Thursday, December 18, 2003

Make Believe

There is an article in tonight’s Grand Rapids Press entitled “Solid proof of crimes by Saddam hard to find.”  Unfortunately, no link is available.  The article is written by one Farah Stockman, who evidently works for The Boston Globe, as that is the byline, and I cannot find a link for the story there either.

Let me provide you with a few quotes.

A sub-headline,

“The former Iraqi president’s “deity like status” probably protected him from records of his regime’s abuses.”

From the article,

Despite the fact thta Saddam’s regime meticuously documented its own abuses, Saddam was more prone to issue broad pronouncements than specific orders,...”

“But the lack of documents specifically linking Saddam to the crimes will make it more difficult for prosecutors to hold him personally responsible for the regime’s atrocities,...”

Screw Saddam Hussein and the fucking horse he rode in on.  Take him out in the woods and shoot like the dog he is.  Bastard.

As for people who spew crap like that quoted above, it’s time for you to grow up.  This isn’t make believe.

Not the article I want, but it’ll have to do for now.  It’s got experts.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/18 at 08:16 PM
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A Perverse Winter Pleasure

Yesterday I had to fire up the old shovel.  First time this season.  Although we had received accumulating snowfall prior to this, mother nature had done my work for me.  But yesterday, with temperatures cold enough for the snow to stick around, I did some shoveling.  Twice as a matter of fact.  And I enjoyed every minute of it.

I can’t say I’ve always had this attitude.  At the age of six, when my Dad first placed a shovel in my hands and said “I want to be able to see the curbs,” I didn’t think much of shoveling snow.  Especially after, I thought, I had completed shoveling the driveway and gotten my keister back in the house.  Invariably, my Dad would poke his head round the basement stairs and say, “I can’t see the curb.”  So back outside I’d go and toil some more.  This went on until my folks changed the locks on the doors as a way of letting me know that my shenanigans weren’t going to be tolerated any longer in their home.

After, I like to say, moved out, on my own, I didn’t bother much with shoveling.  I’d just run whatever winter beater vehicle I was driving through any snow that had accumulated.  If the snow was especially deep, I’d have to make a couple of passes in order to pack it down to a navigable surface.  By the end of winter, the drive would be packed like a glacier, and you wouldn’t see the curbs til late Spring.

Later, after joining the Navy, I didn’t have to do much shoveling for five years.  Being stationed in Hawaii had some distinct advantages, even beyond not having to shovel snow.  But after I got out and returned to Michigan, shoveling needed to be done once again.  The funny thing was, I ended up shoveling like my Dad always wanted me to when I was a kid.  I always wanted to see the curb.

Now, twenty plus years after getting out of the service, shoveling every winter, I take a perverse pleasure in wielding my shovel.  The scrape of the blade on cement, the piles of snow growing each time I shovel and the cold air making my nose run.  It’s quite satisfying.

People always ask me why I don’t get a snowblower.  I guess it’s because I can’t stand the sound of them, or, because I just enjoy shoveling.  It’s kind of mindless work, but with verifiable results.  Besides, a snowblower just doesn’t clean the snow from the curb real well, and the exhaust doesn’t go well with a cigar.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/18 at 07:34 PM
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A Home for Plagiarists

Does the New York Times run ads for journalists that state one of the requirements for being hired is an ability to falsely claim others work as your own, or, lacking that ability, to conjure quotes?  Nicholas Provenzo, at The Rule of Reason, looks at Michele Malkin’s story on this entitled Another Jayson Blair.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/18 at 12:05 PM
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This is Logic?

Joan Jacobs Brumberg, writing for the New York Times, opines,

“But new research in the behavioral sciences suggests that we should start to think about violent youths in a different, more logical way. Studies by the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice are finding that the cognitive, emotional and social development of adolescents is incomplete, and that boys well into their late teens have difficulty curbing their impulses, thinking through long-term consequences and — most relevant to Lee Malvo — resisting the influence of others. These problems persist in adolescent behavior, past or present.

While it’s hard to establish exactly when maturity occurs, conflating childhood and adulthood is a relic of Charley Miller’s time. As a country, we need to exempt youthful offenders from capital punishment, just as the Supreme Court excluded the mentally retarded in a recent case. Kentucky’s governor understood this and set matters right. Let’s hope the jury now deciding Lee Malvo’s fate does the same.”

When I read this type of drivel, it calls to mind the many biographies I devoured about the early presidents, statesmen and other personages of the U.S. when I was a lad.  Daniel Boone, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Kit Carson, George Washington etc.  The books, written for young people ages 10 - 15 or so, would provide details of these eminent peoples’ lives; such as they were providing food for the family larder, via hunting, at the age of 12.  Or, that at the age of 14 or 15, said biographical individual, was in charge of the family books or some such task of importance.  My question is, have people de-evolved so drastically since these times that maturity never is reached and taking responsibility for your actions is nothing more than a rumination for philosophers?

Posted by John Venlet on 12/18 at 07:37 AM
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