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>

Sunday, February 28, 2010

5th Blogoversary...or is it Blogiversary...

whatever.

I almost forgot to "celebrate". Heh.

Been busy working online and messing with Facebook. It is almost mid-term time, so got to attend to the college stuff, too.

Will try to celebrate with a fine glass of ale tomorrow night, as my sinuses are bugging me from the weather changes. Maybe something like Red Brick 15th Anniversary Ale.

Honest, I will try to blog more often. There is still life in the old horse (or horse's ass, if you will).

BTW, some folks are starting to worry about Al Gore. It seems he has been missing lately. Except for maybe one or two attempts at damage-control, one might wonder if he has been buried under a snow bank or something.

Tired, not drunk.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday Videos - Setting the Foundation for Tyranny

Here is a link to a video (sent by a commentor) of a World Federalist Association talk by the late Walter Cronkite with a follow-up by Hillary Clinton. This was done in 1999.

There is no way that a world government could work without sliding into tyranny.

Can you imagine the Muslim world agreeing to being dictated to by a European-based world government?

I wonder if this is the source of some of their paranoia against the West? As is their habit, they will probably blame it on the Jews. [As an aside, there are others that will "blame the Jews" for conspiracies, real or imagined. Though there might be people - in this push for a global government - that are Jews-by-birth, e.g., George Soros, I think that is coincidental to the secular, humanist lust for power that drives these people. In other words, these are probably not people of any mainstream faith.]

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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Faux Intelligence of the Elites

I missed this American Thinker post a few days ago. Apparently the Washington Post made another failed attempt to impress us commoners with Barack Obama's vast intellect. [Actually, I am partially kidding. Skimming a portion of the WP article suggests that they do offer some doubts as to Barack Obama's intellectual perfection.]

To the gist of the article - While Barack Obama was at Harvard, according to the WP article, he decided to delve into the world on science:

...""This is someone who in law school worked with [Harvard professor] Larry Tribe on a paper on the legal implications of Einstein's theory of relativity," said senior adviser David M. Axelrod. "He does have an incisive mind; that mind is always put to use in pursuit of tangible things that are going to improve people's lives." "...[Emphasis added.]

So, David Axelrod thinks we are impressed that Barack Obama was looking for a "legal angle" on Einstein's Theory of Relativity. The ever-active mind of a community organizer was probably looking for evidence of Capitalist oppression within Einstein's writings.

Did he consider looking at the Plate Tectonics Theory or the Theory of Biotic Oil, while he was at it?

I guess this is why Barack Obama, despite his relationship with the Harvard Law Review, never got anything published.

Tilting at windmills and hanging with Marxist professors is time-consuming, don't ya know!

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Why Modern Liberals Ain't...Failing to Protect the Underdog

I am infuriated. If you haven't seen the video on ABC News, a teenaged girl was attacked by another in a Seattle bus tunnel. Three private security guards stood around, watching and doing nothing more than perhaps saying "Stop that". It looked like one of the security guards pointed his finger at the attacker - I will have to give him credit for that act of bravery.

No one did anything while this girl was on the ground being kicked in the head, no adults stepped in.

This is nothing more than shear cowardice. Before it got bad, the victim-to-be asked for help. This city (or perhaps the "security" company) is making excuses that it is not their policy. Their employees are supposed to "report" (and retreat, or so it seems). So much for the legacy of Flight 93 on 9/11.

No citizens stepped forward either, perhaps expecting the "security guards" TO ACTUALLY PROVIDE SOME SECURITY!" They must have thought that those uniforms actually meant something. Silly citizens.

I guess if the attacker had a lit cigarette in her hand, then they might have actually done something to stop her (from at least smoking while she was kicking the other girl in the head). I am surprised that they didn't ticket the victim for impeding traffic while she was laying unconscious on the pavement.

Damn your chickenshit policies and your milquetoast rules. When there is a clear aggressor and a clear victim, adults (especially men) are obligated - under any sense of civility - to at least separate the two and send them on their ways, before it got bad.

When the liberal talkingheads on ABC Good Morning America are dumbfounded, you know there is a problem! They did a phone survey of numerous "security firms" across the country and found out that the prevailing policy was that "practiced" in Seattle.

Congratulations to "progressive" King County, WA for sending a message across the country to all subway thugs - go ahead at have your way, we "security guards" will just be watching.

So why do they bother with any uniforms? They might as well be dressed in clown costumes for all of the good that they are providing.

If this mindset continues to prevail, we will sink to the depths of formerly-Great Britain, where citizens have been arrested for defending themselves against attackers, if they use a stick or a cane. Even in their own homes, they have been arrested for self-defense against home-invaders.

Self-defense is a God-given right. That among other rights are being taken from us by Progressives, while they pretend to give us "security" in return.

Yeah, so much for "standing up for the little guy".

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Nancy Pelosi,...Doing Her Part to Promote a Global Government...

and the tyranny that it would bring.

A long-term dream of the Progressive Left is the formation of a global government. They have been working on this for close to a century, if not longer. Gradually so we don't notice. The UN, in the opinion of many, is at least the model for this global government, if not the actual work-in-progress. One of the challenges of assembling this global government is getting an independent source of funding.

Currently, the United States (and anyone else that harbors a shred of appreciation of freedom) can exert some checks and balances on their lust for power by tightening the purse strings.

But among others, Nancy Pelosi wants for there to be a global tax on financial transactions. Other proposed global taxes are on carbon and travel (airline tickets and such). I am sure they have other ways of sucking more money out of the private sector to feed their lust for power.

Fortunately, a few Democrats are against this idea, if only to preserve their own skins, from the article:

..."The transaction tax proposal was met with opposition from some House Democrats, who signed a “Dear Colleague” letter outlining their opposition to the tax and urging other members of Congress to join them.

“A $150 billion tax on financial transactions will fall on millions of hardworking Americans who are saving for their future through their 401k plans, mutual funds, pensions and other savings vehicles,” wrote Reps. Michael McMahon (D-N.Y.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), and Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.) in the letter, which is still being circulated on Capitol Hill, a copy of which was obtained by CNSNews.com"...

Stopping the implementation of any sort of a global tax is but one way of at least slowing down this juggernaut. We have to remain aware of their plans, which are expressed in their desire to control fuel use, using the "Climate Change" hysteria or other contrived crises.

If we don't push back now, our children and grandchildren will not be able to. One of the goals of the global Progressive movement has been to scrub history clean of concepts such as national sovereignty, God-given freedoms, American exceptionalism,...

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Tuesday Videos - The Myth of Right Wing Hate

Another musical interlude, from New Zeal blog:



One way to deal with the constant blizzard of lies from the hateful left is to let them spew themselves into a corner. The hoorah over the Tim Tebow video is an example. I saw at least two different libs on TV use the word "hate" about the pro-choice video, without ever having seen it.

Hopefully, the general public will learn to see it for what it is.

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Tuesday Videos - A Little History

Too Late to Apologize. Watch this one a few times, it will grow on you, from soomopublishing:



By the way, the characters are Thomas Jefferson, lead vocals and violin, John Hancock (with the quilled pen), John Adams, Samuel Adams (he brought the beer), and Ben Franklin.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Just One Example of How Too Much Government = Few Jobs

By way of Moonbattery;

I found this New York Times business blog post, by Jay Goltz, a Chicago-area owner of five small businesses, totalling 100+ jobs.

I have long believed that in order to be a better employee, one needs to understand the viewpoint of (and pressures on) a business owner/boss. The same applies for rental tenants needing to understand the same of landlords (jerks of either kind not included).

The primary point of the blog post was the manner in which government mandates (federal, state, local) runup the employer's cost of a job. It is different in every state, but in Illinois, according to the post:

..."The unemployment insurance tax may be the most confusing and misunderstood tax there is. It is run by the states, and the rules can vary as much as the weather from one state to another.

Here’s how it works in Illinois. The important point for business owners to know is that when the state pays out claims to a company’s former employees, that company’s unemployment tax rate goes up. For each business, the state calculates how many dollars have been paid in compensation over the previous three years and adds on about 48 percent through various calculations. The result is that in Illinois, you end up paying for incremental compensation claims at a rate of $1.48 for every dollar that a former employee collects."

Continuing:

"If you lay off or fire someone without “cause,” that person is eligible for unemployment compensation. “Cause” means that the employee violated a company policy, like coming in late or threatening a co-worker. “Cause” does not include doing a bad job, being very slow, or having a bad attitude. The formula used to calculate the unemployment benefits is still a mystery to me, but the payouts go from a minimum of $51 per week to a maximum of $531, depending on income level, the number of dependents and whether a spouse is working.

It used to be that a former employee would collect unemployment for 13 weeks. Now, it has been expanded to 26."...

The writer, as a business owner understands and supports the idea of unemployment insurance, but:

..."I do question, however, the eligibility rules, at least in Illinois. In some states, an employee has to work 90 days to be eligible. In Illinois, it is 30 working days.

That makes it entirely possible that a business can be taxed more than $20,000 — $531 multiplied by 26 weeks multiplied by 1.48 — for someone who is employed by the business for as few as 30 days. But what if it were “only” $10,000? Does even that make sense for 30 days of employment? And, more important, how much incentive does this provide for businesses to risk hiring new people who may or may not work out?"

Simply put, these are things that must be considered if there is any doubt about whether a candidate can make it with the company or not.

Goltz has been considering hiring a new employee:

"I’m thinking about hiring an outside salesperson. There are many people looking for jobs who might be great at selling art and framing in the commercial interior market. But it takes at least two or three months to determine whether someone has the contacts and ability to be effective. That person will have just finished training after 30 days."

Another aspect of what an employer faces is highlighted by Goltz relating about having to fire a new employee after 3 weeks, for repeatedly texting, rather than working. Though she wasn't eligible, due to not having made the 30-day cutoff, she still filed a challenge and the business had to defend itself. That costs money and makes them even further gun shy about hiring.

Add to this the uncertainty small businesses face when worried about the fact that only 7% Barack Obama's cabinet (and perhaps other advisors) has any free-market business experience in providing goods and services to American citizens. Each new hire is another unknown quantity and a new obligation to face.

Add to that the overt government siding with unions vs. employers. [I understand that unions are part of the system of checks-and-balances, but they don't have to earn the money for payroll each week and they don't sign the paychecks.] The government sees union members as a captive audience of voters, to be swelled with Card Check legislation and other mandates.

What are we allowing to be done to the goose that used to lay the golden eggs?

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Thursday Videos - A Little Flawed, But a Laudible Effort

It is a little too obvious that she is reading from a written statement and the background noise is distracting. But I would give DeeDee a "B" for her efforts at being informed and not caught up in the "free bread and circuses". At least she is not using a Teleprompter.



When Barack Obama was asked to grade himself on his first-year, he gave himself a "B+".

At the time when I heard this, I asked myself "How many of us would give ourselves a B+ late in the first year of our new employment?" A person with a measure of humility would probably grade themselves more harshly than others might. Even if we say "I did OK in my first year, maybe a C or C+", there is probably a nagging fear that "I could have done better". You know, rookie mistakes, the learning curve. Can you imagine the media uproar if George W. Bush had said that (even in the absence of 9/11)?

Pride has been described as one of the worst of the 7 Deadly Sins. Pay attention to the number of times you see Barack Obama, chin held high, looking down his nose when he is lecturing the unwashed masses or anyone else that doesn't agree with his Progressive/Leftist agenda. You don't have to see his entire body to see the body language.

Arrogance. Pride before the fall. DeeDee has a reason for being worried.

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22 Different Drivers in the Driver's Seat

[Updated to add another driver...Soot and other particulates.]

Climate Drivers are those inputs (influences) that affect the Earth's weather and climate, all are of different magnitudes and some (especially the first four) are on different cycles (or are subject to random events). Some of these cycles and drivers may exaggerate each other (Synergy) or they may partially (or wholly) cancel each other out (Antagonism).

Geologist H. Leighton Steward has produced a chart with 18 different climate drivers (or climate forcers). He acknowledges that there might be more and I have included several more myself.

After each listed Driver will be the Principle Influence, Impact, and Comments.
  1. Solar Heat & Solar Magnetic Field - Solar heat and Magnetic shielding - Strongest - Heat retained by Earth influenced by other drivers. There are numerous solar cycles of different time intervals, that can affect quantity of heat, light, and magnetism being emitted by the Sun.
  2. Orbital Eccentricity - Determines distance from Sun - Strong - Distance affects amount of solar heat received, influenced by gravitation pull of Saturn, Jupiter, and other planets.
  3. Earth's Axial Tilt - Determines seasons and amount of heat received by higher latitudes - Strong - Additional tilt can affect polar ice melting (or growth).
  4. Earth's Axial Wobble (precession) - Determines Earth's seasons closest to or farthest from the Sun, caused by the unequal distribution of land masses - Strong - Can be positive or negative feedback.
  5. Water Vapor - Greatest quantity of all of the Greenhouse Gases - 90 - 95%, affects clouds, precipitation volumes, albedo, and vegetation, "thickens" the air - Strongest of Greenouse Gases - Highly variable, may not be included in computer models for this reason.
  6. Water Droplets & Ice Crystals - As components of clouds, affects amount of visible light reaching the Earth's surface and traps rising heat from Earth's surface - Strong - Highly variable, may not be included in computer models for this reason.
  7. Carbon Dioxide - Captures infrared heat rising from Earth's surface, reradiates some heat - Strong at low saturation - Generated by ocean releases, volcanic activity (including hot springs), animal/bacterial respiration, and combustion (natural and human), Greenhouse Effect non-linear, usually follows temperature changes, currently 0.0385%.
  8. Methane - Captures infrared heat rising from Earth's surface, reradiates some heat - Moderate (low quantity in atmosphere) - Generated by wetlands, by animals, and industries, currently 0.00018%.
  9. Ocean Currents - Distributes heat from Tropics to higher latitudes, can change quickly or slowly - Strong - Largest reservoir of surface heat.
  10. Plate Tectonics (seafloor spreading) - Causes volcanism, releases carbon dioxide, sulfates, chlorine, and other gases, results in mountain uplifts, earthquakes - Strong, long-term - Affects position of continents, sea level, volcanic ash and sulfates affect atmospheric chemistry & atmospheric CO2.
  11. Location of Continents - Affects major ocean currents and distribution of heat - Strong to weak - Land over poles increases glaciation, position of continents affects rising infrared heat from surface.
  12. Elevation of Land Masses - Higher elevations promote glaciation and affect local wind currents; moderate elevations promote rainfall (through Orographic Uplift) & chemical weathering of rocks (see below) - Moderate - Affects regional climates, monsoons, and locations of deserts, especially North American deserts.
  13. Chemical Weathering - Releases elements and compounds from minerals, affects chemistry of water bodies - Weak, long-term - Little short-term effect on climate.
  14. Vulcanism - Constants sources of CO2, sulfates, ash particulates - Moderate to strong, short-term - May affect ocean chemistry, builds new islands, affects atmospheric chemistry.
  15. Extraterrestrial Impacts - Immediate fires, then colder temperatures for a few years/decades - which affect plant communities and the food webs built thereon - Strong, very short-term - May affect atmospheric and oceanic chemistry.
  16. Albedo - Determines amount of Solar Energy reflected or retained (absorbed) - Moderate to strong - Constantly changing, affected by other drivers.
  17. Flora & Fauna (plants, animals, bacteria) - Affects albedo, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and methane content of atmosphere - Moderate - Terrestrial ecosystem diversity and richness affected by atmospheric moisture, temperature, and chemistry; Aquatic ecosystem diversity and richness affected by temperature, water energy, water chemistry.
  18. Atmospheric Circulation - Vertical and Horizontal winds distribute heat and moisture and affect land surface and upper ocean circulation patterns - Moderate - Affects weather systems and distributes nutrients to oceans, affecting oceanic flora, fauna, and chemistry.
  19. Cosmic Rays - Evidence suggests that cosmic rays produce particulates that seed low-level clouds - Impact to be determined - More research needed to determine impact.
  20. Earth's Magnetic Field - May affect quantity of cosmic rays reaching the atmosphere - Impact to be determined - More research needed to determine impact.
  21. Changes in Land-Use Patterns - Includes deforestation for logging and farming, growth of Urban Heat Islands, variable local and regional effects - Impact to be determined - More research needed to determine impact.
  22. Carbon "Soot" and other Particulates - In some cases, particulates may reflect sunlight, in other cases they may absorb sunlight, may also serve as condensation nuclei for clouds and rainfall, some particulates are generated by combustion and human disturbances to the soil, i.e., farming, construction, and other human activities, in addition to natural sources - Impact to be determined - More research needed to determine impact.

My point here was to illustrate the complexity of the atmospheric interactions of these drivers (and any others yet-to-be-identified). In other words, it is a bit premature to say "the science is settled", as some political charlatans have said. Mother Nature is wild and we mere humans will never totally understand her.

The human influences on some of these could be ameliorated, but not if our economy (and the economies of other developed countries) are hobbled by unnecessary taxes and regulations, administered by un-elected bureaucrats driven by resentment of our freedom and prosperity.

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A Glaring Case of Media Bias...Against a Black Female Soldier?

I had never heard of Shoshana Johnson, an Army cook that was shot in both legs and captured in the same firefight as Jessica Lynch. After spending 22 days as an Iraqi POW, she was somehow overlooked by the MSM in favor of Jessica.

In a convoy that was caught up in a 2003 ambush, Johnson and Lynch (in the 507th Maintenance Co.) were among 33 U.S. soldiers that got lost in Nasiriyah en route to Baghdad. Their journey, Johnson said, was hampered by broken-down vehicles and malfunctioning equipment. Eleven were killed — including Johnson's friend Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa.

Though Johnson doesn't resent the Jessica Lynch for the MSM attention that she received, she feels that she was overlooked, by the media, because she wasn't petite and blonde. [I got the feeling somewhere along the way that Jessica was not comfortable with all of the attention. Sometimes the word "hero" gets bandied about too easily by the MSM, in search of a story. Being captured doesn't make a soldier a hero (Shoshona admitted this), though surviving harsh captivity is heroic, IMHO. And all that volunteer and serve are heros in their own ways. But sometimes we have to wonder about the way the media spotlight certain people and ignore others.] Shoshana did report that her wounds were administered to by an Iraqi doctor and she was treated better by her captors than male soldiers were.

The firefight, wounds, captivity, and post-release treatment has led to episodes of depression, followed by years of therapy. Details of her life are in an upcoming book "I'm Still Standing".

[I am sure that many will join in wishing Shoshana the best for the future. She is in training as a pastry chef to make wedding cakes, etc..]

So, I just wonder why Shoshana's story was not deemed news-worthy by the "usual suspects" in the MSM? The above-linked article about her captivity was from a 2004 Fox News article. Though they might have covered it, Shoshana's name was not a "household word", despite the fact that she was held in captivity longer than Jessica.

Things that make you go "hmmm", with apologies to Arsenio Hall.

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