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If you're going to lose money, lose it. But don't let 'em nose you out. - Gustavus Swift


gerardvanderleun : September 1, 15  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Live interview interrupted by Blue Whale

To see the same video twice as large....

Click Here to Continue
gerardvanderleun : August 31, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"Unlike most of Joel's songs, the lyrics were written before the melody, owing to the somewhat unusual style of the song. The song was a huge commercial success and was Joel's third Billboard No. 1 hit. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

I had turned forty. It was 1989 and I said "Okay, what's happened in my life?" I wrote down the year 1949. Okay, Harry Truman was president. Popular singer of the day, Doris Day. China went Communist. Another popular singer, Johnnie Ray. Big Broadway show, South Pacific. Journalist, Walter Winchell. Athlete, Joe DiMaggio. Then I went on to 1950 [...]. It's one of the worst melodies I've ever written. I kind of like the lyric though -- La Wik

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, The King And I, and The Catcher In The Rye

Eisenhower, Vaccine, England's got a new queen
Maciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dancron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn's got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland

Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, Bridge On The River Kwai

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkwether, Homicide, Children of Thalidomide
Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia
Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go

U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichman, Stranger in a Strange Land
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion

Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson

Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex
J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it

And now, Billy Joel explains it all.....

Billy Joel - Q&A: Tell Us About "We Didn't Start The Fire"? (Oxford 1994)

gerardvanderleun : August 31, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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The Genius Of The Crowd Poem by Charles Bukowski

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art

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

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"A second time? why? man of ill star,
Facing the sunless dead and this joyless region?
Stand from the fosse, leave me my bloody bever
For soothsay."

And I stepped back,
And he stong with the blood, said then: "Odysseus
Shalt return through spiteful Neptune, over dark seas,
Lose all companions."
-- Ezra Pound: Canto I

"So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years,
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres
Trying to learn to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate -- but there is no competition --
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business."
-- T. S. Eliot: "East Coker"

Between the windows of the sea
Where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much
About Desolation Row

Yes, I received your letter yesterday
(About the time the doorknob broke)
When you asked how I was doing
Was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention
Yes, I know them, they’re quite lame
I had to rearrange their faces
And give them all another name
Right now I can’t read too good
Don’t send me no more letters, no
Not unless you mail them
From Desolation Row
-- Desolation Row Bob Dylan

Vanderleun : August 27, 15  |  Your Say (2)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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School slate Used by Australian school students up until the mid 20th century, the slate has a black flat honed surface in a sturdy timber frame. It is light, slim and portable and can be used with chalk for writing alphabetic text, performing calculations or for free illustration. Characters and illustrations can be saved indefinitely but should the slate be required for another image or text the existing work must be erased using a wet or dry cloth. This can be done ad infinitum.

gerardvanderleun : August 26, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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In which Clarence Clemmons proves once and for all there is no rock and roll song that can't be made great with a saxophone.

One, two, three, four!

The highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybody's out on the run tonight
But there's no place left to hide
Together Wendy we can live with the sadness
I'll love you with all the madness in my soul
H-Oh, Someday girl I don't know when
We're gonna get to that place
Where we really wanna go
And we'll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
Baby we were born to run

Yes, 1975. What can I say? Turn around, a decade's gone. Sometimes even four.... but then.... again....

Don't run back inside, darling, you know just what I'm here for
So you're scared and you're thinking that maybe we ain't that young anymore

Show a little faith, there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty but, hey, you're alright

Oh, and that's alright with me....

Click Here to Continue
gerardvanderleun : August 25, 15  |  Your Say (17)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Note: Received in email from commenter Fat Man


News got you down? Stock Market crashing? Hillary? The Donald? Fortunately, there is some good news. Sometimes the good guys win. Case in point: this week's story about the three Americans who tackled the Muzzie with the AK on the train in France.

Americans Who Thwarted French Train Attack Were Childhood Friends - WSJ

"The three American men whom French authorities credit with disrupting a potential terror attack on a Paris-bound high-speed train Friday are childhood friends who had all attended California’s Freedom Christian School and often played military games together growing up.
"Airman First Class Spencer Stone, Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos, and college student Anthony Sadler were tourists trekking through Europe on a planned three-week vacation. They will return home as decorated heroes, following a scheduled visit with French President François Hollande at Élysée Palace, after authorities say they bravely took down a man they say was armed with boxcutters and several guns. ...
“We believe God’s providential will worked its way out,” said Mr. Sadler’s father, Anthony Sadler, a Baptist pastor."

But wait, it gets better.

Look at their pictures.


Three good looking American kids. Two white, one black. Boyhood friends.

What does this have to do with politics? Simple.

Obama is not just wrong about America. He and his hench-creatures are evil. They are trying to tribalize us, so that they can divide us and rule a demoralized and defeated country forever.

This is what we must fight.

The way to win is to not accept tribalization. The way to win is to state that these three young men are what America is really all about.

This needs to be our message: "We are Americans, We are neighbors, We are friends, We are brothers. This is what makes us the exceptional nation. This is what makes us the Last Best Hope of Earth. We will unite and we defeat America's enemies wherever we find them."

#AllLivesMatter. #GodBlessAmerica

"Crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea."

The way to win is not to nurture grievances and salve them with unfulfillable promises. The way to win is to call people to be their highest and best selves.

Republican Presidential Candidates: Forget Hillary. Forget the Donald. Forget Obama. The ads, the speeches, write themselves. Appeal to to our highest selves. Draw the contrast with the tactics of tribalism and division. Don't be afraid to be sappy and sentimental.

gerardvanderleun : August 25, 15  |  Your Say (12)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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It all seems so quiet and hushed and strangely calm now that the shooting has stopped and only the rubble remains.

4:35-- The entrance to the Führerbunker and the surrounding ruins. The inspection of the junk-filled ditch where the monster burned in a pool of gasoline.

And then the aftermath.

gerardvanderleun : August 24, 15  |  Your Say (10)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

Yesterday I heard of a young mother who came downstairs early in the morning to find her fifth-grade son dressed for school but flat on his back in the middle of the living room staring in despair at the ceiling.

MOM: "What on Earth do you think you're doing?"

BOY: "I can't do it. I just can't go to school any more."

We all know how that small strike ended. Management made an offer ("Go to school or else."), and the union of one caved in with a few plaintive "But mom's.... "

I first thought that there was rough justice in that. After all, the thought of actually going on a ten-minute "I-won't-go-to-school" strike never would have entered my ten-year old mind. If it had I would not have heard the dreaded promise, "Wait until your father gets home." No, I would have heard the thermonuclear announcement, "I'm calling your father at work and telling him to come home right now." That one always alerted me that I had only one half-hour to get my affairs in order.

Today, after mulling the lie-down strike a little more, it seems to me there's more than a little to be said on the side of the fifth-grader's strike. After twenty years of schooling and more than thirty on the day shift, those early grades seem -- looked at through society's grubby glasses -- to be an idyllic time. After all, weren't they?

No real worries. No problems with the opposite or the same sex. No goals other than getting to Christmas break, Easter break or the long and endless summer. No money to make. No money, in fact, to speak of at all. All your expenses covered. No taxes. No sense of mortality. In short, the lost and golden land of childhood. We all think of it, once far removed from it, as some distant Edenic idyll.

But if we try and shift our point of view a bit, and if we try to remember all those things the haze of our twice-told childhood fairy-tales hides from us, we might see it -- just a bit and just for an instant -- from the point of view of the fifth-grade boy flat on his back in the living room staring at the ceiling in utter despair.

Here he lays. He's been going to this job of his for as long as he can remember. Unlike my experience which didn't start until kindergarten, today's boy has probably been working in the education industry since age 3.

They started him out on basic blocks and why he shouldn't nail somebody who took his cookie. Those are hard lessons. How to stack something up so it doesn't collapse in a heap at the first shudder in the earth. How to "share" your very limited and very personal resources. Why you don't just whack anyone who irritates you with the nearest blunt object.

These are basic lessons, and we forget how hard they are. Some of us don't learn them at all. Those people are either in prison, assembling bombs, or CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Still, that's your entry level position in the educational-industrial complex at age 3. It's all downhill from there.

For years you get up at an ungodly hour and don't even get a chance to read the paper. Plus, no coffee at all. Not. A. Drop.

You are then pushed out of your home and either driven to your "office-complex" by a cranky chauffeur with complete control over you, or you get to ride with a few dozen of your more-or-less peers with different ideas of hygiene and levels of intelligence in a shaking tin box with no seatbelts, driven by some of the least intelligent members of your community. I'd be a nervous wreck by the time I got to the office, I'll tell you.

Once you do get to the office, your time to just goof off is extremely limited. No leisurely stints by the water cooler for you. No coffee cart with tasty pastries coming by after only an hour. Bladder issue? Raise your hand and get a note. Other than that you are never alone.

You get one break out in the dirt, with, I might add, no coffee. A couple of hours later you get a quick hit of really bad food that is the same this Wednesday as it was last Wednesday. After that, it's back to your office where they don't even have a little cube for you, but slam you together with 15 to 30 other slaves to the clock in a room fit only for 10.

In some huge gesture to your youth, they let your out of this joint at 3 in the afternoon. They tell you it's a "school day," but if you've been up since 7 and out at three, that's a full eight hours in my book.

Oh, and no chatting with your friends. Yes, you, pipe down. If not it's off to the CEO's antechamber for a quick and humiliating performance review. Daily if you don't snap out of it. If you really don't snap out of it, we're calling your father AND your mother to come here from work right now.

Perhaps you get to enjoy the mastery of your skills? Don't make me laugh. Master one thing and boom here comes another.

Comprehend fractions? That was so last week. Now do long division. Made a volcano that blew up on cue last week? Big deal. This week you are going to construct an Algonquin winter lodge diorama from scratch --- and it better have plenty of cotton balls for snow.

One o'clock. Your project for this hour is the basic structure of the cell. Okay, two o'clock, everybody stand up and turn to the person next to them and say, "Hola, como se llama..."

Day in day out, week in week out, year in year out ... you trudge off to this room crammed to the brim with bird's nests, flash cards, trilobites, pilgrim hats, Indian headresses, drawings and paintings in which the proportion of the head to the body is never right, but looks for all the world like an exhibit by demented Fauvists with no drawing skills whatsoever and a very garish color sense. Twice a day, everybody in this room is let out. Is it any wonder they run screaming into the sunshine?

You have no veto whatsoever over your co-workers, your working conditions, your hours, or your choice of when to do what tasks. Everyone does the same tasks at the same time for 55 minutes and then it is on to something new.

Did I mention the fact that you can't quit? If you try to quit they send the Gestapo to your home and track you down and haul you back.

There is, however, judgment. Oh, the judgment. Constantly tested. Constantly graded. Constantly up for criticism with your single allowable plea being, "Guilty. But with an explanation." It's like an annual review every week with no raises, ever.

And nothing, nothing you do, is ever quite good enough, is it? Except for that four-eyes up in the front row who always gets it done perfectly. No mistakes ever. You know, the kid who will be pantsed and then smothered with 30 co-workers backpacks out behind the backstop one rainy afternoon.

By the fifth grade, you've been in this dead end job for about seven years. If you're lucky, your pay has gone from a dollar to ten dollars a week. Get straight A's and you might get a bonus of one day at the local "Magic Kingdom." Then it's, "Okay, break's over. Everybody back on their heads."

I don't know about you, but that sounds like one of the worst jobs in the world. In fact, the more I think about it the more I want to lie down with that kid in the middle of the living room and say, "I just can't do it any more either."

It took me about 30 years to get to that point. I guess I'm not as smart as I was in the fifth grade. In fact, I'm sure of it.

Vanderleun : August 24, 15  |  Your Say (38)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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I don't know about you but I could watch fiddle playing like this for days.....


Shenandoah: One of America's most popular folk songs, is known as a "short haul shanty" and is said to be the true story of a white trader who courted the daughter of an Indian chieftain. The song apparently originated among American or Canadian voyagers on the Missouri River - sometimes called the "Miz-zoo".


The old Miz-zoo has friendly waters
Away! You rolling river
The Indians camp along its border
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

A white man loved an Indian lady
Away! You rolling river
The daughter of Chief Shenandoah
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you
Away! You rolling river
Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah, I love your daughter
Away! You rolling river
I bring you tools and fire water
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

'Tis seven years since first I knew her
Away! You rolling river
She's in full bloom for a man to woo her
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Oh Shenandoah, with gifts I'm laden
Away! You rolling river
Give me the hand of this young maiden
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Then Shenandoah said - Go! Forsake her!
Away! You rolling river
An Indian brave has come to take her
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

Farewell, my love - I'm bound to leave you
Away! You rolling river
Oh Shenandoah, I'll not deceive you
Away! We're bound away
'Cross the wide Missouri.

gvanderleun : August 23, 15  |  Your Say (11)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Get your money for nothin' get your chicks for free.

And in the fullness of time, in the beginning of the first Boomer mid-life crisis, we woke up, looked around, and it was the Eighties.

The Sixties were sleeping in their vampire coffins waiting to rise again and destroy the world in the early 21st Century.

The Seventies were in the rearview mirror as the long Cocaine-Disco-All-Night-Orgy faded down into AIDS funerals and herpes.

And lo and behold the survivors suddenly had families, and found themselves in jobs that had somehow become careers.

At long last, the Boomers were buckling down and getting serious. After all, we'd bought homes, had children, and were living through 18% interest rates and hyper-inflation. Face it, we needed the money. Yes, we were all just about to grow up. And then....


Click Here to Continue
gerardvanderleun : August 22, 15  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Well, the bellhop's tears keep flowin'
And the desk clerk's dressed in black
Well, they've been so long on Lonely Street
Well, they'll never, they'll never get back
And they'll be so, where they'll be so lonely, baby
Well, they're so lonely
They'll be so lonely, they could die

Well now, if your baby leaves you
And you have a sad tale to tell
Just take a walk down Lonely Street
To Heartbreak Hotel....

"It was written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton.

The lyrics were based on a report in The Miami Herald about a man who had destroyed all his identity papers and jumped to his death from a hotel window, leaving a suicide note with the single line, "I walk a lonely street". Axton and Durden give different accounts of how the song was written. Durden's account is that he had already written the song and performed it with his band the Swing Billys before he presented it to Axton. Axton's account is that Durden had only penned a few lines of the song, and asked her to help him finish it. She says that the report of the suicide "stunned" her, and she told Durden, "Everybody in the world has someone who cares. Let's put a Heartbreak Hotel at the end of this lonely street." They were interrupted by the arrival of Glen Reeves, a local performer who had previously worked with Axton. The duo asked Reeves to help with the song, but after hearing the title he remarked that it was "the silliest thing I've ever heard", and left them to finish it themselves.
Rumors had been circulating in the press for several weeks that Presley, who had begun his career at Sun Records, was ready to move to RCA Victor to help launch him nationally. Axton played the demo to him in his room at the Andrew Jackson Hotel on November 10, 1955. Upon hearing the demo, Presley exclaimed "Hot dog, Mae, play that again!", and listened to it ten times, memorizing the song.
The Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards wrote in his 2010 autobiography that "Heartbreak Hotel" had had a huge effect on him. Beyond Presley's singing itself, it was the total effect of his sound and his silence that so totally affected Richards: "Since my baby left me"—it was just the sound...That was the first rock and roll I heard. It was a totally different way of delivering a song, a totally different sound, stripped down, no bullshit, no violins and ladies' choruses and schmaltz, totally different. It was bare right to the roots that you had a feeling were there but hadn't yet heard. I've got to take my hat off to Elvis. The silence is your canvas, that's your frame, that's what you work on; don't try and deafen it out. That's what "Heartbreak Hotel" did to me. It was the first time I'd heard something so stark. -- La Wik

gerardvanderleun : August 21, 15  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells
And Mexicans working the rows."

Last June I was visiting an old friend in San Rafael, California. He lives the classic Marin county life high on a brindle California hillside. His house is reached by driving the blind curves of one of those thin hill roads. He's got open land and long views next to his house. And a beautiful and extensive garden. A Sunset Magazine garden.

And like most homeowners in Marin, he's got his own personal Mexican as the rich white guy's answer to "How does your garden grow?". Yard work, it's what most of the Mexicans of Marin do. That and construction, and cooking, and cleaning, and any other kind of scut work that brings them cash.

From what I could see, this yard worker gets about $85 a day. Maybe more, maybe less. Maybe for that day only. Maybe for two days a week. Hard to imagine it could be for three. But I have no way of knowing. In Marin it would be the height of political insensitivity to ask, "By the way, how much do you pay your own personal Mexican?"

My pal's personal Mexican doesn't speak much English. Just enough to get by. The home owners treat him with respect and a strange deference, lapsing in a kind of Spanglish in order to talk to him. They ferry their personal Mexican from their house high on the hill to his home -- somewhere in the rambling and beaten down apartment complexes east of the freeway in San Rafael.

It's probably that way for most of the working illegal Mexicans in San Rafael. They are, after all, here to "do the jobs that Americans won't do." or can't do because they are so busy working to pay for all the extras of the current American dream. Including servants.

This personal servant was working on a Friday and did a good job. And then he was taken east of the freeway and dropped off. He'd be back next week. For 85, 170, or maybe, if he was lucky, 250 tax-free bucks. When I ran the web site for the Cosmodemonic Magazine Company back in 2002, I'd clear that drinking a cup of coffee in the morning.

On Saturday I drove from my hotel near the Frank Lloyd Wright Marin Civic Center back up to my friend's home high on the hill. I took the freeway but missed the main exit to San Rafael and had to take the next one. That off-ramp emptied down near the strip of big box stores, right at the edge of Home Depot.

Home Depots are, among other big-box construction hardware stores, the default shape-up spot of pick-up Mexican labor in the US. We all know that. When you need something done you just drive out to the nearest Home Depot, get your materials, and then pick up your emergency Mexicans as you exit. Everybody knows this. Everybody sees this. Everybody does this.

In the now long established day-labor Home Depot areas we even have a permanent place for the ubiquitous taco wagon to set up shop. If local authorities or border control officials really wanted to cut back on illegals, they'd just sweep these areas. But local political institutions and local police -- and all of us too -- seem to have agreed to lay off these zones. We let them be lest America's ready supply of "We do anything for almost any pay" labor be disrupted. It's the shadow realm. It's the black, no-taxes, "If we've got the cash, they've got the backs they'll break for it" economy.

It's how we live now.

When I came off the freeway exit it was about noon on a Saturday. By noon on a Saturday, anybody in Marin who has a project that requires emergency Mexicans has already been to the Home Depot shape-up, chosen the number they need, negotiated what the pay would be, and driven away with them. Those still left have little hope for a job. But they remain because a small hope for half a day's meager pay is better than no hope at all.

The traffic halted at the intersection and I looked ahead and around and in the rear view mirror. Standing there, many of them looking at me and waving their hands to signal their availability, was a small battalion of around 300 out-of-work Mexican males, mostly young. I thought, "Well, they may be here to 'do the jobs Americans won't do,' but there is clearly not enough work."

Then I thought, "What happens to these men if we arrive at a point, in a recession, where there is a lot less work for them in their many millions? What happens when the American dream starts contracting from the edges and the extra cash that allows us to employ them starts to dry up? They won't be counted as 'unemployed' since they were never legally 'employable' in the first place. Where will they go? Back to a Mexico where a recession in the US will breed a depression in that 3rd World country? Unlikely. Their best shot would still be to stay here. But if they did, what would they do? And how many would there really be? And how hungry and desperate would they get?"

This was just one intersection at one exit from the freeway in San Rafael, California 500 miles north of the Mexican border. And there were about 300 temporarily unemployed illegal residents of San Rafael simply standing about. That would be okay for a day, a week, maybe a month. As long as it was only 300 Mexican males. But if a slump in black-market cash employment became longer, spread and deepened throughout the country, and the numbers of our shadow armies of the blight grew, then.... Well, what then?

The cold fact is that we don't know what "what then" would look like. The issue has not surfaced in the present campaign because it cannot surface. The reality of off-setting our indolence with kindness and cash is too frightening to think about when the extra cash runs dry; when Americans will again do any job just to have a job and woe betide any non-American who seeks to take that job away.

Perhaps we'll discover that we'll have to pay a very large bill for our indolence. And that the bill will not be paid with cash. It will be paid, not for the first time, with the last thing we want to see - the Army in our cities. I don't think we are prepared for that. I don't think we want to find out. I pray we never have to.

But it's how we live now.

[First published October 2008. Look how far we've come.]

Vanderleun : August 20, 15  |  Your Say (47)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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

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gerardvanderleun : August 17, 15  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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for your dining and dancing pleasure..... Doug Ross @ Journal: The Top 300 Conservative Websites, August 2015

gerardvanderleun : August 15, 15  |  Your Say (15)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Coming back from the Farmers' Market in Paradise yesterday, I noticed the opening of this brand new business on Clark Road.


Americans: Some see problems. Others see opportunities.

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

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Remember "ObamaPhone"? Of course you do.


Remember "Cash for Clunkers"? Of course you do.


Remember "Cash for Clunkers" meets "ObamaCare"? Of course you do.


Well, now it's "Cash for Clunkers" meets Dumpsters...


For a brand new lifestyle; for a brand new way of living! Housing for all. View optional.


Here's how the magic happens via this Oakland "artiste:"

Click Here to Continue
gerardvanderleun : August 14, 15  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart, 1861:

"Colonel Stuart, if I had my way we would show no quarter to the enemy. No more than the redskins showed your troopers. The black flag, sir.

"If the North triumphs, it is not alone the destruction of our property. It is the prelude to anarchy, infidelity ... ... the loss of free and responsible government. It is the triumph of commerce. The banks, factories.

"We should meet the invader on the verge of just defense... ...and raise the black flag. No quarter to the violators of our homes and firesides. Our political leadership is too timid to face the reality of this coming war. They should look to the Bible. It is full of such wars. Only the black flag will bring the North to its senses and rapidly end the war."

gerardvanderleun : August 12, 15  |  Your Say (19)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Search American Digest

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



From the dissolution of the single great continent you call Pangea,
I arose from the gneiss of two billion years pre-biotic sedimentation to stand mute beside the Tethys Ocean. The waters receded and reformed and countless lives and extinctions preceded you, upright bipeds. Now your cities have risen and fallen and risen again. You struggle on the constant brink of self-annihilation, your animal instinct for survival warring with your reptilian desire to kill. Now, I'm not racist, but my main point here is that if a police officer asks you to do something, I observe no possible reason to disobey. - - SA

Let's Brainstorm Some Ideas for Our New ISIS Video

More heads on bigger poles. Throw paint on all the fur coats. Lecture people about carbs. Shoot pet dogs. Okay, okay, our messages are getting a little mixed. Not enough history. I like the heads and the poles. Always very strong. How about I remix those other ideas and we shoot people we catch with books and then feed them to dogs? No, I don't really know where carbs will factor into it. - - SA

For many years the Third World has functioned as the sump of toxic Western ideas.

Ideas too dangerous for any sane person to actually try were boldly exported there.
Years ago a Bavarian friend remarked that the most destructive German export of all time was Karl Marx; far more catastrophic in effect than that perennial rival for ideological malpractice, Adolf Hitler. There’s something to this. Marx’ disciples Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro and the Kim family have between them killed many more people than perished at the hands of Adolf. Yet after each catastrophe, the intellectuals would go back to the drawing board and try again with the highest hopes — since the inhabitants of Africa, Asia and South America seemed perpetually ready to be sacrificed on the altar of ‘scientific’ socialism. Marx Materializes at the Border | Belmont Club

How the Ballpoint Pen Changed Handwriting


Ink is where László Bíró, working with his chemist brother György, made the crucial changes: They experimented with thicker, quick-drying inks, starting with the ink used in newsprint presses
. Eventually, they refined both the ink and the ball-tip design to create a pen that didn’t leak badly. (This was an era in which a pen could be a huge hit because it only leaked ink sometimes.) The Bírós lived in a troubled time, however. The Hungarian author Gyoergy Moldova writes in his book Ballpoint about László’s flight from Europe to Argentina to avoid Nazi persecution. While his business deals in Europe were in disarray, he patented the design in Argentina in 1943 and began production. His big break came later that year, when the British Air Force, in search of a pen that would work at high altitudes, purchased 30,000 of them. Soon, patents were filed and sold to various companies in Europe and North America, and the ballpoint pen began to spread across the world. - -The Atlantic

New American Magazine Hits the Stands


An Ode to the Humble Safari Jacket

Hemingway on Safari with essential supplies.

Within the Safari jacket’s four front pockets, they stashed their binoculars, their notepads, their guns, their ammo, their guidebooks, their souvenirs, and any other adventuring accoutrement that they had stocked up for these excursions.
Today, the purpose is the same, but the inventory is just a touch different. Nonetheless, whether you’re Teddy Roosevelt lugging shotgun shells in the twenties, Yves Saint Laurent toting a flask in the sixties, or just a guy with more iPhones than ears, the Safari Jacket is the ultimate in “where-able” technology. | A Continuous Lean.

Names, said Confucius, had to convey the truth.

If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. … Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.

Modern politicians appear to believe the opposite: social disorder can result from telling the truth. Better the lie. The Politics of Symbolism | Belmont Club

The annual Burning Man festival sounds a bit like a socialist utopia:

Why the Rich Love Burning Man:
Black Rock City has had its own FAA-licensed airport since 2000, and it’s been getting much busier. These days you can even get from San Carlos in Silicon Valley to the festival for $1500. In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg flew into Burning Man on a private helicopter, staying for just one day, to eat and serve artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches. From the New York Times: “We used to have R.V.s and precooked meals,” said a man who attends Burning Man with a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. (He asked not to be named so as not to jeopardize those relationships.) “Now, we have the craziest chefs in the world and people who build yurts for us that have beds and air-conditioning.” He added with a sense of amazement, “Yes, air-conditioning in the middle of the desert!”

Nothing but bastards all the way down...


The Moynihan Report at 50:
“The fundamental problem … is that of family structure. The evidence—not final but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.” On the day his report was released, about one quarter of black kids were living only with their mothers. Moynihan called this a crisis, as indeed it was, but 50 years on between 70 and 75 percent of all black Americans are now born out of wedlock, a tripling of the trend Moynihan had spotted. More than half of Hispanic children are also born out of wedlock today, and 29 percent of white babies.

Everywhere, the design of creatures involves anticipation.

This is not the exception but the strict, unvarying rule.
Biology thus requires an Aristotelian — a teleological — approach to gain genuine, provable knowledge. It always did. Even the Darwinians, to learn anything at all, must keep asking themselves the elementary question, “What is this for?” The “neo-Darwinian synthesis” still tries to deny this: not on the basis of any experiment or proof, but because faith in Atheism demands this denial. Nature, to the godless Darwinoid apprehension, must be stupid, bumbling, uninformed and clueless. Their problem is: she’s not. Phenotypic plasticity : Essays in Idleness

We allow these butchers to accomplish the ultimate feat: not just killing innocent people, but luring the rest of us into participating in their evil.

That isn’t to say we are all guilty of murder, but when we exploit a grotesque travesty, using it to make an entirely disingenuous point about gun control or whatever, we disregard the dignity and sacredness and decency and beauty of human life.

We play the killer’s game. We look at things through his lens. We dance like puppets for him. I think part of the problem is that we don’t know what else to do. These days, when some broken, barbaric predator goes out and inflicts his wrath and hatred on unsuspecting victims, we don’t know how to handle it, so we just spout rhetoric and leave it at that. Nothing improves. Nothing ever gets better. But if we could come back to a basic understanding — or at least recognition — of good and evil, then we could begin to understand why bad things happen, and how we might mitigate them in the future. -- Our Problem Isn’t Guns or Mental Illness, It’s Godlessness

The anti-reactionary alternative is on display with Trump in the GOP primary

For all his faults, Trump is his own man and he has his own opinions about how to do things.
In contrast, the 17 other candidates have built their entire political resumes in opposition to the Cult of Modern Liberalism. Their positions, career choices and priorities are all about what they think the Left will think of them. They are not men; they are shadows. Arx-holes | The Z Blog

Drudge is an aggregator, not a news source, but he has an amazing sense of collage.


I’m so happy that Matt Drudge has kept that classic design. Silly people claim he’s stuck in the past, but that’s absurd. Drudge is invoking the great populist formula of tabloids like the New York Post and the New York Daily News, which were pitched to working-class readers.
Andy Warhol, who came out of a working-class immigrant factory family in Pittsburgh, adored the tabloids and reproduced their front pages in big acrylic paintings. The tabloids were always the voice of the people. I admire the mix on Drudge of all types of news stories, high and low. The reason that nobody has been able to imitate Drudge is because he’s an auteur, stamping the page with his own unique sensibility and instincts. It must be exhausting, because he must constantly filter world news on a daily basis. He’s simply an aggregator, not a news source, but he has an amazing sense of collage. The page is fluid and always in motion, and Drudge is full of jokes and mischief. -- Camille Paglia Interview

"We have come to the wrong star."

We did not speak again until we had left Lierre, in its sacred cloud of rain, and were coming to Mechlin, under a clearer sky, that even made one think of stars.
Then I leant forward and said to my friend in a low voice--"I have found out everything. We have come to the wrong star." He stared his query, and I went on eagerly: "That is what makes life at once so splendid and so strange. We are in the wrong world. When I thought that was the right town, it bored me; when I knew it was wrong, I was happy. So the false optimism, the modern happiness, tires us because it tells us we fit into this world. The true happiness is that we don't fit. We come from somewhere else. We have lost our way." G K Chesterton's Essay: The Ballade Of A Strange Town

We don’t make stuff anymore. We make assholes.

The store is an Asshole Factory. Our world is now full of Asshole Factories. That’s what the stores, offices, industrial parks, skyscrapers, malls, low-rise blocks, gleaming headquarters, whimsically designed corporate campuses, really are. It’s the grand endeavor of today. We don’t make stuff anymore. We make assholes. The Great Enterprise of this age is the Asshole Industry. --The Asshole Factory

A nation divided by hot sauce....


If you ever need to get your bearings while traveling across the U.S., just check the hot sauce that’s on the table.
A bottle of Frank’s Red Hot is a likely sign that you’re somewhere north of the Mason-Dixon line, while the sombrero-wearing visage staring from a Tapatio label means you’re out by the California coast. Or if you’re in Louisiana cajun country, keep an eye out for Crystal, Tabasco, or one of the many other fiery condiments that hail from the bayou. But don’t expect to find much Texas Pete in the Lone Star state—it actually comes from the inland hills of North Carolina. 7 Hot Sauce Recipes to Keep Your Cooking Spicy

A popular weekly TV series called Voetspore (literally “Foot tracks”), broadcast in Afrikaans in South Africa.


Voetspore is a low-budget program in which a few Boer 4 x 4 enthusiasts in two pick-up trucks explore every country on the continent. It shows the real Africa, far from the rhetoric of official reports and the media. There is an undercurrent of irony in the commentary, usually expressed by describing varying levels of chaos and catastrophe in over-polite terms. The first thing viewers realize is that the frail infrastructure on the continent cannot even sustain the current population, let alone the extra three billion who are on the way. Even the toughest vehicles break down on African roads that are mostly dirt tracks through the bush. It can take the Voetspore drivers weeks to get through a country, as they bog down in mud, get sick and have to be flown back to South Africa, wait for corrupt bureaucrats to stamp their passports, etc. An African Planet?

By day, Dad fixes stuff. He's a fitter and turner by trade.

He fixes cars, trucks, tractors, diggers, dozers, graders. Engines and everything else - huge and small. He fixes them when they're broken, burst, blocked, boiled over or blown up.
He does this in the pit of his workshop or on the side of the road, in hot sun; in torrential rain. My father gets up every morning at 4.30, to start work at 6am. My father is 69 years old. I don't know a whole lot about fitting and turning and all that it entails. But I do know he is great at what he does. Brilliant, even. He's old school. He doesn't necessarily do things the easiest or the fastest way. He does things the proper way, the right way. He’s a good man, and thorough. Dad @ Pastry Box

The day Al Gore was born there were 7000 polar bears on Earth.


Today, only 26,000 remain. - - Rufus Kings

“Everybody in the wood business says the longleaf pine tree was the best wood the Lord ever made,”

said Pat Fontenot, the owner of Olde Wood Accents in Washington, La., an antique pine dealer. “If it wouldn’t have been for the longleaf pine tree, we wouldn’t have been able to do the Industrial Revolution.”
The largest mass of longleaf pine in the city probably sits under the two towers of the Brooklyn Bridge. Completed in 1883, the bridge was built using caissons, essentially enormous airtight timber chambers that engineers sank into the riverbed, allowing workers inside to dig deeper into the earth below and workers above water to construct stone towers on top. Salvaging a Long-Lasting Wood, and New York City’s Past

He may be a dictator, butt he’s OUR dictator.


ask yourself, would anyone else – Cruz, Rubio, Walker…Bush – be willing to violate the Constitution in order to save the Constitution? I think not.
And we sense that America needs someone who will. In order to “level the playing field” again and give our kids and grandkids a shot at enjoying an American life. And currently that someone exists only in the persona of The Donald: no matter how much you may like some of the others, he’s currently the only guy on the podium who actually knows how to seize the power at his disposal and use it to do what he thinks needs to be done to make America great again: deport illegal aliens? Boom. End anchor babies? Boom. Get rid of Obamacare and start over? Boom. Nullify the agreement with Iran? Boom, and I do mean Boom! Michelle Obama's Mirror: Trump: Willing To Kill The Constitution In Order To Save It? I’m OK With That.

Thousands of Apps Secretly Run Ads That Users Can't See

Forensiq identified over 5,000 apps that display unseen ads on both Apple and Android devices.
Advertisers are paying about $850 million for these ads each year, according to the report, and the apps with the highest rate of ad fraud can burn through 2 gigabytes of data per day on a single device. The sheer amount of activity generated by apps with fake ads was what initially exposed the scam. Forensiq noticed that some apps were calling up ads at such a high frequency that the intended audience couldn’t possibly be actual humans. The apps, says Forensiq, were hitting these numbers by showing as many as five ads in the background for every ad visible to users. Some apps continued to scroll through ads even after the app had been closed. - Bloomberg Business

Charlie Daniels to Congress (in essence) 'Fuck you spineless maggots. Strong letter follows.'


An Open Letter to Congress by Charlie Daniels"The courageous politicians that once championed this nation have been replaced, for the most part, by a breed of milksop,
politically correct, scared of their own shadow, pushover, pathetic excuses for public servants who are supposed to be representing a constituency of citizens who have to live with the circumstances of their timid folly. You don't even have the courage to face down an out of control president, even when he makes a deal with the devil. Don't you bunch of timid capons even care what kind of world you're leaving to your children and grandchildren, not to even mention the rest of us? Are you really party partisans before you're parents and grandparents or even human beings?

We need to pay more attention to the neglect of children.

They are not being neglected nearly enough, and the consequence is that they grow up neurotic, and asthmatic.
A model mother of my recent acquaintance boasts of the success of her own neo-mediaeval parenting style. For example, she would not help her children with homework, and left them to the consequences if it was not done. She would not drive them to more than one extra-curricular activity. “I was not their best friend or their chauffeur or their social secretary.” She did teach them to read and write, since the schools don’t do that any more; and was able to inculcate clear thinking in this way. How to raise children : Essays in Idleness

Al Gore doesn't care about global warming. He just wants it to be 1976 again, forever.

When people complain that X sucks now, but it used to be great, you're usually listening to nursing home conversation.
All that people know is what was popular when they were young. They dream of their salad days and the soundtrack to what they were doing at the time, which is intensely trivial to everyone but them. Al Gore doesn't care about global warming. He just wants it to be 1976 again, forever. Lots of people are like him. They simply choose different topics to be fuddy-duddies about. Sippican Cottage: The Cover Charge to Greatness

I was walking through the mall and I saw that there was a “Islamic Book Store.”


I was wondering what exactly was in an Islamic bookstore so I went in. As I was wandering around taking a look, the clerk stopped me and asked if he could help me.

I imagine I didn’t look like his normal clientèle, so I asked, “Do you have a copy of Donald Trump’s book on his U.S. Immigration Policy regarding Muslims and illegal Mexicans?”

The clerk said, “F*** off, get out and stay out!”

I said, “Yes, that’s the one! Do you have it in paperback?” Curmudgeonly & Skeptical

The market demand for gay celebrities is much smaller than the available supply.

Despite her celebrity status, Ellen Page ultimately cannot escape the inevitable consequences of inequality, not even in gay-friendly Hollywood.
Her high-profile “coming out” in 2014 has damaged her career prospects as an actress because, despite what anyone may imagine, the market demand for gay celebrities is much smaller than the available supply. Denounce the movie-going public as a bunch of bigoted haters, if you like, but the heterosexual majority (97.7% of Americans, according to federal research) expect their entertainment to be entertaining, and tiresome propaganda about The People’s Glorious Democratic Struggle for Gender Equality is not entertaining. Radical Feminism and the ‘Equality’ Trap : The Other McCain

For complete confidence that your secrets remain secure, be sure to use the Hillary Super Sweeper regularly:


Michelle Obama's Mirror: “Clean Up on Email 3!”



For a school that was routinely on the front pages earlier this year for fights, arrests, bomb threats, assaults, and an email from the principal to the entire staff accusing a teacher of causing possible race relation problems, this is probably not the way North wanted to start the new school year. -- GoLocalWorcester

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