Sunday, February 28, 2010

I’d Rather Rot in Hell, Al Gore

Al Gore has an op-ed piece in the New York Times titled We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change, defending, naturually, the pseudo-science of AGW.  Gore’s piece deserves to be torn apart simply based on his global warming musings, but I will leave that to others.  What I want to address is the following sentence from Gore’s AGW defense.

From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption.

It is time for the State to quit legislating my, or any other individual’s, redemption, whether the State’s reason for use of force (legislation), to ensure human redemption, is concern for my soul, or my physical well being.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/28 at 03:36 PM
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“Stupid religious, conservative people”

The title to this post is not original to me, it is taken from the title of Donald Sensing’s post Stupid, religious, conservative people, which Sensing penned after reading a piece at CNN Health titled Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ  which begins this way.

Political, religious and sexual behaviors may be reflections of intelligence, a new study finds.

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the the London School of Economics and Political Science correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs. This applied also to sexual exclusivity in men, but not in women. The findings will be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

The IQ differences, while statistically significant, are not stunning—on the order of 6 to 11 points…

Sensing, tongue in cheek, begins his post this way.

I am stunned to learn that I must be a dummy because I am both religious and conservative.

I cannot say that I was stunned, when I read the CNN piece yesterday, but I too must be a dummy, because I am religious and conservative.

Sensing dissects the CNN piece, and exposes it for the “fatally, internally inchoherent” study that it is.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/28 at 12:40 PM
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Forget About Greece, Beware the Coming California Contagion

Mr Dimon told investors at the Wall Street bank’s annual meeting that “there could be contagion” if a state the size of California, the biggest of the United States, had problems making debt repayments.

California is a greater risk than Greece, warns JP Morgan chief

Via Drudge.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/28 at 11:55 AM
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Are You a Three Percenter?

Do you know the meaning of the term Three Percenter, and what it would mean to be a Three Percenter?  Do you think the United States government is a threat to your rights, as a majority of Americans do?

CNN Poll: Majority says government a threat to citizens’ rights

If you do not understand the meaning of the term Three Percenter, or what it means to be a Three Percenter, but understand the threat the United States government poses to your individual rights, Mike Vanderboegh, “The Dutchman,” has posted a primer, of sorts, which explains what it means to be a Three Percenter in real life, easily understood terms.

“Yeah, but what does that Three Percent thing MEAN?”

Posted by John Venlet on 02/28 at 11:37 AM
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“A Little Know Medical Fact” and the 2nd Amendment

To wit: The most common cause of erectile disfunction (sic) in rapists is none other than a snub nosed 38 special in the hands of a female willing to use it.

From a Rachel Peepers post at Eternity Road titled Don’t leave home without it.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/28 at 11:29 AM
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A Most Beautiful Expression of Love

Liu Xiaobo, was recently sentenced to eleven (11) years in prison, in China, for advocating freedom.  The Guardian interviewed Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, and published this interview under the headline My dear husband Liu Xiaobo, the writer China has put behind bars.  At the end of the interview, there is a note from Liu Xiaobo to his wife Liu Xia which is one of the most beautiful expressions of love I have ever read.

LIU XIAOBO’S MESSAGE TO HIS WIFE AS HE WAS JAILED FOR 11 YEARS

“She cannot be present today, but I still want to tell you, my sweetheart, that I’m confident that your love for me will be as always.

Your love is sunlight that transcends prison walls and bars, stroking every inch of my skin, warming my every cell, letting me maintain my inner calm, magnanimous and bright, so that every minute in prison is full of meaning… My love is hard, sharp, and can penetrate any obstacles. Even if I am crushed into powder, I will embrace you with the ashes.”

That is love.  Read the whole interview.

Linked via Tom Palmer.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/28 at 11:09 AM
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Transforming or Already Transformed?

In a Saturday post at The Corner, under the heading Transformation, Andy McCarthy comments on the upcoming November elections and the alleged nervousness of Democrats subject to reelection by the whim of voters, with an emphasis on how the health care debacle plays into this.

McCarthy states that the Democrats are to the point where they will attempt to pass ObamaCare (DeathCare), regardless of how it may effect upcoming November elections, in order to move closer to the overall goal of the State, which is complete power/control over individuals lives, and McCarthy then makes this statement.

This is about power, and there is more to power than winning elections, especially if you’ve calculated that your opposition does not have the gumption to dismantle your ballooning welfare state. (bold by ed.)

The absolute truth of the portion of the above quote which I’ve highlighted can be illustrated by the following comment, taken from a Vodkapundit post titled The Brutal Truth About Californians, wherein an individual who attended a recent talk to a group of California conservatives, if there are actually conservatives in California, given by California’s State Controller of Currency, notes the response of conservatives to questions regarding the cutting of certain social programs.

Here’s the really scary thing: he asked the group how many people would be willing to cut spending in the following areas: Education, Health Care assistance, and Prisons? These areas comprise 92% of California’s budget, so any meaningful cuts would have to touch them. I was the ONLY person in the room that raised their hand for all three. And without naming names, this was one of the most conservative groups of people you could get into a room (at least in Cali).

If people don’t even have the guts to raise their hands in a room full of as like-minded a bunch as you’re going to find, how on earth do they expect their politicians to do anything? (bold by ed.)

As Billy Beck notes, after reading the above quote.

At this point of this disaster, there will be no voting our way out of it. The prevailing epistemology doesn’t permit it: there simply are not enough people out there who know how to think. The dominant ethics of the culture won’t have it: everybody wants to live at the expense of everyone else, and freedom is not a value in this country, anymore.

I say that you can count California as quite fairly representative of the United States at large, and you can take it from there.

America has been transformed.  Unfortunately it has been transformed into a gutless, socialist wonder.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/28 at 10:02 AM
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Friday, February 26, 2010

Hope or Individual Action to Fix What’s Broken?

According to CNN poll numbers released Sunday, Americans overwhelmingly think that the U.S. government is broken - though the public overwhelmingly holds out hope that what’s broken can be fixed.

I recommend individual action to fix what’s broken, rather than holding out hope with which the government will further bind you.

CNN Poll: Majority says government a threat to citizens’ rights

Posted by John Venlet on 02/26 at 11:58 AM
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Income Equality - It Just “Feels so Much Nicer”

Jenna Russell, writing for The Boston Globe, interviews Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, who have written a book titled The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger.

Russell’s interview is posted under the headline It’s money that matters, and carries the subheadline A new book says economic inequality is the social division we should be worrying about.

Based on the title of the book, the headline for Russell’s piece, and the subheadline, it is not difficult to ascertain that Pickett and Wilkinson think the solution to differences in incomes amongest the individuals who make up society is wealth redistribution, though they do admit that they “are not advocating any particular way” this should, or could, be accomplished.

What I found particularly empty headed about the interview, which would I think reflect an emptyheadedness about Pickett and Wilkinson’s book, is the following question and answer from within Russell’s interview regarding alleged benefits of income/wealth equality.

IDEAS: So the people at the top would benefit from change as well?

WILKINSON: The quality of social relations seems to deteriorate in more unequal societies. People trust each other much less….In Sweden, people don’t bother to check your tickets on the train or bus. And it just feels so much nicer. (bold by ed.)

It just feels so much nicer.  How vacuous.

Throughout mankind’s history I can recall no time when income/wealth equality existed.  This would also be true within the animal kingdom, though animals typically do not accumulate wealth, indeed not every animal receives the same share of the income (the kill or the best fruits hanging from the tree.)

Inequality in incomes and wealth will always exist.  That is the way the world functions.  Some individual will always make more money than you or I.  Some individual will always have a nicer car, home, or toy than you or I.  Get over it, and if you desire a nicer car, home, toy, or more money, get out there and earn it yourself, and keep your mitts off of my earnings.

Via Arts & Letters Daily.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/26 at 10:58 AM
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$450 Dollar Handgun for Sale - Just $819 Dollars

So, you live in Washington D.C. and you would like to purchase a handgun.  Excellent.  Have I got a deal for you.

The registration process adds substantially to the cost of the firearm.  If a firearm is purchased for $450, the new owner must thereafter contend with the following expenses:

$22.50 Virginia sales tax
$25 shipment fee
$125 gun class fee (may be more depending on the instructor)
$125 gun dealer transfer fee
$12 passport photos
$13 application fee  
$12 ballistics test fee  
$35 fingerprinting / FBI background check fee

The total fees and taxes are $369.50, nearly doubling the actual cost of a $450 firearm to $819.50.

From an examiner.com piece titled How to buy and register a handgun in the District of Columbia: a survival guide linked via Reynolds.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/26 at 10:26 AM
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“President Obama is Quite Clearly a Socialist”

The other day, Obama stated to the American people, while speaking to alleged American businessmen of the CEO type, that the policies he desires to implement are not socialism.

Evidently Bill O’Reilly thinks that individuals labeling Obama as a socialist are crossing some type of rhetorical line in labeling Obama as a socialist, no matter how far left Obama veers.

Adam Shaw, writing at the American Thinker, noted O’Reilly’s hesitation in calling Obama a socialist, and comments on O’Reilly’s hesitation in a piece titled Obama’s Socialism, from which I will quote a few salient lines.

Here in Britain we look at the continuing battle as to whether Obama is a socialist or not as a rather odd American quibble. In Britain we have no problem defining people as socialists, nor do people on the left have a problem calling themselves socialists. It is not that those of us on the conservative right do not believe that socialism is a bad doctrine. We do, and we see evidence of its continual destruction of the country on a day-to-day basis, but we have always had socialism living quite openly amongst us. We are therefore able to see and recognize it quite calmly as a day-to-day occurrence in politics, just as one recognizes the flu. We wish it didn’t exist, but it does, and so we get on with our lives, trying to avoid catching it in the process.

And this.

I have a lot of respect for Bill O’Reilly, but to a Brit who has seen his fair share of socialists and lives in a socialist country run by a self-described socialist party by a self-described socialist prime minister who has taken over for another self-described socialist prime minister, it is puzzling why self-described independents like Mr O’Reilly are doing backflips in an attempt to avoid the obvious fact—President Obama is quite clearly a socialist.

President Obama is quite clearly a socialist, and as Shaw states in his piece, Americans should quit deluding themselves in regards to this fact.

Linked via Bill at Free In Idaho!

Posted by John Venlet on 02/26 at 09:49 AM
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mammoth Iceberg, Ice Cube Concern

Reading the following headline, Mammoth iceberg could alter ocean circulation: study, one may think that the impact of this “mammoth iceberg” may call for drastic actions, say bombing it into little icebergs, or what have you.  The second paragraph should ease any concerns.

While the impact would not be felt for decades or longer, a slowdown in the production of colder, dense water could result in less temperate winters in the north Atlantic, they said.

I’ll stay on top of it and get back to you in 2040 or so.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/25 at 06:59 PM
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So Much for the Sanctity of Your Home, and the Fourth Amendment

I’m surprised I have not seen the following in my travels through the world wide web the past couple of days, as the relevance this has to the privacy each and every American individual has a right to in their home, is, in effect, dead.

Last week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied an en banc rehearing of the case United States v. Lemus, which dealt with a warrantless police search of a suspect’s home after he was arrested outside of it. As a result of the 9th Circuit’s denial, the search will stand,...

Chief Judge of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Alex Kozinski, dissenting and none to happy, welcomes Americans to the “fishbowl.”

This is an extraordinary case: Our court approves, without blinking, a police sweep of a person’s home without a warrant, without probable cause, without reasonable suspicion and without exigency—in other words, with nothing at all to support the entry except the curiosity police always have about what they might find if they go rummaging around a suspect’s home. Once inside, the police managed to turn up a gun “in plain view”—stuck between two cushions of the living room couch—and we reward them by upholding the search.

Did I mention that this was an entry into somebody’s home, the place where the protections of the Fourth Amendment are supposedly at their zenith?...

The opinion misapplies Supreme Court precedent, conflicts with our own case law and is contrary to the great weight of authority in the other circuits. It is also the only case I know of, in any jurisdiction covered by the Fourth Amendment, where invasion of the home has been approved based on no showing whatsoever. Nada. Gar nichts. Rien du tout. Bupkes.

Whatever may have been left of the Fourth Amendment after [United States v. Black] is now gone. The evisceration of this crucial constitutional protector of the sanctity and privacy of what Americans consider their castles is pretty much complete. Welcome to the fish bowl.

The above was gleaned from a Reason Hit & Run post titled Judge Alex Kozinski: The Fourth Amendment is Gone. “Welcome to the fish bowl.”, which I linked after visiting J. Orlin Grabbe’s website.

Pitt the Elder, though in the grave, speaks to this tyranny.

The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter, the rain may enter—but the King of England cannot enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!

Posted by John Venlet on 02/25 at 05:16 PM
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Submarine News - Women

I suppose it was inevitable, but I’m happy that my time in the submarine service is long past.

Women to Serve on Subs, Gates Tells Congress

Via The Stupid Shall Be Punished, which has a long comment thread on the subject.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/25 at 03:45 PM
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Joe Stack Conspiracy Theorists?

It seems that every major event which strikes society’s psyche brings forth some sort of conspiracy theory, involving secrets not known, alleged governmental relationships and other whisperings overhead in the hall.  I guess it isn’t unusual, then, that the recent Joe Stack incident should bring forth its own conspiracy theory.

The blog also highlights transponder flight tracking records of Stack’s plane which show that its last journey took place on August 6, 2009, and not on February 18 last week when the aircraft was slammed into the Echelon building.

One poster on the Prison Planet forum speculates, “This plane may still be in a hanger at GTU.”

Could Stack’s lightweight Piper Cherokee really have caused such drastic damage to the facade of the Echelon building when compared with other small planes that have crashed into buildings like that of New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle?...

Another startling contradiction comes in the form of Stack’s last words, which were reported by the media and apparently confirmed by audio from air traffic control tapes to be, “Thanks for your help, have a good day.”

However, audio taken from radio scanners who also recorded Stack’s last words is slightly different from that being forwarded as the official version. The second version of the audio, Stack’s final words are, “I’m definitely checking out, have a good day.”

The entire theory can be read at PrisonPlanet.com in a piece titled Joe Stack’s Intriguing Connections With Defense Contractors, Intelligence Agencies.

Via Fred Lapides GoodShit.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/25 at 03:11 PM
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