Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Definitely Misplaced Outrage

The post immediately below is titled Somewhat Misplaced Outrage.  The outrage expressed in this article is definitely misplaced.

The article informs us that Cardinal Renato Martino is upset at the video footage of Saddam in the hands of the military.  A couple of Martino’s comments.

I felt pity to see this man destroyed, (the military) looking at his teeth as if he were a cow. They could have spared us these pictures,”...

“Seeing him like this, a man in his tragedy, despite all the heavy blame he bears, I had a sense of compassion for him,...

I think these type of comments from political leaders and church leaders are nothing more than expressions of fear.  Fear of the possibility of their time in front of the cameras for being supporters, and wielders, of tyranny themselves.

Via Drudge.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/16 at 01:42 PM
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Somewhat Misplaced Outrage

In today’s Grand Rapids Press there is an article about gift cards.  One of the dead tree copies I saw, while getting my haircut, displayed a headline along the lines of “Couple angry they cannot buy gift cards with cash,” or something to that effect, which deserves some commentary itself.  Can you imagine not accepting cash payments for goods or services?  Anyway, the online article is entitled Watch out for the fine print in gift cards” and the story informs us that many gift cards you may purchase must be used prior to a certain date or fees are assessed decreasing their value.  Bearer bonds they are not.

The article is interesting in the fact that it names retailers that do start dipping into the cash value of a card after a certain period of time and others, one actually, that does not.  Wouldn’t it be nice if individuals could apply their same outrage of gift card loss of value, through fee assessment, to paycheck loss of value, through excessive taxation.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/16 at 01:21 PM
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I Wonder if I Can Fit My Fly Rod In The Trunk?

Wooden Ferrari.

Via Fred Lapides’ GoodShit.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/16 at 09:32 AM
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Deconstructing MENSA

Entertaining essay on MENSA, written by Sathnam Sanghera, entitled Is Mensa dumbing down?

Via Arts & Letters Daily.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/16 at 09:09 AM
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Control the Internet

Wendy McElroy has a post up entitled Snooping at WSIS which will tell you ”...all you should need to know about proposals for the UN to control the Internet:...”  It’s thorough.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/16 at 08:51 AM
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Questions Answered

Alan K. Henderson, posting over at Sasha Castel’s blog, asks the question Have you forgotten?, after listening to a Rush Limbaugh broadcast where sleep deprivation was discussed as a means of torture against Saddam.  He follows up that question, which is the title to his post, with another question, “Where was this reporter when…?”

The answer is supplied by Billy Beck, No Enemies on the Left.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/16 at 08:35 AM
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“Robin Hood, Incorporated”

Greg Swann’s son, Cameron, who is twelve, had another school project to do.  Check out the assignment description:

“Assignment: You are designing a building or complex that would benefit your community in some way. You will present your building or complex to the class as if they are the City Council. You are attempting to get the “City Council” to approve your proposal.”

Go read Greg’s post on this and ask yourself, once again, why are you supporting state run, public education.

Oh, and congratulations to Cameron for scoring 100% on the project.  Carmeron is fortunate to have a father like Greg.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/16 at 08:18 AM
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Charitable Mansion

As a boy, growing up in the church, I was constantly reminded about the need of others less fortunate than I.  I was reminded to give, because my rewards were not on earth but heavenly.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  As I grew older, and less dependent on others thinking for me, I looked around the world at organized religions and charities and became aware of the vast riches these organizations were accumulating here on earth.  Even at the age of twelve, living in Wisconsin, this seemed, to me, incongruous with what I had been taught.  But at the age of twelve, I was more interested in riding dirt bikes or sledding the fire trails of northern Wisconsin to allow this conundrum to really bother me.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with accumulating wealth.  I love having a pocket full of cash I’ve earned.  Buying what I want, when I want, or stashing it away to spend in times when I don’t feel like working.  But today, I find the incongruency of churches’ and charities’ accumulating wealth, mansions and other bric-a-brac even more troubling than when I was twelve.

Why do I bring this up?  Because of this article about the Salvation Army in the LA Times.  This is a prime example of a charity gone south.  Churches and charities do provide many benefits to the poor and downtrodden.  It’s just unfortunate that as they gather in the alms, beseeching us to give til it hurts, they line their pockets first.  It’s a classic case of do as I say not as I do.

Linked via The Obscure Store.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/16 at 07:47 AM
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Smart Mom

In our local paper the headline read, “Should have kept son in jail, Mom says.”  An online version of this story, from the Monterey Herald reads Convicted Killer’s Mom Glad Son Is Jailed.  The gist of the story revolves around one David Maust, who was convicted of murder, twice, once in 1974 and again in 1981, and who now is accused of killing again since his release in 1999.  His mother, Eva Reyes, is fairly certain Maust has killed others since 1999, but that is just a mother’s intuition speaking.

Reyes says the justice system bears some responsibility for Maust’s current accusations, since they let him loose upon the population, and I agree, though the primary responsibility is her son’s.  But it is the following comments, from Eva Reyes, a simple person’s critique of the justice system, that bear consideration.

“When he was in prison (in Illinois) they said he would never get out,” Reyes said. “He conned a judge ... They should charge the judge for the murders, too.”

Posted by John Venlet on 12/16 at 07:04 AM
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