Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Want Your Liberty Back?

Claire Wolfe links to a short piece written by Hugh Emerson, titled I Gave Up a Little Liberty.

Got Liberty?

Posted by John Venlet on 08/31 at 07:14 PM
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It Isn’t Antiseptic - A Quote on War

“Please try and understand this.  It’s not an easy thing to hear, but please listen.  There is no morality in warfare.  You kill children.  You kill women.  You kill old men.  You don’t seek them out, but they die.  That’s what happens in war.”

Paul Tibbets, quoted in Duty: A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War

Taken from:

Flyboys, James Bradley, Chapter 16, Fire War, pg. 248

Posted by John Venlet on 08/31 at 07:06 PM
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Automation Effects

Jeffrey Tucker, over at the Mises Economics Blog, adroitly points out the pro-Luddite foolishness of a Christian Science Monitor article titled “Coming soon: Robo-greeter.”  The article, written by Gregory M. Lamb, a staff writer, casts it words of automation fear willy nilly, like broadcasting seed on a field by hand in the old days.  The article may have been more balanced, if it had been written by a journalism automation system, which Lamb fears also.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/31 at 06:43 PM
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For the Oenophiles

In The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik has a few words, well more than a few actually, on wine, with an eye cast on a recently published book titled Noble Rot.  The book was penned by William Echikson, and it delves into the recent history of the Bordeaux region and its wines.  Gopnik’s piece is titled “THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY,” and carries a subtitle of “What do we talk about when we talk about wine?”  The piece is not for quaffing.

Via Arts & Letters Daily.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/31 at 06:22 PM
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Monday, August 30, 2004

Alice Cooper Isn’t the Only Who Isn’t Fond of Don Henley

Alice Cooper is supporting Bush, but I’m more interested in his take on Don Henley.

“If you’re listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you’re a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we’re morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal. Besides, when I read the list of people who are supporting Kerry, if I wasn’t already a Bush supporter, I would have immediately switched. Linda Ronstadt? Don Henley? Geez, that’s a good reason right there to vote for Bush.”

I don’t really care who Alice supports, I just find it kind of funny that Alice’s thoughts on Don Henley are really not that different than Mojo Nixon’s, who recorded, on the album Otis, the song Don Henley Must Die.  Though personally, I get more of a kick from Mojo’s album Root Hog or Die.

Alice’s quote lifted from Samizdata

Posted by John Venlet on 08/30 at 07:10 PM
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Cryo-Ablation

I had not heard about this form of prostate cancer treatment until last night, when I was informed that a mutual friend had just returned from Germany to have this procedure performed.  Here’s a link on the procedure, and a link to a news release on the results of a study on its effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, depending upon your interpretation of the data and comments appended to the news release.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/30 at 06:46 PM
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A Short Thought on Respecting Property

The other evening, while returning home from my walk with the Iz, a bag of her scat in my hand, I strolled by the Catholic school not too distant from my house.  A local roofing company, in the course of repairing the school’s roof, had set up a 20 yard refuse container for, of course, the remains of old materiels stripped away in preparation for the new.

As I passed by the 20 yard container, I nonchalantly tossed the bag of Iz’s scat into the container.  No one witnessed this, and the scat, which wouldn’t have filled a sandwich bag, consumed an insignificant portion of the 20 yard container’s volume.

I’ve been considering this action, over the last few days, because when I nonchalantly tossed the bag into the roofing company’s 20 yard refuse container, I immediately knew that I shouldn’t have.  The container was not mine to utilize as I saw fit, even though my contribution to its contents was insignificant.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/30 at 06:28 PM
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Sunday, August 29, 2004

Bastard Sword

Seems appropriate.

Bastard Sword
Bastard Sword, although used by many europeans in
medievil times this sword was more of a
collecters sword and was less used for fighting
and more used for looking at, and would only be
used by great warriors or lords/kings.

What sword would you use (info and pics on swords as well)

Link via Ally at Who Moved MyTruth, who is lopping off heads.

UPDATE: 05.02.2010 Repaired link to quiz.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/29 at 04:45 PM
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On Excellence in Education

“What a college does for its students is important, but the hard part is what the students do themselves.  Excellence in education happens only when students decide to make it happen.”

From Stephen Hicks’ (Professor of Philosophy, Rockford College) essay, “Excellence in Education.” The link is in pdf format.

Linked via Hicks’ website.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/29 at 01:24 PM
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Eschaton Eschews Esemplastic Excogitation

The nameless blogger, Eschaton, comments on Laura Bush’s answer to Time Magazine’s reporter Matthew Cooper’s question, regarding whether the swift-boat ads are unfair to John Kerry.

Laura Bush’s response to Cooper’s question:

“Do I think they’re unfair? Not really.”

Eschaton’s response to Laura’s Bush’s response:

“We have a First Lady who spits on Veterans for sport. Disgusting.”

See above headline for my thoughts on Eschaton’s response.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/29 at 12:47 PM
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Wrong,  Again

The scaremongerers were wrong, again.

“Remember the population bomb, the fertility explosion set to devour the world’s food and suck up or pollute all its air and water? Its fuse has by no means been plucked. But over the last three decades, much of its Malthusian detonation power has leaked out.

Birthrates in developed countries from Italy to Korea have sunk below the levels needed for their populations to replace themselves; the typical age of marriage and pregnancy has risen, and the use of birth control has soared beyond the dreams of Margaret Sanger and the nightmares of the Vatican.”

“Demographic ‘Bomb’ May Only Go ‘Pop!’.”  Taken from The New York Times.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/29 at 11:29 AM
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A Lifted Quote

“You might want to take note of the interconnection between purpose and action in the minimal State. The minimal State does not, for instance, build art museums, because it does not exist to promote art but to enforce agreements and provide mutual defense. In order to build an art museum, the State would need to acquire the resources with which to build it. If people are willing to donate those resources freely, there is no need for the State to build the museum — it could be built privately. If people are not willing to donate the resources freely, then the act of forcibly taking the needed resources turns the purpose of the minimal State on its head — instead of enforcing the decision by the participants to respect each other’s lives and property so that their own lives and property will be respected, the State then becomes an agent for some to abscond with the property of others. I may think it is a good idea to build a home for orphans, but if I take your resources against your will to do it, whether I’m an official of the State or a private citizen, I have violated the truce. To obey the truce, I must convince you to voluntarily provide resources for my goals, whether by trading with you or appealing to your charitable instincts.

In short, if the justification of the minimal State is that it exists, at the behest of a collection of sovereign individuals, to enforce a mutually beneficial truce among those who choose to participate in it, and to organize mutual defense against those who choose not to participate by violating the truce, then that justification does not reasonably permit the expropriation of resources for the purpose of projects that are merely laudable.

Note that this view of the minimal State cannot provide a justification for initiating warfare in distant lands which are not a threat its citizens’ safety, regardless of how laudable it might be to re-arrange the social structures of those foreign places to suit enlightened tastes. However, by the same token, neither position prevents individuals from engaging in such activities on their own, at their own risk and with their own resources.”

Perry E. Metzger, in a post at Diminished Capacity, titled “What is the Role of the State?

Via Russell Whitaker at “Survival Arts.”

Posted by John Venlet on 08/29 at 11:21 AM
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San Francisco Public Health Officials - Just Plain Stupid

The comrades in San Francisco, once again lower the bar for assuming personal responsibility.

“San Francisco public health officials have asked the federal government to require the maker of Viagra to act responsibly and put an STD warning on its packaging and in its commercials, after research indicated that Viagra use is exposing more people to sexually transmitted diseases.”

Ken Summers, at It Comes in Pints, provides a running commentary on the article, linked above, here.

Via J. Bowen at No Watermelons Allowed.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/29 at 11:02 AM
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Saturday, August 28, 2004

Sore Losers, Piss Poor Sore Losers

I just saw, on the teevee, the medal ceremony for men’s Olympic basketball.  The U.S. players took the bronze.  I have never seen such a sorry group of piss poor sore losers.  It’s a shame Lithuania didn’t crush them to win the bronze for themselves.  The Lithuanians would’ve stood on the podium with pride in the bronze.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/28 at 04:55 PM
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A Saturday Afternoon Film, Enjoyed

The lovely Melis and I, just finished viewing the film “The Barbarian Invasions.”  A Canadian film, directed by Denys Arcand, in French with English subtitles, it is a commentary on Canadian socialized medicine, abysmal of course, but, more than that, it is a commentary on living, to the end, in a manner that is of your own choosing.  I recommend it.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/28 at 03:04 PM
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