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"The optimum committee has no members."- Norman Augustine

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.



[The buglers of The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own" perform over 5000 missions a year in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.Featured here are SSG Jesse Tubb (summer) and SSG Drew Fremder (winter)]

gerardvanderleun : May 25, 15  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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The Gray and the gray. "Confederate veteran reunion, Washington, 1917"

Row after row with strict impunity
The headstones yield their names to the element,
The wind whirrs without recollection;
In the riven troughs the splayed leaves
Pile up, of nature the casual sacrament
To the seasonal eternity of death;
Then driven by the fierce scrutiny
Of heaven to their election in the vast breath,
They sough the rumour of mortality.

Autumn is desolation in the plot
Of a thousand acres where these memories grow
From the inexhaustible bodies that are not
Dead, but feed the grass row after rich row.
Think of the autumns that have come and gone!--
Ambitious November with the humors of the year,
With a particular zeal for every slab,
Staining the uncomfortable angels that rot
On the slabs, a wing chipped here, an arm there:
The brute curiosity of an angel's stare
Turns you, like them, to stone,
Transforms the heaving air
Till plunged to a heavier world below
You shift your sea-space blindly
Heaving, turning like the blind crab.

         Dazed by the wind, only the wind
         The leaves flying, plunge

You know who have waited by the wall
The twilight certainty of an animal,
Those midnight restitutions of the blood
You know--the immitigable pines, the smoky frieze
Of the sky, the sudden call: you know the rage,
The cold pool left by the mounting flood,
Of muted Zeno and Parmenides.
You who have waited for the angry resolution
Of those desires that should be yours tomorrow,
You know the unimportant shrift of death
And praise the vision
And praise the arrogant circumstance
Of those who fall
Rank upon rank, hurried beyond decision--
Here by the sagging gate, stopped by the wall.

         Seeing, seeing only the leaves
         Flying, plunge and expire

Turn your eyes to the immoderate past,
Turn to the inscrutable infantry rising
Demons out of the earth they will not last.
Stonewall, Stonewall, and the sunken fields of hemp,
Shiloh, Antietam, Malvern Hill, Bull Run.
Lost in that orient of the thick and fast
You will curse the setting sun.

         Cursing only the leaves crying
         Like an old man in a storm

You hear the shout, the crazy hemlocks point
With troubled fingers to the silence which
Smothers you, a mummy, in time.

         The hound bitch
Toothless and dying, in a musty cellar
Hears the wind only.

         Now that the salt of their blood
Stiffens the saltier oblivion of the sea,
Seals the malignant purity of the flood,
What shall we who count our days and bow
Our heads with a commemorial woe
In the ribboned coats of grim felicity,
What shall we say of the bones, unclean,
Whose verdurous anonymity will grow?
The ragged arms, the ragged heads and eyes
Lost in these acres of the insane green?
The gray lean spiders come, they come and go;
In a tangle of willows without light
The singular screech-owl's tight
Invisible lyric seeds the mind
With the furious murmur of their chivalry.

         We shall say only the leaves
         Flying, plunge and expire

We shall say only the leaves whispering
In the improbable mist of nightfall
That flies on multiple wing:
Night is the beginning and the end
And in between the ends of distraction
Waits mute speculation, the patient curse
That stones the eyes, or like the jaguar leaps
For his own image in a jungle pool, his victim.

What shall we say who have knowledge
Carried to the heart? Shall we take the act
To the grave? Shall we, more hopeful, set up the grave
In the house? The ravenous grave?

         Leave now
The shut gate and the decomposing wall:
The gentle serpent, green in the mulberry bush,
Riots with his tongue through the hush--
Sentinel of the grave who counts us all!

Vanderleun : May 24, 15  |  Your Say (18)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Every Memorial Day (and many other patriotic holidays) Paradise California puts out the Parade of Flags all along the main street through town.

gerardvanderleun : May 23, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Now (2015)

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Then (2006)

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gerardvanderleun : May 23, 15  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck

"It should be clear at a glance just how dependent the American economy is on truck drivers. According to the American Trucker Association, there are 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the US, and an additional 5.2 million people employed within the truck-driving industry who don’t drive the trucks. That’s 8.7 million trucking-related jobs. We can’t stop there though, because the incomes received by these 8.2 million people create the jobs of others. Those 3.5 million truck drivers driving all over the country stop regularly to eat, drink, rest, and sleep. Entire businesses have been built around serving their wants and needs. Think restaurants and motels as just two examples. So now we’re talking about millions more whose employment depends on the employment of truck drivers. But we still can’t even stop there. Those working in these restaurants and motels along truck-driving routes are also consumers within their own local economies. Think about what a server spends her paycheck and tips on in her own community, and what a motel maid spends from her earnings into the same community. That spending creates other paychecks in turn. So now we’re not only talking about millions more who depend on those who depend on truck drivers, but we’re also talking about entire small town communities full of people who depend on all of the above in more rural areas. With any amount of reduced consumer spending, these local economies will shrink."

gerardvanderleun : May 23, 15  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Awesome Ted - Maggie's Farm

Ted Cruz made a campaign stop in Beaumont, TX on Tuesday, May 19. He was asked repeatedly by Kevin Steele from KMBT-TV about the issue of gay marriage, to which Cruz responds by turning the tables. The man is too smart to be president and conveys too much aggression, too little seduction.
To dominate, Conservatives need good cheer and optimism, a strong Libertarian/freedom streak, and less hawkishness about places that Americans do not give a damn about. To my Repub friends: Americans do not give a darn about Ukraine, Syria, Somalia, Guatemala, Mexico, etc. as long as you keep those people out of the USA. Americans do not want to run the world and are sick of the Middle East insanity. End of rant. Gone Fishin with my good gal. Newport this summer, as it happens.

gerardvanderleun : May 22, 15  |  Your Say (14)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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American Studies

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Army Capt. Ed Arntson, of Chicago, kissed the grave of Staff Sgt. Henry Linck in Arlington, Va., National Cemetery Thursday. Staff Sgt. Linck was killed in Iraq in 2006. Armed forces placed flags at more than 300,000 gravestones ahead of Memorial Day.

The cemetery at the top of Queen Anne in Seattle is busy this weekend. This even though a cemetery under all circumstances is seldom thought of as a busy place. We haven't had busy cemeteries since 1945. Since then the long peace and its sleep was only briefly, for a few years every now and then, interrupted by a small war. The cemeteries fill up more slowly now than ever before. And our sleep, regardless of continuing alarms, deepens.

These days we resent, it seems, having them fill at all, clinging to our tiny lives with a passion that passes all understanding; clinging to our large liberty with the belief that all payments on such a loan will be interest-free and deferred for at least 100 years.

Still, the cemetery at the top of Queen Anne does tend to take on a calm, resigned bustle over Memorial Day weekend, as the decreasing number of families who have lost members to war come to decorate the graves of those we now so delicately refer to as "The Fallen." They are not, of course, fallen in the sense that they will, suddenly and to our utter surprise, get up. That they will never do in this world. For they are not "The Fallen," they are "The Dead."

In the cemetery at the end of my street , of course, all the permanent residents are dead. But those who are among the war dead, or among those who served in a war, are easily found on this day by the small American flags their loved ones who still survive place and refresh. In this cemetery atop Queen Anne hill in Seattle, the small flags grow fewer and smaller with each passing year. It is not, of course, that the size of the sacrifice has been reduced. That remains the largest gift one free man may give to the country that sustained him. It is instead the regard of the country for whom the sacrifices were made that has gotten smaller, eroded by the self-love that the secular celebrate above all other values.

As you walk about the green lawn and weave among the markers, the slight breeze moves the small three-colored flags. Some are tattered and faded. Some are wound around the small gold sticks that hold them up. You straighten these out almost as an afterthought. Then the breeze unfurls them.

Here and there, people tend the grave of this or that loved one; weeding, washing, or otherwise making the gradually fading marks in the stone clear under the sky. Cars pull in and wind slow, careful on the curves, and park almost at random. An old woman emerges from one, a father and son from another, an entire family from yet another. They carry flowers in bunches or potted and, at times, gardening implements and a bucket for carrying away the weeds. It's a quiet morning. Nobody is in a hurry to arrive and once arrived to leave.

When I lived in Villers-Cotteret , between Compaigne and Soissons, along the Western Front in France, the cemeteries were as quiet but on a scale difficult to imagine unless they were seen.

In the Battle of Soissons in July of 1918, 12,000 men (Americans and Germans) were killed in four days. Vast crops of white crosses sprouted from the fields their rows and columns fading into the distance as they marched back from the roadside like an army of the dead called to attention until the end of time. American cemeteries merged with French cemeteries that merged with German cemeteries; their only distinction being the flags that flew over what one took to be the center of the arrangement. I suppose one could find out the number of graves in these serried ranks. Somewhere they keep the count. Governments are especially good at counting. But it is enough to know they are beyond numbering by an individual; that the mind would cease before the final number was reached.

To have even a hundredth of those cemeteries in the United States now would be more than we, as a nation, could bear. It would not be so much the dead within it, but the truth that made it happen that would be unbearable. This is, of course, what we are as a nation fiddling about with on this Memorial Day. We count our war dead daily now, but we count mostly on the fingers of one hand, at times on two. Never in numbers now beyond our ability to imagine. This is not because we cannot die daily in large numbers in a war. September 11th proved to us that we still die in the thousands, but many among us cannot now hold that number as a reality, but only as a "tragic" exception that need not have happened and will -- most likely -- never happen again.

That, at least, is the mind set that I assume when I read how the "War on Terror" is but a bumper strip. In a way, that's preferable to the the mind set that now, in increasing numbers among us, prefers to take refuge in the unbalanced belief that 9/11 was actually something planned and executed by the American government. Why many of my fellow Americans prefer this "explanation" is something that I once felt was beyond comprehension. Now I see it is just another comfortable position taken up by those for whom the habits of automatic treason have become just another fashionable denigration of the country that has made their liberty to believe the worst of it not only possible but popular.

Like the graves in my local cemetery, these souls too bear within them a small flag, but that flag -- unlike their souls -- is white and, in its increasing rootedness in our body politic signals not sacrifice for the advancement of the American experiment, but the abject surrender of their lives to small spites and the tiny victories of lifestyle liberation.

In the cemetery at the end of my street, there are a few small flags. There are many more graves with no flag at all, but they are the ones that the small flags made possible. Should the terrible forests of white crosses ever bloom across our landscape -- as once they did during the Civil War -- it will not be because we had too few of those small, three-colored flags, but because we became a nation with far too many white ones.

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The grave of James A. Wilmot, Pvt 49th Spruce Squadron, World War I. Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Queen Anne, Seattle

[Originally published Memorial Day, 2007]

Vanderleun : May 22, 15  |  Your Say (63)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"When I'm home...
everything seems to be...
right...

When I'm home...
feeling you
holding me
tight,
... tight,
... yeah"


Wash. Rinse. Repeat....

gvanderleun : May 22, 15  |  Your Say (1)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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This jet-powered go kart is basically a fire breathing monster on wheels

Life demanded it so the mad genius that is Colin Furze delivered a jet-powered go kart that can go as fast as cars on a highway. The jet-powered go kart is so ridiculous it basically spits out fire while you drive it. I mean, the metal pipes turns orange because it burns so hot. What a beast.

"So it’s finished and it’s brilliant, it’s stable it starts easy and the fuel system after a slight redesign (see website) works perfectly. Top speed so far is 60mph but i run out of airstrip so might be more in it."

It only looks dangerous. As you can see he is wearing a safety tie he doesn't need a helmet...

gerardvanderleun : May 21, 15  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"Together, we can blow up ANYTHING!" (For a good cause, of course.)

gerardvanderleun : May 19, 15  |  Your Say (6)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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UPDATE: Who Says There's No Good News?: Beheadings are surging in Saudi Arabia in 2015. Wanted in Saudi Arabia: Executioners -

Job seekers in Saudi Arabia who have a strong constitution and endorse strict Islamic law might consider new opportunities carrying out public beheadings and amputating the hands of convicted thieves. The eight positions, as advertised on the website of the Ministry of Civil Service, require no specific skills or educational background for “carrying out the death sentence according to Islamic Shariah after it is ordered by a legal ruling.” But given the grisly nature of the job, a scarcity of qualified swordsmen in some regions of the country and a rise in the frequency of executions, candidates might face a heavy workload.

Previously in 2013: Just when you think that beheadings in the kingdom of SA are one solid bit of land in a sea of chaos, this comes out!

Reduced Beheadings in the Religion of Pieces:

It's Come to This Saudi Arabia may stop beheadings over shortage of swordsmen | Fox News
Needless to say this threatens the wonderful world of CHOPPER!

Wiccans, don't let the sun set on you in Saudi Arabia!

A man named Muree bin Ali bin Issa al-Asiri was beheaded in Saudi Arabia this week after being found in possession of spell books and talismans. Beheading is "God's punishment" for "sorcerers and charlatans," according to a statement that the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice issued in March.
Al-Asiri's execution was the latest accomplishment of Saudi Arabia's Anti-Witchcraft Unit, an elite police force specifically trained to track down and arrest practitioners of magic.... The Anti-Witchcraft Unit received almost 600 reports of witchcraft in the past few years. Whether or not these are actual cases of people purporting to practice the occult or just a pretext, the government clearly takes the problem seriously. --Saudi Witch Hunt | FP Passport

I don't know why the Supreme Court and the 50 states don't get behind the beheading sensation that's sweeping the Saudi nation. Yes, it may be "sharia law," but it's still "law." And it would reduce the plague of wiccans currently sweeping the nation.

But if they did, how would it all go down?

Here's a quick graphic novel I made in 2006 from screen grabs of an interview on Saudi Television with their Lord High Executioner.

Click Here to Continue
Vanderleun : May 19, 15  |  Your Say (53)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"No problem. I've done this thousands of times...."

Every time I think that mankind really is "the crown of creation," something like this comes along to confirm we're just God's experiment with "the smart monkey" to see if He can generate better monologue material for "The Late Late Eternity Show with Jehovah:"

A man has been severely injured after attempting to loosen a stiff wheel-nut on his car by blasting it with a shotgun. The 66-year-old American shot the wheel from arm's length with a 12-gauge shotgun and was peppered with ricocheting buckshot and debris. According to a sheriff's office report, he was taken to Tacoma General Hospital with severe but not life threatening injuries. His legs, feet and abdomen were worst affected, but some injuries went as high as his chin.

The man had been repairing a Lincoln Continental for about two weeks at his home near Southworth in Washington state, about ten miles from Seattle. He had successfully removed all but one wheel-nut on the right rear wheel and resorted to firepower out of sheer frustration on Saturday afternoon. -- Man hurt after blasting wheel with shotgun - Telegraph

How I would have loved to have been listening in on that thought process:

"One damn nut to go.... just one..... Just fit this lug wrench over the nut, and t...w....i....s...t, and....."

SPROING!

"ARRRRGH! SHIT! KNUCKLE FUC.... BUT... BUT... no problem... just get this big Visegrip and lock it down.... there. Now just whack the sucker with this small sledge hammer and....."

WHAA-TUNK!

"SAAAYWHAT! YOU MOTHER.....! OH, MY SHIN! MY SHIN!....."

Deep measured breathing and slowly rising rage rumblings ensue as the afflicted limps and hobbles about the shop.

"That's it. THAT'S IT! You sombitch nut! You're COMING OFF BABY! OFF! Time for the BIG GUNS!.... Guns? Yes, that's it. I'll just BLOW THIS MOTHER OFF! Get me that shotgun out of the cabinet. That's it. Load both chambers. Saves time. Won't be effing around this time. Got to get in close. Get that barrel right on the steel nut which is on the steel wheel which is on the steel axle which is on the steel car.... and.... and... oh yeah, stand at an angle so that there won't be any chance of ricochet and just s..q..e..e..z..e off a round and...."

KABLAMM!

And then a silence over which we hear a slowly rising siren and the a small voice-over saying,

"I wonder if they've got Monster Garage on the hospital's cable system...."

gerardvanderleun : May 18, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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gerardvanderleun : May 18, 15  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"BIOLOGISTS EXPLAIN how organisms adapt to their physical environment, but ideologues also adapt to their social environment. The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.

"The academic world is the natural habitat of half-baked ideas, except for those fields in which there are decisive tests, such as science, mathematics, engineering, medicine;and athletics. In all these fields, in their differing ways, there comes a time when you must either put up or shut up. It should not be surprising that all of these fields are notable exceptions to the complete domination by the left on campuses across the country....

"Academia is only one of the places where wholly subjective criteria rule;and where leftists predominate. Endowed institutions such as foundations and museums likewise often face no test other than what like-minded people find “exciting” and what enables those who run these institutions to get the heady feeling that they are “making a difference.” The same is true of cultural institutions supported involuntarily by the taxpayers, such as the Smithsonian or the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.

"Taxpayer-supported “public” radio and television are similarly insulated from reality and similarly dominated by the left, not only in the United States but in other countries as well. All the nostrums of the left that have brought hunger to millions in countries which used to have surplus food to export, all the pretty words and ugly realities that have caused millions more to flee the lands of their birth, these nostrums live on in public television;much like old classic movies with familiar lines that the audience of aficionados can recite along with the characters on the screen."

The survival of the left - Forbes

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

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Talk about focus....

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gerardvanderleun : May 18, 15  |  Your Say (21)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"I fear for the things that I cherish being threatened."

From Vimeo "Conrad Milster, Pratt Institute’s chief engineer, has worked in the Brooklyn power plant nearly his entire adult life.

Starting as a mechanic in 1958, he later became one of only four chief engineers in the plant’s 127-year history, taking over the official duties in 1965. He’s been there ever since. For the last six decades, Milster (now 79 years old) has lovingly maintained the nineteenth century steam engines that provide heat and hot water to Pratt’s campus. “We have our hands full,” says Milster. “If the plant stops in the winter, Pratt stops.” In addition, Conrad is the person behind the infamous “Pratt Cats,” responsible for the 12-14 felines that wander the campus and call the steam plant home.
An important figure in Pratt’s history, Milster has extended his impact on the Pratt community through a generous gift—the Phyllis and Conrad Milster Endowed Scholarship—that provides scholarships in perpetuity to students in Pratt’s Industrial Design program. The scholarship is named for Milster and his late wife, Phyllis, who passed away in 2011."

gerardvanderleun : May 16, 15  |  Your Say (7)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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JennaMarbles @ YouTube does the job. The whole job.

"My bank account has more digits than your phone number."

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gerardvanderleun : May 14, 15  |  Your Say (8)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Sympathy for the Devil in all its variations represents the Boomers acme and epitaph.

I last saw the Stones perform this at Altamont, where it was accompanied by pool cue bludgeoning and a lethal stabbing. I sort of last my taste for it after that concert, but I check in on variations from the Stones' endless tours from time to time.

More and more the penultimate line,

"Just as every cop is a criminal /
And all the sinners saints"

seems to be prophetic of this Baltimore spring.

This particular performance is from 2006.

Lately it occurs to me that the most frightening thought is that the Rolling Stones might just outlive all of the rest of us.

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul to waste

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

Click Here to Continue
gerardvanderleun : May 13, 15  |  Your Say (13)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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"How different does sunset appear from Mars than from Earth?

For comparison, two images of our common star were taken at sunset, one from Earth and one from Mars. These images were scaled to have same angular width and featured here side-by-side. A quick inspection will reveal that the Sun appears slightly smaller from Mars than from Earth. This makes sense since Mars is 50% further from the Sun than Earth. More striking, perhaps, is that the Martian sunset is noticeably bluer near the Sun than the typically orange colors near the setting Sun from Earth. The reason for the blue hues from Mars is not fully understood, but thought to be related to forward scattering properties of Martian dust. The terrestrial sunset was taken in 2012 March from Marseille, France, while the Martian sunset was captured last month by NASA's robotic Curiosity rover from Gale crater on Mars. APOD: 2015 May 12

gerardvanderleun : May 13, 15  |  Your Say (5)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Soopermexican

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

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"A collision of 1999 FN53 with Earth, especially an ocean strike, would be nothing short of catastrophic.

The fire and blast alone would likely kill millions. It would cause massive earthquakes across the world. An ocean strike would raise mountain size tsunamis which would smash coastal cities thousands of miles from the strike. The climate impact would also be significant – the Younger Dryas, a brutal collapse in global temperatures which lasted 1200 years, may have been caused by an asteroid impact.
"What could we do if a large Asteroid on a collision course was detected? The answer is quite a lot, given a few years warning. The Manhattan Project scientists, in the 1950s, developed a simple design for a space drive whose capabilities were straight out of science fiction – capable of lifting gigantic payloads in a single stage to orbit. The most powerful designs could have powered starships – up to around 10% of the speed of light. Such a ship could be built in a year or two, if it was a priority, and would be more than capable of pushing a dangerous asteroid into a different orbit. Gigantic asteroid near miss coming this Thursday | Watts Up With That?
[It's good to start the day with an item that puts everything else in perspective, isn't it?]

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

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Okay, this was the plan...

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Er... uh... excuse me, but....

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An aerial view shows the car that was used the previous night by two gunmen, who were killed by police, as it is investigated by local police and the FBI in Garland, Texas, on May 4, 2015. Texas police shot dead two gunmen who opened fire on Sunday outside an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad... Photos of the Week: 5/2-5/8 - The Atlantic

Mark Steyn Online

It'll be a long time before you see "Washington Post Offers No Apology for Attacking Target of Thwarted Attack" or "AP Says It Has No Regrets After Blaming The Victim". The respectable class in the American media share the same goal as the Islamic fanatics: They want to silence Pam Geller. To be sure, they have a mild disagreement about the means to that end - although even then you get the feeling, as with Garry Trudeau and those dozens of PEN novelists' reaction to Charlie Hebdo, that the "narrative" wouldn't change very much if the jihad boys had got luckier and Pam, Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer and a dozen others were all piled up in the Garland morgue.
If the American press were not so lazy and parochial, they would understand that this was the third Islamic attack on free speech this year - first, Charlie Hebdo in Paris; second, the Lars Vilks event in Copenhagen; and now Texas. The difference in the corpse count is easily explained by a look at the video of the Paris gunmen, or the bullet holes they put in the police car. The French and Texan attackers supposedly had the same kind of weapons, although one should always treat American media reports with a high degree of skepticism when it comes to early identification of "assault weapons" and "AK47s". Nonetheless, from this reconstruction, it seems clear that the key distinction between the two attacks is that in Paris they knew how to use their guns and in Garland they didn't. So a very cool 60-year-old local cop with nothing but his service pistol advanced under fire and took down two guys whose heavier firepower managed only to put a bullet in an unarmed security guard's foot.

gerardvanderleun : May 11, 15  |  Your Say (9)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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Impending cuts in your social security benefits? Can't afford erectile dysfunction medicine, Cadillac payments, lottery tickets, trips to Vegas, expanded cable service, gifts to grand kids, and veterinary care for your two dogs and five cats?

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Strong and yet as delicate as a bird. Her first memory is of being held on the shoulders of her father and watching American troops parade down Main Street in Fargo, North Dakota, on their return from the First World War sometime in what must have been the late Spring (Maybe May) of 1919.

She's been a student of Moorhead State Teachers College and is now their oldest alumni. A class reunion is anywhere she is and at anytime she decides to have it. She still reads the alumni magazine.

In fact she still reads The Saturday Evening Post, having been a subscriber since 1943. "It's a very interesting magazine. Not as important as it once was, but still with a good variety to its articles."

She's taught school in everything from a one room, multi-grade school in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota to the modern modular buildings of Chico Country Day. At that school she put in 6,000 hours of reading classics such as Black Beauty and Treasure Island to generations of children.

She raised three sons of her own.

I am one of them.

Last November she celebrated her 100th birthday and again I discovered at her party that she has more friends just in the town of Chico, California than I know people in the entire world.

Thirty-six thousand six hundred and fifty days.

"Not twice this day
Inch time foot gem.

This day will not come again.
Every minute is worth a priceless gem."

-- Takuan

gerardvanderleun : May 9, 15  |  Your Say (19)  | PermaLink: Permalink

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With seven boys and three girls, ranging in ages from 1 to 17, life in the Holloway home can feel like a blur. Photography has become Lisa’s way of freezing time, and savoring memories of her kids’ evanescent childhoods. “When I look at my photos, I want to be able to look into the eyes of my kids, and see a little piece of their soul,” she says. Flickr Blog [HT: NeoNeoCon]

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More of Jill Holloway's work is at ljholloway photography |

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

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

White Woodland Privilege

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Albino redwood
An 'albino' redwood is a redwood tree which is unable to produce chlorophyll, and so has white needles instead of the normal green. In order to survive it must join its roots to the roots of a normal redwood, usually the parent tree from whose base it has sprouted, from which it obtains nutrition as a parasite.


Hell's Alarm Clock

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Once it goes off, to stop it you must get out of bed, go into the kitchen or bathroom, and punch the day's date into a telephone-style keypad. That's the only way to stop the loud 'ding-ding,' designed to sound like a customer angrily banging on a concierge bell at a hotel. -- | Stuff.co.nz

Hate speech is the most protected speech. We're at liberty to spew hate-speech at anyone or anything.

Except the Muslims? ...because they are threatening to murder us because we object to their murdering us?
You are kidding me! We are free to object to whatever we wish and to hate whomever we wish. Because some primitives are holding a knife to our throats we should just throw it in and say, "Aw, shucks, guys, we never really meant free-free? -- Why I love 'hate speech'


How to Keep Down Sky-High Hospital Bills: Don’t Pay

The bill was $600,000, Hartter said... The administrator looked at the bill and said, “‘Don’t worry. By the time we apply the discounts and everything else, it’ll be down to about $300,000,’” Hartter recalled.
“I said, ‘What’s the difference? That doesn’t make me feel any better.’” Instead, he had ELAP analyze the bill. The firm estimated costs for the treatment based on the hospital’s financial reports filed with Medicare. Then it added a cushion so the hospital could make a modest profit. “We wrote a check to the hospital for $28,900 and we never heard from them again,” Hartter said. -- Newsweek


Who Says There's No Good News?

Democrats' Vanishing Future One of the most underappreciated stories in recent years is the deterioration of the Democratic bench under President Obama's tenure in office.
The party has become much more ideologically homogenous, losing most of its moderate wing as a result of the last two disastrous midterm elections. By one new catch-all measure, a party-strength index introduced by RealClearPolitics analysts Sean Trende and David Byler, Democrats are in their worst position since 1928. That dynamic has manifested itself in the Democratic presidential contest, where the bench is so barren that a flawed Hillary Clinton is barreling to an uncontested nomination.


Food for thought

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The mental model that people tend to have about leftists tends to be fundamentally rationalistic and utilitarian

It’s perhaps more useful to conceive of them like one of the many species of animal with an instinctive urge towards self-destruction and mass death.
That’s what they shoot for, and how they ought to be understood as political opponents. They have to be contained rather than bargained with. Leftists Work For the Total State - Henry Dampier


The "Droneiacs" Way of War

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The drone attacks which the high-tech-idolizing idiots around the White House now favour.
These latter depend on the sort of algorithms that have resulted in the annihilation of many wedding parties, and other defenceless people who happen by ill-luck to fit the current programming criteria. It is a monstrous, an unambiguously evil way to conduct war, which is nevertheless attractive in the post-modern West because, for the perpetrators, it is sanitized and casualty-free — and thus compatible with the smug self-satisfaction of our liberal and progressive elites. Against bombing : Essays in Idleness


This is a chorus ever-repeating in the musical that is Marxist insanity:

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“This thing is absolutely inevitable and unstoppable, so we must sacrifice everything to make it happen.”
It is the sort of mental slippage consequential to reading the future, with all the certainty attendant to recollection of the past. Then again, if lefties had some useful comprehension of time, they wouldn’t be asserting in 2008 that this is “the moment our planet began to heal,” and then seven years later that the planet’s sickness was worse than ever before, with not a hint of backpedaling, or “sorry I was wrong,” or “seemed like a good idea at the time” — or even, “key change!” Such reflections on the elementary human experience of time, reveal brutally that if this ideological movement retains so much as a semblance of sanity, it’s not any brand of sanity that’s useful to anyone else. House of Eratosthenes


It's lonely at the top...

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World's oldest person to turn 116 Jeralean Talley was born in Montrose, Ga., on May 23, 1899.
She's been in Michigan since 1935. Relatives say she remains active and aware of what's going on around her. Talley was named world's oldest person in April after the death of Gertrude Weaver,who passed away at the age of 116. Weaver died just five days after 117-year-old Misao Okawa died in Japan.


Choosing intellectual output based on who produced it is no way to achieve excellence.

We are in an era when many of the left seek wholesale rejection our intellectual heritage,

that is, what we have found to be true, based on who produced it. Plain old truth is considered white male truth and the left, like the Germans behind Deutsche Physik, actually embraces things that are not true in contraposition to what came before. That this project cannot succeed is obvious. That the left is degrading itself by carving out an embarrassing place in history is becoming more so. -- John C. Wright's Journal



And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. Revelation 20:8-9

Today in Wall Street Journal Land

The Horror of Boko Haram - The West should increase its help for Nigeria’s military.

Beijing Won’t Back Down - The Communist Party’s major aspirations have set it on a collision course with China’s neighbors.

Planets, Priests and a Persistent Myth - The Catholic Church and scientific discovery are utterly incompatible, right? History disagrees.

The Trigger-Happy Generation - If reading great literature traumatizes you, wait until you get a taste of adult life.

Me, Myself and Iran - Trust him, he wants a legacy.

I got 99 problems but wa'sup wit the bogus bitches at The View ain't even in the first 999.

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The View Drama: After Barbara Walters' Departure, Battles Have Ensued During a commercial break, O’Donnell took the microphone and began complaining that Goldberg had cut her off and “hurt my feelings.”
Goldberg explained that they’d run out of time, but O’Donnell did not know it because she refused to wear an earpiece on air. O’Donnell persisted. “This isn’t the time for this, Rosie,” replied Goldberg, according to the Daily Mail. But O’Donnell continued to vent, and Goldberg snapped. “Fuck it, I told you to leave it alone and you just don’t want to listen,” she shouted, as the audience sat in stunned silence. “If you want to go there, Rosie, I will, dammit. I’m really sick of your shit.”


Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Fluffer Boy!!

The only way, let me repeat that, the only way Liberalism can advance is through the tireless work of the Enslaved Press which promotes the Liberal agenda, gives a patina of mainstream to the kookiest of Liberal ideas, acts as human shield to even the most corrupt Liberal politicians, and serves as hit squad to any Liberal opposition.

When I saw the headlines about Stephanopoulos, I wasn’t in the least bit taken aback. Of course he donated to his favorite politician’s foundation. Of course he used his position at ABC News’ This Week to try and discredit Peter Schweizer and his book Clinton Cash Stephanopoulos have never been a journalist. He is the personal fluffer and human shield of the Clintons. He was in the nineties. He is today. Fluffer Boy - Patriot Retort



Nemesis takes no prisoners, shows no Mercy, grants No Quarter.

The song remains the same and it is horribly out-of-tune with Reality.

The needed lessons were not learned and this time, given that our Enemies are much more savage then even the Nazis and the Japs [or our Communist ‘allies’] were, we will find ourselves in a Conflagration where the Enemy will not hesitate to use nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. -- The Budding Flower Of Savagery



Cannabis: A Journey Through the Ages

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The first recorded use of marijuana as a medicinal drug occurred in 2737 BC by the Chinese emperor Shen Nung.
He documented the drug’s effectiveness in treating the pains of rheumatism and gout. Both hemp and psychoactive marijuana were widely used in ancient China. The ancient Chinese used virtually every part of the Cannabis plant: the root for medicine; the stem for textiles, rope and paper making; the leaves and flowers for intoxication and medicine; and the seeds for food and oil. | Ancient Origins


Seems Fair to Me

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Want to Work on Hillary’s Campaign?

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- - Never Yet Melted

SnapShots

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Lenin's lover? Picture of woman described as his true love uncovered
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Ghostly Voices From Thomas Edison’s Dolls Can Now Be Heard - NYTimes.com
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The Vanishing of America’s Historic Mental Asylums
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Lost Mark Twain stories recovered by UC Berkeley scholars - LA Times
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New Evidence May Solve Mystery of America's Huge Ancient City
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“Louisa May Alcott reportedly mentioned to Emerson that Thoreau’s neckbeard ‘ will most assuredly deflect amorous advances and preserve the man’s virtue in perpetuity’…

May 21st- The Long Island Lolita

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By spring of 1992, AMY FISHER was pressuring Joey to leave his wife, Mary Jo. Joey had no intentions of breaking up his marriage, and flatly refused to entertain the idea.
Consumed with rage, Amy headed over to the Buttafuoco home. When Mary Jo came to the door, after a very brief conversation, Amy shot her in the head at close range. Miraculously, as mentioned, Mrs. Buttafuoco lived to tell the tale but was left with a bullet in her head and her face partially paralyzed. - - This Day in History



Mao's Mango

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The workers at the factory held a huge ceremony, rich in the recitation of Mao’s words, to welcome the arrival of the mango, then sealed the fruit in wax, hoping to preserve it for prosperity.
The wax-covered fruit was placed on an altar in the factory auditorium, and workers lined up to file past it, solemnly bowing as they walked by. No one had thought to sterilize the mango before sealing it, however, and after a few days on display, it began to show signs of rot. The revolutionary committee of the factory retrieved the rotting mango, peeled it, then boiled the flesh in a huge pot of water. Another ceremony was held, equally solemn. Mao again was greatly venerated, and the gift of the mango was lauded as evidence of the Chairman's deep concern for the workers. Then everyone in the factory filed by and each worker drank a spoonful of the water in which the sacred mango had been boiled. Mango Madness


COULTER: Knowing What We Know Now, Would You Say Jeb Bush is Retarded?

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Was Jeb Bush too busy watching telenovelas during his brother's presidency to remember the Iraq War?
We went to war at such breakneck speed after 9/11, that, before the invasion, I was able to write approximately 30 columns about it, give five dozen speeches on it, discuss it on TV a hundred times and read 1,089 New York Times editorials denouncing the "rush to war." | Truth Revolt


Noted in Passing Lane

Signatories of the agreement were Acre, Brazil; Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Baja California, Mexico; Catalonia, Spain; Jalisco, Mexico; Ontario, Canada, British Columbia, Canada; Wales, and the U.S. states of Oregon, Vermont and Washington.


Personal ads from the New York Herald in the 1860s:

A YEAR AGO LAST SEPTEMBER OR OCTOBER TWO ladies with a child were travelling on the Hudson River cars,
one of whom offered a seat to a middle aged gentleman, with light whiskers or goatee, slightly gray, who kindly pointed out to her the red leaved trees, and said he had a number of them on his place, and made himself otherwise agreeable; and when she was leaving him (ten miles this side of where he stopped) gave her a parting embrace, which she has never been able to forget. If the gentleman has any recollection of the circumstance he will greatly oblige by addressing a note to Lena Bigelow, Madison square Post office, giving some description of the lady, also name of the paper he gave her. (Jan. 25, 1862) Love Walks In - Futility ClosetFutility Closet


Where are the gulags when you need them?

Where is the movement of truely true communists who truly eschew the entirety of capitalism?
They would by necessity have no clothing, food, housing, or anything of value that wasn't somehow government -or self-made, correct? They could do it today if they liked, with identical jump suits and slippers, and government food kitchens to feed them, and government housing to keep them warm. Otherwise known as jail. They are wishing for jail, the suicidal bastards. And yet, we find them with Phillip Morris products hanging from their mouths, greenbacks in their pockets, oil in their tanks, and corporate logos all over their clothing. Spillers of Soup: SHRED THE WORLD


If you become indignant, this elevates you to the plane of "intellectual."

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When he denounced the war in Vietnam, Chomsky put on the requisite display of utter ignorance and thereby became a leading American intellectual.
One of the things that I find really makes it worth watching all the Academy Awards, all the Emmys, all those awards ceremonies, is to see how today's actors and television performers have discovered the formula. If you become indignant, this elevates you to the plane of "intellectual." No mental activity is required. It is a rule, to which there has never been an exception, that when an actor or a television performer rises up to the microphone at one of these awards ceremonies and expresses moral indignation over something, he illustrates Marshall McLuhan's dictum that "moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Tom Wolfe Commencement Address


The Mysterious Disappearance of the Thomas Hume and its Dramatic Rediscovery

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When the Thomas Hume did not make it back to Muskegon, Charles Hackley and Thomas Hume dispatched a mariner, Captain Seth Lee, to search for the vessel.
Not a single piece of wreckage was found. The seven crew members were presumed dead, and the company had to write off the disappearance as a $6000 loss as the ship was uninsured. Nevertheless, Hackley and Hume persisted in their search, even offering a large reward to anyone who could providing reliable information as to the whereabouts of the missing ship. The reward was never claimed. - -| Ancient Origins


The Other White Meat

When I was younger and more easily manipulated by propaganda,

I was naïve enough to think that being against "€œracism"€ meant that everyone should be required to lay down their tribal spears and join one big happy drum circle. I never expected that the more that white people willingly discarded their group identity, the more that other groups would double down on their own. I didn’t think every concession would only bring demands for more concessions. But over time I wised up and realized it was all a sly game of ethnic musical chairs that ultimately had white people falling on their ass. - - Taki's Magazine



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