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geosciblog Continuing Series
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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>
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I KNEW Something was Wrong with This Barack Obama Quote...
"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." - supposedly from Barack Obama's Audacity of Hope.
I was initially infuriated but also amazed that Obama would write such an obviously inflammatory remark in a book, where there is plenty of review time available to correct statements that "don't sound right". My instincts prevented me from ranting about this "quote".
I checked out a copy of the book from our library, but trying to read through it was annoying, so I went to Snopes.com, where I found the urban legend and the reference to the original statement in page 261 of the hardback edition. Then I went back to the book and found the passage. [There are other email "legends/quotes addressed" in the Snopes piece, but I didn't check them out.]
The original passage was in reference to the fear (of liberals) that Muslims would be "rounded up and put into internment camps" a la Japanese-American citizens in WWII. Not too many serious people were actually suggesting this. Scrutiny of Muslim aliens, deportation of illegal Muslim aliens - but not internment of citizens.
Snopes does not allow highlighting and copying of passages and I am not going to transcribe Barack Obama's somewhat verbose writings. Suffice to say that the emailed quote (as above) is a rewritten version of his written statement.
We don't need to do this in order to work against the election of Barack Obama. He is giving us enough stuff as it is. His pro-abortion stances, his refusal to allow access to our own oil resources, his recent use of the word "reparations",...
A reworded quote IS NOT A QUOTE AT ALL. Libs have often done this to take Conservative words out-of-context, we don't need to play that same dishonest game.
Not to defend a Socialist rookie Senator, but if someone sends you this email with (or tells you) this "quote", please politely reply that it is taken out of context and it is not his original words. If I had not found the passage in the book, I might have been skeptical.
The MSM and Barack are already lying about John McCain's soft-spoken "attack ads". Someone needs to hold the moral "high ground".
Labels: 2008 Presidential Campaign
Monday, July 28, 2008
Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Later This Week,...
Even those MSM entities that pretend to praise him will include enough snarky comments to let us know what they really think. How many of them actually have the class to use the words "worthy opponent", in a sincere fashion?
Maybe Arianna Huffington will have enough sense to shut down comments, as she did (or someone in her organization did) after the death of Tony Snow. Just so we don't get "too clear a view" of the total lack of character of the Moonbats that infest HuffPo and similar sites.
Pride Goeth Before...the Season?
J.R. Dunn, at American Thinker, articulates what the American electorate is coming to recognize, that aside from being a Leftist and being inexperienced and lacking in wisdom, Barack Obama is loaded with hubris. In a time and place where that personality trait is not needed.
Even Susan Estrich is worried. And is Howard Kurtz more worried about his profession suffering or Obama's candidacy suffering?
Is this why Hillary is still "waiting in the wings"? Is Al Gore being groomed as a back-up, if Barack's fall occurs before the Democrat Convention? Or will George Soros convene the stereotypical "smoke-filled room", to engineer an unprecedented late-campaign change - if Barack collapses after the Convention? As age is catching up with George Soros, is he willing to wait until 2012?
And is the MSM inadvertently helping, by too-heavily promoting Barack Obama? I don't think they are engaging in their Obama lovefests to over-expose and crash Obama to help Hillary, I think they are that intoxicated.
If George Soros and the MSM can successfully engineer an Obama flame-out to set the stage for Hillary, without it being obvious, we have more to fear from them than we thought. If they are doing something such as this, are they so filled with their own hubris - as to not concern themselves over the backlash from black voters after an Obama crash-and-burn?
Is this why John McCain is "laying back", because he believes Barack will crash under the weight of his own ego (and the ever-mounting negatives)? It could be that John McCain has his own form of hubris, regarding wanting to do things his way, but his hubris is tempered by wisdom and experience.
Most Conservatives acknowledge that John McCain is not what we wanted, but he is what we have and despite his negatives, he is likely to damage the nation much less than a bad case of B.O..
If the fall-from-grace before the election saves the nation, what portion of the intoxicated "black electorate" (and leftist whites) will realize that Geraldine Ferraro was right? As Lib/Leftists rarely recognize the three fingers pointed back at themselves (when they point the finger at someone), I suspect that the non-existent "vast right-wing conspirarcy" may be blamed along with the blogosphere, talk radio, and the unsophisticated American-heartland voter.
Anybody but their "Golden Child".
Sunday, July 20, 2008
We Should Beware the Damage That the MSM Actions will Ultimately Inflict...
This is the theme of today's Austin Hill column at Townhall.com.
In all of the MSM/Hollywood/Oprah-driven Obamamania, no one is reminding the American people that Obama is a Washington rookie and that he might lose. And because so much of Modern "Liberalism" is based upon emotion, not logic, there are concerns about the reactions of Obama's followers if he is "denied his destiny". "Liberals" rarely blame themselves.
I have used a NASCAR analogy about this before, that "sometimes you have to lose a championship before you win one".
That is not to label a second-place finisher as a loser, but there have been times when a particular driver has held the points lead until the last few races, even until the last race of the season and then had it slip away. It may be because of an unforeseen event or it could be because of a bad choice (or action) by the driver and/or the pit crew in the last race of the season. And as each race awards the same number of points, "why he lost" could be traced back to any particular race, earlier in the season where "something different could have been done". At times, "Herculean" efforts have been made to get a particular car back on to the racetrack after an accident or mechanical problem (such as with Benny Parsons' 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship win). Sometimes it works (as far as making a difference at the end of the season) and sometimes it doesn't. Over a 30 some-odd race season, there are so many times where there are make-or-break scenarios, that a close loss of the championship can be the source of years of introspection about "what we could have done differently". It is a team effort.
So what am I blathering about?
Usually when a NASCAR driver loses a close championship contest, as have (within my memory) Bobby Allison, Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, and Jimmie Johnson, they generally don't blame someone else outside themselves or their team.
We have already heard numerous suggestions that the failure to worship (or at least vote for) Obama is "racism or racist". Prepare yourselves to hear this ad nauseum, perhaps for years, as the MSM has already made a practice of repeating lies (about President Bush having stolen the 2000 election, etc.).
We are going to hear from Katie Couric, et al, "that America just wasn't ready for a black President". And if Keith Olbermann is still on the air, he will be spewing saliva at "the racism of America".
And Obama's in-experience and Leftist attitudes will not be blamed. It will not be his screw-ups or his associations with persons that clearly hate America. It will not be because Americans became more aware of the role of George Soros. It will be the fault of "racism in America", especially applied to Conservatives. And some will cite Obama's loss as a reason for the "Fairness Doctrine" and other free-speech constraints.
And it is highly likely that Americans will die as they did because of the media manipulation of the "Rodney King video" in 1992. In enclaves of ill-educated, ill-informed people, there will be rage because "they were promised an Obama victory" by the Talking Heads. How many people will be targeted for attacks (ranging from physical attacks to vehicle vandalism) because they have a McCain bumper sticker? In the Atlanta "Rodney King riots" (which the local media called "disturbances"), some cars were targeted for damage because their tags were from "suburban counties" and they were perceived to be owned by white people.
Austin Hill mentions South-central Los Angeles as one locale "likely to burn" (my words), but consider Detroit and Chicago, where cars and businesses have burned and people have died in "celebrations" of NBA Championship victories. Will white citizens that work in large, liberal urban centers be forced to schedule vacations for the days after the election, in case Obama loses? Will whites that live in "diverse" neighborhoods have to carry some protection or cower within their homes? Simply because of their skin color or a McCain yard sign?
And if this comes to pass, if there are riots after Obama loses, what will that do for the next black Presidential candidate? It will no doubt "poison the well", but that will be blamed on the "angry white male voter", rather than the failings of Obama and the media-hype in "puffing-up the qualifications" of someone who is too in-experienced and too Leftist" to be President.
As I suggested a few paragraphs ago, Liberals almost never blame themselves for their failings. So we have to prepare ourselves for the Lib/Leftist grande mal temper tantrum. They won't accept that he might have lost "fair and square". Will Oprah have an on-camera meltdown? Will the MSM have a collective meltdown? How many sensible Americans will just have to shut off the TV and say "Just STFU"?
Just remember that Modern Liberalism is a mental disorder. The damage wrought by mobs in the wake of an Obama loss will not last as long as the damage wrought by Obama and his Democrat Congress and Court System.
I Did Mississippi!
It was an enjoyable experience, and though it means nothing in the larger-scheme-of-things, I have now tried at least one beer from every state east of the Mississippi River.
[This will be cross-posted later at Beer Can Blog.]
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
More Geology Comments, Soon
The politics are important as I have two kids (son - 13 and married daughter - 21) and now my daughter is "expecting". I have a stake in the future and more Socialism ain't the answer to our problems. Nor is quitting the War on Terror.
My daughter's in-laws plan to live in NYC for at least the next 3 - 5 years (if all goes according to plan) until her father-in-law retires. When my son-in-law finishes college, there is a chance he might try to get a job there. This is of a concern as NYC has been a terrorist target before, it is logical to think they would try again.
It will take years before we know all of the close calls we have had regarding planned terror attacks in the U.S., since 9/11, and which ones were prevented by the Bush Administration and which ones failed by chance occurrences.
If we quit, we can be assured that they won't.
So which Presidential candidate are the Islamists most likely to fear? Which one has the legendary temper? Which one is more likely to be the "strong horse" in regards to these Middle East dealings?
It is a word that fits the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams (to be played in an upcoming film bio by Rowan Atkinson - entitled Mr. Bean goes to Canterbury).
Well known for his backbone in defense of Christianity in the face of rising Muslim influences in the UK, the latest from Rev. Atkinson, sorry Rev. Williams, is that "Christian doctrine is offensive to Muslims", according to this UK Daily Mail article, referenced by a Moonbattery commentor.
Yes, that is a characteristic of intolerant people, they are easily offended.
The Quisling of Canterbury (his promotion to this higher office is not yet officially sanctioned by the local imams, but it is in progress) has shown is willingness to sell out his faith because of past mistakes, mistakes from previous centuries, not the late 20th and early 21st centuries. We can't violate the canons of moral equivalence, can we?
Maybe someone can ask Barack Obama if Rowan Williams is one of his spiritual advisors on overseas matters.
The Taliban wanted publicity shots of the "event" and he gave them what they wanted. Way to pad your resume, dude. Anything for that paycheck, huh. Will you be traveling to Palestinian enclaves in Israel to follow the terrorists while they murder Israeli children? If you get in trouble, Ehud Olmert will bail you out, so to speak.
You can claim you are outraged, you can claim you only wanted to show the violence against women, but in the end, they wanted the publicity and you gave it to them. You could have somehow lost the memory card, the video tape, the film (whatever media you chose), but then you might not have been paid or worse, not invited back for more.
This is the mindset we are fighting on a broad scale. If we quit, we can be assured that they won't. But Barack the Magic Negro will save us, won't he?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
It's a Guy Thing
Yes, Obama has two daughters, presumably what Jesse wants to cut off have performed their biological functions.
Being only a rookie Senator, with a few years in the Illinois House, (and not having raised one or more teenagers, yet) Obama lacks experience, knowledge, and the wisdom of how to use "balls" in a dire situation.
The answer to rising crude oil (and gasoline) prices is not to attack the producers or refiners. There are no windfall profits, there is no gouging. While there is wisdom in diversifying our energy sources, we have to embark upon accessing our own resources and rebuilding our refineries. Democrats and their Luddite legions have stood in the way for years. Someone has to have the balls to tell them to sit down and shut up.
No one is proposing drilling within sight of Florida's beaches (I don't know about offshore California), but it won't be within six miles (as it was with the Santa Barbara spill, 39 years ago). No one is proposing drilling at Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, or in the Everglades.
If Barack Obama is tested by a major terrorist attack in his first year, will he wring his hands and blame our War on Terror efforts since 9/11?
I think the Muslim terrorists know about John McCain's temper. If Muslim terrorists suggest that carbon taxes might end the Muslim war against the West, McCain might fall for that one, but if they attack, they know the probable response.
A strong VP, e.g., Mitt Romney, might be able to explain to McCain more about the free-market system and why we need to embark upon more domestic drilling. McCain seems to have evolved when presented with voter pressure to drill domestic resources. There seems to be hope of having some adult influence.
While we may have to vote for some RINOs to regain any control of Congress, they don't have to influence the party as a whole. Some Republicans have had their balls shrink as a result of not having heard from informed voters. They listen to the MSM and to trained lobbyists, but we get busy with our own lives and don't take the actions we should. If we "grow a set", some of them will be so encouraged.
As We Well Know...
How many Socialist programs do they get because they invoke "the children"? How many more will they get if Obama is elected?
It is up to the Republicans to invoke the vision of our children as the adults they have become (or will become as they grow up too fast). The adults that will have to pay the taxes (for decades) for all of the promises made by Democrats and RINOs. [That was one of the foundational points of the 1994 Republican Revolution, that lost steam because of MSM lies and Newt Gingrich's failure to keep his pants on until his 2nd divorce was final. I fear that someday our adult children will be standing at the foot of our graves, screaming at us - "Why didn't you do something, when you could have in the 1990s?"] But I digress.
Blonde Talking-Head Mika Brzezinski (unknown to us, a trained and certified petroleum market analyst - snicker, snicker, tee hee) is the latest to invoke the bullshit Liberal line - "new American drilling won't bring any oil to the market place for ten years.".
I believe it was on Sean Hannity's radio program, yesterday, that someone suggested running videos of Libs saying the same thing 10+ years ago about ANWR, as part of McCain campaign strategy.
It needs to say - "For more than 10 years, Democrats have hindered efforts at gaining some measure of energy independence. It is time to stop that.", while off the record, truthfully admitting the roles of weak RINOs, as well. Even if, on election eve, the Democrats allow some sort of increased access to drilling - they still have a history. And if they get further power, they are going to punish the oil companies and blame the Bush Administration. Yes, RINOs in the Senate played a role in hindering energy development, even when Republicans controlled Congress.
So those of you with children. How old will they be in 10 years? My son will be 23 and my daughter will be 31 (with a nine-year old child of her own, if all goes well).
We were warned back in 1994 about the future tax rates they would face if we didn't turn back some of the promises made. The initially vigorous Republican Congress did turn back some of the increases and actually made some program cuts. It was a good start, but then they lost their motivation and their forward progress, they became intoxicated with the human need to be liked by the Washington Establishment, so they could be invited to parties, and such.
So Mika - how high will oil prices be in ten years if we don't start doing something right now? Any new drilling may not lower prices, but it may keep them from going higher. Any new refineries are going to take a few years to build. But how will it look if we build none?
The world market, at this time, doesn't believe that we will have the resolve to overcome the Eco-Luddites.
Yes we can, but it won't be with Obama. Hey Jesse, how can you cut off something that ain't even there?
Obama doesn't have the "huevos" to tell the Sierra Club, the ELF, and other NIMBYs, etc., to "sit down and shut up" - "we have to do this".
Someone pointed out the other day that Obama doesn't even have the experience of having raised one or more teenaged kids (especially daughters). At least the Clintons had that experience.
We are on the verge of letting the Oprah generation combine with "The View" to elect a rookie Senator from Chicago. With the help of George Soros. And damn Bob Barr if he helps.
John McCain ain't what we want, but he is what we got. We can rag on the RINOs after the election is won. Some of them can be taught if they know enough citizens are informed and watching. The alternative is more of the same (or worse).
Whoopi Cushioned From Reality
But then a few days later, she erases any notion that she is capable of logic (or the ability to do internet searches to dispel rumors). That is what a staff is for, to do research, if she doesn't have the time.
According to Moonbattery and Newsbusters, yesterday on "The View", Whoopi claimed that black Americans have to have their voting rights renewed every couple of years, in the form of the Voting Rights Act. Unfortunately, the token "conservative" - Elisabeth Hasselbeck - agreed. It is an internet rumor that refuses to die and Whoopi and Elisabeth just helped it stay alive. Call it stream-of-delirium comments (rather than stream-of-consciousness), if you wish.
I assume that most of my readers are more intelligent that those that take verbal emissions on "The View" as gospel. Yeah, sometimes my wife watches it if she is home during the summer break, but she has learned to take it all with a "shaker of salt". It's a "chick thing".
As NewsBusters reminds us, the voting rights of all American citizens is guaranteed by the 15th Amendment to the Constitution [and ultimately protected by the 2nd Amendment].
The Voting Rights Act, perhaps needed when it was originally passed, is supposed to guard against different forms of racial discrimination and hindrances in the voting place (and in voter registrations). The primary reason for the need for the Voting Rights Act was the long history of black Americans being denied access to the vote in the Democrat-controlled, "Jim Crow" South. That is why Condoleeza Rice is a second-generation Republican, because the Democrats would not allow (or help) her father become registered to vote in the 1950s, in Montgomery, AL.
One could argue that some of the broad provisions are no longer needed as the culture has changed, instead it seems that some of its renewal is a subtle, continuing revenge against the South. [But that is for a different debate.]
Now is Obama going to include this in one of his off-the-cuff, off-the-Teleprompter remarks? Or would Michelle say something to reinforce that false notion? You know that it fits the mental template of the Obama zealot - that without Obama to lead us to the promised land, all will be lost (Boy George said so!).
No, I haven't been doing my once-a-month reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and its Amendments, as a good, informed American should. But at least I have a vague idea of what is there (and what ain't).
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
In Praise of Rough Men - Part 2
By way of Moonbattery, this Ralph Peters column in the New York Post reminds us that in the face of tyrants, the "Pen is mightier than..." means damned little.
Talk, writing, and negotiations only work if both parties are of good faith. And if necessary, because the stronger of the two parties has kicked-the-ass of the weaker party or has demonstrated a willingness to do so. You can't bargain from a position of weakness. This is something you think Jimmy Carter would have learned over the decades, but how often do Libs admit they were wrong? It is almost always that someone else is wrong, not them.
In negotiations with those of bad faith (and bad deeds), Teddy Roosevelt's "big stick" trumps the appeaser's pen.
Yeah, we make mistakes. Sometimes we pick the wrong proxies or what-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time turns out not to be because of "changes in the game". Sometimes we take the wrong side in local squabbles, but sometimes that is only clear with 20/20 hindsight.
Some of our mistakes come about because of our changing of administrations every 4 to 8 years and the seeming inconsistency that projects to the rest of the world. Sometimes strategies that might work, if given enough time, are tossed aside because someone else "wants change" or because someone is not satisfied with the pace of the desired changes. That is one advantage that decades-long dictatorships have over us. Despite their evils, at least they are consistent.
When we offered support to Saddam Hussein, it was not because we liked him but because we were more concerned at the time with Iran. When we offered support to Josef Stalin in WWII, it was not because we liked him, but we were more immediately-threatened by Adolf Hitler. We had a reason at the time. Context, context, context.
One of my problems with President Bush is that he has failed to clean out the "nest of snakes" that is the State Department. Between the career bureaucrats and diplomats that want to preserve their positions and overseas connections and relationships (and to be invited to embassy parties), there were currents that were running at opposites to what the administration wanted during wartime. And Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice have been somewhat infected by this mindset. Unfortunately, I don't see John McCain doing much about this, but it can only get worse with Barack Obama and his appeasement mentality.
Again, no one is suggesting blind loyalty to President Bush, but some sort of projection of unity-of-purpose overseas is needed. We cannot address every "hotspot", but because we are a good nation, we can't just unilaterally pull-out of all of our overseas positions, as those individual "power vacuums" would only encourage local tyrants and warlords, through our project of weakness.
The people that sleep peaceably in their beds (under our protective umbrella), because of our "rough men" are not just Americans. That is why the phrase "protecting the American way of life" is just too shallow.
We are more about the preservation of that "natural yearning to be free" found in people across the world, despite our mistakes. Our attempting to keep the Middle East stable is not simply to benefit our oil companies, but to maintain some sort of stability in world markets, so "our businessmen" (and those from other nations) can do their free-market "thing". "Pax Americana" is more good for the world, than bad. But the Leftists hate it. And because Leftists control so much of the world press, it is hard for Americans to assess the good and the bad of "our" activities around the world.
We know we ain't 100% right, but we also know we ain't wrong, most of the time.
A weak America is not good for the world.
Note to Self...
Those words are invariably issued forth by Leftists as a defense for their vitriol and lies.
On FrontPageMag this morning, Don Feder has a good column on the issue of "Leftist dissent as their idea of patriotism". When they are challenged on issues of accuracy and logic, they retreat to their "don't question my patriotism" corner. Barack Obama is clearly in this corner as he tries to explain away his spiritual mentors, Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger or his political mentors, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn (sp.?).
A short snippet from Feder's column sums it up this way:
"The Left's patriotism-deficit has less to do with dissent than a very real and ingrained hostility toward America."
When I was a Classical Liberal, I never saw the United States as evil. Humanly-flawed, having committed numerous mistakes (past and present), and sometimes misguided, but overall a good nation and having a good people. I consider most of my positions to have been of "healthy skepticism", knowing human nature for what it is. But I never took positions simply to be contrarian to "the Establishment", or if I did, those positions usually collapsed once I considered the logic of that position (or if there was any logic).
When a nation is at war, with enemies that observe no rules of civility, we have to cast a critical eye toward dissent to evaluate its accuracy and the message of disunity that it sends to observers abroad.
Thousands of Americans and Vietnamese died after the Viet Cong/North Vietnamese considered giving up in the wake of their Tet Offensive loss, in 1968. But because of the public disunity displayed by Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda, John Kerry, Ramsey Clark, Jr., et al, our enemies came to believe that if they hung on long enough, we would get tired and quit.
That "black granite" wall in Washington, DC is as long as it is because of Leftist dissent - that was at least partially orchestrated by the Kremlin. That is why Vietnam became "Vietnam".
It didn't have to be that way. We weren't 100% right in our efforts in Vietnam, but we weren't wrong.
Because cause-and-effect can be separated by years (or decades), it is easy for scoundrels to blame someone else for the problems they caused. And because of the Leftist slant of the MSM/Hollywood in this nation, it is difficult to have honest, frank discussions of issues.
Conservatives don't have a problem with logical, reasoned dissent and criticism that asks "Are we doing the right thing or are we doing the best that we can?".
Across-the-board condemnations of America (and Americans) is not logical nor reasoned. And if we remain "un-attacked" for the remainder of the "pre-election" season, only to be tested by a major terrorist attack during the first year of an Obama administration (as suggested by Senator Joe Lieberman), those Leftists that defended their "patriotic dissent" - now - will be the first to attack and blame the Bush Administration, rather than any messages of disunity and weakness projected by the current "Disloyal Opposition" and the new administration. Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, Durbin,... will blame America first. Maybe not in the first days or weeks after the attack(s), maybe not in public, but they will in time.
Blind hatred, practiced by some/many Leftists, is not the antidote for the blind loyalty that they perceive the Mainstream culture to have.
True patriots have a sense of history and a reasoned appraisal of the context of mistakes, past and present, as well as an understanding of "what a good deal we have" and how we do more good than bad, on the world stage.
In summary, the world's terrorists and their enablers know that - despite other flaws - if they attack us during a John McCain Administration, McCain will "come after them and continue to kick their asses" as has the Bush Administration. They know of his legendary temper.
With Barack Obama, they probably would expect his administration (or at least major parts) to dither and blame ourselves and previous administrations for the attack(s). Yeah, that is what we would get from "their idea of patriotism".
A weak United States is not good for the world.
Earth to Nancy Pelosi...
As uncomfortable as things are now, regarding gasoline prices, it can only get worse if Barack Obama is elected, along with a further-Leftist Congress. We are not in an emergency situation, yet. It is not a crisis, yet. Punishing the producers and refiners, with more taxes and regulations, is not an answer. We want to encourage more supply, not less.
If Iran nuked the Saudi oilfields or blocked the Straights of Hormuz, that would be an emergency. Months ago I read that of the oil that passes through the Straights of Hormuz each day, only 12% is bound for the United States, but such an event would shock world oil markets and make us wish for the "good old days" of right now.
Or if an Islamist terrorist group nuked a cluster of American refineries on the Gulf Coast. That is another possible scenario, wherein we would have a true crisis.
Considering the constant Democrat talking-point that new drilling will take 7 - 10 years to produce anything, the adults in the room should understand that means "we damn better get to work then." Democrats love to invoke "the children" when they want more government programs and more taxes. If we want our children to have liveable energy prices, 10 - 20 - 30 years from now, we need to start on that YESTERDAY.
Accessing American resources means more American jobs, more tax revenues, and less leverage for those Middle Eastern countries Libs have been telling us to disengage from for years. We can also tell Hugo Chavez to take a hike, as well. But we should have been starting that process years ago.
As stated before, I am all for alternatives, e.g., solar, wind, etc., but those are mainly good for local production of energy and for small, rural projects. The adults know the reality, the world industries will run on coal and petroleum for the next few decades as we transition to other things. That is just the way it is.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
I Did West Virginia!
One aspect of my beer can hobby is trying different American beers, though I have lost the original master list (it is on the hard drive of an old Macintosh SE that doesn't work anymore), I still keep a year-to-year list of the American beers I have been trying samples of. Since I started collecting beer cans and trying different beers, I have probably had about 4,000 different American beers, over the last 30 some-odd years.
There are just a few states from which I haven't had a beer yet. East of the Mississippi River, Mississippi is the only state now that I have not had a beer from.
West Virginia was another one until last night. A friend brought a bottle of Mountaineer Pale Ale from WV and I got to try it. It was OK, not as hoppy as I would have liked, but certainly drinkable. Apparently they have several other varieties and I hope to get to try some of them in the future.
From the western part of the country, my missing states (if memory serves me correctly) are Nevada, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.
There is a chance I may go through Mississippi later this summer, if I decide to take a quick trip to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, AR. My son expressed an interest in doing so, maybe early in August before his school starts back. Time will tell.
Someone Forgot the Lyrics
Though you may be familar with that version of the song, do you really know what the lyrics are, i.e, the lyrics Joe Cocker was singing at the time? You may think you know, but...
Open Choke has a YouTube link to this video, with captions applied. It is quite interesting and eye-opening. So, follow the link and click on the video.
If I ever get drunk enough to do karaoke (sp.?), I will probably do one or two Joe Cocker songs. That is the extent of my singing voice and talent, I have the beard, and if I have been four months or so without a haircut, I can do the hair. And how can anyone tell if you screw up a Joe Cocker song?
Friday, July 04, 2008
I just got word that a beer-can collecting friend - Dee - died last night of a heart attack. In our local beer can collecting club, we have three geologists, a meterologist, sales people, and various other professions. We even had a NASCAR driver, Rich Bickle, for a while. In our larger region, there are doctors and lawyers in our group as well as truck drivers and farmers. Most of us have at least one college degree, which was something that I suspect Dee didn't have.
Such an unusual hobby attracts unusual, eccentric people and Dee was certainly one of those. Yeah, he was an unrefined redneck [I say this will all due affection, not to be condescending], with no pretenses, but he was always friendly to fellow collectors and with affection, we always awaited his arrival at our shows. He scratched out a living working at a recycling center and sometimes would bring in some neat cans he would "rescue" at the recycling center, as well as some old dumper cans that he would find in northern Cobb County and adjacent areas of Cherokee County. And though he probably couldn't afford it, he would buy cans from us for his collection. He bought cans from me when I was selling off parts of my collection to pay bills. In some ways, I was no better than he, despite my college degrees.
I always made it a point to shake his hand when he arrived at shows and to say "Bye" to him when we parted. I never wanted him to think we were too "uppity" to appreciate him. Yeah, we joked about his gravelly voice and his "adventures", but we were always glad to see him.
There will be some misty eyes, I suspect, as the emails get passed around about his passing. And at our show in Macon in a couple of weeks, we will miss him and tear up a little. We will habitually wait for him to show up late as he always did, but then we will remember and carry on.
And if his widow decides to sell his collection to cover bills, we will pitch in while recalling "yeah, I sold him that can in Asheville in 2002 or was it Cartersville in 2000?".
Just one of the colorful characters that make our hobby interesting.
Remembering "Old Dusty No. 1"
Old Dusty No. 1 was the light tan 1976 Jeep 4x4 pickup that I got in late 1976, with the help of my Dad. [Old Dusty No. 2 was the light tan 1987 Jeep Cherokee 4x4 that replaced Old Dusty No. 1, after we adopted our daughter. Old Silver replaced Old Dusty No. 2 after 176,000 miles.] With Old Dusty No. 1, when you keep a 4x4 truck for 10 and 1/2 years, it becomes part of your persona.
With the added camper shell, the short-bed 4x4 J-10 was almost the ideal geology field-work vehicle, except for the lousy gas mileage, generally 10 - 12 mpg on the highway. When you are young, you seem to not notice the absence of air conditioning, even in the West Texas heat.
Aside from the horrible aerodynamics of a 1976 Jeep truck, it had a three-speed manual transmission and a 258 6-cylinder engine with a large 1-barrel carb. It was "geared well" for off-road use, but it just had to "work too hard" to go 55 - 60 mph on the highway. I periodically made use of the skid plates under the oil pan, transmission, and gas tank, getting momentarily stuck in West Texas sand, loose rocks, and when a friend backed it into a ditch while backing down a road late one night near Terlingua, TX.
I never got stuck in mud (partially thanks to my Dad teaching me the details of 4x4 driving) and the other times I got stuck, I was hours away from even contacting a tow truck or tractor (or another 4x4). With the Lord's help and a shovel (and some handy rocks to cram under the tires), I managed to get out of these situations, though I did abuse my clutch a couple of times, especially in the "Terlingua incident".
I did the things in that truck that a good Texan should do, including learning how to shift gears with a longneck Lone Star or Pearl in your hand, though when I had to lean over to use the 4x4 shifter, I had to put the beer in my left hand. And with my girlfriend of the time, we did some other things in the camper, that a good Texan should do - though we won't go into any more details.
As the truck got a little older, the rear springs started to sag, so I first added some air shocks, then later got the rear springs re-arched and had an extra leaf added to the springs. That did the trick.
One of the other things I learned to do with that truck was changing water pumps. After the first couple of years, it started "eating a water pump" about once a year. After paying too much for a mechanic to replace the first one, when it came time, it took me three hours to replace the next one. I learned to carry an extra water pump, some jugs of water, and antifreeze in the camper, though I never had to change one in the field. I did learn to listen for that "extra noise" of the dying water pump and by the time I changed my last one, I could do it in 45 minutes, without busting my knuckles.
A few other adventures in Old Dusty No. 1:
>The adventure of "striking out on my own", moving to El Paso in January 1977, without knowing a soul. Fourteen years later, I moved back to Georgia, with a 26-foot U-Haul truck, a wife and daughter, towing a car. "Where did all this stuff come from?"
>The brake pedal going to the floor in the Eagle Mountains.
>Losing my power steering on the "curviest" road in El Paso - Scenic Drive - around the southern end of the Franklin Mountains.
>Living in the camper for 10 weeks of field work in 1978 in the Eagle Mts..
>Living in the camper for 6 weeks for a fossil-recovery job in 1979 in NW New Mexico. I wish I had spent some of my "off days" hanging out at the Univ. of New Mexico Archeology field camp at Aztec, NM. Archeology tended to attract more female students in those days than did Geology. But there were places to explore in Utah and Colorado. My field partner, with whom I didn't really get along, chose to lay about the motel room and drink beer and watch TV on his days off. Instead, I went to the mountains around Durango and Silverton, CO and drank beer there and picked up rocks and took lots of photos, until my camera-shutter jammed (that's another story).
>That encounter I had with the redneck cop in Ouray, CO. "Boy, do they let you make U-turns in the middle of town in Texas?" Even though I had, I decided to hang my head, and politely say "No sir". To which I got a lecture, but no ticket.
>Breaking both engine mounts and the transmission mount in the Eagle Mts. (the roads were that rough). The carburetor almost fell apart because the bolts and screws were loosened by the rough roads.
>The joys of being greeted after a day of field work, by a flat tire in 105 degree heat. I used to hate the person that designed the "under-the-bed" spare tire location, but when I slid up under the rear of the truck, it was actually cool from being in the shade all day. So I lay there for about 5 minutes gathering the strength to change that damn tire.
>The 38-hour nonstop trip back to Georgia in the summer of 1977 (with a friend), followed by that first solo trip to New Hampshire to visit a friend and into Canada to visit a cousin.
>The 1979 summer trip to Georgia included the "Roach Story" in New Orleans, followed by losing the alternator late at night on the west side of Birmingham. I found out it was "the most expensive alternator that General Motors made". On the trip back to El Paso in 1979 from Georgia, if I had known the personal heartbreak awaiting me (from what my former girlfriend (by then) had done behind my back), I might have gone back to Farmington, NM to look for a job, but then my life would be totally different now. Maybe I would have transferred to Univ. of New Mexico at Albuquerque. Everything happens for a reason.
>In the summer 1980, the return trip to El Paso was with three friends traveling with me (the married couple was bringing along their car for their trip after El Paso). On the first leg, to New Orleans, we had to deal with a failing coil in the truck and changing it on the roadside, with approaching rain. And because we were hot, tired, and grundgy from the adventure, we were turned away from some decent motels in Slidell, LA, so we wound up staying in a fleabag motel on the east side of New Orleans. That part of town where Jimmy Swaggart got into trouble years later.
>The countless hours on mountain roads in Texas and New Mexico and a little bit in Colorado.
>Giving several friends their first 4x4 rides. Imagine a liberal New York woman (an apartment neighbor) shrieking because I was driving through loose sand "too fast" - fish-tailing at 40 mph (in 2-wheel drive). "Dammit Joan, I can't slow down, we'll get stuck! We only got another 200 yards of this." Thank goodness for power steering.
>The last adventures for Old Dusty No. 1 were in my Thesis field work area around Aden Crater in southern New Mexico. The final event, before I decided to trade it in on Old Dusty No. 2, was as I was leaving Aden Crater, as I went over a substantial bump, I heard a "clunk" from the engine compartment (not from inside the engine, though). I stopped and was greeted with the sight of my battery having come loose from its clamp and contacting the power steering pump pulley. The pulley had cut into one of the battery cells, spraying battery acid all over the engine compartment. I am glad I turned off the engine before opening the hood. After reclamping the battery, there was enough acid left in the cell to crank the truck. An hour later, on the western edges of El Paso, we stopped at a convenience store and by then, the remaining acid had drained from the damaged battery cell and the truck wouldn't crank. So after calling for a ride, I returned the following day with a new battery.
During the Fall of 1980, I bought the 1971 Datsun 510 to drive on trips and around town because of the Jeep's poor gas mileage and leave the Jeep for field work. When the 1971 Datsun's electrical system started to crap out the following summer, I traded it in on the 1981 Datsun truck, keeping both trucks until I traded them in on Old Dusty No. 2.
The decision to replace Old Dusty No. 1 with the new 1987 Cherokee was partially done "for the growing family" as it was hard to shift gears with my daughter's car seat in the middle of the bench seat, when my wife was in the truck. So the Cherokee was a "station wagon with 4x4" compromise.
I christened Old Dusty No. 2 by taking it on its second day out to Aden Crater and introducing it to the dusty, rough roads and the cactus, so I wouldn't have to worry about the first "parking-lot dent" in the door.
And so it was and so it goes with us rednecks and our cars and trucks.
In Praise of "Rough Men"
We should say a few private prayers for the "rough men (and women)" in our armed forces (past, present, and future), recalling the words attributed to George Orwell:
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
When we enjoy any "adult beverages" in moderation in our homes or at outdoor events, we should thank those rough men that currently reside in war zones, that are unable to indulge in the same libations and celebrations. They shield us from those that would deny us the simple choices of beverages and foods and more importantly, they shield us from those that would deny us our very right of our choice of worship and free speech that might offend the intolerant.
We should also remember a different form of rough men, the 55 that signed a death warrant in 1776, committing high treason against their corrupt king. All were willing to pay the ultimate price and some did. They were flawed men-of-their-time (and culture), yet they set the stage for the freedoms that we enjoy today.
While we enjoy the simple relief of air conditioning (that could be denied to us over the fear of a minor atmospheric gas), we should remember the days that those 55 rough men debated the Declaration of Independence (in the stifling Philadelphia heat), with the windows closed so as to avoid Loyalist spies overhearing their plotting against the king. Those 55 rough men of the Second Continental Congress had to make compromises to capture that "moment in time", in order to get the approval of representatives of the fledgling states.
Though many of us will never directly attain the status (or the deeds or the respect) of those rough men that defend our freedoms, we can give aid-and-comfort to them in various forms, to overwhelm those that wittingly and unwittingly give aid-and-comfort to our enemies. Included in those that give aid-and-comfort to the enemy are those currently in public office and/or those seeking public office. Though they may bear charisma and intelligence in some forms, they lack the wisdom to appreciate how easily it could all be lost.
We should remind our young of the specialness of our nation, emphasized by the vast numbers of people that wish to enter our fair nation each year (legally and illegally) - in order to help themselves and their families. Those vast numbers would not be approaching our shores and borders if we were an evil nation as pronounced by those of short sight and little wisdom.
While we acknowledge (in our hearts) our nation's flaws - past and present - we celebrate what we know is proper and good. And we should remember that our rough men protect millions in other nations, though many of those millions are either unaware of that protection or resentful (out of embarrassment) because their governments are unable (or unwilling to do so).
Bruce Walker has a good American Thinker post on the subject.
Kyle-Anne Shiver has a story of an ordinary American doing extraordinary things to thank those rough men and women. All because she had the freedom to make that choice.
At Townhall.com, Michelle Bernard has these thoughts, and Bill Bunkley contributes this.
After the day's events, it might do you well to sit down in the quiet and read the Declaration of Independence and resolve to read it (and the Constitution) once every month, to be aware of what these Founding Documents say (and what they don't say).
In closing, a little Declaration of Independence trivia. Do you know what a Dunlap broadside is? The 25 surviving copies represent the first printing of the Declaration of Independence, done by John Dunlap of Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776. The actual resolution was passed on July 2, but it "became public" with the Dunlap broadside on July 4. [A bit of modern reality, because Wikipedia is done on the honor system, entries can be altered or written by dishonorable people, so it is best to cross-reference important items covered in Wikipedia.]
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Britannia Dying - #763
From Moonbattery is the latest in a series of incidents in the UK where Muslims have gotten their "panties in a wad" over something of no consequence to normal folks.
In the Scottish city of Tayside, there was a postcard ad showing a puppy sitting on a policeman's hat as part of an advertisement (showing a rotary phone) with a new non-emergency number. Because Muslims consider dogs to be unclean, the local Muslims are having a hissy fit and the worst part is that the local authorities are actually apologizing instead of saying STFU!
The apology from the authorities (from the Moonbattery post):
"We did not seek advice from the force's diversity adviser prior to publishing and distributing the postcards. That was an oversight and we apologize for any offense caused."
People who are easily offended are that way BECAUSE THEY ARE INTOLERANT! It would be easier to tell them, if you don't like the postcard, tear it up and throw it away.
Yeah, we know that dogs poop, they pee, they shed, they lick themselves in embarrassing places, they don't care about privacy when it comes to sex, when they are puppies they chew on stuff, they bust out window panes to go chase squirrels,...
So what? Their benefits - companionship, friendship, protection, entertainment,... - outweigh the inconveniences.
Dogs are a long-time part of our Western culture. If you don't like them...