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>

Thursday, May 31, 2007

More Climate Change Apostates...

are described in this Moonbattery post from a few weeks ago.

These same names were posted elsewhere on the blogosphere and on the internet, I just neglected to mention them at the time. Most of these people were "believers" in the past, but with more information and more time for consideration, they have come over to "the dark side" (in Al Gore's viewpoint).

One example from the Moonbattery post:

"...David Evans, mathematician and engineer, did "carbon accounting" for the Australian government. He believed in anthropogenic global warming until better data than we had in the 1990s began to refute it. Evans shines a light on the motivations less scrupulous scientists may have for playing along with the theory even now that it has been discredited:

"By the late 1990s, lots of jobs depended on the idea that carbon emissions caused global warming. Many of them were bureaucratic, but there were a lot of science jobs created too. I was on that gravy train, making a high wage in a science job that would not have existed if we didn't believe carbon emissions caused global warming. And so were lots of people around me; and there were international conferences full of such people. And we had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great."

It (the political paradigm) began as a political animal and thus it still lives.

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A Few Thoughts on Mitt Romney's "Pro-Choice" Past

When we were younger, perhaps it wasn't unusual for us to react emotionally to certain issues and take the MSM line (or at least those of us that were Classical Liberals).

To try to deflate the Lib use of the word "Pro-Choice", I still consider myself to be "Pro-Choice", but I am one to look at adoption and other alternatives first and then consider abortion to be a last resort.

Maybe it is still the remnant taint of Liberalism, but I think that abortion shouldn't be banned across-the-board, but rather politely discouraged in an atmosphere of the honest, responsible, free-exchange of ideas. [I do not endorse the in-your-face tactics of certain "Pro-Life" groups that shove photos of aborted babies into the faces of passersby. If they want to post the photos where those curious can look them up, that is fine, but those sorts of tactics are not effective.]

For most Modern Libs, abortion is the first and only choice that they consider. Rather it should, as just stated, the last resort, when no other alternatives will work, but that should be a rare occurrence.

But when I was a "Lib", I was Pro-Choice, having not given the subject any deep thought. At that point, I had not experienced parenthood. I had not experienced the wonders of watching the progression from a tiny baby to someone tall enough to look you in the eye, while wondering "where did all that time go"?

This could have been the case with Mitt Romney. It may just have been a matter of personal growth, the gaining of a little more wisdom with age and experience. One change-of-heart on an issue is not "Flip-flopping", when that change is based upon more information and more thought.

Flip-flopping is John Kerry saying "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

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Some Thoughts on Climate Change From the "Faithful Heretic"

[By way of commentor's link in this Moonbattery post on Al Gore.]:

The title is from an online post of the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News. The subject is an interview with a pioneer of Meteorology, 86 year-old Dr. Reid A. Bryson.

Dr. Bryson's pedigree is as follows, paraphrased from the article:

He holds the 30th PhD in Meteorology granted in the history of American education.

[I'm sorry, I have forgotten where Al Gore got his PhD in Meteorology.]

Dr. Bryson is Emeritus Professor and founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Meteorology—now the Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences.

In the 1970s he became the first director of what’s now the UW’s Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies.

He belongs to the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honor—created, the U.N. says, to recognize “outstanding achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment.”

Dr. Bryson has authored five books and more than 230 other publications and was identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world.

[He hardly sounds like an oil-company stooge.]

From the article:

"...Bryson is a believer in climate change, in that he’s as quick as anyone to acknowledge that Earth’s climate has done nothing but change throughout the planet’s existence. In fact, he took that knowledge a big step further, earlier than probably anyone else. Almost 40 years ago, Bryson stood before the American Association for the Advancement of Science and presented a paper saying human activity could alter climate. [Emphasis added.]

“I was laughed off the platform for saying that,” he told Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News.

In the 1960s, Bryson’s idea was widely considered a radical proposition. But nowadays things have turned almost in the opposite direction: Hardly a day passes without some authority figure claiming that whatever the climate happens to be doing, human activity must be part of the explanation. And once again, Bryson is challenging the conventional wisdom. [Emphasis added. Once a skeptic...]

“Climate’s always been changing and it’s been changing rapidly at various times, and so something was making it change in the past,” he told us in an interview this past winter. “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay?” [Emphasis added.]

“All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd,” Bryson continues. “Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.”"

Bryson offers his insights on the retreat of Alpine Glaciers in the Alps, one of the "proofs" of human-caused Global Warming:

"...Bryson mentions the retreat of Alpine glaciers, common grist for current headlines. “What do they find when the ice sheets retreat, in the Alps?”

We recall the two-year-old report saying a mature forest and agricultural water-management structures had been discovered emerging from the ice, seeing sunlight for the first time in thousands of years. Bryson interrupts excitedly.

“A silver mine! The guys had stacked up their tools because they were going to be back the next spring to mine more silver, only the snow never went,” he says. “There used to be less ice than now. It’s just getting back to normal.”" [Emphasis added.]

Rather than fretting over computer models predicting what might happen in the future:

"...Bryson says he looks in the opposite direction, at past climate conditions, for clues to future climate behavior."...

As a follow-up, the Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News did their own research, wherein they found the following info addressing the association of temperature proxies and carbon dioxide in Antarctic ice cores. The WECN:

"...found six separate papers about Antarctic ice core studies, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 1999 and 2006. The ice core data allowed researchers to examine multiple climate changes reaching back over the past 650,000 years. All six studies found atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations tracking closely with temperatures, but with CO2 lagging behind changes in temperature, rather than leading them. The time lag between temperatures moving up—or down—and carbon dioxide following ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand years." [Emphasis added.]

[I (and others wiser than myself) have repeatedly stated that CO2 increases were arguably the result of global warming, not the cause.]

Yeah, if it were up to Al Gore, Heidi Cullen, and other Climate Change zealots, Dr. Bryson would be silenced and likened to a Holocaust Denier.

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Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Suppressing Debate...

seems to be a common thread in media, political, and academic disciplines dominated by Leftists.

The concepts of "hate speech", the Fairness Doctrine, and vendettas against supporters of Intelligent Design and Climate Skeptics are all aspects of shutting down debate, when the Left cannot support their own viewpoints with information and logical thought patterns.

While we tend to think of Iowa as an example of good Middle-America values, the Iowa State University administration is demonstrating itself to be devoid of common sense and totally oblivious to the concept of free-and-open debates - the stuff we consider to be a normal part of the college-learning experience. Maybe they see themselves as the "Berkeley of the Midwest."

The MSM has probably been avoiding this (for several reasons), but the Discovery Institute has several posts on the subject of Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, an Astronomer teaching at Iowa State University. Though the University has been avoiding the subject, it appears that Dr. Gonzalez has been denied tenure because of his acceptance of the concept of Intelligent Design.

At the same time Iowa State was denying tenure to Dr. Gonzalez, they were promoting to Full Professor, outspoken atheist Dr. Hector Avalos, a religious studies professor.

It is not Dr. Avalos' chosen atheistic beliefs (or non-beliefs) that are the problem. It is that Dr. Avalos led a vendetta against Dr. Gonzalez for his ID beliefs. From this Discovery Institute post, Dr. Avalos helped:

"...draft a 2005 petition denouncing intelligent design that ultimately was signed by more than 120 ISU faculty.

Apparently ISU professors who are horrified by the supposed mixing of metaphysics and scholarship on the part of ID proponents have no qualms about supporting Avalos's explicit anti-religious propaganda, including his effort to equate the Bible with Hitler's Mein Kampf."...

Yes, Dr. Avalos has equated the Bible and Mein Kampf.

From the Discovery Institute post:

"...Just how extreme Avalos's view of the Bible is can be seen in his previous book, Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence (2005), in which he repeatedly equates the Bible with Hitler's Mein Kampf. Indeed, in a section of the book titled "Scripture: A Zero-Tolerance Argument," Avalos actually suggests that the Bible is worse than Mein Kampf:

In fact, Mein Kampf does not contain a single explicit command for genocide equivalent to those found in the Hebrew Bible... Thus, if all of Mein Kampf is to be rejected simply for its implied genocidal policies, we should certainly reject all of the Bible for some of its explicit and blatant genocidal policies. [p. 363]"

So Iowa State wants respect by denying tenure to a respected Astronomy author while it promotes a blatant bigot.

Here is a Discovery Institute biosketch of Dr. Gonzalez and his "sins" against academia. All because he dares think that there is something beyond our simple human understanding of nature.

From the biosketch:

"...In 2004, Dr.Gonzalez co-authored the book The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery, which presents empirical evidence for the hypothesis that the universe is the product of intelligent design. Supported by a research grant from the Templeton Foundation, the book has earned praise from such eminent scientists as David Hughes, a Vice-President of the Royal Astronomical Society, Harvard astrophysicist Owen Gingerich, and Cambridge paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris. The Privileged Planet was developed into a documentary and shown on PBS stations around the country."... [Yeah, PBS is a real hotbed of creationists and other anti-science types.]

From the biosketch:

"Key Facts about Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez

He has authored 68 peer-reviewed scientific articles in refereed science journals.

He is an author of Observational Astronomy, second edition (2006), a college-level astronomy textbook published by Cambridge University Press (authors: D. Scott Birney, G. Gonzalez and D. Oesper).

His work has been cited in Science, Nature, and many other scientific journals. All told, there were nearly 1,500 citations to his articles and research in science journals by the end of 2005.

His research led to the discovery of 2 new planets.

He is building new technology to discover extrasolar planets.

He served on the NASA Astrobiology Institute Review Panel in June 2003, and the National Science Foundation Advanced Technologies and Instruments review panel in January 2005.

He has served as a referee for Astronomical Journal, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Astrophysical Journal (and Letters), Icarus, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Nature, Naturwissenschaften, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Origins of Life and Evolution Biospheres and Science."

Not wanting the University's reputation to be soiled, Dr. Avalos had to take action:

"Although Dr. Gonzalez had never introduced intelligent design into his classes, Avalos helped spearhead a faculty petition urging “all faculty” at ISU to “uphold the integrity of our university” by “reject[ing] efforts to portray Intelligent Design as science.”" [Yeah, that's real Liberal tolerance.]

Again, how is it appropriate for a faculty member to lead a vendetta against someone else, in another department? Does the word "decorum" mean anything to Leftist zealots?

There is a world of science outside of the laboratory, where we sit on hillsides, beer in hand, and bounce ideas off of each other, wondering "How did this happen?", engaging our imaginations, our intuitions, our creativity, while understanding that we will never know the entire story.

The fossil record is fact, but how it happened is up for debate. How can the progression from one species to another be replicated in the laboratory? It can't.

Intelligent Design does not exclude some aspects of evolution. The debate simply allows for alternate suggestions on how changes happen. It is not meant to stop discussions of evolution.

Intelligent Design does not mandate a young earth.

Yes, ID has been co-opted by some "Young Earthers", but that was not the goal of the original conceptualizers.

The mindset of Avalos and friends illustrates how much freedom we can expect if they were to get their way.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Oxfam Wants $22 Billion From American Taxpayers Each Year

Those nice Socialist folks over at Oxfam have figgered out that the world "needs" $50 billion to "cope" with the effects of Global Warming, according to this NewsMax story, by way of FrontPageMag.

And they figger that the American taxpayers should pay 44% of that amount. Each year.

With no consideration for any solar or other natural causes, they have their hands headed straight towards your wallet.

While this is supposed to help the world's poor, nothing was said about the poor's misery that is caused by Socialistic tyranny.

The article suggests that this idea is being floated a few days before the G-8 summit, so as to prepare the way for pressure from European Socialist nations.

Germany's contribution to this is stated thus:

"...Germany wants the leaders of the G8 along with India, China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa at their summit from June 6-8 to agree to limit the temperature rise to two degrees this century and to cut emissions by 50 percent from 1990 levels by 2050." [Emphasis added.]

What are we going to do, tell the Sun to "cool it"?

The answer should be a resounding "Hell No!". Unfortunately, Dems may think this is a good idea, so prepare yourselves to hear more of this.

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Monday, May 28, 2007



A reliable rule-of-thumb is that if someone in Europe thinks something is a good idea, some Leftists and/or politicians and lawyers are going to think it is a good idea here.

From this WND article, comes news that a former councilman in Scotland is under investigation for using CAPITAL LETTERS in his emails, which some suggest as being "intimidating" to the reader.

From the article about the emails of David Duncan:

"...Duncan was reported to the Standards Commission after South Ayrshire officials said they felt intimidated by his messages.

He wrote the e-mails to address allegations of corruption and wrongdoing, including a claim that nearly $4 million of public money was embezzled by a charity.

Some of the "offensive" mails stated:

"I will have no need to escalate this matter so long as someone is investigating it. This involves large sums of PUBLIC MONEY. We have a duty to guard this money and pursue and identify fraudsters AND recover ANY money gained by fraudulent means."


"...this becomes a major fraud of over £100,000 of TAXPAYERS' MONEY, and I believe we are duty-bound to pursue the repayment of ALL of this money.""

So if you had a clear conscience, would these CAPITAL LETTERS BE INTIMIDATING TO YOU? Or would it be that way ONLY IF YOU HAD A GUILTY CONSCIENCE?

If the Dems get their way, if we object to the political viewpoints of homosexual activist Larry Kramer and if we get passionate, USING CAPITAL LETTERS, will we be charged with a "hate crime"?

If we call Al Sharpton an ANTI-SEMITIC RACE-BAITER, will we be charged with a "hate crime", simply because we use CAPITAL LETTERS?



Coca Cola 600 Follow-up

A few times each year, major Nextel Cup races become "economy runs". During qualifying and practice runs in preparation for the race, the teams estimate the fuel mileage for the race and establish a plan of "windows" during which pit stops have to be made, presuming continual green flag conditions. In a trivial way, this is akin to "war planning".

Once the green flag drops, that pit stop schedule is affected first and foremost by the random occurrence of caution flags and the conditions that follow each restart. Reading the "karma" of the field also plays in. Sometimes how the drivers are "playing off each other", regarding giving and taking while passing each other, can foretell the possibility of future caution flags. Track conditions, e.g., temperature, fluids spilled by blown engines and during accidents, crumbs shed from tires, can also play a role.

If passing conditions are difficult, sometimes drivers will choose to stay out longer, not wanting to give up track position. They sometimes do this if the "karma" suggests that there will be one or more upcoming caution flags. When fuel consumption and not tire-wear are the primary concern, the slower speeds during caution flags can make a difference in "stretching the mileage". Driver habits, such as how gradually and smoothly they transition from straightaways to turns can play a role in one driver getting a lap or two more from a tank of fuel. If a driver has a comfortable margin regarding his particular position, i.e., he is not being challenged, he can back off a few hundred rpm on engine speed.

Especially late in the race, these considerations can fall-into-place, wherein some of the drivers will be within range to gamble on finishing, while others will have to stop for a 1 to 2-second splash of fuel.

As I predicted, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart were both in contention in the final laps until they both had to pit for gas, along with some other contenders. Others were able to make the gamble and earn a much needed high-position finish and in the case of #25 Casey Mears, his first career victory. Other noteworthy finishes, #18 J. J. Yeley finished 2nd, #45 Kyle Petty had his first Top-5 finish in 10 years, with a 3rd place finish. Georgia driver #41 Reid Sorenson finished 4th, #83 Brian Vickers brought Toyota a much-needed 5th place finish and the apparently-rejuvenated veteran #88 Ricky Rudd finished 6th. These types of finishes, as for suspense, can be just as nail-biting as a side-by-side battle for the lead in the final laps. [For Brian Vickers, after leading for a while, his power-steering system suffered a leaking seal, so finishing 5th with no power steering is a noteworthy accomplishment.]

Georgia driver #21 Bill Elliott led at the 400-mile mark, but was then caught up in a wreck with fellow Georgia driver #6 David Ragan. Elliott's recent inactivity may have made a difference his collision with Ragan. David Ragan had been wrecked because of the blown tire of #99 Carl Edwards. Ragan "t-boned" the sideways Edwards, then Ragan slid down the track where he was "t-boned" by Elliott, who had slowed, but made the wrong decision as to his direction of evasive action. No one was injured.

Early wrecks took out some other contenders, including Jeff Gordon, who was hammered in an accident that someone else started. [I hope the crowd was cheering because he was OK, but sometimes those folks at Charlotte can be mean. During the 1982 World 600 (same race), the crowd cheered when Darrell Waltrip blew his engine and wrecked. The crowd was totally unaware that despite Darrell's public demeanor, his wife Stevie had just suffered one of several miscarriages. It took 17 years of miscarriages and trying before they had the first of their two daughters. I bring this up as the drivers have lives outside the racetrack.]

Bobby Labonte (#43) had gotten a lap down early on and never got that lap back, but he did finish a respectable 13th, bringing him up two positions in the point standings to 17th. Kyle's 3rd place brought him up 6 places, to 26th position.

All-in-all, I was pretty well satisfied.

More Thoughts on the John Edwards Anti-War Website

On John Edwards website Support the Troops End the War, in the yellow box entitled "Reclaiming Patriotism", there is this quote following one of the suggestions:

"If you hold an event on Memorial Day itself, please make sure that everyone you gather knows it is a day for honoring the fallen only." [Emphasis added.]

In two other places in this yellow box, it references honoring only the fallen on Memorial Day.

Of course honoring the fallen is the first and primary reason for Memorial Day, but it has grown to include those that have served and survived, in the past and the present.

So aside from wanting to withdraw prematurely from the theatre of battle, before the job is finished, John Edwards also wants to disregard the service of everyone except the fallen, or that is how most logical people would probably read this website.

I have said before that every day is Memorial Day and every day is Veteran's Day. Each day I give a silent, respectful nod towards those that have served.

It is hard to know what is in the heart of John Edwards, but if he has sold out whatever respect he had for the military (in exchange for Leftist votes), that is the same as having been of the Cindy Sheehan mindset all along.

I humbly suggest that if they could speak, the fallen would probably gladly share "their day" with their comrades that served in good faith.

Remember the "Moment of Silence" at 3 PM (EDT) Today. If you don't have to be out driving, perhaps plan that moment for devotion's sake. Turn off the TV and radio and the cellphone ringer, perhaps for more than one minute to honor all veterans, not just those "chosen" by John Edwards for political reasons.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Few NASCAR Thoughts...

on this morning before the Coca Cola 600, the longest race of the NASCAR season.

The drivers most likely to win are Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Jeff Gordon, all in Chevys. The most likely non-Chevy driver is Kasey Kahne, who won this race last year and won the Busch race yesterday.

My sentimental favorites would include #43 Bobby Labonte and #21 Bill Elliott, at least temporarily driving the Wood Brothers car.

I hope to see Bobby Labonte in victory lane because #1) He is a nice guy, and #2) It would be a fitting way to salute the 40th anniversary of Richard Petty's phenomenal 1967 season, when he won 27 of 52 (I think) races, though most of them were on short tracks. Ten of the victories were consecutive, in the late Summer and early Fall. Bobby is starting a very respectable 9th place. Let's hope he doesn't get taken out by someone else's screwups.

As for Bill Elliott, he is a Georgia native, in semi-retirement for the last several years. The Wood Brothers called him to substitute for Ken Schrader, as Schrader has been having problems qualifying lately and Elliott has a "supply" of six Champion's Provisionals - starting spots guaranteed, when qualifying speeds are not quite up to snuff. I saw Bill Elliott race in this same race, then called the "World 600" 25 years ago. It was the first time he seriously challenged for the lead in a race, leading about 50 of the 400 laps. In the closing stages, the late veteran driver Neil Bonnett outsmarted Bill while they were approaching a slower lapped car. Bill finished a very respectable 2nd place, after choosing not to make a "gonzo move" to pass the slower car on the inside. He went on to win his first race at Riverside, CA at the end of the 1983 season.

Bill didn't need one of the provisional starts, this time, as he qualified 22nd out of the 43 cars in the field.

[After Sunday School, I may add some more thoughts.]

Night of the Iguana(s)...Another Alien Problem

From this Orlando Sentinel report, by way of WND, the Fort Lauderdale, FL area is "eat up" with feral iguanas.

Likely they are descendants of two or more iguanas abandoned years ago, when they got too big to be "cute". Others may may have arrived as "stowaways" on ships bring imported goods, while some may have been smuggled in by "monitors", similar to the "coyotes" that smuggle humans. The lizards, native to South America, have taken quite nicely to the lush woods and yards of Fort Lauderdale residents.

When sightings were sporadic, iguanas were considered an exotic treat, however now - "They's everwhere".

From the Sentinel report:

"...(Denise) Fox said the iguanas dig big holes, ruin house or pool foundations, and "eat our nicely landscaped yards.''"

There is no word yet on when the U.S. Senate will begin debating an amnesty program for South American iguanas. Or which Republican Senators will support Ted Kennedy's version of the illegal iguanas-to-citizens proposal. Much of the upcoming debate is expected to take place "behind closed doors." [You know, Democrats need all of the future voters they can get.]

Michael Chertoff is reported to have scoffed that "You can't expect us to build a fence around Florida to keep iguanas out. You anti-iguana bigots have got to get with the program."

For years the Fort Lauderdale residents have looked the other way while the aggressive iguanas have taken food from the smaller native lizards, rationalizing this growing problem by saying - "The iguanas were eating foods that American lizards wouldn't eat anyway."

Additional concerns are that if the iguanas here now are given citizenship, it will be a slap in the face of the iguanas that have spent years negotiating the legal immigration system. Also, there are also concerns about the "new iguana citizens" wanted by Democrats are going to bring more of their family members from South America, further diluting the influence of the native American lizards of South Florida.

The iguanas have been mum so far on plans to create "La Raza"-type organizations or to stage public demonstrations, where waving Iguanese flags may cause some problems with the local lizards.

Meanwhile, officials in Atlanta are coughing a sigh of relief, as the wildfires in South Georgia and North Florida are expected to halt any northward migration of the iguanas, for at least the next few years.

This iguana immigration problem is probably going to affect 2008 elections, 'til then, there seems to be no simple solution.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Worthy Memorial Day Tribute...

by way of Wizbang, is presented by Flopping Aces.

It is reminder of present and past images and words in honor of those that have fallen for our freedom and for those that put themselves in harm's way.

When others are found, they will be presented.

More of the MSM Double Standard...

one illustration on a national scale, one on a local scale.

On the national scale, by way of the this WND article (and by way of the one of the Salem Network radio hosts yesterday) - by way of one of his websites, John Edwards and his supporters are asking for people to take action - to support the troops by ending the war - Never mind those lives that will have been wasted by "early withdrawal" and the following collapse.

From this particular webpage, most of the suggestions are benign and make common sense, but there is one that seems inappropriate for the solemnity of Memorial Day.

"Get vocal. Buy a bunch of poster-board and markers. At a picnic or with family and friends, make signs that say “SUPPORT THE TROOPS - END THE WAR.” Bring them to your local Memorial Day parade. Many parades are held on Saturday or Sunday. If your parade is on Monday, however, we ask that you choose another action to honor the fallen. Then take a digital photo of yourself and your family or friends holding up the poster and tell us about it. We’ll include it in a “Democracy Photo Album” on our site."

So somehow it is OK to bring anti-war signs to Memorial Day parades on Saturday and Sunday, but not on Monday. Well isn't that special! But then, in John Edwards' mind, the War on Terror is just a sham anyway.

[Giving a little more thought to the benign suggestions, it does mean that Edwards is encouraging war opponents to mix with those that show support for the war purpose and the troops. And some of these "Edwards' people" may not be able to restrain their opinions in the presence of wounded veterans, the families of those that serve, and the families that have suffered losses.]

The point is, is the MSM saying anything about this? A Presidential candidate calling for people to bring protest placards to Saturday & Sunday parades, honoring the fallen heroes. On what planet is that proper?

On a local scale - At Stone Mountain Park this weekend, there is an armed forces tribute going on. One of the participating organizations, a faith-based organization mistakenly declared that this weekend, which includes official participation by the five branches of the U.S. Armed Services, was going to include an evangelical "revival" (or something to that effect). It was not posted on the official park website (the park is owned by the State of Georgia), but as stated, on one of the participating organization's websites.

One of the "watchdog" groups, Americans for the Separation of Church and State had a royal cow, denouncing it as an inappropriate endorsement of a particular faith and the local MSM just had to give them a platform. They were so intent on fighting any public utterance of "God", that they had to fly off the closest available handle.

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Honest Blogger Quiz '07

Originally designed by blogger Tony Pierce, picked up from Blogmeister USA, here is my posting of this quiz:

1. Which political party do you typically agree with? Republican

2. Which political party do you typically vote for? Republican.

3. List the last six presidents that you voted for? Bush '04, Bush '00, Dole '96, Bush '92, Bush '88, Mondale '84

4. Which party do you think is smarter about the economy? Republican

5. Which party do you think is smarter about domestic affairs? Libertarian

6. Do you think we should keep our troops in Iraq or pull them out? Keep them in Iraq until their military and government are stable. This is not a Hollywood movie.

7. Who, or what country, do you think is most responsible for 9/11? Osama Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia, and al-Qaeda

8. Do you think we will find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Because Saddam knew we were coming, they are probably in Syria.

9. Yes or no, should the U.S. legalize marijuana? Yes, as far as agricultural grade hemp.

10. Do you think the Republicans stole the last presidental election? No, neither 2004 nor 2000.

11. Do you think Bill Clinton should have been impeached because of what he did with Monica Lewinski? He was not impeached over what he did with Monica. He was impeached for lying under oath.

12. Do you think Hillary Clinton would make a good president? No, she is a Socialist and she is hungry for power.

13. Name a current Democrat who would make a great president: Zell Miller is probably too old, otherwise perhaps Joseph Lieberman.

14. Name a current Republican who would make a great president: Fred Thompson of the undeclared, Romney of the declared candidates.

15. Do you think that women should have the right to have an abortion? I am against the banning of all abortions, but I think we should emphasize the Responsibility of preserving life, once it begins, i.e, we should try to change peoples' hearts.

16. What religion are you? Christian; specifically Methodist

17. Have you read the Bible all the way through? No

18. What’s your favorite book? Difficult to say, it depends upon my mood. Maybe "Wild at Heart".

19. Who is your favorite band? Brooks and Dunn

20. Who do you think you’ll vote for president in the next election? Mitt Romney, but maybe Fred Thompson if he runs.

21. Do you think President Bush and Vice President Cheney should be impeached? No. No war goes as "planned". With a President Gore, the response to 9/11 would have been weak and with Hurricane Katrina, the events would have probably transpired 90% the same way they did.

22. Do you think it was a coincidence that gasoline prices have nearly tripled and oil company profits have hit record highs while there was a US President whose family made its fortune through oil? The answer to this specific question is - Yes, it is a coincidence. Most Americans are ignorant as to the complexities involved in bringing crude oil from the wellhead, through the refinery system, to the gas pump. Problems such as the refinery system and prohibitions against drilling in certain areas have been slowly contributing to this problem. And that is not even considering the issues of worldwide supply and demand. In fact, with an energy-ignorant President like Gore or Kerry, it might be worse than it is now.

23. Do you think President Bush is the worst US President ever? and if not, who is? No. Within my lifetime, Carter, for allowing the estabishment of Iran as a base for militant Islamism, unless some of Clinton's "helping" of the Chinese comes back in the form of Chinese ICBMs. That remains to be seen.

24. Do you think Iraq is going through a civil war? No. Iran is trying to start one.

25. Now with all that the US has gone through, do you think it would have been better for the nation that George Bush had never been elected president? No. See Answers #21 & 22.

Oh Deer!

It seems that a local cop in a county south of Atlanta has screwed up really, really bad. And saying "I'm sorry" ain't going to fix it.

In the Middlebrooke Estates subdivision of suburban Henry County, a young orphaned doe (you know the song - Doe, a deer, a female deer,... Sorry) had taken up with some of the families in this neighborhood, becoming tame to the point of feeding from the hands of kids and nuzzling them and their parents. She was even named "Whitetail" by the kids.

According to the broadcast version of this story, a new babysitter in the neighborhood saw the deer and "got scared" - Oooooh! Wild nature! She called 911 to report this "danger". When the policeman got there, instead of walking around the neighborhood and asking adults and kids about the deer, he shot it to death! And some of the kids may have witnessed the shooting.

[In a neighboring county last year (or maybe earlier this year), a local man shot a 1,000 lb wild hog, some slides of this hog are shown here. Or in another story, this week, an 11 year-old boy shot a 1,051 lb wild hog to death in Alabama. Here is an enlarged photo of this monster.]

Maybe this cop somehow thought he was up against one of these super-sized porkers in disguise. Maybe he just needs some new glasses. Or maybe Goober just wanted to use his gun. I am all for supporting our law enforcement personnel, but this was not a 12-point buck during rutting season. There are deer (and other wildlife) preserves in the Atlanta area, he could have done just a little more homework and then called them to handle this orphaned deer.

Here is a slide show of the deer. One of the interviewed ladies said that her husband, a hunter, was more "broken up" over the deer-shooting than some of the kids. [And before some of you city slickers make some smart-assed comment, a wise hunter can make a distinction between a full-grown deer in the wilds, as a food source, and a neighborhood quasi-pet.]

I am sure that some parents have had to give out some extra hugs to their kids at bedtime in this neighborhood and try to explain that while police officers are generally good, sometimes they make really bad mistakes. And I am sure that a certain babysitter is not going to get any Christmas cards from these residents.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Wisdom of This 15 Year-Old is Amazing!

By way of NewsBusters blog, posted by Noel Sheppard, is this story of Portland, Maine's 15 year-old Kristen Byrnes. This post is a follow-up to a previous post by Sheppard on May 18.

This young lady, using published ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) data predicted the end of Australia's 6-year drought. In a climate-related chat room, she noted that while ENSO has been positive for 95% of the last 6 years, ENSO was quickly going negative, so Australia's worst drought in a century would probably end soon. Her prediction was made about April 20th, 2007.

On May 18, an Australian news source reported that the drought appeared to be ending, with the transition from the dry, positive El Niño conditions to wetter neutral or La Niña conditions.

In addition to Kristen's posted explanations of these variable sets of conditions, she also gave some insight as to the mindset of many climate alarmists:

"...Kristen then addressed why so much of the alarmism is based on specious science:

The reason that computer climate models do not work is because they cannot predict volcanoes, ENSO and solar variance. They also do not understand how water vapor and clouds work. [Emphasis added.] [Garbage in, garbage out as for the computer models.]

Another rule in climate is that El Niño warms the average global temperature and La Nina is the opposite. During normal conditions the trade winds at the equator blow cool water off the coast of Peru to the east and cause warm water to pile up near Indonesia, the wind pressure actually causes sea water levels to be higher there. During La Niña, the winds blow even harder and pile the water up even more. During El Niño the winds slow down and the warm water flows back to Peru. [Emphasis added.]

The result is, during La Niña (cool event) the cold water coming from the bottom of the ocean near Peru is blown across the surface to Indonesia. The Earth's normal circulation that takes heat from the equator towards the poles has less heat to move to the poles.

On the other hand, when there is an El Niño, the warm water spreads across the surface back to Peru. More warm water is in contact with the air above and the Earth's circulation takes that heat toward the poles."...

More from Kristen:

"...From about 1944 to 1976 the ENSO was mostly negative and solar increased then decreased. Temperatures during this time cooled a little. Since 1976 the ENSO has been more positive. This along with increasing solar activity has combined to warm the globe. What is expected over the next few years is for the ENSO to move back to a negative phase and for solar activity to level off then go down. That is why the weather guy said that in 5 years global warming will be a joke."

Kristen continued:

"...I am already seeing signs that the climate is cooling. Since 2001 the oceans have not warmed. 2005 was supposed to be the warmest year on record but ENSO went a little negative that year. That means the base temperature (the oceans) was as warm as it is going to get because 2006 was an El Niño year and it was the 6th warmest on record. Keep in mind that for the last 70 years there has been an 11,000 year solar high. It takes time for all that heat to build up in the oceans, but it seems that the oceans are as warm as they will get from this 11,000 year solar high. This year will be cooler than last year because it will be an ENSO negative year and the solar cycle still has not started yet." [Emphasis added.]

I guess she won't be appearing on any talk shows with Algore anytime soon. Nor will Laurie David or Sheryl Crow be taking her on their bus tour, unless they somehow kidnap her.

This kid is alright. If she hasn't yet earned any scholarships towards college, she should soon. If would be nice if she could just opt out of the "liberal arts" and "core" courses and go right to her desired science courses. I would hate to think of the possibility of this fine, young mind being ruined by the normal college liberal/Leftist rot.

Kristen has her own website Ponder the Maunder (referring to the name of a past climate event as well as the definitions provided here). In this section, Kristen critiques Algore's movie, follow the links for this fascinating explanation. She seems more articulate and more dedicated to science than a room full of IPCC political hacks.

You go girl!

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Gitmo and Abu Ghraib versus...

real Middle Eastern-style torture.

That's the subject of this Michelle Malkin post and the linked posts/articles within it. A major point of Michelle's post was that the anointed "human rights groups" have been rather silent about this subject.

This post from The Smoking Gun has drawings from the Al Qaida torture manual found in a Baghdad "safe house". These drawings (go ahead and look at them) will give you an idea of the depravity of our enemies, as if we didn't know already.

If we had shown a more united front in this War on Terror, if we had a "loyal opposition" in this country, Al Qaida, et al, might have decided that their methods could not succeed and they might have slunk away.

But this is probably some of what happens to any of our soldiers and contractors captured by Al Qaida and their ideological cohorts, with the "we are divided message" delivered by the anti-War Left telling them that time is on their side.

Damn you Dick Durbin, Rosie O'Donnell, Jimmy Carter, and any other of you stupid Leftist traitors that suggest that anything that we have done is anything like what "passes for normal" in the Middle East, regarding torture.

Does the Al Qaida manual say anything at all about "observing the Geneva Convention"?

Are there any Islamist lawyers ready to step forward and fret about the "habeus corpus" rights of Al Qaida captives?

So who is going to be the first to say that this is a CIA fabrication?

Who is going to be the first to say that Al Qaida never did stuff like this before we invaded Iraq?

I would never endorse these sorts of methods to extract information, but we have to have in our arsenal aggressive interrogation methods as we are fighting people that have no rules!

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Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Censorship by PBS?

While it seems that PBS is relenting on its coverup of the Islam vs. Islamist documentary, Melanie Morgan has this story about how she was banned from PBS.

From Melanie's column in WND:

"...The ban was issued as a result of my appearance on the program opposite a veteran from Operation Iraqi Freedom who is now an anti-war activist affiliated with the liberal advocacy group

The anti-war activist and I engaged in a spirited, but civil, debate, with each of us interrupting the other an equal number of times. Both the other guest and I were cordial and cooperative with the anchor, Judy Woodruff.

So, what pronouncement did the PBS producers make against the anti-war activist? None.

Instead, Linda Winslow, executive producer for the "News Hour,"
issued a statement declaring that only I, the conservative guest, would be banned: "Since the program is produced live, we can't do much to eliminate rude guests from your television screen once the segment has begun; what we can do is guarantee you will never see that person on our program again.""...

Now not having seen the program and only going on Melanie's side of the story, it seems odd that only one of the two guests was banned. In the "Liberal spirit", it seems only "fair" to ban both of them.

If I "hear" of any other shoes dropping in this story, I will advise. We know well the political Leftist cheerleading of Judy Woodruff in the past and we all too well know what Bill Moyers is about. In fact, the above link is to the PBS Ombudsman website, most of which is devoted to Bill Moyers, or so it seems. Moyers does seem to enjoy spitting upon the citizenry that has paid him well through his PBS career.

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The Slow Process of Cultural Rot...Part I

has been the subject of many a Conservative lament.

This Thursday WND-column by William Lind gives a great deal of insight as to the origins and progression of this cultural and moral rot, which has been taking place since before WWI, not just the 1960s, which most of us tend to blame. This particular column serves as Chapter 10 in a new book by Dr. Ted Baehr and Pat Boone, entitled "The Culture-wise Family: Upholding Christian Values in a Mass Media World."

From the Lind column:

"...Incredible as it may seem, just as the old economic Marxism of the Soviet Union has faded away, a new cultural Marxism has become the ruling ideology of America's elites. The No. 1 goal of that cultural Marxism, since its creation, has been the destruction of Western culture and the Christian religion."...


"...Before World War I, Marxist theory said that if Europe ever erupted in war, the working classes in every European country would rise in revolt, overthrow their governments and create a new Communist Europe."...

As things didn't "pan out" as the Communists hoped, with the revolution only involving Russia -

"...they could not admit Marxist theory had been incorrect. Instead, two leading Marxist intellectuals, Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary (Lukacs was considered the most brilliant Marxist thinker since Marx himself) independently came up with the same answer. They said that Western culture and the Christian religion had so blinded the working class to its true, Marxist class interests, that a Communist revolution was impossible in the West, until both could be destroyed. That objective, established as cultural Marxism's goal right at the beginning, has never changed."... [Emphasis added.]

Instead of the frontal attack, Gramsci and Lukacs devised a strategy by which they would conduct a "long march through the institutions", i.e., gradually infiltrating traditional cultural institutions and weakening each one of them. As they went their separate ways, Gramsci was jailed by Mussolini and Gramsci's writings remained obscure until they were resurrected in the 1960s.

After being "run out" of Hungary, Lukacs settled in Germany and through a series acquaintances with German Marxists, his viewpoints took shape and were bolstered to become part of the Marxist colony in the the "Institute for Social Research", otherwise known as the "Frankfort School", where the modern-day concept of "Political Correctness" was born.

The movement "progressed" as the "Frankfurt School members decided that the key to destroying Western culture was to cross Marx with Freud. They argued that just as workers were oppressed under capitalism, so under Western culture, everyone lived in a constant state of psychological repression. "Liberating" everyone from that repression became one of cultural Marxism's main goals. Even more important, they realized that psychology offered them a far more powerful tool than philosophy for destroying Western culture: psychological conditioning." [Emphasis added.]

So this is how our culture is eroded. "Hollywood" floats a "trial balloon", to measure public reaction, e.g., Ellen DeGeneres "coming out" a few years ago, was one of the ways that the public reaction was measured. And those that objected were labeled as "homophobic".

Then gradually, more homosexual characters were introduced, via "Will and Grace" and other shows. Now "trans-gendered" characters are being introduced by "Ugly Betty" and by "Entertainment Tonight" repeatedly telling us about David Arquette's brother that wants to become his sister. Same-sex marriages in Hollywood are routinely reported, as though they are the cultural norm. Everybody "tee hees" about the drug and alcohol use of Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan (and many others), rather than labeling them as cultural pariahs.

What used to be private behaviors and private choices are now being mainstreamed. And when cultural traditionalists object, they are roundly denounced as being "hateful".

From the column:

"...That is how psychological conditioning works; people absorb the lessons the cultural Marxists want them to learn without even knowing they are being taught."...

Though Germany's Nazism was a cultural relative of Marxism, German Nazis hated Marxists and that most of the "Frankfort School" adherents were Jewish, this gave the Nazis all of the excuses they needed to run them out of Germany. So where did they settle?

With the help of Columbia University, the members of the "Frankfort School" of Marxist philosophy settled in New York City, in 1934. Safely away from the coming horrors of Nazi Germany and enjoying the hospitality of the United States, the focus turned from destroying the Western Culture of Germany to destroying the Western Culture of the United States. And needless to say, we had plenty of Useful Idiots to help them with their efforts.

More to follow...

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

This Won't Mean Any Thing Next Year...

or perhaps five years from now. But 10 to 20 years from now, as our children grow further into adulthood, the cuts in the Missile Defense System may prove dangerous, especially if we "get" a Democrat President and Congress in 2008.

From this NewsMax article, comes info on Congressional cuts to the Missile Defense initiatives, which included the installation of facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic, intended to attempt to "knock down" future Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles shortly after launch.

From the NewsMax article:

"... The development came as no surprise to Capitol Hill watchers who forecast that the Democratic majority in Congress was licking its chops to cut the legs out from under the administration's controversial plans to begin digging silos for 10 interceptors in Poland and ramping-up a tracking radar in the Czech Republic — all cogs in a system to defend Europe against the long-range ballistic missile threat from Iran.

Some $160 million was cut from funds proposed for the construction in Poland — enough to prevent breaking ground on the silos.

Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, acknowledged the axing of funds for the proposed missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, saying that it was deemed better to target spending on technologies viewed as having more immediate promise."
[Emphasis added.]

Short-term political gain, that is their goal. They pretend to be "pro-defense" while damaging efforts that are intended for the long-term.

One could make the argument that it is up to Poland and the Czech Republic to do this, and that is true, but how long do we allow the dithering, socialistic EU to make decisions such as this?

Remember how the Euro-Socialists hollered over our response to the Soviets bringing new missiles into Eastern Europe during the Reagan Administration? Did our resolute defensive responses cause a war? Did President Reagan's superior backbone cause a war?

If Jimmy Carter had still been in office, he would probably have been apologizing to the Soviets for their having to move those new missiles into the Eastern Bloc countries to address our "imperialism".

Tauscher tried to defend her position by saying:

"We want the Missile Defense Agency to deal with the near-term threats to the war-fighter, to the American people here at home, and to our European allies and deployed troops," she said. "Too much of the assets were for the future, for yet-to-be-defined science projects."

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilence", but that is just too long-term for the Democrats to comprehend. After all, they can just blame any future delays in Missile Defense development on the money spent in Iraq. And the MSM will cover for them.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

An Interesting Contrast...

is presented here by Third Wave Dave.

In the post, he contrasts 1) The 8 years in Federal Prison for the former Coca Cola secretary convicted of attempting to sell trade secrets to Pepsi and 2) The weak response so far towards Clinton advisor Sandy Berger for his alleged theft and possible destruction of Federal archive documents. Thus far, Berger has received a fine and community service. Flopping Aces provides some details of the "punishment" meted out thusfar.

Investigative reporter Jack Cashill has this in-depth report on the Berger case. Here is Part I, Part II, and Part III.

These reports cover what Berger probably did, why the Bush administration "rolled over" in its reaction to the case, and what Berger is thought to have done in return (though I haven't yet had time to read all three parts.)

More comments will be added later...

Still Drunk on Corn-Based Ethanol

[Maybe we will start to call it "corn squeezins" as our moonshining mountain-cousins do.]

Neal Boortz said this morning that Hillary Clinton voted against ethanol 14 (or maybe it was 17) times since entering the U.S. Senate.

However, now that she is running for President and facing the Iowa voters next year, she has become a champion of ethanol.

How do we spell "Political Whore?" But to be honest, she isn't the only one according to the above-linked John Stossel article on

I have been telling my students for several years that with current technology, corn-based ethanol represents a net loss of BTUs, when the fossil fuels used to grow, harvest, transport, and process the corn are taken into account. Stossel's article and the other one linked below tell us much more.

According to Stossel's article, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards, and Barack Obama are all singing the same tune. And it is a tune that is favored by the corn farmers that receive Federal taxpayers subsidies and the corporations, e.g., Archer Daniels Midland, that stand to benefit from taxpayer subsidies, also.

One of the commentors to Stossel's article provides this link on how we are "burning food" to produce a second-rate fuel. This article, published in August, 2001 by a Cornell University agricultural scientist provides these considerations on the viability of corn-based ethanol:

o An acre of U.S. corn yields about 7,110 pounds of corn for processing into 328 gallons of ethanol. But planting, growing and harvesting that much corn requires about 140 gallons of fossil fuels and costs $347 per acre, according to Pimentel's analysis. Thus, even before corn is converted to ethanol, the feedstock costs $1.05 per gallon of ethanol.

o The energy economics get worse at the processing plants, where the grain is crushed and fermented. As many as three distillation steps are needed to separate the 8 percent ethanol from the 92 percent water. Additional treatment and energy are required to produce the 99.8 percent pure ethanol for mixing with gasoline.

o Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion to ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make 1 gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTU. "Put another way," Pimentel says, "about 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in ethanol. Every time you make 1 gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTU."

o Ethanol from corn costs about $1.74 per gallon to produce, compared with about 95 cents to produce a gallon of gasoline. "That helps explain why fossil fuels -- not ethanol -- are used to produce ethanol," Pimentel says. "The growers and processors can't afford to burn ethanol to make ethanol.

o Most economic analyses of corn-to-ethanol production overlook the costs of environmental damages, which Pimentel says should add another 23 cents per gallon. "Corn production in the U.S. erodes soil about 12 times faster than the soil can be reformed, and irrigating corn mines groundwater 25 percent faster than the natural recharge rate of ground water. The environmental system in which corn is being produced is being rapidly degraded. Corn should not be considered a renewable resource for ethanol energy production, especially when human food is being converted into ethanol."

o The approximately $1 billion a year in current federal and state subsidies (mainly to large corporations) for ethanol production are not the only costs to consumers, the Cornell scientist observes. Subsidized corn results in higher prices for meat, milk and eggs because about 70 percent of corn grain is fed to livestock and poultry in the United States Increasing ethanol production would further inflate corn prices, Pimentel says, noting: "In addition to paying tax dollars for ethanol subsidies, consumers would be paying significantly higher food prices in the marketplace."

o The average U.S. automobile, traveling 10,000 miles a year on pure ethanol (not a gasoline-ethanol mix) would need about 852 gallons of the corn-based fuel. This would take 11 acres to grow, based on net ethanol production. This is the same amount of cropland required to feed seven Americans.

o If all the automobiles in the United States were fueled with 100 percent ethanol, a total of about 97 percent of U.S. land area would be needed to grow the corn feedstock. Corn would cover nearly the total land area of the United States.

From Stossel's article:

"...because ethanol degrades, it can't be moved in pipelines the way that gasoline is. So many more big, polluting trucks will be needed to haul it."

Because ethanol is an alcohol, it will mix with any available water, thereby diluting it. Any leakage or condensation in a pipeline will be absorbed by the ethanol. This is not a problem with gasoline. This is also an issue if we begin importing Brazilian sugar cane-produced ethanol in tankers. Beyond the water absorption issue, I don't know how ethanol breaks down in other manners.

Some of Stossel's commentors and others make light of the fact that this demand for corn-to-be-used-for-ethanol is raising world corn prices and tortilla prices. Tortillas are a staple of life in Mexico. Are we happy when rising wheat prices jack up the prices of loaves of bread?

One of the idiot commentors to Stossel's article made a comment to the effect that if the price of tortillas triples here, illegal aliens will go home. Duh! If the price triples here, it is going to do the same in Mexico. I guess someone hasn't considered world commodity prices.

As it is with Global Warming, this is another political bandwagon that we would do well to disembark from, as it is only going to further increase the tax burdens faced by our children, while nothing is accomplished, 'cept further lining the pockets of the well-connected.

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Before the Hurricane Season Gets Cranked Up Good...

just a few reminders. Yes, it appears it is going to be an active season, as part of an active cycle.

When the MSM talk about averages and activity, if they don't go back beyond 1970, they ain't telling you the entire story.

From approximately 1940 to 1970, was another active period. From about 1970 to 1995 was a "quiet period". Since the late 1990s, we have been in another active period. And by some estimates, we may be in this active period for another 20 years.

From this Breitbart Report:

"Katrina easily became the costliest hurricane in U.S. history with damage estimated by the National Hurricane Center at more than $80 billion. Indeed, of the 30 costliest hurricanes in this country's history, four occurred in 2005. [Emphasis added.]

Katrina displaced 1992's Andrew, at just over $48 billion, as the top storm, while other 2005 storms ranked are Wilma, No. 3, at $21 billion; Rita in 9th place with damage of nearly $12 billion and, ranked 30th, Dennis at $2 billion."

I remind you of this because someone is going to use this information to infer that hurricanes are getting worse.

The increase in damage is because we have too damn many people and businesses building too damn close to the coastlines versus as things were in the past, when more people lived inland.

Also from the Breitbart Report:

"And with a death toll topping 1,500 Katrina is also the third deadliest in U.S. history, following the 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston killing 8,000 to 12,000 people and a 1928 storm that claimed at least 2,500 lives in Florida."

So remind people of why Katrina and Rita were so costly and why the area is still a mess (in places) - because of the estimated 90.000 square miles of damage. Also remind them of the higher death tolls of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane and the 1928 Florida Hurricane.

I guarantee you that the MSM is going to do multiple reports on the portions of New Orleans where recovery is slow and they are going to blame it on the Bush Administration and the War in Iraq taking too much money and manpower. They will only mention the fault of state and local governments as an afterthought, after they bash the President.

They will probably complain about the slow work on the New Orleans levees, without mentioning that there are about 300 miles of levees in the area.

If there are one or more major hurricanes that make U.S. landfall, Al Gore is going to blame it on the Bush Administration for not signing the Kyoto Protocol, never mind the 1995 U.S. Senate vote on the Byrd-Hagel Amendment 95 - 0 (disapproving of Kyoto if it would harm the U.S. economy) - He won't remind you of that.

Signing a piece of paper makes no difference to the myriad of conditions that have to come together to form a hurricane and then to guide that hurricane once it has formed.

We should know them well enough by now that we can predict their behavior better than forecasters can predict how many hurricanes there will be this season.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Those Daring Young Men in Their Racing Machines

I spent Saturday night with my son at the local NASCAR short-track, Lanier Raceway in Gainesville, GA. It is a well-designed 1/2 mile paved oval track that is part of NASCAR's "farm system". The weekly races here are probably analogous to "Single A" baseball.

Sometimes the track hosts traveling series, such as the "Southern All Stars", which include a Pro Late Model and a Super Late Model division, with most of the local drivers participating in the Pro Late Model race. As the drivers of this series tend to get a little more attention by running at multiple racetracks, I guess I would classify this as analogous to "Double A" baseball.

The NASCAR Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series would be most analogous to "Triple A" baseball.

I chose this particular weekend as the website listed an autograph session with the "Pro Late Model" drivers, which represent the top division at this particular track. After all of the preliminary races (in other divisions) were over, there was about 10 minutes where they let the fans onto the race track to walk among the parked race cars and chat with the drivers, get photographs and autographs. I took notice of the fact that quite a few of the drivers seemed to just be out of high school. Some of the drivers in this race are satisfied with running at this and a few other local tracks, while others have higher dreams.

Back in the late 1990s, when my daughter was interested in going to some of these races, a few of the drivers she saw at that time have gone on to run in the NASCAR Busch Series and the Craftsman Truck Series.

As for the winner this last Saturday, it was Chris Wharton, of Boaz, AL, one of the drivers from whom my son received an autograph. In his 15 years of short-track racing, he has done fairly well, winning track championships at Huntsville, AL in 1999, 2003, and 2006. In addition, he was 5th in points at Lanier Raceway, last season.

In 2004 and 2005, he was the Southern All Stars Champion in the Pro Late Model Division. Overall, as of the end of 2006, of the 280 races he started, he finished in the Top-10 in 217 of them and in the Top-5 of 127, while winning 61 of them.

There are some drivers who are completely satisfied with their role as a "Big Fish in a small pond", as stepping up to a higher level means more expense, more travel and more pressure, plus more time away from family, as well as more danger at higher speeds.

For the 23 drivers that started this race, I dare say that there were probably 10 men in the grandstands (and a few women) - for each of them - who would have loved to have been in their place, even if they never got to race anywhere beyond Georgia, Alabama, or South Carolina.

So here is a salute to those that have the courage to pursue their dreams and as Memorial Day approaches, an even larger salute to those that make this and other American dreams and professions possible.

Our freedom to pursue diverse areas of employment, e.g., in sports or entertainment, or our freedom to enjoy as talented individuals engage in these professions is something that is not appreciated worldwide, so while we keep our methods of "play" in perspective, we need to be appreciative of those that are protecting us.

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Life is a Soap Opera...

this episode we are watching from the sidelines, we may yet be involved at a later date.

Our 20 1/2 year-old daughter "A" has had a "best friend" "L" since about the first grade. Though their friendship has been complicated, it has persisted.

"L" comes from a broken home, most of the time we have known her, she has lived with her Mom, who has been diagnosed as bipolar. She can be relatively nice when she is on her medication. "L" has been spoiled by her divorced dad and until her stepmom had her baby, "L" was generally accepted on visits to dad and stepmom, but as those things go, once stepmom had her baby, "L" was not as welcome, anymore.

We generally put up with "L", as we hoped our daughter "A" would have a positive influence of her and "L's" paternal grandparents did thank us for getting "L" to go to church with us on a semi-regular basis, for several years.

Perhaps because of an inferiority complex, "L" has always needed to try to manipulate or "one-up" "A" and our daughter puts up with it for a while, then they would have a falling out, which generally lasted for about 9 months to a year, then they would get back together until the next falling out a few years later. "L" is about a year younger than "A", though they are in the same grade and "L" was always a little bit better student, though she tends to make some foolish decisions away from school.

Enter into the picture our daughter's boyfriend, for almost 4 years (on again and off), whom we shall call "J" (that's been a bit of a soap opera, too).

After "A" and "J" had been together for about 2 and 1/2 years, "L" found out that "J" had an older brother (Jay) (about 5 years older), so true to her nature, she threw herself at him. Having just broken up with someone else, Jay was fascinated with the prospect of this buxom young woman being enamored with him. "J" and Jay are from a good family, who are very active in our church, but I think that they would admit that both sons have been a little over-sheltered and somewhat spoiled, too.

So the point of all of this set-up is that at age 19, "L" is now pregnant and she and Jay snuck off to get married. She is dropping out of the private Baptist College in Birmingham to start her new life as a mother at age 20. And her new hubby (now 27) has taken out a $50,000 loan to pay off her college loans. I am sure that his parents have headaches from rolling their eyes so much.

As for "A" and "J's" future, no one knows. Each time they break up, they are drawn back to each other like moths-to-a-flame. They tried engagement a year or so ago, but they had to find out for themselves that they were not ready to get married.

When both girls have been around "J" and Jay's parents, the parents try not to play favorites, but to them "A" probably seems like an island-of-calm vs. "L's" personality. At this point, I am not sure if "A" wants "L" as a sister-in-law, though that is what we joked about when "L" and Jay first started seeing each other. "J" is not thrilled at the reality of it, now.

So, in this place of relative anonymity, this is where I gossip. Hoping my daughter is learning something from this.

And so it goes...



Monday, May 21, 2007

The Man in the Glass House

By now most of us have long been tired of hearing from Jimmy Carter on anything related to politics.

If he had stuck to his Habitat for Humanity gig, he would have garnered and kept a great deal of respect.

But rather that being satisfied with that, he feels it is necessary to continue bashing the American people (as being the stingiest on Earth) and President Bush (as being the "worst in history").

"Three towards Thee" - Jimmy, look at the three gnarled fingers pointing back at yourself. Instead of complaining about the foreign policy problems of this administration, go back and look at what happened during and after your Administration! The more you try to loudly deflect attention from the failures of your Administration, the more people are going to look at you and your increasingly sorry legacy.

Rather than working with the Shah of Iran on fixing his human rights issues, you had to engineer his downfall, allowing the jihadists to gain a major foothold, from whence they have grown. And we are probably going to see more misery from Iran before the end of this decade.

Yes, others fouled up after you, but the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini was a major landmark in the growth of Islamist power. Perhaps you couldn't foresee that at the time, but as the decades have passed, your role becomes clearer and thus you should be asking forgiveness, rather than blaming the current President.

The Iraq war is about trying to prevent future 9/11-style attacks. It and other strategies seem to have worked for 5 1/2+ years. Could anyone have predicted that on the afternoon of 9/11/2001?

Before I get too profane, here is a good rant from California Conservative.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

More on Gore - Do We Have To?

Yes, because the MSM (and the "ladies" on The View) are going to wax orgasmic about Algore's upcoming book, The Assault on Reason, we have to be forewarned and forearmed. Fortunately, with the depths of Algore's intelligence and wisdom, that isn't too difficult.

Today on American Thinker, writers Christopher Alleva and Michael Geer give us their take (delivered in a "tag-team" method) on this newest waste of good trees and recycled paper. Not to mention the fuel burned to deliver the books to bookstores and later the fuel burned to take the unsold copies to a warehouse, where they will be paid for with taxpayer money (somehow) or they will be given out as political favors.

A main focus of Alleva and Geer is on Algore's repeated misrepresentation of our type of government. As if he is trying to will it so, he hammers the point of our being a Democracy - well he is a Democrat, what would you expect?

One small quibble with the Alleva piece, early on in the post is this sentence:

"My father used to say if you point your finger at someone there are four pointed back at you."

Sorry, unless your thumb is double-jointed, it is three fingers pointed back, not four. Remember - "Three towards thee."

In the snippets of the excerpt that I have read, as Al (or his ghost writer) is "preaching at us", I want to groan (or shout) that - No, it ain't us, it's you (or your party) that is assaulting everything we are intended to be.

Alleva addresses the point in this manner:

"...Unintended irony oozes from every paragraph."...

Elsewhere in the post:

"...The self-important catalog description of the book reveals Gore's inherent conceit.

"A visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith has combined with the degration (sic) of the public sphere to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason.""

[What party and in particular what former VP throws about the term "Climate Change Denier" and likens skeptics to Holocaust Deniers?

What party wants to shut down Talk Radio through the Fairness Doctrine?

What former VP channels a black Baptist preacher while shrieking "He played on our fears", while doing that very thing with his books and movie? (You have to admit he is better at that than is Hillary when she does her "southern accent".)

What party is pushing for Hate Crimes legislation that includes penalties over the written and/or spoken word?

Which party demands blind faith in Evolution and will not tolerate any discussions of Intelligent Design?

Why political party tries to brand supporters of traditional marriage as social pariahs?

Remember Al, "Three towards Thee!"]

From Geer's piece:

"...Incessantly hammering away at this term democracy, as if he were Pavlov and we but dogs, Al Gore reveals both his heart and his mind. He is not American. His every utterance and every persuasion is European socialist with considerable training in propaganda. Particularly the technique of the Big Lie."...

Al Gore is a national example of a periodic call-in character that used to be on one of the local Atlanta radio talk shows - "Judy in a Jag" - "above it all and below it all" - The intended mental image was of a wealthy blonde cruising the streets of Atlanta in a Jaguar convertible, offering her take on current events, thinking she was above the level of the "great unwashed" while her opinions indicated that much of the world was "far above her head". I assume this was a fictional character of this particular host, but ya' never know.

I once encountered one of Judy's blonde "sisters" while in the Sandy Springs suburb of north Atlanta. Protruding from the fender of her Volvo was the metal handle assembly of a gasoline hose (used to dispense the evil product responsible for so much of our Global Warming). I waved her over and pointed out her error, much to her embarrassment. As I heard nothing of any gas station fires that day, I assume some sort of "shut-off valve" saved the day as she drove away from the gas pump, tearing the handle off the end of the hose. I wonder if she paid for her purchase?

Though we are highly disappointed by recent events, e.g. the Senate Immigration bill, we are going to have to counter the effects of Judy's "philosophical sisters" that populate the studio audiences of The View and Oprah.

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Obviously, There is an Imposter on the Loose

I don't normally post on comments to other blogs, but while surfing the blogosphere, I found California Conservative and was reading several of the recent posts.

H/T: Gateway Pundit

On this particular California Conservative post, a Leftist Moonbat left a comment, replete with the tired old "Liberal" talking points. Of note was his alias "Rocky", which is one of my local aliases (since I am a geologist/rock collector, it has nothing to do with any Stallone movies). The post itself is about the possible Freudian slip presented by Al Gore's upcoming book The Assault on Reason (that sounds like an autobiographical sketch of Al Gore's political career). Here is the Time Magazine excerpt of the book. That excerpt could stand a good fisking beyond what California Conservative does, but I will focus on the Moonbat comment.

"Rocky" (hereafter known as "the Imposter") was replying to the comment of "Mitch the Bitch". From the Imposter's comments:

"...You’re forgetting the lies the administration told about how the WMDs were under development and we had to stop Saddam before they were complete… only, they weren’t anywhere near ‘under development’ and no “mushroom cloud over an American city,” as Secretary Rice put it, was looming."...

[This is after-the-fact posturing. After we were tragically caught by surprise by 9/11, it was encumbent (sp.?) upon the administration to try to prevent that worst possible scenario from happening. Being indicated as mistaken, after-the-fact, is not a lie.]

"The most recent estimate puts Saddam’s plans some 7 to 10 years out, and beyond that, Saddam was more worried about gold-plating the toilet seats in his latest palace than he was about WMDs."...

["The most recent..." Yes, but we had to make do with the estimates available in 2002 and 2003, which included intelligence left over from the Clinton Administration, again, this is after-the-fact.]

"If only we’d realized this before we aided and abetted the Iranians in taking Saddam out."...

[Aiding and abetting the Iranians was not the reason we "took Saddam out". A strong response in Afghanistan and Iraq was supposed to send a message to Iran to "stand down" in its efforts to support Islamist terror and it seemed to work, until our infighting and treasonous comments by Jimmy Carter, et al, made us look more divided than we actually are. This de facto Fifth Column action by Democrats has been what aided-and-abetted Iran.]

"...You apparently haven’t noticed that Bush announced to Saddam that he had 48 hours to leave Iraq (if there ever was a date definite announcement, this was it), and then we just rushed in, guarded the oil ministry and nothing else, and put up signs on the torture chambers and rape rooms saying “under new management!”...

[Yes, in this world of instantaneous communications, Saddam knew we were coming. Shortly after 9/11, I believe it was Senator Jay Rockefeller that told the Syrians that we were going to invade Iraq. Most of the WMDs are probably in Syria or still buried.

As for guarding the oil industry, we had good reason to do that! You may have forgotten that in the first Gulf War, the Iraqis blew up 700+ oil wells in Kuwait (I believe other vandalism was done to crude oil pipelines and such). The Bush Administration was trying to prevent another Iraqi assault on the environment (don't forget about the damage the Iraq government did to the wetlands of the Tigris and Euphrates River delta, the largest wetlands in the Middle East). Because we took down the Saddam government, the UN and other entities are trying to repair some of the damage to those wetlands.

As for perhaps guarding other things, yes we have made some mistakes. If we had more support from Europe, that is what the French or Germans could have done. While we were protecting oil infrastructure, they could have been protecting museums and such.]

"I guess that would be a human rights victory, if by that you mean we’d kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, throw our own Constitution under the bus (habeas corpus, free speech, you know, everything in the Bill of Rights except the 2nd ammendment (sic), becuase (sic) the NRA would rather see deranged students at college campuses nationwide, and terrorists with radical ideologies, with machine guns than have anyone not be able to freely buy any gun, any where, any time), and leave an entire region unstable for at least two generations."

[Moonbats love those high Iraqi civilian body counts (resulting from our actions), though they have been discredited by a number of sources. Rosie O'Donnell was throwing around the number 655,000 dead, with no cited source (I guess she doesn't really need one to garner applause on The View). Those same Moonbats never seem to speak to the body counts of the Saddam-era mass graves opened by the Americans and their allies. And they never acknowedge that the civilians killed by Americans were killed by accident.

As for "throwing the Constitution under the bus" - Gitmo internees are not American citizens and they are not entitled to habeus corpus. As for Jose Padilla (sp.?) and a few others, perhaps some mistakes have been made in the handling of his (and other) case(s).

As for the Imposter's free speech concerns - what party is trying to suppress free speech with the Hate Crimes legislation and other attempts to stifle discussions on Global Warming, Intelligent Design, Homosexual marriage, etc.?

The remainder of this Imposter paragraph is the recipe for Moonbat Salad - apples and oranges mixed liberally. Earlier in his comment, the Imposter asked what "Mitch the Bitch" was smoking. This gives us some insight as to "thought patterns". (So which is more dangerous, a stoned Moonbat or a Moonbat that is "down to seeds and stems again"?)

Note to Dumbass the Imposter - the NRA is not about anyone having machine guns. The VT shooter did not have a machine gun. And No - I don't think Southwestern Virginia is going to be unstable for at least two generations. But thanks for your concerns.]

"The destruction of the USA, you idiot, began six years ago when the Supreme Court just couldn’t stay out of the way and let the process work the way the Founding Fathers foresaw, and it’s all been downhill since then."...

[Oh please! Many folks much smarter than myself have stated that many of our current problems began with the Leftist policies of the FDR New Deal, while others began earlier with the Wilson Administration (there is always plenty of blame to go around). As for the Supreme Court in the wake of the 2000 election, they had to step in because the Florida Supreme Court failed to uphold State laws in the recount efforts.]

"...Sedition is the reason this country exists, and is a time-honored and righteous tradition."...

[The "sedition" practiced by our Founding Fathers was against a corrupt king that would not follow his own laws. This was explained in the Declaration of Independence! (Have you put down your bong lately and read it?) Sedition for its own sake is anarchy.]

"To simply lay down and accept whatever our government says is an act of treason."

[No one on the Conservative "side of the aisle" is asking anyone to simply lay down and accept "whatever our government says..." This is why we have talk radio discussions, hours each day, that is why we have the blogosphere, to "noodle this out" and explain our positions. If the Leftist mindset of Pelosi, Kennedy, Murtha, Kucinich, et al, prevail and bring back the "Fairness Doctrine", we will no longer be able to publicly discuss or disagree with government by way of marketplace-supported Conservative radio talk show hosts.

And if they could, they would try to find a way to shut down Conservative viewpoints on the blogosphere. (I am sure George Soros is looking into that.)]

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Remembering the Average...

is not human nature. Especially regarding the weather.

Recalling the words to the Randy Travis song "Forever and Ever, Amen":

"As long as old men sit and talk about the weather..." you can bet they don't draw upon their pipes and then say -

"Yeah boy, 1948 was sure an average year." And their cohorts will not nod in agreement and add "So was 1967!". We don't remember the routine, we don't recall the average.

Over time we learn that it gets warm in the Spring, hot in the Summer, cool in the Fall, and cold in the Winter. Every few years it snows, every few years we have a drought, sometimes it goes on for a few years. Yada, yada.

So when a climate hysteric starts talking about all of the "strange weather" we have had this year, it may trigger memories of past strange weather events. And those retrieved memories will stand out and overshadow the many average years that passed between the unusual events.

If you live long enough and in more than one place, you will see some strange weather. Just a few things from my memory:

In the Atlanta area, I remember the Christmas ice storm of 1964 (I think). I remember sub-zero temps (one winter) as a kid, when we couldn't break the ice on mud puddles.

The March 1972 ice storm, in which there were also tornadoes.

The late Winter snow that fell in a "belt" across middle Georgia and included the coastal area of Savannah and inland Statesboro, in 1973, while Atlanta received no snow.

The 1974 Spring Break tornadoes, that hit the Georgia Governor's Mansion and Atlanta Motor Speedway. It could have been 1975.

In my first Spring in El Paso, in 1977, there were numerous wind/dust storms, in which downtown wind speeds topped 60 mph. During summer geology field camp, daytime temps starting reaching the low to mid 100s during the first week of June - I remember because I was outdoors every weekday.

In the San Juan Mts., of SW Colorado, the "old timers" agreed that the 1978/1979 winter was the harshest since 1950/1951. The roof of the old jailhouse building in downtown Silverton collapsed because there was 8 feet of snow accumulation. The effects of the harsh winter were still evident when I visited the Silverton area, while working in NW New Mexico in May and June.

In 1979, it went down to about 8 degrees in Flagstaff, AZ on Thanksgiving night. And there was snow in the mountains of northern Arizona. It just seems that November is a little early for that.

In 1980, in El Paso, in March, I remember 80 degrees one afternoon and 6 inches of snow on the ground the next day. Later that summer in Atlanta, it was above 100 degrees for about three days in a row. Then Christmas night, it was 8 degrees. Traveling from El Paso, after Baton Rouge, it never got above 37 degrees during the daytime on Christmas Day. I remember because the heater in my 1971 Datsun 510 was not working! I had bought a plastic sphere of draft Shiner Beer (about 3 gallons) while in the Shiner, TX area and I didn't have to buy any ice to keep it cold, 'til I got to Atlanta, where I took the beer indoors.

In January 1982, in Atlanta, there were two nights of consecutive sub-zero temps, followed by snow that immediately accumulated due to the frozen ground.

In early April 1983, there were three consecutive nights of 6 inches of snow in the downtown El Paso area.

During the Summer of 1984, when I got married in El Paso, there were only 3 days above 100 degrees, that was a cool summer.

In early December 1987, on about December 5th, El Paso received 22 inches of snow and if memory serves me correctly, that is the largest snowfall I have ever seen, excepting perhaps the Georgia blizzard of March 1993.

So as not to blather endlessly, I will cease these anecdotes for the last 19 and 1/2 years.

Strange weather is nothing new. You just have to live long enough. And individual weather events mean very little as far as multiyear trends go. These anecdotal reports are memory-based, with no internet confirmation. I am sure that I could "remember" more by using the internet.

With instantaneous reporting, we learn quickly of unusual stuff in other parts of the country. That doesn't mean that "the weird is now normal".

The last time I checked, the weird is still the weird.

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