GeologicalScienceBlog - subjects include Geology, Climatology, Environmental Science, NASCAR, Beer, Property Rights, Random Thoughts, & Politics from a Christian Conservative/Libertarian/pragmatist viewpoint. As a Dad & Grandad, I am concerned about the overgrowth of government at the expense of freedom. Background - two degrees in Geology (BS '77, MS '90), started studying Geology beginning Senior Year of high school (1971 - 1972) <68>

Thursday, April 27, 2006

In Response to the Promised May 1 Boycott...

by illegal immigrants and their supporters...as most of the attention is being focused on illegals from Mexico, let us all remember the approaching Cinco de Mayo.

Boycotting Cinco de Mayo and all things Mexican is not meant to gin up any sort of further bad blood, but it is a way of saying "Yeah, we hear you, yada, yada" in response to the May 1 boycott.

So, go out and spend on May 1, even in Mexican restaurants and if you plan to drink on Cinco de Mayo, go out and buy American regional and microbrews on May 1.

We have ignored this issue for too long and that is why it has festered and will pop in some fashion, which is necessary before the healing can begin.

The legal system does need to be fixed to make it easier for the law-abiding applicants.

I will leave further discussions for those more articulate.
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Lying By Omission

When the pundits/MSM and un-informed citizens holler about the record oil company profits, if someone doesn't explain that the profit margins have not appreciably changed from their 7 to 10 percent norm, then they are lying. Someone in the Congress ought to have the courage to explain this, before further serious damage is done to our free-market system. And if politicians jump on the bandwagon without mentioning how much of the price of a gallon of gasoline is taxed, then they are lying.
Pam at Blogmeister USA has a good post on this issue. Dr. Thomas Sowell has more on the extent to which politicians on both sides have been whoring themselves out over this issue.

When the pundits/MSM/activists holler about the immigration issue without using the word "illegal" before the word immigrant, they are lying. The fact is that there is a legal system and if you bypass it, you are illegal.
Sorry, it is end-of-the-semester burnout and I don't feel that articulate, after writing final exams and grading papers.
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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hiding Behind the "R-Word"

Among the most recent absurd comments uttered during the immigration controversies were brought forth by a Dallas, Texas attorney, as reported by this article in The Conservative Voice (by way of WND).

On a KLIF radio show, attorney Domingo Garcia issued forth his opinion that using the word "illegal" in reference to Hispanic illegal aliens is akin to using the "N-word", thus anyone that use the words illegal aliens is a racist.

Uh huh, Right. Simply identifying their legal status is racism. You don't suppose that someone is "projecting" do you? Hollering "racism" in order to deflect attention from themselves. Nah, they wouldn't do that, would they? One of the commentors on the above-linked article wondered where did Mr. Garcia get his law degree, with that kind of powers-of-reasoning.

Now who is it that is focusing on tribal status? Who is it that is obsessed with "la raza" (the race)? The most vehement supporters of open borders include an organization called "the Nation of Aztlán", the website of which, La Voz de Aztlán spends an inordinate amount of time being obsessed with Jews and other conspiracies, as well as cheering for the enemies of freedom, Castro, Chavez, et al. And these bozos are based in Whittier, "Alta" California.

From DiscoverTheNetworks:

..."The organization's chief objective, as reflected in La Voz de Aztlán (henceforth, La Voz), is the formation of a country named Aztlán, which would be composed of present-day Mexico, parts of Oklahoma, and the entirety of Texas, New Mexico, California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada."

They are just a brown version of Aryan Nations. They are somehow deluded that "reclaiming" Aztlán is going to make a difference in Mexico's economic situation. Mexico has plenty of natural resources, such as oil, natural gas, uranium, silver,...there are complex historical and cultural issues that account for Mexico's poverty, not what happened in regards to the United States and Mexico in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Suppose they got their mythical homeland Aztlán. How tolerant do you think they would be of those outside "la raza"? Do you suppose Aztlán would have a Constitution with a Bill of Rights, similar to ours? Do you suppose they would have any patience with dissenters?

When the newly "acquired" territories failed to improve Mexico's situation, will "la raza" go looking for scapegoats? How will the remaining Anglos and Blacks be dealt with? How will the Jews and Arabs (mostly Christian Lebanese and Syrians) that live in the El Paso area be treated by the Aztlán government? Will there be any sort of "ethnic cleansing"?

Now one could argue that maybe Mr. Garcia "isn't like that", but how many times have we seen Lib/Leftists point the finger at someone while ignoring the three fingers pointed back at themselves?

Yeah, when all else fails, just holler "racism". The MSM is bound to come running. But no one else will be impressed.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Why Modern Liberals Ain't - X

Having been busy with taxes, end of semester work, outdoor work, yada, yada...

I am late coming to this story about the reprehensible behavior from a soon-to-be-retired women's studies professor at Northern Kentucky University. Lifelike Pundits posted about it as did Michelle Malkin.

If you are not familiar with the story, Sally Jacobsen enlisted her students to vandalize a student Pro-Life display of white crosses in honor of abortion victims. That's it, encouraging her students to engage in vandalism. That is what passes for modern liberalism. She doesn't teach them to engage in thoughtful debate or simply to ignore political opponents. No, their crosses must be torn down, stomped upon and thrown in the trash. Free speech for me, but not for thee. 400 crosses.

Jacobsen herself was photographed taking part in the vandalism, tearing apart a sign explaining the purpose of the display. She has been put on leave, according to this article, by way of ProLife Blogs and Instapundit.

What a role model. No doubt a Kerry/Gore supporter.
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Well, Are We Ready for the Fair Tax Now?

Like many others, it is part of my human nature to put off the unpleasant. But sooner or later Tax Day arrives. I got my daughter's taxes done by Turbo Tax, but when it came time to down the wife's and my taxes, I couldn't find one of my W-2s, which means I had to ask for an extension.

Several times while I tried to do my daughter's taxes, before resorted to Turbo Tax, I kept asking myself "Now why am I doing this?". A 1040EZ form shouldn't be that hard.

While these memories are fresh, it is time to keep the momentum.

Neal Boortz is tentatively planning a Fair Tax rally for May 24 in Atlanta. Momentum is vital, in case the Republicans lose control of one or both houses of Congress in November. Democrats will probably not support a national sales tax, unless they can somehow take credit. But if there is a groundswell of public opinion in favor of the Fair Tax by then, it might fly.

Have faith.
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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Just a Reminder About the Long Term

Henry Lamb (linked above) reminds us of the long-term struggle between the radical elements of Islam and the remainder of the world. Being nice ain't going to cut it. The peaceful Muslims are afraid of the radicals (maybe as much as we are), so we have to convince the peaceful Muslims that "we ain't going away".
Those Muslims that are willing to co-exist with others are not going to be willing to cast their lot with the West, unless they believe that they will not be left hanging out to dry. Do we have the courage?
Sorry for the cliches, it is spring fever.
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Begging Your Indulgences

The last time I added some more links to my informal blogroll, I apparently screwed something up as far as my formats. Because I don't know what I did, I don't know what to fix.

In the italicized portion of the San Francisco Earthquake post (Marvin Olasky's words), I have repeatedly tried to put spaces between the paragraphs or at least indent the first line of the new paragraphs. To no avail.

Outdoor spring chores are calling, taxes are due and the end of the semester is approaching. After all that stuff, I will try to figger out what happened.

'Til then, I ask your patience.
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Some Thoughts on the Zacarias Moussaoui Trial

To want some measure of vengence against any and all associated with 9/11 is normal human nature. And I am in favor of the death penalty in some cases, but not for Zacarias Moussaoui.

It is not that I want any mercy for this fleabag pig-____er, but we should avoid the death penalty because he wants to die. I think he is playing the jury and the American people with his courtroom statements in his efforts to become a martyr. He wants us to hate him, it gives him power.

I think we should be painting him rather as the "Failed 9/11 highjacker". We should call him Zacarias al-Fuccup and just relegate him to life in solitary. There is a temptation to put him somewhere like Marion, IL and assign him to the "gay weightlifters section", but unfortunately the Black Muslims would probably protect him.

So let's just find some quiet solitary cell where he can enjoy the next few decades of boredom. And no reading material. No Qu'ran, no nothin'. He is not an American citizen and he ain't entitled to nothin'. Except maybe at random times, an ExLax-dosed Vietnamese pot-bellied pig could be allowed into his cell for visitation. Or maybe spray him down with "essence of sow-in-heat" hormones and release a horny 400 lb boar hog into his cell to provide him some exercise.

Besides, if we sentence him to death, we are going to have to listen to France, the ACLU, the National Council of Churches, et al, squawl about the evils of the death penalty.

Just let him rot. Deny him his quest for martyrdom.
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Thursday, April 13, 2006

April 18, 2006 - Mark Your Calendars - Updated

[Originally posted January 30]
April 18, 2006 is the 100th Anniversary of the San Francisco Earthquake. If it hasn't happened yet, within the next few weeks there will probably be numerous TV "news magazine" reports on how we are not ready. Other than the 1989 Northridge Earthquake, the area has been rather quiet since the last large (6.5 or more) earthquake since 1911.

Human nature being what it is, the San Francisco area is probably not ready for that magnitude earthquake, an estimated 7.8. Earthquakes are a normal part of life along the San Andreas Fault Zone, but urban areas present different problems.

Of as much interest would be the political and MSM reaction, if there is a major San Francisco earthquake before the end of the Bush Administration.

Al Gore would take to his pulpit and bellow that President Bush's refusal to sign the Kyoto Treaty for causing rising sea level that put more pressure on geologic plates. And John McCain will agree with him.

John Kerry would seek information on the possibility of impeachable offenses by President Bush for not evacuating people before the earthquake.

Louis Farrakhan and Spike Lee would claim that the government had planted explosives along the San Andreas Fault Zone, to trigger an earthquake that would target blacks and minorities in San Francisco. And Michael Moore would make a movie about it.

Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell would blame the San Francisco gay culture and other assorted sinners for drawing God's wrath. And Fred Phelps and his merry band of inbreeds would show up to protest at the mass funerals.

Harry Reid and Nightline, et al, would claim that too much money was being spent in Iraq.

Hillary would pillory the US Geological Survey for "sitting on" seismograms that might have warned the public. Except that I noticed the acting USGS director's name is P. Patrick Leahy. Is he related to "Leaky Leahy"? If so, that might protect him from direct criticism.

The mayor and city council of San Francisco would claim that too many National Guardsmen were in Iraq, while passing resolutions that would ban military personnel from wearing their uniforms and carrying firearms while conducting rescue and recovery operations.

The ACLU and GLAAD would complain and file lawsuits over the wearing of latex gloves and protective masks during rescue and recovery operations.

Hollywood would put together a telethon and Kanye West would say that President Bush sent troops to San Francisco to shoot black people and gays, while ignoring the looting. Jesse Jackson would be running around looking for a TV news camera. Local San Francisco mosques will blame the Jews.

And FEMA would be blamed for not being ready for the earthquake.
[Update]: But on a more serious note: Marvin Olasky reminds us of the 30,000 people that were killed in either the earthquake or the ensuing fires.
Just a few things to consider from Mr. Olasky's article:
..."The common nightmare scenario has that enormous bomb going off in the San Andreas Fault that runs beneath San Francisco. But another vision of horror has the epicenter of the quake in Oakland or Berkeley -- 1 million people live over the Hayward Fault, which runs right underneath the University of California football stadium. Still, that's unlikely: The U.S. Geological Survey pegged the severe Hayward Fault possibility at only 8.5 percent during the next 30 years.
Those percentages are important because they influence the action of both politicians and homeowners. An East Bay politician who considers the Hayward Fault odds and plays Russian Roulette throughout the length of his career is holding two six-shooters with a bullet in only one of the cylinders. The likelihood of escaping disaster during a particular four-year term of office is high.
The same odds lead many Californians to go without earthquake insurance. Premiums run $1,000 to $2,000 per year, and only 15 percent of California homeowners carry it. A big San Francisco-area earthquake would probably leave 360,000 people homeless, according to the Association of Bay Area Governments. That figure could be cut substantially if homeowners bolted their houses to their foundations, but few do.
Californians are also gambling with the levees of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a 1,600-square-mile plain that is up to 30 feet below sea level. An earthquake-caused collapse could turn the area, with its thousands of homes, into a lake. Brackish water rushing in after levee failure would contaminate the drinking water for 22 million Californians and the irrigation supply for 5 million acres of the Central Valley, America's leading agricultural producer."
We live in a wild world. Scientists understand that.
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Another Geologist's View of Global Warming...

was the subject of one of Rush Limbaugh's discussions Monday.

Before getting to the discussion, I take the "long view", i.e., that the Earth is old and almost everything in nature changes through time. I believe that there just isn't enough carbon dioxide to cause major changes, and especially the anthropogenic carbon dioxide is such a small contribution that any human influences due to this minor Greenhouse Gas are small.

Before the Industrial Age, we had fluctuations between warm and cold. Before Modern Humans were here we had fluctuations between warm and cold. We had at least four major Glacial Stages during the Pleistocene Epoch (2 million years to 10,000 years ago) and some geologists and climatologists believe that we are just between glacial stages, so we better enjoy it while it is warm.

Above-linked is the UK Telegraph article by Geology Professor Bob Carter of James Cook Univ. Queensland, who is currently involved in paleoclimate research. The purpose of this posting is to remind readers that despite the notion advanced by Clinton/Gore, etc. lately, the sky is probably not falling. Some supporters of the current paradigm do make some persuasive arguments, but when you consider the variability of our climate history, what we are seeing falls within the realm of previous changes.

One issue that I would offer a word of caution on is the using of the year 1998 as a "measuring post". 1998 was a strong El Niño year and strong El Niños often cause temperature spikes. I believe the 1991 El Niño spike was dampened by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philppines.

But that aside, a few of Dr. Carter's words:

..."from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero). "

More from the article:

..."There are other reasons, too, why the public hears so little in detail from those scientists who approach climate change issues rationally, the so-called climate sceptics. Most are to do with intimidation against speaking out, which operates intensely on several parallel fronts.

First, most government scientists are gagged from making public comment on contentious issues, their employing organisations instead making use of public relations experts to craft carefully tailored, frisbee-science press releases. Second, scientists are under intense pressure to conform with the prevailing paradigm of climate alarmism if they wish to receive funding for their research. Third, members of the Establishment have spoken declamatory words on the issue, and the kingdom's subjects are expected to listen."

We all know that when government become involved, lots of research money becomes available as well as influence. It is just a matter of playing a certain way on the uncertainties of computer models and their predictions. The "pro-paradigm" bunch will say that the skeptics are funded by oil companies, as if the "pro-paradigmers" are never swayed by the hopes of future government and foundation grants.

The article continues:

..."The essence of the issue is this. Climate changes naturally all the time, partly in predictable cycles, and partly in unpredictable shorter rhythms and rapid episodic shifts, some of the causes of which remain unknown. We are fortunate that our modern societies have developed during the last 10,000 years of benignly warm, interglacial climate. But for more than 90 per cent of the last two million years, the climate has been colder, and generally much colder, than today. The reality of the climate record is that a sudden natural cooling is far more to be feared, and will do infinitely more social and economic damage, than the late 20th century phase of gentle warming."

The sedimentary layers in lakes and in the oceans, as well as other proxies tell us of a past that is full of climate changes, more cold than not for the last 2 million years (as stated above).

The Earth's temperature is largely controlled by the Sun and the Greenhouse Effect is largely controlled by Water Vapor and Clouds. Of course it is wise to pursue efforts to decrease pollution, but let's do it in a scientifically sound manner. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, it is a byproduct of natural emissions, animal and bacterial respiration, and a byproduct of combustion. And it is plant food. All of the world's major foodwebs are plant-based. If the plants are happy, things will probably work out. We will somehow muddle through.
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Friday, April 07, 2006

The New Interpretations on the Role of Judas

Some of today's headlines relate to new interpretations by scholars on the role of Judas in the crucifixion of Jesus. The new interpretation, informally called the "Gospel According to Judas" is based on an old (3rd or 4th century) text, written in Coptic, discovered in Egypt in the 1970s. An article is posted on a National Geographic website, as it this article, also. The original account is thought to date from about 180 AD. All other copies are thought to have been destroyed as being blasphemous.

It is interesting gist for discussion, but I don't think it should really change anything. Personally, I don't see it as any sort of a challenge to the Gospels.

But we do need to think about what might happen if scholars had recovered an centuries old Arabic text and had issued a discussion that might have challenged some of the beliefs central to Islam? By the end of the day, there would probably be fatwas issued by at least 20 different imams and there would be riots in cities around the world. If the scholar was Christian, churches would be burning in parts of the world.
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Thursday, April 06, 2006

In NASCAR, Fabricating Means One Thing...

In the realm of the MSM, it means something else.

In NASCAR, when they reference fabricating, it usually refers to the complex process of making the custom body panels that comprise the bodywork of the "stock" cars.

As we have seen with other MSM news organizations, sometimes when things are slow (or when Sweeps Month, as in May, is approaching), "news" stories need a little help. Now when one lives in Texas for a time, it is expected that you manipulate life experiences to spice up your "tall tales", but when an organization such as NBC decides to manipulate the public to get the desired results, that is a bit more serious.

After taking a couple days off blogging for work and outdoor chores, I missed a big story, which has been covered well by Pam at Blogmeister USA, Lucky Dawg News, and Michelle Malkin (who has several posts on this story), among others. Go to these fine blogs for their in depth reportage and commentary as I am late to this story.

If you haven't encountered this story, an operative for NBC's Dateline was looking for material for a show on bias against Muslims and was trolling for "Muslim looking" volunteers to attend a NASCAR race and record fan reactions. According to this link, their plans for doing this at Martinsville, VA yielded no satisfactory results, perhaps because there is no infield area open to the fans and their motorhomes, campers, etc. (the racetrack is too small), so they opted to Texas Motor Speedway (outside of Fort Worth). Usually, the infields of large raceways fill up a day or two in advance of the Sunday Nextel Cup event and they wanted the Muslim-looking volunteers to spend a full day or two wandering around collecting the expected negative fan reactions.

And what might these volunteers do if the fans show no perceptible reaction? How far would they go to get what they are looking for? Would they be willing to provoke something?

All stereotypes are founded in a grain of truth, but the NASCAR fans that NBC seems to be looking for a relicts of NASCAR's "colorful" past. Yes, it is still somewhat of a provencial sport and they might even find individuals that offer negative reactions, that is why is it good that this leaked out, so NASCAR can be ready.

As I ranted on this blog last year (don't remember the specific story), people have died in the United States because the MSM manipulated a story. The MSM "looped" the worst parts of the Rodney King beating and - not showing how it began, so the uninformed masses thought the beating went on longer than it actually did. And when the expected guilty verdict on the cops didn't come through, the mobs went wild and people died.

So what might happen in the Middle East if NBC had successfully manipulated an infield situation, perhaps by finding one or more drunk fans and provoking something? What would Al-Jazeera have done with it? Would it be some more gasoline on the fires, as were the over-exposure of Abu Ghraib and Gitmo?

Thanks NBC.
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Monday, April 03, 2006

Weird Science

But there's nothing funny about it.

The MSM almost never talks about it, but the lunatic fringe of the Environmentalist philosophy is populated by Deep Ecologists, true miscreants who long for a substantial reduction in the world's population. This thinking includes Ted Turner, who supposedly told a 1992 Audubon magazine interviewer that he envisioned an efficient world population of maybe 375 million people.

One of the concerns voiced about taking the Theory of Evolution too seriously is that it discounts the "specialness" of individual humans, i.e., our creation in God's image. If we, as a species, are only random accidents of nature, we have no greater purpose. This leads to a lack of reverence for human life, i.e., it makes it easier to dispose of "imperfect" humans, especially early or late in life, when they are most inconvenient for others. Once on this slippery slope, where does it lead? When you have psychologists/psychiatrists pronouncing Conservatives and people of faith as being mentally ill, where might this lead in a few decades?

The above-linked WND article is about one of these sick, sick people that parade around as scientists. In this case, it is about a University of Texas scientist, Eric R. Pianka, who seems to prefer the company of lizards, rather than humans. In fact, he would like to see 90 percent of the human race exterminated by the Ebola virus.

This was reported by electronics author, Forrest Mims III, a member of the Texas Academy of Science, chairman of its environmental science section and editor of the Citizen Scientist.

From the article: "...We're no better than bacteria," Mims quoted Pianka as saying in his condemnation of the human race, which, he claimed, is overpopulating the Earth."

From the article, the Pianka speech "is recounted in detail in the latest issue of the Citizen Scientist."

The article continues: "The only way to save the planet for the rest of the species is to reduce the human population to 10 percent of its current number.

"He then showed solutions for reducing the world's population in the form of a slide depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," writes Mims. "War and famine would not do, he explained. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved. Pianka then displayed a slide showing rows of human skulls, one of which had red lights flashing from its eye sockets. AIDS is not an efficient killer, he explained, because it is too slow. His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world's population is airborne Ebola (Ebola reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. However, Professor Pianka did not mention that Ebola victims die a slow and torturous death as the virus initiates a cascade of biological calamities inside the victim that eventually liquefy the internal organs.""


There are two horribly, horribly wrong things about this. He is a Zoology Professor at the University of Texas and he received a standing ovation by many of the attendees at the above-referenced meeting, as reported by Mr. Mims.

Though he still lives, he has posted his own obituary on is website. He has a small herd of American bison, the herd bull of which is named "Lucifer". Is this where his allegiances can be found?

What is it saying about scientists that study living creatures, that they would cheer the widespread deaths of humans? If it is such a good idea, why don't they show some courage and lead the way, show us how it is done. And we will follow you later. Heh.
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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Cute, Real Cute

Through one of the comments on a climate issue, I managed to follow some links and added some additional science blogs to my blogroll.

Three of them are supporters of the current Global Warming Paradigm, i.e., that human generated carbon dioxide is responsible for climate change. Some of their arguments are persuasive, but I remain a skeptic.

As for one of the geology blogs, Wolverine Tom, it is interesting in that he includes regular posts on particular minerals (OK, geologists like that stuff), but on the downside, he has to be insulting towards those open-minded individuals that consider the concept of Intelligent Design. In his words, "you can't spell idiot without ID". He also states that "Evolution is a FACT, God is a theory." If you want to go that route, as I have said before, to accept Naturalistic evolution as the only answer to the development of life and the fossil record, is also a matter of faith. If you believe that inorganic molecules "just organized themselves" into living, organic cells, that is also a matter of faith.

The fossil record is tangible and there are transitional forms, but how these macroevolutionary, morphological changes happened cannot be proven. The evolution/ID debate is largely over "how" it happened. And Intelligent Design does not preclude evolution as a process for change, it just raises doubts as to if it all happened by chance.

Science and faith do not have to be antagonistic towards one another.

[As for changes in format, I am not sure what I did while working on my template to add the new blog listings. I am too tired to go back in to look for errors. Please try not to get distracted.]
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Saturday, April 01, 2006

While on the Subject of Hot Peppers...

I am reminded of a story told to me by my Uncle Robert (Hey Mathrebel, if you are reading this, did your dad tell you this one?). [OK, it's been raining and the ground is too wet to do yard work, so I blog.]

When my Uncle Robert (my Mom's younger brother) was a kid, from time to time he (and other family members) would spend time at one of my Grandma's sibling's farms. At one of these farms (at Acworth or maybe Lost Mountain), Uncle Robert's uncle liked hot peppers. They were probably similar to the Hungarian Hot Wax Banana peppers we have now, but smaller. Anyway, this uncle liked to have a pepper or two with his dinner, so he would walk out to the garden and pick what he needed during the growing season.

One evening during dinner, Uncle Robert's uncle leaned over to him and with pepper in hand (as an exclamation point) and tears streaming down his face, said "Robert, that's a good pepper."

That's the mark of a true pepper aficionado, being able to still speak while enjoying the self-inflicted burn of a good pepper.
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The Fire From Bangladesh...

is the Naga chili pepper. [I suppose this is not an April Fool's joke.] By way of a WND link, is this UK Telegraph article on this demonic, fiery pepper, being cultivated by a couple in Dorset, England. From the article:

...An American laboratory found the chilli (sic) to be almost 60 per cent hotter than the one listed in the Guinness Book of Records. The Naga registered a Scoville heat unit of 876,000. The record holder is a Red Savina Habanero with a rating of 577,000.

The result was so startling that the Dorset pepper was sent for a second test to a laboratory in New York used by the American Spice Trade Association. It recorded a higher figure of 970,000 heat units. The Naga, which is sold with a health warning, was developed from a variety which originated in Bangladesh."

This link to the Tobasco website explains the Scoville unit and give a comparison of the serrano pepper as registering between 5,000 and 15,000 Scoville units. I believe that is also the ballpark for the average jalapeno. The Scoville unit is a measurement of capsaicin in the pepper.

In order to use the Naga pepper in food preparation, you simply wave the pepper over the food for about 10 seconds. If you bit into a Naga by accident, the response would be an "uhhhh uhhhh", which means "Kill me know!". Even a small bite of a raw habanero sliver makes your teeth hurt.

One thing that a person learns when they move to the desert Southwest and begins to eat hot peppers - AFTER CUTTING FRESH PEPPERS, WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE YOU GO TO THE BATHROOM, ESPECIALLY YOU MENFOLK. I hope I don't have to be more graphic than that.

A Mexican American waitress (working her way through nursing school) once told me that if you touched your eyes after cutting peppers, the pain could be alleviated by rubbing someone's hair in your eyes, apparently the oils in the hair have a soothing effect. I don't know if hair oils have the same effect on other body parts, burning with capsaicin.

The restaurant salsas in Atlanta are not quite as hot as those in El Paso. One of the El Paso restaurants, down on the river, near old Fort Bliss (I forgot the name - tsk, tsk) had an evil green salsa that would start to bubble if you let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes. We used to joke that it was boiling, though it may have just been generating methane.

There are two things for novices to remember about salsas in restaurants. Don't start eating the salsa until you at least get a glass of ice water and the burning doesn't start until you quit eating the salsa. And if it doesn't burn, why bother?

As far a commercially available sauces go, one of my favorite habanero sauces (to be used sparingly) is Hellfire and Damnation from El Paso Chile Company.

There are differences between salsa, picante sauces, pico de gallo, etc. that may be explained in a future post, if the spirit moves me.

Neal Boortz once related an experience with capsaicin and tender body parts. He was on his way to a local tavern (Manuel's) where there was to be a public event with a number of local Atlanta talk-show hosts. I guess as some of these gatherings can get out of hand, Neal had a small cannister of pepper spray in his pocket. Somehow it went off and while getting it out of his pocket, he got some on his hand. He went to the restroom where he briefly rinsed his hands and then visited the urinal.

The burning didn't begin for a few minutes, until after the gathering began, when audience members were asking questions of the talkers. Not wanting to draw undue attention, Neal stayed seated (by then, washing wouldn't have done much good anyway and I suppose standing at a public restroom sink, washing oneself in that manner, might draw some comments. There are just somethings that public persons cain't get away with.) He just had to sit and squirm until the natural pain-killers kicked in.

I think this quest for ever hotter peppers is just the attempts of aging Baby Boomers to find a substitute for illegal drugs. Years ago, New Mexico Tech released the findings of research that suggested that a taste for hot, spicy salsas was a minor addiction. The burning causes the body to release natural endorphins as pain killers, so it apparently triggers a mile opiate effect. And some people believe that regular consumption of hot peppers kills off some harmful bacteria or at least makes the stomach hardier. That works for me!

I usually eat at least one jar of Pace medium Picante sauce per week and I have been known to consume spoonfuls of various hot sauces on a challenge from those that are not used to the wonderful world of capsaicin. But I measure my doses carefully. It entertains people when you can take these sauces and still be able to talk afterward. If you overdose on capsaicin and become mute (while gasping for breath), no one is impressed. So measure your poison carefully.
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Because We Were Too Nice For Too Long...

things are probably going to get ugly for a while. The arrogance and racism of the Mexican protestors is going to cause a backlash. We are at war with Islamists, we don't have time for this bull____. Tolerance is a two-way street. If you want to live here, just because we may look the other way as far as legality goes, there are still rules to be obeyed. I understand that Mexico is rather tough on those that enter Mexico illegally. What is the problem with us securing our borders a little more?

Mob action is not going to win lasting converts nor allies. Craig R. Smith, on WND, put it well:

"Welcome to the New America. The America where rule of law is no longer applicable. The America where illegal immigrants who claim they want to be part of the "democratic" process of America, yet drape themselves in Mexican flags, gather in mass disrupting the very country they claim to love. Apparently they have mistaken mob rule for democratic process. They have elected to ignore the Constitution that thousands before them have fought, bled and died for. "

The southern United States ain't going to become the new northern provinces of Mexico. This isn't racism, it is just reality. It doesn't matter what happened in the 19th century.

And attempting to damage the economy is not going to help either. Who is signing the paychecks of these immigrants, legal and illegal? From this WND article, the adherents of the La Voz de Aztlan (the Voice of Aztlan) mindset, are simply brown versions of Aryan Nations members and followers. Even if they "reclaim" their mythical Aztlan, it will make no difference in Mexico's economic situation. But it is easier to blame the US, than to recognize the three fingers pointing back at themselves.

Mexico's economic situation is not because of what the US might have done in the 1800s. Congressional action is not because of the work ethics of those that have entered the US. The work ethic of many Mexican immigrants is superior to that of some of our citizens, but the issue is that too many people are entering here outside the legal channels and their refusal to assimilate portends a longer-term problem.

[More will be added during the weekend.]
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