Friday, October 29, 2004

Walking at 7:40 P.M.

It’s a “summer night” on October 29th.  The air almost to a point of viscousity, clinging to you and slimily coating every exposed object, darkly.  As the Iz and I are walking, three scooter riding shapes emerge from the veil of humidity, and one of the shapes falls. Because of the thickness of the night, I offer up as commentary, “Now there’s an adventurous bunch.”

As my path takes me right upon the group, three or four steps after my comment, I cannot even make out their faces, but one of the shapes, evidently the father, states “Yeah, I guess this is kind of dangerous.”  I inwardly chuckled and offered in response “No, no you’re out in the dark on scooters with no lights, that’s great, enjoy the night, have fun,” without breaking my stride and continuing on my way.

When I was four or five strides beyond the three intrepid scooter riders, a young voice pipes up “That guy was cool!,” this time I chuckled aloud.

The sad thing about this, is, the kid got it, but the dad has been so conditioned to zero tolerance for almost anything, he thought my initial comment was a reprimand.

I’m heading to the front porch, with a beer, and a two hour stogie.  I’ll probably need another beer after awhile.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/29 at 07:11 PM
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Yeah, Right

I wonder how many Vietnam Vets would put any faith in the following statement from one of John Kerry’s recent campaign mutterings.

“‘I’ve got your back!’”

From an article by Reuters News.

Yeah, I’ve got your back, alright, now let me get my knife out of it.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/29 at 03:12 PM
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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Flu Shot Hysteria

Flu shots, or the lack of them in the United States, have been in the news quite frequently, lately.  Google News has had at least one story per day, over the past two weeks, about the hue and cry over flu shots, or lack of flu shots, for Americans.  Just look at the plethora of flu shot stories available.  High speed ferry cruise rides to Canada for flu shots,  Yale donating flu shots, five million doses of flu shots bought from the Germans, and on, and on, and on.

Since Americans are seemingly so worried about flu shots, I wondered about Europeans, so I took a cruise around various European news sources to see what type of hue and cry was being raised across the big pond, and if the hue and cry was over flu shots.

Hungarians are more concerned about paprika being banned.  Greece Health News seems to be worried about everything, except the flu shot.  France Health News is all agog over Arafat.  That figures.  Estonians are concerned about 14 EU ministers having toxic chemicals in their blood.  I know what that means.  Get ready, EU countries, for another round of banished this, that and the other thing, for your blood, of course.

Feel free to check all the other European countries health news concerns, yourself, by clicking on the links supplied here.

Flu shot hysteria.  Only in America.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/28 at 02:38 PM
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Russian Momuments, Today

At almost the same time the Russian Socialist empire fell, so did the ubiquitous statues of its death dealers, Lenin, Stalin, et al.  Well, all those empty pedestals needed something to replace the false honorees attempts at self glorification.

Constructing random monuments is all the rage in Russia. After decades of the obligatory statues of Lenin and Stalin on every town’s main square, people are acquiring a taste for sculptures that honor everyday things or overlooked characters from Russian culture.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Lenin and Stalin statues were melted down and recast as pickles?

Eccentric Monumnents Replace Lenin Busts

UPDATE (08.30.2011): Repaired defunct link.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/28 at 12:56 PM
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On Solzhenitsyn

I recall, at the age of thirteen, reading for one of the first times, about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.  What I recall, is thinking a thought echoed in a new piece published online by First Things.  That thought was this.

“Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is one of the great souls of the age.”

I thought this, regarding Solzhenitsyn at that young age, because I so admired and respected the man’s stance against the evil of Socialist Russia.  A stance of defiance, with which I was well acquainted and exercising myself, as I flexed my mind and independence in my first teen year.

The article is titled “Traducing Solzhenitsyn,” and was written by Daniel J. Mahoney.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/28 at 06:31 AM
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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Conservative Intellectuals Compared to Liberal Intellectuals

I lifted the following quote from a post by Keith Burgess-Jackson.  I liked it.

“The conservative intellectuals I’ve met or come to know during the past couple of years have impressed me profoundly with their knowledge, wit, fairness, courage, decency, and good judgment. I can’t say that about the liberal intellectuals I know, most of whom are so desperate for political power to implement their egalitarian, pacifist fantasies that they violate basic norms of civility and honesty.”

Update:  Victor Davis Hanson, writing in an article titled “Real divide is only in elitist minds,” reiterates the comment of Burgess-Jackson, above.

“In contrast, the universities, the arts, the major influential media and Hollywood are predominately liberal—and furious. They bring an enormous amount of capital, talent, education and cultural influence into the political fray—but continue to lose real political power. The talented elite plays the same role to the rest of America as the Europeans do to the United States—venting and seething because the supposedly less sophisticated, but far more powerful, average Joes don’t embrace their visions of utopia.

Elites from college professors and George Soros to Bruce Springsteen and Garrison Keillor believe that their underappreciated political insight is a natural byproduct of their own proven artistic genius, education, talent or capital.”

Link to Hanson’s article via Richard Nikoley.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/27 at 07:14 PM
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I Understand

Though the post is titled “Democrats can’t govern,” an appropriate alternative title could be Shitty People.

I understand.

Via Hog On Ice.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/27 at 07:09 PM
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He’s No American

Drudge has a banner headline up, at the moment, regarding some purported video warning about a possible impending terrorist attack.  The tape, per Drudge’s link, warns ”...streets will run with blood…” etcetera, rhetoric, and Islamofascist rantings.

The tape ends with the disguised Islamofascist ranter signing off as “‘Assam the American.’”

Well, Ass-am, you are not an American.  You are a misguided fool.  An Islamofascist piece of shit, as a matter of fact, whom I would scrap off the bottom of my shoe as if you were camel dung. 

Bite me, you prick.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/27 at 03:13 PM
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He Must Read The New York Times

“Prime Minister Ayad Allawi blamed the American-led military forces on Tuesday for the weekend massacre of 49 freshly trained Iraqi soldiers, saying the military had shown “major negligence.”

Iraq’s Prime Minister Faults U.S. Military in Massacre

Allawi has jumped on, or gotten a hand up onto, the NYT convolution band wagon.

My, how quickly the Iraqis learn.

Of interest, also, is the fact that one Edward Wong wrote both of the articles which I provide links to above.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/27 at 06:21 AM
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“I cannot allow terrorism and cannot bow to terrorism.”

Spoken like a man.

Japan refuses to withdraw troops in hostage drama

Via Google News.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/27 at 06:17 AM
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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Up the Ante

“In drawers and footlockers, servicemembers in Iraq are banking on the future by hoarding millions of Iraq’s year- old currency, the dinar.”

Interesting.  Will there be a payoff, like there was in Kuwait?

“If post-war Kuwait is any example, they might be right: A Kuwaiti dinar was valued at a about a dime after the war. Each now brings in $3.40.”

“Troops take a gamble on Iraqi dinars”

Via triticale.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/26 at 07:25 PM
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A Woman Responds to Heinz-Kerry Ramblings

“Last time I checked, women can say anything they damn well please in the United States of America. I know that isn’t the case everywhere in the world, but here in our country, you can say what you want and be heard. Just look at the internet and blogosphere, public TV, radio talk shows, etc.”

The above is only a portion of what Ally, at Who Moved My Truth, has to say in response to Heinz-Kerry blathering about women as victims, depressed victims at that.

Ally’s post is titled Stupid Women.

Ally does not fit the stupid woman mold.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/26 at 03:24 PM
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There’s Never a Big Ass Hurricane Around When You Need One

“Thousands Of Lawyers Prepare For Battle In Florida”

Posted by John Venlet on 10/26 at 12:41 PM
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Piles of Books

I enjoy reading, immensely.  I love the heft of a weighty tome in my hand, a bookshelf jammed to the gills, a night stand overflowing with books needing to be read, and pocket sized hardcovers of mighty works, such as The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, which can be perused over and over again, and travel in your pocket.

Written under a pseudonym, here’s a bibliophile’s confession that’s a simple, entertaining read.

“My Own Private Library.”

Via Arts & Letters Daily.

Posted by John Venlet on 10/26 at 07:20 AM
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Boom, Boom, Out Go the Lights

The big news, over the course of the day yesterday, was, of course, the missing Iraq high explosives.  Reading all the blather brought to mind the lyrics “Where oh where did my puppy dog go?  Oh where oh where can he be?”

Of course, the missing explosives are the fault of GWB, and John Kerry and cronies were avidly fanning the fuse to the story in an attempt to blow up GWB’s political campaign.  Has NBC stubbed out the burning fuse?

“NBCNEWS: CACHE OF EXPLOSIVES VANISHED FROM SITE IN IRAQ BEFORE TROOPS ARRIVED…”

Posted by John Venlet on 10/26 at 07:06 AM
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