Thursday, August 30, 2007

Just Steal Our Stuff, Please

So, if an individual is employed by Home Depot and said individual happens to note another individual misappropriating Home Depot property shouldn’t the Home Depot employee act to prevent said misappropriation?

A reasoning individual, with a sound understanding of property rights and respect for private property, would think so, but in the case of Home Depot, if an employee notes an individual misappropriating Home Depot property, Home Depot policy dictates that the employee should simply let the thief walk away, though of course Home Depot dictates that the employee report the theft to the appropriate authority.

But what happens if the Home Depot employee acts, and apprehends an individual misappropriating Home Depot property, rather than letting the thief walk away?  Why, the individual is fired.

Dustin Chester is job hunting this week, after The Home Depot fired him and the general manager for thwarting a thief from running away with a pocket full of stolen cash.

Last week, the 24-year-old department manager confronted a man who was standing by a soda machine in front of the Murfreesboro store off Old Fort Parkway holding a crowbar and a wad of cash. When the suspect started running, Chester said his instincts took over.

He was fired Monday for violations of company policy in the incident.

“When he ran, I ran after him,” he said. Chester caught the thief and restrained him in the parking lot until police arrived.

Chester was shocked to find out that for managers and most employees, catching and detaining thieves is against company policy.

Of course Home Depot states that their just steal our stuff, please, policy is in place for the safety of their employees and customers, but this policy simply reflects just how far the principle of property rights, and protection and respect of this right, has been subverted by the rise of the culture of nannyism in the United States.  Pitiful.

Home Depot employee looking for job after stopping alleged thief

Via Claire Wolfe.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/30 at 07:48 AM
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Saturday, August 25, 2007


Off to Denver for a weekend celebration.  Back Tuesday morning.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/25 at 06:30 AM
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Thursday, August 23, 2007


Lightning strikes of airplanes are a fairly common occurence, though rarely photographed.  Here’s a link of a Nippon Air jet being struck by lightning.  The link has a real time video of the strike, a slow motion video of the strike, and a still photo.  Quite spectacular, though I’m glad I wasn’t on the jet.

Lightning Strike of Nippon Air Jet

Via Fred Lapides GoodShit.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/23 at 09:52 AM
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Drive Through DUI

Here’s a DUI story out of Nebraska which puzzles me a bit.

Schaaf, 24, was picked up on suspicion of first-offense DUI at 3 a.m. March 20 after ordering four cheeseburgers in the McDonald’s drive-through at 10th and Arapahoe streets.

When he got the to pick-up window the fast-food employee asked Schaaf to pull ahead and wait.

Lincoln Police Officer Kenneth Marrow took the food to Schaaf’s car after he said he observed, from inside the drive-through window, that Schaaf had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech and that he could smell alcohol coming from the car.

What puzzles me about this story is, what in the world is a cop doing standing around inside a McDonald’s drive through window area at 3:00 A.M.?  Was he responding to a McBurglar call, or did he have a craving for some cinnamon melts?

Judge asked to decide drive-through DUI case

The Obscure Store.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/23 at 09:00 AM
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The Bong Show

Ever vigilant, the FBI, investigating a “suspicious package” onboard a Seattle ferry, has determined the item in question was a bong.

The FBI has confirmed that a suspicious package that idled one of the largest ferries in the Washington state fleet for about an hour Wednesday morning was actually a water-pipe typically used for smoking marijuana.

“Someone found a bong,” said David Gomez, FBI assistant special agent in charge.

No word on if Dr. Bongs was consulted to assist in identifying the suspicious package.

Discovery of bong delays WA ferry service

Via Ace of Spades HQ.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/23 at 08:23 AM
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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

That Hurts the Pocketbook

Zimbabwe’s inflation—already the highest in the world—hit 7,634.8 percent in July, reminding Zimbabweans there is no relief in sight from daily hardships including chronic food, fuel and foreign currency shortages.

Naturally, muddle minded Mugabe blames it on the West.

Mugabe has accused some businesses of raising prices without justification as part of a Western plot to oust him.

Zimbabwe inflation hits record as Mugabe tightens grip

Posted by John Venlet on 08/22 at 02:35 PM
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Strident Anti Religion Cautions

Hitchens’, Dawkins’, Harris’ and Denkins’ recent contributions to the library of volumes denouncing religion(s) and promoting atheism have generated much discussion, of both the hurrahing and raspberrying sort.

For religious individuals, as opposed to parroting dogmatic religion(s) individuals, the above authors’ writings are necessarily worthy of contemplation, while the parroting dogmatic religion(s) individuals would probably recommend a good ol’ fashioned book burning.

With that said, there are a couple of interesting pieces to read cautioning against stridency among atheists.  First, a piece by Tom Krattenmaker titled Secularists, what happened to the open mind?  From Krattenmaker’s piece.

Nevertheless, I find myself wanting to leap to religion’s defense when I encounter broadsides against all religion. Yes, many religious people behave in foolish and obnoxious ways, and some do cause harm in the name of their belief system. Yet the same could be said of non-believers. When a Stalin, Pol Pot, or Hitler commits monstrous deeds in connection with an ideology opposed to religion, does that somehow prove the inherent delusion and danger of non-belief?

Second, a piece by Michael Shermer titled Rational Atheism.  From Shermer’s piece.

Whenever religious beliefs conflict with scientific facts or violate principles of political liberty, we must respond with appropriate aplomb. Nevertheless, we should be cautious about irrational exuberance.

For a more detailed explanation of what I think of as a religious individual, versus a parroting dogmatic religion(s) individual, see my post of June 9, 2003 titled A Short Religious Discourse Regarding Natural Law, which you’ll have to scroll down to at my old Blogspot site.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/22 at 12:43 PM
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Most US adults in the dark about world politics

Two-thirds of US adults admit to being in the dark about political issues outside the United States, and only a third are well-versed in US politics, the results of a poll published Tuesday showed.

No surprises in that headline or factoid.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/22 at 09:10 AM
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Global Free Markets Effectively Bomb Poverty

Many left leaning individuals decry global free markets and trade, citing the impoverished status of individuals throughout the world as supposed evidence of the failings of free markets and trade.  Well, these individuals would be wrong.

Finally, the boom has reduced acute poverty. The share of the world’s population living on $1 a day or less has dropped from 40 percent in 1981 to 18 percent in 2004, the World Bank estimates.

Noted in a Washington Post op-ed written by Robert J. Samuelson titled Is the Boom in Peril?

Posted by John Venlet on 08/22 at 07:37 AM
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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Venezuelan Alms for the London Poor

Up to a million people on income support will be eligible for half fares on London’s buses under Ken Livingstone’s oil deal with Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s president.

A development which brings a whole new meaning to being on the dole.

Chávez deal to aid low-income Londoners

Via Best of the Web Today.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/21 at 04:04 PM
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Ted Nugent for Governor of Michigan?

The Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent, may possibly throw his hunting hat into the ring and run for Governor of the State of Michigan in 2010, which would seriously cut into his 200 or so days of hunting each year.  I recommend against it, Ted.

Though I think Ted would be ill advised to become any more involved in politics than he already is, I think his analysis of why the State of Michigan is an economic failure hits the mark.

“Michigan was once a great state. Michigan was a state that rewarded the entrepreneur and the most productive, work-ethic families of the state. Now the pimps and the whores and the welfare brats are basically the state’s babies.”

Ted Nugent May Run for Gov. of Michigan

Via Alan K. Henderson’s Weblog.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/21 at 07:51 AM
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Spot on Analysis of Michael Vick Plea Deal

In short, Michael Vick has destroyed a very bright football career for the supposed pleasure of watching dogs rip each other to shreds. If that’s not irrational, then I’m not sure what is.

That’s Diana Hsieh in a post titled Vicious and Stupid.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/21 at 07:45 AM
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Monday, August 20, 2007

“Extort-O-Rama” Connection

In a post Billy Beck titled Extort-O-Rama, the catalyst for which was this post at Coyote Blog, he presents, without comment, a few words from Chris Horner, posted at National Review’s Blog Row, wherein Horner notes the next feeding frenzy for trial lawyers will very likely be centered around alleged global warming, since they’ve had ample time to digest the gluttony of tobacco litigation.

I thought of the above when I read this headline.  Eco-millionaires see boom times ahead

The eco-millionaire article begins this way.

Mankind’s response to climate change will shift how the world gets its energy and is already making “green barons” out of early investors in renewable energy, clean technologies and carbon trading.

Reuters spoke to four entrepreneurs who are cashing in on the energy revolution and who say there is more money to be made.

The article continues with Reuters’ Chris Wills asking each of the four “entrepreneurs” the two questions. “How did you get rich?,” and “Is ‘the business of green’ a bubble?”

Here are abbreviated responses to the questions, mostly with the same underlying theme.  First, Bruce Khouri of Solar Integrated Technologies.

...As long ago as the early 1990s Khouri saw a market for flexible solar panels which could be laminated on to large roofs, such as warehouses. He did not found Solar Integrated until 2001 once tax and subsidy incentives made the market more attractive.

Second, Pedro Moura Costa of EcoSecurities.

...“The only chance of it being a bubble is if we lack the political commitment to drive emission reductions worldwide—and if we do that we might as well forget about any environmental effort whatsoever because climate change is hitting us hard and the trend is likely to accelerate. I think it’s very unlikely political support will go away.”

Next up, David Scaysbrook of Novera Energy.

First, people were more worried about energy security and producing energy themselves. Second, the cost of traditional energy sources such as oil and gas had gone up. Third, tax breaks, subsidies and emissions caps had prompted even more conservative investors “to finally move off their perch”.

And last, but not least, Neil Eckert of Climate Exchange PLC, whose website link was not functional when I attempted to access it.

...but it’s vital we listen to the scientific consensus and create a financial solution.

Note, if you will, the portions of the above responses which I have put in bold type.  Each of the so called “eco-millionaire” entreprenuers have profited handsomely only because of state interventions, whether in the form of tax breaks, tax subsidies, or legislation.  And without “political support,” as Pedro Moura Costa notes, or supposed “scientific consensus,” as Neil Eckert states, these eco-millionaires would in all likelihood be beating a dead horse with all the hype and lack of success of the Segway.

There’s definitely money to be made in the “green” business, unfortunately not honorably.

Posted by John Venlet on 08/20 at 02:32 PM
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Down on the Farm

Dan McLaughlin, writing at the Mises Economics Blog, reiterates why state subsidized farms are not beneficial to society in a piece titled Farm Bill Follies.

A farm is a business, nothing more, nothing less. It’s reason for existence is to serve society, and the sign it is doing so is measured by its profitability.

Any business that cannot succeed without government support is unsound. It needs to change, to improve, to become more efficient, or get out of the business. Government support of inefficient producers in any industry only makes it more difficult for those who are efficient and trying to do it right. It also encourages special interests to fight for their share of the loot from the shakedown of taxpayers…

Posted by John Venlet on 08/20 at 09:27 AM
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Back to School - Bulletproof

The new school year is about to begin, once again, and retailers are of course hawking pencils, tenny shoes, spiral notebooks and such.  The normal detritus for kids going back to school.

The above items are nothing new for back to school, but there is one item out there that is new for back to school.  Bulletproof backpacks.

Dads Mike Pelonzi, 43, and Joe Curran, 42, dreamed up the bullet-proof backpack, which also blunts knife attacks, to protect their own children after witnessing the Columbine massacre in 1999.

  “It was after seeing what happened in Columbine that we started thinking about this. I’m a parent and so is Joe and we wanted a way of keeping kids safe at school and this is what we came up with,” said Pelonzi, co-owner of MJ Safety Solutions which produces ‘My Child’s Pack’.

The backpacks, which will cost $175, have a super-lightweight bullet-proof plate sewn into the back which weighs no more than a bottle of water. Pelonzi said the material used is a secret.

  The plate material meets National Institute of Justice safety standards, said Pelonzi, and during a three-year testing phase, stood up to bullets as well as machete, hatchet and Ka-bar knife attacks.

Yep, send your kids back to school with a bulletproof backpack.  That’ll keep’em safe.

Dads push bulletproof backpacks in schools

Posted by John Venlet on 08/20 at 08:26 AM
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