Monday, April 27, 2009

I Should’ve Kept Chasing Trout

Swine flu, of allegedly “pandemic” proportions,” the United States government sponsoring readings of a book on Che Guevara in an attempt to re-brand the United States’ image with Latin Americans on the back of a wanna-be tyrant killer and destroyer of freedom, and the buckets of money the U.S. has thrown around continue to do nothing for the economy.  I should’ve kept chasing trout.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/27 at 07:57 AM
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Two For the Road

I’m heading North, for the trout streams of course, but here are two (2) interesting, if somwhat longish, reads.

First, a commentary piece written by James Quinn.  Has Obama found that the Enemy is Us?  From the piece, a quote from William Strauss and Neil Howe’s book The Fourth Turning.

“Based on historical patterns, America will hit a once-in-a-century national crisis within the decade…‘like winter,’ the crisis or ‘fourth turning’ cannot be averted. It will last 20 years or so and bring hardship and upheavals similar to previous fourth turnings, such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II. The fourth turning is a perilous time because the result could be a new ‘golden age’ for America or the beginning of the end. It all will begin with a ‘sudden spark’ that catalyzes a crisis mood around the year 2005.”

The second piece was written by James V. DeLong, for The American Enterprise Institute, and is titled The Coming of the Fourth American Republic, and states the following as a synopsis.

The Special Interest State that has shaped American life for 70 years is dying. What comes next is uncertain, but there are grounds for optimism.

Back Monday.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/22 at 08:09 AM
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

“Homo britannicus” - Thoroughly Thought Policed or “Soft Totalitarianism”

Who, other than draconian proponents of policing thoughts, would’ve have thought that in Britain 10 year old boys would be charged and brought before a judge for calling a school mate a “Paki” and a “bin Laden,” or that a 14 year old girl would be labeled as a racist, fingerprinted and photographed, for asking to join a group of girls who spoke English to complete a project, rather than a group of girls who spoke only Urdu whom she could not understand, or, that a British warship would install a satanist chapel to accomodate one (1) Satan worshipping crew member, or, that Britain would pass a law which could land an individual in prison for seven (7) years for telling a politically incorrect joke?

If you would have asked me this question, say in 2001, I would have chuckled, thinking, nah, this could never happen, but it has, and it is.

The Government is pushing ahead with legislation that will criminalise politically incorrect jokes, with a maximum punishment of up to seven years’ prison. The House of Lords tried to insert a free-speech amendment, but Justice Secretary Jack Straw knocked it out…In September 2006, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, Codie Stott, asked a teacher if she could sit with another group to do a science project as all the girls with her spoke only Urdu. The teacher’s first response, according to Stott, was to scream at her: “It’s racist, you’re going to get done by the police!” Upset and terrified, the schoolgirl went outside to calm down. The teacher called the police and a few days later, presumably after officialdom had thought the matter over, she was arrested and taken to a police station, where she was fingerprinted and photographed…A 10-year-old child was arrested and brought before a judge, for having allegedly called an 11-year-old boya “Paki” and “bin Laden” during a playground argument at a primary school (the other boy had called him a skunk and a Teletubby)...The Royal Navy, for instance, has installed a satanist chapel in a warship to accommodate the proclivities of a satanist crew member…

Thought police muscle up in Britain

Via Mark Steyn at The Corner.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/21 at 04:17 PM
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Stool Pigeon - No Pun Intended

The Soviet Union elevated the development of stool pigeons to an art form, but not as performance art.  I thought of this a moment this morning when I read an article which Drudge links to under the headline Teen soils self after deputy surprises him.

It wasn’t the fact that the teen in the story soiled himself as he was caught stealing which caused me to think on stool pigeons and performance art, though, it was this sentence from the third to the last paragraph in the linked story.

“He gave up his friend,” Child said, pointing to another 16-year-old who was also arrested in the burglary investigation.

A stool pigeon complete with stool.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/21 at 09:50 AM
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United Nations - The New Great Father Knows Best

Conquering nations, when dealing with indigenous individuals, have, over the ages, presented themselves to the indigenous as the “Great Father,” displaying their parental love with trinkets, confiscation of tribal lands to ensure the indigenous remain in the designated play areas, and various other indignanties.

Obama, acting as the United States’ current Great Father/Messiah, has evidently come to the conclusion that parents throughout these United States are not sufficiently qualified to parent their own children, and that the United States as a whole lacks this qualification, and thus the United States must acknowledge their parental failings by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which effectively makes the United Nations the Great Father of children throughout the world.

What does this mean for parents, and the United States as a whole?  From the blog Mindless and Spineless.

· The laws of all 50 states on children and parents would be superseded by this international law by virtue of a specific provision of the US Constitution which expressly declares treaties to be supreme over state law. Virtually all law on children and parents is state law.

· Good parents would no longer be entitled to the legal presumption that they act in the best interests of their children. Instead, the government would have the authority to overrule all parents on any decision concerning the child if the government believed it could make a better decision.

· Parents could no longer spank their children.

· Children would have the legal right to choose their own religion. Parents would be permitted only to give advice.

· America would be under a binding legal obligation to massively increase its federal spending on children’s programs.

Via a post at Eternity Road titled Will we allow Congress to strip us of our parental rights?

Posted by John Venlet on 04/21 at 09:09 AM
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laGvura - Holocaust Remembrance Day

Tomorrow is Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laGvura, Holocaust Remembrance Day.  In Israel, the remembrance begins tonight, at sundown, though I would think that in Israel Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laGvura is not simply remembered on this designated day.

Photos to remember this evil, if you actually need them.

Via Daniel Jackson, at Sense of Events, who recalls accidently learning of the Shoah for the first time in 1961, with his younger brother, and ends his post with these words.

May God send peace to all who mourn and give us strength to not stand idly by.

So be it.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/20 at 03:32 PM
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Chipping Away at Private Property Rights

The continued, unchecked growth of the State, and the body of laws enacted by the State, chip further and further into the wall which previously protected our private lives.  The days of “probable cause”, or “good cause,” as a reason for searching private property, or private individuals, are being swept away by the courts, with nary a dissenting voice expressing dismay.

Case in point, the recent Supreme Court of Ohio ruling 2008-0536.  State v. Coburn, Slip Opinion No. 2009-Ohio-834.

The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled today that, under R.C. 1531.14, a state wildlife officer has authority to enter private land when acting in the normal, peaceful and lawful enforcement of game and fish laws or rules regardless of whether the officer has “good cause” to believe that a law has been violated at the time of entry.

And I previously felt quite secure from the State as I sat on my private land along a lovely blue ribbon trout stream.

Via David Codrea.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/20 at 01:18 PM
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Armed Wookies Marching in Parade

Armed Wookies Marching in Parade

Posted by John Venlet on 04/20 at 10:55 AM
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“Two Pence” on the Tea Parties

Roderick T. Long, who is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Auburn University, provides his two pence on the tea party movement in a post titled Tea and Sympathy.  The concluding paragraph.

Is it worth libertarians’ and/or anarchists’ while to participate in such events? Sure; because while the voices at the podium tend to be statist apparatchiks, the crowds will tend to be a mixture of statist yahoos and genuinely libertarian-leaning folks, and outreach to the latter is always worth a try – in Kierkegaard’s words, “to split up the crowd, or to talk to it, not to form a crowd, but so that one or another individual might go home from the assembly and become a single individual.” But of course the organisers of such events are on the lookout for us and always do their best to try to narrow the boundaries of discussion.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/20 at 10:18 AM
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Monday Morning Quote from Thomas Jefferson

“We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds . . . [we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our mis-managers to account to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers . . . . And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another] till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automotons of misery . . . . And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

—July 12, 1816 letter from Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval

Indeed.

Posted by Thomas DiLorenzo at LewRockewll.com.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/20 at 09:48 AM
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TARP Testing, 1, 2, 3

So, the federal government has designed a test, which banks must pass, in order to be allowed to repay TARP funds.  But, even if a bank should pass the test, the federal government, at their discretion, can void the passing grade and keep the banks on the hook, for the “national economic interest”

Strong banks will be allowed to repay bail-out funds they received from the US government but only if such a move passes a test to determine whether it is in the national economic interest, a senior administration official has told the Financial Times.

“Our general objective is going to be what is good for the system,” the senior official said. “We want the system to have enough capital.”

US to put conditions on Tarp repayment

Posted by John Venlet on 04/20 at 09:00 AM
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The Price of a Latte

Here’s the headline regarding the “big” news about what Obama’s first cabinet meeting hopes to accomplish.

Obama to order $100 million in cuts

Greg Mankiw, an economics professor at Harvard University, in a post titled Fiscal Responsibility, provides a realistic perspective in regards to that number for actual working Americans who are footing the bill.

To put those numbers in perspective, imagine that the head of a household with annual spending of $100,000 called everyone in the family together to deal with a $35,000 budget shortfall. How much would he or she announce that spending had be cut? By $3 over the course of the year—approximately the cost of one latte at Starbucks. The other $34,997? We can put that on the family credit card and worry about it next year.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/20 at 08:43 AM
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Binghamton, NY Police Didn’t Attend “Active Shooter” Training, Evidently

According to an article on the lessons learned from the Columbine shootings titled Shoot first: Columbine transformed police tactics, “police across the country developed “active-shooter” training.”

Ten years later, Columbine has transformed the way police in the U.S. deal with shooting rampages.

After the tragedy, police across the country developed “active-shooter” training. It calls for responding officers to rush toward gunfire and step over bodies and bleeding victims, if necessary, to stop the gunman — the active shooter — first.

Here’s how the police responded in the recent Binghamton, NY community center shooting.

Police said they arrived within two minutes…Police heard no gunfire after they arrived but waited for about an hour before entering the building to make sure it was safe for officers. They then spent two hours searching the building.

Gunman blocks NY center’s door, kills 13, self

Yep, make sure it’s safe for the police officers, first and foremost, rather than attempting to protect those individuals police are hired “to protect and to serve.”

Posted by John Venlet on 04/18 at 05:10 PM
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More Obama Vows - Got Salt?

An MSNBC headline.

Obama vows to cut dozens of federal programs

How many grains of salt will it take to choke these Obama vows down, or are the vows being mixed in the koolaid?

Posted by John Venlet on 04/18 at 09:26 AM
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Marks on Paper

Eric, at Armed and Dangerous, responds to a question regarding a 2002 blog post on the subject of imperialism and what effect the financial crisis would have in regards to the thoughts expressed in that 2002 post, which makes for an interesting Saturday morning read.  From Eric’s post titled Hyperpower and high finance.

Is this the world I’d prefer to be living in? No, I’m an anarchist. So don’t tell me I’m advocating violence and warfare; I’m simply recognizing the brute facts of reality for what they are. The U.S.’s ability to kill you and take your stuff is barely affected, if at all, by marks on bankers’ papers.

Those marks have meaning only as long as no party with over 50% of the guns refuses to play the game. So let’s consider another possibility. What if the U.S. were to default on its debt? I actually think this is a fairly likely outcome at some point; as I’ve written in Timing the Entitlements Crash, the private-debt crisis is only a prologue to what’s going to happen when it becomes obvious that the U.S. government’s finances are fucked up beyond repair. At that point, hyperinflation or default will be the only options.

There is no doubt the consequences of default would be pretty ugly all around — millions of investors wiped out, widows and orphans in the streets, and so forth. But let’s consider what all that T-bond debt to people like the Communist Chinese actually means. It means they took marks on paper that were promises to be paid back in dollars at a future date in exchange for other pieces of paper which the U.S. Government used to buy stuff. If we default, they have the marks on paper and we still have the stuff.

Posted by John Venlet on 04/18 at 09:00 AM
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