Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Disinformation?

U.S. Plans Major Offensive Against Al Qaeda.

When, why and possibilities.

Via Google News.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/28 at 08:20 PM
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What’s Needed is an Intellectual Revolution

Nicholas Provenzo, at The Rule of Reason, links to and comments on Andrew Sullivan’s recent Time piece which looks at the nanny state we live in.  A commentor on Nicholas’ post, provided a link to an article written by C. Bradley Thompson titled The Revolution that Never Was,  as it somewhat mirrors Nicholas’ comments.  Thompson’s piece, written in December 1996, casts its eye on the failed “Contract with America” spearheaded by the now out of favor Newt Gingrich.  Thompson’s piece also reminds us that the way things are now, are simply a continuation of the “New Deal,” which H.L. Mencken, adroitly, described this way.

The money began to pour out on November 16, 1933…

It hasn’t stopped since.  Has it?

Nicholas’ post also quotes Rand and some of her comments on altruism.  I posted some comments on this back in September 2002 here.

H.L. Mencken quote taken from A Mencken Chrestomathy, The New Deal, pg. 466.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/28 at 03:06 PM
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Definition of an Independent

Just prior to stepping outside this morning, to wield my shovel, I caught a comment emanating from the Today Show, which Melis was watching to catch school closings that were scrawling across the bottom of the screen.  The comment, was something to the effect that independent voters made a marked difference in the New Hampshire primary.

Here’s my definition of an independent voter.  An unprincipled individual, who will pledge their vote to whomever will provide them with what they want.  An independent’s vote can be purchased by whomever offers the independent what the independent needs, at that time.  If the independent’s need changes, and the vote needer’s offers do not suit the independent’s need change, the independent will sell the vote to the next highest bidder.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/28 at 12:45 PM
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A Comment After Listening to NPR

Robert Clayton Dean, from Samizdata, points to a short post at Thought Mesh titled Taking vs. making.  What follows, are two sentences from the poster’s comment, after listening to a law professor bloviate, on NPR.

But politics is primarily about taking charge of other people’s lives. It is precisely those in charge of themselves that have no need of politics.

Bold lettering here, replaces italics in the post at Thought Mesh.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/28 at 10:17 AM
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A Letter to Paul Krugman

Tibor Machan has written a letter to Paul Krugman.  The first paragraph.

Taxes are a relic of the feudal monarch’s and lords’ proprietary powers over the people and the realm—the “rent” these charged others for the use of their belongings. Once individual sovereignty, citizenship, replaced the bogus sovereignty of the monarch, taxes became just as anomalous as did serfdom. Some way needs to be found to pay for things that does not involve this immoral, unjust confiscation—e.g., contract fees.

Will Krugman write back?

Via the Mises Economics Blog.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/28 at 10:06 AM
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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

What I’d Say

The Globe and Mail offers this as a headline White House emissaries head abroad to recast war.  Accompanying this, is a secondary headline which reads Toppling Hussein replaces weapons cache as main justification for U.S.-led attack.  The first paragraph then offers this,

Seeking to recast its reasons for toppling Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, the Bush administration is sending high-ranking officials abroad to justify the war as good for humanity,...

Instead of uselessly spending additional dollars on emissaries and banquets, take out an ad in the major international dailies and say this.

Saddam Hussein was, and is, a two-bit scumbag dictator who willingly slaughtered thousands of his own people, mostly by proxy, but likely also by his own hand, in his ruthless covetousness for absolute power.

For twelve years, or more, each and every UN member nation twiddled their thumbs and mentally masturbated, like a teenage girl deciding on which dress to wear to the prom, while in Iraq innocent individuals just kept on dying.

It went on long enough, and, since someone has to lead, the US went into Iraq and knocked the shit out of the Baathist fawners and pulled Saddam’s hairy, ugly ass out of a hole in the ground.  God willing, his hairy, ugly ass will soon be back in a hole.

There aren’t any WMD’s, there aren’t any biological weapons and there is no longer a power hungry, ruthless dictator pushing the Iraqi’s around.

If you truly have a problem with that, check your moral premises rather than allowing them to gather any more dust than they currently have.

Screw all of you.  Especially you leaders of countries who are not cast far from the tree from which Saddam fell as fruit.

Such an ad would not cost much and it would be the truth.

Article link via Google News.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 03:28 PM
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I Can’t Stand This

I’m fairly certain most individuals are aware of another looming hot coffee lawsuit.  This time the lawsuit lottery contributor is, hoped, to be Starbucks.  The attorney, representing the wheel of fortune spinner, states,

I thought, ‘Oh, great. Another McDonald’s coffee case,’” Marlen said. “Once I sat down and talked with her, I realized this was different.

Right, Mr. Marlen.  I’m wondering if you actually meant “Oh, great.  Another McDonald’s coffee case,” this means I’ll score 30%, or more, of a nice, fat settlement.

Marlen again.

“This was not an accidental spill,” Marlen said.

They never are, are they?

Here’s why the case is “different,” according to Marlen.

“There was something wrong with the cup,” Marlen said. “Somebody should have caught that.”

Maybe you can coerce Starbucks into serving coffee only in children’s sippy cups.  They are made of high quality plastic, it appears, and, my experience with them, has shown that only minimal amounts of liquid are released no matter how much abuse a child gives them.  I would even give toddlers McDonald’s or Starbuck’s coffee in them, if they liked coffee and it wouldn’t have them bouncing off the walls.  Though I wouldn’t have to worry about the young’uns getting a coffee burn.

I’m wondering if the plaintiff, Molly Alter, is simply a klutz and has a problem chewing gum and walking at the same time also.

The coffee spilled after Alter walked 20 to 30 feet from the store.

Judas priest.  This is absolutely asinine.

Via The Obscure Store.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 10:37 AM
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There Outta Be A Law, Hey?

Headlines such as this, Pair of Winter Storms Leaves 38 Dead, always leave me cold.  As if a winter storm actually kills people.  Bad storm, you capricious killer you.  Reading the article, alerts you to the fact that, it is not the storm that is killing people, but traffic accidents.

The weather was blamed for at least 38 deaths, most of them traffic related, on Sunday and Monday.

Though the article still attempts to blame the weather.  Use a little caution, and a winter storm is simply, a winter storm.  Snow, maybe some wind, slippery roads, idiotic drivers.  It isn’t the weather that’s killing people, unless they are dying of exposure in a snow bank.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 10:14 AM
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A Label, Dennis Rodman and Thomas Jefferson, and Confusion Over Ostracism and Coercion

Karen De Coster has an interesting post up titled Left-Libertarianism and Private Property.  The catalyst for Karen’s post was an article written by Kevin Michael Grace titled Burke vs. Reason, and the comments associated with that post, in particular, Will Wilkinson’s comments.

Labels mean nothing, really.  No matter what your label, if you desire to coercively control others’ behaviors, through the power of the state, you may as well join up with the two major socialist style parties currently wielding the whips here in the USA.  They don’t have any principles either.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 08:58 AM
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When is An American Not An American?

Does living in America for 80 years or so, being married to a U.S. serviceman and voting in numerous elections qualify you as an American?  Not necessarily.

She paid taxes, married a U.S. serviceman and watched him go off to fight in World War II. Her front lawn in Hazlet sports tiny American flags, and a larger flag is draped across the front of her house. Each night, she takes out her rosary beads and prays for the troops overseas.

“I’m an American through and through,” she said.

Or so she thought.

Last September, eight decades after she arrived in this country as a newborn in the arms of her Irish immigrant mother, Finnerty was stunned to learn she may not be a U.S. citizen after all.

The news came when officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development rejected her application to move into a federally subsidized senior citizen apartment complex in Monmouth County.

Via Duncan Frissell.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 08:33 AM
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LSD Blotter Art

Interesting gallery.  I’ve seen more than a few of these, but I doubt you could find many to collect as an art piece due to their, how shall I put it, tendency to be ingested.

Via J. Orlin Grabbe.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 08:04 AM
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Compassionate Eugenics

A Scotsman News headline.  Government adviser: killing children with defects acceptable.

The advisor, John Harris.  His statement.

John Harris, a member of the Human Genetics Commission, told a meeting at Westminster he did not see any distinction between aborting a fully grown unborn baby at 40 weeks and killing a child after it had been born.

This is how it starts.

Via The Agitator.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 07:57 AM
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What Favor is He Looking For?

I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.

—Walden O’Dell, CEO of Diebold Inc., manufacturer of e-voting machines.

Via Wendy McElroy in a post, with links, regarding e-voting.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 07:48 AM
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Coca-Cola Caves

I’ve owned Coke stock for a long time.  It’s been a decent performer.  After reading this, I may sell.  This, is an article which informs me that Coke, in an effort to appear culturally sensitive, think obese kids and “commercial-free” areas around classrooms, whatever that means, will not emblazon their vending machines, which are located in scools throughout Britain, with the familiar, throughout the world, Coke colors and script.  It calls to mind generic branding.  Plain white packages, with a bar code, and a description, which, in the case of Coke, probably would say “Beverage, caramel colored.”  Ridiculous.

Here’s what Gustav, over at Samizdata, has to say in his comments.

If Coca-Cola were truly capable of using the illuminated front of a drinks-dispenser to brainwash children into switching from Pepsi, vodka and crack cocaine, then there could be a case for the school’s prohibition of the display.

Among other things.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 07:26 AM
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The Number of the Beast

We must move to smarter license cards that carry secure digital information that can be universally read at vital checkpoints,” Dean said in March 2002, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. “Issuing such a card would have little effect on the privacy of Americans.

Those words are from Howard Dean, spoken while at a conference in Pittsburgh, co-sponsored by Wave Systems, a maker of so called Smart Cards, in March 2002.

What does Dean have to say about this currently, when individuals query him in regards to statements such as above?

Unfortunately, Dean’s presidential campaign won’t answer any of those questions. I’ve tried six times since Jan. 16 to get a response, and all the press office will say is they’ve “forwarded it on to our policy folks.” And the policy shop isn’t talking.

Via Nolo Consentire.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 07:13 AM
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