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30 June 2016

a dreadful bird with a pretty tune

Click to enlarge.

This is the European bird who shoots out of the Cuckoo Clock every hour or half-hour or quarter-hour and sings "cuckoo!"

The cuckoo is ... well, rather than be judgmental and moralistic, the technical name for such birds is parasitic. The female lays her single egg in another non-cuckoo's unguarded nest among that bird's eggs. Then the cuckoo flies away and leaves the hatching and feeding and rearing to the non-cuckoo.

The cuckoo egg hatches first, and when the other eggs hatch, the cuckoo hatchling bullies and starves and shoves the other hatchlings out of the nest to their death.

29 June 2016

brief note from old pal / sapphire bullets of pure love / please mister don't play B-17 / my Pal's Amazing Invention: zip / bop / whirrr

click Wurlitzer to enlarge
please mister please
don't play B-17
it was our song it was his song 
now he's go-o-o-one

I heard from an old pal today. A wonderful old pal. The note made my spirit warm, like the sun warms your skin on the first hot day after months of nothing but shivering cold or worse. 

I can't remember if I'd planned to have a bad or mediocre day, but since I've read his short note, I've had no choice, I've been condemned to a day of gentle smiling and happiness. Maybe a week, maybe more. I'll let you know when it wears off.

And of course the short note irradiated only Good & Positive & Pleasant radiation. It didn't say "Where's the goddam $90 you owe me?" Nor did it say "Enclosed find the $90 you graciously loaned me in 2008, plus accrued interest."

 Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare ...

                                   -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

This was Just pure Good & Positive & Pleasant radiation. Pure nice & happy. Essence of Smile. 

sapphire bullets of pure love

Since I began, at first by purest accident, collecting clues about and glimpses of this human, it's not just his Certified (by Vleeptron Dude) Swell Vibes that warm my spirit. 

Well, the Purest Accident was that I clicked on his Invention. And I was, from that instant, gobsmacked, I just plotzed and have been plotzing ever since at this Invention. And my old pal invented it. 

So he's not just a guy I'd like to go bowling or canoeing with this weekend -- although that kind of thing is Not Chopped Liver, it is Inherently & Sufficiently Swell.

You don't need to sing like Bledsoe
You can tell the world I said so
No sirree just simply be
My mother's son-in law ...

                               -- Alberta Nichols, Mann Holiner
                                             cover by Billie Holiday


But wow, what an Invention.

"Gee, Dad -- it's a Wurlitzer!"

Not like the Large Hadron Collider, said to be the world's largest machine. My pal's invention was relatively simple. And small, light and extremely portable.


Technically, theoretically -- creating and assembling it -- I could have done it, I've wallowed sufficiently in that Shop Class. I could have fixed my pal's Amazing Carburetor. I could have got his Amazing Heathkit TG-4 Solid-State Audio Tone Generator working to factory specs again. I got the tools and the know-how.

But I didn't. My pal did.
My pal thunk up the Wish, the Human Need for the thing in the first place. Heretofore hardly anybody even asked for this thing out loud. There were whispers, hints, gossip. But they were vague, fuzzy. Nothing that could do anything anybody wanted or enjoyed.

But he solidified it into a Big Damn Clear Specific Meme, and then he made it. And started distributing it to the rest of the human race (who very quickly realized they wanted it, and told their pals, who told their pals, who told their pals). Or Aliens or Non-Humans or AI, for all I know.  I know a lot of Robots use the Invention, Robots are just hog-wild over my pal's invention.

But I got one. And it's been nothing but ... well, okay, once in a Blue Moon it breaks down in some way and I'm frustrated and irate and pissed off for a day or three until I figure out how to get it running again. 

But the rest of the time (okay, hundreds, eeek maybe thousands of hours -- and it's NOT some dumb computer game. I am NOT DukeSwaaazhg) what this invention does is ALL REAL GOOD.

I'm not going to tell you what it is. But you can guess if you want. I'll tell you if you're right. 

Or maybe I'll lie. No Pizza.

Okay, 1 Hint: My old pal's name and invention have appeared on Vleeptron before.

{End Hint}

Included in my hints & glimpses are clear evidence that he is a Human Earth Dweller, and has to endure the same sorts of Crappy Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune that Earth Life is wont to generously distribute, and try to duck them as best he can. But he has budgeted his Life Time (my teachers ceaselessly told me that Budgeting My Time would be the Magic Key to Limitless Success) so that he can manage to barely duck the world's worst crap, AND cobble together AND distribute his Amazing Invention.

Neat trick.

I'm not sure I possess those horoscopic planetary allignments and personality traits. I can do some Certified (by Vleeptron Dude) Neat Tricks, but pal's Thing was a Rocko-Socko Erupting Hot Volcano of a Meme.

A few posts ago Vleeptron Dude admitted to rare but occasional bouts of the Accidie -- during which all V-Dude can manage to do is drool and pee. And fart, if all I can manage to eat is canned/tinned beans.

Find goats farting in the following

(1 slice plain from a fast-food highway chain):

Svmer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu
Groweþ sed
and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wde nu
Sing cuccu

Awe bleteþ after lomb
lhouþ after calue cu
Bulluc sterteþ
bucke uerteþ

murie sing cuccu
Cuccu cuccu
Wel singes þu cuccu
ne swik þu nauer nu

Sing cuccu nu • Sing cuccu.
Sing cuccu • Sing cuccu nu


2 slices if you can sing the right tune of the farting goats rota.  

That's it for now.

Oh, okay, here's more hints about My Pal's Amazing Invention:

it went zip when it moved
and bop when it stopped
and whirrr when it stood still
I never knew just what it was 

and I guess I never will

the first time that I picked it up
i had a big surprise
cause right on the bottom were two big buttons
that looked like big green eyes
i first pushed one and then the other
then I twisted its lid
and when I set it down again
here is what it did

it went zip when it moved
and bop when it stopped
and whirrr when it stood still
I never knew just what it was 

and I guess I never will

-- The Marvelous Toy
   Irish traditional

27 June 2016

PizzaQ: Identify this Religion That Makes Sense! / The Deacon’s Masterpiece or, the Wonderful "One-hoss Shay"

Click postcard to enlarge.

The one-horse shay is a light, covered, two-wheeled carriage for two persons, drawn by a single horse ...  colloquially known in the USA as a 'one-hoss shay.'


I promised a Religion That Makes Sense. For 1/2 Pizza with Vidalia onions ...

What authentic famous real religion (with lots of people and lots of houses of worship) is this poem ridiculing and making fun of?


The great Lisbon earthquake can also be found in Voltaire's "Candide."

This Oliver Wendell Holmes is Dad. His Son, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., was an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1902 to 1932.


The Deacon’s Masterpiece
or, the Wonderful "One-hoss Shay":
A Logical Story

    by Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 - 1894)

Have you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay,
That was built in such a logical way
It ran a hundred years to a day,
And then, of a sudden, it — ah, but stay,
I’ll tell you what happened without delay,
Scaring the parson into fits,
Frightening people out of their wits, —
Have you ever heard of that, I say?

Seventeen hundred and fifty-five.
Georgius Secundus was then alive, —
Snuffy old drone from the German hive.
That was the year when Lisbon-town
Saw the earth open and gulp her down,
And Braddock’s army was done so brown,
Left without a scalp to its crown.
It was on the terrible Earthquake-day
That the Deacon finished the one-hoss shay.

Now in building of chaises, I tell you what,
There is always somewhere a weakest spot, —
In hub, tire, felloe, in spring or thill,
In panel, or crossbar, or floor, or sill,
In screw, bolt, thoroughbrace, — lurking still,
Find it somewhere you must and will, —
Above or below, or within or without, —
And that’s the reason, beyond a doubt,
A chaise breaks down, but doesn’t wear out.

But the Deacon swore (as Deacons do,
With an “I dew vum,” or an “I tell yeou”)
He would build one shay to beat the taown
’N’ the keounty ’n’ all the kentry raoun’;
It should be so built that it couldn’ break daown:
“Fur,” said the Deacon, “’tis mighty plain
Thut the weakes’ place mus’ stan’ the strain;
’N’ the way t’ fix it, uz I maintain,
    Is only jest
T’ make that place uz strong uz the rest.”

So the Deacon inquired of the village folk
Where he could find the strongest oak,
That couldn’t be split nor bent nor broke, —
That was for spokes and floor and sills;
He sent for lancewood to make the thills;
The crossbars were ash, from the straightest trees,
The panels of white-wood, that cuts like cheese,
But lasts like iron for things like these;
The hubs of logs from the “Settler’s ellum,” —
Last of its timber, — they couldn’t sell ’em,
Never an axe had seen their chips,
And the wedges flew from between their lips,
Their blunt ends frizzled like celery-tips;
Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,
Spring, tire, axle, and linchpin too,
Steel of the finest, bright and blue;
Thoroughbrace bison-skin, thick and wide;
Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide
Found in the pit when the tanner died.
That was the way he “put her through.”
“There!” said the Deacon, “naow she’ll dew!”

Do! I tell you, I rather guess
She was a wonder, and nothing less!
Colts grew horses, beards turned gray,
Deacon and deaconess dropped away,
Children and grandchildren — where were they?
But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay
As fresh as on Lisbon-earthquake-day!

EIGHTEEN HUNDRED; — it came and found
The Deacon’s masterpiece strong and sound.
Eighteen hundred increased by ten; —
“Hahnsum kerridge” they called it then.
Eighteen hundred and twenty came; —
Running as usual; much the same.
Thirty and forty at last arrive,
And then come fifty, and FIFTY-FIVE.

Little of all we value here
Wakes on the morn of its hundreth year
Without both feeling and looking queer.
In fact, there’s nothing that keeps its youth,
So far as I know, but a tree and truth.
(This is a moral that runs at large;
Take it. — You’re welcome. — No extra charge.)

FIRST OF NOVEMBER, — the Earthquake-day, —
There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay,
A general flavor of mild decay,
But nothing local, as one may say.
There couldn’t be, — for the Deacon’s art
Had made it so like in every part
That there wasn’t a chance for one to start.
For the wheels were just as strong as the thills,
And the floor was just as strong as the sills,
And the panels just as strong as the floor,
And the whipple-tree neither less nor more,
And the back crossbar as strong as the fore,
And spring and axle and hub encore.
And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt
In another hour it will be worn out!

First of November, ’Fifty-five!
This morning the parson takes a drive.
Now, small boys, get out of the way!
Here comes the wonderful one-hoss shay,
Drawn by a rat-tailed, ewe-necked bay.
“Huddup!” said the parson. — Off went they.
The parson was working his Sunday’s text, —
Had got to fifthly, and stopped perplexed
At what the — Moses — was coming next.
All at once the horse stood still,
Close by the meet’n’-house on the hill.
First a shiver, and then a thrill,
Then something decidedly like a spill, —
And the parson was sitting upon a rock,
At half past nine by the meet’n-house clock, —
Just the hour of the Earthquake shock!
What do you think the parson found,
When he got up and stared around?
The poor old chaise in a heap or mound,
As if it had been to the mill and ground!
You see, of course, if you’re not a dunce,
How it went to pieces all at once, —
All at once, and nothing first, —
Just as bubbles do when they burst.

End of the wonderful one-hoss shay.
Logic is logic. That’s all I say.

neighborhood dress code for females

Click to enlarge.

I don't think it's worth a kosher pizza to guess where these posters were recently displayed. But feel free to Leave a Comment, and if you guess wrong, you get to sit in a corner wearing a dunce cap.

It's A-VP's understanding that the municipal authorities eventually removed the posters.

Note that the left language is English (in the spelling of USA English rather than UK or Commonwealth spelling). Somebody made a choice for a second language that the most (female) visitors could understand, and they picked English -- in the Occident and lots of the Mysterious East, this era's Lingua Franca.

But notice that all "suggestions" apply only to females, to girls and women. So, respect for religious customs aside, the posters reflect a religious group whose males set the rules for females. (Not just their females, but tourist females too.)

Notice also that these "requests" are specifically required by G-d (a common spelling convention that reflects the decalogue commandment "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain"). So this G-d

* is clearly male, no doubt about it, and

* has specific requirements regarding 

  the clothing of all females.

I'm certainly not kicking just this one faith community for its G-d-decreed male-o-centricity. Throw a dart at the globe and it'll almost certainly hit a religious community whose Big Cheeses are exclusively male, and whose females act and dress as the Big Cheeses insist.

One attractive aspect of atheism is that, lacking a G-d to tell folks what to do, atheists have far more freedom to wear whatever they like, including nothing or nearly nothing. (It is lawful for females to go topless in public in Ontario, Canada.) 

I have a chat pal from Turkey who ferociously stands up for her right to go to the beach in a bikini. I guess about 90 percent of Turkey are Muslims, but since the Ataturk-led overthrow of the Ottomans (circa 1921-1924), Turkey has replaced religious authority with a secular government which heavily rules in non-religious directions.

My born and educated religious identity is (((Jewish))), but in my long path to my current dotage, I have embraced or flirted with or studied several other religious traditions. If we look on religions as a fair, open and competitive market, some of the stalls I've lingered longest at have included

the Pythagorean Mystery Cult -- where Ultimate Reality consists entirely of the positive whole numbers; all else, however real it seems, is just a fuzzy distorted illusion of the positive whole numbers.

* Spinozan Pantheism -- the equation of Nature and God. i.e., when we have discovered everything about the material universe, we have discovered God, and there is nothing more to discover about God. 

(A consequence of this innocent little belief is that God does not anoint monarchs; God exclusively evolves the material universe, and takes no notice of the governance or belief systems of humans. Nor does God snatch adorable little innocent girls from the path of speeding trolleys.)

* Sufism -- which Sufis themselves call "The Real." Here's some Sufi music from Pakistan. Leave a Comment about the music and the singer.

I know Doris Lessing led a Sufi salon in London, so Sufi doesn't seem to be a male-o-centric belief system.

* Every time I bump into Pataphysics, it grabs me by the necktie and drags me into its weird little circus/carnival alley. I think I'm now an official Satrap of the College of Pataphysics.

From its birth (circa 500 BCE), the Pythagorean Mystery Cult was an equal-opportunity belief system for both genders. All an adept had to do was study for and pass a rigorous geometry test and swear never to eat beans. The neighbors of Pythagoras' commune -- in Magna Graecia, Italy -- burned the place down twice.

"I'm so glad I took geometry. Hardly a day goes by when I don't have to do a proof." 

             -- I forget which USA comedian

In "The White Goddess," Robert Graves postulates that Sufi is a direct but later evolution of the Pythagorean Mystery Cult.

"In the winter, I'm a Buddhist; 
in the summer, I'm a nudist!"

               -- Professor Seagull

I'm tired and want to sleep now. Leave Some Comments. Burn me at the stake. Attack me with machetes. (I know a place, well, a few places, where guys jump out of dark alleys and kill bloggers with machetes. Bloggers. They're killing bloggers.)

Join the College of Pataphysics

There exists no largest prime number (and I can prove it)

For brilliant new Number Theory equations, dream of the Goddess Namagiri (a local -- Tamil Nadu -- avatar of Lakshmi). (Keep pencil and paper by your bedside to write down the equations Namagiri whispered to you. She also gives valuable career and life counseling advice in the dreams of your mother.)

25 June 2016

Ugliest Dog on Earth 2016!

Click photo to enlarge.

The Associated Press
USA Newswire
Saturday 25 June 2016

PETALUMA, California USA
-- A 17-year-old Chinese Crested Chihuahua with legs bowed out like a frog and an oozing sore is the winner of this year’s World’s Ugliest Dog contest.

SweePee Rambo
took home the title at the annual Petaluma World’s Ugliest Dog contest Friday night at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds after besting 15 other malformed pooches, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Saturday.

Judges in the contest, now on its 28th year, take into account bad appearance, including stench, poor complexion and a host of other inherited and acquired maladies.

SweePee has a mohawk that glistens in the sun and a tongue that sticks out. She is blind in both eyes and has to wear doggie diapers.

Owner Jason Wurtz, 44, of Encino, said he got the dog as a gift for his first wife but after a week she didn’t want anything to do with the gremlin-like pooch. Wurtz, however, said he couldn’t bear to let her go, calling her a “ride or die chick” in the description he wrote for the contest.

When the 4-pound Chinese Crested Chihuahua mix was announced the winner, Wurtz’s younger brother, Jeffrey Wurtz, burst into tears, shouting SweePee’s name, and shaking a homemade sign that read “SweePee Rambo for President 2016.”

The presidential election was a theme present in the contest.

One pup named Himisaboo, who didn’t place, had a flowing golden tuft that resembled that of the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

“Whether you love him, or loathe him, a vote for Himisaboo is a vote for a dog that looks like Donald Trump,” said Heather Wilson, Himisaboo’s owner, who drove out from Idaho for the occasion.

Jason Wurtz and SweePee took the first-place title and trophy and a prize of $15,000. He says he will use the money to pay for the removal of a tumor that recently popped up on SweePee’s gum line.

- 30 -

24 June 2016

ooo eeek ouch owee ooo eeek ouch yow eeek

Click to enlarge.

UK newswire
Friday 24 June 2016

40 burned walking on hot coals
in motivational speaker event

by Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) -- As many as 40 people were injured after walking on hot coals as part of a self-help seminar hosted by motivational speaker Tony Robbins in Texas, fire officials said on Friday.

Attendees of the “Unleash the Power Within” event, held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas, reported burns to their feet and legs just after 11 p.m. Thursday, Dallas Fire and Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said.

“A lot of the attendees were asked to walk across hot coals, and as a result, a lot of the people sustained burn injuries,” Evans said.

Of the 30 to 40 people injured, five were treated at the Parkland Hospital burn unit, Evans said. The others were treated and released at the scene. It was unclear how many participated in the coal walk.

The three-day seminar is intended to help people “break through any limit” and improve their quality of life, according a description posted on Robbins’ website.

Representatives for Robbins, who is a popular motivational speaker, personal finance adviser and bestselling author, were not immediately available for comment.

According to media reports, 21 out of 6000 people who walked on hot coals at a Robbins event in 2012 in California were treated for burns.

Most people avoid burns because coals are not efficient conductors of heat, but standing too long in one spot and other factors can increase the risk. In the 2012 incident, there was speculation that the large number of people participating caused the lines of firewalkers to slow down, raising chances of burns.

(Additional reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Cynthia Osterman) 

- 30 -

23 June 2016

ex-House Speaker Hastert reports to federal prison, pled guilty to money-laundering based on sex abuse of boys

Click photo to enlarge

Chicago Tribune
daily broadsheet
Chicago, Illinois USA
Wednesday 22 June 2016

Former U.S. House Speaker
Dennis Hastert reports to prison

by Christy Gutowski

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert reported to a Minnesota federal prison as scheduled Wednesday, one year after an explosive indictment into secret hush-money payments sparked the rapid fall of a local coaching legend who became one of the country's most powerful politicians.

Hastert passed through razor-wire fences just before noon at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester. He was seated in a wheelchair with his wife, Jean, a few steps behind.

He must serve about 85 percent of a 15-month sentence before his anticipated release next summer followed by two years' supervised release and sex-offender treatment.

His surrender was Hastert's first public sighting since April, when a federal judge rejected the former GOP powerhouse's plea for probation. U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin called Hastert, 74, a "serial child molester" and forced him to admit he abused male students before he entered politics when he was a Yorkville High School coach.

Hastert did not face sex-related charges because prosecutors said the statute of limitations had long expired. He instead admitted to committing a financial crime -- withdrawing more than U$950,000 from banks in a way that would avoid detection, in an effort to keep a victim quiet.

"What I did was wrong, and I regret it,' Hastert said at sentencing. Of his former student athletes, he said: "They looked to me, and I took advantage of them."

The multibuilding Rochester facility sits on a sprawling campus and was once home to former U.S. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, televangelist Jim Bakker and Bob Probert, the former Chicago Blackhawks [ice hockey] enforcer who served three months on a cocaine charge.

How the feds uncovered Dennis Hastert's sordid past

It is one of only five such prison hospitals that serve male inmates at all security levels. Besides Hastert, the most recognizable inmate currently housed there is Jared Loughner, the perpetrator of the 2011 Tucson, Arizona, shooting that killed six people and injured then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Although it is a federal prison, the tranquil location has more of a hospital-like setting. Security is focused around the perimeter and inmates may move around -- outside of designated count times -- with relative freedom. Staff is not armed within the buildings.

But, prison experts said, make no mistake: Hastert will be subject to traditional prison rules and regulations that include a strip search upon entry, random shakedown searches, urine testing for drugs and he will have to submit a DNA sample. He won't be kept in a locked cell and rarely would be handcuffed or shackled, but Hastert will have to follow regulations that dictate when he eats, sleeps and showers.

Hastert reports to prison

"There are no (federal prison) country clubs anymore. That myth has been dispelled," said John Webster, a former attorney who served a stint in federal prison and later started the Nashville, Tenn.-based National Prison and Sentencing Consultants in 2002. "In this kind of an environment, he's not going to be anyone's 'favorite son' anymore, but as long as he is not a jerk to staff and other inmates, he won't have a problem."

The prison is affiliated with the nearby Mayo Clinic, with doctors and nurses on site providing high-level medical services to the approximately 700 male inmates assigned there who need long-term physical and mental health care. More than 23 percent of Rochester's inmates committed a sex-related offense so Hastert would not necessarily be singled out, federal authorities said.

He is allowed to wear his wedding band, but prison-issued garb will replace all other personal attire. In the coming days, staff will acquaint him with the prison and its rules and assess his medical and psychological needs and work suitability through a detailed social screening.

He may speak on the phone for up to 300 minutes per month and share an embrace with loved ones on designated visiting days each week. But inmates such as Hastert are barred from using cellphones or the internet. He'll have access to a shared television room, newspapers, a law library, and indoor and outdoor fitness and recreation.

In October, Hastert admitted in a plea deal with federal prosecutors that he withdrew the money to pay U$3,500,000 to a longtime acquaintance -- identified in court records only as Individual A -- to hide wrongdoing.

The case began to unfold four years ago after a Yorkville (Illinois) bank noticed the suspicious withdrawals. In December 2014, FBI agents confronted Hastert in his Plano home. He told them he was trying to keep his money safe, but his attorney later alleged Hastert was a victim of a $3.5 million extortion plot.

Hastert claimed that Individual A, a former Yorkville standout wrestler, had falsely accused him of sexual abuse decades ago when he was a coach. At the request of authorities, Hastert secretly recorded two calls to Individual A to catch him making threats, but agents soon realized it was Hastert who was lying.

Agents then questioned Individual A, who told them Hastert inappropriately touched him when he was a child in a motel room on a wrestling trip. At least four other students involved in Hastert's wrestling program, including an equipment manager who is deceased, alleged at some point their coach sexually abused them in the 1960s and 1970s.

Hastert was indicted 28 May 2015. But authorities refused to acknowledge the motive behind the hush-money payments. Tribune reporters spent several months contacting scores of former wrestlers and students, filing two dozen open-records requests in an effort to undercover the truth.

The Tribune's investigation eventually uncovered child sexual abuse allegations involving at least four of the victims. One of them was Scott Cross, a brother of former Illinois House GOP leader Tom Cross. Scott Cross told the Tribune he was victimized in the fall of 1979 when he was wrestling captain.

Cross asked the Tribune to keep his identity confidential until he spoke out publicly. The Tribune honored his wishes until he appeared at Hastert's sentencing hearing and confronted his former coach while delivering an emotional statement.

Tribune reporters also uncovered the identity of Individual A last winter. He has repeatedly declined comment, but his wife acknowledged her husband is a victim. He has since filed a Kendall County breach-of-contract lawsuit seeking the remaining $1.8 million -- plus accrued interest -- he argues Hastert still owes him. The civil case is due back in court next month.

Finally, 300 days after the bombshell indictment and days before the Tribune published its investigation, the words "sexual abuse" were uttered on the record in an empty courtroom during an unannounced hearing, according to a transcript of the proceeding the Tribune later obtained.

At Hastert's sentencing, Jolene Burdge said one of her brothers, Stephen Reinboldt, confided to her long before his 1995 death at age 42 of AIDS that Hastert had sexual contact with him in high school. Reinboldt, who graduated in 1971, was an equipment manager for the school's wresting and football teams.

Burdge confronted Hastert outside her brother's visitation, but it would be another two decades before she found justice.

"You don't realize how heavy of a burden it is until you no longer have to carry it," Burdge told the Tribune Wednesday. "I was thinking what Steve would say and I think it'd be, 'Thank you for never giving up on me and making people see I was telling the truth.'"
- 30 -
Twitter @christygutowsk1

Copyright © 2016, Chicago Tribune

18 June 2016

la vie des marins / Order of the Day: All Sailors & Marines in this command will immediately cease all consumption of alcoholic beverages until further notice.

Click to enlarge.

UK newswire
Monday 6 June 2016

U.S. Navy slaps

drinking ban
on 18,600 sailors in Japan

The U.S. Navy slapped a drinking ban on sailors stationed in Japan on Monday and halted off-base liberty after police arrested a U.S. sailor on the southern island of Okinawa on suspicion of drunk driving following a car crash that injured two people.

"For decades we have enjoyed a strong relationship with the people of Japan. It is imperative that each sailor understand how our actions affect that relationship and the U.S. Japan alliance as a whole," Rear Admiral Matthew Carter, commander of U.S. naval forces in Japan said in a press release on Monday.

The United States has 18,600 sailors stationed in Japan.

The latest incident came as the U.S. military observes a 30-day mourning period at bases on Okinawa after an American civilian working for the U.S. military there was arrested on suspicion of dumping the body of a 20-year-old Japanese woman.

Renewed anger among residents in Okinawa at the U.S. military presence threatens a plan to relocate the U.S. Marines' Futenma air base to a less populous part of Okinawa, which was agreed in 1995 after the rape of a Japanese schoolgirl by U.S. military personnel sparked huge anti-base demonstrations.

Okinawa's governor and many residents want the Marines off the island.

All U.S. Navy sailors in Japan will be kept on base and banned from drinking until "all personnel understand the impact of responsible behavior on the U.S.-Japan alliance," the press release said.

"Sailors living off base will be allowed to travel to and from base and conduct only "essential activities."

The restrictions do not apply to family members and civilian U.S. contractors, which brings the total number of people to 35,000, but they are being encouraged to observe the rules "in a spirit of solidarity," a spokesman for the U.S. Navy said.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

- 30 -

© 2016 Reuters. All Rights Reserved.

11 June 2016

Hillaryslied / "Spieglein, Spieglein an der Wand, Wer ist die Schönste im ganzen Land?" / "Frau Königin, ein alte Jude von der Socialismus"

Click to enlarge.

der Brüder Grimm

Es war einmal mitten im Winter, und die Schneeflocken fielen wie Federn vom Himmel herab. Da saß eine Königin an einem Fenster, das einen Rahmen von schwarzem Ebenholz hatte, und nähte. Und wie sie so nähte und nach dem Schnee aufblickte, stach sie sich mit der Nadel in den Finger, und es fielen drei Tropfen Blut in den Schnee. Und weil das Rote im weißen Schnee so schön aussah, dachte sie bei sich: Hätt' ich ein Kind, so weiß wie Schnee, so rot wie Blut und so schwarz wie das Holz an dem Rahmen! 

Bald darauf bekam sie ein Töchterlein, das war so weiß wie Schnee, so rot wie Blut und so schwarzhaarig wie Ebenholz und ward darum Schneewittchen (Schneeweißchen) genannt. Und wie das Kind geboren war, starb die Königin.

Über ein Jahr nahm sich der König eine andere Gemahlin. Es war eine schöne Frau, aber sie war stolz und übermütig und konnte nicht leiden, daß sie an Schönheit von jemand sollte übertroffen werden. Sie hatte einen wunderbaren Spiegel wenn sie vor den trat und sich darin beschaute, sprach sie:

    "Spieglein, Spieglein an der Wand, 
    Wer ist die Schönste im ganzen Land?"
so antwortete der Spiegel:

     "Frau Köningin, Ihr seid die Schönste im Land."

Da war sie zufrieden, denn sie wußte, daß der Spiegel die Wahrheit sagte. 

Schneewittchen aber wuchs heran und wurde immer schöner, und als es sieben Jahre alt war, war es so schön, wie der klare Tag und schöner als die Königin selbst. Als diese einmal ihren Spiegel fragte:

    "Spieglein, Spieglein an der Wand,
    Wer ist die Schönste im ganzen Land?"
so antwortete er:
    "Frau Königin, Ihr seid die Schönste hier, Aber Schneewittchen ist tausendmal schöner als Ihr."
Da erschrak die Königin und ward gelb und grün vor Neid. Von Stund an, wenn sie Schneewittchen erblickte, kehrte sich ihr das Herz im Leibe herum. so haßte sie das Mädchen. Und der Neid und Hochmut wuchsen wie ein Unkraut in ihrem Herzen immer höher, daß sie Tag und Nacht keine Ruhe mehr hatte.

Da rief sie einen Jäger und sprach: "Bring das Kind hinaus in den Wald, ich will's nicht mehr vor meinen Augen sehen. Du sollst es töten und mir Lunge und Leber zum Wahrzeichen mitbringen."

Der Jäger gehorchte und führte es hinaus, und als er den Hirschfänger gezogen hatte und Schneewittchens unschuldiges Herz durchbohren wollte, fing es an zu weinen und sprach: "Ach, lieber Jäger, laß mir mein Leben! Ich will in den wilden Wald laufen und nimmermehr wieder heimkommen."

Und weil es gar so schön war, hatte der Jäger Mitleiden und sprach: "So lauf hin, du armes Kind!"

"Die wilden Tiere werden dich bald gefressen haben," dachte er, und doch war's ihm, als wäre ein Stein von seinem Herzen gewälzt, weil er es nicht zu töten brauchte.

Und als gerade ein junger Frischling dahergesprungen kam, stach er ihn ab, nahm Lunge und Leber heraus und brachte sie als Wahrzeichen der Königin mit. Der Koch mußte sie in Salz kochen, und das boshafte Weib aß sie auf und meinte, sie hätte Schneewittchens Lunge und Leber gegessen.

Nun war das arme Kind in dem großen Wald mutterseelenallein, und ward ihm so angst, daß es alle Blätter an den Bäumen ansah und nicht wußte, wie es sich helfen sollte. Da fing es an zu laufen und lief über die spitzen Steine und durch die Dornen, und die wilden Tiere sprangen an ihm vorbei, aber sie taten ihm nichts.

Es lief, so lange nur die Füße noch fortkonnten, bis es bald Abend werden wollte. Da sah es ein kleines Häuschen und ging hinein, sich zu ruhen.

In dem Häuschen war alles klein, aber so zierlich und reinlich, daß es nicht zu sagen ist. Da stand ein weißgedecktes Tischlein mit sieben kleinen Tellern, jedes Tellerlein mit seinem Löffelein, ferner sieben Messerlein und Gäblelein und sieben Becherlein. An der Wand waren sieben Bettlein nebeneinander aufgestellt und schneeweiße Laken darüber gedeckt.

Schneewittchen, weil es so hungrig und durstig war, aß von jedem Tellerlein ein wenig Gemüs' und Brot und trank aus jedem Becherlein einen Tropfen Wein; denn es wollte nicht einem alles wegnehmen. Hernach, weil es so müde war, legte es sich in ein Bettchen, aber keins paßte; das eine war zu lang, das andere zu kurz, bis endlich das siebente recht war; und darin blieb es liegen, befahl sich Gott und schlief ein.

Als es ganz dunkel geworden war, kamen die Herren von dem Häuslein, das waren die sieben Zwerge, die in den Bergen nach Erz hackten und gruben. Sie zündeten ihre sieben Lichtlein an, und wie es nun hell im Häuslein ward, sahen sie, daß jemand darin gesessen war, denn es stand nicht alles so in der Ordnung, wie sie es verlassen hatten.

Der erste sprach: "Wer hat auf meinem Stühlchen gesessen?'

Der zweite: "Wer hat von meinem Tellerchen gegessen?"

Der dritte: "Wer hat von meinem Brötchen genommen?"

Der vierte: "Wer hat von meinem Gemüschen gegessen?"

Der fünfte: "Wer hat mit meinem Gäbelchen gestochen?"

Der sechste: "Wer hat mit meinem Messerchen geschnitten?"

Der siebente: "Wer hat aus meinem Becherlein Getrunken?"

Dann sah sich der erste um und sah, daß auf seinem Bett eine kleine Delle war, da sprach er: "Wer hat in mein Bettchen getreten?"

Die anderen kamen gelaufen und riefen: "In meinem hat auch jemand Gelegen!"

Der siebente aber, als er in sein Bett sah, erblickte Schneewittchen, das lag darin und schlief. Nun rief er die andern, die kamen herbeigelaufen und schrien vor Verwunderung, holten ihre sieben Lichtlein und beleuchteten Schneewittchen.

"Ei, du mein Gott! Ei, du mein Gott!" riefen sie, "was ist das Kind so schön!"

Und hatten so große Freude, daß sie es nicht aufweckten, sondern im Bettlein fortschlafen ließen. Der siebente Zwerg aber schlief bei seinen Gesellen, bei jedem eine Stunde, da war die Nacht herum.

Als es Morgen war, erwachte Schneewittchen, und wie es die sieben Zwerge sah, erschrak es.

Sie waren aber freundlich und fragten: "Wie heißt du?"

"Ich heiße Schneewittchen," antwortete es.

"Wie bist du in unser Haus gekommen?" sprachen weiter die Zwerge.

Da erzählte es ihnen, daß seine Stiefmutter es hätte wollen umbringen lassen, der Jäger hätte ihm aber das Leben geschenkt, und da wär' es gelaufen den ganzen Tag, bis es endlich ihr Häuslein gefunden hätte.

Die Zwerge sprachen: "Willst du unsern Haushalt versehen, kochen, betten, waschen, nähen und stricken, und willst du alles ordentlich und reinlich halten, so kannst du bei uns bleiben, und es soll dir an nichts fehlen."

"Ja, sagte Schneewittchen, "von Herzen gern!" und blieb bei ihnen.

Es hielt ihnen das Haus in Ordnung. Morgens gingen sie in die Berge und suchten Erz und Gold, abends kamen sie wieder, und da mußte ihr Essen bereit sein.

Den ganzen Tag über war das Mädchen allein; da warnten es die guten Zwerglein und sprachen: "Hüte dich vor deiner Stiefmutter, die wird bald wissen, daß du hier bist; laß ja niemand herein!"

Die Königin aber, nachdem sie Schneewittchens Lunge und Leber glaubte gegessen zu haben, dachte nicht anders, als sie wäre wieder die Erste und Allerschönste, trat vor ihren Spiegel und sprach:

    "Frau Königin, Ihr seid die Schönste hier,
     Aber Schneewittchen über den Bergen
    Wer ist die Schönste im ganzen Land?"
Da antwortete der Spiegel:

    "Frau Königin, Ihr seid die Schönste hier,

    Aber Schneewittchen über den Bergen
    Bei den sieben Zwergen
    Ist noch tausendmal schöner als Ihr."
Da erschrak sie, denn sie wußte, daß der Spiegel keine Unwahrheit sprach, und merkte, daß der Jäger sie betrogen hatte und Schneewittchen noch am Leben war.

Und da sann und sann sie aufs neue, wie sie es umbringen wollte; denn so lange sie nicht die Schönste war im ganzen Land, ließ ihr der Neid keine Ruhe. Und als sie sich endlich etwas ausgedacht hatte, färbte sie sich das Gesicht und kleidete sich wie eine alte Krämerin und war ganz unkenntlich.

In dieser Gestalt ging sie über die sieben Berge zu den sieben Zwergen, klopfte an die Türe und rief: "Schöne Ware feil! feil!"

Schneewittchen guckte zum Fenster hinaus und rief: "Guten Tag, liebe Frau! Was habt Ihr zu verkaufen?"

"Gute Ware", antwortete sie, "Schnürriemen von allen Farben", und holte einen hervor, der aus bunter Seide geflochten war.

"Die ehrliche Frau kann ich hereinlassen," dachte Schneewittchen, riegelte die Türe auf und kaufte sich den hübschen Schnürriemen.

"Kind", sprach die Alte, "wie du aussiehst! Komm, ich will dich einmal ordentlich schnüren."

Schneewittchen hatte kein Arg, stellte sich vor sie und ließ sich mit dem neuen Schnürriemen schnüren. Aber die Alte schnürte geschwind und schnürte so fest, daß dem Schneewittchen der Atem verging und es für tot hinfiel.

"Nun bist du die Schönste gewesen," sprach sie und eilte hinaus.

Nicht lange darauf, zur Abendzeit, kamen die sieben Zwerge nach Haus; aber wie erschraken sie, als sie ihr liebes Schneewittchen auf der Erde liegen sahen, und es regte und bewegte sich nicht, als wäre es tot. Sie hoben es in die Höhe, und weil sie sahen, daß es zu fest geschnürt war, schnitten sie den Schnürriemen entzwei; da fing es an ein wenig zu atmen und ward nach und nach wieder lebendig.

Als die Zwerge hörten, was geschehen war, sprachen sie: "Die alte Krämerfrau war niemand als die gottlose Königin. Hüte dich und laß keinen Menschen herein, wenn wir nicht bei dir sind!"

Das böse Weib aber, als es nach Haus gekommen war, ging vor den Spiegel und fragte:

     "Spieglein, Spieglein an der Wand,
    Wer ist die Schönste im ganzen Land?"
Da antwortete er wie sonst:
    "Frau Königin, Ihr seid die Schönste hier,
    Aber Schneewittchen über den Bergen
    Bei den sieben Zwergen
    Ist noch tausendmal schöner als Ihr."
Als sie das hörte, lief ihr alles Blut zum Herzen, so erschrak sie, denn sie sah wohl, daß Schneewittchen wieder lebendig geworden war.

"Nun aber", sprach sie", will ich etwas aussinnen, das dich zugrunde richten soll", und mit Hexenkünsten, die sie verstand, machte sie einen giftigen Kamm. Dann verkleidete sie sich und nahm die Gestalt eines anderen alten Weibes an.

So ging sie hin über die sieben Berge zu den sieben Zwergen, klopfte an die Türe und rief: "Gute Ware feil! feil!"

Schneewittchen schaute heraus und sprach: "Geht nur weiter, ich darf niemand hereinlassen!"

"Das Ansehen wird dir doch erlaubt sein", sprach die Alte, zog den giftigen Kamm heraus und hielt ihn in die Höhe.

Da gefiel er dem Kinde so gut, daß es sich betören ließ und die Türe öffnete. Als sie des Kaufs einig waren, sprach die Alte: "Nun will ich dich einmal ordentlich kämmen."

Das arme Schneewittchen dachte an nichts, ließ die Alte gewähren, aber kaum hatte sie den Kamm in die Haare gesteckt, als das Gift darin wirkte und das Mädchen ohne Besinnung niederfiel.

"Du Ausbund von Schönheit", sprach das boshafte Weib, "jetzt ist's um dich geschehen", und ging fort.

Zum Glück aber war es bald Abend, wo die sieben Zwerglein nach Haus kamen. Als sie Schneewittchen wie tot auf der Erde liegen sahen, hatten sie gleich die Stiefmutter in Verdacht, suchten nach und fanden den giftigen Kamm. Und kaum hatten sie ihn herausgezogen, so kam Schneewittchen wieder zu sich und erzählte, was vorgegangen war. Da warnten sie es noch einmal, auf seiner Hut zu sein und niemand die Türe zu öffnen.

Die Königin stellte sich daheim vor den Spiegel und sprach:

     "Spieglein, Spieglein an der Wand,
    Wer ist die Schönste im ganzen Land?"
Da antwortete er wie vorher:

    Bei den sieben Zwergen
    Ist noch tausendmal schöner als Ihr."
Als sie den Spiegel so reden hörte, zitterte und bebte sie vor Zorn.

"Schneewittchen soll sterben," rief sie, "und wenn es mein eigenes Leben kostet!"

Darauf ging sie in eine ganz verborgene, einsame Kammer, wo niemand hinkam, und machte da einen giftigen, giftigen Apfel. Äußerlich sah er schön aus, weiß mit roten Backen, daß jeder, der ihn erblickte, Lust danach bekam, aber wer ein Stückchen davon aß, der mußte sterben.

Als der Apfel fertig war, färbte sie sich das Gesicht und verkleidete sich in eine Bauersfrau, und so ging sie über die sieben Berge zu den sieben Zwergen. Sie klopfte an.

 Schneewittchen streckte den Kopf zum Fenster heraus und sprach: "Ich darf keinen Menschen einlassen, die sieben Zwerge haben mir's verboten!"

"Mir auch recht," antwortete die Bäuerin, "meine Äpfel will ich schon loswerden. Da, einen will ich dir schenken."

"Nein," sprach Schneewittchen, "ich darf nichts annehmen!"

"Fürchtest du dich vor Gift?" sprach die Alte, "siehst du, da schneide ich den Apfel in zwei Teile; den roten Backen iß, den weißen will ich essen."

Der Apfel war aber so künstlich gemacht, daß der rote Backen allein vergiftet war. Schneewittchen lusterte den schönen Apfel an, und als es sah, daß die Bäuerin davon aß, so konnte es nicht länger widerstehen, streckte die Hand hinaus und nahm die giftige Hälfte. Kaum aber hatte es einen Bissen davon im Mund, so fiel es tot zur Erde nieder.

Da betrachtete es die Königin mit grausigen Blicken und lachte überlaut und sprach: "Weiß wie Schnee, rot wie Blut, schwarz wie Ebenholz! Diesmal können dich die Zwerge nicht wieder erwecken."

Und als sie daheim den Spiegel befragte:

     "Spieglein, Spieglein an der Wand,
    Wer ist die Schönste im ganzen Land?"
so antwortete er endlich:

     "Frau Köningin, Ihr seid die Schönste im Land."

 Da hatte ihr neidisches Herz Ruhe, so gut ein neidisches Herz Ruhe haben kann. 

Die Zwerglein, wie sie abends nach Haus kamen, fanden Schneewittchen auf der Erde liegen, und es ging kein Atem mehr aus seinem Mund, und es war tot. Sie hoben es auf, suchten, ob sie was Giftiges fänden, schnürten es auf, kämmten ihm die Haare, wuschen es mit Wasser und Wein, aber es half alles nichts; das liebe Kind war tot und blieb tot.

Sie legten es auf eine Bahre und setzten sich alle siebene daran und beweinten es und weinten drei Tage lang. Da wollten sie es begraben, aber es sah noch so frisch aus wie ein lebender Mensch und hatte noch seine schönen, roten Backen.

Sie sprachen: "Das können wir nicht in die schwarze Erde versenken", und ließen einen durchsichtigen Sarg von Glas machen, daß man es von allen Seiten sehen konnte, legten es hinein und schrieben mit goldenen Buchstaben seinen Namen darauf und daß es eine Königstochter wäre. Dann setzten sie den Sarg hinaus auf den Berg, und einer von ihnen blieb immer dabei und bewachte ihn. Und die Tiere kamen auch und beweinten Schneewittchen, erst eine Eule dann ein Rabe. zuletzt ein Täubchen.

Nun lag Schneewittchen lange, lange Zeit in dem Sarg und verweste nicht, sondern sah aus, als wenn es schliefe, denn es war noch so weiß wie Schnee, so rot wie Blut und so schwarzhaarig wie Ebenholz.

Es geschah aber, daß ein Königssohn in den Wald geriet und zu dem Zwergenhaus kam, da zu übernachten. Er sah auf dem Berg den Sarg und das schöne Schneewittchen darin und las, was mit goldenen Buchstaben darauf geschrieben war.

Da sprach er zu den Zwergen: "Laßt mir den Sarg, ich will euch geben, was ihr dafür haben wollt."

Aber die Zwerge antworteten: "Wir geben ihn nicht für alles Gold in der Welt."

Da sprach er: "So schenkt mir ihn, denn ich kann nicht leben, ohne Schneewittchen zu sehen, ich will es ehren und hochachten wie mein Liebstes."

Wie er so sprach, empfanden die guten Zwerglein Mitleid mit ihm und gaben ihm den Sarg. Der Königssohn ließ ihn nun von seinen Dienern auf den Schultern forttragen. Da geschah es, daß sie über einen Strauch stolperten, und von dem Schüttern fuhr der giftige Apfelgrütz, den Schneewittchen abgebissen hatte, aus dem Hals. Und nicht lange, so öffnete es die Augen, hob den Deckel vom Sarg in die Höhe und richtete sich auf und war wieder lebendig.

"Ach Gott, wo bin ich?" rief es.

Der Königssohn sagte voll Freude: "Du bist bei mir", und erzählte, was sich zugetragen hatte, und sprach: "Ich habe dich lieber als alles auf der Welt; komm mit mir in meines Vaters Schloß, du sollst meine Gemahlin werden."

Da war ihm Schneewittchen gut und ging mit ihm, und ihre Hochzeit ward mit großer Pracht und Herrlichkeit angeordnet. Zu dem Feste wurde aber auch Schneewittchens gottlose Stiefmutter eingeladen. Wie sie sich nun mit schönen Kleidern angetan hatte, trat sie vor den Spiegel und sprach:

    Wer ist die Schönste im ganzen Land?"
Der Spiegel antwortete:
    "Frau Königin, Ihr seid die Schönste hier,
    Aber die junge Königin ist noch tausendmal schöner als ihr."
Da stieß das böse Weib einen Fluch aus, und ward ihr so angst, so angst, daß sie sich nicht zu lassen wußte. Sie wollte zuerst gar nicht auf die Hochzeit kommen, doch ließ es ihr keine Ruhe, sie mußte fort und die junge Königin sehen. Und wie sie hineintrat, erkannte sie Schneewittchen, und vor Angst und Schrecken stand sie da und konnte sich nicht regen. Aber es waren schon eiserne Pantoffel über Kohlenfeuer gestellt und wurden mit Zangen hereingetragen und vor sie hingestellt. Da mußte sie in die rotglühenden Schuhe treten und so lange tanzen, bis sie tot zur Erde fiel.

© 1994-1999 Robert Godwin-Jones
Virginia Commonwealth University
Department of Foreign Languages

Comments invited from USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy

Click to enlarge.

05 June 2016

Ramadan Kareem! Ramadan Mubarak! / (((Vleeptron Dude))) is Real Sorry about his Slough of Despond last Ramadan / Accidie / nifty song by Yusef Islam

My favorite Ramadan greeting -- the crescent moon and a bright star from the night sky. I didn't filch it, I got permission from the Wisconsin astronomer. 

Click image to enlarge.

The magazine Sky & Telescope is peppered with scholarly and scientific articles about the origin of Islam's symbol, the crescent moon near a bright star. Clearly such a sign must have been in the night sky at a historically significant event -- probably a battle triumph for early Islam. But so far, it's all guesswork -- even Muslim experts, astronomers and historians, haven't a clue.

Above -- and probably the mysterious original crescent moon and star -- the bright star isn't a star, but a planet. The frequency of such "bright stars" suggests Venus, but a few other pre-telescope naked-eye planets can shine brightly under common conditions. (Had it been Mars, observers would have noted its red tinge and immortalized the color in all subsequent depictions -- several national flags, e.g.)

If you know, or think you know, what (i.e., when) the origin of the crescent moon and bright star symbol is, please Leave A Comment. 

Within a day the lunar month Ramadan will begin. Worldwide, the time is not precise. Many belief groups of Islam have their own set of rules to time Ramadan's start.

But none of the 1,600,000,000 Muslims on Earth will be more than a few hours behind or ahead of the others.

Last year VleeptronZ did not -- as it has without fail for a long bunch of years -- wish our world Ramadan Kareem. And Ramadan Mubarak. A Generous Ramadan, a Blessed Ramadan.

(((Vleeptron Dude))), who is almost always Perfect in all things Intellectual & Spiritual, screwed the pooch bigtime last Ramadan.

I once read that Roman Catholics recognize only one Unforgiveable Sin: Despair.

Because it is a clear, direct insult to God that you do not believe God will make even the most bleak, dark situation better.

And last Ramadan (((Vleeptron Dude))) finally succumbed to Despair.

We have a TV. I am an obsessive reader of Google News. I watch BBC, I used to watch al-Jazeera America until they pulled the plug (new Emir). Sometimes as an emetic I turn on Fox News. I love Inside Edition.

The best IMHO: Reuters. But AP grabs the Excellence & Trust prize from them now and then.

And (((I))) just couldn't take it anymore. BBC wins the prize every day for coating the world with a patina of dignity. The babies in the bombed MSF hospital are still dead and smoldering, but you don't feel as ashamed of being a human being when BBC polishes and presents it for you. (And almost every ghastly story at least ends up with a one-sentence dash of Hope for a Less Horrible Future.)

Of course there is still Hope for the World.
Any adult in reasonably good health, or well-maintained on an SSRI, knows there is Hope. Even Hope that will turn out to have been True, to have been Real Hope to cure and end a terrible and shameful and public human-caused festering plague.

Last Ramadan I succumbed to Accidie. It is the way Satan -- or Dark Guy, or Slenderman, whatever you call him -- sneaks up on your soul / spirit and fills it with Despair, Hopelessness.

The protracted 19th Crusade finally got to me.

Rather than Richard Lionheart, it has been to this point led by The Stupidest Jerks in the Occident, and now, just as Ramadan is about to begin, the Stupid Jerks in the Occident have nominated Donald Trump to take over as Full-Time Top Crusade Commander.

Onward Christian Soldiers
Marching as to War
With the Cross of Jesus
Going on before


He promises to Make America Great Again, and ban all Muslims from entering the United States, and kill the families of Muslim terrorists, and Bring Back Torture -- mostly for Muslims, but I think this guy will torture Girl Scouts or Nuns or Julie Andrews, and charge people to see it live on Pay Cable.

He lives in one of many gold skyscrapers he owns. You can spot all of them because they have TRUMP screaming off them in 37,000-point type.

This is not the Main Point of this post, but as long as I got you on the line, do whatever you can, donate, demonstrate non-violently, to prevent Donald Trump from raping the USA presidential election and becoming the 45th President of the United States.

The Point of this post is to wish all (((my))) neighbors Ramadan Kareem.

I have adjusted my medication and have lifted myself a few centimeters above the Slough of Despond.

But as the 19th Crusade slogs ever onward with no light to be seen at the end of the tunnel, as Trump nears the Presidency, and as Bashar al-Assad remains the Hereditary Tyrant of Syria (he's also an ophthalmologist), keeping myself above the Slough is going to get harder and harder.

Wish (((Vleeptron Dude))) luck, strength, and improvements in Happy Pills.

There follows a Guide to Ramadan by Aftab Ali in The Independent (UK) which seems competent and authoritative about the Holy Month in which Allah communicated the Quran to Muhammed in Arabic. (Aftad Ali sure knows a lot more about Islam and Ramadan than (((Vleeptron Dude))) does.)

Read the entire Independent Ramadan article closely.

But you might be wise to send the kids out of the room and fasten your seatbelt before reading the Readers' Comments that follow.

The Comments will show you why (((Vleeptron Dude))) succumbed to despair last Ramadan. A cloud of ignorance and hatred has descended on my planet.

(((Vleeptron Dude))) supports Free Speech. Free Speech is not always pretty. Everything you hear in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea is pretty.

While we welcome Ramadan and learn about the holy month, put on the headphones and listen to THIS.


Ramadan 2016: When does Islam's holy month start? What are the rules of fasting? Everything you need to know

With 22% of the world's population gearing up for the most important month in the Islamic calendar, here are the five things you need to know

by Aftab Ali

It is a big week for the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims - 22 per cent of the entire global population - as they get ready for the holy month of Ramadan.

The annual period will see prayer, fasting, and giving to charity become the focus of their everyday lives for an entire month.

For non-Muslims and those less familiar with the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, here are the five main things you need to know about Ramadan 2016: 

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of Islam’s lunar calendar, a system which sees each month begin at the sighting of the new moon. According to some scholars, the month is said to be the one in which the Qur'an was first revealed, making it the holiest and most sacred month for Muslims.
It is the period when Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset, and is one of the five pillars - or duties - of Islam. Not only do Muslims abstain from food and drink, it is also a time of deep contemplation and prayer to Allah, and also charitable generosity.

All able-bodied Muslims are required to take part in Ramadan. Although there is some debate over the age at which young Muslims should begin to take part, it is typically at around ten to 12-years-old.

When does Ramadan begin this year?

The holy month is set to begin on or around 7 June, depending on the sighting of the new moon which will tell when the ninth month begins. In the UK, and in many other countries, confirmation of the new moon comes from Saudi Arabia’s highest court, the Supreme Court.
Because lunar months are shorter than solar months - which are used elsewhere - the month moves back by around 10 days each year.

What is a typical day like during Ramadan?

Waking up before the sun rises, at around 4am, Muslims will eat and drink to prepare for the day ahead. Once the sun is up, there will be no more meals, drinking, smoking, or any sexual activity until sundown, also known as iftar.

Iftar then typically begins by consuming dates and sweet, milky drinks - which provide a much-needed energy boost - before quickly taking part in post-iftar prayers. After prayers, dinner will be had, typically after 9pm, before fasting begins again the following day.

Overall, Muslims will be fasting for around 17 hours a day this year, or around 530 hours throughout the entire month. Over the course of the day, in the UK and across the world, Muslim businesses will close as the faithful tend to their prayers and read the Qur’an.

What’s the purpose of Ramadan?

Islam is a religion which sees its followers help the poor and less fortunate throughout their lifetimes, with a particular focus on this element of the faith during its holiest month.

While hungry and thirsty throughout the fasting day, Muslims have a constant reminder of the suffering of the poor in less fortunate parts of the world.

Fasting is also seen as an opportunity to exercise self-control, cleanse the mind, body, and spirit, and build a greater connection with Allah through prayer which can, ultimately, bring about peace.

When does the month end and how is it marked?

Beginning at the start of the month of Shawwal - the 10th month of the Islamic calendar - Ramadan 2016 is set to draw to a close on or around 7 July, depending on the sighting of the new moon which, again, will be declared by Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court.

Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations then take over which can, in some countries, last for up to three days. Muslims then come together to be with their families, prepare great feasts, exchange gifts, continue to give to charity, and forgive and forget any rifts.

Above all, they pray and thank Allah for giving them the strength to get through the holy month.

Ramadan Mubarak to all preparing to take part this year.



1 minute ago
The fasting starts from dawn (not sunrise as mentioned in the report) until sunset. 

1 day ago
I guess that Allah didn't realise that the Sun hardly sets in the high Northern latitudes, and not at all in places like Spitzbergen, during the summer.

Do you think He meant Muslims not to live not too far North or He was just dumb?  In that case He must be the dumbest Supreme Being anyone has ever worshiped. 

Or perhaps or was all invented by an ignorant human being.
1 day ago
@KatStarr Is your ignorance painful?  Can you feel it coursing through your body, or have you just become so accustom to it that you don't feel it anymore?

15 hours ago
Ali Khodaei
Salaam (Peace)
Quran's rules are like the constitution. They do not give the detail for every single person and every single situation. They sketch out the general path and let humans to contemplate and elaborate on the rest based on Quran's verses and other Islamic sources.

For those who live in the farthest North, it is accepted to fast according to the time of Mecca. That is to say, they can break their fast earlier. 

This month is not only about avoiding to eat or drink. It is to become "human" and respect ones own soul and the others and not to insult.
Thank you.

2 days ago
Fasting from Dawn to Sunset. So it is no different to the lifestyle of those on a night shift, wow.
2 days ago
Very informative article, as usual some people who perhaps should be reading The Sun even manage to moan about this.  I'm not Muslim but will be keeping (or try to) at least 4 fasts this year (1 per week) after keeping 1 last year.  I just think it's amazing what the human body can adapt to and no there's no liquid allowed at all!  Any money I would have spent on food for those 4 days will be going to a local charity.  That which unites us is greater than that which divides us and we can learn a great deal from each others religion.................
2 days ago
Bla bla bla

10 minutes ago
All the best.. It's a great experience indeed.

2 days ago
Very informative, thanks.
3 days ago
Ramadan...between meal fasting.
3 days ago
I'm not remotely interested in this primitive, Third World religion. ps where are the women in the photo (feminists - any comments)?
1 day ago
Who cares!

15 hours ago
Ali Khodaei
Christianity, Judaism, Islam and most of other religions were born in what you call the Third World! Middle East .
Women are not in this photo because they are not an object to be sold on magazine covers nor for those who want to "watch" them. 

7 minutes ago
The 'Third World Religion' you're talking about is the one that made Muslim scholars explore algebra. Without it you wouldn't have been able to type your nonsense!
3 days ago
It cannot be the case that all drink is banned, they must make way for water surely? A brief check online shows that Kuwait City, Riyadh, Islamabad and Dubai all have temperatures in the mid 30's-40c. I cannot see how you could last 17 hours in that weather with no fluids that would be beyond stupid and highly dangerous.

Each to their own, but the whole idea of fasting has never made sense to me. Why would a God want you to put yourself through pain and extreme hunger/thirst to prove your loyalty? A month of hightened charity makes sense, alot of religion is involved in that so getting the average person involved makes sense too, but not this.

2 days ago
I really dont see what is hard I fast, I have fasted in extreme hot weather it isn't bad. to fast is to show how you care for the poor and not so fortunate it is also the time to show your worship strength as the gates of heaven open in this month and the gates of hell close. fasting usual goes on from around 5am to 6pm-7pm and its something I have done from the age of 5. first couple of days it may be hard but your body adapts. 

4 minutes ago
Muslims in the Middle East fast for less hours, plus the working hours usually change- start late and finish late. Also air conditions are everywhere. 
3 days ago
Nice. Another excuse for not working.
Ah, Britain. Their eternal feeling of guilt of their colonial past.
Poorly paid managers, earning 12,000 pounds a year, endless buildings with 10 chimneys on the roof, pimpled "special forces", a royal house costing billions of pounds, gay spies, etc. etc. A country living, at least. half a century back in time.
And now, they want to be independent from Europe. Well. the UK isn't Switzerland. Not even close.
The rest of Europe is silent. That should be an omen for things to come.

3 days ago
Too big to fail
Ha ha! Trick headline Indy. I dont need to know anything about Ramadan because we live in a free country not an Islamic caliphate. I will eat whenever I choose thankyou.

2 days ago
Be proud of your ignorance. It clearly defines who you are.
2 days ago
Have a bacon butty, and chill out
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