Thursday, September 30, 2004

Reminiscent of German Behavior Towards the Jews in the Thirties and Forties

“The school followed pre-arranged contingency plan and informed local police,” she said.”

School turns over N. Koreans

Posted by John Venlet on 09/30 at 09:08 AM
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Bring on the Clowns?  They’re Already Running (Ruining) the Show

The Greatest Show on Earth is in Grand Rapids this week.  High wire acts, lions and tigers and bears, oh my.  Unfortunately, the professional jobholder clowns have doused one of the major highlights of the show, Bailey’s Comet.  The City of Grand Rapids’ professional jobholder clowns upstaged Bailey’s Comet, “for the children.”

Why, you ask?  Here’s why.  Brian Miser, who is the comet, is fired from a cannon clothed in two fireproof suits, aflame of course, across the three ring circus.  Unfortunately, because next week is fire prevention week in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the professional jobholder clowns have deemed this act as sending the wrong message, to the children.

“Because Miser—promoted as the “human fireball”—wears two fireproof suits and is doused with fire extinguishers when he lands, “Bailey’s Comet” probably would pass his safety inspection, said Fire Safety Inspector Ted Jensen.

Jensen said he was worried about the message it sends to kids. “As a fire department, we’re having a hard time with it,” he told commissioners.

Sunday—the last day the circus is in town—also marks the onset of Fire Prevention Week, he said. “That makes it a little more difficult for us.”

Mayor George Heartwell agreed. “Your mayor and your commissioners are going to back up your good judgment on this,” he told Jensen.

“I think we have to send a message,” added 2nd Ward Commissioner Rick Tormala. “It’s not a safety issue, it’s an image issue.”

“FLAMEOUT: City Commission douses big top’s ‘human fireball’”

Posted by John Venlet on 09/30 at 06:54 AM
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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Pot, Kettle, Black

“Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), chair of the House Commerce Committee, told a meeting of the TV engineering trade group MSTV in Washington that broadcast network news divisions “need to have safeguards to prevent reporters from infusing their opinions into news reports.”

Solon calls for hearing on TV news

Oh yeah, that’ll keep’em reporting honestly.

Via Drudge.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/29 at 06:31 AM
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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

An Interesting Read

Jason Kuznicki has an interesting post up, posted on the 26th of September, commenting on Timothy Sandefur’s recent article in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy titled “Liberal Originalism: A Past for the Future.”

Jason’s post is titled “Sandefur and Liberal Originalism.”

I haven’t read Sandefur’s piece, as I do not think it is available online, but, based on Jason’s piece, I think it would make for an interesting read also.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/28 at 06:38 PM
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Jim Holt Is An Idiot, In the Original Etymological Sense

Jim Holt has a piece in The New York Times titled “Is Voting Worth the Trouble?,” which, of course, I read today.  Within Mr. Holt’s little diatribe, he attempts to foist upon NYT readers, misguided information by stating the following about the word idiot.

“Some nonvoters, no doubt, couldn’t care less about which candidate wins. (The ancient Greeks had a word for a person who is indifferent to public affairs in this way: idiotes, or idiot.) Others may be passionately interested in which candidate wins, but they suspect that their own ballot is immaterial to the outcome.”

Bold added by this writer.

I am not certain which etymology reference Mr. Holt is checking, to bolster his etymological definition of the word idiot, but here is the actual etymological definition.

“c.1300, “person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning,” from O.Fr. idiote “uneducated or ignorant person,” from L. idiota “ordinary person, layman,” in L.L. “uneducated or ignorant person,” from Gk. idiotes “layman, person lacking professional skill,” lit. “private person,” used patronizingly for “ignorant person,” from idios “one’s own.”

Which I garnered from here.

As for the rest of Mr. Holt’s piece, it simply adds to the hilarity ensuing over the upcoming elections.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/28 at 12:04 PM
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Monday, September 27, 2004

Mexican Coke Lesson

Though it can tickle your nose, this post is not about that kind of coke, it’s about Coca-Cola, and a marketing opportunity that Coke refuses to take to heart.

It appears that the Atlanta based beverage giant’s toes are being stepped on by bottlers of Mexican Coke, who produce Coke in real glass bottles, made with real sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup. 

Mexican Coke shipments are winding their way into America, and individuals refrigerators, in spite of the price premium paid, which can be hefty, for the Mexican Coke.  Though the Mexican Coke I’ve purchased at various mom and pop, Mexican owned grocery stores here locally, has not been outrageously priced. 

I’d have to agree with “Ham” Rousseau’s comment, which I quote below.

”“If they were smart, they’d get into the value-added market,” Rousseau said. “And it’s a huge market.”


Posted by John Venlet on 09/27 at 06:12 PM
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5:48 A.M. and Helpless

The Iz was acting unusual this morning, as I sat over a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of milk.  Restless, pacing around my feet, as they dangled from the stool.  She was whining at me, at 5:48 A.M., so I reached down to pet her, and she fell into a Grand Mal.  Jaws agape, eyes bulging, rigid limbs, I could only babble to her, like you do to a newborn.  Damn, I was helpless to do anything else.  It was her sixth seizure in one year.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/27 at 06:59 AM
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Sunday, September 26, 2004

Church Tax

Gary Cruse, at The Owners Manual, fingers a little something that I knew nothing about, either.  A Church Tax, courtesy of Hitler and Pope Pius XII, on the German workers.

Though the tax was initiated in World War II, one could say it was a hush tax, and it still is in full force and effect today, buying what, I am not sure.

Gary stumbled on this little tidbit of information at the blog The Whine Cellar, in a post titled “Kirchensteuer,” which garnered the data from

It sounds like one very expensive indulgence to me.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/26 at 03:51 PM
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Glamour Boy?

Via Billy Beck, we are alerted to a supposed glamourization film, liberally endorsed by Robert Redford, as Executive Director, and wrapped in the cachet of the Sundance Film festival.  Skip the movie, and instead read the poem appended to the end of Paul Berman’s piece, titled “The Cult of Che.”  The poem was written by Raul Riveor, and is titled “Search Order.”  Che, in all likelihood, would have had Rivero shot.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/26 at 12:03 PM
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Socialist Shill

I didn’t listen to Kofi Annan’s recent speech at the UN, but I have taken the time to read it, a couple three times, this morning.  A more fustian elegy to collectivism would be difficult to compose.  Right out of the blocks, Annan warms the cockles of Socialist hearts everywhere.

“The last 12 months have been painful for those of us who believe in collective answers to our common problems and challenges.”

That first sentence is nothing more than an altar call to the faithful. 

A few paragraphs later, in this speech, Annan laments the loss of “talented servants,” UN servants faithful to their collective masters, though I am at a loss as to who is being served.

A bit deeper into this morass of utopian bombast, Annan acknowledges the ineffectualness of this supposed august, collective body.

“If it takes extra time and patience to forge a policy that is collective, coherent and workable, then I for one would regard that time as well spent. Indeed, this is how we must approach all the many pressing crises that confront us today.”

Note the cry of the collective, once again, and, the call for additional committee meetings, while the problems being decried, in this speech, continue to fester, ooze and then erupt like a pustule on your posterior.

Further into this speech, Annan chastises countries which act unilaterally against threats of terrorism, and we all know which country Annan is subtlely nodding his head at with this comment, and then he has the audacity to state,

“they need the unique legitimacy provided by the United Nations.”

Annan ends this portion of his speech with the collective cattle call once again.

“But it is not enough to denounce unilateralism, unless we also face up squarely to the concerns that make some states feel uniquely vulnerable, and thus drive them to take unilateral action. We must show that those concerns can, and will, be addressed effectively through collective action.”

Yeah, right.

The remainder of Annan’s speech is a call to inaction in the form of new committees being formed, more meetings to be held, and appeals to the “Excellencies” to acknowledge the “precious” instrument the UN is.

Kinda of like Gollum’s ring, I guess.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/26 at 08:59 AM
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Gong Him

Do you recall The Gong Show?  It was really quite a stupid show, with an occasional bit of hilarity thrown in to justify its stupidity.  I mention this, because, as I read an op-ed piece written by Raffique Shah this morning, titled “The super rich versus the wretched,”? I thought this guy, Raffique, needs to be gonged.

Raffique has fallen prey to the utopian dream of “social equity,” after reading Forbes latest listing of billionaires, and, concludes, that the rich are screwing the so called poor, and, that the poor will be rising up to drag us all back into the dark ages, in the not too distant future, as retribution for billionaires and millionaires creating business entities which employ the so called downtrodden, simply to fatten their wallets.

Well, Raffique, you’re wrong.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/26 at 08:13 AM
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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Too Much Information

Yesterday, I mentioned RFID tags, miniaturized information capsules of dubious use.  Today, I’ll point you to this little gem, make sure your sound is turned on, and then order yourself a pizza.  Ha.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/25 at 12:09 PM
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Friday, September 24, 2004


I am hardly what one would term an oenophile, though I do enjoy fine wines, well, as long as they’re red.  Recently, I was treated to half a case of Two-Buck Chuck Cabernet, Charles Shaw Wine, and, I have to admit, it was quite quaffable.  A solid table wine in my opinion.  Evidently, Charles is branching out, hoping to market a Ten-or Twelve-Buck Chuck.  It might be worth purchasing a bottle, if you can, due to its limited availability.

Via Scripps Howard News Service.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/24 at 07:00 PM
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Reading Other Individuals’ Email

Richard Nikoley hasn’t been posting much at his blog, Uncommon Sense, because he’s been spending a bit of his extra time soaring on air currents.  I can appreciate why the soaring is more important than posting.

Be that as it may, he has been dropping a assorted emails to various and sundry individuals, who will remain unknown, and he has posted a few of those for your reading pleasure.

Take a read, here, if you are so inclined.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/24 at 06:48 PM
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Well, Good Then

“Report: OPEC has lost control over oil prices”

If only supply and demand were in control.

Via Drudge.

Posted by John Venlet on 09/24 at 06:38 PM
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