Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Best Short Response to a Headline

No Sh** Sherlock.  Karen De Coster commenting on this article entitled Gun Control Hasn’t Helped Chicago, Group Says.  Karen also nails it with the following comment in regards to gun control.

Let’s admit it; it’s not about minimizing deaths and injuries. Gun control is about CONTROL. Period. Everything else shall be controlled, too, if all the useless tyrants have their way.


Posted by John Venlet on 01/13 at 07:39 PM
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Judicial Maleficence

In the state’s continuing quest to chain us in servitude, the Supreme Court, today, in a 6-3 decision, has ruled that police may use random road blocks to track down criminals.  You read that correctly, random roadblocks.  I am not talking about holiday drinking roadblocks, a travesty in and of themselves, I am talking about totally random roadblocks for the purported purpose of tracking down criminals.  Read it here.  Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg voted against.  Maleficence.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/13 at 04:47 PM
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The Taxman Cometh, Not

Good news for individuals who dislike the IRS.

Criminal enforcement of the nation’s tax laws by the IRS has plummeted to an all time low, according to an analysis of very timely Justice Department data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).

Tax prosecutions brought as a result of IRS investigations currently are running at about half of what they were only ten years ago. (See graph.) This sharp decline has continued at the same time that the nation has been swept by a flood of reports about corporate crime studded with such names as Enron, Arthur Anderson, WorldCom, Adelphi Communications and Health South.

Via Duncan Frissell at The Technoptimist.  Duncan pulled the above quote from Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/13 at 03:01 PM
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Some Notions Are Just…

Kathryn Jean Lopez, of NRO, has been posting a number of comments in regards to a New York Times, piece titled Dean’s Wife Shuns Politics  In this posting, Lopez approvingly cites a statement by Dean’s wife which gives a nod to the show The West Wing as a model for the influentialness of First Ladies.  I don’t know about you, but any individual who cites a fictious character in a fictious teevee show as an example of behavior to follow seems to be lacking a bit of judgement.

In a separate post, Lopez cites a reader’s comment as making a good point.  The reader’s comment,

I think you missed commenting on the most disturbing part of that quote. “I just think she should do what she needs to do for her own happiness and satisfaction.” So, in light of these thoughts, how does Howard define marriage?

So, how is Dean’s statement, admirably supporting his wife’s individuality and pursuit of her own happiness and satisfaction, disturbing?  Do Lopez and the reader believe that Dr. Dean should kow tow to her husband’s goals and needs and deny her own?  Do Lopez and the reader think a patriarchal society is the way to go?  I’d wager that the Dean’s marriage is mutually beneficial to the both of them.  Neither sacrificing to other, but jointly sharing in the fruits of their individual successes.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/13 at 02:29 PM
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He Who Hesitates is Lost

The title to this post is something my dad used to say to me, probably most often when confronting a yellow light.  The statement, an evidently unattributable folk wisdom, came to mind when I read this post at Marginal Revolution.  The post, written by Tyler Cowen, looks at new research that seems to suggest that undue caution can actually kill you.  The condition is called neophobia and Cowen located the article at Slate.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/13 at 08:53 AM
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Tell Me Again Why the State Should Have Any Say

Emperor Darth Misha I, at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweilor, eviscerates, rightfully, the state of Indiana’s child protective services, which, in their supposed infinite wisdom, took a four year old from a loving foster home and placed the four year old in a not so foster loving home.  How not so loving?  So not loving that the new guardians starved and beat the four year old to death over a ten month period.  Misha’s evisceration of this madness.  Of course, no disciplinary action is being considered for the case worker, Denise Moore, because, well because the state of Indiana says it is none of our business.  Of course, according to Cheryl Sullivan, secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, the administration is the real victim.

Misha has the links to the articles which review this travesty.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/13 at 08:25 AM
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Existing For Their Own Sake, Evidently

University of Melbourne physicists have discovered a new state of matter, according to this article in Science Daily.  The physicists “believe,” according to the article, the sub-atomic particle could be a meson.  One of the members of the team that is delving into this mystery, a doctoral student named Craig Everton, states this about the meson.

Mesons have little direct bearing on life itself. They exist because they can,...

A statement which is very similar to this statement about lichens, uttered by David Attenborough.

They simply exist, testifying to the fact that life even at its simplest level occurs, apparently, just for its own sake.

Attenborough quote taken from Bill Bryson’s book A Short History of Nearly Everything, pg. 336.

Science Daily link via J. Orlin Grabbe.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/13 at 08:03 AM
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Smoke Wars

First the government sued big tobacco, under the guise of altruism of course, since they promised to use the settlement monies to help smokers quit, run more anti-smoking campaigns and what not.  Though I think the real reason was because the government figured that this would be a nice way to pad their tax receipts from tobacco.

Today I read that the government is now working with big tobacco to sue little tobacco.  Meaning, small, independent cigarette makers, who came in and filled a niche that big tobacco left void, are now being sued by the government and big tobacco because, well, because little tobacco is successful and making some serious money.

Via Skip Oliva at The Rule of Reason.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/13 at 07:35 AM
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Monday, January 12, 2004

Getting to Know Hayek

Virginia Postrel has an article published in the Boston Globe on Friedrich Hayek.  The piece is titled Friedrich the Great.  If you are unaware of Hayek, or have a limited knowledge of Hayek, like myself, the piece will fill in some gaps.  Another man’s ideas I must find time to explore more indepth.

Via Greg Ransom at PrestoPundit.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/12 at 08:04 AM
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Be Free - Assert Your Individual Sovereignty

The online magazine Liberty For All posts a piece titled Republic or Democracy that is worth taking a moment or two to read.  From the article, a portion discussing sovereignty.

Why the emphasis on the “sovereignty” or the people each being sovereign to each other and any political creations of the People. Sovereign means the “supreme or highest authority,” and this places all men/women above the orders of governments and other artificial (man made) creations.

Also, from within the article, a quote from Thomas Jefferson.

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/12 at 07:49 AM
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This Little Piggy Went to Market

Richard Nikoley, posting at Uncommon Sense, pens a piece titled The Market vs. God.  Richard discusses government intervention in the market, the power of the market, efficiency of the market and God and the market.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/12 at 07:32 AM
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Sunday, January 11, 2004

War Buck$

How many wars is the U.S. currently fighting?

War on Drugs.” Ongoing.
War on Smoking. Ongoing.
War on Obesity Ongoing.
War on Poverty  Ongoing.
Emissions War. Ongoing.
War on Illiteracy Ongoing.
War on Terrorism. Ongoing.
War Against Disabled Veterans. Ongoing.
The AIDS War. Ongoing.
The War on Cancer. Ongoing.
Culture War. Ongoing.

I’m sure there are many others.  I’m stopping here.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/11 at 12:12 PM
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If I Build a Cabin, Will I Still be Able to Chink the Logs?

I used to live outside Philly, in Havertown, PA to be exact, but I don’t recall the restaurant “Chink’s Steaks.”  If Susannah Park has her way, in five years or so no one will recall that there was once a Chink’s Steaks.  You see, Ms. Park is offended that there is a restaurant named Chink’s Steaks.  Nevermind that the restaurant has been in Philly since 1949 and was founded by Samuel “Chink” Sherman, who has since passed away.  And probably a good thing too since Ms. Park would, in all likelihood, pitch a fit because Samuel’s nickname is Chink.

I could go for a good Philly cheesesteak right about now, and if I was in Philly, I’d head to Chink’s.

Via The Obscure Store.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/11 at 11:53 AM
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It’s All About the Power and Prestige, Not Faith

The questiton,

Why, one might ask, should Italy hope for an Italian pope, given the almost universal praise for the pontificate of Karol Wojtyla?,

asked by Roberto Pazzi in a New York Times op-ed entitled Why the Next Pope Needs to Be Italian.

The short answer, according to Pazzi.

The origins of this question go back in time and deserve examination. I was watching on that unforgettable Roman evening of Oct. 16, 1978, when, on the state television network, RAI, which was still broadcasting in black and white, the newly elected pope appeared: a foreigner, Polish. I confess that, once I’d got over my surprise, like many of my fellow Italians I felt a certain bitterness, because my country had lost its last universal sign of power.

Read that last sentence again.  It is bemoaning a loss of “power,” even if it is simply a “universal sign of power.”  Pazzi isn’t hoping for an Italian pope to benefit the salvation of his fellow Catholics, he is hoping for an Italian pope to wield power.

Think about that.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/11 at 11:34 AM
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Saturday, January 10, 2004

“The False Idol of Equality”

Curt, over at Selling Waves, has posted a sound analysis of equality speak.  The final sentence.

Clearly, then, the concept of equality is only tangentially related to the prosperity or well-being, let alone the freedom, of those who fall under its scope. It concerns itself only with the sameness or equivalence between people, and only a jealous soul could hope for that.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/10 at 10:53 AM
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