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, January 31, 2007

The Top Ten Soda Flops

By way of Crosblog, the above-linked post is by Bob Morris at LiveJournal. It is interesting reading. How many of these do you remember?

I may do a post in a few days on Top Ten Beer Flops. Among them would have to be Miller Clear, which followed the Crystal Pepsi fad. Among some others would be beer names that resulted in the brewers getting successfully sued by someone with deep pockets (or that is how the story went).
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The Sky is Probably Not Falling - Part II

J.R. Dunn's post on American Thinker reminds us that despite other flaws, President Bush has apparently not yet "knuckled under" to the demands of the "humans-cause-global-warming" paradigm.

From Dunn's post:

"...One curious element involves certain facts that, on first consideration, would appear to be crucial but never seem to come up in debate. I have spent several years trying to track down the actual values of two numbers - the annual amount of carbon dioxide emitted by all human activities, and the amount of carbon dioxide already present in the atmosphere. There are as many answers as there are sources, the first ranging from 3 billion to 28 billion tons, the second from 750 billion tons to 2.97 x 1012 tons, a number so large that there's no common English word for it. Variations of this size - up to three orders of magnitude - suggest a serious lack of basic knowledge. The fact that it never comes up suggests that scientists are well aware of this. (It's doubtful we'll see the question addressed in this week's IPCC report either.)" [When there are such a divergence of data (and interpretations), how can we say what falls "within a natural range of variances" and what doesn't?]

"So it's something of a relief to turn to history. Despite the insistence of Al Gore and friends, this is far from the first time the Earth has ever passed through a climatic warming period. In fact, one occurred relatively recently, the medieval warm period, more commonly known as the Little Climatic Optimum (LCO), a period stretching roughly from the 10th to the 13th centuries, in which the average temperature was anything from 1 to 3 degrees centigrade higher than it is today. Several years ago, I covered the LCO in an article detailing the climatic history of the last millennium. But it's worthwhile to cover the highlights once more, to help put the contemporary panic into perspective."

We don't deny that some warming may be taking place and that humans might provide a small influence, but because we are aware of past climate variations, we are skeptical and understand that present changes fall within the realm of those natural variations. But to blame it all on carbon dioxide being emitted from the United States, when ignoring China, India, Brazil, Mexico, et al, is simply setting the stage for establishing outside controls on our energy supplies, and establishing other aspects of global governance.

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Tyrants agree: the easiest way to win a debate…

is to prevent the other side from debating.

This gem of wisdom is from Selwyn Duke’s post on American Thinker blog, on the subject of the way that some folks become offended at the drop of a hat. From this post:

“…In truth, though, our civilization is not as overcome by pride as by duplicity. And this is what is truly offensive (in the way an odor is so) about this offensiveness business: Screaming "That's offensive!" is nothing but a ploy. Yes, you heard it here first, few who emit that utterance are actually offended.

They just don't happen to like what you're saying.

I'll explain precisely what is going on. Liberals trade on this ploy, using it as a standard response whenever their sacred cows come under scrutiny. If they were tolerant, they would simply accept that some will espouse what we despise. If they were honest, they would simply say what they mean. But tolerance is just another ploy, and honesty, well, it has never served the ends of the left, and never less so than here. A translation of what they really mean to say will illustrate why:

"I hate what you're saying, it makes me angry and you should shut your mouth! [expletives omitted]"" …

Other “Liberal” efforts to prevent debate come to mind in the realm of science, most recently with the Weather Channel’s Dr. Heidi Cullen suggesting that the American Meteorological Association pull their seal of approval from TV meteorologists that don’t talk up the party line on Global Warming.

When Al Gore, et al, label human-caused Global Warming skeptics as “deniers”, the attempt is to liken them to Holocaust deniers. One “Liberal” (associated with Grist magazine) suggested Nuremburg-type trials for Global Warming deniers. So much for free speech.

When scientists are ostracized because they accept the concept of Intelligent Design (or the possibility thereof), that is another attempt at debate prevention.

Other aspects of debate suppression is the use of the words "racism/racist" or "homophobe" or the concept of "disagreement is hate". Or when the Libs find a "sanctified" hero, such as Cindy Sheehan, using the "rationale" that "she can speak because she lost her son, because you (or your children) have not been in the military, you cannot speak" - the "chickenhawk argument". Or when you are "anti-woman" because you are Pro-Life.

[2/2 Update: Of course the biggest suppression method lusted after by the Leftists is the Fairness Doctrine/Media Reform (or whatever name you wish to give to this institutionalized suppression).]

One aspect of "being offended" not mentioned in Selwyn Duke's post is the issue of the basis of being offended because one is intolerant (often these same people demand tolerance by others). It is when offense is taken when people respectfully speak the name of God or Jesus when giving a public prayer or in conversation. I have had such personal experiences at the hands of "tolerant Liberals".

For the first few years after my wife and I were married, especially after we adopted our daughter, we had both drifted away from our church roots and we were seeking to "find our way back". In the process of searching we spent some time attending a Unitarian-Universalist Congregation in El Paso (we were still Classical Liberals at the time).

Most of the people there were of Christian background, that had either drifted away themselves or they had tired of the seeming dogmas associated with the faith of their families. But within the Unitarian Congregation there were certain people that would absolutely "have a cow" if you called their assemblage "a church" or if you mentioned "God" in their presence. Needless to say, most of the people of Christian background would politely roll their eyes and say nothing, but the experiences were tiring, to say the least and informative as to the intolerance of some people. The final straw came was on Easter Sunday, 1991 (I think). We moved out of town a few weeks after that, so that made for more of a clean break.

After the Easter Sunday service, some folks stayed around to do some clean-ups outside the building (remember, we can't call it a church, that might offend someone). One man took it upon himself to remove some pigeon nests from around the evaporative coolers. That there were eggs inside the nests made no difference to this man (who as many Liberals, would probably have claimed to be environmentally aware).

Now make no mistake, I don't like pigeons, but my rule is if there is a bird nest where you don't want it, once there are eggs in the nest - LEAVE IT ALONE! It is OK to remove the nest before the eggs are laid, the birds can build another in a more appropriate place. BUT LEAVE THE EGGS ALONE!

I just had a real problem with the symbolism of smashing bird eggs on Easter Sunday, especially when the Unitarian "preacher" had danced around the Resurrection issue with an Easter message of "Springtime rebirth". I didn't see any point in saying anything as the damage had been done and I didn't hear anybody else raise any objections. I just mentally "washed my hands" of those people at that point.

Returning to the issue, Rush Limbaugh does not suppress debate in a way that most "Libs" would. Rush demands articulate and informative callers and too few moderns Libs fit this description. Rush has to submit the Liberal viewpoint on an issue and explain it before he shoots it down.

Selwyn Duke reaches the heart of the matter with these words:

"...If someone is offended by truth, the problem lies not with it being uttered. If someone doesn't want it uttered, he has a problem with truth."

Another bit of Limbaugh-wisdom is that "Liberalism is a gutless choice.". It just seems to me that if you really believe something to be true, whether it be "humans cause global warming" or "evolution is solely responsible for life on Earth", you should be able to withstand some intelligent debate and stand your ground.

Hat tip: Blogmeister USA
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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Making a Deposit to My Redneck Savings Account

You may or may not have heard Neal Boortz talk about saving money through the “dollar bill” plan, whereby you don’t spend individual $1 bills, rather you put them into a drawer, an envelope or somewhere else out-of-site, out-of-mind. I think the idea is if the dollar bills are in your pocket, you tend to spend them. If you stash them, they will not as likely be spent.

I haven’t had the courage to try putting aside all loose dollar bills, but I have been doing the same thing with quarters. Every time I come home with one or more quarters in my pocket change, I toss them into a bowl in our den, then later I put them into my “Redneck Savings Account”, which is a Kodak 35mm film canister. A Kodak 35mm film canister will hold exactly $7 in quarters. When I fill two canisters, I transfer $10 of the quarters to a paper roll and the $4 remainder is a “seed” to encourage further deposits to the film canister.

Generally when I have $20 in quarters, I will take the two rolls to the bank and deposit them in our savings account. Nothing big, but I have managed to save $60 in quarters over perhaps the last 3-4 months. That is an additional $60 that would, most likely, not be in our savings account otherwise.

So if you think you have trouble putting any more money aside, try this little trick.
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No, the Sky is Probably Not Falling – Part I

Regarding climate variations, that is.

Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly commented over the years about the fact that individuals in each generation believe that they are living in “end times” (for one reason or another).
We are each entitled to our own beliefs, that is not the issue, it is what we choose to do with those beliefs.

Sometimes perhaps it is just a lack of faith in our ability (with God’s help) to muddle through, whether personally or as a people. Sometimes perhaps it is just the human-natured habit of projecting our personal fears onto larger issues, especially when goaded by others with charisma and/or persistence. It is the issue of bad news selling more newspapers. It is the “bandwagon effect”.

I blather here because of the ratcheting up of the “Global Warming hysteria”. Prominent Democrats believe they can ride this issue back to the White House and because of this and other Big Lies, and the persistence of the tellers, others are turning towards the dark side. That dark side is a future of more government control and less freedom. That is the natural tendency of those that hunger for power.

It is not that we Conservatives and skeptical scientists are not concerned about the environment. It is because we think that events that are primarily natural are being hijacked for political reasons and for the acquisition of power. Despite the lies of the MSM and other Leftists, most of us are not oil-company whores, even those that receive some funding from oil (or other energy) companies. Many of us simply desire to see “good science” prevail over hysteria and power-grabbing.

Those parroting the humans-cause-global-warming paradigm may just as likely be whoring themselves out for money from the Pew Research Foundation, the Heinz Foundation, George Soros, or any of the other Leftist sources of cash. Even taxpayer funds find their way into the pockets of some of these people.

The skeptics are not seeking to shut down all debate. IMHSO, most of the skeptics are such because they see the wonders of this dynamic planet and its relationship with the Sun, whether created by God, natural events, or some combination of the two. They understand that through our behaviors, we may affect climate, especially on a local or regional scale, but because of the unknown number of inputs to the world climate system, we cannot accurately assess our role.

Using computer models to hobble the United States economy, while ignoring the air pollution (not referring to carbon dioxide) produced by China, India, Mexico, Brazil, et al, is again, a Leftist power grab. Jacques Chirac said it himself, that Kyoto is a blueprint for world governance.

The Leftists are flexing their muscles and calling all useful idiots to do their bidding. They think they are destined to win the White House in 2008 and permanently solidify their power at the expense of our freedom and our children’s freedom.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Yielding the Stage, in the Short Term…

for the Long Term.

Regarding the 2008 Presidential election, there appears to be no credible Democrat candidates that would be good for the nation, though some might cause less damage than others.

For Conservatives, Rudy Giuliani is not everything we want, but it may be what we need, not as a party, but as a nation. I am not throwing full support behind him, but we need to maintain an open mind, if it is him instead of Romney, or...

I don't recall the original source of this "argument" in favor of Giuliani, despite his Liberal social policies, but the point was that if successful, a Giuliani victory in 2008 will "pull" more Conservatives back into Congress, where the actual laws are made. Certainly into the Senate, if not the House. A strong message in the War on Terror needs to be maintained and I think Rudy is good for this.

And Rudy is smart enough to know the "will of the people" regarding legislation that might be against his personal viewpoints. Though McCain might be good for the war effort, I mistrust his "mule-headedness" on the border fence, Kyoto,...

And I know that Dems are going to make issues of Rudy's divorce(s) (I think there have been more than one). Though not a favorable outcome to a marriage, the divorce itself should not be the central issue, but rather the "why" and how it transpired. Perhaps Rudy is just as tarnished as Newt, but I think the MSM will give Rudy a pass that they won't give to Newt on this issue.

We just need to convey the message that with a Giuliani win, there won't be a landslide of gay marriages or abortions-on-demand. The Congress is where the laws are made and the will of the people can play a role in social legislation.

The most important issue, for the survival of the nation regarding the War on Terror, is keeping the White House in Republican hands, not because the party is perfect, but because the Dems show no signs of understanding the seriousness of this war. Or the value of allowing people to keep more of their own money. Or allowing people the freedom to defend their homes. Or allowiong people the freedom to choose schools for their children.
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While Wandering Through the Blogosphere...

through FrontPageMag, through Instapundit, I found my way to an interesting blog, of Arms and the Law, dealing with Second Amendment issues.

If the Dems think they are going to win the White House in 2008, they will become more bold in "talking up" stronger anti-gun legislation and weak-spined Republicans will probably crumble before them.

One of the strategies of the anti-gun crowd is the old "Divide and Conquer" thing, where they attempt to separate the hunters from the self-defense groups. One sub-strategy is the creation of fake "gun rights" groups, as highlighted by this post to of Arms and the Law. This particular organization is entitled the American Shooters and Hunters Association and they have apparently become a favorite of the MSM.

While on that particular blog, I found this post that describes Cook County, IL's attempts to fight crime by restricting the self-defense of law-abiding citizens. Yeah, that will show those crooks. The legislation is designed to ban semi-automatic shotguns and may do the same for semi-automatic rifles, as if the criminals care.

Remember, in the hands of a law-abiding homeowner, it is not an "Assault Weapon", it is a Defense Weapon, but the MSM will never remind you of that.

Even if you chose not to own any firearms, that is your right, but you need to keep current on why the Second Amendment is in our Bill of Rights. It is to allow our citizens to "Check and Balance" the power of government, if the ballot box is taken away or ignored completely. It is also to allow the homeowner a measure of self-defense in times of civil unrest or natural disaster, if the local government is unable or unwilling to come to their aid.

It is not about the "American love affair with guns" as the MSM likes to say. It is more about being able to own the tools to defend your home.
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If It Bleeds, It Leads,...

well, maybe not, if it might remind us of what we are up against.

From this FrontPageMag.com-linked article, we are informed of the Shia Muslim holiday of Ashoura.

From the article:

"...The observance of Ashoura is one of the most important events in the Shia calender. Ashoura marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of Husayn, grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, in what is now Kerbala, Iraq. The death of Husayn was the beginning of the Sunni/Shia split, which persists in Islam to this day.

In the past, many Shia men have demonstrated their devotion to Husayn by letting their blood flow freely from self-inflicted wounds. Today, however, many governments have tried to ban this practice, with varying degrees of success. In Lebanon, the practice is permitted, and a bloody commemoration of Ashoura takes place in Nabatieh every year.

Most participants make a small cut on their head, and then beat the wound with their palm--or in this case a sword--to keep the wound open and bleeding.

Participants then march in groups around the town, yelling chants to express their devotion to Husayn and the Prophet. [...]"

Will the MSM tell us about this? I would suggest you go to this article and look at the photos, remember, "A picture is worth...".

Don't expect any noteworthy breakthroughs in science or literature to evolve from this mindset.
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Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Good Dose of Karmic Justice was Doled Out...

and yet it just ain't enough.

I try not to hate, as it is a burden and a toxin, but there are just some folks that are well-deserving of hate (and a good horse-whipping). In general (aside from Muslim terrorists and child molesters/murderers), it is vandals (and hackers) that receive most of my ire, as they destroy for the sake of destruction. I have slightly more respect for a thief than for a vandal.

According to this report, last weekend in the Gwinnett County city of Lilburn, Ezekial DeJesus Rodriguez knocked over almost 10 gravestones/monuments at the Luxomni Church cemetary. He was caught because the last monument he pushed over fell on him and crushed his leg. Apparently, he lay under the vandalized monument and screamed, perhaps for hours until someone called the police.

Good.

It served him right. It is a shame that some of the family members of those in the desecrated gravesites didn't find him first and take a good stout stick to him in the dark.

And the worst part is that taxpayer money is probably paying for his hospital stay and surgeries. It is a shame that he can't be left to hobble for the rest of his life to remind him of what he has done. And is some Lib lawyer going to sue the city and county over the injury?

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Just Found a New Blog With a Strange Name

Actually, the U.S. Torture and Atrocities blog is probably so named as to attract unwitting Moonbats with their Google searches. It shows numerous photos of the positive interactions between U.S. troops and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will be revisiting more when time permits. These kind of suppressed photos just don't make the evening news.

Oh, the humanity!

Better go see them before Democrat "Media Reform" does away with them.

Hat tip to CrosSwords for this link.
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Here is a Link to See Some Interesting Billboards

As is posted over at CrosSwords, along with a reminder of the costs being paid because we haven't been as united as we should have been in the Iraq theatre of the War on Terror.
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Because Jimmah Carter has Chosen to Throw Stones...

while living in a glass house...

Here is an article posted through FrontPageMag about Carter's past contention that there were "Too many Jews" on the Holocaust Council, which was established by the Carter Administration.

Also from this article, it was noted that a "noted Holocaust scholar who was a Presbyterian Christian was rejected from the council's board by Carter's office because the scholar's name "sounded too Jewish."

I guess this is what passes for "Liberal tolerance" and wisdom.

Oy Vey!

OK Jimmah, just keep on chucking them stones.

[To be fair, Jimmah hosted a "coming out" party last night at the Atlanta Zoo to honor the new little Panda cub Mei Lan. I was actually able to watch the local TV report without my skin crawling, for once.]

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Before Jim Webb Turned to the Dark Side...

(the Democrat Party),...

While he was still thinking like a Marine, Jim Webb wrote this article back in 1995, posted today on FrontPageMag.com. To many have forgotten the past and we may be on the path to repeating it, if we cut and run from Iraq.

Vietnam became "Vietnam" because we lost our resolve, not because of President Johnson's escalations.

Though I haven't finished reading it yet, it appears to be a pretty good history lesson.
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Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Little More of the Benny Parsons Requiem

Yesterday I related how Benny Parsons won the 1975 Daytona 500, when David Pearson and Cale Yarborough made contact and Pearson spun into the infield, on Lap 198 of 200, allowing the second-place Parsons to assume the lead and his biggest race victory.

Even more of a storybook event was the manner in which Benny Parsons won the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship.

After starting his full-time career in 1970, by 1972, Benny had established himself as a consistent finisher of races. Because he was racing for a single-car team that picked up local sponsors along the way, he had to take care of his equipment. After finishing 5th in the 1972 point standings, Benny maintained a consistent pace throughout the 1973 season, entering the final race at Rockingham, NC with a 194.35 point lead over Richard Petty and a 208.65 point lead over Cale Yarborough, both of whom drove for well-funded race teams. There were two other drivers, both independent “underdogs”, with slim mathematical chances to win the championship also, Cecil Gordon (no relation to Jeff) and James Hylton.

In that day, NASCAR had a rather byzantine point system, a holdover from the 1950s, where drivers could compete for the championship at different racetracks on the same day, i.e., there was 100 points awarded to the winner and the remainder of the points were based upon the number of miles (or perhaps laps) completed. So a driver in California in a NASCAR-sanctioned race could earn points towards the championship, as a driver in North Carolina race would. [Or at least that is my understanding of it.] So on October 21, 1973, Benny Parsons’ team determined that he would have to complete a given number of laps, based upon how well the other contenders were doing.

The owner of Benny’s 1973 Chevy Malibu (at some tracks they ran a 1972 Monte Carlo) was Mr. L. G. DeWitt, owner of a trucking company and North Carolina Motor Speedway at Rockingham, the site of the season-ending race. Because of Mr. DeWitt’s other obligations, the race team was not as well-funded as the Petty team or the Junior Johnson team and because Benny had to run conservatively, he was unable to attract a full-time sponsor. During the 1973 season, Benny had only won a single race, at Bristol, TN, but out of 28 races, Benny had 15 Top-5 finishes and 21 Top-10 finishes and then, as now, NASCAR rewarded consistency. So as events converged on the final race of the season, an under-funded race team stood poised to win NASCAR’s biggest prize and no doubt a full-time sponsorship for the 1974 season.

Benny qualified well, starting in 5th place on the field, but on the 13th lap, as the leaders were lapping the cars at the tail-end of the field, 40th-place starter Johnny Barnes spun, triggering a four-car accident. One of the four was Benny Parsons. Later, Benny said that Johnny “couldn’t have parked the car in a worse place”. The right side of Benny’s car hit the left front corner of Johnny Barnes’ Mercury (neither driver was hurt).

When Benny’s car shuddered to a stop further down the racetrack, almost 100% of the sheet metal (fenders, door panels) was torn from the right side of the car. The right front wheel assembly had been torn from the chassis. The right side-bars of the interior roll cage had been torn off and the rear axle housing and right side suspension had been also torn from the chassis and the axle housing had sustained a 30-degree bend, breaking the axle itself. A crewman later remarked that it was enough damage, that under normal circumstances, it would have taken four days to repair, if the chassis wasn’t “kinked”.

As the wrecker dragged the car back to the garage area, Benny was crestfallen, thinking the best he could do was 5th place in the point standings, followed by another year without a full-time sponsor. When Benny’s car reached the garage area, crew chief Travis Carter and the remainder of the crew swarmed over the car, determined to try to get Benny back on the track. Soon, members of other race teams began pitching in on the repair work, helping to get the well-respected underdog one more shot at the championship. While the leaders circled the race track lap after lap, the garage area was filled with shouted instructions, hammering, and the sounds of welding torches.

Benny’s team had brought a truck full of spare parts, so they had everything, except the side bars of the roll cage. Crewmen frantically searched the garage and infield area until they found the car of Bobby Mausgrover, who had not qualified for the race. Unable to immediately find the owner, they took a welding torch and cut the side bars from Mausgrover’s car. When owner of the “donor car” arrived on the scene, he was understandably upset, but some pleading by Benny’s crew (and probably some cash) calmed him down.

During the flurry of garage activity, Richard Petty had retired from the race with engine problems, taking some of the pressure off of the L.G. DeWitt team. After about an hour of repairs, during which the steering system, right front suspension & wheel assembly, right side roll cage, and complete rear axle housing and suspension were replaced, Benny’s patched-up car returned to the race on Lap 149, where he was greeted with a great roar from the hometown crowd.

Benny’s car held together well enough that he was able to complete 308 laps (of the 500), enough to secure the championship, before pulling off the track due to a vibration and finishing 28th. David Pearson won his 11th race of the season, Buddy Baker finished 2nd, while Cale Yarborough finished 3rd. Benny won the championship by 67.15 points over Yarborough. And he secured a full-time sponsorship with Kings Row Fireplace Shops for the next two seasons, followed by other sponsors as his career continued.

With more of a “killer instinct”, maybe Benny Parsons would have won many more races and maybe another championship or two, but then his 1973 Championship wouldn’t have been as special nor would his 1975 Daytona 500 victory have been as memorable.

Maybe someday, Jerry Bruckheimer will make a movie a la “Glory Road” about this “never give up” expression of the American spirit. America, that special place where ordinary people can do extra-ordinary things.

For all of the highs produced by his successful career and fan support, shortly after Benny retired at the end of the 1988 season, his first wife Connie died of cancer. He penned an article for a racing magazine (as per my memory) lamenting that it wasn’t supposed to be this way. He was the one with the dangerous job and upon completing that career, he and Connie were supposed to be able to do some things together, it just wasn’t meant to be. [If memory serves me correctly, David Pearson had a similar sad experience, as his wife Helen died shortly after his retirement.]

The TV broadcast booths at the 2007 Nextel Cup races just won’t be the same without “BP”, as Darrell Waltrip called him. Benny’s jovial spirit will be missed. And so it goes.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I Am Sorry That I Missed This...

it was the passing of a really nice guy, former NASCAR driver Benny Parsons. In knew he had been ill with lung cancer, but I hadn't checked the NASCAR website lately, so I was unaware that he had passed away January 16th, according to this article.

Race car drivers don't like to go to funerals, but this one was well-attended by drivers and owners, past and present:

"...Junior Johnson came from South Carolina, and Darrell Waltrip made the trip from Tennessee. They were joined by active drivers Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman and a heavy-hearted Greg Biffle, who owes his entire NASCAR career to Parsons for spotting him at a regional event then convincing Jack Roush to hire him.

The casket was flanked with family photos and floral arrangements signed from everyone ranging from the biggest names in auto racing (Mario Andretti and Jeff Gordon) to the common people who related to Parsons' big heart and folksy presence."

After he retired in 1988, he entered the broadcast booth as a "color commentator". Anyone that listened to his broadcast persona, that listened to the countless interviews just has to pause every few sentences and repeat the phrase - He was just a damned nice guy, a kind of person that no one can criticize, for any mistakes were offset by his kind nature. I don't recall his ever having harsh words for any body. He might have exclaimed frustration with someone during a broadcast, but he was always diplomatic.

He was the quintessential "underdog" in many respects. He came from a humble background in North Carolina. He sporadically drove a taxi when his family owned a taxi service in Detroit, MI and the press liked to make an issue of that, though he down-played it when he won the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship, then the 1975 Daytona 500, which I was fortunate enough to witness.

He sporadically ran some races in 1964 and 1969 and after winning the 1969 ARCA Championship, he moved over to NASCAR full-time. Among his career statistics - he won 21 Winston Cup (now Nextel Cup) events, had 199 Top-5 Finishes and 283 Top-10 Finishes (which include the Top-5s, I think). A model of consistency, he finished in the Top-5 of the season point standings for 9 consecutive seasons from 1972 - 1980. Most of his victories came in the late 1970s and early 1980s, while he was driving for mercurial car owner, M.C. Anderson, of Savannah, GA, and then Bud Moore of Spartanburg, SC.

By mercurial, I mean that after Benny won the final race of 1980, at Ontario California, Anderson fired him, having already hired Cale Yarborough to drive for him the 1981 season.

Benny had won 3 races and finished 10th in the point standings, but Anderson had his eye on Yarborough to make a run towards the championship. Cale had scaled back his racing schedule to part-time, but Anderson thought he could persuade Cale to go for one more championship. After the 1982 season was over, Anderson asked Cale to go full-time in 1983. Cale refused and M.C. Anderson abruptly sold the entire team and walked away from the sport.

As I close this, I will leave with you the "storybook" way that Benny won the 1975 Daytona 500. He was driving for L.G. DeWitt, of Rockingham, NC and sponsored by Kings Row Fireplace Shops. It was a good ride and a good sponsor, but still not quite the caliber of the Petty Team or the Wood Brothers or Junior Johnson, at that time.

After the race began with a 9-car accident on the 4th lap, the dominant cars were Buddy Baker (#15) who led 46 laps, prior to a broken timing chain; A.J. Foyt (#28), who led 18 laps before blowing an engine 12 laps from the end; Richard Petty (#43), who led 51 laps, but fell behind because of a leaky radiator; and David Pearson (#21), who led 74 laps.

As the race wound down, Richard Petty still had the fastest car on the track, but because of the radiator, he was 8 laps behind. The only cars on the lead lap were David Pearson and Benny Parsons. Richard Petty and David Pearson had a friendly rivalry for years and accounted for 61 1st-2nd place combos over the years.

At the time of the final pit stop, Richard pitted at the same time as Benny and on leaving the pit area, he waved to Benny to "follow me".

If you are not familiar with the aerodynamics of the fastest raceways, as the lead car in a pack moves through the air, there is a semi-vacuum that can pull a second car "in tow". In-turn, the second car helps push a cushion of air that pushes the first car a little faster. Bottom line - two cars can run faster than one "in the draft" as long as the second car is close to the first one, speedwise. And the second car can use the lessened drag to "slingshot" past the lead car under the right circumstances.

David Pearson had been drafting with A.J. Foyt, until A.J.'s engine blew. In the final laps, the plan was to let Benny use the draft to "slingshot" past Richard, then pull up on David, then "slingshot" past him to win the race.

We will never know if it would have worked. On Lap 198 (two to go), on the backstretch, while passing Cale Yarborough and Richie Panch, David Pearson cut the steering wheel a little too sharply (and/or made contact with Cale) and spun out into the sandy infield, he didn't hit anything, but he stalled his engine. Though I couldn't see the spin, I heard a roar from the crowd (I was in the area of the 3rd and 4th turn, beyond the backstretch). Benny inherited the lead and went on to win the race. Not that David Pearson had the "bad guy image", he went on to win the Daytona 500 the following year (with it's own brand of drama), but the crowd loved the Benny Parsons win.

It was just a fitting way of showing that good guys sometimes finish first.

Now he has gone a lap ahead of us.
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My New Toy

It ain’t much, just one of them little 1 GB “jump drives” or “flash drives” (actually I bought a second one). Sometimes I am so easily entertained. I guess you would expect that from someone that collects old beer cans.

As the 1 GB jump drives are being replaced by 2 GB and 5 GB (I think) jump drives, the prices for the older 512 MB and the 1 GB models are dropping. I paid $9.99 (after a $15 rebate) at CompUSA and I forgot to print out the online coupon for Micro Center for $9.99, so it was $13.99, but still it was a better price than other places I have seen. So if you are contemplating buying one, check out coupons and prices before you buy. If you wait too long, they will stop restocking the discounted 1 GB drives and those bargain prices will be gone.

On a related note, I have been trying to find a 128 MB or a 256 MB (or even a cheap 512 MB) Compact Flash card for my digital camera (trying to save a little money), rather than spring for a 1 GB card for $13.99 from Micro Center, but these older ones are off the market or where I did find some at Wal-Mart, the prices were higher than the 1 GB cards at Micro Center. I just think I can do without more than 1 GB of storage in my camera. I have some older 64 MB and 32 MB cards from when I bought the camera and I need a little more capacity. Again, the 1 GB cards are being replaced by the 2 GB and 5 GB cards and the older ones will be off the market if I miss this window. When payday arrives, I will decide whether or not to wait another month or so to get the 1 GB card.

The bottom line is the jump drive makes it easier to transfer Power Point, Word, and other files (or changes to those files) from my home computer to use at the college (or vice versa), without having to burn a CD. As we still don’t have an internet connection at home (one less bill to pay), it makes it easier to blog by doing these posts on Word at home and then cutting and pasting them from the jump drive to the blog. That is why I have been able to become more active lately.

Yada, yada.
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Location, Location, Location

According to this article from NASCAR.com, the Petty Team is considering moving from it's ancestral home of Level Cross, North Carolina to a new location, closer to the racing hub centered in the Charlotte area.

The problem is not the size of the facilities at Level Cross, it is the commute distance for some of the employees that perhaps originally worked for other teams, then came on board with the Pettys. There are other talented individuals that would have joined the team, if not for the sometimes 90-minute commute.

Because of the longevity and popularity of the Petty team, they don't seem to have trouble getting sponsors, despite not having won a race since 1999. Last season provided a little bit of a boost with the signing of Bobby Labonte to drive #43 and they want to continue to capitalize on that change before momentum is lost.

Because of the costs of moving and purchasing or leasing new property elsewhere, any new facilities would probably have less floor space that the present locale, but closer to "the action", there might be some operations that could be "farmed out" if floor space becomes an issue.

I know it means moving away from Richard Petty's homeplace, the green grass and the white picket fence setting to perhaps an office park or other warehouse district. That is just the way it is. Perhaps they will keep the museum at Level Cross.

But can you imagine the yard sale they might have before they move in the next 12 to 18 months!

Here's wishing Bobby Labonte (#43) and Kyle Petty (#45) a better 2007. Bobby had several top-5 finishes last year and almost made the top-20 in the point-standings, if not for an early wreck in the final race of the season.

According to this article, Kyle has secured a two-year sponsorship deal with Marathon Oil Co. and according to this article, Richard hisself has secured a lifetime deal as spokesman for Goody's Powders, something he has been doing for 30 years.

As an added bonus:

"...To further celebrate Richard Petty and his 30 years with Goody's, the brand has also announced a $50,000 donation to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Since the camp opened in 2004, Goody's has continued its status as a major sponsor of Victory Junction and was the first company to donate $1,000,000 to help build the camp's hospital named "The Goody's Body Shop."

[More NASCAR news as the Daytona 500 approaches.]

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Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Good…

It may have been a few years (decades) since you have read George Orwell’s Animal Farm, but you may remember the gist of the story.

As the pigs were gathering power to overthrow the farmer, there was a chorus of sheep that would bleat on-command “Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Good” (or something similar), to keep the other animals “on board”. It was part of the "background music" of the "planning sessions". And we know how all that turned out.

As Leftist Democrats arise (aided by the MSM) to claim their self-anointed powers, far beyond what the voters “gave” them last November, we are hearing the repetition of a different bleating, that of “The Fascists are Coming, the Fascists are Coming!”. We are hearing an incessant drumbeat of the theme that the Republic is going to be overthrown by Christian Fascists and replaced by a Christian Theocracy.

J.R. Dunn posted on this subject at the American Thinker blog a few days ago. A NY Times review, by Rick Perlstein, of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, by Chris Hedges, is the focus of the J.R. Dunn post. This book is part of a recent spate of books on this same subject, i.e., that there is a cabal of Christian Theocrats that are conspiring to take over the nation. Other books include Michelle Goldberg’s Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism and other books by Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, who has been on Michael Medved’s radio program. There is your cabal.

The same Sunday that the NYT reviewed American Fascists, the Sunday AJC devoted a page in their editorial section to this waste of good trees by Chris Hedges. They did include a small rebuttal by a Conservative Christian, James D. Daly of Focus on the Family. I don’t know if that part was included in the NYT piece or not. [I may return to this subject in a later post.]

As for a Christian President wanting to speed up the march towards Armageddon, we were hearing this same crap from Leftists 25+ years ago, during the Reagan Administration. Having drifted away from the church, I was a Classical Liberal at the time and I was concerned about where “Jerry Falwell & Jesse Helms & Sun Myung Moon, and company” were going. Not because I was anti-Christian, but rather anti-tyranny (in any form). I recall President Reagan having remarked in an interview that he believed we were living in the “end times” and Leftist wackos took this to mean that he was going to speed up the process towards Armageddon. As we know, it didn’t happen.

Some of the same wackos and their philosophical stepchildren are making the same charges against President Bush. And failing to gain traction there, they are making blanket charges against all Christians, lumping them into the same category as the Islamists that wish to see a world-wide adoption of Shari’a law.

Those with a sense of history are aware of how, before the Holocaust, the German Nazi Party and the compliant press demonized Jews and other “misfits” and we know where this led. I have maintained before that the United States is too secular to ever become a Christian Theocracy and that we will lose our freedom to Socialism long before we would ever become a theocracy.

Hopefully the American people will remain wise enough to not allow this sort of hysteria to gain traction, regardless of the MSM attention.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Was Not Expecting Any Wisdom from Senator Leahy

So I wasn’t disappointed. From a soundbite played on Laura Ingraham’s radio program, someone was asking Senator Leahy if he was giving President Bush’s new plan a chance.

He said “No”, because (paraphrasing) the President’s other plans were failures, so there was no reason to expect this one not to be a failure also. Yeah, that’s the American spirit. That is the spirit that uplifted us and gave us purpose after Pearl Harbor and after 9/11.

The cumulative effect of these types of statements is why things are not going well in parts of Iraq. That is why innocent Iraqis are dying daily and why more Americans are getting killed, because the traitorous Left in this country is giving the “insurgents” aid and comfort. In watching our culture, the Islamists know us better than some of our own people do. They know, from past experiences that we will tire. For a while after 9/11, after the invasion of Afghanistan and the early successes in Iraq, they may have been taken aback. But as the MSM got “cranked up” and the Dems came to realize that they would rather lose a war than an election, no doubt the Islamists began smiling, saying to themselves, “there they go again, those soft Americans will give up”.

While accusing Conservatives of living in fantasy world of absolutes, Dems and other Leftists live in such a place (beyond the looking glass?). There is no short-term evidence of absolute failure of any policy, just because things don’t work well, they can be turned around if we don’t give up. The apparent failure of a policy may be because of a failure to execute a good idea in a timely manner.

When the Battle of the Bulge was raging in late 1944 and early 1945, we couldn’t know that VE Day was less than six months away. During that 38-day battle, where American battle deaths were approximately 19,000, it probably didn’t seem like Germany’s “last gasp”.

We cannot accurately gauge whether a strategy was a complete success or failure until the passage of time, perhaps at least five years, if not more.

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Learning from Fluff

As I have noted numerous times, I don’t watch broadcast TV on a regular basis and we don’t have cable. There are a few exceptions, Lost being one of them. Sometimes the TV is just on for “background noise” and sometimes one can learn life lessons from the “fluff”, which is part of the “free bread and circuses” we are offered while Socialism marches on.

One such example of “momentarily useful fluff” was the “Deal or No Deal” broadcast on Sunday night. I find Howie Mandel entertaining enough to watch once in a while, along with my wife.

I am sure that most of you are familiar with the premise of the show, where the contestant is given a choice of a closed, numbered case with a dollar figure inside. The remaining cases range in value from $0.01 to $1,000,000. When each case is opened, it is removed from the pool of cases. After opening a series of cases, the “banker” upstairs will make an offer on the contestant’s case, based upon what values remain “in play”.

The particular lady playing on Sunday night, after opening a series of cases was left with $75,000, $750,000, and $1,000,000 at the “high end” of the spectrum and a number of lower values. The banker made her an offer of $82,000 (or maybe it was $85,000), wherein she refused and gambled on opening three more cases. After all three were low values, the offer was raised to $141,000. At that point, I told my wife that I would “take the money and run” and she agreed. And I guarantee you that is what I would have done, if I had been in that position. [Now being cautious, I might have taken the $82,000 (or whatever it was) offer and “gone home” and I would have been thankful for that.]

But the lady decided to gamble that the next two cases (opened one at-a-time, followed by another offer) would be low values. Instead, the next two cases were $750,000 & $1,000,000, leaving her with $75,000 and a banker’s offer of $25,000. After crying a little over “spilled milk”, she refused the offer and soon lost the $75,000 case too.

She finally wound up having the $1,000 case in her possession. She could have walked away with $141,000, but rather than being thankful for and satisfied with what she had, she just had to gamble for more. And she lost $140,000 within the course of a few minutes. Though it is a form of gambling, the contestant is not risking their own money (I don’t know who covers the air fare for contestants), which is all the more reason to recognize blessing in disguise.

This particular lady was not the first to “crash and burn” in the wake of a good offer. I just wonder how many people are learning lessons about how to recognize blessings when they are in front of us. I just hope there is no family infighting over the lost money and I hope her husband is kind enough not to tilt his head once in a while and tease her over the lost money. It would take years to be able to laugh about that.

I once missed an opportunity to purchase an original painting for $25 or $30 in an antique shop (because of a sticker on the back, I thought it was a reproduction). Someone later found that same painting in another shop (that had bought out the first shop) and when they purchased it (for about the same price), they turned around and sold it for $14,000. I will relate the details of that another time. That is just one among many financial mistakes I have made.
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I Don’t Know if Arlen Specter is Just a Little Dense…

or what.

I suffered through a few minutes of his being on Laura Ingraham’s radio program yesterday and when Laura led off with a question about why the Republicans lost, Specter was accurate in saying that there were a number of different reasons.

But then he drifted off into Demo-land with his remarks about the American people being dissatisfied with our efforts in Iraq. When individuals go in this direction, they are either ignorant or they ignore the reality of “why we are tired”. The American people are tired of the traitorous disunity on the homefront and they are tired of the restrictive rules of engagement in Iraq.

And part of this is because President Bush has failed to use the bully pulpit as much as he could. As the MSM and Dems are relentless in the hammering of their points, President Bush should have been relentless in reminding the American people of the fact that Iraq was known to be a sponsor of terror before 9/11. The United States and the UN just chose to ignore Iraq because they hadn’t done enough damage.

Excepting the Sunni Triangle area, most of Iraq is somewhat stable. We had a good “head of steam” in Iraq and other nations were taking note, but as the Democrats, MSM, and RINOs gathered momentum, our war effort began to slow.

Going back in time, we found out after-the-fact that the Viet Cong/NVA were considering giving up in 1968, after they lost the Tet Offensive. At that point, American battlefield deaths in Vietnam were about 10,000. But because the traitorous Walter Cronkite started conveying the message that we had lost the Tet Offensive and that a military victory was a lost cause, America starting losing it’s resolve. The efforts of Cronkite, Ted Kennedy, and fellow travelers gave the Viet Cong/NVA the aid-and-comfort to continue the fight until we gave up. And tens-of-thousands of Americans and Vietnamese died before the fall of South Vietnam and tens-of-thousands of Vietnamese died after the fall.

We could have had peace through victory, instead thousands died unnecessarily, numbers that were added to the estimated 100 to 120 million that died at the hands of (largely) Socialistic governments and rebel movements during the 20th century.

Even though things are not what we want in Iraq, to say that we are losing, or have lost, is just wishful thinking on “their” part. If “they” get their way, the Dems, Socialists, et al, will ignore those that die in the power vacuum after an American retreat. Numbers that will likely surpass any collateral civilian deaths during the American operations. And if “they” do notice the numbers, it will only be to blame President Bush for “creating the situation”. They won’t blame the Islamists, they will blame their own nation and the President saddled with the responsibility of making difficult decisions in trying to prevent future 9/11-style attacks.

We have been led down this road before, by some of the same players. There were military reasons for the Iraq invasion, beyond the suspected WMDs. The WMDs are likely in Syria. The Iraqis had plenty of advance warning, I believe Senator Jay Rockefeller visited Syria, and other locales, shortly after 9/11 and essentially told them that “President Bush was coming”. Of course it is no stretch to imagine that the Baathist leader, Bashir al-Assad, of Syria might have warned Saddam.

I believe that it is not too late to show resolve in Iraq, but because of the traitorous Democrat leadership, it is going to be very difficult. And unfortunately, it is looking more and more as if the American people need to be reminded that the Islamist war on the West continues. It didn’t have to be this way.

In Vietnam, the Viet Cong/NVA and their cohorts were satisfied when we quit. If we quit in Iraq and give up that theatre of the War on Terror, the Islamists won’t go away.
They will be further emboldened. And more civilians here and there will die. It may not happen immediately, but we know how they operate.

We are in the “ounce of prevention” stage in trying to head off future attacks. If we withdraw from Iraq and the wider war in general, it may take more than a “pound of cure” from the next generation.

Despite the widespread jealousy and dislike of the United States by European elites, a weak United States is not good for the civilized world. It would take decades to transpire, but America “losing” the War on Terror could lead to a “thousand years of darkness” under Shari’a. Though I don’t listen to Michael Savage very often, he envisions the scenario after Europe and most of the rest of the world has surrendered to Islam, where the United States and Communist China have to make a pact to push back the Islamist tide.

What will the future hold?

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Monday, January 22, 2007

My Birthday & the Roe v. Wade anniversary

Today is my 53rd birthday, the 34th anniversary of LBJ’s death, and most important, the 34th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

Those that celebrate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade are in a deep state of denial. While touting the "Freedom" side of the debate, they are ignoring the "Responsibility" side.

Making abortions illegal will not stop them, as there is too much money involved. The practice will be driven underground at a time when we can't afford another American Civil War, between those that understand the sanctity of life vs. those dedicated to hedonism, i.e., sex with no consequences.

Every time I teach Environmental Science classes, I make the point repeatedly that "In-Your-Face Politics" doesn't work, whether you are PETA, ACT-UP, or Operation Rescue.

It is better to try to change peoples' hearts, by giving them sensible arguments, and especially information they can read in their own homes. As states this post on the After Abortion blog, zealous Pro-Lifers showing graphic photos of the "results" of abortion are counter-productive, or are so if used at the wrong place and time.

From the above-linked post, here is a suggested way of approaching the subject, reputedly from Pope John Paul II:

"...I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion...The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace ... You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child... With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life."

From Annie, one of the two primary bloggers on After Abortion:

"...But in my experience, personally as well as hearing from other women like me, those photos at the abortion clinic sidewalk, for example, merely served to drive me/us away from the very people who really could have helped us. I often wonder: would it have been different if those with those signs had not been trying to frighten and/or condemn me? I know that I refused to even look at those posters when I went for my abortion." [Emphasis added.]

Make the point about abortion being a waste of good life. Make the point about responsibly dealing with the unplanned pregnancy, making abortion the last resort, not the first choice, as it is with the vast majority of the Pro-Choice crowd.

It will be more effective to politely rebut the arguments of the hedonism crowd. It is better to make our daughters realize that getting pregnant before marriage is not good, but it is not the end of the world. There are almost always alternatives. Yes, there will be embarrassments. The young woman was "playing adult" before she was completely ready. While not sending any messages of endorsement, daughters and perhaps indirectly the daughters of friends (by way of our kids) need to be made aware that while their parent(s) will be upset, they will not "kill them". Yes, in many homes, when the unmarried daughter comes home pregnant, there will be some yelling and crying for a few days, then things will settle down.

The bottom line is that you don't want a daughter or the daughter of a friend sneaking off with a stranger, perhaps to another state for an abortion. If an abortion is the family's decision (including the young, pregnant woman), then so be it. But the emotional effects need to be examined honestly, as presented here at the After Abortion blog.

And certainly if the daughter doesn't want an abortion, then her word is the final word. It was the actress Ellen Barkin that once made a comment about, if her daughter came home pregnant, she would drag her daughter "kicking and screaming" to have an abortion. I hope that this was simply a poorly-thoughtout comment. I hope she doesn't think about a future grandchild like this. [For the context of this, check this link and scroll down.]

It is better to try to avoid the need for an abortion before-the-fact and after-the-fact remind that while it was a very bad choice with lifelong repercussions, there is some healing and solace in prayer and seeking redemption through Jesus' love.
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Adding to the Blogo-Lexicon

I don’t know if someone else has suggested the term “Blogo-Lexicon” yet, for terms/abbreviations including LOL, IMO, BTW, IMHO, CYA,…

Regardless, I am adding a slight change, to address the opinions/blatherings/rants of those of us with scientific backgrounds.

IMHSO – In My Humble Scientific Opinion

And here are a few more general additions:

WBHLH – Well Bless His Li’l Heart

WBDLLH – Well Bless His Li’l Liberal Heart

TTDB – That’s Too Damn Bad

KMA – Kiss My (well, you know) – and related comments…

Feel free to add as you wish.
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Playing With the Climate Numbers, Chapter…

IMHSO,…because I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

With the election of Democrats to the House and Senate leadership, we can already see the escalation of the Politics of Global Warming, i.e., the belief that government can solve the problem, that a government composed of humans can control the Earth’s climate.

We know that the recent evolution of the Democrat Party has been towards more government and other aspects of Socialism, including the suppression of dissent. And these sorts of politics have been polluting the scientific community for years. I have blogged before about PM Margaret Thatcher bringing the anthropogenic-carbon-dioxide causes-global-warming hypothesis/paradigm to the world’s attention for political reasons.

► I don’t deny that humans may affect local and regional (and maybe even global) climates by way of changes in land-use patterns, e.g., the Urban Heat Island Effect and Deforestation.
► I don’t deny that combustion-related carbon dioxide and methane emissions may produce a minor contribution to the Greenhouse Effect.
► I don’t deny that there are good reasons to lessen all types of air pollution, especially carbon soot, sulfur gases, nitrogen oxides, and unburned hydrocarbons.

But human-influence and human-control are two vastly different things.

Other pertinent and often-ignored issues are the fact that there are many natural sources of carbon dioxide, e.g., volcanoes, hot springs, animal/bacteria respiration, and oceanic emissions, especially if the oceans are heating due to natural solar activity. Warming liquids (especially water) lose their ability to retain dissolved carbon dioxide, this is called the “Coca Cola Effect”, i.e., we all know how carbonated beverages lose their “fizz” as they warm, whether they be sodas or beer. Contrary to the popular admonition…You can try this at home.

Another often-ignored issue is that the atmospheric carbon dioxide content is a small component of the Greenhouse Effect. Water vapor (humidity) and water droplets/ice crystals (clouds) are responsible for an estimated 90 to 95% of the Greenhouse Effect. But there is no political benefit in that admission.

[There are some questions about the actual contributions of Water Vapor and Water droplets/ice crystals, you may have to sort through more politics to get the real answer. But when you consider the actual content of humidity and cloud cover vs. the carbon dioxide content (discussed below), I still consider the Hydrologic Cycle, driven by solar energy to be the main controls on our worldwide climate.]

If you live in an area of moderate humidity, try to observe (especially in the wintertime) who clear, dry nights are generally colder than cloudy, humid nights. The clouds and humidity are the bulk of the Greenhouse Effect and you don’t have to be in a laboratory to see the effects. They thicken the air and trap the heat that would otherwise be lost to space at night as radiated, infrared energy.

Because there is political benefit in harping on the carbon dioxide component, the Leftists MSM and the Democrats/Socialists (here and elsewhere) do so, without reminding the public of the actual carbon dioxide component, which is about 380 ppm (parts per million). And even if they did remind the public, most people do not think in terms of ppm, so let’s break down the numbers by showing equivalent values.

380 parts/1,000,000 = 38 parts/100,000 = 3.8 parts/10,000.

The “accepted” pre-Industrial Revolution carbon dioxide content is 280 ppm. Which translates to 2.8 parts/10,000. This figure is based upon ice core samples from the Antarctic, but questions have been raised as to the accuracy, e.g., the sample may have been contaminated during the core drilling process. But for the sake of discussion, we will accept that figure.

When we consider the 3.8 parts/10,000, perhaps it can be more easily envisioned. I use the “4 pennies out of 10,000 pennies” analogy. Ten thousand pennies equals $100. So if we convert the tropospheric components to 10,000 pennies, 4 of those pennies will represent carbon dioxide. Before the Industrial Revolution, 3 of those pennies represented carbon dioxide. So in the last 200 years, the carbon dioxide content has risen from the equivalent of 3 pennies/10,000 to 4 pennies/10,000. Carbon dioxide is a Greenhouse Gas, but it is a minor one.

For more info, please revisit the website “Global Warming: A Chilling Perspective”, from the section heading “Playing with Numbers”:

“Global climate and temperature cycles are the result of a complex interplay between a variety of causes. Because these cycles and events overlap, - sometimes compounding one another, sometimes canceling each other out,-it is inaccurate to imply a statistical trend in climate or temperature patterns from just a few years or a few decades of data. [Hyphens and emphasis added.]

Unfortunately, a lot of disinformation about where Earth’s climate is heading is being propagated by “scientists” who use improper statistical methods, short-term temperature trends, or faulty computer models to make analytical and anecdotal projections about the significance of man-made influences to Earth’s climate.

During the last 100 years there have been two general cycles of warming and cooling recorded in the U.S.. We are currently in the second warming cycle. Overall, U.S. temperatures show no significant warming trend over the last 100 years (1). This have been well-established but not well-publicized.”
[Because there is no political benefit.]

A few days ago, James Lewis posted this article at American Thinker, entitled "Why Global Warming is Probably a Crock", attempting to further explain the viewpoints of the “Skeptics”, that include scientists and passionate observers. These are people that are skeptical because they understand the complexities of nature, not because they are being funded by anybody in particular.

Scientists and writers with a Leftist bias and/or those funded by government or Leftist foundations, e.g., the Pew Research Center, the Heinz Foundation, etc., are just as capable of being influenced to “take the Party Line”.

That is not to say that all of them are Leftists, but in some cases, they may have become so dependent upon government or foundation funding, they may be afraid of losing that funding, if they don’t “toe the line”. It is an example of the “pack mentality”, wherein some individuals do not rise up because they are afraid the pack with turn against them.

Just because the chanting is becoming incessant, that doesn’t make it any more true. Just because the bandwagons are becoming more crowded, that doesn’t make it any more true.

In summary: Virtually everything about the Earth changes over time, so we cannot accurately assess what our influences might be, is it 0.01%, 0.1%, 1.0%, 10%, or ?

If allowed to function, market forces inherent seek more efficiency (as a way to save money) and our machines will become more fuel (and emission) efficient. This re-energized rush towards Kyoto and related brethren are attempts to control our economy by controlling fuel use and it is largely driven by jealousy.

IMHSO

Reference from linked website:

(1) A scientific Discussion of Climate Change, Sallie Baliunas, Ph.D., Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Willie Soon, Ph.D., Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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UGA Goes for a Different Sort of Title…

Something not in the Southeastern Conference of the NCAA.

For quite some time, Emory University has been known to be the hotbed of local Liberalism and the inherent Political Correctness that goes along with it.

This past weekend (not sure of the exact dates), the University of Georgia apparently decided to try to take that distinction away from Emory University, by hosting a multi-day forum honoring the “accomplishments” of Jimmah Carter. I dunno, maybe they are jockeying for some grant money or something.

When I noticed the announcement in the paper the week before, I thought of driving up there and trying to crash the meeting, but then I thought about my borderline high blood pressure and the fact that we were preparing for the 25th anniversary banquet for my son’s Boy Scout Troop, so I decided not to go.

And if crashing didn’t work, I couldn’t stand the thought of having any of my money going anywhere near Jimmah’s pockets or anyone associated with him. And the local news media had some soundbites where Jimmah was still trying to justify the tone of his last several books – “It’s All Israel’s Fault!”. Among the soundbites I heard was the remark that Israel had not hosted a single day of peace talks with the “Palestinians” in the last six years (or something like that).

It takes two parties of good faith to conduct peace talks and Israel, while not perfect, has certainly shown a willingness to give concessions in exchange for peace. Why just look at the results of the 1993 Oslo Accords. To use Dr. Phil’s verbiage – “How’s that working out?”.

Jimmah Carter is too twisted and too complex for me to try to explain. He lives in such a “glass house” and yet he persists in throwing stones. Even when I was a Classical Liberal, I appreciated Ronald Reagan’s “backbone”, even though I didn’t yet understand his philosophies and policies.

I used to tolerate Jimmah up until two or three years ago when the Sunday AJC featured him on the front page, with his sneering grin and the quote “Americans are the stingiest people on Earth.”, apparently because we don’t throw enough taxpayer money at other countries to suit him. Never mind our billions in private donations and the countless hours (and lives) spent in charity and volunteer work in other countries, in addition to foreign aid and donated food.

[Going off on a tangent, while a student at Georgia Southern (30+ years ago), one time while reading a copy of the White-Supremacist newspaper “The Thunderbolt” in the college library, I ran across an article that suggested that “Miss Lillian” Carter, Jimmah’s mother, once worked as a secretary for Joseph Kennedy. The gist of the article suggested that Jimmah was the bastard son of Joseph Kennedy. Not going any further than that, it does seem that Jimmah and Teddy have similar amounts of hubris, i.e., a self-denial of the damage to others that they themselves have perpetrated.]
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So Much for My Football Picks

When I left home, it was 16 - 14 in favor of da Bears.

Oh well, at least it ain't the "usual suspects" in this year's Super Bowl.
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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Here's Hoping de Saints Beat da Bears

Here at the library, there ain't a TV, but as of a few minutes ago in the mid-third quarter, the Saints were still in the game, despite a significant number of screwups.

I am really not a football fan, but as a Southerner, I would like to see the Saints at least reach the Superbowl. It is also nice to see a club with less resources (and in a smaller market) than the Falcons make more of those resources.
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Blogmeister USA Has a Good Post on the Desires to Silence Global Warming Skeptics

I meant to comment on this a few days ago, but Pam has done a good job.

Basically, Dr. Heidi Cullen, of the Weather Channel has suggested on her blog, that TV Meteorologists might have their American Meteorological Association endorsements pulled if they don't start "talking up" the prevailing media paradigm.

Here is some of Dr. Cullen's "party line" orthodoxy:

"...Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn't agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns. It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather. It's not a political statement...it's just an incorrect statement. " [Emphasis added]

Go check out the links to Pam's previous posts on the same subject.

We know how those "Libs" are when it comes to protecting dissenting voices.

More on this later...
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Why Modern Liberals Ain't..."Media Reform"

[Will expand more upon this subject when class schedules permit.]

One of the guests on this morning's Laura Ingraham program was Cliff Kincaid, who was reporting on a recent convergence of "Progressives" (think of cancer growth) in Memphis, TN. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the future of their idea of "Media Reform", which includes the "Fairness Doctrine" and other ways of shutting down voices that dissent from theirs.

Cliff Kincaid has this report on the conference. As long as President Bush can wield his veto pen, maybe we are somewhat safe, despite the efforts of turncoat RINOs. If we get a Dem in the White House in 2008, all bets are off. You will not get an accurate reporting of this in the MSM, they want to regain their monopoly.

The thoughts of Bernie Sanders (one of the august attendees) are reported here by Kincaid:

"...Sanders, who votes with the Democrats in the Senate despite his official status as an independent socialist, claimed conservatives were 99 percent in control of talk radio and that it was time "to open the question of the fairness doctrine again" to restrict what they say and how they say it.

He faulted the media for covering two sides of the global warming debate "when there is no debate in the scientific community.""


In most areas of scientific research, there is almost always some debate. They just wish that there was none. Besides, how much time does the MSM spend looking at the dissenting viewpoints? When presented in long print stories, the skeptics' viewpoints are usually presented late in the report, when reporters know that most people lose interest after the first few paragraphs.

They dominate Academia, the MSM, and other "fields of play", yet that isn't enough. They want it all.

More of this rant later...

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Since the MSM Won't Deal With It...

RealClearPolitics asks (regarding Sandy Berger) "What Did He Take and Why Did He Take It?". And we have to ask "What did he destroy before it was archived?".

And writer Ronald A. Cass asks:

"What was on the copies he destroyed? Handwritten notes from Berger, the President, or some other official? Observations that would be embarrassing to them, evidence they missed an important threat or considered or recommended actions - or decisions not to act - they wouldn't want to defend in public? Evidence, perhaps, that would have supported the Bush Administration? We don't know, and no one who does is saying, but the evidence must have been terribly damning for Berger to take the risks he did."

From my humble perch, it seems to me that Jamie Gorelick and Sandy Berger are among two of the most important obstacles in the final determination of the events leading to 9/11.

Mr. Cass understands the reasons for the protection of certain Presidential papers, however, in the case of Sandy Berger's actions:

"...The Berger episode, however, strictly involves materials that are supposed to be turned over under the law, materials specifically covered by a presidential directive that authorized sharing the information with those investigating 9/11 intelligence-gathering and evaluation. Mr. Berger's willingness to risk everything to suppress the information goes well beyond ordinary concerns against excessive disclosure."

Perhaps the passage of time will reveal more of what might have been lost, but what if the lost materials prevent an efficient prevention of any planned, future attacks? It just strikes me as being a little bit more important than Watergate.
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I Guess We Shouldn't Be Surprised...

by the tenor of the recent Boxer-Rice exchange on Capitol Hill.

David Limbaugh and Mychal Massie are better at this articulation stuff than I am. Basically, it is just a rehashing of the "chickenhawk" charge made by Moonbats. You have to prove some sort of pedigree before you can issue an opinion.
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Friday, January 12, 2007

So, Now Jimmah Has Appointed Hisself to Decide What "Baptists" are...

and what they believe. And according to this article, he has enlisted the help of former Prez Bill Clinton so they can host a 2008 Convention in Atlanta on the subject. I will wait for other shoes to drop before commenting more.
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Some Cogent Writings on the Legacy of Jimmah Carter...

appear in this February 2006 post from Forgotten Prophets, so go give this a read and keep the TV off for a little longer. As long as Jimmah insists on keeping himself in the news, then we are going to keep reminding folks why he should shut up and go back to carpentry.
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While Reading Some of the Comments on Charles Krauthammer's Column...

I happened across this noteworthy, thought-provoking post at Forgotten Prophets. It is relevant as we again approach the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

Skimming through Forgotten Prophets reveals a mix of interesting political thought and some stream-of-consciousness writing, probably no more eccentric than some of what I write. So perhaps go exploring a little.
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Ignore the Media Stampede, We Must

to word things as Yoda would, regarding the passage of the Embryonic Stem Cell Research bill (or whatever they choose to call it).

Offering taxpayer funding for this is a de facto endorsement of all of the elements of this research. We cannot stop private concerns from doing this questionable research, but President Bush has been trying to maintain some sense of moral guardrails on this issue.

There are alternatives, the adult stem cells, the umbilical stem cells, the amniotic and placental stem cells, there is enough to keep folks busy for years. And taxpayer funding, while not a proper role of government, would be more acceptable, as it doesn't require the cutting apart of human embryos.

As bad as is the cutting apart of the embryos, it is the next stage that worries us more, when cutting apart embryos becomes routine. Will it be "It's OK to harvest organs from them, they are just clones."? Routine eugenics, euthanasia?

Charles Krauthammer is more articulate on this matter:

"...You don't need religion to tremble at the thought of unrestricted embryo research. You simply have to have a healthy respect for the human capacity for doing evil in pursuit of the good. Once we have taken the position of many stem cell advocates that embryos are discardable tissue with no more intrinsic value than a hangnail or an appendix, then all barriers are down. What is to prevent us from producing not just tissues and organs, but human-like organisms for preservation as a source of future body parts on demand?"

I am not anti-science, but we don't need to revive the spirit of Dr. Mengele. If corporations and other nations run lemming-like in the moral abyss, all we can do is to try to set an alternate example and hold the moral ground. What good is all of this medical technology if we lose our humanity?

Those of you that live in Districts with "mainstream" Democrat Representatives need to start keeping a tally-sheet on issues such as this, as the MSM will not help you remember when election time rolls around again.

At this point, as the Dems still think that last November was a repudiation of Conservative values, we may have to depend upon President Bush's (all-too-quiet) veto pen to come to life.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

sisu (Sissy Willis) Reports on a Storm

I happened upon this story about the Boston Globe "suggesting" that local TV weather forecasters start "spiking" [my term] weather reports with "Global Warming"-related remarks.

At the center of the "storm" is New England Cable News meteorologist Matt Noyes (with a B.S. in Atmospheric Science from Cornell vs. Al Gore's degree from where? Alec Baldwin's degree from where?).

In a recent email reply to a hysterical watcher, demanding that he jump on the Global Warming Bandwagon:

"I appreciate your passion for the environment and the world, and I share that passion. What I find most disconcerting is that the issue of climate change has become political and emotional -- evoking visceral responses from folks, and reactions like your own -- rather than the scientific issue that all environmental issues must be grounded in."

From reading Matt's bio (linked above), you can see that he is passionate about the weather, that is why he chooses to be in New England, as there is lots of weather action there.

Some of our local weather folks got rather passionate with two rounds of tornado-producing storms happening in the last week in this area. For that level of passion, while watching the moving Doppler radar images of storms and storm systems, they must have had a degree or two in the field.

I have heard local Atlanta weather reporters (not all have degrees in Meteorology nor Atmospheric Sciences) downplay the "Global Warming connection" to unusual events, even when fellow on-air personalities seem to be trying to lead them in that direction.

If some of the Dems in Congress have their way, will dissenting weather forecasters and Meteorologists be removed from TV because they are "Global Warming deniers"? Will their stations lose their licenses because of their positions on the subject? That is not so far-fetched, judging by recent statements.

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I Hope That Kevin McCullough is Right...

at least about John McCain being finished in the wake of his Vanity Fair article/interview (I haven't read the Vanity Fair piece myself, so I don't know the exact format).

He seems strong on the War on Terror and that is important, but others can fill that role (Rudy, Newt, etc.).

McCain shows open contempt for the concept of the border fence, which is odd for a Senator from a border state.

He would willingly to sell us down the river (to the UN) over the Kyoto Treaty. In a one-on-one conversation, I could more easily convince Senator Joe Lieberman of my viewpoint than John McCain.

We all know of McCain's disdain for political free speech, as we are reminded here. As easily as McCain turns his back on Free Speech, he may well be weak on Second Amendment issues, as well.

I do quibble strongly with McCullough's statement about Mitt Romney:

"...Romney is right on the issues, yet his own faith of Mormonism is scary, strange, and apostate to the same block of voters that McCain and Guiliani have also spurned."

Pardon me, I am just an educated-redneck Methodist, but what is scary about having a Mormon President?

Though I certainly have doctrinal disagreements with the LDS church and its followers, most Mormons I have known (or known of) are decent people. My wife's brother married a Mormon woman and then converted. Unlike Jehovah's Witnesses or other sects, there is no effort to cut off communications with the rest of the convert's family, or at least that has been our experience. When we get together with them (not as often as we would like, as they live in NW New Mexico), they know we are not interested in converting, so it doesn't come up.

There is nothing to be gained by trashing Mormons, in fact the MSM and Libs will use this sort of Conservative and Christian "family feud" to their own benefit.

Mormons are by-and-large Pro-Life, they are loyal to the nation, and regardless of faith issues that might make Protestants and Catholics uneasy, the United States is never going to become a Mormon Theocracy. Our freeways and highways will not become clogged with bicycle-borne LDS missionaries during a Romney Administration.

So let the Libs and the MSM show their bigotry, Romney's LDS membership is not a threatening issue to other Christians, or it shouldn't be IMHO. I am not interested in getting into theocratic debates. I consider Mormons to be Christians. If they are getting really important stuff wrong, they they will have to deal with "the Big Guy" about that. That is out of my league.

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"We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

Remember that? By way of Blogmeister USA, I found my way to the Hillary Needs a Vacation blog, where I found this linked sisu 2004 post, reminding us of what we have to look forward to.

To reword Hillary's quote for Nancy Pelosi's use - "For the children, we are going to take things away from you."

And when you die "For the children, we are going to take part of your estate away from your children."

It is all about playing to the jealousies of the dumb masses.

If Hillary does run for Prez in 2008, this quote must be burned into the American psyche.

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Ted Kennedy is a Damned Fool or a Damned Liar...

or both.

We did not "lose" Vietnam because of President Johnson's escalation in troop strength. We gave up in 1968 when the MSM, led by Walter Cronkite, starting doing the bidding of the Kremlin by saying that we had lost the Tet Offensive and that we could not win the war.

There is other blame to go around. Perhaps Robert McNamara, LBJ, etc., for throwing in the collective towel in 1968. LBJ could have tried the "bully pulpit" to denounce Cronkite before Cronkite's words became a self-fulfilling prophecy. We found out after-the-fact that the Viet Cong/NVA considered giving up after they lost the Tet Offensive. By the end of 1968, the U.S. death toll was about 10,000. Because the "Peace Movement" won, 10's of thousands of Americans and Vietnamese died in the following years. If the Viet Cong/NVA had signed a peace treaty at the end of 1968 or early 1969, in the face on ongoing American resolve, the killing fields of Cambodia might not have happened.

Will someone ask Ted Kennedy in public what will happen after we leave Iraq before the job is done, leaving a power vaccum? Does he care? I doubt it. To him and other elitists, they are just "little brown people", that get in the way of their ultimate Leftist agenda.

And unlike the Viet Cong, Al Qaida and other Islamist groups will follow us home and will continue to attack. Part of the lead-up to 9/11 was the consensus among Islamist groups that we were "paper tigers". Our response to 9/11 by invading sponsors Afghanistan and Iraq proved them wrong for a while. If the Democrats get their way, it will ultimately prove the Islamists right. And those countries that helped us and shed some of their own blood will be less inclined to help us next time. A weak America is not good for the civilized world.

We are not always right, but we damned sure ain't wrong.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

You Just Might be a Redneck if...

you consider going squirrel hunting from your bathroom window.

That thought has come to me more than once, as there is a small dogwood tree regularly used by squirrels to reach an oak tree outside our back bathroom window. At times, two squirrels have been close enough to each other to where they could both be "picked off" with a single shotgun blast. I suppose the neighbor lady would be a little upset about her picture window, though.

Details, details.
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The Notion of Moral Guardrails Needs to be Reinforced...

with the Democrats apparently still determined to use taxpayer money to fund embryonic stem cell research. Even after it appears that along with adult stem cells and umbilical cord cells, placental and amniotic stem cells may be more favorable for positive results, without having to cut apart human embryos.

But that point seems lost on Leftists such as Senator Tom Harkin, as suggested in this article, linked from WND.com.

We know that cloning research and embryonic stem cell research are still going to go on, somewhere within the bowels of med-tech companies, BUT WE DON'T HAVE TO GIVE IT DE FACTO APPROVAL BY USING TAXPAYER MONEY TO FUND IT!

The time to stop or slow the slide on the slippery slope is before it begins (you know, the ounce of prevention stage). If "Barkin' Harkin" gets his way, what awaits us 10 years down the road? What other practices will be done because taxpayers funded this?

This is just one portion of the "Brave New World" brought to you by the "Progressive" Democrats.
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Monday, January 08, 2007

Through the Looking Glass, Perhaps We Should Go...

to recapture the truth and bring it back. Perhaps one truth at a time, but it needs to be done.

Partially because of Republican weaknesses, the Dems are back in control of Congress and they will move to solidify their perceived birthright of power.

One of the processes employed by the Dems (and other Libs) and the MSM is the constant repetition of what we know to be "The Big Lie", of which there are different species. We need to latch onto "The Big Truths" and bring them back from "Alice's Wonderland" and to nurture them back to health. What will the future look like if we don't try?

In this post, the one species of Big Lie that I wish to address is the issue of "Tax cuts cause deficits" and "Tax cuts have to be paid for".

In the short-run, perhaps there might be a small shortfall of tax receipts to the government, after a tax cut, but we know that tax cuts allow people to keep more of their own money and when we look at human nature, we know that when people are allowed to keep more of their own money, they will spend a portion of it, perhaps a large portion, especially if they have confidence that they will be earning more money and keeping more of that future money. Our economy depends on that type of confidence. And we know that increased economic activity means increased tax revenue for the government.

We want the rich and the semi-rich to spend their money. That is what employs so many other people. When politicians leave it alone, "Trickle-down economics" works. The wealthy are the ones most likely to be in position to fund new, start-up companies.

Years ago, when I owned half-interest in a picture-framing shop in El Paso, I saw examples of wealthy men starting a small businesses to keep their wives occupied, usually it was a small art gallery/frame shop, book store, greeting card shop, travel agency, antique shop, real estate agency, etc.. And most of these new start-ups needed one or two more employees, thus these were new jobs that were being created.

And I am sure that many of these new, little businesses never made it past their first or second year, but during their short life spans, they did add to the local economy. They did provide one or more jobs to local individuals. And I am sure that a few of them did make it, to become self-sustaining. In such a setting, it takes wealthy individuals to fund these small businesses until they become self-sustaining. And I am also sure that among the businesses that failed, perhaps there was a gained sense of learning and self-confidence that may have led to other start-ups and eventual success. Most successful individuals in this country did not make it their first time, nor their second, nor their third,... They had the drive to keep trying until something worked.

If my memory serves me correctly, right after 9/11, I believe President Bush stated that 70% of our economy is Consumer-driven. This was done as a way of encouraging people to get back to their normal habits in order to sustain the economy.

Robert Novak is concerned that the Bush Administration will lose courage and give in to Demo demands for a tax increase on the most productive of our citizens. President Bush needs to use his bully pulpit and remind the masses why tax cuts hurt the economy. High taxes, trying to sustain Socialist governments and programs, are why Europe and other places have stagnant economies.

Democrats do not have a mandate, though they will look for every opportunity to behave as if they did. It was a message of dissatisfaction with the status quo that led to the Republican defeats in November. Dissatisfaction on a number of fronts. The Conservative concepts and paradigms ain't broken, they don't need fixin'. It is perhaps the seduction of Republicans by the aura of power and popularity in Washington that led them astray.

We don't need new taxes. Our children ain't gonna be children forever. They are going to have to pay for the "earmarks" and the social spending with their taxes. They are going to need a vibrant economy now to shrink the deficits and to lessen the national debt of the future. They are going to need a vibrant economy now to develop alternative energy, through the free-market system.

If we want to shrink deficits, then we honestly cut spending. We know this and we must offset the Big Lies of the MSM and other Libs, so one day in the future, our adult children (with their (government-estimated) 80%+ tax rates) won't be standing at the feet of our graves, screaming "Why didn't you do something when you could?".

There are things that affect our economy adversely, that we can't control, but we can control tax rates and the size of government. It is late in the game, but the game doesn't have to be lost.
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