Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Happy New Year Post

The new year is almost upon us here in the states.  One day is just like another though.  A couple of new year related posts.  First, something that I never even consider as a New Year celebratory event.  Dropping refrigerators from high rise buildings.  Those wacky South Africans.  I wonder if Kim du Toit ever participated.

Second, a few words of wisdom for the amateur drinker via Daniel Medley of LoboWalk.

Enjoy.

Refrigerator story via Drudge.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/31 at 06:56 PM
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Can You Say Indoctrinated? Sure, I Knew You Could

Purulence.  I can think of no more fitting description to describe what Jonathon Wilde brings to our attention in a succinct post entitled Just say no.  Clicking the link which Jonathon created with the words Reason #1324 why my kids will never attend public schools, will take you to a World Net Daily article, penned by Neil Boortz.  Boortz entitled his article Child abuse in government schools, and what Boortz describes to us in the article qualifies as such, but, is even more disturbing than the abuse of children.

A so called professor, by the name of David Shiman, who developed this atrocity, is nothing more than a mindless, marching minion of socialism.  If you have children, you should revile this man, the college that supports him and the organization that distributes his evil.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/31 at 03:39 PM
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Purblind

The article, written by Richard Mouw, is entitled A Persecution Complex and it immediately veers offcourse.  The first sentence negates the title.

We Christians—particularly those of us who adhere to traditional beliefs and values—are under sustained attack in America these days.

So, is this a complex or a reality?  As you delve deeper into the article, you find mention of “anti-Christian bias,” which, I admit, does exist, but is typically a self-inflicted malady, as the writer acknowledges.  What Mouw fails to offer though is a solution, other than stating that Christians should always expect to be persecuted, quoting Matthew 5:11 as a balm.

The thing that bothers me about all this acrimony between secularism and religion is the fact that the acrimony only exists because one side or the other is always attempting to shove their “one true belief” down the throat of the other.  Both sides will claim to only “do unto others as they do to them,” yet both sides continue to ramrod their dogma as the biggest dog on the porch.  And if you don’t open wide, you’re going to choke on either their blather or the ramrod.

I’m tired of it.  I have faith, but it’s only mine.  You can’t have it, you have to get your own, but only if you want it.  I’m tired of the Christians claiming it’s my way or the highway to hell.  I’m tired of the secularists claiming it’s their way or you’re a Bible thumping simpleton.  The Christians and the secularists need to both grow up and realize that being an adult means being a sovereign individual and taking care of your own damn business and nobody elses.

Via Mike Potemra at The Corner.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/31 at 10:31 AM
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The Night Sky

I’m no astronomer, but I do enjoy pointing my little telescope heavenward from time to time.  Mars provided a good show earlier this year and now Saturn.  If you own a small telescope, or know someone who does, get out there and take a look at Saturn.  I did this last night and, as the linked article states, Saturn’s rings are so tilted towards us at this time the view is spectacular.  I even threw my telescope in my burb and drove around to allow some friends to take a look also.  It’s well worth it.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/31 at 08:45 AM
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Tuesday, December 30, 2003

United We Stand - But Only as Individual Americans

I recently jabbed my elbow in the ribs of someone whose writings I enjoy.  I had taken small offense to a posting that disparged the intelligence of flag waving individuals, so I gave a friendly jab via an email exchange.  The reason for my jab was that I fly an American flag, on my house, and on my three SUV’s.  Though the flags on my SUV’s are actually decals.

I started thinking about this little jab again because I finally washed my burb today.  It’d been more than a month and I was having a difficult time determining that the burb was actually white.  The bath allowed the large “United We Stand” flag decal, on the rear window of the burb, to stand out again.

As I stood in my driveway, looking at that decal, I thought of myself.  I thought about my individual sovereignty and how closely it is entwined with that statement “United We Stand.”  Here’s what I thought.

You are a sovereign individual, as am I.  Whether you realize it or not.  As such, each of us, individually, only have rights to ourselves.  This does not mean that we do not see injustice around us.  Nor does our individual sovereignty leave us helpless to act.  For our own safety, or the safety of others.  Not because we must assist others, but because we can.  And, more importantly, as sovereign individuals, we must necessarily embrace justice and detest injustice.

Think about this.  I have nothing to fear from a just man, nor should any individual, unless as an individual they have been unjust.

How does this relate to that decal on the back of my burb?  I look at it this way.  Since we are, each individual among us, sovereign, and, Americans, we are united.  We are united in the principles with which we lead our lives, or we should be.  United, not by means of force or coercion, but united in the belief that each of us, individually, are free men.  Free to act as we wish, free to not be part of the collective mentality that destroys our individual freedom, free to not be united if that is your desire.

I owe no man my loyalty, but with a just, sovereign man I can stand united.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/30 at 06:38 PM
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Eating Cow

On December 24th, in a post I titled Mad Cow Reverberates Already, I posted a link to Daniel Medley in which he relayed a conversation with a cattleman who, at the time, believed he was in the hole to the tune of 80K because of said mad cow.  Well moo.  Daniel kindly has followed up on this, with additional investigative links, which seems to suggest that beef is still for dinner.  No wonder those tenderloins, medium rare, tasted so good last night.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/30 at 04:40 PM
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Socialists Co-opt God

As an individual of faith, it continually amazes me what political ideologies, right, left, socialist, what have you, look to in order to enforce their view points on others.  There is not one organized political machine, or religion, that even considers the fact that we are all sovereign individuals.  In fact, organized political parties and religions are, for the most part, terrified of individuals who can think for themselves and who willingly accept personal responsibility for their actions.  In the U.S., Republicans, today, seem to claim that God is on their side. Democrats also desire the fear of God in their camp, and have, in past, claimed God’s seal of approval for their machinations.  Though we must not forget that today, Dean is claiming God is in his camp, so maybe God is switching sides.

Not wanting to feel left out of the God camp, the socialists, in a reversal of Marxist ideology, are now hoping to tap into the power of God to club back to life their failed attempts to control individuals.  I guess the more clubs you have in your tool bag, the easier it is to enforce your rules.
I mention this because In These Times has published a review of a book by Slavoj Zizek titled The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity.  The review, written by Eugene McCarraher, delves into some of Zizek’s postulations, and, as the following lilttle snippet shows, makes for interesting reading.

...seeking to unite the existential and political import of Christian faith—extracted from its “religious” trappings—with a revitalized revolutionary Marxism.

I wonder if they sprinkled holy water on the book?

Anyway, the review is titled A Merry Marxy Christmas.

What does God think of all this?  Well I’m not certain, but I’d put my money on the guess that He is laughing his ass off at these petty thinkers, mind controllers and pretenders to power. Or, that He’s pissed and waiting for individuals to kick these charlatans to the curb with the rest of the rubbish that has accumulated as “wisdom” since so called thinkers decided to use force to control inidividuals.

Via Arts & Letters Daily.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/30 at 09:38 AM
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To Protect and To Serve or for Social Control?

Very interesting article on the rise of state organized police forces published in the Monthly Review.  Written by Kristian Williams, the piece, entitled The Demand for Order and the Birth of Modern Policing, looks at the rise of police forces, and, examines their role in actual control of crime versus controlling society morally.  A telling sentence from the article.

In other words, the greatest portion of the actual business of law enforcement did not concern the protection of life and property, but the controlling of poor people, their habits and their manners.

Via Mises Economics Blog.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/30 at 09:04 AM
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Monday, December 29, 2003

Seriously Now

Read this article.  In it, one can learn that the FBI has cautioned the police, when stopping motorists I presume, or pedestrians who appear befuddled as to their whereabouts, to be aware if they are carrying almanacs or maps.  Evidently, today, this is a sign of potential terrorists.  I guess I better remove all the Gazetteers, Idaho, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio et al, from my vehicles and my trusty Old Farmer’s Almanac too.  Wouldn’t want the cops to get the wrong idea about me.  I guess I needn’t worry too much about my weapons.

Via Drudge.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/29 at 03:14 PM
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Big Rock Candy Mountain - Man Made

Many individuals have a sweet tooth.  Myself, I like peppermints and seemingly always have.  I’m not sure if that’s because peppermints were the candy bribe of choice when I was a child, as I squirmed through Sunday sermons, or, because a good peppermint is a tasty treat after a cigar.  With that in mind, I point you to a Chicago Tribune story on, what used to be, the candy cane manufacturing capitol of the world.  You see, it is not the candy cane manufacturing capitol any longer because the artificial price supports for sugar in the U.S. have driven candy cane and candy makers out of the country for less expensive sugar.

The story is linked via Daniel Drezner whose title to his post on the subject bears the title Protectionism never tasted so sour.

The Chicago Tribune requires the onerous task of registration and password creation to access the story.  Or, you can use, my all purpose user name of nytimesoops and password of nytimes which I am using for almost all online sources which require registration.  It’s easy and does not require memorizing different user names and passwords for access to those who require registration.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/29 at 09:59 AM
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Social We Abuse

Via Arts & Letters Daily an essay penned by Roger Kerr titled The ‘We’ Word: And the Tyranny of the Majority.  From Kerr’s piece.

In modern speech, Hayek writes, the adjective ‘social’ is applied indiscriminately to a huge number of nouns in a way that undermines their original meanings and recruits them into a collectivist cause. Take the idea of justice. Let’s say that this means the fair and impartial application of legal, moral and perhaps customary rules. But precede it with the word ‘social’ and everything changes. Social justice may require redistributing property and treating people unequally. In this way the word ‘social’ empties the nouns it is applied to of their meaning.

The only “we” should be; we are each and every one of us sovereign individuals.  If, individually, each of us would respect the fact, of our individual sovereignty, and every other individual’s sovereignty, the word “we” would not be misapplied.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/29 at 08:57 AM
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A Borrowed Quote of the Day

There is ultimately no difference between what’s most moral and what’s most pragmatic in the long run. Those who sacrifice moral principles in search of short-term gain will only gain Pyrric victories and find that their goals will continually elude them.

Scott Bieser

Via Russell Whitaker at Survival Arts.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/29 at 08:52 AM
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Religion, Manners, Law

Kim du Toit reprints a piece he wrote in July 2002.  The piece is entitled Bring Back Morality and Manners and is worth a look.  A paragraph from Kim’s post.

Religion and manners, properly observed, have served our society well over the centuries, and it’s wrong to toss out everything on the basis that when employed to their extreme, they cause harm.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/29 at 08:36 AM
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Sunday, December 28, 2003

Drink, Drank, Drunk

In The Sunday Herald, online, there is an article entitled ‘The stereotypes of the male and female drunkard are the same as they’ve ever been. In a man alcohol is the harbinger of violence; in a woman, casual sex’, written by Vicky Allan.  The title, pretty much gives you an idea of what will be discussed within the piece.  The piece ends this way,

To drink is freedom, abandon, losing our dignity, our ever restraining self-consciousness. It’s also to succumb to a social pressure that defines and limits our interaction with other people. As Dorothy Parker once said, “All excess is ill, but drunkenness is of the worst sort. It spoils health, dismounts the mind and unmans men. It reveals secrets, is quarrelsome, lascivious, impudent, dangerous and bad.”

And therein lies its appeal. It’s all the things ladies aren’t supposed to be.

I enjoy a drink or three myself but find those who can’t handle their liquor, male or female, for the most part, boorish.

Via J. Orlin Grabbe.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/28 at 01:20 PM
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Similarities at 70

David W. Livingston, a professor of philosophy at Emory University, looks at political events in the USSR and the US at the age of 70.  The piece is titled The Litmus Test for American Conservatism.  The concluding paragraph from the short piece.

The Democratic and Republican parties are Lincolnian parties.  Neither honestly questions the limits of federal authority to do this or that.  In 1861, the central government broke free from what Jefferson called “the chains of the Constitution,” and we have, consequently, inherited a fractured historical memory.  There are now two Americanisms: pre-Lincolnian and post-Lincolnian.  The latter is Jacobinism by other means.  Only the former can lay claim to being the primordial American conservatism.

Via George F. Smith at Strike the Root blog.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/28 at 10:53 AM
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