Monday, May 31, 2010

Submarines in the News

Submarines’ stealth capabilities are serverely eroded when they make the “news,” but the “news” is not often meant to inform.  Rather, the “news” is often meant to broadcast certain agendas, or send messages not necessarily “received.”

With the above in mind, I point to two “news” stories.  First, from Debka.com, under the headline A US nuclear submarine crosses into Strait of Hormuz, which informs us of the following.

Tehran reports that an Iranian naval patrol Thursday, May 27, detected a US nuclear submarine sailing through the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which most of the oil produced by Persian Gulf states passes on its way to world markets. debkafile’s Iranian sources report Tehran has placed its navy and army on high alert.

Western intelligence and naval sources confirm that a nuclear-armed American submarine has in fact entered the Persian Gulf. This confirms debkafile’s report of May 20 that the Obama administration had decided to boost US military strength in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf regions in the short term with an extra air and naval strike forces and 6,000 Marine and sea combatants. Carrier Strike Group 10, headed by the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, was due to sail out of the US Navy base at Norfolk, Virginia Friday, May 21.

The second story, in the Times Online, under the headline Israel stations nuclear missile subs off Iran, informs us of this.

Three German-built Israeli submarines equipped with nuclear cruise missiles are to be deployed in the Gulf near the Iranian coastline.

The first has been sent in response to Israeli fears that ballistic missiles developed by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, a political and military organisation in Lebanon, could hit sites in Israel, including air bases and missile launchers.

The submarines of Flotilla 7 — Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan — have visited the Gulf before. But the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.

I sincerely hope that the Captains of these submarines, and the naval chains of command, are working together more cooperatively than Obama has appeared to work with the leaders of Israel.

Both sub stories linked via Fred Lapides.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/31 at 11:46 AM
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Memorial Day Thoughts

It’s Memorial Day.  A small thunderstorm is marching in.  It seems appropriate that the storm’s rumblings are currently muffled, like artillery in the distance.

Memorial Day was originally referred to as Decoration Day, and was first officially celebrated on May 30, 1868.  Though most Americans know Memorial Day was set aside as a day to remember and honor American military dead, it is interesting to note that in May 2000, a Memorandum on the White House Program for the National Moment of Remembrance was thought needed to remind Americans of exactly why Memorial Day is observed.  I think one can more clearly understand why this memorandum was promulgated if they read the Wikipedia entry for Memorial Day.  It begins this way.

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May…

The Wikipedia entry does provide additional history and other information on Memorial Day, but it is a sad reflection on our times that the entry regarding Memorial Day begins by noting Memorial Day is a federal holiday, rather than a day to honor war dead.

There are a plethora news stories regarding Memorial Day, but I want to point to a few personal thoughts.

First, Malone Vandam, who writes the following.

What a thing it is, to give your life as a soldier for the United States of America. It is such a great giving that no one can repay it, except perhaps by loving this great place with a promise never to take it for granted that freedom is a gift from God that paradoxically men must defend.

Next, the American Mercenary, who shares this old story.

After a long four day firefight in Vietnam the choppers came in to pick up the dead. A Major and a Sergeant Major took the first flight in, and the Major went up and down the rows of dead soldiers looking at dog tags.

“Only 18, so young” the Major lamented. He continued. “Only 20, only 19” He turned to the Sergeant Major, “They are all so young.”

The Sergeant Major replied. “They are dead sir, it doesn’t get any older than that.”

It is a morbid little story about the value of life, the disconnect of senior officers from the reality of combat, and the grim resignation of enlisted men.

But this Memorial day it is time to remember those who will not get any older.

At the end of that story, American Mercenary shares the names of three individuals who will not get any older, whom I can only assume have more recently joined the ranks of men deserving of Americans’ honor.

It seems appropriate that my last link is to a Prayer for Memorial Day.

Lord God, grant us the faith that will truly honor those we remember this day.

They died for their country; give us the faith to live for our country.

They died to bring peace; give us the faith to live for peace.

They died believing in us, their fellow Americans; give us the faith to believe in one another and in our future.

Grant us the same sense of commitment to people and their right to justice and peace as those we remember.

Teach us to honor all our relationships, from those dearest to us to those whom we will never meet but with whom we share this common planet.

Grant us wisdom, give us hope, grant us dreams and visions like those that inspired people to give their lives, believing that through adversity and conflict would come peace and justice.

Lord, save us from complacency and prejudice – those very things that create conflict and cause young lives to be lost in battle or in despair. Make us instruments of your peace:

where there is hatred, let us sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is discord, unity;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, love;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

Lord, hear our prayer, and let our cry come unto you. Amen.

So be it.

UPDATE:  A post at Primordial Slack titled Remembrance is Survivial.  Go and listen to the Tussing Elementary School 3rd graders sing Thank You, Soldiers.  It is our children who we must raise up as lovers and defenders of liberty, freedom and opportunity.  We must release our children from the culture of State dependency currently infecting American society.  An infection which is being nourished and groomed from within the highest office in this land.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/31 at 06:52 AM
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Unexplained Absence Explained

After spending the last couple of days attempting to resuscitate my old ‘puter, a frustrating endeavor for an individual as technically illiterate as myself, I have thrown in the proverbial towel, or in this case, the fried hard drive, and now must obtain and rebuild new computing means.  My brother, The Wizard, has been coaxing me along, in between standing in one of my favorite trout streams, via intemittment connecting cell phone calls, but I require his hands on physical presence to finalize all preparations for relaunch.  I am informed, that The Wizard will soon be visiting me in person, and thus I will return soon, with a vengance.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/30 at 01:15 PM
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

All Your Banking Data is Compromised, Now

The other day, when I mentioned Scott Brown being just another one of the guys; once again and hardly surprising; voting with the Democrats in the passing of the alleged financial reform bill, I was unaware of the following aspect of the bill, which will allow another atrocious intrusion into individuals’ private lives.

Senate Democrats united to pass a financial regulatory bill that allows the government to collect data on any person operating in financial markets at any level, including the collection of personal transaction records from local banks that list customers’ addresses and ATM receipts.

Private lives are dead.

Senate Democrats Pass Bill Allowing Govt to Collect Addresses, ATM Records of Bank Customers

Linked via Claire Wolfe.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/27 at 05:12 PM
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Freedom Quote of the Day

Joel, at The Ultimate Answer to Kings.

I will be free if I have to break every law in the history of jurisprudence to do it. I will be free if I have to spend the rest of my life in prison to do it. I have no part with people who beg and plead for the privilege of exercising rights they were born with, people who pride themselves on how very law-abiding they are and count that as a measure of their “goodness,” people who kiss the hands that rivet on their chains.

I will be free.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/27 at 01:35 PM
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Lethal Threat Quote of the Day

From a post at pdb titled Personal Space, commenting on that Michael Temkin instructional viddie which advocates closing the distance between yourself and a gun firing threat.

When faced with a lethal threat, your counterattack should be explosively violent, and bewilderingly unexpected.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/27 at 01:18 PM
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Bruno Catalano Sculpture

Via Fred Lapides’ GoodShit, artist Bruno Catalano’s In Search of Missing Pieces sculptures.  I like them.

Does the third one in the series remind you of anyone you know?

Posted by John Venlet on 05/27 at 12:11 PM
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Contraceptives and Abortion - A Juxtaposition

As I’ve mentioned previously, I find abortion abhorrent, as abortion is, for the most part, a display of an utter lack of personal responsibility when contraceptive measures are readily, and easily available.

Time magazine has a piece online titled More women still prefer the Pill over other contraceptives, which lists various contraceptive measures, and their percentages of preferability among women.

Juxtapose the information in the Time article with these abortion statistics.  If you do, you’ll understand why I say that Stalin was a piker compared to the wholesale murder that occurs worldwide, on a daily basis, under the umbrella of abortion.

Link to Time piece via Fred Lapides.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/27 at 11:52 AM
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It’s Not Health Care Rationing, Its “Comparative Effective Research”

The State, is a master of obfuscation in marketing.  Daily, the State markets their cure all snake oil of benevolence, but, like the snake oil touted by the salesman in The Outlaw Josey Wales, the State’s “medicine” is merely a topical application of ineffectiveness, unable to remove spit stains, which is unfortunate for Dr. Donald Berwick, Harvard’s Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, because I spit on Berwick’s touting of national health care, and his obfuscating of the reality of rationed health care under the topical string of words Comparative Effectiveness Research (pdf of 3 pgs).

Berwick is Obama’s Nominee to Run Medicare, or, in other words, Berwick is the individual whom Obama desires to consider human individuals as research monkeys, to facilitate the disaster which is nationalized health.

“Comparative effectiveness research” is simply snake oil speak for rationed health care, at your expense, turning American individuals into nothing more than research monkeys.

Linked via Karen De Coster.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/27 at 10:49 AM
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Promise Jobs, Get Away with Murder - Symptomatic

Politicians “promising” jobs, to buy votes, is nothing new, but politicians using the promise of jobs, or the “creation” of jobs, as a sort of get out of jail free card as cover for perfidious actions once in office, is a relatively new development.

Here in Michigan, State Representative Rev. Robert Dean is using the alleged possible creation of jobs as cover for using his position of authority to grease the skids for a $10 million dollar tax credit boondoggle, which is part of a “deal” to facilitate the purchase of an old factory by a supposed film studio, Hangar42 Studios, which miraculously increased in value from $10 million dollars to $40 million in a matter of three or four weeks.  What a deal!

And as we all know, the movie industry is huge, in Hollywood, but no matter, the State of Michigan has been fantasizing for years, as is evidenced by its shining example of abject failure, economically, so what’s one more $10 million boondoggle in Michigan’s slide into destruction, and hey, maybe Hangar42 Studios can film it.

More importantly, this story is symptomatic of the disease infecting all of America.  The disease of socialism and the promotion of business based on utopian promises and government intervention rather than realities.

Lawmaker says he inquired into holdup in Hangar42 Studios $10 million tax credit because of jobs creation, not ties to owner

Posted by John Venlet on 05/27 at 07:59 AM
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Obama - A Tinpot Dictator America Can Call Its Own

Catching up on my reading, I note Mike Soja’s comments and links on certain individuals pining over their desires for Obama to be set up as America’s dictator.  I’d say Obama has acted, and taken legislative giant steps, to wear this tinpot title since he moved into the White House, under the guise of saving America, when in actuality Obama is hastening its demise.

Mike’s post links to a piece at FirstThings.com, penned by Elizabeth Scalia, “The Anchoress,” which is titled The Privileged Call for Limited Dictatorships, which notes such alleged illuminaries as I’ll marry my adopted daughter Woody Allen, and commie admirer Thomas Friedman, as, I guess, the priviliged making the dictator call.  Idiots.

I’ll note, here, that it is not only the priviliged calling for a dictator.  The masses have been calling for life under a dictatorship, for decades, every time they pull the lever of the slot machine cleverly disguised as a voting booth.

All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men. When the majority shall at length vote for the abolition of slavery, it will be because they are indifferent to slavery, or because there is but little slavery left to be abolished by their vote. They will then be the only slaves. Only his vote can hasten the abolition of slavery who asserts his own freedom by his vote.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/27 at 07:18 AM
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

State of Michigan Attempting to Claim all Water

Jeebus, I should’ve stayed in the crick.  I just perused our local rag, The Grand Rapids Press, and read the following in the Public Pulse (no online link available at this time).

Water legislation a property grab
Organizations are canvassing neighborhoods saying that a water bill now in the House protects Michigan’s water for its residents.  What they’re not telling us (note the use of the term “us,” here - ed.) is that the bill takes all water rights under our (note the use on the term “our,” here - ed.) property and gives them to the state.  This would allow the government to fine, fee, and permit for any water taken from under our (note, once again, the use of the term “our,” here - ed.) property.  This is one of the largest seizures of private property rights in our (“our” again - ed.) recent history.

If there’s one thing Michigan has is lots of water.

This already has halted businesses that require water use from coming to Michigan, thereby, losing jobs.  Michigan already has laws to protect our water rights.  We don’t need more government taking rights away.  We lose our (there’s that “our,” again - ed.) freedoms and rights one law at a time.

State Representative Dave Agema (R) (ital. by ed.)

Note that the bill number for this monstrosity of legislation was conveniently not in Agema’s letter.  I searched online for a bit, but because the mi.gov search engine is lacking in specificity, I ended up calling Agema’s office, and I have never, in my life, called a politician.  The individual answering the phone was very pleasant, when not asking for contact information, and thus I was able to obtain the bill number.

Sure enough, House Bill No. 5319 (pdf of 2 pgs.) is an attempt by the State of Michigan to lay claim to all groundwater within the state.

A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled
“Natural resources and environmental protection act,”
(MCL 324.101 to 324.90106) by adding part 4.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
PART 4. 1 PUBLIC TRUST RESOURCES
2 SEC. 401. (1) THE CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATURAL
3 RESOURCES OF THE STATE ARE OF PARAMOUNT PUBLIC CONCERN IN THE
4 INTEREST OF THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND GENERAL WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE,
5 AND THE AIR, WATER, AND OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE STATE SHALL
6 BE PROTECTED FROM POLLUTION, IMPAIRMENT, AND DESTRUCTION.
7 (2) THE WATERS OF THE STATE, INCLUDING GROUNDWATER, ARE HELD
8 IN TRUST BY THE STATE. THE STATE SHALL PROTECT THESE WATERS AND
9 OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES THAT ARE SUBJECT TO THE PUBLIC TRUST FOR…

While I am pleased that Dave Agema opposes this bill, the fact of the matter is, being a politician, Agema will mouth the correct candied phrases regarding private property and loss of freedom and rights, and utilize terms such “us” and “our” only in a false I feel your pain convenience, and never when he is pushing a bill he would support.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/26 at 03:34 PM
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Reality of Life

A little bird had chirped a pleasant note in my ear regarding a certain mayfly on Sunday late, so off I scurried to the water, packing only my fishing gear, a bottle of bourbon, six bottles of water, and an egg salad sandwich, thinking I wouldn’t be gone long.  The reality of the pleasant note kept me in the water for twenty of the last forty-eight hours.  Fished hard.

Reality is existent in the woods and streams, in opposition to the masquerade of official pronouncements and strained baby food fed to individuals via newspapers and teevee news.  I feast on this reality.

Returning from the reality of the water, for a bit of physical rest, and a bite to eat after subsisting on hatching mayflies, rising trout, cigars and bourbon for the most part the past couple of days, I clicked through the sanctioned “news” sources and noted that the illusion that all is well in the world, meaning “The Endarkenment,” and its accompanying ignorance continues apace.

Fortunately, I was able to find a speck of bright light of knowledge and truth, reality, a note as pleasant as that bird that chirped in my ear, in these words.

It is interesting to note that there are those alive today who are living a uniquely notable experience because they are now still alive to see the end of America, but old enough to have lived its peak. The past century or so has seen the seeding and cultivation of ideas only now coming to terrible yield. However, the enormous impetus of America’s original conception, coming together as it did with the Industrial Age, managed to carry various aspects of this country’s culture (material, intellectual, aesthetic, etc.) to heights which were the apple of the world’s eye through most of the twentieth century, and for good reasons. Even to this day, one can easily find anywhere in the world some benighted peasant who still longs for The Great Feast of Ostentatious Consumption that America represents to most people who haven’t been studied by critical sociology. Of course, that poor bastard never got to blast gas through a Chevy 454 SS at three gallons (or more) for a dollar, never had the quality of information delivered to his door that we once had, and his country never celebrated life on the scale that ours did before everybody really started hating themselves and then—of course—everything else, and their arts showed it.

Those words, are Billy Beck’s, and though the reality of Billy’s words are disheartening, the fact that they are reality is as pleasing to me as the pleasant chirping of birds in my ear noting certain mayflies taking wing.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/26 at 02:19 PM
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Choose Wisely, or Be Enslaved

America faces a new culture war.

This is not the culture war of the 1990s. It is not a fight over guns, gays or abortion. Those old battles have been eclipsed by a new struggle between two competing visions of the country’s future. In one, America will continue to be an exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise—limited government, a reliance on entrepreneurship and rewards determined by market forces. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, a managed economy and large-scale income redistribution. These visions are not reconcilable. We must choose.

I think the “culture war” is not new.  In fact, the culture war referenced by Arthur C. Brooks in his Washington Post piece America’s new culture war: Free enterprise vs. government control, has been ongoing, skirmishing around Americans daily, for over one hundred (100) years.  Many Americans have chosen to ignore this fact, because they did not perceive they had been wounded, or personally attacked, yet.

The “war” is daily intensifying, and Americans will have to choose.  Choose wisely, or be enslaved.

Link to Brooks’ piece via what if?

Posted by John Venlet on 05/23 at 10:36 AM
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Feral Dogs Preferable to Do-gooders

Last night, the lovely Melis and I joined some friends for dinner.  As we exited the truck, my eye was caught by a Native American Indian Dog, an eight week old puppy actually, named Tessa.  I was immediately enthralled by this little critter, and if you click on that link, you may find yourself drawn to the breed also.

Because I was unfamiliar with this breed, after obtaining the kennel name from Tessa’s humans, I googled it up to check it out more in depth prior to sitting down to dinner, and I read this.

Current proposed legislation Senate Bill 1139

which basically will establish the extinction of the domestic pet in the United States in 30 years or less.

Check out www.pet-law.com

Then go to www.saova.org to find out what you can do to prevent this from being made into law.

Naturally, I went and checked out those sites, because I was unaware of any legislation under consideration which could possibly curtail domestic pet ownership here in America, and I found this compilation of proposed laws (pdf of 10 pgs.).  In reading through this documentation, readers will find that the gradual elimination of domestic pet ownership could, indeed, become an actuality through these various propopsed laws at the behest of dogooders such as PETA and HSUS.

I’m sick and tired of dogooder interference, and I would rather live with packs of feral dogs, because feral dogs exhibit more sense.

The truth is that they are, at heart, the very best of the species. Natural selection tends to favor the smartest and quickest of them. When socialized early, they show themselves to be uniquely strong, aware and adaptable.

Even among some who are rescued later in their lives, we often find a kind of gratitude from them. When they come to find themselves free from want, given affection and kindness, they bond to their rescuers in ways that might seem unexpected from an animals who existed previously in such states of suffering at the hands of human beings.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/23 at 08:31 AM
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