Sunday, February 27, 2005

Muslim Disclaimer

“Hi. My name is Kiefer Sutherland…”

I don’t watch alot of teevee, news or shows, so I’m a couple weeks behind on this one.  Anyway, yesterday evening, while playing Euchre, a good friend told me about FOX airing a disclaimer, prior to the show 24, in which Kiefer Sutherland has the following to say about the make believe characters playing counter-terrorism agents who are chasing make believe characters who are Muslim terrorists.

“Hi. My name is Kiefer Sutherland. And I play counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer on Fox’s 24. I would like to take a moment to talk to you about something that I think is very important. Now while terrorism is obviously one of the most critical challenges facing our nation and the world, it is important to recognize that the American Muslim community stands firmly beside their fellow Americans in denouncing and resisting all forms of terrorism. So in watching 24, please, bear that in mind.”

I can almost hear the “American Muslim community,” and the 72 virgins, denouncing worldwide acts of Muslim terrorism from here.

“Fox’s ‘24’ airs Mulsim disclaimer”

Posted by John Venlet on 02/27 at 10:55 AM
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Friday, February 04, 2005

“...Yes, It Would Be Fun To Shoot Some People.”

But not politically correct to say, I guess…

Lieutenant General James N. Mattis is taking alot of flack for saying what is utilized as the title to this post.  Of course the sound bite used, and splattered as headlines to raise hackles, cannot be fully appreciated unless one reads the context in which the sound bite was actually uttered.

Now read the following, and consider, thoughtfully, whether you might relish to remove from this world, the following individuals.

“Tampa - A couple is being sought on child abuse charges for allegedly torturing seven children who lived with them - pulling out their toenails with pliers, delivering electric shocks and striking them with a hammer, authorities said Thursday.”

The hackle raising headline seen round the world.

“‘It’s fun to shoot people’”

Via Daniel Medley whose words I used as the title to this post.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/04 at 07:35 AM
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Thursday, February 03, 2005


Some memorial…

The word ghetto has a couple of major, both negative, connotations.  The etymology of the word stems, at least according to Merriam-Webster, from the Italians, specifically the Venetians, who coined the word as a name for an island where they isolated the Jews.  The more familiar vernacular use of the word is, typically, associated with a run down area, at least in my experience, and has been used for years as a term for areas where the poorer Blacks have resided.  Basically it’s a negative word.

Be that as it may, it is the first word that came into my mind this evening when I read the following.

“The memorial where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is buried needs $11.6 million in repairs, according to a National Park Service report.”

The second thing I thought, after reading the above, was judas frickin priest you could build a fine new building for that amount of dough.  But where is that dough to come from?

“Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who fought for civil rights alongside King in the 1960s, told the newspaper in Thursday’s editions that he would be willing to seek federal assistance for the center.”

Coerced from the pockets of Americans.  Is that a fitting tribute to King, a man who would have encouraged individuals to stand on their own?  And who will be bold enough to take a stand against this, and suffer the recriminations and charges of racism for pointing out that the center is a non-profit, and has over 650,000 visitors streaming through it each year, and should stand or fail on its own?

It won’t be Denny’s, Denny’s has already been roped and hog tied as an advertiser at The King Center website, which is quite possibly part of their penance for alleged past discriminatory deeds at their restaurants.

And how did the center arrive at such a state?  It seems that the superintendent doesn’t have a clue.

“I was surprised at the extent of the problems,” said Frank Catroppa, superintendent of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.”

One last question.  I wonder whose pockets are lined with all the donated dollars that have come to the Center?

Memorial to MLK Jr. needs repairs

UPDATE: Repaired link to the story at the urging of a reader.  Thanks for the heads up, DeAnn.  Also repaired link to The King Center.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/03 at 08:25 PM
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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Yes It Does, No It Doesn’t, Yes It Does, No It Doesn’t

Up and down and up and down and…

Does the sun cause skin cancer?

Yes it does.

No it doesn’t.

Via Samizdata.

Posted by John Venlet on 02/02 at 08:06 AM
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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

They’ll Be Fortunate, If This Is Accurate

One can only hope that this may be true.

“In interviews for this article over many months, western policymakers, Chinese experts, North Korean exiles and human rights activists built up a picture of a tightly knit clan leadership in Pyongyang that is on the verge of collapse.”

Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, and his ilk, just another piece of decaying shit.

Chairman Kim’s dissolving kingdom

Posted by John Venlet on 02/01 at 08:57 PM
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Step Two

Smokers, and fat people, need not apply…

The other day, in a post titled “Too Intrusive,” I noted that Weyco, Co., a Michigan firm, is refusing to employ smokers, and those that are employed can be subjected to a random urinalysis.  Today, I note that Weyco, Co. also is working on being rid of the overweight.

In the article noting this new development, titled “Lose weight or lose your job,” Weyco Co. president, Howard Weyers, had this to say.

“If you don’t want to take the test, you can leave,” Weyers told Reuters. “I’m not controlling their lives; they have a choice whether they want to work here.”

Though I noted Weyers’ smoking proclamanation with a bit of disdain, I have to respect Weyers’ reasoning.  You have a choice.

The last sentence of the “Lose weight or lose your job” article.

“So far no legal challenges have been made to Weyco’s policies.”

Posted by John Venlet on 02/01 at 07:42 PM
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Thursday, January 27, 2005

May As Well Go All The Way

Awaiting the clarion call for a new civil right…

Is the State of Michigan becoming Californian?  Just the other day I noted the Michigan company, Weyco Inc, instituting a new anti-smoker policy. Each Weyco employee is subject to testing to determine if they smoke, and, if they do, they can be fired.  Even if they are smoking on their own time, in their own home.

Now, Kalamazoo Valley Community College has announced that smokers need not apply for work at the college.

As I alluded to in the title to this post, why not just go all the way, then, and not allow students who smoke to attend, refuse to purchase from vendors who allow smokers to supply the school, schedule daily random urinalysis tests for students and faculty, etcetera?  Be bold fools, instead of just fools.


Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 08:11 PM
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Statistics Can Say Just About Anything


Nameless researchers always have something interesting to say, most times in order to obtain more funds for this or that, because more study is needed in order to understand the problem at hand.  At least that’s what the nameless researchers say.

Today, nameless researchers are stating “Syphilis rise tied to natural cycle.”  Okay, I think, I’ll bite, so I read the article.  This paragraph jumped out at me.

“...Unlike those who catch gonorrhea, people who recover from syphilis can resist re-infection for some time afterward. That means when the disease sweeps through a city, it leaves behind a relatively immune population, and infection rates fall.”

“When the disease sweeps through a city…”  I can hear it now.  Honey, I was in Toronto, minding my own business, and boom, the next thing you know I have drippy dick and burning sensation when I urinate.  I must have caught syphilis on the train or bus.  Hey, but I might be immune, now.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/27 at 07:38 AM
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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Good Question

Endarkment continues apace…

Billy Beck asks the right question after reading that Villianova University will honor a dead teacher who slashed her six month old baby’s throat, and then killed herself while in jail for said act.

The teacher’s name was Mine Ener, and the university will honor the murderer by dedicating a section of their library, in her name.  You know, just a quiet place to get away.

Billy’s question.

“On what planet?”

The story.

“University Honors Popular Teacher Who Killed Her Baby”

Posted by John Venlet on 01/26 at 07:26 AM
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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Too Intrusive

Employers reaching into your home…

I firmly support private businesses setting their own rules for employee behavior.  Unfortunately, many businesses are now incorporating into their employee behaviorial rules, restrictions that reach far outside their places of business.

“Weyco Inc., a health benefits administrator based in Okemos, Mich., adopted a policy Jan. 1 that allows employees to be fired if they smoke, even if the smoking happens after business hours or at home.”

The founder of Weyco, Howard Weyers, states that the policy adopted is meant to shield the company from high health care costs, a legitimate business concern, but the fact remains that the business is simply succumbing to State interference in private business matters.

The State’s reach into aspects of individuals’ lives, through control of private businesses via laws and policies, continues to further complicate individuals’ lives, even in their homes.

“Company Fires All Employees Who Smoke”

Posted by John Venlet on 01/25 at 03:51 PM
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Be Nice, Johnny

Sticks and stones will break your bones but words…

Dang, if I would’ve known, I wouldn’t have called that dumbass, a dumbass.

“‘No Name-Calling Week’ begins in schools”

Y’all play nice, now.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/25 at 07:51 AM
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A Conversion?

Roll away the stone…

Zondervan, located in good old Grand Rapids, MI, not far from my home, bills itself as “The Leading Christian Communications Company.” 

The company is coming out with a “new” Bible; “Today’s New International Version of the Bible;” and as part of their publicity blitz wanted to run an ad in Rolling Stone.  At first, Rolling Stone said yes to the ad, but then they changed their minds and said no to the ad, because of its “spiritual message.”

Well, it now appears that the naysayers at Rolling Stone may have seen the light, or at least the bottom line, and have decided to allow the ad to run.  No word on whether any apostles, or other contributing biblical writers, will be available for book signings.

“‘Rolling Stone’ reverses, will accept Bible ad”

Posted by John Venlet on 01/25 at 07:34 AM
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Artificial Petrified Wood

Faster, please…

When I was a kid, Sunday afternoons were spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  As a youngster, these Sunday afternoon visits were quite a welcome treat, as my grandparents had quite a collection of interesting pieces from their travels, including pieces of petrified wood, which never failed to intrique me, especially after Grandpa informed me that the petrified wood was millions of years old.

Today I read that what Mother Nature takes millions of years to create, can now be made in a matter of days.

“Researchers at a national science laboratory in south-central Washington have found a way to achieve in days what takes Mother Nature millions of years — converting wood to mineral.”

“Scientists Create Petrified Wood in Days”

Posted by John Venlet on 01/25 at 07:21 AM
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Monday, January 24, 2005

I’m Going To Test It In The Field

Geological compasses…

Whenever I’m out in the wilds, I’m also rock hounding.  I’ve carried some heavy rocks, a long ways, just because the rock’s shape, color, size, or what not, appealed to me.  But I’ve never considered rocks as possible compasses.

“There are ways to find your bearings by looking up at the stars. But how about looking down at the rocks?

According to Leslie McFadden of the University of New Mexico, there may be a kind of compass in the alignment of cracks in certain rocks.

In trying to explain how a boulder falls apart when water is scarce, McFadden has incorporated the power of the Sun, and the simple fact that it rises in East and sets in the West, roughly speaking.

“It dawned on me that Nature might exhibit the effect of solar heating by having cracks line up in a North-South direction,” McFadden told LiveScience in a telephone interview.”

That’s interesting.  I’ll be testing the theory in the field, for my own personal gratification.

“A Natural Compass: Rock Cracks Point North”

Via Fred Lapides.

Posted by John Venlet on 01/24 at 10:05 PM
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Pshaw, He Says, We Helped Alot of People

Pissing it away, in the rain…

According to an AP article, Dan Craig, who directs FEMA’s recovery division, paying out $12 million to individuals who shouldn’t have received it, as if any one individual does, is no big thang.

“Dan Craig, director of FEMA’s recovery division, said the problem occurred throughout the state but he downplayed the error, saying the agency processed 1.2 million applications statewide.”

Wish I could use excuses like that.  I was so busy, though, look at those numbers, man I was busy.

Craig also has this to say about paying out hurricane disaster funds.

“Any home anywhere can be damaged by a hurricane,”

Any home?  Anywhere?  That ought to increase the number of applications.

But, it was just a glitch in the system so don’t worry, citizens, a crack staff of investigators is on the case.

“The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs announced last week it would investigate FEMA payments in Florida and other states.”

“Glitch blamed for aid overpayments”

Posted by John Venlet on 01/24 at 09:35 PM
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