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>

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Well, Just One More...

By way of Ace of Spades HQ, Reuter's has an interesting perspective on Saddam's execution.

Their "reasoning" is that "His execution means he will never face justice on those charges".

Huh?

Well, I guess they are right, after all, we haven't actually tried reviving an executed person in order to execute them again on a later conviction. More trials wouldn't really make much of a difference. It seems that a properly conducted hanging would preclude reviving the person afterwards. And I know they did that on "Alias" (I think it was the character "Sloan"), but in real life, I am not sure if one could be revived after a lethal injection.

Those Leftists just have to find something to fret about.
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A Last, Parting Political Shot for the Year...

to get us ready for the political circus that the U.S. Congress may become, while we are still in danger of attack from Islamists. No doubt there will be numerous investigations, designed to distract the President and the nation. And if we are attacked, the blame will be placed upon President Bush, not on those that ham-strung his efforts. That is not to say that no blame would be due, but the de facto Fifth Column ain't helping our efforts to prevent more attacks on our own soil.

Michelle Malkin has this post about some of the ethics problems of Rep. John Conyers, who will chair the Judiciary Committee and who has been wanting to start impeachment proceedings against the President for ages, never mind that we are at war with an enemy that wants to kill all Americans.

And while we are on a related subject, some Leftists are mourning Saddam's execution by making an issue of our not having "gotten Osama bin Laden" and hinting that the lack-of-capture is by design. Just a reminder...WE NEVER GOT ADOLPH HITLER EITHER, but we managed to put down the Nazi German government and we thought we had put down that mindset, but it has been resurrected by Islamists and Leftists.

Anyway, to my blogging buddies and others, I hope 2007 will be better than 2006.
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Trying to Find a Good Mood on This Rainy Afternoon...

I try to remind myself that I actually did fulfill one of my 2006 Resolutions...

I am about 12 pounds lighter than I was on January 1, 2006. At one point I was down 26 pounds in the late Summer or early Fall, but because it is harder to go for daily walks and engage in other exercise during the school year, I have found 14 of the pounds that I had lost. Drat!

As we get back into the after-holiday routine, my son and I have to start getting ready for the mid-March Boy Scout hike and campout along the Appalachian Trail. I don't recall the distance, but it is over 5 miles in the mountains and we have to get ready for that. There is an event in February, the Klondike Derby, which does not entail a lot of hiking, but there are outdoor activities at the camp in the North Georgia mountains and it is almost certain to be cold. A previous Klondike Derby featured rain, sleet, snow, and an ice storm (I am not sure of the order of these) and there seem to be some folks that revel in the cold, this just ain't my time of year, except that I like the heavy Winter Ales, but that is for another post.

As for other noteworthy accomplishments (that I hadn't expected at the beginning of the year), we survived the 11.5 mile dayhike this Spring, then a week of Scout camp in July, where we both rode horseback for 45 minutes, something neither of us had done, then later that day my son went on a 5-mile hike around the lake at the camp. I went rappelling for the first time in my life and fired a muzzle-loader for the first time in 25+ years.

During the Fall, we survived a 6-mile (or so) round trip hike up and around Blood Mountain and camping out for a couple of nights in near-freezing temps, with 20 mph winds for at least part of the night. Finally, my son did the "wild tour" of Cumberland Caverns, while I had the sense to stay out of the way.

Noteworthy learning experiences included how easy it is to get dehydrated even when you drink plenty of water. The water itself does not replace the electrolytes, so adding some dilute, powdered Gatorade to water bottles helps take care of that. I also learned that they seem to downplay the actual length of these hikes, before-the-fact, so folks won't be backing out.

Without dragging this out any further, I would appreciate any prayers forthcoming, especially for self-confidence, as this is such an important component of success.

My family is on the road, coming back from OK and TX, so they won't be home tonight. I beat the rush and visited a local brewpub yesterday (the new 5 Seasons Brewing Co. locale in Alpharetta) to enjoy samples of their six brands on tap.

Well, ya'll be carefull with your New Year's Eve celebrations. Mine will probably be quiet.
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The Real Racism in This Nation...

can be found in the supporters of the "Aztlan Reconquista" movement, actually both Racism and Bigotry (which are related, but have different definitions). While surfing some Townhall.com links, I found this website - WeHateGringos.com, which has an eye-opening (depressing) flash video with "highlights" from Leftist Hispanic demonstrations across the nation.

[And don't bother submitting any comments calling me anti-Hispanic. Both of my adopted children have Mexican blood in them (they were both born in Texas), and their birth mothers were both American citizens as far as we know. Disagreement is not hate. What you see in the signs in these demonstrations is. Even though everyone of these demonstrators was born in the 20th Century, they think they are the rightful heirs to vast portions of the Southwestern United States. Tribalism as a mindset is what leads to racism and bigotry. Only by looking at people as individuals do we overcome these primitive behaviors.]

These people show themselves to be true racists as they trumpet the cause of "La Raza" (the Race). They are not interested in assimilation, it is all about "their tribe" and if you don't belong to their tribe, if given the power they would take everything you have earned and send you back to Europe. They are just a different color of the Aryan mindset.

In this Balkanization of America - Part I article, we are reminded:

"...It is worth noting that the Aztlan believers conveniently ignore the fact that the US won the 1846 Mexican War but still paid Mexico $18.3 million dollars for the mostly unoccupied, arid and/or mountainous lands in the southwest. The sum was more than the $15 million paid in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase for about the same amount of land, although, on balance, the lands of the Louisiana Purchase were much more hospitable and conducive for agriculture use. They also ignore the fact that at the time there were as many gringos in the area as Mexicans and both were far outnumbered by Native Americans, from whom much of the land was actually taken."

Breaking apart the United States to satisfy any separatist group will be bad for the entire world and "giving" the Southwestern U.S. back to Mexico will not help Mexico's lot at all. Mexico has plenty of resources, e.g., oil, natural gas, uranium, silver,...

Yes, there may be some legitimate gripes between Mexico and the United States, but Mexico is largely responsible for its current and future situation and "dealing" with it's shortcomings by sending 1/7 of its workers north to the United States will not help.

Again, as stated before, this is not to attack the Mexicans that have come here legally and have become citizens. But if those demonstrators are so damned smart, why don't they go back to Mexico and fix it's problems. A weakened United States is not good for anybody.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

For Once I Agree With Democratic Underground

I don't normally agree with anything on Democratic Underground (but then I only visit there perhaps once every two or three months). I blog-surfed over there to see what they might be saying about Saddam's execution and I got as far as this post, on the National Park Service refusing to include the geological estimate of the age of the Grand Canyon (5 to 10 million years for the actual canyon), apparently so as not to offend "Fundamentalist Christians (and Jews)".

And apparently on sale at the canyon is a Young-Earth Creationist book that suggests that the Grand Canyon was washed out by "Noah's Flood" - the base concept for "Flood Geologists", i.e., all of the Earth's features are related to the Six Days of Creation, Noah's Flood, or events that have transpired in the last 6,000 to 10,000 years.

Not meaning to be too critical of fellow Christians, I don't think this is good evidence of a Young Earth. If this was the case, why are there many more "Grand Canyons" and where did all that water go? I don't think this sort of argument is a good way to bring people to The Word, because it is too easily challenged by secular scientists and other naysayers.

As an Old-Earth Creationist, of course I could be wrong, but the age of the Earth is a minor detail when considering the bigger picture of Jesus as our Saviour. The age of the Earth is one of those questions that we will find out the answer to "when the test is over".

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Without Vigilence, This is the Future of Free Speech...

if Ted Kennedy, et al, have their way with "Hate Crimes" legislation.

The WND article begins:

"Two Australian pastors who were convicted of "vilifying" Muslims when they quoted from the Quran during a seminar on jihad have had their appeals upheld by the Victorian Supreme Court.

And while that means they will return to a lower court for another trial, that actually is a good result, according to a new report from
Voice of the Martyrs. "

More from the same article:

"...The Australian law was imposed in order to prevent the denigration of people based on their race or religion, and similar laws also have been approved in Canada, where critics of the law say they include sexual orientation and forbid pastors from condemning homosexuality as a sin.

Many of the "hate crimes" proposals in the United States are based on a similar concept: designating as "crimes" the statements people make about their own beliefs or convictions."


Yeah, that is the open-mindedness of modern Libs, that special place where disagreement = hate. And that same concept can be extended to government policies. We have already seen examples in this country where simply quoting someone's previous statements can be called "Hate Speech" (this is usually done by Democrats).

More from the article:

"...Nalliah and Pastor Daniel Scot were charged following a complaint filed by The Islamic Council of Victoria, and were the first people found guilty of religious vilification under the Victorian Religious and Racial Tolerance Act of 2002. They were accused of vilifying Muslims at a seminar on jihad on March 9, 2002.

VOM said the two were lecturing on the differences between Christianity and Islam, and quoted directly from the Quran."

It is almost guaranteed that there will be a push for more of these types of laws with the Democrat control of Congress and the Senate. In future dinner conversations, if "Hate Crimes" legislation comes up, you need to have in mind a series of questions to politely force others to examine their knee-jerk support for this type of legislation.

And we, as Conservatives, need to be careful not to give the Libs any more ammunition than what they create on their own. A recent example would be a Debbie Schlussel post attempting to make an issue of Senator Obama's middle name (Hussein) as being "proof" of a connection to Islam (as cited by Michael Medved). Her point was that because Senator Obama's father (who died in a car accident in 1982) might have been a Muslim, then Muslims would consider Senator Obama to be a Muslim, whether he claimed it or not. And she was concerned that he went to a Muslim school in Indonesia. There are plenty of reasons to be concerned over Senator Obama's Leftist politics not to try to make something of this middle name business or where he went to school. If this is somewhere in his background, he will eventually reveal it. Right now I think it is "barking up the wrong tree".

From the latter part of Schlussel's post:

"...So, even if he identifies strongly as a Christian, and even if he despised the behavior of his father (as Obama said on Oprah); is a man who Muslims think is a Muslim, who feels some sort of psychological need to prove himself to his absent Muslim father, and who is now moving in the direction of his father's heritage, a man we want as President when we are fighting the war of our lives against Islam? Where will his loyalties be?

Is that even the man we'd want to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, if Hillary Clinton offers him the Vice Presidential candidacy on her ticket (which he certainly wouldn't turn down)?"

This ain't the "right hill to die on" as far as opposing this Leftist media darling. The only halfway reasonable point might be in the last sentence/paragraph. If the Muslims thought VP Obama was a Muslim, might there be some impetus to take independent action to elevate him to the Presidency? This might be of concern to Hillary.

These sorts of speculations are fine for sitting around a table, with associates, after a couple of glasses of ale, but when put in print by someone with a recognizable name, it can give one's political enemies an un-needed advantage.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

"Missing the Spark of the Divine"

Tammy Bruce sat in for Laura Ingraham this morning and she made numerous cogent points.

One of these was in her concerns over the seeming rush to clone all living creatures, including humans, for "all the good that can be done with the process" (my words, not hers).

Her point was that one of the problems was that with cloning, we are "missing the spark of the Divine". When we become convinced that we can sustain and "improve" life, we are playing into the human weaknesses of Narcissism and Hubris, which can be summed up under the term "superbia", one of the Seven Deadly (or Cardinal) Sins, as defined by Pope Gregory VI, in the 6th Century and Dante Alighieri.

"Missing the Spark of the Divine" could also be applied to those that believe that somehow, inorganic molecules, without any "outside help", began photosynthesizing as the earliest cyanobacteria, long, long ago. Where did that energy come from, that energy that converts the non-living into the living? Believing that it all happened randomly is also a matter of faith.

The fossil record is a matter of fact, but how those changes came about is a matter of theory and interpretation and valid discussion, which should be approached with humility from the standpoint that "we will never know it all".
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Yes, There Will Be Some Blowback...

after Saddam goes on to his final reward, courtesy of the hangman's noose. Perhaps the plastic shredder might have been more appropriate.

Yes, the Baathists and other Sunnis will blow up some things and people will die. We and the Iraqis are just going to have to weather this storm.

On the one hand, there is an argument to be made for keeping Saddam alive and in solitary for the sake of long-term humiliation, but as long as he is alive, there is the spectre of his return, if the Dems get their way and we retreat. And also to prevent his being used as a martyr.

But if the execution goes on as expected, that will send a message to the common people of Iraq that there is closure, at least on this issue. Regardless of what happens, Saddam won't be back. Some of the weight on the shoulders of the common people will have been lifted. Saddam won't be back for revenge.

And I predict that some Leftists will compare Saddam's execution to Lincoln's assassination, or something comparable. Perhaps someone can bait Cindy Sheehan with the question - "Cindy, do you think Saddam's execution has damaged Iraq as much as the Lincoln assassination damaged this country?".

And how many Moonbats are going to say that "we" executed him to cover up for the CIA-Saddam connections?
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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Just a Short Christmas Break...

My family and my daughter's boyfriend are on their way to NW Oklahoma, whilst I remain behind to babysit the dogs and the cat and maybe get some household chores done, e.g., finishing painting the main bathroom and starting the back bathroom, yada, yada. Besides, it would be insanity to try to put all five of us in one vehicle for that length of a drive. Out there and back by sometime on New Year's Eve.

So I will wisely use my free time tonight. Or maybe I will just enjoy that 22 oz. bottle of Lagunitas Maximus IPA and rent "Braveheart" and do the painting tomorrow. I don't plan to mix the two. Strong ale and ladders don't mix. I can do something mindless like sit on the floor and sort and file papers from this past semester and get ready for the next one.

My next decision is whether or not to eat somewhat wisely or enjoy a pizza or hot wings tonight. I am still about 18 pounds lighter than when 2006 began, so if I am bad tonight, then maybe I will be good tomorrow and eat a couple of grapefruits instead of lunch. And go for a long walk, if the weather is good, as we have a multi-mile hike (and campout) coming up on the Appalachian Trail in mid-March.

Maybe.

And I plan to get back to blogging on a more regular basis, as there will be lots of reminiscing in early 2007, as it will be the 30th anniversary of my leaving home to move to El Paso to pursue grad school, as well as the 30th anniversary of some other "crossroads events", upon which one tends to wax nostalgic.

And largely because of my (and my son's) affiliation with Boy Scouts, I (and he) have accomplished (and experienced) a few things this year which I would not have done otherwise.

I hope my blogging buddies had a nice Christmas and will be chilling out and trying to get ready for the Dems taking control of the House and Senate.

I may have to try the Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout tomorrow night. The Imperial Stout last week was very good. It is all about quality and moderation, not quantity.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Time Passages

The holiday season can cause one to wax nostalgic in various ways. One of the downsides of getting older is the loss of people in our lives.

It can be a gradual loss through someone moving away and then losing touch (I have been guilty of this myself), it can be through "just being too busy with kids, jobs, and such" and gradually drifting away, and it can be through Alzheimer's, as was the case with my Mom from about 1996 until her death in 2000. And I just found out, from a former professor, that my Geology Thesis Advisory from UT El Paso has Alzheimer's.

Dr. Jerry (first name only to provide some measure of privacy), was not an easily likeable person. Or rather he had some personality quirks that tended to annoy, but I guess now is not the time to relate that. I am thankful that he gave me a shot at getting into the UT El Paso grad school. My undergraduate grades were not what they should have been, due to a lack of focus and too much partying. My undergrad Geology grades were OK, but it was the other sciences and math that put a hurt on my GPA. Examples - 3 Physics classes (3 - "C's), 3 Chemistry classes (2 "C's", 1 "D"), 1 Biology class ("B" - almost an "A"), 1 Trig and 2 Calculus classes (3 "D's" and 1 "F"). It was a good GRE and Dr. Jerry's help that got me into Grad School.

I did learn quite a bit about volcanics through Dr. Jerry and a visiting professor, Dr. Aaron Waters, though it doesn't help a great deal in the SE United States, where any volcanic rocks are really old and metamorphosed. And he told some interesting stories. But still, those personality quirks take away from fond memories.

Obviously, death is the other way that we suffer the loss of those in our lives. Last year I discovered that a younger geologist, than I, had suddenly died while on a sabbatical, serving as a Park Ranger at the Grand Canyon. A few years earlier Dr. Craig (first name again) had been kind enough to include my name as a Second Author for the published abstract of a talk given at a Geological Society of America Regional Convention. My primary contribution was to send him some small Middle Eocene comatulid crinoid fossils (now non-scientific name for these critters are Sea Lillies, also called "Feather Stars") to augment a project upon which he was working in the Southeastern US, through the Florida Museum of Natural History. Emails from him told me that prior to my having sent these fragmented, but identifiable specimens, there were only 3 known Eocene Epoch (54 - 34 million years ago) localities for fossil comatulid crinoids in Georgia. My humble contributions added 3 or 4 more known localities. I was hoping to be able to contribute more to his extended research, but with his passing, I don't know if someone else took over any of his projects or not.

I guess this is a good reason to keep good records as to our "ongoing projects" and to clean up our clutter, lest our friends and family curse us for leaving a mess and for the lost results of our learning endeavors.

[I may post more on this later...]
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Over at Blogmeister USA...

Pam has a post, linked to Right Wing News with the 40 Most Obnoxious Quotes of the Year.

While at Right Wing News, I suggest reading this post from this morning that explains some of the reasons why Libs don't seem to understand the long-term benefits of Capitalism.

Often it seems that they focus upon the ills of human behavior and consider them to be "the norm", rather than as aberations due to failures to observe moral codes.

So go give a read.
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Sometimes Hearing Something Again...

can offer a different perspective or at least a useable analogy.

Laura Ingraham is on a Christmas break, so her program is a "best of", this week. It can be tedious if you have already heard it, but once in a while,...

This was the case during the rebroadcast of a segment regarding the "six imams" vs. US Airways. The point was well-made by the guest, reminding us that it was the other behaviors, besides the loud praying, that got them booted. If all of the reports are true, it seems clear that they were testing the system. They were seeing what they could get away with and then playing the Islamophobia card to weaken the system.

At that point, I thought of the scenario where a kid enters the elevator of a tall building and pushes every button, before any adult (assuming a parent is not present) can stop him (and it has always been a boy, I haven't seen a girl do this). They are seeing what they can get away with. In and of itself, it is primarily an annoyance, nothing that harmful, but it represents the mischief poorly watched children cat get into.

This sort of campaign may be the entire role of these imams in the jihad, just to stir up controversy and cause the airline to back down. Just test the system and someone else will take it from there. They know how to play us and they will use our civility towards others against us.

This isn't Islamophobia, it is just a recognition of "What's what".
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Wow, Check Out This Article...

from FrontPageMag, for a really good read.

You may or may not be familiar with Southern writer Pat Conroy, author of "Prince of Tides", "The Great Santini", "The Water is Wide" (that inspired the movie "Conrack"), and "The Lords of Discipline" - regarding his experiences at the Citadel.

[I briefly entertained thoughts of applying to the Citadel near the end of high school, as my private high school had a mandatory Air Force Junior ROTC program, and I had gotten used to the idea. I doubt that my grades would have been up-to-snuff and I am not sure if I could have survived the rigors and structures of a really intense military-based college. And I am not sure if they would have had a Geology Department at the time. That is a reason why I didn't apply to North Georgia College in Dahlonega, as they had nothing of a Geology Department, while they had a mandatory Army ROTC program. If either of those colleges had a Geology Department, I might well have had a career in the military. And the draft ended the year before I would have been eligible. I would have gone if called. I might not have agreed or understood, but I would have gone. Well, the road not taken.]

Anyway, as part of an upcoming book, Conroy visited one of his college basketball teammates and after the routine interview on Al Kroboth's noteworthy college career, the conversation turned to Conroy's questions about Kroboth's Vietnam experiences after his A-6 (in which he was the navigator) was shot down by the Viet Cong. After he regained consciousness and some degree of recovery from injuries, he was marched northward, eventually into North Vietnam, where he ended up in a prison camp.

In contrast, Conroy spent his time as a draft dodger and war protester and he recounts what he was doing while Kroboth was being marched through the Vietnamese jungles towards his "new home" in the prison camp. Conroy saw the contrasts between his chosen path and the path of the hero that Kroboth became, simply for having served when called and for surviving the hellish conditions described in the article.

Seeing the contrasts was described in this passage from the article:

"...It was that same long night, after listening to Al's story, that I began to make judgments about how I had conducted myself during the Vietnam War.

In the darkness of the sleeping Kroboth household, lying in the third-floor guest bedroom, I began to assess my role as a citizen in the '60s, when my country called my name and I shot her the bird. Unlike the stupid boys who wrapped themselves in Viet Cong flags and burned the American one, I knew how to demonstrate against the war without flirting with treason or astonishingly bad taste. I had come directly from the warrior culture of this country and I knew how to act.

But in the 25 years that have passed since South Vietnam fell, I have immersed myself in the study of totalitarianism during the unspeakable century we just left behind. I have questioned survivors of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, talked to Italians who told me tales of the Nazi occupation, French partisans who had counted German tanks in the forests of Normandy, and officers who survived the Bataan Death March. I quiz journalists returning from wars in Bosnia, the Sudan, the Congo, Angola, Indonesia, Guatemala, San Salvador, Chile, Northern Ireland, Algeria.


As I lay sleepless, I realized I'd done all this research to better understand my country. I now revere words like democracy, freedom, the right to vote, and the grandeur of the extraordinary vision of the founding fathers. Do I see America's flaws? Of course. But I now can honor her basic, incorruptible virtues, the ones that let me walk the streets screaming my ass off that my country had no idea what it was doing in South Vietnam. My country let me scream to my heart's content - the same country that produced both Al Kroboth and me."

And a little more...

"...I have come to a conclusion about my country that I knew then in my bones but lacked the courage to act on: America is good enough to die for even when she is wrong."

Other than David Horowitz and a few other 1960's radicals, how many people have this much courage to engage in this sort of introspection about major decisions they made in their youth - and pronounce themselves cowards? John Kerry? Ted Kennedy? Jane Fonda? And what causes people like John Murtha to engage in such a turn-around? To go from hero to...

I am sure that during his time of healing from alcoholism, George W. Bush spent time on his knees in prayer, asking forgiveness of his sins, asking God to forgive his past choices. The appropriateness of George W. Bush's actions during his Air National Guard career will always be the stuff of debate, based upon different interpretations of the information that is out there. But I doubt that anything that GWB did would equal the damage that Ted Kennedy and/or John Kerry and his cohorts did at the time.

The title of the upcoming Pat Conroy's book is "My Losing Season", which may be about more than just sports. If this article is a preview, it may well be an interesting read in and of itself.
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Totally Random, Useless Thought #17

Any fool can throw a javelin.

It takes a real man to catch one.
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Thursday, December 14, 2006

An Interesting Method of Grading Final Exams...

is the "Staircase model", as described by Concurring Opinions is presented here.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

And no, I don't do this, though it was good for a chuckle.

Speaking of chuckles, if anyone needs one, check out this Renault ad, as linked by Grouchy Old Cripple in Atlanta, if you can get the YouTube link to work.
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According to Michael Medved...

Reuters has taken to calling David Duke "an American scholar".

Heh,...heh, heh (think of Beavis and Butthead).

According to the radio program yesterday (Wednesday). David Duke has a PhD from somewhere in the former Soviet bloc.

Just to relate an old joke...

We all know what B.S. means (I have one of them!).

M.S. means More of the Same (I have one of them, too!).

PhD means Piled Higher and Deeper (I don't have one of them, otherwise you could call me Dr. joe-6-pack).

All that means is that David Duke has been shoveling that stuff in the cow pasture more than I have and I guess more of it stuck to him too.

It is a damn shame that the State Department didn't lose his passport papers while he was in Iran for that "conference" on continuing the work of Adolph Hitler.
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Oh, Poor Baby!

According to Neal Boortz, convicted bomber Eric Robert Rudolph is complaining about conditions in prison. If memory serves me correctly, he was convicted of the Olympic Park bombing and the bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, among other places.

Rudolph has been writing a series of letters to newspapers complaining of conditions. One passage reads as:

"It's a closed off world designed to isolate inmates from social and environmental stimuli with the ultimate purpose of causing mental illness and chronic physical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. It is designed using solitary confinement. Supermax is designed to inflict as much misery and pain as is constitutionally permissible."

Awwwwwww. Why do you think they call it prison? You should have thought about that before you commenced to setting bombs.
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Just a Reminder of a Recent Skirmish...

in the War on Terror/Islamist War against the West. We need to remember the details of the "Six imams vs. U.S. Airways", not just the MSM headlines or soundbites.

A caller to the Bill Bennett show this morning reminded us of the asymmetrical nature of this war and that this was probably (most likely) an effort to wear down our resolve. When considering all of the details, the six imams' behaviors (not just their loud praying) was designed to non-violently attack efforts to make airline travel safer. There are Leftists in Congress that would like to ban all efforts to profile fliers, even behavior-profiling, which the "six imams incident" clearly was.

And if airlines are prohibited from profiling, then other entities will be restricted, including those that train truck drivers and those that grant truck-drivers' licenses and those that lease large trucks. Other than the 1993 WTC attack and the Oklahoma City bombing the U.S. has been spared truck bombs. Leftist Dems would gladly tie authorities' hands in the name of political correctness and getting a few more votes.

And the same people that are throwing roadblocks in President Bush's path will be the first to say "Why didn't you do something?" in the wake of a future attack. Even several years after the end of the Bush term, in January 2009, any significant terrorist attacks will be blamed on President Bush. Now if lax border security can be proven to be an important component, then so be it. But I am referring to the strictly politically-driven criticism given without any offering of sensible alternatives.
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Yeti Crabs and Living Fossils...

are among some of the "critters" that have been discovered by the decade-long International Census of Marine Life. One of the "sub-studies" included the deep-sea collection of organisms in the Sargasso Sea.

The "Yeti Crabs" are small, blind crustaceans that inhabit the deep ocean bottom near hydrothermal vents, 900 miles south of Easter Island. The nickname comes from the hairlike covering of their leg appendages. The exact purpose of the hairlike covering is the subject of debate.

"Living fossils" are organisms that are either the sole living survivors of a larger extinct group, e.g., Gingko trees, or are examples of organisms thought to be extinct, that have been rediscovered, sometimes in a different ecosystem than their ancestors, e.g., Coelocanth fish. Perhaps a third type of living fossil would be an organism that has changed very little over geologic time. An example of this would be "horseshoe crabs".

As for Coelocanths, they were thought to have become extinct during the Jurassic or Cretaceous Period until one was caught during deep-sea fishing off the coast of South Africa in 1938. A second species was caught off Indonesia in 1997. A past Geology professor of mine suggested, during class, that for some reason, the fish moved from shallow water (where the sediments and sedimentary rocks are more often preserved in the "rock record") to deeper waters, where the sediments/sedimentary rocks are less often preserved.

An example of a "living fossil", shown on a National Geographic webpage, is the "Jurassic shrimp", found in the area of a submerged (probable) volcano in the Coral Sea.

On a different National Geographic webpage is the description of another seamount, near American Samoa, and it's highly varied marine ecosystems.

Of concern is this report on the future of oceanic fishing. The report suggests that popular species of seafood may be "fished out" by 2048. While the data for reports such as this are subject to different interpretations, the concerns are certainly valid. Sensitive species are termed "Indicator species" and their declines and/or disappearances are harbingers of negative changes within their respective ecosystems.

On land, a strategy for the preservation of animal and plant species can include teaching land owners the value of preservation through sustainable practices, i.e., by assigning ownership to the living organisms, the land owner has a vested interest in the survival of those species. The land owner can protect the value of the land by protecting the living organisms.

In the oceans, it is difficult to assign ownership, thus the resources are seen as being owned by "everybody (and nobody)" at the same time. This is called "The Tragedy of the Commons", wherein, since "no one owns it", no one feels a need to protect it and this leads to over-use. An example would be an unattended, vacant lot. Once someone dumps trash there and it doesn't get picked up quickly, it is human nature to perceive that it is "OK" to continue to dump trash in that locality.

As self-policing is only as good as the character of the humans involved, this illustrates the need for multi-national treaties, based on good science, to control oceanic fishing. They should not be used as political tools to restrict a nation, simply because of jealousy, but should be used to periodically, as needed, allow particular seafood populations to regenerate, even if this might take decades.

The UN would love to serve this kind of role, but it has become so internally-rotted and politically-driven, such powers should be kept from their hands. And unfortunately, they will used the data derived from the above-mentioned survey as a reason for this desired power. The UN Law of the Sea is one example of this type of power and some of the concerns are expressed here. Though not ratified by the U.S. Senate, Tom DeWeese (among others) is concerned about the loss of U.S. sovereignty through this and other treaties. As he writes in this post-2006 election piece:

"Republican Senator Richard Lugar has made every possible attempt to ratify the UN’s Law of the Sea Treaty. And, while still not ratified, many of its provisions are quietly being implemented by the government. The Law of the Sea Treaty is nothing less than a scheme to create UN global taxes. "

While Tom DeWeese and his cohorts may, at times, seem over-the-top, they themselves may be a sort of Indicator Species in our Liberty Ecosystem and we need to consider their words as an early warning, especially now that Dems think that Conservatism (and smaller government) was rebuked by the 2006 election.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Some Reading Material During Finals...

is herein presented. Why? 'Cause sometimes (often) other folks got more useful stuff to say than my blatherings.

By way of Pam at Blogmeister USA, here is a post from Urban Infidel on the Moonbat Lovefest thrown for Traitor-by-Choice, terrorist supporter, supposed-lawyer Lynne Stewart. At the end of the post is a link to photos of some of the attendees, which included someone with the sole talent of hollering "Fk America". Jeez, you would think if folks hate it that much, they would just leave and go somewhere else.

Unlike North Korea, Cuba, etc., you can leave the United States anytime you want to, as long as it's OK with your parole officer.

Lifelike Pundits has an after-election endorsement of the Dems by Afghani insurgents.

By way of Ace of Spades HQ, Dr. Helen makes it official that she is a Republican, rather than a right-leaning Libertarian.

Ann Althouse has some info, by way of Right Wing News, about the new blog by Tom DeLay. The Right Wing News post has some of the gems-of-wisdom posted by Leftist Moonbats in response to the new DeLay blog. Such talent on display.

So go exploring some of the links in the columns to the right and turn off the durn TV. I may blog a little tomorrow while my students are taking their final exams, if time permits.
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Monday, December 11, 2006

I am Going Christmas Shopping for Al Gore

I was going to get him a coffee mug with his nickhame, but I am having trouble deciding should it be Dr. Hyperbole or Chicken Little, regarding the Global Warming Debate? Oh, the humanity!

From this article, Paul Driessen suggests that some of Al Gore's philosophical buddies would love to shut down any debate that suggests skepticism towards the current paradigm.

Here are some passages from the article:

"...Al Gore wants to muzzle anyone who raises inconvenient truths about climate alarmism.
Greenpeace wants “climate criminals” pilloried and silenced. Grist magazine wants “Nuremberg-style war crimes trials” for climate disaster skeptics, followed by hanging, one assumes, since burning at the stake would release greenhouse gases.

Climate catastrophist Ross Gelbspan told a DC audience: “Not only do journalists not have a responsibility to report what skeptical scientists have to say about global warming. They have a responsibility NOT to report what those scientists say.” Reuters, Time, 60 Minutes and the Discovery Channel appear to have taken his views to heart. UK alarmist George Monbiot says the airlines contribute to climate change – so “every time someone dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of his office and drowned.” [Emphasis added. So Ross Gelbspan wants MSM journalists to be the final arbiter of what science is politically acceptable? Is he going to head the Ministry of Scientific Truth?]

During a congressional hearing, Senator Barbara Boxer treated physician-scientist-author Michael Crichton like a child molester, for suggesting that claims about climate chaos should be reviewed by double-blind studies and evidentiary standards akin to what FDA uses for new drugs. And on October 27, Senators Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller issued what the Wall Street Journal aptly called a “gag order” against ExxonMobil. “Its message: Start toeing the Senators’ line on climate change, or else,” said the Journal."

Yeah, this is the Dems idea of free and open debate within the realm of science.

Here is a link to a pdf article, a "White Paper" issued by Senator James Inhofe on the issue. You better read it before they suppress it. If some of the folks cited above had their way, you might not have access to anything that questions the "settled science".

The only way to have a 100% complete scientific study is unlimited funding, unlimited time, and a completely static system, none of which exist. There will always be uncertainties. Some of what we think we know now will be obsolete in 5 or 10 years.

Again, I don't doubt that humans can have an effect on the climate, but I don't think human activities control the climate.

Because of past variations, it is difficult to point to any changes and say that "they wouldn't have happened if we weren't here". Virtually everything changes about the Earth, some changes are random, some are cyclical (and most of the cycles are different in length), some exaggerate each other, some cancel each other out.
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Friday, December 08, 2006

I Didn't Forget,...

but with this being the last week of classes before finals, I failed to post on yesterday's 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Common Folk Using Common Sense had a good post to remind us of what should not be forgotten.

Victor Davis Hanson offers a comparison of the War on Terror with our entry into WWII.

If I find some other gems of historical interest, I will post them soon.
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Just Keeping an Eye on the Hornet's Nest...

go give a read to this WND article about Keith Ellison's Muslim background.

This is not for the purpose of engendering hatred or any phobias, but to be well-informed. We have to ask ourselves about his true loyalties. It is my understanding that some (many) interpretations of the Quran (or however you wish to spell it) allow Muslims to lie to infidels to "further the cause" of achieving Sharia-driven control.

I think it is too early to draw hard conclusions, but we just need to keep an eye on that hornet's nest, now that we have been stung.
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By Way of FrontPageMag.com...

Dick Morris believes that Hillary can and will win in 2008.

In this column, he compares and contrasts the personality traits of Bill and Hillary, to the point where it seems that if we could, it would be better to elect Bill Clinton all over again, to deal with the "devil we know" vs. the devil we don't know.

Maybe Dick Morris can scare us into making sure that it doesn't happen, by mobilizing early, especially against the "Oprah vote".
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Why Modern Liberals Ain't - The Legacy of Saul Alinsky

As part of our coming to understand the roots of "Modern Liberalism" and its adherents, including Hillary Clinton (as highlighted in Pam Meister's American Thinker post), we need to spend a little more time reading about Saul Alinsky. I remember seeing a paperback edition of his book "Rules for Radicals" in the past, when I was a Classical Liberal, but I never read it as I didn't consider myself to be a Radical.

From the Wikipedia piece:

"...Alinsky is often credited with laying the foundation for confrontational political tactics that dominated the 1960s."

By way of WND, here is a linked article on SFGate.com, by Cinnamon Stillwell, that reminds us of the intolerance of the Modern Left, as it exists on many, too many college campuses. David Horowitz, borne of Leftist background, has written extensively at FrontPageMag.com and has suffered many attacks and suppressions of his free speech rights. He is simply trying to return the college experience to what it is supposed to be, where ideas are exchanged in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

My daughter has been suffering this semester in a writing class, "taught" by a Leftist teacher that spends more time bashing President Bush, than he does in polishing the writing skills that were not taught in the public high schools. I have chosen not to make an issue of his using mistakes in her written papers, i.e., identifying her in class while asking "What did you mean by...?". I will after the semester is over, largely by asking the appropriateness of his methods.

When the issue of Grass-Roots activism rises in my Environmental Science class (I usually bring it up as an aspect of our Constitutionally-recognized Right of Free Speech), I make it a point to emphasize to my students that if they want to win, "Don't get in people's faces.". There are ways to get your message across in a thoughtful way, e.g., giving people reading materials to read in their own private time, and making thoughtful, passionate arguments, but the activist-attacks, as highlighted by the SFGate.com article by Cinnamon Stillwell will not convince the Mainstream culture, which is what you need to win. As written by Stillwell:

"...Conservative speakers have long been the targets of such illiberal treatment. The violent reception given to Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, an anti-illegal immigration group, at Columbia University in October is a recent example. Gilchrist had been invited to speak by the Columbia University College Republicans, but was prevented from doing so by an unruly mob of students. What could have been mere heckling descended into yelling, screaming, kicking and punching, culminating in the rushing of the stage and Gilchrist being shuttled off by security."...

This is not a victory for those that support open-borders. An impassioned, back-and-forth debate might have, but these strongarm tactics will convince no one but "the choir".

Perhaps we need to spend some time studying the "Master" in order to better deal with his students. Apparently, as with the Islamists, they recognize no rules. Decorum and civility mean nothing to them, even to their elected officials, such as Jim Webb.

Forewarned is forearmed.

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Dealing With RINO Droppings...

after the RINO has been retired by the voters, is one way to look at the "legacy" of Lincoln Chafee. This is the subject of a post by Greg Richards, over at American Thinker, concerning the resignation of John Bolton, who clearly should have been confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

From the post:

"...And the Judas role [was] played by Chaffee [Chafee] when it would have been so easy - let alone the right thing to do - to support Bush's nominee in this case. We are in the middle of one of the most consequential wars in the history of the Republic, against one of the most ruthless and resourceful enemies. John Bolton was a warrior in that struggle, advancing the cause every day. Now he is laid low by much much lesser men who if they are remembered at all, will be remembered for their cravenness, their mindlessness, their betrayal of the interests of the country."

Let's hope that John Bolton will remain in service to his nation in some capacity. We need his intellect and backbone. Ben Johnson, at FrontPageMag, has more on the damage done to the nation by weak-willed men, by the Senate's failure to confirm Bolton. And some blame can be assessed to the President himself, for not standing firm. He just doesn't use the bully pulpit as much as he should.
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Sleeping Under the Mountain

Well, we completed the Scouting adventure in Cumberland Caverns by sleeping under Cardwell Mountain, about 500 feet below the land surface. The only problem was the snoring (No, I am by-far not the worst). There were 19 in our group, nine adult leaders and ten Scouts.

My son completed the "wild tour" (the crawl through the fracture system of Cumberland Caverns), which I am glad of. I did not, which I am also glad of. One of the other dads (who is somewhat slimmer than I) admitted that he got nervous in the narrow portion of the crawl, which I think is about 60 feet long. It was pretty much the best-combination of events.

Our (personal) next planned adventure is called the "Klondike Derby", which is in mid-February in the North Georgia Mountains, at the same site as the Summer Camp, the Woodruff Scout Preserve. My son wants to go (I hate the cold, I would rather deal with 95 degrees than 25 degrees), so we will probably go. Then in March is another overnight hike on a portion of the Appalachian Trail, so we both got time to lose some more weight and get in better shape. It can still get cold in March.

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A Good Article by Pam...

of Blogmeister USA (one of my "blogging buddies") is presented over at American Thinker. It concerns Hillary Clinton's planned for/expected run for President in 2008.

In preparation for this article, Pam conducted some brief informal interviews herself, to gain a cross-section of opinions.

From Pam's article, one of the respondents replied as follows:

"Gayle, 64: I would not vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton for anything. Not because I find her to be strident, shrill, humorless and utterly vengeful, but because I cannot ever remove from my mind the knowledge that this woman was a disciple of Saul Alinsky and, so far as I can see, has never changed her socialist views..."

This pretty-well sums up many of my concerns about Hillary. It has nothing to do with her gender. She is forever-wedded to the Utopian promises of Socialism and she is an advocate of a world government, probably using the UN as a starting point. The combination of Hillary as US President and Bill as UN General Secretary has been mentioned (though I think it may take a change in UN rules to allow a citizen of permanent Security Council nation to serve in that capacity). If you think President Bush is weak on national sovereignty, Hillary would be a nightmare.

The philosophical children of Saul Alinsky include the Moonbats (and other useful idiots) of today. We don't need to "honor" his memory by electing Hillary, despite what Oprah will say.

It may well be that Barack Obama will do less damage to the Republic than Hillary. For the sake of the future, we have to continue to fight the "good fight" and maintain the moral high ground.
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Sometimes It's Good to Get Stung by a Hornet...

if it reminds you that you need to get rid of that nearby hornets' nest, before it harms your kids or someone else's kids.

I think this is how we need to look at the Keith Ellison/Koran swearing-in situation. Because we observe the God-given, natural right of Freedom-of-Worship (which most Muslim nations do not), we need to go ahead and let Rep. Ellison be sworn in on the book of his choice. Just to remind us of what could happen should the Islamists get their way. The recognition of the freedoms that we enjoy are the product of our Judeo-Christian culture and while Muslims and Arabs may have made contributions to what is now Western Culture (long ago), we are concerned with their behaviors during the 20th and 21st Centuries.

We need to choose our battles carefully. The six imams issue is more important and I wonder if the Keith Ellison thing is supposed to distract us from that? PajamasMedia has more on this subject.

While on that subject, I was wondering, when CAIR responds to such events (staged or otherwise), do they ever admit to the fault of the Muslims involved? Do they ever say (without public pressure) "our folks screwed up"? Do they ever say "We are sorry for the misunderstanding" before the wave of public opinion has turned against them?
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Friday, December 01, 2006

Just What is the Greater Goal of the New York Times?

Just wanted to vent about this a little before I start getting ready for the weekend at hand (and the caving adventure). I am still about 70% against "doing the crawl".

With the New York Times' most recent publication of classified documents (Hey NYT! "Classified", in this case, doesn't mean it's supposed to go in the Want Ads!), we have to wonder how much damage they are doing and how long it will take to see the results? Are they so blind as to not see that when they damage a sitting President during a time of war, that they are damaging the nation?

When I was a Classical Lib, I wanted to see the U.S. become better, not weakened.

Again, this makes me wish that Pat Buchanan was President long enough to drag a few folks into Federal Court on Treason charges.

This is not reasoned dissent, it is sabotage. A strong, confident Iraq, standing as a fledgling democratic republic, is the best way for us to extract ourselves from this present situation, while making progress in the War on Terror. A little capitalist generation of wealth might go a long ways towards showing the common people of the region that there is a different way of doing things. It may not pay off for years, but what would the world look like if we didn't try?
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A Good Post on the Science vs. Faith Argument

Though Dadmanly is on a self-imposed hiatus, there was a good posting a couple of weeks ago about the largely-unnecessary impasse between faith and science. It was about a new "anti-religion" think tank (as reported in the Washington Post) that "thinks" it is supporting scientific progress by attacking the faith of mainstream Christians and Jews.

As with many Libs, they operate on the bigoted assumption that all Christians and faithful Jews operate on blind faith, rather than a deeper understanding of "what's what" (my vernacular).

Yesterday Laura Ingraham hosted Sam Harris, who has written a couple of books "The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation", concerning his views that purging our culture of its Judeo-Christian culture (and all other cultures of their religious roots) will allow the world to live in peace and harmony.

Everybody give me a "Hallelujah" (oops!), I mean a "Kumbaya" (oops!, that is faith-based too!).

Mr. Harris is an educated man, but he exemplifies the "can't-see-the-forest-for-the-trees" mentality of folks that - having achieved a great deal of education, they think there is nothing left for them to learn, most of all from those Bible-thumping cretins in the American Heartland.

He is an atheist zealot and all he sees around him are zealots of other stripes. I don't think God expects us to surrender our brain cells when we open a Bible. While on Laura Ingraham's show yesterday (I was unable to hear the entire interview), Mr. Harris kept referring to a poll in which 53% of Americans thought the world was 6,000 years old. Most of us know that polls are manufactured news and are often worth little more than a glance with a jaundiced eye.

Since when have atheism-based moral laws worked? The Bible-based moral framework is supposed to make us better than we are. It is not supposed to make us perfect. In Mr. Harris' perfect world, how would he purge humanity of it's millenia-long aspects of religious faith? What would replace it?

Perhaps he should try to sell this idea to the Muslim world first and if they think it's a good idea, then maybe we will give it a try. Heh.
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Ted Kennedy is a Fascist...

among other things.

Basically, Fascism is almost total government control of private businesses, telling them what they can sell, where they can sell it, the prices they can charge, who they can hire,...

That is not to say that we are there, yet, but there certainly are aspects of Fascism in Ted Kennedy's pronouncements on raising the Minimum Wage, as quoted on Laura Ingraham's website.

"We're gonna raise it, and raise it, and raise it, and raise it, and raise it! And raise it, and raise it, and raise it! And raise it!!!"

This is fodder for the MSM and for unions and most of us know that, we just need to remind ourselves for the sake of relating these issues in private, social conversations. Sometimes it takes randomly-planted seeds of logic to turn people away from the dark side of modern Liberalism.

We all know, but need to remind others, that the Minimum Wage is supposed to be an entry-level wage for high-schoolers or early college students. It is not supposed to provide sustenance to single parents or families. And these popularist called-for raises are to help union workers with wages that are tied to the Minimum Wage.

So what are across-the-board increases in labor costs supposed to do for the small businesses of this country? What are across-the-board increases in construction labor costs supposed to do for the businesses that intend to move into the newly-completed or renovated buildings? In some cases, their start-up costs have increased before they even open their doors for business. And not because of market conditions, but simply to buy votes from the dumb masses.

The best way to put more money in the pockets of American workers is through tax cuts and the best way to get across-the-board tax cuts (especially in payroll and Medicare taxes) is to pass the Fair Tax Bill. A pro-active enough populace could get the attention of the Dems in Congress, especially if they think they can get credit for it.

So fight Fascism by supporting the Fair Tax Proposal.

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A Point That Charles Rangel Doesn't See...

or maybe doesn't want people to think about is that most people that join our military do not do it in order to "fight" somewhere. Some of them do it in order to find some direction in their lives, but I believe that most do it out of a sense of duty-to-their country and support for the cause of protecting freedom, not just here, but in the "umbrella" of peace that our strength provides other nations. If we don't, who will?

Most of the people that have volunteered probably have far more wisdom at their young ages than do Rangel, Kennedy, Durbin, Murtha, Pelosi, Reid, Kerry,..., especially those that have served in combat.

Thanks to BeerCanBill for the link.
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