Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Let Them Eat Garbage, The Kitchen’s Not Clean

The saying, “Let them eat cake,” though attributed to Marie Antoinette, was actually penned by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his book Confessions, though Rousseau actually wrote brioche in the book.  This flippant saying from Rousseau’s book was addressed to those who worried that the peasants of the time had no bread to eat.

In today’s world, Fairfax County, Virginia is decreeing that state un-licensed kitchens, whether in a private individual’s home, or a local church, may no longer provide food to the homeless because they’re concerned for the health of the homeless.

Under a tough new Fairfax County policy, residents can no longer donate food prepared in their homes or a church kitchen—be it a tuna casserole, sandwiches or even a batch of cookies—unless the kitchen is approved by the county, health officials said yesterday.

The homeless may still eat out of garbage cans, though.  Well, at least until Fairfax County figures out how they can somehow coerce garbage bin suppliers/collectors to bringing those receptacles into compliance with their ridiculous codes.

Freshly Baked Handouts Forbidden in Fairfax

Posted by John Venlet on 11/29 at 04:45 PM
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Charity Taxation Connections

I’ve often contemplated the implications of freely giving to charity versus taxation, wondering if those individuals who beat the drum most loudly for increases in taxation (state controlled wealth redistribution which penalizes non-participation) to fund programs for the desitute would actually open their wallets to fund private philanthropic programs for the destitute (wealth redistribution without state coercion).

Well, a new book, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, written by Arthur C. Brooks, looks at just this thought.

Mr. Brooks’ book concludes that religious conservatives tend to be the individuals who dig deepest into their own pockets for charitable contributions, and that those who bang the drum most loudly for state wealth redistribution, appear to clutch their purse strings tighter than Scrooge prior to his visit by the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future.

Arts & Letters Daily provides a link to a review of Brooks’ forthcoming book published by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.  The review is titled Charity’s Political Divide.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/29 at 08:19 AM
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Newt Gingrich - Traitor

The First Amendment guarantees each individual, no matter how outrageous their ideas, freedom to speak their thoughts.

As a former congressman, Gingrich, at some point in his farcical political life, would have sworn an oath to support and defend the above mentioned First Amendment.

Though Gingrich is no longer electorally enthroned in the halls of congress, the words which follow, spoken by Gingrich at the Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment award dinner, are treasonously affronting, and, illustrate just how low the once mighty will stoop in their quest to reclaim notoriety.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.

Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a “different set of rules” may be needed to reduce terrorists’ ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message.

Gingrich raises alarm at event honoring those who stand up for freedom of speech

Gingrich is free to speak his thoughts regarding restricting freedom of speech, but he should not be free from scorn and ridicule for expressing such an affronting, and constitutionally traitorous thought.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/28 at 04:29 PM
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“Kingdom of Blind”

I haven’t posted much here since the elections.  The reason for this paucity is reflected in the title to this post, which, you’ll note, is in quotation marks.

I gleaned this post’s title from a pictorial and word essay called Excursion to Gulag, which provides some aerial photos, and commentary on, the Soviet era labor camps in Russia.

I often think I am living in the “kingdom of (the) blind,” though without the labor camps, for now.

Link to Excursion to Gulag via GoodShit.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/28 at 10:00 AM
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Inconsistent

The New York Times beat the drum fairly consistently against trans fat in their editorials, giving the nod to legislating a ban against trans fat.

Now, a new study is out that appears to suggest that eating red meat may lead to breast cancer in women.  Shouldn’t the New York Times be banging the drum for legislation banning red meat, or at least banning women from eating red meat, rather than suggesting that personal responsibility rule the day?

The silver lining — if red meat does indeed increase the risk of breast cancer — is that the cure would be simple: Just eat less meat.

Of Red Meat and Breast Cancer

Posted by John Venlet on 11/16 at 07:36 AM
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

“I Was Just Following Orders”

How many spineless individuals have utilized the title to this post as a defense for their egregious actions?  The trend continues.

This is hardball politics,” Rep. Jim Moran, a top Murtha ally, told the Hill, a congressional newspaper. “We are entering an era where when the speaker instructs you what to do, you do it.”

All hail the great leader Pelosi, I guess, no questions asked.

From a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on John Murtha and Pelosi’s endorsement of the scumbag for majority leader titled Meet the New Boss

Posted by John Venlet on 11/15 at 08:11 AM
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Updates Later

I’m in Northern Michigan, with limited connectivity, so postings will be later tonight.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/15 at 07:47 AM
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Misunderstanding Free Market Competition

This morning, the New York Times editorial board is banging the drum for state operated drug plans, under the op-ed title of Lowering Medicare Drug Prices.  I wonder if the NYT board is in cahoots with Field Marshall Rodham’s recent blitherings, which I mentioned in a post yesterday.

Of the multiple issues I have with this ridiculous op-ed, the most blaring is the following statement, which concludes the op-ed.

President Bush might be inclined to veto any bill that tried to insert the government into price negotiations. But if presented with a bill to set up government-operated drug plans to go head to head with the private plans, he would have to explain why he is afraid of a real market competition.

The government cannot be a real market competitor.  I should not have to explain why.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/14 at 06:16 AM
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Monday, November 13, 2006

Foolish Chinese Submarine Captain

The headline, “China Sub Stalks USS Kitty Hawk,” has been blaring as the main headline on Drudge’s site all day, today.  Drudge’s headline link takes you to the Washington Times article regarding this incident, which was written by Bill Gertz.  The Times article is titled China sub stalked U.S. fleet, and begins this way.

A Chinese submarine stalked a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group in the Pacific last month and surfaced within firing range of its torpedoes and missiles before being detected, The Washington Times has learned.

The first reaction one has, as Billy Beck said, is “Yikes,” and, if indeed the Chinese Song class sub was slinking around the Kitty Hawk, and its phalanx of protectors, UNDETECTED, there is a real element of yikes to the incident.  Yikes, because the much vaunted sonar systems of the U.S Navy, whether ship borne, air borne, helo borne, or sub borne, seem to be lacking.

But there is something very foolish about the Chinese sub skipper surfacing his boat within view of any of the elements of the carrier battle group’s defensive team.

Submarines are meant to be operated undetected, period.  The Chinese skipper has now, foolishly, played his hand.  The chances of this particular Song class submarine, or any other, to once again perform this feat, this broach of carrier battle group defenses, are now greatly diminished.

As an aside, I’ll share a short story with you.

I’ve been out on maneuvers with a U.S. carrier battle group, onboard the USS LOS ANGELES (SSN688), playing the enemy, and I can remember the glee we had, taking photos of the carrier, and displaying the photos in the main passageway of the sub.  We had penetrated so close to the carrier, undetected, that we had to take three (3) separate photographs in order to make one (1) complete photo of the carrier.  After snapping our panoramic of the carrier, we crept away, still undetected, and then radioed the carrier to notify it of its demise.  The carrier’s skipper didn’t quite believe us, so we sent the skipper the photo montage, with our skipper’s compliments.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/13 at 05:23 PM
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Here It Comes

“Health care is coming back,” Clinton warned, adding, “It may be a bad dream for some.”

That’s Field Marshall Rodham’s shot across the bow.

The gnashing of teeth, you hear, are the cries of the vote for gridlock drum pounders.

Clinton Outlines Legislative Priorities

Posted by John Venlet on 11/13 at 05:13 PM
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Friday, November 10, 2006

Poseur Bullshit

Pelosi and Bush offered smiles and pledges of cooperation as they faced reporters in the Oval Office after a lunch of pasta salad in the president’s private dining room. “We won’t agree on every issue,” Bush said. “But we do agree that we love America equally, that we are concerned about the future of the country and that we will do our very best to address big problems.”

Neither of the above two individuals, offering their “smiles and pledges of cooperation,” and professing their “love” for America, after their pasta lunch salad, will accomplish anything that will benefit America.  If Bush and Pelosi “love(ed)” America, they would diligently strive to return America to Americans rather than jockeying for position in the power over the people game that politics is.

Poseurs.

Quoted portion of this post taken from a Washington Post article titled Bush Meets With Pelosi; Both Pledge Cooperation.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/10 at 09:43 AM
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The Burlington Declaration

The other day I noted The First North American Seccesionist convention in a post I titled Can Seccession be Made “Sexy.”

In that post, I noted that the convention had issued a document titled “The Burlington Declaration.”  On that day, a link was not available to the declaration.  Today, though, the declaration has been posted at The American Seccessionist Blog.

The Burlington Declaration.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/10 at 08:59 AM
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What’s Up

I’m busy, at the moment, back at the casino project, so posting will be light to non-existent.

There’s something extremely satisfying in watching a project, in which the part I play is quite small, come together.

Hundred’s of men, moving dirt, welding metal, laying brick, pulling wire, bringing to life the idea of a man who has designed the building on which I am involved in bringing to fruition.

Look for more here Friday.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/08 at 07:21 AM
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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Instead of Voting

What are you voting for, today?  Gridlock?  Dems?  Repubs?

Instead of voting, read some reasons, courtesy of Strike the Root, for not voting.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/07 at 05:31 AM
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Monday, November 06, 2006

Pissant Pedagogues

I really enjoyed grade school.  Though I went to a parochial grade school, I came out of it without a closed mind, which is more than I can say about many schools, parochial or private, today.  As I went through the grades, though, I ended up bumping heads, more than once, with many of my supposed teachers whom I disagreed with over sometimes mundane subjects, like art for instance, and other times more important subjects, like who has authority over whom.

Here’s a young man, Tyler Stoken, who attends Central Park Elementary School, in Aberdeen, Washington, who has bumped heads, and, similar to some of my bumping heads experiences, was suspended from school, though for a totally ridiculous reason.

Then Tyler came upon this question: ``While looking out the window one day at school, you notice the principal flying in the air. In several paragraphs, write a story telling what happens.’’

The nine-year-old was afraid to answer the question about his principal, Olivia McCarthy. ``I didn’t want to make fun of her,’’ he says, explaining he was taught to write the first thing that entered his mind on the state writing test.

In this case, Tyler’s initial thoughts would have been embarrassing and mean. So even after repeated requests by school personnel, and ultimately the principal herself, Tyler left the answer space blank. ``He didn’t want them to know what he was thinking, that she was a witch on a broomstick,’’ says Tyler’s mother, Amanda Wolfe, sitting next to her son in the family’s ranch home three blocks from Central Park Elementary School in Aberdeen, Washington.

So what happened to young Master Stoken?

Because Tyler didn’t answer the question, McCarthy suspended him for five days. He recalls the principal reprimanding him by saying his test score could bring down the entire school’s performance.

``Good job, bud, you’ve ruined it for everyone in the school, the teachers and the school,’’ Tyler says McCarthy told him.

Suspended for five days by some dumb bitch itching for a gold star for Central Park Elementary School.  Ridiculous.

The principal had this to say in a letter home to Master Stoken’s mom.

McCarthy’s May 6, 2005, letter to Tyler’s mother detailed her son’s suspension. ``The fact that Tyler chose to simply refuse to work on the WASL after many reasonable requests is none other than blatant defiance and insubordination,’’ McCarthy wrote.

In the letter, she accused Tyler of bringing down the average score of the other 10 students in his class. ``As we have worked so hard this year to improve our writing skills, this is a particularly egregious wound,’’ McCarthy wrote.

I sincerely hope Master Stoken’s mother grooms his “definance and insubordination” positively.

Fourth Grader Suspended After Refusing to Answer Exam Question

Via Best of the Web, who notes this under “Zero Tolerance Watch.”

Posted by John Venlet on 11/06 at 05:12 PM
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