The author is an ex-submariner, questioner of authority, cigar smoking fly-fishing fanatic who wants to live to be 103.
Friday, June 28, 2002
Baby, That's Sick
If anyone out there thinks Islam is a religion of peace and that the Palestinians want peace with Israel they are living in a vacuum. The infamous suicide bomber baby photo which one minute is called a hoax and the next minute isn't, isn't. Read CNN's article on how it's all supposed to be a joke. How come the only ones laughing are followers of Islam?
John Venlet - 2:50:00 PM |
Tal G. in Jerusalem links to this story in the internet edition of the Jerusalem Post. The article reviews the charges of anti-Israel bias at CNN and how this may now be changing. What jumps out at me is this, it appears that the real reason CNN seems to be less anti-Israel is money/ratings motivated. The same people are in charge of content at CNN and it is unlikely they have all of a sudden seen the error of their ways. If their ratings go up, they sure don't want to be beat by FOX, will the bias return?
John Venlet - 2:06:00 PM |
I Can't Hear You
Steven DenBeste has done it again dang it. Steve comments on the current lack of media and European outrage on the goings on in Israel and the Palestinian areas. Things are changing.
John Venlet - 1:15:00 PM |
Jonah Goldberg who writes for National Review Online links to a UPI article by Steve Sailer on the supreme court's recent death penalty ruling and the media's mocking of IQ and support of IQ, depending on the circumstances. In case you've missed it, the supreme court ruled that low IQ people cannot be executed. Read Steve's article here and decide for yourself if there is bias on this issue.
John Venlet - 12:57:00 PM |
For Your Reading Pleasure
Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus column, while always entertaining, is particularly good reading today.
John Venlet - 10:03:00 AM |
Everyone is blogging about the Ninth Circuit court pledge of allegiance ruling. Eugene Volokh's opinions on this subject are worth reading, from a legal standpoint and many other bloggers posts are entertaining and enlightening. Steven Green's input, over at VodkaPundit, while wide ranging, is particularly interesting. I will not attempt to address the legality of the court's ruling, the fact that an issue such as this, that encompasses two words "under God," needs to be adjudicated, speaks volumes about the general stupidity of people, which brings me to my point.
The suit was brought before the court by one Michael A. Newdow on behalf of his daughter who attends a state run (California naturally) school. Newdow alleged that his daughter's First Amendment rights were harmed because she was forced to "watch and listen as her state-employed teacher in her state-run school leads her classmates in a ritual proclaiming there is a God, and that ours is 'one Nation under God.'" I think Michael A. Newdow needs to get a life. He's acting like a kid brother who cries out to his mommy, "Jimmy called me a stinky butt Mom." Ooh, that hurts doesn't Mikey. Mikey is a stinky butt, Mikey is a stinky butt. Idiot.
Big Brother is Coming but is Currently Busy in the EU
Andrew Stuttaford, blogging away in The Corner links to a story in The Telegraph about European laws concerning food. This particular tale concerns the shapes of bananas and cucumbers. Next up, the EU stipulates all women must have size 34D breasts and men, well men cannot be shaped like bananas.
John Venlet - 2:39:00 PM |
Something must be done. People are drowning in the lakes in and around the state of Michigan. According to this article in the online edition of The Grand Rapids Press the lakes, or depressions in them, are causing people to drown. Evidently the Greek god Poseidon isn't dead and is still capraciously active in the lakes of Michigan even in the 21st century. The drownings couldn't have been caused by the individuals' lack of swimming abilities or a parents inattention to their children could they?
John Venlet - 1:47:00 PM |
Testicles in the Tupperware
Gersh Kuntzman, who writes for Newsweek, has an interesting!? column on, um, er castration. It's even voluntary, though I can't for the life of me figure out why.
John Venlet - 1:13:00 PM |
Tuesday, June 25, 2002
Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit fame links to Eugene Volokh's keen observations once again. Eugene's legal insights, he's a law professor at UCLA, are straightforward, unlike many attorneys I know. He says exactly where he stands but presents both sides to assist your own thinking on the issues. Anyway, he has an interesting comparison of Ashcroft's words and Clinton's on the subject of terrorism and legal rights.
John Venlet - 10:14:00 PM |
Many different bloggers linked to the photo of the Palestinian kindergarten "graduation" ceremony. Tal G. in Jerusalem linked to the comparison photo (previous link), kindergarten kid/Palestinian killer, which provides a chilling visual of the depravity to which the Palestinians have sunk. As I looked at the photograph of the young (5 years old) girl I was struck by two things. First, the girl looks sad. I wonder if the goodness that is inherently in a child, which has been warped by those instructing her, is not yet totally destroyed. Thus her sad face. To feel a part of the society in which she lives, she has to deny her innocence, goodness and happiness. She may not want to participate in the hate but has to or face being ostracized. Secondly, because she has to deny her goodness, she takes on the appearance of an automaton. The child in the photo does not appear animated in any way. Her parroting of the society of hate which surrounds her is making her lifeless. She is already dead.
John Venlet - 8:49:00 AM |
Monday, June 24, 2002
Eric Raymond continues his educating series on America's lack of understanding of what Islam really IS. Read what America and the world is sorely misunderstanding here. I believe Eric is hitting the nail on the head and his link to "Kissing Hank's Ass" sums up quite well, though in much simpler terms, why many are not taking the threat of Islam seriously enough.
John Venlet - 8:05:00 AM |
Friday, June 21, 2002
After reading this story I'll never look at fast food the same. This has some kind of lawsuit written all over it. Pregnant teenager's parents sue - daughter ate too many Whoppers. Ha. Thanks to Asparagirl for the heads up.
John Venlet - 11:08:00 AM |
A Bit of Humor
The Wall Street Journal publishes this bit of cynical humor for your enjoyment. It reminds me of the SNL thespians line "I was only acting."
John Venlet - 8:26:00 AM |
A Lesson in Jihad - Cont
Eric Raymond, who blogs ArmedandDangerous continues his lessons on Islam and Jihad which I linked to a couple days ago. The previous post was titled "The Mirage of Moderate Islam." This next installment is titled "What al-Qaeda Wants" and is definitely worth reading. Educate yourself.
John Venlet - 8:00:00 AM |
James Lileks' prose is flowing once again. Read his Friday screed here. As long as you're reading Lileks, you may as well read his bleat too. Anyone who can compose a line "shoveling a Cinnabon the size of a sofa cushion into her face." has to be read.
John Venlet - 7:27:00 AM |
Thursday, June 20, 2002
Something Completely Different
The Best of the Web links to this piece of nonsense from the EPA. I'm glad I'm not a fish. If the EPA is supposedly protecting fish with these methods, what in the world are they doing to us?
John Venlet - 3:56:00 PM |
Don't Be Fooled
Rod Dreher of The National Review links to this article explaining why we need to exercise caution when dealing with the "peaceful" religion of the Muslims. Good advice.
John Venlet - 3:31:00 PM |
Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You
Many of us here in the U.S., though justifiably angry about our September 11 tragedy, can, without much effort, ignore the happenings in Israel, or other parts of the world where Islamofascists reek havoc. These places and events, thank goodness, are quite removed from our free wheeling society. The question is, though, how long will these actions be remote from our society? If you have any inkling at all what our so called radical Muslim brothers believe, it may not be long. If that is the case, and while I hope it isn't, I'm more inclined to think it will be the case - meaning our Islamofascist enemies will look to attack us again using some of the same methods used in Israel against the Jewish people, who they hate just as much as us, if not more. With this in mind, read this article by Rosie DiManno. What should our response be if this type of terror is visited upon Americans, right on U.S. soil. It's already happened once and our justifiable anger is waning as our complacency about our OWN personal safety waxes. I'm not saying we need to hate all Muslims, I'm saying we need to wipe away the complacency about what and who we are dealing with. What is happening in Israel, on a monthly sometimes daily basis, is simply an extension of what the Islamofascists want to bring to our shores and every other nations shores. Is that what it is going to take to make us realize the seriousness of the threat of radical Islam? I hope not.
Update:Andrew Sullivan provides the link for this story published in the New York Times. This barbaric phenomenon, which Andrew tags as "the banalization of Islamikaze murderers," is something to ponder. Is this mindset here in the U.S?
John Venlet - 2:34:00 PM |
Bleak Outlook or Realist
Aspargirl hasn't thrown in the towel but she has set aside false hopes for a solution to the situation in the Middle East. While she may be speaking about Israelis and Palestinians, her analysis could also be applied to the Islamofascist against the rest of the world scenario.
Update: Asparagirl expands on her dismaying post of yesterday complete with links from fellow bloggers who have upbraided and/or encourgaged her. Read how she feels and what idea she's trying to get across here. What do you think?
John Venlet - 10:17:00 AM |
Andrew Sullivan links to this story from The Jewish Week about anit-semitism in France. While France seems to be the whipping boy for anti-semitism stories, it occurs here in the U.S. also. Anti-semitism is not something to be complacent about. Reading about this issue, the incidences of attacks and various peoples reactions to it, responses of it's just common vandalism, or lets not get too excited about this these are isolated incidents, and these statements are made by Jewish people, French people, Americans, etc., are statements of denial.
John Venlet - 8:07:00 AM |
Wednesday, June 19, 2002
The Palestinian Mouthpiece, Edward Said
Arts & Letters Daily links to the most recent Edward Said apologia which was published by our Arab Eygptian friends in Al-Ahram Weekly On-line, complete with appropriately contemplative photo of Ed. Let's take a look at some of what he says.
Sharon wants reform as a way of further disabling Palestinian national life, that is, as an extension of his failed policy of constant intervention and destruction. He wants to be rid of Yasser Arafat, cut up the West Bank into fenced-in cantons, reinstall an occupation authority -- preferably with some Palestinians helping out - carry on with settlement activity, and maintain Israeli security the way he's been doing it. He is too blinded by his own ideological hallucinations and obsessions to see that this will neither bring peace or security, and will certainly not bring the "quiet" he keeps prattling on about. Palestinian elections in the Sharonian scheme are quite unimportant.
Well, that was quite a long winded way of saying that everything, in ole Ed's opinion, that Sharon does to protect Israel from Ed's Palestinian brothers, who want to murder all the Jews, is unreasonable. I wonder if Ed is suffering from the "ideological hallucinations" that he attributes to Sharon?
Second, the United States wants reform principally as a way of combating "terrorism," a panacea of a word that takes no account of history, context, society or anything else.
Okay Ed. So the word terrorism is now a "panacea." What word or words are we supposed use when Arafat's, or any other Islamofascist, people blow themselves up with the express intent of killing innocent people? Maybe we could call it avante-garde art that expresses dissatisfaction with Jewish cultural norms. Nope, too long. How about individual coercive actions to foster hate and false ideals for the Palestinian people? Won't work. Presents too negative a view of the Palestinians, though it's true. I think Ed has some confusion here. I believe Arafat and his thugs are using terrorism as a panacea on the Palestinian people for their own ineptitudes and despotism.
Speaking of other "Arab leaders'" (which is a very loose term) inaction Ed says:
First is fear of their own populations who have been witnessing Israel's mass and essentially unopposed destruction of the Palestinian territories without any serious Arab interference or attempt at deterrence.
There's a lesson to be learned here Ed. If you fear your OWN people, who are supposed to be united with you in hating the Jewish people, something is seriously wrong. Could it be that your OWN people have been force fed GOATSHIT by their supposed leaders for so long, while watching their leaders suckle at the breasts of the UN, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and every other despotic Arab regime, they actually understand you're screwing them? Couldn't be that could it Ed?
Speaking of the "Arab leaders" once again Ed goes on to say:
Perhaps they are simply unaware of how contemptuous most Americans are of them, and how little is understood or regarded is their culture and political status in the U.S.
I don't think the "Arab leaders" are unaware Ed, they just don't care how contemptuous Americans are of them. In regards to understanding your culture, I previously believed, that Arabs were gracious hosts with a long history of intimacy with the solitude of the desert and a reverence for life. Boy was I wrong or I read too many "Arabian Nights" tales. As I educate myself further, I've come to understand that your "culture" is a culture of misuse and subjecation of your own people.
Speaking of Arafat Ed tells us:
Yasser Arafat and his circle of associates (cronies, lackeys or thugs might be better substituted here) who have suddenly discovered the virtues (theoretically at least) of democracy and reform. I know I speak at a great distance from the field of struggle (read from my ivory tower), and I also know all the arguments about the besieged Arafat as a potent symbol of Palestinian resistance against Israeli aggression, but I have come to a point where I think none of that has any meaning anymore. Arafat is simply interested in saving himself. He has had almost ten years of freedom to run a petty kingdom and has succeeded essentially in bringing opprobium and scorn on himself and most of his team; the Authority became a byword for brutality, autocracy and unimaginable corruption. Why anyone for a moment believes that at this stage he is capable of anything different, or that his new streamlined cabinet (dominated by the same old faces of defeat and incompetence) is going to produce actual reform defies reason. Further on Ed continues; If there is one thing along with Arafat's ruinous regime that has done us more harm as a cause it is this calamitous policy of killing Israeli civilians, which further proves to the world that we are indeed terrorists and an immoral movement.
Ed, I'm impressed. Maybe it's not too late for you to learn. That was a fine bit of Arafat skewering prose, although calling Arafat besieged and then stating he's had ten years of freedom is a little misleading. But admitting that you ARE terrorists was almost a watershed moment for you I'll wager. Can you get the mullahs to work that into one of their screeds?
Unfortunately, this candor doesn't last. Ed continues:
The only vision coming out of Israel today is violence, forcible separation and the continued subordination of Palestinians to an idea of Jewish supremacy.
Let me get this straight. The Israelis, on a daily basis, randomly attack and subordinate the Palestinians. Then to top that all off they try to sell you on the idea of their superiority. I think you're mixed up here Ed, it's the other way around. Your envy of Israel's united people, tenacity and success in business, all in the face of the Arab worlds' hate is driving you mad.
Although Ed says a few things in this piece that have merit and speak truth, if he truly identifies with the Palestinian people and is respected by them, he could help them alot more by speaking the truth clearly all the time.
John Venlet - 4:26:00 PM |
What it Means
A short primer on jihad. Courtesy once again of "The National Review."
Update: After reading the short primer on jihad, linked above, click on over to Eric Raymond's blog ArmedandDangerous and read "The Mirage of Moderate Islam." What I can't understand (or maybe I do understand because I'm just a commoner) is why our so called media "elites" and academic "intellectuals" don't understand this. It's like they're the emperor in "The Emperor's New Clothes."
John Venlet - 11:10:00 AM |
Victor Davis Hanson, who writes for The National Review is his usual erudite self in this article. When he says "The former (consumerist middle class) are so busy slaving away to maintain their newfound and quite amazing standards of living that they have no time or interest in the world abroad and so have entrusted American affairs to those who do" he hits the nail right on the head. As a middle classer, with an "amazing" standard of living and many friends of the same class, I see this mindsight daily. While all/most are aware of what's going on in the world, if it isn't happening on their block, interest is limited. While this is kind of a damning statement, I would add that this is the way it has been throughout time.
One thing we "consumerist middle class" folk do have going for us is this "they would never provide nuclear expertise to North Korea - much less condone giving machine guns to the Palestinian Authority." At least we still haven't sold out our common sense.
John Venlet - 10:52:00 AM |
Joel Orr who blogs The Truth About Israel links to this Naomi Ragen piece. Naomi clearly states the the dilemma people with consciences face when dealing with those who have no conscience. Moral clarity should, instead of hindering us, assist us as we face the realities of the horrors that are inflicted upon us. I would not relish the death of my enemy but I wouldn't shirk from my responsibility to neutralize him. Public opinion, which is typically not representative of what the majority thinks, should not lead us around by the nose.
John Venlet - 9:07:00 AM |
More People Feel This Way Than You Think
Glenn Reynolds, of Instapundit fame, links to these comments from the blog "The Truth Laid Bare." I couldn't have said it better myself. His comments seem quite prescient when you read this.
John Venlet - 8:03:00 AM |
Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Breaking Bread with the Enemy
Another story from the New York Post. If this is how the head of the FBI expects to gather intelligence on Islamofascists and those who support them, we're in for more trouble than we realize.
John Venlet - 1:47:00 PM |
The New York Post publishes this story about a group of young people running down a killer. Expect to hear someone calling it vigilante justice.
John Venlet - 1:40:00 PM |
Stupid, Rich American Socialist
The Drudge Report links to this story which once again highlights CNN's and Ted Turner's almost total ignorance. My favorite quote is this, from Daniel Seaman, an Israeli spokesman:
My only advice to Ted Turner is if people assume you're stupid, it is just best to keep your mouth shut rather than open your mouth and confirm everyone in that view.
Here's another gem from ole Ted himself. When Ted admits he was wrong in calling the September 11 hijackers "brave," in a speech he gave he Rhode Island, he offers this up as an excuse:
I made an unfortunate choice of words, but adds that his ownership of the Atlanta Braves baseball team means the word is never far from his mind.
Ted if that's even close to the truth, you've got bigger problems than I thought. Over 3000 people are killed by deranged and evil men and you're busy thinking about the Braves? Sick Ted, sick.
Rand Simberg links to this article from the Jerusalem Post in regards to Condoleezza Rice's comments on the formation of a Palestinian state. At long last it appears the U.S. government is finally speaking the truth about Arafat. He's a terrorist. This is by no means a solution but it does seem positive.
Update: This article also mentions the Rice comments linked to above. Tim Blair, an Aussie blogger, linked to it with the the opening "A Happy Headline." Hint, it wasn't because of Rice's comments.
John Venlet - 12:44:00 PM |
In response to a question about his recent poem praising female suicide bomber Ayat Al-Akhras he says:
Second, some time after her martyrdom the American president George Bush said that all Arabs should call the perpetrators of suicide operations - and I, by the way, object to this term because these are martyrdom operations - criminals and murderers. I said to myself: the humiliation in which we live is bad enough, but maybe the day has come when they impose on us not only what to do but also what to say.
Evidently the Ambassador has his existence confused with the Palestinians. Having so long fed from the hands of the despot rulers of Saudi Arabia, he equates his life as a "humiliation." I suppose after you've been on a Saudi leash all your life it could be humiliating. As humiliating as that may be, I would prefer that he wouldn't try to use America's first amendment rights as protection.
In repsonse to being called an "ambassador of death" the Ambassador says:
That is incitement to murder... It is true that I have many faults, but fear of death is not one of them... I do not fear death - on the contrary, I long to die as a martyr, although I am at an age that does not allow me to carry out a martyrdom operation. My weight does not permit this. But I still hope to die as a martyr...
Let's see, he longs to die as a martyr but he's too old and fat. I guess he's had a few too many Scooby snacks and besides, he's not naive or impressionable enough to be fooled into killing himself with a group of Israelis, that's just for the kids.
In response to a question about the Saudi Initiative he says:
The initiative of Crown Prince Abdullah was, in effect, a warning to the world: This is the minimal border. Do not demand anymore of us, because we cannot [give more]. This is a last chance message to Israel.
So the grecian formula using crown prince is giving a warning to the world. What's going to happen if the world doesn't listen? Are you going to take your away your toys and go play in your sandbox or kick sand in our eyes? The audacity of these statements is almost too much. Warnings and last chances hey? While you've been getting fat, the U.S. has been doing Charles Atlas workouts to protect your sandy kingdom. If the American people turn against you, they'll not only take your oil, they'll turn your precious little sandbox into a real country. Personally, I'd like to give it to the Jordanians.
I'm sick of the Saudis and their financial support of the Islamofascists. It's time to turn off their spigot of U.S. dollars.
Steven DenBeste adds his thoughts to The Guardian article I linked to below. I continue to wonder at the stupidity, for that is what it is, sheer stupidity, of these so called prominent Americans. Moral equivalance is a false and misleading doctrine which must be beaten down like a rabid dog. What do we do about these "prominent" Americans? We must speak out against their foolishness. Allow them to speak, but refute them at all times.
John Venlet - 9:11:00 AM |
Friday, June 14, 2002
The Cargo Cult
John Derbyshire's column in The National Review Online helps explain why it's all America's fault. You know, everything that happens in the world, that isn't good, is America's fault. Now where are those dang planes with my cargo?
John Venlet - 10:17:00 AM |
Ken Layne links to this article in The Guardian which is subtitled "Prominent Americans have issued this statement on the war on terror." Sixty-eight "prominent" people signed the "statement on the war on terror" as an open letter to President Bush. Besides the usual suspects, who most people may have heard of, there were some unknown signers, at least to me, whose "prominence" I will attempt to ascertain.
Michael Albert - kin of Prince Albert in a Can?
Jessica Blank - I'm drawing a blank though it says behind her name "actor/playwright"
Fr Bob Bossie - some catholic priest who wishes his name was in the news and hasn't molested anyone
Leslie Cagan - Leslie, Leslie, never heard of her/him (not quite sure of gender here)
Kia Corthon - another unknown playwright
Mos Def - gotta be some rapper dude
Rakaa Iriscience - says "hip hop artist" behind name, must have sold a few albums, fortunately I don't own any
Joe Kliman - says "psychologist" behind his name, maybe he's counseling these "prominent" folks' foibles
Yuri Kochiyama - says "activist" behind name, read combination Russian/Japanese loser
The list could go on and on. My own personal favorite signer though is STARHAWK. Starhawk is either a comic book superhero or enlightened something or other. Look at the list of names, how many are actually prominent to you?
John Venlet - 9:27:00 AM |
Thursday, June 13, 2002
Alex Whitlock, who blogs Raw Musings, links to this article which he found via Arts & Letter Daily. His comments, scroll down to "The Smart Smokers, are a bit more straightforward than Kip Viscusi's, but, as a cigar smoker, I hate to admit it, on the mark. Well except the one where he says smokers are "best removed from the gene pool." Juries and attorneys who gave away and grabbed big tobacco's money are as irrational as us smokers I guess.
John Venlet - 9:21:00 PM |
This Isn't the Crystal Cathedral
After reading this story from the Wall Street Journal linked by MSNBC, I've gotta believe there's hope for the church as a whole yet.
John Venlet - 7:45:00 AM |
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
This is COLD BLOODED
InstaPundit links to this chilling article in "The Weekly Standard." Where are all the liberals who typically are screaming about diversity, racism and every other imagined slight that Americans heap upon the world? I guess they save their vitrolic inanities for Americans only, or maybe they'll be able to figure out an angle that some how places the blame for this on our government's policies, or possibly the cause could be traced to all the McDonald's restaurants overseas. It couldn't be the radical Muslim people themselves creating this kind of atmosphere could it?
Update: Fox News publishes this article which includes a photo of the beautiful child, interviewed in the article linked above, who has been PROGRAMMED to spew anti-semitic statements by her family and her Muslim culture. The picture is not complete of course without the financial backing of our perfidious "friends?" the Saudis.
John Venlet - 2:23:00 PM |
This guy's heart is in the right place, I think, but you have to wonder about his head after you read this. Ouch.
John Venlet - 1:09:00 PM |
I've always said my kids were animals but this is taking things a little too far. Now animals could be considered kids. Blurring the lines of reality here aren't we? Thanks to The Corner for linking to the story.
John Venlet - 11:25:00 AM |
Asking the Right Question
Joel Orr who blogs The Truth About Israel links to this article that is asking the right question about suicide bombing. I don't care if it's done in Israel or anywhere else, asking why suicide bombing is bad is just plain stupid.
John Venlet - 11:17:00 AM |
Matt Welch links to this interview by Kate Sullivan with Viacom's president Mel Karmazin on Kate's "Rockblog." I'll let you read the interview but it basically reinforces why commercial radio sucks. If you want to get beyond that, click here and then click "Listen Online." WYCE is a local, Michigan radio station pushing less than 9000 watts. The programming is all done by volunteers and their operating funds come only from listeners. WYCE has no affiliation with NPR, reports no news, looks out the window for weather reports and plays music 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Tune them in, I haven't changed the station in over 8 years.
John Venlet - 4:16:00 PM |
I want to believe that the Palestinians desire to have their own country and live peaceful lives. I want to believe that the Palestinians who profess their faith in Allah are a peaceful people. I want to believe, our government, the President even, when they tell us the Palestinians can be partners for peace. Which ones and why don't we hear their voices? This article, which shows the results of a recent poll in the Middle East says what we're being told isn't necessarily true. Drudge linked to this story on Yahoo.
John Venlet - 11:16:00 AM |
Damn Saudi Despots
When you read stories like this it almost makes you think the Saudis are pulling our strings. Why does our government treat them with kid gloves? Do these oil rich sand princes think they're untouchable? Unreal. Thanks to the Wall Street Journal for this story.
Update: The WSJ has another article on this issue. Unforntunately it doesn't show our governments concern in a very good light.
John Venlet - 7:49:00 AM |
Lileks Is At It Again
James Lileks pins the tail on the donkey again. He's in rare guttural form today as he tears into another TV show that appeals to the idiocy of the American masses. Rated PG-13 for adult language. Read it here.
John Venlet - 7:39:00 AM |
Monday, June 10, 2002
It Isn't Going to Work
So they're trying to program a computer to have common sense. Here's a project doomed to failure. How can we teach a computer to have common sense when there's a dearth of it in the human population?
John Venlet - 6:12:00 PM |
Mary Eberstadt's recent article The Elephant in the Sacristy gets closer to the root of the current crisis in the Catholic church than most. The quote from Pope John Paul II at the beginning of the article is also quite telling as we all are part of society, no matter how small of a part we play. With this in mind, I'll throw a few more thoughts at this issue for you to chew on.
Some writers argue to us that we need to differentiate between pedophila and ephebophila, as if the difference between pre-pubescent and post-pubescent youth has some kind of bearing on the guilt or non-guilt of those who get their sexual kicks with kids under the age of 18. Give me a break. Think about it for a minute. Do you have kids? I do and 3 of them are under 18 and one is going to turn 19. I know my children under 18 are not emotionally ready for sex no matter how ready they may be physically. Just because they have the tools doesn't mean they should be using them. Do you want an adult, a self sufficient, able to vote person having sex with any of your kids? I don't care what age they are, I don't want anyone having sex with my kids till they're ready and I'd say kids aren't ready for sex until they have at least a year of college under their belt, preferably away from home.
This leads to the back in those days argument. In early times, basically prior to the 20th century for the most part, kids, as we would define them now, were having sex. Of course in those days, people who married at 13, 14, 15 or whatever, were adults, whether they wanted to be or not, so they were probably having sex. In today's society, we have laws that basically state our children are not adults until they are 18. Carnal knowledge laws are on the books almost everywhere. Laws or no laws, I haven't run into many kids under the age of 18 who I would consider even close to being able to accept the responsibility of being an adult. Do you, we, really want our kids running around having sex with each other let alone with individuals who are supposed to be adults? I doubt it.
The most difficult issue, with regards to the Catholic church, is the realtionship between homosexuality and those who were sexually used by the priests, mostly boys. Some would argue that there isn't a relationship between the two. I'd say they're wrong. I'm not a social scientist or psychologist, I'm just going by my gut instinct here, so I don't have any "data" to support my statement but if you look at the evidence presented so far, I'd say there is more than a casual relationship between the two.
Read Eberstadt's article and chew on it for awhile yourself.
John Venlet - 3:20:00 PM |
Saturday, June 08, 2002
The Sarge has a good post on the link/non-link blog controversy. Is this an ego thing or what? Scroll down to "One Last Bit on This Here Blogging Thing."
John Venlet - 8:45:00 AM |
Plain Talk on Daniel Pearl
When word first surfaced that a video of Daniel Pearl's murder had been made and was available online, the consensus in the mainstream media and the blogsphere was that it shouldn't be viewed. In fact you had to search the net quite diligently to be able to view this bit of Islamofascist propoganda. Some well known bloggers admitted downloading it but not viewing it. Others admitted viewing the video, but seemed apologetic for doing so. Most of them wouldn't link to the video itself but provided guidance on how to search for it on the net.
This past week the Boston Globe provided an actual link to the video on their site and later in the week The Drudge Report also posted a link. I have viewed the video and, with respect to Daniel Pearl's wife, I believe the American people should view this video. In fact, I believe this barbaric video should be mandatorily viewed by all those who question our government's actions in regards to al Qaeda and especially by those who exhort us to just understand what these people want.
Watch the video, it isn't difficult to understand what the Islamofascists want. They want Jews, Christians, capitalists, Baptists, Catholics, Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Methodists, American agnositics, aetheists, fellow Muslims, you and me, dead.
The video may be barbaric, but only because the people who murdered Daniel Pearl and recorded their actions on tape are barbaric.
Update: Here's what Time magazine's James Poniewozik has to say about watching the video.
Update: The Wall Street Journal's Tunku Varadarajan weighs in with his opinion on the value of viewing the Daniel Pearl video.
John Venlet - 7:52:00 AM |
What follows, though rather lengthy, really happened.
The Dog Police
Based on my experiences of the past thirty days, I can, with a reasonable amount of assurance, declare Kent County, and East Grand Rapids in particular, free of stray dogs, feral cats, fighting cocks and rabid raccoons. I owe this declaration to the painstaking detective work of Officer Kolster of the East Grand Rapids Public Safety Department and the tedious, time consuming stakeouts of Officer Donahue of the Kent County Health Department, Animal Control Division. These two tireless public servants, beneficiaries of our tax dollars, managed to bring a dangerous criminal, I mean dog owner, to justice.
In the interest of full disclosure, before I continue, I must confess to two things. First, I’ve never purchased a dog license for my dog Izzi. I have no real justification for this other than I never took the time (too busy) to do this. Not that this makes any difference, but I know at least half a dozen other dog owners whose dogs are unlicensed (read illegal) also. I hope I am not subpoenaed for this information, I’d end up in jail for obstruction of justice. The second thing I must confess to is walking Izzi, three times per day mind you, without a leash. I usually, 80% of the time, carry her leash with me, just in case you know, but I usually allow her to meander, as dogs like to do. If other dog walkers or humans approach, I bring Izzi to my heel because some people just don’t like dogs and some dogs, through no fault of their humans, are overly territorial. These over territorial dogs strain at the leash, barking and growling, while Izzi eyes them quizzically wondering what the fuss is all about and wishing they were off their leashes so she could romp with them or do that butt sniffing thing dogs do. Most importantly, at least in my mind, I always pick up Izzi’s droppings, or, as Animal Control would say, her defecations.
Now that I’ve fully disclosed my non-compliance with the law, I can relate to you the rest of this tale. I’ve owned Izzi, who is now six years old, since she was an eight week old pup. She’s a black, tri-color Australian Shepherd. Izzi is one of those inquisitive, friendly dogs who wants to get to know everyone. She also loves to chase hither and thither with any neighborhood dog that wants to play. She’s a good dog. In fact, about ninety percent of my neighbors, in a two block area, know Izzi by name and if they are dog owners they want Izzi to stop by and romp around their yards with their dogs.
But the real story involved here began on February 6th. I was walking Izzi, without her leash, while on my lunch break. Izzi had just finished romping with one of her neighborhood dog friends and as we continued on our way, who should pull up to the curb but Officer Donahue of Animal Control. After exiting her vehicle, Officer Donahue asked me, in a very polite manner, if I had a leash to which I replied “Yes I do” and I immediately slipped the collar, already attached to the leash, over Izzi’s head. Figuring I had complied with all that needed to be complied with, I was about to continue on my way when Officer Donahue asked for my name. I in turn asked Officer Donahue what she needed my name for and she replied, “So I can find out if your dog is licensed.” Since I didn’t want to incriminate myself, a basic Fifth Amendment right, I refused. I then proceeded to lecture Officer Donahue on really doing her job, at least as I saw it, which is apprehending stray animals, not those accompanying their masters. My little lecture was not received very well by Officer Donahue so I made to continue on my way. Before I could travel three steps however, Officer Donahue once again asked me for my name and address and I once again declined to give her that information and continued on my way with Izzi on her leash.
I naively figured that this little incident was over, but was quickly proven wrong. The very next day, while walking Izzi, this time on her leash, as I came around the corner who should I see but Officer Donhaue, standing down the street, along with an East Grand Rapids police officer. Because I didn’t want to push my luck, or should I say be ticketed for having an
unlicensed dog, I immediately about faced and took a different route home. I figured Officer Donahue was only zealously performing her duty, following orders and all. I wasn’t quite sure why the East Grand Rapids police officer was accompanying her but I assumed he was with her as some type of symbol of additional authority. You know, backup in case this uncooperative dog walker was some kind of psychotic criminal or something. You never can tell.
When I told this story to my friends and neighbors they all kind of chuckled. Laughingly pointing out that the East Grand Rapids police probably needed some incident such as this to fill their day and that the animal control officer was probably miffed because I wouldn’t give her my name. Either that or she didn’t like being lectured. I laughed too and thought that nothing would come of this. Boy was I wrong. For the next three weeks, like clockwork, Officer Donahue would be staked out either on my street, or the next street over, just waiting for me to walk Izzi on my lunch break. Because of this I resorted to having my wife walk Izzi on a daily basis but instead of at lunch time, she’d walk her later in the afternoon. She never ran into Officer Donahue, or any other animal control officer for that matter, and even if she had, because my wife always uses Izzi’s leash, she probably wouldn’t have been stopped. I only walked Izzi on weekends now, figuring that Officer Donahue didn’t work weekends so I wouldn’t have to worry about any confrontations. This is where the detective work of Officer Kolster of East Grand Rapids Public Saftey comes into play.
On Sunday March 3rd, nearly a full month after my first “run in” with Officer Donahue, I was walking Izzi around the block, shortly after 1 P.M. As I turned the corner off my street to head east down Franklin, I spied an East Grand Rapids patrol car. I didn’t think much of this. In fact I pretty much figured they were zealously checking the speed of vehicles heading east on Franklin. I say this because I had to walk directly towards the patrol car before I could turn the corner and head down Cambridge Ave. When I got to the corner, the patrol car hadn’t moved and the police officer in the car hadn’t moved either so I didn’t think much of it. In retrospect I probably should have because two or three minutes later, when I was halfway down the block, the patrol car slowly cruises by, does a U turn and pulls up next to the curb directly alongside me. As the East Grand Rapids police officer climbs from the car, I realize that this probably isn’t a social call. I’m thinking the officer is going to tell me I should have Izzi on a leash, which he does. What he says next almost drops my jaw to the sidewalk. “You match the description of a man who wouldn’t cooperate with Kent County Animal Control.” In response to this statement I say “Interesting. What did this person do?” The East Grand Rapids police officer, Officer Kolster, politely explains that this person, matching my description, was uncooperative. I simply disavowed any knowledge of this and made to continue on my way. Before I could do this, Offier Kolster requested to see my identification. He didn’t ask for my name and address, he wanted my actual ID, like I was some kind of common criminal. I grudgingly complied and after dutifully copying down the pertinent information and reminding me that I should walk my dog on a leash, he sent me on my way.
I wish I could say this is the end of the story but four days later, on March 7th things really got interesting. March 7th is a Thursday and because my wife is out of town I need to walk Izzi at lunchtime. Because of Officer Donahue’s constant lurking about, and my recent experience with Officer Kolster, I put Izzi on her leash and headed out the door. As soon as I reach the end of my driveway, I spot Officer Donahue parked three houses down the street from my house. Because I have Izzi leashed, I don’t really think anything is going to happen so I just nonchalantly stroll past Officer Donahue, staked out in her van. I still half expect Officer Donahue to call out to me or slowly tail me down the street but nothing happens. I just walked down the street and went on my merry, naïve way.
After completing three quarters of my walk without incident, as I turned the corner of my street, for the home stretch, Officer Donahue careens around the corner with an East Grand Rapids patrol car hot on her tail. Un oh, I think, I’m busted. Sure enough, both Officer Donahue and Officer Kolster jump from their vehicles to initiate the biggest bust of the month. They have apprehended a deranged, neighborhood dog walker. I can hardly believe its happening. In fact I initially choose to ignore them by acting as if why would these two public servants be after me and attempt to continue my way home. But Officer Kolster, with his hand on the butt of his pistol, commands me stop and submit to their interrogation. Which I do. I politely ask them what I can do to assist them and Officer Donahue tells me to hand over my identification. When I ask what for, she informs me that she needs my ID so she can write me a ticket for an unlicensed dog. When I ask her how she knows that my dog is unlicensed, she tells me that Officer Kolster provided the missing clue, my name and address, after the March 3rd, Sunday afternoon stop. This causes me to laugh out loud and congratulate Officer Kolster on his fine detective work, which didn’t really do much for me because he commenced to sternly lecture me. His lecture was on what he could do to me for not having my dog licensed. These consequences, according to Officer Kolster, could include a $100.00 fine and 90 days in jail. I don’t think he appreciated it when I laughed and said it would look pretty silly when word got out that the East Grand Rapids police had nothing better to do than put people in jail for 90 days for having an unlicensed dog and not using a leash. Meanwhile, Officer Donahue is diligently completing the paperwork on the three tickets she writes me up for. Two for not having a licensed dog and one for “dog running at large.” When I ask her why she wrote me a ticket for dog running at large, since my dog is on its leash, she informs me that this particular ticket is for the February 6th incident, over 30 days ago.
I’m now the talk of my neighborhood. The dangerous dog walker of East Grand Rapids. The East Grand Rapids police diligently cruise my neighborhood to ensure my compliance with the law. They even have a stool pigeon to call them, recruited by their door-to-door canvassing of my neighborhood, in order to determine my identity, if I’m seen on the streets walking Izzi without her leash. I’ve taken to walking various sections of Grand Rapids proper. At least there the police have their priorities in order, although you never know. I wonder if I can get animal control to do DNA testing on the dog poop in my front yard. Under Section 705 of animal control regulations that’s “promiscuous defecation.” The poop isn’t from my dog and I’m sick of cleaning it up.