- Name: on-the-rocks
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geosciblog Continuing Series
Newly-Found Geology/Science Blogs (Early-2009 to Mid-2011)
Newly-Found/Newly-Linked Blogs (Mid-2008 to Mid-2011)
Newly-Found Blogs (Late 2007)
Talk Radio-Related Websites
Science-Related (Including Global Warming Skeptics) blogs/Websites
Global Warming/Current Paradigm & Other Science Blogs/Websites
The Clock is Winding Down...
Not Ready for Facebook
Oh, By the Way, Happy New Year
Another Climate Change Rant
Hoplophobia - the New Word for the Day
Recent PostsThe Clock is Winding Down...
Not Ready for Facebook
Oh, By the Way, Happy New Year
Another Climate Change Rant
Hoplophobia - the New Word for the Day
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>
Saturday, June 30, 2007
In a Vacation Frame of Mind
Other than my second part-time job, beer can shows, and Boy Scout campouts, I haven't been beyond the surrounding states (and SW Virginia) since early 2004.
It is nothing fancy, just a trip to TX and OK to visit my wife's side of the family, as we have managed to scrape together the money and the time. The rest of my family has been once or twice a year, but I have either had work or had to babysit the animals (kennel costs for 2 dogs and a cat would be far more than the cost of a rental car, when you consider the needed shots, etc.).
Hopefully a refreshed mind will give me some new stuff to yammer about. We plan to be back on July 9th. If I find an internet connected computer while on the road, I may "give you a holler".
In the meantime, remember what Independence Day is about. Maybe print out a copy of the Declaration and read it during a quiet time, keeping things in perspective.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Now we need some other phobia-terms related to climate variations, as the "mental health community" (and drug companies) seem to want to make an illness of every behavior pattern and quirk. We also need a term to describe the love of corn-generated ethanol - ethanolophilia?
No, I am not one of these that regards "modern medicine" as an evil monolith, but we do have to remember the human characteristic of doing what is in one's best interest extends to corporations as well as individuals. I do believe that we have the best pharmaceutical industry in the world and it is responsible for doing a great deal of good. But there are limits to chemistry, as we are playing around the edges of chemical mind-control with some of these drugs.
The same thing applies to the oil/gas/coal industry, they are not inherently evil, but the humans that run them are subject to normal temptations. Trust, but verify. Generally, aside from self-interest, the actions of businesses are driven by the market place and by government rules and regulations, as well as actions by the "litigation industry", which can be sanctioned by the government as well - whatever works. So when they do something odd, rather than immediately blaming the industry, we should ask "Why are they doing this?"
The folks that holler loudest about the evil pharmaceutical and oil business are quick to ignore the even greater threat posed by large government. Government can do so much that business cannot do. Exxon or Merck cannot make up rules by which you can be fined, incarcerated, financially ruined, and/or killed, as government can. Giving it some thought, I am actually much more concerned about the possibility of government and big pharmaceuticals in cahoots with each other. A happy, drugged populace is easier to control.
Though I am not a believer in widespread conspiracies, it is foolish to believe that there are none. Most of the conspiracies that I consider to be possible are generally after-the-fact/cover-your-ass conspiracies, e.g., the Oklahoma City bombing, TWA 800,... in order to avoid facing responsibility and the ire of voters.
Back to the rant-of-the-day.
It seems that we have to be on constant duty in rebutting the media in their attempts to aid and comfort their Democrat allies by trying to keep folks in a constant state of fear. The unspoken purpose of generating that unspoken fear is that sooner or later, the people will turn over most, if not all aspects of their lives to the government, so they can be taken care of. And we know how well that works. Al Gore now has a "7-point Pledge" of nifty new government (or government-enforced) solutions to this all-purpose crisis (which we call nature).
To hear the MSM and many politicians, carbon dioxide is the most toxic thing since phosgene or cyanide. And every unusual event is because of global warming, whether it be the southeastern US or Australia drought or the heavy rains in OK and TX (where we hope to be in a few days).
[At this point, I wonder how we are going to get across the Red River if I-35 is closed?]
It may have been 50 years..., 100 years..., 500 years ago - but the Red River has flooded before, to this extent. A low pressure system has stalled over West Texas before, funneling moisture into central and east Texas and points north, while a stubborn high pressure system has continued the drought in the southeastern states. Don't try to tell me that has never happened before.
Even acts of genocide are being conveniently being blamed on global warming. Though others have already discussed it, here is Fred Thompson's take on it. And it is all the fault of carbon dioxide. It is not the effects of human nature run amok. It is that evil, satanic gas - CO2.
The mindset being promoted is that humans caused all of these things and if humans caused it, government can stop it, if only we give them enough money and power so they can take care of us properly.
When I was a Classical Liberal, I remember someone making the point that tyrants create crises in order to justify grabbing more power.
In this case, this crisis-mongering is the set-up to a future power grab, for Democrats expect to get power back in 2008 and they are going to do everything in their power to permanently solidify that power - beginning with the control of information through the Fairness Doctrine and intimidation of heretics of every stripe.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
OK, What Are we Doing About THIS Outrage?
Comes this UK Sun article about Iranian helicopters bringing Iranian fighters into Iraq (probably with a few Iranian pyrotechnic toys, too).
Apparently, British intelligence (and presumably American intelligence) has good evidence that this is taking place. From the UK Sun article (an important revelation, but short on details):
"The sightings have been confirmed to The Sun by very senior military sources."
So the operative question is - Have we started knocking down these Iranian helicopters, yet? And if not - WHY THE HELL NOT?
I have been wondering to myself if there are ways of nailing whatever convoys, etc., there might be crossing the border, bringing Iranian-manufactured IEDs. How are they getting them across the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers? Why can't we use our technology to nail ground transports that might be carrying IEDs and why can't we use our technology to nail these f___ing helicopters? It seems that once we start, we should also nail a few of them inside Iran, on the premise that they are probably on their way to Iraq. We have been looking for a way to indirectly send Iran a message, that might be a good way.
Is this simply a provocation designed to test our collective will again? Will we step forward and knock down a bunch of these helicopters (well within Iraqi territory) and show the charred wreckage and bodies on the news? Have we already done some of this, but the MSM chooses not to report this? [If I missed this elsewhere, please forgive.]
[As an aside, I did what any good investigative journalist (Heh) would do, I verified that the Page 3 girls are still there, though I won't link to them, lest I get scolded.]
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
If at First the Dems Don't Succeed,...
Laura Ingraham (and maybe others by now) has suggested that in the wake of the public opposition to the Immigration Bill, the Senate and House Democrats and (some RINOs) may be shifting into high gear to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, as revenge for the role of Conservative Talk Radio doing the job the MSM is supposed to do, in regard to the immigration debate. On this issue, we can't trust Trent Lott, we can't trust Lindsay Graham,... They are not satisfied to shrug their shoulders and say "We were wrong." and then go back to work doing the public's bidding, they will do their end-run.
And you never know, if the President is pissed-off enough, he might sign it. I would hope not, but as things go lately, you can't be too sure of anything.
And ultimately if they don't succeed now, it can just be a trial run, for when they have a Democrat President in 2008, one that will sign the Fairness Doctrine the first chance he (or she) gets. If you are sickened by the sight of Republican Senators yukking it up with Ted Kennedy now, you haven't begun to have seen the back room deals that will transpire without the Checks-and-Balances provided by talk radio.
The internet and the blogosphere cannot carry the Conservative message alone as many people listen to talk radio as they drive to and from work or as they travel during work. They listen in their offices, as they work on their projects. There are just niches that talk radio fills that are not reached by the internet. A person can listen to talk radio on headphones in a cubicle, while conducting other business-related tasks. Having to go to the internet for the truth will mean more personal use of office PCs and problems that are so involved.
The Fairness Doctrine is government censorship of the market place of free speech. There is no way to weasel around this. The libs can't win a good legal fight, so they have to enlist the 800 lb gorilla to bully their opponents.
Geo-Tutorial I - A Brief Minerals & Rocks Primer
Per a reader's request...
Student geologists generally study (and learn to identify) individual minerals first, before we learn to recognize them as components of rocks.
After we gain a working knowlede of minerals, we usually study igneous rocks second, as those are the original sources of most minerals.
Minerals are naturally occurring, inorganic compounds that are solid at normal atmospheric temperatures. They have orderly internal structures, defined characteristics, and a defined composition (or range of compositions due to ionic substitution), with a few exceptions.
Some minerals are elemental, i.e., the consist of a single element, e.g., diamond - but most are compounds consisting of one or more cations (positive ions) and one or more anions (negative ions).
We classify minerals by their anions, e.g., minerals related to pyrite (FeS2) are called sulfides, usually the anion is S or S2. These can include iron copper sulfides (chalcopyrite), silver sulfides, copper sulfides (cuprite), zinc sulfides (sphalerite), lead sulfide (galena). When sulfur is present in the formative stages of these minerals, whether in the original molten form, or in high-temperature, high-pressure mineralized water - called hydrothermal solutions, and if there are a variety of metals pressent, it is not unusual to find several different sulfide minerals together in the same ore body. This is the nature of the "massive sulfides" that were mined in the Ducktown, TN area (see Part I and Part II).
The nature of the chemical bond between the cation(s) and the anion
The four minerals in the rock above are all included in the Silicates class, wherein the anion consists of a silicon ion and three or four oxygen ions, which act as a single ion when bonded with a cation. Quartz is chemically an oxide (SiO2), but structurally, it is related to the other silicates. The vast majority of important "rock forming minerals" are silicates. Silicate-dominated igneous rocks range from the dense, iron-rich basalts found in Hawaii to the lighter, quartz/feldspar-rich granites that one sees at Yosemite National Park or Stone Mt., GA.
The term "rock" is a little less precise, as a rock is an aggregate of one or more minerals. We use texture (crystal sizes, mineral ratios, and overall composition) to classify igneous rocks. The rock pictured here is a piece of granitic igneous rock with a pegmatitic (large-crystals) texture and it contains four identifiable minerals. This particular specimen was collected along the Appalachian Trail on the north side of Springer Mt., GA. The biotite mica measures about 1-inch across, horizontally.
The presence of potassium feldspar and quartz identify the rock as granitic, while the relatively large crystal sizes identify the rock as being "pegmatitic". The large grain (or crystal) sizes of this rock are the key to this identification. Pegmatites are irregularly-shaped igneous bodies that fill fracture zones and because of the significant presence of pressurized water in the magma, larger crystals form (in a pegmatite in South Dakota, the lithium mineral Spodumene occurs in crystals 40 feet long). In a former pegmatite mine in Georgia, "books" of muscovite mica 5-feet across were mined.
In igneous rocks, the key to crystal size is the rate of cooling and the quantity of pressurized water. Molten lavas at the surface cool relatively quickly because of their exposure to the atmosphere, thus their crystals are generally small, if they are visible at all. If a lava contains some large crystals, these crystals were already solidified before the lava was erupted. Obsidian forms when a lava flow enters a lake, river, or the ocean and the lava is chilled. The ions are present, but there wasn't time for the mineral bonds to form, resulting in the formation of volcanic glass.
Molten magmas, below the surface solidify more slowly, resulting in larger crystals, especially when more water is present. The crystals of the Elberton Granite, northeast of Athens, GA generally measure 1 - 2 mm and the estimated cooling time for the granite to solidify was 1 million years (laboratory experiments with high-pressure furnaces provide some of this information). In a molten magma, there is a defined progression in which minerals crystallize, as the magma cools, different minerals solidify. The Bowen Reaction Series shows the temperature range in which certain major silicate minerals solidify. Quartz is the last major mineral to solidify and the first to melt. In the above sample, the order is biotite, potassium feldspar, muscovite, and quartz.
Generally, minerals that form as well-defined crystals do so because they have "room to grow", i.e., they are the earlier minerals to solidify in a magma (or lava) so they can grow within the remaining molten material or they have a cavity (a fracture, a gas-bubble, or other void) into which to grow. The later minerals solidify, the less room there is to allow crystal growth.
More info will be added to this post or to a following post.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Don't Worry, the Libs Always Have a "Plan B"...
And if the Fairness Doctrine becomes "law" again, it could set honest public debate back by years, if not decades. Regarding science issues, we see this in the Climate Debate, the Stem Cell Debate, and with Intelligent Design. For the moment, we will focus on the Climate Debate as that represents the biggest Socialist power-grab facing us and our children, IMHO.
With this Debra Saunders Townhall.com column, we again are reminded of efforts to partition the science world, wherein the approved scientists, those that kneel at the altar of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) (or Climate Change, as they are now covering-their-asses in case the climate turns cooler), will be favored with grant money, academic advancements, and fawning media attention.
Those that choose to be independent thinkers and consider past climate changes as templates for anything in the present, they will be assigned "non-person" status, as did people in Cuba when they applied for legal emigration to the United States.
Saunders opens her column with:
"If you want to convince the world that an overwhelming majority of scientists believes in global warming, then start by ignoring scientists who are not true believers. First, establish lists of scientists with your approved position, then smear dissidents. Soon, up-and-coming scientists will be afraid to cross the rigid green line.
So, the Society of Environmental Journalists put together a guide on climate change that lists a number of publications on global warming, scientists and seven environmental groups, each with positive descriptions. Under the "Deniers, Dissenters and 'Skeptics'" category are four listings -- all negative. They suggest that these folk are venal, partisan and bad scientists, or all of the above."...
To these people, the science is completed, there is nothing left to learn. As a reminder of the viewpoints of most skeptics:
"...Dissenting scientists do not deny that the planet is getting warmer. As O'Brien noted, "I believe that there is global warming and it's probably due to natural as well as human causes." But also, "It's not occurring as fast as the alarmists say," and its consequences won't be as dire as they say. SEJ should see the value in skeptics who challenge the global-warming orthodoxy -- which can make global warming forecasts more concise -- instead of suggesting that no good scientists have alternative views. [O'Brien refers to James O'Brien - director of the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies and former Florida state climatologist, a skeptic that was overlooked in the SEJ rogue's gallery list.] [Emphasis added.]
O'Brien sees a schism in the science community, with real-world scientists -- think former Director of the National Hurricane Center Neil Frank -- on one skeptic side, and environmentalists and ecologists, who "if they see more turtles this year than last year, they write a paper" on the worst-case-scenario other."
This entire political agenda rides on the phobias created on an atmospheric component that accounts for about 380 ppm (0.038%). You can see and feel the variations in the Greenhouse Effect itself, when cloud cover and humidity change. Carbon dioxide levels have been rising for a while, but their is a viable scientific school-of-thought that suggests that this rise in carbon dioxide is the result of global warming, not the cause. Human contributions of carbon dioxide may provide a minor influence, while deforestation and the growth of Urban Heat Islands may provide influences also.
Again, the biggest problem with the AGW "crowd" is that they are using their viewpoints as an agenda for controlling fuel supplies by rationing and taxes, which will impact the middle class and poor the most. When given the opportunity, it is the natural tendency of the Free-Market System to seek the most efficient ways of getting something done, e.g., more fuel-efficient machines = lower fuel costs & greater profits. But it takes time to get there.
There are aspects of the Free-Market System where there needs to be some more self-restraint and responsibility in our personal choices, regardless of political stripe, but the political posturing and jealousy-based attacks, primarily on the Left, make it difficult to honestly address these issues.
Attempting to politically "divide-and-conquer" the science community is the first step to the government-control of that scientific community (this is already the case with some issues). And government control of information will follow, but because Hillary and DiFi and Trent Lott have their Fairness Doctrine, radio talk show hosts can no longer discuss this on the air because someone might complain about "the fairness".
Monday, June 25, 2007
Regarding the Fairness Doctrine...
Don't Libs claim to be in favor of "majority rule"?
It just seems that if the majority of talk show hosts are Conservative, it is because the American people have spoken. So why would they want to go against "the will of the people"?
Along these lines, Doug Powers (from WND) has these thoughts.
A Shrill, Hot Kennedy Wind Blows from Washington
From ABC's "This Week", Kennedy suggested that there is "a recognition in this country that doing nothing is not an alternative,''
With no due respect, Senator...
Enforcing existing laws and building a fence is not "doing nothing".
Because of the complexities of this issue and BECAUSE WE DON'T TRUST YOU, SENATOR, a comprehensive bill has too many nooks and crannies in which to hide "surprises". And because too many Republicans have been hanging out with you, Senator Kennedy, we are highly suspicious of anything complex. When I find other, more articulate expressions on this issue and the importance of "nipping it in the bud", I will post them.
So, Which is Going to Destroy the UK First,...
According to this American Thinker post, the BBC is all concerned about prison ministries conducted by various Christian churches in the United States, one of which is the Kairos Prison Ministry of Georgia, in which some of our fellow church members are involved.
For some reason the BBC is all concerned about this and though it is a grass-roots, citizen-driven activity, the BBC uses it to bash President Bush as if he was the grand conductor of this effort.
But are they concerned about Muslims using American and British prisons (no doubt) as places to recruit, angry, disenfranchised men? In the ongoing Islamic War Against the West, who is more likely to strap on an explosive belt, a new Christian parolee with a prayer and social network waiting for him (or her) or an angry, revengeful Muslim convert?
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Yes, Corn-based Ethanol Has Become the Official Fuel of the American Bandwagon...
Here is a Yahoo Sports blog post concerning the suggestion that NASCAR switch to corn-based ethanol, rather than its current Sunoco unleaded.
Because the Indy Racing League has decided to switch to ethanol (from methanol, I think), some "corn state" politicians decided to urge NASCAR to jump in the ethanol bandwagon. From the blog post:
"With gas prices and Middle East conflicts looming large in the public consciousness, alternative fuel is a hot topic. And with the IRL's move this year to ethanol, it's fair to wonder whether other racing series -- particularly NASCAR -- might follow suit.
In fact, Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and South Dakota Sen. John Thune last month sent a letter to NASCAR CEO Brian France pointing out the IRL's move and calling for NASCAR to consider running its cars on "100 percent American-produced ethanol.""
It has taken decades for us to arrive at the point where we find ourselves fixated with the price of gasoline, while ignoring all of the factors that influence that price.
Burning food is not the answer. There is no magical solution. For those with carbon phobias, apparently, ethanol produces as much, if not more, carbon dioxide as gasoline. The consideration all of the fossil fuels burned in raising, harvesting, transporting, and processing the corn results in a net loss of BTUs.
All of this is based on the "promise" of taxpayer subsidies for corn production for well-connected corn farmers and Archer Daniels Midland. Corn is being diverted from the human and livestock stream. Corn will be raised instead of some other crops and food prices, already rising because of this Eco-fad, will continue to rise.
Jesse Jackson Arrested for Trespassing
A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a Chicago priest and Jesse Jackson participating in protests outside of a Chicago-area gun shop, where the priest made threats to have the gunshop owner "snuffed out".
According to the local news, both the priest and Jackson were finally arrested. Unfortunately, the local officials are too cowardly to take on the terroristic threats, the two instead were arrested on trespassing charges and they say they will be back.
They claim that the gun shop has sold guns that wind up in the hands of criminals, but apparently have offered no hard legal evidence.
Something Died in My Car Trunk...
Usually the boys are ordered to shower Thursday night or early Friday morning, as Friday afternoon is usually when parents and siblings arrive for the camp closing ceremony and we want to boys to be somewhat hygenic (or at least minimally odiferous) when family members arrive (especially moms).
[Update: I figgered out what the problem was. They got "rained on" on Monday PM and Tuesday. My son stuffed his wet clothing into a plastic garbage bag, where it fermented for the rest of the week. He has not yet learned about hanging wet clothing on a clothesline or a tree limb and letting it dry somewhat before stuffing into the dirty clothes bag. Mine would smell as bad or worse if I did the same thing.]
The Ducktown, TN Desert - Part II
The photo to the right was taken from the grounds of the old Burra Burra mine in Ducktown, now the site of the museum. The name Burra Burra is from a famous Australian copper mine.
To the lower left, you can see a circular pit, the result of a partial mine collapse, circa 1925.
Beyond and to the right of the pit are the areas that have been left "fallow", i.e., reclaimed by nature with no human assistance. This is to offer the viewer a perspective of the damage that was done in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Beyond the fallow area, there is a fenceline, beyond which are the human-reforested areas, the results of a project that began in the early 1900s. Also useful in the process was the modifications made to the roasting process, by which sulfur dioxide (SO2) was captured and converted to sulfur trioxide (SO3), then sold for the production of industrial sulfuric acid (H2SO4).
The area definitely looks better than it did when I first visited in early 1976, while on a Geology field trip. It still may be a few decades before hardwood trees are ready to grow on this reclaimed ground.
The last of the Ducktown Basin copper mines closed in 1987. This was largely due to the importation of copper from other countries and the increased expenses of operating here.
If you happen to be in the area, next weekend will be the time of the yearly "miners homecoming" music festival.
Part III will be brief discussion of the minerals associated with the copper ores of Ducktown.
The Ducktown, TN Desert...Part I
[As my son wanted to ride in a car with a working air conditioner (and he was tired from Scout camp), he declined the offer to roam around southeastern Tennessee and rode home with the mom of a fellow Scout. Sometimes he does like to get out and explore, but not this time.]
To the above-left is an aerial photo of a portion of the Ducktown, TN area, probably from the 1940s. The photo is part of the Ducktown Basin Copper Museum in southeastern TN.
Nary a tree in sight, from acid rainfall from the local smelters. Despite the environmental destruction pictured here, you can see what Geomorphologists/ Hydrologists refer to as a "dendritic stream pattern". Normally in the eastern United States, these patterns are obscured by trees.
The destruction was caused by the "roasting" of the iron and copper sulfide ores (pyrite, chalcopyrite) and the removal of trees to fuel the process. The museum curator mentioned that, in this decades-long process, five feet of topsoil was lost. The heating of the sulfide ores released sulfur dioxide (SO2) which, when mixed with rainfall produced sulfur acids, probably sulfurous acid (H2SO3).
The destruction of the local vegetation (over a 50 square mile area) wasn't done on purpose, it was one of those human screw-ups where we didn't understand the future environmental impacts of our actions.
Part II will follow as time permits.
Friday, June 22, 2007
A Late Night Post from Boy Scout Camp
It is hot and one can imagine sharing company with about 750 eleven to seventeen-year old Boy Scouts. Never a dull moment. I noticed a couple of memorial plaques on buildings for instructors that were here last year. I knew of the passing of one of them, I had one of his training classes here last year. The other one was the director of the nature center, where I spent a good part of this morning helping boys work on their Geologist Merit Badge. I may have met the now-deceased director last year, but I don't recall.
One of the thoughts that passed through my mind was the efforts that we are making here to try to bring about a future crop of better men, while in another culture across the world, they teach their kids about blowing themselves up to kill a few people with whom they disagree.
And yet despite the now-100 year worldwide history of Scouting, it is still under attack by so-called Liberals, most recently in Philadelphia, according to this timely FrontPageMag article. From the article:
"They voted 16 to 1 to break a 79-year-old agreement allowing the Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts to occupy a building in a city park. The Scouts built the building in 1928, and turned it over to the city in exchange for a rent-free lease “in perpetuity.” Apparently, “perpetuity” in Philadelphia now means, “until gay groups boot you out.” The Scouts can stay only if they will open their ranks to open homosexuals."
There have already been cases of boys being molested by scout masters and/or other scouts, so to openly endorse homosexual behavior would make them susceptible to endless lawsuits when the expected happens. The possibility of judgements and settlements could well bankrupt the Boy Scouts of America. Maybe that is the entire goal.
Men are predatory, that is just the way it is. What adults do in the privacy of their own homes is between them and God. But when kids are involved, that extra margin of safety is paramount.
And if we "get" a Democrat President and a Democrat Congress in 2008, these sorts of attacks are going to become more bold and they will be aided and abetted even more by the MSM by playing the "discrimination" card.
This scenario has played out over and over in cities dominated by Democrats, where long-standing agreements allowing Boy Scouts to use public facilities have been overturned at the behest of the homosexual "rights" groups. No responsible person suggests that all male homosexuals are child molesters, but allowing openly homosexual men to serve as scout masters is simply asking for trouble.
Once one taboo is broken, that opens the door for other taboos to be broken as well, all in the name of hedonism. It is not hate, it is just a recognition of human nature.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
A Brief Blogging Break...
My half-semester class is ending, the final exam is Thursday and then I will probably be going to the mountains for my son's Boy Scout camp for Thursday and Friday nights.
In the meantime, I am trying to decide whether I will go up there today to check on things, as I don't have my evening class tonight.
Thanks to those of you that stop by, please bear with me 'til this busy week passes. The week after next, we may be on the road to Oklahoma visiting family, so the first full week of July may be sparse, too.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Serving the Customers' Needs
There have been some geology-related posts in the past, related to oil, the fossil record, volcanoes,... perhaps I will go back and try to provide some links to those prior posts.
And when time permits, I may provide some "Geology Vignettes", for use in travel or for local interest.
Honestly, we all can use a little more science, especially if one is traveling in the Western United States, where the geology is less covered by soil and vegetation. If you do a little homework before traveling, it makes the trip more enjoyable, especially if you can tell your kids a little something about an area.
If you can suffer through my science blatherings and if you visit some of the science-related blogs in my blogroll, you might consider yourself more scientifically literate than Al Gore or at least more scientifically literate than Laurie David, on a given subject, if you do sufficient homework and approach this from a logical basis, rather than from an emotional "the-sky-is-falling" basis.
I don't want you to try to pass yourself off as an expert (as Algore does), but you can relate what you learned as - "I read something interesting the other day..." (and links will be provided to more erudite discussions than I can provide). I don't consider myself to be an expert at anything, but rather a learned student in several fields.
So when time permits - soon - I will begin to mix a little more science into my other blatherings.
Here are a few past postings related to geology (reminder, it is the study of the Earth and is more than just about rocks.).
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Citizens Must Not Be Allowed to Vote on What Marriage Is
From this Barking Moonbat Early Warning System post (and others to follow):
"Massachusetts lawmakers blocked a proposed constitutional amendment Thursday that would have let voters decide whether to ban gay marriage in the only state that allows it.
“In Massachusetts today, the freedom to marry is secure,” said a victorious Gov. Deval Patrick, who had lobbied lawmakers up until the final hours Thursday to kill the measure."...
[Never mind the freedom recognized in the constitution amendment process. In this liberal-run state, that just won't do. If my memory serves me correctly, this legislation was at the direction of the state courts. If this is correct, this means that the judiciary is telling the legislature what to do. And they have already concluded what "the people" will do, which is probably the same as they have done everywhere else it has been put to a constitutional amendment vote, i.e., the people have chosen to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.]
More will be added as time allows.
Friday, June 15, 2007
More on Humberto Fontova
In doing his research for "Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him", Fontova actually interviewed persons who had first-hand dealings with Castro and Guevara or who knew people that had direct involvement. These people, in Miami and elsewhere were readily available, but the news media (for years) had simply gone to Castro for his version of events. [Are we surprised?] It was probably a matter of similar political agendas, with a measure of laziness, thrown in too.
Some of the interviewees had waited years to tell their stories and Fontova gave them that chance.
My closest encounters with Cuban refugees from the Castro takeover were my two high school Spanish teachers, both of which had been wealthy business owners until everything was taken from them overnight (Hillary's dream?). Because of their education, they were able to escape to the United States and gain employment teaching high school Spanish in Atlanta. They sporadically spoke of their experiences, I just wish I had had the wisdom to ask them more at the time.
Hopefully when Castro strides (or is dragged) through the gates of Hell, his government will begin the final implosion, leading Cuba into a brighter future. Hopefully, by then Hugo Chavez may have enough internal problems to prevent his intervention in Cuba.
What happens there may entirely depend upon whether there is a Republican or Democrat in the White House.
Fisking (Without Brackets) of an NBC Today Show...
Fontova is a frequent guest on Michael Medved's radio program and a frequent writer on all-things-Cuba on FrontPageMag. He is also the author of the recently published "Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him".
As I choose not to suffer through the Today Show (I have a morning class anyway), I missed the spectacle of Matt Lauer and Andrea Mitchell gushing over Cuba's recent efforts to draw more tourism, as the government needs more hard cash. And they had to remind the viewers of the U.S. embargo "being the cause" of the dreary conditions, rather than the decades-long failures of Communism. In other words, it was geared towards the Danny Glover/Harry Belafonte mindset of Cuba vs. the U.S. (well, maybe not quite that moonbattish, but at least the report was "tilted" in that general direction).
Lauer and Mitchell also touched upon the "fears" of some Cuban residents about the return of expatriates and the desires to reclaim land and businesses stolen from them by the Castro regime. This might be an "unstated" reason why even after Castro's death, that some Cubans might want the status quo to continue.
Fontova also contrasts the media high-lighting of human rights abuses of apartheid-era South Africa vs. the much-worse human rights abuses of Cuba at the same time (which continue to the present day).
Fontova closes with this passage, illustrating the current state of the media-demonized embargo on Cuba's ability to import goods:
"...For the record, the U.S. is currently Cuba's number one food supplier and 4th biggest trading partner, while Cuba trades with every nation on earth. As Andrea and Matt spoke from Havana, trade delegations from 24 of the 52 United States were also in Havana attending a trade fair and signing trade deals. The only thing the so-called embargo mandates nowadays is that Cuba's Stalinists pay U.S. vendors in cash. No credit. (Cuba's credit rating, according to Dun & Bradstreet, is lower than Somalia's, by the way.)"
So go give the piece a read.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Earmarks...Earwigs...What's the Difference?
Here are two views on the recent Democrat attempts to hide earmarks from the view of the public. Yeah, those same Democrats that were promising a more ethical Congress - must refrain from laughing, lest I get a hernia - are saving us from the worry of the costs of earmarks, by hiding them.
Here is a short rant by Neal Boortz.
Through Townhall.com, here is Amanda Carpenter's column. From the column:
"The more than 32,000 earmarks requested in the Homeland Security spending bill have roiled the House this week, and now Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) wants the word ‘earmark’ to just go away. [Empasis added.]
In a Tuesday press conference about appropriation bills, Pelosi said, “Why don’t we leave here today forgetting the word earmark?” She said they should be called “legislative directives” instead."...
More from the column:
"...House Appropriations Chairman Rep. David Obey (D.-Wisc.) said his staff was unable to print the earmarks into this year’s round of spending bills, however, because there were too many and it would take up too much of his staff’s time.
Subsequently, because the earmarks are not printed in the bill, members cannot challenge the earmarks before voting on the legislation."...
So, because there isn't time to identify all of these cute little earmarks, they plan to "air drop" then into the bill later, so as not to trouble the public with details. It is like when they say - "We have a plan if you elect us.", but they won't tell you what the plan is.
Now, how are these related to earwigs?
If you are old enough to remember Rod Serling's Night Gallery, you may remember the episode, set in a tropical jungle resort, where a visitor visits a doctor because of an earache. He is informed that an earwig has entered his ear and the prognosis is not good.
The doctor informs him that earwigs are a small, carnivorous insect (the episode was actually entitled "Caterpillar") that enters the ear canal and because of prongs on its posterior is unable to back out, so it must eat its way through the brain, usually resulting in death. [The story was based upon a myth recounted here, which furnished the inspiration for this Rod Serling tale.] So for the next few days, the other hotel guests are treated to periodic screams from the victim.
Miraculously, somehow the victim survives and revisits the doctor where he is informed of the "good news/bad news" scenario. The good news of course is that he survived having his brain tunneled-through by an earwig. The bad news was that it was a female and she laid eggs.
The scene showing the hotel fades as we hear a final blood-curdling scream.
So as the earwig ate its way through the victim's brain, earmarks are eating their way through our childrens' future, by way of the ever-growing entitlements and earmarks devouring the Federal Budget. Laying their eggs inside for the future. Now I doubt that a single earwig could lay 32,000 eggs, similar to the 32,000 earmarks in the present budget.
So, those same Democrats that slammed the President for "wasting the (projected) surplus" of the Clinton years are only too glad to surreptitiously create earwigs (oops! earmarks) for the purpose of buying votes.
Snopes.com has this entry on earwigs. Scanning through these legends, perhaps this is where "putting a bug in someone's ear" may have been derived from this.
[As an aside, one time while in college at Ga. Southern, I exited the Geology building one night and found my car (under the streetlight) covered with earwigs. I got a bucket of hot water to wash the earwigs off from around the driver's door.
I then proceeded down a nearby highway at speeds of about 80 mph to blow the rest of them off the car- just to be safe.
I could just see trying to explain that to a cop if he had pulled me over! "Yes sir, I was trying to blow all of the earwigs off my car." "No sir, I am not stoned."
So is it possible to plead insanity on a speeding ticket?]
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Someone Needs a Good Spanking...
I blogged a few weeks ago about the prima donna administrative law judge in Washington, DC. He is suing an immigrant Korean couple (and their son) because their dry cleaning business lost a favorite pair of trousers.
From this WND-linked article, now Judge Roy Pearson is seeing himself as a consumer advocate:
"...He originally sued Custom Cleaners for about $65 million under the District of Columbia consumer protection act and almost $2 million in common law claims. He is no longer seeking damages related to the pants, instead focusing his claims on two signs in the shop that have since been removed.
He alleges that Jin Chung, Soo Chung and Ki Chung, owners of the mom-and-pop business, committed fraud and misled consumers with signs that claimed "Satisfaction Guaranteed" and "Same Day Service.""...
OK, maybe they screwed up. That is what the Chamber of Commerce is about. That is what the Better Business Bureau is about. Complain to them. Tell your friends not to use this dry cleaner. But don't sue this mom and pop business for $65 million.
And the good judge left the courtroom yesterday in tears as he recalled the loss of his trousers.
From the article:
"...Pearson also called himself as a witness, saying his problems began in May 2005 when he brought in several suits for alterations. A pair of pants from a blue and maroon suit was missing when he requested it two days later. He said Soo Chung tried to give him a pair of charcoal gray pants.
As Pearson explained that those weren't the pants for the suit, he choked up and left the courtroom crying after asking Bartnoff for a break.
Pearson originally asked the cleaners for the full price of the suit, which was more than $1,000. But because the Chungs insisted the pants had been found, they refused to pay.
Manning has said the cleaners made three settlement offers to Pearson, but the judge was not satisfied and increased his demands - including asking for money to rent a car so he could drive to another business."
OK, again we have probable screwups on the part of the Chungs and there are probably some cultural and language issues here, too.
But crying over this! GET A ROYAL GRIP ON REALITY!
Why doesn't the good judge buy a plane ticket to New Orleans and do some volunteer work with those people that are still displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Have him go to the 9th Ward or St. Bernard Parish and tell his sad story on a street corner.
Or have him go to the Pass Christian/Biloxi/Gulfport, MS area. Ask those people how they would feel about losing a favored pair of trousers at their local dry cleaners.
I could comment on what type of stereotype this is suggestive of (and maybe that is why he is divorced), but I won't go there.
How much would you bet that this guy is a Democrat?
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I haven't visited any other blogs or chatrooms where they are discussing Lost, but I did find out that a fellow member of our adult Sunday School class is also a fellow Lostie. At a Saturday night social event, we tried to convert a "24er", but were unsuccessful. We even promised him the DVDs of the first two seasons to get him "caught up", but the answer was "No thanks."
Another person on the back porch suggested that we two "Losties" sounded like women talking about a soap opera, to which I agreed, but then followed with - "But Lost is deeper than a soap opera." Heh. Of course this statement was made as there were no women on the back porch of the home at the time. What is said on the back porch stays on the back porch...
So, addressing the finale... [I may go back and rewatch the VCR tape and edit these comments.]
Who is in the casket? (Presumably, this scene - a "flashforward", in Los Angeles, is in the future). A bearded Jack, on an airline flight finds an obituary in a newspaper on the plane. He had been grousing about not being able to get another drink, as the plane was landing. The obituary affects him greatly, sending him to drink more, whereafter he finds his way to the funeral home, only to find that he was the only one to visit. He declines the funeral home offer to open the casket for a viewing. [It is possible that this is really a flashback, but personally I go with the flashforward. Before the season finale, the creators of Lost hosted a special in which they floated the idea that some of the final three seasons will deal with who some of the people will become "after" a presumed rescue.]
Presuming a flashforward...Is it Sawyer? Locke? My friend Philip thinks it is Ben, supposing that Ben and Jack came to an understanding and friendship on the island. Perhaps.
In his despair (over what we do not yet know), he drives to a bridge, where he climbs atop a concrete railing, contemplating jumping. While he is there, he hears the sound of a vehicle crash, followed by a child crying for help. Though he hesitates, later we find out that he runs to the vehicle to pull the child and its mother from the burning wreckage and is pronounced a hero in the local TV news broadcasts.
As we then see Jack being patched up in the hospital afterward, he wanders to the bedside of the woman injured, with the intention of operating on the woman's injured spine. This is in "Jack's hospital" and his by profession a spinal surgeon. Due to his injuries, he is told my another surgeon that they are aware of the injury and they will take care of it.
As part of this flashforward, we learn of Jack's addiction to pain killers, as he sneaks off in the hospital to pilfer some from some medicine cabinets. Jack makes one or two references to his father being "there" at the hospital, but from what we know, Jack's father died of a heart attack in Australia, that is why Jack was on Oceanic Flight 815, supposedly ferrying his father's body back to the states for burial. Perhaps Jack's invoking his father's name is done in his delirium and perhaps the hospital staff has been forwarned. So not only is he drinking, he is also addicted to pain killers, which he gulps like they were Skittles.
In a later, related scene, Jack phones someone for a late night meeting, this person turns out to be Kate. During their emotional meeting, Jack makes a reference to "I should have gone back". After a time, Kate suggest that she needs to get back (to Sawyer?). I just think this is a flashforward, because if Kate and Jack knew each other that well before the crash of Oceanic 815, we probably would have seen a little more of that in their interactions on the island. But I could be wrong.
Yeah, I feel like I am talking about a soap opera. Whatever. As I have said before, it is strange enough to be interesting. Some folks are "24ers", some are "Sopranoites". I am a "Lostie".
I may blather later on about other aspects of this finale. Yeah, free bread and circuses.
Monday, June 11, 2007
When Will the Left Move to Silence One of Their Own?
Here is his latest contribution to common sense, published in The Australian. It may be a compilation of his latest writings in The Nation. Regardless of the origin, it is important to keep getting this message out to the mainstream, to keep on message that there are plenty of skeptical scientists.
I particularly enjoyed this little gem of wisdom:
"Geologists are particularly sceptical."
More from The Australian piece (the paragraph is broken up for readability):
"Take Warsaw-based professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, famous for his critiques of ice-core data. He's devastating on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change rallying cry that CO2 is higher now than it has ever been over the past 650,000 years ...
Or take Habibullo Abdussamatov, of St Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory. He says we're on a warming trend but that humans have little to do with it, the agent being a long-time change in the sun's heat. He says solar irradiance will fall within the next few years and we may face an ice age ... [Emphasis added.]
Now read Jeffrey Glassman, applied physicist and engineer, retired from California's academic and corporate sectors, who provides an elegant demonstration of how the CO2 solubility pump in the Earth's oceans controls atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and how the increase in atmospheric CO2 is the consequence of temperature increase" ...
As I spend almost zero time looking at Leftist blogs, I wonder how they are handling this? On most everything else, Alexander Cockburn's moonbat pedigree is probably secure. So how do they cope with one of their own stepping off the philosophical reservation, on such a central issue?
[As an aside, in my first posting about this subject, I related that while on a cruise, sponsored by The Nation, an atmospheric scientist (also a Leftist) sat down with Alexander and explained this subject in detail, i.e., how it was very unlikely that human-generated carbon dioxide emissions were causing global warming. I just wonder if it is possible for him to have any epiphanies about anything else?]
Friday, June 08, 2007
First in War...No
First to blame the United States...Yeah, that's it.
Rep. John Murtha (Fucker - PA) is blaming the United States' actions in Iraq for inspiring the planned JFK airport attack, according to this Lifelike Pundits post.
The terrorist suspects themselves didn't even bring this up, they were upset about Israel attacking Lebanon a couple of years ago, while in pursuit of terrorists.
Of course it has to be our fault. How many Noam Chomsky books does Murtha have in his Capitol Hill office? What a disgrace!
Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Pro-Choice Only When They Want It
"Democrats in Congress have proposed a plan to fine pharmacies up to $500,000 if the pharmacists follow their conscience and decline to dispense abortifacient chemicals."...
So much for choice! So it is OK for a woman to choose to kill her unborn baby if it will be inconvenient to her, but it is not OK for a pharmacist to choose to not dispense dangerous drugs, such as RU-486. If there is a medical issue, i.e., if the woman's life is in danger because of the pregnancy or the possibility thereof, it can be taken care of at a hospital or doctor's office as far as a strategy goes.
So, will the next step be that if doctors and/or hospitals decline to perform non-therapeutic abortions, will they be fined up to $500,000?
Yeah, Pro-Choice, as long as it is the Politically Correct choice.
Now who is it that likes to throw about the word "Fascist"? Need I really ask?
"...Fool Me Thrice, Shame on..."
Apparently, according to this WND article:
"Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has offered Syria the Golan Heights if the Damascus regime cuts its ties with Iran and ends support for Palestinian terror groups, the Israeli media reported today."...
Nothing good will come of this. If you are unfamiliar with the geography and history of modern Israel:
The Golan Heights is strategic mountainous territory looking down on Israeli population centers twice used by Syria to launch wars against the Jewish state. [Emphasis added.]
Another WND article, from yesterday, reported on the possible amassing of Syrian forces along the Israeli border.
So, what is the Hebrew-to-English translation for Ehud Olmert? Is it Jack Murtha? Ted Kennedy? President Bush's support for the Senate Immigration bill is bad, but not quite to this level. Or at least not in the short run.
Unfortunately, Olmert is getting support from the Bush Administration, according to the WND a article. Is this directly from the President or from the State Department?
Are Olmert and Bush in need of an emergency injection of testosterone? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
So what happens if Syria invades Israel? What if Iran decides to get directly involved in the "fun"? Is Israel strong enough to beat back the attackers as before? Will Israel be forced to use nuclear weapons on Damascus? On Teheran?
And might this be a diversion for something else?
There probably would not be enough time for us to respond on a widespread basis, but might we send a few cruise missiles towards Damascus? How far will we go to help Israel, while we are in "the neighborhood"? Will we have to forcefully order Iran to stand down?
And if Syria and Iran attack Israel, who will blame it on the United States being in Iraq? Will anyone stand on the side of Israel besides the United States?
Taking "I'm a Pepper" Just a Little Too Far
According to this YahooNews story, 21-year old Ben Carpenter, a muscular distrophy patient, was guiding his motorized wheelchair on a street cross-walk in Paw Paw, Michigan, 140 miles west of Detroit.
As he was passing in front of a semi-truck, the light turned green and the truck lurched forward. The handles of his wheelchair became lodged in the grille of the truck and Mr. Carpenter, wearing a bright red Dr. Pepper t-shirt, went for a several-mile long ride at speeds up to 50 mph, at the front of this tractor trailer. I guess being "a Pepper" means living a life a little more exciting than those of us that drink traditional colas.
Motorists calling 911 and some off-duty police officers managed to get the truck driver (totally unaware of his "passenger") stopped with no injury to Mr. Carpenter. The only damage to the wheelchair was to the rubber wheels. Fortunately, Mr. Carpenter was wearing his wheelchair's seatbelt. [The truck driver was probably wondering "Why are all those people waving at me?"]
Thankfully this story turned out well. I just wonder if there are going to be some "stupid human tricks" in which young males will attempt to recreate this event.
[Update: BreitbartTV offers these afterthoughts from Mr. Carpenter. He did, after all, have a few minutes to assess his life and future while perched at the front of that tractor trailer.]
Cultivating a Valuable Resource...
That valuable new resource is the indigenous tribes of Iraq. That the common Iraqi might be suspicious of the United States is understandible. Initially, in 2003, we were seen as an invader by some, maybe as a liberator by some Shia and certainly the Kurds in the north.
After they got used to the fact that we were there, then it was a matter of assessing our mettle, i.e., determining if we were (in the words of Bill Bennett) the "strong horse". No one wants to throw their lot in with us and then be left in the lurch when we "bug out".
Another blogger/writer (source forgotten) suggested that in the Arab culture, personal relationships are very important. Our persistence and consistency will be appreciated, but it takes time for trust to develop. Sometimes our "rotating out" might be counterproductive if our personnel have been "working on" gaining the trust of a particular tribal leader, sheik, small town mayor, etc..
This Newsweek online article (by way of Wordsmith from Nantucket) is about our having gained ground with a growing number of Iraqi tribal leaders, to the point where more and more of their tribal members are starting to believe that we are sincere about helping them improve their lot. If Harry Reid, John Murtha, Hillary, Obama, Ted Kennedy (and the rest of the rogues gallery) get their wish and we quit, this will be one of the greatest losses, as these are the people that are beginning to turn away from Al Qaida. They are getting tired of being blown up while conducting normal life activities.
If we quit, Al Qaida is going to seek heavy retribution from those tribes that are cooperating with us. And each time we suffer an internally-engineered failure, it will cost us in the future, when we need allies for dealing with other rogue nations or leaders. We will again demonstrate that if a much-smaller enemy can just wait us out a few years, we will get tired and quit.
If we quit too early and there is a bloodbath and Iraq sinks into anarchy, per the wishes of Hillary, et al, the lives lost so far will have been wasted. The American, British, Iraqi, and other lives. And the Islamists will not be satisfied, instead they will be emboldened.
How is that for a legacy? We plant the seeds of democracy and then walk away and let it wither and die.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
As if We Needed Another Reason to Despise the UN...
The link for this article is from a Moonbattery post, relating some of the events of the past seven or so years, in which Robert Mugabe has gradually destroyed the agricultural industry of Zimbabwe, once termed "the Breadbasket of Africa".
If you are unfamiliar with this story of Socialist "land policies", successful white-owned farms were "claimed" by the Mugabe government, then turned over to political cronies. In some cases, the white owners, holdovers from when this was Rhodesia, were allowed to sell at fire-sale prices, others (and some of their black African employees) were murdered for their farms. Yeah, that is sustainable.
Here is but one story of the glories of "land reform". Here is another report, from 2003, about the government's intentions to take the "idle" equipment from the remaining white farmers. Here are the closing lines from that particular story:
"...The government has refused to pay for the land it took away from white farmers saying it would only pay for improvements because that land was stolen from Zimbabweans by colonial settlers.
Some farmers who have been offered compensation for the improvements on their former properties have turned down the money, contesting the sums offered.
Early this month the government said it planned to amend the land law to allow it to continue taking more land from whites and take it more easily."
This is not to endorse any wrongs that might have been committed by colonial settlers decades ago, but there is probably plenty of "wiggle room" in the interpretation of what constituted stealing land from the natives. But then the concept of "two wrongs do not make a right" is forever lost upon Leftists.
Nat Henthoff is one of the few Liberals with the courage to speak and write about the tyranny that his "liberal brethren" refuse to condemn. If I find previous posts on Zimbabwe, I will link to them. I began telling my students that this "land reform" program was going to result in famine back in 2001.
Why Modern Liberals Ain't - The One-Way Street Called "Tolerance"
In three different Townhall.com columns, we are reminded of the Leftist current that runs against the grain of human biology, thousands of years of human culture, and against the ideas espoused by earlier incarnations of Classical Liberals, namely open-mindedness and tolerance for your ideological adversaries.
In the first column, by Debra Saunders, a lesbian is suing eHarmony because they don't make allowances for homosexuals to find each other. Never mind that this is a private endeavor and there no doubt are plenty of online dating services to serve that particular niche. Because they didn't kowtow to her wants, rather than take her business elsewhere, she of course has to sue.
In the second column, by Jon Sanders, relates how John Edwards remarked in the past about how he was uncomfortable at the thought of being pursued by a homosexual man. Apparently, Edwards is getting "a pass" for this, while Sanders relates a story of a student that placed into a hypothetical situation in a college classroom was soundly savaged by the teacher.
In the third column, by Ken Blackwell, is about the possibility of going to jail for your thoughts, not your actions. Or rather your punishment will be exaggerated if you attack certain "protected species". I am all for punishment of violent deeds, the "why" is not what hurts the victim, it is the deed. As with the second column, we can see how a student's verbal disagreement and disapproval of behaviors can be treated first as "hate speech" and then elevated to the level of "verbal violence".
[As time allows, I will elaborate on these after my morning class is over.]
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
D-Day + 63 Years...
As December 7th is always a special day of remembrance, so is June 6th.
John B. Dwyer has a good post at American Thinker with links included. Perhaps rent a DVD of The Longest Day or Saving Private Ryan. Anything is better than most of the fluff offered today on TV.
Just remember the thoughts offered by General Schwarzkopf (paraphrasing) - the only reason we succeeded at Normandy was that the Germans just couldn't shoot fast enough to kill all of us.
With our disloyal Democrat opposition, disloyal MSM, and disgruntled bureaucrats within the Bush Administration, we couldn't mount such an operation now because traitors in our midst would leak the info and if it was somehow kept secret, we couldn't stomach the necessary cost of the retaking of a continent. Add to that, presuming the Russians have spy satellites, they would be telling the enemy also.
[Update: Mary Katherine Ham has this excellent post from her Townhall.com blog. And Victor Davis Hanson has this Townhall.com article, which describes some of the blunders associated with the planning and execution of the Normandy invasion. You know, the types of blunders that would lead to the absolute savaging of President Bush nowadays. During WWII, most of the blunders were "covered up", not entirely for the purpose of evading responsibility, but so as to keep to the mission and deal with the mistakes after the battles were over, long over.]
[Second Update: Shamalama at Common Folk Using Common Sense has a good post on Operation Overlord, but when I try to retrieve the Trackback URL, it goes haywire - his blog doesn't seem to like me, so go to the link in the blogroll.]
You Got to Stop the Leaks First
The same is true about the illegal immigration issue. Because it has been going on for so long and because it is so complex, a "comprehensive bill" may sound good, but there are too many details and too many things hidden within the pages of this bill.
Though it is not a quick fix, we have to look at securing the border first. A complete fence is years away, but as we get sections of the fence finished, it will funnel illegals and smugglers towards areas where they may be apprehended more easily. Some of the areas of the Texas side of the Rio Grande are so rugged that they will not need a fence, maybe some remote cameras, but little more.
Other aspects will have to be dealt with piecemeal. We can't deport everyone, but we can start deporting those that have committed crimes, once they are finished with their sentence. If it is a petty crime, simply send them on their way home in lieu of their misdeanor sentence.
And if they come back illegally again, then hammer them. This will encourage those who are here illegally to behave a little more, vis-à-vis drunk driving, etc.. If their enablers squawl about "breaking apart families", they will have to be reminded of the costs of the chosen, illegal behavior.
Is this any different from what Mexico does to illegals that cross their southern border? Problems that fester for years will not be solved easily, beware the quick fix.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
This Drought Stuff is Gettin' Real Old
This has happened before, but as most folks don't think in terms of what happened before they were born, I am sure that a few of them will buy into this as "proof" of Anthropogenic Global Warming.
It is just a matter of being stuck under a stubborn High Pressure System.
Lord, if you push the High Pressure System aside, I won't complain about too much rain anymore. Or at least I will try not to complain.
Don't do it for me, do it for my poor wildflower/fern garden in the backyard. I know they are "wild" plants, but they are used to the occasional rain shower. In fact, I have been afraid to even look at the wildflower garden in the last week, 'cause I know it's gonna be bad.
Never mind the azalea bush and the Japanese maples I transplanted in the front yard, during the winter. I have watered them a few times. The maples look OK, but the azalea may be lost.
This "Reconquista Stuff" Makes Me Spittin' Mad
This is addressed to the "Aztlan" crowd. The most recent source of my ire is this WND article, wherein they show the cover of the upcoming issue of Whistleblower. On the cover is a sign held aloft at one of the countless demonstrations that "claim" the Southwestern U.S. as Mexican territory. On the sign is the tribalist message - "If you think i'm (sic) "illegal" because i'm (sic) a Mexican learn the true history because i'm (sic) in my HOMELAND". If they had their way, anyone not of their race (La Raza) would have no standing in "their homeland".
Enough with the Leftist tribal s__t! [Two Dogs, I saved those cuss words from the earlier post.]
Yes, we can discuss the rights and wrongs of Manifest Destiny and how the current United States territory came to be. We can discuss the rights and wrongs of the dealings between the United States and Mexico. We may have behaved in a tribalistic manner in the past. But we did pay Mexico millions for the territory that we "acquired". What other "conquering" nation does that? What we "took" during our growth, we paid for. The people responsible are all dead, the people that may have suffered directly are all dead. Get over it.
Is Mexico willing to pay the United States the fair market price for the Southwestern United States, the land they claim as "Aztlan"? After all, it was the American citizens that paid for all of those infrastructure improvements, the highways, bridges, water systems, airports, oil wells, copper mines,...
The harsh fact is that despite any mischief on the part of the United States in the 19th and maybe the early 20th centuries, MEXICO IS NOT POOR BECAUSE OF THE UNITED STATES. If we had not added those southwestern states to our territory, Mexico would still be in the same position it is now. Just get over it. Two wrongs do not make a right. A weakened United States is not good for anyone. Your actions suggest that you are not smart enough to know that. Islamists would slit your throats as easily as they would ours.
I am not a historian so I can't quote chapter and verse about Mexican history, but there is an understanding that there has been a long history of political corruption at all levels. That pervasive atmosphere of having to pay everyone off, plus not being able to establish ownership of private property for the average Mexican citizen, is a major part of the problem, i.e., it prevented the growth of the Free-Market system.
Does it have something to do with Spain's intentions for Mexico - was it just to produce silver and gold for the Spanish monarchy? Were the seeds for Mexico's dysfunctions planted then? What was the role of the Catholic Church vs. the largely-Protestant United States in the economic development of the two nations?
Was it somehow that England was more favored towards funneling immigrants from various parts of Europe into the new colonies versus Spain being interested in plundering Mexico's resources? England established what became the strong, dominant culture (with its common laws and legal structures) that defined the colonies and the United States - once it gained its independence. Was it Spain's failure to do the same in Mexico that set the stage for what exists today?
Mexico's current habit of shipping 1/7th of its workforce northward into the United States is not good for Mexico in the long run. It is better for them to keep that workforce at home and try to develop more of a middle class. And to deal with their hierarchy of corruption. Mexico has sufficient resources - oil, natural gas, uranium, silver, gold, copper, lead, zinc, timber, tobacco, tourism, agriculture - that they have an advantage on other growing nations. They don't need more northern territories. And if they got them "back" - IT WOULD MAKE ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE IN MEXICO'S PROSPERITY OR LACK THEREOF.
This rant is not intended to cast aspersions on Mexico, its culture, or its people. But the people in these demonstrations need to GO BACK TO MEXICO and FIX ITS PROBLEMS, instead of trying to "Mexicanize" the American Southwest. It is not a "racial thing" from my point of view, it is a "cultural/economic thing" - which model has been the more wildly successful? Need I ask? Tribalism, as in Balkanization, is not a model for success. A strong mainstream culture is vital to maintaining our strength.
Mexico can be built up without tearing down the United States. That would be the most favorable outcome for all.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Free Blind Mice
Free healthcare. Free college. Free universal pre-school. Free, free, free...(fill in the blank). And how about all of the free stuff for the "new citizens"? You know, those 12 million or so new Democrats?
And of course, we can't keep the tax cuts, 'cause all of this free stuff has to be paid for!
[Words fail me at this point, lest I start to cuss.]
"Polichickens" - Did I Hear That Right?
Because I am a little hard-of-hearing, I am not 100% sure if I heard this (it could have been the cheap radio I was listening to) - but it sounded like Kevin used the word "Polichickens" twice.
If he did, then credit to him. If he didn't, then maybe we have a relevant, new political term, to apply to RINOs.
I don't think "polichicken" would apply as well to Democrats, as we expect less of them anyway.
Maybe it is most aptly applied to those Republicans that have recently thrown their lot in the with established RINOs and Democrats, e.g., Kyl, Chambliss, etc..
I don't mean to be redundant, but you simply cannot deal with Ted Kennedy as no normal human can throw him any appreciable distance. You may be able to push him down and maybe he would roll. But as far as being able to trust him "as far as you can roll him", that just ain't good enough.
Any compromises that you think you are getting to defuse his Leftist agenda will somehow be subverted.
A bad bill will not reveal all of its damage right away. It will take years for us to see the damage. The problem with a complex issue is that "comprehensive" strategies have too many nooks and crannies in which to hide political and economic "time bombs".
As the serious transgressions and compromises of the above-mentioned (and other) new "polichickens" are fairly new, if this entire bill can be shelved, maybe they can redeem themselves in some way. Replacing them with Democrats will not help. It is better to chasten our own and guide them, rather than giving Democrats more of what they want on election day 2008.
If we don't presist, what will the results be when the "Polichickens come home to roost."?
[Update: I "googled" the word and apparently Kevin is a "freeper", as the word is in use over at Free Republic and they are talking about Kevin as if he is one of their own. Bravo for this new addition to our lexicon.]
Saturday, June 02, 2007
The Endless Bias in MSM Reporting on Science Issues...
You may have seen a report on the internet earlier this week about a NASA official that thought we are making too much of the "global warming thing" (my paraphrasing).
In this NewsBusters post, you can learn more about this and the MSM choosing only to report on the scientists that disagreed with his opinion.
In an NPR interview, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin suggested that the global warming problem wasn't serious enough to warrant "wrestling with" (my paraphrasing), as reported in this earlier NewsBusters post.
Among the MSM reporters to respond, ABC's Bill Blakemore co-wrote this piece for the ABC News website. And they had to run to NASA's James Hansen (who received a $250,000 grant from the Heinz Foundation to support his public posturing) for an opinion (more of a personal attack) on the man that runs NASA, i.e., Hansen's "boss".
In the recent past, Bill Blakemore has suggested that he sees no reason to present "both sides of the Global Warming argument" (my paraphrasing) - at least he is honest about not being interested in considering both sides in his reporting. I guess that is too much work and it would force him to think too much.
Among the things ABC, et al, are not reporting are the statements from other scientists that support Griffin's viewpoint.
In the spirit of the 1960's radio commentator Drew Pearson -
I predict that at some point soon, one or more Congressional or Senatorial Democrats and/or RINOs will attempt to hound Michael Griffin out of his job at NASA, for daring to speak against the prevailing political paradigm on Global Warming.
[For the sake of context, this is how I got my introduction to talk radio, back in the 1960s, when my Dad would listen to Drew Pearson's news analysis on the radio each Sunday. It fascinated me that here was someone who was talking about the news instead of just reporting it. When he would get to the portion of his program when he would address probable events in the near future, he would strongly and forthrightly say - "I predict..."]
True to the Blue Moon...
A few weeks ago, about the time of the first Full Moon of May, I posted a longer piece on Cockburn's "going against the grain" of his Leftist brethren, at least on this one subject, where I believe he is right, "once in a Blue Moon." This second article was timed (by coincidence?) with the second Full Moon (the Blue Moon) of May.
So we have to give credit where credit is due.
h/t NewsBusters, where there are more excerpts of The Nation article. This Counterpunch article is a longer version of The Nation piece.
Why Modern Liberals Ain't - A Catholic Priest Calls for Gun Shop Owner to be "Snuffed Out"
From the NewsBusters post:
"...Father Michael Pfleger, known the city over for his overt political activism, made the obscene comments while demonstrating with Jesse Jackson and his Organization Operation Push in front of Chuck's Gun Shop in Riverdale, a Chicago suburb.
This from the Capitol Fax Blog (one of Illinois' best political sites):
Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s Church, went way over the top this week. During a protest against Chuck’s Gun Shop, Father Pfleger twice threatened to “snuff out” the shop’s owner and threatened the same fate for legislators who oppose his position on gun control.
“We’re gonna find you and snuff you out,” Fleger said about the gun shop owner, likening the man to a “rat.” He later repeated his threat to “snuff out” the owner.
“We’re gonna snuff out legislators who are voting [garbled] against our gun laws and we’re coming for you because we are not going to sit idly.”
That is some of the most vicious rhetoric one could imagine coming out of the mouth of a so-called Priest, but, the MSM had nothing to say about the comments. In fact, while several Chicago MSM sources mentioned the Jackson sponsored protest, none of them mention Pfleger's outrageous and inflammatory rhetoric."
[It might be wise for the Governor of Illinois to publicly remind Father Pflegler that free speech does not include the right to threaten to kill someone over a political disagreement.]
One or more of the NewsBusters commentors noted that if the priest had threatened to snuff out the life of an abortionist or Planned Parenthood member, the MSM would be all over it (and rightly so).
We shouldn't even have to ask why the local and national MSM are not mentioning this death threat (Huston did suggest that maybe everyone already knows that Pflegler is a loose cannon that bears ignoring, so as not to tarnish the MSM support of the anti-gun movement.)
During the protest, Jackson made statements accusing the gun shop of selling guns that ended up in the hands of criminals, while providing no legal evidence of such activities.
I guess it is too much to expect for Jesse and Operation PUSH to picket known crackhouses in Chicago and Father Pflegler calling for crack dealers to be "snuffed out". I guess it is too much for Jesse and PUSH to picket gang enclaves and call for the same treatment.
No, the God-given right of self defense is the threat to their Leftist agenda, not the criminal element in Chicago and other large cities.
Smacking Down Joy Behar's List of Lies...
It seems that Joy's moonbatic rant was inspired by Al Gore's new book, wherein he assaults reason.
The Skipper Sails Over the Horizon
While he rests in peace, hopefully his friends and family will leave his blog up for a while, as it is a noteworthy source of humor and conservative analysis and opinion.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Living in the Past
I have written a little about this in the past and I have at least one unfinished draft on this subject. What it is about it the desire to "rewild" North America, returning to the conditions of the Pleistocene Epoch (2 million to 12,000+/- years ago). Though they desire a smaller population, they (the Deep Ecologists) can probably live with crowding people from the small towns and rural areas into large cities, where they can be "managed".
Moonbattery has a good post on this subject. From this referenced Scientific American article, North America had been the focus of these eco-desires, but now they are looking at Europe, too.
From the SA article:
"...A few years ago, a group of scientists conceived a "re-wilding" plan aimed at restoring North America's lost Pleistocene ecosystems. The purpose: to restore lost ecological processes and evolutionary potential as well as provide a safe haven for megafauna barely surviving in conflict-ridden, unstable or densely populated regions elsewhere. Since that time, much of the discussion about re-wilding has remained focused on North America."...
Europe is being considered because there are some remaining descendants of the animals of that time. From the article:
"...In many ways, Europe is a more obvious candidate for re-wilding than North America. The reason: a large portion of species lost in the Americas do not have any close living relatives. Europe has also seen its share of extinctions, including the scimitar cat, cave bear, woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, steppe rhinoceros and giant deer, but many of Europe's lost species still survive or have close wild or domestic relatives elsewhere in the world. Europe also has a historical advantage: The disappearance of its megafauna to a large extent occurred more recently than in North America, with many species persisting well into the Holocene."
Again, as a reminder, these folks want a smaller world human population. They blame "early man" for many of the extinctions of these mammals during the Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene (as the last major Ice Age was ending). No doubt humans did play a role in some places, but there is evidence of an early Holocene comet impact that may have also played an important role.
By way of links from Archeologica News (h/t John Sweat), there are several articles about this recently interpreted event, during the "Clovis Age". Here is the link to a Newswise article. This article suggests the possible site of comet explosion/impact was north of the Great Lakes on the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Here is a BBC article on the same subject, while here is the UK Guardian article.
This comet impact/explosion is thought to have caused the Younger Dryas Climatic Event, a quick return to ice age conditions that occurred shortly after the end of the Pleistocene Epoch. Almost as quickly as it began, the Younger Dryas ended, returning to the natural Global Warming that marked the rebound from the Pleistocene. From the Younger Dryas Wikipedia article:
"...Measurements of oxygen isotopes from the GISP2 ice core suggest the ending of the Younger Dryas took place over just 40 - 50 years in three discrete steps, each lasting five years. Other proxy data, such as dust concentration, and snow accumulation, suggest an even more rapid transition, requiring a ~7 °C warming in just a few years"...
Yeah, we have never seen the type of warming that we are seeing today. We do not yet know (if we ever will) all of the reasons for past rapid changes in temperature, whether cooling or warming. But we know that it all took place before the advent of the evil SUV.