GeologicalScienceBlog - subjects include Geology, Climatology, Environmental Science, NASCAR, Beer, Property Rights, Random Thoughts, & Politics from a Christian Conservative/Libertarian/pragmatist viewpoint. As a Dad & Grandad, I am concerned about the overgrowth of government at the expense of freedom. Background - two degrees in Geology (BS '77, MS '90), started studying Geology beginning Senior Year of high school (1971 - 1972) <68>

Thursday, December 29, 2011

192,000 Books and Manuscripts Reduced to Ashes...

by Islamist mobs in Egypt.

Kind of follows the actions of their WWII allies, Nazi Germany. From the article "Burning books in Cairo", by Ryan Jones, Israel Today Magazine, 27 December 2011:

"On December 17, an Egyptian mob - presumably of the type that has been voting for the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Nour - demonstrated that they have no intention of "modernizing" or adopting Western-style pragmatism when they torched the Institute of Egypt in Cairo.

Among the casualties of the Islamist assault were some 192,000 rare books and manuscripts.

The Institute of Egypt was established by Napoleon Bonaparte when he invaded Egypt in the late 18th century. For centuries the Institute of Egypt housed priceless chronicles of the nation's history, as well as the findings of hundreds of top scholars and scientists.

The Institute of Egypt symbolized Egypt's connection to the West, and for many its establishment was the start of the "modern era" in Egypt. And that is why it had to go. Because Egypt's Islamists have no intention of modernizing, not on Western terms, at any rate. Like the Ayatollahs in Iran and Hamas in Gaza, their ultimate goal is to return Egypt to a medieval form of life where a strict interpretation of Sharia Law governs the actions of all."

Nature abhors a vaccuum. Hosni Mubarak was certainly a problematic ruler (polite term), but there was some measure of secularism present in Egypt. I wonder if the libs that championed the "Arab Spring" in Egypt are at least uncomfortable with these events.

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Revisiting the Depression of William Styron

I just started reading Alexandra Styron's book "Reading My Father", a memoir of her experiences growing up and dealing with her father's unipolar depression.

Here is the text of the above-linked post of September 4, 2007:

"William Styron's "Darkness Visible" is short enough (84 pages) to read in one day/night period, but because of the importance of the material, you might want to spend a little more time on the subject.

William Styron is best known for "The Confessions of Nat Turner", "Lie Down in Darkness", "Sophie's Choice" and other works of literature. "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness", 1992, Vintage Books div. of Random House, ISBN 0-679-73639-5, details Styron's rapid descent into severe clinical depression, after reaching the age of 60, and his subsequent treatment and recovery.

Styron attributes some aspects of the depression to genetics, as his father suffered the same affliction. After-the-fact, he became aware of some his central characters (in his books) suffering depression, perhaps a sign that it was "just under the surface of his psyche" (my paraphrasing). Three of his central characters committed suicide.

As with numerous other writers, Styron had a relationship with "the bottle", not writing while he was drinking, but using his episodes to "travel throughout his imagination" (my paraphrasing). Oddly enough, it seemed that it wasn't his "hitting bottom" after he turned 60 that caused him to suddenly stop drinking, he seemed to "lose interest", perhaps his body somehow rebelled against it.

Styron attributed the rapid cessation of drinking as the "trigger event" that started his rapid downward spiral. Being part of the "writing community", Styron was well-aware of the legion of writers that had preceeded him in severe depression, some of which ended in suicide. He almost reached that point, but "was pulled back" at the last instant. Somehow it seemed that depression in some fashion contributes to a measure of creativity, perhaps once one is subconciously (or conciously) aware of the territory, they can see possible depression in others. They can perhaps empathize with "broken people" more easily than those that travel through life unaware of what it is like "on the inside".

The unipolar depression suffered by Styron is different from the up-and-down of manic (bipolar) depression. Unipolar depression - attributed to imbalances of norepinephrine, serotonin, and cortisol - is not always constant. Styron's seemed to "hit" him more in the afternoon and evening.

There may be more than one "triggering event" that precipitates (or exaggerates) changes in brain chemistry. In the case of Abraham Lincoln, it was the death of his mother, Nancy Hanks, when he was nine, then the death of his sister when he was 19. For Styron, he believed that one of his early triggering events was the death of his mother when he was 13. For Ernest Hemingway, perhaps it was the suicide of his father.

Styron describes the descent of most people (including himself) with depression in this way (p. 47):

"But with their minds turned agonizingly inward, people with depression are usually dangerous only to themselves. The madness of depression is, generally speaking, the antithesis of violence. It is a storm indeed, but a storm of murk. Soon evident are the slowed-down responses, near paralysis, psychic energy throttled back close to zero. Ultimately the body is affected and feels sapped, drained."

People with depression generally blame themselves, thus they are probably not planning on "going postal". Those people that do "go postal" are people that blame others for their problems.

The self-doubts and frustrations of a creative person - at not being able to reach their capabilities (because of depression) - may have been reflected in the doubts of Mother Teresa (addressed in the previous post)."

[I wrote the immediately-linked post because I was pissed off at Christopher Hitchens' opinions regarding Mother Teresa.]

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

When Brewers are Useful Idiots

I look forward to trying these new beers and having the cans on my shelves, but...

They just "so don't get it".

This is one of the new cans planned for Revolution Brewing Co., from Chicago (big surprise!).

It is even present in the logo of the Craft Cans website.

It is the "clenched fist" motif, a common icon of Socialism.  It is beyond sad that a small business (Revolution Brewing Co.) and an avid advocate of small businesses (Craft Cans) would celebrate a philosophy that regards small businesses and the self-employed in low regard (a polite term).

If the Socialist Left (and their cronies - Big Labor Unions and Big Businesses) had their way, for the sake of control there wouldn't be any start-up businesses, at least none would be allowed to grow beyond a certain size.  It IS about control and power.  Small businesses - started by free-minded capitalists - are not going to be a source of money and power (and warm bodies for desired tasks) for the Big Unions.

The craft beer revolution, which began a little over 30 years ago with New Albion Brewing Co., in Sonoma, CA, is the epitome of the free-market system and Chicago has a rich brewing history.  But Chicago also has a "rich" history of Socialism and political corruption.  It is a shame to see small brewers drinking from this well, a well which regards them as little more than an annoyance.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday Videos - An American History Lesson

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Thursday Videos - More Food for Thought

When I was a Classical Liberal, I hated tyranny - Right Wing or Left Wing, it didn't matter. Still hate tyranny, but have come to understand that - worldwide - most political hate and violence is Left Wing. I know Liberals will not admit this, it really bugs me that the people that used to be skeptical of government under a Republican President embraces government now. They don't have a clue that some things just don't change, just because a different party occupies the White House.

We are never going to lose our freedom to a Christian theocracy, it will Socialism.

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Thursday Videos - Food for Thought

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Thursday Videos - CNN Report on Militias

Just a reminder that militias are part of our "checks and balances".

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Thursday Videos - What is "the Militia"?

This is probably beyond the understanding of most Liberals.

And why might we need the Militia?

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Goals for 2012

In no particular order, just as they come to me:

1) Resume efforts to obtain work doing real estate title research, preferably for Phase I Environmental Assessments.

2) Be more proactive in asking for contributions of nature photos for Nature Photo CD Project.

3) Consult with someone on what is needed to bring this Photo CD to market, hopefully in time for the "10th Anniversary" - mid-March or so.

4) Finish left clearlite, next to the front door.

5) Do some more gold panning in Cobb County and here, too.

6) Inquire about other places to pan gold, hopefully either in the Helen, GA area or Coker Creek, TN.

7) Finish cleaning basement and reorganizing beer can collection with the goal of showing it off one more time prior to selling/recycling most of it, in order to simplify my life, as it may be necessary to sell this place and move to a smaller home.



2011 Resolutions...A Look Back

A mixed bag as most of life is...the resolutions are as they were originally worded.  "Results" are in boldface.

1) To blog more, posting political stuff here, so my Liberal cousins' ears won't bleed on Facebook. Or maybe not.

Didn't post as much as I should have, but I did post something every month.  Lately it has been mostly videos as because of the year's tumult, I haven't been able to sit down and collect enough cogent thoughts to write as much as I would like.  I have been less political on Facebook, perhaps just trying to be more subtle in my comments to Conservative friends' posts, while trying to ignore the Libs. 

2) To have McDonald's sweet tea only twice a week, unless I have to drive long distances. At home I always have unsweetened tea, as I don't want to know how much sugar is in sweet tea.

Well, totally failed at this one.

3) To get back into doing stained glass, which I haven't done in 25 or so years.

Got one of the clearlites done and got started on the left one.  When I get more of the basement cleaned, will get back to that.

4) To lose weight...Honestly.

According to the electronic bathroom scales, I am down by 18 lbs. for the year.  Don't much feel like it, but that is what the gizmo says.

5) To host more social events at my home, beer tastings, parties, etc..

OK, failed at this one, too.  But with the completion of some indoor painting projects and a desire to show off my beer can collection, I plan to have something happen soon.

6) To photograph more wildflowers.

Did some of this, but I didn't get to any of the botanical gardens before the summer drought took hold.

7) To pray more, for myself and for those Liberal cousins that haven't changed their views in 40 years.

Done some of this, but as usual, not enough.

8) To have Mexican food or hot wings only once a week. This will be tough.

Losing my full-time job helped with this endeavor.

9) To get my life more organized. Being disorganized costs $$$$$.

Making some progress late in the year.

10) To have the confidence to dive into those needed home projects and the persistence to get them finished. I have the skills, but sometimes lack the confidence. Well, not for anything electrical, but for glasswork, light plumbing, woodwork,...

Well, got to retry this one.

11) To have zero french fries or Krispy Kreme doughnuts for January and only once per month afterward.

I did pretty well with this one for at least the first 3 months.  Less so after that.

12) Get my basement cleaned out, move the air hockey table either to the basement or to the extra bedroom.

Made some progress with son in-law's help. 

13) Find a home for one of our 3 cats. I like cats, but we don't need 3 of them.

Found a place for two of them.  Kind of want to get rid of the third one.

14) To cook at home more. As I am not teaching this next semester, I won't be using several hours a week to drive to and from the campus.

Mainly did this with chili.

15) To take some free training courses offered by the college.

Oh well, will try again.

16) To do something with the 1978 Ford F-100 truck sitting in my driveway. Sell it, fix it, whatever...

Sold it.

17) To have a yard sale, or at least put some stuff out at the street labeled "Free" for folks to haul away. And to call the Kidney Fund to come pick up the unsold yard sale stuff, so I don't have to cart it back to the garage/basement. Not selling much stuff is not the worst part of a slow yard sale. It is having to haul the junk back inside afterward.

Tried a yard sale, sold only some small marble table tops.  Gave away other stuff to thrift stores and such.

18) Blog more on my other blogs, too.

Did so on my science blog, not so much on my beer can blog.

19) Donate more to our church.

Job loss didn't help this at all.

20) Fix the leaky shower valves in our back bathroom and reconnect the pipes (the disconnection was an emergency move).

Not yet.

21) Paint the main bathroom. Get rid of the larger mirror, replace with a smaller mirror.

Got the mirror, haven't gotten the spirit to paint, yet.

22) Improve my Beer Karma on Beer Advocate, currently it is 165.6. Will explain that another time.

Did improve it a bit, currently it is 191.3.  It may have been a bit higher, but I haven't been as active on the website lately.  Haven't had the time or money to visit and review more brewpubs, etc..

23) Get the wireless router working, however necessary.

Finally got this working when we got the AT&T U-Verse.

24) Participate in at least one Tea Party event.

Didn't do this one, either.

25) Read "Atlas Shrugged". I got a head start by reading the Cliff Notes version. Yeah, it is cheating of a sort, but I will understand the characters, etc., when I dive into this daunting book.

I read the book and saw the movie.

26) Try to read two books per month, at least.

Did this the first few months.  Drifted away from this goal.

27) Check out the local pawn shop for a used chainsaw.

Loss of job precluded this.

28) Clear front yard of all fallen oak leaves by the end of January.

Took a bit longer, but got it done.  With the passage of Fall, back in the same place.

29) Repaint shutters when the weather warms.

Will try again in 2012.

30) Expand xeriscaping in front yard. Repair rock walls.

Did some of it.

31) Do some backyard landscaping. Clean up wildflower garden to prepare for spring.

Did some of it.  Damn deer raided the garden and damaged part of the wall.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Somewhat Accurate, Somewhat Whimsical Look at Geologists...

is presented in this Uncyclopedia post.

I do wish they had not revealed all of our secrets, though.  A little mystery is usually a good thing.  I may post more in detail over at my science (non-political) blog.

Christopher Hitchens passes...

I suppose by now, he has discovered whether he was right about that "God thing".

That is all I have to say, at this point.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Have You Heard of the Jaffe Memo?

From this LifeNews column:

It's been around for 40+ years.  It was produced by Planned Parenthood VP - World Population Frederick S. Jaffe, at the request of the U.S. Government to address the issue of "Overpopulation".  [Quotation marks were used as this issue is a matter of interpretation regarding the Progressive agenda and what they intend(ed).

Posted in a Landscape View on the 1-page pdf document, here are the proposals:

Social Constraints
Economic Deterrents

Modify tax policies:
a) Substantial marriage tax
b) Child tax
c) Tax married more than single
d) Remove parents tax exemption
e) Additional taxes on parents with more than 1 or 2 children in school
Reduce/eliminate paid maternity leave or benefits
Reduce/eliminate children's or family allowances
Bonuses for delayed marriage and greater child spacing
Pensions for women of 45 with less than N children
Eliminate Welfare payments after first 2 children
Chronic depression
Require women to work and provide few child care facilities
Limit/eliminate public-financing medical care, scholarships, housing, loans and subsidies to families with more than N children.

Social Controls

Compulsory abortion of out-of-wedlock pregnancies
Compulsory sterilization of all who have two children except for a few who would be allowed three
Confine childbearing to only a limited number of adults
Stock certificate type permits for children
Housing policies:
a) Discouragement of private home ownership
b) Stop awarding public housing based on family size

Other (not defined by a heading on the memo)

Payments to encourage sterilization
Payments to encourage contraception
Payments to encourage abortion
Abortion and sterilization on demand
Allow certain contraceptives to be distributred non-medically
Improve contraceptive technology
Make contraception truly available and accessible to all
Improve maternal health care, with family planning a core element

Sounds a bit like tyranny.  There are a few of these that are favored by Conservatives/Libertarians - BUT FOR DIFFERENT REASONS.

Will list these later...

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Monday, December 12, 2011

When "Morning Joe" Actually Got it Right...

I don't waste my time watching MSNBC, thus I have to rely on various other outlets to pass along the tripe that is usually spewed on that waste of TV time.

Joe Scarborough is touted as a "conservative" - I gather that he used to be a Republican representative and once in a blue moon, he stumbles into a conservative concept.

The NewsBusters headline sums up one of those rare events -

Morning Joe: Obama Sees Our Democracy As 'Stumbling Block To His Greatness'"

This viewpoint (by Barack Obama) is not surprising, when you consider the totality of his upbringing and the viewpoints of his mother, his grandparents, his teachers and mentors.  You can "make book" on the probability that he never heard about how special the United States is, how countless millions of legal immigrants were thankful to get here, despite hardships and flaws, and how rare our sort of freedom is in world history. 

You may recall Obama's previous complaint about the Constitution being a list of "negative rights", telling the government what it can't do.  Which is exactly what it is supposed to be.  It has been said by many that a dictatorship is the most efficient form of government, you know, when ya don't have to deal with the pesky checks-and-balances.  And many of the fellow travelers of the President see a Global Government as the most efficient way to get "things done".  Let's hope that more sane people prevail for the sake of our childrens' future.

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Olive Tree Agriculture Resurrected in Georgia

It seems that Coastal Georgia was the site of olive production in the past, from this passage in the AJC article:

..."They were introduced by Spanish settlers who planted olive trees at missions established in southeast Georgia in the 1590s. British colonists led by Gen. James Edward Oglethorpe discovered the Spanish olive trees after their arrival in 1773. Plantations on St. Simons, Sapelo and Cumberland Islands grew olives for oil well into the 1800s until the Civil War, natural disasters and turnover in land ownership stamped out the crop."...

Very cool.  It is neat to see old, colonial-age crops being restarted, as with Carolina Gold rice and American Classic tea - both from South Carolina.

I wish them well.

[Update:  A political angle that I just can't resist.  The email that notified me of this article was sent by a very Liberal cousin, one that agrees with her siblings (and some other relatives, unfortunately) with the notion of "the 1%" and how they don't pay their "fair share" of taxes.  The article clearly states that the olive grove owner - Jason Shaw - was funded with $250,000 of his money and the money of relatives.  Now, who other than the top 5% (or so) can afford to fund a start-up operation, such as this?  This would not be possible in a socialist nation, where there is no "excess profit".  But that point escapes Liberals and they would get pissed if I pointed this out.]

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Random Videos - Runaway Slave

When this video debuts on January 13, please implore conservatives to support the film by their attendance. First weekend numbers are important markers in the film industry.

And the recent past for conservative/libertarian-themed movies has been rather abysmal, with folks bitching about imperfections in the film, rather than just going, and getting something from the film, even if it ain't perfect. Documentaries are generally avoided by many folks anyway, but they are an important way of getting the message out, while swimming against the lefty tide in Hollywood.

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Unintended Sabbatical in Progress...

will resume writing on this blog when the spirit moves me - maybe with the help of some barley-generated ethanol research.

With too many of today's "news" stories requiring that one "wait for the other shoe (or shoes) to drop", by the time the truth emerges, it seems like "old news" to those that are paying attention.

In the meantime, time is also encumbered by job searching. And so it goes.

'Til then, enjoy the videos.

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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Random Saturday Videos

Yeah, I know Chrissie Hynde (sp.?) is an idiot leftist, I still like this song. I found this link while surfing YouTube and I prefer looking at Diane Keaton vs. Chrissie Hynde, too.

And though I hate putting money into the pockets of idiot leftists, I will probably add this tune to my ipod.

Versus the "liberals" that have "unfriended" me on Facebook, I think this is fairly open-minded.

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Friday, December 02, 2011

Thursday Videos - A Day Later...

Telling the informed what they already know.

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Thursday Videos - The Church of Oprah

Decide for yourself.

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