Monday, February 28, 2005

“Always Low Prices”

Erroneously blaming WalMart for consumer choices…

Two recent pieces regarding retail behemoth WalMart caught my eye in the past 23 hours.

First, Karen DeCoster deftly reviews those individuals wailing to keep WalMart out of Detroit in a piece titled “Republicans Against Wal-Mart/Getting it Wrong on Detroit.”  Karen’s summation.

“It is, in fact, the chain retail and grocery giants that will perhaps save Detroit, but sure as heck not ruin it.”

Now, compare DeCoster’s remarks, with Robert B. Reich’s, as published in The New York Times, in a piece titled “Don’t Blame Wal-Mart.”  The title of the piece could almost lead an individual to think that Reich is in favor of free consumer choice and business, also, until one reads this.

“The only way for the workers or citizens in us to trump the consumers in us is through laws and regulations that make our purchases a social choice as well as a personal one.”

Always that ridiculous call for the “workers” and “citizens” to unite in a glorious, and utopian, worker/citizen paradise to “trump” our supposed base instincts of bettering our own personal situations.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/28 at 07:33 AM
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Please Don’t Feed The Animals

Unforntunately, they’re not endangered…

I like the following headline.

“Cage for beast Saddam”

It’s quite apropos.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/28 at 07:26 AM
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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Crying Out For Voluntary Cooperation, But Willingly Voting, I Bet

If only they could stick to their stated principle…

Yesterday, the local paper had an article about an impending energy code the State of Michigan desires to enforce on home builders.  As I perused the article, the following comments by Lee Kitson, Vice President of the Michigan Home Builders Association, caught my eye.

“Home builders say they have nothing against energy conservation—many already exceed guidelines slated to take effect Monday.

They just don’t like having the rules force-fed, said builder Lee Kitson, an expert in energy-efficient houses.

My view personally is there are pieces of this that make sense, but they ought to be voluntary,” said Kitson, vice president of the Michigan Association of Home Builders. “This code is not voluntary. We object to that process and to the options.”

Can’t see the forest for the trees.

“Energy code frosts builders”

Posted by John Venlet on 02/27 at 03:56 PM
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Rest, Pause, In, Pause, Peace

Intermittment wipers, they’re everywhere…

Robert Kearns, the inventor of intermittment wipers, has passed away.  I enjoyed his daughters comments regarding his funeral.

“Kearns died Feb. 9 at his home in suburban Baltimore and was buried in Michigan on a misty Valentine’s Day.

“It was going just enough to have the wipers going on intermittent. I thought, ‘How appropriate,’” Kearns’ daughter, Maureen Kearns, told the Detroit Free Press for a story published Friday.”

“Robert Kearns, inventor of intermittent wipers, dies at 77”

Posted by John Venlet on 02/27 at 03:41 PM
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Muslim Disclaimer

“Hi. My name is Kiefer Sutherland…”

I don’t watch alot of teevee, news or shows, so I’m a couple weeks behind on this one.  Anyway, yesterday evening, while playing Euchre, a good friend told me about FOX airing a disclaimer, prior to the show 24, in which Kiefer Sutherland has the following to say about the make believe characters playing counter-terrorism agents who are chasing make believe characters who are Muslim terrorists.

“Hi. My name is Kiefer Sutherland. And I play counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer on Fox’s 24. I would like to take a moment to talk to you about something that I think is very important. Now while terrorism is obviously one of the most critical challenges facing our nation and the world, it is important to recognize that the American Muslim community stands firmly beside their fellow Americans in denouncing and resisting all forms of terrorism. So in watching 24, please, bear that in mind.”

I can almost hear the “American Muslim community,” and the 72 virgins, denouncing worldwide acts of Muslim terrorism from here.

“Fox’s ‘24’ airs Mulsim disclaimer”

Posted by John Venlet on 02/27 at 10:55 AM
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The “I” Must Stand For Imbecile

Not your average bank robber…

Here in West Michigan, there have recently been a rash of bank robberies.  I’m surprised that some do-gooder group has not utitlized this fact to decry disparities in income or in calls for more government handouts to alleviate individuals’ desperate economic conditions.

But the real reason I’m posting about these recent bank robberies is because the FBI is involved in the investigation of these robberies, and their silly pronouncements regarding one particular robbery wherein the dapper bank robber used, as his weapon of coercion, a rifle.  Here’s what FBI Special Agent Sean Burns had to say on the teevee news about this particular robbery.

“For a person to bring in a rifle, that ratchets it up,” said Burns. “We consider that a little more violent than your average bank robbery.”

How does the use of rifle “ratchet it up,” or make a bank robbery “a little more violent than your average bank robbery,” wherein a handgun is used?  Don’t they both shoot bullets?

“FBI Investigates String Of Bank Robberies”

Posted by John Venlet on 02/27 at 10:34 AM
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Monday, February 21, 2005

It’s By My Choice

Writing, reading, blogging…

More than one individual has said to me, over the past week, why aren’t you writing?  Is it neglect, not enough time, or am I burnt out?  Actually, it’s none of the previous.  I haven’t been posting here because I have chosen to apply all of my time to creating a successful business enterprise, and the reward I plan to obtain, via this enterprise, will only be achieved by applying my not inconsiderable talents to the project at hand.

A couple of individuals have asked if I am a workaholic.  Far from it.  I happen to excel in maximizing my leisure time, which is quite a beneficial talent when I pursue trout and hatching mayflies.  It’s just that I have a plan.

When I commenced this little endeavor, my plan was to go from $0 to six figures in twelve (12) months.  I’m three quarters of the way there.  But that’s only a small part of the plan, I’ll have to see how well my execution is in order to reach the goal I’ve set overall.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/21 at 04:56 PM
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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Using Homosexuals, To Explain A Concept, Is Verboten!

Promiscuous talk, or promiscuous political correctness?...

Professor Hoppe is in a bit of a bind, at the moment, for using homosexuals as a group, to assist in explaining a concept (time preference) during a recent lecture.  Here is, basically, what Hoppe said.

“The subject of the lecture was economic planning for the future. Hoppe said he gave several examples to the class of about 30 upper-level undergraduate students on groups who tend to plan for the future and groups who do not.

Very young and very old people, for example, tend not to plan for the future, he said. Couples with children tend to plan more than couples without.

As in all social sciences, he said, he was speaking in generalities.

Another example he gave the class was that homosexuals tend to plan less for the future than heterosexuals.

Reasons for the phenomenon include the fact that homosexuals tend not to have children, he said. They also tend to live riskier lifestyles than heterosexuals, Hoppe said.”

The above was taken from this article from the

Hoppe’s comments hurt some “brat’s” feelings, as Hoppe states, and thus he must suffer under the heal of political correctness as the Univeristy falls all over itself to prove its effing sensitivity to idiots, and homosexuals as a group.

Paul Jacoby, over at, notes Hoppe’s dust up in a piece titled “Against all odds, generally speaking,” also.

Thanks to a reader for the heads up.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/13 at 02:47 PM
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Tuesday, February 08, 2005


When you hear words like these, run…

David Brooks titles his op-ed in The New York Times this morning “Mr. President, Let’s Share the Wealth.” 

Within Brooks piece one can read phrases like “ownership society,” “asset-based welfare,” or this especially egregious phrase “...we would turn more people into capitalists if we distributed capital more broadly.”

I’m not certain how Brooks arrives at the conclusion that coercing money from one group of individuals, and giving it to other individuals, creates capitalists, though.  I think the actions Brooks describes tends to create just another class of moochers.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/08 at 07:25 AM
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Do Over

Fresh cheese, anyone?...

A comment from France’s Foreign Minister Michel Barnier.

“A renewed transatlantic alliance must be based on two pillars (European and American).”

When did Europe become a pillar?  They’re actually more like a tent pole, and a wobbly one at that.

“France Calls for Fresh Start in Relations with U.S.”

Posted by John Venlet on 02/08 at 07:18 AM
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Monday, February 07, 2005

Depopulation Crisis?

The old bleeding the young dry…

Stanley Kurtz has a piece up at Policy Review titled “Demographics and the Culture War.”  Kurtz’s piece considers the negative effects of aging populations and declining birthrates, both of which seem to be occuring globally, in regards to maintaining the welfare state.  Kurtz’s review of this issue, spurred by the reading of four fairly recent books on the subject, is mostly centered on how the welfare state can continue under the onslaught of the two aforementioned effects, without actually casting a disapproving eye on the fact that the State has played a very major role in our alleged arrival at this juncture.

Though a bit of a long read, it’s worth looking at.

Via Arts & Letters Daily.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/07 at 08:55 PM
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Everything’s A Scandal, Now

Slinging mud from the ring…

When working under stressful conditions, like those serving in the military in Iraq or Afghanistan, there are times when you have to blow off a bit of steam.  How one goes about this is up to the individual.  It may be done by downing six (6) to twelve (12) beers, it may be done by vigorous exercise, or it may be done by reading or any other various individually chosen activity, as long as it isn’t mud wrestling, I guess.

“A female member of a National Guard military police unit was demoted for indecent exposure after a mud-wrestling party at the Army-run Camp Bucca detention center in Iraq, a military spokesman said Sunday.”

Judas priest, it’s not like the mud wrestlers were hurting anyone.

“Guard Member Demoted for Mud Wrestling”

And check out this sentence from the linked article.

“The party was isolated, Johnson said. “Detainees were nowhere in the vicinity,” he said. “They had no possible way of seeing what occurred.”

Can’t have detainees seeing things they shouldn’t.  Fricking worry warting over nothing.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/07 at 07:57 AM
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Sunday, February 06, 2005

More Regarding Market Shenanigans

They shouldn’t receive a penny…

Bush is evidently proposing a cut in some subsidies paid to farmers.  A good thing overall in my opinion, but I had to laugh at the following sentence reporting on this development.

“Such limits would help reduce the federal budget deficit and would inject market forces into the farm economy, the officials said.”

“Inject market forces,” who do those nameless officials think they’re kidding?

“Bush Is Said to Seek Sharp Cuts in Subsidy Payments to Farmers”

Posted by John Venlet on 02/06 at 01:40 PM
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Why Is It…

Market price versus gouging…

The following is from an article published in the Orlando Sentinel on January 29, 2005.

“A motel in Naples jacked up prices on its $89 rooms to $145 during Hurricane Charley in August, the state division of consumer services charged in the suit filed in Collier County.”

The following is a little blurb I read in the February 7, 2005 issue of Time magazine.

“$300 Market price, before the tsunami, to rent a house with indoor plumbing in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, for one month.

$4,000 Current market price, due to increased demand from aid workers and journalists.”

Why is it price gouging in Florida, but simply market pricing in Indonesia?

Link to quote taken from the Orlando Sentinel.

Link to quote taken from Time.

Florida’s plan.  “Florida Wants to Get Tough on Price Gougers” because they evidently do not undertand the market.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/06 at 01:19 PM
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Friday, February 04, 2005

“...Yes, It Would Be Fun To Shoot Some People.”

But not politically correct to say, I guess…

Lieutenant General James N. Mattis is taking alot of flack for saying what is utilized as the title to this post.  Of course the sound bite used, and splattered as headlines to raise hackles, cannot be fully appreciated unless one reads the context in which the sound bite was actually uttered.

Now read the following, and consider, thoughtfully, whether you might relish to remove from this world, the following individuals.

“Tampa - A couple is being sought on child abuse charges for allegedly torturing seven children who lived with them - pulling out their toenails with pliers, delivering electric shocks and striking them with a hammer, authorities said Thursday.”

The hackle raising headline seen round the world.

“‘It’s fun to shoot people’”

Via Daniel Medley whose words I used as the title to this post.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/04 at 07:35 AM
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