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, May 20, 2012

Tiny Lund, a NASCAR Legend

Tiny Lund was a "Hoss Cartwright" sort of character, he was 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighed 300+ pounds and was the source of many stories and legends.

One story was that he walked into the garage of a Ford dealer (in SC?) and spied a V-8 engine on the floor of the garage, after looking it over, he asked the shop foreman "If I can pick up that engine, can I have it?" The foreman - not knowing whom he was dealing with - said "Yeah, sure." Tiny walked over to the engine, squatted down, wrapped his arms around the engine, stood up and walked past the incredulous foreman. He carried the engine to the back of his pickup truck, placed it there, closed the tailgate, and then drove away (presumably waving "Thanks"). [Being a good-hearted person, it is possible that he went back later and paid for the engine.]

Sadly, he was killed in a crash at Talladega in August, 1975. The last race he won was a short-track race in Summerville, SC., the Thursday night before the Talladega race. After winning the race, he spent about 2 hours loading up his race car with children and slowly driving them around the race track - while everyone else was leaving.

I was fortunate to see him win a NASCAR Grand American race - driving a Mercury Cougar - at Jefferson, GA (now Gresham Motorsports Park) in 1968.

If you read the article, there is another story regarding off-track pranks between Tiny and Cale Yarborough.  It was either a payback for Cale's prank (or it might have led to Cale's prank).  I may add it later.



Wednesday, May 09, 2012

A Few Debate Tactics for Conservatives/Libertarians

[Disclaimer:  I have never had any sort of debate training.  I have simply observed conversations and engaged in logical thought as to what was effective and what wasn't. 

I often practice class lectures on various subjects, so as to be prepared. Likewise, it doesn't hurt to engage in debate practice-sessions before the fact, wherein you imagine yourself in a one-on-one debate, whether in person or on Facebook. 

If this imagined debate is with a longitme "Modern Liberal" friend or relative, maintaining decorum and civility is paramount in order to; 1) Maintain some sort of good relations with this person; and 2) Prevail in your "argument(s)".  If this polite back-and-forth occurs "in public" on Facebook, you always need to remember that there are likely "fence-riders" on various subjects - awaiting more information before forming their own opinions.  If you firmly - but politely - articulate your logical viewpoints, you may convince them, though you may never know.  [For every Liberal that bitches about "politics on Facebook", 3 or 4 people tell me privately that they like what I write and to "keep it up".] 

As for your "prevailing", you don't want to deliver a public "beatdown" of someone about which you care.  As people don't like to lose face in public, you shouldn't seek to publicly crush their arguments and then expect a "white flag". 

[I would suggest reading up on Dale Carnegie to offset their Saul Alinsky.  Someone has to maintain the "moral high ground".]

You want to "send them home" with some well-articulated philosophical concepts for them to mull-over on their own time.  It may take time for new thoughts and understandings to "bloom".  It may take weeks, it may take months, or progress may never be evident to your observation.  From time to time, you might inquire as to whether or not they have any questions regarding the discussion - just to "feel them out". 

I don't like the Liberal "pop psychology" concept of "confronting someone about..." with a full-frontal assault.  Rather I would prefer to "speak with them" and look for ways to disarm them, i.e., to keep them off guard, not for any sort of ego-driven "victory", but to subtlely and gradually prevail.  Being firm - while non-confrontational - is one good strategy.  If you have evolved "out" of "Liberalism", you might suggest that you "used to feel that way" about a certain issue or issues.

Be willing to acknowledge points of mutual agreement or ambivalence (or evolving opinions) - but limit the number of issues-to-be-addressed and politely resist their attempts at "bait and switch", if they become uneasy at the intellectual weakness of their arguments.  Assure them that "we can talk about that another time". 

As for posing your viewpoints - this is where practice is important - pose them as questions, as is done in words attributed to Jesus in the New Testament when he addressed his accusers.  By honestly asking questions, you appear less confrontational and you force your "opponent" to examine and articulate the source of his/her beliefs.  Don't do it in a "rapid-fire" manner, you are not seeking to overwhelm your "opponent", but to - as stated - "send them home" with food for thought.  Give and take.

Choose your battles carefully, seek common ground, remain calm and confident, admit uncertainty and in-progress thinking, keep your powder dry, and don't say everything you are thinking.  [Forgive the cliches.]   And humbly admit (to yourself) that you are not 100% right and they are not 100% wrong.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A Facebook Challenge....

In order to attempt to be as consistent and politically honest as possible, you need to periodically do the "mirror test", i.e., if the actions and policies of Presidents (of a particular party) greatly concern you, do you apply the same standards and concerns to the other major party, i.e., the party which you favor?

If an administration does something hazardous to our freedom, are you willing to step forward and criticize "your" party? If you perceive(d) that a particular administration, e.g., Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush 41 and/or Bush 43, did something illegal, immoral, unsustainable,...why would you look the other way if Carter, Clinton, and/or Obama did something identical or very similar?

Same deal with the "control" of the House and Senate. Our nation has been subjected to a decades-long, downhill slide with a gradual loss of freedom and national character and it is by design, not accident. And for those of us concerned about this, we have to be willing to acknowledge that elements of both parties have been responsible and give blame where blame is due.

As for your own political stands and affiliations, have you subjected them to "Critical Thinking", i.e., intense self-examination, as to determine the origins of your political beliefs? Do you have the courage to explore and/or listen to those with whom you disagree? If your political viewpoints have not evolved over the last 20, 30, or 40 years, could you rationally defend your viewpoints - without becoming angry and retreating? Are you willing to taper-off a debate by "agreeing to disagree", while re-examining your "opponent's" rational, well thought-out viewpoints - in the privacy of your home and your own thoughts? Are you willing to concede - privately - that you might not have "thought through" your own opinions?

As for opinions that might have seemed right "at the time", do those opinions "hold up" when subjected to the scrutiny of 20 - 40 years of life experiences? Or observations of human behavior and nature, the ongoing accumulation of new knowledge and wisdom and revisions of thoughts wrought by the different articulated of viewpoints by persons you trust?

In closing...if you fear "right-wing" tyranny, why would you not fear "left-wing" tyranny as well?

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Agenda 21

Put aside an hour and a half, for the sake of the future and listen to these words from Rosa Koire, a Liberal Democrat from the San Francisco Bay-area.

From her organization's website Democrats Against U.N. Agenda 21:

"UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is implemented worldwide to inventory and control all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all information, and all human beings in the world. INVENTORY AND CONTROL."

More on the subject from Rosa Koire - "Behind the Green Mask" (set aside another hour and a half):

More on Agenda 21 (another hour and a half):

It's all about Power and Control.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Socialist Elizabeth Warren - Long Lost Cherokee Princess?...

I don't think so.

From this article and a Facebook post:

"Big deal. Being 1/32nd Cherokee is not unusual for someone from Oklahoma or Georgia or the Carolinas. Our family history suggests that one of my great-great-great grandmothers was Cherokee. Cynthia Harriet Reynolds was from Alabama and married George Bowman Hudlow. Their daughter Paralee married James Lumpkin Heard and their daughter Emma was my paternal-paternal great grandmother.

Was Cynthia 100% or 50% Cherokee? Don't know. I ran across info on the internet that her mother may have been adopted by a white family in Alabama. So I may well be 1/32nd or 1/64th Cherokee - or less. And as other ancestors were in Western North Carolina from the late 1700s, who knows if there might be other ancestors with some Cherokee blood.

Most Americans from long-present familes are "mongrels". Other than making for interesting conversations, it shouldn't be used for any sort of classification purposes. I wouldn't dream of making any sort of claim to hiring preferences, based upon such a thin thread.

But, how much is enough to satisfy those obsessed with group identity, PC quotas, and "social justice"? Anybody with a grain of historical knowledge would know that American Indians got screwed, especially the Southeastern tribes - by Pres. Andrew Jackson. Should Elizabeth Warren qualify as "disadvantaged" as 1/32nd Cherokee. I really don't think so. If she had tangible, proveable evidence of mistreatment of a Cherokee parent or grandparent, then we could talk.

But for the purposes of the upcoming election, we should focus on her being a Socialist, not what group she belongs to."  [Verbatim from Facebook.]

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