Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hey, That’s My Crayon

It’s rather disturbing, and evidence of the thoroughness of public education indoctrination, when 4 and 5 year old kids have a sounder grasp of property rights than adults.

Friedman’s team presented a simple quandary to 40 preschoolers, ages 4 and 5, and to 44 adults. Participants saw an image of a cartoon boy holding a crayon who appeared above the word “user” and a cartoon girl who appeared above the word “owner.” After hearing from an experimenter that the girl wanted her crayon back, volunteers were asked to rule on which cartoon child should get the prized object.

About 75 percent of 4- and 5-year-olds decided in favor of the owner, versus about 20 percent of adults.

Proof That Humans Are Born Capitalists

Via Claire Wolfe.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/30 at 09:32 AM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TSA Employees - Loyal Enough to Kill Their Own Dogs

While I was testing my environmental literacy, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), once again, displayed their utter lack of common sense and decency in the case of 95 year old Jean Weber.

More disturbing, though, than the TSA’s utter lack of common sense and decency in subjecting a 95 year old American citizen to such a demeaning and intrusive screening, just because she needs to utilize airline transportation, is their response and justification for the demeaning, as reported in a Grand Rapids Press news article titled TSA: 95-year-old Hastings woman had other options than removing diaper at airport screening.

The TSA today released a statement that absolved its staff of any wrongdoing:

“While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner. We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally, according to proper procedure and did not require this passenger to remove an adult diaper,” TSA spokesman James Fotenos said.

Do any American individuals, beyond the employees of the TSA, truly believe, think, that 95 year old Jean Weber is/was some type of security risk to her fellow Americans?  Do any American individuals, beyond the employees of the TSA, think Jean Weber’s security screening treatment was not demeaning?

Though the story regarding Nazi SS officers killing their own dogs, raised from puppies, may be apocryphal, the TSA’s absolving of their own of all wrongdoing, in this case and many others, displays a loyalty reminiscent of the members of the Nazi SS, who pledged their lives as follows.

I vow to Adolf Hitler imperturbable loyalty. I vow to him and to the leaders, that he sets for me, absolute allegiance. (bold by ed.)

Just substitute the name John Pistole or Janet Napolitano for Adolf Hitler in that oath, and it could be adopted by the TSA.  Killing their own dogs would be optional.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/29 at 10:54 AM
(8) CommentsPermalink

On Courage

I really don’t follow the doings of Glenn Beck, but I do admire this statement from Glenn in response to the despicable treatment his family received recently in New York City.

“Courage doesn’t come from a bag or a bottle. Courage doesn’t come in mobs,”...Courage comes alone, quietly. You won’t be drunk and you won’t be in a mob at the ultimate test of courage. You will be alone.”

Loving left accost Glenn & family

Via Sondrakistan.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/29 at 09:06 AM
(5) CommentsPermalink

First Amendment Quote of the Day

I usually go through a sequence in class on what should be prohibited as obscene. I’ll start with something very common, such as the sight of a woman’s naked breast. Not much problem. What about a totally naked woman? Two women? A man? A man and a woman? Man and two women? Two or more men? Usually they find a place they won’t go when I get to two women, a man, a dwarf, a tiger and a large basket suspended by a chain over a pit of alligators. Everyone has a limit. The First Amendment does not. (bold by ed.)

Ed Rasimus, in a post titled For the Dissent…, commenting on the recent Supreme Court ruling on video games.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/29 at 08:30 AM
(3) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Whoa

Ladies and gentlemen, without further comment, I give you The OSHA Cowboy.

Via Karen De Coster, who also has a Doritos warning label.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/28 at 07:16 PM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Ideas Matter Immensely

I’ve used “Ideas Matter” as a title to a post in the past.  I’ve long been aware that ideas matter, but the individual who has best argued the position that ideas matter is Billy Beck.

The importance of ideas was once again brought to mind, today, when I read a post of Mike Soja’s titled So much failure, so little time.

Soja’s post points to two (2) other individual linked articles.  The first, which Mike also quotes from, is a piece by Victor Davis Hanson titled There Are No Socialists?, from which the following is quoted.

What stops socialism?

I fear bankruptcy alone.

To which Mike responds.

And people.

If you click over to Soja’s post, you’ll note that the word “people” is a link, and that link takes readers to an Leon Aron written article in the Foreign Policy titled Everything You Think You Know About the Collapse of the Soviet Union Is Wrong, with the following as an asterisk sub-headline.

*And why it matters today in a new age of revolution.

The article naturally drew my attention, but it was the following from within the piece that reiterated, once again, why ideas matter, immensely.

To Gorbachev’s prime minister Nikolai Ryzhkov, the “moral [nravstennoe] state of the society” in 1985 was its “most terrifying” feature:

    [We] stole from ourselves, took and gave bribes, lied in the reports, in newspapers, from high
    podiums, wallowed in our lies, hung medals on one another. And all of this—from top to bottom
    and from bottom to top.

Anything sounding familiar in those words of Ryzhkov?  Seeing any of this going on in America?

Another member of Gorbachev’s very small original coterie of liberalizers, Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, was just as pained by ubiquitous lawlessness and corruption. He recalls telling Gorbachev in the winter of 1984-1985: “Everything is rotten. It has to be changed.”

Back in the 1950s, Gorbachev’s predecessor Nikita Khrushchev had seen firsthand how precarious was the edifice of the house that Stalin built on terror and lies. But this fifth generation of Soviet leaders was more confident of the regime’s resilience. Gorbachev and his group appeared to believe that what was right was also politically manageable. Democratization, Gorbachev declared, was “not a slogan but the essence of perestroika.” Many years later he told interviewers:

    The Soviet model was defeated not only on the economic and social levels; it was defeated on a
    cultural level. Our society, our people, the most educated, the most intellectual, rejected that model
    on the cultural level because it does not respect the man, oppresses him spiritually and politically.

That reforms gave rise to a revolution by 1989 was due largely to another “idealistic” cause: Gorbachev’s deep and personal aversion to violence and, hence, his stubborn refusal to resort to mass coercion when the scale and depth of change began to outstrip his original intent. To deploy Stalinist repression even to “preserve the system” would have been a betrayal of his deepest convictions. A witness recalls Gorbachev saying in the late 1980s, “We are told that we should pound the fist on the table,” and then clenching his hand in an illustrative fist. “Generally speaking,” continued the general secretary, “it could be done. But one does not feel like it.”

THE ROLE OF ideas and ideals in bringing about the Russian revolution comes into even sharper relief when we look at what was happening outside the Kremlin. A leading Soviet journalist and later a passionate herald of glasnost, Aleksandr Bovin, wrote in 1988 that the ideals of perestroika had “ripened” amid people’s increasing “irritation” at corruption, brazen thievery, lies, and the obstacles in the way of honest work. Anticipations of “substantive changes were in the air,” another witness recalled, and they forged an appreciable constituency for radical reforms. Indeed, the expectations that greeted the coming to power of Gorbachev were so strong, and growing, that they shaped his actual policy. Suddenly, ideas themselves became a material, structural factor in the unfolding revolution. (ending bold by ed.)

Ideas matter, immensely, and they are a material, structural factor required to return America to its rightful place as a leader in liberty.  Here’s an idea.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/28 at 04:22 PM
(2) CommentsPermalink

Professor David Benatar - “I’m a Loser Baby So Why Don’t You Kill Me?”

Many readers will recognize certain words in the title of this post as words coming from Beck’s song Loser, which was on his album Mellow Gold.

Loser immediately came to mind as I read through an essay penned by one David Benatar.  Benatar is head of the philosophy department at the University of Cape Town, thus a professor, though the label sophist would not be misapplied.

The essay of Benatar’s which I just read is titled No life is good, and as my friend JK notes in drawing my attention to it, “It can’t possibly sink lower than this.”

Though I recommend you read Benatar’s essay, if only to explore the absolute depths of speciousness and pessimism, Benatar’s sophistry is iron bound by the mere title.

Life is good, professor, and it’s a pity you do not grasp this fact.  But that would take some exercise of effort, and I know you rue that effort must be expended to gain such a reward as a good life.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/28 at 02:47 PM
(5) CommentsPermalink

Bringin’ ‘Em Up Right

image

Posted by John Venlet on 06/28 at 02:29 PM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Can You Spell Environment? - Sure, I Knew Ya Could

In an historic vote today, the Maryland State Board of Education provided specific guidance to all public schools to require that each student be environmentally literate before he or she graduates from high school.  The vote cements Maryland as the first state in the country to approve a graduation requirement in environmental literacy, a credit to Governor O’Malley, to board members, and to Dr. Nancy Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools.

Judas frickin’ priest living in a wigwam.

MD Becomes First State to Require Environmental Literacy

Via a post by Peg at What if? titled, appropriately enough, Environmental Literacy?.  Peg’s closing comment.

Hell.  If Maryland could certify that all graduates are able to read, write and do basic math, then I’d be mighty impressed.

And on that note, I’m heading out into the real environment to test my literacy.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/22 at 09:17 AM
(14) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Modern Liberal - Devoid of Standards

Thunderstorm rolling in, at the moment, so while I would normally be walking the critter at this time of day, instead I’m doing a bit of additional reading.

Stopped by the blog Blazing Cat Fur and noted them pointing to a lecture on political thought given by Evan Sayet titled Regurgitating the Apple: How Modern Liberals “Think”, with this quote from Sayet’s lecture.

“The Modern Liberal position is arrived at through indiscriminateness, which invariably leads the Modern Liberal to side with evil over good, wrong over right, and behaviors that lead to failure rather than success. Success, simply by its existence, is proof of chicanery and bigotry; failure, simply by its existence, is proof that failure has been victimized.”

That piqued my interest, so I went and read the whole thing, and let me tell you, it’s worth taking the time to read it all.  Here’s a another quote for your enjoyment.

What you have is people who think that the best way to eliminate rational thought, the best way to eliminate the attempt to be right, is to work always to prove that right isn’t right and to prove that wrong isn’t wrong. You see this in John Lennon’s song “Imagine”: “Imagine there’s no countries.” Not imagine great countries, not imagine defeat the Nazis, but imagine no religions, and the key line is imagine a time when anything and everything that mankind values is devalued to the point where there’s nothing left to kill or die for.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/21 at 06:11 PM
(9) CommentsPermalink

Ode to a Desert

Via Rod’s Alter Ego - A Dog Blog, an essay titled Desert Nostalgia (pdf of 5 pgs.), written by Rod K. Nibbe, Phd., which is introduced this way.

Here’s a quiet essay I wrote about fourteen years ago that got some nice comments, and was even selected for publication in a University anthology. One person commented that it read like a prayer. After all these years it still gives me goosebumps to read it.

I didn’t get goosebumps, or interpret it as a prayer, but I was quietly transported to the desert.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/21 at 10:30 AM
(0) CommentsPermalink

Those Darn ‘Christian Militants’

I don’t much care for the word Christian, or militant, and their pre-packaged negativity, dispensed with the ease of a grocer’s shelfstocking labeling gun.

Though in ages past the word Christian simply meant “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ,” in today’s day and age, if an individual introduces him or herself as a Christian, it is almost a certainty that this will be interpreted as, “oh, oh, a Bible thumping, homosexual hating, moralizing, do-gooder who supports the establishment of a theocracy.”

And though the word militant is primarily defined as “engaged in warfare or combat,” its meaning just as emphatically can be understood as “aggressively active (as in a cause),” a fact easily overlooked when the word militant is appended to the the word Christian, creating a double negative, easily digested by the masses without even a spoonful of sugar.

“Christian militants” were in the news, again, just recently, when, during a congressional hearing on Muslim radicalization, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), wielding her pre-packaged negativity labeling gun, said this.

At a congressional hearing on Muslim radicalization in U.S. prisons, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said that investigators needed to analyze Christian militants in America because they too might try to “bring down the country.”...

“As we look to be informational, we should include an analysis of how Christian militants or others might bring down the country. We have to look broadly, do we not?”

I have no way of knowing for sure, but maybe Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, looking to appear informed in regards to “Christian militants,” utilized as her informational material on those darn “Christian militants” Ephesians 6:10 - 18, mis-interpreting the metaphorical “armour of God,” “breastplate of justice,” “shield of faith,” and “helmet of salvation” as a literal armory to which all individuals of faith, i.e. “Christian militants,” have unfettered access, though I’ve yet to see a “Christian militant” wandering down the street in such accoutrements.

Additionally I wonder if Rep. Shelia Lee Jackson, in her quest to be informational, has heightened concerns regarding “Christian militants” based on the news the Reformed Church of American and the Christian Reformed Church of North America, after a 154 year split are reconciling their differences?  In the photo accompanying this news article on the reconciliation, those folks look pretty scary.  One of them is carrying a cross and another is carrying a drum, and their happy visages could be viewed as militantly rapturous, though I did not note any armour, breastplates, shields, or helmets.

While there are individuals who believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ who are meddlers and moralizing do-gooders, to whom the label “Christian militant” could possibly stick, they have no understanding that morality cannot be legislated, as my father stated, and that theocracies are a pipe dream.  Most believers I know, while technically Christians, and militant in the sense of aggressively and actively attempting to divine God’s will for their individual life, the pre-packaged negativity label of “Christian militant” put forth by Rep. Sheila Lee Jackson does not stick.

Democrat: We Need ‘Analysis of How Christian Militants … Might Bring Down The Country’

Posted by John Venlet on 06/21 at 08:00 AM
(11) CommentsPermalink

Monday, June 20, 2011

News of the Revolution

When the real revolution happens, it won’t be mentioned in the newspapers.

G.K. Chesterton, Tales of the Long Bow, III The Unobtrusive Traffic of Captain Pierce, pg. 110, Great Britain, Cassell and Company, LTD, 1925

UPDATE - RELATED QUOTE:

I also think it puts a different slant on the constantly heard - and utterly ridiculous - claim that in the absence of Old School Dead Tree Media news reporting, there will no longer be any news, just bloggers blogging and twitterers twittering, about nothing.

There will still be plenty of news. But it may be somewhat different news.

Brian Micklethwait, in a post at Samizdata titled Environmental news from Canada, commenting on this news from an Ezra Levant penned column titled Saudis have West over a barrel - And they don’t want to hear about oilsands development.

There are about 100 professional anti-oilsands activists in Canada, who do nothing but attack Canada’s oil industry. Typically they pose as grassroots environmentalists. But the facts are different.

Most environmental activists are actually paid professionals. And most work for foreign lobbyists.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/20 at 07:20 PM
(6) CommentsPermalink

“Willfully Surrendered” - Kind’ve Like How Americans Have Lost Their Liberty

Drudge links to the news story regarding the State of Texas profiting from the sale of TSA confiscated items with a headline reading “PROPERTY SEIZURE AT AIRPORTS TURNS A PROFIT,” though the actual headline to the story, as posted at Statesman.com reads Where have all the snow globes gone? To the state surplus store.

That the State of Texas, or any other state for that matter, would profit from items confiscated from Americans does not surprise me in the least.  What caught my eye, in that article, were these words, uttered by a cashier at the Texas State Surplus Store regarding confiscated items.

“We say willfully surrendered,...”

Yep.  Willfully surrendered.  Kind’ve like how Americans have lost their liberty.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/20 at 03:58 PM
(4) CommentsPermalink

I Support Affirmative Action, But…

In a post titled They “Believe”! Well…sometimes, linked via Exposing Leftists, The Gunslinger has embedded a video (4:48) which has for a headline banner “Petition to Apply Affirmative Action to Basketball.”

As the petition is discussed with the potentials, you’ll hear, with uncritical regularity, “I support affirmative action, but…,” which clearly explains why Gunslinger states the following.

Not a single one of these numbskulls saw the light, or had a “aha moment” when the perfect incompatibility of their two positions was made obvious. They didn’t for a moment stop to examine their own “thinking” or their “reasoning”. (One might snarkily suggest that’s because they didn’t DO either!)...

It is painfully obvious while watching these mush-heads that the bats have flown the belfry.

Posted by John Venlet on 06/20 at 09:40 AM
(1) CommentsPermalink
Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›