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Last Build Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:44:51 -0800

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"When Hillary Beat Trump:" Never mind the "alternative facts." This is the "alternative reality."

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:44:51 -0800

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Did Donald Trump beat up your hopes, crush your dreams. and kick them to the curb? Well, snowflake, it's time for you to feel better by moving, not to Canada, but to an alternate universe.It is a universe ruled by.... President Hillary Rodham Clinton!




How to Become a Third World Country in 3 Easy Steps

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:34:51 -0800

Immigration - Global humanitarian reasons for current U.S. immigration are tested

in this updated version of immigration author and journalist Roy Beck's colorful presentation of data from the World Bank and U.S. Census Bureau. The 1996 version of this immigration gumballs presentation has been one of the most viewed immigration policy presentations on the internet. Presented by immigration author/journalist Roy Beck

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Doug Ross @ Journal notes

As each refugee that vacates Africa, India, Mexico, South America, Indochina, the Middle East or any other overpopulated country—that same arena of humanity adds another 80,000,000 (million) net gain, new babies annually. Those countries and cultures either refuse to engage birth control or have no access. Therefore, they refuse to or cannot become responsible for their own numbers. Those people follow ancient religions that refuse to step into the realities of the 21st century: Catholic Church, Islam, Hindus and other Christian sects.

As a result, our planet falters as the Third World adds one billion more humans every 12 years on their way to adding three billion more of themselves by 2050 or 33 years from now. These verifiable facts cannot be disputed as reported from population projections by the United Nations.

Millions of those people cannot read, write or perform simple mathematical equations. In other words, illiteracy drives their fecundity rates that can never be solved because no country on Earth can educate another 80 million people annually without commensurate teachers.

Don't like gumballs? Here's more from the same source done in charts:

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This Day

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:51:26 -0800

Matthew had some strong ideas about prayer. It is in his book that we find the Lord's Prayer, also known as "The Swiss Army Knife of Prayers." This particular prayer, according to Matthew (who should know about such things), is the Alpha and the Omega of prayers. He stresses this when he writes in Matthew 6:9-6:13, "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven.... Of late, and for obvious reasons, I've become more likely to pray than to curse. Indeed my new program is to swap a prayer for a curse whenever I find I've slipped into the cursing mode. In a world that is accursed putting more curses into it is never a good idea. We are full up at present. No shortage of curses that I can see. Still, slipping into the cursing mode is easy to do in today's world. We're encouraged to do it by the very nature of the secular society. Add to that my thirty year stint in New York City where the standard reaction to almost any event is either a curse that involves the middle initial of the Savior (Just what does that "H." stand for anyway?), or the invocation of unnamed males who have an affinity for crude sex only with females of the motherly persuasion, and you've got, when it comes to my ability and propensity to curse, one crude mother.... It's a bad habit and one that I am trying to break. One way is, whenever I catch myself in an angry cursing moment, to recite a prayer instead. And the goto prayer in these multiple moments is always the Lord's. It's brief. It's beautiful. I can say it at high speed and by rote. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day... The Lord's Prayer also has a hidden benefit. It has, at is core, one simple but profound request: "Give. Us. This. Day." That's it. That's the real core of all prayers. That is the one request of the Lord without which nothing else matters. That is what all our past, lost days flow towards and which all our future hoped-for days flow from. Without the gift of "This Day" the ones that have passed have no meaning and the ones that are to come have no potentiality. Both are but abstractions or, as the poet has it: What might have been is an abstraction Remaining a perpetual possibility Only in a world of speculation. What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present. Which is a fancy way of saying that without the gift of this day being given all else is lost. Secular thinkers speak of this as being "in the now" as if "being here now" was all that it took to be really alive. I lived in that popcult fauxworld for years before escaping and, looking back, I seem to remember it not as replete with luminous headlands overlooking the sea, but as the shadowlands that loom beyond a darker border. It was neither a gift nor a curse, a burden or a blessing. It simply was and, as a result, was rather unremarkable. That secular world originated out of nothing, out of the limited imagination of the noosphere and, with no reach beyond itself, existed closer to the Alpha than to the Omega. It had, as secular things often do, a tangle of bright, shiny deceivers clustered around it like gnats outside a privy, but when you arrived at the center it had nothing to say about tomorrow, and very little to promise about this day other than that it would be roughly similar to yesterday. There was little inscape and no escape. Its "Now" was always the same day, neither given nor taken but simply existing. It was the kind of day in which the existence of the Human and the existence of Planaria were essentially equal. I, for one, would rather ask for my day than simply arrive in it. Which is why, when I pray the Lord's Prayer, I always pause -- at the very least -- when I come to the phrase, "Give us this day." And in that pause I remember another phrase derived from scripture, "Tomorrow is not promised." I once knew that phrase, "Tomorrow is not promised," in a rather dry, [...]



Road Tales: Where the Buffalo Roam

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 14:35:20 -0800

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Proof -- Dateline: Moab, Utah Taken at Site

He'd hunted big game for years all over the United States. Hunting was a way of life to him. But, in all those years, he'd never shot a buffalo. He'd put his name in for the lottery that gave out yearly licenses to shoot buffalo, but year after year the winning number had eluded him. As he failed, again and again, his need to add a buffalo, an American bison, to his life bag grew to obsessive proportions. Finally, he could stand it no longer. He determined that he would buy a couple of young buffalo, raise them, and then shoot them. It seemed like a plan.

When the buffalo purchase was completed the question arose about where these buffalo were to be raised. He wasn't a rich man and the cost to two baby buffalo maxed out his credit cards. The only viable option was to raise them on his front lawn in Moab, Utah. Accordingly, the buffalo were delivered and put out to pasture, or "out to lawn" as the case may be.

Besides grass the lawn also contained, courtesy of his kids, a couple of soccer balls. Shortly after the buffalo became his lawn ornaments, he was out walking among them when one of them discovered a soccer ball and butted it over to him with its nose. Without thinking he kicked it back towards the other buffalo, who passed it to the first buffalo who butted it back to him. An hour or so of passing and kicking the soccer ball between man and buffalo ensued.

When he went out on his lawn the next morning, they were waiting for him. One seemed to be playing midlawn while the other hung back by the water trough which had become some sort of goal. The forward buffalo butted the ball towards him. Without thinking he returned the kick over the head of the forward. No good. With a speed belying its bulk, the defensive buffalo moved quickly and butted it through his legs to the porch. When it bounced off the barbecue, they seemed to do a brief victory prance. The game was afoot.

Day after day, week after week, the strange lawn ritual with the soccer ball went on and on. In truth, he had long since pulled far ahead of the buffalo in goals, but what do buffalo know about keeping score?

In time, however, the hunting season came around. He looked out of his house on the first morning and saw the buffalo waiting for him, the soccer ball in front of the forward, the defensive buffalo pacing slowly back and forth by the water trough. It came to him then that he could never shoot them. It would spoil the season -- and the soccer season, in the deserts of Utah, is never really over.

On a hot afternoon soon after, he looked out his window and discovered, much to his delight and his neighbors' shock, that the two buffalo on his lawn were indeed male and female.

Now it is two years later and he has four buffalo on his lawn. He doesn't hunt anything anymore. Says he's lost the taste for it. His old hunting buddies come by every so often and razz him about the buffalo.

"You started with two and couldn't shoot them," one said. "Now you got four, and next year you're gonna have five. What are you going to do then?"

He went to his garage and came back with a basketball.




Trump South of the Border

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 07:16:57 -0800

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Translation:

"Trump la mitad del territorio de U.S.A. es nuestro": Trump, half the territory of the USA is ours. "Trump, devuelve (etc)": Trump return our (list of states). "Trump no pagaremos tu muro": Trump, we're not going to pay for your wall.

We'll see.




in Just-spring when the world is mud-luscious

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 23:38:47 -0800

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Loomings. Every year, sometime between the fade of Indian summer and the rise of white drifts, I find myself entering the forgetting. Underneath the rain and the packed ice my world goes brown and brittle, sodden with leaf mulch, sad with weed sighs, and the mind fills with all the past gone years.

The weather becomes predictable and hence I pay more attention to the predictions -- a kind of confirmation bias of gloom; sought to bolster my own pessimism of this time, of that place,

Of things ill done and done to others' harm
Which once you took for exercise of virtue.

In the forgetting time the sunlight hours of the day seem to drain rapidly away until you mark well, and others underscore for you, the shortest day of the year. But once that passes, the adding of sunlight to the day seems to come on with agonizing slowness and you note, ruefully, on a January Sunday, that at 7:15 it is still dark.

And then, on that same Sunday, only four hours later you open the door and step out into your little corner of the world. And you smell it. You smell it every year and every year you forget until it comes back again.

You smell that faint, distant, almost ineffable, sweetness coming in on a breeze from the south. You look to the north and you see the slate sky swirling away, almost ablating before your eyes, and the washed teal blue revealed. Not the winter's blue of stark ice, but a shade like that seen in a cast-off jay's feather.

It's the hint, the first faint far-off hint. It's a memory's whisper behind the breeze. You remember that to see what's really the news of the day you have to LOOK and look carefully. And so you look and you see what even yesterday you did not.

You see that the green of the pines has gotten brighter and taken on a faint shine. You see that the moss seems to be ringed round and shot through with small shoots of grass. You look and look more closely at the weeping birch and you see, as small as a butterfly's eyes, the buds beginning to push through the bark.

You see what was the rank and sodden leaf-mulch and sad decayed weeds and you think, "Compost. I really have to plant something now."

You pause on the street corner of your little corner of the world and you feel, see, hear, smell and, yes, faintly on the tip of your tongue, taste the return of the world. It's back from winter as the abiding earth swings again closer to our home star. It is today and today is Just-spring.

And in spite of yourself you remember the plaque on the wall at your daughter's school somewhere in all those past gone years:

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it -- Psalm 118



When Bigfoot Walked the Earth

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 19:34:38 -0800

Ace says: "Thanks to Soothsayer, the best TV intro ever, and yes, it beats Manimal, UFO, and even The Six Million Dollar Man."

And I believe him.

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"Just a business decision." Trying to Kill Ivanka by Killing Her Business

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 11:20:05 -0800

Nordstroms of Seattle yanks Ivanka Trump's line because... because.... well they lied. An interview with Abigail Adams at I Own the World where, at the end, it is suggested that I get in my van and round der loons. File under: "It's my horn and I toot it as I pleases."

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"Just so you know: the woman I spoke with at Nordstrom was an exec asst to CEO, Blake Nordstrom. She wasn’t a random customer service person in the PI. Money talks and BS walks — and I’ve got (somewhere) my original paper Nordstrom credit card. I’m probably customer number 001. Now I’m customer 000. We won the battle of the election but, as you can all see today, the war has just begun. So suit up, fix bayonets, and get into the current battle — whatever it is." -- Abigail Adams We’re Going To Try and Do This More Often: Conversations With Readers – IOTW Report



Readings

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 09:39:51 -0800

width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lO_8qPpT8GE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> I’ve got Mick Jagger’s lost memoir One of my favourite anecdotes is of Mick returning unannounced to Dartford to see his parents after two years of chaotic world tours, debauchery, mayhem, riots and goodness only knows what else. ‘Oh Michael,’ says his horrified mother on opening the door. ‘Your hair….’ The Hidden History of the Laundry Chute - The Atlantic A laundry chute is a mythic domestic space. It’s an unwatched door to nowhere, the open throat of an old home. Its reputation has as much to do with convenience as with the early recognition that a house is not solid through and through. The laundry chute is a place where stains and embarrassing odors go to be erased, and dropping linen down the chute is a mnemonic for forgetting those embarrassments, for making such accidents invisible. Remembering Nüshu, the 19th-Century Chinese Script Only Women Could Write | Atlas Obscura Up against the pipes : Does gentle reader enjoy being smeared? Well, I should speak only for myself. I don’t like it. Perhaps I am projecting when I guess that most members of the new administration, Stateside, don’t enjoy it either. Verily, I’ll go out on a limb, and say no normal person delights in becoming the target of vicious attack, and yet our Lord said: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” Ann Coulter: Silence Of The Lambs: Why Doesn’t Congress Just Pass 2015 Anti-Refugee American SAFE Act Again? In the past three weeks, Trump has: staffed the White House, sent a dozen Cabinet nominees to the Senate, browbeat Boeing into cutting its price on a government contract, harangued American CEOs into keeping their plants in the United States, imposed a terrorist travel ban, met with foreign leaders and nominated a Supreme Court justice, among many other things (And still our hero finds time to torment the media with his tweets!) What have congressional Republicans been doing? Scrapbooking? Hurty Words, Killy Words Time and again, we give away a right because we think it’ll adversely affect only those we see as adversaries. But it always comes back on you. When you give power to politicians you like in order to punish Americans you don’t, it’s guaranteed that that power will one day be used against you by politicians you don’t like, who see you as the bad guy. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nb6yOklzHMI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> "Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world. Where none suffered. Where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed that we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that as a species, human beings define their reality through misery and suffering. Smith Interrogates Morpheus Transcript The Genetics of the American Nations While the original colonial ancestry of the country has been overrun by subsequent migrants, the founding stock remain as a genetic undercurrent – a common genetic thread – within each American nation. This is especially true in the nations of the American South, where the colonial settlers received less subsequent migration and the original stock remains strong. Happy 150th Birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder The changes that they saw in their lifetimes are nothing short of astonishing. Almanzo lived from 1857 and died in 1946; his birth predated the Civil War and his death happened after the dropping of the atomic bomb. Laura lived from 1867 to 1957; she was born during Reconstruction and died in the same year that Sputnik I was launched. She lived to see the intro[...]



"Step by step, one by one" Promises Made. Promises Kept. This Is What Winning Looks Like

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:08:00 -0800

"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: "

A ten minute signing ceremony today which concludes with Trump, surrounded by Washington DC players, giving the pen to the miners and inviting them back to the Oval Office. Check it out.




The Olympic Peninsula at the Vernal Equinox

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 12:38:59 -0800

Too much winter? Too much rain? Two words: "Road Trip" THE FIRST THING YOU LEARN IS your don't go "into" the Olympic Peninsula. You go around it. Although Seattle has the feel of being on a coast, it's really an interior city protected from the lashing storms of the Northwest Pacific by a vast up-welling of mountains, as much as it is protected from the cutting edge of our political storms by its removal to the far corner of the nation. One of the advantages of the city is that it sits at the bottom of a vast bowl of straits, lakes and mountains. When the rain clears out and you take in the western view from the top of Queen Anne Hill (the highest hill in Seattle) you see the barrier of the Olympic Mountains that seems to wrap around half the horizon. After seeing this a number of time, two words appear in the mind: Road Trip. So it was with Spring a day away and, for once, a promising weather forecast I set out for a short trip to the Olympic Peninsula since I had had enough, for a few days at least of: But, as I said, there is no "into" when it comes to the Olympic Peninsula, only "around." It was not promising when, in my effort to get to the ferry that would take me out to the jumping off point, I ran afoul of three detours and two Sunday afternoon traffic jams. What should have been a fifteen minute drive to the ferry turned into an hour and a half. Enough time to take me off my original plan of staying at the Kalaloch Lodge. Instead, I only managed to make the town of Forks in time to participate in the town's annual scholarship auction. You had no choice but to participate since every sound system in every store and restaurant was tuned to the broadcast of the auction and turned up loud. I took shelter by going to the auction itself. It was one of those small town events that puts your faith in the essential goodness of people back into your soul. Everyone in this town of some 1,300 souls had evidently donated something (From a $1600 Alaskan Fishing Trip to a plate of 6 brownies baked by the Brownies -- $22 and delicious). And everyone in the town was buying something. Furniture, art, baked goods, embroidered guest towels, exercise equipment... a hodgepodge of a town wide garage sale. The purpose? A fund to send some kids from Forks to college. And in Forks getting to college was very, very important because it meant those kids that made it had a chance to get out of Forks. Not that it is a bad town. Not at all. It is just that it is a dying town. The curtailing of logging and fishing in the Olympic Peninsula may have gone over well in Seattle where people are concerned that they won't have any natural, unspoiled environments in which to ride their horsies and mossy woods to hike about in. In Seattle, the only thing more popular for a politician to say than "It's for the children" is "It's for the environment." Some of the brighter politicians have taken to working in the phrase, "It's for the children's environment!" This always plays to rousing ovations and cheers, especially from the childless. Things are not so happy in Forks which has had to deal with the loss of thousands of jobs as a result of various "popular" [in the cities] measures. Forks, by any measure, is struggling to keep its head above water. You can feel it in the forced cheer and the determined pride shown at this one small auction where, against all odds, they have managed to raise more than $50,000 for the Forks Escape Fund. One of my local correspondents, much more knowledgeable about the shameful political history that killed Forks related this small tale that pretty much sums up the relationship of city and town in Washington state: Our US Senators, Patty Murray (D) who we rightfully detest and Slade Gorton (Republican and now defeated by Maria Cantw[...]



Why Free Speech Is All That Matters

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 07:43:14 -0800

"If there had not been freedom of speech in the 19th century, I can guarantee you that we would still have slavery today. Powerful voices would have silenced the abolitionists arguments and the modern world would never have come into being. We have labor saving devices because labor became expensive. And labor became expensive because slavery was ended...."




There Was an Old Woman Who Lived By a Brook [Bumped]

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:18:46 -0800

When the fog forms in Paradise all my ghosts come out, moving like wraiths behind the mist, believing no one can see them. But I do. Everywhere in this small town in northern California in which I was a young boy and to which I have returned as an old man, I often sense that boy and those long ago moments. This morning the fog was thick here on the ridge as I returned from an errand down on Lucky John Road; a road I had not been on for over 60 years. Even before I came over the crest of the hill and started down the far side my back brain told me there was a brook at the bottom. And sure enough, in a moment, my car passed over the brook as it flowed in a culvert from one side of the road to the other. Today there were a number of tidy cookie-cutter contractor-built homes on either side complete with their gardens, garages, and water-features. The once forest-thick pines were thinned out to garden specs. The little old lady’s ramshackle homemade house was long gone to landfill... as was the little old lady herself. Still, as I pulled the car over in the fog and looked around, they appeared. Ghosts moving behind today's new morning; a kind of Balinese shadow puppet epic projected on the far side of the atmosphere by the lantern of memory. The last time I had been to the brook I was 11 and I walked. I walked from my house on the canyon's edge half a mile to where the brook meandered out of the pines and under Lucky John Road. I did it because my father told me to do it. I did it because my father had decided that at 11 it was time I had “A Job.” My father believed in boys having A Job and having one as soon as possible. One evening shortly after my 11th December birthday he called me aside. “There’s an old lady named Miss Helen over the hill who needs help,” he told me. “She’s getting on and she has no family. She needs help chopping wood for her heat and other chores.” (“Dad, please.”) “No backtalk. I’ve already told her you’d be there tomorrow afternoon.” (“Oh come on, dad.”) “Did I mention she was going to pay you.” (“Please, dad.... Oh? How much?”) “Four or five bucks a week....” (“When can I start?”) This would have been 1956 and my allowance at the time was a royal fifty cents a week which kept me in bubble gum and comic books. Barely. The sum to be paid was an expansion of my cash on hand to levels beyond the dreams of boyhood avarice. The next afternoon my Keds crunched through the thin sheets of ice formed in the puddles next to the stream as I reported to Miss Helen driven more by greed than duty. Thinking back Miss Helen’s place was more of a hut than a house. It had a tin roof and was very small, consisting of a small sitting area just inside the door, a kitchen behind that, and a sleeping alcove behind that with a curtain that was always closed. The hut sat on what were probably cinder blocks on a sort of islet around which branches of the brook actually made a babbling sound over the mossed rocks. There must have been some electricity since I remember a refrigerator and a radio, but there weren’t any electric lights, only kerosene lanterns that required me to trim their wicks. Her water was drawn from the stream and stored in a large tank just on the other side of the kitchen wall with a pipe that came through the wall to a small metal tub she used as a sink. One of my primary tasks was to carry buckets of water to the tank and fill it. This job began in the winter and the only source of heat Miss Helen had was a standard issue wood stove that she also used for cooking. The stove took a lot of wood and the old lady’s wood came from a large pile of logs on another islet behind her hut. They were far too big to fit in [...]



Boomer Ballads: Diamonds & Rust

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:28:38 -0800

Now I see you standing
With brown leaves falling around
And snow in your hair
Now you're smiling out the window
Of that crummy hotel
Over Washington Square
Our breath comes out white clouds
Mingles and hangs in the air
Speaking strictly for me
We both could have died then and there....




The List

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 01:51:40 -0800

(image) As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I've got a little list--I've got a little list....
- W. S. Gilbert

"The List" is the bane of testosterone-driven humans. "The List" is kept in the secret mental lock-box of human beings of the estrogen persuasion. Some believe that "The List" is a social construct, while others believe that "The List" is hard-wired into the DNA of the human female. I favor the latter theory since it seems to me that "The List" is merely a subset of "The Plan" -- and "The Plan" is not only part and parcel of the basic makeup of the human female regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, or historic epoch, it is also the reason that -- over time -- women triumph over men. Women, in short, always have a life plan while men are stuck with something that looks like a cross between a spread sheet without a recalc button and a really slick marketing idea.

In short, men might have a plan for making a rocket-propelled street luge, but they have none at all when it comes to human activities that stretch across decades -- unless it involves such trifles as national defense or energy policy. Men seem to see items like this as actually important, but women know that what is really important is the command and control of male behavior. Hence, "Your Permanent Conduct Record" aka "The List."

Women reading this essay are, of course, not the type to ever keep an indelible list of male transgressions, large and teeny-tiny. But trust me, there are many that do. Why? Because it works.

"The List" is a means of male-control through negative feedback. Positive male actions towards a woman are expected, perhaps noted at the time, perhaps not, -- but always in pencil. A brief pat and nod of encouragement and then the woman goes back into the default mode of "what have you done for me lately?" "Lately" is, as all men know, but a small subset of a single day.

Failings of the male -- such as lapses in mental telepathy -- are kept on "The List" in indelible ink, preferably blood-red. "The List" also includes transgressions, large and small, against the woman from previous relationships with previous males. The ownership of all these transgressions is automatically transfered to the male of the current relationship at the moment of inception or conception, whichever comes first. This is the reason men sometimes feel they are expected to pay an overdue bill for a meal they did not eat in a restaurant that no longer exists. Plus a 20% tip.