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, February 28, 2007

Gone to France for a Visit (in a Manner of Speaking)

One of the first blogs that I visited after I learned about the blogosphere was the Dissident Frogman.

Apparently, DF hasn't been posted much as of late, but I found this post regarding hunting and the first steps between pork on-the-hoof and barbeque. Yes, pigs do have a higher purpose.

Perhaps city folks should not visit this post if they get squeamish over the sight of one personally entering the food web to shoot a meal or two.

Actually, I will take the barbeque, someone else can have the head cheese. There are just some things that I ain't that hungry for, no matter how many beers I have had. The escargot were enough.
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A Gathering of Eagles...

is planned for March 17 in Washington, DC, to counter the planned anti-war protests by Leftists/Anarchists.

The link above should explain it. Michele Malkin has more info on this action, long-needed to take back our nation from the Cindy Sheehan/Jane Fonda crowd.

This particular post, by Kit Jarrell of Euphoric Reality, states as follows:

"Decades ago, we expected total victory against the Germans and the Japanese. We demanded it, for we knew what anything less would bring to our homeland–and yes, it was our homeland, regardless of our place of birth. We were united, together in the absolute, unshakeable belief that freedom was worth blood, even our own lives.

Many years later, the American Left called for the defeat and humiliation of our military, even going so far as to support the barbaric hordes of Islam in their quest to destroy America. The college-age hippies of 1969 were now parents and grandparents, with families who didn’t have the faintest idea where Iwo Jima is and wouldn’t dream of enlisting in the “imperialist army” of their nation. These past flower children, still apparently lost in the fog of free love and LSD, forgot their fathers’ old “war injuries,” received in places like Normandy, Bastogne, or Wake Island. Their children hated authority, hated America, and hated anything that stood in the way of the freedoms they abused."...

And more:

"...The Cindy Sheehans and Jane Fondas of the nation got bolder, spurred on by the silence of those who kept their medals and memories locked away. It seemed as though there was no stopping the force of those who sought to bring the mightiest nation on earth to her knees.

But then, the antiwar groups announced plans to begin their next march at the Vietnam Wall. Fifty-eight thousand names cried out in protest, and America heard the call of her fallen.

We were finally angry enough."

That "black granite" wall in Washington, DC would be much smaller, perhaps only holding 10,000 names or so, if not for the "peace movement" and the likes of Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, et al, sabotaging public opinion on the home front during the Vietnam War. We found out after the fact that the Viet Cong/NVA were considering giving up after they lost the Tet Offensive in 1968.

But because they saw we were divided, that gave them the aid-and-comfort they needed to hang on for a few more years, while tens of thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Vietnamese died.

We could have had peace through victory, instead we (and those we left behind) got a different sort of "peace" at the hands of the Communists.

And now some of the same players and their philosophical stepchildren want the same thing for Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Meanwhile, Socialism Marches on in the Schools of Washington State

From this TCS Daily article, teachers at a private school have been using Lego buildings to drive "home" the idea of collective ownership - good, private ownership - bad. This endeavor was reported on in the magazine "Rethinking Schools". [Children, can you spell "Re-education camps"?]

From the article:

"...According to the article, the students had been building an elaborate "Legotown," but it was accidentally demolished. The teachers decided its destruction was an opportunity to explore "the inequities of private ownership." According to the teachers, "Our intention was to promote a contrasting set of values: collectivity, collaboration, resource-sharing, and full democratic participation."

The children were allegedly incorporating into Legotown "their assumptions about ownership and the social power it conveys." These assumptions "mirrored those of a class-based, capitalist society -- a society that we teachers believe to be unjust and oppressive."

They claimed as their role shaping the children's "social and political understandings of ownership and economic equity ... from a perspective of social justice.""

Neal Boortz has spoken of this numerous times, usually in the context of early elementary students being told, in the first few days of the new school year, to put their privately-purchased school supplies into a "communal box" from which supplies will be "distributed" to all, as deemed equitable by the teacher or teachers. And they are essentially brow-beaten into compliance, unless the kid has the courage to tell his or her parents.

It is all about "forced fairness", so that the kids with less stuff do not feel different. Instead, why don't the teachers form a private consortium to collect donations for those kids that need help? But then, that just won't do, 'cause some of the kids will still have more and better stuff.

When given the choice, they seem to gravitate towards the "strong-armed approach", as long as it is their arm, I suppose.
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A New Push for a Global Tax...

is one way that the current climate-change hysteria benefits the UN.

They have been wanting a global tax for years. Currently, member nations, e.g., the United States, can exert some control over the UN by tightening the "purse strings" and the UN is looking for a way to get away from this sort of control.

They have floated other global tax ideas before, fortunately, they have not come to fruition.

Already, they are not accountable to the ballot box. They want to be removed from accountability to those paying for their follies. What more could a fledgling world government want?

A Global Carbon Tax. And who do you think will determine who is levied and who ain't? If you love $3/gallon gasoline, your time has come.

And if they got everything they wanted, but carbon dioxide levels continued to rise because of natural processes, would they ever admit they were wrong? Would they ever endeavor to give back to those that paid?

Think about that before you exhale that next batch of carbon dioxide from your lungs.

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In the Twisted World of San Francisco Thinking...

attacking a gay man is a hate crime. Attacking a gay police officer is a cause for celebration, according to this Debra Saunders column on Townhall.com. The column is about an Anarchist blogger that refuses to turn over video, to a Grand Jury, showing violent attacks on private property, some of which was owned by minorities, during a 2005 protest in the Mission District of San Francisco. During the riot, a police officer, who happened to be gay, suffered a fractured skull.

This blogger, Josh Wolf, is pretending to be a journalist and is pretending to be under the umbrella-of-protection for journalists with confidential sources.

Though there are some constitutional issues with him having been held for six months for refusing to cooperate with a Grand Jury, the main issue here is the illustration of the fact that for most of these Leftists, protecting the Agenda is Job 1. The groups they claim to support, e.g., gays, minorities, etc., are just pawns and useful idiots.
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Why Modern Liberals Ain't - The American Library Assoc. is Supporting the Persecution of Librarians...

in Cuba. Or at best, it is a de facto support, by their failure to at least issue a public condemnation of Fidel Castro's campaign against private, non-government librarians in Cuba and demanding the release of those librarians that are already in prison.

Published a couple of days ago, this American Thinker article by Thomas Lifson reports on a Washington Times op-ed piece by Nat Hentoff, one of the few Liberals that I respect.

[As I have written before, when I was a Classical Liberal (still am in some fashion), I hated tyranny, regardless of the politics driving it.]

Nat Hentoff is one of the very few Liberals that constantly speaks out against Leftist tyranny. He has written before, in the last several years, about the conditions in Cuba, while the American Library Association is more worried about keeping porn filters off of public library computers.

From the Lifson article:

"Nat Hentoff writes a stunning op-ed in the Washington Times about the persecution of librarians in Cuba, and the book burning that is engaged in by the totalitarian communist dictator, Fidel Castro."...

Continuing:

But what is particularly shameful about the American response to Castro's treatment of librarians is that the American Library Association refuses to lift a finger in protest, much less do something to save their Cuban counterparts. Update: An ALA member has contacted me and brought to my attention a resolution “urg[ing] the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to take action to improve the Cuban people's access to books and other information materials on all topics through Cuba's libraries.”

This is not directed at helping free the Cuban librarians. Moreover, the ALA spends even more verbiage in the resolution (follow link above to view it) attacking US sanctions against Cuba than even this mild language indirectly urging pressure on Cuba to improve access to information.

It demonstrates the utter moral bankruptcy of the ALA. Nobody should give them any credence when they lobby for free access to internet porn in libraries. They have no moral standing at all."

Check out some of the links on this FriendsofCubanLibraries website.

Some of these librarians are serving 20-year sentences after single-day trials. Has the ACLU taken note of this? I guess the ACLU is too busy tending to the needs of the prisoners at Gitmo.

Amnesty International has noticed and they have adopted the cause of at least some of these librarians. [Amnesty International has a better track record for the condemnation of tyranny than some Lib organizations, though they are somewhat biased against the United States.]

To give some insight into the Modern Liberal/Socialist/Communist mind, here is a piece from The Militant that opposes these private libraries and supports the status quo. This CounterPunch piece is about the U.S. government "plot" to infiltrate Cuban government libraries with such subversive ideas as freedom. Imagine that!

We may think we "won" the Cold War, but it will never be over. The enemies of freedom will never rest. Neither can we.

By the way, I wonder if Steven Spielberg will ever do a movie on persecuted Cuban librarians and if so, will Danny Glover and Charlize Theron play major roles? Nahhhhh.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Now Who is it That is Hateful?

This WorldNetDaily article has this (presumably) captured this comment thread from the Huffington Post, where some of their august readers express their sadness that VP Cheney was not killed in the suicide attack in Afghanistan today. The Huffington Post Moonbat lair has taken down the comments, according to the article. Others of such a "mind" have expressed a wish before for the assassination of President Bush.

Aside from Anne Coulter's occasional over-the-top attempts at humor, I cannot think of anyone that was wishing for the assassination of President Clinton or VP Gore during their particular term in office. And if there were any remarks that "smelled" or looked like that, I am sure that they would have been repudiated quickly.

Despite how much we may have disagreed with (or even despised) President Clinton or other associated with him, Conservatives did not wish to violate the rule-of-law or wish for the national trauma that would accompany a high-level assassination, especially one carried out by a foreign power or a terrorist group. We have enough trouble with our own home-bred wackos.

Rush Limbaugh opined that many of these people have some deep-seated psychological problems. There is plenty of room in the American forum of public debate without having to sink to the level of absolute hatred for those with whom you disagree.

Anyway, go read some of the comments on that thread. You can probably find similar views at Democratic Underground or perhaps Liberal Avenger. I will not link to these sites.

So when Modern Libs point the finger towards "those that hate", look at the "three fingers pointed back at themselves". Though I am not a fan of Sigmund Freud, he did leave us the useful concept of "Projection", which aptly fits the Modern Libs and their partners in crime.

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What About Al Gore's Utility Bills?

From two different sources, a friend and this WND article, [I have forgotten where I found the Mary Katherine Ham post - will try to find], these are articles on the power usage by Al Gore's mansion in the Nashville, TN-area.

So has he made any before-the-fact energy-saving changes, i.e., before the media blitz that follows "An Inconvenient Truth"? So does the Gore-mansion staff clean, separate, and place their recycleables at the curbside for pickup? Or if the area doesn't have a recycleables pickup, does the staff make a once-a-month run to the local recycling center? Al, I have been recycling aluminum cans for 30+ years. How long have you been doing the same?

As I have stated before, if I had the money of an Al Gore or a John Edwards (or just a portion of it), I would either build a solar-friendly home or retrofit an existing home, if the home's orientation was favorable (with an East-West long axis, or within 30 degrees of that). I would have a floor-space that would serve practical, utilitarian purposes, i.e., perhaps a photographic darkroom, some space to display my beer can collection, a sunroom, perhaps a greenhouse add-on. But I don't think I need 15,000, 20,000, or more square feet, regardless of how much money I had.

We as Conservatives need to show more that we are environmentally aware and interested in weaving together sensible environmental awareness and the free-market system. It shouldn't be a fair-weather charade as with many of the Democrat "stars".

Al, as you are assuming the mantle of high-priest of the Gaia "religion", then rather than selling yourself out to run for President again (and perhaps lose again), maybe you can do what Jimmy Carter used to do with Habitat for Humanity, before he became an America-hating, angry old man.

You can use your resources to respectfully teach common Americans the proper ways of recycling, sensible energy conservation and such. Al, do the right thing by sacrificing your political ambitions for the "common good"!

[Update, the WND article ends with the comment that the former VP "does his part" by:

"...purchasing verifiable reductions in CO2 elsewhere."

Maybe I am just dunce, but "purchasing verifiable reductions in CO2" seems to be nothing more than a "shell game", by which people can "feel good" about "doing something", whereby they have done nothing to reduce their own energy use.

I am not worried about the CO2, the world's plants like CO2 and they will "eat it". I have long maintained that CO2 is but a small component of the Greenhouse Effect.

I am concerned about the overuse of what by-all-evidence seems to be a non-renewable resource - petroleum products. And what happens to those unburned hydrocarbons in the atmosphere?]

I am essentially just calling on the former VP to "practice what he preaches by being more energy frugal" and not by just buying "carbon credits" from someone else.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

So, James Cameron Thinks He Has Found Something

The producer of the movie "Titanic" thinks he has found the family crypt of Jesus of Nazareth, according to this WND article. Before commenting in detail, I will wait for a few shoes to drop, from those more articulate than myself. If he uses any derived info to "disprove" the resurrection, do you think Christians are going to riot and burn down movie houses around the nation or around the world?

But while I am "at it", is his next project going to be searching for the remains of Muhammed? Is he going to "prove" on film that Muhammed wasn't carried up into heaven, but instead buried in a family plot? If so, what might the reactions of those fair-minded Muslims be?

Just curious.

Or why doesn't he show some real courage and film the history of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and remind the world of who and what occupied that plot of land prior to 70 AD?

Just curious.
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Today is the 14th Anniversary of Something the Clintons Want You to Forget...

the 1993 WTC bombing. You know, the one where they came back eight years later and "got it right".

Michele Malkin has a post on this anniversary, which she acquired from Lawhawk, who posted this last year, on the 13th anniversary. The reminder for this year came from a comment from JammieWearingFool.

Lest we forget. And on that note, please remember that President Clinton did not visit the WTC site after the 1993 attack.

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Folly, Environmental Damage, and Dilemmas - Presented by Too Much Government...

are illustrated in this particular case. And some of the dilemmas are noteworthy and thought-provoking.

Seventy five years ago, North Dakota passed a law banning corporate farms and the governor's approval must be gained before land purchases are allowed (that is my understanding of the article). Nowadays, some of the more successful farms are "corporate farms" in every sense of the word, except for the legal definition.

To illustrate one of the dilemmas, corporate farms are not all bad, as we need the productivity of large coporate farms to produce the shear quantity of food needed by the world.

The article tells us that there are limits on the number of non-profit groups that can own land within North Dakota (there are some good Conservative/Libertarian reasons for that particular law, vis-a-vis the UN and its various incarnations).

But according to the article:

"...The state on Thursday asked Southeast District Judge James Bekken to force James Cook to give up about 1,800 acres of property in Cavalier, Griggs and Ward counties.

The state says Cook, through his nonprofit Crosslands Inc., bought three parcels of land without government approval, the most recent in 2003 and 2004. The state sued two years ago after Cook ignored Gov. John Hoeven's order to get rid of the land.

The 68-year-old Minneapolis precious-metal dealer said he purchased his first property in North Dakota in 1980, "for the purposes of preserving wildlife and wetlands."

Cook, who grew up in Fargo, said the state is not doing enough to protect prime waterfowl habitat.

"We're wanting to win this for wildlife," Cook said Sunday.

The number of nonprofit groups allowed to buy land in North Dakota is limited under state law. The law, added to the state's ban on corporate farming in 1985, also requires government approval for land purchases, with the governor having the final approval."...

So, to my understanding, there is a private individual that it trying to establish private duck preserves in North Dakota and the state government is saying "No!". According to Mr. Cook, he is not taking good productive farmland out of production (which is a real problem in some areas), but rather the marginal or sub-marginal lands, that in some cases were once wetlands.

From the article:

"...Charles Carvell, an assistant state attorney general in Bismarck, said the anti-corporate farming law was passed in 1932."...

"...Carvell said the law is intended to stop groups from buying large tracts of farmland and taking it out of production."...

This is a valid concern, especially as some "deep ecologists", such as those with the "Wildlands Project" or "Earth First!", who want to "rewild" up to 50% of North America and move people out of smaller, rural and farming communities, into larger metropolitan areas.

This is a "Gaia" viewpoint-driven agenda and people of this mindset want a smaller Earth population and taking large swaths of "grainbelt" farmland out of production is not beyond the realm of possibility for population control reasons. It is a 100-year plan, so as not to raise too many suspicions at a time.

As for the notion of a smaller world population, it is my understanding, that in 1992, Ted Turner, in an Audubon Magazine interview opined that an ideal world population was 375 to 400 million people. [I attempted to find an archive of this, but have not yet succeeded.]

Some attribute the banning of DDT as a way of "population control" in the Third World - questions have been raised about the research Rachel Carson used for her book "Silent Spring" (there could be other reasons for the attributed egg-shell thinning).

Upon further review, I reserve the right to make some "adjustments" to my viewpoints, as this is one of those stories that presents a plethora of considerations. Just presented as something to think about.

It just seems that the State of North Dakota could have taken a case-by-case review of this project. There are some situations where private conservation efforts can be more efficient than government-mandated efforts.
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The Pre-Emptive Disclaimer

I am not on the payroll of any oil company or related industry, nor have I been. I wish I was, it is an honorable profession, full of everyday, good, salt-of-the-earth people. Yes, I know that within it there are self-serving, short-sighted individuals and businesses, but it is not what is portrayed in Steven Segal movies or on "Captain Planet". Because I didn't get through grad school "on time" and because I didn't work as hard as I should have, I missed the "boom years".

Despite the ups and downs of the free-market system, you should be thankful for the work they do, each time you are able to remove gasoline from the resource system and put it in your car. You should be thankful to the well drillers, truck drivers, pipeline workes, refinery personnel, et al, each time you walk into your natural gas-heated home or place of employment.

Twenty seven and one-half years ago, I did receive approximately $2200 through UTEP, by way of a coal company (as mandated by Federal Law), for six weeks of a fossil-recovery project during the summer of 1979. Lands slated to become coal mines have to be cleared of all archeological sites and geological sites, in this case, it was dinosaur bones, petrified wood, and a few fresh-water clam shells.

The setting, in NW New Mexico, probably resembled something like the modern-day Everglades, with some scattered trees (or perhaps the logs had been washed into the area by periodic flooding, before being "petrified", actually "permineralized" is the proper term - after burial). I did find one really neat permineralized stump about two and one-half feet in diameter, growth rings and all. I hope that it wound up in a museum somewhere.

I was supposed to do the same thing in the summer of 1980 and that might have made a notable difference in my life, as six weeks of living out of the back of a pickup truck camper (five days on, two days back in town) has a clearing effect on the mind. But the 1980 summer job didn't work out, as the permits between the State of New Mexico and the Federal Government could not be worked out.

But then I guess there is a reason for our being where we are, when we are.
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That Algore Won an Oscar Means Nothing to the Science

The Oscars, the Emmys, etc., have pretty much degenerated into a "Hollywood Circle Jerk" - forgive my verbiage - but that is the phrase that best sums up Hollywood's repeated mutual back-patting (and worse), while they pretend to be relevant.

My viewpoints on the issue are driven by my understanding of science and an understanding of Earth History, beyond the realm of that last few thousand years of human existence. Al Gore's pursuit of this exemplifies the adage that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing".

To him and others, it is a method of grabbing more power for their Utopian dreams, wherein they can "manage" people towards doing the right thing, that is if those pesky individualists (dissenters) can be silenced.

Open Choke has a good post on this subject. As does Common Folk Using Common Sense.
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If the Dems Win the White House in 2008...

it follows that they will solidify their hold on Congress and we will be subjected to more social engineering as is being tested in Europe at the moment, especially if Ted Kennedy gets his way.

An example of this Big-Brother style of social engineering is reported in this article from WND.com, wherein a Massachusetts judge is telling Christian parents that their children in public schools cannot "opt out" of the teaching of certain materials.

From the article:

"...A federal judge in Massachusetts has ordered the "gay" agenda taught to Christians who attend a public school in Massachusetts, finding that they need the teachings to be "engaged and productive citizens."

U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf yesterday dismissed a civil rights lawsuit brought by David Parker, ordering that it is reasonable, indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality.


Wolf essentially adopted the reasoning in a brief submitted by a number of homosexual-advocacy groups, who said "the rights of religious freedom and parental control over the upbringing of children … would undermine teaching and learning…"" [Emphasis added.]

Yes, it is important for our children to learn about the "different things" that some people choose to do, but it is up to us, as parents to decide when it is appropriate and it should not be during the earliest years of primary school. Some of the "urges" that people have may be because of mis-directed biological or cultural "triggers" - that may never be fully determined by science - but their choice to act upon those urges is a matter of choice.

It is not hate to believe that it is up to the parents to explain these things, in the context of their own faith and human culture. When we are "in touch" with our kids, we know when the time is right.

In the twisted reasoning of the Leftist Federal Judge, Mark L. Wolf:

"...But the judge concluded that even allowing Christians to withdraw their children from classes or portions of classes where the religious beliefs were being violated wasn't a reasonable expectation.

"An exodus from class when issues of homosexuality or same-sex marriage are to be discussed could send the message that gays, lesbians, and the children of same-sex parents are inferior and, therefore, have a damaging effect on those students," he opined."...


If Ted Kennedy gets his wish and "sexual orientation" gets added to "hate crimes" legislation, parents wishing to "opt out" of such instruction could be labeled as "though criminals". That is not a stretch.

Having an aversion to chosen homosexual behaviors in-and-of itself is not hate. And it can be a biological aversion as much as a religious aversion. Disagreement is not hate. [Doug Giles has a humorous take on this.]

You can teach your pre-teens or teenagers that "these behaviors" are contrary to our faith, while at the same time, telling them that using slanderous terms, using rudeness, and engaging in rumor-spreading is not appropriate.

Several times while our daughter was in high school, it was necessary for us to admonish her for the words she was using about suspected or declared homosexual classmates. Words (queer, dyke,...) that she learned from her classmates, not from us. She even had an all-but-admitted lesbian teacher in high school, who probably crossed over the line as far as talking about her personal life.

Their pushing this agenda will not result in more tolerance nor acceptance. It will cause a backlash effect. It is usually the Leftists that complain about Christians "cramming their values down other people's throats". Wanting to "opt out" of something is not cramming. A Federal Judge telling parents that "they must..." is cramming.

Maybe that is the entire idea, to go ahead and isolate those that will not adhere to "the program". First of all, drive them out of the public schools and when private schools and/or homeschooling becomes too much of a problem, then force them back to the public schools, while threatening to take the kids from their parents if they don't "control the situation".

That is not paranoia. It is not hard to imagine how out-of-control government can grow, like a cancer. It won't happen in 2009 with the Dems winning the White House, it will take years, perhaps decades, while we are entertained with "free bread and circuses".

And ultimately, if Leftists get their wishes, home-schooling and faith-based private schools will be illegal, as home-schooling is illegal in Germany, according to this and other related articles.

These are Leftists, they have a track record.
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Friday, February 23, 2007

Chicago is Facing Food Shortages...

or rather potential food-access shortages, according to this post at Marathon Pundit.

Because the Libs have been getting their way in Chicago (unions, almost no big box stores), many Chicago residents (including many poor residents) are facing the further loss of access to full-service grocery stores, as -

"...Dominick's, a large local grocery store chain owned by Safeway, is closing more than dozen Chicago stores--Dominick's is a union operation. The doomed stores are closing because they aren't profitable."

From an earlier passage in the same post:

"For the past year or so, Chicago Alderman Joe Moore has been leading the charge to keep big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target out of the city."...

And later in the same post:

"...Wal-Mart and Target's largest stores sell groceries, so having more of these big-boxes in Chicago is a natural fit--unionized staff or not.

The big-boxes have acquired a reputation for driving out other retailers. But these closings can't be blamed on the big-boxes; there is just one Wal-Mart in Chicago, and only a few Target stores."

Some of this has happened in some parts of Atlanta (within the city limits proper). "Activists" do not want the big-box stores (too much traffic, low wages, yada, yada). Sometimes, I think the citizens have won out (jobs, lower prices), it depends on sustained, organized action by the citizens that have figgered out that the activists do not stand for them.

As for Chicago, is Jesse Jackson going to blame this on the unions? Or will he blame it on the Bush Administration spending too much money on the Iraq war. For good measure, he may charge Safeway with racism for shutting down money-losing stores in minority neighborhoods.

Jesse will probably shake down Wal-Mart for some "donations" while they promise to build some stores in Chicago. That is if the unions & the City Council will allow it. While he is at it, he may shake down Safeway, too.
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A Busy Saturday Approaches

My son decided that he wants to go on the short 1.5 mile Appalachian Trail hike from Gooch Gap to Gooch Gap shelter. We did this short hike last year as an intro before he crossed over from Webelos II to Boy Scouts. This year, it is to introduce a new batch of soon-to-be Boy Scouts, those so inclined will "cross over" on March 24th.

It is also a warm-up for my son and I - to decide if we want to do a longer AT approach trail from the Southern Terminus at Springer Mt. back to the Amicalola Falls State Park. That trail is 8.4 miles long and mostly follows ridge lines. I just don't know if we are ready for the longer hike. It also entails carrying the tent, food, water, etc. on the backpack, so again, it is the more serious backpacking. And there is camping along the trail. The point is once you get a certain distance into this, there ain't no turning back.

Last year when we did the 11 mile hike at Chickamauga Battlefield Park, it was without having to carry a tent and sleeping bag and food for more than one meal.

Because of my work schedule and my son's school/wrestling/Scout meeting schedule, it is hard to find time to walk each day, as we did last summer, where we tried to cover more than a mile each day.

So your prayers are needed for this hike (my knees have been complaining a little).
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

It is Not Consensus Science

Just a couple of examples of the compilation of names of scientists that are skeptical of the current political paradigm - that anthropogenic-carbon-dioxide-causes-catastrophic-global-warming.

The Leipzig Declaration, in response to the 1992 Global Climate Treaty and the Oregon Petition.

Only the power-grabbing politicians consider us to be fringe elements.

When considering the intricacies of nature, the science is almost never settled.

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Normalizing Dysfunctional Behaviors

Sometimes I wonder why I bother having GMA on those mornings that I don’t have an 8 AM class. Sometimes after the local ABC-affiliate morning show, I forget to turn it off or at least turn the station to the local Fox affiliate.

They (the MSM) just have to keep dysfunctional people such as Mary Kay Letourneau in the public eye, giving them a de facto endorsement. It was 10 years ago when Mary Kay violated her marriage vows with an under-age student, now her husband. She turned her back on setting a good example for her four children with her husband. She and her husband claim that her oldest son from her first marriage lives with them. I just wonder what sort of weird dynamics are going on there.

Does anyone think that, despite her millions and her fame, did Anna Nicole Smith ever have a “happy life”? Was she ever smart enough to see herself as a helpless passenger on a media roller coaster? Perhaps after a certain point, if she did come to this realization, she may have felt that there was nothing else she could do, the die had been cast. I hope people are using this current media circus as a series of “teachable moments”.

This is the long-term result of the “Playboy philosophy”, that was “enhanced” by the “If it feels good, do it” philosophy of the 1960s and 1970s. An outgrowth of this is represented in some of the stupid “elevator music” to which we are subjected in grocery stores and elsewhere. I once heard a media report (a few years ago) that suggested that the people that usually notice “elevator music” are the ones that despise it. Does that mean that for everyone else, it acts as subliminal messaging to their minds?

Am I the only one that gets annoyed by “Love the One You’re With”, “Me and Mrs. Jones”, “Saving All My Love for You”, and other such celebrations of cheating-on-a-lover (or a spouse)?

I am not a prude, but I have been around long enough to see the grief caused by cheating, when selfish people (of either gender) are unable to keep their pants on. Most of us have given into hedonistic temptations when we are young, before we are married, but by the time we are in our forties and fifties, we have witnessed enough people that have “crashed and burned” because of their personal choices, that hopefully we can serve as sentinels (if only our kids would listen to more of our advice).

Bottom line- what good can come from giving publicity to people like this?

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I Have a Confession to Make

I have held it in long enough. I must unburden myself by telling the truth.

I AM NOT THE FATHER OF ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S BABY!

There, I feel so much better now that that is off my conscience.

Never mind that I can no longer chase after her millions. I just couldn't go on living the lie.

Thank you for your patience and forgiveness.

After I cope with no longer being at the edge of the limelight, I will be back later.
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

If the Dems Get Their Way...

We all know about the "Law of Unintended Consequences" and some of us understand that whether for good or bad, it often takes years to see the relation between "cause and effect".

That Libs want to extend the vote to aliens is well known, but do they ever think about the consequences? Do they think that government can fix every problem that they create?

In NYC, again there are efforts to extend the vote to legal aliens and one of the leading proponents is City Council member, Charles Barron, a former Black Panther and champion race-baiter (D-Brooklyn). According to this FrontPageMag linked piece, his rationale is that in the past, legal aliens were allowed to vote in national elections, a point acknowledged by a CUNY professor that stated that legal aliens were allowed to vote in national elections from 1776 to 1926.

There was probably a reason for this in the early part of our country's history, perhaps as a way of making legal immigrations more attractive. But of course, Charles Barron has to make a racial issue of the 1926 change.

"Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn), the sponsor of the Voting Rights Restoration Act, said that years ago, when immigrants were mostly European, they had voting rights.

"Then when the complexion of immigrants changes, then all of a sudden, the laws change," he said. "


Yeah, right. I never claim to be a history expert, but I suspect that the majority of immigrants in the 1920s and 1930s were still probably European, as they had been for decades earlier. It was probably as much an anti-Irish immigrant or anti-Italian immigrant move as anything. Maybe it was a move to speed up the assimilation process.

Nowadays, I would guess that most of the legal immigrants in NYC are probably Asian and Hispanic. Does Charles Barron even care about his own black citizen constituents? They would probably suffer a dilution of their voting strength, if legal immigrants were given the privilege of voting in NYC?

I am not in favor of tribalistic "my group first" politics, but I am surprised that Charles Barron is apparently more interested, as a Leftist, in vote totals, rather than in his own constituents.

And we well know that once legal immigrants can vote, then the next step is "undocumented" aliens, as the Libs will say - "Well, they pay sales taxes and other taxes, they should vote, too". By bypassing one of the important reasons for gaining legal citizenship, they are going to lessen the need for assimilation, which will eventually lead to increased Balkanization and tribalism.

But they don't care, they will just trust that government will fix any problems that arise.
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My Second Blogiversary

I identify Feb. 21 as my blogiversary, though I think I actually started a little earlier in February of 2005. I tossed some early posts that I was dissatisfied with or I thought that "no one is really interested in this". I didn't envision doing this two years later.

What was going on two years ago included the suicide of Hunter S. Thompson and as some of my college friends saw him as a "gonzo icon", I chose to air my disgust at his suicide in his kitchen, where he was found by family members and while he was on the phone with his wife. I understand depression, but he made an extremely selfish choice that no doubt left scars on family members, that they themselves may be unwilling to admit.

As for other subjects, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Global Warming & Intelligent Design are both science issues in which there are efforts to promote an orthodoxy and shut down discussions.

Two years ago, I didn't like John McCain and I don't like him now.

As I zapped most of my February 2005 posts, here is a link to my March 2005 archives, if anyone is interested.

In the next year, if I choose to continue this endeavor, I don't expect you will see anything written about Anna Nicole Smith and until I resolve the Microsoft Front Page issues with my college website, I am not going to worry about learning how to post YouTube links, if that is possible with this particular format.

Anyway, thanks to my blogging buddies and visitors for dropping by, I hope to entertain and/or inform.
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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

As For Mardi Gras +2 in New Orleans...

I hope it all goes well, without the violence that we have seen lately in other parts of the city.

If Mardi Gras goes as it is supposed to and Dixie Beer is back on sale (even if it is contract-brewed in Wisconsin), maybe that will mean that things are still heading back towards "normal", such as it is in New Orleans.

I am sure that some MSM broadcasts will use the occasion to point out "what hasn't been fixed" and why it's the Bush Administration's fault, for spending too much money in Iraq. Or if they don't say it, some politicians will.
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So It's Mardi Gras...

Fat Tuesday.

What are you giving up for Lent? Even if you particular faith is not big on making sacrifices for Lent, it is a good excuse for giving up some harmful habits, e.g., different forms of junk food. It is a good starting point for a diet.

As with last year, I am giving up:

Krispy Kreme Donuts
French Fries
Cheesecake (my favorite desert)

I am also giving up:

Sweet tea (also called sugar tea by some)
Hamburgers

Well, maybe not ground beef in all forms, as chili is one of nature's perfect guy foods. I have made decent meatless chili before and I know Texas chili purists abhor the use of beans in chili, but dammit, I'm an American and I can put anything in my chili that I damned-well please. That is just as much the Texas spirit as is anything.

Now if they could just come up with a Fall Lenten season, so I won't regain the weight lost in the Spring and Summer, as I did last year (not all of it, but slightly more than half the 26 pounds I was down at one point).

Ultimately, we shouldn't forget what the Lenten Season is about. I am not meaning to be flippant.
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Monday, February 19, 2007

Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Blogging with Bile Towards Christians

Here is an American Spectator blog post by Megam Basham on the hatefulness of the bloggers hired by John Edwards.

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How We Can Change the Future

Pam at Blogmeister USA has been posting reasons to Say NO to Hillary. Here is Number 3. Here is Number 2. And here is Number 1.

It ain't her gender, it is her politics of Socialism and World Government (she said so, though I don't have the original citation) and her character.
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Why Modern Liberals Ain't - The Random Rant Series...

began on March 28, 2005 with this explanation with an introduction about my personal journey from Classical Liberal to whatever I am now.

If anyone is interested, as I approach my Second Blogiversary (on Wednesday), here are the links to more of the "Why Modern Liberals Ain't series:

Part II (Continuing the introduction)
Part III (Popularizing assassinations)
Part IV (Stereotypes)
Part V (The Libs' fear of Faith)
Part VI (Campus intolerance)
Part VII (Moonbats attack two minority female bloggers linked herein)
Part VIII (Liberal Anti-Semitism)
Part IX (Tolerance run amok)
Part X (Vandalism vs. Free Speech

And there have been a few un-numbered rants of this series. Here is one.

'Cause they're unhinged.

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Why Modern Liberals Ain't - But I Thought They Liked Small Businesses

As has happened before, numerous Starbucks locations in the Portland, OR area have been vandalized, largely by filling door locks with a combination of glue and metal shavings, according to this article. You know, this ain't Conservative Christians or Jews that are doing this damage. It ain't Republicans.

Unless I am wrong, I think most Starbucks locations are franchises, which I think qualify as small businesses. You know, the Mom-and-Pop businesses that Dems claim to love. Or at least when they are pandering for votes.

What other business would seem more natural for aging hippies (and other Libs) to open than a coffee shop? Some go the route of independent coffee shops, while others see the benefits of the Starbucks name recognition.

What would happen if you wandered into a local Starbucks and asked the patrons -
"What do you think about Liberals vandalizing Starbucks locations, trying to shut them down?"

Is that really a "Liberal" thing to do? Shut down a small business? As for the MSM, other than John Stossel, is anyone else going to ask this question? [Maybe he already has and I have missed it.]

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Back to the Real World, Traitors Within Our Midst

I missed this last week, but Rep. Murtha has reminded us, by way of a webcast, that perhaps the word "traitor" isn't too strong to describe his planned efforts and hindering President Bush in the War on Terror.

From this FrontPageMag article, based upon a Reuters report:

"U.S. Rep. John Murtha, a leading congressional opponent of the war in Iraq, on Thursday said his plans for placing conditions on how President George W. Bush can spend $93.4 billion in new combat funds would effectively stop an American troop buildup.

"They won't be able to continue. They won't be able to do the deployment. They won't have the equipment, they don't have the training and they won't be able to do the work. There's no question in my mind," the Pennsylvania Democrat said."...

It is Jack Murtha that is dishonoring his own Marine service. There is nothing that any blogger or pundit can say that could do more damage to Murtha's reputation, than Murtha's own words and actions.

The article continues:

"...Murtha hopes to choke off the 4-year-old war in Iraq by placing four conditions on combat funds through September 30:

The Pentagon would have to certify that troops being sent to Iraq are "fully combat ready" with training and equipment; troops must have at least one year at home between combat deployments; combat assignments could not be extended beyond one year; a "stop-loss" program forcing soldiers to extend their enlistment periods would be prohibited.

"We're trying to force a redeployment not by taking money away, by redirecting money," Murtha said, adding he wants U.S. funds to be slanted more toward diplomacy and Iraq reconstruction."...

So is it a blind hatred of President Bush? Or what else could it be that drives this man to leave behind his honor?

Actions such as these are not reasoned dissent. Our self-engineered failure in Vietnam, mostly at the hands of Democrats, has reverberated for years. But the Viet Cong/NVA were satisfied with our withdrawal. The Islamists will gleefully ratchet-up their war on the West as we shrink away again. And they will follow us home.

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Just a Few More Daytona 500 Notes

It was good to see Jeff Burton finish 3rd. Elder statesmen Ricky Rudd and Sterling Marlin were running well until they were caught up in late-race accidents. Dale Jarrett had the highest-finishing Toyota in 22nd place.

As for Georgia drivers, I was surprised that rookie David Ragan (#6 Ford) dodged the wrecks and finished 5th. He is originally from Unadilla, GA and now lives in Stockbridge. Reid Sorenson (#41 Dodge) ran as high as 3rd, until overheating problems resulted in his finishing 13th, which is still a respectible finish.

I forgot to note a couple of other Georgia drivers in the Craftsman Truck race on Friday night, will add those after I peruse the Saturday sports section, again.

So the first waves of Sound and Fury are over and they move on to California for the next race.

As for commercials, I think I liked the Oreo commercial the best, where the three guys are making racing sounds as they lick the Oreo filling. Maybe they will show it during upcoming races, if you missed it.

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Perhaps Lost in the Melee...

at the end of last night's Daytona 500 finish was the NASCAR judgement call. To avoid the specter of cars racing into a wreck, the last couple of years, NASCAR has chosen to "freeze" the field at the moment of the yellow flag, when there is a green-white-checker finish.

When there is a crash in the last 10 laps of a NASCAR race, they usually red flag the field and stop everything for the clean-up. The ultimate goal is to allow an exciting, green flag finish.

When there is an accident with less than five laps, if it requires extensive clean-up as was the case last night, then they throw the red flag, then set up a one-time overtime - where the field takes the green flag for two laps of racing. The white flag signifies one lap to go, thus the green-white-checker scenario. If another accident happens during the green-white-checker period, then the field is supposed to be "frozen" at the point of the yellow-flag issuance.

'Cept that didn't happen. It came down to two crowd favorites, the almost-retired Mark Martin (#01 Army-sponsored Chevy) and Kevin Harvick (#29 Shell-sponsored Chevy) the driver that replaced Dale Earnhardt, racing door-to-door to the finish line, while cars crashed behind them. They were not racing towards any wrecked cars. Here is one particular analysis of the situation. This article shows the margin of victory at the finish line. It is one of those situations where you can see both sides of the argument. And you are glad that you don't have to make the call.
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The Ultimate Danger of a Homeland Divided…

is not simply losing the War on Terror overseas, by retreating from those battlefields, but having “the hornets” follow us home.

By retreating, we face not just single, sporadic attacks on our homeland, but the possibility of a series of coordinated attacks on consecutive days, if we appear divided enough to outside observers. And something like this scenario could happen in the run-up to the 2008 elections, as it did in Spain a few years ago.

If we were subjected to five consecutive days of 9/11-magnitude attacks, there are two possible divergent reactions:

1) We ultimately become filled with united, terrible resolve and if there is evidence of a Muslim connection (surprise!), we might give them two days to evacuate Mecca and Medina, before we display our righteous indignation. Or we might start first with Teheran and Damascus as a demonstration, again giving two days to evacuate;

Or

2) The Libs/Dems/MSM crowd ultimately seizes the moment (especially if Washington, DC is in ruins) and blames the attacks on “President Bush’s” War on Terror and especially the war in Iraq. After the Hillary and Nancy Pelosi crawl from their Congressional bunker(s), there will no doubt be a catfight to determine supremacy, after which, following Spain’s lead, the winner will announce to the Muslim world that “We are sorry” and we will immediately withdraw from the Middle East, leaving Israel and other allies to face the onslaught alone. After the “apology”, the attacks may abate for a while, but will then resume, leaving the ruling Socialist Democrats at a loss to explain.

It could happen after the 2008 elections, regardless of who wins, the Socialist Democrats would still blame it on President Bush and the Republican Congress.

Was the House vote on the “non-binding” resolution a step in this direction? Is it making us appear more divided than we actually are? Sometimes perception is more important than reality when your enemies are planning future attacks.
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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Just a Few Thoughts During the Daytona 500

[Sort-of live blogging, without the TV or the radio.]

As of 80 Laps (of 200), there has only been one caution flag, because of a single car spin of Boris Said (#60). As I am in the library, I can check online info, but cannot listen on the radio.

All 43 cars are still on the lead lap, though as of Lap 80, the 43rd place car (Toyota #00 David Reutimann) may have been lapped a short time ago. Because of a stiff breeze, which amounts to a cross-wind in Turn #2, it is surprising that there hasn't been any mayhem, as of yet.

I thought of several more drivers that I could stand to see in victory lane - Ricky Rudd (#88), Jeff Burton (#31), Ryan Newman (#12), and Tony Stewart (#20) - if he can do it without ramming anyone. I appreciate skill and dedication as shown in Tony Stewart, but he needs to control his temper.

So far, there have only been three leaders, #38 - pole sitter David Gilliland, #2 Kurt Busch, and #20 Tony Stewart. As of Lap 77, the highest running Toyota is #22 Dave Blaney, in 25th place.

Before I sign off, I guess they are on their second caution period, no idea of the cause.

Will blog more tomorrow, got to get back to the TV or at least the radio.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Over at sisu...

Sissy Willis tells us why "Political Correctness is worse than secret police".

In essence, it is because it causes us to censor ourselves, before we speak.

This worthy post has some good links within it. Go give a read or two.
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Milblog Thoughts on the House Vote...

are posted here on the Mudville Gazette.

In this particular post, and elsewhere, there are concerns that this public show of weakness will trigger a Tet Offensive-like attack, to see if this is enough to make Americans finally lose their resolve.

Never mind that we didn't lose the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, that was a lie, largely propagated by Walter Cronkite.

We found out after-the-fact that the Viet Cong/NVA were considering quitting after they lost the Tet Offensive, but because they saw we were divided, they hung on until we quit, at the cost of thousands of lives, American and Vietnamese.

If the House vote triggers such a Tet Offensive-style attack, will those that voted on the public disapproval of reinforcements "own up" to their responsibilities in the deaths of Americans and Iraqis? Will San Fran Nan say - "Oops! My bad!"?

Do I need to ask?
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A Noteworthy New Site...

as suggested by Common Folk Using Common Sense.

It is The Victory Caucus. So go give this new effort a read.
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In February, Friday Night Lights at Daytona...

don't mean football, it means the Craftsman Truck race. The Chevy Silverado HD 250 was completed last night, with a couple of multi-truck accidents.

Georgia driver Bill Lester finished a respectible 11th place, after starting 33rd, in the #15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevy truck. Maybe this will secure him some sort of sponsorship. Here's wishing him the best of luck this season. He seems to do a little better on the big raceways than on the smaller ones.

As time permits during the season, I will update with notes on the other two Georgia Craftman Truck Series drivers - Joey Clanton and Chase Miller - I think I am right on those two.

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What Path Lies Ahead for Senator Obama?

Will he thrust his thumbs into his front belt loops or pockets and thrust out his chest and say - "I am proud American Socialist- oops! Democrat- first and a black man second"? Or will he become infected by the race-baiting poisons of Jesse and Al?

I know it is hazardous to blog based upon soundbites, but as I don't generally watch 60 Minutes, that is all I have.

I gather that Mr. and Mrs. Obama were featured recently on 60 Minutes and I haven't read any transcripts, so I am flying on the remnants of Saturday-morning coffee.

I can't remember Mrs. Obama's name, is it Sherry? If not, please forgive. I don't know much about her, I think I heard that she is a Harvard-educated lawyer, which if true is a good pedigree, but it has Lib written all over it.

There are a couple of soundbites which have been attributed to Mrs. Obama, one that her husband is likely to be shot if he goes out to the gas station. I can only guess what she is inferring, but the reality is - if Senator Obama is shot at a gas station, it is more likely that it would be another black man, rather that a white citizen or a white police officer. Is she subtlely playing the "race card" here, inferring that her husband is in danger because of white cops?

She apparently made another comment about her husband having difficulty in catching a cab. Again is she inferring that it is "white America's" inherent racism that makes it difficult for her usually professionally-dressed husband to catch a cab? A talk-radio wag (I don't recall if it was a host or caller) asked how many cabs are driven by white cabbies these days anyway, especially in large cities?

If cabbies are hesitant to pick up black men, there are other reasons, but "white racism" is the easiest thing for Libs to blame, as it doesn't force them to address any difficult social issues.

As has been noted often by Neal Boortz, the words racism, bigotry, and prejudice all have different meanings, though as attitudes, they are sometimes closely-related.

Racism is the belief in the inherent superiority or inferiority of a particular race.

Bigotry is the hatred of groups of people because of real or perceived differences.

Prejudice is basing opinions and behaviors upon the "pre-judging" of someone or a situation, based upon knowledge, prior experiences, perceptions, and/or stereotypes.

The hesitancy of a cabbie to pick up a black man is not necessarily racism, it is not necessarily bigotry, it is probably prejudice, which may or may not be valid.

We all know that cabbies are an easy target for armed robbers. We have all heard stories of cabbies of all races that have been shot to death on a lonely back street or isolated stretch of road or at the corner of a deserted parking lot. Some were probably begging for their lives when shot, others are probably shot in the back of the head, with no inkling of danger, unless they heard the fare leaning forward in the back seat as they were aiming their pistol.

Especially in big cities, a cabbie's survival depends on his ability to read people, based upon their mode of dress and facial expressions. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. It is not because of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, it is because Lib viewpoints have made it difficult to hold people accountable for their crimes. It is because of easy bonds and probation and early paroles.

They could make more money if they pick up every potential fare, but their prejudice is based upon unavoidable stereotypes and fear, not hatred.

It is easier for Libs to blame white racism than it is to blame the black criminals for the fear felt by the cabbies.

Too often we have heard the race-baiters saying a black Conservative was "not black" for philosophical reasons. Now we are hearing them say the same thing about Senator Obama, because he has appeared to initially resist using their methods. Will he have the strength to be his "own man", Lib/Socialist that he is, or will he become an Al Sharpton protege?
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Friday, February 16, 2007

Because the MSM Won't Leave it Alone...

I won't either. Global Warming, that is.

By way of this short post on American Thinker, here is a "one-stop site" for skeptics, called Global Warming Hysteria.

And for those that want to know more so they can make up their own minds.

The science is not settled.

Here are a few summarized thoughts from the Global Warming Hysteria website/blog:

FACT: The Earth has often been hotter than it is now.
FACT: Only a tiny portion of greenhouse gases are man-made.
FACT: Most of Antarctica is getting cooler.
FACT: The media only recently abandoned the "global cooling" scare.
FACT: Global warming hasn't made hurricanes worse.
FACT: The liberal Left sees the manipulation of the environmental movement and especially global warming alarmism as the ideal scare campaign to secure increasingly strict controls over peoples lives.

We don't deny that the Earth might be getting warmer - it happens from time-to-time.

We don't deny that humans may have provided a slight influence to this warming, if it is occurring.

We don't deny that there are pollution problems that need to be addressed.

We don't deny that we need to be less wasteful of energy. Yes, I know that being a NASCAR fan makes me a little bit of a hypocrite, but all sports and most human recreational activities waste energy in one form or another. It wouldn't bother me to shorten each given race by 20%. It wouldn't bother me to see other professional sports leagues reconfigure their schedules to lessen cross-country airline flights.

Back to the issue at hand.

But most of us believe that this human-generated-carbon-dioxide-causes-catastrophic-global-warming paradigm (do we call it the HGCDCCGW paradigm?) is just a political power grab by Socialists and other political whores. And it is designed to hobble the economy of the United States and other western nations.

Why are they exempting China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and other nations from the desired carbon dioxide controls? If they are really serious, then everyone needs to take the same medicine.

It's about global governance, Jacques Chirac said so himself.

As your reading assignment - non-scientists - here are 10 Common Myths about Global Warming (or whatever the Left wishes to call it), as presented by the Friends of Science.

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Just a Quick Note to My Blogging Buddies

In case anyone is interested...

Because of my short stint of unemployment last summer, we relinquished our home phone line and internet account, thus I have been blogging from elsewhere and using our cell phones instead of the landline.

That is why I haven't been doing any Trackbacks. I am just not smart enuf to figger out how to do it from different computers, when away from my home computer.

We recently found a good deal through the new AT&T and we may re-establish our home phone and perhaps an internet account later own. If this happens, I will go back to doing Trackbacks.

Just so you would know.

Now if I can just figger out how to update my college website using the Microsoft Front Page format.
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On to the Daytona 500...

You know, the really important stuff.

They managed to get through the twin Gatorade duels yesterday with no major disasters.

There are a few former winners that didn't make the race; Bill Elliott (1985, 1988); Derrick Cope (1990); and Ward Burton (2002). Jeremy Mayfield, 3rd-place finisher in 1998 didn't make the race either.

Jeff Gordon will be starting next-to-last (42nd) because his car was a little too low after the post-qualifying race inspection. NASCAR stated that it was probably unintentional, but still, he has to go to the rear of the field.

Here is a link to the starting field. My favorites are the two Petty cars (#43 and #45), Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty, respectively; and the two Georgia drivers, Reed Sorenson (#41) and rookie David Ragan (#6) - though I don't think David Ragan is ready for this. I hope he knows this and hangs back and learns.

Others of interest include former-winner Sterling Marlin (#14), who hasn't won a race since he suffered a broken neck in 2002. Up until the crash at Richmond (there may actually have been a previous crash at Kansas that contributed to the injury), he had led the point standings for 26 weeks. He is a nice guy and a good driver, but probably is on the downhill side of his career.

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As We Concern Ourselves With "Helping" Our "Liberal" Friends...

at the same time, we may have to concern ourselves with nudging others away from their "hard-shelled" Conservative positions. Not because they are necessarily wrong, but single-issue people that focus upon a narrow range of issues just don't see the forest. [Am I mixing metaphors here? That is what happens when a geologist tries to write too much outside the realm of science and nature.]

In other words, ideological purity is beyond the abilities of most mere humans.

Michael Reagan has a good column today at FrontPageMag about the internecine squabbling about the early Republican front-runners. Some of this self-reflection/self-criticism is because WE KNOW THE MSM AND LIBS ARE GOING TO HAVE A DOUBLE-STANDARD IN JUDGING HUMAN FLAWS. We need to know if the candidates are ready to withstand the blizzard of lies that we know is coming.

From Michael Reagan's column:

"...Not one of the major candidates is free of some real or imagined flaw that offends some conservatives.

This is madness, and if it does not stop, the GOP is going to lose the presidential election in 2008. In the search for the perfect candidate we are going to end up with an imperfect candidate."...

Reagan's column concludes with:

"...This makes me wonder if anybody can stand up to the litmus test these people are applying to candidates.

Ronald Reagan had one litmus test he applied to candidates. Were they Republicans? If they were he backed them all the way. He would let the party choose the candidate and he would support and vote for the candidate. He didn’t go sniffing around trying to find some flaw in their character or their past. Once nominated, they were his choice.

And nobody was more candid in admitting that he was anything but perfect than my Dad. He knew that like all men, he had his flaws and he spent a lifetime combating them. Had today’s GOP litmus test been seriously applied to him, he could not have passed the test.

The Democrats don’t have litmus tests. If the nominee is a Democrat, they support their candidate all the way, and if they lose it isn’t because they didn’t fight like demons for their man or woman.

If we want to win in 2008, Republicans had better wake up, and quit talking Ronald Reagan and start being like Ronald Reagan."

Here specifically referring to Newt, how will he deal with the Leftist MSM and their cohorts regarding his "marriage issues". Expectations of Newt, as a Southerner, are different from those of Rudy Giuliani. It is just a cultural thing. I know he was born in Pennsylvania, but we think of him as a Southerner.

I think Newt is just going to have to address this marriage issue front-and-center. I think the best way to address the "Hypocrite issue" is to be up-front about it. If Newt Gingrich is serious about running for President, he is going to have to eat multiple servings of crow, because the talking heads and pundits are going to hit him over and over, looking for cracks in his armor. [There I go, mixing metaphors again.]

Newt is just going to have to steal their thunder by saying, "Yes, I am a sinner, a Hypocrite". "I have made mistakes in my past marriages and I seek your forgiveness".

Not a tearful, Jim Bakker-type of "I'm sorry I got caught" confession, but one of sincere contrition. I think deep down Newt is smart enough to know this, but does he have the courage to dig into his deserved platter of crow? It is better that he eat it now, with the "seasonings" of his choosing, rather than when served by the MSM and their pundit cohorts.

How many Libs would ever do this with any measure of sincerity? If Ted Kennedy said these words, would you believe him the first time? The second time? The third time? Would you believe John Kerry if he said these words?

Jane Fonda tried a watered-down version of this a few years ago and now she has recanted. The Dixie Chicks tried to pretend they were "sorry" and then they recanted. Now the sins of Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Jane Fonda are much more egregious that those the Dixie Chicks, but we can see plenty of evidence here of the shallowness of character among these people and others in the "Hollywood crowd".

I think early groveling will defuse the Lib attacks. That way Newt can say later "I have already addressed that issue, weren't you paying attention?".

The bottom line is the world is too dangerous for the United States to have a Socialist President and a Socialist/RINO Congress. No, I don't think they would ruin the country in four years, but they would certainly do damage that wouldn't be evident for years and would take even longer to "fix", if it is possible. We see the damage being done by President Bush's weakness on the border issues (and on the issue of the Border Patrol agents, Ramos and Campeon (sp.?)).

It can't possibly be any better under the Democrats, IMHSO.
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Emotion vs. Logic - The Ongoing Saga

By way of Townhall.com, John Hawkins re-articulates the explanation of why and how "Liberals" and Conservatives differ.

Mr. Hawkins opens with:

"It takes a lot more integrity, character, and courage to be a conservative than it does to be a liberal. That's because at its most basic level, liberalism is nothing more than childlike emotionalism applied to adult issues."

Rush Limbaugh has also spent quite a bit of time on the same issue.

Because most of the Modern Lib arguments are based on what amounts to a foundation of sand, that is why their arguments crumble when "washed" by the waters of fact and logic. That is why we have to be careful of their tender feelings. Heh.

Actually, this is why I try to be diplomatic and sometimes keep my mouth shut when surrounded by unsuspecting Libs (including some friends that do not yet know of my personal evolution over the years), "choosing my battles carefully". Now most of these folks are nice enough people, I don't think they are of the Michael Moore vein, but;

1) Perhaps they haven't had the courage to admit when they were wrong, as I began to do when the Berlin Wall came down and when the people of Romania rose up and slew their corrupt dictator; or

2) Because they are busy with their day-to-day routines, including TV, they do not put aside time for self-reflection and deep-thought concerning what they have been fed by the MSM and Hollywood. Again, self-reflection and deep-thought makes us see more of our own flaws.

More from the column:

"...Why don't they learn anything from failed liberal policies? Because there is nothing underpinning them other than feelings and so even when they don't work, their good intentions are treated, by other liberals at least, as more important than the results of their actions."...

Sometimes I will gradually "feed them" some info to initiate some doubt, so they can read or think about it on their own time.

Every semester that I teach Environmental Science, I remind my students that "In-your-face" politics does not work, regardless of whether you are Operation Rescue, PETA, or Act-Up.

Modern Libs love to use the psychobabble word "confront", as I guess it somehow gives them some false bravado. But many of us more thoughtful people know that when you verbally confront someone, you drive them into a siege mentality, to where agreement with you represents a public loss-of-face when they back down.

I prefer to give information that someone can take home with them for consideration. That is why I evolved (metamorphosed) from a Classical Liberal to a Conservative. A Classical Liberal in the way that Tammy Bruce explains it.

By way of Rush Limbaugh's arguments and other sources, I was able to reason through political issues in the privacy of my home or truck (or SUV) and that way I didn't lose face when I changed by mind. But again, being a true Classical Liberal, I was dedicated to listening to "the enemy" and weighing their arguments.

That is the beauty of Conservative talk radio and that is why Modern Libs/Socialists are bound-and-determined to shut it down through the "Fairness Doctrine" or "Media Reform" as they now call it.

The visuals of TV distract too much, sometimes the visuals of the internet/blogosphere might do the same thing. But at least with the internet/blogosphere, the interested reader can return to re-read and print out on demand what they want.

Now the big question is - How to we get across to them that it is OK to change when presented with new information? How do we get them to leave the "dark side"?

One way is to "give a little" by perhaps acknowledging when there might be some positive points to a "Liberal" stand (that perhaps they ruin by taking that stand to the lunatic extreme) or by reminding them that "I used to feel that way too, until I gave it some thought".

You won't win every "battle" and with some friends, I know that it just won't work, so unless they really commit an egregious error or make a completely outrageous statement, I usually just let things slide.

It is better to wait until the time and subject are right. It is difficult to be "up" on every subject. And when you wade into verbal combat, you need to be factually well-armed so you can politely rebut their weak, emotional arguments, one volley after another, if need be.

One more issue to consider when you want to "flip" someone away from Modern Liberal "thought", if they are under some stress, maybe you shouldn't introduce things that would bring additional doubts into their lives at that time, i.e., maybe you don't want to make them question themselves too much if they feel "put upon" by life in general.

One area in which to be especially careful is the Pro-Life arguments against abortion if you are speaking with a female friend. It is entirely possible that she might have had an abortion years ago and had not told anyone. And feelings of deep regret might be simmering just beneath the surface. You are not there to condemn their past actions, but rather help guide them away from other poor choices in the present and future.

After all, you are doing this because you maturely care about them, not because you are trying to be superior.

Hey, be careful out there.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007

MSNBC is Already Making an Issue of Mitt Romney's Faith

According to Aaron at Lifelike Pundits (paraphrasing), MSNBC introduced Romney as -

former Governor of Massachusetts and Mormon, Mitt Romney.

Now I predict that if Romney gets some traction, the MSM will make an issue of his faith, but pretend it is the Christian Right that is doing so.

Some will say that it is the same thing as mentioning Keith Ellison's Muslim faith and it might be in some fashion, but we are not at war with LDS zealots.
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As for Last Night’s Episode of "Lost"…

Without getting into too much speculation, regarding Desmond’s “time loops” and what they mean –

Why did Sawyer seem so transfixed by the images on the screen in Room 23, where Alex’s boyfriend Carl was being held? He seemed unusually quiet after that.

Was that his own time loop? Was he remembering being in the same place?

Strange enough to be interesting...

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The First Gatorade Race is Complete...

without any major disasters. Surprisingly, 72 year-old James Hylton ran as high as eighth position for a while and finished 21st, on the lead lap, ahead of both Petty cars. Apparently, that is not quite good enough to make the 500, but he showed that he still has the right stuff. I am sure that NASCAR has breathed a sigh of relief. That could have been a PR disaster, instead it can make a good "human interest" story.

I dreaded the thought of Jay Leno making jokes about James Hylton being sponsored by Depends, especially after the Lisa Marie Nowak incident. Leno or others may have done so already.

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Cigars for Tancredo

This was a suggestion on the Bill Bennett show, regarding Keith Ellison’s tattling on Tom Tancredo’s legal enjoyment of a cigar within his Congressional office.

Now we have to be honest and ask if the “Rookie” Congressman knew that smoking a cigar was legal or was this an effort at harassment?

Just curious.
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My Least Favorite Part of the Daytona Speedweeks

Today is the day for the running of the two Gatorade 150-mile qualifying races to set most of the Daytona 500 field. Here is the starting order for Race 1, which consists of the odd-numbered qualifiers - 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th,... Here is the starting order for Race 2, which consists of the 2nd, 4th, 6th,... fastest qualifiers.

I don’t fully understand this business of the Top-35 car owners and guarantees of a spot in the field. If this is so, then that leaves eight spots open with a number of cars trying to fill those eight spots. Or with Provisional positions, are there less than eight? Regardless, this format sets the stage for desperation moves as the failure to make the Daytona 500 can put a “major hurt” on any hopes for a decent finish in the point standings at the end of the season. It is also a major negative for sponsors. Racing is dangerous enough as we all know.

It is the desperation moves, perhaps made by inexperienced drivers who are "on the bubble" as far as making the field, that concern me.

On another issue:

Laura Ingraham made a comment about 72-year old James Hylton, who starts the first race in 30th place, ahead of Michael Waltrip, who has been absolutely hammered over allegations that illegal substances were found in his intake manifold. I haven't read every analysis or story on this, but it is entirely possible that he didn't even know. But as a team owner of the new Toyotas, if one or more employees made this decision, they are in a heap of trouble. No doubt Toyota is highly displeased. Not a good start for someone that has won two Daytona 500s.

As for James Hylton, you young pups won't know who he is, but from his first full season in 1966 through 1973 (eight consecutive seasons), he finished in the Top 4 of the Final Point Standings, except for 1968, where he finished 7th. In 1966, 1967, and 1971, he finished 2nd in the point standings. In 1969, 1970, 1972, and then again in 1975 he finished 3rd in points. Relying on my memory, I don't recall him ever having had a full-time ride with a big team, nor a full-time national sponsor. According to the career statistics website cited above, his last Daytona 500 was 1983, where he finished 23rd. Without major sponsorship, he recorded two Winston Cup victories, one of them at Talladega.

I would assume that NASCAR requires doctor approvals of drivers and since James Hylton is running on a shoestring budget, I wouldn't expect him to make any gonzo moves that would tear up anything. I just hope some of the "young lions" don't run all over him.

Dale Earnhardt is the only driver killed in a Daytona NASCAR Winston Cup/Nextel Cup “points race”, e.g., the Daytona 500 or the Pepsi Firecracker 400, whereas several drivers have been killed in the qualifying races. A few names that come to mind include Talmadge Prince (1970), Friday Hassler (1972), Ricky Knotts (1980), Bruce Jacobi (1983) – he died four years later from his injuries, (I am not sure if there have been others).

Lee Petty’s career ended in 1961 a serious crash, as he went over the guard rail during one of the Daytona qualifying races. In fact, his son, Richard Petty, also went over the guard rail in a crash during the other 1961 qualifying race, getting some glass fragments in his eyes, but otherwise not being seriously injured.

I may post on the results if time allows after my classes are over. The "madness" starts at 2 PM EST.

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Osama Threatens U.S. Oil Suppliers

But if anything happens, the MSM will say it is President Bush's fault. Or they will say that we did it to divert attention from the "disaster in Iraq".

Among the targeted oil suppliers, publicly, Mexico seems rather nonchalant. Mexico’s obsessions about 19th century issues with the United States has blinded them to the fact that they are just as much in the crosshairs of the Islamist War Against the West. They don’t realize that Islamists hate everybody that doesn’t adhere to their strict interpretation of Islam.

Just because Mexico is not on the front lines in the War on Terror, that doesn’t mean that they are safe.

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Without Reading Any Details nor Conservative Analyses...

Did North Korea Agree to Nuclear Concessions because they expect the next U.S. President to be a Democrat with a Democrat Congress? Are they expecting that these concessions will only be a short-term thing before they “get to skate”? Is Kim Jong Il placing his bet on Hillary or Barack?

Laura Ingraham referred to the disagreements posed by some Conservative pundits, without elaborating on the details.

If all of the challenges we face at the moment can be classified as grass fires, we are going to face forest fires if Dems control the Executive and Legislative Branches of Government.

If this worries you (as it should), just remember the words of Smoky the Bear – “Only you can prevent forest fires”.

I am just punditing in my own humble way.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

New Posts Are On Tap...

over at Beer Can Blog.

I have been neglecting that site for a while, so I have three short posts that include updates on Dixie Beer, Pittsburgh Brewing Co., and thinking about Ballantine Ale on Valentine's Day.

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There is Really Only One Way That Senator Obama Would Be Right...

about the American lives being "wasted" in Iraq.

That is if we give up before the job is done.
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Congratulations Pam on Making the Big Time!

Pam Meister's American Thinker post on the UNICEF conference - on sending children to war -was linked today on World Net Daily, in the Commentary section, as the Column Du Jour).

Good Job!

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Monday, February 12, 2007

One of My "Blogging Buddies"...

Pam Meister from Blogmeister USA, has been writing lately for American Thinker.

In her post today, she analyzes a recent UNICEF conference designed:

"To stop the military recruitment of children as soldiers (children in this case being anyone under 18).

According to Amnesty International,

Children are recruited because they are perceived as cheap and expendable, easily brutalized into fearless killing and unquestioning obedience. Child soldiers are often chosen for the most dangerous assignments or forced to participate in appalling human rights abuses, sometimes against their own families or communities. Children are also forced to carry ammunition, find and prepare food or perform other non-combat roles."


We know this is true, especially in some parts of Africa.

But hidden within this worthy effort, as Pam writes, is the way that the American (and worldwide) Left will use this to attack American military operations.

Using the old "it's for the children" rationalization, the Left will show their continued willingness to use children as pawns.

From the post:

"...Infantilizing (sic) young people who have voluntarily enlisted in the military and are deployed on combat missions does not contribute to the debate of whether or not we should be in Iraq, but distracts with an emotional plea to Joe Everyman. Surely no decent human being would send his child (or someone else's) off to die. Instead of giving concrete reasons as to why we need to leave Iraq now, activists play with our heartstrings, hoping we'll take the bait. Regrettably, many have."...

The post ends with:

"...The next time you hear the argument that we need to pull out of Iraq now for the sake of the "children," please don't buy into the hype. The next time a US senator browbeats a member of the Bush administration by saying she should have no say in wartime policy because she has no children to be sacrificed, please remember that such emotional blackmail has no place in foreign policy debate.

We do not send children to war; we utilize adult volunteer forces who, I believe, would be highly offended to be categorized as still being in elementary school. Please: think of the countries that really do use children in combat...and pray that those children are allowed to go home."

How far will Leftists take this interpretation of what constitutes "recruitment" as ways to further attack American traditions?

Will this be another way of attacking voluntary ROTC training in college? What about those high schools with elective JROTC classes and training? That could be interpreted as "recruitment" (it probably already has).

What about Boy Scouts? As there are aspects of military-style order and hierarchy recognition (of God and Country) in the training, this could be interpreted as "de facto recruitment", especially when quite a few Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters are veterans.

Will the mayors or city councils of individual cities bar children from witnessing Veteran's Day Parades or Memorial Day Observances? How long will it take the San Francisco, CA city council to act upon this? Will children be barred from reading of military valor in history books, lest it lead to their recruitment?

This is just another "foot-in-the-door", whereby Leftists co-opt worthy efforts for their own goals of tearing down our traditions.

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Barbara Simpson Reminds Us,...

in this WND column, of what we might expect under Hillary Care or some other form of Socialized medicine.

In this column, Barbara lets us in on what can happen when "end of life" decisions are taken from the family. Six years ago, rather than waiting a little while longer "for nature to take its course", a local doctor & hospital decided to deny fluids to her terminally-ill father, while he was still lucid and the dehydration process did what they (the medical powers that be) apparently wanted, it sped up the process.

"...He was in the hospital in a big city where we had consulted with a specialist. We knew death was near. He had prostate cancer and it was taking its toll. But he was alive, and lucid and could talk and eat and drink and respond. He was still – Daddy.

He had his loved ones around him. His wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It pleased him and us. Being together was so important despite the reality of the circumstances.


At one point, I asked him if he wanted to die. He looked at me intently and said, clearly, ''No.'' He meant it. There was no doubt. He wasn't ready and I believe he knew we would help him until his time came. I knew I would but I had no idea that I'd have no control and that the medical system would betray him and us."

The column continues:

"...I'd arranged to have my father moved by ambulance to his hometown where he would be taken to the hospital. His wife, our mother, would be with him."... [Emphasis added.]

"...He and Mom made the ambulance trip home. The rest of us couldn't do the same because of snowy, icy roads and plane schedules to meet.

Besides, I would be back in four days.


His youngest grandchild would be with him in three days.


But he died in two days.


Unfortunately, he got some help in that. The system, which claims to protect the needs of the patient, the system that swears to ''first, do no harm'' – not only failed him, it betrayed him."...


"...Having determined that my father was ''processing'' – their word, meaning dying – that doctor and those nurses stopped giving him fluid despite the fact that the city doctor and hospital ordered it. [Emphasis added.]

And then he died. Funny how that happens; dehydration kills. And it did.


This was a man who was conscious, lucid, and could eat and talk. But he also was old and sick and trusting.
[Emphasis added.]

So was my mother."...

"...When I found out via telephone that the fluids had been stopped, I talked to his doctor about it. He refused to change his mind and finally refused even to talk with me."...

"...I'd heard that in today's world, medicine regards food and water as ''treatment'' and will decide when to provide it or not. If you object, tough; they're in charge and know better."

This wasn't a family solemnly huddling with a trusted family doctor deciding "it is best this way" regarding a comatose, unresponsive patient. If given the chance for a few more days, perhaps the family could have selected a hospice setting, but someone else made that decision.

When my Dad passed away in 1980, it was after a seven-week stint in our local hospital, following two heart attacks on consecutive days (the second heart attack was actually after he entered the hospital). He seemed to be getting better for a while, then he got pneumonia, after which he had a third heart attack, where the had to "bring him back". After that third heart attack (and a dream), he knew that the end was near and we got to spend some time visiting and informally saying "Goodbye". He and my Mom (a retired RN) may have told the doctors "do not resuscitate again" (I am totally speculating here) in the acceptance of what was coming.

Saying goodbye isn't always possible as thousands of families learned on 9/11. But in the case of Barbara Simpson's family, that opportunity was taken from them by outsiders.

There is no simple answer as to how we "got here". Part of it is demanding and expecting too much of government in "handling things", such as health care payments and health insurance. It has been aptly said that sometimes (often?) government creates problems so they can ride in and "solve them" later. But there can be decades between cause-and-effect and we often do not see the connection.

The column continues:

"...It's gotten worse since then. Now they call it ''futile care'' and as a result we're all potential targets of selective decisions by a medical system, hospital or doctor to treat us or not. It is a matter of life or death – ours."

It seems odd that in this case, these decisions were made by the "hometown" doctor and not the "city doctor". Or (am I in a paranoid mood?), perhaps there was a behind-the-scenes communication, to take this action down-the-line.

Further increasing government's role in these decisions will lead to government's "ideas of efficiency". Decisions that will be more and more out of your hands. This day will arrive sooner at the hands of a Democrat than at the hands of a Republican (unless such decisions are already made and we are too far down the slippery slope).

[Sorry, I am not normally this paranoid. Maybe my brain froze while camping out over the weekend. Am I approaching "futile care"?]
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