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, March 27, 2008

Why I am Glad That I Evolved Beyond Liberalism

To begin with, today's libs have twisted the definition to the point where past honorable members of the Democrat party would be shaking their heads.

But the main reason is the two awful presidential offerings of the party. On the one hand, we have a wife-and-husband team of lawyers from Arkansas, representing the "devil we know". Neither of the two lawyers has distinguished themselves with excellent courtroom skills nor on-point legal analyses of complex documents nor presenting skilled legal guidance for a coporate client, or any of the other things that lawyers are supposed to do. They seem to have made their climb by making shady deals.

The wife-lawyer candidate has recently distinguished herself unable to master the skill of telling Texas-style "tall tales".

Instead of claiming that she was named for a yet-unknown mountain climber, she could have said "My parents knew the name 'Hillary' was destined for greatness". Or she could have said that "I began to wonder why Bill was sending me places like Bosnia. Bosnian snipers love to practice their marksmanship at the airport, but they were thankfully pre-occupied that day".

Instead, she is distinguishing herself as the new "Home of the Whopper" [Sorry Burger King.]. Lame-broiled whoppers at that, instead of flame-broiled.

And history will have to play-itself-out regarding the damage done to this nation regarding the presidency of the husband.

On the other hand, we have a husband-and-wife team of lawyers from Chicago representing the "devil we don't know". Well, we are getting to know that second devil rather well. From this observers viewpoint, other than oratory skills, whether the husband-lawyer has distinguished himself legally is unclear, but there seems to be evidence of some shady deals that Chicago is famous for. And his primary mentor has a really bad attitude towards certain folks that "don't look like him".

As for the wife-lawyer, she seems to be the most skilled of the four, having done well for herself as a corporate lawyer. But despite her success, unlikely to have occurred an any other country, the wife-lawyer seems angry at her homeland and seems to despise the bulk of her fellow citizens. So what kind of First Lady material does she present? If she doesn't respect her homeland nor most of her citizens, what kind of respect will she engender for herself or for her nation? Maybe she learned that from husband-lawyer's mentor.

And if these two candidates crash and burn while locked in tooth-and-nail combat, will a former VP be waiting the wings? A former VP that has recently distinguished himself lately by becoming wealthy riding a white hoax (rather than a white horse), at that.

So, as a Conservative, my candidate ain't quite all that I want, but he is far above what the Democrats have to offer.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Two Dogs...

just when you thought things couldn't get worse...

Miller Chill is now available in aluminum bottles.

Just thought you would like to know.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What a Geologist Sees - Part 17

I am generally a "mountains and desert" person, but when I do go to the beach, I always like to get some photos of ripple marks and other "sedimentary structures".

Ripple marks and the raindrop impressions are actually termed "external sedimentary structures", as this is what we see when we see the top of a sedimentary layer.

I have seen numerous examples of ripple marks preserved in the "rock record" in sandstones, but I have not seem them combined with draindrop impressions. Usually, when we see symmetrical ripples in a sandstone, it is indicative of a beach environment, where the ripples and raindrops can be obscured by the next storm tides or the next heavy rains, while the sand was still soft and unconsolidated.

I have seen ripples with rain-drop impressions in red siltstones (finer-grained than the sandstones), which were deposited in a tidal flat setting. Sometimes in those cases, after the exposed layer had dried and hardened somewhat, it was covered over and preserved by the next layer.

[So while I may look at the pretty girls, I am taking photos of clouds, waves, ripple marks, and sand dunes, so as not to be labeled a "dirty old man".]

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Why Modern Liberals Ain't...The Notion That "Racism" is Institutional...

or that black Americans are incapable of being "racist"...


As reported by NewsBusters and Moonbattery, Joy Behar (why do I think of the word "bray" when I hear her name?) is the latest to put forth this pile of "liberal" philosophy, scraped from the ground in the cow pastures of their "minds".

As I have stated before, "racism" (actually bigotry) is about how we treat each other as individuals. It is not about the group power with which "liberals" are obsessed. There are plenty of poor white people that have no "White Priviledge".

A generation or more ago, there might have been some truth to the notion of "institutional racism", but attitudes have been changing and the laws have been changing. When someone hollers "disparate impact" of certain laws, rules, regulations, or policies, there is more to the story.

Allowing cultural flourishing of black racism, a la Rev. Wright and his fellow travelers (and being excused by guilty Libs) will only bring forth bad fruit.

When most white Americans of my generation (and the one that followed) have been attempting to dispel past racial stereotypes and prejudices, having a double standard will lead some white people to say "Why bother?".

"When I am trying to be better than my parents and grandparents, but I am still treated like a klansman, why should I bother trying?"

"Why should I forbid the use of the "n" word in my home if Rev. Wright gets a free pass?"

"Why should I treat people of other races as individuals if their idea of the "typical white person" is that every white person has a klan robe hanging in their closet?"

"Why bother admonishing other white people for their racial slurs?"

This all arises from the tribalism/collectivism that libs practice. It nurtures the very bigotry that they claim to despise. The truth is some of these "liberals" do not want us to get along. They want us to keep fighting among ourselves, so big government can come in and micromanage race relations. And that will make them feel like they have done something.

In the end, it will only cause a backlash and innocent people will suffer. Those responsible for slavery are all dead and those responsible for the latter stages of "Jim Crow" laws are fading away. Seeking revenge against the current generations is blaming the wrong people for past sins. We have to acknowledge that slavery and Jim Crow were the result of past cultural ignorance.

Yes, justice for the treatment of past generations has escaped, but that happens. We all have ancestors that have been mistreated by some other human(s). We all have to run a gauntlet of idiots and miscreants in our lives. There is nothing we can do about it, once the guilty have passed on. We have to let it go and move ahead.

But we can have faith that God's wisdom will know who to punish for their sins and who to reward for their suffering.

I know that all black Americans are not like Rev. Wright and his ilk and I will not treat them as such, but if "white racism" is to continually be marginalized (as it should be), then so should "black racism", as they are both equally evil.

Recognizing common standards, common needs, and common interests are the only way we are going to get along. Not one group against the other, as the "liberals" want.

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Well, We Got our Daughter "Married Off"...

on Saturday in Destin, FL. Actually the wedding was a few miles east at Carillon Beach, closer to Panama City Beach.

The rehearsal at the beachside was playful, as one would expect at the seaside and my daughter showed no signs of being a "bridezilla". The photo is of my daughter (in the middle) and three of her bridesmaids playing after the rehearsal.

The late-afternoon, beachside wedding went well. The weather was beautiful and the seagulls behaved themselves. There was enough wind to kick up some nice waves for effect.

The only problem was that I awoke Saturday with a bad migraine and was nauseous all day long. I couldn't even keep water down. I told my daughter that if I fainted, it wasn't from emotion.

When I walked her "down-the-aisle", I was fine, but when I sat down, the internal battle in my stomach resumed. I did make it through the ceremony, but I may look a bit pale when we see the wedding photos (or maybe a bit green). I couldn't even enjoy the catered meal after the wedding.

Fortunately my sister reminded me of the stomach-calming qualities of ginger ale and once I started sipping cool (not cold) ginger ale, the nausea stopped. And by later that evening, I was able to munch a couple of saltines. And it gave me a reason to have a couple of milkshakes the next day.

But if I ever have reason to go back there on Easter, I will take a tent and go to KOA. The Easter-weekend motel rates were painful, $512 for three nights (that is one reason dads cry at weddings).

So one "cycle" of life is complete, having somewhat successfully reared one kid and gotten her married off to a good family. Now our teenaged son will be another challenge.
Pray for us.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

With a Glass of Stout, A Nod Towards St. Patrick

This WND article is about how St. Patrick changed history by civilizing and Christianizing Ireland. Go give it a read.

[May add a few more thoughts tomorrow. The glass of Terrapin Coffee Stout is now empty and being a night owl tonight is not going to work.]

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A Little Daytona 500 vs. Indy 500 Trivia

Since 1959, when the Daytona 500 began, there have been more repeat winners of the Indy 500 than of the Daytona 500. (Source: Wikipedia)

Since 1959, the 11 repeat winners of the Indy 500 have been:

4 times each: A. J. Foyt, Al Unser, Rick Mears
3 times each: Bobby Unser, Johnny Rutherford
2 times each: Rodger Ward, Gordon Johncock, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser, Jr., Arie Luyendyk, Helio Castroneves

Since 1959, the 8 repeat winners of the Daytona 500 have been:

7 times: Richard Petty
4 times: Cale Yarborough
3 times: Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon
2 times: Bill Elliott, Sterling Marlin, Michael Waltrip

File under Useless Knowledge.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

This is What We Will Get...

for being too damned nice.

The above link is to a WND-linked article from the UK Daily Mail on an English vicar that was beaten by a three "Asian" (read Muslim) "youths" (read thugs).

From the article:

..."The incident happened outside St George-in-the-East Church in Wapping, East London.

It has regularly had windows smashed by youths - who on one occasion shouted: "This should not be a church, this should be a mosque."...

[Emphasis added.]

I am not attacking those Muslims that choose to live by the rules of civility, I am attacking the liberal weakness that allows thugs and bullies to flourish. When they rule the day, the sensible, civilized Muslims will be afraid to speak out against them.

So where are the drunken British soccer fans when they are needed? Maybe we can whisper in their drunken ears that "the Muslims funded the American Revolution" and get them righteously pissed at the Muslim thugs.

Britannia is dying.

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When the Populace Doesn't Follow the NYT Pied Piper on Global Warming...

the piper never seems to think "maybe I was wrong", but instead opines that maybe he (or his vessel) hasn't talked and written enough, so we simpletons need to be told some more.

NewsBusters has this piece on NYT environmental reporter Andrew Revkin's recent Al Gore-style lecture delivered at the University of Delaware and how Revkin thinks that the public isn't listening because the subject "too complex". [There is a shred of truth here, addressing that portion of the populace that retreats to "free bread and circuses" instead of thinking about hard and complex issues. And perhaps because the public school system hasn't spent enough time teaching the skills of logic and critical thought, as well as science.]

From the NewsBusters piece, answering Revkin's concern about the NYT not covering the issue enough:

..."A Nexis newspaper database search revealed that in the last month, The New York Times has published 40 stories mentioning "climate change" and 72 stories mentioning "global warming."...

So if Revkin gets his way, the NYT will give more of its "quality" coverage to the issue of AGW.

Well, isn't that special? We can hardly wait.

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After 8+ Years of "Slick Willie"...

do we really need "Slick Barry" in the White House?

And besides the word "harpy", what term might we use for Michelle?

[When she chose to insert herself into the public arena with her hateful words about her homeland, I don't think this term is too harsh. Disagreement and concern over policies and mistakes is one thing, but a potential First Lady should be a little more refined and diplomatic. We need more than a Cynthia McKinney-style character with better hair. Hoping for Condoleeza Rice-style grace is perhaps too much to expect from a Leftist woman. I don't think Saul Alinsky nor Noam Chomsky spent too much time on that subject.]

While we sat around trying to determine the "direction of flow" of the Democrat primaries, fortunately some people have been digging into Barack Obama's background and hopefully this is the right time to be bringing this to the public eye.

At American Thinker, there is an editorial devoted to deconstructing Barack's tap dance regarding Rev. Jeremiah Wright's hateful statements. The writer(s) remind us of Barack's Harvard law school training and it brings to mind the legalese that former President Clinton employed during the Paula Jones perjury issue and other peccadillos.

Dig and write we Conservatives must, as we know the MSM won't.

Noteworthy also is the venue Barack Obama chose to publish his statements regarding the words of Rev. Wright, the Huffington Post.

From the Huffington Post, by way of the American Thinker editorial...

"The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation."...

You well know that I am not well-trained in grammatical structure. My redneck rule-of-thumb is that "If it sounds awkward, something is probably wrong (grammatically) with the sentence.".

Sometimes leftists deliberately "muddy-the-waters" grammatically to make themselves sound learned and sophisticated and to hide the true meaning of their words. Maybe they think that we will get flummoxed and give up.

So is the above statement the result of the Saul Alinsky school-of-grammar, i.e., don't worry about the grammar, or is it designed to "dance around the truth"?

Within this convoluted statement, the American Thinker editorial deconstructs the two latter phrases:

..."were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation."...

Basically from the editorial, Barach may have "reasoned" in his legalistic mind that he wasn't seated, but standing and applauding during such controversial statements and that if Michelle (or someone else)was with him while talking with Rev. Wright, it wasn't per se a "private conversation". So the above statement was true and accurate.

We have already suffered through a Leftist husband-and-wife lawyer team in the White House, and we face the same with either Democrat candidate. Do we need more of that?



Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Few Thoughts on Dale Jarrett's Retirement

Having been busy with three part-time jobs late last year, I had missed the news that Dale Jarrett was retiring from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and tomorrow's race at Bristol was going to be his last points race (he may run in the All-Star race(s) the week before the Coca Cola 600, in May).

The photo is from the first time I saw Dale Jarrett race, in a Busch Series race (now Nationwide Series) at Road Atlanta, the Food Giant 300, on July 6, 1986. As you can see, his engine was ailing at the time of the photo, though he did complete 67 of the 74 laps, before the engine blew, resulting in a 21st place finish.

All in all, he has had a great career, winning the 1999 Winston Cup Championship and 32 Winston Cup/Nextel Cup races, including three Daytona 500s (1993, 1996, 2000). Aside from the 1999 Championship, Dale finished in the Top-5 in the point standings 6 more times, the last time in 2001.

Dale's dad (Ned Jarrett) won championships in 1961 and 1965 and 50 races, but no Daytona 500s. [As an aside, Ned retired near the end of the 1966 season, while he was still the reigning champion, the only driver to ever do so.] Ned is now 76 and I am sure that Dale would like to spend some down time now, swappping stories with his dad and some of the other old-timers.

Both drivers are well-respected as being gentleman, as well as champions.

Dale's last victory was in the 2nd Talladega race in 2005. Unfortunately, I never got to see him win anywhere (didn't get to see Dale Earnhardt, Sr. win either), though I have been fortunate enough to see many of the "big names" win either Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) or Winston West (West Coast division) races.



Wright, But Wrong

As we learn more about the hateful views of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jr., Barack Obama's claims of not being influenced are becoming less and less believable. And as we learn more about the hateful opinions of Michelle Obama, we have to consider what other voices are influencing "the anointed one".

Before going any further, the only way we are ever going to approach anything resembling widespread harmony between "black" and "white" America is to:

1.) Hold everyone to the same standards and responsibilities. If White Separatism is wrong, then so is Black Separatism. Ripping our nation apart to satisfy some (of any color) ne'er do wells will not help anyone.

2.) Emphasize that those that directly suffered from slavery and the ones that owned slaves ARE ALL DEAD.

3.) Emphasize the counter-productive nature of seeing people as members of groups or "tribes". Tribalism is the root of bigotry and racism.

4.) Emphasize that the "Tuskegee Experiment" was totally wrong, but IT HAPPENED DECADES AGO.

5.) Recognize that racism and bigotry are about how we treat each other AS INDIVIDUALS, it has almost nothing to do with the "group power" over which liberals obsess. I can show you rural homes of poor white people that haven't a shred of "White Priviledge".

6.) Emphasize that slavery was made illegal more than 100 years ago.

7.) Emphasize that most white people are trying to be better than their parents and grandparents, regarding racial opinions and stereotyping people.

8.) Emphasize that accusing innocent white people of racism and bigotry is going to trigger a backlash effect, resulting in a whole new generation of people with "KKK attitudes".

So how in the world does Senator Obama expect us to believe that he sat through 20 years of "Rev." Wrights rants without being influenced? Why is he only now repudiating these hateful statements? [This post from the Autonomist states that a NewsMax reporter attended one of Rev. Wright's services, which Senator Obama attended and the good senator was seen nodding his head in agreement with some of the statements of Rev. Wright.]

I am not suggesting that Senator Obama is the viscious bigot/racist that Rev. Wright has revealed himself to be, but after hearing this type of message, perhaps for years, it is bound to have had some sort of effect, even if only on a subconcious level. How many of his anti-wealth attitudes are rooted in this hatred? How will subconcious memories affect any push for expanded "hate crimes" legislation? How many of Rev. Wright's attitudes will filter through into appointments in the Obama Administration? Will President Obama sign Reparations legislation passed by the Democrat Congress and Senate, at the behest of Rev. Wright?

It just seems to me that Senator Obama, having been a member in good standing for so long, could have taken Rev. Wright aside and spoken to him years ago to ask him the source of his hatred. Preachers can get off track and it should be up to responsible church members to guide them back to "the message". Senator Obama could have rounded up some of the "church elders" and spoken to Rev. Wright in private. And if there was no change in Rev. Wright's attitudes, Senator Obama and his family could have left the church.

But they didn't. How many of these hateful "sermons" did Senator Obama and Michelle sit through? If he disagreed with the message, why did he sit there?

[This is a far more valid reason to hammer Barack Obama, rather than pick at him over his middle name.]

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sort of in the "Fog Stage" at This Moment...

as my daughter's wedding approaches. I guess the panic phase follows.

I haven't written much about this, but my daughter decided against a large church wedding in favor of a simple seaside beach wedding (within driving distance). I jokingly suggested a beach at Lake Lanier, but as the lake is still down 10+ feet due to the drought, my suggestion only received a dirty look.

And the wedding was moved up two months, as the groom's dad has accepted a job in NYC and thus his parents are in the process of moving to the Big Apple.

So instead of still being two months away, the wedding is now less than two weeks.

So I am a little distracted. Will blog as my thoughts come together.



Friday, March 07, 2008

Mike Gallagher, I Done Told You...

[Updated on Sunday 10/9]

to leave this Barack Hussein Obama stuff alone! I agree with Karl Rove. I agree with Michael Medved, too. [If we want to snicker about "BO" references, that is less of an issue.]

This is an un-needed distraction.

Trying to "plant" a subliminal message in plain sight is not going to work. If Barack endangers the United States in regard to the War on Terror, it is not because he is a closet Muslim, it is because he is a hard Leftist. If he weakens our economy, it is because he is a hard Leftist, not because he is a closet Muslim.

We recently saw him contort biblical messages in trying to tie homosexual issues to the Sermon on the Mount. This is not because he is a closet Muslim, this is because he is a hard Leftist.

As for his "dressing up" in the Somali garb, I still don't think this is an important issue. He was just "playing to the locals", IMHO.

The lib MSM is going to play the "anti-Muslim" bigotry card, along with the Black race card, especially if we give them the chance. We have to honestly emphasize the political and economic disagreements and do not let them define us on such a weak issue.

Above all else, we have to remember that the Dem candidate is going to get the equivalent of millions of dollars of free advertising from Hollywood and the MSM (and their cohorts).

Instead of setting up straw men for the Dems/MSM to knock down, we need to be collecting quotes (and reviewing political history) from Hillary, Bill, Barack, and Michelle to illustrate how far Left they are willing to go. To illustrate how out-of-touch they are with Middle America. Especially lately, Michelle Obama has been helping us in this regard. [We shouldn't be worried about her undergrad thesis, it is what she is saying "right now" that is pertinent. Unless she refuses to disclaim or qualify some of her undergrad thoughts.]

[If I had written anything political during my senior undergrad time period, I would probably repudiate much of it. My "undergrad thesis" was, of course, geology-related and some of the interpretations have changed in the 30+ years since then. I feel that I explained them well and I had a reason for them at the time. And if I ever had a reason to revisit this subject of research, I would restate the prevailing interpretations of 1976, while nodding to the current interpretations of those that spend more time studying the Piedmont province, than have I.]

If you want to read Mike's rationale, the visit this column.

[Update: Kevin McCullough agrees with me, too.]

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

One Year of Colder Temperatures...

does not tell us whether we have reached the end of the Modern Warm Period, which followed the Little Ice Age.

A single year of data may be the harbinger of what is to come, especially when we consider the words of the Russian scientists that have been watching solar activity, but it will take some more time for trends to reveal themselves. Temperatures seem to have leveled off since the late 1990s, but the primary ways of forecasting are watching the Sun for changes or relying on the computer models of the IPCC, et al.

[A point that a Dennis Prager substitute made (I missed his name) was that the Russians are not beholden to the opinions of Al Gore, i.e., they are not following the Western AGW party line.]

So aside from demonstrating natural variability (as did the quiet 2006 & 2007 Hurricane Seasons, after the busy 2004 & 2005 seasons), one year doesn't mean that much. Again, if the post-1999 trend continues downward for a few more years, then it will impact the 30-year climate average. And it might be a good idea to stop squabbling among ourselves and start making plans if this does turn out to be a protracted period of cooling.

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