- Name: on-the-rocks
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Discussions of geology, beer, and other things of interest.
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geosciblog Continuing Series
Newly-Found Geology/Science Blogs (Early-2009 to Mid-2011)
Newly-Found/Newly-Linked Blogs (Mid-2008 to Mid-2011)
Newly-Found Blogs (Late 2007)
Talk Radio-Related Websites
Science-Related (Including Global Warming Skeptics) blogs/Websites
Global Warming/Current Paradigm & Other Science Blogs/Websites
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
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
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>
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I Just Wasn't Ready to Add Another Member to the Family
It is just that when we take another pet into the home, it becomes another family member and then the question arises "what will we do with them if we go on the road to visit family at Christmas?" A year or two ago, my daughter and her boyfriend almost had us talked into buying a couple of "sugar gliders" from a local sugar glider enthusiast, who was faced with the possibility of moving. They were cute, but after doing some web research, we came to the realization that they were just too high-maintenance. And they don't exactly have kennels for sugar gliders and you can't take them on the road.
This time, when I was in a pet store yesterday, I walked past an open-topped display with different pets in partitioned areas.
As I walked past the rabbits, I paused and looked in, remembering the rabbits I had when I was in high school (one New Zealand White and several Dutch rabbits). As I stood there, one of the young rabbits (I have forgotten the breed name) climbed up on one of the shelter areas and then stood on its hind legs to get as close to me as possible, as if to say "Take me home with you". To which I thought, I would like to perhaps get a rabbit, but a house rabbit is out of the question, as we have an indoor cat and a 60 lb dog, both of which would love to discuss dinner plans with a young rabbit. And as winter approaches, we don't have any appropriate outdoor hutches set up. Besides, for the life of me, I can't understand how a rabbit can cost $30.
Perhaps someday, somewhere else,...Dream on.
If You Have Had Enough of Halloween...|
I Know it is All Over the News...
From the man-who-wanted-to-be-president:
""You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and do your homework, and make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."
I don't think I need to explain this nor the "mindset" of the "limousine liberal". The prevailing view on the Left is that members of the American military are monsters at worst and losers at best.
It is simply too early to pronounce the final results of the Iraqi theatre of the War on Terror. It is probably going to take a good five years after Iraq assumes relative autonomy, if done by the Republicans. If the Democrats engineer a more-rapid pullout and retreat, we will see the results in the bloodbath within a short time.
The Wall of Separation Between Church and State...
Contrary to what Libs think (and what they want the public to believe), it is not enshrined in the Constitution nor the Bill of Rights (not that they read these documents anyway).
This article, by Dr. Gary S. Smith, of Grove City College, reminds and educates us as to the original source of this mis-applied, mis-represented concept.
From the article:
"...The phrase comes instead from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Danbury Baptist Association.
...In his letter to the Danbury Baptists, Jefferson explained why he, unlike the first two presidents and almost all state governors, did not proclaim days for public prayer, fasting, and thanksgiving.
...Historian James H. Hutson maintains that Jefferson consistently supported “the principle of government hospitality to religious activity” as long as it was voluntary and offered equally to all citizens. While the government could not legally establish one church or creed as a national faith and support it financially, Jefferson believed that the state, as long as it remained “within its well appointed limits,” “could provide ‘friendly aids’” to religious denominations.
...Daniel Dreisbach, author of Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State, contends that Jefferson’s metaphor, as interpreted by the courts, has been improperly “used to inhibit religion’s ability to inform the public ethic,” to thwart citizens from participating in politics guided by their faith, and to prevent religious communities and institutions from speaking prophetically in the public arena."
The letter from President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists was simply the stated opinions of the sitting President, by themselves they had no "force of law". And it is my understanding of the letter was that it was intended to reassure the Danbury Baptists that the Jefferson Administration (nor other aspects of the government) were going to be playing any favorites.
Legally, we are supposed to be a secular nation, but culturally we are a Judeo-Christian nation, with the emphasis on Christian, not to be a detriment to other faiths, but simply to recognize our largely-European roots. And aside from it being foolish to divorce our government from its Judeo-Christian legal, moral, and ethical roots, it is probably culturally impossible to do so.
Most American Christians are not Evangelicals nor any other sorts of zealots. The United States is never going to become a Christian Theocracy, we are too diverse and too secular. Those that holler the loudest about the "coming theocracy" are for the most part playing off their own prejudices. Or they are so deep into the "world" of hedonism, they detest anything that gets in the way of their having a good time, with no strings attached.
So, while conceding the many flaws of Republicans and Conservatives, when a high-profile Lib is pointing the index finger, pay attention to the three fingers pointed back and see what the Lib is actually doing and saying "off camera".
No, the Republicans do not have all of the answers. "Figgering out" the answers is sometimes an ongoing endeavor, with it taking years to see which of the answers were right and which were wrong. What would Europe have looked like if we had given up and signed a peace treaty during the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944 and early 1945? What if we had given up on Iwo Jima?
We know what happened because elements of our MSM "told us" that we lost the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and that the war was essentially lost in 1968, when the truth was that the enemy was on the cusp of quitting, had we maintained our united front.
If the Republicans hold both Houses of Congress, the level of violence in Iraq will probably slack off, i.e., the Iraq terrorist will have seen that their efforts did not pay off with a Democrat victory.
The "Middle Eastern culture" favors the "strong horse". Are we the strong horse? Are we prepared to pay the price if we are seen as the "weak horse"?
Did a Little Beer Blogging...
I consider it to be a good beer, for it's style. It has just enough of the slightly tart, slightly fruity flavor that distinguishes Hefeweizens from Wheat Beers. Or perhaps German Hefeweizens from American Hefeweizens.
Monday, October 30, 2006
And Then There Were Three (Nextel Cup Races) Left
A combination of bad incidents relegated Kevin Harvick to 31st place and he is now sixth in the point standings, 121 behind leader Matt Kenseth. His chances of making history with both a Busch and a Nextel Cup championship are now much less likely, though not impossible.
Mark Martin was running well at Atlanta, until a late-race accident, now he is eighth, 201 points behind.
If NASCAR had the Nextel "Second Chance for the Chase", Tony Stewart would likely be in the hunt for the championship. In the seven races so far (Races 27 - 33), he has won two, finished second once and fourth once, along with other finishes of 13th, 22nd, and 33rd (not in that order). In my proposed system, once The Chase "is set", then among the next five drivers in the point standings, once a driver wins two of the final ten races, his Chase points are computed as though he began the Chase in 10th place, i.e., Tony Stewart was 11th in points and outside the Chase. With his win at Atlanta, along with the other win, his points would have been re-computed as though he began the Chase along with the original ten. I like Tony when he keeps his temper in check, but he has two strikes against him this season for his on-track actions.
As for other drivers of interest, Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty finished 12th and 17th at Atlanta, respectively and Bobby has crept into 19th place in the standings. While doing some outdoor chores and checking on the race, I missed how it was that Bobby got 2 or perhaps 3 laps down in the early part of the race. At the end, he was to be the next "Lucky Dog", if there had been another caution flag.
The final three races are Texas, Phoenix, and Homestead, FL. Matt Kenseth is the only former champion in the top 6 drivers. I guess my sentimental favorites are Jeff Burton and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., as Mark Martin has fallen to the wayside.
Briefly, Turning from Politics to Science
A few weeks ago, Lab Lemming, one of my visitors of the science persuasion (who helps keep me honest), invited me to check out (or recheck) some of the geology links on his blog.
Geology is far more than the study of rocks, it is the study of the Earth. At my particular undergrad alma mater, for a Bachelor of Science Degree - Geology, along with Geology courses, I took one Biology course, three Chemistry courses, three Physics courses, Trigonometry, Calculus I and II - and I did well enough to pass (well, it took a couple of tries for Calc I) but those math-related courses did a number on my GPA. As part of my required "core courses", I took Geography and the electives Technical Drafting, Descriptive Geometry (another drafting course), Elementary Surveying, and a couple of black-and-white Photography courses.
So by visiting some of the links on Lab Lemming's blog and other links within given posts, I hope that perhaps you are picking up some "science on the side". Regardless of your profession, having a working knowledge of some science concepts might interest a child in a science career. Being able to tell a kid about dinosaur discoveries in Connecticut or Utah or perhaps about the Arkansas Crater of Diamonds (where you get to keep what you find), or the meteorite crater in Chesapeake Bay, this might pique an interest. [That I link to other blogs doesn't necessarily mean that I agree with all of their political stands nor their positions on evolution, etc.]
For example, one of the links is to The Western Geologist blog, wherein there have been several recent postings on the Hawaii earthquakes, including this most recent post (containing links to earlier posts on the subject). Linked to the one of the Western Geologist posts, here is Lab Lemming's thoughts on the Hawaiian earthquakes.
Green Gabbro is written from the perspective of a seismologist. Over at The Archean Zone: Subducting Over Time, Wolverine Tom contributes when grad school allows (try to ignore that old Blogspot alignment problem). And Geology News has an interesting article (I have read general articles about this before, but have forgotten the original sources) about the bacterial precipitation of gold under certain conditions.
As time permits, I will endeavor to add some of these to my blogroll.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Here is a portion of his post:
"...The New Jersey diktat is a very big deal, underscoring as it does the left's assault on constitutional majoritarianism as well as traditional marriage, and reminding voters that every vote for any Democratic senator is a vote against marriage as a Democratic majority in the Senate puts loopy Patrick Leahy back in charge of the Judiciary Committee.
John Paul Stevens is 86; Justice Ginserg 73; Justices Scalia and Kennedy 70; Justice Breyer 69; and Justice Souter 67.
The senators elected in 12 days could conceivably vote --in just their six-year term ahead-- on replacements for most or even all of them."
Yes, we can be highly annoyed with the Senate RINOs, but replacing them with Dems will not help "the situation".
Mary Katherine Ham...
Here is today's Townhall.com column and Townhall Blog post on this particular subject. The Townhall Blog post includes comments about Chris Matthews' "contributions" on the subject of the Harold Ford, Jr. "Playboy" TV ad.
Go give both items a read.
It's Redneck Carwash Day!
Yeah, I'm a redneck.
Wildfires as Acts of Terror?
Unfortunately, arson is a crime that inherently destroys much of its own evidence. Islamist sleeper cells could be doing all sorts of "little crimes", simply to harass and harm American citizens, businesses, and our environment.
We are doing battle with a culture of death. Do you think they give a damn about the environment? And unfortunately, groups such as Earth First, Earth Liberation Front, PETA, and the Animal Liberation Front, with their acts of arson, are ultimately doing the bidding of the Islamists.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
That Old, Tired Reparations Debate...
I don't know how it began today, but when I turned to the Michael Medved radio program, he was debating a caller on the issue Reparations for Black Americans.
This is just a bad idea for many different reasons.
#1 - THE SLAVES ARE ALL DEAD.
#2 - THE SLAVEHOLDERS AND SLAVETRADERS ARE ALL DEAD
Those directly responsible and those that directly suffered are all dead.
I may diverge from some of my Conservative and Southern brethren on this, but perhaps reparations should have been made, but THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE IN THE 1870'S OR 1880'S. While the slaves were still alive, while many of them were still young enough to have made use of the offered resources.
The Michael Medved caller referenced the old "40 acres and a mule" argument, which is explained in more detail on this PBS webpage. From this webpage, here is a portion of the reason behind this military order, which to my knowledge was never codified by Congressional action:
"As Union soldiers advanced through the South, tens of thousands of freed slaves left their plantations to follow Union general William Tecumseh Sherman's army.
To solve problems caused by the mass of refugees, Sherman issued Special Field Orders, No. 15, a temporary plan granting each freed family forty acres of tillable land on islands and the coast of Georgia. The army had a number of unneeded mules which were also granted to settlers."
Unless the government could make a legal case for seizing the land of those that helped finance the Confederacy, such a program probably would not have been legal, nor Constitutional, as it dealt with the temporary abandonment of legally-titled land owned by American citizens, that despite their being in a state of rebellion, were still American citizens. This military order should remain just a footnote in American history, much like campaign promises that sound good, but cannot (or should not) be made into law.
To even engage in this debate is furthering the issue of Tribalism, which is the ultimate source of racism and/or bigotry. "Collective guilt" (or any of its synonyms) is the antithesis of the concepts upon which the United States was founded and has prospered.
We know that slavery was wrong and some of our founders knew that too. But compromises had to be made, lest those moments-in-time be lost (Re: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution/Bill of Rights). Slavery was something that we inherited from our European ancestors and it was something that we had to work through. It will never be perfect, but when we look at people as individuals, stereotypes and prejudices wither away (or at least weaken). This "us vs. them" stuff is hazardous to our future health.
Tribal infighting is why certain portions of the world have been at war for centuries (The Balkans, the Middle East, Northern Ireland,...). We don't need it here, especially when someone "on the outside" is trying to kill us en masse at the same time.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I don't know if Marine Second Lieutenant Joshua Booth was one of those on the video or if he will be in Volume 2. If Islamist video "crews" are still working on Volume 2 for CNN, who will they select?
As we should remember the names of 9/11 victims, perhaps we need to start learning some names of individuals who have fallen in the War on Terror.
It is becoming more personal, as my daughter knows two young Marines, one of her fellow high school classmates and one of her junior college classmates. I don't know if they have progressed far enough in their training to have yet gone to Iraq, but that is certainly possible in their future.
But again, we remind ourselves that this is being done so we don't relive what NYC/NJ/CT (and other) residents did in the aftermath of 9/11, when all they had left was memories and questions.
Iraq is part of the "ounce of prevention stage" to ward off future attacks. Cutting and running will only embolden the bad guys.
To CNN, the News Value Outweighs "Other Concerns"
It seems to when it wanted to keep its Baghdad bureau open, CNN covered the massacres and other crimes of Saddam Hussein.
It seems that when the tugboat 13 de Marzo, filled with people desparate to escape Cuba, was sunk by Cuban authorities, in 1994, CNN didn't tell us because it wanted to keep good relations with Fidel Castro. [If perhaps I somehow missed a CNN report on this atrocity, please advise and forgive the oversight.]
During the attack, an estimated 41 men, women, and children died when the old tugboat was blasted apart by high-pressure streams of water from fire-fighting hoses. From the above-linked website:
"...According to an account compiled by an unofficial Cuban human rights group on the basis of interviews carried out with some of the survivors on the day after the sinking of the “13 de Marzo” took place, events took place as follows:
"The boat left [the port of Havana] at about 3.00am. About 45 minutes later, having advanced nearly seven miles out to sea, they were intercepted by another Japanese-made tugboat which started to ram them in order to make them capsize. Another tugboat soon appeared and, taking over from the first one, continued doing the same thing. All [the passengers] were trapped between these two boats, which then began to direct water at them with high-pressure hoses.The force of this tore the clothes off the women, knocked them down, and forced the children out of their arms.
"The mothers screamed and implored the attackers to stop directing the water hoses at them because they might cause the young ones to drown. The perpetrators continued using the hoses against the citizens, including the children, trying to drown them by suffocation. Many of the men, women and children on board were injured by the pressure of the water which threw them against the bulwarks of the boat. Seconds later, a third tugboat appeared and attacked forcefully from behind, splitting the boat in two since it was an old Second World war boat which had been repaired and was called “13 de Marzo”."
The point is that The Vatican knew about this and they wrote a letter of protest. If the Vatican knew, why didn't CNN? And if CNN knew, why didn't they tell us?
Did Jimmy Carter criticize and shame his "buddy" Fidel in public for this? I don't remember it happening. No, it is easier for Jimmah to slam President Bush than for him to offend Fidel.
The latest example is of course the terrorist "GI snuff films", where CNN thinks the "News Value" Outweighs the "Other Concerns". They don't care that it might lead to "copy cat" Islamist efforts to make the next video broadcast, not just on Al-Jazeera, but on CNN. Will there arise an Islamist Michael Moore (or will Michael Moore hisself offer his services to produce a "snuff documentary", that will win awards at Cannes and Montreal)?
"Outweighs Other Concerns" - remember that on election day. For whom does CNN do most of its cheerleading?
On the Need to Choose Our Words Carefully
When talk show hosts engage in day-to-day live verbal combat and/or engage in stream-of-conciousness commentary, slip-ups are humanly possible and I think this was the case yesterday, with Rush Limbaugh's comments.
I didn't hear Rush yesterday but I did here a soundbite from ABC's GMA, (where you know they would only play the worst comments) and they played Rush suggesting that Michael J. Fox was embellishing the Parkinson's tremors.
While I wouldn't go that far, as I was listening to Mike Gallagher (on the air locally at the same time as Rush, so I go back and forth) and Mike chose his words more carefully on this subject. While I was already thinking this...Mike suggested that perhaps Michael J. Fox had not taken his medication in a day or two, to exaggerate his Parkinson's symptoms. I think most of us have seen him on TV, where there was only a minimum amount of tremors.
We need to remember that Michael J. Fox is a Lib and Libs play on emotions. As Michael J. Fox has chosen to make himself a political activist on this subject, which is fine, he needs to be more accurate when he makes charges regarding stem cell research. From this LifeNews article:
"...In the first commercial, Fox, who is clearly increasingly suffering from the effects of Parkinson's disease, makes inaccurate generalizations about stem cell research.
“In Missouri, you can elect Claire McCaskill, who shares my hope for cures,” Fox tells viewers urging them to support the pro-abortion, pro-cloning candidate.
"Unfortunately Senator Jim Talent opposes expanding stem cell research," Fox claims. "Senator Talent even wanted to criminalize the science that gives us a chance for hope."
Though the ad makes it appear Talent opposes all kinds of stem cell research, he has voted in favor of spending millions in federal funds for adult stem cell research, the only kind of research that has ever cured a single patient.
What Talent has opposed is forcing taxpayers to pay for studies using embryonic stem cells, which can only be obtained by destroying human life."
He is currently mis-representing the record of Democrat Ben Cardin in the Maryland U.S. Senate race against Michael Steele.
From the LifeNews article:
"...However, Cardin voted against a bill that would have authorized the federal government to search for embryonic stem cell research alternatives that don't involve the destruction of human life. The measure would have promoted some types of research that could possibly have been palatable to both sides of the debate."
The crux of the matter is that the Bush Administration is not trying to ban nor restrict stem cell research, even embryonic stem cell research. What their policy is, is that research can proceed WITH PRIVATE FUNDING. Because of the ethical issues involved, the President has wisely chosen the path of NOT USING TAXPAYER FUNDS ON THIS QUESTIONABLE (AT BEST) PRACTICE.
There is plenty of private funding from foundations and biotech firms (and other sources) that, whether we like it or not, the research is going to go on, as well as research on human cloning.
CHOOSING NOT TO FUND THIS RESEARCH WITH TAXPAYER MONEY IS NOT RESTRICTING THIS RESEARCH.
If the government gives its endorsement by way of taxpayer funding, what will be next five, ten, fifteen years down the "slippery slope"? Growing throw-away humans for spare parts?
Didn't Jonathan Edwards do the same sort of thing with Christopher Reeve, promising to do medical miracles if only we would elect him and John Kerry? If only we would stop worrying about ethics and embryos?
There have to be some moral guardrails, lest we become the enablers of modern-day Dr. Mengele or others of the Peter Singer school of medical ethics.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Herman Cain is Always a Good Source for Rational Thought
Go give it a read.
Why Modern Liberals Ain't, on the College Campus
As an example of the "tolerant liberal" mindset, from Ms. Nye:
"...I remember when I was in grad studies, during Easter, a certain grad student announced aloud that he was going to have a “crucifixion party”. Others laughed and he was very proud of himself. Obscene comments about Christianity were always coming out of his mouth in the university setting. He was vehemently anti-religious and anti-American. Many students and professors heard his comments and either laughed or did nothing about it." [I have to confess if something like this had been said in my class, I might have stared down the guilty party and asked "Is this appropriate, to ridicule someone else's faith?" I would have put the onus on the speaker to justify the maturity and tolerance of the comment.]
Some further comments:
Nye: "In terms of the professors who engage in this behavior are, first and foremost, chicken. They know that Christians are a safe target. By and large, we take that "love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you (Matt 5:44)" seriously. On the other hand, they know Muslims offer a quite different response."
Nye: "The tolerance touted on campus is actually a sort of neo-fascism. The only ideas truly tolerated are the ideas espoused and embraced by liberals. New liberals (most of the time) only tolerate those who think like them. They also claim Christians are intolerant, but if they are truly tolerant, shouldn't they tolerate even those they consider intolerant? G. K. Chesterton once said "Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.""
If not for the prodding of "liberal" professors (teachers in the broad sense), students might, on their own, have a more open-minded approach towards others of diverse political and faith backgrounds. My daughter goes through some of this in her English class, where she and a couple of her friends are referred to as the "Bush girls". At times from what she has told me about reading assignments, there are attempts at getting information from both sides of the aisle, but the teacher tends decidedly to the Left, on subjects that have nothing to do with that particular class.
Sometimes I may say "Well, we may have a disagreement on that point" and I may be disappointed that the student hasn't listened to my point-of-view, but I would never allow those feelings to affect their grades. I don't usually come out and say "I am a Christian Conservative/Libertarian", but by way of links on my website and comments about preferring the free-market system benefits, some of them figure it out and a few of them have let me know that they share some of my viewpoints (usually it is the older students).
It is just totally inappropriate for a teacher to ridicule a student or students for their faith or their political viewpoints. Polite disagreement is OK, but not ridicule.
We just have to remember that "Modern Liberals Ain't".
Words Temporarily Fail Me...
This just adds to the sordid history of CNN and it's anti-American, sometimes anti-common sense behaviors. So, if the exact date(s) of the sniper attacks are not known, how many American families will wonder if this was their loved one? And does CNN pay royalties when it runs someone's video?
The Islamists cannot win militarily (sp.?), they can only hope that we lose our resolve.
Will others attempt to emulate this behavior, in hopes of getting a worldwide audience for the sake of publicity and ego? Who else may die because CNN did this? This is not being done for a military strategy, but rather to effect change on the homefront, with the upcoming elections. It is to give aid and support to the anti-war Democrats and weak Republicans.
[Not meaing to go off on a tangent: I have ranted before on how the "Liberal" MSM has resulted in the deaths of innocents, e.g., by "looping" only the worst parts of the Rodney King video, without showing how it started, it made the beating look like it went on longer than it really did.
And when the MSM (and "community activists") had "ginned up" public emotions, it set the stage for the riots that happened after the police officers' acquittal. A plausible reason for the acquittals (as offered by Rush Limbaugh) was that perhaps because of the zeal of the prosecutors to satisfy the public, the officers were "over-charged", i.e., charged with crimes actually more serious than occurred, which "raises the bar" concerning evidence. It would be easier to get a conviction for Assault than it would be Attempted Murder, because doubt could be raised as to whether the police officers were just "kicking his ass" (easier to prove) versus "trying to kill him" (harder to prove). I am just trying to convey some of the consequences of media-manipulation of images.]
It has been said by others more articulate, that "CNN doesn't see itself as an American network, but rather as a Global network, thus they have no inbred loyality to the United States." [This is paraphrasing of comments from several sources.]
Is it too strong to suggest that CNN has some of the elements of Lord Haw Haw in their actions?
Within the article (actually an interview with the author of Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies: Issue by Issue Responses to the Most Common Claims of the Left from A to Z., Gregg Jackson), there is the discussion of a useful strategy for engaging in thoughtful debate with a Lib. Mr. Jackson is co-host of Pundit Review Radio, heard on Boston’s talk station, WRKO.
Now, if the Lib is "too far gone", you may not convert them, but if you control the debate, you may convince a bystander or two. The debate strategy involves the use of the acronym FACE for:
Control and Composure
Facts: Be informed. Do your homework. "Liberals" operate on emotion, which cannot sustain an extended debate. If you are not reasonably sure of all (or most of the facts), you may wish not to engage at that point. You could perhaps temporarily dodge the issue by saying "I am still learning about this, I will talk to you about it at a later date". And you may decide that there are just some subjects that are too difficult to make easy decisions upon, i.e., when approached from a non-emotional position, they defy easy answers. Or it may simply be something out of your league and you could just say "I don't have enough facts to make up my mind on that".
For instance, in case the issue of "Acid Rain" comes up, ask them if they have heard of the NAPAP study (National Acid Precipitation Assessment Project), wherein the Federal Government spent approximately $537 million and 10 years studying the issue in the 1980s, before coming to the conclusion that it was more of a nuisance than a crisis. It turns out that, when subjected to intense scientific scrutiny by close to 700 different scientists, the damage attributed to acid rain was caused by something else. The mere fact that most people know nothing of this study may give them cause to go back and give the subject more study. [It received little attention because the MSM and politicians had already staked themselves to a particular viewpoint and couldn't (or wouldn't) change their stances.]
Ask Questions: From the Mr. Jackson (in the article):
"...often times you can make your point more effectively by placing the onus on the liberal with whom you are speaking to defend their claim than you can if you ram your facts down your liberal friend's throat. Asking solid targeted questions places the burden of proof on the liberal and allows you to control the conversation."
I believe this was one tactic employed in the New Testament words attributed to Jesus. Often when confronted by challenges from Pharisees (and others), he would ask a question that would force the challenger(s) to engage in thought.
Control and Composure: Since they are often short on facts, Libs will engage in "hit and run" (or perhaps drive-by debates). They shoot verbally and them attempt to flee. From Mr. Jackson:
"...That is why good debaters effectively control the tone and direction of the conversation. The best way to do that is to focus the conversation on one point at a time and whenever your liberal friend attempts to sidetrack the conversation that you regain control and say something to the effect of: "We can get to that issue next but first let's finish talking about the supposed separation of church and state you say exists in the Constitution.""
If they start to spit and sputter, remain calm and be glad you are not them. Jackson continues:
"Composure is a crucial element that liberals lack when confronted by the facts. The start getting verbally abusive and elevate their voice in an attempt to get you upset....The main thing is to remember that if you can stay composed while the liberal "loses it" you have won the debate especially if there is an audience. Breath!"
Sometimes you can disarm your verbal opponent by honestly agreeing with them on a portion of their debate, such as "I agree that there are air pollution issues that need to be addressed, but...". You are not disagreeing that there is a problem, but perhaps on how to most effectively deal with the problem.
Ego: This is about more than just you, it is about educating others so that they can come over from "the dark side", so when you do engage, you want to be effective. From Mr. Jackson:
"...Everybody has an ego. So recognize that you don't have to win every argument or debate. Reagan was perhaps the best at being able to disagree without being disagreeable."
If you have been drawn into a debate with a friend, if you see that the conversation may escalate (on the Lib's side) to a shrill frenzy, perhaps you may wish to guide the conversation "over to the side of the road" (in order to preserve the friendship) and offer to discuss the issue in private another time.
People do not like to lose face in public. If you can politely say "I used to feel like you do about this subject, until I gave it a lot of thought and did some research", you may disarm them. Repeatedly, I tell my students that "in your face" politics doesn't work, regardless of who you are, whether it be Operation Rescue, PETA, or Act-Up.
It is better to speak to someone in private and present them with information they can read on their own. Liberals love to use the word "confront", without realizing that even if you back your opponent into a corner in a debate, you haven't necessarily won the day. Your opponent may not have been convinced, rather they may have conceded (sp.?) only to get you off their back.
If you know you are entering a situation that might bring you into contact with Libs and perhaps a remark that just cannot be ignored, it helps to pray for composure, beforehand, and consider that sometimes, the knee-jerk viewpoints of Libs are just projections of their inner demons and prejudices. Libs do not seem to engage in thoughtful self-examination and self-criticism too often.
And you can take guilty pleasure in knowing that sometimes the best way to "get someone's goat" is to refuse to argue with them.
Monday, October 23, 2006
A Few Notes After the Martinsville Race
As for the Chase for the Nextel Cup, with four races left, last week, Kevin Harvick was third, 89 points behind Jeff Burton. Because of JB's blown engine, Kevin is now in second place, 36 points behind Matt Kenseth.
The remainder of the Top - 8 contenders (all within 99 points of the lead):
Jimmie Johnson -41 points
Denny Hamlin -47 points
Jeff Burton -48 points
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. -94 points
Mark Martin -96 points
Kasey Kahne -99 points
Jeff Gordon (-141 points) and Kyle Busch (-171 points) are probably out of the chase, barring any miraculous recoveries.
With his 3rd place finish at Martinsville, Bobby Labonte is now in 20th place in the point standings, with 3 Top-5s and 8 Top-10s. He is 1 point out of 19th, again primarily for the chance to go to the Waldorf Astoria. And Kyle Petty finished 10th, despite spinning out earlier in the race. Having both Petty cars in the Top-10 doesn't happen as often as some of us would like. As Bobby has done well at Atlanta, I hope that maybe we will see #43 in Victory Lane at the end of the race, this next Sunday. In 27 races at Atlanta, Bobby has won 6 times.
The next four weekends are Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix, and finally Homestead, FL.
At this point, if the Tony Stewart fans have gotten over it, I think the Chase has turned into the kind of thing it was intended.
One more minor thing, David Ragan, originally of Unadilla, GA is slated to drive the Jack Roush #6 Ford Fusion next season, after Mark Martin moves on. David's dad, Ken Ragan was one of the perpetually under-funded driver-owners that made a few good showing over the years. He averaged about 6 races per year over his eight-year Winston Cup career. His racing was curtailed by a broken neck suffered during a crash in an ARCA race at Talladega. Ken was running 2nd behind Davey Allison when a car in front of them blew its engine. Davey saw the oil and avoided spinning out, but Ken, not seeing the spilled oil, hit the outside wall head-on, suffering a broken neck.
As for David's performance at Martinsville (in the #06), he is going to have to mend some fences with Ken Schrader, after accidentally wrecking Ken (who was in the midst of a good run). David had planned to rent a shop from Ken, we will just have to see. Some are concerned that David doesn't have enough experience, with 26 Craftsman Truck starts and 5 Busch Series starts.
The Blahgging Blahs
And nothing has really triggered my "hot button" this morning.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Light Blogging the Last Few Days...
There may be some relatives dropping by as there is a combination birthday party tomorrow for my sister and a first cousin (ages 50 and 60 respectively), so we are also doing some straightening up in case anyone wants to come over afterwards.
Regarding the Tet Offensive Remarks...
The association could also be made with the WWII Battle of the Bulge. Of course without 20/20 hindsight, we couldn't know at the time, but the Battle of the Bulge was Germany's last ditch effort to stop the Allied advance. It was the last major German offensive. It lasted from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945, during which time there were 19,276 deaths, which averages about 500 American dead/day for 38 days. If we had the present day MSM reporting the American death toll each day, reporting each set-back, it could have been as General Patton supposedly wrote in his diary during the Christmas season for 1944 - "We can still lose this war".
We were caught by surprise and "knocked for a loop", but we came back and won. It was part of what our fathers and grandfathers had to do. My Dad's 3rd Army 155mm howitzer field artillery unit was stationed to the south and was called northward to help turn back the Germans.
During Vietnam, we were caught by surprise by the Tet Offensive, but we won. From the Wikipedia article:
"...The Tet Offensive can be considered a military defeat for the Communist forces, as neither the Viet Cong nor the North Vietnamese army achieved their tactical goals. Furthermore, the operational cost of the offensive was dangerously high, with the Viet Cong essentially crippled by the huge losses inflicted by South Vietnamese and other Allied forces. Nevertheless, the Offensive is widely considered a turning point of the war in Vietnam, with the NLF (Viet Cong) and PAVN (North Vietnamese Army) winning an enormous psychological and propaganda victory."
The Wikipedia article continues:
"The Tet Offensive is frequently seen as an example of the value of propaganda, media influence and popular opinion in the pursuit of military objectives." (Emphasis added).
Because of the efforts of Walter Cronkite, et al, the American public came to believe that we lost the Tet Offensive. WE DID NOT LOSE.
In his memoirs after the war was over, General Vo Nguyen Giap, commander in chief of the Viet Cong forces admitted that they considered surrender (or perhaps at least a ceasefire) AFTER THEY LOST THE TET OFFENSIVE. But because they already saw the internal discord in the United States in 1968, they decided to hang on until we gave up. If memory serves me correctly, the United States death toll for Vietnam was about 10,000 by the end of 1968.
From the Wikipedia article on General Giap:
"...The last U.S. combat troops left in March, 1973. It was an uneasy peace and by 1974, serious fighting had broken out between North Vietnamese units which had stayed behind and the ARVN. The ARVN held its own successfully in this fighting.
President Nguyen Văn Thieu of South Vietnam appealed to President Richard Nixon for continued financial aid. Nixon was sympathetic but the United States Congress was not and the move was blocked. At its peak, U.S. aid to South Vietnam had reached $30 billion a year. By 1974 it had fallen to $1 billion (thanks to the Democrat Congress). Starved of funds, Thieu's government had difficulty even paying the wages of the army and desertions became a problem. On the other side, the army of North Vietnam received billions of dollars in new equipment from the Soviet Union. (Emphasis added).
The spring of 1975 saw a series of National Liberation Front victories. After important areas such as Danang and Hue were lost in March, panic swept through the AVRN. Senior officers, fearing what would happen after the establishment of an NLF government, abandoned their men and went into hiding.
The National Liberation Front arrived in Saigon on April 30, 1975. Soon afterwards the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was established."
From this Real Clear Politics post (June 23, 2006):
The North Vietnamese/Viet Cong reaction:
"..."Our losses were staggering and a complete surprise," said North Vietnamese Army Col. Bui Tin in a 1995 interview. "Our forces in the South were nearly wiped out. It took until 1971 to re-establish our presence."
"The Tet Offensive proved catastrophic to our plans," said Truong Nhu Tang, minister of justice in the Viet Cong's provisional government, in a 1982 interview. "Our losses were so immense we were unable to replace them with new recruits.""
Our MSM reaction (from the Real Clear Politics post):
"The news media reported this overwhelming American victory as a catastrophic defeat.
"Donning helmet, Mr. Cronkite declared the war lost," recounted UPI's Arnaud de Borchgrave. "It was this now famous television news piece that persuaded President Lyndon Johnson...not to run for re-election."
Shaken by Tet, he planned to seek terms for a conditional surrender, the North Vietnamese commander, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, wrote in his memoirs. But our news media's complete misrepresentation of what had actually happened "convinced him America's resolve was weakening and complete victory was within Hanoi's grasp," Mr. de Borchgrave said." (Emphasis added).
If we had been united in purpose, the Tet Offensive COULD HAVE BEEN THE LAST MAJOR VIET CONG OFFENSIVE.
But instead, because we were divided, partially due to the efforts of the (partially) Kremlin-orchestrated "peace movement", THOUSANDS MORE AMERICANS AND VIETNAMESE DIED BETWEEN THE END OF 1968 AND 1975. Yeah, that's your peace movement and the modern-day Cindy Sheehans, et al, and the "old guard" - John Kerry, Jane Fonda,... are the philosophical bastard stepchildren of the efforts of the Kremlin. "Useful idiots" is too kind a term to use for them.
If the Vietnam war had ended in 1968, would there have been the regional instability that eventually led to the "Killing Fields" of Cambodia (from 1975 to 1979)?
That the current terrorist campaign in Iraq & Afghanistan is orchestrated towards demoralizing the United States people and ensuring a Democrat victory in November 2006 and 2008 it an entirely viable concept. A solid Republican victory with a renewed spirit and the passage of time will tell us if this is the last major offensive in Iraq for Al Qaida.
We were told on September 20, 2001 that this war was going to take a while. It had already been going on for close to 30 years, by some accounts. There is no quick fix, no quick victory, but there could be a defeat in the wake of a loss of resolve. But again, as with Vietnam, it takes years for these things to "play themselves out" for historical perspective.
[I mean, if admitted Liberal NYT columnist Thomas Friedman knows that the Islamists are monitoring our media, why isn't there a more widespread understanding of "how voices carry"?]
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I will be linking to some of Beerme's posts over at Beer Can Blog, from time to time, for your reading pleasure, if you wish. And I will add a few of Beerme's links to my list over at Beer Can Blog.
Now if you enjoy a glass of fine ale or beer from time to time, doesn't the Oktoberfest Celebration (and German beer in general) seem to be something that the Germans should be standing up and defending from the Muslim cultural onslaught? For all the criticisms that we level towards the French, they do make good wine. Isn't that worth defending from the Muslim hordes?
Maybe if their pubs are sufficiently threatened, the British will rise up and defend their traditions of fine ales, porters, and stouts. During WWII, some of Sir Winston Churchill's bravado may have been partially fueled by ale, port - well, whatever works. If Britain had not won the Battle of Britain, our liberation of Europe would have been very difficult, in not impossible without Britain as an ally and the British Isles as a staging area for the Normandy Invasion. During the 21st century cultural wars, will Britain be the sole holdout for Western values, if only to defend their booze (they don't seem to be doing a good job of defending their churches)?
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Shiner 97 Beer is Now on the Market!
This anniversary beer, for Spoetzl Brewing Co.'s 97th anniversary is a Bohemian-style Black Lager.
I blogged more about it and its other Shiner relatives over at Beer Can Blog.
So go give a read for a change of pace from all of the politics.
For the more aggressive hopheads, Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster, a seasonal, is now back on the Atlanta/Athens market. If you enjoy their hoppy Rye Pale Ale, you will really enjoy this one. It is pricey, though at 7.99 or so for four bottles.
So enjoy in moderation.
The Latest "60 Minutes"...
On Laura Ingraham's show this morning, the author said his book was scheduled for release early next year, after the election, but it appeared (to the listeners and Laura) that the publisher saw a political gain in rushing it into the stores in time for the election. Anything to sully Republicans I guess.
Kuo was upset that the President didn't follow-through on his promises to Federally fund more "Faith-based initiatives". As a "disgruntled employee", perhaps Kuo didn't notice that the President has been distracted since 9/11/01.
There are other issues that revolve around the funding for these programs, i.e., if he was really a diehard Conservative, he would have been more troubled about using Taxpayer money when private donations might have filled the bill.
Another drawback to using more Federal taxpayer funds is that strings always come attached when Federal money is involved. Some of these targeted organizations may have figured that one out and backed off of any requests. It is one of those ideas that sounds good until you "noodle it out". As for White House insiders dissing Evangelicals, I am sure that some professional Washington insiders have some disregard for "outsiders", but I don't think President Bush shares this viewpoint. The Democrats are big on micromanagement and they think everyone else should be so, too, i.e., apparently, they think the President is supposed to know the private prejudices of every White House staffer and aide.
It is no reason for Christians to stay home on Election Day. Would they have expected any better treatment if it were President Gore or Kerry?
Just a Reminder of the Types of Judges That We Get...
Clinton-appointed Federal Judge John Koeltl, according to this FrontPageMag article, gave Stewart only 28 months of the 30 years she could have (should have) received.
From the article:
"...A jury of her peers convicted radical leftist lawyer Lynne Stewart of passing fatwas from Omar Abdel Rahman to his Egyptian terrorist followers, the Islamic Group, a radical cadre dedicated to replacing President Hosni Mubarak with an Islamic dicatorship akin to the Taliban.
Stewart provided this messenger service to terrorists with the help of co-defendants Ahmed Abdel Sattar and Mohamed Yousry. Their division of labor worked thus: Sattar received messages from IG terrorists and passed them on to Yousry. Stewart then visited Rahman in his Minnesota prison cell under the pretense of giving legal advice. Yousry, Stewart’s “interpreter,” related IG’s messages to the sheikh and wrote down his murderous fatwas in return. While this was going on, Stewart made random comments to mislead nearby guards into thinking she was having a discussion with her client – despite the fact that the government informed her these conversations may be recorded."
Is this the same terrorist group that has been responsible for the killings of American and European tourists in Egypt? I guess if this passed information had of resulted in the deaths of tourists, in her poisoned Leftist viewpoint, "they would have had it coming".
I bring this up partially because my daughter's boyfriend took a college-related trip to Egypt this last summer. What if Lynne Stewart had not been caught? Not only out of concern for my daughter's boyfriend, but for other innocent tourists, too. One of the ways that these terrorist groups want to destabilize the Mubarak-led government is by discouraging tourists from visiting the pyramids and other sites of Egyptian history, by killing them.
Despite our dissatisfaction with Republicans, the stakes are too high to stay home on election day.
Just a Few Follow-Up Thoughts on the Charlotte Race
The driver of #43 last year, Jeff Green finished 29th in the 2005 point standings, with no Top-10 finshes. Kyle Petty's year has been a little more off, as he only has 1 Top-10 finish and is 33rd in the point standings versus 27th last year.
As for Mark Martin, some comments have been made about his reactions after his crash, i.e., how he seemed "too happy" for the circumstances. His wreck was because rookie J. J. Yeley "tried to make a left turn (into the pits) from the "center lane"", after Mark had committed himself to a particular "line through the turn".
Even with the crash, he is still in fourth place in the Chase, still in contention, but he seems verbally resigned to not winning, though his actions are of those of one that is still trying. I guess he is trying to emotionally get ready in case he doesn't make it. It will of course be frustrating not to have reached that pinnacle of NASCAR, but he was certainly good enough to have won at least one Winston Cup Championship during his career. It was just that when he had a great year, someone else had a better year. He finished second in the point standings behind Dale Earnhardt twice (1990 - 36 pts., 1994 - 444 pts.), Jeff Gordon (1998 - 364 pts.), and Tony Stewart (2002 - 38 pts.). Here are his career statistics, which include 35 wins, 234 Top-5 finishes and 373 Top-10 finishes (Top-5s are included in the Top-1os).
The first time I saw Mark Martin, was in his first Charlotte race, the 1982 World 600, now the Coca Cola 600. During the race, he received a standing ovation from the crowd in the grandstands along the front "straightaway", which actually is a "tri-oval bend", two gentle curves separated by a short straightaway.
Mark was racing in a small "clump" of perhaps four cars, when another rookie spun around and was sliding backwards along the outside wall. The cars Mark was racing with moved down towards the grass to avoid the sliding car and Mark got shoved off into the trioval grass at perhaps 150 mph. He "fish-tailed" slightly, but kept his composure and when the pavement curved around, he blended right back into the same pack he was racing with, as if nothing had happened! If he had panicked (sp.?) and gotten sideways, his momentum would probably have carried him back into those other three cars, so instead of having one car sliding backwards along the wall, there might have been three or four more wrecked race cars bouncing off each other and the wall.
When Mark blended back into the same pack of cars, the crowd stood up and applauded his driving skills, though I don't know if even he would have noticed this from inside the car.
I had the good fortune to see Mark Martin win the Fall 1991 race at Atlanta, I think it was called the Atlanta Journal 500 at that time.
Again, he is good enough to have won at least one championship, I just hope the fans remember that.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Is Kevin Harvick Perched on the Threshold of NASCAR History?
It could happen. Kevin Harvick could win both championships. My sentimental favorites are Jeff Burton and Mark Martin, but I wouldn't mind at all if Kevin pulls off this bit of NASCAR history.
A new storyline has now entered the Chase.
It probably has no relation to global warming, nor the North Korean event (nuclear or not).
The Hawaiian Islands sit atop the Pacific crustal plate, which is constantly moving to the Northwest. For reasons that are not completely explanable within the Plate Tectonics Theory, there are isolated, stationary Mantle Upwhellings, called "Hot Spots", this particular one being responsible for past, present, and future Hawaiian volcanic eruptions.
Here is a USGS report on the event. This map shows the epicenter locations for this earthquake, aftershocks and perhaps foreshocks.
For comparison's sake, here is a map showing the almost constant, smaller-scale activity on and around Puerto Rico. This map shows that there was even a small (2 scale) earthquake in the Valley & Ridge Province in NW Georgia.
Here is a map showing activity in California and Nevada.
It's a wild world we inhabit.
Yeah, I've Got Your Moral Equivalency Right Here!
One of the few stories I watched concerned actions by Chinese border guards towards people fleeing Tibet for Nepal. I believe it was a Bulgarian TV news crew that filmed (among other things) two people in a line being shot down by Chinese border guards. The others in the line didn't break into a blind panic and run across the glacier. There was no where else to go, they were totally in the open. While the brave Chinese border guards shot them down.
There were other images of children being led away from a camp by Chinese border guards.
This brings to mind a story told to me by one of my now-retired UTEP professors. He spent some time in 1978 (or so) in Yugoslavia, studying limestones and related geological issues. He told us that if they got within one mile of the Yugoslavia/Albania border, the Albanian border guards would start shooting at them. Not warning shots, but at them. It probably went something like this - his Yugoslav hosts said "Hey, there are some neat rocks over this ridge, but you are going to have to keep you head down, as we are within the sight of the Albanians". Yeah, I have had a redneck shoot over my head before in the desert, it sounded like a .22 and it was un-nerving enough, but to be shot at, while still within the border of your host country.
Meanwhile, Leftists and other ninnies see no moral differences between our culture and "other" cultures, e.g., communist-dominated. People like Noam Chomsky and his ilk. People like Cindy Sheehan. You know the players. The people like the caller to Michael Medved last week that didn't see a difference between the U.S. having nuclear weapons and North Korea having nuclear weapons.
One of the beauties of this country is that you can leave anytime you want (as long as it is OK with your parole officer). We argue about how to keep people from coming in, but we sure as heck don't shoot them upon exit, unless they are criminals fleeing capture (and that doesn't happen often).
Meanwhile we roll our eyes and shake our heads at their stupidity.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Regarding President Reagan's Backbone
From the article:
"...At Reykjavik, Reagan was ready to reduce the US nuclear arsenal by 50 percent, in exchange for reciprocal reductions on the Soviet side. For his part, Gorbachev proposed a joint elimination of all offensive nuclear missiles. He even offered huge reductions in Soviet conventional forces in Eastern Europe. But Gorbachev's central goal during the summit was to convince Reagan to give up the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).
Reagan wouldn't be cajoled, blustered or charmed. Instead of dropping SDI, he proposed that the system be developed and if demonstrated to be a success, that Moscow and Washington share all anti-missile technology in order to prevent an accident that could trigger Armageddon.
Despite all the promises on the table—sweeping cutbacks in missiles and warheads, the eventual denuclearization of Europe, even eliminating all nuclear weapons within a decade—Reagan was insistent on keeping SDI, and Gorbachev was insistent on killing it. As Gorbachev put it during the summit, "I am increasingly convinced of something I knew previously only second-hand. The President of the United States does not like to retreat."
Disappointed, Reagan rose from his chair and declared, "The meeting is over.""
Do you think the MSM would remind us of this important anniversary of a profile in courage?
What if the Democrats had had their way and there was no initiation of the SDI program in the 1980s? I know that there is still much work to be done, but what would the situation be if we had waited for the "now", when Dems pretend to be so concerned about missile defense, claiming that they have "a smarter plan"?
And who might we entrust our National Defense to?
As I said a few days ago, it can take years for these things to play themselves out. That is why we need visionary people, who at the same time, are rooted in realities of the past and its history. Churchill, Reagan, Lincoln,...who will stand with them in history?
It's About Damned Time!
From the article here is the key paragraph in the indictment:
"Beginning on a date unknown and continuing to at least September 11, 2006, defendant ADAM GADAHN, also known as "Azzam al-Ameriki" ("GADAHN"), a citizen of the United States, whose last known place of residence was in Orange County, within the Central District of California, owing allegiance to the United States, knowingly adhered to an enemy of the United States, namely, al-Qaeda, and gave al-Qaeda aid and comfort, within the United States and elsewhere, with intent to betray the United States. In so doing, GADAHN committed the following overt acts witnessed by two or more witnesses." (Emphasis by author Henry Mark Holzer.)
So when will we follow-up with Treason indictments of Lynne Stewart, Sandy Berger, Jimmy Carter,...? This war is just as serious (if not more so) as WWII. When repeated verbal attacks are made on the nation and President Bush (primarily overseas), it gives Al Qaida, et al, a renewed spirit, to hold on and wait for us to give up. And in the meantime, more Americans, allies, and cooperative Iraqis and Afghanis will die.
We found out after-the-fact that the Viet Cong/North Vietnamese were considering giving up at the end of 1968 after they lost the Tet Offensive, but because they saw our internal divisions, they held out while tens of thousands more Americans and Vietnamese died. Without the likes of Ted Kennedy, Jane Fonda, John Kerry, Walter Cronkite,...that "black granite" wall in Washington, DC would be much smaller. Are the descendants of the Vietnam "Peace Movement" too blind or too evil to see the blood on their hands?
Quick victory is the best path to lasting peace.
I think many Conservatives are wise enough to distinguish between reasoned dissent and verbal "Aid and Comfort". Many of these attacks are not because the speaker "wants us to do better", but because they want us to fail. Again, they are either too evil or too stupid to foresee (sp.?) the results of the "power vaccum".
Things We Can Take to the Bank,...
Others have focused on the personalities of the Democrats that will rise into positions of authority, should the American people lose sight of what is important. I don't favor the Republicans for partisan reasons, I favor them because I think (for the most part), despite problems, they are better for the health of the country.
Remember, I have made the journey from Classical Liberal to Conservative/Libertarian. I remember the "Liberal" hysteria associated with the election of President Reagan and I remember how most of it was wrong.
In contrast with the "Modern Liberals", I didn't see the United States as the focus of evil in the world, as do some of the hard-core Leftists. I didn't believe that President Reagan would start a nuclear war, I was afraid that he would scare the Soviets into starting one and we would have no choice, but to reply in kind. In summary, I didn't agree with President Reagan's stand on some issues, because I didn't understand until later, until some events had played themselves out. But I did appreciate the need for backbone in a President. My primary gripe with the Reagan Administration is their failure to take action after the Beirut bombing of the Marine compound. I will leave the "whys" to real historians.
Anyway, we can almost bet on...
The prosecution of the War on Terror will become much more difficult as our methods and funding are subjected to even more micromanagement and endless investigations on Capitol Hill. Add to that the planned (and promised) attempts at impeachment of the President.
The calls to withdraw from Iraq will be ratcheted upward by those that conveniently forget (or coverup) the bloodbath that occurred in Vietnam after we gave up. Michael Savage already forecasts that sort of retreat from Bagdhad. And if there are attacks that follow our retreat, they wiill be blamed upon the Bush Administration and the Republican-led Congress and Senate.
They will raise taxes on you and your children, I believe Charles Rangel wants to nix any chances for extension of existing tax cuts, wants to re-instate the "marriage penalty", wants to revive the "death tax",...They want more and more. And to them, "the children" are only props. They don't consider (or don't care) that "the children" will all-too-soon be adults and will have to deal with the consequences of Democrat Socialist tax laws.
They will ratchet-up the attacks on Traditional Marriage and on the Boy Scouts, as well as other American Traditions.
There will more restrictions on the drilling for and the refining of petroleum, while at the same time decrying the price increases and the "windfall profits", when the actual profit margins have not appreciably changed.
Without a massive outcry from the American people, there will be no progress on Immigration Reform, the Dems need those new voters! And they need new victims to be served by the new and enlarged government programs.
There will be more restrictions of the Right of Self-Defense by American citizens. They want to control guns, not criminals. I believe that one of the long-term reasons for the wanted confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens is the government fear of future Tax Riots, by our grown children and grandchildren. Will they stand at our graves and shout - "WHY DIDN'T YOU DO SOMETHING?"?
What do you wish to add to this list? This ain't JFK's Democrat Party (not that it was all that great in those days). We need to look at their reactions to current events. Some have claimed that the North Korean "event" (whatever it was) was designed to draw our attention away from the Mark Foley issue.
And what would Dems do to "protect our kids" from the Mark Foleys of the Congress? Are they going to purge all open and suspected gays from office. LOL. Right.
Look at their heroes. Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, Larry Flynt,...What are they going to give us in the way of Moral Leadership?
It is just a fact of modern life that each succeeding election seems to become "the most important in our lifetime", perhaps because we don't have a "loyal opposition". Though the Republicans may be wrong on a number of issues, electing Democrats would only make things worse.
And I think you can take that to the bank.
Lest we forget.
Thanks to BeerCanBill.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
With Modern Libs, It's Always the Season for Bashing Christians
Yes, Germany was ostensibly a "Christian nation" and some want to use that fact (or factoid) to make the connection. These writers want to make a connection between the zeal of some "really intense" Christians and the zeal of pre-WWII Nazi Germany. And some aspects of European anti-Semitism were based upon a misunderstanding/misinterpretation of Christian (perhaps primarily Catholic) teachings, but the Nazis themselves were pagans. And socialist movements often need scapegoats and it was easier to initially attack Jews and others that might not bow down to a centralized government.
Some of the commentors to Olasky's post offer more information (some of which I already knew, but had trouble articulating):
[in no particular order]
"eon", posting at 8:11 AM (10/12):
"...Any decent reference book on the Third Reich makes it clear that the state religion was pre-Christian Scandinavian polytheism, i.e., belief in the ancient Norse pantheon. This was reflected in everything from spring "fertility festivals" where eligible young German women were impregnated by S.S. soldiers to ensure a "pure" German race, to the fact that an S.S. soldier's grave was topped not by the Christian cross, but by the Norse "death rune", basically an upside-down "Peace" sign minus the outer circle."
Another comment, by Carl O. Witz (7:41 AM):
"...William Shirer's bestselling Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, published in 1959, has a section titled: The Persecution of the Christian Churches." (Chapter 8, pp 234-240 in my paperback edition.) He cites a 30 point program for a "National Reich Church" drawn up by Alfred Rosenberg that advocates extermination of the "strange and foreign Christian faiths imported into Germany in the ill-omened year 800" along with getting rid of the bible, replacing the cross with the swastika, etc."
Otter (5:50 AM) wrote:
"'Hitler hated the church's teachings, believing they had no place in his vision of Germanic supermen ruling lesser races devoid of "outdated" concepts such as mercy and love.But he knew the power of the church in Germany and couldn't banish it overnight. Instead, his plan was to gradually "Nazify" the church, beginning with a theological centre he set up in 1939 to rewrite the Bible.'"
A few years ago, while surfing the net, I followed some links to a website concerning urban blight in Detroit, which in-turn somehow led to a Neo-Nazi/Aryan Nations-type of website, wherein they stated that the Gospels were a "Jewish invention", furthering the notion of Nazi Germans (and their bastard philosophical stepchildren) being Teutonic pagans, rather than Christians.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Light Blogging Thusfar This Week...
Will try to do some posting the next couple of days, if time permits.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
To the Libs, Everything is on a Hollywood Time Scale...
They don't understand (or maybe they just pretend not to) that it takes years for events to unfold and then play themselves out.
Yes, President Bush has been in the White House 6+ years, but this North Korean thing (was it a nuke or not?) has been "cooking" longer than that. Henry Lamb explains some of the details of how long this has been going on.
The 9/11 plot was "cooking" for several years before President Bush's inauguration.
I don't believe Conservatives are attempting to turn aside truly-earned responsibilities, but instead are "taking their lumps". And acknowledging honestly that there is blame to go around, as there is in almost any human endeavor.
President Bush could behave like Carter and/or Clinton and spend endless hours detailing the failures of those two presidents, in regards to modern events, but President Bush has too much class for that. There is also an element of trying to preserve some of the prestige of the office, by not trashing previous Presidents.
[I will expand upon this later.]
Friday, October 06, 2006
Friday Beer Blatherings
Just thinking about, that A-B would spend $82 million probably means that they have some respect for the label, unless they were trying to keep a competitor from buying it. The Latrobe brewery itself was purchased by City Brewery of LaCrosse, WI (formerly the home of G. Heilemen Brewing Co.). I just hope they don't over-extend themselves.
A-B doesn't buy out other breweries' assets or properties very often. Going strictly from memory, if Anheuser Busch has a brewery in Syracuse, NY, it might have once been a Schlitz brewery. Again from memory, I think the last time that A-B bought out another brewery, lock-stock-and-barrel, was the American Brewing Co. of Miami, FL, in the mid-1950s. That purchase gained them a Miami-area brewery and the Regal Ale and Regal Beer labels, but the government, in an anti-trust move, forced them to sell the brewery and the labels.
Another example of a large brewery buying "a label" from a small brewery and really making into something big was what is now "Miller Lite". Prior to the mid-1970s, "Lite" was a brand owned originally by the Meister Brau Brewing Co. of Chicago, which (from memory) may have been bought out by the Peter Hand Brewing Co., also of Chicago. So what has been Miller Lite since 1974 was orginally Meister Brau Lite.
[I will cross-post this at Beer Can Blog.]
So, go check out the title-linked photo.
The Short Version of What I Just Said
Sometimes when a rant starts, it just has to run it's course.
It All Boils Down to Interpretation
It was an exercise in strength and restraint. It went smoother than many had expected, there were no shouting matches. Mike knew that if he failed in his restraint, the Phelps band of protestors would have been off to Paradise, PA.
As presented by the Phelps daughters - Shirley Phelps-Roper and (I have forgotten the name of the second sister) - [it's the stress, not the beer!]
It's all about interpretation. I am not meaning to slam "Biblical literalists" in any way, but my viewpoint (shared by many others) is that -
- The Bible has been translated how many times?
- Each and every translator has a bias and the translation of certain words is a matter of bias and interpretation.
- What might have been taken out of the Bible, because it made someone uncomfortable?
- What might have been lost prior to the compilation of the Bible as we now know it?
- What is the place of the "Gnostic Gospels" and the Apochrypha?
For the sake of philosophical arguments, in a private conversation, one could make contentions that the Amish interpretation is not the strict interpretation of the scriptures, but to make such harsh judgements of the Amish people, to tell them that their slain daughters (7 - 13) were "whores" and that they "deserved to die" is not demonstrative of the widespread interpretation of God's love.
Most American Christians probably feel that because the Amish can filter out most of the "modern noise", they can probably focus on prayer and other aspects of Biblical teachings, more effective that "we" can. Most American Christians probably feel that the Amish are "closer to God" than "we" are, or at least they are trying.
In other words, there can be some philosophical arguments made on the viewpoints of the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, but their hateful hubris (the inability to consider that they themselves might be humanly-flawed) is not going to win any converts. Isn't that the greater idea - to deliver the Good News? To teach that while God may well be disappointed with America, there is still time for redemption of individuals and with enough individuals a difference can be made in our mortal (and beyond) future.
One of the arguments that the Phelps' sisters made against the Amish is their "rum springa" (which has nothing to do with rum), rather it is translation of German, meaning "run around".
As with so many other things, TV has distorted this aspect of Amish life, leaving us to believe (as I did) that when Amish teens reached 16, they were sent to the city to "sow their wild oats", often engaging in alcohol consumption and wanton sex. Disregarding what we might have done in our own college years, to most people, sheltering your kids and then at 16 turning them loose into a world of temptation seemed like a really bad idea.
According to this website, this is not how it really is. The above conception was based upon a "reality-based" TV show that lasted for 10 weeks during 2004, "Amish in the City" produced by UPN/CBS.
From the explanation given on the above-website:
"...The basis for the reality show was a simple concept: UPN/CBS recruited and paid 5 Amish youth of rum springa age, along with six non-Amish "city kids" of the same age, to participate in the show. Rum springa, translated literally from the German dialect all Amish speak, means to "around (rum) run (springa)," or when stated in English, to "run around." The 11 youth were taken to Los Angeles where they lived together in the same house for several weeks. They were filmed interacting during free time and while engaged in various structured activities arranged by the show's producers (they visited the ocean, various theme parks, several different religious groups and cultural festivals--the Hare Krishna, Asian American, Muslim, etc). [Emphasis added]
All Amish youth experience the "running around" Amish rite of passage known as rum springa. Most (some 85-90%) successfully negotiate this "causal time" of their lives and return to the fold. This important phase of their life begins at age 16 and prior to baptism into Amish church membership. Simply put, rum springa, in the Amish sense, is a time when their youth become adults, "put away the things of a child" and become of dating age (16). Contrary to the manner in which it was portrayed on the reality show, it is nothing more and nothing less! Most Amish kids of rum springa age live at home with their parents and continue working on their parents' farms and/or home based businesses. They most certainly do not run off to LA and live in the same house with a group of non-Amish youth of the similar age! I personally experienced rum springa at age 16 and can attest to the fact that it never correlates with lavish parties, extravagant adventures, fancy food, free housing, and lots of money as was experienced by the 5 Amish youth participating in the Amish in the City TV show! This important Amish rite of passage was completely misrepresented by the reality show being discussed here. In my opinion, rum springa can never can be accurately portrayed on a TV show." [Emphasis added]
I don't recall watching much of this show, but as with many 16 year-olds, they could well have been tempted by the exposure to the "outside world". Was this manipulation by the MSM, in order to slander the Amish? Or was it just a social experiment by the MSM?
Without going back into my archives, I believe I have blogged once or twice about a men's organization founded by our church (but open to all interested men), called 2717 - based upon Proverbs 27:17 - "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." It is a biblically-based men's support group that largely functions as a once-a-month place for fellowship. It is to remind that there is a support system.
It is based on the "brainchild" of a friend that passed away in 2005 after a 5-year long battle with cancer. His viewpoint and mission was to "get to heaven and bring as many people along as he could", by delivering the Good News. Are our methods flawed? Of course they are, but ultimately, God gives us free will and he knows what is in our hearts.
The Phelps clan believes that Charles Carl Roberts IV was an "agent sent by God" to slaughter innocents because of the sins of others. "Our" belief is that Charles Carl Roberts made a series of free-will choices that demostrated the worst case scenario of human choices, i.e., what can happen when human-centered choices are made, rather that God-centered choices. Maybe God intended that we learn something from this.
Ultimately, we will never know all of what was in Charles Carl Roberts IV's mind. At any point, he could have made the choice to say "I can't do this" in regard to his plan. He could have demonstrated his pain by putting the gun to his own head, rather than slaughtering those girls. But, for whatever reason, he chose not to.
I just think that "blaming it on God's anger" is counter-productive towards the goals of the "Great Commission".
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Reminding Us of Why We Need to Vote Republican in November...
She reminds us of the rogue's gallery that will assume power in the House and Senate should good people stay home in disgust of the antics of certain Republicans.
The recent uptick in the Baghdad bombings may be trying to push a few more Democrats to the polls and cause a few more of the people "in the middle" to begin to doubt a little more.
We can't lose this war. If the Dems win, our retreats won't result in immediate American deaths, but it will probably later on. If we leave a power vaccum in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of the people that now support our efforts in those countries will die.
And our nation will lose a little more respect in the world. And who will they turn to instead? Who else is strong enough to "wear the white hat"? It is not easy, but someone will influence world events? Russia? China? Islam? Who among those are most likely to carry on the (Classical) liberal values that are connected largely with the English-speaking nations of the Earth? Did the Magna Carta arise from Asia? Or from values similar to modern day Islamists?
What is our destiny? Is it flawed courage or cowardice?
We are Seeing the Results of Cultural Confusion in Current Events
American "elites" see Europe as being the paragon of sophistication versus the earthy "cowboy" existence of American "fly-over country".
This was one of the benefits of having Newt Gingrich as a high-profile spokesman for Conservative policies, until he lost much of his credibility due to his treatment of his second wife, which re-raised questions about how he treated his first wife. With these issues, Newt "moved into a glass house". His knowledge of history and how Europe has screwed up is of importance, but he has sullied himself as a messenger.
That the modern Democrats live in a glass house doesn't seem to matter to them. That they lionize Ted Kennedy and give endless aid and comfort to Barney Frank and past heros such as Gerry Studds doesn't seem to phase them (as hypocritical) when confronting the issue of Mark Foley.
In his WND column this morning, Hans Zeiger explains well some of the reasons for our culture's problems. We seek the easy way, including everybody under "the big tent" rather than revere the long-standing, successful gender identities, based on biology and thousands of years of human culture. In other words, it is the degradation of the culture of "manliness" that leads to gender confusion and the distortion of relationships between men and boys.
If confronted by these discussions, liberals will cite the bad sides of manliness, asking "is that what we want more of?", when of course we don't.
We know what manliness is, it is strength, it is strength in restraint, when the time is right and it is strength in well-considered action when the time is right. It is the tenderness to pick up a kitten while fighting off a bear with a stick. It is the strength to self-sacrifice by burying hurts, because to do otherwise in public will lead to collapse. It is something that we understand, but we may not be able to adequately articulate.
From the Zeiger column:
"...Men who determine to have sex with other men find an easy target with boys. Homosexuality is a violation of natural law; there are no cultural regulations for it once the practice is made acceptable; boys in the process of solidifying their identity as men are vulnerable to sexual perversions of all sorts. In the absence of manliness – of strength, virtue, courage – men find open seasons for gratification, and then boys find an open route to Gomorrah, especially if that route is advertised enthusiastically by a conspiracy of cultural influences. The route then is a rout – from marriage, from family, from community, and not least from God."
Yes, it makes us uncomfortable to have to confront the realities of human biology.
When we give tacit acceptance for the public display of certain private behaviors "between consenting adults", we have weakened a long-standing taboo. A taboo that is just as much biologic as it is religious. Taboos help control behaviors. Men are, by nature, predatory and taboos serve to control hedonistic urges.
It is not hate, it is just a recognition of what we are biologically and culturally. Those guidelines and moral guardrails have been in-place for hundreds if not thousands of years, for reasons. There are two genders for a reason and I don't think it is an accident of evolution.
Was it the lack of "manliness" in the background of the killer of the Amish girls that led to years of self-hatred? Was it the lack of "manliness", not just in Charles Carl Roberts, but in the other family men that should have been around him that led to the years of self-hatred?
We all get hurt, in our youth and in our adulthood, either by acts of commission or omission. And we ourselves hurt, even when we don't mean too. I think that most of the people that have hurt me have not done so because they meant to, but because they were just as socially and financially klutzy as I am.
In his Townhall.com column, Lee S. Wishing III covers the issue of how some people take insults more personally, to the point that they die a little with each insult. They are not able to just shrug it off, perhaps because of doubts about their own value, perhaps they believe the thoughless insult (forgotten soon after by the deliverer) may be true. Wishing cites Matthew 5: 21-22 as Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" address of how insults may be equated with murder.
Here is Wishing's passage:
"...At the time of this writing, we don’t know why the Paradise killer wanted to get revenge for something that happened 20 years ago; when he was in elementary school. But we do know this — insults are like murder, like death. They may have a permanent effect on the recipient. Who was the great man of history who equated insults with murder, with the sixth commandment? It was Jesus in his “Sermon on the Mount.” When you have some time, check out what He has to say in Matthew 5:21-22."
Yes, it is easy to hurl insults when we are annoyed by foolishness, but we need to remember the words of a friend of mine (who himself at times forgets these words - we are all human) - "Everyone carries a secret pain, a secret burden". When we act impulsively and are careless in our words, it is our words and actions that may push a troubled person over the edge.
Just one more point to end this rambling rant... When libs go on about increasing "self esteem" in school children, they are not wrong, but increasing self esteem without achievements is hollow and it will not last. If you see that a child is having trouble with a given endeavor, perhaps you can guide them to another activity where they can achieve some solid success. This is why we mentor, even when we would rather be doing something else or when we ourselves are troubled, because we don't know what contribution we might make turn out to be a "cross-roads" event in a child's life, because we took that extra time.