Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Retroactive to last Monday, I will be temporarily 'out of service' for midterms. I have had (and still have) to much studying to get done....

I will be back Thursday or Friday of this week at the earliest...and Monday of NEXT week at the latest.

Best wishes to all college students suffering through midterms,

Jeff Keller
-The Vent Pipe

Monday, February 20, 2006


First of all, I will probably be slow in posting this week. I'm quite busy.

Secondly, here's a little blurb on the newly released Saddam Hussein Tapes

Saddam Hussein Discusses WMD Tapes
FOX News
Brit Hume (Anchor), Bret Bair Reporting
Bret Bair reported on the more than twelve hours of recordings of Saddam Hussein discussing Iraq’s WMD’s with member of his staff. Bair included interviews of members of a bipartisan intelligence watchdog organization. One of the interviewees was a former UN Weapons inspector.

The report stated that recordings have Hussein speaking on WMD’s between 1991—when the program is said to have halted—to 2002, just prior to the US’s decision to go to war. Hussein received and responded to reports concerning missiles equipped with biological weapon-heads, destroying material within the weapons, shipping some other biological weapons out of factories via “cattle trucks” and most surprisingly, discussion of enriching uranium called “plasma separation,” something that Iraq had claimed to have given up long before the 2003 invasion. One of Hussein’s advisors requested permission to resume the process of “rebuilding our biological weapons stock” following the destruction of the same weapon—in other words, he wanted to rebuild what they had just destroyed under the direction of UN weapons experts.

According to the reports, some have come out saying that this offers no new news. However, a former UN inspector explained that this “fundamentally alters the assessment of Iraq’s WMD program.” He explained that the current official position created by those inspecting Iraq after the 2003 war is that Iraq “must have” ended its weapons program immediately after 1991. He said that this shows that the regime was active in weapons creation.
These tapes seem to validate much of the intelligence the Bush administration pointed to prior to the 2003 invasion. It also validates the accusations the have been made against the regime regarding weapons—Hussein seemingly approved a program to rebuild weapons he had just destroyed. It seems—as many already suspected—that what little destruction/disarming which was done was only used as a way to deceive the international community.

The true implications of these recordings are not yet known. While I am trying to remain neutral during the early stages of this revelation, I cannot help but think that the president has some how been redeemed for his action. I also cannot help but wonder if leading Bush opponents will apologize for calling him a liar and a murderer if, in fact, these revelations turn out to be true and point us to a way of finding the missing weapons. I somehow doubt it.
Forthly, Huge Chavez is just about to reach the peak of my nerves. I just saw on Brit Hume's show that he told Condoleezza Rice, "don't mess with me, girl." Hume also said that he has (in the past) said that Rice is just critical of him because she 'wants to sleep with him.'
Mess with Bush? Ok, I'll let that slide. Make fun of Dick "Shoot-'Em-Up" Cheney for his hunting accident (which I am tired of hearing about)? Ok, I'll roll with it. Tell Condi that she better "not mess with you" and speak to her like that? Then tell her she wants to have sex with you. Disrespect the most intelligent woman in the world? I think not.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Idealistic Youth or Pessimistic Past?

Last week I sent a letter to the local newspaper back home in response to a writer from the previous week. The letter which prompted my response was "Bush by the numbers," and, as somebody else pointed out in their own response to the letter, the writer touched on a multitude of topics (I think it was close to 35) by pointing out the 'numbers.' He pointed to death toll, the price of the war, how much debt we are in etc. etc.
I modified my response slightly to make it less applicable to a particular situation and more of a sweeping, 'evergreen' column and I submitted it as this week's Picket column. So, for your reading enjoyment, here it is:
When I started writing this column, I was told that my focus should be on world politics. To date, I have remained true to my pledge: thus far, I’ve covered the riots in Paris, the election of Hamas, NSA wiretaps and the Nobel Prize which was awarded to the IAEA in 2005. This week, however, I’d like to briefly touch on a few things which may not lie in the realm of ‘US Foreign Policy.’

Since his election, I have heard our President called a liar, a murderer, a loser, a cheat, and an enemy of the environment, amongst other things. When I hear these things, I just say to myself, “When are Bush opponents going to accept that he is the leader of the United States and start treating him with some respect.”

The entire political left has got to accept Bush, or at the very least understand that he’ll be here for two more years and the only way to accomplish anything is to work with him. The President has asked that we stop divisive rhetoric and attempt to work together for the greater good. Yet we still find ourselves reading anti-Bush ‘blah.’ We see various democrats call the President a liar. We watch the democrats (led by Hillary Clinton) stand up and applaud their inaction on the issue of repairing (or even to examining) Social Security last year, and we see the majority of democrats do nothing but “Bush-bash.” I, for one, am tired of it.

I am by no means advocating that the left just ‘lie down’ and ‘be silent,’ but instead of such insistent complaints, could they offer alternative ideas? While the Founding Fathers may not have anticipated a two party system, there is little doubt that it has served our nation well. Today, though, it seems that one party is offering up improvement plans (Republicans) while the other party (Democrats) moans and complains, yet offers no plan of their own.
In opposing the president, democrats and other opponents like to point to statistics. They point to how many soldiers have been killed in the war on terror. They point to how much money the US has spent on defending the home land. They complain about the budget. Bush opponents like to throw out numbers. Yet in their analysis, they some how forget two numbers which I see as vital to understanding why Bush has taken the approach he has:

Number murdered by Islamic extremists on 9/11: Approximately 3,000.
Number of terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11: 0.

It seems to me that these are numbers we ought to be examining with the same zeal that is used in examining anything that might prove politically damaging for Bush or the republicans. It is imperative that we, the American people, remember what the duty of the president is: protect the American people. Bush has had overwhelming success in fulfilling this job requirement and should be applauded for such diligent work.
I encourage others to follow the president’s lead. George Bush is the president and will be for two more years. Let’s stop the name calling, stop the bullying, and stop the mudslinging. Let’s abandon partisan rhetoric and division and move forward for a bright and secure future.
A former teacher and long time friend of the family replied to my letter. He said that it was idealistic and represented a 'youthful view' (or some such wording). I haven't read the entire letter yet, I have only been able to get highlights from friends who've read the letter. I have a feeling their summary is pretty close.
I don't feel like I am idealistic in wanting idiotic attacks on the president based solely on partisan division to come to a halt. I also do not attribute my views to my youth. I realize that at 20 years of age I am not to be taken serious, yet I don't understand why. I feel like at 20 I am still as (if not more) knowledgable then many persons twice my age. Is it that I am an 'idealistic youth' or that he, like so many of our political leaders--especially those on the left of the isle--is a member of the 'pessimistic past?' At what point in one's life does it become acceptable to share ideas on politics and be taken seriously? 50? 60? I don't know how old Ted Kennedy is, but I don't take anything he says seriously and he's much older than I. If somebody can answer this, please post and let me know...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Friday Free-for-all Time

This is getting crazy!

All the 'illegal substance abuse worries' have gotten a little out of hand. Here's a little story from NHL.com:

NEW YORK -- NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly today released the following statement with regard to the test result attributed to Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore:
"Today's announcement will not impact Jose Theodore's eligibility to play in the National Hockey League, regardless of the ultimate resolution of the ongoing appeal proceedings before the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (the "CCES").
"Mr. Theodore also will not risk NHL sanctions as a result of any future positive test for this particular substance within the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program because he made a timely and proper application for a Therapeutic Use Exemption for his longstanding medically prescribed use of Propecia. The Program Committee for the NHL/NHLPA Program granted that application after concluding that there is no basis on which to question the appropriateness of Mr. Theodore's use of this widely-used hair restoration medication.
"NHL sanctions would not be applicable for Mr. Theodore's CCES test result for the additional reason that such test was administered during the player educational period mandated by the CBA and prior to the effectiveness of the NHL/NHLPA testing program."
So now pro athletes can use hair-restoration medication without getting flack? Come on people, let's pull it together and focus on real drug use, not Propecia...good grief!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


A friend of mine sent this to me in a forward. I thought it was a pretty accurate 'summing up' of some of my beliefs and attitudes. The author is (apparently) unknown, but I don't care who said it, because I like it. So enjoy...

I don’t think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers. The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America.. Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television or Miss White America; and see what happens.

Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.

Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.

I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, that is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts! Are you listening Martha Burke?

I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.

I have the right “NOT” to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off.

When 70 % of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling, it is the Law of Probability.

I believe that if you are selling me a milkshake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!

My father and grandfather didn’t die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours. I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can’t understand the word “freeze” or “stop” in English, see the above lines.

I don’t think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.

We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.

I don’t hate the rich. I don’t pity the poor.

I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television. That doesn’t stop you from watching them.

I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that’s better, and put your name on the building.

It doesn’t take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when necessary, and say “NO!”

I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don’t pretend they are a political statement.
And please,, stay home until that new lip ring heals. I don’t want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you serve me French fries!

I am sick of “Political Correctness.” I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa: so how can they be “African-Americans”? Besides, Africa is a continent. I don’t go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great, great, great, great grandfather was from Europe. I am proud to be from America and nowhere else.

And if you don’t like my point of view, tough…
Don’t pass it on!!

Please keep in mind that I do not watch wrestling. I know it's fake, and I also think it's dumb. I also think, just as a side note, that people (cough cough TED KENNEDY) who are born in this nation are just as obnoxious about the "living breathing" Constitution.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sometimes I Feel Like King Kong!

My brother got the 'official' King Kong video game (that is, the one licensed by the film makers) for Christmas. While I am an awful video-gamer and do in fact prefer Nintendo, I've been playing King Kong off and on when I'm home from school. The game is really interesting and fun to play (although I do get mad and worked up and I think my blood pressure probably rises higher than it ought to).

Every few levels or so you (the player) get to play as Kong. That is the best part really. He can tear stuff up and break the necks of the big dinosaurs and break down doors and all that jazz. The most useful thing he does, though, is--as my brother says--'get his rage on.' He beats on his chest and roars and then, well, he kicks ass. It is Kong in this state that I most relate to.

I listened to a friend of mine today telling me how her education professor is having them go over 'white privilege' again. It is a common theme in this department--white men have, receive and think they deserve everything including but not limited to immense privilege which others (particularly blacks and latinos) do not every dream of having. I hate hearing it. I'm tired of hearing it.

It doesn't stop there, though. In my own education classroom today, we had to talk about how (again) white man is evil because we came in and slaughtered Native Americans. Our actions were "just as horrible as those of Nazi Germany." We forced ourselves on the Natives and we think we're better off for this. Shame on us!

I'm tired of this. Everytime I hear this crap I just want to beat on my chest, roar and start tearing people apart, just like Kong...

Today's Moral: It's been a while since I did a 'Today's Moral,' but here it is: We're (I say we're meaning white straight male Christians) supposed to feel bad for being white, male, straight and Christian. We dammit, I don't and I say none of us should. Ben Folds, singer and song writer, says in quite well in the first verse of his song "Guilty":

Ben Folds
Another guilty white boy
Won't you turn me in
I always had it easy
Please charge me for my sins
Ain't been through the slavery
Ain't been through the cotton fields
Ain't been through the back of the bus no 'cause I'm guilty
Ain't been through the slavery
Ain't been through the cotton fields
Ain't been through the back of the bus
oh oh I'm too guilty yeah yeah yeah

How long am I supposed to feel bad for being white? Male? Christian? Straight? I don't feel bad for any of this. If nothing else, I should be given a medal: Christian morals and law is what the country is based on. If it weren't for straight people there wouldn't be any people (somebody has to reproduce!!)
I'm white. I'm straight. I'm a man. I am a Christian. I am proud!

Friday, February 03, 2006

A couple of things...

A couple of things, then I'll post my Hamas column which will (as far as I know) be appearing in next week's Picket...so yet again, it's a 'read it before you can, uh, read it' post.
Anyway, for those wanting to know, as of today I have not received a response from billoreilly.com, nor was my email concerning the O'Reilly bumper sticker mentioned on the air.
Thanks for those weighing in on the abortion issue. I appreciate comments and feedback, even when I do not (an never will) agree with what is said. That's the beauty of America I guess.
Finally, a few quick words which do not appear in the column I am about to post. I did not discuss the biblical aspect of the issue with Hamas. My political science professor said, "we don't need to worry about Israel. We don't need to be involved in anything that happens there. Israel should handle this themselves and they'll probably be just fine." Well, I don't believe that entirely. While Israel could handle everything unilaterally, it is not in America's interest to take that position. Secondly, I think a friend of mine said it best when he said, "What she doesn't understand is that Israel isn't taking care of itself. God is taking care of Israel. It's not a matter of 'they'll probably be just fine.' They WILL be just fine. Nobody can defeat Israel because they are the chosen ones." That's a good point. We have a biblical obligation to side with Israel and to work to protect God's chosen people.
Anyway, I just wanted to mention that because I did not say anything about the Bible in my column (unfortunately, if I had I would have been written off and I wouldn't have been read because, after all, the 'Bible is just a story...' People who say that scare me...) . So without further explanation, here it is...
The recent election of Hamas as the dominant leader in Palestinian politics has left many awed and wandering how world leaders across the globe will deal with the organization many consider to be deeply rooted in terrorism. The so called ‘quartet’ (Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations) are all working diligently to seek the best possible approach to dealing with the group.
Hamas has a history of terrorist activity specifically targeted at their Mid-Eastern neighbors, Israel. Specifically, Hamas has called for death to Israel and celebrated their recent victory by shooting automatic weapons in the air, something not typically associated with the democratic process. On a website claiming to be maintained by and representative of the group, a quote appears by a Muslim cleric saying, "Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it." The prospect of dealing with people wrapped in a hateful ideology such as this is somewhat terrifying and leaves world leaders in a bit of a predicament.
Debate regarding just how the US will handle this situation is already underway and there are certainly valid arguments for and against each approach to the delicate situation. Some call for full recognition of the terrorist organization, including continued diplomatic association and continued aid. Others have expressed concerns for what implications such recognition may bring and instead advocate complete severance of ties between the United States and the Palestinians. Such severance could, and once used more than likely will, have huge impacts on the small nation. An article from The Washington Times explains that nearly 2/3 of the $1.6 billion budget upon which the Palestinian government operates comes directly from aid given by the United States and the European Union, much of which is used for humanitarian aid projects or spending.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has already vowed to cut aid to the region saying, "we can't have funding for an organization that holds those [anti-Israeli] views just because it is in government." She clarified, though, that not all aid will be cut, and that humanitarian aid will be examined on a "case by case" basis.
Talk of such cutting such funds and/or relations seem to lead to the conclusion that this is an "all" or "none" situation. Reports seem to indicate that we must (and will) either recognize Hamas and accept its platform, or we will reject the government as "terrorist" and simply refuse to deal with it, allowing Israel and Palestine to take care of the situation without support or advise from the United States. While recognition of the new government is highly unlikely, the idea of complete severance seems equally impossible and unlikely.
A third, though seemingly ignored, option is for the United States to push for a change in the policies of Hamas, rather than simply ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away. In his Staaddressthe Union addres delivered on January 31, 2006, President Bush explained that, "The Palestinian people have voted in elections. And now the leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, reject terrorism, and work for lasting peace." This does not say to me that the United States has only black or white options. Instead, Bush seems to be laying out an ultimatum: either move towards civil governance by rejecting terrorism and by accepting Israel as a legitimate nation, or face swift in severe consequences including, but not limited to, severance of aid as outlined by Secretary Rice.

I applaud Bush for his stance on this situation. It is not in America's best interest to lose the favor of Israel by supporting and recognizing the terrorist organization as legitimate leaders if they continue to claim "death to Israel." It is, however, not the American way simply to say that an elected body cannot be dealt with. We--the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations-- must push Hamas to reject their policies of terror and violence in favor of the true meaning of democracy: compromise, understanding and striving for peace, yet we must also be prepared to act if such heinous policies of death, destruction and intolerance are not surrendered.

Friday Cat Blogging

I woke up a little late this morning. I didn't even have time for coffee before rushing to class, so I didn't have time to post this week's cat blog. Anyway, here's a picture of the big man sitting out in the laundry/mud/pantry room at home. Usually the bird cage sits on this little table, but Pete and Charlie (birds) were in the living room for some reason... Sebastian looks like he's pining for the great outdoors, but that's really untrue...he won't even leave the deck if you do let him outside.

'God, Please help me get out of here..." Posted by Picasa
A better update later...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Kudos to Me!

This letter appeared in the February 1, 2006 issue of the Picket. It is a response to my NSA Spying column.

Kudos to Jeff Keller's article in the Picket dated January 25, 2006. It is a sound, accurate article that puts the NSA 'spying' program in proper context. The only thing I would have added was that domestic spying conducted by the Clinton/Gore Administration known as the Echelon Program aimed at monitoring the personal telephone calls and private email of employees who worked for foreign companies in a bid to boos US trade--all done within the US without a court order! Hence this shows the height of hypocrisy of Gore questioning the legality of NSA eavesdropping in recent speeches.
On the other hand, the article by Alex Brown on the same date should have come with a disclaimer that it is "fictional" or a parody. If this article is being peddled as legitimate journalism, he'll have to take the necessary efforts to research facts. Item 1: Brown says only one Democrat in Congress took Abramoff lobby money. The fact is 40 of the party's 45 US senators made the Jack Abramoff 'dishonor roll' to include tom Democrat Harry Reid. Bottom line, this scandal has indicated Republicans and Democrats alike.
Item 2: Brown alleges the NSA eavesdropping of calls to or from suspected al Qaida members abroad is illegal. At the very least, the "jury is till out" on this issue. There is little doubt however that, in a time of war, the Commander in chief's first responsibility is to protect American citizens. Moreover, an overwhelming number of Americans support this intelligence tool to protect us from those who seek our annihilation. It is explicitly transparent that Mr. Brown can only regurgitate talking points speed by the Ultra-left, many of who have known ties to the Communist Party and hate America and all she stands for.

Jim Rosko
Shepherd University Staff

This was exciting for me! I was surprised to read such support and such a slam of the lefty side. I hope this sort of thing continues. My next column is on Hamas. I may post it tomorrow or Monday.