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geosciblog Continuing Series
Newly-Found Geology/Science Blogs (Early-2009 to Mid-2011)
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Not Ready for Facebook
Oh, By the Way, Happy New Year
Another Climate Change Rant
Hoplophobia - the New Word for the Day
Tiny Lund, a NASCAR Legend
A Few Debate Tactics for Conservatives/Libertarian...
A Facebook Challenge....
Recent PostsStill Here
Not Ready for Facebook
Oh, By the Way, Happy New Year
Another Climate Change Rant
Hoplophobia - the New Word for the Day
Tiny Lund, a NASCAR Legend
A Few Debate Tactics for Conservatives/Libertarian...
A Facebook Challenge....
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, August 31, 2006
Returning to the Issue of Calderas...,
In the case of the Yellowstone Caldera, it is thought to overlie a "mantle hotspot", as does Hawaii, where a particularly strong upwhelling brings heated magma towards the surface. As the magma body rises through the continental crust, it partially melts the crust, adding significant amounts of quartz, and other silica-rich minerals, such as muscovite mica and orthoclase feldspar.
From the above-linked USGS webpage:
"...Scientists infer that rhyolite lava flows as well as the caldera-forming ash-flow tuffs were fed from shallow magma chambers filled by the melting of rocks of the lower continental crust below Yellowstone. The heat needed to facilitate the melting process was supplied by the repeated injections of basalt magma from the mantle into the shallow crust."
As mentioned earlier, these silica-rich minerals make the magma more viscous. As the magma rises, the pressurized fluids (mostly mineral rich water) "wants to boil". Even though more silica-rich eruptions are the norm, from time to time, basalts can also erupt. The basalts are derived from the mantle below and when erupted, it is because the basalt has moved through the crust quickly enough not to melt much of the crust. [Note: The higher-temperature basalts can easily melt the silica-rich minerals,which crystalize at lower temperatures, than do the minerals in the basalts.]
These are large magma bodies, termed "batholiths" that become magma chambers for the overlying eruptions when they reach shallow-enough depths. More than 100 square miles is usually bulged by the rising magma.
When the buoyancy (sp.?) and the gas pressure of the magma overcomes the strength of the overlying rock, as depicted on the program last night, eruptions will break through in several places. These multiple eruptions taking place at the same time will produce gas-driven pyroclastic flows and partially drain the magma chamber. The magma chamber will then collapse inward, opening up a circular to round "ring fracture" system, which will provide more conduits for molten rock to reach the surface, likely triggering even more eruptions. Some of the eruptions may be restricted to the collapsed crater, while others will erupt outward.
Watching the pyroclastic flows from the smaller composite volcanoes gives an idea of the speed of these types of eruptions, but the caldera eruptions may be two to three orders of magnitude larger.
Got to get to class, may add more tomorrow.
I Should Have Seen It Coming
As per usual, there was no mention of the predominant role of Water Vapor/Water Droplets (Humidity and Clouds) in the Greenhouse Effect. It was all carbon dioxide and it was all humanity's (America's) fault. In true Leftist fashion, they tried to quash dissent by saying "the science is settled". Good science is almost never settled, as we are constantly gaining new data and making new interpretations.
They also tried to liken anthropogenic Global Warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers. We are not denying that Global Warming may be taking place, but with the past variations, we cannot conclusively say how much of this is human-caused (0.01%, 0.1%, 1.0%, 10.0%,...) versus how much is natural. Of course they had to let Al Gore have his say, not noting that he has no scientific degrees. Of course he has the right of free speech, but just because someone is passionate, that doesn't make them accurate.
Again, you can see the role of Humidity and Clouds and how they affect the Greenhouse Effect yourself.
The diurnal temperature variation is the difference between the daytime high temp and the nighttime low temp. When it is humid and cloudy, the diurnal temperature variation is lower. When it is dry and clear, the diurnal temperature variation is higher.
We can see the role of the Sun in controlling Earth's temperatures. In the next few weeks, as we move towards Fall and then Winter, average temperatures will moderate, as the Earth's axial inclination of 23.5 degrees causes the Northern Hemisphere to gradually "turn away" from the Sun, i.e., there is less direct sunlight hitting the majority of the Earth's landmass. Less sunlight = less heat.
Variations in Earth orbit and Solar output are but two of the reasons for climate variation. The human-generated carbon dioxide emissions causing Global Warming (and that disasters await around the corner) is a power grab, a case where an ounce of truth has been turned into a pound of lies.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
California just passed a law to control Greenhouse Emissions.
So how are they going to control Water Vapor and Clouds? Are they going to legislate the average humidity allowed each day? Are they going to legislate the average cloud cover allowed each day? Those are the two most influential aspects of the Greenhouse Effect.
Are they going to legislate control over the Long Valley Caldera, where subsurface carbon dioxide emissions, from the volcano, have been killing trees? [Trees like carbon dioxide for their leaves, but they need oxygen around their roots.]
Is California going to legislate how much carbon dioxide can be exhaled from every human, animal, and bacteria in the state? How are they going to control carbon dioxide emissions from the Pacific Ocean? What about volcanoes in Oregon and Washington?
It is just a political power grab. Even some of the proponents of Kyoto admit controlling emissions will have no appreciable effect on the climate. This is just a bad idea that is going to encourage more bad ideas. And if John McCain is the Republican Presidential candidate, he is as much of a Kyoto whore as most Dems. I feel like if I could sit down in a room and talk to Joe Lieberman, I could convince him of my point-of-view concerning the role of carbon dioxide in the Greenhouse Effect (small), but I don't think McCain can be taught.
There are other real pollution issues and other human behaviors that may affect the climate, but I still stand on my opinion that this is just a political animal, as it has been since it was born.
The Cascade Volcanoes (Mount St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, etc.) are a smaller type of volcanoes, called composite volcanoes. Both types of volcanoes, calderas and composites are both capable of producing pyroclastic eruptions, which are the explosive eruptions which consist of gray clouds of superheated gases, volcanic ash, rock fragments, crystals, and pumice fragments, that are capable of moving across the countryside at speeds of up to 125 mph. Ancient pyroclastic flows (also called ash flows) have been traced from composite volcanoes to a distance of 60 miles and from calderas a distance of 100 miles. Once the ash flows begin their travel, a trapped layer of air beneath them serves as a cushion, allowing for less friction and greater travel distances.
These types of eruptions occur in composite and caldera eruptions because of the presence of silica (quartz) in the magmas. Quartz tends to increase the viscosity of magmas and as the magmas rise towards the surface, the quartz makes the magmas "want to freeze", while the trapped gases and liquids "want to boil". If the viscous magma plugs the volcano neck, pressure builds until the immovable object is overcome by the irresistable force, which results in an often catastrophic explosive eruption, a la Mount St. Helens, Mt. Pinatubo, El Chichon, Krakatau (1883), Mt. Vesuvius, etc....
As explosive as composite volcanoes are, calderas are much more so, as the quartz content is usually higher, i.e., the underlying magmas are generally similar to granite and the calderas are usually larger. Another caldera, which is approximately 1 million years old is the Valles Caldera, near Los Alamos, NM.
ABC is televising a special tonight (9 PM EDT) called "The Last Days on Earth", which among other disasters, focuses on the damage that might be done to humanity by a large caldera eruption. The last major caldera eruption occurred about 74,000 years ago (I don't know the exact location, will try to find out). That particular eruption reportedly put a major hurt on the DNA of early humans, i.e., there were mass casualties, apparently.
I will post more on these tomorrow.
While on the Subject of Damage to Our Culture...
There are pop/rock, etc. songs from our youth that we listened to without giving much thought to the lyrics and unfortunately some of these songs are played as we walk through grocery stores or we hear them as "bumper music" on radio shows.
Some of these songs that present less-than-moral messages include "Me and Mrs. Jones" (Billy Paul), "Love the One You're With" (Stephen Stills), "Saving All My Love for You" (Whitney Houston),...there are any number of songs about stealing away to be with a lover (sometimes married) that is not your spouse. What good can come of this?
Aside from John Lennon's insipid Socialist anthem "Imagine", one of the songs that I most despise is "Don't Fear the Reaper", originally by Blue Oyster Cult. I heard a "softer" version of this song as bumper music a few days ago on Laura Ingraham's radio program. I could be wrong, but if you listen to (or read) the lyrics, it seems to me that this is a pro-suicide song. Wikipedia mentions this in their piece on the song. From the Wikipedia piece: Lead guitarist/vocalist Donald Roeser of Blue Oyster Cult, claims it is just about immortal love. My opinion is just one interpretation, but what if a troubled teenager spends too much time listening to this song?
This is not to say that we should ban these songs, but maybe if we just politely ask those playing them - Have your really listened to the lyrics? Being part of popular songs lends a sort of endorsement to these behaviors. Isn't it better if these songs fade into obscurity?
I don't recall the exact song title, but one of the Beatles' songs begins with John Lennon almost shouting "I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to see you with another man." This how the song begins, there is no chance to turn it off if it comes on the radio. Sometimes you can recognize a harmful/offensive passage before it is reached, but not in this case. A Beatles song about abuse of a woman. I know that John attempted to make some amends in later songs - "I Have to Admit It's Getting Better", but what were record execs thinking at the time? Thankfully one doesn't hear the first song much anymore.
How about stalking, as presented in "Every Move You Make" (Sting) or perhaps "One Way or Another" (Blondie)?
These are mainsteam songs, not Marilyn Manson, that I am talking about. These are de facto subliminal messages. These are all just "bricks in the wall" of our cultural decline (sorry for the Pink Floyd pun).
Ahnold Opens the Doors to Increased Human Suffering...
If you have been around the block a few times, you should know by now that when humans break taboos and the sky doesn't immediately fall, it is human nature to break more taboos.
From the article:
"...There is no exception for faith-based organizations or business owners with sincerely held religious convictions, critics note."
So from my reading of this article, if a Muslim daycare center finds that one of its teachers has been engaged in making porno films, if any of the kids are on government assistance, the Muslim daycare center would not be allowed to fire the teacher. And this applies to private schools, as well as public schools, colleges, etc..
Though I am not a lawyer, it seems to me that this is interfering with an aspect of the U.S. Constitution, wherein the ability to make contracts between private entities is codified.
In other words, if the Muslim daycare center wishes to define a code of moral conduct for its employees (that does not otherwise violate existing laws), prior to employment, it cannot enforce that code if there are any connections to government funding, even if it is not the center receiving the funds, but rather those that use the services.
So if teacher Ibrahim decides to buy into a barbeque restaurant that sells pork barbeque, in violation of the conduct code, if a kid's family is receiving government assistance at the Muslim daycare center, Ibrahim cannot be fired. The privately-owned, faith-based business cannot enforce its own, legal rules.
This proves that a fair-weather Conservative can be almost as dangerous as a Lib, if he/she cannot see the value in maintaining a moral underpinning.
There need to be "moral guardrails" to keep the worst of human behavior in check. Of course there are those that will engage in the worst behavior despite laws and rules. But there are also onlookers that will take part if they think they can get away with it with no consequences. And social anarchy will prevail.
What good can come of this? This is an example of the moral decay which causes some Muslims to hate us. It doesn't justify jihad, but it makes it more difficult to win the allegiance of moderates when they see their kids at risk for corruption and decadence.
In the above-linked article, the illegals (and their supporters) are referred to as "counter-protestors". Several of the counter protestors attacked and beat those they identified as loyal to the United States. This is a de facto act of war. No one on the "American side" is calling for anyone's death. The counter protestors were chanting "Death to the Minutemen". We know the long, violent history of Leftist movements.
Of course the "counters" had to have their stupid "It's our continent"-type posters. This is tribalism, racism, and bigotry. They are just brown versions of the Aryan Nations mindset. In their violent, Leftist world, there is no room for anyone that doesn't look like them. To borrow a phrase from Dr. Walter Williams (who used it for the NAACP), these people are "the Klan with a tan".
Whether the incorporation of what is now the southwestern states into the U.S. was completely on the up-and-up is not an issue, for all those involved are dead. The fact is, if by mob-rule, that portion of the United States ever becomes part of Mexico, it will make no damn difference in Mexico's situation. Mexico is a third world country because of its long history of corruption and the lack of private property rights. It is not because anyone "took" anything from anybody 150 years ago. "Annexing" any present-day U.S. territory will make no difference at all. Mexico has sufficient land and resources that they could have a higher standard of living if they would just get off this Leftist victim bandwagon. It is easier to blame someone else than to fix their own problems.
It is high time for Mexico to quit blaming the United States for its problems. Damn the ACLU. When these protests become violent, that is no longer an issue of free speech, rather it becomes a crime. When the American flag is stomped upon and citizens are beaten, the mob should be rounded up and sent south. If American citizens are part of the mob, and they wind up in Mexico, that is too damn bad. They need to learn that citizenship is a valuable privilege, that can be lost. There are millions of people that want to legally enter the United States and they have to wait too long to do so. If you hate the United States so much, then leave.
It is the violence and the refusal to assimilate (encouraged by Leftists) that has been wearing upon the good nerves of American citizens). We don't need this crap when Islamists are trying kill us. Islamists hate Mexico too, but Mexico will never be a threat to their worldwide Sharia intentions, so they don't waste much time attacking Mexico. Rather they cultivate Mexican activists as Useful Idiots.
It is behavior like this that makes Pat Buchanan seem wiser and wiser. As long as he stays off the "blame Israel" bandwagon, he makes a lot of sense. He addresses issues that make us uncomfortable, because deep down we know he is right, for the most part. Becoming an American is supposed to be something special, something strived for. Too many people have come into this country too fast and they have no plans for putting down roots and looking to the future. Assimilation is common sense and necessary to avoid the Balkanization we see in other countries. That is what is different about America. You are supposed to shed those old identities in favor of your new American identity. Buchanan is not a racist, rather he is just taking a hard look at what it takes for a nation to survive without sinking into tribal infighting. That is one of the reasons for the ongoing success of the United States.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Sheila from Chicago...
Sheila's solution to war was to dissolve national boundaries. When Michael returned from a break with John Lennon's "Imagine" playing, he asked her if she was inspired by the song, she replied "Yes" and she also mentioned the book "Conversations with God".
She envisioned an end to Middle Eastern violence between Muslims and Jews if they just dissolved the national boundaries. Yep, Muslims would just quit killing Jews if not for that pesky border. Of course the Muslims want to erase Israel's borders, as part of destroying the country.
She of course wanted to dissolve the borders with Mexico and Canada, so we can share everything (paraphrasing). Finally, upon further questioning by Michael, she admitted that she was in favor of a World Government, so people would quit fighting.
I bet Hillary is going to try to track down Sheila to work in her 2008 campaign, she might even qualify as Secretary of State in the Hillary administration.
So, Meathead Arrives at the Party Late
Meathead claims that Gibson's apologies are not enough, [paraphrasing] Gibson needs to denounce "The Passion of the Christ" as being anti-Semitic. I guess it took Meathead this long (a month) to realize that he couldn't come up with an original thought of his own, so he better "just say something!".
A Few Thoughts on Max Cleland
For the depression, the former Senator has my empathy and prayers. But the news report just had to play a portion of one of his speechs (whether it was a campaign or protest speech, I don't know), in which he used the word "chickenhawk".
He is no longer Senator because he chose union politics during the discussions on creation of the Department of Homeland Security. He is no longer Senator because he chose to break bread with the Hard Left, while his Georgia colleague, Zell Miller chose not to. If not for advancing age, Zell Miller might still be Senator, despite his Democrat Party affiliation (but by now Zell might be having second thoughts, seeing as how they are treating Joseph Lieberman).
Anyway, most of us that support the War on Terror and are aware of the threat of Islamists, do so because we understand the world, not because we have blind faith in President Bush. As for the "chickenhawk" slur, I can never respect Cleland because he used that word. A few months ago, I posted a "boilerplate" praise to be used for politicians that were veterans, to make it clear that we weren't criticizing their military service. This boilderplate praise is in effect now.
What present day politicians, pundits, or average citizens did during the Vietnam War has little to do with the War on Terror. If a present-day politician or pundit made use of a Legal method of avoiding military service, their actions were their actions then, based upon their mindset then. Simply legally avoiding service does not harm the nation as much as did the overseas protests of Bill Clinton or the lying before Congress done by John Kerry. How does Max Cleland reconcile using the word "chickenhawk" when he only has to look at some of his fellow party members and their behavior? The actions of John Kerry after Vietnam have done the country more damage than Rush Limbaugh's not serving, as Kerry has had little good to say about his fellow Vietnam vets, while Rush has repeatedly heaped praise upon U.S. service personnel. There are different ways of serving one's country.
Senator Saxby Chambliss, who defeated Cleland, did not question Cleland's patriotism, but rather his judgement. No one questioned his service, but rather his present day alliances. Minus his Leftist politics, most people would praise Max Cleland for his ability to overcome his wounds, the result of a non-combat hand grenade explosion. Most people would hold him up as a role model for overcoming personal adversity that most of us cannot imagine. But with his adoption of Hard Left attitudes and votes, Cleland lost the favor of the average Georgia voter. Reasoned dissent is one thing, but the Hard Left is not known for that.
So give a prayer for Cleland's overcoming of his personal demons. Maybe afterward, someday he might find the courage to admit some of his political stands were wrong.
Monday, August 28, 2006
A Katrina Afterthought...
One point that I made this morning (in a roundabout way) was that Mayor Nagin should have been on the phone more with Governor Blanco. The Superdome and the Convention Center should not have been the desginated final destinations for evacuees. Those flooded school buses should have instead been on I-10, going northward and westward (to higher ground) toward Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, etc.. Nagin could have said "they are coming". Colleges and universities, and other venues in those cities could have been opening up for some of the evacuees. Governor Blanco could have been on the phone with Governor Perry of Texas, if Baton Rouge was (in the pressure of the moment) judged not workable.
Early on, before the hurricane was "next door", Laurel and Hattiesburg, MS were plausible escape destinations, both of which are on higher ground, up I-59. Governor Blanco could have been on the phone with Governor Barbour of Mississippi. Maybe she was just too damn good to be talking to those damn Republican Governors in TX and MS.
Go back and reread this Popular Mechanics piece, before the MSM/Dem stuff rots your brain.
The Superdome and Convention Center should have been the final destinations for stragglers, once "it was too late" to leave the city (and be exposed on I-10). This is not year-after quarterbacking, this is what advance planning is about. They are supposed to brainstorm about contingency plans A, B, C,...
Aside from hurricane damage, New Orleans faces the possibility of future river flooding as it did in 1927 and the possibility of a major shipping-related incident, similar to the 1947 Texas City, Texas explosions, that killed a reported 468 people and left 100 more missing. It also faces the possibility of the Mississippi River breaching into the Atchafalaya River channel (to the north), which would greatly harm the shipping industry for the New Orleans area. This possibility was recognized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950s. [Note: I had trouble opening the Wikipedia links.] The most probable site for breachment into the shorter Atchafalaya channel is in the vicinity of Simmesport, LA, north of Baton Rouge. From there it is about 100 miles to the Gulf, vs. 300 miles in the present Mississippi River channel, due to the progressive growth of the Miss. Delta.
Local officials are supposed to know the local conditions and then ask the Federal Government for help, after the local plans have been put into motion. The Big Easy culture should not extend into the Mayor's office, but Mayor Nagin will not have been the first to have been influenced, as such. It was just his time when the most-feared scenario became reality.
Revisiting the Spike Lee Katrina "Documentary"
Today, Star Parker does a much better job of dissecting this questionable (at best) effort. From Ms. Parker's column:
"...Since Lee already knew the truth, he didn't have much need to examine material such as "A Failure of Initiative," Congress' investigation into Katrina, which shows failure and breakdown at all levels of government – local, state and federal. It also was of little interest to Lee that primary responsibility for disaster preparation and management is at the level of local and state government, not federal.
But New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin comes off in the production as just one cool dude. He shows up at regular intervals over the four-hour production, talking New Orleans jive and being one straightforward sincere guy who was trying to do his job.
No mention is made of the hurricane simulations and emergency evacuation plans that he totally ignored. No reference is made to the famous picture of the parking lot filled with flooded school buses that Nagin chose not to use to evacuate residents in poor areas."
"...Perhaps most sad is that in four hours Lee has nothing positive to say about America and Americans. No mention is made of the $700 million from private citizens and churches that were committed in the first few days of the tragedy. No mention is made of the thousands of homes across the nation that welcomed evacuees. No mention is made of the tens of thousands who have successfully rebuilt their lives."
Oliver Stone was somehow able to break out of his established paradigm to produce "World Trade Center". It is evident that Spike Lee hasn't done so to do this HBO film. Maybe somehow Spike knew that the mainstream culture would not support his film in theaters, especially if it is 4 hours long.
If Al Gore or John Kerry had been President, some aspects of Katrina would have been no different at all. The flood gates and levees still would have failed. Would Gore or Kerry have even had the leadership to call for an evacuation (which was ignored)? I believe that either of them would have blamed tax cuts and the Republican control of Congress for the lack of money for levee upgrades and/or other aspects of preparedness.
Local and state officials know the local and state conditions best. That is why they are expected to be first responders.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Not a Good Night at Bristol for the Petty Team
I had hoped for something better. As we don't have cable and I didn't listen to the radio broadcast, I don't know exactly what happened, but Bobby Labonte finished 23rd (2 laps down) and Kyle Petty finished 34th (19 laps down).
I checked NASCAR's website, but I didn't see a summary of how many caution flags there were. Maybe Lucky Dawg will tell me (I am just curious how close I was to being right about the 15).
I was hoping that the hiring of Bobby Labonte would provide some momentum and at times, it seemed to be that way. It would be nice to see #43 and #45 in Victory Lane once in a while.
I Wonder if This is Just a Failure to Explain a Policy Well?
The stated policy as put forth in the article is:
"...As you may know, eBay does not permit items that are illegal, dangerous, offensive, or potentially infringing. Additionally, eBay has just recently made the decision to prohibit the sale of Teacher's Editions of textbooks and solutions manuals that are intended solely for use by teachers. Since eBay strives to be a level-playing field, all Teacher's Edition textbooks, manuals and guides will be covered under this policy. Unfortunately, home schooling Teacher's Editions are not exempt from this policy and this policy will apply to all grade levels." (Emphasis added).
There are a couple of logical reasons for not allowing sale of Teacher's editions with answer keys, and other features. These, in my opinion could be:
1.) ebay is concerned that students might be purchasing Teacher's Editions to give themselves a "leg up" on the rest of the class.
2.) ebay is concerned that teachers may be selling textbooks given to them by their respective institutions.
Regarding #2, I have accumulated a small collection of Geology and Environmental Science textbooks over the last 5 1/2 years of teaching, given to me by my junior college science department. As long as I am employed by them, I interpret that these books are fair game for use as reference materials, but strictly speaking, they are not my property. I doubt that I have the "right" to sell the books that I no longer use. When my teaching duties end at this institution (this junior college is being phased out in favor of a new four-year college on the same campus), I will ask them about the status of the books.
If they tell me the books are mine to do with as I please, then I will consider that to be a "green light" to sell them if desired. Not that I would. I still have some of my geology textbooks from 30 or more years ago. I haven't sold any of them, though I may have lost a few along the way, while moving.
So rather than taking this as an attack against homeschoolers, it may be that ebay hasn't explained all of the reasons for their policy. So, until we know more, perhaps we should restrain ourselves from ebay attacks. It may just be hyper-cautious lawyers.
Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Quashing Dissent
Referring to one of these bills, SB 1437:
"...Democrat Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez proclaimed, "The real purpose of SB 1437 is to outlaw traditional perspectives on marriage and family in the state school system."
He continued, "The way you correct a wrong (perspective) is by outlawing.’Cause if you don't outlaw it, then people's biases tend to take over and dominate the perspective and the point of view."" (Emphasis added on both quotes).
Well, you can tell where free speech, free thought, and open debate rank with this bozo.
When I was a Classical Liberal, the idea of open, free-spirited debate was welcomed. I wanted to hear what the "opposition" was thinking. That is why I listened to Rush Limbaugh when he debuted on 1380AM KTSM in August 1988. I don't think I caught his first day, as we had been out of town on vacation, but I think I caught him within his first week.
Because I was a Classical Liberal, I actually felt I had a duty to listen to the opposition. When I would get annoyed, I would turn off the radio for a few minutes and then turn it back on to see what else he was talking about. And after a while, he started to make sense.
I wouldn't even have considered banning opposing viewpoints. But then that is one big reason why Modern Liberals ain't.
I hope Ahnold has the huevos to veto this bill and its related companions. I may have missed it, but I don't think that Kevin listed any of the other bill numbers.
Kevin's description of one of the other bills suggests that the measure seeks:
"...to cripple any state resources such as fire department or police protection for any religious institution (i.e. a Bible based church) that would in any way demonstrate negative "doctrine" or "propaganda".
So it goes in the land of "fruits and nuts". I don't know if Ahnold's Administration would pay much attention to well-written letters from non-Californians, except he has to know that these mindsets affect plenty of mainstream people that consider choosing to visit and/or perhaps moving to California.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Here's Wishing the Petty Team Well Tonight for the Bristol Race
Both drivers could well use some good finishes. But knowing what crashfests Bristol races can be, chances are probably not good for both to finish in the Top 10. Even if you do everything right, someone else's screwup can take you out, as Bristol is like driving around inside a large bowl and it is difficult to avoid trouble. Expect at least 15 (+/-) caution flags, most of which for spins and crashes.
What Good Can Come of This?
Because the reruns are on later at night than the "current" showings (that ended this year), I sometimes watch them after the local FOX affiliate news.
One one particular episode (not worrying with details), Eric & Kelso bounce a bowling ball on the living room couch in the Foreman's home, after Hyde suggests that they not do so. The bowling ball bounces off the couch and into Red's console TV, shattering the screen.
When Red is later surveying the damage, he asks Eric and Hyde (Kelso having escaped) - "What good can come of bouncing a bowling ball on the couch?".
Perhaps this is some way of phrasing modern issues, when in conversations with "Moderates" and/or reachable "libs" (it won't work on Moonbats).
For instance, if an MSM-informed person makes a comment suggesting that the Boy Scouts allow gay Scoutmasters, politely ask them "What good can come of it?". Politely make them think about it. I believe that Dr. Phil may ask this question sometimes, perhaps in a different form.
As for the "Plan B" program granting over-the-counter status to "The Morning After Pill", as reported here on WND, Steve Malzberg (sp.?), sitting in for Hugh Hewitt, yesterday asked this question. Can anything good come from this? As I an neither a doctor, a biochemist, nor a pharmo-chemist, I don't know the exact way that these drugs work. But what kind of message are the libs in favor of this sending? It makes casual sex easier for teens. That is what the libs want to say. Eighteen is supposed to be the lower age limit, but how can it be kept away from 12 and 13 year-old girls? When people enter into an intense relationship, often expectations are different, based upon psychological and physiological differences between the genders. Engaging in sex before they have the maturity to deal with the different expectations (between the genders) will not turn out well for most. It can be difficult enough when one is older.
But the libs do not dwell in the real world. Making some aspects of condoms obsolete will mean more disease communication. The hedonists want a world of sex with no consequences. Just do it, take a pill a couple of days later and everything is OK. If you get a disease, they want there to be pills for that also. There is no need for a committed relationship. In the words of Stephen Stills - "Love the One You're With" (another one of those stupid pop tunes that gets played without people thinking of what the lyrics are actually advocating).
What teens and young adults may think they want looks different when observed from ages forty and fifty. Casual sex of course seems like a good idea when one is short on wisdom, but in the long run - "What good can come of this?"? Unplanned pregnancies can be a deterrent to promiscuity. If just taking a pill deletes this deterrent, socially, what will the long-term results be?
And what will be the long-term results of these "short-term" blasts of hormones? What will the passage of decades reveal as to the results?
What Good Can Come of This? The easy path is often not the best path.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Tropical Storm Ernesto Bears Watching
One of the concerns regarding throwing too much money at New Orleans in a haphazard way was that the same thing might happen the next year. It is too far in advance to say which way this hurricane might go, presuming it does reach its predicted destination and holds together.
While on the NOAA website, I picked up these links:
Landfalls by major Atlantic hurricanes (≥3) 1851-1860 (6); 1861-1870 (1); 1871-1880 (7); 1881-1890 (5); 1891-1900 (8); 1901-1910 (4); 1911-1920 (7); 1921-1930 (5); 1931-1940 (8); 1941-1950 (10); 1951-1960 (8); 1961-1970 (6); 1971-1980 (4); 1981-1990 (5); 1991-2000 (5); and 2001-2005 (7). Give a look so you can make some comparisons. The numbers by themselves do not tell the entire story, but they do provide some insights.
More will be posted as we near the first anniversary of Katrina.
Another Example of the Media Double Standard
"That’s alright. You guys in New York can’t get a hole in the ground fixed and it’s five years later. So let’s be fair."
This may reveal much of the Dem mindset. Ground Zero is just a hole in the ground and the Islamist war against the West is just a fabrication. Folks in glass houses...
Now if Newt Gingrich had referred to the Lower 9th Ward damage as "natural urban renewal", the MSM/Libs would be screaming for months. Chris Matthews would wonder if any hate speech charges could be filed against the former House Speaker. Hillary would weigh in on the comments with remarks suggesting the lack of response by Conservative charities. Charles Rangel would blame the un-removed debris on National Guard members being assigned to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Will any Dems tell Nagin to "sit down and shut up"? Will they try to justify his remarks, or just ignore them and hope the public forgets?
I don't mind pundits/comedians, etc., that dole out criticism and satire to both sides of the political aisle, when deserved, but those are the rare exceptions.
Maybe I am commenting too soon, maybe we need to wait for the public/media reaction. I just don't expect much.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
From there I started listening to AM680 WRNG radio in the late 1960s/early 1970s, the first talk station in Atlanta, where Neal Boortz began his radio career, first as a caller, then as a host, after one of the hosts committed suicide.
But on to the subject at hand. I noted with pleasure today that gasoline was down to $2.71 a gallon at a local Shell station.
I predict that if gasoline prices continue to slowly fall, through September and then October, someone is going to blame it on a deal between President Bush and VP Cheney and their oil company buddies to benefit the Republicans. Never mind that this decline is too late in the year to make a noticeable change in the economy (for political purposes). Such a deal would need to have been made perhaps in April or May for the benefits to show economically later in the year.
Of course it can't be the normal ebb-and-flow of the marketplace, i.e., changes in supply and demand. It has to be a conspiracy.
But then I could be wrong. Last year I predicted that someone would do an updated version of John Lennon's insipid socialist anthem "Imagine" to mark the 25th anniversary of his death. If anyone did, I never heard it (which is just as well, as I despise the song).
Just Another Reminder That, as We Approach the 5th Anniversary of 9/11...
The Islamist threat is bigger than Al Qaida and 9/11 was not a "one-act play". The 9/11 attack was simply an ongoing part of their war against the West. It was a single "battle" in a war from which we have been largely shielded because of the width of the oceans.
This war has intensified over the decades because the West didn't have the stomach to go after the major players and their sponsors. You can't negotiate unless both parties fear losing something in a protracted conflict. But the Islamist mindset is in love with death.
Before 9/11, Iraq was known to be a sponsor, as were many Middle Eastern Muslim nations. Not that the leaders of all of these nations liked the terrorists, but sponsoring them was like paying the Mafia "protection money". Holding the United States and Israel up as "Great Satans" large and small, allowed the leaders of these nations to focus their peoples' attention away from problems at home. It provided them scapegoats. It provided an enemy for the zealots.
It is going to be years, if not decades before we can say we are "safe".
We can say we are safer, in some ways, than we were 5 years ago, but because of the lack of unity and infighting in the West, orchestrated by European Socialists and their bastard "American" philosophical stepchildren, we have lost some of the forward momentum that we might have gained by way of our resolute response to 9/11.
Islamists' recruitment efforts will fail when it becomes clear that they will not be allowed to prevail in this clash-of-cultures. But it is going to take years of "terrible resolve" before this happens. The idea of invading Iraq and Afghanistan was to disable their terror-sponsorships and try to establish "islands of stability", wherein people can see that there is something beyond the 7th century attitudes of the Islamist zealots.
Right now, in our major cities, you can open the "yellow pages" and find any church that you want. You can even start your own church. Islamists hate that freedom. They gleefully kill other Muslims over differences in interpretations of the Qu'ran.
If Sharia becomes the ruling paradigm over the world decades from now, what of the issues "libs" love to claim to support? Reproductive freedom, Gay Rights, Diversity, Women's Rights, Environmental Protection,...will have no future.
Do Democrats such as Kerry, Kennedy, Reid, et al, have the courage to fight the good fight? Especially if they are beholden to the Loud Left? If another major attack happens, some of them will blame the U.S. and President Bush instead of the Islamists. The Left is so steeped in hatred of our nation, some of them will never be loyal.
It is not a Hollywood movie that plays itself out in 2 hours. It will take decades. What will the future look like for our children, if we don't try?
I Think We are All Being Taken for a Ride...
It is normal for the public to want to see some closure, but I think this creep is taking the MSM, et al, for a ride, as part of his own sick fantasies.
And because the Ramsey family and the Karr family both have Atlanta ties, we are swamped here with news coverage. If early evidence, e.g., DNA, discounts JMK's involvement, look for some to start to paint him as a victim, if that hasn't started already (I am trying not to pay attention).
CBS Does Their Part to Promote Balkanization
Without having wasted too much time reading about this, one has to wonder is this just a trial balloon to garner publicity?
One of the hallmarks of Modern Libs is that they like to consider people's identity based upon their ethnic group, rather than see them as individuals. It seems lost upon them that focusing on group identity devalues the individual and leads to tribalism, racism, bigotry, and stereotyping, things they claim to decry. Watch what they do, not what they say, as they accuse Conservatives of the very things they themselves, the anointed Liberals, practice.
I haven't seen a single episode of "Survivor" in its entirety (sp.?), and when I do find it on TV, I usually only need a couple of minutes to satisfy any sort of curiosity. I don't know how teams were put together before, nor do I care. This gives me even less of a reason to watch.
Yes, you can watch for entertainment's sake, but don't expect to get anything useful out of it.
Sometimes Troubles are Blessings in Disguise
One of our concerns of the last year or so is the same as many parents of teenagers and post-teenagers. Where are our kids and what are they up to? After having broken up with a long-time boyfriend, our 19 and 1/2 year-old daughter felt the need to "play the field" and hang out with a wide variety of people. Some nights we didn't know where she was, the only contact was a cellphone which she might or might not answer. She was managing to hold down one or two part-time jobs then and now, but there were some adventures.
She is now back with her boyfriend (who is from a good family), so at least we know where she is if she doesn't come home until early morning.
Not a perfect situation, but it is a blessing when compared to what some friends of mine from college are going through.
I received an email from the husband (David) whom I have known for 30+ years relating what he and his wife Susan (whom I've known almost as long) regarding what their 18 year-old daughter has been doing. The daughter had always been a good student, though painfully shy when she was younger. She did become more sociable as she got older, but as high school graduation approached, when college plans were already set, she announced that she was moving to Lima, Peru to be with a man she met (and fallen in love with) online.
Now they haven't heard from her in seven weeks. Through law enforcement officials in Lima, they have ascertained (as well as one could) that this mystery man doesn't seem to have a criminal record. But beyond that, they don't know.
David and Susan are good folks and they need your prayers for a good outcome to this situation. I am sure their daughter didn't approach them to discuss the matter for she knew that they would try to talk her out of it. If she survives and becomes a parent (hopefully at the right time), when she is in her thirties and forties, she will understand.
We fretted when our daughter was staying with "who knows who", 30 miles from here, but at least we had a cell phone number and her car tag number. It is hard to imagine how it feels when a daughter runs away, thousands of miles to a foreign country to be with a "cyber stranger". Hopefully, Lima, Peru is better than Bangkok, Thailand or Teheran, Iran as far as cultural divides go.
Count your blessings and learn to recognize those that may be in disguise.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
So It Begins on the First Day of Class
So what does English class have to do with politics? How is opening a class, in that fashion, of benefit to the students? How will it foster open discussions? [Oh, that's right, most libs do not have the confidence to allow dissent.]
I have suggested that my daughter not engage the teacher in any debates until she can tell how open-minded he is, i.e., is he likely to take dissent in stride or will he be vindictive towards students that disagree? Also, I want her to pick her battles carefully.
I generally do not reveal my Conservative/Libertarian viewpoints to my class, as such, but the internet links are there on my website and I make references to support for the free-market system, the benefits of the Fair Tax, etc., to allow some of them "figger it out" on their own. I usually make a point of saying that no one philosophy has all of the answers (no, I am not a purist, but rather a pragmatist), so as to maintain a setting conducive to discussion and learning, in contrast to the narrow-minded Leftist Moonbats regularly displayed on FrontPageMag and elsewhere.
And when I teach Environmental Science, after relating my views on the current "Global Warming paradigm", some of the students still don't seem to understand where I am coming from, so in private I just roll my eyes when grading term papers or homework. I do see some nods of understanding from some of them, others I just can't reach. But I do not allow disagreements to affect their grades. I guess I am just more Liberal that the "Liberals" are.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I Think Juan Williams' Credentials as a Liberal are Pretty Clear...
I consider Juan Williams to be a somewhat sensible "lib", i.e., he usually doesn't stray into Moonbat territory.
Now he has stepped into a hornet's nest as he addresses an issue touched on before by Bill Cosby, Shelby Steele, and others (usually Conservatives), i.e., in many respects, Black Americans are now their own worst enemies. This linked article on FrontPageMag is worthy of a read.
And witness the treatment he gets from the "tolerant Liberals".
As Surely as the Seasons Change...
Rather than watch GMA this morning, I was watching the local FOX affiliate. One of their reporters interviewed Spike Lee about his upcoming HBO Hurricane Katrina movie. There is some historical value to the images presented in the movie, but of course he lets his skewed political views get in the way in this "documentary".
With only the local interview to go on, Spike did make the accurate assessment that there was blame to go around, but he focused it at the top (what did you expect?). One of the concepts left behind by Sigmund Freud is "projection", whereby we are reminded that people project their prejudices and faults onto other people. That seems especially true when the "projector" is unwilling to face their own faults. In other words, people that are "ate up" with hatred project their level of hatred onto other people.
Despite his many flaws and misdirections, I think the President Bush is a decent person, i.e., there is no credible evidence that he hates black people. When race-baiters make this charge, they are just projecting their own prejudices and hates.
One point that Spike repeated several times was that it took President Bush 12 days to personally reach the hurricane-devastated area, in contrast to President Clinton's expected reaction.
Without being too crude, President Clinton was/is a "media whore", i.e., a person that needs to be in the limelight. I think there is ample evidence that President Bush is not as interested in hogging the limelight. He knows that his appearance at a disaster sight early-on is going to be a distraction. But with critics such as these, he cannot win. If he shows up too early, it is a "photo-op".
The Federal Government cannot and should not be expected to cover every need. Since hurricanes seem to "have a mind of their own" as to where they go, you cannot ship supplies into the area until the hurricane is past. You cannot establish staging areas before landfall, as they might get destroyed themselves. Do you remember Hurricane Andrew? Homestead Air Force Base was a natural staging area for relief efforts, except it was destroyed by the hurricane. That hindered early assistance efforts in south Florida.
As for responsibility, it is the responsibility of the local officials to begin preparations, as they know the local conditions. A hurricane is different from an earthquake. Galveston reportedly had their school bus fleet gassed and ready to go. Ray Nagin doesn't bear all of the blame either, he was probably continuing the established "path of least resistance" left to him by prior mayoral administrations. Ordering mass evacuations by school buses is not an easy task and if it turned out to be a "false alarm", there would be plenty of carping, but what choice is there?
There is plenty of grist for discussion about all of the components that contributed to the "New Orleans situation", the existing southern Louisiana - Huey Long - "government will take care of you" mindset, the terrain, the limited escape routes, the diversion of Corps of Engineer funds to other projects at the expense of levee improvements,.... When you consider all of these issues, New Orleans is probably one of the worst places in the nation for a hurricane disaster to strike.
And does the Spike Lee film spend any time along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, e.g., Waveland, Pass Christian, Diamondhead, Biloxi, Gulfport,...?
Many in the natural audience for the Spike Lee film are already innoculated with prejudice against the President's Administration and there will be examples of "The Big Lie" repeated over and over again with little or no rebuttal. This ain't 1927 nor 1965 we are talking about. No one is going to order the deliberate destruction of a levee nor flood gate "to save white neighborhoods".
Jesse Jackson tried that sort of thing after the 1994 Tropical Storm Alberto flood in Albany, Georgia. During the flood, Georgia Power Company had opened the gates at their "power dam" at the northern end of Albany (the water level was the same on both sides of the dam, i.e., the whole "damn" area was flooded). This was done to try to save the gates, as they would be needed for the generation of electrical power after the flood was over. It made no difference in what was flooded and what wasn't. But of course Jesse had to try to make a racial issue of it. Supposedly a local black official told him to get lost.
As we approach the first anniversary, we need to remember that between Katrina and Rita, some 90,000 square miles of the Gulf Coast was heavily affected. It ain't going to be fixed overnight, no matter how much money is thrown at it. We have already heard plenty of horror stories of mismanagement of FEMA and other agencies. Bob Barr, on his radio show, mentioned that $68,000 (I think) of taxpayer money was spent on "dog booties" that were never used. It's bad enough that money is being spent on things like this, but then the items never even get used. It is just side effect of the Federal Government being too involved.
This ain't TV land, where crews can tear down and rebuild a home if a few days and then compress it into a one hour TV show. Whether it is hurricane damage or the War on Terror, Hollywood has skewed (and screwed up) our time perspective. We expect too much too soon.
Try to imagine the conditions in 1900 after the Galveston hurricane and it's estimated death toll of 8,000 to 12,000. Imagine trying to get relief supplies to an area when the railroad tracks were torn up, before there were ever trucks and multiple paved highways, before there were airplanes and helicopters. As recounted in the book "Isaac's Storm", this storm forever changed the course of Texas history, as before the hurricane, Galveston was on par to be as much of an economic player as was Houston, perhaps more.
Go ahead and watch Spike Lee's movie, if you wish, but just keep things in perspective, because you know that many people will accept Spike Lee's words as the gospel truth. In some fashion, Spike Lee "looks smarter" than Michael Moore, and that might make him more effective at delivering his "tainted message".
Monday, August 21, 2006
Back in 2001,...
Barbara Simpson has a WND article about an effort by Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa to open up migration routes and park area for the preservation of large mammals and their habitats. But she recounts the past problems in Zimbabwe and the coming problems in South Africa if they persist in following Zimbabwe's farm "repatriation" efforts. South Africa says they are not going to make the same mistakes, but their actions suggest otherwise.
Ultimately, poverty is one of the biggest causes of pollution and environmental degradation. When people are worried about mere survival, they can't worry about ten years "down the road", nor what sustainability means.
Barbara Simpson also recounts some of the killing of large animals, apparently just for target practice and spite. For the first twenty years or so of independence, Zimbabwe was Africa's breadbasket. Now they are just a basketcase, due to the loss of private property rights in the "name of fairness". One could argue that some of the land was "taken" decades ago, but two wrongs do not make a right. There were ongoing efforts to teach farming to more of the black Zimbabweans, by the white farmers, but rather than pushing the white farmers for more progress, the Mugabe government just decided to take their successful farms for the sake of vengeance against "the colonialists" and their descendents.
Those that forget the past...
One of the Benefits of Southern Living...
It Ain't Peanuts We Talkin' About
We need to bear in mind Jimmah's contribution to the growth of the Islamist mindset, by his failure to support the Shah of Iran (a flawed, but loyal ally) and his efforts to combat mistakes in the intelligence community by eviscerating our intelligence-gathering organizations. What I am saying is that there was some misbehavior, but the response in cutting back was going too far. Another "brick in the wall" was the response by the U.S. Marine guards at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran. I don't know if it was personal choice or orders from above that kept them from fighting back when the embassy was invaded in 1979. Firing back and even fighting to the death might have garnered more respect from the Middle-Eastern culture, rather than the tepid response and blather that followed the invasion. From my understanding, the U.S. Embassy in any country is considered U.S. soil and vice versa for other nations. So if someone of authority told the guards not to fire back, then there some blame should be placed.
As before, blame is also spread to the Reagan Administration for the lack of response to the bombing of the Marine compound in Beirut in 1983. And who was responsible for the reportedly unloaded rifles carried by the guards at the Marine compound? Caspar Weinberger? One of those Marines was one of my best friends from Kindergarten until 6th grade, though we drifted apart after that.
Has Jimmah ever admitted to any mistakes in his Administration regarding the Middle East? Anwar Sadat's backbone made the Camp David Peace Agreement work and it cost him his life a few years later. Sadat was of good character when compared to many of the modern players.
Jimmah Carter's Administration was a time when the "ounce of prevention" could have paid great dividends by now. Even as a Classical Liberal, I liked President Reagan's resolve, his backbone, though I disagreed with (or didn't understand) some of his policies.
The Iraq invasion as part of the War on Islamic Terror is the "ounce of prevention stage" to try to prevent future (and possibly worse) 9/11 style attacks. Aside from Iraq being a prior sponsor of terror (at least by aid and comfort), it can serve as a staging area from which to launch attacks against other sponsors, but those efforts are being subverted, at the expense of future American and other lives.
Quitting will only embolden them. The London airliner plot is not a sign of any policy failure, this kind of stuff was going on before 9/11. We were told on 9/20/01 that it was going to be a long war. Some of us were watching before 9/11. Some of us remember the killing of the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics and all of the attacks against the West since then.
The easy thing ain't the right thing.
Friday, August 18, 2006
A Reminder of the Role of Useful Idiots...
If we suffer another catastrophic attack while President Bush is still in office, of course the Useful Idiots will admit no responsibility. While briefly feigning loyalty, the UIs will rally with the nation for a short while, then resume their attacks, blaming the President's policies and his being "orchestrated by Zionists" as the reason for the attack.
Though it might decades to play out, if "we" lose, what will be the role of the UIs under Sharia-driven laws? Will they be shocked at the lack of freedom? At the lack of respect for other religions? Will they be shocked at the treatment of homosexuals under Sharia? How many of them will blame themselves and their Leftist mentors?
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Just a Reminder about the 2005 Hurricane Season vs. the 2006 Hurricane Season
Where are we now, this year? Isn't Chris the latest of the Atlantic named storms? That is not to say that things can't get "wild and wooly" in the next few weeks, but it is just a reminder that you can have quiet intervals during an active cycle.
Here is a good link to the history of the 2005 Hurricane Season. This and related NOAA webpages provide some historical perspective by showing activity prior to 1970, which Leftists and the MSM use as the "baseline" for comparison of current activity to past activity. That is without reminding readers/listeners that the last "quiet cycle" began about 1970, so they are highlighting the current active cycle against the background of a quiet cycle.
The Seminar Callers were Busy...
A couple of them recited the old lines about "we gave Saddam Hussein $5 million in weapons, yada, yada..." referring to the Iran-Iraq War.
Yes, we gave some support to Saddam during the Reagan Administration, not because we thought he was a swell guy, but because we didn't want Iran to prevail, as we saw Iran as the greater threat at the time.
It is my understanding that we also gave some under-the-table help to Iran, to insure that neither country won. We didn't want a power vaccum (on either side) in the area, we wanted the war to be fought to a standstill, which it was.
All of this was in response to Jimmah Carter's interview in Der Spiegel, wherein he essentially pronounced himself as representing the majority of Democrat voters and wherein he made more of his patented attacks on Israel.
Here follows a little of the interview:
"Carter: No, as a matter of fact, the concerns I exposed have gotten even worse now with the United States supporting and encouraging Israel in its unjustified attack on Lebanon.
SPIEGEL: But wasn't Israel the first to get attacked?
Carter: I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza. I do not think that's justified, no."
[I know that the readers that stop by here are smart enough to know the difference, but I just got to rant a little.]
I think we know that the "entire nation of Lebanon" is not undergoing "massive bombing". Just a couple of nights ago, one of the MSM national broadcasts (I wasn't paying attention to which one) had a piece on Christian Lebanese living in East Beirut and how life was fairly normal for them. Because they weren't involved in attacking Israel!
Israel is not attacking the civilian population of Gaza or southern Lebanon. They are attacking the Hezbollah (and other terrorists) that choose to hide among the civilians in these areas. Not disregarding mistakes on Israel's part, but time after time, they have given land back and what do they get for it? They get attacked by people that obey no rules of civilized behavior.
The Islamists, including the Palestinians and their shills, have made it clear that they want all of the land, conveniently ignoring the archeological evidence and the history recorded in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. They and their enablers say the Jews can go back to Europe and Russia, etc..
Though the UN's role in the "creation" of modern Israel in 1948 wasn't perfect, the "Palestinians" were offered a homeland, too. And if the surrounding Muslim nations actually gave a damn, they could have helped settle those refugees that were displaced (and those that chose to leave Israel voluntarily).
Many of the Muslim nations surrounding Israel (and those beyond) are just like modern Democrats in this country. They don't want to solve problems, they perpetuate them in order to use the problems to their political advantage. Israel has accepted Jews displaced from other countries since its creation. The surrounding Muslim nations could have helped settle the displaced "Palestinians", if they really wanted to.
Back to the idiocy of the interview:
"SPIEGEL: One main points of your book is the rather strange coalition between Christian fundamentalists and the Republican Party. How can such a coalition of the pious lead to moral catastrophes like the Iraqi prison scandal in Abu Ghraib and torture in Guantanamo?"
The night shift getting into trouble at Abu Ghraib has nothing to do with American Christian "fundamentalists" and what passes for "torture" at Gitmo is minor compared to what went on in Iraq under Saddam and goes on elsewhere even now.
Again, "Christian fundamentalist" is a buzzword that means little in reality. There just ain't that many of them. Yes, some of them bluster, but the mainstream of Conservative Christians are just normal folks. They generally don't approve when our people go over the line, but most of them understand that "stuff goes on during war". And "our bad stuff" doesn't compare to "their bad stuff".
Pam at Blogmeister USA posted on this same issue (go read her post) and included this link to a Washington Times article reminding us of the WWII Nazi-Muslim connection, which often gets "glossed" over. [I started this rant before I read her post.]
It is much easier for Leftists to make the false charge of Nazis being Christians rather than admit that the party line was paganism. Yes, some WWII-era Germans were Christians, but the Nazi Party itself was into paganism.
A few years ago, while web-surfing, I found my way to an Aryan Nations-type website that claimed that the New Testament Gospels were nothing more than a "Jewish invention". Well, Jesus was a Jew and even now there are claims that he spoke Hebrew, rather than Aramaic, according to a new book highlighted on WND. So even now, the Nazi-Christian connection that Leftists try to make doesn't really exist.
Cynthia McKinney Just Can't Grasp the Fact...
Our course it has to be because of the electronic voting machines.
Now I do agree that electronic voting machines should leave a paper trail, not a sheet of paper with every vote, but perhaps once an hour, a hard-copy summary should be produced in case of a SNAFU/power failure, or whatever.
As for blaming cross-over voting, again she cannot grasp her own responsibility. The Republicans would rather her be the opponent for their November candidate, rather than a more effective Hank Johnson, Jr. (or Denise Majette in 2002). The people of the 4th Congressional District have gotten tired of Cynthia and they want to move on, when they are presented with a decent choice.
Does Cynthia ever experience moments of self-reflection when she asks herself "What am I doing wrong"? Does she ever pray for guidance and self-improvement? Need I really ask?
Did We Really Expect the Lebanese Army to Disarm Hezbollah?
In the meantime, though it ain't really news, here is a link to a Washington Times story about this non-story.
We should know the pattern by now. Hezbollah will use the cease-fire to rearm and then blame Israel when the fighting starts again. I really don't think the Lebanese Army is strong enough to stand up to Syria and Iran, by kicking Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon.
Just remind the uninformed that Israel had been out of southern Lebanon since 2000. It ain't just about the kidnapped soldiers. They just want to be left alone. Israel's human rights record, while not perfect, is far better than that of any of their neighbors.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
So, is Pepsi Giving the U.S. the "Middle Finger"...
This Reuter's article, informs us of Ms. Nooyi's appointment, but until the next-to-last paragraph doesn't mention that in a speech last year, she likened the United States to the world's "middle finger". Yeah, she apologized, but that doesn't change her mindset.
So who else has the resources and willpower to lead the battle with the Islamists in this clash of cultures? Does Ms. Nooyi think she would be CEO of Pepsi if Sharia was the law of the land (or world)? If our behavior is the reason for the world's disdain (any Muslim misbehavior), then why has India been such a target for Islamist terror?
Yeah lady, we make mistakes, but much of the world's dislike is because of jealousy. And some of it because we haven't followed through on some past-commitments (sp.?). That is the reason for there not being more cooperation in Iraq, because some Iraqis fear our pulling out, especially in the wake of any significant Democrat victories in this country.
The Islamists hear the disunity, probably better than the North Vietnamese/Viet Cong did in the late 1960s. That earlier disunity was why Vietnam became "Vietnam" and it cost the lives of tens of thousands of Americans and Vietnamese.
I think I will be easing off of Mountain Dew as one of my favored beverages, in favor of unsweet ice tea and/or water (need to lose some more weight, anyway).
Monday, August 14, 2006
You Gotta Hand it to Those Muslim Terrorists...
Here is a link to a video summation of the Lebanon photo frauds, so far. Advisory: It was sent to me by my friend "Beer Can Bill" and my home computer ain't working yet and I haven't been able to watch this at the library, so I haven't reviewed it.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Going Camping This Weekend...
Check out Michael Medved's radio show for the best Moonbat phone calls or Mike Gallagher for reaction to Amanda's call yesterday. Amanda forgot that when you insert yourself into the arena of public debate, you risk taking your lumps. She said she couldn't judge the nineteen 9/11 hijackers as evil unless she knew their reasons. That is the same kind of Leftist mindset that refuses to equate Hitler, Stalin, et al, with evil. Because they don't want to take a firm stand.
Have a good weekend. And offer your prayers please.
Gee, for Some Reason, the MSM Never Reminds Us...
Senator Al Gore, Sr. was tight with Armand Hammer, head of Occidental Petroleum for years and the Gore family continues to benefit with hundreds of thousands of dollars of Occidental Petroleum stock. Armand Hammer, for those unaware, was also a de facto Soviet agent, not a spy, but he helped Soviet leaders secure hard cash from the left to prop up their evil empire.
According to this Wikipedia post, Hammer was the odd combination of a Republican (politically) while he did the bidding of Soviet leaders. I guess he was a pragmatist above all.
The FrontPageMag article also mentions the Gore family's leasing of land in Carthage, TN for zinc mining (primarily the mineral sphalerite). In fact, I have seen sphalerite specimens from Carthage, TN for sale at mineral shows.
Of course investing in oil and mining is not a bad thing, both are needed resources, but shouldn't Al be a little more upfront about his involvement?
Thursday, August 10, 2006
I Might be Wrong, But I Doubt It
And if the Leftist blogosphere says it, some Demo politician will pick up on it and continue the thread, so to speak.
Who will be first?
Meanwhile, is such planning going on here? In my twisted imagination, I have envisioned a scarier scenario, by which all liquids and pastes should be stopped at the doors of the airports, rather than at the current inspection sites. I won't say anymore, lest someone get any ideas, not that many people read this blog anyway, but I don't want to take any chances.
Going off on a slight tangent, perhaps this exposed plot and the release of the flawed "World Trade Center" movie might serve to fill the "perception gap" that has grown because of the de facto censorship of 9/11 images by the MSM. In other words, despite flaws cited by some Conservative reviewers, the movie may remind people that we are in a war, even if it was not intended by Oliver Stone.
Meanwhile, is August 22 just Iranian bluster or...?
One of the original (perhaps unstated, but logical) reasons for the invasion of Iraq was to establish Iraq as a staging area, in case action was needed against other neighboring terror sponsors - Iran and Syria. I hope our intelligence services are listening to chatter coming from Iran, in case any pre-launching action needs to be taken. Apparently Israel is being quite serious (as they have to be), as reported by way of this WND.com-linked article.
Elements of the Leftists MSM have fretted about President Bush deliberately speeding up events to bring about Armageddon. Similar things were said about President Reagan. But guess what? It didn't happen! That is one of the reasons I drifted away from Liberalism, because the terrible things prophesied for President Reagan didn't happen, rather the Berlin Wall fell and the Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union collapsed, instead.
That is not to ignore what was probably President Reagan's biggest failure, the failure to persue Hezbollah after the 1983 bombing of the Marine compound in Beirut. A recent talk show caller suggested that Caspar Weinberger talked President Reagan out of it and because of Reagan's loyalty, he listened. That perceived weakness, along with Jimmy Carter's lack of spine, set the stage for some aspects of what we see now. There is ample blame to be spread around.
But did Mike Wallace ask Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about his "long-term" plans during his interview? Nah, that would probably be seen as bad manners. The MSM can't question the motives of Muslims, only Christians and Jews. Or so it seems.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The Need for Regular Pigging
A pipeline pig is defined, on this Girard Industries website as:
A pig is defined as "A device that moves through the inside of a pipeline for the purpose of cleaning, dimensioning, or inspecting." This definition covers in excess of 500 different designs and types of pigs."...
Though I haven't read the latest, apparently BP didn't run a pig through their Alaska pipeline often enough and missed the corrosion. Apparently, because they removed the water (probably including salt water) from their crude, they didn't think internal corrosion would be much of a problem. It is human nature to take the path of least resistance. From the same website:
"As pipelines get older we see increased corrosion. This is caused by lack of operational pigging, whether it is because of water accumulation in the line causing MIC, paraffin accumulation on the walls, or other reasons."
I seem to recall in a James Bond movie, someone being smuggled into (or out of) an Eastern bloc country by means of a large natural gas pipeline pig. Lab Lemming - do you remember this?
So perhaps BP neglects pipeline maintenance to a degree and a leak results, so they have to shutdown and replace portions of the pipeline. So that constitutes a conspiracy.
It is going to cost BP millions in lost revenue and construction costs, especially now that Summer is waning. Other than determining if existing laws were violated, there is probably little reason for any widespread investigation, especially by Congress. So to sum up Neal Boortz's words, the marketplace will punish BP.
[Gosh, what am I thinking? I forgot to blame all of this on Bush, Cheney, and Halliburton! They did it to increase oil company profits and to distract from the Iraq war. Yeah, that's it.]
So, the ADL is Getting Tired of Libs Giving the Nazi Salute
Though I don't want to make too many ethnic issues, judging by names, Keith Olbermann is of German descent and Janeane Garofalo is likely of Italian descent. Do they think of the image they present when they do Nazi salutes, when survivors of WWII are still alive? [And yeah, my ancestors were from Germany, but they arrived here in 1748, so don't bother with any remarks.]
I guess it is just a modern lib does when their arguments run out of steam. Are they trying to channel the spirit of Adolf when they give that salute or are they showing the extent of their creativity?
The Runoff Morning After
Cynthia McKinney droned on for a while last night, but I couldn't bear to listen. I am sure she will reveal more reminders of her "character" in unguarded statements in the coming days. Moonbats rarely ever see themselves as the problem. It wasn't because of "crossover" Republicans in 2002 when she lost before and it wasn't this time.
When a credible Democrat is put up against Cynthia, there are enough sensible (though still Democrat) voters in the 4th District to turn her out. Her previous primary defeat came at the hands of Denise Majette, in 2002. Denise was much more of a lady and she would still be in Congress if she hadn't gotten greedy and run for U.S. Senate after one House term. Denise didn't start bashing Republicans until she ran for Senate.
This time, Hank Johnson, Jr. was the more credible candidate and because he is more professional in his demeanor, he will be more effective. A more effective Democrat is not what the Republicans want. There is no logic in Republicans supporting Hank Johnson, Jr. (as Cynthia charged), unless it is because they are concerned about the damage that Cynthia does to the image of Georgia overall. A sensible Democrat, though still a political opponent, does not hurt the state's image as much as a Moonbat.
As for Joe Lieberman's loss, maybe that will shine enough light on the Far Left of the Democrat Party and alert the heartland of what might happen if the Dems retake either house of Congress in November.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
As Katrina's First Anniversary Approaches...
Between Katrina and Rita, a reported 90,000 sq. miles was damaged. Government cannot make everything right overnight, or even over a year. As stated last year, there is blame to go around. As for the hurricanes themselves, if Al Gore had been President and signed the Kyoto piece of paper, Katrina and Rita both would have visited the Gulf Coast. Nothing would be any different, except fuel prices might be even higher due to Kyoto mandates restricting fuel use (and the resulting CO2 emissions). The government responses would likely have been more or less the same, if not worse, as Al Gore would have to consult with someone else to find out what persona he needed to respond properly.
Over at Lifelike Pundits, there is a very helpful link to a Popular Mechanics article on what happened in New Orleans and why, as to the levee failures. I droned on last year about the scientific reasons New Orleans should not be there, some of the continual sinking is natural, some accelerated by human activities. So go give a read.
Monday, August 07, 2006
On a More Tangible Issue...
I just finished reading Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People". And I highly recommend your reading it, if you haven't already. Employing the tactics therein are not going to solve all of life's problems, but it seems that the wisdom of that book could help a great deal in smoothing some of life's bumps and dips.
I know it would have greatly benefited a former boss, for whom I worked when I was employed within the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources. My boss seemed to know nothing of the concept of good employee morale and how it relates to productivity. He was even reputed to have told his superiors that he could have gotten more work done with a smaller staff(?). I don't know if he thought he could effect his own brand of micromanagement more "efficiently" with fewer employees, or what.
One of the points of the Carnegie method is to lead with praise, as it is human nature for all persons to feel valued. In other words, there is much to be gained from sincere diplomacy, trying to find something to value in each person. And how to tactfully dish out constructive criticism, when the situation warrants. Example after example were cited in the book of famous industry leaders who were successful because they knew how to get the best from their employees.
Though I, along with others, was mistreated by this former boss, I don't hate him, rather I feel sorry for him, for the legacy that he created for himself.
Most of his former employees do not respect him for leadership and when he retired from his position as a branch chief within the DNR, no one gave him a "farewell luncheon or dinner" as was the normal custom. It came down to "one day he was there and the next day he wasn't", according to a former co-worker's statement. Is this what he worked decades for? Simply for the paycheck, without any peer-respect or employee-respect or the fond memories of others?
Sad, sad, sad. If you have a former boss and a similar story, unload your hatred and pray for them, for in their retirement years, what will they have to look back upon in the way of fond memories? How we are remembered by others and judged by God is much more important than the size of that pension check.
I Don't Mean to Sound Like a "Lib"...
I don't normally watch "60 Minutes", but it happened to be on yesterday afternoon after the local news. The only "piece" that I watched was on the building of "mega-mansions" and some of the local reactions, due to the loss of community character, etc..
Some of the resistance to these mansions is due to the natural human emotion of jealousy. And that is what is seized upon by politicians seeking power and influence granted by the uninformed masses, i.e., catering to their jealousies.
When I look at these mega-mansions, I try to think of how many jobs were created in the building and maintenance of such huge dwellings. And I have benefited in a small way from some of these projects with a part-time job, for this I have been thankful.
But what is the purpose of the owners? I doubt that they embark on these projects with the idea of producing "x dozens of construction jobs". What is the point of building a mega-mansion that encompasses more than one Zip Code?
In the end, they are just monuments to personal egos. It is just another version of "Mine is bigger than yours!".
I am not jealous, I wouldn't live in such monstrosities even if I was able to afford one. How does one keep up with one or more kids (or pets) in such settings? Some of these dwellings would be very difficult to render child-safe, with marble floors and large, sweeping staircases, swimming pools too large or too oddly-shaped to be fitted with covers, and such.
What good is all of this "conspicuous consumption" if your child dies from a fall onto a hard, marble floor or drowns in a swimming pool? How do some of these dwellings achieve the warm, comfortable feeling of a true "home", when you consider the normal damage that arises from kids and indoor pets?
What does one do if personal finances or the economy declines and you have to put the mega-dwelling on the market? There are only so many folks with the ability to purchase such properties.
I don't have a problem with building a larger home for utilitarian purposes, if you have a large family or wish to dedicate certain rooms for certain business or family/friend entertainment functions.
Will these mega-displays of ego make the owners more well-respected? They obviously don't automatically produce happy families.
Again, perhaps this is some of my former Classical Liberal seeping through, but is this the best we can present? Are these the best choices we can make? After the construction job is completed and the workers move on to the next one, how long will they remember that particular owner and thank him?
Having spent my recent time in New Orleans on one of our church's mission projects and seen other churchs doing the same along the Gulf Coast and in other areas, this just seems to be the best way to positively impact the lives of other people. We can't make everything right again, but perhaps we can make some aspects of their lives better than "it wuz".
These church-related (and other community group) projects are grass-roots, citizen-led efforts that do depend upon resources. My rambling post is not to attack the creation of wealth, but to perhaps ponder "What is the best way to make use of personal blessings, granted by living in a free country, hard work, creativity, risk-taking, and the Grace of God?".
So in the long run, what will benefit a wealthy person the most, building a 20,000 sq. ft. mega-mansion, or perhaps building a 10,000 sq. ft. smaller mansion and anonamously donating the difference to well-chosen community foundations and church mission projects?
The one that dies with the most toys is not necessarily the winner.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
I Hear That Mel Gibson is Crushed...
Friends and associates are trying to keep Mel away from the bottle in case there are similar announcements from Pauly Shore, Bob Goldthwaite, and Rosie O'Donnell.
Friday, August 04, 2006
For a Good View of the Moonbat "Mind"...
I mean best at giving insight into dangerously stupid people. Ones that cannot grasp the concept of sensible disagreement.
One email read by Michael ranted about Mel Gibson and how other Christian Evangelicals were anti-Semites. I don't think Mel Gibson would qualify as an Evangelical.
I do not consider myself to be an Evangelical Christian. Conservative, but not Evangelical. And most Christians are not Evangelicals. This is simply a buzzword for bigots to use as an excuse for broadbrush attacks on all Christians.
Generally, the more time people spend studying the Gospels, the less likely they are to be anti-Semitic. Today, the most vocal anti-Semites (along with the Nazi/Aryan Nations crowd) are Leftists. Mel Gibson's drunken tirade is not representative of anybody else of the Christian faith. Each Christian is an individual and each will be judged individually.
And no, the United States is never going to become a Christian Theocracy, so get over that obsession.
A Worthy Alternative to the Movie "Talladega Nights"
Chris, at Lucky Dawg News, posts his thoughts on the subject. In this particular post, Chris was a little more reserved than the review I read yesterday.
Basically, Will Ferrell is a raging Lefty and the movie savages Conservative Christian southern men, those that make up the bulk of the NASCAR loyalists (along with their ladies). Yes, we know that behind every sterotype there is some truth, but there are ways of poking fun at people without slamming their faiths.
During the 2004 election cycle, Will Ferrell was involved with ACT (Americans Coming Together). From Chris' post:
"...During the 04 elections, Ferrell was involved with ACT. ACT, which is now disbanded, was a left wing organization funded by George Soros and run by Clinton operatives. Soros dumped millions into this organization to put John Kerry in the White House. Ferrell not only was involved with ACT, but did some unfunny anti-Bush ads for them."
This post on Lifelike Pundits has one of Missouri ACT's campaign ads, falsely claiming Republican efforts to prevent voting by Black Americans. The Lifelike Pundits post also has some other gems of Leftist wisdom and maturity, including more on the Joe Lieberman in blackface ad pulled from Arianna Huffington's blog. So in these ads, we really see the true feelings of many Lefties towards Black Americans that chose to go out on their own and have their own political viewpoints (contrary to those of the Democrat Party).
Anyway, the same Hollywood Lefties that regularly slam Christians generally don't have the courage to do the same towards the Islamists, a philosophy that would put Hollywood (as we know it) out of business in a heartbeat (or however long it takes to detonate a bomb or slice a sword or other sharp object across the throat of a hostage).
So instead of spending your money on this questionable endeavor, send a donation to Camp Victory Junction. Camp Victory Junction is located in the Randleman, NC area and was founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty and Paul Newman, in memory of Adam Petty. For those unfamiliar with the name, Adam Petty was Kyle Petty's 19 year-old son, who was killed in a practice-session crash at New Hampshire Speedway on May 12, 2000. According to Kyle, the concept behind Victory Junction was Adam's. Perhaps Adam saw racing as a way to fund the start-up of such a camp for children with serious medical issues.
Victory Junction allows kids with chronic or life-threatening illnesses to enjoy the experience of camping out in a summer camp setting. Most of the campers are from the NC, SC, & VA area.
So send Hollywood a message, by funding Victory Junction, rather than those that spit upon the values of good, "salt of the Earth" people.