- 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
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Global Warming/Current Paradigm & Other Science Blogs/Websites
Not Ready for Facebook
Oh, By the Way, Happy New Year
Another Climate Change Rant
Hoplophobia - the New Word for the Day
Tiny Lund, a NASCAR Legend
A Few Debate Tactics for Conservatives/Libertarian...
Recent PostsDear Diary...
Not Ready for Facebook
Oh, By the Way, Happy New Year
Another Climate Change Rant
Hoplophobia - the New Word for the Day
Tiny Lund, a NASCAR Legend
A Few Debate Tactics for Conservatives/Libertarian...
GeologicalScienceBlog - subjects include Geology, Climatology, Environmental Science, NASCAR, Beer, Property Rights, Random Thoughts, & Politics from a Christian Conservative/Libertarian/pragmatist viewpoint. As a Dad & Grandad, I am concerned about the overgrowth of government at the expense of freedom. Background - two degrees in Geology (BS '77, MS '90), started studying Geology beginning Senior Year of high school (1971 - 1972) <68>
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
A Triggered Thought...
Without getting too deeply into this issue, I am not a historian. I know enough about the complexities of the War Between the States to know that I am ignorant.
An example of the complexity is the fact that there were black soldiers (slave and free) in the Confederate Army, there have been at least three books written on the subject. There were Jews in the Confederate Army, the Confederate Secretary of State - Judah P. Benjamin - was a Jew. And there were Cherokees in the Confederate Army. [Introduce those concepts in a average college classroom or a dinner party and watch the libs "get the vapors".]
I know of at least two of my great-grandfathers that were in the Confederate Army, but I don't think they had any sort of pivotal roles.
Another incendiary comment could be "The Confederacy was not 100% wrong.". Without a doubt, slavery was and is wrong. We didn't invent it, we just inherited it from our European ancestors.
Again, I regress to my position of being knowledgeable enough to know my ignorance in trying to fully explain "what wasn't wrong" about the Confederacy.
There were other issues behind the secession, a recent post I read (forgotten where) suggested that it might have happened earlier, if not for the efforts of President Andrew Jackson. Without being able to quote chapter and verse, there was a feeling of the southern states being oppressed by the Federal government. Some of the subtle support for the "Confederate cause" is from that part of America that is represented by the rebellious spirit against oppression. I will leave any further discussions to the more-informed.
On to the flag issue. For the true "Heritage" philosophy, it is about that in-the-spirit-of-liberty, rebellious nature, that continuation of the "Don't Tread on Me" philosophy. The mistake of the Heritagists (a new, though awkward, word) was to allow the Confederate battle flag to be co-opted by the KKK and others (many of them Democrats) favoring the continuation of Jim Crow laws and attitudes. They only raised their voices against the bigots/racists after allowing "their" symbol to be misused for decades.
Attempts by the political Left to ban (or vandalize) public displays of the Confederate battle flag will continue to cause a backlash.
The best way to "neuter" the issue is to ignore overt displays of the Confederate flag. Don't show a reaction. This especially applies to black Americans. The "flaggers" or "flaggots" are trying to get a reaction. If you give them that satisfaction, that gives them power. If you (and the MSM) ignore them, that diminishes their power. If you just take a "whatever" viewpoint and go on your way (while rolling your eyes in private) you have devalued their attempts at getting a response. Just acknowledge their free speech rights and walk on by.
One idea once spoken on a talk show (Neal Boortz?) suggested the concept of black Americans "adopting" the Confederate flag as a symbol of rebellious independence (or a disarming sense of humor). If Confederate flag stickers and antenna flags suddenly start to adorn the cars of black Americans, the "flaggots" would clearly be flummoxed. A clear way to "get the goat" of a political opponent is to refuse to argue with them.
Don't fight with them, just disarm them while acknowledging that they are not 100% wrong. Just defer the discussion to another day.
Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Promoting and Committing "Hate Crimes"
On November 4th, voters in California, Arizona, and Florida chose to offer legal endorsement to the millenia-old cultural understanding that marriage is supposed to be between one man and one woman. That now makes 30 states that have passed referenda or constitutional amendments to codify that legal definition.
In terms of the California Proposition 8 vote, for the second time, voters didn't "ban" homosexual "marriage", they just legally endorsed traditional marriage, i.e., they gave it "force of law". That included 70% of black voters, the majority of Hispanic voters, and most vocal - Mormon voters. For the second time, fair-and-square, California voters have legally defined marriage, without attempting to ban civil arrangements or private behaviors.
Rather than accept the will-of-the-people, as highlighted in this Maggie Gallagher column, in this Kathryn Jean Lopez column, and elsewhere, the Hedonists have vented their rage at law-abiding American citizens (in particular against Mormon citizens) and are trying to turn to their method of affecting legal change, through the subterfuge of the courts.
While demanding "hate crimes" legislation akin to that in other countries - which clearly violates free speech (disagreement is not hate) - the anti-Prop 8 forces readily engage in acts that they themselves would classify as "hate crimes" (including "hate speech"), if directed at them. From the Maggie Gallagher column:
..."Since California passed Proposition 8, extraordinary attacks have been unleashed -- livelihoods threatened, artists blacklisted, property defaced, worship services blocked, and even some physical attacks directed at ordinary people simply because they say marriage means a man and a woman."...
One example of what most "modern liberals" would consider "hate speech" - if directed at them - (from the Gallagher column) follows:
..."On the last day of the election, anti-Prop 8 forces ran a "home invasion" ad depicting two young Mormon missionaries ransacking homes. The ad further accuses Mormons in California of trying to take over the government because, as citizens, they participated in the political process by voting and donating to a cause they believed in. A week after the election The Los Angeles Times editorial board opined that No on Prop 8 forces should run more "hard-hitting" ads like "home invasion," along with more "in-your-face radicalism.""... [Prior to the national election, didn't a particular President-elect endorse "in-your-face" politics?]
There have been vocalized threats to "burn down churches" and "tax their ashes", among other incidents. From the Kathryn Jean Lopez column:
..."The backlash -- which has included white-powder scares and bomb threats at Mormon temples and offices -- is both wrong and unfair. (Outside Denver, a Book of Mormon was lit on fire and dropped on the doorstep of a Mormon temple.)"...
[Having some idea of Islam's disfavor of homosexual practices, I wonder how many Muslim citizens are there in California and how many of them voted for Proposition 8? Why are anti-Prop 8 people protesting outside mosques and burning Qu'rans? Inquiring minds want to know.]
From this American Muslim blogpost comes these thoughts:
..."This is where I believe there can be compromise. I believe the GBLT community should leave the word “marriage” alone. Go straight to the legal heart of the matter and fight for a civil union."... [Those thoughts are very similar to those expressed by Elton John.]
On the American Muslim post, two of the first three commenters used the word "discriminate" (or some variation) in regard to the vote by American citizens over the perceived "civil right" of homosexual "marriage".
To discriminate means to choose or to show favor towards something. Discrimination (in favoring one thing over another), in-and-of itself is not necessarily bad, it depends upon the reason. When we favor one thing, it doesn't mean we hate the other, it means that we have a reason for favoring that particular thing, in this case, the cultural/biological bond that heterosexual marriage is (and has been for millenia). When we vote to legally sanction heterosexual marriage, it is not a vote to "ban" anything else, we just are not giving a legal endorsement of anything else.
The recognition and legal endorsement of the one man/one woman marriage is central to our biological and cultural continuity. It is the inherent (Classical) liberalism of the Judeo-Christian culture that allows other living arrangements, while giving legal preference to the most stable of them, in regard to rearing future generations. [How tolerant is strict Shari'a interpretation of "other arrangements"?]
As reminded numerous times on this blog (and elsewhere), tolerance is a two-way street. If the Proposition 8 vote is overturned, and the hateful speech and action continue against Mormons, Christians, etc., there will be a backlash. If churches (and individuals of faith) are attacked, there will be a backlash, though it will be more civilized than what we see from the children of Saul Alinsky (and his self-cited mentor - Satan). [Yeah, I know that Alinsky may have done that to "tweak noses".]
Will there be similar constitutional amendments on the ballot in 2 or 3 more states in 2010? [That is if the No. 1 Saul Alinsky disciple Barack Obama and the Democrat Congress/Senate don't find a way to disallow individual state constitutions.] This is too important to give up upon.
When put before the voters, the legal sanctioning of traditional marriage has passed in 30 states, without a loss. As a former Geology professor of mine said, many years ago - "There's a message there.".
Monday, November 24, 2008
Feeling Their Oats...
Maybe it is the early onset of cold weather (damn that global warming) and the realities of the future. I hope it is just the weather and not a sense of fatalism that we have been "had" and that it will continue to happen. But I fear that it is the latter and not the former.
From where I am, it seems that we are watching the Minnesota U.S. Senate race being stolen in slow motion by Al Franken. [If Franken does succeed in stealing this election, with his temper, will he bring back "canings" in the U.S. Senate? J.L. Magee's famous political cartoon at left shows Democrat Congressman Preston Brooks (of South Carolina) demonstrating his method of political disagreement with abolitionist Republican Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, on May 22, 1856. Brooks had considered challenging Sumner to a duel, but decided on the caning to respond to Sumner's verbal attacks on fellow Democrats. The attack left Sumner unable to serve in the Senate for three years. Brooks later resigned, but was re-elected by Democrat slave-holders in South Carolina. So who will Al Franken cane first, perhaps James Inhofe, over Inhofe's skepticism over global warming? No doubt the tut-tutters of the MSM will blame Inhofe for inciting Franken's temper.]
Now it is entirely possible that the gravity of Barack Obama's election will sink into his mind (Holy shit, I did it!). He and those that helped elect him have forever established the standard by which future black candidates will be judged. [I wonder if he thinks about that?] If he can govern towards the middle and resist the temptation to tax at will - ASAP (if he gets his filibuster-proof Senate) - we might make it through. Might.
But the biggest business-busting, jobs-busting tax (IMHO) is the planned carbon tax, masquerading as the cap-and-trade system. [Some of the Obama voters will say "we voted for hope and change, not cap and trade!", then they will go back to their free bread and circuses.]
John McCain favored a less aggressive system than Barack Obama seems to lust after. Most Americans will not recognize it before-the-fact as a new tax on virtually everything, except breathing. In this Denver Daily News article, concerns are raised that this tax on all combustible fuel will produce permanent stagflation. From this article (and other sources), Obama's energy plans include:
..."Earlier this year Obama stated: “I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, natural gas, you name it – whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers under my plan of cap-and-trade system. Electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”
Obama had this to say about coal, the least expensive source of electricity, “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”"...
Yeah, that's a plan. Coal is our most readily available, least expensive fuel for electricity generation. From a DOE report (the complete, long URL - that yielded the pdf report - did not show up on the Google results), 50% of the coal burned in the country is burned in power plants with boiler ages older than 25 years.
I am not expert on coal-generated electricity, but how can an early 21st century coal plant not be more efficient and cleaner than one that is 40 or 50 years old?
Wouldn't it make more sense to allow companies to build new ones so they can retire (or clean up and mothball) the old plants?
Yeah, natural gas would be cleaner than any coal-burning technology, but natural gas requires drilling more wells. And the libs cannot allow that!
All of this continued climate hysteria is based upon a component that comprises 0.0385% of the atmosphere. And a sizable part of it is from natural processes - volcanoes, hot spring, ocean emissions, animal/bacteria respiration and natural combustion.
When they talk about cutting Greenhouse Gases and they omit Water Vapor, they are lying by omission. It is a massive power and money grab that will do nothing to change the weather or climate (the Sun is largely in control of that).
A more sensible (though still daunting) effort might be to ameliorate the effects of growing Urban Heat Islands and deforestation. And to sensibly deal with the other emissions from combustion - nitrogen oxides, sulfur gases, particulates, unburned hydrocarbons, heavy metals,...
For energy and conservation breakthroughs to occur, we need to have a vibrant economy. As stated before, I am all for solar, wind, etc., but those are only local solutions and they are years away from being major players. Fossil fuels are an unavoidable "bridge" to the future.
Paranoia or prescience? If we are wrong, we only look silly, if we are right...
Sunday, November 23, 2008
How "Manly" is Your Blog?
By way of Mean Ol' Meany, I found my way through Gateway Pundit to Gender Analyzer, wherein some unknown criteria are plugged in to guess whether your blog is Male or Female (and to what degree).
I will reserve any additional comments for a while.
A Call for Action...
From this American Thinker post, comes info on the EPA accepting public comments on future carbon regulation (as a pollutant). The comment period ends 11/28/08, so this can't wait for long.
There are three ways you can enter your thoughtful comment on why this shouldn't happen.
Go to www.regulations.gov, follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
So that your thoughtful, logical comments are properly channeled, please include Docket ID Number: EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0318 in the heading.
I have cut-and-pasted my EPA email letter below.
"To the United States Environmental Protection Agency;
Speaking as a scientist (BS & MS Geology degrees), regarding Docket Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0318, I ask that you not regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Carbon dioxide is a by-product of combustion, as it is a by-product of respiration of animals and bacteria. And it is vital to plants, which form the base of every important ecosystem.
But the main point, regarding climate concerns, is that the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere is only 385 parts per million, 0.0385%. Carbon dioxide is a Greenhouse Gas, but it is a very minor Greenhouse Gas, the bulk of the Greenhouse Effect is due to Water Vapor and Clouds.
A definition of a pollutant is that it causes harm. There is no definitive proof that anthropogenic carbon dioxide causes any harm. When you consider all of the natural sources of carbon dioxide, e.g., hot springs, volcanoes, ocean releases, animal/bacterial respiration, anthropogenic carbon dioxide is a very small component of the 0.0385%.
Developing more efficient machines, refineries, and power plants - that use less fossil fuels - will cut the production of carbon dioxide - as well as the real pollutants, such as carbon particulates, carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, sulfur gases, nitrogen oxides, mercury, uranium compounds, heavy metals,...
There are needs for sensible regulations for the pollutants listed in the prior sentence. But carbon is a basic building block of life. Our contribution of carbon to the atmosphere is dwarfed by natural sources and the contribution of carbon dioxide to the Greenhouse Effect is dwarfed by the effects of Water Vapor and Clouds.
There is some evidence of humans having a minor influence on weather and climate, but changes in land-use patterns, including deforestation and the growth of Urban Heat Islands, are probably much more important than carbon dioxide.
In closing, the regulation of carbon dioxide as a pollutant will trigger increased energy costs that will disparately impact the poor and hinder development of new, more-efficient technologies. Regulating carbon dioxide will also hinder the retirement and replacement of older, dirtier factories, oil refineries, and power plants.
Thank you for your time."
It wouldn't hurt to email your Senator/Representative a similar letter. [Please don't just cut-and-paste my letter, as "duplicates" might get kicked out, i.e., use your own words.]
We don't need additional politically-driven regulations to hinder our future industrial development. Barack Obama has already stated that his plans for a carbon "cap and trade" system would bankrupt anybody that tried to build an new coal-burning power plant. John McCain wanted the same sort of system, but it would probably have been less restrictive.
Any form of a forced carbon cap-and-trade system is a new tax that you and I will pay. It will directly result in higher fuel and electricity costs. And it will accomplish nothing, but to prevent new technologies from being developed and implemented. It seems a paradox, but we have to use energy now to save more energy in the future, for those new and future technologies take years to develop.
Increased (and poorly-considered) regulations are one of the things that drive industries (and jobs) away from the United States.
I am all for solar energy and other alternatives, but these are currently local solutions and it will take years for them to become important on a widespread basis.
All of our oil refineries were built prior to 1976. I presume the vast majority of our coal-burning power plants were built in the 1970s or earlier. I presume that all of our remaining mineral smelters, etc. were built in the 1970s or earlier.
By allowing (and encouraging) new coal-burning plants, refineries, etc. to be built, we can then retire the older, dirtier ones.
How would our fuel efficiency and air pollution in major cities look if we were only allowed to drive cars built prior to the mid-1970s? That is the equivalent of what we will continue to have if we do not allow new power plants and oil refineries to be built.
Friday, November 21, 2008
One of the Things I Learned...
That forgotten person - that made that statement - at the time was addressing the "liberal" fear of President Reagan. I personally didn't believe that an American President would start a nuclear war, but I was concerned that President Reagan might scare the Soviets into launching first, giving us no other choice but to reply in-kind.
When the Reagan Administration ended with no nuclear war and then the Berlin Wall came down - that began my maturation/metamorphisis towards Conservatism.
In his gleeful intoxication (on the threshold of power), it seems that Rahm Emanuel "let the cat out of the bag", but if the MSM is "doing its job" for the incoming Obama Administration, many Americans may not hear of his Freudian Slip.
As related here on NewsBusters, Emanuel's contribution to the 2008 gaffe lexicon was as follows:
"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." [Emphasis added.]
Ya gotta grab for all the power you can, Rahm old buddy.
And without the checks-and-balances of talk radio, whether by the Fairness Doctrine or under the guise of "localism", it may be much more difficult for us "great unwashed" to catch wind of their plans until they are ramrodded through a complient Congress.
Now some "libs" are going to repeat talking points about the Bush Administration doing the same after 9/11, but I want folks just to think about how much have their lives changed since 9/11, regarding anything involving government policy. From my POV, it doesn't look like that much. For those of us that understand the seriousness of the War on Islamist Terror, we understand some of the steps that have to be taken to engage an enemy that observes no rules.
Vigilance is always necessary as it is the normal tendency of governments to grow at the expense of freedom, consider the Fed/Banking system "Know Your Customer" program proposed during the Clinton Administration (and I suspect parts of it have been instituted-under-the-radar, since then). As for being a trained and programmed Marxist, Bill Clinton is a piker when compared to Barack Obama. Bill Clinton's Leftism is probably more "what I learned in college" blended with some Populism. I don't think B. Clinton had any mentors such as Frank Marshall Davis, Saul Alinsky, or Bill Ayers.
We can only hope that the gravity of the Presidency will force BHO to move towards the center, despite the efforts of his associates. He will establish the standard by which all future black candidates for national office will be judged by the voters. That is assuming that - in the absence of checks-and-balances the Congress, Senate, White House, and Supreme Court do not wind up shredding our Constitution, resulting in future elections being party formalities.
It could be as simple as Rahm Emanuel's statement. Trump up a concern into a crisis (or utilize an existing crisis) to call for a Constitutional Convention. Try to imagine the Constitution and the Bill of Rights at the hands of Pelosi, Reid, Soros, Rangel, Waxman,...
News of the proceedings could be controlled by the MSM (as the de facto Ministry of Truth) - with talk radio and the internet harnessed - and it could be over before we know it.
Paranoia or Prescience? The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
If we concerned Conservatives are wrong, we will just look silly. If we are right,...
Sunday, November 16, 2008
What a Geologist Sees - Part 25
Oh, the stuff we can see at construction sites and quarries!
[Disclaimer: I only enter construction sites on Sunday, when there is no activity, I stay away from the equipment and any obviously dangerous places and if there are any "No Trespassing" signs, then I don't go in.]
One "treat" at a construction site is to be able to see the effects of erosion and deposition in the exposed materials. In the uppermost photo, you can see the gulley erosion in the soft, graded soil. Just downslope from the gulley is a small "alluvial fan", where the eroded material was deposited. Larger examples of alluvial fans are seen at the mouths of mountain canyons.
In the second photo, in a sand pile at a quarry, as sand is removed from below, it triggers miniature slumps and landslides in an attempt to bring the slope back into equilibrium. In larger settings, slumps and landslides generally happen on slopes that have become destablized due to construction and heavy rainfall.
As one would expect, in a construction site, rocks are exposed that we usually wouldn't see at the surface. In the third photo, road construction has exposed a portion of a diabase (basalt) igneous dike that was most likely intruded during the Triassic or Jurassic Period. The iron-rich silicate minerals in the diabase are susceptible to weathering (by oxidation) in this humid climate, thus these blocks from the shallow sub-surface show a "rind" of oxidized material, with fresher rock material within the block.
In the fourth photo, we see "saprolite" that has been exposed during the construction of a drugstore. Saprolite is called "rotten rock" by some, it is rock that has been chemically weathered to the point that its structural integrity has been lost and the material can be easily crushed by hand. The "parent rock" - exposed nearby - is a biotite gneiss, similar to a granite, and in the case of the saprolite, the feldspars, micas, and other minerals (except for quartz) have been altered to clays. If not covered over quickly, this sort of material would wash into a nearby creek, resulting in "silting up" of the stream (and a probable EPA/Ga EPD fine).
The fifth photo, of another sand pile, shows how gravity, with the help of the wind, attempts to stablize the slope of this sand pile. Unconsolidated (loose) materials have a defined "angle of repose", which is the maximum angle-of-slope that particular sized material can sustain. If a slope is "oversteepened", miniature landslides and slumps carry material downslope in an "attempt" to establish equilibrium at the angle of repose, which generally varies between 25 and 35 degrees, depending on the size and angularity of the particles.
In the final photo, in this pile of mixed sand and gravel, rainfall has induced "rill erosion" (small erosion channels) on the slopes and small alluvial fans at the base of the slope.
[All of these photos were taken in the greater Atlanta area.]
In Geology, we term the mass downslope movement of material to be "mass wasting". [Yeah, I know Geologists can get mass-wasted after too many adult beverages, but that is another story.] Mass wasting occurs when gravity overcomes cohesion and internal friction. Water can be a facilitator of this process, as well as earthquake, traffic, and construction vibrations (as suggested above).
Al Neuharth of USA Today is the one that wins the "Damn the Constitution, We're Making History Here" prize. He wants the inauguration moved to the first Tuesday in December.
[As pointed out by a commenter (at the NewsBusters post linked above), the Electoral College does not vote until Dec. 15, 2008 and Congress doesn't count the official Electoral College vote tally until Jan. 6, 2009.] We don't need that stodgy old Constitution stuff, do we?
Now, are Katie Couric and Brian Williams going to think this is a good idea, now that the ice is broken?
Are we going to see any college campus rallies in favor of disregarding the Constitution and moving the inauguration to early December? Is it going to become an issue of racism if you insist on following the Constitution? Will the government education establishment have finally succeeded in dumbing down enough Americans that they will think this is a good idea?
Stay tuned, folks. We are making history here, but so did Adolf Hitler, in his time.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
From the contents of the above-linked story, it seems that way.
Or maybe it is a mixture of early jockeying for the 2012 nomination, Tim Pawlenty's ego, and a little bit of the "Old Boy Network" against the upstart newcomer.
For the moment, I think Tim Pawlenty should be keeping an eye (maybe even both of them) on the Democrat attempts to steal the Norm Coleman - Al Franken race. [If he has been doing all that he is legally allowed to do, then my apologies are offered.]
From the Human Events article:
..."“Republican governor eyeing a presidential run in 2012” appears to be Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty used his time at yesterday’s roundtable discussion to cast himself as the “modern” Republican while casting aspersions on the traditional conservative message, calling for outreach to the “new demographics,” deriding the GOP for allegedly being 15 years behind in the use of the Internet, and calling for the party not to be led by “a crank.” Pawlenty appears to have John McCain’s penchant for attacking conservatives rather than those in the other party. [Emphasis added.]
Pawlenty in Miami was publicly angry, agitated, and even cranky, possibly because he found himself at odds with the far more conservative tone of every other speaker here. Hundreds of RGA members, who paid thousands of dollars to attend this Conference, wildly applauded “red meat” conservative pronouncements by speakers and not the more moderate and conservative-jabbing words by Pawlenty. And then there’s his “Palin problem,” real or imagined, that hit the fan yesterday in front of the national media, possibly upon the insistence of Pawlenty himself, as the above-reported comments to CNN by an anonymous presidential aspirant indicate."... [Emphasis added.]
I hope that it doesn't get to the point that the "McCain/Pawlenty wing" (as it looks now) throws in with the Obama/MSM campaign to destroy Sarah Palin as a viable 2012 candidate.
[11/17 Update: I was looking for this article when I wrote this post, I think it was posted elsewhere besides FrontPageMag, but I don't recall where.]
As others - wiser than myself - have said, we don't need to become Democrat-Lite in order to prevail. We just have to do a better job of explaining ourselves.
That's Why They Call It the "American Thinker",...
Of note today is this post, from Selwyn Duke, on the concerns about Barack Obama's desire for a "Civilian National Security Force". The "money quote" (which I have heard, but can't cite the original source for) is:
"We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set,... We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded".
With his background of Marxist mentors and "community organizing" (Yeah, that really cut into Chicago's crime rate, didn't it!), what does the average, informed American to think of Obama's plans, if he carries them through?
What does "security" mean for Barack Obama? Is it simply attempting to shield us from future attacks by Islamists or does it mean "protecting us" from dissenting voices? What does "just as powerful, just as strong,..." mean? To use Rush Limbaugh's words (while we still can), the job of the military is to "kill people and break things". So what will Barack Obama do with this "just as powerful, just as strong" civilian national security force?
Georgia Congressman Paul Broun raised these concerns and was (of course) jumped upon by the media. From the Breitbart article:
..."Broun said he believes Obama would move to ban gun ownership if he does build a national security force.
Obama has said he respects the Second Amendment right to bear arms and favors "common sense" gun laws. Gun rights advocates interpret that as meaning he'll at least enact curbs on ownership of assault weapons and concealed weapons. As an Illinois state lawmaker, Obama supported a ban on semiautomatic weapons and tighter restrictions on firearms generally."...
The Obama Administration could say "with the National Security Force, you won't need guns any more, we will make you safe.". And the MSM could parrot the phrase enough times to lull us into a sense of false security.
I have said it before, that one of the reasons that government would want to disarm citizens is out of fear of future tax riots, by our then-grown children.
From Selwyn Duke's article:
..."Of course, many will nevertheless say that such concerns are but the musings of the tin-foil hat crowd. But such scoffing is par for the course. As Professor Manfred Weidhorn of Yeshiva University wrote:
[Weidhorn's words] ". . . even if you are prescient enough to observe oncoming evils, you are prevented from acting precisely because other people, being normal, lack your prescience. They therefore see you, rather than the evil person, as the deluded or warmongering malevolent soul. When Churchill warned about Hitler in the 1930s, many people became more upset with Churchill than with Hitler. The anomaly is that the prophet has therefore to wait for the evil to manifest itself and thereby to make everyone else see things the prophet's way. But by then the chance to do anything may be gone." [Emphasis added.]
Prescience or paranoia? The trouble is, often we don't know the difference until it is too late.
What is troubling is Question 59, from this CNS News article is:
“Do you or any members of your immediate family own a gun? If so, provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage.”
The CNS News article linked above includes speculation as to any ulterior motives for this question and some of the others in the questionnaire. Some of the questions are looking for embarrassing things that the media might find on Facebook, MySpace, etc..
Perhaps of a bigger concern is whether or not this might be included private industry job questionnaires. One wonders if this type of question might serve as part of a "preferred template".
And if you answer "No" (out of a desire to preserve some sort of privacy, as a law-abiding citizen), will employment agencies scour the internet/blogosphere for any of your writings that might suggest that you do own a firearm? And what if "they" conclude from your writings that you probably do? Will you then forever be labeled on the internet as someone that "has lied on a job application" (with no regard as to the legitimacy of the original question)?
We have to look forward for "tipping points". One person's prescience is another's paranoia.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Every Day is Veteran's Day
If you have a local cemetary with veterans buried there, perhaps take a walk through and say a silent "Thanks". (I already did that about a week and a half ago.)
[As I have exams to prepare for, I will try to add some more thoughts later and some links, too.]
Sunday, November 09, 2008
[At this point, we don't know how the MSM is going to handle the next four years. Will there be a power struggle between the Obama Administration and the MSM, as the MSM want to hold on to its "kingmaker" position? If the lovefest continues, we need to document, document, document, as we may lose talk radio, we could lose Conservative blogs under the guise of "they were offensive" (as judged by some unseen person(s), YouTube videos can be pulled for "being offensive",... We don't yet know how confident they are in pulling/pushing the nation to the left.]
If "Facts and Retired Geek Opinions/Geek Perspective" will forgive me, I am pasting the linked post in toto, as it says quite a bit about the character of the Anointed One-elect. Because the MSM/Democrat Socialist Party will do what it can to make sure you forget.
"Babies Crying in Terror"
"The 'Born Alive' baby who has known the closest contact with another human any human can experience - the baby has been inside another human for months.
The baby has kicked, stretched and some even suck their thumbs. Every need has been met by its human host - shelter, nourishment and safety.
Suddenly one day the baby is attacked with chemicals and poisons.
The baby enters a world bent on death and destruction towards its life.
The baby has never seen a butterfly, puppy, pretty colors or things all babies enjoy or had any human say I love you.
The baby enters the world in excruciating pain and the best trained Medical experts in the world refuse the baby any aid - in a hospital - where all facilities are available and the Doctors have sworn to protect all human life - except his.
The baby is thrown on a cold table and left to die in some hidden place.
The baby struggles to breathe because a human is born with the human will to survive. The baby cries in terror and sobs for help - that never comes - no one cares.
The innocent baby tries to live with every breath and dies alone, abandoned like a used kleenex, never having experienced anything but pain, rejection and hatred.
When the baby finally dies a death of torture and the ultimate rejection any human can receive, it is such a worthless human it doesn't even have a 'Death Certificate' issued that it ever existed.
For a few minutes, hours or days, that baby WAS an American Citizen, that should have received all of the 'Rights and Protections' under law, that any other American Citizen should have.
Michelle and Barack Obama and most Democrats, have done everything humanly possible, to make sure this baby does NOT even receive any pain medication.
Barack Obama lied about his position on BAIPA: http://geekonobama.blogtownhall.com/2008/09/02/
As a reminder, these babies underwent attempted late-term abortions, many of them because of Down Syndrome, spina bifida, or other serious medical issues or because they weren't wanted.
No, there are not a large number of these types of infanticides (remember the baby is completely outside the mother at this point). But the fact that they did happen and that legal protections were fought by Barack Obama, in the Illinois Senate (he didn't vote "Present" on this issue) says something about his core beliefs.
There is a chance he may have asked God's forgiveness for supporting this evil, but you would think that even a craven opportunist would see that making a public statement of regret for this position would gain some support from "the middle".
But remember, this is a man that suggested that an out-of-wedlock baby for one or both of his daughters would be a punishment.
Friday, November 07, 2008
I guess the more interesting point is - How many people chose that number, i.e., how many people won with that combination? What might their motive have been in choosing that number?
It remains to be seen what the MSM will do after the honeymoon ends. Will they flex their muscles to remind him of "who made him"? Will they leak news stories, that they may have been sitting upon for months?
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
If Barack Obama fires more than eight, will the MSM notice? Will they say anything?
Need I even ask?
Who Will be the First...
I predict that some pundit, perhaps on MSNBC, CNN, or someone on DailyKos/Democrat Underground will say that "Bush needs to leave so Obama can get to work fixing the country. He shouldn't wait until January 20, 2009. History must proceed."
Labels: 2008 Presidential Campaign
A Few Bright Spots...
Unless the wording of these proposals says otherwise, they are not "bans" on homosexual marriage, they are simply giving enhanced legal endorsement to the male/female biological bond that is central to our human culture.
Other arrangements can pretend to be marriage, but they shouldn't have the force of law.
There are two genders for a reason, it is not an accident of nature.
Disagreement is not hate. Remember that above all else. Because we face a future in which polite dissent may not be allowed.
Morning in America...
America, what have you done? You done went and drank too much of that fermented Chicago Acorn-flavored Kool-Aid. And look who you woke up next to!
The MSM/Soros,...-driven victory is going to give an "endorsement" (and more power) to Pelosi and Reid.
Obama may pretend to play the "good cop" and let Pelosi/Reid be the "bad cops". He may pretend to moderate, but if Pelosi/Reid legislation comes across his desk, he may claim "it's the will of the people" and let them take the heat. He may not invoke the word "racism" for every resistance to his will, but he may let his minions in the Civil Rights establishment and the MSM do so.
If the the invocation of "racism/racist" is constant, hopefully it will wake more people up.
So who will he repay first with Legislation? The homosexual lobby with the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (which he promised to do) and "hate crimes" legislation? Or will it be the abortion lobby with the passage of the Freedom of Choice Act? Or will it be the MSM the Fairness Doctrine? Or will it be the teachers' unions with some sort of restrictions/bans on homeschooling?
So if his policies exacerbate unemployment, will the unions notice? Or will everyone one blame everything on Bush/Cheney?
America, you got your Manchurian Candidate. We will see where this goes.
"Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world." - Daniel Webster
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Remember Why We are Voting
And pass the word along to any relatives/friends on the West Coast, don't listen to the exit polls, don't listen to the MSM, just stand in line and change the future.
And be planning strategies. Win or lose, the Conservative movement needs rebuilding. It will be easier with a President McCain.
We need that spirit we had from 1994 - 1996 with the Contract with America.
I got to head out the door to go stand in line. Wish the country luck!
Labels: 2008 Presidential Campaign
Monday, November 03, 2008
Now More Than Ever...
We hear of widespread layoffs in a variety of industries, as a result of declines in consumer purchases and consumer confidence. The free-market will fix itself, if government intrusion is kept to a minimum.
Some of these businesses will come back, they will rehire if the pendulum is allowed to swing as it does.
In the meantime, some of these laid-off people will start their own businesses. Or they may go to work for a small business. Circuit City is closing a bunch of stores. Some of their workers may go into freelance electronics sales or they might go into electronics repair or some form of consulting (or a combination of these). They might scour yard sales and flea markets for fixable small appliances. If they meet with success, they might hire a former co-worker.
Aside from the "tax plans" that Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Rangel,...have in mind for U.S. citizens that pay taxes, remember that they also love regulations and bureaucracies that write regulations for the sake of "fairness" or because of "safety concerns".
I dare say that very few of the Democrats in Congress or the Senate have ever had to meet a payroll or sweat about regulations and as to whether or not they were in compliance.
The free market produces jobs, most of which are dependent upon consumers being free to buy from and sell to each other. Cutting taxes and scaling back regulations are akin to getting more and fuel into an engine, so it will run faster.
It seems that John McCain doesn't have much experience with running a business, but we know that his wife Cindy does, with her family Budweiser distributor. Without good management, her family business would not have grown on the Budweiser name alone. How many jobs did that growth promote? How much of an increase in tax revenues are connected to the growth of this distributorship with middle class jobs such as truck drivers, forklift drivers, accountants, sales people, custodians,...
The free-market system has its highs and lows. We learn over time what causes each. When we do enter a down time, we know enough about how to minimize the depth at which we fall, if the right government actions are taken, i.e., usually minimal actions, such as cutting taxes and loosening some regulations.
At least some of the mentors that Barack Obama chose had (or have) a stated goal in bringing down the capitalist system (and its inherent freedom). Nature abhors a vacuum. What comes after? No doubt these useful idiots think (or thought) that they would have a role in what arose from the ashes of the United States, even it if means navigating through a period of anarchy. They think (or thought) that they would have a role in decision making (revenge) regarding "justice" for past sins.
Remember this quote attributed to Daniel Webster:
"Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world."
Yeah, Republicans have made their share of mistakes and John McCain ain't what we wanted, but rebuilding will be so much easier if we still have vestiges of free speech, free assembly, self defense, free exercise of faith,...
We are not where we are because of Conservative principles, but because we have strayed from Conservative principles.
As he is interested in being "fair", how will his administration address natural sources of carbon dioxide, e.g., ocean emissions, volcanoes, hot springs, and emissions of natural bacterial actions (and other forms of respiration)?
And how will they fashion "Cap and Trade" to address that most common Greenhouse Gas of all - the oft-ignored Water Vapor? And how will they address clouds?
Will they address other possible human-influences on the climate - deforestation and the growth of Urban Heat Islands?
Could someone logically explain to me why a new, early 21st century coal-burning plant, with more modern technology, could not be a better alternative to a coal-burning power plant that is 30, 40, 50,...or more years old? Ask the same question about oil refineries.
If we allow some new ones to be built, maybe we can shut down the older, dirtier ones or at least mothball them for emergency uses.
For every coal plant (or oil refinery) that Obama (or someone else) stops, we won't miss that plant in the next 5 years. But 15, 20, 30 years "down the road" - our grown children and grandchildren will wonder why we don't have enough electricity, gasoline, fuel oil,...
We need those current sources of energy in order to develop those wonderful new technologies for the future. It takes energy to make solar panels and windmill blades. It takes fuel to deliver those technologies to the market place. It takes energy to recycle.
Promising natural gas for everything (even cars) sounds like a good idea, but we have to drill for more natural gas, too. Every industry that switches from something else to natural gas puts more stress on the natural gas system that many of us use to heat our homes in the winter.
Touchy-feely emotions will not suffice. We need adults in charge of free-market energy planning, adults that understand. There have to be some regulations to address human nature, but micromanagement and more taxes on energy producers will not help one bit!
To Any Visiting Geobloggers...
I have seen both sides of the political spectrum. I used to be a Classical Liberal (and remain one is some fashions). When I was a Classical Liberal (not a Leftist), I feared tyranny above all else. As I underwent my gradual evolution to my present political position (because I was open-minded enough to listen to other opinions and come to my own conclusions), I came to recognize that in most European and Western nations, most tyranny is Socialism-based (including Nazi Germany). Because of my scientific mindset, I tend to look at the logical arguments and think them through, rather than the emotion-based arguments.
For those that fear religious tyranny, the United States will never become a Christian theocracy. We are too diverse and too secular for that to happen and most Christians do not want a theocracy. We will lose our freedom to Socialism long before we ever lose it to any sort of Christian theocracy.
I do not consider myself to be a doctrinaire Conservative, as I mentioned I still hold to some viewpoints that could be considered Classical Liberal (as is explained by Tammy Bruce). I am not against government programs, per se, but they should be limited in scope and life span, i.e., there should be a "sunset clause".
I am a pragmatist. If the free-market system doesn't properly conserve resources and ecosystems (or sensibly fight pollution), for instance, I am in favor of some limited government "arm twisting". The "environmentalists/preservationists" cannot have all they want, but neither can the "developers". Most of life is in the middle.
I am confident enough in my various beliefs that I don't fear reasoned debates. And I reserve the right to change my viewpoints when presented with more information (and interpretations), when I am allowed time to think it through. And I am not afraid to say "I don't know". That doesn't mean that an answer doesn't exist, it means that I may not have that particular answer, yet. It doesn't mean that I will quit looking for the answer.
Which particular political mindset want to shut down debates on various issues?
Whether in science or politics, using government power to shut down "the other side" is a form of censorship. Which political party wants to shut down talk radio simply because "their side" does not do well in on-air reasoned debates? Which political viewpoint wants to imprison people because of scientific disagreements over what role humans might play in the world climate? Isn't that tyranny?
No single philosophy has all of the answers. I try to weigh each issue on its own merits.
Aren't scientists supposed to be free thinkers? In a climate of fear and real oppression (which doesn't realistically exist now), what if the political winds change and your viewpoint becomes the dissenting side? Please give it some thought tomorrow.
In closing, because my "children" are now 14 and almost 22 and my married daughter is expecting our first grandchild in early March, I am concerned about the future. I am concerned about the slippery (Socialist) slopes that we already find ourselves upon (including those upon which flawed Republican actions have placed us, regarding assisting Democrats in manipulating financial markets and aspects thereof).
Stop Lying About the Fair Tax...
[Sorry, a sack of shit may be useful as some sort of fertilizer, especially if it is derived from some sort of herbivore, such as what one finds in a cow pasture. These lying campaign ads are a waste of air space!]
I don't know about your state, but Georgia has been besieged with Democrat ads alledging that various Republican candidates/incumbents will add a 23% sales tax on everything.
If you don't tell the entire truth about the Fair Tax, you are lying!
There is an estimated "embedded" tax of about 22% in almost everything we buy. With the Fair Tax, in exchange for the 23% sales tax, we get rid of Federal Income Taxes and all of those little "with-holdings" on each one of your paychecks. We get rid of (once and for all) the death tax, gift taxes, and the corporate taxes that we as consumers ultimately pay. We will get rid of the quarterly estimated taxes.
To help those of lesser means, there is to be a "prebate" to help with the higher sales taxes and to offset those taxes paid on food and other necessities. Used items are not to be taxed, again this is something that will help those further down the ladder. With the prebate covering the necessities, the sales taxes paid by those of higher economic means will be progressive. [Isn't that what libs want?]
With the ending of corporate taxes, consumer prices should drop by a comparable amount, as those taxes are no longer passed along to the customer, but also corporations can redirect their accountants to worry about other things.
There is no perfect system, but the National Sales Tax (the Fair Tax) sounds like the system that would be most beneficial to the largest number of Americans.
The tax system is meant to raise money for vital government services, it is not meant to serve as an instrument of plunder and revenge for any successes that a law-abiding person might have experienced.
If you just have to have your "economic justice", then consider that the Fair Tax punishes people for what they spend, not what they earn. It will not punish the SubChapter S corporations for their success and it will mean less paperwork for those small businesses.
If they want to buy a new Hummer, they will pay the Fair Tax, while your used Prius will have no Fair Taxes applied! If you shop at consignment shops - No Fair Tax! If you shop at Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Ave., etc. - Fair Tax!
It is an idea that honest, Classical Liberals ought to love. But it means less government control and that is why it doesn't fly with Leftists!
Barack Obama has said that "fairness" (revenge) is more important increasing tax revenues to the Federal Treasury.
Again, if you want to punish someone for their success, punish them for what they buy to assuage their egos, not what they earn. If they assuage their egos with 10,000 square foot homes (and the new stuff needed to fill those mansions) and their three or four car garages, they will pay the Fair Tax. If you buy used furniture from a consignment shop with your tax savings/prebate - no Fair Tax, plus you are helping a small business.
Some will claim that charitable donations will fall because of the "loss" of deductions. To quote Penn and Teller - bullshit! Most people do not give because there is a perceived tax benefit, they give because they have achieved some level of comfort and sustainability and because that is part of the American character as well as the Judeo-Christian character. If they don't have money to give, then they may give their time instead.
If Obama/Pelosi/Reid/Rangel get their way with higher taxes (if only from the expiring Bush tax cuts at the end of 2010), charitable donations will fall as they always do with tax increases. [But maybe that is the idea, to further damage the private charity system, so that government "had to take that service over, too".]
Do you see how it works? Government creates a problem so they can ride in on their "white horses" and "save the day".
Democrats in Congress and the Senate are generally against the Fair Tax because it lessens the influence of government. John McCain has been lukewarm to the idea of the Fair Tax, but maybe he can be persuaded by a public outcry.
Tomorrow use you choices wisely and if you have to stand in line for hours, that is the price we have to pay for the future.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
An Interesting Book, Worth a Read
It is about the quantum leaps made in understanding volcanoes, especially the explosive composite volcanoes, between the time of the Mount St. Helens eruption (1980) and the Mount Pinatubo eruption (1991). Having skimmed through it and then reading through most of the first chapter, I have already learned several new things, including learning about the Osceola Mudflow.
As composite volcanoes are the tallest of the volcanoes, it is not unusual for them to have glacier-capped peaks. When an eruption suddenly melts tons of ice and snow and it mixes with the previously-erupted ash and broken rock, it can be a recipe for disaster, producing what we call lahar flows (volcanic mudflows). A lahar killed an estimated 23,000 to 25,000 people in Armero, Colombia, in the middle 1980s. An "average" lahar may have a consistency of wet concrete and carry with it boulders the size of cars and downed trees.
Mapping by USGS geologists revealed that the Osceola Mudflow was produced by a partial collapse of a portion of Mt. Rainier, about 5700 years ago. It traveled a reported 60 miles from Mt. Rainier to Puget Sound. The worst part is that today, five towns have been built on the volcanic sediments of the Osceola Mudflow. If it happened once, it is likely to happen again.
There could well have been a few human inhabitants of the Puget Sound area at that time.
Just something to consider if you ever get a job offer from the Seattle/Tacoma area.
[I will report back to you on this book and may try to restart my "Book of the Week" thing.]
Just a Few Random Thoughts About Pumpkins
In contrast, during my Senior year of college, my two housemates and I bought a pumpkin for Halloween 1975, but never got around to carving it. When Halloween passed, we decided to just put it in the corner of the breakfast room, on a stool, just to see how long it would last, sort of a low-impact science experiment.
It survived until Valentine's Day 1976, when we had to toss it as it threatened to implode, then rupture. Three and one quarter months, not bad.
Pumpkin-flavored beers and ales are OK. I have a bottle of Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale (8% alc.) that I haven't tried yet, I am may save it for Election night. Maybe along with a couple of other bottles.
The Avondale Pizza Kitchen, in Avondale Estates, GA (Dekalb County) used to have a really good pumpkin cheesecake around Halloween to Thanksgiving time. Don't know if they still do. I do miss that Fall treat.
Years ago I recall a news story in which a couple of sky-diving fools decided to play toss with a pumpkin while free falling. At some point, the pumpkin got away from them and crashed through the roof of a home, leaving an impressive hole and (if memory serves me correctly) a destroyed dining room table. Can you see calling your insurance agent to explain the hole in the roof/ceiling and the destroyed table? From a pumpkin? It is a good thing that the family was not seated at the dining room table, that might have been good for a couple of heart attacks, if nothing else. [If someone wants to Google "sky-diving pumpkin" to correct any details, go ahead.]
Saturday, November 01, 2008
A pumpkin pi, of course. Must have been carved by a mathematician.
No, I am not sorry, everyone needs a little lame humor from time to time.
I thought it was clever, but sometimes I am easily entertained.
Labels: Lame Humor