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, April 25, 2012

Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Political Evolution and its Blowback

In response to an American Thinker post...

"Been there, had that happen, especially with the advent of Facebook. My evolution from Classical Liberal (not a Leftist) to a Libertarian/Conservative has taken years to transpire.

Influenced by my Dad (a southern Democrat of his time) I am an "information sponge" and a radio talk show "junkie". When he would listen to the Sunday radio broadcasts of Drew Pearson - in the 1960s - as a kid, I was fascinated by someone not just reporting the news, but talking about the news and what it meant. Especially when Pearson would authoritatively say "I predict..." in relation to whatever subject he was on.

As a Classical Liberal, I considered it my DUTY to listen to "the other side", i.e. Conservatives, and consider the validity of their positions and statements - even when it made "my skin crawl". I took being open-minded very seriously. And being a Geology student and then a Geologist, I prided myself on being logical - as a scientist, as well as being skeptical and introspective. [The introspection comes from years of battling Depression and not taking myself too seriously.]

Other than scattered Conservatives and Libertarians, most of the radio talk show hosts to whom I listened in the 70s and 80s were thoughtful Liberals, e.g., Michael Jackson, Owen Spann, a much-younger Larry King,...not vile people of today like Mike Malloy, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz,... Atlanta - my home - was a pioneering market for talk radio with WRNG. Their lineup included Neal Boortz and Chip Wood (a John Birch Society member).

An important landmark in my evolution was the August 1988 debut of Rush Limbaugh. I was living in El Paso at the time, working on my MS in Geology and my first reaction to him was "Who is this yoyo?". I didn't catch him on his first day, but it was his first week. I would listen until he annoyed me, then I would turn off the radio. A few minutes later, I would be drawn back to see what he was talking about.

Another "taught" moment for me was a conversation at a party with a gay Republican - my wife was a member of a local theater group - and I asked him "How can you belong to the same party as Jesse Helms?" He replied that he didn't like Jesse, but as a small-business owner, he appreciated the tax and business policies of the Republicans. Hmmm.

As a Classical Liberal, I hated tyranny - both Left Wing and Right Wing. The "stepping off" moment was the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and the rising up of the Romanians, wherein they slew their evil dictator Nicolai Caucescu (sp.?). I began to say to myself "Maybe Reagan was right."

I was liberal enough to listen, to think, and TO CHANGE. And some "liberal" folks just can't seem to deal with that. Some of my friends from my undergrad years (1972 - 1977) have evolved to Libertarian or Conservative positions, but of the friends from my 14 years in El Paso (1977 - 1991), many of them have "unfriended" or "hidden" me on Facebook, because they can't deal with my viewpoints. So much for being open-minded "free thinkers".

Finally, it saddens me that many of my Geologist friends (and a couple of former professors) on Facebook have bought into the human-caused climate change crap (and other aspects of liberal dogma).

Oh well, as Bill Shakespeare said "To thine own self be true." At least my 3 year-old grandson and my dog still love me. And my Conservative drinkin' buddies, too. And so it goes."

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Monday, April 23, 2012

"Intellectuals" and Marxism

It has been a creeping disease for close to 100 years.

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A Few Thoughts on the "Weird Weather"

Yes, plants such as Japanese Honeysuckle, Chinese Privet, Queen Anne's Lace, and Blackberries are blooming "way early", in response to the mild Winter and early Spring.

By itself, this is a weather event.  A very unusual event, but by itself, it reveals NO trend.  "Climate" represents a 30-year average of weather conditions.  If it happens for 5 of the next 6 years, then that is noteworthy, as it will start to affect the 30-year average.  So if the Mayans are wrong this December, then time will tell as far as climate trends go.



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oh Gawd, My Therapist is a Liberal

It shouldn't surprise me - as that profession is infested with libs.  I have been seeing him for several months and he had seemed apolitical. Until yesterday, when he voiced his approval of Obamacare. We have developed a good rapport and he has helped me, so I really don't want to know any more of his political opinions.

A couple of steps back clarify. And to "come out of the closet". No, not THAT CLOSET! To come out and admit to my having battled "the beast" of Depression for more than 30 years. I have written about it at least a couple of times, here and here, in reference to writer William Styron and here in reference to Mother Teresa.

My words, from the first linked post:

..."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."...

More from the first linked post:

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

"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."

My simpler way of saying it:

"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."

A bit more about Styron:

..."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."...

More about William Styron is presented in Alexandra Styron's "Reading My Father".  Aside from her description of her father's first bout with Depression, she describes his second (and final) bout, which occurred in the final years of his life.

Aside from William Styron, some other famous people that have suffered (or are suffering in the present) include Abraham Lincoln, Sir Winston Churchill, Jim Carrey, Terry Bradshaw, Ernest Hemingway, Rosie O'Donnell, Mike Wallace, Owen Wilson, Harrison Ford, Hugh Laurie, Drew Carey, Delta Burke, Billy Joel, Ashley Judd, Alec Baldwin, Jon Bon Jovi, J.K. Rowling, Rodney Dangerfield, John Denver, David Letterman, Marie Osmond, Brooke Shields, Britney Spears, James Taylor, Uma Thurman, Mark Twain, Oprah Winfreey, Reese Witherspoon, Brian Wilson,...there are many others.  In this list, some names are surprises, some are not.

Churchill called his Depression "his Black Dog", that accompanied him everywhere.

In the case of my "non-alcoholic, unipolar depression", it manifests itself in different ways.  Self-hatred, self-doubt, the inability to start or complete seemingly simple tasks or requests, procrastination, excessive introspection, hopelessness, indecision,...  Some people see the disrepair/disorganization and think I don't care.  T'ain't true.  It is a manifestation of the aforementioned results of 30+ years of Depression.  People on the "outside" just don't understand.

In contrast to the behavior of many people, the more depressed I am, the less I drink.  As a beer connoisseur, I don't want to waste good beer as I know drinking will not help me.

When I am fully-employed, or otherwise busy, I can keep the beast at bay.  When employment ends, it is a time that leads to self-blame.  The job-hunting process seems to highlight my flaws and the fear that "what if" the info on applications doesn't exactly "match" the resume?  Every delay in expected responses to job inquiries/applications becomes fertile ground for more self-doubt. 

I had not sought treatment before as I (like many) feared being "labeled" and "exposed" to potential employers.  It is also difficult to admit to being "mentally ill".  I didn't want to be "wedded" to a medication..  I reached the point of "no choice" late last year.  It is what it is.

The Zoloft is helping.  It doesn't make me happy, the depression is still there, but less deep.

This confession is not about seeking excuses for my failings.  It is a way of explaining myself and why I am the way I am.  For anyone reading this, please don't think about me in a different way.   I am still the same person.

Not making excuses, just explaining.

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Friday, April 06, 2012

Forewarned is...

Just some food for thought, from Argentina.

What not to wear when bugging out. Short advice - lay low and blend in.

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Dear Diary

I an still here...

Sorry that I missed my 7th blogoversary in February.  Having a rather tumultuous year.  Due to home renovations, we are staying at an extended stay hotel for several months and my little Eee netbook is tedious to use for extensive writing.  At a time when extensive writing could serve as cheap therapy.  My desktop is available, here at the hotel, but unconnected to the internet.  Perhaps I will write my blatherings in MS Word on the desktop and then cut-and-paste them onto both of my blogs.  I need to revisit my beer can blog, too.

As long as the "Good Lord is willing and the creeks don't rise", I will endeavor to blog.

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