Thursday, May 12, 2011

Endarkenment Quote of the Day (from April 29, 2011)

An essentially free, essentially prosperous, essentially rational, essentially culturally dynamic America and western civilization must have been quite an exhilarating place in which to live and work.  I wish I could have experienced it as an adult, but I was not born until 1978.

Jeffrey Falk, in a post titled Another War, Another Wasteland, Another Lost Generation”: Another Day at the Endarkenment, spurred by just a handful of that day’s headlines.

I was born in 1960, Jeffrey, and I wish I could have experienced it too.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 04:57 PM
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My Kids Are Bucking The Trend

From a Time piece titled Survey: 85% of New College Grads Move Back in with Mom and Dad.

The kids are coming home to roost.

Surprise, surprise: Thanks to a high unemployment rate for new grads, many of those with diplomas fresh off the press are making a return to Mom and Dad’s place. In fact, according to a poll conducted by consulting firm

Twentysomething Inc.

, some 85% of graduates will soon remember what Mom’s cooking tastes like.

I’ve had three of my four kids graduate from college in the past year and one-half, and not a one of them has returned home, nor have they asked to, though they still like to taste Mom’s cooking from time to time, and raid the pantry for various and sundry items.  And they all have jobs.  They’re good kids.

Via InstaPundit.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 04:37 PM
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Ah, Spring Fishing

The Fishing Report, from my neck of the woods and streams, and here I sit in Grand Rapids.  Dang it!

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 04:15 PM
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If It Wasn’t For The Private Sector There Would Be No Government Jobs

Obama displays his utter lack of understanding of the importance of the private sector, and continues his obsequious pandering to professional jobholders in this comment.

Let me just first of all say that workers like you, for the federal, state, and local governments, are so important for our vital services. And it frustrates me sometimes when people talk about ‘government jobs’ as if somehow those are worth less than private sector jobs. I think there is nothing more important than working on behalf of the American people.

Government jobs are worth less than private sector jobs.  Get a real job, Obama.

Via a post a Real Clear Politics titled Obama: “Nothing More Important” Than A Government Job.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 03:12 PM
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Cheers for Fears, I Just Do Not Comprehend It

Erin O’Brien, whom I’ve only recently become casually acquainted with, has a post up titled Now I understand the chanting.  The post touches on the subject of the wild, cheering celebrations which occurred after the announcement that bin Laden had been killed.

In the short note I posted regarding bin Laden’s death, I stated that I regarded these celebrations as one step away from the Muslim savagery Americans often decry when they view Muslims wildly celebrating the killing of innocent individuals by some hapless suicide bomber on the teevee news.

Erin, also, initially did not cotton to the wild celebrations over bin Laden’s killing, but she has somewhat changed her tune, after listening to an episode of This American Life (Episode 434 - linked at Erin’s place).  From Erin’s post (Now I understand the chanting).

Last Monday, I posted briefly about bin Ladin’s demise and in that comment thread and elsewhere online, I expressed my distaste at the associated celebrations across America.

Then today, I listened to This American Life. At about the 8:30 mark in episode 434, a story unfolds about a boisterous and patriotic celebration over the bin Laden announcement at State College Pennsylvania.

One of the students, 20-year-old Lexi, spoke about the night of May 1, 2011 and the ten years that led up to it. She talked about being so afraid after 911. She was only 11 and was terrified by planes and flying for years…

She talked about how bin Laden’s death—while not exactly an endpoint—was an indicator that there finally could be an end to the murky pall. Hence the celebrations.

So Lexi, I apologize. I rushed to judgment. I didn’t understand your point of view and how sweet and intoxicating the faintest scent of peace must be when you’re just 20 years old and the only America you’ve known has been held captive by a shadowy fear.

And I thank you, Lexi, because now I understand the chanting.

I clicked over and listened to the referenced episode of This American Life, and young Lexi Belcufine’s musings, and I still do not comprehend the celebrations and chantings.

Young Lexi speaks of the 9/11 beginning of her fears, and how they have trailed her through her life to date, at the tender age of 20 years old, and how bin Laden’s killing somehow eliminated those fears, thus, the cheering, chanting celebrations.

I contend that Lexi’s fears were and are irrational, and that she has been failed by her parents, who commended her education to an education system which is designed to indoctrinate the young into a complete acceptance of the State as lord, savior, and protector, and who did little or nothing to instill into their daughter any spirit of self-reliance or self-protection, or eliminate her irrational fears stemming from the events of 9/11.

While I can fully understand the Navy Seals, and their support network(s), celebrating the completion of a successful operation in the killing of bin Laden, possibly the families of those who lost loved ones as the result of 9/11, and those currently serving in the military, I just do not comprehend the cheering, chanting celebrations by ordinary Americans on hearing the news of bin Laden’s death.

My guess is that those American individuals cheering, chanting and celebrating bin Laden’s killing will also be wildly excited about this.

The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety.  H.L. Mencken

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 01:53 PM
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Used Books and That’s Service

I’ve been chasing around Northern Michigan alot, lately, yesterday included.  Unfortunately, the reasons for my chasings haven’t been strictly in response to rising trout.  Though I did take to my hand some nice trout last Friday afternoon.

Chased off a project, yesterday, by a suddenly intense thunderstorm, I wandered into a small used bookstore in Petoskey, Michigan.  The store was staffed with three or four silver haired ladies, and one younger man, all bustling about, straightening a volume here and there, all chattering amiably amongest themselves.

I zigged and zagged the few and narrow mazelike aisles, stopping to peruse the Solzhenitsyn hardcovers available; The First Circle, Cancer Ward, August 1914; but I was actually intent on determining if the store had any hardcovers of G.K. Chesterton’s works.

Not finding what I was searching for, I approached one of the ladies and asked if she knew if the store held any of Chesterton’s works.  She was not familiar with Chesterton, so she asked me what works he might be known for.  I rattled off Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man, neither of which she was cognizant of, so I also recited to her a tightly condensed Chesterton biography, upon which she recommended I look in the store’s religion section, and pointed me to a two foot wide by six foot tall white bookcase with a handlettered sign which read “Religion.”

The “Religion” bookcase’s shelves were fully stocked.  Fifty percent of the shelfspace was taken up with Bibles.  The other fifty percent of the shelfspace seemed to be filled with new agey spiritual balms.  Most of the volumes appeared to have been applied once, to no effect, and then passed on to the used bookseller to hopefully be found by some other potential seeker in need of soothing.  No Chesterton volumes.

I wasn’t really surprised to not find any Chesterton works, so I was not disappointed, and I started to make my way to the door.  As I did so, the lady who had pointed me to the “religion section” said, “No Chesterton?,” from up near the counter.  “Nope,” I said, “No Chesterton, but thank you,” and made to put my hand to the door.  As I did so, another lady’s voice pipes up from behind a bookshelf and says, “I may have some Chesterton in the garage.  If you leave me your name and number, I’ll take a look.  I have alot of books in my garage and you never know what I might find.”

Intrigued by this called out offer, I turned and found what could be described as a quintessential little old silver haired lady smiling at me, approaching with a pen and piece of paper in her hand.  As she reaches me, she says “You like to read old books.”  To which I replied, “Yes, I am an old book reader,” as I accepted the pen and paper she offered.

I wrote down my name and phone number, and added “G.K. Chesterton” to the piece paper, and then handed the paper back to the quintessential little old silver haired lady with a bright smile, which she returned in kind.  As she accepted the paper from me, she said, “I’ll dig around in my garage.  If I find any of Chesterton’s books, I’ll call you.”  I thanked her profusely, and left the store with a smile.  I hope I hear from her.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 08:05 AM
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rolling Your Own Cigarettes Becoming A Crime

The State of Michigan is threatening to turn tobacco shop owners into criminals if they continue to allow customers to roll their own (manufacture) cigarettes with a machine designed and sold to tobacco shop owners for just that purpose.

Michigan officials want to snuff out the use of an Ohio company’s automated cigarette rolling machines at smoke shops that are seen as attractive by cost-conscious smokers.

The Michigan Department of Treasury in March warned 300 smoke shop owners that using the machine constitutes the illegal manufacture of cigarettes, The Detroit News reported Monday.  The $30,000 machines are made by Girard, Ohio-based RYO Machine Rental LLC.

Here’s a link to the RYO cigarette rolling machine which is offending the tax hungry Michigan officials, and here’s a link to the actual reason why the State of Michigan is claiming RYO cigarette rolling machines are illegal maufacturing units.  The actual reason has nothing to do with the alleged illegality of a RYO machine rolling (manufacturing) cigarettes for cost conscious consumers.

Michigan officials target use of automated cigarette rollers

Here’s an August 2010 Wall Street Journal piece noting the use of RYO machines, which fully supports the actual reason why Michigan is claiming the use of a RYO machine constitues illegal manufacturing of cigarettes.  It’s titled Roll-Your-Own Cigarette Machines Help Evade Steep Tax.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/10 at 02:44 PM
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Communism’s Heart Beats in America

At one time, Chevy was known as the “Heartbeat of America”.  Today, that is no longer the case.  In fact, the case can be made that communism’s heart is beating within General Motors, rather than Chevy’s heart beating in America.

Communism isn’t dead, it’s just morphed into a more virulent and insidious disease, and one does not need a microscope in order to see that indeed Communism’s heart is beating within America.

All one needs do to see the extent of communism’s heart beating in America is to look at the unions.  Unions such as the Service Employees International Union or the AFL-CIO, to name but two.

If you think I speak too harshly of communism’s heart beating in America and America’s unions, look at the pictures, taken at Los Angeles’ May Day rally just nine days ago.  Like I said, you will not need a microscope to see it for yourself.

I don’t know about you, but when I looked at those photos of union members and commies chumming around together, with their signs proclaiming the joys of communism, I considered them in the same league as the scum aligned with the Westboro Baptist Church.

Communism isn’t dead.  It’s heart is beating in America.

Link to photos of commies and union members being all brotherly via a post at Pajamas Media titled SEIU drops mask, goes full commie.

Link to Pajamas Media piece via a Billy Beck post titled Bullets, which contains a reading from Richard Pipes which you should acquaint yourself with.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/10 at 01:29 PM
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All The Better To Keep You In A State of Fear

The announcement of the new emergency alert system came Monday in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death and an uptick in security and safety concerns around New York City.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the system will warn people about terrorist attacks, natural disasters or other emergencies.

Starting next year, all new cell phones will be required to have a chip that receives the alerts.

National Emergency Alert System Set To Launch In NYC

Got tissues to wipe away the tears resulting from the State’s fearmongering?

Linked via Drudge.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/10 at 08:47 AM
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Canadian Criminal Links

Remember when the term “criminal links” meant that an individual was in some way associated with another individual, or individuals, who actually had committed a crime, say like murder, or theft?

The State, in its ever expanding role of big brother, rests not in forging new criminal links, tenuous though they may be, with which then the State can brand every individual a criminal at the merest whim.

Today’s exemplary tenuous criminal link forger is Canada, and Mark Steyn provides the details in an article titled THE CRIMINALIZATION OF THE LINK.

If you wanted to confirm the notion that elections are a waste of time, you could hardly do it more swiftly than the new Canadian Conservative majority government is with its omnibus crime bill. Clause Five criminalizes the “hyperlink” - that’s to say, if you include a link to a site “where hate material is posted”, you could go to jail for two years.

In an effort to strengthen the ties of my Canadian criminal links, I herewith link to the site Blazing Cat Fur, which has already been sued for linking to that comedic purveyor of hate Mark Steyn, and welcome other suggested hyperlinks wherewith I can further strengthen my ties to my fellow Canadian criminal links.

Long live the hyperlink!

Linked via Otto Odecker.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/10 at 08:05 AM
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Is That A Flashlight Under My Bumper, Or Is The FBI Tracking Me?

So, you pull your vehicle into your driveway to wash it, or to perform some other more mundane vehicle maintenance, and you note what appears to be a cylindrical object tucked into your bumper.  Is it a flashlight, or, is it a FBI GPS tracking device?

Wired magazine pondered on these questions, and came to the conclusion such a cylindrical object, if found under your car, would indeed be a FBI GPS tracking device, and wrote up an article on the subject titled Battle Brews Over FBI’s Warrantless GPS Tracking.

Of even greater interest, is a pictorial and photographic teardown of a FBI GPS tracking device, with video (4:02), by the folks at ifixit.com.

I think I’ll go peek under my truck a minute.

Linked via Fred Lapides.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/10 at 07:19 AM
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Monday, May 09, 2011

Tissue Paper Fears

I thought of the following quote, at the end of this post, when I read this headline at Drudge, just now.

USA FREAK OUT: TERROR FEARS; FALSE ALARMS

That Drudge headline leads to a CBS DFW article titled Too Much Fear? Package Threat Forces Evacuation Of Dallas DART Station, wherein readers learn this.

The Mockingbird DART station and the surrounding area, including the Angelika Theater, were evacuated Saturday after a police dog alerted authorities to a passenger onboard with two suspicious packages, a spokesman said.

Riders traveling through downtown stations reportedly expressed alarm after a man asked them for help carrying a duffel bag and a large box.

Bomb technicians with the Dallas Police Department determined the packages were not a threat about two hours after the evacuation, said DART spokesman Morgan Lyons.

“He was actually trying to pay people to help him get packages on and off the train,” Lyons said.

The man with the packages remained with DPD through the afternoon, though he was not arrested.

“Inconvenient for sure, but we’re all okay – and that’s what matters,” said Kim Speer, who was attempting to return home with her two children.

Ah, a bit inconvenient, Ms. Speers says, but that’s okay, preferring to give up her liberty for a bit of safety theater, because we all know that terrorists are constantly looking to pay some dumb schmuck a few dollars to help cart their bombs around when their hands are full.

Drudge is correct.  These type of inconveniences are a total “USA freak out.”

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.

Brendan Francis Behan

Posted by John Venlet on 05/09 at 05:10 PM
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Thursday, May 05, 2011

And I’m Doing It

Claire Wolfe has a post up titled What’s an Outlaw to Do?, and she provides some ideas, and ideas are the coin of the realm of the free, on what to do.

Since I am otherwise occupied, currently, and unable to spend as much time reading and posting as I would prefer, I recommend you get over to Claire’s place and read that post.  And no, I haven’t been in the water casting to rising trout.  I will be tomorrow, though.

From Claire’s post.

An army of the mind. An army without hierarchy, without officers, without commands. We are an army of the intellect and the spirit that can never be targeted, bombed, or shot into submission.

We are invisible, which sometimes discourages us, but which is our secret strength.

Join the “army of the mind.”

Linked via Joel, at The Ultimate Answer to Kings (is a belly laugh).

Posted by John Venlet on 05/05 at 07:09 PM
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But They’ve Been Trained to Vote

Report: Nearly Half Of Detroiters Can’t Read

Posted by John Venlet on 05/05 at 07:12 AM
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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Old Gray Lady - May She Continue to Decline

The New York Times remains the most popular Sunday paper, with an average of 1.339.462 copies both online and print, despite its print circulation falling 4.7%.  The Times‘ weekday edition declined 3.6% over the last year, placing the newspaper in third place nationally.  The paper’s circulation will most likely increase now that they have instituted an online pay system, because digital editions must be purchased in order to count as part of the circulation.

The New York Times is betting long, like The Old Gray Lady she is, that individuals will pony up to read online to boost their circulation count.  Good luck with that.

The NYT may be popular on Sunday, but it’s working hard to become just a piece of fish wrap the remainder of the week.

Wall Street Jounal Leads Newspaper Circ., NY Times Comes in 3rd

UPDATE: Neglected to include link to circulation story.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/04 at 04:15 PM
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