------ talked, talked, talked as is his wont. I said nothing; I heard nothing. At the end of a mile, Mr.------ said "Mark, are you sick? I never saw a man look so haggard and worn and absent-minded. Say something, do!"

Drearily, without enthusiasm, I said: "Punch brothers, punch with care! Punch in the presence of the passenjare!"

My friend eyed me blankly, looked perplexed, they said:

"I do not think I get your drift, Mark. Then does not seem to be any relevancy in what you have said, certainly nothing sad; and yet--maybe it was the way you said the words--I never heard anything that sounded so pathetic. What is--"

But I heard no more. I was already far away with my pitiless, heartbreaking "blue trip slip for an eight-cent fare, buff trip slip for a six-cent fare, pink trip slip for a three-cent fare; punch in the presence of the passenjare." I do not know what occurred during the other nine miles. However, all of a sudden Mr.------ laid his hand on my shoulder and shouted:

"Oh, wake up! wake up! wake up! Don't sleep all day! Here we are at the Tower, man! I have talked myself deaf and dumb and blind, and never got a response. Just look at this magnificent autumn landscape! Look at it! look at it! Feast your eye on it! You have traveled; you have seen boaster landscapes elsewhere. Come, now, deliver an honest opinion. What do you say to this?"__

I sighed wearily; and murmured:

"A buff trip slip for a six-cent fare, a pink trip slip for a three-cent fare, punch in the presence of the passenjare."

Rev. Mr. ------ stood there, very grave, full of concern, apparently, and looked long at me; then he said:

"Mark, there is something about this that I cannot understand. Those are about the same words you said before; there does not seem to be anything in them, and yet they nearly break my heart when you say them. Punch in the--how is it they go?"

I began at the beginning and repeated all the lines.

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My friend's face lighted with interest. He said:

"Why, what a captivating jingle it is! It is almost music. It flows along so nicely. I have nearly caught the rhymes myself. Say them over just once more, and then I'll have them, sure."

I said them over. Then Mr. ------ said them. He made one little mistake, which I corrected. The next time and the next he got them right.

Now a great burden seemed to tumble from my shoulders. That torturing jingle departed out of my brain, and a grateful sense of rest and peace descended upon me. I was light-hearted enough to sing; and I did sing for half an hour, straight along, as we went jogging homeward. Then my freed tongue found blessed speech again, and the pent talk of many a weary hour began to gush and flow. It flowed on and on, joyously, jubilantly, until the fountain was empty and dry. As I wrung my friend's hand at parting, I said:

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Vanderleun : March 30, 15  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Dennis and Pamela People are affected by numbers, and since they have a child, you'll empathize with what they say while I nod in their direction.

"Well, it's been hard because of the numbers."

"Yeah, it has been hard, mainly because of the numbers."

gerardvanderleun : March 30, 15  |  Your Say (0)  | 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.

gerardvanderleun : March 29, 15  |  Your Say (0)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Grace Notes

"I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose." J. B. S. Haldane

Advertising signs they con
You into thinking you’re the one
That can do what’s never been done
That can win what’s never been won
Meanwhile life outside goes on
All around you

It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) |Bob Dylan

gerardvanderleun : March 28, 15  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Intellectually Insane

[Sigh: It's that time again. The global dementia continues.]

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

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

-- Robert Frost, "Once By The Pacific"

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

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

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

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

"[click image to see it fade]"

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

[click civilization to see it fade]

and get no second click.

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

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

Vanderleun : March 28, 15  |  Your Say (37)  | PermaLink: Permalink

American Studies

It's everything you hoped it would be....

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gerardvanderleun : March 28, 15  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Detail

"It was a muggy day, the sort where you feel your t-shirt sticking to you before you even realize it. We hired some local guides, who then hired some even more local guides to help show the way to the spire we wanted to ascend. Boy was it grueling! Jagged rocks, thorny bushes, all-fours most of the way. Sometimes the only thing to hold onto was a thorn bush or a glassy-evil-jaded rock. At the top, I looked down to see all kinds of grisly lacerations... but gathered my wits to get this photo! My bff Tom Anderson was very smart and wore more clothes than me to keep his skin baby-smooth. This photo is a panorama, which I don't normally do, but the Dr. Seuss countryside there is so vast and overpowering, it was kind of the only way to bring it all together." -- Trey Ratcliff

Photographer's web site: Stuck In Customs | HDR Photography

Check out this very large image. You can zoom and pan.

Large image here if you...

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gerardvanderleun : March 28, 15  |  Your Say (4)  | PermaLink: Permalink

gerardvanderleun : March 28, 15  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

don-malcolm.jpgTaking the award for Obituary of the Decade has got to be this one of €“ Donald Alexander Malcolm Jr. from March 25 in the Homer Tribune



Captain Donald Alexander Malcolm Jr., 60, died Feb. 28, 2015, nestled in the bosom of his family, while smoking, drinking whiskey and telling lies. He died from complications resulting from being stubborn, refusing to go to the doctor, and raising hell for six decades. Stomach cancer also played a minor role in his demise.

Don cherished family above all else, and was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He met his future wife, Maureen (Moe) Belisle Malcolm, after months at sea, crab fishing. He found her in his bed and decided to keep her.

Their daughter Melissa was born “early” six months later. They decided to have a boy a couple years later, and ended up with another daughter, Megan.

He taught his girls how to hold their liquor, filet a fish and change a tire. He took pride in his daughters, but his greatest joy in life was the birth of his grandson Marley, a child to whom he could impart all of his wisdom that his daughters ignored.

After spending his formative years in Kirkland, Wash. with a fishing pole in hand, Don decided his life’s calling was to yell at deckhands on commercial fishing boats in Alaska. As a strapping young man of 19, he moved to Dutch Harbor to fulfill this dream.

Over the next 40 years, Don was a boat cook, mechanic, deckhand, captain and boat owner. Although Don worked nearly every fishery in the Pacific Northwest at one time or another, his main hunting ground was the Bering Sea. He cut his teeth crabbing; kept his family fed by longlining halibut and black cod; then retired as a salmon gillnetter in Southeast Alaska.

Don had a life-time love affair with Patsy Cline, Rainier beer, iceberg lettuce salads and the History Channel (which allowed him to call his wife and daughters everyday in order to relay the latest WWII facts he learned).

He excelled at attempting home improvement projects, outsmarting rabbits, annoying the women in his life and reading every book he could get his hands on.

He thought everyone could, and should, live on a strict diet of salmon, canned peas and rice pilaf, and took extreme pride in the fact that he had a freezer stocked full of wild game and seafood.

His life goal was to beat his wife at Scrabble, and although he never succeeded, his dream lives on in the family he left behind.

Don is survived not only by his wife, daughters and grandson, but by his father, Donald Malcolm Sr; brothers Howard and Mike Malcolm; sisters Lisa Shumaker, Nicki White, Melinda Borg and Patsi Solano.

He also has many nieces, nephews, aunts and cousins who love him dearly, and deckhands who knew him.

He will be having an extended family reunion with his mother, Winifred Thorton; foster parents Marvel and Dutch Roth, brothers Larry and Steve Malcolm, sister Doodie Cake, and other assorted family and friends who died too young.

gerardvanderleun : March 27, 15  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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The Plexiglas Pontiac Deluxe Six "Ghost Car," which sold at auction a few years ago for $308,000, June 11, 1940. "General Motors exhibit at Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco. Transparent Car with Pontiac Chassis and Body by Fisher." -- Shorpy Historic Picture Archive

gerardvanderleun : March 26, 15  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

HT: Curmudgeonly and Skeptical.

gerardvanderleun : March 26, 15  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

"Is it too late?
Is it too far?
For Him to reach you
And come to where you are

"Step out on the edge
Don't be afraid of it
And when you feel the rain
Call His name
He'll find you in the hurricane"

Mark 6 - And he went out from thence,

47And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.

48And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.

49But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

50For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

51And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

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gerardvanderleun : March 24, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Required reading: How ISIS is the reincarnation of the Nazis by V.S. Naipul.



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Isis is dedicated to a contemporary holocaust. It has pledged itself to the murder of Shias, Jews, Christians, Copts, Yazidis and anyone it can, however fancifully, accuse of being a spy. It has wiped out the civilian populations of whole regions and towns. Isis could very credibly abandon the label of Caliphate and call itself the Fourth Reich.

Like the Nazis, Isis fanatics are anti-semitic, with a belief in their own racial superiority. They are anti-democratic: the Islamic State is a totalitarian state, absolute in its authority. There is even the same self-regarding love of symbolism, presentation and propaganda; terror is spread to millions through films and videos created to professional standards of which Goebbels would have been proud.

Just as the Third Reich did, Isis categorises its enemies as worthy of particular means of execution from decapitation to crucifixion and death by fire.

Whereas the Nazis pretended to be the guardians of civilisation in so far as they stole art works to preserve them and kept Jewish musicians alive to entertain them, Isis destroys everything that arises from the human impulse to beauty.

Such barbarism is not new to history and every nation has suffered mass murder and barbaric cruelty in the past. That a European country in the 20th Century launched a holocaust on the basis of race is a matter of the deepest shame.

That Isis has revived the religious dogmas and deadly rivalries between Sunnis and Shias, Sunnis and Jews and Christians is a giant step into darkness.

[snip]

Islamism is simpler. There are rules to obey, a jihad to fight against the civilisation you can’t comprehend, a heaven to go to when you martyr yourself and now a real fighting force in the world which you can join to simplify and solve your existence: no history to complicate your self-awareness, no art to distract you, no ambivalence and choices that ‘Western’ civilisation offers you, no doubt about the fruits of martyrdom, no allegiance to the country in which you were brought up and which gave you a free education and perhaps welfare benefits. A gun, a half-understood prayer and the simplicity that a simple and singular upbringing craves.

That is why they go. And volunteer for death, and die.

[snip]

Isis has to be seen as the most potent threat to the world since the Third Reich.
Its military annihilation as an anti-civilisational force has to now be the objective of a world that wants its ideological and material freedoms.


The entire essay is at V.S. NAIPAUL writing in the Daily Mail

gerardvanderleun : March 24, 15  |  Your Say (16)  | PermaLink: Permalink

5-Minute Arguments

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From “Small World: An Academic Romance” (1984) by David Lodge. In the novel, Morris Zapp is a professor of English at an American university. Fulvia Morgana is an Italian leftist:

“There’s something I must ask you, Fulvia,” said Morris Zapp, as he sipped Scotch on the rocks poured from a crystal decanter brought on a silver tray by a black-uniformed, white-aproned maid to the first-floor drawing-room of the magnificent eighteenth-century house just off the Villa Napoleone, which they had reached after a drive so terrifyingly fast that the streets and boulevards of Milan were just a pale grey blur in his memory. “It may sound naive, and even rude, but I can’t suppress it any longer.”

Fulvia arched her eyebrows above her formidable nose. They had both rested, showered, and changed, she into a long, loose flowing robe of fine white wool, which made her look more than ever like a Roman empress. They faced each other, sunk deep in soft, yielding, hide-covered armchairs, across a Persian rug laid on the honey-coloured waxed wooden floor. Morris looked around the spacious room, in which a few choice items of antique furniture had been tastefully integrated with the finest specimens of modern Italian design, and whose off-white walls bore, he had ascertained by close-range inspection, original paintings by Chagall, Mark Rothko and Francis Bacon. “I just want to know,” said Morris Zapp, “how you manage to reconcile living like a millionaire with being a Marxist.”

Fulvia, who was smoking a cigarette in an ivory holder, waved it dismissively in the air. “A very American question, if I may say so, Morris. Of course I recognize the contradictions in our way of life, but those are the very contradictions characteristic of the last phase of bourgeois capitalism, which will eventually cause it to collapse. By renouncing our own little bit of privilege”—here Fulvia spread her hands in a modest proprietorial gesture which implied that she and her husband enjoyed a standard of living only a notch or two higher than that of, say, a Puerto Rican family living on welfare in the Bowery—“we should not accelerate by one minute the consummation of that process, which has its own inexorable rhythm and momentum, and is determined by the pressure of mass movements, not by the puny actions of individuals. Since in terms of dialectical materialism it makes no difference to the ’istorical process whether Ernesto and I, as individuals, are rich or poor, we might as well be rich, because it is a role that we know ’ow to perform with a certain dignity. Whereas to be poor with dignity, poor as our Italian peasants are poor, is something not easily learned, something bred in the bone, through generations.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vanderleun : March 22, 15  |  Your Say (28)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Oh my, oh sigh, oh goodbye: Michael Brown, Keyboardist for The Left Banke, Dies at 65 - NYTimes.com Michael Brown, a keyboardist and songwriter who at 16 was a writer of the 1966 hit “Walk Away Renee” for his band the Left Banke and composed “Pretty Ballerina” for it as well, died on Thursday at his home in Englewood, N.J. He was 65.

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gerardvanderleun : March 21, 15  |  Your Say (12)  | PermaLink: Permalink

Grace Notes

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gerardvanderleun : March 19, 15  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

This one goes out to my mother, still running deep and clear in the midst of her 100th year.

"Best start putting first things first."

"Trust me friend a hundred years
Goes faster than you think
So don't blink"

gerardvanderleun : March 18, 15  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

5-Minute Arguments

It's.... alive. ALIVE!

And even at this stage it's very strange.

[And, to make it even more ominous, the soundtrack is from Aliens: Face Huggers by James Horner]

gerardvanderleun : March 18, 15  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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

4 Baby Bird Cams You Should Watch This Spring

From sleepy bald eaglets to clamoring owlets, get a bird's-eye view of new families in their nests. Cams and links are HERE

"A deliberate mass murder that killed far more people than any one-man shooting spree in history."

If a person wants to kill themselves, I suppose that’s their choice.
Erasing oneself is probably the most self-indulgent thing someone can do. But when you drag other people into your suicide, it ceases to be so…libertarian? The children you financially strand and the loved ones you emotionally destroy have no choice in the matter. And on top of all that, deciding to drag 149 other people down with you into your sick miserable hole of self-loathing while you permanently scar thousands of other lives as a result? That’s a leap of selfishness as high as the French Alps. The Most Selfish Suicide Ever?




It is said that marriage rests on compromises, but in fact it rests on concessions,

and you will make all of them. You will find your social life gravitating fast to other married couples.
She won’t want you to have single female friends (nor will you want her to have single male frieds: Marriage is based on mistrust.). Worse, she won’t want you to have single male friends. She will want you where she can keep an eye on you. Forget going out with the guys.... You may well find that you do not particularly like your children. You probably have certain tastes in regard to character, intelligence, and so on. Your children may not have these qualities. In romantic theory you should love them because they are yours. In practice you have to say that you do.Fred On Everything


Is it possible for the United States to break up, either de facto or formally?

Another possibility of secession lies in the South. Mississippi, the darkest state, is thirty-seven percent black.

Although we are not permitted to say it, the racial hostility of blacks toward whites is intense. While whites will (now, anyway) vote for a black candidate over a white—which is how we got Obama—blacks vote as a bloc for black candidates. (If memory serves, Obama got 93% of the black vote.) Should the black percentage in Mississippi grow to a tipping point, then, when whites bail out (which is usually what happens though we are not supposed to say this either), the state would become a self-governing country within a country—dependent on federal subsidies, yes, but having no loyalty to or culture in common with white society. It would not, methinks, feel an urgent need to obey federal laws. Tell me I’m crazy. But wait twenty years. Fred On Everything



Grace Kelly on Her Wedding Day

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Four more completely Incompetent and corrupt women you could not find.

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Patrick Mohney

Vanessa Summers, 56, is everything that is wrong with today's racial politics.

Don Surber: What a horrible womanThis week she accused an 18-month-old boy of being a racist.
During a debate on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act -- which surprisingly she opposes -- Vanessa Summers turned on Republican Jud McMillin’s baby boy. She said, "I love his little son, but he’s scared of me because of my color — and that’s horrible." Really? Maybe he's scared of her because she is a big woman with a loud mouth.


No class of writers knows less about politics than political pundits

My own development as a political thinker was tragically stunted by employment as a political pundit.

No class of writers knows less about politics than they. In order to write at all in this genre, one must pretend to take seriously an entire political order that is preposterous, peopled by the mentally and emotionally disturbed, and ruled by power-hungry maniacs, until one’s own last mooring is shot. The madness is compounded by complete ignorance of what is going on, since no one not himself up to his ears in the actual exercise of political power can possibly understand what is in play. And, those up to their ears are drowning. On legitimate government : Essays in Idleness



Download 422 Free Art Books from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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including American Impressionism and Realism: The Painting of Modern Life, 1885–1915;
Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomical Drawings from the Royal Library; and Wisdom Embodied: Chinese Buddhist and Daoist Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Go to Book titles with full text online | MetPublications | The Metropolitan Museum of Art [Via | Open Culture]


So, what is a Kulak to do?

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For one, you should take the language denigrating your ethnic group seriously, because calls for asset seizures are always presages to calls of physical liquidation.
Once your liquid assets are seized, it is necessary to take your tough-to-move assets, and when you have nothing left to give, you are useful either as a slave or as a dead body. If the moral trend can be reversed, by openly contradicting the story of [insert group here]'€™s perfidy, then good on you, but typically, once a state has begun the scapegoating process, it finds itself unable to back down from it -- it has to see it to its logical conclusion. Physical resistance usually never occurs, because actors within states only begin these sorts of widespread demonization programs if there is unlikely to be any real physical resistance to it. Kill the Kulaks - Henry Dampier


“You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.” [Bumped]

Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.
“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger, and no answer. There is never an answer.” He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.” - - Germanwings Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash in France


In the official Women’s Conference document we find such things as this:

The appropriation of Black women by white gay men is prevalent within the LGBT scene and community. This may be manifested in the emulation of the mannerisms, language (particularly AAVE- African American Vernacular English) and phrases that can be attributed to Black women. White gay men may often assert that they are “strong black women” or have an “inner black woman.” White gay men are the dominant demographic within the LGBT community, and they benefit from both white privilege and male privilege.
davidthompson: The Amazon Vanguard

Why is this so difficult to understand?

When forced to choose between big corporations and big government, you should never choose big government because whatever you don’t like about the big corporations WILL ALSO BE PRESENT IN BIG GOVERNMENT, ONLY WORSE, AND WITH GUNS.
I never resort to all caps, but I don’t know how else to communicate this. I’ve tried every other way. Should I write it in a poem? Say it in Pig Latin? Mail it to you in a candy gram? Communicate it via interpretive dance? What can I do? What can I do to somehow force millions of oblivious people to understand that the government is not a magnanimous white knight that rides into town to rescue you from the scary dragon. The government is the freaking dragon. Dear Foolish and Gullible Americans, Net Neutrality is Not Your Friend | TheBlaze.com


What would a traitor president look like?

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We are now overtly supporting our enemy, conceding to our enemy,
abandoning a country that is that enemy’s enemy and has been our ally for over sixty years (Israel). We are doing this not because our hand is being forced by a military or economic defeat—au contraire—but because our president wants to do it. And although Obama has always said during campaigns that he favors talks with Iran, he has always said that he will not concede the very things he is getting ready to concede, and always pledged his support for Israel. - - neo-neocon


Parents Must Sign Permission Slip Before Kids Can Eat Oreos

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- Hit & Run : Reason.com

"There are absolutely no absolutes"

Because the state of Indiana has now made it legal for a business to refuse service to homosexuals because they believe the practice to be wrong... they are refusing service to Indiana, because they believe such a refusal to be a practice which is... wrong. Word Around the Net: BOYCOTTING FOR BOYCOTTING



And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

Christ’s reminiscence is one of the spookiest moments in the New Testment.
He knew evil of old. We, on the other hand, have forgotten it, or deny it exists. Lufthansa thought it could make its planes safer through layers of screening and automated processes, but it failed to defend against the oldest enemy of all: the insistent will. To guard against this old enemy — which civilization remembered until recently — systems of checks and balances were built into critical systems to ensure that no single individual will could unilaterally control them. “Per US Air Force Instruction (AFI) 91-104, ‘The Two-Person Concept‘ is designed to prevent accidental or malicious launch of nuclear weapons by a single individual.” Germanwings Flight 9525 | Belmont Club
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"Let us sit upon the ground / And tell sad stories of the death of kings; / How some have been deposed; some slain in war ...."

Richard III laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral

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I once dreamed of this, your future breath

in prayer for me, lost long, forever found;

or sensed you from the backstage of my death,

as kings glimpse shadows on a battleground.



The estate tax is the single biggest cause of the rise and dominance of Progressivism in the 20th century.

Three Cheers for Death Taxes? at The Z Blog The formation by business magnates
of massive charitable foundations in order to save their fortunes from government depredation created a massive slush fund for the financial support and promulgation of every lunatic Progressive idea in existence. Without the Ford, Rockefeller, MacArthur and other foundations, Progressive lunacy as we know it would not exist. Heck, PBS and Sesame Street, which poisoned the minds of innocent children with liberal dreck for generations, would not exist.


It's probably nothing....

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Samsung's warning: Our Smart TVs record your living room chatter: The wording, first spotted by the Daily Beast, first informs you that the company may "capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features."
This is almost understandable. It's a little like every single customer service call, supposedly recorded to make your next customer service call far, far more enjoyable. However, the following words border on the numbing: "Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition." We are NOT having your mother here this weekend, next weekend or ANY weekend! I'm pregnant and it's not yours. The possibilities curdle in the mind.


"A vast outpost"

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5,200 Days in Space: The International Space Station is a vast outpost,
its scale inspiring awe even in the astronauts who have constructed it. From the edge of one solar panel to the edge of the opposite one, the station stretches the length of a football field, including the end zones. The station weighs nearly 1 million pounds, and its solar arrays cover more than an acre. It’s as big inside as a six-bedroom house, more than 10 times the size of a space shuttle’s interior. Astronauts regularly volunteer how spacious it feels. It’s so big that during the early years of three-person crews, the astronauts would often go whole workdays without bumping into one another, except at mealtimes. Indeed, it’s so big, you can see it tracing across the night sky when it passes overhead (there are apps for finding it, ISS Spotter among them).


If there’s some sacred cow in the Leftist canon Ted Cruz has left undefiled, he will soon enough defile it. That's the plan.

If you were to re-write his speech into its essentials it might sound like this.

“Imagine if we could tell all the stuffed shirts in the media to buzz off. Imagine if we could tell the busybodies to butt out our lives. Imagine if we could actually tell the IRS we want to keep our money. Imagine if we could the tell the NSA you need a warrant to tap my phone. Imagine if we didn’t have to feel guilty of being Americans. Imagine that we could call Islamic terrorism by its name.But you don’t have to imagine because I’m doing it right now. I am standing right here, committing what is accounted political suicide saying every damned thing you ever felt like saying but couldn’t. I’m on YouTube giving every bit of lip you were afraid to give for fear you might lose your job. Do you see that hat over there my friend? I’m going to knock it down. All I am asking you to do is take out your cellphones and punch in this number and by that ever so negligible act, join in the fray!”
William Cruz | Belmont Club



The environmental movement tying itself to personal virtue may have been stupid,

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but it is completely understandable because the movement has all the rest of the emotional structure of an Abrahamic religion,
including (a) an obession with sin, (b) an eschatology (AGW), (c) irrational taboos (GM foods), (d) weekly observances of no weight other than as symbolic virtue signaling (residential recycling), and (d) fideistic refusal to consider evidence contrary to its doctrines. The rise of environmentalism perfectly tracks the fall in religious observance among elite whites in the U.S., because it’s binding to the same receptors. Eric Raymond @ Links 3/15: Linksmanship | Slate Star Codex


The New York Times editors and reporters are not just liberal.

They're stupid. Don Surber: NYT thinks you get an honorable discharge for desertion

File Under: Never a Hellfire Missile Strike When You Really Need One

Feminists Passed Resolution to ‘Eradicate’ Gay Men From Appropriating Black Women Culture!1. The appropriation of Black women by white gay men is prevalent within the LGBT scene and community.

2. This may be manifested in the emulation of the mannerisms, language (particularly AAVE- African American Vernacular English) and phrases that can be attributed to Black women. White gay men may often assert that they are “strong black women” or have an “inner black woman”. 3. White gay men are the dominant demographic within the LGBT community, and they benefit from both white privilege and male privilege. 4. The appropriation of Black women by white gay men has been written about extensively. This quote is taken from Sierra Mannie’s TIME piece entitled: “Dear white gays, stop stealing Black Female culture”:
“You are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. There is a clear line between appreciation and appropriation. I need some of you to cut it the hell out. Maybe, for some of you, it’s a presumed mutual appreciation for Beyoncé and weaves that has you thinking that I’m going to be amused by you approaching me in your best “Shanequa from around the way” voice. I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t care how well you can quote Madea, who told you that your booty was getting bigger than hers, how cute you think it is to call yourself a strong black woman, who taught you to twerk, how funny you think it is to call yourself Quita or Keisha or for which black male you’ve been bottoming — you are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. It is not yours. It is not for you.”



Headline of the Year (So Far): Fire extinguisher factory destroyed in massive blaze

The extra-alarm fire broke out in the Archer Heights section of the city just after 9 p.m. at the industrial building on W. 38th Street, according to MyFoxChicago.com.
Within 30 minutes, the building, which housed several businesses in addition to the chemical factory, was completely engulfed in flames. More than 150 firefighters responded to the scene and it took them nearly three hours to extinguish the fire. The crews had difficulty getting enough water to the building because of a lack of hydrants and had to perform an "inline operation," in which six trucks were spaced out over a mile and connected by hoses to pipe water, the Chicago Tribune reported. | Fox News


Easy-Bake Evolution: 50 Years of Cakes, Cookies, and Gender Politics

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The Easy-Bake Oven debuted in November 1963, just in time for the Christmas shopping season.
“The first Easy-Bake Oven didn’t look like much of an oven,” Coopee says. “It was this box that came in turquoise or pale yellow, and a handle on the top. It had a slot that you’d push the pan into, and then a window where you could watch the cake being baked. The cooling chamber on the side had this fake range built over it.”But its strange appearance didn’t prevent it from becoming the must-have toy of the season. “They only had time to manufacture half a million of them before November, and they sold out immediately,” he says. “It was one of those Christmas toys that people would fight over in the store.” | Collectors Weekly


"I have strange power of speech."

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Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns:
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.

I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner



The Israeli left doesn’t want a country.

The left doesn’t want a country. It wants a Berkeley food co-op.
It wants a city with some ugly modernist architecture. It wants a campus with courses on media studies and gender in geography. It wants an arcade where unwashed lefties can tunelessly strum John Lennon songs on their vintage guitars. It wants cafes with Russian Futurist prints on the walls. It wants to be excited about political change. Its only use for Israel was as a utopian theme park. Sultan Knish: Israel’s Leftist Losers


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