- Name: on-the-rocks
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geosciblog Continuing Series
Newly-Found Geology/Science Blogs (Early-2009 to Mid-2011)
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On Calling it a Decade
The Clock is Winding Down...
Not Ready for Facebook
Oh, By the Way, Happy New Year
Another Climate Change Rant
Hoplophobia - the New Word for the Day
Recent PostsOn Calling it a Decade
The Clock is Winding Down...
Not Ready for Facebook
Oh, By the Way, Happy New Year
Another Climate Change Rant
Hoplophobia - the New Word for the Day
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>
Friday, June 30, 2006
Just Remembering What Independence Day is About
I have said before that every day is Veteran's Day and every day is Memorial Day, the same is true for Independence Day. If we bow our heads in prayer before a family meal on July 4th, 2006 we need to give thanks to the brave 56 men that signed a potential Death Warrant on July 4th, 1776, 230 years ago. They were men of their time, yet somehow they managed to capture that "moment in time" perhaps because of charismatic leaders among them being present at the right place and time.
I believe that Rush Limbaugh will have a link to the article on his website (or perhaps the speech text) written by his dad, Rush Hudson Limbaugh, Jr., years ago. The article is about the fates of some of the signers during the Revolutionary War. I think Paul Harvey has a version (is it the same one?). It doesn't matter as to who did the research, rather the text and the context are important. These 56 men had done well for themselves under English rule in the colonies, yet they were ready to give it up, as they had gotten tired of dealing with a corrupt king that didn't follow his own laws. [I don't want to hear any Leftist Moonbat smart-ass remarks about President Bush not following his own laws.]
Neal Boortz and others have repeatedly stated that the normal maximum life span for constitutional republics (or democracies of sorts) is usually about 200 years, which means that Due Diligence is required for this Great Republic to survive.
As part of that Due Diligence, I think that each adult citizen should read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights (each) once a month (on separate days). I know I have been guilty of not doing so, but my lack of re-reading doesn't mean that I take these Founding Documents for granted. So many are clueless as to what lies within these important documents.
I will put out front the fading flag that I purchased the afternoon of 9/11. Though somewhat faded, it is not quite ready to retire. Knowing when I purchased the flag makes it less likely that I forget what is at stake, unlike certain folks that have slipped back into a 9/10 mentality.
The sacrifices made by the 56 on that hot summer day in 1776 (and the prior weeks spent haggling over the Declaration) are being replicated by those that choose to be in harm's way today, so say a prayer for them too.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Just What is the Greater Goal of the New York Times?
When they willfully sabotage another one of our terror-fighting tools, what do they expect to come of it? If you could isolate the major players in their smoke-filled rooms, they might reveal their wishes to hurt President Bush and the administration. But it wasn't President Bush that was attacked on 9/11, it was the United States.
We were told on 9/20/01 that this war was going to take a while and that it would be a different type of war, with different theatres of operation. In order to keep them looking over their shoulders and off-step, we have to disrupt their supply lines, their training centers, their money trails, their recruitment systems. We can't allow them time to put together attack plans.
Intelligent people know that Al Qaida is not the only terrorist group and 9/11 was not a "one-act play". 9/11 was the completion of the 1993 WTC attack. Even if Iraq had no direct role in 9/11, it was well known that they were a sponsoring state, along with Syria, Iran, and others. Most of the people on the street, that have swallowed the MSM/Democrat talking points, could not properly label Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia on a blank Middle Eastern map. WMDs were not the only reason to attack Iraq. Look at a map of the area. After Afghanistan, it made sense to attack Iraq, as it lies between Syria and Iran and could serve as a staging area for the next phase, if needed.
With a more united home front, the insurgents might have thrown in the towel by now. Iran might have remained a little more quiet. But because of the loud voices of the Anti-US Left, giving Aid and Comfort, that has giving new cause to the insurgents to hang on. And kill more Iraqi and more Coalition troops, trying to shake our resolve. They will at least hang on until the 2006 election, waiting for the attempts to impeach President Bush, if the Democrats prevail and the 2008 election, again, if Democrats prevail, the terrorists will wait for us to cut-and-run for sure. A strong Republican victory in November will send a message from the American people to the terrorists.
But in the meantime, what about the Islamic terrorists that will slip away because they were "tipped off"? If there is another 9/11 style attack or a 3/11 (Madrid) or a 7/7 (London) or another Bali-style bombing, it will be the families of the dead and injured that will suffer, much more so than politicians. If a WMD is used and then later proven to have been smuggled across the southern border or through a seaport after 9/11, then there should be hell to pay for the current administration (and those that sabotage intelligence efforts). But any attempts at impeachment (or a "house cleaning" in favor of Democrats) following a large-scale attack will send the wrong message, as Spain did after 3/11. On some issues, the Republicans have been doing an atrocious job, but do you expect Democrats to protect the country any better?
So, how many potential plots will momentarily be disrupted, while the players slip into the ether and rethink their banking methods? What other habits might they change because they got spooked? How long will it take our people to find their trails again?
I (and others more articulate) have stated before that tens of thousands of Americans and Vietnamese lost their lives because the Viet Cong/North Vietnamese saw our internal weakness and loss of resolve. They were ready to give up after they lost the Tet Offensive. That "black granite" wall in Washington, DC would be much smaller if not for the efforts of the Kremlin-orchestrated "peace movement".
Some of us understand that the United States is a good (though not perfect nation) and a weak United States is not good for the world. Nature abhors a vacuum and if we lose our resolve, who will fill that void? China? The Islamists? I do not believe that we desire to control the world, rather we just want to stabilize the world so the free-market can do its thing. Yes, we are currently spread too thin and perhaps we should pull back from some places. But there are strategic reasons to pull back in a controlled manner, when the situation dictates it, not by an artificial, arbitrary time-table.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Your Word for the Day: "Heuristics"...
"Heuristics" is just a 50-cent word for "Rules of Thumb" that have been learned by experience. So what your grandma or your mom or your dad told you about "don't do this" are likely to be heuristics.
So one of my own heuristics (that my kids don't listen to) is:
"Just because we (or you) got away with something doesn't mean it was a good thing to do.", vis-a-vis "that night in New Orleans" (the Roach Story, I mean the whole story of that night, which I didn't tell you, just that one vignette). Wandering intoxicated through the French Quarter in the middle of the night is not the wisest thing to do, though in 1980 it was a different world.
To summarize Dr. Rummel's "Ten Heuristics of Life and Learning" (go to his post to get the explanation behind each of these headings):
1. Never assume a negative about your abilities or what you can do.
2. Keep in mind that the power to achieve = interest X capability X will.
3. Make use of the free time you have when you are young.
4. Do what interests you most.
5. Learn to read fast and well.
6. Get a solid general education in the Great Books.
7. Immortalize your notes, term papers, and other writings.
8. Learn elementary statistics.
9. Apprentice yourself to the best and brightest.
10. Never forget that you can be wrong.
To this I will add my my own heuristic to follow #10.
11. If you are wrong, crow is a dish best eaten fresh.
In their own crude way, the Darwin Awards and America's Funniest Home Videos can be used as teaching tools to illustrate - "Don't do That!".
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
As Most Americans Plod Through Life...
What the UN was originally intended to be is perhaps best left to historians and conspiracy theorists. In the present time, whether intended or by accident, it is evident that the UN wants to serve as the basis of a global government. As this falls in line with the viewpoints of the MSM, it is rare when we get a detailed look inside the UN's long-term goals. Among prominent Lib/Leftists, Hillary Clinton, Ted Turner, and Walter Cronkite are among those that have spoken in favor of this concept.
Because the UN has been that rare combination of inept and corrupt lately, most Americans probably see it as a benign organization that has good intentions. So when you talk aloud of the need to disband the UN, some will view you as slightly off-kilter.
Most of the world (and too many Americans) do not fully understand the founding concepts of the United States. They don't understand the boldness of the concept of allowing citizens to arm themselves against overbearing government. So when you talk about the UN wanting to disarm American citizens, you begin to sound like Dale Dribbel (sp.?) from "King of the Hill".
The UN is well known for hold conferences to discuss policies and measure their forward progress towards their self-imagined goals. Currently a conference regarding ending the "illicit" worldwide trade in "small arms" is going on in NYC. Among those reporting on this conference include Cam Edwards, and Joseph Klein.
[6/28 continuation]: Cam Edwards has an update on the Conference and the United States' reply of "no" to the idea of disarming American citizens, by way of Robert Joseph, who delivered a John Bolton-like reminder of our God-given, Constitutionally-codified right to self defense. And here is a link to a Washington Times article.
We have our freedom because of the series of checks-and-balances, all of which are not within the governments. The 2nd Amendment is one of that series. The alternative media (talk radio, the blogosphere, etc.) is another one.
Ultimately, the only things standing in the way of a world government are the UN's own corruption and infighting and a well-informed, armed populace. President Bush has his own weaknesses at times, but we can fully expect to be sold down the river by future Democrat politicians in the White House and the Senate, e.g., Hillary, Kerry, Kennedy, Reid, Gore, etc.. In their desire for us to be "more liked" by the world, they will sign us up for the International Criminal Court, Kyoto, and any number of "feelgood" treaties.
Our Founding Fathers knew what it was to have their doors kicked in by the soldiers of a corrupt king. That is why we have the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, to limit government power. And the 2nd Amendment is there to protect the others. It ain't about hunting.
To borrow the closing line from John Stossel's Townhall.com column this morning, about EEOC abuses:
"...Government keeps growing, and as it grows, it feeds on our money, erodes our freedom and defies our common sense."
If you think it is bad under our present runaway Federal government, it will be orders of magnitude worse under the unelected UN's "guidance". The MSM and the Kyoto-bandwagon is just one method of dragging us closer to a situation where our lives are dictated by outsiders that are jealous of our freedom, people theat would extinguish our freedom for the "greater good".
Revisiting Daniel Websters words:
"Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throught the world."
"...Miracles do not cluster..."
Official communiques from the UN conference and most MSM reports are going to use benign, innocuous verbiage to tell the world about the lofty goals of this conference. They won't remind us that the bulk of the 100 to 120 million citizen deaths during the 20th century were at the hands of socialistic governments ("democide"). Dr. Rudy Rummel's blog is good place to be reminded of the costs of "absolute power leads to absolute corruption". The only way a world government can exist is by tyranny, as the world's people are too diverse to be governed by any one philosophy.Our standing up to the UN at this conference and other threats to the 2nd Amendment (including activist judges) is the "ounce of prevention". What legacy are we leaving our children?
Monday, June 26, 2006
Imagine if You Will...
What if Bill Clinton had experienced a "Nelson" while in the company of Miss Monica? To what might the nation have awakened the following day?
It was a dark and stormy night.
Upon hearing the "thump" on the Oval Office floor, the Secret Service charged in the door, met by a panic-stricken Miss Lewinski. Trying to calm her, they offered her some mouthwash.
Meanwhile, one of the the Secret Service officers has called Hillary down from her private quarters. Upon entering the Oval Office, Hillary orders Monica sedated and hustled off to an unknown location. After checking Bill's pulse, she orders the Secret Service from the Oval Office, to wait outside for the official coroner.
As she starts cleaning the desk drawers, she mutters to herself "Bill, what did you do with the Riady files?". She soon makes a conference call to Bob Bennett and other attorneys to inquire about loopholes in the line-of-succession and whether or not any interpretations would allow for her to assume office should something happen to the Vice President before daybreak.
In a small basement apartment beneath the White House, Vice President Gore has fallen asleep in his recliner, rereading "Earth in the Balance" again, looking for a "new angle" in his planned run for the White House in 2000. He is attired only in his underwear and an L. L. Bean flannel shirt. Suddenly awakened by the Green Phone connected to the Oval Office, he groggily hears Hillary shrilly shouting "Al, for God's sake, do you know where the Riady files are? Bill is dead!" The words "Riady files" reverberate in his head for a few moments before it all sinks in and he begins to dance about singing "It's My Turn".
He searches about for his dress suit, but without his personal attendant (sent home for the evening), he has trouble dressing himself. Sadly, while sitting on the toilet, trying to tie his necktie, he accidentally strangles himself. With his Secret Service detail re-assigned to guard Hillary's private quarters, no one is there to help as he crumples to the floor.
On a private jet, streaking northward from New Orleans is James Carville, called to Washington by Hillary, but after staying too long at Pat O'Brien's, James has had too many Flaming Hurricanes and is greatly in need of help in sobering up. Realizing this, the flight crew decides to administer a Tobasco IV-drip. This surprisingly does the trick, but they leave the IV needle in his arm too long and Tobasco-intoxication sets in, exaggerating his already obnoxious personality. By the time he staggers off the helicopter onto the White House lawn, he is imitating Al Haig, shouting "Don't worry, I am in charge here.".
By the time Carville's jet is in Virginia air-space, Al Gore's sad fate has been discovered, leaving Hillary with a dilemma (she still hasn't found the Riady files, but she did find the Rose Law Firm billing records!) and a rare opportunity. She decides to dispatch one of her trusted feminist aides to subdue House Speaker Hastert with a Thorazine & LSD-administered dart. She is counting on the American people not knowing the line-of-succession beyond the Speaker of the House.
By the dawn's early light, Hillary is in charge.
Meanwhile, in a smoky Miami strip club, a drunken Mohammed Atta is drawing pictures on napkins. After he leaves, a waitress cleaning the table finds the crude pencil drawings of airplanes crashing into identical tall buildings, but she doesn't know what they mean. She just mutters "It's just that same Middle Eastern guy that leaves the good tips."
From this ficticious account, do you see how quickly it can all go terribly wrong? Do you see why character counts? With his lousy diet and his taste for interns, what if, when President Clinton said "Oh God!", God decided to call him "home", just to see why Bill had been "praying" so often lately? God had recalled hearing that same "prayer" from Nelson Rockefeller years earlier.
Now just let this be a lesson to you!
Learning Something New Each Day...
According to Rusty, Ted has ghost-written a book from the point-of-view of his two dogs, which are Portuguese Water Dogs, one of which is named "Splash". I don't remember the name of the other dog, but I don't think it was "Mary Jo".
So this begs the obvious question - Does Ted Kennedy not even care about any analogies being drawn between his dog's name and Chappaquidick (sp.?)? Is he that arrogant or that stupid?
This could be analogous to Bill Clinton getting a couple of female dogs named Monica and BJ, 'cept Bill is smart enough to see the humor in the moment. At least that only involves perjury, no one died over the blue dress.
[While on the subject of Monica and Bill, I wonder how the White House Liberal Press Corps would have spun the story if President Clinton had done a "Nelson (Rockefeller)" while in the company of Miss Lewinski? Her testimony might have gone..."Well, he had his head tilted back, saying "Oh God!", when he suddenly keeled over backwards and didn't get up."
If you think Hillary was busy cleaning up Vince Foster's office before the authorities got there, imagine how busy she would have been in the Oval Office.]
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Semantics and the Traditional Marriage Issue
Novak opens with the reference "...Supporters of a constitutional amendment to keep the courts from legalizing homosexual marriage...", but later references the "anti-gay marriage coalition". The word "anti" carries a negative connotation that is not intended by at least some of the supporters of traditional marriage.
Most Americans and most Christians have a "live and let live" attitude towards fellow citizens, but when private behaviors are thrown in the faces of those that understand the value of traditional behaviors and/or when traditional institutions are attacked, defense of those behaviors and institutions may be seen as necessary.
Generally, those that call themselves "activists" do not understand that tolerance is a "two-way street". I think that many people are willing to accept private civil unions for homosexual couples, but the activists insist on making private issues public for their own political purposes, that can cause a backlash, not just on the grounds of moral aversions, but biological aversions.
There are reasons for hierarchies in nature. As for hierarchies in human cultures, we need to understand the reasons for those hierarchies and why those hierarchies have survived for many centuries.
The permanent bond, that the one male/one female marriage is supposed to be, has survived across cultural boundaries because it is a successful behavior. Keeping that bond "legally special" is central to our biology and human culture. To elevate "other arrangements" to the same legal status will reduce and weaken that "specialness".
To employ tactics, such as employed by Neal Boortz, by saying "How will gay marriage weaken yours?" is disingenuous. It will not affect individual marriages now, but it will have a gradual negative effect on the entire institution. This has already happened in some European countries that have tried this type of social experimentation.
Biologically and culturally, we are what we are. When we try to socially change that just to make a few people comfortable with their lives, we are gambling with the future.
A Bad Idea Rears its Head Again
Novak uses rather weak words to describe the concerns of many towards the spectre of a Constitutional Convention:
"...The provision of the Constitution's Article V requiring such a convention if called by two-thirds of the state legislatures has never been used. Fear of throwing the Constitution open to general amendment has overridden support for specific issues."
The words "general amendment" do not begin to describe what might happen in a Constitutional Convention. The concern is that the Constitution might be totally rewritten to address "modern concerns". It is my partially-informed understanding that there are a lot of questions about how delegates would be chosen. I just have a great fear of Leftist Senators such as Reid, Kerry, Kennedy, Boxer, Feinstein, Obama, Clinton, Schumer, et al, as well as RINOs and self-serving Republicans, e.g., McCain and Graham, getting anywhere near the Constitution. And I just know that the UN would love to have some influence on such a project. And as this has not happened before, would the U.S. Supreme Court feel the "need" to offer its micromanagement? I don't think we want to know.
When I was a Classical Liberal, I was against a Constitutional Convention for the Equal Rights Amendment. When I was a fledgling Conservative, I was against a Constitutional Convention for the Balanced Budget Amendment. I can think of no good reason to expose our Constitution to this sort of threat.
We need to remember Daniel Webster's words:
"Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world."
I am in favor of constitutionally-protecting traditional marriage, but it needs to be done through the normal amendment process.
Friday, June 23, 2006
From the column:
"...Maines started a highly publicized feud with Toby Keith almost a year before her comments about President Bush when she attacked Keith for a song he wrote honoring his father, who was an Army veteran. In Keith’s song, Courtesy of the Red White and Blue (The Angry American), he wrote, “My daddy served in the army, where he lost his right eye, but he flew a flag out in our yard until the day that he died. He wanted my mother, my brother, my sister and me, to grow up and live happy in the land of the free.”
"...Maines told the Los Angeles Daily News about the song, "Don't get me started. I hate it. It's ignorant, and it makes country music sound ignorant.” What the Dixie Chicks have yet to understand is that when they make comments like that about a huge hit song, they come pretty close to calling the millions that love the song ignorant, as well."
Not having the exact timeline available, the Dixie Chicks' European slam against President Bush took place in 2003, so the attack on Toby Keith was probably 2002. It may well have been while the debris and body parts were still being cleaned up at "Ground Zero" in NYC. I guess that sort of passion after the deaths of almost 3,000 people in a terrorist attack is just beyond Natalie's understanding. I guess if a popular singer had done such a song a few months after Pearl Harbor, she wouldn't have understood that either.
Lorie spends time reminding us that part of the Chicks' fall from grace is not just because the ignorantly criticized the President on foreign soil on the eve of war, but that they also attacked fellow country artists and fans as being ignorant hayseeds. I am paraphrasing, but you know what I mean.
They just have that arrogant contempt for the good "salt of the earth" people that dwell in our heartland. They know nothing of the hard work and skill it takes to produce those beautiful amber waves of grain in Kansas. They know nothing of what it is to spend Christmas night on an oil-drilling rig in Oklahoma, when it is blowing snow and 11 degrees. They don't appreciate the very people that put millions of dollars into their pockets before they chose to start seeing themselves as "better" than their country-western peers.
Would the Dixie Chicks have been in Europe criticizing President Roosevelt and shilling for Adolph Hitler during WWII? They would protest not, but the Islamism that the West faces is the philosophical bastard child of Nazism.
What do the Dixie Chicks expect if Sharia becomes worldwide law? Do they think they will still have the "right" to an abortion? Do they think Taliban-type governance (sp.?) respects "diversity"? I guess it would be hard for them to put "rainbow" bumper stickers on their cars in an Islamist society when they are not allowed to drive or even leave the home without a male relative. Do they ever even think these things through? How much tolerance for "gay pride" marches do Islamists have?
Just shutting and singing will not fix the damage they have done to themselves. It is too late for that, but they will never blame themselves. We have seen how sincere they were about their public "apology" for their 2003 European remarks.
Just another example of "Why Modern Liberals Ain't".
Just a Reminder of What the MSM Doesn't Tell Us
Of course that is not to say that all Muslims are so intentioned, but the zealots are driving the agenda and the moderates probably want to be on the "winning side", perhaps that is one reason they have been reluctant to speak out against the Islamist violence, because they are afraid of the consequences, should the West surrender.
Michael Savage has opined that in the future, the only way to stop the worldwide spread of Islamism is for the United States to enter into some sort of strategic agreement with Communist China. Consider, if Europe does gradually come under the spell of Islam, for those nations that have nuclear weapons, will they have the foresight to destroy them or transfer them to the United States before the Muslim takeover is complete? For instance, will France send us their nukes or will they fall into Sharia-driven hands? Germany? I hope that England will somehow find some intestinal fortitude to make a fight of it.
Part of the reason that Islam is making inroads is the moral ambiguity brought on by decades of Leftist influence and the withering away of Judeo-Christian values. That is part of the point of Pat Buchanan's piece, if you haven't read it yet.
The only thing they respect is force and resolve. "Playing nice" will not stop them. Either the "cut and run" crowd is too stupid to realize this, or they are so evil and stupid that they will sell us out, thinking that they can "fix the damage" when the get power back.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
My Humble View on How a Particular Fossil Lineage Might Be Attributed to Intelligent Design
Offered for your consideration is the Bivalve (clam) genus Glycymeris. These are generally small to medium-sized clams, also known by the name "Bittersweets". Living in several of today's oceans, this genus has been around since the Cretaceous Period, which ended about 66 million years ago. This particular link has a picture of the "hinge line" of the two shells (valves) of the Glycymeris genus. The distinctive "teeth" along the hinge line are one of the diagnostics used to identify members of this genus, living and fossil.
Since their appearance in the fossil record in the Cretaceous Period, these hinge-line features have remained constant enough to identify a number of fossil forms of Glycymeris, the fossil species of which are defined based on shell morphology (shape) and structure.
It just seems a little odd that for 66+ million years, the genus underwent random external changes significant enough to be labeled as different species, but at the same time as these apparent random external changes were taking place, the hingeline and soft tissues remained constant enough to preserve the lineage.
How is Darwinistic Evolution Testable by Science?
Another article, from the UK Telegraph tells us that "World scientists unite to attack creationism", without being honest about there being more than one definition for "creationism". And sometimes media pundits, including Conservatives and Libertarians, e.g., Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh (this post, too), and Cal Thomas have mis-represented the Intelligent Design philosophy.
In my past posts, I have tried to explain the differences in "Creationism" (big "C") and "creationism" (small "c"). The evolutionists (which also operate on a type of faith) lump the two together either our of ignorance or bigotry. And because they operate on a type of faith, these folks can be considered zealots.
The "hard-shelled" "Creationists" are also known as "Young Earth Creationists" and these folks take the Genesis account literally, that the Earth was formed in six 24-hour days, about 10,000 years ago. These folks are considered the zealots at the other end of the spectrum. And as we know, zealots generally do not like to discuss things. And in some cases, they have co-opted the issue of Intelligent Design for their own use.
The "soft-shelled" "creationists" are also known as "Old Earth Creationists" or "Theistic Evolutionists" and they are willing to accept the possibility of evolution being one of God's tools. The honest proponents of Intelligent Design, including Dr. Eugene Ashby, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Georgia Tech, fall into this category.
Most of the honest proponents of Intelligent Design are willing to accept the concept of a 4.6 billion year age estimate for the Earth. Dr. Ashby sees the evidence for an "old Earth".
Most of the honest proponents of Intelligent Design see the evidence of change in the fossil record. That is a tangible record. What it comes down to is "How did the morphological changes in the fossil record happen?". Using the complexities discovered in modern genetic studies, they raise the question "How did this happen by way of random mutations and natural selection?".
Thirty years ago, one of my Geology professors at Georgia Southern explained the theory of "Evolution with a guiding hand" in a private conversation with several Geology students. And one of his specialties was Vertebrate Paleontology. He didn't see a conflict.
Now some will say because I used the "philosophy" in regard to Intelligent Design, it doesn't belong in science. To that I say "hogwash". Everything in nature cannot be replicated in the laboratory. Sometimes a good philosophical exercise of the imagination is needed to visualize "how something happened" in the real world of "field science" (as opposed to laboratory science).
Hay Chewed: Previous posts on this issue include March 28, 2006; and March 1, 2006. In this second link, there are numerous links to previous posts on this subject.
Here are a few ID blogs:
Access Research Network and ID-Related Links
ID the Future
Discovery Institute/Center for Science and Culture
Evolution News & Views
For the sake of accurate discussions on the issue, please spend some time on these links and posts therein. Doing a couple of hours of reading on this subject (with an open mind) will put you far ahead of most of the MSM reporters & pundits that try to cover this issue.
In closing, allowing questions about Evolution is not anti-science. Intelligent Design is not intended to extinguish discussions about Evolution.
The closing sentence of the UK Telegraph article cited above is as follows:
"...Several others are proponents of intelligent design, which rejects evolution."
Tain't so! We just question whether or not it happened by itself, without a "guiding hand".
Just as the Climate Debate is not settled, neither is Evolution. That is how science progresses.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
So How Do We Deal With the North Korean Missile?
1) We should tell China to "stand down".
2) We should send a few cruise missiles to take out the launch site to send a strong message "don't do that again".
3) Have a Plan B if North Korea does something weird after Step #2.
All the while we need to remind the world that we have no reason to attack North Korea as long as they behave themselves.
Talking the Talk, but not...
From Michelle's column:
"...The ALA policy-making council has passed resolutions calling for the United States to cut and run from Iraq and is openly hostile to the Boy Scouts' freedom of association."
You might also remember their steadfast refusal to condemn Fidel Castro for Cuba's imprisonment of private librarians (read: from non-government libraries or private reading rooms). Of course it is more important (and easier) to slam Conservatives over issues such as the War on Terror.
On Townhall.com, Jeff Emanuel, is raising this issue of why "human rights" are not protesting the torture and murder of the American soldiers. From the column, so we will remember their names:
"...Privates First Class Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker were members of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)’s “Strike” Brigade, based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky."
Laura Ingraham has made the same point. Now if you see something on the websites of Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International later, it may be in response to public reaction. That is not to say that these organizations never do any good, but they are generally leftist and often choose to look the other way, rather than criticize their philosophical brethren. And criticizing our mistakes is easier and takes less vigor than actually criticizing the real bad guys.
Back to Reality...
Back to the real world, when certain people cannot distinguish from our occasional mistreatment of prisoners vs. the torture deaths of the two American servicemen in Iraq. No Senator Durbin, it is not because of any failed policies, unless those failed policies were related to being too nice in our prosecution of the war. But I don't think that is what he meant.
They are trying to shake our resolve. They hear the voices of the mindless dissenters and those that value their party agendas more so that showing resolve in the face of a vicious enemy.
And though not closely related to this issue, I need to briefly rant about a common Lib/Leftist butt monkey cry - "But we supported Saddam". Yes, there was a time that we gave some support to Saddam Hussein, because we saw him as the lesser of evils when compared to Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, during the Iran - Iraq war. Actually most of the dufuses (dufi?) that use this "rationale" are not aware that we actually gave some support to both sides in that war. Not because we liked either side, but because we didn't want a "power vaccum" in the region that would follow a decisive victory by either side. We wanted a draw and that is mostly what happened.
Yes, the world of geopolitics sometimes warrants our making "allies" of vile leaders in order to progress towards a larger goal, e.g., the Soviet Union as an ally in WWII. I believe our long-term goal is simply trying to establish some sort of stability where the free market can do its thing. When we select these "proxies", we cannot foresee nor control all of their behaviors. And sometimes individual agendas within individual agencies can screw things up, vis-a-vis the State Department, which at times shows itself to be as reliable as a basket of snakes.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Three Undeniable Truths of Life
2. You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd (with apologies to Roger Miller).
3. You can't blog drunk at the library or the college.
I know that Rush has 35 and one of these is borrowed (or stolen), it was just on my mind.
I Found a New Pet Peeve
Sometimes (often) it seems that some answers to their questions just don't fit into their template and they don't allow you to explain, so you are either left to giving an answer that you are not satisified with or an answer that they are not satisfied with, which may result in either a computer tossing your application or some cubicle-dwelling Dilbert doing so.
An example was last night at a particular department store kiosk, where they demanded to know, in the education section, what junior college/technical school I attended. As I haven't attended such an institution, I tried to leave it blank, which it refused, so I just wrote in the blank "I didn't go to a junior college", so I could proceed to the next page where it asked about a four-year college, then grad school, both of which I filled in.
Another annoyance was in the section concerning present and previous employment and it would only accept dollars per hour as an answer. No considerations for other payments schedules were allowed, e.g., dollars per hour was the only choice (I know it ain't hard to convert, but I was annoyed at that point), dollars per semester, or salaried positions.
As the store was about to close, I decided to try again either today or another day.
So, Congressman Murtha, How Long Would it Take a Fighter Plane to Fly from Okinawa to Iraq?
Kuwait, Qatar, et al, were mentioned, along with Okinawa (did I hear that right?). When the statement was followed with a question (paraphrasing) about how long it would take to redeploy ground forces from Okinawa back to Iraq, I believe Murtha's statement made reference to air power being sent from Okinawa back to Iraq. Uh huh. How long would it take an F-15 to fly from Okinawa to Iraq and how many times would it need refuelling? An A-10? How about a few helicopters? Transport planes?
I have to admit I haven't been listening to the radio much this morning, nor surfing the web, so I don't know if Murtha has tried to explain this "logic".
Monday, June 19, 2006
The Dixie Chicks Just Keep On Keepin' On
Pam at Blogmeister USA has a good, in-depth post on the latest "twitterings" from Natalie Maines, et al, trying to please their "more sophisticated" European audiences. And linked within Pam's post is a link to Michelle Malkin's post on this subject. When Sharia is the law-of-the-land in the EU, how welcome do you think the Dixie Chicks might be?
Sez Natalie: "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."
Some folks just ain't got enough sense to know when they got it good.
Now if some of you are tempted to use Dixie Chicks CDs for skeet shooting practice in your backyard, check with local city ordinances regarding firearms use within the city limits.
Global Warming on Mars and Jupiter????
On WND, Rusty Humphries has a column where he passes along info on evidence of warming on Mars (shrinkage of polar ice caps) and Jupiter (more apparently convection energy in storms). And it is attributed to increased solar activity. Imagine that!
Again, I do not deny the possibility of minor climate influences due to increased anthropongenic carbon dioxide, personally I think that Land Use/Land Cover changes are likely more of an agent of change.
Another Climate Change article, which I have not had time to fully digest yet, is posted on Tech Central Station this morning. This article is related to apparent changes in the Walker Circulation system, a tropical Pacific atmospheric system, since the mid-1800s. As a reminder, we have been rebounding from the Little Ice Age Climatic Event since about 1880 - 1900, so changes in the Walker Circulation System may be related to this rebound effect. A concern voiced in the original Nature article, referenced in the TCS article, is that a long-term weakening of the Walker Circulation would bring about more El Niño events, but so far, since the strong El Niño of 1997-1998, El Niño events seem to have been more subdued.
[By the way, the strong 1997-1998 El Niño resulted in a higher-than-normal yearly average temperature (a spike), making it grist for use as a sure sign of human-caused global warming, e.g., 1998 temperatures were the highest of the 20th century. Likewise, a few weeks ago, I read an article that suggested that the 1998 spike was the "end" of a period of global warming and the lesser temps since then were a sign of cooling. I wouldn't go that far, as it takes a few years to see trends. You can have short-term warm periods within longer cooling periods and vice versa.]
I present this info to help show that the science is not settled. We cannot accurately assess what we are responsible for vs. what nature is responsible for. We can observe and measure human influences on local climates, i.e., how local deforestation around large cities enlarges the Urban Heat Island Effect. Atlanta is an excellent example of that. It is more difficult to extrapolate how the aggregate effect of numerous Northern Hemisphere Heat Islands might affect global temperatures. Or how tropical deforestation might contribute to any increases in global temperatures.
And I highlighted a few of the "caveats" that should accompany climate-related articles, as absolute proof within the realm of nature is rare.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
The Text of Federalist 68.
The Federalist No. 68
The Mode of Electing the President
To the People of the State of New York:
THE mode of appointment of the Chief Magistrate of the United States is almost the only part of the system, of any consequence, which has escaped without severe censure, or which has received the slightest mark of approbation from its opponents. The most plausible of these, who has appeared in print, has even deigned to admit that the election of the President is pretty well guarded.1 I venture somewhat further, and hesitate not to affirm, that if the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent. It unites in an eminent degree all the advantages, the union of which was to be wished for.E1
It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture.
It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.
It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief. The choice of several, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of one who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes. And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place.
Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union?
But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention. They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment.
And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust, all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. No senator, representative, or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States, can be of the numbers of the electors. Thus without corrupting the body of the people, the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias. Their transient existence, and their detached situation, already taken notice of, afford a satisfactory prospect of their continuing so, to the conclusion of it. The business of corruption, when it is to embrace so considerable a number of men, requires time as well as means. Nor would it be found easy suddenly to embark them, dispersed as they would be over thirteen States, in any combinations founded upon motives, which though they could not properly be denominated corrupt, might yet be of a nature to mislead them from their duty.
Another and no less important desideratum was, that the Executive should be independent for his continuance in office on all but the people themselves. He might otherwise be tempted to sacrifice his duty to his complaisance for those whose favor was necessary to the duration of his official consequence. This advantage will also be secured, by making his re-election to depend on a special body of representatives, deputed by the society for the single purpose of making the important choice.
All these advantages will happily combine in the plan devised by the convention; which is, that the people of each State shall choose a number of persons as electors, equal to the number of senators and representatives of such State in the national government, who shall assemble within the State, and vote for some fit person as President. Their votes, thus given, are to be transmitted to the seat of the national government, and the person who may happen to have a majority of the whole number of votes will be the President. But as a majority of the votes might not always happen to centre in one man, and as it might be unsafe to permit less than a majority to be conclusive, it is provided that, in such a contingency, the House of
Representatives shall select out of the candidates who shall have the five highest number of votes, the man who in their opinion may be best qualified for the office.
The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. And this will be thought no inconsiderable recommendation of the Constitution, by those who are able to estimate the share which the executive in every government must necessarily have in its good or ill administration. Though we cannot acquiesce in the political heresy of the poet who says:
"For forms of government let fools contest --That which is best administered is best," --
yet we may safely pronounce, that the true test of a good government is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.
The Vice-President is to be chosen in the same manner with the President; with this difference, that the Senate is to do, in respect to the former, what is to be done by the House of Representatives, in respect to the latter.
The appointment of an extraordinary person, as Vice-President, has been objected to as superfluous, if not mischievous. It has been alleged, that it would have been preferable to have authorized the Senate to elect out of their own body an officer answering that description. But two considerations seem to justify the ideas of the convention in this respect. One is, that to secure at all times the possibility of a definite resolution of the body, it is necessary that the President should have only a casting vote. And to take the senator of any State from his seat as senator, to place him in that of President of the Senate, would be to exchange, in regard to the State from which he came, a constant for a contingent vote. The other consideration is, that as the Vice-President may occasionally become a substitute for the President, in the supreme executive magistracy, all the reasons which recommend the mode of election prescribed for the one, apply with great if not with equal force to the manner of appointing the other. It is remarkable that in this, as in most other instances, the objection which is made would lie against the constitution of this State. We have a Lieutenant-Governor, chosen by the people at large, who presides in the Senate, and is the constitutional substitute for the Governor, in casualties similar to those which would authorize the Vice-President to exercise the authorities and discharge the duties of the President.
1. Vide Federal Farmer.
E1. Some editions substitute "desired" for "wished for".
"...who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes"
[Go back and reread the Christian Science Monitor article.]
"...Thus without corrupting the body of the people, the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias."
[Subverting the will of the voters of a particular state, in favor of the nationwide popular vote sounds like "sinister bias" to me.]
If they already had this plan in place, Al Gore would have been President.
Think long and hard about this and pray for our future. Also, alert those in the affected "blue states" to head off this dangerous legislation that is taking place on the state level, that is probably lost in the normal cacaphony of other state legislative action, that is considered "more sexy" by the local media.
A Backdoor Attempt to Subvert the Electoral College...
Rather than deal with the reasons why Al Gore lost in 2000, Lib/Leftists seek to weaken the Electoral College system, which was explained by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper 68. Among the stated reasons for the system was to attempt to lessen the influence gap between the small states and the large states during Presidential Elections. Since many of the small population states in "flyover country" have gone "red" lately, libs don't care that those American citizens will lose some of their influence in future Presidential Elections. Their (the libs) end justifies their means.
What the libs want to do is in certain states (Read: Blue states), the state's Electoral College members will be allowed to vote for the nationwide popular vote winner, rather than the wishes of that states voters, if the voters went against the grain of the nationwide popular vote. (Read the article, it explains it better than I can). And some of the states are seeking binding compacts with other states to force them to follow the national voting patterns, rather than the votes of their in-state voters. Of course I am not a constitutional lawyer, but I wonder about the legality of such a binding compact that subverts the will of the voters.
To most people, our Founding Fathers had it pretty well figured out. The system ain't broke, it don't need fixing. Tweaking sometimes, but the Electoral College isn't one of them.
Read Federalist No. 68. We can't depend on the court system to possibly overturn this on constitutional grounds. Apparently California and Colorado have already done this.
If Al Gore had been President what would have happened after 9/11? Would he have had the backbone to go after the Islamist terror system as President Bush has? Yes, I know President Bush has failed us along the southern border, but he has taken most of the fight overseas.
We know who wants these changes. It is the party that wants to shut down talk radio. It is the party that wants to sell us out to the UN/World government. It is the party that wants to remove our means of self-defense. It is the party that is conducting a campaign against the Boy Scouts. It is the party that wants to give in to the Global Warming hysteria and the poisonous "remedies" of the Kyoto Treaty, despite the repeated statements that the Kyoto regulations would not change anything anyway.
Deep down the "liberals" despise this country, perhaps because it falls short of their utopian ideals. Socialism sounds good, but most libs are not smart enough to think through the reasons why it will never work on a widespread basis, unless it is done at the point of a gun (a government-owned gun, that is).
Friday, June 16, 2006
Why Modern Liberals Ain't - The Ongoing Rant Series
Again, here is the link to the first seven rants of this series.
To continue, here are the links to VIII, Why Modern Liberals Ain't-Revisited, Why Modern Liberals Ain't - 'Cause They Are Unhinged, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV,...
And the horror continues...see below Why Modern Liberals Ain't - The Next Generation. Teach your children well, so they don't wind up like this!
According to Kevin McCullough's column (and previous news stories on WND):
"Liberals in Lexington, Mass., have taken to beating up the 7-year-old children of their political opponents. (Emphasis added)
This disgusting tactic should be featured on the front pages of every newspaper across the nation, yet you've heard nary a word about it."
What it is about is that local school "Superintendent Paul Ash decided to have his second-grade teachers begin reading a "fairy tale" about two princes getting it on homosexual style to be read in the classrooms under his direction. The book was called "King and King.""
In the Estabrook School, some of the families wanted to "opt out" from this particular presentation. Now I understand that there are modern-day things that kids need to learn about, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes us. But it is up to us parents to decide when it is age-appropriate.
But Paul Ash didn't see it that way, he stated that there was no obligation for the district or school to notify parents.
From the column:
"This profane sort of arrogance didn't sit well with one of the parents by the name of David Parker. He went to the school to discuss it directly with Ash. When Parker refused to leave without being heard by the all-powerful Ash, he was arrested. Remember, Parker's only request was to be notified when homosexuality or transgenderism was to be discussed.
Word spread amongst the liberal activist groups around the area. Nasty letters began to be written to local newspapers in an effort to get Parker to back down. When that didn't work, a nasty website was created to spread the anti-Parker venom via the Internet and rally the call to other activist groups nationwide.
On the day of Parker's hearing, the Ash/Nasty coalition turned out dozens of adults to demonstrate hate-filled nastiness against Parker as he entered and exited the courthouse – all in an attempt to get him to shut up. The nasties even convinced the school district to post anti-Parker newspaper stories on the bulletin boards throughout the schools as another means of intimidation.
None of it worked!
Instead, on April 27 Parker and another family from the school district filed a federal civil-rights suit against the school district. This made Ash and the other nasties even angrier, and some of them decided to get even.
At the courthouse hearings and many of the protests outside Parker's home, the nasties had used children to hold up hateful signs and demonstrate alongside their nasty parents. They also recruited young children to participate in angry anti-Parker demonstrations outside the school and to engage in letter-writing campaigns.
But on May 17, they crossed the line.
That was the day that 10 of these thug-kins grabbed David Parker's 7-year-old son, dragged him behind the corner of the school, well out of sight from school officials, and proceeded to punch him in the groin, stomach and chest, before he dropped to the ground when they then kicked and stomped on him. Several of the alleged thug-kins were children of the adults who had been protesting Parker, several of them not even in the same class as Parker's child. It also needs to be pointed out that May 17 was a targeted date because that is the anniversary of changing the marriage definitions in the state of Massachusetts to include homosexual unions. Emotions among many activists were running very high on that day." (Emphasis added)
I don't think this is what Jesus would have done. Ann Coulter is right. They are Godless. Michael Savage is right. Liberalism is a mental disorder, at times a violent one. Now who is it that frets about the spectre of a Christian theocracy?
The local school district determined that the attack was pre-meditated, but no punishment was meted out to the attackers.
Imagine the outrage if David Parker's first grade son had brought a Bible or a toy gun to school. There would be community outrage. Do elementary students usually plan these sorts of attacks?
Ah, yes, the tolerance of liberals, from the same state that brought you Kennedy and Kerry.
From the McCullough column:
"David Parker is bringing against Ash and the Estabrook School District. Standing up is always the right thing to do. His legal fees are growing, and if you are interested in making a donation to help – as I have – I would encourage you to. I would also encourage you to drop an e-mail to Paul Ash or place a phone call – either way, it is obvious that Ash believes that he is unaccountable to the parents of his district. Paul Ash's e-mail address is email@example.com. His phone number at the school is (781) 861-2550."
If I were David Parker and my first-grade son had been punched, kicked, and stomped by 10 other elementary students, I would first go to the police and demand that parents be charged with conspiracy to commit assault against a child, then go after them in civil court with the idea of eventually owning a few new rental properties, the former homes of the guilty. Yes, I am angry that someone would put their kids up to beating a 7-year old over a poliltical disagreement.
Whether you want to admit it or not, there is a culture war going on. If the 7-year old son of gay parents had been beaten by a group of scripture-quoting kids, you would never hear the end of it on the MSM. It would be called a hate-crime and we would be hearing about the out-of-control Christian Right.
Further Evidence That Liberalism is a Mental Disorder
In this case, it is child molesters. Repeat child molesters in the UK. Released, rather than locked away forever. So what do you think they did? No doubt their advocates were "shocked".
I recall a case from El Paso from years ago. As El Paso lies next to the New Mexico state line, some of the "suburbs" are actually in New Mexico. One of these "suburbs" was actually a trailer park, where a young, single mother and her two young daughters were all raped and murdered. The rapist/murderer was caught, tried, and convicted. I don't recall if he got the death penalty, which was then overturned, or if it was some other long sentence.
The point was that the slimebag wound up in the state prison at Santa Fe, where a murderous riot took place in 1980. Thirty three inmates died during the riot, some of which (including the aforementioned rapist/murderer) were removed from protective custody. "Honor Among Thieves" prevailed as this slimeball met his frontier justice by way of an electric carving knife.
Yes, it was brutal, but the "kid gloves" treatment of child molesters gives encouragement to molesters-in-training. We can feel empathy for the molested that go on to become molesters themselves, but that doesn't excuse them.
As stated before, it is human nature that when we break one taboo and the sky doesn't immediately fall, there is a temptation to break more taboos. There are just some criminals that cannot be trusted to be "rehabilitated", just because they manage to jump through all the right hoops.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
So Now The Dixie Chicks are Taking PR Advice from Ozzy Osbourne
And now according to this WND story, Natalie Maines has sought the PR advice from Ozzy Osbourne. I guess in Liberal La-La Land, that passes for "wisdom of the elders". And of course they are not going to blame themselves, but ticket sales for their concert tour seem to be rather slow, except perhaps in some large blue state cities and Canada.
So they will continue to say "we hate you redneck hayseeds, buy our CDs and concert tickets".
An Interesting Climate-Related Story at Lucky Dawg News...
Lucky Dawg News has this post with a link to the Washington Times article giving a more thorough explanation.
From my point-of-view, whatever is happening with sea ice has probably happened before during prior warming events and it may be due to the warming of the sea (heat rises) rather than a minor warming of the atmosphere. And because of the immense thermal mass of the oceans, increased solar activity is probably the most plausible cause of oceanic temperature increases. Atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased, but it is still a very small component of the Greenhouse Effect, which is largely due to atmospheric humidity and clouds.
Oh, That Strange Place That Dreamland Is
I don't normally remember my dreams. Often I am aware that I dreamt (dreamed?) during the night, but any memories usually fade quickly upon awakening.
But sometimes the dreams that are remembered are the ones that are interrupted by the alarm clock, perhaps they are remembered because the are the "freshest ones" or because they were interrupted and we wonder "Where would the dream have progressed, had it not been interrupted?".
And I am sure that others ponder the mental origins of seemingly disparate images, thoughts, statements, places, and such, that appear in our seemingly long dreams. And what do the dreams mean, if anything? When we are stressed about a particular issue, a dream might be our mind's attempt to offer insight or suggestions, but what about the dreams that have no particular "rhyme or reason", those not triggered by recent events or memories? And no, I didn't eat anything weird last night.
In the time prior to the 5:45 AM alarm this morning (to get my daughter up for work), I had such an unusual dream.
In the dream, I had a reunion with my first cousin Dolly, who passed away from breast cancer at age 46 (I think), about 7 years ago. As she lived most of her life in Arizona and I grew up in Georgia, we didn't get to see each other that often. She was a tomboy that enjoyed playing in the woods the few times her family visited us in Georgia, so we got along well. During the years I lived in El Paso, I got to see her a few times, not as often as I should have, though. I should have made the trip from El Paso to Tucson (or Phoenix) a few times and had a beer or two with her and her long-time roommate.
In the dream I don't know how or where we met up, but we ended up staying in a small farmhouse in Oklahoma, just visiting and chatting, at times on the porch in view of wheatfields, at times indoors. [The Oklahoma locale is not unusual as my wife is from there and we visit her family Oklahoma from time to time, when time and money allow.]
Of unusual note is the bizarre origins of the couple of times, in the dream, that I commented on the regrets on her having leukemia, wherein she reminded me that she had breast cancer, not leukemia (a mistake that I would not have made in real life, if we had had the opportunity to visit during her final years). Also of unusual note was her statement that she had struggled with ADD (which was not really part of the cultural lexicon at the time of her passing), to which I replied that I had been struggling with depression for years. Perhaps I felt in a place of understanding where such admissions could be made with no repercussions. This would have been the first admission of this that I had made to a family member and it was to one that had been deceased for several years. Odd, odd, odd.
I seem to remember that we were discussing the idea of an afternoon nap, when the alarm went off, leaving me to ponder where the dream might have gone, if not interrupted.
This is not the first time that I have had a dream about a reunion with a deceased family member (though it doesn't happen often). That story will have to wait until another time. If only we could film and replay our dreams (or finish them), but then perhaps they wouldn't seem as fascinating, odd, and mysterious.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Most Scientific Debates Are Never Settled
Humans may contribute to climate change, but because nature (as evidenced by the ever-increasing paleoclimate database) is so variable, we honestly cannot say whether it is 0.001%, 0.01%, 0.1%, 1.0%, 5.0%, 10.0%,...or whatever.
Kyoto is about "ham-stringing" the American economy by restricting fuel use, by way of rationing and/or taxes. Rather than find ways of honestly competing with the American economy, foreign nations would rather engage in dragging the United States down.
Why aren't China, India, Mexico, Brazil, et al, included in the proposed Kyoto regulations? And who would be enforcing those regulations? Who elected the UN as the world-governing body? Unelected means unaccountable. Our fuel prices and other aspects of life would be regulated by unelected/unaccountable bureaucrats, many of which are from socialist nations that are jealous of our standard of living and our freedom. Considered to be the model for what the UN wants to be, the EU parliament does not have the power to propose legislation based on the wishes of citizens, rather they have to act on orders passed down from bureaucrats in Brussels.
Kyoto is a power grab.
When Al Gore, et al, start throwing around numbers about how many scientists agree with the media/Leftist Global Warming paradigm, you need to remember that this has been the chanted mantra now for 20+ years and many scientists heard it (unchallenged) throughout their undergrad and graduate years. And as government goes, so goes power and money. If you challenge the establishment, you may lose present and future funding for research.
Science is supposed to be about free and open debate. Al Gore, et al, calling skeptics names such as deniers and pseudo-scientists is an attempt to shut down debate, in the classic Leftist fashion. As Margaret Thatcher used this issue for her political benefit, Al Gore and other politicians are going to try the same thing.
Carbon dioxide is a natural substance produced by combustion (and respiration among other means). Nature doesn't know whether the combustion is from gasoline or from a lava flow setting fire to vegetation or lightning igniting a forest.
The climate has changed before and the sky is probably not falling. In this Debra Saunders Townhall.com column, the question is raised, when computer models produce a number of different scenarios, WHY DOES AL GORE PICK THE WORST POSSIBLE SCENARIO AS THE ONLY ONE THAT CAN HAPPEN? Is this not fear-mongering? From the same "Black Preacher" that screamed "He betrayed this country, he played on our fears.".
The fear-mongers are looking at computer models of "what might happen" when certain selected info is put into the system. The skeptics are looking at the paleoclimate history (what has happened before the present day, before the Industrial Revolution, and before we were ever here).
Leftist newspapers using barrels of ink and tons of newspaper does not make something any more true or false. Hollywood jumping on a bandwagon does not make it any more true or false. And politicians whoring for votes does not make it any more true or false.
Once more restrictive regulations are passed and the government has even more power, it will be very difficult to undo the damage.
When left unfettered, the free-market system usually finds more efficient ways to do things in order to lower costs and increase profits. Government has not such incentive.
[Note: While blogging here at the library, their pop-up blockers make it difficult to run the "spell check" on blogger.com, so please forgive any typos.]
As it is Flag Day...
Unless something has changed, according to Michael Savage, those Marines accused in the Haditha incident are sitting in solitary and in shackles at Camp Pendleton.
And according to Michele Malkin's Townhall.com column, there is a separate set of Marines and one sailor that sit in Camp Pendleton in solitary and in shackles, from another alleged incident.
This kind of "OMG" knee-jerk response is just what the jihadists want. This kind of reaction from John Murtha, and those that give him credence, is just what the jihadists want.
All human institutions are flawed, but the legal system designed by our forefathers is among the best in the world.
SO WHY ARE OUR PRESUMED INNOCENT MARINES IN SHACKLES AND IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT?
Let the legal system do its thing. If the Leftists and Europeans don't understand it or if John Murtha is going to squawl about it, that is too bad.
These Marines are not going to run and hide if unshackled and allowed out of detention. But if this mistreatment continues, how many future young men and women are going to make second thoughts about enlisting, if there is the spectre of being abandoned?
Do we need that?
[Update: We need to keep in context the confusion of combat conditions and how things can devolve from routine to utter confusions in seconds.]
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Yeah, that's the liberal spirit. So much for the open mind.
I tend to be more diplomatic than Ann Coulter, but as these four widows have chosen to insert themselves into the arena of public debate, then they expose themselves to critcism. Free Speech is a two way street.
Any imbecile should know that it takes more than 8 months to plan an attack such as 9/11. Yes, the Bush Administration probably bears a little responsibility, but responsibility can be spread about at least as far back as the Carter Administration for our repeated failures of resolve in the Middle East. And the Carter Administration played a significant role by weakening the CIA. Even the Reagan Administration's weak response to the Beirut bombing played a role in our perceived weakness in the Middle East.
On a larger scale, it can go back as far as our retreat from Vietnam and our waffling in Korea. Not being old enough to remember the Korea issues, I have blogged before about how a "victory" for the Vietnam-era "peace movement" resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans and Vietnamese by dragging out the war. A quick victory brings about lasting peace much more efficiently than surrender.
But to most in the Democrat Party, victory in November 2006 and 2008 is more important than the long term. Besides, any Democrat policy failures can simply be blamed on the Republicans. It is just a shame that so many Republican pols have lost their spine.
We can't change the past, but we can change the future by showing our resolve to complete a task. Failure and retreat will result in more death in the future.
Hay Chewed Redux
From time-to-time I end a post/rant with "Hay Chewed" followed by links to previous posts/rants, to save a little time if any readers wish to read more on that particular subject.
Here is a link to an explanation of "Hay Chewed" (it is from Elton John's early album "Empty Sky"). Yes, I know that some of this post/rant is self-serving, the idea at the time was to give some insight as to some of what makes me tick, i.e., a little background.
Here is a link to Climate-related posts prior to June 14, 2005. A few more climate posts from mid-2005 include June 15, June 22, June 24, July 17, and July 27.
And here is a link to the first 7 rants in the "Why Modern Liberals Ain't" series.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Confederate Soldiers are Probably Rolling Over in Their Graves...
For the most part, being nothing more than an amateur historian, the Confederate States left the Union because they were being jerked around by the Federal Government. Yes, slavery is and was reprehensible, but that mentality is not the same as being presented by today's Klan/Nazi alliance of slime.
The history of the War Between the States, Civil War, whatever you wish to call it, is far more complex than most people realize. In the Confederate Army, there were black soldiers (free and slave), Jews, Cherokees,...the Confederate Secretary of State (if memory serves me correctly), Judah P. Benjamin was Jewish. The honest, historically-minded descendant of Confederate soldiers should have risen up long ago against the Confederate battle flag being used as a symbol of hate, along with the swastika.
Most of these Klan/Nazis are just losers that have to blame someone else for their failures and their attempts to co-opt legit issues should not be allowed to be tied into mainstream Conservatism, as the MSM/blogosphere will probably try to do.
It is about forgiveness of sins, not hate. God may be disappointed with America, but I don't think he hates America.
Go read the article!
Repairing the damage dropped him back to about 39th or 40th place and he fought his way back. Greg Biffle made a good comback after brake problems to finish 6th (he did lead later in the race, too.) after being back about 40th place.
The Idiocy of "Tokyo Drift"
Now, every good redneck that has every been to a dirt track race, whether stock cars or sprint cars knows what a "drift" is. It is when you let the rear end of your vehicle "hang out" (in a controlled manner) as you go through a turn. In the late 1960s at Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, I saw Curtis Turner, Red Farmer, Tom Pistone, and local driver Leon Sells do it right.
I have done it in my low-slung 1970 LeMans (my first car) on Georgia dirt roads and I have done it in my 1976 4 x 4 Jeep pickup, but always on dirt or sandy roads, out in the middle of nowhere, where I wouldn't hit anyone else if I screwed up and the only time I did it at 60 mph was when I was alone. The kaolin-covered dirt roads around Sandersville, Georgia kicked up a cloud of white dust and Yeah, those sandy roads in southern New Mexico were good for kicking up some good rooster tails of dust that could be seen for miles. The main concern was when you came around a turn and met someone else doing the same thing. Sometimes you couldn't see the oncoming rooster tails of dust because of the mesquite and other underbrush in the desert. But quick reflexes and power steering did the trick. And I don't know how I managed to miss that big rattlesnake while I was drifting around a sandy turn at 60, but I think I did (I have never deliberately run over a snake).
Now you are going to have idiots in fast, little Japanese cars trying it in tight, corkscrew ramps for parking garages and around street intersections where there are pedestrians. You are going to see idiots doing it on cloverleaf ramps. And some folks are going to die. Just like "2 Fast, 2 Furious" some folks are going to see it and say "Hey, I can do that!". Film at 11, posted later on the "Darwin Awards".
No, it is not about recycling stuff on this blog, but then aren't we supposed to recycle?
[I worked on a longer post for 30+ minutes, only to lose it to an unexpected local power outage.]
Fresh (so-to-speak) from a weekend of Boy Scout Adult Leader Outdoor Training,...a few thoughts about Boy Scouts and how Lib/Leftists hurt some of their own pet causes by attacking the Boy Scouts.
The title is from the name our particular adult patrol adopted, the "Leftovers", as we were camped on the left side of an open field down the hill from the scout hut. As part of experiencing the same things that Boy Scouts do when they join individual patrols within the Troop, we made up our own flag and our patrol yell - "What! Leftovers Again!"
We know that Lib/Leftists attack the Boy Scouts for not allowing avowed homosexual scouts or scoutmasters. As most Boy Scouts are 11 to 15 years old, it only makes sense to emphasize other aspects of their maturation, as society (the media, advertising, Hollywood, TV, etc.) is constantly throwing sex in their faces, whether they are ready for it or not. And allowing homosexual men to camp out with adolescent boys is a recipe for disaster. Even if 95% of homosexual men are not child molesters, for the sake of the kids, we have to be vigilant of the 5% that are (I am just picking numbers for the sake of discussion).
There are reasons for the ban. Discrimination is a synonym for choosing. Sometimes there are good reasons for making certain choices. Men are, by nature, predatory and it is human nature that when you break one taboo and the sky doesn't fall, you are tempted to break others.
Another less publicized reason that Lib/Leftists attack the Boy Scouts is because they continually attack those traditions that make them uncomfortable, i.e., because they don't fit in as individuals. Rather than addressing why they don't fit in, they seek to destroy the long accepted tradition, e.g., traditional one male/one female marriage. Traditions represent successful behaviors, that have stood the test of time. Boy Scouts is one way of harnessing male energy and refocusing it in beneficial ways.
Now most "good liberals" consider themselves to be "Environmentalists" even if they don't know a thing about nature. They just want everyone else to know "they care" and they are ready to jump on whatever bandwagon comes by. And because they are operating on emotion, they don't think things through.
The nature hikes and camping in Boy Scouts is a great way to expose boys and young men to the outdoors, what other organizations have such an outdoor-intense program? Boy Scouts can introduce youngsters to concepts such as biodiversity; ecological succession, e.g., how a forest progesses from a pine forest to a hardwood forest over decades; pollution; erosion, etc., by giving them hands-on experience.
Many a nature trail has been built/rehabilitated as part of an Eagle Scout project. Scouts can learn about the environment while also learning about the free-market system and how businesses work. That seems to be a good way to cultivate a future generation of green capitalists, ones that can see both sides of the issue, i.e., ones that can figure out how to improve the environment while making a profit.
If Lib/Leftists and their allies in the Democrat Party succeed further in destroying the Boy Scouts, the damage won't be immediate. Rather we will see it further down the road along with the effects of the "thousand cuts" inflicted upon our culture and our unique, special nation. You can bet that the current crop of Democrats - Hillary, Kerry, Kennedy, Rangel, Reid,...will do the bidding of the Far Left and continue the efforts, while claiming to be fighting discrimination.
So, while we may be far from satisfied with the current crop of Republicans, staying home on election day will only help those bent on bringing down traditional values.
Friday, June 09, 2006
Sparse Blogging Will Become Even More So...
Will try to return to some semblance of blogging next week. In the meantime, visit some of the blogs in the blogroll on the right.
And don't let Al Gore's movie get you down.
Skeptics do not deny the possibility of small human influences to the climate, but most of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is natural and the carbon dioxide content is only 380 ppm (+/-). That amounts to 0.038%. The paleoclimate record shows such a history of variation (oscillations between warm and cold) that it is difficult to assess "what is natural and what is caused by humans".
Other possibilities of human influence include changes in Land Use/Land Cover (deforestation, growth of Urban Heat Islands).
Go back and read how this current paradigm began, if you haven't already.
Ya'll take care and offer prayers.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
In Virginia, a Christian business owner, of a video production company, is being told that, in violation of state law, he must reproduce two pro-homosexual videos produced by a lesbian activist.
The Arlington County Human Rights Commission is ordering Tim Bono and Bono Film and Video, Inc. of Arlington, Va. to duplicate the documentaries or to pay the expenses of the activists is they have to go elsewhere.
Would the Arlington County Human Rights Commission do the same for Nazis? Or Klansmen if they brought in material that the business owners preferred not to duplicate and spread about? If someone brought in homemade sex videos, should the business be forced to duplicate them?
This is Leftist Fascism, which is natural, as Fascism is a first cousin to Socialism. This video business is not the only game in town. There are bound to be others that would have made the duplicates per the request. But instead of accepting the free choice of the business owner, to turn down inappropriate business, the Leftists had to run to government to "make them do what we want!".
Disagreement is not hate.
Why Modern Liberals Ain't - XIV
I never saw President Reagan as evil. I was afraid that he would scare the Soviets into launching a nuclear attack to which we would have no choice but to reply, but I never thought that an American President would be the first to launch, unless absolutely necessary.
Michael Berg, father of murdered hostage Nick Berg is so absolutely stupid that he sees no difference in al Zarqawi and President Bush. You can read the rest of the article, I don't feel like reprinting any of Michael Berg's bile.