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>

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Videos - The Fannie/Freddie Timeline...

by way of Moonbattery:

The same foxes are busy watching the henhouse, while we sleep.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sorry for Missing the Tuesday Video Thing...

I been busy working.

Will try to find something interesting to post later tonight or tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Plan to Post at Least One Tuesday Video, Later

I am busy with working online from home, at the moment.

I just hope and pray that nothing weird happens today, beyond the usual rants of Leftist "journalists". We are making history today, no doubt about it.

Noel Sheppard Asks the Question...

"Will Obama Inauguration End Bush Derangement Syndrome?"

Noel says No and I heartily agree.

We can easily see it in the rabid, hateful rantings of Keith Olbermann, who is demanding that the new President pursue criminal prosecution of President Bush.

In the NewsBusters post, Olbermann is cited as suggesting that past "missed opportunities" for vindictiveness against the vanquished led to future problems. There is a shred of truth in this in certain historical contexts. But in his ignorance, he selects some bad examples, IMHO.

I would never claim to be anything approaching a professional historian, but I probably know more about American history than this dipshit.

From the NewsBusters post, Olbermann's cited words begin with:

..."This country has never succeeded in moving forward without first cleansing itself of its mistaken past. ... We compromised with slavery in the Declaration of Independence, and, fourscore and nine years later, we had buried 600,000 of our sons and brothers in a civil war."...

Our Founding Fathers had to compromise in the Declaration of Independence, in order to get it signed. There was no way to otherwise bring together the diverse subcultures of Massachusetts and South Carolina. Some of them knew that slavery was wrong, but they also knew it would take years to work through the issue. They had to act to "capture that moment in time". They were "under the gun" (or rather under the noose) as they were committing high treason against the King. They had to "git 'er done".

Olbermann continues with his mindless rant:

"After that war’s ending, we compromised with the social restructuring and protection of the rights of minorities in the South. And a century later, we had not only had not resolved anything, but black leaders were still being assassinated in the cities of the South."...

Immediately after the War Between the States (or whatever you wish to call it), the United States government had a lot of issues to concern itself with, including the loss of President Lincoln. Deep-seated cultural issues, whether in the North or the South do not resolve themselves overnight. We have to consider the prevailing culture of the day.

There were anti-Black feelings in the North - remember the anti-draft riots in New York City. General Sherman (among others) was no friend to the freed slaves that wanted to follow him on his campaign through Georgia and South Carolina. We have to consider the prevailing culture of the day.

Vindictiveness by the victor towards the vanquished causes a backlash. Any attempts at social restructuring have to be done gradually, for them to work at all. [General MacArthur's social reconstruction efforts for Japan, after WWII, seem to have worked well. As did the reconstruction efforts in Europe. What Europe has screwed up with Socialism is their own doing.]

Conditions as they were during Reconstruction probably made reconciliation more difficult. Remember, the people of the South were still American citizens, despite their failed uprising. If the Federal Government had been more punishing, more vindictive, that would not have prevented the assassinations of Black Leaders in southern cities in the 1950s/1960s.

More from the dipshit (Sorry, I am highly annoyed):

"We compromised with Germany in the reconstruction of Europe after the First World War. Nobody even arrested the German kaiser, let alone conducted war crimes trials then. And 19 years later, there was an indescribably more evil Germany and a more heartrending Second World War."

"Our" lack of prosecution of the kaiser had nothing to do with planting the seeds for WWII. Again - not writing as a historian - one of the attributed "seeds" was the French vindictiveness towards Germany, regarding excessive War Reparations for WWI. I don't have time to delve into the writings of Sir Winston Churchill, but I believe he had a pretty clear view of this, especially after WWII.

If President Bush had pursued criminal investigations of the former President Clinton for the transfer of sensitive computer and weapons technology to China, Olbermann would be among the loudest in protesting. To "liberals" like Olbermann, history, decorum, grace, the peaceful transfer of power mean nothing. We have a unique history with this peaceful transition of power and direct prosecution of the retired (or defeated) President (regardless of who he is) will do nothing to strengthen this country.

After the "new" wears off, maybe the continued ratings fall for the MSM will relegate Olbermann, Madcow, Matthews, the dustbin of media history. We can only hope.

In the meantime - STFU!

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Right Now, It's Hard to Gauge What Barack Obama is Going to be Like...

as President.

I suppose he has had his share of "Holy Shit! I did it!" moments since the election. Hopefully the gravity has settled in on him as to his place in history.

Not just the gravity of the job, but in knowing that he has established himself as the standard by which future black American Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidates will be judged. That is part of the deal, when one chooses to be a "pioneer" of sorts. The one to "kick down the door", per se, is the one to set the tone for those that follow.

Tony Blankley's column yesterday hinted at a possible coming power/ego struggle between Barack Obama and high-level Democrats in the House and Senate.

Remember, Barack Obama was a rookie Senator and all of these Democrat blowhards in the House and Senate - Reid, Pelosi, Rangel, Frank,... - all have more experience and egos fed by their time in office, their "seniority", if you will. Barack Obama's plans may be tempered by the aforementioned "gravity" of his having been elected (and his own desire for a decent legacy) and this may clash with the aforementioned House and Senate Dems.

Only time will tell if Barack Obama may seem the "least of evils" when compared to the egos/agendas of unleashed House and Senate Dems.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Videos - 100+ Years of Media Hype on Climate Change

From Tom Nelson:

Another presentation of this video is at Gore Lied.

[I don't wish to pretend to be a film critic, but having used Power Point virtually everyday I have taught - for the last eight years - I think the graphics could be a little bolder, i.e., easier to read.]

Another interesting website devoted to this issue is DemandDebate, as the science is not settled.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

There is a New Post...

over at Beer Can Blog, as well as the first Tuesday Video, posted last Tuesday, of course.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Welcome to Visitors...

If you are looking for the "Gateway" to the "What a Geologist Sees" Posts, go here.

Otherwise, if you are here for the other science, blather, and politics, scroll on down.

[This post will remain at the top or near the top for the foreseeable future.]




Diversity Lane...Just to Get Started

I have been remiss in sharing with you this series of witty, humorous, political cartoons by Zack Rawsthorne, so I will print a couple at a time, in the order in which I have received them. They play upon every stereotype applied to Libs (and which they reinforce often). [Unneeded advisory/disclaimer: These stereotypes, while based in truth, do not apply to all Libs, so don't be mean to them. And remember that for satire to be funny, there has to be an element of truth, something Libs often forget when they try to lampoon Conservatives and Christians.]

I will describe the characters when I do the next post and a few more cartoons.

To get the rest (there are never enough), go to Zack's blog or website.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

One more Tuesday Video...

was posted over at Beer Can Blog, for your viewing pleasure.

I may try to do Tuesday Videos each week at that blog, too. Most will probably be beer commercials. [What did you expect?]

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tuesday Videos - Che as a Cultural Icon

From ReasonTV and YouTube:

The American Left's love affair with dictators and their henchmen is beyond logic.

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Tuesday Videos - Pro-Hamas Demonstration in Fort Lauderdale

From a Moonbattery post last week, originally from Watch Obsession, a pro-Hamas demonstration/near riot in Fort Launderdale, FL:

As an early commenter on the Moonbattery post stated:

..."Islam is the only religion I've ever seen where its practitioners actually wish people to hell. Christians and Jews point out one's sins and warn about the dangers of hell if the person doesn't repent and change his ways, but they never actually scream "go to hell!" to their adversaries."...

I shouldn't have to remind anyone that the Judeo-Christian culture, as fostered by Europe (especially England) - and adopted by the United States - recognizes the rights of these people to practice their religion and peacefully protest. But the Sharia-dominated culture "where people have no choice" does not allow nor recognize anyone else's right to worship.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Minnesota, "We" Present Your Newest U.S. Senator

You must be so damned proud of yourselves.

Yeah, I know that Georgia had Cynthia McKinney for a while, but she was never in the position to do as much damage as Al Franken could do.

[I am not sure of the original source of this photo, but it was lifted from Moonbattery, from this post. I recommend that your read the post.]

Let's see, a rookie Senator from Illinois will be President (if a few days), his Illinois replacement (unless overturned) already has built a mausoleum/monument to himself, a political rookie is favored to be appointed as Hillary Clinton's replacement... Yeah, George Soros must be smiling at his prospects for success.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

As a Follow-Up to Last Tuesdays' Videos...

on minerals, just a few additional words on the subject to review clarify this issue for non-geologists (normal people). [Being on the road when those two videos were posted, I didn't have time to watch much of either, so if I repeat any of what was said, it is because what I wrote below is just part of my standard opening to the Physical Geology chapter on minerals.]

By definition, minerals are:

Naturally occurring, solid (at normal temperatures), inorganic (though they may be formed by organic processes), they have a definite chemical composition (or range), they have an orderly internal structure, and they have definite characteristics, e.g., crystal habit, cleavage, hardness, color (though color may be unreliable because of trace elements).

Minerals are important because they are the "building blocks of rocks". Most rocks are composed of two or more diffrent minerals, though there are a few rocks that are only composed of a single mineral, e.g., pure marble, pure quartzite, pure limestone...

Geology students generally learn to recognize individual minerals first, then they usually learn to recognize them in igneous rocks, as igneous rocks are the original source of most minerals, including the minerals that make up sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.

Some of the most common minerals that we come in contact with are salts - Halite (NaCl) being the most common of these and Sylvite (KCl) if you use Morton Lite Salt. There are other salts - potassium iodide (KI), etc. that are used for various reason in foods to deliver various trace elements that we need (or that enhance flavors).

Other minerals we encounter are quartz (the most common mineral on Earth), diamond (the hardest), perhaps some other gemstones, gypsum, and for anybody that still uses black-and-white camera film, some silver salts (I am clueless as to the chemistry of color film emulsions). [Sadly, IMHO, film photography is slipping further into history, which some folks will regret as digital images themselves are lost over time.]

BTW, for the beautiful crystals that some folks like to marvel over, for those nice crystals to form, they have to have "room to grow", perhaps into a fracture zone, or some other cavity or open space, or they were among the first minerals to crystallize in a cooling magma. Sometimes those growing crystals include (surround) other minerals as the crystal grows or in the case of gypsum (or other salts) in sediments associated with salt lakes, sometimes the crystals will include small rock fragments, sand grains, and other stuff.

Usually, geologists are not lucky enough to have good, well-shaped crystals for the purpose of identification. That is why we learn the other characteristics of individual minerals. There are high-tech ways of analyzing rocks, but they take time and cost money, so field geologists are still required to make a quick-and-dirty assessment of what minerals are present in a rock and uses the proportions of major minerals to define the rock itself.

[As I think of other examples, I may include them.]

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CNN...Slipping Further into Irrelevance

From NewsBusters comes this post about a CNN report on the eight most disgraced politicians of 2008.

Though it defines most (or all) definitions of logic, they included Alaska Governor Sarah Palin among the listed fallen-from-grace politicians. The CNN piece (of whatever you wish to call it) cited the RNC expenditure for clothing and the issue of the former brother-in-law whom she tried to get fired, probably not because he was a former brother-in-law, but because by most accounts, he seems to be a violent sleaze bag. [If Hillary Clinton had been the Dems nominee (or the VP nominee) and the DNC had spent $150,000 on her clothing, I think CNN would not have had a problem with it.]

Here are the closing portions of the NewsBusters post, by Warner Todd Huston, to sum up the not-so-magnificent seven:

..."Now, let's have a quick review what the other seven have done:

Rob Blagojevich
(sic)- Caught in a criminal bribe taking pay-to-play scheme to sell Barack Obama's senate seat to the highest bidder

John Edwards- Had an affair with an underling as his wife was dying of cancer, an affair he hid from public knowledge as he ran for president

Kwame Kilpatrick- Sentenced to 4 months in jail for obstruction of justice for impeding a criminal investigation into his actions as Detroit's mayor

Larry Langford- Birmingham, Alabama mayor arrested on charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering and filing a false income tax statement

Tim Maloney- Replaced sex crazed Rep. Mark Foley in Florida while hiding his own extra-marital affairs from the voters, then lost his bid for reelection once the truth came out

Elliot Spitzer- Caught with a prostitute, lost his job as governor of New York

Ted Stevens- Faces jail for bribery and making false statements to the feds

How does Sarah Palin fit in with these criminals and scum? Well, truth is, she does not. Yet CNN placed her among these criminals anyway and termed her a disgraced politician!

The only thing "exposed" here is CNN's hate for Palin, its leftist agenda to destroy her and its extreme bias.

So, is CNN bound and determined to follow the New York Times down the media toilet? It seems that way.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

It May Seem a Paradox...

but to be a serious scientist, IMHO, one cannot take themselves too seriously.

Because of the continuous learning curve (and correction curve) that science is (as a database and a process), we have to keep in the back of our minds that "we might be wrong" in our interpretations. Some of what "we know" will be obsolete in a few years. That is just the way it is. We collect our data and interpret it to the best of our abilities (also as time and budgets allow), then we present it. Someone will probably find some new data, allowing new interpretations in the future. So it goes.

Lawyers and politicians can't seem to handle that concept and they are the ones that try to shut down debate by saying "the science is settled". Good science is almost never settled. That is what is neat about it. If we think "we have it all figured out", how do we ever progress?

An example of the progression of science is that a mere decade (or so) ago, it was axiomatic that "you can't get oil or gas from a shale" (or from other "tight" rock formations). That has now changed, especially with the advent of horizontal drilling techniques, induced fracturing of reservoir rocks, and other practices. Some of these new resources might not be economical at $40/bbl crude prices, but they may well be at $60 or $80. With patience, the market place will fill the needs. New taxes of any kind will not bring a single drop of new oil nor a single "breath" of new natural gas.

The free market brought us these advances. As a pragmatist, I don't have a problem with government funding of some research (not all) and I am willing to concede the benefits of some government programs, if they have a sunset clause and limits to participation. But the free market is what brought us our unprecedented prosperity and it is the only thing that can deliver us from our economic funk.

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Climate Alarmists...the Continuing Saga

James Hansen has gone a little further in properly defining himself and the alarmist political culture as being socialists.

From this NewsBusters post, Hansen and his wife wrote an adoring letter to Prez-elect Barack Obama, offering further support for a carbon tax, as a way to redistribute wealth. Yeah, those farmers, business owners, entrepreneurs, Wall Streeters, etc., don't need that extra money. Apparently this bozo is still on the government payroll.

A few tidbits from Hansen's letter to Obama:

..."A rising carbon price is essential to “decarbonize” the economy, i.e., to move the nation toward the era beyond fossil fuels. The most effective way to achieve this is a carbon tax (on oil, gas, and coal) at the well-head or port of entry. The tax will then appropriately affect all products and activities that use fossil fuels. The public’s near-term, mid-term, and long-term lifestyle choices will be affected by knowledge that the carbon tax rate will be rising.

The public will support the tax if it is returned to them, equal shares on a per capita basis (half shares for children up to a maximum of two child-shares per family), deposited monthly in bank accounts. No large bureaucracy is needed. A person reducing his carbon footprint more than average makes money. A person with large cars and a big house will pay a tax much higher than the dividend. Not one cent goes to Washington. No lobbyists will be supported. Unlike cap-and-trade, no millionaires would be made at the expense of the public."...

Yeah, uh-huh. Aside from the idiocy of thinking that we even need to "end the carbon era", how can Washington ever ignore such a stream of money without wanting to skim a little off the top?

Yeah, as long as he continues to sing the right song, he is going to keep his government job and/or diverted taxpayer funds by way of friendly NGOs, so he is somewhat insulated from the grief that more taxes are going to cause.

All of this hoorah over an atmospheric component that comprises 0.0385% of the atmosphere.

I am not one to say that humans cause no effects to the climate. There is evidence of local and perhaps regional weather and climate effects due largely to changes in land-use patterns, including the growth of Urban Heat Islands. But ever since the Margaret Thatcher administration "gave birth" to this hideous political power grab, there has been an ever-growing bandwagon upon which people are tempted to ride, sometimes for their own desires for power and money, sometimes out of fear that they will be frozen out of the science and academic job market.

Virtually all of this hysteria is based upon computer models, which are wholly dependent upon what is put into them by humans. And when presented with a plethora of computer model results, the alarmists invariably pick the one(s) that support their political agenda. It is a power grab. Remember, Jacques Chirac praised Kyoto (years ago) as a "blueprint for Global Governance".

I am all for a diverse energy market. If I had Al Gore's money (or John Edwards' money), I would build George Bush's Crawford, Texas home. Conserving the energy that we now use just makes good sense, but engineering widespread conservation by manipulating a recession is evil. Let the free-market do its thing.

There are times and places for alternative energy sources, but we are years away from widespread utilization of these alternatives. And we need a vibrant, fossil fuel-driven economy to develop those future technologies.

Command and Control will not do it. Command and Control is a "soft word" for tyranny.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009


Yesterday morning, a little while after leaving Austin, TX to return to the Atlanta area, we passed through the small town of Thrall, Texas. While watching the roadway and oncoming traffic, I managed to miss the city limits sign and I didn't know we were in the home town of Neal Boortz, until my wife remarked about the name.

So I just had to stop and take a couple of photos of this national landmark.

Thrall is located on U.S. Hwy. 79, a few miles northeast of Round Rock, TX.

Just throught ya'll would be enthralled with this little bit of travel trivia.

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