— Jackson Williams.
Portland rules. — J.W.
Somewhere in Portland, there’s a very old building, and that very old building has a very, very old basement. An incredible basement, a video-game-level basement, a set-decorator’s dream basement.
And when you walk past the janitors office, with the wonderfully decked halls…
And tromp down a sunken hallway…
You find a old room. Mostly empty, dusty, and dead quiet.
And then you start to look closer at the walls.
And you start to see things.
(You see that Brown didn’t often pay his dime for coffee.)
(You see that a lot of calculation was done right on the wall.)
(You see that World War I was front and center on everyone’s mind.)
(You wonder what was being tallied, and if it was better to win or lose.)
(And you learn the tongue-in-check “rules” of the room.)
And eventually, you crawl behind a corner, and discover a bundle of conduit.
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Interesting stuff. — J.W.
To the layman, it may seem like as easy question to answer; December 25th, year zero! But like many subjects in Christianity, tradition has taken supremacy over actual history. Since I am never satisfied with tradition, I found it necessary to scour my resources to see if I myself could figure out just when exactly Jesus was born. It didn’t seem too hard initially since there are so many reference points; i.e. the Christmas Star, King Herod the Great, a Roman census, Roman Emperor Augustus, Herod Archelaus, Quirinus, etc. With so many historical events and figures already in place, all one has to do is match up the Biblical text and see if everything fits. And everything did fit… for the most part.
December 25th? Not Really…
First, the December 25th date should be reconsidered. It was Hyppolytus in the 3rd century…
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Thank you. — J.W.
Okay, everyone “knows” that the Mayans have predicted the end of the world. According to Wikipedia, the premiere source of all 100% factual and reliable information on the internet:
“According to the Popol Vuh, a book compiling details of creation accounts known to the K’iche’ Maya of the Colonial-era highlands, we are living in the fourth world. The Popol Vuh describes the first three creations that the gods failed in making and the creation of the successful fourth world where men were placed. In the Maya Long Count, the previous creation ended at the start of a 14th b’ak’tun.
The previous creation ended on a long count of 126.96.36.199.19. Another 188.8.131.52.19 will occur on December 20, 2012, followed by the start of the 14th b’ak’tun, 184.108.40.206.0, on December 21, 2012.[n 7] There is only one reference to the current creation’s 13th b’ak’tun in the fragmentary Mayan corpus: Tortuguero Monument…
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The intrepid explorers of the internet wilds may be noticing some of their friends posting this little ditty today:
The fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot.
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
This is a rather strange poem for Americans recite—it’s much more British in character. It references Guy Fawkes Night in the UK. For Yanks, however, it has become the rallying cry for supposed anarcho-libertarians, especially amongst the youth.
In the last decade, Guy Fawkes masks and other paraphernalia have become the symbols of populist revolt thanks to V for Vendetta. The brainchild of hairy leftist and comic-book legend Alan Moore, the printed series narrated a revolutionary warring against a dystopian fascist regime in Britain. The protagonist, named V, battles against authority with his knives, explosives, ideas, and penchant for alliteration. And he’s not just going to…
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In honor of America’s 236th birthday tomorrow, I’ve decided to take a break from original work tonight and bring you two documents that every American should know by heart. The first is the Declaration of Independence, which was basically a big “go fuck yourself!” to King George, and the second is the impassioned speech by Patrick Henry, a patriot, not long after the Boston Tea Party that we learned so much about as children. The past year we have seen numerous arguments about what it means to be an American (don’t you just hate election years?) and the silly idea that one person is somehow more American than another (those who do that should be, politely, punched in the teeth) simply based off of whether they vote Democrat or Republican.
I believe that as a people we’re better than that, and we get so caught up in ourselves that we forget just how much was sacrificed to be able to reach the big 2-3-6. Just IMAGINE it: a small collection of colonies decided on freedom and had to fight the greatest superpower the world had ever seen, Britain, and from there those colonies became a nation, and over the course of the last 236 years has grown to become a superpower itself. A few years ago, my genealogy-obsessed relatives discovered that we were related to John Adams (the 2nd President of the United States, amongst other achievements) and, obviously, the rest of the famous Adams clan.
I love this damn country, and tomorrow you will find me drunk, dressed in red, white and blue, carrying way too many fireworks and repeating the words “so this is what a bald eagle feels like when he hears country music. ‘MERICA!” I’m just kidding about that last part…maybe.
On this front page is the “Give Me Liberty…” and on page 2 is The Declaration of Independence. Enjoy.
Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!
No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.
This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?
For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth — to know the worst and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House?
Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation — the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motives for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies?
No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing.
We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.
Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.
Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.
If we wish to be free — if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending — if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!
They tell us, sir, that we are weak — unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace! Peace!” — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
— Patrick Henry, March 23rd, 1775