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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.



























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Friday, August 30, 2002

 
More Saudi Rhetoric

Charles Johnson once again brings you the latest Saudi propaganda. I wish they could keep their stories straight.

John Venlet - 12:38:00 PM | Permalink

 
The Drunk Under the Streetlight

Steven DenBeste posts some of the most well argued pieces in the blogosphere, at least in my opinion. Here he writes about multiculturalism and compares supporters of it to drunks under streetlights. Read what he has to say.

Update: Read Meryl Yourish's thoughts on this also.

John Venlet - 11:06:00 AM | Permalink

 
He Got One Thing Right

Eric Mink believes we shouldn't be viewing horrific images of September 11 as the one year mark since these events arrives, because, "Replaying those scenes does not serve a news purpose." He's right, they don't, it's old news. If any American, for that matter any person in the world, is not aware what happened last September 11 they either do not want to know or don't need to know. But he's wrong about our need to review what happened last September by viewing the horrors that ensued. Too often in life we escape realities we don't want to contend with by means both legal, booze, and illegal, controlled substances. America and the world needs to accept the cold hard facts of terrorist hate. Viewing the horrific events of last September, which may be difficult for some people, is a positive undertaking. It can erase from our consciousness the vagaries of moral equivalence. One of the most misguided ideas ever hatched by the liberal left.

John Venlet - 9:25:00 AM | Permalink

 
Show Me the Way to Go Home

Camille Paglia has penned some additional pointers for the wayward left. Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for the link.

John Venlet - 7:50:00 AM | Permalink

 
Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

So the Saudis want to give Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem to the families who suffered the loss of their fathers, husbands, wives, lovers, friends, aunts, uncles on September 11 as a measure of goodwill. How tacky. Here, take this horse, the prince who owned it died anyway and rather than us having to deal with royal family inter rivalry why don't you take it to help soothe the wounds of grief our countrymen inflicted upon you. What a crock of sh!t. If the Saudis are so intent on creating feelings of good will in this country they can shut down their hate spewing wahhabism mosques, turn over any al Qaeda members they are harboring, let us use our base in Saudi Arabia to attack Iraq, start pumping more oil, quit smiling in our faces while stabbing us in the back, let American children return to the U.S., you know, start being an ally rather than some two faced friend. If they don't want to do that, I say we give them a boot in the ass, made out of pigskin of course.

John Venlet - 7:38:00 AM | Permalink

Thursday, August 29, 2002

 
Reefer Madness

The headline reads "Pot Smoking in Youth Tied to More Drug Use Later." Scary stuff those headlines, which is all that many people read. But lets look at what the body of the article really says.

People who first try marijuana early in life may be more likely than others to abuse or become dependent on illegal drugs later on, US government researchers said on Wednesday.

The key words everyone glosses over are MAY BE MORE LIKELY. It doesn't say they WILL BE more likely it says MAY BE more likely. It's like saying people who first try masturbating early in life MAY BE more likely to become sexual perverts.

They found that 62% of adults ages 26 or older who first started using marijuana before they were 15 had also tried cocaine at some point.

So 62% of adults who used pot before they were 15 have tried cocaine. Big deal. Are those 62% now a bunch of coke or crack heads? I doubt it. In fact I'd place my money that 90 to 95 percent of the 62% used cocaine only recreationally, and many of them only once or twice.

What really irks me though is this quote,

"Heavy marijuana abuse impairs the ability of young people to retain information during their peak learning years when their brains are still developing"

All of a sudden, two-thirds of the way through the article, they shift from evidence based on people who have TRIED pot, to statements about HEAVY users of pot. How did we get from experimentation to heavy users?

The final bit of foolishness in this article is this statement,

Other researchers have found that teenagers who start smoking are more likely to become addicted to nicotine than people who wait to try cigarettes when they are adults.

I thought we were being informed about illegal drug use and all of a sudden the end of the article is talking about smoking cigarettes. What the heck is up with that? This type of reporting is strictly scare tactic propaganda. Some people are going to use drugs recreationally. Some people are going to be hard core users of drugs, some people are going to be hard core users of alcohol, prescription drugs or whatever floats their boat, you're not going to be able to stop it. Just quit writing about it irresponsibly. In fact, I'd be more concerned with the hard core users of alcohol. I know two alcoholics quite well and their battles with the beast of alcoholism worry me infinitely more than the users of pot.

John Venlet - 3:45:00 PM | Permalink

 
Idiot Watch

Meryl Yourish has been keeping an eye on the UN envoy to the Middle East, well at least on what he says. Here's her poke in the eye for his most recent stupid remarks.

John Venlet - 1:25:00 PM | Permalink

 
Choice Quote

Jay Nordlinger writes for National Review and I for one thoroughly enjoy his Impromtu columns. His most recent column included. This quote, from said linked column, is agonizingly true:

"I wonder, for the millionth time, why it is that the only choice so many people are willing to allow is that to abort a child."

Don't you wonder why?

John Venlet - 9:10:00 AM | Permalink

 
Why I'm Not A Pacifist

Here's the quote. Thanks to Samizdata for the link.

John Venlet - 8:54:00 AM | Permalink

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

 
Airline Insecurity

Click on over to this Instapundit post and then click on the photo links Glenn provides. That's all folks.

John Venlet - 2:44:00 PM | Permalink

 
Another Reason to Act

Norvell B. de Atkine, a retired U.S. army colonel, has penned an excellent analysis of how Arab culture affects their ability to be effective militarily. If you have any interest in the possibility of America going to war with Iraq or anywhere in the Mid East, read what he has to say.

Here's a great quote:

All of which has led American trainers to develop a rule of thumb: a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army has as much authority as a colonel in an Arab army.

Link thanks to Arts & Letters Daily.

John Venlet - 2:17:00 PM | Permalink

 
Snip, Snip

Meryl Yourish provides a link to a cautionary vasectomy tale. If you're recuperating from a vasectomy, you better wait to read it or you may laugh your cojones off, if you are considering a vasectomy, let's just say you may consider for a bit longer, if you've already had a vasectomy, be thankful.

John Venlet - 12:58:00 PM | Permalink

 
Kill Your Television - Again

Dawn Olsen reviews American Idol. Rated "PG" due to adult language. And believe it or not she really likes reality TV.

John Venlet - 12:49:00 PM | Permalink

 
Jonah Goldberg in the Hot Seat

Jonah, his wife, and of course Cosmo, are guiding a late model Cadillac back to Washington, D.C. but spend a little time with the South Dakota law discussing drug use in Alaska and D.C.

John Venlet - 10:29:00 AM | Permalink

 
Inflation, Deflation, Immflamation

Stephen Green provides a common man's guide to your spending dollars value. He even offers some advice, not for immflamation, see your doctor for that, but on what to do with your dollars if deflation, well deflates.

John Venlet - 9:40:00 AM | Permalink

 
Another Fisking

Christopher Johnson dissects another Guardian coulmn (go figure), written this time by John Sutherland. I swear, Guardian writers are gluttons for punishment.

John Venlet - 8:10:00 AM | Permalink

 
Screed Alert

James Lileks has skewered George Monbiot's latest Guardian column. He even rewards ole George with the "2002 Maureen Dowd Award for Baffingly Odd Remark the Author Regards as Piercingly Clever." The only other thing I can say is read the screed.

John Venlet - 7:43:00 AM | Permalink

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

 
Master of Disguise

Abdel-Bari Atwan has apparently been interviewed by Michael Georgy for Reuters. Atwan is an Editor of a London based Arabic newspaper, or should I say hate spewing rag. Anyway, his whole interview is linked here but it deserves a closer look.

"Al Qaeda people say they are relaxed now and they will fight a war of attrition against U.S. soldiers"

I wonder if he's talking about the al Qaeda people at Guantamano resort or those enjoying the hospitality of their Saudi brothers in the desert. Either way, I'm sure they're relaxed. Atwan then goes on to say,

"My sense is that he will time any new attack to coincide with a U.S. attack on Iraq. He would want to capitalize on this to appeal to the Arab street so he will probably delay any attacks until the United States moves on Iraq"

Evidently Atwan has been blessed with a sixth sense. Lucky him. I wonder if his sixth sense call tell us when the House of Saud will collapse or if this sense fails him when it comes to determining the fate of his Arab brothers?

But my favorite quote is this,

"He is the master of disguise and he is making sure that he is not giving anything away so he travels in a small group"

Master of disguise hey? All I can picture after reading this is Bin Laden donning a disguise with the ineptness of Inspector Clouseau, with all due apologies to Peter Sellers. This information sure has me shaking in my boots.

John Venlet - 3:08:00 PM | Permalink

 
I'm A Victim, You're A Victim, We're All Victims

Cry me a frickin river would ya, though this left me laughing. I only have one problem, I don't seem to be a victim of anything so I'm missing the boat on all the victim benefits. Dang.

John Venlet - 1:59:00 PM | Permalink

 
Ah, Love

Dawn Olsen, a midwestern beauty, posts some comments on love. Consider yourself fortunate if reach this level of love.

John Venlet - 1:38:00 PM | Permalink

 
Quit Hitting Yourself

Christopher Bertram pens a balanced view of the war on terror. Though he speaks principally about the left discrediting themselves, he does not give the right a free ride. Thanks to Natalie Solent for the link.

John Venlet - 1:25:00 PM | Permalink

 
Reds, Vitamin C and Cocaine

Well, not really. MSNBC has posted a report by one Grant Hayday entitled "Internet addicts surf on work time." National Review Online is grateful for the addicts. I question the validity of the survey this report is based on because it was sponsored by Websense, a company that produces software that allows employers to control employee internet use. I think the addiction all started with calculators.

John Venlet - 10:36:00 AM | Permalink

 
Kristof Confesses

Nick Kristof has declared himself a "feckless wimp." But he says he's willing to be a "jingoist," if the conditions are right. Damn Nick, make up your mind. Maybe you should intoxicate yourself with moral clarity, like you say Bush does, so you can determine once and for all whether you're a feckless wimp or a jingoist. Read all about it here.

John Venlet - 9:49:00 AM | Permalink

 
Jed not Jedi

It seems a fair number of Aussies have decided to declare their religion as Jedi. Well Tim Blair isn't having anything to do with it. I wonder if he'll be baptized in the cement pond?

John Venlet - 9:11:00 AM | Permalink

 
The Good Samaritan

Adriana Cronin has had a motorcycle accident, caused, it seems, by an altruistic act. Here is her accident report.

John Venlet - 8:54:00 AM | Permalink

 
The Do Gooders

Samizdata provides a realistic analysis of events unfolding in Johannesburg. Here's an example:

Again, on the face of it, eye-watering, snot-inducing hilarity is just about all that will actually materialise from Johannesburg. The sheer scale of the ambitions leads me to believe that it is a project that almost seems destined to fail. However, since most people believe that the way to abolish poverty and all other problems is to gather together vast numbers of Well-Meaning People together in one big room to make grand pronouncements and write lots of impressive things on lots of bits of paper, there will be months of outrage, anguish, recriminations and accusations. Angry media pundits will turn their cynical (for the wrong reasons) indignation on caught-in-the-headlight politicians who will squirm off the hook by blaming their failure on those greedy Americans who 'steal all the world's resources'.

John Venlet - 8:50:00 AM | Permalink

 
What a Bunch of Wimps

The continuing feminization of men seems to be supported by some recent research, at least according to this article. I wonder if this will create a revival in Charles Atlas ads?

John Venlet - 8:12:00 AM | Permalink

Monday, August 26, 2002

 
Spin Control Worthy of Clinton

Who says the Palestinian people can't learn from the west? Thanks to Little Green Footballs for the link.

John Venlet - 3:36:00 PM | Permalink

 
The World's Saudi Friends - Part 79,223

Rich Lowry posts another tidbit on that friendly regime called the House of Saud. I wonder if Bush and the rest of the administration are reading this.

John Venlet - 12:37:00 PM | Permalink

 
Biting the Hand that Feeds You

Found the following little quote on Newsweek's Perspectives page. I can't decide if I like the seal or milk analogy better.

“They spend most of their time in their trailers. They don’t read much... and I think, ‘Why beat up on some poor little movie star?’ They’re like baby seals... they’re terrified. The shelf life of a movie actor or actress is so short, it’s like milk.” Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, on why his magazine’s celebrity profiles are slightly less probing than its journalistic features.

John Venlet - 11:27:00 AM | Permalink

 
Head Over Blog in Love

Christopher Johnson links to a tale of love, instigated it seems, by the Professor. Ah, love it makes the world go round, and ferris wheels.

John Venlet - 11:09:00 AM | Permalink

 
Islam is Another Way of Saying I Hate You

Charles Johnson has two links about a continuing Palestinian story. One here and one here. Read them both and cringe.

John Venlet - 8:38:00 AM | Permalink

 
Kill Multiculturalism Now

Mark Steyn says it like it is. Here's a prime example:

The old-time commies at least used to go to a bit of effort to tell the Western leftie intellectuals what they wanted to hear. The Islamists, by contrast, cheerfully piss all over every cherished Western progressive shibboleth. Women? The Taleban didn’t just ‘marginalise’ women, they buried them under sackcloth. But Gloria Steinem still wouldn’t support the Afghan war, and Cornell professor Joan Jacobs Brumberg argues that the ‘beauty dictates’ of American consumer culture exert a far more severe toll on women. Gays? As The New Republic reported this week, the Palestinian Authority tortures homosexuals, makes them stand in sewage up to their necks with faeces-filled sacks on their heads. Yet Canadian MP Svend Robinson, Yasser’s favourite gay infidel, still makes his pilgrimages to Ramallah to pledge solidarity with the people’s ‘struggle’. Animals? CNN is showing videos all this week of al-Qa’eda members testing various hideous poison gases on dogs.

Go read the entire article, you won't be disappointed.

John Venlet - 8:31:00 AM | Permalink

 
Home School - State Jail

Donald Sensing, who blogs One Hand Clapping, provides a link to this story about the state of California's Department of Education heavy handed tactics to prevent home schooling. Why aren't the civil libertarians screaming bloody murder about this?

Update: Samizdata says anti-home schoolers aren't just beating the drums in the U.S. and that this may lead to the strengthening of the libertarian ranks.

John Venlet - 8:14:00 AM | Permalink

 
Just Because

Here's a little quote from Ken Layne's blog that I thoroughly enjoyed because it's so true.

Something sad about seeing a 34-year-old gal with her 1992 tattoo melting down her back. Fuck all, you've got to live with that idiot design dripping down your aging skin. You like that, Betty? You like trying to eat yogurt with that goddamned hole in your tongue?

John Venlet - 8:04:00 AM | Permalink

 
It's the Saudis Stupid

Ken Layne says the war on Irag "is a scam." I'm not sure if it actually is a scam but I definitely agree with Ken about the Saudis. I think we need to be at war with the Saudis, but cold war style. We need to freeze them out, isolate them and their oil. Who cares if they rant and rave. Our government should apply its diplomatic muscle to arranging a world boycott of the Saudis and their financial support of terrorism. Do you smell a rat? I do and it's a large sand rat. Now where are my rat traps?

John Venlet - 7:52:00 AM | Permalink

 
A Lite Fisking

James Lileks delivers a lite Fisking to Onbudsgod. Good on him.

John Venlet - 7:32:00 AM | Permalink

Friday, August 23, 2002

 
Richard Craniums Act Up

I'm not quite sure how to comment on this. The saying goes "If you shake it more than twice you're playing with it."

John Venlet - 2:13:00 PM | Permalink

 
Claire Berlinski Essay

The VodkaPundit has a guest blogger today who has burnt up the keyboard. Ride'em cowboy.

John Venlet - 1:18:00 PM | Permalink

 
Telling Secrets Out of Turn

Matt Drudge is trumpeting the publishing of Bill Gertz's new book "Breakdown - How America's Intelligence Failures Led to September 11." The tome purportedly releases "highly classified documents" from within the intelligence community that detail "a stunning collapse" of intelligence reports received on terrorists. A couple of things. First, some unnamed adminstration source questions Gertz's patriotism for writing and publishing the book. This statement is way out of line. If the adminstration wants to question someone's patriotism, they should be looking at the sources who released the "highly classified documents." If the intelligence documents are so highly classified, it shouldn't be too difficult to trace the hands the documents went through. Highly classified information is only released on a need to know basis. At least it was when I was in the submarine service. The super sensitive data our boat collected while on operations was classified as SCI, Secret Compartmented Information. This SCI data was so sensitive only a minute number of people had access to the complete picture developed by the intelligence gathered and if you didn't know the secret hand shake for the SCI data, you didn't need to know. Even the code words used to classify this intelligence were top secret. My point being, if the documents Gertz received are actually so "highly classified," the trail leading to those who released the documents to Gertz are so short that it would not be difficult to determine who released what to whom. If the administration wants to question someone's patriotism, that's where they should be looking. Secondly, if our country's intelligence failures are so blatant, we DO NEED TO KNOW. We, the American people, give the government the authority to act for us. If the government is not using our authority to act in a judicious manner we, the American people, need to know how to apply pressure to the government so they do use our authority to act in a manner that is beneficial to us. I look forward to reading Gertz's book because I want to know where our country's intelligence weaknesses lie. We cannot blindly rely on the governmental bureaucracies to correct the failures we have suffered, if we do, we deserve to be led like sheep to the slaughter.

John Venlet - 1:03:00 PM | Permalink

 
Damnable Quotes

Rod Dreher, of National Review Online posts a couple of Peter Meilaender quotes in The Corner and wonders who they are applicable to.

John Venlet - 11:07:00 AM | Permalink

 
Got Red Meat?

The VodkaPundit has posted his Friday Recipe and it's making me hungry.

John Venlet - 10:57:00 AM | Permalink

 
A Good Move

When the Bush Administration authorized steel tariffs this past spring, there was a hue and cry in the media and blogsphere. This was not free trade was the main beef against the tariffs, a argument I fully agree with. It now seems that the Bush Adminstration is undermining the tariffs by granting exemptions, which is a good thing. This is readily understood because the exemptions seem to have pissed off our steel producers. Read The New York Times article about this here, and then go and purchase a refrigerator or something large made of metal.

John Venlet - 10:37:00 AM | Permalink

 
Does This Caption Make Sense?

The photo caption for this New York Post story reads, GRUESOME: Dronie Montulo yesterday weeps over the box carrying the head of brother Lemuel, who officials fear is still being held captive by the rebels. The story is sad and gruesome I agree and once again highlights the friendly Muslim atmosphere so prevalent throughout the world. I'm a little confused though, I can't quite figure out why officials fear for the body that is still being held captive. If someone's head has been removed from their body, they are assuredly dead and there is not alot of sense in fearing for the remainder of their remains.

John Venlet - 9:42:00 AM | Permalink

 
Selfless

Joel Orr has an interesting little story about a recent wedding in the Jerusalem Rabbinate. Scroll to the post entitled "Celebrating Their Wedding in Style." It'll warm the cockles of your heart, well it did mine.

John Venlet - 8:34:00 AM | Permalink

 
Oil, Ann Coulter, Nazis and Conquering Mexico

If you're not a reader of James Lileks, you should be. Today's Bleat covers all of the aforementioned. James is not only a wordsmith, he's a subject weaver.

John Venlet - 7:46:00 AM | Permalink

Thursday, August 22, 2002

 
Martha, Martha, Martha

Poor Martha Stewart. She's facing another lawsuit. Her next career, if it isn't prison oriented, is going to be dressing for defendants. The main emphasis will be on the correct attire for various stages of your trial.

John Venlet - 3:13:00 PM | Permalink

 
Wanna Be Stars

James Carville's voice is going to be used in a movie. Bill Clinton is trolling for a talk show. What is it with the past administration anyway? Why do they all want to be actors? The only thing that comes to mind as I read these gossipy items is the "Thespian Skits" from SNL. I guess both Carville and Clinton do have alot of experience. They were only acting when they were in positions of responsibility while in the White House.

John Venlet - 3:08:00 PM | Permalink

 
That's Too Bad

Glenn Reynolds provides a link to a Nick Danger report on Cornel West's upcoming debut as an actor, in an upcoming "Matrix" sequel no less. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the first "Matrix" movie, but I'm a tad concerned about the sequels, especially now that I'm aware West has been cast as a "counselor." All I can add is if West's acting is as poor as his musical ability, the sequels are going to suffer.

John Venlet - 2:54:00 PM | Permalink

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

 
Lawsuit 101

So you wanna sue hey? This may help. Thanks to The Volokh Conspiracy for the link.

John Venlet - 1:14:00 PM | Permalink

 
And That's The Truth

Sgt Stryker has been posting once again and offers this kernel of wisdom about truth and concrete, which he taught Professors in college, although I wonder if they absorbed the lesson:

The colloquium was team taught by three professors and the dean of the college of arts and sciences. It was a lively class, and we covered a variety of mind-stretchingly esoteric topics. It was during a discussion/lecture on the meaning of truth and concrete that I had to speak out for the pedestrian worldview: "I can explain what truth and concrete are. The truth is, if I drop a concrete block on your head it's gonna hurt!" Sometimes in trying to explain the human condition, the reasoned and dispassionate intellectual divorces himself from reality and goes off into some theoretical twilight zone of existential nits that have no application or bearing in the real world in which most of us live.

Perfect.


John Venlet - 1:01:00 PM | Permalink

 
The Money Game

Stephen Green, over at VodkaPundit, has commented on Will Saletan's recent article on capital gains. Now he has to explain his thoughts to Ed. Ouch. I think Will should read what he has to say too.

John Venlet - 12:43:00 PM | Permalink

 
I'm So Confused

Evidently certain people down in Florida still have a difficult time figuring out how to vote. I'm not sure if it's the retirees who are confused or the supposed election officials. Maybe Floridians should be allowed to choose from a picture menu of candidates.

John Venlet - 12:35:00 PM | Permalink

 
Ever Heard of a Hat?

Eric Olsen provides some enlightening thoughts on the current sunburn criminal case down in Ohio. Scroll down to the post "SPF Dumbass."

John Venlet - 11:23:00 AM | Permalink

 
Hitchens Discusses Amis

Christopher Hitchens discusses Martin Amis' new book Koba the Dread in The Atlantic Monthly Online. The article itself is a rather lengthy read, but well worth your time. Say what you will about HItchens, the guy knows how to use language.

John Venlet - 10:55:00 AM | Permalink

 
All in the Family

The New York Times profiles a family of misfits. I think they forgot to include the angle on how this is all America's fault.

Update: Something must be wrong at The New York Times today, they're even championing hunting.

John Venlet - 10:17:00 AM | Permalink

 
Hard Up?

I'm not sure if this guy is hard up, hard on, or just a Hugh Hefner wanna be. But you can't argue with his logic.

John Venlet - 9:57:00 AM | Permalink

 
Elvis, Catalyst for Communism's Downfall

Glenn Reynolds, blog king of InstaPundit, shines a light on the correlation between Elvis and the demise of communism. The King lives on!

John Venlet - 9:48:00 AM | Permalink

 
Monkey See, Monkey Do

First off, I'm all for the humane treatment of animals. Doesn't matter to me if their a dog, cat, loon, cow, rabbit, or what not, mistreating animals is not a good thing. In this article, Ross Mackenzie manages to weave Robet Heinlein, animal rights and talking birds into a cogent argument against legal rights for critters. The day my dog takes me to court is the day I go feral.

John Venlet - 8:48:00 AM | Permalink

 
We're the Good Guys

Jonah Goldberg may be on some sort of road trip, traipsing around Alaska, through Canada or other points in the great Northwest, but he still manages to bang out a column for Townhall.com.

John Venlet - 8:40:00 AM | Permalink

 
Give Me A Fifth and the Ugly One in the Corner

British scientists have determined that drinking produces what they have termed the "beer-goggle effect." Basically what this means is the more you drink, the better looking people become. So leave those paper bags at home the next time you go out and opt for another fifth of your favorite liquor. Thanks to Paul Palubicki at Beers Across America for the link.

Update: Even the Simpsons understanding the mechanics behind drinking a fifth. Thanks to Samizdata for the link.

John Venlet - 8:31:00 AM | Permalink

 
Consider Yourself Reprimanded

I personally didn't pay much attention to the Millennium Challenge war game stories floating around the web but Don Sensing, who blogs One Hand Clapping, is calling various reporters and bloggers, unnamed of course, on the carpet. Hey, it was only a game, with rules at that. You think in a real war there are rules?

John Venlet - 8:23:00 AM | Permalink

 
Did the Earth Move for You?

Eric Olsen, over at Tres Producers, links to an orgasm simulator. I wonder who makes more noise?

John Venlet - 8:16:00 AM | Permalink

 
Military Analysis

Steven DenBeste, over at USS Clueless, has been analyzing military capabilities. Here he talks about Israeli capabilities, here he discusses being a U.S. Marine, among other things, and here he rates the UK military.

John Venlet - 8:09:00 AM | Permalink

 
Michigan Soap Opera

John Corry pens a little ode to my home state that was inspired by a small town newspaper. I drive through Cadillac, and all the counties mentioned, almost every weekend as I head to my little trout stream in Oscoda county.

John Venlet - 7:46:00 AM | Permalink

 
Germans Invade Iraq

No really they did, and James Lileks points this out. He also talks about thunderstorms, reviews a movie, an HBO TV show and comments on The Simpsons. Oh, and plus he shares a Jasperism. Enjoy.

John Venlet - 7:39:00 AM | Permalink

 
Our Good Friend A.S. al-Rasheed

Move along, there's nothing to see here, this is just another one of our good Saudi friends. I wonder if he is a product of our friendly Visa express program? If we can arrest him, I bet he'll be popular in prison, he's already wearing a dress.

John Venlet - 7:31:00 AM | Permalink

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

 
$audis Love American Dollars

So the $audi's are busy removing dollars from from the U.S., at least according to the report linked from Drudge. Funny, I thought they've been removing billions of dollars from the U.S. for years. We've been buying their oil and subsidizing them with other billions for their defense, or should I say their offensiveness, for just as many years.

John Venlet - 9:25:00 PM | Permalink

 
Pornivivor

Yahoo News reports on a controversial contestant for the show"Survivor." I've never quite been able to bring myself to watch this spectacle of television, though I do know the show supposedly plops a group of people down in some inhospitable environment to sorta fend for themselves. An interesting concept but the legal ramifications of someone not surviving prevent anything resembling a real survival experience from being foisted upon the contestants. The big news for the new season of this show is a porn star's inclusion as one of the contestants. I guess I should ex-porn star since the contestant is now a "succesful used car salesman raising a family in the suburbs." Well that's what the article says. I'm trying to figure out what the big difference is between a porn star and a used car salesman. They both want to bend you over.

John Venlet - 3:43:00 PM | Permalink

 
Self Fisking

Brian Micklethwait, writing for Samizdata has the dubious distinction of having to "Fisk," dang it, his own writing as published in the British paper The Sunday Times. Another reason why blogs trounce newspapers. Damn editors.

John Venlet - 1:07:00 PM | Permalink

 
Mulitcultural Rape

Mark Steyn once again puts pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and outlines some reasons why the proponents who push multiculturalism are actually aiding and abetting racism. If the story about the Lebanese rapists, who pretend to be Australian citizens, doesn't get your dander up and wipe the stain of multiculturalism from your mind, you may as well take it Leb style too. Link via John Venlet - 12:51:00 PM | Permalink


 
Quit Bugging Me

They're big, they love to eat foliage, are immune to bug sprays, they could play a part in your biology dissection class, and could care less what you think of them, they're the grasshoppers from hell. The Orlando Sentinel profiles the lubber grasshopper problem down in Florida. Link via Drudge.

John Venlet - 11:22:00 AM | Permalink

 
Toils and Troubles

The possibility of our nation attacking Irag raises more than just hackles. Many justifiable concerns are being discussed, not only in the halls of Congress, but on the street, in the blogosphere, Europe and the Middle East. The underlying concern being what type of domino effect may occur if such an attack takes place. Will the Arab world rise up against Israel, will terrorists operate more brazenly, etc. All legitimate concerns. Bryan Peterson, writing in National Review Online, wonders what China will do.

John Venlet - 10:38:00 AM | Permalink

 
NEA Dismay

James Lileks provides a more balanced view on the NEA's September 11 lesson plans. While James' view of the NEA recommendations is more balanced, the fact still remains that their bellowing of moral equivalent lesson plans does not reflect the views of the majority of the U.S. citizens whether they be teachers, parents, children, lawmakers, bakers, you get the picture.

John Venlet - 7:46:00 AM | Permalink

Monday, August 19, 2002

 
Sundays Just Aren't For Church

Brendan Koerner explains why Sunday is the best day to file bankruptcy. Plus, you can take in a quick church service as a form of absolution and then catch all the NFL games. A full day's work.

John Venlet - 3:49:00 PM | Permalink

 
Horses, Goats and No This Isn't Afghanistan

Horse lovers and castrated goat mayors. What's next or maybe I shouldn't ask that question. Thanks to The Volokh Conspiracy for these links.

John Venlet - 2:49:00 PM | Permalink

 
I'll Have a Donut

Eric Olsen, Editor extraordinare of Blogcritics, and fellow blogger, explores the world of dumb ass warnings. The sad thing is the insurance industry executive who is quoted in the article, located here, is from Michigan, my home state. Shouldn't he be living in California or working for The New York Times as an analyst or something?

John Venlet - 2:22:00 PM | Permalink

 
Idiot Speak

I'm not sure how Charles of Little Green Footballs finds all the stories he links to, but I'm glad that he does. This handy idiotarian translator guide is just another one of the little jewels Charles has found.

John Venlet - 1:42:00 PM | Permalink

 
Real Injustice

The New York Times finally finds a story that will justify their, ahem, leftist leanings. Why can't they champion real, not imagined, abuses of power all the time instead of tilting at windmills? But seriously, the story, found here, will not do alot to instill confidence in our judicial system.

John Venlet - 1:14:00 PM | Permalink

 
Jury Nullification

Eugene Volokh steps into the jury nullification debate that seems to have originated over at InstaPundit and TalkLeft. Everyone involved brings good points to the discussion that may have practical applications for you someday.

John Venlet - 12:56:00 PM | Permalink

 
Spanking the Left

Camille Paglia once again crafts an intelligent argument that spanks the left for their irrelevance. No matter that they don't realize they are irrelevant, they must just like being spanked. Now if they could only learn a valuable lesson from their spankings, I mean other than to say more stupid things so they can have more spankings. Thanks to Tim Blair for the link.

John Venlet - 12:49:00 PM | Permalink

 
Defending Hard Words

William F. Buckley Jr. writes in defense of Rev. Franklin Graham.

John Venlet - 11:05:00 AM | Permalink

 
I Have Nothing to Add

Charles over at Little Green Footballs provides a link to a Weekly Standard story written by Larry Miller. Larry's entire story is linked in Charles post but the paragraph that will make you catch your breath is here.

John Venlet - 10:56:00 AM | Permalink

 
First, We Kill All the Lawyers

While I don't personally hate all attorneys, I do not have much respect for their profession. Robert Levy writes an op-ed in National Review Online that just adds fuel to the fire of attorney disrespect. I wonder if I could get this some high powered attorney to sue attorneys who litigate these type of lawsuits? Probably not. They wouldn't be able to make enough money. When attorneys are putting on seminars for other attorneys on how to get on the fast food suit gravy train you know it's too late. These type of lawsuits are just as bad as cooking the books ala Enron, WorldCom, etc.

John Venlet - 10:34:00 AM | Permalink

 
How Deep Are Your Pockets?

So the big slavery reparations rally was held this weekend in DC. The article linked here says about 2,000 to 3,000 people marched. Not a big number. But that's not the big news from the rally. The big news from the rally is this quote from one Charles Barron, a member of the New York City Council, "I want to go up to the closest white person and say 'You can't understand this, it's a black thing' and then slap him, just for my mental health." Nice. And we're supposed to take this kind of talk seriously?

John Venlet - 8:49:00 AM | Permalink

 
Sometimes It's the Little Things

Joel Orr of The Truth About Israel, links to this little tidbit in Israel National News. Now why exactly is Israel assisting an Ex-PLO minister?

John Venlet - 8:38:00 AM | Permalink

 
NEA Sponsored Moral Equivalence or Stupifying Your Kids

It's all relative I guess, at least that's what the NEA must want our children to believe. Writing in The Washington Times, Ellen Sorokin provides us with a few of the NEA's suggestions for September 11 lesson plans. Let's turn our children into saps who can't judge right from wrong is what the NEA is truly advocating. Thanks to One Hand Clapping for the link.

Update: Charles Johnson adds some thoughts to the asinine policy stance of the NEA.

John Venlet - 8:10:00 AM | Permalink

Saturday, August 17, 2002

 
Remainders

Charles, over at Little Green Footballs, links to a story about the remains of a number of hijackers recovered from the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. Read the story if you want, Charles links to it, but definitely read Charles' idea of what to do with them.

John Venlet - 3:58:00 PM | Permalink

 
Perfect

This little Jay Leno quote, posted over at Samizdata, is great.

John Venlet - 3:47:00 PM | Permalink

Friday, August 16, 2002

 
Missed Something Good To Read

The Wall Street Journal's Tony and Tacky is worth a quick look. So is their Best of the Web. That is all. Well, actually there is probably a whole lot more but I'm out of time.

John Venlet - 8:31:00 PM | Permalink

 
So Much To Learn

I hate it when that happens. Spend a day away from the computer and you can feel you're missing out on all the information flowing around so I've been playing catch-up since arriving back at the monitor/keyboard. Highpoints for the day include: The VodkaPundit posts some photos of his lovely bride and promotes a new baseball league. Charles of Little Green Footballs posts some damning evidence entitled The University of Death. I'll give you three guesses as to what that's all about and the first two don't count. Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit fame is his normal prolific self. Meaning he has posted a vast amount of great info and links. Just read his entire blog. The Volokh Conspiracy, provides a smorgasboard of legal opinions, not the official court kind, but they may as well be, based upon the thoughtful words written there. James Lileks had kind of a bad/long day and his Bleat and is even better for it. Andrew Sullivan is on vacation during the month of August but he has kindly given the regins of his blog to Camille Paglia who shares her opinion on events in the Middle East. She writes clearly. Tim Blair, an Aussie blogger, asks us to calculate our "Elvis connectivity." Read the post entitled "A Little Less Separation.

This is just a taste of what is out there to read today and I'm playing catchup still. Turn off the TV and learn what you're missing. You'll probably learn something. Dang, start your own blog and add to the mix.

John Venlet - 7:57:00 PM | Permalink

Thursday, August 15, 2002

 
A Justifiably Angry Fireman

National Review Online's Rod Dreher posts an email from a NYC fireman who repsonded to his "America Be Angry" essay which I linked to previously.

John Venlet - 9:58:00 AM | Permalink

 
Dreamweaver

Mark Goldblatt pens an interesting essay on Middle East pipedreams. I believe his conclusions are correct no matter how difficult it may be for the world to accept them. Thanks to The Truth About Israel for the link.

John Venlet - 9:40:00 AM | Permalink

 
Transnational Progressivism Worse Than Militant Islam

Steven DenBeste, essayist blogger of USS Clueless, pens another essay on the challenges the American, democratic way of life is facing. I agree with Steven here. Transnational progressivism is a slow but insidious erosion of individual rights.

Update: This article by Fred Reed looks at how transnational progressivism may affect the U.S. without mentioning transnational progressivism. Thanks to National Review Online for the link.

John Venlet - 9:21:00 AM | Permalink

 
Just Desserts

Great quote of the day from Samizdata.

John Venlet - 9:11:00 AM | Permalink

 
Theory of Salvation

Donald Sensing, who blogs One Hand Clapping, links to an interesting essay on salvation, a sort of who's in and who's out of heaven. If you have any interest in expanding your mind in regards to God, faith and salvation, read the essay here.

John Venlet - 8:55:00 AM | Permalink

 
Scowcraft Against Taking Out Saddam

Brent Scowcraft opins, in The Wall Street Journal, that we should not take out Saddam. He offers up some salient arguments for this opinion, but the generality of those arguments leaves me wondering how long the U.S., and the world for that matter, should allow Saddam to remain in power and in pursuit of an ever increasing arsenal of nefarious weapons. While I agree that any attack against Saddam should be thoroughly debated and analyzed for consequences, we cannot sit on our hands allowing the various scenarios of what may go wrong to deter us from the goal of serious political changes in the Middle East. Toppling Saddam may be the one domino that brings change for the better to this part of the world.

John Venlet - 7:59:00 AM | Permalink

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

 
Fact Checked

Eugene Volokh fact checks Michael Barnes keister. Michael Barnes just happens to be the president of Handgun Control, Inc. and if he doesn't start fact checking his own keister he going to lose what little credibility he may have left.

John Venlet - 2:23:00 PM | Permalink

 
Taking a Leak

Slate publishes a story by Jack Shafer entitled "The Fog Of Newspapering" and a much longer subtitle which I won't report here, which takes a peek at the world of war plan leakers and the reporters who lap up their leaks. Now I have no clue as to the validity of the leaks as reported by The New York Times but, to be honest, find reading the articles about the "leaked" information rather interesting. If the leaked info they are disseminating to us is valid, it probably isn't helpful to our war on terrorism. If the info isn't valid, it may just be making Saddam and his Arab buddies wet their pants. My personal take on this is, if the leaked information is valid, it would be rather simple to isolate the party or parties doing the leaking. The circle of people with the actual need to know in the planning stages of war is rather limited so the leak could be plugged. I don't have enough information either way to make a real judgement on this but I do know one thing, if the leaks are valid information the people leaking should be hung out to dry.

John Venlet - 1:39:00 PM | Permalink

 
Muslim Threats

Why is it that if I would threaten Muslims with imminent death by clandestine operations inside their homes and mosques I would more than likely be arrested, charged with a hate crime and spend time in jail but they can get away with issuing fatwas to kill? I am tired of all the PC treatment these Islamofascists receive and I am to the point where I could give a rat's a$$ what happens to them. Thanks to The Corner for the link.

John Venlet - 9:37:00 AM | Permalink

 
Cry Me A River

The Moose excoriates whining conservatives.

John Venlet - 9:19:00 AM | Permalink

 
It Keeps Going and Going

The problems Israel has faced since statehood was declared in 1948 have not changed. Louis Rene Beres provides a short history of what the Arab nations really want to do with Israel. Thanks to Joel Orr who blogs The Truth About Israel for the link.

John Venlet - 9:16:00 AM |
Permalink

 
Only in America

Don't make this woman bellicose. I wonder if NOW and all the other liberal gun control organizations that are supported by feminists would disavow associating with her. I say "You go girl," more power to Vanessa. Once again thanks go out to Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit for the link.

John Venlet - 7:55:00 AM | Permalink

 
Racial Profiling Now or Air Security Has Their Head up Their A$$

I am all for vigilance at the airport. I am in favor of screening incoming air passengers from foreign countries. But compare this travesty of a story about a couple from New Zeeland with this bit of foolishness that fingerprints incoming Middle Easterners, well except for Saudis since they are our friends. Yep, those darn New Zeelanders, we have to keep a close eye on them with their killer kiwis and such. Thanks to InstaPundit for the link to the New Zeelander story.

John Venlet - 7:47:00 AM | Permalink

 
Redhot TIPS

James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal provides some additional thoughts on the TIPS program.

John Venlet - 7:31:00 AM | Permalink

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

 
We Have Liftoff

Blogcritics.com has had a succesful kickoff and I am happy to report that I have contributed to this auspicious occasion with a piece entitled Big Radio, Small Playlists. Give Blogcritics a visit, there's lots more to read other than what I have contributed.

John Venlet - 3:46:00 PM | Permalink

 
A Call to Righteous Anger

Rod Dreher, writing in National Review Online, asks where America's anger is as the one year mark since September 11 draws nigh.

John Venlet - 10:20:00 AM | Permalink

 
Contrasting Saudi View

Lawrence Henry, writing in The American Prowler, provides us with a positive spin on our "friendship" with the House of Saud.

John Venlet - 9:20:00 AM | Permalink

 
Psst, Want TIPS?

Operation TIPS has been receiving alot of negative vibes from all sides of the political spectrum. I've commented on it here under the lead line "TIPS and Stones Will Break Your Bones." Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor, blogs his thoughts, here. Eugene's comments also provide links to his previous posts on this issue. I think it's being sold to the public in the wrong manner.

John Venlet - 8:52:00 AM | Permalink

 
Words to Live By

Rachel Lucas provides some insights for living under the title Move, Hush and Back Off. Here's my personal favorite:

And lastly, if you're a liberal, just stop it. Stop deluding yourself into thinking that taxes are used for the greater good, killing fetuses is a good thing, killing murderers is a bad thing, giving money to lazy welfare sows is something we should do, or cutting back on military spending will accomplish anything other than the eventual annihilation of the United States by psychotic bastards.

Read them all, you may learn something. Thanks to Midwest Conservative Journal for the link.

John Venlet - 8:07:00 AM | Permalink

Monday, August 12, 2002

 
Blogcritics.com Launch

Eric Olsen, the mastermind behind Blogcritics.com, of which Improved Clinch is a member, and contributing author of the blog Tres Producers, announces the launch of a new era in music/book review. Blogcritics brings together over 100 web writers who will provide independent reviews, commentary and essays on music, books and what not. Get ready.

John Venlet - 3:12:00 PM | Permalink

 
Armed Monkey Beats Wife

Now that's a headline. Call PETA, NOW, the Humane Society, Jane Goodall and probably the U.N., we have to stop the madness. TIME magazine's online site heralds the story "The Wife Beaters of Kibale," as "a glimpse of evolution in action." The story comes complete with a photograph of Dr. Richard Wrangham and Carol Hooven, white gloved, meticuously studying, are you ready for this, sticks. Yes folks sticks. Now these are not ordinary sticks by any stretch of the imagination, these are sticks that one monkey used to hit another monkey so they are very special and will probably one day be ensconced in the Smithsonian. Even more importantly, the sticks are part of the evolutionary process the monkeys are going through as they acclimate to modern life. Well that's not what the article says but I'm sure that those who are studying the sticks are theorizing about it. This post at Davezilla.com, which I've linked to previously, provides some possible evolutionary changes coming in future primates.

John Venlet - 10:59:00 AM | Permalink

 
The Mineta Adventures

Mark Steyn provides a tongue in cheek glimpse into the world of airline security. Which would explain this. Thanks to Transterrestrial Musings and InstaPundit for the links.

John Venlet - 8:22:00 AM | Permalink

 
Economist Headlines

Matt Drudge links to a story with the headline "Terror threat overblown, says expert." I was quite curious about this so when I went to the link and read the story I was surprised that the "expert" was an economist. Might not the better headline have been "Economist cautions on costs of terror fight?"

John Venlet - 7:33:00 AM | Permalink

Sunday, August 11, 2002

 
History Repeats, History Repeats, History Repeats....

Here's an interesting little post from The Corner. The post is called "The More Things Change."

John Venlet - 2:28:00 PM | Permalink

 
A Treatise on Being Libertarian

Perry de Havilland, part of the Samizdata blog team, has written Part 1 in a series of what being a libertarian really means. I'm fairly certain other libertarians will disagree with him, hey that's what debate is all about, but all in all I think he's written a well balanced view.

John Venlet - 9:17:00 AM | Permalink

 
Caw, Caw, Caw

Ken Layne writes a few words about crows. I wonder if the crows are working with researchers, the crow conspiracy or was that ravens, to put a positive spin on their species? This West Nile virus carrier thing they are burdened with could be the catalyst.

John Venlet - 8:43:00 AM | Permalink

 
BullS#*t Detectors On

Steven DenBeste provides a thoughtful analysis and guide to reading news and opinions.

John Venlet - 8:29:00 AM | Permalink

Saturday, August 10, 2002

 
Past, Present, Future

Victor Davis Hanson once again pens a smart, balanced view of America's place in the world. Standing alone is sometimes difficult but being a leader is not an easy task.

John Venlet - 9:00:00 AM | Permalink

Friday, August 09, 2002

 
Happiness is a Warm Gun

Here's an op-ed sure to rankle the gun control lobby.

John Venlet - 2:45:00 PM | Permalink

 
Wacky Idea or Not

Robert A. George blogs an interesting idea in The Corner entitled "41's biggest mistake." Hmmm is right.

John Venlet - 2:40:00 PM | Permalink

 
Monkey See, Monkey Do

No Watermelons Allowed links to Davezilla.com, who then provides us with a little evolutionary humor.

John Venlet - 1:46:00 PM | Permalink

 
Breathe for Me

I found a story link on the blog The News Uncensored that is poignant beyond compare. It highlights the compassion of Israel and the depravity they face. Go here and read it now.

John Venlet - 12:57:00 PM | Permalink

 
Double Standards or Good for the Goose, Good for the Gander

Franklin Graham, son of Billy, who was interviewed on "NBC Nightly News" back in November 2001, had this to say about Islam, "The God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion." Graham's comments landed him in a bit of hot water, not only because they run contrary to what we've heard in the media about Islam being a peaceful religion, but there seem to run contrary to even what President Bush has said about Islam. This article from the Charlotte Observer expands on this a bit.

Now compare Graham's comments to this comment from Ergun Caner, a Baptist professor who converted to Christianity from Islam.

Ergun Caner says that immediately following the terrorist attacks, the media's assumptions about the differences between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity compelled him to speak out with righteous indignation. He explains, "The central theme of the media was, 'I don't understand why the Muslims, Jews, and Christians are fighting so much, because they're all basically worshiping the same God.' " He says that in the minds of most of the talking heads on the news shows, "Jehovah and Allah are the same God, like these are divine nicknames."

Caner's response to this fallacious assumption is emphatic. "As a Muslim, if I had heard someone say that Jehovah and Allah are the same God, I would have been offended," he declares. "As a Christian, I find it blasphemous." He notes, "I have never met one intelligent Muslim who ever said that Allah of the Koran and Jehovah of the Bible are the same God."


What I find interesting is that Graham was excoriated for his comments but Caner is not. Is it because Graham is well known, an evangelist no less, and Caner is just a former Muslim who is now just a Baptist professor? I doubt that is the case. Read the rest of article on Caner, which delves into his conversion from Muslim to Christian and other issues related to the events of 9/11 when Islam was thrust into the world's headlights. It's worth your time. Thanks to Christopher Johnson over at Midwest Conservative Journal for providing the link.



John Venlet - 8:47:00 AM | Permalink

 
Ponderous Thoughts

Daniel Henniger has some thoughts for us to ponder over at The Wall Street Journal's online opinion page. Here's the quote that best sums up what is going on in our "war on terrorism."

Among these people--the politicians and the press--it is clear that the once undeniable monumentality of September 11 and the anti-Taliban offensive in Afghanistan have now devolved into a mere policy debate, alike in tone to the sometimes arcane, always grave arms-control debates we had during the Cold War.

Here's a quote from my dad, although it may be attributable to someone more famous, but I don't know for sure, "He who hesitates is lost."

John Venlet - 7:51:00 AM | Permalink

Thursday, August 08, 2002

 
Destroying Tim Blair

Tim Blair, who labels himself a "journalist, commentator and oppressor" has been threatened with destruction. Well, at least that's what Bob Ellis is telling him. Now I have no real clue who Bob Ellis is, other than what is provided by this link here. If the opening sentence of the site linked to is any indication of Bob Ellis' worth, I'd say he's a legend in his own mind, or at least the mind of the person who wrote the verbiage for the site.

Anyway, my only connection to Tim Blair, is as an American reader of his blog. But as a reader of Tim's, I have to say that based on his blog posts, he's going to run circles around Bob. Poor Bob.

John Venlet - 6:39:00 PM | Permalink

 
Fantasy is a Nice Way of Saying Delusional

Charles, over at Little Green Footballs, links to an excellent essay by Lee Charles which is online here. Lee is comparing al Qaeda's aims and way of thinking to our aims and way of thinking, and he does so brilliantly. Here are a few quotes that I found to be especially telling.

So the purpose of 9-11 was not to create terror in the minds of the American people but to prove to the Arabs that Islamic purity, as interpreted by radical Islam, could triumph.

Although 9/11 DID create terror in the minds of Americans, I heartily agree that the real purpose was the attempt to prove the Islamic purity angle.

First of all, it should be obvious that if our enemy is motivated purely by a fantasy ideology, it is absurd for us to look for the so-called “root” causes of terrorism in poverty, lack of education, a lack of democracy, etc. Such factors play absolutely no role in the creation of a fantasy ideology. On the contrary, fantasy ideologies have historically been the product of members of the intelligentsia, middle-class at the very least and vastly better educated than average.

Telling comment here. I wonder if our "intelligentsia" will take this under consideration?

For we are fighting an enemy who has no strategic purpose in anything he does — whose actions have significance only in terms of his own fantasy ideology.

This element of magical thinking does not make al Qaeda any less dangerous, however. For it is likely that in al Qaeda’s collective fantasy there may exist the notion of an ultimate terror act, a magic bullet capable of bringing down the United States at a single stroke — and, paradoxically, nothing comes closer to fulfilling this magical role than the detonation of a very unmagical nuclear device. That this would not destroy our society in one fell swoop is obvious to us; but it is not to our enemies, in whose eyes an act of this nature assumes a fantasy significance in addition to its sufficiently terrifying reality — the fantasy significance of providing al Qaeda with a vision of ultimate and decisive victory over the West.

This statement sums up WHY we must act no matter what the Europeans, Arabs or others think. I'd say this is Islam's collective fantasy, not just al Qaeda's. Read the entire article. It is well worth your time.




John Venlet - 3:00:00 PM | Permalink

 
Declare War!

George Will says Congress should declare war before we attack Iraq. I understand and appreciate both sides of the legal arguments in regards to this issue and my personal belief is that there is not a formal need to declare war, based on previous U.N. resolutions. Even so, I would like to see Congress declare war just to see where the 537 elected members of Congress stand in regards to protecting our country. I wonder how many of them would vote against it, and, of those who voted against it, I wonder how many of their constituents would continue to vote for them.

Update: Doug Bandow weighs in on the declare war issue in National Review Online.

John Venlet - 8:43:00 AM | Permalink

 
Tarnished Image

One Rizgar Khoshnaw, writing for The Arab News, is bemoaning the recent Defense Policy Board briefing that depicted the Saudis as America's enemy. I don't think his attempts at spin control are going to succeed.

John Venlet - 8:27:00 AM | Permalink

 
Genocide Today

Writing in the internet edition of The Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick connects the dots between The Holocaust and the Palestinian's murdering of Jews in Israel today. Here arguments for the close relationship between what has occurred (The Holocaust) and what is currently occurring (suicide murderers) are on the mark. Many want to deny or gloss over the deep hatred embedded in Palestinian society. This head in the sand mentality is nothing more than complicity in the Palestinian's actions. Thanks to Joel Orr at The Truth About Israel for providing the link.

John Venlet - 8:13:00 AM | Permalink

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

 
Funding our Enemies

Christopher Johnson who blogs Midwest Conservative Journal links to a story about U.S. tax dollars, that's OUR MONEY, being used to refurbish a Palestinian school that is named after a terrorist who is responsible for 38 deaths, including 1 American. It doesn't get much worse than this does it? Unless you consider that OUR MONEY is also given to the Sauds who are probably giving it to the terrorists to use against us.

Of course we also give OUR MONEY to politicians who use it against us also, and are always asking for more, just like the Sauds.

John Venlet - 2:50:00 PM | Permalink

 
Daniel Pearl Homecoming

Daniel Pearl is coming home. The AP report is here. While I knew his body had been found, I had not realized it had not been returned to the U.S. My first thought upon reading this was one of sympathy for his wife. Although I am certain she has accepted the fact of his death (murder), I feel she will once again grieve when he is returned home and interred. Daniel's kidnapping and murder have for the most part disappeared from our radar screens, as have the murders of the the passengers on the ill-fated flights of 9/11 and the innocent who were interred in the collapse of the twin towers of the WTC. While there are positive and negative arguments for our collective fogging of these events, we must not allow our memories of these events to erode. If this happens, our complacency will once again be shattered by those in this world who have no compunction about harming us. May G-d bless Mariane Pearl and her children.

John Venlet - 1:51:00 PM | Permalink

 
Religious Life

James Lileks pens a bleat today that compares what's being preached in Islam versus other Christian religions. Having sat, as James says, "through a thousand sermons" myself, I never once heard any minister preach to their congregation to hate people who didn't belong to their particular brand of faith. It makes me wonder why Islam is called one of the "three great religions."

John Venlet - 8:18:00 AM | Permalink

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

 
Dueling for Libertarians

Peter Cuthbertson who blogs Conservative Commentary pens an intersting argument for legalized dueling. The ability to combine a quote of Edmund Burke with a 21st century beer commercial is something to be proud of. Thanks to The Corner for providing the link.

John Venlet - 3:46:00 PM | Permalink

 
It's Always the U.S.'s Fault

The New York Times, in their continuing efforts to elicit support for their tear soaked leftist agendas, provide us with another reason why, when illegal immigrants die, it's the U.S.'s fault. Here's the money quote by one Claudia Smith, of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation:

"Once the deaths started happening by the dozens in the mountains east of San Diego," the federal government "never rethought its strategy." "The Border Patrol, as planned, went on to push them into the deserts, where the risk" for death "increased exponentially."

Evidently, Claudia and her foundation believe that because our government wants to protect our borders and population it is our fault that ILLEGAL immigrants die when they attempt to sneak into the country. Read the whole article and decide for yourself whether the slant of the story is in favor of ILLEGAL immigrants or our laws and those who enforce them.

John Venlet - 1:41:00 PM | Permalink

 
Granholm, Bah Humbug

I recently wrote this op-ed about Michigan democrat and governor candidate, Jennifer Granholm, which was published by our local paper, The Grand Rapids Press. The same argument I use against her candidacy, could be used against many candidates, whether republican or democrat, if they keep reaching their hands into our pockets and our lives.

Granholm intruded on gasoline market

Jennifer Granholm, is a rising star here in our state, but is she really running for governor on a platform of democracy? I ask this question because of the legal actions she has spearheaded against gas station operators in the wake of their pricing actions on Sept. 11.

A small percentage of station operators opted to raise their gas prices at the pump after the events of Sept. 11 and, more importantly, after receiving faxed notices from their suppliers that there could possibly be a shortage of gas.

Attorney General Granholm, in response to these certain station operators raising prices, issued 48 station operators an ultimatum to apologize, refund money, pay fines and admit wrongdoing or face charges of charging "grossly excessive" prices and deceiving and taking advantage of customers.

Our state has never defined by statute or court of law what "grossly excessive" pricing is. Since this is the case, how can the attorney general threaten actions that no state law defines? While I do not support the lightning quick gas price hikes on Sept. 11, I do support the right of the station operators to charge whatever price people are willing to pay to purchase gasoline. That's free trade.

Granholm's actions are not free trade. In fact, her actions against certain station operators who did raise prices on Sept. 11 are more akin to communism. Recall, if you will, in a communist-controlled society, the state controls the prices of what people pay, not the people who are willing to pay more or less for a product.

If Granholm reacts this way to a small pricing blip, how will she react as a governor? Do we really want a governor intruding into our lives the way Attorney General Granholm is intruding in the lives of gas station operators? I don't think so.

JOHN VENLET

East Grand Rapids


John Venlet - 1:20:00 PM | Permalink

 
Terrorism Hasn't Just Gone Away

Donald Rumsfield, speaking to Pentagon employees, shares his insights on how the U.S. must take the battle against terrorism to the terrorists. We cannot remain complacent about this problem. al Qaida mentality people are still actively plotting ways to achieve the pathway to their 70 virgins and unless we act, they will.

John Venlet - 12:28:00 PM | Permalink

 
Oh Oh

Eugene Volokh shares a little Texas style humor entitled "Survivor, Texas Style." I wonder what the reward is for winning, besides being alive?

John Venlet - 11:21:00 AM | Permalink

 
And the Point Is?

Desperate old people have little recourse it seems for assistance in life and death matters. The Washington Post prints the story of an 88 year old man charged with first degree murder. Why isn't something like this quietly handled? Here is a desperate man, performing an act of love, attempting to kill himself after the act, who must now suffer the humiliation of his failure and possibly jail time.

John Venlet - 11:07:00 AM | Permalink

 
"The Voice Burning Inside of Me"

Go read Michael Ledeen's interview with Eliad Moreh, a victim of the Hebrew University bombing who is alive. She has something to say. Thanks to National Review Online for publishing this.

John Venlet - 10:50:00 AM | Permalink

Monday, August 05, 2002

 
Mayflies of the World Unite

As an avid flyfisher I was pleased to read that mayflies are making a resurgence in some of our nation's waterways. I hope the trend continues. If you're Green, this would be GOOD news.

John Venlet - 2:40:00 PM | Permalink

 
Slut-O-Rama

After reading that being slutty may be "good for the species" I may lose credibility with my daughter. I've always attempted to instill in her a high level of self-esteem as a deterrent to multiple sex partners and to prevent her from being labeled a slut. It now seems, based on this article anyway, that I'm just another patriarchal figure attempting to hold down the woman. Jeez, will I ever get it right? Thanks to Arts & Letters Daily for the link.

John Venlet - 2:25:00 PM | Permalink

 
The Continuing Mis-adventures in Airport Security

What can I add to this tale of folly? Thanks to Rand at Transterrestrial Musings.

John Venlet - 1:49:00 PM | Permalink

 
Pollitt Shills for McKinney

Unrepentant leftist and American flag hating Katha Pollitt spews forth on the state of affairs between Israel and the Palestinian people. You can read it if you want. What you should really read is Pollitt's little stump for McKinney, the blame Bush and his cronies for 9/11 U.S. Congress representative. I guess it doesn't surprise me. Thanks to Tim Blair for the link.

John Venlet - 1:44:00 PM | Permalink

 
Damn State Department Bureaucrats

Read this New York Post article about rewards for information leading to the arrest of terrorist killers of Americans. Why doesn't our government act the way it speaks? Bush says you are either with us or against us, the State Department acts with their own agenda. Thanks to National Review's The Corner for providing the link.

John Venlet - 10:52:00 AM | Permalink

 
Checkmate

Great editorial on why we must prosecute the war on terror offensively rather than defensively by Garry Kasparov. It's time to act decisively.

John Venlet - 8:26:00 AM | Permalink

Friday, August 02, 2002

 
Ah Summer

Dave Shiflett, writing for The American Prowler relates how to spend a summer afternoon and some of the benefits thereof.

John Venlet - 1:20:00 PM | Permalink

 
Three Cheers for Ingenuity

Great story about airport security linked to by InstaPundit. I'll remember this tactic.

John Venlet - 12:29:00 PM | Permalink

 
Damned if They Do or Don't

The Moose postulates on the Dems and Repubs dilemma in regards to recent corporate shenanigans. Which way did they go, which way did they go.

John Venlet - 9:11:00 AM | Permalink

 
Call Me Old Fashioned

The recent abduction and rescue of two young girls (ages 16 and 17) from a kidnapper in CA has been big news. I'm glad the sorry excuse for a human (Roy Ratliff) who kidnapped them is dead. Saves the taxpayers of CA a good deal of money, no need for an expensive trial or psychiatric testing, and saves us, the American people, from listening to a long litany of reasons why ole Roy shouldn't be condemned to die or suffer in prison because his mommy was divorced, his daddy was a drunkard whose pappy beat him, his dog bit him, he suffered from dyslexia, etc, etc. Anyway, I'm not going to lose sleep over the fact that Roy Ratliff is dead and I'm pleased the two young girls are safe.

I do have one problem though. What in the world are girls aged 16 and 17 doing out at 1 A.M. in the morning with their boyfriends? I have a 15, soon to 16 year old daughter, and she's lucky she can be out and about with friends til 11:30 P.M. It's not that I don't trust my daughter's judgement, while sometimes I don't, but I don't see the need for kids, for that is what these two girls are, to be out on the street at that time of night. I believe the parents, while not culpable in their kidnapping, do bear some responsibility for their children's whereabouts. These kids are parked at a known lovers lane area at 1 A.M. in the morning and I'm sure they weren't parked there discussing what time they should be home. Meanwhile their parents are blissfully sleeping the night away without a clue to their kids whereabouts. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this picture? If someone hadn't found the duct taped boys, I wonder how long it would have been before the girls would've been reported missing? What if the kidnapper had killed the boys instead of duct taping and leaving them? Would the alarm have been sounded that the girls were kidnapped? Would they now also be dead?

Like I said, I am not going to mourn the loss of Roy Ratliff, but let's learn a lesson here other than there are bad people out there who may want to hurt you or others. Parents need to step up to the plate and apply a few more restrictions to their kids. I don't have a problem with kids going parking, but if your kids are running around town at 1 A.M. in the morning and you have no clue where they are or what they are up to you, you have to bear some responsibility for what may happen to them.

John Venlet - 8:34:00 AM | Permalink

 
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