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The author is an ex-submariner, questioner of authority, cigar smoking fly-fishing fanatic who wants to live to be 103.



























Improved Clinch
 

Thursday, May 30, 2002

 
Remember and Be Angry

The last beam has been removed, thanks to Best of the Web for linking to this site. The photographs are a grim remembrance. What's there to understand about people who falsely believe acts such as these are glorious. Nothing.

John Venlet - 8:04:00 PM | Permalink

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

 
Brilliant Headlines

One of the day’s big headlines, in many major newspapers, related the death of Chandra Levy. If I were a journalist, or better yet an editor, and desired to exhibit my knowledge of news industry jargon, I’d call it the lede. Anyway, since the discovery of Ms. Levy’s remains is news, information on her death does deserve coverage. Here’s the problem. How many Phd’s did it take to determine that she was murdered?

I mean, come on, let’s be real. MSNBC’s headline was “Levy’s death declared a homicide.” The Washington Post’s headline was “Levy Case is a Homicide,” and Reuters’, not to be outdone and to exhibit their high falutin approach to even handed reporting, headline was “Washington Intern Chandra Levy Was Murdered, Official Says.” Judas Priest, a favorite colloquialism, how stupid does the media think we are? Levy has been missing for a year, they find only her bones and scraps of clothes, and it takes three or four days to determine that she’s been murdered?!

Because I don’t want to appear biased or judgmental about this, I’ve come up with a few scenarios on why it may not have been murder, which would justify the above mentioned headlines.

The first scenario would suggest Ms. Levy’s computer use, just prior to her disappearance, was culpable. Unbeknownst to Ms. Levy, when she ran a search on the Klingle Mansion in Rock Creek Park, she was hypnotized by an unknown powerful software program. The undetermined program impelled her to go to Rock Creek Park, tie herself up, in a remote section at least 100 yards off any trail, and starve herself to death. Don’t laugh it’s possible. Maybe.

The second scenario, involves a psychotic dog. A local Washington D.C. dog, possibly one of the working or sporting breeds, kept cooped up too long in a lovely townhouse and fully aware of the D.C. police search patterns in missing person cases, attacked and killed Chandra Levy. The dog then dragged her body to a secluded spot, much like a tiger hides its kill. Hey it’s not improbable. I wonder what Cosmo the wonder dog was up to the day she went missing?

Lastly, there’s always the alien scenario, which could explain why the D.C. police couldn’t locate Ms. Levy’s remains for over a year. Their (the aliens) experiments might have gone awry and due to their superior intelligence and tendency to operate right under our very noses, they waited to dump her body until Rock Creek Park was thoroughly searched. You never know.

I do not know what actually happened. But I could’ve told you she had been murdered a long time ago. It’s a shame that it took over a year to locate her remains. Her death is a tragedy. What I do know is that it doesn’t take a degree in forensics to determine that she had been murdered. Contrary to what newspaper headlines say.

John Venlet - 8:24:00 PM | Permalink

 
Pledging Allegiance

In the days and weeks immediately following the events of September 11, a surge of patriotism swept over the United States and rightly so. The American people demonstrated, in the midst of great tragedy, their largess, selflessness and can-do attitude to the world once again. The American people were giving back, honoring their pledge of allegiance to the United States, even in the face of its governments’ failure to protect them. But as this article by Glenn Reynolds points out, this may not have been so much a surge of patriotism as a freedom to once again express, without fear of ridicule, solidarity with what the United States is actually about.

Unfortunately, there were also U.S. citizens who immediately wanted to blame the government, its policies and political parties, for the despicable actions of a crazed and depraved group of Islamofascists. Some of these citizens even went so far as to label their fellow citizens’ allegiance jingoistic, for simply displaying the American flag as a sign of unity. While their words and actions are far from treasonous, their allegiance to the United States could be viewed as rather dubious.

The decade preceding September 11, 2001 helped lay the foundation for these individuals’ dubious allegiance. The promotion of the ill conceived theories of multiculturalism and moral relativism, in which many well meaning people played a part, so enveloped them the allegiance they may have had to the United States eroded so as to be almost unrecognizable. Their allegiance seems pledged to nothing, not even the protection of themselves, let alone their fellow Americans. This erosion of allegiance, bathed in the opiates of multiculturalism and moral relativism, is especially disturbing in certain groups of naturalized U.S. citizens of the Islamic faith. Linda Chavez’s recent article "Cheering for suicide bombers in Virginia" highlights this perfidy.

This does not mean criticisms or disagreements with the United States, its government, policies, and people are unwarranted. Indeed criticisms can and do act as catalysts for strengthening the republic that is the United States. What it does mean is there is a dire need for a truthful understanding of what being a citizen is and what pledging allegiance to the United States of America really means.

Lets look to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definitions to assist us. This dictionary defines citizen as “a person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to government protection.” Merriam-Webster expands on this definition by stating “citizen is preferred for one owing allegiance to a state in which sovereign power is retained by the people and sharing in the political rights of those people.” An apt description of the American people.

Allegiance is defined as “the fidelity owed by a citizen to a government.” Interestingly enough, Merriam-Webster also includes this in the definition of allegiance, “the obligation of an alien to the government under which the alien resides.”

We must also define pledge. The definition of pledge, which concerns us here, is “something given as security for the performance of an act.” Thus, for Americans, the literal definition of pledging allegiance would be, since you, the U.S. government, provide us, American citizens, with liberty and security from those who want to take/destroy our liberty, we will support you. Seems rather straightforward and easily understood and in all truthfulness it is. The multiculturalists and moral relativists do not want American citizens to believe this simple definition or if they do, decry them as simpletons. Here is why Americans should believe it and proclaim their allegiance with pride.

Pledging allegiance sustains freedom to criticize, innovate, travel, enjoy a beer, worship, pray, participate, not participate, procreate, go to school, volunteer or not volunteer, vote, go to baseball games, camp, fish, sit on the front porch, fly the flag, gamble in Vegas, satirize, take a walk, visit a museum and the list goes on and on, coast to coast, Alaska to Hawaii. Pledging allegiance means something, something important to the freedoms Americans enjoy.

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.

John Venlet - 8:03:00 PM | Permalink

 
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