Friday, December 16, 2011

RIP Hitch

An acerbic wit, Christopher Hitchens, is dead.  May he rest in peace.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/16 at 08:20 AM
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happiness Is A Warm Gun

In a post Karen De Coster titles Give A Gun A Loving Home we learn that PRK Arms, out in California, has created a radio spot that is sure to send the gun control crowd howling, or to the nearest shelter.

More on this in a Hot Air post titled Video: Holiday commercial sparks warm, fuzzy feelings about — not puppies — guns.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/14 at 03:02 PM
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Away in the Manger

Headline from Wired:

Sleeping With The Enemy: What You Get From Your Pet

And the poor baby Jesus had to sleep in a manger with goats, cows, sheep and who knows what other critters around.  You’d think that God could’ve found Mary and the baby Jesus a room at the inn.

Link to Wired piece via InstaPundit.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/13 at 06:47 PM
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Fair Ball, Out of the Park

After reading a P.J. O’Rourke piece commenting on the occupied, next stall please, movement titled O’Rourke: If the 1% had less, would the 99% be better off?, wherein O’Rourke muses on the topic of fairness utilizing interactions with his daughter as examples, Mike Soja, in a post titled Fair, responds with,

Every once in a while, P. J. O’Rourke smacks a sweet drive down the line…Whether it’s truly in bounds or out is another matter.

Mike deftly gloves O’Rourke’s “sweet drive,” sending him back to the dugout, and then approaches the plate and knocks a fair ball out of the park, setting the record straight on fairness.

O’Rourke’s satirical playoff between fair and unfair supposes an unnamed and unseen referee calling a nebulous game consisting of rules upon which no one agrees.  In other words, it’s a load of baloney.  O’Rourke’s daughter’s cuteness is neither fair nor unfair.  The O’Rourke family isn’t well off because things aren’t fair, but because P. J. is good at what he does (which presumably doesn’t require more than a modicum of skullduggery) and has kept himself at it for some time.  That he’s good at what he does is neither fair nor unfair.  That he’s still at it, likewise.  “America” is neither fair nor unfair.  It is what it is.  Its people, or a great many of them, have done like P. J., in their own ways, and to the best of their abilities.  That they’ve been allowed to, for the most part, is what’s been eminently fair about the United States, and yet, satirically or inadvertently, that’s part of what O’Rourke includes in his “not fair”, which is not particularly fair.  Every other nation on the planet could adopt the American ethos of self-sufficiency and self-government if its people so chose.

It isn’t unfair that our founders and so many others saw that light all those years ago.  It was fortuitous, but in the very same way that O’Rourke points out the “Zero Sum Fallacy” in the Occupadoes’ thinking pertaining to matters economic, there is also a zero sum fallacy adhering to the notion of fairness in the political arena.  One man’s freedom takes nothing from anyone else.  It isn’t unfair of Americans that they (used to) refuse to take the bribes or pay the bribes that count for big chunks of transactions elsewhere.  It isn’t unfair that Americans are smart enough to create things people want, or work hard enough to be able to afford their creations.  It would be unfair if they weren’t allowed to.

So, maybe O’Rourke stemmed his daughters impositions for a period (I doubt it), but he also did her an inservice (assuming the story is true) by muddling the concept of fairness.  Fairness implies a just resolution, which is undoubtedly what his daughter was seeking (in her favor, of course), but dad threw in all sorts of other things that had nothing to do with the rightness or wrongness of the particular issue in contention.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/13 at 03:57 PM
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A Novel, Metaphysical Shack

Saturday night the Lovely Melis and I attended a small neighborhood Christmas soiree.  Our host, an avid reader, keeps an interesting collection of books lying around the house, mostly because his bookshelves have not kept up with his accumulation of books.

Anyway, the Lovely Melis ended up picking up two of our host’s books from off the floor and bringing them home.  With his permission of course.  Bram Stoker’s Dracula and William P. Young’s The Shack.

Stoker’s Dracula I read long ago, but Young’s The Shack I had not heard even a whisper of, so I picked it up to peruse the front and rear covers, and right there on the front cover was a claim seemingly so grandiose I staked the claim to read it before the Lovely Melis, without even peeking at the back cover.  That claim is this.

This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s (The) Pilgrim’s Progress did for his.  It’s that good.

This claim, while seemingly grandiose, is not so fantastic as Neale Donald Walsch’s claim to Conversations With God, which has generated a continuing stream of associated books, and I would assume revenue, so I cracked the book open late Sunday night and finished it not long ago, though it could be read in one somewhat extended sitting, if you’re not chasing off to Northern Michigan to do some business or some such thing.

Unlike Walsch’s Conversations With God, which read as if Walsch in reality was having conversations with God, and Walsch may indeed have had conversations with God, though the library cataloguing information page of Walsch’s books, under the ISBN number, all informationally display, possibly as a disclaimer, “Imaginary conversations,” Young’s The Shack is a novel and is in no need of imaginary conversations disclaimers.

This is not to say that Young’s The Shack is not imaginative, compelling, or novel, because it is.  In fact, more hierarchically regimented individuals of faith may find Young’s The Shack too novel a novel and thus heretical, which is part of the appeal of The Shack for myself, heretic that I am.

The Shack will challenge your assumptions about God, good and evil, and relationships, whether those assumptions are personal, or hierarchically inculcated.  If you haven’t read it, find a copy and read it.  I think the book is that good of a metaphysical read.  The Shack will not sermonize to you, it will allow you to preach to yourself.  I’ll be looking to put a copy of it on my bookshelf.

The Shack.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/13 at 02:20 PM
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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Virginia Tech Shooting Commentary Worth Repeating, Again

I see there has been another shooting, two dead according to reports, at Virginia Tech.

2 dead at Virginia Tech, authorities search for suspect

Before all the hand wringing begins in earnest, and calls for further gun control ratchet up, I point you, once again, to a Pierre Lemieux piece titled Trail of travail, which was written and published by the Washington Times on April 23, 2007 and from which the following quote was taken.

The truth, as the tragedy in Blacksburg reminds us, is that it is impossible to be totally protected by the police against criminal maniacs, except by turning society into a prison.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/08 at 05:40 PM
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From a Billy Beck post titled Discuss.

In the spirit of Russian response to a pretender to the Imperial crown, I propose that Eric Holder be strangled, burned, his ashes loaded into cannon and fired across the Rio Grande into Mexico.

Where would one apply for the necessary permits, and would carbon offsets and other environmental permissions need be purchased?

Posted by John Venlet on 12/08 at 05:15 PM
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Color Me Skeptical

Fred Lapides links to an article in The Guardian with a “WTF??” and a short sentence reading “I did not know that this was taking place in my country till I read about it in a foreign paper.”

Intrigued, I clicked on the link embedded at Fred’s site and came upon the above mentioned Guardian article which is titled NAACP warns black and Hispanic Americans could lose right to vote.

The article informs readers that, allegedly, a “massive voter suppression” effort is underway here in the United States of America and that it is the ”...most vicious, co-ordinated and sinister attack to narrow participation in our democracy since the early 20th century.”, at least according to William Barber, national board member of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).  Sounds like a conspiracy to me, and it is colorfully elucidated by the NAACP in a report titled DEFENDING DEMOCRACY: Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America (pdf of 70 pgs).

I think that Barber and the NAACP are off their rockers, and that this type of scaremongering by the NAACP warrants the organization being referred to as the National Association for the Abasement of Colored People.

While the state has indeed held down the colored people over the years, with the express approbation of the NAACP, it has in large part been the welfare state, as Walter Williams expressed in a January 2011 Wall Street Journal article titled The State Against Blacks, which I previously mentioned here.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/08 at 01:58 PM
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Stolen Language and a Christmas Carol

I’ve previously posted on the subject of stolen language and vague expressions of thought, utilizing as an instructional example of such within the post the word gay.  Here’s an example which coincides with the season to be jolly.

A Michigan teacher chose to censor the word ‘gay’ from the festive holiday tune ‘Deck the Halls’...the elementary instructor replaced ‘gay’ with ‘bright’ after her students wouldn’t stop laughing when they sang the word.

How politically indoctrinated many have become.  The word gay, whose definition as (mis)appropriated by the homosexual community ranks dead last when consulting a dictionary, has become so ascendant in minds unwilling to think there is no mirth associated with being gay.

Parents’ fury after teacher strips word ‘gay’ from Christmas carol Deck The Halls… to try to silence children’s giggles

Via Blazing Cat Fur via a post at titled So Gay.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/08 at 12:11 PM
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Monday, December 05, 2011

America’s Warranties are Null and Void

Just about any product individuals purchase today comes with a warranty, spelling out in relatively clear language the maker of a product’s “written guarantee of the integrity of a product and of the maker’s responsibility for the repair or replacement of defective parts” of said product.  Most, if not all, product warranties include caveats of one or another, usually in multiples, which delineate manufacturers’ non-liability for a product’s performance if a product is used in this or that manner; i.e. a manner which is not consistent with a product’s reason for being manufactured.  For example, this warranty caveat for a 5 speed hand mixer which I pulled from my kitchen drawer:

This warranty does not cover any defect or damage resulting from any of the following: negligent use or abuse of the product; improper voltage or current; use contrary to the operation instructions;...

Meaning, if I utilized said 5 speed hand mixer to say stir paint, the warranty would be null and void.  You get the idea.

One commonality which seems to run through all product warranties issued by various and sundry manufacturers is the caveat,

This warranty is valid only for the original retail purchaser from the date of the initial retail purchase and is not transferrable.

But product warranties are not what I am interested in here.  What I am interested in are Americans’ freedom warranties, which are synonymously, in actuality, covenants with the American people, as written down in the Declaration of Independence and whose caveats are ennumerated within The United States Constitution.

Though Americans’ freedom warranties, covenants, as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and The United States Constitution are not intended to be limited to the “original” purchasers, and should be readily transferrable to future generations, in actuality what has been transferred to Americans is a bill of goods, a deception of freedom complete with increasingly arbitrary limitations (caveats).  America’s freedom and individual liberty warranties have become invalid.

Re-read The Declaration of Independence, America’s freedom warranty, America’s covenant for individual liberty, and tell me that the United States government does not have “a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these (United) States,” and that America’s warranties for freedom and liberty are not null and void.  Do we the people then owe it, America and its alleged leaders, any allegiance?

Posted by John Venlet on 12/05 at 01:28 PM
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Sunday, December 04, 2011

“Ethical Paralytics”

I’m often told that I am old fashioned, pejoratively speaking, because of my headstrong stances on morals and ethics.  So be it.  Better that than being a member of the ethically paralytic generation(s) which plaque the world nowadays.

Moments of startling clarity - Moral education programming in Ontario today

This type of programming is not exclusively conducted in just Ontario.

Via Blazing Cat Fur via (with additional commentary) TheBestSchools.Org Blog.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/04 at 01:35 PM
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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Hey, That’s My Fish!

When casting the fly to rising trout with various of my brothers up and down stream of me, we typically holler out to each other “Fish On!” when a trout takes the fly, both to express our prowess with the fly rod, and as an elbow in the ribs.  Imagine hollering out “Raptor On!”  This guy doesn’t have to imagine (20 second viddie).  Turn up the volume a bit and listen to that reel scream.  I love that sound, but only when a big fish is on.

Hattip to Moldy Chum.

Posted by John Venlet on 12/01 at 07:33 PM
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