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>

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Good Post on Kitty Litter...

by way of Blogmeister USA, reminds us of why we can't afford to give up on the War on Terror, not even in Iraq.

Yeah, the Dems and other Libs would prefer to entertain us with free bread and circuses. To them it is 9/10.

While others prepare the way for future attacks, in their own subtle ways and the useful idiots/traitors help them.
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Photo Links to Cumberland Caverns Crawl...

are posted below. These photos were taken by Boy Scout Troop 8, from Jackson, MS.

In the first photo, this is the box through which you have to crawl to determine if you will fit through the tight spots in the fracture system. I think I can get through the box, but you can sit up and breathe after going through the box.

In the second, third, and fourth photos, I assume this is the tightest spot in the crawl.

There is other neat stuff to see in the caverns, but I am personally about 70% against the crawl. If my son wants to, that is fine, he will be with the willing participants. Sometimes he does better if I am not there, not that I would nag him while squeezing through such tight spots, i.e., sometimes he just does better with the encouragement of others.

So don't complain about your cubicle.
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

That Strange Place That is Dreamland

I may have blogged about this subject before, I may have even used the same title. [Yeah, I am too lazy/busy to go back and look in my archives.]

It seems that our dreams (if we can remember them) can provide us with grist for our own philosophical discussions, i.e., what were the genesis of these "thoughts" and images? Sometimes, though we remember them, they defy descriptions to other people. Ya just had to be there, ya know!

Sometimes we know what brings about certain dreams. Ongoing events and stresses can reflect in our dreams, but sometimes stuff just comes out of nowhere. How we go from one "scene" to another totally unrelated scene can be perplexing.

I recall having a strange dream a few nights ago (actually early Sunday AM) - more on that later and then last night I had another strange dream, in which I told a friend "Man, I had a strange dream the other night", but didn't get to complete the discussion. I don't even know who I was "talking" to. I won't go into the common thread between two of the scenes, lest you think I have issues with a particular subject (which I don't).

So I am talking about strange dreams in my strange dreams. What does that mean? Do I want to know?

While on this stream-of-delirium, I recall a past dream, in which I was French-kissing Sandra Bullock, only to awaken with our indoor dog licking me on the mouth as I lay at the edge of the bed. Ewwww! That is why the bedroom door is supposed to be closed to the point where the dog can't push it open. Ah, family life.

The Sunday morning dream happened after the alarm went off, I intended to get up around 7 AM to do a few chores before getting ready for church. I turned back over and fell back asleep and woke up about 8:30 AM, too late for the 9:30 church service, but with time for our 11 AM adult Sunday School. During this time, I dreamed (or was it dreamt?) that I was in a column of Muslim refugees, somewhere in the Middle East. The folks around me knew that I wasn't a Muslim and that didn't seem to concern them. But at a distance up towards the front of the column, which inluded vehicles and people on foot, some of the Muslim zealots freaked out and started killing folks that they deemed "unworthy". I don't recall any killing closeby, but when when the gunmen were approaching, one of the friendly Muslims nearby handed be a colored card and said "show this to them as they approach and you will be safe". I showed the card and the gunmen passed by. I guess having a full beard helps. I will leave it to the amateur psychologists to figger this out.

The most detailed dream that I can remember was when I was in my 20's. It "starred" Bette Davis and Charlton Heston. [I swear I am not making this up.]

Bette Davis played a witch that lived at the top of a mountain. Two rivers originated on opposite sides of the mountain. The village in which I dwelled was on the side of the mountain with the "violent" river, which flooded often at the witch's pleasure. The river on the other side of the mountain was the peaceful river, which reputedly never flooded.

Charlton Heston assembled a militia to climb the mountain and kill the witch, to end the flooding. As a citizen of the village, I was conscripted into the militia. While we were climbing the mountain, being a Lib, I decided that I would rather climb around to the other side of the mountain instead fighting the witch. As I was working my way through the forest, the alarm clock went off, bringing me back from...

Honestly, it's the stress, not the beer.
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This Year's Boy Scout Activities...

have provided for a series of adventures since my son "crossed over" from Webelos Scouts in late March. An 11.5 mile hike this spring, Summer Camp with a 45-minute horseback ride and rapelling off a 53-foot tower, hiking around Blood Mt. a couple of weekends ago. But I just don't know about this next one.

This weekend we are going to be camping inside of Cumberland Caverns, TN and on the agenda is crawling through a series of passageways for about 2 hours. That is how we will spend Saturday evening. There will be a "test box" to determine if a "crawler" will fit through the passageway before the fact, so that will give me an indication of how badly I want to do this. Someone mentioned that the box interior is 11 inches high. I can do vertical squeezes in caves and at Rock City, in the Chattanooga area (it is actually in Georgia). But I have to admit to a certain level of claustrophobia when it comes to horizontal tight spots, deep underground. And I am not the only one.

Yeah, I know, folks do it all the time. And I have crawled a bit through cramped passageways into old mines when I was a grad student. Into places we shouldn't have been. But I like to think that I have a little more sense now than then.

I know that at least one or two of the older Assistant Scout Masters are a little too "rotund" to even consider this adventure. I am a little slimmer than the above-mentioned men, and I have lost about 20 lbs. since the beginning of the year, but still, I firmly believe that caving is best left for skinny folks.

I am just afraid that if I don't go, my son won't have the motivation and I don't want him to be the only one on the trip not to go. The Scoutmasters are pretty good at keeping lid on excessive teasing, but some of it still happens (boys will be boys). I am not prone to panic attacks, but 2 hours is a long time to be crawling through narrow passageways. Supposedly there are one or two times when we can sit up. Oh joy.

Perhaps 20 minutes, but 2 hours, I just don't know. Sleeping in a cave doesn't bother me, crawling on my hands and knees through the mud doesn't bother me, but feeling the overhanging rocks scraping over my back is a little to much for me. And possibly twisting to go from a horizontal crawl to a short vertical climb deep inside this fracture system concerns me.

I need your prayers regardless of the choice that I make. There are other things that I want to see in the area, perhaps do some fossil collecting (on the surface, thank you), take some pictures of the scenery, even within the cave.
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Friday, November 24, 2006

So, Jimmah Carter Has Gone and Killed Some More Trees...

for another of his books. Tiring if you tend to ignore them, probably infuriating if you take them too seriously. If he had just remained quiet and worked for Habitat for Humanity, he would still be regarded as one of our best ex-presidents. But he has squandered that good will as he has gotten older and grumpier. Jimmy, it ain't our fault that you didn't get your Nobel Peace Prize sooner.

Alan Dershowitz, in this FrontPageMag article, reviews Carter's latest contribution to the discussion of Middle East politics and history, such as it is.

Does he ever spend any time in self-reflection on why he lost the 1980 election? Does he ever spend any time in self-reflection on how his hobbling our intelligence-gathering efforts played a role in present-day affairs? Does he ever spend any tiime in self-reflection on how his policies regarding the Shah of Iran played a role in the modern landscape of the Middle Easts?

If he had, I just think he would tend to be a little more humble instead of hateful.
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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Few Thoughts on Cigars...

are offered by Dennis Prager in this linked column.

I include this because on sporadic occasions, I enjoy a cigar, generally it averages about 1 cigar per month over the course of a year. Sometimes it is more often and then I will go for months without one.

Yes, I know that there are health hazards associated with cigars, but stress is harmful too. Cigars, in constrast to cigarettes, are not intended to be routine. If you are smoking several cigars a day, you are not getting the idea right. They are supposed to be a signal to "slow down". Fine quality ales vs. "factory beers" represent the same opportunities, to slow down and relax. Slowly enjoy one glass of fine ale vs. several cans or bottles of the routine stuff. If enjoying the two together, it would be best to start off with the ale to establish the taste before it is altered by the cigar.

Cigar-related blogs include the Cigar Intelligence Agency, Cigars & Theology, and Let's Talk Cigars.

Yeah, it's all about slowing down long enough to contemplate things. After doing without them for a few months, maybe it is time to have one before it gets too cold outside at night.
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Don't Blame Us, Blame Your Brethren

Six Muslims imams were escorted off a US Airways Flight before it left Minneapolis for Phoenix, according to this article. Of course they are having a royal cow about it. And they are going to blame everyone except their violent, jihadist brethren for concerns that arise when groups of Muslim men engage in group prayer before an airline flight.

In a "normal world", Americans wouldn't get "torqued" about a group of men praying, but as we know, 9/11 changed everything. How many times have we heard about Muslims chanting "Allahu Akbar" while they are killing civilians? I recall one (of many) incident(s) a couple of years ago when Islamists went on a killing rampage in a Christian school in Pakistan. They were shouting "Allahu Akbar" as they shot numerous teachers to death. Fortunately, most (if not all) of the children had taken cover behind armored, reinforced doors.

Respect and tolerance are a two-way street. If you want Americans to be at ease with Muslims, especially Muslim men, you need to purge your religion of its violent elements. It's those elements that use ceasefires to re-arm. It's those elements that use their own houses of worship as sites to store weapons and explosives and places to plan the killing of others, including other Muslims. It's those elements that freely kill children, even their own, if it means killing a few infidels. The burden of proof is upon you, to prove "that you ain't up to no good".

When left alone, Americans have a live-and-let-live attitude towards those that behave themselves. So do most Israelis.

So when you are pointing your finger at us over this latest incident, look at the three fingers that point back yourself.

That's just the way it is. It ain't hate. It ain't fear, it is just a realization of "what's what".

Stereotypes exist for a reason, at least 19 of which can be directly traced back to 9/11/01.
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Monday, November 20, 2006

A Weekend in the Ga. Mountains...

with my son's Boy Scout Troop provided some much needed time outdoors, but it could have been a tad warmer, i.e., maybe this should have been done a month ago. And most of the colorful leaves had been blown off the trees.

Both nights of camping, first at Woody's Gap and then at a shelter-area near Bird Gap, near Blood Mt., included near-freezing temperatures and 20+ mph winds at least part of the night. On the second night, some of us chose to sleep "under the stars" on tarps, rather than in the tents, so as to earn a small achievement. The night started calm, but then perhaps around midnight, the wind started and until well after dawn. The flapping of tarps used as windbreaks kept me awake for most of the night, but that is how it goes.

The Saturday hike up to the shelter area and Sunday morning return made for about a 6-mile round trip over some moderately difficult trails, including traversing some boulder fields along the "Freeman Trail" that winds around Blood Mountain.

On Saturday the morning saw a 400 ft climb in .7 miles of trail from the Byron Herbert Reese Memorial up to Flatrock Gap and following lunch, a 1.8 mile trek around Blood Mountain to Bird Gap, which represented about another 230 feet or so of elevation change. In this article, there is a description of some of the trails on which we hiked. We (as part of the "short hikers") were not on the Appalachian Trail proper, but we were on part of the network of related trails and we crossed the AT at Flatrock Gap and then again at Bird Gap. The shelter area was about .5 miles down a side trail on the south side of Slaughter Creek Valley (we were probably about 500 feet above the creek itself, judging by the topo map). [The names Blood Mt. and Slaughter Gap, etc., are related to a pre-European immigration battle between the Cherokees and the Creeks. Or so the legend goes.]

It was not so much the total elevation change, but the up and downs as we followed the Freeman Trail. In the steeper sections, my 12-year old son went through much wailing and gnashing of teeth, saying "I can't make it" - but he did, he made it to the top. That is what the character-building aspects of Scouting is about. Not letting him give up, but gently prodding along with encouragements from myself and other Assistant Scout Masters, to see that he is capable of more than he ever thought. He still swears he ain't doing it again, but with some more practice (short hikes), hopefully he will stick with it.

Having gained his "hiking legs" and with the decline of elevation on the return trip, the Sunday portion of the hike was much more enjoyable. Not necessarily easier, but more enjoyable. Once one has gotten the burning sensation out of the legs and gotten used to the weight of the backpacks (including tent, water, food, sleeping bag, tarp, etc.), the views are nice.

Now had we been confronted by a driving rain and 40 degree (or less) temps all day long, the report would be somewhat less positive. The boulder fields along Freeman Trail, on the slopes of Blood Mt., are treacherous enough when it is dry.

Aside from the blowing cold wind at night, the weather was pretty good for the hike. Our next planned campout will be next month to a cave in Tennessee, so camping in a cave will bring it's own set of challenges (mainly dealing with bathroom issues, I won't go any further than that).

So since late-March, my son and I have done an 11.5-mile day hike at Chickamauga National Military Park and the almost 6-mile backpacking hike this last weekend. Add to that a 5-mile hike my son did at Scout camp, thus go our attempts to get more exercise and to spend more time in the great outdoors. I guess those account for some accomplishments this year. One of my 2006 New Year's Resolution was to climb from Neels Gap to the top of Blood Mt., at least we went around the edge of Blood Mt., so it is a partial fulfillment of that resolution.
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Discussions of Mandatory National Service...

were among the topics on Laura Ingraham's radio program this morning, following the disingenuous calls for a return to the military draft, especially by Rep. Charles Rangel. It was the Dems that tried to use the spectre of a return of the draft as a scare tactic during the 2004 election cycle. Yet it is the Dems that are now calling for it. Most of the proponents are probably not doing it out of a sense of concern for our military, but for the purpose of weakening of our resolve, first in Iraq, then in Afghanistan.

This issue has arisen before, perhaps for some sort of two-year assignments for "draftees", not necessarily the military service, but elsewhere where youthful labor and vigor might be of use. There are so many ways that teens and young adults can be taught that freedom is not free. It could be a way of forcing them to "put their money where their mouth is", i.e., rather than bitching about the problems, do something about them.

As for funding, perhaps we could appeal to the Hollywood crowd, that since the draft would not be for military purposes, their dollars could help with education efforts in inner cities, perhaps restoration of National Parks and hiking trails, clean-up efforts along creeks and rivers,...

Ms. Ingraham doesn't have a problem with this sort of service, nor does General Tommy Franks. Neal Boortz (in the past) has raised the Libertarian fear that this would amount to a "taking" of a portion of a person's time (and therefore a portion of their life). On WND, Tommy R. Smith writes about the issue of U.S. spoiled brats, perhaps this is a way to drag them out of their X-Box existences into the real world.

Again, returning to the variety of things that could be done by such a workforce, working in concert with some government agencies, e.g., the National Forest Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Weather Service, the EPA,... could help illustrate the wide variety of jobs that are available to American citizens. Many students languish and then fail in college simply because they don't know what they can do with their talents. Even if certain jobs or professions do not appeal to them, perhaps if they see people plying their talents, it might provide some ideas as to support businesses or products. In other words, if teens/early adults spent a couple of years working for the forest service, it might give them some ideas as to products that might be of use to rangers, hikers, back-packers, etc..

Many college campuses have become such hotbeds for Leftist indoctrinations about how bad this country is, maybe some sort of National Service might serve just as well.
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Unfortunately, Tony Blair Seems to be Going Wobbly

His support of the War on Terror has been invaluable, but that support seems to be flagging. He now pronounces Iraq to be a disaster, according to this News Max article, while he pledges his support to the Afghanistan efforts, according to this Townhall.com article.

So what kind of message is this sending? Is it that if the terrorists pick at us enough that one-by-one our allies will give up? If they "succeed" in getting the UK to "bug out" of Iraq, will they turn up the heat in Afghanistan next?

Come on, where is that British "stiff upper lip"? Come on, have another ale and find the backbone of Britannia. Come on, channel the spirit of Sir Winston.
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There is Only One Reason...

that Charles Rangel wants to re-instate the military draft. That is to further gin up resistance to the War on Terror, by disrupting the lives of people that had not intended to enter the military. Most of the people in harm's way have chosen that profession because they see the bigger picture.

On his Townhall.com blog, Kevin McCullough has a different view, I stick with my above opinion.
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Some Cogent Thoughts Yesterday...

on the 2008 Republican Presidential ticket came from Sharon, a last-hour caller to the Bill Bennett radio program.

She had some interesting thoughts as to the viability of a Giuliani/McCain ticket. The social viewpoints of both candidates are distasteful to many Conservatives, but consider the alternatives of a Clinton and/or Kerry and/or Gore administration as we progress during this dangerous first decade of the 21st Century. And especially if they keep a strengthened Democrat House and Senate. If we haven't yet passed the tipping point on our downhill slide, that would probably be it.

Sharon's main point was that Rudy Giuliani's articulation would be a great asset to the ticket and McCain's stands on the War on Terror and his military service would also be assets that would hopefully help carry enough Republican Congressional and Senatorial candidates into office, that the more Conservative House and Senate would control the social (and other) agendas for the next four years. With an aging Baby Boomer population squawling for more "government money", we need someone to stand tall and explain "what's what". Bill Bennett also added that both Rudy and John McCain had good senses-of-humor which they would need to help deflect the Media/Dems slings and arrows. Newt Gingrich is good as a historian, but with his personal baggage and somewhat weak sense-of-humor, Newt may need to stand in the background and offer advice on historical and cultural issues.

No, I don't like McCain's stand on Kyoto and he and Giuliani may be soft on the Second Amendment and perhaps on Pro-Life Issues, but again, with a solid Conservative House and Senate, the viewpoints of the President and Vice President would probably yield to the Legislative Branch.
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If the Dems Continue to Bow to the Hard Left...

and somehow engineer a sooner (rather than later) pullout from Iraq, I wonder what do they expect to happen? Do they really expect the Jihadists to fold their tents and go home? And I wonder how they will attempt to spin the results of the power vacuum, if it turns into a blood bath as did Vietnam and the surrounding area?

We have been down this road before and we know how Vietnam became "Vietnam", because we lost our resolve, partially because of political mismanagement, partially because of manipulation of the "peace movement" by the Kremlin, and partially because of the efforts of the Leftist News Media (maybe they should just be combined with the "peace movement").

If we do pull out before Iraq is able to stand on it's own, it will represent a wastage of the Allied service personnel that have thusfar given their lives and it will represent another incidence of where the United States cannot be depended upon to hang in there until the job is through. And we will never retrieve some of that lost respect. Though it may not be the easy nor the popular thing, much of the world's cultures (especially in the Middle East) prefer the strong horse. If we surrender and run, the Islamists then become the strong horse by default. If someday we (and perhaps Australia) have to stand alone against Islamists, let it be because all others have given up, not because others have abandoned us because of our unreliability.
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An Upcoming PBS Documentary on the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S.

It will be interesting to see if this project makes it to TV broadcast. Will there be riots in Europe and elsewhere? Will high-profile libs talk it down?

I hope they are not going to let CAIR be looking over their shoulders while making the documentary. Who will be the first to pronounce it a Jewish plot?

If done right, hopefully it will inform the masses as to the backgrounds of those on "the other side" in the War on Terror.
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Late With the Veteran's Day Tribute...

and yet I am not, as I consider every day in the United States to be Veteran's Day and Memorial Day.

One of the delays over the past few days was because I was trying to find info on the two particular hometown WWII vets that gave all, one in Europe, the other in the Pacific. [Some of the relatives of these fallen soldiers probably still live in this area, but I do not wish to bother them.]

In the European Theatre of WWII, Singleton M. (Tim) Maxwell was 21 years old and a Private First Class in Company F, 274th Infantry Regiment, 70th Division. He was Killed in Action on January 6, 1945 (his gravestone lists January 7) in the Battle of Wingen-sur-Moder, France.

The above-linked website describes the action for which the 274th Infantry Regiment was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation:

"2d Battalion, 274th Infantry won the Presidential Unit Citation for the capture and liberation of Wingen. This battle was the initial mission of this battalion. They became veterans overnight by decisively defeating the best in the German Army, in what later proved to be a major battle of the winter campaign. In this victory, the battalion destroyed two German battalions, liberated over 250 Americans from another division being held there as prisoners of the German forces, and recaptured a significant number of American weapons and vehicles."

This HistoryNet article describes more of this battle. The Winter of late 1944/early 1945 was particularly wicked in Northern Europe. That was one of the reasons for the progress of the Germans during the early parts of the 38-day Battle of the Bulge (which was further north of the Battle of Wingen), as American and British planes were grounded by the lousy weather.

Page 4 of the above-linked HistoryNet article details the most intense fighting that involved Company F, 274th Infantry.

In a later post I will include some info on the other of these two WWII vets that gave their all, Sargent John C. Tatum, Army Air Corp.
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Friday, November 10, 2006

Naw, the Newly-Elevated Dems Wouldn't Dream of Dividing Us, Would They?

On the subject of redirecting Federal taxpayer money to New York, the vaunted Charles Rangel (who will likely be the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, where tax laws originate by Constitutional mandate) decided it was necessary to slam Mississippi, as reported in this Michelle Malkin post. From the original NYT source:

"It’s not just committees — our influence within the House Democratic caucus will grow enormously,” Mr. Rangel said in an interview.

To that end, he sketched out an expansive federal agenda: Teaming up with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on gun control, passing new tax incentives for urban job programs, and redirecting federal money to New York in return for the outsize tax collections that the federal government makes here.


“Mississippi gets more than their fair share back in federal money, but who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?” Mr. Rangel said."

Naw, they don't want to divide us do they?
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From the Land of Fruits and Nuts...

is this latest attack on American tradition and free speech, at a California college, of course (sadly though).

By way of Reuters:

"...Student leaders at a California college have touched off a furor by banning the Pledge of Allegiance at their meetings, saying they see no reason to publicly swear loyalty to God and the U.S. government.

The move by
Orange Coast College student trustees, the latest clash over patriotism and religion in American schools, has infuriated some of their classmates -- prompting one young woman to loudly recite the pledge in front of the board on Wednesday night in defiance of the rule."

From the Orange County Register:

"...Three of five Associated Students trustees took the action Monday, with board member Jason Ball calling the flag salute "irrelevant to the business of student government."

"While it's great to be an American, and I'm proud to be an American, yadda-yadda-yadda, and I appreciate all the rituals, I'm done" saluting the flag, Ball said Wednesday...


...While religious overtones were one element of the trustees' motivation, other concerns existed. "Nationalism is something that divides people," said Ball, wearing black boots, a beret and a hammer-and-sickle pin."

I am sure Jason Ball will shed a tear when the Gates of Hell open to receive Fidel Castro (It's been long overdue).
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To Truly Honor Our Veterans...

we need to have the grateful attitude that every day is Veteran's Day and every day is Memorial Day.

As we passed the fifth anniversary of 9/11 a couple of months ago, one of the goals of the 2,996 Project was to get Americans to dedicate themselves to memorizing the name of at least one 9/11 victim, my tribute was to Robert A. Lawrence.

Perhaps we could dedicate ourselves to memorizing the name or two of a fallen serviceman (or woman), I am sure there are different ways of finding the names. If time permits me, I will add the names to two WWII servicemen that gave their all and are resting in our local cemetary in Duluth, GA.

[Whether or not the names are posted, it is what is in our hearts that is most important. No, I didn't serve, because I was barely too young for Vietnam and because I was a liberal at the time, I didn't see the value in serving our nation in that fashion. I didn't take part in any anti-war protests, nor did I contribute in any knowing way to any anti-military atmosphere. My place right now is to offer moral support for those that have chosen to serve.]

Among the most important reinforcements that we can send to our troops in harm's way are confidence and support.

This Washington Times article, linked through Michelle Malkin's blog, is about the 12 or so surviving WWI veterans in the United States, the oldest of which is approximately 115 and living in Puerto Rico. The youngest is perhaps 105.
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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Suggestions of a Talk Show Caller

While getting ready for classes tonight and other chores, I had the local Salem Radio Network affiliated on WGKA 920AM, and a caller to Bill Bennett (I think) - or it could have been Laura Ingraham, made the suggestion that we keep records as to the current conditions (oil prices, stock market, inflation rate, etc.), just to see if the Democrats really can do a good job.

The MSM often relies on short memories when it comes to assessing blame and/or credit for bad or good events (or conditions), whichever it is that favors the Dems. Time lines often get compressed or extended and people don't have the time to go back and reconstruct the sequences of events as they happened.

The big things, such as 9/11 we do not forget, but when Libs throw out the claim about Halliburton and the Afghanistan pipeline (for instance), it is accepted because it has the Halliburton and Afghanistan buzzwords and these buzzwords make good weapons against the Bush/Cheney Administration. I blogged about this in May, 2005. [Note: I have trouble remembering if it is Haliburton (one "l") or Halliburton (two "l's"), so please forgive if both versions appear in my posts. You know what I am writing about.]

The truth is that Halliburton never was involved in the planning of an Afghanistan pipeline project and the pipepline, which was proposed by Unocal (and supported by the Clinton Administration), was never built because of security concerns. Changing market conditions eventually made that pipeline project obsolete in favor of other routes to international markets for the natural gas.

This is the kind of thing we need to go out there and learn, for polite use in social conversations when someone offers one of the tired Lib talking points. Just politely say "Well, I did some research on this subject and there never was an Afghanistan pipeline project proposed during the Bush Administration and then go on to inform them about Unocal and the Clinton Administration support).

Go back and check out some of the linked, suggested readings on climate issues, in order to politely re-direct a conversation when it drifts into the MSM/Dem paradigm that human-produced CO2, from the United States, is solely responsible for global warming.

Go back and do some research on the cyclicity of hurricane seasons and how when statistics are presented only from 1970 on, they are not telling you the entire story.

We need honest, polite, grass-roots efforts to educate the public on the issues that are too complex for soundbites. This was one of the points made yesterday (again, as I listen to a number of different talk shows, when not in class) that after the 1994 Republican victory, the Republicans thought their job was done, that the American people completely understood the philosophies behind the Republican Revolution of 1994 - and they quit teaching.

We operate on logic, history, honesty, and thought. Not raw emotions. And we should admit our failings and keep them in perspective of the big picture. Such as "9/11 probably would have happened if President Gore had carried his "home state" of Tennessee" or Katrina would have happened regardless of who was in the White House. Some of the responses would have been a little different, but the dike/flood wall would have breached in the Lower Ninth Ward, just the same.

As individuals, we can't teach everything, but if we can present enough honest information on a few subjects, we can perhaps engender some doubt as to the veracity of common Democrat talking points. And hopefully some of our listeners will start their own research. And a more honestly-educated electorate, the better off we are.

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A Disturbing Look Back at the Beslan, Russia School Attack...

and how it was handled by Russian authorities.

FrontPageMag has a linked article about investigations into how the school/hostage takeover was handled and the results are certainly disconcerting.

One of the conclusions of the investigation was that as Russian authorities had previously released some of the terrorists involved and may have had some fore-knowledge of the attack. It may have been that there was a desire to "let it happen", so as to provide a time and a place to destroy these particular terrorists.

Without going further into detail (which I may do later), we need to remember that despite the fact that President Bush had Vladimir Putin to the ranch in Crawford and rode him around in the Ford (I think) pickup truck on the ranch, Putin is no friend and is not to be trusted.

Either Putin is too stupid to see the benefits of cooperating with the United States in the Middle East, or they have their own agendas to further (the second is the most likely). There is ample evidence that the Russians are sliding back towards the "comfort zone" provided by Communism, perhaps in the form of a future, leaner, meaner version of the old USSR. Because of corruption and incompetence it appears that the free-market system hasn't been able to fully establish itself in a manner capable of delivering more prosperity to the lower levels of Russian society, thus there may be clamoring to return to the days of when "the government took care of everything".

Perhaps the Russians think they can handle the "Muslim problem" in their own heavy-handed way.
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Morning After...

[No, I don't have a hangover, I only had one glass of ale last night (Great Divide Titan IPA). And it was good.]

Despite vaulting Nancy Pelosi to the apparent position of Speaker-of-the-House (2nd in the succession line to the Presidency), last night's results were not a repudiation of Conservatism. It is not a titanic shift to the Left, though Leftists will see it that way.

And to those citizens that live in districts now lead by newly-elected Moderate to Conservative Democrats, a more proactive approach needs to taken, letting the new Representative know that you will support them, despite party affiliation differences, on certain issues. As many of them are not cut from the Leftist cloth of Pelosi, et al, they need to know that there are supporters of them when they come in conflict with the apparent Hard Leftist House Leadership on those particular issues, e.g., the Second Amendment, Tax Cuts, etc..

If Leftists proceed with their wishlist, it is up to the bloggers along with radio talk show hosts (unless the Dems get their wished-for "Fairness Doctrine") to keep records, so to speak, as to changes that take place.

We need to go back to the "grass roots" and continue the job that the MSM won't do, that is giving the straight story to the American people, e.g., how tax increases (that will be coming) hurt the economy. How raising the Minimum Wage is largely PR to please the Leftist Unions.

We need to take on the role of educators, as Newt Gingrich did prior to the 1994 elections. Newt's strong hand was as an educator, but his moral failures made him susceptible to MSM/Democrat slings and arrows.

And, while not claiming moral superiority through mere words, we need to consider how we can stay closer to the "moral high ground", by our deeds, as someone has to, for future generations. How do we "root out" hidden, recent scandals in candidates and incumbents? Most of us that have lead interesting lives have some skeletons in our closets. Local Republican Party officials need to be advised of skeletons in the closets of prospective candidates (and how old are these scandals), so as to put these on the table with explanations before the opponents/MSM find them and blow them out of proportion.

All of us are sinners. Some of our past mistakes can be explained (as useful foolishness) and highlighted as learning opportunities. Telling our kids not to do what we did 20+ years ago is not hypocrisy, rather it is trying to guide them around our mistakes.

I am not talking about events on the scale of Ted Kennedy's little ride, halfway across the bridge at Chappaquidick (sp.?), but events on the order of the "roach story" in New Orleans, 26 years ago. [That is one of the reasons I can't run for political office.] And why that type of behavior can be harmful. Just because we got away with something, that doesn't make it good.

We need to explain the reasons for our positions.

Such as why we disfavor taxpayer-funding of embryonic stem cell research. Most of us are resigned to the fact that this stuff is going to go on, but we just don't have to fund it with taxpayer money. There are plenty of private funds available for the morally-questionable (and apparently less-than-successful) practices involved in acquiring embryonic stem cells.

Or why we need to preserve the millennia-old institution of the one man/one woman marriage, because it is not meant to exclude other "arrangements", but rather to preserve the bond that is central to our two-gendered biology and culture. Despite the damage done to it by "heroes" of the modern Hollywood culture.

It is a setback and a defeat for individual Conservative politicians, e.g., Rick Santorum, Michael Steele, etc., but we need to learn from this, as our children's future lies ahead of us.
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Monday, November 06, 2006

With Friends-of-Democrats Like These, Why is There Any Doubt...

as to who we should vote for.

Last week WND treated us to an article about interviews with Middle Eastern Islamists and their voiced support for the Democrat Party.

Now WND has an article about the Communist Party USA endorsement of Democrats.

As if we should be surprised.
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Are We Willing to Crawl Across Broken Glass for Our Children...

in order to vote Republican tomorrow? We can hope and pray that the "Silent Majority", overlooked by the MSM will do the responsible thing.

No one is saying that the Republicans have all of the answers, but I (and many others) think that they are closer to "where we want to be".

A Democrat victory in one or both Houses of Congress will not cause the sky to fall on Wednesday. It will, instead, take years to see the damage wrought by the likes of Pelosi, Rangel, Reid, Kennedy, Murtha,...and their cohorts.

Higher taxes...Less action on border security...Less support for traditional marriage...Less support for the difficult missions in the War on Terror...More attacks on the Boy Scouts...Wasting taxpayer money chasing environmental iniatives that show little promise, in the name of being popular in Europe...

What is the legacy we will leave our children (including nieces and nephews)? A flawed Republican leadership and party or a Leftward lurch towards more Socialism?
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On Tap Over at Beer Can Blog

Is a posting on the new Anheuser Busch chocolate-flavored dessert beer and some links to a predecessor of that style, Dixie White Moose Beer.

This would not be possible either under Sharia control!
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This Would Not Be Possible Under Sharia Control

Two young women, Holly Jacobson and Tessa Churchill, seniors at Greely High School in Cumberland, Maine, are highlighted in this WND-linked article concerning their algae-to-biofuel experiments.

From the article:

"...In a nutshell, the young women may have found a way to produce more biodiesel fuel while consuming fewer organic resources.

The project got its start two years ago when Jacobson and Churchill began examining natural oils stored in fatty acids -- called lipids -- in various forms of marine algae. Recently, they identified a strain of algae that produces more oil for a given mass."

The article continues:

"...Jacobson and Churchill have worked on the project since they were sophomores.

"It started as a project in a science research course. Holly actually had the idea and about a month later we kind of turned into a team," Churchill said. "It definitely had to do with the oil crisis and everybody talking about finding some other substitute for fossil fuels, so we started researching algae. It grows very rapidly, and it grows in environments that won't support other food stocks so space wouldn't be taken up that could be used for growing food."

"We started generally looking into biodiesel, but it wasn't until last year that we started identifying the specific lipids," Jacobson said."

This exemplifies the best of the "American spirit", what can be accomplished by individuals that are confident and imaginative. If Wahhabist Sharia ruled the Western world, young women would never be able to achieve such opportunities for scientific research and possible scientific breakthroughs.

If Democrats affect a rapid pull-out from Iraq, negative changes will not occur for decades in this country, but Europe is already in the early stages of Muslim takeover by immigrants with no interest in assimilation and any signs of weakness, on our part, will weaken our position in this clash of cultures.

I am not attacking Islam on a broad basis, but rather a particular sub-culture of Islam that enables and encourages much of the violence towards Western values.

This website provides more information and discussions. Technologies such as these will not solve all of our energy issues, but they do help us more towards a marketplace of more diverse energy sources.
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Friday, November 03, 2006

Tattered Bits of Brain Reminds Us...

of how we can still lose this war. This ain't Hollywood, folks. It is as serious as WWII, but the enemy is quite different.

Voting Democrats into control next Tuesday would be another step down the road to despair.

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The US Soldiers Reply to John Kerry

again from Blogmeister USA, if the US Soldiers/Marines in Iraq hear John Kerry, et al, this easily, then so does Al Qaida, et al.

Our service personnel hear John Murtha and Dennis Kucinich and Seymour Hersh and Ted Kennedy and Howard Dean. Al Qaida hears the same thing. What does Al Qaida think were are going to do?

If we show a willingness to stay the course with a Republican House and Senate, what kind of message will this send, versus a Democrat victory which will be followed by calls for pulling out?

If we lose this battle (for Iraq) by quitting, how can we hope to win the War on Terror? Of course it would not be the sort of victory sealed by a signed surrender, it would be more of a thing where the Islamists come to the realization that they cannot win. And when, through perseverance and resolve, the American viewpoint is viewed as the "strong horse", we will gradually gain more support.

So many people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere are afraid to "come on board" because they are afraid that we will lose our resolve within a few years and we will leave them hanging (literally).
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Pam at Blogmeister USA has a Reminder for Us...

that we need to vote carefully, for the long run next Tuesday.

We can get more results if we rise up and spank a re-elected RINO than if we try to appeal to a hard-line Leftist Democrat.
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I Found a Good Conservative Canadian Blog

The Halls of Macadamia has some interesting posts worthy of your visitation. The blogger, Neo Conservative, dropped by for a comment and I found his blog interesting.

So go give it a read.
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Trying to Calm Down from the Paroled Murderer Kills Again Story...

here is a thought-provoking story from WND.com.

It seems that a bunch of "Letters to God" were found floating in the Atlantic Ocean near Atlantic City, NJ.

The letters (some of which dated back to 1973) had been sent (or left on a church altar) for Reverend Grady Cooper, who died two years ago at age 79. Most of the letters were un-opened.

Without watching TV, this seems to be the kind of story that some late-night TV folks would have fun with, but I think it deserves some more in-depth considerations.

If Reverend Cooper made it to heaven, did he get in trouble for "not doing his homework"?

Speculating on the un-opened letters -

Perhaps Reverend Cooper really didn't want to know what all was going on with his flock.

Perhaps at some point, maybe because of something else, Rev. Cooper got behind in reading and responding to some of the letters and then felt he couldn't deal with the "later letters" as he had not dealt with the "earlier letters".

Was Reverend Cooper a worse procrastinator than I am?

At this point, we may never know why the letters were un-opened, as Rev. Cooper's wife died in 2000 and, according to the article, no other relatives could be located. It is also uncertain as to how the letters wound up in a shopping bag in the ocean, where it was retrieved by a man and his son at the seashore for a day of fishing.

After opening and reading some amusing requests for winning the lottery, etc., the letters became more personal and in some cases heart-wrenching.

That they were un-opened by the pastor doesn't mean that the pastor was uncaring towards the needs of his flock. Maybe he prayed over them en masse, perhaps again, feeling that he didn't want to know too many of the details, lest it humanly-taint his interactions with his church attendees.

The finder and his son plan to put the collection on sale on ebay. I am all for the free-market system, but I think this is the wrong thing to do. Some of these people are probably still be alive. Some of them may have successfully dealt with these issues and then moved on. There may be material in these confidential letters that may be used for blackmail.

Perhaps they wound up in the ocean because someone couldn't bring themselves to burn "Letters to God" or throw them in the trash. Presenting them to someone else (in a church setting) might also prove to be a dilemma. Perhaps I might have asked my pastor of guidance, perhaps I would have prayed over the un-opened letters and then shredded or burned them, not in a non-caring fashion, but perhaps in the same spirit as an American flag is retired, with reverence.

Just by the mere fact that these troubled people put their feelings down on paper and shared them (or so they thought) with a minister, it may have given them a measure of peace and closure, which should not be disturbed by some news reporter that might buy the letters on ebay.

Or what if Bill Maher (I'm not inferring that he is a reporter) bought these and started reading them on a TV show? Does he (somewhere down deep) have the character to say to himself, maybe I shouldn't read this one on TV?

I hope that maybe some gentle public pressure on ebay will result in their considering asking this individual not to sell the letters.
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When Liberalism Kills

I have blogged on this subject before, the subject of the parole of convicted murderers.

WND has an article about a paroled murderer in Indiana being accused of the murder of a 16-year-old girl. And a detective testified at a hearing that the accused had confessed. I know about the innocent-until-proven-guilty thing, that is not my point.

Why was he paroled after being convicted of murdering a 5-year-old boy in 1979 and stabbing the boy's mother? Why was he "on the street"?

WHY IS IT APPROPRIATE TO PAROLE SOMEONE THAT HAS KILLED, ESPECIALLY ONE THAT HAS KILLED A CHILD? Unless someone tells me otherwise, I would assume that THE CHILD IS STILL DEAD.

I don't have a problem with the concept of parole or probation for young, NONVIOLENT offenders that show hope of being "turned around".

This is one reason why so many people still support the death penalty, because somewhere, there is some touch-feely liberal Parole Board that is willing to turn murderers loose on society, because the murderer may have jumped through the right hoops during jailhouse interviews with psychologists (or other such creatures). Or it may be because of a liberal judge somewhere that thinks "he paid his debt to society", WHILE THE CHILD IS STILL DEAD.

IF WE KNEW THAT "LIFE IN PRISON" MEANT LIFE IN PRISON, SOME OF US MIGHT BE WILLING TO FOREGO THE DEATH PENALTY, OR AT LEAST IN SOME CASES.

[Sorry to be "shouting", but news stories such as this drive me to have "Michael Savage moments".]
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Furthering the Notion that Libs Operate on Emotion and Not Logic...

is present in a WND-posted article from yesterday. It is interesting when a presumed Lib (on at least some issues) seems to "figger it out" and arrive at a "conservative" opinion on some other issues, the result being a good helping of irony. Some call it "swerving into the truth".

This case is about a young woman in Raleigh, NC, Jabeen Akhtar, who works for the Environmental Protection Agency and finds time to volunteer with PETA to protest circuses in Charlotte, NC As part of the Feb. 7, 2006 circus protest, she presented herself caged, wearing only panties and pasties, with her body painted in tiger stripes, which shows a level of passion and courage, i.e., she was taking some sort of action, though it's efficacy could be debated.

Fast-forward to the 2006 Halloween season, where she is making a public statement in a Raleigh News & Oberver column, against young girls and women wearing too-revealing costumes, i.e., she is advising against dressing like sluts for Halloween parties and/or trick or treating. This is the same viewpoint as Conservative radio host/pundit Michael Medved.

Without reading the original column [there is a link within the original WND article], the exerpts published in the WND article seem fairly sensible. So has Ms. Akhtar had an epiphany concerning the issue of how women project themselves to the public and the long-term effects? Does she see the irony in how she presented herself in February and her words of late-October? Hasa she matured a little?

Going to another entire level of irony, often lost upon Libs, based upon her name, Jabeen Akhtar, one could presume that she is of Muslim descent. Is she too steeped in the Lib/Leftist culture to see the irony in her ability to present herself in public in that fashion (almost completely nude) and perhaps face only a misdemeanor arrest and - at worst - the loss of her job?

Does she even consider what might happen if she tried this in Iran or Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or in mid-21st century France?

There is a huge uproar (I hope it continues) in Australia right now because the Grand Mufti of all Australian Muslims has justified the gang rapes of Australia women, by referring to uncovered women (without the hijab) as "uncovered meat", as reported in this particular article by Jim Rutz and also in this FrontPageMag article, where we are also told of how Muslim gang-rapes are occurring in Europe.

In a gang-rape highlighted by Mr. Rutz, an 18-year-old woman was kidnapped and raped 25 times by 14 Muslim men. She wasn't wearing a bikini on a beach (of course the mode of dress doesn't justify rape in Western eyes), but she was riding a train, dressed for a job interview.

THIS IS CAVE MAN BEHAVIOR AND THAT IS WHY WE ARE ULTIMATELY FIGHTING THE WAR ON TERROR, TO TRY TO CONTAIN AND SUPPRESS THE SPREAD OF THIS SUB-CULTURE OF ISLAM.

From the opening of the FrontPageMag article, with the oft-published photo of a beaten, gang-raped Swedish woman:

"Unveiled women who get raped deserve it.

That’s the pedagogy preached by the Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali, who recently sparked an international stir by pronouncing that women who do not veil themselves, and allow themselves to be “uncovered meat”, are at fault if they are raped."

Does Jabeen Akhtar think about this? I don't know her politics beyond the PETA thing. So many "feminists" are so wedded to the Leftist "multicultural at all costs" mantra, they will not rise up and protest against Muslim violence against women.

Is it the fear of "frontier justice" in the United States, at the hands of armed, law-abiding citizens (if law enforcement fails) that has kept this from happening here? It is not that we would, but we could. Is that why American churches were not burning during the "cartoon riots"?

Are Muslim gang-rapes happening in Australia because the law-abiding citizens have been disarmed? The police cannot be everywhere and once the Muslim population reaches a certain percentage point, their propensity to riot at the drop of a turban keeps the rest of the population cowed.

If an American man or woman with a "Carry Permit" had seen a group of Muslim men kidnapping a young woman from a train, do you think he/she would wait for the police to arrive? If law-abiding Aussies (men and women) were allowed to carry, do you think Muslim men would be so bold? If those Muslim men had thought that the 18-year-old woman might be carrying a 9 mm, would they have been so bold? That element-of-doubt can be a good crime deterrent.

Doe Jabeen Akhtar even think about the long-term consequences of "Multiculturalism, moral relativism, and disarming law-abiding citizens, all of which are parts of the Liberal Dream?
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This Most Recent Glimpse into John Kerry's Personality...

should surprise no one.

Rewind to the 2004 campaign (I don't remember all of the details), but do you remember the skiing accident? When John Kerry and a Secret Service agent collided, John Kerry cursed the agent, who a moment later might have stepped in front of Kerry to stop a bullet.

A man of Kerry's age should have learned that the best (or safest) type of humor is self-deprecating humor and that a little humility goes a long way.

If President Bush had collided with a Secret Service agent while on a bicycle or ski slope, his first concern would have been for the agent and I think this is a genuine characteristic. After the agent had been attended to, President Bush would have cracked a joke or two about being a klutz.

Does John Kerry ever have moments of self-reflection when he asks - "How could I have avoided that screw-up"? How often is he quick to accept the blame and then let it go, rather than blathering on?

It seems that he has shot himself in the foot again. Maybe the Dems will give him another Purple Heart.
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